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Brother Stafford

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Posts posted by Brother Stafford


  1. Forgive me if this is elsewhere on the forum.  I searched for it, but could not find it.

    I have been reading on the subject of unmarried/married pastors and can see that there is quite a bit of disagreement on this.  Since 1 Timothy speaks about such leadership as being "the husband(s) of one wife," and "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" &c., many people believe that a man must be married and have a family in order to be such a church leader.  On the other hand, because Paul spoke of the benefits of being unmarried (1 Cor. 7:6-9, 32-35) and that Jesus spoke about people making themselves Eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 19:12), they believe that unmarried church leadership is allowed.

    I would like to hear the thoughts of some of the men here on the forum about this subject and why you may be for or opposed to one view or the other.


  2. 1 hour ago, Saved41199 said:

    So, the next time someone shows up at church in raggedy clothing or revealing clothing, understand, they don't know any better and it's not YOUR job to point that out in their first visit.

    Just out of curiosity, since I;m assuming that you wouldn't allow someone to come in to your church wearing, to the extreme, as little as a bikini, where would you draw the line to where you would speak to them?  


  3. 11 hours ago, Saved41199 said:

    If a lost person shows up at church, they should be shown the love of Christ, not slammed for their clothing...they're lost, they don't know any better. Perhaps instead of singling out that person or immediately talking trash about their wardrobe, maybe have a member of the congregation reach out to them in love and disciple them.

    I don't think anyone in this thread has suggested that we "slam" or "talk trash" about anyone.  Kindly addressing something is a far cry from talking trash.


  4. I was participating in the "What would you do?" thread, but, for some reason, I can no longer quote or post in it.  I can edit my previous posts, but I can't make new ones.  The Quote button and the Reply to This Topic box is gone.  I just went around to other random threads and I can post in some of them, but not others.  Have I been blocked or something?


  5. On 8/31/2018 at 1:17 AM, Brother Stafford said:

    I haven't seen it in a while, but I remember enjoying The Apocalypse (2000) with Richard Harris.  I'd have to watch it again to see how accurate it is.

    I downloaded a copy of this film and am about half way through watching it.  I can say that I do not recommend it.


  6. I just read this post about ten minutes ago.  Afterward, I signed off and picked up the latest issue of "Days of Praise" daily devotional from ICR.  It had just arrived a few days ago and I hadn't even broken the seals that keep it closed during mailing yet.  I opened it up to the first page, September 1st, and the first title was, "Leadership Preparation."  The title of the opposing page for September 2nd is "Leadership Training."  Out of the first fourteen days, twelve of them are about leadership.

    It just made me giggle a little since I had, literally, just read this post a few minutes previously.


  7. There was a Southern Baptist church down the street from the bar at which I used to be a fixture.  The sign out front read, "Love the Lord your God.  Is God your personal lover?"  The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe I had read it right and thought that I was still drunk from the night before.


  8. I just finished watching one of my favorite films: The 1961 film "Barabbas" with Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Ernest Borgnine, and Jack Palance.  I've watched it since I was a kid and have loved it as a non Christian and as a Christian.  If you haven't seen it, it's a completely fictionalized account of Barabbas' life after being released from prison.  After all these years, the concept and the story continues to captivate me.  I highly recommend it.

    Another one of my favorites is a 1950 film called "Stars in My Crown" with Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew, James Mitchell and Dean Stockwell.  It's set just after the Civil War.  A preacher goes into a town, decides to start preaching his first sermon in the saloon and becomes the town preacher.  There's a certain kind of feel-good familiarity to it, sort of like "To Kill a Mockingbird".  It's a great old film to watch and the book is even better.  I recommend both the film and the little paperback book it was based upon.

    There is a film from 1962 called "Gigot" that stars Jackie Gleason, was written by Jackie Gleason, Gleason wrote the musical score and was directed by Gene Kelly. It also stars a little six year old girl named Diane Gardner who plays Nicole.  Gigot is poor and mute and befriends Nicole after offering hospitality to her and her mother Colette.  Anyway, there is an incredibly touching scene where Nicole wanders into a Catholic church.  She asks Gigot questions about the place and he struggles to explain things to her because he is mute.  Even though it's a Catholic scene, it's very moving.  Watch the scene right here.  It's another favorite from my childhood, although I wouldn't call it a Christian based film outside of that scene.

    Does anyone else have any old Christian based favorites they would recommend?


  9. 1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

    Overall, I agree; and I myself do practice and do emphasize the need for culturally "formal dress" in relation to church services.

    However, this does raise a worthy question (at least, in my opinion) -- Does God's Word ever indicate some kind of standard for appropriate attire and/or "formal" dress for church gatherings?  (Yes, I certainly recognize the Scriptural standard of modest attire as morally appropriate for any occasion.)

    While I personally agree that we should dress as DaveW said, "as though they were meeting their king/president/ruler," I don't believe that people should be denied entrance to a service if they are dressed more casually, as long as they are dressed modestly as defined by God's word.  We are commanded to dress modestly and according to our gender, but I have not yet found passages that command new testament Christians to dress formally for gatherings.  I believe that we should, as a sign of respect and devotion to our Lord, but I wouldn't set it in stone; it is just my preference.

    When watching the television show, Little House on the Prairie, I wouldn't call Laura Ingalls' school dress a formal dress.  It was casual, yet biblically appropriate.  Similarly, Charles Ingalls' work clothes, although informal, should not have prevented him from attending services.  Modern day equivalents may be a t-shirt and jeans for men and a t-shirt and inexpensive, loose fitting, knee length skirt for women.  They are casual, yet modest and appropriate for each gender, which is what God commands.

    I have also seen the extreme opposite, with which I disagree.  I have been to some services where people are dressed so extravagantly, in expensive clothing and costly jewelry, that I believe it also goes against Gods command against extravagance (1 Tim. 2:9).

    1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

    Here is a question I have often wondered -- If I (an American man) showed up to most Fundamental Baptist churches wearing an embroidered robe, including tassels and bells on its hem, and wearing a girdle type belt, how would I be accepted in such churches? 

    As long as your robe could be distinguished as a robe and not a dress, I think that you would probably get a lot of strange looks, but I don't think that you would be denied entrance.

    1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

    Furthermore, pants-wear as outerwear (on men or women) is also a cultural development.  Such also is not found within Biblical revelation.

    I am aware that this is a much debated topic, which has most definitely been discussed elsewhere on this forum, but I believe that the issue of pants being a specific garment for men is in line with biblical teachings. 

    There has to be clothing that is gender specific, otherwise Deut. 22:5 would be meaningless.

    Breeches are mentioned five times in the Bible (Ex. 28:42, Ex. 39:28, Lev. 6:10, Lev. 16:4 and Eze. 44:18).  They are described as what would today be called men's knickers or knee length shorts.  They are only mentioned in connection with men and are therefore a male garment.  Other than a top coat or a robe, there are only two types of garments that can cover the lower half of the human body: a dress/skirt or shorts/pants; I know of no other way.  If men were to wear a dress or a skirt, nearly everyone would agree that they are wearing clothing that pertains to a woman.  The only other option that a man has is to wear pants/shorts.  If that is the only option for a man, and there are only two options, then the other option, a dress/skirt, is the only option that a woman can make.

    If the argument is, "Well, there are styles of pants that are specifically styled for women and those are okay for women to wear."  If that can be true, then there should be certain styles of dresses and skirts that are specifically designed for men to wear that would be appropriate to wear.  The only example of this, of which I am aware, is the kilt worn by Scottish men and some Irish men, but they are the only ones that think so; the rest of the world mocks them for wearing women's skirts.


  10. 58 minutes ago, DaveW said:

    And yet you ignore my question?

    Forgive me.  I wasn't aware that it was a serious question.  I thought you were kidding.

    15 hours ago, DaveW said:

    Would you insist on a suit for people in the highlands of Papua New Guinea?

    No, I would not insist on a suit for people in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.  However, if there was a church in that area, I would require that if they wanted to attend  services, that they start by covering up their nakedness as it defined by God and work with them from there.  I assume that if enough of them understand the Gospel well enough so that a church would need to be built and that they can be considered for membership in the church, that they would understand that turning toward Christ means to turn away from sin.  I find that once many non western cultures understand the Gospel and what repentance means, they are more willing to adopt new behaviors than western cultures are.  I have also found that indigenous cultures also tend to be hyper sensitive to issues of respect and etiquette.  I found these things to be true when I was in South Africa.

