First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It’s the End of the World!

smiley face
The Christian Church roots for the end of the world. It’s true, just look at this passage from Revelation 22:20; “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes I am coming soon’. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” These words, “Come Lord Jesus”, are said by Christians all of the time, including me. We say them as a response to the problems of the world. We say them as a final solution to life’s challenges. We say them as a benediction; a way of saying, “goodbye and have a nice day”. This is because for believers in Jesus Christ the coming of the end of the world is not a bad thing. For us it marks the start of a new and better world.
However, for people who do not proclaim Jesus as Lord, the end of the world is a strangely complicated concept. One would think that something so unpleasant would not be discussed in polite company as often as it is. A quick scan of today’s headlines shows that the end of the world is an enormously popular subject. Every day I see a headline that suggests something terrible is either happening now, or about to happen that is threatening the very fabric of the universe. Or, at the very least, might possibly ruin the perfectly nice day I am having. Below are some examples of recent end of the world headlines. I wish to take a moment with each of them and consider what the author is trying to accomplish by suggesting to us that we are all about to die in a horrible way. I have a sneaky feeling that there is more to the end of the world than meets the eye.
The day Air Conditioning Ended the World

This article from the New York Times talks about the increase in the use of air conditioning in third world countries. This is good news for people suffering in sweltering heat, bad news for those afraid of global warming. The most popular coolant causes more greenhouse emissions (there is a certain irony here because my air conditioning is on as I write this). Thus, as third world countries increase their overall prosperity (good) they use more items which cause more greenhouse gases (bad). Which means we are all going to die horribly (very bad).
As you peruse the article I hope that you take a look at the motivation behind the statements being made in it. The people who prosper from the sale of the existing coolant want to downplay the bad effects of it. The people who manufacture newer coolants which do not produce as much greenhouse emissions are happy to point out the end of the world scenario. So, after looking at this article are we all ready to build a bunker and eat franks and beans for eternity? It depends which company you have money invested in.
The day the European Union Ended the World

“Somewhere in Toledo, Spain there is a middle-class family that holds Barack Obama‘s political fate in its hands.” Really? Is the writer aware that he/she is speaking of the man who currently holds the most powerful office in the world? Putting the hyperbole aside, this article from Time Magazine is talking about the financial problems in Europe and their affect upon our little country. For the last several months hundreds of articles have been published suggesting imminent worldwide financial collapse. It’s a good thing I had all of teeth covered in gold caps!
While informative the article also has a certain air about it. How shall I say it? “I know the solution to the world’s problems, so pay attention to me!!!” I would argue that all of the articles I have read about this current dilemma could be categorized in the same way. A significant portion of the people who claim the world is ending also claim that they have the solution. If only people would listen to them. I have a solution to this problem as well. I have to stop reading these articles.
No School Prayer, No Soup for You

“But today, America has amnesia, and I believe the school prayer case was part of that forgetfulness. We have turned out back on God, and we are reaping the natural consequences.” Wow, I’m going to find a rock and crawl under it. The wrath of God is coming upon us any day now. On the other hand, wasn’t the school prayer case back in the 1960’s? That is what this article is about, the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case. The writer says that this case started a movement of people in the USA away from faith in God. That point is arguable. And though I agree that prayer in schools would be a good thing, I’m not sold on the wrath of God scenario. After all Jesus said; “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21. This strongly suggests that public prayer does not guarantee spiritual righteousness. If God is going to bring down fire from heaven and zap us, it will be because of what is happening inside of us, not what is happening on the outside.
It’s the End of the Word, and I Feel Fine

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God” Revelation 21:3.
We believers in Jesus Christ don’t have a problem with the end of the world. For us, it’s a going to be a great day when Jesus returns in his glory. On that day everything will be made right and existence on this world will become heaven on earth.
For those who don’t believe in Jesus, it’s time to start building that emergency shelter. After all, franks and beans don’t grow underground.
God bless you,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Man Gets Jail Time for Bible Study


Hard to believe but a man in Phoenix, Arizona is facing 60 days in jail for refusing to stop a Bible Study in his home. About 50 people come every week, and the neighbors complained about the cars on the street. The city claims he is running a church service and must follow local zoning regulations. The article below spells it out. What do you think? Can a town ban a Bible Study because its popular?

A Phoenix homeowner who held weekly Bible studies in his backyard must serve jail time for failing to comply with building, zoning, fire, and safety codes applicable to churches, ruled a federal district court in Arizona last week.

