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Section 19.. Statement of Faith

 

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I am afraid that I am not at all convinced of the value of an ‘official’ Statement of Faith which can, and usually does, leave out as much as it puts in. Many ministries have carefully crafted statements of faith that sound like they could have been penned by the archangel Michael himself. However, sites and blogs (whether attached to ministries or churches, or run by individuals) often present teachings that flatly contradict Scripture but, at the same time, do not definitively contradict their declaration of faith (which should have ended with the words and then some). In other words, most statements of faith do not tell you what they believe about any number of controversial topics.

Bearing this in mind we prefer to list what we DO NOT BELIEVE, which can be substituted with “THE BIBLE DOES NOT TEACH”. And, if that sounds arrogant, it is not meant to be. If no one can, by going to the Scriptures, find the truth, then God has given us useless book.

Please Note: that I did not begin this ‘project’ with any preconceived ideas. I was raised Catholic and that’s about the only doctrine I knew anything about. I had no denominational teaching, predetermined ideas, or presuppositions to defend. We are also not church goers for very good reasons, which you should read HERE before you decide that we must be poor Christians indeed. Also, regarding the “command” to assemble together, please read the footnote on Hebrews 10:25.

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God, The Bible and Christianity
We DO NOT believe that all religions are valid paths to the same destination, that Jesus was just a good man and a wise teacher. He was, and is, God Almighty whose return isn’t far away. (See Section on  Jesus).

We DO NOT believe in the traditional concept of the trinity (one God, who exists as three distinct, but equal, Persons). Although the Bible definitively points to a plurality in the Godhead, there isn’t a shred of evidence that the Holy Spirit is the 'third person of the trinity... a co-equal member of the Godhead. In fact the evidence against, is 1000 times stronger. ”Proof” for the trinity is usually furnished in translations based on preconceived biases (The Holy Spirit is not a “He” in the Greek), verses that do nothing but list Father, Son and Spirit etc. etc.  Pl note that challenging the doctrine of the Trinity does not mean challenging the Divinity of Christ or the Divinity of the Holy Spirit. (See The Trinity and The Deity of Christ)

We DO NOT believe that there are any discrepancies or errors in the Bible nor that it has been changed over the years. The Bible is the Divine and final authority for the Christian faith, life and on all matters on which it speaks. (See Section A Remarkable Book Called The Bible)

The Church
We DO NOT believe in the modern church which has drifted so far from the original blueprint, that there is little resemblance between what takes place now, and what took place when James headed up the church in Jerusalem, and Paul was busy planting churches and training new believers. If you actually read your Bible you will realize that "church" does not mean the organization, run by ordained clergy, that conducts religious ceremonies in brick and mortar buildings down the road. In fact, "clergy" as a body of ordained religious practitioners does not exist in the New Testament. There were no separate Pastors and Bishops in the early church, and a "deacon" was the same as a "minister"... a servant, or one who serves, not someone in a fancy hat. Much to the contrary, the New Testament teaches that gathering together with other Christians is to be a participatory and interactive event, where each person uses his God given spiritual gifts for the benefit, or building up, of the congregation as a whole. Finally, if you consider that the New Testament Christians meetings were never called a "worship service", simply because they did not gather together for corporate worship (nor to hear a sermon), one is forced to the tragic conclusion that much of the modern church has little or no idea why it exists at all, or what it is meant to do. Much less how the meetings are supposed to be structured and who they are supposed to be led by. The Church... Then and Now


Original Sin and Predestination
We DO NOT believe in Original Sin, since it is not only absurd, but plain superstition to believe that we sinned in Adam thousands of years before we were even born. Sin is not substance or a virus or anything physical. It does not live or have personality, therefore cannot be transmitted from person to person. Sin is a immoral choice made by the sinner, that transgresses God's law. Apart from the sinner who makes the choice, then commits the act, sin does not exist. (See Section on Original Sin)

We DO NOT believe that there is any logical nor Biblical reason why a sovereign God, by His own sovereign design, could not allow creatures made in His image the freedom of genuine moral choice. (See Section on Predestination)


Salvation
We DO NOT believe in today’s bumper sticker theology that says, "Smile, God Loves You!", which is a deception of gargantuan proportions. Do not be fooled by the watered down Gospel message of “just “believe and be saved”, heard in so many churches today. Whether you are inside or outside the church, you are vastly deluded is you are confusing God's forbearance with His approval. Please note that there is not a single case in the book of Acts where anyone preaching the gospel told an unsaved audience that God loved them. Rather, the Biblical preachers warned their audiences that God did not approve of them, that they were in danger, and that they needed to make dramatic changes in their lives. Today’s powerless, sickly sweet, sentimental Easy Christianity has chosen to babble on and on about the goodness and love of God, but totally ignore (to our peril) His wrath and judgment. (See The Wrath of God)

What you believe about Biblical repentance is, quite literally, a matter of life or death. On innumerable occasions, the Scriptures record God as warning that He will only have mercy on those whose repentance is real, but will destroy those who do not repent and turn from their sin.

Also, if you are trusting in the fact that in the past you raised your hand, walked an aisle, or signed a card, your faith is misplaced. Acknowledging Jesus merely as Savior is insufficient. If you have not enthroned Christ as Lord, and do not defer to Him as King, you cannot possibly attain salvation. Look at it this way... why Jesus would want anyone in His kingdom when they show no allegiance to Him as King and do not bother to obey Him, which means they have, in effect, rejected His Sovereign authority. The Biblical way to salvation is to see Jesus Christ as not only savior, but also as Lord. To pledge to obey Him as best you can the rest of your life. [See Sin, Repentance and Salvation on This Page]

We DO NOT believe that the Atonement is complete. In addressing believers, the New Testament sometimes says that their salvation is an accomplished fact but, at other times, says it is still in the future. This seeming contradiction is not limited to salvation alone, but applies to other topics of crucial importance… justification, redemption, glorification, and adoption. Many Christians have tried to reconcile these statements according to their beliefs that you are already completely saved but, as is so often the case, much speaking is used to explain the unexplainable, usually resulting in a totally unconvincing patch up job. Let’s get down to brass tacks… an event cannot be both past and future, so either the authors of the New Testament were talking through their collective hats, or what we believe does not entirely square with what the Bible says. (See The Two Phase Atonement) Therefore it should be quite obvious that...

We DO NOT believe that someone who does not persevere in the faith and does not continue to be obedient to the will of God will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Much as you would like to believe otherwise..... If you fall away and live in sin... you will NOT be saved. However it is not necessarily true that every believer who commits any sin, will lose his salvation every time he sins. (See Eternal Security .. aka Once Saved, Always Saved)

We DO NOT believe that Christianity is simply a matter of reciting the sinners prayer nor that anyone who has once believed is saved regardless of what they do afterwards. Salvation came to us at a great price and without holiness no one will see heaven. Subordinating all worldly and personal ambitions to Him is the very essence of the Christian faith. (See Myth of Faith Alone and Holiness)

We DO NOT believe in  Inclusivism or Universalism. (See Page A Question of Salvation).


Baptism and Tongues
We DO NOT believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. However all believers must be baptized, it is an integral part of the Gospel. (See Baptism)

We DO NOT believe that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, nor that everyone speaks in tongues. (See Third Entry in Section The Contemporary Church below)


The Future
We DO NOT believe that the book of Revelation describes the "end of the world". Far from being the territory of the lunatic fringe, Revelation is the only sure hope we have today.. the capstone of all God's promises about the world to come. While there is no question that much is the book is not pleasant, your future, mine and the future of all of humanity depends on those promises”. Certainly, no one can understand God’s purpose for history apart from the study of Biblical prophecy. Besides which, popular, prophetic schemes that pander to Easy Christianity (“Don’t worry, we’ll all be out of here before the tribulation starts”) are a tremendous disservice to God’s people who will not be prepared when the church starts experiencing serious persecution. and when God’s wrath falls on this planet. (See Section The Future)

We DO NOT believe in a vague Heaven somewhere out there, which is based more on endless cartoons of people with wings standing around on white clouds strumming harps, than what Scripture says. Christians who believe they will spend an eternity in "heaven", seem to have little or no idea where this heaven is, what it will look like, or what they will do there. Either they have fleeting, half formed ideas about some ethereal place, or resort to pious phrases that amount to little more than spiritual gobbledy gook. If this is the best we can do then then it is little wonder that atheists and non Christians are not in the slightest bit interested in our "heaven", and Christians themselves so rarely seem to look forward to the coming of the day of God. Luckily the Bible isn't at all silent on on where "heaven" is and, even more importantly, what it will be like. In fact, the Bible's description of the coming kingdom is far, far, more practical, and a lot less sanctimonious, than that of our theologians. (See What And Where is Heaven)

We DO NOT believe in the traditional view of Hell. The doctrine of the duration of Hell has been so strongly held through so many years of Christianity that it is assumed that it has always been a core doctrine of the church. The fact is that there is a distinct absence of a clear cut and fully developed teaching in the New Testament which is why took the Christian community hundreds of years to come up with a consensus on the issue.. Besides which since most modern challenges have come from the cults, a person who dares to question the traditional viewpoint runs the risk of being labeled a cultist (even a cursory glance at this page should show we are far from cultists). However, the deeper one delves into the subject the less persuasive the argument in favor of the traditional view become. Over and over again, Christians routinely go through some astounding verbal and theological gymnastics to take the word death, and make it mean eternal ‘life’ in hell, then take the word “perish” and make it mean "never perish". However, it is totally pointless to embark on a investigation unless one is prepared to set aside one's denominational presuppositions, and other biases, and rely strictly on what the Word says. This seems to be easier said than done for many, if not most, Christians. (See What And Where is Hell)


The Contemporary Church
We DO NOT believe in The Contemporary Church which is light on doctrine and heavy on music and drama. Nor do we believe in many of the ‘Christian’ Courses being pushed today which, when looked at closely, contain many worldly concepts that run counter to God's Word. The only Purpose That Should Drive is to live holy lives and to present the clear message of the gospel to an unbelieving world.

