Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.




EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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ARGUMENT FROM
THE BIBLE FOR
HOUSE CHURCHES

The House Church
Fundamental Baptist issues
Pastors

By a guest writer named Matthew

 



LETTER FROM A READER:

Good Day!

My dad has been my "pastor" most of my life, and for 10 years until January of 2000 I was the "associate and youth pastor" at the Rushville Baptist Temple where he is the pastor.

We have always had our differences as sons and fathers do, but it was about 3-4 years ago that our differences grew and expanded, from biblical to personal...

He was a big Hyles man and I couldn't/can't stand the sound of the man's voice. I had an opportunity to move to West Virginia to take a "position" there, but my dad called that "pastor" a proselytizer, they didn't offer it to me, and for that I am now glad.

The end of 1999 God gave me the strength, I had the peace already, but God helped me to tell my dad that I wished to come back to my home town, next county to the west, to "start a church." I knew my concept of "church" was not correct, but I didn't know what was. I knew I needed to stop "going to church" and start realizing I am church, but I didn't know how. Fortunately, once I left "the system" my mind and heart began to clear from the baptist haze I had on them and God was able to teach me through his Word what I was to do.

We meet in our home with various friends, unfortunately we have become outcast from our "baptist friends" and those we meet with live good distances away from us, too far to drive on a regular basis. I do not believe in compulsory Sunday worship, though that is the day we usually meet on, but we have also met on Friday and Saturday nights, whenever is convenient now, it is usually just my family (6 of us), and if/when we start to grow we will not be leaving our house and will split up into more groups. (I attached a copy of an article I wrote a few months ago about house churches.) I refuse to be called pastor, I do preach/teach but so does any other man who believes God has something for him to say.

I have a problem fighting bitterness about all the time I spent in baptist doctrine that I could have been indulging in Bible doctrine. I cannot believe all that I have learned since leaving, I now examine everything we do in accordance to God's Word alone and not what "the pastor" preaches.

I am a King James Bible only man (I attached another article). I have renounced my baptist ordination certificate. And when I am asked "what are you?" I tell folks I am just a Bible believer.

I hope you enjoy the other items I have sent, do with them as you please, even if it is to push the delete button. Take care and keep up the good work for those of us out here all alone (so it feels sometimes).

In Christ,

Matthew

 

OUR WRITER, MATTHEW, ENLARGES ON THIS:

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

This if for all that realize their name is on the "membership roll" of a Laodicean church and don't know what to do about it. If you are one who believes you are not currently attending a Laodicean church, please continue reading the above passage. I suggest you take an old King James Bible and examine the entire passage. Continue to read it and ask the Holy Ghost to speak to you through it.

Tired of attending the same old, humdrum, ritualistic, tradition filled, systematic, dictatorial, unscriptural "church?" I have some news for you! No longer do you need to sit in that pew surrounded by people you don't like and who don't like you. No longer do you need to put away your Bible after the initial passage is read... for lack of use. No longer do you need to blindly follow a man; you can willingly follow God's Word. No longer does your time need to be taken up with frivolous promotions, contests, drives and "church activities." No longer do you need to partake in the joke called "The Lord's Supper." No longer will you need to endure the formality of making sure your tie is on straight; you don't need to put your tie on at all. No longer will your giving be squandered on "over-head"; cheerful giving is taught, not tithing. Now is the time to tell that ungodly crowd what they can do with that unbiblical crap they teach...

Find the nearest house church where the only authority is the King James Bible and where the elders don't lord over you.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Don't worry about being voted in, if you are save by the blood of Christ and through his salvation plan, that is all you need, you are already a member of the body of Christ.

Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Rom. 12; I Cor. 12

Don't worry about that offering plate being shoved in your face, it won't happen at a house church. Worried that your children won't learn anything or "get something" from the meetings? Stop worrying, that's why you as parents are there, to teach your own children as you see fit through the leading of the Holy Ghost, not what some Sunday school teacher or Junior Church leader tells them. Want to feel like part of the family (which you are)? Then head for the nearest house church. Don't worry if the crowd grows too large, we'll split up, and an elder or two (or anyone else) can open their homes for meetings. Why should we only have house churches? Here are the top 10 reasons.

 

 

It bucks tradition. Many are crying out with the notion,"We have been meeting in church buildings for centuries, why stop now?!" To them I say:

Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

God does not care how long man has been doing something; he only cares that we follow his direction.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

It helps keep the body of Christ together.

1 Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

When I was a child I heard of a "church" that "split" due to the color of toilet paper in the restrooms. As a child I always thought it was a joke, but as I have grown older, I have learned it was not. In a house church, you would not have that problem. Someone may not appreciate your taste in decorations, but they will not cause a schism over it because it is your home, not theirs

1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

If any money is given it is not squandered on overhead. Have you ever wondered why so much money goes into a "church building" when there are needy people inside its walls? The early church gave to each other, not to a building. When money goes to a building and a family in the "church" is dependent on assistance from the government, THAT is wicked!

Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

It prevents idolatry. God knows man better than man knows man. He knows we tend to venerate that which we associate with being holy. Second Kings 18 1 through 4 tells of Hezekiah breaking the brass serpent Moses made while in the wilderness, because they were burning incense to it (a form of worship). That is why we DO NOT know where the location or whereabouts (for certain) of the ark of the covenant, the "original manuscripts," the cross, the actual burial place of Christ, his birth place (we do not know the date either, but that hasn't stopped many from worshipping any old day the catholic church throws at them), etc. Have you ever noticed the emphasis placed on the replicas of the cross hanging in, on and around most "churches?" The cross has become an idol, people put it on their clothing, around their necks, in their ears, on their cars, etc. This is just one of many idols found in modern "churches"

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
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.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Many in this country will not believe what I am about to say. Many refuse to believe it will happen to them or in this country. Whether you believe it or not, IT WILL HAPPEN. One day (very soon) our government will come in search of all who name the name of Christ. (It will not matter if it is a gut stabbing democrat or back stabbing republican in office.) They will kill us, arrest us, intern us in concentration camps, brainwash your children, rape the women (and men) and many other things. Many reading this may even believe it is their "christian duty" to stand idly by and allow these horrible things to happen to their family-- they are fools. When (not if) this happens you better fight to protect your family and friends (First Timothy 5:8). The government already knows where all the "dissidents" live. By placing your family in a building with a cross topped obelisk (also known as a steeple) on it and a big sign marked "church" on the front of it, causes your family to be sitting ducks. [NOTE: an obelisk is a memorial to the Egyptian sun god Rah.] In Acts 8:3, Saul (soon to be Paul) went into each house to drag out the early believers for persecution. I plan to make it as difficult as possible for them to find us and drag us out; and when they do drag us out, I hope it is in body bags. I would rather my family was basking in paradise than suffering hell on earth.

God doesn't need your building. And 4. God doesn't want your building. In First Corinthians 3:16 and 17 says we (those of us saved through faith in Jesus Christ and repentant toward God) are the temple of God.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

First Corinthians 6:19 says we are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and that is referring to us as individuals.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Acts 17:24 and 25 recounts the time when Paul told the Athenians that God "dwelleth not in temples made with hands." In other words, your "church building" is not the "house of God."

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

An old song goes "this world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue." Why build some permanent structure in which to house a gathering of believers? Besides, we all need a place to live while we are here, why not use the temporary dwellings we already have? We are citizens of another land; we are ambassadors on a temporary stay. Why plan, build, spend and act as if we are planning on or going to stay indefinitely

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

With buildings we take our eyes off the skies in order to put our hands on some lands. It is too easy to forget about Christ's second coming and put all of our efforts into the care, upkeep, maintenance, and concern of a building we ignorantly revere

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST MEETING IN THE HOME IS SCRIPTURAL!

Romans 16:5, First Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15 and Philemon 2 are all greetings to house churches.

Romans 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Colossians 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

Philemon 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

Acts 20:20 which many mistakenly use to validate door to door witnessing, is a reference to house churches.

Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

Mary had a church in her house Acts 12:12;

Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

Lydia had one in her house Acts 16:40 and Jason did also Acts 17:5 and 6.

Acts 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

Second John 10 tells us not to allow a false teacher into our house; do you believe he was referring to our personal homes? To whom was the Bible written--individuals or the church? Though it is a good idea not to allow false teachers into your home to teach you, many of us have family, friends, coworkers and neighbors caught in heresy, should we never allow them into our homes? On the contrary, we should invite them in and attempt to plant the Seed (God's Word) and water it and pray that God gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Think about it, meditate on what you have read here and definitely pray about it...then act upon it. Now that you have read this, you are accountable for what you know, do something about it now. If you have ever thought that there must be something more to this converted life than what you are experiencing-- you are correct, there is. But it is up to you to listen to God through his Word and step out and take the changes he wants you to. If you still believe that the building you are attending is the church, and is necessary for your worship and service to God, you have a lot to learn.

 

 

TOP 10 REASONS WHY I LIKE ATTENDING A HOUSE CHURCH

A brother in Christ wrote in email and gave his ten reasons he enjoyed the house church.

10. When we meet together it feels like family.

9. There are no rituals, formalities or traditions to fuss over.

8. I can drink a cup of coffee while listening to God's Word preached.

7. If God impresses me to donate money, I know it will be given to help a fellow believer and not go to a building.

6. I'm not required to 'voluntarily' clean the restroom.

5. I cannot find mention of a "church building" in the Bible.

4. There is no unscriptural hierarchy to contend with, we are all equal.

3. If I want to sit on the couch instead of an uncomfortable chair, I can (if I arrive there early enough).

2. I enjoy the good food and fellowship.

1. I look forward to Sundays now.


Some Things I Have Learned

The following articles were all written over a period of a few years. Many of them contain harsh tones and uncompassionate comments. As I have grown older (hopefully wiser), I have begun to shed some of my youthful pride and arrogance. Some may even say I have "mellowed." Nevertheless, my standards are still high, I am still dogmatic about my beliefs, and my opinions are still important to me. But I no longer hold to notions like "IT'S MY WAY OR NO WAY!," "THIS IS THE TRUTH WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!," "YOU ARE WRONG BECAUSE YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME!" and "I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE NOT!"

WHAT I'VE LEARNED...

1. A person's personal walk with God is none of my business. It is strictly between him and God.

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?

We will all stand before God one day and give an account of our own lives

Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2. We cannot force, coerce, or insist that someone live for God according to the standards we have established for ourselves, nor are we authorized to do so. Too many pastors/preachers seem to believe they have the power to change people into what they think is right (and they even attempt to "brow-beat " them into submission). We cannot and will not change anyone.

Romans. 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

As ministers of God, it is our duty and obligation to "preach the word"

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Teach, minister to and edify the body of Christ

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Feed and be ensamples to the flock, and edify one another.

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

3. I have learned there are faults in some of the evidence used to defend the KJB; this is due in part, to the many "faulty" men attempting to defend it. There are also those people who do not thoroughly study the matter (or take the word of a man without verifying it and give ammunition to the opposing viewpoint for use in their argument. There is one thing both sides need to keep in mind. That is the fact that there is faulty evidence for both "sides." There are defenses used by both opinions that cannot be substantiated and have been proven wrong.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

4. I have come to realize (whether I like it or not, or anyone else likes it or not) there are many faithful, sincere and knowledgeable people who do not use or solely use the King James Bible. To them, I do not offer this information in an attempt to persuade them one way or another or to "prove they are wrong," but in the hopes that they may add to their knowledge and perhaps receive answers to any questions they may have. (I would in turn gladly accept any information they would like to send me.) Please accept the following information with my gratitude and blessing. If it is learned from-- wonderful! If it is despised-- fine. Feel free to use it, print it, destroy it, pick-it-apart, and try to disprove me or call me names... I don't really care.

5. The case concerning the KJB will never be decided by which side has the most information, the best evidence, the lengthiest dissertations, the best or worst attitude, nor by who ever has the longest list of examples declaring why they are correct. Regardless of how many books are written, debates are waged, or sermons preached, these will not determine the victor.

6. If someone were to disprove all of my reasons, find errors in all of my facts and disqualify all of the evidence that I use to defend the KJB, I would still believe it is the Holy inspired Word of God for His English speaking people. I will defend the KJB and denounce all others, if for no other reason than for my faith. I have faith in the KJB; I have faith in its authority; I have faith in its power; I have faith in its testimony; and I have faith in its effect on my life. Testimonials, histories, "facts," information, thoughts, opinions, sermons and publications can and will all be debated, disputed and some disproved; but my faith will always be untouchable, unarguable and unremarkable. Even if you think it to be unfounded, it will always be unchangeable.

7. Believe what you want, read what you want, you have that right, freedom, liberty, and responsibility. Agree with me or disagree with me, denounce me or defend me--none of it matters. As long as you have had "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" , you are my "spiritual sibling," and I look forward to seeing you in Heaven, where the matter will be (and already is) eternally resolved.

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

 

 

"To Be A Baptist, Or Not To Be A Baptist? That Is The Question"

I use to be considered an Independent, Fundamental Baptist. I no longer wish to be known as a fundamentalist. After studying the history of the fundamentalist movement, I have realized it is not all it claims to be. The original fundamentalists did not take a stand on the King James Bible and therefore was established on as shaky ground as San Francisco was. Bob Jones University, Sword of the Lord Publications, John R. Rice, Jerry Falwell, Jack Hyles, etc. all consider themselves to be fundamentalists and I say "let them have it!" It has been uttered by more than a few people that Jack Hyles is at the "helm of fundamentalism" and if anything happened to him, the ship would be lost. If there is a mortal man at the wheel of that movement, let me off the ship! Lower the lifeboats! I am sure there are several reading this who are saying "to the plank with him!" "To be a fundamentalist, or not to be a fundamentalist?" Now that is a simple question..."NO!"

"To be a Baptist, or not to be a Baptist?" Now that's NOT an easy question. After all, I was raised a Baptist, I hold an ordination certificate from a Baptist church... Some would say "Its in my blood." Personally, I would rather be known as a Bible believer. I hold to the trues that the church preached at its very beginning. I stand for the same liberties that the Baptist peoples have taught since the time they were persecuted and flogged by all religious zealots (pre and post reformation). Even in the infancy of this free country, the Baptists of a community were persecuted by the chosen church of their area. It wasn't until a group of Baptists settled in Rhode Island and declared it to be the first settlement with true "freedom of religion." They did not condone other religions/beliefs, but they did condone one's freedom to choose and practice another religion.

Many of today's Baptists (in particular the Independents) seem to have forgotten this or choose to ignore it. It was from these early American Baptists that the framers of our Constitution learned what true "freedom of religion" was all about. To have the conviction of "freedom of religion" is not to accept and embrace other religions, it is simply to realize that "if I want the right and privileged to worship God according to the Bible, I need to allow others the privilege to do so in their own way." (Rom. 8; Gal. 6)

This is true freedom and liberty. We cannot expect a lost world to adhere to the Biblical standards that we "hold to be self evident." I am proud of those who have "fought a good fight," finished their course and have "kept the faith."

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

This heritage and the trues they stood for are what I believe in and what I want to be associated with. But not this "bunch" running around today.

Baptists do not owe their denomination to the efforts and teachings of any man, as do many other religions, such as the Lutherans to Luther, the Presbyterians to Calvin, the Methodists to Wesley and the Pentecostals to Parham. There was a time when Baptist beliefs came solely from God's Word; but it isn't that way any longer. "Baptist" has not always been their name, the Baptists believe their predecessors were the Donatists, Paulicians, Montanists, Anabaptists, et al. Their ancestors were anyone who preached the Biblical trues as are rarely preached today in nearly all Baptist churches. Unfortunately, to accept the title of Baptist, one is considered a "kindred-spirit" of all who claim the name. It is a shame today that we must declare "what kind of Baptist" we are. To be a true Bible based church it must be autonomous, self-supporting and self-governing. Associating with and occasionally offering assistance to a fellow believers whether or not they are Baptists is not wrong, and is recommended in God's Word.

Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 11:9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

If this were a perfect world, every Baptist would be a carbon copy of each other. Since it isn't a perfect world, we have over 30 different variations of Baptists. If it were even close to being "some what" perfect at least the Independent Baptists would be carbon copies of each other, but alas, it is not at all close to being a perfect world.

I have no desire to be placed in the same category as the Southern Baptists, American Baptists, U.S.A., RBC, GARBC, CBC, etc. But I also deplore the idea of being considered an associate to many of the Independent Baptist persuasion.

All too many of today's Independent Baptists have gone the way of "easy-believism," pastoral worship, adding "My Opinion" to the 66 inspired Books and "Baptists only salvation." Let me explain, I will not use names, but you may know these or folks just like them.

"Easy-believism" is the teaching that all one must do to be saved is repeat a simple prayer. Yes it is very easy to be saved, but it is not easy to believe. If a church claims that they have "won to Christ"

1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

1,400 people per year for the past several years, why is there attendance still where it was a few years ago? For example, in the March/April 1999 issue of The Baptist (an Independent Baptist Church publication) pages 12 through 24 were dedicated to a number of churches reporting to have had an enormous amount of "souls saved."

One example was a church in Waterflow, New Mexico that claims in the 25 years it has been in existence it has seen 100,000 saved and 20,000 baptized. Yet in the same article it gives the city population as 300 and the county as 91,605. A church in Arizona says they "have seen over 3,200 saved" in the previous two years, but their attendance is only 130. One in Maine claims 1,702 professions but 288 attendees. In Oklahoma, 1,000 saved 200 in attendance. In Plattekill, New York, a city with 1,200 in population a church running "over 60" says, "they had 698 people saved with 100 of them following the Lord in baptism." Of the 20 different "independent Baptist churches" mentioned in the article, 15 gave their average attendance; nine of those 15 churches reported "winning" far more souls than their average attendance. What happened to all of those "converts?" Other examples such as these can be found regularly in many "notable Baptist publications."

Many Independent Baptist Churches are no longer presided over by Pastors, but are ruled over by dictators.

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

It seems as if the Independent Baptists have a propensity for the pastors being risen or raising themselves to the position of final authority in the church. Many Independent Baptist churches are well on their way to idolizing their pastor (if they do not already do so). It is true that pastors are a special lot, they are called by God, commanded to be different, look different, perform different duties/obligations; but that does not mean they are any closer, more spiritual or more special to God. We will all be on level ground at the foot of the Judgment Seat.

Romans 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Acts 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

I once attended a youth rally that had an evangelist from West Virginia as the speaker. He took the podium after (what I thought to be a rather contemporary) music special, and proceeded to tell us that if we were not touched by the song, we needed to be saved. Later in his message (tirade) he said that men should go to barbers and women should go to beauty salons and if we were not doing just that, there must be something wrong with us. Personally, I agree, I would not go to a beauty parlor and would rather my son did not as well. But I have in the past and if my son does in the future, that will be his business. The preacher in question never mentioned which chapter and verse he was using from the book of Second Opinions. If you are going to state your opinion...fine. But please make it clear that it is your opinion and do not mislead the congregation as to believe it is the gospel...

Baptists do not have sole right and privilege to salvation. Anyone can be saved, anywhere, any time. If you or someone you know, thinks only Baptists will attend Heaven or "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb," ask them to "back it up with the Book." While you are at it, ask them if the local American Baptist U.S.A. pastor will be there... They may say "He's not a real Baptist" that is a "cop-out" answer and in that case the "nonreal Baptists" far outnumber the "supposed real Baptists" so with that in mind, it is time for a change.

I no longer wish to be known as a Baptist. I am a Bible believer, not a baptist believer. As long as there are those whose final authority is the King James Bible and not themselves, their pastor, the BIG (mouth) named pastor nor a convention or denomination, I will stand with them, regardless if they are a Baptist or not. As long as they use the Bible as their doctrinal statement, measuring stick, litmus test and guidepost they will be true "kindred-spirits." A name is not what ties the "Body of Christ" together, but the act of being a Bible believer does.

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Another thing about Baptists, they don't have the courage to stand up to someone like me. After reading this they will accuse me of being "backslid," "lost," "a heretic" or some other ridiculous accusation, but they will not listen and will not talk to me about it. They would rather remain ignorant of the truth. They are afraid if they attempt to question this writing they will realize they have NO Scriptural backing for their beliefs and will be forced to change, thus losing their popularity in their "Baptist circles" and not allowed to preach in "Baptist pulpits" any longer.

 


DERAWP THAT CHURCH MEMBER, PILGRIM...

As Pastor John Wayne bellied up to the altar, his hand stood ready to draw his weapon. Face-to-face with Pastor Black Bart of the baptist church across town... he stood ready fer dern near anything.

"Ah herd you been rustlin' my members, Bart" said Pastor John Wayne in that strong cowboy drawl.

"I ain't done nuttin' of the sort, Wayne" was Pastor Black Bart's reply.

"Well I know I got some members missin' and I bet if I went over to yer church (corral) I'd find my brand on 'em" Pastor Wayne said, his voice quivering in anger.

"Yer not welcome in my corral, and IF any of yer cattle, I mean members are in my church, it's cuz you under fed 'em and they went lookin' fer greener pastures" Pastor Bart's voice was just as angry.

"My members are fed all God tells me to feed 'em, and if they're in yer corral it's cuz you lured 'em there with lower standards and contemporary music" Pastor Wayne retorted.

"Well at least my brandin' iron ain't two lines long and my member's brows ain't beaten and battered" Pastor Bart bellowed.

Now isn't that just silly? Would two pastors actually accuse each other of "stealing" their members? I mean, come on, whose members are they any way? I thought we were all part of the body of Christ, not the body of the pastor.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Accusations of proselytizing abound in the baptist circles. If the pastor of the North Baptist Church were to ask a member of the West Baptist Church to possibly fill some (unbiblical) position in his church, the pastor of the West Baptist Church would report him to the pastors of the South and East Baptist Churches as a proselytizing pastor--"watch yer members, pardners." I just wonder if the pastor of the West Baptist Church is "warning" his friends at the South and East Baptist churches because he is concerned, or is he indirectly telling them it isn't HIS fault the person left HIS church?

Where in God's Word does it tell us that we cannot ever leave a church? (The true definition of a church is not under discussion in this paper, please obtain my position paper concerning the doctrine of the church to learn the Biblical definition of a church.) Where does the Bible tell us to limit ourselves to only one church fellowship at a time? Does the Bible tell us, once we "join a church" (whatever that means) we are to stay there until we die or move into a more prominent position in some other church?

For some reason baptist preachers think it to be treason if a member leaves his church for another-- for ANY reason. They also loudly proclaim the other pastor to be a "proselytizing pastor" and "warn" others of his actions. They have no idea what a proselyte even is... The word "proselyte/s" is found four times in the Bible and always refers to someone who has left one faith for another, not one church for another. In other words, "proselytizing" is exactly what Christ commissioned us to do.

Besides, even if a fellow "pastor" were "stealing members" no one goes to another fellowship against their will. For some reason or another they wanted to leave, so let them, get out of their way, and get out of God's way. One more thing-- stop treating your FELLOW members as if they were/are your cattle, they are not. Like it or not, believe it or not, everyone is equal in the church, regardless of your man-made "position."

 


"WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER!"

We need to stop "winning souls" and start "teaching them..." (as according to Matt. 28:18-20). Now I know many of you are gasping in horror as to what I just said...take a moment, catch your breath, and listen--not to me--to the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 28:19 and 20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..."

Jesus did not tell us to go "win" anyone. The term "soul winning" isn't even found in the Bible, the closest we can get is "he that winneth souls" in the book of.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Do you really think that means going around "winning people" to Christ? No! It is a term used to describe earning or gaining the confidence or friendship of others. We need to stop taking the job of the Holy Ghost for ourselves, He does a much better job at it than we do. Ever wonder what happens to those "new believers" your church or other people "win to Christ?" They come and go as the seasons do. Maybe it is because we have been too preoccupied with "winning the lost at any cost" to even let the "goodness of God [lead them] to repentance"

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Our job is to water and plant, and we are nothing more than that, God is the One Who gives the increase. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to be there when God gives the increase and we are able to reap the harvest; but that is all we do--reap it. We need to start concentrating on teaching (planting and watering) and not seeing how many "souls we can win." This isn't a game where the one with the most tallies come the end wins...this is a matter of life (eternal) and (second) death. (I Cor. 3)

You can keep your "soul winning efforts," promotions, bus ministries, visitation nights, "soul-winning" campaigns, I want no part of them...if all we are doing is producing empty souls with no "desire [for] the sincere milk of the word". We have far more "stillborn" converts than we do "bouncing baby believers" and it is our own fault.

