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LOOKING BACK ON “THE PASSION”

January 30, 2012

Since I have actually been putting my thoughts on the Net for years it was difficult for me to keep track of old sites that I simply neglected or had gotten lost in the sea of Internet verbiage.   Recently, I happened upon one neglected waif of mine and felt it worthy of resurrection.  Although dated, it is an interesting lesson in discernment.

The following, although direct and concise, is not intended in any way to bash Catholics. It can, however, be truthfully perceived as a stand against the error of Catholic doctrine and Protestant compromise.

MEL’S PASSION

How does the film offend me; let me count the ways

I dissent from the approving crowd for the following reasons:

Scriptural Contradictions -

1. GETHSEMENE – The Chalice and Satan:

The Movie: The first scene shows Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene, praying to the Father. He asks the Father to save him from the impending trial. He asks if this chalice can pass from him. The word chalice can only be found in the vision by Anne Emmerich. Mr. Gibson used it as a substitute for cup throughout the movie. A chalice is not a simple cup. It is an ornate goblet, usually gold or silver, sometimes encrusted with gems. This is what the Catholic priest uses on the alter during mass.

According to his disciples, Jesus is “scared” and this is where Satan is first introduced. He mocks Jesus, bringing him to the ground. Hideous visions surround the Lord as Satan watches His struggle. Jesus finally gains victory over the visions and crushes a serpent’s head.

The Bible: The Garden of Gethsemene was NOT a battle between Jesus and Satan as was portrayed in the movie; it was a prayerful exchange between Father and Son. Satan was not present. Yes, Jesus was in agony, but not at the hands of Satan! His agony stemmed from His understanding of what was to come. That hour when He would feel separated from His Father. To imply anything other than what the Bible declares is adding to scripture. The only angel in the garden with Jesus was the one who came to minister to Him afterwards.

GETHSEMENE – The Abduction:

The Movie: Judas guides the Jewish leaders and soldiers to Jesus and Jesus asks who they seek. When they say,”Jesus of Nazareth,” he says, “I am He.” They remain standing. Judas almost turns back but he is pushed forward by the religious leaders. After he approaches Jesus and betrays Him with the kiss, a bloody battle ensues, which lasts several minutes. Finally, after this graphic bloody scene, Jesus stops the battle.

When Jesus responds with “I am He,” everyone falls backward by the power of God. Although John’s account alone records this event, it should have been portrayed for the sake of accuracy and importance. This truth, however, was conspicuously absent from the movie.

After Peter impetuously cut off the ear of the high priest, no battle scene took place. Jesus immediately told them:

“Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” Matthew 26:52-54

Later, when questioned, He makes it clear that He would not fight. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” John 18:36

Historically, during the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church justified killing in the name of the Lord. In the same name, the papacy claimed sovereign rights over the kingdoms of this world. The kingdom Jesus referred to was a spiritual kingdom. So too, the keys of the kingdom. The world system is run by Satan!

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8-9

2. MARY – Her Position

The Movie: Mary was a dominant figure in this movie. Her presence supplied the strength for Jesus to bear the agony of the crucifixion. Just when it seemed that He could not go on, one look at his mother and His burden became bearable. Simply locking eyes with Mary would give Jesus the encouragement and supernatural ability to endure the torturous ordeal. I felt the entire movie portrayed an unscriptural image of a weak savior and the interdependence of mother and son was obvious.

Mary was depicted as the mother of all. It made me uncomfortable to see a penitent Peter kneeling before her addressing her as mother. Mary Magdalene, who was her constant companion in the film, also addressed her this way. The habit of nuns was alluded to, though Magdalene was the most conspicuous. The black habit with strip of white across the forehead was hard to miss.

Mary also had psychic abilities according to the film. She discovered where Jesus was imprisoned simply by laying her head on the ground a floor above him and sensing his presence.

The Bible: The truth is that Jesus, fully man and fully God, possessed more than enough strength to accomplish His mission of salvation. The only strength supplied was that which the Father had given Him.

Mary was certainly blessed among women to carry the Messiah but she was not divine. Mary does not hold a predominant place in the gospels, though there is certainly mention of her. Jesus may have deliberately included the following accounts to counteract the false ideas that would soon be associated with His humble Jewish mother Miriam in the future: Matthew 12:46-50; John 2:3-4.

