A word one seldom hears….”ecclesiology”….. what we believe about “church”…This article from Chuck Colson Center for Biblical Worldview sheds some light.
Evangelical Hubris by T.M. Moore 3/2/15 Chuck Colson Center for Biblical Worldview
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!” Mark 7:9
The Scriptures teach that the Bible is “profitable” to prepare those who rely on it for “every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Would we consider that the work of building the Church a “good work”? After all, building the Church is the stated agenda of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the reason He has given pastors and teachers to local churches (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 4:11, 12). Surely this is a good work?
If so, and I think we can agree on this, then it stands to reason that, in the work of building the Church, we should rely first and foremost, and above all else, on the teaching of the Scriptures. It would be the height of hubris, would it not, to do otherwise, and thus to suggest that we know better than God how to build His Church? The Word of God is profitable and clear about how we are to take up the Lord’s agenda and build the Church. It remains for us to ensure that this is, in fact, what we are doing.
A Lesson from Moses
When God called Moses up to the mountain in order to give him the Law of God, He also included specific instructions concerning how to erect the sanctuary where God had determined to make His dwelling in the midst of His people.
Repeatedly, the Lord commanded Moses, “Be sure that you build it according to the pattern revealed to you on the mountain.” That was not a suggestion; it was a commandment. God knew how He wanted His dwelling-place to be built – what it should look like, what should transpire there, who was to do what, and when, and how the continuing work of celebrating and serving Him should go forward.
Can we imagine Moses and the people of Israel taking those explicit instructions and saying, in effect, “Those are helpful insights and good ideas. But let’s see what everybody thinks about how we should build the dwelling-place of God. After all, we’ve got some clever people here, and we want to take everyone’s interests, concerns, and needs into consideration.”
Yeah. That would be hubris of the first order, to think that, in the face of God’s explicit instructions, the people could improve on His plan by doing what suited them best, rather than what He had clearly revealed. God knew what He wanted in a dwelling-place, and the people knew what they should do.
Now as Then
God knew it then, and He knows it now. He has shown us how we are to do to the work of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherever He has clearly commanded us to do something, or taught us how we must take up the good work of building His Church, we must rely on the teaching of Scripture as our guide and standard. To do otherwise, to omit anything God requires or to try to carry out God’s instructions in our own ways would be hubris – overweening pride and insolence before the Lord.
In the contemporary Church, however, taking God at His Word is not always what we do. We are like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who set aside the commandment of God to follow their tradition, because they thought they had a better idea. Many church leaders today give mere lip-service to the teaching of Scripture, while they pursue the work of building the Church according to practices, ideas, goals, and objectives which they have either imported from the secular world or made up whole cloth out of their own minds.
Not all churches are guilty of this practice of “Corban” – substituting our ideas, plans, and preferred ways for the plain teaching of God’s Word – but to the extent that any are, they are in direct violation of the commandment of God; they are not building the dwelling-place of the Lord according to what He has clearly revealed in Scripture; they are evidencing hubris and self-reliance; and they have no right to expect of God the blessings He promises to those who follow faithfully in His Truth.
And it could just be that this is why those promised blessings – precious and very great promises, great things and mysteries, turning our world upside-down for Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:4; Jer. 33:3; Acts 17:1-9) – continue to elude us.