I took this picture—of about 50 Catholics and their priest performing mass—last Friday while standing on the sidewalk near the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood. The clinic performs abortions on Thursdays and Fridays (aided in part by any American who pays taxes). This was the first time I’d been to an abortion clinic.
Colorado Springs is sometimes referred to as the Mecca of Christianity. There are many Christian organizations headquartered there, such as Focus on the Family. However, only three evangelicals showed up to plead for the lives of the unborn and to proclaim the law and the gospel to those who were there to murder their children.
The woman who was the de facto leader of the Christian contingent has been doing abortion ministry for five weeks, and had to bring her 15 month old son. I’m very grateful to her for what she’s doing, but it’s indicative of the state of the church that the most experienced person there is brand new. I’m not at all surprised that so few evangelicals show up, but I am ashamed.
The same sad state of affairs seems to be the case (in my experience) in any type of evangelism. Those of us who wish to proclaim the gospel are told that we’re not doing it right while the critics don’t do anything.
The reason there are 50 Catholics there is because the priest was there. People follow their leader. Christian pastors don’t go out witnessing, so Christians don’t go out witnessing. It seems that very few of us really do anything.
I don’t mean to come off sounding bitter. I came to grips with this situation long ago. I’m merely pointing out the issues. But I’ve been thinking about how abortion ministry might be best done. After going once,
I’m clearly not qualified to say anything, my few hours of experience now ranks me among the top 1% of American Christians.
It seems to me that there is a normal way to present the law and the gospel in most situations, and that’s what we should all be doing, and should be getting very good at. If you have that ability, you’re 95% prepared to witness at a gay pride parade, to a bar crowd or at an abortion clinic, because it’s all about the gospel.
Those of us thinking about trying something new may be hoping to find a qualified Christian leader to show us the ropes, but that may not happen. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for our pastors to lead us to do something. We are commanded to expose unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) even if we have to figure it out with just other laymen and the Bible.
Thanks for that Bill. In Australia, the people protesting outside abortion clinics (peacefully mind you, usually just standing there holding signs) are seen as kooks. There is definitely a cringe factor for Christians wanting to avoid being seen as identified with that group.
Our church does street evangelism, which is led by our pastor, so I agree with you on that one, that people tend to follow their leader.
The other thing I would like to highlight is, if someone wants to get into street preaching they should be “sent out” by their church leadership, be under their church authority, and willing to be accountable to that authority. To that end, if someone wants to get into street evangelism and preaching but is in a church where the leadership is not interested in it, then by default they are pretty much going out on their own and could fall into kook-land or could burn out much sooner.
My advice to that person is to go find a church that IS interested in getting out there, and doing a good job of it, training and equipping and raising up their people to continue in that work, supporting those people financially through purchasing tracts and also through prayer, getting the rest of the church behind them. There’s nothing like going out witnessing knowing there’s a group of believers praying for you to be safe and for God’s hand to work sovereignly in the faithful preaching of His Gospel and the public reading of His Word.
Thank you for pointing out this important mission. We must face this abortion behemoth head on in spiritual warfare but also in our physical actions. There are indications that the young generation of Christians is becoming more involved in pro life activism as evidenced by the recent march for life in Washington.
I am a physician and for those interested I wrote an article about my having to face the reality of abortion here:
Hello Michael E,
You said, “The other thing I would like to highlight is, if someone wants to get into street preaching they should be “sent out” by their church leadership, be under their church authority, and willing to be accountable to that authority.”
Every Christian should be under the authority and accountability of their elders. What verse says that street preachers should be sent out by their church leadership? I can see some situations where the elders might say that someone shouldn’t be out witnessing, but aren’t all Christians supposed to be witnessing?
Delight in Truth,
Thanks for your comment, and thanks for writing that article.
“What verse says that street preachers should be sent out by their church leadership?”
You can find it in the book of 2nd Opinions… it is a misguided roman catholic notion at best.
In Christ -Jim
Re: being “sent out” by the church leadership, I would like to make just a few comments.
Today is a little bit of an awkward age because there are many in local churches who are just doing whatever they want to do with no accountability factor to any other person. Sometimes, church leaders have to deal with zeal without knowledge while at other times, they deal with knowledge but no zeal.
I do not want to speak for Michael in Australia, in any way, but speaking from my own experiences as a pastor.
