Once again from Tim Chester and Steve Timmis in Total Church:
“Some people take a fluid view of church in the name of the universal church. They go to a conference, join a short-term team, participate in a parachurch organization, claiming all these constitute their commitment to the church. There may be some validity in calling these things the church in some sense. But they are not a substitute for the community that the New Testament presupposes is the context for the Christian life. It is easy to love the church in the abstract or to love people short-term. But we are called to love people as we share our lives with them. This is the pathway to Christian growth and holiness. Commitment to the people of God is expressed through commitment to specific congregations.”
Think of all the ramifications to our lives if we applied that. Ummm. Wow.
How about this one:
“Still today, some Christians want to extend Christ’s kingdom through the sword. They many not advocate forcible baptisms. But they expect the state to defend the interests of the church or legislate Christian values or protect the Christian heritage of their nation. So-called evangelical groups campaign to defend Christian influence in state education or a distinctly Christian coronation or inauguration oath. The cause of Christ, it is assumed, should be pursued through political means. this is the reflex of Christendom, the alliance of Christianity with earthly power. But as the Great Commission makes clear, Christ’s kingdom is extended through the proclamation of the gospel. Christ’s people should expect to be persecuted by the world (Matthew 5: 11-12). Our King does not reign from a throne but from a cross.”
Yeah. That runs pretty contrary to what I see.
Your thoughts, patrons?