Perseverance and Hope Through Disability
Joni Eareckson Tada says the Martin Pistorius story should encourage Christians to advocate for the humanity of people mistakenly called ‘vegetables’
In the 1980s, when Pistorius was 12 years old, he came home from school with a sore throat. As his condition worsened, doctors guessed he had cryptococcal meningitis. His mobility eventually vanished, followed quickly by his ability to make eye contact and speak. For about two years, Pistorius lingered, trapped in a personal prison. He... Continue Reading
The Regulative Principle of Worship
The regulative principle of worship states that the corporate worship of God is to be founded upon specific directions of Scripture
It is important to realize that the regulative principle as applied to public worship frees the church from acts of impropriety and idiocy — we are not free, for example, to advertise that performing clowns will mime the Bible lesson at next week’s Sunday service. Yet it does not commit the church to a “cookie-cutter,”... Continue Reading
Seven Reasons Churches Are Too Busy
If local churches were humans, most of them would experience burnout. Many congregations are too busy to be effective. Many have a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated activities.
I recently met with a pastor whose church is emblematic of the hyper-busy congregation. Morning worship attendance is steady at 350, but Sunday evening worship had declined in a decade from 160 to 40. The pastor suggested the church consider eliminating the Sunday evening service, an act that required a majority vote in a business... Continue Reading
Calvinist Evangelicals in United Methodist Church!
Institutional United Methodism in America has given up on cities and given up on young people, so no surprise it is declining by nearly 100,000 annually.
Think about it. The most powerful city in the world has almost no vital, orthodox United Methodist churches. Instead there are typically small, liberal congregations that celebrate their diversity but have little capacity for meaningful outreach. The same is true for most large cities. And institutional United Methodism has no ability to address this challenge.... Continue Reading
One Pastor’s Tedious Defense of the First Amendment
Last week, the pastor of a small church in Gilbert, Ariz., introduced himself on the steps outside of the Supreme Court.
“I’m Clyde Reed, pastor of Good News Community Church in Gilbert, Ariz.,” [editor’s note: Rev. Reed is a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church] he said. “I’m 82 years old and have been a pastor for over 40 years. I never dreamed my small church sign would be a topic for the Supreme Court.”... Continue Reading
One Abortionist’s Painful Path to Life
It took the death of his own daughter to make Dr. Anthony Levatino realize abortions kill children
WNS Editor’s note: On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we’re sharing the story of one abortionist who quit after realizing he was killing people’s children for money. Dr. Anthony Levatino quit the abortion industry in the mid-1980s. He became a Christian years later and now uses his experience and expertise as both a doctor and... Continue Reading
Boko Haram Emerges As Brutal Islamic State Of Africa
Boko Haram, with its chilling brutality, radical Islamic ideology and unstoppable seizure of Nigerian territory is quickly emerging as the Islamic State of Africa.
Boko Haram first gained international notoriety for its savagery in April 2014, when it abducted 276 girls from a boarding school in Chibok and threatened to sell them as wives and sex slaves. The “bring back our girls” movement began with Nigerian village women demanding government action and grew into a worldwide rallying cry, with... Continue Reading
British Midwives Lose Fight for Conscientious Objection To Abortion
The British Supreme Court has rejected the right of conscientious objection for senior midwives who refuse to supervise abortions performed on a labour ward
“Today’s decision sadly makes it likely that senior midwives who refuse to kill babies will be forced to leave the profession. Junior midwives might still be able to work in labour wards where abortions are performed but they will be restricted to ‘staff midwife’ status at best. They could easily be placed in an impossible... Continue Reading
The Church Needs the New Homophiles
There is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attraction. They accept the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. They do not act on their same-sex desires. They are chaste.
The New Homophiles insist that God made them gay, though the Church does not teach that. They insist that they have special gifts given to them through their same-sex attraction. That is certainly not in Church teaching. And they want Church teaching to reflect these assertions, which would amount to a change in Church teaching.... Continue Reading
A Word to Famous Pastors
The church is both blessed and cursed by its well-known pastors.
