The Church and the Good News

February 29, 2024 at 3:37 PM

Recently I read a headline that said, “Christian scholar urges evangelicals to abandon church as it's lost 'moral credibility'” 

I’ll admit I don’t know anything about this Christian scholar.  I’m not sure what he means by moral credibility.  But it concerns me that evangelicals are encouraged to abandon church by someone who supposedly understands what a Christian is and who the church is.  This makes no sense. 

First of all, we, at Westmount take the meaning of who the Church is very seriously.  The Oxford dictionary gives this definition: “A building used for public Christian worship.”  Many would agree that is a reliable definition. Yet, how can we take seriously statements by secular authorities who don’t even understand the basics of Christianity?

A concise definition would be as follows: The Church is the gathered people of God which is not just gathered on Sunday, but gathered together by the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ. We are a part of the Church if we have trusted in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and have come to Him in repentance, trusting Him for the forgiveness of our sins.

So, how can we abandon that? It is our core belief, on which we base all that we do and say.  We have been gathered together by God according to His sovereign will, grace, and mercy. God has gathered us together – we cannot undo what God has done.

Secondly, this scholar says that evangelicals ought to abandon the church. The word ‘evangelicals’ is sometimes used as a weapon against the church.  There are many who claim to be part of the church, and speak in authority as though they represent the church, who would back away from being called evangelical.

So, what does the term really mean? The term evangelical derives from the Greek word meaning “gospel” or “good news.” Technically speaking, evangelical refers to a person, church, or organization that is committed to the Christian gospel message that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of humanity. Evangelical can mean emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, emphasizing the authority of Scripture, and emphasizing the importance of preaching.

This cannot be separated from the church.  It is an integral part of what we believe and practice.  We are entrusted with the Good News.  It’s not something that people learn by deduction or induction.  They have to be told about it.

Should we abandon the church? No, we should not.  Now, more than ever, we have a solution to today’s social problems with the Good News of the power of God. It will change hearts and lives – it is the only lasting solution to the problems in this world.