John Waddey
John Waddey

January 26th, 2005, 7:46 am #31

<font size=4>PARABLE OF THE QUARRELSOME SHEPHERDS </font>
<font size=3 color=blue face=Times New Roman>Once there were three shepherds who pastured their flocks in a desolate area. They went their separate ways by day but each evening they sheltered their flocks in a common fold. Although all worked for a common master they did not get along very well. One was naturally cranky, another was a jealous sort, and the third was very sensitive and his feeling easily hurt. Each night when the sheep were in the fold the men would gather about a common fire, eat their food and talk. Unfortunately their conversations often turned fractious and bitter. One night their quarreling grew intense. As they shouted and threatened one another, wolves were sneaking ever closer to the darkened fold. The men came to blows, it was an awful sight. While they battled each other, the wolves saw their opportunity. They dashed into the fold tearing at the sheep and scattering them. They mad off with several of the lambs.

The next morning the owner came to check on his sheep. He was shocked and angry at what he found. His sheep were scattered. Many were wounded, others were dead. The shepherds were battered and bruised but not from protecting their sheep. They had exhausted themselves fighting each other. The owner was furious. They were driven from his presence as unfit to serve him.

And the teacher explained that the sheep are God’s people, the shepherds his preachers. The wolves are those who would lead the people into a new kind of faith and worship. He that hath an ear should give heed to the parable. </font>

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
<font size=4>PARABLE OF THE BIRDS</font>

<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>This morning while out for my bike ride, I came upon a fascinating scene. A group of ten or so black birds were in hot pursuit of a barn owl. The owl was as large as all ten of his pursuers. Taking them one at a time he could easily overpower, defeat and devour any one of them. But when faced with ten determined black birds, he could only flee, and that he did. Owls are carnivores. They like to raid the nests of other, weaker birds. Left unchallenged, the nestlings will be his meal. Parent birds have a natural instinct to protect their nest and its precious contents. Those who do not, lose their little ones to the predator.

So it is in the kingdom of Christ. Satan is the great predator. Like a roaring lion he walks about seeking whom he may devour (I Pet. 5:8). Look as you may, you won't see an actual lion or the typical artist's image of Satan. Peter uses a simile (as a roaring lion). Today Satan is sending his agents into congregations of God's people across the land to capture them or at least to snatch out those they can (Matt. 7:15).

The preachers of the change movement are like the big birds that prey on the nestlings. Many of them occupy stations in large, wealthy and influential churches. They use this advantage to influence and lead away those who are young, immature and untaught in the fundamentals of the faith. Also professors in those Christian universities that have embraced the change agenda are like the predator birds. They capture the hearts and minds of young students whom unsuspecting parents send their way. They send them home to spread the change message in the churches

The little birds are the hundreds of ordinary preachers who spend their days toiling in the vineyard of their local congregation. They have neither wealth, power nor high credentials but they love the church and God's people. They cannot sit idle and watch while the predators sweep in and snatch their brethren away from the simplicity and purity of the gospel (II Cor. 11:3). Alone, one small preacher might not be able to accomplish much, but working together with others, they can have enough force and influence to put to flight those who would harm the church.

I urge every man among us, be he young or old, whether he be plain or polished, to rise up to defend the church of the Lord Jesus. If we do nothing, great harm will surely follow. If we choose to act alone, we will find the odds insurmountable. But working together with and with God's help we can put an army of aliens to flight (Heb. 11:34).

"Dear Lord in heaven, please help us to be as wise as the lowly blackbirds which you have made. Give us the courage to resist those who would harm the bride of your Son. In Jesus' name." </font>

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Joined: January 3rd, 2005, 8:44 pm

February 2nd, 2005, 9:02 pm #32

Once upon a time, there were two high schools, named Right School 1 (RS 1) and Right School 2 (RS 2). For many years, both had rigidly followed the same no-nonsense, conservative curriculum as stipulated by the State Board of Education. For many years, upon completion of their high school education, the senior students took a Final Examination from the Board to see if they were qualified to graduate and thus lead useful lives in society. For many years, the curriculum had served the students well, for they had always passed the Final with highest honors.

