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Brother Stafford

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Posts posted by Brother Stafford

  1. Yes, to be clear, if a Christian does not have a church that they can attend regularly, they need to make finding one their top priority; even to the possibility of relocating.  Perhaps if one is a shut-in or is otherwise physically unable to attend a local church, they might prove to be the exception and may seek online sermons in place of attending.  However, even in those instances, many churches have members and/or pastors that will do visitations.

  2. 11 minutes ago, DaveW said:

    First up - I do not recommend on line preaching at all, simply because many people use it instead of actually assembling together. (Not suggesting that is you direction).

    Thank you for that video.  I will look at it tomorrow.  I am not looking to use online preaching as a substitute for Church.  I have decided to completely and permanently stop watching all television shows and films.  I am looking for other things to watch, occasionally, that are godly and edifying. 

  3. I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for videos of preachers with sound sermons.  I have what David Cloud has made available, but he does not make new videos available often.  The only ones that I come across on YouTube are those of Kent Hovind, Steven Anderson and their "offspring," and I don't consider their teachings biblically sound. 

    Any recommendations?

  4. When people ask why we condemn sodomy, but not the mixing of fabrics; or why we still condemn murder, but shaving our beards is no longer prohibited; or why we can glean our fields and eat shellfish, but we are prohibited from wearing clothing that is attributed to the opposite gender, how do we respond?

    How do we concisely explain, to a skeptic, how the distinction is made?   To be honest, I can only give partial explanations.  I can give examples about OT laws that are specifically lifted in the NT, like the dietary laws (Acts 10:9-16), but I don't think I could adequately explain why men are no longer bound to abstain from cutting their beards.  I don't think I am articulating my question as proficiently as could someone else may be able, but I think you may get the basic point of my question.

     

  5. 6 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

    but getting in the car is going to be rough. The inside of cars here can reach as high as 150 degrees in the summer here. 

    You can have an aftermarket remote starter installed in your car, so that, if you leave your a/c turned on when you leave your car, you can start it with a remote control 5 minutes or so early, and it will be cool by the time you get in.

    My mother has the same issue with the lack of ability to perspire.  She uses those cool neck wraps when she knows she is going to be in the heat.

  6. Yes, Paul had the opportunity to be speaking with people that at least believed in some form of gods.  I wonder if atheism was almost non-existent back then.   Maybe even the most pagan of heathens back then would have looked at an atheist and said, "What, are you an idiot or something?"

    I did find two verses in the book of Psalms seem to say that there wee at least some atheists back then: Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1.  They are described as being corrupt fools who have done abominable things.  1 Kings 18:33-35 and Isiah 36:19 seem to be an example of an atheist as well.  So, even though we don't seem to be told to address their foolishness, we at least know that they must have existed.

  7. I am sure that none of us are short of stories of willfully ignorant people attempting to poke holes in scripture, but I am looking for scripture references or thoughts about engaging in discussion about proving God's existence and whether or not we should engage in it.  I always feel that I have to attempt to prove God's existence and then the validity of the Bible before an atheist would be willing to hear what is contained within the Bible about God; however, I don't find this example in scripture.  

    There must be an "a priori" starting point, for which we needn't make an argument, before sharing the Gospel.  I don't think that we are expected to prove that we actually exist and that reality is not just an illusion.  To people like that, I just say, "If we can't at least agree that we rally exist, then I don't know what to tell you."  Can it be argued that scripture makes the same assumption about the existence of God?  Can we just say, "If we can't at least start by agreeing that a Divine Creator exists and that matter cannot create itself, then I don't know what to tell you?"

    I think about (Romans 10:17) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." It makes me want to not spend any time on making an argument for God's existence and just sticking to answering from scripture and letting the power of His word take over.

     

  8. 25 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

    I'm on day 4 of nothing but skirts...I need to go shopping! I also need to get rid of my addiction to tank tops, but here in the desert, sometimes it's just too hot to wear anything else! That's the other problem I'm having...how to dress modestly, wearing skirts/dresses and dealing with 100+ degree heat.

    Well, I dealt with a similar situation when I was faced with the desire to cover all of the tattoos on both of my arms.  When it's not winter, I enjoy gardening and other outdoor work, as well as hiking, walking and running.  I was concerned about the heat of the summer months, but then I started thinking about footage that I have seen that shows people in desert climates wearing more clothing than I wear in the winters here in Michigan.  How can they wear all of that clothing without collapsing?  I also remembered that all the men used to wear suits to the church in the summers before there was air conditioning and the women were always fully covered as well.  I remembered my grandfather always wearing a suit jacket and slacks; even in the height of summer and even while he mowed the lawn with a reel mower.

    So, I put on my trousers and an undershirt and then a long sleeve, button down, collared shirt on top of that and then a wide brimmed amish-style straw hat.  For the fist few moments, when I went out into the heat, it was a bit uncomfortable, but then, when I began to perspire, even the slightest hint of a breeze would cool me down.  The parts that got the hottest were the parts that weren't covered by clothing.  I think it's several decades being spoiled by ubiquitous air conditioning that has eliminated our tolerance for heat and that we have forgotten how to make our clothing keep us cool.  

  9. I have yet to come across any scripture that provides an example, of which we are to follow, of giving arguments for the existence of God.  Apologetics played an enormous part in my becoming a Christian and I dove headfirst into apologetics and enjoyed engaging in discussions that involved apologetics.  Since most of the people I knew were atheists, the conversations rarely got beyond being given the burden of proving the existence of God.  Since I never believed in the non-existence of God, I couldn't (and still can't) relate to the concept of naturalistic evolution and of the concept of existence creating itself.  I always thought that my reasoning for the logical existence of God was more than sufficient for people who needed more proof than what I thought was natural common sense.  However, I have never been witness to someone being convinced of the existence of God through apologetic conversation, though I'm sure it happens.

    The Bible seems to just assert the fact that God exists and calls people foolish who don't see that, but it doesn't seem to spend time trying to make arguments to convince people of that fact of His existence in the first place: Genesis 1:1, Romans 1:18-23, Psalm 53:1-3.

    In my experience, in the conversations mentioned above, people seem disinterested in discussing the subjects of sin and salvation seriously, when they don't even believe in God in the first place.  They are interested, however, in attempting to discuss how foolish they believe the Bible to be and never need a nudge to begin giving examples of where they believe the Bible to be in error, but such discussions are always futile since it's all foolishness to them anyway, without a belief in the existence of God from which to start.

    (Proverbs 26:4-5) "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. {5} Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit."

    I understand the above verses to mean that we are not to spend our time answering all of the foolish questions presented to us by the fool, but we should briefly show him his own foolishness with his own reasoning, but then to move on.

    With this in mind, how much time, if any, should be spent trying to convince people that God exists?

     

     

  10. I was lured by Steven Anderson for a brief time.  For someone like me, who is indescribably disgusted by sodomites, his teaching (I now believe by twisting scripture) that God has permanently given up on sodomites, thereby justifying a hatred for them, was alluring.  In my hatred for my own past sinful behaviors and my desire to separate from them, I sometimes get caught up in the temptation to minimize my present sins by focusing on the depravity of those openly and boastfully embracing theirs.

    Pastor Anderson's main proof texts are the verses that speak about God giving up on sodomites and giving them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:24-28 for example); teaching that it means that God will never have anything more to do with sodomites, even if they repent and wish to be saved.   He teaches that sodomies no longer have the ability to repent.  He teaches that Romans 29-32 is saying that all sodomites, because of the sin of sodomy, are also filled with every item on the list of sins in vv 29-32.  So, if you're a fornicator (or a murderer or deceitful &c.), but not a sodomite, then God has not given up on you and you can still be saved.  Without going into a lengthy study here, I will just say that, through study and basic understanding, I do not agree with that.

    I agree that Pastor Anderson's post-trib view is in error, but I am not sure that I would say that that view is dangerous.  However, I think that the way in which he interprets scripture, which led him to that conclusion, is dangerous.  It is the salad-bar style of using scripture; using what fits and omitting clear scripture that proves otherwise.  This is what he has done to arrive at what I believe to be his most dangerous teaching; the teaching that repentance is not needed for salvation.

    He says that, because verses like Acts 16:31 and others do not mention repentance, that including repentance with salvation is promoting a works salvation.  Yet, verses like Luke 13:3, Luke 13:5, Acts 2:38 &c., seem to be telling us that repentance is needed for salvation.  It seems that we are even told, in Luke 17:3-4, that we may withhold forgiveness until repentance is shown by the offender; although, since I am still very much a neophyte, I am not dogmatic about this last point.

    I would not say that I am a fan of Bible colleges either.  Unless I am missing something, I see no biblical precedent for such a thing, unless one says that the teachings of the rabbis and the studies in the synagogues are analogous to bible colleges.  I would argue that the Christian equivalent to those things would be the local church.  I am also not convinced that any biblically sound Bible colleges exist.  This is just my opinion, however.

    The reason that I agree with the statement that Pastor Anderson is dangerous, is because many of his other teachings are spot on.  His teachings on modesty and Christian dress, for example, are very biblically sound, as well as his teachings on the KJV, musical standards, Halloween, television/movies/video games and his teachings on the importance of soul-winning.  However, He has already sent out at least five preachers from his church, to start other churches, who are teaching the same false doctrines.  He (and Kent Hovind and Fred Phelps) are partly the reason that I rarely tell people that I am IFB and that I never do so without a qualification immediately following.  He made a fine film defending the KJV, but I don't recommend it to most people because I don't want to encourage them to seek out his other teachings.

    Satan does not need to get people to knowingly bow down and worship him in order to succeed; he only needs to dilute the truth.

  11. 4 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

    I was reading John, in the 10th to 15th chapters...and although I've read it many times, reading it now it's different...Much different, there's a whole other layer to the words. Kind of like the difference between a cracker and a scrumptious, multi-layered ice cream sandwich...layers of texture, meaning, visual pictures. Amazing!

