It is impossible to know exactly what this author means by "the church." Apparently he means either all professing Christians or all churches, and not one of these meanings is a scriptural use of the term. In the biblical sense of the church as an assembly of baptized believers which is organized after the New Testament pattern for the fulfillment of the Lord's Great Commission, certainly I know many men who continually seek spiritual revival in their own personal lives and for their churches and who are yearning to see obedience and power and faith in all of the Lord's churches. It is also important to understand that in the New Testament epistles we don't see spiritual revival portrayed as an event, but as a way of life.
The article comes with a sidebar entitled "Brokenness and Hope" which lists eight things that Christians need to repent from in order to have revival, but the most serious problems in the churches are not even mentioned! Not one of those eight things mentions sin. Not one mentions apostasy and doctrinal error and false teaching. Not one mentions false gospels and sacramentalism and the confusion of grace and works. Not one mentions immorality. Not one mentions carnality and worldliness.
What does Promise Keepers want the churches to repent of? The longest one of the list has to do with one of the Promise Keepers theme songs: UNITY! "Repent of the disunity of the church that makes it impossible for God to pour out a broad-based spiritual awakening. ... We must repent of divisiveness caused by our denominationalism ..."
This entirely ignores the fact that much of denominational disunity is because of differences in doctrine, and God's Word plainly requires us to separate on the basis of doctrine. Timothy's job in Ephesus was to make certain that no one be allowed to teach "any other doctrine" (1 Timothy 1:3). He was to transmit the exact doctrine which he had been taught by the Apostle Paul; and those who heard him were, in their turn, to do the same. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, THE SAME commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2). We are to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This does not allow us to have an easy-going attitude toward doctrine which we know to be contrary to the Scriptures. As a result, there must be divisions based on doctrine, and many, if not most, of the denominational and church divisions are precisely of this nature.
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of justification
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of Christ
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of the Holy Spirit
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of the inspiration of Scripture
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of sin
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of the atonement
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of sanctification
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of baptism
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of the Lord's Supper
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of the church
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of the church's purpose and ministry
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines pertaining to the church's relation to secular government
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of eternal security
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines of spiritual gifts
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines pertaining to prophecy
-- There is disunity because of different doctrines pertaining to morality
We could multiply this list many times over. I reject the false Promise Keepers "repentance." I am not going to repent of trying to stand firm for every detail of the Word of God and of separating from those who are teaching what I believe to be false doctrines. For Promise Keepers to call upon God's people to do this is rebellion against the Word of God.
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