How we worship matters to God.
No one should ever catch us doing something new when they attend our worship services. It should be the same thing every week, every month, every year. Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! How to Worship God In the first word of the Ten Commandments, God commanded His people to worship Him exclusively: “You shall have no... Continue Reading
Presbyterian Church in America Votes to Leave National Association of Evangelicals
Commissioners for the Presbyterian Church in America approved a motion to leave the National Association of Evangelicals on Wednesday (June 22) at the PCA’s General Assembly in Birmingham, Alabama.
Commissioners speaking in support of leaving the National Association of Evangelicals said they were not sure what benefit the denomination received from its membership in the organization. They argued the denomination did not need the association to speak for its members when the General Assembly is the voice of the denomination. (RNS)—Commissioners for the... Continue Reading
Southern Baptists’ #MeToo Moment
A deep dive into how Guidepost handled the most prominent allegation of abuse in its SBC report should set off alarm bells for anyone interested in maintaining a biblical standard of justice.
The subject of abuse has become a political football that various factions have been leveraging to settle bitter scores and sway the direction of the denomination on issues that have nothing to do with abuse, like allowing women into the pastorate. The initiation of the task force itself, relying on leaked letters that were then used... Continue Reading
What Happened at the RPCNA Synod 2022?
The 190th annual synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) met on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, June 20-23, 2022.
Much of this year’s time dealt with complaints…The complaints dealt primarily with two categories this year. The first category had to do with responses to Covid regulations and freedoms. The second set of complaints dealt with the Synod Judicial Commission (SJC) that was set up to investigate the pastoral response to a sexual abuse case... Continue Reading
Supreme Court Affirms Religious Liberty, Rules in Favor of Public High School Football Coach Punished for Praying after Games
SCOTUS says the public school district violated the coach’s free speech and free exercise rights when it barred him from praying on the field after games.
“Kennedy’s private religious exercise did not come close to crossing any line one might imagine separating protected private expression from impermissible government coercion,” [Justice] Gorsuch wrote on Monday. “Learning how to tolerate speech or prayer of all kinds is part of learning how to live in a pluralistic society, a trait of character essential to... Continue Reading
The Downfall of the Fruitless City
By the time of the New Testament, the city of Jerusalem was so odious to God, that she couldn’t even detect her own moral stench.
In Jesus’ final week, He enters the fruitless city and they offer Him only leaves. He also goes to the fruitless temple, that lies rotting in rebellion. On the second day, He curses a fruitless tree as a demonstration of what will soon happen to Jerusalem. Then, as Jesus ends His day in the city,... Continue Reading
When “Gospel-Centeredness” Becomes a Cover for Idolatry
Contrary to what’s commonly extolled today, the law is not the enemy of love.
How are we to define love? Love is not love, in the sense that it is wielded against the church today. God is love, and that means our definitions of God and love are subject to God’s self-revelation. Not some of it. Not just the red letters. All of it. Love is love. Has... Continue Reading
Overturning Roe v. Wade: A Wide Door for Ministry Opportunities
The Supreme Court decision is an opportunity for believers to minister God’s grace.
But by the power of God and the fervency of His people, the list of hopeful outcomes goes on and on. And standing above all of this, uniting and summarizing every good outcome, is the transcendent and paramount glory of God, who undoubtedly will receive the honor and praise. As you’ve likely heard, on... Continue Reading
Report on the 49th PCA General Assembly
The PCA General Assembly, meeting in Birmingham, Ala., from June 20-23, 2022, had the largest registration of any previous GA with over 2300 commissioners.
Overtures 15 & 29: Strengthening Character Requirements for Ordination. The Assembly voted by a wide margin to amend BCO Chapter 16 to clarifying that officers, “…must affirm the sinfulness of fallen desires, the reality and hope of progressive sanctification, and be committed to the pursuit of Spirit-empowered victory over their sinful temptations, inclinations, and actions”... Continue Reading
Some Early Reactions to the 49th PCA General Assembly
Is the need for energized holiness being replaced by quiet piety? Is therapeutic theology, under the guise of love, replacing the gracious teaching of the Law of God?
