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         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.

Titus


Alan
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Too many pastors/churches today proclaim with an air of "holiness" they don't care about doctrine, they just want to follow Jesus. Sure, sounds good to the unlearned and biblically illiterate masses, but it's not in accord with Scripture or actually following Jesus!

How can folks follow Jesus if they don't know what Jesus said, don't know what God expects of His people, don't know the foundations of the faith, all of which is DOCTRINE.

Forget carrying a Bible with you to church, never mind even having one at home (no time to read that anyway), just listen to a pleasant sermon at church, maybe catch a pleasant radio or TV preacher, play some Hillsong music, toss a little prayer in here and there, say "amen" once in awhile, and there ya go, following Jesus with no need to bother with that pesky doctrine.

Sounds more like a huge water slide they are on with no sure idea of where it leads or ends. In other words: DANGER!

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The Aged Women

     Verse 3 - 5

     (3) The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

     (4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

     (5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Paul now writes about, and to, the aged women. As with the men, Paul is dealing with their behaviour. It is very obvious that Paul expects that our walk with the Lord will produce good fruit, or behaviour. Paul is correct. As we abide in Christ, the Lord Jesus produces good fruit in our heart and outward behaviour.

There are a total of twelve characteristics that Paul mentions. The first four, in verse 3, deal with their personal walk while the other eight, in verse 4 and 5, deal with teaching the younger women. We will comment on them in that manner.

We also need to take careful note that when a woman professes to be a Christian, and is not godly, and is in bad behaviour, then, she brings reproach upon Christ and the word of God is blasphemed by the lost.

One of the benefits of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been the uplifting of the status of women wherever the gospel is preached and taught. This has been true to the Chinese society in general and to the women in particular. Generally speaking, pagan beliefs and worldly philosophy downgrades women while Christianity upgrades them.

In the history of Christianity in China this was brought out dramatically. In order to better understand the situation in China better we will quote somewhat extensively from the foremost historical record on China, The Cambridge History of China:

Traditionally, Chinese women were expected to show total submissiveness before parents and Husband within the family, while their opportunities for self-expression and social involvement outside the family were minimal. Formal education for females was non-existent. Women were forbidden to compete in the civil service examinations or to serve in any official capacity. The prevalence of concubinage, female infanticide and above all of the custom of footbinding stood as both symbol and consequence of the inferior social position occupied by the Chinese female. (Vol. 10).[1]

 

As Christianity was introduced, and accepted, by the Chinese society, some of the pagan practices, such as; illiteracy among women, inferior social position of women, foot-binding, and infanticide were done away with.

The Aged Women’s Personal Walk

     1. Holiness.

      Our walk with the Lord produces holiness. The closer one walks with the Lord the more that person realizes their unworthiness and the holiness of God. Hopefully, by the time a woman is old

she will have holiness in her life. This characteristic is true with women in all ages. A women who is godly, or virtuous, is an outward sign of her devotion to God. And, she is valuable in the sight of God and in her husband. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

A godly woman, of any age, is a blessing to all those lives that she comes in contact with. And, because she fully trusts in God for her needs, God will move others to help her in her wants. Ruth is a shining example of a godly and virtuous woman.

     Boaz said of Ruth, “And now, my daughter, fear not; for I will do thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” Ruth 3:11

     2. Not False Accusers.

     God does not want anything false in our lives. This includes hypocritical actions and words. Sometimes, when a person listens to, and gossips about others, then eventually they believe and spread false accusations about others. God wants the aged women, (and all of us I may add), to stop spreading false accusations about others. “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:5 & 6

     Any time we hear of an accusation against another we need to go to that person and get the truth about the matter. Then, if the matter is false, we need to tell the person who told the false accusation to stop spreading gossip.

     3. Not Given to much wine.

     As in 1 Timothy 5:23, wine is only permissible for medicinal purposes.

     4. Teachers of Good Things.

     A lot of times, women are the best teachers to others, especially to children and young adults. They usually have more patience and concern for others than men do. God can use this ability to teach others by letting the women teach children and young adults in church, camps, Vacation Bible Schools (VBS), ladies meetings, and other church activities.

     Aged women usually have a lot of wisdom that they can pass on to others that young people do not always have.

The Aged Women Teaching the Younger Women

God has given aged women in the faith, talents, and wisdom that no other person has. Naomi taught Ruth how to take care of Boaz. Please study Ruth 3:1-5. Ruth 3:6 then says, “And she [Ruth] went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law [Naomi] bade her.” God used Naomi to teach Ruth how to act with Boaz, afterward, Boaz married Ruth. Then God used their marriage to bring about the eventual birth of Jesus Christ through their lineage.

It was an aged woman, Elisabeth, that Mary, the mother of Jesus, went to when she realized that she was pregnant with the Lord Jesus, Luke 1:24-56. In fact, the scriptures tell us that Mary was with Elisabeth for three months; Luke 1:56, “And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.” During those three months Elisabeth, among other things, explained to Mary how to take care of her husband to-be, Joseph, and her future child, Jesus.

In order to become a good help to their own husbands, the younger women need to be taught by the older women, in how to be a godly woman and wife.

8 additional characteristics of a Godly Aged Woman

Paul now writes to Titus, and to all of his saints, eight characteristics that the aged women should have in order to teach the younger women how to serve the Lord.

     1. To be Sober.

     Like the pastor, and the aged men, the mature women in the church need to be sober in body and in spirit.

     2. To Love their Husbands.

      Men need love. Men need love that comes from the heart and physical love. Like Adam, we need to have a help-meet to take care of us. Only a woman can provide this love. I fully understand that at times, men do not deserve love, but we still need it. Maybe this is why God commanded women to love their husbands?

