Reflections On The Church

Kurt M. Pfaff

It has been a distinct pleasure for my wife and me to have met brother Albert Farley on several occasions during the past few years. As each brief meeting would end, brother Farley, in his kind, gentle manner, would suggest that I write an article for a future issue of the West Virginia Christian. While I was not opposed to such an undertaking, I wondered what I would write about that would be of any importance or significance that others would want to read of my reflections. Nevertheless, the more I observed the Lord's church being attacked and subverted in these recent years, from both within and without, I believed I needed to stand up as an individual Christian and protest the blatantly humanistic and secularistic influences coursing within and around the brotherhood. It is not my intention to be hurtful or insulting to anyone. My interest and intent is to express my gross displeasure with several situations. As such, the following comments are being entered after prayerful consideration.

I am writing from the perspective of a person who was added to the body of Christ after abandoning the mixed-up world of denominationalism. This being the case, I am saddened by some tendencies within particular congregations of the Lord's church to begin behaving as the denominations of the religious world. To me, this is like a dog returning to its own vomit (2 Peter 2:22). As a convert from Lutheranism, I find it incomprehensible that congregations of the Lord's church, the body of Christ, would want to follow the unscriptural design, customs, habits, and beliefs of the denominational world. Where in God's word does it say to baptize infants? Where does God's word accept women as preachers or elders? Where does God's word say that preachers and members should celebrate Christmas and Easter, with all their trappings, as religious holidays? Where in God's word does it say to observe the Lord's Supper only once a month or once a year or to change the elements of the feast? Where in God's word do we find justification for the use of mechanical instruments in the worship service? Where in God's word can we find scriptural justification for organized clergy and religious orders? Where in God's word can we find justification for changing God's word to fit our 21st century dilemmas (divorce, abortion, homosexuality, political correctness, etc.)? Where in God's word do we find the name of any denomination (Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist, etc.)? Where in God's word can one find justification for some of the unscriptural directions of the current craze known as the change movement? These questions represent only the tip of the secularistic and humanistic iceberg floating in the religious seas.

As a convert on a bitterly cold Sunday evening in January 1971, I thank God that I have been freed from such utter nonsense. God's pure unadulterated word as evidenced in the New Testament has unchained me from the fetters of man's erroneous beliefs and follies, but what do I sadly observe happening within the brotherhood? Perhaps it's the squeaky wheel clamoring for attention, but we have elders, preachers, and members wanting to return to the sow's wallow, the dog's vomit, or the sinful ways of denominationalism. Where in God's word can they find reason for rebinding, for reshackling themselves to man's religious design, when they have available to them God's perfect design? Christ freed us from all this religious drivel, yet there are still people who desire to return to such idolatry. How sad it is. Paul wrote to Timothy to preach the word, convince, rebuke, exhort because people will not endure sound doctrine and their itching ears will seek out teachers who will turn them from the truth (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

I implore other New Testament Christians to prayerfully stand up, be counted, and work against these Satan-driven influences. In so doing, be encouraged and strengthened by God's word in Romans 1:16, Galatians 1:6-8, and Galatians 5:1, because the power is truly in the word, in the gospel of Christ. Only God could make the gospel plan of salvation so simple and easy to understand. Only man could make salvation so complicated and utterly impossible. Let us take a large measure of comfort and encouragement from Matthew 19:26, "But Jesus looked at them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. -3655 Buffalo Road, Allegany, NY 14706. (716) 372-9001.

(Editor's Note: Brother Kurt Pfaff is a retired school administrator. He and his wife, Lois, are the parents of Erik Pfaff, who recently received his master's degree from FHU. Erik and his wife, Adrianne, are now serving as missionaries in Yekaterinburg, Russia.)


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