Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Local church abandoners"

I get pretty disgusted when I hear people say stuff like "nomad" or "local church abandoners", implying that those people's lack of church membership is THE REASON they behave/speak badly.
It's not helpful for a number of reasons.
-There are tons of people who ARE church members who behave/speak badly.
-There are tons of pastors who behave/speak badly.
-There are even more plentiful church members and pastors who don't do ANYthing.
-It may be that the people who lack church membership were mistreated by a church and haven't found another.
-Or it may be that those people haven't found a decent church anywhere, ever.
-Or it may be that those people wanted to practice vital Christianity and tried as a result to get others in their church to practice it with them, which threatened the leadership and ended with their being pushed out the door.
-But that allows "church people" to wave their hands and dismiss anything the church-less person might say. "Well, he's just a nomad." "Wait, you don't have a pastor? Go get one, then come back and talk to me". This is the genetic fallacy in practice.
-Thus "local church membership" becomes a shibboleth. (And "under the authority of a local church" even more so.)
-To say nothing of people like several with whom I've interacted on this very blog, who behave/speak like Pharisees AND are "under the authority of a local church/pastor", which gives them covering in the eyes of many to behave/speak like a Pharisee even though their elders are actually not necessarily OK with their behavior or speech all that much but don't concern themselves enough with their actual spiritual life to intervene. And I bet churches like that are pretty numerous. I myself have been part of several.

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