How To Livestream Your Communion Service

How do you livestream a communion service? The answer is simple: You do not livestream a communion service because you cannot.

If a virtual assembly is an assembly, would a virtual Incarnation have been an Incarnation?  Could the Christ simply have waited for the Internet era, and livestreamed His presence? Clearly the divine purpose was to come in the flesh, and not ‘appear’ via Facebook Live. Jesus dwelt among us; he was the one “from the... Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Being at Wits’ End

See this COVID-19 event as a God-given opportunity to pray for believer and unbeliever alike.

My friends, in light of the present distress of COVID-19 may we pray, asking God to use this pestilence of judgment to drive millions of people to their wits’ end, that they will realize all their hard work, planning, self-confidence, professional abilities, and experience are no match for any time God decides to walk through... Continue Reading

Mother Earth or Father God?

May this time of a shuddering halt be a time for reflection and reordering of priorities, where we hear God's voice.

“Mother Earth is commended for communicating with us, but if you were to say that God is communicating those same things, all he would get is fist-shaking and blame.” Fine for Mother Earth to have a voice, but not so much for the Father of Creation. And he does speak in this way. In all this, I... Continue Reading

How Remembering “Then” Changes Our Prayers for “Now”

We pray in the “now.” But as we pray in the “now” we must remember the “then.”

When we have an urgent need, that need tends to give us tunnel vision. It’s all we can think about; it’s the constant background to everything; it’s the shadow that looms very large in our minds, much less our prayers. We can find ourselves, then, praying with anxiety over the urgent need and the daily... Continue Reading

Practice Hospitality. Especially During a Pandemic.

Christian hospitality shines brightest in days of persecution and plague.

Thinking Christians do not want to unintentionally cause the death of others by spreading a virus that spares some and kills others. Obeying the civil magistrate’s order to distance, isolation, or quarantine is obedience to God’s law. In practical ways, in our neighborhood, this means that while our neighbors who are doctors and nurses are working... Continue Reading

Jewish Feasts and Festivals

Paul understood that these festivals were a shadow of Christ (Col. 2:16–17).

Those in Christ are merely “sojourners” and “resident aliens” traveling in this fallen world until they reach their final homeland (1 Peter 1:4; 2:11). Zechariah 14:16–21 depicts the return of Christ as the time when the international people of God will gather at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This final festival anticipates the... Continue Reading

God’s Excellent Greatness For You

God’s excellent greatness is that he’s not too great for you. He’s never too busy.

When my kids visit my study as I’m hard at work, I grow impatient and frustrated. I will answer their questions when I’m done. How will my world keep spinning if I take a break? But God’s world spins, and it doesn’t come at our expense. He does not have to delay our interaction. He can... Continue Reading

Home Visitation: The Worst of Times, the Best of Times

We can all be ambitious in using what time, energy and opportunity God does give us.

A home visit – or a sidewalk-out-in-front-of-a-home visit – helps pastors and elders alike know how their flock is doing. Often an in-person visit reveals needs more clearly than a phone call or a screen-time session. This in turn will help you better pray for people under your care and to see them in your... Continue Reading

Should We Live Stream The Lord’s Supper?

For now, we are not called to feast but to fast.

The Lord’s Supper is one of the greatest blessings that Jesus Christ has given his church. Our inability to celebrate the Lord’s Supper for a season can only be, should only be, cause for sorrow and tears. For now, we are not able to celebrate this remembrance of the Lord by “tasting” and “seeing” his... Continue Reading

What Are The Theological Questions Involved In Our New Normal?

It pays to think through just what we're doing and why.

Our view of just what the church is will impact how we respond to not being able to meet. If you think of the church principally as your building, then this time is going to much more trying than for those who are inclined to say church is your people. But, even if we do... Continue Reading

Your Church is Triumphant

On earth we are perpetually in combat as the church militant but our certain future is to be translated to the church made perfect, glorious and victorious in heaven with our Savior.

How comforting to us—in this present crisis or any other one that comes along—to know that we are sealed in Christ and washed in His blood so that we can fight faithfully as long as we live on this earth. We fight in the sure knowledge that as soon as we have finished our work,... Continue Reading

Pastor, You Were Made for This

Maybe the true church will rise to the surface. And with her, the true pastors.

Christianity was not launched in a world of comfort, and it was not designed to flourish in a world of comfort. If the Lord is doing anything in overseeing this season, perhaps it is a refining, a sifting. Things are going to get weirder, more difficult, more trying.   What have the last two weeks... Continue Reading

The Coronavirus Crisis and the Deacons of the Church

Deacons have a wonderful opportunity to lead God’s people in deeds of mercy, sympathy, and service.

Deacons of the church, you have been given a unique opportunity to use your gifts of service for the building up of the church, that God would be glorified, the church sanctified, and the world come to know the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.   The novel coronavirus that precipitated our current global... Continue Reading

No Social Distance in Heaven

God will wipe the tears from the eyes of His people.

The holy hugs and handshakes that feature in our church’s weekly passing of the peace are, admittedly, a bit tamer than the “holy kiss” the apostles encouraged believers to extend to one another (2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Pet. 5:14), but they still reflect our physical embodiment in a way that online prayer meetings, texts, and... Continue Reading

Coronavirus Reveals America’s Mood

What explains the tendency of some people to embrace careless behavior in the midst of a public health crisis?

Commentators in The Atlantic and elsewhere have speculated why so many Americans are either being stupid or being jerks when it comes to coronavirus. Hoarding toilet paper is only the beginning of it. Reckless people risk not only their own health; they may also be asymptomatic carriers who pass the virus on to more vulnerable... Continue Reading

The Comfort of Justification by Faith Alone

The doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone puts the righteousness and merits of Christ between God and the sinner so that we can never add anything to or take anything from it.

