|October 22 2004, 6:05 PM |
Really, if I may call you by your first name, would you tell us how many churches of Christ you have researched. Then, tell us how may of ALL of the others you have surveyed. Have you put this statistical study into print? I would like a copy.
I think that is like Baptists on church of Christ payrolls doing the DITTO HEAD that churches of Christ are hopelessly divided without knowing that the Baptists are down to 146 different "organizations" from a peak of over 300. Baptism is one of those RED LETTER ISSUES and our new style STORE BOTTEN Phds just tell Jesus that He is a liar. At aged 74 I have heard a lot of sermons and I believe that I have heard more sermons "on the mount" and other information about Jesus the Christ than I have about the epistles. I still think that you are just infiltrating although the "eternally repenting person" rings a bell. In my analysis I think some PSEUDO love and hugs is better than no hugs or respect at all. He still has more humanity and personality than the "condescending" shepherds. Sure, they make fun of the lesser-beings and even "grey hairs."
Early in our marriage we rapidly agreed and mottoized it: "Watch out for pacifists, they will kill you." Or watch out for the quiet, mousey type they will steal your cheeze. So Love- Speak is not a substitute. All of my FLEECE has been snipped off by slick handed Lukes.
I told you the solution to your problem: if you will just QUIT FEEDING them they will go find an honest job. Assuredly what you seem to have locked into as your view of CHURCH probably doesn't have any REALITY connection to the school of the Bible Jesus died to give us.
Re: Really Real?
|October 23 2004, 8:38 PM |
You are right; my view of the church, having been raised in it, is probably an inaccurate view of a real school of the Bible as taught IN the Bible.Perhaps that goes for most of us in the church, as well.
No, I have not researched every congregation in existence: has anyone?
Wonder where I was supposed to have gone to church to have gotten an accurate view of a real school of the bible?
There were plenty of 'change agents' in the church long before the current wave.So we have people defending the early change agents against the current ones, as if the early 'change agents' were all scripturally correct in how they conduct services and in all their doctrine, as well in their church disciplinary actions.
I kind of resent being told at the congregation I attend, that we are guilty of sinning if we don't attend church three times a week (and even a fourth service "IF the elders so desire to add another service during the week'.)(under the sin of forsaking the assembly)...
I have quit feeding them; now its a matter of pulling out the children I entrusted to them.
No, Donnie, I am not afraid of change agents.Just of power hungry despotic elders who equate their status with that of the mouth-pieces of God...no matter what generation they came out of.
|October 24 2004, 3:48 PM |
You will notice that I don't have a good bedside manner. I believe school of the Bible is tough discipling to make tough people. Especially, our children are not being prepared to go face the world.
Josephus is said to have been called in by the Rabbi when he was 14 years old on questions about the Old Testament. Believe that? Well, that is what Josephus said. It makes the point that Jesus was not able to test the teachers at 12 just because He was Jesus but because his elders had not treated him like a bastard and entertained him. Women, too, as I have noted, were not experts in the law but they were, if we can believe historians, better equipped for their society than our children are for ours. Weaving might seem demeaning until you think about tending sheep and goats, midwiving lambs, shearing wool, cleaning it, spinning it, dying it, weaving it, "fulling" it to make it into a fine fabric, and then you have to sell it or trade it.
In addition to being the synagogue of Christ, the church can be a society to outwork especially toward one another. There was a time when elders might not be educated but the were ethical and you could trust them with money some of which you understood was to run the society. However, when you can no longer trust them then school needs to get the word out:
First, there was no preacher in these secular-spiritual assemblies any more than you would hire an expert to preach HUNTING to a hunting club. A practice we once considered harmless AT BEST has degenerated into a product of the seed we planted. We OWE those who are willing to go as evangelists.
Secondly, meetings in the synagogue were weekly because people worked and the Sabbath was a day of REST. Neither in Judaism or Christianity is the DAY a day of what we call "worship." Rest means: Cool it. That was the day when local groups met to hear the word read and to pray. They also, based on humanity, looked after the destitute although Jesus changed some of that. The elders have no authority to impose anything or teach anything other than "that which is written." I don't know of any evidence that they TOOK NAMES nor was the Rabbi offended if someone did not show up as long as they were AT REST.
Jesus assigned our ALMS to the poor who ask: no massive charity or social gospel although I honor things like Disaster Relief. Paul denied that there was A LAW OF GIVING in his second letter to Corinth. Early churches understood that to mean that THOSE WHO HAD PROSPERED gave to those WHO WERE DESTITUTE. It had nothing to do with proportional giving. Even those who still claimed to be prophets were allowed to tell people all the NEW which he knew and they didn't for two or at most three days and then an authority like Phoebe got them a job or a bit of travel money on their way OUT.
Paul said absolutely nothing about SINGING as an outward ACT OF WORSHIP. What he said was to TEACH or preach, SPEAK, ADMONISH and GLORIFY God with "one mind" and "one mouth" speaking THAT WHICH IS WRITTEN. The pagan background and ALL of secular history notes that when you quit SAYING or SPEAKING and adopt a musical tone even to preaching you are ILLUSTRATING and TEACHING an effeminate or poorly-hidden homosexual practice. I believe CHURCH produces much of the crisis of depression and anxiety and undoubtedly contributes to the lack of maturity which among boys doesn't happen at aged 12 but more like 35.
That leaves exactly what Jesus died to give us as REST from religious rituals which are PEDDLED as some superior access to God. That "access" defines the Pharisees. Scribe describes the preachers who "parceled out the law" and Hypocrites were the SECT of singers and actors.
Then, the direct command of Paul was to SPEAK the Word one to another or to Timothy, to Publically Read the word, define the contained doctrine and admonish others to obey that word. "Sermonizing" and song-leading or the Precentor are defined as two of the first "heresies largely pervading the church." The Restoraton Movement was founded to do exacly those things demanding that elders and deacons had no authority to add any burden which would create anxiety among the members.
I don't know where to find it but the Bible demands that we "diligently seek Him." Paul told the Corinthians that "your assemblies do more harm than good" and I don't think we have any duty to attend or support them.
The "don't forsake the assembly" is a HATCHET so don't let them hit you with it. These people were close to abandoning meeting altogether and not missing an extra assembly the elders have no authority to call.
