For those of you who read my blog, you may remember my two previous posts on the elders at John Piperâ€™s church who were proposing that certain unbaptized persons be accepted into their fellowship as members (read them here and here). You may also remember my post in December in which I disagreed with this decision on the part of the elders (read it here). I am happy to learn that the elders have withdrawn the motion (click here to read the notice on the churchâ€™s website).
Bethlehem still needs our prayers, however, as the issue is still not resolved. This is evident in the statement posted on the churchâ€™s website:
The elders realize that the issue cannot be dropped because the majority of the elders still favor the motion, including almost all the pastoral staff, and because that conviction puts most of the elders and staff in conflict with at lease one literal reading of the Bethlehem Affirmation of Faith.
This puts the majority of the elders (including John Piper) in the position of being in disagreement with the doctrinal statement that they are duty-bound to uphold. When there is such a conflict as this one, either the doctrinal statement has to change, or the elders have to change. Otherwise, the integrity of the churchâ€™s leadership is compromised. Itâ€™s evident that the elders donâ€™t want that to happen.
Iâ€™m sure the elders who are in disagreement with the statement are wondering how long they can remain elders in good conscience while disagreeing with the churchâ€™s doctrinal statement. They have already tried to change the statement, and that didnâ€™t work because it split the elder board. Iâ€™m sure they are now pondering and praying about what to do next. Iâ€™m going to pray too.