It is altogether possible for a minister to empty the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone of its comfort for the believer by imbalanced theological emphasis. It is possible to so emphasize the doctrine of sanctification that one gives his hearers the sense that there is no comfort in the doctrine of justification in... Continue Reading

Will Anyone View Our “Shutdown” as A Severe Warning From God?

God’s providence tells us all that terrible events, like the Coronavirus, are warnings to everyone of the judgment to come, so we should repent today.

We must consider the warning that comes with unleashing of the Coronavirus. Something is unfolding before us that we have never witnessed in our lifetime. Whether one agrees with the severity of the virus is not the issue. Before us, society is shutdown, churches are banned from meeting, gatherings have ceased, and economic fallout and... Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Longing for a Joy That Is Complete

The church has faced pandemics throughout the centuries, but it has never done so with the ability to move certain aspects of corporate worship online.

One of the worst things that could happen as a result of church services’ being forced to go online is that they would remain online long after COVID-19. The enticement of no commute, being instantly home after the benediction, and getting a refill of coffee during the sermon could lead us to convince ourselves that... Continue Reading

God’s Law and the Coronavirus Pandemic

We are in this predicament today because we have either ignored or rebelled against God’s holy law.

We have promoted the spirituality of the Church, and yet we have denied the power of the Kingdom of God over all of life.  We have retreated back into our caves under the guise of protecting preaching and sacraments, and delivered the world over to Satan by ignoring the totality of God’s law.    The... Continue Reading

Thoughts After Reading Ron Citlau’s Article on the RCA

From my perspective the days of peace are over, not just for the RCA, but for the Reformed Faith around the world.

Back in the 1990s, and likely earlier, we were convinced to abandon two fundamental Reformed principles: Church Discipline and the Authority of Scripture. Not openly, of course. It was framed as love, compassion, and the desire for peace; a putting aside of differences. But lying on the street (Rev.11:3), was the Word of God.  The... Continue Reading

Attempts to Secularize Yoga in Alabama Schools

There is no yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without yoga.

Real Hindus do not want someone to blend their religion with another such as Christianity. There are some who, baselessly other than their own desire to do so, state that we can practice Christian yoga. That is like saying Christianity is Hindu. Using any Hindu practice for a non-religious purpose, in this case yoga, is... Continue Reading

What Do We Do Now?

For those of us not on the front line, there are three things that are important for us to do going forward.

Let us learn contentment, be creative and be confident. The Lord is our salvation. We are not our own, we are His. It is time we quit living like God exists for our happiness and start living like we exist to exalt Him and be His people in His world. “And He died for all,... Continue Reading

Lessons to Learn from Mikey Weinstein’s Attempt to Appropriate the COVID Crisis

Although US and UK governments pressure on public worship services may be motivated by legitimate public health concerns, does not mean that it could not be appropriated for nefarious ends.

Infamous atheist and “freedom from religion” campaigner Mikey Weinstein seems to grasp this concept.  In his campaign to force US Navy and Air Force chapels to close, is he really just interested in the health of sailors, airmen, and Marines?  Hardly.  He knows that if he can force chapels to close now because of this... Continue Reading

Few Are the Plans of Many

The Wisdom in Scheduling Well

Because I have not planned well, I sometimes work in vain (or at least fail to do the most important things). I do many things, often many good things, but not the best things. And when I do, I not only let down whoever was depending on me, but I am left feeling unnecessarily anxious... Continue Reading

Fear Not, for I am With You

Jesus, the Captain of our salvation is with us always, even to the end of the age.

There are still many giants in the land. But the One who is with us is greater. He has already defeated His and our enemies. He is victoriously subduing hearts just as He promised. He is working faith in us just as He promised. And the greatest comfort any of us can have—no matter how... Continue Reading

Don’t Forget the Resurrection

Skeptics know that if one proves the resurrection of Christ false, then the Christian faith and its supernatural power collapses like a house of cards.

With Good Friday looming in a matter of days, Paul’s exposition of the centrality of the resurrection of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:12-22 serves as a good reminder for us all of the catastrophic consequences for our fallen world if Christ “be not raised.”   I had a conversation with a close friend a couple... Continue Reading

Will We Live Out all Our Days?

Can our lives or the lives of people we love be cut short because of someone else’s random acts?

If we believe that we can die prematurely, we will often live in fear. What if we make the wrong choice? Or go to the wrong doctor? Or someone else makes a mistake? Can our lives or the lives of people we love be cut short because of someone else’s random acts?   The spread... Continue Reading

Humbled by the Hand of God

How to Receive Hard Mercies

In this is humility—not that we have humbled ourselves, but that God, in his mercy, took the initiative to humble us first. Yet, he invites us to welcome his work and participate in the process through the self-humbling of repenting, declaring him righteous, and learning from the humbling of others.   Humility is not self-taught.... Continue Reading

Tampa Megachurch Pastor Arrested After Leading Packed Services Despite ‘Safer-at-Home’ Orders

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said the arrest is discriminatory and the county's order is being unconstitutionally applied to the church.

Howard-Browne, 58, turned himself in Monday afternoon after Sheriff Chad Chronister and State Attorney Andrew Warren on Monday announced an arrest warrant had been issued for charges of unlawful assembly and violating public health emergency rules of isolation and quarantine. Howard-Browne was released 40 minutes later after posting a $500 bond.   TAMPA, Fla. –... Continue Reading

The Importance of a Historical Faith

There’s a reason we have thorough creeds and confessions.

A part of maturing as believers is growing in our knowledge of what God’s Word says. He has given us a book with thousands of words in it written by his people with the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. As we follow him, shouldn’t we desire to learn more about him and how he... Continue Reading