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TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Thanks for those thoughts, Chris.


_________________
Taylor Otwell

 2009/5/30 0:00Profile









 Re:

If our Classic Authors or Apostles were still here, they would "care" about what enters the Church and all the more to see the formation of the World Church.

This generation is on some sort of last days opiate spiritually and without upholding The Truth, expects to see 'revival'.

Revival of what?

We see in His Word, that because they had not the love for The Truth - all they will get is a revival of the dark ages.

Apologists, watchmen, teachers with high standards on Truth and prophets are not welcome in that revival.

 2009/5/30 11:50
Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re: spiritual drunkenness

Quote:

Jesus-is-GOD wrote:

This generation is on some sort of last days [b]opiate spiritually[/b] and without upholding The Truth, expects to see 'revival'.

Revival of what?

We see in His Word, that because they had not the love for The Truth - all they will get is a revival of the dark ages.



Exactly.

Also,

Rom 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to [b]awake out of sleep[/b]*; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

*hoop'-nos

[b]Edit:[/b]

I suppose the word hypnosis is coming from here also.

I believe what you said "opiate spiritually" is very accurate description of what is going on right now. (2Th 2:3)

Rev 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made [b]drunk with the wine[/b] of her fornication.

Rev 18:3 For all nations have[b] drunk of the wine[/b] of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Paul exhorts us:

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Is it possible a christian to be drunk with the babylonian wine?

There is one major characteristic of the drunk, opiate, dreaming and hypnotic man and that's the [b]unreality[/b] of perception of the things in and around them.

 2009/5/30 12:15Profile









 Re: Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa EMERGENT


To Jesus-is-GOD:

You asked:

"Possibly Walter could explain the article he posted and it's source. "

Walter's response:

I have been a member of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for many years and have been under the authority of Chuck Smith as my Pastor. Over the years I have sung the praises of Calvary Chapel, especially the Bible Teaching that has taken place each and every week. Through the Bible, over and over and over, year after year. Chuck has taken us through the entire Bible 8 times!

However, in 2005, on the daily radio show with Pastor Chuck (Brian Broderson was with him that day, as well) called “For Every Man An Answer”, Chuck made comments supporting Rick Warrens purpose driven Church, and found no fault with it. In fact the Calvary Chapel Book Store carried all of Warren’s books at that time. However, in May of 2006 all of the Rick Warren Books were pulled from the bookstore and Chuck, (I don’t remember exactly when, but I did hear the show) on the daily radio show “For Every Man An Answer” made the announcement that Calvary Chapel rejected the “Purpose Driven Model” or something to that effect. All of the Warren’s books were removed from the Bookstore as well.

So, we (Members of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa) have been happy with the rejection of the purpose driven model, and the embrace of Classic Christianity. We study the Word, line by line and Book by Book.

Now, you can imagine our shock. Paul Smith, the Brother of Chuck Smith who has been with him since 1951 was fired in an unannounced board meeting. Someone on the board brought up motion for the immediate termination of Paul, and it was seconded, and he was terminated.

It was Paul’s sole job to keep Calvary Chapel on the straight and narrow, to keep it away from the "Emergent, Purpose Driven Model". The powers that be wanted the Purpose Driven, Emergent Church model for Calvary Chapel. Now they have it (the Emergent Church), while many of us long time members, who are aware of what is going on, are searching for a new Church.


Sincerely,

Walter

Quote:

Jesus-is-GOD wrote:
I think there's been some confusion caused by not reading the links.

LighthouseTrailsResearch have been in contact with CC and on friendly terms. It's a long story between them and they quote Chuck Smith and all on these links. There were appeals and conversations between them in love and concern.
It would help if folks would read what was discussed between and by all parties before assuming the worst or making uninformed judgments.

[url=http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=44070390&pageid=r&n=0&_charset_=utf-8&bcd=%C3%B7&query=calvary+chapel&mode=ALL]Some articles praising Calvary Chapel and others voicing concern of new events[/url]

These folks have been rooting for CC and only voiced concerns as they arose.


Edit to add: possibly Walter could explain the article he posted and it's source.

 2009/5/30 12:34









 Re:

[i]"There is one major characteristic of the drunk, opiate, dreaming and hypnotic man and that's the unreality of perception of the things in and around them."[/i]


Tears-of-Joy and Walter, both your posts have put a lump in my throat and tears building in my eyes.

Paul asked his people, "do you hate me because I've told you the truth"? "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."


It takes much more love to tell The Truth than to compromise. We cannot say we Love Jesus if we do not Love and guard His Truth. He Is The Word of God and He is The Truth and our love for Jesus [b]is[/b] measured by our protective, jealous love for the Word of God.




 2009/5/30 13:24
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re:

Hello all,

I would like to interject my concerns with the difficulty behind the underlying principle of “upholding the Truth.” Everyone who is a real believer assumes that they are upholding “high standards on Truth.” Every man of God (professional or layman) holds to a set of ideals that he believes to be “Truth.” Yet there will always be some man or woman, congregation, apologist or would-be “prophet” and “watchman” who will disagree.

Some people truly believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim that the KJV is the only true Word of God. Some people truly believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim that there will be no “gathering of the saints” before the period of God’s wrath. Some people think that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim that there WILL be a “rapture.” Some churches truly believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they set particular standards for modesty that they believe is clearly spelled out in Scripture (such as women wearing only dresses…or physical head coverings). Some people believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim that “once you’re saved, you will always be saved.” Others believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim an opposite viewpoint. Some people believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is evidenced by speaking in tongues. Others believe that they are “upholding the Truth” when they proclaim otherwise regarding tongues.

Do you see the difficulty behind a set definition of “upholding the Truth?” Taking a stand on one or all of these is not necessarily “upholding the Truth.” Rather, it is upholding doctrinal peculiarities. How do I know? Because, a very large percentage of true believers cannot agree on any number of such issues.

I certainly believe in prophets…and defenders of the faith…and watchmen. Yet, it is my experience that many would-be “prophets” and “watchmen” are merely proclaiming doctrinal peculiarities than “Truth.” Far too often, they are willing to point the finger of “heresy” at anyone who disagrees with their particular doctrinal views…with a smugness that comes as though they believe that they are doing their “duty” for Christ. For over five years on SermonIndex, I have noticed that most of the heated disputes occur when one believer proclaims something to be “Truth” in the face of other believers.

One thing that I love about Leonard Ravenhill is that I don’t necessarily know where he “stood” on many of the issues that divide much of the Body of Christ. I don’t know where he stood on “eternal security” or “head coverings.” I don’t know what he thought about music. I don’t know where he stood on many, many issues. Even on those issues that he did have some semblance of a “stand,” I don’t know that I ever saw him “proclaim” such things as “standards” by which he was “upholding the Truth.” This is even interesting in the fact that I met with him in his home when I was a young teenager shortly before he died.

During that meeting, Brother Ravenhill told me that he was going to tell me one of the most important things that he had learned during his life. He didn’t proclaim some supposed “truth” about the coming of the Lord, the extent to which salvation can be lost or not, or whether he felt one translation of the Bible was supreme to all others. He didn’t instruct me about music…or a personal definition about “worldliness.” Rather, Brother Ravenhill simply urged me to “test everything.” He literally told me to not believe anything that I had ever been taught or read…because this is largely the reason why the Church is in the condition that it is in. Believers are too quick to believe something. He explained that the Church is in the condition that it is in because the Church has been operating like it has for a long time. A true revival, he explained, is when each person is consumed with an unquenchable hunger to know and fellowship with Jesus…and where nothing else matters as much.

There are a lot of silly definitions being spread around the Body of Christ regarding what a “revival” will be. Many supposed “watchmen” seem to think that a “real” revival will occur when everyone will embrace and uphold their particular ideas about doctrinal “Truth.” How silly. I seriously doubt that a time will come on this side of Eternity in which all believers will agree upon every last doctrinal detail. Leonard Ravenhill could be considered a “watchman” by some – not because he upheld and proclaimed a particular set of doctrines, but because he stressed the need for mere men to take Christ (and eternity) seriously. Too often, I think, “truth” is lost in the details.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is pure and simple. It is men who complicate it. It is men who create particular standards for “Truth” (which is often what they consider “doctrinal purity”) and then proclaim as much to their listeners. I think that this is what Brother ChrisJD was saying in his post (correct me if I am wrong, brother). I believe part of the reason that the Church needs to be revived is because the Church has left the simplicity of the Gospel and begun focusing upon doctrinal issues and persuasions that divide the Body of Christ. Yet it is possible to have true Biblical unity of the faith without agreeing on every last dot and tittle. Remember, if any person were to stand (even here in SermonIndex) and proclaim EVERYTHING that they believe to be “truth”…quite a few people will stand in opposition.

