A fellow abolitionist is struggling a bit with the implications of following Jesus and preferring His kingdom over the kingdoms of men, and what it might look like if "elders" in their church should come out in opposition to activities that glorify Jesus in this dark society. Part of the controversy centers around the extrabiblical idea, based solely in traditions of men and therefore falling under the category of millstones tied around necks (Luke 17:2), or heavy burdens tied on shoulders (Matthew 23:4), traditions that make void the Word of God (Mark 7:1-13), that a local church must "send out" or "authorise" the Christian to go obey Jesus.
One excuse they give is expressed this way:
They don't like the idea of a guy who's a lone ranger type out yelling heresy on a street corner.
I have a few reactions to the sentiment they are expressing:
1) Being "sent" or part of a local church doesn't fix that problem. It might help, maybe. Just depends on a case by case basis. But you know what else might help maybe on a case by case basis? One on one taking the corner screamer to the Word of God. If his heart is humble and pliable before God, he'll submit to what the Scripture says. If it's not, the whole church and all the elders in the world won't change his mind and conduct.
2) Would that there were more people willing to stand on a corner and preach, not fewer. Many "elders" want a kabal in which they are some of the few members who get to "preach" (when in fact preaching, biblically speaking, is not what they do. Rather, it's what WE do when we are out in the culture.)
3) I don't see a whole lot of "elders" putting hard and serious thought into what they did and/or are doing to make their church an uncomfortable haven for someone who at the moment is a lone ranger. It may be that this lone ranger preacher holds to heresy and/or is in personal sin. Or it may be that he can't find a church that is being faithful to the Word of God.
It's easy for an "elder" to blame the evangelist guy. It's easy to hate on such a man anyway. He's a radical. He upsets people. He causes bad press to come to the conservative churches of his area.
4) If they're so concerned about that situation, the answer is not to stop people from going out. One possible good answer is to go out with them and help them, guide them. Mr. Elder, if your experience and biblical knowledge and wisdom are so vast, put them to use in something worthwhile (for a change) and help hone and sharpen this person whose zeal will help hone and sharpen you in a way that you need to be honed and sharpened.