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The Heresy of
Worshiptainment

I often hear tidbits of people’s comments here and there that cause me to ponder where people’s priorities are in coming to a church. Often times the statements I hear are disconcerting. Things like… “You have to have young people coming to your church, or the church will die…” Really? A Church dies because of a demographic based on age…? Jesus said that He removes the “lampstand” of a Church when that Church stops being faithful to His Word and…

What Happens after Death?

Dear Roger, Where do we go after death until the judgement? Sincerely, Betty Dear Betty, Death and dying are on the back burners of everyone’s minds, from preschoolers to the oldest adult. Some nine-year-old children were asked what they thought of death and dying. Brittney: “When you die, they bury you in the ground and your soul goes to heaven, but your body can’t go to heaven because it is too crowded up there already.” Judy: “Only the good people…

Organization of the Church of Christ

The church is a kingdom over which Christ rules as king (1 Timothy 6:15; John 18:37; John 19:19). Christians are citizens in this kingdom (Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 1:9). The world is the territory of this kingdom (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). The new birth is the way we enter this kingdom (John 3:5). ONE HEAD, ONE KING—CHRIST The church is the body of Christ, and Christ is its only head (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4). He has all authority…

Do Preachers Have Authority Over the Elders, and the Church?

Does the Bible authorize the preacher in the local congregation to exercise authority over the elders, or over the members at large? The Bible very clearly teaches that each local congregation is to mature to the point that it can appoint a plurality of adult males, who meet the specific qualifications pinpointed in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-11; Titus 1:5), to serve as the elders / shepherds / overseers of that single church (Acts 20:17,28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:1-4). They…

Win the Battle with Your Sin

My pastor told me I never have to sin again. How can that be true? Sincerely, Katie —————————————- Dear Katie, The problem is a misunderstanding of what really happened at our new birth: something is alive and something is not. Christ is alive and our old sin nature is not. Let me illustrate this for you by the story of Samson in Judges 14:5-8. While the strongman was walking through a vineyard a young lion attacked him. Samson killed it as…

501c3 Non-Profit?
That’s a Safe Bet…

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? Mk 8:36 501c3 Facts: Most churches in America have organized as “501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations.” This is a fairly recent trend that has only been going on for about fifty years. Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson for that. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his…

Beyond Games: What Makes Youth Remain in Community at Church?

The church dropout statistics are significant—and quite discouraging. Young adults are walking away from the church. As one study put it, they are “leaving in droves.” (CNN quoting a Pew Research study) Kids who grew up actively involved in youth group are often not connected with church once they become young adults. Youth pastors and parents alike are bemoaning this trend, frequently with a Chicken Little, “the sky is falling” pessimism toward the church. It’s easy to develop a gloom and…

Why There Must Be
Factions Among Us

In every church, there are individuals who can cause disunity within the church body. Often leadership can become overwhelmed by those who fight among themselves over even petty church affairs. Many times this is the result of our own sinful hearts and fallen conditions. At other times, it may be the result of the tares that are sown in with the wheat. Paul was well aware that division cannot be entirely avoided. Until the Lord returns, there will always be…

Why You Will Join
The Wrong Church

I recently came across an article written by Sam Emadi which brought home for me the issue of contentment within the local Church body. He reported that he had read a New York Times article from 2016 that had nothing to do with politics, culture wars, or comic book movies. Instead, the most-read article of 2016 was all about commitment. In this article titled “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person,” it takes shots at our culture’s idea that the ultimate foundation…

Should We Forgive
Without Repentance?

Unconditional forgiveness is canceling a debt to all those who intentionally offend us, whether or not they own up to what they have done. Offering forgiveness without repentance, however, does not follow the biblical model of forgiveness (Luke 17:3-4). The Bible says that we are to forgive as God forgave us (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). God forgives us when we repent (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 3:19). He does not grant forgiveness to those of us who are stiff-necked and…

3 WAYS ROOTED COMBATS INDIVIDUALISM

ROOTED NETWORK • APRIL 29TH, 2019 “I’d love to do Rooted! Do you offer it every night of the week, and can I pick and choose when (or if) I show up? If so, then I’m in!” –  Fortunately, no one has actually said this to me, but it’s what I assume every person in my congregation is thinking when I talk about Rooted. I recognize that committing to a 10-week experience, being required to show up every week and spending hours with…

Do We Really Understand the Biblical Role of the Preacher?

Many people are pretty proud of the fact that they know the difference between a “pastor” and a “preacher.” However, just because you don’t call your preacher, “pastor,” doesn’t mean you really understand the biblical role of the preacher. Here are a few things we need to understand about the biblical role of the preacher. 1. He is a Spiritual Leader Sometimes, when we understand the distinction between elders and preachers, we act as if one is a spiritual leader in…