1) I do not see any leeway in Scriptures for an unchurched Christian. It is the responsibility and privilege of every true believer to be a part of a local body of believers where they can be edified and encouraged. Yes, in some places, this is hard to find or it may require a little more of a concerted effort (drive time, etc.) in order to find a godly group of people, even if it is but small.
2) Each Christian should ultimately be accountable to God, but also when in covenant fellowship with other believers should be accountable one to another – and yes, I believe this also includes the leadership.
3) That accountability should cover each aspect of our lives as we are to grow together in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
4) “Street evangelism” in many ways, and in my opinion, does fall into the category of passing out tracts, nursing home ministry or knocking on doors. This does NOT mean that it is not important in the overall workings of the local church setting. I do not know of a church that “ordains” men to do any of these things. A wise person though should at least keep the leaders informed of the work they are seeking to do in outreach or fellowship as ultimately it can bring a reflection on the local church. At the same time, I would be in agreement with Michael that a church that is not interested in outreach might be a church worth leaving.
My recommendation to any person who desires to have a ministry of outreach to at least sit down with the leaders of the church. Be accountable to them in what you are seeking to do and accomplish. Ask them for your prayers and support. Be open and honest and be willing to have a teachable spirit. If you want to start a nursing home ministry and have no doctrinal knowledge, a time of learning would prove to be beneficial before you spring potential error or teaching on a group of people, regardless of whether they are mentally alert or not!
As a pastor, and as a missionary in Africa, there were times a few men would come to me with a particular burden for a certain group within our society. I encouraged them to learn the Word, to study and be prepared, and to go out with the blessings of the local leadership of which they were a part of. Today, some of those ministries continue and have grown tremendously, not because of men, but because I believe those men were willing to be accountable to those whom God set to watch over them and for their souls.
Good post. Catholics are far more active in the anti-abortion movement than Protestants, which is a shame.
Before this gets too far off the rails, please take a few minutes to read the following articles from Tony Miano to put my comment into perspective:
Thanks for this very important post. With gun control looming – Sandy Hook a vivid memory – and the murder of millions of precious ones an acceptable choice for women – it should be a wake up call to us all.
Thank you also Delight in Truth for your post. Not an Exit – Two enter, but for one the door is indeed ~ “Not an Exit.”
Anyone here who attends a church with a leader called “senior pastor”, or where the leadership is addressed as “Pastor so and so” (in direct contradiction to Christs teachings on not using religious titles), or where a man with one gift is exalted on a podium week after week is not in any position to give instructions on accountability to eldership… because they do not the know the new testament form of it. They may know the partially reformed roman catholic version of it but not the reality that we see and are taught in the NT.
or let me put it another way…
“Hi I’m big shot reformed street preacher and I go to a reformed church that looks more like rome than the new testament. Now let me tell you nomads the error of your way.”
Please, give me a break. What an abhorrence. The new testament does know of at least a few churchless christians (the ethopoian unich) but knows nothing of this sad thing that reformed people called “church”.
Sorry to smash some golden cows here.
In Christ -jim
One last thought. Run for your life from any church where you must ask the elders if it is ok for you obey Christs commandments. Sick stuff there. So thankful I know elders that lead among the sheep as brothers, without titles or dominating the meetings or exhibiting the nicolatian attitude so rampant in roman catholicism and her harlot daughter reformed churches. Religious men love to rule over Gods people but God hates what these religious men do and they will burn in hell if they don’t repent. Even if they are 5 pointer “bible believing christians”.
Hey mister elder, can I share the Gospel, can I send money to an orphanage.. good grief. I truly pray that anyone here who is bound by religious traditions that come from rome rather than the new testament will be freed from them in Jesus name.
If I may offer just my two cents worth here. There is a difference in being “sent out” by one’s church in the office of evangelist and being under the authority of a local church while engaging in evangelism (including open air preaching). Tony’s articles that are referenced here are an attempt to address those who refuse to be under the authority of a local church and act as a law unto themselves. There is no biblical mandate that a Christian must be “sent out” by the church in order to engage in evangelism. However, all Christians should be under the authority of a local church so discipline can be conducted if or when necessary.
