Many Christians who are aware of what is taking place in the church of America today understand that it is in great need of reform. The glory of God is at stake. Much of what has been labeled Christianity has a distorted, shallow understanding of the gospel and this has greatly affected the minds of people. Now, there are many elements that make up a healthy church and certainly we make no claim to have a handle on all of them but we do hold to certain biblical truth we believe is lacking and is needed desperately in the church today.
Everything we do must start here. People must be fed the Word of God in order for it to have an effect on their mind, their heart, and their life. This comes through the event and the practice of preaching. Preaching should be the priority in the church and is to be held in high esteem. What God has to say to man is more important than anything else we do when we come together as a church. Furthermore, not just any approach to preaching will do. God’s people need preaching that communicates His revealed truth. In expository preaching the preacher must give the people what the Lord has proclaimed and not his own opinions or preferences. Therefore when the preacher takes a congregation through books of the Bible, the congregation gets the text as it was written, has the purpose of the text explained to them, and they actually learn the Bible. This is also beneficial to the preacher because as he presents the text in an expository fashion he submits himself to God’s Word and is forced to interact with the scripture text in ways that he might not otherwise and therefore he too learns from the text rather than trying to make the text say what he wants it to say.
GOD CENTERED GOSPEL AND WORSHIP
We must never turn away from the message of the gospel to a message of self improvement and success. It is our conviction that the gospel shatters self esteem. The gospel pulls the rug of self reliance out from under our feet and causes us to cast ourselves upon the mercy of God. The cross was not designed to make much of man but to reveal man’s corruption. To reconcile the world to Himself, God in love had to offer up His own Son and that does not show the worth of man but the depravity of man. As a consequence of the gospel being watered down worship has followed. If the gospel is man centered then worship will be as well. But, if God’s people understand their own inability and radical hostility toward God, it will cause us to see our need of His grace and to better appreciate His love through the cross. We believe that worship is to be weighty and not centered around the sinner but the Savior. If the gospel remains God centered then He will be glorified, man will be abased and it will cause us to lose our reliance on self righteousness and cling wholly and only to the cross of Christ where our righteousness alone can be found.