Where Is The Church Heading? (2)

Part 1

The Wounded Beast Shall Rise
From time to time, Protestants have been tempted to think that the Roman communion has been dealt a fatal blow. History, however, tells us that though she has been wounded from time to time, she always returns. However vigorous the Reformed churches may be in some parts of the world (e.g., Brazil, South Korea, and Nigeria) the confessional Presbyterian and Reformed churches in North America (NAPARC) are tiny compared to the Roman communion.

At the moment, the Roman churches seem to be flourishing and there is little reason to think that will change. Buoyed by the vigorous pontificate of John Paul II, Roman institutions seem positively robust. Evangelicals, ignorant of the Reformation and the Reformed confessional tradition, tired of shallow worship and moral flabbiness will continue to find Rome a congenial place in which to find a connection to a tradition beyond Pentecostalism or the Second Great Awakening.

Islam Again
There are other ancient and persistent challenges to orthodox, biblical, Reformed Christianity that we might mention, e.g., Islam. No other global religious movement presents a greater threat to social stability and the mission of the church across the globe than Islam. After a period of repression under colonialism, Islam is back with a vengeance both theologically and militarily. Few Christians today are equipped to meet the intellectual and theological challenges presented by Islam.

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5 comments

  1. Did God send Islam as His sword against a corrupt Church in the seventh century just as He had sent Assyria against Israel, and furthermore, has He now sent that sword against it again? The Western Moral RelaticChurch has drunk deeply from the wells of the cultural revolution, and the enemies within the gates abound. Moral Relativism, Post-modernism, Pluralism, Hedonism, Consumerism, Individualism, Indifference, Hegalian Dialectic, and so on and so on. (See ‘The Death of Western Christianity’ by Patrick Sookhdeo.)
    “(Zion’s) adversaries are chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.” Jeremiah’s day is here again. But as He always did, God will take out of the overthrow, as He said to Elijah concerning Israel, His faithful remnant. “Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.”

  2. My take is that the biggest threat facing the Church today is the lack of discipline being applied equitably and justly. The reformation, 1944, and the formation of the URCNA are all examples of Churches not applying discipline as needed. The new perspective on Paul, federal vision, and other ideas contrary to the Reformed faith could be nipped in the bud if discipline were exercised. When I publicly professed faith, I made a vow before God and His Church that should I become delinquent in either doctrine or conduct of life, that I would willingly subject myself to the discipline of the Church. Discipline not only has the goal of restoration, but also the goal of correction.

  3. Thank you for this, Peter. It is a shameful reality that those who should be leading the church in faithfulness to its doctrinal standards are often negligent in overlooking deviations and denials of them. But it does not stop there, we have academics who are blatantly working to undermine sound doctrinal principles. As the HC says so well, our only comfort is that we belong body and soul to the Lord who bought us. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. One of the marks of the true Church is the exercise of proper discipline. God will not overlook the neglect of His truth. That puts us all in a position of doing what we can make our objections known, and to use available means to hold our leaders accountable to upholding our doctrnal standards. Faithfulness to our Saviour demands it.

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