I am the senior pastor at Grand St Church in Albany, New York.
Posted 6/9/12 at 10:27 PM | Peter Mattice
My daughter sent this to me and I think its perfect for our rights in this day and age.
It is to the point and it is true.
Dont like gay marriges, Dont get one
Dont like cigrettes, Dont smoke one
Dont like abortions, Dont have one
Dont like sex,Dont do it
Dont like Porn, Dont watch it
Dont like alcohol, Dont drink it
Dont like Guns, Dont buy one
Dont like religion, Dont believe in one
Dont Like fast food, Dont eat it
Dont like violent video games, Dont play one
Dont like violent tv shows, dont watch one
Dont like cell phones, Dont use one
Dont like fowl language, dont use it
Dont like fat people, dont be one
Dont like social media, dont use it
Dont like oponions, Dont listen to them
Dont like your rights taken away
Dont take away someone elses
It seems simple enough dont it .
Posted 6/8/12 at 10:19 AM | Peter Mattice
As you sit in church on Sunday have you ever wondered what Jesus would preach today?
The world has certainly changed since his time 2000 years ago. Especially the way we preach to the rest of the nations, trough social media and the internet.
Maybe a better question is how would he preach today? Would he use twitter and Facebook to get his message out. Would he set up a web page? Would he text message?
If he were to do his sermon on the mount again would there be a flash mob there?
And what would he say? Are the lessons in the bible still viable today as they were 2000 years ago?
I say they are more viable today if we look back at what was going on in Jesus’ day it’s really not much different .
We still have countries fighting to be top dog. We are still doing senseless killing. We still have all the sins that brought down Sodom and Gomorra.
First of all, Jesus didn't really "preach", did he? He didn't go to Seminary. He didn't learn the "craft". He didn't know about proper exegesis, or soteriology, or the study of the "end times". He didn't know about, or care about, three point sermons or proper altar calls. He just didn't fit the profile of a preacher. FULL POST
Posted 6/7/12 at 10:44 AM | Peter Mattice
Early in my Christian experience I grew deeply frustrated at the numbers of well meaning Christians telling us that we should repent without telling us how to repent. In time I became determined to help correct this problem.
The more I studied the scriptures on this topic the more convinced I became that it is ineffective and wrong to think that the depth of our repentance is dependent on how bad we make ourselves feel! That may be the only solution you currently know, but that kind of repentance is too simplistic, ineffective, and not even biblical!
Sorrow for sin is right. But the repentance that God desires is "without regret!" (Click here to go to "How Not to Repent")!
A strict definition of the word repentance means to "change your mind." Even more than that, I think "repentance" is the word that most accurately describes what you get when you try to fit everything together that the Bible says about growing in our relationship with God. It is in this broad "everything" sense that I believe we need to consider "How to Repent." FULL POST
Posted 6/6/12 at 10:23 AM | Peter Mattice
While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention gay marriage/same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful.
Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family. FULL POST
Posted 6/5/12 at 10:42 AM | Peter Mattice
One of the questions I get asked from time to time by fellow Christians is, "How long does it take you to prepare a sermon?" Among themselves, preachers will often compare notes on the same subject. Lifeway Research did a study of how pastors spend their time. The most interesting part of the study was the amount of time pastors said they spent on sermon preparation. A graphic showing the results for mainline and evangelical pastors respectively is below:
How long does it take me? As long as it takes. I don't say this at all because I don't like sermon preparation. In fact, I love it. I say, "As long as it takes because I've always found sermon preparation comes quickly some weeks, and come rather slowly other weeks. On average, I would say 10-12 hours a week...not counting any time spent putting together multimedia and on top of foundational research I do before the series starts. If you throw that in...I'm probably around 14-16 hours per week. I've spent as little as 5 hours and as many as 35 hours on one sermon. Despite what you may be thinking...the 5-hour sermon had nothing to do with a time crunch. It was one of those where God just delivers most of it right away (on Wednesday for me)...it's just in your heart and flies out of your fingertips. That sermon was on stewarship from Matthew 6 called, "More than Money." It's one of my favorites to preach to this day. The 35-hour sermons? One from a series I did on Revelation, and another my very first Pepperdine Keynote back in 2003 on Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Most of the time, it's the good old routine 12 hours or so. FULL POST
Posted 5/31/12 at 10:40 AM | Peter Mattice
With summer knocking on the door many of you are thinking of vacation time.
With the gas prices up and everything costing more money every day you are properly trying to figure out how and where to go on vacation.
Maybe that trip to Disneyland or Nyc may seem to out of you budget this year.
I have a few ideas on how to have a fun simple vacation for those who are on a budget.
1 Vacation on a budget right in your home town. Unplug and turn off your phones. Visit museums and parks. Bring your own food and have a picnic. Go to a movie, or have a BBQ and invite the neighbors.
2 Save your money and take a road trip. Be aware that food and lodging costs often can be expensive. So if you're stressed before a vacation, you may become even more stressed after the vacation because of the big debt you've incurred. Only spend money you have and can afford to live without.
3 Check the popular travel web sites on the Internet for specials on hotel rates, and for package deals involving lodging, airfare and/or car rentals. FULL POST
Posted 5/30/12 at 10:11 AM | Peter Mattice
The institution of marriage is now the subject of a bitter national debate. How did marriage begin—and why?
How old is the institution?
The best available evidence suggests that it’s about 4,350 years old. For thousands of years before that, most anthropologists believe, families consisted of loosely organized groups of as many as 30 people, with several male leaders, multiple women shared by them, and children. As hunter-gatherers settled down into agrarian civilizations, society had a need for more stable arrangements. The first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting one woman and one man dates from about 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia. Over the next several hundred years, marriage evolved into a widespread institution embraced by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. But back then, marriage had little to do with love or with religion.
What was it about, then?
Marriage’s primary purpose was to bind women to men, and thus guarantee that a man’s children were truly his biological heirs. Through marriage, a woman became a man’s property. In the betrothal ceremony of ancient Greece, a father would hand over his daughter with these words: “I pledge my daughter for the purpose of producing legitimate offspring.” Among the ancient Hebrews, men were free to take several wives; married Greeks and Romans were free to satisfy their sexual urges with concubines, prostitutes, and even teenage male lovers, while their wives were required to stay home and tend to the household. If wives failed to produce offspring, their husbands could give them back and marry someone else. FULL POST
Posted 5/29/12 at 10:27 AM | Peter Mattice
Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe has a good answer. He says, ”Given that we are all descended from Adam and Eve, either Cain or one of his brothers must have married a sister. This would seem to violate the commands recorded in the book of Leviticus forbidding marriage between brothers and sisters. The Levitical laws, however, must be considered in their proper historical context. Though the book of Genesis condemns sexual relations between children and their parents, it nowhere prohibits a man from marrying his sister or niece. Abraham, for example, married his half-sister without compunction. Not until the time of Moses were laws established forbidding a man from marrying a sister or niece. The timing of this command makes perfect sense biologically, for genetic defects as a result of intra-family marriage would not begin to crop up until after the first few dozen generations.”
In a nutshell, though sex between parents and their children has always been out of the question, marriage between other close relatives was permitted until the time of Moses. Practically, this makes sense because as Adam and Eve’s offspring married each other the human population possibly grew to almost 5 billion within a generation (see article mentioned above)! Scientifically, this make sense in terms of the genetic defects that would have begun to arise on a grand scale if new restrictions had not been put in place. This is a good example of one of God’s moral laws (and its timing) making very good scientific sense.
Posted 5/28/12 at 10:36 AM | Peter Mattice
By Richard Wagner
Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 40 days after Easter. Some Christian denominations consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such.
Originally, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday held 50 days after Passover. One of three major feasts during the Jewish year, it celebrated Thanksgiving for harvested crops. However, Pentecost for Christians means something far different.
Before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would come after him:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16–18
And 40 days after Jesus was resurrected (10 days after he ascended into heaven), that promise was fulfilled when Peter and the early Church were in Jerusalem for Pentecost: FULL POST