August 15 NEws Letter

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Issue:

*  What is Worldliness?

* Pastor’s Forums USA 2011

* Biblical Literacy – Dr. George Guthrie

*  On Purpose Person – R U??

Resistance to Change

*  Options for Pastors & Churches

*  Call to Intercession for Church in America

*  In the Next Issue – Biblical Literacy & Ministry Effectiveness

What is Worldliness??? “I don’t smoke, drink or chew, and I don’t date the girls that do!”   That quote defines worldliness for some in the evangelical community. While that is a bit humorous, it is also profoundly tragic. Worldliness must not be reduced to a few social ills that we avoid. It is much more. The Apostle John wrote much about this topic in his first Epistle (1 Jn. 2:15-17; 3:1, 3:13; 4:1-5). John refers to the world system, a system closed to the intervention of the True & Living God. Closed to anything super-natural. Closed to the Incarnation of Jesus as LORD. Closed to the perspective that Special Revelation is sufficient for faith and godliness.

This persistent and growing resistance to TRUTH shapes much of what passes for correct thinking today, even among professed believers. There are fewer and fewer who begin doing Theology with the “First Principle” being a Sovereign Transcendent God who has revealed Himself in the literature that makes up the Scripture, 66 books, the completed canon. This departure from historic orthodoxy is especially prevalent regarding the natural sciences as those disciplines to TRUTH.

David Wells defines “Worldliness” as follows:   “that system of values, in any given age, which has at its center our fallen human perspective, which displaces God and his truth from the world, and which makes sin look normal and righteousness seem strange. It thus gives great plausibility to what is morally wrong and, for that reason, makes what is wrong seem normal” (Wells, David, Losing Our Virtue, Eerdmans Pub., 1998, p.4)   I suggest this definition be systematically reviewed with God’s people periodically. We need to challenge ourselves and the church as to whether we are “worldly” or godly.  

Pastor’s Forums 2011

1.  Piedmont SC – September 13 – Mt. Moriah Bapt.

2.  Columbia SC – September 26 – Biblical Literacy SouthEast Community

3.  Baltimore MD – October 3 – BCMD North

4.  Baltimore MD – October 3 – BCMD South

5.  Shillington PA – October 4 – Berks Bible Church

6.  St. Augustine Beach FL – October 25 – River Oaks Com. Church

Pending 2011

1.  Fayetville NC – IABC
2.  Harrisonburg VA – James Madison Univ.

Biblical Literacy The Doctrine is Bibliology, with a focus on Biblical Literacy. Our speaker is Dr. George Guthrie, Union University. Dr. Guthrie has done extensive work in this area. The date for the next Forum is Monday, September 26, 2011. Knowing what God has revealed and how to properly apply that Revelation to life so that the results are genuine Transformation in God’s people is crucial. Plan to join us for this very important and timely Forum. You will be challenged and equipped to lead and serve with effectiveness. Go to and for some helpful resources in knowing what God’s word says and how to apply Truth to life.   The focus of Dr. Guthrie’s presentation on September 26 is as follows:  

What is Biblical Literacy?

Biblical Literacy – The Current State of Affairs

Full-orbed Biblical Literacy Training in the Church

As a Bible scholar at Union University, one of the oldest American universities in the Southern Baptist tradition, Guthrie has tracked the decline in biblical literacy with consternation. With earlier books (The Structure of Hebrews and Biblical Greek Exegesis) best suited for academia, Guthrie has switched gears to produce a reader-friendly, digestible, biblical literacy study program that includes this book as well as a participant’s workbook, study leader’s CD-ROM, and three DVDs for group use. Anyone “touched by the English language or Western culture,” argues Guthrie, should be conversant in biblical literature. Through informal kitchen-table conversations with evangelical scholars, Guthrie guides the reader through a study of historical context, differences in Bible translations, varieties of literary genres, and finally a heartfelt devotional on how to read the Bible in a postmodern world. Copies of this title will be available for purchase at the Forum.

Future speakers and topics in the Orthodoxy Series are Dr. George Zemek, Dean of Expositors Seminary for the Doctrine of Soteriology (March 2012). Dr. Fred Zaspel, author of The Theology of B. B. Warfield, The Doctrine of Christology, which was Warfield’s favorite biblical study, (September 2012).  

