I like your sign on name ... Hope in Him ... Very Right !
I think everything can be taken to extremes, except the amount of time we talk & listen to the Lord. :-)
I love Apologetic and Discernment Ministry Websites ... but a steady diet of them, would probably make me ill. But they are there when I need to know something.
Paul and John and those, always had to address some new & bad teaching or practice coming into the Church, but they mixed it with exhortations, instructions, comfort, guidance, etc. etc..
I think sometimes we expect too much out of Church, when that's secondary to our time alone with our Loving Savior and learning His voice.
We have a 'personal' relationship with Christ and His Holy Spirit was given to us to lead us into all truth John 16:13, and even to show us things to come ... personally.
We are only responsible for ourselves, so our alone time matters more than anything else in the world. "MY sheep Hear my Voice". That's all He wants.
When we stand alone before Him someday, we won't be able to say, "Well, 'so & so' taught me this or that" ... because we're personally responsible, to allow the Holy Spirit to direct us into all truth. Teachers have their place, but we have to decide what is truth, in the end.
As long as you have that alone time with He Who Loves You So Very Much ... you're Lover, Friend, Husband, King, Savior, you're Everything, ALL will work out.
Fellowship with others is secondary to that, and He'll lead you in all your paths, in that Dept. also.
Keep your Name "Hope". And "Hope in Him".
| 2005/7/25 21:14|
| Re: Gaining Hope|
this is what truly disturbs me about this thread or threads like it, dedicated to yet another long "discussion" on the apostate condition of certain high profile north american preachers.
we're just regurgitating the same stuff over and over again, and the fruit is that believers become disillusioned, and the discussion becomes divisive, because it's NOT focused on what is "lovely" or "noble" or "praiseworthy".
why not focus on the "good guys" of the Church whose walk we wish to emulate?
Here's one, David Brainerd...I'm re-reading "Life of Brainerd", and here's some entries from his journal I highlighted:
"Lord's day Oct 19, 1740
..."While I was looking on the elements of the Lord's Supper and thinking that Jesus Christ was now "set forth crucified before me", my soul was filled with light and love, so that I was almost in an ecstatsy; my body was so weak I could scarcely stand".
April 2, 1742----
".....Sometime past I had much pleasure in the prospect of the Heathen being brought home to Christ, and desired that the Lord would employ me in that work; but now my soul more frequently desires to die, to be with Christ".
April 4, Lord's Day 1742
...." O my blessed God! Let me climb up near to Him, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle, and stretch after him, and for the deliverance from the body of sin and death".
April 19 ...."God enabled me so to agonize in prayer, that I was quite wet with sweat, though in the shade and cool wind. My soul was drawn out very much for the world: I grasped for multitudes of souls. I think I had more enlargement for sinners than for the children of God; though I felt as if I could spend my life in cries for both. I had great enjoyment in communion with my dear Savior. I think I never in my life felt such an entire weanedness from this world, and so resigned to God in every thing. O that I may always live to and upon my blessed God ! Amen, Amen."
This book is so wonderul , so inspiring, but it ain't dirty laundry. Grievously , sometimes it seems that even in the church people only want to examine and sniff the dirty laundry of the church.
the Life of Brainerd can be purchased via amazon. I reccommend this book so heartily.
| 2005/7/25 21:50|
I love the Biographies and writings of Missionaries. I have David Brainerd's book too, it's wonderful. They walk their talk, don't they ?
I wanted to be a missionary, but got disabled instead.
Went to Bible college and all, but God had other plans.
I thank the Lord, for people who are in the Apologetic and Discernment Ministries also.
They are just as persecuted as many of my Missionary friends & heroes are.
They get death threats and threats of law-suits, from Christians. :-(
If it weren't for some Apologetic/Discernment people that I know and some good Professors, I would have been left to feel that I am now disabled and not a Teaching/Missionary, because there is "hidden sin in my life or a real bad lack of faith."
