Mar 5, 2009

One Good Reason to Consider Your Motives

A new friend gave me a book to read the other night. This book comes to my delight as it is something that I’ve been wanting to read. Considering that I have a new found freedom from homework (YAY!) I’ve started to read this book a little more closely than I would’ve any other over the past two years. This is awesome because I love to read.

The title of the book is “House Church” by Steve Atkerson. I’ve had some exposure to some of the teachings his circle of influence and constituents teach, and worse yet I’ve had some experiences with some of the adherents to this type of teaching that have embodied what the author warns against in the very first chapter. Here’s a quote.

Church renewal advocate Darryl Erkel has appropriately pointed out the “danger of making distinctive New Testament patterns a form of legalism wherein we begin to look down or distance ourselves from our fellow brothers because they don’t quite do it the way that we think it should be done.We should always be careful to not give the impression to others that their church is false or that God can’t use their church because they’re not following apostolic patterns as closely as we are. That is nothing but sheer pride. On the other hand, we ought to look for a better way – one which is more conducive to the spiritual growth of God’s people – for the function of the New Testament church is best carried out by the New Testament form of the church!”

I think this really goes back to touch on the issues of what to separate over and why we should even begin to think about distancing ourselves or excommunicate others over differences in doctrine. One of the things that many individuals are leaving traditional “churches” over these days is the problem of ungenuine fellowship and practices. Some downright running because the traditional settings are “unbiblical.” But in the response, the pendulum swings so far the opposing way that it never returns to a place of reason or honest perspective, but cultivates a new heresy. In the end, the response has become just as guilty as the cause.

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