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How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

December 15 2010 at 9:43 PM
N.J. Gold  (Login NJGold)
from IP address 172.164.86.60

Seems pretty obvious that no church is perfect, yet we are also at a time where we see church after church falling away, going the way of Cain.

How can one determine; or more importantly, what does the Bible say? What makes a church "reasonably faithful" to the Words (Bible)/Word (Christ) of God and other churches totally apostate?

 
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Sonny
(no login)
99.186.93.107

Re: How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

December 16 2010, 10:23 PM 

Brother Gold,

I appreciate this substantive post. I have waited to respond because I know there are others who follow this site who are more qualified to answer, but maybe some of my thoughts from Scripture will prompt others to join in for some wholesome dialogue.

Here goes...

Either a church needs grace or it doesn't. Either Christians need grace or they don't. To what extent grace is available is more difficult to discern. Grace is not to be thought of as a license for intentional rebellion against God, but nevertheless we all need grace for our daily "unintentional" sins. These sins can be doctrinal errors/sins, worship errors/sins (inward or outward), and lifestyle errors/sins.

We know that truth and obedience matter, but that we all fall short of God's "standard" (His Word/truths and righteousness/morality). While obedience is ultimately a matter of the heart, sometimes one may be misinformed and/or mistaken about a religious teaching or practice, thus we may think we are being faithful in areas we are not. This is why humility and and continual search of the Scriptures is needed. Ultimately, we rely on the cross of Christ to save us while we seek to live in loving and faithful obedience. Our worship and good works are responses to God's favor in Jesus, and not to earn God's favor. We all need Jesus and grace, and all need to be disciples of Jesus. Repentance and confession are not to be one time acts. Ongoing prayer and contrition for daily shortcomings is expected. Baptism is essential for salvation. Baptism is not a work but an act of faith where we are united with Christ. We are raised to walk a new life. We begin as babes in Christ learning basic truths for a changed life, such as 2 Peter 2:1-3, where we are to get rid of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. The ultimate answer to your question I think at least includes that we are to continue growing and never have an unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12-13). This is why we all need to encourage one another daily. The older are supposed to be more mature and teach the younger, but all need to continue working out their salvation with fear and trembling and never cease to grow in grace and knowledge.

5 of the 7 churches in Asia Minor were told by Jesus to repent for their individual and unique problems, yet they were still the church. While Jesus' grace was there, they were still challenged and expected to repent as they were informed and were warned about losing their lampstand if they did not. I think each congregation and Christian needs to take this to heart as far as reflecting on ways they could be/are in need of spiritual reform.

As a second example, the Corinthian church was full of problems, including division and pride pertaining to spiritual gifts and rich vs. poor, worship and doctrinal issues, and sexual immorality issues, among others. While they needed to grow/change and mature, they were still Christians loved and called by God. Paul begins the 1st letter thanking God for them and acknowledging God's faithfulness to them in Christ. He also mentions them being sanctified (set apart).

One more example among dozens more is that of Apollos in Acts. He is teaching others about Jesus, but is mistaken about baptism. Aquila and Priscilla take him aside and teach him the way of God more accurately. Here is an example of approaching another person with both grace and truth (like John 1:14 and 17 says about Jesus). Grace keeps them from "writing him off", but truth gives him the opportunity to grow and to not "write God off" by continuing to teach something that he now knows to be false.

Perhaps I have typed too much, but I have many thoughts on this based on my perspective of Scripture. It is my intention that everything I have stated is accurate and consistent application from God's Word. I will now wait to read and consider the perspective of others whether it be identical/similar, or not.

-Sonny

 
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David Gustafson
(Login DavidGustafson)
207.157.10.118

How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

March 2 2011, 3:44 PM 

How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

If a church uses electricity in worship, then that church is NOT "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

It's that simple.

Show me where God commanded the use of electricity and I will show you where God commanded the use of coffee and ice cream in the Lord' Supper and where he commanded the use of instruments. I will also show you where God commanded the socalled "Five Acts of Worship on Sunday morning" and where God commanded us to have the Lord's Supper every Sunday and only on Sunday in an upstairs room with many lamps and where God commands us to greet each other with a holy kiss and to wash each others feet.

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
74.179.13.51

Re: How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

March 3 2011, 10:52 AM 

As an opponent of electricity in the Church, David must be Amish. Where does the Bible command us to call God's written Word the "Bible" or "Holy Bible"? Using David's "logic," isn't it a sin to use the terms "Bible" and "Holy Bible," when they are found nowhere in the written Word of God? Informed readers should see the idiocy of such "logic."

 
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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)
ConcernedMembersMadison
67.142.130.16

Easy, Davey!

March 2 2011, 4:01 PM 

From the wilderness the Qahal, synagogue or Church of Christ in the Wilderness is defined as A School of the Word where, as a law for the unruly, vocal or instrumental rejoicing was OUTLAWED: that's a direct command.

The Campbell's restored what Christ and all of the bible and early church history defines:

Church is A School of Christ
Worship is Reading and Musing the Word of God.

That's it. Now, they had candles without a command because they were post-moronic.
Electricity facilitates READING and DISCUSSING the Word of Christ.

Music and limp-wristed singers do NOT facilitate reading "that which is written for our leaarning." They INTENTIONALLY and Predestinatedly (Rev 18) INTEND to "silence the voice of the victim."

You can have PEWS because the synagogue Jesus attended meant that He STOOD UP to READ the assigned text and then quite decently SAT DOWN.

The command in Romans 15 is ONE MIND and ONE MOUTH (stoma, glossa excludes tongues of reed instruments." That defines UNISON RECITING THE WORD OF GOD.

Paul commanded, if you understand the previous string of antithetical parallels.

SPEAK one to another with the Biblical Text.
BUT,sing and make melody IN the heart and directed TO God.

If you have the old Levite and castratos (a cappella) whining out their sick cow songs with lots of complex harmony then we KNOW that the SCHOOL is being disturbed by infantile delinquents saying "look at me, look at me."

It's simple: David, if it is not required to be a SCHOOL OF CHRIST and sows discord then the word HERETIC or SECTARIAN means YOU cannot make anew LAW which I must observe or cast myself out of MY synagogue.

 
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Dave
(no login)
130.127.43.117

Here We Go Again....Same Ole Same Ole

March 4 2011, 9:03 AM 

Does this sound hypocritical? Listen to what William Crump says about David G., but yet when someone uses the same logic that he does, "well, that's just different," right William?

I quote William....
"As an opponent of electricity in the Church, David must be Amish. Where does the Bible command us to call God's written Word the "Bible" or "Holy Bible"? Using David's "logic," isn't it a sin to use the terms "Bible" and "Holy Bible," when they are found nowhere in the written Word of God? Informed readers should see the idiocy of such "logic."

Now let's try this on what Wllliam (not the Word) opposes and doesn't PREFER, being the legalist that he is.

As an opponent of instrumental music in the Church, William must be a legalist. Where does the Bible command us to call instrumental music a sin? Using William's "logic," isn't it a sin to add a sin to the Word of God when this supposed sin of instrumental music is found nowhere in the written Word of God? Informed readers should see the idiocy of such "logic."

A legalist is synonymous with hypocrisy.

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
74.179.10.90

The Arguments Will Never End

March 4 2011, 4:20 PM 

As a proponent of instrumental music in the Church, Dave must be a liberal change agent or at least one who sympathizes with the change agents. Consider these questions:

Where does the New Testament explicitly permit us to take one of God's commands and ADD anything that we feel would make it better or more enjoyable?

Specifically, where does the New Testament explicitly grant us permission to ADD instrumental music to God's explicit command to sing and make melody in our hearts?

Where does the New Testament explicitly give us permission to "enhance" or "accompany" our singing with any other forms of music?

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that "God didn't say not to use instrumental music"?

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that whatever God doesn't forbid by name is permissible in worship? This is strictly a worldly assumption based on man's desire to do as he pleases.

Using Dave's "logic," isn't it a sin to ADD instrumental music to God's explicit command about singing when explicit "permission" to use instruments in Christian worship is found NOWHERE in the New Testament? Informed readers will obviously see the total idiocy of Dave's "logic."

A change agent is synonymous with hypocrisy.

 
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Dave
(no login)
130.127.43.117

TGIF!!! TGFED!!!

March 4 2011, 5:32 PM 

As a proponent of adding to the Word of God, William C. must be a legalist. Consider these questions:

Where does the New Testament explicitly permit man to take one of God's commands and ADD anything to that command so he can keep his preference in tact?

Specifically, where does the New Testament explicitly grant us permission to ADD a sin, such as instrumental music, which is nor never has ever been in God's Word? God's explicit command to sing and make melody in our hearts does not exclude singing AIDED by instruments? Playing a piano does keep a man from singing, now does it?

Where does the New Testament explicitly give us permission to "enhance" or "accompany" our singing with any other forms of music? It does not....neither does the NT give us such permission to "enhance" or "accompany" our singing with a PA system. The NT does give us guidance on orderly worship. PA systems and instruments can AID in a orderly worship.

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that "God didn't say not to use instrumental music-"?
It does not. Where does the NT explicitly grant us permission to add sins to the Word just because man believes he knows more than God? It does not. We live by His Words, and He tells us to sing. He doesn't tell give us guidance on singing, no more than He does on how we should GO and preach the Gospel. Does the Word authorize us to use the internet to preach His Word? No. Does God tell us to use four-part harmony to sing? No. Does God tell us to play the piano while we sing? No. Man wants to dictate those things he LIKES and DISLIKES. That is why he looks for loopholes in the Word so as to condemn want he doesn't like.