You have been given a public platform. You occupy the stage of various conferences. You help lead national and perhaps international ministries. People listen to you when you speak and write. Those men who pastor 100 souls will be responsible for much. Some of you serve churches of multiplied thousands. You will give an account... Continue Reading
The Sin We Don’t Speak Of
Everyone's is different, but the effects on us are the same. And when it rears its ugly head we are undone.
In God’s eyes, sin is sin. No amount of human ordering changes that for him. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). This sin is the great equalizer before him. There are no sins that are beyond his reach for cleansing and there are no sins that make... Continue Reading
Divine Mathematics of Salvation
Jesus plus anything else that you seek to add to His saving work will end in eternal loss.
Paul ties the everything together at the end of this letter when he explained that the Judaizers were seeking to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ, and were wanting to boast in the flesh (i.e. in human accomplishments). Put basically, it appears that the great error of the Judaizers was not merely seeking to add circumcision... Continue Reading
If the Lord Marks Iniquity, Who Should Stand?
If God requires perfect righteousness and perfect holiness to survive His perfect judgment, then we are left with a serious problem.
In our day we have witnessed the eclipse of the gospel. That dark shadow that obscures the light of the gospel is not limited to Rome or liberal Protestantism; it looms heavily within the Evangelical community. The very phrase “preaching the gospel” has come to describe every form of preaching but the preaching of the... Continue Reading
Why the Prosperity Gospel Is the Worst Pyramid Scheme Ever
The truly good news is this: Jesus’s dreams for us are weightier than the pursuit of health, wealth, and personal success.
Don’t get me wrong: I believe wholeheartedly God wants to bless me. I believe God favors me. I believe he wants me to have the best possible life. But I also believe the good news of Jesus is far better than the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel climbs over people; Jesus descends to pick us up. The... Continue Reading
A “Repentant” Lance Armstrong “Would do it again!”
To top it off, he thinks he still deserves the seven Tour de France titles he was stripped of.
Yet, that’s what an allegedly “repentant” Lance Armstrong wants us to do. He deceived millions of people, told innumerable lies, stole titles from other cyclists, and made megabucks from books about his “miracle” come-back. But he now thinks he should be forgiven, and gives three reasons in this interview with the BBC: Imagine someone deceived... Continue Reading
Missed Motherhood: A Casualty of the Sexual Revolution
Susan Shapiro’s article at The New York Times is as sad as anything I’ve read in a long time.
After entering her forties in a more secure situation, she decided to try and get pregnant only to find that she couldn’t. She had always said that she didn’t want the life of her mother, who begin having children at a very young age and who defied feminist expectation by becoming a stay-at-home mom. Shapiro... Continue Reading
God’s Grace in the Obstacles We Face
Because of our wayward hearts, God often places obstacles in our path.
When God places obstacles in our path, it is for our discipline and for our good. It is an act of love toward us as his children. Just as we withhold things from our own children that we know are bad for them, God does the same for us. But unlike us, God’s ways are... Continue Reading
Generalists Do Talk to Strangers
Based on my experience, here are some general hints that will help in meeting new people.
Generalists know a little about a lot. And, generalists, even if they are introverts, can talk to strangers for a few minutes. So, these people can be an asset in welcoming a wide variety of church visitors. Put some generalists to work as greeters. I am a generalist, and I enjoy reaching out to church visitors. What are the strengths of a... Continue Reading
Cross Fit Godliness
Genuine godliness comes by spiritual exercise
“With CrossFit-like enthusiasm, in 1 Timothy 4:7–8, Paul calls his son in the faith and other readers to the gym, and distinguishes useless workouts from useful ones. “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way,... Continue Reading
Even in slaveholding states, many white Americans were uneasy about the morality of black slavery in the decades that preceded the Civil War
“Some conservative white evangelicals believed that the Bible endorsed some systems of slavery but not that found in America. Most, however, felt that any sort of vigorous opposition to slavery struck at the biblical bedrock of their faith. And therefore they could not embrace true antislavery positions.” Even in slaveholding states, many white Americans... Continue Reading
Nakedness Equals Shame
The very first psychological self-awareness of guilt and shame was an awareness of nudity
“The motif of clothing and nakedness is at the heart of our understanding of redemption. Our own righteousness, we are told, is like rotten, filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). The only way any of us can stand in God’s presence is to be stripped of those rags and then clothed afresh in the garments of Christ’s... Continue Reading
“Top Down” or “Grassroots” Ministry?
