Denominations Modern Development

 

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Part Two

 

Part Two - Denominations, Modern Influences

 

IV Denominational Differences: Modern Influences

1a Liberalism

1b Development

1c It began in the early 20th Century as a reaction to the science revolution

2c Many wanted to make the Church relevant with modern science theory

1d Faith was replaced by sight

1e If there was a disagreement between science and the Scriptures – science was always considered the truth

2e So miracles, creation, the flood, deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the Trinity, historical events were all questioned if not totally dismissed!

2d God’s Word was replaced by humanism

1e Human wisdom supplanted divine wisdom – if what the Bible said did not align with current thinking – the Bible was wrong

2e So moral absolutes are replaced by no absolutes, depravity of man is replaced with goodness of man, salvation through Christ alone is replaced by salvation of all religions; no hell, no sin 

3c Beginning in the Seminaries, it spread out slowly into the churches leaving a dead and cold religion

1d Sang the traditional hymns

2d Had the traditional services

3d Said the traditional credits

4d But did not know God!

4c By the 1920s and 1930s, liberalism had made major inroads in most of the major denominations except the Southern Baptist

1d Many colleges, seminaries, and universities that at one time taught the truths of God’s Word were now rejecting it

“In the book entitled "What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?", authors Dr James Kennedy and J. Newcombe have a chapter that talks about Christianity's impact on education. I'll quote some excerpts:

"Almost every one of the first 123 colleges and universities in the US had Christian origins... Harvard, Yale, William and Mary {Jefferson's alma mater}, Brown, Princeton, New York Univ., Northwestern Univ., and other schools have thouroughly Christian roots. Harvard got its start from the donations of money and books from Reverend John Harvard... Dartmouth was founded to train missionaries to the Indians. William and Mary was created "that the Christian faith might be propagated"31 An early advertisement for King's College, which opened in 1754 and is now Columbia University read: "the chief thing that is aimed at in this college is to teach and engage children to know God in Jesus Christ."32 The president of Princeton. Rev. John Witherspoon, said: "Cursed be all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ"33... Today, for the most part, God's Word is mocked in the very schools that were founded by the sweat of Christians". (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=93014)

2d This move by colleges away from the truth has not stopped

2b Distinctives

1c Creation The universe itself has all the data required to explain itself –  therefore Science is supreme source of all truth

2c Christ

1d Christ was the most God conscious man who ever lived and as a man

2d He, died on the cross as a martyr, rose again in the minds and hearts of his followers

3d Christ did no miracles or great deeds - these are the results of the myths and embellishments of his followers

3c Salvation: there is no need for salvation – there was no fall and there is no hell

3b Demise: it falls by the very methods it claims as support (Ps. 119:89;152; Isa. 40:8; 1 Pet. 1:23-25)

1c Moral absolutes: - though they teach there are none yet they are absolutely sure that abortion, homosexuality, evolution, murder, etc. are wrong

2c Science is not an absolute: theories that are tested by evidence and experimentations – many things proclaimed as truth by science have not been proven incorrect

1d Dinosaur Sue – blood marrow, DNA found in bones makes her less than 10,000 years old not millions

2d Gay gene – no gene has been found

3d The age of the Universe

4d The speed the Universe is expanding

5d Evolution theory – animals and vegetation thought extinct have been found

6d Speed of sound, trip to the moon, etc

"Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia." Dr Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.

"Animals, which move, have limbs and muscles. The earth does not have limbs and muscles; therefore it does not move." Scipio Chiaramonti, Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Pisa (1633).

"[Television] won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century-Fox in 1946.