It would be Lovely, if things could always be sweet and positive in what we read, write or are forced to talk about, but unfortunately, we are still in this world ... and Paul many times mentioned folks 'by name' and ,,, just for one small example ... the Gospel of John HAD to be written, because the Gnostic's were coming to mess up the Doctrine of the Deity of Christ, etc. etc..
Paul said, to watch your 'life' AND your 'Doctrine' closely. And all the more in the last days, as he instructed Timothy and on and on. Notice that in all of Paul's Epistles, if he is not countering either false doctrines, or even what he called "false brethren", " etc. etc..
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
2Ti 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Tough job he had. As in just one more small example ...
Act 20:28- "Then take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit placed you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God which He purchased through His own blood.
For I know this, that after my departure [u]grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and out of you yourselves will rise up men speaking perverted things, in order to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Because of this watch[/u], remembering that I did not cease admonishing each one with tears night and day for three years."
Jesus used some rough language too, "whited sepulchers, brood of vipers" ... you know the rest.
We are to worship in Spirit AND in [b]Truth[/b] ... and we owe it to each other to follow Paul's example, to follow "as he followed Christ" and protect each other from heresies and as Jesus and Paul, etc. called them, "false teachers and prophets" ... if we love each other, we will do that.
The Word of God is not all 'sweet' to the ears.
And that's our [u]ONLY[/u] reference for how to 'act' or what to do with heresies and all that is not so 'sweet'.
As I tried to say above, there is a balance ... and that balance is clearly seen in the Only Inerrant God-breathed Book in the Universe ... HIS Word.
Other than that, we still have the law of the land, that provides, freedom of speech.
What I do Neil, is if a thread upsets me, I just don't look at it.
I'm a firm believer of freedom of speech, providing it's in decency and order and documentable Truth.
Peace to you.
| 2005/7/25 22:45|
Neil and Granny are right about the David Brainerd biography. David was suffering from TB in the 1730's in the unsettled Indian lands of the American colonies. He ended up leading a bunch of bead rattling Indians to Jesus. His diary was rewritten by Johnathan Edwards. David tells of his personal trials and feelings through the periods before and during this Indian revival then finishing with the days preceding his early death at about 29 years of age. This is one of the best books I've ever read and I recommend it to any who will read it.
| 2005/7/25 23:59||Profile|
What I do Neil, is if a thread upsets me, I just don't look at it.
Amen... something that should be taken to heart.
This thread is not about David Brainerd, altho it would make an interesting topic in another thread. Rather than hi-jacking a thread because we disagree with the content, why not just start a new thread?
| 2005/7/26 6:10|
I am deeply concerned with the way Warren is leading multitudes of Christians. I am afraid of what may happen in the future with this movement. Watchmen, people of God this is a call to pray. Yes we need to lift up our voice but also and much greater is the call to pray. If you have read through all my post please, I beg you to pray about this before you click to the next page on the internet.
Amen... we can no longer have a "judge not" mentality when it comes to examining scriptures and teachings. It's been going on for a long time now, and look we have reaped from it. Entertainment centered churches and false conversions. Someone mentioned leaven... and that is exactly what it is. The scriptures say a "little" leaven leveneth the whole lump. Not much leaven.. a little. We've long since passed "little".
Someone posted that they are tired of being beaten over the head... and I can believe that and understand that. If the church you attend constantly beats the drum week after week to the same people over and over... thats not balance. You need to go somewhere where they stand on the truth of the Word... and also teach it.
Some here think this is all I do. It is not. I've been judged in this way when all anyone here knows of me is what I post here. This website is about 2% of my life. However, this is a window to the world, and the world is looking in... therefore, this is an excellent place to discuss world reknown teachers such as Rick Warren. So that is part of my motivation.
This has the potential to be a great thread... so lets keep the focus on the original post, and if someone wants to go off onto something else, just start a new thread. :-)
| 2005/7/26 7:46|
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
| Potentially great|
Quote:So what is so great about this thread? :-(
This has the potential to be a great thread...
| 2005/7/26 7:53||Profile|
What I do Neil, is if a thread upsets me, I just don't look at it.
