Skip to comments.The Strategic Plan (Protestant Caucus)
Posted on 02/21/2011 3:04:22 PM PST by Gamecock
Hello and welcome to another edition of the White Horse Inn. Every mission statement needs a good strategic plan. If your mission is to make cars, then you need to figure out how you are going to design, assemble, distribute, and sell them. The one to who was given all authority in heaven and on earth entrusted his apostles with the message and the mission. He gave us the method to go along with the Gospel.
There are a lot of details given to us in the New Testament concerning the proper organization and execution of the church's ministry. However, all Christians have held that the Great Commission is marvelously simple and unambiguously clear: The means of fulfilling it are preaching, baptizing, and teaching-that's what the Great Commission actually says. Throughout the Book of Acts, the growth of the church is indicated by the phrase, "and the word of God spread," together with the report of baptisms and adult converts together with their households being baptized. They gathered regularly for the public ministry of preaching, teaching, fellowship, the Supper, and the prayers. The Lord added daily those who were being saved to the church (Acts 2:47). "So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily" (Acts 16:5). There is no distinction in the New Testament between being a disciple and belonging to the church-not just to the invisible church (i.e., of regenerate believers), but to the visible church. Membership in this visible body of Christ is identified by public profession of faith and baptism (in the case of adult converts, reversed in the case of covenant children).
On the basis of the Great Commission-and the many passages that unpack it-the churches of the Reformation affirm that the true church is visible "wherever the Word is rightly preached and the sacraments are rightly administered."
Today this consensus is no longer obvious. Many of us were raised with evangelistic invitations that distinguished sharply between what happens inside us and what happens outside us, between "getting saved" and "joining a church"; a "personal relationship with Jesus" versus "church membership." And all of this goes back still further, to pietism and revivalism and before that to radical Anabaptist movements and still further back to monastic spirituality. The idea is that real disciples are "made" not in the theater of ordinary Word-and-sacrament ministry and the care of elders and deacons, but in the parachurch enclaves for super-spiritual saints.
We've talked before on this program about the "message creep" in the church today. The gospel has become a cliché for all sorts of things: many of them good, but not the gospel. Left to ourselves, the emphasis will always shift back from the Triune God and his saving work in Christ to us and our experience, piety, and activity. The same thing happens with the Great Commission. "Message creep" leads to "mission creep."
One of those places where mission creep often begins is at the level of strategies. Christ not only gave us a mission statement: "Go therefore into all the world and make disciples." He also gave us a strategic plan when he added, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you." You see, salvation comes down from God to us, not from us to God. Therefore, the methods he has instituted are designed to deliver his gifts. We've turned God's gospel delivery system into another series of methods for our self-improvement and world-transformation. How do you make disciples of all nations? Jesus says it plainly, "Preach the gospel, baptize, and teach." But we know better. Or do we? That's the question for this discussion at the White Horse Inn.
While there are a couple of points that we will disagree on, Id like to keep focused on the bigger picture painted in this article!
Without getting into the Baptism debate, I think one issue we don't look at is the early Christian church was united by a common faith. No one dominant church had emerged.
Today this consensus is no longer obvious. Many of us were raised with evangelistic invitations that distinguished sharply between what happens inside us and what happens outside us, between "getting saved" and "joining a church";
Today to much emphasis on which church you are in and how it is different from others has led to the growth of Non-Denoms. The critical factor from my perspective is do you believe The Gospel, do you believe in the Trinitarian understanding of God. If you hold these as firm beliefs we can argue all day, but we are still Brothers and when someone asks we should be ready to preach The Gospel.
***The Gospel, do you believe in the Trinitarian understanding of God. If you hold these as firm beliefs we can argue all day, but we are still Brothers and when someone asks we should be ready to preach The Gospel.***
Amen to that
Oneness Pentecostals are not Protestants and would not be included in a protestant cacus because they are not Christians..anymore that the Mormons or JWs are ..you folks just like to lump non Catholics together .
People were trying to have a thread without the usual animosity, and the thread is labeled “caucus”. why are some posters allowed to interrupt? We dont go to Catholic threads and act like this.
If I may offer my personal opinion. We have had many of these very same posters that are complaining - who object to a universal Protestant Caucus - try to force everyone to identify their denomination. They have also been told many times to stop with the badgering. Yet many continually ask and ask again. I think they want to force revelation of denomination by objecting to a "Protestant Caucus" and breaking it down into individual categories because they seem to be of the opinion that the imaginary 30K denominations could not possibly have any unity at all. I believe they want to try the "divide and conquer" tactic. What they do not realize is that most Protestants - especially on this forum - are in unity over the central tenets of Christian faith and it is upon these beliefs that we can come together without acrimony and discuss various issues. The whole idea is to avoid conflict and that is what a "caucus" designation is supposed to guarantee.
It is humorous that an "Anti-Catholic" caucus was acceptable but not a "Protestant" one. Some have an overload of persecution phobias.
I think it is as simple as saying "Christ crucified". If someone doesn't understand, or mocks the Christian who says this we know. If a church does not believe this is sufficient (adding to The Gospel) we know they are not with us.
My Oneness missionary uncle and wife would take great issue with that.
Tough they have a different god ...
Actually . . . I’m not so convinced of that.
I think they play word games with the Trinity.
Yet, they somehow still know Jesus, Father and Spirit.
I think their word dance is absurd.
But they are quite authentic in knowing the same Jesus I know. They trust Him and Him alone for their Salvation.
And, THAT is the oddest part of it all. If the caucus designation can't be used to show an "anti-" bias, then it's not acceptable. But "Protestant" is still used as a term of ridicule by the same folks. Sad.
Bottom line. Caucus is caucus.
It really IS that simple. And as has been said, we can disagree on many things... and goodness knows there's enough of those things. But the basic tenants of faith are the same: Christ and Him crucified. Faith alone; Christ alone.
This is a caucus thread. Knock it off!
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