Friday, 25 October 2019

Where Are The Bereans?

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.

      Acts 17:10 As soon as it was night, the brothers and sisters sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. Upon arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
      Just because something is said from a church pulpit, doesn't automatically mean it is true. As the Berean saints did, we should also be doing. They examined the scriptures daily to see if the things being taught were so. We are responsible for the choices we make in our Christian walk and responsible to make sure the doctrines, teachings, and ministries we are living under are biblically sound and Holy Spirit led.
       Jesus said to believe in Him because of what the scriptures said. John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Notice the method Jesus said to use for believing in Him. "As the Scripture has said," and not because He was putting on a big rock-star healing show, with fog machines and religious words being tossed to the crowd with a mind-numbing beat. I'm not going on a rant of, "Look at all the problems in the church." I'm concerned as to what we are adopting as spiritual based truth. I am pointing out a few things that should be investigated using the word of God. It is true that historically, the church grew and grows in the contemporary season of the times it is in. But hopefully, the growing church is led by the Holy Spirit and not the zeitgeist of the day.
       Just because someone comes out with a new personal interpretation of a so-called bible, revelation, or a mystical discovery doesn't make it divinely inspired. Even if the person who wrote the self-proclaimed work says, it came by a vision, dream, or osmosis through a holy man. We, like the Bereans, should seek the scriptures to see if what is written is true. Our pedagogy should reflect the methods Jesus, Paul, and the other Apostles used in teaching the scriptures. They did not teach personal interpretations of the scriptures to accommodate the trends of their day. They continually referred to what the Word of God said, and taught the truth from that pivotal position.
      We have been here before on numerous occasions throughout history. Jim Jones, who founded Peoples Temple, claimed he was a reincarnation of Christ and Buddha. The sad thing is that only a portion of the congregation walked out. Shouldn't have all the people walked out because of that nonsensical claim? If your pastor said, that he was Christ, would you stay in that congregation? James Warren Jones, and not Jesus, led nine-hundred people to their death by drinking the poisonous Koolaid. Prov 14:14a The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
      The soulism emanating from the secularism sneaking into our churches has become palpable. We should be concerned if our Sunday services are becoming an electronic event of bits and bytes with pithy and cutesy sayings being proclaimed by a sloganeer rather than a shepherd called of the Lord. I am not saying this is going on in every church. However, we need to check the source of where these trends of pseudo ministries are coming from. We don't need another Sunday with self-proclaimed ministers pumping out uninspired monologues while having a sing-along of hallow praise and worship. Prov. 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death. We need the Word of God being ministered to our hearts and not a watered-down social review of how things ought to be in this day and age.
      You might say, "But I feel good when I sing that popular song in church." Good for you, because there is a health benefit to singing happy songs as it releases the feel-good hormones of dopamine and prolactin bringing happiness and comradery. I feel good too, and get some of the same uplifting feelings when I sing along on FM radio, but I am fully aware that it is not praise and worship per se. It is a sing-along feel-good emotional experience. Don't confuse the feeling of a good body vibe and rhythm with the anointed presence of God. 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 
      Yes, it is true that I experience God's intimate closeness as I walk through the day. I see God's hand in so many daily events. But these events do not become the doctrines of belief. These personal signs and wonders that we experienced are the developing love and relationship with our Lord. We may get a personal insight into a doctrine of belief but we cannot build our whole life and salvation on it. It is definitely a great platform to build from, but we are to live the full gospel of Christ by faith. Psalm 12: 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
      So my friends, what are we to do if we want the anointed glory and not the worldly gorry in our lives? Like the Bereans, we should search the scriptures to find our way. The scriptures say to pray for our church leaders and one another. Col. 4:3a And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message. Eph. 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 
      Our church leaders need prayer like never before. They are fighting a battle on two fronts. On one front, the social demands of people wanting their personal sin to be accepted as their human right, and on the other front, the demonic forces coming against the body of Christ. Our ministers need God's leading and help in expressing the heart of God to bring overcoming victory to His ecclesia. Heb. 13:7 Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.
      I have often reminded my students to go and find what I am teaching in the Word of God. I've expressed that they should not take everything I teach at face value, but, like the Bereans, go and see if these things being taught are so. We need the discernment of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, and that includes doing church. Col. 3:23  Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people. So, I say it again. "Where are the Bereans?" May God give us the heart of the Bereans so that we may be strong in our walk with God, and our understanding of His word. Amen!

11 comments:

  1. They are fighting a battle on two fronts. On one front, the social demands of people wanting their personal sin to be accepted as their human right, and on the other front, the demonic forces coming against the body of Christ.That is well presented Norm. I have a question for you; here at my church in the dustbin, the congregation sing the same 15 songs all year round. It is very much what you described as "feek good vibes". But my people have no access to "Hillsong" or any other sources like the west. Not a lot of new worship songs being written in Turkana or the Swahili language. I have often pondered the value of repeating the songs, and also how it might be remedied. Thoughts?

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    1. Hi LarryThank you for your thoughts.You are leading one of the most interesting churches there is.Maybe it is a blessing The Dustbin Church cannot reach a lot of what is coming out of the west as 'worship songs'.You are one of the most creative brothers in Christ I know for the work you are doing in Africa. It might be time to ask the singers in your Dustbin to start creating songs that have scriptural content and the heart of their own lives in the worship of God. Timeless songs like Amazing Grace, It is well with my soul, came out of the deepest crying out to God because of the hardest events imaginable to man. Bring the Dustbin some scriptures that describe their battle in Christ and create a new song to add to the fifteen. Soon The Dustbin Church will be sending out scripturally sound praise and worship that will give others the faith and courage to step out of the dust so to speak. Maybe you can post the new song on your next blog report. Blessings Bro.

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  2. I love my church and appreciate the way it has been blessed and how it has blessed our community. So after spending several years in a great church sponsored Bible study, I was shocked to find one of the themes presented to the the group had been based on a new "system" of prayer based on corrupt theology. The corruption is really easy to identify because the author and pastor has video footage of him teaching it and saying "God says..." where the part that he saying God said has nothing to do with God or any inspired word in the Bible. After finding this, I began to consider a number of other past themes presented, themes that were usually connected to a published book. One time the author even came as a guest. The only reason I began to look at how my own theology had been affected is because my adult sons called me on it. So yeah, let's study like the Bereans!

    PS: @Larry Carruthers, thank you for your comment. It truly brought tears to my eyes because many of our Western churches have talent and technology available to a degree unimaginable to others who are more secluded. I pray the natural talent in your midst will be inspired and allow scripture to come forth from their lungs and heavenly praise and worship to God will erupt from the depths of Africa wherever you gather.

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    1. Thank you, Clay, for your thoughts and concern for what is becoming accepted as what "God said." May the Lord give us the anointed understanding of His word, and intention of His heart, so that we may not corrupt the beauty of His Holiness.

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  3. I am convinced that the sufficiency of scripture, and the holiness of God are the two biggest issues facing the Church today. It is crucial that we have right doctrine, and heart posture when it comes to these two issues.

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    1. Extra-biblical revelation or adding our own interpretations, dreams, visions, that we think came from God has had a resurgence in our time. As you have stated, " The sufficiency of scripture and the holiness of God are the two biggest issues facing the Church today." Let us keep our hearts close to our Lord, and walk circumspectly with Christ.

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  4. You are speaking my language ... I do not win the popularity contest because if someone says something that is not scriptural I will say so. So many do not and so the church has hit the slippery slope .... it is the Word of God that hold all things together ... and it is time to speak quickly to those who misinterpret the scripture according to present day culture. Romans speaks of this!
    The power of the church is in the foundation of the Word of God .... God said," walk with me" ... "He did not say I will walk with you!" Jesus said "Come and follow Me," Which means follow me in all my ways and all my commandments. The Word of God is our shield.

    Good blog.
    You got my vote on this one Sir N.
    God Bless.

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  5. Early on in my walk, as I attended a bible study with many women I didn’t know, I met one who is still an influential Christian woman in my life. The most important words she said the first time she spoke were, “show me in the Word,” as she tapped on her Bible. There was no discussing thoughts without backing it up with the word of God! That has really stuck in my mind. And the pastor of that same church followed that same rule. If it’s not in the Word, it’s not from God. It was a nice barometer to be given as I made my way through those early days of learning. This post is powerful!

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    1. I was also blessed to have teachers and pastors at the beginning of my walk in Christ who taught me the same.It is still the best advice that we Christians should follow.

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  6. I agree wholeheartedly. People should never take the word of the pastor when it comes to scripture. As a pastor, I am not perfect. I will make mistakes but I will study to show myself approved. Only the Holy Spirit and God's word have the power to set people free. God has the power to free, not us and because of that it takes the weight off of us. God's perspective will always be better than our selfish perspective. People absolutely need to learn how to read and interpret scriptures.
    And pastors do fight the battle on 2 fronts. The enemy is constantly looking for a chink in the armor.
    People do want us to accept their sin and justify it for sure. It provides us opportunities to love people and direct them towards scripture and loving God.
    Thanks Sir Norm. Well written

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    1. Bless you, Pastor Bryan. May God's face shine on you and give you His revelation knowledge and help you shepherd His sheep. Amen!

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