Why Congregational Singing Matters Today More than Ever
Singing is a real and tangible expression of loving the Lord with our whole hearts and our whole selves, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Congregational singing is far from dead, mainly because it’s connected to a source of life higher than cultural trends or modern comparisons. Even so, it receives less attention and adulation than it should—and there are several reasons. First, people tend to be attracted to larger churches where the “performance” of music approximates the professional; in principle, there’s nothing wrong with that. Second, the music in most churches tends to be so loud that the congregation simply cannot hear itself sing. Third, smaller churches with less ability to produce professional-sounding music tend to minimize singing altogether, so as to minimize embarrassment or perceived weakness.
Pies, Docs, Kuyps, And Confessionalists
The Reformed confession is holistic: it is a theology (doctrine), a piety (a way of relating to God), and practice (a way of living out the Christian faith in the visible church and in daily life).
The Confessionalist wants to engage the world but recognizes that what binds Reformed Christians together is not an agreed cultural agenda or even an eschatology (a vision of the future) but the Word of God as confessed by the churches. Thus, sometimes the interests of the Confessionalist with intersect with those of the Kuyperian (e.g., Machen’s defense of private Christian schools) and sometimes it may diverge (e.g., Machen’s libertarianism). He recognizes that the church’s confession of the Word has clear implications for the way the faith is lived both on the Christian Sabbath (Sumday) but also Monday through Saturday.
Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church (1)
This is the first post of several which will offer a list of actions and attitudes that will go a long way in protecting a church from child predators.
It does not matter how well you think you know someone in the church. It matters not how long so-and-so has been serving (Remember what we have already said about successful predators). You must insist that everyone working with children and youth in your church comply at all points with the policy. That includes submitting to a background check. If Aunt Millie who everyone has known for 40 years refuses to comply then she should not be allowed to work with children. Simply put, anyone worthy of working with other people’s children will understand the current climate and willingly submit to the stipulations of a wise policy.
Why Our Teens Don’t Know They Need Jesus
A generation of kids are being raised in a Christianity devoid of Christ
“Youth ministries too often exert more energy trying to be trendy and fun than faithfully teaching Christ. And the teaching that does take place is usually topically-driven and moralistic in content.” For seven years, I have led a small group Bible study for teens. For seven years before that, I ministered alongside my husband... Continue Reading
The Truth About Church Officers
We are all targeted. We are all sinful. We all have fallen. We all are falling. We all will fall again.
Most who hold such offices, positions, titles, or platforms for service know the truth about themselves. They may be called “Sons of God.” They may be filled with the Spirit of God. They may be called “Men of God.” They may be extraordinarily gifted by God. But they know they are not that special. Servant-leaders are not... Continue Reading
No Middle Ground: Evangelical Leaders Reject Compromise on LGBT and Religious Rights
Compromises designed to safeguard both religious freedoms and LGBT rights won’t fly among many of America’s most influential conservative Christians
“At stake in the SOGI dispute are the local, state, and federal laws governing whether religious institutions or businesses owned by people of faith must serve LGBT individuals despite their convictions on sexuality and gender.” Compromises designed to safeguard both religious freedoms and LGBT rights won’t fly among many of America’s most influential conservative... Continue Reading
Passion Conference: A Pastor’s Perspective on The Importance Of Truth and Standing Against Apostasy
The Scriptures warn us that false teachers will come and they will have ungodly passions
After just a few minutes on the website of the “Passion Conference,” as I looked at the biography of the teachers, I realized that this was an ecumenical affiliation of some of the worst heretics and false teachers who have ever been associated with the body of Christ. In January 2013 I was informed... Continue Reading
Ten Prophecies re the Church in 2017
One perspective on how the Church of Jesus Christ will fare in this coming year.
An American charismatic church will become the next big thing/renewal/programme. The ‘globalisation’ and ‘McDonaldisation’ of the church, combined with the internet, poor theology, poor ecclesiology and the desperation to get some kind of quick fix make us very susceptible to the latest fad. Will we never learn? Last weeks Ten ‘Prophecies’ for Society/Culture in 2017 have... Continue Reading
The Rise of Reformed Christianity in the World’s Largest Muslim Country
The Reformed church is growing in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.
But Reformed theology and its influence have been around Indonesia much longer than Tong. It came first in the late 1500s with the Dutch, who aimed to monopolize the spice trade with their Dutch East India Trading Company. Along with traders, the Dutch sent pastors who, like much of Holland, embraced Calvinism. With more than 16,000 students, Universitas Pelita Harapan is one of the largest... Continue Reading
Religious Makeup of the New Congress Overwhelmingly Christian
The United States Congress is about as Christian today as it was in the early 1960s
“Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, aren’t the only demographic to outstrip the general population in Congress. There also is a larger share of Jewish members of Congress (9 percent) than there is of Jewish Americans in the country as a whole (2 percent).” The United States Congress is about as Christian today as it... Continue Reading