England the Church Videos

The Dining Table with Melvin Tinker: Understanding Church

This month’s dining table features Melvin Tinker in a fascinating discussion about church.  Melvin recently lead his packed Anglican church out of the C of E….What is church? Why are there so many different denominations? Why can’t we all just get along? What teachings should be considered essential for a church to be orthodox? Why does it matter?

The Dining Table – Melvin Tinker – Cultural Marxism



  1. I recommend to these brothers: G. Groen van Prinsterer, Unbelief and Revolution (1847) and now available in an English translation.

  2. David,

    Your video started with the question “what use is the church?” The answers came “the gathering of the Lord’s people around the Lord Jesus Christ that holds up something about truth… a strong force in society.”

    And then with a definition – Ecclesia is a gathering, it is one church.

    Melvin then talked of the physical characteristics of a church building claiming it to be an “impediment” in a Catholic church but not in a Protestant church expressing a view that the physical design of the church in such is conducive to a gathering around Christ.

    Then Melvin talks about error in the so-called church with heresy being promoted. Being concerned with a “proper presentation of God” and saying “you cannot compromise on that truth… truth matters. ”

    Then David you said “some churches are not worth going to.” I would offer that this could be more of a generic issue with the “visible church” and it be wise to consider to “avoid it like the plague” as Melvin talks of with “Jesus not being present… I will spew you out of my mouth”.

    And David, these kind of conversations have been my experience over the last 20 plus years wherever I got to the point of now of abandoning. There is nothing new under the sun – prophets are without honour among their own people.

    I am now bored with these conversations. Frankly sitting around talking about it naval gazing finding unity in that is a symptom of the problem just as you rightly talk about institutional unity being a problem without Christ. Yes Martin Luther was right about justification by faith but this was in a context of works. And you and I will be familiar that faith without works is dead faith. And what happens to the branches of a vine that fail to produce fruit? They are cut off and thrown into the fire. While branches that produce fruit are pruned so they produce even more fruit.

    I do like what you say about institutional unity being no good if the institutional has gone wrong. And you used the derisory term “cynical” to describe the “churchless Christian”. Well no doubt that will be true for some, their poor church experience leading to a personal sense of nihilism, of no meaning or purpose with nothing but bitterness and resentment that inevitably accompanies such existence when suffering comes along as inevitably it does in life.

    However this would be to omit the reality that freed from the confines of the issues you Steve and Melvin talk of many a “churchless Christian” may find themselves released into the fullness of life that Christ came for able in obedience to him to shine their light and employ God given gifts and talent in joyful service to the world instead of being stifled and oppressed in so-called “church” which with Jesus absent is no church at all. And for this to be encouraged and celebrated!

    Church David is as real with us having a dialogue here as any other form if Jesus is present. The main thing is the presence of Jesus! And I will take a conversation in a blog or meeting over Zoom any day where this is happening over “church” where Jesus is not present.

  3. I really liked what Melvin said about the Presence of Jesus being a sign of the true Church – not just lip service and correct doctrine, but lives being transformed.

  4. Good conversation, chaps – thanks.

    1) I like Steve’s beard and decor.

    2) I share my brother’s concern (above) that the “churchless” are very often dubbed as the “cynical” or “arrogant” when actually it is precisely a profound sense of God-given hope and vision – a conscription of conscience – that has led them to be “churchless”. Jesus is much more comfortable with separation and division than we are.

    The film we made at the turn of 2020, (before churches were forcibly closed), The Draft, may be of interest so some on this topic. Just search Firebrand Notes.

    3) I spoke with Ann Widdecombe this week and she makes a fine point about cowardice. IMHO, we need much less nuance and much, much more fire.

    Dear Lord Jesus, we pray that you would come and that you would put a proverbial rocket up our proverbials rear ends. Give us the fire and wisdom of Your Spirit. May Jesus be lifted high.

  5. Thanks for another meaningful and helpful ‘dining table’ discussion.

    Our ‘sufficiency is in Christ’ (2 Cor.3:15) both individually and as a Church. Surely, no one is advocating that we separate ourselves from a local church that has a faithful teacher/minister of the Word. There are other matters that come into play; and these are often the tension. If we do leave, then is not our witness for Christ sullied? Who will speak for Jesus, when a faithful Gospel minister of the Word is attacked by unbelievers present within the assembly?

    John Murray wrote: “Christ is the embodiment of all virtue – wisdom, truth, power, grace, love, mercy, peace, patience, patience, longsuffering, goodness, righteousness. These are the resources of the church.”

    Having struggled personally with this matter of disease within the church, I agree that there is a legitimate point of separation. Steve has rightly highlighted the ‘bulwark’ of truth (1 Tim.3:14-15). And, as John Murray also wrote: “There are so many temptations to allow the claims of truth to become secondary”.

    Sadly, there is also a tendency for some to ‘church hop’ (for various reasons, such as ‘my style’), or even to decide not to ‘go’ anywhere, as if that is the answer. Inevitably, we are thrown back on the Word: ‘And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).

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