(Not) The “Only Perfect Church”

(Not) The “Only Perfect Church”

These are the words of Bill Legg, a member of Reformation Presbyterian Church (who also happens to be Baptist in his theology!). I pass them along for no other reason than they were some of the most encouraging words I have heard in the whole time I’ve served in pastoral ministry.

“I am not a pastor/elder in my church. So, I am not speaking on behalf of my church. I am a man under authority, not with authority. I am merely speaking about my church.

“My church–the local church to which I belong–is far from perfect. After all, I’m a member. Any church that has Bill Legg as a member is, at best, a work in progress.

“My church is a Orthodox Reformed Presbyterian church–a church that is, as we like to say, always reforming. My church is not always changing with the social and philosophical seasons and whims of our day, but rather always seeking to continually reform by being more conformed each day to the image of Christ. Like the sanctification of each member, the sanctification of my church is a progressive sanctification.

“My church is neither an island nor an oasis. We are a community of believers–just one, small community of many around the world that love the Lord, His Word, and His gospel. My church loves relationship and fellowship with other Christocentric, Gospel-centered churches.

“The above preface is important lest what I’m about to say comes across as cocky, arrogant, or boastful. I hope what I’m about to say will be received and understood with the above in mind.

“As I thought about the below headline, I thought about my little church in Virginia Beach. I thought about pastors and church members in China and other parts of the world who are ready to lose their lives for the sake of Christ and His gospel. I thought about the ancient-past and modern-day martyrs who have already taken up their crosses and followed Christ to glory.

“And then I thought about my church.

“When the level of persecution presently facing Christians in China, parts of Africa, and elsewhere reaches the United States (and make no mistake; it’s coming), I believe my church family will be ready to lose their lives for Christ’s sake. Not because my church is the best or bravest; not because we’re the most evangelistic; not because we’re seeking martyrdom; but rather because our pastor/elders daily try to teach and disciple us to die to self, live for Christ, love the Bride of Christ, and love the lost.

“We don’t come close to always getting it right. Again, I’m a member. Therefore, a perfect score is impossible. But I think we’re ready (and continuing to get ready) for the persecution that, I believe, is inevitable.

“This is one reason why I love my church family and why I’m thankful for the men who shepherd us.”

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