Monday, May 31, 2010
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. (ESV)
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (ASV)
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. (NIV)
Without revelation people run wild, but one who keeps the law will be happy. (HCSB)
The HCSB notes that "revelation" is literally "vision" and there are cross references to Isaiah 1:1 and Nahum 1:1 where the same word refers to the prophecies of those two prophets. Sorting through various commentaries, most take "vision" to mean the preaching and teaching of the Scriptures, with the Christians adding the New Testament while the Jews keep to the Old Testament.
This difference is critical to a church, ministry or mission. If "vision" simply means a purpose statement or other such business "trick" written about by management gurus, then there stands a good chance of there being a problem. Simply look towards the church growth/"seeker-sensitive/Emergent church/Purpose-Driven movement(s) which are following the writings of Peter Drucker. However, we do have a way to check on any "vision" given.
Really a very simple one. Check it against Scripture. See what it leads to. Being "seeker-sensitive" cripples preaching the Gospel, because it seeks to hide the "offensive" bits even though the Cross is an offense to the world! It is different than being contextual, it is throwing away the "inconvenient" bits of Scripture (in practice if not in theory) that "interfere".
Christian groups (using the "wherever three or more are gathered" rule) must fulfill all the tasks of a church as given in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:11-16. For some idea of what is required: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12) To fulfill the vision (revelation) required by Proverbs 29:18, a Christian group must cover all of these areas, not simply run off after one or two of them and then claim it as a "vision". The pastor or group leader must lead those under his authority to fulfill all of these roles while remaining under his authority, using those that God has given him.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
NOTE: This is very key. Titus was not an apostle but, as he taught that which Paul laid down (apostolic doctrine), he spoke with the authority of God. Many people in church today find it easy to discount doctrinal teaching from a pastor…as simply “his interpretation” or “his opinion”…not realizing that as far as it relates to apostolic doctrine, it is more than a pastor’s opinion or interpretation…it is an authoritative Word from God. (So…we must be very careful not to too easily dismiss what our spiritual leaders in authority say).I agree with Brother Aiken's note here. It is important to remember that this is referring to Christian doctrine based on Scripture, as Brother Aiken states. The other shoe drops in the next paragraph.
To summarize vv.5-16, we see the qualifications of elders (pastors/overseers) in a more concise list than in 1 Timothy. We recognize that the elder/pastor is a “steward” of God (v.7) overseeing what God has entrusted to him to lead. A characteristic of a pastor that is crucial is his ability to discern and teach theology and doctrine…since his adeptness at this is crucial to exhort (sound doctrine) and refute (those who teach wrong doctrine).The qualifications are clear, but the last sentence I don't hold strictly to the pastor only for discernment. Discernment is a critical requirement for all Christians. Although they make errors in discernment as they are "younger", they must still continue to discern the best that they are able, like the Bereans did.
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. (Act 17:10-12) Emphasis added.Note that they take the word given to them by the pastor (Paul and/or Silas) and then search the Word itself for support. This is a constant and ongoing process for any Christian. By blind acceptance of the "word" of false teachers, because they spoke with authority, apostasy and false teachings enter that and our churches.
Brother Aiken continues here correctly, but it is still much more than the duty of a pastor, it is the duty of every Christian, because if any person comes teaching false doctrines, even if he is (or claims to be) a pastor, the Word is clear on this.
The necessity is very apparent to Paul in Crete…since there are false religious teachers among the people who must be challenged, rebuked, and corrected. Many of them are of Jewish descent (v.10) who teach Judaism’s traditions and OTHER man-made traditions as necessary activities to the path of right standing with God (v.14).
Paul does not teach that we “live and let live;” rather, that these false teachers be confronted with “severe reproof” so that they might turn from their false teachings (v.13). Their false teaching is upsetting families and destroying the faith. To not confront, is to tacitly approve of their message and to be a co-conspirator in their destructive works.
Coddling these apostates simply encourages them. Those who support them, even while trying to be "fair" and not create a "stumbling block" on a "questionable subject" among their congregation may fall in this area. They can be busy, other things are distracting them and since it is "quiet", it is easy to ignore. It can even be ignored when sermons, even entire sermon series are being preached that totally undercut the "stumbling block" objection. Like a hammer, it chips away at the credibility of any man, especially one in authority, since it gives the appearance of working under a double standard.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2Jn 1:10-11) Emphasis added
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The antimasonic bumbling around does not offend me as a Mason, I could care less. Their claiming to be Christian and then teaching heretical doctrines in support of their antimasonic beliefs represents a different matter, that evokes a Christian duty to correct error. The fact that their lies are now so widespread that some Christians I know who even disagree with the antimasons have counseled that Masonic membership is a "stumbling block" issue, so maybe Christians should avoid it.
The problem of responding to these false teachers, for the Christian who is a Freemason, always hangs on the balance between Proverbs 26, verses 4 and 5. Of course, Proverbs is a wisdom book, so it is a set of good guidance for everyone as far as I'm concerned, but I might be a bit biased.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. (Proverbs 26:4)
IMO, most Freemasons who answer these antimasons who claim to be Christian are pursuing the first verse. These antimasons are laying forth an edited argument using only such evidence they can twist to support their position and then launching into a screed based on emotion. The Masonic counters, although well done, simply point out the errors in their faked up "facts" and then appear to figure that is all they have to do. If people stop, think and research, then this approach will work, but it fails miserably against sound bite theology and factoids, the stock in trade of the antimason who claims to be Christian. Then nothing else remains with this approach but to point and yell, "Liar, Liar!", which boils down to what the antimason does to these kind of rebuttals from Masons. This is answering a fool according to his folly, in the sense of this verse. The best option is to remain silent, as Freemasons have done for centuries, but that allows the antimasons to run around shrieking that they have "won" because no Mason will demean himself to get down in the muck with them. Then the second verse comes into play.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. (Proverbs 26:5)
Remaining silent then has allowed this cottage industry of lies to flourish and I like the way Matthew Henry put it in his commentary on the Bible:
2. Yet, in other cases, a wise man will use his wisdom for the conviction of a fool, when, by taking notice of what he says, there may be hopes of doing good, or at least preventing further, mischief, either to himself or others. “If thou have reason to think that thy silence will be deemed an evidence of the weakness of thy cause, or of thy own weakness, in such a case answer him, and let it be an answer ad hominem - to the man, beat him at his own weapons, and that will be an answer ad rem - to the point, or as good as one. If he offer any thing that looks like an argument, an answer that, and suit thy answer to his case. If he think, because thou dost not answer him, that what he says is unanswerable, then give him an answer, lest he be wise in his own conceit and boast of a victory.”Emphasis added. Wesley's commentary is more concise:
According - So as his folly needs and requires, convincing him strongly, reproving him sharply, and exposing him to just shame.Emphasis added. That is why I take the approach I do in rebutting and exposing the antimasonic crowd for what they are from a Christian perspective.
As a Christian who is also a Freemason, I'm not making a Masonic apologetic, I'm simply exposing the false Christian doctrines of these antimasons and they lay themselves open to such by claiming to be Christian. It wasn't the way I always did it, but it is the way that I have learned after prayer and reading Scripture, but that is an entire testimony on how the Lord works in His own ways to make all things come together for good. It might be interesting to Christians, but is not so much for others, so I'll put it in another post. So I engage these antimasons who claim to be Christian over at CARM on Christian theological grounds, firmly rooted in Scripture and expose their falsehoods from there instead of disputing philosophical points from the perspective of Freemasonry. CARM merely keeps the forum open and moderated lightly, so unlike places like Rapture Ready so that when the antimasons are shown to be bearing false witness and possibly teaching heretical sounding doctrine, they cannot ban you for because the antimasons aren't the moderators.
In fact, I'm of the opinion that if I ever moderate a Christian forum, I'll make sure there is a "Cults/Groups" forum with a "Freemasonry" subforum. It keeps the antimasons who claim to be Christian corralled in one place and keeps them from disrupting threads in other forums as occurred to me on the Rapture Ready forums.
I started two threads on CARM, the first being Character Counts where the record of various antimasons who claim to be Christian can be exposed, I intend to keep this one up and eventually get to some of the regular Internet antimasons who post there. The second was The cult of antimasonry which came from a discussion of the false accusations of Freemasonry being a cult. It is based on CARM's listing of cult traits on their website and while it "proves" nothing, it does point out the similarities between practices of "Christian" antimasons and the fact that Freemasonry does not have the traits of a cult from a standard listing.
In the end, what do they have? Lately, we see one antimason to use as an example, Skip Sampson, quoting an entire paragraph from the Entered Apprentice (1st degree or EA) lecture, omitting the topic sentence (i.e. - the sentence that explains the rest of the paragraph generally) because that contradicts the claim he is making. He originally quoted it fully and correctly, but his subsequent posts show how he discards everything that doesn't fit his position. After requoting the first sentence and calling him on it, we get his defense in post #11?
