We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Numbers Without a Relationship With Christ is Worthless

Since about the middle of last century [1800s] the churches’ thinking has been dominated by the institutional idea.  The controlling idea has been to find means of holding the young people who do not like sermons but like drama and entertainment and games.  So the institutional church came in: and for a while it seemed to work; but only for a very short period.  All this because of failure to understand the doctrine of the Christian Church!  You cannot maintain the Church, the body of Christ by such means and methods.  Christ is the life of the Church, and if their is no vital relationship to Him there will be no life, and the Church will be dead.

It is essential that we should be clear about the crucial importance of spiritual life.  But the Church is not talking about life, she is interested in numbers, and is convinced that if we could but get rid of denominational barriers and divisions and become one, the world would then listen to us and marvelous things would happen.  But that is not spiritual thinking.  To believe that numbers, or the size of the Church, is what counts is a contradiction of the whole teaching of the Bible. … 

What matters in the Church is not numbers, but our relationship to Him, and the purity of our doctrine, and the purity of our life and living.  What matters is that the sap should be flowing into the branches from the Vine. 

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.271-272


Alec said...


Anonymous said...

Keep quoting stuff like that Glenn, and you'll be given the "left foot of fellowship" from your current assembly in no time! :)

My husband and I have yet to meet a pastor who isn't "numbers" focused or "institutionalized".

Last paragraph, gold. To that "what matters" thought, I'd only add "and our relationships with each other".