Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Line of Duty Deaths





Below, Ten-Four Ministry Board Member Dan Ward discusses the trend of traffic related deaths on NPR Radio.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Challenge Coins Are Back


We just received a new order of our Challenge Coins. They are our most popular outreach tool and we wanted to give you a chance to get these before Christmas. If you use the below payment option, we will provide free shipping. Each coin is $10 and also contains a Gospel Tract. An order of 5 coins or more brings additional discounts. Order before Tuesday, December 21st, to guarantee Christmas delivery.






Quantity




Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tactical Vests & The Gospel

God continues to bless us with the Armor of God Project and today was no exception. We travelled to Stillwater (OK) and met officers from an area agency that were in need of vests.

Upon issuing the vests, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Officers.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Take Up The Shield: Special Offer

We have decided to offer a set number of cases of our most popular book, Take Up The Shield for the lowest price ever.

When you purchase 80 books, you will get them at $5 each and free shipping. This is a great opportunity to give this wonderful book to your co-workers, friends and family. Order now for Christmas delivery. Shipping could take up to 14 days.






Monday, November 29, 2010

The Lakewood Ambush: One Year Later


On November 29, 2009, four Lakewood (WA) Officers were tragically killed in a coffee house. The pain is still very real for so many and the incident still impacts law enforcement across the country.

In the Providence of God, Louisiana Deputy Jason Johnson found himself at the funeral of the officers. He agreed to write an exclusive article detailing his experience here.

Deputy Johnson was featured on Centurion Radio to discuss the incident and how his agency supported his travel. You can listen to that episode here.



I was personally impacted by the tragedy. I became restless that evening and was unable to sleep. I recorded this audio discussing the incident.

Student Shows Appreciation to Police by Preaching


Marilyn Ee, a CSUN international student, has watched many cop shows, one of the earliest being “World’s Wildest Police Videos.”

Ee has had an interest in cops since she was 8 years old, she said. She doesn’t want to become a cop, she wants to minister to cops, she said.

Ee, who is a 23-year-old Christian from Malaysia, said that in March 2009, she met someone who was involved in a ministry for cops.

“When I found out about this ministry, I realized I could do something with this interest instead of just being interested and watch cop shows all day,” Ee said.

It’s the American cops that do good stuff, she said. They save lives, respond to accident scenes, and catch the bad guys. You don’t hear about the cops in Europe, the cops in Russia or in Malaysia, Ee added.

When Ee spots an officer who is not busy, not at an accident scene or is not pulling someone over, she tries to talk with that officer, she said.

“I try my best to muster up the courage to actually walk up to them, say hi, thank them for their services and basically appreciate them,” she said.

Each person has their own method for approaching officers. The friend that introduced her to the cop ministry is a more fatherly individual, Ee said.

“I can’t exactly follow his (friend’s) way,” Ee said. “I don’t have the same personality. I’m not the same age, so I’m going to have to find a different technique.”

When it comes to striking up a conversation with an officer, Ee said they’re really happy when someone comes up to them and is not swearing at them, yelling at them, or coming to them with a problem.

Ee added it is as simple as going right up to them and saying thank you for their services.

If she remembers or feels it is appropriate, she will offer the officers a book called “Take Up The Shield” by Tony Miano. Miano, who is a street cop, compares the uniform to the spiritual armor of God, as described in the Bible, she said.

“I’m not trying to convert anyone per say,” Ee said. “But I feel the book is good. It’s a blessing to me. I just want to bless them with it.”

One of Ee’s favorite parts about the ministry is how she constantly runs into the same officers one semester after another.

“It feels like I have a friendship with the people I admire,” Ee said.

Some people do not admire the police department because of some corrupted officers that do illegal deeds under the badge, Ee said.

“But, they’re still human,” Ee said. “Every other person does the things that they do. I am just as upset over brutality cases as I am appreciative of their services to the community.”

Ee said the police department does the same work as the fire department does (except in putting out fires).

“They save lives,” Ee said. “They respond to scenes. They’re taking rapists and killers off the streets. I think they deserve more appreciation than we give them.”

With concerns to expanding the ministry for cops, Ee said that she doesn’t know yet. She said there has to be more than what she’s currently doing.

“I mainly search for them to minister to them, but I would love to be a service to them and I do pray for them,” Ee said.

by: Rima Bek, Daily Sundial, Original Date: September 21, 2010
Photo credit: Rima Bek
Original Article

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Centurion Radio: Decision Points

In the first chapter of his new book, Decision Points, President Bush explains the Gospel and his salvation experience. In this episode of Centurion Radio Muscle Shoals Lt. Clint Reck tells an amazing personal story of when he personally met President Bush.



This is the day that Lt. Reck met President Bush. You can hear that story here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 31, 1517

Author: Jim Elliff

It was October 31st, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany.
Martin grasped a hammer and a long piece of paper covered with his writing. He walked out into the street and straight over to the castle church door. It was here that community messages were often posted.

Martin nailed his 95 points of discussion on the door. He only wanted to lay out his newly discovered views of the Bible to other church leaders in the Medieval Catholic church. He thought he was free to do so even though his thoughts were radical. After all, he was an Augustinian monk and a professor of theology.

Martin called himself a “stinking bag of maggots,” and certainly did not dream of being a leader in a revolution of thinking in Germany and across Europe that shaped history in a powerful way. But God had determined something far bigger than the monk Martin Luther expected when he penned those 95 Theses.

Without his knowledge someone printed his words on the newly invented Gutenburg press, distributing it all over Germany. Within a very few days, Martin found that he was the subject of everyone’s thoughts. In the cathedrals and great stone castles of his homeland, the pubs and peasant’s cottages—everyone was talking about the views of Luther. Without a signal to announce it, the Protestant Reformation had begun!

Just what was the Protestant Reformation all about? What did Luther and others protest?

The protesters were seeing something new about how a person is accepted by God—that is, new to them. They protested that the church had been teaching the wrong view about the most important issue of life. They discovered that the Bible says we are not accepted on the basis of our religious deeds, or even our good deeds along with our faith, but that we are accepted before a holy God only through faith in Christ.

“Through faith alone in Christ alone” began to be heard all over Europe. The people must transfer their confidence for salvation in the church’s religious traditions to Christ alone. The reformers wanted the people to return to the Bible’s plain teaching on how to be a true Christian. Because heaven and hell were at stake, the passions rose very high. Many would be persecuted and some even killed for this truth. But through it all, tens of thousands of people were converted to Christ and were assured of heaven.

We have been feeling the effects of the Protestant Reformation ever since. Many of our churches have their historical roots in the Reformation. Returning to the Bible as the source of understanding about how we are to relate to God has shaped nations. Perhaps no other religious period since the coming of Christ has been so influential as this one.

But many people, and even many churches, have forgotten the great lessons that were made so clear beginning on October 31, 1517. What difference can this mean to you nearly 500 years later?

This passage from the Bible is a good place to start. It describes God’s way to understand salvation:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

Through these 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, and throughout time, men and women, youth and children have come to Christ in this simple way—through faith alone in Christ alone. Placing our full confidence in Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death for sinful people is the only way to God. It is not that good works are not important—they are a result of true faith in every believer’s life. But those works cannot save. Salvation is a gift of grace, not a reward for trying to be good.

Like Martin Luther, you may come by faith alone to Christ alone even now, all these years later. In fact, this is the very way the first New Testament believers came to Him!

Copyright © 2002 Jim Elliff.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission. Find more free articles at www.BulletinInserts.org, a ministry of Christian Communicators Worldwide: www.CCWtoday.org

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creation Reveals God

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:18-20

I had the privilege last week to speak at a conference for police leaders in Niagra Falls, Canada. During my time there I visited The Niagra Falls. A few of my thoughts are filmed below.



Armor of God Donates Safety Vests

Police chaplains encounter dangerous crime scenes and volatile people during the calls they respond to every year.

But until Thursday, they did it all without the security of wearing ballistic vests.

Armor of God, a Tulsa-based ministry that is committed to providing free body armor to law enforcement officers across the country, donated ballistic vests to each of the 17 chaplains on the Tulsa Police and Fire Chaplaincy Corps.



Tulsa Police Capt. Travis Yates said five other area police agencies that cannot afford vests for their officers also received vests Thursday.

The cost of the vests was about $25,000.

McDonald's, Bama Pie Co. and Interim Solutions For Government made significant contributions to make the donations possible, he said.

Danny Lynchard, who leads the Chaplaincy Corps, said the donations are very much appreciated because "where the officers go, we go," and that can often include dangerous places.

The chaplains also can be assaulted because emotions run high at the scenes where they respond.

"The officers have been very good at protecting our chaplains," Lynchard said. "As far as being assaulted, there have been times when a chaplain has made notification to next of kin, and sometimes the shock and the anger is turned on whoever is delivering the message."

Tom Branch, pastor of Bellview Baptist Church and a volunteer police and fire chaplain for 23 years, has been on his share of dangerous police calls and ride-alongs with officers. The chaplains go with officers when they need to notify people about family members who have been injured or killed.

"One time, a lady answered the door, and she had a butcher knife up her sleeve," Branch said.

The woman had an immediate outburst when she heard that her father had had a heart attack, he said.

"She pulled the knife out. She panicked, as people often do," Branch said.

The woman wasn't trying to cut him, but she was brandishing the knife about, he said, adding that after some tense moments, she was persuaded to put it down.

The vests are not the only safety equipment the chaplains have received in recent years. Last year, after responding to a fatal crash on a dark highway, Branch realized the need for the chaplains to have reflective vests, he said.

"Now we wear the same reflective vests that the police do," he said.

The presentation was made during the one-day survival course "Winning Mind," presented by national training experts Dave Smith and Betsy Brantner Smith, Yates said.

Armor of God, a program of Ten-Four Ministries, has donated 1,450 vests free of charge since May 2009.

Additional information on the program can be found online at tulsaworld.com/vestforlife

By NICOLE MARSHALL World Staff Writer
Published: 10/22/2010

Special Thanks to the Tulsa World. This article has been changed from it's original appearance. The original article can be located here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AOG Project: Latest Testimony

"Thank you for the great gift of life preservation while I am protecting my community. I am unable to receive a vest from my PD because I am still attending the academy. Thank you for spreading the gospel through such a great gift."

Officer James Bret Burleson, Winfield Police Dept.



For more information on the Armor of God Project, go here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ten-Four Ministries & Wagoner County S.O.

The Armor of God Project has been an amazing outreach for Ten-Four Ministries. While the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always sent with the bullet proof vests that are sent out to the officers in need, once in a while we get the honor of personally hand delivering the vests and preaching the Gospel directly to those receiving the vests.

The last opportunity we had to do this was in May 2010.

Earlier this evening I travelled about 45 minutes to Wagoner County, Oklahoma along with Tulsa County Deputy Sean Scott and Tulsa County Detention Officer Casey Mcelhanon. Several of the deputies and a few officers from surrounding agencies had requested vests.

In the below video, Sean and Casey hand out the vests.



While the blessing we get from handing out this life saving piece of equipment goes beyond words, the honor of presenting the Lord Jesus Christ to these heroes in uniform is amazing. I would like to thank Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert for graciously letting us visit his agency and not only bring equipment that can save his deputies but a message that will transform their lives both here and into eternity. That message is below.

Preaching Christ Crucified

I just returned from a police agency and had the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the officers present. Each time I am given the honor to preach Christ Crucified I am painfully reminded of the lack of this very preaching behind our pulpits. I have also seen so much pain and hurt towards my own pastor and much of it is his faithful preaching of Christ crucified. It is hard for me to understand why this basic tenant of Christianity is left behind today. John Stott offers some interesting insights on this very issue from his commentary on Galatians.

