Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Relion Section of the Lodi News Sentinel - (August 31, 2019)
America has gone stark raving mad – myriads of gender “choices”, gay marriage, abortion, legalized drug use, mass shootings, racism, sexual promiscuity – and the list goes on. We’re on a collision course with destruction.
And where is the church in this mess? The church has fallen asleep. It’s time to wake up Church!! It’s time we get our head out of the sand and take a realistic look at what’s going on. We’ve deluded ourselves into a “lala” land of “positive and encouraging” while our nation crumbles around us.
Wake up, Church! It’s time to stop putting our energy and time into showing the world how “cool” we are with our latte bars, smoke and mirrors music, and “me” centered sermons filled with jokes and cute stories so attendees can come to church and have “fun”, feel good about themselves, and laugh. I’m sorry, but there is nothing funny about the condition of our country. Church, we’ve amused and entertained ourselves to death.
Wake up, Church! Jesus never called us to be cool. He called us to be holy surrendered disciples. Wake up, Church! We’ve settled for a shallow, mediocre walk with Jesus, knowing more about the newest iphone app, fantasy football stats, and top box office movie than we do about the Bible and theology. We’ve lost our first love –Jesus, become lukewarm, and played the harlot with the world.
Wake up, Church! The most powerful entity on the planet, the church of Jesus Christ, has become powerless to impact our world. We’ve become powerless because we’ve become passionless, and we’ve become passionless because we’ve become prayerless. And we lost the culture.
Wake up, Church! We’ve lulled ourselves into a false sense of God’s approval and have become blind to our own sin.
Wake up, Church! We live in desperate times and need to repent with a sense of urgency as we humbly cast ourselves at His feet for mercy and cry out for revival. This is our only hope. If we fail, His judgment could be near, and it will begin within the walls of His church.
OH, CHURCH, WAKE UP!
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Lodi News Sentinel - General Letters to the Editor Page (August 8, 2019)
In the wake of three more senseless, brutal mass shootings, the finger pointing of blame has begun – guns, the NRA, Trump, racism, etc. There is, to be sure, many factors that cause someone to perpetrate such a heinous crime – mental illness, family dynamics, radicalized ideas, personal ideologies, etc. – but there is one factor that is dismissed by most and ignored by others - Darwinian evolution, which took God out of the equation of life and drained the human soul of hope and purpose. Our kids are taught that they exist by random chance as byproducts of primordial ooze over billions of years of evolution. There is no purpose or reason for life, just chance. This life, they are taught, is all there is, and death ends their existence. Evolution, in effect, teaches that life is not sacred or valuable because only chance and blind fate determine who survives. The natural results of this teaching are hopelessness, selfishness, and anger, which we see played out in senseless violence. Have we had enough yet? Since evolution has been proven to be false, why is it still being taught in schools? Because our nation has turned its back on God and refuses to acknowledge Him as the sovereign creator of the universe. If our kids were taught the truth that they are intentional, unique, purposeful creations of God, that they are loved by Him, that He has a plan and purpose for their lives, and that there is hope beyond this life, would there be as many angry, desperate people in our country? Do you think that life would be looked at differently because each life is a purposeful creation of God? Oh I’m not blindly naïve to think that teaching creation instead of evolution would end all violence and crime. We live in a fallen world and sin still is entrenched in the human heart. But I believe that we would see much less anger and violence if the truth – creation – was taught. If we continue to eliminate God from our country, these awful acts of violence will only get worse. Have we had enough yet?
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community CHurch
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Lodi News Sentinel - Editorial Page (July, 2019)
In discussing the task of engaging the culture with biblical truth, Christians usually quote 1 Peter 3:15 ”…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”, with the emphasis always being on “with gentleness and respect”. The thought was that being so would make Jesus attractive to the culture. We were wrong. While we should never be obnoxiously smug and arrogant in presenting biblical truth, being meek and sweet will not attract people to Jesus in our current cultural context. We have taken “gentleness and respect” to the extreme and have become so syrupy sweet that we’ve been bullied into submission by those who oppose Christianity, to the extent that we are considered irrelevant, and even dangerous, in any theological, moral and ethical discussions. In the past, atheists and Christians would disagree but the dialogue remained civil. However, in the last twenty or so years the rules of engagement changed, the “new atheist” mind set burgeoned, and those against Christianity have become militant in their verbal attacks (i.e. Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, etc). Christianity was over run and, sadly, we lost the culture. Church, it’s time we add polemics (a strong verbal attack against an idea) to our apologetics (a defense of what we believe). We have the truth, and we need to be fearless and bold in attacking the beliefs of those who oppose Christianity, showing the fallacy of these beliefs with sound, logical, and tactful arguments (polemics), and then boldly present biblical truth (apologetics). Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…”(polemics), and in Ephesians 6:19 “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel”(apologetics). If we are to win the culture back for Jesus, we need to use both of these tactics. If not, the truths of Jesus Christ will fade into oblivion in America.
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Lodi News Sentinel - Editorial Page (May, 2019)
The recent anti-abortion laws passed by Georgia and Alabama have raised the anger of the pro-choice camp to a fever pitch. They are incensed that some “old white men” are squashing their civil rights and ignoring women’s health (but they had no problem when a few old white guys legalized abortion in Roe v Wade). However, their arguments are based on emotions and not facts.
Regarding civil rights, where in our Constitution does it say that anyone has the right to murder an innocent human being? Nowhere. Abortion is not a civil right.
Regarding women’s health, only one instance really falls into this category – ectopic pregnancy. In this case the mother’s life is at stake and the baby usually cannot survive. The motive in treating this is to ensure the women’s health and possibly save her life, not to intentionally kill the baby. Sadly, however, the baby (which would have not survived such a pregnancy) dies. This is not an elective abortion. All of the other pregnancy “health” concerns can be treated safely.
What about rape and incest (which constitute only 1% of elective abortions)? Many who say they are pro-life make exceptions for rape and incest. Those who say this aren’t really pro-life. The question that needs to be answered in all elective abortions is: “what is the unborn?” Science has proven that life begins at conception, so the unborn is a human being, just at an early stage of development. Thus, all elective abortions are morally wrong. In rape and incest cases, why should an innocent unborn human be killed for the crimes of his father? It’s not his fault he was conceived in an brutal, unlawful manner. It is never right to respond to an immoral act (rape or incest) with another immoral act (abortion).
Abortion, at it’s core, is all about the selfish desire for personal happiness by eliminating anything that stands in the way of it, and is a way to escape the responsibility for chosen actions and lifestyles.
The tragedy of over fifty million abortions (with that number increasing daily) will haunt this nation forever.
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community Church
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in both the Lodi News Sentinel and the Stockton Record - Editorial Page (January 28, 2019)
New York just passed the Reproductive Health Act which, in reality, is an outrage against humanity. This diabolical bill erases the killing of a baby in utero from the criminal code, allows people other than doctors to perform abortions, allows abortions up to the actual delivery date, and repeals protections for babies who survive abortions. Yes, a woman could be 40 weeks pregnant and then decide that she is not emotionally ready to be a mother (her emotional state is not “healthy”) and abort her baby as he is coming down the birth canal. And if the baby somehow survives the savage brutality of the abortion attempt, the abortionist has no legal obligation to render medical aid to him. Basically, the abortionist will kill the baby by not treating him. This is beyond shocking. And the New York Assembly Chamber erupted in a standing ovation when the bill passed. In New York, the death penalty was repealed in 2004, so a convicted murderer, even a serial murderer, cannot be put to death for his crime. However, in New York, there is a legal death penalty on innocent babies, whether inside the womb or outside of it. What have we become? All elective abortion is murder because it is scientific fact that life begins at conception, but even though this heinous crime was legalized by Roe v Wade, at least there were restrictions on late term abortions. No more. That last time human life was devalued to such an extent was in Germany when an insane dictator names Adolph Hitler had the same view of Jews that the New York legislators have of babies – subhuman, unwanted, and expendable. The political left, the same people who say that a border wall is immoral, think that slaughtering babies, even at full gestation or even alive outside the womb, is not immoral. What have we become? We have become savage, immoral barbarians that openly flaunt our evil. A standing ovation for infanticide? God help us.
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Lodi News Sentinel - Editorial Page (January 19, 2019)
America enters this new year in serious trouble. We've turned our backs on
God, and the evidence is everywhere. We continue to slaughter babies in their mother's wombs by the millions. His design for sexuality and marriage has been totally perverted. Gender is now determined by our own sinful whims instead of how we were created. Pornography, drug abuse, racism, anger,and hatred are rampant.