     3. To Love their Children.

      Most women have a deep maternal love that men do not possess. This is God-given, and with the help of the aged women, the younger women can fully develop this maternal love. Children come from the Lord. It is God that blesses the fruit of the womb. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3

A godly woman realizes that her children come from God and she will love those children as a gift from God. She will be like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11. Hannah was a godly woman who knew that God prevented her from having children so she prayed that God would give her a child. When God answered her prayer with the birth of Samuel, she raised him up as a child sent from God.

     In these last days, we are seeing women lose their natural love for children and having their babies in the womb aborted. These women are in direct rebellion to the will of God in aborting children.

     4. To be discreet.

      The meaning of discreet is; (1) having or showing discernment or good judgment in conduct and speech: prudent. A woman who desires to be godly will show good discernment in her conduct and in her speech. She will be discreet.

      The best one to teach a young woman to be a godly woman is an older, mature, godly woman. The world, and all of its modern methods of communication, cannot teach a woman how to be discreet.

     5. Chaste.

     The meaning of chaste is; (1) innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse. (2) pure in thought and act: modest. Again, the world cannot teach a younger woman to be chaste. In fact, the world teaches the exact opposite. Men who are ungodly want to have intercourse with as many women as possible and the world will permit, and encourage, women to not be chaste.

     God wants His women, yea, and every saint, to be pure in body. God will judge all those who commit fornication and/or adultery. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4. God wants His women to be chaste and to be modest in dress and in actions.

     A godly woman will dress modestly, an ungodly woman will not. In Proverbs 7:6-23 God gives us an illustration of a whorish woman. In that passage, God lets us know that women who are not chaste, will try to attract men who want to have unlawful intercourse, by the way they dress. Proverbs 7:10 says, “And, behold there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.” Like Satan, a harlot uses subtlety to deceive men. In this case, a harlot uses her clothing, or lack of clothing, to attract a man.

     A Godly woman will dress modestly: an ungodly woman will not dress modestly. God wants those women who desire to know Him, and His word, to be chaste.

     6. Keepers at Home.

     The proper place for a godly woman is at home taking care of the physical needs of her husband and children. “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

     In these last days, due to the pride of many women, ungodly women do not desire to stay at home and raise a family. They are more interested in making money and proving themselves to be like men. This type of ungodly attitude is in direct rebellion against God.

     Godly women will realize that her proper place is at home taking care of the physical and emotional needs of her husband and her children. A house becomes a home because the wife brings happiness, love, joy, and companionship to her family.

     It is natural, and godly, for a woman to stay at home and take care of the needs of her family. It is unnatural, and ungodly, for a woman to leave her family and try to compete in the world for money, pleasures, and worldly possessions.

     7. Good.

     The meaning of good is: (1) Sufficient of satisfactory for its purpose, (2) Possessing attractive qualities; specifically: (a) kind; friendly, (b) well behaved, and (3) Virtuous; also, pious or devout.

     “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10. The aged women are to teach, and be an example to, how the younger women should be good or virtuous. They should teach the younger women how to be satisfactory to their purpose as a wife to their husband. A woman was specifically made to satisfy the physical needs of a man, her husband. If a woman is good, then she will satisfy her husband, if she is bad, then she will not satisfy the physical needs of her husband.

     “Neither was the man created for the woman: but the woman for the man.” 1 Corinthians 11:9. The scriptures are very plain that God created women for men. And, all attempts to go against the natural use of a woman are in direct rebellion against God.

     Also, a good woman will be pious or devout. She will be a godly woman. She will not only be a Christian, but she will serve the Lord with a happy, friendly attitude. The end result of a good, or virtuous, woman is a happy and joyful home.

     8. Obedient to their Own Husbands.

     “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Ephesians 5: 22-24

     The aged, mature, godly women are to teach the younger women to submit to their husbands. Whether or not her husband is saved, or living for the Lord, is immaterial. All women are commanded to be in submission to their own husbands. “Unto the woman [Eve] he [God] said, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16. It is natural for a woman to desire her husband to rule over her and unnatural for a woman to desire to be disobedient to her husband.

I know that his is contrary to the teaching of our modern era, but it is still applicable to the woman who desires to serve the Lord and follow the commandments in the scriptures.

Submission to another person is one of the hardest attributes a person can develop. Humility is the exact opposite of pride and pride is in the heart of all of us. So, this is probably the hardest characteristic that a woman needs to develop.

      An example of a godly woman in submission to her own husband is Sarah. “Even as Sara [Sarah] obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” 1 Peter 3:6

     Genesis 18:12 reveals to all of us how Sarah, in her heart, felt about Abraham, “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord [Abraham] being old also?” In Sarah’s heart and life, Abraham was her lord. Because Sarah was a godly woman, she obeyed and followed Abraham. A woman who becomes a Christian is a spiritual daughter of Sarah. As a spiritual daughter of Sarah, she he needs to follow Sarah’s example. A Christian woman, who desires to walk in the Spirit, will treat her husband as her lord. If she does, then she becomes, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband. She is a rare jewel indeed.

     A virtuous woman compliments the man, but, conversely, a woman that is not virtuous, and will not obey her husband, brings disrespect to her husband and is not a godly woman.

     A woman who is not virtuous is like Queen Vashti in Esther chapter 1. Queen Vashti would not be obedient to her husband, King Ahasuerus. Please note that King Ahasuerus may or not have been a godly man. That is not the question. A lot of haughty women say that they do not have to be obedient to an ungodly husband. That is not true, nor is it a good excuse to disobey God.

     So Vashti, for whatever reason she gave, caused King Ahasuerus shame in front of his people, and his subordinates. This disrespectful attitude of Queen Vashti eventually destroyed her marriage. That is usually the result, or fruit, of a woman being disobedient to her own husband, (saved, or lost). Vashti, like other disobedient women, are as rottenness to their husbands lives.

