20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

in case you’re still on the fence

for those who have contemplated membership in the local church, but have never left their contemplative repose, here is one more reason why we so strenuously encourage membership. It’s not too late to sign up for this weekend’s Intro to PCPC Class, just email Debbie Blanton and you’ll be on the list. There will be no blood-test, body-cavity search, or inquiry into how your mother treated you. Nor will there be pop-quizzes on how much of the history of the Reformation you’re conversant in. This weekend is full of information but helpful in your thinking about why you keep showing up here week in and week out. Without that grasp of purpose and process, you will wander here, become bored, and end up setting a precedent in your own soul for attaching to a church in a half-baked way.

There are three things “dangerous” about PCPC.

By dangerous I mean that there are aspects of our church-culture that can too easily be misinterpreted. It’s not that we are purposefully intending to mislead, but sometimes that to which we aspire can give off some unintended messages.:

  1. We’re situated in a sub-culture that has certain values that militate against the kind of honest self-disclosure necessary for growth in grace. Insofar as we unwittingly reflect the sub-culture, who then would dispute that we can give off the impression of “having it all together,” of insinuating that our personal lives are firing on all 12 cylinders. They seem put together, a visitor might conclude; their hearts must also be. I could never be honest about how much rot lives in me. It’s a danger only amplified by the next danger.
  2. the congregation is so large, that you can easily camouflage yourself and never connect with, depend on, be accountable to anyone in the church….what’s doubly wrong with that is that you can convince yourself that you’re doing what members do simply by showing up and then slinking out
  3. there are so many opportunities for education within our church that you might conclude that spiritual maturity is entirely about knowledge-acquisition. Now, while having our minds transformed as Romans 12 admonishes is so much a part of what it means to be renewed, if you think you’re really growing because you’re attending all these courses, studies, sermon-series, but never communing or serving with the brethren, your sense of discipleship is fundamentally flawed. And I would dare say, you’re really not taking in what you’re exposing yourself to week in and week out, because if you were really meditating on what you hear regularly, it would compel your involvement in the life of the Body of Christ to be less one-dimensional (i.e. information-grab).

Now, hear me out. We’re aware of this and the Session of the Church labors regularly to root out where such dangers find a foothold. As it relates to what it means to be a member, know this. Authentic membership sees these dangers keenly and takes steps to avoid them, because they know what havoc they can wreak. So, if you’re a member, be a member. And if you’re not, become one. It’s time for us all to be who we are. (Romans 6:1-14)

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