Just read an alarming article from the Gospel Coalition:
What’s Next for New York Churches
“Don’t Leave Our Church Homeless” read the signs distributed during Thursday’s press conference outside New York City Hall. More than 60 churches in New York meet in public schools for their Sunday services. When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal this week, the churches learned they will need to find a new location before February 12.
Many of those church leaders, city officials, and concerned citizens met Thursday on the steps of City Hall to hear Council Member Fernando Cabrera introduce legislation seeking to overturn this decision. Some left excited and hopeful after hearing spirited speeches from elected officials, local pastors, and advocate ministries. This legislative push follows nearly 17 years of legal struggle between Bronx Household of Faith and the City of New York, which contends that churches meeting outside school hours inappropriately influence children.
Some of these churches have been meeting in the same public schools for more than 25 years. We’ve been meeting in ours for almost two.
To see the rest of the article, click here
Carl Trueman, professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, offered some analysis that I found to be encouraging, regardless of what happens:
Interesting times: militant atheism taking the public square by storm; church finances being crunched in devastating ways by the economy; and now the government dictating the ethics of rental agreements in a manner which seems designed to single the religious out for special treatment. Without being alarmist, we could be on the verge of a period of time in the US where faithful churches and organisations begin a long, painful journey into the cultural wilderness.
I heard Rick Phillips addressing the Westminster Board during the devotional time before business last week. Very soon we’re going to be regarded by wider society as a crazy, fringe cult, he said. Then he added: just like the apostles in the first century.
We should pray for the Rev. Starke, his wife, his elders and his church; and yet rejoice that, whatever the nations care to do with us, God is still on his throne.