I Can See - I Can See

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by HAMel, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. HAMel

    HAMel
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    Luke2427 contributed the following in response to a recent topic I posted. Thank you Luke!

    The fundamentalists you speak of are not much different than popes concerning the authority of the Scriptures. Their fundamental preachers speak ex cathedra and their heroes like Jack Hyles, etc... are not much different than The Holy Roman Emperor of old, in my experience.

    My wife and I came to the Lord back in 1972. I'm now 65. My employment caused us to move quite frequently so we've attended many, many churches.

    Over the years I have sat under way too many preachers who spoke about the happiness and joy that comes automatically, simply because as a Christian/Believer..., why, that's just the way it is. All should experience that peace and happiness and joy.

    Truth be known, I never felt that way. Well, there were times when I felt the closeness of the Lord and with hindsight could see how He worked in my life..., but that peace and happiness and joy just didn't seem to be there.

    I am now of the opinion that I have been so much under the thumb of doctrine and trying to live up to the expectations of a church and well, "That's just the way we've always done things...," that I just never seemed able to muster to the expected standards.

    When joining our last church I was really impressed that there were never, and I mean never..., any dissension at all during the business meetings. Well, that's good and what one would expect within a group of believers but come to find out, everyone in the church is related in one way or the other and the head deacon is the Grandpa of the Clan. Nobody goes against Grandpa!

    A couple of weeks ago when our new pastor explained the original wording of, "...the husband of one wife" as meaning a "one woman man" in the original language, it was like he pushed me down a flight of stairs.

    I can now see. Praise the Lord. My eyes have been opened. I feel like in the past I have been literally held with my feet to fire. No wonder I never felt that peace and happiness and joy. I was too busy with trying to put forth an "image" that wasn't true to begin with. (BTW, my wife and I have been married going on 46 years)

    In all reality, the Gospel Truth is Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There's no Doctrine in the Gospels.

    Just consider the damage that has been done over the years with so many individuals simply because of Organizational Doctrines and Positions? I wonder how many others out there are lacking this peace and happiness and joy such as I have been denied..., for an unjustified cause? No wonder people walk away.

    I'm a very conservative individual and have to intentions of following any of the new age movements out there but with hindsight I can now see where I've been had over the years..., and I'm not impressed. It's time for me to get in line with the Lord and not some doctrine.
     
  2. BobinKy

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    Very interesting thread. I once heard something that went like this.

    You can have freedom outside of doctrine;
    You can have greater freedom inside of doctrine.​

    ...Bob
     
  3. HAMel

    HAMel
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    You can have freedom outside of doctrine;
    You can have greater freedom inside of doctrine.


    If Jesus sets you free, what's with the suppression and forced conformity?

    I've been busy trying to follow the expectations of whichever church I was attending at the time.

    As a layman I trusted in my pastors only to realize that often, much of what they passed along was merely the party line they had to assume in order to graduate from under the Professor.

    Certainly this isn't the bottom line, is it? I've never been to Bible College so I don't know.
     
  4. BobinKy

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    HAMel...

    No, I do not believe it is the bottom line. But if you are going to worship the Lord in fellowship (i.e., in a church), you are going to have to play by the rules (so to speak). And I guess doctrine make up the rules.

    If you are questioning the doctrine of your current church or denomination, you can quickly get the doctrinal basics of many churches in the Handbook of Denominations in the United States (11th ed., 2001). Although this book is 10 years old, it is probably one of the best sources to examine doctrinal differences.

    I know, I am 61 years old, and I have done my share of church hopping and denominational hopping in the last four decades. Sometimes because our family moved for employment reasons (my career was business). But sometimes because a new pastor or influential family moved into the church and the church doctrine changed and the church congregation changed.

    This is a good discussion. I hope others get interested and make a few posts.

    ...Bob
     
    #4 BobinKy, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2011
  5. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    Hamel...

    Disagree with that. There is indeed doctrine in the gospels.

    But the majority of new covenant doctrine is contained in the Epistles. The Epistles contain the clearest and by far the most comprehensive doctrine for the christian.

    I heard a teacher say one time that we interpret the gosples through the eyes of the epistles. I thought that was good.
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    I think I can relate somewhat to what you are saying.
    I was converted back in 1973 in a church that belonged to the Bible Baptist Fellowship.
    The church I came in to was just on the verge of organization and was a mission church.
    A few months later we were organized.
    The church at first was Calvinistic, then slowly metamorphosed into Arminianism. At first it was not particularly rigid in its "rules of decorum". In Sunday School we clapped our hands and used tambourines and sang choruses, in worship proper we used only the piano and did not raise hands.
    Women members were expected not to wear clothes that "pertaineth to" and likewise men.
    No smoking, no drinking, no movie going, no dancing, no parties, no swearing, no cussing, etc., etc., etc., if you did you might not really be saved and all that jazz.
    Doctrines here and doctrines there.
    Doctrines for just about everything including how you part your hair (lol).
    Non-fellowship with this church or that denomination or this one over here because they shout in their worship or their women wear jeans.
    Heck, we even went non-fellowship with some Bible Baptist churches !

