We actually want to love the churches of America, however, and plead with them to repent if they are in sin. Turns out that they are, by and large. So, the loving thing to do would be to go to them and show them enough love to try to turn them to holiness, to the graces and blessings of Jesus Christ. If they resist at first, we're still willing to try to help. The men of BAMH and those who agree with them want, I guess, to retreat and just do their own thing at that point, and chuck mud at those more loving than they.
I posted this video from the admin account at the Abolish Human Abortion FB page and a pastor started to engage on it. The discussion that followed is instructive, so I reproduce it here.
- Jeremy Lundmark If I may, and I don't have to, Jon Speed is a pastor... and has the authority to call upon his church to move in this area and has every right (biblically) to point to the rest of the church's apathy to bring his church under conviction in this area.AHA has no such authority. If AHA members want to connect to local assemblies, become members, and call their fellow brothers and sisters to repentance in that local assembly... fine... but you have no authority over the local church.
If the AHA can provide Scripture that demonstrates that the church and it's leadership should be submitted to an organization called "AHA" then by all means we'll submit. Until then, I believe the Scriptures still say that believers are to be under the authority of a local assembly and its leadership. For better for worse, that's what Christ has ordained... not the "AHA" or any other "parachurch" organization.
- Rho Logy \\has the authority to call upon his church\\
Biblically speaking, Pastor =/= priest. Pastors have authority insofar as they accurately teach the Word of God. He has authority to call his church to obey Jesus. If he's wrong, his authority is irrelevant 'cause he doesn't have any.
\\AHA has no such authority\\
\\ If AHA members want to connect to local assemblies, become members, and call their fellow brothers and sisters to repentance in that local assembly... fine... but you have no authority over the local church. \\
You are why we created www.churchrepent.com I pray you'll read and be edified. I am being 100% sincere.
\\If the AHA can provide Scripture that demonstrates that the church and it's leadership should be submitted to an organization called "AHA"\\
You've got us all wrong. Read our website.
\\ I believe the Scriptures still say that believers are to be under the authority of a local assembly and its leadership. \\
We've never denied that.
\\For better for worse, that's what Christ has ordained... not the "AHA" or any other "parachurch" organization.\\
- Christina Harrhof Yes, Casie Kyle, I don't have a high view of the escort's opinions either; however, I was just using them as an example of all the unbelievers who are watching these pages -- some of whom we are personally evangelizing. I'm not sure if it reflects well on believers as a whole to have so many public squabbles -- although I agree with some of the concerns presented and think it is good and right to discuss them privately.
- Jeremy Lundmark "Are we not allowed to proclaim the message of Christ himself to anyone and everyone?"
You can... but in order to be consistent (ie Biblical) you're supposed to submitted to a local assembly that has an authority structure of some kind. If your in an organization that is telling your church what to do... you're not submitting to the authority that the Scriptures call you to submit to (we call that a catch-22)
@Rho- I may have you all wrong... but AHA is all wrong to grab a 5 second clip, and say a man is on board with something, when in fact he has explicitly stated numerous times... that he is not. That's lying first, undermining a brother, second, and making a mockery of an established Church's leader who, in fact, does what you guys do, third. So, whatever AHA is doing, what it has done here is deplorable and self defeating.
You're correct that I don't know much about AHA, in fact I've only encountered it in conjunction with Babies are Murdered here. The reason I don't align with either, yet, is because of this very issue. If there is no respect at all for church authority, I'll have nothing to do with it. That goes for Bible Colleges, Missions agencies, and the like.
All of these organizations are finished if they detach themselves from the local assembly, or worse, tell themselves they have authority over the local church. As a pastor of a local church myself, it took me a long time to learn that Christ wants to accomplish his purposes through his church... not through parachurch organizations. Insofar as AHA is connected to local assemblies it will thrive... if it detaches... it may accomplish a purpose... maybe even a good purpose... but it won't be God's purpose.
