Aboutthechurchbody

topics of interest


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Postmodern, Emerging Church?

My current understanding of the postmodern and emerging church is its desire to reject traditional Christianity and Christianity’s historic doctrines and teachings, even to the setting aside of biblical scripture, if necessary. The church services in the postmodern and Emerging Church are designed and intended for unbelievers. Places where people who don’t normally attend a church can come and be entertained and encouraged by self-help and self-esteem teachings and philosophies.

If Christianity was simply a belief system, where there is no true and living God, then it would have its place in our church systems. However, from my own experience of over thirty years of being a devout Christian, I can testify that Christianity is a transformation that comes about through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. One of the main avenues for this transformation is the Bible scriptures. Christianity is about following Jesus Christ into eternity. Christianity is about being reconciled to God the Father through the Son by the perfect sacrificial atonement on the cross provided by the Son. His sacrifice releases the believer from the Mosaic Law of death, so that we can then live to God in newness of life. Christianity is the power provided by God to remove sin from our lives. To achieve a new creation in us that has been purposed by God through our obedience to him. Christianity is slaying the old man and his wickedness, and putting on the new man who is created in the image of Christ. Christianity is the embracing of light and love and the rejection of darkness and wickedness in our own lives and in our world. These are just some of the things that are taught in the Bible concerning Christianity.

The postmodern and Emerging Church teaches none of these things to any extent. The leaders of these churches criticize believers who want more in-depth teachings about their faith and what God requires. Believers are told that the church is not for them but for the unbeliever. This is untrue. Believers are the church. There is no church without believers who have been reborn by the Spirit of God. The postmodern and Emerging church is not a true church, but rather an organization that is doing business in the name of Christ. Based on the knowledge that I have at this time, I would say that there is nothing to fear from these leaders, and to leave these organizations who are impersonating Christianity in our day.


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The Modern Church and It’s Structure

In reading about the apostles and prophets in the New Testament,and how they taught about Jesus after his ascension, we see that they went to the synagogues outside of Jerusalem and initially to the temple itself in Jerusalem to proclaim their message and teach their understanding about Jesus. I think of Paul on his missionary journeys entering into the synagogues, standing up by invitation from the synagogue ruler, to speak openly to the assembly if he had something that he wanted to say. This custom or system provided a way for Paul and for others to speak to the Jewish people in the synagogues.

Our modern church does not have a good system or custom for those attending congregations (never mind visiting guests) to set forth their understanding of scripture openly to people, or to challenge leadership concerning their teaching. Today’s church leaders think of this provision as rebellion and division against them and against their organizations. We have very controlled religious establishments in North America today. Church is a highly structured and controlled event on Sundays and leaders are not open to having anyone other than select and chosen persons minister. The average believer cannot exercise their Holy Spirit gift under this kind of system.

Believers are truly under the control of these religious leaders whether they are good or bad. The system we have for churches in North America is a protective womb for cultist like errors and false teaching. People are now questioning more and more about how much ‘truth’ is actually being taught in our churches today.


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The Bible, is it correct information?

I read some regular news mostly from CBC here in Canada. I also read some alternate media sites on the Internet. What I have found for myself is that there appears to be error in both camps of news. On the Internet there are opportunistic web sites, propaganda sites, gossip sites, false teaching sites, exaggerated and hyped up sites, and so on. We have ongoing nuclear disaster problems in our world that are not mentioned in regular news broadcasts. We have important news that happens in the world and in our governments that is not covered by regular news outlets, we have news that is reported incorrectly, and so on. Where can someone get reliable trusted information in our day?
In my mind the Bible is the only correct information that we can rely on and depend on in our day. There is so much confusion, disinformation, false teaching, biased propaganda, deception, and outright lies in our day. The average person is changing into thieves, liars, and brutes. Scripture says this about the Cretans during the time of Paul the apostle. There comes a time in society when things are turned upside down and inside out. I think this is what is happening today. We in the world are being shaken. Everything we’ve known and believed in the past is being dismantled and questioned. Someone recently said that you read what the left news is saying, then you read what the right news is saying, and choose something to believe that is in the middle somewhere. I don’t think this is where a person finds truth either. This position is just more moderate thinking about untruths. Is everything we hear and read a lie? No. But how does one know what the real truth is? We don’t know. This is the reality in our day and time.
The Bible is also being questioned and dismantled in our day. This assault is coming from Biblical teachers,and preachers. The Bible’s truthfulness is being questioned today. We are being told that we can believe some of the Bible, or maybe even most of the Bible, but some parts of scripture are unreliable. Scholars say that there were wrong translations made in the past and so what the Bible says today can be questioned or set aside. I believe it is the Bible that will keep the believer on the correct path and will teach the believer what truth is. We absolutely need the Holy Spirit in our day, but we absolutely need to trust what the Bible says as well. Jesus says in the Bible that he is the TRUTH. Where else could we find this information other than the Bible?


