Friday, March 18, 2005

Beyond pew warming

In keeping with the "purge Sundays" post, here are some words from Jason Retherford:
Faith is more than pew-warming. James said it first, not me. He chides the recipents of his epsitle for the lack of action. Sure, they knew all the right answers. They could quote Bible, book, chapter and verse of course. But when it came time to put faith in action, some in the congregation just warmed the pew. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widos in their distress and to keep onself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:26-27).
The easiest way to produce changed actions is to preach shame ("You ought to be ashamed for just sitting there and warming that pew"). God, however, doesn't merely call us to better actions, but to transformed hearts. The discussion on how to preach the Word that transforms both heart and behavior continues here, at Blogotional, 21st Century Reformation, Adrian Wanock's blog, and elsewhere. Your thoughts?


Blogger Rob Manktelow said...

I have watched those offended by being told that pew warming is uncool leave the church for more comfy houses of worship. Sometimes I am not sure if I am glad they are gone or saddened they did not get out of the pew to begin a new way of being in the church.

2:55 PM, March 21, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I have struggle with the same questions. No matter how little we ask of our members, there's always a congregation nearby that asks less. It's the tightrope church leaders walk between comfort-oriented nurturing and the challenges of discipleship. Thanks for your comments.

And by the way, are members of your congregation doing a complete 3-week fast?

3:03 PM, March 21, 2005  

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