And contrary to Catholic teaching, Mary was not a perpetual virgin. She had other children; Matthew 13:55-56; 12:46-47; Mark 3:31-32; 6:3; John 2:12; 7:3-5; Luke 8:19; 1st Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19

3. VERONICA – The Image on the Cloth

The Movie: True to Anne Emmerichs vision, a young woman hands a cloth to the Lord and receives it back with an imprint of his face.

Bible: This never occurred.

4. THE THIEF ON THE CROSS – The Scapular

The Movie: Any devout Catholic will recognize the purse worn by the penitent thief who hangs next to Jesus on the cross as bearing a strong resemblance to the brown scapular of Catholicism.

The Bible: Not in scripture. It is ludicrous at best to believe that the thief would be wearing a brown scapular, but the vision of Emmerich actually includes this piece of cloth in the clothing that Jesus was wearing! This miracle cloth was supposedly given to an English monk named Simon Stock around 1212 A.D. by the virgin Mary. If worn, she promised the wearer protection against hell and guaranteed release from purgatory on the Saturday after their death. Why would it be included in the apparel of our Lord? Did He need to be saved by an amulet given by His mother??? Gibson and his writer-priest were wise to switch its application to the penitent thief. Since Jesus promised he would be in Paradise with him, what better way to reinforce Catholic superstition than to have the thief wear the brown scapular?

5. SATAN: Satan’s presence was EVERYWHERE. Demonic additions to the gospel account were rampant. From shocker scenes of demon faces, to Satan’s mocking of the Christ child.

The Bible: Satan doesn’t continually hover around Jesus, tormenting Him at every opportunity. He does serve the purposes of God for the fulfillment of Scripture, i.e. 40 days of temptation, entering Judas. Jesus was always in charge. The movie account once again attributes too much power to Satan.

It would be well for Protestants (especially ministers who promote this movie) to examine anew the history of the Reformation. Christians should not forget the millions of lives the Roman Catholic Church extinguished in the flames and torture chambers of the Inquisition – all in the name of the Catholic Christ and his holy mother. As the Jewish people proclaim. Never again in regard to the holocaust, those who have been released from Rome’s suffocating embrace at the high cost of the precious blood of the millions of Reformation martyrs should do the same. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Matthew 7:18. That said, let’s examine the Passion Tree…

ROMAN CATHOLIC INFLUENCE (The bad tree) -

1. Mel Gibson is a traditionalist Catholic who believes in a false gospel and other ways to God (See February 18th, 2004, ABC News. Interview with Diane Sawyer). The Bible states there is no other way.

2. Vittorio Messori, journalist and author of “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” and “The Ratzinger Report” stated, “This film, for its author, is a Mass: Let it be, then, in an obscure language, as it was for so many centuries. If the mind does not understand, so much the better.”

3. The blasphemous Tridentine Latin Mass was conducted before each shoot. I mince no words about this ritual as it mocks the sacrificial one-time sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is the heresy of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. The priest supposedly has the power to call God down into a sun disk shaped wafer (magically transformed into the real flesh and blood of Jesus) for the recipients to eat. It is completely sacrilegious.

4. According to some media accounts, the Pope endorses it. At this point, the content becomes immediately suspect. Have the Protestant churches not learned yet? Has the blood of the martyrs at the hands of the Holy See during the inquisition been confined to the catacombs where the echoes of injustice and the painful travail of the Reformation have been silenced? The Protestant and evangelical church, in its eagerness to create unity within the body of Christ, is cutting off perfectly good limbs and replacing them with lifeless prosthetics. Unnatural and useless, they are weakening our churches. Many are becoming social clubs and spiritually powerless.

5. Exactly what message is the movie asserting? It shows how horrible crucifixion was, yet misses the whole point of the gospel message. Unfortunately, it relegates the resurrection on which the whole gospel rests, to a few seconds of the actors back end. Even the point of His sacrifice is lost in shock value. Is it more important to emphasize how He died, or why He died?

