THINGS ARE GOING FINE
CARM is doing very well. Last week, the page-views on the home page exceeded 20,000 for the one week period. In fact, it was the first time ever that the page views exceeded 3,000 per day for five days in a row. I've been keeping statistics on CARM for six years and the graph shows that the hits are growing and growing. CARM is becoming more and more popular.
In fact, lately I have been VERY burdened in my heart to move full time into CARM. I don't have enough funds to do it yet, but each week brings me closer and closer to the goal. CARM has the potential of being a very significant web presence that can provide all kinds of free information. I have plans to produce videos, audio tapes, PowerPoint presentations, more tracts, all that can be downloaded from CARM and viewed for free. One of the goals I have is to develop a wider array of topics that are quality and easily accessible. But, doing it all on a part time basis is very difficult. I need help. In fact, I have received numerous resumes from people who want to work for CARM. The only problem is that I have to get full time first before I can start getting a staff.
Maybe I am wrong about this and maybe it is my prejudice in favor of CARM, but when I visit other apologetics websites, I have trouble finding the stuff that I want. One prominent national organization (I'll not name names) has an apologetics website that is horrendous to navigate. I can't find anything on it. What is the purpose in having an apologetics website if the information is difficult to find? Other sites likewise are difficult to use and their information is not that broad. That is why CARM is designed around easy navigation and written in non-high-falutin language. (How do you spell "high-falutin" anyway?).
By God's grace, I've developed some very interesting connections in the past few months. I know a man named Kevin Harris out of Dallas Texas, a great guy. He is a Christian radio announcer and he knows Norman Geisler, one of the top Christian apologists in the country. He also just had lunch with Josh McDowell. Kevin wants to arrange a meeting with us all. It is a great opportunity and I hope it manifests soon. Also, we are on for the second CARM convention in Dallas in June of next year. We even have one scheduled in August of 2003 in Minnesota with another in the works in Austin Texas and Atlanta Georgia for early next year. Praise God! My goal is to move full time into CARM. But, I can't do it without the help of the body of Christ.
There are presently 11,750 people on this email newsletter list and it grows by about 50 a day. I hope you don't mind me asking, but how many of you would be willing to commit for one year to support CARM financially? Is CARM worth it?
Also, I am going to begin a snail mail newsletter. I have 3,000 people listed on that one but I can't afford the postage, mailing costs, etc. for that many. So, I'm going to send it out to the top 1,000 people; that is, those who have donated before, and/or bought the CARM notebook.
You may ask why start an snail mail newsletter when email is so cheap and easy? The answer is simple: not all people have email (i.e., people who sign up at CARM conferences don't always have computers); People like something in their hands; People are more likely to respond with financial support with a tangible newsletter. I hope that doesn't appear to be wordly, but the fact is that the workman is worthy of his wages and in order to go full time with this ministry, I have to be supported. There is no way around it.
What would I do if I were full time? First, I would get an office, a real office. Office space isn't that expensive around here. Then I would put out a request for resumes. The goal would be to hire someone who could raise his/her own support, move to the area, and become a co-laborer with CARM. The goal would always be to produce more information and to hire more people. As CARM expands, I would want to produce an actual magazine, write more books, arrange more seminars and speaking engagements, and do radio on a weekly basis. I am very serious about all of this and am compelled to move towards this goal.
Therefore, I am asking for people to help commit to making CARM a full time ministry. If only 2% of the 11,500 people on this newsletter committed for one year to support CARM with $20 a month, I could easily go full time. Once freed from a regular job, I could then find a cheaper living arrangement anywhere in the country and make better use of the funds.
Would you please consider supporting CARM? If you think it is worth it. If you think that the information is valuable. If you believe that we need much more of this kind of work, and if you have been fed by this ministry, then please consider helping out. I'm asking the body of Christ to make this a reality.
If you want to support CARM, please go to http://www.carm.org/goods/donations.htm and you will find different ways to help. If possible, if any of you want to commit for a year to help out, please email me and let me know, [email protected].
Also, if you feel led, please consider having me out to your church to speak. I can deliver a seminar on apologetics, cults, witnessing, Islam, etc., with plenty of material. It may sound dry to some, but I have been told that with 22 years of experience, I have a way of engaging people and keeping them interested by using challenges, true stories, experiences, information, and humor. I'm here, able, and willing to speak. If any of you are interested and would like references, just let me know and I'll give you phone numbers of people you can interview concerning my teaching.
DEBATE WITH A MUSLIM
I am scheduled to debate a Muslim on the deity of Christ on paltalk (www.paltalk.com). There will be a lot of Muslims and Christians who will listen in. If you are interested in checking it out, here are the details: Date and Time: October 1st, 6pm CA time, 9PM NY time. Topic: Is Jesus God in flesh? Location: Social Issues, Room title: "Islam Christian Debate on Jesus." Participants, MrDebate_the_Hate verses Matt Slick. Format: 1.5 hour debate. Five minute introductions by each person. 3 minute rebuttals, and back and forth responses. Q & A afterwards.
For those of you who do not know, paltalk (www.paltalk.com) is a free internet based, voice chat systems that is fantastic. You to to the webpage, signup, install the program, adjust your speaker and microphone, and you're in. It is easy and free. There is text chat in each voice room as well. I am there frequently debating and teaching. Please come and check it out.
