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Fundamentalism

A simple explanation of fundamentalism may be: “We believe in Bible truth, the whole Bible truth and nothing but the Bible truth.”

Fundamentalism is claimed by many, but practiced by few. Many know how to sound like a fundamentalist, inspire a sense of pride about being a fundamentalist and raise support, supposedly for fundamentalism. But when it comes to operating like a fundamentalist, well, that’s fundamentally another story.

A practicing fundamentalist is accused of being too narrow minded and ugly spirited. But the attacks against fundamentalism are not coming from true fundamentalists. They are rather coming from those who consider it to be “more Christian” to compromise the truth for the sake of pleasing men, than to uphold the truth in order to remain faithful to God’s Word.

However much we believe in fundamentalism, we also must humble ourselves before God, lest we pollute it. It must remain a practice of unfeigned faith, rather than become a sense of self-righteous pride. We must not become more interested in marking one another’s faults than we are in doing the work of the Lord.

I recently read an article that stated: “Doctrine is basic and if we have no sure, clear message from the Lord, there is no point in our approaching others. It is utter folly to cry, ‘Forget about our differences and get on with the work!’ It is only as we grasp the truth of God and as it lays hold upon us, that we can be used in gospel work.” End quote.

Let us also discern the difference between earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, from becoming of a contentious and hard spirit. God’s truths are to clear our hearts and minds about our mission. They are not intended to make us bitter and resentful against doing God’s work.

Another good rule of Christian faith is that unless we have the inspiration within ourselves to really do what we claim to be contending for, we are simply entertaining ourselves with our religion instead of living by faith. While we may denounce as false doctrine that which says there is no literal hell, we ourselves may not be doing anything in support of the truth that people need to be witnessed unto, lest they come to that awful place of torment. It has been stated that our protest against error should be equaled and surpassed by our positive and practical devotion to the truth.

Fundamentalism is bred by repentance and saving faith. It is the true spirit behind submission and obedient faith. It is the principle that allows consecrated, separated Christian living. It grounds us in God’s plan and purpose. It teaches us accountability to God’s Word in all we do. It fills us with expectant joy in God’s promises.

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Exampleship

Though exampleship is not a ship, it is in the same ship as discipleship. “Be thou an example of the believer”; “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”; “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Exampleship is not exampleship until it is exampleship! We are to set before others in real living that which the Bible teaches our living is to be. Apart from this, our living may very well be an open contradiction to God’s Word, which God will judge.

Though never perfect in the flesh, we need to be blameless in our efforts and faithful in our endeavors. This is the manifestation of our love for God, in choosing to keep His commandments. For others to see us as an example, they must see our observing all things God’s Word commands, with great expectation. On the other hand, if others think of us as an example when we are not, they can pick up on our unfaithful ways, thus making ourselves guilty of betraying their trust and misleading them.

While it is true some things are not specifically spelled out in detail in the scripture, which calls for prayerfully making decisions on scriptural comparison and principle, other things are unmistakably clear on what God’s will is for us. To be an example, we must not only prove what God’s will is, but we must also consecrate ourselves to the actual doing of it. To know of the will of God without seeking to obey it, becomes the sin of omission, which if let go, will sear our conscience, while quenching the work of the Holy Spirit.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” We must not be permissive of neglect and unfaithfulness, lest we lose the grand vision of the glory and honor of Christianity.

Being an example eliminates regrets, qualifies for God’s blessings, lays up treasure in heaven, reaps a good harvest, brings joy and fulfillment, and makes right living important in the minds of others, while the lack thereof will vex our own soul.

“Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

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Confusion’s Distraction

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” Matthew 24:10

Nothing produces confusion any more than hatred. Hatred, apart from the truth of God’s Word, is based on prejudice, which perverts judgment.

The hatred towards Christ (which was without a cause, John 15:25) had so prejudiced the minds of the people, to the extent they sought false witnesses against Christ: they voted for the release of a criminal, instead of letting innocent Jesus go free; they ignored the legal findings that there was no fault to be found in Christ; they pressured the legal system until it finally caved into their demands for Christ to be crucified.

When it came to the opposition against Christ, truth was not a part of the equation, as was expressed by Pilate’s remark, “What is truth?” John 18:38.

