Thursday, November 6, 2014

Is the Church Growth Model Biblical?

Last night at church, I was disheartened to begin on another Bible "study" that is not Biblically correct!  The study simply has the purpose of helping believers know "why they are here."

Biblically speaking, that could go on for quite a bit, listing all the reasons why God has created us in His image, and purchased back the believers from their fallen state in sin, into a new creation through the prophesied substitionary death of His Son on the cross.  For knowing Yhwh intimately, calling on Him as Abba, Father, living in fellowship with the Trinity, for worship, etc. etc.  That could be and maybe should be a study of its own!

But so what got me so disheartened was one of the final reflection/action steps at the end of the study.  It told us to think of one person we should invite to the next study.  And the response of anger and disbelief when I stated an objection to this goal!  Looking back, it was almost funny.  Now let me state that I am still in good graces with all the people who were in the study, as it should be... but should we be inviting and bringing unbelievers into the church?

Let's say what the scripture says  about unbelievers (from God's persepective):

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
(2 Cor. 6:14-16).

But the LORD goes on to say in the next verses - 

As God has said:
“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”
17 Therefore,
“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”
18 And,
“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

We see from this passage that God commands His people, the redeemed in Yeshua Messiah, to come out and be a separate people, thus there is no intimate living or mingling together (now, today's modern "church" in America is not intimate living together either, but that's another post.)

Rom. 3:9c  "all under the power of sin.10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]

All being under the power of sin, is before those are set free from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of God, and for those, there is no longer any condemnation Paul tells us later in Rom. 8:1.

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  (Rom. 8:6-8)

And Yeshua taught His followers:

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Now this is just from the perspective of a difference between the redeemed and the unredeemed. There are many more differences that should be studied and known, what it means to be elect, the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33), the role of pastors, true purpsoe of the church... but as for a lack of time, I'll stop here for now.


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