Openly Gay Athlete Speaks Out After School Calls Homosexuality A Sin

Erskine College with at least two openly gay athletes has issued a statement condemning homosexuality; expects students to follow the Bible's teachings about sexuality

“The release of this statement makes me disappointed because I have never received anything but kind treatment from everyone at this school, and my sexual orientation is no secret. So it took me by surprise,” Varona told Outsports … Erskine is affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, a small Christian denomination based in the... Continue Reading

Truth and Idolatry: Call Theological Error What It Is

We must call theological error what it is—unbelief and rebellion

Theological innovation is the fruit of theological rebellion, not biblical Christianity. Or to put it more precisely, theological innovation grows directly from the theologically rebellious. False teaching does not float in abstraction. It always has a face; it always has a mouth. It flows out a defiant heart.   Golden statues, empty rituals, and corrupting bondage.... Continue Reading

The Just-World Phenomena and Victim Blaming

When abuse of any sort raises its ugly head in the church, the victim is blamed in part if not for the whole like Job

But in our attempts to cope, are we turning the tables on the victim and blaming him or her to ease our own discomfort? What scriptures do we have to ignore to do this? Are we in denial? Are we minimizing, excusing, and over-spiritualizing the suffering? Does the victim matter as a person made in... Continue Reading

Worry & Happiness

What happens when you don’t know what to do and just want to do what is right, and how do you overcome much worry, anxiety, and depression due to this?

From this point of view, the struggles and uncertainty of this present age fizzle out. They don’t go away. But they seem as if one thing to do among many. No longer will they cause the worry monster to rear its head. They become less worrisome. “Can any of you add a single cubit to... Continue Reading

Three Hopeful Truths in the Midst of Suffering

Knowing that God is able and good, He actively works all things for my benefit and protection, and one day soon I will be safely home in heaven secures me in the midst of life’s painful trials.

As I sat in the chair with various instruments in my mouth and unappealing sounds ringing in my ears, I closed my eyes and pictured being at home. I considered that soon this temporary discomfort would be over and I would be back at home, going about my day. In a similar way, afflictions teach... Continue Reading

If Everyone Consents, Why Not “50 Shades” or Incest?

Is it really true that anything consenting adults agree to is acceptable?

As one professor of psychiatry recently wrote, consent is “a very thin and insufficient defense against sexual coercion and sexual abuse.” Why? Because people sometimes consent to things that they are not really comfortable with. Sometimes they even agree to do things that are harmful to them. Sometimes their consent isn’t always informed. There are... Continue Reading

Correctly Understanding Jesus’ Condemnation of the Pharisees

We should not be misled, unnerved, or defensive when adversaries of Biblical faith condemn traditional Christians as Pharisaical.

A common idea that people have is that a morally pure person who condemns the impure is self-righteous. To the contrary, such a person would have been made pure by God. If one is in fact impure, but condemns impurity in others, then that of course is hypocrisy, and indeed was what Jesus was condemning... Continue Reading

6 Rules of Cultural Engagement

I am a fan of that three-fold approach to engaging culture: reject what is evil, receive what is good, and redeem what is broken/lost.

Engaging the culture in this way demands great personal conviction. Like Jesus and the apostles, preaching the gospel in word and deed will both lead to you being favored as a helper, and hated as a meddler. It just depends on the issue. Everyone who labors in such work will encounter fear. Comfort and courage... Continue Reading

Recovering Joy In Seminary

I want to ask “Why are you so sad?” Then I want to ask, “Why is this important?”

A young man goes to Seminary bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Having sensed God’s call to the ministry, he’s not only excited about preparing for future service but also about growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He expects that the next 3-4 years are going to be some of the best... Continue Reading

A Pattern Among Fallen Pastors – Lessons for Us All

4 common characteristics of the lives of ministers who had fallen into a morally disqualifying sin

Who knows you? I mean who really knows you? Who not only has permission, but is currently acting upon the permission to ask you penetrating questions? Are you answering those questions honestly or are you hiding details and painting up your sin to guard your image? Do not hide from God’s gracious aid of loving... Continue Reading

How Political Correctness Improved My Life

The Left’s weapon of choice may be dividing the country, but it’s not winning converts.

