77 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-28-19

  1. Good Morning Everyone.
    I have been a poor correspondent lately. For that, I apologize.
    Miss Maddie is sick for the first time. She has a cold and is pitiful. She isn’t sleeping so Grandpa has decided that she should spend the night with us Friday night so the “kids” can get some sleep. What about Mimi?
    Along those lines, I found out Tuesday that I have to have 60 HOURS of CE by the end of March. The good news is that the owner of a real estate school offering that gave me the class. He took pity on me.
    So that includes my prayer request—that I get everything done I need to get done by the end of March!

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  2. Nancy Jill, it’s a mature male red-bellied woodpecker–you can even see the red on his belly, and it’s brighter red than most of them have. (It’s funny to me that this beautiful bird was named for the least conspicuous field mark on its body–but apparently it got its name when science did most of its examination of birds by means of shooting them and examining the dad bird via “skins.”)

    This was from just a week or two ago (this year’s young haven’t been born yet, let alone fledged and in adult plumage), which is why I know it is an adult. He also was calling, making a territorial claim.

    I was photographing pileated woodpeckers, and I heard an animal calling near the path I had already been on. I backtracked to see who was calling, and honestly expected it likely to be a squirrel. Instead, this lovely bird was out in the open, easy to photograph and so pretty, and I took several shots. The one photo I got of him mid-call, he had his eyes closed, so I sent one that shows his beautiful red-brown eyes instead of that one.

    Notice you can see the end of his tail (two pointed feathers) below the limb. Woodpecker tails are distinctive and stiff, allowing the bird to use its tail and two legs as a virtual tripod as it finds a position on a tree and hammers away for insects from under the bark.

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  3. Cheryl we must not have that type of woodpecker out here. I have seen the huge black/white readheaded ones (who happen to be so annoying pecking on our house and vents on the roof!). Are these indigenous to the east? He is very lovely….

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  4. Praying for little Miss Maddie…how I disliked it when my babies were ill. How is Mr P feeling? Wasn’t he going through so difficult health issues as well? Hoping you get some rest too Kim.

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  5. For those who would like to photograph birds, and have the camera that can do it, this is probably the easiest species to photograph, at least of the birds I have gotten. It’s a good bird to practice with. First of all, if you feed birds, and you have red-bellied woodpeckers in your area, it is likely this bird will come to get suet and/or sunflower seed, so you have it coming in close enough to be photographed. (If you don’t feed birds, but you walk in forests that house them–as is the case for this bird–it’s still an easier shot than most.) Second, it’s a decently large bird, so it’s easier to get it in your lens than, say, a chickadee. Also, larger birds move more slowly, less frequently, and more predictably. Actually, any bird that is in territorial display (singing and/or fluffing up its tail and body) is easier to photograph–it’s easier to see it in the first place, since it is making noise and often it’s on an exposed part of the tree, and likely in trees without leaves. But it also is so focused on its desire to advertise its presence that it is far less concerned about potential danger to itself, and it will often allow a human photographer to get quite a bit closer to it than she might be otherwise able to. (A woodpecker that isn’t displaying is likely to move to the other side of the tree and keep the tree between itself and a human, for instance, and other birds are likely to fly into a different tree.)

    If you want to practice and get to where you can photograph flying birds, red-bellied woodpeckers are also an excellent bird for that. (Flickers are about the same size, but far less likely to fly; they’ll happily hop from one place to another once they get to a certain tree or a spot on the ground.) If you have a suet feeder and a red-bellied woodpecker lands in the tree the feeder is in, then you can focus your camera on the suet feeder, leaving enough room in the frame to allow for the bird’s size with its wings open–assuming you have action mode on your camera (the ability to take multiple shots with one push of the button). The red-bellied woodpecker has probably been sitting on the tree trunk or branch, looking around, making sure there is no danger before it lands on the suet. When it flies from there, its next stop is likely to be the suet feeder itself (even if a smaller bird is already on the feeder). When it takes off from the tree, push the button on the camera you have focused on the suet feeder, and you are likely to get a decent shot or two of the bird flying in and landing. It may take several attempts, but the results can be beautiful–this bird has really lovely flight feathers. And once you have learned how to do that, you can “branch out” and try other shots of birds in flight. But the hardest part of capturing a flying bird is predicting when it will fly and where it will fly–so knowing where it will land, and approximately when it will land, gives you a nice shortcut. (Soaring vultures and hovering hummingbirds also allow the predictability, in different ways.)

