August 3, 2009
Questions about IFB dogmas
The website of the link is one of those where people can share their experiences, read each other's submissions, and commiserate with each other. I didn't read everything; but it is obvious from what I skimmed that some who CAME OUT did so for the right reasons. Others came out because they are not truly Believers, and would find -no- Bible Believing church to be satisfactory, if it didn't embrace the music of Michael W Smith, Amy Grant, etc.etc. And many other such things. And while the site focuses on IFB, it should be understood that, in the scheme of what is called "baptist" (which we will be addressing below), IFB is a relatively SMALL PERCENTAGE of the whole. What might be wrong with an IFB church, the OPPOSITE is typically wrong with the rest of the Heintz-57 varieties. Where many IFBs are pharisaical, the rest are, for the most part, liberal, worldly, and no longer even preach the Gospel. But many of the things that are wrong with IFB are also wrong with "baptist" in general. While some no longer preach the gospel, they have their other Rome-like characteristics. And on the other side, while this person asks about IFB characteristics, and we review the items asked in a negative light (because they are not Scriptural), the door should be left open a crack for the possibility that IFB congregations exist who are not beset by these typical errors. I haven't yet seen one, personally, but surely there -must- be such a congregation out there -somewhere-...? Right...? I hope....??
The topics this Q/A covers:
1. Where did the term "soul winning" come from? VW edition says "leads" a soul not "winneth" a soul. Is Proverbs 11:30 speaking of evangelism or is this verse misapplied?
In looking up the word "win" in the dictionary, there are some 'remote' definitions that -might- apply. But they are -very- remote. Perhaps it's a matter of how the English language has changed? But newer translations haven't kept up?
Yes, I imagine the IFB's got the term "winning" from Pr11:30 kjv. Perhaps the various translations that have retained "winning" did so due to the predominant application of how they devise -campaigns- (contests) to increase their numbers? Who knows... I wonder often when I see words that say something different than what God's Word says...why did the translators pick/keep -those- words? But they will typically be in agreement with some group's preconceived doctrine. Like the notes in the Defined KJV talk about the need for the translation to agree with the traditional doctrinal tenets... making the translation agree with the pre-established doctrine; not adjusting one's doctrine to the Bible, when/if an error is discovered. Backwards theology!
But what did Philip do when he had met Jesus? He finds Nathanael and brings (leads) him to Jesus. (Jn1:45-49) The woman of Samaria, "Come, see a Man who told me everything that I ever did. Is this not the Christ?" (Jn4:29)
So...to borrow from one definition: Do we "win them over"? (with enough harassment, tricks, smooth clever talking and mind-control brow-beating) Or do we -lead- them to Christ, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts?
Nothing about "repeat after me" the words of "-the- prayer". Such meaningless repetitions/rituals are pagan as Babylon!! Flip some rosary beads, say so-many 'hail-marys'. Salvation is not a mantra-induced ritual...!!! Mary "pray[ing] for us sinners" does not save us. Nor do these so-called "prayers". Sorry! Got carried away here....this question is specifically asked later.
At the website, if you click the 'left' box under TopicSearch, and
scroll to "soul-winning" you will find past writings on the subject.
6 He who goes forth with weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
It's a short chapter. What is the context? Is it about soul-winning, or the restoration of Israel from captivity. The chapter begins....
3. Altar Calls - Where is the altar in baptist churches? There proof texts for altar calls are the "follow after me" and "come unto me" passages found in the gospels. Do these passages support altar calls?
I know of no Scripture that supports/commands "altar calls" as baptists
do them. (More on this below)
Must one say the sinner's prayer in order to be saved?
Salvation is not from reciting some words, but from receiving the Holy Spirit. (Rom8:9, Eph1:13-14) And that which happens with the Holy Spirit is sometimes with "groanings which CANNOT BE UTTERED" (Rom8:26-27) NOT -spoken- words! But if it is in the heart, God -knows-!
But if you -must- use words, how about...
