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These principles are some of my personal first principles for what a church is and how a church ought behave. These come out of my mixed theological background – some Mennonite, Conservative Baptist, and E Free, and uncompromisingly an historic dispensationalist. I welcome your feedback.

You will also notice the lack of biblical references. That was intentional. Those of you who are active readers of the Bible know what they are. This post is for you.

The church is to be militant
It is to be the initiator of action. Evangelism does not just happen while we wait passively, but must be a managed activity.

The church must be cautious in civic relationships
As Rome has been finding out in DC recently, a relationship with a government entity can become too close so that government might invade and secularize a religious entity.

The church must be peaceable
Protests and boycotts do little. Prayer and public statements, on the other hand, can be used to communicate clearly the benefit of godliness.

The church must be organized
Well, we made it through the 70s and the “organism, not an organization” error. But I wonder if we really have a sense of long-term planning and intention in what we do. I like enough structure to get the job done. Any more is bureaucracy; any less, sloppiness.

The church is not a government
Ok, a good number will disagree with this understanding of the kingdom of God, and this is definitely evidence of my dispensationalism. The church must be able to survive and thrive in any environment, and so it must remain independent of all these systems.

The church must be evangelistic
I don’t mean “revivalist” with all the errors of the past two or so centuries. The point here is that evangelism is the one growth mechanism for the church. We must cease depending on family growth and get outside of our four walls.

Disobedience may be more necessary than we might think
If evangelism is our first goal, and if militancy is our pro-active evangelistic character, then we have an obligation that will result in disobedience to corporate, local, state, and federal rules regarding evangelism. Eternity is at stake.

The church is to be holy
Corporate piety has been lost in many churches, and recovering it is necessary. “Legalism” may be a problem at times, but equally as often it is merely the excuse of those who want to have their own way.

More on: Politics, Evangelism

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