How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

Joined: October 7th, 2010, 12:36 am

December 16th, 2010, 2:43 am #1

Seems pretty obvious that no church is perfect, yet we are also at a time where we see church after church falling away, going the way of Cain.

How can one determine; or more importantly, what does the Bible say? What makes a church "reasonably faithful" to the Words (Bible)/Word (Christ) of God and other churches totally apostate?
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Sonny
Sonny

December 17th, 2010, 3:23 am #2

Brother Gold,

I appreciate this substantive post. I have waited to respond because I know there are others who follow this site who are more qualified to answer, but maybe some of my thoughts from Scripture will prompt others to join in for some wholesome dialogue.

Here goes...

Either a church needs grace or it doesn't. Either Christians need grace or they don't. To what extent grace is available is more difficult to discern. Grace is not to be thought of as a license for intentional rebellion against God, but nevertheless we all need grace for our daily "unintentional" sins. These sins can be doctrinal errors/sins, worship errors/sins (inward or outward), and lifestyle errors/sins.

We know that truth and obedience matter, but that we all fall short of God's "standard" (His Word/truths and righteousness/morality). While obedience is ultimately a matter of the heart, sometimes one may be misinformed and/or mistaken about a religious teaching or practice, thus we may think we are being faithful in areas we are not. This is why humility and and continual search of the Scriptures is needed. Ultimately, we rely on the cross of Christ to save us while we seek to live in loving and faithful obedience. Our worship and good works are responses to God's favor in Jesus, and not to earn God's favor. We all need Jesus and grace, and all need to be disciples of Jesus. Repentance and confession are not to be one time acts. Ongoing prayer and contrition for daily shortcomings is expected. Baptism is essential for salvation. Baptism is not a work but an act of faith where we are united with Christ. We are raised to walk a new life. We begin as babes in Christ learning basic truths for a changed life, such as 2 Peter 2:1-3, where we are to get rid of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. The ultimate answer to your question I think at least includes that we are to continue growing and never have an unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12-13). This is why we all need to encourage one another daily. The older are supposed to be more mature and teach the younger, but all need to continue working out their salvation with fear and trembling and never cease to grow in grace and knowledge.

5 of the 7 churches in Asia Minor were told by Jesus to repent for their individual and unique problems, yet they were still the church. While Jesus' grace was there, they were still challenged and expected to repent as they were informed and were warned about losing their lampstand if they did not. I think each congregation and Christian needs to take this to heart as far as reflecting on ways they could be/are in need of spiritual reform.

As a second example, the Corinthian church was full of problems, including division and pride pertaining to spiritual gifts and rich vs. poor, worship and doctrinal issues, and sexual immorality issues, among others. While they needed to grow/change and mature, they were still Christians loved and called by God. Paul begins the 1st letter thanking God for them and acknowledging God's faithfulness to them in Christ. He also mentions them being sanctified (set apart).

One more example among dozens more is that of Apollos in Acts. He is teaching others about Jesus, but is mistaken about baptism. Aquila and Priscilla take him aside and teach him the way of God more accurately. Here is an example of approaching another person with both grace and truth (like John 1:14 and 17 says about Jesus). Grace keeps them from "writing him off", but truth gives him the opportunity to grow and to not "write God off" by continuing to teach something that he now knows to be false.

Perhaps I have typed too much, but I have many thoughts on this based on my perspective of Scripture. It is my intention that everything I have stated is accurate and consistent application from God's Word. I will now wait to read and consider the perspective of others whether it be identical/similar, or not.

-Sonny
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Joined: March 2nd, 2011, 7:23 pm

March 2nd, 2011, 8:44 pm #3

How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

If a church uses electricity in worship, then that church is NOT "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

It's that simple.

Show me where God commanded the use of electricity and I will show you where God commanded the use of coffee and ice cream in the Lord' Supper and where he commanded the use of instruments. I will also show you where God commanded the socalled "Five Acts of Worship on Sunday morning" and where God commanded us to have the Lord's Supper every Sunday and only on Sunday in an upstairs room with many lamps and where God commands us to greet each other with a holy kiss and to wash each others feet.
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

March 2nd, 2011, 9:01 pm #4

Seems pretty obvious that no church is perfect, yet we are also at a time where we see church after church falling away, going the way of Cain.

How can one determine; or more importantly, what does the Bible say? What makes a church "reasonably faithful" to the Words (Bible)/Word (Christ) of God and other churches totally apostate?
From the wilderness the Qahal, synagogue or Church of Christ in the Wilderness is defined as A School of the Word where, as a law for the unruly, vocal or instrumental rejoicing was OUTLAWED: that's a direct command.

The Campbell's restored what Christ and all of the bible and early church history defines:

Church is A School of Christ
Worship is Reading and Musing the Word of God.

That's it. Now, they had candles without a command because they were post-moronic.
Electricity facilitates READING and DISCUSSING the Word of Christ.

Music and limp-wristed singers do NOT facilitate reading "that which is written for our leaarning." They INTENTIONALLY and Predestinatedly (Rev 18) INTEND to "silence the voice of the victim."

You can have PEWS because the synagogue Jesus attended meant that He STOOD UP to READ the assigned text and then quite decently SAT DOWN.

The command in Romans 15 is ONE MIND and ONE MOUTH (stoma, glossa excludes tongues of reed instruments." That defines UNISON RECITING THE WORD OF GOD.

Paul commanded, if you understand the previous string of antithetical parallels.

SPEAK one to another with the Biblical Text.
BUT,sing and make melody IN the heart and directed TO God.

If you have the old Levite and castratos (a cappella) whining out their sick cow songs with lots of complex harmony then we KNOW that the SCHOOL is being disturbed by infantile delinquents saying "look at me, look at me."

It's simple: David, if it is not required to be a SCHOOL OF CHRIST and sows discord then the word HERETIC or SECTARIAN means YOU cannot make anew LAW which I must observe or cast myself out of MY synagogue.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 3rd, 2011, 3:52 pm #5

How does one know if a church is "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

If a church uses electricity in worship, then that church is NOT "reasonably faithful" to the words of God?

It's that simple.

Show me where God commanded the use of electricity and I will show you where God commanded the use of coffee and ice cream in the Lord' Supper and where he commanded the use of instruments. I will also show you where God commanded the socalled "Five Acts of Worship on Sunday morning" and where God commanded us to have the Lord's Supper every Sunday and only on Sunday in an upstairs room with many lamps and where God commands us to greet each other with a holy kiss and to wash each others feet.
As an opponent of electricity in the Church, David must be Amish. Where does the Bible command us to call God's written Word the "Bible" or "Holy Bible"? Using David's "logic," isn't it a sin to use the terms "Bible" and "Holy Bible," when they are found nowhere in the written Word of God? Informed readers should see the idiocy of such "logic."
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Dave
Dave

March 4th, 2011, 2:03 pm #6

Seems pretty obvious that no church is perfect, yet we are also at a time where we see church after church falling away, going the way of Cain.

How can one determine; or more importantly, what does the Bible say? What makes a church "reasonably faithful" to the Words (Bible)/Word (Christ) of God and other churches totally apostate?
Does this sound hypocritical? Listen to what William Crump says about David G., but yet when someone uses the same logic that he does, "well, that's just different," right William?

I quote William....
"As an opponent of electricity in the Church, David must be Amish. Where does the Bible command us to call God's written Word the "Bible" or "Holy Bible"? Using David's "logic," isn't it a sin to use the terms "Bible" and "Holy Bible," when they are found nowhere in the written Word of God? Informed readers should see the idiocy of such "logic."

Now let's try this on what Wllliam (not the Word) opposes and doesn't PREFER, being the legalist that he is.

As an opponent of instrumental music in the Church, William must be a legalist. Where does the Bible command us to call instrumental music a sin? Using William's "logic," isn't it a sin to add a sin to the Word of God when this supposed sin of instrumental music is found nowhere in the written Word of God? Informed readers should see the idiocy of such "logic."

A legalist is synonymous with hypocrisy.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 4th, 2011, 9:20 pm #7

As a proponent of instrumental music in the Church, Dave must be a liberal change agent or at least one who sympathizes with the change agents. Consider these questions:

Where does the New Testament explicitly permit us to take one of God's commands and ADD anything that we feel would make it better or more enjoyable?

Specifically, where does the New Testament explicitly grant us permission to ADD instrumental music to God's explicit command to sing and make melody in our hearts?

Where does the New Testament explicitly give us permission to "enhance" or "accompany" our singing with any other forms of music?

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that "God didn't say not to use instrumental music"?

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that whatever God doesn't forbid by name is permissible in worship? This is strictly a worldly assumption based on man's desire to do as he pleases.

Using Dave's "logic," isn't it a sin to ADD instrumental music to God's explicit command about singing when explicit "permission" to use instruments in Christian worship is found NOWHERE in the New Testament? Informed readers will obviously see the total idiocy of Dave's "logic."

A change agent is synonymous with hypocrisy.
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Dave
Dave

March 4th, 2011, 10:32 pm #8

Seems pretty obvious that no church is perfect, yet we are also at a time where we see church after church falling away, going the way of Cain.

