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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, Nov 18, 2013.
Johnson City Press: New Baptist Church Taking Nontraditional Path
Translation: "We looked around and noticed that there just aren't enough places for goats to go to be entertained, so we decided to fill that void."
So, does that mean they don't follow the Biblical criteria for membership?
Yep. Just what I suspected when I heard "church for people who don't like church".
Because church should be "comfortable", not reverent. Because it's all about you, not about Christ.
If they're unregenerate, then shouldn't he want them to repent and receive Christ?
And how does he plan to do that? I haven't seen anything about "Christianity" yet.
Nor will you.
Just a bit like where I attend.
The pastor doesn’t dress in robes or vestments.
Attenders can dress any way they like – within a limit.
The music is varied, ranging from traditional to contemporary accompanied by electric organ, acoustic guitar, electric base, and drums.
Only one cross displayed in the church – in the stairway to the meeting area.
We encourage personal ministries off the church grounds.
The campus schedule is open to those who want to use it without charge. We host local Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, police training groups use the property to train their bomb sniffing dogs, we sponsor and fund a revolutionary war militia (very much in demand in our local community).
We host public school activities and events as well as a regional Child Evangelism conference.
A local Hog Raising group uses our facilities for their annual get-together.
A nearby college uses our meeting room once in a while.
A dance and theater group practices weekly on stage in our meeting room.
We’re accepting of people with tattoos; smokers; same-sex couples; those with struggling marriages; those struggling with drug and alcohol dependencies etc.
We heavily support only a few missionaries; about half which came from our own congregation and support quite a few native pastors in Indonesia and the far-east.
We also help out a church in a tough area of Philadelphia, both financially and with volunteers.
We preach/teach the scriptures, if you don't like it - dont come back.
We have a small congregation (not more than 250) but averaged 11 visitors each Sunday service this year.
Rob, this too is my church. A church which intentionally creates an environment to encourage the "un-churched". We too are "casual" in dress, contemporary in music and open our doors to anyone. We do have limits and lines that only baptized, believing are permitted "roles of leadership and instruction".
quantum, Deacon ...
When do you plan on telling those who are in attendance that their lifestyles are in direct conflict with the Christian walk? Not that the tatooed and the smokers are, necessarily, but the same-sex couples for certain, and are you encouraging the addicted to get treatment?
If not, why not?
First things first.
They don't need to clean up before believing the saving work of our Savor.
The gospel is presented to them by caring individuals and in the pastoral message.
The change comes after believing.
They will hear what scriptures say about a particular life-style when it comes up in a passage we study.
There are so many broken people that need to hear what our Savor has done.
I would echo what Deacon stated. We would expect that the power of conviction comes from the preaching and teaching of the Word and its principles. Our responsibility is share this and expect that the Holy Spirit will work and be permitted to work on the hearts of those outside of Christ. Aside from the preached and taught word in worship service, we conduct a number of group opportunities to explore the Word and its principles.
allow me to ask this question....."What is the primary task of the Church?"
Seriously? come on, you know the purpose is to appease carnal man for the sake of nickels and noses don't you.
While I don't think you can effectively "scare" people into heaven, its clear that the "journalist" who wrote the article in the OP might have an agenda. Here is a hit piece from the same rag a few weeks back.
Wow, thousand hills, do you really think the reason is so shallow?
Seriously then (to use your expression), why would a carnal person care about Church? When I was a carnal man, I could give a wit about church.
But I will give you my sincere answer to my own question......the primary task of the church to evangelize and to preach the gospel. So if you believe that then, the Christian Church today spends much of its time denouncing people for their sins. I know some homosexual people and they have told me point blank that they wont go to church because they are denounced. It appears to me that if one of primary goals of our churches is to evangelize, then we have really failed the homosexual because we are always meeting them with deriding commentary vs directing them to the gospel. If the Church is always denouncing one particular group, is she not shutting the evangelistic door to them?
QF and EWF I apologize to both of you, I was trying to be sarcastic but I guess it didn't go over too well.
From my perspective I see two extremities: the self righteous, country club, money hungry church to which you somewhat allude to EWF is on one end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum is the "mile wide and inch deep" church, that does everything possible to get people in the doors. Both of which "have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof"
The questions I struggle with are:
(1).What does a true healthy NT church look like? To me neither of the examples above.
(2). Is the purpose of the actual service for evangelism or edification of believers? Should evangelism not occur "as we go"? Is every time the word preached is it not a call for repentance to both the believer to pursue holiness and the lost to a saving knowledge of Christ?
(3) We are to speak the truth in love. Should truth not bring repentance? Does love always equate to acceptance?
I have no pity for the self righteous that have warmed a pew in a church all their life and have no concept of God's grace (maybe I'm one of them), I do have compassion for the lost, but don't believe that if God is working in someone's life they will continue to wallow in the mud.
What a mess.................
Is church for the ecclesia or for the unregenerate?
Why not just give them the Gospel and call them to repent?
Their first problem is not "brokenness", whatever that means. Their first problem is that their sin has made them enemies of God and they need to be forgiven and reconciled to Him. That's what's "broken".
Go to the South sometime. I was born and raised in the South and brought up in the cultural Christianity that is prevalent there. I never missed church. I knew all the words to all the hymns, said "amen" at the right time, knew just when to leave to beat the Methodists to the Cracker Barrel. But I was as lost as I could be.
Biblically speaking, the primary task of the Church is the edification of the Body of Christ. Evangelism is a secondary task that results from the primary task.
OK. Church is for the ecclesia, not for the unregenerate or unrepentant. A homosexual saying they won't go to church isn't really much of a threat because church isn't for them, anyway.
How does one preach the Gospel without first preaching the law?
Depends on how long they've been attending. No, if they just walked through the door two days ago, or four weeks ago, or three months ago, they may not be ready. But then again, I've seen men and women walk in out of the cold to a Salvation Army soup kitchen, drink a hot cuppa while getting the word, and having their lives changed on the spot, their eyes opened, their salvation assured.
If your folk have been at church longer than that three months, why? What are they doing there, still soaking in the words but living the other 160 hours of the week as usual? And even if they've walked in the doors in the last month or two, they still need to begin hearing truth. If you're just going to let them sit there and listen, and leave without getting any encouragement, discipleship, fellowship, a right hand of friendship, then you aren't doing anything but providing a refuge from their miserable lives for three hours a week.
Rob, you can't expect them to just "soak it up' and know it. Like I said, if they're just sitting and listening and no one is pursuing them with the truth, you're wasting space that could be put to better use, and their time, which just as well be spent on the street. If they haven't gotten the message by now, there's a reason. The message isn't getting through to their hearts. It isn't producing the life change you are expecting.
If they can sit in church once a week and be comfortable continuing their lifestyle, the message isn't convicting them. This Pastor Guinn in the OP seems to think church "should be the safest place on Earth," but that's utter nonsense. The gospel should make the unbeliever uncomfortable, and either drive them away or convince them they need this Jesus they are hearing about every week. Sad to say, unchanged lives in this setting means our churches aren't doing the job Jesus gave them.
That's a mouthful, brother. Amen.
The primary task of the church is the gospel. Matt 28:18-20 What goes on in the church is to prepare us to take the gospel to the lost. (2 Tim 3:17) More correctly the the primary task of the church is the glory of God.( I Cor 10:31; Php 2:11) And the primary means in which that occurs is the salvation of man. (John 17:20-26)