Thursday, July 16, 2009

Orthodox Inadequacy

Eastern orthodoxy has been seen in history as a fringe of Christianity; though by their name they claim the true and mainstream faith of history. As a Baptist many of my critiques towards this massive and secretive society have already been made of sacramental institutions of Lutheranism, Anglicanism and of course Roman Catholicism. The Orthodox Church is typically a mystery in the sense that throughout history it has played both the ultimate villain and the ultimate victim. The attacks from the Orthodox Church can only be rivaled by the attacks to the Orthodox churches. The tradition is a combination of Catholicism, Middle East culture, Platonism and New Testament Christianity. I think we must first understand the truth of the orthodoxy history in order to truly reveal the nature of this religious creature.
Orthodox tradition: The Eastern Orthodox Church must be understood by it’s tradition if it can be understood at all we shall view it all.
On the positive end:
Eastern orthodoxy prefers to draw and stay faithful to a more ancient form of Christianity than the Roman Catholic counter parts. Greeks Worship in Greek the language of the New Testament. They practice immersion as their form of baptism. With the exception of a few important verses they were able to preserve the New Testament to near perfection. The orthodox held most of the original apostolic churches from which the Apostles did their missions in the first century. The orthodox also are governed in a system focuses on the college of all major bishops with no one pope and typically the national churches are independent of each other. The Eastern orthodox have also taken great pains to keep their faith against some of the most dangerous forces in history whether it be, Roman Catholics (crusades and inquisition), Islam, or Communism.

On the negative side
Eastern orthodoxy is in many ways a Roman Catholic system. It is a sacramental church, it is a state church. It has pagan roots and persecutes New Testament Christianity. Eastern orthodoxy claims both the Antioch and Alexandrine tradition. Yet the Church lost it’s Antioch descendents to the sway of Alexandrines long ago.
The Alexandrine church is of a dubious origin. They claim Mark as their apostle and yet have little if any historical link or testimony. It appears more likely that the city just had few nominal Christians from Israel and later formed the Alexandrine school. The Alexandrine school was a group of neo-platonic philosophers who had adopted the Christian worldview. In the first century they had already had a Jewish neo-platonic philosopher named “Philo”. This school was started by a man named Clement of Alexandria. Clement proclaim Christianity to be the true gnosticism. Clement began a process of interpretation known as allegory. Whereby, he would reinterpret problematic passages. Of course all these interpretations would conform the text to his neo-platonic philosophy.
Then came the next schoolmaster Origen; Origen would continue the process called syncretism, whereby an alternative religion would conform to the mainstream religion of the country. The Alexandrine texts of scriptures were not surprisingly filled with verse cut out of them. In fact the 2 major manuscripts codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus disagree with each other in over 3,000 places! The Alexandrine church was the birth place for the majority of heresies concerning the doctrine of God. Origen was hailed as a hero for some actions, like defending the faith against an unbeliever named Celsus. However, Origen would wander into heretical waters over and over again. Such as: universalism, the salvation of the Devil, subordinationist, reincarnation etc.
The Alexandrine School would argue with the school of Antioch. Antioch took the scriptures more literally. Specifically there was a great deal of argument over the nature of Christ. The Alexandrine School stressed the heresy of apollynarianism. They believed that Christ was God but not full in his humanity. The antiochans fought to keep a balanced view yet eventually there was a Bishop by the name of Nestorius. The Alexandrines sent spies to find a way to trip up the Bishop. Finally they found an opening when Nestorious would insist that the Lyric of hymn refer to Mary as the Mother of Christ as opposed to the Mother of God. This was so Mary would not be look upon as an idol mother of God. Yet the bishop Cyril accused him of preaching two Christ (human and deity). Nestorius denied this and tried to explain this, however he used a bad metaphor in a letter to Cyril describing the flesh and deity as married. Based upon this one bad illustration Cyril conspired with Rome and had Nestorius branded a heretic and kick out of Constantinople. Nestorius recanted his illustration to no avail. However his followers would take the gospel eastward and spread missionaries to Arabia, India, Mongolia and China.
The Alexandrines would then control the Eastern Church from there. They would also squelch all dissenters. One New Testament Church that felt the wrath of the east was the Paulicans. The Paulicans were name sop because of there stress upon Pauline theology and emulation of Paul as a missionary. (Pastors would name themselves after missionaries in Paul’s journeys; congregations would name themselves after churches founded by Paul)
But the Eastern orthodox churches would have to suffer for their deeds. God allowed them to be persecuted by the Muslims and then the Catholics. Then by the Muslims again and finally by the Communist. (Though the Egyptian Coptic, and other orthodox have been persecuted by Islamic terrorist). Today many Russian orthodox, as well as other orthodox starting to regain some political control. They are using their political capitol on persecuting the spread of Evangelical Christianity. (go figure.)

