Sunday, January 27, 2008


A black man was asked to leave an old white church. As he walked away, he expressed his frustration to the Lord. Suddenly God spoke, and told him, "I understand your frustration. I've been trying to get into that church for 200 years!"

The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God's people - strengthened by preaching and sacrament - go out of the church door into the world to be the church. We don't go to church; we are the church.

This signboard is broken. Message inside on Sunday.--- NJ church signboard

THE GOOD LORD IS IN HERE WHY AREN'T YOU??? - Sign outside a church.

There is little good in filling churches with people who go out exactly the same as they came in; the call of the Church is not to fill churches but to fill heaven. Fr Andrew SDC "The Way of Victory"

In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians. -- Karl Barth

It is absolutely unimportant in the eyes of God how many people follow the "Anglican tradition" of belief and practice. It is of the greatest importance how many people there are who have come to know and love our Lord because of what we Anglicans have said and done. .. Stephen F. Bayne, Jr. (1908-1974)

We believe and confess one single catholic or universal church--a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ being washed by his blood,and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit. This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end, as appears from the fact that Christ is eternal King who cannot be without subjects. Belgic Confession Article 27 The Holy Catholic Church

The British churchman goes to church as he goes to the bathroom, with the minimum of fuss and no explanation if he can help it.
Ronald Blythe "The Age of Illusion"

Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when He called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot escape yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refuse to be alone, you are rejecting Christ's call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called.... Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called -- the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one of the great congregation of Jesus Christ. If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ. ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together

It belongs to the very nature of the gospel that the Church is built across cultural, social, and racial barriers. There are siren voices (as well as gut reactions) telling Christians that the way to success in evangelism is to follow the natural divisions, and to try to build churches along cultural, social and racial divisions. In doing so, they ignore the "success" in the New Testament in crossing these lines; more importantly, they are in fact stressing success more highly than the truth of the gospel. To buy success at the price of treating the fundamental nature of the gospel as dispensable is to follow a false gospel.
David Bronnert, "The Gospel and Culture" in The Changing World

The doors of Christ's churches on earth do not stand so wide open that all sorts of people, good or bad, may freely enter as they desire. Those who are admitted to church membership must first be examined and tested as to whether they are ready to be received into church fellowship or not. … These things are required of all church members: repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore repentance and faith are the things about which individuals must be examined before they are granted membership in a church, and they must profess and demonstrate these in such a way as to satisfy rational charity that they are genuinely present. --Cambridge Declaration (1649) from The Cambridge Platform, rev. ed. by Peter Murdy, 1998, 10:2.

Christians in community must again show the world, not merely family values, but the bond of the love of Christ. Increasingly the ordered fellowship of the church becomes the sign of grace for the warring factions of a disordered world. Only as the church binds together those whom selfishness and hate have cut apart will its message be heard and its ministry of hope to the friendless be received. --Edmund Clowney, THE CHURCH

A church has no right to make anything a condition of membership which Christ has not made a condition of salvation.
A A Hodge A Commentary on the Confession of faith 1870 p 3

The church is in Christ as Eve was in Adam.-- RICHARD HOOKER

The Church which is married to the Spirit of the Age will be a widow in the next.-- Dean Inge

The church is more like a family than a firm ... and, within the family, men are the spiritual guides ... this is not misogyny. It puts me in touch with the vast majority of Christians who have ever lived, and the vast majority of Christians who now live.-The Rev Dr Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney

To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant and which is animated only by Faith and Hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example. --Dr. Johnso

Church is for sinners. --Eli Khamarov, "The Old Working Model"

The church is: a conspiracy of love for a dying world, a spy mission into enemy occupied territory ruled by the powers of evil; a prophet from God with the greatest news the world has ever heard, the most life changing and most revolutionary institution that has existed on earth. --PETER KREEFT

Do not ride in cars: they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents. . . Do not stay at home: 17% of all accidents occur in the home. . . Do not walk on the streets or pavements: 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians. . . Do not travel by air, rail, or water: 16% of all accidents happen on these. . . Only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders. . . Hence the safest place for you to be at any time is at church! -- Mark Leslie via Sermon Fodder

I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks".. C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964 , pp. 4-5.

