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Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
I have had a few hours of regret for nothing.



MJones,

I think the vast majority (if not all of us) here at the forum have experienced anguish and regret from something we've said, or from someone's reaction to what we've said. We each promise ourselves to wise up, but we never really do. ;-)

Don't sweat it. You're normal. :-)

MC


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Mike Compton

 2009/1/25 12:57Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re: Original post - take two

First of all to ChrisJD, I like the way you tied your personal thoughts to scripture and how it all relates to the topic at hand.

Secondly to ccrider, I do not mind your question, but I do see the potential of this diverting the purpose of this thread. Much like what happened with the makeup issue, the same could happen here as people take off on the issue that you bring up.

I was going to try and recreate my first post, but as I sit here thinkig and typing, I find I do not have the same energy to put into it. I will say that I agree the Bible permits moderation. Whether Jesus drank wine or not, I cannot say for a fact, but if He did, you can bet it was in moderation as you imply.

Since I believe the Bible teaches moderation, I will admit to a time in my life that I took advantage of that liberty. Personally I also have to admit that there were times the line of moderation and excess became a little blurry.

A couple of years ago, I began a pursuit of God that I knew would not end until I found Him in the way that I believed He was able to be found. Being very focused in that pursuit, I was a little more sensitive to distractions to it.

So in the case of moderate drinking, there is an aspect of it being permissable, but as Paul points out in one of his letters, 'All things are permissible but all things are not expedient'. Each have to determine for themselves.

But for me, I concluded that though it might be permissible, it was a distraction to my pursuit. I let it go and have not missed it. I do not criticize those who take advantage of the liberty. Whether one does or not, the question is more about whether or not we are walking with and know God to the extent He is able to be known.

In relation to your last point about Jesus being the victory for former alcoholics; I would definitely agree. It is as we seek Him that our very nature changes. Our desires change. There is an enemy that will at first try to drag us down, but when he realizes we mean business and we have found the help that only Jesus can give, he does back off.


_________________
Mike Jones

 2009/1/25 13:01Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Compton,

I appreciate your comments.

Mike


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Mike Jones

 2009/1/25 13:08Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re:

Hi MJones...

I think that it is helpful for all of us to realize that there is none righteous (no, not one)! Even as believers in Christ Jesus, we are confined to the "wilderness of this world" and this shell called the human body. In that body is a brain...and each of our brains are different. We strive to have the mind of Christ...but I doubt that anyone will claim to have achieved that to the extent of being PERFECT in all our ways, thoughts and opinions. As such, none of us should act as though we have a monopoly on truth.

There are things that are undeniable. These things are clearly spelled out in the Word of God. These are things that don't have to be debated or even discusses (as if the truthfulness of them needs clarity). Man is born into a sinful world...where everyone is a sinner. The penalty of sin is death. Jesus Christ -- the very Son of God -- came to this Earth, walked amongst us, completely fulfilled the Law, and gave His life as the perfect sacrificial Lamb. We must believe in Him...love Him...long to know Him...repent of our sins...and follow Him to the end. These things are undeniable from the Word.

Yet there are many, many issues that "seem" clear to us do not achieve that "undeniable" status. There are people here who have varying opinions about the timing and manner of the Lord's return! The rapture, the tribulation, the wrath of God, etc... -- these are considered "doctrinal truths" to many. Yet they are debated here (and elsewhere) with regularity! My point? Why do we make doctrines out of molehills? In other words, why do we make doctrines out of things that aren't entirely clear? Denominations and even local churches are often formed by the issues that divide most but unite a small "clan" of believers with similar views of a matter. If you go to some congregations, you cannot be accepted into fellowship if you don't practice certain things that they feel to be "doctrinal truths." To those less strict congregations, they will allow a person to attend...but they will limit participation in the congregation...and always view that person as someone who doesn't know the Lord so well.

Is this wise? Is this the unity of the faith? Should we even consider such things "undeniable truths?"

In over five years of SermonIndex fellowship, I have noticed (and even been a part of) those who feel to hold some sort of monopoly on truth regarding a particular issue or viewpoint. How humbling it is when we come to the realization that we might be wrong after having felt so right! I would say that many of the threads here in this wonderful community have been the result of someone introducing what they felt to be undeniable truth...only to have some other very sincere and beloved brother or sister offer an alternate thought on the matter. Conflict arises when one (or both, or all) of the sides begins to treat the other's views with scorn.

