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outlawState

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About outlawState

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  1. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    I don't know of any where in the UK called "little alps." I think its a place in Oregon. I know you're not alone. Nearly all women over a certain age tend to cut their hair very short. I really don't understand it, unless it is naturally short & curly or you have a medical condition. But short hair is especially problematic with women who are not old. First it makes them look so ugly, and second you wonder, as you say, are they a "woman with a [serious] problem?" Because let's face it some women withserious problems do have cropped hair. Anyway, I let the bible speak for itself. I certainly have not tried suggesting to my mother-in-law that she grow her hair long. I would be banned from her house, I imagine. I think the bible does not see things as you are seeing them, which may explain your confusion. In the biblical scheme, a wife is the one who is "bound for life." Roms 7:2 So if she divorces, she commits adultery against her ex-husband, even though she has divorced, because God does not recognize secular divorce. If a man divorces his wife, she will commit adultery against her ex husband by eventually finding another husband. A man who married a divorced woman commits adultery against her ex-husband. What Jesus is teaching is the following Mark 10:9 "What God has joined together let no one separate." God does not recognize the secular right of divorce. Now there is such a thing as spousal abuse, and that can lead to separation, but the Christian entreaty is that the separation should be temporary, because often it happens as a result of one or both parties not being in the right state of mind. What I am saying is that the standards of God are far removed from the standards of the State. BTW, I am sorry to hear about your daughter's problems with her child and being divorced by her first husband, and I extend my sympathy. I am not going to comment further on this, but I hope you see the biblical position is far removed from the position under State law. Believing not only that Christ is who he said he is, an did what is written of him, but that his promises are fulfilled on a day to day basis upon our responses to him salvation. Really I am such a poor example of this, that I must defer to others. It is the poor who are richest in faith, as Book of James says. As I mentioned earlier, I have lately come across this very old tract from early 19th century entitled "Annals of the Poor" which was extensively published in USA and UK and in many other languages. It's online. If you want an example of people with living faith I suggest you read it. Everyone should read it at least once. It's still in print I think. It seems to "reach the parts that other tracts cannot reach." (per the old Heineken ad.) That is what salvation is really about - not dry theology, although the people (mostly women) in that book seem so theologically literate by the standards of this age I stand completely in awe of them. It's what comes from having no TV or other distractions I suppose, but also that the churches in those days, or at least some, especially after the methodist revival, were more focussed on making the gospel a living reality.
  2. outlawState

    Anglican Catholic Church

    Yes, but do you know the difference between Hype-Calvinism and Calvinism? I suspect that you're not too sure, actually. From what I have read, much of what you say could be deemed hyper-calvinism. You certainly are over to that direction.
  3. outlawState

    Anglican Catholic Church

    Whatever political power the Papacy exercised over the Italian sub-states from the time of Pepin, it subsequently lost. So all that remains are its pretensions to ecclesiastical dominon. For that we have to return to Pope Leo's and Justinian's and Theodosius's and Valentinian's political elevation of the papacy from being a mere metropolitan bishop to being "rector of the whole Church. I note that Pope Gelasius I (492–496) said: "The see of blessed Peter the Apostle has the right to unbind what has been bound by sentences of any pontiffs whatever, in that it has the right to judge the whole church. Neither is it lawful for anyone to judge its judgment, seeing that canons have willed that it might be appealed to from any part of the world, but that no one may be allowed to appeal from it" So it is clear that the supreme political power in the church was asserted by Roman prelates from the 5th century and affirmed universally by the emperors of the Roman Empire (East and West) from the 6th century. Incidentally this also coincided with raising the status of the metropolitan of Constantinople above those of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria. I read that in the 5th century non-Chalcedonian metropolitans of Alexandria and Antioch were in fact deemed illegitimate, as were any churches outside the Roman Empire such as the Church of the East in Sassanid Persia. So it was this period that was important as establishing the political supremacy of Rome in ecclesiastical matters, and from this date, the secular power was employed to cast as heretical any "non-Chalcedonian" church. Politics supplanted theology. The Roman churches became nominally vested with the authority of the State. Calvinists are by no means the principal or only enemies of the RCC. It fact apart from a few sects of Scottish and Irish Calvinists, Calvinists are fairly docile when it comes to tolerating the RCC. The antitpathy of yesteryear has largely disappeared as Calvinism has largely lost is "protestant" ethos as it itself struggles to survive in the face of liberalism. Anglicanism is/was largely Calvinistic (low Calvinism). RCC also would have to agree with Calvin on many points where he championed the church fathers, such as Augustine. So let's not make "Calvin" the litimus test. He should not be regarded as any more important than anyone else in protestanism. He was just one pebble on a very large beach. He is not a protestant pope or if he is, he should not be made one. Before Calvin there was Wyclif and many many others. As for languages, I don't agree with you that anyone who could read, read Latin. Latin was the exclusive preserve of the universities, the church and the schoolmen. It was for the ultra educated classes. They were a small minority. Wyclif had seen a need to translate the bible into English in the 14th century. It was clear there was a strong demand for vernacular bibles long before they became available.
  4. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    Non-denominational means I am no respecter of denominations, even if I respect some more than others. I live in UK. I don't respect "tithing" denominations as tyrannical and legalistic, and I don't respect many others for obvious reasons. Neither did Jesus respect particular denominations. He chose his apostles from a variety of beliefs and political philosophies. It''s not good to be narrow minded. The greatest Christians have always been supra-denominational or I suppose ecumenical, but these words now have terrible association with doctrinal compromise, leading people to think one stands for no doctrine, and nothing in particular. Actually I have quite strong doctrinal positions, but at the end of the day deeds are more important than perceived doctrine, and many people who hold strong doctrinal positions cannot justify them, because they don't understand what they're talking about. Correct. Muslims would be pagans, and historically that is how they have been regarded by Christendom. There is Calvinism and High Calvinism and Low Calvinism. It can embrace a very wide range of nuances, and many who came after Calvin and preached Calvinism took his teaching to an extreme position. And Calvin himself was not perfect - even his followers criticized him severely. In fact the term Calvinism is a horrible term and I wish it were not used because it is divisive and frequently erroneous, as what should be being deferred to is "Augustinianism." Calvin blindly followed Augustine in things he did not really understand himself. Predestination is an interesting doctrine, but it is not of much practical value except in biblical interpretation because only God knows whose names are written in the books. And the biblical provenance of it primarily relates to God's purposes being fulfilled for the good of mankind, and not of people going to hell, which if taken to an extreme leads to a fatalistic type of approach championed by Augustine, which Paul the apostle deplored. Fatalism is not biblical. And I disagree with many Armenians as much as I disagree with fatalistic Calvinists. Was not Wesley friends with Whitfield? I certainly do not disallow the necessity of grace, predestination etc, so I am no opponent of these things, and I have a very high regard for certain presbyterian churches, such as Free Presbyterians whom I regard as "low Calvinists." That is one of the "denominations" of choice I would attend, if I could attend. However there are none in my area. And there are presbyterians whom I would never associate with on moral grounds. So not everything fits into neat categories, for every doctrine can be perverted and taken to an extreme, as scripture says. One is required to believe in and demonstrate belief in Christ alone. If you are trying to believe in anything else apart from Christ, your belief is misplaced. One does not "believe" in a doctrine. One "holds" to a doctrine. I hold to the doctrine that Christ will preserve me in faith, unless I disown him. 2 Tim 2:12. If a husband divorces his wife, he causes her to commit adultery. So he is the guilty party. It's only a repudiation if by scripture you are a guilty party. Scripture is quite nuanced in separating adultery from the guilt of adultery. Adultery can be repented of as with any other sin. However the more guilty you are, the less likely you are to even think about repenting. Jesus teaching is predicated on the fact that someone who is divorced will get remarried. Anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery Matt 5:32. The only thing that can be mitigated is the guilt of adultery, not the fact of it. As Paul says, a Christian should not marry a harlot (you'd be pretty stupid to in this day and age anyway). These things should not be taken lightly so I agree with you. It's not good to see the church take a laid back approach in such a situation. In 1 Cor 5 Paul was not laid back. It's not a question of discipline, it's a question of scandal that redounds on the church, I know you like short hairstyles, but 1 Cor 11 says long hair is a woman's glory, so why cut it off? One can take anything to an extreme, even hair.
  5. outlawState

    Anglican Catholic Church

    You talk endless rot. I haven't told you what I know of Roman Catholicism, so how can you know what I know? I would elaborate on my position just a little from adding that before the 6th century the bishop of Rome was regarded or rather demanded to be treated as primus inter pares, culminating eventually in the self-arrogated notion of sedes apostolica (apostolic see) by Pope Leo I (440–461),making out that every bishop of Rome was Peter's successor and his power established by God himself. One could have wished that the barbarians had deposed this arrrogant indivdual too, when it was in their power to do so. All sorts of false claims are made about him. Pope Leo I was never called "universal Bishop" although Gregory I, would later make this inaccurate claim. He made Christianity identical with the universal dominion of the Roman church, but his power never extended to Constantinople. In 533AD the same Leo was elevated after his death by Justinian to be the supreme bishop, but who was Justinian, a mere layman, to make such a pronouncement? Essentially the history of Rome is the history of self arrogation of authority of the papal see based on little else but the matter that Peter, who was but one of the apostles, once visited Rome and was put to death there. And in that process of self-arrogation, Byzantium played no small part, which was strange since Byzantium and Roman clerics were so often at loggerheads.
  6. outlawState

    Anglican Catholic Church

    I know a lot about Catholicism & Roman Catholicism. I've been studying it for decades, on and off. I agree that you don't have to be high church to be a slave to the spirit of the age. Roman Catholicism in fact owes its very existence in the world today to Greek orthodoxy, who elevated the bishop of Rome from being an unimportant nonentity in a conquered backwater to be the Pope as we know him today, in the 6th century. I am not quite sure of the motive for it. Thus, but for Byzantium Orthodoxy, many places in Europe would never have become Roman Catholic at all. The world would be a completely different place. These elementary facts must modify the Pope's pretensions to be the Vicar of Christ on earth; and they are facts that Catholics seldom tell you about, presupposing that the path the global domination was somehow inevitable. It wasn't. Quite the reverse. Whatever the pretensions to supremacy of Roman Catholic "theology" today, it is all built upon political happenstances a very long time ago and long after the age of the apostles. I agree that there is a big difference between the Catholic church and the Roman Catholic church, which I have endeavoured to explain above. The latter did not properly start until the 6th century AD. The former was from the year dot, but I don't necessarily agree with you that the history of the non-Roman Catholic church is only to be found in the councils that bear the stamp of approval of a much later age. What many don't realize is that up until the three synods of Antioch convened between 264 and 269, the church was relatively free from politics. After that date the Councils started to become heavily politicized. The Nicean Council was heavily politicized, and as politics took the upper hand, so the value of their theology proportionately decreased. This is not just my own opinion. I've been told it by academics. I think you're splitting hairs but I accept the truth of what you say. I agree, but I was talking about the 16th century when it was rather different from what it is today. I'm not sure where you're coming from with James Hogg. I never read novels. A lot of semi-diabolical gibberish was written in the name of "novels" in the 18th and 19th centuries, including Wuthering Heights. They are not my cup of tea. Rome can trace its Christianity to a defineable source perhaps, but frequently that source is not the bible, but a practice that deviated from the bible. Low church can be despotic I concur, but at least you can always walk out if you don't like it. There's nothing to stop you, unlike High Church, which will either persecute you or continue to tax you as if you were still a member. I think I see where you're coming from with Luther, but I have heard it said that whatever Luther wanted, he was himself responsible for the rupture by engaging in political intrigue. The "madness and the disaster" of the reformation is quite frankly ridiculous terminology. In England and Scotland at least it gave rise to the richest source of Christian literature the world has known, and it also led to the bible being translated into native tongues, which many seem to forget.
  7. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    I've not stated any such thing. I only insist that culpability be established in respect of any divorce. As Jesus makes clear, establishing culpability for adultery is very important. If a church fails in that, it fails in everything. The only notion of "no fault divorce" belongs to paganism. I distinguish temporary separation from divorce. They are not the same concept. And I dispute you synopsis of "no adultery" provided divorce is for the "right reasons." Jesus says otherwise. A woman who divorces commits adultery. Matt 19;12. In fact in 99% of cases of alleged spousal abuse, Christianity only allows temporary separation and not divorce. You don't seem to have the right mindset, or rather, it is that of the State, not the church. The State is not the church nor ever identified with the church in the bible. I do not agree. Divorce / adultery is a repudiation of the faith. It can only be repented of by getting back together. Counselling is OK as long as it has this as its end. If not it is worthless unless given to the innocent party. As Paul says "If the unbeliever leaves...." 1 Cor 7:15. It is invariably the unbeliever who leaves. Yet it is wrong because its all about lust. And I wasn't referring to ball room dancing, because even the man's wife was complaining about it. Ian Paisely - "Line dancing is as sinful as any other type of dancing, with its sexual gestures and touching. It is an incitement to lust." Entertainment by TV is devoted to pagan values and not compatible with 1 John 2:16. I don't live in your country and here, what I would pay if I did watch TV would actually go to make the pagan entertainment, not merely bring it into the house. However I don't see why anyone needs TV in the internet age. I haven't paid a TV license for 33 years. I don't think I've missed much. That is true. But I can excommunicate baptistry or rather the detestable heresy of high calvinism from my life, which is what I endeavour to do. Calvinism too readily accedes to the heresy that holiness is unnecessary because grace supplants it. Salvation is of this world and nothing can take it away? You are quite wrong there. Nothing could be further from the truth. OSAS is a diabolical heresy unless heavily qualified, but IMO, people don't understand why it needs to be qualified. It needs to be because it is never taught in scripture except on the implicit assumption that a person will continue to persevere. It is not the primary duty of a Christian to try to influence what pagans do, only to bring them to Christ. I don't eat out because I don't like restaurants. I don't regard Sundays as a special day too much but I think it is important at a national level. I would never judge a person for what they do on a Sunday. A computer is a source of temptation for sure, but it is much more, and in any case, blocking filters can be applied for unsuitable content.
  8. outlawState

