In the last two posts (1, 2) we’ve been examining that there are many experimenting with local church philosophy. I am burdened that our next generation of pastors and leaders excercise discernment and wisdom—choosing to apply biblical models over more carnal and attractive options. God still blesses His model of local church ministry. We are examining three areas of philosophy—local church polity (first post), local church passion (the last post), and now let’s move on to local church purity.
Purity of the Local Church
This the third area where I see young pastors wonder and question is regarding the purity or holiness of the church. In Galatians the Bible teaches us we are not to walk in the flesh, but in the Spirit. The church is the bride of Jesus Christ, and as we assemble together locally, we must be sensitive to the Spirit of God. This will be reflected in the selection of our songs, the kind of language we use from the pulpit, and in many other ways. It is not my responsibility to make a list for your church to follow. But it is my responsibility, as a local church pastor, to be sure Lancaster Baptist Church is not quenching the Holy Spirit with vulgar vocabulary, pulsating music, or a casual or carnal approach to the services. For instance, many contemporary churches more resemble a comedy club than an assembly of called out believers.
In this day of pragmatism, many pastors (young and old) don’t want to lose members and are afraid of offending people. May we not fall for such thinking. It is the pastor’s responsibility every Sunday to stand up and preach for an Audience of One—the Lord Jesus Christ. Pragmatism is a slippery and dangerous slope.
I challenge every pastor forty-five and older to find a younger pastor who is being influenced, even as I write this, by some seeker sensitive mega-church leader. Reach out to these young men and encourage them to keep their local church polity biblical, to remain passionate in their preaching and in their gathering together, and to remember that the church is Christ’s not ours. It is to be a place of pure and holy worship.
The church is not ours to experiment with. May we consider the end of this matter and do our best to please the Lord in all we do!