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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      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.

There she goes/ Supreme Court ruling


Potatochip

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I wanted to put this up here.  Your good Christians. You didn't want this to happen of course. We have a  flood of porn.  Television filled with sin among other things.  Just remember God hands people over to a reprobate mind.  The floodgates are open now. I assume they are going to move to make this very acceptable to people I don't know. This could get really rough on a lot of people including the young people. What's good is we still have freedom of speech and we can preach the GOOD NEWS all day day long. The Gospel saves no other way.   Time to get to work.  

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It'll just be a matter of time before that freedom of speech is gone too.  It's already eroding away.

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I've been warning for years the Supreme Court would force homosexual marriage on every State. This, along with many other unconstitutional rulings, should finally end the idea of "we must vote Republican so a Republican will be on the Court".

It was, in part, Republican nominated justices twisting away the Constitution which gave us the new "law of the land" forcing every State to allow homosexual marriage; as well as Obamacare and a host of other bad things.

It's only a matter of time before the government will seek to force full acceptance of homosexuals and homosexual marriage upon every business and institution, including churches, in the name of equality. Eventually, any speech that's deemed anti-homosexual, including quoting Scripture on the matter, will be declared hate speech punishable by huge fines and jail time.

 

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I'm not worried about it.  I don't offend anyone.  I preach Salvation.  If they are offended by that.  Thats the way it is.  It's a constitutional right.  I don't represent any large or affiliated church.    

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I'm not worried about it.  I don't offend anyone.  I preach Salvation.  If they are offended by that.  Thats the way it is.  It's a constitutional right.  I don't represent any large affiliated church.    

The Gospel offends most unfortunately.  The 2nd amendment has been "on the ropes" for decades now.  It's finally gotten to the point where only 52% of Americans think we should have less or stay the same with regards to gun control.  Once that percentage flips the other way and more gun control is accepted and instituted...the 1st amendment will be next.  Preaching the Gospel will be considered hate speech and it will only be allowed within church walls...eventually, the Government will infringe on that as well.  Could be decades away but I think the writing is on the walls.

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No need to worry, we are commanded not to do that, but we should be aware that once they get to the point of declaring certain parts of the Bible "hate speech" it's a small step from there to making other biblical preaching "hate speech" as well.

The Gospel of salvation could easily be declared intolerant and therefore contrary to the rights of equality.

American law is heavily based upon the concept of precedence so once a precedence is set in this area it makes it that much easier for them to go further; something other countries have already done.

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The Gospel offends most unfortunately.  The 2nd amendment has been "on the ropes" for decades now.  It's finally gotten to the point where only 52% of Americans think we should have less or stay the same with regards to gun control.  Once that percentage flips the other way and more gun control is accepted and instituted...the 1st amendment will be next.  Preaching the Gospel will be considered hate speech and it will only be allowed within church walls...eventually, the Government will infringe on that as well.  Could be decades away but I think the writing is on the walls.

Well I'm out there all the time.  I have never even brought up in my remembrance Sodomites when preaching.  I don't preach the government.  I preach the gospel.  Which really has not a lot to do with the government.  I will probably do that till the day I die (hopefully). Now some congregations are going to get in a big fight with sinners over sin.  There going to get into it with the government.  I don't see what a lot of congregations are doing now a days in the NT anywhere.  So I will stay out of it.  My comment addressing that possibly God lets and well this country is covered up in porn ( see my maps on how countries that have legal porn have legalized sodomite marriage ).  Preach the Gospel what God wants. 

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Well I'm out there all the time.  I have never even brought up in my remembrance.  Sodomites when preaching.  I don't preach the government.  I preach the gospel.  Which really has not a lot to do with the government.  I will probably do that till the day I die (hopefully). Now some congregations are going to get in a big fight with sinners over sin.  There going to get into it with the government.  I don't see what a lot of congregations are doing now a days in the NT anywhere.  So I will stay out of it.  My comment addressing that possibly God lets and well this country is covered up in porn ( see my maps on how countries that have legal porn have legalized sodomite marriage ).  Preach the Gospel what God wants. 

I am not saying don't preach the Gospel or don't go out soulwinning.  What I'm saying is the slippery slope has started and it doesn't matter if you preach just the Gospel, it will offend folks and soon it will be considered hate speech.  I must not be presenting my thoughts well enough.

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I am not saying don't preach the Gospel or don't go out soulwinning.  What I'm saying is the slippery slope has started and it doesn't matter if you preach just the Gospel, it will offend folks and soon it will be considered hate speech.  I must not be presenting my thoughts well enough.

