In Case You Missed It

Chris Martin published an interesting article at his blog discussing some statistics showing that many American Christians do not find Bible reading or church attendance to be essential. Chris writes:

That Instagrammed photo of your girlfriend with her Bible and coffee the other morning was probably staged…so kinda like every other perfectly groomed post upholding our never-ending pursuit of social acceptance and apparent perfection.


When you imagine “a week in the life of a Christian” you might imagine a church visit, an occasional Bible reading before bed, and some community involvement after school or work. However, this is not likely the case, if American Christians act in accordance with what they find essential to their faith.


Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center published some data on what American Christians value in everyday life. The data is fascinating, and I’d encourage you to read the summary here or the full report here. Today, I want to look at just one of the graphs they provide.


Bruce Ashford posted earlier this week arguing that the “G.O.(W.)P. should reject “Colorblind” politics. Dr. Ashford explains:

Early in the 2016 election cycle, GOP chairman Reince Priebus declared that the GOP was “likely to have the most diverse presidential primary field in history—of either party.” If diversity is considered in terms of the varied ethnic heritages of the presidential primary candidates, he was right. And yet, 90% of the voters in GOP primaries this year have been white.


Reflecting on this reality, Stanford sociologist Corey D. Fields recently argued in the New York Times that “the image of black Republicans that the G.O.P. disseminates may actually dampen enthusiasm for the party–not only among the black electorate in general, but also among black Republicans themselves.”


Brooke Davidson recently posted a great article at the SEBTS Women’s Life blog titled: “Beauty in the Wait.” Brooke writes:

Question: Have you ever felt like you were the living version of the game Jenga? One piece is pulled from you at a time, and you never know which piece will be the one that sends you crashing down. Watching and waiting. With that being said, please never forget who is pulling out those “Jenga” pieces. He’s not only pulling them out, but holding them, (your feelings, hopes, and dreams) in the midst of it all. Thank goodness we don’t have to do this all alone, right?  A verse that I’ve held close to my heart for the last ten years is Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, take heart and wait for the Lord.” That verse has helped me through many situations, but has never meant as much to me as it has in the past few months. There were times when everything seemed to be falling apart all around me, but the Lord was so constant and clear. If you are reading this and you feel like your life is falling apart, let me encourage you to wait on the Lord. Put your hope in Him, because He will sustain you!


Aaron Earls shared recently how the miscarriage of his child made him more pro-life.

I’ve never not been opposed to abortion. As a kid, I remember my grandmother being arrested for praying and protesting outside of an abortion clinic. As a student of philosophy, I found the pro-life arguments to be much more sound, coherent and persuasive. The arguments in favor of abortion always seemed too reliant on unfounded assumptions.


As a Christian, the Bible spoke clearly and frequently about the value of life and the need for those in power to speak for the voiceless. Biblical justice seemed to demand a pro-life stance. As a father, I could not imagine choosing to end the life of one of my children before they were born. I loved them from the moment I knew they were growing inside of my wife.


But my pro-life stance deepened more than I thought possible when I became the father of a child who never made it out of the womb. At this point, abortion advocates likely would point to two differences they believe to be relevant. I’ve encountered both of these arguments in discussions about abortion, so I want to address each.


At his personal blog, Art Rainer recently shared 11 Bible verses for the anxious leader.

You’re going to announce an organization-shaking decision that won’t be popular with everyone. You’re about to have that conversation you’ve been avoiding for months. You aren’t sure if you are going to have a job this time next week. From performance to personnel issues, the reasons for a leader’s anxiety are innumerable. Like many leaders today, you may find yourself feeling immersed in anxiety. And you desperately desire to come up for air.


You want to breathe again. God knew that anxiety would find its way into our lives. So He talks to us about it in the Bible. So if you find yourself immersed in anxiety, take the next few moments and consider what God is saying to you about it and the situation you are facing.


Here are 11 Bible verses for the anxious leader.


At The People’s Next Door blog earlier this week, Trevor King shared 7 reasons for covenant church membership. Trevor writes:

In Ephesians, Paul writes, “So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, andmembers of God’s household, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone,” (Ephesians 2:19-20). In the next chapter he goes on: “This is so that God’s multifaceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens,” (Ephesians 3:10). We’re not foreigners, but family. We’re not united around demographics, but around Christ Himself. We’re not idle, but making known the Wisdom of God to the world.


So, who are the members of God’s household? Who is this church that makes the Wisdom of God known? Who are the former strangers who are now citizens?


Enter covenant church membership. The idea of the church is wrapped up in the idea of covenant and, as the church, we must be able to articulate the whatand why of membership.


One of the best explanations of covenant membership comes from Pastor Sam Storms: “Covenant membership is simply the way in which an individual is known to be committed to all others in a local body of believers and how all others are known to be committed to that individual. Covenant membership is simply the way in which an individual makes known his/her covenant commitment to the Elders as spiritual leaders and how the Elders make known and fulfill their responsibility to shepherd and lead and protect the flock.”

While this list isn’t exhaustive, here are 7 reasons why we need covenant church membership

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