Psalm 91

Psalm 91 says that God will take care of the one who trusts in him. “Taking care of” includes protection from just about every kind of physical harm you can dream up.

There is also a promise of long life.

If I don’t experience that protection, did I displease God? If I die young, am I a sinner?

I have trouble interpreting passages like this.

1 Peter Study Comes to an End

Today I finished my study of 1 Peter and intend to return to the Psalms tomorrow. I’m ready for Psalm 90, which is the first Psalm in Book IV. I’ll probably do a psalm a day, more or less, but not sure how 119 will work out in days.

Anyway, 1 Peter is a good book. A challenging book. It reminds me that the Christian walk is not intended to be comfortable and easy. It is a strenuous life, moving against the flow of culture. That is a reminder we need today as much as at any time in history.

I’d love to hear some sermons about this side of the road we are on, rather than how to be truly happy or how to be thankful or how to argue without being mean.

But this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

Traditional Service

At our church the traditional, or rather classic, service precedes the regular service, or modern, by two hours. The music is older, though not hymnic. There is no band. The attendance is small. The mood is somber, but not worshipful. People have to get up too early to be alert. There is no vitality. It is a hot mess.

I have come to think of this service as a form of the nursing home. Old people complain about everything, so the best solution is to wall them off from the younger people. Younger people have enthusiasm and energy; old people sap it away. So put them away in a special compartment where we can visit them when we want to and mostly ignore them.

As an old people myself, I believe we have brought this on ourselves. We have complained and complained, hoping that things would be changed to the way we like them, but instead they walled us off. Return to the old ways will just never happen, nor should it. And the result is that we are no longer part of the church, part of the family.

I’m in favor of one service, or at least one type of service if multiple services are needed. One church. One family.

Advice on How to Manage a Bad Church Situation

11 (1)I have been deeply grieved for Valens, who once was a presbyter among you, because he so fails to understand the office that was entrusted to him. I warn you, therefore: avoid love of money, and be pure and truthful. “Avoid every kind of evil.” (2) But how can a man who is unable to control himself in these matters preach self-control to someone else? If a man does not avoid love of money, he will be polluted by idolatry, and will be judged as one of the Gentiles, who are ignorant of the Lord’s judgment.60 “Or do we not know that the saints will judge the world,” as Paul teaches? (3) But I have not observed or heard of any such thing among you, in whose midst the blessed Paul labored, and who were his letters of recommendation in the beginning. For he boasts about you in all the churches—those alone, that is, which at that time had come to know the Lord,63 for we had not yet come to know him. (4) Therefore, brothers, I am deeply grieved for him and for his wife; may the Lord grant them true repentance. You, therefore, for your part must be reasonable in this matter, “and do not regard” such people “as enemies,” but, as sick and straying members, restore them, in order that you may save your body in its entirety. For by doing this you build up one another. (Polycarp – Letter to the Philippians)

Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, Updated ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 217–219.