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A.W. Pink on Family Worship

Here is a great article by A.W. Pink on family worship:

There are some very important outward ordinances and means of grace which are plainly implied in the Word of God, but for the exercise of which we have few, if any, plain and positive precept; rather are we left to gather them from the example of holy men and from various incidental circumstances. An important end is answered by this arrangement: trial is thereby made of the state of our hearts. It serves to make evident whether, because an expressed command cannot be brought requiring its performance, professing Christians will neglect a duty plainly implied. Thus, more of the real state of our minds is discovered, and it is made manifest whether we have or have not an ardent love for God and His service. This holds good both of public and family worship. Nevertheless, it is not at all difficult to prove the obligation of domestic piety.

 
Consider first the example of Abraham, the father of the faithful and the friend of God. It was for his domestic piety that he received blessing from Jehovah Himself, “For I know him, that he will command his children and household after him, and they shall keep way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment” (Gen. 18:19). The patriarch is here commended for instructing his children and servants in the most important of all duties, “the way of the Lord”—the truth about His glorious person. His high claims upon us, His requirements from us. Note well the words “he will command” them; that is, he would use the authority God had given him as a father and head of his house, to enforce the duties of family godliness. Abraham also prayed with as well as instructed his family: wherever he pitched his tent, there he “built an altar to the Lord” (Gen. 12:7; 13:4). Now my readers, we may well ask ourselves, Are we “Abraham’s seed” (Gal. 3:29) if we “do not the works of Abraham” (John 8:39) and neglect the weighty duty of family worship? The example of other holy men are similar to that of Abraham’s. Consider the pious determination of Joshua who declared to Israel, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15). Neither the exalted station which he held, nor the pressing public duties which developed upon him, were allowed to crowd out his attention to the spiritual well-being of his family. Again, when David brought back the ark of God to Jerusalem with joy and thanksgiving, after discharging his public duties, he “returned to bless his household” (2 Sam. 6:20). In addition to these eminent examples we may cite the cases of Job (1:5) and Daniel (6:10). Limiting ourselves to only one in the New Testament we think of the history of Timothy, who was reared in a godly home. Paul called to remembrance the “unfeigned faith” which was in him, and added, “which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice.” Is there any wonder then that the apostle could say “from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Tim. 3:15)!
 
On the other hand, we may observe what fearful threatenings are pronounced against those who disregard this duty. We wonder how many of our readers have seriously pondered these awe-inspiring words “Pour out Thy fury upon the heathen that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name” (Jer. 10:25)! How unspeakably solemn to find that prayerless families are here coupled with the heathen that know not the Lord. Yet need that surprise us? Why, there are many heathen families who unite together in worshiping their false gods. And do not they put thousands of professing Christians to shame? Observe too that Jer. 10:25 recorded a fearful imprecations upon both classes alike: “Pour out Thy fury upon…” How loudly should these words speak to us.
 
It is not enough that we pray as private individuals in our closets; we are required to honor God in our families as well. At least twice each day,—in the morning and in the evening—the whole household should be gathered together to bow before the Lord—parents and children, master and servant—to confess their sins, to give thanks for God’s mercies, to seek His help and blessing. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with this duty: all other domestic arrangements are to bend to it. The head of the house is the one to lead the devotions, but if he be absent, or seriously ill, or an unbeliever, then the wife would take his place. Under no circumstances should family worship be omitted. If we would enjoy the blessing of God upon our family, then let its members gather together daily for praise and prayer. “Them that honour Me I will honour” is His promise.
 
An old writer well said, “A family without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of Heaven.” All our domestic comforts and temporal mercies issue from the lovingkindness of the Lord, and the best we can do in return is to gratefully acknowledge, together, His goodness to us as a family. Excuses against the discharge of this sacred duty are idle and worthless. Of what avail will it be when we render an account to God for the stewardship of our families to say that we had not time available, working hard from morn till eve? The more pressing be our temporal duties, the greater our need of seek spiritual succor. Nor may any Christian plead that he is not qualified for such a work: gifts and talents are developed by use and not by neglect.
 
Family worship should be conducted reverently, earnestly and simply. It is then that the little ones will receive their first impressions and form their initial conceptions of the Lord God. Great care needs to be taken lest a false idea be given them of the Divine Character, and for this the balance must be preserved between dwelling upon His transcendency and immanency, His holiness and His mercy, His might and His tenderness, His justice and His grace. Worship should begin with a few words of prayer invoking God’s presence and blessing. A short passage from His Word should follow, with brief comments thereon. Two or three verses of a Psalm may be sung. Close with a prayer of committal into the hands of God. Though we may not be able to pray eloquently, we should earnestly. Prevailing prayers are usually brief ones. Beware of wearying the young ones.
 
The advantages and blessings of family worship are incalculable. First, family worship will prevent much sin. It awes the soul, conveys a sense of God’s majesty and authority, sets solemn truths before the mind, brings down benefits from God on the home. Personal piety in the home is a most influential means, under God, of conveying piety on the little ones. Children are largely creatures of imitation, loving to copy what they see in others. “He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded out fathers that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Psa. 78:5,7). How much of the dreadful moral and spiritual conditions of the masses today may be traced back to the neglect of their fathers in this duty? How can those who neglect the worship of God in their families look for peace and comfort therein? Daily prayer in the home is a blessed means of grace for allaying those unhappy passions to which our common nature is subject. Finally, family prayer gains for us the presence and blessing of the Lord. There is a promise of His presence which is peculiarly applicable to this duty: see Matt. 18:19,20. Many have found in family worship that help and communion with God which they sought for and with less effect in private prayer.
 
For more short articles on family worship see The Theology of the Family, where there are twelve excellent short pieces on the subject of family worship.

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The Cross as Medicine and Food on Good Friday

Today millions around the globe will be mindful of the cross. So should we. Don’t ignore the cross today. It is an opportunity to think and feel rightly about it – that is, biblically. For us, and for all true believers, the death of Christ on the cross is the center of atonement. In Isaiah 43:25, there is a prophesy that sins are “blotted out,” and He will “remember them no more.”  

These words in Isaiah are a prophesy of our Lord Jesus hanging on a cross. Many have a fixation on the cross itself. That’s not what we should do. We don’t obsess about wooden crosses. But, we SHOULD BOAST, as Paul explains in Galatians 6:14,

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

This means that our meditation on the cross ought to draw our attention is on the substitutionary atonement that was accomplished on the cross. Christ was crucified so that sinners would be rescued from being crucified for their sins. Further, God uses the cross to declare the foolishness of those who are perishing,

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 1 Cor 1:18-19 

For the apostle Paul, the cross was, as J.C. Ryle described it, 

“the joy and delight, the comfort and the peace, the hope and the confidence, the foundation and the resting-place, the ark and the refuge, the food and the medicine of Paul’s soul.” 

Samuel Rutherford explained how the cross means freedom,

“The believer is so freed from eternal wrath, that if Satan and conscience say, ‘You are a sinner, and under the curse of the law,’ he can say, ‘It is true, I am a sinner; but I was hanged on a tree and died, and was made a curse in my Head and Lawgiver Christ, and His payment and suffering is my payment and suffering.'”—Rutherford’s Christ Dying. 1647.

Ryle offers this citation, “By the cross of Christ the Apostle understands the all-sufficient, expiatory, and satisfactory sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, with the whole work of our redemption; in the saving knowledge of whereof he professes he will glory and boasts.”—Cudworth on Galatians. 1613. 

Ryle concludes his sermon with these words, and so I conclude this letter, 

“I lay these thoughts before your mind. What you think now about the cross of Christ, I cannot tell. But I can wish you nothing better than this—that you may be able to say with the Apostle Paul, before you die or meet the Lord, “God forbid that I should boast—except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!”

J.C. Ryle’s Sermon and some of the above quotations were taken from J.C. Ryle’s sermon that can be found here.  

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2015 Burnings in the Soul – Joel Beeke



Here is a clip from Joel Beeke at last year’s men’s meeting titled “Burnings in the Soul.” This meeting is held each year directly preceeding our national conference in October. In these meetings, we invite the speakers to come up and share with us what has been burning in their soul. In this clip, Dr. Beeke addresses things such as pride, the translation of books into foreign languages, abortion, and homosexuality.

Please consider joining us next year at the “Fear of God” conference in Asheville, NC.

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Preaching The Glory of the Kingdom of God



God is all good things, and every good thing. 

He is self-sufficient, alone-sufficient, and all-sufficient. 

Nothing is lacking in him–either for the soul’s protection from all evil, or for the soul’s perfection with all good. 

