My friend Kevin mentioned something in a tweet about ‘church planting’ yesterday and that phrase ‘church planting’ had me thinking while I dug the garden. Maybe it was because I was planting things or thinking about planting things that preoccupied my time.
Anyhow, this is what I think.
I think that sometimes church planting might be more accurately called ‘denomination planting‘ or ‘our brand of church‘ planting.
Being brought up with a Northern Protestant evangelical mindset means that for a long time I had never considered the Roman Catholic church as a church. They worshipped saints and Mary and the Pope and had superstitions and dodgy nuns amongst many other wrongs. They where many things but I wouldn’t have considered them a church. S
So in my head all those chapels all over Ireland where not churches. All those Roman Catholics who went to chapel couldn’t really be believers. Which means that lots of Ireland is unreached with the gospel because they don’t have a good solid reformed, evangelical, Bible believing church just a snake pit of Rome in the parish.
Not that some of the Protestant churches where much better in my thinking because they might be crazy charismatics or awash liberal wishy washyness or else they are legalistic knuckle draggers. They need to drop the suits and the bad organ playing with dodgy choirs and get with the program.
Basically in my thinking there was good churches, not so good churches, bad churches and the Roman Catholic ‘church’. But now as I’ve journeyed on a bit and met people who have challenged my preconceptions I am not so sure of my ground. For instance, the current Pope seems more in tune with what I understand about the Gospel and Christianity than many of the famous evangelical leaders that I know. Am I still happy to say that the Roman Catholic church isn’t a real church? No, I don’t think I am. On the other hand thought I probably am because I wouldn’t want to become a member in one.