Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is "church"?


This Is Church

by Scott Wesley Brown, Dwight Liles and Niles Borop

Sunday morn, Africa, hear the children sing.
Before an altar in the bush they praise the King of Kings.
Pastor stands, prays a prayer, earth beneath his feet.
Thank You, Lord, for You are good; You bless us when we meet.

(Chorus)
This is church when we gather round to praise the Lord above.
This is church when we walk in truth
And show each other love. Not of wood or bricks and stone, but of people first;
Anywhere God’s children are, brothers this is church.

Sunday morn, Siberia, deep within the wood.
Under blue cathedral skies they read the Holy Book.
Pastor kneels and prays a prayer, sun upon his face.
Thank You, Lord, for You are good to meet us in this place.

(Chorus)
This is church when we gather round to praise the Lord above.
This is church when we walk in truth
And show each other love. Not of wood or bricks and stone, but of people first;
Anywhere God’s children are, brothers this is church.

Sunday morn, Jerusalem, many years ago,
the first believers gathered there and the Spirit flowed.
They broke the bread and prayed a prayer, met each others’ needs.
The Father saw that they were one
And His heart was pleased.

There has been some discussion lately about what the purpose of church is and I think would warrant a good discussion.

Questions:

What is the purpose of church?

1) For sinners to be saved?
2) For believers to worship God?
3) For believers to learn about God?
4) For believers to fellowship?

How often should we be in church? Is "Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night" scriptural or a fairly new tradition?

How do the SBC and Cooperative Program line up with Scripture regarding a church's responsibilities?

Is there a "better way" to "do church" than we are seeing? What should change? What should stay the same?


Thanks to "concernedsbcer" for this topic idea.

465 comments:

1 – 200 of 465   Newer›   Newest»
gmommy of the "RRR" said...

There's got to be a better way!

ox said...

A church certainly isn't the building, property, or the conveniences either of those two offer. I feel a church is a gathering of believers, welcoming those who aren't, to fulfill all 4 points listed in the topic heading. Not a sanctuary for saints but a hospital for sinners as a wonderful pastor I knew used to say. We should gather together to worship God, to sharpen and edify each other, to learn more about our precious Father and seek to share Him with those who don't know Him.

BkWormGirl said...
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BkWormGirl said...
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ox said...

I grew up in the SBC at Bellevue. I never thought I'd be anything else even though I always was and will be a Christian first, over and above a denomination. However, when my family moved to the southwest, we didn't seem to find a "fit" with the SBC here. I've always felt you should go to the church of your conviction not convenience. My family found the sweet Spirit of God flowing freely in a Conservative Baptist church here. I was very hesitant at first, wondering what kind of a cult I was getting into. LOL JK. It, to me, was the same as the Bellevue I grew up in with only one major difference, there was no cooperative. As you walk into my church here, you are welcomed by a huge map of the world with pictures of hundreds of missionaries that we support directly. We send hundreds out each year on short term missions and the emphasis is Matt 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. I love my church because Jesus is Lord there and loved there. We went 21/2 years without a pastor after the pastor of 17 years stepped down. The church GREW during that time because our focus wasn't and hasn't been the pastor. Our current pastor is a true man of God who although totally unlike the delivery of Dr. R reminds me totally of the presence of God I felt every time I was with Dr. R. My pastor (nor Dr. R) isn't perfect by any means, but I believe with all my heart he is a man seeking to be more like Christ in almost every moment. If you'd like to read our doctrinal statement, you may at www.palmcroft.org My church (just a portion of "the church")meets at this building!

32yrs@bbc said...

ox said...
.... Not a sanctuary for saints but a hospital for sinners as a wonderful pastor I knew used to say. We should gather together to worship God, to sharpen and edify each other, to learn more about our precious Father and seek to share Him with those who don't know Him.
-----------
Amen to this! I would add that the church has never been perfect nor will it ever be until Jesus comes because tho' saved by grace, we Christians are flawed human beings.
Many times we walk according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit. Our spiritual leaders have feet of clay just like we do. However, God holds them to a higher standard and because of that we should always demand integrity and accountability. Anyone looking for a perfect church is going to be continually discouraged and depressed. The Bible tells us: "looking unto JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our faith"...that's the key to joy and fulfillment.

concernedSBCer said...

I'm not looking for a perfect church....there is none. But I am really thinking that churches have become so evangelical that steps are being left out.

Our churches seem to me to look like the world now. We do activities, "fundraiser"-type stuff.....we send our money to far away places...but through the Cooperative program instead of directly. How convenient. We "draw people in" so the pastor can tell them the plan of salvation. Again, how convenient.

I'm beginning to think the church is supposed to be a place primarily for believers...like bkwm girl said. A place where believers are fed and equipped to share the plan of salvation, or better yet the Savior, with all those we meet.

I have sat through Sunday School lately and been forced to listen to the most surface of lessons, worldly stupid lessons. Where is the meat, the "Church Training" if you will?

I have more....more questions than answers, actually.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Maybe a better title would have been "What is 'church' NOT?"

concernedSBCer said...

LOL....well, sometimes NASS it is easier to get to what something should be by first describing what it should NOT be!

My hope is that all those who in the past have been posters and lurkers will weigh in on this topic as we all seek to serve and minister to others. Also, maybe *people* in authority that might lurk might also get a different "vision" of ways to meet needs and truly grow "disciples of men."

New BBC Open Forum said...

This is very interesting.

Angela said...

Thanks for this topic. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this, and I'm curious to see what others have to say. I'm so disillusioned with "churches" right now, and I'm having a hard time convincing myself that I should go to a "meeting" or "teaching session" at an organized "church"--in a building, at scheduled times--to say that I have "assembled myself together with other believers".

Do the times I spend in prayer and Bible study and discussion with other believers not count? Are they not "enough" to say I've "assembled"? Does a picnic with other believers count?

When we do go to a 'church', should we segregate our children into "youth groups" and teach them shallow lessons in the form of games, puppets, clowns and puzzles followed by candy and play time--which seems to lead my children to become "bored" when it comes time to sit in 'big church' and receive and be transformed by the MEAT of the Word.

I became very frustrated after we left BBC and started visiting other churches. My 7 yr old son would get excited and grab his Bible and an 'offering' to take to a new church. When we would ask him about his class after church, he couldn't really tell me anything about Sunday school except that they played games, the kids were 'a little wild' and he got 5 pieces of candy! After the third SBC church we visited, he told me, "I don't need to bring my Bible to church anymore--we never use it. None of the other kids bring one, and the teacher just gives us worksheets."

What did the New Testament church really do? Did they have scheduled weekly meetings? Did they live in a commune? Did they all come together at the same time to study? Were they intimately involved in each other's daily lives??

What constitutes 'church'? Do you have to meet in a specific location every time? Is there a minimum requirement--like at least ten people in attendance, a choir, and a 'children's church'? Is church only real if it has a music ministry, a drama team, and a soccer league? I always think of the scripture, "where two or more of you are gathered together......."

I'm digging to find SCRIPTURAL answers to my questions...which I'm ashamed to say, I haven't done sooner. I was just raised to believe that the concept of 'going to church' meant Sunday a.m., p.m., and Wed. p.m. If you didn't follow that rule, you weren't as Christian as you should be--probably even 'back-slidden'.

I'm really anxious to hear what comes out in this thread. I truly desire to obey God in this matter, but I am just not convinced the 'church' of today is actually what was intended in scripture.

OK all you learn-ed people out there--let the flood gates open......

I want to see SCRIPTURE, not a denominational code or another's opinions, that gives us the truth about what GOD desires of us in terms of "fellowship", accountability, evangelism, etc.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Welcome,Angela!
I like your questions...many of us have had the same ones.

I think because we found a sense of comfort at BBC for so long...we decided that was the way church was suppose to be.

We've also let too many self annointed leaders tell us what a "good Christian" looks like...or what the Bible "really means"

We all needed to be shaken up...as painful as it was.

32yrs@bbc said...

Bill Gothard has lost favor in our enlightened age because many Christians now think him to be too
"narrow" - "too rigid" but I remember him saying years ago that the church is specifically for believers. That is where we meet to worship our Savior in corporate worship, edify and minister to one another, and grow in Christ. Then we go out from the church to evangelize - share the Gospel with the lost. The primary focus of the church is NOT evangelizing the lost - but growing up the saints. For Angela who wants scriptural references regarding the church - just read the book of Acts.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

I actually think the "hospital for sinners" was one of those things we accepted but not really true.

When I did a Bible study on the church at a different church....that's what sang out to me....we weren't taking care of the believers.
Other denominations put much more emphasis on disciplining(??) and mentoring.
With more and more emphasis on the leaders and emotions and less on training and teaching and study we are in the sad shape we are in today.

Lin said...

Yikes, I am going to have to be the dissenter here.

1. Gothard is a false teacher who is totally immersed in legalism to the point of teaching the Talmud! I could send you plenty of analysis on this and from people who have come out of his 'seminars'. The guy is a total nutcase and his 'religion' is a cult.

2. The church is a hospital for sinners? No wonder we are in big trouble. When are we expected to get out of our hospital beds and feast on meat instead of an IV? If this is true why are we told that we are to grow in Holiness or we will not see God? Why are we told to stop sinning? Why are we told we must have a godly sorrow for our sins? I believe 1 John answers this question about Christians and sin. As believers sin is not a lifestyle. We do not walk in sin but in the light. We are in continual repentance (daily) and growing in Holiness. Yes, we still sin but we are broken by it and continually growing in Holiness. If not, there is a problem and we best be working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Lin said...

I don't normally recommend anything from George Barna. But he and Frank Viola wrote a book called Pagan Christianity which outlined WHERE we get many of the 'traditions' we now see in church that have nothing to do with scripture. Things like the pulpit with ONE guy speaking to a group of spectators which comes from the Greek traditions that was brought into the church by Greeks and mainly by Constantine when he instititionalized the church with the state.

As a historical book, it is great and you will never look at church the same way again. I suggest a deep reading of the NT and ask yourself while reading...is this the way we do it now and if not, why? It is quite the eye opener how much we have brought in man made traditions and worldly structures.

Here is another site that is excellent about 'church'

http://www.searchingtogether.org/

Check out the video on the title page about the 'clergy/laity' lie. And search articles for some very interesting teaching on biblical church structure.

BkWormGirl said...
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Lin said...

Hebrews 5

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

Bookwormgirl, you and I seem to be talking about 2 different things. the church is NOT a hospital for sinners. If that were so, then what Paul taught in 1 Corin 5 would be a lie. He taught wrongly. Can that be so? Why would he tell them to kick out the sinner until he truly repents if it was a hospital for sinners? Wouldn't the sinner be better off in the 'hospital'?

BkWormGirl said...
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New BBC Open Forum said...

I think you're confusing "sinner" with "the lost." I believe that's what Lin is saying -- the church is not for "the lost." We are to go out and evangelize the lost and bring them into the church. Of course we're all sinners. No one can argue that.

concernedSBCer said...

Angela,
Thanks for your post. You asked many good questions and also shared your experience that is similar to many that I have had and know about. I, too, think about Matthew 18:20
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

I think simply "read Acts" is not quite what you wanted to hear. Maybe a good discussion of Acts might be helpful for all of us. Funny, I don't remember reading about soccer leagues in Acts.....

concernedSBCer said...
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concernedSBCer said...

32 years: Whether Bill Gothard is heretical now, as Lin said, or not, the fact is that I agree with his position on the church that you posted. You wrote: "I remember him saying years ago that the church is specifically for believers. That is where we meet to worship our Savior in corporate worship, edify and minister to one another, and grow in Christ. Then we go out from the church to evangelize - share the Gospel with the lost. The primary focus of the church is NOT evangelizing the lost - but growing up the saints."

I think there is something to be said for that. A hospital? Maybe. We are all sinners with issues to be dealt with. But we can't stay sick....and healing can only come with God's love, mercy, grace and Word....and the support from fellow believers. My former pastor, in Heaven now, used to say that God accepts us just as we are, but loves us too much to let us stay that way. We have to grow and learn and serve and minister...and through the church we learn all of that, and do some of it.

concernedSBCer said...

A Start.....

Acts 1
1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We are to be witnesses? How? When? Starting where?

concernedSBCer said...

What happened to the great exchange? :)

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

bkwormgirl,
"I think the church is to be the body of Christ. The body of Christ therefore is for the benefit believers."
I think you and Lin are saying some of the same things. I don't think we need to say harsh things involving satan to each other...we have had people comment on the blog that I thought really might be from satan.... but Lin certainly isn't one of them.
She is a dear friend and so are you.
It's OK if we disagree on some things...we are all learning and growing.
It's other blogs that talk to us like that.

I've been uncomfortable with the hospital thing for several years now. It may be that we don't have the same thing in mind when we use the term.
I'm OK if yo and ox and 32 years are good with that term.
None of us know it all.

We could get Professor KK or Mike Spradlin commenting on here and we don't have to agree with everything they think.
I'm not fussing at you...the satan thing is just too much for all of us who have shared so much over the last couple years.
I enjoy and respect your comments.
I have grown and learned alot from the discussions we have.

My understanding of scripture is that the church is for believers to come together to worship and grow and look out for each other...our brothers and sisters in Christ....not to entertain the lost.

BkWormGirl said...
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gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Hey BWG,
Everything is OK!!
I wasn't saying you acted all knowing....just that none of us are.

I just wanted us to continue the discussion without pointing the satan finger at each other.
Thanks for being open. :)

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Hey,
Did anyone make any comments about J Hunts "degrees"??
Is this a common thing that ministers do?? Just wondering.

ox said...

It seems a lot of emphasis has been placed on the phrase "hospital for sinners." I didn't mean to offend anyone and maybe I can clarify. I would hope that all of what I posted will confirm that I certainly didn't mean that "The Church, the body of Christ" is made up of anything but redeemed believers. In reference to the hospital remark, I feel the "church" meaning a building where i gather with others to worship, encourage & edify others, grown in my relationship with God, etc is as much of a mission field for reaching the lost as any other. Please read all of my posts from 11:15 and 11:44 today and let me know if I came across in any other way. To know my heart, read the doctrinal statement from my church. It lines up well with my relationship with Jesus, the Head of THE CHURCH. With Love, OX
P.s. the blog name ox is actually a mistake. I signed on as oxoxox as in hugs and kisses, but somehow it came out as ox. My teenagers think it's very appropriate, as in "an ox (bull) in a china shop" kinda way! I wasn't trying to be confused with OC whom I greatly admire.

sickofthelies said...

Hey Ya'll..

Don't forget about me..I haven't been commenting much lately, but I have been lurking. :)

concernedSBCer said...

SOTL: We could NEVER forget about you! Jump in....what do you think church is? What are we doing right? Wrong?

Lin said...

"We are all sinners with issues to be dealt with. But we can't stay sick....and healing can only come with God's love, mercy, grace and Word....and the support from fellow believers."

Exactly. That is why the hospital analogy does not work. If we take that view then we must allow unrepentant pedophiles in church because they claim they repented by
saying sorry!

that is what Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) was teaching in 1 corinthians...by forcing the unrepentant sinner out (repentance is not just words) then we give the Holy Spirit a chance to work in the heart of the sinner. We can read in 2 Corinthians where he repented after he was kicked out and then was allowed lovingly back in the Body. They loved him by kicking him out! (How serious is a pure Bride? Read Acts 5!)

The hospital analogy is so dangerous because it allows people to believe that sin is normal and no big deal when it really is and makes them think they must keep the 'sinners' in the 'hospital' to get well when in reality they may not even be believers. Part of the problem is that we have also bought into the myth that all sins are the same. I may be angry today and lose my cool but afterwards I feel horrible and broken over it. That is because the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin of anger. However, if I am angry all the time and do not feel bad afterwards
or broken, I may not be saved at all. And my brothers and sisters in Christ need to confront me and if need be ask me to leave the Body until I am repentant.

Lin said...

Oh, and I think one reason this issue is misunderstood is because our churches are FULL of the unregenerate...even on staff and in leadership. If they were full of true believers who are being sanctified, this would not be as much of a misunderstood issue because there would be sin, of course, but also brokeness over it and encouragement from the Body as it should be.

BkWormGirl said...
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gmommy of the "RRR" said...

ox,
You crack me up!!!
xoxoxo!!! Funny!
So you started all this tonight!!????
OK...we'll take your hugs and kisses!!
You didn't say anything off or offensive.

For me...even tho I first heard the term hospital for sinners from Bro R who I love.....it isn't right for my understanding of church.


I agree with Lin that we have gotten sin ,repentance,forgiveness, and other things out of sinc with scripture and too in sinc with culture.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

SOTL...
you haven't commented on the wonderful SBC decision and them saying (to applause) that they are doing everything they can to protect the children...??

I see OC and Junk are loudly absent also.

ox said...

Lin, I love you (with an agape kind of love). I am stunned by your phrasing that if anyone leans toward a hospital type of analogy for the church (little c, building we meet in 2-3 times a week) that we must allow unrepentant pedophiles in because they claim they repented by saying they're sorry. Come on!! I in no way feel like that. I was horrified by PW and his actions as well as the countless others shown to be child molesters or the like in ministry. I firmly believe anyone in habitual sin needs to be confronted in the Biblical manner. I also believe that there are disqualifying events that prohibit ministers and staff from being placed in such leadership positions again EVEN though I believe Jesus died and paid for every sin ever committed. I feel this is as much a stretch to say someone isn't healed because they don't have enough faith (to get back to the hospital analogy). Of course, that is bad theology (reference Job, Paul, etc). Lest I be further misunderstood, and I don't think I'll broach this subject again for fear of being labeled the chiefest of sinners and thereby insulting Paul, I wouldn't cast the most vile out of a church (lower c) service (even ... gasp.... a doctor!! God can even save them!)because we are ALL sinners (if we've broken the aw in any point we've broken it in every point) and NEED Christ and I'll state again that the church service (little c *ok, I'll stop*) is as much of a mission field as Judea, Samaria, or Tibet (hi Cakes!). I was saved in a church service. Now, please don't stretch that into I feel that unrepentant psychopathic cult leaders should preach or serve in the church. Of course, I don't.

Just sayin'


LOL, (Just Kidding OC!!!) and I've got to stop using parenthesis!!

oc said...

Concernedsbcer said, in relation to Acts 1:8...
"We are to be witnesses? How? When? Starting where?"

Those are very good questions. And I have no doubt that Concernedsbcer can better answer the questions that she herself posed much better than I can.
She's pretty darn sharp and walks the talk.
But I'll go ahead and take a shot at this anyway.
Here are the only answers I know for those questions...

How?
Share the Gospel. The good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. As far as I can discern, using my rusty and less than perfect Greek skills; the word "witness" in the Greek, particularly in this form and this context; seems to denote not only the importance in testifying of the facts of the matter, but it also involves testifying of a relationship. Also, the English word "martyr" is derived from a form of this Greek word. So it seems to me that the proper understanding of the word "witness" is very crucial to understanding Acts 1 verse 8 and it means much more than our normal English definition of the word leads us to understand. I think it's something
for us to think about.

When?
Starting from whenever we receive the Holy Spirit, whenever we have become "born again". And we are to share the Good News whenever we have the opportunity, as far as my understanding of Matthew 28:19 goes.
And for sure we need to adhere closely and diligently to 2 Timothy 2:15, but we should not wait to be theological phd's before we share the Gospel. It also says in Acts 1 verse 8 that we won't have the power to witness without first having the Holy Spirit. Of course, we are to be faithful to study and know the Word of God, and live it out in our lives. But no where have I read in the 66 books of the Bible that we need to attain a certain level of Biblical expertise before we tell others what the Lord has done. Yes, we certainly need to know, obey, and teach the Word. It is of the utmost importance for a godly and righteous walk. And if we love the Author, we will want to know and walk in His Word. But we can't delay our witness until we have all knowlege; we will never get there. We cannot plumb the depths of God. And remember, God is not depending upon our knowlege in order to save our neighbor, He just wants us to be faithful to communicate His plan of salvation. Please understand that I love the Word, and understand the importance and significance of the Word pertaining to His disciples. But in this life, we will never come to grips with His Word fully. I struggle with His Word. I'm certain that I don't understand some of the Word. In fact there are many things I don't understand. Someone once said concerning the Bible, "There are many things I can't understand. But there are some things I can't misunderstand." I think what we do with what we understand is important to Him. And I think we should strive diligently to understand what we don't. But I also think that we can't wait until we understand it all before we witness to a lost world. So we need to depend upon the Holy Spirit to empower us, not our own understanding. And I think He set it up that way on purpose. And He called it "faith". Things hoped for, but not seen. Faith, not sight. And on the day He saved me, I knew nothing of the Bible, all I knew was that He loved me enough to send His sinless Son to suffer and die for my sins. He raised Him from the dead. And He lives today.
Therefore, that was the "when" day.
Man, I need to remember that more often...

Where?
It starts where we live. In our home. Then our neighborhood. Then our community. And on and out. Notice the sequence of the "where" in Acts 1 verse 8. It starts in Jerusalem, and then goes to Judea, and then to Samaria. It seems to me it is like concentric circles, like a the wake of a pebble in a pond.
And I'm sure there are good reasons for the order of progression. It seems it starts in a familiar place, Jerusalem. Then extends a bit further beyond our comfort zone, Judea. Then goes to those we may be particular about, to those who may be somewhat distasteful to us. To Samaria.

And guess what? And I'm not sure I really answered any questions satisfactorily. But with all my uncertainty about so many things, I do know this for certain.
He lives.

oc said...

Ox said:
"I wasn't trying to be confused with OC whom I greatly admire".



oc says:
Yeah. Right bro. Everyone is certainly admiring me. Not.
But guess what? I was glad when you showed up. I thought maybe you would be mistaken for me and take some of the heat off of me for some of my less than thoughtful and graceful posts I've committed. But no. It ain't working too good for me. You are too kind and gentle. You are way too mature. I'm so disappointed in you. No one will ever confuse you for me. I can't use you at all...what good are ya? :)

Naw. Really bro. Welcome. Love you brother. Glad to have you here. But I really do hope you don't get accused of what I do! I sure don't need any more guilt! :)

Just sayin'.
oc.

Wait a minute man. oxoxox?
Dude, that just don't seem right...LOL!

oc said...

Gmommy said:
"SOTL...
you haven't commented on the wonderful SBC decision and them saying (to applause) that they are doing everything they can to protect the children...??

I see OC and Junk are loudly absent also."



I haven't commented about that because I'm so disgusted that I just want to hide and puke. I'm embarrassed and very ashamed of the convention's attitude towards this issue and so I have designated my offerings to exclude the SBC. My offering is now designated for the local church only. We still need to keep the lights on. And the local church ministers well in this area. So I don't want to hurt the local ministry. So for right now, I can't bring myself to give to an organization who cannot or actually WILL not figure out how to protect our kids. I know of no other way to express my utter disgust than to withdraw my financial support. It's not like that is even going to be missed, I'm certainly not a wealthy man, but I still think I'm doing the right thing. It seems it's the only thing understood these days. The heart and soul is fading away. The greenbacks do all the talking.
And now I have to stop talking. Because I'm getting sick.

allofgrace said...

I've never been a huge Bill Gothard fan, but I would hesitate to call him a false teacher...a serious charge. While I disagree with several things he teaches, I would also say I believe he is right on in some of what he teaches. I've yet to find a pastor or teacher who I agree with 100% on every point, but that doesn't make them a false teacher or a heretic. There's a big difference between error and heresy/false teaching. I don't agree with John Wesley's theology either, but I would never label him a heretic or false teacher...he wasn't wrong about everything.

It's true we are dependent on the Spirit for effective witness, just as we are dependent on the Spirit for understanding of the word. They are inseparable. To rely solely on the Spirit without understanding of the word, or to rely solely on the word without the illumination of the Spirit are both dangerous practices. The Spirit separated from the word produces license, the word separated from the Spirit produces legalism. Again, they are inseparable. We must have Spirit-illumined understanding of the gospel to effectively proclaim it. The church exists for the building up of the saints into Christ-likeness so that God is glorified through worship...in which the preaching of the word is primary, the saints are trained to "go out" into the world with the message, through which God adds to the church. It's really not that complicated, but the Madison Ave. church "marketing" techniques have made it so. Since when does God need clever marketing techniques to add to His church? Barna, Maxwell, and others of that ilk have done great harm to the whole concept of what the church is and how it functions. God doesn't require our cleverness, he commands our faithfulness.

While the annual SBC meeting is almost always disappointing in one way or another, the one positive thing that came out of Indianapolis this year was the resolution calling for repentance from the failure to be faithful to the principle of regenerate church membership, the failure of the church to discipline its erring members, and the inflated and dishonest reporting of numbers to the convention. A small drop in a huge bucket of problems, and I would have liked to see it worded a little stronger personally, but at least it's a start in the right direction if local churches will take it to heart.

Cakes said...

What Up, my peeps! Sorry, must be the hood talk'n. Yous guys keep your head up--I got no right to comment, but I dig small groups with no building plan, no social climbing, no enforced unity, etc.

Determine specifically what you find most essential to your spiritual growth, then find it or create it.

David Brown--you'd better keep that head up--people look up to you for your wisdom and compassion. All is not lost, friend.

Junkster said...

gmommy of the "RRR" said...
SOTL...
you haven't commented on the wonderful SBC decision and them saying (to applause) that they are doing everything they can to protect the children...??

I see OC and Junk are loudly absent also.

10:49 PM, June 12, 2008


Loudly absent? Seriously?

Ok, here's my opinion, whether loudly or quietly: The claim that the SBC is doing everything it can to protect children from abuse by predatory ministers is so idiotic as to be laughable, were it not so tragic. That the claim was met with applause demonstrates once again that "ignorance is bliss". How nice it would be to be among those applauding audience members who truly believed what they heard.

And lest my preoccupation with matters in the offline world lead to further charges of neglect of my online buddies, I offer the following observations:

(1) Re: "The church is a hospital for sinners" -- it is likely opinions will continue to differ without first getting generally agreed upon definitions of the words "church", "hospital", and "sinners". (I'm assuming we all know what the meaning of the word "is" is.)

(2) I believe that this thread has raised very good questions, and I agree that it is key that answers should be based on Scripture -- slogans and opinions aren't going to get us very far.

(3) I love both oc and ox, and both lin and bkwormgirl, and have learned from all of them.

(4) Someone doesn't have to get everything wrong to be a false teacher; the term is used for those who have serious doctrinal error on basic elements of the faith (most commonly those who have grossly incorrect views on grace, law, the relationship between the two), and/or for those with evident, serious, and public immorality in their lives (and thus whose lives demonstrate their wrong views on grace and law).

Lin said...

"(1) Re: "The church is a hospital for sinners" -- it is likely opinions will continue to differ without first getting generally agreed upon definitions of the words "church", "hospital", and "sinners". (I'm assuming we all know what the meaning of the word "is" is.)"

I think you have nailed it here...what we call church really is not the Body in many cases. Most are filled with the unregenerate where the 'hospital' analogy will send them right to hell totally comfortable in their continual sin thinking they are saved because they said a prayer and that covers their continual sin. That Grace did not come cheap. It's free but not cheap.

oc said...

"While the annual SBC meeting is almost always disappointing in one way or another, the one positive thing that came out of Indianapolis this year was the resolution calling for repentance from the failure to be faithful to the principle of regenerate church membership, the failure of the church to discipline its erring members, and the inflated and dishonest reporting of numbers to the convention. A small drop in a huge bucket of problems, and I would have liked to see it worded a little stronger personally, but at least it's a start in the right direction if local churches will take it to heart."


Since all the churches are autonomous, how shall these SBC resolutions be monitored, enforced, and disciplined if transgressed? If the local church is indeed autonomous; which is the excuse that is made by the SBC for not protecting the church from molesting ministers; then there is no responsibility for the local church to even report anything to the SBC. Therefore, resolutions are just a joke. And don't tell me that the SBC will trust the local church to report faithfully. Just the fact that they adopted a resolution calling for churches not to lie about their numbers says it all.

We don't need a Convention to call us to repent. God does that. And we can go ahead and resolute ourselves to death, and it means nothing. Words are cheap.

oc.

Lin said...

A few things to check out about Gothard:

http://midwestoutreach.org/blogs/bill-gothards-evangelical-talmud-part-1

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/02-Information/01-AvailableResources/GothardBookEndorsements.html

You may be familiar with Jay Adams who also believes Gothard is a false teacher.

I have met quite a few people who have come out of Gothard cult who are now saved.

I just put this out there as a warning and to be vigilent if you are reading or following his 'principles' or any teaching.

Ironically, recently Gothard claimed that God told him to build a runway at his mtn retreat that would accomodate Air Force One because Presidents would be visiting him. Amazing how rich Gothard is.

Lin said...

"3) I love both oc and ox, and both lin and bkwormgirl, and have learned from all of them."


Me, too...and all the rest here. Even that SOTL who 'lurks':o)

Nass, Yes, I saw the 'resume' question and the strange financial dealings of the Flockhart guy who was his protege and who he recommended as pastor for the church where he was eventually fired for untruths.

oc said...

And Cakes...
You have every right to be here and speak. You are a friend to many of us. And we love you.

oc.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

when Gothard was more "in" around the Christian circles I knew some really good Christians who went to his camps or seminar things.

Whatever I learned about his teaching, it was always too extreme for me so I just passed.

Doesn't mean the man didn't teach some good things...
I remember a friend of mine telling me he couldn't say anything bad against SG's preaching because there was some truth in it...

no further comment at this time...

Lin said...

"What Up, my peeps! Sorry, must be the hood talk'n."

Can I see if I can translate?

What up: How is everyone?
Peeps: People?
Hood: Neighborhood?

Am I getting good at this or what? ;O)

oc said...

Lin,
There it is. You are an under cover charismatic, and you just blew your cover.
You are now interpreting tongues. Wait until I tell the SBC...

:)

oc.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

I missed Junk and Cakes!!!!
So sorry!

Junk....
wise as usual!!
Please don't get too too busy for us...we miss you!

Cakes... "I dig small groups with no building plan, no social climbing, no enforced unity, etc."

Amen to that!!!!
You are always welcome and always appreciated.
...IF by chance someone wants to hammer you for your next statement...remember I love you:)

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Lin,
You have so many talents!!!!

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Hey blog friends,
No details now but I'd really appreciate prayer for someone very dear to my heart...the dearest.
I'll email details when I can but for now please pray.

allofgrace said...

Since all the churches are autonomous, how shall these SBC resolutions be monitored, enforced, and disciplined if transgressed? If the local church is indeed autonomous; which is the excuse that is made by the SBC for not protecting the church from molesting ministers; then there is no responsibility for the local church to even report anything to the SBC. Therefore, resolutions are just a joke. And don't tell me that the SBC will trust the local church to report faithfully. Just the fact that they adopted a resolution calling for churches not to lie about their numbers says it all.

We don't need a Convention to call us to repent. God does that. And we can go ahead and resolute ourselves to death, and it means nothing. Words are cheap.


Resolutions of the SBC have never been binding on any local autonomous church and anyone who's been associated with the SBC knows that. Nevertheless, the resolution is an acknowledgment of some problems and ones that need to be repented of. True we can "resolute ourselves to death", but we can also die on the vine waiting to be "called by God" to repent, when he's already told us to do so in his word, whenever we become of aware of our sins. David repented of his secret sins (ones he wasn't even aware of) without waiting for God to call him to do so. No one is going to "monitor" who is heeding the resolution and who isn't. We aren't Presbyterians yet. But the very fact that this resolution made it to the floor and was passed at least shows there are some within the SBC who recognize the problem and that something must be done about it if as a denomination we are going to be faithful the scriptures. As always, change must take place at the local church level to have any meaning. And local churches change one heart at a time. Rather than "pshaw" the resolution or resolutions in general, let's pray that local churches will begin to take the issue of regenerate church membership and discipline to heart, and perhaps there won't be so many things to throw rocks at.

Lin said...

OC, I see your point about the resolution and agree with AOG that is it simply an acknowledgement that there really is a problem.

But there is an irony to it. The ones who report the false numbers or who do not even know who their members are or where they are...are usually the pastors and staff with complete agreement from deacons/elders. One candidate for SBC prez has a huge mega that cannot seem to agree on reporting their own numbers as their own literature has quite a few differnt numbers. Knowing mega's as I do, I can tell you they have NO idea what their true numbers are. They may baptize someone and never see them again so even baptism numbers are questionable. And we do know that many churches have increased baptisms the most in children under 6. Might as well become padeo-baptists.

So the question becomes...who disciplines the discipliners in all this mess?

ezekiel said...

My 2 cents on the hospital for sinners...

1)Most of the healing in the NT and OT was permanent and instant in nature. Touched his robe, the blind could see and the demons ran for cover...instant and total healing.

2)Why would the healed then need further treatment in said hospital?

3)We prolly have all heard of those that wound up with more disease in the hospital than they went in with. In some cases it has been known to have then been fatal. Beware the leaven of the pharisees.

The bottom line of what a church is supposed to be appears to be Ephesians 4ff



We have been called into the Body of Christ. The Church. The purpose is the perfection, the work and the edification of the saints. A place where there is one head (Christ)and everyone else is a brother. See especially Eph 4:12

Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Eph 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Eph 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Eph 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.


