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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.

Is a home church a biblical church?


PastorMatt
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Well,  a church is group of believers covenanted together to worship and serve Jesus Christ.  Such a church is led by a pastor with one wife and more than one child among other qualifications and this church was not created by any one individual, but was planted by another scriptural New Testament Church.

 

In 1976 a church in Auburndale, Florida planted a church in Fort Pierce, Florida.  For a time the church met at my pastor's home, then they moved into a christian college's spaces and finally bought land and built a traditional church building that has been expanded several times since.

 

So if some lady has a vision to start a church and plays christian rock out by the pool before services which are conducted in her spare bedroom, no, that's not a New Testament Church of the kind that Jesus Christ began during his earthly ministry.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Our latest work, Victory Baptist Church, as our previous works, was started in our home with just me and my wife and children.

Today we have a congregation meeting in a rented building with a Building Fund (most of the funds, over 50 percent cent,  come from our converts and church members, on the field). Hopefully, the church will purchase their own building in a year or so.

At the beginning, a house church is necessary. As time goes on, and souls get saved, it becomes necessary to have a building. We not only have church services in the building, but we have a Bible Institute (very small), also. Therefore, in order for the church to continue to grow in members, and opportunities, to serve the Lord Jesus, a building is necessary, desirable, and of the Lord.

The example of the Temple in the Old Testament is our guide.

At first, the Lord instructed the Jews to build a tent, the Tabernacle, in order to hold worship services. As time progressed David desired a better structure for the Lord and, probably,  clearly saw that a tent structure was inadequate for the crowds of people. God, I repeat, God, felt the same. God, not man, instructed David in the preparation of the Temple building and surrounding court yards, and instructed King Solomon, through the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit, on the design of the Temple.

Furthermore, God, not man, will also instruct the Lord Jesus on the building of the Millennial Temple during His reign: Ezekiel Chapter 40-48 I would not be surprised, due to the world wide reign of the Lord Jesus, that the Millennial Temple will be huge; much more in land size than Solomon's Temple.

Therefore, by the example of God Almighty, a church will of necessity be small in the beginning, and as time goes on, and souls get saved, a larger facility is needed.

In conclusion, initially, meeting in a house, or a small storefront, is often necessary. As time goes on, for the ministry to continue to grow, a building to must be procured.

 

Edited by Alan
grammer added a phrase concerning David
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think about the descriptions in the first part of Acts and notice that the size of the church at Jerusalem made meeting in anyone's house unlikely.

You can of course, but a church that size? No, they met somewhere else.

And of course the "Home church" movement around today is unbiblical for many reasons.

Where you meet is a side issue. Doctrine is what matters. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I also wonder about this verse:

1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

Now we all often will say that the church is not the building, but this verse doesn't say "come together AS a church", but IN the church.....

The coming together is the assembling, the word "in" is specifically talking about location.

Is this the way we sometimes use the word church to designate the building that church meets in, and which we sometimes get on people for using the word that way?

But it is only the once, so let's not make too much out of it.

And it does not designate where and what form the "in the church" takes.

Edited by DaveW
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Matt.18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

1 Cor.6:17 "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

1 Cor.6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

1 Cor.12:12-14
 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
 For the body is not one member, but many."

I suppose it all depends on what one believes... what they've been indoctrinated to believe? Or what God's word says?

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  • Members

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

In the Church...

The Church is not a brick-and-mortar edifice.  It is a living, breathing organism.  God no longer dwells in Temples made with hands, but now dwells in a people.

"When ye come together in the Church" simply means "when ye come together as a Body... because... the Church is a Body. 

Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the Body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Christ's Body is not brick and mortar.  It is those who have trusted Him as the propitiation for their sin.

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  • Members

 A church is not its building; a church is a congregation of believers.

I do not believe the Home church movement is scriptural, although it is, as someone already said, a necessity in the beginning of a new church because of size.

And as someone also pointed out already, the church will outgrow the house, as long as the church is led by a godly Pastor & he is ordained according to Biblical requirements & he is teaching from the KJB & preaching hard against sin & going soul winning regularly. 