Where confusion abounds, Satan manipulates. Satan, as the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, manipulated the world into crucifying Christ, with unrelenting resolve. This was done with only one side of this fiasco being made up of sinful people. How much more Satan has to work with, when all sides are imperfect (sinful).

The confusion that is abounding today, driven by all the prejudice that hatred affords, is keeping people distracted from the greater problem: Satan’s advancing of his anti-Christ agenda. God is being removed from the thought processes of this generation. God’s Word is being shredded as the moral authority of society, while society is transforming into a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. These major transformations have become insignificant issues compared to the confusion that has everyone’s attention.

“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14 Don’t expect resolution. With all the laws in place, and all the judicial institutions that exist in our society, if it was a matter of justice and judgment being exercised, the issues would have been settled a long time ago.

As we witness the snare of confusion as God’s Word spake would come, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be able to escape all these things…” Keep your eyes on the Lord!

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Take Up The Stumbling Block

“Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.” Isaiah 57:14

The subject of a stumbling block is often dealt with as being someone else’s problem, but not possibly our own. But denial, instead of full consideration, may very well indicate this is a problem with ourselves.

A stumbling block is something that trips us up in the course that God would have us take. And all too often, rather than take it up, we just let it remain as a limiting factor to what we do. So we limp along, with unfinished business, failing to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. And, we let the circumstances created by the presence of the stumbling block become our justification for things being the way they are.

But God tells us: rather than readjust our whole life to accommodate the stumbling block, we are to exercise our faith in not letting that particular circumstance interfere with going ahead and doing what God wills for us to do. We are to overcome by faith, rather than let circumstances prevent us.

Stumbling blocks impede the needed progress. The things we do while letting the stumbling blocks remain in our way, are not sufficient enough to amount to real progress. Whatever it is that the stumbling block is preventing, is the very thing we need to make real progress.

God has also assured us that He will not suffer stumbling blocks to be laid in our pathway, that He will not grant us a victory over, should we seek this victory from Him by faith: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Where our stumbling blocks are concerned, we need to seek a revival from God to the extent we will no longer allow stumbling blocks to hinder our doing of His will: “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

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Putting Away The Evil

“And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” Deuteronomy 21:20-21

No doubt theses are shocking words to every parent. This is understandable, in consideration of natural affection, which is for the preservation of our posterity.

But God was dealing with the larger and more potent problem that lies beyond all the power of parental love and good will, “…the putting away of evil from their society” v21. Every murderer, rapist, child molester, thief, terrorist, etc., is somebody’s child. So to exclude judgment based on parental love, would simply open every door for evil to abound.

Rather than the nation of Israel be a society where parents would harbor any wicked adult child, the parents, who knew what was going on, were to bring them in to the authorities. This way the evil would be put away before the evil left a trail of victims and ruin. According to Divine judgment, those who chose wickedness did so at the expense of their own life, and were to be put out of business before they victimized others.

Human nature is inherently depraved, see Psalms 58:3. All have the capacity to commit any and all sin, by the fact we are born sinners. No one has to be taught how to do wrong–that comes natural. But people have to be taught, trained, and disciplined to do right.

The human heart is deceitful above all things, see Jeremiah 17:9. Children can and will deceive their parents, until their parents make it a point to be perceptive about their children’s conduct and character. You can’t catch a thief by depending on them to admit their guilt. You can’t prove a person is a liar just by asking them if they are telling the truth. All that children need to live deceitfully, is to know that their parent will take their word for everything and will not seek to perceive what they really are doing.

Another aspect of deceit is manipulation. Children can manipulate their parents by talking about the “bad” that somebody else did, when in reality this is what the child is doing themselves. By putting blame on someone else, this throws parental attention off what their child is doing, as well as deceiving the parent into thinking their child has a good sense of right and wrong. Make sure that you perceive what’s going on when your child diverts your attention to someone else’s wrong doings. Evil must be perceived before it can be put away!

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No Excuses For Missing Church

In order to make it possible for everyone to attend church next week, we are planning a special no-excuse Sunday.

1. Cots will be placed in the vestibule for those who say, “Sunday is my only day for sleeping in.”
2. Eye drops will be available for those whose eyes are tired from watching TV too late on Saturday night.
3. We will have steel helmets for those who believe the roof will cave in if they show up for church.
4. Blankets will be furnished for those who complain that the church is too cold. Fans will be on hand for those who say the church is too hot.
5. We will have hearing aids for the parishioners who say, “The pastor doesn’t talk loud enough.” Ear plugs for those who complain he speaks too loud.
6. Score cards will be available for those who wish to count the hypocrites.
7. We guarantee that relatives will be present for those who like to go visiting.
8. There will be TV dinners available for those who claim they can’t go to church and cook dinner, too.
9. One section of the church will have some trees and grass for those who see God in nature, especially on the gold course.
10. The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies to create an environment for those who have never seen the church without them.

ALSO, HOW ABOUT…..
–Enclosed booths for those who cannot stand to be in a crowd.
–Oxygen for those who get to feeling “stuffy”.
–Robes for those who don’t have clothes to wear.
–Spotlights for those who like to be the center of attention.
–Pillows for those who like to sleep in church.
–Joke books for those who say the pastor is too serious.
–Thinking caps for those who can’t make up their mind.
–Pictures of Satan and hell for those who love their sin.

OR HOW ABOUT…..
–Preaching, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish?”

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Too Much Is Too Much

“It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.” Proverbs 25:27

Too much of any one thing is not good. Even visiting one’s neighbor too often becomes too much–“Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.” Proverbs 25:17

Evidence that one is indulging too much in one thing is that it begins to crowd out and take the place of other things that are a part of a wholesome life. Eating too much junk food diminishes one’s appetite for necessary nourishing food, which affects one’s health in a negative way. There are many other examples.

Some of the most vibrant and productive Christians lived before the age of the movie. Thus the argument can rightly be made that Christians do not have to have movies. Our forefathers founded our nation without movies. So movies are not the source of individual motivation to work hard, be smart and productive. Friendship, fellowship, fun and good times all existed before the movie.

I know we won’t be able to turn the clock back to the time before the movie, but as Christians, we need to prove all things. We need to be good stewards of our time and opportunity. We must not foolishly let our liberties become our snare. If you think a movie is a good thing, then make sure you use it for the better, not worse.

There is a down side to the movie, however. Setting aside the fact of the billions of dollars people pour into Hollywood, that enables them to wallow in squalor and sin, as well as this money being the working capital to produce other movies that blaspheme Christ and celebrate wickedness, the point I wish to make is this: even if you judge the movie to be good, how much is good for you?

With these things having been said, let’s do some considering. When a person stays up late to watch the movie, thus making them feel too tired to get up on time to attend the Bible teaching in Sunday School, is the movie “good”? When a person takes hours to watch movies, but they have no time to get their good works done, is the movie good? When a person is bored with real life and only satisfied in the fantasy world of the movie, is the movie good? When the movie replaces creative thinking, project undertaking, skills development, rewarding and productive undertakings, the ability to have fellowship and friendship with real people, on a real life basis, is the movie good?

When the movie keeps one’s heart and mind so preoccupied, that there is no time or interest in real communion in God’s Word and prayer, is the movie good?

When one is at a loss unless they have a movie, this sounds more like an addiction rather than an addition. What’s framing your life?

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The Marital Dilemma

Recent survey statistics tell a heartbreaking (home breaking, child distressing) story. Of those married persons interviewed, 1 out of 2 said they had cheated on their spouse. Over 30% said if they had to do over, they would not marry their spouse again. Another 20% were unsure as to whether they would marry their present spouse again. This means that over 50% of those who are married, are dissatisfied with their spouse.

Add to that the fact that almost 1 out of 2 marriages end up in divorce, and that 2 out of 3 remarriages also end with divorce, plus the great host of people living together who aren’t married, with approximately 40% of babies being born out of wedlock, the words of Isaiah 1:5 pale in comparison, “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.”

Marriage is the foundation of homes. Homes are the foundation for society. And building without a proper foundation, leads to crashing disaster.

Marriage was, and still is, ordained by God. Without God, marriage would never have existed. This is the key point, that without God being the Lord of those marrying, marriages are lacking the right stuff to even survive. By faith, marriage can still be blessed of God. Regardless, all marriages need to look to God for their savor and enduring success.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Psalm 127:1. Just being saved doesn’t automatically mean that God is building the house. Saved people can be hard hearted and self willed.

It takes quality “material” and integrity to properly build a house. Godliness, virtue, moral integrity, and upright conduct are necessary ingredients to build the trust and respect essential to marital success. Should a Christian abandon these to walk on the wild side, taking liberties, stirring the fires of infatuation with immodesty and suggestive activities, leaving the door open to temptation and sin? Through allowing themselves to be put in unguarded situations, the lusts and desires of the flesh will ignite and devour all virtue and godliness, leaving only the mess of sin and spiritual defeat.

Do not err! A Christian must watch and pray to not enter into temptation. The flesh must be denied to avoid sin. We must walk in the Spirit, to avoid sowing to the flesh. Human experience testifies to the fact that when you play with fire, you will be burned!

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A Declaration Of Purpose

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20

A New Testament Church is to proclaim God’s Word, will, and way, teaching people to observe all things that God has commanded, according to all scripture.

The fact is, no one measures up to God, God’s Word, or will. All have sinned and come short of God’s glory. That is the reason for salvation by grace. But when God addresses the difference between a sinner’s own state, way and thoughts, versus God’s righteousness, He does so by commanding the sinner to repent, to forsake his own way and his own thoughts, and return unto the Lord. God does not take the position that He must alter or change His position to accommodate man, but that man needs to forsake his way unto seeking God’s way.

The church ministry is to be Christ’s ambassador. Thus the church holds before people God’s standard, God’s will and way. No one measures up perfectly. So the church continues to call upon people to turn from their will and way and return to God’s will and way. When people get away from God’s way, they are challenged to come back to it. When addressing the differences between people’s circumstances and God’s Word, the church is not to try and make compromises to accommodate people, but rather continue to call people back to God’s Word and way.

When good people’s circumstances differ from God’s Word, the church is to continue to declare God’s Word to be righteous, while at the same time committing these differences into the hands of God to judge. The church must also call for all people to acknowledge that God’s Word is righteous and that His judgment will be just in upholding His Word.

Whenever people choose a course that differs from the way God’s Word sets forth, there must be an understanding in the minds of all, that the individual who makes this choice must bear the burden of that choice rather than the church. The church’s integrity to teach people to observe all that God has commanded must be guarded and supported by all.

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Save Them From The Curse

2 Kings 2:23-24 “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”

2 Peter 2:14 refers to cursed children. How tragic it is for parents to overlook the improper attitude and ways of their children while saying, “they are just a kid” and “they will grow out of it.” Where is there scripture for that in the Bible? God’s Word teaches that what one is as a child is what they will be when they grow up. That is why God emphasizes, “Train up a child in the way he should go” and “Correct thy son while there is hope.” God didn’t say that our children have a self-adjusting system unto uprightness, but He commands that parents bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He also says that a child left to himself will bring his mother to shame.

Conviction and faith in following the teachings of God’s Word for raising children God’s way has almost passed from the scene. Rather than a parent knowing God’s will and commanding their children in that way, parents are following the child’s dictates as to what they do or don’t want to do. Discipline is nothing more than a joke for many. Rather than children knowing what it is to respect and obey their parents, parents are trying to entertain and cater to their children to keep them happy. Why the problem with training and discipline? The parent is having a problem themselves. They are not distinguishing the difference between good and evil, truth and error. Thus the child will suffer all their life long and maybe for all eternity, due to the spiritual instability of the parent.

The question often asked is, “When do I start training them according to God’s Word, and how do I get them to behave in church?” God’s answer is, “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:9-10 We must start right away with the basics and not allow wrong patterns to develop. By continually and consistently discouraging wrong behavior and promoting right behavior, the infant quickly responds. Even an infant knows by the mother’s tone of voice and look whether it is being praised or scolded, thus coming to realize what is acceptable and unacceptable to the parent. A baby craves and thrives on parental attention. They will repeat what has brought pleasant responses in the past, and gradually wean from that which is unpleasant. “Train them up in the way they should go.”

The early years of Moses’ life with his mother were especially important to him. In these formative years, at her knee, he learned of the true God. Her lips taught him the Word of God. It was from her that he knew it was better to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. She gave him the plumb line of God’s Word by which he tested all the learning and culture of Pharaoh’s court and found it wanting. No wonder Satan wants the children separated from a Christian mother in their formative years!

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