We might be having a slight misunderstanding through my use of the term “should” and “sent out”. All I meant is that *ideally*, a person going out to do street witnessing is best set up, configured, organised, shaped, moulded, for doing that by being *willing* to submit themselves to church authority, and therefore *go out*, be sent out, with the *support* of their church leadership, and church body, *including* prayer, financial and physical support.
No, there is no Biblical mandate or Bible verse. I never said there was. I also didn’t mean to imply ordination as someone has said above. Again, I think I’ve used some words in my first post that have been a little misunderstood by some of the respondents. My comments were made in the context of Tony’s articles, at http://airocross.com/2012/05/31/biblical-street-preaching-vs-rogue-street-preaching/ and http://carm.org/colossians-4-5-street-preaching.
Jim, I’m sure you wouldn’t say what you’ve said about Tony Miano if you knew him at all. Please don’t feel inclined to comment on the articles and video if you didn’t take the time to go through them. If you *did* go through them, please feel free to leave a comment that will produce meaningful discussion.
I’m the evangelism pastor at our church, Hope Chapel, and regularly lead teams out on the streets. I am also starting an abortion ministry and teaching a class by John Piper called, Abortion is About God: Reframing a Moral Issue. Please pray that i would be able to communicate God’s vision to those who have a heart for abortion ministry. Here’s a link to a photo of my daughters at a local abortion mill, http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/stevepsanchez/kidsatabortionclinic_zps243f076a.jpg and me having a very vigorous discussion about our view on eternal things with an 81-year-old Catholic man I met at this clinic. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200135704531427&set=a.4727256175421.183841.1115170606&type=1&theater
I have seen and read his stuff related to nomads in the past, though my comment is not about him specifically this is becoming a very popular pet doctrine in the reformed “biblical evangelism” camp in general (further proof of a partial reformation that is backsliding back to rome). Unfortunately two of my comments that go along with that one you saw were posted to go along with it and must be sitting in the defcon spam bin, that is why my comment starts “or let me put it another way…”, because it is a continuation of a previous one that didn’t get posted yet.. stay tuned.
In Christ -Jim
Brother Steve! Good to see you outside of Facebook! Of course we will be praying for your efforts. May God bless you guys in all you are doing.
They were in the spam box and have been rescued.
Thanks Chris, thought you were just getting sick of my comments 🙂
To everyone here who loves Jesus in truth, I do not write these things to insult anyone here, but for a hard look at bad traditions that are unbiblical and I certainly do not contend against having Godly elders in place to support the local church. I just find the typical reformed church structure in as much error as not fellowshipping with other believers at all but on the other side. Like I said, we can see a few limited places where saints were not in fellowship in a local church, and where there were local churches meeting without elders established yet, Jesus and the apostles did not rebuke anybody for this though did give instructions for elders to be established to build up the body.
The things that Jesus and the apostles rebuke and exhort over are people using religious titles and creating clergy-laity systems, building their own kingdoms, loving to have the pre-eminence among the brethren, etc. Those who support such religious systems should be very slow to start throwing around new church buzz words like “nomads” and “lone rangers” that is my main contention.
To get back to the OP though, it is amazing that the watchtower, lds, and rome are more zealous for their false christs than the bride is for the true. To that end I am thankful for the brethren here that love Jesus and have that precious heart to reach the lost for Him even if I sympathize with the “nomads” and find fault with the Tony Miano teaching on this subject (not all bad of course, just certain parts I find extremely questionable). Also, I just use Tony as a reference because he is well known and someone brought him up already, not to slander him in any way.
In Christ -Jim
Hi Chris! Yep, I like visiting here now and again!
Not being a proponent of the church ages heresy, having seen direct reference in scripture to 2 ages, yhis age and the age to come, I am looking at the warnings in Revelation 2 and 3. And do you know what? I see in the church system, everything He warns against in that day present today!
These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
He is warning His bride, friends! To not hold to the deeds of the Nicolaitans, and to not allow Jezebaal to teach in His Assembly, and also that she is not as she thinks she appears.
Anyone here want to defend the “church of Rome” as NOT being the “Mother of Harlots?”
Well then you must ask yourselves this question! As the Mother of Harlots, who are her daughters? Who came out of her and now has 50,000 plus divisions?
To the extent that we, or anyone before us lived by the Living Word of God, as taught us by the Holy Spirit via the Word and always testing the spirits to see that they are of God…GREAT!
