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There will be, God willing, six baptisms at this Sunday! Praise God! These are a varied bunch of people coming from atheism, addiction, alcoholism, and two young men who brought their mother to be baptised two years ago. These two guys came into our flock about 5 years ago and spontaneously asked us to pray for their mom. Midway into the service she arrived. They are now 15 and 13. Praise God for His Spirit that quickens!
Please pray for Marie. She would like to be baptised , but has health problems. She has lost a big toe and others are in danger. She has been a single mom to my biggest fan, Althea, a 27 year old perpetual child due to retardation. Marie is frightened, I would be too. Praise God for His Mercy.
We will be using the next door neighbors pool. Years ago there was a blood feud situation between the neighbors and the old church. Now he cuts our grass and plows our snow, for free! Last month he sent his son to Sunday School! Praise God for His Spirit that brings reconciliation!
Pray for good weather, we would not want to be rained on, we might get wet!
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I have a love for sound doctrine, I also have a burden for souls. There should be no conflict here, but in this imperfect world that groans for His coming to make all things right, I perceive a danger to the vast crowd of unreached, hell-bound, misguided, people we are called to love. It is easy for them to get caught in the cross-fire. As we shoot at each other, to no real result, there are casualties occurring on the sidelines about which we need to be sensitive.
Allow me to make some opening statements to set up my argument.
- The majority of Americans are biblical ignorant
- Critical, logical thinking is not taught nor esteemed
- To unbelievers we are all one big group, Christians. They do not understand or recognize our sub-groups that we so highly value. They do not give a fig for Calvinist, Charismatic, fundamental, Liturgical, or any other label with which we are so familiar
- Joel Olsteen, The Pope, John MacArthur are all in the same group to them, “church guys”
- The general populations ignorance of theology is matched by an ignorance of History. I was actually heartened to read C.S. Lewis describing the average RAF member’s idea of history as, a time long ago, when there were knights, and cowboys and Indians, and most likely dragons, but not in any real order
- 17% of American casualties in Desert Storm were from “Friendly fire”
- There are some denominations that really creep me out, I have no doubt they are in error
- One tool Islam has used since the Qu’ran is to point to the disunity in Christendom
- We have a whole lot of disunity
Let it be understood that there are some “preachers” out there that I would really like to meet in the deep woods. I am an egotistical sinner, enough to think that a lesson in self defence, [that is what I would call it, I am a great rationalizer], would do some of the “Jesus Tokers”, “Spirit Drunks”, false Healers, and out right charlatans a world of good. Let me knot up a scourge and go to town before I get too old to do it. When I see some of the crazy things called Christian on youtube I get enough indignation , I think it is righteous, to smack the babble out of some of these fellows mouths. There I confessed. But I want to do it in the deep woods, not to avoid witnesses, but so that I am not a bad witness myself.
I have been married thirty years, [ by the way, I am praying this does Not work like a mortgage, 30 and out], and believe it or not, my lovely wife and I have fought. I do not mind fighting, but we never wanted to do it in front of the children. You see that is what we are in large part doing as Christians. We meat eaters are fighting in front of children who have yet to taste milk!
I am trying to treat some of the Christians whose behavior I just can not stand as the crazy uncle at the family reunion, he is going to be there, just ignore him. I need to do this because there is a world of unsaved people who need me to be loving and explain the Word to them. This burden must out desire to criticize the other team no matter who that might be. It is perfectly allowable to suggest that the way I believe and worship makes more sense to me, but it does no good to brand another as apostate to make myself look better. Have you seen any of these evangelistic methods work?
- Why most people who say they are “Christian” are lost
- There is only one way to Heaven and we meet at 9 am
- Don’t be fooled by all the crosses on the steeples, it is a decoration
- Here is a list of famous preachers going to Hell
How hard is it to come up with a blog roll that says just that? The blogosphere is chock full of Critics for Christ. Jesus told us to go forth and make disciples, not go forth and criticize. Let us attempt to correct each other in love and understanding, not in arrogance and hostility. How many friendy fire casualties are acceptable in this war? It is entirely acceptable to speak what you perceive to be the truth but do it in love, and with understanding not judgement. I am strongly of the opinion that many are wrong, but I can not call them unsaved, that is well above my authority. I guess Peter said it best in his first letter, 3: 8,9
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Who does this encompass? The people in your pew, your church, your denomination? I do not have the wherewithal to judge that. If God is the Father, Christ is His virgin born son, Savior of mankind, and the Holy Spirit is the promised guide and comforter,then we have much in common.
Triage is the skill of putting resources to their best possible use by keeping first things first. Think of the lost first, then deal with the misguided, and don’t let the kids see you fight.
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I will be returning to Willohroots Wednesday, pray for safe travel and God’s Will.
