Monday to Saturday Church

Monday to Saturday Church

“Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Early Christians floated and bobbed about in a hostile sea of turbulent pagans and indignant Jews, who saw the new Christian Way as an unwelcome challenge. Yet full of joy and conviction, the new church flourished, as we read in the wonderful Book of Acts. When believers came together, their meeting stirred them up to win precious souls in their surrounding community – stirring one another to love and good works.

Modern Australia is growing more like that multi-faith first century world in the Book of Acts. How may we also flourish? Only by God’s blessing with His Spirit breathing into us confidence in Him to show and tell the world. By the Spirit let us stir one another up to love and to good works.

As a church we need to take an interest not only in our members’ activities on Sunday, but also on the work-a-day week. I do not mean the church should be spying on its members, so as to control them. But as far as each person allows, we members should pray for one another for our daily work, our family life and our involvement in the local community.

In our Sunday gathering we notice that Fred and Sharon are regular in attendance, that Fred sings the hymns with gusto and that Sharon is a good conversationalist, that Fred served on the Board of Management, and that Sharon serves the PWMU, and that both help with working bees.

But we have no idea that Fred in under attack at work, or that Sharon is desperate to drug-proof their grand-daughter, that Fred is stressed by a difficult neighbour, or that Sharon is being shunned by former friends. Privacy must be respected, and confidences held with high integrity, but if our only interest is in what people do for our church on Sundays, and we all become accustomed to that, we must have much less impact in stirring one another up to love and to good works – when we know nothing of our members’ struggles outside of church..

Whether churches are small or large, most people are at least comfortable to share something of their personal challenges and goals in small groups – regular devotional meetings. Very large congregations often have a large number of these weekly small groups which help members to connect with friends in an intimate way; otherwise they would feel lost. In addition, the Sunday worship service can occasionally highlight the work and witness in the community which is being attempted by one or more of our members.

Let us this year take a keener interest in one another in the battles we face through the week, and thus “stir up love and good works”.

With love in Christ, Ken Martin, Minister

Trick or treat

Trick or Treat?


Our Prime Minister aptly described the ISIS army in Iraq and Syria as “a cult of death”. While decent people all over the world are horrified by their murders, many young men have been recruited  to their ranks from supposedly civilised countries like ours.


There is a Jekyll and Hyde side to modern western society: while we detest the cruelty of real-life killers dressed in balaclavas and waving black flags, too many of us like watching appalling savagery on the screen. We say hate and cruelty are wrong, but many watch it with fascination.


We have laws which (rightly) punish people for racist rants, but profitable movies, games and shows go unpunished which glorify viciousness. We have laws which (rightly) punish violent behaviour – though the penalties often fall short of matching the crime. Yet we have no law to stop entertainments which feed the love of violence.


While Biblical Christians seem to have less influence today, we can at least make right decisions for ourselves and for our families. We might not be able to persuade supermarkets to refrain from selling things for Halloween, but we can make up our minds we will have nothing to do with Halloween, a cult of death.


Halloween presents witchcraft as fun. Although made popular by business in America, it owes its strange practices to British pagans in the murky past. The end of October was marked by a night of fear in which druids killed people and offered them to their demonic “gods”. The druids carved turnips to hold an oil lamp as  the leering face of a spirit. Later on in America, pumpkins were found to be larger and easier to carve. The doorknock, the demand for food, the trick (curse), the bonfire (bonefire), are all remainders of a ghastly tradition of human sacrifice.


Much effort is made to lure children into Halloween. While a fierce effort has been made to push the Christian faith out of state schools, many teachers lead their classes to “celebrate” this dismal event, making creepy costumes and masks. God’s judgment is looming on those who lead children to worship darkness.


We shudder to see a thug from Sydney teaching his son, eight years old, to behead a captive in Iraq; but in the western world we allow twisted profiteers to woo children to the love of violence.


“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light . . . have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them . . . for it is light that makes everything visible.” (Ephesians 5:8-14)


With love in Christ,


Ken Martin, Minister


Death before betrayal

Death before Betrayal

The Word says, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also.” (Hebrews chapter 13:3).

Believing Christians belong to the family of Christ, and are so close-knit, that we are His body.

This means that He feels our sorrows, as when He met angry, raving Saul on the Damascus road and challenged him, “Why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). It also means that we feel one another’s sorrows, as we belong to the same body.

As I write, we hear almost daily reports of cruel killing of Shiites, Christians and Zoroastrians by a Sunni (Koranic) Muslim army calling itself the Islamic State. Harmless people without provocation have been killed – according to the dictate of the Koran – because of their refusal to accept Islam. Some have been crucified, some slowly beheaded, some buried alive, others burned. Women have been abducted, small children beheaded. The killers advertise their vile deeds on Youtube.

Where was God in this anarchy? He was with His people, strengthening them to be faithful even to their death. He may move some of the killers to repent as they see the reality of Christian faith, and He may harden the hearts of others for eternal punishment. Those who despise a powerless victim are ripe for it.

This wanton slaughter has been made possible as western leaders have bent over backwards to appease Sunni Muslims; only a year ago the American President and the British Prime Minister were proposing military aid to this same side waging war in neighbouring Syria.

President Obama also criticised the Iraqi government for failure to involve Sunnis in power sharing, when Iraq has suffered thousands of deaths through bombing by Sunni separatists. Mr Obama never mentioned the systematic genocide of Christians by the same Sunni separatists.The take-over of Iraq by the Islamic State is now being resisted, but delay has cost the lives of many thousands of people and has led to the displacement of 500,000 refugees, chiefly Christians.

Plainly in the minds of western leaders, Christians in northern Iraq count for very little compared with oil supplies, but let us not forget the most compelling reason why northern Iraq’s Christians are now either dead or refugees: their loyalty to Christ. They could certainly have escaped their cruel deaths by simply reciting the “confession” which would admit them as Muslims. They have lived their whole lives aware that this “confession” would relieve them of the bullying and harrassment of daily life as Christians in Islamic society.

Yet rather than be identified with their oppressor, they have chosen to die as true Christians; they are now in the presence of their Good Shepherd, who says: “whoever confesses me before men, him the Son of Man will also confess before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8).

We honour the noble army of martyrs. If you want an example of God’s power today strengthening His people to faithfully represent Him and His glorious gospel, it is here on your television screen on the dry plains of Iraq. By God’s grace in Jesus, may He find us also faithful.

With love in Christ,

Ken Martin, Minister