Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea has posted a very timely and important piece on the relationship between the true believer and the false church:
A Slice reader poses this question to fellow Bible-believing Christians:
“When do we leave a church? That’s the overwhelming question that I’m seeking an answer to. I do not believe in church hopping or getting disgruntled over a minute issue (wallpaper in the nursery)and uprooting your family and leaving a church. But, in dealing with error or what we believe to be apostasy, when and where IN SCRIPTURE does God say “Leave that church!”?
There are some who seemingly think there is no such thing as a reason to leave the local church and who will – not unlike the papist lapdogs in Rome – actually go so far as to question whether or not the believer in Christ even has the moral liberty to abandon the local church! One has to wonder if such a question is intended to invite genuine prayerful reflection, or if it’s merely a silly prank.
But thanks be unto the Lord that there are still clearheaded and serious minded believers who understand the gravity of this matter. Jim Bublitz of Old Truth posted the following response to the Slice reader’s inquiry:
AW Pink on when you are OBLIGATED to leave a church:
If any [pastor] usurps that office [established by Christ Himself], and under cloak thereof do teach or enjoin things contrary to what Christ has instituted, then no obedience unto them is required by this command. But it is just at this point that most difficulty is experienced today. For many years past large numbers of professing Christians have been demanding that the religious leaders should speak unto them “smooth things”, yea, prophesy unto them “deceits”, declining to listen unto what condemned their carnal and worldly lives and refusing to heed the holy requirements of God. In consequence, He has suffered their descendants to reap the evil sowings of their fathers, by largely withholding “pastors after His own heart”, and allowing thousands of unregenerate men to occupy the modern pulpit. Instead of “obeying” and “submitting” to them, God requires His people to turn away from and have nothing to do with them. –AW Pink, Exposition of Hebrews
From Robert Reymond’s – New Systematic Theology Of The Christian Faith:
Separation from one’s local church or denomination is appropriate if it will not discipline heretics (2 Cor. 6:14-18). If a church rejects discipline for theological errors that subvert the foundation of the gospel and becomes theologically pluralistic in practice (even though it may retain an orthodox confession by which it promises to be guided), that church has become “heretical” in that it no longer stands under the authority of God, and the orthodox are compelled to separate from it to bear witness to the marks of the church.
There’s no disputing the sad fact that apostatizing professing church is leading countless thousands – millions? – of souls down the broad path that leads to destruction with their Purpose Driven Deceptions, Emergent new age mysticism, Word Faith heresies, and feel good easy-believism. This is no light matter and the alarm must continually be raised in order that by God’s grace some might escape the flames which are even now licking at the feet of these blind leaders of blind. May the Lord of Hosts continue to call his own to “come out of her” (Rev. 18:4), the harlot church – the scarlet woman of Revelation.
Continue reading “Knowing When to Walk Away, When to Run” here