If God were your portion, you would find in him whatever your heart could desire and whatever could lead you to happiness. 

Are you ambitious? God is a crown of glory. 

Are you covetous? God is unsearchable riches. 

Are you lustful? God is rivers of pleasure and fulness of joy. 

Are you hungry? God is a feast. 

Are you weary? God is rest–a shadow from the heat and a shelter from the storm. 

Are you weak? God is everlasting strength. 

Are you in doubt? God is marvelous in counsel. 

Are you in darkness? God is the Sun of righteousness, an eternal life. 

Are you sick? He is the God of your health. 

Are you sorrowful? He is the God of all comfort. 

Are you dying? He is the fountain of life. 

Are you in distress? His name is a strong tower, to which you may run to find safety. 

He is a universal remedy against all sorts of misery. Whatever your calamity, he can remove it. Whatever your necessity, he can relieve it. He is silver, gold, honor, delight, food, clothing, house, land, peace, wisdom, power, beauty, father, mother, wife, husband, mercy, love, grace, glory, and infinitely more than all these.1

1. The Fading of the Flesh and the Flourishing of Faith, George Swinnock

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The Fear of God is a Promised Blessing

It is not enough simply to know that you must have the fear of God and the things that constitute that fear. You must know where to get it. Crippling harm can come to you if you don’t know where to get the fear of God. This is a matter of great spiritual concern. What is the origin or source of the fear of God? First we will see that the fear of God implanted in the heart is a promised blessing of the new covenant. Second, we will note from Scripture how the fear of God is planted in the heart by the work of God’s grace.

– Al Martin – The Forgotten Fear, 90

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Love and Loyalty Conference Date Change



The upcomming conference titled Love and Loyalty to Christ and His Church has been moved from the March 25th-26th to April 1st-2nd. The conference is bing held in Plant City, FL, where Grace & Truth Family Baptist Church and the NCFIC will be teaming up to furnish a regional conference for churches and families in the area. The focus of the conference will be on the doctrine of the church and how we can adorn the doctrine in our love and devotion for local churches. The conference will be taking place from 7:00pm-9:30pm Friday the 1st, and from 9:00am-3:30pm on Saturday the 2nd. Lunch on Saturday is included in the registration fee.

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The Iniquity of Us All


With Isaiah 53:4-6, we find ourselves in the centerpiece of the doctrine of salvation. This is the whole heart of Christianity. It assumes several things: the hopelessness of sinners to bear their own sins; the justice of a righteous God, who must appease His wrath; In that justice and mercy of God, the penalty is paid, but it is paid by a substitute. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. It shows us the sinfulness of our sin and the greatness of the suffering that Christ endured for repentant sinners. God vindicated His just wrath for rebellion against His law. He vindicates His justice against them through the suffering (v4-6).

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Returning to God’s Design for Communicating the Gospel in the Church



The Mission of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches:
 

1. Proclaim the sufficiency of scripture for church and family life
2. Promote the centrality of the church in God’s plan for families
3. Recover the biblical doctrines of manhood and womanhood in church and family life
4. Explain the complementary roles of church and family
5. Facilitate church planting and relationship building
6. Communicate the biblical doctrines of the church and family
7. Restore the biblical pattern of age integrated worship, discipleship and evangelism

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Showing the Love of Christ for People in Our Neighborhoods



Here is a succinct – around 3 min – about how we can show Christ’s love in our neighborhoods

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The Law Should Not be Central in Your Preaching



Evangelist Tony Miano has written a very helpful article regarding the message of street preachers. He says,

The law of God should not be central in your open-air preaching or in your one-to-one communication of the Gospel. The phrase and evangelistic philosophy of “90% law and 10% grace” is widely attributed to John Wesley. The thought behind this sentiment and philosophy is well-intended.”

You can read the whole article by clicking here

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Why is Everything in Vain Without the Gospel

John Calvin wrote a preface for Pierre Robert Olivétan’s French translation of the New Testament (1534). 

