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Finally, a Brave and Biblical Church Leader

Oct 16, 2019

Thank God for one bold and biblical churchman, Glenn Davies:

Today in far too many churches – including supposedly Bible-based evangelical churches – we find this mindset in action: ‘Hey, Jesus was a friend of sinners, and we should be as well. Thus we welcome all sinners into our churches. They can become members, they can join in all activities, they can even get involved in leadership roles, etc.’

That might sound loving and Christlike, but it is nothing of the sort. The church is a home of sinners to be sure – but sinners who have been forgiven and transformed by Christ. It is a place where the redeemed of the Lord meet together to grow in their faith.

Sure, the non-Christian is welcome to come into churches and hear the gospel being proclaimed. But church membership – like all membership – is restrictive. A member of a church is one who has forsaken sin and self and seeks to become more Christlike.

Church membership therefore includes things like church discipline – admittedly something most churches today have long ago abandoned. But I have explained all this in some detail elsewhere, as in this piece: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/11/church-visitors-versus-church-members/

I hope you will read that entire article, but here is part of it:

The New Testament speaks much about committed membership of the redeemed who are in a covenant relationship with God and one another in a local fellowship. Thus not just anyone who rolls up to a particular church is a committed member of that church. Church membership has to do with those who are Christ’s by faith and repentance, and those who abide by the house rules.

Like any group, there are always boundaries which define the church group, and those who do not belong to Christ are not the stuff of church membership. Also, those who profess to be believers, but who show that they may not be by wrong conduct or wrong beliefs are also not the stuff of church membership – unless they repent and change.

So yes the church doors are always open for anyone to come in and learn about the Christian faith. There is nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to something like church membership, there are some clearly delineated parameters which need to be in place, which define what the church is all about, what it believes, and what it expects of its members.

In many respects this is just like membership in any other organisation. The organisation has a clear statement of purpose or beliefs, and it has clearly defined rules and regulations. Those who agree with the overall thrust of what it is all about, and are willing to abide by the rules are welcome to join and become active members.

But those who do not accept the club or organisation ethos, values and beliefs, and refuse to pay any attention to the rules will of course not be welcomed as members. The New Testament basically operates this way when it comes to close and active fellowship in local churches.

It too has membership requirements and rules. Those who are born again can join in and become a member, partake of the Lord’s Supper, and so on. And if and when they go astray, they are the subject of admonition and correction. And if that fails, they can be removed from church fellowship.

Church membership and church discipline are therefore two sides of the same coin. A real member of the body of Christ – and a local fellowship of believers – will seek to be accountable and committed. When obvious sin and rebellion is found in the camp, then it must be dealt with.

As American Pastor John MacArthur once put it:

Churching the unchurched is an absolute fallacy – it is like purposing to let the tares in. It is absolutely bizarre to want to make unsaved people feel comfortable in a church. The church is not a building – the church is a group of worshiping, redeemed, and sanctified people among whom an unbeliever should feel either miserable, convicted and drawn to Christ, or else alienated and isolated. Only if the church hides its message and ceases to be what God designed the church to be, can it make an unbeliever comfortable.

Or as Paul Washer rightly stated:

What you actually have in so many congregations today is a bunch of goats among the sheep, the sowing of tares among the wheat (Matt. 25:31-46; 13:24-30). Because very little biblical, compassionate church discipline is practiced, goats live among the sheep and wolves feed on and destroy the sheep. And those of you who are leaders in such churches are going to pay a high penalty when you stand before the One who loves them, because you did not have enough courage to stand up and confront the wicked.

I say all this because this is such a big problem today: biblical-based church membership and discipline have largely disappeared in so many of our churches. As a result, when a church leader actually says we must revert back to it, he is seen as some kind of really radical dude, introducing strange new notions into the church.

And of course he is also seen as being unloving, intolerant, exclusive and not very Christlike! But he is simply calling us back to true Christianity. We have a perfect illustration of this that has just hit the press yesterday. I refer to Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies. For daring to be biblical, he has caused a real storm. Consider how one secular newspaper ran with this story:

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies has told Anglican supporters of same-sex marriage they should leave the church rather than “betray God’s word” in a scathing speech condemning progressive elements within the faith. He said the church must focus on “evangelising Australia” rather than “the constant pressure to change our doctrine in order to satisfy the lusts and pleasures of the world”.

Dr Davies directed his strongest criticism at church branches that had moved to bless same-sex unions, such as the Wangaratta diocese in Victoria. That decision has now been referred to the church’s internal appeals tribunal. Addressing the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, the Anglican church’s parliament, on Monday, Dr Davies warned the church had “entered treacherous waters” and called on those who supported same-sex marriage to leave.

“I fear for the stability of the Anglican Church of Australia. These developments have the potential to fracture our fellowship and impair our communion. I have stated this on numerous occasions at the annual National Bishops’ Conference, but sadly to little effect,” said Dr Davies, who is the Synod president.

“My own view is that if people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views – but do not ruin the Anglican Church by abandoning the plain teaching of Scripture. Please leave us. We have far too much work to do in evangelising Australia to be distracted by the constant pressure to change our doctrine in order to satisfy the lusts and pleasures of the world.” Dr Davies said to bless same-sex unions would be to “betray God’s word”. www.smh.com.au/national/please-leave-us-archbishop-tells-same-sex-marriage-supporters-to-abandon-anglican-church-20191015-p530tk.htmlUTC

Wow, that’s not something you hear every day. Imagine that: a church leader telling his people to actually be biblical – or else! How novel! Actually insisting that a church conform, not to the spirit of the age, but to the clear teachings of the Word of God.

Give that guy a medal! He deserves one. Indeed, for every brave church leader who encourages apostates and reprobates to find another church, there would be dozens who would welcome them into their churches with open arms! Davies is certainly going against the flow here!

Of course up until recently this stance for biblical truth was just garden variety Christianity. It was basic Christianity 101. This used to be standard operating procedure. This was simply what we expected of our churches. But so many churches, denominations, pastors and church leaders today have so utterly compromised and capitulated, craving the praise of men rather than the praise of God, that the words of Davies now sound so very foreign to our ears.

It is as if he has just made up some brand-new teaching, never heard before. All this indicates just how far the church has fallen in the West. When a restatement of biblical truth surprises us or startles us or even shocks us, then you know things have gotten pretty bad.

So bad in fact that all the fake Christians started foaming at the mouth over his fully sensible and biblical remarks. Not surprisingly for example, we had arch-apostate and hyper-heretic Father Rod Bower of the Anglican Parish of Gosford responding to Davies via Facebook:

So deeply saddened to hear my Archbishop tell me that I am not welcome in the church. But so thankful that in the Diocese of Newcastle we seek to be a comprehensive community living with the tensions, challenges and growth opportunities of difference. Unity in diversity is in the DNA of historic Anglicanism, The Archbishop’s comments are a dramatic departure from the culture of Anglicanism and are most regrettable. In a society being torn apart by polarization, the ability to live together with difference is one of the great gifts the Anglican Church has to offer the world. This is the gift of hope as we float in what can sometimes feel like a sea of hopelessness. For us to cease to live the historic model of unity diversity would be a very great tragedy indeed.
Fr Rod.

Oh good grief. It is time for this guy to get a new day job. He has been twisting and distorting biblical Christianity for years now. I sure would not want to be in his shoes when he one day stands before his maker and hears God’s verdict about him.

God bless you Glenn Davies. We need many more strong Christian leaders like you: leaders with the guts and the Holy Ghost boldness to speak biblical truth, regardless of how unpopular or unwelcome those truths are to the masses. May your tribe be multiplied, and your courageous example followed by many.

[1696 words]

30 Responses to Finally, a Brave and Biblical Church Leader

  • It is about time, a Christian leader stands up and speaks the Truth from the Bible, not watered down Christian doctrines. Well done Glenn as you are now prepared to be crucified by your own so called “brothers and sisters” from the Australian churches.

    p.s. A word of consolation, Jesus has got the same treatment from his people. So, you weren’t the first one.

  • I think this is absolutely wonderful.

  • Wow Bill,
    I must send Glenn a letter of appreciation.
    An example. The wolf (satan) is attacking the Church and appeasement ( reference the uniting church activities) is not the solution. The wolves have to be stopped NOW before they enter the congregation.
    God bless
    Phil

  • God Bless Glenn Davies, and I know he is and will be blessed!

    What a refreshing chapter of biblical leadership in Australia…

    Now we just need The dis-united church and other denominations to follow up with a Godly declaration, ” Conform to biblical truth or leave the church!”

    We need to pray for this to happen before a revival can start, first in our own hearts and then spread to the whole body of Christ…

    Thanks, Bill for your excellent work keeping us sheep updated with such clarity, DAILY(:

    Cheers & blessings

    Eric

  • Good news!
    How timely that Dr. Davies should take this stand in Reformation Month.

    All Christians, regardless of confession (Anglican, Lutheran, etc.) need to prayerfully and actively support this pastor, for, at the bottom of it all, that is what he is first and foremost.

    In today’s world this speech is powerful. But if one wants to see what it is to call out the the weakness and errors of the leaders and laity, read Martin Luther’s Preface to the Large Catechism. I was just reviewing it last night (also a timely exercise in view of this article), and it stimulated no small amount of thinking on my part.

    I am presently writing some thoughts which I hope to share on Facebook regarding the Reformation itself. From the time the 95Thesis were posted on the church door in Wittenberg to the final Formula of Concord and the Book of Concord, spanned over sixty years.

    The slide into our present level of chaos within the Christian Church has taken right around 120 years. (I pick my starting date at the time of the beginning of a more progressive theology starting around 1870.)

    Perhaps Dr. Davies, in calling his own Anglican Church to account, will serve as clarion to all like minded leaders and laity in other denominations. As a Lutheran, I hope Australia’s Lutherans are paying attention, because Dr. Davies, in this call, serves a very strong reminder of the Reformation of the 16th Century – which began in Germany and spread throughout Europe.

    Thanks to Dr. Davies, and people like you, Bill, the flame of faith receives fuel, and hopefully the flame will, once again, spread.

  • Totally agree.
    Church is for Christians who then should go into the world and proclaim the gospel.
    Not a watered down and worthless seeker friendly fairy tale.

  • There is a great difference between forgiveness and tolerance.
    Forgiveness follows repentance whereas tolerance supports the sin.

    Those who tolerate sin are tainted with the same brush – worse, they carry much of the blame for the sinner.
    LGBTIQA+ does not seek forgiveness, they seek tolerance, acceptance and even endorsement which is why they promote tolerance; love is love which, in many ways is a road to sin because if someone loves someone else’s wife then under the guise of ‘love is love’ they will commit adultery and expect to be tolerated or even rewarded for it and the same goes for bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism and queer conduct.
    The time has surely come when we stop putting God on trial to even discuss the pros and cons of LGBTIQA+ and like sinners and speak like Moses when he came down from Mt Sinai after receiving the Lord’s 10 Commandements and saw the people had corrupted themselves and as they tried to justify their sins, Moses simply said: Let those who are on the Lord’s side come to me.

    Each of us is on test and many have failed but maybe with strong leadership those who have fallen can rise again.
    John Abbott

  • I think the only comment I could make is “WOW”. Anything else would detract from Dr Glenn Davies stand. Well it isn’t really a stand it is a statement of existing biblical facts as stated in the Word of God. It is analogous of the table turning in the temple forecourt. It should not matter if fecal matter rains down over this, the people who react adversely should just get out of the church or stop doing/saying/writing stuff they have no authority to. After all, rebellion is as….. 1 Sam 15:23.
    The Archbishop is merely following 2 Tim 2:20-26.

  • What a superb encouragement for Biblical Christians.
    His message is of the Lord to a decaying church & society.