     Queen Vashti, like a lot of the women in the feminist movement, do not truly love their husbands, nor are they virtuous women. Most modern women, especially in the feminist movement, are haughty, fame seekers and desire to prove they can be like a man. They do not want to have Christ as their Lord nor do they want to submit to anybody. It is a sad situation indeed.

Godly Women - Conclusion

In conclusion, the Christian woman who desires to follow Christ should seek to have all of the above qualities that Paul mentions here in her life. These characteristics will enable her to have a clear conscience and a happy home. Also, because there is a spiritual battle between God and Satan, Satan desires to destroy the Christian and his home. A virtuous woman can prevent Satan from wrecking their home and bringing reproach upon God and His word.

Why? Paul told us the answer to that question, “…that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

 

 

[1] Fairbank, John K. and Denis Twitchett The Cambridge History of China. (Vol. 10. Taipei, Taiwan: Caves Books, Ltd., 1986) Page 582.

Edited by Alan
grammer spelling Aug. 21, 2016
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Many pastors seem afraid to preach on this! So much radical feminism has crept into the churches that even though they are saved many older women carry over much of that radical feminism they grew up in the midst of, or even participated in years ago. It's so common to see the older women chop their hair off so they look like a man, especially from the back, to gather together in a group with little opening for others, and to either try and backseat drive or outright run the church.

Those older women in the Lord who actually live for the Lord and keep His Word stand out in stark, beautiful contrast to those above. Not only their godly hair, but their godly demeanor and servants hearts shine bright the light of Christ. These women are open to befriending the younger women, to hear their questions, to spend time helping them and to disciple them.

What a great blessing a few mature godly women are in a church! I don't understand why some Christian women think being a biblical, godly women is demeaning or beneath them.

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Many pastors seem afraid to preach on this! So much radical feminism has crept into the churches that even though they are saved many older women carry over much of that radical feminism they grew up in the midst of, or even participated in years ago. It's so common to see the older women chop their hair off so they look like a man, especially from the back, to gather together in a group with little opening for others, and to either try and backseat drive or outright run the church.

Those older women in the Lord who actually live for the Lord and keep His Word stand out in stark, beautiful contrast to those above. Not only their godly hair, but their godly demeanor and servants hearts shine bright the light of Christ. These women are open to befriending the younger women, to hear their questions, to spend time helping them and to disciple them.

What a great blessing a few mature godly women are in a church! I don't understand why some Christian women think being a biblical, godly women is demeaning or beneath them.

John 81,

Thank you for your observation. Radical feminism ( and other forms of activism), has indeed crept into our churches and, like a cancer, has destroyed some of our women into ungodly thinking and behavoir. The thinking that being submissive to her husband is demeaning, or beneath them, is not godly but worldly. God gave each individual their own natural talents, or abilities, and they need to use their talents and abilities as God plainly wrote in the scriptures.  Pride and haughtiness (among other ungodly attributes), are the 'marks' of a radical femenist. 

In our age, all forms of 'activism' are destroying, and 'spoiling,' the thought and behavoir process of many men, women, and children in our churches. So often Christians  make their decisions based upon the philosophy of the world, or the news of the day, or the political correctness, and not on a daily walk with the Lord Jesus.

The apostle Paul saw this problem in his age. Paul wrote, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, and the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8  

Alan

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John 81,

Thank you for your observation. Radical feminism ( and other forms of activism), has indeed crept into our churches and, like a cancer, has destroyed some of our women into ungodly thinking and behavoir. The thinking that being submissive to her husband is demeaning, or beneath them, is not godly but worldly. God gave each individual their own natural talents, or abilities, and they need to use their talents and abilities as God plainly wrote in the scriptures.  Pride and haughtiness (among other ungodly attributes), are the 'marks' of a radical femenist. 

In our age, all forms of 'activism' are destroying, and 'spoiling,' the thought and behavoir process of many men, women, and children in our churches. So often Christians  make their decisions based upon the philosophy of the world, or the news of the day, or the political correctness, and not on a daily walk with the Lord Jesus.

The apostle Paul saw this problem in his age. Paul wrote, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, and the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8  

Alan

One of the big areas I see "activist" problems is among those who take to the so-called "social gospel" and the political activists.

The social gospel crowd loves to try and guilt trip people into supporting big government solutions to the problems Scripture clearly teaches that individual Christians and local churches are to tend to. Nowhere does Scripture even hint that Christians should try and make governments do what they themselves are called to do.

Meanwhile the political activists tend to promote electing Republicans as the answer to so many things, and every four years we hear that if only there was a Republican president the nation would get so much better. Since 1968 we have had five Republican presidents and the country has continued to get worse. Even with six years of a Republican president and Republican controlled congress the country went from bad to worse. There is nothing wrong with voting but the only real help for America is revival and another Great Awakening.

We find ourselves at a time when many professing Christians are willing to be active in the social gospel and political activists arena, many others are content to hunker down in their homes or churches and hide from the world, and only a few are willing to pray, fast, share the Gospel, disciple and build the kingdom of God.

Trump, Cruz, Paul or Bush in the White House won't stop America from continuing down the wrong road. Hillary, Biden or Sanders in the White House won't bring an end to poverty or humans suffering.

Salvation in Jesus Christ, living for Christ, that is what the lost and dying in America needs and the only hope America has.

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Anybody else have any thoughts, or subjects in this lesson, that you want discussed before we go to the next lesson in Titus?  :coffee2: I'll take a cup of coffee while I wait.

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How do godly men (pastors, husbands, dads, etc.) try to rightly address this problem with those saved women who are entangled with radical feminist ideas?

A very important part of this is the men in those women's lives. How do we encourage, teach and help the weak or unlearned or even fearful men in their lives who should be instructing their wives, daughters, congregation, to recognize worldly thoughts and ways; to cast such off and put on the Lord Jesus Christ?

