Snippets from the interweb (18th April 2021)

Ignore the noise and shepherd the flock among you

‘I’m a shepherd of a particular flock. God has given me, along with other elders, oversight of that congregation. That’s my charge. I don’t need to get involved with every issue out there. I need to care for the people entrusted to me. Sometimes the best thing we can do is turn off social media and news sites and serve the people God’s given to us. I’m primarily a local church pastor, entrusted with a particular group of people in a particular place. That matters more than getting distracted with issues that don’t affect my local congregation.’

Jesus is not there

‘As we look at the main difference between us and Rome regarding the Lord’s supper, I wonder if we consider this important truth. The Lord’s supper not only is a reminder to true Christians about the fact that their salvation is already guaranteed, but it is also a reminder of the fact that Jesus isn’t here physically.’

Why have I contributed to a book about pastors with depression?

Dave Williams shares why he contributed to a book I edited on pastors and depression and why he hopes you will read it, even if you’re not a pastor.

Stop catastrophising

‘I have been struck by the panicked nature of many Christians at the erosion of Christian values in our society. I share some of those concerns but I think catastrophising about it doesn’t help anyone. For a start we need to recognise that we have enjoyed a period of tremendous privilege. And secondly we have to recognise that biblically that is not the norm.’

Shock news: Judas walks away from the faith

‘Falling away is a thing. We’ve all seen it enough. It’s been a thing since Adam and Eve were deceived, and it was a constant in the Old Testament, we’ve seen it in the New Testament, and Church History abounds with it. The Bible is not shocked by it – goodness knows there are enough warnings about it, primarily due to its distinct possibility. It’s not as if we read “Let the one who stands take heed lest they fall (1Cor10:12) and are left wondering what the hidden message is in all of that. It’s plain as day!’

4 principles for raising up elders

It’s a good question to ask: how do you go about raising up elders in the local church. This one offers four important things to think about.

From the archive: An important question in Muslim-Christian dialogue

‘One of the questions that we circled back onto a number of times was given to my imam friend. It began as a question about freedom of choice in conversion. We were told that nobody can be forced to be Muslim and anybody is free to be whatever religion they want. However, we were also told that anybody who becomes a Muslim is not free to ‘de-convert’. This then led to some discussion surrounding a) the position of those who have been deemed Muslims simply by being born into a particular family; b) how freedom of choice actually exists if people are free to become Muslims but not free to leave Islam; and, c) why so many Muslims appear to see it as entirely legitimate to attack those who leave the faith.’