The Many Ways of Destroying the Church

D.A. Carson:

“The ways of destroying the church are many and colorful.  Raw factionalism will do it.  Rank heresy will do it.  Taking your eyes off the cross and letting other, more peripheral matters dominate the agenda will do it–admittedly more slowly than frank heresy, but just as effectively over the long haul.  Building the church with superficial ‘conversions’ and wonderful programs that rarely bring people into a deepening knowledge of the living God will do it.  Entertaining people to death but never fostering the beauty of holiness or the centrality of self-crucifying love will build an assembling of religious people, but it will destroy the church of the living God.  Gossip, prayerlessness, bitterness, sustained biblical illiteracy, self-promotion, materialism–all of these things, and many more, can destroy a church.  And to do so is dangerous: ‘If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (1 Cor. 3:17).  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

– D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), 83-84.

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6 Comments on “The Many Ways of Destroying the Church”

  1. Daniel Says:

    It’d be easy to parade the quote around and trash talk “all those people” who do such destructive things to the church.
    Except that I’m personally responsible for many of them. It isn’t just “them” that do those destructive activities.
    To think that I am among the number of men slowly killing my church…

  2. Jon Elliff Says:

    Thanks Tim: keep the great quotes coming – and your usually good material as well!

  3. Jon Elliff Says:

    That’s “UNusually” good material! Didn’t mean to imply it is sometimes bad!

  4. Brainerd Says:

    It can’t be possible.The church belong to Jesus Christ, The Lord. You probably can distroy the church, where you are serving. I belive that a pastor can distroy the church, when he is serving the church all life without serving the Lord all life. We are realy serving the Lord, when we are standing more time at His feet, on our knees.


  5. […] Tim Challies…”I read a great quote earlier this week on Timmy Brister’s blog and thought it was worth sharing. It comes from D.A. Carson (in his book The Cross and Christian […]


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