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Pilgrim Offline OP
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I highly recommend this article, and the entire series written by Dr. Paul Elliot which reveals the downslide of the modern church, not excluding Reformed churches/denominations which at one time were considered the pillars of conservatism and biblical Christianity. The linked article is part 2 of series that has recently been put online and is from a section of his very important book, Christianity & Neo-Liberalis...hodox Presbyterian Church and Beyond.

Read the article here: What is the 'Heremeneutic of Trust' and Why is it Dangerous?


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simul iustus et peccator

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Tom Offline
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Pilgrim

As you no doubt know already, liberalism has reared its ugly head in all denominations.

I am not a member of the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention); but for years now that denomination has been going through a continuous slide into liberalism. Including to some extent in the past few years embracing the Critical Theory.
Thankfully there are some in the organization such as those in Founders Ministries have been fighting that slide.
Tom Ascol for example is a very outspoken theologian that is trying to bring the denomination, back to its 1689 LBCF roots.

It is hard for me to understand how they seem to have such patience to push against the liberal tide.

Tom

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Pilgrim Offline OP
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Did Martin Luther really think that his 95 Theses would somehow influence the Roman State Church to repudiate all the heretical pronouncements and practices and repent of their sin against God? scratchchin There comes a point when you have to shake the dust from your sandals and move on. No denomination is worth spending a lifetime to try and stem the tide of apostasy. NONE, not one denomination has been ordained of God and therefore guarded from apostasy. Seems rather ironic that Tom Ascol, who is an INDEPENDENT Baptist would try and salvage a denomination, which holds to the independence of the local church? giggle Remember, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Gal 5:9 When the leadership is corrupt, typically there is no hope of redemption.


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simul iustus et peccator

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It seems like the "good guys" - meaning Confessional, faithful - are the ones who end up leaving denominations that become apostate by degrees. I don't think it's supposed to work that way. The "bad guys" - meaning theologically liberal, abandoning the faith - should be thrown out of the Church.

But too often I think the churches are content to "leave theology to the theologians" rather than contend for the faith once delivered. Leaving things to "the experts" has always led to disaster (education and law are good examples of this as well). I think that part of what we saw in the last General Assembly of the PCA was one rare example of the "laity" (so-called "Ruling elders") standing up against a liberalizing attempt by the clergy (so-called "Teaching elders") to make the PCA less confessional and more "missional" by using the language and customs of the surrounding culture and becoming more "inclusive."

That fight is by no means over. The proposals of the General Assembly must now be ratified by two thirds of the Presbyteries that make up the denomination, so that same battle is being waged 88 more times this year (the PCA has 88 presbyteries). I think that if the Ruling Elders' influence in their own presbyteries holds sway, rather than "defer to the experts," the "good guys" might actually win in the end. A rare thing indeed, since in far too many cases it goes the other way, and the "good guys" end up leaving behind everything they built and starting over.

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Pilgrim Offline OP
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yep [Linked Image] I can't count how many times I have said/written that the vast majority of heresies that have been brought into the Church are due to professors, teachers, elders and pastors, i.e., those in authority and who are responsible for all that pertains to doctrine and life of the Church. It is my personal opinion that this is one of the major flaws/weaknesses of the Presbyterian system. I much prefer that the local church is far better at taking care of themselves than having a bureaucracy control all things. The founding fathers of the U.S. understood this really well having left a country that was not only run by the 'sophisticated, beautiful, educated, royals' but where the church was integrally involved in government. In 1384, John Wycliffe wrote in the prologue to his translation of the Bible, “The Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People”. John Bartlett cites Theodore Parker using this phraseology in a sermon in Boston’s Music Hall on July 4, 1858, noting that Lincoln’s law partner William H. Herndon visited Boston and returned to Springfield, Ill., with some of Parker’s sermons and addresses. Herndon wrote that Lincoln marked with pencil the portion of the Music Hall address “Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, by all the people, for all the people.” Practically speaking, if a local assembly decided to go 'rogue', i.e., to cast off the biblical doctrines of the faith and accept some heresy, e.g., NPP/Federal Vision or that homosexuality is not a sin, etc., then the Elder(s) could simply leave them to their own demise. And vice-versa, if an elder/pastor (a man-made fabricated bifurcation of the office of elder) began teaching/preaching heresy, then after failed attempts to bring him to repentance, he could and should be immediately expelled.

Part of the problem we both see and are in agreement is due in part to a vicious circle, which I have also voiced my concerns. This problem is two-fold. First, the entire seminary system has become a breeding ground for heresy rather than an educational institution that prepares men for the gospel ministry. Thus, what is being taught and preached in the majority of churches across all denominations and local assemblies is not the truth of God. I would compare this to our current situation in the gov't of the U.S. We have a group of elected officials who are incurably corrupt and who hate democracy and have no love for the Constitution upon which the country was founded upon and the principles and freedoms it guarantees to the people. And, the educational institutions; another misnomer for they are in fact brainwashing institutions. And lastly, there is the so-called media which is controlled by those who want to totally eradicate individual freedom and responsibility. On the other hand, there is the problem of the laity who chooses to be biblically ignorant. The idea that everyone should be like the Bereans is all but lost today. Few actually STUDY the Bible, never mind READ and MEDITATE on the Bible. The much prefer to simply attend some Sunday gathering where they are entertained and fed ''junk food' that has no nutritional benefits. If the average professing Christian had even a nominal understanding of the fundamental doctrines of the faith, the majority of these men who are peddling 'snake oil' from the pulpit would be confronted with their error(s), disciplined and if necessary cast out. Not many want to read much of anything nowadays which is over a short paragraph. They would rather spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. reading one-lines or looking at some meme or watching a 30 second video that is entertaining. The "news" is both privy to this mentality and also guilty of fostering it. Just stand back and listen to the typical news broadcast. They are nothing more than blurting out 'headlines' with little to nothing more; just a minimal amount of words so as to not actually inform the listener with anything substantial that would actually convey the reality of some event, etc.

Okay, so the short of all this, IMO, is today's 'church' mimics government, i.e., the world in myriad ways. The visible church rarely stands upon the foundation of God's supernatural, inspired Word. The officers of the Church who are given to guard the sheep are in too many cases wolves in sheep's clothing and who are full of pride and self-interest. The sheep are willfully ignorant and have little taste for anything beyond pabulum, if even that. It's a sad situation, but though it is so painful to see, it is something which God has clearly made known that this is part of His perfect will. My responsibility is to make sure that I pray that the Spirit will preserve my soul from being deceived and swept away with the masses, keeping my eyes fixed firmly upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and guiding my footsteps along the 'old paths' until He calls me home.


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simul iustus et peccator

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