‘Every time something big happens in the news, especially if it involves the Middle East, it seems a new set of books, reinterpreting the book of Revelation, is published. It is, therefore, no surprise when the reader begins to get the impression that the book of Revelation is a very dark, mysterious book that is difficult, if not downright impossible, to understand.’
I like this, a lot! ‘Mr. Taylor didn’t have formal Biblical training or a Christian pedigree. He didn’t have a fancy church or a state-of-the-art kids’ ministry. He had a sticker chart, a flannel graph, a patient and persevering personality, and a warmth towards children. Mostly, he had a desire that we know the Lord!’
‘By God’s grace, the church I shepherd has experienced phenomenal growth over the last 15 years. I am often asked what has brought the growth… one of the things I mention is church discipline. The response is usually a confused look on the face of the person to whom I am speaking. For many, that answer does not make sense. What is less user-friendly than church discipline?’
‘What do our structures and our allocation of resources tell us about our perception of where we are and our priorities? Are we in the business of maintenance, managing decline or mission? Is our passion to reach the lost for Christ or to target the elite? Are we organised for our own comfort or for the Gospel?’
I am sick to death of hearing people suggest Tommy Robinson was imprisoned over a free speech issue due to a politically motivated unwillingness to permit criticism of Islam. He wasn’t. It was contempt of court for nearly collapsing the trial of the very people he was seeking to criticise. Melanie Philips explains. For a longer and more technical explanation, there is this from the Secret Barrister.
It’s a good question and here is a good answer. It is a much maligned doctrine but a genuinely beautiful one.
‘Often, agitation about the petty and insignificant highlights a deeper spiritual problem. The reality is, the configuration or style of our chairs is not a Biblical issue. Jesus gave no command to sit in rows or on hard benches. If all can agree it is not a matter of Biblical imperative, we must ask why the deep feelings? If the case is made that X or Y impedes gospel work and weakens our efficacy in mission and ministry, we can all get behind that. Otherwise, we are likely discussing a smoke screen for some other deeply rooted problem that may impede the church far more than any seating arrangements.’