Showing posts from May 22, 2011

"My People Israel"

In 1st Kings 16.2, what does God call the apostate, idolatrous Church in the north?

First, allow me to make a seriously important point. The Westminster Confession of Faith rightly claims that there is one church from Adam to eternity (25.1). The story of Israel and Judah united, and then Israel and Judah divided is the story of the Church of Jesus Christ under the Old Covenant.

Now, looking at 1st Kings 16.2, notice what God calls His Church and He says it twice. Think of it, here is the northern “Church” -- idolatrous, violent, faith-breaking, apostate to the gills; and God affectionately claims her as His; “My people Israel”! The broken, scandalous, splintered Church is still His! In desperate need of reformation & resuscitation, yes; but His nonetheless. In serious need of reclamation and reconstruction, no doubt; but His nevertheless. The Spirit corrects our skewed notions here. We must be cautious in claiming that the apostate “churches” are not Christ’s Church. God says, n…

A Deadly Sin Indeed: Acedia

One of the rich enjoyments I have as a pastor who prepares sermons week-in-and-week-out, is that I reap far more than I have time to give out. Much of what I receive may be useful later, but hopefully it is at work on me and in me now. If so, then Paul’s admonition to Timothy will be alive and well through and in me: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4.15.).

So, thoughtfully, and prayerfully rummaging through my readings for this Sunday’s sermon, I tripped over something by Dorothy Sayers (a Christian writer contemporary with C.S. Lewis). It caught me up short and forced me to read it again.

“The sixth Deadly Sin is named by the Church Acedia or Sloth. In the world it calls itself Tolerance; but in hell it is called Despair. It is the accomplice of the other sins and their worst punishment. It is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys no…