Archives For Steve Meister

You can complete a form. Maybe there’s a phone number to call. Or in some cases, you might even be able to make an appointment with a real live individual. In business and government services, it’s a mark of sound practice to provide people with a means of filing complaints. But what are Christians to do with their complaints over another Christian – or even an entire church? What we find, as with most things, is the Church is called to practices quite different from that of a business or government agency.

Complaints in the Church?

Continue Reading…

It’s that time of year when culture warriors take up arms to keep worldly and pagan ideas from encroaching on the spiritual and biblical reason for the season. So Sarah Palin fired a salvo against the “war on Christmas” by “revisionists” who’re turning it into a “winter solstice” celebration. (This is to prepare us for her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, ostensibly on the same theme).

But what if the pagans aren’t the “revisionists” and the late December celebrations are indeed rooted in the winter solstice? That would explain some of the odd accoutrements to celebrations of Jesus’ birth. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to make out what evergreen trees, lights, and egg-nog have to do with the little town of Bethlehem. Without being too much of a Grinch, it might be worth asking whether the real “revisionist” is actually Mrs. Palin. Though to her credit, she stands in a long, long line of revising this holiday.   Continue Reading…

November 19, 2013

Help with holiness

by Steve Meister

We must be holy, because this is the one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world [2 Cor 5:15Eph 5:25-26Titus 2:14]… Jesus is a complete Saviour. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, He does more – He breaks its power (1 Pet 1:2Rom 8:29Eph 1:42 Tim 1:9Heb 12:10).

 J.C. Ryle, Holiness

I’ve recently preached a mini-series on holiness for our congregation (audio here). We began with Lev 10:1-11 and 1 Cor 6:9-11, and concluded with Heb 12:1-14.

After being a Christian for nearly 20 years, I can unfortunately say that personal holiness has not been a topic that’s received great emphasis in the churches and ministries with which I’ve been in fellowship. In Rediscovering Holiness, J. I. Packer points to the same reality.

Packer identifies 3 evidences that Christians today evidently do not think personal holiness is very important:   Continue Reading…

I found a recent article at Persecution Blog, Do Americans Care About Persecuted Christians? both provocative and sadly accurate:

The Church is under fire. At that sentence, half the people who started reading this article just moved on to something more interesting. However, that response is troublesome. The plight of believers gets little attention on the global stage, leaving many Christians throughout North America unaware, and therefore, indifferent to what’s going on in the body of Christ. Mention persecution, and eyes glaze over.

The post quotes extensively from Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for The Voice of the Martyrs, who explained that the average American Christian replies to persecution with “Man, that’s too bad.” In my reading, he gives 4 reasonable explanations as to why this seems to be the case:   Continue Reading…

ram-The Gospel of Jesus Christ is inescapably bloody. Tying together all the biblical imagery of Jesus as the high priest (Heb 2:17; 4:14-15; 5:1-10; 7-9), the Lamb (John 1:29; Rev 5:12), and the One who cleanses sinners (Heb 1:3; 9:14; 1 John 1:7), is the historic reality that He poured-out His blood for His people (Matt 26:28; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 11:25; 1 Pet 1:2; Eph 1:7). When we say that Christ died for our sins, we mean that He died a bloody death on our behalf (1 Cor 5:7).

It is not surprising that the world still finds this foolish (1 Cor 1:18), but it is a shock when professing Christians do. Many reject the Bible’s description of Jesus’ atoning work, this “bloody Gospel,” because they find it repulsive. I would suggest at least two reasons for their revulsion – one cultural, the other, spiritual.

Continue Reading…

read-my-blogMany pastors blog and I happen to think that’s a good thing, especially since yours truly is one of that number. This is not to overlook, as Carl Trueman has put it, the madness of how many Christians use the web:

This is madness. Is this where we have come to, with our Christian use of the web? Men who make careers in part out of bashing the complacency and arrogance of those with whose theology they disagree, yet who applaud themselves on blogs and twitters they have built solely for their own deification? Young men who are so humbled by flattering references that they just have to spread the word of their contribution all over the web like some dodgy rash they picked up in the tropics?

The Rev. Dr. does have a point, doesn’t he? Much of what Christians contribute online, even from pastors, is little more than an ungodly attempt at self-deification in the pseudo-society of social media. I do hope that’s not why I blog – and if it is, the extent of my readership is a fitting parable to the futility of seeking deification in God’s world. Notwithstanding these ever-present pitfalls, I think pastors should blog today to fulfill that ancient function of pastoral ministry, writing.

Continue Reading…