Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kindred Spirits Retreats-1001 Worshiping Community- " have mercy on some"


There were these among the church in her early days:

These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever (Jude 12-13).

The church has always been so troubled:

 Kindred Spirits, a 1001 New Worshiping Community, although involved in spirituality, is not a Christian ministry.[1] The organization, Kindred Spirits Retreats, offers get-togethers for small groups for dinner encounters and retreats for gay men including those who are bisexual and transgender. Their spirituality is best expressed on a different site, Men of Spirit. As part of their retreats description they state, “Kindred Spirit Retreats are not affiliated with any religious organization or structured pattern of belief. Kindred Spirit Retreats is a personal growth community that creates a space for gay men to build friendships, receive encouraging support, and self-discovery.”

Kindred Spirit Retreats seems to have some connection to Men of Spirit, thanking them on their Facebook page for updating their links. Men of Spirit lists events for several groups including a nude yoga event and training events entitled “Power, surrender and intimacy.” The latter is about sadomasochism.

I could write more on this but it is ugly and as far away from the loveliness of Jesus Christ as alternative spiritualties can be.

The two founders of Kindred Spirits, Chris Caldwell and James Tvarian, are also leaders with “Other Sheep,” an organization that uses the verse in John (10:16) about Jesus having other sheep as a reference to the gay community.  Other Sheep is a global organization that offers the book, “The Children Are Free,” on their web site. The book, among other ideas, suggests that Ruth and Naomi as well as David and Jonathan were romantically involved.

There is a link to Christianity because Chris Caldwell has a background in evangelicalism and is now director of information and technology at a United Church of Christ in Claremont. The church on their about us page answers the question “what if I don’t believe in the Trinity?” with:

“That’s OK.  Our members have varying views of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the existence of heaven and hell and many other “doctrinal” issues.  We are a non-creedal congregation, believing that creeds are “testaments of faith” not “tests of faith.  It’s more important that we discern how to answer Jesus call to “follow me” than it is to believe the right dogma.”

Jude gives the description, the Holy Spirit through Jude’s book also gives the solution:

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh (17-23).

Jude goes on to remind the believer that our God is able to keep us from stumbling and that His is the “glory, majesty, dominion and authority.

The 1001 Worshiping Communities would be a good thing, in many cases it is, if it had essentials and boundaries for those who participate. But because there is none the movement’s communities, within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will simply add to the drift toward meaninglessness and even in a few cases touch evil.

The broken among us are left to whither and die because our compassion is not tied to Christ and His word.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The newest 1001 New Worshiping Community, Mercy Junction & their Holy Heretic


Who is God? The newest 1001 New Worshiping Community, Mercy Junction, isn’t certain. Their new e-magazine, Holy Heretic, within its August edition, will help you embrace any viewpoint, including atheism, pantheism, polytheism and goddess worship. If that isn’t good enough they will allow you to read a spoof (I hope it is a spoof) in which founder Brian Merritt encountered a god who was drunk.  The whole community is backed by East Tennessee presbytery and Renaissance Presbyterian Church. And, of course, because it is a part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their 1001 New Worshiping Communities project, it is endorsed by the denomination
The “devotional” e-magazine, Holy Heretic, has been published several times on various subjects including prayer and justice. But the August edition on God seems to me to lay the foundation for their advocacy work. Since Holy Heretic is intended to be devotional after each description of the various views of God is a little exercise to help the reader experience that type of belief.

At the end of the page on the goddess, the devotional author writes:

“The moon has been used since ancient times as a symbol for the feminine and the Goddess (And her three incarnations, mother, maiden and crone.) The connection likely began because the moon’s 29 day cycle of waxing and waning is a schedule similar to menstrual cycle.[1] Tonight the moon will be more than halfway toward waxing into her fullest, most glorious self-reaching her complete magnificence on Sunday. Starting tonight take time to spend at least 10 minutes in the moonlight, returning each evening until the full moon is achieved. Let yourself relax, let your brain rest. Just be. Go with what you feel. Do you want to dance in the moonshine? Sing to the lady in the sky? Throw back your head and howl?”

At the very end they ask for the readers experiences and give their Facebook page.

On the page about pantheism, which is written under the title, “God is Nature,” the exercise is:

“Today recognize yourself held safely by the universe. Imagine yourself within the womb of god, as you move about planet Earth. The Universe is providing you with all you need- air to breathe, nourishment, water, love. Be extra good to yourself today. Drink water, eat a healthy meal. Go for a long walk after dinner- touch nature with your hands, see her with your eyes, hear her with your ears. Get a full night’s rest. Be safe, be comfortable, be nurtured.”

There are several pages that speak of Christian beliefs, but the exercises are never directed toward the word of God and the worship of the triune God. Not even the page on the Trinity. Instead there is this:

“Both the dove that descended during Jesus’ baptism and the fire in Cantus’ drawing [picture on the page] are symbols of the Holy Spirit. The Celtic Church used the Wild Goose, a loud, independent untamed bird as their symbol. Today, create your own symbol for the Spirit, whatever you might conceive the Spirit to be.”

One trembles before such arrogance that so clearly defies the exclusive claims of God’s Word.  This is all done, supposedly, in order that those of other faiths could be included in the advocacy work of Mercy Junction. But not only is the Church called to do works of righteousness, she is first of all called to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. She is called to proclaim Jesus and his redemption. This isn’t done by worshipping the moon, the self or any other thing. Only the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is worthy of our praise.

The denomination is sick and in need of God’s healing. But that healing will not come until the denomination turns back to Jesus the Lord of the Church.

 
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the Judgment that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wought in God.” (John 3:16-21)




[1] The idea that the moon and her cycles have anything to do with some kind of ancient goddess worship is a myth. The idea of “mother, maiden, crone” is a myth invented in the 19th century. See The Rise of Radical Feminism in Mainline Churches: A History # 4

 
 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The reality of evil & videos- scapegoating the innocent


This is about human evil via two very different radical feminists. It is also about how a failed view of human nature too often leads to greater evil. One of the radical feminists, Naomi Wolf posted on her Facebook page her thoughts about ISIL and the beheadings of innocents, the other radical feminist, Camille Paglia, wrote an article, “The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend evil,” which is published on Time's news site.
Wolf is an author and activist I used and quoted in my master’s thesis. Her latest book is “Give Me Liberty: A Handbook For American Revolutionaries,” and one of her more popular books is “The Beauty Myth.” On her blog she states that she is co-founder of “The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership” and “The American Freedom Campaign.”

Wolf on her Facebook page posted her thoughts, about ISIL and their beheadings. Because a reporter who covered the NYT’s article about the beheadings and ISIL questioned her integrity on posting the information and gave her more information she removed her posting just several hours after I began work on this post.* But here is what she wrote:

“Ok….two of the hostages just happened to go from long careers into the military to…sudden humanitarian work? (same was true of the latest British hostage.) Where are they getting all these folks from? If someone is abducted there is a record with Amnesty and with Reporters without Borders. Can someone please confirm that these organizations have any record of this person having been abducted? The NYT yesterday ran a depressingly sloppy editorial claiming that all the ISIS beheading videos and atrocity videos must be real because "there are so many of them on youtube." THAT's journalism??? They also called ISIS "evil" many times -- which is not language of a news analysis, it is a theological category for some faiths and a Global War on Terror talking point… this may all be true but it takes five people to stage an event like this -- two to be 'parents' -- two to pose for cameras..one in a ninja outfit….and one to contact the media that does not bother checking who ANY Of these other four people are....http://www.theguardian.com/…/isis-militants-threaten-kill-a…

Following this posting of Wolf’s were many comments speculating and even insisting that the YouTube videos were all faked and produced by Israel, or the United States or both. Wolf went on later to try and avoid criticism by suggesting that she was just asking for better reports.  She never denounced those who tried to make a conspiracy theory out of the beheadings. She attempted to safe guard her statement by saying yes she believed ISIL was “Very, Very, bad.” But even after taking her posting down Wolf is still complaining. Her words:

“For the record…sigh…internetland, I am not "calling into question the authenticity of the ISIS videos." I don't KNOW if they are authentic or not -- no one can -- because no one that I am aware of has found a second source for them. I am not making ANY assertions or drawing ANY conclusions. I am just…engaging in journalism which requires two independent sources before you can post or publish something as true. I wonder why this bears so much repeating….it used to be something all journalists abided by.”