6. Though it might initially affect the emotions and encourage people to seek God; will it actually bring them to repentance and a saving faith? Scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The truth is that only those who believe in Him will be saved by hearing the true gospel (Romans 10:17) – not by a less-than-accurate movie portrayal of the crucifixion, and certainly not by playing on our emotions with graphic examples of blood and gore. This movie seems to have the same macabre spectator fascination as would a horrific accident scene. If you saw the movie but had never heard of the gospel, would you find it there? What would your impression be? I did not find the gospel message in this film.

In truth, the crucifixion was a horrendous death. The mechanical portion of this torture the movie probably portrayed accurately. Notice I said the MECHANICAL PORTION. It certainly did give a graphic description (possibly even exaggeration) of the crucifixion (remember the cross falling?) I can imagine demons sitting in the front row with a bag of popcorn enjoying the show. Bloody, gory, supposedly meant to stir the emotions and create sympathy. Avery important distinction between faiths exist, however: Catholicism glorifies and perpetuates the death of Christ in the mass – Protestantism celebrates the resurrection and the life; the victory over death, which is the foundation of our faith.

The resurrection was relegated to a short couple of minutes long. The scene, which is set inside the tomb, shows the actor who portrays Jesus staring straight ahead. The camera side scrolls down his naked body to his rear end. He gets up and walks out naked. The end. Anyone who had never heard of Jesus (and even some who had) must have been a bit confused. The bible states that Jesus was first seen fully clothed OUTSIDE the tomb (John 20:14). Another scriptural account is that the two angels are seen inside the tomb and Jesus is absent (John 20:12). There is much more, but the basic idea is this:

There are many different Jesus’ out there; the Mormon Jesus, brother of Lucifer, one God of many. There is the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who is the Archangel Michael – not part of the Trinity. Let us not forget the eastern religious view of Christ – just look in a mirror. The Koran has a Jesus, son of Mary, who was not God’s Son, but simply a prophet inferior to their own. The New Age or cosmic Christ is hovering above the earth just waiting for the world to be receptive enough to allow him to visit. And then there is the pagan wafer god of Roman Catholicism. This Jesus is subordinate to His mother. His sacrifice on the cross does not completely atone for the sins of the elect and He needs to be sacrificed continually in direct contradiction to scripture (Hebrews 7:27; 10:12). In some Catholic doctrine, it is Mary, not Jesus, who saves sinners. This is not only far from scriptural truth which claims there is but ONE sacrifice for all time (Hebrews 10:12-18), but blasphemous. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) If Jesus identifies Himself as the Truth, who are we to compromise it?

So for those who believe this blasphemous movie is a salvation magnet and honors God (and this includes many prominent evangelical Protestant ministers), I have this for them to ponder:

Suppose you wrote an autobiography and a producer approached you with an offer to put it on the big screen. You agreed, believing your story might benefit the viewer. When it was completed, he invited you to the screening. You are horrified to find that although some aspects of it were taken accurately from your book, so much more was added, and many very important parts were omitted. One thing for sure, this was not you. The audience would get the wrong impression entirely of who you really were. How would you feel? Get the picture?

How can this movie make true converts to the real Christ of the Bible? I don’t say God won’t honor the sincere prayer of a sinner, but for the most part, the “conversions” have been Catholic. It was not to the Jewish Messiah of Israel whose atoning death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection saved all those whom the Father gave Him through FAITH – NOT WORKS. No, it has more potential to make converts to the false CATHOLIC Jesus, and time has proven this to be true. In this respect, Mel Gibson’s movie was a spectacular success. He has even convinced evangelical Protestants to accept his tribute to the Catholic Mass. What a coup!

If we accept what is outside God’s autobiography, we will be deceived. Salvation comes from believing in the REAL Jesus and no other; from the foolishness of the REAL gospel message preached, and no other. The gospel of Catholicism bears little resemblance to the truth of Scripture. It is what the Apostle Paul described as “another gospel” and it should concern us today as we contemplate his sobering warning:

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8-9)
Strong words for preaching error. How are we guiltless if we glibly accept it?

What discerning Christian can honestly agree with the Catholic requirements of a “works” salvation, sacrifice of the mass, bowing to idols and praying to the dead, Mary worship and the repetitious prayer of the rosary? I would advise all Christians to pray for discernment and beware of compromise. When you hold the truth of God above all other doctrines and man-made precepts, His Word (the real truth) will indeed set you free.

