Church in danger?

21 01 2009

“Never think of the Church of God as if she were in danger. If you do, you will be like Uzza; you will put forth your hand to steady the ark, and provoke the Lord to anger against you. If it were in danger, I tell you, you could not deliver it. If Christ cannot take care of his Church without you, you cannot do it. Be still, and know that he is God… When you begin to say, “The Church is in danger! The Church is in danger!” what is that to thee? It stood before thou wert born; it will stand when thou hast become worm’s meat. Do thou thy duty. Keep in the path of obedience, and fear not. He who made the Church knew through what trials she would have to pass, and he made her so that she can endure the trials and become the richer for it. The enemy is but grass, the word of the Lord endureth for ever.”

– Charles Spurgeon, 1914, Sermon on Isaiah 40:8

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4 responses

21 01 2009
Mason

Interesting quote.

On one hand I very much agree with Spurgeon. The survival of the church depends on God, not us, and God has declared he will preserve his church to be his people and ambassadors in this world.

However… I do think there are often good reasons to worry about specific manifestations of the Church. The church itself will persevere by God’s grace, but one might be warranted to worry about the Church in my local town, or America, or western Europe, etc. Though the church is growing overall (primarily in the global south) there are plenty of reasons for more localized concerns I think.

21 01 2009
aworthydiscussion

Yeah you’re right. I don’t think this was a call to remain passive in the midst of trials, but a note of assurance given to those who feel the Church is in danger of slipping off the map in its entirety. Locally some churches have a great deal of work to do. They can be very damaged by heretical beliefs, scandalous behaviour by leaders, and sometimes just by sheer irrelevance.

I liked the quote because it reminded me of the Scripture where Jesus says “On this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it”. It reminds me to take this scripture seriously and not to worry on a global level of the Church ever slipping off the map.

BTW – work blocked me from going to your blog – so now I have to read it at home.

23 01 2009
Mason

I confess I am rather amused that your work blocked you. Hopefully you did not get into any trouble though. Was it any blog or just specific sites you visit?
I hope my work does not follow suit. I post from home, but comment and read when I have time to kill at the office.

Just for the record your new background, though nice, is depressing me since here in Michigan it is freezing and I’ve seen nothing but white and grey for months.

23 01 2009
aworthydiscussion

LOL no trouble at all Mason. At my work people spend countless work hours on the New Zealand equivalent of ebay, which is where I pick up a lot of my books 2nd hand.

We are currently experiencing one of the best summers NZ has had. The total opposite of Michigan. In fact I’ve spent 4 out of 5 afternoons at the beach. However winter can be pretty nasty here as it rains a lot.

I don’t know where that picture was taken, but my wife and I spent some time in a place similar to that in march last year. A place called Rarotonga. Its an island that you can drive around twice in an hour. Its only 32km’s all around. It looks a lot like the picture above. If you’re thinking of travelling anywhere I’d reccomend NZ – particularly the South Island. Some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Think Lord of the Rings and you’re there.

BTW – what do you do for a living?

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