Church of Scotland Votes To Allow Gay Ministers
Halting between two opinions: Church of Scotland affirmed the Church’s “current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality,” but will allow congregations to depart from this doctrine if they choose.
Church commissioners backed his motion to “affirm the Church’s historic and current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality, (but) nonetheless permit those Kirk Sessions who wish to depart from that doctrine and practice to do so”. Today’s historic vote effectively means that the traditionalist position holds, but congregations will be able to choose... Continue Reading
This is the PCA – We Want to be Players
We're not a Main Line denomination but we desperately want to be important
Here’s one way we see this lack of awareness today. There is a large swath of young pastors whose ministry sensibilities have been informed by older men very set in we-should-be-players. They’ve also cut their teeth on watching and learning from Tim Keller who is indeed (I think for all the right reasons) an influence... Continue Reading
Living with a Sense of Eternity
Living in the "already" but "not yet" focused on the future
Calvin sought, personally, to develop a balance of contempt for the present life with a deep gratitude for the blessings of God and a love and longing for the heavenly kingdom. The sense that the Lord would come and issue His final assessment on all and bring His elect to glory was a dominant motif... Continue Reading
Kermit Gosnell’s America — What His Trial Really Reveals
Dr. Gosnell is not alone in having the blood of babies on his hands
What the pro-abortion movement fears most is that Americans will pause to consider what this trial really means. It means that Dr. Gosnell would not be on trial for murder if he had killed those three babies while inside their mother’s body. His murder convictions have everything to do with the fact that the abortions... Continue Reading
The Crazy Culture of Complementarianism
Right beliefs do not always lead to healthy cultures.
Culture is a lot harder to pin down and define, and yet culture communicates, sometimes more than our statements. In some churches that affirm a complementarian view of manhood and womanhood, a culture develops that goes beyond the complementarian beliefs into a skewed version of manhood and womanhood that we did not discern from the... Continue Reading
Search Begins for Executive Director of Great Commission Publications
GCP publishes covenant based, Reformed discipleship materials and is owed in a joint venture by the OPC and PCA.
The Search Committee for the Executive Director reported to the full board on Monday, April 22, with recommendations for a plan of procedure, a job description, and a list of desired attributes for a new director. All three of these recommendations were approved and the search has officially started. The deadline for nominations is May... Continue Reading
True happiness is a joy that doesn’t depend on circumstances.
How do we communicate happiness to those around us? It is easy for me to write about finding my joy in the Lord no matter my circumstances, but is this really what I am communicating? Do my children see me living this way? Do I say one thing, and then send a different message about looking for... Continue Reading
Pastors’ Positions on Creation vs. Evolution Vary by Region, Church Size
Pastors agree that division over origins harms outreach, but disagree on why.
While 85 percent of YEC pastors assert that “Christian disagreement on matters of creation and evolution is compromising our witness to the world,” 63 percent of TE pastors disagree with the statement. Meanwhile, 63 percent of TE pastors assert that “The church’s posture toward science prevents many non-Christians from accepting Christianity”, while 59% of their... Continue Reading
Christian rights challenged more often
“I have a great deal of worry about the fact that courts tend to say that when there’s an encroachment on the interests of others, when there’s a conflict of rights, religious rights always lose. The freedom of religion is always outweighed by something else. I think the great problem in these cases is that... Continue Reading
Christianity Declining 50pc Faster Than Thought – As One In 10 Under-25s Is A Muslim
Christianity could be facing a catastrophic collapse in Britain according to official figures suggesting it is declining 50 per cent faster than previously thought.
The number of Muslims in England and Wales surged by 75 per cent – boosted by almost 600,000 more foreign born followers of the Islamic faith. While almost half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, almost a quarter of Christians are over 65. The average age of a British Muslim is just... Continue Reading
‘Pure Grace,’ A Review
Antinomianism is cheap grace, the idea that one can be saved and then do nothing at all
Biblical Christianity teaches that believers live a day to day struggle against temptation and sin and that the journey of discipleship involves recognizing our sin, confessing it and letting God transform it. At the heart of the antinomian is a false assurity that he can do whatever he wants now he is saved. By contrast,... Continue Reading
Are Women More Open To Counseling Than Men?