How can one determine; or more importantly, what does the Bible say? What makes a church "reasonably faithful" to the Words (Bible)/Word (Christ) of God and other churches totally apostate?
As a proponent of adding to the Word of God, William C. must be a legalist. Consider these questions:

Where does the New Testament explicitly permit man to take one of God's commands and ADD anything to that command so he can keep his preference in tact?

Specifically, where does the New Testament explicitly grant us permission to ADD a sin, such as instrumental music, which is nor never has ever been in God's Word? God's explicit command to sing and make melody in our hearts does not exclude singing AIDED by instruments? Playing a piano does keep a man from singing, now does it?

Where does the New Testament explicitly give us permission to "enhance" or "accompany" our singing with any other forms of music? It does not....neither does the NT give us such permission to "enhance" or "accompany" our singing with a PA system. The NT does give us guidance on orderly worship. PA systems and instruments can AID in a orderly worship.

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that "God didn't say not to use instrumental music-"?
It does not. Where does the NT explicitly grant us permission to add sins to the Word just because man believes he knows more than God? It does not. We live by His Words, and He tells us to sing. He doesn't tell give us guidance on singing, no more than He does on how we should GO and preach the Gospel. Does the Word authorize us to use the internet to preach His Word? No. Does God tell us to use four-part harmony to sing? No. Does God tell us to play the piano while we sing? No. Man wants to dictate those things he LIKES and DISLIKES. That is why he looks for loopholes in the Word so as to condemn want he doesn't like.

Where does the New Testament explicitly state that whatever God doesn't forbid by name is permissible in worship? For example, God did not name a piano nor a PA system. Why do we use them? To conduct an orderly worship, which God, through His servants, did speak of. So why do some people like a PA, but not a piano? PREFERENCE!!!
This is strictly a worldly preference based on man's desire to do as he pleases.

Using William's "logic," isn't it a sin to ADD to the Word of God by making instrumental music a sin where God has NOWHERE indicated such. Informed readers will obviously see the total idiocy of William's "logic."

A legalist is synonymous with hypocrisy.

William, did you edit your error of "TESTMENT" (sic) yet? If not, do it now. That way there will no record of it and no one prove it later on. Hey, I thought for sure that you used a spell check program? I know....you were just putting one in there to see if I would catch it. Yes Sireeeeee.....I did!!!
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

March 4th, 2011, 11:51 pm #9

Doesn't the New Testament tell us not to go above what is written in Scripture (1 Cor. 4:6)? Since the New Testament tells us to sing and make melody in our hearts, that sets the limits of the type of music that is to be used in worship. Must God be redundant and give an exhaustive list of everything that is forbidden? Man would require that of God, but God expects man to take Him at His Word and not go beyond it, especially regarding His explicit commands. If God gives a command, we sin if we add to, take from, or in any way alter that command to suit our own preferences. Therefore, abstaining from instrumental music is not adding a sin; it is complying with what God has already commanded. Those in rebellion do sin when they take it upon themselves to say, "The New Testament doesn't forbid instruments as such, so we may have them." As I said, that's an assumption on man's part, and it is a dangerous assumption. It assumes that God will accept IM because He doesn't explicitly forbid it by name, yet He has already specified what type of music we are to use in worship--vocal music. That should be sufficient for faithful Christians, but apparently it isn't for worldly people who want to ADD entertainment to their "worship." Had God simply said, "Praise Me with music," then we would have been free to use vocal music alone, IM alone, or a combination of the two. As it stands, God has told us to use vocal music. We sin if we go beyond that, yet the rebels crawl all over themselves trying to "justify" ways around that.

It's been argued time and again that incidentals like PA systems and kitchens in the church need no divine authority, because they do not clash with the Gospel of Christ in any way. God doesn't waste His time with such incidentals. Yet because God specifies vocal music, then IM DOES clash with one of God's explicit commands. Rebels argue that IM "enhances" or "accompanies" singing, so it is scripturally permissible. Again, that is man talking, not God. The New Testament does not mention anything about beefing up the singing by "enhancing" or "accompaning" it in any way. The melody is to be made in our hearts, not with man-made instruments.

We need divine authority to use additional forms of music in worship, because God explicitly addressed music. We do NOT need authority to use PA systems and other incidentals, because (1) they clash with neither the Gospel nor any of God's existing commands, and (2) God never issued any explicit commands about those incidentals. Therefore, to compare IM with PA systems and the like is to compare apples with oranges.
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Sonny
Sonny

March 5th, 2011, 2:49 am #10

Greetings to all brothers,

"Long time no see." I notice that the issue of IM is still alive and well in the Madison forums. Question for Brother Crump and/or Brother Cruz: Does the Madison C of C worship with instruments? If so, do you think the ten years of debate on here is helping the situation with the congregation? If not, why is the topic being addressed so much concerning this congregation?

Grace and peace,

-Sonny
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