Of Pharisees and Fish-bait Revisited

This article in our last newsletter generated more discussion, letters, and calls, than any other article we've published to date. While the majority of the response was favorable, a few didn't seem to understand the overall concept. Having spoken directly with a few, it appears some interpreted the article in light of only their church or their denomination. A couple even felt I was saying ALL churches and pastors were this way -- reading something into the article that was not there, as I clearly pointed out that some churches did not have these problems, or were working to correct them. What most misconceptions came down to, was my use of the word "many". So, for the record, I will restate and clarify my use of this word. Many, by definition, does not mean all. Even if it can be construed to mean a majority, it is still a valid use of this word in our article. If you happen to be in a church where you have elders, pastors, and deacons who are godly individuals, standing on the word, truly servants, then take a moment to consider the state of the church outside of your walls.

Consider some of the largest denominations, churches, who wear the term "Christian". View the state of their doctrine, leadership and practice. The picture you'll see is one similar to the portrayal we provided in our article. We, as a ministry, do not confine ourselves to one church, or one denomination, or even one geographic area. As we travel across North America and into diverse churches and denominations, we are regularly confronted with the problems facing today's church and the people within. We grieve for the church as a whole -- yet celebrate, and encourage, the true church within -- and act (and write) out of a passion for reformation in our church today.

If the things we write of are a problem in your church, work and pray for change. If they're not a problem, be aware that for many they are -- and pray for them. When any part of God's church hurts, the whole body feels the pain. (1 Corinthians 12:26)

... Brent MacDonald

PS. Our article could not provide specific occurrences, by name, without identifying individuals or churches. Even when we do show problems related to specific denominations, you must be aware that not all within the denomination, or even a given church, would be in agreement. (It may surprise you that even within "liberal" denominations, God has people who believe, and are taking a stand for, the Truth.) For example, the "In The News" sections (in the last newsletter) showing problems within the American Baptist denomination cannot be taken to say that all American Baptist churches, leaders, and members agree (let alone that the dozens of other varieties of Baptists necessarily would). Yet, for the sake of the Truth, these things must be spoken of and exposed as a lie. When people who know and believe the Truth are silent, we give ground to the "father of all lies" (John 8:44) -- whose followers are often vocal and militant in spreading their false doctrines.

Written by Brent MacDonald of Lion Tracks Ministries. (c) 1997.
Feel free to duplicate as long as the source is cited.