I've only had very limited success in this area and have only ever seen limited success from others who have tried to deal with this matter. Most of the women infected with radical feminism are set in their ways and have convinced themselves their views are in line with Scripture. They tend to become very defensive at the simple mention of the topic and are most often quick to take the offense if the subject isn't immediately dropped. Meanwhile, the men in their lives are often also infected with some aspects of radical feminism, while also being at least somewhat biblically ignorant, and are too weak willed and fearful to even consider trying to address the matter.

 

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I have enjoyed reading this study and have been blessed by it.  I don't usually take part with comments, but I do have some thoughts that I 'd like to share in response to John81.  However I cannot comment just yet because I have a houseful of company.  I will pray that the Lord would bring the opportune time for me, and that He would give me the utterance in what I say that would be both encouraging and be a blessing.

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WellWithMySoul,

I am very happy that the Lord has blessed you with the study. We do welcome your participation as you feel led to comment.

Alan

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The Young Men

Titus 2:6-8

     Verse 6-8

     (6) Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

     (7) In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing incorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

     (8) Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Again, as in the situation with all believers, a belief in sound doctrine will bring holiness, and good works, to our lives. The young men are admonished to have the following characteristics.

     1. To Be Sober.

     Sober means, “(1) unhurried; calm; (2) marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character of demeanor.”

     As in the life of the pastor, aged men and women, the young believer in Christ needs to be sober in their lives. A young man who is rash in his disposition is not of much value to the work of the Lord. Our decisions and actions need to be marked by prayer and thoughtful demeanor.

     A classic example of a young man who was not sober-minded was King Rehoboam. Please study 1 Kings 12:1-20. Because of the rashness and ungrateful character of Rehoboam, he made an irrational decision and destroyed the nation of Israel.

     2. A Pattern of Good Works.

     The good works that are of a spiritual nature is faithful in church attendance, soul winning, Bible studies, prayer, and faithful giving of their tithes and offerings and helping others in their time of needs. The young man that truly wants to follow the lord needs to be consistent in his service in the church.

      3. Sound in Doctrine.

      As in all of Paul’s’ epistles he stresses the need to be sound in doctrine. This is the fifth time in the book of Titus that Paul mentioned the necessity of sound doctrine in the life of the believer: i.e., 1:9, 13 2:1 and 2. Sound doctrine will help us in our service to the Lord and will enable us to please the Lord. If a saint desires to please the Lord than he will learn sound doctrine.

     4. Gravity.

     The definition for gravity is: (1) State or quality of being grave; seriousness; solemnity; importance; enormity.

     Again, like the aged men, the young men of the church need to be grave. We need to realize that life is serious in nature and that our decisions will affect our lives and the lives of those around us. This includes the eternal things as well.

     The opposite of being grave is being foolish. God does not want the men of the church to be a foolish person in any aspect. When we are not grave, but act foolishly, in our lives we bring reproach to the Lord. “Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” Proverbs 9:6

     5. Sincerity.

     A person who is sincere can, usually, be believed and trusted in his speech and actions. God knows our hearts, motives and intentions. He knows whether or not we are sincere in our dedication to Christ. It should be our desire to serve the Lord out of a sincere, or truthful, heart. Joshua said it best when he said, “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.” Joshua 24:14

     A person who is insincere will say anything that will get him ahead in his life and is untrustworthy. He is a hypocrite in his service to the Lord, and anybody else for that matter, and should be avoided at all costs.

     It is very interesting to note that people, lost or saved, who are insincere in their work, will eventually corrupt whatever work they do. This is because their motive is wrong. It seems to me, their true motive is to serve their own agenda or their denominations agenda, and/or doctrinal slant.

     For example. Modern Bible translators are not really sincere, or honest, in their reasoning for revising the Bible. One of the real main reasons for modern translators revising the Bible is to promote their own denomination. This is why the Catholics have their Douay-Rheims Bible, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have their New World Translation, the liberals have their Revised Standard Version, the Mormons have their Book of Mormon, and the various religious denominations all have their own version of the Bible that they promote.

     Besides promoting their own religious beliefs, another reason why modern Bible translators revise the Bible is for money. This is why we have the Living Bible, The New American Standard Bible, The New International Version (NIV), the New King James Bible, and other translations coming out every year. Making new translations of the Bible for people to purchase is a real moneymaker. The Bile calls this, “filthy lucre.”

     The end result of men being insincere is corruption. Paul said it best when he said, “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:17. As God is sincere (honest), so should we.

     6. Sound Speech.

     Our speech should be of a nature that after we finished talking, nobody could find fault with it. That, my friend, is not easy to do and it behooves all of us to think clearly before we speak and to hold our tongue as we should.

     This includes controlling our boasting, foul language, gossiping, bitter, and spiteful words, cursing and any other type of wrong language. God will judge us for what we say and how we say it. The Lord Jesus said, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

     “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:10

   “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

Characteristics of Young Men Conclusion

In conclusion, Paul is teaching the young men of the church, and may I add, to all of us in some ways, that our words, motives and actions should be of good nature that the world will not be able to say anything evil about us. By way of a personal testimony, I know that is not easy to do, as we all fail on occasion, but we should attempt, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to do better.

Often, I have to remind myself of the prayer of David in the regard of my own speech. “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3

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Another problem area in most churches which needs addressed.

Today there is often the argument of who are "young men"? When the epistle was written, and for nearly 20 centuries afterward, those in what we call their "teens" were considered young men. In today's youth worshiping culture that's no longer the case and this has greatly impacted churches. Even in many churches today the idea of being a child practically until out of high school and then still being considered a youth until well into their 20s or 30s is all too common.

