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Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by SaggyWoman, Sep 15, 2013.
Do fundamental churches have Sunday School and/or small groups?
I had a supporting church (which had "small groups") ask me that in a questionnaire once. I said yes I believed in small groups. You see, almost all churches in Japan are "small groups." Mine certainly is. SS is a small group, Sun. morning is a small group, Sunday evening is a small group, and Wednesday evening is a small group.
hits 'like' button
Make that a double (or even triple!) LIKE!!! :thumbs:
Thank you gentlemen. (Facebook anyone?) :laugh:
Working with the deaf- on the foreign field or in the USA- same deal: small group.
I often find myself looking for a like button here. Compared to Lakewood, we are all a "small group"
LOL... I have a hard time considering Lakewood a church. But that's just me.
From what I've seen, they don't necessarily "not".
My childhood church (which I no longer attend) was IFB and they had Sunday school. My mom was a Sunday school teacher there, even. (Not enough kids attend for her to teach anything right now.)
They used to have activities like VBS and fall festivals and they had children's church at one point, but the current pastor doesn't like any of that stuff so he did away with it.
There seems to be a lot of issues on here as to whom is a fundamentalist.
I am, by choice, an IFB. I have heard that the average IFB church in the US has less than 50 members. Many have in the thousands.
Pride, the original sin, still reigns in many of us and there are huge churches which should have been split, IMHO, into MANY churches of the same sort. But pride is impressed with numbers. I'm not and I'm not criticizing mega churches too badly because there are certainly worse things. That is just my thoughts about them and I won't try to convince you folks of anything.
A lot we deal with in the Christian community where churches are concerned is a matter of "practice" and it doesn't always mean "doctrine".
You can go way back and trace "fundamentalism", but when you do where does it leave you......or lead you?
What about Independent Fundamental Baptists.....as a group? They are alive and well and they put Independent Fundamental Baptist on their placard.
So, there are a lot to be said when you talk about "fundamentalism". I think most Baptist churches are (or were) fundamental, but time changes things that shouldn't be changed and some are no longer fundamental in their teaching. Same thing with some Baptist seminaries.
For my edification, I will stick with the Independent Fundamental Baptists. For the MOST PART, they hold to the doctrine I have come to believe over many, many years and there isn't a liberal bone in my body. Even that name cannot guarantee you complete fundamentalism, but, AS A WHOLE, you'd be better off assuming them to be as they say.... more so than any other Baptist Church.
Again, for my edification, what makes you folks who call yourselves "fundamentalists" fundamental? What gauge do you use? Do you hold to the few basic fundamentals and "everything else goes"? Do you allow for ANY liberal theology?
I ASK THIS IN SINCERITY, BECAUSE ANYONE CAN CALL THEMSELVES BY ANY NAME THEY CHOOSE.
Fundamentalism is supposed to be mainly about doctrine.
I hold to the "five fundamentals":
-Biblical inspiration and the inerrancy of scripture as a result of this
-Virgin birth of Jesus
-Belief that Christ's death was the atonement for sin
-Bodily resurrection of Jesus
-Historical reality of the miracles of Jesus
I am a Biblical literalist and a creationist.
The main reason I don't consider myself IFB anymore is because I broke away from what I now consider to be their more legalistic teachings. But I still follow the doctrine with little difference. (The SBC seems to have little difference in the area of doctrinal teaching.)
That said, I don't mind associating with those who may take a different doctrinal view.
Why don't you answer the question from the OP instead of going off on another harangue?
When I attended an IFB church in the 70's they had Sunday School but no small groups.
Speaking of "only preaching"...am I the only one who feels that I learn far more from Bible study sessions where we all discuss scripture than I do from sitting in the sanctuary listening to a sermon?
I mean, I'm not saying that's bad and it should only be Bible study instead of preaching--I do learn from sermons, too. But I'd much rather attend a church that also offers Bible studies because I can learn even more that way.
Maybe you are listening to the wrong preacher. Or maybe you don't like to get your toes stepped on.
Maybe it's neither, but worth thinking on.
For me there's NOTHING like a good strong sermon. And if I don't get my toes stepped on, then I know something is wrong and I am not in tune with the HS.
Bible studies, in and out of the church, are common, but those out of church ones are to be scrutinized. Why outside the church? Who's holding them and why? Who are you in fellowship and praying with, etc.
What I mean is, I think I learn more about doctrine and applying scripture to my life from Bible studies. I want to be challenged, in whatever form I need it. Whether it's something in my life that needs to change or gaining a better understanding of scripture.
That was why I left my old church in the first place--each and every sermon was so filled with the same legalism washed, rinsed, and repeated that it drowned out anything else I could learn there.
And I do feel like my current church is meeting my spiritual needs.
I heard a case made by a guy on another forum that church services handled in the form of a Bible study--with all the believers contributing and learning from one another--may be more Biblical than sitting there around people you just barely get to know and listening to a sermon going "amen brother" and then leaving with not much of a change to be seen.
And I didn't fully agree with the conclusions the guy was arriving at--totally condemning the traditional way of doing church. But at the same time I think he had a few valid points.
I personally don't at all mind attending Bible studies outside of the church unless their doctrines are fundamentally different from my own or it just doesn't feel right there. I see them as learning opportunities, and I value different POVs.
