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weary warrior

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by weary warrior

  1. I'm not sure how comfortable I would be with that, although I would not confront someone else over it. I'm sure it's just a culture thing.
  2. Yep. I welcome all through the doors, and all are welcome to sit and hear the truth. "They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick". However, it's takes a clear testimony of salvation, Biblical baptism and 3 months of faithful attendance to apply for a voting church membership. And public service in the church (music, teacher, deacon, secretary/treasurer etc.) are much more restricted. I consider church ministers of any kind to be much like a wife or a mule. A good one is priceless, but anything less is a $3.00 nightmare, and I'm better off without 'em.
  3. Don't misunderstand me, I have met happy second marriages, just not those I have counseled away from it. And I do not believe that happy constitutes right. I do fully agree with you that a person who finds themselves in the position in life is not to be cast aside, and that God absolutely can use them, although not in the pastorate. I also fully agree that we in the IFB have had a general propensity over the years to shoot our wounded and fallen. To me, one of the greatest challenges to face the church today is how do we find balance? Balance between standing uncompromisingly for Biblical truth, while maintaining grace for those who, like all of the rest of us, have come up short. For example, it is just as unbiblical for some IFB pastor in Arizona (who shall remain unnamed) to preach God hates gays and that they can't get saved as it is to preach God loves everybody and gays are welcome in the church, unrepentant and unchanged. It's a drastic example, but I guess it illustrates (maybe) how my thought process runs.
  4. I fear this post makes no sense to me. Mercy, repentance, forgiveness and grace are always available. However, none of the 4 have actually have anything to do with the consequence of sin. You can have an affair, get aids, repent and beg for forgiveness from God and man, fully receive that forgiveness, but you still have aids. Get drunk, drive and hit someone. Can you get forgiveness? Yes. Are you still going to jail? Yes. Break the holy bond between man and woman set up by God. Will you be forgiven? Yes. Is there mercy? Yes. Are there still consequences? Yes. I have counseled so many people over the years that although their cheating spouse gives grounds for divorce, they biblically may not re-marry. I've always been ignored. Always. Everyone of them has an unhappy, unfortunate second marriage today. One of those is my baby sister. Her second husband was an IFB pastor. Who had been divorced himself before salvation. He left his pulpit a couple of Sundays ago after the morning message where he "pastors" his IFB, KJV only baptist church , went home and told her out of the blue he wants a divorce. Not every command or prohibition of God is easy. But they all bear consequences if ignored, reasoned and explained away.
  5. I appreciate all of the advice and encouragement. We had 28 present again yesterday. I chose "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" because of its very short verses and modest range. And with 6 verses, there was opportunity for them to kind of learn it by the time we were done. It went much better...no one's ears were bleeding by the time we finished. It all actually is a blessing in a way. We sing the one song, I rattle through 1/2 dozen announcements and then go straight into the preaching. As you might imagine from reading my posts on here over the years, my preaching is not what one might call fluffy and light. It's not harsh or mean, and I'm definitely not a screaming wind-sucker, but it is very direct and to the point, so a 30 minute message is usually enough. We then dismiss and go downstairs for a church family Sunday dinner every week. So the timing is working out well. The weekly meal after church? It's our version of "breaking bread" together, and Im finding that the benefits of this to the people individually, and to the cohesion of the church as a whole, are so much more than I ever imagined. Have you ever noticed how many important things in scripture Christ did with the disciples were done over a meal?
  6. Before I even ask this question, let me set up a little background. I am the new pastor of a little Baptist church in the North West. When I say "little", there were 6 active members when we arrived. We have a piano, and a piano player, but we are not using them at this time, simply because I have to lead singing and I have a deep voice with very limited range. The hymns are written too high, and the piano player can not transpose. So we sing out of the hymnal with no music. And it's pretty bad. I can't sing. Within 6 weeks, we've grown surprisingly. There were almost 30 here last Sunday. Today promises to be good too, if everyone shows up. The issue is, 75% of those coming have little or no background in church, and certainly not in old hymns. The words and phrases in these old hymns are a foreign language to them, and the musical arrangements are often complex, although very beautiful, in the extreme. A 17 year old raised on Justin Bieber is lost. I will not have CCM in church. So settle down, some of you, and put your self-righteous sword away. That is not my question. I will not use canned music (cassette tapes / CD's) either. I believe that singing and worship needs to be organic and from the heart to be real. So is there an alternative? Are there music choices that are Biblical, conservative and lovely while still being fairly simple and accessible to those not musically inclined? And the first pharisee that gets on here and tries to accuse me somehow of compromise is gonna really stir me up.
