The Remnant – this is an extremely freeing truth

Genesis 6:9-11 ESV  These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.  (10)  And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  (11)  Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.

We have been taught all our lives (or at least all the time we were in the sphere of visible Christianity) that most everyone who claims to be a Christian, who declares that they have been born again, who is a church member…is a Christian. We are not to doubt this, and in fact we were told that it is a sin to doubt it.

And so, here  you are coming to church on Sunday, walking into the place, and seeing all these people…75, 100, 200, 300, or maybe even a thousand or more. There is the singing and the instruments. The prayers. The communion table. The sermon which surely is declaring God’s truth. And there are the baptisms of people who have just been saved. You were taught that a real church is a growing church, and that if the numbers were not increasing, you weren’t faithfully doing God’s work. And oh, how busy it all was. Busy, busy, busy for the Lord. Programs. Committees. Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night. What a great church!

Well, let me shatter this artificial and unbiblical world.

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The Letter of the Law is not Enough and Bible Knowledge is not Enough

John 5:39-40 ESV  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  (40)  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

I used to think I could find sound, genuine churches by reading their doctrinal statements. As far as the reformed confessions go, our church adheres to the London Confession of Faith. And years back we joined a fellowship of churches (ARBCA) that all held to that same confession.

Now, the London Confession is sound. It is a systematic statement of what the Bible teaches. It is a summary of what I believe. But…

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Scandalizing the Worship of God

1 Samuel 2:12-17 ESV  Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.  (13)  The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,  (14)  and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.  (15)  Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.”  (16)  And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.”  (17)  Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.

With some frequency, abuse victims/survivors tell me that because of their oppressive experience in a local church, they find it very difficult to read their Bible or to participate in the singing of hymns or to even enter into a church building. This is not because they are somehow harboring hatred in their hearts for those who sorely treated them, but because a local church, a place that is to be a sanctuary for the true worship and worshippers of God, traumatized them. How? Here are some ways:

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