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Thread: Theological controversies and disputes

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    Theological controversies and disputes

    I found the following article in my Inbox today........

    Theological controversies and disputes

    (Letters of John Newton)
    I am not to expect others to see with my eyes! I am deeply convinced of the truth of John the Baptist's aphorism in John 3:27, "A man can receive nothing--except it be given him from Heaven." I well know, that the little measure of knowledge I have obtained in the things of God--has not been owing to my own wisdom and teachableness, but to God's goodness. Nor did I learn everything all at once--God has been pleased to exercise much patience towards me, for the past twenty-seven years--since He first gave me a desire of learning from Himself. He has graciously accommodated Himself to my weakness, borne with my mistakes, and helped me through innumerable prejudices, which, but for His mercy, would have been insuperable hindrances! I have therefore no right to be angry, impatient, or censorious to others, especially as I have still much to learn, and am so poorly influenced by what I seem to know!

    I am weary of theological controversies and disputes, and desire to choose for myself, and to point out to others, Mary's part--to sit at Jesus' feet, and to hear His words. I cannot, I must not, I dare not--be contentious! Only, as a witness for God, I am ready to bear my simple testimony to what I have known of His truth, whenever I am properly called to it.

    I can only say a hearty Amen to the above.

    Blessings in Christ always,

    Kevin .

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I want to publically apologise to Charles (Wildboar) for the posts I have written which has challenged his theological position. Though it is loving and correct to speak out against doctrine that I believe to be wrong, it has to be done on the basis of love.

    Some of the posts that I have written have not reflected the love of God, that grace is to produce, creating an inconsistency in my profession of faith in the Word of God, and upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that our lives are to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

    We win people by loving them. The thought of being judged for the way I have treated other Christians to the negative is not something I can bear.
    God knows who His elect are. We do not.

    May the Lord Bless you all as you seek to follow Him.

    Love in Christ,

    Kevin.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I have always affirmed what Scripture teaches regarding truth: those that teach false doctrines are either immature or unregenerate. Paul argued for the truth (sometimes heatedly and mockingly) for years in some places--the synogogues being some of them. Paul condemned the false teachers at times and I believe the Holy Spirit is still leading others do do so today. There is a time to cast down and a time to raise up--and God has everything well in hand as He works in His own to will and to do according to His good pleasure.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I apologize as well for all those times I have been unloving in my speech. We are not called just to speak the truth but to speak the truth in love. Sarcasm has its place when it makes the point more obvious but when used improperly it obscures. I think many people including myself like to use sarcasm out of sheer laziness--it keeps us from having to deal with the real issues and create a caricature of our opponent.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Kevin, I would only caution you on this one point:

    We win people by loving them.

    Though it is true that an obvious lack of love will destroy our witness, it is not true that because we show love our doctrine is correct (& I'm not claiming that you believe this). I have never met people who show more HUMAN love in a horizontal sense than those in the cultic sect in which I was brought up. In fact, they put the Protestants to shame in this regard. But they are still deceived and bound for damnation. They care not to examine and struggle with the truth of the gospel in all its implications, thinking instead that 'loving people in' to their caring and generous community is enough.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I think that if our high grace doctrine be true, then the love that grace produces will be seen by all. This has not been the case in my life. I have been so caught up in criticizing others for their "faulty" doctrine that I forgot to show the grace that should be evident in my life. As a result, I believe the Lord has led me back to my former church. I never heard anything that I thought was wrong yesterday, but even if there is, I am called to be salt and light. The doctrine that I believe should be seen as a good manifestation in my life, and not used as a football to tear down other Christians. Just think, there may be other believers that we may be judging harshly that will be our brothers and sisters in heaven. We need to remember that God knows who His elect are. We do not.

    I commend Charles for not being as harsh as me, who was harsh with him. That shows Christian maturity.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    I think that if our high grace doctrine be true, then the love that grace produces will be seen by all. This has not been the case in my life. I have been so caught up in criticizing others for their "faulty" doctrine that I forgot to show the grace that should be evident in my life. As a result, I believe the Lord has led me back to my former church. I never heard anything that I thought was wrong yesterday, but even if there is, I am called to be salt and light. The doctrine that I believe should be seen as a good manifestation in my life, and not used as a football to tear down other Christians. Just think, there may be other believers that we may be judging harshly that will be our brothers and sisters in heaven. We need to remember that God knows who His elect are. We do not.

    I commend Charles for not being as harsh as me, who was harsh with him. That shows Christian maturity.
    Brother Kevin, when are those that constantly teach false gospels very courteously to be treated as if they are displaying maturity?
    Do the words of Paul mean nothing (also after you started a thread on Gal. 1??????) in Gal. 3:1-14? Of course I know you love scripture so I am being rhetorical here, but what about Paul's attitude in Gal. 5:12?
    If those false teachers were to carry this desire of Paul's out.........they would bleed to death......I wont go into any grizzly detail here. But was Paul being unloving in his words here........is there some conflict with 2 Tim. 2:24-26? What about Titus 1:10-16, do these words appear to be unloving? What about Jesus own words long after He ascended to His heavenly throne that He said to the assembly in Thyatira? He is going to kill the children of false teachers? what about the nicolaitans.......a little known group that are some immoral group that filtered into a couple of the Lord Jesus asemblies that tried to "rule people" (that is literally what the greek word means...from 2, niceo + laos) and Jesus commends those in Ephesus for not only hating their doctrine (Jesus says He HATES it as well) but trying to keep that influence out of the assembly.

    No body on our forum is going to grab a rope and lynch wildboar or get a gun and kill him, none of us will deny that at times we have been frustrated and carried out the deeds of the flesh instead of walking by the Spirit.........we have all had to confess at times that our words have not demonstrated a Christlikeness since we still carry the body of the death around like you. Okay, confess brother...........but why go back to the evangelical free church you attended? Do you have to or in your mind it would be disobedience to Jesus?

    I am open to listen brother to your mind, but your words here bring grief to my heart? Who has bewitched you brother (to borrow Paul's words)
    Has the lonliness you and your wife suffered been in vain?

    There is a time for everything under the sun. Many many times as you look through past threads you will see (just as 1 example) Robert dealing firmly but in a spirit of gentleness with Chuck. Its been done over and over...........some failings too even on my part but a false gospel and a false Christ are not going to receive a warm welcome on this forum.

    Our love to Jesus should come before.........love your neighbor as yourself, if we get this backwards (as I have done at times as well) then we will discover our focus is no longer on Jesus.

    Brother Kevin, I only listed a few sentences out of scripture as you know, but I think you are walking by sight here and not faith.........are all the warnings from God in the NT unloving?
    None of us here have ever made claim to 100% confindence in saying such things as our master, but look at all Jesus words (wisdom, love, kindness for sure) and see how often His words expressed much displeasure and rebuke........both for those whom He loved and those whom He hated.
    Do you get the idea that Paul, who understood God's sovereign plan perhaps better than most men ever created, and predestination and election that accords with God's eternal purpose, spoke the way he did to the Corinthians at times with harsh tones of voice and rebukes............spoke those words with impotent laughter and laziness? Do you get the idea that those whom he identified as threats and called them various names.........was unloving.

    Paul did and said all he did (to the glory of God) for the sake of the elect as he makes clear in his letters............in Corinth he was called a false apostle and treated by some in a most dispicable way (as our master was too) and was he lighthearted and gleeful, understanding that God had full control, with those who taught false doctrine and lied about Jesus??
    Do you think Paul spoke with a smile to those he accused of leading the flocks of Christ astray? Did he make offers to break bread with them.

    Every single conference we have had so far, devilish lies and false doctrine have been exposed further..........you yourself have told me how much that meant to you..........are you now going to (by action, not mere words) deny what you said you have learned to be true?
    Do the lies taught by the LCMS (from Chuck here on our forum) seem to be basically okay and should we be now caught up in the ecumenical spirit that pervades this country as well as your own?

