Don’t Theologize or Spiritualize Ministry Mediocrity
A valuable question to ask about every ministry and function in the church is, “How does the fact that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead impact the way we do this?”
“One who says that their commitment to the primacy of preaching, leads them to have little regard for the music, parking, greeting, signage, aesthetics, friendliness, hands-on ministry, evangelism, outreach, care-giving, announcements, and so on, is simply theologizing their laziness and apathy.” I believe in the primacy of Christ-centered expository preaching in the life of... Continue Reading
Are Methodist Sunday Schools, VBS for LGBTQ Indoctrination?
This was the focus of a workshop at last Saturday’s “Winter Warming” retreat for activist supporters of the extraordinarily well-funded Reconciling Ministries Network
The workshop also shared examples of recommended children’s books for church libraries, from cutesy stories of adorable preschoolers raised by same-sex couples portrayed as no less equipped for perfect parenting than any mother-father couple to a particularly disturbing children’s book about how a little boy found joy and wholeness when his parents finally let him... Continue Reading
Welby: Anglicans Disciplined Episcopal Church Over Process, Not Theology
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby defended the Anglican Communion’s actions against The Episcopal Church highlighting violations of institutional protocol instead of a lapse in scriptural fidelity.
The eight-point statement released Jan. 14 lists “consequences”—not sanctions—for the Episcopalians, Welby said. And similar consequences could befall any province that choses to act without “respecting the process.” But the action seemed to come as a surprise to Episcopal leaders, who for more than a decade have ignored doctrinal mandates about human sexuality and marriage... Continue Reading
Are You Called to a Ministry of Rejection?
For years we’ve tried to share the gospel with many, and it’s seemingly passed right over
“Essentially, Jesus is promising Isaiah that he’ll ignored by the people he’s being sent to. He’ll preach judgment on Israel, and unfold the promises of the Messiah’s coming to rescue his people. And they’re not going to listen to a word of it.” In Isaiah 6, in one of the most stunning pictures of the pre-incarnate Christ recorded in the Old Testament, the prophet... Continue Reading
When Worship Music Is Neither
Plugging in the amps has unplugged the purpose of musical worship
“Too many of us are going to shows, not church. We savor presentations, not prayers. We are presented with performers, and we are less concerned with seeking the Savior. People are encouraged to love the worship… but how often to love Jesus?” My wife and I were a little late for church one Sunday... Continue Reading
12 Church Enemies
Every pastor will eventually have to face enemies within the church
“You crossed swords with them a few years ago, maybe a doctrinal argument or the discipline of a family member. Those wounds have never healed and now they are just waiting for the right time to exact vengeance.” Every pastor will eventually have to face enemies within the church, people who are dedicated to... Continue Reading
Ministry Myth: Your Children Will Reject the Church
A Barna Research Group study seems to show that, while pastors' kids have spiritual doubts like other people in the church who are their age, they don't reject Christianity more often.
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth,” said Vladimir Lenin. Are we starting to believe what is not true and think that our children are doomed? We hear that the most rebellious children in any church are the elders’ offspring. And, the pastor’s child is often said to be the ringleader. We might be tempted to think... Continue Reading
Tale of Evangelical Sex Scandal Hits Washington Newsstands
A story in the February 2016 Washingtonian brings to the public details of an alleged conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse by a prominent evangelical megachurch.
A class action lawsuit accusing Mahaney and other Sovereign Grace leaders of covering up sexual abuse of children was dismissed by a trial court because Maryland law requires sex abuse victims to file lawsuits within three years of turning 18. The Washingtonian quoted Susan Burke, the lawyer who represented the alleged victims in Maryland, saying... Continue Reading
Sex Abuse in the Church and Our Place in the Village
Let us not assume we know the story. Let us not assume the leaders we follow know the whole story. Let us love our neighbors enough to listen to their stories.
In the world of celebrity authors, speakers, and pastors, we have pledged our allegiance to people we do not even know. Much of the time we seem willing to follow them without hesitation. This leadership comes with incredible responsibility. When a leader makes a statement regarding abuse allegations or stands by someone against whom others... Continue Reading
Was the Divinity of Jesus a Late Invention of the Council of Nicea?
One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the divinity of Jesus was “created” by later Christians long after the first century. No one in primitive Christianity believed Jesus was divine, we are told. He was just a man and it was later believers, at the council of Nicea, that declared him to... Continue Reading