"What is there about the cross of Christ which angers the world and stirs them up to persecute those who preach it? Just this: Christ died on the cross for us sinners, becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). So the cross tells us some very unpalatable truths about ourselves, namely that we are sinners under the righteous curse of God's law and we cannot save ourselves. Christ bore our sin and curse precisely because we could gain release from them in no other way. If we could have been forgiven by our own good works, by being circumcised and keeping the law, we may be quite sure that there would have been no cross. Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, 'I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.' Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size. And of course men do not like it. They resent the humiliation of seeing themselves as God sees them and as they really are. They prefer their comfortable illusions. So they steer clear of the cross. They construct a Christianity without the cross, which relies for salvation on their works and not on Jesus Christ's. They do not object to Christianity so long as it is not the faith of Christ crucified. But Christ crucified they detest. And if preachers preach Christ crucified, they are opposed, ridiculed, persecuted. Why? Because of the wounds which they inflict on men's pride."

Stott has a great book that I recommend for any Christian or as an evangelism tool. You can purchase his classic, Basic Christianity, from Ten-Four Ministries here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Hard Sayings

Go Stand Speak On Centurion Radio


Join me on September 17, 2010 at Noon CST where we will speak with Pat Necerato with Go Stand Speak. He will be speaking about a very important project. You can find details on the Go Stand Speak DVD Here and you can listen to the show here.

We will also be joined by Jon Speed with Lost Cause Ministries. We look forward to seeing you in our chat room and speaking with you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Crenshaw P.D. Revisited


I recently saw this article featured on Police One & Calibre Press titled "Inside the Mind of a Warrior."

The incident occurred on February 7, 2010 to Crenshaw (MS) Officer Sean Shelton when he responded to a home that had lost power and entered with the homeowner to find a man waiting inside ready to torture and kill the woman. Officer Shelton was shot and his survival mindset took over, enabling him to ultimately fire back at the suspect and killing him.

Ten-Four Ministries was contacted several days after the incident and was told of a need for bullet proof vests at the agency. Less than two weeks after the shooting, we were in Sardis, Mississippi speaking to the Crenshaw City Clerk and partnering with a church to take vests to each officer and proclaim the Gospel.

You will see our interview with the city clerk below and our original article on the event here.


You can find out more on the Armor of God Project by going to the
website of that outreach.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Texas Revival Series III

Ten-Four Ministries will be at the Texas Revival Series III at Grace Church in Allen, Texas on October 9, 2010. We will have a vendor booth and will be selling our signature book, Take Up The Shield. The author, Tony Miano, is the keynote speaker at the event. The theme of the conference is "The Excellencies of Christ: The Supremacy of Christ in Evangelism."

We are humbled to join several other ministries at the event including: Way of the Master\Fish with Trish, One Million Tracts, Bezeugen Ministries, The Lost Cause Ministries, Jeremiah Cry, Custom Tract Source, Voice of the Martyrs, and more.

Registration is free to the event. Register at www.TexasRevivalSeries.com. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Beginning of Body Armor

As we approach the 18th month of our Armor of God Project and have passed 1200 ballistic vests given out for free to law enforcement around the world, we thought you would like to see how body armor came about.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Centurion Radio #6: Detective "MC" Williams

If you follow this ministry, then you probably know that several weeks ago we started Centurion Radio. A weekly show that highlights current events within law enforcement as well as a weekly evangelistic message. The first month was incredible with guests such as Tony Miano, Ron Shelnutt, Jim Donahue, Betsy Brantner Smith and Dave Smith (aka "Buck Savage")

With the incredible first few weeks we have had, I believe that Centurion Radio #6, featuring Detective Mike "MC" Williams was amazing. Are there co-workers or family that you know aren't saved? This is the episode to send them to. Detective Williams continually exhalted Jesus Christ which included a wonderful Gospel Presentation and a message out of Romans 13:1-7. Let me encourage you to listen to the episode below and keep up with MC at his ministry.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Training A Child: Proverbs 22:6

This sermon by Travis Yates, Director of Ten-Four Ministries, was preached at the 2010 Calvary Baptist Church Family Camp held August 2-5. In this sermon, Travis relates the training of a child to the training in law enforcement. As in law enforcement, you need to know three things to effectively train your children:

1. The background of who you are training.
2. What method to use in training.
3. What is your goal in training; What do you want to accomplish?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Repent and Believe: What Does It Mean?

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

What a powerful statement by Jesus Christ. What does it mean to "Repent and Believe The Gospel"?

Join Travis Yates, the Director of Ten-Four Ministries, as he discusses this passage during episode #5 of Centurion Radio.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Meet J.D. "Buck" Savage

I had the honor of interviewing Dave Smith on Centurion Radio #5. Dave is an international law enforcement expert and trainer and is famous for his J.D. "Buck" Savage character from the 1980's. You can listen to my interview with Dave below as well as watch one of his classic training films.



Friday, July 23, 2010

Centurion Radio: Technology & Safety

If you are interested in how technology can both hinder and help with safety, you will want to listen to the latest episode of Centurion Radio. Jim Donahue will address this important issue and Muscle Shoals (AL) Lt. Clint Reck joins us to give an update on the Armor of God Project.

Armor of God Project: Interview Update

The Armor of God Project has just given out it's 1160th free ballistic vest. The Project has covered 40+ States and 40 Countries. Listen as Muscle Shoals (AL) Lt. Clint Reck speaks about the updates in this important project.

If you cannot see the player above, you can listen here.

The Gospel Has Bad Math

The Outrageous Love of God; R.W. Glenn from Josh Gunter on Vimeo.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What Does The Cross Mean?

Travis Yates, Director of Ten-Four Ministries, explains that America is "Cross Hardened".

"You would not have found the Cross used as ornaments or dress 2000 years ago. There was a reason for that. The Cross represented a violent, degrading death. The Cross was shame, reserved for the most hardened of criminals and cruxifixion, the act of nailing a man to a Cross was so brutal, we in our day cannot even imagine it."