    Heb. 13:9 and then 13................let us go outside the camp and bear the reproach.
    And even though there are a few that have forgotten the next words in verse 14 and are still caught up in their own comfort............it is those I would extend further grace as brothers to.
    Yes I would say they are in some sense acting as traitors (I have done this too so I recognize it to some degree)by being so drawn to the political seen in this nation as to make what this nation calls freedom synonymous with the freedom we willl have in the new city to come. I think they fail to see it that was in my opnion, but forgive us those shortcomings of sin and Kevin.............dont go back to Egypt. Go back and read through the exodus after Israel left Egypt...........see how many were deceived into thinking they had a better life there and how God rebuked them for their foolishness..........and let that serve as yet another example.........bear the cross of lonliness, there are only old scraps of tiny bits of truth in what you came out of............you confessed this before and rightly so.
    Dont go back and try to feed on the dung of churchianity, you'll get sick and die.
    Jn 14:23-24, (NASB)
    Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, BUT The Father's Who sent Me.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    I think that if our high grace doctrine be true, then the love that grace produces will be seen by all.
    This would depend upon one's definition of terms and whether one has eyes to see. Here are some comments on the terms from "Human Struggle and Divine Sovereignty" to ponder:

    "Scripture instructs us to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). Under the tutelage
    of Satan, many Christians have reduced this love to mean the use of nonabrasive words
    spoken in an effeminate tone, although in their hypocrisy, they would lash out at anyone
    who thinks that love means something else. The verse is telling us to speak the truth to
    people because we love them, and not that we should do it in such a feeble manner that
    we might as well not say anything. Indeed, in helping people to become "sound in the
    faith," sometimes we must "rebuke them sharply" (Titus 1:13). The false interpretation of
    Ephesians 4:15 would render it unacceptable to practice Titus 1:13 on any occasion – it
    would make the Bible contradict itself. Thus biblical inerrancy itself is compromised
    when Christians adopt the world's idea of love and hold it as a nonnegotiable definition in
    exegesis.

    "Better is open rebuke than hidden love" (Proverbs 27:5). Love is bold to speak the truth
    in open rebuke for the benefit of someone who needs the correction. Each time I speak
    this way to a person, I risk losing his respect and support, but I will do it because I love
    him. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18), so if I
    withhold correction from someone because I fear what he will think about me, then my
    love toward him is imperfect. But if my love toward this person is pure and strong, then I
    will speak the correction that he needs regardless of the possibility that his perception of
    me might change for the worse when he hears it.

    We may take an analogy from Proverbs 13:24, which says, "He who spares the rod hates
    his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." Love requires even the use of
    physical violence when it comes to parenting. If we are ashamed of God, he will be
    ashamed of us (Mark 8:38). So let us not make some artificial distinction between
    discipline and violence in this context. It is discipline by the use of controlled violence
    against the body. God says that if you refuse to do this, then it is evidence that you hate
    your child.

    Likewise, those who reduce love to something akin to social courtesy in fact hate those
    that they claim to love and to help. Their definition permits them to replace love with
    mere politeness so that they can feel like they are good and compassionate people without
    possessing the genuine spiritual virtue, and without risking the loss of resource, respect,
    and reputation that comes with the exercise of self-sacrificial love. These people love
    only themselves. Their false definition of love produces a façade that covers up their
    hatred against God and other people. This devious method generates a confusion that
    allows them to live in hate but boast of love."


    Vincent Cheung, Human Struggle and Divine Sovereignty,www.vincentcheung.com

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Have I ceased to believe the things I have learned while on here? A resounding no.
    Do I believe in fullerism? A resounding no.
    Do I believe in Darbyism? A resounding no.
    I could go on and on.

    All I know is that I was not created to live in isolation. I was created to have fellowship with other Christians. Some of them may believe as I do, others may not believe as I do. Does that mean that I sit at home on my beliefs? Or does it mean that I go to church and start having arguments with other people? Of couse not!

    I remember one time someone said that I shouldn't come on here and say things and not expect to be criticised. I understand the sentiments. The best form of love is to correct doctrine, but also the best form of love is to love other believers in Jesus Christ. If we have so much light, how about shining it around?

    How are others to know the truth if we don't go out there and spread it around, and live it out before them?

    If we say we are high grace Christians, should that grace not be willing to bear up under difficult situations. I think so. Maybe I can learn from someone whom I don't agree on all things with.

    You know, even in my ignorance God loves me. What if your Christian brother that you are criticising is standing next to you in heaven? What are you going to say?

