Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Church Government: Reality-check

Note: This is the sixth post of the series on church governments, which began as I sought to understand the distinctives and issues of various church government systems. You can read the first five as listed below.

  1. Introduction and Anglicanism
  2. Presbyterianism
  3. Breakthrough
  4. Single-elder Congregationalism
  5. Plural-elder Congregationalism

Somewhat unexpectedly, this book felt heavy on my heart today. On my train trip back home from work, I pulled it out of my bag to read it, but I just sat there with the book in my hand, feeling hesitant to read on.

Why am I reading this book? Why did I start? What am I looking to achieve? How am I going with it?
Finding out what's the best model for the church government cannot simply be a hobby. Whether the church polity is an important topic or not is a secondary question. Even if it were a very small issue, the fact that it is so is important and not to be regarded lightly. Have I been too casual about my exploration? Am I truly seeking to settle my mind on the church government issue so I can obey God's word? Or am I just trying to arm myself with more excuses and arguments to justify my disobedience? Will I, in the end, be willing to abandon my pursuit of ordained ministry within the Anglican or Presbyterian denominations (or any other), if it comes to that?

I had to pause to pray. I had to ask that God would grant me understanding and discernment in this issue so I may not be misled. I had to ask that God would make me faithful to His word in this issue as well as any other. I could sense my sin-ridden heart trying to use this newly gained knowledge only to serve my comfortable life-style. I had to ask God to keep my heart in check so I may not pour contempt on His word and the cross of Jesus. May God lead me on and make me obedient to Him.

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