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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, December 05, 2008

Selling Out to the Church Growth Movement: A Mess of Pottage

Unfortunately, Evangelicalism as a whole is selling out to theological liberalism through the back door. The principle of dumbing down the Gospel and the Scriptures for the sake of drawing in "seekers" is essentially to reject the Gospel for the sake of pleasing sinful men who have no desire for the things of God unless we cater to their sinful and selfish "needs." Such a compromise is to seek to please man rather than to please God.

While such pragmatic approaches can and do "succeed" from a numerical perspective, what these techniques do is to take a child of hell and make him or her ten times more a child of hell. The only legitimate way to convert a sinner is to preach the law of God which reveals us as sinners deserving of God's wrath and then to give the sinner the good news that Christ lived a perfect life of obedience and died on the cross for our sins, both of which are vicarious substitutions for us and imputed to us.

If we truly believe in God's sovereignty, then we should trust God and God alone to save sinners. Our job is to preach the Gospel faithfully and to preach the Bible by sound exposition and sound exegetical hermeneutics. The mess of pottage of Charles Finney's revivalism is merely carried to the infinite degree in the church growth movement where every sort of manipulation is fair game in getting the pragmatic results. But Evangelicals have forgotten that God calls us to be faithful, not merely successful! Success without faithfulness to the moral law and the Gospel is merely liberalism rehashed.

Have we forgotten that in the Scriptures often there were often only one or two faithful men among the crowd. In Isaiah there is a faithful remnant when the rest of Israel had become apostate. I could mention Abel; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Noah and Moses who all remained faithful, despite their sins and shortcomings.
Again, the nineteenth century William Carey (who was a Calvinist) became a missionary to India and after many long years there only won one convert! Yet today there is a thriving Evangelical and Reformed church in India. Would that God would raise up such men today! Would that God would raise up men willing to suffer being despised and rejected by men so that the true Gospel may go forth with the power of the Holy Spirit! May God grant us the grace to make each of us one of those men!


2 Corinthians 6:17 (ESV)17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,



May the peace of God be with you!

Charlie

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