Then shortly into the new school year, liberal faculty came into RS 2 and taught that the Board of Education’s age-old curriculum was vastly outmoded, irrelevant, boring, and that the time for CHANGE had come. As long as the students just had a “heart” for the Board, so said the faculty, the students need not follow the Board’s rigid requirements for graduation. So the faculty restructured the curriculum, changed the school’s name to “Left School,” and were proud to be known as progressive and contemporary. Now the students could pursue their own interests, such as the “study” of rock music, self-esteem, and anything that was fun, pleasurable, and “cool.” Daily homework assignments were cast aside, and whatever philosophies the students spouted or however abominably the students behaved was just fine with the faculty. In short, there were no longer any rules.

Meanwhile, RS 1 continued on as before. Yet when word soon spread about how “cool” Left School was, the faculty at RS 1 earnestly warned their students about the perils of such glitz and glitter and the “wide road to destruction.” But many of RS 1’s students unfortunately were led astray and transferred to the entertaining “curriculum” at Left School.

In time, senior students from both high schools faced the Final Examination. Predictably, those few remaining seniors at RS 1 passed with flying colors, and the President of the Board highly commended them and the faculty. Those from Left School failed miserably, however, and were cast out from decent society, as were the liberal teachers, who had polluted the curriculum with their own agenda.

And the teacher explained that the Board of Education is the Word of God, the New Testament, which has set forth specific commandments, the often-hard “curriculum” by which we must all live and abide. All doctrinal and worship elements not specified therein are neither authorized nor acceptable. The schools are churches, the teachers are the church leaders, and the students are church members. RS 1 chose to abide by the strict “curriculum” of the New Testament, and all connected therein passed the “Final Exam,” which is the Judgment of God. Left School chose false teachers and change agents (liberal church leaders) who perverted the “curriculum”; those connected therein did not pass the Judgment and were cast out from the presence of God, the President of the School Board.

He that hath an ear, let him hear.
The only question that will be asked on the "final exam" is if you know Jesus. These "parables" are just plain sad. Self righeousness attitudes like those displayed on this site are why so many seekers leave the church and never return. This all just breaks my heart.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

February 3rd, 2005, 12:00 am #33

By your reasoning, then, Satan and his legions will pass the "final exam," because they most certainly "know Jesus." Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. That means following His Word exactly to the letter and not deviating to the right or to the left. Is this being "self-righteous," to encourage others to obey Christ exactly as He commands? We have no authority to say that someone is going to Hell because they do this or that. But we are commanded to "preach the Gospel" and to state whether an act is authorized by God's Word or not. That's all we can do.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

February 3rd, 2005, 12:18 am #34

The only question that will be asked on the "final exam" is if you know Jesus. These "parables" are just plain sad. Self righeousness attitudes like those displayed on this site are why so many seekers leave the church and never return. This all just breaks my heart.
I was pretty sure that I saw a picture of you ladies in the Sodom Gazette. I thought maybe you could confirm:

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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

February 4th, 2005, 3:46 pm #35

<font size=4>PARABLE OF THE BIRDS</font>

<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>This morning while out for my bike ride, I came upon a fascinating scene. A group of ten or so black birds were in hot pursuit of a barn owl. The owl was as large as all ten of his pursuers. Taking them one at a time he could easily overpower, defeat and devour any one of them. But when faced with ten determined black birds, he could only flee, and that he did. Owls are carnivores. They like to raid the nests of other, weaker birds. Left unchallenged, the nestlings will be his meal. Parent birds have a natural instinct to protect their nest and its precious contents. Those who do not, lose their little ones to the predator.

So it is in the kingdom of Christ. Satan is the great predator. Like a roaring lion he walks about seeking whom he may devour (I Pet. 5:8). Look as you may, you won't see an actual lion or the typical artist's image of Satan. Peter uses a simile (as a roaring lion). Today Satan is sending his agents into congregations of God's people across the land to capture them or at least to snatch out those they can (Matt. 7:15).

The preachers of the change movement are like the big birds that prey on the nestlings. Many of them occupy stations in large, wealthy and influential churches. They use this advantage to influence and lead away those who are young, immature and untaught in the fundamentals of the faith. Also professors in those Christian universities that have embraced the change agenda are like the predator birds. They capture the hearts and minds of young students whom unsuspecting parents send their way. They send them home to spread the change message in the churches

The little birds are the hundreds of ordinary preachers who spend their days toiling in the vineyard of their local congregation. They have neither wealth, power nor high credentials but they love the church and God's people. They cannot sit idle and watch while the predators sweep in and snatch their brethren away from the simplicity and purity of the gospel (II Cor. 11:3). Alone, one small preacher might not be able to accomplish much, but working together with others, they can have enough force and influence to put to flight those who would harm the church.

I urge every man among us, be he young or old, whether he be plain or polished, to rise up to defend the church of the Lord Jesus. If we do nothing, great harm will surely follow. If we choose to act alone, we will find the odds insurmountable. But working together with and with God's help we can put an army of aliens to flight (Heb. 11:34).

"Dear Lord in heaven, please help us to be as wise as the lowly blackbirds which you have made. Give us the courage to resist those who would harm the bride of your Son. In Jesus' name." </font>

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Once upon a time, a group of pilgrims set sail on a long voyage for the Land of Promise. They sailed in a vast number of ships which had been constructed of the strongest timber by a master ship builder. Before they departed, the master ship builder had provided each captain with the precise course to follow and cautioned them that because the route was most hazardous, it was important for them to follow that very precise course and not stray from it. Only then would they reach their destination safely.

After several months at sea, many of the pilgrims grew restless. After all, the seas were initially calm, and off in the distance to either side were spectacular, white “islands” that promised adventure, excitement, and pleasure. Some of the captains also thought as much. “This trip is boring and not fun at all,” groaned many pilgrims. “Why can’t we do a little sightseeing? After all, the master ship builder didn’t FORBID that. Anything the master ship builder didn’t specifically forbid, we should have the FREEDOM to do! Are we to stand for being prisoners here?”

Yielding to pressure from the masses, many captains steered their ships toward the pleasure “islands,” while the few remaining ships kept on course. When the latter saw their comrades veering away, they hailed them and beckoned them to return to the precise course. The reply was a series of mocking epithets that included "self-righteous," "narrow-minded," "judgmental," and "Who are you to tell us what we shall do?"

As the disobedient ships approached the gorgeous “islands,” the pilgrims were treated to phenomenal entertainment and other pleasures, the likes of which they had never experienced. But fulfilling their own pleasures had blinded these pilgrims from seeing that the “islands” were in fact the tips of giant icebergs. Hidden beneath the sea, jagged ice slowly ripped gashes in the hulls of these ships, and they slowly took on water. Awakened from their “stupor,” some of these pilgrims realized that their very souls were in jeopardy. Repenting of having disobeyed the master ship builder, they quickly steered back on course and were able to make the necessary repairs, such that they eventually found the Land of Promise. The fate of the other disobedient ships was less fortunate, for these pilgrims remained obstinate about their “freedom” to do as they pleased. Instead of navigating back to the “narrow course” to salvation, they merely bailed water and sank with all souls on board.

The small remnant of those ships that had never strayed from course experienced their own perils in storms and gales, but their hulls remained intact because they had maintained faith in, and full obedience to, the master ship builder. They reached the Land of Promise most safely.

And the Teacher explained that the Land of Promise is Heaven, the master ship builder is Christ, the long voyage is life's journey, the ships are individual churches, the captains are church leaders, the pilgrims are church members, and the icebergs are the consequences of disobedience. Christ builds His churches from solid timber, the New Testament, and He has laid out an absolutely specific course for all Christians to follow in the New Testament. But when churches of the Change Movement lust for “freedom” and take it upon themselves to follow a different course from that which Christ laid out, their timber or foundations become weak, and most anything (the icebergs) that is not authorized in Scripture will rip them apart so that they ultimately sink, unless they return to Christ’s “narrow path” before it’s too late.

The Christian does have certain “freedoms”: the freedom to follow Christ’s precise course as He authorized in the New Testament, or the freedom to reject it and act according to his own initiatives and pleasures. Beyond this, the Christian has no “freedom.” After all, the Apostle Paul did not rashly speak when he called himself a servant of Christ (Rom. 1:1, Gal. 1:10, and elsewhere). Christians are “free” only from the Law of Moses, but they must submit entirely to the guidance and supervision of the New Testament, neither adding anything to it nor taking anything from it. We must not allow the Tempter to seduce us into believing that, “if the New Testament doesn’t forbid it, then do it.” This is second-guessing Christ, and the Tempter, fully knowing that, wants us to fall into this trap. Christians have no authority to go beyond what is specifically written and authorized in the New Testament.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

February 10th, 2005, 9:39 pm #36

Once upon a time, a small group of people followed the “narrow path” as set forth in the New Testament and were model Christians in their traditional church. In time, however, they felt that this way of life was too restrictive and desired more freedom to incorporate more pleasing innovations into worship. They conspired and, with a little effort, they persuaded the undiscerning members of their church to embrace the entertainment model of the Change Movement. They changed the church’s name to something more neutral, replaced the King James Bible with the latest, popular translation on the market, and shoved the old traditionalists out the door. They were FREE at last!