But to the extent we followed the traditions of men, as taught by the clergy, and warned against by Jesus Himself, we are deceived! Paul counted His trainung in religion as dung!! Should we not do anything less, repenting for our errors and turning back to Him as Lord? Isn’t there a warning to the religious that says, “You search the scriptures thinking it will bring you salvation…” Hello?!?!
If the religious of the Jews were in error, shouldn’t we at least take a step back and consider our walks as well?!?! Examine ourselves to see that we too are in the faith?
Many state certified preachers here, yet do you not see that you sought the certification of men running a God hating corrupt government for your credentials? About 50% of your professors deny the authority and authenticity of the Word?!?! “Called of God, and unlike Paul, running off to these men for your “walking papers…”
You say you see the many issues in this time we live regarding the denominations. You say you see the issues in some pulpits. You certainly say you see the carnal christians in the “churches,” yet just who was it that brought the heresy into the churches in OUR LIFETIMES?!?!
It ALWAYS comes in via the man in charge…you know, the senior/lead/pastor!!! Either directly by his teachings, or directly by him allowing another to teach it in his flock. No undershepherds of the Great Shepherd would dare allow or do this!!
“The prophets prophesy lies and the priests rule by their own authority, and the people love to have it so…But what will you do in the end thereof?” Not my words, but I can certainly understand them!
Who was it that taught that the tares could come in and fellowship with the wheat? No man considered laity is allowed to use the word of God for the purposes that the Word says it is for…How come? Is it because they do not posess the license from the worldly government to marry and bury? And you think you are different from the priestcraft of the popes?
55,000 divisions of Jesus, and you better be under one of theirs authority!!! That is laughable.
55 million aborted children in our watch, many of them children of protestant pew warmers! Folks who pay their tithes into the system! You know, the system that makes it manditory you go to them to be taught what is good and what is evil.
I work in a very corrupt industry, yet there are far more in the profession that marrys and bury
s being prosecuted then in mine. AND THEY ARE THE MORAL COMPASS OF OUR SOCIETY!
So why are the Catholics carrying our water on the abortion issue?
Because in reality we ARE poor wretched miserable blind and naked before God, yt we are sure He is proud of us… If you think the school system is a mess, why not test those at your fellowship on the Word of God and you will see just how bad it is. Now I am not talking about testing them on your traditions, but on actual scripture! They know who Warren is and Piper,
and all the other names of the dead preachers, but can they name for example the old man and old lady in the temple who waited to see their Lord Jesus come…Can you name them?
There is no repentance in this land, and our leaders are voted for by the christians here, who pick their leaders with the same hearts that the Jews picked Saul.
Blind guides and hirelings we are warned against in scripture, and do you think they are a non issue here today? Social issues are the goal of the “churches” today, as they wait for their savior to whisk them away before things get bad. Money flows from satan himself to the church organizations to fund their lofty goals, yet anyone who questions these god dreamers are shunned and pushed out as divisive…And why is it we never hear Jude’s warning from the buildings with pulpits where men are barred from one anothering and exercising their God given gifts of service to the Bride?!?!
I really appreciate all who frequent here! I have grown in the writing here, and appreciate each ones imput and perspective. Hope you too are spurred on in Him with what I bring too! My only concern is Christ Jesus and His Will be done.
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Not so shall it be among you: but whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
What Jesus is saying here is, to the extent that they teach you My Word, do it. But to the extent that they lay before you their traditions which they elevate above My Word, such that it makes My Word of no effect, do not do as they do! He then sets in order for His disciples how His (I’ll use your traditions of men name) “church” will be built. This fits perfectly with His picture of Him being the Corner Stone, His Apostles being the foundation stones, and we His elect all being “living stones!” No further differentiation as we are all clergy and equal. “But what about elders?”
Glad you asked. They FUNCTION as guides for the younger…All being equal in His sight. The term “office’ is yet another tradition of men established when a king named James couldn’t get his marriage annulled by the Catholic church, so he established his own church known as Anglican, by functioning as its pope, then appointing bishops politically to back his “divine rite” to head the new church via the bishops backing his rite in exchange for their political appointment to their church offices! Here is another example of a king acting as pope. “Fornication Under the Consent of the King”…Now you know where the 4 letter word came from. Yes it’s vulgar and yes it sets a tradition of men such that it makes God’s Word of no effect, while neither entering in to His Kingdom, and forbidding others to enter.
