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This is a list of recent blog posts which I found interesting. That I found them interesting doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with or endorse all of the ideas presented in the posts, but that I found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking. They may benefit you as you prayerfully consider your area of shepherding and stewardship, which has been given to you in trust by the Lord. (They are listed in no particular order of interest.) Please post your comments to discuss any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link and your reasons for nominating that post to
Dr. John MacArthur has started a great series on the importance of the local church and the necessity of meaningful membership and belonging to the local church. I highly recommend all of the articles that he has penned to date. This has been a prominent theme in my own life and ministry, and I feel it is urgent to continue emphasizing this need in the wake of a rampant post-modern consumerism mentality that undoubtedly has crept unawares into the mindset of many Christians. Your local church matters exactly as much as your individual family matters, and God expects that if you have been born again into eternal life that you will have been born into a church family in the exact same way that no baby can be born apart from the union of a father and a mother, thus constituting a family.
What’s so important about your local church? At a time when there’s more Bible teaching than you could ever consume available through radio, television, and the Internet, why should it matter where and how you’re taking in God’s truth?
Considering the vital role the local church plays in spiritual growth, it’s a wonder that so many Christians don’t feel the need to identify with a specific congregation through church membership.
And frankly, I can’t understand people who don’t have a similar love for the church—who aren’t eager for every opportunity to worship together with other like-minded believers. I can’t understand people who go to church on Saturday nights so they don’t “mess up” their Sundays. Why are they so eager to get away from the church? Where else would they rather be?
It’s obvious that the early church knew its flock well. In Acts 20, Paul exhorted the elders of the Ephesian church to faithfully watch over and shepherd their people. But it’s very difficult to shepherd if you don’t know who your flock is. And sheep don’t survive well just roaming around on their own.
The genuine spiritual unity of saved souls is evident throughout the New Testament. And back then, just as today, that unity was manifest in the local gathering of believers.
Our society is suffering from an identity crisis. Collectively and individually, people today don’t have a strong sense of who they are, what they want, or how to achieve it. They drift anchor-less through life, following the whims and fads of the world instead of accepting responsibility and pursuing maturity.
This one comes from someone other than Dr. MacArthur. You'll find something interesting in this post: he refers repeatedly to the truth that he is covenanted with the members of his church. The idea of a church covenant is regaining ground in the post-modern, everybody just do whatever is right in their own eyes, times that we live in. More churches are starting to outline a standard of practice which they expect their members to adhere to, and they see this as binding on their relationships with one another. Amen.
Dr. Thom Rainer hits upon one wrong reason that people leave a church: a sense of entitlement. There are always good reasons to leave a church, particularly if the church has become corrupt in doctrine or practice or simply doesn't preach the Bible (see my post from earlier in the week here). All of these are God-exalting reasons to leave a church, not selfish or self-centered. But Rainer is correct when he says that a lot people leave a church because of entitlement. They are primarily concerned about themselves, and they feel that they are entitled. So when they don't get what they want, (such as the singing of a particular style of music, the conduct of the worship service a certian way, or the time of day that a worship service is held) they couldn't care less about the fellowship and love that should and ought to exist between themselves and the other members of their church.
When can we get vocal about this again? The general sense that I hear from people is that evangelicals have been screaming bloody murder for forty years now, all to no avail. Wrong! We've been screaming bloody murder for forty years now to a marked and measurable shifting trend in prevalent public opinion in favor of pro-life! Screaming bloody murder is speaking the truth in love on this issue, and regardless of the response - it is something we are called upon to stand up for by a Holy God. But more than this, the Holy Spirit of truth is on our side. Let us scream bloody murder as an act of faith, believing He will turn the tide.
Aaron Armstrong shares a couple of powerful quotes on abortion from John Ensor. He calls abortion “the greatest weapon of mass destruction ever unleashed” and warns, “Our capacity to simply ignore the influence of abortion is crippling the effectiveness of the gospel.”
"Making the pro-life case is completely within your ability, I promise you. You just need to arm yourself with some information, a game plan, and some tools to help you get started. So I’ve put together a short list of resources..."
Darryl Dash says we open our Bibles during the sermon but they then “stay closed as elders meet to give oversight to the ministry of the church. They stay closed as deacons administer the the church. They stay closed as pastors meet one-on-one with members of the church. They stay closed as committees meet.”
This is a brilliant quote on both the allure and danger of so many of our new technologies. It begins this way: “I would suggest that modern technology and entertainment have done great damage to young people’s sense of vision and purpose-especially among young men. I’m not anti-technology. But never before in the history of the world has triviality and mind-numbing shallowness been so tantalizingly seductive and so pervasively omnipresent.” (In a similar vein, you may like to read this article by Seth Godin.)
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