R U On Purpose?? A number of years ago I led men through a Leadership Development module at SEC where I serve as Teaching Pastor. One of the crucial issues in Leadership is Life Management. The On-Purpose Person is one of the books I had the men read and ask them to master the principle of ‘being on purpose’. Kevin McCarthy and I have become ‘virtual friends’. He previously conducted Seminars in Orlando FL teaching the principles of an On Purpose Life. He is now making this training & equipping available via tele-conferencing. This equipping is accomplished over six weeks, one session per week. There is live interaction for Q&A and slides that highlight the issues being addressed. Each session is recorded so if you miss the live session, you still have access to the substance that was covered at a time that fits your schedule.

One of our men here at SEC applied this material to his life. He is a capable man, on Staff with the AP here in Columbia. Through this material he discovered 30+ hours per week that he could apply with much greater effectiveness as a Christ-follower and be On-Purpose as an Image Bearer, Husband, Father and AP Writer.   In the September 1st issue of Under The Elmtree I will provide all the information necessary for you to take part in these conferences from the comfort of your own home, study or office. The best part is the cost – only $99 for 6 weeks of acquiring incredibly valuable skill in becoming an “ON PURPOSE” person. This equips you to Model Leadership with excellence!  

Resistance to Change – Change is constant. Resistance to change is equally constant. The consequence of that resistance is lethal to organisms and organizations such as the church. Individuals and organizations (the church in particular) cling to status quo to their own demise. I have some powerful resources that show in graphic detail where resistance to change takes those who persist on this path. Call me to request this material. I will explain the parameters necessary to receive this material. In 1985 what were the two most recognizable LOGOS in the world?

Where are the companies they represent today? What does this teach us? (803 776 5282 office, or 800 472 3764 toll free, or 803 413 3509 cell)

IgniteUS Options for Pastors & Churches Research based on calendar 2010 shows that 95% of the churches in America ARE NOT making disciples. This is the one command in the Great Commission Food for thought! Read Heb. 13:7 & 13:17. IgniteUS provides equipping, resources and a metric to measure this critical dimension of ministry in the local church. Only 1 in 10 pastors is prepared to lead the Transformation Process without an outside voice to guide them – we come alongside and take this Journey with you. An outside voice makes a tremendous difference (Jn. 4:44). Our Effectiveness Rating is 91%. Call us!

1. 36 month Leadership Development Process transacted in 5 Phases. We provide the tools, equipping and coaching so that the Pastor becomes a Leader with biblical courage and excellence and the church becomes Healthy & Effective in making disciples fully formed in the Image of Christ (Col. 1:28-29). Reformation & Renewal!

2. 15 month Individual Leadership Development Process for those Pastors who want to become more effective Leaders. This is essentially the first three phases of the process.

3. 6 month process for churches that are essentially healthy and free of conflict and the usual control issues. The Leadership Team meets for a full day once a month for six months. This process maximizes Leadership and Intentional Disciple-making.   I am continually amazed as I present our Leadership Development Process around the country. Many in positions of Leadership are either unable or unwilling to admit the serious deficiencies that exist in the ‘status quo’ approach most have to ministry. It is no longer possible to deny reality – – the church is in precipitous decline. It takes humility, courage, sacrifice and tenacity to engage genuine Transformation. But, the results are far more rewarding than the risks or sacrifices required. I urge you to begin TODAY Pastor. Contact us for details. 803 776 5282

PRAYER – All efforts to see Reformation and Renewal come to the American Church are doomed to failure without earnest intercession (Acts 4:23-31). In the face of seeming hopelessness, God’s people should – can – do pray (Luke 18:1 – 8). Jesus asks a probing questions in v. 8 – – when I return, will I find this kind of faith on the earth?  

Read my BLOG – – Also on the Home Page – A Monday Morning BLOG. New post every Monday morning. Comments welcome! Home Page – Click on this link to go to our Home Page: Click on the text line under the Feature Video that says “See what others are saying” for some recent testimonials.

IUS Update This Update is sent to you on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please send comments or questions to us at Or, you may go to our BLOG on the home page of our Web Site. THANKS!

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