Sarah, Here’s Your Letter to Sign Up for the Selective Service.

It’s a letter with which every 18-year-old young man is familiar. It’s almost like a right of passage. It comes as a measure of your age, not necessarily your maturity. Uncle Sam sends this letter to every young man reminding him of his responsibility to sign up for the selective service. While the United States hasn’t had a military draft since the early 1970s, the selective sewomen in combatrvice registration requirement allows the government to populate a list of eligible young men should a future military draft be necessary.

While there are individuals who are devout pacifists, the selective service requirement for young men is largely a non-issue in our culture. But now there is talk from top military leaders that young women ought to be required to sign up for selective service as well.

This is outrageous, but we didn’t get into this situation overnight.

Feminism has long championed the cause that a woman can do any job that a man can do. They’ve argued that there isn’t any difference between men and women. And this anti-biblical logic ultimately led to the announcement on December 3, 2015, by Defense Secretary Ash Carter that women are now eligible for all front line combat roles.

What kind of society sends their mothers and daughters to the front lines to fight their wars? A broken society!

Now, you might argue that these women are all volunteers and they’ve sought ought these front line roles. While this may be true for the time being, it doesn’t make it right. But what’s equally important is this. If women want full equality with respect to roles, then full equality is exactly what they’ll get. This is why top military leaders are talking about requiring women to sign up for selective service. And if there really isn’t a difference between men and women as the feminists insist, then women should be required to sign up for the selective service.

But, oh, by the way . . . if the draft is re-instituted and your daughter or your wife’s number is called, she won’t get her choice of “non-combative” assignments. She will be sent to the front lines along like the men. And why? Because we’ve denied the obvious differences in creation and claimed that there isn’t any difference between men and women.

Friends, this is ludicrous. Anybody with a simple basic anatomy knowledge knows that there are inherent differences between men and women. This isn’t to say that one gender is superior to the other gender. Neither gender is superior to the other. They simply are different.

In the Christian community this discussion centers around two poles, egalitarianism and complementarianism.

Egalitarians argue that men and women are equally created in the image of God. They argue that men and women have equal worth before God and before our fellow human beings. And they argue that it is inherently wrong to insist that men and women aren’t capable of fulfilling the same roles.

Complementarians also argue that men and women are equally created in the image of God. They also argue that men and women have equal worth before God and before our fellow human beings. But complementarians recognize that God has created men and women differently and with diversity, not because one is “better than” the other, but so that they can “complement” each other.

I, for one, don’t want to live in a society in which we send our mothers, sisters, and daughters to the front lines to kill or be killed. I would much prefer to live in a society in which the men cared for and protected women and treated them with gentleness and respect. Not because women aren’t “tough” or that they somehow can’t take care of themselves, but because a man’s God-given role is to provide safety and shelter.

I want to see men care for women and treat them with respect because I believe this honors God.

No, women aren’t yet required to sign up for the selective service, but if things keep going in the direction in which they’re heading, it won’t be long until you need to call your daughter and say, “Sarah, here’s your letter to sign up for the selective service.”

For His Glory,
Pastor Brian

Christian Discipleship

Christian Discipleship

Christian discipleship is the process of making Christian disciples. Discipleship is not a program, a class, a production line, or a Bible study. Discipleship is a work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God through a life-on-life process whereby we serve one another by helping each other progress toward Christlikeness—moving from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity—to reproduce our lives to the third and fourth generations (Rom 8:29; gospel-centered22 Cor 3:18; 2 Tim 2:2). Disciple making is a lifelong process that is marked by progress, not perfection. Disciples are made through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service, and gospel-centered multiplication.[1]


  • All Christians are disciples who are born anew to spiritual life when they choose to follow Jesus.
  • Both the starting point and the goal of spiritual formation and discipleship is transformation to the image of Christ.
  • Together discipleship and spiritual formation provide a full New Testament perspective of the process of growth of Christians.
  • Spiritual formation and discipleship must be biblically and theologically grounded.[2]


What does it mean to be a gospel-centered church? Gospel-centered means that the gospel is not simply the entry point into the Christian life but that it is also the foundation and power that shapes all we do as followers of Jesus Christ, both in our daily lives and in our experience as the corporate body of Christ. The gospel is not only the fire that ignites the Christian life, but it is also the fuel that keeps the Christian life going.

Joe Thorn writes, “A gospel-centered church is a church that is about Jesus above everything else. That sounds a little obvious, but when we talk about striving to be and maintain gospel-centrality as a church we are recognizing our tendency to focus on many other things (often good and important things) instead of Jesus. There are really only two options for local churches; they will be gospel-centered, or issue driven.”[3]

For His Glory,

Pastor Brian

[1] These four “gospel-centered” categories are adapted from The Village Church.

[2] Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2006), 39.

[3] Joe Thorn, Gospel Centered

The Church

From the beginning God has meant the church to be distinct. The New Testament word for church, ecclesia, literally means, “those whochurch building are called out.” In one sense this word refers to the universal church. Wayne Grudem defines the universal church as “the community of all true believers for all time.”[1] But in another sense the word refers to the local church. In fact, the vast majority of the time when this word is used, it is used to refer to the local church.[2]

What a church is not. If you are a Christian, the church is not:

  • a physical building;
  • a denomination;
  • a club;
  • a voluntary organization where membership is optional to you;
  • a friendly group of people who share an interest in religious things; or
  • a service provider where the customer has all authority.

So, then, what is a church? A church “is a group of Christians who regularly gather in Christ’s name to officially affirm and oversee one another’s membership in Jesus Christ and his kingdom through gospel preaching and gospel ordinances.”[3]

Jesus has given authority to the church to affirm and give shape to my Christian life and yours. In other words, the church is the place where life-on-life discipleship is to take place. Jonathan Leeman writes, “Just as the Bible establishes the government of your nation as your highest authority on earth when it comes to your citizenship in that nation, so the Bible establishes the local church as your highest authority on earth when it comes to your discipleship to Christ and your citizenship in Christ’s present and promised nation.” [4]

What then does it mean to be a member of a local church? Again, Leeman is helpful when he writes, “A church member is a person who has been officially and publicly recognized as a Christian before the nations, as well as someone who shares in the same authority of officially affirming and overseeing other Christians in his or her church.”[5] Once a person has made a credible profession of faith in Christ, he or she should be baptized and become a member of a local church.

To become a member of a church is to covenant with like-minded believers in pursuing Christ and growing into maturity in Christ. A covenant is more than a commitment to another group of believers although keeping covenants do require commitment. Covenants result in a fundamental change of identity. When a man enters into a marriage covenant with a woman, his fundamental identity is changed. He is now the husband of this woman. Now, a church covenant is not the same as a marriage covenant, but they do have similarities. Both involve “a commitment of the whole person in such a dramatic fashion that it bends our very identity.”[6]

[1] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), 853.

[2] For the purposes of this document, the word “church” will always refer to the local church unless otherwise specified.

[3] Jonathan Leeman, Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus. Building Healthy Churches (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 52.

[4] Ibid., 25.

[5] Ibid., 29.

[6] Jonathan Leeman, The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 249.