Friday, October 20, 2006

"Hutch" Exhorts "Unity without Compromise" and Salico Assails the "Heresy" of Absolute Autonomy

On the second day of the first Annual Meeting for the newly formed Transformation Ministries, standing room only conferees heard keynote speaker Ken Huthcherson call for “unity without compromise” and exhort listeners to take church discipline seriously. Employing the incident of Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree he explained that to advertise the wares without the fruit was the basis for Christ’s condemnation.

Applying the text to today, he reminded the church leaders that if you have the trappings of religion such as congregations, organization, infra-structure and the like, you better deliver the goods as well. One listener told me that he saw the application as being one comparing the ABC to the barren fig tree cursed by God and reminding those of us in TM of the danger of following this fruitless pattern.

In the afternoon, Dr. Dale Salico, preached on 1 Peter 2:4-7. He asked who is the “living stone” and who are the “living stones” mentioned in the text. Contrary to his former understanding of this text, he found that Peter refers to the churches in the area, not to the individuals in the congregation. A proper understanding of the text assails the “heresy of the utter independence and absolute autonomy of the local church,” Salico declared.

According to the executive of Transformation Ministries, an over emphasis upon congregational autonomy is wrong because . . .
* It is contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible
* It debilitates the church’s mission
* It destroys pastors

In illustration of the final point, he screened a video clip from the movie Spider Man where the discouraged hero discards his outfit and abandons his mission. He encouraged those who were feeling like Spider Man to take comfort from 1 Peter 2:4-7 and to “come and let yourself be placed in the building among other churches as a spiritual house.

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