Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A primer on ecclesiastical warfare.

Check out the interesting piece here:

http://www.theologian.org.uk/churchhistory/machen.html

A very bright British Church historian gives the history of the modernist/fundamentalist debate in the PC USA.

To those of us going throgh our own Church conflicts, we can learn some lessons from this.

1. Never tolerate liberals. Conservatives in the PC USA pleaded for toleration of liberals for the sake of mission. Also, they believed that they could convert them to truth. This simply allowed liberal power to grow and then when they had enough, they simply stopped tolerating conservatives.

Conservatives can always come up with reasons to tolerate liberals- they believe that they have the truth and in time, maybe the liberals can be converted back to it. Isn't that what the Chuch is called to do with a sinful world?

Liberals never have a reason to tolerate conservatives. They hold a progressive worldview. They are on the cutting edge of history and conservatives are just holding things up. Because of this, in their worldview, conservatives don't deserve toleration. They are evil and intolerant biggots. They must be purged so that human freedom and progress can abound. Sound familiar? They need to be purged because they think that they way their ancestors did it is the only way and its holding up mission to an increasingly secularized world- sound familiar?

So, in the end, no toleration is possible. It's really purge or be purged. Remember, Scripture tells pastors and congregations to purge the wicked and heretics. We need to apply this biblical principle consistently. Also, when we are beat within a particular institution, we need to follow Paul and Isaiah and come out from among the wicked and be separated. This is good solid biblical teaching. (I say this in opposition to the sentiment expressed here: http://www.lutheranforum.org/extras/i-am-not-going-anywhere-this-is-my-church/

2. Liberals took over in the PC USA because they took control of education and missions. Let this be a lesson to us. We must block any attempt at liberals controling mission and education. I would emphasize the particularly the education aspect, some of you might follow why.

In the end, it's important to learn from the lessons of history. Nothing is inevitable. We can always be successful where others failed.

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