|These are not the Saints you were looking for ...|
Here Christ begins now to speak of the public office, that is, of the Apostleship, which he dignifies with a twofold title. First, he says that the ministers of the Gospel are porters, so to speak, of the kingdom of heaven, because they carry its keys; and, secondly, he adds, that they are invested with a power of binding and loosing, which is ratified in heaven. ... We know that there is no other way in which the gate of life is opened to us than by the word of God; and hence it follows that the key is placed, as it were, in the hands of the ministers of the word. [Emph Added]
- They should repent of their absurdly-bad view and use for the local church. They behave shamefully toward the local church because they are not accountable to a local church, and have an unbiblical view of discipleship and evangelism. If they found themselves accountable to elders in a church for their actions, they would find most of their other problems would head toward correction.
- They should repent of their unwise, misguided use of the Bible. What they do not need is to replace their random statements with someone else's systematic theology; what they do need to do is to read the Bible as it comes, as it was intended to be read, and ask themselves, for example, how did those people change their culture when they hand little or no political influence, and definitely no active theology of civil unrest? What does the Bible teach us regarding the role of the local church in changing the culture? And what is the Christian's role in society when the Christian faith is a minority view?
- They should repent of their own self-righteousness. Disguising pride with phony expressions of camaraderie when what is being said is, effectually, "You are an idiot and probably a criminal, brother," is not impressive except as a hallmark of one's own assessment of one's worth. Hiding behind God's sovereignty as an endorsement of your "ministry" when one's own method of reading God's word is, at best, idiosyncratic, is underwhelming. Claiming to be the wounded party when one is falsely calling local churches aiders and abettors of murderers is ugly. They should repent of the idea that they are the ones on the high moral ground.
- They should repent of their current methods and modes until they have adopted the fruit of repentance from the previous 3 items, and then re-assess their manner of establishing engagement in the communities they operate in -- both toward churches and toward abortion clinics.