Political correctness demystified the Left. I saw amongst the radical students a herd mentality more rigid and unthinking than I’d ever seen in an entire life growing up in a fundamentalist church (yes, fundamentalist — our little sect believed only its members merited eternal life). The herd conventional wisdom hardened virtually overnight, debate was minimal... Continue Reading

7 Things To Expect Post-Supremes’ Marriage Ruling

If the homosexual “personhood” mythology is embraced as U.S. high-court truth, this will be the justification for same-sex “marriage;” what will happen as a result?

Churches will have to make some hard choices. Tax-exempt status may be removed unless a church pledges not to preach “hate” – and expect to be monitored for compliance as well as see issues upon which the church cannot preach expand to abortion, creation, the exclusivity of Christ as Savior, and so on. After all,... Continue Reading

Doubt and Obedience

In moments of disbelief do we ask God, “What have you done for me lately?”

Though God has not promised to act in the same miraculous manner today as He did in the days of old, we can expect Him to move in our behalf. We don’t merit righteousness before our Father by our obedience, and the Lord’s grace is so vast that He regularly blesses us in spite of... Continue Reading

Making it Easy for the Minister to Take it Easy on You

Why do you make it so tough on us — your pastors and elders?

Scripture tells us that a true friend wounds out of love. And on top of all this, if we must choose, we are more interested in pleasing our Heavenly Father than keeping the peace with you. Therefore beloved brothers and sisters, we will come with the rod of God’s Word if necessary, but we would rather... Continue Reading

Reformed Congregational Fellowship Hosting Annual Pastors’ Conference

The annual Reformed Congregational Fellowship Pastors’ Conference will be April 14-16, 2015

The theme of the conference is “Free Indeed!” Freedom? Liberty? From what has the Christian been freed? How far does our freedom in Christ extend? What of the law? Is liberty the same as license? Does this liberty protect the conscience of the Christian? Is civil disobedience godly? The annual Reformed Congregational Fellowship Pastors’ Conference will... Continue Reading

Delta Dividends

In a community where race still divides, leaders look for ways to unite and cultivate

How important is Greenwood’s racial history? Depends who’s writing and displaying the history. Greenwood’s Museum of the Mississippi Delta last year displayed seven pretty but romanticized paintings of blacks working in the fields or driving cotton-filled wagons. It also had on a wall a small photo from 1963 of African-Americans walking in front of the... Continue Reading

Utah Highest, Vermont Lowest On Newest Church Attendance Poll

More Utahns go to church every week — 51 percent — than any other state, according to a new Gallup poll.

At the bottom of the list is Vermont, Gallup reports, “where 17 percent of residents say they attend religious services every week,” Newport writes. Just ahead of the Green Mountain State are New Hampshire (20 percent), Maine (20 percent), Massachusetts (22 percent), Washington (24 percent) and Oregon (24 percent). Half the bottom 10 are in... Continue Reading

Southern Baptists To Vote On NAMB Ministry Amendment

Chaplain-led ministry near overseas military bases someday may become part of the North American Mission Board's church planting outreach

The SBC Executive Committee approved a recommendation to be presented to messengers in Columbus, Ohio, to enable NAMB to “provide specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the International Mission Board in assisting churches to plant churches for specific groups outside the United States and Canada.”   NASHVILLE (BP) — Chaplain-led ministry near overseas military... Continue Reading

Book Briefs: Samuel Rutherford (Bitesize Biographies) by Richard Hannula

Samuel Rutherford is perhaps the best known Scottish Puritan. But his life and history seem not to be as widely remembered as other Puritan ministers.

Rutherford was influential as a member of the Scottish delegation to the Westminster Assembly in London, which gave to the church the most enduring English confession, the Westminster Confession of Faith. He played a part in its shape, defending a Presbyterian form of church government. He also helped work on the catechisms.   Samuel Rutherford... Continue Reading

The Table of the Nations, the Tower of Babel, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: Part 1

A prominent question many worldviews and metanarratives are now wrestling with is the question of human diversity.

