16 November 2008

Why Commit to a Local Church?

Some great introductory thoughts on the local church!
For those who attended "Deep Rooted" on 11/11/08, Josh Harris' thoughts are a great addition to the conversation on commitment and loyalty to the local church.  For those of you who were not there, this video is a great starting place.  
Our contention last Tuesday was simply this: that we emphasize the adjective “local” when discussing churches because local churches;
1. follow the example of churches in the New Testament,
2. provide the best context for Christ-exalting unity,
3. provide the best leadership for the Great Commission.

The topic stirred so many good questions** that it seemed appropriate to develop a series of posts that address them more thoroughly.

Here are the questions I will take a shot at so far (feel free to let me know of more);

1) In your message you say it is a good thing for local churches to have distinctives in regard to values and doctrine?  Isn't there one truth on every issue and shouldn't that one truth unite us? Aren't you, by saying that multiple local churches with different doctrines are good, just saying that Truth is relative and therefore left to interpretation by each church?

2) You keep emphasizing commitment to a particular group of believers.  Are you saying church membership is covenantal on the order of marriage?  Isn't that a little cultish? 

3) Does that mean a person can never leave a local church in good conscience?

4) Are you saying that the local church is the only place for me to develop relationships?

5) How do I discern between finding a church where I can commit and church shopping to avoid the sanctifying effect of committed community?

**If you are interested in more discussion regarding Summitview's understanding of the local church you can read the notes on the topic from our membership class.


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