I started pastoring in the early 1990s when church growth principles and the seeker-sensitive movement were big. A decade later, beginning soon after 2000, the emerging church seemed to take off. We’re now beginning a new decade. What does the future hold for the Church in Canada?
According to John Neufeld, senior pastor of Willingdon Church in Burnaby, B.C., it won’t be another fad. “People are hungry for a Christianity that is real, lasting, and historic,” he says. Neufeld believes that many, especially younger people, have grown tired of a methodologically driven church-growth movement, and that the emerging church will not last because it doesn’t offer people enough certainty. “It’s the old mainline liberal movement with ripped jeans and guitars,” he says. But he’s noticing that younger people, as well as new immigrants to Canada, are hungry for a deep understanding of classic, orthodox Christianity. “My real hope is in the next generation,” he says.
Social Justice and Young Evangelicals: Encouragements and Concerns
Interesting discussion between Matt Chandler, John Piper and David Platt:
The hardcover edition of The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven Lawson is on sale in today’s $5 Friday sale at Ligonier.org. Other items on sale:
- How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home by Derek Thomas (ePub)
- Developing Christian Character teaching series by R.C. Sproul (DVD)
- Anne Bradstreet: A Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Puritan Poet by Heidi Nichols (paperback)
$5 Friday ends tonight at 11:59:59 PM Eastern.
This is where the bulk of humanity is stuck. We are alienated from God because, instead of running to Him, we just want His stuff. We think that His stuff will somehow fulfill us when the Scriptures clearly say that His stuff was given to us so that we might worship Him. Food should create worship. Wine should create worship. Marriage should create worship. Children should create worship. All creation should point us toward the God of the universe who alone satisfies.
When a man like Desmond Tutu, who spent his life defending the rights of the disenfranchised, views homosexuality from this perspective, we’re not surprised to hear him say that he would not want to worship a homophobic God. Nor is he, in this sense, wrong. For who would want to worship a God who truly “hates fags”? Who would want to worship a God who smiles on those who torture and murder gay youth? What kind of God would mock those who struggle with their sexual identity? Certainly not the God of the Bible, and Archbishop Tutu is absolutely right in disowning such a false god.
At the same time, the law of God clearly condemns the unrepentant who practice homosexuality (1 Tim. 1:10). Each of us must lay aside sin and worship God alone through Christ. This is simple, albeit personally costly, gospel truth. This is not homophobia. But we cannot rely on the culture to make the distinction. To the extent that Tutu conflates God’s law with homophobia, he is absolutely wrong.