Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope you have had a productive and blessed week. This Sunday and next I will be preaching from Malachi 2:10-16. Originally I conceived of this as one sermon, but it just kept growing and growing until it became apparent that it was really a two-part series! So we will look at Malachi 2:10-12 this week (marriages between believers and unbelievers) and 2:13-16 on October 13 (unlawful divorce). It shows how the corrupt priests were neglecting God’s law and causing many in Israel to stumble both in worship and in behavior. It became so serious Malachi refers to the people as “dealing treacherously” with one another. A person who deals treacherously is otherwise known as a “traitor”, making God’s people effectively traitors to the covenant of God. Ouch, that’ll leave a mark, that’s for sure. May it be that the Lord would always be at work in our hearts, causing us to delight in the Lord of the Word, and to live according to the Word of the Lord. Could it be that the Lord has provided a way for traitorous sinners to be reclaimed, redeemed, and restored? You’ll have to come Sunday to find out.
Here are a few things to be aware of in our corporate life as a congregation.
1. Feet and Eat is tomorrow after the service at Turkey Run State Park. See Elder Brian Wortman’s excellent email with details
2. Over the past few year we have participated in providing Christmas food boxes and Angel Tree gifts for our community through MAMA’s Cupboard. Please keep this on your radar and look for details on how you can participate in the near future
3. From the Deacons: We are not planning an official workday this fall but expect to have one in the spring. However, we are looking for anyone that would like to volunteer to paint the wood frame of the new sign out front. The church will provide the paint. Please contact Deacon Mick Worley if you are interested in serving this way.
· October 6 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· October 6 – 230PM! – Feet ‘n Eat, after worship at Turkey Run State Park
· October 7 – Fellowship group at Melton’s, 7pm
· October 13 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· October 13 – Young Adults Fellowship, 6pm
· October 20 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· October 20 – Nursing home outreach and service, 2:15pm
Meditations from Pastor Tim
I’m taking a break from my meditations based on Ronald S. Wallace’s Calvin’s Doctrine of the Christian Life to share something a little different with you. I am including a link to an article by Dr. Carl Trueman entitled, Flower Power? as a means of following up on a point from last Sunday’s sermon on Malachi 2:1-9, From the Sanctuary to the Dungheap! That point alluded to a very large Presbyterian denomination permitting its members to engage in the worship of the Greek goddess Sophia, the goddess of spiritual wisdom for women. Trueman’s article explores another direction that churches who once held to orthodox views of Scripture and of the Triune God of Scripture have gone. One of the central ideas in all of Malachi, and really you can find this throughout the Bible, is that ideas have consequences. Stated with more of a Malachian nuance:
When God’s priests despise God’s glory (See Malachi 1:6 – they count God as a lightweight);
When God’s people deny God’s love as He states it in His Word (Remember Malachi 1:2-3, the haughty question hurled back to God after he tells them “I have loved you” – they say, “In what way have you loved us?”)
When God’s worship is destroyed (Remember Malachi 1:13? “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?”); and
When God’s priests are derelict ( As per Malachi 2:8, “But you have departed from the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi.”)
….then, just watch what happens to God’s people (Malachi 2:10-16, sermon text for this week and next) in their personal and corporate lives, in their view of God, in the things they believe, and in the way they treat other people. Stated bluntly, it all goes down the tubes.
This is where Trueman’s article comes in. Last week I mentioned the historical impact of these very kinds of things in the presbyterian tradition. The Presbyterian Church in the USA started a long slow, slide from historic Reformed orthodoxy in the early part of our nation’s history, to the open toleration of crass pagan idolatry in the solemn assemblies of the church’s highest governing body of pastors and elders in the late 1990s. While Trueman’s article does not mention any presbyterian denomination by name, his article describes precisely the kinds of chickens that have come home to roost in churches which have allowed the kinds of doctrinal error and behavioral license spoken of in Malachi, and that each of the theologically liberal, Word of God denying denominations have allowed.
Brothers and sisters, read and learn and pray. Although the subject matter is a downer, remember, we purposefully and consciously choose every day to see God’s glory and to worship Him only according to the Word of God. And praise the Lord that through our union with Jesus Christ by faith, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and to lead us into all the truth. May our watchword ever be, Sola Scriptura! Scripture Alone!
See you Sunday!
In Christ’s Service,