I have not encountered a church who did all those things & STILL remained small enough to meet in an average size (2,500 sq. ft. +/-) home after several years.

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  • Moderators

There are some really good points in this thread. I would hold to the view that a church must be properly organized, with a pastor and membership, and as long as it is such, it really doesn't matter where they meet. A 'home church' of the kind where a father is having devotions with his family in their house is not a proper Church.

I could see the first NT churches meeting in houses because they didn't have anywhere else to meet, at first, much like some churches nowadays.

In the Canadian/American culture, a church that meets only in a home is not necessarily taken seriously by the community at large, and may be looked on with suspicion by possible visitors. Even a storefront/meeting room location isn't great (although a lot of our IFB churches meet here by necessity). Rightly or wrongly, a church is not seen to be legitimate unless it meets in a designated 'church building'.

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While I agree that the "home church movement" is either misinformed (ie. during many later years of the Roman Empire Christians met in homes -- they did so due to persecution, arrest and death. Not due to "early church pattern) or hippy, "anti-establishment" attitude, home churches are necessary some places. In North Korea you can't use a building for a church, you can't let the community know you have a Bible, etc.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Yep, as I and I think Pastor J said, the place is irrelevant.

A church can meet in a home or another building. What makes the difference is the doctrine.

The "Home church movement" is a doctrinally incorrect group, but that has nothing to do with meeting in homes and everything to do with their doctrine.

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  • Members

The form of coming together in a public meeting run by a religious organisation is only one way for believers to gather, I believe. In the early gatherings of the believers there were many ways they shared, prayed and were taught. Also there was participation by all.  It seems to me that the lecture type services that have developed over the years have come to mean - legitimate and all else not legitimate. 

Something to bear in mind is that an organisation is actually a `business/charity` and as such they are coming more and more under the control of the governments, requiring them to bow to their worldly values. Eventually the government will shut down those that do not adhere to their demands.

regards, Marilyn. 

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I suppose another question would be that should a church meet in a dedicated building?

When in France some years ago, we met a man who said he followed J N Darby, who when we invited him to come to a church service with us, he gave us a list of scriptures which spoke about the church that met in a home.

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  • Members

Being an outsider, i am reluctant to write anything, but for some reason cannot resist.  This is my first post.  My family tree is full of Anabaptists.  After trying everything else, and being baptized in an independent Christian church, i joined a small Mennonite church but it turned out that Mennonite Church USA is just as far gone as the UCC.  The last church i visited was a New Testament IBC and it seemed right, but we have been trying to relocate as my wife grapples with the idea of retirement.   It is a protracted process. Our future retirement home is located in a town that has an IBC.  So, I have been browsing this website for several weeks.

For over a decade I have been hosting a small group in my home.  This has been a highlight of my life because i love scripture, but i will be the first to admit that it is not really a substitute for church.  I am not a pastor, despite having some relevant online graduate education.  Heck, i would not qualify as an elder since my notion of being hospitable is to open a package of fig newtons or oreos.  On the hand, the folks who developed Victory Bible Study got it right when they said that pastors can ruin the group process.  

Anyway, a couple of posts on an older thread here were made by people who were not able to attend churches regularly due to distance.  At least one asked if it was ok to be satellites linked to a distant church.  That idea was shut down, but it seems like a practical solution to me.  Would it be unwise to suggest it to a pastor?  

 

 

 

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On 11/10/2019 at 9:13 PM, JimR said:

One asked if it was ok to be satellites linked to a distant church.  That idea was shut down, but it seems like a practical solution to me.  Would it be unwise to suggest it to a pastor? 

The Bible talks about a local church, with pastor(s) deacons, answerable to God. It seems to me that a distant pastor and deacons would be unable to live with, serve and lead a congregation as they are supposed to.  Any satellite churches would then, practically, need their own pastor, etc., and when they have a pastor, they are now a church in their own right and don't need to be a satellite!  That's my thought on the issue, anyways. 