Can you see why He HATES the deeds of the Nicolaitans as well as the allowing of Jezebaals wholesome?!?!
And there arose also a contention among them, which of them was accounted to be greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles have lordship over them; and they that have authority over them are called Benefactors. But ye hall not be so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For which is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am in the midst of you as he that serveth.
Now, from above, we see how Jesus set up His “Elders” as they are to be at the bottom of the system, in fact foundations and not the top of a Babylonian pyramid system as we see today. Serving is the key, as they “under shepherd” His sheep. These would be appalled at the title reverend or pastor. They did not refer to themselves as The Apostle Paul for example. Does not judgment begin at His house? We are under a New Covenant and not the Old Covenant, “Behold all things have become New…This includes how His fellowship gathers and meets! So why do state certified preachers insist on a system which is different then what He set at order, and looks exactly as the Old Covenant Temple System inundated with the Traditions of men?
He is the Head, and we are His body/bride/ecclesia! Now, why does this man made system forsake the fellowshipping as they forsake the one anothering mentioned many times in scripture. One man droning on as the rest stare at the back of another’s head. “Oh but we do allow many to serve in music and other “offices” (for which we do not pay THEM as it would thin out the money able to be paid to the pro’s with a state sponsored degree, unless what they do gathers for our 501(c)(3) much more money. Then we would pay those heads of each “ministry” a stipend. Oh and we have to pay someone to actually clean up after us, as so few plugged in laity want to serve in that capacity.”)
So! Can you see any parallels in the story below to the picture described in the scriptures and commentary above?
1 Samuel 16
And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.
Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
We have grave issues in that which calls itself the body of Christ today. But then we do also have clear teaching that there is a “Narrow Road” that “few there be which find it.”
And there is a “Broad Road” which many enter in thereby, and it leads to their destruction. Where do you think these 2 are today, in light of the FACT that there is “One Ecclesia, which the gates of hell has not, isn’t now, nor ever will prevail against!!!!”
Where He is able to make His Workman stand.
Where none of His elect fall away.
Where His elect pray for His will to be done here on earth exactly as it is done in heaven.
Where His elect die to self daily while picking up their crosses to follow Him as Lord.
Where 2 or 3, or 20 or 30, or whatever He gathers, wherever He gathers them do so in His name and not at “pastor DiVine’s church.”
Where His elect will hear “well done though good and faithful servant.” But not hear “Depart from Me you worker of inequity, I never knew you.” “But Lord, LORD!!” They will cry,” we did all these THINGS in Your Name!” There will be gnashing of teeth!
Where His elect are sheep and not goats wheat and not tares faithful and not wicked servants wise and not foolish virgins…
Now look closely at your church tomorrow, look at the system, look at the service with no one anothering. Look at those who attend as to how they dress act and talk inside and outside the church. Look at the prayer life, the LEAST ATTENDED SERVICE you occasionally hold…”My house shall be a house of prayer,” INDEED!
Look at the programs, look at the separating of families, look at the “youth pastor” (a godless farce if ever I saw one) and what he is really teaching!!!
Yes we are to daily examine ourselves, forsaking the traditions of men, and picking up our crosses following HIM as LORD!!!
Do you REALLY SEE THIS in the system today?
The #1 thing I hear from folks in the system, regardless of the denomination is, “Yes I know, something isn’t right, but where would we go to find a better system? None are perfect, besides (like Peter at the transfiguration) it’s good for us…our kids…the worship music is good…we would miss the people…And none think of this gathering as a time to meet HIS REQUIREMENTS!!! It’s always, all about them!
It’s good to see this post about you being outside the abortion clinic doing ministry. Our church’s effort in the past was startling for us–there were so many Catholics and no Evangelical within sight. It seems from what the internet world of blogging and facebook reveal, there is a movement by the LORD for Reformed and Biblical Christians to enter this area of ministry throughout America.
fleebabylon, I want to clarify my own thoughts and comments on this. I am in no way suggesting that we must ask the elders if it is ok to obey the commands of Christ. If we are all seeking to be accountable within a local body of believers, then each one of us will learn where and how we fit within the framework of the assembly where we fellowship. Each of us have gifts differing one from another. I do not like the use of term lead or senior pastor and when I was in full-time ministry preferred to be called Mark or Bro. Mark which is the same term I use with another brother whether he was an elder or not.
On a further note regarding an “unchurched Christian”, a few things to point out –
1) The account of the Ethiopian eunuch came during a time of transition in the early church. To say that he was not a member (or become a part of a fellowship) when he returned to his home is to argue from a point of silence. Even secular history regarding the church in Ethiopia attributes its early formation in large part to the eunuch who served under Candace.
2) Let’s consider the New Testament after the Book of Acts, but first, I want to ask anybody to give me further examples besides the eunuch of an “unchurched” Christian. I do not believe they are to be found.
Letters to a Church —
Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Revelation
Letters to individuals who either led a congregation or were part of one —
1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 & 2 & 3 John, Jude
Even the Lord Jesus made it clear during His ministry the importance of what would become His Bride – His Bride is the church which on this earth is only manifested in the local assemblies that make up a part of the whole.
I see no recourse in Scripture to validate the efforts of those who would stay away from assembling together as a body with the purpose of collective worship to God. Church history also does not recognize individuals outside of some form of gathering together.
I hope this helps to clarify what I shared earlier.
HE Who calls the gathering is the key to who is gathering and why they gather…
How asleep are the virgins, both wise and foolish? Take a look…And on American Churchianity’s watch. Soon you will see why men will have their loins loosed due to fear as per scripture…You better hope for a pre-trib rapture!
Really Maxine? Well we have in fact seen it before, and where it is heading is NOT GOOD!
“the efforts of those who would stay away from assembling together as a body”
I think we have gone back and forth with each other on this in the past and have found much common ground. I am not suggesting an unchurched christian for life who refuses to assemble, but those who do for a season. It should be the desire of all true Christians to fellowship with their brethren as a true body (not be shoved into a religious organization that looks a lot like rome). You asked for another example of a churchless christian, so I will give Paul for a season in the wilderness. Again, I stated clearly up front their are very limited examples of this in the NT and it is not the normal NT pattern. I am not fighting for any ground here other than to show we have at least a glimpse of this in the NT, where as we have no glimpse of the typical reformed church model being a valid expression of the body of Jesus Christ.
My main contention is not with that fact but is this point:
I believe by looking at the word of God that the typical reformed church is farther from the NT pattern than a small group of saints that have fled such systems to meet in homes and dont have elders established yet. It is clear that this latest pet craze of preaching against nomadism (that I have heard from 3 or 4 separate people in the “biblical evangelism” crowd) includes such brethren as being “nomads”. These people would tell a young believer who is going to an RCC to get out of it but not realize that many see their institutions being not much better than RCC when compared to the NT.
God bless -Jim
In case this comment shows up I have one more in the spam bin (it’s keeping me humble). My friend Glenn just wrote this on facebook and it could have been written for this thread (not the op but some of the comments). When we talk about elders and fellowship and the local church we must talk about it NT terms or else the foundation is crooked…
What is the Holy Spirit actually saying when He writes “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…” Heb10:25. Some teach this means we must show up at 10 o’clock for an “official” religious gathering in an “official” religious building or we are disobeying God, but is this what it REALLY means? Of course not! When this was written there were no religious buildings to show up at and most people had to work on Sundays anyhow. The early Christians met in homes or in the market place or in the grounds of the temple as they had opportunity. They met when they could and where they could. This verse was written to Christians saved out of the Jewish system who were tempted to go back, due to persecution and hardship resulting from following Christ. The admonition simply means not to abandon their fellow believers in order to go back under the religious staus quo.
Today there are many faithful followers of Christ who refuse to submit to the apostate teachings in much official churchianity. This verse says we are not to forsake them but to stand WITH them as they stand firm on the teachings of Christ. In many circles this instruction from the Lord of Glory is turned on its head and used to harass those who will not bow to the backslidden an disobedient doctrines and practices of so much of modern Christendom. It may sound harsh but it is not our job to redefine scripture to make it say what we wished it said, but rather to obey what it really says. -Glenn
Jim, I do not think that some of what you are saying is fundamentally different from what I am saying. First, you have rightly reiterated that an “unchurched” Christian is not the norm, and as an apostle being taught in the wilderness, I definitely do not think this qualifies as a legitimate example to follow.
