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Thursday, February 27, 2014 | Comments (29)

by John MacArthur

Among many pastors and church leaders today there is a popular rationale that proclaiming truth is the viable alternative to rebuking error. Rather than wrestling with false teachers and their heresies, they’re content to cover their eyes, plug their ears, and “stay positive” in their teaching.

But there is no either/or when it comes to preaching the truth and confronting error—that’s a false, unbiblical dichotomy that contradicts the examples we see throughout Scripture. In his letter to Titus, the apostle Paul made it clear that both duties are fundamental to the work of a church leader:

For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. (Titus 1:7­–9)

Pacifism has never been a pastoral option in the war for people’s souls. Any pastor who teaches faithfully is called both to exhort believers in sound doctrine, and to refute those who oppose sound doctrine.

Pastors have the God-given obligation to cultivate discernment among their congregations. And that discernment is needed to give their people an understanding of the truth necessary to protect them from the ubiquitous error that incessantly assaults them. Antilegō (to refute) means literally “to speak against.” The Lord’s preachers and teachers are to be polemicists against unsound doctrine that goes under the guise of biblical truth.

Not long after Paul himself ministered in Crete, “many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,” were causing trouble and confusion in the churches there (Titus 1:10). They were not to be ignored, much less tolerated, but were to “be silenced because they [were] upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain” (v. 11). They were particularly dangerous because they arose from within the congregations. “They profess to know God,” Paul said, “but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed” (v. 16).

Even the spiritually mature church at Ephesus was not immune to false teaching. “I know that after my departure,” Paul warned elders from that church, “savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29–30).

Although false teachers in the church exist under many guises, they all, in one way or another, contradict biblical truth. They are the enemies of sound doctrine and, therefore, of God and His people. Simply to accept Scripture as the inerrant Word of God does not protect against its being misunderstood or even perverted. To give personal insights and decisions of church councils authority equal to Scripture is to contradict God’s Word—just as surely as is denying the deity of Christ or the historicity of His resurrection. The final warning of Scripture is: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18–19, emphasis added).

The dual role of the godly preacher and teacher is to proclaim and to defend God’s Word. In the eyes of the world and, tragically, in the eyes of many genuine but untaught believers, to denounce false doctrine—especially if that doctrine is given under the guise of evangelicalism—is to be unloving, judgmental, and divisive. But compromising Scripture in order to make it more palatable and acceptable, whether to believers or to unbelievers, is not “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). It is speaking falsehood and is the furthest thing from godly love. It is a subtle, deceptive, and dangerous way to contradict God’s own Word. The faithful pastor must have no part in it. He himself tolerates, and he teaches his people to tolerate, only sound doctrine.

All Christians share the biblical mandate to cultivate biblical discernment. Remaining passive in the church and ignoring the cancerous effects of false teaching is a serious dereliction of our duty as believers. We are to be equipped with the biblical tools necessary to identify, expose, repudiate, and excommunicate all wolves who sneak into the church. Out of love for Christ, His people, and the pure exclusive gospel that He delivered, each of us must take up arms in the ongoing war for the truth.

(Adapted from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Titus.)


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#1  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 3:37 AM

You are right to the core as always, John MacArthur.

When I read the written records of the Apostles, and their fight to keep their congregations pure and holy, and solely devoted to our beloved Lord, by teaching sound doctrines, and find that many of the churches in Asia have left to go back to the world, based on another Gospel, I feel the greaves that occupied the heart of God, Jesus and the Apostles. I too feel that the crucifixion of our beloved Lord is without effect in the hearts of many, clearly showing by being devoted to unfruitful deeds.

The love of sin is what characterizes the ungodly. They do not have the Holy Spirit.

#2  Posted by Sherry Nolte  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 5:21 AM

I agree it must be done to keep the gospel pure. Even Paul rebuked Peter when he was wrong. Galations 2:11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong.

There are many scriptures on confronting...

True love cares enough to confront.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,

but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Prov 27:5-6)

#3  Posted by Anthony Mancuso  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 5:59 AM

You are right and since your blog is making the the suggestion I am compelled into action. Your teaching of the doctrine of election is completely false and void of grace thru faith. God is not picking and choosing people to be saved solely for His own pleasure nor is anyone excluded because of so called sovereign will of grace only God given to a few. This elitist lie must stop and you need to lead the way to see past all the deception that has been placed on this dangerous doctrine of the church. This doctrine does not fully place the responsibly of people to teach and receive the elect one of God (Jesus) the elect message of God(Gospel) so they can be the elect according to His word and not by lottery or chance. I have heard you teach on man's responsibility, so let's keep to that truth and stop making salvation a chance selection of God that seems to be void of His not being a respecter of persons and love for all instead of a select few. Also your teaching on the office of deacons being given to women is completely absurd. She will never be the husband of one wife unless there is a change of heart concerning marriage that should be of some other worries. Let’s let the men be responsible and in authority and give women a break. This is not to say that women cannot serve in the church but the place of leading responsible persons in the spiritual church has always be given to man. Tell the men not to be slackers and serve others in the church. Remember what happened before Adam's sin, he was following instead of servant leading. Please look at these two doctrines and have a change of belief so that the fellowship of the universal church can hopefully become stronger. You are a great leader and I admire your hard work and dedication to holding to so many truths. You have written in the past that you know you could be fallible and hope you could go back and look over your teaching. I hope by saying that you are a far better teacher then myself will not deter you from seeing that these two doctrines need a truthful explanation that fits all of scripture then just the passage or word studies that support this view. I truly want to meet you sometime and thank you for all the hard work you have done. Hopefully that work would include you seeing that we are His elect because of the work on the cross and not by some random lottery. Well it was hard to write but you did say we should speak up so I hope we can corresponded regarding this issue but if this what divides us then I am glad it is a short list. Also this is Anthony Mancuso, it's just my wife that uses this log in because she gets me your books for Christmas and birthdays. You are the best but even the best sometimes needs some tweaks in doctrine to be even better. I hope to receive a new book written by you that talks about a new perspective on severity, election and deaconship that upholds all of scripture and I am sure I will learn greatly from it. Thanks

#4  Posted by Rose Michels  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 7:02 AM

I agree with what you say here wholeheartedly. BUT!!! When my pastor will not ... what am I to do? When my pastor is one of those love, love, love, happy, happy, happy--will not rebuke false teachers, what then? When my pastor will not tell his congregants the reason why they shouldn't be attending Joel Osteen (i.e.) conferences, etc., what then?

As I said, I do agree with you. I just wish I would hear some instruction for the congregant attending a church where a pastor will not take this seriously.

#5  Posted by George Canady  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 7:30 AM

I think we forget sometimes that Paul was one of those he is warning us about. If Saul of Tarsus were alive today would we think he was finally and ultimately condemned already? Would anyone pray for the salvation of a person who hated Jesus and His church that much? Would we pray for one who used the name of God to mislead the masses as he and his group did?

#6  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 8:44 AM

#3 Dawn Mancuso.

These words are actually used and described further many places in the Bible. Even our Lord makes a clear distinction about those called for salvation, and the rest.

So denying what the Bible clearly says, is not an option for those who want to know the truth.

#7  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 9:12 AM

Anthony (#3),

I appreciate your zeal to correct what you see to be error, but understand the intention of this post is not to encourage believers to rebuke anyone who disagrees with them on anything. Rather, the focus is on rebuking false teachers who are leading people away from the gospel and causing serious division. Judging by your comment it doesn't appear that you would consider John MacArthur a false teacher, but instead disagree on a couple matters.

Also judging by your comment I don't sense that you have an accurate understanding of John's teaching on election and the doctrines of grace. So I would highly recommend you invest the time to read or listen to this series of messages where the whole Bible is brought to bear on the subject.