But seemingly, Wolf didn’t do any double checking herself. She could have researched the parents and friends—they did have friends—of those who died at the hands of ISIL. She should have noted that even government agencies were cautious about the videos until they were confirmed as real. If anyone is doing bad reporting and wild speculation it is truly Wolf. But my point here is that as it happens too many times, failure to accept the evil inherent in all of us—in humanity, leads to gross scapegoating. Wolf is willing to accuse the Western governments. Her readers truly wanted to pin the awful episodes on Israel. They probably still do. And this is where Paglia’s article, “The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend evil,” is helpful.

The first time I became aware of Paglia, she was on a team of women, including Betty Friedman, debating William Buckley, Ariana Huffington, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and another woman whose name I don’t remember. The debate centered on whether the feminist movement had lost its way over the abortion movement. Paglia was plucky and Buckley wished her on his side. She didn’t budge.

Paglia, who sometimes surprises her readers, writes about the vulnerability of young college women who are led to believe that all attempts by males to have sex with them are simply misguided efforts, a part of the “hook up” culture. As Paglia puts it, “Misled by the naive optimism and “You go, girl!” boosterism of their upbringing, young women do not see the animal eyes glowing at them in the dark.” She blames both progressives and conservatives. But Paglia’s words about progressives are stinging:

“The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism — toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light.

Liberalism lacks a profound sense of evil — but so does conservatism these days, when evil is facilely projected onto a foreign host of rising political forces united only in their rejection of Western values. Nothing is more simplistic than the now rote use by politicians and pundits of the cartoonish label “bad guys” for jihadists, as if American foreign policy is a slapdash script for a cowboy movie.”

And here is the big problem—Paglia’s words—a lack of a profound sense of evil. Wolf cannot envision any human removing the head of another in the name of their ideology. Most of us can’t but it isn’t because of our ideology, it isn’t the backbone of our understanding of human nature. We know humanity is evil. We know what evil is. We are not surprised by it. No scapegoating allowed. As Pogo says, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”


So as Christians, who understand that one of the truths about our humanity is the existence of evil, in us and outside of us, we also believe in redemption.  When one acknowledges real personal evil, one can also acknowledge redemption.

Wolf only makes it more difficult when after all is said and hopefully done, she links to a news item reporting on the UN’s report of ISIL’s horrific deeds. She acknowledges that they are, “super, super bad,” but then in the comment section cannot refrain from writing, “Still can't help asking….if they are in charge in that region, why the masks?” Once again, terrible comments follow which she allows and even in at least one case praises.

Thomas doubted the goodness of the resurrection because he knew the evil and reality of the crucifixion. Wolf doubts the great evil and danger in ISIL because she doubts the evil of the human heart. And perhaps in doubting doubts redemptive grace, while perpetrating additional evil.  So likewise do too many of us.

 
* The changing Facebook of Wolf: She now writes that she stands by her original post and adds this:

"On a larger picture note: had an evening with a group of well-informed international attorneys and prosecutors. A Pakistani lawyer who is a fourth-genera...tion scion of a major Pakistani political family explained what I keep hearing from many parts of the plugged in educated elite of the Middle East: ISIS, he said, is grassroots Wahabism - the extreme and brutal "version" of Islam (many moderates say it bears no likeness to Islam.) But these grassroots, uneducated, extremist people are funded heavily by a) Saudi Arabia b) Israel (!) and c) America. Why? I asked. He replied: Saudi Arabia which has 14,000 princes and princesses -- vast wealth -- wants to replicate its extremist version of Islam around the world for ideological reasons and have endless resources to do so. B) Israel has long had a policy of 'divide and conquer" Muslim states and wants an alliance with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to go up against Assad and Iran (this is the third solid source we are hearing this 'new alliance" from.) He said that Israel has heavily infiltrated the Egyptian army and security services by bribery, which is one reason Egypt did nothing for Gaza but close its borders.And C) America has several powerful factions: Big Oil, war interests, right wing christians, AIPAC, the Armenians (!) who are trying to organize like AIPAC, and Arabists, who are the only groups who care about what happens in the Middle East. And they all mint money and prestige by having a brutal Muslim threat on the horizon."

