Friday, September 7, 2012

Francis Schaeffer on Church Planting

I was in a conversation the other day and was reminded of this quotation by Francis Schaeffer.  It comes from his book The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century (1970).
I see the second problem of those who left the UPCUSA as a confusion over where to place the basic chasm that marks off our identity.  Is the chasm placed between Bible-believing churches and those that are not, or is it between those who are Presbyterian and Reformed and those who are not?  When we go into a town to start a church, do we go there primarily motivated to build a church that is loyal to Presbyterianism and the Reformed Faith?  Or do we go to build a church that will preach the gospel that historic, Bible-believing churches of all denominations hold, and then, on this side of that chasm, teach what we believe is true to the Bible with respect to our own denominational distinctives?  The answers to these questions make a great deal of difference.  There is a difference of motivation, of breadth and outreach.  One view is catholic and biblical and gives promise of success--on two levels: first, in church growth and healthy outlook among those we reach; second, in providing leadership to the whole church of Christ.  The other view is inverted and self-limiting--and sectarian.  The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century in The Complete Works (vol. 4), p. 99.