There Is No Theology Here

“There is no Theology here.”  A quote from Eric Metaxas’ book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life.  This quote was from the time Bonhoeffer spent in the United States.  He was born and raised in Germany and attended theological university there.  During his time in university he had many professors that taught the Bible in different ways.  Bonhoeffer would openly dispute and disagree with many of them.  Some of them he liked and agreed with.

Fast forward to his time in the United States in New York City.  His first observation was the group thinking here in the United States that still is a problem even today.  Especially when pertaining to the church. There were two churches he attended in New York City the Riverside, a liberal church, built by John D Rockefeller.  The other church was a fundamental church called the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, a “negro church.”

The difference between these two churches was like night and day.  Bonhoeffer quickly grew weary of the sermons in places like Riverside, so when he was invited to go to the Baptist church, he was eager to go.

(The Union Students) talk a blue streak without the slightest substantive foundation and with no evidence of any criteria.   …They are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions.  They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.  

In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.

                                                                                                           –  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

I have been to many churches and can relate with Bonhoeffer’s experience as an American Christian.  I have heard all kinds of preaching/teaching with no substance.  I had been in and out of churches since I was a little girl and was well “churched”.  I knew how to behave in a church, how to listen in a church, and how to make friends, and I even had had the experience of love from other church members with gifts.  I went on a mission trip to India and helped out in fundraisers and community meals.   Looking back on it, I would give it all up for them to come to a Bible believing church that preached Christ Crucified, every time we meet, so that others can be saved from Eternal Hell.  There is nothing more loving and compassionate than winning a soul to Christ.

One last point I would like to make is  that Bonhoeffer’s life in Germany was has an individual life.  He was not trying to be like the members of the church, at least in his thinking, and in Germany it was the norm. Everyone still got along even if they disagreed on Theology.  This doesn’t mean they were united in fellowship, it just means they where civil and got along.  Here in the United States if you criticize a church or their pastor you are “unfriended” or given dirty looks.  Yep, that’s happened to me.  But it’s fine.  I love our fundamental church and am glad Jesus saved me on March 20th, 2017.  If I had never went to First Baptist Church I would have never excepted Christ.  It was the love, caring, and concern of Pastor John, who asked me at my dinning room table, “How do you know you are saved?”

I will be writing more about Bonhoefer’s time in the United States as a read through the book because I “think not feel” it’s so important to have a good understanding of what has happened to Christianity in this country.  And for people who say they are Christians to start living on God’s Word.  We are commanded by God himself to do so.

 

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Those Approved By God. Are you?

As long as you have God's approval it doesn't matter whose approval you don't have.

 

1 Corinthians 12:18-19  First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it.  But, of course, there MUST be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!  

As I listened to Pastor Alester Begg this week on this topic it all started to make sense about why we have so many churches that are full of compromise.  Verse 19 says so that those who have God’s approval will be recognized!!  Amazing.  I kept wondering why the Lord would have our family go threw so much heart ache.  It’s all part of His perfect plan.  For those of us who speak out against heresy and get push back from it have been approved by God!  He wants us to be recognized.  Because we are the true salt and light.

There are times in the church when we are just being picky and we get annoyed with small things that have nothing to do with sound doctrine.  It could be how people dress (and yes there is a standard for this also)  or the church building and it’s color schemes, it could even be people’s personalities and likes and dislikes.  These things should never divide a church.  Christians are to bare with one another in love and genteelness.  (Notice I didn’t say music style.  I truly believe that some churches have made worship music and idol.  So I think you have to be discerning about how true worship music is suppose to be).  Paul warns us about these divisions and they should never be a reason to leave a church.

Heresy on the other hand is a reason to leave a church.  Heresy has to do with true Godly Doctrine.  The Lord will allow heresy from time to time to make the distinction between truth and era.  The Lord wants us to be reading our Bibles and testing everything according to God’s Word the Bible.  1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Acts 20:27 Paul says, “27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”  In Acts 20:26-31 The Apostle Paul knew he was not going to see the elders of that church again.  He says, “I declare today that I have been faithful.  If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.  So guard yourselves and God’s people.  Feed and shepherd Gods’ flock-his church, purchased with his own blood-over which the Holy spirit has appointed you as elders.  I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.  Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.  WATCH OUT!

So not only are hypocrites brought to light but the sincerity of the faithful are approved.  Some have been making a show in pretending to be good men on the other hand it enables those to give clear evidence of their stead fastness and sincerity.

The differences should not crush you or bring you down but these differences should show your steadfastness.  By those differences, the truth will be made clear.

We are very foolish to think that to what Paul speaks about is not relevant for today.  When these heresies are shown it will be to prove those of us who are approved by God.

Just because you attend a church and you have a pastor this does not mean you will be in Heaven.  If your pastor does not teach the whole counsel of God they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.   They are not true believers.  And you should not sit under their counsel.  They are only looking to getting a following so that they can lead many astray from truth.  These men and women are enemies of God.  They are selfish and self serving.  They are of this world.  They do not care about you.  Flee my dear brothers and sisters.  Repent and turn to the truth.  If you don’t I declare you will be left behind.  Hell is not a place God wishes anyone to go, but if you can’t sand up for what is right you are not approved by God.