And since "prayer" has been mentioned a couple of times in this mailing, interestingly enough there was an e-mail invitation Friday to "trade links" with an organization that is (quote) "fortunate enough to have access to the most sacred place in the world, the church of the holy sepulcher" (unquote) So people can send their prayers to this place. Just like the Jews who stuff their pieces of paper in the cracks of the wailing wall. To whom is prayer made? "to God" (Ac10:2,Ro10:1,2Co13:7) Just do a search with your Bible software. We do not pray to walls, churches, counselors, pastors. We do not 'hand' (as it were) our prayer to some other -person-, who in turn sends the prayer to God. Who is our Mediator who does that? "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man CHRIST JESUS," (1Ti2:5) And prayer happens through the agency (conduit?) of the Holy Spirit. (Rom8:26) We don't have access to some sepulcher (place of the dead)!!! REALLY NOW!!! Jesus is ALIVE! "He is not here [dead], He is risen....as He said" (Mt28:6) We have bold access, directly...
Prayer bathing; praying up walls; praying up hedges; prayer blankets; prayer warfare; prayer chains; -NONE- of that is found in Scripture.
And... this has been said before. But: they always cite the example how "prayer was offered to God for [Peter] by the church" (Ac12:5) See! They held a "prayer meeting" for Peter. But WHAT -KIND- of prayer was it? Was it prayer in faith "believing" (Mt21:22)? When Peter was actually released from prison, what was the attitude of the church that had just been praying? -UNBELIEF- (Ac12:13-16) Was it their group -ritual- that delivered Peter?
Thus....neither is it the -ritual- of "-THE- prayer" that saves!
The tithe was to support the Levites, widows, orphans and poor (De14:27-29, 26:12) Giving for the tabernacle and such things was voluntary and based on what people had with which to contribute. Those "whose heart stirs him" (Ex25:2) Paul expressed it as being "from whatever he is prospered" (1Co16:2) from what a person "has", not "according to what he does not have" (2Co8:12)
The "storehouse" in the context of the OT, every 3rd year, is where those, of an agrarian society would bring their farm produce, from which it was then distributed to the Levites, poor, widows, etc.etc. Much as our current cultures collect 'tax', from which "welfare" payments are made to those in need....or food stamps.
The tithe was a government-based 'tax'. Seeing as how, when the Law was first given, before the kings, Israel's government was a theocracy. The tithe was NOT to the "church", but for the support of those for whom it was intended. It might have been administered by the priest system, but it was not a 'religious' tax. The priests ordered the religious -and- the secular leadership. Sacrifices were offered by the priests (religious). But legal disputes, disease quarantines, house inspections, etc were also adjudicated by the priests (secular).
On the other hand, since it was partly -for- the priests, it might be
considered a 'religious' tax. When the land was divided up to the tribes
of Israel, Levi was not given a portion of land, because their lot was
to serve the Lord through temple ministry, etc. 'Land' equated with the
ability to raise crops and earn a livelihood. So, the tithe was to store
up (like a food bank) for the sake of those who did not have such
options. (If the Levites didn't have land, they could not till it and
grow food) And so, Paul also teaches that those "who preach the gospel
should also live from the gospel" (1Co9:14) Thus, if a congregation
'hires' a pastor, they should make sure to sustain him. But the same
Paul who said this, also says, "And we labor, working with our own
hands" (1Co4:12) so that in some cases, "that we might not be a burden
to any of you," (2Th3:8)
Do they TEACH THE WORD of GOD? Being -baptists- they probably call it "baptist doctrine". But is their baptist doctrine also BIBLICAL doctrine? Over the years I have typically found, of all the various denominations, that the baptists (generically) tend to have the most clear-cut Biblical doctrinal statements. But how do they 'apply' what they claim to believe? And what 'emphasis' do they place on these things. If you do not agree 100% with every little nuance, do they still view you as a Believer? Or do they hound you to join them at their door-knocking nights, and such things; or suck in their breath (with a gasp!) if you read from a good TR-based translation that doesn't happen to be KJV.
5. Local Church Theory - No Universal Church
This one is kinda important as far as I'm concerned. They typically
reject the notion that anything that doesn't meet in -their- building
could possibly be a legitimate church. They disdain house churches,
even though several are mentioned in the NT. Unless -their- hierarcy
actually -ordained- the leader, anything claiming to be a "church" is
discredited by them.
Like the scribes and pharisees, many baptists also "strain out gnats and swallow camels whole"....but these things don't necessarily have anything to do with righteousness and holy living. Col2:16-23 As the passage closes,
Shorts & short skirts: sin?
Exodus 28:42 " And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach."
For the priests, this was introduction of "underwear" to their priestly wardrobes. For what reason? Also perhaps explains why the woman's hand was cut off for grabbing an enemy's genitals....if they didn't wear underwear, and wore robes, and 2 men were fighting....such a struggle could leave certain things exposed....easy for the reaching/grabbing by bystanders. (De25:11-12) (Is this thus also not a commentary on what used to be called "dirty" fighting! Now it has become considered to be "normal", and women in self-defense classes are even taught to lift their knee, etc.)
As for the women baring the thigh...again, if there was no customary underwear (that which covers the "shame" or "nakedness"), would that not leave the woman exposed. It reminds me of a picture from the Viet Nam war days, as prisoners were being herded along, and many were naked....this one journalist got a picture, either in Viet Nam or Cambodia? I don't remember now; that became famous back then, with this young girl, naked in the foreground, being herded along with the crowd of captives, and crying. I suspect that is what Is47 is about. That Isaiah passage isn't talking about mini-skirts or shorts.
One reason I have not posted details of this sort at the website is because the "modesty" or "sinfulness" of attire is not as simple a matter as "how many inches" above/below the knee; or centuries ago, the ankle. Like I know I have shared at least one time...back in the 70s girls either wore 'granny' dresses (hippies) or mini-skirts. Did a Christian want to be associated with the hippy movement? If they did not know how to sew, and were buying their clothes, the choices were somewhat set; until later in the 70s when the fashions readjusted again, and longer skirts came back. And like I shared about this one girl I knew at the church where I was attending...she wore mini-skirts....but was more 'modest' than many I have known over the years who wore the knee-length, or whatever. What is it that is in the -heart-? Does 'modesty' reside in the heart? Thus, the eyelids are not 'winking', nor does the mouth go into this little playful pout when addressing males, etc. A woman can be fully covered, but if she is possessed of the Jezebel spirit, she is less 'modest' than somebody wearing a short skirt and halter top who is possessed of the meek and quiet spirit.
For an example of this, there has recently been running an ad on TV for 'something?' where the female goes through these wardrobe changes (through the magic of video production: one outfit comes flying off revealing another; or another floats down from the sky and now suddenly she is wearing something else, etc) as she is sashaying along, changing from more revealing clothing, and ending up with head-to-toe gray 'burka-esque' outfit with the head covered. But just because she ends up in the burka did not make her modest. She is -still- sashaying along in her flirtatious hip-wiggle, shoulder-bosom swaying, pouty smile, aggressive feminist empowerment Jezebel attitude.
If I posted guidelines related to "inches" with the tape-measure, but the condition of the heart is not taken into account...all it becomes is mere legalistic/pharisaical mumbo-jumbo like what Jesus condemned. In that other recent Q/A I mentioned how my dad used to condemn beards, because Castro wore one. I didn't think until after that piece got mailed....he might not have worn a beard, but he wore a mustach. As a kid I didn't know the difference. But thinking back on it now, the mustach he wore, if it had been a bit 'blacker', was trimmed very much like Hitler did. So...a "Castro" beard is bad; but a "Hitler" mustach is OK? But boy, oh boy! He could sure measure the inches of skirt hems! Like Romans ch2 says: You who preach against XYZ, do you -do- XYZ, yourself?
The 50s mid-calf hoop skirts certainly were within the typical pharisee
"inches" range of "modesty". But like we observed, get that girl on the
dance floor. See what I'm saying? And while we've addressed 'modesty'
issues in the past, and what people should or shouldn't wear, I have
never given any -specifics-. Purposely. It is a matter of the -heart-
before God. If the heart is modest, of the "meek and quiet spirit"
(1Pt3:4), the aura of the persona of the person will be modest. They
will know -what- to wear; and lacking a choice (for whatever reasons)...
