Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Christian ANARCHISTS???

Let us begin with the 'technical' defintion of ANARCHY
Anarchy (from Greek: ἀναρχία anarchía, "without ruler") may refer to any of the following:
"No rulership or enforced authority."
[1]
"Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder."
[2]
"A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute
liberty (without the implication of disorder)."[3]
"Absence or non-recognition of authority and order in any given sphere."
[4]

With that said, such a philosophy has without a doubt crept into Christianity. I was once again reminded of such last Sunday while ministering at the county jail, an inmate who has seemed to been in holding for at least a year mentioned as he always does the new and 'interesting' things he's reading. Well he inquired about my knowledge of (which is the way he starts almost every interaction) Constantine and how radically far the church is from what it should be, well after the service he stayed to spout out a couple more 'observations' which led me to believe he had just read one of those 'forget the church' books, and in accordance with what I was assuming he had just read a nice piece from 'expert' George Barna.
What does this all boil down to? Well-intentioned brothers and sisters who desperately want God and have been blessed of God to do so WITHOUT the stumbling blocks of a local church?? I don't think so!
For one the problem stems from (as all error does) a lack of biblical discernment, what the bible says about the church, it's function, and it's leadership! From there the problems splits between those who have legitimately been let down or hurt by unhealthy churches (perhaps several) and have come to the conclusion that there just aren't any healthy churches in existence and the other perhaps much much more common problem is the prideful attitude that rejects the need to listen to others and certainly the personal input or influence of others.
If you are like me then you may have also wondered while looking at other blogs and reading the comments, why some people still go to the church they go to, especially when they just went on a rant about the MAJOR problems in their church and how they so admire that blogger for speaking the 'truth'? Now what would cause a man (or woman) to stay in a place where they clearly REFUSE to submit/respect the leadership? ANARCHY! You know the person, perhaps a name or face comes to mind immediately, that person who works to tear apart from the inside.
In fact just after my family left the church we used to go to, such a person called me, this person thought he was calling to 'encourage' me, by going on a hate spree about how messed up the church is, and how organized religion is all wrong, and that all we need is fellowship without all the 'rules'! Well what immediately struck me as INSANE was the fact that he said he supported us and our decision, BEFORE he asked why we left?!
It is my conviction that such scene could have been avoided if only there was some sort of announcement to our leaving (of all the churches I've been in and have witnessed families/people leaving it's inevitable that if it's not made public then ALL sorts of gossip/speculations fly about.)
Well I did my best to confront his wrong thinking concerning the 'gifts' (male leadership) Jesus Christ gave to the church and the 'organized structure' of the church that Christ and the apostles modeled! It can't be denied that healthy churches are sparse, yet everyone must face the biblical reality that there are no plan B's, God needs and employs no substitutes beyond the written word. Find one or build one! Ecclesiology is a forgotten/neglected study, yet it is such a vital doctrine that every believer should be admonished to search the scriptures concerning it's truth. Most believers think such a topic is only relevant to ministers (perhaps many ministers think the same) yet if we are PART of the body of Christ then we MUST understand all the functions of that body (including ours)!
Here are some pretty good books on the subject
WHY WE LOVE THE CHURCH
STOP DATING THE CHURCH
WHAT IS A HEALTHY CHURCH
Sermon series by Albert Martin Manifesto: The Church

2 comments:

Puritan

Amen brother. It is a warning sign when people are out of fellowship and not under Biblical oversight. One of the key tests that you are a Christian is that you love the brethren. When people don't have a church fellowship because they 'can't be bothered with people' or 'don't want to be under Biblical authority' it shows something wrong with the state of their soul. I would also add those who are in so-called 'churches' which don't live the Word, don't practice church discipline, are entertainment driven etc, are also a forsaking of the assembling of the Saints and a sin to be in (1 Cor 5:11).

Many people do get discouraged because all they've seen in professing churches they've tried is carnality, bad teaching, and so they think "what's the point?". But the truth is that the true Saints would crawl over broken glass to be in a true Christ centred fellowship.

I often get emails 'I'm moving to such-an-area for a job, and do you know of a good church there?" I reply that they have got their priorities wrong and you should seek Biblical Christ centred fellowship first, and then move there, even if it means a lesser well paid job, small house etc.

Many are deceived into thinking that because they listen to a few good sermons on the internet each week. And have "facebook fellowship" with cyber-friends, that is a substitute. It's very easy to love people who are not in their life, and who don't really know them. They are not their friends otherwise they would tell them they need to stop wasting so much time on the internet, and get themselves in a good church and be a living sacrifice serving and being accountable to others.

Julius Mickel

Amen to that,
I can't count the times I've heard couples speaking about their plans to move to Florida or somewhere, and some of these are 'members' of churches for 20, 30+ years, what sense does that make (priority???).

I think some find comfort/shelter in a unhealthy church because they want to seem the most 'learned' (or their seeking an opportunity to take the 'lead') and others can just BLAME the poor preaching and leadership for their compromises.

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