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Author Topic: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains  (Read 30202 times)

re4med

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Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« on: June 23, 2003, 09:22:25 AM »
Quote

 Matthw 24:14-16 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand: )  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:'

but many have left their church and can't find a faithful church in their area

I read this within the context of another post on this fourm and it prompted me to think:  "what are the legitimate reasons for leaving a church"?  I find that many people define "faithful church" in very differant ways.  Are we allowed to leave a church because we do not like certain aspects of the way that church operates, (i.e. a preference)?  Doe the matter always need to be clearly doctrinal?

Thought?

William F. Hill, Jr.

Reformer

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2003, 10:00:07 AM »

"what are the legitimate reasons for leaving a church"?  I find that many people define "faithful church" in very differant ways.  Are we allowed to leave a church because we do not like certain aspects of the way that church operates, (i.e. a preference)?  Doe the matter always need to be clearly doctrinal?

Thought?


First, are you making the assumption that Christians are not allowed to leave one Church and go to another? I wish you would answer that query first so we'll know where you are coming from. Do you think Christians are married to particular Church groups?

There is nothing in scripture which forbids anyone from joining the best Church doctrinally. In other words, if I am a member of a Lutheran Church, and I feel that the Reformed Presbyterian Church around the corner is more sound doctrinally, I am free to leave that Church and join the other. Do you disagree with that? I ask so we won't start off with any confusion on where you stand.

By the way, the two Church groups were just used as an example, I hope no one reads anything more into it.

I'm thinking, rather than ask are we allowed to leave a Church because we have a preference for another Church, maybe we should ask are we mandated to stay in a Church when we prefer a more biblical Church? Of course it's the same question, but I think this is the true idea behind Christian liberty. That's why when I move to Ill this winter, I won't be breaking any laws of God by leaving my Church and joining another. I'm free to do so. I do not see anything in scripture which binds us to any one Church except the invisible Church, and the biblical Church.


re4med

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2003, 10:50:28 AM »
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First, are you making the assumption that Christians are not allowed to leave one Church and go to another? I wish you would answer that query first so we'll know where you are coming from. Do you think Christians are married to particular Church groups?

I am suggesting that Christians are not normally allowed to leave one church for another.  What I asked is: "what are the legitimate reasosn for leaving a church".  Does this suggest that I think there are people who leave one church for another for irresponsible and erroneous reasons?  Yes.

So the question remains.  Do the typical reasons for leaving  a church have to be surrounded by a doctrinal construct?  What about preferences (hymns vs. contremporary music, no nursery, no youth groups, too many programs, not enough programs, the pastor makes too much money, etc).  Certainly if one is providentially called to move to another area leaving the member unable to attend he is free to seek membership elsewhere.  That is, however, a differant matter.

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I'm thinking, rather than ask are we allowed to leave a Church because we have a preference for another Church, maybe we should ask are we mandated to stay in a Church when we prefer a more biblical Church? Of course it's the same question, but I think this is the true idea behind Christian liberty. That's why when I move to Ill this winter, I won't be breaking any laws of God by leaving my Church and joining another. I'm free to do so. I do not see anything in scripture which binds us to any one Church except the invisible Church, and the biblical Church.

Please read carefully.  I have made a clear distinction between "doctrinal reasons" and "preferences".  Frankly I am quite concerned over the number of people who think they are "allowed" to leave a church for whatever reason moves them ("preference").  Should a member leave an apostate communion?  Yes.  Yet, my mind recalls that Luther and Calvin (to name only two) were excommunicated from the RCC.  They neither left her or desired to do so.  They worked for reform within.  

Tony Warren

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2003, 01:44:02 PM »
>>>
I am suggesting that Christians are not normally allowed to leave one church for another.
<<<

Fair enough. But I will request that you show me any passage in scripture that forbids Christians from going to any local church that they choose? ..any passage. But you see, there are none.

You say that "normally" no one is allowed to find another church, but I have never heard of a Pastor or church leadership telling anyone that they are not allowed to leave their church or to go find another church unless it was a cult. Frankly, I would look upon such tactics by leadership as "cultus" at best, and abnormal rather than normal. Any church leadership that "required" I could never leave that particular group for a better or what I thought was a more faithful church once I joined, I wouldn't want anything to do with. That's bondage to man made law of the worst kind.

Individual church location membership is a voluntary fellowship, and finding a better local fellowship is not unlawful in ny way--in fact I would call it a virtue. Is Christ divided? Not at all. So though we go to a closer church, a smaller church or a more Biblical church, we are still in the same church. I do believe that Christ spoke to this type of "My Local Group Only" mentality when the Disciples wanted to rebuke those who served Christ, but were not in their particular group. Did Christ say no one join that group? Did He say, they should all join the group that John was in? No, He included them as being with them.

Luke 9:49-50
  • "And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
  • And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."

i.e., they were members of another church group, but Christ understood something the Disciples did not. Namely, that they were all of the same church, not two churches. They weren't dividing the church (as your argument 'seems' to imply). Even though they didn't attend the same group fellowship, they were still part of the very same undivided church body and were not to be forbidden.

By the same token, it wouldn't have been wrong if those who were casting out demons "had" joined together with John and the twelve. They were free to do so, and they were (obviously) free not to do so. There is no precept in scripture that says Christians must stay in one local group once or else they violate law. They are mandated only to stay in one church, and that one Church isn't the building west of 9th street, or the one east of 9th street, it's a building without walls. They have freedom to go to either assembly they choose, so long as it is a Biblical church in Christ Jesus.


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So the question remains.  Do the typical reasons for leaving  a church have to be surrounded by a doctrinal construct?
<<<

To go on to the second question would be futile when you've already said "no" to the first. i.e., you already said they are normally not allowed to leave. And you say so without presenting any scripture o back it up, or to support the idea Christians are bonded and chained to the first local church they join. I'm sorry, but I do not agree with that theory, based upon scripture.

In other words, once you agree that a Christian has liberty to leave one church for another, then logically we can go on to debate the legitimate reasons why. But if you've already said Christians can't choose another church to attend, what is the purpose for asking the second question? Your presupposition precludes joining a different or better church.


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>>>
Please read carefully.  I have made a clear distinction between "doctrinal reasons" and "preferences". 
<<<

I'm sure you've heard frivolous reasons for leaving a church, I have as well (on occasion). And I can't speak for Reformer, but I've read carefully, and I believe that every, reason that I've heard on this message forum (and my original forum as well) that Christians gave for leaving their church was for doctrinal reasons. Every single one.

Moreover, often preference is because of doctrine. In other words, many many years ago I left the Dispensationalist church because I "preferred" a more Biblical church. That's preference, but that's doctrine as well. There simply is no Biblical mandate to stay in any particular local church building, group, or fellowship. Paul fellowshipped with the Corinthians, and He fellowshipped with the Galatians. No one said, Paul, you can't go there because you're a member of the Corinthians. Why not? Because there is no such rule of biblical law. As long as he was in the Covenanted church, He was fellowshipping together in the church. He never left.


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Should a member leave an apostate communion? Yes.
<<<

An apostate church? Well now this is consistent with scripture. This is the gospel truth. Please remember that you said it...


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Yet, my mind recalls that Luther and Calvin (to name only two) were excommunicated from the RCC.
<<<

..because now it appears that you're contradicting yourself. Everyone who attempts to argue this point, gets into the same web of contradictions. The Roman Catholic Church of the time "was" an apostate church. No respectable theologian would argue that Popery is not apostasy. Therefore according to your own words, if they weren't excommunicated, still they had every right to leave that apostate communion. We're not Roman Catholics. We aren't all wound up in traditions so as to "wait" to be excommunicated!

That church had forsaken God, and had a Pope ruling in the Holy Temple as if he was God, so if that's not apostasy, nothing is. Therefore, whether Calvin left or not, they had every right to leave that particular church. Indeed, they should have left. Even as Lot should have left Sodom when told to, and not waited to be pulled out. ...and yet he did.

You can't have it both ways. Either they had every right to leave that church, or they didn't. It's as simple as that. By your own words (unless you are saying Popery was not apostasy) they had every right to leave. So their being excommunicated is a moot point. They had every right to leave that church by your own tongue, whether they were excommunicated or not.

2nd Corinthians 6:16
  • "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

The RCC was a temple of Idolatry and they had the right to leave, even if Luther did wait to be knocked over the head with the idol. And that is what we are arguing here. The Christian "right" to leave, not the Covenanted church, but the local church that has forsaken God. If you agree they could leave because of apostasy, then the Reformers could leave the RCC. It's black and white. No grey area here.

As for reforming, as you know they didn't reform the RC Church (obviously, as the RCC is as much in apostasy now as ever) they Reformed their own church, which existed inside the RCC, and now exists outside it, as a  protestant or "Protest-ant" of it.

In the real sense, they never left the church. They took it with them. ..or more Biblically put, it took them with it.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Reformer

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2003, 07:35:03 AM »
What about preferences (hymns vs. contremporary music, no nursery, no youth groups, too many programs, not enough programs, the pastor makes too much money, etc).  Certainly if one is providentially called to move to another area leaving the member unable to attend he is free to seek membership elsewhere.  That is, however, a differant matter.

I am dumbfounded by your claims. Where do you read such laws in scripture? You're giving me nothing but your personal opinion. There is no scripture which says that if I'm in a Church which plays with drums and heavy rhythm, and I want to go to another Church which plays hymns, that I cannot or should not do so. You haven't given one biblical reason that I cannot. You simply state it as if it is fact.

What's more, you say that if I am providentially called to move to another area, I am free to do so. What does that mean? These are your rules not God's rules. Where does scripture say that if one is providentially called to move to another area, and the leaving the member is unable to attend locally, he is free to seek membership elsewhere. Or where does it say he is not free to seek membership elsewhere? This is the problem with the Church. They make up their own rules and laws. We cannot arbitrarily make up rules for Christians. We get our laws from scripture.

 2Co 1:12  For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Reformer

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2003, 07:57:04 AM »
You can't have it both ways. Either they had every right to leave that church, or they didn't. It's as simple as that. By your own words (unless you are saying Popery was not apostasy) they had every right to leave. So their being excommunicated is a moot point. They had every right to leave that church by your own tongue, whether they were excommunicated or not. 

Makes sense to me. Sometimes I don't think Christians think things through before they bind them as law upon the Church. It seems to me that without commandment of God that we cannot leave one local Church for another, we are free to do so. That is our Christian Liberty. As you say, we are still in God's Church just as Paul said, we are all members of the same body.

It's disappointing that a fellow reformer would not see the error in this thinking. We usually understand Christian liberty, even to a fault.

Theo

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2003, 02:01:06 PM »
Tony and Reformer,

I must say that I am quite startled by your persistence in that which is sounding extremely "puffed-up". I have entered into many debates myself, but the question posed by re4med in no way warrented the debate you two have drawn out of it. The initial question was quite simple, "what are the legitimate reasons for leaving a church?".

Reformer began his/her response to this question by asking a question in return. Tony, while making a statement so absolute as "Fair enough. But I will request that you show me any passage in scripture which forbids Christians from going to any local Church they choose? ..any passage. But you see, there are none." has actually told us that the Scriptures are not actually sufficient for all aspects of our lives (i.e. which local church to choose, and which one not to choose, and the reasons behind such a choice). Let me remind you of the Westminister Confession:

Chapter 1, section IV. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men" (on the Holy Scriptures)

Tony, if you agree that "all things necessary for...life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture", then how can you make such a statement so absolute as "show me any passage in scripture...But you see, there are none."??? Maybe you don't agree with this part of the confession.

Anyway, such choices can be gleaned from passages such as Revelation 18:4, which says "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

Listen to John Gill's application of such a passage.

"saying, come out of her, my people; meaning either his elect ones, till now uncalled, being such whom God had chosen for his people, and were so by virtue of the covenant of grace, were given to Christ as his people, and were redeemed by him, though, till this call, in an unconverted state; or else such who had been secretly called by the grace of God, but had not made a public profession of the Gospel, nor bore an open testimony against the Romish idolatry; for as the Lord had a righteous Lot in Sodom, and saints where Satan's seat was, Rome Pagan, so he will have a people in Rome Papal, at the time when its destruction draws near; and these wilt be called out, not only in a spiritual sense, to quit the communion of the church, to forsake its idolatries, and not touch the unclean thing, separate themselves from her, and bear a testimony against her doctrines and worship, but in a literal sense, locally; they shall be bid to come out of her, as Lot was ordered to go out of Sodom before its burning, and the people of the Jews out of Babylon before the taking of it, Jer_50:8 to which reference is here had: and as the Christians were called out of Jerusalem before the destruction of it: this shows the particular knowledge the Lord has of his people, be they where they will, and the gracious care he takes of them, that they perish not with others; and that it is his will they should be a separate people from the rest of the world; and this call of his sufficiently justifies the Protestants in their separation from the church of Rome, and every separation from any apostate church"

Though Scripture has not directly said "Thus sayeth the Lord, be not a part of the Roman Catholic Church" (as it seems Tony would like re4med to show him something of the sort), the application is there to be gleaned, that we are to be a part of the "local church" which strives to be that which God would have us to be, right? It is argumentation such as this that results in Harold Camping type teaching, which tries to negate the importance of the local church. If it doesn't matter which one I go to, then why go to one at all?

Tony also mentioned "Any Church leadership which "required" I could never leave that particular group for a better Church once I joined, I wouldn't want anything to do with. That's legalism of the worst kind."

I don't know of any church that has chained anyone up to hinder them from leaving, so I think your going WAY out on the question asked. Also, could I not take this to the opposite extreme and say "Your membership stuff is legalism of the worst kind!"??? Yet, we all see the importance of church membership, right?

Tony also mentioned "And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."
i.e., they were members of another Church group, but Christ understood something the Disciples did not. Namely, that they were all of the same Church. They weren't dividing the Church (as your argument 'seems' to imply). Even though they didn't attend the same group fellowship, they were still part of the same Church
."

I think re4med would agree, but you have once again taken his question WAY further than what he/she had asked! You continually take his/her question to the context of the church universal, and re4med is asking a simple question about the local church. Should I stay or should I go, and why. re4med never asked "should I leave the church universal for reasons such as hymns, no youth groups, no nusrery, etc...", No, re4med asked a simple question about the local church, that seemingly has yet to be answered.

Tony said "Paul fellowshipped with the Corinthians, and He fellowshipped with the galatians. No one said, Paul, you can't go there because you're a member of the Corinthians. Why not? Because there is no such rule of biblical law. As long as he was in the covenant Church, He was fellowshipping together in the Church. He never left."

No one would say otherwise, but if Paul had decided to go fellowship and worship with those who were worshipping the Greek goddess Diana, would Barnabas have had biblical authprity to say "No, Paul, you can't do that!"??? I think we all would agree that yes, Barnabas could, and would have done that. This is what I percieve as the question asked by re4med. Not "can we leave the church universal", but "what reasons do we have for leaving a local congregation for another".

Tony, you tell re4med that he/she is contradicting himself/herself, yet you say in one part of your response "show me any passage in scripture which forbids Christians from going to any local Church they choose", yet when you respond to re4med's assertion "Should a member leave an apostate communion? Yes", you reply with " Well now this is consistent with scripture. This is the gospel truth." On one hand you say something like "we can go to any local church we choose", but on the other hand, you say something like "it is consistent with scripture, and gospel truth, that we leave an apostate church". So, can I go anywhere I choose (whether apostate or not), or not??? For one to speak of a "web of contradictions", and yet make such statements as these, well, leaves me kinda dumbfounded, as Reformer claimed about re4med remarks.

Tony said "As for reforming, as you know they didn't reform the RC Church (obviously, as the RCC is as much in apostasy now as ever) they reformed their own Church, which existed inside the RCC, and now exists outside it, in "Protest-ant" of it."

re4med never made claim that Calvin and Luther did reform the RCC, he/she simply stated that they obviously tried to, because they were kicked out, and never had the chance to leave voluntarily. The point re4med was making (in my estimation) was that even though they had the Christian Liberty to leave, they didn't. Seems Luther and Calvin had a much better grasp on the Sovereignty of God, and that they felt that they were placed there for a reason, and their desire was to be what God would have them to be in the midst of such opposition. Obviously they had feelings for the people they were surrounded by, because they stayed till they were excommunicated.

Reformed said "What's more, you say that if I am providentially called to move to another area, I am free to do so. What doesthat mean? These are your rules not God's rules. Where does scripture say that if one is providentially called to move to another area and the leaving the member is unable to attend, he is free to seek membership elsewhere, or is not free to seek membership elsewhere? This is the problem with the Church. They make up their own rules and laws. We cannot arbitrarily make up rules for Christians. We get our rules from scripture."

Ok, Reformed, I'll go with you on this. Let me put the ball back in your court. Where does the Scripture tell you what to do if you were called to move yourself from one place to another? If you say it doesn't, then you have denied the sufficiency of Scripture, if you say it does, then you've just agreed with re4med, in saying that you are free to seek membership elsewhere, not because the Scripture explicitly says "Thus sayeth the Lord, if you move, seek membership elsewhere", but because the Scripture clearly lays out the importance of the local church, and also clearly lays out that I would not be a good steward if I drove from Califonia to China every Lord's Day, right?

Reformer said "It's disappointing that a fellow reformer would not see the error in this thinking."

Well, we could all hopefully agree that we all have faults, and error in our thinking, for God alone is omniscient. What's disappointing to me is that, a simple question (even if it was only a question of opinion) has gone to this length of saying things that are offensive, or to make others look un-educated. Please, Tony and Reformer, do not only look at passages pertaining to the hard doctrines, look at passages such as these:

1Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear"

Don't forget the "meekness and fear".

Also, Col. 4:6 "Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Our speech is to be gracious, and not offensive, to "every man".

And for those who may not be Christians, and see this type of argumentation between Christians, please forgive us, for we have been ordered by our Lord that "By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35)

Also, I never seen re4med ask for Scriptural proof for his/her question. Now, I'm sure you are gonna tell me "This is a forum for Scripture debate, not opinion!!!", and I would agree, but I have yet to see either of you tell or remind re4med of this fact. Maybe, if you would consider such things, instead of slamming people on the head with doctrine, you words may be more useful, I don't know, just a suggestion.

I want to say to Tony and Reformed that I am completely capable of error, and forgive me if I have taken either of your comments out of context, my folly is just as huge as the next guys.

And to re4med, I would agree with Tony (on this statement anyway) in saying that alot of the reasons why people leave a local church for another one is based on doctrinal preference, as it was in my case too, long ago. But I believe the issue to be an issue of stewardship, and not an absolute explicit directive from God to stay or go from the Scriptures. The reason I say this is, the many denominations we have in this day and time are not explicitly named in Scripture, but the stewardship of having yourself and your family within the context of the local church that is striving with all their might to be that which God would have them to be, is. Hope this helps...

God bless,

Theo  

Tony Warren

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2003, 05:18:47 PM »
>>>
The initial question was quite simple, "what are the legitimate reasons for leaving a church?".
<<<

And as I said, you cannot ask for legitimate reasons for leaving a church, while holding to a presupposition that we cannot normally and legitimately leave a church. It was "He" (not I) who brought up that fact that Luther never left the church, that he was instead excommunicated. He brought that up in order to support his contention that it was somehow wrong to leave a church. i.e., even Luther didn't leave an apostate Church.  :Say_what:

 So if his analogy fell on its proverbial face, then it obviously didn't have a leg to stand on in the first place, did it? All teachings must stand or fall on their own merit.


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Tony, while making a statement so absolute as "Fair enough. But I will request that you show me any passage in scripture which forbids Christians from going to any local Church they choose?
<<<

..which I'm still waiting for. ..and which still doesn't exist. You cannot build a doctrine from "silence," which is what Re4med seems to be trying to do.


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has actually told us that the Scriptures are not actually sufficient for all aspects of our lives..
<<<

..is that really what I told you? ..The Lord judge. I'm confident that, unlike man, He judges righteously.


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Let me remind you of the Westminister Confession:
<<<

Let me remind you of the rules (as clearly stated) of both the Eschatology and the Theology forums. In these two forums, we're not interested in what the Westminster confession says, what John Gill said, what Tony Warren says, or even what My mother says, we're interested in what the Bible says. I realize this is a different approach than most Calvinistic message forums take, and it's meant to be. So let's keep the focus away from the traditions of men (good or bad)  and on the scriptures. The first two rules of the forum state this PLAINLY.

Rules as Posted:

  • .The Biblical forums exists so that people can partake in serious bible based discussions, study the scriptures, ask questions, or engage in the civil debate of Christian doctrines from the scriptures. These are not forums simply to express opinions, but rather to discuss or defend them with Biblical references. If you simply want to discus Christianity in General without basis of scripture, Please use the Open Forum which has been established for that purpose.
  • .The whole premise of Biblical discussions is to have us 'appeal to scripture' in support of our Christian perspective. The focus in these particular forums should on Christianity and the doctrines thereof, as related to the Bible. While we are certainly more than tolerant in this regard, please try and stay focused.

How much clearer can it get? Our Authority here is the Bile, the scriptures, not the creeds, not the Westminster Confession, not Martin Luther, John Calvin, and not Re4med. We appeal to scripture in our support of doctrines. And if we "cannot," then there is a very good chance that it's not Biblical at all, simply someone's personal opinion or their church tradition.


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Though Scripture has not directly said "Thus sayeth the Lord, be not a part of the Roman Catholic Church" (as it seems Tony would like re4med to show him something of the sort), the application is there to be gleaned,
<<<

You are wrong, scripture does say "do not be a part of the Roman Catholic Church." Scripture does say homosexuality is a sin. Scripture does say sex before marriage is a sin. And if this was another thread, and you asked for those scriptures, I would present them to you, word for word. I wouldn't have to start quoting the Reformers, Billy Graham, Martin Luther, Reverend Ike, the Westminster confessions, or Jerry Falwell.  I would start quoting scripture (God) in order to show you that this is what God said, not what I or other "men" have said. That's the point! Appeal to the authority of God's infallible word, not to other men's words.

And yes, you are correct. When someone says, "Thus saith the Lord," I would very much like them to point to chapter and verse where, "Thus saith the Lord!" Absolutely! I think it dubious, or at best questionable when someone points and says, "Thus saith John Gill," or "thus saith Tony Warren" even. I'm no authority. That just doesn't cut it, nor should it. So we ask, is it to much to ask that we support our doctrines or teachings with scripture? No, I don't think so.

Just as I don't ask anyone to listen to me, I don't ask anyone to listen to any other man. All I ask is that they consider if what theologians (any theologian) declare is consistent with what the word of God declares. Not if it's consistent with John Gill's thoughts or John Calvin's thoughts, but if it's consistent with the Bible. I fully understand and acknowledge that this makes our forum diverse from most Christian forums. And we like it that way! People come here because they know they're at least getting ideas based upon scripture, and not upon traditions, denominations, or the vaunted renowned or celebrated authors.

I think true Christianity "depends" upon our trying the spirits (as the Bereans), testing men's words to see if they are the testimony of Christ, or if they are man's own private interpretations of the word of God. And I'm not going to compromise that for the sake of making folks feel good about themselves. Re4med is not new to me, I didn't just jump on his doctrines out of the blue.


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I don't know of any church that has chained anyone up to hinder them from leaving, so I think your going WAY out on the question asked.
<<<

Chained was my word I confess, but it seems to me that "must" be the implication of one insisting that there is some hidden precept that we cannot leave local church "A" to attend the more preferable local church "B." Chained is a good word for that binding, is it not? If I had to put a more descriptive word to this idea, the word would be even worse. It's more like "nonsensical." Because it should be self-evident that a Christian can attend any "Biblical church" that they choose, at any time. There is nothing in scripture that precludes that. We are bondmen of Christ, not of any particular local church group.

And the truth be known, if there were any such Biblical precept, Re4med or you would have quoted such scripture long before now, instead of the typical "name dropping," which seems to be so acceptable in our day in lieu of scripture. But here, we require a biblical defense. And be it known that Reformed tradition, if not backed up by scripture, is no more acceptable than Roman Catholic tradition. That's not how it works here. Our authority is scripture, not Reformed authors. As Biblical as they may (or may not) be, they are not the authority of the church. The word of God is.


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>>>
You continually take his/her question to the context of the church universal, and re4med is asking a simple question about the local church.
<<<

It may have been a simple question to you, to me it was an "implication" that unfaithfulness of a church is not a good reason to leave. It was "implied" that we, like Martin Luther did, should stay within an apostate church until we are excommunicated or thrown out. He used Martin Luther doing that as "his example." I call that more than just a simple question. So maybe you don't see the implication, but I most certainly do.

The fact is, there is no command of God that we must remain in one local church regardless of its unfaithfulness. And like it or not that was the implication. That's the whole point of the discussion. No one (at least to my knowledge) was saying that they wanted to leave a faithful church for no reason. They spoke of leaving for unfaithfulness and apostasy. A reason which re4med himself said (and pretty clearly) was a legitimate reason to leave a church (not that they needed his approval). So I repeat, you can't have it both ways. You can't imply that the Reformers were right for NOT leaving the wicked, heretical Roman Catholic Apostasy and waiting there to be excommunicated, and also have it right to leave an apostate church today. ..Which is it? Were they right to stay, or should they have RECOGNIZED what that church was and left (as many others did)? Why even give the example or the analogy of them waiting to be excommunicated IF this was not the implication? No, it was much more than a simple question, so please don't think anyone here was born yesterday.

The "implication" was that they didn't leave, and so we shouldn't leave.  Otherwise, what's the point of the analogy?


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Tony, you tell re4med that he/she is contradicting himself/herself, yet you say in one part of your response "show me any passage in scripture which forbids Christians from going to any local Church they choose", yet when you respond to re4med's assertion "Should a member leave an apostate communion? Yes", you reply with " Well now this is consistent with scripture. This is the gospel truth."
<<<

I fail to see any contradiction on my part. Maybe I'm missing something. Yes, a member should leave an apostate church. No, a member should not wait until, or to see if they are excommunicated. No, there is no Biblical warrant for requiring anyone to stay in any local church. The only Biblical warrant is to be in the Lord's Congregation, not forsaking the assembling together.


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>>>
On one hand you say something like "we can go to any local church we choose", but on the other hand, you say something like "it is consistent with scripture, and gospel truth, that we leave an apostate church". So, can I go anywhere I choose (whether apostate or not), or not???
<<<

...did I say something like this, or did I say this? Why did you add that (apostate or not)? ..I didn't say that. Or do you think I "implied" it? No, we see that without your addition of "apostate or not" added to "my actual words," what I said was completely understandable. Especially since the whole point was leaving an apostate church for another.  And in context, completely consistent. Same as with God's word. Without men "adding and taking away" from what God says, His word is completely understandable. So let's let my words, and God's words, speak for themselves, without your additions in parenthesis.


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The point re4med was making (in my estimation) was that even though they had the Christian Liberty to leave, they didn't.
<<<

"Me thinks" they had the Christian obligation to leave, but tarried "WRONGLY" thinking they could reform the Roman Catholic Church heresy (so much for Calvinistic notions of near-infallibility of Reformers).

They were in a church that was completely fallen, which sold indulgences, preached the wages of sin was purgatory, and had a man ruling as God as head, etc., etc. By all rights they should have been running as fast as they could from it. But being fallible men, they tarried. But God, being a Sovereign God who will not have His will to be thwarted, had them unceremoniously kicked out of that unfaithful church. Just as lot also tarried and God had to drag him from Sodom. For if it was up to Lot, he would have still been there when the Lord rained fire upon the city. No, don't place trust in the rightful actions of just man, they make horrible mistakes all the time. Give God the glory. That's why we depend here on the "authority" of the word. Believe me, it's no kudos to Lot for being dragged out, or props to Martin Luther and company for being kicked out, but Glory to God for His patience and mercy and faithfulness in pulling them out when they were weak in the flesh.

 "He who hath an ear, let him hear."


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What's disappointing to me is that, a simple question (even if it was only a question of opinion) has gone to this length of saying things that are offensive, or to make others look un-educated.
<<<

How many times do I have to state the rules for theology and eschatology? Are those rules posted ambiguously where they're easy to miss? You're allegedly new here, but you seem to know that. This is not a forum for personal opinions, unless done in light of scripture. And as I said, Re4med is not new to me. And frankly, if I have a choice between bearing witness to the truth of scripture, and shutting my mouth to allow false ideas about our obligation to stay within an unfaithful church to be promulgated, then I'm going to speak out against it. That's regardless of any new "old" protests against it.

As for trying to make one look uneducated, I certainly was not doing that (that is your assumption), I'm stating the Biblical facts as best I can. Did I do it perfectly, no, I'm not perfect. Nevertheless, there is no scripture that precludes anyone from choosing to go to any church they choose. But if you don't want the biblical facts, then a biblical forum is not the place to be. Because the Biblical truth is offensive to most, even when it's not meant to be. There are a hundred forums on the web where everyone can say any unbiblical thing under the sun and not be asked to biblically substantiate it. Perhaps that's what you're looking for. But this isn't that place. And I make no apologies for that. That's not arrogant, that's a faithful, honest, earnest desire to do God's Will.


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Also, I never seen re4med ask for Scriptural proof for his/her question. Now, I'm sure you are gonna tell me "This is a forum for Scripture debate, not opinion!!!",
<<<

..See, I told you you knew. ;) And Re4med knows too. Yes, I'm going to tell you that you are right. This is a forum for debate and discussion with appeal to scripture, not opinion. ..but of course, you already knew that and don't really care.


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and I would agree, but I have yet to see either of you tell or remind re4med of this fact.
<<<

..you think the bold lettering saying "guidelines," or the required reading during registration, or the notices about it is not enough? Do you think Re4meed doesn't know the rules?


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1Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear"

Don't forget the "meekness and fear".
<<<


I don't think my answer to Re4med was arrogant or puffy, but if it is perceived that way (and I confess it could be), then I certainly humbly apologize for that. That was not my intention. Nevertheless, the basic message stands firm as it is not only Biblical, but I think right on target. Though you may surely disagree.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Theo

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2003, 06:15:41 PM »
Well then Mr. Warren,

You have broken the rules! Not once did you qoute a Scripture in your response (except when you posted my qoutes of the Scriptures), you only gave a bunch of opinions and and maybe what you think to be justifications for a bunch of other opinions, hmmm...

I will get to the other things you have said (and the things you did not address) when I have time, for they must be dealt with, Scripturally!

God bless,

Theo

Tony Warren

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2003, 06:37:28 PM »
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>>>
Well then Mr. Warren,
You have broken the rules! Not once did you qoute a Scripture in your response
<<<

You're right. But that is because I was wasting time attempting to explain the rules to you, and other things which you already know.


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I will get to the other things you have said (and the things you did not address) when I have time, for they must be dealt with, Scripturally!
<<<

Great. But let me tell you even before you start. If your response doesn't have anything to do with the topic of fleeing to the mountains or "leaving churches," or if it is pertaining to how I handle the forum, my attitude, or anything else not related to the biblical defense of "leaving the Church," then do not post it on this thread. Because it will be deleted without redress.

As for you, Tony S. (whose message was deleted), you have been warned continually about breaking rules, getting into personalities, and your immaturity. You are obviously tempting me, so if you persist, then I will have no alternative than to give you exactly what you want my friend. Then you can really play the martyr card.

Thanks for your cooperation.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

re4med

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2003, 02:22:51 PM »
Ok.  It clearly seems that my question was lost in a sea of misunderstanding either due to my own fault for being unclear or otherwise.  Let me attempt to rephrase this topic question in two parts.

First, I would agree that it is allowable to leave a church and that we are not necessarily required to stay in a church no matter what.  However, under what circumstances may a person leave a local church fellowship?

Quote
but many have left their church and can't find a faithful church in their area.

Second, how would you define a "faithful" church?  Now before you attempt to whip out the answer: "a church the obeys and follows the Word of God" remember that many denominations say that they do this already.  For instance...would it be agreeable to leave a Baptist church for a Presbyterian church?  Why?  What are the doctrinal differences that would force one to leave?  Is one denomination more biblical?  Is one more faithful?  I will reserve my opinons on this matter until the masses have spoken.

Thanks for your time. I hope that this will make things clearer.

William F. Hill, Jr.

judykanova

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2003, 05:36:03 PM »
quote from re4med:
Quote
First, I would agree that it is allowable to leave a church and that we are not necessarily required to stay in a church no matter what.

Having acknowledged this, then the reasons for leaving a church becomes a personal matter would it not?   So then what you'e asking for are people's personal opinions/perferences.

I personally think each local Protestant church stands or falls on it's own merit, based largely upon that church's leadership.  There are so many denominations these days, and a demoninational 'label'  only goes so far in telling you how sound a particular church's may be in terms of actual adherence to sound biblical principles.  All denominations have their strengths and weaknesses; some more than others.  

For me it would boil down to the actual individuals that lead & comprise the church.  And it behoves each of us to study Scripture for ourselves so that we can determine if the doctrines presented are consistent and in harmony with 'thus saith the Lord' as recorded in the Bible as a whole.

Ezek 13:6-8

They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.


Ezek 22:27-28

27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.


That's  just some of what I would personally consider important, but I don't know how much value it has towards answering your question,
as your reasons for leaving a local church would have to be your own.

judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

re4med

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2003, 05:57:10 AM »
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Having acknowledged this, then the reasons for leaving a church becomes a personal matter would it not?  So then what you'e asking for are people's personal opinions/perferences.

No.  Since I have acknowledged that people are not necessarily required to stay in a church, I am not saying that people are allowed to leave based on their own preferences or whims.  All I stated was that it is allowable to leave a church.  What matters to me is what circumstances make it allowable? 

William F. Hill, Jr.

Tony Warren

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2003, 07:08:21 AM »
>>>
First, I would agree that it is allowable to leave a church and that we are not necessarily required to stay in a church no matter what. 
<<<

I think everyone agrees with that, so we can go on from there.


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>>>
However, under what circumstances may a person leave a local church fellowship?
<<<

That's a good question, and a complicated one that I don't think has any "cookie cutter" or "pat" answer. I'd also be interested to hear what others think scripture teaches. The only guidelines which I believe we can use for leaving a church are those spelled out on the pages of scripture. And I believe it is done by God telling Christians what church they can and cannot be a part of.

As an "obvious" example, if the leaders of the church one day stood up and said they wanted all the wives there to be their mistress, we would be justified for getting up and leaving that Congregation never to return. I assume you would agree. i.e., pertinent scriptures against adultery "preclude" our attending that church and following those leaders. In other words, the Biblical principle is that we follow our shepherds "an all things lawful," not in all things. And so we would have a biblical reason to leave that church, based upon that. Each church's unfaithfulness is not the same, but each must be dealt with in the same Biblical manner. Again, as another obvious example, if my Pastor jaywalked, got a speeding ticket or was impatient, it's breaking the law, but it's certainly not reason for me to leave that church. Again, that's an outrageous example, but the point is that these things the church leadership does and teaches must all be evaluated and dealt with individually "in the light" of how scripture shows we should deal with it. Do we forgive, or do shake the dust off our shoes and flee? Do we try and make changes in reforming, or do we see that there is such abomination there that the church inevitably will be left desolate? These are diverse questions which require diverse answers. In our trials and tribulation is it, "My grace is sufficient for you," or is it, "When you see the abomination stand in the holy place, flee to the Mountains?" It depends. The only point that I am making is that we cannot simply go by our own personal opinion, we must look to God (thus, God's word) for guidance, answers, and for our help in what to do in each situation.

Psalms 121:1-2
  • "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
  • My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."

I believe that we should "not" leave our church (unless we are going to a more Biblical church) except if the church has become an abomination to God. That statement is the easy part. The hard part today is in discerning what is abomination. It's my contention that most people wouldn't recognize abominations if it jumped up and bit them.

The first general rule is if it has become a house of idolatry. If it has become a place of worshiping a false god, whose teachings are not the teachings of the God of the Bible. Just like that house that the Reformers were in called "The Roman Catholic Church." Just as Christ showed it was not wrong to have different denominations (in allowing other groups to not follow us, and still they were the church), it would not be wrong to be a part of another church group. Idolatry is our first clue that it's time to leave a local church.

1st Corinthians 10:14
  • "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."

I think our mandate is sure. The Bible teaches a general rule to not sit in any temple which is not the Holy temple ruled by Christ. For this temple is ruled by a false (or substitute) Christ. Which in a word is, idolatry. i.e., any Christ that purports to save us by our own works is a false Christ. Or any Christ that is not God is a false Christ, for such a Christ obviously cannot save. Or any Christ that declares the wages of sin is purgatory and not death, is built upon a foundation of lies. And Christ cannot lie. Or any Christ that preaches vain visions of Jewish genealogical grandeur in old Testament law based salvation, is a deceiver that turns the church from the truth. All of these are good reasons to separate ourselves from any group calling themselves the church.

Titus 1:13-16
  • "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
  • Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
  • Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
  • They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

Therefore, a church group professing that they know God (professing that they are Christians) doesn't mean anything if they are teaching race, not grace, or if they have man ruling in the temple in place of God, or if they teach Jewish traditions in making void God's commandments, etc. These things are an abomination to God, and should be at the top of any list to leave a church. But should one leave the church because the leaders baptize by pouring, or immersion instead of sprinkling?  No, I don't think so, but if he's going to a better church, why not? I would need Scripture that says don't do it. So it depends. Because looking at issues biblically, mode of baptism or amount of water used would never be a basis for discerning a biblical church IMHO. We find that out, not by tradition or opinion, but by considering all scriptures.

Titus 3:5
  • "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"


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>>>
Second, how would you define a "faithful" church?  Now before you attempt to whip out the answer: "a church the obeys and follows the Word of God" remember that many denominations say that they do this already. 
<<<

I would define a faithful church as a church that has the Word of God as its ultimate authority, and that serves God not in mouthing the words only, but in deed and Spirit also. God left it up to us to us to try the spirits.

Matthew 7:24-27
  • "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
  • And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
  • And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
  • And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

Not a church that (as you say) pays lip service to faithfulness, but whose works testify to their faithfulness. As said our Lord, "a tree is known by it's fruits." There are many churches (most all of them IMHO) which claim that they are following the Word of God, but many of them are a cancerous sore that eats away at the fabric of righteousness. It is self-evident that every group that says they are the faithful church, isn't the faithful church. We have to try the spirits, because many deceivers are entered into the world and we should discern who they are. And it's not like we can't discern them. Indeed, God obligates us to try our teachers words by His word.

