The Dis-fellowshipping of a Church or churches by an individual?
What is this? Who is the real Witness?
Are there grounds for such a thing?
What do you think of when you hear this word? The bible has many references to those who protested against the wickedness they found in religious leadership. History has recorded many instances of martyrdom that came about because someone had taken a stand against immorality. They were all "Protestants." They very often tried to stay associated with their fellowship but many were hunted down and tortured and killed by their own people.
There are numerous denominations today that were originally established because some people could no longer accept the immorality they saw in their fellowship and separated themselves.
Untold numbers of people today still think of themselves as being "Protestants" who are aware of immorality in their fellowship that is condoned by their religious leaders. However, they are really not "Protestants." The way they have accepted immorality is declaring they should really be Roman Catholics for they have abandoned the principles of 'Protestantism. The word "Protestant" is tied to all those denominations whose history links them to Roman Catholicism.
This article was written by a "Protestant." The questions you need to answer are: Do you believe what I have put forth? If you say no. Then the next question you need to ask yourself is - have I put forth the truth? It is obvious that most Christians really do not believe in the principles promoted in this article, but none of them want to say they are wrong. They will ignore the truth so they can stay in their comfort zone.
Their actions are actually logically declaring the thought that the truth can be over ruled by situation ethics, and that all the many denominations are in error for ever leaving the Roman Catholic Church.
Would the real godly witness please stand up!
The following has happened in this country and it may be on the increase.
There have been multiple adulteries and molestation's committed by some who have been called on to preach. This was known by Church leadership. One was slated to be a pastor, one became a pastor, one or more have been called on to preach who had molested children in the past.
One who was accused of molestation was told he would be given letters to preach if he would leave town. Leadership refused to call the law on him for fear it would hurt the reputation of the Church. In the past other ministers had problems in their marriages, but were still accepted and used repeatedly in services.
Leadership of a church on other occasions has either advised against reconciliation or even suggested divorce when certain marriages were in trouble. In some cases neither of the partners were involved with another person.
There are no apologies made by those involved in such situations, nor is there any mention of these situations in following messages that pertained to the reversal of the thoughts or principles that had supported the above happenings. On this basis I would expect such fellowships to continue on undermining Christian values as they think it convenient.
Many people who I know, and talk to frequently, still think it is OK to allow a minister, such as J. Swaggart, to resume their ministry, immediately, once they have openly repented before the people.
We have bankruptcy laws. But some fellowships do not fear moral bankruptcy. They will not trust a businessman who has declared bankruptcy, but they will trust the keeping of their soul to a morally bankrupt minister just as soon as that leader says they are sorry and shed some tears. ?? In many cases they expect no real repentance.
I must testify against such terrible perversions of righteousness. I may or I may never find a fellowship that I feel comfortable with supporting. In any case I will continue to stand against wickedness where ever I can as I can.
(If I rebuild the life of sin that, through genuine repentance, I had destroyed, I have proved I am again a sinner).
Protestantism Is Being Undermined.
The act of protesting against error and wickedness in Christian leadership by believers is now attacked as being a wicked act of criticism of the Church.
Take note of the following attitudes, and Christian approaches to the problem of error in the Church.
First: What is the Church? It is supposed to be a fellowship of believers, and assembly of the followers of Christ where the leaders, note multiple leaders, are the servants. It did not have a pope. Unfortunately, peer pressure, power plays, particular and peculiar doctrines, and the resulting denominations produce the same effect. (The truth is - We are to all wash the other person’s feet. Why? Because they get dirty and we are to be servants of others. We are to get the beam out of our own eye, why? So we can see to do what...? Get that mote out of our brother’s eye.)
Second: Today dissidence is frowned on. You are not to make any waves, nor are you to ever criticize, for this is unchristian and shows that you have a critical spirit. The cliché "do not touch God’s anointed and do His prophets no harm," is used as a means of stopping all criticism. In this case scripture is taken out of context and turned into a worthless hurtful cliché. David was being hunted down by King Saul. Still David detailed to Saul his error in front of his own army, in public, but was careful not to hurt Saul physically.
