Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanking God for My Old Church - Dead and Dying: Matt's recent AgapePress column

16 Comments:

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just keep watching - the Progressive church with true Christian values - the love of Christ, concern for the poor, and a voice for the good of all is rising. I hope you will see it's day of reclamation.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Dennis Broadbooks said...

Matt, would that dead, liberal church happen to be our "church in common" in Great Bend, KS? I can most certainly relate to your comments & like you, I came to know the Lord after I left this church.

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,

I can rejoice with you that God mercifully saved you in spite of the lack of clear truth etc. In the end however I think your column is unhelpful in that it is liable to cause other people to stay in such dead churches far too long, and maybe some of them will never hear or find the truth. If we must praise dead, liberal churches, please, let us do so in muted voice.

 
At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Jim Billingsley said...

Matt,

You must have gone to the same church I grew up in. Mainline, dead, liberal, never a word about Jesus's 2nd coming, never a word about the inerrancy of scripture (ALL scripture), never the conviction that as sinners - we need a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I just thank God that He sent people into my life that really knew Jesus, and they shepherded me when I had all the questions and none of the answers.

Praise God for He is worthy!!!

Jim Billingsley

 
At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who wrote the Bible?

 
At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your message. I have 2 grandchildren who do not remember when their parents attended a good conservative church. These grandchildren did want to attend church & the only one in the community was a liberal church where salvation is not the prime message of the preaching so they joined there & tell me they are Christians but their lives leave me wondering because they have not been taught the walk of the Christian life. You give me hope for their lives. Thank you.

 
At 8:20 PM, Blogger Cary Wilkins said...

Matt:
Orthodoxy in the mainline churches is not dead! An overwhelming number of us still hold to the facts that Jesus Christ is the Son of Triune God, that He is the one and only Savior of humankind, that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, and that the teachings of the Christ and the apostles are as applicable to our lives today as they were more than 2000 years ago. The statistics certainly show, however, that the congregations (of ANY denomination) that have cast-off these basic principles are indeed declining and near death. The stats also show that there are thousands of mainline congregations, along with their pastors and lay leaders, that hold fast to the Biblical teachings and are being blessed by God and growing every day. Our own Bible-based congregation has grown to several thousand members over recent years because we lift up the name of Jesus Christ boldly and with honor! And now we are helping other congregations in our area grow! So don't give up on the "mainlines" -- we're alive, blessed by God, and proclaiming the Good News every day to a lost and hurting world. We're changing the mainlines from within -- the only way it can be done, especially since the "outside" seems more intent on distancing itself from the mainlines and criticizing from afar. Why not praise God with us that these "beacons of orthodoxy" continue to exist in our mainline churches and see that we are not just something of the past?

 
At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Wayne said...

I agree with the poster who said "If we must praise dead, liberal churches, please, let us do so in muted voice". Sure some good may come out of them. But how much harm comes out also? The harm is not teaching the true gospel of Jesus. I think Jesus's 7 letters to 7 churches in Rev 2 and 3 sum it up.

Many are condemned for "losing their first love" and for teachings contrary to the Bible - which I am seeing many liberal churches do under the umbrella of being "seeker friendly" (or liberal).

I think Rev 2 and 3 should be our standard for whether we praise a church or not. Jesus did not praise dead and liberal churches, in fact He admonished them. (I don't know for sure what you mean by dead and liberal as I am just guessing it is similar to my definition as an evangelical Christian).

 
At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

United Methodist?

 
At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

p.s. Where ya been, Matt?

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...

Dennis:

Of course it was.

Holly:

Kansas United Methodism.

 
At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

Thought so. BTDT. Grew up in the same style. Illinois.

 
At 3:02 AM, Anonymous A Convert said...

I understand entirely! If you think growing up Methodist was difficult, just imagine having been raised Episcopalian!!

And that is precisely why I became Catholic: So we could raise our own child with unchangeable core beliefs. "Dogma" is NOT a dirty word! It simply means that there are certain doctrines which will never again be "open for discussion": For example; "The Trinity", "Jesus being truly man and truly God", "The Virgin Birth", "The ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus", etc.

There will always be "wolves in shepherd's clothing", of course, but as Jesus pointed out: We need to follow the official authoritative TEACHINGS of the Pharisees because they speak the Truth... we're just not to follow any of their bad examples! However, once they begin to teach error, then they no longer teach with AUTHORITY.

It was our child who coined the phrase, "A Wolf In Shepherd's Clothing", when describing a well-known controversial Episcopal bishop (retired) who has been (and continues to be) quite instrumental in leading many astray through his prolific writing and speaking. I think it a rather 'fitting' term since he has never been de-frocked.

Because of the magisterium (teaching authority), at least the Catholic Church can (and does) root out the "wolves": The Episcopalians are stuck with them. And more and more, it seems, they embrace them... Talk about "sleeeping with the enemy"!

Convert

 
At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, are you are a christian? It's hard to believe by your comments. You made a comment where you said, "sheepishly apologize for a remark that was way too close to the truth." What do you mean by this, that intelligent design and creationism really is a myth? Does that mean you don't believe in these two things? Does that mean you really don't believe the Bible?

So you back him up and protect him with his violent and evil intentions and you turn around and attack christianity? I have to question your motives and where you stand.

You actually think it's o.k. to have these kinds of people in the public colleges. It obvious that liberal dogmas have been injected into your blood.

You don't talk like a christian so according to what the Bible (which is my only authority) says, I have to judge you by your actions since I cannot see your heart, only God can. You must be practicing your own religion (superstition).

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The churches are dying.Mine included.And it is not the amount of people who are in church it is the level of devotion of the people who do attend church. For six years I have attended the same church and I have desperately tried to become good friends with the people there.All are too busy,too self-involved to care about anyone outside theirself or immediate family.My depression over the situation grew. I meet a homeschooling group and was immediately welcomed in and made to feel loved. A secular couple (separate from homeschool group) have become our friends and we have done more together as friends than I did with all my church members combined in the past six years.My resentment has grown against my church members because they are so shallow and loveless.I don't want to even go to my church anymore but I still do for now.I may start to another one but I hear it is like that everywhere.They come to church on Sunday, listen to the sermon, walk out the door and complain about how they don't have enough time or energy to do as much as they know they should be doing for the Lord. How many women have said to me ,"Oh, I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom like you.", but the truth is they don't want to. They make at least double what my family makes in a year.They aren't willing to live on less. Fear rules them and greed.Ah, but they manage to rent condos for their vacation.They treat their children as 'little gods'.The flow of activites and materials to their children doesn't stop. Yes, I know I am bitter but the water I have drunk is also bitter.

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Matt, there is absolutly nothing wrong with being a LIBERAL. I am sick and tired of far right wing fundamentalist attacking Liberals. You do realize that if there was no liberal party, the United States would be a Facist state, because there would only be one political party.

On another note, who wrote the bible... Good question, especially since no one knows all the books that made up the bible. Some committie decided to throw some books together in the 300's AD and call it a bible. What books did they leave out?

 

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