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All articles in March 2019

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March 2019
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

Indonesia: blessed by courage and wisdom

Indonesia is often called the largest Muslim nation, but this gives a wrong impression. While a large majority identify as Muslim, most of these barely know enough about Islam to be considered true Muslims. Indonesian folkways prevail, despite the saturation of the country with mosques of different sizes. These are built by generous gifts of oil wealth from the Arabian Gulf. The same wealth finances Indonesian clergymen, but their influence is largely limited to poor, uneducated village communities and remote areas. Attacks against Christians and church meeting places can happen in these areas. From time to time, there is discrimination and even occasional violence from...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

THINKING IT THROUGH: Celebrating mothers

Over a twelve-month period, we have invited Stephen Rees — an experienced pastor — to share his thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his views are his own and may not necessarily reflect positions held by the Evangelical Times. Yes it’s coming up again. That Sunday, dreaded by fathers all over the UK, Mothering Sunday. It is the 31st of March this year. No doubt it will be no different from last year or the year before: countless panic-stricken men queuing down at the late-night Tesco on Saturday night to buy last moment flowers, chocolates,...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Guest column

Humour in the Bible

Different parts of the Bible affect us in different ways. Reading Isaiah 6, we tremble before the majesty of the transcendent Lord. Studying the New Testament passion narratives, we are moved by the sight of our suffering Saviour. Poring over the book of Revelation, our minds reel at this kaleidoscope of lurid imagery. But there is another response which Scripture can evoke. There are passages which make us smile. We may even at times find ourselves chuckling. Why is that? The Bible is not a piece of light entertainment. It is the weightiest of books, dealing with the most serious matters of all. Why then,...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Comment

Ashers have made a humble, wise and selfless decision

The McArthur family — owners of Ashers bakery in Northern Ireland — have made a humble, wise and selfless decision in not seeking to recover costs of their legal defence from their opponents. No doubt there will be those who wanted to give a bloody nose to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, to make them pay for hounding the McArthurs through the courts. Perhaps a hefty legal bill would have made the Commission think twice before doing something like this again. But throughout the lengthy legal struggle the McArthurs have acted with grace and dignity. They have never expressed any hatred or hostility towards...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

John Knox on prayer

When John Knox, the Scottish Reformer, was laid to rest in his grave, the Regent of Scotland said of him ‘There lies he who never feared the face of man’. This reminds us of the paraphrase of Psalm 34:9, which reads: Fear Him (that is, God) ye saints and you will then Have nothing else to fear; Make you His service your delight, Your wants shall be His care. I came across the following gem of a quote from John Knox. It concerns John Knox’s view of prayer. John Knox defined true prayer as: ‘An earnest and familiar talking with God, to whom we declare...

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March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The purpose and benefits of lay preaching

This article is dedicated to the brethren in Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Old Hill and Pastor Roland Burrows and Mrs. Anne Burrows, who retired in December 2018. Several men influenced me to pursue my call to lay preaching, my late father-in-law Mr Kenneth Harris, Colonel Don Underwood and Pastor Burrows. It was through the advice and support of Pastor Burrows that I managed to preach in various churches while juggling a young, growing family and a job as a biological science researcher. We know that church attendance is falling, and local churches are closing their doors in the UK. There is a crying need to pray...

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March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Is congregational singing dying out?

‘And when they had sung a hymn, they went out’ (Matt. 28:30). There is not a lot of information in the New Testament about music, but what there is certainly is very instructive. For example, in the text above we can see that singing was a part of the worship of the church which Jesus established. Pastors and worship leaders need to carefully study the Scriptures, to see how they should lead God’s people in worshipful singing. In the last few years, since I left my pastoral ministry (44 years in the same church), it has been my privilege (I use that term loosely) to...

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March 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

8 ways your church should respond to the transgender agenda

In the last edition of ET, I examined the transgender agenda. What is it? Where did it come from? Where is it heading? This time I ask, how should churches respond? I suggest there are at least eight things we must do. 1. We need to provide biblical teaching about God’s good purpose in creating men and women. Our congregations need to be equipped to respond to the demands for ‘transgender rights’ with scriptural truth. The transsexual maintains that their felt ‘gender’ overrides biological reality. But our creation design teaches us that God has made us male and female to reflect his glory in every...

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