SHORT BIBLE LESSON - MEN
There is a crisis of manhood in the Christian church. It has become so obvious to me lately. Five couples I know are having marital problems. In each case, it is the husband that is at fault. It is no wonder though with the assault on manhood in American Society. All you have to do is watch TV for a little while and you will notice domineering women and wimpy men who are insecure and inept. The characterization of manhood by the media is definitely unbiblical and anti-Christian. In fact, it is creeping into the church and the existence of women pastors is one of the signs of the failure of men in the Christian church to do their job.
There simply aren't enough Pastors who teach the biblical model of Christian manhood. And Christian men too often are resting in the comfort of their churches, their homes, and their jobs to grow spiritually, not to mention be leaders. Too many are becoming lax, apathetic, and spiritually atrophied. For some men, their lives are so comfortable, so routine that spiritual testing and growth are things they read about in books and taking risks for the Lord is an uncommon idea. Mission work is something that others do. Evangelism is for those who are "gifted in that area." Comfort can be a killer for the church and for us men. It can make us lazy and it can bleed over into other areas of our lives. Let me ask you men something: Are you willing to take risks for God? Is it in your heart to do that?
At the "Church at the top of the Hill", the parking lot is filled with new cars and mini vans. The people happily walk into church. Some are talking on their cell phones as they move towards the large building. Others approach are chuckling and laughing. They are well dressed, well fed, and quite comfortable. They drop their kids off in the Sunday School classes and head to the air conditioned church and sit in the cushioned chairs. The worship music is very well done and the message is polished. Very nice. Very comfortable. Very routine. Very blessed. But, this time the pastor has an announcement before the people are dismissed and he introduces an old friend he went to Bible college with.
A man dressed in out-of-style clothes walks up to the pulpit. He looks at the congregation. "Ladies and gentlemen, "he says. "I come from a small town in Southern Africa where I do mission work. The population is about 5,000. The people there are under educated and often don't have enough food to eat. AIDS is also prevalent. The weather is hot and we don't have electricity all the time. But, the people are good and they want to know about Jesus. There are cults trying to move into the town and are offering food and literature. Many are taking it and being misled. But, I am only one man and I can't stop it.
"I am here to ask for help. Is there anyone who would join me in this small town to labor to bring the gospel to these people? You can come for a week or two. Or if not, is there anyone here who would care to donate money to fund the work of another missionary to this small town? I need your help desperately. I cannot do it alone. I will be standing at the back of the church if anyone wants to talk to me. God bless."
If you were sitting in the church listening, what would your reaction be? Are you threatened by the idea of such a commitment to go or to help. Would donating funds mean you couldn't get something you've been wanting and that would make you uncomfortable? If so, perhaps you are becoming spiritual dry, spiritually atrophied, and your priorities are out of place. But, then again, would you want to do something if you could? Would you feel the pull of godly opportunity tug at your heart? I hope so. Either way, this small story can help you discover yourself and it can get you to see that change might be necessary. Change down deep is where it begins. Sometimes we men need it straight. Sometimes we need to be told to get our eyes back on Jesus.
The illustration above is a round-about way to offer a challenge to see where you are and what your priorities are as men. So, I have a question for you Christian men who are married. Let's bring it home to reality. Are you leading your family in regular devotions? Now, I'm not talking about having a devotion every single night with a regimented routine of systematic theology. I'm talking about regular prayer with your family, maybe at dinner time, or reading the Bible with them, and guiding them. They are your primary mission field. Are you doing that with them? If you are, great! But, if you aren't, then repent right now, confess your sin to the Lord, and start leading your family. I don't care if it isn't comfortable. Do it. You can't be leaders in the church and workers for God if your family is left to spiritually fend for themselves.
The dinner table is a great place to have devotions. Also, I recommend that when you and your wife retire for the evening, read a Psalm to her in bed. You must lead. You certainly don't have to be perfect. But, you must realize that the man in the family is the head of the family and he is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the family. Your wife is not responsible for this. You are! It is your responsibility. You are the captain of the ship and God will hold you accountable for that ship. Guide it with love, truth, and service.
Now if your wife is not Christian and regular devotions are not possible, then pray for her, love her, be patient with her, and lift her up to the Lord. Let her see Jesus in you in your humility, love, and patience. Wash dishes for her. Take her out to dinner. Don't point our her faults. Buy her flowers. Love her with actions and words! Read 1 Cor. 13 and apply it.
I have a question for you Christian men who are not married. Are you seeking to be shaped by God to become men who honor God in your lives? The Lord desires that you become godly men who honor and glorify God in your lives. You see, the primary reason for marriage is not for your pleasure, not for companionship, and not to have children. The primary reason for marriage is to bring glory to God and you cannot do this if you are harboring sin and selfishness.
Men, if you have sins of lust, sexual impurity, pornography, lying, lying, laziness, etc., then confess them to the Lord. Turn from them. Do NOT become lazy about sin and your battle against it. Do NOT become complacent. Do NOT give in to the lust and pride. Humble yourselves before God and man. Commit in your heart to do what is right, to be honest, men of integrity, humble, truthful, faithful, kind, and gentle. Yet, at the same time, be men who are strong in the Lord, bold in the faith, and ready to serve your families and friends. It isn't always easy, but it is always right.
GOT A SUGGESTION FOR CARM OR THIS NEWSLETTER?
If you have suggestions for what you would like to see in this newsletter or for CARM, please return e-mail me and let me know.
VERSE OF THE WEEK.
1 Thess. 2:1-5,
"For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2 but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. 3 For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts. 5 For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— 6 nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority," (NASB).
Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet.