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Christian support for Homosexuality, Islam....


John81
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It's interesting that some Baptists condemn churches like the Catholic church for teaching that they must be part of a specific church to be saved, but they are often the first to question if one is a "true Christian" when attending a church other than a Baptist church.

Maybe that old joke about Baptists thinking they are the only ones in heaven has a little bit of truth? :rolleyes:


This is because of apostasy. Most of the other churches have apostatized. The logical conclusion of the heresies they allowed to accumulate in their churches as well as the rejection of the inerrant words of God. The Independent Baptist and some of you non-denominational churches are a few that's left. They'll prOBably be next to go. Eventually it will end up as just a group of bible believers meeting in their homes or wherever who really don't have any affliation with any denomination or movement. Edited by Wilchbla
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What Baptist church? There are Baptist churches yoked to the SBC, there are some yoked to the General Baptists, there are Baptist churches which stand on their own, there are IFB churches and a variety of others. You will have to be more specific with regards to what you mean regarding Baptists.

Myself, I don't belong to a Baptist church that has any association with any church with women pastors.

The Anglican church, if they disagree with the women preists and homosexual priests, should have kicked out those churches that accept such long ago. Why remain yoked with ungodliness for years?

I'm not sure what the size of your church has to do with anything. Whether a church has 100,000,000 members or 10, if they abide by the Word of God, Praise God!, if not, then no biblical Christian should be a part of them.

We are not called to loyalty to a particular church or denomination, we are called to be loyal to Christ, following Him and OBeying His Word even when it means we don't have things our way or we must separate from what we know, like, love or prefer.


Correct me if I'm not understanding you, but are you saying that if an IFB Church three states and a hundreds of miles away from you had a female pastor, that you would not longer go to your local IFB Church? That's what you understand not being "yoked" together means?

The thing about kicking people out of your denomination is that they are free to put whatever sign they want on the front of their churches. It's not like the Anglican Communion owns the trademark "Anglican" or "Episcopal." Technically, a congregation of gay women preachers could start their own church and call it IFB.

And the point is that my local church can't control what some church out in California or in New Hampshire does anymore than those churches can control my local church. I don't go to those churches. I don't support what they do. I go to my local Anglican Church and I don't see anything wrong with our doctrine. Why should I leave?
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Correct me if I'm not understanding you, but are you saying that if an IFB Church three states and a hundreds of miles away from you had a female pastor, that you would not longer go to your local IFB Church? That's what you understand not being "yoked" together means?

The thing about kicking people out of your denomination is that they are free to put whatever sign they want on the front of their churches. It's not like the Anglican Communion owns the trademark "Anglican" or "Episcopal." Technically, a congregation of gay women preachers could start their own church and call it IFB.

And the point is that my local church can't control what some church out in California or in New Hampshire does anymore than those churches can control my local church. I don't go to those churches. I don't support what they do. I go to my local Anglican Church and I don't see anything wrong with our doctrine. Why should I leave?


Do you not understand the word "independent"? That's what the "I" in IFB stands for. IFBs are totally independent. They are not affiliated with, connected to, associated with or otherwise yoked to any other church or organization.

The Episcopal church is very different in that they are affiliated with, connected to and associated and yoked with others by their very nature. Some Episcopal churches have done the right thing, abiding by the Word of God they removed themselves.

Were I a part of a church organized as the Episcopalians and part of that organization accepted wickedness such as women or homosexual pastors and they failed to separate themselves from such, as Scripture commands, then I would absolutely remove myself from that church and seek out a biblical home church.

If a good church remains yoked to wickedness then there is something rotting within and it's up to individual Christians to do right, OBey the Word of God, and separate themselves from such.
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Do you not understand the word "independent"? That's what the "I" in IFB stands for. IFBs are totally independent. They are not affiliated with, connected to, associated with or otherwise yoked to any other church or organization.

The Episcopal church is very different in that they are affiliated with, connected to and associated and yoked with others by their very nature. Some Episcopal churches have done the right thing, abiding by the Word of God they removed themselves.

Were I a part of a church organized as the Episcopalians and part of that organization accepted wickedness such as women or homosexual pastors and they failed to separate themselves from such, as Scripture commands, then I would absolutely remove myself from that church and seek out a biblical home church.

If a good church remains yoked to wickedness then there is something rotting within and it's up to individual Christians to do right, OBey the Word of God, and separate themselves from such.


