A Voice in the
We speak of Catholic, JW and Mormon "cults". Evangelicals, at least, publish and proclaim -mostly- Correct Doctrine. But as we've noticed recently, sometimes that can be an even more deceptive environment to be in; where there is 99% correct doctrine... That other 1% of error will kill you!
Those who come out of Catholicism often seem to others as if they are on a "mission" to expose and warn about that which they came out of. That which the Lord saved them from. We can easily read Catholic documents and compare them to Scripture and know their error. And quite a few people are engaged in that mission.
But because of the 99% accuracy in doctrine which most evangelical denominations proclaim, there aren't very many people exposing their error. Most don't even see it. But it is just as deadly. That 1% error will get people to the same hell that other unBelievers are headed for. So, I'll let Dave Hunt and T.McMahon deal with Catholicism, while we address Evangelicalism from time to time...
E-mail from a:
"KJV-only, separated, soul-winning, Independent Baptist"
[Ed: This is shared for the sake of you who actually -are- Believers into Jesus Christ, and also happen to be KJV-only Independent Baptists. You sometimes think I get carried away when I refer to what KJV-only or Independent Baptists say. That what I write about doesn't occur in -your- circle of fellowship. This, however, is typical of what I have heard repeatedly over the years, in different parts of the country, and I have usually heard it primarily from the pulpits. This letter is 'classic' to that which we address periodically. And as some of you correspond with me about 'them' with your concerns and questions, you tell me how you hear/see the same things. I know that some of you in these churches truly -are- Believers into Jesus Christ. And I hope you realize I do not single you out, as individuals, in this. When I was in those churches, I was a Believer, too, in spite of what was going on. As you read, please note the effects of 'brain-washing' much as a person finds in -cults-.]
In closing please take my name off your mailing list and I wish you much happiness as you share God's word with others thru the use of the internet.
Yes, we are saved to serve, not sit. And while Jesus did say to preach the Gospel of "repentance and remission of sins" (Lk24:47), and to "disciple" them (Mt28:19) ...Christians do -not- "reproduce". To say such a thing assumes the new convert is, thus, "grafted into" other Christians who, thus by inference, "give birth to" them. Such an attitude ignores the fact that all believers are grafted into Christ, Who is the True Vine (Jn15) Who gives the "new birth" (Jn3:3) through the Holy Spirit. (Jn3:8, Rom8:9) The "fruit" we bear is not "more Christians", but the "fruits of the Spirit" (Gal5:22-23,etc). While we preach the Gospel, we are not guaranteed that many will come to the Lord as a result... many will not hear, because they are "rebellious". (Eze2:5) Some will hear, some will forbear. That is not our responsibility to determine "how many"...because we know that "many" are on their way to destruction, and only "few" find the "narrow gate". (Mt7) Our duty is to be "faithful". (1Cor4:2) ...-WHATEVER- the outcome of our labors. Elijah pretty much figured he was a "failure" because he had no converts (souls) he had "won". (1Kg19:10,14) And yet it was the same "spirit" of Elijah that worked in John the Baptist (Lk1:17) with the multitudes. (Mt3:5,Acts10:37)
We are faithful... but it is -GOD- Who gives the increase. "I planted, Apollos watered, but God made to grow. So as neither he planting is anything, nor he watering, but God making to grow." (1Cor3:6-7) In other words, not everybody is going to be personally leading people in repentance to the Lord. Some witness by their own lives. Some share God's Word. Some, indeed, have the joy of leading a person to the Lord. But anybody who comes to the Lord does so at the Father's "drawing" (Jn6:44), through the "Word" (Rom10:17), not -our- efforts.
Don't be trying to do God's 'job'. Do what He gives you to do. Don't try to "play God". And don't brag about those "souls" -you've- "won" as though they were "scalps" on your belt. They are -NOT- "yours". If they truly came to the Lord, they are the Lord's.
As for: "In closing please take my name off your mailing list.."
It has been done.
And then as regards your closing greeting in which you say: " and I wish you much happiness as you share God's word with others thru the use of the internet."
Now, here is a contradiction! You are unsubscribing because you are upset with what is proclaimed from VW; and yet you are "bidding [me] God speed". (2Jn10 -kjv) If (I only say "if" for the sake of argument) my teaching (Doctrine) is so way-off-base that you are separating yourself from VW in this manner, are you not being disobedient to God's Word by giving me this encouragement?!?
Think about it!
"Thanks for removing me from your email list and my prayer for you is that the Holy Spirit will get hold of your liberal heart and get you to start soul-winning. When you die and go to heaven what fruit will remain for you? What i mean is who can say Hey Brother so & so led me to the Lord and now I'm leading others. GET with the program brother. I want to be able to lay His crowns at His feet oneday. Read the new testament it's all about SOUL-WINNING. Quit justifying your disobedience and just repent and get right with God."
They seem to be devoid of the use of their "minds" (1Cor14:14-15, Eph1:18) repeating that which has been "programmed" from the pulpit; not seeming to have even noticed, in this case, the -SCRIPTURE- that was proliferated for his consideration. And -this- I know all too well, having been raised ('programmed') to give the 'right' answers. But when I became an adult, and people threw "curves" at me that didn't 'fit' the formulas I knew by rote correctly, all I knew to do was to repeat the party-line to them. But I couldn't answer their questions intelligently, "reasoning" from the Scriptures. (Isa1:18, Acts17:2, 18:4,19) Eventually, after a few years of that, and being 'away-from' the programmers, I started digging into the Scriptures, and discovered what God actually says about a lot of things. (2Tim3:16-17)
I began this presentation by making a 'disclaimer' for the benfit of True Believers within these churches, as I was when I was in them. But there are many of you who are in these churches, and you have been brainwashed. Just like I did faithfully all those years, every time the church doors are open, you're "in church". [Ed: after all, how can effective programming succeed if the people aren't under regularly-scheduled 'sessions'!] And you faithfully participate in the weekly "visitation program"...to "win souls".
But are you saved? Or, did you succumb to the soul-winners' badgering until you "expressed salvation" (as this writer stated), and you've been continuing the tradition, having memorized all the right formulae? And now, you further the brainwashing onto others. But in your heart, you really DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE. You don't know any -other- Scriptures (besides the handful that's been programmed), and if somebody asks you "a reason concerning the hope within you" (1Pt3:15) you are not able to answer...from Scripture. You have memorized what the preacher 'hell-fire and brimstones' at the congregation from the pulpit until they're all mesmerized and badgered into coming "forward" to the "altar". You have "expressed" salvation, responding to the formula correctly; but your heart has never met Jesus at the foot of the cross. "With the mouth" you have -expressed- something that you have not "with the heart..-believed-". (Rom10:10) And how could you? In many cases it was not your fault. You were hounded and badgered by misled, and often unregenerate 'soul-winners', who were after the glory of "how many" they had "won". They got you to "repeat-after-them" the -ritual- they call the "sinner's prayer". But they never took the time to "reason" with you, as to whether or not you really understood the Gospel message, or to know if you were truly repentant before God because of your sin. They just wanted to get you to the point of repeating that "prayer", so they could then add you to -their- 'list'... like "trophies".
When God reaches down and calls -individually- to your heart, your response is not that pre-packaged "prayer" they all recite. They go through their rituals to record numbers on their tally sheets, and based on how many marks (count coup) they have after their name, they view their own "spirituality" and future "rewards", as they compete with one another. God does not run you through the "check-list" formula or "four laws", recite the "prayer" and declare you a "Christian", like these "soul-winners" and Campus Crusade do. They "justify [themselves] before men" with these things "but God knows your hearts" (Lk16:15) He reaches into the "division of your soul and spirit". He knows the "thoughts and intents" of your heart; and He makes known TO YOU your -own- heart (Heb4:12-13); to which your -heart- responds to Him. And in the 'quiet' of the moment, individually, personally, He reminds you of "all things [sins], whatever [you] did" (Jn4:29) and then -reasons- with you...
"Come now and let us reason together, says Jehovah: Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as the crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isa1:18)
How do you respond?
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