I've noticed over the past several years many ads for IFB youth camps, retreats and events have taken on a look similar to that of worldly ads for those age groups in that they highlight youthfulness, youthful play, excitement, adventure. Anything regarding Christ, salvation, growth in the Lord, Bible study, prayer, are all in the small print, if mentioned at all in the ads.

As mentioned previously, it's difficult these days to get mature men in Christ involved with the youth or young men of a church. Some churches even heavily segregate most of the congregation, likely with good intentions but also with some bad consequences. There are groups for "seniors", women's groups, married women groups, single women groups, a men's group that's often more older men, etc. While there can be a place for some of these, such shouldn't come at the expense of separating the boys and young men from the older men.

Seeing some of the problems we can know what needs to be done but how do we get it done?

When do we start expecting boys to start acting like young men? How do we get the older men to stop pretending they are 17 or 21 and "cool"? How do we get both groups to take their God given roles seriously?

Then, how do we get the church moms to agree their "precious little baby boys" (13-18+) should be trained to be young men, be putting childish things behind, taking on more and more adult attitudes, manners and responsibilities? In some cases even the dads have problems in this area.

Should a high school aged Sunday school or youth group be much more like the pre-high school groups or the adult groups?

How do we instruct the young men in our churches to be godly young men while treating them like larger sized children?

Even with my own children it's been a tough job because they would get one message at home (along the biblical lines in this study) but would get contrary messages everywhere else; often even in church. I actually had a neighbor accuse me of child abuse because my two sons, about 7 and 12 at the time, were helping me rake leaves in our yard! That's how many think these days, even in our churches.

I'm 100% for parents and churches instructing, training and bringing up children and young men and women in accord with Scripture. This should be a natural extension of helping to lead our children to salvation in Christ and discipleship.

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Brethren,

John81 brought out some good valid points in his above post.

Young men need to be mature in the faith and in their behavoir. Sometimes, it is apparent that a lot of our Youth Activities, Church Camps, VBS's, and other youth activities are not maturing them in the faith but are just letting the youth to have fun in a Christian environment.

Anybody else have some thoughts along this line of discussion? Do you agree or disagree? What can be done about it? At what age is a young man a young man and not an adult? Are we expecting too much?

Is the answer that our churches should have stronger Bible studies? Is the answer that we should re-direct church Youth Activity efforts into less games and more intense Bible groups? Maybe re-direct our your activities into organized soul-winning efforts?  Any areas of discussion that I missed? Can anybody give us good examples of Youth Activities that have proven beneficial in developing mature, doctrinally sound, young men?

Alan

 

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Forget carrying a Bible with you to church, never mind even having one at home (no time to read that anyway), just listen to a pleasant sermon at church, maybe catch a pleasant radio or TV preacher, play some Hillsong music, toss a little prayer in here and there, say "amen" once in awhile, and there ya go, following Jesus with no need to bother with that pesky doctrine.

Sounds more like a huge water slide they are on with no sure idea of where it leads or ends. In other words: DANGER!

I have never understood how someone can come to church without their own Bible.  To me, that indicates that there is no sincere intention to attempt to engage with the sermon.  The pastor at the church we were at several year ago didn't see anything wrong with it.  He commented that they tend to use the Bibles in the pews.  It still boggles my mind.  I have to have a Bible I'm used to with me, one I can mark up, etc.

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Brethren,

John81 brought out some good valid points in his above post.

Young men need to be mature in the faith and in their behavoir. Sometimes, it is apparent that a lot of our Youth Activities, Church Camps, VBS's, and other youth activities are not maturing them in the faith but are just letting the youth to have fun in a Christian environment.

Anybody else have some thoughts along this line of discussion? Do you agree or disagree? What can be done about it? At what age is a young man a young man and not an adult? Are we expecting too much?

Is the answer that our churches should have stronger Bible studies? Is the answer that we should re-direct church Youth Activity efforts into less games and more intense Bible groups? Maybe re-direct our your activities into organized soul-winning efforts?  Any areas of discussion that I missed? Can anybody give us good examples of Youth Activities that have proven beneficial in developing mature, doctrinally sound, young men?

Alan

 

The worst thing we can do is segregate the kids from the church as a whole.  We have been mostly in small churches, churches that did not have children's programs (because there were barely any children there) so our son grew up in church with adults.  As a result, he has always been "part" of the church.  We started our current church 2-3 years ago, our son was the only youth there, and they started putting him to work.  He takes up the offering.  There does need to be activities for the youth, because they have different interests and needs specific to their age group, but it should be at a different day/time, not as an alternative to being in with the adults.  Think of the church as a one-room schoolhouse.  The younger kids would learn more quickly because they would hear the lessons for the older, and the older would learn their subjects more thoroughly because they would help tutor the younger ones in the subjects they were learning.  The one room schoolhouse epitomized discipleship.

Growing up we would have BYF (Baptist Youth Fellowship) before evening service, then we were in the evening service with the adults.  The youth were encouraged to go to prayer circle and to sing in the choir.  The young boys typically took up the offering.  Every fifth Sunday the youth would conduct the service, with the youth pastor giving the message unless the youth had some kind of pageant to put on.  It worked very well at our church.  But that was many years ago.

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Many pastors seem afraid to preach on this! So much radical feminism has crept into the churches that even though they are saved many older women carry over much of that radical feminism they grew up in the midst of, or even participated in years ago. It's so common to see the older women chop their hair off so they look like a man, especially from the back, to gather together in a group with little opening for others, and to either try and backseat drive or outright run the church.

Those older women in the Lord who actually live for the Lord and keep His Word stand out in stark, beautiful contrast to those above. Not only their godly hair, but their godly demeanor and servants hearts shine bright the light of Christ. These women are open to befriending the younger women, to hear their questions, to spend time helping them and to disciple them.

What a great blessing a few mature godly women are in a church! I don't understand why some Christian women think being a biblical, godly women is demeaning or beneath them.

