Posted by: stpowen | April 12, 2013


Jeremiah 6:16. ‘Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.’

Regular readers will know that I am concerned about certain aspects of the concept of ‘Missional’ churches.
It is good to know that someone agrees with me. Here is an article from Evangelical Times,



  1. Dear Martin,

    I was most interested in your comments on Missionalism as it is quite plain that new movements adopt new terms and ideas which they boast are what the Bible really means when it uses quite different words to express the Gospel which we are commissioned to believe and pass on. However, this transcribing of alleged Scriptural truths into what then becomes a new language with a new pseudo-theology has been going on since the Great Commission. It polluted the Roman Church as it later polluted so-called ‘Protestant’ denominations which made the threat of the one Rome worse by adopting her measures under new names and movements made more subtle by a variety of new mutations. It became like the broom used by the sorcerer’s apprentice who misused the original formula to produce chaos.

    Our early Reformers were more interested in renovating an apostate church rather than creating new sects and movements. Their aim was to establish a community of saints not a denomination. Thus, in the post-Reformation period we find that even revered Christians such as Luther, Knox, Rutherford, Melville Kiffin, Fuller and Wesley were founders of denominational institutions rather than churches and they merely kept on Roman usage under new names. This is particularly the case with Presbyterianism which pioneered the revolt against the Reformation. Thus, when your author demands a confessional pattern that mostly represents Scripture, he needs to explain why he is in a denomination which pioneered a re-construction of the Christian Gospel. So, too, he apparently recommends keeping to well-tested denominational paths, forgetting that in most denominational cases, their paths strayed from those of Scripture and the early inter-denominational, pan-Protestant and international Reformation.

    Brother Bidwell claims: ‘Our Reformed heritage stresses the priorities of preaching sound doctrine, upholding written Reformed confessional standards and the purity of public worship on the Lord’s Day. It also includes the right administration of the sacraments and the belief that God’s moral law is binding on everyone.’

    The fact is that the denomination Bidwell represents radically altered the covenant teaching, ecclesiology and soteriology of Scripture in their model state religion which was one of legalism and rationalism, not grace. Theirs was the teaching of the Enlightenment pure. Especially Rutherford’s Lex Rex paved the way for a denomination based on pure rationalism, political rebellion and revolution. It was the religion of man, or rather Plato and Aristotle. Bidwell speaks of the purity of worship on the Lord’s Day but that worship, according to the Westminster Standards, which were never brought to a Biblical completion, is based on the Light of Nature, as stated in the Confession, and the clear teaching of Scripture ignored. Confessional standards and denominational constitutions are all warped in places as they define a man-made organization and not a Gospel Church. They often serve as a rough guide but mostly as a chain, forcing members to sign away their Biblical inheritance for a mess of potage.

    Brother Bidwell is correct to condemn new movements which dupe us with new jargon, pretending that they are still on the old and original paths, but why seek to remove the sawdust from their new eyes when the plank used is still in the half-blind eyes of the myriads of denominations who are not a bit better?

    Should we not rather repent of our twisted and corrupt denominationalism and again, those of us who have a conscience and a love for true evangelism, get together as a Church under the Word of God alone and reform our denominational lodges, clubs and secret societies and bring them back to the Bible truths preached by such gospel heroes as Wycliffe, Frith, Lambert, Haller, Bullinger, Jewel and many others now forgotten as their testimony has been erased by denominational popes.

    Yours in grace,

  2. […] Missionalism @ Martin Marprelate  […]

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