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  6. Nancy Jill (8:58), I pulled out my Stokes field guide to the western birds to see the territory of the red-bellied, and it looks like its range is pretty much the whole eastern half of the country. (It is shown as the exact same size as the redhead by the way; both say 9 1/4 inches.) Parts of the southwest have two very similar species to the red-bellied, Gila woodpecker (which I have seen) and golden-fronted (which I have not); neither species has as much red on the head as the male here, and the females don’t have any. (The golden-fronted male has a lovely head, though, with three colors in its crown: red, yellow, and orange.) You don’t have any of the three species.

    The flicker is quite a lot larger, though, I see as well. One rarely sees two woodpeckers close enough to examine the size comparison. I knew the flicker was bigger, but was thinking it was only a little bit larger, and it’s actually quite a bit larger.

    We have seven woodpecker species in Indiana, and I have seen (and photographed) all seven, though the yellow-bellied sapsucker is by far my least frequent sighting. The downy (6 3/4″) is our smallest and also the smallest woodpecker in North America. Next is yellow-bellied sapsucker (8 1/2″), then three birds are tied at 9 1/4 inches: hairy, red-headed, and red-bellied. I once got a shot with a red-headed on one side of a tree and a hairy on the other, and I could see they were the same size. The northern flicker comes in at just over a foot long, 12 1/2 inches, and the pileated blows them all away at 16 1/2 inches. For comparison, the American crow is 17 1/2″ and the house sparrow 6 1/4″.

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  7. I found a dead owl in the turkey run this morning. I doubt it starved in there, there are plenty of mice enjoying the chicken and turkey food. But it is likely the turkeys killed it. Sad. Beautiful bird, but I am fairly certain it was not the one I saw yesterday morning. It looked like a barn owl with the heart shaped disc.

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  8. I’d like to make a comment relating to yesterday’s topic.
    The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has a policy that Pastors may not participate in any type of worship service with folks from other denominations. In fact, the President of the Mid-Atlantic region got into deep doo-doo for attending and praying at an ecumenical prayer service in New York right after 9/11. We are somewhat criticized for that policy, but I think the discussion yesterday illustrates why we have it.

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  9. Linda, and that is my concern, where is the unity of believers in Christ? We have so many denominations as we focus on different aspects, that we cannot worship the One True God together.

    I certainly understand the desire to keep the flock from false teaching.

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  10. I got a call from someone this a.m. about doing her taxes. I was able to answer her questions before she Faxes her things to Art. It is difficult being sidelined, again. The clothes I lined up to wear to work this season hang there and mock me daily. My close vision is shot. Using readers with a magnifying glass makes it too cumbersome to do much. Sorry if I seem down. I am hopeful of having glasses in a few weeks to ease my burden.

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  11. Roscuro on Chan:

    Excuse me once again, for being a slow learner, but I require repetition. What, again, is the Church?

    My understanding is that it is all the regenerated ones, chosen by God to become His children. We come from all walks of life and are being made like Him.

    As far as denominations, they are a man made thing that seems to give people a place of identity but also causes division.

    As far as Chan’s teaching, perhaps I have just listened and read old stuff by him, but I understand him to say there is nothing we can do to be saved, it was done at the cross. We are made new in Him by Him. After that, the working out of our faith as in faith without works is dead from James. He calls people to look at their lives and see if they are simply being entertained or if they actually believe and if they actually believe, do they truly see how far beyond us God is, and yet He loves us and desires fellowship with us, and to work with us in our part of His plan. Amazing.

    I don’t see anything in what he teaches to say that being a Christian requires doing, but that by being a Christian, if we are looking to Him, we must do. As that is the result of seeing God. Becoming a Christian is easy for us as He did it all. Being a Christian, the Bible says we will be persecuted. In America, think bakers. People will mock us for our beliefs. And that is true, if we are different, we will stand out and become targets.

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  12. Roscuro on Chan,

    As far as attacking the denominational churches, I believe it comes out of his own experience as a mega church leader. Things like putting out the sign in front of the sanctuary saying no children under five allowed. Seeing lots of folk attending but not having any place they could be exercising their gifts That lead him to think a different mode would make sense. Not unlike the early churches which met in homes. Or, like Lydia, meeting down by the river because there were not enough heads of household to satisfy the requirement for a synagogue, or whatever the reason was. It is okay for us to be vocal in areas of concern. It does not mean everybody has to do it exactly the same, it means we are all unique individuals and if God has called us to be somewhere doing something, perhaps we ought to.

