|Dr. Bill Crump|
Advice to Those Who Defend the Faith (by John Waddey)
|April 8 2006, 5:40 PM |
ADVICE TO THOSE WHO DEFEND THE FAITH
A tragic war is raging within the kingdom of Christ. An alien spirit has taken hold on the hearts of many brethren. They have left their first love and gone after a new, changed way of serving God.
For some older brethren this is but the latest of many battles to be fought. Like seasoned soldiers, by experience they have learned valuable lessons about the best strategies of battle and mistakes to avoid. As we engage those whose mission is to change our faith, worship and the very nature of the church, there are some important things to remember:
I. We do not want to defend a faulty doctrine or practice. No matter how widely held, no matter how hoary with age, error is error. A misinterpreted verse is wrongly understood and can be wrongly applied. If we have been mistaken on any matter, honor and truth demand that we concede the faulty point and embrace the truth.
II. We must never fight over that which is merely a harmless matter of preference. Some things we have long practiced are not matters of faith revealed in Scripture. They are traditional ways of doing things, optional ways we have chosen to fulfil a divine requirement. For example, we have long assembled on Lord's Day morning. Since the hour of worship is not specified, if a group should choose to worship in the afternoon, we should not question them for so doing.
III. We should never penalize a brother who is exercising his liberty in Christ. Jesus came to proclaim liberty (Luke 4:18). Paul reminded the Galatians that "for freedom Christ has set the free" (Gal. 5:1). He manfully resisted the Jewish brethren who sought to spy out the liberty of the Gentile brethren (Gal. 2:4). In all areas where God has not specified the methods or manner of doing his will each disciple and each congregation has the Christ-given liberty to make their own choice about how to implement it.
IV. We must never be found promoting any practice or doctrine that is in any way contrary to God's revealed will. Errorists are quick to spot our mistakes and flaws. Don't give them the opportunity to neutralize your efforts in defense of the kingdom.
V. May it always be our resolve and commitment to do no harm to the church of Christ. In carnal war it is often the case that those who are on the right side of the conflict do great damage to the very city or people they would deliver. Our goal must be to strengthen and build up the church. The mission of the false teachers is to wreck and destroy; ours is to fortify against their assaults and to rebuild what they have damaged.
VI. May we never intentionally wound or discourage any brother or sister who is faithfully striving to please the Master. They too are servants of Christ and answer only to him (Rom. 14:4). When we wound those innocent souls, we sin against Christ (I Cor. 8:12).
To avoid these mistakes we must search the Scripture daily (Acts 17:11). We must study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2;15). We must weigh every thought, word and deed to be sure they reflect the spirit of Christ (Phil 2:5), love for our brethren ( I Pet. 2:17) and love for the Master and his church. We must do these things lest we find ourselves weighed in the balances and found wanting when we stand before the Judge of all (Dan. 5:27).
Re: Advice to Those Who Defend the Faith (by John Waddey)
|April 9 2006, 9:33 PM |
I think Irenaeus said it all in c. 180 (E/W 1.415)
"When, however, they [gnostics] are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn around and accuse these same Scriptures as if they were not correct...But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles..they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters (elders), but even than the apostles."
Seems we are fighting the same fight all these centuries later...And so the pendulum swings ever back and forth across the centuries. It is up to us to remember who we fight for and why. Though it may sometimes be hard to not be angry with some posters who seem to purposefully goad Christians, we must remember who is behind their behavior and keep ourselves above such actions ourselves. Wish that was as easily done as said!
As for me, I have no anger towards those of other religions who are confused and semi-hostile when confronted with scripture. They have been kept from the truth and are just now coming to an understanding of what the scriptures truly state. I understand their feelings and fear.
My problem is with those that were TAUGHT CORRECTLY and have now turned their backs on the truth, intent to lead others down the same path. For some reason, they truly upset me the most. I guess its the knowledge that we've lost a sheep who is intent on taking more souls with him/her. For this I hold several well-known preachers accountable and pray for their lost souls. For me, it is hard not to let my anger get the best of me when dealing with their sarcastic and rude comments to Christians that are trying so hard to keep the sheep safe and follow ALL of God's word.
Good posting Dr. Crumb. Brother Waddey is wonderful.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Taking the High Ground (by John Waddey)
|April 15 2006, 5:03 PM |
TAKING THE HIGH GROUND
As we engage those whose mission is to capture, reshape and redirect the church we love, we must beware of certain pitfalls that can keep us from the victory. Anyone can win a war, but only the noble can win justly and bring about peace.
We must not only be against their unauthorized innovations, we must be for those positive aspects of Christianity that are the heart of our faith. Jesus put a high premium on justice, mercy and faith (Matt. 23:23). Those who only know how to oppose something will never succeed to building up the kingdom of God.
We must be disciples guided by love (Eph. 5:2): love for the Cause of Christ; love for our fellow-Christians; love for those who are our opponents in this struggle for the heart of the church. Our goal should be to snatch from the fire those who have turned away from the holy Word (Jude 23).
We must be kind (Eph. 4:32), considerate and courteous (I Pet. 3:8 KJV) when dealing with those whom we must confront.
We must be soldiers of high honor, integrity, honesty and truthfulness in dealing with the proponents of change (Phil. 4:8). We cannot operate on the principle that all is fair in war, nor can we ever assume that the end justifies the means. We want to prevail, but only in an honorable way.
We must be strong in faith, prayer, holiness, devotion and good works. Ours is a spiritual war. It will only be won by spiritual men and women of great faith and piety (Eph. 6:17-18).
We must look to God for the victory. It is his church that is under attack; his word being questioned and distorted; his Son being dishonored. Victory will be won, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith Jehovah" (Zech. 4:6). "The battle is Jehovah's" (I Sam. 17:47). "If God is for us who is against us?" (Rom. 8:31). Victory will not be won because we are smarter, better educated, tougher soldiers, or because we can hit harder. Nor will shouting, bullying or any other expressions of physical strength turn the tide.
We must not be consumed with opposing error. Where preachers fall into this trap their congregations wither and die, even as they make war on error. We must be busy in evangelism, reclaiming the fallen and edifying the church, even as we are confronting those who are opposing the way of truth (II Tim. 4:1-2).
We must be willing to hear and evaluate the criticisms the change agents raise against our practices. No one with an open and honest mind would argue that we have perfectly restored every aspect of Christianity to its original basis. We have not measured up in zeal, devotion, purity, generosity and outreach. Rather than plugging our ears and taking offense at such criticisms, we must face and acknowledge them where needed and work to right them.
We must take the offensive without being offensive. Without doubt, the ugly, harsh, abrasive attitude of many conservative preachers has made the liberal success possible. Brethren have been turned off and some alienated by the way many have chosen to wage their warfare.
If we should succeed in routing the enemy; if we refute their every error and see them gone, what will we have at the end? If we are left a narrow, bitter band who do nothing but fight church folks, we will have a hollow victory. The survivors will soon bite and destroy one another (Gal. 5:15). Let's fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12), but let's remember to be "good soldiers of Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 2:3), whose code is fidelity, honor and service.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Two Kinds of Worship (by John Waddey)
|April 22 2006, 4:29 PM |
TWO KINDS OF WORSHIP
There is a kind of worship that appeals to the spiritual nature of man and there is a kind that appeals to the fleshly, sensual nature. We see this in secular music. Patriotic songs and sweet songs about love, home and family appeal to man's higher instincts while the wild music of the dance hall and rock concert appeals to the lowest aspects of man's nature.
The music Christ ordained for his church was that of "speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). Early Christians knew about religious music accompanied by instruments. Jewish converts had seen it at their temple. Gentiles had observed it in their pagan temples. But when they worshiped God through Christ, they praised God with sweet vocal hymns of devotion (Heb. 13:15).
Today some among us are clamoring for instruments of music. They justify themselves by insisting such will help them praise God better. Consider the following quotes that address this very issue. Quotes are from James Bales, Instrumental Music & New Testament Worship, 1973.
Richard Wagner (1813-1883), famous German composer, made the following observation:
"There is no doubt but that those qualities absolutely necessary to church music, namely, modesty, dignity, and soulfulness are more inherent in the vocal style than in any other. Reserve and humble restraint befits the house of God...Religious feeling finds its most natural expression in vocal utterance, for the human heart is the source of both devotion and song" (Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), Vol 10, p. 651).
Of the other type of worship, that which appeals more to the senses, D.B. Cameron wrote:
"...this mode of worship fosters a craving for sensational novelties. As it excites the natural sensibilities, it creates a desire for further indulgence of the same nature, for the more that kind of pleasure is gratified, the more its votaries demand. It acts much on people as the exhilaration of strong drink, so that many become quite enslaved at last to the enjoyment of this kind of religious aesthetics. When spirituality decays, people invent external attractions in worship. Many mistake the soothing effects or buoyant feelings produced by fine music for spiritual effects, but they are entirely sensuous" (Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 1889, pp. 518-519).
James Beggs observed:
Some argue "...that organs and a splendid ceremonial must have the effect of elevating and refining the soul, of arousing and exalting all the better principles and feelings of our moral natures; and that, therefore, it is scarcely possible to imagine that their religious use can be absolutely unlawful in the Christian Church. Now all this is a mere delusion, contradicted by history and experience. In proportion as the senses and imagination are excited and gratified, the soul is generally starved...All idolaters maintain that the fine arts generally, but perhaps especially music and sculpture, have a direct and necessary tendency to refine and elevate the human soul above the groveling pursuits of sense and sin. The theory is very plausible, and is apt to be eagerly embraced by the ignorant and thoughtless. The facts of history, however, teach a very different lesson" (Open Forum, The Converted Catholic Magazine, May 1954, p. 159).
Robert Milligan, 19th century gospel preacher and educator, wrote,
"...the general tendency of instrumental music is to quench the influence of the Spirit in the heart, and to promote in the churches a cold, barren, and lifeless formalism, has I think, been historically demonstrated; for otherwise, how shall we account for the fact that, wherever the organ is used, there is at least manifested a constant tendency to give up congregational singing..." (The Great Commission, pp. 208-209).
C.G. Herbermann sums it up in a forceful way: "...the first Christians were of too spiritual a fibre to substitute lifeless instruments for or to use them to accompany the human voice" (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911, Vol. 10, p. 648).
May we not repeat the mistake of those who seek a sensual experience at the cost of the truly spiritual.
Comment: Though certain discerning people may have seen the apostasy in using instruments in Christian worship, the fact remains that the New Testament is the sole Authority on that matter. The New Testament definitively authorizes only vocal music in worship, which excludes instrumental and all other kinds of music, because the latter are neither specified nor authorized. The silence of God is non-permissive. In matters of worship about which God is most specific, such as vocal music, He has no need to list all pertinent negatives, for He expects His obedient children to accept His Word as written, without adding to it, without taking from it.
Dr. Bill Crump
Re: Two Kinds of Worship (by John Waddey)
|May 13 2006, 5:46 PM |
Dr. Bill, a few questions if you would be so kind... Is it true that you played piano/organ for many years in a Baptist Church? Did you join the Baptist Church? Did you belong to the COC before joining the Baptist Church? If so was it a cofc? Were you rebaptized into the Baptist Church? Were you rebaptized upon rejoining the COC? Do you think that Baptist, as you once were, are going to Heaven? (your opinon). Do you think the COC has it all right?............thanks
|Dr. Bill Crump|
RE: Questions from "SBC"
|May 14 2006, 1:34 AM |
Since this thread presents essays by John Waddey, I'm surprised that someone using the initials of the Southern Baptist Convention desires personal information about me instead. SBC should be more far more interested in finding something about John Waddey.
What SBC particularly wants is my "opinion" about whether or not Baptists
are going to heaven. Why does SBC not include other faiths like the Catholics, Methodists, or Episcopalians? Such a question not only asks me to stand in the place of God, it's also a trick question. Christ experienced similar types of questions from the Pharisees who were out to trick Him. About the Baptists, if I said "Yes," SBC could then argue that I support ecumenism, which holds that all faiths are of equal merit and provide many paths to heaven. If I said "No," then SBC could whip out Matt. 7:1-2, point a finger, and accuse me of being judgmental.
So here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna steer SBC and any other interested parties to my article titled "Who Is Going to Heaven?" which is located in the thread Apostate: Jeff Walling
. It's here on the Madison Church site several pages over. That article will tell SBC exactly
who is going to heaven, according to the New Testament. SBC can then determine if Baptists measure up to New Testament standards. The link to that thread is: http://www.network54.com/Forum/150389/thread/1075121197/last-1112306130/APOSTATE-+JEFF+WALLING%97Should+Youth+Go+to+Winterfest
Now if SBC really
wants my answers to the remaining questions, then I require that SBC reveal his/her true identity, full name, and cease this cloak-and-dagger charade of hiding in anonymity.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
RE: Questions from "SBC"--Addendum
|May 14 2006, 2:05 PM |
"SBC" also wants to know if I think the church of Christ "has it all right." I gather s/he means if we think we have everything all figured out about salvation. What a coincidence! I just happen to have previously written an article about that very subject. It's titled "Having Everything All Figured Out." And wouldn't ya know, it's in the same thread as my article "Who Is Going to Heaven?" referenced above. Not only that, but it follows the "Heaven" article! What a fantastic coincidence!
So "SBC" can just turn right around and march back to that same thread and get the answer to another question. S/he will still have to unmask to get any further answers, however.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Jehovah Made a Distinction, So Must We (by John Waddey)
|May 13 2006, 9:11 AM |
JEHOVAH MADE A DISTINCTION, SO MUST WE
As Moses forewarned Pharaoh of the coming plague against the first born of Egypt, he assured him that the Hebrews would be spared for "Jehovah doth make a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel" (Ex. 11:7). It was the duty of the priests of Israel to "make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean and...teach the children of Israel all the statutes which Jehovah hath spoken..." (Lev. 10:10-11). This lesson is applicable to every man who stands before God's people to teach them and every man who assumes the duty shepherding God's flock. In a day when postmodern thinking with its doctrines of pluralism and multiculturalism has dulled the senses of many and left them to operate in a moral and spiritual fog, faithful leaders will be diligent to teach them to make these essential distinctions:
We must be aware of the clear distinction between truth and error. Postmodernism denies that moral and spiritual absolutes exist. But it is a human philosophy, flawed at its core. The Word of God clearly speaks of truth that makes us free (John 8:32). There is a spirit of truth and a spirit of error (I John 4:6). Those who are led away from the truth will be pierced through with many sorrows (I Tim. 6:10). God wants erring Christians converted from the error of their way (Jas. 5:20). To be saved one must escape from error (II Pet. 2:18). God's Word is the only truth that will sanctify the human soul (John 17:17).
We must know and teach the difference between Christ's church (Matt. 16:18) and those churches founded and directed by sinful men. The New Testament records all we can know about the church Christ founded, its worship, doctrine, organization, names and practices. The several
hundred churches of various sorts and kinds are all counterfeits competing with the true church of Christ for the souls of men. It is a cruel failure to leave people thinking that a church founded by man is in any way equal to the church founded by Christ. Christ's church is no denomination. That distinction must be made.
We must remember and teach the distinction between the worship that Christ ordained and that which men have chosen for themselves. In the New Testament He sets forth prayer, the Lord's Supper, the contribution, singing and the proclamation of the Word. All of these items are essentials of Lord's Day worship. Nothing can be added to or deleted from them and be acceptable to Him (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18).
We must distinguish between the saved and the lost. In the Judgement, Jesus will separate the sheep (saved) from the goats (lost) (Matt. 25:31-32). All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory (Rom. 3:23). It is by his grace we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9) but only those who have been born of water and Spirit have entered the kingdom of God (John 3:5). It is a misguided kindness to leave the lost soul drowning in sin when you know his undone condition and the lifeline of salvation. We are not true to Christ if we accept into the fellowship of the Church those who have not obeyed His will for salvation.
