Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« "The Authorities Are God's Servants" -- Romans 13:1-7 | Main | Sermon Illustrations in Detroit »

The Devil Hates the Prayer Channel

Be sure to check out Scott Clark's important take on the priority of public worship to private devotions.  There's nothing wrong with a healthy devotional life, but Scripture places the primary emphasis on Lord's Day worship and the public assembly of God's people.  Click here: Which Has Priority: Private Devotion or Public Worship? « Heidelblog

A Christian TV channel (the Prayer Channel) is using the devil in an ad campaign to promote their programming.  In the commercial spots, the devil warns people not to watch this channel.  Yeah, right!  If that channel comes on my cable network, I won't watch it, and I can tell you that the devil will have nothing to do with my decision.  Click here: Church Uses Devil To Rebrand Prayer Channel - 12/3/2008 4:47:00 PM - Broadcasting & Cable

Something tells me that much of Europe sleeps a tad easier knowing that today's version of the Wehrmacht is too fat, smokes too much, and doesn't like to fight.  But it doesn't help the NATO cause in Afghanistan very much.  Click here: German soldiers deemed 'too fat to fight' - Times Online

Here's the next end-times fad, "seeds of the Antichrist."  Did you know that genetically altered seed will be used to control the world's population through food shortages?  I did not know that.  Click here: Farmer links seed patents to the Antichrist -

Reader Comments (4)

As Clark says, the lack of emphasis on public worship definitely comes from the pietist movement. When I confront people about lack of emphasis on corporate worship I usually always get the same response - one's "personal relationship" with the Lord is the main thing that does not necessitate a gathering together. And to lock up and ensure that things will remain that way, most American evangelicals do not use a public confession (e.g., Apostle's Creed) of doctrine, a public acknowledgment and confession of sin, a view of the Lord's Supper as a sacrament (means of grace), etc. Again, when I confront them about these things I almost always get the same response - those confessions are "individual" things that need to come from the believer's heart. And, of course, the Lord's Supper is merely a remembrance of Christ's sacrifice.

So ... having listened to that I usually set up an analogy that goes something like this: I ask them if they've ever witnessed a jury trial, either live or through some media. Most people say yes. Then I ask them what happens when a witness is called to the stand for testimony and questioning. Most people know that the witness has to be "sworn in" to the court beforehand. OK, what are the consequences of his "swearing into" the court? People usually know that it means they're sworn to tell the truth, as they know it, and if they don't they, too, can be liable before the court for perjury.

Then I turn the situation back to the local church: If we all confess to the same system of beliefs through a creedal statement, then we are publicly saying that we are in agreement with them. Certainly, we can do this privately before God, but it's important that we do it corporately to acknowledge our position as believers. Likewise the public hearing of the Gospel, which hopefully emerges from scripture in support of our doctrinal confessions. And so does the public confession of sin and, in some denominations, absolution and forgiveness from the pastor by virtue of the Office of the Keys.

Then, I often get push-back that anyone can just say those things publicly and not necessarily mean them. To which I reply, yes, of course that can happen, but like the trial witness, they've confessed to God and to each other something for which they can be held responsible publicly. Should an event occur later that involves a serious breech of doctrine, church discipline can be applied as outlined in Matt. 18. In short, the church will have unity, something that is strongly emphasized throughout Paul's epistles.

If I get head shaking and dissension after all of that I just shrug my shoulders and chalk it up to the influence that pietism has left as a scar across our nation.
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

What you’re up against is the seismic presupposition that true religion is a matter of personal preference and inward experience. I am willing to bet that those who dismiss your courtroom argument are the same ones who ironically salivate to be jurists in the culture wars.
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Zrim -

It's the "inward experience" that is particularly troublesome. An internal "calling" can come from a human spirit - or worse - if it's not accompanied by the hearing of the Gospel. I recently had the opportunity to speak to an older couple who had been life-long members of a Lutheran church, only to change to Baptist (not a Reformed Baptist) a few years ago. When I asked the woman what led to the sudden change she remarked that she grew up listening to sermons about condemnation under the Law, freedom through grace under the Gospel, following the need for introspection of one's fallen condition and subsequent contrition and repentance. So I said "And....."

Well, the "and" part consisted of attending the Baptist church they now attend, after seeing their son seemingly "changed" by his involvement in some youth group there, and experiencing an overwhelming warmth and freeing atmosphere. 'Nuff said.
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Gag. Strongly ingrained pietism was one of the greatest obstacles which I confronted in pastoring (until quite recently) a Baptist church. I did my darnedest to bring them to public confession of the Doctrines of Grace but the ingrown tendencies were too strong.
December 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.