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  13. Janice, is the vision expected to improve? My friend Norma had trouble with one eye following cataract surgery but I believe it was temporary (but still distressing as the first eye was textbook recovery).

    I recall the process when visiting with MSL friends’ churches was that non-members could receive a blessing, not communion.

    We have what we call “fencing” the table at our church — one does not need to be a member of our church or denomination to partake, but must know Christ as savior, be baptized and belong to a Bible-believing church. A warning also is issued that if one is not a Christian, taking communion can be a dangerous thing as the Bible points out. All are encouraged to come to faith and speak with one of the elders following the service if that is the case. After that is explained, it is up to the individual to partake or not.

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  14. Thanks, Kevin. I agree about the seriousness of communion, but to keep true Christians who may be visiting a church from taking communion that they clearly deserve to take seems like legalism to me. In my church it is open to those who believe in the basic tenets of the faith and take it in sincerity.

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  15. DJ, fenced communion: Does the baptism have to be a particular kind? By belong to a church, does that mean church membership? or regular attender?

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  16. ok, I just explained that I am me but it has not appeared. I won’t continue telling you I am me on this particular comment.

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  17. I’ve got to call my tax guy sometime this month.

    Tomorrow the garage door guy comes early to put in the (pricey) new opener. I’ll be counting pennies for a while around here after all the unexpected car repairs and going into property tax/homeowners’ insurance season. On that front, I found two boneless chicken breasts on sale for half price yesterday (because it was the final day they could sell them); so I bought and baked them last night.

    Meanwhile, I received a form I need to fill out for a new parking space at the building I’ll be working in beginning a week or two from now. It’s a very fancy building, apparently, a high rise (we’re on the 4th floor, practically on the ocean but our view isn’t in that direction, unfortunately) with mostly attorneys and other businesses along with little old us who won’t be taking up much space with our 10-15 or so people. We will have no storage, it’s not even clear if we’ll have a desk drawer to call our own. It’s a place to plug in, work, leave. You cart your files, etc., with you apparently.

    It rained a bit last night and is still rather wet this morning.

    Just got a call from someone I didn’t remember, a work source in the medical field, who offered up an interview with a “hipster” doctor who specializes in strokes — this is because, apparently, actor Luke Perry had a stroke today according to TMZ? And I suppose he’s local. But it kind of caught me off guard, I hadn’t really looked at the news yet. So I faked it through the conversation and now have to check in with editors to see who might be following that at one of the papers.

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  18. Mumsee, we can have unity in truth. Unity as an end in itself is not good. The Roman Catholics, for instance, would argue that Martin Luther and other reformers were working against unity, but unified heresy does not glorify God. Last week we talked about prayer meetings in which not only different denominations, but different religions, pray together–which the prophet Elijah (and apostle Paul) would have wept over, and had harsh things to say over, I think. They would have spoken to the “Christian” pastors participating, not to the pagans.

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  19. Baptism does not have to be of a particular kind, we also recognize Catholic baptism. Church membership is implied but I would imagine if one attends regularly a church that doesn’t offer that option it would qualify (we leave it up the individual visitors to make these decisions at the time communion is being served in our service). The idea is that those who are alienated from the local, visible church and not attending regularly might want to rethink partaking.

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  20. All that’s said is that one should be a believer, have been baptized and currently a member (? or belong to?) of a Christian (or Bible-believing) church

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  21. Janice, no one “deserves” to take the Lord’s supper. We too fence the table, much like DJ described. For some reason, it is always part of the evening service (never the morning), and in the morning the elders say that anyone who wants to partake this evening, who is not a member of our church or our denomination, needs to speak with our elders. The elders have spiritual responsibility over their flock, and that seems a good way to allow communion to those who are unknown to the elders but believers. Better to err on the side of caution and refuse it to someone who is a believer (but doesn’t choose to meet with the elders) than to have it just be open to anyone, believer or not. And no, the baptism doesn’t have to be a particular kind.

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  22. Officially the LCMS does have closed communion but in reality, it’s up to the local pastor and I’ve never heard of (or seen) anyone refused. The reason we do is that we believe differently about it than other denominations – it is not a “sign” of our believe but rather a means of grace for believers.