We must make a clear distinction between the Lord's plan for saving lost souls and the substitute plans that men have designed. Christ alone is Savior of humanity (Matt. 1:21). His death on Calvary is the one event that makes salvation possible (I John 1:7). He alone has all power to save us (Matt. 28:18). Only He has been appointed to judge the race (Acts 17:31). He ordained that all wishing to be saved must have faith in Him as God's Son (Rom. 10:9-10). They must repent of their sins and be baptized in water to wash away their sins (Acts 2:38; 10:47-48). Any promise of salvation on any other basis is contrary to his will and ineffectual.
We must discern between righteousness and iniquity. Those who practice righteousness will inherit eternal life but those who work iniquity will be driven from the presence of God (Matt. 7:23). Woe is pronounced upon them that call evil good and good evil (Is. 5:20). Righteousness is God's expressed will for his people. Man does not learn this by intuition or instinct. Rather he must be taught and led to righteousness (II Pet. 2:5). All of God's commandments are righteousness (Ps. 119:172). Paul rightly asks, "what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? (II Cor. 6:14). The obvious answer is None! There is a way of life that is pleasing to God, the way of righteousness. Conversely the way of iniquity displeases Him. We can not be faithful teachers and fail to make this distinction.
May God give us wisdom and discernment to see these distinctions and the strength and courage to proclaim them.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
We Must Be True to the Truth (by John Waddey)
|May 13 2006, 6:22 PM |
We Must Be True to the Truth
It is God's truth that makes us free from sin and error (John 8:32). God's word is that saving truth (John 17:17). It is the case that God's truth is true whether or not we believe, acknowledge or accept it. His word is true if every man rejects and opposes it (Rom. 3:4). His truth is unalterable (Matt. 24:35), even though misguided men in every age have misinterpreted, misapplied and mishandled it. After false teachers have twisted and perverted God's word and have done their best to impose their ideas and opinions on humanity, the holy Scripture stands unscathed, unchanged like Gibraltar.
We have arrived at a point in time when a band of men have surfaced among our brethren who desire to make significant changes to the faith, worship and practice of the church of Christ.
Truth says, "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" (Acts 22:16). False teachers say, "Yes, but it is not necessarily so." They theorize that so long as the sinner is sincere, so long as he believes in Jesus, God's grace might make an exception for him.
Truth says, Christ has one body which is his church (Eph. 4:4; 1:22). Errorists say, "No, the many different denomination constitute his church."
Truth declares that we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). It also teaches that there are God-given conditions that we must meet to receive the gift of grace (Heb. 5:9). Vain men say, "We are saved by grace alone."
Truth teaches that saving faith is obedient faith (Gal. 5:6). Foolish men claim that faith alone can save a sinner even though the Bible says the opposite (Jas. 2:24).
Truth says that in the church, women are not allowed to teach nor have authority over men (I Tim. 2:11-12). Silly people say women can indeed fill those leadership roles in the church.
Truth says divisions and parties among believers are sinful and wrong (I Cor. 1:10-13). But proud men say that denominationalism is really acceptable to God.
Truth declares that the words of Christ will judge us (John 12:48). But arrogant men insist that God's word must give way to some cultural demands.
Truth teaches us to sing in worship and make melody with our hearts (Eph.5:19). Foolish men argue that this means to sing and play on mechanical instruments of music.
Truth teaches that Christ has all authority in Christianity and we must observe all things that he has commanded (Matt. 28:18, 20). It teaches that he is head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:22). Impudent men say that there are other things to consider such as the
demands of our culture, the felt needs of the members, the expectations of young people or the consensus of the congregation.
God's truth is the truth, no matter who speaks it or writes it. It is true no matter who opposes it or tries to change its message. Man's greatest mistake is to reject truth, to fight against truth, to despise truth, to minimize truth, to belittle truth! This is the case because God's truth will judge him in the last day (John 12:48). How awful it will be should we hear the august Judge point out that we were guilty of opposing his sacred truth which he had given to guide humanity in righteous paths! What could such an offender expect his future to be?