Epistle to America

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nunatak, May 30, 2008.

  1. nunatak

    nunatak
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    The above quoted from Cutter on the music thread. I found this interesting, as I was discussing this with my wife today. We were looking at the verses in I Cor 11:1-16, when Paul discusses the woman praying with her head covered topic. And we agreed that Paul wrote differently to the churches in each of his letters. Here, he tells women it is a shame to pray with the head uncovered. But this is not a topic he ever wrote about in any other epistle.

    Which made me ask my wife the same question Cutter asks. If Paul were to write to the church in America, what would he say. What is the church in America? Is it the local church, or would his letter be titled "America." And what would he say? And why?
     
  2. rbell

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    Like I said in the other thread...when I read Revelation, I see God addressing churches on a local scale. The epistles address local congregations. Of course, on some level there are "big truths" that apply across the board. But I can't help but think that God would be more direct, and more specific in His scope. (Caveat: I realize that Paul didn't write Revelation...but I think the analogy still holds up).
     
  3. nunatak

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    So, you are saying epistles would be written to the XYZ Baptist Church, for example? I notice in scripture that they were written to a nation, or the church in that nation. Am I missing something?
     
  4. tinytim

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    I know no other NT passage that would fit the church in America today better than this one...

    Read it fresh...

    From The Message....

    "I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot--far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless. "Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see. "The people I love, I call to account--prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God! "Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That's my gift to the conquerors! "Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches."

     
  5. nunatak

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    I really liked that tim, thanks. It makes me think of a Keith Green song.

    "My eyes are dry
    my faith is old
    my heart is hard
    my prayers are old

    And I know how
    I ought to be
    alive to you
    and dead to me."

    Describes me to a t.
     
  6. tinytim

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    Or maybe this one, again from The Message...

    You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food--catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.
    (2Ti 4:3)

    Can someone say Oprah, Osteen...

    Or even people in churches that are so used to hearing their pet Doctrine that they refuse to hear anything new...
    Like, "God died for Homosexuals"

    How many people in churches today would hang the pastor if he preached the truth that God loves Homosexuals so much so that Christ died to save them?
    I know a few that would..

    They would rather their pastor preach something like, "God hates Homosexuals"

    They don't want to hear the truth, so they heap to themselves preachers that preach what they want to hear.

    And that can apply to any pet doctrine...
    KJVoism, Women wearing pants, Anti-CCM...

    Or even on the other side....

    We need to listen to the full counsel of the Bible.. not just to preachers that preach the "easy" doctrines we were taught...

    Most Christians in America are taught to not question their pastor, and therefore what he says is Gold...
    Most Christians are lazy, and figures that since the Pastor labored over a sermon, his beliefs must be true....

    And these lazy Christians will not listen to other sides of theology.

    Take eschatology... How many accept a pretrib rapture, because some preacher in the past believed Darby and Scofield, and preached it...
    I know many, many who never studied it out.. they are taking the word of men they respect.

    If you believe it, Great, just make sure you know why you believe what you believe, and most of the time you have to really, really work and listen to other sides to struggle through the data to figure it out...
    And few Christians in America want to do that...

    They would rather heap to themselves preachers that preach what they have already been indoctrinated with....

    Indoctrination: Believing something because someone told you to.
    Education: Believing something because you did the work yourself....

    OK, Rant over.
     
  7. nunatak

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    Agreed. I have heard people state their opinions about homosexuality until I get angry.

    Okay, what follows is my opinion.

    The big deal about homosexuality is that of choice. We hear people say, homosexuals are not born that way, they choose. But, what about the TRUTH that we are born in sin and shapen in iniquity? And out of the abundance of my heart proceeds lies, murders, immorality, including homosexuality. I don't mean to state that we are not accountable for our actions, we most certainly are. I just think that we could show a lot more compassion for homosexuals than we do. For that matter, more compassion for ALL SINNERS. Christ died to save sinners! Including homosexuals.
     
    #7 nunatak, May 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  8. Aaron

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    What of pedophiles?
     
  9. nunatak

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    What I said I said inclusively for all sinners. The church has a responsibility to preach the gospel to all. Not condemn. If we condemn others, then are we guilty of the same thing? We are defnintely guilty of sin. Thanks to God for the gracious gift of righteousness that is imputed to us by faith in Christ alone. Without this, there would be no hope, not for homosexuals, pedophiles, murderers, liars, proudful people, men who deal with lust, etc.
     
  10. TomMann

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    Tiny, do you consider homosexuality a sin?
     
  11. rbell

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    I see nothing in his posts to indicate he doesn't...tim believes the Bible. Of course he does.
     
  12. TomMann

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    Is there a particular reason that you felt a need to respond for Tim?
     
  13. tinytim

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    Of course I believe according to the way I interpret the Bible it is a sin!
    Duh...

    But so is Gossip, lying, and hating others that are not like you...

    It is as much a sin as a male and female living together without being married...

    But God forgives and gave his son for people's sins...

    What I was saying is, the church in America... even in conservative churches... is heaping to itself people that will teach what they want to hear...

    You can walk into churches everywhere and preach against Homosexuality... Preach it hard... and you will get all kinds of Amens....


    But if you mention that we need to go visit a homosexual couple to share Jesus' love with them... you get funny looks.