Sorry, don't agree. The quote is accurate, in context, and perfectly clear.So, cutting out parts of quotes, especially the sentence in the paragraph which defines what the paragraph is talking about is "accurate, in context, and perfectly clear" in the "Christian" antimason's worldview. I know what it makes perfectly clear.
When I called Skip Sampson again on his habit of snipping quotes out of context to make up his "proofs" his defense in the same post revealed the way of the antimasonic method:
Nope. It's called putting in quotes that prove the point. I stand by my conclusions.Other ways to put this are known as (cherry) picking the data to fit the line or more fittingly for this crowd: "Don't confuse me with the facts because my mind is made up!" Unfortunately, it isn't just bad scholarship that is at issue.
Mr. Sampson was hailed as a hero by several of his fellow antimasonic travelers when he showed up to end the more than a month drought of antimasons over at CARM. Skip as his fellow antimasons before him had, showed that from a Christian perspective, he held a number of the same disturbing heretical beliefs and teachings I have found to be common among the "Christian" antimasonic crowd, since my attention was forcibly drawn to their filth.
Skip has managed to deny the inerrancy of Scripture openly twice in his posts, denied Christ, adds a work to grace, claims to be able to determine others heart condition (an ability of God only) and writes as if his (Skip's) authority is the equal of Scripture. These are all heretical teachings to a Christian and destroy the "Christian" antimasonic position.
It doesn't stop his ability to claim his own beliefs, but they become just that, his OWN beliefs, not those of orthodox Christianity like is claimed by the antimasonic mob. It fits the bill I think of beating them with their own weapons and exposing them to just shame quite well. I can only pray that it will convict some of them convincingly so they will cease teaching and believing in these heretical doctrines.
For my Christian brothers who are Masons, take due notice thereof.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Iowa Quarterly Bulletin, way back in April of 1917, says this (and this is their own publication), quote: "Masonry is a Divinely appointed institution, designed to draw men nearer to God, to give them a clearer conception of their proper relationship to God as their Heavenly Father, to men as their brethren and the ultimate destiny of the human soul," end quote.
Now that is a religion. Anything that says it's a divinely appointed institution, designed to draw men nearer to God, to give them a clear conception of their proper relationship to God, to men and the ultimate destiny of their human soul—that's a religion. Masonry is a religion even though they don't want to admit it.
Oh well, I guess if somebody said it somewhere, then it must be so. So, I'm sure that John MacArthur is going to happily join in Christian brotherhood with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses? How about Jim Jones? Maybe David Duke? They all claim to be Christians and if they wrote down anything somewhere, then it just must be true for all Christians, right?. Sorry, I'm not going to drink that koolaid.
I'm not going to go any further with this quote, but there are several extremely pertinent questions to be asked about the context of this source in any scholarly discussion which John MacArthur fails to bring up, including actually citing page numbers for his quotes from M&D. As we will see, there is a good reason for this if one is being deceptive.
Albert Pike, who has been called by fellow Masons one of the most distinguished Masons the Western World has ever produced, has written one of their very important books called Morals and Dogmas. It's so important that it appears in their edition of the Bible. They have their own Bible known as the Hertel's Bible. And this is what he has written: "Masonry reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the Lawgiver of the Jews, in Confucius and Zoraster, in Jesus of Nazareth, and in the Arabian Iconoclast, great teachers of morality, and eminent reformers, if no more, and allows every brother of the Order to assign to each such higher and even Divine Character as his Creed and Truth require. We do not undervalue the importance of any Truth. We utter no word that can be deemed irreverent by anyone of any faith. We do not tell the Moslem that it is only important for him to believe that there is but one God, and wholly unessential whether Mahomet was His prophet. We do not tell the Hebrew that the Messiah whom he expects was born in Bethlehem nearly two thousand years ago; and he is a heretic because he will not so believe. And as little do we tell the sincere Christian that Jesus of Nazareth was but a man like us, or His history but the unreal revival of an older legend. To do either is beyond our jurisdiction. Masonry, of no one age, belongs to all time; of no one religion, it finds its great truths in all. To every Mason, there is a God; One Supreme, Infinite in Goodness, Wisdom, Foresight, Justice, and Benevolence; Creator, Disposer, and Preserver of all things. How, or by what intermediates He creates and acts, and in what way He unfolds and manifests Himself, Masonry leaves to creeds and religions to inquire," end quote.
