Do I Really Need to go Back to Church?

The recent “hunker-down” ordeal that we have just been through has really changed the way people view their lives.  There is really no way to tell when things will return to normal, if at all.  Its being reported that we will be required to wear masks and be socially distant for the remainder of the year or possibly longer.  Even schools across the nation are looking at new schedules that will split time at home and in school for students.  Employers also are slow to reintegrate their workforce.

Churches, including ours, responded to this change by transitioning to online worship experiences.  Some were ready to do this.  Others, like us, struggled with the technology to make it work, but eventually got there.  These streaming services are by no means perfect but have attempted to fill the void of restricted attendance.  Some positives that came out of this was that more people “attended” services, people could still feel connected, and the church was able to reach some who would never think of coming into the building.

Now that restrictions are being lifted, what is the next step?  Do you come back, or do you stay away?  Here are my thoughts on the matter:

The Church is more than a building, but it is the building

Some have argued that the church is more than a building.  True, but misleading.  The church building exists as a training center for believers.  The church building serves as a starting point, especially for young believers, to become engaged, rooted, and built up so they can face the world.  The church building serves as a guide, a place to discover and learn to use the tools given us.  Having a place to gather, while we still can, serves as a rallying point and to receive our marching orders.  We will not always have this in the time to come.

An online ministry is great until you need something

Some people find it easy just to watch a minister on TV or YouTube.  Online ministries can be great, but they are not your pastor.  A pastor is the “sheep-leader”, one who follows the Shepherd and guides the other sheep on the path.  In addition, the pastor of your local church gives the vision for that body, prays for you, and helps to lead you to Christ.  Some do not like to be led like that, and become astray, vulnerable to the predators.  You never realize how much you need a pastor until you do.

Fellowship is a familial connection

I never understood why we always called each other “Brother” or “Sister”, until I realized that the church family is truly my family!  We fight sometimes – that is what family does.  Then, we make up and go forward.  That is the other thing that family does.  Further, we are called the Bride of Christ, which means that we are a big deal to Him.  This fellowship makes our connection as a point between each other, and with God.  Having opened the church for the past couple of weeks, I have seen the joy on people’s faces as they saw each other again.  We need that fellowship.  It is so much easier to worship when you feel the corporate worship of other believers.

Would God keep you away?

I believe the enemy has lied to people and convinced them that they do not need church, which really goes against everything Scripture says.  Would God tell you to stay away from what He created?  Would He make an exception just for you so you do not have to come, and you can just have church to yourself in your home?  That does not sound like Him.  If you read in Exodus and Leviticus, God painfully detailed every aspect of the offerings and sacrifices, in addition to various laws, so that the people would have no excuse.  We have all bought into that lie at some point or another – that we can just worship at home.  But God has designed us for fellowship, to be accountable to one another.  Distance does not allow that.

Conclusion

While there are some who are compromised, most are ready and able to return.  For those that are not ready due to being compromised, I believe God has given you special grace.  For that reason, we will still offer the online streaming so we can reach those who need it.  But for some, its time to come back.  Do not fall into the habit of missing church, and do not fall into the habit of justifying it. 

It is time to come home…



Is Climate Change Real?

There has always been debate about our environment.  I can remember the crises of acid rain and the ozone, each with such urgency that it seemed doom was imminent.  Now, the doom has become fever-pitched, with claims from the young speaker at the UN of mass extinction.  Even the young representative from New York publicly stated that we have less than 12 years to fix this, although “this” is never really discussed in detail, just that it needs to be fixed.  In a recent classroom here in Juneau, students were asked if they believed in climate change, and all but one raised their hands emphatically.  The one who didn’t was then mocked and shamed.  In fact, a recent study has stated that young people are now refusing to have children so that they won’t grow up in a world that’s doomed to climate change.  Here’s the link to one article of many so you can read for yourself:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ashsanders/birth-strike-no-kids-climate-change-population

What does God say about this?

So what is the response of the church?  In everything that I see, those who believe in climate change are demanding extreme measures from the government to fix it.  For instance, the Green Bill, as it was named, called for the ultimate elimination of plane travel, building redesigns, etc.  There are people who are truly living in fear over this, as it has been whipped up to hysteria levels.  And they believe that it is fixable, that man can control nature (God).

Whenever I have a question about something, the Bible is always the final authority.  In Romans 8:20-22, it says this:

 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

While I believe that as a Christian, I of all people should be a steward of what God has given to us.  But it is arrogance to think that we can change the “bondage of corruption” that creation is subjected to.  This corruption is our sin, our failure to meet the standard of God.  In Genesis, God spoke about how the blood of Abel called out from the earth to Him (Gen 4:10).  Our nation has spilt so much innocent blood through abortion.  In the Old Testament, Israel was punished for idol worship through a three year famine (1 Kings 17:1).   Every day, our nation and people bow at the idols of money, sex and power.  We cannot escape the judgement of God.  He HATES sin!

