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The visible church is...apostate

Certainly when we take the world as a whole, we are obliged to see that the foundations of liberty and honesty are being destroyed, and the slow achievements of centuries are being thrown recklessly away.

In such a time of kaleidoscopic changes, is there anything that remains unchanged? When so many things have proved to be untrustworthy, is there anything that we can trust?

One point, at least, is clear – we cannot trust the church. The visible church, the church as it now actually exists upon this earth, has fallen too often into error and sin.

No, we cannot appeal from the world to the church.

Well, then, is there anything at all to which we can appeal? Is there anything at all that remains constant when so many things change?

I have a very definite answer to give to that question. It is contained in a verse taken from the prophecy of Isaiah [40:8]: “The grass withers, the flower fades: but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” There are many things that change, but there is one thing that does not change. It is the Word of the living and true God. The world is in decadence, the visible church is to a considerable extent apostate; but when God speaks we can trust Him, and His Word stands forever sure. - Gresham Machen, The Christian View of Man (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, [1937] 1984), 13-14.

This quote from Machen reminds me how asinine Christians are who say you have to belong to a local church. As if they are standing on some higher moral ground. Their churches stink. Uniformly. But they say: "Oh, but not all of us visible churches stink! Some of us are confessional and operate in a robust orthodox manner!" Yes, usually with the only two little debits that you hate the biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty in regeneration (and regeneration itself) and you hate a God-preserved, received Bible. Basically, you hate the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Those two little tiny things.

And you're all scared to death of the world and the world's opinion. Especially those of you who think and profess that you don't.

Meanwhile Christ's soldiers are on the street. Solo on the battlefield like Grail knights. Getting mocked from every direction including your direction, the direction of the visible church.

"Well, why don't you, if you are so on-the-mark and courageous, come and join us and make us stronger?"

You don't want real Christians in your communion. You demand to pull everything down to your level, and you police your environment. You want obsequious churchians willing to be led by seminary-stunted 'scholars' who have been taught that they are 'mediators' of 'means of grace'; both lies from the Devil himself. Attaching the phrase 'means of grace' to ritual 'sacraments' is as unbiblical as blood drinking. It's the old Romanist priest craft come back alive.

Christians are prophets, priests, and kings. Where do you see kings gathered together? On the battlefield. That's the only place.

What makes Christians? The word of God. Nothing else. Not your academic constructed 'bibles', the real thing. The thing you hate the most. The Traditional, *received* text. The text you have to *look up to.* The text you have to humble yourself to. The text that doesn't need you more than you need it.

That real word of God is where regeneration happens when it happens. Regeneration, the main thing. With it, you're in a new world. Without it, you're in the same old world, no better than dumb atheists.


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