I would prefer to see AHA and BAMH close down, and be run from a local assembly. Not sure why either of these organizations exist separate from the local church. Not my place to judge... I ran a parachurch organization for 3 years and closed it down for this very reason. God will get his glory, through his church... how that plays out... We'll watch and see.
- Abolish Human Abortion Jeremy Lundmark, you don't understand us enough to be a critic of us.
We have stated a million times that all we want to do is spread an ideology of abolition and that each local abolitionist society is to be autonomous from AHA (only unified in ideology) and under the authority of their local leaders who are active members of local bodies with pastors, evangelists, teachers, preachers, etc etc etc.
AHA also has stated many times that we should not have to exist and that our primary interest is to see the abolitionist movement led by local church bodies and pastors. Please read the website, church repent.com
- Abolish Human Abortion // I would prefer to see AHA...close down.//
Wow us too! I think it was said several times at our conference this weekend. We want to see the Church (the Bride of Christ, the invisible Church which you are conflating as the visible local institutions we call churches) step up and lead the charge to abolish human abortion. They are not doing so and seem to be content with not doing so. Hence why we stood sat for long hours in hard pews the last couple days and all have sunburns today from being out pleading with them to do so. Right on! We hope the church will do this and we are pledging to help them.
- Jeremy Lundmark //I think it was said several times at our conference this weekend. We want to see the Church step up and lead the charge to abolish human abortion.//
So... close it. If that's what you guys want... file for dissolution.
//We have stated a million times that all we want to do is spread an ideology of abolition//
That's your mission, not the mission of the church. We're called to make disciples of Christ... not abolitionists.
//AHA also has stated many times that we should not have to exist and that our primary interest is to see the abolitionist movement led by local church bodies and pastors... Right on! We hope the church will do this and we are pledging to help them.//
O.k. If any of that is true... dissolve AHA. It's a simple form of dissolution you file to the state. Call on those who are a part of your organization/ministry to go and do what their doing in and through their local churches.
What boggles my mind about groups like yours (which I've been a part of before just with different causes) is that you all consolidate together to lament the failures of the local church... which you're supposed to be active in and a part of. If the local church is failing on this front... your to blame because you're a part of it.
//the invisible Church which you are conflating as the visible local institutions we call churches//
The Bible speaks of no such thing as the "invisible" church. An invisible church is a non-existent church. Every believer is visible, and is expected by Scripture to be under the authority, or a part of the authority, of a visible local assembly.
- Jeremy Lundmark One final note...
None of this justifies AHA's initial post here on an individual brother and pastor of a local assembly. I'm not sure on what grounds AHA (in it's seemingly harmless desire to create abolitionists and respect the authority of the church) it misrepresents and mocks a fellow brother and a pastor.
I don't need to know much about the organization to know, that if it says it respects leaders, and then disrespects one... that it's playing games.
- Jeremy Lundmark Out of Curiosity... how many churches would you guys say are represented under the AHA banner? Why don't all of those churches come together and call on the rest of the church to take a stand on the abortion issue. At least then the authority structure would be Biblical.
If I did everything every parachurch organization wanted me to do... I'd never have time to do what God has called me to do.
- Abolish Human Abortion Jeremy Lundmark, we don't see loving our neighbors as something that a para-ministry is supposed to do and that only some church bodies do.
You really need to read up on what it is that we actually think, say, and do. Take the plank out of your eye, read our website, and then, if you see any specks, we will gladly let you remove them.
- Luis Fernando Zapata Most of the churches forgot that the body of chirst is a body composed with many members not 2 or three there is apostles prophets evangelist pastor and teachers to building the church, and one gift that men can't control is the gift of prophecy, when the others ministries got loss them God bring for this, don't forget what HE SAID MY THOUGH ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHS.
- Rho Logy Jeremy Lundmark
First of all, I want to say that I am glad to see you thinking about all this stuff. You are the kind of guy whom God will use to abolish human abortion. You are a pastor. Get your church involved in getting other churches involved, is my encouragement. I do have a few responses to some comments you've made, though.
