I was desperately sad and grieved after almost three years in Denmark. We had started an evangelism ministry but I could not find a church where the Gospel was preached. Paul Washer's two ultimatums were still ringing in my ears:
1. If you are in a church where the Gospel is not preached - get out! Come out from among them! Touch not the unclean thing.
2. If you are not in a biblical church then find one or start one.
It was painfully clear that my family either had to leave Denmark or plant a church with some like minded believers. I did have people who agreed on the Gospel but were very hesitant about starting something. I, on the other hand, had an unusual fearlessness about this. Not because I am naturally courageous, far from it in fact, but because I was absolutely convinced that I was incapable of contributing anything that could possibly deteriorate the situation for Christians in Denmark - it's pretty hard to drill into the bottom of the toilet bowl!
When I was at the end of my rope and ready to pack up and leave (much to my wife's disappointment) a man called Henrik Mortensen walked into the picture. Not only was Henrik on the same page with me concerning the Gospel, he knew church planting was the only option and was ready to pay the price. As someone who was cryogenically frozen during the Puritan era (and defrosted in the 80's), Henrik was the perfect man to have on board in this project. Some others joined with us who also knew the stakes were high.
The wheels were turning and things were moving - especially my family. In November of 2009, we were packing up and moving south to the little town of Bjerringbro in Denmark. Did I have a job - no! Did I know anything about church planting - no! Was I assured of a prosperous future for this church (that was only a vision at this time) - no! I am normally a man to err on the side of caution, but I was experiencing tremendous liberty in this pursuit because I knew this was the only option we had within the Danish borders.
I will conclude this series on Friday with a post on our thriving little house church in Bjerringbro by the name of Kristuskirken. The local church is where it is at and I want to culminate this saga by flying the flag of the local church. I have also been surprised about how much less difficult planting a biblical church has been than trying to reform an apostate one. One of the deceptive realities out there stems from the countless number of attempts at starting a new church based on methodological differences rather than theological differences. When it is based on methodology the hard work is continually innovating with newer and more exciting programs. When it is based on theology, the hard work is the joyous labor of faithfully preaching the text, witnessing to the lost, and cultivating a community of loving brethren. So be encouraged and tune in for Friday's post where I will discuss my local church in greater detail.
But in closing todays post I want to refer back to Paul Washer's ultimatums that he gave us (see above). Do you treasure Christ and His beautiful Gospel but never hear about it from the pulpit? Is rampant sin tolerated and never disciplined in your local congregation? Does your pastor handle Scripture as God's authoritative word or does he treat it like a buffet, always staying well away from the parts that don't taste so good? Does your congregation allow women in the pulpit - violating the clear teaching of Scripture? Is it governed by a team of godly men or by someone who thinks he is a pope? Does it have a doctrine statement? Does the doctrine statement ever venture outside the church's filing cabinet? Does doctrine matter - particularly the purity of the once for all delivered Gospel? Are you someone who claims to be born again but is willing to settle for the safety of a gathering of goats that is shepherded by a wolf? Danish brothers, I beg you to contemplate these questions and receive this counsel from Carter Conlan . . .
Go On To Part 15
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