The following response was from “The Christian Underground”:

Where is discernment?? Misgivings about Catholic “leanings”?? This whole film is a set-up for all to accept the coming “Christ”. Do you not know, or have you not read that there are many false christs and that at the end there will be one final savior of the world, the anti-christ who shows himself AS Christ? Note the title alone. Why has no one questioned it? Almost all religions are looking for THE Christ. Rev. (if you can call him that) Sun Yung Moon calls himself THE Christ, and was in fact recently coronated as the “new messiah” with US senators and “Christian” leaders in attendance! The Passion of Jesus Christ? No… The Passion of Christ? No… The Passion of THE Christ! Some say it’s a semantics game. Not so. These things are very important to those who use word plays. The Christ depicted in this film is a false Christ. One who looks to Mary for his strength and not his Father. Mel Gibson has even said that this film is very Marian, and intentionally so. He also said that he wanted it as scripturally accurate as possible. You cannot be Marian and scripturally accurate. This is Orwellian “doublespeak” right out of the pages of “1984” and “Christians” are falling for it. Since we’re on scripturally accurate, Why Latin and Aramaic for the languages? Scriptural accuracy would require the use of Hebrew, would it not? To change gears, ANY movie that has depicted Christ has ALWAYS been a FALSE Christ, REGARDLESS of who did it and when. If you read your Bible and believe what it says, then you will know that we are NOT to make ANY image or likeness of him. The premise of a “Jesus movie” is, in and of itself, in direct violation of God’s word. It is OUR OWN LIVES having been change by the blood atoning ressurection power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost within us that is to be a witness to all nations, NOT the misleading, never accurate, carnal minded movie set.

Jeffnjoni@frontier.net

RESOLUTION

January 1, 2012

2011 was an eventful year for Americans.  We’ve seen the substructure of a new global economy forming, our Constitution discarded and devastated by various laws and administrative decisions and no matter how we doth protest, in reality, the “beast system” is taking place on schedule.

Are we the generation that will see the fulfilling of all things?  I can only echo the thoughts of many of my brethren whom I have spoken to about these things.  We believe that we ARE that generation.

So this year, I have only ONE New Year’s resolution – to draw closer to Jesus, “…so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10 ESV)

Even so, come Lord Jesus….

MAY 2012 FIND US ALL STRIVING TO WALK CLOSER TO OUR SAVIOR – PEACE BE WITH YOU

PROPHETIC RESOLUTIONS?

December 26, 2011

Lately, at the instigation of a new friend, I’ve been revisiting the aberrant teachings of the New Age movement and its connection to globalism.  In my Net perusing I happened upon the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1988 and 2000 resolutions denouncing it.  Interestingly, we can see their prophetic warnings being increasingly solidified as we head into global chaos on a grand scale.   I was happy to see the stand they took and thought I would post it for those who think Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, too legalistic.  Each church is autonomous and can be diverse in many ways, but most try to uphold the standards of SBC resolutions.

Resolution On The New Age Movement
June 1988

WHEREAS, The philosophy proliferated by the New Age movement is as old as the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), where Satan perpetrated three of the false beliefs of the New Age movement, promising you will be wise; you will be as gods; and you will not die; and

WHEREAS, The New Age movement gives people false hope by its beliefs (1) in reincarnation, (2) in endeavoring to reveal a person’s future through astrology, fortune telling, and palm reading, (3) in Universalism, the belief that there are many ways to eternal life, and that all will be saved, (4) by secular humanism, which testifies by its own manifesto, no deity will save us, we must save ourselves; and

WHEREAS, The media and entertainment industry gives the New Age movement widespread acceptance and credibility, helping it find its way into every facet of American life (i.e., literature, movies, television network programming, and music); and

WHEREAS, The New Age movement has become a powerful political, philosophical, and economic force in our contemporary culture and is exerting its influence into every facet of American life.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16, 1988, acknowledge the New Age movement’s aim to become a one-world religion is diametrically contrary to both New Testament Christianity and our American heritage; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we encourage our Convention agencies, local associations, pastors, and church staffs to warn and educate our Baptist constituency of the deception and critical dangers of this movement.

