Training Pastors in Zambia

On Wednesday evening, Rev. David Lachman (FCC) will be speaking in Loughbrickland RPC @ 8pm about the work of Covenant College in Zambia, where he serves as lecturer and vice-Principal.

david lachman students

It’s a great opportunity to hear about some Reformed mission work in Africa. David is in the middle of a series of meetings, which after some time in Scotland has seen him speak at a Missionary Conference Weekend hosted by our friends at Magherafelt Reformed Baptist Church (on ‘The Importance of Training Pastors in Fulfilment of the Great Commission’ and Covenant College’s role in that task).

david lachman preaching

After Loughbrickland, he’ll be speaking in Bethel EPCEW in Cardiff and a number of churches in England.

david lachman 1

Come along and hear more about the opportunities and needs of this great work.

Does it matter what you wear to church?

I heard a recording of a talk about a year ago on ‘Reverence in Worship’ which included something along the lines of ‘Don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t matter what you wear to church’. I wondered at the time what sort of suit the Apostle Paul wore when he went round the houses where the 1st century churches met, and was cheered recently when I came across the following in John Coffey’s excellent Politics, Religion and the British Revolutions: The Mind of Samuel Rutherford:

The defence of a rigid regulative principle did not, of course, entail that absolutely everything in divine worship had to be determined by Scripture. Rutherford was ready to admit that some things were not instrinsically ‘moral’ but ‘meere circumstantials’ – the materials used to make the pulpit or the communion cup, and the clothes worn by the congregation, for example, were not specified by Scripture’. (p. 195)

The source is Rutherford’s The divine right of church-government and excommunication: or a peacable dispute for the perfection of the holy scripture in point of ceremonies and church government (that’s the short title!), where he lists it as a circumstance of worship alongside ‘the head covered, or not covered’ (p. 1).

Rutherford goes on to explain a few pages later:

The Scripture saith not, That the Worship of God must have a time, a place, when, and where its to be performed, a person, who is to perform it, a habit, or garments on the person that Worshippeth; the Scripture teacheth none of these, but supposeth that they are and must be; because nature teacheth, that without time, place, person, habit, gesture, its unpossible that these or any humane actions can be (p. 4).

Don’t let anyone tell you? If the silence of Scripture and the Confession isn’t enough, I’ll let Rutherford.

Long prayers are ruining prayer meetings in the Highlands today

“Held prayer meeting last night in Kilmaluag in view of the communion. The attendance was most encouraging, 70 being out, but long prayers are ruining prayer meetings in the Highlands today. They are a weariness to the flesh and they tire the people by their unfitness and selfishness.”

– Kenneth MacRae, in 1924 (Diary p.190)

“On Thursday we had a Day of Humiliation and Prayer appointed by the Presbytery at the instance of the Commission of Assembly on account of the deplorable state of the world. At the morning meeting 76 were present. Conducted it purely as a prayer meeting and gave no address. Felt dreary and heavy. One of the prayers was inordinately long, inarticulately uttered, and, so far as I could understand, had not bearing upon the matter which brought us together. A simple, direct little prayer would be far more to the point than a volume of divinity. These long, wordy, wandering prayers one hears so often in these quarters nowadays are squeezing the life out of our prayer meetings”

– MacRae in 1948 (Diary p. 386)

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words” – Jesus in Matthew 6:7.