    The very first thing Adam and Eve wanted to do, once they realized they had sinned, was to cover their nakedness.  They did it the best way they knew how, but it was not good enough.  God, Himself, had to cover them.  This has more to do with the requirement for the atonement for sin being the shedding of innocent blood, but it is interesting that the first example God used was also connected to modesty.


  11. 3 hours ago, Salyan said:

    No one in the world (with a reasonable amount of maturity and self-awareness) would wear that speedo or bikini to a board meeting, or a symphony orchestra... Unless a church's doors actually opened onto the beach sand, I really don't see any visitor ever trying to wear a swimsuit to church.  The 'swimsuit argument' is probably a bit of a straw man.

    You missed my point.  I was using an extreme example to illustrate that every church believes in a certain minimum of appropriate attire that is expected to be allowed entrance into their services.

    3 hours ago, Salyan said:

    That all said, if a visitor did walk in in something that even the world culture understood was inappropriate for the setting, I think it would be appropriate to kindly challenge them on that... However, if what they are wearing meets the norms of what the culture/churchianity at large accepts as appropriate church wear, than they are actually trying to be appropriate and respectful.

    The problem is that the world keeps changing what it believes to be appropriate attire.  There are things that I have seen women wear to church that even prostitutes would not have worn an hundred years ago; one of the reasons being that they would have been arrested.  The world's acceptable standards get lower and more inappropriate every year.

    3 hours ago, Salyan said:

    No one in the world (with a reasonable amount of maturity and self-awareness) would wear that speedo or bikini to a board meeting, or a symphony orchestra.

    ...Yet.

    Not long ago, there was a time where no woman would have even considered being seen in public in yoga pants (essentially, slightly more modest pantyhose), but they are 100% comfortable with it today.  When my mother was a young woman, her brothers chased her into the backyard shed for wearing pants and would not let her come out until she agreed to put her dress back on.  There is a photograph of my grandmother lifting the front of her dress, just barely above her knees in order to expose her knees, that she always covered with her hand while we looked through her photo albums when I was a boy. 

    3 hours ago, Salyan said:

    That all said, if a visitor did walk in in something that even the world culture understood was inappropriate for the setting, I think it would be appropriate to kindly challenge them on that.

    Letting the world set the standards for when we draw the line in our churches is a dangerous thing because of the ever lowering of standards of decency.   Again, since many people no longer know what is appropriate to wear in to a church, they need to be taught.  As I said above, we are to be understanding, to a certain degree, with new converts and visitors, but not to the point of allowing unacceptable immodesty.

    I also find it interesting that some of the strongest push-back I receive on this issue is from female church members.  When I have invited non believers as guests, often they ask my what they should wear, but if they don't ask, I will just tell them that the men usually wear suits and the women wear loose fitting, high neckline dresses that come below the knees when seated.  I have never had any of my guests balk or complain at all.  They always seem to understand and respect it.

    Also, requiring a certain standard is also to make sure that the guests are not uncomfortable.  As a man, I would feel incredibly uncomfortable being the only one in a t-shirt and jeans.  I know that women feel equally uncomfortable when they are the only one under dressed.  I attended a Baptist friend's wedding years before I was saved.  My girlfriend, at the time, was going to meet me there.  Being raised Catholic, I thought I should wear a suit, but she showed up wearing a tight black dress that came to her mid thigh and high heels.  I don't know if I have ever seen another woman blush as much as she did.  She was so uncomfortable that she asked me if she could wear my suit coat and she asked me if we could leave the second the ceremony was over.  Had my friend taken a moment to make sure we were on the same page, or had I made sure she knew how to dress for a church, we could have saved my girlfriend a tremendous amount of humiliation.

    I have heard a handful of stories, mostly from women, that tell of a visiting female guest being spoken to about her attire and that that guest never returned.  I have heard the same scenario illustrated, time and time again, that if we hold to such standards, then visitors will be so offended that they shall return again no more.  I have never witnessed it happening, but even if a visitor, who was dressed too immodestly for church, got so offended by a kind and loving explanation of the dress requirements that they never returned, I have no problem with that.  If they are put off by such a reasonable request, they probably were not in the frame of mind to get much out of the service anyway. 