Third:It is now said - "If you really are focused on a close vertical relationship with God and your horizontal relationship with your fellow brethren, you will find that those supposed problems are either really not there, or are not worth doing anything about other then praying about them." I will say here that, in a sense, what they say here can be said to be true. However, there is far more to it then this.
I see a parallel between this position and the following.
I have seen parents in Church services worshipping, singing, and praying, while their children were doing mischievous things behind their backs.. The parents were focusing on their vertical relationship with God, it would seem. I have heard some of them say something like this - "they were going to worship and get in the spirit and just pray that God would watch over their children."
I have seen this same kind of people fellowshipping at a home or during a pot luck and their children were again doing things they should not be doing. However, in this situation they were then focusing on their horizontal relationship with fellow believers.
Can you see the holes in their relationships.
Still, it is now being accepted to just allow this to go on and keep quiet, do not criticize these kind of people and do not make any waves by approaching them, especially if they are good tithe payers, for they might leave the Church.
If the reformers of the past were to have taken this present popular, unscriptural approach, we would all still be Roman Catholics and under the Jurisdiction of an English king.
I will insert the following scriptures for comparison to both my position and that of others.
First; Qualification's of leadership. The terms "above reproach" does not mean they have to be perfect, or never commit one innocuous mistake; however, they must be upright and love the word, hate sin, and must not be into compromise.
The general pattern in the situations I mentioned above it appears that such leaders are some of the nicest people, yet they were very quick to compromise. However, they and their congregations would be better off if those ministers were selling shoes. Stretching is OK in the shoe business.
Second: Are your leaders compromisers? They, themselves and their families, may possibly, appear to be qualified, but do they look the other way when their fellow workers suffer moral failure, and so allow immorality to be paraded in front of the people, as if it was really not that much of a problem?
Think about this: has there been any hint of sexual immorality supported by the leadership of the Church you attend? Do they stand against divorce, except in the most grievous of circumstances? Has any of those who have or are now ministering before you failed in a sexual moral sense while in a leadership position? Is it common to hear that some minister that has been involved in your fellowship has previously failed through sexual immorality while in the ministry, but who are now still ministering? Is this something that you have seen in your fellowship?
Are the Sunday School teachers, choir director and singers, musicians and the like in your fellowship free from such a negative immoral history?
I am not speaking of before they were converted. But, I am speaking of their having been converted, ministering and then failing, and then immediately resuming their position. (No time lapse or several years where they had to establish a life style projecting their stability)
I have people who I consider close friends, yet they advise me to support such ministries and just forgive and forget. Forgiveness is no problem. However, It is my understanding that to support such wickedness will not only jeopardize my eternal future, but it will also increase the perversion that is already plaguing our communities,
Yes, It is very scriptural to forgive and to fellowship the truly repentant.
WE MUST ALSO TREAT EVERYONE, (PERIOD), WITH DECENT RESPECT!
However, a fellowship must not think that to show compassion and forgiveness to a person who has failed morally means they must be accepted completely back into fellowship, even though they do not show any remorse. Those who appear to sorrow and who are obviously repentant over their wickedness are to be accepted, shown love, while making it known that their actions has prevented them from being in any kind of Christian leadership position, until many years have past. That since thay have made a wicked mistake, the consequences could follow them all of their life. (Tears do not necessarily prove repentance, but a life style can.) They should not be in the choir, a teacher, etc. until their life style proves just who they are.
Note: it is ungodly to put a Christian leader back up ministering before the people after a moral relapse into the depths of depravity. A ministry is not essential.
If any person cannot survive attending Church while not be involved in some form of ministry such as a leadership position or being in the choir, then their relationship to Christ has been weighed and found wanting. Heaven will have many in it who were never known to have had any special ministry.
