Monday, December 21, 2009

How to Kill your Church?

Over on the Challies blog I came across a lenghty quote from a great book. I read D.A. Carson's The Cross and Christian Ministry a couple years ago and this excerpt was a great reminder of the wisdom Carson provides but also the warning he gives to churches who foster unhealthy and ultimately destructive attitudes. Here's the excerpt:

The ways of destroying the church are many and colorful. Raw factionalism
will do it. Rank heresy will do it. Taking your eyes off the cross and letting
other, more peripheral matters dominate the agenda will do it-admittedly more
slowly than frank heresy, but just as effectively over the long haul. Building
the church with superficial ‘conversions’ and wonderful programs that rarely
bring people into a deepening knowledge of the living God will do it.
Entertaining people to death but never fostering the beauty of holiness or the
centrality of self-crucifying love will build an assembling of religious people,
but it will destroy the church of the living God. Gossip, prayerlessness,
bitterness, sustained biblical illiteracy, self-promotion, materialism-all of
these things, and many more, can destroy a church. And to do so is dangerous:
‘If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is
sacred, and you are that temple (1 Cor 3:17).” It is a fearful thing to fall
into the hands of the living God.

HT: Tim Challies

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