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Dissenting voices are welcome at Willohroots. People who have the courage to speak against the writer are to be commended. People who do so based on an honest biblical faith, doubly so. Marianne Lordi left a response to Tearful Salute. That required a response that is this post, Marianne, and readers, please take this in the spirit that I wrote it, one of humble love of you and of the Savior that taught me to love my God.
The most popular post on this blog is, “Close the Church of Christian Criticism”. This is written out of a feeling of repentance festering in me for decades of being a critic myself. I know we need to stand firm for doctrine, and never has one of my sermons been criticized for lack of a biblical base. [other criticisms abound, but not that one!] I feel we save Satan a lot of trouble by sniping at ourselves, and in the disunity we show as the bride of Christ. Christ seems to have a bi-polar bride who fights with herself at every opportunity.
I reply to Marianne as I have replied to many of my own flock, in love, but with the conviction of my spirit brought about by years of dedication to being lead by the Holy Spirit. If the tone of love does not flow in my words, blame my writing skills, not my heart or my intent.
Joel Olsteen is a motivational speaker , who at the end of his sermon suggests that people go to a bible church.
I personally would never sit under him, there is no meat , there is no milk, there is no meal. To the millions of the unchurched and depressed in America, he may well be the only one in their lives who tells them to go to church. He is even specific in telling people to go to a bible based church. This means that he is advertising for me. Please explain how demonizing him will lead anyone to Christ. My comment was, “he is not Satan”. He is not. Jesus loves Joel Olsteen, and please remember we have a God who can use a donkey to get His word out. We are called to love even such as Joel, and I welcome people in my church who have been broken,[some by the church] and turned to Olsteen for a positive word. I suppose none of them to be either saved or educated in scripture.
Suppose an innocent seeker followed Joel’s advice and went to a bible preaching church to find Jesus. How effective is it to save that soul to
by demonizing the one who referred him or her to come in the first place? I can’t have it. I confess I have done it myself, God forgive me if I was ever a stumbling block to Salvation.
One of Rick Warren’s big classes, thousands in number,is discribed as the following, ” ‘Fresh Start with God’ is designed to encourage, equip and assimilate new and recommitted believers as they grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.” Please criticize this title. Have you listened to a few Rick Warren sermon’s before you made your pronouncement of his heresy? I got up early this morning to listen to a few before I posted my reply to you, as I wish to be fair. It is not my style, it is his style, and I can see his appeal, and he does preach Christ. From 205 people on Easter Sunday 1980 to 22,000 last Sunday, he has grown a church a little. Do you think none of them saved? If you are repeating the mantra that Warren does not preach Christ, without listening to him preach, you have become a gossip, not by my judgement, but by the Bible’s. God forgives us when we forgive others, recognize our sin and turn from it.
Marianne, you are convinced that Rick Warren will pay a price at the Judgement. We can not do this! God looks at the secret places of the heart, we can not do that. Jesus said he did not come to judge, yet you and I wish to do that which the Blessed Savior refused to do. He will judge when the time is right. We are the branches, Jesus the true vine, God the Gardener, He will prune or cause to flourish whom He will. Please, I beg of you, do not put yourself in such a dangerous position as presuming to judge, for with the same measurement we use to judge will we be judged ourselves. I could not stand to such a judgement, and you can not either, for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Is Christ’s blood not effective for the cleansing of Rick Warren’s sins?
Google Rick Warren, the first 4 or 5 pages are criticisms and denouncements. Does this serve the Kingdom of Christ? Why are there more pages criticizing Warren than Todd Bently or Andrew Womack? I will post some possible reasons.
- It is easier to be a Saturday morning quarterback then to get on the field
- Guys from little churches like mine are jealous, envy motivates them to find fault
- He doesn’t do things the way you or I would
- He is not perfect, therefore there really are points to pick on and be correct about
- When you stand up for Christ, rocks will be thrown.
- Most of us on the internet are so desperate for readers that we will join the criticize club to get some hits
- It is easier to use the bible to see the sins of others than to use the bible as a mirror to see the depths of our own sin.
I salute you Marianne for your desire for the Gospel, and I love you for your love of the Lord. We most likely share a doctrinal statement with very little deviation. I wish you were in my church, and were my friend, but as I said in the post you responded to, will you allow me to stand with you? Am I ” out of the club” for my opinions? I have been thrown out of a few churches, so that is not a new experience for me. Somehow, through Divine Providence he has given me a pulpit and a mission in life, things I was too foolish to seek, so He must have some purpose to drive my life. [ sorry I just had to do that] By the way, I did not think much of Rick Warren’s book, “Purpose Driven Life”, not enough bible for me, but he is still my brother.
I wish to comment on one more thing, and it is a personal beef of mine.
“As it says in James,if you desire wisdom on a matter, ask and God will give it to you. Pray about it. God bless you.”
