Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Has Become of the Church Militant?

Earlier today, Coram Deo submitted a comment that I think bears highlighting and discussion...:


I just finished reading a piece on Christian evangelism in Israel.

In effect the author commends a "draw men with your loving good works" tact given the fact that evangelism/proselytizing are illegal in Israel.

Given the temporal illegality of witnessing in Israel the author points to the NT passages about submitting to governmental authority and being obedient to secular laws and concludes that showing forth your light unto men is the only available option for Christian witnessing.

Now I respect this particular blog author and generally agree with much that he produces, but I find myself shaking my head in disagreement on this point in light of Christ's repeated commands to preach the gospel and due to the myriad suffering, persecution, and martyrdom of the saints of God.

The Apostles themselves were ordered by the Jews to quit preaching Jesus and were beaten and Peter's resounding response was "We ought to obey God rather than men."

All of the 12 were executed by earthly authorities with the exception of John the beloved Apostle who was nonetheless exiled to the rocky wind stripped isle of Patmos whereupon he was given The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Where has our confidence in Christ gone?

Why do we fear temporal persecution more than we fear God?

Why do we refuse to take up our cross (an instrument of torture and death - not a good luck charm on a necklace or bracelet) and follow Him?

Why do we hold our reputation, our comfort, our safety, our job, or even our lives dearer than we hold our obedience to the offense of the cross and the glorious Gospel?

Why do we esteem ourselves (by holding onto the items listed above) higher than others who need to hear the truth?

What has become of the church militant?


Tim Brown said...


Thanks again for this article. I agree with you about the condition of the contemporary "church".

Of course, the real church (the body of Christ...those who are truly regenerate) remain faithful.

Implied in the above statement is a group called the "unfaithful" and I believe are mainly made up of tares. Not knowing Christ, they have no desire to share the gospel, nor do they see any need to do so, especially in the face of possible persecution.

The tares are all around us. The devil has been planting them for some time. Unfortunately, with the deemphasis of scripture as it is, the average church has no way to discern that anything at all is wrong.

I agree with you whole heartedly. And I think what you had to say is overdue.

Tim Brown said...

One additional thought. It would be interesting to go through each chapter of the book of Acts to extract at least one item per chapter that had to do with precisely how the first century believers interacted with the world, or dealt with sin (such as in Acts 5) with unbelievers present. I would think that would silence alot of the foolish "seeker/PDL" arguments out there about silencing the gospel and "loving them to Christ".

I like that idea...if you or someone else doesn't submit it first, I'll do it!

Coram Deo said...

Thanks for taking the time to address this timely issue, Tim.

You're spot on accurate in your allusion to the professing church vs. the church invisible.

Many undiscerning individuals are confused because of their inability to separate these two streams of Christianity which operate alongside one another - one being faithful, and one being apostate.

This same confusion and error also leads to a gross misapprehension of the roles and responsibilities of the local church which is evidenced by the abundance of spiritual abuse which is disguised as "church discipline", especially within the PDL system.

The mantra of Warrenism is "Those who oppose have got to go!


Coram Deo said...

As a side bar and for the sake of clarity for your readership my original comment about the 12 being martyred with the exception of the beloved Apostle obviously excludes the ignominious suicide of the betrayer Judas.

I sometimes overlook these things when writing free style and with a certain audience in mind.

Hopefully this will clear up any potential confusion.

Tim Brown said...

No problem. I'm sure no one thought you were including Judas.

I remember hearing someone preach against the idea that "The Church Has Become a Harlot". His premise was that the Body of Christ remains faithful, the Body of Christ (true converts) are not among them.

I agree. We need to distinguish between the "visible" and "invisible" church.