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Home Church Planting/Missional Insight: The Church can be like a coffin - Text

Insight: The Church can be like a coffin - Text

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The Church can be like a coffin

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R Rushdooney

 

All too often the church is like a coffin. Instead of being a training ground and an armory for the army of the Lord, it is a repository for the dead. The people within have not the life and power to occupy any other ground, to establish Christian Schools, to conquer in the realm of politics and economics to "occupy" in Christ's name even one area of life and thought and to bring it into "captivity" to Jesus Christ (Luke 19:13 ; II Cor. l0:5). Where Christianity is confined to the church, it is dead, and it is only a corpse claiming that name but having none of the life nor the power thereof (II Tim. 3:5).

Christianity cannot be caged into a church and confined there like a zoo animal. "It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16 ). Power commands; it exercises dominion, and it reaches out "to every creature" (Mark 16:15 ) with the good news of Christ's redemption and lordship. It works to bring all things under the dominion of Christ, who is "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16 ). Jesus began and ended His ministry "preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God" (Mark l:14f]. That Kingdom begins with our redemption through His atonement and continues with our exercise of dominion with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness over every area of life and thought.

Coffin churches have no such gospel. Instead, they summon the living dead to enter the safety of their particular casket, far removed from the problems and battles of life. They encourage their people to gush about the peace within the coffin, and to embellish the coffin with their time and effort. Coffin churches have no ministry to a dying world.

When our Lord declared, "ALL POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18 ), He did not limit that total power which He as King of Creation exercises to the narrow confines of man's soul. Christ's "all power" is over all things in heaven and in earth in their every aspect, and over every atom, moment, and possibility in all of creation. He is the Lord, lord over all. To limit His lordship and power to the church is as absurd as limiting the sun to shining over Europe, or selected portions thereof. Even less than we can limit the sun to one continent or one country can we limit Christ the King to one sphere or institution. To do so is a denial of His deity and is practical atheism.

Because "all power" is His, the Lord of Creation sends His elect messengers out to "teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20 ). All nations are to be summoned to bow before their King, both as individuals and in every aspect of their lives, civil, ecclesiastical, educational, familial, vocational, and all things else. An eschatology of life and victory allows us to exempt nothing from Christ's dominion and lordship.

A sickly term in Reformed theological circles refers to God's "well-meant offer of the Gospel;" the image of God it invokes is a false one. God's word is never a "well-meant offer" but always the command word, the word of power which redeems and regenerates, or reprobates. To be "well-meant" smacks of impotence and failure, and it speaks of men whose powers are frail, fallible, sinful, and dying. It belongs to eschatologies of death. God's word is the command word, the word of power, the word of life and death because it is the omnipotent word. Only of Him can it be truly said, "The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up" (I Sam. 2:6). Apart from the Lord, man has no future. In every area of life and thought, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Ps. 127:1).

(Taken from Roots of Reconstruction, p. 14; Chalcedon Position Paper No. 14, June, 1979)

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 19:34  

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