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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
The Challenge of Unfeigned Obedience

Because He is mercy, the Lord will bless any group of people if He can find some ground to do so. But when they choose their own ways in place of His, they severely limit His hand. the Lord is very jealous over His house (see Rev. 1-3). And He is not satisfied with our human arrangements when it comes to the church.

Oh, how quickly we forget that the church belongs to God and not to us! Dear readers, be clear that it is part of our fallen nature to follow our own ideas regarding church practice. To enshrine our own traditions. To canonize our own personal preferences. To institutionalize what fits our ideas of success rather than to follow what the apostles have handed down to us.

So I ask you: Where do you get the right to change NT principle? What basis do you have to ignore the tradition of the apostles in preference for your own? What authority do you have to replace plural oversight with hierarchial forms of government? Where do you get the right to support a single pastor system? What exegetical basis do you have to replace open participatory meetings with program-based, man-officiated services that foster passivity and suppress functioning? What grounds do you have for dividing yourself from other members of His Body? What right do you have to tamper with what the Lord has prescribed for His own house!?

The words of the honorable theologian John Stott come to mind:

"The hallmark of an authentic evangelicalism is not the uncritical repetition of old traditions, but the willingness to submit every tradition, however ancient, to fresh Biblical scrutiny and, if necessary, reform." (Basic Stott, Christianity Today, Jan 8, 1996)

I press the question directly: If your church practices come in direct conflict with NT revelation, are you willing to adjust them?

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