Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Could John Owen pastor a church today?

John Owen, the greatest of the Puritans, once wrote this:
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect."
Another Puritan, John Flavel (it seems they were ALL named John back then), wrote these words:
"Whatever religion or doctrine condones or makes allowances for sin is not of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ everywhere teaches self-denial and mortification of worldliness and sin. The whole stream of the gospel runs against those things. Scripture emphasizes the 'holy' and the 'heavenly' (not the sinful and the worldly). The true gospel has not even the slightest tendency to extol corrupt nature, or feed it's pride by magnifying it's freedom and power. And it rejects everything that undermines or obscures the merit of Christ, or tries to give any credit to man, in any way. And it certainly never makes the death of Christ a cloak to cover sin, but rather it always speaks of it as an instrument that destroys it!"
How much of what goes on in the modern church can stand in the light of these statements?

1 comment:

Jim Pemberton said...

God's justice is a double-eged sword. Too often I see people call for justice against their enemies - and certainly Psalmists have written this from time to time. I suspect that these calls in the Bible are set forth tongue-in-cheek in that to ask for God's justice against one's enemies is to accept God's judgment against oneself. To whit, our plea for God's mercy must be done with an understanding of the lethality of our own guilt. In other words, we accept death knowing that God offers life where we are in no place to demand it.