Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Pointless Church

At the conference in which I participated this week, Pastor Steve Thomas gave an address entitled "The Legacy of the Satisfied Shepherd." Pastor Thomas' primary point was that "we express our love for God by seeking contentment in His church." In the course of his address, he noted some errant approaches which marginalize the church. Note these two quotes he provided.

The visible church, as such, is charged with no mission. The Commission to evangelize the world is personal, and not corporate….So far as the Scripture goes, the work of evangelization was done by individuals called directly by the Spirit to that work. (C. I. Scofield, as cited in Michael D. Williams, “Where’s the Church? The Church as the Unfinished Business of Dispensational Theology,” GTJ, vol. 10, no. 2 (Fall 1989), 175)

No responsibility or service is imposed on the church per se. Service, like the gifts of the Spirit by whom service is wrought, is individual. It could not be otherwise. The common phrase, ‘the church’s task,’ is, therefore, without biblical foundation. It is only when the individuals sense their personal responsibility and claim personal divine enablement that Christian work is done. (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993) 4:149)

These are astounding assertions. One wonders how they could be made with a straight face! But it also helps us to realize why many professing Christians see no point to the church. They have been discipled that way.

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