Listen as the meaning of the Cross is explained.

Note: This message was delivered at the end of Centurion Radio #2 on July 16, 2010.

I-Phone App


We are excited to announce our newest outreach tool. Thanks to the work of Ron over at policeiphoneapp.com, we now have a free App designed for the Apple I-Phone. Our intention of this App is to help others evangelize their co-workers. If you know of someone with an I-Phone, encourage them to download the ministry app. The easiest way to do it is to go into the App Store from the phone and type "ten-four ministries" in the search field.


Once downloaded, the first page will take them to a page called "ready" where we discuss with them if they are ready for eternity along with a video that presents the Gospel. Additional links will lead them to our news page, video page, sermon page and a host of other information about the ministry.

I can't thank Ron enough for helping us with this project. If you or your agency is interested in an App, please contact Ron. He is great to work with. Before you ask, we have nothing against Blackberry. We'd love to have an application with them. As of yet, we have not been able to find an economical way to make that happen but we will continue to look.

For now, look around and find those first responders, friends and family with an I-Phone and ask them to download our App and then ask them what they think about eternity.

You can hear Ron talk about the development of the Ten-Four Ministries App and his other projects this Friday at Noon, CST. He will be our guest on Centurion Radio.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Centurion Radio

After a number of months of discussing and planning, we have decided to launch a Radio Show. Centurion Radio is a unique program that will highlight the latest trends in the first responder profession while integrating biblical topics throughout each show. Currently the show is scheduled for each Friday at Noon, CST.

I think you will be excited about the guests we have scheduled in the upcoming weeks. This weeks guest is none other than Tony Miano, the founder of Ten-Four Ministries. Tune in Friday, July 9th, at Noon, to hear Tony discuss how Ten-Four Ministries started, evolved and what he is doing today. You can listen to the show either live each Friday at Noon, CST here and listen to episode #1 featuring Tony Miano below.

Monday, July 05, 2010

July 4th Tract

I had the privilege of helping with a special tract for my home church designed for July 4th. Just a few from my church were able to give out over 6,000 on that day. Marv over at One Million Tracts was great to work with on this project and I would encourage anyone interested in making a Gospel Tract to contact him. Below is the front of our Tract along with the text on the back. Feel free to use the text if you like.


Freedom - it’s worth dying for! Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Are you free or a slave? The answer may surprise you. Jesus said, “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (Jn. 8:34). Are you a slave to sin? Have you committed sin? Take a quick test to see. Have you ever lied? Ever stolen anything (the value is irrelevant)? Ever hated, cursed at or spoke evil about someone? God sees these as murder (Mt. 5:21-22; I Jn. 3:15). Ever used God’s Name in vain? That’s called blasphemy. Ever lusted after someone? God sees lust as adultery (Mt. 5:27). If you have done these things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, murderous, blasphemer and adulterer. Would God judge you innocent or guilty? Would you deserve heaven or hell? If you’re honest, you know your just punishment would be hell. Jesus described hell as a place of eternal punishment, of weeping and gnashing of teeth, of outer darkness and unquenchable fire (Mt. 3:12; 24:51; 25:30, 46). “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) God’s wrath was poured out on His Son on the cross. Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, lived a perfect life (Jn. 8:58; Heb. 4:15) and willingly bore the penalty of our sins in our place (Rom. 3:24-26). He then rose from the dead, proving God the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice (Rom. 4:25). Consider the love of God and the price that it took to redeem and set free rebellious sinners. It cost God the blood of His own Son for our rebellion! Do you want to be set free from the eternal penalty and slavery of sin? Jesus promised, “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed” (Jn. 8:36)! How is this freedom received? As a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-10). It is the grace of God where He enables you to repent of your sin, turn to God and place your faith in Christ. God said, “you are slaves of the one whom you obey” (Rom. 6:16). You must let go of leading your own sinful life apart from God, repent of all sin and become a slave of God (Rom. 6:22). God’s promise is that Jesus, “will save His people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21). God commands you to repent of all your sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior (deliverer) and surrender your life to Him as Lord (Master). This freedom is of utmost necessity. You must be set free. Without it you remain in bondage facing judgment and condemnation. Call on Him today and be set free. www.CalvaryBaptistSS.com

Courageous - The Movie


The newest movie from Sherwood Pictures (Fireproof, Facing The Giants) has just concluded filming. This movie, Courageous, centers around law enforcement and their role as fathers. We are excited about this movie and reached out to the Kendrick Brothers prior to the filming. We will do anything we are asked to help them promote this.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Testimony of a Former Drug Addict

Police Officer Meets Drug User: Both Meet Jesus from Ten-Four Ministries on Vimeo.

Is God Boring?

Our latest sermon featured on our sermon site. Pastor Kastler is a friend of the ministry and this sermon is powerful. We encourage you to listen to it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Insane Clown Posse

This is a witnessing encounter with several fans of Insane Clown Posse (ICP) as they prepare to go to the concert. Please be aware that this version of the video has been slightly edited to remove profanity.

The followers of ICP are recognized as criminal street gangs in some jurisdictions with violent tendencies. While at times this particular encounter was dynamic, many of the fans that we spoke with on this day were respectful and listened intently to the details of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The first video is Travis Yates, Director of Ten-Four Ministries. The second video is Pastor Robert Haling, Calvary Baptist Church.

Insane Clown Posse Evangelism - Clean Version from Ten-Four Ministries on Vimeo.

Store Front Saints Radio


I recently had the privilege of appearing on Episode 23 of "The Storefront Saints" Radio Program. Here is the audio of the program:



Here are the show notes from the program website:

Special Guest: Capt. Travis Yates AND a GIVEAWAY of 10 copies of 'Take up the Shield' by Tony Miano Join us LIVE as we interview the Director of Ten-Four Ministries an effort to support and reach the law enforcement community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Armor of God Project along with other outreaches and training opportunities allow an open door for Capt. Yates and his partners to minister effectively to the law enforcement family. Don't miss this show!

