Thursday, November 20, 2008

FBC-Wilmington Changes Website Design

After a long time of non-existent updates, FBC-Wilmington decides to overhaul it's web design. I can't help but wonder whether the decision was made to draw back the youth and young adults that we lost to a local popular church, Port City Community Church . The feeling of competition between the two churches seems to have been long-standing since when Port City began building it's multi-million dollar "compound," our church decided to renovate our Activity Center---this adds to the feeling of competition, when there doesn't need to be.

Our church is a free church that leaves room for dissent on any topic we as a whole profess other than the confession that Jesus is Lord, whereas Port City is a subtly Fundamentalist church. On the surface, one may not notice any presence of fundamentalism at Port City---what with it's contemporary worship services and pop praise choruses, but when one digs deeper beyond all the glitz and glam---we get to the hidden fundamentalism. From the What We Believe section:
Our mission is not to get people to believe a certain way, but to help you walk with God. But it is important to nail down some of the core beliefs that keep us centered and focused. What you will read in our statement of faith is just an affirmation of Historical Christianity and we understand that we are just a continuation of what God has already been doing.

Notice how almost all fundamentalists believe that the man-made beliefs that were invented in the 19th century have always been professed by Christians through the centuries. In the Our Beliefs subsection the bible like in all fundamentalist statements of faith comes before the Triune God. Here is what is written about the bible:
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of 66 books of the Old and New Testament. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture, thus at one and the same time, speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.

Notice that instead of Christ the Risen Lord being the sole basis of belief---the bible, a human object, takes Christ's place. Also, we see the absurd man-made belief in inerrancy in the above section. In the section on Jesus, the substitutionary theory of the Atonement is subtly professed in this statement: Jesus..."voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice..." without mentioning other valid theories such as the much older and scripturally based Christus Victor theory of the Atonement. Finally in the Faith and Practice section, one notices scripture again takes Jesus' place:
Scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she is ultimately responsible. We believe the Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.

Scripture states that Jesus has "all authority"---nowhere in the bible do we find that the scriptures have any authority much-less the "final authority" on anything. Any authority the scriptures are afforded are accorded to them by Christ via the Holy Spirit. The last sentence says it all---no dissent allowed or as Harry Emerson Fosdick might say: “Come, and we will feed you opinions from a spoon. No thinking is allowed here except such as brings you to certain specified, predetermined conclusions (our personal opinions of what Christianity looks like). These prescribed opinions we will give you in advance of your thinking; now think, but only so as to reach these results.” Not only is the last sentence fundamentalistic in nature but it borders on the cultic. Dissent is not only a Baptist belief but every Christians' right. But competition aside, I didn't mean this post to be a critique of Port City Church's beliefs just as an example of why we don't need to compete. Competition or not, both churches are willing to work with each-other and other local churches in our community and that's all that matters in the end. Anyways, view our new site: here.

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