This is an example of how strong a foothold the world's philosophy has in the church.  The idea of being in submission to one's husband and in submission to the leadership of the church does not sit well with most women today.  You have to start with the little girls and raise them up in the biblical role of women.  You need godly women who believe and practice their biblical role to teach the young women and to tell and demonstrate to the older ladies.  I'm afraid that without the conviction of the Holy Spirit the women who are already established in this evil mindset can't be reasoned with and won over to the truth -- it is deeply ingrained.  If the men try to tackle the issue it tends to build resentment.  That is not to say that preachers avoid the topic, but it does need to be a team effort.  But probably the most effective means is to have the older godly women training, teaching and working with the younger.

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Re Titus 2:3-5

Now being in the "aged women" category, I can look back and more readily see what would've been much more helpful to me when I was a young lady.  Indeed, when I was young... "radical feminism" (I call it "grave disobedience") was beginning to be practiced in full force.  Trying to consider the "whole matter" over the years while striving to personally be obedient in a way pleasing and glorifying to the Lord, I've found that there are roots of disobedience by both genders.  There is no excuse or justification for either.  Just as in the beginning in the garden - Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, etc. - the "natural" part of us wants to escape personal responsibility for our own areas of disobedience.  Without question, disobedience (sin) needs to be warned and preached against!  However, it must be motivated by truth, yet immersed with a Godly attitude and love considering one's self.  Much wisdom must be sought after, to prevent a "false balance" of responsibility.

As a young lady maturing in the Lord, more times than not I was quite discouraged by the "warnings" from the pulpit against "radical feminism".  From my experience, there was an extreme of responsibility put on the saved women while there was rather a void of balance concerning the need for the saved men to lead women as God set forth for them to.  So, what would've been more encouraging to me personally?  Over the years the Lord has taught me much about the need to focus on His truths above over-focusing on my weaknesses, failures, and sin (Eph. 4:22-24 - "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; * And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; * And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness").  It would've been encouraging to not only be challenged by the "warnings" against disobedience, but also to be encouraged by the blessings and joys of being obedient.  Negativity and dark perspectives come easily for mankind, but "looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith" encourages favorable hope and reminds us of the triumph we can have in Christ.

Ps. 18:28 - "For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness."  Ps. 119:105 - "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  Ps. 43:3 - "O send out thy light and thy truths: let THEM lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles."

I want to diligently concentrate and focus on the lamp for my feet and the light for my path (the Word), for then the darkness will be enlightened.  I want to focus more on where I need to go in obedience than on where I shouldn't go in disobedience.  There has been a very real void of zeal towards the absolute blessing, the joy, the sweetness, and the "reward" of being obedient to the scriptural roles that God has commanded of us. God did not set up the roles to cause misery and to tempt rebellion, but rather to encourage trusting Him, and to be able to rejoice in our respective roles.  Each role that God has given to us ought to be celebrated for what it is, for each is for our own good and each defines clarity to prevent the very chaos that prevails today.  Do each of us truly, genuinely know the joy and privilege of getting to submit and be in obedience to our particular roles?  We all ought to rejoice and appreciate with a Godly fear and trust, that HIS ways truly are far above ours!

"A good leader is first a good follower of Jesus Christ."  "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. * And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him" (I John 3:18-19).   

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I have never understood how someone can come to church without their own Bible.  To me, that indicates that there is no sincere intention to attempt to engage with the sermon.  The pastor at the church we were at several year ago didn't see anything wrong with it.  He commented that they tend to use the Bibles in the pews.  It still boggles my mind.  I have to have a Bible I'm used to with me, one I can mark up, etc.

Some years ago when we had to look for a new church home my oldest son and I visited a church to find out more about it. My son and I were literally the only ones either of us saw with a Bible that morning. Even the preacher didn't bring a Bible to the podium! The preacher read Bible verses he copied on paper, and used a half-dozen or more verses. They had two big screens which they showed the verses, from the various Bible versions, as the pastor read them. It's no wonder nobody bothered to carry a Bible, they would have to carry at least six Bibles to church to be able to follow the sermon.

We recently purchased new pew Bibles for those who need them, but most of the regulars carry their own. We have a pretty good attendance for our adult Sunday school classes, which pretty much requires a Bible to be able to follow along and participate.

Our church put up a retractable screen a couple of years ago so they can put the Bible verses on the screen and the words to the hymns for our growing number of members with old eyes that can no longer see well enough to read from the hymnal or a Bible. We are also looking into updating the lighting to try and help those who, if they had better lighting, could read their large print Bibles.

We always carry our own Bibles and always have.

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The worst thing we can do is segregate the kids from the church as a whole.  We have been mostly in small churches, churches that did not have children's programs (because there were barely any children there) so our son grew up in church with adults.  As a result, he has always been "part" of the church.  We started our current church 2-3 years ago, our son was the only youth there, and they started putting him to work.  He takes up the offering.  There does need to be activities for the youth, because they have different interests and needs specific to their age group, but it should be at a different day/time, not as an alternative to being in with the adults.  Think of the church as a one-room schoolhouse.  The younger kids would learn more quickly because they would hear the lessons for the older, and the older would learn their subjects more thoroughly because they would help tutor the younger ones in the subjects they were learning.  The one room schoolhouse epitomized discipleship.

Growing up we would have BYF (Baptist Youth Fellowship) before evening service, then we were in the evening service with the adults.  The youth were encouraged to go to prayer circle and to sing in the choir.  The young boys typically took up the offering.  Every fifth Sunday the youth would conduct the service, with the youth pastor giving the message unless the youth had some kind of pageant to put on.  It worked very well at our church.  But that was many years ago.