"What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?" The Quarterly Review, England (March 1825)

2a Neo-Evangelicalism

1b Development

1c It began after WW II and has progressed to become a strong and influential movement in the Evangelical church today

2c It has two driving goals

1d To evangelize the world

2d Unification of all churches

2b Distinctives

1c Promote the unification of Christianity (2 Cor. 6:14-18)

1d Avoidance of doctrines which could cause division

1e Doctrine is seen as devise and counter productive to the cause of Christ

2e Emphasis on knocking down the barriers of doctrine

2d The emphasis of loving and accepting one another regarding of doctrinal positions and standards – often no doctrinal statement at all

3d Dialogue with non-evangelical thinkers in order to find common ground - lower the standards of what determines someone who is a Christian

2c Open to Questioning the integrity of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

1d Question the doctrine of verbal inspiration of Scripture

2d Question the literal understanding of passages, which contradict modern science or sociological opinion (Creation, historical accounts, headship of the husband, gay movement, divorce and remarriage, acceptable entertainment, acceptable dress, explain miracles, etc.) – Archaeological Bible

3c Focus on numerical results rather than discipleship (Matt. 28:19-20)

1d Services are geared to appeal to the unbeliever

2d Services are geared to entertain and give good experience

3d Ministry are lacking in grounding people in the Word

4c Shift away from discussing prophecy (Rev. 1:3)

5c Allow for the possibility of Charismatic gifts today

6c A shift from objective doctrine to subjective experience - your experience is as valid as mine

3b Examples

1c Promise Keepers, Christian Coalition

2c Seminaries: Fuller, Gordon, and Denver

3c Community services for Easter and Christmas, prayer breakfasts, etc.

4b Application

1c Good intentions never replace God's will!

2c Good results never replace God’s will! (Moses struck the Rock - he got the water but was exiled from the promise land)

3a Pentecostal/Charismatic

1b The origins of the movement

1c Stage One of development

1d The miraculous sign gifts of the first century church had passed from existence around 90-100 AD and had not been practiced since (1800 years; 1 Cor. 13:8ff; 1 Tim. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20; 2 Cor. 12:7-10)

2d The movement received its modern birth on New Years day, 1900

1e At a small college in Topeka, Kansas, one of the students requested that the school's director lay his hands on her head and pray for her

2e She claimed she experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and demonstrated by speaking in "tongues"

3e Encountering resistance from local church leaders, the movement moved south to Houston, Texas and from there to Los Angeles where the Azusa Mission was started which would be the headquarters for the movement for many years to come

4e In the sixty years to follow, it remained isolated from mainline denominations, restricting itself to its own Pentecostal denominations

2c Stage Two of development:

1d With the upheaval of the 1960s, many of the upcoming generation were looking for something real and alive and took up interest in these things

2d The movement reached out and entered all denominations and Christian faiths, often with destructive consequences

1e Directly: inner groups within denominations, local churches, and parachurch organizations that sought to win converts to their causes

1f Universities: Methodist (Oral Roberts University), Catholic (Notre Dame University), and Mennonite (Goshen College)

2f Parachurch: Awana, CEF, Intervarsity, and Youth for Christ

3f Missions: Wycliffe

2e Indirectly: mass media

1f Television and Radio: TV and Satellite Networks (PTL, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert, , Dollar, Tilton, Etc.)

2f Music: Doug Oldham, Pat and Debbie Boone

2b The movement began to change in its view of the Scriptures and doctrinal teaching

1c Scriptures were no longer the final authority: revelation through "prophecy, tongues, and visions" were now added to it

2c Doctrinal truth was now supplanted by personal experience and a quest for unity

1d Demonstrated in worship

1e Ex.: holy laughter

2e Ex.: slaying the spirit

2d Demonstrated in practice

1e Catholics, evangelicals, and liberals now had a unifying force: the baptism of the Spirit and speaking in tongues

2e All now are considered true believers because only two conclusions can be draw from this phenomenon

1f The experience is not of God and reproducible by anyone

2f The experience is of God and those who practice it are true believers

3b The movement began to embrace the middle and upper classes of society

4b The concerns of the movement

1c Danger #1: subjecting God's final authority (Scriptures) to human experience

1d Leads to weak and immature Christians (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12-14)

2d Leads to Christians going astray after false and harmful doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16-18; 2 Tim 4:2-4)

1e God wants you healthy and wealthy

2e God wants you focusing on prayer, tongues, and prophecy - doctrine divides

2c Danger #2: may lead to psychological and physical damage and even death

1d The emotional state and the level of emotions that these individuals often practice on a regular basis has been proven to have long term and permanent psychological damage

2d The avoidance of medical treatment has lead to unnecessary illness and even death

3c Danger #3: cause splits in Bible-believing churches.

4a Radical Fundamentalism

1b Defined: Bible believing Christians who mistake personal conviction for biblical truth

2b Described

1c Usually a reaction to the changes that take place in society

2c They impose their own man made laws as if they are Biblical Truth (Matt. 15:1-9; Mk. 7:6-8)

1d Hair length of males

2d Dress are mandatory for church

3d KJV is the only inspired version

4d Rock and Rapp music are sinful

5d Other: no celebration of Christmas, movies and television are taboo; inter-racial dating, etc.

3c They enforce strict separation from anyone who does not believe as they do

V Denominational Differences: Additional Content - Charismatic Movement and is Validity

1a The Focus on the Tests of Special Gifts

1b The matter at hand are select group of gifts given to various Saints that stand out from normal gifts

1c All believers receive gifts from God at Salvation (1 Cor. 12)

2c Most of these gifts are those things which might be identified as talents in others

2b These select gifts have been called sign or miraculous gifts because they stand out from ordinary experience

1c Speaking in tongues

2c Ability to heal

3c Prophecy or revelation from God

4c Knowledge

5c Visions

6c Miracles

7c Protection from inflicted harm

8c Resurrection of the dead

9c Exorcism of demons

2a The List of the Tests of Special Gifts – 7 tests that must be passed if these gifts are to be practiced by the church today

1b Test #1: Purpose: what are the divine purpose of these gifts? If they do not have a purpose they can not be of God (Isa. 14:14, 26-27; 46:10-11; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:9-10)

1c God's use of miracles and miraculous gifts are always exercised to fulfill a specific purpose

2c When the purpose can not be accomplished, the gift will not exercised

1d Ex.: Christ lived for 30 years without doing one miracle, including the prevention of the death of his father, Joseph (John 2:1-4, 12; 19:26-27)

2d Christ refused to do miracles at Nazareth because of the people's unbelief (Matt. 13:58; Mk. 6:5-6)

3d Apostle Paul could not heal himself (2 Cor. 12:1-10) nor Timothy (1 Tim. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20)

2b Test #2: Fulfillment – have these gifts fulfilled their purpose? when the purpose of the miraculous gift is fulfilled, the gift is retired for an unspecified period known only by God Himself

1c Adam to Noah – 1600 years (exception of Enoch)

2c Noah to the tower of Babel - no miracles (100 years)

3c Tower of Babel to Abraham - no miracles (200 years)

4c Joseph to Moses - no miracles (400 years)

5c Malachi to Matthew - no miracles (400 years)

6c Close of the NT to 1900 – no miracles (1800 years)

3b Test #3: Consistency - are the practice of God's gifts consistent with the record and practice of these gifts in the Scriptures?

1c True of the non-miraculous gifts: pastor/teacher, helps, hospitality, faith, etc.

2c True of the miraculous gifts as well thus no difference between their use in Acts, Corinthians or today

4b Test #4: Control – are these gifts under the control of the one who practices them?

5b Test #5: Order – are these gifts practiced according to God’s rule of order? (1 Cor. 14:32-33)

6b Test #6: Imitations – can these gifts be duplicated by those who are non-believers?

7b Test #7: Glory – is the practice of these gifts Glorify God?

3a The Application of the Tests of Special Gifts

1b The purpose and fulfillment of these Special Gifts: there were two purposes for these gifts

1c Sign Gifts: a sign or miraculous proof to the Jewish people that Jesus was indeed the Christ (Messiah) and His offer of the Kingdom was valid (1 Cor. 1:22)

1d Purpose expressed

1e Declared in the OT: Miraculous works were foretold as a sign of the coming the Messiah King in the OT (Isa. 32: 15-16; 33:24; 35:5-6)

2e Demonstrated in the Lord’s Ministry

1f Answer to John the Baptist Question (Matt 11:2-6)

2f Great works and miracles (Matt. 4:17, 23; 10:5-8; 9:35; Jn 6:14-15; 10:25, 37-38; Lk. 7:18-23)

