It finally occurred to me this week to see if this small congregation had a website, for in spite of the building's endearing qualities, other characteristics betrayed the likelihood that this would not be a doctrinally sound church. I did not expect, however, to Google the name of this church and receive a slew of news articles describing a financial scandal from the past. Fraud and deceit, and claims of cult status apparently define this wayward church in the mind of the community.
How sad. Not only is this place lacking in doctrine (evident in part by the fact that the former pastor was a woman), but it is now, in the eyes of the world, identified with shameful illegal activity. We as Christians are not saved by our behavior, but we are accountable for it. And when we identify ourselves with Christ, and yet engage in such activity, we naturally blaspheme and disparage the name of our great Savior.
Of course, this is not only true of prosecution-worthy crimes, but of "small" or "minor" sins as well, like lying, mocking, grumbling, or general worldliness. Do our lives reflect the salvation that is ours in Christ? While we cannot "be the message," for only one message saves and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can nevertheless be worthy ambassadors of this news. Dear reader, trust that as I write this, I am exhorting myself as much as I am you. May we each day pray for the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to spur us on to holiness, and help us strive to walk in a manner worthy of our great calling.
With that, here are a few more recent headlines for you to peruse as you enjoy your week in review (kind of):
- Audio from this year's Shepherd's Conference is now available.
- I've said it before: I love when Don Green joins Mike Abendroth on No Compromise Radio. Why? Because this happens. It's like eavesdropping on a great conversation.
- Speaking of pastors who have been disqualified.
- Together against ecumenism.
- Good thoughts from Jessica Pickowicz on this ridiculous adult coloring craze and the real danger behind it, i.e., the lure to Eastern mysticism and meditation.
- Are we really saved?
- Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
- This is hilarious. Unfortunately, part of the reason it's so funny is because it is sadly close to reality.
- When does error become heresy?
- Strong and true words from Pastor Jerry Wragg: "The Devil Is in the White Spaces."
- Christ fulfills the Law: