Click on the quote below to read the article...

In the teachings of Christ there appear to be contradictory approaches to the institutional church. He talks of pouring new wine into new wineskins, which is generally taken to mean that he started his movement outside the institutional church rather than trying to reform the old.

BB2 23But he also tells a parable where God plants good seed in a field and the devil plants bad seeds.

God protects the weeds, for fear that ripping them up will damage the wheat growing there.

This is often taken to mean that we should stay in the church and overlook hypocrisy, etc. rather than confuse new members by leaving the church to start a new movement.

One verse says, "Come out and be separate" and another says the world will know we are Christians by our love for one another.

How do we reconcile all of this? 
Here are a few observations which might help:

1. Working from inside is often impossible. 
Throughout history movements to reform the church have been forced outside by the very churches which later condemned the reformers for not working from within. For example, we would be happy to share our discoveries with any church that will have us; but most would not even allow us to sit in their pews. So working from the inside is often not an option.
BB2 242. 'Weak friends' are not the same as strong enemies. 
Are people in the churches genuine followers of Christ who just have weak faith? Or are they outright enemies of Christ? If they value their church and the friendship of the world above the kingdom of heaven, they make themselves enemies of God. (James 4:4)

God asks them to forsake their false gods (respectability, wealth, power, etc.) If they fight against him when he does, they are not sincere believers with weak faith, who will one day join us; they are our worst enemies, the people who do all they can to destroy us. God's grace is available for those who want to do what is right; not for those who aggressively fight the truth as the self-righteous Pharisees did.

BB2 25
3. Thou shalt judge. 
Christ commands us to judge (John 7:24), but to do so fairly, and according to God's standards and not personal opinions. It may be politically correct at the moment to condemn people who are exclusive and to tolerate people who are tolerant; but the true church must be prepared to make difficult decisions about what is right and what is wrong. (1 Corinthians 11:31, 1 Peter 4:17)
We can know where your heart is at by gauging your reaction to Jesus' teachings. There's a big difference between falling short ofhis teachings and actually kicking against them. If a church rejects Christ's teachings, it rejects Christ, making itself a "synagogue of Satan". (John 15:18-23, Revelation 2:9)

BB2 264. God's field is bigger than the churches. 
The field where God's good seed is located includes the entire world. To whom much is given, much will be required. (Luke 12:48; 1 Peter 4:17)  The church has more to answer for than the rest of the world.  It can't use the story of the good/bad seeds to defend itself from criticism if it ignores the rest of what Christ taught.  There is more reason to be gentle and tactful with a Hindu, a communist, or a prostitute than with a born again Baptist who argues against Christ's teachings.

5. True 'sheep' are rare in the churches. 
We must find other ways to distinguish sheepfrom goats besides church attendance and praises to God. Instead, we should be looking for people who are honest, humble, generous and loving regardless of their theology. These are the characteristics Christ said his people would have. (John 8:31; 13:35; 15:8; Luke 14:33)

Note how people react to Christ's teaching. God won't ask our position on the virgin birth, resurrection, infallibility of scripture, Trinity, etc. when we get to heaven. What he will ask is what we've done with the teachings of his Son.

6. The door to heaven is a turnstile. 
BB2 27We enter heaven as individuals, not as members of a group. If a Mormon comes to your door, you must not see him as a Mormon. And if you go to someone else's door, you must not go as an ambassador for your religion. We should stop asking people what their religion is when we talk to them. It's no more important than what brand of soap they use. What matters is whether they love God and want to do his will.

7. We are saved by grace. 
If we really understood how powerful this statement was, we would stop judging people by their religion. Christ has paid the price so that everyone who has true faith in God can enter heaven.  The most primitive 'heathen' can have true faith in God without ever even hearing of Christ. (Romans 2:14-25)

BB2 28They are sinners as we all are; but if they know they are sinners, and wish they weren't, our message to them is the good news that they have already been saved by Christ's sacrificial death.  These sheep are lost in the confusion of the world, but they are still sheep not goats.
They are as forgiven before we find them as Abraham was in the Old Testament, and as the Good Samaritan was in the New Testament.  The blood of Christ makes up for all the heresies and other flaws in their various religious as well as making up for all the sins in their lives. 

The trouble with so-called Christian fundamentalism is that it always leaves out the fundamentals, things like love and living by faith in obedience to Christ. Instead, it assumes that a list of theological statements identifies the true church, thus replacing one religion (Judaism) with another one (churchianity).

True Christianity is not a religion; it is a way of life

An honest person knows that none of us has all the answers.  Our only hope is the grace of God; that he will see our hearts and know that what we want is to do his will.

Are you an honest person?  Do you want to do God's will more than anything else?  If so, God will forgive you for all of your sins.  

But if you are not willing to change; and if you are too proud to admit your sinfulness, then all you have left is your own religious self-righteousness. And all the theology in the world is not going to trick God into thinking that your religious arguments are good enough.
Pin It
Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account