Uh oh. There is something seriously wrong here. Several things in fact, so this one solid paragraph needs to be cut up to be addressed properly, but I wanted to show that this was one intact statement in MacArthur's lesson. I will point out here, that John MacArthur is using Pike without addressing the following sentence in the preface to Morals & Dogma (M&D): “Every one is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound.”
FYI, failure to deal with the preface of M&D is an immediate red flag to the discerning that you'd better put your hip waders on because it is going to get deep.
Albert Pike, who has been called by fellow Masons one of the most distinguished Masons the Western World has ever produced, has written one of their very important books called Morals and Dogmas. It's so important that it appears in their edition of the Bible. They have their own Bible known as the Hertel's Bible.
I must assume on such skimpy information that this refers to the John A. Hertel publishing company who published a number of Bibles and religious books. It was bought out in 1948 by Devore and Sons, Inc. and produces a number of “heirloom” style Bibles for several different fraternal groups, unions and family Bibles. I happen to own both of their current products, which have been published in the same format for decades. They merely include some Masonic history and other trivia in the same binding with a standard KJV of the Bible. The text of the actual Scriptures varies not one jot or tittle from any other KJV Bible of the same sub-version. John MacArthur implies here by context that this special Bible is somehow different from an orthodox Christian Bible. I know I immediately thought of the JW version which differs substantially from an orthodox Christian Bible. This is deception by omission or in plain speaking, a lie.
And this is what he has written: "Masonry reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the Lawgiver of the Jews, in Confucius and Zoraster, in Jesus of Nazareth, and in the Arabian Iconoclast, great teachers of morality, and eminent reformers, if no more, and allows every brother of the Order to assign to each such higher and even Divine Character as his Creed and Truth require. (M&D pg 525)
We do not undervalue the importance of any Truth. We utter no word that can be deemed irreverent by anyone of any faith. We do not tell the Moslem that it is only important for him to believe that there is but one God, and wholly unessential whether Mahomet was His prophet. We do not tell the Hebrew that the Messiah whom he expects was born in Bethlehem nearly two thousand years ago; and he is a heretic because he will not so believe. And as little do we tell the sincere Christian that Jesus of Nazareth was but a man like us, or His history but the unreal revival of an older legend. To do either is beyond our jurisdiction. Masonry, of no one age, belongs to all time; of no one religion, it finds its great truths in all. To every Mason, there is a God; One Supreme, Infinite in Goodness, Wisdom, Foresight, Justice, and Benevolence; Creator, Disposer, and Preserver of all things. How, or by what intermediates He creates and acts, and in what way He unfolds and manifests Himself, Masonry leaves to creeds and religions to inquire," end quote. (M&D pg 524)
I will note that there are some reasonable variation with the original text for clarity, for example, the first word in the first part is “It”, but that refers to Masonry, so the change to “Masonry” from “It” is reasonable.
However, then John MacArthur pulls a very strange thing. He runs two paragraphs together, normally not unreasonable for this purpose, but he puts the one on page 525 first and then appends the one on page 524 directly like it is one passage and skips all four of the intervening paragraphs. Why? It appears to be deceptive, especially without citations.
I underlined a few sentences to point out something Pike wrote in these two paragraphs and in the four intervening ones all repeating something Freemasons have been pointing out for centuries: that since it is not a religion (at least as John MacArthur and other antimasons must have it be to have any case at all) that claims any special revelation, it does not judge between special revelations as an organization, but allows each individual to follow his own conscience. You know, that whole freedom of religion thing.
In other words, they say they believe in God but you can decide who He is, what He wants, and how to get to Him.
So, who do we ask? John MacArthur? The Pope? Sanhedrin? The local Wiccans? Secular humanists? Communists? The next panhandler we meet? Who tells us these things? Who makes us believe them? Who decided for John MacArthur?
And then they claim all these secret words and they are told that when they come into Masonry they're not allowed to speak certain words. And if you've known a Mason you may have known the fact that he would not reveal those words but I would like to reveal them this morning.
Oh gee, we took an obligarion before God not to reveal them. So, I guess John MacArthur is inciting to sin, because to stand foresworn in such a case is taking the Name of the Lord in vain, at least for a Christian. So, Freemasons are “guilty” because they won't sin by breaking their obligation taken to God. Again, deception by omission, or a lie.
I'm going to skip over the discussion of the various words, not only because I'm going to honor my obligation taken before God, but it is some of the same old regurgitated stuff that antimasons who claim to be Christian have been peddling forever, also, there is something very disturbing in the next quote from M&D.
