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Showing posts from December, 2016

Future Church of England: False Teachers

There's been a bit of discussion recently around the question of false teachers, particularly with relationship to the debate on same-sex relationships.

In a couple of different venues in church recently we've been looking at Jude and 1 John, which, if you know anything about these letters, are fairly strong on this question. Jude writes about the "condemnation" of false teachers who have slipped in (Jude 4) and John writes of the "antichrists" (1 John 2:18). It's interesting that in both contexts the issue is both doctrine and behaviour and of course in Jude the same-sex sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah is given as an example (Jude 7).

What becomes clear in both contexts is that (a) the false teachers are (or were) inside the church and (b) they are not really Christians (Jude 4, 19; 1 John 2:19). Some of the internet discussion has been eye-opening because people don't want to pronounce everyone who makes a mistake as a false-teacher. There…

A Beginner's Guide to Church Revitalization: What Makes a Church Need Revitalizing (Part IV)?

Again it's a while since I wrote on this, but it is something I'm constantly thinking about. Having considered problems with doctrineholiness and mission and evangelism that can lead to a church needing to be revitalized, I want to move on to prayer. Lack of prayer, it seems to me, indicates both a lack of a vibrant relationship with God in the church and it suggests that either people have given up, or are depending upon themselves for the work of the church.

Prayer

I think there are probably two issues with prayer in and for the church. The first is the one that stings all of us - are we actually doing it? The second is, I think a little more complex, but what is the content of our prayers?

So are we actually praying? I guess if you were putting a basic discipleship course together, prayer would be one of the foundation blocks. We might look to Jesus who both committed himself to prayer (e.g. Mark 1:35; 6:46; 14:35; John 17) and taught his disciples to pray (Matthew 6:9-13;…