A Bible study outside of my childhood church was my only true place of worship for a good while until I was able to find another church. I still attend this Bible study.
That's great. Too many times, tho, the leader of the group just wants to be "the man/woman". That is the primary reason there are outside groups. No always, of course. Then, as you said, then there are usually those there of a different doctrine and you have no way of knowing until he exposes his/her doctrine............that is, unless the group is under the auspicies of the church. In that case, the group should meet at the church, normally. You will see a greater number of outside groups led by women. That's fine if it is a group of women, but many women who can't teach a mixed group in church will start their own group outside the church.......for whatever reason. You can use your own deductions about that.
The ultimate is a GOOD preacher who doesn't sugar coat God's word and a GOOD SS teacher who is qualified and knowledgeable. How he runs his SS group is HIS business (and the pastor's), but I prefer an open discussion type of group with the teacher leading the group. Usually, if the teacher is a good man, the pastor will allow him the latitude to teach in the manner the teacher prefers. You see, it MUST be the HS who is directing the pulpit and the class room.
When nothing but KJOism, anti-Christian rock, how unGodly and apostate the churches in our area are compared to that church, and the like is all that is really preached on sermon after sermon...basically given undue emphasis, as if they are more important than anything else the congregation could learn...
I consider that legalism. You may not. The pastor of that church obviously does not. My mother does not. My dad didn't appear to, though I never got the chance to discuss that with him.
But based on my understanding of scripture, I believe it is. I understand there are different POVs and I can respect that--but I don't need to be a part of it.
Even if I didn't think those things were legalism...how am I supposed to learn anything when 90% of the content in pretty much every sermon are the very same opinions spouted over and over?
No, I believe they are.
They do offer a Bible study, and I love being a part of it. Right now I'm in the youth group while I'm finishing my last year of high school, but once I graduate and leave the youth group there are "small group" Bible studies I can attend in addition to Sunday school classes.
No disagreement here.
Questdriven - You complained about KJV Onlyism, Christian Rock and saying how most churches are not worth attending (my words on the last one).
The KJV is my preferred version, but I won't go so far as to say it is a sin not to use it. However, for me it is a "compromise" when I attend a church who does not use it. After years of study of the version issue, I just hold that position. I don't debate it, tho.
I also detest Christian Rock. Again, maybe you haven't done the amount of study that I have done on the issue. Christian Rock, alone, won't SEND you to hell, but it will keep many folks from going to heaven, I believe. Again, it isn't an eternal issue, by itself. Personally, I'd stay home before I would go to a church that used it. And, believe me, it's pretty hard to find a church that doesn't.
And your final complaint, I also agree with the pastor that exposes churches for what they are. Not many are worth attending today. Very, very few.
Here's a point I want to make, brother: Also very, very few folks who claim the name of Christ really know him. And of those that truly do, very, very few of them really know His word. Most don't even know what they believe nor why. So, it takes good qualified preachers and teachers to get than info to their churches. And there are very, very few of those. That's the cold hard facts of life. What's very, very few? Maybe it's subjective, but if you put it in a percentage term, it isn't. I'd say that less than 1% of the preachers and teachers today are worth a hoot. Those that are worth a hoot will preach the whole counsel of God, come hell or high water. They won't sugar coat it. They will tell how the cow ate the cabbage.
And they don't care about their numbers in favor of a watered down message. You know how that goes, don't you?
The average church goes doesn't have a clue! It need not be that way! But it is.
I posted an article to one of my groups this morning about how many churches have gone to meeting for cocktails or beer to discuss the things of God. Well, we KNOW where the world is going. How many of the average church goers have any idea of what is going on in the world and in the church? Maybe, for their peace of mind, they are better off, but I think we should not act as though nothing is wrong and do nothing....."even more so as we see the day approaching". But today, it seems, that feeling good about oneself is all that matters. And in a spiritual sense, I feel wonderful about my self, but not because of anything I have or have done. It's all about what God has done and I want others to know that also.
I know I'll catch it from all the misplaced "liberals" on the list, but it matters not one whit! BTW, I say "misplaced" because they should be somewhere else !!
The things he was condemning the churches for I saw as really petty, personally. It was things like holding fundraisers and having youth groups. He didn't say much if anything about their preaching, and what he did say certainly doesn't apply to every church in the area. And when these same things are repeated over and over, again and again, sermon after sermon, with nothing new to add--especially when I began to disagree with the things he was saying--I eventually decided it was time to find another church.
Let me put it another way: going there was like listening to the same sermon every Sunday. For years.
I felt I had learned all I could from it. And my beliefs had come to differ so much from their's by that point. NOT doctrine-wise, but on the things they seemed to place the most importance on. I didn't want to be a cause of division for them, either. I just didn't belong there anymore.
Also, I wanted to go to a church that challenged me and my walk with God. My old church wasn't doing that.
I let the pastor's wife know that I was leaving soon, but didn't say exactly why, and that I didn't want to leave on bad terms. They're still my brothers and sisters in Christ, after all. (There were a lot of reasons, the contents of the sermons was just the main one.) She was very understanding and said to go where God wants me.
As for Christian rock, I have done my research, thanks, and I found many of the claims my old church made against it to be way off the mark. But this isn't the thread for that debate, so I won't get into it.