Pull the plug on progressives

faithful churchby J. Randal Matheny, editor

Next week I’ll teach out of state in a ministry training program on Ecclesiology or, in my simple terms, the church of the New Testament. The intensive course will run from Tuesday to Friday as we survey Biblical teachings about the body of Christ.

Major attention is needed on this subject, more than ever, if that’s possible.

The latest assault on the nature of the church was the World Convention held July 25-29 here in Brazil. The quadrennial event seeks to draw our brotherhood into a partnership with the Disciples of Christ and the Christian Church, overlooking doctrinal differences in order to promote a false unity movement among the divisions of Christendom.

Not a few people are trying to shoot down the New Testament model for the church. Missionaries are at the forefront of this movement. One of them declared to a large Brazilian gathering a few years ago that there is no pattern in the Bible for the church. One former missionary told another gathering of over 1,000 saints that they should do whatever it takes to get people into the church.

The Brazilian church will lose many, if not most, of its congregations to the progressive movement. If Brazil is a harbinger of what is to come, the worldwide church will shrink in size. God is sovereign and guides his kingdom, but he also does not keep churches and disciples from harm through the neglect of those responsible for healthy teaching of his word.

Wisdom would seem to point to pulling the plug on progressives who think the faithful church is a legalistic throwback to the nineteenth century. But brethren still insist on using and supporting ministries, programs, colleges, and people who are pushing the progressive agenda.

Progressives spout no little invective toward faithful Christians who seem oblivious to their hatred. Are we so afraid of controversy that we clap our hands over our ears and slide blinders down over our eyes? Are we such spiritual wimps that we will allow the wolves to devour the flock? Are we so concerned with our own little affairs that the kingdom of God holds no claim over us?

Much of the church in Brazil will be lost because American brethren, in large part, knowingly let it happen. God will not hold such blameless.

 

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

10 thoughts on “Pull the plug on progressives

  1. Brother Randal,

    Thanks for the wonderful comments on “Pull The Plug on Progressives.” How true your words of warning and teaching are to the 2012 brotherhood. Some of us have faced this previously, though probably not to the extent you and other good brothers will face here. Our prayers are with you…continue to stand tall for the absolute truth of God’s wonderful word! Although many will fall away in the days ahead, the true church (remnant) which Jesus died for will always remain. In addition to our prayers, I wish some of us could be there with you to encourage and support your effort against those who choose to follow the devil’s schemes rather than the true and living God.

    Charles D. Beebe, Abilene, Texas

  2. How could anyone with roots in the church be fooled by such a gathering? Most of the speakers are from the Christian Church and Disciples, and several of the “pastors” are women. I suppose the idea is “Make it big enough, and they will come!” or “Tell a lie long enough and people will believe it!”

  3. As your article implies, it is all about what values are held the highest and the origin of whose perspective is employed, God’s or a human one.

    I would hope that hearts would resonate with a message that begins with a serious examination of the question, “What has God revealed about how He identifies His people?” In my understanding the answer to this question raises another, “Who does God recognize as entering into the unilateral covenant Christ made possible?” After all, according to scripture what anybody might claim about their relationship to God does not matter, what matters is whether God knows us.

    Only after this is firmly established and the conclusions applied to the realities of our world can we then even begin to contemplate such questions as: “What does God want from His people” and “How are they to relate to each other?” Of course the value of the answers derived from a biblical examination of these questions will largely depend upon such building blocks as to whether someone defines grace biblically or whether there is prejudice against the biblical teaching regarding obedience.

    Does it boil down to trying to love and serve God on my terms and thinking versus loving and serving God according to His will?

  4. Randal,
    Thank you for the good warning you are giving. It saddens me that problems of weak leadership in the USA are causing problems for the church in Brazil. We must pray for more boldness in our leaders just as they did in Acts 4.29. I continue to pray for you each day. Thank you for your love of the truth and the souls of men!

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