Today marks the final post in our book study of “This Little Church Went to Market” by Gary Gilley. I have enjoyed this book immensely as it is helpful to all those who are wondering what’s going on with the church at large today. He recently put out a book titled “Out of Formation” – which is on my list to read next winter. It describes the spiritual formation movement and the dangers of it.
A Church At The Crossroad
In this chapter, Dr. Gilley describes the controversy that the church found itself in at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Under attack, among other things, was the deity of Christ, the miracles, the inspiration of scripture and the gospel itself. (ch. 11)
Benjamin Warfield was one who lived during that time and warned his generation about the “consequences of compromising doctrine in order to accommodate and draw the unbeliever”. Here is a quote from him:
The moment a church [takes] up such a position, however, it would cease to be a Christian Church: the core of Christianity is its provision for salvation from sin. No doubt by the adoption of such a platform many would be recovered to the Church who now stand aloof from it. But this would be not because the world had been brought into the Church, but because the Church had been merged into the world.
The offense of Christianity has always been the cross; as of old, so still today, Christ crucified is to Jews a stumbling-block and to Greeks foolishness. It would be easy to remove the offense by abolishing the cross. But that would be to abolish Christianity. (ch. 11)
That is the sum of the problem in the church today. She is ashamed of the cross, her Lord and His provision for her sins.
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.
A serious accusation? Yes. But one we would do well to take note of by looking deep within our own hearts and asking “Am I ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ and His words – all of them?”
It will only be a matter of time before it is realized that this modern church having lost its message, having compromised the faith, having mistaken numerical success for the blessing of God, will implode, for there will be nothing left to sustain it.
The fallout will undoubtedly harm many but hopefully God will raise a stronger church, a church serious about truth, a church that is more concerned about feeding the sheep than entertaining the goats, a church that knows the difference between worship and amusement, a church willing to be despised by the world for the sake of the cross – a church not ashamed of the true gospel, for it will know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone that believes. (ch. 11)
There is hope for the church of this day. And it begins with each person coming in true repentance at the cross, taking up the Word, and living by the inspired words therein – all of them.