Good evening brothers and sisters,
This is going to be brief today as I’ll be writing something a bit more fulsome about the plans we are making for the visit of Rev. Tim McClymonds and his wife Anlle as he candidates for the position of our new pastor.
This Lord’s Day I will be teaching from Ephesians 4: 1-6, looking particularly at the unity which is absolutely essential for a healthy church. Please pray that God’s Word would go forth with power. The Order of Worship is attached.
Please remember that next week on Wednesday, we have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Jim Knox about his plans for a return to Uganda as a medical missionary. Please be sure to join us that evening. Start time is 7:00 pm
· May 13—Ladies Group
· May 15—OPC missionaries, Dr. Jim and Jenny Knox present their ministry
· May 19—Fellowship Meal
· May 19—Young Adults Fellowship Group (Tim & Anlle will be in attendance)
· May 26—Neighborhood Fellowship
· May 26—Sheridan Health Care (worship service)
· June 2–Fellowship Meal
· June 2–Prayer service
· June 3–Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· June 9–Young Adults Fellowship Group
· June 10–Ladies Meeting
· June 16–Adults Fellowship Group (westsiders)
· June 17–Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· June 23– Neighborhood Fellowship
· June 25– Mike and Lili McCabe (missionaries to China)
· June 30– Psalm/hymn sing (outdoors around a fire)
If you win people to biblical principles but fail to win them to the biblical Christ, you will simply create religious people who lack the power to change. We create tidy unbelievers. —Jared Wilson
In times of adversity, believers comfort themselves with the solace that they suffer nothing except by God’s ordinance and command, for they are under his hand. —John Calvin
Christ leads me through no darker rooms than He went through before. —Richard Baxter
If the truth offends, then let it offend. People have been living their whole lives in offense to God; let them be offended for a while.–John MacArthur
Much of my learning to follow Jesus is unlearning to follow myself. —Burk Parsons
When we see salvation whole—its every single part is found in Christ, we must beware lest we derive the smallest drop from somewhere else. —Sinclair Ferguson
The New Thought Police? Facebook’s Evicted Seven And The Future of Free Speech
Every major news event has a shadow—and sometimes the real story is hiding in the shadow. It is elusive, it is hidden, but it must be brought to the light in order to fully understand the consequences of any newsworthy development.
A story that demands that kind of closer look came with an announcement last week from Facebook. The social media giant announced that it had banned seven people from using its platform. The New York Times reported, “After years of wavering about how to handle the extreme voices populating its platform, Facebook on Thursday evicted seven of its most controversial users, many of whom are conservatives, immediately inflaming the debate about the power and accountability of large technology companies.” READ MORE…
What Should We Do with Books by Fallen Leaders?
Today’s article was sparked by a question from a long-time reader of the site. “With the sad removal from ministry of yet another prominent pastor, I’ve been wondering how we are to view their ministry retrospectively. What do we do with their books? With their sermons? With their tweets and blog posts?” He told of a Christian bookseller who has been left with entire boxes of titles by an author who was removed from ministry. Would it be wrong to try to sell them? Would it be right for him to take the loss and to throw them away? The questions remind me of a gloomy photo snapped outside what was formerly Mars Hill Ballard’s building, a photo of a dumpster filled to overflowing with rain-drenched copies of Mark Driscoll’s A Call to Resurgence. READ MORE…
The Gospel of Inclusion Is Far Too Narrow
One of the ways error can creep into the church is when people attempt to simplify the Christian faith by picking up one truth—a real truth that makes up part of the Christian faith—and then holding tightly to it while letting go of other important truths. Over time, that one truth, separated now from the rest of orthodoxy, gets called into action and becomes a weapon against Christianity’s other truths.
One truth, divorced from all the others, becomes the unassailable foundation for a new creed, and then a new religion gets constructed upon it. READ MORE…
Church Membership Is an Office and a Job
Christians have a long tradition of referring to elders and deacons as church “officers.” The nomenclature rightly recognizes the role and responsibilities that Scripture gives to our leaders. It also points to the honor due to pastors (1 Tim. 5:17). People show respect to officers, right?
I don’t want to downplay any of this.
But . . . church membership is an office, too. It’s a job that comes with authority and responsibility. We can call a lieutenant an “officer” without diminishing the honor due to a general.
What’s at stake here is not just academic, but pastoral and biblical. Too many Christians today view their relationship with the local church consumeristically—as if churches were gas stations. You drive around once a week looking to fill your tank spiritually. You find the station with the lowest prices and the car wash option. Maybe you join the rewards program. Church membership is that rewards program. Loyalty to their brand brings extra benefits. READ MORE…
Who’s to Blame When the Shooter Is One of Our Own?
Last weekend’s news of another synagogue attack was shocking but, sadly, not a shock. Mass shootings, while thankfully not routine weekly occurrences, have become a matter of “when” rather than “if” in modern America.
Yet, this attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California stirred particular interest and questions among Christians since the suspect, 19-year-old John Earnest, was reported to belong to a Presbyterian church. In fact, he was apparently a member of a nearby congregation in my own denomination, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC).
In our response to such evil, we instinctually want to find an explanation or pinpoint a source to blame—in this case, some (even within the OPC) learned about his affiliation and speculated about hate preached from OPC pulpits. Faced with another’s tragedy, we are tempted to put our enemies at fault and score points for our side. But such tidy speculation loses sight of the complexity of such matters and casually commits the serious sin of slander. READ MORE…
Grab Hold of God: The Importance of Wrestling in Prayer
Vaneetha Rendall Risner
I struggle with knowing how to pray. Should I trust that everything is in God’s hands and rest knowing he will do the best thing for me? Or should I cry out to God earnestly to change the situation, giving him reasons to answer my prayer?
Wrestling with God or resting in him. Which is better?
Resting seems godlier, trusting that God will give me what I need without even asking. It seems more holy, more faith-filled, more biblical. Resting seems to indicate a more mature faith. But when I look at the Bible, I see a fuller picture of prayer. Jesus tells us to ask, and it will be given to us (Matthew 7:7) and that if we abide in him, we can ask for whatever we wish, and it will be done for us (John 15:7).
Not only that, Jesus exhorts us “always to pray and not lose heart.” He tells the parable of the unjust judge, who gave the widow justice because she kept coming to him and likened that to the way we need to cry out to God (Luke 18:1–7). He commended the Canaanite woman for her faith and did what she asked because she was persistent, giving Jesus reasons to answer her (Matthew 15:21–28). When Jesus spoke about prayer, he told us to bring our requests to God. READ MORE…
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” J. Gresham Machen
“When Christ calls a man – he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer