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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Were They All Self-Righteous Pharisees?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I wasn't advocating....I wouldn't go myself either, haven't in many years. I've given up TV programs as there isn't anything I care to view on there.


I knew you were not, I just added a bit to it.
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I am not defending myself at all. I am pointing out an inconsistency.

You say you would not go to G rated movies because even G rated movies sin against God.

Yet you are on the internet and all one has to do is go to google and search for angels and reveal that the internet sins against God.

So why justify being on the internet when it is a medium of sin as much as a G rated movie is? Actually, more than a G rated movie?

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I am merely pointing out your inconsistency.


Inconsistency is a plague. Inconsistency stirs up so many of my emotions such as anger, hate, sorrow, shame etc etc. Inconsisency is one area that makes it so easy for the world to pick us apart and to make such labels as "pharisees" and "puritans". Love is blind. Are we so blinded by the love of our preachers or our church that we are blind to our own inconsistencies? Are we so blinded by the love for ourselves that we can't recognize the areas where we are inconsistent?

RSSRobot stated, "The term “Pharisee” is thrown around lightly today, but to charge someone with being a Pharisee is a very serious accusation. It is to charge them with being a self-righteous hypocrite who denies salvation through grace, who hates sinners, who exalts tradition to the same authority as God’s Word, and who is a Christ-rejector"
I am guilty of this. I have used the term "pharisee" in the past, but I wasn't accusing someone of rejecting Christ or denying salvation through grace. I used it to label someone who is a whited sepulcher, with their outwardly standards, puffing themselves up, but meanwhile being filled with dead man's bones. Basically putting their standards above their Christian love. When I talked to my wife about the fact that I will be preaching at an IFB church, she got to a point where she was shaking and scared. She is scared of the "IFB crowd" because we were made to feel like outcasts at the IFB church we attended for 3 years. And it had nothing to do with the lack of our standards, but inconsisencies in the standards and I will try to explain.

When I rededicated my life to Jesus in 2006, I had to take a $20,000 pay cut that year. This put a financial burden on my family as we just had our first child the same year and was pregnant with our 2nd. The church we went to was small and the pastor's wife and the younger women my wifes age would get together and have their nails and hair done. My wife could not afford to do this with them and it was hard for her but she understood that we were making sacrifices. They would shop together and look nice on Sunday morning with their nice dresses and hair and make-up and nails. This was ok too. My wife found nice clothes at goodwill and we were happy and not a bit jealous. But when you have to listen to sermons on outwardly appearance and not looking worldly and my wife would look at the "other woman" with their beautiful, shorter hair nicely styled and their expesive make-up and nails and clothes, it was getting hard for her. Especially a sermon on women and modest apparel and costly array, and yes I now modest doesn't have to mean cheap. The pastor's wife had actually made a statement that she wouldn't answer the door unless she had her make-up on. And it wasn't colorful make-up and was "tastefully" done. We definately felt poor going to this church, but we were happy and not jealous so that feeling really didn't matter to us. Then you have a sermon on tatoos. OK, we are to look at tatoos as marking God's temple and that could be portrayed as sin. I can believe that and am not looking for a difference of beliefs on tatoos. But I will ask, what is the difference in tatoos and make-up?? What, because one is permanent and one is not that there is actually a difference? Who is to draw the line, man or God? When man does it we have inconsistencies. When God does it, there isn't any inconsistancy. What, we look at Tammy Faye Baker and say that her make-up looks like a prostitute but "tastefully" done is ok. By who's standards? Why does a woman feel the need to wear make-up? Can we use the same answers to answer the question why a person would feel the need to get a tattoo? Is there similiar reasons? Did puritan women wear make-up? Yes, I have heard preaching on getting back to "the old paths" and that our churches are looking too worldy and need to go back 100 or 200 years. But, when you hear that preaching from a pastor and then look around at his own wife and the other women in the church, the 2 don't add up. I did talk to my former pastor about this, and to this day he probably still feels I am a nut job for drawing a line from tattoos to make-up. Or associating costly array with manicured nails and that I am just jealous.

Please, know my heart. This wasn't a conclusion of mine from jealousy. This wasn't me having a judgemental attitude toward the women of the church. It was me, hearing some good preaching from the pastor, and looking around and it seeming to be inconsistant to his actual beliefs and to God's Word.

This wasn't the reason we left the church either. There were so many "inconsistancies". When I walked in to the church, I felt I was walking into an ice box. It was almost depressing. The church was cold with its hard preaching and standards and I did not feel love there. I did not see love there. All I saw was a "whited sepulcher". The church would "puff" itself up with the hard-line fundamental standards that they said they believed and then look down at anyone else that didn't profess the same standards. The problem was all the professing and none of the living. So, yes, I used the label "pharisee". No, I don't feel all IFB churches or members are this way. We just saw so much of this during our time at this church.

I just noticed that I did a quote from Standing firm. In doing so, it might look like I was agreeing to his post about Jerry being inconsistant. This was not the case. I was wanting to run with the word inconsistant because of some issues I have had in my life. Edited by robmac68
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Another statement I feel is inconsistant is the one that concerns CCM. "If it effects the foot before it effects the heart, it is of the flesh." I have heard this statement made for the reason CCM is sinful. Does this make Contemporary Christian Music a sin? When I hear that statement, I feel the person making it is also making the statement that "all things of the flesh is sin". Is all things of the flesh sin? I can think of quite a few things that are of the flesh that I would not associate as sin. I believe when Paul made the statement that he believed it would be better to be like him, unmarried, but it would be a gift from God to remain this way and not all have this gift, that Paul was talking about sexual desires. It is better to marry that than to burn. I believe Paul is saying that if we can't control our sexual urges that we should marry so we have an outlet that would not be sinful. But if I believe CCM is sin because it appeals to the flesh, is it sin for me to "know" my wife for any other reason than to procreate? I don't believe it is. Would it be a sin for me to satisfy my hunger, flesh desire, by eating a cupcake rather than something that is healthy for my body? My brother-in-law believes CCM is sin because it is of the flesh. I asked him why he felt this way and he told me because the first thing I would want to do when listening is to dance. DANCE!!!??? That is his belief?? I want to dance?? What a bunch of hooey! I never felt like dancing because I heard some CCM. Some of the music effects me the same was a good hellfire and brimstone sermon does. I want to charge hell with a squirt gun. Not to dance.

Someone might feel I am really stretching here, but I dont feel I am. I feel someone making that statement is the one stretching. I feel it is inconsistant to what the Bible teaches. If someone feels CCM is a sin, point out the words that make it sinful. Point out the type of song it is and call it sin. The type I am referring to is something like the song "Jesus Freak". That song basically says "look at me" and does not have much to do with praising God. Our songs are to praise The Almighty and not to pat oneself on the back for being a freak. I feel alot of CCM is used for entertainment and not for praise, but if thats the case, point that out.

A babe in Christ that is stuck with CCM for entertainment reasons is not going to grow by making outlandesh statements about the reason it is sin. It will offend them and turn them away. And if we offend for any other reason than the Bible, we are wrong. Is there a verse in the Bible that relates all things of the flesh as sin?

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There is no inconsistency in pointing out the wickedness even in G rated movies while using the internet. The internet is like a city. Just as in a city, one can choose where to go and where to avoid on the internet. One can get online, check their local church website or a devoltional site, see if they have email from family, spend some time on OB, check the weather and never partake of the myriad of wicked sites online.

I've seen parts of several G rated, "family friendly" movies on TV while visiting my sister. Each one had many objectionable aspects to them, from "cute cussing" to promotion of evolution, false religions and the end justifies the means.

There are those who struggle with separating from movies and for some, seeing a known Christian attending the theater would be that stumbling block which would make them think it's okay to attend the movies; which often leads to little discernment as to just what movie is showing. I've actually known several people who have experienced this, some to the point of justifying watching vile horror movies because if it's okay to see some movies there should be no problem seeing any movie.

In the end, it's up to each of us to decide whether or not God would have us attend a theater. Myself, I've not been to a movie theater since 1986.

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Is it a sin to practice birth control or to get a vasectomy? We as Christians are supposed to believe that children are a blessing from God. I have heard the man with a full quiver is blessed. I looked around the church and noticed how small the families were. My former pastor's wife would love to have a little girl. They have talked adoption. They have 3 sons. I asked why adoption. Because if they keep trying for a girl, they might end up with a bunch of boys. Ok, what is wrong with that? Does the Bible teach us anywhere that we should decide how many kids to have? Anywhere? Shouldn't this be left up to God? Will God give us a burden we can't handle? How can we say we fully trust God in our lives, but yet we make our own decisions on such matters. Oh yea, I prayed about it and feel God is leading me to get a vasectomy. Is that really a Godly statement? Doesn't God open and close wombs as He sees fit? I actually asked my mother this some time back as she feels it isn't sin to practice birth control. When I told her my thoughts she replied, "can you imagine the ------ family having more kids, they can't control the ones they have so it is good they are taking steps to not have anymore?" Where in God's Word does it give me the right to look at another family in church and decide they don't need anymore kids?

I am not trying to point a finger at my former pastor as being a hypocrite. I don't feel he is a hypocrite. He never preached on a subject and then went out and did it, that I know of. I believe his beliefs are inconsistant with the Word of God. I believe when he preaches on faith in God and for us to put our faith in Him fully, and then letting it be known that they might not be having any more kids because it is their decision, than it is inconsistant.

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Is it a sin to practice birth control or to get a vasectomy? We as Christians are supposed to believe that children are a blessing from God. I have heard the man with a full quiver is blessed. I looked around the church and noticed how small the families were. My former pastor's wife would love to have a little girl. They have talked adoption. They have 3 sons. I asked why adoption. Because if they keep trying for a girl, they might end up with a bunch of boys. Ok, what is wrong with that? Does the Bible teach us anywhere that we should decide how many kids to have? Anywhere? Shouldn't this be left up to God? Will God give us a burden we can't handle? How can we say we fully trust God in our lives, but yet we make our own decisions on such matters. Oh yea, I prayed about it and feel God is leading me to get a vasectomy. Is that really a Godly statement? Doesn't God open and close wombs as He sees fit? I actually asked my mother this some time back as she feels it isn't sin to practice birth control. When I told her my thoughts she replied, "can you imagine the ------ family having more kids, they can't control the ones they have so it is good they are taking steps to not have anymore?" Where in God's Word does it give me the right to look at another family in church and decide they don't need anymore kids?

I am not trying to point a finger at my former pastor as being a hypocrite. I don't feel he is a hypocrite. He never preached on a subject and then went out and did it, that I know of. I believe his beliefs are inconsistant with the Word of God. I believe when he preaches on faith in God and for us to put our faith in Him fully, and then letting it be known that they might not be having any more kids because it is their decision, than it is inconsistant.

Yes, the number and timing of children are to be left to God yet the wickedness of the world has permeated many areas of Christianity with the selfish, proud, humanistic belief that it's up to us how many children we have and when we have them. It comes down to us thinking we know better than God.

Similar things such as aspects relating to divorce, dating and the role of women have also been wrongly influenced by the radical feminist movement and other worldly ideologies.

With all that said, there is no such thing as a perfect church. If we follow God's direction, He will lead us to the church He would have us attend.

There are many ways many of us claim Jesus is our Lord yet we turn around and demand that we are lord over certain areas by our actions. This often shows itself clearly with regard to spouse selection, children, career, college, homemaking, the church we attend, our entertainment, friends, etc.

Jesus addressed this by asking those around Him why they called Him Lord when they didn't do as He said. It seems to be difficult for most of us to give up ruling our own lives and truly accepting that Jesus is Lord and we are to follow His lead in all things.
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One Sunday, on the way up to the pulpit, my former pastor stopped by my pew and asked me to take my 8 month old daughter back to the nursery because she was disrupting the service. I about fell over. My daughter had never made a peep and when I asked the pastor about this, he actually did agree that he never heard my daughter during the service. But she was disrupting the service because when I held her over my shoulder, people behind me would make googly eyes and wave at her. My pastor said he understood that some parents have attachment issues but he would like me to put her in the nursery. Attachment issues???? Since when is having a young child in a church service an attachment issue? Was my daughter really disrupting the service? Wasn't it the adults that were disrupting the service by waving and making googly eyes? Shouldn't grown adults be listening to the sermon and not paying attention to a baby? I did submit to my pastor and put her in nersery. That same night she went home with a bruise on her head from the pastor's son and three days later she got her first cold. Yes, my daughter made it through 8 months without a cold.

This might seem like a personal issue because I was offended about what the pastor did, but it isn't. For the next year and a half, all my kids were put in the nursery. I am to submit to my pastor, and I did. What I want to know is where were the kids while Jesus preached? Who handled the nersery in Jesus' day? What was the disciples view on children disrupting the service? Is a nursery consistent with the Bible? Is children's church consistent with the Bible? I can honestly say, I remember more from the pastor's preaching as a kid than I can remember from children's church. We only had children's church in the morning. On sunday night and wednesday night, I had to sit in the sanctuary with my mom.

The reason I brought this up is I was wondering when the nursery came about. Is the nursery really for the kids? Are we trying to appeal to the pastor and that is why we offer the nursery? Are we trying to appeal to the congregation? Are we trying to appeal to the parents who would like a break from their young children so they can learn?

I have heard preaching about churches being wrong for trying to appeal to the crowd. I can think of one subject being the "band" in church. I have heard preaching against this, not just for the music, but for a church trying to "appeal" to a younger crowd. The church doesn't need to appeal to any crowd. We have the Holy Spirit that finds good preaching appealing. Are we being consistant when we preach about not appealing to any particular group in the church? If you think I am stretching again, does your church advertise a nursery on its website to appeal to parents? If you don't feel you are trying to appeal to parents, than why advertise it?

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The current chuch I belong to likes to cancel church on Holidays. If there is a Monday Holiday or one that falls on Sunday, like Christmas or Easter, they will cancel Sunday evening service. The statement the asst. pastor makes when he announces this in the morning is, "this is a Holiday and I know alot of you want to spend time with your families, so we will not be having evening service today." Does he really know what he is saying??? There are better places to be with family members than at church!!! Wow! I know not every Christian has family that goes to church, but wouldn't it be a better witness to leave the picnic table and go to church than to tell your lost family members that church is cancelled? Is this consistant with the Bible? I do know that the Bible doesn't say how often to go to church, but it does say that Jesus went weekly "which was custom". So if it is our church's custom to have 3 services a week, should we cancel because of a Holyday? I guess if my church does this every Holyday every year, than it could be considered custom. I still don't like how it is put about spending time with family.

On a side note. My mom knows how much this bothers me. She is still upset I left the IFB church she still attends so she likes to prod me about this. She will sacastically tell me there is some oddball Holiday and ask," so is your church going to cancel?" I just laugh it off. The sad thing is, her church, this past Easter, changed things up a bit. They decided to have the evening service from 9-10 am. They then broke for breakfast and fellowship. They then had the morning service from 11am-noon. They did not have Sunday School and the church was closed in the evening. My mom tells me this is fine because they still had their evening service and it is not the same as my church. LOL.

