I make no apologies for linking to Alan Knox again! I believe that God has given this young man a desire to understand God's people from a Biblical perspective, rather than a man oriented traditional one, which has been given a Biblical label. It seems that he not only writes and speaks about it, but is committed to live what he discovers in the Scriptures. For one in leadership, that IS different!
There a many good messages to download, and from which we may learn. Many are loaded with proof texts to prove a preconceived premise. Not many are truly Biblical; expressing the truths expressed in Scripture in a manner which demonstrates the speakers love for the truth and how it affects God's people.
I am greatly encouraged, by a talk Alan was asked to give at the seminary where he works and studies. I am encouraged that, in the time I have left in this world, we will see a true Biblical expression of the family of God.
Do yourself and your brethren a great service, listen to it and share it.
In the same context Alan has written a short blog entry, which you ought to read.
The following words, which I was constrained to place here, are my response to that blog:
Hear! Hear! How very true!
As I've written elsewhere, I became convinced from Scripture, of the ecclesiastical issues you write about, some thirty years ago. There were books being written by people who were beginning to be given a glimpse of that of which we now speak, which encouraged me to follow my convictions.
But, I,like the majority of us,allowed my convictions to be prejudiced, even though claiming to be followers of Christ alone, constrained by the Scriptures alone,we were really followers of Wesley, Calvin, etc., etc; and that mainly through the pressures of institutional mores established by conventions,synods,confessions,seminaries and colleges, etc.
According to John's Epistles, the congregation of God is comprised of people who have a vertical relationship with God, through the new birth, from which is established a horizontal relationship with all other members of His family.
My concern is that my brethren don't allow themselves to be prejudiced, as I was, by persuasive arguments made by those, who because of fame, command of rhetoric, charisma, or the security of being in league with well known leaders, or the financial security of their paid leadership positions.
There are far too many of us who have idols we want to emulate; men whom God used in their own historical time slots, and current leaders who have fine oratorical skills, great "presence", large congregations, which, by the way, have nothing to do with being a disciple maker.
Most leaders I have been closely acquainted with would fit the "prejudiced" description, and teach the congregations they are entrusted with, to be the same acquiescent clones.