There are some things that are undeniable foundational truths. These things are spelled out clearly in the Word of God. The most important of these is a deep awareness of our need for the Lord and a longing to have a relationship with Him. I am troubled, however, by those who would choose to proclaim remote doctrinal peculiarities as “upholding the Truth.” Even many of those who would agree on a “need for particular doctrinal clarity” and “obedience” would be surprised to find that many people would agree with the notion but disagree on the definition of “Truth” in regard to such peculiarities.

Please do not make the mistake that I am trying to say that doctrine is not important. We need to uphold what is true. Yet the problem of division comes in the details…in which some men would become confrontational by insisting on a particular set of doctrines that are not largely agreed upon by those people who truly seek Jesus. Thank God that He does not make an exhaustive list of doctrinal “conditions” for becoming a child of God! Many would be prophets walk around with a “victim syndrome” as they complain that some people do not listen to them regarding a peculiarity – and then equate this to a rejection of “Truth.” There is something wrong with this picture…when we can’t distinguish between a peculiar set of doctrinal views and “undeniable truth.”

Anyway, please understand that I am not trying to be discordant about such things. This has been an issue on SermonIndex – and in the Body of Christ – for a long time. If anyone here (including those who believe that they are “watchmen”) were to stand up and proclaim [u]exactly[/u] what they considered to be “Truth” – there will be an dispute or debate (even from their closest brethren). Another very sincere believer (with a jealous love for our Lord) will point to what is being proclaimed and say that it is not “truth.” Will the original proclaimer of that supposed "truth" be so bold and audacious as to proclaim that those with whom they disagree to be in an error or delusion...or will they simply feel that they have a difference of opinion on a particular matter?


_________________
Christopher

 2009/5/30 15:50Profile









 Re:




Well Ccchhhrrriiisss, you definitely never run out of words.

From what you have written, it is not clear what you believe.

What is your opinion of the Emergent Church?

What is your opinion of the Purpose Driven Church, that is part of the Emergent Church that will march into the Tribulation, very soon .

Do you feel that the Emergent Church is a threat to the Christianity of the Bible?

Do you see any problem with lead-in to “THE MOVEMENT”, which states at the beginning of it’s webpage:
For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: (Acts 13:36)

It then continues:
Every generation has a responsibility to reach its own generation. And every generation must find its own voice in its worship of God and its declaration of truth. Our desire is to see a new generation of young people passionate about their faith and active in reaching their world for Christ. With this goal in mind the Refuge High School Ministry (of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa) and Calvary Chapel High School in conjunction with Movement Ministries are excited to announce that they will be hosting a missional event called “Movement.”

What is your pesonal opinion of the works of Roger Oakland in regards to the Emergent Church?

Would appreciate your thoughts, from your heart, on this matter. Please, be specific.


Thank you,

Walter

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
Hello all,

I would like to interject my concerns with the difficulty behind the underlying principle of “upholding the Truth.” Everyone who is a real believer assumes that they are upholding “high standards on Truth.” Every man of God (professional or layman) holds to a set of ideals that he believes to be “Truth.” Yet there will always be some man or woman, congregation, apologist or would-be “prophet” and “watchman” who will disagree.

DELETED


 2009/5/30 16:54









 Re: walter...come now..

walter wrote:

Quote:
Well Ccchhhrrriiisss, you definitely never run out of words.



shame on you, sir. If that isnt the most clear instance I've seen of the pot calling the kettle, as you sir, have spent many a kilobyte of bandwidth opining on religious matters, both large and small, usually in the most contentious of subjects.

and yet you close with this to Chris:

Quote:
Would appreciate your thoughts, from your heart, on this matter. Please, be specific.



Christ did write from the heart, Chris did express his thoughts, most coherently and specifically, the problem lay, as I see it, is that your heart and your mind are not open, they are shut tight with a large lock that has the words "religious pride" stamped on it, which is tragic in its own sense, but in your overweening desire to "be right", you trample on those saints yearning to graze in the vast green pastures of God. That is the ultimate shame and reproach you bring upon the ministry of the Word, Which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Furthermore, I have found, you missue the word "emergent". I didnt know this until yesterday. I try to "stay small", and not get caught up in the "intramural" scrum matches of the Faith, I didnt know too much about the Emerging Church and the "Emergent Church", so I went to wikipedia to get an overlay of the subject.... [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_Church]Emerging Church[/url]

