In 1976, Francis Schaeffer came out with his famous Christian classic, “How Should We Then Live?”. Francis and his wife, Edith, founded the ministry L’Abri Fellowship in the Swiss Alps. Many young seekers from around the world would travel there with their questions and find answers through meeting Jesus Christ and becoming His disciples. A friend of mine journeyed there and knew Francis Schaeffer personally.
Schaeffer wrote, “People have presuppositions and they will live more consistently on the basis of those presuppositions than even they themselves may realize”. “Schaeffer was also right that the threats to the Christian’s faithfulness were the promises of ‘personal peace’ and ‘affluence’, says Albert Mohler (Table Talk, June 2017).
We are seeing a growing trend, not only among millennials but many other professing evangelicals, not to commit themselves to a specific local church or spiritual authority figures, unwilling to commit to marriage vs. cohabitation. This is a reflection of a presuppositional worldview on life. It is often a mirror of the culture in which we live.
Since the Word of God states that Christ’s Church is like His Bride (Ephesians 5), are we not committing spiritual adultery when we routinely disown Christ’s Church, or hop from one local church to another like a person who goes from one date to another with no real commitment in view? All in the name of being “led by His Spirit”.
I can’t help but remember Jesus’ own words recorded in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven…and then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness’”. “Many will say” but Jesus will declare “I never knew you”. It is a serious deception when a professing Christian can say that they love Jesus yet disregard His Bride, the Church.
The Apostle John wrote in I John 4:20-21, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” The mature follower of Christ must realize the truth, that it is hypocritical on our part to claim to love God and yet hate, dislike or not care to be around His people, the local Church. “Do not forsake the assembling together of the saints” (Hebrews 10:25).
Cyprian of Carthage once stated, “You cannot have God for your Father unless you have the Church for your mother.” Calvin in his “Institutes of the Christian Religion” agrees and writes, “For those to whom He is Father the Church may also be Mother.” The Church is necessary or all believers, not just for getting but also for giving, serving, and accountability.
The Apostle Paul was referring to the Philippian Church when he wrote, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). How we treat fellow believers is important to Jesus, the Head of the Church. It is not just about our happiness and peace. It is not just about our own financial security. As true followers of Christ, our lives are not our own. We have been bought at a price. We are called to be stewards of the finances, gifts, and blessings of God (I Corinthians 6:18-19).
Albert Mohler concludes in a recent article by stating, “We are about to find out if professing Christians, in this generation, are going to believe and to live authentic biblical Christianity.”
What About You?