PARACHURCH!

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Breadloaf

Puritan Board Freshman
Wondering what kind of view you all hold on the parachurch organizations, especially campus and college ministries like InterVarsity, Campus Crusade, Navigators.

My working philosophy right now is that a church is marked by teaching, sacraments, and baptism. (Teaching including preaching and Bible studies.) Of course we would get bent out of shape if Campus Crusade started offering communion, but what about when they teach?

My church has recently decided to send some members to serve in local parachurch orgainzations, but we're not trying to recruit students, we're just trying to encourage the Universal Church in my city. My concern is that when we teach all of God's Word to students, we build a strong foundation for them to persevere and serve. When we join the paras, we lose our theological distinctives, and end up teaching the students the 4 spiritual laws.

By opposing my church's "service" to the parachurch, am I opposing the work of the Spirit, or am I contending for the truth? Please help me as I struggle to hold fast to my conscience yet live in submission to my church and her mission.

Yours,
JK
PCA
Cambridge MA
:worms:
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
Check out the Reformed University Fellowship ministry at Harvard. RUF is a ministry of the PCA. The RUF ministries are lead by ordained ministers who are accountable to Presbytery.

Campus Minister: Mr. Bradley Barnes
343 Walden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 233-1332

[edited to remove unnecessary quote of the entire first post in this thread] :judge:

[Edited on 2-2-05 by pastorway]
 

Breadloaf

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by joshua
In turn, as you noted, we end up losing distinctives, etc. error, heresy, la la la....

Is that "la la la" meaning "the same old annoying trees that Reformed folks like to bark up" or "la la la" meaning simply "you know the drill"?

:detective:
-JK
PCA
Cambridge MA
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Breadloaf
Wondering what kind of view you all hold on the parachurch organizations, especially campus and college ministries like InterVarsity, Campus Crusade, Navigators.

My working philosophy right now is that a church is marked by teaching, sacraments, and baptism. (Teaching including preaching and Bible studies.) Of course we would get bent out of shape if Campus Crusade started offering communion, but what about when they teach?

My church has recently decided to send some members to serve in local parachurch orgainzations, but we're not trying to recruit students, we're just trying to encourage the Universal Church in my city. My concern is that when we teach all of God's Word to students, we build a strong foundation for them to persevere and serve. When we join the paras, we lose our theological distinctives, and end up teaching the students the 4 spiritual laws.

By opposing my church's "service" to the parachurch, am I opposing the work of the Spirit, or am I contending for the truth? Please help me as I struggle to hold fast to my conscience yet live in submission to my church and her mission.

Yours,
JK
PCA
Cambridge MA
:worms:

The PCA BCO 14-1.6 says, "The Church recognizes the right of individuals and congregations to labor through other agencies in fulfilling the Great Commission."

The PCA lends its ministers to labor in non-PCA ministries through cooperative agreements. While the agencies are given scrutiny by the GA, the minister is permitted to work so long as they are not required to compromise the Reformed faith. These agencies have varying sorts of "accountability" structures.

I would think that any Christian who works in a parachurch organization should conduct himself the same way. As long as they are free to express the Reformed faith, and are not associating with heretical views, that should be permitted.

Wisdom should be exercised in deciding which agencies to support.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Breadloaf
Wondering what kind of view you all hold on the parachurch organizations, especially campus and college ministries like InterVarsity, Campus Crusade, Navigators.

My working philosophy right now is that a church is marked by teaching, sacraments, and baptism. (Teaching including preaching and Bible studies.) Of course we would get bent out of shape if Campus Crusade started offering communion, but what about when they teach?

My church has recently decided to send some members to serve in local parachurch orgainzations, but we're not trying to recruit students, we're just trying to encourage the Universal Church in my city. My concern is that when we teach all of God's Word to students, we build a strong foundation for them to persevere and serve. When we join the paras, we lose our theological distinctives, and end up teaching the students the 4 spiritual laws.

By opposing my church's "service" to the parachurch, am I opposing the work of the Spirit, or am I contending for the truth? Please help me as I struggle to hold fast to my conscience yet live in submission to my church and her mission.

Yours,
JK
PCA
Cambridge MA
:worms:

As a former member of both Campus Crusade and IVCF, I would strongly discourage involvement in these parachurch ministries.

Campus Crusdade's Four Spiritual Laws are a blatant perversion of the gospel and can lead individuals to think they are in Christ based on their profession of faith even though they fail to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Gary North wrote a critique of Campus Crusade that is worth reading.

IVCF is a broad tent which includes Roman Catholics, for example, as well as Protestants. Do not look for a clear presentation of the gospel here, but one can find many good campfire songs if that satisfes.

The Parachurch (a ministry without oversight by the true church) is a dangerous thing. The good that can be found in parachurch ministries is depsite its nature not because of it.

Contend for the truth -- in doing so, you will be contending for the church, the pillar and ground of the truth, and not the parachurch. May God grant you wisdom in all things.
 

Puddleglum

Puritan Board Sophomore
My experience with Campus Crusade's been somewhat mixed. You tend to have a better chance of meeting other Christians on campus at their meetings than just hanging out in the caffeteria! They don't exactly have very sound teaching, though! I have some friends at school that I've met from going to their meetings - and I've had opportunity to have some good discussions with people because of this - but I do NOT view them as a substitute for church!
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I agree with Andrew and Josh.
Andrew, do you know where I can find this work by North? Or what is it called?
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
The Parachurch (a ministry without oversight by the true church) is a dangerous thing. The good that can be found in parachurch ministries is depsite its nature not because of it.

So you would not, for example, minister at a crisis pregnancy center that is not under the oversight of the "true church"?

Would you be opposed to elders teaching at a non-denominational seminary?
 

Breadloaf

Puritan Board Freshman
[/quote]

So you would not, for example, minister at a crisis pregnancy center that is not under the oversight of the "true church"?

Would you be opposed to elders teaching at a non-denominational seminary? [/quote]

That's a great question. Wow. Wish I though of that.

My reason for opposition to IV or CC and not the pregnancy center is that the pregnancy center is not competing with the church - sacraments, discipline, and TEACHING are the marks of a church. Teaching is the right and responsibility of the church. A pregnancy center is not trying to teach, and in fact, is probably a great common activity for christians of different denomonations to meet and work together - non-christians, too.

CC and IV would do well to perhaps offer a night of worship music, some fun fellowship activities with all the Christians on campus (trip to the beach, etc.) or a forum or debate to discuss the life of a Christian on campus. I can live with inter-denominational evangilism, although Mr. Huguenot is correct that the 4 spiritual laws are a bastardized version of the Gospel.

What they should NOT do is, specifically, Bible studies. Those who teach need to be under church authority. Hopefully "leaders" ARE under the authority of their local church, but who knows?

Even for a reformed group like ligionere ministries, I have to oppose it on principal UNLESS they are under the oversight of a church, which I believe they are.

Yours,
JK
PCA
Cambridge MA
 
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