The State of the Church.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I picked up this article from Let us Reason ministries, where they have taken an expressed concern from General William Booth on the future of the church, and have written this article suggesting that we may well be seeing this occur in our current church situation. The more I think about it, the more I think they are right!

    The CROSS                                  

    General Booth of the Salvation Army had said, "The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, Heaven without Hell." Has this time come?

    http://www.letusreason.org/Doct9.htm
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    Ben, that is a pretty powerful quote. That danger has been realized in many ways. There are many who claim the name of Christ who are not willing to deny self, take up their cross and follow Christ. Thus there are many that claim to be a part of the church and His body, but in reality do not know Christ.

    But we must not be all doom and gloom either. The church is the body of Christ, and it belongs completely to Him. He is building and guiding His Church and we must trust in Him that those who truly know Him are following faithfully.
     
  3. Plain Old Bill

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    Amen! Plus the church has always had wheat and chaf.
     
  4. J. Jump

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    I saw a movie called Time Changer for the first time this weekend. And it speaks to exactly this idea. I would recommend it. Makes one think.
     
  5. Ben W

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    I have the book called "The General next to God" written by Richard Collier which is the story of General William Booth, and what he went through to preach the gospel to the poor in London and then the world. What I did not know was that the revival that he saw through the Salvation Army to Christianity was the largest ever Christian revival in the western world. Many more people came to the Lord through that, than anything else, including the famous welsh revival.

    When he started out as a minister, he commited himself to read four chapters of the Bible each day, and to be in prayer for "others" that were lost. God used him powerfully, yet I do wonder if the obstacles that he faced then, we are seeing now?

    Booth was kicked out of the Methodist Church for bringing poor people into the church and seating them in the best seats and preaching the gospel to them. How long is it going to be before churches that get into the purpose driven type stuff begin to not want those that are poor, prefering only a crowd that looks successfull in materialism as a proof of God's blessing?
     
  6. guitarpreacher

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    Now that right there is funny. A really ignorant thing to say, but funny. Funny because our church is purpose driven, and it's made up of almost entirely recovering drug addicts, and almost nobody that the world would call successful. Funny because the traditional churches in our area, by their actions, say that they couldn't care less if they live or die, or if they spend eternity in heaven or hell.

    It was a great ad hominem attack though.
     
  7. superdave

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    I agree, most of the time I think its the other way round.

    The more progressive and purpose driven churches I have come across are much more willing to deal with addicts, the poor, and the not so well to do. Many smaller IFB churches I have visited are more likely to look down on you if you don't show up clean, sober, dressed in a suit and carrying the coffee table sized KJV.
     
  8. gb93433

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    When people look down on others they are usually insecure and look down on others comparing themselves in an attempt to look better than they really are. When they see Jesus then they will begin to see how filthy they really are.

    Eccl. 7:20, "Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins ."

    Luke 18:9-14, "And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. "The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: `God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. `I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
     
  9. bapmom

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    Why is it always the IFB churches pegged in this negative way? Frankly, the IFB churches Ive been in have been the ones full of poorer people, addicts - both recovering and still struggling, not too well-dressed, sometimes downright shabby.....yet lots of loving down to earth people.

    In my experience its been the GARB churches that have been more stuffy and look-down-the-nose types.....

    Come on guys.....IFB does not stand for Ignorant Foolish Boors. There's going to be churches of every stripe that have people in them that are stuck up. It doesn't actually have anything to do with whether they are IFB, GARB, ABC, SBC, NBC, PBS......whatever [​IMG]
     
  10. TexasSky

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    Many "churches" have become country clubs for people to go for any number of reasons, rather than places for people filled with the Holy Spirit to gather to worship God in mind and soul.

    I get frustrated by it.
    I cry over it.
    I pray over it.
    I want to throw up my hands and give up, but I don't and I won't.

    When Christ walked the earth - John the Baptist and a few disciples were the only ones who listened. Slowly that grew to 12 disciples and many followers like the Marys and Lazarus.

    That grew to people like Stephen and Barnabus and to churches scattered around the globe.

    The way to take back the churches is for Christians to stand firm, and not be afraid of "offending others" by standing firm on the word of God. To be active and outspoken and prayerful for Christ and for the churches.
     
  11. TexasSky

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    As to the small church/ big church debate.
    Size really doesn't matter.
    I've seen small churches that were really just Dens of Satan.
    I've seen large churches that were really just Dens of Satan.

    I've seen HUGE churches on fire for the Lord, changing their part of the world.
    I've seen small churches on fire for the Lord lead the way in their communities, sending revival all across the community.

    Christians following Christ are the answer.
    Forget what is "popular" in your church, forget what the amen pew says - read your bible, pray, follow God's will, not man's.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    Preach it TexasSky. Amen.
     
  13. StraightAndNarrow

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    For me the key warning in this article is:

    "The example of the cross is by all who carry it. Jesus said unless you pick up your cross you cannot follow me. This is not a popular message today, in fact it is ignored. To die to self to remove our own will so that we can enjoy his, to have only the joy of doing only his will is not the instructions we hear from most pulpits."

    This is definitely not what is preached from most Baptist pulpits today. We have tried to make Christianity too easy. I once visited an Indian couple who had come to our church. The man said that after he converted from Hindu to Christianity he was constantly in danger for his life. He said that his belief did not feel as alive to him after he emmigrated to the U.S. After all, we are a "Christian nation."

    Most people who call themselves Christians today would reject this responsibility to pick up our cross and follow Him because that would be substituting works for grace. Of course it's not. We are saved by faith through grace into a life of following Him. Faith without works is dead (useless).
     
  14. Soulman

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    We will always have people we perceive to be better than us. We will always have people we perceive ourselves to be better than.

    The bible teaches that we are equal in God's sight. The problem is pride.

    If a lawyer or doctor looks upon a burger flipper as a usless individual, he does so without understanding the bible. He doesn't have any idea what circumstances didn't happen to allow the burger flipper to excell.

    Also what he is forgetting is that his life and intellegence ALL came from God.

    We as christians have got to get ahold of the fact that we are all evil sinners deserving the same hell. As the gift of intellegence and breaks in life are meted out, so is God's grace to save a poor sinner.

    We have no room to boast over another person as we are nothing but fire wood without God!
     

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