    At any rate, my wife and I tried to conform, and we arranged our lives accordingly, and we smiled and laughed and "sat at meat" with our brethren but there was something gnawing in our hearts.

    We were lonely, and we had no idea at all who God really was, and who Christ really was.

    So I "slipped away", so to speak.
    My wife didn't. She hung on.
    But I slipped away.
    What I did when I did is another story by itself.

    Today, after many years of "slipping" in and out of spiritual coma, I am fully awake, and I am very happy and secure and thankful in my heart because I still have doctrine, and still adhere to sets of doctrines, but my happiness comes from the fact that through these doctrines I have come to know and in my earthy understanding appreciate the Sovereignty of God and His goodness, and mercy, and above all, understood what it is to be in total submission to His Majesty and will, something my wife and I did not find in Arminianism and the Bible Baptist churches...

    Many may not agree with this, but this is no attack on what they hold to, just a declaration that I can somewhat identify with you, understand what you're saying, but advise you that even Christ had doctrines, which came from His Father, and passed on to His Apostles.
     
    #6 pinoybaptist, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2011
  7. glfredrick

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    It sounds as if your newfound freedom is an anti-nomian (no rule or law) rebellion against the doctrines of Scripture. I would remind you that the Scriptures are not divided. We do not set Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John against Paul, Peter, the writer of Hebrews, James, Jude, and John's epistles and Revelation. That, in and of itself, is a statement of doctrine -- false doctrine!

    What "doctrines" do we derive from the gospels? How about the atonement? What of baptism? The Lord's Supper? The sermons of Jesus, the parables of Jesus, the interaction between Christ and the religious powers of His day all set down for us doctrine. We cannot avoid doctrine, we can only falsify biblical doctrine by replacing it with human-centered doctrine. The Epistles of Paul and the other writings of the NT serve to amplify and clarify what is expressed in the Gospel accounts, and we need to remember that the order of their appearing in our printed Bibles is not the order in which the various portions were written. In a sense, Paul and James' actions and writings may have helped to inform the Gospels, not the other way around. Both are needed or else God would not have caused those writings to be called the Bible.

    About the "peace, happiness, and joy" you seemed to have missed, anyone who truly preaches the Scriptures will be forced to admit somewhere and at sometime that our lives RIGHT NOW ON EARTH may not see all that peace, joy, and happiness. We will be at war for most of the time, and we will relish those moments when we can bask in God's grace uninterrupted.

    I readily admit that many a preacher has much of this wrongly interpreted. Don't blame the schools or professors. I've sat under great teaching that served to correct what I had passed on to me by multiple pastors who either didn't attend school or didn't pay attention while they did (or worse, attended schools that were liberal where the profs did not even believe the Scriptures!). More preachers preach in the style in which they were raised than in the style taught by theirs school -- especially in the Baptist world.

    It would be interesting to know just how many of the preachers in the various Baptist sects (SBC, Primitive, Missionary, 7th Day, etc., etc., etc.) actually attended seminary versus home-grown education. I'd lay odds that actual accredited seminary-trained pastors are less than half of the population of all Baptist pastors, and therein lies some of the problem.
     
  8. HAMel

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    Perhaps I should clarify a bit. I am a far cry from being an Ernest Hemingway and therefore lack in ability to get my point across in such a medium as this forum board.

    I am not opposed to Doctrine. Having particular principles, positions or policies are normal and should be expected. I guess what I'm really trying to say is this.

    I attended a church once where the use of tobacco was absolutely worthy of death and hell and destruction. At the same time, the eldest deacon was a farmer and grew tobacco. This was back in the early 70's.

    I attended a church who organize a teen girl's Volley Ball. Could these teenage girls wear Bermuda shorts? Absolutely no way! They had to wear dresses. Now, if one of those flowering young women had fallen on the court don't you know what all the males would have been looking at..., and for?

    I attended a church once where this man and wife had come to know the Lord and eventually he became a SS Teacher. Prior to his conversion he had been divorced. Once word of his previous marriage leaked out the Pastor removed him from being a teacher. I doubt this guy ever attended another church. It seemed to me however that prior to salvation, we're all sinners and fall short. So if the Lord forgives why can't the local church?

    The stories are endless.

    No, I really don't have a problem with Doctrine I suppose. It's how it's administered. I think many churches just burden their members way over and above.

    Would any of you men reading this even begin to think of marrying a prostitute? But wait, who was it the Lord instructed to marry one?

    With the way things are today I doubt any church would even consider hiring a pastor by the name of Paul. Why, just look at his criminal record.
     
  9. stilllearning

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    Hi HAMel

    I understand where you are coming from and praise the Lord that your eyes have been opened.

    The problem you have described, isn’t a problem with “doctrine”, but with “man made doctrine”(or standards).
    And Jesus clearly warned us about this......
    Mark 7:7
    “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.”

    --------------------------------------------------
    It is truly unfortunate, that this kind of teaching, is identified with IFB’s because there is nothing truly Fundamental about it.

