Okay… now that I have wiped the tears of sadness from my eyes because I spent close to 2 hours writing a post then my laptop crashed along with my post, I will attempt it again.
I’ve recently been reading a book called “Biblical Church” by Beresford Job and I have come across something that was quite thought provoking (I have blogged about this a few times, you can find the posts HERE if you’re interested). But I really, really wanted to share a couple of quotes from his book and hopefully you will find it interesting and thought provoking too.
I am going to leave this post as a sticky post (so [please don’t fret when you come to this blog and see this post at the top of this blog for longer than normal) because I really hope this post creates a few bites. I’m in the mood for a little bit of fishing!
Anyway, If you’re unclear or don’t understand the differences between an unbiblical church and a biblical one, then see HERE and HERE. These are a must read so that you know where the author is coming from and it’s important to know what he’s NOT saying as well. Hence, this is why I am leaving this post as a sticky one because I know that we all have time issues and I would dearly love you to get the background behind this concept of “biblical church”. No pressure! Honest!!!
So here we go…
Under the subtitle “Active or Passive?” the author writes…
When all are free to take part and face the challenge of being duty bound to be reaching out to the Lord for whatever he wants them to bring to the gathering, then no longer is it a question of just coming along and asking, “How can I be blessed and what can I get out of it?” That is spiritual selfishness from which the only outcome can be ongoing spiritual immaturity. In a biblical church the question is rather, “what can I bring today? How can I give and be a blessing to others?” It is the complete opposite! It is the way of growth, of spiritual maturation, and of believers moving ever toward the full stature of the Lord.
[…]The whole of scripture portrays how the lord has designed men to be the loving self-sacrificing leaders of their families, with women being their fully equal, but submissive, partnering helpers and support. What kind of church experience, therefore best helps a man, as the spiritual leader of his family (or prepares young single men for their future role when they are married) to grow into and fulfil their role? Is it taking his family to a gathering where he sits passively with his wife in a pew while his church leader just tells him what he ought to believe, without any opportunity to question or challenge what has been said? Or is it attending, week by week, year and year out, a gathering where others look to him, simply because he is a man, to both teach the church, and share, and give of his relationship with the Lord to the others present?
I can think of a few things I would like to discuss.
- Is this why we have spiritual immaturity in the church? hmmm interesting!
- Is this why deception has crept in? Lets face it, within an unbiblical church the leader is up there and we are all passively listening.
- Does this lead to a lesser degree of accountability?
In a biblical church, a small gathering of Christians inquiring of the Lord through scripture and as the Spirit leads, there is a better sense of personal relationships, and therefore personal knowledge of one another and accountability. We must remember that the biblical qualifications for an elder had very little to do with scholarship but everything to do with character, personal life and godliness (1 Timothy 3 v 2, Titus 1 v 6-8). With a distant hierarchical leader do you really get the needed transparency required to really know their character? In a small biblical church it would be harder to hide wouldn’t it?
Make sure you do understand what is meant by an unbiblical church and a biblical one according to this author. And may I just say that he doesn’t stand alone in his understanding on this, he has much documentation of early writings that prove his point. In fact, it was Pastor Dave Royle of Moriel Ministries (just google that) who put me on to this book and he said to me that he’s felt that Beresford’s take on this is spot on and more people are starting to realise this. Now that’s coming from a pastor!
So, there you have it. Just a few things to provoke your thoughts.