October 24th, 2009

Bruce Carlton sent me a newspaper clipping last week from October 17.  The caption was “Church to burn books on Halloween.”  Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, NC, is planning to burn Bibles that are not the King James Version.  They will also burn books by Rick Warren and Billy Graham, as well as CDs of “Satan’s music” – including country, rap, pop, Southern gospel, and contemporary Christian. 

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think of Amazing Grace Baptist Church  as a humble church.

Here’s what we have said so far about a humble church –

·         A humble church submits to God and God’s Word.

·         A humble church keeps perspective about its successes and its place in history.

Lesson 3 – A humble church distinguishes between essentials and non-essentials.

This is a theme Corinth members have heard often.  In the Pastor’s Class I say it is the most critical defining value of Corinth.

The Apostle Paul wrote two chapters about non-essentials and essentials (Romans 14-15).  He called the non-essentials “disputable matters.”  In his day, Christians were arguing about whether to eat meat sacrificed to idols, and about observance of Sabbath days and Jewish festivals.  In matters not essential to the faith, Paul said, we should accept others “without passing judgment” (Romans 14:1).  Rather, “each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).

The humble church finds its unity around the essentials – who God is, who Jesus Christ is, what Christ did to provide for our salvation.  On other matters it lives in consideration for others (15:1), in unity (15:5), and in a common desire to glorify God (15:6).

In other words, it doesn’t need to burn Bibles translated since 1611 or books written by people who use a Bible other than the KJV or music with lyrics not based on the King’s English.

Discerning between essentials and non-essentials is not always easy.  But it’s necessary for a humble church.

2 Responses to Burning Bibles, Billy, and Bad Music »

  • Chorusboy says:

    Pastor Bob that church’s name being ” Amazing Grace ” is a paradox in and of itself. Do they even have a clue who John Newton was ? A man who saw the horrors of the slavery markey and a later a pastor in Olney, England humble enough to befriend William Cowper who had such severe bouts with depression and suicide. They wrote and published the Olney Hymnal together.

    I’m sorry but they are a dis “grace” to their very Master Jesus Christ who humbled Himself to become a man. Why are some Christian believer’s boxes of theology so small ? How do you stay calm about it ?

  • Chorusboy says:

    Kinda have to wonder how that Bible burning party worked out ?

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