Thursday, April 16, 2009

People's Reactions

I find it very interesting in the responses that I get from people that state (on website, from the pulpit, at Bible studies, etc.) the importance of having an open mind and heart and the importance of doing good as Christians. To actually preach on these attributes and then enact them in reality are two different things. In my articles on authority, I have some of the following reactions:

1) Sarcasm,
2) Emotional scripture,
3) Limited use of scripture and yet misapplied,
4) Completely ignoring the matter and refusal to discuss.

A couple of generations ago (50 years ago), many people split from the church on issues such as instrumental music and use of the treasury for benevolence and other similar issues. This all boiled down to scriptural authority and lack of respect of God's Spirit and His desires.

Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

A true faith in God comes from hearing, reading and studying God's word. We have generations of Christians that have no idea of how to approach the scriptures appropriately and just blindly follow their preacher or TV evangelists while never realizing the errors of their ways. God is very particular and will not share the stage with any other idols or doctrines. I am teaching a class on Isaiah and we see how serious God is about obedience and how we must show our love for him through obedience and not perverting his plan.

I am a retired Air Force fighter pilot that has pretty thick skin. I can accept personal attacks of anger, emotion, and misdirected lashings. However, I get upset when I hear the word of God perverted, ignored, and conformed to this world as people don't even bother to open the good book up anymore. If you are serious about doing what's right, let's study the Bible and be united as Jesus prayed for and Paul demanded. May God bless our effort.


Fantabular said...

I read the comments below, and agree that we must be known by our love & not simply as a bunch of lawyers (as were the Pharisees) however, the love that we have for Christ & that we show for others, must be guided by truth, which can only be found in the Bible. In other words, we need to know HOW to show our love and we must do it correctly.
Some may reply that there's no wrong way to show love, as long as it's sincere & from the heart, to which I reply with the following two Bible examples:
1-Nadab & Abihu (Leviticus 10:1,2)
"Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu each took an incense burner and put burning coals and incense in it. Then in the LORD's presence they offered this unauthorized fire.A fire flashed from the LORD and burned them, and they died in the presence of the LORD."
2-Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:3-5)
Both of these situations are found in the Bible & all three of these men had good intentions, but were totally on the wrong track.
The first two, having good intentions, but no authority for what they were doing, were destroyed by God with fire.
Saul of Tarsus was the most zealous servant of God we have on record in the NT, but unbeknownst to him, he was working AGAINST God, and not FOR Him.
Jesus made a personal appearance to him to get Saul "on the right track".
When Saul learned that he was actually working against God, he made an immediate 180 degree change, continued to serve God, but had to change everything he was doing previously.
What's my point?
Just because you THINK it's the right thing to do and it FEELS right, doesn't make it so.
Remember, the Bible specifically tells us that it can't simply be about doing good: "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
To which Jesus replies, "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' (Matthew 7: 22,23)
So to sum it up, while doing good works & having a good heart is a good thing, it's still necessary to remain within the boundaries that God has given us in His word.

b jennings said...

Collective Actions of the Local Church:

Chooses Overseers and Servants: Acts 6:2-3; 1 Tim. 3:10; Rom. 16:1-2

Has Messengers: 2 Cor. 8:23

Pays Wages to Teachers: 2 Cor. 11:8-9; Phil. 4:14-18

Relieves and Enrolls Widows Indeed: 1 Tim. 5:9-10, 16

Disciplines Erring Members: Matt 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:4-5

Sends Greetings In Letters: 1 Cor. 16:19

Sends Out Preachers: Acts 11:22

Is Reported To: Acts 14:26-27

Assembles for Worship: 1 Cor. 11:20, 34

Has Its Own Treasury: 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 11:8-9

Feeds Food to the Poor of the World: NO NEW TESATMENT PASSAGE!

New Testament Benevolence:

Individuals –

Matt. 25:35-40; Luke 6:30-38; Luke 10:30-37; Acts 9:36-42; Acts 20:34-35; 1 Cor. 16:15; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:16; 1 Tim. 6:17-19; Heb. 6:10; Heb. 13:16; James 1:27; James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17-18

Church To Its Own Members –

Acts 4:32-35; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 5:9-10; 1 Tim. 5:16

Church(es) To Church(es) –

Acts 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25-26; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8 & 9

Church to Benevolent Institutions or TO WORLD AT LARGE –

There is no passage that authorizes a local church, from a (its) treasury, to engage in special works of benevolence to the world at large.

Advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ is THE divine mission of every local church of Christ (1 Tim 3:15). The great commission of the Lord was to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). He did NOT command, “Draw the nations to your meeting houses with food, fun and entertainment.”

He commanded “Go!” We are commanded to GO into the world with a sense of urgency to bring the lost to an understanding of their spiritual condition apart from Christ.

Some will say, “But people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” True! HOW MUCH MORE CARE CAN YOU SHOW A PERSON THAN TO SHOW THAT PERSON WHAT HE OR SHE MUST DO TO BE SAVED ETERNALLY!

Personal kindness and generosity may impel someone toward obeying the gospel. But most conversions to Christ occur when people, rich or poor, are cut to the heart by the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and understand that only in Christ can they find healing (forgiveness) for the sins they have committed against the Living and True God.

Jesus, knowing the outcome beforehand, demonstrated the futility of feeding people to salvation (John 6:26-27, 66). As an individual Christian, try it if you like, but let’s not burden the church with a most ineffective way, not to mention unauthorized way, of making disciples for Jesus.