  7. We don't have a "bus ministry" at this time, but I'm spending about an hour and a half on Sunday mornings running around in my 1995 Ford F350 diesel flatbed picking up teenagers in the surrounding farming communities because they are calling me and asking for rides. The church can't afford a bus, or the insurance, maintenance or fuel to run it. But I reckon were getting the job done in our own way.
  8. We had a NY's fellowship last night here at the church, with games and finger food planned. Well, instead of just the core 10 church members showing up, 34 people arrived. People I had never met before. Including about 10 teenagers from town who are totally unchurched and unsaved. I spent the entire evening policing. Don't get me wrong, everyone had a great time, although the carpet in the fellowship hall may never recover. When everything was done, and all were gone, I found myself upstairs in my office at about 12:30am this morning praying. There had been no preaching, no evangelism, no "church". I had no plan or desire to provide a teen shelter, I'm not interested in intertainment or compromising for numbers. This was soooo outside of my comfort zone and realm of experience. As I prayed, trembling at my desk before God, fearful that I had somehow, unwittingly begun a path that would ultimately weaken and cheapen the church and the gospel, I was compelled to randomly flip open my Bible that was laying there in front of me. It fell open to Hosea 6:6, "I will have mercy and not sacrifice..." The Spirit gave me great comfort as I sat there in that chair, assuring me that these lost, cussing, promiscuous kids (and adults) need to be loved too, and that it's not their job to come to where we are, it's our job to go into the gutter and meet them where they are. With mercy. So yeah, the carpet downstairs may never recover. Words were said in the church building that ought not be said anywhere (yes, they were gently corrected). Public displays of affection were ended with a word and a look by me, teens were run back inside from the dark parkinglot and I ended the night a nervous wreck. A joyful, amazed, exhausted nervous wreck. (Kids are not my thing) A number of people have said they will difinitely be in church Sunday because of last night, a service which is held upstairs, which does produce the truth and gospel without reserve, without compromise. So, in the end, I left my study fully at peace, went to bed and slept like an exhausted baby.
  9. So, to sum it all up and answer the original question, Christians have Christmas trees in spite of Jeremiah 10 mostly because they WANT Christmas trees. Its that simple. I want a Christmas tree. Id like a Christmas tree. My last name literally is Noel. But scripture, without twisting, justifying, stretching and excusing says quite simply that God dont like it. So I suck it up and dont have one. They preach against smoking, (not in the Bible) because they don't WANT smoking, ( body is a temple) but won't preach against Diet Coke, fried chicken and gluttony (which IS in the Bible) because they DO love to eat till they're bloated and fat. (I guess the body is no longer a temple?) See how it works? They preach against long hair on men, which is never actually defined scriptually, but say nothing of the short hair often sported by their own wives, again, neither defined in scripture. I'm offending them, I know, but I'm so tired of the self-righteous double standard of it all. Of all of us. The church member is supposed to work a full time job, raise a family and drag themselves to every service the pastor decides to schedule, (NOT in scripture, I don't care how we twist and justify ourselves ) but how many pastors spend hours every week on their face, literally, in their office weeping and praying for those saints? (IS in scripture). The answer is that your average IFB is no different from anyone else. We will usually find a way to make scripture fit what we want it to fit. We will see who yelps the loudest. But I got a pretty good idea already. It's always the same ones. I just don't care anymore.
  10. Dave, your original post stated that it was a "common problem where I am". You then asked "how can we..." fix this situation. I took it as a general observation regarding the local Baptist churches as we know them. I in no way read that as a specific question regarding you yourself or your specific church. For my misunderstanding of the original question, and my reaction to it, I sincerely apologize. You are correct. I do not know you personally, nor do I know your church or you preaching. I have been speaking of a broad, general problem in IFB circles. My personal offence to you was completely unintentional, and I am very sorry. Please forgive me this.