Theological issues:

A. God who?
The three most commonly accepted distortions of God among the orthodox are the subordination of the Word and the Holy Spirit to the father. The whole of Christianity has always accepted a submission of the Son and Spirit to the Father, Yet the Godhead has always been equal in recognition of the fact that there is one God. There a verse (the only text difference from the Byzantine and received text) which clearly illustrates this equality.
1Jo 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Yet the East typically rejects this leading into paganism.
Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all
While there may be three persons in the godhead there is only one God or being.

B. What authority?
The Orthodox consider the Bible to be not authoritative over the church but one of many traditions within the church. Tradition is the ruling factor behind the Eastern religion. Not only do the orthodox not base their religion upon the Bible but they do not base upon the teachings of the Church fathers either. You will be hard pressed to ever find a systematic theology published among them. The orthodox religion uses some scripture, history, bishops and the ecumenical creeds. But it will not change since it takes all the Bishops simultaneously to do so.
The Bible teaches otherwise. Traditions can not take the place of scripture.
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Tit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

C. The Canon issue
While the Eastern Church had great grasp of the New Testament it had little understanding of the OT. In fact, different nations have different canons of the OT. It is loosly based on the LXX yet it adds even more to the canon. This mixed of man’s word and God’s Word is disgraceful causes a massive confusion. This separates Christianity from its Jewish roots. The preservation of the OT canon of scripture is clearly the responsibility of the Jews.
Rom 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
The Jews have preserved the Old Testament in the Masoretic text. The OT text of the Reformation.

D. The issue of Sin
Eastern orthodoxy has been most excepting of an idea based on the teacher/monk Pelagius. Pelagianism denies the doctrine of original sin. It argues that Man is basically good based on being created in the image of God. It assumes that men could theoretically become perfect, though we are weak to the temptations of the devil.
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Rom 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
The Bible is very clear on this issue, all mankind is born in sin. Therefore we must approach God as sinners in need of a savior.

E. Godliness or God complex
2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
This is the proof text used for the Eastern orthodox doctrine of Deification. Now typically, the Eastern ministers do not teach that through the process of sacraments we become god-like. However this passage is focused only on our moral godliness, our nature doesn’t change outside of that.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We may in our glorification become more god-like in nature, but this life has no such promises. Then again other groups have used this passage to insist on deification.
Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
However if look at the context, the subject is the title of God and not the nature.
Joh 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
The Jews are arguing that Jesus is not allowed to proclaim himself the Messiah. This is a ludicrous charge since Isaiah proclaimed the Deity of the Messiah.
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Also if we look at the passage Jesus quotes it indicates the title of deity and not the nature.
Psa 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Psa 82:7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psa 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
How do gods die like men? Answer: they were kings who claimed the authority of God.
We can not God through rituals. The only means is by the grace of Christ in our hearts.
Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Heb 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Heb 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Heb 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
If the Old Testament sacrifices had so little power. How could earthly elements make you deity?

F. Eastern orthodox idol
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
The eastern orthodox have a similar practice to the Roman Catholics in which they make images of the saints and appear as if to worship them. They however argue that the only images they use are two dimensional and therefore not graven, So they conclude they do not commit idolatry.
Deu 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
Deu 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
Deu 4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,
Deu 4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
Deu 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
While the sun moon and stars are three-dimensional objects the ancient eye can only perceive them in two-dimensions.
Besides it is senseless to believe the difference between good and evil lies in the differences between a picture and a statue.
Some argue that this was simply the Old Testament
1Jo 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Another point to be made is regarding the nature of idolatry. Idolatry is involved with actions not the acknowledgement of another God.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Act 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
Act 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Lev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
Lev 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
Lev 10:3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

If you were raised in this tradition, you must remember that we are a part of the family of God by Faith.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Remember the Bible's clear teaching that faith in Christ is the only way to Heaven.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
In Christ,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baptist Blunders

Some may have gotten the misconception that if I am unafraid to critique other denominations that I must assume that my tradition is not worth critiquing, however I was only seeking the best for last. On paper Baptist are typically the New Testament Church. Yet the devil has attacked many times, and taken that potential, through using lesser false teachings which so often mask others from the truth of the gospel. Believe me the Baptist have had many faults before the Lord as well as many apostasies. These are only a few. Baptists are by design a very diverse group of people. Therefore, I have divided them up into categories. However many of these categories can and often do over lap in many congregations. However, I do believe this will covered the spectrum. However if not, these will be covered in my critiques of other movements.

A. “Denominational” Baptists) Denominational Baptist see themselves as nothing special in terms of mainline Protestantism and Christian history. Denominational Baptist see themselves as the progenitors of one of many “traditions” which they choose to worship God with.
A. The Church undefined) these groups typically use an “invisible universal” understanding of church undermining our under standing of the local church
2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Here we see the obvious contradiction of a universal church. Believers can not be rightfully worship in covenant with non-believers. Yet the invisible church insist this to be a physical reality.
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Once the congregation is defile the ministry by nature is defiled. Therefore false teachers are quick to ascend to the ministry of the church. This is not the New Testament Church.
B. cooperation without separation)
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Here again even if a church is personally obedient in doctrine, they fellowship with ministries which do not have this standard. Instead of having godly missions it is simply a continuation of the spread of dead religion.

C. Gospel and salvation less defined. )
Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ecumenicist usually twist this passage in their favor. Yet when this passage says one Lord, it means that there is only one Lord not that there should eventually be one Lord. Therefore there is only one lord and only one faith and only one Baptism. Yet ecumenical Christianity at the start claims multiple views of Faith. Mainline baptist need to understand that the New Testament has one message/gospel and it does not have room for any others.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
The punishment for perverting the gospel is eternal damnation. The only true Gospel of Christ finds its origin in our Heavenly Father God. Yet when commune with those who do pervert the gospel we have nullified the gospel of Christ. When liberal Christians claim we are arrogant, it is due to the fact that we already had promise to subdue the gospel; therefore why should we go back on our word?
Because t is not our gospel it is the gospel of Christ.

D. Man centered missions)
Jon 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Jon 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
It is not the natural desire of man to see the lost come to Christ and receive salvation. People find in American culture that we are more like to mourn the death of animals than people.
The great Commission and evangelism must be centered on the will of God and not the will of Man.
Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Act 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Act 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
Notice how God decided to convict a local church (Antioch) to send missionaries. It does not say that the apostles or a mission board ordered this. God simply used local churches and local missionaries.
Mission Boards (like the IMB) have been notorious for stopping missionaries more than helping them. Missions take authority out of the hands of their local churches and into the hands of religious bureaucrats. The only possible authority a mission board could have for this is the breaking of confessional orthodoxy or covenant. Yet the IMB makes these decisions without the authority of the local church (yet with their money!) Sometimes it may be over ethical issues (criminal record or divorce), sometimes it may slight theological differences (speaking in tongues) or even physical problems! The IMB and others takes the position of God in withdrawing the great commission and ignoring the forgiveness of Christ and redemption.

B.“hard-shell” Baptists) hard-shell Baptist push the limit on sectarianism. They tend to doubt the authenticity of any church except their own. They reject the Baptism and communion of most Christians and many of their fellow Baptist. They assume it was their specific church, theology, worship, wardrobe and hymnal that existed in every NT Church in every century going back to John “The Baptist”.
A. hyper-landmarkism) These groups have such a strict definition of the church that only themselves and their friends seem to make it as biblical church and therefore they become the authority over other Christians as oppose to the New Testament.
Mar 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
Mar 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
Mar 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
Mar 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Here we see in the early gospel church Jesus commands that we be allies with those on our side. Now many would argue that in the age of Grace that this applies to a perfect definition of New Testament Church. However, this is not the case. Churches were not perfect even in the New Testament.
Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Rev 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 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:
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
In these judgements we see that these churches (for the most part) were not models to follow but they were still considered churches. We need to be gracious unto others.

B. sectarian Baptism
Joh 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Joh 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Joh 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
Notice Jesus teaching on foot washing. Jesus gives an obvious reference to baptism. He gives the impression that one who is biblically baptized does not need to do so again. He claims the disciples to be clean (with the probable exception of Judas). This links baptism as the symbol of salvation with the message. Since salvation is permanent baptism is permanent as well.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Baptism being the symbol of salvation is a unifier. Salvation being by grace means that there are no classes or divisions in the New Covenant body of Christ. Therefore one true church is not superior to another. Now it is true that we have denominations with true salvation and false baptism. However, these Christians are justified before God the same way (faith alone). So while their system is false they are not personally inferior. Also there are those who practice immersion with whom we have doctrinal differences. Here we may have to do re-baptism to maintain the same faith.
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
However, it has to be said that this should only be permitted over a case where the doctrinal differences effect the gospel of salvation. Perhaps where the baptism becomes a work of salvation or it is done in the name of a false Christ.
But if there is an immersion and one’s salvation is secure then it is final.

C. closed communion
2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

D. man-made tradition) many times churches can get confuse on what is godly and what is tradition. They believe that everything the preacher says and the church does is biblical so when the church or preacher finally does something unbiblical they will never listen to correction. One tradition which hardshell baptist hang onto is the use of suits for worship. The idea that one should dress in only the best clothes for worship because it is pleasing to the Lord. Yet the bible no were speaks to a specific dress with the exception of certain uniform guidelines for priest in the OT. Also the levitical ordinance not mix wool with cotton. (This was symbolic of order and disorder.)

Jam 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Jam 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Jam 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Jam 2:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Jam 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jam 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jam 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
Jam 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jam 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Here we have a clear commandment not to judge a believer or follower by what they wear. Yet in many Baptist churches it is taught that it would be a disgrace to come to church without fine clothes. Here, we see the apostle expressly forbid such a doctrine. Yet many in the church would have us to believe this to be a commandment of scripture. Proponents of this tradition would argue that we must dress to impress the Lord. But the Lord is less concerned with how we dress our bodies and more concerned with how we dress our hearts. Now if a Christian feels this to be their personal conviction and discipline then that is fine. Yet when we develop a prejudice of others according to fashion and claim this to be law we are being bigoted and commit sin in God’s house.

C. “legalists” Baptist) typically have a hyper-Calvinistic understanding of the gospel. They see themselves as the Baptist Bride predestined to salvation while seeing others as hopelessly born of a “bad seed”. They emphasize themselves as the “Chosen Israel” and many times waste time trying to prove themselves more holy. The worst example of this phenomena is the “Westport Baptist church”.
A. Replacement theology
Psa 105:7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
Psa 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Psa 105:9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
Psa 105:10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
Psa 105:11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
Psa 105:12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
Psa 105:13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
Psa 105:14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
Psa 105:15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Many in their desire for intimacy and favor from God want to claim all of God’s promises to Israel. Yet God’s promises to Israel are specifically to Israel. If they were to us then we should be focused on taking the land of Canaan away from the Muslims and Jews and establish a theocracy like the Catholics did in the crusades. (Hopefully without all the thievery, genocide and gang rape!). God’s OT promises were for a physical nation under Moses. Not for a spiritual nation coming from all nations under Christ.

Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Rom 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Here Paul makes it quite clear that God’s sacred covenants were for the nation of Israel. Understanding this fact helps the believer realized just how much their salvation really is a grace. Groups such as legalistic Baptist have a tendency to grow proud assuming themselves God’d divine chosen people. While they grow hateful towards others assuming the right jealousy over salvation. Yet salvation is a grace and not a right. They have a case of Ishmaelitus or “chosen people syndrome” this since of pride is obvious in those who are legalistic.

B. Legalistic spirit
As a result of their belief in themselves as the true Israel, There is a belief among this group that they are under the law for sanctification. These Baptist believe in the Sunday Sabbath (a very small minority believes in the Saturday Sabbath) as a key element and other elements of the law in order to prove their holiness.
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
C. anti-missions) It is the claim of many of these groups that the Great Comission was fulfilled byu the Apostles and that conversion is only based on the providence of God. Therefore we are not to have either missionary societies or even missionaries.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Two key points to the commission are it’s universal nature and the commandment to replicate all apostolic orders. Therefore it would serve logic that the Great commission is for all disciples.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Here we see the promise of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit promises power in connection with the Great Commission. While Paul seems to teach that the Baptism of the Spirit was universal among believers. Also when we see in Mathew the clause of Christ presence based upon the spread of the Great Commission it appears obvious that the great commission will remain operative until the return of Christ.
Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Here it is quite that evangelism is essential to salvation of souls. In fact it could be said that the gospel of Christ is the “sacrament” or means of grace.
D. supralapsarian/two seed in the spirit
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Eze 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach.
The idea of a god unwilling to save the Souls of mankind can change the nature of God Christ and the gospel. It changes the doctrine of God. Is God all loving or partially loving?
1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
It changes the nature of Christ because Christ is concerned and the Savior of the Whole world or He is the Savior of only a few. This would lead one to think that God is a respecter of persons.
Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Jam 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Lack of Love is heresy. Many who step in the realm of hyper-Calvinism or fatalism openly blaspheme God in a way that may not be as obvious in Systematic theology terms. Yet is quite obvious on a moral and spiritual plane.
D. “dumb” Baptists) These are groups of Baptist that have forsaken systematic theology in exchange for an emphases upon worship and experiential Christianity. These groups typical have tribal allegiance to pastors and key families to make up for their weaknesses. They are typically Arminian and atheological(ignore theology) they despise theological/Seminary education and
A. ignorance of church history
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Here we see clearly that the New Testament Church would not die out. However many Baptist have little if any real knowledge of Church History. Sadly the few Baptist that do have any knowledge of Church History have followed the Roman Catholic edited version. This brings people to a state of doubt about New Testament Christianity.
However, if one is to study church history more independently. They will find several factors, which quickly remedy this argument.
First, Roman Catholic history hinges on an infallible reputation of the Church; yet Catholic history is filled with contradictions (for instance a time in history where there were three popes!). Second, many ancient Catholics have admitted at various points to evangelical teachings. (For instance: Justification by faith, believers baptism, pre-millenialism etc.) Thirdly, Roman Catholics composed an Empire and picked specifically catholic authors to there liking for preservation. Fourth and most importantly there is a steady string of churches with an evangelical theology and Baptist style congregations who survived from the 1st century all the wat through the reformation. Finally Holy Roman Empire suppressed and killed off these movements by the sword.
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Baptist churches need to understand the rich history of New Testament churches both before and after the reformation. The New Testament churches have kept the faith and on several occasions saved society for the powers of Satan. When we this cloud of witnesses it let’s us know that we too are capable of running the race.

Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Also, my heart grieves for these ancient churches. How many millions who gave their lives for the faith and yet not even modern churches remember their names. Protestants have nullified their ultimate sacrifice just in order to not offend Roman Catholic apostates. Yet we know that God will remember these saints, whether we do or not.

B. ignorance of Systematic theology
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Many dumb Baptist have ignored theology. They say the trinity is unexplainable and so they don’t explain it. They sit around and tell their kids to have faith, when they really don’t know what the faith is to begin with. If a christian is to be properly discipled and have a chance at a victorious Christian life. They need to know the fundamental theology of the Christian faith. It is a simple fact that people want to trust their souls with somebody that knows what their talking about. The congregation should be ready to give that answer yet. Yet even many preachers of the dumb Baptist do not possess that knowledge.

C. rejection of expository preaching
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
The true poison with dumb Baptists, which makes them susceptible to apostasy, is the lack of true preaching form the pulpit. The abysmal idea that finding a few illustrations and picking a topic is feeding the flock of God is true death to a church. It is quite frankly pathetic and cuts congregations off not only for their service but also leaves disciples without much means of studying the scriptures for themselves.

E. “Jimmy Carter” Baptists) Named after the most famous of their rank. Jimmy Carter Baptist hold to a Neo-orthodox theology and a social gospel mission. These liberals are very far from what has been preached from the Baptist pulpit.
A. false view of inspiration.
Many of these Baptists will describe themselves as read letter Christians. The believe that Christ is what is essential in scripture and the rest of the Bible can be accepted or rejected. In terms of theology the position is called Neo-orthodoxy. And the theologians behind this movement are not faithful to the words of Christ either.
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Christ is 100% in tune with scripture otherwise he would not be truly the Son of God.
B. Hyper-autonomy of the local church
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The scriptures come from God and not man. New Testament Christianity is free from the dictates of Man. But only if it is under subjection to the rule of God.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
C. False gospel) the gospel as personal as opposed to social
Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
[eternal]166 aionios {ahee-o'-nee-os}
from 165; TDNT - 1:208,31; adj
AV - eternal 42, everlasting 25, the world began + 5550 2, since the world began + 5550 1, for ever 1; 71
1) without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be 2) without beginning 3) without end, never to cease, everlasting
For Synonyms see entry 5801
The gospel is about eternal life and that is why it is good news. Jesus is not some political candidate who offers hyperbolic earthly hope. He wants to give us more than this life.
D. Socialist politics) socialism is inherently communist and anti-christian.
The Bible teaches we should not covet our neighbor’s property.
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Luk 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
1Co 5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

The Bible also teaches we should work for our food.
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2Th 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
2Th 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

F. “Big Church” Baptist) This group is the proud heart-n-soul of the contemporary mega-church movement. It’s most popular proponent is Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church. Big Church Baptist are “souled out” for crowd winning. They apply secular skills to christian missions in order to bring the “world” into the church. They consider themselves to be on the cutting edge of evangelism. Many would understand this group as the “seeker sensitive movement”, the latest version of this movement today calls itself the emergent church.
A. Scripture having normative authority instead of regulative
Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
In many ways big church Baptists are “liberalism light” they may or may not preach scripture. However they practice ministry according to secular knowledge instead of the scripture.
B. Church founded as government regulated business as opposed to an extension of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is a powerful secret apostasy in that Churches have changed from a heaven ly family to a business. But also they have incorporated their religion to government authority. The government has silently been ruling churches for decades. But if our kingdom is in heaven why would we worry about the rulers of the earth.
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

C. Missions based on business as opposed to evangelism
Many have done missions which does not spread the gospel but only material goods. But this food does not save.
Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

D. Discipleship based upon psychology instead of Biblical theology
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

E. Preaching based on motivational speaking as oppose to Exposition.
This point has already been made. Who is the better preacher, man or God.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

F. Worship based upon entertainment as opposed to pleasing God
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

G. Indecisive moral compass
Jam 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jam 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jam 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jam 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

As we end this series of critiques upon denominations I think that we must remember that it does not matter what you call yourself, you are subject to correction form God’s Word. Baptist have been used mightily of God and that’s why my church is Baptist. However we are all sinners and my Christians brothers and sisters must all heed correction (yes that goes for me doubly) in hopes that we Our savior Jesus Christ can say to us “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

In Christ,
Matt Singleton