Wednesday, April 25, 2012

HT Phoenix Preacher: Trevin Wax on when you should flee

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2012/04/24/when-you-should-not-submit/

Treven Wax corrects some misunderstanding about earlier statements he made that were taken as saying people should not leave churches.  There are, he notes, times when you should flee.  He refers to a book by Jonathan Leeman called Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus. Now I don't really mean to plug for such a book and though I'm a church member I would not insist that anyone has to be a formal church member.  On the other hand, Leeman's checklist of reasons to flee a church are things worth passing on.

...abusive churches and Christian leaders characteristically
  • Make dogmatic prescriptions in places where Scripture is silent.
  • Rely on intelligence, humor, charm, guilt, emotions, or threats rather than on God’s Word and prayer (see Acts 6:4).
  • Play favorites.
  • Punish those who disagree.
  • Employ extreme forms of communication (tempers, silent treatment).
  • Recommend courses of action that always, somehow, improve the leader’s own situation, even at the expense of others.
  • Speak often and quickly.
  • Seldom do good deeds in secret.
  • Seldom encourage.
  • Seldom give the benefit of the doubt.
  • Emphasize outward conformity, rather than repentance of heart.
  • Preach, counsel, disciple, and oversee the church with lips that fail to ground everything in what Christ has done in the gospel and to give glory to God.
These are all points I can agree with.

3 comments:

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

me too- good article- thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

You don't believe that there is a biblical mandate or at the very least strong exhortion in the NT for Christians to belong to a local church? Would you say that reading this list without the context of Wax's original post (which you did not link) unfairly compromises the authors intended message?

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Rhetorical question asked with a truncated definition of "belong to a local church". Not all churches require formal membership for congregant participation. Some churches do not require membership but require formal membership so that members may vote on the appointments of deacons and financial decisions. None of these points misrepresents the intended message about when it is good to flee a church whether or not formally contracted membership is involved.