\\If that's what you guys want... file for dissolution.\\
We wish we could. Not yet, though - there is far too much apathy in the American church to do that. If churches are not rising up to do the work, individual believers must do so. It's far better than leaving the work undone just b/c you don't think that we have a "biblical authority structure".
Thing is, you can't demonstrate that the authority structure you think is biblical is actually biblical. I challenge you to do so. Show us all where the Scripture says:
1) "laymen" can't rebuke pastors when they are in sin
2) one has to be ordained by one's elders to call out sin in others when it is clearly observed.
\\We're called to make disciples of Christ... not abolitionists.\\
You're creating a dichotomy where none exists. It's probably b/c you don't actually understand our ideology. i encourage you to do some more reading.
\\ in and through their local churches.\\
We *are* doing that. And we are *also* calling on other local churches to repent of their apathy and lead the way so that AHA can dissolve.
\\ groups like yours (which I've been a part of before just with different causes)\\
No disrespect intended, but you show little indication you understand our ideology, so I don't know that you are in a position to say that you've been in groups like us before.
\\lament the failures of the local church... which you're supposed to be active in and a part of\\
1) We're doing more than lamenting those failures. We're doing something about them.
2) We ARE active in local churches.
\\ If the local church is failing on this front... your to blame because you're a part of it. \\
And we are repenting of that and trying to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. You're throwing dirt on our fire when you should be rising up yourself and examining yourself for apathy.
Notice that I'm not accusing you, but you are accusing us. I am inviting you to examine yourself. You're wrongly pretending you've already examined us a lot.
\\The Bible speaks of no such thing as the "invisible" church. \\
It teaches the concept. Just like the Bible speaks of no such thing as the "visible" church. The words "visible church" do not appear in the Bible.
The *concept* is taught.
What church was Martin Luther a part of in 1520?
\\ An invisible church is a non-existent church.\\
This would seem to be an attempt at a pithy one-liner, but it misses the point. The invisible church is all the redeemed of Jesus.
\\Every believer is visible\\
You mean you see like images of crosses on the foreheads of believers, or halos or something? What do you mean?
\\is expected by Scripture to be under the authority, or a part of the authority, of a visible local assembly.\\
Yes, of course. We don't disagree. We do want to qualify the terminology, however. "Authority" in this case doesn't mean that the pastor is above examination by God's Word, nor infallible. Pastors have no authority unless they teach the Word of God. So saying "authority" is really a buzzword in modern Reformedigelicalism, and it needs to be much better understood biblically. Right now it's largely understood in the context of human tradition.
\\None of this justifies AHA's initial post here on an individual brother and pastor of a local assembly\\
You think he's a brother. We have our doubts, given his behavior.
You also seem to think that it's better to criticise someone who has called out sinful behavior in a professing brother. You should check that in the SCripture again. It's loving to try to restore a sinning brother to the truth, to follow Jesus without sin.
You, by coddling him and pretending his sin doesn't exist, are actually the one treating him in an unloving way. He needs to repent.
\\ it misrepresents and mocks a fellow brother and a pastor.\\
How precisely did we misrep or mock him? We're just quoting him.
\\how many churches would you guys say are represented under the AHA banner? \\
I don't know what "the AHA banner" means.
\\Why don't all of those churches come together and call on the rest of the church to take a stand on the abortion issue.\\
We would love it if yours would be the first. And I'm being 100% sincere. Until that happens, our role is necessary.
\\At least then the authority structure would be Biblical.\\
Flesh this out with Scripture. What are you talking about? Where does the Scripture talk about individual local churches joining together and what the authority structure in that case looks like and what it's supposed to look like?
\\If I did everything every parachurch organization wanted me to do... I'd never have time to do what God has called me to do.\\
Do what the BIble says, then, and forget "parachurch orgs".
Don't hide behind "authority" like a Pope.