What do you think -

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Here is a helpful article;

    It’s Worse (and better) Than You Think!
    In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    scream

    We’ve all heard a lot in recent years about the great obstacles that faces us in reaching our generation. We are seeking to reach a generation raised in a post-modern setting, where the old values and ideas are no longer meaningful. We simply can’t present things as we once did or assume certain common ground as before. This new generation is suspicious of religion, has no appreciation for authority, has an evolutionary bias, and is biblically illiterate. Different remedies are being suggested to reach this generation. We must become post-modern in our approach, some say. Others say that we must engage the culture by becoming more relevant and in touch. We must watch the movies and the televisions programs; we must seek common ground through music, etc. Others have said that we must transform the way that church is to be done. Though I am exaggerating in what I say here, you could get the impression that the biggest stumbling block to the gospel is a tie, a piano, and hymnbook.

    But you see the problem is much worse than that. The problem cannot be solved by drinking more beer, watching more R-rated movies, spending hours before perverse television programs, opening our collars, untucking our shirts, piercing our ears, getting “ink”, playing electric guitars, and beating drums. The obstacles cannot be overcome by turning the worship of God into a night club and using dirty language to tell Bible stories. You see, the problem is far worse than post-modernism. The problem is not with my neighbor’s liberal education or entertainment. The problem is with his soul. You see my neighbor is dead in sins and trespasses. He is at enmity with God. He is not subject to the law of God and in fact, cannot be! No matter how I seek to present the gospel (clearly, persuasively, passionately, and lovingly); it is either foolishness to him or a stumbling block. If he is dead, a newer tune, power-point, and showing clips from the latest Hollywood blockbuster isn’t’ going to cut it.

    We need to remember that the gospel has come to other cultures were the outer obstacles were surely as great if not greater. What if our neighbors were not simply the university educated, Oprahized, porn-addicted, post-modern hedonist…but let’s say the citizen of a city that was built around the worship of a goddess, or the center of immorality, let’s say that he was a homosexual who ate things sacrificed to idols and partied with male Temple prostitutes? What if they knew nothing of the Bible and had never heard the name of Jesus? What could possibly reach such? Or let’s say that they were the product of years of apostasy from true religion given over to cold legalism and self-righteousness? Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? Sounds like we’ve got a lot to overcome! But it was into just such environments that the gospel came with power. Thriving congregations were left in Ephesus and Corinth and Jerusalem.

    The old ideas of preaching the gospel, with the solid foundation of holy living (pursued in the fear of God), Christ-like love in our churches, and benevolent mercy to the lost, may seem lame and old fashioned in light of the many new ideas promoted today. Nevertheless, God has used plain gospel preaching in the past, empowered by the Word and the Spirit to reach the lost, and I am confident that He will bless it in the future.
    Jim Savastio, Pastor
    Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville
    .
     
  2. HisWitness

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    that was very true indeed-however i think the biggest problem of today is not the wordly sinners but the ones in the house of God who proclaim to be his people.

    In new testament time the problem was the ones who were suppose to be God's people and they were the unbelievers and the ones persecuting the true church.

    when the wordly sinners sees the ones to suppose to be God's people acting and living as they do or are so self righteous far above everyone else that they dont want anything to do with God if hes like that(which we well know God is NOT like that).
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I don't understand your posts references.
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    HW,

    It looks as if you are saying that the church failing to come out from among them and be ye separate is causing the word of God to be blasphemed:
    2 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

    2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

    3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

    4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

    5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

    6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    I think that this article was trying to get at that.....we are to be word and Spirit centered and maintain a faithful approach to the God ordained means.:thumbs:

    :thumbs:
     
  5. Zaac

    Zaac
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    EXCELLENT Posts by you and HisWitness.:applause:
     
  6. Oldtimer

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  7. HisWitness

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    im not speaking of the True Church--im speaking of the unsaved Religeous people who are in the house of God--Judging? For by their Fruits you shall know them :)
     
  8. nodak

    nodak
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    Our church is currently evaluating how well we are doing with our stated goals: winning the lost to Christ--a true conversion, and discipling the saved.

    We've decided we aren't doing as well as we should be doing. We've done some visiting and talking and listening and come up with a few ideas that might be surprising.