Pike in his Morals and Dogmas further says, "To achieve salvation the Mason must first attain a solid conviction founded upon reason, that he has within himself a spiritual nature, a soul that is not to die when the body is dissolved, but is to continue to exist and advance toward perfection through all the ages of eternity, and to see more and more clearly, as it draws nearer unto God, the light of the Divine Presence," end quote. (M&D pg 855)
This one is frightening. It also accounts for my belief that John MacArthur labors under a deceptive influence, mainly because of the sources of this modified quote from Pike. Notice that above, “Masonry” replaced “It” in a quote, which was legit and reasonable because the “It” in question was Masonry. In this quote, “it” has been replaced by “salvation”. Ok, fine, except in this case, the subject is NOT SALVATION!!!!
This is an outright lie preached by John MacArthur. Here is the preceding paragraph from M&D (pg 854-5) for context (emphasis in original): "Freemasonry is the subjugation of the Human that is in man by the Divine; the Conquest of the Appetites and Passions by the Moral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort, struggle, and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and the Sensual. That victory, when it has been achieved and secured, and the conqueror my rest upon his shield and wear the well-earned laurels, is the true Holy Empire."
I'm not going to dissect that passage or its further context in philosophical terms, because that is not the purpose of this forum and I have read the preface to M&D, however it is not teaching salvation in any terms I'd acknowledge as a basis for discussion. It might fit into Proverbs 1:7 where “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge...”, but that is only the beginning, not the end of salvation.
And then Pike says: "At the Masonic altar, the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, and the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God. (M&D, pg 226) The chaplain of the Masonic Lodge who prays as the voice of the lodge, does not pray in the name of the Carpenter of Nazareth or the name of Jehovah or the name of Allah. He prays to the Grand Artificer or the Great Architect of the Universe. Under that title men of all faiths may find each other his own deity. Failure to mention any deity by name is not denial but merely the practice of a gracious courtesy, so that each man for whom prayer is offered can hear the name of his own deity in the all inclusive title of Great Architect," end quote. (STB 8-58)
I'm trying something different here. The above is one quote by John MacArthur, supposedly by Pike from M&D. However, such is not the case and another lie is exposed. The first part as far as I can find by searching online is the partial opening clause of a sentence that begins: “Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, ...” instead of “At the Masonic altar,”. Of course, this alteration in the actual text makes it a complete sentence for MacArthur to segue into his next sentence, supposedly from the same author, the same book and the same thought, but it was not.
It comes from a Short Talk Bulletin from August 1958 titled “Some Misconceptions about Freemasonry” (LOL!) and since Pike was dead decades before 1958, another author. So John MacArthur is caught out in a lie again.
I underlined a common Masonic point that all antimasons who claim to be Christian must avoid at all costs, that NO deities are mentioned by name as deities. Why? Simply because Freemasonry does not judge between special revelations, which means it cannot confirm or deny any of them as the one, true, living God.
Well, I think you understand, that's enough…that's enough, frankly, to sicken anyone because that's a Satanic false religion. It says, “Yes, we believe in the true God,” but it reduces Him to a wrong form. It worships Him in a wrong manner and with a wrong heart attitude. It is unacceptable. And there are myriads of such unacceptable kinds of worship. And destiny is determined by that. You may think you're worshipping God, but you're not.
Actually, I agree with John MacArthur here.
It is enough, because the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ does not need to be defended by lies or liars.
Scripture itself says that “no lie is of the truth” and tells us who the father of lies is.
John MacArthur, a man whose teaching I have respected for a number of years has been led into deception by a false spirit or has chosen to become a teacher of false doctrine.
John MacArthur, lies to “defend” God and Christianity told as a sermon during a worship service is worshiping Him in a wrong manner and with a wrong heart attitude. It is unacceptable.
John MacArthur has shown himself to be capable of practicing one of the myriads of unacceptable kinds of worship.
John MacArthur may think he is worshiping God by speaking lies, but he is not.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Excellent job on the why teens are leaving independent session. I felt the brother teaching it had missed one connection. When the Church surrendered the authority to teach about "real things" and focus on "spiritual things", not only did it invalidate itself from kids who want to know about "real world things", but it also began to back away from teaching on "spiritual things" like doctrine and theology. I did talk to the brother about it and put a seed in him about adding that to his lesson plan. I cannot do any more.
Fortunately, I had a few minutes to get ready so I could let some passion slip into my words, which I don't get to do a lot. People don't realize this when they find me "cold", but with my disability I cannot afford unrestrained emotions, because finding myself on the floor unable to move is a distinct possiblity. I thank God for my temper and the procession of men: father, grandfather, uncles, coaches, teachers, preachers, etc. who taught me restraint, both for my temper and because in emergencies, panic kills. It made my life much easier after I started getting sick and I realized what was happening.
All in all, it was a great conference from a teaching point of view.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Ok, it is a big church, but that is to be expected. They have a good music group with a nice rocking beat. However, did I need to be blinded by whirling colored spots in some kind of light show that was crappier than the ones I used to see in bars a couple of decades ago? What was this need to produce "smoke" to drift over the pulpit area around the band, again a crappier effect than the one I saw in bars a couple of decades ago? Not a problem that they were bad, but this is a church! The praise and worship was great, except the cheap rock concert effects were distracting and annoying to me. Of course, the advances in video technology had produced a much sharper image of the breakout solos of the various instruments with the preening of the soloists. I'd have gotten by that until the music minister decides to announce that Jesus is in this place (Well, DUH!), then he (music minister) says that "Because I brought Him!", waits a few beats and then segues into the "where two or three are gathered..." (like I said, Well, DUH!).
Of course, then there was the special message from the pastor and his wife, pitching some weird kind of life insurance....
Now, the message we got was good. In fact, the biggest problem was that even though it ran over, the pastor could spend our two sessions tomorrow with him simply unpacking that one message. I was enjoying that message, but that life insurance pitch...
Maybe I just don't understand "big city" churches and the stresses of a pastor who deals with thousands of people in his pews, but a life insurance pitch? That was just too much. You know, when a Sunday school class gets too big, it should be split or break out another teacher or two and IMO, most megachurches and the wannabe lower echelon probably should have a rock thrown in them. I doubt the efficiency of anything they do over several small churches (except at maybe selling life insurance that not only keeps "tithing" for you after you are dead, but also sends a little check to the grandkids too) since it is much easier in a bigger church to go to sleep and "let George do it".
The problem I'd have: Does the pastor know about this issue with the music ministry playing failed rock concert guys? Does the pastor simply trust his music minister to keep things straight or what?
Gee, you wonder why some SBC members worry about whether or not the GCRTF will do anything worth the time and effort, don't you? After all, some of the leadership now were young Turks and players fifteen years ago when with either the blissful ignorance of (or active abetting of) the then CR leadership of the SBC accepted the tales of proven liars and their false witnessing over the contrary testimony of respected members. Of course, disappearing reports, thousands of documents going missing and changes in policy exceeding the mandate of the messengers by bureaucratic means have nothing to do with it. No, not at all.
In the meantime, there is much bruhaha about discernment and education of the Church. True, it is needed and I was calling for it before these bigwigs stepped in. Of course, there is my "little problem" which prevents me from being an official front line teacher. The sad thing is that my pastor is a busy man, earnestly working and striving, doing a great job of teaching the Word when he can. I'm still enjoying learning from him. Yet, my "little problem" which might be "offensive" or "questionable" to "some" in the church and could be a "stumbling block" to "some" remains totally 100% based on false witness, open lies, twisted Scripture, forgeries and shoddy scholarship. So, we could remove this "little problem" by actually doing some education in doctrines and discernment, but.....there is only one readily available teacher who is familiar and motivated with the subject matter and he.....has a "little problem".
This seems to be coming to a head, or I'm just needing to vent a little, because truthfully, the time and effort to actually educate people to that level of discernment would be wasteful even if I turned out to be the teacher from heaven, especially since there are some who would still believe what they heard from their brother's sister's mother's cousin was true. So they would just keep "viewing with alarm". That it makes my pastor look like something I don't believe he is (one of the "stealth" antimasons, who never says Freemasonry is wrong, but simply denies any Mason any responsible position) evidently just cannot be helped.
It is a small thing, but it would be a stand for truth instead of false witness, but in end results, this way is most expedient. There would be a price to be paid, because I know one person who has bought the lies hook, line and sinker. I feel it was my error not to directly confront and correct that brother on the spot, but I had work to do in the fellowship hall to finish setting up for a fund raiser and it was more expedient to let it go with my comment that it was bogus and an assurance that I would "watch out" for that pagan stuff that "trusted preachers" had said was in Freemasonry. So, I cannot very well go around talking about the mote in someone else's eye with the beam sticking out of mine.