On the matter of deacons there is a fair amount of disagreement among faithful Bible teachers. There are a number of important biblical considerations that one must weigh before coming to a conclusion. If you haven't heard the messages John has preached, you can listen to them here: Qualified Servants for the Church: Deacons, Part 1 and Part 2.

If you would like a book, you can find relevant material in The Master's Plan for the Church.

#8  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 9:59 AM

Anthony,

I have the feeling you haven’t really studied the doctrine of election or you wouldn’t be calling God’s (good) will the “lottery” (Eph 1:5). RC Sproul has been teaching on this doctrine this week (a rerun). I’m sure you would find it interesting, even if you eventually still disagree with all the “elitist liars”.

George,

Really? Again?

No one is making a final judgment about a false teacher’s eternal destination. I’m sure most everybody here knows Mat 5:44. You may want to re-examine your perception of Dr. MacArthur’s motivation.

#9  Posted by George Canady  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 11:56 AM

Thank you Mr. Enders. I am surprise and grateful you would take time to discuss this with me as I work out my salvation. I have the greatest regard for Dr. MacArthur and to be honest my fifteen year search for an unashamed truth teller ended six years ago when I heard him. That is when a big spiritual growth began for me. He is one of the three or four that I would recommend to everyone. I hope I have not impugned his motives here. If I have forgive me. I am sure if that is true I am in more danger than just a rebuke from men. I have the highest degree of certainty that John MacArthur speaks to us in love as a man call by God to preach to the masses. And to his church, I say thanks for sharing him. His careful dedication to the details of scripture will out live him for sure. You could say that I know God used him to love me. However, I know that John MacArthur loves ALL the lost also, and like Jesus he would not want any to perish even though some will. I am just saying; what would it hurt to teach the complete categories that Jesus uses for enemy while teaching about the worst enemies, to date, the church and Jesus has ever had? It seems to me that if we don't speak about hope for the deceivers as well as the deceived, then we have judged the future as if it is the present. I think Jesus can do both but I don't think we can.

#10  Posted by Jean Selden  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 1:27 PM

Thank you John for your always fair and balanced teaching. You have encouraged our family so much to study the scriptures on our own and to rightly divide the Word. We have never been misled nor have your teachings not upheld the mandates of scripture. Again, thank you!

#11  Posted by Tom Moore  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 2:04 PM

Thanks, brother John, for the post. I recently stepped down from a leadership position due to a passiveness (and acceptance) by our elders regarding false teaching that is going on in the church by some lay-people, if that makes sense. There seems to be a movement within the "Evangelical" church away from scripture, and more towards "experience", or "what God is telling me". It is really bad when there is no scripture to back up such things. It grieves my heart to see so many biblically-illiterate people in the church today.

#12  Posted by Jean Selden  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 2:13 PM

Tom,

God bless you for doing what you did! I hope that you are a beginning of a trend. My family's past was one of sitting under pastors slowly following the crowd instead of Christ. I know that God will continue to sustain you through all of this. God bless you!

#13  Posted by Mike Mcguire  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 2:37 PM

I am a pastor of a very small church (attendance about 15). Every time I try to point out the differences of what people believe, one church member says I am being judgmental. (You should hear the way he says it.)

Several years ago when the Southern Baptist Convention was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, they sent material for us to teach our church members what Mormons really believe.

One deacon told me that I was being divisive and he did not want to hear about other religions. he said he did not want all that "Greek and hebrew stuff." "Just preach the Word," he said. "That's how you preach the word, I said. Now that deacon is pastoring another church.

Another woman left my current church because I was doing a series on the doctrines that Baptists believe. She said she would come back when I quit preaching doctrine. She said that she already had her own doctrine. She did, and it was off the wall. She has never come back and I haven't changed my preaching.

#14  Posted by David Smith  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 2:40 PM

Gabriel Powell #7

I think you're on staff at GTY... I (and quite probably many others) would find it really helpful if you or even Pastor John could give some specific examples of things (1) that "are leading people away from the gospel and causing serious division" and (2) where there is "disagreement among faithful Bible teachers" (to use your phrases).

I think we're both agreed that the labels false teacher and false teaching only apply to major departures from the gospel. I've been trying to argue this in several recent comments, as I get the impression that many people think almost any area of disagreement merits the false teaching label. I was once like that and it was a difficult mindset to get out of.

So some categorisation of the big issues that christians today disagree over would be greatly appreciated. It would provide much-needed clarification. I could give you a list of topics, but I'm sure you already know what they.

#15  Posted by Tom Moore  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 3:06 PM

Hi David,

I can tell you that in my congregation, there was a teaching going on of "generational curses". This is the belief that you are under a curse due to the behavior of an ancestor, etc. This is such an un-Christian teaching as every Christian is a new creation and Jesus is the ultimate cycle-breaker. Unfortunately, this teaching has been spreading from the Pentecostal/charismatic movement and people like Joyce Meyer. There is a HUGE difference between a "curse" and a "consequence" for one's sin. Ezekiel 18 is a great chapter that deals with this.

I brought this issue to my elders and I was armed with scripture. All I got back was apathy and an unwillingness to confront it. This is only one of the many subtle issues plaguing the church today. I could go on.

#18  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 4:22 PM

David Smith (#14),

Yes, I am on staff, but there are very few others who comment on the blog. I think I've been the only one to do so in recent posts.

Your questions are good but very difficult to answer fully. Many people try to make distinctions between primary, secondary, and tertiary doctrines. Common pictures used are accursethe hub, spokes, and wheel, or concentric circles. The reality is the Bible gives us no such categories.

There are only two times the a curse is declared in the NT: 1) on those who don't love the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:22), and 2) on those who preach a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

So to start with, we can say that any teaching with directly or indirectly alters or undermines the gospel would fall into that category. Examples would be:

1. Roman Catholic teaching on justification, sacraments, the Mass, penance, etc.

2. Any teaching which denies the humanity or deity of Christ (Mormons, Islam, JW's)

3. Any teaching which adds human works to Christ's sacrifice (baptismal regeneration)

4. Any teaching which alters the meaning and purpose of the atonement (Prosperity gospel)

5. Any teaching that alters the character of God (consistent Arminianism which has been renamed Open Theism)

We could add to that list anything which seeks to crack the foundation on which the gospel stands, namely the authority, veracity, and sufficiency of the Word of God. So:

1. Rejection of inerrancy and infallibility

2. Historical Jesus studies

3. Critical scholarship theories

4. Strong charismatic theology which allows for continuing authoritative revelation through an unaccountable leader.

Those are all just examples, not exhaustive lists. On the side of disagreements you'll find a whole host of issues where men have a high view of Scripture, strong gospel convictions, but varied interpretations. Many areas relate to church governing structures, end times, method of baptism, or isolated interpretive issues.

There are a number of things that could be said at this point, but I think I'll just leave it with two questions: 1) Does it undermine the Gospel, and 2) Does it undermine the authority and reliability of the Bible. With those two questions most false teaching can be distinguished from minor differences.

#19  Posted by John Cox  |  Thursday, February 27, 2014at 6:57 PM

Be sure you understand the difference between the burden placed on Leaders and the exhortations to members..

In general - Members aren't in authority to Rebuke leaders openly, and especially not to unseat them. Doing so tends to fan flames of division - and that brings on a whole new set of problems along with very strong Scriptural admonitions. Absolutely - you should go to a leader in private and talk with them on points where you feel there is error. If it goes past that - you should consider following the exhortation to Flee such leaders.

Leaders HAVE a burden assigned to them that they are to root out false teachers and wolves. It's not a suggestion - it's an actual requirement. If you look at John's post - he specifically states the responsibility is on Leaders. Leaders who refuse to do such are held personally responsible before God himself.

#21  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, February 28, 2014at 1:53 AM

#14 David Smith

There are a few things very clearly mentioned, that those who are calling themselves Christians, and do practice these sins, they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Homosexuality and adultery is on that list.

So we are given clear advices on how to give divine warnings to ungodly sinners, who do not love Christ, and how to avoid those who refuse to listen.

But witch hunting is a very frightening issue, and the results we can see in Church History.

That being said, we are still to make wise judgments and fight against all evil to protect Gods children

#22  Posted by David Smith  |  Friday, February 28, 2014at 8:54 AM

Gabriel Powell #18

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive and helpful answer.

I agree with you that all doctrine is important, but we also have to accept that there is disagreement in some areas. Hence we need to find a way of loving our brothers and keeping the unity of the body around the 95% we agree on, rather than falling out over the rest. The two questions you propose seem a good way of handling this.

#24  Posted by David Smith  |  Friday, February 28, 2014at 3:13 PM

A few responses:

Tom Moore #15

I agree with you - I regard the concept of "generational curses" as unbiblical and highly dangerous as it takes away from the work of Jesus on the cross.

John Cox #19

I'm not convinced by your approach. We are all commanded to be discerning and watch out for false teachers. The idea that some people do not have "authority" is a common argument used by false teachers to make themselves unaccountable - the little people don't have the authority to pass comment on God's "anointed". Yes, when dealing with concerns in your own church, you need to do it with sensitivity, wisdom, and maturity, but if the members don't speak out, who will? We all have responsibilities to protect our fellow believers.

A good example was the 2008 Lakeland "revival" with Todd Bentley. The first people to sound warning about this were internet bloggers - regular people not in leadership or ministry. In fact, church leaders were mostly notable by their silence. These bloggers were condemned by some, but in the end they were vindicated.

Rudi Jensen #21

You appear to be referring to 1 Cor 6:9-11. I'm not sure why you brought this up - it's not to do with false teaching - but I think you need to study this passage a bit more. v.9 says wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God - we are all wrongdoers. v.10 says the greedy amongst others - how many of us can truly say we are never greedy? v.11 is key - these are things that people were, but they are now saved and forgiven by Jesus. Paul is emphasising that these things are all sins that we should have left behind. I don't see him as giving a list of unforgiveable sins, and we need to remember that the overall teaching of the New Testament is that repentance and santification are a lifelong process. We remain sinners until the day we reach perfection in glory, but the good news is that God has forgiven all our sins, past, present, and future.

But I agree completely that witch hunts are very bad, and we all need great wisdom and discernment when evaluating anything. The latter is one reason why I believe the charismatic movement is false - it is characterised by a total lack of wisdom and discernment. This suggests the absence, not the presence, of the Holy Spirit. Rather, I see people who have a concern for the truth as being spirit-filled - Pastor John being an excellent example, of course.

#25  Posted by Jean Brean  |  Friday, February 28, 2014at 7:41 PM

"All Christians share the biblical mandate to cultivate biblical discernment. Remaining passive in the church and ignoring the cancerous effects of false teaching is a serious dereliction of our duty as believers. We are to be equipped with the biblical tools necessary to identify, expose, repudiate, and excommunicate all wolves who sneak into the church. Out of love for Christ, His people, and the pure exclusive gospel that He delivered, each of us must take up arms in the ongoing war for the truth."

Amen!

#26  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, March 01, 2014at 12:32 AM

#24 David Smith

And that is what false teachers do. They are misusing the Grace of God to lawlessness.

2 Peter 2 and Jude.

#27  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, March 01, 2014at 3:57 AM

David, there are two crusial differences.

A forgiven sinner and those still in their sins. A forgiven sinnner is no longer under the law, but is a new creation, and have received the Spirit of Christ. If anyone does not have the Spirit, they do not belong to Him.

In 1 Timothy 1, the Apostle Paul clarifyes this:

"Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

And see Galatians 5:

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."

They are deceiving themselves, the Apostles say. They think that because God is gracious, He MUST approve their sinful livestyle. They skipped repentance, turning from sin to righteousness.