And Mark Those who Forsake the Assembly
YOU decide WHOM you will follow as a teacher. So there is a contract. If they don't teach that which has been taught and if they try to put a saddle on the LAMBS then the contract has been broken and Jesus died to turn you loose and let you go.
Re: Really, etc.
|October 25 2004, 9:31 AM |
Thanks, Ken. I have been getting your drift for awhile now.In essence, hardly anyone or any group associated with what we call Church of Christ or any organized religion,conservative, or liberal, or any denomination is following scripture.What is in scritpure is far too pure and straightforward for what has been going on in 'church' all these years.
It is nice to hear someone say what is actually IN the Bible and not turn it around to say something that just fits with what all established denominations are doing.
I have gone through- not personally, but observed- the taking of names, and reading of names, and of withdrawing from those who have 'forsaken the assembly'.( Of course these people were given every "chance' to repent: their names were even printed on sheets and put in a public place in the building so that all who attended -and visited- had access to these people's names, addresses and phone numbers-ostensibly so they could be contacted and would return to church.I found myself wondering how many of these unfortunate people started screening their calls.
Sometimes I guess I just didn't know the difference between publicly shaming people and really being concerned for their souls. Silly me.After some agonizing talk about restoring these 'lost ones' and care and concern for their souls,one of the elders did finally say that this practice was , after all, a punishment, for not repenting.At least they admit it and we can stop pretending now. Sorry, I just don't think anyone should be playing god, except God.
When you get to the point that you are more worried about offending the elders or 'not doing it right' at church, in church, about church, than offending God, then its time to leave.My conscience is clear about God.Now its the shaming tactics by other people used on my children that I will be worried about. Many of these people are/were friends.
I have really tried to go back to the church of my younger years for the last several years, and I have developing ulcers, headaches on Sunday and a bad attitude rapidly developing.I read the bible every day. I love the Lord, and things seem so simple till I get to church.
I use the back of the card they give us every Sunday for listing all the 'thing's' we have done in the past week, such as visiting the sick, calling people who aren't coming, taking food to people, working in benevolence...etc.. to take notes in my class, which I really like.We are supposed to turn these cards in and if we don't ...'shame on us',we were told. We talk alot about depression and tough times as Christians in that class. I found my self wondering if the precentage of those with depression and stress might be reduced if they turned their lives over to God and not the leaders of that church. Who knows?
Also recently hearing more frequent sermons on how in giving we receive God's blessings. I am not disputing that, but it comes on the heels of increasing the church budget, which is so strained with many many mission and other commitments, that one can almost hear the timbers in the building creak.
I am very sorry if I have offended the sincere; or hurt the work of what the church was meant to be.I just see my own family , and other good and sincere people struggling with so many issues, incuding financial strains, and it makes me disturbed to hear more sermons on giving more, more, more ,more. Give till it hurts. And you'll be blessed. We are hurting already and not just financially.
Yep. I have had enough.
Re: really wondering (October 22 2004, 1:01 PM)
|October 23 2004, 3:55 AM |
This is how I understand your first statementyou fear that BOTH the change agents AND our reactions to the change agents have made it extremely difficult for anyone
to ask questions. Am I correct?
Or, are you saying: (1) that you fear the change agents; and (2) that it is our reactions to the change agents that have made it extremely difficult for anyone
to ask questions?
Either way, I think I get the picture. But I must say that we need not fear the change agents. They are as human as the rest of us, and they are agents of unnecessary, troublesome, divisive, intrusive, confusing, deceptive, culture-driven changes in church DOCTRINE, beliefs and practices. Our deepest concern is for those congregations which have already succumbed to the peer pressure of the misdirected Community Church ideology. We also fear that more congregations will be victimized and infected with this dreadful spiritual disease, if the efforts of the change agents are not thwarted.
On the basis of what weve experienced in numerous discussions with the other side in the last few years, we realize that our reactions to the change agentsno matter how truthfully elucidatedmay not always be favorable to the change agents themselves and to their ardent followers. But rest assured that we have done our extensive research and homework. The conservative churches or congregations [for lack of a better term] are the victims in these conflicts. The change agents are subtly destroying these churches and their values, standards and principles by which they have existed through the years and decades. Heres whytheir goal is to transform these targeted congregations into a different type of churchthe type that employs the Community Church model
one size fits all or the mentality of one body that embraces all denominations and their varying doctrines and beliefs. We want to instill in the minds of our readers or raise their level of awareness that the change agents would rather infiltrate and subvert than start their own church from scratch.
I believe that anyone can confidently and clearly identify himself/herself on this forum: (1) either as a change agent/supporter, (2) or as one who continues steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship [Acts 2:42], (3) or as one who is simply confused about whats going on.
In my preceding posts, I did not identify you as a change agent. Instead, I tried my best to explain to readers (in general) how we can differentiate what the New Testament teaches from what change agents teach based on how you [or someone else] framed the questions. Frankly, Im glad that you brought up those questions and commentsone more opportunity for us to point out and thoroughly explain the goals and objectives of the change agents, as well as expose some of the teachings and beliefs that they have borrowed [acquired, learned] from their denominational neighbors.
Do you realize that the change agents are also sincere in their efforts? So, sincerity does not mean scriptural. In other words, we must use the Holy Scripture as the basis for determining if one is teaching the truth, half-truth or error.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
RE: Donnie's Response to Really Wondering (Oct. 22, 2004)
|October 23 2004, 3:33 PM |
Donnie states that, "The change agents are subtly destroying these [conservative] churches and their values, standards and principles by which they have existed through the years and decades. Heres whytheir goal is to transform these targeted congregations into a different type of churchthe type that employs the Community Church model
one size fits all or the mentality of one body that embraces all denominations and their varying doctrines and beliefs. We want to instill in the minds of our readers or raise their level of awareness that the change agents would rather infiltrate and subvert than start their own church from scratch."
This sums up the goal and purpose of the change agents. Their motivation to "infiltrate and subvert" really strikes a chord. I've always wondered why they behave in this manner, rather than build their own churches. I believe the reason lies in that it is so much easier and far less expensive to take over established, conservative churches and alienate the traditionalists so that they finally leave, rather than build new churches. New churches would be free of conflict, and there would be no traditionalists to "get in the way"; yet the expense involved is surely one principal reason (perhaps the only reason) why change agents may not choose to build new churches. Change agents operating in this manner are unfortunately no different from parasites, sucking the spiritual life out of conservative churches to promote a worldly, unbiblical agenda.
On the other hand, if change agents are building new churches every day, there is no logic in subverting and infiltrating conservative churches. After all, the change agents keep telling us that the conservative Church will eventually pass away. So, if expense is not an issue, the only reason for infiltration and subversion would be a malicious desire to remove any trace of that which is traditional and biblical.
Re: COMMUNICATING IN A SEEKER-FRIENDLY CHURCH
|October 19 2004, 1:26 PM |
I thought all churches are to be "Seeker Friendly"
|October 22 2004, 2:34 AM |
I tend to agree with your general statement regarding churches which ought to be seeker friendly, but with reservation. The New Testament speaks of those seek[ing]
first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33); of seeking and finding (Matt. 7:7-8); of seeking that [one sheep] which is gone astray (Matt. 18:12); of the Son of man coming to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10); of seeking after God (Rom. 3:11); of seeking those things which are above (Col. 3:1); etc.
Seeker Friendly is one of those New Age buzz expressions. There is some element or object missing in the expression. Seeking what? Seeking whom? Now, I would not question it if the church were friendly to those who are truth seekers. But because it is a buzz word in the culture- or purpose-driven church growth scheme in the Community Church circles, I can easily make the association that if fun and entertainment will do the trick to get the ______ seekers to come and enjoy spiritual fellowship with the believers, why not?
the Change/Community Church Movement has other buzz words that the reader will need to be familiar with: Transformation, Change Agent, Team, Consensus, Common Ground, Purpose-Driven, Performance, Holy Entertainment, Worship Leader. Plus one moreSEEKER!!!!!
(Please refer to the other thread: Authority: He Didnt Say Not To in which several terms have been defined.)
I have already alluded to seeking after God or the Father seeking such as those who worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Please note how SEEKER is defined in New Age Terms in the Church, compiled by Sarah Leslie:
BUZZ WORD: Seeker
Traditional Meaning: Someone searching for the truth.
Misleading Meaning: Someone who seeks a path to truth, engaged in a course of self-discovery and self-actualization.
Real Meaning: Someone who is on a quest to becoming an initiate into the occult through spiritual experiences.
Do you see how we used to associate seeking with the truth?
GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH A LIBERAL
|November 17 2004, 2:19 AM |
GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH A LIBERAL
We live in a world of competing ideologies. In social matters, politics, morality and religion we see those who are conservative and those who are liberal in their convictions and policies. Only those who know and understand the beliefs that underlie the two approaches are able to make an informed and wise decision as to which ideology they will accept. Uninformed of the doctrines, methods and goals, one is vulnerable to deception and manipulation. Paul urges us to know them that labor among us (I Thess. 5:12). In upwards of half a century of preaching, I have observed the following characteristic of those preachers and leaders who have embraced a liberal approach to Christianity.
The best way for a congregation to deal with liberalism is to never allow a man of such persuasion into their pulpit; not for a meeting, a seminar, a class, or for employment. If such a false teacher is already in your midst, the best method of saving your congregation is to immediately dismiss him and send him on his way....without recommendation. Otherwise, left undisturbed, a church will experience grief untold.
- The liberal preacher will always present himself as a scholar who knows more than those poor, ignorant conservatives who prefer to hold to those traditional Biblical ways of doing things.
- The liberal brother wants to be known as a man of compassion. He says or implies that conservatives are harsh, unloving and uncaring for others.
- He wants to gain control of a congregation and its meeting place that others have built and paid for. It is not often that he will announce his new views, go to a new community and start a church from scratch. That is much too hard; so he works his way into an established church and gradually subverts the faith of its members.
- A liberal is evangelistic. Not necessarily for the lost, but to make converts for his cause. Like the Pharisees they compass land and sea to make proselytes...but their converts end up further from, rather than closer to God (Matt. 23:15).
- A liberal is like a chameleon. Around strong conservatives he can talk and sound like one of them, around fellow-liberals or those who are unaware, he speaks a different language.
- A liberal is usually a patient worker. He can wait for months or even years as he quietly undermines the faith of the disciples and manipulates into leadership roles those who sympathize with his theology.
- A liberal will not boldly announce his intended agenda to those he hopes to change. While doing his destructive work, he will continue to use traditional vocabulary and expressions and identify himself with the great heroes of the past until he has gained the confidence of the targeted audience.
- Once he has set his hook in a congregation, a liberal will not give up or walk away if a protest is raised. He feels he is on a mission for God and will see a congregation wrecked rather than admit his wrong or abandon his effort.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
SECULARIZATION OF THE CHURCH
|December 1 2004, 3:13 AM |
SECULARIZATION OF THE CHURCH
Perhaps the greatest threat to the church of the twenty-first century is secularization. Many will blink as asked, what is that?
Webster defines secular as, a. Of or relating to the worldly or temporal concerns; b. not overtly or specifically religious. Secularism is defined as indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations. Vergillius Ferm defines secularization as, The taking over of church property by the state for secular purposes... (Dictionary of Religion). Under secularism, Bakers Dictionary of Theology says, Today secularism is the integration of life around the spirit of a specific age, rather than around God. It is living as if the material order were supreme and as if God did not exist... Secularism places the emphasis on temporal social enjoyment rather than on eternal spiritual values.
Secularization is not being forced upon the church by the state or by any mortal enemy from without. Rather it is a matter of the church gradually absorbing the spirit of the age and forgetting its mission and purpose under Christ.
Given the sinful nature of a world in rebellion to heaven and a church designed to be holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:27), God expects his church to be different. We are said to be a holy nation (I Pet. 2:9). The word holy is from hagios, the basic meaning of which is different (Wm. Barclay). Concerning the sinful world we are commanded to come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord (II Cor. 6:17). While we must live in a wicked world, we must not be of the world (John 17:16). The world will think it strange that (we) run not with them... (I Pet. 4:4).
Twenty yeas ago, Michael Weed in the Christian Chronicle stated that many church leaders are actually cooperating with and even accelerating the process of secularization within the church. He points out five prominent areas where this process is visible.