The Power to Change

Science has become the god of those who believe this.  But, God has provided a way to delay His judgement, which will be inevitable.  The Book of Revelation reveals His judgement on mankind for their refusal to submit to Him.  However, in 2 Chronicles 7:12-13, God speaks to Solomon about the temple, and how the Israelites will one day turn away from Him.  But, because God is a God of Mercy and Compassion, He says this in v. 14:

(I)f My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 

He will heal our land!  Only He has that authority!  But, it comes with humility, prayer, seeking His face, turning from our wicked ways.  I don’t see any of this right now from those who purport concern.

Don’t be sheep that are led astray with the wind of this doctrine.  It is a doctrine from hell meant to deceive and distract from trust in God.  Don’t be confused, don’t fear.  If you believe in Him, He has a place for us.  If you haven’t committed to Him, the time is now.



Is Homosexuality a Sin?

A Matter of Pride

There’s been a lot of news lately during this so-called “pride” month where Christians are apologizing to the LBGTQ community for how they’ve been treated, and a call for acceptance. This call for acceptance is not about accepting the individual, but condoning and approving of the lifestyle. More and more, churches are embracing this community as peers and equals (spiritually) and allowing them to continue their lifestyle and choices while attending church. When looking at sin, we must always look to God’s Word. There are numerous places where God decries such actions (Romans 1 being the most notable). But before we get into this, we as a church must also recognize God’s love for everyone (John 3:16-17). His heart breaks for those who do not follow Him, and therefore we must love everyone. Even those we don’t agree with. Jesus demonstrated this while on the cross, and numerous other times in the Gospel. We must remember it is not our job to judge – that is God’s alone! I am actually thankful for that. For the Church to be the Church, we must embrace those who sin, so much like Christ embraced the lepers. Meaning, the level of sin does not matter. What matters is the Grace of God to all people. We cannot distance ourselves, we cannot be afraid, but by His Grace love those who do not want or reject our love.

Now, to the Greater Point…

Now, to the greater point. Is homosexuality a sin? The simple answer is yes, and not just because of what is written in Romans or Deuteronomy. It is sin because it defies God’s design for us (Genesis 1:28, 9:1). Everything God does results in producing fruit – everything. If God touches it, there is a blessing. Look at creation, look at the sinner who becomes saved! When something rebels against that by doing what is contrary, there is death. When a man and woman come together as designed, there is a blessing that is produced. Life is created, and the bountiful joy of a baby ensures that a man and woman continue through their children. My kids are like me in so many ways, and also like their mom. That is a blessing, knowing I will continue in the lives of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren should the Lord tarry. They can look back to me and know where they come from. I can look forward to those who come after me and pray for them, prepare for them, and even love them.

150 year old Bible close up

Death vs Life

If you are in a homosexual relationship, life is not produced or created. There is only death. Any consummation does not result in egg fertilization, thus life is not given a chance to happen. In addition, there is disease that is the direct result of these acts which causes death. Those within the LBGTQ community will argue that there is adoption and surrogates, much like in the “straight” community. But, this comes from man’s attempt to work around the laws of God. I do not doubt that people feel these urges to the same-sex, but that is not an excuse to sin. Everyone feels the temptation to sin – everyone. But there is Power in His Name to overcome (John 16:33, I Cor 10:13)!

The Love of God Overcomes

Homosexuality is a strong issue within our community. It has become time that we address this, and to not fear speaking out. We do this not out of hate, but out of love. If you knew that an action was going to kill someone, would you not speak out? Would you not beg and plead? If you consider yourself homosexual, there is love and redemption at the Cross. There is no judgment (although that time is coming). We are here to provide you love. Stop listening to the lies. Read God’s Word for yourself, don’t believe just me or anyone else. Allow God to show you. And, if you are willing, He will also show you His love.


Welcome To Our Official Church Website

Our prayer is that you would be blessed and strengthened by the power of Jesus Christ and that you will live an abundant life in fellowship, joy and liberty. Glacier Valley Church of God is here for you. We are a fellowship of spirit filled believers who come together to declare the glory of the Lord and celebrate Jesus as King. We hear the Word of the Lord.   We encounter the presence of the Lord in our worship.  And we grow through what we experience and learn together.

****Special Announcement****

January 12, 2022
 
We were hoping our water issues would be resolved by now. Unfortunately, the lines are frozen in an area that is inaccessible, so we will have to wait it out. Until then, we need to make the following changes since our facilities may not be available:
Tonight: Online
Celebrate Life: Cancel Tomorrow
Impact: Cancel on Friday
Saturday Undecorating: Still moving forward
Sunday AM: Limited service to an hour, also online.
Sunday PM: Limited to one hour
For those that ride the van, we may need to cancel this, as the ride is an hour both ways, plus the service. That’s a long time without facilities. If you could let me know how you feel about this, that would be great.
Is this optimum? Absolutely not. But, can we do this? Yes we can! Thank you to those who have given and continue to give during this time. You can continue to drop off your giving at the office door, mail it, or contribute online.
As we move forward, I will update you with changes!
 

Online Giving

Giving and Donations are easy, and safe.  Simply click on the picture here to be taken to our giving site.  You will need a user and password, then search for our church.
 
 

Church Schedule and Calendar of Events



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