I say this, because in my country (denmark), we have a state-religion, (Lutheran) where the priests are not bound by a confession of faith. They can believe anything, and they do. The result is that they forgive sinners without repenance, thereby given them Gods approval of their sin.

#29  Posted by Matthew Wilson  |  Saturday, March 01, 2014at 12:03 PM

#4 ~ Rose Michels

You wrote:

As I said, I do agree with you. I just wish I would hear some instruction for the congregant attending a church where a pastor will not take this seriously.

I believe you have just voiced the cry of millions of average church-goers around the world. Although John MacArthur focuses his teaching primarily upon pastors and cautiously addresses teachers (i.e. leadership), not much falls into the lap of the layperson. Do not get me wrong! John’s faithful exhortation to church leaders is vital.

However, I am with you. At times, I think what passes as a church today is so morphed away from New Testament practices that the normal “rules of engagement” must be suspended. It seems so wrong to suggest to laypeople, “If you don’t like something or feel we are doing something unbiblical, then pray and let God handle it.” According to some, the pew-sitters are to shut up and simply be sheep regardless of what is going on inside the church family. There are not appropriate, sufficient forums for the layperson to voice concern or calmly open God’s Word and search the Scriptures as an equal member of Christ’s body.

Honestly, I believe the issue rests not in practices to address false doctrines. Instead, it seems that we too often lift pastors and/or church leaders to positions not authorized by the Scriptures. We tend to give them the title of shepherd with a capital “S” and relinquish all personal responsibilities for the welfare of our church families. We have seen this type of hierarchy of authority even in this thread.

So, while your pastor...and many others...fail to speak out, the spiritual heads of individual homes sit frustrated in pews, silently praying that God would intervene and rescue the anorexic, underfed, and deceived laity.

Please, Pastor John, we beg you! Help us know how to be bold and contend for the faith within our own church families despite the fact that most of your readers are NOT in immediate leadership. Thank you!

#30  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, March 01, 2014at 3:04 PM

#24 David Smith

For the sake of the argument, there are a lot of theology involved in this.

First of all the new nature of the forgiven sinner. According to Romans 6, we are dead to sin, if we have the Spirit of Christ. If anyone does not have the Spirit, they do not belong to Him.

Second we have a new heart that hate sin and long for righteousness. So we cannot live in an unbroken pattern of sin.

#31  Posted by Tom Moore  |  Sunday, March 02, 2014at 7:16 AM

#27 Rudi Jensen

Hey Rudi, I appreciate your comments. The scriptures you used were very appropriate. Europe is spiritually dead and America is closely behind. Had a friend from Norway who told me that the guy leading a local church (state-run) was an atheist. Amazing. I guess that God is going to need to do some threshing of the grain to get us back on track. Bigger mission field, though.

#32  Posted by Carla Vornheder  |  Sunday, March 02, 2014at 7:43 AM

People seem to think that church discipline is unloving. My experience of having been disciplined by my church was extremely loving. Before I became a Christian, I could not imagine love and discipline coexisting. As you can imagine, I was very undisciplined. The pastor who subjected me to church discipline (I was not allowed to join, until I showed that I was ready to find one church and stick to it.) gave me a most excellent gift. I can exist better in this world as someone who understands and accepts discipline.

#34  Posted by Brad Kennedy  |  Wednesday, March 05, 2014at 12:26 PM

To John (19), David (24), Jean (25), and George C.:

Consider meditating on 1 Timothy 5:24-25, then backup and follow the instruction Paul gives to Timothy (a leader) in 1 Timothy 5:19-22.

May the LORD continue to bless all of us through His servants and the quickening, active word inspired by the Holy Spirit-the promised gift Christ sent for our inheritance and seal of redemption!

#35  Posted by Stephen John  |  Wednesday, March 05, 2014at 1:17 PM

Gabriel,

Yes, yes, and yes . . . that's our duty. Rather point out, today, things that will lead astray precious sisters and brothers in the Lord than one day say, "I should have."

I'm behind you all the way.