    You see sound doctrine is not enough. Sound doctrine has to go through the heart, and when it does, it can have nothing but compassion on those who don't know the truth. This is what was missing in my life. You see as much as I agree that God chose so many and no more, we have to be kind to all because He knows who the elect are, we don't.

    We will be called to account for all we say. I can't speak for any others on this forum, but I myself came to hate certain people within the Christian world. I may not agree with everything they say, and I sure don't, but should that not bring us to our knees in compassion for them, to pray for them.

    You may think that I am a traitor, but I must do what I believe is right for me and for the body of Christ. God is in control.

    My problem was, I ended up in a position where I had next to no compassion for anyone whose views were not my own. What if I am wrong about something now? I would hope someone would lovingly point out the error of my ways.

    I want to be a light. I can't do that if my light is hidden at home. Please pray for me. I need it!

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    I think in all of this we have to remember a few things. One is that Kevin you are right to some extent, we are to show kindness to everyone. Its not that when we are harsh about peoples false teachings that we are mean to them personally, by wanted to hurt them or degrade them, I have many friends who are not believers and I act kindly to them.

    However I believe that when it comes to their false beliefs we do need to rebuke them on it, that sometimes a harsh response may be exactly what they need to see their mistakes and turn to Christ. Bryan pointed out many examples in Gods Word where a harsh tone was used. I myself like to take the more gracious approach and not be so harsh. But I will speak out against false teachings, and if someone doesn't believe the Gospel of Christ Im going to tell them. Im not going to beat around the bush and pretend they are my brethren and converted when I know they believe a false Gospel message. Im going to treat them as if they are not my brethren by what they believe. For example my friends who believe in free will I do not treat them as brethren.

    However, I do pray for them and hope to God they are elect. And I continue to speak Gods Truths to them, no matter how upset they get at me.. or how many arguements we get in. And if they ever come to the Truth I shall treat them as my brothers, and they shall know that when they were in the dark I was being nice to them, but I hated their false doctrine. There is nothing wrong with hating false doctrine and speaking out against it.

    Those are the things I think we should keep in perspective. And I dont believe that people who teach a false gospel should be called a Christian... I dont associate them as my brethren at this point in time. But since they could possibly be I will treat them kindly but will be harsh in my disagreement with their false gospel, and they will know that I think they are walking in the dark, believing in lies and not the Truth.

    I hope that helps Kevin and others to put things in perspective.
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by whammer
    Do the lies taught by the LCMS (from Chuck here on our forum) seem to be basically okay and should we be now caught up in the ecumenical spirit that pervades this country as well as your own?
    I don't recall Kevin saying that he was in doctrinal agreement with me or I with him. I have never advocated the ecumenical movement and go to church that practices close communion. Kevin would not be able to receive the Lord's Supper at my church.

    I think what Kevin and I agree on is that we are both sinful people and that we should treat each other with love. I don't know why this would be seen as apostacy from the Gospel. Paul was adressing people who were dividing the body of Christ by saying that a person had to obey the Old Testament law in order to be saved--particularly in regards to circumcision. I have never advocated such a thing and I have not accused others of not being Christians because they were not Lutheran. On the other hand there are some here who would accuse a person of not being a Christian because they are not a 5 point Calvinist. I think you could easily make the case that sarcasm could be directed against these people if you were following the Pauline example. I don't have the stomach for it at present.

    Hebrews 13 is adressed to those who wanted to return to the Old Testament sacrifices--it's not just some selection of verses to be used however we see fit. I'm not in any position to say that Kevin should or should not go back to his old church. I would love it if Kevin became a Lutheran but beyond that I would hope that Kevin would choose a church where Christ-crucified is preached--where Christ is the subject of the verbs.

    I think its pretty obvious that despite the usefulness of theological discussion forums they are no substitute for fellowship with brothers and sisters in real life. We may reach the day when mothers only communicate with their two year olds through facebook but I don't want any part of it.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    First off Kevin let me say that I fully support you doing anything you want. I think the things you have expressed come from a loving heart, but I think in some ways you have been deceived. Don't feel bad, all of God's elect are deceived from time to time.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker View Post
    All I know is that I was not created to live in isolation.
    This is a presumption on your part. God has determined your life, this is an emotional statement not based on logic, but on your desire to have things appear to you as you think they should be. Not necessarily as God has ordained.

