Check out the latest from Mark and Bekah Perry here.
Check out the full update from the Perry’s here.
Brothers, Pray for Us
Continue steadfastly in prayer.
Missionaries are always asking for prayer. We are no exception: we always ask the churches where we minister to pray for us. We have prayer cards, refrigerator magnets, wrist bands, a website and Facebook page, and this prayer letter to help believers remember to pray for us. And we are not just saying that: we need your prayers! But how should we pray for missionaries?
Pray according to God’s will.
We can pray with confidence when we ask according to God’s will (1 John 5:14–15), and when we pray scriptural prayers, we know we are praying according to God’s will. First, we ask you to pray that God will use every circumstance he ordains in our lives to make us more like Jesus. Romans 8:28–29 says that God works every thing in our lives for our good, and specifically, to conform us to the image of his Son. So our prayer request is that even more than raising support or traveling safely, we want God to change us to be more like Jesus Christ.
Second, we ask you to pray that God will use us to serve Jesus’ church. We often feel weak and inadequate, but we trust God to use our “watering” efforts to and make his church grow (1 Cor 3:6–7). We know that God delights to use weak vessels because then his power and glory are magnified (2 Cor 4:7).
Third, we ask you to pray that God will open our eyes and hearts to spiritual needs around us. We don’t just want to see the Water of Life flow to the deserts of northern Chile, but also to the thirsty souls around us (John 4:13–14). We want God to enable us to see the people we encounter and talk with as image bearers who need to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:20–21).
Finally, we ask you to pray that God will provide churches and individuals to partner with us. We don’t just desire people or churches who will write checks—we hope they will see us as members of the same team. We want them to realize that what we desire to do in Chile is obeying the same commission that Jesus has given us here!
Please pray for us as we seek to serve these churches over the next month:
Mark your calendars for June 27-29 to meet with fellow pastors and laborers in the harvest field for two full days of fellowship and instruction from the Word of God. Dr. Fred Moritz will be our keynote speaker focusing on the theme of “Faithful Shepherding.”
More details will be coming regarding the schedule and specific sessions.
To register, follow this link or mail in the following information…
2016 OBF Pastors’ Conference Registration
City: ___________________________________ State: ____________ ZIP: ___________________________________
Phone: ____________________ __ Home __ Cell __ Work
Phone: ____________________ __ Home __ Cell __ Work
E-mail address: _________________________________________________________________________________
Home Church: _________________________________________________________________________________
___ I plan to attend the entire conference.
___ I will only be able to attend part-time. (Contact camp registrar for partial camp fee schedule.)
___ Cabin (up to 8 men)
___ Lakeside Cabin (2-4 men)
___ Staff house with indoor facilities (limited availability)
___ Campsite (bring your own camping unit)
___ Drive-in (no overnight accommodations)
___ Standard: $110
___ $20 deposit on camp fee
___ Entire camp fee
Complete this registration form and mail with camp fee to Camp Registrar.
Patti Perry, Peniel Bible Camp Registrar
103 Parkview Ave.
Westerville, OH 43081
Spring Ohio Bible Fellowship Conference
hosted by Morrow Bible Church
April 8-9, 2016
Dear OBF members and friends,
We are looking forward to the OBF conference next week at Morrow Bible Church. There are some changes to report. Dr. Vaughn will not be able to speak for the conference next week as previously announced. His daughter Becky has developed a health issue that is requiring his care. He sends his regrets for not being able to attend. We are thankful for the others that will be speaking in his place! Note the revised schedule and speakers below.
GFA missionary deputees Jeremy and Caroline Dion had planned to attend the conference, and have agreed to speak. Pastor Dan Greenfield will give an entire session to his report on “Reclaiming ‘The Gospel Ministry’ from the ‘Gospel Centered’ Movement.” We look forward to preaching from Pastors Steve Spence and Charles Flesher.
Also, the church is planning a meal on Friday and child care as several are coming with children. It would be helpful to the church to let me know if you plan to attend for the Friday meal and if any other children are coming.
Plan to come next week for a good time of fellowship and encouragement from God’s Word!
Pastor Stephen Howard
Morrow Bible Church
FRIDAY, April 8, 2016
1:30-2:00 Scripture reading and prayer
2:00-3:00 Business meeting
Ladies meeting with Caroline Dion (GFA missionary to PNG)
3:30-4:30 Missionary Jeremy Dion (GFA missionary to PNG)
5:00-6:30 Dinner served at Peniel Bible Camp
7:00-8:30 Pastor Steve Spence (Grace Bible Church, Avella PA)
SATURDAY, April 9, 2016
8:30-9:00 Scripture reading and prayer
9:00-10:00 Pastor Dan Greenfield (Orwell Bible Church)
10:30-11:30 Business Meeting
Ladies’ activity with Jenny Howard
11:30-12:30 Pastor Charles Flesher (Greencastle Bible Church)
Dinner will be served by the church at Peniel Bible Camp on Friday evening. Please let Pastor Stephen Howard know if you plan to come on Friday so that the church can better prepare for the meal (740-501-3666).
- Morrow Bible Church will provide lodging with church families. Contact Pastor Stephen Howard at (740) 501-3666 or email@example.com to make reservations.
- Camp cabins are also available at Peniel Bible Camp, just 9 miles from Morrow Bible Church. To make reservations contact Izaac VanderSchel at (740) 505-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Best Western is nearby at the I-71 & Rt. 95 interchange. Call (419) 768-2378 to make reservations.
Morrow Bible Church is located 2.5 miles southwest of Sparta, Ohio. The church address is 423 County Road 204, Centerburg, Ohio 43011.
James Stalker’s book Imago Christi: The Example of Jesus Christ supplies a number of thought-provoking observations of the everyday example of Jesus. The chapter on “Christ in the State” provides insight on the individual’s relation to the state, the ideal role of the state among mankind, how the state dealt with the one perfect Man, and Christ’s view and example of servant-leadership. The following presents a gripping summary:
But this conception of greatness and kingliness was not meant by Jesus to be applied to His own conduct alone; it is of universal application. It is the Christian standard for the measurement of all dignities in the state. He is greatest, according to the mind of Christ, who renders the greatest services to others.
Alas! this is as yet but little understood; it makes but slow progress in the minds of men. The old heathen idea is still the governing one of politics – that to be great is to receive much service, not to render it. Politics has been a game of ambition, if not a hunting-ground for rapacity, rather than a sphere of service. The aim of the governing classes hitherto has been to get as much as possible for themselves at the expense of the governed.
In the attached article, James Stalker points out that the prevailing view in Christ’s day centered on the desire for political prominence and deliverance from certain government powers. Christ refused to bow to the political agenda and focused on His Father’s will. Stalker points out the system of government had one opportunity to deal with a perfect man – and it treated Him as a horrible criminal.
In our day of political upheaval and the severely diminished influence of conservatism, Stalker’s words supply some thought-provoking words that challenge both the entitlement mindset of big government and the messiah mindset of deliverance being found in getting the right people in office. The few minutes spent reading this chapter will be well invested. Stalker’s perspective rightly acknowledges government as a God-ordained institution while simultaneously demonstrating the imperfection of human rule.
You can find the entire book for free here
Tens of thousands of pieces of literature. Hundreds of business cards. Thousands of hits on the church website. Result – About three households that attend regularly. Sometimes it makes you wonder. How effective is mass media coverage? Considering the number of mailers I receive (and throw away) the answer seems to be minimal.
And that makes sense in this over-churched area. People see the word “church” and nearly every conceivable image goes through their mind except what a biblically defined church is. They think “traditionalism,” “boring,” “overbearing,” “grandma,” “guilt-trip-to-give-money,” “scandal,” etc. and so on. The last thing most people want to do is walk into a building as a perfect stranger wondering what kind of gimmicks await to hold them captive.
People long for answers – answers to complicated issues in a complicated world spinning in the chaos of sin. One word best describes their plight: broken. Broken relationships, broken families, broken finances, broken hearts, broken bodies, broken minds. And they don’t see walking into another building that claims help people as a viable option anymore. They tried it already.
Church planting today involves so much more than hanging a shingle and inviting people to a service or three. Effective church planting follows the NT model of discipleship, life on life, hour upon hour, building relationships with people 24/7. It’s getting involved with a couple on the brink of divorce. Maintaining a weekly Bible study for months with one person. Staying in contanct day in and day out. Helping people create a semblance of structure in absolutely chaotic lives. Constantly using the phrase, “The Bible says . . .” to address sinful thinking patterns and demonstrate what Christlikeness is all about. Bringing discouraged people back to the richness of redemption in Christ and peace of justification.
And then it’s seeing people come. One by one. Maybe once a month. Maybe every service. But they come – not because of the fancy mailer or snazzy ad, but because someone loved them. Someone actually cared enough to listen. Someone asked about how they were. And kept asking. And didn’t abandon them when they weren’t fine.
By God’s grace, they will do the same thing. And one more person will come for the same reasons.
Church planting is about uncovering the nastiness of guilt and brokenness in people’s lives through loving involvement and telling them that you can point them to the answer – Jesus Christ.
And they will come.
Make plans to join us on the following dates for edifying fellowship and Scriptural encouragement.
April 8-9 – Morrow Bible Church – Speaker: Dr. John Vaughn
June 27-29 – Pastor’s Conference (Peniel Bible Camp) – Speaker: Dr. Fred Moritz
October 7-8 – Orwell Bible Church – Fellowship Speakers
Ohio Bible Fellowship
Resolution on Biblical Creationism
In 1859 English naturalist Charles Darwin outlined an explanation of biological origins whereby such occurs naturally, apart from any supernatural influence. Since then, while Darwin’s explanation has been significantly adjusted, the core tenet—that life’s origins must be explained without reference to any deity—remains intact. Evolution has become the reigning philosophy of origins.
As acceptance of Darwinian evolution grew, many Bible believers struggled to respond to the explicit atheism/agnosticism it espoused. Various pastors and teachers sought to resolve the seeming discrepancy between the Bible and “science” by advocating the day-age theory, the gap theory, or theistic evolution. While the motivation for these ideas may have been noble (retaining the Christian faith), ultimately these compromising attempts surrendered the absolute authority of Scripture to anti-Christian ideas and interpretations.
