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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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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Fear and Grace

The Bible repeatedly exhorts God’s people about fear. We are not to fear. The scripture encourages believers to ‘Be strong, be courageous’, that God has ‘not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and love, and a sound mind’. We are facing fearful times in our day. Church leaders are fearful. They are conforming to the requirements and compromise the world is asking for in order to avoid persecution. They want to be friends and a blessing to the ungodly of our day. This is the result of the teaching about grace that has permeated every church in the USA and Canada. We are to turn our eyes away from sin and love everyone (especially the world) in order to show God’s unconditional grace. To get people saved. This is false teaching. This is not taught in the Bible. This teaching has not been balanced with other teachings in scripture about grace. Grace to obey God. Grace for gifts. Grace to conform to the will of Christ in our choice of lifestyle, in our mind, and in our heart. Grace to endure hardship. Grace to remain faithful to God despite the circumstances. Grace for our transformation into the image of Christ. Grace to die to ourselves, to our old nature. Etc. etc.

As believers we must overcome fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Currently, fear is being used to manipulate believers and church systems by the world. Churches are falling one by one to these demands. A prominent church teacher is telling believers here in North America that they can side with the antichrist (to the point of taking his mark of ownership) and still be saved at the end. This is presumptuous and absurd. Once we are the devil’s he will not let us go, and we do not have the power to deliver ourselves. We will have turned our back on Christ and the power of the cross. The Bible teaches that at that point there will be no more sacrifice for our sin.


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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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Can a Believer’s Faith be ruined or lost?

We are living in challenging times as Christians. Our faith is being undermined by  wayward Christian teachers and prophets in our day. How does this happen? I Timothy and II Timothy give some explanation as to how this occurs. Teachers start to wander off the path of truth and are in a position to ruin the faith of others.  For some teachers it is their desire to be preeminent among others.  For  other teachers they have accepted and confessed  beliefs in a worldly knowledge.  These causes are based in inward personality faults that have not been overcome or resisted by someone who is  teaching God’s word.  Through their influence they can shipwreck the godly faith of other Christians.   God’s word says that those who teach will receive the greater condemnation in a judgment if they get it wrong.  We have some Christian teachers in our day that have really gone out on a limb teaching that godliness in conduct and behavior is not needed in the life of a believer.  Others teach that financial gain is what Christianity is all about.   Still others teach mystical, spiritualistic practices interspersed with the Word of God.

The names of some of these men are given in I and II Timothy. Hymanaeus, Philetus, and Alexander are specifically identified by Paul.  To have lived in that day teaching believers and then to find your name written in the Bible as a faith-wrecker would be devastating.  We need to be careful as teachers and as receivers of ‘christian’ teaching.  Many popular teachers of our day teach half-truths or even less godly content in their teaching about the Christian life.  We cannot be enamored with the ‘popular’ at the expense of our faith and eternal life. Paul exhorted Timothy to hold onto his faith and his good conscience.  Contrary to much of the Christian teaching today our conscience means something to us.  If we are feeling guilty, confused or uncomfortable then we need to pay attention to the Holy Spirit and examine ourselves by  the Word of God and what the Bible Scriptures teach.