Real Holiness

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Rhetorician, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    "To all who have an ear . . . !"

    As you can tell by now I have been wrestling with several questions about the Fundamentalist Baptist's and their part in the "movement."

    I have one other "burning question!"

    How is it that the IFB and others SEEM TO focus on Holiness as only external practices such as; smoking, dancing, "cussin'," drinking, women wearing pants, men with long hair, etc., et al, ad infinitum, ad nauseum!? Or who sits with whom on which platform at which Bible conference or "Revival Meetin'?" Or you fill-in-the-blank "he don't do it like my bunch does it" mentality?

    Rather than:
    The issues of the heart, soul, spirit, or inner man? Just a cursory reading of the NT SEEMS TO BELY this practice. Jesus always came against the religious leaders of his day and condemn their "externals of religion."

    Is this not exactly what we have been doing since John R. Rice's "Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers?"

    Should we who have our roots in the Fundamentalist's Movement not focus on the "internals of religion" such as mercy and grace and love and forgiveness? It seems that we are so concerned with what "separation" is and from whom it has caused our tongues to b/c so sharp that we may have forgotten the essence of the Gospel message?!

    I believe the Fundamentisls have misappropriated the focus on the externals and have recast it away from the true focus of the Publican praying: God be merciful to me "the" sinner!

    Folk seem to be running around with a "sin list" by which they judge others and their pet sin (probably one out of sight in their heart) has never made the list.

    Yes!? No!?

    Angry exhortations or remarks?

    sdg!

    rd
     
  2. bapmom

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    First,

    you're sort of assuming that those people who are talking about externals are ignoring the internals. You don't know that they are. Its an unfair judgement to state that since a man wrote a book on "Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers" that then that man must have ignored other internal heart matters. These men preach on a wide variety of topics, and it really only serves a listening audience well to concentrate on one or two things at a time, right? So while we are discussing externals, we discuss externals.

    These men you talk about also dealt with heart issues. I think though that most people concentrate on what they say about the outside because that's what bothers them the most about their messages.

    Ive heard many examples of this myself. A person gets mad at the preacher because in his sermon he said ONE sentence about an external thing....like dressing immodestly. Yet the entirety of the sermon was about doing right by our Christian brothers. People can tend to concentrate on what bothers them most....what hit home with them personally....even though a heart matter was the main point..... They ignore it because perhaps that heart issue is really their problem and they don't want to admit it.
     
  3. 4His_glory

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    Hi Rhet,

    I agree with most of what you said. There has been a tragic "majoring on the minors" withing fundamentalism. Unfortuanatly many equate holiness with the way they are living rather than the life changing work of the Holy Spirit. I am holy because of His grace alone.

    Many fundamentalists who major on these external things seem to make a false dichotomy of God's grace and the work of Christ. They make "holy living" the object of holiness rather than the result of a God-transformed life.

    When preaching is simply aimed at "getting people to make descions" it falls far short of what God intended it to be- a worshipful exaltation of God Himself. When people see God in the many facets of His glory, and the Holy Spirit convicts and draws, then men will make desicions. I have seen this truth confirmed more and more in my own life, and through my preaching.

    This may be long, but I will share my testimony of this. I used to be one of those preachers who would major on the minors. I was taught to believe that good preaching will cause people to "make descisions" and live a holy life (though these things are not bad in and of thems self it is the focus that is wrong).

    As God by His grace has brought me along in a greater understanding of Him, I have had a transformation of the way I proclaim His Word to the people I preach too.

    Instead of saying "you need to do this and you don't need to that" I say here was Christ did for you; here is the God you worship. It is amazing how this kind of focus brings people to an incredible relationship with Christ.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

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    May the Holy Spirit continue to transform and set apart for holiness, his chosen ones who erronously focus on externals as well as those who do not.
     
  5. Shiloh

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    Mat 12:34 ............for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
    I am a pastor. I preach on the same things you are critical of, why? IF our people are "Christians" they should be different then the world.
     
  6. Rhetorician

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    Pastor Shiloh,

    I sense a defensive spirit in your post. I did not mean to offend. If I did please forgive.

    I am not necessarily critical of those things. I only think that when we major on the externals to the expense of the internals something is lost--something that, seems to me was one of the major foci of our Lord's preaching, teaching, and main concern!

    Many times our folk are told if they clean up the outside and abide by someone's arbitrary set of "dos" & "don'ts" that they are "good Christians." And that is just not the whole truth.

    I know that we are "to come out from amongst them and be ye separate sayeth the Lord!" This I know right well. But, when we just "preach agin it" concerning the externals only; then a major impetus is lost. When the heart is right with God, axiomatically the outside is cleaned up. Then real holiness takes on the character from "the inside out!"

    Most all of our folk know what is wrong with them and know where they should go and what they should do when they get there! Not many have ever been confronted however with the alful, terrrible, dark, heinous, hideous, ordorus, and blackness of our church members human hearts.

    It also seems to me that that is what our Lord did consistently throughout his ministry--focusing on the inside and rebuking those who focused on the outside!!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  7. Shiloh

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    Dear Rhetorician, "Many times our folk are told if they clean up the outside and abide by someone's arbitrary set of "dos" & "don'ts" that they are "good Christians." And that is just not the whole truth."
    I don't know where you go to church, but I never heard this preached ANYWHERE! This is the kind of misleading stuff this board thrives on.
    Salvation is not changing someones outside. It's a change of heart. I know that & you know that and yet we are always making lame excuses for our people sinning. We have people on here making excuses for their smoking, drinking movie going and what not. The bottom line is they need a good dose of SALVATION! I'm sorry if don't beat around the bush, I'm too old for that. If it looks like a duck.......call it what it is. When a person gets saved they change, IICor.5:17, they don't make excuses for their sin. They hate their sin. Believe me Rhetorician, they know what their sin is.
     
  8. gb93433

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    It is not smoking and drinkling which is the real issue.

    Years ago I was beginning to meet with a man and one Sunday he came to church and the preacher spent most of the sermon on the ills of smoking. The man had just become a Christian and had already shared with me his struggles. So then he came to church and was told it was wrong. He spent about 40 minutes listening to something he was struggling with and wanted to get rid of. The preacher jsut wasted his time and did not lead him in a way to help him through his struggle.

    A few years ago I had a few people in a Bible study. One was playing music in smoke filed bars for money. The other had just come from making a living stripping. I never once said anything about their dilemma. I knew they were struggling with issues. As time went by they would share with the group the decisions they were facing. Once in awhile someone from the congregation would say something stupid like the man should not be playing music in the church. He did not lead and was only a part of the group. I asked that same man about the last person he shared his faith with. It had been a long time since he had shared his faith. But the new believers were sharing their faith the best way they knew how. At the end of one year that group of new believers was one of the most dynamic groups in the church. The man is now leading music and evangelsim in a growing church.

    In that same church one of the same kind of idiots was in a Bible study I led and told a non-believer present that he should get a "better" Bible. The man I Was trying to reach left and never returned. Up until that time he had been in the Bible study each week.

    Peripheral issues are not the real issues. It is the heart attitude which is the real issue.

    There are numerous numbers of fat preachers who blast away each week at people in the congregation about how a number of things are bad and yet they has a hard time breathing because of being overweight and the lack of discipline in their life.

    People want leaders, encouragers and examples, not just people telling them what to do. Most people know what they ought to do but few do it. If the truth were known many of those fat preachers have health porobelms and struggles.

    Why do you think Hebrews 11 is in the Bible and Jesus commanded all believers to make disciples? Disciplemakers teaching others to observe all that God has commanded. To teach that we must have been there first. Otherwise they are empty words.

    It amazes me how many times people will talk a good game until you ask them to name those by name they have discipled. Sometimes they complain about how people are not doing evangelism until you ask them to go with you. It is amazing how few have time and when they do agree how many have other things which come up at the last minute.
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    Dear Pastor Shiloh,

    I would like to know why you seem to be so angry.

    Have I hit a nerve? I apologized in a former email if I have offended in any way. Is this your personal "pet peave?" Is this issue the tender nerve that everyone but me knows to avoid hitting with you?

    Please advise?

    GB93433... above seems to get what I intended. I am not sure you do, and I am not sure I "have connected with you."

    sdg!

    rd
     
  10. Shiloh

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    I'm not offended by anything on this board. I am not angry. I am however a preacher. I am not going to make an excuse for someones dirty life style. I have seen many many people sit under my preaching for years and I have tried to help them with a "sin" problem. MOST of these people have been offended by someone/something and are gone. Many others have grown and have been offended also and have stayed and or left to start other ministeries. What is the difference? Mat.7:21-23. I read here all the time people condoning all kinds of sinful practices. If a person is really Saved, they hate sin and will stay as far away from it as possible. Sorry if I sound angry or offensive as I don't mean to be that way. I just get put out with the junk on this board. I will stop writing and go back to the humor board which I feel makes more sense than anything else on here.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    Rhetorician, the key word is "SEEM," which you yourself put in caps. As another mentioned, I myself have never known an IFBer to ignore the internal. I will admit that some of us have majored too much on the external. But it is not "rather than" (your words) but "in additon to."

    Look again at the title of Rice's Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives and Women Preachers. The very term "Bossy Wives," to me, points to an inward problem manifesting itself in an outward attitude. THAT was the theme of the book. Unfortunately, this title (a perfectly good one in the context of the day it was written in) has become a whipping boy for those who oppose the Fundamentalist doctrine of personal separation, but few who criticize it have read it.

    I find I don't have the book in my library like I thought I did (shucks!), but here is a quote on the "long hair" passage from Rice's commentary on 1 & 2 Cor., The Church of God at Corinth: "Thus a man symbolizes 'I take my responsibility before God for my family,' while the woman, by long hair, symbolizes her submission and loyalty to husband or father. Thus the woman has a symbol of 'power on her head, that is, a symbol of authority by long hair" (p. 109). Rice preached much on the internals, as anyone who has read his books or heard him preach knows.

