Many of the questions that are polarizing our culture today are anchored in the old question of what it means to be human. Continue reading Pastoral Letter Extended 4: What are we?
by Lloyd Biddle, Executive Pastor of Development
Tuesday evening, when I left the church for the day, despite my desperate attempts to jump the battery, my car would not start. I called our facilities manager, Tom Brogan, on Wednesday morning when I knew he would be on his way to work. He has a powerful jump starter battery pack that he uses to help people like me when their car batteries die on church grounds. If you didn’t know already, Tom is a very helpful guy.
I arrived at the church and saw Craig Fonzen and his men’s small group meeting as they do faithfully every Wednesday morning. They were in the middle of a discussion on Nic’s May 24th sermon based on Acts 6:1-7 in which he preached that “gospel ordinary isn’t typical humanity” when it comes to dealing with issues of ethnicity, race and culture.
Question from the Congregation
My small group discussed a question recently, and they encouraged me to present it to you: “What is my role in becoming a Christian? I have always felt I had some role in becoming a follower of Christ—responding to the calling rather than just turning away, denying Jesus access to my heart and life. However, from the reading/sermon I clearly understood that I have done nothing and it is all God’s grace. Could you consider expounding on this?”
The distinction in the Bible’s language about our actions essentially divides them into actions that are meritorious (meaning that, in return for such actions, we deserve something), and those that are essential (meaning that we have to do them, even if such action doesn’t cause us to deserve anything).
Advent may have started on Monday, but it’s not too late to begin an Advent devotional to help focus our hearts and minds on what this season is truly about. To help get you started, we collected a few for you to choose from.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
More people have asked me this question recently than ever before: “Should I attend a friends same-sex wedding?” Or, “Should I attend my brother’s same-sex wedding ceremony?”
Being pro-life unashamedly — actually believing in the intrinsic sacredness of human lives — has fought a long defeat for 40 years. That is not to say that 50 or 100 years from now people will not look back on this era and lament the barbarism of their parents and grandparents. I have some hope that this may yet be the case. But it has been a long defeat in that those fighting for intrinsic human dignity, especially in the womb, have fought for multiple generations with victory out of sight. It is demoralizing to not be near victory, especially when the casualties of this conflict are so many and still mounting so quickly.
Each year globally there are about 40 million abortions. There are 1.2 million each year in America. It has been generally reported that the abortion rate in New York City is 41%, but when broken down by Burroughs, some have rates as high as 70%. Since some estimated the abortion rate in America as high as 1.2 million in 1965, it is not unlikely that the 40 year death toll has been in excess of 40 million lives in the United States alone.