Wolf's anti-Semitism is huge.
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Alison Weir & the PC (U.S.A.): German Christians in the corner of the denomination (Update)


Who is Alison Weir, and should either the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Mission Agency or the Israel/Palestine Mission Network be pointing to her material? On their twitter page, IPMN linked to an article by Weir. The article, “Christian Evangelicals Increasingly Support Palestinian Human Rights,” is on the International Middle East Media Center page. But that site has linked to Weir’s own site, “If Americans Knew.”
In another posting I pointed out that Rev. Kate Taber, the PCUSA mission worker to Israel and Palestine had used Allison Weir as a good reference. In my posting, “Extreme anti-Semites and their connections to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (Correction),” I wrote:

“If Americans Knew was founded by Alison Weir, a sometimes writer for Veterans News Now, an organization connected to VT [Veterans Today], and also for My Catbird Seat, a sister site to Veterans Today. Her summary is "A Synopsis of the Israel/Palestine Conflict." and under Zionism Weir begins:

In the late 1800s a group in Europe decided to colonize this land. Known as Zionists, they represented an extremist minority of the Jewish population. Their goal was to create a Jewish homeland, and they considered locations in Africa and the Americas, before settling on Palestine." (Italics mine.)

Weir goes on to explain the reason for so many refugees coming to the holyland during Hitler's ethnic cleansing of the Jews. ”Hitler’s rise to power, combined with Zionist activities to sabotage efforts to place Jewish refugees in western countries, led to increased Jewish immigration to Palestine, and conflict grew." (Italics mine).

Note so far in her summary the early Zionists were extremist and they sabotaged efforts to place Jewish refugees in western countries during the Holocaust. That is in the first few paragraphs. Weir goes on filling her page with many untruths and exaggerations.”


After that I went on to explain why much of the summary is false information. You can use the link above to read my explanation.

Now I see evidence of an even deeper connection to anti-Semitism on Weir’s part. On her blog she insists that young Jews are attempting to troll various social media in an attempt to feed the public propaganda. The blog posting is “Israeli "trolls" on Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. In the article she points to various articles meant to prove her point. One of the articles is “Israeli Students Paid $2000 Each to Troll the Internet.” It was written by a far left anti-Israel e-magazine the Electronic Intifada, however Weir chose to link to the article on a neo-Nazi site, “The Daily Stormer.”

If you go to the Stormer site and the article you will find that they have added an anti-Semitic picture. Perhaps this is what Weir wanted her readers to see. Or perhaps she hoped that while there they would peruse some of the other articles such as Jews are Our Misfortune or David Dukes’ Atomic Energy Vote Demonstrates Who Runs America.

I know it is useless to plead with the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, or with the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s World Mission leaders, but it is important that others, Presbyterians and non-Presbyterians, understand that in an enlarged corner of the denomination, the PC (U.S.A.), is a group of people who are kin to the German Christians of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Update: In the comment section David Fischler has pointed out that Weir took down the bad link and substituted a different one. Thankfully someone is listening (reading). But consider, Weir's posting has been up since June the 9th-it has been read for almost four months. I am at this moment convinced that we need to keep a watchful eye, and keep pushing, and pushing against all of this anti-Semitism.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Vicar of Bagdad & the love of Jesus in the midst of suffering


This Sunday morning, Sept 28, 2014, I am posting a video of the Rev. Dr. Andrew White, Vicar of Bagdad speaking at his home church in England.  The video starts a little strangely as the camera person works out his focus. And Vicar White speaks slowly probably because of his MS. But this is a beautiful portrayal of the love of Christ in one of his servants who ministers among his suffering people in Iraq.  It also helps the Christian to understand that Jesus works mightily in the midst of His people’s needs. Please watch all of it, you will be blessed.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Church-the City of the Living God


Country Church [1]
Richard Conway, who is writing about his journey to find a church home, the first I posted last Saturday evening, has had some delays in providing more postings. I will continue when he is ready.