In this writers judgment, the trend toward secularism is further seen in the following cases:
- It is seen in the attempt to be up-to-date and effective; infatuation with modern communication; and the use of advertising techniques in their attempt to promote or sell Christianity to the world. This often results in cutting the product to fit the market. They reduce the Christian message to flashy advertising slogans and catchy clichés...which substitutes for basic Christian beliefs.
- It is evident in the pursuit of an empty, hollow unity with other bodies of people. In the words of Malcom Muggeridge, It is the ecumenicity of those who, believing less and less, disagree about very little.
- It is seen in the production and sale of Christian literature whose basic quality is not that it is biblical, but that it is innocuous. Bible teaching and traditional Christian views are so diluted that these materials can be marketed to the broadest possible clientele.
- It is demonstrated in the determined efforts of congregations to prove (themselves) useful and relevant and to meet needs... Many of those laboring under this obsession are meeting needs in terms of societys own values and standards rather than Gods. Thus this has become a substitute for meeting the spiritual needs of lost men and struggling saints. Health spas and lawyers meet needs but not those the church should be supplying. Some of the needs set forth are trivial and others are no business of the church at all.
- The education program of some congregations reflects a confusion about the churchs mission. When class discussion centers on things of the world, when the greater emphasis is on recreation and social activities rather than searching the Scriptures, the progress is at work. Bro. Weed well says, The education ministry of the church should not be a vestibule through which Christians are comfortably ushered into the secular world views...of modern society.
Satan could not destroy the early church by the sword of persecution (Rev. 12:2-11). He was able to swallow up the church by absorbing it into the pagan culture or Rome. This was done in the name of liberty and freedom from persecution, via Constantines edicts. It occurred in a climate of unprecedented growth in numbers, prestige, recognition, and power for the church. So euphorious were the triumphs of the fourth century that the Christians never realized that the cause they loved and for which their fathers had died was being reshaped into an apostate, counterfeit church, now known as the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
- Declining interest in and emphasis on the public proclamation of the Word.
- A disproportionate emphasis on social activities and recreation in the life of the church.
- The trend of congregations towards providing schools for general education, with only token spiritual training.
- The willingness of our churches and Christian schools to allow the worldly attitudes and practices of members to go unchallenged, thus lending tacit approval thereof.
- Loss of interest in evangelism to win souls and the substitution of programs of social service.
- A movement away from serious study of the Scriptures and doctrinal emphasis, while greatly emphasizing, psychology, counseling, family therapy and self-improvement. While all of the latter things are useful and have a place in our teaching, it is over emphasis of them to the neglect of the gospel that is dangerous. We can have happy, well-adjusted individual and families who will be destroyed for lack of divine knowledge (Hos. 4:6).
- Virtual silence in the face of the never ending attacks by the promoters of humanism, evolution, and hedonism through our public schools and media. While our people are being corrupted and led away into these errors, their church leaders stand mute watching them go!
- Many Christians accept and live by the worlds code of dress, conduct and moral behavior while elders and preachers say nothing to call them back to Gods standards. Some even seek to defend the way of the world as harmless.
Awareness of the problem is not enough. There must be a workable knowledge of the Scripture and unswerving faith and loyalty thereto if we are to survive this modern onslaught against the faith once delivered (Jude 3). May God grant us wisdom to correctly read the signs of the times and to apply the divine remedy to every problem. Let us never forget our charge, Be not conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2). One of the major objections to the program of the change movement is that it secularizes the Lords church.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Deadly Enemies of the Church
|December 14 2004, 2:43 AM |
DEADLY ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH
While on earth, Christ was confronted with enemies who wished to destroy him and defeat his mission. Having conquered death and ascended back to the Father, he left his church on earth to take the message of salvation to the world for which he died (Mk. 16:15). From her inception, the church of Christ has been besieged by foes within and without. Paul and his helpers were harassed by hostile Jews and angry Gentiles who resorted to violence to silence the great missionary. The disciples also had to cope with opposition from misguided Christians. Some Jewish disciples devoted themselves to harassing the apostle and imposing their Jewish customs on Gentile converts. Listen to his plaintiff words, Our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears... (II Cor. 7:5 KJV). Others corrupted the faith and led disciples astray with teaching that was contrary to the divine message of Christ (II Tim. 1:15). Well did Francis Schaeffer observe, The devil never gives us the luxury of fighting on only one front, and this will always be.
Today the church of Christ is besieged by foes both within and without. From without we are under attack by a hostile culture, militant unbelief, pagan religions, hundreds of counterfeit churches, and antagonistic media. These enemies alone are enough to occupy every soldier in a never ending struggle with the forces of evil.
From within we are faced with enemies as well. We have those who are corrupting the church and spreading strife and division by disregarding the precepts and principles set forth by Christ to govern and regulate his people. Jesus said, Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:19). They fancy themselves theological scholars and call themselves progressives or workers for change; we call them liberals and false teachers. They are descended from the Sadducees of first century Judaism. But as we contend with those who are subverting the faith, we face another problem within our ranks. On the opposite hand are hostile, angry, vindictive preachers who are lashing out in attack against everyone in the church who does not conform to their perception of things. Even those who are standing rock-solid on the Word of God and waging the good warfare against the proponents of liberalism, they blast with their missiles. It is a sad situation when a Christians foes are they of his own spiritual household (Matt. 10:36). These brethren hold a faulty attitude about the faith. It is known as legalism. The legalists are spiritual grandchildren of the Pharisees of Jesus day. They profess a great love for the law of God and his church, but they have little love for the people of God. They are quick to divide the body, and place a low premium on the unity of the church. They often delight more in making war on fellow preachers than in warring against the enemy without. They are to the church as bounty hunters are to the law. They discourage weak members and drive them away. Liberals are grateful for legalists. They hold them up as examples of all that is wrong in the church and imply that all who do not buy their package of change are like them.
Thus, contemporary soldiers of Christ stand with their backs to the wall, trying to fend off two enemies at the same time, while legalistic brethren are snapping at their heels like snarling dogs. Satan is shrewd. He knows that every hour soldiers of Christ spend in fighting enemies within and without is time lost for evangelizing and saving the lost and thus building up the Cause of Christ. John in his Revelation depicts the victorious Christ, defeating all of his enemies (Rev. 19:11-21). Those vanquished will drink the bitter cup of wrath on the day of judgment, whether they be enemies within or enemies without.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
"Presuppositions of Change Agents"
|January 4 2005, 3:06 AM |
PRESUPPOSITIONS OF THOSE COMMITTED TO CHANGE
Theologians of the change movement like to emphasize that everyone comes to the Word of God with presuppositions which color their understanding and conclusions. They should know this for it is evident that promoters of the change agenda have a lengthy set of presuppositions. In reading some 30 books promoting their system, I discovered the following presuppositions to be commonly held:
Since it is the case that ones conclusions and actions are definitely colored by the presuppositions he holds, we can now better understand the behavior of the promoters of change.
- That truth is relative and flexible, meaning one thing to one person, something else to another.
- That the Bible is not an authoritative standard to which we must conform.
- That the Old Testament stands equal to the New Testament in determining how Christians and the church should function.
- That logic and reason play a very small role in understanding Gods will. Emotions, subjectivism and the will of the majority are more determinative.
- That no one body of people is exclusively Christs church on earth; rather, all are denominational parts of the whole.
- That churches of Christ are an illegitimate faction that split away from the Disciples of Christ without Scriptural justification.
- That the brotherhood of churches of Christ are a failed group whose beliefs and practices are defective and in serious need of change.
- That no denomination, doctrine or practice nor religious teacher should be judged as wrong and criticized except the traditional, conservative churches of Christ and their spokesmen.
- That the views of denominational scholars, especially those of more skeptical ranks, should always be preferred over those of scholars of the church of Christ.
- That they (the change brotherhood) have found a superior way to worship and serve God and a higher level of piety than those of traditional churches of Christ.
- That they (promoters of change), because of the superiority of their views, are fully justified in usurping control of existing congregations and claiming church properties built and paid for by others.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
what's wrong with seeker friendly?
|January 7 2005, 9:05 PM |
Folks lets look at the bible again. Paul was one of the most change friendly, seeker friendly people ever. He didn't change the gospel but he sure did change how he delivered the gospel according to who he was dealing with. Read it for yourselves!
19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Paul became like each of these groups so that he might reach them. People worship teams, worship leaders, contemporary music all are effective in reaching the lost. Let's quit being afraid of change for change's sake. Most of what I read on this website is people squirming because something happened in church that they weren't used to. That doesn't make it wrong. Paul was one of the most "seeker friendly" "touchy feely" preachers and teachers in the bible. Please folks. These issues are not gospel issues. "For the sake of the gospel" lets "become all things to all men so that we might save some."
Friend of the WORLD, Tim?
|January 8 2005, 1:51 PM |
Tim, you SUCKED OUT Romans 14 and I will tell you about Romans 15 later. Now, you are DITTO HEADING SHELLY who says "we should become AS MUCH LIKE THE WORLD as possible to WIN the world." Now, Shelly can get by with that garbage because he is TAKING LIBERTIES with the Text and has GLASSES and is getting a NEW VISION. But, if you want to go to heaven you had better quit making Paul into a liar. People who can be identified as CHRISTIANS are disciples of the WORD in a synagogue or school of the Bible. You need to TURN TO CHRIST and He will lift you up and ALLOW you to see how you are perverting the HOLY WORD because of devotion to false teachers and some kind of MAD spell you are taking out on others.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Ja.4:4
Paul could be like the Jewish clergy and get FOOD ONLY when he was on the job ONLY and then have an HONEST JOB.
But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 1 Cor 9:15
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, WOE is unto me, if I PREACH not the gospel 1 Cor 9:16
Preach is evangelize: BRING good tiding to those who HAD NOT heard the gospel. Jesus went out PREACHING but TAUGHT in the synagogue. He did not become like a PHARISEE or SCRIBE who just made up sermons and then SOLD them to the widows in exchange for their LIVLIHOOD.
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 1 Cor 9:17
What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ WITHOUT CHARGE, that I ABUSE not my power in the gospel. 1 Cor 9:18
I say that if the LAW knew about the ABUSE from decibels and ANXIETY CREATION and CHARGING for a CHANGED set of scriptures they would LOCK them up for good. Without charge means gratuitous, without expense, CHARGE means EXPENSE or DEVOUR or COST. WITH CHARGE meant ABUSING THE GOSPEL.
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself SERVANT [slave, subservient] unto all, that I might gain the more. 1 Cor 9:19
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 1 Cor 9:20
If you think CLANGING AND TWANGING AND SANGING is going to win friends among Muslims then you may find that SPIRITUAL ABUSIVE CHRISTIANS create literal warfare. Heard of the religious wars in Africa produced by probably our BRETHREN partnering with the charismatics. If you think the lucado- Shelly POLYTHEISM of three members of the Family of Gods is going to appeal to either the Muslims, Jews or most of the Restoration churches then you have MISSED the point and you might, according to Erasmus, "get blinded by getting pricked on the corner of your wit." MOST of the world's worshipers DO NOT think music has anything to do with THE SPIRIT world: so how can YOUR imposing YOUR superstitions in the name of LIBERTY by "infiltrating, diverting and stealing the church houses of widows" and FLEECING the lambs be CONDESCENDING? Remember that the THYRUS carried by the musicial dionysians [to prop them up when drunk] had a spear point hidden in the pine-cone tip. So be careful when you BOW to BAAL with music. Musical performance is a group COMPETING to make sure THEY are doing the best job and they CANNOT be thinking about God unless it is Zeus. Consistent with that, in these musical contests becween Apollo the harp player and Marsaus the Pipe player, the looser got SKINNED ALIVE. Like wow, worshipping with the REAL gods like Abaddon or Apollyon!
Paul was circumspect but he REPUDIATED circumcision if the JEWS insisted that it was necessary. Paul said that as a CHRISTIAN he worshipped IN THE SPIRIT. That is a place. Therefore, He did not WORSHIP by making animal sacrifices. He also repudiated instruments and music if you care to read 1 Cor 14 with EYES AND EARS.
We get a chance to see whether Paul would WORSHIP like the MUSICAL group. Zeus and Dionysus were worshipped in the Temple in Jerusalem as the Abomination which makes DESOLATE. That includes singing, instruments and--meaning the same thing--sex. They PIPED hoping that Jesus would BOW to the Dionysus song and dance. He did not: they killed Him.
Paul did not compromise with spiritual principles ONE TIME.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Acts 14:11
Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes (Mercury) because he was the chief speaker. Acts 14:12
The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. Acts 14:13
This WOULD have included instrumental music and ANIMAL SACRIFICES which was the ONLY role of the Levitical Warrior Musician. Have you noticed that the STILL GREEN guys with still-wet sheep skins have not only been trained to be Prophets, Chanellers and Facilitators at ACU but they have been trained to say JE-zeus. Just listen. THAT is why you are worshipping the CHIEF SPEAKERS and SINGERS and NOT REMOTELY able to Worship God in Christ by giving heed to HIS words--free of charge.
Now, here is the ideal place for Paul to participate with the prostitutes, homosexuals, women prophetesses, musical worship teams and some good old Rock (a vulgar, sexual word) and Rap:
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: Acts 14:14
Like WOW! Tim, there is authority for SHOUTING. They SHRIEKED with pain, CROAKED like a RAVEN. They probably LOOKED like they were dancing but DON'T TRY IT in church: Christian liberty is FREEDOM FROM
guys like you.
Now, if you KNEW what happened during ZEUS worship you would BE ALERT to the fact that Paul repudiated just what you are defending. And you would be careful about singing AND playing in public because HALF of the congregation will ADJUDGE you whether justly or not.
Paul was not going to accommodate to paganism but put his very life at risk to be counter-cultural. The idea that Paul would have to merge his gospel message into Greek culture is truly outrageous:
Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. Acts 14:15
So, you see, the gospel includes telling people to turn away from pagan rituals where music is the mind-altering and attracting power. There is NO history or common knowledge which does not acknowledge that music is 100% entertainment and there is nothing wrong with that. But PAUL is denouncing WORTHLESS THINGS which would include--and we will show you--singing with instrumental music.
But Jesus said:
I have given them your WORD and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. John 17:14
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. John 17:15
They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. John 17:16
Tim, you have said "as for me and my house we will serve Lucado, Shelly and Saunders" who was one of the first introducers of Greek philosophy. So, we want people to be Taught, taught , taught that YOU have to decide whether to be a Shellyite or a Christian. Choose ye this day.
World is related to the KOMO which was a musical, often perverted comedy:
Kosmos (g2889) kos'-mos; prob. from the base of 2865; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by impl. the world (in a wide or narrow sense, includ. its inhab., lit. or fig. [mor.]): - adorning, world.
Kosmokrator (g2888) kos-mok-rat'-ore; from 2889 and 2902; a world-ruler, an epithet of Satan: - ruler.
The Judas bag carried mouthpieces for a flute and stolen money. The word is from "speaking in tongues" and "of the world."
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
The "world" is the domain of Satan. "Cosmos" in English means "harmony" and music was the superstitious way of controlling the world. When you let elements of the world or that which is not commanded in the inspired Word of God, you open the door for Satan to come in. Contrary to this, Paul wrote:
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you,
in the holiness and sincerity that are from God.
We have done so not according to worldly wisdom
but according to God's grace. 2 Corinthians 1:12
Tim, the REST of the world WORKS for a living: Paul worked for a living. ALL of the "musical" servants of HARD BONDAGE served the PRIESTS up to their eyeballs with DUNG: that is why Jesus CAST OUT the musical mininstrels, more or less violently, as one EJECTS DUNG on the dung heep. You are heaping DUNG on the Holy God of the Universe. The SACRIFICES are over and we need no more abnormal EXORCISERS.
To tell you about ZEUS worship I have to resort to history to which Paul often POINTED. If you don't look where Scripture POINTS you will miss the boat. Know why "all Cretans were liars?" It was because they claimed that Zeus was DEAD and they had HIS tomb on Crete. Musical noise--as in the temple--is ALWAYS for the DEAD GODS or HELPLESS gods who need someone to LIFT THEM UP. Know about "eat, drink and make merry?" I have collected perhaps a dozen versions and they ALL have to do with perverts or musical EXTORTERS.
|January 8 2005, 4:31 PM |
Once again you take what I say and go off on tangents and insults. Ken examine these two statements.
Shelley "we should become AS MUCH LIKE THE WORLD as possible to WIN the world."
Paul "To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law."
Ken they are talking about the same thing. They are not talking about becoming "friends with the world." That is a different issue and you know it. We are told to conform the WAY we present the gospel without changing the gospel or conforming to the world.
What is ditto heading? I can think for myself.
"If you think CLANGING AND TWANGING AND SANGING is going to win friends among Muslims" What is that? When did I say that?
"so how can YOUR imposing YOUR superstitions in the name of LIBERTY by "infiltrating, diverting and stealing the church houses of widows" Yikes Ken you amaze me with your irrelevance.
"Tim, you have said "as for me and my house we will serve Lucado, Shelly and Saunders" who was one of the first introducers of Greek philosophy. So, we want people to be Taught, taught , taught that YOU have to decide whether to be a Shellyite or a Christian. Choose ye this day." Come on Ken quit with the lies and putting words in my mouth.
Ken I was simply saying (but you can't hear simple truths) that Paul clearly teaches that we can change the way we deliver the gospel according to who we are with. And the gospel can be delivered in teaching, preaching, singing, with music.
Ken your perseveration on pagan ritual puzzles me and worries me. I have never ever ever seen such a soapbox. Never. Ever.
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, PAYING ATTENTION TO DECEITFUL SPIRITS AND DOCTRINES OF DEMONS,
by means of the hypocrisy of LIARS seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
Ken I think you need to quit listening to doctrines of demons.
Sound Men Who Help Make Apostasy Possible
|February 4 2005, 2:49 AM |
SOUND MEN WHO HELP MAKE APOSTASY POSSIBLE
As efforts to corrupt the faith and turn churches of Christ into a denominational body expand, we face special challenges in recruiting a viable army of soldiers to resist the incursions of those who are enemies of New Testament Christianity. There are numbers of brethren who are sound in their faith, who would never knowingly engage in any practices contrary to the will of Christ, who are inadvertently helping the promoters of apostasy in their mission. Consider the following types who fall into this category:
The threat to our existence as a faithful church is real and present. Every man who loves the Lord is desperately needed to ensure that Christ's church will survive. Brethren, dont be part of the problem!
- Preachers who behave as if we have no problems facing the church. Thus their members are totally unprepared when they move to a new location where false teachers have been influential or when they show up in their home congregation.
