Reformation Conference 2010

If you live anywhere near South Central Washington State (specifically the Yakima Valley) you’re invited to an evening Reformation Conference hosted by the church I pastor.  Rev. Matt Barker (of Emmanuel OPC in Kent, WA) and I will be speaking on this topic: Worship According to the Word: The Reformation Recovery of Biblical Worship

In a day where Christian worship includes clowns, pottery wheels, movie clips, mimes, and TV-giveaways, churches have got to get back to the biblical basics.   This conference is aimed to be a catalyst for that.  Hope to see you there!

DATE: October 29, 2010
TIME: 7-8PM (followed by snacks/coffee/friendly discussion)
LOCATION: 1750 Sheller Road in Sunnyside, WA
OTHER: we will also spend time in prayer and song.

You can visit the website here:

Let me know if you have questions/comments.

shane lems

sunnyside, wa

Idols of Religion

   Update: In recent weeks (Nov-Dec 2011) Mark Driscoll has gone on record with some explicit claims of continuing revelation. We appreciate Driscoll’s ability to formulate and teach a few aspects of Reformed theology quite well, but we do not in any way agree with the notion that God continues to reveal himself to us apart from His word. Driscoll’s “visions” sound like divinations; we believe this is a dangerous element in his teaching. See THIS POST for more information.

“…In our own day religious people continue in various idolatries when they elevate their denomination, church building, liturgical order, Bible translation, worship music style, pastor, theological system, favorite author, or ministry program to where it is a replacement mediator for Jesus, one in which their faith rests to keep them close to God.  This also explains why any change to the tradition of a religious person is met with such hostility – people tend to cling to their idols, including their church buildings, which are worshiped as sacred, just as the temple was (by the NT religious leaders). 

“Religious idolatry is often the most pernicious of all.  Religious idolatry uses God for health, wealth, success, and the like.  In this grotesque inversion of the gospel, God is used for our glory; not only do we worship ourselves but we try to make God a worshiper of us.  This kind of false gospel preaching is evident whenever Jesus is presented as the means by which idolaters can obtain their idol.  Examples included promises that Jesus will make you rich, happy, healed, joyfully married, parentally successful, and the like, as if Jesus exists to aid our worship of idols.”

Indeed, we are professional idol makers.  I’ve even caught myself making an idol out of my idol making.  Thomas Watson talked about people making an idol out of their repentance.  Calvin said our minds are like factories producing idols (if he would have written in the 20th century he’d talk about our assembly lines of idols). 

This is a good reminder that we’re to flee to the cross, and the cross alone: crux sola est nostra theologia.

Quotes taken from chapter 11 (Worship: God Transforms) of Driscoll and Breshears’ Doctrine.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

Luther and Calvin Together: Reformation Conference

If you’re in the South Central Washington State (the Yakima Valley) area this Friday night (Nov. 6), join several churches (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and United Reformed) for a brief conference on Martin Luther and John Calvin.

Topic: The Cross and the Christian Life (More specifically, we will be discussing Luther’s theology of the cross and Calvin’s emphasis of taking up the cross.  In theological terms, that’s justification and sanctification).

Time: 7-8 PM with light (and free!) refreshments to follow.

Location: The URC of Sunnyside – 1750 Sheller Road

For more info, visit the blog:

Pass the word!

shane lems

sunnyside wa