CONSUMING FIRE FELLOWSHIP
"...For our God is a Consuming Fire." -Hebrews 12:29
Consuming Fire Fellowship began with seven people in December 1995 in the home of Pastor Britt Williams. After his conversion, Pastor Williams, who is originally from Baton Rouge, spent several years involved almost solely in open-air evangelism. He preached weekly on the campus of Louisiana State University (LSU). He also ministered in front of bar-rooms, rock-n-roll concerts, abortion mills, at festivals, parades, and generally anywhere he had the opportunity to declare Christ as the all-sufficient Savior from sin (click here to learn Why We Preach). However, in 1994 he began to sense an intense burden to establish a local church. After much consideration, prayer, and the blessing of his pastor, he concluded that he was to plant the church in SW Mississippi, first in Woodville but later the church would re-locate approximately 25 miles east, to Gloster, Mississippi.
From its inception, the vision of the church, above all things, has been to bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. In an hour of wholesale compromise, frivolity, self-centeredness, and spiritual showmanship, our earnest desire is to establish and maintain a New Testament church after the pattern displayed in the Book of Acts (see our Church Governmental Policy/Polity). Simply stated, it is our goal to make Christ known by a pure and accurate manifestation of His person. From the beginning, we have understood the cost involved in fulfilling such a vision: a fervent and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, an intense faithfulness to the Word of God, the necessity of pure doctrine (click here to see What we believe), holy leadership (click here to see Qualifications for leaders), a 'leaven-free' church body, and finally, a willingness to suffer the reproach of pursuing the 'narrow way'. It has not been easy, nor has it been popular.
Unfortunately, our generation judges a church's validity almost exclusively by the size of its congregation. The common thinking is, "It's large and well-received among the people, therefore, it must be 'of God,'" or "It appears to draw the masses and seems successful, surely, it must be right". On the contrary, according to the Word of God, spiritual success can simply be defined as remaining true to the will of God and exhibiting a passionate fidelity to the heavenly pattern. True Biblical success may translate into a large congregation with many conversions, while on the other hand, it could mean a life filled with rejection, misunderstanding, loneliness, and very little visible achievement. Noah and Paul both walked by faith, yet the temporal results of their respected ministries were vastly different. We believe it is unwise to allow our natural circumstances to define our spiritual reality. To 'walk by faith' is to cling to the Bible regardless of the popular opinion that humanity or hell maintains (see our Issues & Answers page).
"The temptation to modify the teachings of Christ with the hope that larger numbers may 'accept' Him is cruelly strong in this day of speed, size, noise and crowds. But if we know what is good for us we'll resist it with every power at our command. To yield can only result in a weak, ineffective Christianity in this generation, and death and desolation in the next. To try to get souls saved at the expense of the glory of God, is to cheat God of his glory, and not get souls saved anyhow. We just make proselytes who aren't Christians, but something else. The methods of the Holy Ghost are pure, holy, clean methods, and they are such methods that shall humble the flesh. They keep you sometimes in the state of suspension because God wants to humble you. But if you won't take the humbling and you won't wait on God, then there are always methods of raising money, methods of getting things done. You can learn from TV, you can learn from Madison Avenue, and you can learn from businessmen...." -A.W. Tozer
Though we believe it is the will of God for every local church to grow numerically, we also believe it must be on God's terms and His terms alone. God wants all to go to heaven, yet we know that ultimately very few will choose to travel the 'narrow way'' and enter in at the 'straight gate' (Matt. 7:13-14). The hopelessness of humanity is what compelled God to allow the blood of His dear Son to be spilled, yet the narrowness of the 'gate of His terms' will never budge. The salvation of mankind is certainly God's will but we also know that it doesn't take priority over His primary purpose of maintaining a pure and holy people for His own glory. In other words - one saint brings more glory to God than ten million tares (see Church Discipline).
The first calling of true ministry is to maintain the purity of the flock, to lift the standard of Christ high, and to see that true discipleship indeed occurs. Unfortunately, pragmatism has become the "carrot" at the end of the evangelistic/church-growth stick these days. We certainly desire for souls to be regenerated, even earnestly long to see souls saved, but we cannot and will not veer from God's methodology. Hence, we conclude that spiritual growth is more important than numerical growth. All things that are alive indeed grow, but in the spirit this is not necessarily in size. Furthermore, for real discipleship to take place, an accurate display of Christ must be given free and full preeminence among the people. True discipleship is to be 'conformed to the image of Christ''; therefore, as painful and unpopular as it is, the aim of the leadership of any local church must be to manifest the purest reflection of Jesus so as to draw/repel the people. To pose the divine mandate: "Who will be drawn deeper and deeper into Him?" Such a declaration will assuredly compel men to answer either, "Yea and amen!" or "Enough! away with such a One as this!"
The Biblical Jesus is a sword of division that creates a positive tension within His Church. Without Him, absolutely nothing eternal can be done. If He is truly present, He will invariably divide the sheep from the goats. We find that many today, like in times past, refuse and despise the Biblical Christ. To preach the Word is to handle Christ. We've discovered that the spiritual status quo of today, coupled with the yearnings of the masses, creates great pressure and temptation for the man/or church who desires to do God's will. There is that whispering voice that constantly demands that we mar His image. The great faults of religion are to make Jesus something other than He is, to lower the high and holy standard of this precious gospel, and to place the whims of men above the glory of God. Sadly, many today serve men under the pretense of Christianity instead of serving God in the name of Jesus. Sometimes to meditate on the vastness of it all, to see the eternal gravity of every moment, can become overwhelming. Who is sufficient for these things (2 Cor. 2:16)? May God help us to handle the Word of God boldly and responsibly, instead of fearfully and deceitfully (2 Cor. 4:2).
It is our prayer at Consuming Fire Fellowship that God would give us a fire-bathed message that will utterly offend everything outside of Christ. Let everything be driven in or driven out. Never a gray area. No middle ground. Our worst nightmare, as the church of the Living God, is to entertain spiritual mixture/leaven. May God grant us grace to feed the sheep and utterly starve the goats! Oh, for an atmosphere that cultivates spirituality and terrifies carnality!
You are cordially invited to join us in worship at 2580 Busy Corner Road, in Gloster Mississippi on Sunday mornings at 10:00am and on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm. Our e-mail address is...