Loving Our Vulnerable Neighbour: When Church Courts Fail and How We Can Do Better
Highlighting spiritual abuse by church officers against church members: a call to practice love and care without hostilities.
Some have argued that stories like these have no place in the public eye. But we must hear them. We must resist the temptation to make these accounts more palatable. To stifle the stories of these women is to deny the reality that in all these and other similar cases, the church and its court system has failed to love our vulnerable neighbours. These women have been abandoned by leaders who in many cases are ignoring their cries for help and in other cases either don’t understand their Books of Church Order or even deliberately use it to their own advantage.
The Divided Church
There are undoubtedly many factors that cause quarrels and fights in the church, but each instance is likely to fall into one of four major categories
“While congregations are given the opportunity to vote on certain items within a local church, biblical ecclesiology is not democratic. Elders are called and appointed to make decisions for the spiritual good of the local church. But, in churches that are often riddled with discontentment and division, the prevailing notion is that everyone is called... Continue Reading
Christianity Without An Adjective
We shape society when we remember who we are first and foremost
“A Christianity qualified by any adjective now feels restrictive. Many are turning anew to the Christ of Scripture, under whom our secondary identities are subsumed. He is not the god of ethnic nationalism or the god of the oppressed but the sovereign God of all nations, King over all.” We shape society when we... Continue Reading
The Goal of Church Discipline: Repentance unto Restoration
The goal of all correction, rebuke, and discipline is that our sinning brother might be brought to repentance, would forsake his sin, and be restored to fellowship.
You see, church discipline is not some sadistic form of vindictive retribution for proud men with wounded egos. The aim of church discipline is not to embarrass people; it is not to shame them for the sake of shaming them. It’s not to subjugate them and show them who’s boss. Church discipline is not retaliatory, but remedial; not retributive, but restorative. The goal is to bring the sinning brother or sister to genuine repentance.
A Wonderful Illustration Of The Necessity Of An Objective Definition Of Reformed
It has become common place to use the adjective Reformed so broadly, so disconnected from the history and tradition of the Reformed churches, that the word is in danger of losing its meaning.
To include, as many do, Karl Barth, and to include (as Wax does) Chuck Colson, N. T. Wright, and John Wesley in the “Reformed” house makes the definition of Reformed so difficult as to be border on incoherence. However influenced Colson might have been by the neo-Kuyperian social and cultural agenda, he compromised the article of the standing or falling of the church (justification) in the Evangelicals and Catholics Together project. Wright is a leading proponent of the “New Perspective on Paul.” Again, this movement rejects the Reformed confession concerning salvation. The same was true, of course, of Wesley, who was an “evangelical Arminian,” who opposed the Reformed soteriology with might and mane.
8 Traits of a Faithful Minister
Important reminders of biblical traits for life and ministry.
Wisdom from the Heart: A Deep Knowledge of God’s Word, Being Taught by the Spirit of God. “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be... Continue Reading
10 Things You Should Know about Evangelism
Our evangelistic efforts must stem from a biblical understanding of evangelism.
A healthy church with a culture of evangelism is the key to great evangelism. Jesus did not forget the gospel when he built his church; in fact, a healthy church is meant to display the gospel. Think of the ways that the gathered church displays the gospel: we sing the gospel, we see the gospel in... Continue Reading
Justification by Attendance
There is something suspicious going on with our relationship with the attendance figure
I’m simply saying that we recognize attendance records can be like handguns—helpful in some situations and dangerous in others. Ask yourself questions like, “Why am I watching the attendance so closely? For the care of souls or for me?” Remember, our worth as followers of Jesus and as pastors is not wrapped up in how many... Continue Reading
Only 1 in 7 Senior Pastors Is Under 40
Report finds passing pulpits to millennials a ‘glaring challenge'
“The pulpit has been graying for decades. In the ’60s, a majority of pastors were under 45. In 2017, most are over 60. The age shift stems from evolving career expectations and difficulty passing leadership on to millennial-aged pastors, Barna reported.” American pastors aren’t as young as they used to be. As clergy live... Continue Reading
Neil Gorsuch Belongs to a Notably Liberal Church — And Would be the First Protestant on the Court in Years
He belongs to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado
“The Episcopal Church has embraced more liberal positions on a variety of issues, including performing same-sex commitment ceremonies since the 1980s and eventually same-sex marriages. Many parishes have broken away, joining different Anglican denominations instead, over the issue of homosexuality.” The day after Donald Trump was elected president, the Rev. Susan Springer wrote to... Continue Reading