Happy Independence Day, American friends! Hope you enjoy a great day of celebrating, fireworks, delicious food—and get to avoid any weird patriotic services at church this weekend. Speaking of which…
My discomfort with patriotic worship services culminated when visiting a church during vacation. The front of the auditorium was covered by an enormous American flag. Beneath the flag was the opening for the baptistry where the pastor baptized a new believer.
Under the American flag. With no cross in sight, I suppose it was covered by stripes. It was not surreal for me; it was troubling. The imagery was all wrong.
Kindle deals for Christian readers
Just few for you today, starting with A Comedian’s Guide to Theology by Thor Ramsey ($1.99). Thor’s book from Cruciform Press, The Most Encouraging Book on Hell Ever, is well worth considering, too. Also on sale:
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And today’s the last day to get these deals from Crossway:
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- Apologetics for the Twenty-first Century by Louis Markos—$4.99
How do we distinguish the promptings of the Spirit of grace in His guiding and governing of our lives from the delusions of the spirit of the world and of our own sinful heart? This is a hugely important question if we are to be calm and confident that the spirit with whom we are communing really is the Holy Spirit.
We are not a large church. We don’t have a staff—just me. It’s not a necessity that they fill in. I’m not out of town or anything. It probably even seems a little strange to some folks that I’m at the service but not preaching.
I love to prepare and preach sermons. Love it. It’s easily my favorite part of pastoral ministry.
And these men are not getting paid to preach (whereas I am) and they have fulltime jobs outside of the church (I don’t). So why have them preach?
Thomas S. Kidd:
So here we are, a week after the gay marriage mandate, and the Fourth of July is upon us. What should we do? One appropriate option—one we have always had—would be to politely ignore the Fourth of July in our families, and our Sunday services. Again, what does 1776 have to do with our worship? Around the world, our Christian brothers and sisters from Nigeria to Nepal will not say anything about the Fourth of July. Why should we?
Rehearsing a memorized fact, “Jesus died on the cross for your sins”, isn’t walking in wisdom. Many people don’t know what we mean when we say “Jesus” “sin” or “cross.” While much of America still has cultural memory of these things, they are often misunderstood and confused with “moral teacher” “be good” and “irrelevant suffering.” We have to slow down long enough to explore what they mean, and why they have trouble with these words and concepts. Often they are tied to some kind of pain.