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In a 1947 address Lloyd-Jones was given the subject “The Position of Evangelicals in their Churches” and was asked to make reference to the question of secession. For all those presently in mixed denominations or associations, his questions for both those inclined to go and those inclined to stay are well worth considering and committing to prayer.

Those who are contemplating withdrawal or secession should ask themselves continually:

1.  Am I absolutely certain that Christ’s honour is really involved, or that my basic Christian liberties are threatened?

2.  Am I going out because it is easier, and am I following the line of least resistance?

3.  Am I going out because I am impatient?

4.  Am I going out because I am an egotist and cannot endure being a ‘Brother of the common lot’ with its disadvantages as well as its spiritual advantages?

Those who are staying in their Church should ask themselves:

1.  Am I staying in and not joining others who may be fighting the Lord’s battle because I am a coward?

2.  Am I staying in because I am trying to persuade myself that I am a man of peace and because peace seems to be worth any price?

3.  Am I staying in because I am just a vacillator or at a very low spiritual ebb?

4.  Am I swayed by some self-interest or any monetary consideration?

We must all pray without ceasing both for those who trouble us and for our own spiritual betterment. We must seek in prayer and with patience that we may by all means save some. We must flee ‘the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees’. We must shun all merely party spirit. ‘The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth’ (2 Tim. 2:24, 25). (Iain H. Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones The Fight of Faith 1939-1981, 184)

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6 thoughts on “Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Question of Secession”

  1. Denise Wong says:

    Thank you for the post. Very helpful.
    I am facing something that I don’t know how to handle.
    In my country Malaysia, lots of Churches have been using Power Point Presentation during their preaching (which they used to call as ‘sharing’ instead of preaching). So almost all of them turned out to be a show, entertainment which sermons come with some clips of videos and pictures (sometime funny pictures of people, cartoons or animals) to keep everyone up in spirit.

    I can’t remember when was the last time where I have the feeling of awe and wonders after hearing a sermon. So every Sunday I have to endure all these presentations instead of preaching and this trend is widespread in this whole land. The art of preaching is lost, and so I just find it hard to sense the wonders of God through serious preaching. And then it is just something very fun, easy-going and relaxing kind of Sunday worship, it makes one ‘feel good’.

    It is just about the manner of preaching, I still have not mention about whether it is reformed or not, somehow, i think, those who are reformed will certainly not using or adopt this kind of preaching style, it is distracting and then the congregation no longer open their own bible, everyone is relax, sitting there, being entertained.

    I just wish and hope for some simple and plain and straight forward kind of good old preaching of the good old gospel. It is that simple, but people make it complicated. I think our God is not to be entertained or that He wants to entertain us.

    Thank you for the post again and God bless.

    Denise Wong

  2. Meg says:

    Hey Pastor Kevin. My husband and I met you at the DG conference several weeks ago. I wanted to let you know that this post reminded me afresh to continue to pray for all that God has before you with church and family life. I can’t imagine all the pressures that come from both difficulty and blessing of your current ministry. May God’s grace be upon you and your family during this season! :)

  3. Wesley says:

    Thankful for these words now while i am not in the midst of having to make a decision like this so i can prepare better for the day when i might have to.
    God’s peace bro –

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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