Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fellowshipping with Darkness

This post is partly taken from the article at the link.

Oft times I hear Christians tell me "You shouldn't be hanging out with Pagans, the Bible says not to be yoked together with darkness." But the fact of the matter is, unless I go to Pagans with the Gospel and with my friendship, chances are they won't listen to anything I have to say. Sure, it's an admirable thing to desire to take the Gospel to people. But unless we do it with love, will people listen? The Apostle Paul discussed philosophy and religion when he traveled to new areas. He took the time to listen to others while he presented the Gospel message. Jesus Christ Himself, went and ate dinner with prostitutes and tax collectors while He shared the Gospel. In order to effectively share the Gospel with others, we can't just stand ten feet away while preaching at them or shoving tracts their way. We must not just make an effort to be friendly, but we must BE friendly. To many, words mean nothing without a friendly face behind those words. The truth of Christ must be proclaimed, but we must offer a friendly hand at the same time. Christ didn't just proclaim the Gospel and leave it at that. No, Christ walked with the sinners, He had compassion on them, healing them, eating with them, feeding them.

Which is what I strive to do. To be more like Christ as I present the Gospel to others. I don't pretend to be friends so I can share the Gospel, I am a friend to those whom I share it with. I don't force the conversations to go where I want them too, I listen, I care, I empathize, but I also speak the Truth of Christ. When I talk with a friend who is Pagan or Wiccan, I don't just say 'thou must be saved.' I present the Gospel, but I also listen to their hopes and hurts and fears, and what they believe as well. Why should they be willing to listen to what I believe if I won't be willing to listen to them too? It's not any big suprise to them when I disagree with them, but sometimes it can be a shock when I disagree in a manner that is civil. Yes, I'll admit that I eat with Pagans, I pray with and for Pagans, I hurt with Pagans...whether or not they ever accept Christ as their Saviour I am their friend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

IFBx-What's the deal?

Over on another forum, a poster known as Pastor Tom Brennan started a thread yesterday concerning the "IFBx Pejorative." His position is that the reason anybody calls somebody else IFBx is because 'they were hurt by an IFB pastor and so they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.' He completely dismisses the idea that doctrine could have anything to do with it, and states that it is his opinion that those who have left the IFB movement left because of their hurt, and ran the totally opposite way theologically because of their pain.


In attempting to correct Tom Brennan's misconception, I challenged him in the thread with my own opinions as a former IFB, and with the reasons why I left. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to quite grasp the concept that someone could have a legitimate reason to leave IFB'ism. He went so far as to make this statment to me:

Which leads to this observation, and I don't mean it to sound harsh, although it might (IOW, I am not trying to hurt you here). You have dramatically changed recently. You remind me completely of the Farris brothers in that way. You have left your theological moorings and are drifting about with every wind of
doctrine. I have no confidence and much suspicion in people who dramatically and
suddenly change what they believe at a young age.Again, I am not against you. I
believe you are sincere. I believe you are endeavoring to reach people with the
Gospel. On that front, I can stand shoulder to shoulder with you, pray for you,
and wish you well. But your position reminds me of a verse in I John...1Jo 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they
would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be
made manifest that they were not all of us.



Rather than accept that I for one have legitimate reasons for not being an IFB any longer, and that I haven't been one doctrinally and practically speaking for some years by now, Tom chose to attack me on the basis that he thinks I have recently changed doctrinaly positions recently. Unfortunately, Tom doesn't realize that I changed my positions on these things years ago. I've been a member of this forum since it started here recently, and I was a member of the original FFF from 1999 up until the former webmaster was unable to run it due to hurricane Katrina. I would love to know what doctrines I have allegedly changed my stance on recently, and I issued that challenge to Pastor Brennan. Instead, he brushed me off and responded:
By your own account, you have left my "movement". By your posts in recent months you have becoming increasingly hostile toward what I believe and practice, and those whom I run with. I have neither the time nor the inclination to go digging up all of your past posts to list your positions that I disagree with. I am giving you a general impression I have formed over several months. I may or may not be right. But that is the genesis of my opinion.


Pastor Brennan is operating under the assumption that I have only recently changed my positions on things(although I'm not sure which doctrines I have recently changed my opinion on). It is possible that he is completely unaware that while I was raised in an IFB church, I was discipled by another group of Christians. Sure, the IFB movement has influenced my life, sometimes for good, sometimes for not-so-good, but that isn't the basis for what I do and don't believe. It would do Pastor Brennan well to actually find out what I do and don't believe, and when I began to believe that way before he shoots his mouth off.

For those of you who would like to read the discussion in it's entirety, follow the link

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

KJV-Onlyism?

What's up with KJV-Onlyists that they think they have the absolute corner on God's Word? Is there any scriptural defense for this belief? I've not seen any evidence, scripturally or historically for the KJV-Only position. There is currently an argument on this going on over at the link. The KJV-Onlyists have been up to bat numerous times, but even with a Tee they can't manage to hit the ball. They claim that modern versions downplay the divinity of God, but the texts that they cite do no such thing. It's interesting to watch these types of arguments play out.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Where is your Christianity?

Where is your religion? Are you just going through the motions? Are you a Sunday morning Christian, but forget about God for the rest of the week? Many Christians fall into the trap of living for God on Sunday, but living for self Monday through Saturday. Sunday becomes a ritual devoid of any real love for God. It becomes something every 'good Christian' should do. This is nothing new, it's been going on since before Christianity. The Jews had problems with actually worshipping God, and fell into the trap of ritualism. Here's what God said to them:
Isaiah 1:11 "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" Says
the Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed
cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. 12 "When
you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample
My courts? 13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure
iniquity and the sacred meeting. 14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My
soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.NKJV"
God hates our ritualism. Ritual means nothing to God. We are to have a relationship with God, to serve Him, love Him, and obey Him. God demands our worship. We must worship God in spirit and in truth. We should live for God every day of the week...not just Sunday, or when the preacher comes to call. Every day is a day we should wake up and worship God.