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  23. This gets so complicated. What is a “means of grace”? I wish I had a brain like Roscuro’s that could retain stuff. But then again, my brain is just right for me.

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  24. Mumsee,

    A new fad in Christian circles (Francis Chan is one of the leaders, as I was reminded in the reading I did last night) is to bounce from the megachurch stage to the opposite extreme. Did you look at the links Roscuro and I posted late last night, the book review she posted and the links with several videos that I posted?

    It is perfectly legitimate for a church to meet in a home, whether temporarily or permanently. But ironically, attacking denominations, and speaking badly of the “institutional church,” does not bring more unity, but less. See, when a preacher is saying, “I’ve given up denominations, so my church is purer and truer,” he is really starting his own denomination–and becoming less accountable in the process. Recently (in the Southern Baptists) we have seen how dangerous it can be when even a denomination fails to hold accountability and allows individual churches to be their own individual entities.

    Scripture does not say that a church family must meet in homes, or must meet in church buildings. I’m not at all a fan of megachurches, and I personally believe that refusing to allow five-year-olds and younger children in the service is wrong. It’s perfectly fair to say that megachurches do some things poorly–but then, house churches also do some things poorly.

    In the fad of home church only, much is said attacking the idea of a pastor receiving a salary. But both Old and New Testaments speak of ministers being paid. I don’t like to see a church carry mortgage debt, but there is nothing even close to unbiblical in a church having its own building or paying one or more pastors. Nor is it unbiblical to require pastors to submit to theological training. This particular movement is new, but I suspect twenty years from now we will be seeing the fallout from it as well. My own hunch is it will morph into clusters of churches with great theological illiteracy, with one group being Charismatic and one group having women pastors and one group not really using the Bible at all and one group receiving new “revelation” about something they need to do new and different, and so forth. But we have yet to see. But attacking the church is not the way to bring biblical unity.

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  25. Here’s an article from Ligonier (our denomination also views communion as one of the means of grace)

    https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/means-of-grace/
    _______________________

    … In His grace and in His wisdom, God has provided ways by which we can regularly have our faith in His promises fortified. Historically, we have referred to these ways of strengthening our faith as the ordinary means of grace. Prayer, the preaching of the Word, and the sacraments are not elaborate or fancy methods of giving us what we need to confirm our trust in Christ. To an outside observer, they do not seem special at all. After all, they make use of rather common things such as human speech, bread, wine, and water. But by faith and the work of the Spirit, these common elements are used to do an uncommon work — the confirmation of our trust in Jesus and the strengthening of our wills to flee from sin and rest in Christ alone. …
    ___________________________

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  26. ______________________
    … The sacraments are mysteries in that we cannot explain fully what God accomplishes through them. We do know, however, that they are more than memorial observations. They become effectual means of grace to those with faith by the working of the Holy Spirit (WLC , Q. 161). To downplay their importance is to desupernaturalize our holy religion, so let us have a high view of the sacraments as confirming signs of God’s Word.
    _________________________

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  27. I wasn’t in on the discussion yesterday. I will say that I (currently) will not worship at a non-denominational church. I don’t want to follow the preacher, I want to know what the church believes. I want to be able to research and know their teachings.
    As an aside, my father was never able to take communion in the Lutheran church, although I was. He did not have proof of baptism, I am positive he was at some time, and he said at his age he wasn’t going to get re-baptized. The morning he died, pastor came to the house and prayed with us. He told me not to worry my father was in heaven. Daddy had taken a Bible study with him and challenged him at every turn

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  28. “It’s perfectly fair to say that megachurches do some things poorly–but then, house churches also do some things poorly.” So true.

    Something to think about: Our pastor often says that the fact that there are different Christian denominations is a sign that the visible church continues to ever seek the truth. We must (and do) agree on the essentials, but there are other issues that we will have differences on — that doesn’t mean, however, that churches shouldn’t always to seeking the truth in those areas as well. We can continue to be, together, the church visible despite those differences. But that is a positive take on why we have denominations, I think. We continue to strive for the truth and that is a good sign. It’s important to us.

    I think there is a house church ‘fad’ in our midst (nothing’s ever really new), probably a reaction (over-reaction) to the polished mega-church model. Remember when it was popular in the 1990s or so to perform service projects as a group on Sunday mornings as constituting “church”?

