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Pastoral Updates

From time to time our Pastors post various updates, letters, messages, etc. to communicate with the congregation. You can find any of these recent updates here. 
Musings from Pastor Craig . . . (Posted 6/22/2021)

“Branded” for Christ!

As our World, our Nation, our Culture – and often, sadly enough, those claiming to be the people of God! – move further and further from His Word and the Mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16); The Church is under ever greater pressure to model itself after the secular, rather than the sacred.  Over the years I have talked of constant need to reject the model of the Church as a business enterprise; and of recognizing that whatever “truth” we find – outside of the Word God – will ultimately reveal itself as His Truth or be dismissed as the Enemy’s distortions and lies!

Let me offer an example:  The Brand, for many generations, was an objective emblem identifying a particular livestock operation and the animals it owned.  The “brand” was registered and could not be used by anyone else.  In recent years, the word “brand” has become much less an objective identification mark and is increasingly defined as “what others think of you”, or “think you are”.

Ever since Christ was crucified, The Cross has been the most recognizable “Brand” of the Church and the People of Christ. Over the years, the Cross has been the most significant symbol of our Church and our Congregation; whether it is the large cross that graces our building, or the one(s) that sit prominently on the stage in our worship center.  It has also been a consistent feature on our stationery, business cards, and our other printed materials.  The stylized Blue & Red Cross is probably the most recognizable of those images and has often appeared with the words “Love God” and “Love Others” underneath the horizontal member (patibulum) of the Cross.  Those two phrases remind us of the Two Great Commandments (found in Matthew 22:37 & 39) that define God’s purpose for our lives of His Children.

When we pause and think of the Cross of Christ, many will recall that the Word of God makes it clear that The Christ and His Cross are an offense to the world.  (See Galatians 5:11; I Peter 2:8; I Corinthians 1:23) So, we have consciously chosen an “objective brand” – The Cross of Christ – that is conveys a conscious offense to the world.  What is more, many “modern” Churches, seeking to make the “Gospel” seeker friendly and to enhance their “Church Growth”, avoid the Cross and our Savior Who shed His blood for our Sin, there.  But, the “Love of God” they proclaim, stripped of the Cross and all that it signifies, has no power to redeem the lost or transform the sinner into a New Creation in Jesus Christ! (II Corinthians 5:17)

Over the last year, we have experienced an influx of new people.  There have been two repeated themes that they have emphasized:  The first is how they have been loved when they have come into our midst.  The second has been how they have been searching for a Church that teaches the Word of God – including its hard-truths, and a people who seek to know and obey “all that It – the Word of God! – commands”.

Those words, exemplifying our “subjective brand” – defining us as they have experienced us – are so very gratifying; especially as I think of such passages as . . .

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another,
even as I have loved you,
that you also love one another.
By this all men will know
that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another
John 13:34-35
Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
For I did not shrink from declaring
to you the whole counsel of God.

Acts 20:26-27

 I solemnly charge you in the presence
of God and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
preach the word;
be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort,
with great patience and instruction.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but wanting to have their ears tickled,
they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance
to their own desires,

and will turn away their ears from
the truth and will turn aside to myths.

But you, be sober in all things,
endure hardship,
do the work of an evangelist,
fulfill your ministry.
II Timothy 4:1-5
 Thank you for the contribution you and yours have made to this way we have been perceived and experienced.  You are a blessing to my heart; and, I believe, to the heart of our Savior; Jesus Christ.
More later . . .
All for Jesus, PC