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I will stop replying for now, as I probably did too much babbling as it was. But I have used the label "pharisee" and don't feel I was wrong in doing so. I have such a bad taste in my mouth from "inconsistencies" that I see as common place anymore. I just wish that if we come up with some wild statements, that they would be from the Word of God. If the Word of God offends some, that is their problem. If we offend others because of our personal opinions, that is our problem.

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With all that said, there is no such thing as a perfect church. If we follow God's direction, He will lead us to the church He would have us attend.


My wife likes to tease me about this. My mom likes to throw stones at me about this. I am not looking for the perfect church, and I don't feel you were accusing me of such. We are human and make mistakes. I just get so frustrated when the inconsistencies seem to be so obvious. And, no, some of the points I made aren't so obvious but the one you did reply to seems like a "no brainer".
This just tugs at my heartstrings. I see my church getting smaller and smaller. Sunday nights might have 5-8 younger people. Many a wednesday night I have been the youngest in the Bible study. I am 43. I should never be the youngest. It is sad. I feel alot of the inconsistencies turn some away. I feel telling people there are better places to be than church, turns some away. The Bible does say in the end times our hearts will be hardened and there will be many that turn away. I just didn't want to see it in my lifetime. I guess I just need to keep praying and spreading the Gospel.
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My wife likes to tease me about this. My mom likes to throw stones at me about this. I am not looking for the perfect church, and I don't feel you were accusing me of such. We are human and make mistakes. I just get so frustrated when the inconsistencies seem to be so obvious. And, no, some of the points I made aren't so obvious but the one you did reply to seems like a "no brainer".
This just tugs at my heartstrings. I see my church getting smaller and smaller. Sunday nights might have 5-8 younger people. Many a wednesday night I have been the youngest in the Bible study. I am 43. I should never be the youngest. It is sad. I feel alot of the inconsistencies turn some away. I feel telling people there are better places to be than church, turns some away. The Bible does say in the end times our hearts will be hardened and there will be many that turn away. I just didn't want to see it in my lifetime. I guess I just need to keep praying and spreading the Gospel.

Striving for holiness in our own lives is very important. When we are salt and light as the Word commands then others will see Christ in us. This is also important when we seek to disciple others.

Sometimes pointing out things to people helps, sometimes they get defensive and prefer to rebel. Most churches are pretty set in their ways but there are a few with open hearts to learn to and grow.

Until recently, my wife and I were the youngest who normally attended adult Sunday school and we are in our late 40s. There is now a couple in their late 20s who attend and sometimes a 19 year old young woman attends. Other than that, everyone is late 40s to 60s.

It can be tough seeing so many professing Christians walking contrary to the Word. Earlier in my walk with Christ I had a very difficult time with this as I struggled to understand why I would read clearly what God says in His Word and then see the Christians I knew not following that. When I would ask I often got responses that didn't make sense; such as saying we can't be expected to actually live like that today.

It saddens me to see Christianity and this nation going the way they are. So much has changed so drastically for the worse in my lifetime. It's amazing how most simply just accept it and go with the flow.
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It can be tough seeing so many professing Christians walking contrary to the Word. Earlier in my walk with Christ I had a very difficult time with this as I struggled to understand why I would read clearly what God says in His Word and then see the Christians I knew not following that. When I would ask I often got responses that didn't make sense; such as saying we can't be expected to actually live like that today.



LOL....the responses I got were generally cold and condescending. Most the time I was made to feel stupid for even asking. I got to the point that I felt I might be coming across "holyier than thou" so I would really be careful and try to be as humble as possible while I asked. I got the same responses. This really bothered me. when I ask a question, I am not doing it to look smarter or to be judgemental, just want to know the answer. So, I gave up. It must not be me but who I was asking so, now, if I have a question, I just ask. Its funny how Christians can be so different. The pastor I have now acts excited to get asked questions. Maybe its because he is 80+ years old and has been doing this for over a half century and my former pastor was in his low 30's. Maybe he just didn't feel confident in his answers. Anyway, I don't hold ill will towards him or his church and will always be praying that his church grows. His church goes soul winning and there are but a few in the Ohio Valley that does so Praise the Lord for my former pastor. I will always love him.
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There is no inconsistency in pointing out the wickedness even in G rated movies while using the internet. The internet is like a city. Just as in a city, one can choose where to go and where to avoid on the internet. One can get online, check their local church website or a devoltional site, see if they have email from family, spend some time on OB, check the weather and never partake of the myriad of wicked sites online.

I've seen parts of several G rated, "family friendly" movies on TV while visiting my sister. Each one had many objectionable aspects to them, from "cute cussing" to promotion of evolution, false religions and the end justifies the means.

There are those who struggle with separating from movies and for some, seeing a known Christian attending the theater would be that stumbling block which would make them think it's okay to attend the movies; which often leads to little discernment as to just what movie is showing. I've actually known several people who have experienced this, some to the point of justifying watching vile horror movies because if it's okay to see some movies there should be no problem seeing any movie.

In the end, it's up to each of us to decide whether or not God would have us attend a theater. Myself, I've not been to a movie theater since 1986.
One can also choose which movie one watches in a movie theater. Jerry claims that G rated movies sin against God. I have yet to see one single G rated movie that sins against God.
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Yes, some are offended by God's absolute truths, but His truth still has to be proclaimed, that is, by those that are willing. Many were offended by what Christ proclaimed, they even hung Him on the cross because of it.

Tattoos & make up, I never have read a verse that say you shall not use make up, but we read this about that is clearly pointing to tattoos.

Le 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

And yes, some apply it way to thick, some have it on so thick they do not look human.

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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
      · 0 replies
    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
      · 1 reply
    • Razor

      Psalms 139 Psalm 139:9-10
      9. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10. even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy righthand shall hold me. 
       
      · 0 replies
    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

      Advanced revelation, then...prophecy IS advanced revelation in the context of the apostles.
      I really do not know where you are going with this. The Bible itself has revelations and prophecies and not all revelations are prophecies.
      Paul had things revealed to him that were hid and unknown that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs.
      How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Eph 3:3-9
      And I do not mean this as a Hyper-dispensationalist would, for there were people in Christ before Paul (Rom. 16:7). This is not prophecy for there are none concerning the Church age in the O.T..
      Israel rejected the New Wine (Jesus Christ) and said the Old Wine (law) was better, had they tasted the New Wine there would be no church age or mystery as spoken above. to be revealed.
      It was a revealed mystery. Sure there are things concerning the Gentiles after the this age. And we can now see types in the Old Testament (Boaz and Ruth) concerning a Gentile bride, but this is hindsight.
      Peter could have had a ham sandwich in Acts 2, but he did not know it till later, by revelation. But this has nothing to do with 1John 2;23 and those 10 added words in italics. Where did they get them? Did the violate Pro. 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Where did they get this advance revelation? Was it from man, God or the devil?
        I just read your comment and you bypassed what I wrote concerning book arrangement, chapters being added and verse numberings and such. There is no scripture support for these either, should we reject these?
      Happy New Year
      · 0 replies
    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
      SCRIPTURAL MARY