Our common ancestry in Adam (and Noah) points to our common need for a Savior and, for believers in Christ, a common new humanity. But there is more to the story — there is the glory of God in our differences as well as in our more fundamental commonality. That glory, visible even now, points... Continue Reading

The Ten Commandments as God’s Moral Law

One question that comes into play is whether or not the Ten Commandments should be thought of as a uniquely and eternally binding statement of God's moral law.

In addressing this concern, I would like to offer four arguments for why the Ten Commandments should be seen as separate and distinct from the other rules and regulations of the Mosaic economy, and why the Ten Commandments do set forth the universally binding moral law of God that is intended to serve as a... Continue Reading

Please Don’t Let Me be Misunderstood

Some advice for the times when you feel misunderstood

Disagreements will happen in a fallen world. Realize that even God’s people can be inconsiderate and thoughtless toward you. You have hurt others, as well. When I feel the sting of being misunderstood, I think of past times when I quickly judged others without knowing the whole picture. Seeing my own sin of misunderstanding can motivate me to repentance... Continue Reading

The Surprising Resource I’m Glad We Used

One of the resources that has helped me most in teaching my children is the Children’s Catechism.

I have to admit when I first learned about the catechism, it sounded a bit old-fashioned and formal to engage with my children using a question/answer format. We regularly read the Bible to our children, so I also wondered about the necessity of using it as a teaching tool. Now that my children are older, I look back with fond... Continue Reading

Self-Identity and God-Centered Relationships

Two ways sinners distort God’s design for relationships with improper views of self and others.

Rather than approaching relationships with an eye toward how they make us feel, as those created in God’s image and being conformed more and more to the image of Christ, we can approach our relationships with others (spouses, children, co-workers, neighbors, friends, family members, etc.) with an eye toward glorifying God in our love and... Continue Reading

The Forgetfulness that Leads to Depression

If there is no God, we have every right to live a depressed and discouraged life. But there is a God, and he is our God.

In the midst of life’s bitterness, it’s so easy to drift toward depression. Now, just to be clear, when I talk about depression here, I’m not talking about clinical depression that is physically based and should be treated in appropriate medical ways. No, I’m talking about depression of the soul. That sick, sour, cynical disposition... Continue Reading

Does a Mantilla Make Me More Feminine?

I do not believe I need to add something extra to display my femininity.

I would say one of the most beautiful symbols of the complementary on display is when a pastor administers Communion. The Lord’s Supper pictures our head, Jesus Christ, nourishing his bride with his own body and blood until he returns. It also points to the great feast we will have on that approaching day. Here... Continue Reading

How Libya’s Martyrs Are Witnessing to Egypt

Murders spark largest outreach ever amid new freedoms and new threats

As CT reported on Thursday, the beheadings by the Islamic State in Libya have resulted in unprecedented sympathy for Egypt’s Christians, who are increasingly finding common identity across denominational lines. The martyrdoms have also allowed Copts a platform to witness to the realities of their faith, as they publicly forgave the terrorists.   Undaunted by... Continue Reading

Congratulating Wesleyan

Wesleyan University has taken the ever-expanding list of initials used to refer to sexual identities to fifteen letters: LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM.

This endless expansion of sexual categories is a necessary consequence of what is now the fundamental tenet of modern sexual politics, and perhaps a key element of modern politics in general: That a person’s attitude to sex is the primary criterion for assessing their moral standing in the public square. If you say that sex... Continue Reading

Rob Bell, Gay Marriage, and the Movie Tombstone

Yes, even in the world of sex and marriage, “We’ve got to have some law.”

So, what does Bell think is a better guide for sexual ethics than the Bible?  Personal experience.  Why would you choose the Bible, says Bell, “when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who…love each other and just want to go through life.’  In other words, what should guide our decisions is the personal... Continue Reading

So They are Back in the News (Yet Again): Adam and Eve and All That

A book by Wheaton Old Testament Professor John H. Walton will upend many traditional – or certainly "evangelical" – ideas about Adam and Eve.

Many evangelicals believe in “de novo” creation, a quick and complete formation of all species including homo sapiens, rejecting evolutionary development from common ancestors. Walton asserts that the Bible “does not necessarily make a de novo claim for human origins.” His proposed scenario could include “some theory of evolution” as compatible with the Bible, he... Continue Reading