    1. The lost person is not going to be willing to come and spend three hours with us on Sunday morning. We can have all the teaching and discipling programs we want to have, but we were more effective at winning the lost with a to-the-point Sunday School of 45 minutes and a sharp, well done to-the-point service of around 50-60 minutes. No matter how much church people may enjoy an extended song service followed by a looooonnnnnggggg sermon, the lost won't come and hear the gospel that way. I'm not advocating sermonettes for Christianettes, just that it is surprising that it might be more effective to model 1955 than 1995 in a once a week evangelistic service.

    2. Easily singable, familiar songs. Hymnals are less intimidating than power point if the power point isn't spot on with the correct lyrics. And think congregational singing with music accompanying, not a show up front the congregation can sing along with if they want. Lost people and unchurched Christians are probably not listening to CCM all week, so those praise and worship songs we find so familiar may be greek to them. You may be sick of Just as I Am and Amazing Grace to the old tunes, but if those are the only Christian songs they know use them....at least often. And it is surprising how many men simply will no longer attend church because they find it icky to sing those Jesus is my boyfriend songs. Yes, the church is full of men that do love them, but we are trying to win the lost, not make the guy in the next pew happy. As one guy put it: no, the church is not too feminine for me. It isn't straight enough. Oh my!

    3. Respect their time. Seriously. Respect their time. Keep it short, expository, and leave them wanting more. If you hit a visitor the first time they come with such a long service the baby is starving, the toddler is past nap time and tantruming, and the teens are late for a game they won't be back. Ditto if you try to sign dad up for a Monday night men's meeting, mom for a Tuesday ladies' Bible study, the teen up for a Saturday night lock in, and the kids for various week day activities. Families are extraordinarily busy these days. If you seem like you judge how "saved" someone is by how many hours their butts can tolerate a pew, they will not be back.

    4. Don't be afraid to live for Jesus. We've all had the training about how we need to be just like the culture to reach it. But we are finding at least those unsaved willing to talk to us might consider salvation and coming to church if we went back to living a different lifestyle once we get saved. They know dirty from clean when they see it. They will listen to what we have to say more if we refuse the dirty.

    Eyeopening.
     
  9. Zaac

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    This is interesting. And I understand why we do these things. But are we supposed to? The Church is for the Body of Believers, not the unsaved.

    Why are we attempting in so many of our churches to turn what is supposed to be a fellowship of the saints and worship of Christ into an outreach event?

    If individuals were being the church outside the church, would we have to depend on the pastor to take Church time and appeal to what appeals to the unsaved.
     
  10. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    I'll Tell Ya What I Think....!

    Icon....That is simply one of the best linked articles I have EVER read here on the Baptist Board since I have been here. Pastor Savastio is "on-time" and "on target" with his evaluation of our current challenges with this culture. What I took away from his message is that we need to get back to what works...preaching,teaching and yes...even singing the Truth of the Gospel and being living examples (holy living) of the truth we say we believe. I personally believe he is calling for a return to the older-fashioned methods that always worked in the past. To THAT I say a hearty AMEN! In actuality, if ANYBODY is "reached" it is ONLY by the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.....not all our glitsy modern methodology. Spread the Word, sow the seed, live as Titus 2:11,12 instructs us to. God will accomplish His purpose.....and THANKFULLY, (we) get the blessing of having a part in that purpose...amen? Well...AMEN then!:thumbs: Great post Icon. I look forward like OldTimer already said, to sharing it with others! Thanks....and I ain't even a Calvinist...imagine that:laugh:...sorry...couldn't resist!:smilewinkgrin:

    Bro.Greg:saint:
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    Brother GP,
    Glad you enjoyed it as I did.Pastor Savisito has a Christ centered ,word centered ministry and I have heard many of His sermons on sermonaudio.
    He opens the word and speaks to our responsiblity to offer Holy service to King Jesus. Gp...we can and should agree on much more than we differ on:wavey:

    Anyone saved by the blood is a calvinist...just some do not realize it yet:laugh:
     
  12. righteousdude2

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    Agreed....

    ...our pews are filled with lukearm Christians, and that is why the church is facing a crisis in morals, values and Biblical views. :tear:
     
  13. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    For The Record...

    Bro. Icon...I'm equally sure that there are many things you and I could find at least SOME common ground on....but with that said...(and I really don't want to turn this into another Cal/non-Cal debate)....I could never imagine coming to the place where I will ever accept the idea that the Holy Creator God and Father that sent His Son to die for me would ever "elect" some and not others of His created beings to go to Heaven and "predestine" others into a burning hell without ever giving them a choice in the matter. That is the void that will always divide our theologies and hinder our attempts to establish a more intimate fellowship one with another. It is regretable. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with whether or not either of us is saved so whether or not we ever enjoy a close fellowship here is not of any permanent eternal importance. Once we have had the "dross" and all the wood, hay, and stubble burned away at Christ's Judgement Seat...we'll be able to move beyond the disagreements and the controversies of this life. I look forward to that time and until then I wish you as much good will and brotherly charity :flower: as possible.

    Bro.Greg:saint:
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    Predestination speaks of God conforming a multitude of sinners into the Image of his Son.

    25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    Any and all in hell will be there quite justly for their sins.It seems as if someone has given you some ideas that are not true to scripture.

    In your theology GP...as Jesus was hanging on the cross....at that very moment,there were people living in South America, China, Russia,etc...who had never heard of Jesus or the gospel.
    What choice do you believe they had? How do you explain that to someone you are speaking with about the need of the new birth? How exactly does our Holy God punish all sin worldwide?
    This does not have to turn into a debate at all, but that question needs a biblical answer!
     
  15. Oldtimer

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    Just some layman's thoughts this morning for whatever they may be worth.

    The majority of the lost are not coming to services. Period. It doesn't matter what's going on inside those 4 walls of a church building on Sunday morning. It's easy to observe this while driving to/from church. Especially evident when grass growing season starts up again.

    Up front, I don't like Powerpoint, the way it's being used in worship services. Please don't get me wrong. Like any other tool, it has it's uses and can be effective in bringing forth the message of the cross. IMO, Powerpoint is being used like too much sickly sweet icing on a cake. If I want gobs of icing, I buy a container of it at the store and dig into it with a spoon. If plain cake is good, on it's own, then a LITTLE icing can enhance it. Too much icing and the favor and texture of the cake disappears in all that goo.

    Next, I can never get tired of hearing the message of the gospel in those old familiar hymns. Even though I can't carry a tune in a bucket, I can still lift my voice with those words learned long ago as a child. Leaving the hymnal in the rack because the words are in my heart and not dressed up with gimmicks up on a screen.

    As a side note, I run the sound system for our church to record our sermons for shut-ins and others. Positioned to overlook the congregation and to monitor the sound levels, there IS a difference between singing The Old Rugged Cross and a newly introduced 7-11. It's hard to find words to describe the difference. But, I know it's there as my eyes can see it and my hears can hear it. The sound system records it, too.


    Mixed emotions here. Yes, respect their time. Yet, what's more important their time or God's time? On one hand, if Sunday morning worship schedule is approximately an hour, let the congregation know that next Sunday it will be 2 hours long. That notice allows members to plan accordingly. On the other hand, the stroke of noon is not a school bell where children can escape study and go outside to play. It saddens me greatly when I see people get up and leave at 12:01 or hear them gripe because services didn't close until 10 after the hour.

    Of what you've said, IMO, that's the most important. That it is evident to the unsaved that Jesus is walking with you outside the 4 walls of a place of worship. And, not only for the unsaved. I don't know about other folks. Just know that it is uplifting to hear another say "I hope you have a blessed day.". Heard those words, yesterday from an employee at a home improvement store. He knew he could say those words to me, in this "politically correct" society, because of our prior conversation.

    In closing, and again IMO, the role of the members of the body of Christ is to take the Word into the community. We are missing the boat, if the message we leave is "Come to church to get saved". Yes, invite all to church. But, we should do our part, everywhere we are, to aid the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of those around us. Even at a home improvement store.

    Help bake the cake. Let our Saviour add the icing.
     
  16. saturneptune

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    First of all, opening our collars, untucking our shirts, piercing our ears, playing electric guitars, and beating drums has nothing to do with being a Christian or not being a Christian. Also, does watching less R rated movies, or drinking less beer have anything to do with being a Christian? As far as using entertainment and dirty words to tell Bible stories, I have never heard of that, but is about on the same level as churches that cancel a worship service to watch the Super Bowl, or better yet, watch the Super Bowl at church.