As much as we would like to be, we just aren't perfect here on Earth in all of our ways (but I have even seen people argue the opposite here in the forums). I believe that we can and should season our posts with the salt of this knowledge. We do not want God to treat us scornfully for our faults. Why do we treat others this way? If my finger is pointed at anyone...it is pointed at myself! Yet I have been thinking about this for many months now: Should a Church, a teacher, or an overseer (etc...) even call such things "undeniable truths?" Should we ever treat someone differently if they have a different view or opinion on a matter that is not entirely clear to the true Body of Christ?

Case in point: My wife and I visited a large local Pentecostal Church when we first moved to the area. We went to a Friday night Bible Study. After going inside, we noticed that this was a Church that held to very strict beliefs in regard to outter dress. All of the women (and I mean...ALL of them) were wearing physical head coverings. All of them women were wearing dresses that went to the floor. All of the women wore very, very long hair...and not a dab of facial makeup (or even lip balm). All of the men were wearing suits and ties...no facial hair...and very tight and trim hair cuts. While no one mentioned anything to us about our appearance, we were noticably different. We could see it in the eyes of the people who greeted us, so they started to evangelize us. When we told them that we were believers, some of them look puzzled while others just stared at the trim goatee on my chin. They handed us pamplets that contained the doctrines of the Church. To be an "active member" of this particular congregation, you have to adhere to a certain set of beliefs. You have to have "spoken in tongues" when you were saved (I did not). You have to adhere to the "Oneness
doctrine" (again, I do not). You can only use the King James Version of the Bible for English or a particular version in Spanish (which I do not). And the list went on...

I understand why certain people hold to some of these beliefs. Yet is this an undeniable "doctrine" for which we should determine the extent of someone's involvement in a local congregation? Should we declare such things to be undeniable truths...instead of allowing people to figure this out (through prayer and study) on their own?

It is my view that we should focus on the truths of Scripture...and allow grace to those who might not share our particular views in other areas. I don't think that it is my place to judge the "spirituality" of a person who listens to music that I might truly feel to be inappropriate. I don't think that it is my place to see believers in any other light simply because they differ in opinion with me regarding a particular issue from the Word. I believe that we should be able to fellowship together, break bread, and even attend a local congregation together while still seeing one another as nothing more than sinners saved by grace.

Rodney King once asked, "[i]Can't we all just get along[/i]?" It was a silly statement coming from a terrible situation (the LA riots). However, can't the Body of Christ just...get along? Why do we have to label and point the fingers (even mental fingers) at believers with whom we disagree? Aren't there far more pressing matters at hand?

The modern Church is in a terrible predicament. It has less to do with our views about the rapture, dress, music, tithing, Bible versions, etc... as it does with the heart of our inner man. Do we hunger to know Christ? There are churches throughout America (and the world for that matter) where people live life without truly praying to God. It doesn't bother them that they don't spend quality time with God...or that it is the most important part of their days (and very lives). They go through life doing all that they can to believe that they can do whatever they want in life with little attention paid to the unseen, eternal matters. This terrible condition is far more important than our silly differences (that might not seem so silly to us individually). I think that we should view one another with the knowledge of our own flaws. It really helps to have patience with someone when I realize just how patient our Lord has been with me.

The Lord bless you, dear brother!

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2009/1/25 13:08Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
I believe that we should be able to fellowship together, break bread, and even attend a local congregation together while still seeing one another as nothing more than sinners saved by grace.




Of all the good things you had to say, and there were many, the statement I quoted is where my heart is. As SI is committed to the propagation of the writings and sermons of the old guys for the purpose of reviving the church throughout the world, I am working on the developement of a similar local site that will promote our local churches and the sermons and writings of the pastors who lead them, for the purpose of reviving the church in our city. There will be a very similar forum to the one we use here. All must be willing to meet on the common ground of the fact that God loves us and desires to have a relationship with us.

I liked what you said about denominations forming 'by the issues that devide most but unite a small 'clan' of believers with similar views of a matter'. I don't really mind denominations, it does allow people with similar views to worship God in the way that is good for them, but I long for the same people to be able to come together on common ground.


_________________
Mike Jones

 2009/1/25 13:42Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

At least somewhat fitting is a comment made by Mike Balog in another post.

I often long almost in a romanticizing of the past, of the very early years here when the participants were almost always cordial, intelligent, mature Christians and the dialouge could be even on some controversial matter but was met with equal weight and honesty, where the ball was played more than the man ...


I, as he, wish we were a little more cordial and reasonable and a little less antagonistic as we express our differing opinions. In the earlier threads, they were able to do so. Why not now? It is like the enemy, seeing the good potential of the sight has stepped in to disrupt it - in the name of God. :cry:


_________________
Mike Jones

 2009/1/27 10:49Profile









 Re:

MJones. I understand and agree with much of what you said. I don't want to divert attention of the thread. Thanks for your response.

 2009/1/27 12:43





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