Wednesday, August 19, 2015

When to Leave a Church

When should one leave a church? Over at Bible Study Tools, Jeff Robinson quotes John MacArthur. He advises (and provides biblical rationale) that you should consider leaving a church if:

  1. Heresy on some fundamental truth is being taught from the pulpit (Gal. 1:7–9).
  2. The leaders of the church tolerate seriously errant doctrine from any who are given teaching authority in the fellowship (Rom. 16:17).
  3. The church is characterized by a wanton disregard for Scripture, such as a refusal to discipline members who are sinning blatantly (1 Cor. 5:1–7).
  4. Unholy living is tolerated in the church (1 Cor. 5:9–11).
  5. The church is seriously out of step with the biblical pattern for the church (2 Thess. 3:6, 14).
  6. The church is marked by gross hypocrisy, giving lip service to biblical Christianity but refusing to acknowledge its true power (2 Tim. 3:5).
This pretty much nails the Episcopal church and the reason why so many faithful Christians have fled.

Jeff Robinson advises people to stick around and be a gracious, reforming presence and avoid exacerbating the problems in their local body.

It is difficult or next to impossible to avoid exacerbating problems in the local body while attempting to be a reforming presence if you are embedded in a church that has wedded itself to the zeitgeist.

Reformation will always stir up "problems" in such a circumstance because a church wouldn't need a solution like reformation if it didn't have problems to begin with.

The problem with the Episcopal church is that it does not believe that it has a problem.

Those who stick around as a reforming presence will need to have the patience of  Gabe Kotter in the television series, "Welcome Back Kotter."

(Cue the scene where Vinnie wants to become a priest)

If Fr. Vinnie Barbarino shows up at your church, it is definitely time to leave.


  1. Anonymous12:15 AM

    They elected Michael Curry as the Presiding Bishop. You know, the guy who's not ashamed to mention the name of Jesus and who's passionate about discipleship and evangelism?

    Remember, their outgoing PB has VERY rarely mentioned Christ's name, and one of her Easter messages felt more like a UN speech on climate change than an Easter sermon. She doesn't even believe Jesus is the only way to salvation.

    For them to go from "Her Grace" to Curry shows that they DO recognize they have a problem.

  2. The PB elect is all for evangelizing the false gospel of same sex marriage as witnessed by his votes and actions at General Convention. He is part of the problem