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 Is It Possible to Reform the Religious System?

1) Churches must be willing to surrender all party labels, names, and partisan practices. The denominating of separatist Christian groups must cease. We must recognize that wherever God has a child, we have a brother or a sister. We have no half-brothers or half-sisters in the Lord. We are blood fellows of Jesus the Lamb.

2) Draw no party lines. If Jesus did not erect the barrier that keeps our brothers out, dismantle it. Remove the notion that salvation is found in our association with churches. Patterns and parties (churches) cannot save. Jesus is our Pattern, our Plan, and our Salvation. Churchitis is the wrong answer to the world’s problems. If a solution is ever found, the world must look to Jesus—not to churches.

3) Purge all ritualism and formalism from our meetings and get back to the simple, informal, mutual method of sharing with and edifying one another. Our open class meetings resemble the open meetings of the early believers, for everyone is encouraged to participate. Participation makes for spiritual growth. Pew-warming makes for spiritual retreat.

It is utterly ridiculous to speak of leaving our classrooms to go “into the sanctuary to worship.” Worship in the new age is never defined as moving from one location to another. If we are not worshipping in the first room, it is unlikely the situation will improve by moving to the second room. For the committed believer, worship cannot be turned on and off at will. It is his whole life.

4) The “pulpit minister” must go! His position is a cancer in the body of believers, preventing the various parts from functioning as God intended. The divine testimony is silent about our modern-day “pastors” and “pulpit ministers,” except they are referred to as hirelings (John 10:11-13). They need to be dismissed and encouraged to find a job.

5) Evangelical church leaders and Elders should cease accentuating extraneous issues such as The Rapture, The Battle of Armageddon, The Thousand-Year Earthly Reign, Middle East Israel, and other doctrinal “supplements” and start pointing the unsaved to Jesus. The innumerable magazines and books relating to these issues are causing confusion among the uncommitted and frustrating those who are reaching for a higher level of spiritual curriculum. They hunger for meat but are fed bottle milk.

Conclusion
These changes are not likely to come about overnight, for they did not develop overnight. Somewhere along the trail, change will come. The mood and the times are right for it. May God grant us wisdom as we make preparations.

http://www.mindspring.com/~renewal/Reform.html

 2015/11/21 13:29
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2071


 Re: Is It Possible to Reform the Religious System?


Question: Is It Possible to Reform the Religious System?

Answer: Absolutely Not!

The answer to the following question answers the above question.

Is the reformation of the Religious System in accordance with His purpose and/or will?

 2015/11/21 18:25Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Question: Is It Possible to Reform the Religious System?

My answer: I don't see this happening, to me it's a lost cause. Several years ago I gave up on that and had to make a choice. I could either completely leave the system and be a lone ranger type of Christian having no place to fellowship besides online, or I could consider this issue of the "religious system" as a non-essential one and not allow it to hinder me from fellowship. I chose the latter.

The only possibility I see in terms of change is if masses of believers completely leave the system to start a new movement. I don't see that happening unless something drastic such as severe persecution takes place in our lifetime.

Do I foresee that happening soon? I can't say for sure but there sure are signs that seem to point in that direction. In the meantime, since I don't know for sure whether we'll see that type of thing soon, I won't plan on it happening too soon. I think we still have many freedoms available in the west, particularly here in the US, and we must take advantage of those freedoms to further the gospel.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/11/21 19:12Profile









 Re:

Yes, absolutely, I don't think the religious system CAN be reformed, either.

It doesn't like change and will resist it, especially since mammon and position over men are key elements of it.

I know there are brothers engaged in trying to reach people within the religious system and I could not help but think of our brother down under, Crusader who has a burden for those in the religious system and is even trying to bring reform to specific churches, I think. Correct me if I am misstating what you have said or what your intentions are, Crusader. I want to respect all brothers wherever God has placed them to do His work.

Even though I don't think it can be reformed and the Lord gives us instructions to leave it rather than reform it, I thought Buff Scott said some good things at http://www.mindspring.com/~renewal/Reform.html.

Let me highlight a few.


Question
Considering the rampant division within the Christian community, is reformation likely to occur?

Answer
Possibly, but change will not come easily. The “chief priests and teachers of the law,” or most of today’s clergy and religious leaders, will oppose reformational efforts. They will try to persuade the crowd to ask for the status quo and to have reformation put to death. It was the clergy who “persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed” (Matthew 27:20). They refused change and killed the world’s greatest reformer. They executed the Prince of Peace by nailing Him to a Roman tree. They were more willing to “bosom-buddy” a murderer than to see their sects and denominations undergo reform. A repeat today would not alter the scene.


Question
Who can struggle for reform?