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  29. Cheryl, I did look at the various sites posted, though some were so sickening, I did not stick with them. Nor do I know who is running those sites. I have never been a fan of Christianity Today and don’t know the other. Not to say they are good or bad, but I don’t know.

    I don’t know Chan’s motivation for doing that. I don’t know if those people were doing that garbage at this conference or some other stage. God knows all that and I would not want to be in their shoes when they come before Him. Scary.

    All I do know is that I have listened to some of Chan’s sermons and they were quite definitely pointing people to God. I have read one of his books and found it the same. I did not hear any “look at me, follow me” stuff. I did not hear any “I am the one who has it right” stuff. As mentioned, perhaps he has turned, I will continue to pray for him and probably listen to occasional sermons as I have time, which I have not in a long time. And I will not call him a heretic or unstable until I see otherwise. Anybody can say anything on the internet. But from what I have seen, he seems to be walking the talk, not expecting others to do it the same.

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  30. The LCMS take on why there are many denominations is different than that but I don’t think I’ll go there, as it would start a big fight. 🙂

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  31. mumsee’s reason for the denominations is that people want to do it their own way and want to focus in the areas that stand out to them. Then they find like minded people and start a denomination. You might say, kind of like Chan is maybe doing.

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  32. Sorry, Cheryl, that I misused the word ‘deserve.’ I think as an editor you may be able to tell me the word I meant. None of us are worthy of or deserve to take communion. Only because of the grace of God are we allowed unless a human says ,”No, you can’t take communion because you do not believe exactly as this flock of believers.” I think the error in those who make such judgments is saying they know the heart of a person which only God knows. I am thankful to not be in a place where making such judgments is necessary. But who am I to judge what others do in their churches? I am a sinner redeemed only by the grace of God.

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  33. Mumsee, my husband has noticed that people gravitate to denominations that allow for whatever weakness they have (to be tolerated and not talked about as sin) within the community of believers. I am sure that is not true of all churches, but probably is like that for some. That is why I like being in a church that teaches straight from the Bible every Sunday. The Bible is not tolerant of sin and it covers it all.

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  34. I believe a lot of ministries not associated with churches reach people with the gospel when churches have failed to reach them in their place of need. The good ministries point the people, after their initial point of salvation, to become involved with a local church. I see such ministries as assets and friends to churches. That is how I see Christian Library International. They are not in competition with churches. They are going where most churches don’t go, but where Jesus wants believers to go in visiting with prisoners.

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  35. Mumsee, the Church is the Body of Christ. All those who are chosen by the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and called by the Holy Spirit into fellowship with God are part of the Church.

    Chan makes the mistake of viewing the Church in the New Testament as being the ideal model. Like his misconception of the Church in India as being better than the Western Church, Chan’s mistake is in failing to recognize that the New Testament Church had as many problems as the modern Church, and the problems start in the book of Acts. The Jewish believers had to be persecuted to leave Jerusalem and preach the Gospel worldwide as commanded, but even then they wouldn’t tell the Gentiles. It took a vision from God to Peter to get the Jews to share the good news with the Gentiles, and the whole idea of practicing Judaism along with following Christ died a slow death, with the council in Jerusalem having to assemble and write letters to resolve the matter. Even then Paul later had to warn the Galatians against those who insisted on keeping the law, while the book of Hebrews was written to Jewish converts to warn them about elevating their traditions above Christ, and the problem still exists among Messianic Jews and anyone who confounds their ethnic or national identity with being a Christian (a problem that exists from Russian Orthodox to Scottish Presbyterians to American Baptists). John, in his epistles, was fighting a running battle with Gnosticism, which was a syncretism of pagan religion and philosophy with Christianity that denied the reality of Christ. The problem of syncretism that ends up denying the reality of Christ is found not only in sect and cults that carry out superstitious practices that exist among the ancient Coptic, Assyrian, Orthodox, and Catholic churches, but also in sects and cults that began in the modern era of Protestantism, such as the Charismatics and Mormonism. Then there was the Corinthian church, as sorry a mess of division, false teachers, moral apathy, and worldly obsession as any modern megachurch. The problems of the Church are as old as the Church. The solution does not lie in returning to the house church model, because the Church had the same problems when it still met in houses.

