Just as I go ahead with the intention of living out the union we have in Christ Jesus with one another I get another slap in the face, a stiff forearm, and a swift kick in the rear end as I am sent away from the ones I love. I don't understand it, I can't explain it and I am broken because of it.
This time it comes from an article written by a local pastor in the PCA organization that was re-posted by an elder of mine in the place we previously attended. After blasting off on Barna's book "Revoution" and going on about how the church that meets outside the institutional forms "is no Church at all" he provides us with this little ditty of institutional insight.
Jesus gave to the church the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power of binding and loosing (Matt. 16:19), and the authority to forgive and retain sin (John 20:23). He appointed apostles, who appointed elders, who are responsible for calling the church to assemble on the Lord's Day, for conducting public worship, for administering the word and sacraments, and for maintaining a disciplined membership (Matt. 18:15-20; 28:18-20).
Notice there are no scriptural quotations for what the elders are responsible to do. That is because his assertions are unbiblical and purely traditional. I would assert that these traditions actually go in a completely different direction than what elders, according to scripture, are called to do.
He then goes on to describe how every other Saddleback, Purpose Driven, demographic studying institution is wrong and only the truly Reformed carriers of the plain, authoritative, and catholic traditions are right. It ends with a statemebt that impresses the reader to doubt whether they are a child of God if they desire anything other than that on Sunday morning.
I found it sickening. In my opinion it is either the unrealized propagation of deep deception or purposeful manipulation to remain in power. The only mention of Christ Jesus in the entire piece was to an effort to give elders authority over the Church. Another unbiblical assertion.
I'm trying, I really am trying to come to grips with my convictions and not be divisive. What it's leading to is a brokenness from the Lord over my own pride and bitterness and deep anguish over the sufferings I'm receiving from my brethren. Even so, may Christ be revealed.