Friday, April 21, 2006

Excellent Article

I just stumbled across this's lengthy, but worth at least skimming over. Here's the first few paragraphs - see if they pique your interest as they did mine!

"Redefining the Church"
by Bob DeWaay, pastor of Twin City Fellowship

“He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18)

Several months ago a friend of mine, who puts on seminars, publicly pointed out the errors of several well known teachers who promote mystical practices. Shortly thereafter he invited me to attend a meeting with some leaders of his church to clarify his relationship with the church and determine whether his ministry was welcome there. This discussion made some important issues clear for me.

The leadership told him that his teaching did not comply with their practices. They do not practice correcting false teachers. In the course of the conversation, the leaders cited the basic mission of that church. It was a good mission and had to do with bringing people to Christ; but it did not include correcting error or false teachers. Thus my friend’s seminar is not compatible with their purposes.

As a result of the meeting I found myself pondering that situation in light of the many emails I have received from people around the country. These people often are unwelcome in churches in which they had been members for many years. What seems so strange is that the unwelcome members were not accused of sin or heresy; they were accused of not supporting the church’s mission or program. In some cases the mission and program had recently been changed and the long standing members had resisted the change. Ultimately most of these people left willingly, but with sadness of heart. Some who decided to stay and fight were eventually removed from fellowship.

What has happened that evangelical churches are willing to lose solid Christian members who have not fallen into sin or heresy? In this article I will propose that evangelical churches have changed the way they view themselves and their organizations; and that this change has lead to practices and emphases that build large visible churches, but neglect and abuse Christ’s “little flock” (Luke 12:32) -- the true body of Christ.....



At 9:09 PM, Blogger terryd said...

I read it all. I think he's on the right track. The corporate/marketing model of church growth is looking less attractive all the time. Do you think that's why so many people we run into are restless about church and wondering what to do next?

Lewis describes his own denomination's situation at one point as something like "sheep left huddled together while the shepherds have all disappeared over the horizon" in search of some new, innovative theology or strategy. I need to find that exact quote.


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