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that whatever God doesn't forbid by name is permissible in worship? For example, God did not name a piano nor a PA system. Why do we use them? To conduct an orderly worship, which God, through His servants, did speak of. So why do some people like a PA, but not a piano? PREFERENCE!!!
This is strictly a worldly preference based on man's desire to do as he pleases.

Using William's "logic," isn't it a sin to ADD to the Word of God by making instrumental music a sin where God has NOWHERE indicated such. Informed readers will obviously see the total idiocy of William's "logic."

A legalist is synonymous with hypocrisy.

William, did you edit your error of "TESTMENT" (sic) yet? If not, do it now. That way there will no record of it and no one prove it later on. Hey, I thought for sure that you used a spell check program? I know....you were just putting one in there to see if I would catch it. Yes Sireeeeee.....I did!!!
happy.gif

 
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Dr. Bill Crump
(no login)
74.179.203.98

More Arguments

March 4 2011, 6:51 PM 

Doesn't the New Testament tell us not to go above what is written in Scripture (1 Cor. 4:6)? Since the New Testament tells us to sing and make melody in our hearts, that sets the limits of the type of music that is to be used in worship. Must God be redundant and give an exhaustive list of everything that is forbidden? Man would require that of God, but God expects man to take Him at His Word and not go beyond it, especially regarding His explicit commands. If God gives a command, we sin if we add to, take from, or in any way alter that command to suit our own preferences. Therefore, abstaining from instrumental music is not adding a sin; it is complying with what God has already commanded. Those in rebellion do sin when they take it upon themselves to say, "The New Testament doesn't forbid instruments as such, so we may have them." As I said, that's an assumption on man's part, and it is a dangerous assumption. It assumes that God will accept IM because He doesn't explicitly forbid it by name, yet He has already specified what type of music we are to use in worship--vocal music. That should be sufficient for faithful Christians, but apparently it isn't for worldly people who want to ADD entertainment to their "worship." Had God simply said, "Praise Me with music," then we would have been free to use vocal music alone, IM alone, or a combination of the two. As it stands, God has told us to use vocal music. We sin if we go beyond that, yet the rebels crawl all over themselves trying to "justify" ways around that.

It's been argued time and again that incidentals like PA systems and kitchens in the church need no divine authority, because they do not clash with the Gospel of Christ in any way. God doesn't waste His time with such incidentals. Yet because God specifies vocal music, then IM DOES clash with one of God's explicit commands. Rebels argue that IM "enhances" or "accompanies" singing, so it is scripturally permissible. Again, that is man talking, not God. The New Testament does not mention anything about beefing up the singing by "enhancing" or "accompaning" it in any way. The melody is to be made in our hearts, not with man-made instruments.

We need divine authority to use additional forms of music in worship, because God explicitly addressed music. We do NOT need authority to use PA systems and other incidentals, because (1) they clash with neither the Gospel nor any of God's existing commands, and (2) God never issued any explicit commands about those incidentals. Therefore, to compare IM with PA systems and the like is to compare apples with oranges.

 
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Sonny
(no login)
99.186.93.107

Re: More Arguments

March 4 2011, 9:49 PM 

Greetings to all brothers,

"Long time no see." I notice that the issue of IM is still alive and well in the Madison forums. Question for Brother Crump and/or Brother Cruz: Does the Madison C of C worship with instruments? If so, do you think the ten years of debate on here is helping the situation with the congregation? If not, why is the topic being addressed so much concerning this congregation?

Grace and peace,

-Sonny

 
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Dave
(no login)
69.59.112.185

