E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Google Plus
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The local church is a critical part of Christian faith

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

Are you a Christian? You need to be part of a local church. (See Hebrews 10:24-25.) It was never the intention of the Author of Scripture or the early church fathers that we be "lone wolf" Christians.

For decades, people have been able to get Biblical teaching from a variety of sources. Years ago, you could watch sermons on television (though you have to be careful because there is a lot of garbage out there) or you could send away for tapes of sermons and teaching. Now, you can go on the Internet and listen to as many sermons as you want, free of charge. Many people use this as an excuse not to attend church. It should not be this way.

I was listening to a teaching a while back from a person I respect, who delivers valuable expository teaching on the Word. He said that some folks had ordered his sermons and said that because they could not find a good church they considered him their pastor - something that drew no rebuke for the man I respect a great deal. It should not be this way. We need to be fed the Word directly from the pulpit, sitting in a church building. We should not get our teaching exclusively from MP3 files or streaming video. There are many reasons for this.

First, we need to submit to the authority of the leadership of a local church. We need to have a pastor who knows our sin and can recognize problems and sin in our lives to rebuke and encourage us. Local church leaders (elders, pastors and deacons) are the shepherds of our souls. You cannot have the sins and failings of your own life rebuked and disciplined by an MP3 file or a streaming video, because the preachers in that media do not even know you exist, much less what is happening in your life.

Second, it breaks our pride to submit to the authority and be taught God's Word by someone we know. When we know the pastor's sins, when we know his children's sin, and when we know the sins and failings of other church leaders, we must be humble in order to submit to their authority. As a father myself, I anticipate my failings will in some way be a blessing to my son, as he submits to my authority not because his father is a perfect man but because he is ordered to do so by our mutual Father in Heaven.

We also need to have fellowship with other believers. We can exhort and rebuke each other, encourage each other, and pray for each other. As Christians, we need the fellowship of other Christians to encourage us as we deal with a fallen world. It is good for us to pray for each other and it teaches humility when we confess our sins to one another and ask our brothers in Christ to pray for us to overcome these sins. We show the love of Christ when we pray for and serve our fellow Believers.

None of this is to say you should not seek out extra teaching on Scripture. I have done this and it is a good practice. I am not trying to discourage Christians from seeking to be instructed, exhorted and encouraged from various teachers. (Of course, you need to be sure that what you are listening to is Biblical, because you do not want your mind poisoned with filth such as the wicked Health and Wealth Gospel heresy.) But you need to be in a local church, where you can be challenged directly and where you can help others in their faith.

Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

  5. All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.