Even though the PCA consists of men who love the Lord and love our standards, it is greatly divided. The future still looks dim, but light continues to shine in the most unusual places at the most inopportune times. I attribute this to fervent prayer. Never discount the providence of God to change things. My... Continue Reading
Can the Church Still Enact Justice When a Pastor Sues His Accusers?
The PCA takes up the case of a church leader who responded to sexual harassment claims with a defamation lawsuit against his accusers.
Dan Herron, a PCA pastor—or teaching elder—accused of sexual harassment, says the women making claims against him are lying and has sued them for defamation. Several presbyteries have passed measures requesting the PCA intervene. “For an accused teaching elder to sue his accusers in a civil court—it is ugly,” said Steve Marusich, a pastor in... Continue Reading
My Hope and Vision For The Future of The Presbyterian Church in America
A ruling elder’s perspective on the overall future ministry of the PCA.
Let’s admit that General Assembly is the easy part. The great task of shepherding is the hardest task we have as elders, and the one in which so many of us, (myself included) fall short. God help us be the kind of elders he would have us to be for the sake of Christ, his... Continue Reading
How to Watch for Wolves
Three Signs of False Teachers
A wolflike leader might project a very confident image, he might rationalize domineering and manipulative behaviors as characteristics of a “strong leader,” and he might point to numerous strenuous performances that he asserts are “sacrifices.” But his confidence, his leadership, and his “sacrifices,” when examined carefully and honestly, tend to benefit him more than those... Continue Reading
“Let There Be Light”
6 Things You Need to Know about the Light God Gives You
We can all rejoice that God is the God of light and that his Son Jesus is the Light of the World and the glorious fulfillment of Day One of Genesis. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John... Continue Reading
Religious Liberty is Good for Everyone for Many Reasons
A world where living out Christian faith is suppressed or illegal is a worse world, more corrupt, more exploitative, and more dangerous for everyone.
Christianity has been a unique force for good in the world, for both its adherents and non-believers. It is a great horror to lie about and/or to mutilate our bodies. Hopefully more Christians will, like the Christian Employers Alliance, refuse to live by lies. A world where living out Christian faith is suppressed or illegal is a worse... Continue Reading
Response to Bennie Castle’s “Lessons Learned? Allegations at the OPC General Assembly”
I share Mr. Castle’s criticism of social media, though he and I may have distinctly different takes on the criticism. But, nonetheless, we should both confess that sins of the tongue can be like a fire, they spread rapidly in a negative and as well in a positive culture. The rapid response of the... Continue Reading
Healing Comes with the Sabbath
It turns out that the sabbath was, after all, the most fitting day for Jesus to heal during his time on this earth.
On a weekly basis we sinners confess our transgressions before the God who has forgiven us through Jesus Christ. We live our lives in this age in anticipation of being raised to new life on that still-to-come seventh day. In this life in the meantime, when we gather to worship on each Lord’s day, we reenact... Continue Reading
The Good Shepherd Gives and Takes Sleep
I know my Good Shepherd doesn’t leave me to wander in the pitch-black shadows all alone. He is here with me.
The Good Shepherd is with us in our sleepless nights, and your lack of sleep is no reason to think otherwise. When your anxious thoughts or fiery darts from the enemy assail you, remember your Good Shepherd. Remember how he cried tears of blood and hung on the cross to pay for your sins. Remember... Continue Reading
If you need a Psalm to read on Sunday, try Psalm 92.
