I HAVE PRETTY MUCH GOTTEN TO THE POINT IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD/CHRIST THAT I DO NOT NEED THE SPOKEN OR WRITTEN WORDS OF COMMON MAN, I AM GOOD WITH THE DAILY READING / STUDY OF THE BIBLE AND ONLY THE BIBLE. IN A TYPICAL SERMON, YOU HAVE ABOUT 50 MINUTES OF PERSONAL INSIGHT, OPINION, TRANSLATION AND STORIES, THEN THERE IS USUALLY LESS THAN 5 MINUTES OF BIBLE READING. DONT THINK SO? NEXT SABBATH COUNT IT, USE YOUR PHONE TIMER TO COUNT THE BIBLE READING TIMES. THE PERFECT SERMON FOR ME NOW WOULD BE READING OF BIBLE PASSAGES AND HAVING A DISCUSSION, THEN ANOTHER VERSE AND SO ON.
THAT IS JUST MY PREFERENCE, OTHERS LIKE AND NEED THE TRADITIONAL SERMONS AND GATHERINGS, FELLOWSHIP, SOCIALIZATION, COOL, ME TOO..... SOMETIMES.
I wonder RICK if you are not at a dangerous point in your spiritual life. To me we can not ever learn enough I always look for new things to learn. I do admit some sermons are not as inspiring as one may like, but I am sure we can always learn something.
ELIJAH, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONCERN, BUT YOUR DISTANT AND DETACHED ASSESSMENT IS WRONG. ALL IS WELL. SALVATION IS INDIVIDUAL THANK GOD.
A "JEHOVAH WITNESS" ONCE TOLD ME THAT THEY DISCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS FROM READING THE BIBLE ON THEIR OWN AND WHILE ALONE BECAUSE IT MAY CAUSE CONFUSION. THEY ENCOURAGE READING AND STUDY OF "THE WORD" WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE BETTER INSIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE.
OUR BELOVED SDA ORGANIZATION IS GREAT BUT IT IS ALSO VERY BIG AND CORPORATE MINDED. $$
Thanks for your reply RICK, I am well aware of shortcomings in the Church leadership, but the church has voted those leaders in. What the purpose of the Lord is to let those lead the church back into the wilderness I fail to understand.
I know a little about the "Jehovahs Witness" ways of doing the Bible study, it seems to be aimed at no new ideas would be able to take root in their Organisation.
No matter what happens God is in control and His truth will prevail always.
If the central theme that points to Christ is there, then our interest should be paramount.
TRUE, BUT SOMETIMES THE PRESENTER IS NOT ONE WHO IS ABLE TO MAINTAIN THE ATTENTION OF OTHERS, NOT BECAUSE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER BUT RATHER THEIR CAPABILITIES.
It should be the subject of salvation in Christ that maintains the interest and so that should be the central theme of any sermon. So, a Christ-centred sermon will also be Bible-centred.
However, some people like to hear a practical application of Biblical principles so there is a place for personal testimonies and experiences. In this way it can be demonstrated that God is a personal, living God who has an interest in the affairs of men.
Whist it is true that some people are not good speakers there is also, if I may use the phrase, "different strokes for different folks". Sometimes this can be a cultural thing. Some may like to hear a loud "shouty" emotional sermon whilst others may prefer a more considered exposition of the word.
Personally I have noticed that people like to hear about what I would call "practical Christianity", that is the word preached with testimonies interspersed to illustrate the realities of the Gospel.
One would hope that the speaker would have submitted themselves to Christ before speaking and that they are being used by the Holy Spirit to touch at least one member of the congregation if not all.
Personally again, I ask all listening to make a note of the Bible verses I use and to read through them when they are at home to ensure that everything said is in accordance with the word of God.
I remember many years ago before stepping into a pulpit in Romania for the first time, being advised that if I said anything that was thought not to be in accordance with scripture the sermon would be stopped and I would be asked to step into the vestry. There I would be questioned as to why I said such a thing and where it could be found in the Bible. I was told that if I could not show where I got it from in scripture I would return to the pulpit and apologise and that an elder of the church would then take over preaching. I was assured that it was not personal and that anyone, pastor or layman, would be placed under the same restrictions.
Can you imagine how I prayed before stepping into that pulpit? Thankfully, by God's grace, I was never asked to step into the vestry to make any explanation. Perhaps placing such restrictions generally would help to ensure solid Bible-based preaching?
Excellent points there RICK!
The church epistles (Romans to Thessalonians) are written to the body of Christ as given by Jesus Christ to Paul by revelation.
Therein there is no authority for demanding tithes, but there is giving to the necessity of the Saints FOR the saints. Yes, the denominational 501(C)(3) corporate worldly status is not Biblical. Jesus and Paul NEVER received tithes. Yet the clergy does so on a weekly basis, often under threats of God's retribution or something bad will happen to you etc. I have seen it on TV, in person and was in a ministery that went "South" and became corrupted by sex, greed and power. That is why I left many decades ago.
I have freely received and freely give what I can, whether that be the word, prayer, help, etc.
You RICK are brave to speak openly and sincerely and that you are sold out to God, and can see shortcomings in the denomination that you attend as well as good points. I like SDA people, most are really nice and have a pretty good character. I am critical of many things in general Christianity as well as some SDA doctrines and practices. For that certain individuals call me Satanic or falsely accused me of being mentally ill.
WE SEE how certain individuals ("I wonder RICK if you are not at a dangerous point in your spiritual life?) always attack anyone that has constructive criticism or actually scripture references or historical facts that they just can't handle or different opinion, or even if the spirit of God is inspiring them to speak the truth in a given situation or discussion. It often verges on or is actual hate. Hate is of the Devil. Love is of God.
These are the first principles. I John 4:20
"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
Everyone born of the spirit of God, even Catholics despite wrong pagan doctrines, are our brothers in Christ and are to be treated with love. Jesus is the head of the body of Christ. He is not the head of the SDA, the Catholic Church or any denomination for that matter. The body of Christ is composed of all those born again since the Day of Pentecost until Christ returns. Many people do not see the biggest important truths.
Walking by the spirit in the love of God is the key to all things. But 98% of Christians as I have seen do not really do so, or at most on a very rare occasion do so. Some who do walk in the power of the holy spirit have some wrong ideas or practices like the Corinthians had problems that had to be corrected.
The lack of real spirit lead leadership that are walking by the spirit of God in the love and power of God is the real issue and problem of the fallen away church.
HELLO JAMES. VERY TRUE. IT IS SAID OF KING DAVID THAT HE HAD A HEART THAT WAS AFTER GOD'S. THIS DOES NOT MEAN PERFECTION, RATHER THAT YOU WORK YOUR WAY THERE. I HAVE BEEN OFF LINE WITH THIS BLOG FOR A WHILE BUT ENJOY IT ANYWAY. IT IS AMAZING HOW SIMPLE (EASY IN PRINCIPLE) THE ROAD TO SALVATION IS AND YET MAN CAN MAKE IS SOOOOOOOO COMPLICATED.
Yes, religions put up hurdles for followers to jump over, either knowingly or by misunderstanding. Regardless, both lead to much harm. Many believers have suffered everything from rejection and doubt about salvation or rewards, to even mental illness and suicide, and in some cases even murder or sexual crimes and torment.
YES, IN THE BOOK OF MARK, JESUS ADMONISHES THE DISCIPLES FOR WANTING TO EXCLUDE OTHERS WHO WERE NOT IN THE IMMEDIATE CIRCLE OF JESUS AND THE 12.
We have to studie and preach more propchey and also the Plan of Redemption, the santcuary.
That is why offshoots are coming in are churches and take awe the members. No prophecy in bing preaching any more in the church. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become and irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
the a. church will never become babylon.