New Testament & Psalms 2019

What’s Wrong with Pragmatism?

Mike, I found the article insightful, and the comments equally so. You really hit a soft spot here. I live in an off and on want to be church like that. The current model is on Service, others call it Missional…the modern definition. What I do observe is that in these churches there is a good deal of prayer effort and good intentions. But often the seminary training or conference driven models, or even “managerial” consultant influence dominates the decisions. And of course numbers do matter: whether to reach the so call “unchurched” or hold on to the “heavy” givers…..nobody really wants to drive them out. And more are always desired.

And often these churches actually become like clubs with member benefits, of friends and activities that are hard to leave behind, even if one finds that small Bible church not too far away. I know of one about 30 minutes away, but they are limited in supply….and almost impossible to influence people to check it out.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober- minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV)

The proponents of the seeker-sensitive church growth model may very well have had good intentions when through it was spawned the rise of contemporary mega-churches such as Willow Creek and Saddleback Valley Baptist…

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New Testament & Psalms 2019

Do you love the Lord or are you simply being religious?

Mike makes a good point here, but this remains difficult to communicate.

“This love for one another is a description of our Christian fellowship. It is a consequence of being truly born of God. Those who claim to be Christians, but exclude the brethren who are not ecumenical, political, or liberal enough fail this test. With whom do we fellowship here? Is it all professing believers? No, it is those who are born of the same spirit as us. We can discern the apostasy and the disingenuousness in those who refuse to repent when they are confronted. No, that is not who John is talking about. We are to love and fellowship with God’s people, those born of the Spirit like us. They will reflect the same love as us and we will see it being manifest amongst us. Also, we will know those not born of this spirit who will have a huge problem with our walk on the narrow path of obedience rather than the broad way of tolerance and ecumenicalism. Those professing Christians who demand tolerance for the ways of the world and ecumenicalism we rebuke. We tell them the truth, but they prove through their worldliness and refusal to repent that they are disingenuous so we do not call them “brethren.””

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 (NASB) 

As the elect draw closer and closer to Christ in obedience and fellowship the more and more they will be seen to be identified with Him and will, therefore, be hated by the world, just as He was and just as He said would happen (John 15:18-25). If the visible church has invited the world in and has become so conformed to it that there is no difference, what will happen within these “churches” when the elect within become conformed to Christ as I shared above? It will be the same result. They will be seen as outsiders and troublemakers. They will be seen as people needing “sensitivity training”…

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