    We are not to lower our standards for unbelievers.  Many IFB churches have adopted worldly CCM music for their services to appeal to more people.  Some have even started being okay with bible versions, other than the KJV being used by members. Churches in almost every denomination have full scale coffee shops and there are even some that have actual Starbucks in them.  Standards slip a little bit at a time and never stop falling unless intentional action is taken to stop it and/or reverse it.  We are not to lower our standards to accommodate the world.


  12. 5 hours ago, BroMatt said:

    Out of curiosity and my own information, what was it that you do not agree with? I'm not asking to argue with you, just so that I can look into it myself as I may have overlooked something. Things may have also changed in recent years. 

    The ones I attended seemed to be heavily influenced by A.A.. They believed alcoholism was a disease from which one could never recover.  They believed that if you attended less than three meetings a week, that you would inevitably relapse.  They used the "higher power as you understand him" line and mimicked A.A. in saying that your higher power could be the radiator if you wanted, so long as it was something other than yourself.  It was like going to an A.A. meeting with a bit of Christianish flavor sprinkled on top with a lot of sales pressure.  They pushed the books and materials so hard that every meeting felt like a sales convention.  They would hand newcomers one of their shirts and say, "It's free, but we would welcome a donation of $20," or whatever was five dollars more than the price of the shirt, had you bought it directly from RU.  It also seemed like a singles meat market and a lot of co-ed sponsoring.  It felt like more of a cult and I was actually more comfortable at A.A. and N.A. meetings.


  13. Old Fashioned Preacher,

    After reading their courtesy agreement and reading their downloadable sample book for about five minutes, this is looking very promising!  Thank you very much for this suggestion!

    21 hours ago, BroMatt said:

    Hello Brother. What a great testimony, thank you for sharing.

    There is a great faith based program called RU. Are familiar with them? I know there are other good faith based program out there, this is just the one that I have worked in and am very familiar with for about 10 years now. 

    Here is the website: https://rurecovery.com/

    I am familiar with them.  I attended some of their meetings several years back and had some pretty bad experiences.  There are also things that they are into that I disagree with.  I am glad that you have had good experiences with them.  Thank you for the thought.


  14. I am now of the belief (as are many others and many professionals) that addiction is not a disease.  Almost every 12 step program, that I know of, teaches that it is and that it is something from which a person can never be completely recovered.  Although I am fairly certain that this man is not a Christian, neuroscientist, Marc Lewis, shares many of my beliefs on addiction.  He gives a talk on this view in the video: "The Neuroscience of Addiction."  I don't agree on every one of his points, but he is the closest I have found, so far, to my beliefs on the issue.

     

  15. I think that not only can and should we have standards of dress in our churches, but that we most definitely do.  I don't believe that there is anyone here that would agree to allow a woman into their church wearing a bikini or a man wearing a speedo; even if it was a church built on a beach.  They would most certainly be spoken to and asked to leave and come back wearing more appropriate clothing.  It is because so many churches have relaxed their expectations of attire that so many people in the world no longer know what is appropriate attire for church; they need to be taught. 

    Short skirts, tight clothing, low cut tops and tank tops are just as inappropriate as bikinis and speedos when attending church.  Not only do we have the right to set a higher standard of attire in our churches, but I believe that we have an obligation to our congregations to keep such things out of our services.  We want new converts and visitors, but not at the expense of corrupting our members.  We would not allow someone to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes in a service or attend a service while they are drunk.  We would not allow homosexuals to display affection at our churches.  We wouldn't allow people to sit at a table in the back and gamble.  There are all sorts of things that we would not allow; why should the issue of attire be any different?

    Most Catholic churches in Rome will tell women when they are not dressed appropriately and will not let them enter until they are.  Muslim communities, some even in the United States, expect women to dress appropriately out on public streets.  Many worldly establishments have certain dress codes that are accepted.  Many schools, nightclubs and places of business have strict dress codes.  If evil religions and worldly places can require such things, why do we think that we cannot?  I feel ashamed and embarrassed that Muslims have more conviction about modesty than we do.

    Since we are set apart and are to be an example and a light to the world, we should be holding ourselves to a higher standard.  We should not be lowering certain standards in order to appeal to sinners.  Yes, we are to be understanding, to a certain degree, to new converts and visitors, but we must also let them know that there is a level of attire and behavior that will not be allowed in our places of worship.


  16. I used to be a drug addict and alcoholic.  I have been clean and sober since September twenty-first of 2000.  When I got sober, I had absolutely no interest in 12 step programs or Christianity, but when my drinking and drugging friends found out that I was sober, none of them wanted to have anything to do with me.  It was like I had leprosy.  I white knuckled it for about a year before I finally went to an A.A. meeting.  Then, I attended as many meetings as I possibly could and even worked behind the counter at an alano club, slinging burgers and processing membership dues.

    I worked the 12 steps, but I avoided the ones that had anything to do with a "higher power."  My sponsor told me that if I didn't find Christ, then my sobriety would eventually fall down like a house of cards.  After a while, I got involved with Buddhism and I continued to attend A.A. meetings.  One night, while I was playing a gig at a bar and was on a set break, I was reading a book by the Dalai Lama and a friend of one of my bandmates sat down with me and started asking me about my book.  That started an innumerable amount of conversations, between the two of us, about Christianity and, eventually, I had a "coming to Jesus" moment with him around a campfire in northern Michigan, although not anything close to a biblically based faith.

    Fast-forwarding a few years, I began to become disenchanted with A.A., as it just seemed like the same people kept telling the same stories and the meetings just seemed like dry bars filled with a bunch of miserable dry drunks.  I no longer felt any desire to drink or to use drugs and I stopped attending the meetings.  My discovery of true Christianity is another story, but, suffice it to say, I eventually came to rest in a Independent Baptist, KJV only, Bible based faith.  I had, however, always credited my sobriety, and my eventual coming into my faith, with my roots in A.A.

    Tonight, out of curiosity, I decided to attend a meeting at the old alano club at which I used to work.  In addition to the new faces I expected to see, I recognized several people from when I used to attend years ago.  They were still struggling with the same types of issues they had when I met them almost seventeen years ago and still seemed just as miserable. The subject of the evening was the second step: "We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."  They spoke of a vaguely defined "higher power" or "god as I understand him," and spoke of a "happy, joyous and free" life in the same tone that a prisoner in solitary speaks of his one hour of yard time.  When it was my turn to speak, they listened intently to me. However, when I spoke of the joy that I have found in Christ and the feeling of liberation I experienced in having received the gift of salvation, they started looking noticeably uncomfortable and a few of them left the table early.  Afterward, the leader of the meeting took me aside and told me that people don't like it when people "preach or proselytize" at the tables and that, if I come back, that I should keep things confined to the idea of just a "higher power" because "a lot of people just don't like hearing about Jesus."

    I believe that, although A.A. may have helped me at a certain point, I came to a saving faith despite of A.A. and not because of it.  I really believe that such programs can be a great hindrance to people coming to true salvation.  Similarly, although I met a man that was instrumental in my eventually being lead to Christ, I would not recommend that people frequent bars looking for Christian conversations.

    This leads me to the question in the title of this topic.  Would it be a good idea to try to create a different kind of meeting, for people who are struggling with addiction, that looks nothing like A.A., but is biblically based?  I had been to a few "faith based" 12 step programs years ago, but I remember them being more non-denominational in their approach and leaning more toward quick-prayerism.  Does the idea of a more biblically sound program sound like a good idea to pursue?  I would really appreciate your feedback on this.


  17. I was reading in the book of John today and came across a few parts of a few verses that never seemed to register in my brain before:

    Quote

    (John 6:71) "He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve."

    Quote

    (John 12:4) "Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,"

    Quote

    (John 13:2) "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;"

    Quote

    (John 13:26) "Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.  And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon."

    I know there are a bunch of Simons mentioned in the Gospels and Acts, but, if I'm not mistaken, only Simon Peter is mentioned in the book of John.  This leads me to believe that the Simon named in the above verses is Simon Peter.  What are some of the thoughts here?  Was Judas the son of Simon Peter and the nephew of Andrew?   I'm sure countless people have wondered about this and have debated it, but it's just a new-to-me kind of thing. (I really can't believe I never noticed this before)


  18. Hello all,

    Does anyone know of any good literature on how to witness to Catholics?  I was raised Catholic myself, but I never really bought into their doctrines and stopped going when I was about 15, so I guess I never had to be broken of Catholic brainwashing like many people who have been in it their entire lives may need to.  I am planning to move to Mexico when my parents pass away and I know it is dripping with Catholicism down there.

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