The Church in Exile

The Christian church on earth is always, in a sense, in exile.

No doubt there are those reading this article who find my own position to be one of cultural surrender. Should we not be taking to the streets and the ballot boxes in order to take back what is ours? It might well be that thoughtful political engagement by individual Christians will slow the tide of... Continue Reading

Blindsided

"Unity brings us truth," Pastor Harrell of City Church in San Francisco has declared

“Hundreds of evangelicals were caught off guard in March when their church leaders, without any open discussion, announced that sexually active homosexuals could become members. How did that happen, and what steps can members of other churches take to forestall such surprises?”   Two days after Valentine’s Day in 1997, City Church—an attempt to build... Continue Reading

We … and Our Fathers Have Sinned (Daniel 9:8)

As one who grew up in the Southern Presbyterian Church, I must confess my own as well as my people’s sins.

I have also learned these lessons from my elders in Augusta. They have taught me how important public confession of past sins—especially by a majority—is to racial reconciliation. What may feel to us to be something small, something that does not cost very much, communicates integrity and a desire for genuine relationship. As we as... Continue Reading

Can We Really Know Our Pastors?

People want to believe the best about their pastors, and without always knowing what they’re doing, refuse to see what’s going on right under their noses

“I certainly agree that the megachurch model is pastorally problematic, but that doesn’t seem to me to be a plausible reason to explain Tchividjian’s fall. Or rather, to clarify, I don’t think that a small church would solve the problem. Sure, you will be able to “know” your pastor, in the sense of being on... Continue Reading

Marriage Canon Changes at GC2015 Could Seal Fate of Anglican Communion

If Episcopal delegates to General Convention pass two marriage resolutions in Salt Lake City later this month, it could seal the fate of any hope that the Anglican Communion can hold together

If the Church should consider committed same-sex relationships blessed by God, should it do so as a part of the practice of Christian marriage that we have not yet recognized, or rather as an analogous yet distinct good that we have not yet named? The answer is NO on both counts. Same-sex relationships have never... Continue Reading

Episcopal Church Elects Michael Curry First Black Presiding Bishop

On Saturday, during a private meeting at St. Mark’s Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City, bishops elected Bishop Michael Curry as the first African-American presiding bishop.

Curry, 62, spent 12 years as rector of St. James Church in Baltimore before his election as bishop of the N.C. Diocese. He and his wife, Sharon, have two grown daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth. He will succeed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the faith’s first female presiding bishop, who completes her nine-year term Nov. 1.  ... Continue Reading

The SCOTUS Decision on Marriage: Will It Change Our Ministry?

One church asks: Will anything change in our church’s ministry as a result of the Supreme Court decision on marriage? Answer: No.

Since this is such an important ruling from the Supreme Court, what should our church do differently?  Nothing.  We at EPC need no new strategy to minister in this cultural context.  We will continue to be the people that God has already been shaping us to be: We will continue to be a church that preaches the... Continue Reading

An Appeal to Elders

When a pastor falls, there but for the grace of God goes every other Christian

“Whenever a pastor falls, one has to ask: Where were the elders?  Sometimes, of course, the pastor can be good at hiding his faults; At other times, elders just turn a blind eye to peccadilloes, assuming that the pastor is a good chap and could not possibly be heading in a  spiritually lethal direction.”  ... Continue Reading

How To Protect Your Church Against Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Lawsuits

Since the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide Christian churches, ministries, and schools will face serious legal challenges within very short order.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has teamed up with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to produce an updated version of a resource designed to help ministries do just that—prepare. This resource is a 44-page booklet titled “Protecting Your Ministry from Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Lawsuits.” It’s a legal guide explaining how churches, Christian schools,... Continue Reading

Reflections from an AME Prayer Vigil

I mainly wish to express my profound gratitude to the loving Christians of Allen Temple AME church who so graciously and enthusiastically welcomed us

The glorious reminder that our sovereign God brings good out of evil and extends special grace in the presence of spiritual darkness.  There was nothing good about the savage murders that took place in that Bible study and prayer meeting in Charleston.  But how wonderful that our gracious Lord brings marvelous good even out of... Continue Reading