Contend Earnestly: :::UPDATED:::Who Would You NOT Worship With?

Monday, January 26, 2009

:::UPDATED:::Who Would You NOT Worship With?

So, here is a question for you...when is enough, enough? I wonder how much someone can differ from us in theological convictions before we would decide not to worship with them. Some people are a little more liberal in their thoughts on this than I would. But some comments made by people, would make it seem that they wouldn't worship at churches over minor issues. Maybe the first one to be considered is simply, what must one believe to be saved? One must repent from sin and turn to Christ and trust in Him alone for salvation, but this would leave many heretics and cult leaders throwing parties with grape juice thinking that they were fine and needed no correction. But, what are the minimum points that one must believe to be saved?

Here is what I would personally put forth:

1. The Trinity: One must believe in the full understanding that our God is One, existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit
2. The full humanity/divinity of Jesus Christ: notice the term full...I believe this would entail the virgin birth. Go away Arians and Jehovah Witnesses
3. Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone: The Pope needs to repent...

This explains quickly what one must believe to be saved, but what would cause me to be divided with another brother or sister so that I wouldn't attend a church that had the same convictions as myself? Notice I said the church, not a singular person. I am sure that there are some in my church that might believe some things below, but what I am speaking of is me actually attending a church who had the following convictions:

1. The Arminian Church or Semi Arminian Church. It would be very hard to worship in a church who doubts the sovereignty of God in salvation. Are they brothers or sisters? Yes. Would I join them outside the church in serving our community? Yes. But, would I be comfortable in their church? About as much as a KKK member spelling "intelligence."

2. The Crazy Charismatic. Notice I didn't say the "controlled Charismatic." But I couldn't worship along side someone who kept whipping out their prayer cloth while speaking in a language I couldn't understand. It would be very hard to listen to someone give forth prophecies each week on some vague promise of God that my dog could speak of. Wait, I don't have a dog.

3. Hyper Calvinist Tendencies. It would be hard for me to go where God was said to have no desire for the salvation of all men. It would be hard to hear the gospel have so many restrictions on it. It would be difficult to stand by and hear someone say that God doesn't love all men. As far as full blown hyper churches? I have a desire for all of them to repent in their ways...I wonder how they will take the words desire and all there? I will leave it up to them. I am sure in the end the sentence will be unintelligible.

4. The Practical Hyper Calvinist Churches. These are the churches who say that God loves all, desires for the salvation of all and preaches that we should all go out and speak the gospel to all, but in the end just comes each week to gather like a social club listening to the "speaker" of the week. I can't stand the churches who say it and never do it. Most of these churches put way too much emphasis on the Sunday gatherings and forget the other six days of the week. What they should really do is get a neon "open" sign, so we'll know when they are doing God's mission and when they aren't.

5. Those with women elders or preachers. The reason? Because they obviously haven't read the Bible. If you want to know more of my reasons on this check out these posts.

6. Any church that loves Israel more than Jesus. I know that some of you would put on this list, any dispensational church, but there are some very well balanced dispensational churches. But, when you have the Jewish flag up in your church and your potlucks must be Kosher, you might want to get some counseling. In reality, there are way too many churches that seem to care too much for Israel and not enough for Christ. They preach on the end times every week and preach it like Christ forgot to come.

7. Check my Posts on the 10 Steps to Become a Legalist. Click here for those posts. If the church fits any of these categories, I would definitely not attend there. Again, remember that I don't mind convictions, but when those become preaching points against sin, instead of convictions, that goes across the line. So you IFB crazies, sorry but you will never see me walking through your doors, unless you are having a garage sale to get rid of some of your old suits. Then, I could wear one while I mock you. Which would just be fun.

I could go on and on for quite some time, but these are some of my biggies. I will say that some aren't listed because I don't feel that the preachers who preach there are Christians. These would include, the health and wealth preachers, the Catholic leaders and the church of Christ. But, enough of what I would put up, what are some of yours and which one of the above am I being too crazy against?


Anonymous said...

So many questions in one post...