Let him who wants a true church cling to the Word by which everything is upheld. --Martin Luther

The task is not, in essence, the securing of uniformity, or cooperation, or Church reunion, or any of the external forms, through which nevertheless the unity may be manifested. Within the wide bounds of the Christian Church there is abundant scope for the multiplicity of races, languages, and social conditions; room also for separate organizations with different traditions of faith and order, and much diversity of operation. But there is no room for strife or hostility, for pride or selfassertion, for exclusiveness or unkind judgments, nor for that kind of independence which leads men to ignore their fellowship with the great company of believers, the communion of saints. These things are contrary to the revealed will of God, and should be made at once to cease. As these disappear, the outward manifestation of unity will come in such ways as the Spirit of God shall guide.... G. T. Manley, Christian Unity [1945

The Church faces the same problem today as it has faced in every era - the problem of communicating to our culture while not identifying with its, values. George M. Marsden

The Church is a society of sinners - the only society in the world in which membership is based upon the single qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership. -- Charles C. Morrison

Theologically, we have been discovering anew that the Church is not an appendage to the Gospel: it is itself a part of the Gospel. The Gospel cannot be separated from that new people of God in which its nature is to be made manifest. --Stephen Neill (1900-1984)

For many years the Christians met in homes and never possessed any special buildings for their gatherings. As religio illicita, no thought could be had of a permanent structure for gatherings. This would only facilitate matters for the Roman government in its merciless persecutions. The early Church was very conscious of its pilgrim character in a world which was at enmity with God. ... Donald L. Norbie, New Testament Church Organization

The Christian church is not only a community of future hope but also a community of remembrnce.Every period of renewal begins with a deeper penetration of the past, to recapture the faith of our fathers--Michael Novak

Christ is the Lord of the church. Imagine what this must have meant to the small group of believers in the pagan city of Colosse, feeling things were against them, battling hard and perhaps tempted to despair. The glorious Christ, the eternal, pre-existent one, the beloved Son of God, the mighty Victor, is the head of the church, which is His body. This means not only that the church is united to Christ, who is its head, but also that the church is the means whereby all that Christ is and wills is expressed in the world. The church is vitalized by Christ's presence, energized by his power and is his instrument in the world. George M, Philip, "Daily Grace"

As theology declined in most churches, and sociology became the major "Christian" concern, the churches became steadily more irrelevant, in that school and state were now the truly effective institutions, and the roll of a harmless club became progressively the function of the church.
R. J. Rushdoony The Messianic Character of American Education

It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ. -- Dorothy Sayers

This is the real Church of the Lord Jesus Christ -- not merely organisation, but a group of people, individually the children of God, drawn together by the Holy Spirit for a particular task, either in a local situation or over a wider area. The Church of the Lord Jesus should be a group of those who are redeemed and bound together on the basis of true doctrine. But subsequently they should show together a substantial "sociological healing" of the breaches between men, which have come about because of... man's sin. The Christian sociological position is that the sociological problems which we find... are a result of the separation that has come between men because of sin. Now the world should be able to see in the Church those marks [which show] that there is a substantial sociological healing possible in the present generation. It is not enough for the Church to be engaged with the State in healing social ills, though this is important at times. But when the world can turn around and see a group of God's people exhibiting substantial healing in the area of human relationships in their present life, then the world will take notice. Each group of Christians is, as it were, a pilot plant, showing that something can be done in the present situation, if only we begin in the right way.
Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There [1968]

Those of us who are children of God must realize the seriousness of modern apostasy; we must urge each other not to have any part in it. But at the same time we must be the loving, true bride of the divine bridegroom in reality and in practice, day by day, in the midst of the spiritual adultery of our day. Our call is first to be the bride faithful, but that is not the total call. The call is not only to be the bride faithful, but also to be the bride in love.-Francis A. Schaeffer, _The Church Before the Watching World: A Practical Ecclesiology_ (Inter-varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515, ISBN 0-87784-542-5

Several years ago I wrestled with the question of what was wrong with much of the church that stood for purity. I came to the conclusion that in the flesh we can stress purity without love or we can stress love without purity, but that in the flesh we cannot stress both simultaneously. In order to exhibit both simultaneously, we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ, to the work of the Holy Spirit. Spirituality begins to have real meaning in our moment-by-moment lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God.Francis A. Schaeffer, _The Church Before the Watching World: A Practical Ecclesiology_ (Inter-varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515, ISBN 0-87784-542-5

