What do we really mean when we say we're Biblical?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Onlybygrace, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    I'm beginning to wonder what we realy mean when we claim to be Biblical.

    Are we speaking in respect of doctrine?
    Surely in regard to some of the subject matter under the banner of doctrine we tend to be more Biased than Biblical?

    What about other church and Christian issues? I came across a closed topic where the author asserted that to use any kind of musical instrument in church was wrong. He was both adamant and dogmatic with tons of scripture to prove it.

    And I have to ask myself, does he belong to a modern day church?

    Do they meet in a dedicated building...and is that Biblical?

    Do they have a sunday school...and is that biblical as well?

    What about all the other meetings we hold and pontify about, like prayer meetings and youth meetings and ladies meetings and men's fellowship meetings and old folks meetings and board meetings and annual general meetings and....well you get the picture.

    What about the structured fixed salaries with fringe benefits that we pay pastors and other "fulltime" workers...is it biblical?

    Do we have a biblical sanction for the way we run our public services or our missions and music policys? Oh and don't forget all those helpful extra programs like the "alpha course..."

    Formal Membership?

    A constitution?

    Para-church organisations?

    I wonder.... if the apostle Paul had to be miraculously beamed down to planet earth for a weeks stay, would he would have any trouble identifying and locating anything resembling what he knew to be the church...? Hmmmm.

    I think the truth is we need to be careful about what we claim is biblical and about preaching to others about "bibllical correctness" or their lack of it.

    So are you guys all biblical....????
     
  2. Zenas

    Zenas
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    You raise some interesting questions. Some would say, "If the Bible is silent on this or that practice you may not do it." I would submit that the Bible was never meant to be a worship handbook and unless the Bible forbids it we are free to do it. Our only guide then is the Biblical admonition that all we do should be to the glory of God.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    To attach fancy names to the various views: Your first one is called the Normative Principle. That is, we may do anything not specifically forbidden by Scripture.

    The second is called the Regulative Principle. That is, we do only what Scripture specifically authorizes.

    The Regulative Principle plays out for some in worship. There are people who are called Exclusive Psalmnody worshipers. They sing nothing but the Psalms. No Southern Gospel, no old hymns, only Psalms set to music.

    I lean toward a modified Regulative Principle, and still advocate measuring all that we do and say in presenting the Gospel against Scripture.

    I'm not ready to condemn para-church organizations, but do wonder about those ministries which are not accountable to any church.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I would call our church biblical.

    We may not claim that everything we do is in the Bible, but we do nothing that is unbiblical. Some things are abiblical.
     
  5. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    Hmmm...(scratching chin thoughtfully)

    "Abiblical" Now there's an interesting term. Not quite sure if I've heard it before. Can that concept be equated with "extra-biblical"...or maybe even "pragmatic"?

    Ok so I'm just being difficult, but really, where do we draw the lines on both sides? I've always felt that fundamentalists argue hardlines because they are afraid, and rightly so, that once we set the precedent of moving away from biblical specification for reasons of practicallity and otherwise we will open the floodgates of apostasy!
    Is it right to take liberties and adding things even if we have a really good practical and maybe even spiritual reason to to it?
    And anyway, if we choose to do things for the sake of practicality are we inadvertently suggesting that the Bible is in fact impractical?
    Watch out for the lightening bolts at this point guys!
    But really it does became a little confusing and yet the Bible teacvhes that God is not the author of confusion so if is not Him who is initiating confusion.

    Now let's not rush off and blame the devil because he gets enough unearned glory as it is!!!

    May I humbly sugggest that we complicate things unnecessarily when we start getting creative by adding activities, rules and ministries that God the creator of the church actually never intended....would that be a confusing thing to suggest?
     
  6. Tom Bryant

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    I agree, but you're in for it now... :tonofbricks:
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Abiblical - the Bible doesn't talk about them.

    The list of abiblical practices is endless. Neither biblical, non-biblical, nor extra-biblical.

    The Bible doesn't talk about everything. Pretty simple really.
     
  8. 4His_glory

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    Yup, you are right.

    I would say the Bible dosen´t talk about everything, but tells us everything we need to know about God and ourselves.
     
  9. Victorious

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    So, are you? What is the reason behind this post?
     
    #9 Victorious, Mar 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2009
  10. Onlybygrace

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    Well victorious I guess the reason for the post is the same probably as the reason why you've chose to respond to my comments in that bold bright red font...:tongue3:

    Anyway, I thank you for your response and will take you up on quite a few of your comments but not right now, I'm going to get some rest, which by the way is a very biblical thing to do, so I guess I am a little biblical after all:thumbs:
     
  11. Victorious

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    The only reason I put the type in red is to differentiate between yours and mine so you could see it better. Nope...nothing sinister. I'll make it blue this time. :laugh:

    As for taking me up on my comments? Since most are scripture, it will be an interesting discussion.
     