    Anyone can memorize a bunch of dos and donts, obey them for 100 years and split hell wide open. Pharisees did that. Our actions are a result of being saved through faith in Jesus Christ and being lead by the Holy Spirit.

    I would not worship in a local church that did anything worldly like to attract people, but neither would I be a member of a church that has a lot of rules that they themselves have ranked in importance. It is kind of like the old, tired model of emphasizing some of the things listed here, drinking, gambling, and whatever else and ignoring gossip.

    If a local church is telling the Good News, and lost people are responding, the church is growing. Each church member is lead by the Holy Spirit. There are two things that are totally unnecessary for church growth. An entertainment tonight mindset, and a list of Pharisee expectations.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    I believe totally in doctrines of grace, and that is an inappropriate statement, to be nice about it, the blood of Christ and calvin in the same sentence.
     
    #17 saturneptune, Mar 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2013
  18. Luke2427

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    Church is about God- not visitors.

    It is about worshiping God as he is in a way that is suitable to the worship of One such as He is.

    The problem with many churches today is they are trying to kill two birds with one stone- they are trying to evangelize with the worship service.

    It is laziness in many cases. We don't want to do the work of going out and reaching them in the world so we try to make a cool, hip, fun relevant service that they will be attracted to.

    This is a crime- it really is. It is a terrible, terrible crime.

    Worship is not about them- it is about God.

    It is to be designed to suit HIM- not them.

    The music, liturgy, and preaching of a worship service ought to be geared to an atmosphere befitting One of whom the seraphim cry HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! while covering their eyes unable to look upon his seering glory.

    Sinners ought to cry out, not- "Oh man, this is pretty cool, dude!" They ought to cry out "WOE IS ME!!!! For I am UNDONE!!!"

    Worship is about God- not sinners.

    Evangelism is evangelism.

    Worship is worship.

    We don't get to try to kill two birds with one stone. We keep them appropriately separate.
     
  19. Luke2427

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    Yet Jesus did not die for Lucifer and the one-third of the angels that fell.

    Perhaps, and probably, MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of once perfect angels- God NEVER elected to save ANY of them- not one of them.

    He determined in eternity past, knowing EXACTLY what they would do, to let them rebel and to hurl them into the Lake of Fire forever.

    Your statement above simply does not gee haw with Scripture, brother. It does not coalesce with the God of the Bible.

    You may not LIKE to think of God this way, but you do not have a choice. You don't get to fashion God to SUIT you. What you LIKE to think about God is irrelevant. What matters is how God reveals himself in Scripture.

    The God who reveals himself in Scripture elects to save some and leave the rest for destruction. Regardless of how that affects you emotionally, regardless of how that grates against everything you've always been taught and wanted to believe about God- it is what it is and you are obligated to abandon your preferential perspectives of God for the ACTUAL God of Scripture.
     
  20. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Yes!!!

    Amen Luke...well said. I will say this....there is nothing wrong with making sure the basic Gospel is clearly presented during the preaching and teaching that takes place each week in our Sunday Schools and worship services because there is always the possibility that there are lost visitors (and church members) there. However...I do believe that should be SECONDARY to the internal purpose of the assembly of believers that make up a Biblical New Testament local Church. That internal purpose is the edification and instruction of the saints in the milk and meat of the Word of God. Our Evangelistic efforts should be taking place PRIMARILY outside the walls of the church in the neighborhoods,highways and bi-ways of the world. We should be PRIMARILY winning them OUT THERE....and then drawing them into our fellowships that they may be discipled and grow AFTER they are saved. I'm NOT saying it is in any way wrong to invite a lost friend or acquaintance to church. Many have been saved that way...AMEN!!! But.....many lost are on our church rolls who doubtless are still in darkness who believe they are OK...simply because they are there. The other thing is that it seems we rather easily think and use the fact that "the preacher will tell'em" as an excuse to not be the witnesses the Lord saved us to be. I am guilty of not being very "verbal" in my witness about the Lord though I do at least try to offer as many as I can a Gospel Tract. That is just my basic thoughts on the matter.

    Bro.Greg:saint:
     

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