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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Earth Wind and Fire, Aug 7, 2014.
I think Chuck has missed the most important part in choosing a church...find one that lines up with your beliefs. Know what you believe and then find a church that lines up with that as closely as possible. The range of beliefs from church to church is huge and the worst thing for a believer (and for the church) is to be at a church where you don't agree with their beliefs.
Just speaking from my experiences,
A Healthy Church Glorifies God
I liked this statement How can we make this happen? By meeting with Him often, admitting to others our struggles with pride, and continually asking ourselves, Will this bring glory to God or to me? To many churches are inwardly focused. To many church members don't want to get real about their struggles, etc. Just take this magic pill of membership and everything will be swell.
A Healthy Church Worships God with a Genuine Spirit of Devotion
A church that opens the way for meaningful worship is a healthy church. He quotes the verse in Acts, it seems many churches in my area take only the "breaking bread" part seriously. Not communion, but meals. Fish Frys, Country Breakfasts, etc. Seems they are more of social gathering spots than anything else.
A Healthy Church Balances Biblical Instruction with Personal Application
Yes balance is a good thing.
A Healthy Church Exudes Warmth
The healthy church is a community of believers who demonstrate genuine concern for each other. My father passed several months ago, he and my mother have been members of the same church for over 30 years, active, and always giving both time and money. My mother has had Zero visits from church members or the pastor since he passed. Its an unhealthy church, the folks there just move on to the next tragedy they can gossip about.
A Healthy Church Reaches Out to Others
Yes, growth should be organic. Because the people inside are growing "in grace and knowledge" it will translate to how they interact with others in every day life.
A Healthy Church Has a Contagious Style
All of these are good points, IMO
•It is biblical in content. Messages are based on the Word of God, not on the opinions or interests of the preacher.
•It is authentic in nature. This is a church that believes what it says.
•It is gracious in attitude. The church sees itself as a family, not as a corporation.
•It is relevant in approach. This church shows how God’s Word applies to today’s needs, issues, and concerns.
I couldn't disagree more. My most dynamic spiritual growth came while I was in a church where I did not agree with their beliefs (nonDenom Pentecostal). I didn't grow because we all believed the same thing. I grew because for the first time, I started to care more that I was among my brothers and sisters in Christ - and less about whether or not we all agreed.
I had been wounded at the previous church I attended, and I needed genuine love coming from genuine people. They had three elements I agreed with - they believed God hears and answers prayers, they desired to know the scriptures, and they loved God and one another.
I went from there to an SBC church that I didn't not agree with their beliefs. That was another vital 3 years of my growth.
At the Pentecostal church, I had a great need to lay down any doctrinal differences so that my previous wounds could heal.
At the SBC church, I became part of a family. And doctrine began to have a higher priority for me again.
What I received from God through both of those churches was invaluable, considering I'm at another church I do not agree with. However, this time is different.
I lead the Wednesday night bible study, and work with the pastor in trying to reshape the mentality of the church more toward studying the scriptures, bearing each others' burdens, genuine fellowship. Part of this reshaping means a revision of doctrine. And they are excited to learn the scriptures, even if it means changing some long-held beliefs which have no biblical basis.
So this is three in a row where I do not agree with their beliefs. And God used the first two to work into me something I would use here.
Ain't He good like that?
What if God wants you to go to a really messed up church and become involved in bringing it to greater spiritual health?
That may be his calling for some people. But by and large it is my opinion that although there are no perfect churches, a church that is truly comprised of mostly born again believers will not be "messed up". There may be some things that they need to refocus on, but it will not be an unhealthy environment.
You are suggesting I can go to a messed up Catholic church and/or messed up 7 Day Adventist church down the road then?!?
Not only can, but should. On one condition, that God has actually called you to do that.
So God qould call you to be a member and fellowship with those teaching another Gospel, despite Him warning us to come out from among them?
I tell you this truely, the Lord has been instructing me to stay away from apostate and false churches.....in total.....and has been directing me more towards teaching to people on the streets. So my platform has been every day happenstance like taking walks in the neighborhood and speaking to people, at the job with coworkers and in pubs where people go after work..and even family counceling. What I'm trying to say is that the streets have become my church. Some have and will continue to dispute the relevance of that....but I have to listen to where the HS directs me. Praise Him.
Anyone you disagree with could be charged with teaching another gospel. It happens around here sometimes, even among "us"
Do you think only those who agree with you are among "us" ?? You do know Paul was speaking about unbelieving idol worshipers in 2Cor 6:17 ?
You fellowship here all the time with those you disagree with. Are you supposed to come out from among them?
By using the term 'here' I am assuming you mean BB.
Yes in here, debate ...even conflict should be good and even encouraged because it clarifies and solidifies....sometimes even changes opinion.
In a church though, I am not sure you want to challange. See, I look to find commonality amongst the bretheren. I speak to a brother at work who is a staunch RC at work all the time...I speak to an aethiest and a Jew as well. I look for the presence of God (albiet hidden at time's) in each of them. With church, it should be an assembly of "like " believers praising God together and loving one another. I don't think its the place for conflict.....so I will agree with Matt Wade on his position. Anyway I'm not looking co change people ...not in churches. Only the Lord can do that.
The BIG difference between say me being friends and fellow members with those holding to different views is that we still hold to the real Gospel, but the Church of Rome for example does not, so seperate from that church if saved!
Note though that there are people in RCC who are genuine Christians. BTW they teach the gospel in many RC Churches today.
If they are, they are not teaching according to Rome though!
With all due respect Brother, I doubt you & I or anyone on BB is up to spreed on RC Doctrine these days. so who really knows, but there is a hunger arising to really study scripture. Maybe if you watched WNET / The Catlik channel your perspective might change. :thumbs:
the truth is that you can know official roman theology by knowing the Council of trent, as their views have not changed since then in doctrines/practices!
Except in seeming to be giving some more on gay marriage policies, and if other religions can save you, even if atheist!
The real truth is that its entirely 'works based ' and proud of it! As Frank Slade said in Scent of a woman....."I'm giving ya pearls here " lol:thumbsup: