Presentation on theme: "Why and How the Lords Church is Changing And What Faithful Christians Should Do About It."— Presentation transcript:
Why and How the Lords Church is Changing And What Faithful Christians Should Do About It
Not All Change is Bad Change from sin to salvation is not bad Change from Judaism or paganism to Christ is not bad Change in expediencies are not bad (technology, new hymns, etc.) However, changing the doctrines and practices of New Testament Christians is bad (Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jn. 9-11)
Change Agents Among Gods People Jeroboam was a change agent (1 Kings 12:25-33) The Judaizers were change agents (Gal. 1:6-9) Change agents existed among Gods people from 1850 to 1950: instrumental music, missionary society, institutionalism, sponsoring church, etc. Change agents exist among Gods people today: baptism not necessary, instrumental music, women preachers, Lords supper changes, denom. fellowship
Anatomy of Change Apostasy may be rapid, but is often gradual (Heb. 2:1) Basic Bible doctrines are ignored (Heb. 5:12ff) Next, false teaching comes in under the guise of truth (Mt. 7:15-20; Jude 3-4) Finally, the Lords church is robbed (Col. 2:8,18); it is travelling the wrong road (Jer. 18:15)
Paving the Way for Change A new hermeneutic – interpretation (2 Pet. 3:16) Current context (culture) determines what should be believed and practiced (1 Sam. 8:5,20) Blinded hearts (Judges 16:20; 1 K. 11:4) Vulnerability (Ezek. 3:18,20; Hos. 4:6; Acts 20:28-30) Itching ears (2 Tim. 4:2-4)
Paving the Way for Change A lack of distinct preaching from the pulpit (2 Tim. 1:13; 2:2,15; 4:2) – Indistinct preaching contains elements of truth but remains silent on many matters crucial to our salvation – Indistinct preaching lacks the power to save, leaves people untaught, and makes the church prey to false teaching – Indistinct preaching comes from preachers who do not truly believe the gospel message
Insidious Influences of Change The culture around us (feminism, equal-rights, abortion, homosexuality, entertainment, diversity, etc.) Books / class materials / commentaries written by liberal members of churches of Christ and denominational authors Universities (ACU, Pepperdine), lectureships, unity meetings, websites, etc.
Telltale Signs of Change Lack of preaching showing a distinction between the Lords church and denominationalism (Eph. 4:4-6); lack of preaching against worldliness (Eph. 5:11) Rapid growth due to a generalized message (no negative preaching) or indiscriminate acceptance of new members Contemporary worship with instrumental music, praise-teams, drama, etc.
Telltale Signs of Change Appointing non-qualified elders Inviting unsound preachers for meetings Hiring a new and liberal preacher Lack of Bible teaching on basic Bible doctrines Collaborating with denominational groups
Vocabulary of Change The leadership is seeking a change in emphasis or direction at the __________ Church of Christ The __________ Church of Christ needs to get out of its comfort zone. The __________ Church of Christ will never grow unless we change and move forward. The __________ Church of Christ has a vision for the future.
Vocabulary of Change The __________ Church of Christ is progressive. The __________ Church of Christ will be offering a traditional service and contemporary service. I used to believe … before I discovered grace Im giving up my sectarian spirit (listen for apologies, testimonials of change, or one seeking forgiveness for his past position)
Some Current Changes Baptism is not necessary for salvation Instrumental music, solos, choirs, praise teams, vocal percussion (beat boxing), hand clapping, etc. Lords supper on a day other than Sunday Women leading prayers, preaching, women elders Open fellowship with denominations
Ungodly Reasons for Change Popularity with other religious groups or the world Conformity to the culture around us Pride over our own wisdom and wants Callousness toward sin and worldliness Uninformed, unconcerned church members
Questions About Change Are we changing the actual scriptural practice / belief, or are we simply changing how the scriptural practice / belief is carried out (judgment, expediency)? If the change is in the area of expediency, is it wise? Will it unite or divide? What are the motives for change? What is the rationale for change? Is the reason pragmatism (because it works)?
Questions About Change Is the change prompted by an external desire, or an internal examination of scripture? Will the change treat a symptom or the actual problem? When the change is implemented will the problem still exist? Do we change after sound biblical examination, or simply to go along and get along?
Godly Actions Toward Change Be a student of Gods word: listen carefully, search the scriptures (Acts 17:11) Be informed and be factual (1 Jn. 4:1) Demand and support sound teaching and preaching from the elders, the preacher, and bible class teachers (Tit. 2:1) Speak up and speak out against any change in scriptural practice or belief (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 1:17)
Godly Actions Toward Change Be loyal and willing to put God and his kingdom first in your life when the unscriptural change is implemented in the local church (Mt. 6:33) – You may have to break from family and friends (Mt. 10:34ff) – Division will test your faithfulness (1 Cor. 11:19) – Separation will show who is unfaithful (1 Jn. 2:19)
What Faithful Christians Should Do Faithful elders should be informed, guard the flock from outside errors, and refute them (Tit. 1:9) Faithful preachers should spend their time studying and preaching the truth only (1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:15) Faithful members should keep their ears open to truth and turn away from everything else; they should be solid and sound (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; 2 Pet. 2:14)