The Danger with the Mennonite Church

I recently received a the Mennonite Central Committee’s publication.  I was very disturbed by what I saw.  Their mission is to feed and cloth the hungry and naked which is good, but it does not save people. Much of the publication was about working with the Muslims to live together in peace.  This is also good BUT non of this matters unless the Gospel is spread and people repent of their sins and as Jesus to be their Lord.

 

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Psalms 122:3-4 Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached.  All the tribes of Israel-the Lords people-make their pilgrimage there.  They come to give thanks to the Lord, as the law requires of Israel.

Psalm 129:5-8 May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat.  May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown, ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder.  An may those who pass by refuse to give the this blessing: “The Lord bless you;we bless you in the Lords’s name.”

Israel is the Apple of God’s Eye.  We should never turn against it or be jealous of God’s chosen people.

I emailed MCC about my concerns and this is the response I got

Dear Ms. Whiteman,

Thank you for contacting us with your concern (below). We will take you off the mailing list. 

I want to assure you that all of MCC’s work is in response to Jesus’ call to love God and love our neighbor as ourself. Our mission statement says we are a ministry of Anabaptist churches that “shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice.” MCC’s calling is not evangelism, but our work includes accompanying and strengthening the church worldwide, and there are many examples of Anabaptist congregations emerging out of MCC’s work.

Even if you no longer receive our publications, I hope you will remember MCC and the people we serve in your prayers.

Grace and peace,
Eric

 

I highlighted their calling.  I must say this is very disturbing.  Here is a quote from the Mennonite Central Committee

“We went over the next five days we were greeted with compassion. We saw acts of solidarity between people of various faiths and backgrounds. We saw hope, we saw resilience. We saw hardship and terrible loss. And we saw people really wanting to live.”

The goal is not solidarity.  Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  Matthew 10:34

Jesus will judge the quick and the dead some day and will sort us all out according to our allegiance with Him.

For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16  

Why Do You Call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and Not Do What I Say? Luke 6:46

 

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In Thessalonians 2:15 Paul writes, “With all these things in mind, deer brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.”  Clearly we are to hold tight to Paul’s teachings because they are of Jesus.  We are suppose to follow them as God has told us to.  So what if your church leadership is not following and sticking to the teachings set up for the New Church?  By the way we are still in the age of the New Church until Jesus comes back!

In Colossians Paul approaches false teaching that attempts to destroy the church.  Paul approaches heresy, empty rituals, useless asceticism, and false mysticism in a gentle and kind way.  Colossians 8:8  Don’t let any one capture you with empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and for spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.  In a sense we need to stick with scripture and keep it simple.

If your pastors are not keeping it simple, approach them in this way.  Colossians 3:12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must cloth yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, this is for the church only!

Titus 3 9-11 says

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees[a] or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. 10 If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11 For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.

This passage is not saying that we should disobey the Law but not to argue about it.  Also notice that other practices can also divide a church.  We are to give two warnings then after this we are to have nothing to do with them.  For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.

2 Thessalonians 3:14  Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter.  Stay away fro them so they will be ashamed. Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.

Correcting Another Believer

15 “If another believer[a] sins against you,[b] go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid[c] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[d] on earth will be permitted in heaven.

 

Notice there is warnings than we the true believers in truth are to have no part of their deeds.  We are to walk away and leave them up to their own demise.  We do this in hopes that they will repent and turn back to truth.  You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

There are many verses in the Bible that speak to this, but we always leave false teachers behind and ask people to leave the church not because we are being unloving, but because they are not true believers and they need to examine their lives so that they may repent and come back to the Lord.

There are two ways.  Either ask a person to leave your church if you are in leadership or you must leave the church if the leadership is the false teacher.  You do this so they to can be saved.  If you stick around after confronting them you are just condoning their behavior and therefore you are also sinning by not removing yourself from the false teachings.

 

What is your VBS Teaching

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I never really thought much about vacation bible school until this year.  With all the Seeker Sensitive Churches, Emergent Churches, and all the new, sensitive, and fun ways people think they are getting the Good News out to children, is nothing short of “it’s all about me” theology.

In the new church I attend this is what our VBS theme is,  “All firefighters, prepare for duty! Join the staff at Station 316, where kids will be trained to extinguish the fires of their own sin, and also how to help rescue others from the fire!”

https://www.truthquest.org/vbs-firefighters.html

This theme truly what the entire Bible is about.  God’s Holiness, our wickedness and how our sin separates us from the Love of God.  It’s about making disciples and winning the lost to Christ.

 

Then you have this theme from another church

Maker Fun Factory VBS

A world where curious kids become hands-on inventors who discover they’re lovingly crafted by God.

 

It’s all about how special you are and that God has these “big plans” for you.  What ever that means?  Not much about repentance or why Jesus had to die on the cross because we are condemned to Hell if we don’t come to the Lord.  This type of VBS is what I call ‘it’s all about me’ theology.  What is true is that God is special, awesome, the Great I am and he created us to glorify Him. God’s only ‘big plans’ for us is to save us from Hell and for us to make Him known.

https://www.group.com/category/ministry-resources/childrens-ministry/vbs/maker-fun-factory.do

Then you have LifeWay VBS that tries to teach the Trinity like this

Who was in the beginning?  God yes, but in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit explained this way…

We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being. For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another. But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit. Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit. The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite. Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited. Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit: And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty. Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God. Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.

 

Don’t just go to a VBS really check it out and see what is being taught.  It’s part of making true disciples of our children.  Vacation Bible School should really convict us for the need of a Savior and correct doctrine should be taught.

And Everyone Did What Was Right in Their Own Eyes

 

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During the time Judges the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s site again and again, they forgot God rescued them from Egypt.  So God raised the Judges.  God was with the Judges and rescued the people from their enemies while that Judge was a live,  BUT when the judge died the people returned to their corrupt ways behaving even worse than before.  They worshiped other gods.  They refused to give up their own evil practices.

So God had compassion for the Israelites when they where being defeated by their enemies.  In this way (because of compassion) the Judges came.  Then God also burned with anger so he left the enemies in the land to test the Israelites.

God’s character NEVER changes just like back in the day of Judges, God has mercy on us all and loves us.  If we cry out to the Lord He will save us from our enemies.  We must humble ourselves before God, repent and be forgiven.

In many ways today Christians have forgotten our first love. Just like in the time of Judges we have forgotten that  God has saved us. We do this when we forget to judge rightly. More often than not we don’t want to seem judgmental so we just don’t say anything at all.  When en-fact Jesus tells us how to judge.  “Oh you are just being judgmental take the log our of your own eye first.”  Yes this is true but read the rest of Matthew 7.  When we are confronted we put up our dukes and start to defend ourselves.  When what we should be doing is search our hearts to see if what has been said is true.

We are supposed to judge everything according to God’s word!  While we have contact with this world, we are commanded to be set apart from it.  We are to avoid doing what the world does.  That was the problem with God’s people back then and still is the problem today.  You SAY you are saved by GRACE but you ACT like the WORLD.  When you do this people do not recognize you has a child of God.

What do I see all around me?

Unforgiving Christians is the first thing I see.  I know that people are upset with me and I understand it, but instead of coming to talk with me they ignore or gossip about me.  I know this because I have been told.  I stand behind someone in the store and they look and see it is me then “pretend” they do not see me.  I say “hi” then they say, “Oh I did not see you there.”  ????   Makes me wonder.

Or I see that Christians care more about indulging themselves in “Christian” like things.  Concerts, music, books, aroma therapies, yoga etc…. They think it’s ok because they bought it at a Christian book store or the person sings about Jesus so it’s ok.  When they NEVER look up to see what that famous person is really saying or doing when they are not performing.  I see Christian’s defending their churches because it’s their church!  Just because it says church does not mean it’s good.  We are the church.  Our bodies, minds, and hearts!  So keep them holy.

I hear people cussing and using the Lord’s name in vain.

Christian’s stay in churches with female leadership, when God forbids it.

Christians are going to see pagan movies like “The Shack”, “Beauty and the Beast”, or even “Cold Case for Christianity,” which is a good book, but did not care enough to look and see that Purflix is part of the NAR.  Or for that matter Christians do not know about false churches or movements such as NAR, Emergent, New Age, Seeker etc….

I see Christians on the social justice ban wagon.  They have taken a few verses to justify their believes.  They condone homosexuality and dismiss Israel.

Finally I see Christians consuming ungodly things in general.  I have never been to Walt Disney World and never will.  Did you know God forbids us to practice magic?  Or listen to pagan music, watch pagan TV shows.  Listen to pagan radio stations.

Remember how I said in the book of Judges every time a judge died they sinned even worse than before.  Judges 19:22-30  While they were enjoying themselves, a crowd of troublemakers from the town surrounded the house.  They began beating at the door and shouting to the old man, “Bring out the man who is staying with you so we can have sex with him.”

The old man stepped outside to talk to them.  “No, my brother, don’t do such an evil thing.  For this man is a guest in my house, and such a thing would be shameful.  Here, take my virgin daughter and this man’s concubine.  I will bring them out to you, and you can abuse them and do what ever you like.  But don’t do such a shameful thing to this man.”

But they wouldn’t listen to him.  So the Livite took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door.  The men of the town abused her all night, taking turns raping her until morning.  Finally, at dawn they let her go.  At daybreak the women returned to the house where her husband was staying.  She collapsed a the door of the house and lay their until it was light.

While you are enjoying yourself you may find yourself in a sinful situation.  Satan will enter into your home, your mind, and then your heart.  Satan knows how to distract you, he knows your weaknesses.  So be on guard!  Fight the good fight!  Be a watchmen on the wall! Jesus will return!