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Legalism

Legalism, in my view, is relying on the Mosaic Law for our righteousness. The Bible says that the law was good as it was originally given. The issue was that the hearts of men could not be changed by the law. If righteousness could have come through the law the scripture says it would have been done that way by God. Man needed to be reborn into righteousness after the fall of Adam and Eve. This was accomplished through Christ, a righteous man, dying on the cross and being raised again to new life. The Law was instituted as a tutor of righteousness until the appointed time of the birth of Jesus Christ. God’s requirements have not changed in Scripture. Beginning in the OT and then into the NT God teaches us about his requirements for right living, right thinking, and right hearts. What Jesus did was to make our transformation in these areas possible. We can now do through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit what we could not do under the Law. We can become a new creation in Christ. The scriptures teach us how we are to make these changes.

Today’s modern teaching on legalism has made it about overlooking God’s requirements for righteous living. That we have no choice but to continue to sin. This teaching denies the new birth in Christ. It puts believers in the camp of the unrighteous, with no real power, and at the control of sin. This is false teaching according to the Bible.


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Two Covenants meaning Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:21 begins a teaching about the two sons of Abraham. The story in the OT of the two sons named Ishmael and Isaac tells of how Ishmael and his mother Hagar were sent away by Abraham. In Galatians the apostle Paul says that we can look figuratively at the mothers of Abraham’s sons as representing two covenants, one of the natural, and one of the promise through the power of the Spirit. Paul clearly teaches that the present Jerusalem is of Hagar. She will not share in the inheritance of God. Paul declares that there is a Jerusalem that is above and that she is the mother of those who are in Christ.
Today we have many teachers and preachers who make errors in dividing the word of truth. They teach one part of the Bible as full and complete truth, but when other parts of the Bible are read their teaching is contradicted by other Scriptures. This means there is error in what they are teaching.
The present church system that we know of in North America does not have checks and balances. There is alot of control implemented in the majority of churches. We can be certain that this type of control of people and of what we are being taught is not of God. We seem to have a mishmash of teachings related to both Hagar and Sarah. On the one hand we have freedom in Christ, on the other hand we are subjects and children to these church systems. The Hagars of our day.


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Prophecy and Visions

What do the saints do with the many prophecies given and the spiritual visions claimed as seen by others? The saints must judge these by the Spirit. The Bible declares that we have something amazing living inside those who are in Christ. The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and is able to search out the heart of the person He inhabits. He knows what God is saying to his people in the present day. As the believer interacts with God through prayer, devotionals, spiritual messages, and in their daily walk with God, the Holy Spirit speaks to them. The believer gets ‘a sense’ of what the Spirit is saying through the Word and their own experiences with God. When a prophecy is given the believer judges it by what they have been ‘hearing’. For example, if a saint senses that God has been talking to believers about overcoming sin and a prophecy comes forth about believers going out to conquer the rulers of the world, then the saint can disallow that message given. It is likely not from God. The same applies to visions for this day and time. This same judgement applies to those who are prominent and respected leaders as well as to a member of the congregation.

In the Scriptures we don’t read about prophecy happening or being given outside of a gathering together of the saints. The Holy Spirit is present tense in the congregation. He speaks for that moment and time when the saints gather. This is not something that can be prepared beforehand by someone who prophecies. The prophesier cannot predict the message ahead of time. There also needs to be an ‘unction’ given with the prophecy that the Holy Spirit applies so that the saints can ‘hear’ the voice of Jesus. These messages or prophecies are given for several reasons. To encourage, correct, comfort, plead with the saints, etc.

There is misuse of prophecy in the Church today. Many saints are following ‘a man’. This man is not Jesus. Moses was a man of God. The scriptures declare that there is only one other ‘Man’ besides Moses that God has given for eternity, and that is Jesus. The saints are to grow into the full measure of this ‘Man’.


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The Bigger Picture

A recent church message gave the impression that God is busy with ‘bigger fish to fry’ in the world than us, and because of this, God may not be attentive to you and me as individuals when we call upon Him. 

God sets out a covenant in the New Testament to be our God and we are to be his people.  This covenant requires us to be ‘born again’ as Jesus states to Nicodemus in the gospel of John.  Born again, by the Spirit of God.  God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.  What God made in creation he made for man.  The earth was made for man.   The Bible says that God keeps his eye on the righteous.  While God is overseeing the affairs of this world he is also aware of every sparrow that falls to the ground. 

We have a God who is aware of us.  Who works in our lives.  Who helps us and teaches us.  He is quite capable of attending to all matters that need his attention globally and to be intimately available to each of his own, simultaneously. God is not a man.  The Bible says that he is Spirit.  And we have been given the gift of his Holy Spirit to be our comforter.