A Netcast Partner was healed of blindness.

This is an email that I received from David Staples. David was a pastor in New England for many years and a missionary to Brazil. He and his wife Sharon have been an incredible encouragement to me personally and us as a church. They faithfully serve in any way asked, they lead a community group and are constantly pouring into others.

Here is some of his story...God is so amazing. 

 Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with an eye disease that eventually reduced my vision in my left eye to 20-400 (I could not even count fingers 6 inches away from my face). I spent about 5 years without seeing from that eye. Six years ago, my doctor told me that she was sorry, but the same disease was now present in my good eye. I was devastated. I asked the church to pray, and through a rather strange treatment (not mud and spit, but a colon cancer drug injected into my eyeball) my vision was saved.

 A dear sister in Christ asked me if God had healed my other eye yet. While I believed that God was able to heal in spite of permanent physical damage (my bad eye has permanent damage to the retina), I politely responded to her that God hadn't healed my eye yet. She was persistent and every week asked me for updates. Eventually, I had to consider the possibility that God might want to do something unbelievable.

At my next doctor's appointment, I told her about the lady in my church that was praying that I would regain sight. She explained that I had permanent physical damage. I asked if there was something else wrong with the eye and she explained that I also had a cataract, but there was no reason to repair this as the light would just be hitting a damaged retina. We agreed to try the unlikely, and after surgery my vision returned to 20-40. Both surgeons told me that they didn't know how I could see with such a damaged eye.

A few months ago, this eye again began to "act up" and I needed some further treatment. I currently can see at 2-50 and the doctor still cannot understand how I can see. My vision has improved so that my glasses are too strong in that eye and I might see better with a weaker prescription. Praise God that he sometimes uses his supernatural power in unexpected ways.

Thankful for Jesus. Thankful for You.

It is my prayer that this Thanksgiving you are able to add one more thing to your list of things you are thankful for. This year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness for our Netcast family and the way that Jesus is displaying his magnificence among us. Every week I look forward to my favorite time of the week which is worshiping Jesus as I gather together with those who I love.

Here is another thing to be thankful for: God's Inexpressible Gift to us: Jesus Christ 
  1. Is there a power to love? 
  2. Is there a power that can really change people? 
  3. Is there a way to have eternal life? 
  4. Is there a way for sins to be forgiven?
  5. Is there a way for your deepest longings to be satisfied? 
  6. Is there a way to know God personally and be his friend? 
The answer is a resounding yes....And that yes is Jesus Christ, God's inexpressible gift to you this Thanksgiving season. 

If you have never personally received Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life, I commend him to you. And I urge you to trust him and call upon him for all the help you need. "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

excerpt from desiringgod.com

Netcast's Position on a Biblical Tithe.

Netcast Tithing Position 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17 

All that we have belongs to God.We believe that nothing is our own. We are not owners, rather, we are investors. God has charged us to invest His resources while we are here on earth. This is a tremendous responsibility and opportunity!

"Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required" Luke 12:48

It is from this perspective that we approach the Biblical principal of tithing.

The "tithe' is a standard set by God in the Old Testament which was also affirmed by Jesus in the New Testament. The word “tithe” literally means "tenth", and it called the nation of Israel to honor God by giving the first 10% of their income back to God. The Old Testament encourages us to be givers of our "first fruits" (Proverbs 3:9-10). This reference is made in the context of farmers who brought an offering of their first harvest. The intention was to bring the absolute best of the best before God. Today it is still a powerful acknowledgement that God is the ultimate Provider in every area of our lives.

Jesus affirms the tithe...Matthew 23:23 
Jesus always raised the bar when referring to the Old Testament law. He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it with a more complete perspective (Matthew 5:17). Concerning 10% At Netcast, we believe that the tithe is only a starting point for Christians. The 10% figure is a tool to help us become expert investors of God's resources. It's not an end goal. It's a spotlight that reveals where we are hoarding resources or have become undisciplined financially. It’s a number that confronts our attitude towards investing God’s resources. However, 10% is not an end goal. New Testament Christians gave lavishly, often selling entire houses and land in order support the work of the Kingdom in their city and beyond (Acts 4:36ff)

Jesus downplays exact figures (amounts)
While observing people give in the temple, Jesus commented that the poor widow who gave a single penny actually gave more than all of the other wealthy people combined! Jesus downplays an exact figure of giving, while focusing on the attitude and faith of the giver. (Mark 12:41ff) Lest we think that Jesus lowered the standard of giving in this passage, we must remember that the widow was commended because she gave all that she had to live on, despite her poverty. If anything, this challenges us to be more lavish investors with God’s resources. A figure like 10% helps us take stock of where we invest God's resources. Ultimately, it gives us the ability to see what our heart desires, "where your treasure is, there you heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

Goal of Netcast Church
Our position on giving is best summed up by the apostle Paul "... as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in (love) — see that you excel in this act of grace (giving) also. (2 Corinthians 8:7 ESV) If we truly love Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, we will make a way to invest joyfully, sacrificially and regularly in His church and those in need around us.