Perfecting:

Luk_22:32; Joh_21:15-17; Act_9:31, Act_11:23, Act_14:22-23, Act_20:28; Rom_15:14, Rom_15:29; 1Co_12:7; 2Co_7:1; Phi_1:25-26, Phi_3:12-18; Col_1:28; 1Th_5:11-14; Heb_6:1, Heb_13:17

The work:

Act_1:17, Act_1:25, Act_20:24; Rom_12:7; 1Co_4:1-2; 2Co_3:8, 2Co_4:1, 2Co_5:18, 2Co_6:3; Col_4:17; 1Ti_1:12; 2Ti_4:5,
2Ti_4:11

The edifying: Eph_4:16, Eph_4:29; Rom_14:19, Rom_15:2; 1Co_14:4-5, 1Co_14:12, 1Co_14:14, 1Co_14:26; 2Co_12:19; 1Th_5:11


Stay out of that hospital! Walk in the newness of life that you have from the baptism of the Holy Spirit and glorify the one that save you....

oc said...

"Resolutions of the SBC have never been binding on any local autonomous church and anyone who's been associated with the SBC knows that."

oc says:
Yeah, I know that all too well. And that's my point, a mere resolution is useless, especially if it isn't backed by conviction. So why even bother?

"True we can "resolute ourselves to death", but we can also die on the vine waiting to be "called by God" to repent, when he's already told us to do so in his word, whenever we become of aware of our sins. David repented of his secret sins (ones he wasn't even aware of) without waiting for God to call him to do so."

oc says:
Uh oh. David did it on his own? That's really confusing. David repented of sins he didn't even know of, but it wasn't God who prompted him to do so? So who did?That really needs some explanation. And if it's a matter of repenting according to what is "already told us in the word", then I would have expected the SBC to have already read that word, and therefore repentence should have occurred long ago. But it hasn't.

And we can "recognize the problem" all we want, but it's action that is needed. And the fact of the matter is there wasn't any real recognition that there is a problem with sexual predators in the church.
That problem was basically dismissed by a flurry of holy sounding verbage, without anything to back it up.

"But the very fact that this resolution made it to the floor and was passed at least shows there are some within the SBC who recognize the problem and that something must be done about it if as a denomination we are going to be faithful the scriptures."

oc says:

So what? Man, I'm tired of this side stepping "recognizing", "our hands are tied" nonsense we get from the SBC. I guess if I get with the Lord and "recognize" my sin, I can just wait for a year or two, maybe five or ten, to really repent and do something about my sin. No. That does not fly for God, or me, nor for the SBC.

Please understand that I'm not angry at you at all. I am very frustrated with the lack of action in the Convention.
Peace to you.
oc.

oc said...

My New Year's "Resolution" was to lose ten pounds. I gained five.

:)
oc.

allofgrace said...

OC,
We're all tired of a lot things that are going on in the church. But being angry about it won't get it done anymore than a single resolution. The fact that it took 3 tries (3 yrs) to get a resolution of this type to the floor of the convention speaks volumes about the "head in the sand" mentality, not to mention denominational pride. Especially since the inflated numbers and numbers of unregenerate church members is so glaringly obvious. But the persistence of a few to get such a resolution passed gives me hope that at least some are taking these important issues to heart and are doing something about it in their local churches. My prayer is that more will do the same. I don't hope for the denominational structure to change, but I do hope for the local churches, which are where the rubber meets the road anyhow, to begin to take it seriously and act. The first step of repentance is acknowledgment of the sin...calling it what it is. While a written resolution itself won't change anything, when we begin to repent individually and corporately, we'll see change. Our churches didn't get in this shape overnight, and a single resolution or statement of the problem won't fix it overnight...but acknowledgment of the sin is a start.

oc said...

Hey AOG, You may not have listened to me, but I told you that I was not angry. I told you that I AM very frustrated. And I believe that you and I are not in conflct. We both want the same thing, but we see things differently. And that's ok. It makes the Kingdom interesting, doesn't it?

But let's be honest. You and I both know that recognition of sin is NOT repentence. It may be the first step, but the second step surely needs to follow quickly.
Now time is ticking away...

ox said...

Lin, Ezekiel, junkster and others. Thanks so much for your excellent posts. I'm not being condescending when I state this, but serious and straightforward. I will cease from using the phrase "hospital for sinners" and strike it from my vocabulary. I am not in opposition to the wonderful texts you point out regarding the church. I am surprised that my spirit came across as one who would compromise what Christ has done and cheapen the Gospel. That is the complete antithesis of what I intended. I consider myself very conservative and wish to be a reflection of Christ not a reflection on Him. I can never express how thankful I am for God the Father loving me so much that even as a sinner with nothing to bring to His table let alone totally unable to bridge that impassable gulf between mad and God, that He would send His Son to die for me. To enable me to have a relationship with Him. My allegiance is not to a term but to a person. I want others to see in me not me, but Christ in me, the type love that says "forgive them, they know not what they do" and goes into the world without being of it. Thanks again for your kind posts and realize that from my lips the phrase is gone for I would never want to cause a brother of sister to stumble. :)

Oc, You are so funny!! I'd be privileged to be mistaken for you! About the oxoxox stuff, I'd like you to know that I am all man (nfl, real wrestling, construction stuff) but god has blessed me with a huge emotional bank for some reason. Let me paint a word picture: I'm kinda like a big... lovable...hug gable.....Bigfoot! Smelly, hairy, the occasional bad breath when I eat my wife's lasagna, but filled with a desire to express kindness and truth to all. Not concerned about offending any with the Gospel, but trying like Paul to make sure I am innocent of the blood of others.

gmommy of the "rrr" I haven't made it over to Christa's blog lately, can you elaborate on the rrr? It makes me think of the MSU tigers.. GRRR!

oc said...

I believe I'm the one who took us off topic. So I apologize. So I'm backing out for now, so please continue on with the original topic.
We do need to figure out the answers to the questions posed in the original post. It's an excellent post, and I'm sorry I diverted from it, because I need answers to those questions too.

Love ya'll.

oc.

ox said...

gmommy, you have mine and my family's prayers for your friend. We'll be thinking about you both. In Jesus name.

concernedSBCer said...

Okay.....Ox said to read Acts....

Acts 2
1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

concernedSBCer said...

Acts, of course, is all about the early church....

So, it leads me to ask....what part of our current church reminds you of the early church? And what doesn't?

oc said...

Ox,

You got mail.

Just sayin'.
oc.

ox said...

Concernedsbcer, you've got mail. :)

ox said...

OC, how funny is that???!!!

LOL

oc said...

Well that ain't too funny. Everyone has mail except me.

:)
oc.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

OK big OX :)
First of all I don't think anyone thought your spirit came across as someone who would compromise what God has done....
we are all just working thru stuff....we are being refined by fire.

Second...as a good friend of mine often tells me...TMI!!!!
You can leave out the smelly stuff!! :)
We all have our quirks and ticks and wounds.... (you should meet Dr Looney!!)

a while back when the heat was really on us...I realized it was good that we weren't too cool to stand alone for what we believed....
we were just a group of "rag tag truth seekers"....
a really rowdy bunch of excellent "bowlers"! (that's an inside joke big ox)

Christa is bad mouthed on occasion for speaking out against clergy sexual predators...as you probably know.
Some not so nice person said on her blog that she was "relentless" in her crusade for victims...
SO I tagged her Christa the Relentless!!!

Then the other day when Christa was being hammered for not giving in to pressure (her theme song is Never Give Up... I forget the rock guy)
anyway...he called her and her supporters a bunch of rebels
(I may need to go back and read all this again for details....I am a big picture person)

SO I said I was proud to be in Christa's group of Ragtag Relentless Rebels!!!!
The RRR!!!!

As big as your heart is Ox....maybe you should click on stopbaptistpredators.com....it's on the side of our blog.
We need to keep our eyes open.....sexual abuse especially by clergy is horrible and affects a person's life forever.

The people who would like us to be quiet try to heap more shame on us for not getting "over it"...but it's just not a hocus pocus kind of thing.
The betrayal of our church, the way PW was made the victim and defended...so many things just opened some really ugly wounds . Many of us were re victimized by PW and the leadership at BBC.

So we bonded together here thru the blog, then thru "clandestine meetings" that SG brought up in his sermons...then thru "bowling parties", emails, rotel chicken, scriptures and studies, pain and tears, surgeries and funerals, even work....and we became a little rag tag church family of sorts....
including friends from other states and an especially sweet cakes.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

From Christa's blog..
"Yep...
Ragtag Rebel Crew....yes!

and since we joined forces with Christa....
we are the
Relentless Ragtag Rebel crew!!!!!!"


Once again...I messed up the details!!!! Usually Nass straightens me out.
The cranky guy called us a crew of "radicals"
HEY...I got the R right!

ox said...

Gmommy of the "rrr", what a great synopsis. I'll try to be careful about the smelly stuff! LOL Thanks for sharing. I've visited Christa's blog a few times, it breaks my heart about the callous attitudes people have in ministry. I'm definitely one who feels the punishments should be more severe instead of less when a person in a position of authority, especially a minister, takes advantage of anyone and especially a child. It makes my blood boil. Anyway, I really appreciate you sharing those thoughts. I'd be honored and pleased if one day I'd be considered part of this family. I can bowl, I think I still have a green hornet decoder ring, maybe I can sync it to the rotel chicken. :) Thanks for your kind words, as always.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

LOL...it looks like you roll with us pretty well :)

Cakes said...

"...including friends from other states and an especially sweet cakes."

Yup, I'm from a different state, for sure--state of seige. HA!

oc said...

Concernedsbcer said:

"Acts, of course, is all about the early church....

So, it leads me to ask....what part of our current church reminds you of the early church? And what doesn't?"

oc says:
The sound as a rushing mighty wind. And it fills the house. But it's not the same wind. Lots of noise, but without substance.

Cakes said...

Yo, yo, yo,

I'm way off topic, but I'm so excited about converting art curriculum to hip hop lyrics--dig:


Let’s talk about color

Boundless array of tints and shades

Tangerine, butter-cream and marmalade

Umbers, oxides, mars and jade


Count’em three: Primary colors

Red like Cherries

Blue-berries

Yellow like bananas at the Tropicana


Second follows first, or Primary

Colors are blended to Secondary

From sunny yellow and ocean blue

Green is the name of their pas de deux

Muddle blue azure and red scarlet

Violet fit for a ritzy starlet

Fire engine red and yellow gold

Oranges are good for the common cold


Let’s talk about color

Boundless array of tints and shades

Tangerine, butter-cream and marmalade

Umbers, oxides, mars and jade

Cakes said...

Now I got to figure out how to make complementary and analogous interesting.

Oi, what have I gotten myself into?

concernedSBCer said...

Act 2
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Cakes!
That is brilliant!!!
The kids will love it!!!....
you just GOTTA show us the rap tune soon!!!
I'm sure Padroc can do some background for you!!
no getting in any fender benders on the way and no "tardiness"....even tho Mid Town to "East" Memphis is a journey!!
I can tell you are getting rested from the school year :)

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Big Ox,
I hear you have an "inside connection" to our little group....one who holds the key to the rotel chicken!!!! Very special connection!! Welcome!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

A little off topic, but an interesting story (can't say if it really happened or not)...