Alright, fair enough. But, based on how you have described what "yoked" together means, the many Episcopal Churches within my dioceses are "yoked" to the Bishop. He is who connects us all to the other. It's not like each of the several churches are sharing bank accounts, or priests, or anything else for that matter (there are three other Episcopal Churches in my town and I have never been to them or had anything to do with them other than a softball game once). My Bishop will denounce homosexuality and the ordination of females in a heartbeat (and prOBably agrees with you as opposed to me on several other issues). On a larger scale, all Anglicans are "yoked" together by Canterbury. The Archbishop and the holy see is what in fact makes us all part of the Anglican Communion. The current Archbishop has requested (he has no power to order as we are all independent as well) that the Episcopal Church cease the ordination of homosexuals and has definitively stated that homosexuality is contrary to scripture and is therefore not accectable within the Church.

You mentioned that some Episcopal Churches have removed themselves. What you mean is that they renounced their Bishop and came under the Bishopric of a foreign Bishop. That didn't stop being Anglicans, or even Episcopalians for that matter. I have a feeling that my local Church would do the same thing in the event that our Bishop began ordaining female priests or confirming homosexuals.
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Just a side note to clarify - in Baptist-speak, a pastor is defined as the head of a local church. Anyone who stands in the pulpit and delivers a sermon is a preacher. To call a pastor by "preacher" is not technically incorrect - because pastors are the main preachers - but "preacher" doesn't encompass his total jOB description.

I hope I said that right.

Mitch

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I would like to make what I believe is an OBvious OBservation; but there may be some reading too whom it may not be so OBvious.

One can support the individual civil liberties and rights afforded by our secular government to an individual without condoning or supporting someone's sinful behavior (as defined in the Scriptures).

For instance, while I oppose the sin of homosexuality and gay marriage and I will legally speak out for my government to not allow it to be legal; I will not do anything to physically or emotionally harm (vicious name calling) those engaged in that sin. I will tell them it is sin and preach it is sin and call them to repentance, but it is not my place as a Christian to show hatred toward them. It is my place to show them the eternal and temporal results of their sin before God. After that, it is in God's hands to deal with and judge.

Also, it seems to me that we (me included) Christians are a bit hypocritical in the way we talk about and too those in the sin of homosexuality. We tend to not say so much about other sins (even sins of a sexual nature), while spewing forth hatefully when it comes to condemning homosexual sin. I am not sure why this is, perhaps you have a thought to share concerning it?

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My diocese has a Bishop and he is the spiritual head of all the churches within the diocese.
This is the point where independent Baptists have issues with religious "chains of command." As independent Baptists, our belief is that Christ is the spiritual head of each local church, and the pastor is the shepherd/pastor/administrator/chief cook and bottle washer of that church. The pastor would never consider himself the spiritual head of the local church he serves, nor would he be the spiritual head of several churches.

Independent Baptists see no need for the hierachy of denominations. Being independent to serve God is as important to us as being Baptists. If, as you say, an Episcopalian church can be independent and doesn't have to abide by Canterbury, then why have a bishop, a diocese, or a Canterbury at all? From your description, it sounds as if your church could be called an independent Episcopalian/Anglican church, but to be independent as IFSB, your church would have to remove itself from any diocese. That would mean that your pastor is the leader of your particular church, answering only to Christ. Thus, a diocese bishop or any other hierarchy setup is unnecessary. Use the money that supports that hierarchy to put more missionaries on the field.

Because there are many flavors of Baptist denominations, independent Baptists stress their independence of anything manmade and place their total dependence on Christ. The name Baptist indicates our general beliefs and practices, just as Episcopalian/Anglican indicates yours, but there is no such thing as an IFSB denomination. We have no headquarters nor central leader, other than Christ, nor do we pay membership dues. Although I'm a Baptist originally from North Carolina, I call myself a Baptist from the south, because Southern Baptist has a different connotation.
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We tend to not say so much about other sins (even sins of a sexual nature), while spewing forth hatefully when it comes to condemning homosexual sin. I am not sure why this is, perhaps you have a thought to share concerning it?


Much of the strong reaction to sodomy today is because supporters have become so much more vocal today. Sodomites stayed in the closet, so there wasn't much of a need to preach against it. In the 1950s, rock music was the scourge of society. In the 1960s, preachers thundered against "free love" and drugs. When abortion was legalized in 1973, preachers focused heavily on that issue. As divorce became more prevalent, more sermons were directed against that. Of course, liquor always get attention. Sodomy was not that big of a societal issue until now.

Now, sodomites are coming out and shoving their debauchery into the face of society, trying to gain acceptance of their lifestyle choice. The rapid pace of legalizing sodomite marriages has caused a strong pushback. That's why it seems Christians are reacting so vehemently against it now. It's become the pressing issue of our time.
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We tend to look down more on those who do the things we don't do......But the Word of God puts things like "defrauding your brother" right in there with homsexuality. Over the years I've witnessed church members back stab one another, do despicable things to each other and apparently think nothing of it. "Touch not mine anointed" is not just a warning to those who would do the Pastor or preacher wrong: it means any brother or sister in Christ and it's a very serious thing. There is a proper way to deal with such contentions given in Matthew 18. But back to homosexuals: Would I go to a church which had a homosexual pastor, music director or anything like that?. absolutley not. But nOBody is going to want what we have, if we don't show compassion and the love of God in us.

1 Corinthians 6:6
But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Edited by heartstrings
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To answer the question concerning the Episcopal Church, I (and I'm sure ptwild as well) did not mean to imply that we were independent in the same way that an IFB church is independent. I was trying to point out the difference between the Catholic Church and the Pope and my church and the Archbishop. Our churches are not bound to a leader who we must believe is infallible in doctrine.

Bishops are elected by individual dioceses. We are all accountable to Christ, but I and many others find it a little concerning when a system is set up that has no system of accountability and hierarchy. I'm not saying that it's wrong, and OBviously it works for some churches. Again, there is OBviously concern for systems set up where you have too strong of an authority (earthly that is) that cannot be challenged. If misused I think these are the systems most vulnerable to abuse. I'm not saying one is right and the other wrong, because let's face it, any system made of humans has flaws. Just some things that do occur to me.

Back to the original question, I'm prOBably not explaining very well to someone who doesn't have any experience the system of bishops, but this website is pretty good for exploring all aspects of the Episcopal/Anglican church: http://anglicansonline.org/basics/what_is_episcopal_ch.html

Edited by CPR
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To answer the question concerning the Episcopal Church, I (and I'm sure ptwild as well) did not mean to imply that we were independent in the same way that an IFB church is independent. I was trying to point out the difference between the Catholic Church and the Pope and my church and the Archbishop. Our churches are not bound to a leader who we must believe is infallible in doctrine.

Bishops are elected by individual dioceses. We are all accountable to Christ, but I and many others find it a little concerning when a system is set up that has no system of accountability and hierarchy. I'm not saying that it's wrong, and OBviously it works for some churches. Again, there is OBviously concern for systems set up where you have too strong of an authority (earthly that is) that cannot be challenged. If misused I think these are the systems most vulnerable to abuse. I'm not saying one is right and the other wrong, because let's face it, any system made of humans has flaws. Just some things that do occur to me.

Back to the original question, I'm prOBably not explaining very well to someone who doesn't have any experience the system of bishops, but this website is pretty good for exploring all aspects of the Episcopal/Anglican church: http://anglicansonline.org/basics/what_is_episcopal_ch.html


Good points about the hierarchy system. I don't believe that it is necessary and that it is right for everyone, but I do prefer it. Not only do I believe that it is in line with the practices of the early church, but I also believe it is what keeps us all together. In other Christian communities in which there is no heirarchy, it seems that once the leader (usually a pastor or preacher) goes against the will of the congregation, or starts promoting unsound doctrine, the only reaction is to split up. Those who oppose the pastor leave and those who agree with him stay. Then, a few months or years later, the pattern repeats itself. Someone gets upset over nothing, or the pastor (or maybe even the congregation) starts delving into unsound doctrine (or perceived unsound doctrine) and they split again. And so it goes, on and on, until you have a town of 3,000 people and 30 Baptist Churches (not picking on Baptist -just using them as an example - it could be anyone) with a new one popping up every few years.

On the other hand, if you have a Bishop, there is no splitting. The Bishop simply removes the priest from the Church. Now, there could be a huge prOBlem if the Bishop himself is not acting in accordance with scripture. Well, in the Episcopal Church, the Bishop is elected by his dioceses and thereby can be removed by the popular vote of the congregations. Sure, it can get bogged down at times, but it provides by a continuity that keeps us together through the good times and the bad.
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John, I've asked this question of Jerry Numbers and--if you don't mind--I'll ask the same of you. I'm still searching for a church over here in the UK. I've found it very difficult as a new Christian to tell what a 'good' church is as I know so little of scripture and cannot easily judge how faithful a given church is to God's truth. Many churches teach the same fundamental truths but differ on details and I've yet to find one that wouldn't be condemned by many on this board for one reason or another--it might be reformed in its teachings, or it might allow women to preach, or it might let women have their heads uncovered, or it might not be AV-only, or it might believe in talking in tongues etc etc.

To focus on two of those that come up on this board frequently--Bible versions and Calvinism--I've found out that there are almost no churches left in the UK that are AV-only. As far as I can tell, the only ones left are either Anglican or reformed or both. Many on here would say that a Church that taught reformed doctrine was "yoked to wickedness" and more would say that a church that didn't use the AV was "yoked to wickedness", just as surely as you say that Anglican churches are "yoked to wickedness".

What church would you recommend I attend in the UK, given what I've just told you? Or could you give me any other advice about my situation?

trc123: We tend to not say so much about other sins (even sins of a sexual nature), while spewing forth hatefully when it comes to condemning homosexual sin. I am not sure why this is, perhaps you have a thought to share concerning it?


Hi trc123, I think Heartstrings has made an excellent OBservation. Perhaps it is indeed easier to speak out against sins that one is certain they are not guilty of themselves. Relatively few people have homosexual desires and the average Christian does not worry that they might be tempted. Heartstrings brings up defrauding your brother. Another sin listed in that verse is covetousness. I have only ever heard one sermon on covetousness and although I've seen at least half a dozen entire threads on homosexuality in this forum over the past couple of years, I've only seen one member condemn covetousness, that being Jerry Numbers.

Cheers

Carl
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I would like to make what I believe is an OBvious OBservation; but there may be some reading too whom it may not be so OBvious.

One can support the individual civil liberties and rights afforded by our secular government to an individual without condoning or supporting someone's sinful behavior (as defined in the Scriptures).

For instance, while I oppose the sin of homosexuality and gay marriage and I will legally speak out for my government to not allow it to be legal; I will not do anything to physically or emotionally harm (vicious name calling) those engaged in that sin. I will tell them it is sin and preach it is sin and call them to repentance, but it is not my place as a Christian to show hatred toward them. It is my place to show them the eternal and temporal results of their sin before God. After that, it is in God's hands to deal with and judge.

Also, it seems to me that we (me included) Christians are a bit hypocritical in the way we talk about and too those in the sin of homosexuality. We tend to not say so much about other sins (even sins of a sexual nature), while spewing forth hatefully when it comes to condemning homosexual sin. I am not sure why this is, perhaps you have a thought to share concerning it?


I don't know of any true Christians espousing hatred or name calling.

All sins are to be confronted and most true Christians are doing this, whether it be homosexuality, adultery, or whatever. The reason the homosexual issue seems to be more at the front right now is because the homosexual movement has determined to take an "in your face" approach. They claim to not want anyone telling them what they can do in their bedroom (which, if they kept it there who would really know?) but in reality they want to push for full acceptance of homosexuality in public while demanding special rights. Any seemingly extra attention homosexuals are receiving today is because of their actions.
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John, I've asked this question of Jerry Numbers and--if you don't mind--I'll ask the same of you. I'm still searching for a church over here in the UK. I've found it very difficult as a new Christian to tell what a 'good' church is as I know so little of scripture and cannot easily judge how faithful a given church is to God's truth. Many churches teach the same fundamental truths but differ on details and I've yet to find one that wouldn't be condemned by many on this board for one reason or another--it might be reformed in its teachings, or it might allow women to preach, or it might let women have their heads uncovered, or it might not be AV-only, or it might believe in talking in tongues etc etc.

To focus on two of those that come up on this board frequently--Bible versions and Calvinism--I've found out that there are almost no churches left in the UK that are AV-only. As far as I can tell, the only ones left are either Anglican or reformed or both. Many on here would say that a Church that taught reformed doctrine was "yoked to wickedness" and more would say that a church that didn't use the AV was "yoked to wickedness", just as surely as you say that Anglican churches are "yoked to wickedness".

What church would you recommend I attend in the UK, given what I've just told you? Or could you give me any other advice about my situation?



Hi trc123, I think Heartstrings has made an excellent OBservation. Perhaps it is indeed easier to speak out against sins that one is certain they are not guilty of themselves. Relatively few people have homosexual desires and the average Christian does not worry that they might be tempted. Heartstrings brings up defrauding your brother. Another sin listed in that verse is covetousness. I have only ever heard one sermon on covetousness and although I've seen at least half a dozen entire threads on homosexuality in this forum over the past couple of years, I've only seen one member condemn covetousness, that being Jerry Numbers.

Cheers

Carl


Without knowing more it's really hard to give a specific answer. There are no perfect churches but there are some very bad churches. When there is no church that fits you really well, one must look for the best possible church available.

Reformed churches vary greatly. Some you would hardly know they had any Calvinist to them at all unless perhaps the pastor was preaching on certain passages in Romans. At the same time, some Reformed churches emphasize such.

There are some good churches out there that don't use the KJB. I know some men who attend a good church that uses the NIV and these men use the NIV and these men are among the spiritually strongest men I know. (I'm not advocating the NIV, myself I find it to be very weak and unfulfilling, but somehow these men manage to grow in the Lord using it) Anyway, my point being that it's possible to find a good church where the Word of God is preached effectively, where the lost could hear the true Gospel and the saved can be edified, even if they don't use the KJB. I attended such a church for a time and I carried a parallel Bible with their MV and the KJB side by side in it.

A few years ago when we were looking for a new church home I spent a great deal of time looking up church websites, reading their "what we believe" statements, reading online sermons of pastors, checking out material I could find from these churches and visiting some. I also asked around, which might help for you or others, but in my case this didn't reap much good.

I never found exactly what I was looking for but I did find a few which seemed worth checking into further. All but two of those failed inspection. One I could have settled upon if there was no other choice, the other (the one we now attend) was very close to what I was looking for.

Most important is to know the pastor is a true born again believer in Christ and that he preaches the Word of God.
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Good points about the hierarchy system. I don't believe that it is necessary and that it is right for everyone, but I do prefer it. Not only do I believe that it is in line with the practices of the early church, but I also believe it is what keeps us all together. In other Christian communities in which there is no heirarchy, it seems that once the leader (usually a pastor or preacher) goes against the will of the congregation, or starts promoting unsound doctrine, the only reaction is to split up. Those who oppose the pastor leave and those who agree with him stay. Then, a few months or years later, the pattern repeats itself. Someone gets upset over nothing, or the pastor (or maybe even the congregation) starts delving into unsound doctrine (or perceived unsound doctrine) and they split again. And so it goes, on and on, until you have a town of 3,000 people and 30 Baptist Churches (not picking on Baptist -just using them as an example - it could be anyone) with a new one popping up every few years.

On the other hand, if you have a Bishop, there is no splitting. The Bishop simply removes the priest from the Church. Now, there could be a huge prOBlem if the Bishop himself is not acting in accordance with scripture. Well, in the Episcopal Church, the Bishop is elected by his dioceses and thereby can be removed by the popular vote of the congregations. Sure, it can get bogged down at times, but it provides by a continuity that keeps us together through the good times and the bad.

Unfortunately, you're correct that too many Baptist churches go through splits. I've been through one, and there are no winners when it happens. If congregations would follow Scripture instead of men, then a pastor would be removed by the congregation (Matt 18) if he advocates unsound doctrine, and there would be no split. Having someone outside the church telling the congregation who will and who won't pastor a church doesn't go over well with Baptists.

What happens many times is a pastor becomes popular rather than Scriptural, and folks follow the man rather than God. Similar to politics, now that I think about it.
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Unfortunately, you're correct that too many Baptist churches go through splits. I've been through one, and there are no winners when it happens. If congregations would follow Scripture instead of men, then a pastor would be removed by the congregation (Matt 18) if he advocates unsound doctrine, and there would be no split. Having someone outside the church telling the congregation who will and who won't pastor a church doesn't go over well with Baptists.

What happens many times is a pastor becomes popular rather than Scriptural, and folks follow the man rather than God. Similar to politics, now that I think about it.


I think this prOBably has to do with the increased role the pastor plays in Baptist churches. If my priest had as much control and influence as I believe most pastors do, I wouldn't want anyone else having anything to do with picking my priest. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it indeed a pastor who is usually the one that actually "starts" (don't know if that's the right word) the church? Whereas in Anglicanism, the dioceses plants a church whereever there is a large enough congregation of practicing Anglicans to support it.

A priest has a much less active role in the affairs of the local church (at least in the Anglican Church). He is there to administer the sacraments and lead the worship service (and even that is a limited role considering that the BCP dictates the order of service). The administration of the Church's business is left to what we call the vestry (made up of a senior warden, junior warden, secretary . . .).
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