  12. Victorious

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    Why is it that liberals always assume those who believe in the fundamentals of the Bible and do our best to follow it are doing so out of fear or Pharisaical rigidity? It's actually out of love for our Savior, but I am getting the impression you are being sarcastic when you refer to Christians who do so.

    I'm not sure where you are really coming from.
     
  13. HankD

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    To be "biblical" means that one's faith and practice are derived from the Bible.

    It should include the idea that one is "rightly dividing the word of truth".

    For instance many/most Christians eat pork.
    However the Law of Moses forbids it.
    Various passages in the NT appear to allow the consumption of pork and "unclean" food (and personally I believe it does).

    For instance:

    Acts 10
    11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
    12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
    13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
    14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
    15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

    So, how do we discern whether we have "rightly divided" the Word of Truth? There is a simple test for that what which we do and/or not do and whether it is out of conviction or convenience or tradition.​

    First and foremost:
    Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    Romans 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

    If you are doing something that troubles you or offends your conscience then its probably "not of faith and is sin".​

    James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.​

    Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.​

    Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.​

    Advice FWIW: Don't be beholden or bothered by any human being or their "rules" (other than those spiritually gifted ones whom the Spirit allows to rule over you). You won't have to give an account to them but to the Lord.​


    HankD​
     
    #13 HankD, Mar 7, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  14. saturneptune

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    Think you hit the nail on the head. What I have learned over the years is that what some people call Biblical is really Biblical opinion and not Biblical truth or fact. Some think they are synomyms. Lots of posters make the point of the danger of moving away from church tradition. As I recall, the Pharisees were very good at tradition. Also, at the last of John, it states that Jesus did so many things not written down that the whole world could not contain enough books to record them. I think we all have enough common sense to know when something is against Scripture vs the Bible being silent.
     
  15. HankD

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    We should but the question still remains. If we all do, Why then so many divisions concerning what is "biblical"?

    HankD
     
  16. sag38

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    Victorious gave the best response so far. And, of course it received the typical response from one who asked a question that he or she already knew the answer to. (I'll get back with you. This happens a lot around here) Why not come right out and state your intentions without trying to snare someone into a debate? Most here will debate you forthwith and you don't even have to use any bait to lure them into your not so camouflaged trap.
     
  17. HankD

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    Therefore it's a debate which turned into a good thing because Victorious responded directly with Scripture, however the author of the O/P has asked good questions.

    Actually he/she may not be a Church of Christ adherent as was suggested. IMO the O/P probably was not something sinister.

    Many of the objections he/she made are those of the Primitive Baptists.
    I think their objections are aimed at what they consider "Churchianity".

    We may disagree on several issues, but do we have "biblical" faith?

    Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.​

    Saving faith expresses itself in different practices even among Baptists.


    HankD
     
  18. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    Ok Victorious let’s start with you.

    You’ve said so much that you’ll have to forgive me if my answers are quite brief but I’m going to try to do justice to your questions and comments.


    With regard to the guy who said that there is no evidence for musical instrumentation in church worship. Go look up the post for yourself in the music forum. His basic premise is that the bible does not mention instrumentation in the N.T only in the O.T. I used him as an example of someone who is fighting for the case of being biblical but in reality he himself accepted certain practices in his own Christian experience that were not 100% defendable biblically. My point was that we need to be careful when condemning other Christians for not being Biblical on certain points that we feel have got it right on yet all the while conveniently ignoring the grey areas in our own lives.

    "...speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;" (Ephesians 5:19 NASB)This scripture that you used to challenge my example instead of my point actually does not mention instrumentation and he uses it as proof of his belief. So unfortunately you missed the boat on that one.

    And I have to ask myself, does he belong to a modern day church?

    Probably the Church of Christ and this is a cult.

    I think that was an unfair statement to make about someone you have not met or taken the time to know. From his post I am convinced that he is a sincere fundamental Christian who has a heart to preserve truth. I may not agree with him but I certainly respect him for him honesty and stand.