    It is glorious, isn't it?

    5 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

    (yes, I use food metaphors because I'm on a low-carb diet)

    Don't worry, we won't make you eat your words.

  12. Thank you for your kind words, brother.  Like I said, I am still a neophyte at this, so I'm kind of fumbling around in the process.  This last one was rushed and rather unplanned as far as the editing and connection with the Scriptures.  I need to actually sit down and come up with a process of storytelling that begins before the work.  I need to have a plan when I record the video so that it comes across as more intentional.  I just want to make sure that they glorify God and share the Gospel in a way that people can understand.

    Just so that I understand, you prefer the text being superimposed on top of the footage?

  13. 1 hour ago, Saved41199 said:

    The KJV stirs something that is beyond what the more modern versions do. 

    I agree.  The KJV is not merely the best version that is available; it is the perfectly preserved words of God as He has promised us:

    (Psalms 12:6-7) "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. {7} Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

    When we hold a King James Bible, we can be assured that it is just as perfectly His words as the originals and may be treated and studied as such.  That is the difference between the KJV and all the rest.  It is the difference between a real Rolls Royce and matchbox cars made from chocolate and arsenic.

  14. 55 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

    Thank you for your support in this...you'd think a grown woman wouldn't have so many questions...but...I'm coming from a VERY worldly life...God is stripping it from me bit by bit now. 

    As long as you are seeking God's truth, I would be more concerned if you stopped having questions.  It is only the foolish questions that we are to avoid (Titus 3:9).  By all means, keep asking questions.  All of us are still learning and God encourages to do so:

    (Proverbs 12:1) "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish."

    (Proverbs 15:14) "The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness."  

    (Psalms 119:66) "Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments."

    It is not possible for any of us to know all the things of God or to achieve perfection and we are not expected to.  That is one of the purposes of Christ's sacrifice.  

    (Isaiah 64:6) "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

    (Romans 5:8) "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

    We learn about Him and His words and strive to obey Him, not because doing so will save us (It won't; that's what the cross did), but because we adore Him and we wish to please Him.  It sounds like the Holy Spirit has been busy convicting your heart and that you are approaching things with a willing and obedient heart.  Keep going in that direction and keep asking questions and read His word as often as possible.  I'm so glad you're here.

  15. 27 minutes ago, Musician4God1611 said:

    Brother Stafford:

    Although I understand where you're coming from, I cannot reconcile myself to agree with you.

    I can understand that.  That is why I said that it is my opinion that possibly stems from bias from personal experience.  It is not something about which I am dogmatic.

  16. 49 minutes ago, Saved41199 said:

    I never thought of this. Thank you for another point of view for me to look at. You are right...I need to continue to change out my wardrobe then. I don't have the cash to just toss what I have now. 

    I can understand that.  I was in the same situation when I changed my wardrobe.  Although, I was not wearing dresses, I was wearing men's clothing that I now believe was inappropriate and juvenile.  I went out and bought four pairs of pants, four long sleeve shirts (to hide my tattoos) and threw out all of my old clothing.  I wore those eight pieces of clothing (along with socks, shoes and underclothes that I already had, of course) until I could start to afford more items, one at a time; many things I got from thrift stores.  I finished restoring an expensive antique for one of my customers and was finally able to afford a simple suit from Jos. A. Bank to wear to church.

    It takes a while and can be humbling, but it can be done.  One of my biggest challenges was getting over my vanity.  It's gone now, but when I first switched, I had a difficult time looking like "a square."

  17. I restore antique furniture and hand tools for a living and I will usually include a video of the restoration process at no cost to the customer.  In them, I attempt to share Scripture with them.  I don't feel that I am very good at doing this yet, but I do believe that I am getting better.  The latest video that I have put together has the most Gospel presentation yet.  Since I am still a neophyte in this, I would appreciate any feedback and critiques you may offer.

    Eastlake Highboy from Faithfully Restored on Vimeo.

  18. I am of the opinion that specials, solo vocalists or even choirs, are not appropriate in a church setting.  I believe that music is to be used as a collective worship of God.  What would be the point of a congregation sitting quietly as one person sings while standing in front of all of them?  This would seem like a performance instead of collective worship, which is one of the main purposes for congregating, is it not?

    I may be a bit biased.  I was a professional musician for twenty years.  Having left that about 5 years ago, and have had a chance to step back and look at that, and it is all about the performer.  At the heart of it, a performer is essentially saying, "You all stop what you're doing, be quiet, sit there and look at me.  Then, when I am done, please give me applause."  

    It is also my opinion that, if there is musical accompaniment, the musician(s) should be off to the side or somewhere where they will not be focused upon.

    Even selecting part of the congregation to stand in front of the rest, as in a choir, is not something that makes sense to me.  All voices that sing praises to God are beautiful and every congregant should be a part of such a thing.

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