It's a bit of a blight on Protestantism that the house is so divided. How ironical seeing as I grew up thinking my own church was the only 'true' church. In my small neck of the woods (Aus) we have 2-3 pentecostal churches (most are pretty tame, and most hold to the esentials of doctrine), 2-3 independent Baptist churches, a union Baptist Church, a liberal uniting church (I would draw the line at this one), an evangelical (pseudo reformed if there is such a thing) Anglican church, maybe one or two house churches.... When all said and done if persecution broke out I believe and hope that all the evangelical churches would be in some form or another united in their stand to help and pray for one another. In the mean time we have fundamental arminian dispy baps in one corner (who love to ram that one down your neck), big wide open anglicans holding to pretty much an amillenial view in another (now these hold about 5 services every sunday - various forms of traditional, through to contemporary, through to family or youth services), the penties with not much doctrine but happy clappy, and what remains are some house churches (one of which I know holds to reformed doctrine). Oh I forgot - there a some presbyterian churches which are mostly full of older people and over the last 30 years has shrivelled up - firstly because the Presys went liberal for a while but are now back on track wrt reformed doctrine from the colleges. Secondly they lost some people to the anglicans or other denominations. I could just about worship in any. What does divide....? Mostly secondary issues and personalities. I'm happy to call most of them my brothers and sisters in the Lord. They happen to live in one family, and I in another.... but all part of a bigger family...

Next big task Seth is for you to describe what worship actually is for us plebians. Is it normative or regulative, which part of any churches gathering is 'worship', which is not? Is worship something we do on a Sunday or all of life? Is singing worship? Is serving one another over a morning tea worship? Is the worship time, the time between 10:30 - 12:00? Or does it take into account the chit chat before?

Anonymous said...

Back to the title question... Who would I not worship with?
- the roman catholics
- the liberal social gospel sprouting, homosexual condoning Uniting church
- I don't think I could hang out for too long in a church which holds distorted views and balances in areas such as eschatology or which are overtly legalistic
- with churches which do not hold to a trinitarian view
- where the leaders live in sin
- maybe where a woman is regarded as the preacher-minister.
- where the gospel is not preached and lived out amongst the brethren

Anonymous said...

I would not worship in a Classical dispensational church or a Hyper Dispensational church..but I could live I suppose in a Progressive.

The Problem is that the hermeneutic affects everything.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't worship with a 4 pointer like you. Not at all.

J/K... just had to give you some crap on your blog

Anonymous said...

How do you define "pastor"? A large evangelical church in Auburn currently has a woman with the title of "pastor". I'm not sure what her exact responsibilities are, but she seems to have "important" ministerial responsibilities. Would you then not attend this church (Grace Community, in case you were wondering) because of this female pastor?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seth McBee said...

Good question. It looks like they don't know the differences between pastor, elder and deacon.

I will write a blog post to answer your question so it is clear on what the roles in the church are.

A simple name change, and she would be fine. Although I would have to investigate on what roles she has as a teacher. There are some pastors and churches who deal differently than I do with Sunday School, youth group, etc. in regards to teaching, but for me, I would not attend a church that had women teaching Sunday school classes with men attending.

I will go into the roles probably tomorrow in a post so that you can see why Grace Community seems to be confused.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I'll look forward to reading that. Frankly, that is my understanding also - that women shouldn't teach males that are over the age of 12 - teach regarding spiritual things. That was a big reason why we decided to not attend GCC. However - what do you do about women missionaries, who teach both genders? I'm thinking both at "home" and on the "foreign field". And - do you consider women authors to be in this role? Elizabeth Elliot writes to both genders, I believe.

Seth McBee said...

Great questions. To get dogmatic on a certain age is hard to do from a biblical standpoint. From a historical context, Jews regarded boys to become men at the age of 13, so that is why the church as a whole has usually drawn the line of women teachers at that age. Mine included.

In regards to your question on women missionaries, here is where I might turn from some others. From what I see 1 Timothy teaching is how to conduct oneself within the church setting. I would be careful with home groups, etc. but there is really no biblical reason for women not to lead in a home setting or on the mission field.

Same goes with books, commentaries, etc. I know a lot of men who read and study from commentaries written by women who are staunch on male only elders/pastors. I would not mind either. Again, biblically, nothing says that I can't learn from a woman, but where and how is pointed to in 1 Timothy by Paul, namely, in the church context.

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