Each week at lightfordarktimes.com we post the worship service of Christ Reformation Church here in Tillamook, Oregon. It includes links to the hymns we sing and usually by Sunday evening we have the links to the sermon video posted. Sermons are published on sermonaudio.com/crc and at our Youtube channel, Unholy Charade. There are also links at sermonaudio.com/crc to a pdf and audio versions of the sermon. The pdf is normally posted there by Saturday.
This is the online outreach of our church, so that it can become your church as well no matter where you live. Numbers of people, most of whom have been treated shamefully by pastors and churches when they reported an abuser who was parading as a fine “christian,” call us their church and we welcome them wholeheartedly.
[Please read on. I have some important things to say here about the state of today’s churches]
For regular Sunday morning worship, most people are following us one week behind and on the first Sunday of each month the sermon video also includes the communion service, which they join as well. Any of them can communicate with me through my email and even submit prayer requests which we pray for in the service.
Now, let me say something here that I really believe is true and which has made this online church necessary. Increasingly, almost like a plague, traditional local churches are being corrupted by a false gospel which ends up protecting the wicked and oppressing the innocent. There ARE true local churches and pastors – I do not deny that. But most all of you know that they are very hard to find. People ask me all the time – “do you know of a good church in my area?” – and I have to say, “no.” We needed someplace that we could refer people to and know that they would hear truth and be safe.
Is it an exaggeration to say that the visible church is undergoing a kind of “spiritual hard reboot”? What I mean by that is this. We have grown up seeing the local church as a building on the corner led by a pastor and church board, conducting certain typical ministries such as Sunday School, sending money to missions and other Christian organizations, exercising a music ministry and choir, etc. And yet it is in this model that most all of you have been sorely abused and even cast out from. It is in this model that human tradition has trumped the Word of God. It is in this “sheepfold” that false sheep who are really wolves in wool have so successfully hidden and operated. And Christ’s true people are persecuted there.
A spiritual reboot. Think of the first century. Due to persecution, what was the local church like? A group of believers – no doubt a small group – worshipping in catacombs. No show. No building. Just Christ’s people, perhaps a copy of some New Testament letter, and the Spirit of the Lord.
When you give a computer a hard re-start (its called something like that) or reboot the thing, you do it because it has been so corrupted by sick software or a virus that it just doesn’t work anymore. But this reboot doesn’t invent some totally new thing – it takes it back to what it was when it was new. Factory default you might say. Gets rid of all the nonsense and launches with a fresh start.
That is what is needed in the visible church today. Hopefully, that is what is happening as more and more people (perhaps?) who are real Christians are saying “enough!” I know Christians who have literally been searching for a true local church for years. They have gone from church to church, not because they are some kind of divisive troublemakers looking for a kingdom for themselves, but because they are searching for Christ, and coming up empty. So I tell them – you know, we started this online outreach of Christ Reformation Church and you are invited. And here is what happens quite often – they say they need to keep looking for a hands on church in their area. And then sooner or later I hear from them again. Still no success, and I suggest the online outreach to them again.
This is not “forsaking the assembling together of the saints.” It is in fact gathering with the saints rather than continuing to gather with the counterfeit.
So if you are fortunate enough to be in a true church with a godly pastor and genuine believers, wonderful. I reiterate – I am not at all claiming that Christ’s remnant doesn’t exist or that there are local churches of His true people. What I am saying is that “church” as we have known it is very often now the venue of choice for the wicked to oppress Christ’s sheep.