Pearcey Report

Pearcey Report

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paradigm Shift?

So, how about a differing perspective?

For some time now, I have been troubled by the classic view/perspective on Judges 17:6 and 21:25.

Everyone assumes “anarchy” to be detrimental to the “…body politic…’


On the side of those who argue from scripture, the assumption is, the “Stain of Adam” presupposes “chaos”.

At the same time, one might argue from scripture the impact of Romans 2:14, 15 and John 1:9 in terms of the created order.

God is not the author of confusion. (1 Cor. 14:33)

Irrespective of “Adam’s Stain”, it seems to me, God has organized His creation to function orderly, even in the face of Adam!

Might it not be possible God’s plan is NOT for some sort of “communism” but rather an environment whereby biblically informed, individual righteousness is manifest in the social construct?

Recent manifestations within the life of CCV suggest such impact.

nuff said

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Thomas Kuhn Experience!

Talk about mind-stretching!

I casually picked up a book at a local discount house the other day. The price was more than reasonable and the title provocative.

In my mind, it would be a reasonable balance to another book on my shelf!

Well, I began to read the book while returning from Chicago the other day, and my socks began to be “blown off”!

The book is Rethinking Christ and Culture, a Post-Christendom Perspective, by Craig A. Carter, Brazos Press, 2006.

At the moment, I am only ½ way through the book but it is really serving to challenge my paradigms.

Especially challenging was another view of the traditional Just War Theory.

Hopefully, in the days ahead, my intent is to share these and other insights relative to one’s remaining “tough, tender, and teachable” for Jesus’ sake and The Kingdom’s advance.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rebuked; Repentant; and Rejoicing!

Years ago, in my reading on Robert E. Lee, I came across a comment of his which, sadly, I didn’t note in my “quotes” file and am presently too lazy to thumb through my shelf of Lee’s biographies wherein he commented in his philosophy of history.

He remarked, as I recall, that one’s philosophy of history could be likened to the incoming tide. That is, at any moment when one looks at a particular wave, it might be advancing or retreating, yet the position of that particular wave does not describe the state of the tide.

The tide is still advancing, i.e. incoming!

The tide is not “in” til the last wave has made its advance to the furthest reach, and begins the long recession til the next advance.

At that moment, I thought, this is a terrific analogy of the advance of the kingdom of God.

Recently, given our nation’s current financial fiasco, thanks, but no thanks to our inept and interfering governmental elites; I caught myself looking at the "position of the wave”! The look tended toward discouragement.

Then, this morning, in my devotions and while reading through the HCSB One Year Bible, the author of the devotional readings, Selwyn Hughes, made a comment which reminded me of Lee’s observation. Hughes said, “…don’t focus on the wave, but on your assurance the tide is advancing..!”

I needed that reminder!

Listening to the current crop of “system baptized” political candidates only engenders, within me, disgust and dismay. As I reflect on the past umpteen years, I have seen the fruit of these “ostensible” saviors. I am less free and more chained that I was 70 years ago!

These supposed saviors have used the constitution to “chain” me rather than them!

Still, the “tide” is advancing.

The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of The Lord as the waters cover the sea!

Obviously, not in my lifetime!

I live in an era where the wave is receding, yet the tide is still advancing!

My focus is to be on the author and controlling of history, His word, and not on the momentary circumstance.

I stand rebuked, and repentant! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

By The Numbers!

Discipling: by the numbers

Back in the days when I enlisted in the Nations Finest, we were taught close order drill ‘…by the numbers..’

That is, every step was pre-determined, laid out, and we followed it by rigid rote!

At the time, and to a man, we thought it a pain in the @&&! But, after six weeks of disciplined practice and adherence, you would have thought we were a well-oiled machine!

When we began, we didn’t understand

When we finished, we understood.

Such are the basics of Intentional Discipleship.

IMHO, this illustrates the arena of failure in the local church. She focuses on the product, versus the process, forgetting it is the process which produces the product!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Focus and Priority

Truth be known, I love the pastor of the church I currently attend.

Though we differ in certain areas, theologically, I still love the bird! (Be advised, I am a former Marine and the vocabulary often unconsciously intrudes!)

Why, one might ask? How can you love one with whom you have such significant differences?

Well, Psalm 119:63 and Prov. 17:15 are sufficient admonitions for me.

He loves God.

He has a passion for the people of God and the advance of the kingdom of God.

Aside from that, I am still amazed at his willingness to countenance the contribution of one such as myself within the life of the church. That, alone, to me, testifies to his spiritual maturity.

Truth be known, he reminds me of myself 40 years ago, though he is far more competent than I could ever hope to be!

Then, in terms of the Providence of God, my eyes have been opened to a segment of the Body of Christ for which I had little appreciation, and of which, my theological education had been grossly biased.

But, God, in His infinite goodness, saw fit to prompt me to drop into The Movie Church in Sept. of ’05. Praise the Lord!

Since then, my religious education has been significantly, and might I say, profitably advanced.