  • Yes Bill. I cannot understand how the Anglican hierarchy can allow and have allowed apostates like Rod Bower to remain in ministry in the Anglican Church. I would imagine that, to espouse the heretical diatribe he comes out with would soon have him banished from ordained ministry in other movements, including some of the better known Pentecostal denominations.

  • I loved reading this from Glenn Davies. Such a good thing to see good news in the media (even if everyone doesn’t see it this way).
    But points to Fr. Rod if he coined the weaselly term ‘unity diversity’. Not that I think we need more of his ilk in the public office- but it seems to me he has more of a call in that direction than his current position.

  • An interesting story on the Bolt Report tonight about ex transgender Peter Benjamin.
    Now at peace with both God and himself.
    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6095191111001

  • So grateful to Glenn Davies. I’m passing this on to many of my Church leaders and other leaders I know of other churches. May they head the warning!!!

  • Really enjoyed reading this post Bill.

    Thanks for all that you do as usual.

  • The Anglican communion has often been referred to as a “broad church”: By the mid-19th Century, three distinct currents were evident between the banks of this wide-stream faith community: Evangelicalism, Anglo-Catholicism, and Liberal Theology. A river which insists on frequently bursting its banks is bound to cause significant “flood-damage”, not to mention the prospect of radically altering its course and rate of flow after the chronic floods are gone… Could there be a swampy spiritual morass ahead?

  • Let’s continue to follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Truth does not conform to our personal preferences. It does not bow to our cultural whims. Sin is still ultimately separation from God, no matter how we try to dismiss and redefine it to suit our proclivities. I don’t know about you, but I am terrified of God’s wrath and of His judgement.

  • Davies’ comments are refreshing Christlike whilst Bowers’ are simply his standard anti-Christlike views.

    Seekers and the ignorant are, or should be, welcomed by the Church. Those who seek to lead the flock astray ought to be ejected. Bowers complains of polarisation, but ignores the fact that Christ is Himself deeply deeply polarising. It is not the role of the Church to welcome all, to support unity and diversity, the purpose of the Church is to follow Christ, something that is polarising and in today’s society, deeply deeply divisive.

  • Christlike?? People now are so biblically illiterate I bet if you were to publish the words of christ without mentioning the book they came from people would call it bad fan fiction and insist christ would never talk like that.

    If Jesus himself came, without saying who he was, and peached a sermon they would tell him he wasn’t being very christlike and needed to go back to seminary and be mentored by a gay bishop. they would probably tell him “you know nothing of christ”.

  • Amen to that, Bill.

  • Would you mind responding to some of the points made by this Anglican in his post (today). Would find it very helpful to hear your response, given the airtime given.

    I’m gay, married, and not leaving my church https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/17/im-gay-married-and-not-leaving-my-church?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

  • Thanks David. My commenting rules clearly require a full name, but I will let you sneak through here this time. There is absolutely no need for me to reply to this guy, since Scripture tells us everything we need to know about what he is saying. The Bible already clearly rebuffs the tired old theological revisionism that he is trying to push here. And the simplest and most straightforward Scriptural teaching is this – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

    Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    It does not get any plainer that that. This guy is kidding himself if he thinks he is a Christian. He is calling God a liar, he is twisting the Word of God, and he is denying 4000 years of Jewish and Christian teaching on this matter. Case closed.

    But if you want more details on all this, consult the 2 ½ books I have penned on this topic, or the 921 articles I have so far written: https://billmuehlenberg.com/category/ethics/homosexuality/

    There is only one path ahead for this guy: he needs to repent, turn from his sin, get right with God, renounce his false beliefs and leave his dead-end lifestyle. Telling lies for God will simply seal his fate even further.

  • “Finally” I know expresses disappointment with other current church leaders. But go through the list of ALL Sydney anglican bishops and they would all have said the same and Glenn Davies. He stands in along line of biblical leaders. For Sydney Anglicans it is more of the same.