      I WALK NOT ON WATER NOR CHANGE IT TO WINE
      SO HEARKEN O’ SINNER TO THIS STORY OF MINE
      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
      A HAND MAID OF LOW ESTATE USED HERE ON EARTH
      MY HAIR IS NOT GENTILE BLOND, I HAVE NOT EYES OF BLUE
      A MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN A DAUGHTER OF A JEW
      FOR JOSEPH MY HUSBAND DID HONOUR OUR BED
      TO FATHER OUR CHILDREN WHO NOW ARE ALL DEAD
      BUT I SPEAK NOT OF THESE WHO I LOVED SO WELL
      BUT OF THE FIRST BORN WHICH SAVED ME FROM HELL
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               2
      WHEN I WAS A VIRGIN UNKNOWN BY MAN
      THE ANGEL OF GOD SPOKE OF GOD’S PLAN
      FOR I HAD BEEN CHOSEN A FAVOUR VESSEL OF CLAY
      TO BARE THE SON OF THE HIGHEST BY AN UNUSUAL WAY
      FOR THE SCRIPTURE FORETOLD OF WHAT WAS TO BE
      SO MY WOMB GOD FILLED WHEN HE OVER SHADOW ME
      BUT THE LAW OF MOSES DID DEMAND MY LIFE
      WOULD JOSEPH MY BETROTHED MAKE ME HIS WIFE
      I THOUGHT ON THESE THINGS WITH SO NEEDLESS FEARS
      BUT A DREAM HE RECEIVED ENDED ALL FEARS
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                              3
      THEN MY SOUL DID REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR
      HE SCATTERED THE PROUD AND BLESS ME WITH FAVOR
      O’ THE RICH ARE EMPTY, THE HUNGRY HAVE GOOD THINGS
      FOR THE THRONE OF DAVID WOULD HAVE JESUS THE KING
      BUT BEFORE I DELIVERED THE MAN CHILD OF OLD
      CAESAR WITH TAXES DEMANDED OUR GOLD
      TO THE CITY OF DAVID JOSEPH AND I WENT
      ON A BEAST OF BURDEN OUR STRENGTH NEAR SPEND
      NO ROOM AT An INN, BUT A STABLE WAS FOUND
      WITH STRAW AND DUNG LAID ON THE GROUND
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
                                                  4
      MY MATRIX WAS OPEN IN A PLACE SO PROFANE
      FROM THE GLORY OF GLORIES TO A BEGGAR’S DOMAIN
      SO WE WRAPPED THE CHILD GIVEN TO THE HEATHEN A STRANGER
      NO REPUTATION IS SOUGHT TO BE BORN IN A MANGER
      HIS STAR WAS ABOVE US THE HOST OF HEAVEN DID SING
      FOR SHEPHERDS AND WISE MEN WORSHIP ONLY THE KING
      BUT HEROD THAT DEVIL SOUGHT FOR HIS SOUL
      AND MURDER RACHEL’S CHILDREN UNDER TWO YEARS OLD
      BUT JOSEPH MY HUSBAND WAS WARNED IN A DREAM
      SO WE FLED INTO EGYPT BECAUSE OF HIS SCHEME
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               5
      SO THE GIVER OF LIFE, THE ROCK OF ALL AGES
      GREW UP TO FULFILL THE HOLY PAGES
      HE PREACH WITH AUTHORITY LIKE NONE BEFORE
      PLEASE TRUST HIS WORDS AND NOT THE GREAT WHORE
      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
      THERE ARE NO NAIL PRINTS IN MY HANDS, MY BODY DID NOT ARISE
      NOR, AM A DEMON OF FATIMA FLOATING IN THE SKY
      THERE IS NO DEITY IN MY VEINS FOR ADAM CAME FROM SOD
      FOR I, AM, MOTHER OF THE SON OF MAN NOT THE MOTHER OF GOD
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
      6
      FOR MY SOUL WAS PURCHASED BY GOD UPON THE CROSS
      FOR MY SINS HE DID SUFFER AN UNMEASURABLE COST
      I WILL NOT STEAL HIS GLORY WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD
      ENDURING SPIT AND THORNS PLACED ON HIS HEAD
      YET, IF YOU WISH TO HONOR ME THEN GIVE ME NONE AT ALL
      BUT TRUST THE LAMB WHO STOOL IN PILATE’S HALL
      CALL NOT ON THIS REDEEMED WOMAN IN YOUR TIME OF FEAR
      FOR I WILL NOT GIVE ANSWER NEITHER WILL I HEAR
      AND WHEN THE BOOKS ARE OPEN AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
      I AMEN YOUR DAMNATION THAT TRUST NOT HIM ALONE
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, O’ SINNER TRUST ME NOT

                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
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