Monday, September 21, 2009

The Congregation Test 2: Holy People listen to holy teachers with holy messages (part 5 of 6: HOLY UNBELIEF-- Insights from 1 John 4:1-6)

Spiritual messages from spiritual teachers will be received by spiritual men

John 10:27: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

John 10:5: "But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

The word of God will come upon his people with great conviction (1 Thess. 1:4-5)

In the process of testing, we should also ask,"What is the church's attitude towards this teaching?"

“if the community we have always trusted, if the church as the historic custodian of truth refuses this prophesy, we should be warned” (Gary Burge, NIVAC)

In the Roman Catholic church, the final authority is Sola Ecclesia- whatever the church says. As evangelicals, we are for Sola Scriptura. Yet it is wrong to think that the church has no value in teaching the truth.

“Those who claim that the church has no value and isn’t instrumental in teaching Scipture are wrong. The church is the pillar and foundation of truth and this “community of God” is instrumental in keeping us in check with the rest of the Christian community.” (Ray Aviles, BARM Public Square)

On his appearance on the June Cain Miller show Dr. Walter Martin pointed out that though he wrote a book on cults (The Kingdom of Cults), he was not the one who classified groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Cristian Science, etc. as cults. He said that it was the Christian Church who classified theses groups as cults.

I could recommend contemporary statement on the essentials of the evangelical faith:
Aside from contemporary statements, ancient documents are also helpful: the Heidelberg and Westminster cathechisms; The Apostles creed, Nicene Creed and Athanasian Creed.

These are helpful tools for testing the spirits.
Ano ba ang paniniwala ng mga taong banal noon at ngayon?

I have a friend from Grace Communion International (GCI), formerly the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). He is very much into theology; we discuss theological issues once in a while. Recently, GCI has embraced Karl Barth soteriology. What I am trying to do is to show my friend that Barth’s view is far from the evangelical consensus. I’m trying to warn him about the effects of these recent developments within GCI. This will surely affect GCI's standing in the evangelical community. I even think that GCI’s position is worse than Barth’s now, for they mix it with their long-held error of post-mortem salvation.

Test everything. Hold on to what is good. Shun evil.
Let us ask ourselves:
Will godly Christians celebrate this teaching?
If they treasure this doctrine, why would I reject it?
If they abhor this doctrine then why should I accept it?

Godly men will accept truth; and when you offer the same to ungodly men, they will reject it. They will find no beauty in it.

“He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God" (John 8:47)

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