- Preachers who refuse to inform themselves about our problems. Yes, it is time consuming to read and learn what unfaithful teachers are promoting. Yes, such is not a pleasant pastime, but it must be done if we are to be the watchmen God expects us to be (Ezek. 3:17).
- Preachers who never get around to alerting and warning their people of the problems we now face. Thus they leave them ignorant and vulnerable to false teachers who will one day come knocking (Hos. 4:6).
- Preachers who refuse to address the false doctrines being promoted by the change agents. It is our job to teach all things that Christ commanded (Matt. 28:20), to declare to them all things profitable (Acts 20:20) and thus to fortify the faith of our hearers. Sound preaching necessarily involves some lessons exposing and refuting error (II Tim. 4:2; Tit. 3:10).
- Preachers who fail to point their brethren to available, useful and sound materials that would inform and fortify them against the destructive errors being promoted. There are good books, tracts and gospel papers that would inoculate any dedicated saint against the doctrines of the change agents. To fail in this respect is much like the doctor who fails to advise his patient of medicine that would heal his disorder.
- Elders who employ men without asking, probing questions about their faith and relative to today's problems. They thus run the risk of inadvertently bringing in a man who will sow the seeds of discord among their flock.
- Elders who invite guest speakers with no concern about their views on the change issues. This gives the change agents credibility and opportunity to do their destructive work.
- Elders who encourage Christian Schools, Camps, Seminars, Workshops, Encampments and Magazines with no thought to who will be teaching and what will be taught. To encourage brethren to attend and participate in programs that are indoctrination sessions for the change movement is irresponsible.
- Elders who allow folks to serve as teachers, deacons, etc. who hold weak, compromising views of the faith, and are sympathetic to the change movement. To place such brethren in position of trust and leadership is like inviting a person infected with the plague into your home.
- Elders who fail to provide specific teaching to educate, inform and forewarn their members of the dangers abroad. The teaching of the church is first of all the duty of elders (Acts 20:28). They must give account for the souls entrusted to their care (Heb. 13:17).
- Editors who are so determined to be positive and avoid controversy that they completely ignore the dangers abroad. Each month they have opportunity to strengthen their readers against heresy that, if left to flourish, will destroy the church. Even while sticking to their positive approach, they could help their readers by systematically addressing the fundamentals of the faith that are being challenged.
- Editors who are personally not about to embrace the change doctrine, willingly provide space to erroneous authors, enabling them to promote their destructive views.
- College administrators, who though sound themselves, employ or maintain on their staff teachers of unsound faith. Even one such man can plant his poison in the hearts and minds of hundreds of naive students.
- Conservative preachers and elders who exhibit such a caustic and hateful spirit that they drive folks into the waiting arms of the liberal change agents.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Painful and Unpleasant, But Necessary (by John Waddey)
|April 1 2005, 3:48 AM |
PAINFUL AND UNPLEASANT, BUT NECESSARY
Those who have had to deal with cancer or other serious health issues know that the treatments are often painful with unpleasant side effects. Yet they are necessary if the patient hopes to survive and find renewed health.
Today a cancerous situation has developed within the Lord's church. The symptoms of this malady are a rejection of the faith, worship and preached of the past; an overwhelming desire for change in all aspects of church life and a willingness to embrace virtually anything new and different in the practice of their faith. Those smitten generally have their spiritual eyesight damaged so that they cannot discern the difference in Biblical Christianity and the counterfeit versions of religion that flourish around us.
If the church of Christ is to survive as a recognizable body, drastic action must be taken to excise the cancer of error that is rapidly metastasizing through out the body.
Painful as it is, we must talk about the problem. Ignorance and denial are deadly in the face of this affliction. Brethren must know of the danger they face.
Granted this treatment is both painful and unpleasant but it is absolutely essential if we are to survive.
- We must begin treatment immediately. Each day treatment is delayed might mean souls lost, even entire congregations lost to the Lord's Cause.
- We must deal with specific symptoms, teachings and practice. Vague generalities will not cure the disease.
- We must change our diet; No more study materials written by change agents; No more invitations for them to come, lest they spread their disease among us; No more bland diet of sweet words that do not address the real problem we are up against. We need sound, healthy doctrine (Tit. 2:1); strong meat (Heb. 4:14) that will strengthen our faith and convictions if we are to be able to resist this invading illness.
- We must cease to promote or patronize their colleges, lectures, seminars and books. We must not lend aid nor comfort to those who would destroy that which is sacred to us (II John 11).
- We must not send our young people to their schools, camps and workshops lest they be infected with their virus.
- We must first isolate and then remove the malignant growth from each congregation, school and all other brotherhood activities.
- We must post a clear warning to all lest they be overtaken by the disease.
- We must inoculate every member young and old against this plague.
- We must create an environment where change agents cannot flourish. Those who are physicians of souls should make sure that their environment in their congregations is so thoroughly clean and healthy that carriers of the change ailment will have to flee to other bodies or be driven out. Most of them could readily find a home among the Christian Churches, Baptists or Lutheran bodies.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
FALSE EQUATIONS (by John Waddey)
|May 4 2005, 4:58 AM |
Equate means to treat, represent, or regard as equal, equivalent or comparable. Experience tells us that many of the equations people try to make are in fact false. Reading the literature of the change agents working among us I am struck by the numerous false equations found therein.
Because some dishonest business people use faulty scales to enrich themselves, the government maintains a Bureau of Weights and Measurements. Because of the false equations mentioned above, wise Christians will be extremely cautious of any brother, book or school that promotes changes for churches of Christ.
- Old does not equal useless. They tend to discount, denigrate and toss out anything that brethren did before they (the change agents) came along.
- New does not equal good. New methods and approaches may or may not be beneficial. But some are clearly contrary to the revealed will of God and some are detrimental to the body. These folks have a bundle of new ideas and practices for our people. Old timers use to call them innovations.
- Big does not equal right. True, the change agents have captured several of our largest congregations. They aspire to build mega churches like their role models in the denominational Community Church movement have done. Success and growth are only good and right if they are based upon the Word of Christ (John 12:48)
- Small does not equal failure or bad. To read the criticism of the progressives the large number of our small congregations suggests that something is missing in our approach. They fail to factor in that the masses of humanity have always and will always reject the gospel call. They dont understand the Biblical truth that it is the remnant that will be saved (Rom. 9:27).