Two basic ways in which leadership in a church can encourage healthy "every member" and "grassroots" ministry are the establishment of committees and small groups
“Broader churches often tend to focus on “every member ministry”–while minimizing the need for robust pastoral ministry–while more stringently Reformed churches tend to focus on the primacy of pastoral ministry–to the minimizing of vibrant congregational life and ministry. Both approaches often appear to be overreactions to perceived deficiencies or abuses in the outworking of the... Continue Reading
Christian Lawyers And Doctors Need Not Apply
It has become a scary time to be a Christian professional in Canada
“This direct attack on Christian lawyers is meant to create a chilling effect in the legal profession. Lawyers who work for law firms seeking to do business with these corporations will hesitate, and perhaps even be barred from voicing their religious and moral beliefs, or for acting for religious clients in human rights cases dealing... Continue Reading
We Confess A Holy Catholic Church
Reformed churches confess that God has always had a people, a Christ-confessing covenant community
“According to Ignatius, the defining characteristic of catholicity, i.e., of truly universal Christianity is the presence of Christ. There’s little evidence that he conceived the office of overseer (επισκοπος) in monarchical or hierarchical terms. There’s no evidence of the supremacy of the pastor of the Roman congregation.” In Heidelberg Catechism 54 we say: 54.... Continue Reading
Shrinking Job Descriptions in the Church
The modern-day church has been guilty of shrinking the job description of our pastors and elders
“We have been focused on golden-tongued speakers, impressive and comfortable buildings, and membership growth, and have forsaken the personal touch. We are better known as preachers and speakers, and lesser known as shepherds and pastors. And our elders are viewed more as members of boards of directors and not as brothers who shepherd.” Preaching is one of the roles of the... Continue Reading
The Audacity Of Jeb Bush: A Governor Goes All In On The Terri Schiavo Case
Bush used his administration to battle in court after court, in Congress, and in the White House
“Time has moved on, but the Schiavo ordeal is a stark reminder of how conservative the governor was and how he could dig in when he felt he was right, as was almost always the case. The most wrenching and human crisis Bush endured in his two terms provides a window into a leader who... Continue Reading
Divided By Reason (Book Review)
Worthen narrates a gripping tale, cohering a clunky, disparate constellation of religious groups
“Worthen finds this intellectual project of postwar evangelicalism largely to be a failure, and she explains why. It produced pseudo-intellectuals like Lindsay and Schaeffer. It fashioned a theological scheme of inerrancy that seemed primarily intended to police ecclesiastical boundaries. And, in the end, the movement’s constituents did not agree on much.” In 1994, historian... Continue Reading
The Missing Strand
Trying to understand grief ~hole or whole?
We need each other. We are stronger together. We survive better together. Even if friendship or companionship is reduced to having only one other person, two are stronger than one. God, the great weaver of the world, puts individuals together in their mothers’ wombs, puts them into families, into marriages, into friendships. Even in the... Continue Reading
Why do I go to church? Here are fourteen reasons.
Still, a whole lot of my personal friends have abandoned the faith over the years and I’ve watched hundreds leave the church and several even go from “Bible geek” to “raging atheist”. A while ago, I ran across an article that talked about the importance of Christians being part of a church and it brought... Continue Reading
The Grover Dill and Scut Farkus of Patriarchy
As has been observed many times, the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him.
The Bayly Boys, Tim and David, are pastors and patriarchs who blog at the BaylyBlog. They are great believers in and practitioners of patriarchy which they define as “father rule” and its corollary fertility. Both were at one time involved with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Tim as the Executive Director and David as... Continue Reading