WHAT DOES “CHURCH” MEAN TO YOU?
IS IT JUST A BUILDING YOU VISIT ON SUNDAY, SOMETIMES? WHAT HAPPENS THERE?
WHEN YOU CHOSE TO COME TO THIS PAGE YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY INTERESTED IN WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY.
AFTER YOU READ THIS, YOU WILL EITHER AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH US.
WE WILL HOWEVER SUPPORT OUR STATEMENT WITH SCRIPTURE AND GIVE CONTEXT TO IT, NOT JUST A SINGLE VERSE HERE AND THERE WITHOUT EXPLAINING WHY WE USE IT.
ONE OF THE GREAT CONTROVERSIES IN CHRISTIANITY TODAY IS ABOUT “SPEAKING IN TONGUES”.
ARE “TONGUES” NECESSARY?
WE BELIEVE THAT SPEAKING IN TONGUES IS THE EVIDENCE THAT SOMEONE HAS RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT. IT IS NOT THE “GIFT OF TONGUES” AS MOST WOULD BELIEVE.
We are a “Pentecostal” church. Unfortunately that description has become accepted as just another denomination amongst thousands of other “denominations”, which are far too many to name. We not only contend with so called “christianity” here, but also eastern religions that have no connection to biblical doctrines and principles whatsoever. Those “pagan” derived religions are so often treated as equals within the “Christian” movement. God, however did not, and soundly condemned them as false and deceptive. Amazingly enough humanity sees God as being intolerant, so many Christians today have decided to do things differently and speak for God when He has not spoken.
In the Old Testament those people would have been called false prophets, with the appropriate penalties. So, what of them today? God is gracious and merciful allowing those on the wrong track time to repent of their misdeeds, just as he did to the Jews on the day of pentecost, but judgment is indeed coming.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
On the day of pentecost, which was an important feast day in the jewish calendar there were only Jews present. They were then, and still are of a mind that they are God’s chosen people and that there are no other people on the face of the earth that have any right to a relationship with God. They absolutely do not believe that the Messiah (Jesus) has come and gone the first time, yet God gave them an opportunity to repent of their old ways and become a part of the church. The great majority refused. They were disobedient to the call.
Not much has changed in the human condition. The Church as it was on the day of Pentecost soon (150 years or so after the day of Pentecost) became broadly what we see today. There are differences in doctrines and “churches” have split and formed other groups because of disagreements over doctrine as well as personal issues, over the ensuing years, but they have now become “tolerant” of one another. Sadly tolerance has become the new religion. Everyone positively has to be tolerant of one another and agree with or respect their beliefs. Tolerance was not God’s way. By todays standards God would ultra right wing and bigoted, at least as far as religion is concerned.
So long as you believe in Jesus you must be saved! Not so says the Bible. (Intolerance!)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Our first question is this. How does one know they have the Spirit of Christ? This verse was written to a church in Rome (not the Catholic Church) that was obviously having trouble with people making claims that they were “Christians” without the proof. The Roman church was a Spirit filled, speaking in tongues church. If speaking in tongues was not an integral part of receiving the Holy Spirit, then the verse quoted is redundant because there would be no way to distinguish between people filled with the Spirit, and those that were not.
In the Old Testament God set forth a number of principles that have been carried forth in to the New Testament. They are not counted as “Law”, but are principles that govern life and good behavior. One of these principle was the burden of proof to convict or prove a matter. If the number of eyewitnesses to a matter was lacking, then the case was summarily dismissed. If two or three reliable and trustworthy eyewitnesses gave the same witness, then the case was proved and prosecuted.
The Apostle Paul used this in his letters to prove his point
2 Corinthians 13:1
Paul’s Desire to Visit Corinth Again
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Paul was not involved in proving a criminal case. He was just reinforcing to the Corinthian church that he was going to return to them and repeat the same things he had said before. Paul was always accompanied by one or more of his traveling companions who had seen and heard all the things that he said to the other churches.
Jesus said at about 12 years old when questioned about what he was doing. His response was “I must be about my Father’s business”. We feel the same way! Jesus was not going to compromise God’s word, neither should we. But sadly Mankind is repeating exactly the mistakes that the nation of Israel made in the Old Testament. Jesus accused the Jews of His time of corrupting the word of God for their own benefit. He said to them,
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.