Not long after, the little group discovered to their disgust and horror an organization that, although it was not endorsed by any particular church, published materials that proclaimed adherence to the “narrow path”; in short, it represented all that the group despised. Unwilling that this seemingly arrogant organization should “rob” other Christians of their freedom to do as they pleased, the group launched an all-out attack against the organization with full confidence that they could infiltrate and overtake it as they had done with their own church. They sent letter after letter that bashed, condemned, and ridiculed everything for which the organization stood. The latter at first responded with strong, biblical rebuttals which only served to infuriate the group, who discovered that they could not prevail. When, after having sent a series of especially uncivil letters, the group received them back by return mail with a polite request that they never contact the organization again, the group shifted into high gear.

They next waged a personal war against the organization’s individual workers through a series of harassing emails that not only included strings of unkind epithets, but also promised them a sure and certain future in the pit of hell because of their allegedly judgmental, narrow-minded propaganda. (Oddly, although the group had accused the email recipients of judging, the group had freely condemned them to hell without batting an eye.) All that mattered was FREEDOM to worship according to the righteousness of their own eyes. Why couldn’t anyone in their right mind see that? To their dismay, the group received no responses, which prompted another series of scornful emails implying that the recipients were cowards, chickens, and too “afraid” to read the truth. Hardly afraid, the busy recipients realized that any further reasoning with such a fanatical, obsessed group would be completely futile and a source for endless arguments. Completely failing in their efforts here, the desperate group finally scraped together enough cash and launched their own organization to push their fanatical views on other undiscerning souls in direct retaliation against the “narrow-minded” organization.

And the Teacher explained that these actions are typical of those who are pathologically driven by the Change Movement. With rabid passion, they infiltrate and destroy traditional churches and other organizations with their own agenda; they openly spurn as “judgmental” and “narrow-minded” those who adhere to strict biblical doctrine; and they insist that “liberty in Christ” means “do as you please.” Though passages like Gal. 5:1 mention “liberty” (KJV), full context shows that Paul only refers to being free from the Law of Moses, as the succeeding verses in Gal. 5 stipulate. Nowhere does Paul indicate that being free in Christ grants a license to incorporate our personal fancies and fads into worship. Those who believe so are introducing man-made doctrine, which 2 John 9-11 sternly condemns. Only that which is specifically commanded and authorized in Scripture is suitable for worship, another principle which the Change Movement completely repudiates. We are known by the fruit that we produce (Matt. 7:15-20).
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

March 14th, 2005, 9:17 am #37

<font size=4>PARABLE OF THE QUARRELSOME SHEPHERDS </font>
<font size=3 color=blue face=Times New Roman>Once there were three shepherds who pastured their flocks in a desolate area. They went their separate ways by day but each evening they sheltered their flocks in a common fold. Although all worked for a common master they did not get along very well. One was naturally cranky, another was a jealous sort, and the third was very sensitive and his feeling easily hurt. Each night when the sheep were in the fold the men would gather about a common fire, eat their food and talk. Unfortunately their conversations often turned fractious and bitter. One night their quarreling grew intense. As they shouted and threatened one another, wolves were sneaking ever closer to the darkened fold. The men came to blows, it was an awful sight. While they battled each other, the wolves saw their opportunity. They dashed into the fold tearing at the sheep and scattering them. They mad off with several of the lambs.

The next morning the owner came to check on his sheep. He was shocked and angry at what he found. His sheep were scattered. Many were wounded, others were dead. The shepherds were battered and bruised but not from protecting their sheep. They had exhausted themselves fighting each other. The owner was furious. They were driven from his presence as unfit to serve him.

And the teacher explained that the sheep are God’s people, the shepherds his preachers. The wolves are those who would lead the people into a new kind of faith and worship. He that hath an ear should give heed to the parable. </font>

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
<font size=4>PARABLE OF THE UNHAPPY HUSBAND</font>

<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>When Jim married Betty he thought she was the sweetest girl in all the world. Through the eyes of love, all she was and all she did was beautiful.

But after a few years Jim's love began to wane. He began to see flaws in Betty he had not seen before. There were those extra pounds, strands of gray sprinkled in her hair, and that mole on her cheek. Her hair style was not very attractive and her taste in clothing left much to be desired. Her cooking was mediocre and her housekeeping no better. It eventually reached the point that nothing Betty did pleased him. Other women were much more appealing, much better suited to be wives.

Jim had two choices. He could make a clean break and leave Betty or he could stay and in his misery devote himself to criticizing her alleged shortcomings. Maybe he could force her into becoming like other women he admired. Jim wrestled with his choices. To leave would be embarrassing. What would family and friends say? It would cost him a bundle! So he elected to stay. In his misery he devoted himself to criticizing poor Betty's every move. He told his friends, neighbors and coworkers what a sorry wife she was. The more he put her down, the better he felt about himself. How could a man of his qualities and attainments have gotten saddled with such a poor wife?

Does this story sound vaguely familiar? Jim is a type of disaffected preachers who work among churches of Christ. They have become infatuated with the denominational churches they see about them. Betty represents the Lord's church. Like Jim, those unhappy preachers won't leave the church, so they dedicated themselves to belittling and badgering her hoping to change her so she will be like those denominational churches they so admire. They are as sorry preachers as Jim is husband, unworthy of the churches that employ them. </font>

_____________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

April 12th, 2005, 4:11 pm #38

Once upon a time, a gentle stranger approached a little hamlet along his walk in this world. From a distance, the hamlet seemed neat and clean, tidy and well kept. As the stranger entered, he first noticed a rather unpleasant odor in the air, then he noticed that on every street corner were people dressed in brilliant white robes. And each person was shouting orations and making proclamations most vehemently. As the stranger drew closer, he was able to hear more clearly what they were saying; from a distance, all he had heard was noise like clanging cymbals. And the closer he drew, the more apparent that a foul, overwhelming stench was coming directly from each of these shouting people who were dressed so elegantly in white robes.

And it came to pass that the stranger discovered that each of these shouting people were boasting and bragging about their qualifications to enter a Kingdom of Paradise. And not only were they boasting and bragging, but at the same time they were berating and belittling their fellow citizens, vowing with much glee that these latter would certainly fail to make the “cut.”

“I go out into the glens, woods, and forests, and I bring them in,” gloated one boaster. “I fast twice a week, and I give tithes!” He continued, “I observe the Lord’s Supper on additional days of the week than just Sunday. Moreover, I am completely ecumenical, for I embrace all religions, unlike you pathetic once-a-weekers! I burn sacrifices on Passover, Yom Kippur, and Purim. How many of you sinners would ever burn incense to Buddha like I do, make a pilgrimage to worship Mohammed at Mecca, and even bathe in the Holy Ganges River in homage to Hindu gods, as I recently have done? The spirit of all religions and gods is in me, for I do the will of the gods. I am a holy apostle and prophet! Compared to ME, all of you are DUNG! All hail to ME!”

Reeling from this tirade, the stranger next witnessed someone with a different “message”: “You others put forth your own personal preferences as divine principles. All I have to do is listen to my priest -- she tells me what I need to know. She has absolved me of all sin. You all are nothing but a bunch of judgmental assholes, and I will most gladly see you burn in hell!”

The stranger quickly passed this man and went on to another. All he heard was, “You’re a mean-spirited S.O.B.,” and that was enough for him. And so it was with all the orators in the hamlet.

And the stranger hurried out of town as fast as he could, for he had discerned that the town was corrupt. Though the citizens were clothed in “holy” apparel and were sure of their own salvation, they reeked of the decay and rot of pride, self-aggrandizement, impenitence, hypocrisy, and hatred for their neighbor. Not one of them was worthy to enter the Kingdom of Paradise.

And the Teacher explained that the gentle stranger is Christ, Who passes in Spirit among His creation day in and day out. The stinking orators are those who outwardly profess kinship with Him but in whose hearts the spirit of unspeakable evil resides. He that hath an ear, let him hear (Matt 23:27-28).


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Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

April 13th, 2005, 12:41 am #39

BBB
A display such as this hurts all that we (I) stand for.