“Without the gospel everything is useless and vain; without the gospel we are not Christians; without the gospel all riches is poverty, all wisdom folly before God; strength is weakness, and all the justice of man is under the condemnation of God. But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made children of God, brothers of Jesus Christ, fellow townsmen with the saints, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, heirs of God with Jesus Christ, by whom the poor are made rich, the weak strong, the fools wise, the sinner justified, the desolate comforted, the doubting sure, and slaves free. It is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe …” (66)

Calvin closes this preface with words for preachers:

“It follows that every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone. For, he was sold, to buy us back; captive, to deliver us; condemned, to absolve us; he was made a curse for our blessing, sin offering for our righteousness; marred that we may be made fair; he died for our life; so that by him fury is made gentle, wrath appeased, darkness turned into light, fear reassured, despisal despised, debt canceled, labor lightened, sadness made merry, misfortune made fortunate, difficulty easy, disorder ordered, division united, ignominy ennobled, rebellion subjected, intimidation intimidated, ambush uncovered, assaults assailed, force forced back, combat combated, war warred against, vengeance avenged, torment tormented, damnation damned, the abyss sunk into the abyss, hell transfixed, death dead, mortality made immortal. In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and goodness all misfortune. For all these things which were to be the weapons of the devil in his battle against us, and the sting of death to pierce us, are turned for us into exercises which we can turn to our profit. If we are able to boast with the apostle, saying, O hell, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? it is because by the Spirit of Christ promised to the elect, we live no longer, but Christ lives in us; and we are by the same Spirit seated among those who are in heaven, so that for us the world is no more, even while our conversation [life] is in it; but we are content in all things, whether country, place, condition, clothing, meat, and all such things. And we are comforted in tribulation, joyful in sorrow, glorying under vituperation [verbal abuse], abounding in poverty, warmed in our nakedness, patient amongst evils, living in death. This is what we should in short seek in the whole of Scripture: truly to know Jesus Christ, and the infinite riches that are comprised in him and are offered to us by him from God the Father.” (69-70) 

It has been said that the English translation of this preface is found only in Joseph Haroutunian’s work, Calvin: Commentaries he writes.

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Is Age-Integrated Worship a Historical Norm?

Aaron Denlinger posted an article on Reformation21, “Is Family-Integrated Worship the Historical Norm?”  In the article, he identified a time in the sixteenth-century Church of Scotland in which children were excluded from worship services.

I’m still chuckling at the YouTube video satire he included on how children’s church started… “Mr. Thompson and the Vicar Invent Children’s Church.”

I don’t disagree with his content in terms of his source documentation of a historical fact in the history of the church of Scotland. Further, I did appreciate that he believes there are advantages to age-integrated worship. 

He quotes from Margo Todd’s book, “The Culture of Protestantism in Modern Scotland” where children were excluded from hearing sermons in order not to interrupt the more mature parishioners. This is neither old or new. Jesus encountered it when his disciples wanted to whisk the children away from him and he said, “suffer the little children…”  It is clear that our Lord Jesus Christ did not believe his teaching was hampered by the presence of children.

The question Mr. Denlinger poses is historical – not biblical. Is the historical pattern age-segregated or not? While Aaron Denlinger is correct that the church in Scotland did in fact practice this form of age segregation, I would like to offer four considerations.

First, our argument has always been that age integration has been the norm in the church, while there have been exceptions and different expressions of it throughout history. We have crafted an extensive document to explain the nuances, “A Declaration for the Complementary Roles of Church and Family.” 

Here is how I describe history on the matter in my book, “A Weed in the Church”:

“for most of Christian history, children were present in the meetings of God’s people.”1

I would have preferred that Mr. Denlinger provide some positive proof that excluding children in the services of the worship of God has been the norm. He is correct if he is saying that there are examples which are exceptions, where age segregation was practiced.

Second, exceptions don’t invalidate the norm. Various exceptions in church history do not invalidate the idea that age integration in worship has been the dominant practice. We maintain that until you get to the latter half of the 20th century, including children in the worship of God was the dominant practice – but not the exclusive practice. Isolated examples do not prove the point.

Third, what happened in those churches in sixteenth century Scotland, as well as with other examples in history like it, was a far cry from what happened in the latter part of the twentieth century. I was surprised that he did not recognize the radicalized forms of youth ministry and children’s church that are very common in our current context that never existed in Scotland at the time of his historical example.

Here is how I described it in my book, “A Weed in the Church.”

Today’s church life is highly fragmented into age and life-stage discipleship opportunities. There is a ministry niche for everyone, including infants, toddlers, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders; junior high, senior high, college, singles, young marrieds, marrieds, senior adults, and the divorced. Thirteen-year-olds hang out with thirteen-year-olds; twenties with twenties, marrieds with marrieds, and seniors with seniors.  

