Church Polity

Looking to the scripture we see God’s magnificent hand at work in all that occurs on Earth. However, our God does not merely involve himself in the grandest events: celestial formation, solar activity, cosmic phenomena, etc. But, he intimately involves himself in the minutiae of everyday life. God...
The right preaching of the Gospel, the right administration of the sacraments and church discipline have together been held, among Protestants, as the key marks of any true church. And though the third mark, church discipline, has sadly been neglected in modern evangelicalism (greatly damaging the...
In 381 the Council of Constantinople wrote the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. In that creed we find the attributes of the Church. The famous line says that the church is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” However, in the days of the Reformation disputes arose. The Roman Catholics contested the...
John Hus’s Company of Women John Hus, the Bohemian Reformer who was condemned as heretic at the Council of Constance, was supported by a large number of women. This was, in some ways, unusual. The same couldn’t be said, for example, in the case of John Wycliffe, in England. One possible reason was...
Our dynamic duo brings up a topic that is usually difficult, and—many times—hard to swallow in the local church. Church leaders and congregants alike can also often misunderstand its procedure and purposes. What is church discipline, and what does Scripture teach about it? What’s the purpose of...
Pastors, elders, and godly parents rightly take interest in the education and nurture of their children, and as a result action-minded Christians start schools. Christian schools represent a natural or spontaneous result of faith, and the Lord is pleased with such loving motives and acts...
Theological error and heresy constantly plagued the church during the life of the Apostle Paul, so it is no surprise that his final instructions to Timothy contain essential counsel on the right way to address error and heresy 2 Timothy 2:22-26 belongs to a larger discourse that runs from 2:14-26...
A few weeks ago the session on which I serve was interviewing some young teenage girls for communicant membership in the church. When a child in the congregation I serve approaches me about making their profession of faith before the session I ask them two questions. First, I ask to hear their...
In a 1986 speech President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I'm here to help.’” A lot of Americans appreciated Reagan’s humorous point because sometimes government does more to harm than to help. Many Americans, however,...
It is never easy to watch someone walk away from their profession of faith in Christ. It is never easy to go through the disciplinary process which may culminate in excommunication. It’s never easy and it is always painful. And when one and likely both of these things happen you can’t help but...