  11. The decorated evergreen tree brought into the house in December was an idol set up to worship Tammuz. If I brought in a Buddha, or a ceramic Virgin Mary, and set it up in my house or auditorium, you would be uncomfortable at best. If I said "But I don't actually worship it or pray to it", you wouldn't buy that either. And to say that God wrote that command to the Jews, so it's OK for us to have a re-purposed idol in our house is disingenuous.
  12. Bottom line difference between your view and my view...? You - "What are they doing wrong?" Me - "What are we doing wrong?" Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.
  13. You are not alone. We have not had a Christmas tree in our house in over 20 years. As the new pastor of this church, I arrived here the first week of December, and they were getting ready to decorate the building. They had 3 new artificial christmas trees the church had purchased last season and were getting ready to put up. I was not hateful or ugly about it, but I would not allow them to put up the trees. I gave them the scripture in Jeremiah that you refer to and a bit of a history lesson. They accepted it readily, having never been even introduced to the concept or idea the the tree was pagan in origin and unscriptural. They had never seen those verses. For many, though not all, therein lies the answer. They've simply never been taught. For the rest...they do not see that it applies. And maybe it actually doesnt apply. I don't know. I leave that between them and God, and I don't get bent about it. I simply don't have one, nor allow one in a place I am responsible for. And it's enough.
  14. There is no contradiction. In one, the man preached the truth. But he was bored. He was dry. He was not interested, nor interesting. So we who were trying to be dutiful kept going back, but it's like eating the cooking of a wife who can't cook. I'll do it, because she's my wife. But I couldn't blame you for skipping when you get an excuse. In the other example, a man teaches that it is doctrine that you are to be in the service "everytime the doors are open". But this isn't doctrine, it's the commandments of men. Yes, you "use scripture" and I'm "using experience". The problem is, as I have tried to explain, the question posed by the OP is not a question of sin. So you keep using scripture that doesn't apply to address an issue that is not addressed in scripture as you are currently trying to frame it. You have good people who come to your service on Sunday morning, yes? They believe your preaching, yes? They are not reprobate or "fallen away", yes? They have not "forsaken the assembling...", yes? But they don't always come back Sunday night. Or Wednesday night. No matter how much you twist scripture, they are not commanded to do so. So they are not sinning by not coming to a particular service in the course of a week. But you are offended because they are not interested in what you wish to say on Wednesday night. I'm saying, since commandment isn't an issue, and rebellion against truth isn't an issue, maybe delivery is. In some houses, it's better to skip a meal than eat another bowl of microwaved oatmeal. I'll eat enough to stay alive, but I won't keep coming back for extras because it's good. I'm just saying, if pastors would cook that same oatmeal with care and serve it fresh and hot with bananas it, maybe folks will come back for more. There are good, solid, biblical IFB preacher that people love to listen too, and have their lives changed. And there are other IFB preacher teaching the exact same truth from the exact same Bible, and no one wants to listen to him. And we're really going to blame all of this on the listener? We live in a society today where everything is someone else's fault. But I don't care how "true" my "truth" is, if I don't have the spirit and power of God on my preaching, derived from time spent on my face before HIM, then it's MY fault that the preaching is lifeless and powerless and does not feed the soul of those who hear. And if you need me to list out scriptures where the preaching of a man is powerless without the working of the Spirit of God, you need to find another line of work. Yes, there are those who leave because they reject the truth. But we never were talking about those, we're we?
  15. You are using these verses dishonestly. I've said my piece. I am content. Merry Christmas
  16. We're talking apples and oranges here. First, people are NOT commanded in scripture to come hear a man 4 times a week. Nowhere in scripture. Second, if they choose to come hear you every week at least once, they have NOT rejected the teaching of God. Otherwise they wouldn't even be there every Sunday morning. There is, therefore, no sin. We are not talking about sin. We are talking about preachers who cannot engage their people enough for them to WANT to come listen to them more than is required. And then those preachers bemoan the carnality of those who just wont do it. How do you put on your people more than God does, then call them sinful for not following those "teaching for doctrine the commandment of men"? Sunday school is an 18th century invention of the Church of England. Wednesday service started in the US a couple of centuries ago. These things are fine, but they are volunteer. Not Biblical mandates. The early church met on the first day of the week. If you want more, earn it. But stop blaming your church members.
  17. I'm going to be the odd man out here. I mean no offense to anyone, and I already fully accept that I am going to be vigorously disagreed with. That's ok. I've been the member of many a good church, where the preacher was a good man, and what he preached was Biblical truth. And I did not want to go back on Sunday night, nor on Wednesday night. I did, out of duty. But it was just another religious duty to perform. I recieved no sustinance from the pulpit for me effort. Ive been in church for 52 years, saved for 47 and in the ministry for 25. I know when my preacher is just "doing his job". The fault usually lies with the preaching. Not carnal hearts, not changes in culture and society, not busy lives. But dry, boring, repetitive preaching that is not bathed in prayer, not steeped in tears, not illustrated with real life applications, not delivered with passion and not anticipated with excitement. How do we always find a way to blame the failings and weaknesses of our congregations on something or someone else? Everything rises and falls on leadership. It is ours, and we will stand before God and be judged by Him for the condition of the flock that He has in trusted to us. Is this not what scripture says? He will not judge the sheep for the condition of the flock. He will judge the shepherd. I read Ezekiel 34:1-10 on a regular basis, and it terrifies me as a shepherd everytime I read it. Sorry, my friends. But that's how I view the situation. A bored, dutiful pastor produces a bored, dutiful congregation.
  18. It may be that Eve added to the word of God. But the standard consensus of folks on here, including myself, is scripture says that deliberately adding to the word of God constitutes sin in and of itself. But that was never listed as Eve's sin. In fact, since it happened before the fall, it obviously wasn't considered sin at all by God. Nowhere in scripture, either at the time of the fall or as a later warning to the church, does God ever address the issue of Eve adding to the word of God. So I guess my position on this subject would be to caution the brethren on getting pulled into lengthy debates and mild contentions on an instant of time that God himself doesn't consider important enough to address. We weren't there, the content of the written record of the event that God has chosen to reveal to us is very, very thin, and conjectures are endless.
  19. Went from 14 people last Sunday to 23 today. Had fully half of the high school wrestling team from the local public school present. And not one person is someone I myself have met and invited to church. No drums, electric guitars etc, no give-aways, no programs, no contests. The highest attendance this church has seen in the last 8 years was 14, and that was last Sunday. I don't know what God is doing, but He's the one doing it. All I can do is remain faithful, preach the truth, love these people and hang on for the ride. It's a testament to God's faithfulness that He is rewarding the faithfulness of the tiny group of 6 that have held on here for so long. I'm really feeling undeservedly blessed today.
  20. People sure do get set in their ways. It's how they've been taught for years by those who came before. I know they mean it out of respect, but it still makes me cringe inside when I'm called that.
  21. The name or title "reverend" only appears 1 time in all of scripture. Psa 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend ishis name. The only time it is used is as a name for God. He is the "revered one" if you will. So I can't help but wonder how we, the humble servants of God, can have the temerity to refer to ourselves, or let others refer to us, as "Reverend". We are not ever to be "revered ones", but humble servants who lead the church in grace and humility and truth by our example.
  22. We have arrived in Washington and have begun service in the church here. This last Sunday was our first Sunday, and the Lord blessed. The church has been running a steady attendance of 6 regular people for months. We had 14 here Sunday, including my son and I and 6 visitors. and there was an easy liberty to preach. I preached a short, simple message from Luke 8 on the woman who touched the hem of Christ's garment, contrasting her with all of the throng who was jostling Jesus, but never did "touch" Him. I just wanted to update everyone, and ask for continued prayes
  23. Yes, I meant Ruckman. I actually typed Ruckman. But I type all of these posts on a cheap $38.00 Wal-Mart phone, and auto-correct is not my friend. I knew you had read after him some time in your past. It's so obvious.
  24. I'm gonna take a wild guess here. I could be wrong, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that robycop3 has some strong Peter S. Rickman influence in his background.

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