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Why Church Membership? The importance of community in an individualistic and online world

Why should I join a church? Is there really a difference between joining a church and attending regularly? I can now go to church "online" and watch a famous preacher on my TV - isn't that just as good as joining a local church? In our day, where both technology, individualism, and a consumer approach to religion are rampant, these are all questions that come up and need ...

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A Great Divide: The Fundamental Difference Between the PCA and PCUSA

One of the questions that I routinely get asked as the minister of a Presbyterian Church is this: “What is the difference between your church and the Presbyterian Church down the road?” I have found that simply asserting that we are part of the PCA and the other Presbyterian Church is part of the PC(USA), only leads to “What is the difference between the ...

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What happened to the Presbyterian Church USA?

This week the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States, approved an ammendment to their constitution to redefine marriage as "a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a women, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives." The church had voted to adopt this change at last years General ...

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A Reformed Church

Redeemer is a "Reformed" church. What does that mean exactly? ...

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Christianity for Sale?

In last week’s sermon, we discussed the negative influence of consumerism when it is applied to the Christian faith. We made the point that a "consumer Christian" is not a disciple, and that Christ call to follow him is a call to be a disciple, not a consumer. Unfortunately, the consumer mentality has not just affected Christians as individuals, but as churches (and ...

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A 21st century plea for Catechizing our youth, part 1

This is the first in a series of posts about the critical importance of catechesis in the home and church today. My hope is to convince that catechism is a discipline and privilege that Christian parents should engage in and churches encourage and support. While this has always been true historically, I believe it is especially critical in light of our current cultural sit...

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How to write a worship song in five minutes (OR Why we sing hymns)

First, watch this video... This video is funny. It's also rather sad. While certainly exaggerating, it expresses quite pointedly how empty many contemporary worship songs really are. In only a few years as a minister, it has become obvious to me that many people are turned away from reformed and presbyterian churches because they find the minimal instrumentation and ...

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What should I do Sunday afternoon, part 2

What should we do Sunday afternoon? In the first post on this topic, we finished by suggesting that to answer this question we must consider the purpose of the Lord's Day. As we consider what Sunday is for, it will help us determine what we should do. Purpose # 1: Sunday is intended to bring us refreshment, both physically and spiritually. This aspect of refreshment is a...

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What should I do on Sunday afternoon?

What should I do on Sunday afternoon? I acknowledge that even asking this question identifies me as one of those weird Christians who still believes that Sunday is a special day. I admit it is true. I still believe that the 4th commandment applies, that Sunday is the Lord's Day, and thus it is to be different from the other days of our week. This is the position of our de...

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Why have a liturgy?

At Redeemer we have what some would describe as a "liturgical" service. What most people mean by this term is that our service has a very clear order to it, including the use of various printed prayers, confessions, and other congregational recitations within the service. From week to week, the way we worship changes very little. Certainly, such a highly structured servic...

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