We must stand clearly for the principle of the purity of the visible church, and we must call for the appropriate discipline of those who take a position which is not according to Scripture. But at the same time we must visibly love them as people as we speak and write about them. ... We must say that [they] are desperately wrong and that they require discipline in and by the church, but we must do so in terms that show it is not merely the flesh speaking. This is beyond us, but not beyond the work of the Holy Spirit. . . . with prayer both love, and concern for the truth, can be shown.. . . Francis A. Schaeffer, _The Church Before the Watching World: A Practical Ecclesiology_ (Inter-varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515, ISBN 0-87784-542-5

. . . by God's grace, we must do two things simultaneously: We must do all that is necessary for the purity of the visible church to exhibit the holiness of God, and yet, no matter how bitter [they] become or what nasty things they say . . . , we must show forth the love of God in the midst of the strongest speaking we can do. If we let down one side or the other, we will not bear our testimony to God who is holy and who is love. Francis A. Schaeffer, _The Church Before the Watching World: A Practical Ecclesiology_ (Inter-varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515, ISBN 0-87784-542-5

Jesus' teaching and the New Testament Church make plain that while there is 'the invisible Church', yet the Church is not to be hidden away, in an unseen area, as though it does not matter what men see. What we are called to do upon the basis of the unfinished work of Christ in the power of the Spirit through faith, is to exhibit a substantial healing, individual and then corporate, so that men may observe it. Here too is a portion of the apologetic: a presentation which gives at least some demonstration that these things are neither theoretical nor a new dialectic, but real; not perfect, yet substantial. If we only speak of and exhibit the individual effects of the Gospel, the world, psychologically conditioned as it is today, will explain them away. What the world cannot explain away will be a substantial, corporate exhibition of the logical conclusions of the Christian presuppositions. It is not true that the New Testament presents an individualistic concept of salvation. Individual, yes: we must come one at a time; but it is not individualistic only. First there must be the individual reality, and then the corporate. Neither will be perfect in this life, but they must be real.- F A Schaeffer, The God Who is There Section VI Chapter 1 pp. 153-154

Protestantism makes the relation of a man to the Church to depend upon his relation to Christ; Romanism makes the relation of a man to Christ to depend on his relation to the Church. -- Schleiermacher

It can be exalting to belong to a church that is 550 years behind the times and sublimely indifferent to fashion; it is mortifying to belong to a church that is five minutes behind the times, huffing and puffing to catch up. - JOSEPH SOBRAN

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, how some folks must love the Church! -- Gerald I. Teague

When the church is unified and the Lord is glorified, then the saints will be edified, sinners will be sanctified, and the devil will be terrified. --Anthony Warner

The Catholic crisis of 2002 is also a powerful reminder of the Iron Law of Christianity and Modernity: Christian communities that maintain their doctrinal identity and moral boundaries flourish in the modern world; Christian communities that fudge doctrine and morals decay. Contrary to much popular wisdom, the Christian movement is flourishing throughout the world. And in all instances, without exception, it is the Christian communities that eschew Lite approaches to doctrine and morals that are growing. -- George Weigel, _The Courage to be Catholic_, 2002

This catholic Church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth, to worship God according to his will.
Westminster Confession of Faith; Chapter XXV

We are called to see that the Church does not adapt its thinking to the horizons that modernity prescribes for it but rather that it brings to those horizons the powerful antidote of God's truth. It is not the Word of God but rather modernity that stands in need of being demythologised.
David F. Wells No Place For Truth, p.100

By this late date, evangelicals should be hungering for a genuine revival of the church, aching to see it once again become a place of seriousness where a vivid otherworldliness is cultivated because the world is understood in deeper and truer ways, where worship is stripped of everything extraneous, where God's Word is heard afresh, where the desolate and broken can find sanctuary. Why, then, are they not more serious in their efforts to recover the true church? It is because virtually everything within them and around them militates against it. Cultural pressures and influences are so intrusive and inwardly destabilising that Christian spirituality becomes a forlorn pursuit unless the individual is embodied in a structure that gives corporate expression to private spirituality, in which the lone thread is woven into a fabric. Many churches have not learned the lessons that most parents stumble on sooner or later. Churches imagine that the less they ask or expect of believers, the more popular they will become and the more contented worshippers will be. The reverse is true. Those who ask little find that the little they ask is resented or resisted; those who ask much find that they are given much and strengthened by the giving. --David Wells, God in the Wasteland- The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams, PG. 225, 226.

If I see a man who loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity, I am not very solicitous to what communion he belongs. The Kingdom of God, I think, does not consist in any such thing. GEORGE WHITEFIELD

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