Sunday Shorts (09/27)

Ray Ortland: My church or the Kingdom?

Pastor Ray Ortland responds to those who believe their passion is for the Kingdom and not for the church. His point is that while it sounds very noble, it’s ultimately destructive:

Suppose I said, “My passion isn’t to build up my marriage. My passion is for Marriage. I want the institution of Marriage to be revered again. I’ll work for that. I’ll pray for that. I’ll sacrifice for that. But don’t expect me to hunker down in the humble daily realities of building a great marriage with my wife Jani. I’m aiming at something grander.”

If I said that, would you think, “Wow, Ray is so committed”? Or would you wonder if I had lost my mind?

If you care about the Kingdom, be the kind of person who can be counted on in your own church. Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church, participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.

We build great churches the same way we build great marriages — real commitment that makes a positive difference every day.


Derek Thomas: Falling in Love with the Church–again

Over at Reformation 21, Derek Thomas writes on why he believes it’s wrong to not love the church and right to love to be a part of her:

Something is terribly wrong when professing Christians do not identify with the church and love being a part of her. Something is wrong when professing Christians fail to be passionate about every aspect of the church and long to invest themselves in her, taking all that the church represents and does to heart. Listen, for example, to the way Paul instructs the Ephesians: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

HT Challies

In case you missed it: Defining the Church


I’ve spent the bulk of this week working on a definition of the church over the course of three posts:

Where two or three are gathered, addressing church discipline within a community of disciples

God likes Leaders and Preaching, on the authority structure put in place by God

Serving and Celebrating Jesus, looking at how we use our gifts to serve one another and glorify Jesus, and the practice of communion and baptism

Get new content delivered to your inbox!

  • A. Amos Love


    This comment was removed
    from the Ray Ortland post. No explanation.
    Like to comment here. Hate to waste the words. 😉

    Ray – You wrote to anonymous,

    “Disagree, but don’t hide.
    Hey, we might even become friends!”

    That would be great. Love the exchange of views.

    I was a part of what you talk about.
    A “church,” with programs,
    conventions, crusades,
    tithes and offerings sermons,
    guilt and commitment sermons,
    bring your neighbor to church sermons,
    submission to authority sermons, etc.

    Tried giving all to “MY Church.” Ouch! {:-(….
    Much disappointment, pain, tears, and money.
    Found out that wasn’t “the church in the Bible.”
    Turned out to be men kingdom building. Oy vey!
    An expensive learning experience.
    It was well worth it. 😉

    Now, my all is for Jesus, the Christ. Not man.
    Now, I am “His Church,” His ekklesia,
    and Jesus is the only head of His body.

    Col 1:18
    And he is the head of the body,
    (the ekklesia, the called out one’s) the church:

    Seems “the church” always refers to people.

    Did Jesus shed His blood for a building,
    a denomination, an institution, an organization,
    a corporation? Nope, just people.

    Should we call a corporation “The Church?”

    You write;
    “Join your church, pray for your church, tithe to your church,
    participate in your church every Sunday with wholehearted passion.”

    How do you join “The Church of God,” the body?
    Isn’t it by invitation only? Unless God calls, draws?
    Isn’t it the recognition of His blood cleansing my sin?
    Isn’t it the recognition of His death for my life?

    Ray – Tithe to your church?
    Did anyone ever tithe to a church in the Bible?
    Did anyone ever tithe silver, gold, or money?

    Have you done your own study on the tithe?
    Not what “your pastor” taught you. Or seminary.
    Or “the traditions of men” that Jesus warned about.
    But looking up every scripture with the word”tithe.”

    Starting from scratch, no preconceived ideas.
    Just asking Jesus to show you what is in the scriptures.

    Didn’t you ever wonder why the
    New Testament has so little teaching about tithing?

    With all the instructions Paul gave to believers,
    he never asked them to tithe.

    The Jerusalem council in Acts 15
    never asks the new gentile believers to tithe.

    Neither does Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Timothy,
    James or Jesus ask believers to tithe.


    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;
    and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.

    If Not Now, When?

    In His Service. By His Grace.