Snippets from the interweb (28th May 2023)

What do you do with a church that is not a church?

My friend, Stephen Watkinson, raises two important questions and, in this post, answers the first of them.

You can’t tear down the norm and then be surprised by what comes next

This is about a particular man who advocated for one thing but is now unhappy with where that advocacy led. But I think this very thing happens all the time. People argue for societal changes that serve them and their departure from the norm, on the grounds that norms shouldn’t be norms at all, and then get upset when destroying that root comes with evident consequences. In this case, it is those who rejected traditional definitions of marriage.

Five reasons why pastors should share their pulpit

I agree with all the reasons given in this. It is important that we allow others into the pulpit so they can be trained, encourage the church and we can be seen to need to feed on the Word as much as anybody else in the church.

Why every church should practice “open” and “closed” communion

I agree with this one. Though, what it describes (I would argue) is that every church actually practices close communion in reality. I’m not aware of any who actively encourage unbelievers to partake knowing them to be unbelievers. The truth is, we all practice close communion and it’s just a question of where we set the boundary of closeness.

How you treat the least and the little matters

‘Churches are meant to be welcoming places, places where people of all walks of life can enter the building and be welcomed with a smile and a sincere appreciation that they have walked in. One of the key things that churches seem proud of is them being known as a ‘welcoming church’. Which is great, but that welcome goes beyond the first person they meet at the door.’

In defence of the Christian twittersphere

As regular readers will know, I recently took the decision to come off twitter (see here). But, I am glad to read articles challenging that decision. I am similarly glad to find that those who remain are still finding real value there, and I hope it may long continue.

From the archive: Should Romans 15:7 flatted paedo-baptist distinctives on membership?

‘If we are called to ‘welcome one another in love’ (cf. Rom 15:7) shouldn’t we be admitting to membership those who we can affirm as believers, even if they haven’t been baptised? You may not agree with paedobaptism, but if these are your brothers and sisters in Christ, ought you not to welcome them into membership because, to do otherwise, undercuts Paul’s instruction in Romans 15:7. So goes one of the arguments against the Baptist position.’