At a time in history when nearly every social opportunity the secular world offers separates the generations and the family, the church has followed suit. We seem to have fallen in love with popular educational philosophy and target marketing. The church has joined ranks with an age-segregated world.2

“… this practice actually came about as a result of easily identifiable forces at work in the culture at large. Various modern movements, which I too had embraced, are the driving factors of the age-segregated world we have created; specifically, the coupling of two major forces apply―the rise of youth culture (something that did not exist in past generations) and the modern public school movement. The church copied the public school model of age segregation and embraced the rising of youth culture.3

In the last 150 years a massive shift occurred in church and family life, completely changing the sociology of the church. This resulted in shifting the discipleship methodology from a biblical model to a secular model patterned after public education and youth culture. This was unprecedented in the history of the church.4

Our argument has always turned on the massive shifts that took place at the end of the twentieth century,

However, it was not until the second half of the twentieth century that age-segregated youth ministry became a behemoth. It rapidly gained speed and increased in reach during this period. What was once informal and inconsistent became more and more formal, systematic, and formulaic until it reached industrial strength during the last quarter of the century. I, myself, sponsored a Campus Life group and held Child Evangelism’s 5-Day Clubs. In towns all across America, churches were offering a variety of youth-oriented clubs: Pioneer Girls, Christian Service Brigade, Young Life, AWANA, Boys Brigade, and Royal Ambassadors.

A new kind of church leader

In the middle of the hubbub and clamor surrounding youth ministry, a new category of church leader emerged: the youth minister. Never before had anything like this existed. Youth ministers became program administrators whose job requirement was to deliver whatever would get kids interested in God. 

Modern youth ministry burgeoned and became a big time consumer with high budget facilities, technology, and advertising. Inside the church, it meant doling out significant dollars for youth centers, concerts, and professional stage rigging and lighting. 

I was a youth pastor and a senior pastor during this period of expansion in youth ministry. Even I understood how changeable and experimental it was. We were always tweaking in order to make the ministry more “effective.” We introduced one innovation after another to give it more crank.

While I understood the principle of experimentation, I did not fully realize at the time that this new kind of ministry represented a major shift in church life. What I was doing was a historical aberration in terms of church life.

From novelty to fixed practice

It was the age of creative, pragmatic Christianity. During the last half of the twentieth century, the spirit of the age exalted creativity and experimentation. In Bible colleges and seminaries, the common evaluation grid included: “If it works, it must be good.” Growth was king, and we told ourselves, “If it’s growing, we must be doing something right.” That was how we approached youth ministry. 

These new methods were conceived to reach young people more effectively and grow churches. Because of the initial increase in church attendance, the widespread reception, and the years of practice, these methods are now accepted as a necessary part of church life. This happened in spite of the evidence of the inability of youth ministry to provide the soil to grow committed, mature believers in Christ.

The massive investment of the modern church in this system of youth ministry and the long acceptance of the philosophy, practices, and institutions that promote it, have led many to believe that this kind of ministry is authorized by Scripture. Furthermore, Christian leaders and parents believe that if we abandon modern youth ministry, we abandon youth. They feel it is the best way to teach and evangelize youth. 

A new soil

Modern youth ministry has risen out of a soil composed of many different elements. For over two hundred years, the soil in which the weed of age segregation grew was incrementally prepared with the lofty deposits of platonic philosophy, the loamy organics of rationalism, the ethereal waters of evolutionism, and the breathable but allergenic air of pragmatism. These diverse elements, which created a context for this growth, took time to accumulate; but by the end of the twentieth century, they had produced a new plant that had never been seen before.5

While there are some examples in history before the twentieth century of age segregation , the primary point that we have always made is that near the end of the twentieth century, age segregation in the church reached proportions never seen before.

Historical arguments from silence?

Denlinger states that the historical argument “seems to be one from silence more than anything else.” My reply is that silence is not and never has been part of our argument. The focus of the argument is that it is a historical fact that as the church in America entered the last quarter of the twentieth century, she saw a version of age segregation that was never seen before where nearly everything in church life became age-segregated in most churches in America. Here is how we described it in “A Weed in the Church.”

Historical precedent

Throughout history, godly leaders have mirrored this same pattern of including all ages and life stages in the meetings of the church. For example, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, and Matthew Henry explicitly expressed their passionate desire to have the Word of God preached to the youngest child. 