- Faith without obedience does not equal acceptance by God. God says through James that it is dead and useless (Jas.2:24-26).
- Grace plus nothing on mans part does not equal salvation as some of them say. Paul says it is grace plus faith (Eph. 2:8-9) that saves. Jesus said obedience must be factored in (John 12:48).
- Youth and popularity do not equal being pleasing to God. The Baby-boomers have now reached the age of leadership. They tend to ignore those who are older as they aspire to lead the younger. That they are wooed by the advertising industry and retailers does not make them special with the Creator. With omniscient eyes He sees the selfish, shallow, presumptuous fickleness many of them demonstrate in their conduct.
- Applause of the denominational world does not equal approval of God. That a brother writes books designed to please the denominational world and is praised by them for so doing is an indictment rather than an honor. Its like writing, In the beginning the world evolved, and being applauded by the advocates of evolution.
- Advanced educational degrees do not equal Bible knowledge. Most of the promoters of change proudly display their badges of academic achievement. But those who are steeped in the word of God know that many of them are bloated with human wisdom rather than filled with wisdom from Above.
- Denial of intent to reshape the church of Christ into a denomination does not equate with reality. By the fruits ye shall know them, said Christ (Matt. 7:16).
- Pretense does not equal reality. Pretending to love the church of Christ, to be faithful members thereof does not necessarily prove to be true. Again, one must look at the churches where these men hold forth to see just how they regard the church of our Lord. Results speak louder than pretense.
- Using a new paradigm for interpreting the Bible does not equal a correct understanding of it. Read their new book, Gods Holy Fire (ACU Press), and see just how faulty their New Hermeneutic learned from denominational scholars really is.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
|May 7 2005, 11:05 AM |
You fellows have convinced me that 99.9% of the world is lost. The one percent (or less) that is not, is among the "elect" in the non-instrumental church of Christ. You have convinced this observer, that John Calvin was right after all. I have just spent over an hour reading the above. The question that comes to the fore front in my mind from your lecturing: How can anyone be saved other than have God intervene into the totally depraved circumstance in which we find ourselves?
John Calvin wrote: "The beginning of right will and action being of faith, we must see whence faith itself is. But since Scripture proclaims throughout that it is the free will gift of God, it follows, that men who are with their whole soul naturally prone to evil, begin to have good will, it is owing to mere grace."
Calvin believed that God will not "respond" in any way to the choice of man. This would infringe upon the sovereignty of God and make divine action subject to human choice.
You have convinced me there is no need for me to take the bread and cup on the Lord's Day and "examine" myself. I understood that I was to "judge myself" as a Christian; doing so, I would not be "judged by the world." But, you fellows have judged me to be unworthy before the Lord. You have convinced me: Jesus died for you, and not for me.
The unsung third verse of "Rescue the Perishing" is as follows: "Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can rstore; Touched by the loving heart, wakened by kindness, Chords that are broken will vibrate once more. Rescue the pershing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save."
No wonder we do not sing the verse, (with, or without instrument), Less than 1% believes it!
Thank you for the time you have infested in your writings,
Re: False Equations CORRECTED
|May 7 2005, 12:37 PM |
Calvin's Institutes Book One Chapter Nine.
1. The temper and error of the Libertines, who take to themselves the name of spiritual,
briefly described. Their refutation.
(a). The Apostles and all true Christians have embraced the written Word. This confirmed by a passage in Isaiah; also by the example and words of Paul.
(b). The Spirit of Christ seals the doctrine of the written Word on the minds of the godly.
(2) Refutation continued.
a) The impositions of Satan cannot be detected without the aid of the written Word. First Objection. The Answer to it.
3. Second Objection from the words of Paul as to the letter and spirit. The Answer, with an explanation of Paul's meaning. How the Spirit and the written Word are indissolubly connected.
1.The fanatics wrongly appeal to the Holy Spirit
Those who, rejecting Scripture, imagine that they have some peculiar way of penetrating to God,
are to be deemed not so much under the influence of error as madness.
For certain giddy men
have lately appeared, who, while they make a great display of the superiority of the Spirit,
reject all reading of the Scriptures themselves, and deride the simplicity of those who only delight in what they call the dead and deadly letter.
But I wish they would tell me what spirit it is whose inspiration raises them to such a sublime height that they dare despise the doctrine of Scripture as mean and childish.
If they answer that it is the Spirit of Christ,
their confidence is exceedingly ridiculous;
since they will, I presume, admit that the apostles and other believers in the primitive Church were not illuminated by any other Spirit.
None of these thereby learned to despise the word of God, but every one was imbued with greater reverence for it, as their writings most clearly testify.
And, indeed, it had been so foretold by the mouth of Isaiah. For when he says,
"My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever"
he does not tie down the ancient Church to external doctrine, as he were a mere teacher of elements; he rather shows that,
under the reign of Christ, the true and full felicity of the new Church will consist in their being ruled not less by the Word than by the Spirit of God.
Hence we infer that these miscreants are guilty of fearful sacrilege in tearing asunder what the prophet joins in indissoluble union.
Add to this, that Paul, though carried up even to the third heaven, ceased not to profit by the doctrine of the law and the prophets, while, in like manner, he exhorts Timothy, a teacher of singular excellence, to give attention to reading, (1 Tim. 4: 13.)
And the eulogium which he pronounces on Scripture well deserves to be remembered, viz., that
"it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect," (2 Tim. 3: 16.) What an infatuation of the devil, therefore, to fancy that Scripture, which conducts the sons of God to the final goal, is of transient and temporary use?
Again, I should like those people to tell me whether they have imbibed any other Spirit than that which Christ promised to his disciples.
Though their madness is extreme, it will scarcely carry them the length of making this their boast.
But what kind of Spirit did our Saviour promise to send? One who should not speak of himself, (John 16: 13,)
but suggest and instil the truths which he himself had delivered through the word.
Hence the office of the Spirit promised to us, is not to form new and unheard-of revelations, or to coin a new form of doctrine, by which we may be led away from the received doctrine of the gospel,
but to seal on our minds the very doctrine which the gospel recommends.
What about that? Calvinists have NEVER read Calvin.