*Local Bar Sues Local Church*

In a small California town, a new bar/tavern broke ground for a building for their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign of petitions and prayers to block the bar from opening.

Work progressed right up until the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court.

When the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and an entire church congregation that doesn't."

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,


what does the singleness of heart mean????

ezekiel said...

Gmommy

The numbers after the words are the references from Strong's concordance.

Act 2:46 And5037 they, continuing4342 daily2596, 2250 with one accord3661 in1722 the3588 temple,2411 and5037 breaking2806 bread740 from house to house,2596, 3624 did eat3335 their meat5160 with1722 gladness20 and2532 singleness858 of heart,2588

Singleness (858)
af-el-ot'-ace
From a compound of G1 (as a negative particle) and φέλλος phellos (in the sense of a stone as stubbing the foot); smoothness, that is, (figuratively) simplicity: - singleness.

Heart (2588)
kar-dee'-ah
Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: - (+ broken-) heart (-ed).

ox said...

gmommy of the "rrr",
yes, I am familiar with at least one of our little group. I count myself very privileged. I mean, it was bound to happen. I grew up there and went to BBC for a long time. Who knows, I might know more of you!! :)

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

xoxo Ox,
You have mail!

ezekiel said...

Concernedsbcr,

Act 2
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Now just what did we receive? Is it the Helper we see here?

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Joh 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
Joh 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
Joh 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Joh 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Is it the annointing we see here?

1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

If we follow the references here to the verse....

1Jn 2:27 -
the anointing: 1Jo_2:20, 1Jo_3:24; Joh_4:14; 1Pe_1:23; 2Jo_1:2
and ye: 1Jo_2:20-21; Jer_31:33-34; Joh_14:26, Joh_16:13; Heb_8:10-11
but: 1Co_2:13; Eph_4:21; 1Th_2:13; 1Ti_2:7; 2Pe_1:16-17
ye shall: 1Jo_2:28; Joh_8:31-32, Joh_15:4-7; Col_2:6
him: or, it

The Spirit operates from the WORD of GOD, either when you hear it from a preacher or teacher or when you read it for yourself from your bible.

In today's world with so many false prophets and teachers, I would think that there is more and more importance placed on reading it for yourself. I am certain the Holy Spirit will guide us from the written WORD.(John 16:13)

Thinking about it now, I just wonder if the written WORD is or could be considered the mouth of Holy Spirit? The bible certainly does perform John 16:8. That, I think is why a lot of folks can't or won't read it.

What do you think?

Angela said...

Concernedsbcer;

Thank you for being persistent in posting the scriptures from Acts.....

I have been reading Acts, along with the scriptures listed under "church" in the index of my Bible, (it's a start...)

When I read verses like those in Acts 2, I wonder how we could ever follow the "example" of how the early church interacted. Our society and way of life makes it very difficult to picture selling all that we own and sharing with each other.

From the verses, it sounds as if the early Christians ALL met together, at the temple, everyday for prayer, fellowship, meals and "Bible study". Is that what God expects from us?

I often think about shows I have seen that describe how Muslims come together and pray several times a day--no matter their job schedules or responsibilities, when the call comes to pray, they pray. Is that "legalism"? Are we free from "ritual" practices of worship and prayer, or would we benefit from being so committed to God and each other above all else?

I still struggle with the question of,"Does God expect us to live like the NT Christians TODAY?"

We seem to rationalize and justify our actions according to our own lifestyles....."Oh, that just an EXAMPLE from back in 'Biblical' times, not intended to be taken LITERALLY."

It's convenient to observe scriptural teachings concerning our "behaviors"--"I don't drink, smoke, nor chew...or go with girls that do,"--But it's much more difficult to even begin to understand how we could follow the Acts of the early church in our EVERYday lives...

I'm still left with the question, "What does God desire?" Which scriptures do we take literally and which ones do we view as an example of how we 'could' do things? I think that's where the Holy Spirit, wisdom, knowledge, and spirituaL understanding come in, (Col. 1:9-12,)

......Oh, I'm rambling....

anyway, I'm intrigued by the discussion in this thread.....

back to "lurking" status....

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Angela,
Don't lurk long.
I believe He is able to use the internet and blogs to bring us together to fulfill His desire for us.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Is anyone going to tell me if it is common to get the type of degrees that Johnny Hunt got and pass it off as the real deal????

It was a sincere question?

Junk?
OC?
Dr KK?
...uh....Dr Looney???

BkWormGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oc said...

Gmommy,
"Honorary" degrees are not "earned" degrees. If I'm not mistaken, Al Sharpton has a degree such as this, and therefore calls himself "Dr.". And while it may be accepted practice in the "world" to acknowlege the degree as at least semi-legitimate, I believe it to be less than ethical that the person to whom such degree has been so conferred would allow anyone to believe it was anything except one which was earned. It's deception. So therefore lying. So therefore sin. In my opinion.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

But why aren't more people talking about it, BWG?????
I agree with you but didn't see any thing going on about it on other blogs....
is it yet another thing we are suppose to be slient about?????
just wondering....

oc said...

It's the way of the world, isn't it? Pad your resume. Lie your way to the top. Make people think that you are more than who you are.
And if you are a "Christian", then you need to smile, even though you may be miserable and your heart is breaking. Fake it 'til you make it.
Yeah, right.

And I'm reading some things in the Psalms, especially some things in the OT prophets. I'm getting real with this. Some of the things we see in the Bible are down-right depressing. No one really talks about any of that. But it's real. For God's people, it's not all "glory and light". If someone tells you it is, then they are lying to you. No wonder I am disappointed in my walk with Him.
It's my fault. I listen too much to what I've been told. We get the idea that we should be in 'euphoria' because we've been saved. And on Sunday, we surely get that message. Smiles on our face, faking like we don't hurt. Because we think that if we hurt, we must not be real "Christians". Deacon Jones seems to have it all down. The Pastor just smiles, and though I know I'm saved, and I study the same Scriptures he does,
his life seems to be much more peaceful than mine...he must be more holy than I...or I guess he lives in a different world than I do...

Sometimes the very people we think are "righteous" may be the very same people we need to avoid. We have allowed ourselves to be led by men and their ideas of God and the Bible, and what they have said sounded right in our ears. It tickles a bit. It makes us happy.
For a couple of hours anyway.

Why haven't we gotten the message? We need to be led by God. And frankly, sometimes that hurts. And if you don't like me, because I don't have a smiley face on Sunday, then so what? If we are honest, then we will read the Bible and see that it isn't always hand-shakes and grins, a couple of hours on Sunday, and acting like we were actually "holy" during the rest of the week. I'm not saying all is gloom and doom. I'm just saying that we need to get real with each other. How can we see Jesus in each other if we are guarding ourselves all the time?
Why can't I cry on your shoulder?

Because of the fact that we don't get "real" with each other and with God, that's why "church" has lost me.

We are looking at The Acts of the Apostles, the early church. It doesn't look familiar to me at all.

Just sayin'.
oc.

concernedSBCer said...

Angela: I have wondered about that myself. What are we supposed to do....a commune? I'm wondering...could it be about our heart's motive? Is it that we take care and look out after each other? It seems like the early church looked forward to not only worshipping together but also just sharing life and "stuff" with each other. Granted, we live in a different society, a different culture....but do you think the point is to meet each other's needs? To "stand in the gap" when your neighbor needs something? To be close enough with fellow believers that you just know when something is wrong?

How many reading this have gone to church with a broken heart, hoping to receive comfort from just being with other believers; yet, when someone asks how you are, you grind your teeth, smile and say "fine!" Why do we do that????

Because we aren't close enough to the other believers? Because we are afraid of being looked down upon? Because we don't think people care?

We care enough to send money and missionaries to the far reaches of the earth...do we care enough to meet the needs of the lady in the hall?

How did it get this way? A change in culture and neighborhood dynamics? Possibly. So, what now?

oc said...

Concernedsbcer:

Amen to that! As always, you are still feeling the heart of Christ!

I love you friend.

oc.

concernedSBCer said...

Ezekiel said: "Thinking about it now, I just wonder if the written WORD is or could be considered the mouth of Holy Spirit? The bible certainly does perform John 16:8. That, I think is why a lot of folks can't or won't read it.

What do you think?"

I think you did hit the nail on the head. It kinda goes back to something someone said earlier....the "hospital" thing. See, if the Word is taught and studied, then many of us would have to change our ways. Maybe change jobs. Maybe change habits that don't honor God.

Who wants to do that??? Isn't it easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission?

So with that attitude and the ensuing laziness, has the church become much more like the world...because it's easier?

I want to hear the words, "Well done thy good and faithful servant." And I want to be with other believers who feel the same way and are willing to work for it.

oc said...

"I want to hear the words, "Well done thy good and faithful servant." And I want to be with other believers who feel the same way and are willing to work for it."

And as you have so well displayed in your life and your words, that admonition of "well done" is not only vertical, it is is horizontal also. For any He loves, we should love them too.
Amen sister!

Lin said...

"I often think about shows I have seen that describe how Muslims come together and pray several times a day--no matter their job schedules or responsibilities, when the call comes to pray, they pray. Is that "legalism"? Are we free from "ritual" practices of worship and prayer, or would we benefit from being so committed to God and each other above all else?"

Interesting observation, Angela. Yes, what you see Muslims doing is legalism and trying to earn favor with their fake god. Even then, they never have assurance from their fake god. Ask one sometime how they know for a fact they will go to heaven.

But, with Jesus Christ...our beliefs/faith are not external. They are internal because we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. We long to be with other like minded believers. We long to be in prayer with them studying the Word. We cannot wait! You see this in Acts by saying they were of one accord...in heart and soul. Notice in Acts 5 what happened to keep this one accord and keep those operating in the flesh out. After that, unbelievers dared not join them during this time.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

So "what now" is the big question.

We've been identifying problems, ways we have gotten away from the Word...but where do we go from here?

I don't think it's as black and white as we are used to thinking.
and I don't know if we make big decisions and change big things in our lives...maybe that's still being/thinking man centered.

How do we get out of the rat race of our culture, the pressures of what we are suppose to look like??

How do we stop using the bible to hit someone over the head with?

How can we love more?

I've been guilty of looking for the formula...the "right" way.

Is there only one?
Did God make us all so different when He created us so that we could all try and be alike???

How have we felt...what actual love do we hear when people like JE or B or MB tell us to repent and apologize and forgive and forget and do this and do that?????

Just lots of questions....
please no self righteous answers

bowtheknee said...

