Friday, January 26, 2007

Directions

At a denominational meeting this week, we were told that the church can no longer do business as usual or do the usual business. We were told that the Spirit is doing something new, and that we must allow the society around us to dictate how we should worship, and what we should believe. This seems to me to be a case of the tail wagging the dog. What I found interesting was that no concrete changes were offered. And how do these self-appointed church experts know the Spirit is doing something new? Why is "new" better? Remember "New Coke"? That didn't work out so well, did it? The Holy Spirit is always invoked by such folks, which is a clever device. Going against the Spirit is a bad thing, so get on board with us and our new thing or you will grieve the Spirit.

What is the business of the church? At the very least the church exists to:
1. Glorify God by the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That faith in Jesus is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12).
2. Serve as a place of worship of the Triune God. Such worship is to be governed by Scriptural principles, and not by fashionable trends advocated by people who have no interest in Christ or the Bible.
3. Serve as a hospital for sinners. A place where the believer is edified, strengthened, challenged, and comforted by the Word and the communion of the saints.

The direction of the church cannot come from the sinful, fallen, anti-Christian world. The direction of the church can only come from God's revelation in Scripture. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). God's Word and biblically governed worship are surely sufficient for these things. Did not the Apostle Paul say so in 2 Timothy 3:16? I say we cast aside this idolatry of the "new," and return to "the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it'" (Jeremiah 6:16). No, they will not walk in the biblical, orthodox, Calvinist way. They want the new, the entertaining, the tolerant, the open, and to heal the wound of the people lightly, so as not to offend.

3 Comments:

Blogger RogueMonk said...

Agreed and amen!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Rileysowner said...

Thanks for this Scott. I have heard those trite sayings you mention at the beginning of your post more times than I ever wish to, and all of them fall down before what the Scriptures show we are to be as the church.

I wonder, if we as Reformed Christians were all to prayerfully share the gospel, that Christ came and died for sinner, rose again on the third day and unless a person believes placing their trust in him they will not be saved, with one person a week, what would God do through that.

While as a denomination we have people denying the teachings of Scripture, calling evil good, and not either living or sharing the gospel, we expect the ways of the world to keep us going...but in the long run all they make is a worldly church. Isn't that was we see more and more in Evangelicalism as a whole.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Well said, Scott. Perhaps a follow up post with more specifics on how the church lives out its being?

9:50 AM  

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