2nd Timothy 3:5-6
  • "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
  • For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"


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For instance...would it be agreeable to leave a Baptist church for a Presbyterian church?
<<<

Sure, absolutely! Based upon scripture, I believe that we could leave a Baptist church for a more Biblical Presbyterian Church in all good conscience. "Likewise," we could leave a unfaithful Presbyterian Church for a more Biblical Sovereign Grace Baptist church in all good conscience. For one simple reason. I don't believe that anything "precludes" it, and God wants us to be as faithful as possible. What better way to be as faithful as possible than to be in the most faithful church as possible in our area?


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>>>
Why? 
<<<

Because God wants us to fellowship among like-minded believers. We should fellowship among those who are like-mined with us, in communion with Christ. And that means, the more Biblically minded, the better. God's going to be at that church, just as He was with us at our last. If the group has the mind of Christ, then Christ is there among us. There is no problem in moving. We are married to Christ, not the local church.

Matthew 18:20
  • "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

I see no need to worry that moving to a more Biblical Church is a sin. I don't think that there is any way that we can place a man-made burden of calling it a sin. I don't see any justification for that. And if it's not a sin, it's lawful.

And just to be clear, I'm not talking about someone jumping from church to church based on nothing, or parania or because they can't seem to get along with anyone, but leaving one church because they feel it is no longer faithful, for another that is. Or leaving a church that has become an abomination, even when they cannot find another faithful church.


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What are the doctrinal differences that would force one to leave?
<<<

..or maybe, what is the Biblical law that would force one to stay? That's the way I look at it. Before we say he can't leave, we must have Precept, law, declaring that we have to stay. Baring any, we have liberty to leave and find another.

Again, I'm sure we both agree that just quiting for the sake of quitting is an unbiblical thing to do. ..and we know some people do that. Either because they don't like some particular member, or they don't like the organ music, or they think the pastor's sermons are boring, or put them to sleep or some other nonsensical excuse. They may even just be tired of going. But I'm in no way excusing that. And in any case, assembling together is required.

Hebrews 10:25
  • "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

But on the other hand, if one's conscience is seriously bothering them because they feel that this particular church is of a false gospel, has fallen beyond repentance or is "seriously" unfaithful to God's word, them I believe they are obligated to flee.


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Is one denomination more biblical?
<<<

No. Not one denomination, not one group, not one assembly, they all can be unfaithful or faithful. I know Presbyterian churches that are faithful, and Presbyterian churches that are an abomination. I've seen Reformed churches that are reformed in name only, and are so desolate that one wonders how it can stand on its own. Same with Sovereign Grace Baptists, or any other church group. Names may (or may not) give one a good starting place to look for faithful churches, but they are no guarantee of anything.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Tony Silva

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2003, 07:01:03 PM »
>>>>No.  Since I have acknowledged that people are not necessarily required to stay in a church, I am not saying that people are allowed to leave based on their own preferences or whims.  All I stated was that it is allowable to leave a church.  What matters to me is what circumstances make it allowable? <<

re4med,

Before I go into what I want to say,  I would like to state for the record that I believe that all believers should flee the church because I believe that we are in the GT period, where Matt.24:16-17 applies. That having been said, we read in:1 Corinthians 10:23

" All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."

Many reasons have been given to prove it is the Christian liberty to be able to choose when to or when not to leave a church, but I think the best examples of what to do when apostasy and wrong practice creeped into a church are given  in the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor. In those churches we see every type of wrong practice and doctrine and not one time that I am aware of are we told that they were to leave those churchs.

To the church of Ephesus he writes.

Revelation 2:3-5  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Here we see that they had left their first love, in other words they were not puting Christ first in the life of the Church, which is a serious charge for a church that believes to be the true gospel and what are they told to do? To go to find a more faithful church? No, they are told to repent!

Revelation 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Revelation 2:9  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Talk about persecution, is it their Christian liberty to leave for persecution? Yes, I think that the Bible does agree that Christians can flee one city when persecuted, and go to another ( Mt 10:23 ). But here they are told to be faithful unto death! Even though it might be their Christian liberty to leave.

To the the church in Pergamos he writes.

Revelation 2:13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Revelation 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

They have people in this church who hold positions of authority such as teaching and they are teaching them "to  eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."
If this is not a reason to tell them to flee I don't know what is? But what are they told to do?

Revelation 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

The church was given a very effective tool for getting rid of the cancer of apostasy, it is called excommunication! And if it was someone in a position of authority, like let's say the pastor, they could simply fire him.

1 Corinthians 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Repent, but cut out the cancer.

To the  the church in Thyatira he writes.

Revelation 2:19-20  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Here again they have a woman teaching those in the church "to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." Women teachers? Sounds like something from our day,  as a matter of fact many a Christian has left their church when women preachers or teachers were brought in to teach the congregation. But what are they told to do?

Revelation 2:21-22 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

The same thing the other unfaithful churches were told to do, which is repent and we know from 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, that they are also to cut out the cancer.

Revelation 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

He is talking to a dead church here, a corpse of a church, does he tell them to leave it?

Revelation 3:2-3  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

No, they are told to work with what little faithfulness remains, it isn't until God removes their candlestick that a church is hopeless, as is the case during the GT period.

Daniel 8:11  Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

Revelation 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Is it any wonder that the reformers Martin Luther and Calvin did not leave their church, the idolutrus RCC, as it was so wrongly reported that they did in a prior thread? But instead waited to be excommunicated, which I was ignorant about. I guess I can turn the question around and ask, was it faithful for the reformers, not to leave the church but instead try to take the example of what Christ told the seven churches of Asia Minor to do and try to work with it from within?

1 Corinthians 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Tony S

 


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