Has this ever happened to you? You are enjoying a conference and someone slides up next to you and begins firing questions. What denomination do you belong to? Who ordained you? Where did you get your education? With a pained expression on your face, dear brother, are you suffering a coronary attack?
I was reared a Presbyterian; but after my conversion, I was driven out of my boyhood church. The church of my fathers wanted me to have a social Marxist conscience instead of zeal to examine and value everything against Scripture. Well, that's not quite true. At first it was O.K., maybe even cute, to question things like clothing styles, entertainment preferences or cultural matters in general; but when I began to ask why my church didn't value the Westminster Confession of Faith as apparently it had in the past, I was sternly told to go to the fundamentalists. They collectively told me to go to Hell. Well, that's not quite right either. Two of my Presbyterian brothers wrote letters to the church requesting my ex-communication. The letters didn't mention doctrine, however; instead they accused me of racism because I questioned the "Christian" character of the civil-rights movement. My pastor visited my home with the proper churchman face sort of an emotionally unstable smile pasted on a moronic face that threatened tears, panic or laughter the instant anyone with normal testosterone levels hinted at the slightest disagreement. That's how I came to be banished and dwelt in "non-mainstream church circles." In these circles, at conferences, folks would slide up and ask questions also. Those questions had a different focus. How big is your church? How many are in your Sunday School? How many new members/baptisms last year? In other words, the questions were seeking credentials based on demonstrated achievement instead of academic pieces of paper. How refreshing also to note that these churches had some men who needed to shave every day not a lot but a phenomenal increase over the old hard women, soft men and children of my boyhood church.
Both groups, however, shared some things in common. Both argued constantly over what they sincerely felt were principles but in reality were personality struggles for power and property. If doctrine came up as an issue, it was a mask behind which danced the real issues: the petty lust for power and the bigger lust for property.
My next journey was outside the camp (see Heb. 13:13) to the high mountains of Christian Reconstruction. Here, I sadly report, I met up with some of my old friends from my boyhood church. True, they are the more robust of the species but they too often drag after them the soiled garments of denominational notions. It seems they would 1000 times prefer study to duty. My task with Grace Community Schools is to constantly seek men to start Christian day care/schools as a seed bed to grow orthodox churches without the need to beg at the table of antinomian/social Marxists. Some people write, "Send me your literature, information, books. I want to study how you do this." When they discover my system involves "demonstrated achievement" instead of academic degrees they frequently go away very sad. They make clicking noises not unlike black bugs fleeing bright light. "Do you mean to say, anyone can use your system without a proper Presbyterian education?" "Why, of course," I merrily reply; "If you need people with credentials after you have established your school, just hire them. There seems to be a huge supply; therefore, their price is very reasonable." I don't use that very honest and happy response any more. For some reason, it just didn't work.
I don't want to be too harsh on my brothers, comparing them to insects loving darkness. I apologize and beg forgiveness. Sometimes my Irish wiseacre humor overpowers me. Seriously, what my brothers want is "proper Reformed credentials"; therefore, some of your fellow Reconstructionist associates and I have founded Nicene Covenant Fellowship of Churches and Schools, inc. To those who can endorse the creed found inside the front cover of the Chalcedon Report, we provide legal cover for ordination and establishment of your church or school. We need this because Caesar asks questions about ordination and credentials for different and more important reasons. For example, several pastors have asked us to recognize their ordinations, because their ordaining agency either didn't obtain government recognition or was unwilling to help "one of those."
We also carefully established Nicene Covenant Fellowship as an organization that cannot own property. We are very proud of that provision. We believe we just eliminated 99 percent of the reasons for a church fight. Also we have no salaried officers. How about that? We seek peace and unity with our brothers. For information, please write, Nicene Covenant Church, 4405 Outer Dr., Naples, Fl 34108.
Honestly, we can't compare you to an insect well, maybe a beautiful cocoon ready to burst open to reveal another warrior for Christ's dominion. Butterflies are the ancient Christian symbol that when we die to the fear and greed of our human natures, we are transformed into the most beautiful of creatures. See page 194 of Gary Moore's Ten Golden Rules for Financial Success. Ordinary denominations, on the other hand, seem to be moths that consume our substance. Are there any warriors out there in need of denominational armour? Write to us today!
- Ellsworth McIntyre