Snippets from the interweb (8th November 2020)

Totalled church

Steve McAlpine reflects on the recent thirtyone:eight report into The Crowded House.

How formal membership makes the church a family

I co-sign this one: ‘Every church has a sense of membership. Every church has some kind of idea of who is a part of that congregation and who is not. But in some churches the distinction between the church and the world is blurry, while in others that distinction is more clearly defined. The life of the church may feel more natural and organic in church without formal membership—but it’s the organic relationships of a commune, not a family. Communes are just people who happen to live near one another, but a family is a web of organic relationships that develop within defined commitments and roles. If you want the church to be a family, commit to formal church membership.’

Why it is right to challenge government to justify the restriction of our freedom of religion under the new national lockdown in England

Despite having a puritan length title for his blog post, John Stevens – National Director of FIEC – absolutely nails the situation regarding coronavirus in England and why the church should, this time, legally challenge the government decision to close places of worship.

A Pastor’s lockdown dilemma

On a similar note, Matthew Hosier uses a conversation between Pastor Sceptic and Pastor Lockdown to outline the tensions many pastors feel at the moment.

False gospel: “I gotta get myself together”

‘At best, I-Gotta-Get-Myself-Together is a religion of works. At worst, it’s a lame excuse. As a works-based religion, it burdens the sinner with the hopeless message of fixing oneself without Jesus.’

What’s next for Christians in an election that won’t end?

Russell Moore: ‘How should Christians think of the future? That is complicated by the fact that the church isn’t observing this in the “outside world” as some sort of detached Watcher on the moon. Churches are themselves divided politically, generationally, and racially. An election—whether a blue or red wave—wouldn’t have resolved this.’

From the archive: Beth Moore’s letter and the psychology of what happens next

‘For many complementarians, knowing what to do with women is a bit like grasping the depths of the doctrine of the trinity. They kind of have a handle on the main things so long as nobody probes too deeply and exposes their shoddy grasp of what they claim to believe. Many complementarians are essentially down with the principle that scripture isn’t OK with female eldership and teaching in the gathered church. Probe into other areas deemed off-limits and reasoning starts to fray a little and things become a bit strained.’