Frank Turk, a self-styled Pyro “zombie slayer” has posted an interesting and somewhat scathing morsel which upbraids self-styled apologists who are at least ostensibly members of the church invisible, yet don’t participate within the professing visible church. Most of the post was very good, in fact it was mostly spot on accurate. Yet at some point (approximately 75% into the post) he careens wildly into an indignant demand for all of the “bad apologists” to join a local church. I actually went back and re-read this portion a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.
First let me state that I’m a member in good standing of a Biblically faithful visible church that is governed by elders and a pastor-teacher who is accountable to those elders, and I am accountable to my church’s leadership. I also serve in various capacities within the church. However this is not to say that I find this system to be anything other than sub-optimal and not God’s best, but now that my “vain traditions of men” credentials have been (almost embarrassingly) established I’d like to move on to my analysis of the post linked above.
To be fair Mr. Turk didn’t delineate his precise definition of the visible church but given his background I’d say it’s safe to assume he means a brick and mortar church with a steeple, full-time paid staff, instruments, pulpits, classrooms and the like; a “normal” church of the Protestant persuasion if you will.
For the life of me I can’t understand why men who are clearly doctrinally sound and Biblically literate are simultaneously so beholden to the modern-day Nicolaitane church construct. For all the heresy and ignorance that is both espoused and embraced by the emergents they’ve gotten one thing right – there’s something very wrong with the church (read “visible professing evangelical American church”).
In my view an enormous failing of the Reformers was their inability or lack of will to cut clean the poisonous umbilical cord which even today leads back to Rome. The Reformers utterly failed to deconstruct the unscriptural barrier between the laity and the clergy once and for all. Sadly many if not most of today’s Protestant visible churches are as hierarchical, political, corrupted and legalistic as the Romish whore from whence they were born. This is a fact to which any honest born-again believer can attest. The visible professing evangelical American church is a caricature and an abomination in contradistinction to the early church.
Friend, it’s indisputable that many – if not most – of today’s visible churches should have ICHABOD stenciled above the main entrance in large bold relief.
Needling still further Mr. Turk also managed to ham-handedly lump together the lone wolf professing Christian apologist who unscripturally presumes to be the sixth Sola – Only Me – and the countless myriads of heartbroken and faithful saints who have been cast out of their fellowships, sometimes after decades of serving the King, because they dared to take a stand against the implementation of Rick Warren’s Devil Driven Madness. And yes, these myriads include apologists of all stripes.
The professing church’s cup runneth over with false converts, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and rank apostasy and it’s probably the largest mission field in the world, so when I read thoughtless, careless, and cavalier posts such as Mr. Turk’s I’m frankly – pun intended – astonished. I’d be remiss not to point this out, but to simply jump up and down and wave one’s hands and demand that “bad apologists” join a church is a bizarre demand at best, especially considering the pervasive and brazenly heretical and corrupting influence of many – if not most – visible churches. Now he might rightly argue that the bad apologists should join his particular church and there may be a well reasoned defense of this position. But to simply say, “join a church” and then turn and walk away is…well…(there’s just no way to say this delicately), ignorant and lazy. I guess when you’re carrying a hammer everything looks like a nail.
In conclusion may every church that’s not built upon the solid Rock of Christ Jesus crumble into the dustbin of history where it belongs and may its deceived captives find true fellowship among Christ’s little flock, the genuine Body.
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)