Since my church is in discernment, and many other churches in the midst of similar journeys I have been thinking about the Church in general and God’s care for his people. On this side of all the distress, yet with care to be in the right place, I think about how God sees us. The biblical picture is almost a J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Charles Williams’ fantasy. With great encouragement the writer of Hebrews writes:

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church 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, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”

But this is no fantasy rather God’s truth and promise. Charles Williams wrote his surreal novels from this point of view. God places humanity in cities (or communities) and works with, through and among them by use of the lens of the city of the Living God. Just as Lewis’ saw humanity becoming everlasting splendors or monsters, so Williams pictures the city of God mingling with earthly cities and communities changing the inhabitants—but it is always the incarnate One working through the Holy Spirit in the midst of our common life.

Ah, the general assembly of heaven and the church of the firstborn. John Calvin in his commentary on Hebrews sees the first born as the Old Testament Saints, but Donald Guthrie clarifies that Jesus Christ is the true first born and thus all the saints of God, reborn in Christ, those in the O.T. and those in the church age fit into this  category. They are among the angels in festal gathering.

God is still here the Judge of all. And Calvin reminds the reader that in the midst of this holy place that belongs to God there should be no pollution. He writes:

“This seems to be said to inspire fear, as if he were saying that grace is offered to us in such a way as to remind us that we have to do with our judge to whom we must render account if we have invaded His sanctuary with pollution or profanity.”

And Guthrie understanding that God’s judgment conforms to his nature writes, “It should be noted that God is not to be regarded here exclusively as a judge who condemns but rather as one who examines and discriminates.”

And then, in this city, we turn to redemption—“the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”

In actuality the righteous are righteous because of Jesus and his death. They are perfect because of his perfection, (completeness.) (Hebrews 5:7-10) His blood is sprinkled on his people and they dwell now with him in his city. The blood washed sinners made saints are the Church. “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.”

This is the Church—it cannot exist minus this quality of God’s holiness, care, and redemption. His people, sinners bearing the righteousness of Jesus, are on a journey being made perfect. They are surrounded by suffering and angels, or as Karl Barth put it in the middle of his list of the good God has done in the Church, “He allows righteousness to experience all anxieties.” The Church is in the world yet destined to dance with angels, fellowship with all saints, and look, forever, upon perfect beauty.
 
[1] The picture is of the country church I attended as a child living on a farm in Northern Missouri. We just called it country church.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Finding a new home: "The Journey" by Richard Conway


A friend, Richard Conway, who was, until recently, a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is in the process of finding a church home. He is writing about each visit he makes to various churches. Under the premise that the church universal is, at the moment, made up of many different branches or should I say parts of Christ’s body, and just because it is interesting I will post Richard’s descriptions and experiences on my blog. I hope to do this late each Saturday night so they can be read on Sundays. I find it ridiculous that while the PC (U.S.A.) has a relationship with the more progressive churches such as the Episcopal Church they refuse to acknowledge such conservative churches as the Presbyterian Church of America, the Southern Baptist Church and the Assemblies of God.  I loved that part of Richard Mouw’s sermon at the first meeting of the Fellowship of Presbyterians when he spoke about how those denominations could learn something from us and we could learn something from them.

 The Journey

By Richard Conway

 When I made the decision to leave PCUSA, I had no plans to go to any specific church. Over the decades and being active in this community, I had met and befriended many pastors in the area. This gave me an awareness of a number of churches to visit, both in the community and outside.

But, it wasn’t going to be as simple as visiting another church. At 92 years of age, my mother isn’t driving anymore, so yours truly is in charge of getting her to and from her Sunday School and Church every Sunday, and afterwards to her regular Sunday dinner with her longtime friends, a two + decade long running engagement.

