More than once now I have had Christians ask me if it is wise for me to publicly criticize the local, visible churches as I do here on this blog, in my books, and in person with friends and acquaintances, some of who are not Christians. The concern is they voice is that such criticism will keep people from attending church and finding Christ. It is a fair question asked by people who as far as I know are asking it honestly.
Some of them might, for example, point to the following Scripture:
1 Corinthians 6:1-6 ESV When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? (2) Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? (3) Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! (4) So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? (5) I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, (6) but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?
So perhaps we are not to be critical of the earthly, visible church in front of unsaved people? Isn’t that “going to court before unbelievers”?
Continue reading “Should we Speak Publicly About Evil in the Churches?”
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV)
“Do you know where I can find a good church?” Have you ever been asked that question, or asked it yourself? The fact that we have to even pose the question tells us that there is a problem. That there are not only good churches, but bad ones. In essence, what we are asking is, “can you tell me where I can find Jesus and His true people?” We have all had our fill of the Pharisee kind of religion. Like rain in Oregon, that stuff is all over the place.
Continue reading “How to Find a Good Church”
John 13:34-35 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
It is quite easy to talk about love. About loving others. Most people would claim that they exercise love, at least toward those closest to them. I suppose the most wicked man or woman has at one time or another mouthed that phrase, “I love you.”
And we certainly see this among people who profess to be Christians. What local church, for instance, doesn’t have signs and slogans about how everyone there just loves one another? Church advertisements often use jingles similar to “loving God and loving one another.” That kind of thing.
And yet….is all of this really the real deal? I suggest to you that most of it is not. Think about the things that go on in the typical church:
Continue reading “Real Love and its Counterfeits”