Women are more open to counseling than men
Some men who hold a position of leadership think wrongly that it’s a sign of failure or weakness to appear to be in need of help. They feel that they are supposed to have the answers not need them. This is sad and inconsistent with the gospel. The poor in Spirit inherit the Kingdom, not... Continue Reading
Another Group Targeted for IRS Scrutiny
The IRS is targeting political as well as educational groups that appear not to align with the executive branch’s policy preferences
Z STREET’s initial hearing is scheduled for July 2 in federal district court in Washington, D.C. What is lamentable is that any nonprofit educational or charitable organization would find itself pressured by the federal government to prove that it’s charitable, religious, or educational goals are not incongruent with the foreign or domestic policy agenda of... Continue Reading
Church Wars Over City Limits
Our latest battle is between none other than new urbanism and what some see as the failed experiment of suburbanism
Whatever happened to “bloom where you’re planted” as an ethos for ministry? If God is calling you to the urban core, go to the urban core. If God has called you to suburbia, stay in suburbia, or go there, if you’re someplace else. And if you think God is calling you to exurbia or rural... Continue Reading
Top Seven Reasons to Post Sermons Online
Benefits of posting sermons online
Redeem the time: We all have time in the car, doing chores, or relaxing after the kids are in bed when we can have some audio going in the background. Providing sermons gives us more “meat” to listen to while doing those other activities. A while back I reviewed the book SimChurch (part 1... Continue Reading
Why We Sing Old Testament Psalms
Reasons to sing Psalms as a mix of a church’s hymnody
We sing the Psalms because the people of God have been doing so since as early as Moses (Ps. 90) and especially during the days of David, when the Psalter became the “hymnal” of Israel. When we sing them, we identify with our most ancient forefathers and offer transcendent praise, applicable in all times and... Continue Reading
Unpacking The Great Commission – Part 2
The primary focus of the Great Commission, “make disciples,” is a call for us to make followers and students for Jesus
Scripture tells us that there are costs associated with being a disciple of Christ. We must place Christ ahead of all we cherish, including our family (Luke 14:26). Christ says we must set aside all we posses and place nothing in front of Him (Luke 14:33). There will be sacrifice, persecution and even threats of... Continue Reading
Let’s Pray that Gosnell Gets Life Indeed
Nevertheless, since Gosnell will now get life instead of death, let us pray he gets life indeed. Time in prison means time for repentance, and repentance of a sinner is always the heart of God, who “is not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Scripture exhorts us... Continue Reading
Loveism = Jesusism: Jesus Led Me All the Way…One Step at a Time
A testimony of how God has opened wide doors of ministry in difficult countries
In 2001, I was invited to come to North Korea to found an international university there as well. I told them that I would bring Christians who were international academics from many countries, people who were excellent teachers. They would be carefully chosen people who would love the North Korean students and care for them... Continue Reading
The Unique Role of Mrs. Pastor
My role is not exactly like that of other married women; my life as Mrs. Pastor, by God’s design, is unique. Thankfully, I have fundamentals to guide me, such as God’s inspired Word, my husband’s biblical wisdom and the needs of God’s people. After that, I use my God-given gifts, prayer and the guidance of the Holy... Continue Reading
Are All Sins Equally Heinous?
A Response to Barnabas Piper
But, and this is key, that does not mean every sin is equally heinous. Missing in Piper’s analysis is a careful discussion about how some sins are more grievous than others and therefore warrant a more vigorous Christian response. I appreciate Robert Gagnon’s fine response to this problem: … In a recent article, Barnabas... Continue Reading
The Reformed Doctrine of General Revelation
What It Is and What It Isn’t
In any case, what we have is a failure to communicate that is leading to serious misunderstanding and misrepresentation. The purpose of this brief post is to explain what the traditional Reformed doctrine of general revelation is, and just as importantly, to explain what the traditional Reformed doctrine of general revelation is not. In the... Continue Reading
The SBC is Hemorrhaging
In response to the laziness of Southern Baptists and the non-existent fervor for soul-winning in SBC churches, pastors have resorted to using unbiblical methods to get lost people in the doors of the church for worship. Pastors, God’s shepherds, have sought to adjust worship within the Body of Christ to appeal to those who are... Continue Reading
Grace Greater Than All Our Worries
I’ve been bitten by a serpent-shaped lie that says I can orchestrate all the details of my life. That I can plan them and execute all on my own. The lie then produces fear when the reality crashes in that I actually can’t do it at all. Because rather than being in control of all... Continue Reading
IRS Subjects Dr. James Dobson and Family Talk Action to Viewpoint Discrimination
IRS delays application for 501(c)(4) status for Dobson’s organization
Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan... Continue Reading
Abusers in the Church
How to recognize and respond to those who use abusive tactics to gain power and control in the church
If you are a faithful pastor or church member, the probability that you have met one or both characters in this evil duo is quite high. In Scripture, Diotrephes and Jezebel were both abusers. Today, they still exist within many if not most churches. Masquerading as pious saints, they set themselves up in power and... Continue Reading
Look, It’s Rubbish!
You can tell a lot about someone's theology from what they do in worship.
And then finally, the pièce de resistance, the moment to which the whole service had been leading, the climactic moment when the congregation was taken to the very gates of heaven: the service ended, not with a benediction or even a prayer, but with another chance to meditate, this time not to waves crashing on... Continue Reading
Is God Angry with Sin?
Thoughts on the PCUSA's decision not to include "In Christ Alone" in their hymnal
In choosing to remove this beautiful song from the hymnal, the committee suggests that this notion of God’s wrath is no longer compelling to the majority of PC(USA) congregants. I fear that this is yet another symptom of our loss of any sense of sin that is personal (rather than systemic) and of our cheapening... Continue Reading
Sanctification, Homosexuality, and the Church
The “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” approach to sanctification is error of such prodigious import that it threatens the very essence of the Christian church
But those churches who would accept sinners “as they are” (whether homosexuals or any other variety of sinner) into their memberships, and who would encourage such sinners to ponder the glories of justification rather than repent, engage in a great evil. Such acceptance violates this and every biblical text on church discipline, destroys the purity... Continue Reading
Mark Driscoll, Tribalism, and the Church
We need pastors and churches that preach the gospel, not "tribal leaders" and Twitter accounts
I find this distasteful. The church is the body of Christ. From the church’s institution, the office of pastor has been of central importance. Christianity has its own traditions, language, and culture. Why would Driscoll jettison those things in favor of trendy jargon? Tribes and tribal chiefs. Sounds decidedly pagan to me. I don’t... Continue Reading