  • Thanks John. I of course use various rhetorical devices now and then to make a point or offer emphasis – not unlike the prophets, Jesus and the disciples! So yes, I am aware of others good church leaders. I was obviously not just limiting my piece to Sydney Anglicanism, but to all church leaders throughout Australia. As such, the claim that I made in the article still stands: ‘for every brave church leader who encourages apostates and reprobates to find another church, there would be dozens who would welcome them into their churches with open arms!’

  • Hi David B,
    Thanks for the reference to the letter from J Hollier as published in the Guardian, who is an opening gay and married proponent supporting homosexuality and SSM.

    It clearly demonstrates that Archibishop Davies’ comments are 100% CORRECT.

    I found the comments by JH to be highly offensive and disrespectful of the office of Archbishop. As leader of the Anglican Church Archibishop Rev Glenn Davies has a God ordained leadership right to lead the flock and make a comments on homosexuality.

    Joel Hollier should be ashamed of his comments. The incredible gall of Hollier is alarming. Sadly not content to live at peace in the Church according to Hollier full acceptance of homosexuality and HIS rights in church leadership should be “front and centre”. Sadly this behaviour is what becomes so destructive and divisive within a church  fellowship that should be focused and committed on the Great Commission, calling others to Christ.

    As Bill Muehlenberg as documented we have seen churches ripped apart over gay marriage across the World. It is deeply tragic.

    My request to J Hollier is simple. Leave NOW and join Pitt Street Uniting . IMHO his value add to the purposes in God within the Anglican church in Sydney are at best marginal. Time is short in the last days. We cannot waste precious time on defending the indefensible.

    regards Phil Browne

  • Hang on a sec…
    Rod Bower claims that church is meant to be “a comprehensive community living with the tensions, challenges and growth opportunities of difference”.
    Then he attacks the Archbishop’s comments for being too different.. “A dramatic departure from the culture of Anglicanism and … most regrettable”
    So, Rod’s little community is not very comprehensive then, is it? No surprises there. Left wing communities are cookie-cutter narrow. Disagree with anything they stand for and you are instantly a bigot and whatever-phobic. Comprehensive? Ha!

  • tim they are all about diversity but diversity of thought is a diversity too far. in thought, especially political and religious, they DEMAND conformity. Apparently some religious ideas are more equal than others. Even George Orwell didn’t know that 1984 was a manual.

  • I have just read Bill’s response to archbishop Glenn Davies reply to Andrew sempell’s comments. It was sent on to me by a friend. And I’ve replied to her. But basically what I said after having a general indignant grizzle about dissidents was —
    The diocese is an employer. Even though the parish “chooses” their leader/priest he is still “employed” by the diocese. Therefore an employer has the right to terminate the services of any employee who undermines the ethos of the company.
    Jesus didn’t employ dissidents. If people wanted to follow Him they had to toe His line!!! The rich young ruler is the prime example.
    To follow Jesus it requires giving up things – like personal preferences or behaviours or …. whatever our predilection might be!!!!!!
    It deeply concerns me that leaders in the Christian church openly flout or twist clear biblical teaching to suit their own brand of belief structures.
    I’m old!!! I know some of these people!!! The scriptures are clear. It’s pure waste if synod time to be raking over burnt out old coals. There is God’s work to be done here. Leave Satan out in the cold please!! He has no place in synod.

  • At last a Christian leader with courage! For years now I have listened to leaders who say, Be quite, its too hard, don’t say anything about the gay movement, we don’t want any adverse attention. It’s a difficult issue! I even started to think I might be wrong. Then I reread Moses report as he came down the mountain; 1 Cor, and in a small group of men from our Anglican Church in country Victoria, we agreed to hold to our biblical view! Go Glenn Davies Go!

  • I heard a comment the other day…every church and denomination has 3 choices as this attack on the church worldwide continues…Capitulate, Accommodate or stay faithful to Scripture ..May be we need to take the same stand as Martin Luther in 1517

  • I shared this article in Uganda and it is clear that any person must take a stand. There is never a culture that accommodates all except a dead one. Either use the bible properly or do not use it at all. We pray and continue appreciating all who stand against abusing the truth. If you do not want to fellowship please make your own fellowship. Simple….

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