Coming through loud and clear!

While it's not yet become a matter of law, there are already many out there who claim the Bible is full of hate, that preaching from the Bible is hate, claiming homosexuality a sin is hate, claiming Jesus is the only way to God/heaven is hate, saying women can't be pastors is hate, the idea of modesty is hate, this that and the other is hate.

Colleges, public schools, courts, businesses, the media and others have done and are still working towards the demonizing of Christianity. At every corner they work against Bible believers, striving to get them viewed as intolerant haters. You can't pray here, you can't pray there, you can't talk about Jesus here, you can't believe what the Bible says...

They follow the same pattern as always. Work to build a negative perception among the general population, then begin pushing for laws against the matter, in the name of equality, and with much of the public already preconditioned to support such the politicians and judges take notice and begin to rule in their favor.

The homosexuality issue will be used as a wedge to drive legal initiatives against Christians. At some point, this will directly effect the preaching of the Gospel.

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I am not saying don't preach the Gospel or don't go out soulwinning.  What I'm saying is the slippery slope has started and it doesn't matter if you preach just the Gospel, it will offend folks and soon it will be considered hate speech.  I must not be presenting my thoughts well enough.

I'm seeing a move (among unbelievers); in which, they are saying that telling children that there's a hell is child abuse. I agree, the slippery slope has started and is getting slicker all the time. I'm sure it won't be long until they try to silence us.

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Oh they can try.  Canada doesn't have freedom of speech in their constitution.   As far as I know.  From what I see on the web you can anything.   More than likely they will assail churches in some way other than that.  Like discrimination that would be my best guess.  If schools are accredited they might have to hire sodomite teachers etc. etc.  I'm sure there are plenty of political action groups you can join and fight back with.  Anyone fearmongering with freedom of speech I have to wonder what they want.  

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I'm seeing a move (among unbelievers); in which, they are saying that telling children that there's a hell is child abuse. I agree, the slippery slope has started and is getting slicker all the time. I'm sure it won't be long until they try to silence us.

There have already been cases where judges have stated they believe Christian teaching is child abuse. Some in the "shrink" world have stated similar.

We've probably all seen/heard the constant linking of fundamentalist Christians with fundamentalist Islamists.

There seems to be a growing number who believe parents having their children attend church or a Christian school is a form of abuse, even to the point some compare it to slavery as they claim the children are deprived of learning and the ability to make up their own mind.

As our pastor says, either we (parents) will help mold and train our children's beliefs and views or the world will conform them to theirs.

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Coming through loud and clear!

While it's not yet become a matter of law, there are already many out there who claim the Bible is full of hate, that preaching from the Bible is hate, claiming homosexuality a sin is hate, claiming Jesus is the only way to God/heaven is hate, saying women can't be pastors is hate, the idea of modesty is hate, this that and the other is hate.

Colleges, public schools, courts, businesses, the media and others have done and are still working towards the demonizing of Christianity. At every corner they work against Bible believers, striving to get them viewed as intolerant haters. You can't pray here, you can't pray there, you can't talk about Jesus here, you can't believe what the Bible says...

They follow the same pattern as always. Work to build a negative perception among the general population, then begin pushing for laws against the matter, in the name of equality, and with much of the public already preconditioned to support such the politicians and judges take notice and begin to rule in their favor.

The homosexuality issue will be used as a wedge to drive legal initiatives against Christians. At some point, this will directly effect the preaching of the Gospel.

What about RevBob, he preaches hate? (why do I wish I was using a proxy and a good firewall now)

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This whole sodomite marriage thing is disgusting watching the news these people together.  Yuck.  I'm glad I don't watch TV at all.  I won't have to see any of this going on.  You see it on the streets but very very little.  Oh that television lol has taken real turn for the worse.  Thank goodness for some of the stuff on the internet.  I won't have to watch that thing (television) again. 

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Outlawing the Bible as hate-speech is next.  Legalized sodomite marriage and free speech cannot coexist....and with that riding on the back of legalized baby-killing.......

Saying that Hell is eternal torment for those who refuse God's love and His  offer of pardon through His blood in Jesus Christ is also going to be framed as "hate-speech".  It's not nice to make anybody think they could possibly face eternal damnation in Hell.

Everything seems to be pointing to the soon upcoming persecution of Christians if the rapture does not happen sooner.