In Christian Love,

Jimmy
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

April 21st, 2005, 3:48 pm #40

Once upon a time, a gentle stranger approached a little hamlet along his walk in this world. From a distance, the hamlet seemed neat and clean, tidy and well kept. As the stranger entered, he first noticed a rather unpleasant odor in the air, then he noticed that on every street corner were people dressed in brilliant white robes. And each person was shouting orations and making proclamations most vehemently. As the stranger drew closer, he was able to hear more clearly what they were saying; from a distance, all he had heard was noise like clanging cymbals. And the closer he drew, the more apparent that a foul, overwhelming stench was coming directly from each of these shouting people who were dressed so elegantly in white robes.

And it came to pass that the stranger discovered that each of these shouting people were boasting and bragging about their qualifications to enter a Kingdom of Paradise. And not only were they boasting and bragging, but at the same time they were berating and belittling their fellow citizens, vowing with much glee that these latter would certainly fail to make the “cut.”

“I go out into the glens, woods, and forests, and I bring them in,” gloated one boaster. “I fast twice a week, and I give tithes!” He continued, “I observe the Lord’s Supper on additional days of the week than just Sunday. Moreover, I am completely ecumenical, for I embrace all religions, unlike you pathetic once-a-weekers! I burn sacrifices on Passover, Yom Kippur, and Purim. How many of you sinners would ever burn incense to Buddha like I do, make a pilgrimage to worship Mohammed at Mecca, and even bathe in the Holy Ganges River in homage to Hindu gods, as I recently have done? The spirit of all religions and gods is in me, for I do the will of the gods. I am a holy apostle and prophet! Compared to ME, all of you are DUNG! All hail to ME!”

Reeling from this tirade, the stranger next witnessed someone with a different “message”: “You others put forth your own personal preferences as divine principles. All I have to do is listen to my priest -- she tells me what I need to know. She has absolved me of all sin. You all are nothing but a bunch of judgmental assholes, and I will most gladly see you burn in hell!”

The stranger quickly passed this man and went on to another. All he heard was, “You’re a mean-spirited S.O.B.,” and that was enough for him. And so it was with all the orators in the hamlet.

And the stranger hurried out of town as fast as he could, for he had discerned that the town was corrupt. Though the citizens were clothed in “holy” apparel and were sure of their own salvation, they reeked of the decay and rot of pride, self-aggrandizement, impenitence, hypocrisy, and hatred for their neighbor. Not one of them was worthy to enter the Kingdom of Paradise.

And the Teacher explained that the gentle stranger is Christ, Who passes in Spirit among His creation day in and day out. The stinking orators are those who outwardly profess kinship with Him but in whose hearts the spirit of unspeakable evil resides. He that hath an ear, let him hear (Matt 23:27-28).

No doubt every minister can relate various instances when people come up to him after services and say, “You aimed that sermon directly at me, and I resent that!” All the minister had done was prepare a sermon about this or that sin or misdeed, preach the Bible’s stance about it, then admonish his congregation to refrain from such practice. The person complaining only served to admit his sin or misdeed and add impenitence to his charge!

And so it is with this thread, “Parables Concerning the Church and the Change Agents.” Each of these parables focuses upon a spiritually depraved character who is determined to ignore the New Testament’s guidelines for righteous living and worship, or do his very best to circumvent them in preference for CHANGE. This is the motive of the Change Movement. All names herein are fictional. But if you read these parables and are able to identify with one or more of the characters presented, then realize that something in your life is, as my late high school principal once put it, “BAD WRONG!” Instead of blustering, fuming, and searching for the tar and feathers, get off your duff and examine yourself to see if you are really on track with the Scriptures in every way!

Since Christ thought it wise to teach via parables, this thread follows the same example. But parables are offensive to those in rebellion against Christ. For example, when I was a student at David Lipscomb (then) College years ago, I discussed a biblical topic with my girlfriend at the time, who was also a Lipscomb student. When I made reference to one of Christ’s parables, to my great surprise, she scoffed with, “That’s just a parable!” She was not about to accept anything that Christ taught in that manner, because to her, parables were nothing but fairy tales, FABLES if you will. While Christ’s parables had fictional story lines, the spiritual truths He presented were everlasting and profound. Out intent is the same in presenting these Change Movement parables. The discerning will see clear examples of whom and what to “mark and avoid” (Romans 16:17 KJV). The change agents will see reflections of themselves, their unbiblical deeds, and their unscriptural theology. Both sides should find these parables suitable learning tools.
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