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

 


TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

Dear Holy Ghost,

I am writing you this letter to inform you I will be unable to fulfil your call upon my life. I know you have called me into the ministry of _______(fill in the blank), however I must graciously decline the offer. Please allow me a moment to explain myself.

I am a baptist and being a baptist we have a baptist doctrine that says I am required to be sent from a church in order to perform any calling upon my life. I assume this is to allow the pastor to maintain his iron-fisted grip upon our lives, or something like that, but because of this baptist doctrine I must say no to your calling to be a _______(fill in the blank).

I am told (though I haven't checked it out for myself, because I trust the preacher who told me) Acts 13:1 through 3 shows us that Paul and Barnabas were "sent out" from the church in Antioch. Therefore we are required to be "sent out" by a local New Testament church once the pastor of that church declares us ready to go. My pastor does not believe I am ready for the ministry of _______(fill in the blank) and has advised me to wait until he says I can go. Since I am required by baptist doctrine to have a sending church I am unable to do the ministry you have called me into. I had contemplated leaving this church, but you know how baptists feel about that...

If you are unable to find someone to fill the position you have, please feel free to contact me in a few years or whenever my pastor says I can go. Thank you for your time and for thinking of me at this time.

Sincerely yours,

__________(fill in the blank)


TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER--CONT

Dear __________(fill in the blank),

I received your letter in response to my call upon your life, I am truly sorry to hear that you will not be following through with that which I have called you. I understand about the baptist doctrines and how they can be. You do have a free will and have the power to choose for yourself whether you will follow baptist doctrine or Bible doctrine. It appears you have chosen baptist doctrine and for that I am truly quenched.

The ministry of _______(fill in the blank) for which you were called has been filled by Mr. Bible Believer and is no longer available. Though I appreciate your sincerity and honesty, these qualities are moot when they are used for man-made ordinances and not God's Word (Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:8, 18-22; I Tim. 1:3,4; Titus 1:14).

You stated in your letter that you trusted the preacher who taught you this doctrine. Unfortunate for you he felt the same way about the preacher who taught him, who was not all he claimed to be. It appears to me that the example of the Bereans has been long forgotten and neglected (Acts 17:10, 11). If you would have examined the passage used to justify your baptist doctrine you would have found in verse four who truly sent Paul and Barnabas, "they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost...." Some other Scripture texts you may consider "checking out" are II Timothy 2:15; 3:15-17 and I John 2:27.

If any time in the future you realize your wickedness please do not hesitate to call on me in repentance and maybe then we could discuss a ministry for you that I will call you for and send you to.

Grieved,

Holy Ghost

 


THE 10 COMMANDMENTS?

A funny thing happened to me on the way to work this morning... Well, it didn't exactly happen to me and it wasn't really funny.

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but around here folks are making popular a yard sign that reads "We Stand For" followed by an artist's rendition of the stone tablets containing God's Law to the Children of Israel (commonly called the "10 Commandments"). Have you ever taken the time to count the "10 commandments?" Personally, I count 10 "Thou shalt nots," one "remember" and one "honour." That makes 12.

I always find it amusing and sad at the same time when, on the seventh day of the week, I pass by a house that is proudly displaying their stand for the "10 Commandments," the man of the house is out mowing his yard, trimming the hedges or painting the garage. So much for remembering the Sabbath day... Of course, they probably believe that Sunday is the "new and improved" Sabbath...just because there are a couple references to the disciples meeting together for a meal on the first day of the week. They also met in synagogues, should we do the same simply because they did? Or are we allowed to pick and choose what Truths we twist into modern dogma? "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables"

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The other day I passed by a house displaying that same yard sign, and since it is "tis the season" they also had a "manger scene" in their front yard about 10 feet from it. If I am not mistaken, the second commandment reads "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above..." (Exodus 20:4). (The third one prohibits worshipping graven images, but the second one says they should not be made.) What hypocrisy! How can a person stand for something in which they do not believe? Why boast that you stand for something when in action you prove you do not? "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" First Corinthians 10:12. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits...Be not wise in your own conceits."

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

The crux of the problem stems from the fact that people today do not stand on Scripture for their beliefs, as Martin Luther called it, sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). It seems here in the United States people have begun to search for God, and unfortunately, they are using their own means and ideas to find him.

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

At sporting and special events, "God Bless America" is sung immediately following the National Anthem. Moments of silence (AKA prayers) are offered on a regular basis at work, school and other functions. Church attendance is up, and that is considered to be a sign of "revival" in this country. Requests for and offering of prayer comes from nearly all government officials. People seem to be holding a higher regard for "religious things." But no one is opening God's Word at these events and expounding upon it, preaching it or even reading it. Instead of singing a song that mentions God, how about reading the very book he wrote? It seems that many people are hoping that religiousness and churchliness will be their shield and protector...their saviour. Recently we passed a "church sign" that read "Looking for a Savior?"

Of course people are looking for a saviour, but we need to be looking "into the perfect law of liberty, and continuing therein..." to find the Saviour, not a savior.

James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Unfortunately, modern people are looking in all the wrong places for their saviours, and worst of all--finding them. Things such as prayers/incantations, charities, churches, mentors, organizations, religions, pastors, programs, et al, have replaced Scripture as the only means to God.

2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

But how can we expect the world to search "the word of truth" when those claiming to be followers of God do not know what his book says or how to "rightly divide" it ?

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Instead of listening to organizations, politicians, news anchors, pastors, religious leaders, authors, mentors, etc., perhaps people should start going to God's Word for all doctrine. Stop going to church and start going to God's Word. Stop depending on a person to read God's Word for you and start reading it yourself.

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Stop calling for "revival" in a country that completely ignores God's Word and begin pleading for evangelism. The act of reviving something is to put life back into it. Dr. Frankenstein found out what happens when you give life to something that was dead--he created a monster, and so will we, if we are not careful.

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Why We Do Not PROMOTE, CELEBRATE or OBSERVE Certain Days... (a thought provoking, with Biblical basis)



MAN IS NOT PERMITTED TO CHOOSE HIS METHOD OF WORSHIP

Man is not permitted to choose his own methods to worship God. In Exodus chapter 32 the children of Israel erected a golden calf and declared the day a feast unto the Lord. They even performed sacrifices and offerings. They were using unscriptural practices in an attempt to worship God. But God told Moses in verse seven "Go, get thee down, for thy people...have corrupted themselves."

Christian rock is a good example of taking worldly methods and attempting to worship God with them. It is interestingly, suppose to be a tool used in reaching the lost world, much like the holidays were. To celebrate the holidays of Easter and Christmas and oppose christian rock is nothing short of hypocrisy. Also, if christian rock is an acceptable means of witness and worship, why not allow "strippers for the Saviour?" We could also put the Roman's Road of condoms. At our next communion let's have a kegger. If we were to start these practices today, 100 years from now they would be just as accepted as these holidays are, and when a preacher stands in opposition to them he will be considered a wacko...much like this preacher is.

 


THE SORRY STATE OF CHURCHES

These unscriptural practices that have infiltrated our churches today is probably why Jesus told the church of Laodicea:

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:


IT'S NOT EASY!

No one said it would be.

Luke 5:11 "And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him."

I have been accused of being a Jehovah's Witness, family members think we are involved in a cult, and all I have done is separated my family from an abomination of the devil. "But it gets lost souls into the church to hear the gospel." is the cry of many, but when was the last time you saw a lost soul saved at those special services? Even the Bible believers have a hard time paying attention and keeping their minds from wandering onto gifts, food and festivities. And if that is a justifiable reason for observing these days--then christian rock is a worthwhile tool. "...Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."

Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Proverbs 11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Many have asked me why I choose not to observe or celebrate certain days of the year. This pamphlet is to answer that question. It is by no means exhaustive on the subject. I do recommend that you obtain your favorite encyclopedia and research the history for yourself before you judge me.

Matt




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