Straying from the truth of Jesus
This is a compelling article by John MacArthur. Many denominations and individual churches have strayed from the TRUTH of Jesus and His Way. We must speak the truth and we must radically change our way of thinking (aka repent). Jesus is King of God’s country. Jesus is our Master.
Have you ever heard of a church that repented? Not individuals, but an entire church that collectively recognized its congregational transgressions and openly, genuinely repented, with biblical sorrow and brokenness.
Sadly, you probably have not.
For that matter, have you ever heard of a pastor who called his church to repent and threatened his congregation with divine judgment if they failed to do so?
It’s not likely. Pastors today seem to have a hard enough time calling individuals to repent, let alone calling the whole church to account for their corporate sins. In fact, if a pastor were so bold as to lead his own church to repent, he might not be the pastor for much longer. At minimum, he would face resistance and scorn from within the congregation. That inevitable backlash is likely strong enough to generate a kind of preemptive fear, keeping most church leaders from ever considering a call for corporate repentance.
Read about the Great Ejection of the Anglican Church
As followers of Jesus, it is important to understand some church history.
The name “Puritan” was devised as a term of derision and scorn. It was applied to a group of Anglican pastors in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who sought to purify the church of its remaining Roman Catholic influences and practices. These Puritan pastors repeatedly called for the churches of England to repent of their extensive carnality, heresy, and priestly corruption. But the Anglican Church would not repent. They could not deny the need for reformation, but they wanted a “middle way” rather than a thorough reformation.
Those who held the reins in the Anglican hierarchy remained impenitent—but not passive. They were determined to silence the voices calling them to repentance. For decades, the Puritans faced hostility and persecution from church leaders and political rulers alike. Many suffered and died for their faith, while many more endured imprisonment and torture for the sake of Christ. The persecution reached a crescendo in 1662, when the English Parliament issued the Act of Uniformity. The decree essentially outlawed anything other than strict Anglican doctrine and practice. That led to a monumental and tragic day in England’s spiritual history: August 24, 1662, commonly known as the Great Ejection. On that day, two thousand Puritan pastors were stripped of their ordination and permanently thrown out of their Anglican churches.