Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Need Some Good Advent Readings?

Are you looking for some good Advent devotionals? I came across this one from the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches. It looks good. You can access it here.

HT: Nancy Wilson

Why Do You Go to Church?

Jeff Purswell has an excellent post on the biblical perspective on "going to church". Check out this excerpt:
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." (Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV) ....

Sunday Morning

So back to your home church this upcoming Sunday. When you enter and the music begins, what are you more aware of? Is it the song set? the musicians? the mix? Does the worship band wow you? Does the routine bore you?

Or do you perceive something beyond all this?

Your church is one authentic manifestation of the entire people of God that right now is worshiping before the throne of God. That is the reality of new covenant worship. And when we begin to wrap our minds around that, there springs to mind a thousand reasons to rejoice, to praise, and to sing; and to renounce flippancy, self-display, selfishness, superficiality, sloppiness, and thoughtlessness.

Before the God who is a consuming fire, we don’t shuffle in casually. We don’t demand our artistic preferences. We don’t merely gather with our friends. We don’t merely sing together. As the people of God, we enter into the very presence of God. Encountering God in this way is the very nature of the church. By definition, to be the church is to gather in God’s presence and to worship God together. And when we begin singing, we join the glorious worship that takes place unceasingly before the throne of God.

This is true regardless of how we feel, who leads worship, what songs we sing, or how we think worship went. There is something incredible happening on Sunday morning!

Be the church and go to church. Something eternal is going on in there. Don’t miss it.

(Read more.....)

Sign the Manhattan Declaration

Are you concerned for our culture's misunderstanding of the right to life, the dignity of marriage and religious liberty? Then please consider signing the Manhattan Declaration.

This document winsomely, clearly and boldly presents a Christian worldview on these very important issues. The commitment elegantly communicated in this document is a vital one for every Christian dedicated to historic and biblical Christianity in a time of increasing confusion, controversy and conflict around Christian views of life, liberty and family.

Although some Christians might wrangle over the definition of "the gospel" in this document (see Tim Challis' post), I believe this is finding a tempest in a teacup. By signing the document you are in no way compromising either a Roman Catholic, Orthodox or Evangelical definition of the gospel. The document is constructed to allow Christians to unite over clear and historical Christian teaching on these social justice issues. Let's not lose an opportunity for forming a key and timely alliance because we would rather look for disagreement where none is intended.

I hope you are able to sign it!

Read the introduction below.

The Manhattan Declaration

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Read More Here, Download PDF Here)