God vs. man

March 5 2011, 5:37 AM 

SOMEONE once said....."He has already specified what type of music we are to use in worship--vocal music."
God, through His servants, asks man to sing to worship Him. Singing is VOCAL MUSIC, indeed. However, the claim that the Word has specified only vocal music is untrue. Vocal music is to be used during the worship period. Does using the piano prohibit, in any way, the act of singing? No it does not, no more than the PA system does. Does the Word call for a PA system to aid the singing? No. So people will scream about one being wrong, the piano, while they madly rationale in their insidious minds that the PA system is right. Why would they do this when God doesn't authorize either the PA system or the piano? The ole "pick and choose" mentality rears its ugly head. They don't like the piano, but prefer the PA system. God gives clear determination that both the piano and PA system would give aid to a orderly worship.
1 Corinthians 14:40
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Furthermore, where does God tell us VOCAL MUSIC only? That would have cleared up everything. What if the Word of God, in Matthew 28, would have stated that we should GO to preach the Gospel of Jesus by foot only? Then we couldn't use a car or the internet. How does the Word tell us to GO? It doesn't? Does the Word tell us to SING without a piano? Would a piano keep us from singing? Would us using the internet keep us from accomplishing our command to GO out to the world preaching the Word? No, the internet actually can give us a bigger audience. What is the benefit of using the piano to accompany the singing? It can aid to keep those who PREFER to use it in pitch. I have seen where some people do better while accompanied by an instrument. There will always be people looking for loopholes in the Scriptures to get their way instead of doing it God's Way. This is the classic example that has been portrayed in all corners of the Word of God.....man wants to tinker with the Word of God. He wants what he wants and is determined, even to the point of adding sins to the Word of God, to get what he wants at all costs. You've heard the saying....."Watch what you ask for...."
I don't prefer a piano, but I do prefer pure vocal music. Will I condemn another person just because they DO prefer a piano? No, and I will leave that condemnation up to other people who want to add to the Word of God to justify, in their minds, only that vocal music is only authorized.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
99.177.249.211

Re: More Arguments (a Response to Sonny)

March 7 2011, 2:33 AM 

Glad to "see" you, Sonny.

The issue of IM will continue to be alive and well not only in the Madison fora but also in the brotherhood so long as the "change agents" continue to disturb peaceful congregations.

No, the Madison church of Christ does not "worship with instruments." But I believe that it came close to going that route.

In the 1990s, Madison was among the "mega" churches that the change agents [supposedly our own ... "brothers"] associated with the Community Church Movement had targeted to "transform" as planned. Other "mega" churches that succumbed to Community Church-ism, thanks to their elders' ill-advised decision, were Richland Hills, Oak Hills, Woodland Hills and other "hills."

(There are so many threads that deal with the "change agents" and their "acts." So, I will not elaborate further. But the change agents intruded (and still do) upon the affairs of once-peaceful congregations including Madison.)

At Madison, in the end, the change agents were partially successful in implementing their changes -- usually divisive, controversial and unnecessary. Even the introduction of the "Praise Team," while considered a "success" on their part, wreaked havoc in the church. Many brethren were alienated; about half of the membership left; and the assemblies since then have been split between "traditional" and "contemporary."

Had the havoc not occurred, could the change agents have successfully implemented the use of musical objects and devices in the assembly at Madison? Probably. Madison could have become just like the "instrumental" Richland Hills and Oak Hills.

Might ConcernedMembers have influenced Madison from becoming a full-fledged Community Church? Probably.

And the decade of debate on here will continue so long as the change agents are alive and well and are attempting to pervert the truth and subvert the church.

Fortunately, of the thousands of congregations of the church of Christ, only a few have gone the Community Church's or the Christian Church denomination's way.

 
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Jimmy Joe
(no login)
69.138.47.3

Are your arms tired?

March 7 2011, 8:54 PM 

Donnie,
Are your arms tired from patting yourself on the back for saving the Madison church of Christ from becoming just another denomination? I think you are giving yourself a little too much credit when probably 95% of the congregation do not even know who you are. Also, when I mention that I visit this web site to enjoy the banter, the response I receive is what web site. But take solace Donnie, at least I know you. Where were you last Sunday? I missed you.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
99.177.249.211

My arms are not tired at all (LOL)

March 8 2011, 2:51 AM 

Hello, brother Jimmy Joe:

Actually (and literally), I do not and cannot pat myself on the back. Let me tell you why: my arms are too muscular -- I cannot reach my back. And brother Dave, the IM lover, knows what I'm talking about. [Just kidding about the "muscular" thing, OK?]

Seriously, your stats are not quite accurate. I would say that 99.44% of the congregation did not know me then and does not know me now. But I am not concerned. Rather, I could say that more elders knew me then than the regular members did.

Notice that if there's any credit to give, I would not want it. Instead, credit, if any, the ConcernedMembers website and its owner(s) at the time when the change agents, associated with the Community Church Movement, intruded upon the affairs of the Madison congregation, i.e., in the early stages. Give credit to the divided eldership -- when many of them resigned. Give credit to half of the membership that left to seek fellowship somewhere else. At last, eyes were opened, though a little bit too late.

No, Jimmy Joe, the new generation of Madison congregants is not expected to know that this website even exists. It's not even surprising anymore where an old, favorite hymn of only a decade ago needs to have its historical background explained or introduced to the "I love you, Lord" praise music lovers of today.

But that's OK. There are still many out there who are interested in the affairs of Madison and the brotherhood. And this website will continue to warn other congregations to be vigilant and pay attention to lessons learned.

 
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What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?


There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

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Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
10 Not so Godly Elders
120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)
 

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