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Fundamentalist Survival Mechanism

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Rhetorician, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    I just thought I would have a little fun with the congregation in pointing out to them in a humorous way the issues that have come up in churches and how they detract from the real message and purpose of our lives.
     
  2. windcatcher

    windcatcher New Member

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    From what I've seen, Trevin Wax nails it close in his assessment, which, at best, one cannot say is conclusive... as I think any conclusion drawn today concerning the differences between a SBC church and an Independent Baptist Church as to what they agree on & disagree on is (imho) immaterial beyond mere speculation & generalization past the point of where one church chooses to affiliate with a cooperative program & convention for the pulling together of resources of money & talent for the use of missions, education etc... or chooses to be independent: If my understanding is correct, practically each & every Baptist church is independent, & may choose to dis-associate from the convention.

    I suppose there are masters of history more knowledgeble & correct in observation of the reasons for the exodus of people into or out of churches (having essentially the same doctrine) based on preference for associating with a convention or not. If one would look to some of these advantages & disadvantages, perhaps one would get a better clue as to why people prefer one over another. With a convention there is the strength of a larger collective of people, a larger collective of their resources to fund projects/missions on a large scale, & connections in place already without having to build from scratch a network to respond to a particular or peculiar need which may hit one church or one region. Belonging to a convention also promotes conformity & agreement to priorities set by the group, which may seem to ignore... or does ignore the isolated but very real concerns of people within the church, or community of the churched.

    Yes, some of these concerns have developed around issues of music, Bible versions, the influences infiltrating the seminaries & school colleges, the choice of silence or voice to policies of government/ changes in culture/ conditions & perceptions of changes affecting the homes, marriages, families, children & communities. What the independent fail to understand is that while some churches may belong to the convention, each Baptist church has a wide berth of expressing itself independently from the conformity to a snapshot of the conventions policies & direction as a whole: What the convention fails to understand, is its hesitancy to see & take stands on issues, which some see as being significant to deteriorating changes occurring within & without the Baptist church community of faith, as a weakness & creator of confusion instead of action to identify, respond, &, if possible, be a force which helps to resolve: Furthermore, independents view the dialoguing with government agencies & agents on various problems (such as FEMA, homeland security, etc.) & the reports of pastors or groups of pastors making agreements or collaborating with government (as in policies of identification & supportive of enforcement) as the staging of the church to become more & more intensely involved in & potential for compromise from its real mission of promoting the gospel & providing sanctuary for the sheep. Independents observe the support that the convention has added to the credibility of such personnages as Rick Warren or Haggard, & the reluctance of the conventional body to address or rebuke the compromise to doctrine & Biblical principals & warnings concerning collaborating & dialoguing with people of other religions to acheive consensus & compromise, .... or the soft-peddleing on sin such as homosexuality, gay marriage, & growing tolerance within the church which eventually/ historically DOES lead to acceptance & inclusion. Yes, the rise of women to positions of authority.... or groups of women seeking recognition in positions of authority is viewed as against Biblical instruction: Here, it is not a matter of doctrine.... it is a matter of what does the Bible say about women in leadership just like homosexuality doesn't have to be a doctrinal issue because the Bible already says most clearly what God thinks & judges regarding behaviors which go against His intended design. Independents & the SBC both agree that the Bible is their source & foundation, so, since the convention has a larger voice to be heard & recognized both in our country & internationally, the independents are bewildered when any voice from that large body seems to be appallingly small on these several issues presented in this paragraph: Needless to say, though the independents know that their voice is small & their circles are often tighter..... they have a strength of agreement in broad areas which are important to them.. where the joined collective in the convention does not because its afraid of divisions.... & therefore moves in direction towards tolerance & compromise. In this regard, I dare say, there are many churches in the SBC, which would splinter & divide, if it weren't for their own pastors & leadership taking stands on these issues & holding true to the fundamentals.

    Yes, the independents seem to be more willing to openly identify & rebuke from the pulpit, those persons of fame which are influencing & impacting people within the Baptist faith. While some of this may seem to be overdone... the Bible clearly has evidence that this is appropriate behavior .... in fact it is a necessary part of a pastor's role in leadership .... to be the watchman on the wall... to warn the people & point out those whose public position & influence is in error & is a threat to the wholesome well being & spiritual soundness of the body if not identified & avoided .. or approached w/ utmost caution.... see passages in scripture Galatians 2:11 & III John vs 9-11. This is not done at my church, which is SBC connected. I do know our literature which goes into our library is carefully screened.... so books like The Shack, isn't in stock... but neither are books exposing deception (i.e. warning or identifying new-ageisms) or controversy.

