May 15, 2016
Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at! The theme for this week of Pentecost Sunday: “Church” is not four-letter world.
‘The church is a whore’
That got your attention, didn’t it? Augustine is credited with lamenting that “The church is a whore, but she is still my mother.” So, as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, it’s a good time to remember, the church may not be perfect, but it is worthy of our support. As St. Cyprian, a third-century bishop, wrote, “No one can have God as Father who does not have the church as Mother.” [Continue reading]
Do you really want a ‘biblical’ church?
Frank Viola begins his book, Pagan Christianity, by arguing, “the church in its contemporary, institutional form has neither a biblical nor a historical right to function as it does.” He has left “the institutional church to begin gathering with Christians in New Testament fashion.” That pretty much sums up the message in this manifesto against the contemporary church. Everything from having a “professional pastor” to meeting in a church building are “extra-biblical practices” adopted from “pagan culture.”
Hmmm? My little mind got thinking about what a truly “biblical” and “New Testament” church would actually look like. [Continue reading]
‘Church’ not a four-letter word
The church is not perfect, but it is the instrument Jesus has instituted to make his disciples. Here are some links to more about the imperfect but essential Body of Christ:
• Can we have a “personal relationship” with Christ?
Instead of talking about a personal relationship with Christ, the New Testament teaches that as followers of Jesus, we are a family (Galatians 6:10), a body (1 Corinthians 12:27), a chosen people (Colossians 3:12), a household (Ephesians 2:19), a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) and as the church (Colossians 1:18).
• The Watkins New World Church Dictionary
The church tends to have it’s own vocabulary, so here are some more additions for congregational conversations.
• Dealing with church conflict
When two or three are gathered, there conflict will be. Here are some strategies for keeping it to a minimum.
• Top ten signs your church may be prejudiced
We are all guilty of some form of prejudice—whether blatant or subtle. I have to admit I am extremely prejudiced against those who are prejudiced.
The 2,000-year-old ‘social network’
The Church is thousands of years older than Web 2.0 and a thousand times more effective. [Read more]
Cartoon of the week
Quips and quotations on the church
Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man. Dwight L. Moody
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Billy Sunday
The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it. Charles H. Spurgeon
The perfect church service, would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God. C.S. Lewis
Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults. John Calvin
The church is the only institution supernaturally endowed by God. It is the one institution of which Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Chuck Colson
The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members. William Temple
Read more quotations of hope and humor at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.
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