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Evangelizing The Evangelical: 'There Is No Perfect Church'

As a former Evangelical, I started a new series many months ago called "Evangelizing The Evangelical" that specifically intended to piggyback off of the already stellar work that Pastor Todd Wilken and Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller have done in their "Responding To Evangelical Cliches" series on Issues, Etc for awhile now.

My intent was to simply emphasize and underscore the content they provided for anyone who may have missed it there by sharing it here.

Plus, if it helped to faithfully confess "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) to those who currently believed the types of things that I once believed myself, then I figured that would be even better.

I only published a few entries in this series though.

Evangelizing The Evangelical: 'Give And It Will Be Given To You' (Luke 6:38) 
Evangelizing The Evangelical: Revelation 3:20 Is Not About The Lost, Unbeliever 
Evangelizing The Evangelical: The Divine Liturgy Explained

For whatever reason, it's been a little hit-or-miss as you can see.

Well, I think it's time for a new entry.

Scratch that! I know it's time for a new entry, because I have a confession to make.

One of these American Evangelical cliches is something that I've continued to believe, teach, and confess even after becoming a Lutheran! In fact, I think I may have even wrote these very words as recently as just a few days ago too!

So, naturally, I had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I went to the Issues, Etc. On-Demand Archive this past weekend to catch up on the latest installment, read the title, and then felt my face turning hot and red (as only a redhead's can) and even though no one else was around!

AUDIO: Responding To Evangelical Clichés: "There's No Perfect Church"

Whew! It was comforting and reassuring to hear Pastor Wilken admit at the very outset of that discussion that he has used this cliche often and recently, and that it's true too, but that the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to the way in which Evangelicals use it.

For that reason, it's essential that I highlight here today particularly since the Evangelical (or any Christian for that matter) will often use this phrase whenever they want to downplay the importance of doctrine in Christ's Church. Yet, as we all know by know, doctrine heaven.

Pastor Wolfmueller accurately identifies the source of this seductive lie too. There are actually two culprits that play a key role in all of this. There's the "Assumption of the Church Shopper" and the "Assumption That There's No Right Doctrine" and both are sweet-sounding lies from the pit of hell itself that only tickle our ears (2 Timothy 4:3).

I don't want to give any more away and ruin it for you though. Please take 20-minutes to listen to this one. You won't regret it. It will truly help you to better understand what most people mean when they use this common phrase in the church today.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, this is the kind of truth that I wish I had been exposed to some 10 years ago, because perhaps then I would've been able to avoid sailing the "Works Righteousness Waters of American Evangelicalism" for as long as I did (almost making a shipwreck of my faith; 1 Timothy 1:19) before I was brought to rest upon the "Saved By Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone, In Christ Alone Shores" of the catholic, historic, traditional Confessional Lutheran (a.k.a. orthodox Christian) faith.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Executive Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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