    Every Baptist church which I've attended seems to have its own peculiarities regarding values like dress, Bible versions, how much or how little women have a position of service vs leadership: I've never heard a woman preach in a Baptist church, but on numerous occasions in both independent & SBC churches, have seen the pastor introduce & "loan" the pulpit for a woman to bring her testimony or report to the church concerning a change in her life, or her work on the mission field, or an appeal to special needs & opportunities for service.

    I attend a church closely associated with the SBC but is so gospel based & fundamental that I am satisfied at present that it is where God would have me to go: However, having in past times been a member of an independent Baptist church... and having several within commuting distance, i would not hesitate to consider changing if the Lord so leads or if I started seeing a rise of hostility or attacks upon what the Bible teaches, a direction away from its truth & instruction, & perceived my presence contributed more to that path towards apostasy than acting as an influence to stop it.

    Whether in the convention or independent from the convention... I believe each Baptist church has its place of service to those in the body of Christ. The question of competition & contention is more of the enemy's illusion & desire to accuse & divide in many instances, than it is real. No doubt there are exceptions. I live in the country... where there are farms & woodlands still. In a 12 mile radius there are at least a half dozen churches or more... all SBC & at least half as many independent Baptist churches. There are some ministries which overlap & benefit from the support of both divisions & the membership from within. There are differences between everyone of these churches (not great & not contentious) of the same faith & those within the same community & each serves the needs of the community of believers who attend each one.
     
  3. windcatcher

    windcatcher New Member

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    I do think some of these issues are really issues of leadership within each church: In some churches one may find a dictatorial type leadership from the pastor.... "its my way or the highway". In some churches the control is from within the membership & they dictate to both pastors & the rest of the church what they will or will not support... & their control & influence is such that if its not done, they'll vote out the pastor & find a new one. If put to the test... I think if most lay people were polled as to why they go to a particular church... their reasoning would often be based on something other than doctrine; oh, they might say "because we believe the Bible"... and might give some basic doctrine..... but point out another church which has the same doctrine... and it quickly moves into particulars of personal prefences & values (some of which may actually have a true basis in scriptures though not all) .....& then it actually boils down to those issues which define what they feel most comfortable with, those values which they also identify as being personnally important & supportive of their lifestyle & traditions of 'how things should be'... and you'll find it is not all about docrine at all... To them, it may be about doctrine at the top (or as individuals...maybe not).. but the rest is often what fits their comfort zone, their feeling of belonging, their inability or ability to serve, etc.

    One thing I notice big time..... Any time Bible versions --er--translations, get thrown into the mix... it is usually the KJV or the NAV which gets assaulted: With the limited vocabulary used, its simplicity, the trial of time & intense study & attacks it has withstood, the consistency of its message &ease of understanding, the poetic ease of memory work, the dignity with which it address subjects which are vulgar & profane by nature... but are understood by adults while protecting the innocence of children...& preserves the sense of "The Holy" in the very communications from God... it is hard to resist its appeal & most arguments against its use seem most superficial at best; (Especially the ones relating to language.... when kids are learning more complex languages in school as a second language... far more difficult than learning a few ye's &thou's, and -th's). There are some other good versions.... but the difficulty presented by so many to pick from is whichever one is chosen means that others aren't.... so the competition continues... both to copywrite & sell... & to confuse those who become familar with & have memory worked in one but are now under literature & instruction out of another. To see this as no problem is almost like denying the Bible itself.... when one reads the subtility of the serpent in the garden... or the temptations of Jesus... i.e. "Yes, has God said" and "For it is written..." and as another poster has already pointed out a subtil change in the NIV even distorts or confuses the consistency of the scriptures....... then the confidence in having a book, the book upon whose words our faith is based & upon which we can reliably measure between truth & deception becomes an essential point for serious consideration & identification. If one church chooses not to identify a prefence.... then it allows for personal prefernences & potential for confusion. If one church prefers to identfy that version which is used & taught in its pulpit & instruction, then it has at least endorsed a particular translation which it regards as most reliable & consistent & has eliminated the guess work & confusion of choice among many translations.

    Even if, as a policy of the church, it decides to allow for personal choice, then the leadership owes the members at least some consistency about that which the leadership chooses to work with & quote, imo. One pulpit with many versions, as recommended by The Purpose Driven author, is a contributor to confusion.... and, in my Bible it tells me who the author of confusion is.

    Well, as I am learning also..... that often times, in a mutitude of words there is often sin.... and so many have I written on these boards... wishing later I could blot out... I'll close this post.
     
  4. sag38

    sag38 Active Member

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    One pulpit with many versions, as recommended by The Purpose Driven author, is a contributor to confusion.... and, in my Bible it tells me who the author of confusion is.

    You just stated an opinion which you are entitled too. It may be confusing to you but to others, evidently it isn't. So does that make it of the devil? BTW, I'm no advocate of using multiple versions.
     
  5. michael-acts17:11

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    As a former IFB, I can attest to the validity of Mr Wax's assertions. There is an easy distinction between Bible doctrine & man's preference. Is the held doctrine clearly, unmistakenly spelled out in Scripture without any additional clarification from men? If it is not, then it is preference & likely false-doctrine.

    As an ex-IFBer, I heard more sermons on why IFB's are more spiritual than everyone else than on Biblical doctrines; & never on expository preaching. They never said "more spiritual", but what else can be concluded when every other form of Baptist is attacked from the pulpit as liberal, reprobate, & false churches? It has devolved into a pharisaic religion where Grace stops at salvation & works are needed for God's every blessing.

    Many of us need to stop towing the denominational (to be read "sects") line & study God's Word apart from our traditions & desires for denominational superiority.

    P.S. I actually disagree concerning the Bible versions. I am not a KJVonlyer, but I have found too many blatant faults with some of the newer versions that they must either be intentional or gross interpretational blunders.
     
    #25 michael-acts17:11, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  6. stilllearning

    stilllearning Active Member

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    Hi windcatcher

    You said.....
    This is a very interesting subject.
    But the answer, isn’t as some might think: (For them to share power.)

    The way I see that Scripture spells this out, is that the pastor, is simply a member of his Church, yet as the moderator during business meetings, he doesn’t have a vote.
    (The Head of the Church is Christ, but the congregation decides how it runs itself.)

    And the pastor, must always be in “total control” of what is preached or taught, and who preaches or teaches it........
    Hebrews 13:17
    “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.”

    --------------------------------------------------
    My Church could vote me out at any time: (And I often encourage them to, if I ever stray from Bible Doctrine), but I never worry about it, because the Lord is in complete control........
    Revelation 3:7
    “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;”
     
  7. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

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    If you are arguing for a singular pastoral head, your proof-text won't help. It says "them" -- that is plural, as is virtually every example of NT pastoral leadership.
     
  8. stilllearning

    stilllearning Active Member

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    Hello glfredrick

    You asked.......
    Okey, here is one........
    Acts 15:19
    “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:”


    James was “the pastor”, of the Church at Jerusalem, therefore he made the final decision.
     
  9. michael-acts17:11

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    Where does Scripture blatantly state that James is the sole authority pastor? That is an assumption without basis.
     
  10. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

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    James acted as the head of a pastoral council, right?
     
  11. stilllearning

    stilllearning Active Member

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    Hello michael-acts17:11 and welcome

    You asked........
    First of all, Scripture does not have to “blatantly state” things, for them to be clearly taught in Scripture:(There are a lot of clear Doctrines that have been established, without them being blatantly stated)!

    As for the fact that James was the senior pastor at Jerusalem, the Bible does make a blatant statement about that, in verse 19..........
    “.....my sentence is”, and everyone else going along with his sentence.

    Only a pastor with “sole authority” as you put it, could do such a thing.


    Look forward to talking to you again.
     
  12. stilllearning

    stilllearning Active Member

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    Hello again glfredrick

    The issue being discussed, is does the Bible teach...“a singular pastoral head”, as you put it.

    My interpretation of that statement, is the question that seems to be coming up a lot now days, about whether a Church should have a senior pastor who makes the final ministry decisions or a group of pastors, each with their own areas of responsibility.

    I do not think the later, is Biblical, with all that the Bible has to say about a pastor’s authority in the Church and I see the push to this kind of system, as a mistake.
    --------------------------------------------------
    As for your question........
    I am not sure what you mean by that.
    If you mean that the Church in Jerusalem had a senior pastor(James), and some associate pastors under him(it was a big Church), than I can accept that.
    And this meeting being held at His Church, opened it up for him to make the final decision.

