December 08, 2006

The Church is NOT a Relief Organization

A move being touted as an exemplary model of “Christian unity” is troublesome to say the least.
The Virginia union called “LARC” which stands for Lutheran—Anglican—Roman Catholic has been changed to LARCUM with the addition of the United Methodist Church to make a four denomination cooperative so to speak. Of course the world of “secular religion” loves this sort of thing.
The report goes on to say, “Although the denominations differ on modern issues — such as homosexuality — Bishop Charlene Kammerer, of the United Methodist Church, says places where the denominations agree offer the chance for cooperation.”
Rev. James Parke, with the LARCUM planning committee said, "It takes people that are willing to move out of their own little churches and see the need to work together."
But, work together to do WHAT? It sounds wonderful to the secular mind but the differing views on certain “Biblical” issues--they’re not merely “social” issues—shows that there are vital differences in the Church’s very views of Scripture.
That skews, or rather obliterates, the very reason for the existence of the church in the first place. These churches all tend to see themselves, and other churches, as glorified social service agencies with a cheap, religious veneer. With such a low view of the Word of God, laying aside one’s doctrinal distinctives is part and parcel of being a “good Christian.”
But the church—called the “Body of Christ on earth” was not and is not a relief organization. Jesus—the first Body of Christ on earth--said plainly, “I came to seek and to save those who are lost.”
Which means the church exists to warn people of the condemnation their sin has earned and the wonderful escape God has provided through His miraculous taking on of human form. Working together to make sandwiches, or provide coats, and gloves is all well and good, but such “good deeds” must never become the reason for the church’s existence, which is pretty much what many of the main line churches have done.
Lest there is any misunderstanding about the church and kindness, Faith Evangelical Free Church, does more for the community in the way of relief and charitable works than your typical church—even your typical liberal church that loves to blow its own horn when it does--but it is always with a view and the intention of being ready to give account of the hope that lies within.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Making someone warmer, or giving them a full belly while they rush head long into a Christless eternity is hardly compassionate and it’s hardly the mission of the Body of Christ on earth.


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