Hoping against hope, I hope you will give it a read. I did, and its very illuminating, and in many points I found myself saying, "yes, good" and in other points rolling my eyes, but I did find this, what is referred to as the [b]emerging[/b]Church is much different from what is called [b]emergent[/b] the "Emergent" movement comes from a fellow by the name of Brian Mclaren.

admittedly, I have not read any of Messrs McLaren's writing. (its part of my "stay small" leading) I've seen much scorn heaped on him, and from what saw of what he proposes/opines, its really not where God is calling me.

two paragraphs struck me in this wikipedia entry:

Quote:
According to Stuart Murray, Christendom is the creation and maintenance of a Christian nation by ensuring a close relationship of power between the Christian Church and its host culture.[24] Today, churches may still attempt to use this power in mission and evangelism.[25] The emerging church considers this to be unhelpful. Murray summarizes Christendom values as: a commitment to hierarchy and the status quo; the loss of lay involvement; institutional values rather than community focus; church at the centre of society rather than the margins; using political power to bring in the Kingdom; religious compulsion; punitive rather than restorative justice; marginalisation of women, the poor, and dissident movements; inattentiveness to the criticisms of those outraged by the historic association of Christianity with patriarchy, warfare, injustice and patronage; partiality for respectability and top-down mission; attractional evangelism; assuming the Christian story is known; and a preoccupation with the rich and powerful




and this:
Quote:
The emerging church is a response to the perceived influence of modernism in Western Christianity. As some sociologists commented on a cultural shift that they believed to correspond to postmodern ways of perceiving reality in the late 20th century, some Christians began to advocate changes within the church in response. These Christians saw the contemporary church as being culturally bound to modernism. They changed their practices to relate to the new cultural situation. Emerging Christians began to challenge the modern church on issues such as: institutional structures, systematic theology, propositional teaching methods, a perceived preoccupation with buildings, an attractional understanding of mission, professional clergy, and a perceived preoccupation with the political process and unhelpful jargon ("Christian-ese").



As the Lord leads me, there is legitimacy in this, whether you or anybody agrees, it matters not to me. But i wish to say one more thing to you in closing walter, in reading many many of yur postings, I have never seen you use the word "[b]love[/b]". That alone, bespeaks more to me, than the volumnes you have written here. I would look into that, if i was you.

Chris, my brother, you spoke well, I am in full accord of what you have written and expressed from your heart and I thank you in the love of the Lord.

neil

 2009/5/30 17:45
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529


 Re:

Dear Brother Walter...

Quote:
Well Ccchhhrrriiisss, you definitely never run out of words.

?

I'm not sure what the purpose of your response is, but it certainly doesn't seem very kind. Whether or not you will have to repent for it is between you and God. Brother, you do not hold a monopoly on "truth." That is the problem with pointing out "truth" -- because there will always be someone around to say that it isn't truth...or to call into question the character of the person who speaks it.

As far as the "emergent church" is concerned: I really do not care. I don't want to know much about it...nor do I want to spend a lot of time and effort learning about it. I prefer to spend my time and effort learning from Christ...rather than dissecting the words of some religious movement. I don't need to know all of the doctrinal views of the Mormon Church to know that it is false. I don't have to exhaust years of study into their doctrinal peculiarities in order to know something that is apparent from the get go -- that the Mormon Church teaches an entirely different gospel.

Yet, brother, I am concerned by the amount of time that you (and others) spend debating other believers about certain differences that we may have. I don't believe that the KJV is the only acceptable version of the Word of God. Yet you have spent many, many posts proclaiming such a notion as if it were a fact -- a "truth." Thus, it seems that in your posts, it appears that we who use a different version might be in "danger." Brother, there are many people who disagree with you. If you really think that we are in danger of "delusion," there is something very, very wrong.

This is the case with much of what is debated over and over again on SermonIndex, in books and from the pulpits of Churches across the Western World. We debate DOCTRINE. We pride ourselves into be "apologists" who "defend the faith" -- when we are merely arguing about doctrine with other people who profess to be believers.

Wouldn't it be great to harness our time and effort into just seeking God's face? Wouldn't it be great if we used some of that time and effort spent arguing into actually telling someone who is going to Hell about the "good news" of Jesus Christ?

Brother, there are many, many believers who I don't agree with regarding certain issues. In fact, I disagree with many of the fellow brethren that I know. Yet I won't pretend to make such petty issues a matter of "life and death." The important foundations MUST be kept -- but what could be more "foundational" than knowing and seeking our Lord and Savior?