One of the churches on my list to visit is Non-Denominational, Burke Community Bible Church, my friend David Doster, Pastor. Their Sunday Service is at 10 AM, a conflict with taking Mom to her Sunday School and church service. The other is PCA, Faith Presbyterian Church on Bost Rd, Mike Thompson, Pastor. Their  Sunday School and Service schedule coincided with First Pres. All it took was to get Mom to First Pres a few minutes early and I could make it to Faith Presbyterian for Sunday School and Sunday Service. Mom could then ride with one of her friends to their lunch engagement and I pick her up when she is finished. That worked

So, last Sunday was my first visit to Faith Pres. The first thing I notice, their Sunday School is in depth teaching, straight from the Bible, no curriculum, everyone uses their Bible. Held in the sanctuary, with class members scattered throughout, not the intimate setting I am accustomed to.

The service began. First thing that became apparent, there is no real music such as I had been accustomed to with Robert Smith, our music director. No organ, no choir, just a piano, one young man on guitar and a young girl singing. Solid prayers, no social activities, no greetings, no joking around, just serious church. Everyone follows in their Bible.  We began with the Westminster Larger Catechism # 89 & # 90, the pastor read the question and the congregation read the response, completely. Terrific. Scripture was read, not a verse or two but entire chapters and everyone in church has their Bibles open and follows along. Several hymns were sung, the offering was taken and then the sermon. Here is a major and very positive difference. The preaching/teaching is EXPOSITORY Teaching. Outstanding! Expository (see below) 

Moving through the Bible. This Sunday the sermon was 2 Thessalonians 1: 1 – 12. Preached/taught word for word, verse by verse. And everyone has their Bible open and follows along and taking notes. Very powerful.

Closing hymn and blessing. Roughly 70 minute service. A lot of younger families, very few older people (above 80). This was a breath of fresh air as the service, no jokes, no passing the peace, no time for children, no musical anthems,  just pure Bible teaching, word for word and everyone has their Bible open and follows along. Very powerful.

 Every component of the service is a focus on scriptural purity. I love it. But I miss the music, and that’s OK, this is really good solid church.

All the people I met were extraordinarily friendly and welcoming, and I knew more than a few of them.

2nd Sunday (today):           went to my Men’s SS Bible Class at First Pres, left a few minutes early and returned to Faith Pres. The service began with the Westminster Confession of Faith. Congregational Bible reading, songs (great traditional songs) Lord’s Prayer,   tithes and offerings, Sermon moving on in 2 Thessalonians 2; 1 – 16 The Great Apostasy!! (Hooray) no nonsense preaching/teaching, Expository Teaching, pure Bible, final hymn & blessing.

Real refreshing service and church with no fluff, just pure expository teaching.

As soon as someone can take Mom to church and back, I want to visit Christ Community Church, previously known as Montreat Presbyterian Church, an hour away. They left pcusa and still have their church right in the middle of Montreat, they are no longer pcusa. Good for them.

 Bless you all,

 Richard

Question: "What is expository preaching?"  (Also by Richard Conway)

Answer: Expository preaching involves the exposition, or comprehensive explanation, of the Scripture; that is, expository preaching presents the meaning and intent of a biblical text, providing commentary and examples to make the passage clear and understandable. The word expositionis related to the word expose— the expository preacher’s goal is simply to expose the meaning of the Bible, verse by verse.

While exposition is not the only valid mode of preaching, it is the best for teaching the plain sense of the Bible. Expositors usually approach Scripture with these assumptions:

 1) The Bible is God’s Word. If every word of God is pure and true (Psalm 12:6;19:9;119:140), then every word deserves to be examined and understood.

2) Men need divine wisdom in order to understand the Word (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).

3) The preacher is subject to the text, not the other way around. Scripture is the authority, and its message must be presented honestly, apart from personal bias.

4) The preacher’s job is to clarify the text and call for a corresponding response from his hearers.
_____________

 [The picture at the top is a Methodist Church I attended as a young teenager. It is in old Pattonsburg, Missouri and was almost destroyed in a flood. There is now a new one in new Pattonsburg.]