    I have often spoken from the pulpit about the two dangers in Baptists Churches:
    (1)Going too far to the left, and getting away from the Bible, & ordaining women, etc.
    (2)or Going too far to the right, and getting away from the Bible, with man-made doctrines, like dress codes, etc.

    Both extremes lead us down the wrong path.
     
  10. HAMel

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    Thanks for the help Stilllearing. I guess you've hit the nail right on the head.

    Those doctrines that have been twisted and bent just enough by men to enhance their agenda one way or another.

    How would the average layman know any better? Consequently, one is slowly lead by the nose down the wrong path.

    I can fully understand and appreciate a need for structure and "go-by's" in any church but I think of the thief hanging on the cross who was told, "...today, ye shall be with me in paradise." Considering the situation, this man was held to nothing more than his faith in Jesus.
     
  11. stilllearning

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    You asked.........
    A very good question.
    The answer is to not be afraid to always ask......“Where does it say that in the Bible?”

    God’s Word is our only sure foundation, because it never changes.
     
  12. HAMel

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    Over the years when asking such questions a holy scolding seemed to always follow. After a while it's easier to just keep quiet and go along with the program.

    I commented on here once that you can't tell a preacher anything. I'm not well "edumacated" but was blessed with some common sense and on occasion, things don't always add up.

    Well, thanks folks for letting me vent here a bit. :wavey:
     
  13. glfredrick

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    HAMel, each of those issues were doctrinal -- but the doctrines were not from Scripture (or if "proof-texted" not in context with the overall message of Scripture).

    Yes, we can make Scripture say almost anything if we are allowed to pull this word or that phrase out of a passage, paragraph, epistle, etc., but that is not "rightly dividing the word of truth..." because when we, based on our own view of some thing, take a few words from a verse and apply them in a way that was not originally intended, WE usurp the authority and power of God for ourselves. You've described just such a situation, and I've seen it as well.

    It is interesting to me that the more legalistic a church or pastor gets, the more liberal they actually are in their doctrine. That seems like a paradox, but in fact, when legalisms of the sort you are describing are in place in a local church the church is not following the greater commands of God. That is, in essence, one of the definitions of liberal theology -- to take what God said and make it something else of our own creation! Misappropriating God's Word for legalism is the same as what the Pharisees did in Jesus day. We all know what Jesus had to say about and to them.

    I generally apply a few "rules" when I start to decide how to act, what to say, etc., in regards to these sort of issues:

    1) Does my interpretation bring life or death? God calls us to proclaim His kingdom and the "good news" of redemption and of an "abundant life" (yet without crossing the line into "name it and claim it"). God does not call us to proclaim death, nor to proclaim His judgment on those who are yet sinners. According to John 3, they are judged already. We are to proclaim life!

    2) Does my interpretation replace gospel for culture or vice-versa? In many cases, this is exactly what is happening. There is a distinct culture in every church, though some things are passed around and almost universal depending on the name over the door, but these things are not "gospel" they are culture, and that culture is probably locked into some generation, the 1920s, the 1940s, the 1960s, etc. The opposite is also true -- when certain earlier eras are totally avoided for every new gee-whiz gee-gaw, failing to recognize that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before. When I see a church where all the men sport crew cuts, and they wear a certain style of suit and tie, I realize that their culture is locked into a certain era and that they probably dislike things that come from a different era even though they are not wrong, just different. When I see the members of a church that major on the "hipster" look, I realize that they may be working to disavow themselves of earlier culture. Either of these "locked-in" churches MAKE anything or anyone who is different from them "wrong," "evil," or "bad," or just plain "out of touch." They speak against the wrong, they cast out the evil, etc., and they perpetrate their culture in the name of the gospel, but seldom ever get to the true gospel.

    3) Does my interpretation bring community or separation? This one ought to be easy, but it isn't. There are legitimate areas that we should examine where separation is called for -- but those areas are more rare than many would think, and they do not exclude ministry to sinners who are yet lost without Christ! The gospel is all about inclusion in the family of God -- in the community that is God's "church" made up of all people who are God's people. As expressed locally, the people making up this universal church will look, act, and even speak differently, but they have the same Word, same Spirit, and same gospel that lead to the same Father in Heaven and same eternity.

    4) Does my interpretation match the whole counsel of God's Word or does it hang on one word, one phrase, or one verse? God is not divided, and His Word is not divided. Setting God against God by counting the number of times something is said, then giving that precedence over the other thing that is also said in Scripture is not the right way to "rightly divide the word of truth." That is dividing the Word for one's own gain. Equally, setting the gospels against Paul or OT against NT are also wrong, but these things happen often. We must work against such practice.

    5) Does my interpretation magnify and glorify God or does it make the pastor, teacher, or church look good? God's Word is for the edification and instruction of God's people so that God's people can glorify, worship, and magnify God. If one uses the Word to magnify any particular group of people or any one teacher/preacher, then that use is in error, for God is not to be diminished to glorify any human.

    These simple rules have helped me make any number of critical decisions concerning the handling of the Word and the way I minister to God's people.
     

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