I fear that we might be "in danger" of breaking fellowship with the brethren who simply disagree with certain petty doctrinal issues. So what if I use both the KJV and the NIV? So what if I believe that the Lord may gather His Bride before the time of wrath? So what if I don't believe that a woman must cover her head with a physical piece of cloth each time she is praying. Is someone going to play the role of the Holy Spirit and literally question my relationship with the Lord simply because I disagree with their "findings?"

Such doctrinal differences seem silly. Yet to many would-be "watchmen," such issues are "foundational doctrines" and "indisputable truth." There is a problem when we focus much of our time and effort on matters that deviate us from spending time with Christ Jesus or away from our Hebrews 10:24-25 calling to "encourage" one another! We do not have to agree on every last dot and tittle in order to fellowship and encourage one another in the Lord! If you want to continue using the KJV...praise God! If someone else wants to continue using the NIV...praise God! It is the Holy Spirit who will lead us and guide us into all truth -- and not ccchhhrrriiisss, waltern or some other would-be "prophet" or "watchman."

Out of this great, vast Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, one thing is abundantly clear: We have different ideas, opinions and viewpoints regarding certain matters. Denominations often seperate the Body by such differences of opinion. Is this what God desires for the Body of Christ? Should the Body of Christ be broken by different camps who align themselves with the peculiar babelings of supposed "teachers?" Can the Body of Christ get together without being in 100% agreement about peculiarities?

On the day of Pentecost, the Church was in "one accord." Something tells me that they weren't focused on divisive issues such as opinions about the Lord's return...precise defintions of modesty...or Bible translations. I have a strong feeling that they purely sought God. They didn't care about learning all sorts of doctrines; I think that they cared about being close to our Lord. Isn't this what the Lord instructed them?

Jesus told those who were concerned with times and seasons, "[i]It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power[/i]" (Acts 1:7) and continued by reminding him about what he had said earlier (in Acts 1:4-5) by saying, "[i]But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth[/i]" (Acts 1:8). It was almost as if the Lord was trying to prevent them from getting distracted by such things.

Brother Walter, I am convinced that you long for the Lord. I am convinced many of those who visit this website are longing for the Lord. Isn't this the great condition for salvation? Salvation isn't earned by aligning ourselves with a particular set of doctrines. In fact, most of us were plain doctrinally "stupid" when we first came to Christ. Doctrine didn't matter to us. We just wanted to know Him. I just wish that many of us would return to that simplicity.

To be honest, I grow very tired of doctrinal discussions...especially when there is so much diversity of thought in the Body of Christ regarding such things. I don't mind hearing about the ideas that other people have...but I really do prefer to prayerfully read the Bible for myself and do my best to "learn from" Christ (Matthew 11:28-30). The Church needs a revival. Yet this isn't a revival of doctrine (in the sense of denominational or doctrinal peculiarities). Rather, we need people to seriously seek God. I can gather with brethren of all diverse backgrounds AS LONG AS they are brethren. I don't care if they are calvinists...or KJV-only...or if they wear head coverings. If my mind is consumed by such things (the differences that we might have), then there is something that is VERY wrong with me.

I guess that is ultimately what I am trying to say. There are far too many people who equate their particular persuasions as "truth" and proclaim/present it as such. If someone doesn't agree with them, they feel "persecuted" or even "rejected." How silly! It is just a disagreement about some guy's idea or "truth" rather than a spiritual rejection of the man himself (or the man's spiritual integrity).

To be clear: There are certainly foundational truths that should be clear to all believers and proclaimed and taught. Yet most of the divisions in the Body of Christ are not over "foundational truths." The long debated issues on SermonIndex usually revolve around some guy presenting something that he thinks to be true and some other guy publicly disagreeing with it. Should we be so easily persuaded about the things that we argue to be "truth?"

*EDIT - I just read your post, Natan. I think that you understand what I am trying to say. There have been times that I disagreed with Brother Natan on certain issues...but I have always considered him a brother...and have earnestly desired to esteem him "better than myself" (Philippians 2:2-3). Thank you, brother, for your encouragement.


_________________
Christopher

 2009/5/30 18:11Profile
wayneman
Member



Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453
Michigan

 Re:

Quote:
A true revival, he explained, is when each person is consumed with an unquenchable hunger to know and fellowship with Jesus…and where nothing else matters as much.