 

ON THE THREAT OF NEW AGE GLOBALISM

June 2000

WHEREAS, The New Age globalism movement advocates a one-world government, a one-world religion, and a one-world economy; and

WHEREAS, The success of New Age globalism would mean the destruction of the sovereignty of nations; and

WHEREAS, New Age globalism also poses a threat to the traditional family, proposing recognition of five genders (male, female, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual), wholesale abortion as a means of population control, and the elevation of the rights of children above parents, asserting that the state has the primary responsibility for the upbringing of children (Genesis 1:27; Leviticus 18:22; Psalm 139:13-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9); and

WHEREAS, A key principle behind globalism is the philosophy of secular humanism, a foundational component of which is the belief that no religion can or does possess objective truth and that all religions are of equal worth; and

WHEREAS, The Christian faith is clear in stating that there is one God (1 Corinthians 8:4) and that faith in His Son is the only way of salvation (John 14:6); and

WHEREAS, Scripture teaches that God has marked the times and boundaries of the nations of the earth (Acts 17:26); and

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 13-14, 2000, urge all Christians to become informed about New Age globalism; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Congress, the President, and other national leaders to guard our national sovereignty, to prevent the placement of American troops under foreign military command or direction, to scrutinize and reverse the trend toward globalism, and to resist its encroachments by certain elements within our own government, the United Nations, and other organizations; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge our political, educational, business, and religious leaders to do all in their power to protect the traditional family and reject all assaults against the family which have proliferated through various conferences and organizations within the United Nations (e.g., the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child) and other groups; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we implore Christians to give primary allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ, to commit to serve Him at any cost, and to demonstrate love for country by praying and standing for national sovereignty.

SECRETS OF THE HEART

December 25, 2011

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35 ESV)

Have you ever really examined this verse closely?  I woke up from my Christmas nap to find this scripture foremost in my mind.  What was Simeon saying to Mary through the Holy Spirit?

After I meditated on it, I went to several commentaries to get other opinions.  The word “child” is not in the original texts, but it makes little difference.  I think I can safely express the thoughts I had upon awakening.

What Mary had not yet experienced was how her son would eventually be perceived by the world. He was to be a “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” as Isaiah 53 tells us.  Jesus gives us a glimpse of why He would be rejected and be a “sign that is opposed”:

“…For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37 ESV)

Did you catch that?  The reason He came into the world was to “bear witness to the TRUTH.”  In fact, “truth” plays a major role in His sufferings throughout His ministry and there are 87 verses containing the word “truth” that confirms this. He walked in truth because He is the truth:

“…I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV)

But as for ‘thoughts from many hearts may be revealed’, I can see why.

Even in our lives, speaking truth can make people uncomfortable, even angry, because light and truth are synonymous. When Jesus shone the light of truth on the actions of the Pharisees, they were angered because He shattered the pious façade they projected to the world and their hearts were revealed.  Have you ever been in an impossible “Pharisee” situation and had no choice but to speak the truth to someone regarding a problem you might have with them, or a situation that needed correcting?  If so, you understand the power of truth.  It can hurt, it can heal, or it can divide, but it is necessary for us as Christians to place it in high regard because the Holy Spirit guides us daily through it.

When truth shines its light in the darkness, it uncovers the secrets of the heart.  As we are commanded to walk in it, let us do so with the purest of intentions, and love.

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”  (Ephesians 4:25 ESV)

THE HOME CHURCH CONTROVERSY

December 10, 2011

Disappearance of the Visible Church

By Victoria Day

Throughout the years I’ve seen Christian fads come and go.  I was perplexed by the Prayer of Jabez because I knew many were taking this and using it as a magical formula to gain riches.  I was dismayed at the enormous positive response of the Christian community toward an obviously unscriptural movie such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion.  I stood my ground on the rebirth of the Jewish gematria under the guise of “bible codes.”  Now we have a very divisive and destructive weapon against community churches.  The threat comes from the house church movement.  Yet another “divide and conquer” strategy of the enemy that may have dire consequences if left unchallenged.

As the wife of a pastor, I have carefully assessed the home church phenomena. If truth be told, before I was married, I have many times felt alienated in churches I have attended because of my differences over doctrine or dissatisfaction over minor points. Discouragement caused me to abandon the institutional church for periods of time. However, I understand clearly now why it is necessary for us to maintain our support for the visible church.

