ELDERS, JUST SAY NO!September 29 2008 at 1:22 AM
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Contemporary leaders of our congregations often find themselves pressured to allow members of their staff or congregation to introduce some aspect of the unscriptural change agenda into the life of the church. Our lesson reminds elders that they have the right and the responsibility to say "No" to such demands. Please share this lesson with other Christians. Forward it or copy and distribute it to your Christian friends. Working together we can build a fire wall that will block the spread of the destructive flames of change.
ELDERS, JUST SAY NO!
It has been said that the most important word a parent can teach his child is "No!" The most valuable and useful skill that can be imparted to a child is the ability to say, No! In her White House years, Nancy Reagan devoted herself to encouraging young people to "Just Say No!" to illicit drugs.
Elders and leaders of congregations of the Lord's church need to recognize the power of this two letter word and use it in leading their flock. It is especially needed in view of the many pressures to allow unscriptural and divisive changes in our congregations.
Remember God has vested in the elders of the church the authority to lead the flock and the responsibility to protect it from harm. The Holy Spirit hath made you overseers (Acts 20:28). You are the designated shepherds to lead, feed and protect the flock of God (I Pet. 5:2-4). It is your duty to "watch in behalf of (their) souls" and you will "give account" to the Master for your conduct in your office of leadership (Heb. 13:17). Truth and obedience to God's revealed will are non-negotiable! "No" is a powerful, effective word that appropriately used in a timely way can save the church from much harm. Just remember to say, No!
- Say No to your preacher if he tries to introduce the change agenda into your congregation.
- If a man applying for a position as your minister or other staff position is found to be sympathetic to the change movement, exercise your right to say, No! You are under no obligation to employ a man you know will cause harm to your congregation.
- Should a representative of a Christian school or university that has embraced the change agenda request permission to speak to your congregation or your teens, just say No. Why should we offer any encouragement to our children to attend a school where their faith will be undermined rather than reinforced?
- Should your song leader propose that you change your worship to allow gifted singers to perform, to have a choir sing for worship or to allow the use of a musical instrument, tell him, No! He has no right to make such a request. You are not being cruel or unkind in rejecting it. You are keeping your flock on the narrow and straitened way of truth.
- Should your youth minister be found encouraging young ladies to lead prayers in their group devotionals, or allowing some to play their guitar while they sing a spiritual song, say No to such practices. If they request permission to take your teens to teen retreats and programs that are dominated by false teachers of the change movement, say, No! Do not allow your young members to be subjected to corrupting leaders and programs.
- If your campus minister is incorporating the unscriptural changes in his program of activities. Tell him, Such will not be allowed!
- Should young adults in the congregation begin to promote such changes among their peers, promptly meet with them and explain that such agitation will not be tolerated.
- Should the teacher of any Bible class be found to be undermining the faith of his students, the authority of the elders, the faith and worship of the church, call the teacher in and make it clear that such divisive teaching will not be allowed.
- If your educational director wishes to use class materials written by change agents and advancing their agenda, tell him such will not be used!
- If a missionary or foreign worker whom you support is found to be teaching and practicing things in his field of labor that you would not tolerate at home, let him immediately know that you will not support such teaching or conduct. Better still, before any worker is sent, your position on such departures from the faith should be clearly stated. Anticipate the problem with a strong No!
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
ELDERS: WHAT MESSAGE ARE YOU SENDING TO YOUR MISSION FIELD?
|October 13 2008, 12:00 AM |
Today's lesson looks at our mission work and reminds church leaders that missions involves first of all faithfulness to Christ and his teaching and a determination to win the lost to Christ and make of them true disciples of Jesus. We want to plant churches that are truly biblical. Remember to share this lesson with others.
ELDERS: WHAT MESSAGE ARE YOU SENDING TO YOUR MISSION FIELD?
World evangelism is the great mission of the church. Resting on the shoulders of every Christian leader is the charge to "go preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Every congregation, with the strength to do so, should be involved in sending or supporting missionaries, whether at home or abroad. Elders are called bishops, i.e., overseers of the Lord's church (Acts 20:28). As they invest the Master's resources in missions they should feel obligated to investigate the missionary to ascertain his soundness in the faith. Like elders, he should hold fast the faithful word (Tit. 1:9). One might think that this exhortation is superfluous, but observation demonstrates that many church leaders failed to verify the faith of the missionaries they sent to plant or build up the church.
So elders, I encourage you to carefully consider just what kind of a teacher you will be sending to the mission field. Only a faithful servant of Christ who knows, loves and preaches the truth will benefit those to whom he is sent.
- If you send a man who holds denominational views and preaches a denominational message you will only succeed in advancing the cause of denominationalism. Christ's church will not be benefited at all.
- If the worker you send believes that the Church of Christ is but one of many denominations, all of which are pleasing to God, he will present the church to his hearers in that light. Any congregations he plants will only be worthless denominational churches.
- If you send a man who believes that sinners are saved by grace through faith, prior to baptism, his converts will not be Bible Christians. They will make good Baptists for that is what he will teach them.
- If he sees nothing wrong with the use of musical instruments in worship, neither will his converts. If someone proposes that they have instruments in worship, he will not be able to object, nor will his converts. You will have assisted in planting a Christian Church, but the Cause of Christ will not have benefited from your efforts.
- If your missionary thinks that women can fill public leadership roles in the church; that we have wrongly denied our sisters those roles, then when he is in a distant land, without immediate supervision, he will be tempted to follow his convictions. After investing thousands of dollars in his work you may find that you only have a Pentecostal type of church to show for your investment.
- Should the teacher you send not understand the difference between the Old and New Testaments, he will not be able to teach that distinction to those he evangelizes. From the first they will be confused as to the source of authority for their faith and worship. Without that essential understanding they will as likely burn incense and worship on Saturday as they will to sing, pray and commune in the name of Jesus. You might find that you have financed the planting of an Adventist type of church rather than Christ's church.
- If you send a missionary whose only interest is in establishing schools, health clinics or job training programs you will have improved the physical status of the people, but they will still be lost without the gospel of Christ. Other religions have been doing that for 75 years and have little or nothing to show for it. To be forever lost in hell is a terrible thing, whether you lived well or in poverty. It would be ironic if a well-educated, well-fed person died unprepared to meet God, while the man who was sent to teach him about the Savior was occupied wholly with the needs of the body. Genuine Christianity involves saving the lost and ministering to their physical needs.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
"Portrait of a False Teacher"
|January 24 2009, 11:49 PM |
Dear Friends of Christ and His Church:
Today we offer a lesson that will help you be able to recognize the false teacher who may appear in your congregation as a wolf in sheep's clothing. No one can dispute that many false teachers have gone forth in our day (I John 4:1). Nor can anyone deny that they have been able to capture numerous congregations with their fair words and smooth speech (Rom 16:18). If you find this lesson helpful, please forward it to other Christians in your address book. May copies to share with folks where you worship. Together we can help protect the church we love.
PORTRAIT OF A FALSE TEACHER
Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets (Matt. 7:15.). Peter predicted that false teachers would arise within the church, "who shall privily bring in destructive heresies..." (II Pet. 2:1). John tells us that in his day "many false prophets (were) gone out into the world. In this lesson we offer a profile of a false teacher.
The false prophet will bring upon himself swift destruction (II Pet. 2:1). When Christ returns, "the devil that deceived them (will be cast ) into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Rev. 21:10). All other false prophets will join them in their misery.
- It is important for us to understand that a prophet is a religious teacher. Paul explains that "he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, and consolation" (I Cor. 14:4). Some prophets were inspired, some were not. Some were/are true teachers of God's Word, others were/are false teachers.
- A false teacher will present himself as devout, innocent servant of God. He will feign piety, and carefully maintain an outer image of holiness. As the Master put it, he will "come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly" be a ravening wolf" (Matt. 7:15). This masquerade should be expected. If he came with fangs exposed and blood on his maw we would immediately reject him.
- He will generally come with a pleasant countenance and a likeable personality. He will speak smooth and gentle words (Rom. 16:18). His vocabulary will be filled with biblical and spiritual terminology. This of course fools unsuspecting Christians whom he hopes to win to his following.
- To be successful, a false teacher must be able to do a reasonable job of teaching religious themes. He will carefully blend the error with God's truth lest its bitter taste be detected by his hearers. When he first takes a position with a church he will teach biblical lessons which none can fault. Only when he has gained a secure footing will he begin to sow his tares (Matt. 13:25).
- To the casual observer the false teacher seems to reflect the fruit of the Spirit in his life (Gal. 5:22-23). He will seem to be a "minister of righteousness..." although he is really serving Satan (II Cor. 11:15). Many are deceived by his charade.
- In assaulting God's truth, the false teacher rarely attacks in an open, forthright manner. He prefers to first work quietly, in the darkness, undermining the foundation of truth in the hearts of his victims.
- He will craftily modify and redefine the doctrine and practice of the church. He knows that small changes will be accepted or tolerated, whereas major changes could blow up in his face.
- He will first persuade the congregation that what they had always thought were matters of faith, were really only our Church of Christ traditions.
- He suggests that the Lord's church is obsolete and outdated. He insists that traditional Christianity cannot compete or survive in this Postmodern age. Thus he would save us by casting aside beliefs and practices he does not care for and re-imaging and updating our faith to be acceptable to his Postmodern thinking.