There are a lot of silly definitions being spread around the Body of Christ regarding what a “revival” will be. Many supposed “watchmen” seem to think that a “real” revival will occur when everyone will embrace and uphold their particular ideas about doctrinal “Truth.” How silly. I seriously doubt that a time will come on this side of Eternity in which all believers will agree upon every last doctrinal detail. Leonard Ravenhill could be considered a “watchman” by some – not because he upheld and proclaimed a particular set of doctrines, but because he stressed the need for mere men to take Christ (and eternity) seriously. Too often, I think, “truth” is lost in the details.



Good word. That's an interesting statement by Ravenhill. He wasn't one for doctrinal quibbling. He was a Methodist who fellowshipped with everyone from Baptists to Pentecostals and admired George Fox (Quakers). No dogmatist could be that broad-based. But he got burned a few times. He joined the Vineyard/Kansas City Prophets movement for a while because he believed it might be the beginning of the worldwide revival he had been praying for all those years. But when I met him in '92 he said, "I've lost confidence in those guys. They just bounce around from one fad to another. They won't center on the Cross"

And I think that is the first test that should be applied to everything: If it is centered on Christ and Him crucified, it is of God; if it is centered on human performance, a dogma, a system, a program or some exalted leader--if it is man-centered in any way--it is not of God.

The first-generation Fundamentalists had a pretty good standard: If a person believes in the Five Fundamentals--the inspiration of Scripture, the virgin birth and deity of Jesus, His substitutionary death on the Cross, the resurrection and the second coming--he should be regarded as a brother in Christ, unless his moral conduct identifies him otherwise. 1 Cor. 5:11

And if he is a brother in Christ, the word of Christ is, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12 And that must always remain foremost in our minds as we debate. Ranters who use this forum to shag anyone who disagrees with them are only fooling themselves when they say "I'm upholding the truth in love." They are not fooling anyone else. People who are consumed with rage, bitterness and high-mindedness cannot conceal their true nature because it comes out in their words.

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18 But some guys are in such a fever to push their doctrinal peculiarities that they can't even be bothered to "love in word." Normal fanatics at least have the good taste to throw in the occasional "dear brother" and "God bless you" as they bight and devour one another.

Last night a KJV-only Independent Baptist handed me a bundle of about 200 tracts to peruse at my leisure. Here is a sampling:

Jack Van Impe, Master of Memory, Minister of Compromise

Why We Cannot Support the Billy Graham Crusade

Apostasy Chart

Martin Luther and Baptismal Regeneration

Signs, Wonders and Rattlesnakes

Is Your Church Going Purpose Driven? How You Can Tell

The Bible Believer and Heretics

Why I Am a Baptist and Not a Seventh Day Adventist

Seven Reasons to Avoid False Doctrine

Harry Potter, Witchcraft and the Bible

List of Heresies

Wanted! True New Testament Independent Baptists

It goes on and on like this. Every tract is an attack on some heretic. There is an important place for refuting error, but when it becomes an obsession, heresiology is an error in itself. It assumes that what God requires of His children is doctrinal purity, that verbally abusing those who disagree with us is the "ministry of the Watchman," that the church does not have revival because it does not universally accept our peculiar doctrines, and the fact that so many people disagrees with our doctrines is proof that we are living in the end times.

It assumes that "loving the brethren" consists mainly in correcting the brethren's doctrinal opinions, because if they disagree with us they are in danger of hell fire. Therefore love compels us to correct their errors whether they want to hear it or not and in the most abusive language allowable.

Consider poor Roger Oakland, who has spent years obsessing over the errors of others and has become so narrow and severe that even Chuck Smith is no longer pure enough for him. Pastor Chuck is 82 years old. He is too old to change. It is Roger who has changed.

Pastor Chuck has been a faithful, Bible-anchored minister for 60 years. There is no reason to believe that he would suddenly go soft in the head and abandon his Bible-based ministry in favor of something as vapid as the Emerging Church fad. He's old but not senile. And we don't know the whole story behind Paul Smith's departure. Maybe he got canned for the same reason Roger Oakland got canned; maybe he's right about the Emerging fad but unproductively pugnacious and dogmatic about it.

Aristotle said that the golden mean of virtue lies between two opposing errors. I willingly run the risk of a beating at the hands of the God Squad for quoting a pagan philosopher because I think that is very often true. Neglect of sound doctrine made the Emergent Church possible, but we will not correct emergent errors by polarizing over into the opposite error, which is dead dogmatism. Sloppy theology and iron-clad theology are both errors to be avoided.


_________________
Wayne Kraus

 2009/5/30 18:49Profile





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