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    • By PastorMatt
      I posted this on my website many years ago, and do you feel that it still applies to the local church today?
      Karate
      –  On the cover of Bob Jones University‘s Spring 1992 issue of the BJU Review is a picture of black belt karate master and senior at BJU, Jim Pitts, in full karate garb, Bible open, giving the “invitation,” while the rest of the members of BJU’s “Champions for Christ karate team” are kneeling in prayer by their cinder-block bricks. On the inside cover is a picture of Mr. Pitts breaking four bricks with his right arm, while the other team members are watching, with Bibles open. The editor of the Review declares that:
      “Champions for Christ is one of many different extension groups that go out from the University each week, bringing the Gospel to needy people throughout the Southeast. These extension ministries give all students the chance to sharpen their soul winning skills, be an encouragement to others, and use their skills to glorify God.” (Emphasis added.)
      –  Many other so-called youth and evangelism ministries promote the martial arts as a means of motivating youth in evangelism, spiritual warfare, etc. For example, the March 1992 Baptist Bulletin (GARBC) contains an article about a husband-wife ABWE missionary team helping “teenagers understand God’s power in their lives” by exhibiting his (the husband’s) karate skills (“such as breaking boards with his hands and demonstrating samurai swords and nunchakus”) at GARBC youth rallies. The missionary team claims to want “to help the teenagers understand God’s power in their lives … [and] to motivate them to join God in the spiritual battle of the present age.”
      –  Should a Christian’s “soulwinning skills” include karate, and can that “skill” be used “to glorify God?” And what has karate to do with the reality of “God’s power” in a teenager’s life? Even though one might find it difficult to see how the so-called “skill” of karate could or would be used by the Holy Spirit to draw the lost to Christ, the overriding question must be: Is there a philosophy antithetical to Christianity that is at the root of karate exhibitions?
      –  Karate has a unique and unusual history. It was handed down centuries ago from Zen Master to Buddhist monk by word of mouth, and always in strict secrecy. Even today, everything done in karate can be tracked back to some principle of Zen Buddhism. An Indian Buddhist priest named Bodhidharma in the 6th century A.D. in China, synthesized karate techniques and Yoga meditation in order to unite mind, spirit, and body. (Among the Chinese styles are kung fu or gung fu, wu shu, and pa kua. Tai kwan do and hapkido are among the Korean styles.) Karate is clearly a mental and moral exercise, indeed, a spiritual experience. In each practice session there is a concerted effort to unite mind, spirit, and body just as Bodhidharma sought to do with Zen priests.
      Karate is founded on scientific principles of body movements that develop the karate devotee into a healthy, well coordinated person, both physically and mentally. The Chinese karate masters considered karate to be an extension of their religion. The Okinawan karate masters considered it to be a way of life:
      “It is, rather, an expression of life lived 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Indeed, the way of karate is a philosophy of life — a rich, rewarding philosophy if carried through, past the boundaries of obvious self-defense techniques, into the realm of mind-searching discipline. Within karate-do is the potential of a new person: a person huge in all the capabilities that will make him respected and confident” (The Way of Karate).
      –  Karate is Zen –– so says Master Oyama and many other karate masters. Zen is a school of Buddhism that has been called the “Religion of Immediate Reality.” The aim of Zen is to awaken the student to his true self and thus bring about a degree of self-knowledge through inward meditation. Zen students seek peace of mind through an enlightened awakening of an intuitive wisdom, which they feel is dormant now in all people. Zen meditation tries to achieve “no mindedness” which may be acquired by concentration and special breathing exercises. Karate, when combined with Zen meditation, is used to assist the student’s quest for peace of mind and equanimity in the face of conflict and tension.
      –  Although many, especially here in the United States, tend to disregard much of the Zen Buddhist philosophy in their training, some impact of that philosophy is made upon every student of karate. This is because Zen meditation and yoga-like breathing exercises — whether for thirty seconds or for two hours before and after every practice session — are an integral part of any Oriental martial arts program. If one truly aspires to master the art of karate, he cannot ignore the spiritual implications.
      Zen meditation provides a false “inner peace” that is at best a counterfeit of the peace only God can give. There is only one source of inner peace — the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We can choose between the self-control developed by the Holy Spirit, or the self-control of Zen. And with the self-control of Zen, as with any Eastern meditation technique, one could also be opening himself up to demonic activity.
      While God calls us to humility, the martial arts cater to human pride. For even in gaining mastery over one’s self through Zen, it is still recognized as an accomplishment of self. That self-pride then manifests itself through a desire to prove oneself superior.
      –  Although some proponents for a “Christian” martial arts do concede that karate has roots in occult, pagan, and/or Eastern religious philosophy, they also claim that the primary philosophy behind the martial arts actually originated in Old Testament Biblical times (citing such passages as Gen. 14:13-16; 2 Sam 6:14; Psa. 144:1; Eccl. 9:10 as proof-texts), even going back all the way to the Garden of Eden! (Christian Martial Arts, Tottingham & Tottingham, pp. v & 2). Therefore, according to these advocates, Satan made “inroads” into the true Bible-based martial arts, capturing them for himself, and that all we need to do now is to reclaim them and change them “from an Asiatic philosophy to a truly Bible-centered Christian philosophy” (Christian Martial Arts, pp. ii & 2). Once these “dramatic changes” in “approach” are made, we are told, the “Christian can indeed study the martial arts in total harmony with his walk with the Lord” (Christian Martial Arts, p. v).
      This, of course, is the same logic men use to “Christianize” any worldly, pagan, and/or occult philosophy or practice, whether it be astrology (the “Gospel in the Stars“), psychology, Eastern “medicine,” magic, pyramidology, graphology, numerology, etc., etc., etc. The logic goes something like this:
      “It was originated by God (which requires a few verses out of context to ‘prove’ it), Satan stole it and/or counterfeited it (under the false assumption that ‘Satan can’t create, he just steals from God’), we need to reclaim it and re-Christianize it, and then we can use it ‘to glorify God'” (Christian Martial Arts, pp. 75 & 83).
      –  The violence associated with karate smacks of anything but “Christian.” Legendary karate “masters” were reputed to have superhuman powers, including the ability to kill small birds with a yell (“the shout of doom”), a secret knowledge of how to touch lightly at a spot on the body to cause death (“the touch of death”), and the ability to penetrate an adversary’s body with a bare hand to withdraw his still-beating heart. The very nature of these violent forms of expression runs counter to God’s Word.
      –  How then can any Christian justify his involvement in karate or any of the other martial arts? He can’t. Not even by claiming that such involvement is for self-defense, exercise, to learn discipline, etc. (let alone justifying it for evangelism purposes!). There are other methods by which these results may be obtained — methods not associated with harmful violence and false doctrine.

      * The chief source of our information for this report was a special report written by Albert Dager of Media Spotlight. Other sources used were various encyclopedias and three books on karate/martial arts: The Way of Karate, Karate Within Your Grasp, and Christian Martial Arts.
      I believe that many activities in the local church, should not be.
      E Morales with The Glory Land
    • By Alan
      The Beginning of the Church
      "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Ephesians 2:19 & 20 The foundation, the chief corner stone of the church, is the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus founded His church during His earthly ministry. The Lord Jesus started, while He was on the earth, the church. “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
      The Lord is the foundation, the corner stone of the church and the prophets and the apostles are stones set above the foundation. The foundation of the church was set at the ministry of the Lord Jesus and the apostles and prophets continued the building of the church.
      Concerning the 'head' of the church, Paul the Apostle was given this doctrine, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all thins to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all things.” Ephesians 1:22 & 23 The Lord Jesus is the 'head' of the church.
      The Prophet and Messenger of the Messiah
      John the Baptist is a messenger from God. Those who reject his message, and his baptism, are not following the messenger of God. “And what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” Luke 7:26 & 27
      The individuals in the 'Christian' realm who reject the message, and the mode of baptism, is rejecting the words of the messenger and prophet of God to the church.
      The Apostle Paul stated, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gift of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?" 1 Corinthians 12:28 & 29
      The baptism of John the Baptist, as a messenger and prophet from God, is the baptism for all those who trust in the Lord Jesus and is the only mode of baptism acceptable in the New Testament. The term, 'Baptist,' is a title; it is not the last name of John.
      Concerning those who reject the baptism of John
      If a person rejects the baptism of John the Baptist, or his followers, than that person is not not scripturally baptized, and, according to the scriptures, he is like the Pharisees and hypocrites. “And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Luke 7:29 and 30
      The different denominations in the 'Christian' realm, sprinkling, pouring, infant baptism, baptism for the dead (Mormons), who reject the immersion method of John the Baptist are in serious error.
      The Apostles were baptized by John the Baptist
      All of the apostles of the Lord Jesus were baptized by John the Baptist. Whether or not the term, or title, 'Baptist' is after their name, is immaterial an adding of the requirements of a belief in the scriptures, a 'straw man,' and a non-issue. “Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” Acts 1:22 God only has to give the man of God the term, or office, or calling, or title, 'once,' to make that term, title, office, doctrine, mode of service, scriptural and binding to the saints.
      The Giving of the Holy Spirit
      The Lord Jesus is the giver of the Holy Spirit to those who are saved. The apostles, as part of the foundation of the church, are the examples of the church. “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20:21-23
      The apostles, as part of the foundation of the church, are an example on how the Lord Jesus is guiding the saints in the New Testament church. For example. As the Lord Jesus sent the apostles around the world as a witness; so is every saint, every church, to be a witness. Matthew 29:1-20 As the Lord Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the Apostles; so He gives every one who trusts in Him the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. Ephesians 4:30 There is is no 'tarrying,' or 'waiting,' for the Holy Spirit,' for any saint in the New Testament Church.
      The Baptism at Pentecost
      The filling of the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost for empowerment to witness; not to start the church. The Lord Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
      The Lord Jesus had previously, in John 20:21-23, given the apostles the Holy Ghost. Now, the Lord Jesus is stating for them to remain in Jerusalem to tarry for the 'power' of the Holy Ghost for witnesses, soul-winning, the gift of tongues, to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. The Lord Jesus clearly states they were to receive 'power;' they were not to receive the Holy Spirit, but 'power.'
       