We've always had our children with us during services. Most in our church do this but some put their children into Children's church. Our church limits Children's church to a certain age (I can't recall off hand what it is, but young) so that parents can't just keep putting their children in Children's church as they get older. Also, during the summer months we don't have Children's church as an incentive to help parents get used to having their children in the services with them.

We had a good, new IFB church plant a couple blocks from our house when we first moved here. There were only our children (two at the time) and a couple other children in the church. We went door knocking, we hung our information on door knobs across the town and found many folks interested in the church, except...they didn't like that the church didn't have a vibrant children/youth program. We tried to explain that we didn't have such because we didn't have children or youth to have one yet but if they joined then we could get those programs going. Family after family which expressed interest chose to remain in scritpurally weaker church with lots of stuff for the young'ens rather than move to the IFB church. Eventually the sending church pulled support and the pastor and his family were sent elsewhere.

We need our children and youth active, but they need to be doing that which will help them become responsible adults and saved disciples of Christ.

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On 2015/9/9 at 6:22 AM, WellWithMySoul said:

Re Titus 2:3-5

Now being in the "aged women" category, I can look back and more readily see what would've been much more helpful to me when I was a young lady.  Indeed, when I was young... "radical feminism" (I call it "grave disobedience") was beginning to be practiced in full force.  Trying to consider the "whole matter" over the years while striving to personally be obedient in a way pleasing and glorifying to the Lord, I've found that there are roots of disobedience by both genders.  There is no excuse or justification for either.  Just as in the beginning in the garden - Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, etc. - the "natural" part of us wants to escape personal responsibility for our own areas of disobedience.  Without question, disobedience (sin) needs to be warned and preached against!  However, it must be motivated by truth, yet immersed with a Godly attitude and love considering one's self.  Much wisdom must be sought after, to prevent a "false balance" of responsibility.

As a young lady maturing in the Lord, more times than not I was quite discouraged by the "warnings" from the pulpit against "radical feminism".  From my experience, there was an extreme of responsibility put on the saved women while there was rather a void of balance concerning the need for the saved men to lead women as God set forth for them to.  So, what would've been more encouraging to me personally?  Over the years the Lord has taught me much about the need to focus on His truths above over-focusing on my weaknesses, failures, and sin (Eph. 4:22-24 - "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; * And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; * And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness").  It would've been encouraging to not only be challenged by the "warnings" against disobedience, but also to be encouraged by the blessings and joys of being obedient.  Negativity and dark perspectives come easily for mankind, but "looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith" encourages favorable hope and reminds us of the triumph we can have in Christ.

Ps. 18:28 - "For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness."  Ps. 119:105 - "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  Ps. 43:3 - "O send out thy light and thy truths: let THEM lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles."

I want to diligently concentrate and focus on the lamp for my feet and the light for my path (the Word), for then the darkness will be enlightened.  I want to focus more on where I need to go in obedience than on where I shouldn't go in disobedience.  There has been a very real void of zeal towards the absolute blessing, the joy, the sweetness, and the "reward" of being obedient to the scriptural roles that God has commanded of us. God did not set up the roles to cause misery and to tempt rebellion, but rather to encourage trusting Him, and to be able to rejoice in our respective roles.  Each role that God has given to us ought to be celebrated for what it is, for each is for our own good and each defines clarity to prevent the very chaos that prevails today.  Do each of us truly, genuinely know the joy and privilege of getting to submit and be in obedience to our particular roles?  We all ought to rejoice and appreciate with a Godly fear and trust, that HIS ways truly are far above ours!

"A good leader is first a good follower of Jesus Christ."  "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. * And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him" (I John 3:18-19).   

WellWithMySoul,

I realy enjoyed the above thoughts on Titus 2:3-5 and I appreciate the spirit in which you presented it to all of us.

Two scripture references come to my mind when I ponder what you said.

1. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." Romans 14:7 All of us have an effect on people around us. Even though a person has a personal accountability to the Lord  we do affect those around us. Sometimes in our resentment to others we hurt our own personal development in the Lord. And, sometimes we prevent the Lord from working in the lives of other people by our attitude.

Somebody has rightly said, "You are the only Bible some people read and the only Christ some people see."

2. "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." 2 Corinthians 1:20 Being obeidient to the Lord (whether male or female, young or old), is wonderful and the promises of God are Yea! and Amen!  so often people of all ages and genders resent being told to do right; but, as I found out by personal experience, when I do right the Lord will bless my heart and my life.

All of us can rejoice in the promises of God as written in the scriptures.

Thank you again for your encouraging and enlightening post. I am sure your thoughts were a blessing to all that read it.

Trapperhoney and John81,

Thank you for your discussions and examples of how to work with the youth in your church and what is going on in our era concerning the lack of serious devotion to the written scriptures. Here on Taiwan, in the liberal churches, a lot of the ministers do not use the scriptures at all. a lot of them use current Christian books (mostly Charismatic), social or political issues, that they talk about.

Trapperhoney, thank you for bringing out that, unfortunately, when a minister of the gospel brings out ingrained sin in some folks lives they resent it and resist the preaching of the man of God.  

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
spelling Aug. 21, 2016
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Titus 2:9 and 10

Servants

     (9) Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

     (10) Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Paul is now explaining to Titus how the saints should handle their servants. In Paul’s era, a lot of people had servants, or slaves. This usually came about due to the practice of one country overcoming another country and having some of the prisoners become slaves, or servants. Throughout history, slavery has been a common practice by numerous countries. Please take note. Slavery is not just a black issue. Due to the news media and black activists, a lot of people are ignorant concerning the history of slavery.

A good historical example of this type of slavery was the Old Roman Empire. The vast majority of slaves were from European countries surrounding their empire. Many white Europeans were slaves at various times. The most famous of these slaves was Spartacus, (? - 71 B. C.).