But, and this is the reason for today’s post: sometimes my pastor…did I say just that “my pastor?” Is that what might be termed as Freudian Slip".

Well, that is a subject for another post.

Back to my point: sometimes the pastor gets things out of order.

In his passion, he is focused on Christians “doing”!

He is frustrated, and quite naturally, with the proliferation of Evangelical Holy Huddles, read: small groups!

For that, I rise up and call him blessed!

But, at the same time, I would humbly suggest he has things out of order.
Our focus ought to be:




Most of what comes to pass in the evangelical community today is a function of screwed up knowing.

Before Jesus sent the twelve or the seventy out to “do”, they had companied with Him!

Even then, they tended to initially screw things up! (It took a persecution to get them on track!)

If we, as believers are to be competent witnesses, whose lives evoke the questions Peter refers to in 1 Peter 3:15, then IMHO, knowing precedes Doing.

But, and more importantly, Being reinforces what is transmitted, propositionally.

I may be way off base, but it seems to me, after 40+ years in personal ministry, the reasonable order is:




And, I still love this pastor!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

To All Good "Samaritans"

Time for action on the part of a “neighbor”.

A good friend of mine posted the following in his blog:

Something awful is happening to a family from our church! Lifelong Perkiomen residents Jim and Sue Umstead (14 Wartman, Collegeville) are being forced to sell their family’s farmhouse on 9.8 acres. Another 1.1 acre property near it sold for $130,000! Their property is worth at least $700,000! They are being unethically FORCED to take a tiny fraction of that! Are we going to stand by and allow our Township Supervisors STEAL our neighbor’s home and land and put our children in harm’s way? Mr. Umstead is fighting brain cancer! After the last township meeting he was so distraught he had a seizure! We must stand up and fight for them! All they want is to keep our schools safe from strangers wandering from the trail onto school property! All they ever wanted was to keep their property for open space for their horses, their grandchildren and all their township friends to enjoy!

To learn how you can help visit this website -

Eminent domain has long been a club for "government", read: those few parties with vested interests and access to "...the powers that be..."

Sometimes, "we", the people can exercise the "powers" which supposedly reside with us.

I might this be just such an occasion?!

Power to the people

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Rise to call him Blessed!

Years ago, in the good providence of God, my wife began attending a local Baptist church. I, in my stubborn pride, would not attend, electing instead to drive her and the children to and from the church each Sunday.

For my part, though having made a profession of faith years before, I had long since strayed and was heavily involved in my career is the USMC.

But, God had other plans.

The pastor of the church my wife attended was only semi-literate from my perspective. He had come to The Faith in the hills of NC and his wife had taught him to read. He subsequently attended a NC Bible institute and began preaching at this Baptist Mission church.

He, his wife, my wife, and my wife’s Sunday School teacher began to meet and pray for me and my restoration to The Faith, unknown to me.

In historical context, this was the months prior to the assassination of JFK, while I was attending a course at USC in So. Cal..

When I returned home to NC, this pastor would screw up the courage to drop by and visit us, inviting me to church. His earnestness and sincerity began to grip me, and I relented. Sometime thereafter, under his ministry, I repented of my rebellion and experienced restoration in the faith.

We became fast friends and I grew under his tutelage in terms of my passion for Christ and the things of The Faith. He deeply instilled in me an appreciation for God and His word, and an unconditional willingness to serve Him, whatever.

Well, among other inputs, his example was one prompting me to resign my commission in USMC in ’66 and enter into Missions. Through those years, he and the Sunday School teacher faithfully encouraged and prayed for us.

At one point, I felt led to give him my Bible, back in ’81, seeing his was nearly worn out!

In 2005, the church where we had met and from which he had subsequently departed had a reunion and we both attended. At this reunion, my first pastor returned that same Bible, which is next to me on my desk!

Now, today, just moments ago, I learned he had passed to the other side!

My, how I will miss him, but thank God for his impact on my life!

In my 70+ years in The Faith, I have been blessed of God to have been significantly been marked, indelibly, by a “Few good men” and Pastor David Cox was one of them!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Anarchy? Give me a break!

Recently, it has been my privilege to lead a group of individuals at church in a Bible survey, focusing, at the moment, on the Old Testament.

We discuss the Fundamental Fact and Permanent Principles, seeking to follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition in 2 Tim. 2:15, recognizing the simple truth the Bible was not written TO us, but FOR us.

We completed our survey of the books denominated The Samuels, focusing on the transition from the era of the Judges to that of The Monarchy.

In that segment, God reveals to Samuel, the message of what a King (read: government) will require, i.e. impose on the people. Implicit in this divine disclosure is the basis of “human government”, that being the imposition of “force”.

In the revelation, the people are told that their “king” will TAKE.

Up to this juncture, those doing the TAKING have been the oppressors, against which the likes of my personal all-time hero, Shamgar, have resisted.

Subject to oppression, which resulted from the covenant nation’s rebellion and refusal to adhere to their covenanted commitments, the peoples cry out to God for deliverance which, He, in grace responds and delivers them via “judges” of various stripes.

It occurred to me, chapters 17-21 are really an appendix providing an overview of the era.

I noted 17:6 and 21:25 in my readings and, as a good evangelical, thought “see, this is the fruit of anarchy”, every man/woman doing his/her “own” thing. This is why we “need” government.

But, then, an errant thought intruded itself, which initially troubled me: is “anarchy” the problem, or might it be the standard against which “anarchy” is to be held?

17:6 & 21:25 indicates the standard at that juncture as “…that which was right in his own eyes…”

Wow! At that moment, it hit me! If every man …did that which was right in God’s eyes…anarchy would not be a “problem”, but an expression of responsible conduct in the kingdom of God!

A concomitant thought intruded itself: might not external “government” be the very instrument which keeps men and women in perpetual, personal governmental immaturity?

Was it the objective of my parents to raise me to be "dependent" upon an external force, or did they hope to raise a son "independent" and willingly "interdependent' in a societal context?


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Years ago, during a message he was preaching, Lorne Sanny, president of The Navigators, first brought to my attention, Shamgar, son of Anath.

Lorne pointed out a few basics things about Shamgar and his conduct during a difficult time in Israel’s pre-monarchial history. Lorne said Shamgar did:

What he could with

What he had and

Where he was

As I reflected on Shamgar’s model, it dawned on me anyone in the household of The Faith could emulate it. No special training is required, save for a vital relationship with Christ and his word.

Problem often being, we want to do something for which we are ill-equipped and somewhere else!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day?

We celebrate it by taking a day off from work?

What gives?

Oh, yeah-I forgot, government loves and understands us better than our employer, who typically has face to face contact with us on a daily basis.

So government lays the heavy hand of enforcement (read the power of the gun) on your employer, mandating the employer provide a day off with pay; something for nothing!

On the surface, given our personal corruption, we are favorably disposed to the idea..

But, upon reflection, we ought to recognize, “…there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch…”.

Somebody has to pay.

First off, your employer.

Who passes it on to the consumer.

And YOU are a consumer, so you pay!

On top of that, because Govt. intervened on your behalf the”bureaurats” who have to be paid for their involvement; hence, and increase in your taxes!

ALWAYS remember the simple axiom,: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Somebody has to pay, and since it typically isn’t the politician; guess who foots the bill?

You do!

Hence, “…there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch…”

Writing Straight Lines with Crooked Sticks

Finishing my survey of the books of 1 & 2 Kings, I was struck afresh with the sovereignty of God in terms of bringing to pass His ultimate purpose through the lives of “crooked men and women”.

In The Revelation, God has privileged us with an insight into His control of human history.

In terms of the divine record, the focus is on Israel and the plan of redemption.

But, by implication, all of human history is encompassed for however long God intends.

So, today; this century and this year, is under His sovereign sway, being superintended toward His intended “end”.

Whether O’Bama or McCain ends up in office; God is still in absolute control; writing straight with crooked sticks!

The Kingdom of God continues to advance, as the incoming tide.

At any particular moment, the “wave” may appear to be either advancing or receding; still, the tide is “coming in”!

At all times, and in all circumstances, the illustration of the Incoming Tide serves me well! Regardless of temporal circumstances, I remind myself, “…the tide is coming in…”

This is the source of my HOPE.

The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea!
My hope is built on nothing-less, than Jesus blood and righteousness!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Been Reflecting

Over 40+ years ago, we left an eleven career in the USMC to serve Christ in the context of The Navigators, little knowing what such a step entailed!

For my part, I was captivated by the vision of Dawson Trotman, as lived out in the lives of the men I had encountered following my restoration to fellowship with Christ!

Each of these men, Percy Crecelius, Ron York, Skip Gray, and Paul Drake reminded me of the individual who had led me to Christ and who, more than any other man, marked me in terms of Intentional Discipleship, Jim Larsen.

To this day, I am, for better or worse, the “spitting image” of Jim Larsen in terms of my commitment to Christ, His word, my wife, my family, and those who seek to follow Christ. For certain, I will rise up and call his name blessed on any and every occasion!

But, reflecting on the comments of those having part in our recent 50th anniversary celebration, I am overwhelmed thinking of the contribution to our lives and walk with Christ, on the part of all those with whom we were privileged to co-labor. What a blessing!

Each of the aforementioned men “stamped” me, indelibly, and their “stamp” has both kept me and motivated me through these ensuing years!

The memory of these men has served me, as those whom I believe, would embody A motto of either the The French Army or The Foreign Legion on my behalf:

“If I falter, push me on!

If I stumble, pick me up!

If I retreat, shoot me!”

Had we not left the USMC, I doubt I would have encountered this type of fellowship and commitment.

Having left the Corps, in ’66, in the spirit of Abraham, our lives have been enriched beyond measure!

Psalm 84:11 rejoices the heart!

Fifty more to go!