We rejoice in what the Lord has done for his people in all centuries past, right up to today. Think especially of how God sent his own Son to die for sins, to be the perfect and final sacrifice of blood for our forgiveness. Praise God for the abundance of his grace at the cross! Then,... Continue Reading
The Glory of the Benediction
The Blessing of God
It is a reminder to God’s people at the very start of the week – before they have accomplished a single thing that week – that in Christ, God’s disposition toward them is one of blessing, grace, peace, and love. God’s benediction (blessing) is not something we earn by performing satisfactorily or being good enough... Continue Reading
7 Reasons God Allows Sin to Remain in Believers
The Lord allows sin to remain in His people so they are stirred to the frequent exercise of prayer.
Through the indwelling sin that remains, Christ is glorified. While the enemy, sin, dwells in us, Christ’s grace and Holy Spirit are at work in us so that the enemy cannot overcome, domineer, or destroy us. Because of indwelling sin, we know that we cannot justify ourselves, but can only be justified by the perfect... Continue Reading
What Really Counts?
Without new birth, and faith at work through love, there is no justification by saving grace.
Even in gathered churches, hearers must be warned as well as being cheered; the Gospel is always relevant to ongoing life in church; flaws in practice may red-flag faulty profession; the best proof of a state of grace is Christ’s own progressive, inward, spiritual, loving, renewing, life in us. Sorry Introduction I recall a... Continue Reading
Who Do You Highly Esteem?
So just who are you awestruck by?
It is God who we should seek to please all the time. It is God who we should care greatly about disappointing or letting down. No human being can ever come close. Rock-star celebrities – in whatever arena – can only go so far as those we greatly admire and want to be like. All... Continue Reading
Do You Have Resurrection Courage?
The resurrection was the central hope of the apostles’ preaching.
The resurrection of Jesus began the final days. The resurrection was the central hope of the apostles’ preaching. In fact, the most quoted Old Testament verse in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Why was this verse... Continue Reading
The Sons of the Prophets
The Sons of the Prophets were a reform movement from within Israel.
I think we should see our churches today as like the Sons of the Prophets: semi-monastic communities that interact with the wider culture, including the corridors of power when required, but largely do our own thing while living within it. We are, as Peter would have it, exiles even within the land (1 Peter 1).... Continue Reading
The Binding of Satan — Background and Introduction to the Controversy
Amillennarians understand the binding of Satan to be a present reality, while premillennarians see this scene as an entirely future event.
When viewed against the backdrop of redemptive history (culminating in Christ’s saving work), the binding of Satan is directly tied to the success of the missionary enterprise. Satan was bound when his power of deception over nations and empires was broken by Jesus’s death and resurrection. John is not referring to the absence of all... Continue Reading
Honour Your Dishonourable Father
If you have a dishonourable father, honour him by being willing to forgive him.
So don’t be bitter. Especially since what you think about your parents reveals what you think about God. If you’re bitter about your parents, then you’re not being grateful to God. Still, forgiving your dishonourable father isn’t the only way to honour him. The Bible says, “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers... Continue Reading
The Parts We Leave Out
In the monotony of the ordinary it is easy to forget God’s perspective and purposes.
God is sovereign over every square inch of his creation, and so he is equally sovereign over square inch of our lives. Our building, our dreaming, our working, our sleeping, it all fertile ground for growing in faith and giving glory to God. We just have to learn to see it. Unless the Lord... Continue Reading
On Wolves, Sinners, & Social Justice Hypocrisies
What does our outrage and call-out/cancel culture really say about us?
God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud. If we want to see real change in our world, it starts right here, with our own sin. Go down, this day, to your own house justified, first. This will renew our motivations together in what we are trying to accomplish when we feel the... Continue Reading
Love is Not Heavy-Handed
Those who refuse to seek forgiveness from others prove that they have not experienced forgiveness from God.
When Jesus tells how to restore relationships, he has laid a table of tenderness. He has established a context of gentleness. He has told of the necessity of a kind of healthy-self doubt that acknowledges how blind we can be to our own faults. He will soon go on to tell that we must be... Continue Reading