Martin Luther understood how important it was to minister to youth during the meetings of the church: 

When I preach, I sink myself deep down. I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom are here in this church above forty; but I have an eye to the multitude of young people, children, and servants, of whom are more than two thousand. I preach to those, directing myself to them that have need thereof. Will not the rest hear me? The door stands open unto them; they may be gone.

John Bunyan, the tinker-turned-preacher who gave us Pilgrim’s Progress, spoke of the importance of having children in the church meeting:

You should also labor to draw them out to God’s public worship, if perhaps God may convert their souls. Said Jacob to his household, and to all that were about him, “Let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress” (Genesis 35:3). Hannah would carry Samuel to Shiloh, that he might abide with God forever (1 Sam. 1:22). . . .

If they are obstinate, and will not go with you, then bring godly and sound men to your house, and there let the word of God be preached, when you have, as Cornelius, gathered your family and friends together (Acts 10).

Matthew Henry, one of the most popular Bible expositors in all of history, sat as a boy under the meaty expositions of his father, Pastor Phillip Henry, and then followed in his footsteps. He would later write: “Little children should learn betimes to worship God. Their parents should instruct them in his worship and bring them to it, put them upon engaging in it as well as they can, and God will graciously accept them and teach them to do better.”

He carried this conviction all his life, as seen in this statement from his well-known biblical commentary: “It is for the honour of Christ that children should attend on public worship, and he is pleased with their hosannas.”

Even though the biblical record is clear that children were included in the gatherings of God’s people, and that for most of Christian history, children were present in the meetings of God’s people, most people still wonder, what can children really get out of Church?6

Fourth, those of us who reject comprehensive age segregation have always maintained that church history is not our authority. The Word of God alone is our final authority. It is not the pattern of the Jewish Rabbis during the time of Christ or the Church of Scotland that gives us our patterns for church life, but rather this:  “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving Knowledge, Faith and Obedience.”7

Here is how we state it in Article XII in “The Declaration for the Complementary Role of Church and Family”:

Article XII – The Biblical Revelation Is Sufficient for Worship and Discipleship

We affirm that the biblical doctrine, principles and precepts that God has revealed in His Word for corporate, family, and individual worship and discipleship are sufficient for knowing how to worship God in a manner acceptable to Him and for the effective edification of the saints. (1 Cor. 11:1-12; 14:34; Gal. 1:8-9; Eph. 5:22-33; 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4;).

We deny/reject that the church should invent and institute her own principles and methods for corporate worship and discipleship that disregard or replace the explicit teaching of Scripture.

It’s not enough to point to isolated examples to define church life. This is and always has been the wrong direction for both the church and the family.

  1. Brown, Scott T. A Weed in the Church: How a Culture of Age Segregation Is Harming the Younger Generation, Fragmenting the Family, and Dividing the Church. Wake Forest, NC: National Center for Family-Integrated Churches. p. 63
2. Ibid. p. 25
3. Ibid. p. 26
4. Ibid. p. 35
5. Ibid. p. 48-51
6. Ibid. p. 61-63
7. Second London Baptist Confession 1.1

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What Is the Most Important Issue in Worship?

What is the most pressing issue to you from the time you walk through the church doors – and even before you actually walk through the doors? If you are walking in the fear of God, if you are coming to worship in the fear of God, then you will be overcome with a constraining awareness of your obligations to God.

– Al Martin – The Forgotten Fear, 75

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Preaching in Washington State This Weekend

This weekend I will be preaching at Cornerstone Bible Church in Lake Stevens, Washington, directly following the Christian Heritage Marriage Retreat. I will be preaching at 9:00am, during the Family Bible Hour, followed by the main service at 10:30am. Click here for the address.

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Isaiah 66:7-14 – The Church is Your Mother


In these verses Isaiah communicates one of the most gripping metaphors of the church.  He declares that the church is your mother who feeds you. Yes, each member is responsible to nourish one another as a mother does her suckling babes. Isaiah 65 and 66 hold together to present the final picture in the prophesy. In these chapters, God is crying out to those who find no delight in Him and encourages those who do delight and tremble. Now the Lord turns to a picture of a mother giving birth and how the child who is born nourishes the others. Isaiah continues to make the distinction between those who tremble at His word (who are deeply affected by it) in contrast to those who outwardly testify to it but are not inwardly moved. 

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