When the whole Toronto Blessing thing burst on our shores some years ago I was constantly being asked for my opinion. I used to say, perhaps glibly, "I have no comment. I am a Bible student; this phenomena has no biblical basis; I have no comment." It was based on a word God had spoken to my heart some time earlier. And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us. (Luke 9:48-50, KJVS)It is easy to see the bigotry of the disciples in this passage; "because he followeth not with us". They had encountered these folks and their instinct was to 'forbid them'. Authoritarian ways die hard. What a nerve? What right did they have to 'forbid' someone acting in the name of Christ.
The thing which really spoke to me was the phrase "Forbid not: for he that is not against us is for us". Now I have to tell you in all honesty that I don't like this counsel. I would far prefer that God closed the mouths of folk who will cause inevitable confusion. I would like to wipe them from the web and tend my neat and tidy garden. I still stand amazed at Paul's testimony in Philippians Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (Phil. 1:15-18, KJVS)Every instinct in me is to plead for 'purity' and a 'cleansing' from all the destructive mixture that I see on every side, but my beloved brother Paul "according to the wisdom given to him" ... rejoices! Lord, increase my faith!
The word that I heard in my heart was 'forbid not'. This does not mean that God approves or endorses the behaviour of these 'outside my camp'. He does not say 'Go and join them' or 'Encourage them' He just says 'Don't forbid'. In other words; 'leave it alone'. There is a cryptic proverb that often sets me thinking He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. (Prov. 26:17, KJVS)
I am not afraid to rebuke the wicked nor to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, but as a life-long interferer in other people's jigsaw puzzles I am slowly learning the wisdom of those verses which say James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
| 2005/7/26 8:49||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Potentially great|
After a bit of a self imposed break from everything...glad to know that there is much love for the moderators, always making sure that we will have some work to do. ;-)
Finding this somewhat of a quandary as to what to do with it, or better, what to say to it, taking in all of the comments.
Being that this like many past discussions have a lot of history here, a search through the forum again bearing this out, it does raise some new questions to the matter at hand as well as the 'manner' of bringing it forth.
Is it necessary?
Yes. I do believe so. And perhaps a very good response in general has been made already here:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=6457&forum=35]How to be a Successful Ear-scratcher[/url] There can be no denying that this is a very large problem, ignoring it will not make it go away and the purpose of being of some help is impossible to determine, lest it raise some questions in the minds of readers and cause some reflection.
Indeed it can [i]appear[/i] to be nothing more than just mere bashing, another divisive subject, another 'trashing' of another ministry. Perhaps that is not completely unwarranted due to the manner of how these things are presented, a suspicion may be just in the titles used. But, and we have been through this before about 'naming names', are we out to slander or to set forth problematic areas and where they stem from and who they are coming from? There is a difficulty in perception as to intent and in judging with right judgment. If we talk in generalities it can often lead to more confusion.
Without being wishy-washy about the content here, think there is something to be gleaned from all these comments.
One is if this finds one tired of hearing these things being brought forth then do go ahead and move on to something else and leave it be. That is not an accusation, just an observance. I agree that it can become weary as was mentioned if this is [i]all[/i] that one was to hear constantly. Think something got missed from this mention:
Is it appropriate to "preach" this type of rhetoric? I am in such a quandary. Sunday after Sunday, we are hearing the bashing. Not that it isn't true, but is it TRUTH?? Every Sunday, we hear how bad televangelists are, how bad J. Osteen is, how bad Jesse Duplantis is, how bad Rick Warren is. We hear how bad tradtional denominations are getting, how bad mega-churces are, how bad typical church goers are... and I am not exageratting!! This has been going on for months! AND we are also hearing, over and over, how we must live above reproach and how, if we are not living this perfect life, then we cannot have fellowship with Christ. I do not disagree that I am a sinner. I do not disagree that light and dark have no fellowship. I do not disagree that I must strive to live a life above reproach. But I am so tired of being beat to death!! I have almost lost HOPE!!