    Anglican Catholic Church

    High church is defensible "if" the State is Christian. But it is a big "if". For a State to be Christian there is going to have to be a high degree of biblical conformity. One thinks back to the days of Charlemagne and the "Holy Roman Empire." Then Europe pretended to be Christian but was it ever really? Surely not with the papacy that was scarcely less than pagan itself. Same with Constantine. Same with Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth of England. Just one "High church" that ever kept on changing its doctrine with every new ruler. With Constantine et al. it was Arian <-> Orthodox. In England it was Catholic<-> Anglican. It illustrates that in high churches, there is usually a large emphasis on form, and some of it will always be offensive to some. So the creeds and the prayer books creep in, and they supplant the bible to a large extent, and then people disagree over the creeds and the prayer book, and over rubrics and positions for taking communion, and in what manner and form, and before you know it, religion has become angel-worship and consists of little more than following man made rules and regulations enforced by the State. All this is quite alien to scripture. So I guess High Church does not have much of a biblical basis, at least as it is observed in history. That is true, but it need not be. The monarch could object. Today our monarch is servile and only interested in towing the line is to her discredit, but what is a female monarch doing being head of the church anyway? It makes a mockery of the bible, which is why the Scots were prepared to lay down their lives to preserve presbyterianism in Scotland in the 17th century. However a clergyman can still do good work despite the perverse set up, in the high church of England, if he applies his mind. It does not have to be a matter of theology. Catholicism is obviously always high church or rather despotic church and cannot be anything else, but outside of it, there is scope for a meeting of the two types of church in a unified theology provided one is prepared to compromise. Thus low church methodism/armenianism met with high church anglicanism/calvinism in the person of clargyman Legh Richmond at the beginning of the 19th century and produced a fruitful outcome in terms of evangelism. Richmond had himself been strongly influenced by methodism. He was the author of the best selling tract "Annals of the Poor" that coverted many, and he also personally converted many people, despite remaining always an Anglican. He was not alone. The methodist revival had had a good effect on many CofE clergymen.
  9. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    May be, may be not. Women who simply want to lord it over others are probably not the best teachers. Teachers have to lead by example. Women who have cropped hair are not an example I would wish any woman to follow. I just feel repelled by the legions of cropped grey haired women one meets at church, and who never cover their heads. I would not have any woman teaching who refuses to cover their heads. Indeed. His work was his confession of faith and for many, that is their only work, especially if they die young, or are converted near death. However a confession is a confession and God will honour it. Check out the true tale of little Jane in the "Annals of the Poor" that you can find online. I was specifically referring to a middle aged persion I knew who watched a dancing program featuring young women. In my location, most TV is propaganda. I accept that there are history and science programs worth watching on TV, but I am not prepared to pay a license to immoral people who spend most of their time producing immorality that causes others to sin, so I have renounced TV entirely. If what you have to pay to watch TV goes to cause others to sin its better not to watch TV, and its also good because it removes temptations, and the world. As Jesus said, it would be better to be thrown into the sea with a mill stone around your neck than cause others to sin. And if one pays money to the persons who do it, knowing what they are doing, isn't one then liable oneself? Same goes for watching movies. Should be banned for all Christians. I have never been in such a situation, so I could not say what I would do. Most likely it would never occur with me as I would not be found attending said church. It is however a scandal. Divorce means adultery, as Jesus said. Someone is responsible and that person must be dealt with. If the church fails to deal with it, it is no church of God.
  10. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    True to an extent but the bible gives a clear admonition to those who expect to progress in godliness amongst the heathen: "What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” 17 "Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 18 And: “I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." There comes a point when one has to get to grips with 1 Cor 11:16 "If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God." A rule for the church of God, that reflects the order of God, that upholds the truth of God, that promotes the glory of God - and Baptists trample it in the dirt. What are they playing at? They spend more time devising ways to outwit the word of God than obeying it. What is the point of dutiful prayer when in the evening you sit down and watch the pagan filth on the TV, which is another thing some baptists do, in my own personal experience. justme has given another example of a baptist who violently disagree with Christian morality respecting homosexuality. Two halves of a divorced couple in the same church is not possible without saying, "It's no church of God" Someone has to be guilty of immorality. It does not take much intelligence to realize that that church is not upholding the authority of the bible. Survival of a denomination is not necessarily in God's interest. Many denominations from our glorious past survive only as enfeebled social clubs, even tolerating the very immoralities that in the past they were set up to save us from. The very "rebuke" I received was proof of why I was justified in ignoring it. The guy just wanted to boast over me, seeing me as gullible. He neither knew my capability or my suitability, or anything about me really. One does not become a money lover by "doing secular work." Whatever logic he was employing was truly frightening - more symptomatic of a cult. I later discovered that there was a large surplus of candidates for baptist ministry. Persons no doubt more capable than myself, "qualified" but without churches to preach in. I even met one such qualified couple with no church, surviving on who knows what? So I was justified. I wasn't even being asked to fulfill a role that was in any real need of recruits. And how would it have repaid my debt to society who had paid goodness knows how much for my education? The path to holiness is not gullibility. Slam baptists? I don't need to. They do it themselves. They present a veneer of respectability but secret sins find them out, as justme has disclosed. That church that he consented to preach in obviously presented a superficial facade of godliness but when he arrived he discovered otherwise. In any case other denominations are much worse, but they don't even present a veneer of respectability. Rebuke in season is wholesome, because there is no rebuking when you're dead. Yes, there are many middle aged women in churches with cropped hair who don't cover their heads who seem to want to look like men and act like men. The term "culture" is largely from paganism and denotes an authority that derives from paganism. We know what pagan culture is - women as goddesses, women equality and even women priests. cf the temple of Cybele, Artemis etc. God's people have their own culture and it is not women centric. The Israelites were required to dispense with all the pagan practices of their predecessors in Canaan, not adopt them. 1 Cor 11 concerns the order of God, of creation, of who submits to whom. Does a women want to be godly, or pretend that she is a man? It's her choice, but whatever she chooses, she will be judged for it, and usurping authority is not something that will be approved of in heaven. Whilst divorce is pre-eminently an issue of a woman refusing to submit, it is often an issue of male attitude too. I can't help the latter and I fully emphathize with women who have to endure male perversity. Yet a woman who adorns herself with the false notion that she does not need to submit to her husband in a heretic. If you don't want to submit, don't get married. Eph 5:22 5:23, and if you don't like the order of God, then (speaking rhetorically) go be a pagan, as so many would-be christians actually are. Work's based salvation is a fact of biblical teaching. We were saved to do good works. If we won't do them are we really Christians?
  11. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    Well, I extend my deepest sympathy to you, and I think it only confirms all that I have said about the worldiness of Baptist churches. I am not making it up, and I doubt I have heard the half. I recall when I was young that one Baptist pastor wanted me to work for the church but I refused because I did not know what it would entail and besides which I knew not how I would be paid and I did not know whether I even approved of baptists. He called me a money lover. What a joker. I did wonder whether I was in the right place. One goes to a church because it is convenient but just because one goes, does not mean one approves of it. Quite honestly I doubt that I could ever be induced to attend another baptist church on a full time basis. I do wonder why you stick with baptists though. Ever tried Free Presbyterians? They strike me as being on a different level. No church that does not insist that women cover their heads is a credible church in my eyes. Adultery in the congregation and they're still in the church? 1 Cor 5 has something to say about that, and 1 Cor 11 is a reason why there is so much immorality in churches. The divine order must be preached - all of it, even men over women - for it is not optional. I favour the brethren model that does not go in for paid pastors. It relieves the congregation of an incredibly high financial burden, and the congregation by being encouraged to participate far more, rather than merely being spectators, are usually more much mature on account of it.
  12. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    The pastor is the overseer. I see it as a role intimately connected to the congregation. A pastor stays with one congregation. He does not move from place to place. That is more like a teacher / preacher. In Baptistry the roles are confused or rather comingled to an unacceptable extent. In two of the baptist churches I have been to, the pastor left, new ones came in. That is not acting the role of "pastor." Same with evangelical churches I have attended. A few years later, the minister leaves and in comes someone else - someone with such different priorities that the church almost disintegrates. The pastor is not being faithful to his calling if he leaves. He may be deselected because of sin, but that is very rare. Far more common is that he choses to move on "to enhance his career," as you say. That is not the biblical approach to pastorship. The travelling pastor is not the real pastor. Paul the apostle was not the pastor of every church he founded. I think this is one of the most important issues with Baptist churches i.e. aloofness. When I left one church after going for well over a year, no one could care less. No one was interested. What sort of church is that? Some pastors are very secure, because they stay in one place, but many do not, and it shows because they come across as aloof. There is a distinct "them and us" quality. I wanted to be clear that it was nothing to do with me, and it is not what you expect in church members. What does it say about the quality of the membership, about the maturity of the congregation? You sit there, week after week, listening to all those words, taking communion, and then you divorce your spouse. It's all very well preaching the authority of God's word, but if there is no love, it's just a waste of time. Again, I believe aloofness was an issue. People just don't feel loved so they take extreme measures. Antichrist is not a denomination but a spirit. A denomination is fundamentally an individual church. You're making it too much of an issue. I don't see denominations as an issue in themselves. I am quite beyond them, but I dislike high church and equally I dislike those who don't obey scripture.
  13. outlawState

    Anglican Catholic Church

  14. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    A ridiculous suggestion. I am entirely non-denominational. The more I see of the church universal there is good and bad everywhere. Even in Anglican episcopacy, which I regard as a veritable seat of antichrist nowadays, I can find people who are nearly orthodox. There are splinter groups, people who reject falsehood and embrace the bible in every denomination, perhaps, except some notorious ones. As it is written, approximately, "I have reserved for myself a remnant who has not bowed their knee to ba'al." (1 Kings 19:18). Yet Baptistry for me held out great hopes in my youth, because of my historical association with them, but the more I see, the more I find lacking. I guess its about expectation management. You see the church through an idealized lens when you are young, but when you get old, you see so much that is absurd. Not necessarily. A pastor is the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly, from the greek, a herdsman. It does not necessarily denote that the sole task of bible teaching is assigned to him. Baptists impute far too much into the office of a pastor, IMO. True; yet there are so many manifest failings in pastorship; and the reason is often down to the baptist style of operation. You don't want to offend the congregation, lest they move on elsewhere. Equally the elders of the congregation can deselect you. So the pastor fears the congregation and an antipathy builds. It is an especial problem where ministers move from church to church such as in baptist churches, but also in many others, because then they are seen as remote. Then their fidelity is more to their office and reputation than to their local church. I have seen it in happen in a baptist church. The pastor offends the elders, the pastor goes. In the same church, a wife divorced her husband (nothing to do with me). What sort of witness is that kind of church? Like the church in Sardis, which had the reputation of being alive but was in fact dead. Rev 3;1. In another baptist church, a woman with the occupation of a "model" turns up and is welcomed. In the same church another young woman who claimed to have 13 boyfriends concurrently attends. This is the reality of baptistry today, in places. Being the light of the world is a non-denominational affair. How can you possibly be the "light of the world" if your world is restricted to one denomination? Denominations are a legacy of the fact that the church exists in the world. Denominations are biblical because churches are localized and as you say, they have to be political to some degree, and with such a history as antichrist has wrought in the church of God, they are bound to exist. Yet I try to not let denominational markers bind me, but often denominations impose such preconditions that it is impossible to associate with them.
  15. outlawState

    Is it me, or does the church seems to be a bit unwelcoming?

    One could equally posit, "And it depends on what a church is looking for in choosing a person." For you are the church, a real person, but not all churches are churches of God. A church chooses you, as much as you choose it. Many times I have felt that I was being rejected by a church that deemed me incompatible. "whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me." Luke 10:16 That even happened at the church door on some occasions. Conditions set upon entry, political hurdles and obstacles to be overcome - all these are par for the course these days. Some churches are more interested in your politics than in your beliefs. Thus a woman minister demands acceptance of the equal authority of women's ministry as a political belief, before you can honestly partake in the church meeting. For me that equates to instant rejection. What you have identified with baptists being "lost" without a pastor is quite reflective of the problem of baptistry these days. There is so much going for baptists in being free from the political shackles of history, but whatever advantage that is, is nullified by spiritual immaturity in expecting a minister to teach them for the rest of their lives. They remain babes (1 Cor 3:2, Heb 5:12). This is not good because it is concomitant with worldliness - not working in the world but following the standards of the world - which is another issue with baptists. For to be sure, there are lay people in other denominations who are far more spiritually advanced than many baptists.
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