    I was created to have fellowship with other Christians.
    Paul was on his own for I think 13 years. You don't know what's in store.

    Some of them may believe as I do, others may not believe as I do. Does that mean that I sit at home on my beliefs? Or does it mean that I go to church and start having arguments with other people? Of couse not!
    God opens the hearts and eyes. Mars hill happened for a reason, you don't know what His purpose is for you. Maybe it's for you to encourage people on the forum.

    I remember one time someone said that I shouldn't come on here and say things and not expect to be criticised. I understand the sentiments. The best form of love is to correct doctrine, but also the best form of love is to love other believers in Jesus Christ.
    And how are we to speak to the unregenerate/reprobates if their hearts are hardened? Is there a proper time to shake the dust off your feet?

    If we have so much light, how about shining it around?
    Even when it's a case of pearls before swine?

    How are others to know the truth if we don't go out there and spread it around, and live it out before them?
    God will take care of things like this.

    If we say we are high grace Christians, should that grace not be willing to bear up under difficult situations. I think so. Maybe I can learn from someone whom I don't agree on all things with.
    You can learn something from anyone, though there is a lot of fat and bones in certain places when all you desire is meat.

    You know, even in my ignorance God loves me. What if your Christian brother that you are criticising is standing next to you in heaven? What are you going to say?
    How about, "good to see you brother".
    Rom 8:1-2, (NASB)
    1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
    You see sound doctrine is not enough. Sound doctrine has to go through the heart, and when it does, it can have nothing but compassion on those who don't know the truth. This is what was missing in my life. You see as much as I agree that God chose so many and no more, we have to be kind to all because He knows who the elect are, we don't.
    No, we don't know who the elect are. However, strong words and sarcasm have their proper place and were created as a tool for us to use.

    We will be called to account for all we say.
    I don't worry about any accounting, I trust the Lord for that.

    I can't speak for any others on this forum, but I myself came to hate certain people within the Christian world. I may not agree with everything they say, and I sure don't, but should that not bring us to our knees in compassion for them, to pray for them.
    Kevin, I believe that Charles is unregenerate and believes a false gospel. I also pray that God would have mercy on him and that He would open Charles' eyes. So pray for people, but don't let all of this turn into a bunch of shoulds. You have been freed from the law.

    You may think that I am a traitor, but I must do what I believe is right for me and for the body of Christ. God is in control.
    I don't think you're a traitor at all. I do think you are having a knee jerk reaction to feelings that tell you to be nice to those that don't believe the gospel.
    Kevin, being loving and nice aren't always the same.

    My problem was, I ended up in a position where I had next to no compassion for anyone whose views were not my own.
    I have no compassion for religious lies. That has nothing to do with having compassion on the blind speaker of those lies. Also I will not treat a liar as my brother.

    What if I am wrong about something now? I would hope someone would lovingly point out the error of my ways.
    I think that's what we have been trying to do.

    I want to be a light. I can't do that if my light is hidden at home. Please pray for me. I need it!
    Like I said about Paul, his light was purposely hid for a time, he had a lot to learn.

    I think you should consider these statements made by Jesus and ask yourself if they fit into your "what is loving" mold:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus
    Mt 23:27, (NASB), "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

    Mt 3:7, (NASB), But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
    Mt 12:34, (NASB), "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

    Mt 23:33, (NASB), "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker
    As a result, I believe the Lord has led me back to my former church.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hawker
    All I know is that I was not created to live in isolation. I was created to have fellowship with other Christians. Some of them may believe as I do, others may not believe as I do. Does that mean that I sit at home on my beliefs? Or does it mean that I go to church and start having arguments with other people? Of couse not!
    Kevin,

    If you are determined to go back to your old church then I just want to caution you about a couple of things.

    1. When the people in your church find out exactly what you believe do you think they will accept your doctrine? What are the chances you will be kicked out from your old church once they find out your High Grace Predestinarian beliefs?

