Posted 5/1/09

Never ever underestimate the blessing of a good church. CCB is not perfect. No perfect church will be seen this side of the New Creation. But it offers clear Bible-based teaching; it upholds faithful and unadulterated doctrine, for instance regarding penal substitution or justification by grace alone, accessed by faith alone; it acts on a longing for the lost of Balham and the world; and the community it brings together works lovingly for one another’s growth and good. The churches I visited over the festive period put this into stark contrast.

I don’t wish to be too harsh. It is good indeed that anyone would see fit to give up time and resources in order that Christ be praised and His followers be encouraged. It is even better that they do so when so much of our world deems such a use of time as foolishness indeed. And yet… how much better if they could do so without wasteful diversions; and not under the yoke of misled incomprehension. I have sat through a sermon based, not on a biblical passage, but on the song ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’. Even worse, having heard this red nose equated with the sin that makes us, too, ‘a misfit’, I have then heard that God ‘doesn’t mind our red nose (eg sin!)’ but ‘loves it’ and will ‘use it’! I have then delved back into the charismatic ranks where I wanted to learn good lessons, still believing that we are probably too shut off from fruits of the Spirit and joyful abandon. Instead I witnessed a church with no Bibles to be found or opened at the front, with our sin glossed over, the cross neglected and rather the Spirit proposed as that thing we seek – an elusive ‘sometimes near’ resource which we can grasp, given greater awareness and training, in order that we may be fulfilled.

How great then to return to Co-Mission. We are not ‘better’ Christians; my last post should make that abundantly clear. However, we are better taught, via a strict set-up of accountability, to the Bible and the scrutiny of those who know it well. This makes it far more likely that we will mature, by God’s grace, via the agency of those who diligently take responsibility for us within our congregations. To be at the Factory on Sunday was to be reminded of everything I’ve missed over the past chaotic month – to be reminded we’re a part of something growing and alive, to be told again of grace, true joy and of the cross… to have the Bible explained at the time I most needed to hear it. So yes, thank you God for good churches.


1 comment so far

  1. thenonconformer on

    I TOO still would rightfully rather see pastor first live a sermon instead of too often now merely preach it to others and I really do think it is so farcical how some sinfully, proud evangelical pastors are ready to condemn others, to gossip about, to now preach about the other person’s sins but someone how they can’t seem to deal with their own false abuse of others, their own sins, and their own false pride..

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