I want to give you a quote from Roland Allen that might be a little shocking, but I trust will create sufficient disturbance that you begin asking some serious questions about most churches today.
“The great heresies in the early Church arose, not from the rapid expansion resulting from the work of these unknown teachers; but in those Churches which were the longest established, and where the Christians were not busily engaged in converting the heathen round them. The Church of that day was…quite fearless of any danger that…large numbers of what we should call illiterate converts might lower the standard of Church doctrine. She held the tradition handed down by the Apostles, and expected the new converts to grow up into it, to maintain it and to propagate it. And so in fact they did. The danger to the doctrine lay not in these illiterate converts on the outskirts; but…amongst the more highly educated and philosophically minded Christians. It was against them that she had to maintain the doctrine.” (The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It, page 29).
While this statement will not be appreciated by most, it demands our attention. Why are there still so many unreached people groups who have not heard the gospel? Have we placed the emphasis more on doctrine than on the charge of Matthew 28:19-20? Or does this problem stem from a distrust of the Holy Spirit to “lead them into all truth” (John 16:13)? I love our growing family, diapers and all. Everyone has a job to do, using his or her God-given gift, and….. we are multiplying! It is estimated that in the first six years of the Jerusalem church, it grew by 7,000 to 20,000. In that time, “they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). What are you and your church doing?
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