We DO NOT believe that today’s popular feel good revivals are genuine. Uncontrollable laughter and animal noises may be new to the church world, but the occult has known such phenomena for a long time. The comparison between the experiences of Toronto/Brownsville/Lakeland and the occult belief in Kundalini is extremely disturbing. If we wish to see the ‘power’ of our God we only have to read the first chapter of Genesis or go outdoors at night and look up at the sky. In any case the test of true revival is that it changes the moral climate of a community. Cheap parlor tricks are satanic imitations (Next Paragraph).. (See Sections on Counterfeit Revivals and  Genuine Revival).

We DO NOT believe in Slain In The Spirit/Holy Laughter/Having Convulsions, Babbling Gibberish (called “speaking in tongues”, Walking Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer. Nor do we believe in The Prosperity Doctrine, or that Physical Healing is included in the Atonement. Our wholesale sale adoption of these doctrines and practices DIRECTLY derived from the occult have forfeited us any right we had to call ourselves the body of Christ. The allure of receiving some form of deeper spiritual experience has deceived countless millions into accepting demonic counterfeits.  Remember the verses in Scripture that speak of The “Falling Away” when some will give “Heed to Deceiving Spirits And Doctrines Of Demons? Well THAT DAY IS ALREADY HERE, and the man of sin isn’t far behind. (See The Modern Church’s Literal Doctrines and Practices of Demons)

We DO NOT believe in the rest of the schtick invented by the wolves among us... The new Self Esteem ideas, that Jesus was reborn in hell, that man is or ever will be a god, nor that every person and his brother is “anointed”.  (See A Smorgasbord of Fictitious Doctrine)

We DO NOT believe in the Emerging Church, which is, in many cases, is doing little but re-merging with Catholicism and adopting practices learned from Buddhism and Hinduism. Also See Brian McLaren... What Christianity has come to

We DO NOT believe in miserably sad books like Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life that  is based on a plethora of questionable Bible versions that actually alter the meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek text. Additionally PDL presents a shallow incomplete gospel that cannot save, introduces readers to at least one well known New Age leader, and quotes Catholic Mystic Henri Nouwen whose ideas derived, at least in part, from other religions and the mysticism of the east. It also quotes Madame Guyon who very likely indulged in automatic writing (writing produced by a spiritual, occult, or subconscious agency). What you will find in PDL... a wide variety of, potentially, very destructive people, ideas, and practices, and the deliberate and blatant twisting of Biblical text taken to a whole new level. On the other hand, any mention of repentance, discernment, and holiness are glaringly absent from a book that claims to be the "Windows system of the 21st-century church."

We DO NOT believe that the church is going to establish dominion over the earth as taught in Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God and related theologies. (including Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology, Progressive Revelation, Revival/Harvest, Joel’s Army, Replacement Theology, Post-Millennial Eschatology, Territorial Warfare, Ecumenism, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, Jubilee/Feast of Tabernacles, the Post-denominational Church and on and on ad nauseam). (See Section Dominion Theology)


The Occult
We DO NOT believe that Christians should be playing footsie with New Age beliefs, Theosophy,  walking Labyrinths or indulging in mystical practices. Contemplative Prayer is a far cry from what the Bible teaches about prayer. It goes beyond thought and words leading to an altered state of consciousness, which is supposed to provide an experiential union with ‘God’, which is just so much tosh, since there is not one, not two, but seven common themes of mysticism between Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu and American agnostic mystical experiences. 

We DO NOT believe that there is any such thing as Christianized Yoga. Although most westerners are under the impression that the sole purpose of Hatha Yoga, the form of yoga most commonly taught in the west, is to build a strong and flexible body,, what we should never forget is that the sole purpose of yoga was to experience spiritual enlightenment... the bodily poses (asanas) are but the beginning of the journey, intended to be a preparation of the body for physical purification, ultimately works towards the awakening of the goddess kundalini

We DO NOT believe that a Christian should have anything to do with Halloween, astrology, dowsing, ouija boards, Reiki, Shamanism, people who claim to communicate with the dead, (See Section The Occult) the likes of Harry Potter or any other kind of psychic phenomena, which includes books like A Course In Miracles (dictated by ectoplasmic fiends from hell), The Secret, New Earth, The Chicken Soup series and on and on Ad Nauseum. (See Section The New Age)

We DO NOT believe that any Christian should watch anything remotely connected with spirituality on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah is rightly called the “The High Priestess of The New Age” and America’s most dangerous woman. With her New Age classrooms on satellite radio, and now on the Internet, she apparently feels an urgency to teach everyone how to “awaken” and make the “shift” to the “Christ” within.

We DO NOT believe that any Christian should be running around calling the Dalai Lama “Your Holiness”, as some of our ‘Christian’ pastors have been known to do. There is much more to him than meets the eye.


Social
We DO NOT believe that Homosexuality is just an alternative lifestyle and that Abortion, and Divorce are simply a matter of a choice. (God abhors all three).

We DO NOT believe that people should be playing god. Euthanasia, Cloning and Stem cell research, among other things, should be strongly opposed by all Christians.


Miscellaneous
We DO NOT believe that the sign gifts have been done away with, but nor do we believe that every third person is a prophet. Furthermore we do not believe in New Revelation but that God has and does sometimes give special revelation to accomplish His purposes. (See Cessationism)

We DO NOT believe that children’s Scriptural knowledge should be left up to Sunday School and Youth Groups, too many of whom are dedicated to having fun. “They are too young to understand such things” is the devil’s argument to deter parents from discharging their duty. (See Train a Child)

We DO NOT believe that women should not preach and teach. (However it does seem to be perfectly clear that women should not be pastors) The Scriptures that are referenced to support this view are not quite as clear cut as is commonly thought. Please read the articles before you vilify us. We didn’t make it up. (See Section Women in The Church)

We DO NOT believe in the New Ecumenism, nor that it is a good idea for a Christian to be a member of the Masonic Lodge.

We DO NOT believe that the Prayer of Jabez is a magic formula or that the so-called Bible codes are anything but random chance.

 

And Just to Vary the Format...
We DO believe that the New Age has positioned itself to shortly usher in the antichrist. While the concept of a coming world teacher who sets up a Golden Age on earth can be found in many world religious systems as well as in the literature of the occult, in recent years more and more influential New Age thinkers have spoken about, and are working towards a soon to come “Planetary Pentecost” (Other buzz words include shift, awakening, transition, transformation, global or universal consciousness, rethinking, re-imagining and a New Earth, with the so called church echoing the terminology). Occultists and, many New Agers believe that there is a new age dawning and the present phase of human existence is one of transition. While they are wrong about the details and will probably not like the final results very much, they know the Maitreya, the "Lord of the World" also known as "Sanat Kumara" is on his way.

But the church that should be prepared is doing little but running around to conferences, reading up on the latest (usually nonsensical) Christian book, and coming up with ‘Christianized’ versions of venturing into areas strictly forbidden in Scripture. It is a tragedy of epic proportions that the New Agers are, in a sense, more prepared than the church. Although wrong... at least they are awake. (See Section The New Age)

 

Footnote on Hebrews 10:24-25

    And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near

One of the largest problems in the professing church today is how the Scriptures are interpreted. Either they are being wrested from their context and used to convey whatever meaning the speaker/author wishes them to convey or, based on preconceived ideas, we are reading more into the text than what the words say.

CONTEXT: In previous chapters the author of Hebrews has been arguing the superiority of the New Covenant. Verse 19 begins with the word therefore which means he is about to base his conclusions on what he has said before. Verses 22, 23, and 24 all begin with the words "let us".

    Let us draw near with a true heart ..."; "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope..."; " Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

The people could not stir up love and good works" in one another unless they met together. Besides which, there is a good chance that a believer who does not stay connected can fall away from the faith… therefore Paul was exhorting new believers to stay close. This was not a Divine commandment, but a very good idea.

AVOIDING PRESUMPTIONS : So what does the text say? The verse in question simply says assembling together. It says nothing about worship, nothing about services and nothing about a church. It does not specify the time, place, and frequency of the assembling together. Therefore we cannot transform “assembling together” into attending church services every Sunday... ANY Christian meetings or gatherings at any time would satisfy the instruction.

Certainly we need to meet together with other Christians but this does NOT means meeting together every Sunday with anyone who happens to call themselves Christians, but who’s practices do not conform to Biblical teachings, and in church services that are NOT conducted according to the pattern laid out in the New Testament. The church has drifted so far from the original blueprint, that there is little resemblance between what takes place now, and what took place when James headed up the church in Jerusalem. See The Church... Than And Now. Also what most Christian do not realize is that Christians are commanded to separate themselves from those who teach, and practice, false doctrine. See Fraternizing With the Enemy

The ‘Day of The Lord’ is approaching very very fast and the people we are supposed to be assembling with are snoring on the porch.

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