You can see an interview we did with Pastor Catoe, a former law enforcement officer, here.

The Gospel & Persecution

I had the honor to preach at my home church this morning. Here is the audio. The text is from Acts 16:16-31.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Calling

Southern Baptists, an Unregenerate Denomination

By: Jim Elliff
Christian Communicators Worldwide Inc.

"How are you doing?"
"Pretty well, under the circumstances."
"What are the circumstances?"
"Well, I have a very effective arm. It moves with quite a bit of animation. But then I have my bad leg."
"What's wrong with it?"
"I guess it's paralyzed. At least it doesn't do much except twitch once a week or so. But that's nothing compared with the rest of me."
"What's the problem?
"From all appearances, the rest is dead. At least it stinks and bits of flesh are always falling off. I keep it well covered. About all that's left beyond that is my mouth, which fortunately works just fine. How about you?"

Like the unfortunate person above, the Southern Baptist Convention has a name that it is alive, but is in fact, mostly dead (Rev. 3:1). Regardless of the wonderful advances in our commitment to the Bible, the recovery of our seminaries, etc., a closer look reveals a denomination that is more like a corpse than a fit athlete. In an unusual way, our understanding of this awful reality provides the most exciting prospects for the future—if we will act decisively.

The Facts
Although the Southern Baptists claim 16,228,438 members, on average only 6,184,317 people (guests and non-member children included), a number equal to only 38% of the membership number, show up for their church's primary worship meeting (usually Sunday morning). This is according to the "Southern Baptist Convention 2008 Annual Church Profile Summary." If your church is anything like normal, and is not brand new, your statistics are probably similar. In other words, if you have 200 in attendance on Sunday morning, you likely have 500-600 or even more on your roll. Many churches have an even worse record.

Discerning who among us is regenerate is not an exact science, but a closer look at these numbers will at least alert us to the fact that most Southern Baptists must certainly be dead spiritually. That is so, unless, of course, you claim that there is no difference between a believer and a non-believer.

In the average church you can cut the 38% Sunday morning attendance by about two-thirds or more when counting those interested in a Sunday evening service, or other gatherings held in addition to the principal meeting of the church. In 1996, the last time the SBC kept these statistics, the number of Sunday evening attenders was equal to only 12.3% of the membership (in churches that had an evening meeting). One might ask what makes us claim that the rest are Christians, if they involve themselves with God's people only on such a minimal, surface level? How are they any different from the people who attend the liberal church down the street—the "church" where the gospel is not even preached?

And remember that the numbers of those attending include many non-member children and guests, often making up a third of the congregation's main meeting attendance. When all factors are considered, these figures suggest that nearly 90% of Southern Baptist church members appear to be little different from the "cultural Christians" who populate other mainline denominations.

To make matters worse, we tell a lot more people that they are true Christians (because they prayed a prayer sincerely) than we can convince to be baptized. Our largest pizza supper may bring in a hundred new "converts," but we will likely get only a few of those on the roll. After that, the percentages that I have been mentioning kick in. In other words, if you compare all who we say have become Christians through our evangelistic efforts, to those who actually show signs of being regenerate, we should be red-faced. In the Assembly of God's 1990s "Decade of Harvest," out of the 3.5 million supposedly converted, they showed a net gain of only 5 new attenders for every 100 recorded professions. When one considers all of our supposed converts, including those who refuse to follow Christ in baptism and who never join our churches, our numbers are much the same. Doesn't anybody see that there is a serious problem here?

Let me illustrate in rounded figures by looking at some of the churches where I have preached as a guest speaker. Each could be any Baptist church in any city. In one church, with 7,000 on the active roll, there were only 2000 in attendance on Sunday morning, and a mere 600-700 on Sunday evening. When you account for those attenders who are not members of this flagship church (i.e. guests and non-member children), you have about 1500 actual members coming in the morning and 500 or so in the evening. Where are the 5,500 members who are missing on Sunday mornings? Where are the 6,500 who are missing in the evening?

Another church had 2,100 on the roll, with 725 coming on Sunday morning. Remove guests and non-member children and the figure drops to 600 or less. Only about a third of that number came out on Sunday evening, representing less than 10% of the membership. Yet another church had 310 on the roll with only 100 who attended on Sunday morning. Only 30-35, or approximately 10%, came to the evening worship service.

These are all considered fine churches. All have an extremely competent level of leadership and vision. Some shut-ins and those who are sick, out of town, or in the military, certainly affect the figures a little. But those who are justifiably absent are not enough to alter the bleakness of the picture, especially when we remember that these numbers represent people who have been baptized and have publicly declared their allegiance to God and the Body of Christ. Even if you generously grant that the 38% are all true believers (an estimation that most pastors would say is way off the mark), one still has a church membership that is more dead than alive. If we are honest, we might have to ask ourselves, "Do Southern Baptists believe in a regenerate membership?"

Missing Christians are No Christians
What do these facts and figures, as general as they are, suggest? First, they reveal that most of the people on our rolls give little evidence that they love the brethren—a clear sign of being unregenerate (1 Jn. 3:14). It is impossible to believe that anything like real familial affection exists in the hearts of people who do not come at all, or who only nominally check in on Sunday morning as a cultural exercise. Love is the greatest mark of a genuine believer (1 Jn.3:14-19). Attendance alone does not guarantee that anyone is an authentic believer, but "forsaking the assembling," is a serious sign of the unregenerate heart. The phrase: "They went out from us, because they were never of us" (1 Jn. 2:19) may have doctrinal overtones, but it nonetheless represents many on our membership rolls.

Second, these numbers suggest that most of those who do not attend (or who only come when it is convenient), are more interested in themselves than God. To put it in Paul's words, they are "fleshly-minded" and not "spiritually-minded" (Rom. 8: 5-9). The atmosphere that most pleases them is that of the world and not God. They can stand as much of God as makes them feel better about themselves, and they find a certain carnal security in "belonging" to a local church. But beyond that, they will politely resist getting involved. They use the church, but are not really a part of it. For some, the extent of what they can take is an Easter service now and then; for others it is an occasional sterile (and somewhat Pharisaical) trip to church on appropriate Sunday mornings as fits into their schedule. But their apathy towards regular and faithful church attendance betrays their true affections. The fact is, you do what you love to do.

Third, the numbers indicate that some people have joined other denominations and our churches have not kept up with their movements—a sign of inadequate pastoral oversight and the built-in deficiencies of the "inactive membership" concept. I'm quite certain Paul never dreamed of "inactive membership." Embarrassingly, some left on the rolls are dead—physically! It goes without saying that a dead person is about as inactive as one could be! But others, though presumably alive physically, have disappeared without a trace. I believe it was our beloved Dr. Roy Fish of SWBTS who said, "Even the FBI could not find some of them." Yet, if we want to claim them as members, we are responsible to keep up with them.

All of these people have "prayed the prayer" and "walked the aisle." All have been told that they are Christians. But for most, old things have not really passed away, and new things have not come. Most are not new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). In too many cases, obvious signs of an unregenerate heart can be found, such as bitterness, long-term adultery, fornication, greed, divisiveness, covetousness, etc. These are "professing believers" that the Bible says are deceived. "Do not be deceived" the Bible warns us concerning such people (see 1 Cor.6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 6: 7-8; Eph. 5:5-6; Titus 1:16; 1 Jn. 3:4-10; etc.).

Jesus indicated that there is a good soil that is receptive to the gospel seed so as to produce a fruit-bearing plant, but that the "rocky ground" believer only appears to be saved. The latter shows immediate joy, but soon withers away (Mt. 13:6, 21). This temporary kind of faith (which is not saving faith, see 1 Cor.15:1-2) is rampant among Southern Baptists. In The Baptist Faith and Message we say we believe that saving faith is persistent to the end. We say we believe in the preservation and perseverance of the saints (once saved, always persevering). In other words, if a person's faith does not persevere, then what he possessed was something other than saving faith.

In John 2:23-25 Jesus was the center-piece for what turned out to be a mass evangelism experience in which a large number of people "believed" in Him. Yet He did not entrust Himself to even one of them because "he knew their hearts." Is it possible that we have taken in millions of such "unrepenting believers" whose hearts have not been changed? I say that we have. Our denomination, as much as we may love it, is on the main, unregenerate. Even if you double, triple, or quadruple my assessment of how many are true believers, we still have a gigantic problem. It is naive to believe otherwise.

There are those who would say that such people are "carnal Christians" and don't deserve to be thought of as unregenerate. It is true that the Corinthian believers (about whom this phrase was used; see 1 Cor. 3:1-3) acted "like mere men" in their party spirit. Christians can commit any sin short of that which is unpardonable.

Undoubtedly, however, Paul did suspect that some of the Corinthians were unbelievers, for he later warns them about such a possibility in 2 Cor.12:20-13:5. A long-term and unrepentant state of carnality, is, after all, the very description of the unregenerate (Rom. 8:5-14, 1 Jn. 3:4-10, etc.). In calling some people "carnal" Paul did not mean to imply that he was accepting as Christian a lifestyle that he clearly describes elsewhere as unbelieving. He wrote, in the same letter: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived" (1 Cor. 6:9-11, etc.). Apparently there were some, even then, who were deceived into thinking that an unrighteous man or woman who professes faith in Christ could really be a Christian!

Is Follow-up the Problem?
A great mistake is made by blaming the problem on poor follow-up. In many churches there is every intention and effort given to follow-up, yet still the poor numbers persist. One church followed up "by the book," seeking to disciple people who had been told they were new converts during the crusade of an internationally-known evangelist. The report of the pastor in charge was that none of them wanted to talk about how to grow as a Christian. He said, "In fact, they ran from us!" I have known some churches to go to extreme efforts to disciple new believers. We must do this. Yet, like the others, they generally have marginal success. They have learned to accept the fact that people who profess to have become Christians often have to be talked into going further, and that many, if not most, simply will not bother. Authentic new believers can always be followed up, however, because they have the Spirit by which they cry, "Abba Father" (Rom. 8:15). They have been given love for the brethren, and essential love for the beauty and authority of the Word of God. But you cannot follow-up on a spiritually dead person. Being dead, he has no interest in growth.

It was the preaching of regeneration, with an explanation of its discernible marks, that was the heart of the Great Awakening. J. C. Ryle, in writing of the eighteenth century revival preachers, said that they never for a moment believed that there was any true conversion if it was not accompanied by increasing personal holiness. Such content was the staple of the greatest of awakening preaching throughout the history of revival. Only such a powerful cannon blast of truth could rock the bed of those asleep in Zion.

Facing the Dilemma
What must be done? I suggest five responses:


1. We must preach and teach on the subject of the unregenerate church member. Every author in the New Testament writes of the nature of deception. Some books give major consideration to the subject. Jesus Himself spoke profusely about true and false conversion, giving significant attention to the fruit found in true believers (Jn. 10:26-27; Mt. 7:21-23; Mt. 25:1-13, etc.). If this sort of teaching creates doubt in people, you should not be alarmed, nor should you back away from it. Given the unregenerate state of so many professing Christians, their doubts may be fully warranted. In any case, as one friend told me, "Doubts never sent anyone to hell, but deception always does." Most will work through their doubts, if they are regenerate and if we continue to preach the whole truth. Contrary to popular opinion, all doubts are not of the devil. Speak truthfully the whole counsel of God. You cannot "unsave" true believers.

