When Presbyterian Rubber Meets the Road
When we meet next month we’ll publicly be taking up serious issues that are affecting (and possibly infecting!) our congregations and our denomination’s witness.
As one of my friends likes to say: “Presbyterianism exists because conflict and differences exist in the church.” In recognizing the minority’s right and privilege to be heard as publicly and broadly as possible, Presbyterianism fosters an environment where each side can be heard publicly and openly, evidences and reasons can be carefully weighed, and... Continue Reading
Cape Coral church responds as FDLE arrests four in ‘Operation Thou Shalt Not Steal’
"That this isn’t just a crime against our community, they’ve stolen from their creator." - Lauder
The suspects, all Romanian citizens, are accused of stealing donation checks from church mailboxes, hitting as many as 85 churches a day. A variety of aliases were used to deposit stolen checks into numerous bank accounts as well as sending high-value wire transfers to Romania. “We’re more concerned for the peril of the thieves, at... Continue Reading
Pastors Get Depressed Too
These pastors take the view that mental illness may be the experience of followers of Christ just as physical illness is, because we live in a fallen world.
It might seem strange to some readers that pastors suffer from depression. After all, you might think, surely they are supposed to have it all together mentally as well as spiritually… Reading the stories of these men is sobering. It is difficult, isn’t it, to read about someone harming themselves or even attempting suicide. But... Continue Reading
Preaching from the Pit
Pastor, if you find yourself in the pit, it is not time to despair. Instead, it is time to look to see what God is about to do.
“I tell you the story, brethren, because you sometimes may not understand your own experience, and the perfect people may condemn you for having it; but what know they of God’s servants? You and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge? You may be in Egyptian darkness, and... Continue Reading
Open Letter to Jason Kenney and UCP MLAs
As of this writing, our church is ordered closed and I’m the third pastor in Alberta to be jailed under your government.
Does COVID change the structure of our society? Does it change the relationship between the home and the state or the relationship between the church and the state? Does the state serve the people or do the people serve the state? Does the health care system serve the people or do the people serve the... Continue Reading
More Trouble for Our Fellow Believers Up North
Much is at stake—fines, jail time, forfeiture of freedom and property, loss of community witness.
We need to pray for the church in Canada that she will be faithful to her Lord amid this pandemic. Many pastors think that the actions of a very small minority are actually hindering their Gospel witness. We need to pray for the resisters and their families. As most of my readers know, I have... Continue Reading
Church May Ditch ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’
One hopes the good folk of the Church of Scotland will see that there is much more at stake here than just a change of nomenclature.
Though sex is a wonderful and sacred aspect of marriage, there is much more than a linkage of two bodies. A whole marriage also joins the souls of two people so there is a harmonization of their minds, emotions, and wills. Even more important is the union of spirit in which they share a strong... Continue Reading
Commit to Community
A church that exists only to convey information is not a faithful representation of a biblical church.
Churches must work to cultivate community. The signs are all around. Our world is lonely. People are crying out for community, relationships, and friends. In other words, people are longing for the things that churches are created to provide. Get busy. Here are a few steps you might take in your church to cultivate community:... Continue Reading
Elders are to Rule and Pastors are to Preach
The Church is weak, because she has failed to deal vigorously with matters related to function as well as form.
There is no doubt that much has been placed on the plate of the Minister in the 21st Century that is not on his menu. This does not mean he has no real work to do in helping with pruning and the like, but it is the responsibility of the Ruling Elder to make first... Continue Reading
The Missing Conversation in Our Accountability
When we are consumed with our own thoughts, we fail to draw out the concerns or insights of others.
Holy discourse seeks to apply the blood-bought benefits of Christ to the deepest recesses of the human heart. Holy discourse fans zeal for Christ, strengthens understanding of Scripture, reinforces doctrinal orthodoxy, unearths destructive patterns of thought, addresses beleaguered souls, nurtures preserving prayer, bridles gossip and backbiting, deepens compassion for others, and develops skills of soul... Continue Reading