This is a short four-part series examining some of the things the Presbyterian Church in America, could, and I would say should, learn from Soma Communities, a group of churches in the Northwest.
Are We On The Wrong Side Of The Argument?
As I have studied the Reformation, I’ve often noticed this sense of renewal. A renewal that is more worried about Biblical fidelity than pleasing those around them. A renewal that seeks to walk in step with the early church. Many Reformed people are excited about what God did during the Reformation, but it’s almost as if we believed that God will never again give that kind of renewal.
Instead, we settle for what we see around us, and what can be done through our own power. How many of us end up trying to maintain in our own strength a church tradition that the Spirit built in his power.
Praise God! This type of renewal is not extinct! Not even in North America! I have seen the heart of a Biblical Reformation in our day. One that is seeking the glory of God over the approval of man. One that is actively seeking to bring people to faith and repentance with all of their energy. Soma is not flawless, but the Spirit of Christ is using their weakness for his eternal glory.
Often many in PCA see themselves as being part of a movement seeking to carry the historic Reformed faith, into the future. We imagine that we are the underdog fighting against “the man” for the sake of Jesus. Yet, as I think about our posture towards so much of the church, including Soma, I wonder if we have not ourselves become “the man.”
Have we allowed the idea of doing things “decently and in order,” to be twisted into an idol of control, stubbornness, and pride? Would we be willing to rethink some of the specifics of our systems if brothers in the Lord could show us that Biblical fidelity in 21st Century America should look different than it did in 16th Century Europe? If our default is to say, “let them go somewhere else,” then maybe we have become “the man”.
I say this all so that we might repent of our fear, and begin to trust that God is who He says He is. The Father is on His throne, with the Son at His right hand, and the Spirit is on the move! Move with Him.