By J. Parnell McCarter


There are some who would argue that every branch of the visible Christian church is so corrupted, that Christian families should retreat to their own family shell and distance themselves from the visible church.  While it is to be admitted there is not a true church one should join in every region of the world (an obvious example is Saudi Arabia, while there are many less obvious examples), nevertheless there is and has been a true church visible in the world from one generation to the next.  It is the duty of God’s people worldwide to become connected and part of that visible church, as reasonable opportunity permits. 


Here are just some of the reasons a ‘lone ranger’ route are wrong-headed:


- This route implicitly contradicts the scriptural doctrine that God will preserve a visible church in the world from one generation to the next.

- It can be an excuse for not dealing with some of one's own sins, under the guise of objecting to various sins with the visible church.

- If the righteous Jesus Christ could see fit to be engaged with the visible church of his day, what justification can we sinners give to be dis-engaged from the visible church of our day?  Is it really credible today to imply that 'no church is good enough for us'?

- It thwarts God's prescribed method of sanctification of believers, in which iron is to sharpen iron, and sins are corrected over time by mutual encouragement and exhortation.


- The children can easily become scoffers under such circumstances, seeing parents who cannot be reasonably satisfied with anything.  


For instance, given the case that has been made in other articles for the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, I fail to see the justification for not seeking to be part of its worldwide expression of churches.  Is it perfect?  No.  But this is no good excuse not to seek to become connected with it.