Spartacus was a Greek from Thrace. Once captured by the Romans he was made a slave and then a gladiator. Eventually, Spartacus led a revolt by slaves, (called the Gladiator’s War), was captured, and killed, along with his followers.

Also, in the scriptures we can see that the nation of Egypt made slaves of the sons of Jacob, (Israel) for four hundred years, Acts 7:6.

So, slavery is a practice that has occurred throughout the history of man and not just to the black race in modern history. We can be thankful that in today’s age we do not have this practice.

A servant of the Lord

Even though we do not have the practice of having servants, or slaves, I feel that some comments could be made and applied to our lives in relationship with our Lord, our master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Once a person becomes a Christian, instead of serving his own flesh, and/or the devil, he now becomes a servant to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hopefully, a willing servant.

Did not Paul tell Titus in chapter 1 verse 1 a, “Paul, a servant of God ...” I feel that Paul had a servant’s heart and attitude. I do not believe that the Lord Jesus will force us to be a servant, but that we should willingly offer ourselves to serve Him. It would do us well to try to apply this section to our hearts and lives in our relationship with Christ and to others.

 A servant is expected to be obedient to his own master.

A servant serves his master. Not somebody else’s. The Lord Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16:13. In this life we will either serve the flesh, the world, or the devil.

A man who desires to be a man of God, whether as a pastor, evangelist or missionary will discover that the religions and denominations of this world want you to do one thing and God another. This is why God, through His word, the Bible, is to be the authority in our lives.

The man of God needs to hide 1 Kings Chapter 13 and 22 into his heart and remember them all the days of his life. This world is full of men, religious men, kings, politicians, and other people, who will, through lies, deceit, and other false premises, try to persuade the man of God not to follow the Bible.

A servant is expected to please his master.

To the man of God, Christ is our master and we should please him. To put it very plainly, if we are called of God to preach, then preach! If we are called of God to be a missionary on a foreign field, then go! Our one thought is to please the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said it best when he said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

When you see a man trying to please his denomination, fellowship, politicians, or other people instead of God, he is not a servant of God. He may have the outside appearance of being religious, or holy, but he is more interested in what man says then what the Bible says.

A servant does not talk back to his master.

When a servant hears the master call him and tells him to do something, then the servant is not to talk back, nor give excuses, or otherwise question his master. He simply says, “Yes, sir.” If he is a man of God, he says, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.” 1 Samuel 3:10 b. God does not like excuses. God expects worldly people, the lost, the reprobate, the hypocrite, and such like, to make excuses, but He does not want, nor expect, those who desire to serve Him to make excuses.

 A servant does not delay in obeying his master, nor does he steal.

The definition for purloin is; (1) to retard, to delay, (2) to steal, filch.

God is the one who has given us life or time in existence. Therefore, if God wants us to do something He expects us to do it without delay and not steal His time that He has given you.

Remember when the Lord Jesus asked three different men to follow Him in Luke 9:57-62? All three men gave some sort of excuse for not following Him when He asked them? It does not give any honor or glory to God for men to give excuses, or to delay, following the Lord in service.

A man who gives excuses or delays in serving Christ is not a fully obedient servant. Too many people desire to serve the Lord, but they feel that the timing is not right in their lives for some reason, or they feel they need to have circumstances that are more favorable until they start to serve the Lord. That type of attitude is not a servant’s attitude.

Also, a servant of the Lord is not a stealer. This includes religious fraud or lying. Unfortunately, in these last days, we are seeing more men, and women, being fraudulent in the Lord’s work. We are noticing this characteristic primarily in the Charismatic Movement, Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) Movement, Bible Translations, and sensationalist prophecy studies for monetary reasons.

A servant is loyal in carrying out his obligations.

The definition of fidelity is: (1) Careful observance of duty, or discharge of obligations; especially loyalty.

A good servant is loyal in carrying out his master’s command even while others do not and others try to persuade him to do otherwise. A good example of a good servant carrying out his master’s command is Abraham’s servant in Genesis chapter 24.

Please take notice that in Genesis chapter 24 Abraham’s servant, Eliezer is not named. Eliezer in named in Genesis 15:2 but not in Genesis chapter 24 This is a good example of a servant doing his masters business without desiring and credit, fame, reward or public recognition. This should be our attitude in serving the Lord Jesus. We should serve Christ in complete humility, anticipating no reward, public recognition, fame, or other compensation. As the Lord Jesus was a servant on this earth so should we be.

Also, Abraham’s servant, in Genesis 24, is a type of the Holy Spirit seeking a woman for a bride for His master, Abraham, son, Isaac. In the Church Age, God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is seeking out a bride for His Son, the Lord Jesus. If we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit of God, then we will also be seeking out the lost, so they can be in the Bride of Christ, and live forever with God’s Son, the Lord Jesus.

A good servant is loyal to God and His word. He is not swayed by the world and religious systems, denominations and religious movements of this world. Conversely, a bad servant will not be loyal and he will be swayed from following God by the religious systems, politicians, money, and fame that this world offers.

A bad example of a servant is like Balaam in Numbers chapter 22-24. Balaam was a prophet of God. Balaam was supposed to be a servant of God. But, he was not loyal to God and his word. He was turned aside from following God by money and religious fame.

In conclusion, in order to be a good servant of God, the man of God will need to please God, His word and be loyal to Him only. The man of God should not be swayed by the various religious denominations of the world, the various new translations of the Bible, nor any of the progressive methods being tried by some of the churches. Our loyalty is to God and His word.

If that is true in our lives, Paul then states that we may, “...adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” This is the sixth time in the book of Titus that Paul emphasized doctrine.

It brings God great honor when we are loyal to Him in the midst of a lost and very spiritual dark religious, world. Proverbs 14:35, "The King's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame."

Edited by Alan
spelling Aug. 21, 2016
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