The “new and improved”… Church?

Eric Carpenter has written a wonderful essay on his blog, A Pilgrim’s Progress. He contends that God has outlined for us in Scripture just how He’d like His Church to function and behave. He then takes those principles and contrasts them with the way church is typically done today. The result is a list of ways in which we’ve departed from Scripture — ostensibly because we came up with a better way of running His Church. Go ahead, read “We’ve Got a Better Idea!” if you’re not scared to get hit right between the eyes. Here are just a few excerpts from Eric’s list…

  • In Scripture we see churches gathering in houses — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s meet in large, expensive buildings instead!”
  • In Scripture the elders always came from the place they served — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s hire pastors we don’t know instead!”
  • In Scripture the elders worked like everyone else — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s pay salaries to professionals instead!”
  • In Scripture we read of the church taking responsibility to educate its people — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s build seminaries to educate the future clergy instead!”

I can hear the chorus of objections now, “But, we’ve never done it that way before.”

But, the question isn’t whether or not we’ve ever “done it that way before,” it’s “Is what we’ve been doing biblical or not?” And, if what we’ve been doing is not biblical then we need to repent and conform to Scripture. And, if we’ve “never done it that way before” then we really need to repent.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

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