The Beauty of Boundaries Day 9 – Boundaries Within the Church
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10, ESV)
If ever there was a time when boundaries within the local church are in jeopardy, it’s now. Truth is being sold for acceptance. Christian values are under attack and the church is paying a price. The result is that our churches are often afraid to stand up for truth and unwilling to stand up under the scrutiny of today’s society. These days, it takes guts to do so, but protecting the truth—and God’s church—should be our honor and privilege.
Godly leadership is a must in order for a local church to flourish, and what that leadership should look like is clearly laid out in Scripture. There is much responsibility on the shoulders of our leaders today. A leader must be grounded in the truth, be courageous to stand against negativity, and must demonstrate the loving attributes of a good shepherd.
Overseers (church leaders), as laid out in 1 Timothy 3, have the responsibility of protecting their local church from false doctrine and harm. Just as a shepherd guards and protects his sheep, so must overseers do for their congregation. Scripture also instructs that there should be multiple leaders, giving balance and protecting from one leader calling all the shots and having no accountability to others. There is value in a leader bouncing off ideas with another leader, seeking balance as they lead to the best of their abilities.
It is the leaders’ duty to protect the principles found in Scripture and make sure their local church is continuing in accordance with Scripture. If false doctrine is being taught among them, it must be immediately stopped—the church must be protected. Boundaries are essential to the unity and purity of each local testimony. Sadly, many leaders are failing to be diligent in following New Testament teaching, listening instead to those pushing for what they call “reform” but what is actually contrary to biblical truths.
The church is under attack. While leaders have the lion’s share of responsibility in protecting it, all believers share in that responsibility. We must search the Scriptures for the truth and be unwilling to compromise it. We can join with our leaders in bringing to light anything that opposes God’s Word and that seeks to destroy unity among our local fellowship of believers. This does not include pushing for our own preferences or agendas or any sort of legalism, but rather taking a stand for what the Bible teaches with a willingness to honor His Word in our own lives.
The church needs us. The church needs those courageous enough to stand against the attacks of those trying to suppress it and the truth. God honors our obedience in this and will reward us when we are called home to heaven. Will you help? Can you be counted on? May we be found faithful to Him and seek to help protect our local church until we are called home.