    But....if you are describing, what I talked about above, than I disagree.
    This would have been unbiblical.
     
  13. michael-acts17:11

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    "Stilllearning"
    According to your view, the First Century church had the same institutional model as todays churches with a "Senior" pastor, "Associate" pastors, & any other descriptors which outline a hierarchy. This is absurd on its face. In the Scriptural model of a plurality if elders with equal authority, any one of the elders could have made that statement with the same authority. Besides, in order to accept your assumption, you must first reject the clear teaching of Scripture: Mat 20:25-26 "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you..." I've always preferred clear, unmistakable references to eisigetical prooftexting. I'll believe Christ's "it shall not be so" to your "Scripture does not have to “blatantly state” things" approach.

    So many false doctrines are based on this type of single verse prooftexting where more is read into the text than the text actually states. Here are some examples:

    The Ever Virgin Mary: Luke 1:28

    Baptismal Regeneration: Acts 2:38

    N.T. church under the Old Covenant Acts: 7:38

    Even the punctuation & chapter/verse numbering are inspired: Matthew 5:18
     
  14. stilllearning

    stilllearning Active Member

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    Hello michael-acts17:11

    You said........
    Why not. Are not today’s Bible believing Churches, doing things according to the Bible?

    Now the term "associate pastor”, was included in my conversation with glfredrick, in an attempt to understand what she was getting at.

    But yes, this is a "Biblical" hierarchy.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Next you said.......
    Talking about absurdity; this paragraph is certainly absurd.

    What.... “Scriptural model of a plurality if elders with equal authority”:
    There is no such Scriptural model.
    This is just a rebel’s dream.

    And if(as you say), any one of the elders could have made that statement, that would have meant, that this statement wouldn’t have carried any weight.
    If this had been the case, I know(just as everyone at that meeting did), that the Apostle Paul, would have totally disregarded it.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Next, you surprised me with a Scripture reference........
    And as expected, you are reading more into it, than it actually says.
    The context of Matthew 20:25 is, the mother of James & John had asked Jesus if her sons could be set above the other Apostles.

    Jesus’ response, is talking about how all the Apostles shall always be equal in authority.
    (Knowing that the Catholic Church be lifting Peter up, above all the others.)

    As for your use of “exegetical proof texting”; This has always been seen as dangerous, because it opens the door, for taking a verse or two out of context(as you have clearly done here), and making it say what ever a person wants it to say.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Also you refer to what I said, by saying.......
    I guess you could call this an approach, if you want to.

    When I said........
    I was talking about Doctrines like, “the 7 year tribulation period”.

    Nowhere, does the Bible blatantly talk about a 7 year tribulation period, yet this is clearly taught in Scripture, in several places, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

    The problem, with your twisted interpretation of Matthew 20:25 & 26, is you don’t find the true interpretation of what the Lord was saying, by “comparing what the rest of the Bible says about this subject”........
    1 Corinthians 2:13
    “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

    --------------------------------------------------
    Michael, I don’t blame you for this misconception of the authority of the local Church.
    I suspect, that you have been sold a bill of goods.


    Have a good day.
     
  15. glfredrick

    glfredrick New Member

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    Stilllearning, I don't expect to fight this out with you, nor do I really have the time to do so, but I do see a plurality of elders in the NT Scriptures. There may be a leader, but he is a leader among peers, not a solitary leader in the pastoral model that we present in our churches (for the most part).

    There have been a lot of excesses made in the realm of church and denominational leadership down through the ages, some stemming from tradition, some from proof-texting a verse here and there, and others yet from simple ignorance of what the Scriptures actually say because the ones making the decision were not versed in the original language, etc.

    Please also note that I am not saying that any one particular system of church governance is THE correct way. I believe that God left enough vagueness in the scriptural record to allow us some leeway in the local setting, but with that being said, we know that the "offices (or officers) of the church" are pastor, elder, and deacon and that a plurality is always a part of the mention of these persons.

    Acts 14:23 shows elders being appointed in every church.
    Acts 15:2ff shows Paul speaking to the elders.
    Acts 15:22 shows the elders speaking back to Paul.
    Acts 20:17 Paul calls together the elders of Ephesus.

    The OT is full of reference to "elders" (plural).

    I would humbly suggest that a plurality of elders is the norm in Scripture, but not the norm in typical Baptist church practice. Perhaps we Baptists have carried over the Catholic parish model, where there is a single priest over every congregation without even knowing it?
     
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