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Stepping on my soap box

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spinach, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

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    I fully agree. :thumbs:

    However, the Matt. 7 passage goes on to give us instructions on how we are to proceed. We are to remove the plank from our own eye before we attempt to remove the speck from our brother's eye. Matt 7:1 does not forbid the right of making moral and spiritual judgements (cf. 7:6; 1 Cor 2:15; 5:9; 2 Cor. 11:4; Pil. 3:2;1 John 4:1).* The passage does forbid us from having a bitter, hostile, and unkind spirit.* Also Hypocritical self-righteousness has no place in the life of a Christian.* I would also point out that a certain amount of judgment is required on our part in order to fullfil the teaching of Matt. 18:15-20.

    *These ideas are taken for the footnotes on Matt. 7:1 in the NKJV, Baptist Study Edition edited by W.A. Criswell and Paige Patterson.
     
    #101 Bible-boy, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2008
  2. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    I did not mention your name or have you in mind, but I am astounded at your standing out in the crowd.
     
  3. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    The whole premise you establish your originating question is flawed. How can anyone have a Christian background and reject Christianity? That is impossible. They were never Christian in the first place.

    What kind of question is "What is your spiritual background?" How about are you saved by the finished work of Jesus on the cross?
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    KJV "if thy brother shall trespass against thee"
    ESV "If your brother sins against you"
    NKJV "if your brother sins against you"
    NIV "If your brother sins against you"
    NLT "If another believer sins against you"
    AMP "If your brother wrongs you"
    MESS "If a fellow believer hurts you"
    NRSV "If another member of the church sins against you"
    RSV "If your brother sins against you"
    CEV "If one of my followers sins against you"
    HCSB "If your brother sins against you"

    NASB "if your brother sins"

    One of these things is not like the others....
     
    #104 Jerome, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2008
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Well, in regards to your original statement that "we are commanded to intervene with those who have claimed the name of Christ but are not living as Christ commanded," you are certainly correct.

    Having said that, the OP was about judging whether a person is saved, not discerning whether or not they are living as a Christian should. I don't believe anyone should ever make statements like, "I know he's lost because...." God doesn't give us that right. And my original post on this thread was objecting to donnA using Matt. 7:15 to refer to all professiing Christians. Since donnA hasn't answered that, I'll trust that my point was made.

    God bless and Happy New Year!
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Look again at the passages. I hate to do so, but apparently I disagree with both Criswell and Patterson here on some of these verses.

    Matt. 7:6 is not referring to passing judgement on salvation.

    1 Cor. 2:15 speaks of judging things, not people.

    1 Cor. 5:9 applies to church discipline since it is a letter to a church, and I fully agree with proper church discipline conducted on the steps given in Matt. 18. But church discipline does not judge a person's salvation, only their relevant actions.

    2 Cor. 11:4 is not talking about judging people, but heresy in the vital area of the Gospel. If a person is a heretic, we are then to separate from them. But that is, once again, about church discipline, not individual actions.

    Phil. 3:2 is, once again, to a church not individuals.

    1 John 4:1 is about false prophets, not the salvation of an individual.

    And again, you mention Matt. 18, but that is about church discipline, not individual judgements.

    To make sure the record is straight, I believe in both church discipline and ecclesiastical separation. As a pastor and church member, I'll do all I can to protect my church from heresy, and have done so in the past. But as an individual, I will never, ever judge another's salvation, or look down on them for whatever sins they've committed. I am just as sinful as any of them, and of course Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners.
     
  7. Allan

    Allan Active Member

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    That is quite simple realy. You asking them to tell you about what 'they' believe.
    IOW - It opens a door or window of opportunity to share with them what they claim to embrace but also knowing full well they do not.

    That one is simple to. It allows you to engage in a conversation with them where they can speak in an honest dialog and 'can be' more receptive to the message she wants to bring them.

    Secondly: What makes you so sure they will fully grasp your question?
    Do they comprehend what 'saved' means? Most don't
    Do they comprehend the all that the phrase 'finished work of Jesus on the Cross' entails?
    Do they even understand the reason and meaning of the cross.

    With regard to both your question and Marcia's you will both (hopefully) enter into a conversation in which the gospel will be presented. Marcia though has the benifit of attempting to build a relationship with that person by getting them to explain themselves and their beliefs so she better knows how to approach certain things and when. In this way the conversation can be brought about towards the gospel and expounding it as the Spirit leads (whether abruptly or whatever). Your way however, if and when recieved, one now has to explain what the question means, expound more on certain aspects, and then you still have to find out what understand and have believed. So both are arriving at the same point but one is a little more fluid than the other as well as being seen as not quite as rude.
     
    #107 Allan, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2009
  8. Beth

    Beth New Member

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    gossip

    I personally don't think this is appropriate for us to comment on a second hand story about this pastor.....this isn't a first hand account, but a second hand account, as retold by the brother of the woman who actually had this exchange with the pastor....it is kind of gossipy.

    The sister of the poster should be the one to go back to that pastor, if she believes he sinned against her by insulting her, as per Matthew 18, and straighten this out. We are commenting on the woman's perception of what was said, how it was said.....it might be accurate, but the Bible tells us to hear the entire matter before commenting.

    I'm happy, Spinach, that your sister is now growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, but perhaps you could advise her to go back to the original pastor and express her feelings directly to him. We really shouldn't be commenting on a second hand story.

    Your sis in Christ,
    Beth

    by the way, why does your father pray in the yard?
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Here in Japan the statement, "the finished work of Jesus on the cross" would be incomprehensible to 99% of the population. Of the other 1%, who are self-named as "Christian," many would still not understand.

    In modern America there is a larger and larger percentage of non-Christians and cultural Christians. For such people Marcia's question is an excellent one.
     
  10. blackbird

    blackbird Active Member

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    This is honestly the most intelligent post in this whole thread-----thanks, Martin!! And I mean it!!!:thumbsup: :type: A call to salvation is a call to obey!! Anything short of obedience to the word of God is rebellion and rebellion is as witchcraft
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    My NASB has a footnote that "many manuscripts add...'against you'".

    I looked in my greek bible...I see the "sou" (you), but not the "against", which must be supplied.

    Thanks for the info.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Well, I can't speak for donnA, but I didn't see her say "Matt. 7:15 says....." She said the bible says "you shall know them by their fruit". Perhaps she should have been more exact as to which passage she was referring to.

    There are many places in scripture which speak of the expectation of bearing fruit among those who have claimed Christ. It is a common analogy. The parable of the sower is a good example.

    Another is Luke 6:43-44 "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. (44) For each tree is known by its own fruit...."

    I re-read your original post. I have to take issue with your last statement.
    I don't believe scripture supports the idea that the outer change can "come anytime". What I have found in scripture is the expectation that the inner change will produce at least some outer change immediately, and that there should be a steady growth in maturity in the faith from that point on. That was certainly evident with your friend from your post. Those who knew him saw the change and commented on it.

    Those that do not produce authenicating "works" (fruit) are encouraged to examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith.

    peace to you:praying:
     
    #112 canadyjd, Jan 1, 2009
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  13. Berean

    Berean Member
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    Correct me if I am wrong but I have found in reading the scriptures that Paul is constantly judging the Saints but have yet found where he judged the lost or the damned.
     
  14. IveyLeaguer

    IveyLeaguer New Member

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    I almost always agree with you on various matters. It's a long story, but that part of your statement is unfair, inaccurate, and unbiblical.

    Drugs, by their very nature are a different story. The whole purpose of doing them is to lose your sobriety.

    :jesus:
     
    #114 IveyLeaguer, Jan 1, 2009
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  15. IveyLeaguer

    IveyLeaguer New Member

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    Agree.

    The root of that statement is self-righteousness.

    :praying:
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Clear, concise and absolutely true. :thumbsup:

    Or, if I were to keep the alliteration going. . .Clear, concise and consistently correct.
     
  17. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    This question works well with many people who are not saved or do not seem to be. A "Christian background" usually means they were raised going to church and/or perhaps had Christian parents or parents who professed Christianity.

    I myself was raised going to various churches (because we moved a lot, including living overseas). I went to Sunday School and youth group. I had a mother raised So. Baptist who claimed to be a Christian (though I never saw her pray or read the Bible) and an agnostic father. So I had a "Christian background." Having a Christian background does not mean one was a Christian. But if people asked me when I was in my teens if I was a Christian, I would have said "yes," though I was not.

    Haven't you ever come across people like this? They're all over the place.

    Many Wiccans were raised in Christian homes - sometimes in very legalistic ones, which is why they reject Christianity. Some were raised Catholic, some were raised in the mainline churches. New Agers (who are often professing Christians - they rarely call themselve New Agers - or they may say they like all religions) often say they are spiritual or on a "spritual path," so asking them what their spiritual path is an excellent starting point.

    If you just start telling them they need to be saved right off, they will cut the conversation off. However, if you can discuss or dialogue, you will be able to give the gospel and it will be a natura part of the conversation.

    I'm surprised you are so critical of my questions when I've been using them in my full-time ministry for 10 years. They usually lead to very good discussions.
     
    #117 Marcia, Jan 1, 2009
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  18. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    I think this verse is often used to justify the "lynch mob" mentality within the Church but when you take the entire situation in consideration it is clear to me Paul had an agenda quite the contrary. Where it is true the Church has an obligation to assure it doesn't become known as a safe haven or hangout for those who willfully practice sin or have become so comfortable with their sinful lifestyle that they feel it is approved in heaven so have no intention of changing their sinful ways.

    This is what we find in Corinth at the time of Paul's letter. In verse 1 he says he is being told of a Gentile man who is being affectionate with his stepmother. When you contract verse 2 with v6 you can see this situation tearing apart the Church. v2 says some are puffed up and v6 says some are "glorying" in the fact they had a good Christian Church. A Church divided against itself is a recipe for the success of evil.

    V9 implies this is really not the first epistle he wrote to Corinth and in that first letter he told them not to company with willful open sinners such as fornicators (see the list in v10). Willful open sinners do a couple of things, they bring negative publicity to God's Church and they have a way of growing and multiplying within the Church as other members feel if this is good for one it must be good for all. If we can tolerate Bro So and So's fornication then certainly it will be ok if I do what I do... That is how a "little leaven leaveneth the whole lump".

    So v10 he says the Church can't let those who plan to live this type of life come and fellowship as if what you're doing is ok. Understand there is a difference from one who plans to continue living in sin and one who came to be saved from their sin. My take on the end of v11 is at minimum we should not allow them to take communion (with such an one no not to eat.) v12 says we are not the ones who will "judge" the ungodly. v13 says they will meet their fate at the judgment of God.

    So that leaves Paul to answer the question of what do you do with one who is in the Church yet living like the world? Understand this Church didn't have the benefit of Matthews written Gospel. When you think about it this is not really a judgment call, we are simply pointing out a person's actions. We can do this without passing judgment. It is not our position to say you're going to hell (judge), instead it is our job to bring the facts of their actions to their attention with an open mind and clean slate and begin working with them from there. Paul concludes v13 with the finale of this process but know this is in no way where we begin (Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.)

    We begin according to the steps Jesus gave us in Mat with one member approaching the person and bringing to their attention. Paul also gave us the attitude by which we make this approach:

    Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

    When I interpret any verse in the Bible I do it in light of the entire written word since I believe there is no error or conflict in the Word. If I were to take this passage to out right mean judge then it would conflict with Mat 7 where we are told by Christ "Judge ye not". I believe Paul is saying you can't turn your back or look the other way when you have people openly and willfully living a life not becoming of God's Church. If you want to use the word judge like Paul did then fine but I take it to mean address the problem and not let it tear up the Church. But address it in the spirit of meekness according to the steps Jesus gave us in Mat.
     
