Steinbach has, by my last count, about 1,000 churches, give or take. I know this is an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it sometimes. It seems that every time you turn down any street in Steinbach, there is a church somewhere on it. So why does this town need another church? Well it's simple really. Let me explain.
There is no confessionally Reformed church in Steinbach. There are a tonne of Mennonite churches. There are a tonne of churches that were Mennonite, but now have a different name yet still act Mennonite. There are independent churches that are guided by their own creed. There are are Lutherans and Catholics. There is even a push by the Mormons to start a church in our town. But what is lacking, completely absent, is a church that is based upon, preaches, teaches and lives the Reformed faith. This is why we need another church in this town.
Loraine Boettner once quipped,
We believe that what has been known in Church History as Calvinism is the purest and most consistent embodiment of the religion of faith, while that which has been known as Arminianism has been diluted to a dangerous degree by the religion of works and that it is therefore an inconsistent and unstable form of Christianity. In other words, we believe that Christianity comes to its fullest and purest expression in Reformed Faith.
I believe that he is correct. Only in the Reformed faith is Arminianism truly refuted, semi-Pelagianism defeated and the true gospel shines the brightest and truly transforms the sinful heart. The Reformed faith allows us to live out the transforming power of the gospel and to embrace the sovereign grace of God in such a way that it moulds us and shapes us and drives us to true discipleship and mission in our world. The Reformed faith gets rid of petty human effort to save ourselves, gets rid of the churchy games we play, gets rid of the stereotypes of what a Christian should look like and embraces the true nature of biblical Christianity.
This town needs a confessionally Reformed church. It needs a true expression of the Reformed faith preached and taught, clearly and unabashedly. This town needs a church where politics and games are jettisoned from the church, replaced by a true commitment to follow Scripture wherever it leads. This town needs a church where religious stereotypes are blown up by Scripture and people are allowed to be whom God is shaping them to be. Quite frankly, this town needs the doctrines of the Reformation so that a Reformation can happen.
This is NOT a church for the disgruntled. If you can't get along with people in your current church, or you are a complainer, or you are disgruntled with your church for unbiblical reasons, please don't come to our church. But if you desire to be a part of a church that is centered around the Bible, the gospel and discipleship, and if you desire to live out the true Christianity that Boettner spoke of above - then come and join us! Our church is for the imperfect but striving; for sinners who have been saved by God's sovereign electing grace who desire to reflect his lordship in their lives. If this is you and you want to be a part of who we are then please come and join us!
If you want a good outline of the Reformed faith you have a couple of options.
Read Boettner's short booklet here.
You can join us, Sunday mornings at 10:30 in the Fireside room at the Pat Porter Centre
You can await future blogs on the topic.
Soli Deo Gloria