This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the 10th Annual Reformed Leadership Conference in Lisbon, NY at Lisbon Reformed Presbyterian Church. This event was sponsored by Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC) of Lisbon, NY, Bethel United Reformed Church of Brockville, and the Jubilee Canadian Reformed Church of Ottawa as well.
The speaker was Rut Etheridge, Chaplain at Geneva College, who blogs at Gentle Reformation (which you should also check out.)
His talk was divided into three topics:
“Of Blurree Lines and Broken Hearts”
“The Ceiling of Self”
“The Truth Will Set You Free”
You can listen to audio from the conference here.
His talks focused around the “ceiling of self”, and how inside and outside the Church we have viewed God as silent or as so distant from us that there is no way He could have spoken to us in His Word. Even if He did, there’s no way we could understand it. We bounce against this ceiling of self and never rise above to God and, as such, we seek self-worship, pleasure, and inside the church we focus worship on entertainment. There were so many great quotes from the talks but I will only share a few:
On Scripture and Philosophy
“It is suicide to make the Emmanuel of the Word live subject to the Immanuel of modern philosophy.”
On Worship as Entertainment
“Whenever we gather to worship, whatever form that takes, is a composite picture of Jesus. But what if that composite picture looks a lot like ourselves and what we like best? When it looks like us? Then why go the church?”
On Psalm Singing
“If being united to Christ is the ultimate expression of being a Christian – and it is – and we want Christian unity like Jesus prayed for in John 17, what better way to have that unity than to sing the Word of God that Jesus sang and that testifies to Him?”
Not only that but the church itself was beautiful, a great example of Reformed simplicity in a worship space. Here’s a panoramic photo: