After listening to today’s Dividing Line and hearing Anthony from Colorado ask the question regarding the importance of church membership, I was reminded of one of the best lectures I’ve heard on this issue. The speaker is Dr. Mark Herzer, a Presbyterian pastor in Penn., and also an adjunct faculty at Greenville Seminary.
Mark is a very good theologian. He is actually on campus this week. I was listening at the door for a few minutes to his lecture (on Old Testament Biblical Theology). At the time, he was pressing the point (as he was introducing himself) that he loves theology, loves reading systematics and biblical theology etc, but how important it is for these things to impact how we live our lives (he is speaking to future pastors). The example I heard, before walking away was how much of a blessing it is to be with the believers who are dying, holding their hand and comforting them as they enter into heaven.
I would highly recommed Mark’s church, and work. Two additional lectures from Mark are the following:
Whenever I preach on 1 John 1, I stress the idea, because John does, of the importance of the fellowship between believers. “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us…if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light we have fellowship with one another…” Fellowship with other believer is simply an outworking of a changed heart and ones union with Christ. If one claims to love God but not the brethren (i.e. include gathering together with them), he is not telling the truth. Let’s state it as blunt as John “he is a liar.”