A friend recently distinguished between two helpful categories: worship services that are performative and worship services that are participatory. A performative worship service is one that could merrily go on even if there was no one there but the people at the front of the room—the pastor(s) and the band. A participatory worship service is one that would have no meaning unless the congregation was … Continue reading Challies on Worship
[Editor’s Note: Originally republished here June 11, 2003, by Rev. Royal M. Hamel. © Beautiful Womanhood 2015]
George Orwell once wrote that he lived in an age when stating the obvious was the first duty of intelligent men. I believe that activists and lay people are rising up and carrying out prophetic work in the culture because pastors and priests by and large are not carrying out a prophetic calling in their pulpits. I speak as a former pastor and my critique includes my own years of pulpit ministry.Who will doubt, for instance, that we live in a sex-saturated society? Hollywood, TV, books, magazines, music videos, and advertising have been spewing out a gospel of unrestrained sexual indulgence for decades. Pre-marital sex has practically become the norm among adolescents, abortions have risen dramatically as a result, and homosexuality is not only tolerated, but is quickly becoming “normal” as an accepted cultural lifestyle. And now certain academics are beginning to defend the acceptability of inter-generational sex (pedophilia). And nobody questions that Christians, too, are influenced negatively by these immoral “norms”. Nevertheless, in the face of rampant anti-moral trends, it is my observation that pastors and priests, rarely, if ever touch on issues of sexual morality from the pulpit. Continue reading “The Elephant in Our Church Sanctuaries”
In the following months, Megan started feeling tired. She noticed her body changing and on a whim decided to buy a pregnancy test. It was positive. In disbelief, she took more tests and even went to the emergency room where a doctor confirmed the pregnancy. A nurse came in and slipped Megan a note with Romans 8:28 scrawled on it: “All things work together for the good … Continue reading Single Mother, Divine Intervention.