In 2008, the City of Phoenix ordered Michael Salman to comply with code requirements for a church after neighbors complained about his weekly Bible studies, which often drew 50 people to a gazebo in his backyard. Salman refused, claiming the order violated his free exercise rights, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, fined $12,000, and given three year's probation--during which he could not host more than 12 people in his home, reports Religion Clause.

On Friday, the federal district court dismissed Salman's attempt to halt this judgment because a lower federal court had already heard his complaint and dismissed it for failing to first exhaust legal options at the state level.
Read more…

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trouble for Doctors Who Share Their Faith


It’s becoming more difficult for professionals to talk about their faith in God outside of church. Below is the story of a doctor in England who faced suspension because he told a suicidal patient that God helped him through difficult times. The Doctor points out that he would not face censure if he talked about religious ideas that are not Christian.

This problem plagues us in America as well. A licensed psychologist is prohibited from discussing his/her Christian faith with a patient. But other religious concepts are not prohibited. Take a look at the story below.

Dr Richard Scott was frustrated with his lot. Despite having a flourishing GP practice and happy family life, he felt that he was not making a difference. So he turned to someone who had always helped him in the past.

"I asked God to send me a challenge that would resonate with people," he says, "to make them see the importance of faith."

God listened. Within the year, Dr Scott was locked in a battle with the General Medical Council after he suggested to a suicidal patient in August 2010 that religion might do more to help him than medication.
He also found himself fighting for his own life, after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Though Dr Scott has undergone painful surgery, radiation and two rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer, he says, has been the least of it.

What upsets him most is the realisation that it has become dangerous today to express Christian beliefs in the workplace.
Read more…

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kids 4 Christ FBCTS Rahway

This year's Kids for Christ was truly wonderful. Over 100 kids participated in Bible memorization, singing, dancing and many other events. Click on the above image to see a photo album of KFC 2012.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pray for Christians in Syria

An ultimatum from the Syrian armed opposition's military chief caused over 1,000 Christians to flee the west Syrian town of Qusayr, adding to fears that believers may be forced out of Syria.

"The Christian communities fear being targeted, destroyed or driven out," said Neville Kyrke-Smith, Aid to the Church in Need's U.K. director. "We all need to stand in prayer and solidarity now."

Kyrke-Smith, who returned from Lebanon on June 11, told CNA that the report of Christian flight echoes the concerns he heard from bishops, priests, and religious communities concerned about Christians' fate in neighboring Syria.

"The message time and again was 'please do not forget the Christians of the Middle East,'" he reported.
Read more…

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ministry in Urban Centers Around the World

Below is an excerpt from Urban Neighbours of Hope…
As Urban Neighbours Of Hope(UNOH) we often feel overwhelmed by the immense needs we see each day in our neighbourhoods. With 167,000 new people living in urban poverty each day now, including 94,000 new urban slum residents, we know this breaks God’s heart and he is looking for more people to be his hands and feet in response. Would you join us in our quest to love God and neighbour in more faithful and relevant ways in this new urban world?
As Urban Neighbours Of Hope we covenant together to focus our lives on:
  • Loving God and neighbour
  • Releasing neighbourhoods from urban poverty
  • Equipping for Christian discipleship and mission among the urban poor.
UNOH began out of the privilege Anji and I had of relocating our home to the multicultural neighbourhood of Springvale (Melbourne, AUS) in 1992. We had no real idea then of how God would use us. We simply wanted to love God and our new neighbours in practical, life-giving ways. Many of those we sought to serve as neighbours at that time found real hope through Christ; however, it also transformed our lives too. We found real life and UNOH was born as God brought others along who had this calling too. Though UNOH workers and supporters come from diverse Christian traditions, UNOH was officially formed as part of the Churches of Christ in July 1993 and in 2001 commissioned as a ‘missional order among the poor’.
Read More…
Article from Christianity Today…

Monday, June 11, 2012

Creflo Dollar Arrested

Another Mega-Church Minister in trouble. Creflo Dollar, founder and pastor of World Changers Church International, is being accused of strangling and punching his 15 year-old daughter. He denies the charge.
Of course none of us know what really happened. However, there are two possibilities and both are very bad. First, he did attack his daughter and second, his daughter is lying and attempting to get him thrown into jail. Neither possibility is a good signal that all is well in the Dollar home. Who knows what is really happening behind the bright lights and the big money?
Dollar was taken into custody at his Fayetteville home Friday night and charged with simple battery and cruelty to children.
More about Creflo Dollar…

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amazing Grace by Lin Yu Chun

Today's Amazing Grace video is by a young Chinese man named Lin Yu Chun. He sings the song in English and it sounds like his voice hasn't changed yet. To hear the song, move the video forward to 1 minute and 20 seconds. Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Holy Fire and Fiery Monks at the Holy Sepulcher

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a real interesting place. Built upon the graveyard where the tomb that Jesus' body lay was located, the Church has been around in one form or another for 1,700 years. Burned, torn down and rebuilt many times, the most sacred site in Christendom has survived the test of time, but not  without trouble. Below is a video of the ceremony of the Holy Fire. Done on the night of Good Friday, this ceremony is supposed to be a miracle of God pointing to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, over the centuries it has been criticized by Christians and Muslims as being a cheap parlor trick. Look at the video and decide for yourself.

The video below is of a fight between monks occurring in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The responsibility for the building is divided up between the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church. This is due to many political arrangements carved out over its long existence. Because so many claim control of the building, fights break out on a regular basis. I guess its one big happy Christian family!


And of course I must show you a picture of the immovable ladder. Over one hundred years ago a repairman placed this ladder over the entrance to fix the window. A fight broke out over who had the authority do to this. The repairman fled leaving the ladder in the same location to this day. One must assume that the repair work never got done.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Organist Comforts Dying Woman


Below is an excerpt of a church organist who administered CPR and spoke words of comfort to a shooting victim. Please pray for the victim and her family. Also, say a prayer of thanksgiving for this good Samaritan.

"Betsy" asked Stremler, "Do you know how to do CPR?"
She did. "Betsy" took Leonidas' pulse and began chest compressions. Stremler, listening to the woman's shallow breathing, grabbed her left hand and told her, "Whoever you are, we are here. You are not alone."
Read the Story here…

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raising Awareness or Raising a Circus Tent?

Below is an excerpt of a story about a Chicago Pastor who is going to walk across the USA to raise awareness and money for a community center. Last year he spent month on top of a roof for the same reason. My question to you dear friends is this; is this necessary to raise money for a worthy cause? Non-profits do fund raising events like this all of the time, and they work. But my question is, do we have to put on a show to raise money for something worth doing?

Rev. Corey Brooks, the pastor who spent nearly three months atop a South Side motel, left Chicago Monday for his ambitious trek across the U.S.

Brooks aims to use the nearly 3,000-mile walk to increase awareness about violence plaguing Chicago and raise funds for Project H.O.O.D, a community center in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Read the Story…

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ignore the Bloviating Atheists, Being a Minister is Awesome!

Strange postings on an Atheist blog. It seems that we ministers are in crises and need help from friendly atheists. No, not really. Most of us ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ are pretty happy with what we do. We live a wonderful life of sharing and caring. We help people when they are suffering. We spend time with people when they are alone. We bring peace to the hearts of our friends when they are troubled. Being a minister is a wonderful life. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
However, it’s not an easy life. Jesus said that those of us who go forth proclaiming the gospel are going to run into trouble. He wasn’t kidding. We ministers face tons of rejection. People come to our churches and our homes and then disappear without a word. We develop close personal relationships with people, who then turn on us when things don’t go their way. Ministers are a lightning rod for the problems that churn up in the hearts of our parishioners. And those problems get dumped upon us. And of course, our imperfections get thrown into the craziness as well. I’ll tell you my friends, being a pastor is a wonderful life, but it ain’t easy.
I can’t speak for all ministers, but I can speak for the large majority. We have enthusiastically embraced a movement that is much larger than ourselves. A movement that is much larger than the planet we inhabit. We have embraced the vision of the universal Family of God. An eternity of loving and supportive relationships built upon the foundation of a loving and supportive universal parent. This vision of an eternity in the loving embrace of God and God’s children fires us ministers up. And we want to share that vision and spread it around because we think it is awesome! Our vision is of an eternity of loving God and loving God’s children. And not only do we embrace it, we live it.
No one knows what the future holds. None of us know if circumstances force us to change our jobs, or the place where we live. All of us stand at a crossroads, even us ministers. Still, there is one thing I know for sure. No matter what I end up doing, or where I end up living I will always remain a minister of the Good News of Jesus Christ. And that is because living the life of a minister is a life worth living.
God bless you,
Pastor Bill

Friday, June 1, 2012