Monday, October 19, 2020

Politics and the local church

Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, a church with many politically active congregants,  on what unifies us and what might divide us as church members:
Here is the broad outline:
  1. Things feel tense.
  2. We are united.
  3. We have differences.
  4. We’ll be fine.
He enumerated three levels of unity in the church:
  1. Salvific matters: unity around the Gospel (matters of salvation; necessary moral entailments of the gospel—church attendance, adultery, abortion)
  2. Church matters: unity around those things needed to have a church (who are the subjects of baptism, when and how will we meet on the Lord’s Day).
  3. Disputable matters: areas in which we can both differ and yet be covenanted together in a local church, persevering peacefully and edifyingly even through our differences (meat sacrificed to idols, drinking alcohol, the American Revolution, the ultimate hope for Israel). ....
He then helps the congregation think through questions like:
  • How important are our differences? Are the political differences we are experiencing today like slavery was? Do they rise to the level of salvation?
  • If our differences are not at the level of salvation, are our political differences at the level of those things we must agree on in order to have a church (subjects of baptism, when and how we will meet)?
  • Or are they matters about which we can sustain disagreement.
  • At which level are various political differences best understood?
Mark Dever on Politics and the Local Church

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