    2. Be sure not to play the hypocrite when you return because in order not to ruffle any feathers you will have to seem to agree in false teaching that might be presented in a sermon or sunday school lesson.

    3. If you really love the people at your old church you will be bold when false doctrine is presented or taught. Are you ready to point out false doctrine to the church / pastors / elders? If not then I wouldn't reccomend returning just for the fellowship.

    Basically I see two possible results from you returning to your old church. 1. You play the hypocrite and when false teaching is presented you say nothing in order not to cause trouble, or 2. You correct false teaching and are eventually kicked out of the church by the pastor / elders because you will not submit to their authority and continue to cause problems. Which of these paths will you choose? In one option you might be a hypocrite in the other you will probably not have many friends left for the fellowship you seek.

    While I don't know your church or what the leaders are like these are the most likely scenarios. I could be wrong but I just wanted to caution you.

    In Love,

    Jimmy

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlyFavored
    This is a presumption on your part. God has determined your life, this is an emotional statement not based on logic, but on your desire to have things appear to you as you think they should be. Not necessarily as God has ordained.
    It is a statement based on Scripture. God has said through the Apostle Paul not to neglect the assembly. Throughout the New Testament each Christian is spoken of as being part of a body that works together.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Kevin,

    The response of the saints in this thread is one of wisdom and love, kindness and above all truth. The Lord has provided this true blessing of God to you.

    The only thing I can add is that I too have experienced my times of sudden departure from the forum; ask anyone here, although I’m not sure they understood the why of it. The Lord directs our steps and for me there was a huge hurdle that was in my way, the fear of man. I don’t know what your hurdle is, I pray you will have ears to hear your Shepherd’s voice and discern His Words.

    I will pray for you brother!

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar View Post
    God has said through the Apostle Paul not to neglect the assembly.
    Again, this would depend upon the definition of terms.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Kevin,

    This forum does not claim to be part of the 'emerging church' movement that exhorts ENTIRE SEPARATION from ALL PRESENCE OR INFLUENCE OF ANY KIND in denominational churches recognized by the government. In the U.S., this usually means that a church organization has tax-exempt status and is eligible for 'faith based initiative' benefits (a VERY FEW exceptions occur--such as certain 'house churches'). Many critics would claim that this is where we are going here--but it has never been nor will it be.

    I have never exhorted entire separation from recognized churches as a God-commanded OBLIGATION of anyone believing the true gospel. I have only exhorted regarding the EXTREME and OVERWHELMING temptations to COMPROMISE when entering such situations. When there is mutually extended love in such a community, there is ALWAYS an expectation by those having 'the power' in those organizations that all will conform to certain beliefs, liturgy ('recitation' of shibboleths, even if it is not a liturgical church), and practices.

    I attempted to be a 'good and model citizen' of Protestant denominational churches for over 20 years after I left the cultic church of my upbringing. I loved those in my congregations (genuinely) and they loved me (genuinely). However, in the end, nonconformity to certain established beliefs, liturgy, and practices was not deemed acceptable once I became well-known in such congregations and real issues increasingly divided us. NOTE: I DID NOT even state MOST of my unique convictions AT ALL!

    I can give a very SIMPLE example of what I am saying. On a particular Sunday, you hear a sermon (maybe even non-typical) affirming teaching that really horrifies you. You determine not to say anything to anyone about your awful disappointment to maintain PEACE in the household! Then someone of influence comes up to you after the service and states, "Brother, wasn't that an AWESOME message today? He really taught the Bible just as it is and boldly proclaimed the truth." To honor and obey God, you have to at least state that there were things in the message that you disagreed with. THAT ALONE can cause a string of division that will ultimately result in so much suspicion and gossip from the congregation that you will never feel comfortable being in that church again.

    So we are here for those who cannot find a local congregation to stay in. We are also here for those who are fellowshipping in a local congregation!