Maybe you could clarify a little bit what you mean as to a “typical reformed church.” I, for one, have difficulties with much of what I am seeing take place within evangelical circles.
Further, I would not have a small group of saints meeting together in the foundations of a new assembly to be an unbiblical situation. I would even have no issues with the thought that there may not yet be any elders established, especially in a new or small work. The problem I would see is that too many are just fleeing any and all churches in favor of “home groups” so they do not have to be accountable. These types are rarely teachable and will continue to flounder on the beach like a dying fish. Their desire is to be able to do whatever is right in their own eyes. It is this which I am against.
For what it is worth, I would think that any preacher who can be bothered to take up precious time riding a hobby horse in the pulpit has spent too little time in the Word, and too much time reading after “The Holy Traditions of Man” manual. Yes, there is much that is wrong with Christianity as it is seen in the world today, and certainly a far cry from the New Testament models. But, we must not give up. We must continue to fight for what is right, even if it means that we are standing in a very small minority.
As a final aside here, I would be careful whenever I heard somebody using Matthew 18 as a reason or an excuse for shunning any and all assemblies. The words of Jesus about where two or three are gathered together in my name has NOTHING to do with setting up a house group or a small prayer meeting. It is referring to the witness of heaven when it comes to discipline within a local assembly.
Your last point is well taken, as I see what you are saying regarding the 2 or 3. I had not considered the context. Thanks for that clarity, I’ll not forget it, and I appreciate the one anothering!
The local assembly does not imply however what American churchianity has become, but would include folks gathering in His Name regardless of how they gather and where they gather. Discipline works a lot better when everyone is clergy and Christ Jesus is the Head with the Holy Spirit functioning to lead each of the 2 or more gathering. I would again piont out that no heresy nor apostasy ever entered a congregation except that which was brought by or approved by those who divide clergy and laity, be they Rome, evangelical or Jim Jones…
No arguments from me there, brother! The old heresy of the Nicolaitans is rife today!
I want to publicly apologize to Bill for taking part in hijacking his OP. Bills zeal for the lost is challenging and encouraging. I have not felt lead to go outside clinics, and I wouldn’t feel right joining with papists in anything, even a good cause, but I did preach Saturday nights to an inner city Detroit bar line for a long while. We would preach against drunkeness, fornication, and the resulting abortions as a matter of law before grace. This was like the gangster rap night or something at the club and there were some hard core people standing in line for a half hour at a time every week. We had a season where groups of young people would get out line and tell us they were backslidden believers and were very convicted of their sin and were going home and not going to the club anymore. This can be an effective type of abortion ministry too, setting up shop in front a club on Friday or Saturday night where so many abortions begin.
Anyway thanks again Bill for sharing your zeal for the lost, I had to remove myself from street ministry (or to be honest the Lord chastised and removed me because I was neglecting my family at home so much) for a season but am looking forward to getting out in the battle again one day soon Lord willing. I appreciate your post and sorry again for the hijack Bill.
In Christ -Jim
Jim, I will second your comments and apology. Bill, I went back and reread your post again and am just as challenged in my own outreach opportunities. While I also would not work or be involved in a Catholic gathering, it is true that we must be about the Master’s business for the night is coming when no one will work. We must be willing to do the work He has called each of us to do whether teaching, on street corners, exhortation, prison ministry, etc. Keep up the good work, my friend, and keep exhorting te saints towards evangelism!!
Bill…I see your point and appreciate your honest appraisal of the situation. An issue we had with preaching the gospel to the lost and dying was where is a church we could then plug then in to so they could grow. We were and are quite uncomfortable with the church system in our neck of the woods.
The Lord reminded me though as to His Word, and how the Holy Spirit lead me in my understanding, once He placed His Life within me. This happened as I was raised a catholic, and not a very good one at that! He convicted me in my home, alone but no doubt with the seeds of the gospel planted and watered by dear saints along the way preaching to me. Being born from above I dug out a giant white bible and it took several minutes of sweeping past dead popes to get to His Word. I went back to a mass and wanted to jump up and scream when we recited in dead monotone…”Let us proclaim the mystery of faith. Christ has died. Christ is risen. And Christ will come again.”
Those who are truly converted cannot be kept from His Word and from growth! It is our job to not plug them in but to make disciples of them, functioning as an elder under the headship of Christ Jesus, and the Leading of the Holy Spirit. He is able to make His workmen stand!
Do not stop preaching the “Good News” and do not be hesitant folks to share it with Catholics either folks!
Don’t worry about apologizing. I’ve enjoyed the conversation.
A great mission field awaits…If you bring them to Christ and not to a different church!
One reason Roman Catholics are drawn to abortion protests is that their gospel is about social redemption rather than the biblical gospel.
Or they have compassion for the un-born! I grew up with a Catholic family that had 12 children. Their mom was pregnant at the time she was on a right to life bus to Washington DC to protest. She hemorraged and lost the twins she was carrying, and her own life too…
The grace we enjoy and do not deserve, my friend, ought to have us even more sensitive to the needs of the helpless. I have never met a Catholic abortion protestor who was thinking that being Catholic was not enough for them to enter heaven, and that they needed to protest abortions to gather extra credit
With regards to social redemption, the protestants are out front on that issue to a much greater degree then the Catholics.
I’m not attacking you, nor defending them. But I have walked a few miles in each set of shoes, being raised Catholic, and listening to years of social training programs from evangelicals, and other protestant denominations…Even before Mr. Warren became popular…
I was raised Catholic too Mickey. I love many Catholic people but abhor the satanic religion led by the anti-christ pope who sits among the visible Church declaring that he is God, putting men into religious bondage and leading them to perdition. I believe most of protestant-ism are the harlot daughters of Rome and am reminded of the proverb “Though hand join in hand they will not go unpunished”. With that I would warn everyone that Rome is using social issues (abortion and homosexual marriage) to build unity with her run away harlots. Do not be led astray by it dear brethren. I am not a conspiracy theorist but this trend has become very obvious.
Catholicism is a westernized version of early pagan religions. It is nothing for true brethren to partner with in preaching the Gospel, anymore than we would partner with mormons (not implying that Bill was partnering with these people).
In Christ -Jim
Agreed brother, I’m not looking at the system when I wrote that but rather at the victims. He saved us, He will save others from this evil. But like I said before, lead them to Christ and not to another religion which is only her daughter. Let the “pros” gather to themselves from the 99…We are sent to the 1 who is lost, regardles of where their lostness has taken them.
“Called out former catholics…God’s special forces!” Perhaps we care more because we have been forgiven of so much!
Incidently Flee and Def Con family. Catholic prophesy I do not believe in, yet they do…And more importantly they promote it. Below are some recent articles on this issue, plus an early look at the front runner for the vacated seat. Read about his Muslim suprise, and his quote about Muslims and Catholics/Christians having the same god.
If your pre-trib. don’t bother reading it, theres nothing there to pacify your eschatology. 🙂
(We’re awake so you don’t have to be! LOL)
The Catholics there were not pleased to have us. They had confronted the other lady the previous week about her tactic of holding graphic signs and raising her voice to try to be heard by those coming and going from the clinic. Their tactic is to walk up and down the sidewalk praying the rosary, and some of them hold signs such as those in the picture.
The week I was there, they sent an evangelical to confront us. She said she was trying to put together an organization of Christians and Catholics to get together and pray to end abortion. She thought our tactics would only push the people seeking abortion away from Christianity. I’ve heard it all a thousand times, and it didn’t bother me. I don’t really expect unsaved people to appreciate the gospel.
Hopefully that lays to rest anyone’s fears that we were working with Catholics.
“I don’t really expect unsaved people to appreciate the gospel.”
Compare to Luke 5:32.
No worries there, Bill! Keep up the good work and just share the truth in love!
Hello Luke 1732,
Luke 5:32 says, “I have not come to call the righteous (AT)but sinners (AU)to repentance.”
That means Jesus didn’t come to call the self-righteous (like a lot of Catholics), but those who are humble and see their need for forgiveness.
2 Cor. 2:14-16 says, “But (P)thanks be to God, who in Christ always (Q)leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads (R)the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among (S)those who are being saved and among (T)those who are perishing, 16 (U)to one a fragrance from death to death, (V)to the other a fragrance from life to life.”
What I meant is that we should fully expect to be like an offensive stench to those who are perishing. It shouldn’t be a surprise.