Investing in Christ's church and others is one way of "bringing glory to Jesus by cultivating gospel-centered worshipful communities."

Gordon College: Human Network

Gordon College's human rights club is hosting a Hunger Banquet for faculty, staff and the community. At this event we will look at issues of world hunger, poverty, and wealth distribution and will have an opportunity to interact with them and discuss our experiences. The Human Network at Gordon would like to welcome Netcasters.

If you have questions about the event tonight, email Rachel.Henderson@gordon.edu

Friday, Nov 16th 6pm - 7:30pm on Gordon's Campus.

Unexplainable Explanation: John 9

Gospel of John
John Chapter 9
Unexplainable Explanation

 We are a society that doesn't do well without explanations. We want explanations, we need explanations and we thrive off of explanations. And not just any explanations, but we need “GOOD” explanations. If we're honest, the problem with Christianity is that so much of what we believe is completely unexplainable.

Sure we can do our best to theoretically and philosophically explain doctrines. Of course we can do a solid job at apologetically and intellectually arguing a position. At times, we can even use science, archeology and history to fight for a specific biblical position. But honestly, at the end of the day...much of Christianity is unexplainable. Therefore, as believers and followers of Jesus, what do we do with our faith when it seems to be completely unexplainable and completely undeniable at the same time?

Discussion Questions:
  1. What about Christianity do you find unexplainable? 
  2. What about Christianity do you find undeniable? 
  3. What is the difference between those who see and those who are blind; Spiritually? 
  4. How do you reconcile the unexplainable and the undeniable when it comes to Christianity?

Netcast Chrsitmas Toy Drive (Drop-off Nov 4th & 11th)


The toys will benefit children who live in extreme poverty in San Marcos, Guatemala Please donate your used toys by bringing them to Netcast Church on Sunday 11/4 and 11/11. The Address is Briscoe Middle School 7 Sohier Rd in Beverly MA.

*For the children of San Marcos, Guatemala toys in any condition are seen as something new and wonderful. Many of them are malnourished and have never had the privilege of having a toy of their own. The entire community is in need of help, so if you have used cloths and shoes that you would also like to donate, for children and adults, please bring them as well. We want to bless this community, and send them hope and joy through our used toys, clothes and shoes.

 Please email Erica Sturgeon at Erica@citygatels.com, if you have any questions, of you would like to bring the toys and clothes directly to her for collection.

Netcast is collecting blankets. (Hurricane Sandy: NYC)

New York has a desperate need for blankets to help people displaced by Hurricane Sandy, and there is a unique opportunity for Netcast to help our neighbors. If we could have blankets dropped off at church on Sunday, November 11th, then we will distribute them through the Catholic Student Union at Fordham University in NYC. 

We have a Netcast Partner with relationships in NYC who can make the delivery. They have a distribution network setup to minister to 40,000 displaced people. Please, bring "Clean" blankets to church this Sunday. They can be used or new; just make sure they are clean.

I know that everyone can spare a blanket so lets continue to serve the Lord through our generosity. If you dont want to bring a blanket, you can order one online for only $5.99 each and have it shipped to:

Netcast Church
15 1/2 Pierce Ave.
Beverly MA 01915

Just make sure it gets here by Monday, November 12th. Also, if you have blankets and need them picked up, we have someone available to do that. Just email Jimmy Coners at jcon402@gmail.com to schedule it.

Why we Spontaneously Baptized 49 people yesterday...

Yesterday will go down as an incredible day within the life of Netcast Church. That being said, I know that there are some controversial thoughts on Spontaneous Baptisms, so I feel it is necessary to give some understanding of "How" and "Why" we did this. Before I share an argument for "Why" let me explain some of the things that happened behind the scenes pertaining to "How".

  1. Each person was questioned by a pastor at Netcast in the back room to test and see if they knew the gospel and have trusted in Jesus. Netcast never waters down the gospel. 
  2. We preach sin, repentance and belief in Christ and yesterday was no different. We praise God for the response. 
  3. We thoroughly explain the meaning of baptism to each individual. It is made clear that baptism is not a means of justification; but an act of obedience for those who trust in Christ. 