-how- to wear it. And for married women, that modesty includes being
under submission to "their -own-" husband. If she is submitted to him,
in her heart, she will be modest, whether the hem is down at the ankles
or above the knee.
While I have been the music director that led in the invitation hymns, while the pastor was inviting for 1) salvation, 2) baptism, 3) membership & 4) rededication... I have NEVER given such an invitation, and never will. I have sat through, and led the singing through so many of them... the entire concept makes me want to vomit! It is tantamount to emotions-based salesmanship, not the conviction of the Holy Spirit! I knew the filthy, proud, evil, hypocritical hearts of those doing it. Yes... I CAME OUT!
I have "come out" (Rev18:4, 2Co6:17)... which answers how I have dealt with your questions. One of your questions, by itself, may not matter as much. But when everything is put together, it becomes a "scribes and pharisees" situation which Jesus issued condemnations upon them, right and left. He said to leave them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind.
But to write a book? No, the Lord hasn't called me to do that. As you can see from the suggested links, the topic has been covered much over the years, and is available. Unless, at some point, the Lord indicates that the website writings should be compiled into a book...as they already exist at the website. (But as I went and checked the other day, the books aren't really being ordered much...like the Bibles are. And it seems, people seem to prefer the 'blue' Bibles to the maroon ones 2:1)
The last church I was in, a Baptist church (not IFB), the pastor was a pedophile who preached that "God accepts you all 'just as you are'" Like Bush proclaimed after 9/11, You "don't need to change a thing". That's "graaaeeeessss" (feels good, don'it!). Why did I stay in that place as long as I did? I was in compromise [link] After the labels of being "judgmental" (like mentioned in the August article)(a subscriber e-mailed to say he was called "puritanical") I was persuaded to be more 'tolerant' of other viewpoints. Around the same time I switched from KJV to one of the perversions that was said by the prevailing scholarship to be "most accurate". I guess... when a person reads something that's NOT REALLY the Bible, the life also becomes something that is NOT REALLY Biblically Christian. So I lived a NOT REALLY Christian life for 20 years. Like the lady said (in the mailing - not included here), it doesn't matter how -accurate- the translation is, if it comes from Alexandria (wrong premise) the translation is wrong (wrong conclusion). The distortions may be translated correctly; but if the original text is wrong, the translation of that text is also wrong. Then the Lord got my attention. Some of you might wonder why I am so (as was said recently) cut-and-dried. So black vs white. So right vs wrong. It's because I started out (more or less) right, but then went into 20 years of compromise. Now that I realize where I was wallowing around, and have been washed...why would I wish to trudge around in that slop again!!! And -that- is why I proclaim as strongly as I do from these pages. That is why I am now (again) so terribly JUDGMENTAL and CRITICAL. Yes, while I was there, I enjoyed it...and had somebody like what I am today come along and confronted me in that state, I likely would have responded the same way that many today do to me now. Thus, as I often say... I am not proclaiming anything that I haven't been there, myself, and done it. That is why I am busy trying to "snatch out of the fire". When somebody is trying to rescue a victim from a fire, there is no time for 'niceties' and 'pleasantries' and 'understanding'. C'MON...GET OUT OF THERE!!! NOW!!!
5 For her sins have reached to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.
7 By however much she has glorified herself and lived luxuriously, by the same amount give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.
8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day; death and mourning and famine. And she will be consumed with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her." (Rev18:4-8)
Please... This is not -about- PB being cut-n-dried. It is about "My people" The exhortation in Rev18:4 is not to the unsaved. The angel says, "Come out of her....MY PEOPLE" The only reference to PB in all this is the fact that I am not preaching something that I have not done, myself. I am not sitting in an ivory tower preaching down to ALL -YOU- PEOPLE. I have done it. And I have COME OUT OF HER. And if some of my experiences of the 'process' by which I did so are of help, transfer my own experiences to where you are at. We are all 'pilgrims' and 'sojourners' on this earth. So, insofar as I might have a smidgen of faithfulness to Him who calls us, like Paul said...
But most of all...