Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Lone Ranger

I took this picture just outside of Waco, Texas a few days ago. This billboard is an advertisement for the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Museum. (Where my distant relative or something like that is inshrined.)

Unfortunatly the Lone Ranger mentality is a very common mindset in the Western Hemisphere. We believe that independence is important. We believe that we should "pick ourselves up from out boot straps" when we fall down. This line of thinking has bled into our Christian lives as well. There are also many who proclaim to be Christians who believe that they dont need to attend a local church body. They use the excuse to not be active members of a local church body because they think that they can worship God while they are fishing or while they at work in their flower garden on a Sunday morning, which is true they can but that is not the point.

R.C. Sproul expresses his sentiment concerning the Lone Ranger mentality very clearly. He states, "It is both foolish and wicked to suppose that we will make much progress in sanctification if we isolate ourselves from the visible church. It is common place to hear people declare that they dont need to unite with a church to be a Christian. They calim that their devotion is personal and private, not intitutional or corporate. This is not the testimony of the great saints of history: it is the confession of fools."

In the book "Why Small Groups", C.J. Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries, writes "There is a common yet false supposition among Christians that practicing the spiritual disciplines (prayer, memorizing and meditating on Scripture, fasting, confession of sin, etc.) is sufficient to maintain spiritual growth. But as vial as these practices are, they are not sufficient. Small groups provide the encouragemnet, correction and accountability that are necessary to keep us from drifting. We need others to help us in our pursuit of sanctification.When you have a passion for personal change-and every Chrisitan should- then you will be glad when others challenge you to grow. This should not be seen as a abnormal, or as the domain of those with an unusual level of maturity. It should be viewed as the normal process that follows new birth, expressed in a desire to conform to the image of Jesus Christ. We should be seriously and unapologetically committed to change.

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