Church of the Week

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Missouri, Saint Louis

My church, Destiny Church of Saint Louis, is featured this week as the 700 Club's Church of the Week:

Destiny Church of St. Louis provides ways to get their members involved in evangelism.

...

For making a difference in St. Louis and throughout the world, The 700 Club commends Destiny Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

The articles quotes my pastor (and occasional tennis partner) Jim Stern and my friends Alicia and Nikki, and references the church's Serve St. Loius efforts, including sending care packages to troops in Iraq and pillows to children at a local hospital.

Sunday School Scandal in Watertown

Filed in Politics, Religion, Social IssuesTags: Christianity

In The Agora has a post about First Baptist Church in Watertown, NY, dismissing Mary Lambert from her Sunday School teaching position, which she had held for 54 years, citing I Timothy 2:12 (NIV):

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

The pastor, Timothy LaBouf, issued this statement on the church's web site.

The church also has a blog, but it appears to be only for posting weekly sermons.

There appears to be some history, both with church members taking church matters public, and also specifically with Ms. Lambert, according to this statement from the Diaconate Board. The part that puts the church board and the pastor in a tenuous position is that the dismissal letter referenced only the Scriptural rationale for Lambert's dismissal, yet the board's statement indicated that the dismissal had only a small part to do with that rationale:

In the specific case of Ms. Lambert the Board’s decision to remove her from a teaching position was multifaceted and the scriptural rules concerning women teaching men in a church setting was only a small aspect of that decision. Christian courtesy motivates us to refrain from making any public accusations against her.

According to the pastor's statement:

We had originally intended to include the various multifaceted reasons for the dismissal in our corresponds however after legal review it was recommended that we refrain from including issues that could be construed as slander and stick with “spiritual issues” that govern a church, which the courts have historically stayed out of. With threats of lawsuits in the past we wanted to try hard to not go down that road again.

I'm no lawyer, but it would seem to me that this course of action would only invite more legal scrutiny...

Perhaps, before making such a drastic decision, rationalized based upon a single Scriptural reference, the church should remember this Scripture:

Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

II Corinthians 13:1 (NIV) (See also: Deuteronomy 19:15)

More importantly, if the church wanted to dismiss Lambert for other reasons, they should do so, and state them, rather than hiding behind a "Scriptural rationalization" out of fear of legal ramifications.

OYB August 21

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 1-3
NT: I Corinthians 14:1-17
Ps: Psalm 37:12-29
Pr: Proverbs 21:25-26

Today´s notable verse:

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Job 1:20 (NIV)

Amazing that, in the midst of such suffering and loss, Job's example is one of surrender to the soverignity of God. I wonder how often our response is even but a shadow of his, in the face of but a fraction of his suffering?

So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

I Corinthians 14:12 (NIV)

Here, Paul gives a great reminder that we are given gifts and abilities - in this case, specifically, Spiritual gifts - for the purpose of the edification of the church and to the glory of God, not for our own edification or glory.

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;

Psalm 37:21 (NIV)

Wow, ouch! Talk about a reminder truly to leave no debt outstanding...

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.