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  36. Janice, I figured that wasn’t the word you wanted. I think we can say we need the Lord’s supper, and that Christ offers it to us.

    At the same time, it is a supper for the local church . (You wouldn’t, for instance, discover that the other people in the cat-food aisle were fellow Christians, and decide to partake of the Lord’s supper together.) When family eats together, extended family isn’t excluded, but you want to know that they are coming to join you, and you also won’t open the door to just anyone ringing the doorbell. In other words, pastors aren’t excluding people who aren’t in their particular flock, but seeing whether they can include them (since they aren’t automatically included).

    In Chicago I occasionally attended services at a Lutheran church (a church whose website shows them to be extremely liberal, but I mostly attended Bach cantatas there, and had no way of knowing more of their theology than what they stated). I read the notes in the pew about who was eligible to partake of communion with them, and saw that I was excluded, and accepted that. When it actually came time to partake, everyone in the building but me went forward! I saw that they apparently didn’t “enforce” their standards, but I stayed away anyway.

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  37. Roscuro,

    Is he actually calling for everybody to stop with the denominations, or is he saying this is an effective alternative? I did not get the impression he thought the early church had it right anymore than we do. I got the impression he was calling people to look to God, see His majesty and glory, and act accordingly. If it is in your church, fine. If it is in foreign missions, fine. If it is in the neighborhood, fine. But do something. Start being active in loving our neighbors, where God has called us to do so. Get into the prisons. Get into the drug neighborhoods or with the homeless. Adopt a child. Something. Rather than just passively sit back and gradually cool off. And not for salvation but because of salvation.

    I suspect we all hear not just what we want to hear but what we are programmed through life experience to hear.

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  38. The new header is our smallest woodpecker (and I think it is by far the most common), the downy. It’s making its way to the end of a dead branch and calling. This was last week. It is snowing outside my window here now and single digits overnights right now, but the birds have already determined it is spring. Hopefully they can be patient and wait through this for actual spring.

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  39. I think open or closed communion is not something important to salvation so people are free to choose to go to a church that is open or closed in that regard according to their preference and desire to err on one side or the other. I am thankful that within the same denomination that we have so many choices.

    At one time when Wesley was quite young, we considered joining a PICA church. Ironically, their insistance that members commit to taking part in three group situations (church service, Sunday school,. and a small group) was too much time commitment from Art. So we ended up joining the Methodist church where he joined the choir, served as assistant to the treasurer, served on other committees, and attended church (and Sunday School back then). He committed more time than he had been asked to commit to the PCA.

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  40. I was thrilled that Wesley got to go to Covenant, the PCA college. We were blessed that it was on the Georgia side of Lookout Mt. so he qualified for the Georgia Hope scholarship. I knew Covenant was not nearly as liberal as many Methodist colleges.

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  41. I disagree with closed communion and the church that makes people talk to the elders before taking communion. It is the individual’s responsibility before the Lord to take communion, not the elder/pastor. Yes, the eldership is responsible for the spiritual health of the church and should warn the congregation of the consequences of taking the Lord’s supper in an unworthy manner. But it is the Lord’s supper, not the denomination’s, pastor’s, or local church’s super. If a person claims to be a Christian believer, but is lying, it is against God he/she has sinned, not the church.

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  42. Peter, would you disagree with other forms of church discipline / discipleship as well? Would you disagree with excommunication in cases of unrepentant sin? (Ex-communication is literally keeping a person from taking communion.) If the elders have the God-given authority at the back end (saying that you may no longer take communion), how can they be forbidden it at the front end?

    It isn’t either/or, either it’s the Lord’s table OR the undershepherds have spiritual authority over the flock under their care. It’s both. How they use that authority may vary from one church to another, but they really and truly have it–or it is not a church. Nor is it either/or that a person may sin against Christ or against His body, but not against both.

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  43. Agree Cheryl. Our elders point to what Scripture says about the dangers of taking the supper in an unworthy manner so there is always that warning. The elders have a responsibility to those under their care in the church.

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  44. I do prefer the clear pronouncements and fencing parameters being laid out from the pulpit in a general way rather than requiring visitors to speak personally first with elders-my former church sometimes did the latter. But the church does have the responsibility to exercise control over the observance.

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  45. DJ, I am not saying that I would choose the speaking with the elders–but it’s no particular hardship to be asked to do so, either. It’s better than no policy.

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