    Bro. Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Bob, that was very well said! Kevin I can understand your desire to be in a local church, to be a light to those in dark places, and to speak the Truth. Especially to find fellowship in your local area. I've been to a couple churches in my area that is the closest to the Truth, to my personal beliefs from what I think the Bible teaches, and yet they fall short. One is a reformed baptist church, their were times I rejoiced in what they taught and their were times I just scratched my head. Most of the so called beliefs I found out from the congregation was during their after service potluck time. Some believed that those who believe in a free will gospel were their brethren, some believed that God isn't Sovereign over sin, that He just removes His power and the man sins, and thus is the one in control. Either way these weren't the people I wanted to have fellowship with, we didn't have the same understanding of Gods Word, or even God Himself. Other churches I visited were like this too, The Presbyterian church told the congregation to love everyone, that other churches that didn't believe the same as them were still their brethren. Plus most of these churches didn't really welcome new people with open arms... very closed knit group.

    So in the end I just gave up, right now in my life I dont want to be the only one in a church standing up for the Truth. Maybe someday... but for now I am content with the fellowship I have found here. I have wonderful conversations with many of my brethren here on the phone and through email. And when the Lord Wills I even get a chance to meet them in person. I get to see Craig (Kentucky Kid) next year. So that is just as good, God never said that letters, phone conversations, or meeting once a year didn't meet His requirements of fellowship with one another.

    Its not being able to see a person that matters anyways, its our words that we say. I can just as easily encourage someone across the world over internet than I can if I was with them. I remind them of Gods Word, I preach His Truths, we have fellowship in God. Some disagree but from my own personal life this has worked well. Then my friends I hangout out with I share the truth with them, so I am still a light in a dark world.

    But Kevin do what you must, I had to go to the churches a few times in my area till God showed me that wasn't His plan for me right now. So if you must go, then go ahead.. but as some brethren here have said be careful. And who knows maybe you'll find a church that teaches what you believe, I hope and pray you do. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Amos 3:3, (KJV), Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
    This is my signature.

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    Re: Theological controversies and disputes

    Just a last couple thoughts Kev, Heb. 11:38, 2 Tim. 4:16-18.

    If you go back, hunt closely for any sheep that may be there that are growing weary of the few that are lording it over everyone, weary of the 1 man sermon, weary of being a part of the "audience" church.......invite them to your house and if real fellowship begins, then meet with them as oftern as you are able in each others homes, learn what "breaking bread" means and assemble knowing you are in the presence of the great teacher, Jesus, who will instruct you in what an assembly (true) is. If there are a couple others of like mind and are not opposed to the gospel you proclaim, welcome them and then be prepared (if this happens at all) to be called a sheep stealer, an uneducated rebel, a divider of the church, someone akin to those Jude mentions. A man with no "aproved credentials" or a phd in some kind of bible related doctrine.


    And, when focusing on those words in Heb. 10:25............seek all thru the NT and see what that means and also, ask Jesus........"Lord, how many of us must be present to worship you and be taught by you to be a valid assembly?"
    Since you have made this decision (and I agree with Greg....we are not going to attempt to steal your right to follow you own conscience........we know and trust that God will work all things for the good of His people that have been called according to His Purpose.

    Lastly, remember that ALL who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. You know who Jesus' greatest persecutors were, the Romans right (just kidding) we all know it was the relgious counterfeits......they knew the words of the scriptures well (just didnt have eyes to find Jesus or ears to hear Jesus) and Jesus said they were liars and children of the devil, and they also made disciples that were twice the children of hell that they were (matt. 23:15)
    The very structure of what you are going back to IMO bears alot of resemblence to what little is known of the Nicolaitans........in fact they seem to be the most prevalent teachers and rulers of our own time in every "church".

    My prayer, you will come to see all the advice given as truth here at our forum which you are still a member of, and recognize that since so many have taken time to speak with you in the ways that we have........you will recognize our love for you, it may be small since we lack face to face fellowship at the highest level, never the less it is GENUINE!

    As for Wildboar, dont let some of his outer appearances fool you, the poor guy is decieved and hasnt even a clue. I have joined those that are praying for him that God would humble him and grant repentence to him.
    May God's will be done here on earth as it is in heaven in this reguard.
    And Kev, may you see that Chuck has been treated lovingly many times here at our forum..........its is just that this love isnt misplaced, Jesus 1st, and not a wordly love of the gentiles.

    2 Cor. 6:14-18
    Jn 14:23-24, (NASB)
    Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, BUT The Father's Who sent Me.

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