Have we finally exhausted the limits of God’s patience and crossed the line
into certain judgment? Is it too late for America?
We don’t know, so we desperately need a remnant of God’s people to cry out for revival in this new year. We need a Third Great Awakening! We need a powerful move of the Holy Spirit in a heaven sent revival, and it must start
in the church. The bride of Christ, the church, has become like the Laodicean church,thinking we're just fine when we are actually lukewarm, wretched, miserable,poor, blind and naked. We have become like the church in Sardis, thinking we are alive when we are actually dead. We have become like the churches in Pergamum and Thyatira, which compromised truth and tolerated sin. We have become the Ephesian church which had lost its first love.
We have become pragmatic instead of prayerful, entertained instead
of worshipful, hip instead of holy, relevant instead of reverent,
spineless instead of bold, casual instead of passionate, compromised instead of radical, and comfortable instead of convicted. We really like ourselves, but what does God think about us?
We need to fall on our faces before God and humbly repent of our own sins, because before we address the sins "out there", we must first address the sins within the walls of the church. We need God to break us of
our lukewarmness, pride, and compromise.
We need God to break us of "self".
It is only through a revived church that is totally sold out to God that
the hearts of our nation will be transformed and our nation healed. We need God to rend the heavens and come down in revival, one more time.
And may the revival start with me.
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Lodi News Sentinel - Editorial Page (October 16, 2018)
The confirmation hearings on Brett Kavanaugh were absurd. The Senate Judiciary Committee had over one million pages of documents on him, but the Democrats still wanted more (like they were really going to read one million pages). Then, when it became clear they couldn’t stop his appointment, the process turned dark and ugly. An accusation of sexual misconduct, which could not be proven "surfaced" at the eleventh hour, even though this accusation was known weeks earlier. The day of the testimony from Kavanaugh and his accuser was disturbing. Kavanaugh was treated like a vile, loathsome scumbag by Democrats who threw out our constitution and considered him guilty unless he could prove his innocence. This fiasco shows how low the left will stoop to in order to keep a woman’s ability to murder her unborn baby legal. Make no mistake about it, this whole circus was about one issue - abortion. The left is terrified that Kavanaugh will be the deciding vote to overturn Roe v Wade. We are seeing, in shocking reality, how much the left is in love with murdering babies. They use the politically correct phrase "a women's reproductive rights", but this is a straw man argument. The question of whether life begins at conception is no longer a matter of opinion, it is irrefutable scientific fact. Since an embryo is a genuine member of the human family, the premeditated killing of him/her is murder. No, the issue of abortion is not about women's reproductive rights, it is about morality, plain and simple. Our society has adopted a casual view of sex, and babies, the natural result of sex, get in the way and must be eliminated so people can gorge themselves in even more casual sex. But, some argue, what about rape, incest, or health of the mother? These comprise a miniscule percentage of abortions, and there are solid answers to these objections (space limitations prevents me from discussing them). Abortion is a horrible stain on America, but the left thinks it’s so wonderful that they will destroy a man and his family to keep it legal. How tragic.
Most recent letter from Pastor Frank that was published in the Lodi News Sentinel - Religion Page (September 15, 2018)
I believe that one of the major deficiencies of modern day Christianity is our view of God. In order to attract more people to church and make them feel comfortable, the church has presented God as just a shadow of His true essence. We have made Him too ordinary, too common, and too plain. We have brought Him down to our level, thinking people will see Him as more approachable and more relevant. In this quest to make God more acceptable, we have portrayed Him as a cosmic genie who is just waiting to grant our wishes, or “Joe” down the street who we watch football and eat guacamole with, or as some cool dude who plays video games and lives on social media. In short, we have created God in our image. How utterly tragic. Today’s Christianity has lost the understanding of the awesome holiness and majestic glory of God. In the Bible, everyone who caught a glimpse of the incredible awesomeness of God were overwhelmed beyond words. Indeed, the very nature of God– His sovereignty, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, eternality, holiness, righteousness, justice, and immutability- is so profound that it causes us to fall on our faces in worship of such a magnificent Being. Yet, this awesome God is our “Abba”, our daddy who we can have a deep intimate relationship with through faith in Jesus. It is so crucial to have a Biblically balanced understanding of these two aspects – the transcendent majesty of God (the mental knowledge of who He is), and our personal relationship with (the emotional connection with Him). Both of these, in proper balance, are necessary because having just mental knowledge (without emotion) leads to cold legalism, and just having an emotional connection (without mental knowledge) leads to lukewarm mediocrity. No, we don’t need to “change” God to make Him relevant to our culture. He is always relevant, and He is enough! Know God intellectually and worship Him. Love Him intimately and have a deep relationship with Him. When you have a healthy balance of these two, you will know our awesome God as He wants to be known.
Letter in the Lodi News Sentinel - Religion Section (June 2018)
California Assembly Bill 2943, which passed in the Assembly and is now in the Senate, is a horrendous piece of legislation that is both unconstitutional and anti-Christian. The bill's digest reads, "This bill would include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual." AB 2943 amends the Civil Code relating to unlawful business practices by adding the following to Section 1761: “’Sexual orientation change efforts’ means any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex”, and adds the following as a fraudulent business practice to Section 1770: “Advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual”. The bill’s verbiage is very broad, and, in essence, prohibits any financial transactions for books, pamphlets, conferences, counseling, or other communications that speak against homosexuality or encourages individuals to seek help who struggle with same sex attractions or who have gender identity confusion, as these would be considered fraudulent business practices. Since, the Bible is very clear that homosexuality violates God’s moral standard for sex, would the Bible now be banned from being sold in California? Remember, the bill’s wording is so broad that it could be interpreted to include the Bible. AB 2943 is unconstitutional in that it violates free speech - since when does the government dictate what written or oral communication can be sold, or regulate what a counselor says to his patient? This bill is also a direct attack on Biblical Christianity. If you don’t think so just hear what Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) said during the Assembly floor discussion on AB 2943: “The faith community, like anyone else, needs to evolve with the times”. No Assemblyman Muratsuchi, God’s moral absolutes don't need to evolve with the culture. The culture needs to obey God’s moral absolutes. Sadly, and tragically, California continues its brazen, defiant hostility towards God and Christianity.
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community Church
Letter in the Lodi News Sentinel - Religion Section (May 2018)
We live in an angry, violent, and immoral nation. Mass shootings, racial unrest, political divide, road rage, bullying, lack of civility, abortion, gender changing, promiscuous heterosexual sex, homosexuality, gay marriage, and a soaring teen suicide.rate. How have we degenerated into such an abysmal condition? While the “experts” and “scholars” give their opinions (which are usually just a bunch of politically correct drivel), I believe that what we are seeing today, and will continue to see in increasing measure in the future, is rooted in Darwin's theory of evolution. Kids are taught that they exist by mere random chance, not because of the intentional, purposeful will of a personal, creator God. There was just a big bang and billions of years of evolution. That’s all. Thus, there is nothing beyond this life – no heaven, no hell. Our entire existence consists of the few decades we live on earth, then we die and are stuck in the ground. And its over. With a philosophy like this the best humans beings can do is “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”. No wonder there is so much anger and despair – evolution makes life void of meaning or purpose. No wonder there is a devaluation of human life – since everyone is here by random chance life has no real intrinsic value. No wonder there is so much hedonism and moral debauchery – since this life is all there is we might as well live for all the selfish pleasure we can get while we can get it. This leads to a self-centered “me” attitude, which leads to the breakdown of decency and morality, which negatively impacts society, which destroys the family structure, which leads to anger, rebellion, and immorality, which leads to the United States in 2018. You see, without God in the equation of existence, life is purposeless and is void of any truth or meaning. Without the one true God , there’s nothing left but us. And “us” ain’t so wonderful. God is the only answer to the problems we face. It’s time to put Him back into the equation that he Himself established.
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community Church
How Strong Is My Faith
From our June 10, 2018 sermon on "Foundations of a Strong Faith"
From our June 10, 2018 sermon on "Foundations of a Strong Faith", the Pastor asked us all to take this quiz. Could your faith be stronger? For all of us, I'm sure the answer is always YES! This quiz helps us to see where we can work on our faith, through prayer.
Rules of the game:
1) this is for your eyes only
2) this is to help you get closer to God
3) there are no wrong answers, only honest ones
4) if you score a "40", you win a counseling session with Pastor Frank Nolton ASAP - jk - but he does want to see you and discuss :-)