Hello everyone,

Concerned asked me to post a few days ago and I'm always a little bit behind. I've enjoyed reading your responses about what church is. As Concerned knows, I have been struggling a lot with church since we left BBC. My husband and I joined another SBC church even though we are disgusted with many things that go on in the Convention as many of you have mentioned on this thread. We believe in the basic doctrines of the traditional Southern Baptists. Right now I don't like "church" at all. There are very few traditional Baptist churches left and some that remain are either incorporating rituals from other denominations or religious backgrounds or have too much legalism for us. Concerned wonders why the incorporation of rituals from other denoms bothers me so much. As far as I can understand from my limited knowledge of church history, Southern Baptists did not draw on other religions (especially Roman Catholicism) for rituals in their worship services. If you have attended other denoms, you have probably noticed that other churches are more ritualistic with liturgical services. For those of you not attending SBC churches anymore, please do not think I am against ritualism or liturgy in the services. I am against these practices coming into the Baptist churches because they don't come from the NT church but from later on in church history. Many times the rituals especially those from the Roman Catholic church actually come from paganism. I am not writing this to open a can of worms. I am not saying it is impossible to be a Catholic and be a Christian. I have Catholic friends that I do believe are saved. That is not the point of this post. The point is that we are having trouble finding a church and I think the main reason is because there are very few if any churches left that are modeled on the actual NT churches mentioned in the Bible.

We are also seeing an influx of charismatic worship coming back into the Baptist churches. Apparently this is something that happened about 30 years ago and it is back again. Many of you noticed this when you were still at BBC. One of the first things that happened at BBC under SG was the flood of men coming down the aisles to bow the knee to pray. Once again I am not against bowing the knee to pray. I do have a problem with a pastor telling an entire church they need to flood the aisles in order to pray. He also started the thing he does where everyone puts their hand out toward the front toward a specific person to pray for. This was done when Jamie was brought in. This is done in charismatic churches all over the world. We get a station on Directv called God TV. This is all charismatic all the time. If you are wondering what I'm talking about just log onto God TV online or watch on Directv. They have revivals going on all the time. These practices and others are not just happening at BBC but at other Southern Baptist Churches all over the country. The 7-11 music that most of us on this blog abhor is part of this movement as well. It is supposed to get the congregation pumped up although at our church it pretty much falls flat which is fine with me. We think it is completely ridiculous. Some of the songs change keys and have crescendo after crescendo before finally ending. Any of you familiar with Prestonwood Baptist Church music will know what I'm talking about. This is the music that was brought in before SG ever got to BBC. That was practically all the choir sang after he got there.

I agree with Ezekiel. The time has come for us to stop relying on preachers to tell us what the Word says. It is important to find a good Bible based church and attend it but we need to be in the Word each and every day. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to help us to understand the Word. There is way too much false teaching out there and we can no longer assume any preacher/pastor is telling us the complete truth of the Word.

Diana

Junkster said...

I don't know if it is common or not for people to try to pass off an honorary doctorate, or one obtained by payment to a diploma mill, as earned. But I do know that doing so is considered an insult by those who have earned a doctorate (a rigorous process for the individual) from an institution accredited by a recognized agency (a rigorous process for the school).

But I am reminded of a line from the end of the original "Planet of the Apes" movie, where Charlton Heston's character (Taylor), just before learning that he was on a post-nuclear war Earth of the future, receives an ominous warning from an orangutan (Dr. Zaius):

Taylor: A planet where apes evolved from men? There's got to be an answer.
Dr. Zaius: Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find.

oc said...

Was Dr.Zaius' degree earned or honorary?

concernedSBCer said...

Acts 4

31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

oc said...

To Angela,

"He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindeness, And to walk humbly with your God?"

Micah 6:8


Man tends to make things complicated. God makes it plain and simple.
oc.

Lin said...

Diana,

I have been blown away to see such a focus on creeds/confessions in the baptist churches today.

I can even completely agree with a confession but at the same time, remember that we used to be completely focused on scripture and not interpreting creeds or BFM's as we are doing now. I am stunned at how much time and energy is put into different groups interpreting what the BFM means or does not mean and making claims based on it. Or how much time is spent on discussing what is in the London Confession or the Westminister confession. It is just proof of how these sorts of things take our focus away from Jesus Christ and His Word. When all they are...are someone elses interpretation of what is in the Word. They take us away from the Holy Spirit teaching us personally with the Word.

concernedSBCer said...

Lin and Diana: Do you think that all the focus on the Confessions, the writings of Beth More and Max Lucado, etc, have merely served to water down the actual scripture from whence they come?

Lin said...

Do you think that all the focus on the Confessions, the writings of Beth More and Max Lucado, etc, have merely served to water down the actual scripture from whence they come?

7:38 PM, June 14, 2008

Warning: Personal opinion coming...:o)

It definitely has been that for me. I don't really know how to explain this but what I have found is that so many (including me a while back) understood the scriptures from the viewpoints of those popular teachers and modern day preachers. Which is to understand very little as they spend a lot of time proof texting!

When I came out of the seeker world, I was determined to find out what being a Christian was really all about and immersed myself in the Word for years. I was STUNNED at how different and deeper the truth was than what I thought it was.... based on what all the popular teachers were saying. (That is why they are popular and sell tons of books, etc.)

Why are we allowing only others (because of a title or fame) teach us the Word when we have the BEST and ONLY Teacher?

Now, what I find myself doing after studying the Word is to check out what other (usually old dead guys) have to say about something in scripture. I will check out Spurgeon, Pink, Gill, Ryle and others. Many have helped me understand something deeper but I always want to study on my own with the Holy Spirit...most times, these old writers will simply add a deeper understanding.

One thing I really appreciate about the old writers is that they tended to focus on Primary Doctrine.

In Beth Moores study on the Patriarchs...just to give you an example of how silly and shallow these folks have become...one of her 'study questions' at the end was something to this effect:

If you were attending a baby shower for Sarah, what sort of present would you take her.

Now, I know most women love Beth Moore so I may be whacked for that one. I am not a big fan at all. To someone who does not spend time studying scripture she may seem deep. And that would be my point. We all own Bibles...we all have access to the Holy Spirit when saved...why is everyone buying books by these people to know Christ???

oc said...

Lin said:
"And that would be my point. We all own Bibles...we all have access to the Holy Spirit when saved...why is everyone buying books by these people to know Christ???"


oc says:
YES! Thank you! Just a double AMEN to that! Many get their theology from somewhere other than the Bible.
They read these books, and they let the book inform their doctrines and color their interpretations of the Word. And they will swear that what they now believe is the true interpretation of the Word. Some will live and die for it. Even though there are possibly other interpretations that are just as Scripturally sound. Scares me that some of us are so sure about some things that God has not revealed to us.


Thank you Lin.

bowtheknee said...

Lin has brought up an excellent topic which is the use of creeds and/or BFM in the Baptist Church. Under Dr. Rogers, I was barely even aware of the BFM. It was right after SG came to BBC that all the sudden the BFM was up on the screen and we were all reading it in one accord as if it were the Bible. We were having it handed out to us to take home. I kept wondering why we were so focused on it and reading from it all the time. SG was one of the writers of it and so was Dr. R.

And I agree with Lin about the confessions. I can completely agree with them and think they sound absolutely beautiful but week after week of the Apostles Creed when we used to attend a Methodist Church just about drove me crazy. Who even pays attention after awhile? You just say it every week and then move on. It also bothers me in liturgical churches that the Scripture readings are planned out years in advance. You can find the plans for these online. In the Methodist Church, every week has a name even if it is just something like 5th week after Pentecost or something like that. There is a very small Baptist Church in our area where they started doing Advent at Christmas (sorry, but not a Baptist thing!) and even started a "hanging of the greens" ceremony and a Chrismons tree. I believe the greens ceremony and the Chrismons are both from Lutheran tradition. I looked all these things up in December after attending this church once and being very disturbed by what we were seeing and hearing. Once again, nothing inherently wrong with doing these things but we were disturbed to see it in a Baptist Church. Advent has been used in a lot of Baptist Churches for years and now some churches are even doing Maundy Thursday services (also called Holy Thursday in the Catholic tradition) rather than just having their regular Wednesday night services before Easter. At my parent's church, they had Maundy Thursday service this year and at the end everyone left the service and dropped a nail in some type of metal pail to symbolize the crucifixion I guess. Symbolism has long been part of the Roman Catholic tradition but since when is it part of the Baptist tradition? We have the Lord's Supper and baptism which both use symbolism. Other than those two things which are mandated in Scripture, I can't think of other symbolic acts. Someone else can correct me if I missed something.

As far as Max Lucado, Beth Moore, etc. if you aren't going to invest the time yourself to study the Scripture as Lin has talked about, doing an indepth study with Beth is probably fine. I did several with her and learned a lot because I wasn't studying on my own. However she is getting involved deeper and deeper into the contemplative realm and the last study I did(Daniel)I thought she acted very strange toward the end of it. I think the reason so many Christians are so far off course is because they are reading these books that are filling the shelves of Lifeway. Everyone has their own opinion and when you buy a book that is what you are paying for. You could save yourself some money and just read the Bible you already have. Also beware of your Lifeway quarterly. Some writers are good - some are not. Also not very deep.

Diana

concernedSBCer said...

Diana: Amen about the Lifeway quarterly. The last 6 weeks of SS have driven me mad with how inane the lessons have been. Just another example of the watering down of scripture and the dumbing down of believers.

bowtheknee said...

Concerned,

I wrote that part for you!!! Also the dumbing down of the music so we only sing about Jesus in a very generic way. This is why hymns are so important. People may not like hymns or may be sick of them but most are full of doctrine not just repeating 2 phrases over and over again. At my church, I wish we could skip the music if we can't sing something worthwhile. Our pastor says we just need to worry about glorifying God and I say EXACTLY!!!! What about repeating 2 phrases 30 times is glorifying to God? Is He deaf? Is He slow to understand? Are we deaf? Are we this stupid? Apparently.

concernedSBCer said...

My kid's choir director had a saying....if you can substitute the name "Kevin" in a song and it still sounds right, it's not a praise song to Jesus.

concernedSBCer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
concernedSBCer said...

Okay....so far we have heard...

from AOG: No church is perfect. Agreed.

Churches probaby shouldn't be long-term care hospitals; they should be a place of healing, not wallowing.

Study in the Bible is crucial for each believer. The Holy Spirit will teach.

So.........now I must ask.....does it matter that we attend Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night? Is meeting with other believers also counted as in our church expectations?

How should we attempt, then, to meet needs in our realm of influence?

oc said...

Just some thoughts...

You know what? We need to be unsure of some of what we think we know. And I think that is a good thing. If we know it all,then we would be God, right?

So for me, it's all about faith. It is the assurance of things not seen, but things hoped for. And not the kind of hope in the sense of a big "maybe", but hope in the terms of anticipation of what we know from what He has told us.

There are some things we can be sure of. There are other things that we must admit we are not sure of. We can all be sure that He loves us, and so sent His Son to die for us. He arose from the dead, and He lives. The life, the death, and the resurrection is what we can count on.

Whatever else we believe is speculation. Calvinism, Arminianism, Eschatology, etc. is not yet confirmed, and in my opinion is often but a distraction and a detriment in our walk with Him. But the fact that He loves us, sent His Son to die for us, and that He confirmed that with the resurrection of Jesus is all that I really know. And I think it is all that really counts.

So the Gospel is not very complicated. It can't be, because if it was, I would have never "got it". I'm but a simple man, and He gave that to me and let me understand it. So all the Hebrew, Greek, and Systematic Theology in the world would never have brought me to the relationship with His Son. That all came later. Let's not complicate the Gospel for others. And even after all the "religious education", I'm not sure if it was advantageous or if it is detriment. But I do know this, the Gospel is not complicated.