    Why?

    Because churches are filled with hypocrites that say Jesus died for everyone no matter what the sin is... but in their filthy heart of hearts, they don't want everyone to be saved!

    True Christianity is messy Christianity.. .and Christians today are lazy...
    We don't want to struggle with someone that is tempted by the same sex...
    We want to condemn them to Hell...
    We forget that temptations are not sin... Acting out is sin.
    Churches are blind, thinking they need nothing...

    When was the last time you know of a church ministering to people with AIDS? Prostitutes? Homosexuals?

    No, the churches want to minister to people like them...

    STinkin Christians.... that is what the church in America is like...
    A stench in the nostrils of God who gave his very best to save the very worst in our society...

    We proclaim the evil of abortion (and we should) but when was the last time we have reached out to a woman that just had an abortion and told her there was forgiveness?

    I am getting tired of fake Christianity...
    The kind that stays in the walls of the church... never being Christians...

    All we do is pray, sing, teach the same old stories, preach the same old thing.. and never reach out to the ones that truly need us.

    How many Christians will leave church tomorrow at noon, rush to their favorite restaurant, and feel good that they did their duty by setting in church for an hour or two....

    That is not Christianity.. .that is the lukewarm church of Laodicea...

    BTW... another reason the letter to Laodicea fits the letter to America is the very name of Laodicea...

    It comes from "Laos" which means "people"
    And the word "Dicea" which means "Rules"

    Laodicea simply means the same thing the word "democracy" means...
    The rule of the people.

    In America, we have usurped our rules over God's rules...

    And one day, God will vomit us out of his mouth...
     
    #13 tinytim, May 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2008
  14. rbell

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    Is there a particular reason you needed to insinuate that he didn't believe homosexuality was a sin?
     
  15. tinytim

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    He can respond for me anytime he wants... Thank you Rbell
     
  16. tinytim

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    This is what happens when people don't get their ears tickled...

    Those of us that knows God died for sinners.. will get accused of loving the sin...

    Jesus was in the same boat....
     
  17. TomMann

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    Wow! Where did that come from Tim. I have been amazed before on this board when I evoked such a response from posting a one sentence scripture. And now for a question. Imagine that!

    First, I am not a Fred Phelps fan. I find his attitude and ideas nausiating. I don't know that I have ever heard "God hates homosexuals" from the pulpit or even from friends and associates. I do believe that homosexuality is a sin..... as is lying, stealing, gossip..... etc.... so we have common ground there. And I believe the apostle Paul when he says that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. I do not believe that homosexuality is an unpardonable sin. Think there is only one of those listed in my bible. However, in witnessing to a homosexual, would you neglect to mention that it is a sin that should be repented.... or would you leave it sort of like the small print in a contract.

    I had a conversation with a lady on my mail route this past week. (I actually talk about Jesus with people..... not just sit in chruch and have my ears tickled) She remarked that God loves us just the way we are. I had to emphatically disagree and told her so.... Here is my witness..... God loves us "in spite of" the way we are.

    As far a preaching, I don't think homosexuality is topically a great subject. But, I don't think it needs to be downplayed when it is preached from text. If a vote was comming up on say..... gay marriage..... I could understand a comment on the biblical perspective of the fact it is sin.

    And I'm not one of those who says Jesus died for everyone regardless of the sin. I take Jesus at his word when he says "I lay down my life for the sheep!"

    After all that being said...... and judging from your response, I think you have some issues you need to deal with. You paint with a broad brush those who disagree with you.
     
  18. ajg1959

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    I think that churches are missing the boat when it comes to witnessing and ministering to homosexuals, pedophiles, ect.

    But, should we ignore the current flood of homosexuality being shoved in our faces? For example, the gay marriage issue? The teaching in our elementary schools that homosexuality is a normal and alternative lifestyle? What about the ordination of gay pastors? Or even admitting practicing gays as members of the local church? Some teaching has be done, but without the hatred of the Phelps types.

    Yes, there is a huge ministry that needs to be addressed in the gay community, but it needs to be done without scriptural or moral compromise. They need to be ministered to without condoning their sin. Today it is not politically correct to oppose the acceptance of gays as members or clergy even though it violates scripture.

    As TT said, shacking up is just as bad, and I think it is wrong to accept a shacked up couple as members as well. And if a current member decides to shack up, then the church needs to address the member directly with biblical discipline, and not just ignore the situation.

    Christians sometimes forget that salvation doesnt make us immune from sin ourselves. As long as we are in these fleshly bodies, we are always going to be dirty rotten sinners, and our flesh will die because of that. The only difference between us and the lost is that we are forgiven.

    I hear people say all the time that so and so cant be saved because of what they are doing, or have done. That is not true, christians are capable of committing any sin in the world. Look at the"righteous" men of the Bible....they were mostly people that most Baptist churches wouldnt allow inside the front door today.

    We need to get back to scriptural teaching and stand by biblical principles of morality, but we must do it with love, compassion and humility. And always remember that if it werent for the Grace of God, that we could be in the same shape.



    AJ
     
  19. JerryL

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    Post of the month right there folks!! Post of the month.:applause:
     
  20. tinytim

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    Sorry I read you wrong.. I thought you were being smart when you replied...

    We are probably in more agreement than not..

    Again sorry.
     

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