Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today i heard a good word on the importance of the local church. Much of what i say will sound very obscure if you don't understand this importance. Of first importance as i have said before is NOT what do i want in a church, but WHAT does God desire in a church. NOT what kind of leadership do I WANT, but what kind of leadership does GOD REQUIRE these are non-negotiable issues.
Much of the problem regarding churches is based upon preference and not the bible. There are things that ARE a matter of preference that some churches have made major issues and that WRONGLY.
Worship for instance (singing), is a matter of preference: one standard which must be held is 'biblically sound' lyrics. On the one hand i understand those who like contemporary music, and i understand those who like hymns. Yet i believe it's too far when a church takes a stand on one or the other not by their preference but as though one is more righteous (this of course laying aside shallow music which can be found in any era). Hymns are no superior to contemporary music because it too was contemporary at one time, the argument will always contain flaws unless you demand that only the psalms can be sung. Simple is nice and perhaps the safest way to prevent misunderstanding; yet people are excitable and to say all excitement is sinful is of course ridiculous. As for me, if it's solid and since i know how to come to the Lord and i am truly saved there are times where i don't want to say much i just want to SHOUT, or even JUMP and i would say that's ok and even good; there are times of such tremendous bursts of joy, or delight, or praise that you get undignified! YET again these are matters of preference and should not be used to bind the people of God. There was a time in my infancy (as a Christian) that all i liked was exceptional gospel music (since that's the style of the churches i was in), i mean brilliant artists, drummers, pianists, organists, and singers. I would be frustrated and mock any church we went to where there were noticeable flaws. I was spoiled by predominately 'hypocritical' yet BRILLIANT musicians. Then i met a friend (Chris Drombetta) at work, and we begun to meet several hours before work at his apt (i would teach him some self defense stuff and he would teach me what it meant to be a Christian ---at least that's what i learned as we prayed and studied together). Anyways he was and is a brilliant musician, but before this i had no interest in non-gospel music, and he gave me a bunch of cd's to my first drive to Toledo. From then i have had to check my own heart concerning my thoughts on worship since then; It had dawned on me how God didn't look at what i looked at. That acceptable music to Him has nothing to do with style or ability but with the heart. Also that whether people stand, kneel, sit, jump, whatever doesn't make it more holy or more acceptable to God; yet God knows why they do what they do and i believe that a church should go out of it's way to MAKE THAT clear, so they don't become pridefully critical of how other churches decide to worship.
There is the local church and beyond that the world-wide church, the church that consists of every truly born-again believer. As we recognize that God's people goes far beyond our own four walls, we must also be concerned about our brothers and sisters around the world. I hope to press this further in the future but for now i would say that if you know very little about what's going on in other parts of the world, concerning our 'family', and if you aren't looking to or don't participate in supporting missions or the welfare of the church worldwide then something is really wrong! It would do your pride, your self-pity, your materialism, your fear of man, your discontent well if you would seek to be better informed of the body of Christ around the world.
In our logic of course the local body doesn't seem important, but it is absolutely crucial, it is God who has ordained such a gathering for the purpose of mutual encouragement.
The local church is the place where you should be consistently exposed to the word of God (the gospel), the place where you are consistently confronted with truth and then held accountable to that truth by loving brothers and sisters. The place where we stir one another on to NOT lose heart and to NOT be slack in doing good (with a focus on witnessing). The place where your flaws are confessed and you bear the burden with others who are struggling (A place of humbling). The place that models for families how to conduct themselves and pursue the Lord. The place where you receive rebuke to not backslide, and not slow down your pursuit of the Lord. The place where you recognize the authoritative positioning of God almighty in His kingdom, also a model for husband and wives, that although there is God ordained LEADERSHIP, there is also equality! The local church is the primary means of saving sinners, a place where the lost (SHOULD although it's NOT the norm) hear the gospel consistently. The sermon confronts the sinner in a unique way as well as the love that believers have for one another (not necessarily for them) will be another (along with the stark contrast in values and lifestyle) VISIBLE confirmation of the truths of the GOSPEL (the guarding and maintaining of these visible fruits is called CHURCH DISCIPLINE which most DON'T practice and CAN'T practice because they don't have A CLUE what their people live like).
If these ARE NOT the norm in YOUR CHURCH, if this is not what you look for or what you care about then my friend you have missed it COMPLETELY, consequently these ARE the reasons many shallow or False professors don't LIKE a HEALTHY church (yet a truly healthy church is a center of TRUTH, HUMILITY, REMEMBRANCE, and LOVE.
Please please don't take this lightly, as with my own decision to pursue another church for my family, these decisions have been made BASED upon the BIBLICAL requirements of a CHURCH not upon some internal 'spider-sense', we must base everything upon the WORD OF GOD!! Either the church is a HEALTHY BIBLICAL CHURCH or GOD has placed me here and given me the open door to effect such a change (either way it's a moving FORWARD).
I have just recently listened to a series by Albert Martin on the church's role...... In essence this wonderful shepherd is laying down the biblical grounds for why they have or have NOT done things. It's very solid and it's reveals the large heart of a man, that isn't looking to establish His own preferences but is fighting hard to stand upon the truth of God for the people of God. It's a message that should prevent a younger generation changing everything because they thought that these old fogies did what they did because they were old and senile. I beg you to listen to these fruitful messages, but i WARN YOU they may not line up with what you've always seen and been told; NEVER MIND that, test it by the word and reject the false and receive the truth!!!!
the series goes like this; The role of the church.... the Saving Purposes of God 2. in Living the Christian Life Evangelism and Missions a Call to the Ministry Ordaining Men to the Ministry pt 1 Ordaining Men to the Ministry pt 2


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