Why commitment to a local church matters

In conversation with one of the people who has decided to open up his church during lockdown, he was quick to talk about the positives because he was seeing growth during the past few weeks following the decision.  I asked him whether this growth was from hungry unbelievers desperate to find Gospel food, from discontentContinue reading “Why commitment to a local church matters”

The Curse

Covenant History blessed in God’s presence, cursed by exile from it To understand the Covenant ceremony, we need to go back to Genesis  1-3.  God creates a good world and also plants a beautiful and secure garden for the first humans, Adam and Eve, to live in.  Adam is commissioned to tend to the gardenContinue reading “The Curse”

Learning to See – That important detail

On a couple of occasions, I’ve been asked for informal advice about a legal matter. Sometimes it has been to do with employment law, once or twice about family law and often to do with immigration and asylum.  Often people start with a lengthy story of every single possible grievance or defence that might haveContinue reading “Learning to See – That important detail”

Does forgiveness remove the need for church discipline?

In my ten years at Bearwood Chapel, we’ve only felt the need to pursue full church discipline in line with 1 Corinthians 5 on one occasion. However the need to remove membership due to persistent, unrepentant and serious sin will sadly arise from time to time in church life. We’ve been talking about the importanceContinue reading “Does forgiveness remove the need for church discipline?”

Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)

On our After Eight slot for Bearwood Chapel we were talking about the bit where Jesus says to take out the log in your own eye before attempting to remove your brother’s speck the other day. I asked Sarah, in the context of this, what she thought was our primary responsibility in a dispute. SheContinue reading “Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)”

#ChurchToo – Pastoring the accused

What are our responsibilities towards someone who has been accused of abuse or bullying within the church? It is important to remember at this stage that being accused and being found guilty are not the same things. So, our first responsibility both to the accused and the accuser is to seek truth and justice. Secondly,Continue reading “#ChurchToo – Pastoring the accused”

When pastoral questions might be linked (A further response to Beth Moore)

I want to come back to Beth Moore’s questions.  Now we assumed that the two questions were hypothetical and that they were about two distinct scenarios. However, suppose that they weren’t.  Of course, only Beth Moore knows the answer to that. Certainly I get the feel that they are at least based on her wealthContinue reading “When pastoral questions might be linked (A further response to Beth Moore)”

Should we sympathise with Dominic Cummings?

On Saturday May 23rd news broke that Dominic Cummings (Boris Johnson’s chief of staff) had allegedly broke the lockdown rules to visit his parents in Durham.   Over the day, the story changed several times. The explanation was given that he went because he and his wife were beginning o show symptoms of COVID-19 and thatContinue reading “Should we sympathise with Dominic Cummings?”