Over the last 50 years, serious study of the Scriptures has greatly supported the understanding and defense that creation was God’s direct work apart from any evolutionary processes. Genesis 1–2 testifies that all creation came into existence by the Word and power of God. The “days” of Genesis 1 should be understood as normal, twenty-four hour, solar days, as (1) whenever the Hebrew word for “day” (יוֹם, yôm) is used alone as a singular noun it always refers to a literal day; (2) in Hebrew whenever “day” is used with a numerical adjective it is always a 24-hour day; (3) the expression “morning and evening” used with “day” points to a solar day; (4) Exodus 20:11 has solar days in view when God established Israel’s work week and observance of the Sabbath; (5) the sequence of events in the creation week demand literal days. Creation was thus made directly and supernaturally by God as opposed to using any indirect, natural means.
Recently there has been a concerted effort by the American Humanist Association to draw the public’s attention to Darwin’s efforts. Annually on Darwin’s birthday (February 12) “Darwin Day” is celebrated and observed. Resolutions have been recently submitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate to support Darwin Day (H. Res. 548; S. Res. 337). Religious leaders from different faiths also support the observance of “Evolution Weekend” through The Clergy Letter Project. The knowledge of God within man is thus suppressed, and the glory of the incorruptible God has been exchanged for the glory of corruptible man and animals (Rom 1:18–32).
Despite evolution’s antagonism to Christianity and the sound exposition of Scripture upholding its authority in regard to creationist doctrine, many evangelicals adhere to various evolutionary schemes. Encouragement to do this was spurred by the rise of new evangelicalism. In 1956 some of its leaders differentiated evangelicalism from fundamentalism as having “a friendly attitude toward science” by accepting views that integrated evolution with the biblical account (“Is Evangelical Theology Changing?” Christian Life, March 1956, p. 17). A contemporary example of evangelical acceptance of evolutionary biological processes is Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City [Presbyterian Church of America] and co-founder of The Gospel Coalition).
Therefore, we, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our Winter Conference on January 8–9, 2016, at Westerville Bible Church, in Westerville, Ohio, express our whole-hearted acceptance of the biblical account of origins. We reject any understanding of origins that incorporates evolutionary teaching or that does not accept the days of Genesis 1–2 as literal, solar days. When Darwin’s birthday is celebrated and observed during the weekend of February 12, let us use this opportunity to declare the truth of Scripture and urge men and women to trust in the Word of God and the Word made flesh. We urge any professing Christians who try to accommodate evolutionary schemes to repent of such and instead believe the Scriptural doctrine of creationism. We furthermore urge churches and ministries to incorporate in their doctrinal confessions a clear statement of origins for their unity, maturity, protection, and growth.
- OBF resolution 2010 fall conference Resolution on Creation and Evolution
- “Young Earth Creationism,” resolution of the American Council of Churches, Oct 21-23, 2014. http://accc4truth.org/2016/01/05/young-earth-creationism/, accessed 7 January 2016.
- Robert V. McCabe, “A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week,” DBSJ 5 (Fall 2000): 97-123. http://archive.dbts.edu/journals/2000/McCabe.pdf, accessed 7 January 2016.
- http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/sinned-in-a-literal-adam-raised-in-a-literal-christ, accessed 7 January 2016
- http://tgc-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/booklets/Creation.pdf, accessed 7 January 2016. “The stakeholders of The Gospel Coalition are not on the same page with respect to all the details,” p. 12.
- http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf, accessed 7 January 2016.
- “Is Evangelical Theology Changing?” Christian Life (March 1956), p. 17.
- Res. 548 expressing support for designation of February 12, 2016, as “Darwin Day.” https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114hres548ih/pdf/BILLS-114hres548ih.pdf, accessed 7 January 2016.
- Res. 337 the same. https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/sres337/BILLS-114sres337is.pdf, accessed 7 January 2016.
- http://darwinday.org/, accessed 7 January 2016.
- UMC endorsement of The Clergy Letter Project: http://calms.umc.org/2008/Text.aspx?mode=Petition&Number=990, accessed 7 January 2016.
Dr. Minnick will develop the theme of “The Pastor’s Heart” over several messages.
In addition to these you will also hear messages on the following:
- “The Life and Ministry of John Ashbrook” Steve Spence, Grace Bible Church, Avella, PA
- What is Church Planting?” Nathaniel Pringle, Eastside Community Bible Church
- “A Potpourri of Current Events with Scriptural Assessment” Dan Greenfield, Orwell Bible Church
- “The Transgender Question: How are We to Minister in this Age of Gender Confusion? ” Paul Hamilton, Westerville Bible Church
Check in begins Monday at 11:00, followed by lunch at noon. The conference ends Wednesday with lunch.
Our annual Pastors’ Conference is ALWAYS a great opportunity to be encouraged and challenged from the Word of God, by each other’s fellowship, through mutual prayer, in brotherly conversations, and the blessing of men singing together.