- While doing this, he will insist he loves the Church of Christ. He will boast of his family's roots in the church. He will insist he believes the Bible and only wants to help us reach our true potential.
- He will concentrate his attention on young adults, recent converts and those with a shallow understanding of God's word. They are most easily beguiled (Rom. 16:18).
- He will make great promises to the congregation of greater attendance, more resources, finer buildings, greater respect among her religious neighbors if only they will allow him to lead them into new paths.
- To overcome resistance to his plans, he will seek to isolate those who stand in his way and discredit them. He will accuse them of hindering the church, of being selfish, of being jealous, etc. He will try to turn his converts against them. If they are elders or deacons he will seek to force them from their office. If they are stubborn in their resistance he will try to push faithful members from the congregation.
- If he is exposed for a false teacher and an enemy of the faith, he will feign crushed emotions, and humiliation. He will seek to blame his ill-fortune on those narrow "traditionalists."
- If he cannot capture the entire congregation with its property, he will be happy to lead off as many as he can and start his own congregation. If he leaves the original congregation broken and crippled he will be proud of his achievements. * At that point he will become a raging critic and enemy of the Church of Christ, seeking to destroy what he could not control.
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Re: ELDERS, CAN'T SAY NO! Been taken captive
|January 26 2009, 3:50 PM |
The problem arises out of allowing tyrants trained in speech, drama and music to USURP the role of the body which decides to follow or obey an elder who has the vocational role of pastor-teacher of the flock. The rise of the clergy class has been hastened by working with groups like the NACC who taught them all of the false information about "music" in the cursed Sacrificial system. Music is derived from myth or mystery and the function of the sacrificial musicians (called parasites) was to "force the lambs to be silent before the slaughter." Therefore, you are not speaking about a few rotten eggs but but rank heresy where both sermonizing preaching and singing were added by the "converted" pagans in about the year 373.
A preacher is a herald of evangelist: He goes, he speaks the message, he goes away.
An Apostle is also a messenger: He goes, he speaks the message and goes away.
The early Bishops went out as poor priests, they taught, set up schools, served by helping to feed others.
The Pope cannot be either a preacher, evangelist or apostle and the "daughter" churches have caught a vile disease by trying to go ecumenical in connection with the Pope's Y2K Jubilee. Jesus MARKED the Bishop of Rome.
Mark 10:40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give;
but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
Mark 10:41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them,
Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them;
and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
Mark 10:43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Mark 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life a ransom for many.
Both evangelists and apostles were pledged to go preach the Word and abandon themselves to suffering and death.
Euripides, The Suppliants the Theban Herald
This herald [Kerux] is a clever fellow, a dabbler in the art of talk.
But since you have thus entered the contest with me,
listen awhile, for it was you that challenged a discussion.
Nothing is more hostile to a city than a despot; 
where he is, there are first no laws common to all, but one man is tyrant,
in whose keeping and in his alone the law resides,
and in that case equality is at an end.
But when the laws are written down, rich and weak alike have equal justice,
 and it is open to the weaker to use the same language to the prosperous when he is reviled by him,
and the weaker prevails over the stronger if he has justice on his side.
Freedom's mark is also seen in this: Who has wholesome counsel to declare unto the state?  And he who chooses to do so gains renown, while he, who has no wish, remains silent. What greater equality can there be in a city?
Again, where the people are absolute rulers of the land, they rejoice in having a reserve of youthful citizens, while a king counts this a hostile element,
 and strives to slay the leading men, all such as he thinks discreet, fearing for his power.
How then could a city remain stable, where one cuts short all enterprise and mows down the young like meadow-flowers in spring-time?
 What good is it to acquire wealth and livelihood for children, merely to add to the tyrant's substance by one's toil? Why train up daughters virtuously in our homes to gratify a tyrant's whim, whenever he wishes, and cause tears to those who rear them?
May my life end  if ever my children are to be wedded by violence! This bolt I launch in answer to your words. Now say,
why have you come? what do you need of this land?
If your city had not sent you,
to your cost you would have come with your outrageous utterances;
for it is the herald's [angelon] duty 
to tell the message he is bidden and go back in haste.
Henceforth let Creon send to my city some other messenger less talkative than you.
Ah! how insolent the villains are, when Fortune is kind to them, just as if it would be well with them for ever.
ANGELOS a messenger, envoy,
2783. kerux, kay´-roox; from 2784; a herald, i.e. of divine truth (especially of the gospel): preacher
2784. kerusso, kay-roos´-so; of uncertain affinity; to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel): preacher(-er), proclaim, publish.
Kêrux: A herald, public messenger, envoy, PRESBYTER being a messenger between nations at war. used interchangeably with APOSTOLOS, as Paul commanded Timothy about working so he soucl sponsor the Agape for the poor on the way to work, he also functions as a mageiro or cook at festivals.