Friday, January 9, 2015

New Church Musings

I've been at the new church long enough for that new car smell to have worn off. And so I have enough perspective to make a few comments.

Firstly, every church has something it does well and something it does poorly, and very often these are the same things. If a church strongly emphasizes the acceptance of Christianity they will more than likely fall foul into the acceptance of sin. If a church strongly emphasizes the need for holiness they will often fall into infighting and ruin. If you can't name your sins strengths and weaknesses then you better sit down and think long and hard until you can.

Second, every church dislikes the Bible. I don't mean wholly, though in "mainstream" protestantism you will certainly find that. I mean that in some churches the word elect, predestined, and depravity are unwelcome visitors, In such a church they will tell you only haltingly that people go to hell because it's mean. If you attend such a church and start getting serious about the whole council of God you might be driven to another place where they actually believe those things.
But be careful, because over at church B not all is well; they still hate things the Bible says, they have just picked out different things to hate. Things like invite, offer, or plead. In such a church you will see them reject the notion that Christ died for all, and in such a church they will wring their hands and tell you babies who die go to hell.
There's no perfect place. Getting out of that difficulty isn't so easy.

The kickback everywhere is to be expected because everyone has things they dislike about the Bible, so when a group of people get together, the attribute is shared. If you're honest in your heart you know what I'm saying is true, even though you may not know what those things are.
Between the two of them I can say with certainty the high church is more rewarding and more challenging. The weed of pride flowers differently here, and it bears sharper thorns. In moving up you trade immaturity for cruelty. That's just the way the world works, if you bring together a group of people who hold fast to their convictions then they're going to be rigid too. The Greeks loved to write tragedies that centered about how the nature of a man that allowed him to rise will ensure he falls.

Forgiveness answers this dilemma. Faithfulness to the Scriptures for without it we're lost, but faithfulness which comes on the heels of humility and forgiveness.

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