Do note the concern and the word in quotes; "[b]preach[/b]" and if you back up just prior to that:
First, I believe that this forum is one of the places where this kind of dialogue is so very appropriate. Second, I appreciate the differences and how you each "speak" to one another. I even agree that Rick Warren is preaching a very watered down message. It angers me and it offends me. As he and others begin to market their agendas and methodologies, it even strikes me as "sordid gain".
This is very well put. If these things are to be discussed we need to keep them within the framework of the issues at hand.
Balance. Yes, absolutely. It is needed. But I do not think it is necessary to dismiss one for the other, nor is it necessary to take shots here at someone because this happens to be an area of particular concern that is felt worthy of discussion. If it seems to be too much of the same thing, then please just leave it be.
With that I would like to address at the same time those other concerns, those on the other side of balance. It can be a bit worrisome that these other areas get less attention and think that like "HopeinHim" stated, it can leave one feeling beat up and left with a sense of [i]"what then?"[/i] Certainly this was mentioned within the context of "preaching", but there is an alternative here. Many a good posting goes unanswered and unnoticed while the more problematic issues of the church get the bulk of the attention. What I am driving at is, the balance is already in place, it just needs to be sought out. The messages are here, Sparks and Tozer and Duncan Campbell, Zac Poonen, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead.... Might I add that just as often they were addressing many of the very same issues being brought forth here?. Just as well the deeper issues, the matters of the heart, where all the troubles lie.
Then there is the articles. If you want to find it, it's there. It is the beauty of this site that there is much to [i][b]glean[/b][/i] from without being pigeonholed into one denominational construct or another.
Lastly, think an important matter is this; There is a way of looking at things from two different perspectives. One is from the outside in, the other from the inside out. For those who have experienced and often still live with the ramifications either to themselves or to their loved ones of much of the nonsense presented as Christianity today, there needs to be an understanding of what motivates them. If you have not been in their shoes it is but observance, one may be able to commiserate and grasp it from afar but it is different from living it and dealing with it day in and day out. Just as well and a good mention also made about those who bring forth troublesome topics, they very much can bring forth an incredible amount of wrath from their own Brethren upon themselves, do they do this lightly? Surely some of it may be warranted when the motives are skewered, by that it would seem properly that it should come in a form of correction not in anger. But thank God for those who are not afraid nor bent on destroying, but exposing what needs to be exposed, snatching out the sheep from the clutches of what can only be properly stated as [i]another gospel[/i].
Yes, I am one of them and though it rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning it also drove the goad in to the area's already being pricked. This would be the "good" of these types of discussions. Ultimately it was these very same "divisive" types that led me right to this door and Oh my, how all this here has reversed it all and changed it all, to borrow from Mr. Reidhead.
There can be no denying that there is a vast difference between what soul searching, heart exposing, tried and true, real life preaching and teaching found throughout this site and that which is largely being presented in our day. It is fact.
Maybe a help would be to along side bringing forth the rather (Edit)un-pleasantries would be to include the remedy to the problems. Personally it would be an exhortation to turn around and go back-wards, back to the classics, back to Christian history, back to the 'greats' of the faith. It was and continues to be with great astonishment to discover the depth and grasp of what is meant by this walk of faith. I am deeply indebted to an unnamed saint, a dear, somewhat elderly lady that pointed me back-wards while I was in a similar distress over all the confusion. To find a spiritual intelligence that was both factual, true and real. A Tozer, a Chambers, a T. Austin Sparks, Bunyon, Brainered and Bounds to name but a few.
There is great treasure here brethren, there is an alternative and a hope to what has become such a commercialization of Christianity as to render it ineffectual and left wanting.
| 2005/7/26 10:09||Profile|
Maybe a help would be to along side bringing forth the rather pleasantries would be to include the remedy to the problems. Personally it would be an exhortation to turn around and go back-wards, back to the classics, back to Christian history, back to the 'greats' of the faith. It was and continues to be with great astonishment to discover the depth and grasp of what is meant by this walk of faith.
Mike... you are wise beyond your years. Awesome post, bro... I especially liked what I quoted above. I was asked why I love Spurgeon... you answered it for me.
| 2005/7/26 11:35|