A friend of mine in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area is reporting the rest of the news about what is happening at North Richland Hills:
For those who are not in the D/FW metropolis and want to know what’s happening with congregations after the announcement in last week’s Christian Chronicle…
The North Richland Hills congregation is losing membership very quickly. There is another rather large congregation in the area that has nearly doubled in size since the announcement – this would account for several hundred members alone. Several other congregations also report that they are receiving members who are “finally fed up” with the direction of their former congregation. Not sure where the final numbers will work out, but the effect is sure to be felt. I’m not sure that this significant piece of news will make it into the Christian Chronicle or not.
There appear to be far fewer proponents of the instrument than some would lead us to believe.
People think that compromise and union with error will make our churches larger. Not always. What happens is that people who see the truth finally tire and leave. The progressives have pushed and pushed their postmodern agenda until they have driven off members who will no longer put up with their watered-down convictions.
Of course, some are reasoning that they had to get rid of the objectors in order to advance the cause of union with the Christian church. My, how disposable are their souls? Their love for the instrumentalists and "unity" seems to be greater than their respect for their own people who have convictions!
Loose religion attracts people who want a non-threatening faith, but it is difficult to get progressives to take a firm stand except against "traditionalists."
We have seen changes in Nashville as well. One group wanted change and shrunk from 3700 down to half that size. Another group with a progressive leader has shrunk from 2300 to 1400. This is the other side of this movement, often not noticed by those with the agenda for change.
Truth does matter; and before there can be real "unity," there must be a sanctification in the truth. The unity of John 17 was both relational and doctrinal. Can anyone seriously entertain the idea that Jesus in being one with His Father agreed to disagree but get along? Jesus said otherwise: “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority" (John 7:16-17). I seriously doubt if those who have been prooftexting John 17 have taken enough time to look closely at it. The suggestion that we suspend doctrine and judgment in order to be unified is simply error.
Unity includes all of us agreeing with God doctrinally and relationally. You just cannot separate doctrine from relation (John 8:31-32). True disciples don't.
May the Lord help our broken and bleeding body to heal with truth and love.