Abandoning our local church is not the answer. I have heard many disparaging remarks from proponents of the house church movement toward saints who want to attend them and frankly, I find it hypocritical to judge faithful brother and sisters in Christ who seek to please the Lord in this way. These people are believers working out their salvation with fear and trembling as are the house churchers, but I believe the house churchers are deceived.

Ask yourselves – who would like to see God’s visible local church disappear? SATAN! The tactic is to divide and conquer. Without the local presence of the Christian church, the local symbolism of the cross that draws the soul weary would also disappear! Where would a lone Christian go to worship? Where would a non-believer touched by the Holy Spirit in repentance turn to for answers? Certainly not a home church! I recognize that the early church did meet in homes of the wealthy, but also in the catacombs during times of persecution. In times of refreshing, they founded places of worship similar to Jewish temples. These “buildings” now served as places of Christian assembly that attracted more converts. The visibility of God’s church was a blessing in a pagan society.

Meeting in a building is a privilege. In other countries, the church must go underground to worship because of persecution of Christians. What’s our excuse? Have we in this country become so deceived that we think all churches are in apostasy? I know many are, but I can testify that if one looks hard enough one can still find a faithful pastor and a loving congregation that follows Christ and is pleasing to God. What I believe we may be seeing now is “the great falling away” of Thessalonians 2:3. The church is hurting, pews are empty, doors are closing, because people want to do it “their way” and abandon, not the building, but ultimately the people of the congregation. And this is God’s will?

Neither home churches nor community churches are perfect and both can have similar problems. Scripture tells us that the same problems existed in the early church as we have today. We are to assemble together and work on spiritual growth together and it is easier to do so within the biblical structure of church guidelines God provided in His Word.

I truly believe that the home church movement is a great deception and it is selfishly working against the visiblechurchofGod. If it continues, Satan and the New Agers will get their way: the visible church will become a rare sight in our communities and the symbol of the cross, that comforting emblem of God’s ultimate gift, will eventually disappear. Are you who abandon the visible church instead of blessing it willing to accept the responsibility for this?

Another point not usually considered is that most (almost all) “house churches” are started by disgruntled church goers. Did God really call them to the ministry? In my experience, I doubt it. It is more of an “I can do it better” attitude that doesn’t follow scriptural guidelines. Many have been dismissed from teaching positions in their churches (ex: false teacher Harold Kamping). Many compromise on issues of baptism and, of course, God’s appointments (pastors, evangelists, etc.)

That said, I’m sure there are rare cases where God actually calls someone to start a church that is open to the community of believers, but to say that all others are in apostasy is divisive and completely wrong. Satan is the accuser of the brethren.

My suggestions?

Home churchers:  Wake up.  Find a good bible believing church in your area, and work on building up the Body, rather than unwittingly being a contributor to their ultimate demise.  If  you have concerns over doctrine – speak to the pastor, armed with scripture.  Remember that disagreements on non-essentials is not a cause to leave.  If so, you are being led, not by Jesus, but by pride.

Scripturally sound pastors:  Pride can be the greatest stumbling block for pastors.  Encourage open communication regarding scripture.  Listen to your flock.  You will be held accountable for their “soul conditions.”

May God strengthen us as we obey His command:

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

DOCTRINE IS NOT A FOUR LETTER WORD!

September 13, 2011

“If this church becomes doctrinal, I’m out the door!”

One of the elders in the church we’ve been attending was not very happy with…well, this site!  It seems I was too “doctrinal” for him and his comment was harsh.  Since this took place behind closed doors and I was not offered an invitation to the meeting, I thought the best way to kick off my continuation of this site was to write a bit about what “doctrine” really is.  This elder doesn’t seem to understand that without doctrine there wouldn’t be teaching of any kind in the church!

As bad as that sounds, the elder is not alone.  There are many Christians today who seem to disdain the D word and look upon it as legalistic.  But is this true?

There are 44 occurrences of the word doctrine in the King James and 11 in the ESV.  Out of these, 28 verses use the Greek word, “didache” according to Strong’s Concordance: Read more…

WE’RE BACK!

August 31, 2011

Wow!  Sorry for the delay in posting.  It’s been such an amazing year.  Moving and praying.  Seeing God work through all sorts of trials!  Time to begin again renewed!

Tomorrow I’ll catch everyone up on the latest (and past) events.

God bless all who continued to read!

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