As most of you know, each Sunday morning we post the order of service for Christ Reformation Church here in Tillamook at lightfordarktimes.com (our second blog, Light for Dark Times). It includes links to the hymns, lists the Scripture reading, and has links to the video recording of the sermon on both Sermon Audio and Youtube.
We started this outreach because over the years, over and over again, we hear from abuse survivors asking if we know of a safe, solid church in their area that we can recommend to them. Almost always the answer is no. We don’t know many churches personally – we withdrew from the fellowship of churches called ARBCA that we used to belong to when we recognized wickedness in the leadership (which has been strongly confirmed in the case of ARBCA covering up for the convicted child abuser “pastor,” Tom Chantry). And then we live in a day when there just are not many true local churches to be found. And certainly even fewer who will deal rightly with wicked abusers and protect the victims.
Now we can say, and I say it without reservation – “yes, we can indeed recommend a church for you. No matter where you live. It is Christ Reformation Church in Tillamook, Oregon and we would love to have you make it your church home. It is a safe place that teaches sound biblical truth and where the wicked are not going to be permitted to remain.”
I know people, most of whom have been abuse victims, who continue to search and search and search for a true church. Often they will think they have found one, only to end up being burned once again. What we see repeatedly is pastors who claim they are the friends of abuse victims (word is getting around about the subject of abusers hiding in churches and pastors are feeling the heat to ‘get on board’) but in the end the very common outcome is that the church leaders will not really stand with the victim. It is after all the finish line where the race is decided and most churches abandon the victim just before the finish line.
No, I am not claiming that CRC is the only true church. That isn’t true and it would be sinfully arrogant to make such a claim. But I am not ashamed to energetically recommend it to you. Many of you have genuine Christian friends who share your frustrations about the sad and often even corrupt state of local churches today. If you live in proximity with them, you can gather together in a small church band and utilize the online worship service of CRC for your Sunday worship. (Because we don’t get the sermon video uploaded until Sunday evenings, most people are following us one week behind).
You can submit prayer requests to us via email. You can ask questions or make comments about the sermons. You can pray with and for us and we can pray for you (I try to pray for our online congregation just before the sermon each week). And I can promise you – you will be safe.