Comment to 'Part of the Problem, or Part of the Solution?'
  • Thirty years is a long time. Many years ago and many miles ago. Many good memories among the not so good ones. God be thanked.

    I think your and your wife's analysis is accurate. In looking back, I wish things had been different. And that the alternative church movement would not have been so continually pessimistic and judgmental.

    It was summed up well in a line from the book Pagan Christianity: "The institutional church has no right to exist."

    Well, something is better than nothing. Many of the critics of the institutional church had precious little themselves and therefore reduced the definition of church (literally, an assembly) to playing a round of golf, as portrayed in the book Revolution.

    Rather than tear down the work of others - we must do something better ourselves.

    Thou — who art thou that art judging another’s domestic servant? To his own master he will stand or fall; and he shall be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4.

    No doubt, I have fallen into this quagmire myself and have been guilty from time to time. May God forgive me and enable me to do better in the time which remains. Looking back at some of the things I've written, the proper balance was occasionally lacking. I may have complained about "controlling clergy", for example. But for every one of them, there are dozens of "lazy laymen" who are unwilling to serve in any form of ministry or to exercise their newly discovered priesthood in Christ.

    The perfect terminology about church affairs matters little. It is the substance which matters. Unless we are speaking the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, we are not speaking "Biblically". Scriptures warns us of getting carried away with words. If we master them all but have not love - something went wrong.

    The principles do matter however. And so the question remains: How do we present truth without contrasting it with error? Can it be done? Yes, I think so. If so, it must be done in love.

    How do we not be overcome evil but overcome evil with good?

    Yes, it's thirty years later. As the song goes: "It's later than it's ever been before." Billions of precious people still have not heard a single presentation of the Gospel or visited any church of any kind. They are looking for help and hope more than a debate of any kind. Let us keep these in mind when we are fighting among ourselves and writing each other off.

    “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Mark 9.