Thursday, June 18, 2009

Binding and Loosing in Orlando

I'm sitting here in Orlando at the PCA's General Assembly, and the food line is a mile long, so to kill time I figured I'd relay a question I was posing to some fellas last night over smokes and seven-and-sevens:

"Has anything been bound in heaven this week?"

(Insert blank stare and the sound of crickets here.)

The reason for my question is that Jesus says in Matthew 16, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And I give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." What our Lord is promising here is that the church he will build will have the power to speak in heaven's name on earth, with all authority.

So the question I posed was, "Have we actually concluded anything in Christ's Name that we are confident is now bound in heaven and ratified with heavenly authority?" And my follow up question, if the answer given was "Yes," is, "OK then, should we go through the Yellow Pages once we're home and call all the other churches in our community and inform them of Jesus' decisions that were made at the PCA's GA?"

Again, crickets and stares....

I am certainly not trying to undermine or call into question the importance of the work that we are doing as PCA commissioners. But I guess I'm simply lamenting the fact that the church that Jesus seemed to describe in the Gospels, when compared with our current situation in Protestantism, is not exactly easily recognizable. Instead of declaring with heaven's own authority God's will for all Christians we are setting up the rules that govern our own little corner of the kingdom.

Do I like my corner? Sure. But I can't help but wish there were more unity and true catholicity within Reformed Protestantism. Here endeth the rant.