Let's not complicate it for others.

Love.

oc.

bowtheknee said...

I've always thought you should be as involved as you can at church but that was back in the "old days" when I loved going to BBC and it was such a part of my life. Now the more involved I am, the more irritated I get. The more I am there the more I see. The best Sundays I have had in the last year are the ones my husband and I spent at home listening to J. Vernon McGee online or watching Love Worth Finding on tv. I do not see in Scripture where it is mandated that you attend church 3 times a week. It sounded like during the Acts scripture reading that they got together almost every day to break bread. In our culture, I don't think that is possible but keeping in touch with Christian friends and meeting THEIR needs might be the next best thing. I think we have tried to do that through this blog. We may not always be successful but we have attempted it.

concernedSBCer said...

I'm not sure what we are talking about that is complicated. It seems to me as if we are discussing how to "streamline" church...that it might have gotten "cluttered." The clutter seems to have misguided many a believer and dare I say, pastor.

The message is simple; the growth takes work and dedication and time it seems to me.

oc said...

Bowtheknee,

I think you caught on to something big there. A big part of the Kingdom is that we need to love on each other.

If we think that we need to be the "Acts" church, then we need to care for one another. If not, we get what we deserve. We haven't, and we are reaping it now. But it isn't what He wants for us, and it's not good enough as it is. Neither for Him, nor for us.

You got it my friend.

Just sayin'. :)

oc.

oc said...

Concernedsber,

Man has complicated the simple things God set up. Micah 6:6-8 just blows man's religion away.

He has not made it hard. We have.

oc.

oc said...

Concernedsbcer,

It is my belief that the over-complication of the Gospel has been translated into the local church. Much of what we think that is expected of us, has nothing to do with the Gospel. If I miss a Sunday, for whatever reason, why do I feel the need to explain it to anyone else??? Boy, I sure feel the need to, but is it anything other than my pride and/or their expectations of me?

Who has my soul? Him who died for me, or the people who have decided to set up standards for me?

Not sure what I'm really sayin'. Just thinkin' on the fly.

oc.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"My kid's choir director had a saying....if you can substitute the name 'Kevin' in a song and it still sounds right, it's not a praise song to Jesus."

Hmmm... let's see.

I Am a Friend of Kevin

Hey! Your kid's choir director is right!

oc said...

Yep. And let's try to correlate that with Scripture. We are talking about the first century church, right? Is there a Scripture in Acts that tells us about Praise Music or any Choir Director? Or any choir, for that matter. I see no Music Director. I see no youth ministers. I see no programs and I surely see no Sunday School. Now how close do we really want to be with the Acts of the Apostles?

This can get dangerous in a hurry.

What are we willing to lose in order to gain?

oc.

oc said...

Concernedsbcer:

You are right. But to me, the"clutter" makes it "complicated". If something is simple, it should not be encumbered by being cluttered. If something is "cluttered", then it is not simple. So as you say, let's "streamline" the Church. That is fine. I think it's needed. But I think we need to dump the "clutter" in order to do so.
So how much much of it shall we dump? What shall we dump?

oc said...

Now if I tell all you fine Christians to dump Sunday School, all hell will break loose, and you will hate me. But not one of you can tell me that there is one hour designated before worship time that is dedicated for Bible Study, which we call Sunday School. You can't find it in the Bible. But we do it anyway. And all we do is as the sheep does... we just follow...
but sometimes we know not where, or why.

I am just going to ask a question.
It's definite that His sheep know His voice. So what exactly are we doing in church?

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Tonight I heard the most BEAUTIFUL old hymns played on violin/fiddle and mandolin
The old Rugged Cross
In the Garden
too late to remember the rest but they just touched my spirit...

WHY did we trade in these timeless beautiful melodies for the non stimulating (intellectually)chanting 7/11 songs
when we have these great old hymns??????
Blog friends, we need to take a little road trip together soon and enjoy this music together!!!

oc said...

Hi Momma. All 4 foot 11 inches. 92 pounds. I love you Mom. Yeah, I know it's Father's Day, but Dad was no where around, was he? I love you, because you were always there for me. You were the one who had enough guts to show up in my jersey at half time of the football game, even though that day it was supposed to be about Fathers, and you were the only Momma there.
I'll never forget it. Or all the many other things you did to try to make up for the fact of not having a real dad. I love you Mom.
Happy Father's Day.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

OC,
I hope my children understand someday what you realize.....
It's very hard for a mom to try and fill the shoes of a dad but many of us give it our all.

I salute the moms who have had to be both mom and dad to their children.

I honor the dads who have taken their roles seriously and been a loving, present, engaged daddy!!!!
Happy Father's Day!!!!!

Lin said...

"Now if I tell all you fine Christians to dump Sunday School, all hell will break loose, and you will hate me. But not one of you can tell me that there is one hour designated before worship time that is dedicated for Bible Study, which we call Sunday School. "

Ironically, Sunday School probably reflects more of the early church structure than does regular church where most are spectators instead of being involved in the discussion, prayer, etc. In Sunday School, people feel more free to speak up, etc.

But the history of SS is very interesting. It was started during the industrial revolution in England, I think in the 1800's. It was set up at churches in order to teach kids who worked during the week how to read and write with some bible lessons thrown in. The church saw the need to educate children who were not being educated. It evolved from there in Protestant churches.

Lin said...

So.........now I must ask.....does it matter that we attend Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night? Is meeting with other believers also counted as in our church expectations?

10:17 PM, June 14, 2008

A few thoughts on this...In Acts they were filled with the Holy Spirit, in one accord. They could not wait to assemble, learn, share, help each other, etc. I am not sure we should call them expectations but I am not aware of another word to use. :o)

Meeting with believers is not a duty but a joy. I know something that really helped me was to take the focus off what I was expecting...to be fed, etc. And put my focus on being a feeder...an encourager and trying to always focus on truth..searching the scriptures together.

Today I taught on Acts 5 (we are studying Acts) and I asked them why Peter, who denied knowing Christ 3x, was not struck dead like Ananias and Sapphira were for lying to the Holy Spirit. They were not even given the chance to repent! There is no pat answer but Romans 9 helps us understand even if we do not like it much and the fact that God was building a pure Bride that Jesus would present to Himself at the marriage feast. I think this should bring fear to us just as it did to the early church. That was one reason why I said what I did about the 'Hospital for sinners'.

I don't think I explained myself well with that one. In Acts 5, we see purification of the church happen instantly in this instance. It brought great fear and kept out those who were not real believers in those early days. In the church today, we know we have unregenerate membership. It has become a real problem and quite serious to their eternal life if we fear speaking the deep truths that are so uncomfortable.

Lin said...

concerned,

In Acts, they met everyday!! It just was not formal and institutionalized as we have made it today.

oc said...

Momma stood there at the 50 yard line at half time. And more than 40dads stood there also. But she was the only Momma there. She wore my jersey, and it was draped on her, it looked really bad. Momma was little, and the number 44 hung low, and it dragged the muddy ground. But I've never been so proud in my life as I was that Friday night.

That was 34 years ago, and I will never forget it.
She barely remembers it at all. But I never will forget it.

I guess I just want to say that the kindness and sweetness of the friendships I've made here won't be forgotten either. You've made a big difference in me. Thank you.

God bless you all.
oc/Larry.

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francesca said...

Concerning clearing out the clutter, why not rid the church of so-called 'youth pastors'?

tn_lizzie2000 said...

Francesca said...
Concerning clearing out the clutter, why not rid the church of so-called 'youth pastors'?

This is just one reason we love our home church! We have 5 members, ages 41 down to 4 3/4, and we all study the Bible together.

When we go out to eat, we don't hand our children off at the door. They don't go eat with those specially trained in child etiquette... and a table full of equally-immature eaters.

Nope, they sit at the table with Dad and Mom where they see examples of how they should behave while eating.

"Youth Pastors" bug me!

concernedSBCer said...

Lin and TN Lizzie.....
Speaking of youth pastors.....and youth groups......I completely agree. I think youth groups have perhaps even started the "entertain me" notion that is pervasive throughout our churches. They have to be entertained to bother coming to church, then that attitude seems to carry into their adulthood.

I have been amazed at the lengths youth groups go in dividing the family. For example.....because of school and extracurricular events, kids are home mainly during Christmas vacation, Spring Break and summer. The school year schedule leaves very little time for family interaction and bonding. So what do youth groups do??? They plan a "Winter Trip" and a "Spring Trip" and summer choir tours and mission trips....the list goes on. Add that to the fact that youth groups "sit together" during worship service and I believe they have succeeded in minimizing the family influence while increasing their own above the family. I can't find any scriptural backing for that either.

concernedSBCer said...

Sorry, Francesca....the youth post was supposed to have been in reply to you and TN Lizzie....I guess I'm still sleepy!

concernedSBCer said...

Lin said: "In Acts, they met everyday!! It just was not formal and institutionalized as we have made it today."

Absolutely! I understand that. Their lives were completely intertwined with each others. I used to have that situation.....my kids went to school with several families in our church; we were all in the same SS class; we "played" together as well....it was rare to NOT see each other in some capacity every day. It was great....

Then I was called to homeschool (school interaction stopped) and my husband left (social interaction awkward) and I returned to work (play interaction no longer affordable) and guess what? they are still there, but I'm not.....not by any choice of my own, really.

I think when neighborhood churches and neighborhood schools were the norm, this was easier to accomplish...but in our spread out demographics, it is more difficult.

So I guess the question bears asking again....what is church? Is it *only* meeting within the four walls of the building with other members or is it more/different? Could this blog be a part of church? Could all meetings with other believers when spiritual things are discussed be "church?"

I also appreciated your point that the discussion type of SS is more usually what the early church would have been like as opposed to a pastor spoon-feeding everything during a sermon.

allofgrace said...

If you look closely at the biblical model, there's no such thing as "age grading" in church. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of sitting in the "grown up" worship services. There was no "children's church". The whole youth ministry concept is based upon American culture rather than on the biblical model. Madison Ave. figured out a long time ago to focus advertising on the 12-20 something audience. It doesn't take long to figure out that American culture is completely youth-focused. Several years ago, George Barna made the comment that if the evangelical church is to survive it had better take a cue from Madison Ave. or fade into "irrelevancy". Well...churches heeded Mr. Barna's advice and here we are. It's no secret that the gospel has always been in competition with the culture, but taking the "if you can't beat em, join em" route is not how the gospel or the church works...or at least biblically speaking. The youth ministry culture within the church has served to extend an already extended adolescence that was unheard of 50 yrs ago. The saying that 30 is the new 20 is no joke...it's a cultural reality, and the church is helping that phenomenon along with a youth ministry geared to keep them "forever young". Many in Baptist circles get up in arms over the popularity of men like John Piper among the college age crowd. But whether you like his theology or not, what he proposes to them is something meatier than the "cafe latte" religion that a vast majority of churches currently feed them. It's time for evangelicalism to bite the bullet and admit that its methods of reaching and retaining the younger generation are an abject failure, and get back to biblical basics.

concernedSBCer said...

AOG: When you look at the statistics (something like 70% of youth brought up in church leave the church during college and only 30% of those return later) it is easy to see it's not working.

We're doing it wrong.

BkWormGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lin said...

" Max's sole focus is to tell people that Jesus loves them. His ministry is driven by the idea that the kindness of God is what draws us to repentance. And yet, I promise you, 5 minutes with Max Lucado, and you will have heard the gospel message."

You should see what he gets to speak. If he preached the full gospel, he would not make such large fees or sell so many books. I know, I was in marketing in that world and he is a sought after speaker. The full Gospel is offensive, even to many who call themselves Christians.

We are driven to repentance by the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. It is a kindness that the Holy Spirit does that for us.

"Jay Adams on the other hand, wants people to live in fear, repent or condemnation. Problems in your life? Then it is because you have sin."

Jay Adams ADDED in a step to the Matthew 18 process that is NOT in scripture at the True Church conference this past year. How very disappointing. All problems are caused by sin because we live in a fallen world and we are totally depraved and only by Grace are we saved.

I have a question for you that will cut through much of the mud and junk we see today in the church...

Who Crucified Christ?

concernedSBCer said...

Acts 5

40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

concernedSBCer said...

Acts 6
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Deacons? Elders?

ox said...

Lin said,"Who Crucified Christ?" A very important question. Blame immediately seems to point to the Jews, and then the Romans are complicit, but I think Lin was speaking spiritually. I think I (we) crucified Christ.
Isaiah 53:5 says," But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

He died for you, for me. He died for everyone one of us. We crucified Christ.

oc said...

Oh boy... just some more rambling from me...


Elders? Deacons? Preachers? We can go ahead and bust out the Greek on all of it, and argue about what all it really means. But the terms are but designations for the the people who are to be seen as more mature in the faith. Nothing more. It may be you. It may be me. And I'm sure I'm going to get blasted, but I do not believe there is an "office" for any of it. But some have decided to make it more than it is. And I understand that, it's quite human to do so...
613 ordinances to govern your life...let's go ahead and make another one, Oh well...let's make it 614. Maybe 615...

I think it's just another symptom of what's happening now in the church. It is too much work to think for myself. Someone else think for me please! Relationships are hard work! So I allow others to make it feel so complicated for me, and oh boy, that it's beyond me now, and I may not know Greek or Hebrew or even Systematic Theology, so how can I ever maintain a relationship with the Lord? So then we tend to depend on what another says about our walk with Him. And then we start feeling real comfortable in letting someone else define our faith...And our "faith" is what? Our relationship with the One who died and rose again for us. But now we put that relationship in the hands of someone else.Then it quickly goes to what they know. Now we believe that our relationship depends on what we know from what they know, so no longer is it dependent on Who we know. That is disaster of the soul.

So I am so sick of the over-complication of the faith. Before I go any further, I'll let you know that I am a an "ordained deacon" since 1985. "Licensed Preacher" since 1986. Have a degree in Bible and Theology from a Southern Baptist Universtity since 92. Pastored a couple of years. And so what? I only say it so you'll know some of my background and that you know that I'm not following "just anyone" and I'm not following the SBC politics.
But anyway let me tell you what I know from the
"deacon" perspective and from the "pastor" perspective, as I see it, not from what I've been "told", but from what I've lived and studied. A deacon is just a servant. A deacon should feel honored in the fact that he should see himself worthy to even scrub the toilet of one of those who loves Jesus and has decided to follow Jesus. And the pastor should be right beside that deacon scrubbing away with the Pine Sol and thanking God for it while he is doing it.

And another thing. I really believe this with my heart. The Beatitudes are are a big deal.

And I have no clue if I have made any sense towards anyone's understanding regarding this most excellent original post. But I do love you anyway.

Just sayin'.
oc.

oc said...

Yes Ox. He died for me.

And He lives for me!

ox said...

OC said,"Yes Ox. He died for me.

And He lives for me!" AMEN! We serve a risen Savior, the one Mediator between God and Man, who enables us to have that relationship we couldn't have had any other way except through HIM!! He does Live!!

ox said...

The answer can go on and on about who crucified Christ, but those nails didn't hold Jesus to that Cross. No one "killed" Jesus, He chose to give up His life so that I might live.

p.s. Please overlook all typos! :)

oc said...

Yes Ox. And He doesn't depend on me being a Calvinist, nor Arminianist, nor dispensationalist, nor premillenialist or amillienalist,on and on and on.

Or any other "ist".

He simply loves.

just sayin'.
oc.

oc said...

I killed Him.

BkWormGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oc said...

If He killed Him? It was because of me. I sent the Son to the Cross.

BkWormGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
concernedSBCer said...

Look, if you want to get technical, Adam and Eve sent Him to the cross with their sin. He went willingly.

Regardless, His sacrificial love for all of us makes me want to serve Him with my very best.

My actions impact how others see Him. The way I worship Him also impacts how others receive Him.

oc said...

Nope. I did it.

oc said...

No BWG, not that I'm so important and arrogant. But that I'm a such a disgrace to my Savior. I think you are looking from a different side.

oc said...

And I did not say that we made Jesus do anything. That would be blasphemous. Look again and think about what I really said.

oc.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

If yall turn a discussion among friends...
and about God's Word ..into an argument...
I think the blog gmommy is going to take names and give time outs!!!!

BkWormGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
concernedSBCer said...

Moving along..... :)

What is church?

oc said...

It is interesting to me that the emphasis has actually been lost concerning the Beatitudes, church behavior, etc. Some don't want to address it head on. Instead it's all about my arrogance.
I guess it's all just about me.
Just me, being cocky as ever.

That's just fine. Deflection is normal. Why should I even think that Christians should be serious about the Message and their position in the world? Why should I consider them different? And they but ridicule their own.
Just a thought, but maybe we should all get on back to the Beattitudes.

I will say thanks. But I'm really not sure why.


oc.

BkWormGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junkster said...

Acts 2:23
This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

Did God kill Jesus or did men?

Yes.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Please take a break.....

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Thank you junk.....

oc said...

BWG.

My apologies. Even though it's only Monday, I've already had a tough week. I will admit that my assessment of any comments given by you or any one else could have very well been colored by my nasty work week so far. My kids are just going hay wire. I most probably should have never even looked at the blog yet. And I admit that I did not pray before looking or posting. I need to get that right.

And I want you to know this. I love you sister. And this isn't first time I've heard it, but I'm so very sorry that I'm so hard to love.

Larry.

oc said...

Junk,

Did God need to bother, except becuause of me?

oc said...

I did it.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Is there a full moon tonight?

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Something is in the air!!!

oc said...

Want me to go away?
I will.

Junkster said...

I want some ice cream. That's what I want.

oc said...

It's Cherry Garcia. Man, that just rocks.

oc.

concernedSBCer said...

Junk, count me in! Pralines and Cream or Chocolate Peanut Butter....hummmm.....

concernedSBCer said...

Acts 6
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Looking at this.....I do find verse 3 and 4 very interesting, and I really like the accountability applied to leadership.

Lynn said...

concernedSBCer said...

Junk, count me in! Pralines and Cream or Chocolate Peanut Butter....hummmm.....

9:27 PM, June 16, 2008

I'll take a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard :D

Cakes said...

You know, as an observer in all this, the real difference between y'all is in the semantic permutations; and applied to mysteries for which language is limited.

I knew a guy once that addressed God, in prayer, as "Dad;" it struck me as unusual and perhaps too familiar, but in the end, what business was it of mine anyway? And knowing something of his home life, if personalizing God to that extent helped him get through his life--knowing that he had value, that God looked upon on him, intimately, with love and compassion--then who am I to criticize?

Let's use our words encourage one another.

oc said...

Naw, you are all are punks.
What rocks is Cherry Garcia. It's kinda like the KJV of ice creams. OOPS!!!

Let's not get going on all that!!!
Lol!
oc.

Cakes said...

Give me death by chocolate.

oc said...

Death by chocolate?
Crush you by cherries.
oc,

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

I'm with Cakes...on the words AND the chocolate....

Francesca said...

From BKwormgirl . . .
Technically - didn't the Father - kill him? Since only the Father gives and takes life?

Our (your, mine, those who have been before and those who are yet to come) sin is the reason a perfect sacrifice was necessary. Our redemption is why Jesus endured the cross so that we could be redeemed.
...................................................................

I completely agree with this. It was the Father who sent Him to His death. Yes, it was the plan of redemption for us, but it was the Father who set it in motion.

Lin said...

Did God kill Jesus or did men?

Yes.

8:53 PM, June 16, 2008

Right. God worked through sinful man. Jesus was innocent and perfect.

Is Jesus God?

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

cakes...
lets us flower children go strum a guitar and sing about peace....yo yo???

Lin said...

gmommy, I can remember those days when I could have ice cream for dinner if I wanted. They are over. Big time.

Mom, what's for dinner?

Rocky Road! It's got protein and calcium...

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Lin,
That's an elementary question!!

Lin said...

Anyone notice how and by whom the servants (deacons) were chosen in Acts 6?

I found that process very interesting considering the passage said 'mulitudes'.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Lin,
Calcium is very important.

New BBC Open Forum said...

So is protein.

Lin said...

"I completely agree with this. It was the Father who sent Him to His death."

I have been thinking about this a lot...think of this passage:

"He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD."

Proverbs 17:15

God condemned the Just...He is Perfect Justice...He became an 'abomination' to Himself for us.

The Crucifixtion is not what saved us...others have been crucified. What happened on the cross that saves us?


(concerned, you are probably wondering what this has to do with the church...I believe it has everything to do with 'what is church)

oc said...

Lin, let's go right on ahead and play this game right on out to the logical conclusion. Guess what? None of us has the patience for a silly game. So let's rock hard here.

Now show us that Jesus is God. And show us who it was that actually killed him.
oc.

oc said...

Why did He die?
Why should He die?
For who and why?
Why didn't you just do it for yourself??

Hmmm.

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Stop it OC...it's not cute.

And Lin doesn't have to prove anything.....we all have a Bible.

concernedSBCer said...

Lin said: "(concerned, you are probably wondering what this has to do with the church...I believe it has everything to do with 'what is church)"

Lin: I agree.

The church was built on this rock, was it not?

Lin said...

OC, Sweetie! This is no game. These are serious questions that we all need to search for ourselves. I hope you are not offended by the questions.

Here is my attempt....

What saves us is that Jesus took the wrath we deserve on the cross. He was perfect yet He becamed sin. That is so huge, I can hardly write it!

Sin is an abomination to God... and He is perfect Justice so our sin could not just be excused without a perfect sacrifice. Someone to stand in our place...pardon us. Justify us to God.

Willful Sin is STILL an abomination to God. It is NOT overlooked just because of what Jesus did for us. Doesn't this bring fear to you all? It certainly does to me. I want to be reminded of it everyday and beg the Holy Spirit to continually convict me of my sin because without holiness, we will not see God.

Hebrews 10

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

I fear too many of our churches insult the Spirit of Grace. The Lord will judge His people. Matthew 7 says that Jesus will say to many: I never knew you.

Are our churches mission fields?

ox said...

Sorry I'm off topic, but I think I gained weight by reading the blog tonight! :)

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Yeah!!!!!
Ox brought in humor!!!!!

gmommy of the "RRR" said...

Good night Mary Ellen...good night John Boy!!!!

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