Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"I will join a church when I find the perfect one."

...Is this a statement of poor excuse for those claiming to be Christians and yet refusing involvement in a local church body. But what happens if you have been burned unscripturally by a local church or there are no sound churches within 200 miles or so from you?
Spurgeon actually has something quite funny to say about that. He basically says that if you find yourself stuck in a church where the teaching is sour milk, than just reverse the sermon to make it Biblically sound. E.g. You hear the preacher say that as a Christian you can lose your salvation... just add the word "not" on the end of that heresy and BAM... you've got scriptural truth. You can actually walk away from the most horrid sermon "reversed" and have feasted on meat. Of course, this only works if you actually read your Bible.. and I would not recommend it if you have small children.
My local body is an extention of my family... a lifeline of accountability where I share the lot of fellow Christians that are struggling, recieve the benefits of joy in times of plenty and in times of lean. Where you will not find perfection but those seeking such so as to glorify God. Thankfully where I can "FEAST ON MEAT" without reversing the sermon and be challenged in the Word with excellent teaching. It is a family I love and embrace and it is an honor to give myself to it... To seek to serve my Lord in it. But I know such churches are far and few between. I love what Spurgeon says about the search for a "perfect church":
"... (a church) will not be a perfect church the moment after you joined it for it will cease to be perfect as soon as it receives you into its membership!"
Spurgeon doesn't candy coat anything like most so called preachers of this day (E.g. Joel Osteen)
I HAVE A QUESTION: If a person claiming to be a Christian does not involves himself in a local church, should he or she be treated as a non-Christian or as a Christian? According to James Spurgeon on TEAMPYRO, they should be treated as a non-Christian. JS states, "Anyone who calls himself a follower of Christ and is not a member of a local church is acting like an unbeliever and should be treated as such." http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2006/01/church-definitely-local.html
I guess I have always adopted the stance that if you claim Christ with your lips and yet do not have fruit, including being a part of a local body, than you are to be treated, admonished and disciplined as though you are a Christian.
James Spurgeon's response to my question:4given, I was referring to those who simply refuse to associate themselves with a visible, local manifestation of Christ's body. I wasn't referring to someone, say, like Apollos in Acts 18. Does that help?
My Response: I need to chew on that and get back to you. My initial response was "no" because I was looking for a specific scriptural basis for your stance... Thank you for responding. A dear friend of mine, when I asked his opinion as to what you said about "those who simply refuse..." He asked to define "refuse". Is this Bill Clinton's definition of refusal or are these people that refuse to associate themselves with a visible, local manifestation of Christ's body refusing because they are surrounded by heretical churches and it would take 3 or more hours to drive to a sound one, etc. There are too many "what if's"
ENLIGHTENED RESPONSE... go to this link to read James Spurgeon's "Forsaking Church is Apostacy- part one" It is excellent and I look forward to more.


Blogger DBULL said...

I have forsaken Spurgeon and everything he teaches, I bet he would have a problem with that as well :-). I have found that a major problem with people is they love to follow other people, especially so called experts and scholars. What is the church? Believers are the church. Can I "attend" church? No. I can't "go to church", "attend church" or anything similar to this, I, along with other believers am the church: the body of christ. Why won't you find someone like me sitting in a building that calls itself a church? The reasons are many: The pastoral system is unbiblical. It's idolatrous-how so you ask? :-) Please see my blog article on pastors for all the details. I call today's christian masquerade "churchianity." True christianity is a wonderful thing. The church is a living organism, not a man made organization. Jesus said that in the body of christ, leadership is inverted from the way the world does things.

Matthew 20:25-27 25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—

So why does the organizational structure of every church I've ever seen look exactly like the structure of a fortune 500 company? The pastor is the CEO and everything else flows down from there. I truly believe that everything we were taught about what the church is and does is a lie, passed down unchallenged from generation to generation as the traditions of men. Men like spurgeon are held in such high regard that their teachings are'nt questioned. The only book we should go by when determining what the church is and does is the Bible...agreed? Ask the Lord to allow you to see the world the way He sees it. Pray for this daily, if you are not faint of heart, for when He answers it will turn your world upside down. Cheers, brother D

9:06 AM  
Blogger 4given said...

"I have forsaken Spurgeon and everything he teaches"... than you have forsaken scriptural truth, for this man, thou a man, sweats truth.

9:04 AM  

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