“The church is always to be under the Word; she must be; we must keep her there. You must not assume that because the church started correctly, she will continue so. She did not do so in the New Testament times; she has not done so since. Without being constantly reformed by the Word the church becomes something very different. We must always keep the church under the Word.”
You remember John Knox’s memorable saying, when he turned the Romanists out, he went straight away to pull down their chapels. He gathered the mob together, and began to overhaul the whole of their places of worship. Why should John Knox meddle with them? ” I’ll pull the nests down,” said he, “then I shall be sure that the birds will never come back.” So I would today. I would not only drive away the birds-the sin, the evil; but I would pull down the nest, so that there will be no temptation to you to come back again to the sin. “Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will be a Father unto you.” Come out from the world, ye children of Christ. Have naught to do with their enjoyments, nor with their devices. Follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Go not a whoring after these iniquities, but drink thou waters out of thine own cistern, and be thou always ravished with His love who is thy Lord, thy husband, thy hope, thy joy, thine all.~ C.H. Spurgeon
I have been in prayer lately concerning a ministry I have been giving to. I like helping the widows and orphans and missions so its not an easy pat answer for me. Today, I believe God answered my prayers. As I was reading this ministry’s “praise reports” I was giving thanks to our Beloved and asking Him to prosper all that they do for His Kingdom, by His power and for His glory. Then I read that they were going to raise up Ancient-Future churches. Hmmm…that sounds like they are getting into New Age “christianity.” So, I looked it up. Its tied to the Emergent Church movement.
I didn’t go too far in my research since The Berean Call had an article on it way back in 2008 and its informative. I share it with you: Ancient-Future Heresies
OK, I am sure I have heard of this but it was called, the Acts 2 church movement and we were sure if we could restore our church to the Acts 2 model we would see revival like what all the disciples experienced in the upper room, complete with the tongues of fire. Here’s a snippet from the TBC article:
Is any of this “for the good,” as Christianity Today declares?
Let’s both reason from the Scriptures, and simply be reasonable (Isaiah:1:18
). The Ancient-Future search to discover gems from “Classic Christianity” comes up short by a century — the century in which the New Testament was written. The critical difference should be obvious. The writers of the New Testament were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they penned God’s Word (2 Timothy:3:16
; 2 Peter:1:21, 22). What writings from A.D. 100 and later can claim such inspiration? None. But we’re told that some were disciples of or lived at the time of the apostles. True, but proximity to the apostles is hardly a guarantee against heresy nor does it come close to inspiration. Furthermore, much of the first-century-written New Testament reproved and corrected errors that had already entered the church!
Remember the Apostle Paul’s warning to the Ephesian elders, who were certainly closer to Paul than any of the so-called Church Fathers:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts:20:28-31)
Again, why this attraction to the ancient Church Fathers? Could any of them say with Paul, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians:4:9)? We can trust his God-breathed words completely. On the other hand, it takes very little scrutiny of men like Origen, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, Justin Martyr, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Augustine, and others, to see their flaws, let alone their heresies. For example, Origen taught that God would save everyone and that Mary was a perpetual virgin; Irenaeus believed that the bread and wine became the body and blood of Jesus when consecrated, as did John Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem; Athanasius taught salvation through baptism; Tertullian became a supporter of the Montanist heresies, and a promoter of a New Testament clergy class, as did his disciple Cyprian; Augustine was the principal architect of Catholic dogma that included his support of purgatory, baptismal regeneration, and infant baptism, mortal and venial sins, prayers to the dead, penance for sins, absolution from a priest, the sinlessness of Mary, the Apocrypha as Scripture, etc.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. – John 14:15
We must not talk about our fellowship with Christ, or our being separated from the world unto Him, unless we make Him our Master and Lord in everything. Some public teachers are not true at all points to their convictions, and how can they look for a blessing? A Christian man, anxious to be useful, ought to be very particular as to every point of obedience to his Master. I have no doubt whatever that God blesses our churches even when they are very faulty, for His mercy endureth for ever. When there is a measure of error in the teaching, and a measure of mistake in the practice, He may still vouchsafe to use the ministry, for He is very gracious. But a large measure of blessing must necessarily be withheld from all teaching which is knowingly or glaringly faulty. God can set His seal upon the truth that is in it, but He cannot set His seal upon the error that is in it.
The Lord is very gracious and pitiful; but yet He is a jealous God. He is sometimes sternly jealous towards His people who are living in neglects of known duty, or in associations which are not clean in His sight. He will wither their work, weaken their strength, and humble them until at last they say, “My Lord, I will take Thy way after all. I will do what Thou biddest me to do, for else Thou wilt not accept me.” The Lord said to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature: he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;” and He promised them that signs should follow, and so they did follow them, and so they will. But we must get back to apostolic practice and to apostolic teaching: we must lay aside the commandments of men and the whimseys of our own brains, and we must do what Christ tells us, as Christ tells us, and because Christ tells us. Definitely and distinctly, we must take the place of servants; and if we will not do that, we cannot expect our Lord to work with us and by us. Let us be determined that, as true as the needle is to the pole, so true will we be, as far as our light goes, to the command of our Lord and Master. ~ C.H. Spurgeon