 

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I have been pretty sad to see all the businesses who have added a rainbow to their logo and friends who have added a rainbow to their Facebook profile.  Even the White House added a rainbow.   So much has changed since he 80s and I remember asking my Dad what AIDS was, and why it was in the news.

Religious freedom has been restricted already but it will be gone soon.  The dissenting justices even said as much.

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I have been pretty sad to see all the businesses who have added a rainbow to their logo and friends who have added a rainbow to their Facebook profile.  Even the White House added a rainbow.   So much has changed since he 80s and I remember asking my Dad what AIDS was, and why it was in the news.

Religious freedom has been restricted already but it will be gone soon.  The dissenting justices even said as much.

The U.S. Dept of education had the rainbow behind their facebook avatar for a while but had a lot of complaints so they actually took it off yesterday afternoon.  

The sad truth is in a statistic I heard on FRA radio:  70% of millennials are for sodomite "marriages" verses 49% of baby boomers.  That tells me too many "Christians" have been way too permissive with their children.  I was shocked to find out a lot of IFB Christians that I know personally had actually let their children make the choice to go to church or not when they reached teen years.  Their reasoning, "I didn't want to force it on them and have them rebel and turn away."  Guess what??  They've turned away!!!!  That statistic also shows the impact of public schooling.  It still blows my mind that, "Christians" I personally know, think I am a bit off my rocker for claiming that the godless institution called public school is a sin.  But look at the results.  "Oh if you rear your kids in church, public school wont have an impact"  What a lie straight from satan!  1-3 hours a week in church will never counter 6 hours a day with sodomite loving, God hating, evolution teaching humanists!

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70% of millennials are for sodomite "marriages" verses 49% of baby boomers

Porn, lust are like a lit match near gasoline.  It's just possible this stuff started way  back when.  When they ruled on obscene material.  Once again where you have legal porn you have sodomite marriage or unions.  That's my worry here.  This is just the beginning.  I'm not worried about free speech or religious freedom clearly spelled out.  Where a lot of other derivations they ruled on were not including sodomite marriage.  That 70 percent (young people) millennials are at high risk now of being swept into the vortex of the sodomite lifestyle.  TV is going to make all of this highly popular.  Wise thing for a parent to do is chuck the TV and the computer or take measures.  That includes the cell phone.  I am not sending money to defend free speech or religious freedom to anyone that's very plain.  Nor sit around wringing my hands saying this is surely then end there's going to be a lot of that God told Abraham is there is one righteous man left he would not destroy Sodom.   What I am going to try to do is preach the gospel to every young person or get them a tract I can find.  Even going out of my way.   

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Unfortunately the so-called "Greatest Generation" gave us the rebellious liberal youth that worked hard to wreck America in the 60s and 70s. The Baby Boomers were even more lax with their offspring, as has those who have come since. Most children, youth and even young adults today have spent nearly their whole lives awash in liberal, secular, sinful indoctrination through public schools, TV, movies, "news", government, colleges, music and even much of what they picked up from their parents.

Sadly, in many Christian households it's not much different. Our pastor often points out that when parents say they don't want to push Christianity on their children, that they are just going to let them decide for themselves what they want to do because they don't want to influence them, what they are really saying is they don't care enough to do what's right for their children and they are going to allow the world to influence them instead, pushing them to accept and adopt the secular, sinful ways of the world. Even so, some parents just go right ahead and let little Billy and Bonnie skip church in favor of watching a movie on TV, playing video games, or engaging in some other secular matter.

It's interesting to notice that such parents will readily admit their children aren't able to make various important decisions on their own yet when it comes to Christianity they think somehow their children know enough to make the right decisions.

Christian parents complain about the stuff their children pick up and copy from public schools but they keep sending them there. Later, these same parents spend thousands of dollars to send their children to secular schools where their children learn all about how to get drunk fast, dress to quickly attract sexual attention, and receive a full dose of anti-Christian propaganda. Then they wonder why their college age darlings come home pregnant, become drunks, think Christianity is the white man's religion of dominance over women and non-whites, hold socialist and communist ideas.

We all know the "sports first" factor which infects many Christian families and leaves many pews empty and Sunday school seats unused because children involved in every sport under the sun, even during church hours, is far more important than the state of their souls and eternal destiny.

We can sound the alarm, provide biblical guidance, but if the parents let it go in one ear and out the other there is little more that we can do. That puts their children at great risk and sets the stage for things to be even worse for their own children in this area. Meanwhile, the average age in most biblically sound churches today grows older each year as children, youth and young adults choose the world over the things of God.

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