This implies that if I would just pray and seek God’s wisdom, I would end up agreeing with you. My dear believer, the distance from God’s mouth to you ear is no shorter than from His to mine. In this statement is the crux of the matter , Christianity is not a competitive sport! There is no “I am more saved than you are” we are saved! The only possible measure of our faith is the fruit of our works. Have you brought 22,00o people to church lately? Me neither.
I do salute you. Thank you for allowing me to use you to show the source of the tear in my eye.
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So an Irishman, a black guy, a Guatemalian, and a Polish fellow carry a carpet into a church while a Welshman holds the door….. Hey that is not a joke, that is my church!
Dayspring Bible Chapel! When we told it we used a bit rougher language, but in brotherly love. God bless the American church and the diversity it brings!
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Out of 22 people in a DUI [DWI for y’all] driving class, ordered by the court, when told a Breathalyzer would be used and a 0 tolerance policy extended, guess how many [ out of 22] were sent home for alcohol use.?
Remember this would mean drinking that morning, or getting tanked the night before. Winner will receive the key to stately Willohroots manner for a weekend.
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I am using this image as I have stood where my brother stands, and felt what he is feeling, besides, I have no picture of me in like circumstance, and besides, this man is FAR more handsome than I.
I salute my brothers and sisters of the faith, who value good doctrine and try with all their might to please God by following His Word as they understand it, to the depths of their souls. Good doctrine is important, even critical. I do not respect the traditions of men, as we are sinful and fallible, and I truly believe that the bible gives us all we need to follow God faithfully.
We are warned in scripture by the Apostles, the Prophets , the Inspired Writers, and the Savior Himself, that men would pervert and twist the Ways of God to suit the ways of man. I salute, and I do not salute lightly, your efforts and your principles. Please allow me to stand with you on the side of Scriptural Doctrine.
Allow me to explain the tears. As a brother Fireman morns the loss of fellowship and the tragic waste of a death in the line of duty, I morn the loss of fellowship and tragic waste of witness so many of my doctrinally sound brothers cause by their legalistic attitudes. To some of these people ” legalistic” is a complement. “Competitive Christianity” is a sport at which all are losers. By being so conscious of every jot and tittle of the Word, they seem to have missed the sentences, the paragraphs, the epistles themselves. They understand the points, but do not connect them into a line. It is in their criticism that their heart is shown. Children of a forgiving God can not emulate Him by being , at least in their own eyes, perfect while seeing the faults of others. It can only be assumed that they have removed all motes. Some examples found on blog pages and in pulpits:
- Joel Olsteen is not Satan, Satan would never advise so many people to find a bible preaching church near their home. You may not like his style or content, but Satan?
- Billy Graham may have said a couple things you don’t like, but he never said he was perfect, he said Jesus was. When you have pointed as many people to the cross as did he, feel free to criticize.
- Mark Driscoll can not be called apostate because you do not like his T-shirt. His word usage is appropriate for his flock. When you have pointed as many people to the cross as has he, feel free to criticize.
- All Catholics are not Hell bound. I am no fan of Rome, but Christ has more to say about this than does the Pope.
- It is possible that “theoldadam” has been redeemed yet not turned Baptist. [I said possible, as in , “All things are Possible with God”]
- Rick Warren will not go to Hell for using Isa as a name for Yeshua the Messiah, it is no less an affront then calling Him by a Greek version of a Hebrew name. Jesu forgives.
- True life stories abound on the Internet of churches beating people down. Graceshaker’s story brought tears to my eyes. This is done in the name of Jesus? Look around, you can find some bragging about these incidents.
- John MacArthur is not the Second Coming, he is merely a great expositor, but human and possibly in error [but not much].
- Steve Brown [Steve Brown,etc.com] will not go to the “smoking” section of the afterlife for being a pipe smoker
- We are saved by Grace through Faith, not by our doctrine.
The attitude I have tryed to describe is one reason why it is hard to fill a church today, or find a church if you are looking. My friend Texas Rob of ” A Voice Crying out in the Wilderness ” has as his most recent post the desperate feelings of a futile search for fellowship in his area. I have felt it myself. Until I was in the pulpit at Dayspring I never had a fellowship could fit into as the churches I could salute for biblical accuracy had a Pharisaical attitude, and the lovey dovey churches barely used a bible.
It hurts to see the Way of Truth and Love be used as a weapon. I am not sure my doctrinally correct friends will allow me to stand in their ranks. I take great hope in Jeofurry, and Shawn W, and Graceshaker, Mike Bell, Ike, Joe, John, and Dr. Headly, and Rev. Andy Little, and the rest of you, who seem to understand that good biblical doctrine can and must be infused with, coated with, and major in Love. John 3:16 shows us God’s motivation, pray that it becomes ours.