I really do hope this does not come out the wrong way. Be patient. I’m a little tired and greatly grieved. I remember beginning the Christian ministry with the hopes of winning the entire world to Christ. I suppose all neophytes think that way when they start out. The further we mature, the further we are modeled toward sanctified restraint both in our practical walk and in the fuel for that walk – sound doctrine. As a man under authority and vows with my church and denomination, I am bound to uphold the truth. Practically, that means that I'm not out to win any popularity contests with the world or the professing church. As most of you know, I'm pretty vocal about most issues. A Puritan's Mind is filled with all sorts of historical and theological writings to that end. I don't mind calling a spade a spade so long as the work done to make sure a spade is what it is, is really a spade, I’m OK with calling it a spade, and even shouting that it is spade, or writing books about how much of a spade it is. So when we find people dropping like flies out of the church, away from the gospel, off the board, or even out of Christendom completely (whole churches!), that saddens the heart, but should strengthen our resolve for the truth all the more. Christ asked, "When the Son of Man returns WILL He find faith?" Such a difficult idea to contemplate. As such rotten doctrine enters the church and we find that the minds of those people have been corrupted, and they are those that we have conversed with for many months, and with some even years, we are grieved and saddened. Yet, even then, I am not out to win a popularity context hoping to appease everyone and every thing that comes along. In a desire to uphold the truth, I am not so arrogant (as I once was years ago) to believe that I have stumbled upon some new doctrine, or that being "Reformed" means changing the history of the church or its theology to invent a new fangled system that serves me better. I am just a parrot. A mimic. We are to think God's thoughts after Him. We are reforming, which means we are CONFORMING to the truth that the church already has, and has been hand-delivered by God – the faith ONCE given to the saints. As a result, when people are suspended from the board, or excommunicated from the church, though it is grieving to me, it is necessary since we live in a sin ladened world, and have it's affects everywhere. We find the devil capturing them into his fold, though we know the gates of hell will not ultimately prevail. In all that, I'm not out to win a popularity contest with people. In loving the truth, and the God of that truth, I choose God over men. What has that got me? Things I won't find out until heaven, I would suspect. It has given me a small church, relatively nothing materially, and continues to be a great burden in upholding the pattern of sound doctrine without compromising for the sake of “every wind” of doctrine that blows here and there. And it is not that I don’t love those who have fallen from grace, or have become deceived. Rather, I just love God more than I love them. That means I must love God, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Word more than I love all of you. My mother and father sent me a birthday gift that I opened early. It is a desk plaque with my name on it which is very nice, but they, being discerning about the Word of God as they are, had a Scripture engraved on it that is most awesome – “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 That, over anything else, is what I’m bound to do. May God be glorified in all things and in our actions as we uphold the truth.