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What I Read Online – 08/27/2013 (a.m.)

27 Aug
    • If your conscience allows you to marry 2 Non-Christians, make sure it is not conducted as a worship service, but simply a ceremony that allows you, a pastor, to join this man and woman together with these witnesses present.  This can also be a strategic opportunity to preach the gospel, but I would make that part of the agreement with the bride and groom before committing to marrying them.

       

    • Just remember, you should not feel forced to do any wedding, regardless the pressure you may be feeling from family or church members.  If you have concerns whether 2 people should be married, listen to your conscience, allow the Scriptures to guide you, and seek counsel from other pastors who have possibly walked in the same place you dare to tread…an unclear, complicated wedding decision.

       

    • But, his appeal to God raises a bigger and more fundamental question.  How would Macklemore know what God thinks about this issue?  On what grounds could he declare that God is for one behavior or against another?  Does he receive private revelation from God?
    • Paul helps us realize and important truth that Macklemore, and most of our modern culture, miss entirely, namely that God is not just love.  Yes, he is love, but he is more than that.  He is also holy.  And his holiness makes him entirely intolerant of sin.

       

      So intolerant, in fact, that he required the death of his very own son to pay for the sins of his people.  The cross is the perfect example of God’s character.  He is both loving (so that he was willing to give up his only son), and he is holy (so much so that he could not leave sin unpunished).

    • It was an interesting, if unlikely, juxtaposition: the middle aged Orthodox Presbyterian and the twenty-something Moslem waiting for the Anglican liturgy to begin
    • Now, I confess to being something of an old Puritan when it comes to liturgy. Does it not lead to formalism and stifle the religion of the heart? Certainly I would have thought so fifteen or twenty years ago. Yet as I reflected on the service and what the girl in the hijab had witnessed, I could not help but ask myself if she could have experienced anything better had she walked into a church in the Protestant evangelical tradition. Two whole chapters of the Bible being read? To have one whole chapter from one Testament seems to test the patience of many today. Two whole psalms sung (and that as part of a calendar which proceeds through the whole Psalter)?  That is surely a tad too old fashioned, irrelevant, and often depressing for those who want to go to church for a bit of an emotional boost. A structure for worship which is determined by the interface between theological truth and biblically-defined existential need? That sounds as if it might be vulnerable to becoming dangerously formulaic formalism. A language used to praise God which is emphatically not that employed of myself or of anybody else in their daily lives when addressing the children, the mailman, or the dog? I think the trendy adjective would be something like ‘inauthentic.’
    • Yet here is the irony: in this liberal Anglican chapel, the hijabi experienced an hour long service in which most of the time was spent occupied with words drawn directly from scripture. She heard more of the Bible read, said, sung and prayed than in any Protestant evangelical church of which I am aware – than any church, in other words, which actually claims to take the word of God seriously and place it at the centre of its life
    • Of course, there were things other than a sermon which the hijabi did not witness: she did not witness any adults behaving childishly; she did not witness anybody saying anything stupid; she did not witness any stand-up comedy routine or any casual cocksureness in the presence of God; she did not see any forty-something pretending to be cool; in short, she did not witness anything that made me, as a Christian, cringe with embarrassment for my faith, or for what my faith has too often become at the hands of the modern evangelical gospellers.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 27/08/2013 in Current Issues

 

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