Recent events have led me to ponder the following questions: What good is it to say that one is submitted to a local church's leadership if one persistently speaks folly and heaps shame upon that church? What good is actually being submitted to a local church's leadership if that church never helps the submitted person see where he is saying foolish things in widely public arenas?
That's where I am with regard to Marcus Pittman of Crown Rights Media, an organisation that I (and we at Abolish Human Abortion) have wanted to like and with whom I (and we at A//∀) have wanted to work closely. Yet Pittman and his compatriot(s) have been busily engaged in driving us away from them.
This latest example has left me shaking my head more than most of the other examples I've seen.
I had been in a conversation on the Facebook page of the director of the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma's director, T. Russell Hunter, with an inquirer who was asking me about ecclesiology and whether an individual Christian would ever be in the right if s/he were to call out sin in another group of people who regularly meet in a building on which the sign includes the word "church".
As part of my answer, I told her this:
We don't need to be ordained by some ecclesiastical body, touched on the shoulder with the Scepter of Ecclesiastical Approval, to do what Jesus said.This is, as far as I'm concerned, a no-brainer. Who seriously thinks that no Christian should do anything until his pastor tells him? Are we to demonstrate no initiative of our own before loving our neighbor? Does Marcus Pittman phone his presbytery to ask them whether he should share the Gospel with Joe Doe on the street (and I'm talking about when he doesn't have a HD camera with him)?
We need to just go ahead and do what Jesus said.
Yet Pittman, though having long since left off any participation in that thread, was waiting with bated breath for someone to say something he could sink his claws into. And in my comment, for whatever reason, he found it!
What the Anti-Church people say "We don't need to be ordained by some ecclesiastical body, touched on the shoulder with the Scepter of Ecclesiastical Approval, to do what Jesus said. We need to just go ahead and do what Jesus said."
What Jesus Said - "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."
This is simply laughable.
I am good terms with every church I have ever attended. I recently left one church to join another immediately, and my current church received with joy my family and me into membership 4 weeks ago. My church has two elders.
Yes, I am a credobaptist and thus am a member of a Baptist church. I don't see Pittman ripping Dr. James White with the same type of sloganeering and pathetic fault-finding just because they differ in ecclesiology.
No, this isn't about ecclesiology at all. This is about Pittman (and to some extent his associates) doing what they can to find fault with anyone associated with Abolish Human Abortion.
I entirely and wholeheartedly reject and disaffirm the label "Anti-Church". How dare Pittman say this about a brother. This is a serious accusation of serious sin. One would hope Pittman would have some evidence. Alas, he has none.
Obviously in principle I agree 100% that "We need to just go ahead and do what Jesus said" includes joining and submitting oneself to a church with elder government. Pittman can (and, apparently, just might!) search in vain among the millions of words I've written for any indication I disagree with that.
That to which I object is the Rome-flavored idea that somehow we must await permission from our church's elders before obeying what the Scripture says.
Would Pittman's church's elders really prefer that he ding-dong them before doing good works? Do they need to be the source of every idea for doing good works in which anyone in their congregation engages? Or would they prefer that the congregants take it upon themselves to obey the Scripture with joy, of their own volition? Isn't the job of an elder tough enough without having to write an encyclical granting the faithful the right to obey Jesus every time a new specific possibility pops up?
There is nothing wrong with what I said. If Pittman were engaging his obviously prodigious intellect in fairness, he would see that and assent to it, but he is not inclined to be fair these days, not to brethren against whom he is an acting as an enemy. It is truly sad to see, and I am grieved.