Answer
Only the free man. He must be free from anything that enslaves. He is not free if he is a party man. If he has yielded his will to some church or denomination or cult, he is enslaved, for he is bound to uphold his party’s creeds, promote its philosophies, and fight for its growth and survival. Should he waver a little to the right or lean a little to the left, he is soon called upon the partisan carpet and told to shape up or ship out. If he refuses to shape up or line up with the party’s shibboleths, he will soon find himself on the outside looking in. But this is the best thing that could happen to him! For the first time, he would meet freedom face-to-face. He could then declare with the apostle Paul, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a servant to everyone, to win as many as possible” (I Cor. 9:19).


Question
Is it possible to free oneself from all partisan entanglements?

Answer
Of course! We can serve others better when we are free of all partisan fetters, and that is because we don’t have to look over our shoulders to see if our party’s chieftains are looking our way. The free man does not nor cannot represent any church, faction, denomination, or cult upon the face of this earth. He is God’s representative. He answers only to his Lord, not to the “chief priests and teachers of the law.” He has no lords, popes, or masters to whom he must give account.


Question
Are you saying that a “free man” should not listen to or take advice from others?
Answer
We are not free if we refuse to listen to and take counsel from others whose wisdom is on a higher level than ours. Listening to and accepting counsel from others is not the same as being dictated to by the “chief priests and elders.” Submission to the latter will enslave us. Listening to the former will make us wiser.


Question
How can we differentiate between the two?

Answer
Look around you. Observe and evaluate. What do you see? Pewwarmers? Preacher worshippers? Spiritual deadbeats? Lukewarm and uninformed believers? If this is what you see, you’re looking at a system of slavery.


Question
Are you bitter toward those who do not share your views on reform?

Answer
Goodness, no! They are no less my brothers because they are not as caught up in reformation. My ministry is reformation. This is where the good Lord has planted me. I dare not reject the brother whose ministry is in some other field or area of life, or whose divine assignment differs from mine. I know only that I must work for reform. And I cannot work for reform by rejecting those who do not agree with my efforts. But I have and will reject the system that has subjugated us.


Here is Buff's follow-up.
THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT
Her Diverse Blunders and Digressions
http://www.mindspring.com/~renewal/Estab.html

 2015/11/21 20:07
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Interesting quotes Julius21. I was not familiar with Buff Scott. I looked into him a bit. It seems he encourages believers to stay within denominational churches to work toward reform. I read somewhere that his idea of “coming out” is mainly concerned with a heart and mind issue, not necessarily physically coming out, unless that is unavoidable for certain reasons. I guess my only beef with him at this time is that in that article you linked to in your last post, he starts by quoting some of the US founding fathers (to support his argument), some of whom were deists and heretics. He seems to quote them as if he believes they were true Christians. Besides that he seems like a cool guy.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/11/21 21:54Profile









 Re:

I'm sure you (using "you" generically) can find "dirt" on just about anyone. I had never heard of him either until I read his writings on national Israel and spiritual Israel and I could not see where his views differed from Scripture. I actually liked his writings. Then I found his article on "Reforming the Church", which I don't agree with 100%, but had to admit to myself that God does have his people, (our brothers and sisters) working in the system to influence individual lives. The Lord's work doesn't need reformation, so I don't see Him trying to reform something that is not of Him. I still think people should come out, but not because I say so, but because the Spirit leads them. The "system" is not something you can always clearly see, for it dwells in the heart of man. Only the Spirit of God can speak to individuals and tell them what it is they must come out of.



 2015/11/21 22:07
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Fair enough brother. I guess regarding this issue (the issue of whether or not Christians should fellowship in traditional churches), is one we'd have to respectfully disagree on as to how essential it is or how seriously Christians should take it.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/11/21 22:35Profile









 Re:

I know that to truly walk as Christ walked one will eventually be "persona non grata" within the system. I thought Buff's words would be a good topic for conversation as he is the only other person beside crusader that I have come across who stated that God called them to "reform the religious system." I don't think you and I disagree as I have never seen this done and don't see support for the concept in the Word of God. I personally don't see how one could survive, let alone flourish in the religious system and I don't think it is essential in the least to fellowship in anything that is not of Christ.

Then I read this
"CHURCH ADDICTION - Is Not The Answer"
http://www.mindspring.com/~renewal/Church.html

and I am thinking that maybe I misunderstood him and he is not really serious about reforming the religious system.

I need to read more about him.
His biography is very interesting;
http://www.mindspring.com/~renewal/Author.html

and this is where he says he is coming from:
http://www.mindspring.com/~renewal/ComingFrom.html

Anyway, he has a lot to read and I am just "cracking the surface".

 2015/11/22 1:13
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3420
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Is It Possible to Reform the Religious System?


I believe the point is to reform people not systems. But can you name one religious system that's EVER been reformed?


_________________
Lisa

 2015/11/22 7:00Profile









 Re:

Lisa I agree Sister. I think it's the heart that needs to be transformed by the grace of Jesus. Not the religious system. Not what we call the organized church.

 2015/11/22 8:29





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