Note: In conversation, or in bible studies, they can ask pertinent questions, and by doing so get a needed point across. However, they should not be put in any position where children will see them set before the people as actively accepted in a position of ministry. Their eventual acceptance as an example will be entirely based on their ability to accept their position and on how they live and carry themselves and by their consistency. They will still be ministering, but in a different way, and by doing what is right, they will strengthen the body of Christ. In private conversation they can be consulted - if they are known to be especially knowledgeable in certain areas.
Have you ever been taught anything like this in your fellowship?
Whence Comes the Future?
The Church portrays the future. The righteousness it projects will eventually be the righteousness of it's community. The compromise and wickedness it projects will be the wickedness and compromise that will eventually plague their community.
The Church is in control of eschatology.
The Church is to expose immorality, not support it, not produce it, nor take part in it.
We cannot be in fellowship and support compromise, unless we have agreed to also do so? To do this would mean we are also partaker of other men's sin's. If we see that a Church mouths truths but does not walk in truth we must run.
This verse has to do with ordaining people into the ministry to quickly and so includes the reinstating of those those who failed morally and as a result should no longer be accepted as ministers.
Now, what does one do with the messages they find in these scriptures? What did Martin Luther and what have millions of other Christians done when they found themselves involved with situations that reeked with ungodly acts, or found themselves supporting questionable and unethical fellowships.
Are we to just look the other way and not worry about what is happening? Or will we be held accountable before God for not speaking up. Will we be held accountable for supporting ungodly situations and so in effect be agreeing with un-godliness?
What are the priorities?
I have been taught that I must put a certain order to my priorities.
The Church is not my salvation. Yes, I need the Church and must support it as I can. The Church or a fellowship is often my third priority, but is never to come between me and my family or my neighbor.
These priorities are summed up in the two greatest Commandments. Love God first and others as myself. In accepting these priorities I have found that very recently, just within the last 50 years, the Sunday Sabbath has fallen into disfavor among many who call themselves Christian. It is now common for preachers to laugh at nearly 2000 years of Sabbath observance and spiritualize it. Yet, it is obvious that it is needed and so is a moral law. How are working people to congregate without a Sabbath?
We no longer need one day out of every seven for meditation and rest? Since when?
What a callous lie this is. In adopting this callous disregard for this day of rest the Church has alienated many who now have to work on the Sabbath.
In many cases it is Church people who employ their services on that day. We just smile and ask the waitress for another napkin and are so calloused we then tell them how we missed them at Church.
By walking away from morality, including the 4th Commandment, the Church has set itself above moral law and has become the legislator in God's stead. This is blasphemous, to say the least. Where are the Sabbath keeping Churches?
All of them used to keep it.
Yes, I could find myself unable to support any church for a number of reasons. However, I cannot arbitrarily just quit supporting all Churches.
There has to be very urgent and necessary reasons for not supporting a church. If I do not support a church because of their moral failures I then must find an alternative and continue to support the fellowship of other Christians and Christian ministries that a church is supposed to support. Still -In some situations all of this may not be proper or morally possible.
There are few Churches who are involved with and support many basic Church ministries.
The shut in and invalid and those in rest homes should be provided for. Most Churches instead pour their finances into their own inside projects and let the basics go.
There are very often past tithe paying widows and widowers languishing in rest homes with no visitation. Their care is the responsibility of the local Church and their families. Consistent visitation would do wonders. However, it is the responsibility of the Church to care for them not the state. Unfortunately Churches refuse to work together to build care facilities and schools.
It most cases those Churches who do cooperate in education do not protect the children from perversion. Take note of how the young girls dress. To often they actually look more indecent then the average girls from secular schools. Christian schools often treat their graduates with trips to Disneyland where they are subjected to extremes of perverted sexuality. Disney openly supports planned parenthood and actively promotes homosexuality. They are approaching pornography in some of the shows that are aimed at children. Bare breasts, etc. Again -
There are numbers of Church leaders who are involved with federal programs. They receive special income tax deductions and many take questionable and unethical advantage of these laws. (Check the articles under "Church and State.) Almost all churches are now incorporated. They are under the jurisdiction of the state. As a result you hear very little about abortion of homosexuality.
Yes, it is possible to do things that are legal, but still very unethical.
Numbers of ministers receive gratuities at tax payers expense by serving on various boards such as HUD, while at the same time voting in support of government largess.
If we put these two situations together we see they are joining with thieves, and in the Disneyland, AT&T, and Levi's situations they are throwing in their lot with adulterers. Christians used to automatically boycotted business that supported perversion and they had clout.
How many Church leaders do you know who still live in the same community as their Church? In many government situations it is required that their officials and supervisors live in the serviced community. There are still a few ministers who feel a call to the ghettoes and live in those same communities. But very few. Unfortunately, there are numbers of Church leaders who will not live in the communities they serve. Where are the good Samaritans?
The world does not set the stage for eschatology.
Our blaming evil for the demise of Christianity is nonsense.
The Church is to win.
IT IS THE CHURCH ALONE THAT IS AS A CITY SET ON A HILL.
We are the light of the world.
This means it is the Church alone that sets the stage for Eschatology.
Believers set the agenda for the future. Jesus did his work, now we are to finish the Job. Where is the Church? She holds the key to the future in her life style and obedience. She wins, but we may suffer terribly before it happens and mostly because of our disobedience.
Are there biblical examples of times when it is better for believers to keep their mouth shut?
Have there been times in history when there were no sensible God fearing fellowships around?
I am guessing that most Christians have read or heard enough about history to know this has happened. They know there have been long periods of times and many places in this world where good Christian fellowship has been nil. I am supposing most would admit, after thinking about it, that there are probably many areas right now in this country where it is hard, and might be even impossible, to find a good Church. So I will refer to scriptures that portray such situations and not go into any more details of how scarce good fellowship can be today.
There are numbers of us who are in a besieged city. The body of Christ is being attacked by all kinds of lawlessness.
Churches are to be sanctuaries - places of refuge from wickedness. Unfortunately it is becoming more and more common to see where some spiritual leader has molested another child. In the past such people were quickly judged in a court of law and if found guilty they were quickly executed.
Now if this happens in a Church the convicted might spend some time in jail and go through a period of counseling. But be careful for they might well be back in a pulpit within just a few years. God is not going to put up with this. Abortion along with the wickedness I mentioned at the first of this article are fast bringing judgment on the Church.
Fortunately there is the Church, the body of Christ that is not necessarily found just within the walls of organized religion. She is an in - heart situation. However, it is her responsibility to vote, both verbally and with her feet, to put a stop to the things I have mentioned in this article.
History has many stories of great Churches and great Christian nations who fell and no longer are associated with righteousness. They went astray and have been judged and have suffered the consequences. This may happen to this country. Both Russia and Germany were at one time Christian nations. There may well be numbers of great Christian nations still to come and even far more righteous fellowships then we have already seen. Let us be expecting this. We have no scriptural reason for expecting anything less.
Christ is not coming back for a victorious and glorious Church, nor is He coming back to do what are are supposed to be doing . The Church is presently reigning down here with Christ, now. He came back and empowered the Church many, many moons ago. The spiritual body of Christ is a winning situation. Again, she is to be about winning, and in a glorious way through Christ. No doom and gloom, just victory. The negative things I have pointed to in this article are transitory, there will be revival. We have been down before and have came back even stronger. This world has been repeatedly changed for the better through Christianity.
The Children of Israel limited God through their unbelief. This is not to happen with the Church.
Christ overcame the world, and so she to is to be about always overcoming this world through faith.
The Church is to be about filling this earth with saved people. This was a mandate given to the Church by Christ nearly 2000 years ago and it is to be ongoing on into the ages to come, world without end.
Vern Manson 5:49 PM Wednesday, June 21, 2000 / redited 08-01-00 / and again on Monday, January 13, 2003