    The thing that validates Rice's teaching is that all six of his daughters (he had no sons) married preachers and turned out to be strong, capable Christian women. Three of them are authors and all of them speak often to women's groups. Oh yes, and all of them kept their hair long--until their Dad died anyways, when suddenly "bobbed hair" became a fad in the family! :D Actually, a couple of them still have their hair uncut, but none of them have it short.

    And of course as you know, standards of personal separation are common among SBCers also. Funny story: I preached years ago at a SBC church in the deep South, and between SS and church a deacon walked up to me and said, "Brother, what do you think about a pastor who smokes?" I glanced over (we were outside) and saw the pastor smoking! You talk about a fix for a visiting preacher! Don't remember what I said, but I hope I was diplomatic. [​IMG]
     
  12. Rhetorician

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    "To all who have an ear . . . !"

    I have a follow-up question:

    Dr. Dobson says; "More is caught than is taught!"

    Is it that we focus on the externals of separation too much to the exclusion and detriment of the internal heart issues? Does separation equate to internal holiness?

    Give me some help here please!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  13. PASTOR MHG

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    Absolutely not. The opposite However, is an absolute...internal holiness produces external separation.

    Max
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Absolutely not. The opposite However, is an absolute...internal holiness produces external separation.

    Max
    </font>[/QUOTE]Well said, Max.

    The internal must come first, but it will result in a life separated to Jesus Christ, as well-known Fundamentalist Monroe Parker taught me (God bless his memory). If we walk close to Christ, much that seemed important to us will fall away.
     
  15. PASTOR MHG

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    J of J,

    Thanks, by the way, for the Monroe Parker illustration (feeling, faith, fact). It was absolutely perfect for my Sunday messages last week. The people really got it!

    Max
     
  16. Helen

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    Dear Brothers,

    Jesus did not separate Himself from the world. He was in the middle of it. He dressed like them, ate like them, talked their language.

    When we went to Taiwan to adopt Julie, 26 1/2 years ago, we adopted her through Mustard Seed, a Christian missionary outreach. There was an interesting story they had to tell about the early days of missions there in Taiwan. The early missionaries were aghast that the parents would let the toddlers run around naked. That was obscene! They tied their social customs of diapering and clothing children to the Gospel. The people obeyed, wanting to please them and, they thought, Jesus.

    Children began dying. Not just a few, but many.

    Why? Because of fungus rashes that gradually caused lethal, systemic infections in those poor little kids. In that kind of a humid climate, nakedness was the safest way for un-toilet-trained toddlers to be. Diapering kept the urine and moisture on the skin causing a perfect environment for fungus and other infections.

    I would rather see somone in church half-naked than not there at all. I would rather see someone living a life of reaching out to others wearing blue jeans and a torn shirt than some who look like Mormon missionaries in their suits and ties proclaiming the Gospel to a like-minded audience.

    If you are truly following Christ, maybe you should be more "in" the world than ever before -- not of the world, but in it -- getting muddy down there with the people who are hurting. Looking different tells people immediately "we are not like you" and they will have a much harder time responding to what you have to say. They will probably switch off.

    Caring means you get down there and CARE. Do it.

    A.B Simpson, in China, found this lesson out the hard way. While he was in western clothing they paid almost no attention to him. It was not until he adopted Chinese clothing and hairstyle that they began to realize he cared, was human the same way they were human, and they were willing to listen to him. This left the London Missionary Society appalled and they disowned him.

    His work was quite fruitful, though...

    I understand impressing our kids with the necessity of modesty. But, actually, that is not a matter of Christianity, is it? It is a matter of keeping sexual temptation at bay as much as anything else! I'm not sure Jesus cares how they or we dress as long as it is not offensive to others in moral or ethical ways!
     
  17. Rhetorician

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    Helen,

    Thank you very much for your experience and insight. Again, I think you have got it! It seems that, especially the secondary separation issues, have "made us so Heavenly minded and no earthly good!"

    I need to stop. It is hard to convince some people when their minds are already made up!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  18. Jensen

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    I agree that the heart must be changed.

    One question: Why is it that so many, many people who "claim" to be born again (I say claim since I am not the Holy Spirit) act like they are not?

    I often wonder if it is because the preaching has been too general and they are just not getting it (even the Bible lists specific sins) or are they really not saved to begin with.

    Something seems to be wrong because you cannot even tell the difference between the average church member and a lost person anymore.

    Any thoughts.
     
  19. Shiloh

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    This "baptist" board never ceases to amaze me. It's not wrong for a Christian to go to the movies. It's not wrong for a Christian to smoke. It's not wrong for a Christian to drink. It's not wrong for a Christian to dress and act like the world. The only thing wrong for a Christian is to take the Bible literally. Go figure!
     
  20. PastorSBC1303

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    Helen, you hit a homerun with that last post!
     

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