Published June 4, 2009
After reading “Toward a Great Commission Resurgence,” I am convinced our greatest need is identified in point four, “A Commitment to Biblical Inerrancy and Sufficiency,” and boldly declared in the final statement under this heading. It is not enough to believe that the Bible is inerrant; we must also be willing to submit to all of its teachings, even if that means we must relinquish our own preferences or human traditions.
For too long, Christians and churches have operated according to human traditions and not Biblical teachings. The Bible teaches tithing, and yet two-thirds of Christians do not tithe. They can afford cable, internet, car payments and vacations, but say they cannot afford to tithe.
If our churches were functionally biblically, bi-vocational pastors would be a thing of the past. There is something wrong when Christians will give to whatever increases their comfort, but will not fully support the man God has sent to shepherd them.
And speaking of shepherds, why do we allow sheep to attempt to lead themselves? While the BF&M supports congregational rule, God’s Word does not. God calls pastors/elders to shepherd and lead His churches. Voting on any issue only results in dividing the church according to human opinion, not to unity based upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Also, why have deacons been given any authority to lead/make decisions? Biblical deacons form no committee and have no chairman. Their only biblical responsibility is to serve at the bidding and direction of the pastor/shepherd. They are to see to it that the practical needs of the congregation are met – period.
We also would be much more effective in reaching our communities with the gospel if we would stop wasting money on building more buildings to house larger congregations, when the biblical example is to plant new autonomous churches. This would also enliven our existing churches as they become involved in birthing new congregations.
One other problem that often accompanies plant expansion is church indebtedness. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to do anything but receive offerings for the support of God’s ministry. We do not need MasterCard or a bank loan to help God fund His work. God meant it when He said to “owe no man anything”. When God provides the funds through His people, only then can we know for certain that God is leading the church to accomplish a particular work.
Letting go of these and other human traditions that have long had a stranglehold on our churches is vital if we ever expect to reach this world with the gospel. And if we care more about our traditions than we do about the souls that are one breath away from a Christ-less eternity in hell, then what does that say about the reality of our own relationship with Christ?
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