WHOSE CHURCH IS IT ANYWAY?– By Larry Kutzler
Yesterday, I talked about accountability, and how leadership positions in a local church, or in ministry organizations, need strong accountability factors in order to maintain the right perspective. Too often we hear people say inappropriate things such as: “I have been going to John MacArthur’s church,” or “John Piper’s church,” which implies that these pastors are the reason people attend that church. Now, I know that most people use the pastor as the reference point to what church they are attending, but it may lend itself to a wrong attitude about leadership. I was listening to a podcast from R.C Sproul where everything they promoted was from a Reformed Theology perspective, as if to say, this is the only way you are going to understand the Bible is through this theological lens. This bothers me, because I am not sure as a believer, I am to lay a theological template over the scriptures and interpret the Bible according to that template. Is that a correct way to interpret the Bible? Most denominations have their own templates when it comes to the Bible, but this sets up a sectarian grid that puts us against them when it comes to interpreting how we are to live according to the scriptures. For example, you have templates that tell you that Israel is no longer an important part of modern Christianity, and that the Old Testament is only a history lesson, but has little to no bearing on the Church.They say this because they have a template that tells them that the Church supersedes all previous Biblical standards. You also have theologians who tell us that various gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer valid, therefore anyone who exercises those gifts are not from God, but are heretics.
Theological templates can lead people to a wrong conclusion, and I would recommend you rid yourself of these and go back to a simple interpretation method. Let me explain.
The Bible is a historical account of God’s redemptive process of establishing and maintaining a relationship with His creation. He began this process with a chosen people where He established and maintained a relationship with them, through a series of covenants. The last of these covenants ushered in the New Covenant of the cross and the formation of what we call Christianity today. Christianity is that last covenant God made with His people the Jews. Here it is in Jeremiah 31-31-33.