Dave Black has written many things that made me think about my life in Christ. Recently, on his “unter-blog” he wrote about a particular chapel on the campus of Southeastern Seminary (Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 6:25 p.m.). He was encouraged at the number of people who were going to Asia to proclaim the gospel and build up the churches there.
However, he pointed out that Christians in America do not seem that interested in leaving their way of life (American way of life, not Jesus way of life). Then, he made these statements:
Frankly, I don’t believe the evangelical church in America is ready for this. Our churches, as they operate today, lack the fidelity to Scripture that is needed to face the challenge of the Great Commission. We’re going to need massive breakthroughs in our understanding â€“ and application â€“ of the New Testament to our churches…
The upside to all of this renewed interest in the church is that more and more of them are questioning the traditions of their elders; the downside is that this questioning often leads to the creation of what might be called “church planting fads” and a new group of elites arrayed in their blue jeans and sporting their goatees, men who are just as committed to church growth fads as their parents were.
Have no doubt, merely replacing one set of human traditions with another set of human traditions won’t cut it.
I think we need to seriously consider Dr. Black’s words. We cannot merely replace one set of traditions (which we might call outdated) with another, newer, fresher set of traditions.
Instead, as he urged, we must return to the source. In Scripture, we see men and women willing to give up everything in order to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and in order to travel from place to place to build up the churches formed by the disciples who received the gospel and were indwelled by the Spirit.
This is the only program that we need. Give up everything else and serve the Lord Jesus Christ through the opportunities that he gives us.
Is the church in America ready for that? Is that too “radical”? Perhaps, as Dr. Black says above, the church in America is not ready for that.
So, if “we” are not ready, how do we help one another grow towards that way of life?