PRAISE THE LORD! I RECENTLY RECIEVED AN E-MAIL REGARDING SOME OF THE CONTENT IN MY WEBSITE, AND I THOUGHT THE CONCERN RAISED BY THIS BROTHER WAS LEGITIMATE, AND DESERVED A RESPONSE. AFTER I RESPONDED TO HIM, I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GOOD TO INCLUDE HIS E-MAIL AND MY RESPONSE ON MY SITE:
Dear Brother in Christ,
I have just read some of your web site material and I was blessed by your understanding of the Bible and your enthusiasm for a life dedicated to obedience to God. However, I would be very careful in suggesting that having prayer with people of other denominations is necessarily a good thing.
As an example, some denominations believe in the "real presence" of Christ in the communion bread/cracker and wine.
Other denominations would call that unbiblical and blasphemous and they would contend that nothing in the Bible shows that Jesus would have died for our sins and shed His blood more than once and they would also contend that He remains completely in Heaven not to reappear as a so-called mysterious part of the Eucharist.
That is only one example of a VERY serious difference in beliefs and yet there are many more significant differences with other denominations.
If you continue to advocate "joined prayer" with those who believe in doctrines so false that these doctrines would change the very nature and plan of God, you will be entering into a place where there might be no return...you may in fact, be advocating the very thing you seem to be against...a perversion of the truth.
For Christ's sake,
THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO HIS E-MAIL
Praise the Lord!
I appreciate your comments, and your admonition to me to be careful of stepping over "that line". I agree.
First, I would like to know what page(s) you read that prompted you to write the warnings. I certainly don't want to send a mixed message.
My position is this: There are many denominations who are divided over minor issues, and that has left the Church powerless to impact their communities for Christ. You may or may not agree with me, but although Baptists and Pentecostals/Charismatics have some profound doctrinal differences, I believe they can come together as one, and impact their community for Christ.
That doesn't mean that the Baptists have to start Speaking in tongues, or the Pentecostals have to stop striving to live Holy lives before God, or that Charismatics need to embrace the doctrine of unconditional eternal security, or that their women should wear their hair in a bun.
I am not poking fun at anyone.
However, I believe there is a liberty in Christ to strive to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The Baptists can worship in their own way in their Baptist churches, the Pentecostals can seek God in their congregations, and the Charismatics can dance like David danced in their churches.
I cannot expect a black brother to become white just to please me. Nor can the black brother expect me to become black before he can fellowship with me. Reuben and Judah were different tribes, but they worshipped the same God, and when warfare was happening, they joined together to fight against a common enemy.
I do not believe that I can be in agreement with a person who calls themselves a Christian and who prays to anyone besides God Almighty. I can't do warfare with someone who prays to a different God, or to saints or to Mary. Some doctrinal positions DO matter.
But I believe that the Body of Christ has gotten itself in a serious predicament. But again, I have to say that there is such a division in the Body of Christ, that the business of successfully doing spiritual warfare in our communites is very ineffective. Satan pounced on the truth that Jesus said, when He said " Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:" (Matt. 12:25)
A perfect example of the
Power that takes place when the Body of Christ comes together accross denominational
lines can be seen every year at Mardi Gras. Brothers and sisters from practically
every CHRISTIAN denomination from across the United States come TOGETHER for
five days to do spiritual warfare on the streets of New Orleans. Every Monday
night (just before fat Tuesday), somewhere around 2500 Christians gather together
at the ampetheater near Jackson Square, and celebrate Jesus.
No DENOMINATION is exalted above the other, and pure praise and worship is lifted up to Heaven. AFTER this takes place for about 1 1/2 hours or so, we all split up in our different groups (squads) but we are still ONE ARMY united under ONE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, JESUS CHRIST.
That night typically sees MANY souls pulled out of the clutches of Satan's hands, and MANY SOULS ministered to, and COUNTLESS seeds planted, and watered.
Brother, if I don't believe 100% as you do, yet I know that you have a heart for the things of God, that you believe the only way to Eternal Life is through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, and that He rose again on the third day, and that there is no other Name by which men can be saved, I will fellowship with you, and I will love you as my brother.
I don't know your background, so I ask you not to take offense at what I say if I step on some of your beliefs, but I want to illustrate a point to you.
I know brothers and sisters
who have embraced the "prosperity" doctrine to different degrees. I personally
think that the "Name it and Claim it" doctrine is a false teaching, and it
is leading many people into serious error. But I know that these brothers
and sisters absolutely love the Lord Jesus Christ, and want to please Him
in all they do.
They know that I don't believe what they do in that area, and yet we go out and do warfare against the enemy and win souls to Jesus Christ. Those doctrines are left behind, and Jesus Christ is exalted.
We sometimes have lively conversations, but we don't allow it to get in the way of our common goal, to see souls saved, and brought into the Kingdom of God. I love them, and I personally won't allow division to creep in because of this doctrinal difference. I believe someday they will see the Truth, and will get out of that doctrine. I am sure they think the same about me.
I Believe in ETERNAL
security of the believer, but I do not believe in the UNCONDITIONAL eternal
security of the believer. I personally believe that the doctrine of UNCONDITIONAL
eternal security gives many people the false license to sin, and I meet many
people who have taken the broad road to destruction as a result of this doctrine.
Yet I know and love many brothers and sisters who embrace this doctrine, and we have sweet fellowship one with another despite those differences, because we understand that we serve Jesus Christ.
I don't have to prove myself right. Neither do they.
I believe that the spiritual
gifts are for today, but I don't believe in the doctrine of the "baptism of
the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues". Yet I know many
people who do.
For the brothers and sisters who don't believe that the gifts are for today, I don't flaunt them, or argue with them. If I have all the gifts, and don't have love toward my brother and sister, they are nothing (1 Cor. 13).
For the "tongueslinging" brothers and sisters that I know, eventually they will ask me if I am "baptized in the Holy Ghost", because they don't hear me speak or pray in tongues ( I DO believe in the gift of tongues, by the way).
I will tell them my understanding of the Scripture concerning the gift of tongues as well as all the spiritual gifts, and leave it at that...I won't willingly get into a debate with them. If doctrinal differences seem like they are degenerating into an arguement, I will leave it alone.
I am not the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God says that He will lead us into all Truth.
am not afraid to share the understanding the Lord has given me, and I do defend
the Scriptures, but I am not going to partake in a work of the flesh while
I am doing it.
Anger, Strife, Varience, Hatred, Division are works of the flesh, and I refuse to be a part of it.
I used to belong to the
Army of the United States. My squad got the highest rating in all of Germany
in the Mechanized Infantry Squad Proficiency Course. The reason we did, is
because we learned the importance of working together. We weren't all white.
We had different backgrounds, and came from different upbringings, and some
were more phyically fit than others, yet we were ONE in purpose, and we KNEW
whose army we were in.
We didn't let our personal differences get in the way of achieving our goal.
I DON'T advocate ecumenicalism (all religions uniting together). I DO pray for CHRISTIAN unity.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
There is so much more
I could say, but I don't want to be redundant.
I pray the Lord Jesus Christ will bless you with understanding in what I am attempting to convey to you...
I ask one thing of you...if you believe that I am in error, PLEASE love me enough to pray that I will see the error, and be converted to the Will of Jesus Christ.
We know that in Jeremiah 17:9, Scripture says the heart is decietful above all things, and desperately wicked. I trust in the Lord, that He will complete that Work that He has started in me, because He is the ONLY One Who can do it.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you
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