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Sunday Services

Starting June 21, we will resume holding one 10am Worship Service at the Rosarian Academy each Sunday. We will only allow 85 people to attend each Sunday, and you must reserve your spot online. A list of our social distancing operating procedures is outlined below:

Re-Opening Procedures for Live-Services with Live-Streaming

Safety: The safety and well-being of our members is paramount. During the reestablishment of worship services, the social distancing requirements of the CDC, state and local authorities will be followed.

Signup: Seating will be limited due to social distancing requirements. Eighty-five congregants will be able to sign up online to attend. The signup will include electronically signing a waiver as required by the Rosarian Academy, our host. Those not signed up may not enter the building on Sunday.

  • At-Risk Individuals: TPC is asking at-risk individuals to continue to restrict themselves from community worship in compliance with the stated policies of the local, state, and federal government. Guidelines for understanding who is at risk can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-higher-risk.html.
  • Children: Families are asked to realistically evaluate their child(ren)’s ability to conform to social-distancing requirements, and to understand normal child-care offerings are not possible with current social-distancing regulations. There will be no nursery or children’s ministry classes at this time.

Building Use: Only the theater lobby, theater lobby bathrooms, and theater will be used. There is to be no congregating in the lobby. The main building lobby will be sealed off and not used.

  • Entry and Exit: Entry and exit to the theater will through the main theater entrance doors only. Entrance will start at 9:30am and doors will be closed at 10am. Masks are required.
  • Seating: Every other row of seats in the theater will be roped off. There are to be 3 open seats between family or friend groups.  Upon entering, attendees will be guided to their seats by ushers, filling the front rows first. At the end of the service, rows will be dismissed one at a time from the back first.

Not Available/ Not Provided: Nursery and Sunday school classes will not be provided. There are no changing tables in the bathrooms. Drinking fountains will be turned off. Coffee will not be provided. Communion will not be served. Communion will not be served.

Patience And Love: We understand we cannot meet everyone’s hopes, needs, and expectations. A limited return to services can cause division between members, or between the church and the community. The TPC family needs to be ready to embrace imperfect decisions in an imperfect situation. Some will think that the church is being too stringent and others that it is not stringent enough. Please be patient and loving.

TPC Blog

Agnostic Christianity

Posted by Jeremy McKeen on with 1 Comments

When unexpected tragedy happens in your life, what do you do? When in the words of Fantine in Les Miserables, “Life kills the dream you dreamed,” where do you turn? What can happen to many people is that great uncertainties, doubts, and suspicions towards God suddenly arise in their hearts. Suddenly, all the Sunday School stories you learned as a kid can seem so fake. What can happen is not a direct move into atheism - denying the existence of God, but a slow and subtle move into a silent agnosticism - denying that truth about God can be known, denying that certainties about God exist, thinking that no one can be confident about spiritual or religious truth.

Agnosticism
This is what happened to 19th century biologist Thomas Huxley who actually coined the term agnostic (meaning without knowledge). An agnostic does not deny that God exists; he or she denies that knowledge and certainties about God and the spiritual life are possible. Unfortunately, it seems like a form of this agnosticism has crept into many Christian circles where a confident Christianity has been replaced by an agnostic Christianity. So, someone might say, “Yes, I still hold to the teachings of Jesus and what he did, that is what seems to help me in life, that’s what I gravitate towards, but at the end of the day, who really knows? I'm agnostic, but I think Jesus is cool.” The motto of agnosticism is, “I don’t know, who can say for sure?”

Confidence
Thankfully, in his first letter that the Apostle John wrote to the church, he addressed Christians who were living with uncertainties and taught them how to live with confidence in their walk with God no matter what was happening in their lives. For example, John wrote, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). What this means is that a person may in fact be a genuine Christian, but this does not guarantee that he or she is living with the type of confidence and assurance that is possible. For example, two people may be sitting on the same plane together and experiencing the same turbulence. Yet, one of them could be sipping their drink in confidence while the other one is gripping the armrests in fear. Both people are on the plane, but their internal experience of that flight is completely different. So, you could say that John wrote his letter so that Christians would let go of the armrests and pick up their drink. He wrote the letter so that, instead of an agnostic Christianity, believers would experience a confident Christianity.

Alright, but how does John do it? Where does this confidence and knowledge come from?

Evidence
If John said, “I write these things... that you may know,” then you need to ask, “What things?” And if you go back to the beginning of his letter, John began by recounting his very scientific credible eye-witness experience of Jesus. Now, here’s why that is very important – Often times, faith and Science are seen to be at odds with one another. Science deals with things that you can touch, things that you can see. Yet, people tend to think that faith in Jesus Christ deals with the unseen, it deals with things that are totally unverifiable. Yet, what did John say? “We saw him, we looked upon him, we touched him.” John was pointing out the scientific evidence of seeing Jesus before his death and after his death. John was trying to get his readers to see that the Apostle’s testimony was verifiable. In other words, John was helping people to see that Christian faith is not based on wishful thinking; it’s based on the historical credible eye witness reports of the Apostles.

Faith
The root of many uncertainties about God is a misunderstanding of how knowledge and faith work. It seems like when you talk with people about faith they speak of it almost like a form of wishful thinking, sort of like the Disney movie type of faith - if you believe with all your heart, your dreams will come true. That is not biblical faith. Faith is receiving the credible testimony of God that he’s given to you in the bible. Faith is taking God at his word. That’s why the Apostle Paul said that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Think of it like this - why do people believe that George Washington was America’s first President? It’s not because they were there and saw him; it’s because they are trusting the reports of others who did. Or if people are in the market for a used car, they don’t typically inspect under the car and check under the hood before they buy it, what do they do? They trust the CarFax report. See, what people do in so many other areas of life, they just need to do the same thing when it comes to the bible and Jesus. If people trust the testimony of others all the time (and we know that people are prone to lie or exaggerate), why not trust the testimony of God who never lies? The bible was written so that people could know God, and trust his word no matter what is happening all around them.

Comments

gary June 22, 2016 12:40am

Are our pastors telling us the truth?

Are Christian pastors honest with their congregations regarding the evidence for the Resurrection? Is there really a "mountain of evidence" for the Resurrection as our pastors claim or is the belief in the Resurrection based on nothing more than assumptions, second century hearsay, superstitions, and giant leaps of faith?

You MUST read this Christian pastor's defense of the Resurrection and a review by one of his former parishioners, a man who lost his faith and is now a nonbeliever primarily due to the lack of good evidence for the Resurrection:

---A Review of LCMS Pastor John Bombaro's Defense of the Resurrection---

(copy and paste this article title into your browser to find and read this fascinating review of the evidence for the Resurrection)

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