       

       
    • By JordanHaskins
      I Timothy 3 states that one of the qualifications of a, "bishop," is to be," the husband of one wife." In 2016, does that relate sole to the pastor of a local church or does that apply to those on the pastoral staff such as, "youth pastors/ directors?"
       
      Second question I would have, as Baptists , what does the Bible have to say on the process of finding a wife. What would you say to a marriage minded young man who believes he's called to ministry on this topic of finding a wife. I also would ask because, as someone who is a first generation Christian, this is not something I have really been able to gain solid Biblical counsel on, so few are willing to touch it as its controversial, dating/ courtship, etc.If you were a youth pastor, college/ singles ministry director working with someone who didn't exactly come up in the Christian school/ Bible college/ Baptist church to pursue what I have heard preached many times as, "the second greatest blessing after salvation?"
      I ask this because, in the evangelical world, such as boundless.org (Focus on the Family) and other sites, men are being shamed for not dating, etc extended adulthood, I believe Cary Schmidt wrote a book on this topic of extended adolescence. And with the trends of co-habitating, homosexual "marriage," fornication, divorce, single parenthood on the rise, etc. Census showed a while back that singles are now a majority of this country, how can we as the church, not only defend the institution of marriage, the family, and the home for those who already have it, but help young people who desire those things to get ready for those thing and provide them opportunities to meet, mingle, and serve and serve others with one another?
       
      Not trying to cause controversy, but these are things that, as a young man having a burden to work with young people, how could I be a help to them in this area, and also some practical principles in godly communication, etc. that would benefit my own life as well. I appreciate all the wisdom I've found on this site, that's why I've been asking these complex questions like I have. Thank you brothers and sisters.
    • By John Young
      Many modern bible versions were made by individuals, foundations, bible societies, para church organizations etc. but how many of these or which ones were directly commissioned and overseen by the authority of an actual "church"?
    • By John Young
      My wife and I are moving to the Northwest in August and I am praying about starting or pastoring a church. Does anyone have any advice or leads that they can give about an area or church? 
      Ideally I'm looking for something within a few hundred miles of Spokane, WA.
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