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Modern Christian Altars - false behaviour in our churches

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Without doubt many reformed Christian churches think they have reached the ultimate in church polity and practice. And they believe the way they act is close to scripture. Sadly, this is not true; most act from tradition and oddly interpreted texts.

In this paper I will very briefly point to a few examples of these poor choices of behaviour in the form of a list:

  1. Choice of pastor by deacons/elders/denominations

  2. Pastors straight from college or with ‘odd’ ideas

  3. Pastors not called to office by God, though intellectually reasonable

  4. ‘Services’ as closed, one-way statements

  5. Scheduled regular prayer meetings

  6. Prayer meetings claimed to be the ‘hub’ of church life

  7. No disciplinary process

  8. Formal membership criteria

  9. Sunday meetings geared towards unbelievers (‘Gospel’)

  10. Hymns/Songs without understanding or using heretical ideas

  11. Continual chanting of favoured choruses

  12. Pastoral avoidance of certain topics for fear of offending congregation

  13. Spiritualising instead of preaching/teaching truly

  14. Teaching denominationally instead of scripturally

  15. Making payments to denominations/para-church umbrella organisations

  16. Teaching/preaching by those uncalled to teach or preach

  17. Avoidance of teaching on sexual morality and ethics

  18. Avoidance of dealing with adultery and fornication

  19. Allowing heretics to remain in attendance

  20. Inability to recognise occultism and heresy, and adopting charismaticism

  21. Undue strict periods between communion performances

  22. Lack of instruction before communion

  23. Hierarchical issuing of cups and bread – not communal

  24. Pastors taking funerals of unbelievers and/or people unknown to them

  25. Insistence on tithing, and sometimes amounts required/publishing names

  26. Congregations forcing pastors along their own lines of daily tasks

  27. Pastors stopped from speaking on a variety of topics

  28. Pastor seen as manager or controller

  29. Deacons seen as ‘elders-in-waiting’.

  30. Deacons assuming spiritual guidance roles

  31. ‘Elders’ thinking they have higher status to deacons and not realising that ‘elders’ are another name for pastors.

  32. Formalised meetings with strict guidelines as to what to do and say

  33. Pastors applying the same counselling technique to everyone

  34. Pastors applying counselling/pastoral techniques

  35. Churches viewing psychiatric labels as authentic and outside biblical counsel

  36. Churches unfamiliar with scripture as it is written

The above are just a few of the things found in normal churches, even the best of them. They are evidence of tradition, not biblical requirement, which says some traditions are acceptable whilst others are just the ramblings of men, codified into fixed but dubious beliefs. For details on the above read my book ‘Patchwork Quilt Theology’, and separate articles on the other items mentioned. Or, just ask.

Do not be fooled into sleep! It took me ten years to understand that my preaching was Arminian, and my beliefs a mixture of good and bad. It took a further three years after leaving the established church ‘system’ to discard and start to rebuild my beliefs and understanding. The key was to stop relying on the teachings of my peers, and to discard my weak and pathetic desire to please them and to copy those already experienced in preaching. I had to get back to God.

Scripture alone became my motto. (And this was before I knew anything about Calvin and what he taught!). As my faith became alive and rooted only in what God said, I cast off the general form and also the minutiae of the former things, increasingly seeing them as false, mistaken, or even heretical in some cases.

If you are in an established church, do you see any of the points I have shown above? If so, you have found poor, or even bad, tradition. I say what I say without jud#gmentalism, because I was once caught up in the established church ‘system’, not realising it was hampering my soul and teaching me spiritual uselessness, as well as dishonouring the Lord. It is these sad things that led to the founding of my ministry – God showed me that I had been delivered from human inventions, so I must give what I knew to others. Will YOU search for God’s word instead of simply accepting human devices and traditions? If your traditions arise from God’s word, then all is reasonable. If not, you are in danger of making God’s word optional, and will be open to subtle inroads made by heretical teachings (the worst one in recent decades being the Toronto Blessing and charismaticism, which caused the downfall of many ‘sound’ believers).

Romanists rightly claim that Protestants have their own popes. This is because many Christians put their pastors and famed preachers on a pedestal. Each Christian MUST learn to stand alone before God, learning only from scripture. Only then can they join together as one... we cannot do this if we all follow different paths and different teachers! We must all follow the Lord.

© June 2015

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom