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Everything posted by Disciple.Luke

  1. I had visited many different churches before I found my way into a IFB church, so I’ve seen many denominations specific standards for membership. The Episcopals and Disciple of Christ usually have an invitation at the close of the service for people to come up (not to be saved) and be accepted into the congregation. The Church of God (Anderson) has no formal membership, but when people want to become part of a local congregation they are added to a membership roll. The IFB was obviously different than the others. My own experience was having to attend for awhile so the members could become familiar with you, and there is a required membership class held every three months or so. We had to attend around 6 or 7 different sessions, so only the ones truly desiring membership made time to attend all of them. The class was basically a small group for the pastor to go over the history and beliefs of the church. At the end of session we were given two papers we had to sign. One was a list of the churches fundament teachings and covenant. The second was a waiver form giving the church permission to run a criminal background check on us. Then finally we were brought before the congregation to be voted in by the members. I believe the long process itself deterred the ones who weren’t serious about joining the body. Most of the younger generation want to attend churches with loud music, no focus on disciple or sin, no accountability, etc., so they can come just to be entertained. They come to SEE the church NOT to be it.
  2. I’m sorry to hear about your mental health struggles. I’ve had chronic depression and anxiety since I was very young, so I sympathize with you. First I want to say that you a correct about the steps to salvation - Accept. Believe. Receive.. We can only accept Gods Grace, we cant earn it or manipulate its effectiveness by religious knowledge that would develope a “disciple heart”. I personally feel like you are expecting too much from yourself too soon. I’m guessing that the majority of people who come to salvation still have some doubt or feelings that they aren’t trusting enough like you. Your salvation isn’t dependent on your own feelings or doubt..salvation is from God alone. Your salvation was sealed when by FAITH you accepted Jesus sacrifice for you. In my own personal experience, there was no immediate change in my life. In fact it was almost three years after that I finally started to bear fruit and become more bold about my salvation. We are all in the process of learning to trust him more, and gradual sanctification. I notice you keep mentioning “feelings”, and that is concerning. You have to realize that your own person doubts and feelings have no effect one way or another on if you are saved. God saves..all we can do is accept. Lastly I would like to address what you think God is “saying” to you. From the way it’s worded I have the impression that you believe God is speaking to you audibly or mentally. This my personal belief about that. 1. It’s my understanding that God no longer speaks to us in the way you are explaining. I believe that since Jesus was the “Word” that means his teachings are the voice of God. Today God still speaks to us through the Bible that was God breathed and preserved so we can hear his voice today. So if you are hearing doubtful voices then my guess it is either your own feelings and insecurities coming to the surface, or it could be Satan attacking you because you are a daughter of God now. Take your time. Stay in the WORD because it is God speaking to you. Surround yourself with Christian friends. Don’t be embarrassed about doubt, we all have it at one time or another. Go talk to your Pastor about your concerns. He is there to help reconcile these type of things. Good luck. - In Christ
  3. Jehovahs witnesses are complex, and there are just so many barriers you have to tear down to get through. The mind control of the organization is beyond belief, and is the reason most JWs have not critical thinking skills. Since the watchtower is considered the spokesman for God that means everyone who tries to tell them something that contradicts their teaching is viewed as from Satan himself. As for Watchtower theology it is absurd and anathema. Jesus being the Archangel is one of their beliefs that will have consequences after death, but there are many more that effect and endanger them and their families lives while living. One of the more wicked beliefs is that blood transfusions are sinful. Countless men, women, and children have lost their lives too early because the Watchtower imposed this belief by ripping one versus completely out of context. Also, when they impose shunning on family and other congregation members for small things like questioning a watchtower teaching can push the shunned member to suicide or at the very least a life of anxiety and sadness. Shunning is especially cruel for a JW since they are taught to isolate themselves from non JWs, so they have no friends or support system outside of the congregation. I believe that isolation has a deliberate and sinister reason behind the belief since it puts them in a situation where their JW friends and family are literally all they have. This isolation is further abused when the JWs are told it is forbidden for them to attend or take part in any holiday celebrations with non JW friends and family. i follow the JWs and listen to their leaders online, and its unbelievable to me how these magazine salesmen have so much mental control of their followers. They have proven to be false prophets over and over and yet the rank file blindly follow, and will probably continue to do so until they depart this world and open their eyes to find out that hell is their reward.
  4. They are closing down and selling Kingdom Halls all over the United States forcing two or three congregations to share a single Hall some where else. Of course the faithful JWs blindly believe the “reasons” for this given to them by the governing body, so they are will sacrifice for “Jehovah” in a overcrowded Kingdom Hall. To the people on the outside it’s much more obvious why they are doing this on a mass scale all over the country combining congregations and selling the other buildings. It all started after the JWs began losing lawsuits for not reporting known child abuse to law enforcement. Now the cases are coming from the endless children who were abused for years while they protected the abuser. The Watchtower is losing millions of dollars one case at a time, and they are in panic mode trying to not go bankrupt and expose themselves to be the false prophets they really are.
  5. I haven't read that particular book, but Mark Cahills book "The One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven" helped make me more passionate about personal evangelism. I have had at least a dozen conversations with Mark via email, and know he is a KJV Independent Baptist. He has excellent tracts and videos. I would recommend his stuff to everyone on MarkCahill.org
  6. Very true quote. I see the "Christian" ranks diving in my own city. I have noticed that the traditional more "moderate" churches are mostly attended by Seinor Citizens who have been devoted to that specific congregation for a life time, but are not attracting middle aged worshippers (unless they turn Sundays into a rock concert and never mention sin in sermons). I know of a church that had 500 regular attenders just a little over two years ago, but have dwindled to 300 hundred because 200 people died of old age during those two,years. The IFB church I attend is growing rapidly with pews filled with members of every age group. There is no middle ground any more. If you believe in the Basic Fundamental Christian teachings there are only a few churches left to choose from. At the same time the liberals are looking for like minded congregations where faith is viewed as some historic tradition, so they don't have to feel guilty about living a lifestyle contrary to Biblical teachings.
  7. I agree with Tyndale's assessment. Lardmarkism vehemently claims church succession back to the apostles, so only a church planted by another "Landmark" congregation would be viewed as a "true church".
  8. I see. I didn't know your post was in reply to another thread topic. Thanks for the clarification.
  9. Are you saying that only the wicked dead before the flood went to the spirit prison, or just they are the only ones Christ went and preached to? Please know I'm not being critical or trying to stump you. I'm just trying to understand what exactly the context is of your first post.
  10. I assume that the "abyss" mentioned in Luke 8:31 is the same place as the spirit prison? In Luke's account they seemed to fear being sent there during Jesus' lifetime?
  11. Your reasoning is what is illogical. Billy Graham is only a sinful human like everyone else, and that's why we have to examine our beliefs daily to make sure our beliefs fall in line with the Bible. Even if an angel from heaven comes down preaching a "different" gospel, we would have to reject it as false teaching. Even if, as you say, that false statements outside the pulpit don't really count as his personal beliefs, that would just make him look like a hypocrite and a liar. I respect Billy Graham, but he isn't infallible when it comes to doctrine and theology.
  12. If it is true that he is suffering from some kind of mental illness due to old age, then his ministry needs to keep him from speaking in public. His quotes about people getting in to heaven apart from saving faith in Jesus, are killing us in personal evangelism. His name alone nearly makes him an "authority" on salvation to many people who are biblically illiterate. When Billy Graham says something, his name trumps mine in a discussion about salvation. So it's not uncommon to have someone tell me "well Billy Graham says....". I want Billy Graham to finish the race well, and not let his "feelings" on a subject take precedence over the Bible.
  13. Watchtower literature says that the Jewish faith believed in a common grave (soul sleep), but they were influenced by the Greeks which led to the immortal soul belief. I have watched several YouTube videos of Christian's attempting to evangelize JWs, and it is unimpressive to say the least. I believe our approach is all wrong. Many Christians start conversations with JWs thinking that if they convince them that heaven is open to everyone not just 144,000, they will get excited and leave the Society. The problem is most JWs DONT want to go to heaven. They want to live on a paradise earth with their resurrected wives, moms,dads, children, etc.. To go to heaven for a JW means you transform into some weird immortal invisible "spirit creature" apart from their families.
  14. You were led to this site by searching for commentary on 2 Kings 5? Im no expert on the 4th and 5th chapter of 2 Kings, but verse 27 seems to answer your question. 27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
  15. I agree with Brother Jim. I am not sure why you would bring this subject up in the Introduction section, but since this is an IFB forum I doubt anyone disagrees with the content in your post. Whatever that font is in the blue letters is nearly impossible to read. Welcome to the forum.
  16. I agree with your assessment that LDS theology has changed. Yes, Brigham Young taught the Adam-God doctrine, but that belief died shortly with him. The problem is that the Mormons are trying to appear more orthodox to the public, but under the surface they still hold to many of the past beliefs. President Joseph Fielding Smith is widely considered to be the "authority" of defining LDS doctrine. My first calling in the LDS was 2nd counselor in the Sunday School Presidency, and my responsibilities (along with the 1rst counselor) was to learn LDS doctrine, and keep a watchful ear for false doctrine being taught in the Sunday School classes and report back to the Sunday School President. It's in these classes where most non-mormons won't hear the actual doctrines being taught. Your comment about there being "more true doctrine in the Book of Mormon" is also accurate. In fact, the break away group, now called the Community of Christ are trinitarian because they rejected Brigham Young as successor and do not hold the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Convenants as scripture. Interestingly, this is the group that Joseph wife, Emma followed and Joseph's Smiths children were considered his rightful successors.
  17. Each believer will ultimately answer to God alone - not a pope, priest, denomination, convention, fellowship or any other human being.
  18. ^^ I think she summed it up perfectly. I would agree with the above just worded a little differently. Every believer is a priest before God and does not need a human mediator to pray, interpret scriptures or offer spiritual sacrifices.
  19. Correct. The letter was proven to be a forgery and the man (I can't remember the forger name, Mark Hoffman maybe?) was arrested for selling other forged documents and admitted the Salamander letter was a fraud. Regardless the incident revealed two important things about the LDS church. 1. Their Prophet wasn't able to foresee that it was a scam before authorizing a large payment for the letter. 2. It reveals how quickly they try to cover up their often embarrassing past by buying up all the available records to hide forever in their vault. Mormons acknowledge that Jesus is the same as Jehovah in the Old Testament. They believe the Father of Jesus (and us all) goes by the name Elohim and he is the one who came to have physical sex with Mary.
  20. Very accurate! The LDS Church is compartmentalized in a very similar way, but I believe they are even tighter in structure from the top down.
  21. I remember reading Erwin Lutzer re telling a conversation he had with a "popular woman Pastor who skillfully blends Christianity with the New Age movement...". He pointed out how her answers seemed very orthodox to his first several questions he posed to her. As he persisted with his questions he eventually forced her to define her doctrine with more precision until she finally revealed that "When I speak about Christ, I am not speaking about Jesus of Nazareth". He never revealed her name, but I suspect there are many people being deceived by false doctrines without even realizing it. This is why I get annoyed when I ask someone a question who claims to be a "Christian", and their response starts with "My Pastor says" or "My church believes.." instead of "The Bible says...". Too many people in the pews have become Biblically illiterate. Thanks for your testimony!
  22. I would consider a stubborn attitude toward asking for help a form of pride. James 4:6King James Version (KJV) 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Proverbs 8:13King James Version (KJV) 13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
  23. I absolutely agree. And most everything you've mentioned I've considered and have no idea what the appropriate but balanced way to deal with the issue is. I'm thankful it's not up to me to find the solution!
  24. Thank you for the reply. I think a few of the women fall into the category of not knowing any better. There is a group of 2 or 3 that always sit together, and they all dress very similar. They are probably near the age of 40 and always wear shirts that don't completely cover the shoulders so that part of the bra strap is visible occasionally. I personally don't feel any physical attraction to them, but I work in the media booth doing the slides so I'm sitting up higher than everyone else so it's easier to notice. I think part of the problem is that people have visited other churches before ours, and by far the majority of of them are so seeker friendly that they invite everyone to just "come as you are" believing that modesty at church is irrelevant today.
  25. Our church was searching for a new Pastor for nearly a year. In between that time there was a small group in the church who started to become very concerned that the modesty standards were in decline. I ended up on the concerned side, because my mentor (he is also a deacon) was the one who was leading the push back against the problem. For me it was more of a learning experience. Since I have only been a member of an IFB church for a couple years, it was a bit confusing because I wasn't around when the standards were higher. The three main complaints were women were starting to wear small tank tops that made the bra straps visible, and a few of the younger female members were starting to wear borderline skin tight yoga material dress pants. We just voted in our new Pastor about a month ago, so I guess his opinion on the issue will be the deciding factor on what is appropriate. I am 100% for modesty among church members, but as a "Newbie" IFB it's hard for me to understand where that fine line of modesty ends and immodest begins. As a middle aged guy I can tell you that the tight pants are very distracting and I don't of approve of them. So, I guess the question for my fellow forum members is - how do you decide what's modest and not, without getting into specific appropriate pant measurements and shirt sizes that turn into a "dress code"? Most of the younger female members always wear dresses. Our church has a K-12 school attached to our worship building and is a huge part of our ministry to the community. Everyday when I go in to pick my son up I always feel frustrated when I see non-member moms picking their kids up with tight pants and apparently shirts they had when they were the size of a 12 year old showing as much skin as possible.

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