Friday Church News Notes
February 25, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
FRIDAY CHURCH NEWS NOTES
February 25, 2011 Volume 12, Issue 08
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this does not imply an endorsement. For instructions on how to unsubscribe to this list or to change mailing addresses, please consult the information paragraph at the end.
A “CRITICAL EYE” (Friday Church News Notes, February 25, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) -
Recently a graduate of a fundamental Baptist Bible college told me that he had learned at school not to have a “critical eye.” He learned that he shouldn’t be critical of the music that was played, because the important thing is to “have a heart for God” and to be “edified” even if the music is questionable. [Ha Ha!! This is funny! Yet they have nothing but CRITICISM through their supposed "critical thinking" for the King James Bible!]
I believe this gets at the heart of the philosophy that is taught in many IB churches and schools which is helping break down the walls of spiritual discernment and open people to wrong influences. A critical eye can be good or bad, depending on how it is defined. A critical eye is wrong if it is a product of a carnal attitude and a bad spirit. It is wrong if it is judging according to personal opinion and feeling rather than the clear teaching of God’s Word.
To judge things in the churches by one’s opinion and tradition and background and feelings and to set my conscience up as a law for others is the sin that is condemned in Romans 14. Paul said, “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:4). He was talking about judging others in matters in which the Bible is silent. This is clear from the context, which is diet and holy days (Rom. 14:1-6). The New Testament sets up no laws about diet and holy days, so it is wrong to judge other brethren in such things. There is personal liberty here. To set my conscience up as a law for others, when I do not have clear Scripture to back me up, is legalism.
In those two ways, it is wrong to have a “critical eye” (judging with a bad attitude and judging on my own opinions). But to judge godly judgment is not wrong. In fact, we are commanded to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We are to “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). We are to imitate the Bereans who tested everything by Scripture (Acts 17:11).
We are to love God’s Word and hate every false way (Psalm 119:128). The Scripture is given for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Paul had a critical eye toward false teachers and worldlings like Demas. I remember when I went to Bible School at Tennessee Temple in the mid-1970s. I was only one year old in the Lord, but I had a powerful dose of salvation and I had devoured the Bible during that year and I knew that God wanted me to test everything by it. Psalm 119:128; Acts 17:11; and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 were as precious and real to me then as today. I began to see things that I felt were wrong, particularly the shallow, unscriptural soul winning (I have since labeled it Quick Prayerism), the man-centeredness, the carnal over exaltation of man, the big numbers big church bragadociousness, and the refusal on the part of the leaders and visiting speakers to speak out plainly on some important issues (and men).
I had a “critical eye,” and insofar as I had an ungodly attitude and lack of mercy and compassion and “balance” I was wrong, but insofar as I was identifying things that were unscriptural and wrong, I was right. By God's grace, I have grown in the depth of my spiritual life over these past four decades and I believe and hope that I am much more merciful and compassionate and gracious than I was when I was a new Christian, but I also thank the Lord that I have not given up my “critical eye” in a biblical sense. I still reject the things I rejected 35 years ago, because they are still unscriptural.
If ever there were a time to have a critical eye in a right sense it is today. It will keep you protected spiritually. It is the devil who wants everyone to give up all criticism. If we do that, we have no shield. I am concerned that many IB churches and schools are putting humanistic eye wash in the biblical critical eye. At the same time, I have often emphasized the importance of not having a carnal critical spirit, of always giving the church leaders the benefit of the doubt, etc. Consider, for example, the sermons “Keys to Fruitful Church Membership” and “I Am Not Your Pastor,” which can be found with the search engine at the Way of Life web site.
FELLOWSHIP (Friday Church News Notes, February 25, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) -
The following by Buddy Smith is from his e-mail post Heads Up! for February 16, 2011, firstname.lastname@example.org:
“Fellowship is a word often used and seldom understood. It only truly exists between people who actively contribute to their relationship. It is a two way street. It must be so in order to be true fellowship. Many mistakenly call it fellowship when they receive multiplied kindnesses from others, but contribute nothing to the relationship. They are mistaken. That's not fellowship.
"That is ‘religious welfare.’ That’s being ‘on the dole’ in church. They are addicted to the ‘ministry of mooch.’ Others think it is fellowship when they are always the giver. They contribute the lion’s share to the relationship, but receive nothing in return. We commend them for their gracious generosity, for their longsuffering, for their perseverance. These are the ‘parents’ of fellowship. These are ‘striking the match’ they hope will ignite a kindred spirit in the other person's heart. But the truth is, one-sided generosity is not true fellowship. It could be called evangelism or compassion or mercy, but it should not be called fellowship.
"Fellowship is that blessed sharing, that sweet partnership of hearts in which each person is always investing in the other person. [Awesome description for any true relationship!] It is one of the purest expressions of love.
"The story of the blind man and the cripple is an old one, but so illustrative of Christian fellowship. I saw it firsthand at our local nursing home not long ago. Two old men, one blind and the other crippled, demonstrated to me what fellowship is. The blind man donated his feet and the crippled man donated his eyes. Dave, the blind man, pushed Tom, his crippled friend, in his wheelchair, around and around the exercise area. Each contributed something to the friendship and both were enriched by the experience. They enjoyed a simple, primitive fellowship.
"In essence, that’s what true fellowship is. It is me and you each contributing something to our relationship. It means we are too mature to be sponges. It means we are too wise to be welfare providers for the slothful. Modern churches are full of ‘welfare’ recipients, always sitting around, hoping for a hand out, but never contributing anything. These churches always have a few ‘welfare providers’ who contribute almost everything, and do almost everything that is done in the churches, and receive virtually nothing back from the ‘welfare recipients.’ Fellowship involves sharing. It is that unique relationship enjoyed by Heaven’s cripples who help each other along the way to the Father's house.”
CONCLUSION: The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14). This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the Fundamental Baptist Information Service mailing list. To SUBSCRIBE, go to http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/subscribe.html. TO UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE ADDRESSES, go to the very bottom of any email received from us and click "Manage My Subscription." Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com.
WAY OF LIFE LITERATURE SHARING POLICY: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our very expensive literature, video, and foreign church planting ministry. Way of Life’s content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, video presentations, O Timothy magazine, and FBIS articles. You are free to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print edition of our books, PDFs of the books, etc. These items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we need the income from the sale of these to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy.