Bags of Bran

Drowning with Land in Sight
April 26, 2010, 10:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

School snuck up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, and when I turned, it gave me a lights-out shot to the chin.

I am staggering beneath this load. I have two papers in the oven (the one was begun as a vacation from the other) and one on deck that I may or may not get to. It’s not a good time to be me, though it’s still “better than I deserve” and far better than the rest of the West.
I’m currently writing a paper on the meaning of apostasy: it’s not pretty. If you leave the church, you leave Christ: that’s what church history says (until about 1850), and that’s what the Bible says.

Those who leave on their own, not transferring their membership, are essentially under church discipline. Their state is the same as if the church excommunicated them. The only difference is who acted first.
The SBC is going to irritate a lot of people if Harrett has his way. The man seems utterly blind to the reasons that his denomination has 16,000,000 people, 60% of whom never attend. Neither does he seem to notice that the head offices rather like that figure, and keep men such as Rick Warren, the BGEA, and liberal missionaries around to keep that particular number headed in the right direction.

His proposed solution? Membership classes and church discipline. Sooo…. a Billy Graham (or the Power Team, or whoever) comes to town, deploys a gospel-like substance, the decision cards are turned in, and a handful of confused people wheel into the local SBC church with Billy Graham’s assurance that they are now right with God. Now I know that 90% of people who go to these huge outreach thingys are already church members or attenders, and that 70% of those who respond are church members or attenders, and of those from the non-attenders who respond, about 1% are still around in a few years’ time (even among the church attenders, not many remain), but let’s pretend that the BGEA is effective and sends 10 decision cards to such and such Baptist church, SBC.

So this church welcomes them with open arms, channels them into a membership class, and discovers that no, Billy misspoke, or they took him out of context (this happened a lot with Billy, but let the reader be comforted: he meant well). They are not right with God, they felt bad and wanted to appease their consciences, or wanted to fix their marriages, or had wayward children, or had recently lost their jobs. So they went forward. So now what? The church can’t bring them into membership or baptize them because they don’t love God, and the church has joined the conservative evangelicals who don’t do stuff like that anymore. And these will go away sad, likely hardened to the Gospel.

Recommendation: Throw Billy Graham convert cards into the nearest fire (prophetically), and straighten those people out about Graham, the Gospel, and the cost of discipleship (after having straightened the church out). Cycling people through the church because of a faulty gospel is immoral.


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