    They did meet in a "dedicated building" even if it happened to be in the homes of wealthy patrons and also church buildings. The early Christians also met in the catacombs to avoid persecution. Now, at least in this country, we don't have to have meetings in someone's home. Thank goodness! There are few homes that can handle more than ten people at a time! And there is nothing wrong with a church meeting anywhere, but we are fortunate to be able to meet in buildings that allow God's VISIBLE Presence to be felt in the world and is a beacon of light in darkness.
    What I meant was that the early church did not have a church building like we do. That only came later during the reign of Constantine. No where in the N.T. are we instructed to put up physical buildings, and definitely ones worth millions in some cases so it is certainly not part of new testament thinking. In fact Jesus taught that
    -unlike the O.T. God did not dwell in buildings built by hands
    -in His encounter with the Samaritan woman Jesus stressed that worship was not about a place or geographical location
    -and in the epistles we learn that we should not put down roots but live like aliens and foreigners
    Also you say “we are fortunate to be able to meet in buildings that allow God's VISIBLE Presence to be felt in the world and is a beacon of light in darkness” that is faulty thinking. Are you saying that the new testament church were not the visible church? And if you look at it properly you will see they were more of a light in a darker time with ar less than we will ever be!


    There are good reasons for membership:

    To strengthen the family unit in a local church setting.
    To allow members to participate in administrative
    functions. If membership was not required to vote in business meetings, then anyone could determine the fate of the church - including visitors who have no "heart interest" in the congregation.

    In other words, it serves as a protection for the believers and the church.

    Membership is not required to be a part of the Body of Christ or to participate in the services, but the decision making should always be made by the members alone. Remember, membership is dependent upon a reasonable assurance by the church that this person is saved.

    I’m sorry my friend but having good reasons for doing something does not make it biblical it just makes it pragmatic. And pragmatism is one of the chief reasons why the church of God is in such a mess. We always tend to either have really good intentions or really good reasons for doing what we want to do…but that does not make it what God wants or mean that He approves.

    Do they have a sunday school...and is that biblical as well?

    Of course that is biblical. It falls under the realm of God appointing teachers in the church.

    "And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues." (1 Corinthians 12:28 NASB)

    There were no Sunday schools in the N.T. Sunday school was started by William booth in the 1800’s. So it is impossible that Paul had Sunday School in mind when he penned those words. In fact scripture teaches the very opposite approach to that of having a Sunday School. If you read your Bible carefully you will see it is the PARENTS’ responsibility to teach the word of God to their children in the HOME ENVIRONMENT. It is wrong to shirk your responsibility to teach your children the word of God and then to hand it over to some one else even if it is another Christian. It is also unbiblical to separate the children’s corporate worship experience from that of the adults. It may be more convenient and pragmatic but it is certainly not endorsed in scripture.

    What about all the other meetings we hold and pontify about, like prayer meetings and youth meetings and ladies meetings and men's fellowship meetings and old folks meetings

    That is called FELLOWSHIP.

    If they are called fellowship then why do we call them something else? And In any case you can say what you like you will never find one public church meeting in the N.T. that endorses a separation based on age gender or special need. So how can you call it Biblical if it is not in Scripture?


    You’ve said so many other things but let’s focus on these last statements to conclude.

    Some yes, but most he would recognize immediately. I have posted this topic on several different sites lately and will do so again. The media has portrayed churches to be anything but scriptural and there are some (even those who claim to be Christian) who have been busy running around the Internet bashing the local body of believers and the churches they attend down because they themselves do not attend any church. I am very well aware of these unscriptural and accusatory remarks. Remember who the accuser of the brethren is.

    I think the truth is we need to be careful about what we claim is biblical and about preaching to others about "bibllical correctness" or their lack of it.

    Oh yes, and we should also be careful about what we claim isn't. I think the scriptures I posted do contain the truth of how God wanted His Body to function. And remember, He also instituted baptism, communion and commissioned us to go out into all the world and preach the gospel. I don't know many "lone Christians" who do these things or support missionaries. There is definitely something to be said for the visible local Christ following church.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to imply but if your comments are aimed at me please be assured of the following:
    - I don’t run around the internet bashing anyone.
    - I am a long standing member of my church and very active in it.
    -I am not a lone Christian

    I do believe that you love the Lord and that you are sincere I everything that you’ve said but you’ve missed my point completely, maybe because of your suspicion as to my motives for asking such a question. I assure you there was no malicious intent. I am asking a relevant and honest question. I thought that this was what this forum was for. But so many people have responded in a suspicious and negative way even discussing me on my own thread as to whether I am a liberal or not. Are we so threatened at the prospect that we might be wrong?

    All I’ve wanted to find out and test is what constitutes being a biblical church and a biblical Christian. If we say it is sticking to the Word why are we practising so many things that are not Word-based but have no qualms criticising others for not being Biblical? I guess it’s an uncomfortable question…
     
  19. Victorious

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    I disagree with you, of course. Obviously, answering the questions you posted with scripture bothers you. I have to say, you are very patronizing.

    It's nice to know you attend a Christian church.
     
  20. saturneptune

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    What difference does it make where he goes to church and what does that have to do with this thread? What is Biblical to you is merely an opinion just like everyone else.
     

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