Here is a video that helps you understand where our tension was.
Also, Here is an article (by JD Greer) that may help someone understand how we biblical and prayerfully came to the conclusion that we were comfortable in doing this.

Failing to determine whether someone understands their profession of faith before you baptize them is, in my view, recklessly irresponsible. Declaring someone “saved” when they aren’t not only gives them false assurance, it makes them that much more immune to future calls to repent and believe. God help us never to put the excitement of large numbers ahead of the safety of people’s souls. My ego is not worth someone else’s eternity.

For this reason, many pastors require a waiting period between a profession of faith and baptism–attendance at a class, etc.–before they will administer baptism. Some won’t baptize children growing up in their churches until adulthood because only then can they be sure that a sound decision has been made. I believe this to be a well-intended, but unbiblical and dangerous, solution to the problem.

First, unbiblical: every single baptism we have on record in the New Testament, without exception, is spontaneous and immediate. John the Baptist invited his hearers to show their repentance by baptism, an invitation received most notably by Jesus himself (Matt 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11). Peter baptized 3000 on the spot in Acts 2 after one sermon (Acts 2:40-41). Philip baptized the eunuch after their first conversation, (Act 8:36-38), and Ananias baptized Paul “immediately” after meeting him (Acts 9:17-19, cf. 22:16). Paul baptized the Philippian jailor and his household “at once” (Acts 16:31-34). “But things are different today,” I am told, “we have a culture saturated with easy-believism” (which is true).

Furthermore, they say, many things in Acts are exceptional. The early church held all possessions in common (Acts 2:44). They practiced a full variety of sign gifts, struck people dead in church and smote false prophets with blindness. These are not normative for churches today, at least not in the way they were for the early church.

Fair enough. Yet, in each of those things we can see a development in Acts which points toward the normative, a normative firmly established by Paul’s epistles. For example, some of the miraculous signs are dying down by the end of Acts, and Paul even reports leaving a companion sick in Miletus (1 Timothy 4:18). Paul’s instructs the rich in his congregations to be generous and to share, not to turn over all their property to the church like they did in Acts 2 (1 Timothy 6:9-19). In other words, the reason we allow divergence from patterns in Acts is because we see clearer patterns established elsewhere that help us see the distinction between the extraordinary and the normative. No such development can be demonstrated with baptism, however. Every single instance of baptism, from beginning to end, is immediate. The baptisms toward the end of Acts are as immediate as those at the beginning. The plots on the graph form a straight line, and it’s not hard to see where future points on that line should lie.

Demanding that we delay baptisms to ensure against false professions is to pursue a good objective in an unbiblical manner. Those who do this have allowed concerns over false professions to trump biblical patterns. Whenever we develop a theory from some biblical data that conflicts with other biblical data, that’s a sign our theory has gone wrong. Much of our reasoning from the Bible is deductive: from biblical data we deduce principles (known as theology) that we use to develop ideas not directly addressed in the Bible. This is good and right. The biblical data should always function like a tether, however, showing us when our “theology” has gone mutant. When our theory puts us in conflict with the Bible, we should expand our theory, not curtail the data. We see examples of mutant theologies everywhere.

Some Calvinists hold certain verses of the Bible hostage to a theory they have developed off of other verses. Some Arminians do the same. Rather than broadening their theories, they ignore or explain away certain passages because they don’t fit in their system. Those who tear down gender roles in the Bible take a valid biblical principle (the equality of the sexes) and hold other clear biblical passages hostage to it. Paul’s clear instruction that only men are to be church elders (1 Tim 3:1-5) is abrogated by the biblical idea that the sexes are equal. I’ve had many Presbyterian friends do the same with baptism. They can explain with ruthless logic why the whole trajectory of biblical thought points toward baptizing babies. Yet, such a practice is clearly absent from the New Testament. Rather than re-examining their theories, they ignore the evidence.

Those who condemn immediate baptisms seem, in my view, to do the same. Their theories on how to protect against false conversion stand in clear contrast to the only inspired pictures the Holy Spirit gave us of what baptism is to be and who it should be given to. And how is this dangerous? God’s patterns are always best. In keeping certain believers from baptism, we have removed from them one of the primary resources God intended to catalyze their maturity. Baptism is the catalyst to spiritual maturity, not the sign of it. Baptism is an important moment that stands as a witness to ourselves and the enemy powers that we belong to Christ. In moments of weakness, when we are under assault from our enemy, we need to be able to retreat back to what was declared over us by Christ in our baptism. We see Paul doing this often in the epistles (Romans 6:1-5–and I paraphrase): “Do you grasp the new reality declared at your baptism? Won’t you live out of that now?” If we have withheld baptism from believing children, have we not robbed them of a great refuge in a time of trial–their solidarity with Christ’s church and his declaration over them?

Furthermore, presenting someone with a choice to be baptized forces them to make a decision. So many sit in our churches each week as consumers, going along with Jesus but never deciding “for” him. Baptism crystalizes the offer they must receive or reject. I grew up in a church that gave a targeted, intentional altar call at the end of every service. While there were many unhelpful side effects of this approach, one thing it did was force people to consider where they stood with Jesus. I think that’s what you see both John the Baptist and Peter doing with baptism.

We should be concerned with people who make false professions of faith in baptism. But we should not protect against that by robbing genuine believers of a resource God intended them to have. Baptism is, again, not the marker of spiritual maturity, but the sign that faith has begun in the soul. Even in the days of the Apostles converts sometimes fell away from their baptism (e.g., Simon the Magician, Acts 8:9-24). That doesn’t mean something is wrong with the process. We must deal with the apostate as Scripture instructs us. To improve upon biblical patterns is to suppose we are wiser than the Bible and to subject our hearers to potential spiritual ruin. Needless to say, we are not wiser than the Bible, and our plan, no matter how spiritual-sounding, is not superior to God’s plan. We must subject all our ideas, including our well-developed theologies, to the canon of Scripture. When our theology conflicts with biblical data, it’s time to tweak our theories, not ignore the Bible.

I sometimes wonder if the majority of theological problems come from a pride in our theories that keeps us from submitting ourselves to other biblical data. We must be diligent to make sure, as the Apostolic community did (Acts 8:36), that our hearers understand the gospel. But we should not unnecessarily delay or encumber their baptism. To sum up: we should be diligent to ensure that the person being baptized can make a credible confession of faith. In other words, they should be able to articulate the gospel and explain what baptism means and why they want to do it. What we do not need to verify (indeed cannot verify) is the sincerity of that confession or confirm that it has led to life change before we baptize. The apostles did not do this, and nor should we. While baptism ought never to be disconnected from a life of discipleship, it is given to those who, on face value, make a credible profession of faith.

Here’s a question to ponder:
Biblically, does baptism go with (a) the initial confession of faith or (b) after a proven period in which we verify the reality of that confession (i.e. discipleship)? My contention is that, biblically, it goes with the confession of faith. When you baptize, the reality of the confession of faith is still untested. Someone baptized Simon (Acts 8) and he turned out to be a fraud, but this did not mean that their baptism methodology was flawed.

Hysterical Volunteer Email (Netcast)

One of the best emails I have ever received from a Netcast volunteer. Hysterical....


Hello Matt,

Reading your discussion on the budgetary aspects of Netcast has left me feeling very happy and excited about this future fiscal year!

I have decided that it is more than appropriate for me to start a discussion with you about the payment and compensation for my (much valued) time working with and for the Netcast church. I have worked out the rough amount of time I have spent teching shows, loading equipment, and providing expert and professional feedback for multiple sound, video, and technological related issues throughout the last year and a half.

Normally my freelance charge for such services is $325/hr with a 4 hour minimum, however since I have a personal interest in the establishment and you guys are probably a non profit establishment I have decided to cut that down to only $200/hr with a 2hr minimum for my expertise and services. As a result the total amount due, with back pay and taxes, equals $74,695.62. You may pay me in any currency or format you deem worthy, I personally prefer diamonds or works of art from the Mezzo-European era. You may, of course, discuss the payment offers with your board. If you find there may some issues with delivering payment, I would be willing and open to discussion regarding making reparations for the debt via services or goods exchanged.

For example; I would accept cured boar-hides as an alternative, they must value the worth of $74,695.62 however. I understand that due to the economic difficulties that are currently ravishing the country you may not have ready access to cured boar hides, so, as another alternative, I offer the following:

You allow my wife and I to have you and Beth over to our Apartment for dinner sometime in the next few weeks. Both my wife and I feel that having you and your wife visit our humbled abode would more than equal the dollar amount owed, and the pleasure of us making dinner for you would indeed clear the large and imposing debt Netcast has to me.

 Please feel free to take some time to think on this issue, discuss the situation with the esteemed and much lauded group of individuals you mentioned in your budget post, and let me know at your earliest convenience. I look forward to hearing your response.