Wayne Grudem on purity and unity of the church

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Jon 316, Jan 14, 2009.

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  1. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Wayne Grudem, in his systematic theology argues.

    "There were no perfect churches at the time of the new testament and there will be no perfect churches until Christ returns. This means that Christians have no obligation to seek the purest church they can find and stay there, and then leave it if a purer church comes to there attention"

    While no one would dispute the 1st sentence, I have some questions about the second.

    1) Do Christians not have an obligation to find and join the 'purest church'?

    2) How much 'impurity' in a local church should a believer have to tolerate?

    3) When does a church cease to be a N.T church?

    4) What should a Christian do, if in a church, with high levels of impurity?
     
  2. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Speak the truth in love. Teach until they will not listen to you. Leave when the Holy Spirit tells you that the Ichabod sign is about to be nailed above the door. I know that this is brief and blunt, but I have learned the hard way that sometimes there are good people in a congregation where the leadership has gone bad and you just have to hug them and tell them why you are leaving.
     
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    1) Do Christians not have an obligation to find and join the 'purest church'?

    There are also other factors to consider such as distance, and personal relationship that you have to the members. One can (and maybe should) attend a closer and more close-knit church if you are able to better bless the brethren than to drive 3 hours to a more pure church with less fellowship.


    2) How much 'impurity' in a local church should a believer have to tolerate?

    There are major and minor doctrines.... soteriology is more major, eschatology is more minor... Don't tolerateheresy but don't choke on gnats either.

    Figure out which hills are worth dying on and guard those.




    3) When does a church cease to be a N.T church?

    When it's official from-the-pulpit teachings are heretical I would say. Churches can be irregular or in error and still be churches (i.e. either paedos are credos are wrong, but both belong to real churches).


    4) What should a Christian do, if in a church, with high levels of impurity?

    What did Paul dowith Corinth? Try to purify it, or leave.
     
  4. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I guess this could be subjective and misenterpreted. How would you discern if this was the case.

    -----Added 1/14/2009 at 06:27:49 EST-----

    some good points there Pergy
     
  5. Dearly Bought

    Dearly Bought Puritan Board Junior

    1) Christians have an obligation to join a true church.

    2 & 3) The three marks of the true church must be present.
    4) Appeal to classis/presbytery if unBiblical doctrine is taught or discipline goes awry. Appeal to synod if finally necessary.
     
  6. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    The scripture tells us what to do when problems occur in a local Church. Some have to do with individuals, some with the leadership, some with the overall attitude of the congregation. Some problems are obvious, some take a while to figure out. Some offenses are severe, some are not. The severe ones that go unchecked are the indicators that Jesus is no longer present and if a congregation remains there, it will decay into a synagogue of Satan.

    When absolutes are violated with no repentance, leave immediately. Denying Christ's humanity or divinity, works based salvation are some doctrinal examples. Sexually immoral leaders who promote others to accept them as is and promote others to do the same, leave. An arrogant, ill tempered pastor who is 'my way or the highway" and uses fear to manipulate people, leave. These are examples of where I believe the sign is posted
    When lots of manlaw starts to be promoted and is held above scripture, I would leave. The doctrinal statement may look good, but the practice isn't.
    This is not an exhaustive list, but I think it makes my drift clear.
     
  7. Jon 316

    Jon 316 Puritan Board Sophomore

    RK, You have no idea how helpful you have been.
     
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