Thursday, March 20, 2008

To A Recent Anonymous Commenter...

Several weeks ago I received the comment below related to one of my "Survey of Denominations" posts, and since it has become my practice to ignore anonymous comments I didn't publish it at the time. However, because the questions posed are pretty common within Christianity these days I thought it might be beneficial to present the comment along with my response.

"I don't mean this to be disrespectful, but I am interested if you are approaching these visits from the perspective that your denomination is "correct" and "Biblical" or are you being open so that your children can learn about different styles of worship and some variety in Biblical interpretation so that they will decide what is the best style of church they would like to attend?"

Here is my response:

I did not consider your comment(s) to be 'disrespectful'. However, I do think your anonymity does bring into question the sincerity of your comment(s), and challenges the same 'openness' you question of me.

You may like to read my original post on our "Survey of Denominations" course to better understand our goal. Briefly, it is to challenge and train our children to think Biblically regarding various churches and/or denominations--not to simply respond and embrace something that they 'like', find appealing, or makes them feel a certain way. There is a great deal in the church today that is appealing because it is man-centered, while the things that are clearly God-centered are increasingly being down-played and/or rejected.

'Different styles of worship' is a wildly popular catch-phrase within Evangelicalism today and often is used in an effort to introduce and even allow all sorts of man-centered behavior and entertainment. However, any and all 'styles' of worship must be evaluated and embraced (or rejected) based on God's criteria for worship as He has revealed in Scripture. We are commanded--and are to be compelled by our love--to worship Him. Therefore, He is the best judge of that and has given sufficient instruction for that in His Word. By visiting various churches and denominations our children will be exposed to some Godly modes of worship and some clearly ungodly aspects of worship--they need to be (and Lord willing will be) equipped to sort through those things.

On the matter of 'some variety in Biblical interpretations', I submit to you that God intended and purposed only one meaning in His Word--not a variety of interpretations. The challenge for Christians is not to blindly accept each and every interpretation put forth, but to consider and examine every interpretation with the goal of embracing and promoting the most Biblically consistent and accurate understanding. The bottom line is this, where there is disagreement we cannot simply walk away saying, 'we'll have to agree to disagree'. There will always be disagreements on interpretations, even that is not outside the sovereign purpose of God--we are to grow as we examine and challenge even our own understanding of God and His Word.

In closing, I hope you'll see and understand the value in equipping our children to think, consider, examine, discern, and even critique what is being presented as 'worship' in today's evangelical (and some non-evangelical) churches. That way, when they do leave the care of our home they are well-aware and better-prepared to address the many challenges that they are sure to encounter within the church today.

Thank you for your interest. I hope you'll feel free to comment again in the future--identifying yourself and/or providing a blog link! :-)

1 comment:

Kristine said...

Nicely stated :)