It is true that there may be some who are overly scrupulous and overwhelmed by such examination. But most who will be affected are those who are too self-confident, having based their assurance on such shaky platforms as their response to an invitation, praying a perfectly worded "sinner's prayer," or getting baptized. If they are unregenerate, they may take offense and leave. But if they are truly regenerate, patient teaching and care will help them to overcome their doubts and gain biblical assurance. Such preaching may even result in true conversion for some who are deceived. And don't forget that the overconfident ones are not the only ones at risk. Quiet, sensitive, insecure people can be deceived also.

2. We must address the issue of persistent sin among our members, including their sinful failure to attend the stated meetings of the church. This must be done by reestablishing the forgotten practice of church discipline. Each church should adopt guidelines that state just what will happen when a member falls into sin, including the sin of non-attendance or very nominal attendance. Such discipline for non-attendance is clearly found in the history of Baptists—but more importantly, in the Bible.

Everyone in the church, including new members, should be made familiar with the biblical steps of church discipline. Jesus said that a person who was lovingly, but firmly, disciplined by the church, and yet failed to repent, should be thought of as "a heathen and a tax collector" (see Mt. 18:15-17). Though David committed atrocious sins, he was a repenter at heart (see 2 Sam.12:13; Psalm 51). Every Christian is a life-long repenter and church discipline brings this out. (See Restoring Those Who Fall: A Church Discipline Statement at www.CCWtoday.org)

Leaders must get into the homes of all our erring church members, seeking either to bring them to Christ, or to reluctantly release them to the world which they love more than Christ. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to keep non-believers on the rolls. As a side benefit from church discipline for the SBC, remember that when we reduce our membership to what it actually is, we will be amazed at the statistical improvements in the ratio of members per baptism and members to attenders. Of course, statistics are not worth dying for, but obedience to God's Word is.

We are never to aggressively pluck the supposed tares from the wheat as if we had absolute knowledge (Mt. 13:24-30; 36-43). We might be mistaken. However, loving church discipline is a careful process by which the obvious sinner in essence removes himself by his resistance to correction. The church is made up of repenting saints, not rebelling sinners (see 1 Cor. 5). The slight improvement in the disparity between membership and attendance in the last couple of years is likely due, in major part, to some churches beginning to practice church discipline—a matter of obedience that thankfully is regaining credence among us. Some have removed hundreds from their rolls in this process, and regained some also.

3. We should be more careful on the front end of church membership. In my estimation, the public altar call (a modern invention) often reaps people prematurely. Others will disagree or can perhaps make significant improvements on the traditional "invitation system." We have used this method in our evangelism because of our genuine zeal to see the lost converted. But in our zeal, we have often overlooked the fact that many who do what our method calls for (i.e. respond to our invitation) may not be converted.

Though sacrosanct to Baptists, careful study should be done related to the historical use of the invitation system evangelistically. For eighteen hundred years the church did not use such a method. It was not until its principle originator, Charles Finney, a true pelagian in his theology, promoted his "new measures." Earlier preachers were content to let true conviction play a greater part in conversion. They needed no props for the gospel—no persuasive techniques to prompt people to make a "decision." Instead of relying on a method, their confidence was in the preached Word and the Holy Spirit. Baptist giant, C. H. Spurgeon, for instance, saw thousands converted without the use of an "altar call." His message was his invitation. We should always offer a verbal invitation in our gospel preaching, meaning we must invite people to repent and believe. But there is no real benefit, while there is much potential harm, in our inviting them to the front of the church and then assuring them that their short walk or tearful response proves their conversion.

We don't need better methods to get people down to the front. What we need is more biblical content and more unction in our preaching. You cannot beat sinners away from Christ when God is bringing them in (see Jn. 6:37, 44-45). When as many as 70-90% of "converts" are giving little, if any, evidence of being saved after their first weeks or months of emotional excitement, questions should be asked, both about our understanding of the gospel and about our methods. Forget the fact, if you must, that there is no clear biblical precedent for the altar call. Even considering the matter pragmatically ought to make us quit. Though prevalent in our churches for decades, it has not helped us. (See "Closing with Christ" at www.CCWtoday.org.)

The dangerous practice of receiving new members immediately after they walk the aisle must finally be abandoned. Also, more careful counsel should be taken with those entering in as members from other churches. And add to this a need for much deeper thinking concerning childhood conversion. An alarming percentage of childhood professions wash out later in the teen and college years. For unconverted yet baptized church kids, the more independence they are granted, the more they live out their true nature. (See "Childhood Conversion" at www.CCWtoday.org.)

4. We must stop giving immediate verbal assurance to people who make professions of faith or who respond to our invitations. It is the Holy Spirit's job to give assurance. We are to give thebasis upon which assurance can be had, not the assurance itself. Study 1 John in this respect. What things were written so that they might know they have eternal life? (1 Jn. 5:13). Answer: The tests given in the book. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16).

5. We must restore sound doctrine. Revival, I am finding as I study its history, is largely about the recovery of the true gospel. The three great doctrines which have so often shown up in true revival are: 1) God's sovereignty in salvation, 2) justification by grace through faith alone, and 3) regeneration with discernible fruit. Revival is God showing up, but the blessing of the presence of God is directly affected by our beliefs. God most often comes in the context of these and other great doctrines, preached penetratingly and faithfully, and with the unction of the Holy Spirit.

As an illustration of our doctrinal reductionism, repentance is often forgotten completely in gospel presentations, or else it is minimized to mean nothing more than "admitting that you are a sinner." Also, "Inviting Christ into your heart," a phrase never found in the Bible (study the context of Jn.1:12 and Rev. 3:20, the verses used for this), has taken the place of the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. The doctrine of God's judgment is rarely preached with any carefulness. And comprehensive studies of the meaning of the cross are seldom heard. Merely looking over the titles of the sermons which awakening preachers preached in the past would surprise most modern pastors.

Be Healthy or Be Ashamed
Which army would you rather have? Gideon's first army or his last? No church, and no denomination, should call itself healthy unless more people attend than are on the roll. This is a standard kept by most of the world, and was kept by our great-grandparents in Baptist churches as well. We would be closer to the revival we desire if we would admit our failure, humbly hang our heads, and seek to rectify this awful hindrance to God's blessing. When we boast of how big we are, we are bragging about our shame.

In the Philadelphia Baptist Association Minutes, our first association, our initial American statistical record shows that five times as many people attended the association's churches as were on their rolls. Greg Wills in Democratic Religion in the South (Oxford University Press, 1997, p.14) reports that three times the number on the rolls attended Baptist churches, then located mostly along the eastern seaboard when surveyed in 1791 by John Ashlund. In 1835, the Christian Index of Georgia recorded that "not less than twice the number" of members were in attendance.

Today, in rough numbers, it takes 300 people on our rolls to have 100 attenders. In the 1790s, it took only 33. Or, to put it in larger figures, it now takes nearly 3000 people, supposedly won to Christ and baptized, to result in a church attendance of 1000. Then, it took only 333. Our potency has diminished to such an extent that we must "win" and "baptize" over 2,000 more people to get to the same 1000 to attend.

Apparently, being orthodox in terms of inerrancy and infallibility is not enough, though without these doctrines we have no foundation for true evangelism. A lot has to be done, and a lot undone. And, sadly, we have been actively transporting this mainly American problem overseas for many years.

To conclude, I suggest two remedial steps for the convention as a whole, in addition to what was suggested for the churches:

1. We might reverse some of our proclivity to continue as normal if we introduced our preachers more accurately in our evangelism meetings and convention settings. Try using this introduction: "Here is Brother ______, pastor of a church of 10,000 members, 6400 of whom do not bother to come on a given Sunday morning, and 8600 of whom do not come on Sunday evening. He is here to tell us about how to have a healthy, evangelistic church."

It might be better to ask a man to speak who shepherds 100 members, all of whom attend with regularity and all of whom show signs of regeneration—a man who, in the last year, has baptized 5 people who stick—rather than a pastor of 10,000 members, 7000 of whom do not come—a man who has baptized 1000 in the past year, 700 of whom cannot be found. The smaller, but more consistent numbers of the first pastor reveal a far more effective ministry and thus a far better example for other churches. (Please understand that I don't like this talk about "numbers," but this is the main way we evaluate people and churches as Baptists. I am sure God is not really impressed with any of our statistics.)

2. We should establish a study group to explore our presently deplorable situation and to track its history. This group should also seek to re-examine the biblical mandate to have a regenerate church. Then this study group should report back with a strategy to help us out of the dilemma. They should be painfully honest. I am hopeful that individual churches will act without this prompting, but this would be an added stimulus to getting us to our fighting weight as a denomination. Some church leaders will not act without this sort of backing since independent action would be a departure from the status quo.

Our only alternative is to carry on in the old way—the way that produces 70-90% fallout. By continuing on as we are, we will gradually blur, and eventually obscure altogether, any distinction between the professing and the authentic Christian. In the end, we will look like every other mainline, liberal denomination. We are only one-third to one-tenth alive now. If we want to avoid complete deadness, we must take dramatic measures immediately. Like cotton candy, our apparent size does not add up to much.

Our forebears, especially those who died for the biblical concept of a regenerate church, would hardly recognize our compromised condition. It will admittedly take us down a notch or two, in the estimation of the rest of professing Christianity, when millions are removed from our rolls. But humility and a new reality might be the starting place for God's greatest blessings on us yet!

The next time someone asks how your church and your denomination are doing, tell the truth. Tell them that we have a new confidence in the inerrant Bible. Tell them that we have seminaries that promote orthodoxy, and new evangelistic fervor among the true believers. Tell them we have a lot to be excited about. But also tell them that when considered as a whole, most Southern Baptists need raising from the dead.

Copyright © 1999 Jim Elliff (revised 2005, 2010). permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction.
Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Across America: City #3

The Chicago Police Department protects the 3rd largest city in America. This week we ask you to pray for the Chicago Police Department and for Superintendent Jody Weis. For the next 2 weeks Ten-Four Ministries will be contacting the police chiefs in the largest 50 cities in America and presenting them with The Gospel. This is an ongoing project called The Across America Project.

Monday, May 17, 2010

We Need Your Vests: Please Help


If you have been following Ten-Four Ministries, you have no doubt been aware that close to 1000 ballistic vests have been given out for free to Police Officers across the world including the United States. In the last year we have been in 42 states and given out vests to law enforcement in 3 countries. Police Chiefs, to SWAT Members to members of the United States Army in Afghanistan are wearing vests from the Armor of God Project.

The Project has grown beyond anyone could have imagined and quite frankly we cannot do it on our own anymore. We now have a waiting list for officers that need vests and this need must be filled as quick as possible. We need your help so please consider the following.

Help us spread the message about this project by telling others to visit the official website at www.vestforlife.com. We have a FaceBook Cause Page that you could also promote.

Tell local agencies around you that we exist. You can go to most of their websites and send them an e-mail about the Project. It would help to send a link to one of the several media reports or our testimony page to help lend credibility to your e-mail. Of course if you personally know an officer, that is much more effective when telling them about us.

A lack of funding continues to be an issue. If you know of an organization or a church that would like to help, please tell them about us. We currently have just one church supporting our efforts on a monthly basis and we would like to partner with more. Just $10 sends a vest to an officer so some funding by multiple sources can go a long ways.

Please consider helping in any way that you can.

Examine Yourself

From Law Enforcement To A Pastor

Law Enforcement To Pastor from Ten-Four Ministries on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Challenge Coins Now Available


Our most popular item has been our Challenge Coin for Law Enforcement. We recently got them back in along with some great enhancements. We have added a coin specifically for Fire Fighters and the Tract is now plain to see when the coin case is opened up. You won't be dissapointed and all proceeds will go to our various ministries.

We are also offering a special bulk rate. All orders over $50 come with free shipping. Do you want to give a first responder a Gospel Tract and know that they will always keep it around? I believe this is the item to get.