  19. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply, LeBuick. I do think they may have had the benefit of Matthew's gospel (I reject the primacy of Mark - a good book on this is Allan Black's Why the Four Gospels? which makes the most sense) since I agree with many that Matthew was written around 50 AD and 1 Cor around 56 AD (but I guess that's another topic for another thread).

    But I don't see how you can say this does not involve judgment. Judgment is not a bad thing - Jesus even said "judge with righteous judgment" (John 7.24). Maybe we are using the word "judgment" differently. We are not the final judge of people, of course, but we are to use God's word as a standard for judging actions and teachings. So in effect, it is really God who has already judged; we are using his word to apply it (depending on the circumstance and need).

    I have been asked by people emailing my website, in the course of an email dialogue, if God will send them to hell, or if I think they are going to hell. These are people who are openly rejecting Christ. They ask me that question maybe to argue or see what I'll say. My answer is: "If you do not ever trust in Christ while alive, that is where you will go. But it's because you don't want God and you don't want Jesus. You'll just have yourself. And since God is the source of love and light, you'll be cut off from that." Amazingly, not one of them has ever been angry at me for this answer because I think it makes them see hell in a different light than what maybe they've thought or heard. It's seen as a consequence, not the action of some volatile, irritable God (they usually have a very wrong idea of who God is).

    I would never just come out and tell someone, "you're going to hell" (which actually was told to me a few times by people witnessing to me or denouncing me before I was a believer). But I don't think we should hide it if it comes up.

    That's why I wanted to know more of the context of this visit from the pastor. I think maybe Beth is right, that this cannot really be discussed fairly since we were not there, though it raises some points for discussion.
     
  20. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    You can't omit the fact that mass duplicating abilities didn't exist so each copy was hand scribed then had to go through extensive proof reading to assure there was no error. So it is hard to say how many got out how fast.

    Secondly, Mark I don't believe Mark dealt with the sermon on the mount or Church discipline since he had a different objective with his Gospel (Jesus = Ox = Servant).

    Lastly, as I stated, this was not actually Paul's first letter so part of what he was doing was reinforcing what was previously written. I do note Paul doesn't reference any of the Gospel's in this epistle.

    Biblical judgment/righteous is a good thing, however, we've accepted Webster's definition of the word which then distorts the meaning of scripture. JoJ did an excellent job in post 93 with explaining what I'm trying to say. I couldn't do his post any justice trying to repeat it.

    I am of the view that God doesn't send anyone to hell. He who goes to hell goes on his own. God has sent His Son and has the Gospel being presented in every way imaginable. Anyone who rejects the Gospel doesn't do it out of ignorance of it's existence, the failed to believe.

    I also don't like "scarring people from hell" as a way of building the Church. I believe the Gospel message stands on its own. In the Gospel story is the consequence of those who fail to believe. When presented in that light I find no problem with explaining why some will end up in hell. So like you, I don't out right say it but when teaching in the context of God's Word you're not judging, you're presenting the Gospel. Yes, the Gospel will judge.

    In my view, too many Christian get so caught up with trying to interpret each word that they miss the message of the Word. What God gave us is a message or a series of messages that can be easily lost in sight of all the individual words. When I look at Paul's use of what was translated as judge, I have to take it in light of the total message and don't conclude he is saying to pass judgment on each other as much as identifying and addressing those who walk is not conducive to the mission of the Church.

    I'm not saying the person is going to heaven or hell, just that fornication won't be tolerated so either we can work together to fix the problem or you'll have to eventually go back to the world where this type lifestyle is accepted. I would treat a homosexual no differently... The goal is to encourage a believer to walk the strait and narrow as opposed to send sinners back into the world. I believe the Church is the place for sinners...
     
    #120 LeBuick, Jan 1, 2009
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