3f Commission to the 12 and 70 (Matt. 10:5-8; Lk. 10:9)

4f Refusal to heal (Matt. 12:38; 13:58; 27:39-44; Mk. 6:5)

3e Demonstrated in the Apostle's Ministry

1f Preaching of Peter (Acts 2:15-40; 3:12-20)

2f Ministry of Paul

1g Proof of Jesus as Messiah (Acts 191-7)

2g Proof of the Extent of Jesus Kingdom - Gentiles saved (Acts 10:44-48) 

3f Fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy

1g Healing of the sick (Acts 3:1-10; 19:11-12 w. Isa. 35:1-10)

2g Physical wonders (Acts 4:31 w. Joel 2:28-32)

3g Outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4 w. Joel 2:28)

4g Visions (Acts 7:55; 9:3, 10; 11:15 w. Joel 2:20-32)

5g Judgment of Sinners (Acts 5:1-11; 12:23; 13:11 w. Ezek. 11:13)

2d Purpose Applied

1e The Jews rejected their Messiah and His Kingdom at the His First Coming

1f They had plenty of statements (Christ – Luke 9:20-21; Matt. 27:`17, 22) and witnessed many signs

2f But they refused to hear or see and so God temporarily withdrew the offer (Acts 28:25-31)

2e With the purposed gone, the sign gifts no longer served any purpose

3e This is the testimony of both the Scriptures and the Church

1f Only in the earliest epistles and the book of Acts are such events recorded

2f The use of sign gifts begins to wane in the ministry of the Apostle Paul ((1 Tim. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20; 2 Cor. 12:7-10)

3f The record sign gifts in the church ends at the end of the first century AD in all Church historical records

4e These gifts will come back when the offer of the Kingdom is once again offered following the rapture of the Church

3d Purpose Evaluated

1e Some might argue that we are in the last times and thus they have resurfaced but we have no official word from the Lord that this is the case
2e Some might argue that they are tools of evangelism however the Scriptures are very clear that at present people are brought to Christ not by signs and miracles but by the “foolishness of the preaching of the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:21-23)

2c Purpose #2: Divine revelation

1d Purpose Stated: some miraculous gifts were used not as signs but rather as instruments of God’s truth to the Church (1 Cor. 14:22-25)

2d Purpose Identified (1 Cor. 13:8)

1e Prophecy

2e Tongues: both sign and revelation gift

3e Knowledge

3d Purpose fulfilled

1e As declared in the NT (1 Cor. 13:8-12)

2e As evidenced in 2 Tim. 3:16-17

4d Purpose Applied: since this purpose for these gifts has been fulfilled in the completion of the NT so they ceased even as they did at the completion of the OT.

2b The Consistency of these Special Gifts

1c Consistency stated:

1d Those who claim that these special gifts are for the church today just as they were in the early church must show that they truly are the same gifts

2d This can be done by comparing them to the description given to us in the New Testament

2c Consistency applied

1d Tongues

1e Human languages (Acts 2:1-13): not known by the one who is speaking

1f Not babbling

1g Rather than foreign, human languages, they are rather random gibberish brought on by an emotionally induced state or repetition

2g So strong is this argument against tongue speaking that in recent years there have been great attempts to change this with little or any success

2f Not a heavenly language (1 Cor. 13:1)

3f Human language unknown to the individual who is speaking it

2e Selectively practiced

1f Not all believers were given this gift though most in this movement seek to obtain it (1 Cor. 12:27-31)

2f Though often associated with the baptism of the Spirit, yet to be baptized in the Spirit does not always result in tongues speaking (1 Cor. 12:7-13)

2d Healing: the Saint has the ability to bring about healing

1e Heal all types of health issues (Matt. 8:16; 12:15; 14:35; Lk 4:40; 6:19; Acts 5:16)

1f Modern healers do not heal all diseases: screen them out and they do not visit the hospitals

1g Quadriplegics

2g Mental retardation

3g Cerebral palsy

4g Muscular dystrophy

5g Missing parts: arms, legs, etc.

6g False teeth

7g Weathered hand

2f Modern healers are not able to heal themselves

1g False teeth

2g Eye glasses

3g Hang nail

4g Heart attacks

5g Cancer

2e Faith was not a necessary pre-requisite to a healing (Acts 3:1-10)

3e Healings were immediate and complete (Matt. 8:3; Lk. 5:25)

4e Healings were not preceded by emotionally charged services

5e No money was ever charged for a healing (2 Kings 5:15-16)

3d Prophecy: forth telling of revelation from God

1e New revelation:

1f Purpose of revelation is to give to man information that he does not possess

2f If man already had the information there would be no need to reveal

3f Much prophecy today is just a regurgitation of what is found in the Scriptures

2e Needed revelation

1f Information that the individual needs in order to carry out the will of the Lord

2f However, 2 Tim. 3:17 tells us that all that we need to serve the Lord has already been given

3f Much prophecy today is superfluous fluff that exists the soul but accomplishes little

3e Biblical revelation

1f It must not contradict the Scriptures in any way

2f Much controversy today has elements that clearly go contrary to the teachings of the scripture

4e Factual revelation – it is true

4d Protection from physical harm

1e Those who consume poison or are bitten by a poisonous snake will not be harmed by such a bite

2e Believers today, even in the serpent handling groups, suffer deaths from poisonous bites

3b The Control of these special gifts

1c Tongues

1d The gift of tongues was under the control of the speaker as is true of all gifts of the Spirit

1e The individual can choose between tongues or preaching (1 Cor. 14:1-12, 18-19)

2e Likewise the individual could halt what he was doing

1f What he has to say must be edifying to the church (26)

2f Not more than one at a time and no more than 3 a service (27)

3f Only if an interpreter is present to interpret what is said (27-28)

4f Women were not to speak in tongues in church (34-36)

2d Tongue speaking in churches today is anything but under control

2c Prophecy (1 Cor. 14:29-33)

1d Not more than 2 or 3 per service

2d If one is prophesying and another receives a prophecy, he is to stop and wait

3d All should be carefully weighed and understood (test the Spirits (1 Jn 4:1)

4b The Order of the Special Gifts ((1 Cor. 14:32-33)

1c Whether they be tongues, prophecies, knowledge, hymns, and whatever else, they are all to be done in a matter that brings about order and edification (33, 40)

2c The modern charismatic services are anything but orderly – too often they are more a disorder than an order

5b The Imitation of the Special Gifts

1c The very nature of these gifts implies they are possible because God is working through the individual (Egyptian magicians and Moses)

2c Therefore if the gifts can be imitated by others who know not God they must be fake

1d Practiced among the ancient religions of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Hittites, Arabs, and etc.

2d Found today among the Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Eskimos, African medicine men 

6b The Glorification of the Special Gifts

1c They did not charge money (Acts 3:1-10) nor were they wealthy

2c They did not hold healing rallies nor was healing in every meeting

3c They do go to where the people have the greatest needs such as in a hospitals, nursing home, and clinics

4a The special circumstances of the special gifts

1b The Health of the believer – it is not God’s desire for all believers to be healthy in this life

1c Sickness is a normal part of the human existence

1d It is a part of the curse of sin (Rom. 5:12)

2d It is a part of our sinful behavior

1e Neglect the body's needs or protection

2e Sin against the body: smoking, over-eating, alcohol and drug, immorality

2c Sickness is a tool of God to accomplish His purposes

1d God's glory (Job 1:6-2:10; John 9:1-3)

2d Humility (2 Cor. 12 7-9)

3d Teach (Job; Daniel 4)

4d Edification (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

5d Discipline (1 Cor. 11:30-32)

3c Sickness is healed by God in several ways

1d Medical treatment (Isa. 38:21; 1 Tim. 5:23: Matt. 9:12)

2d Change and rest (Mk. 6:31; John 11:11)

3d Direct intervention

4d Prayers of the Saints (James 5:13-16)

5d Bodies own healing mechanism

4c What is going on with faith healers?

1d Misleading reports: people are mislead by the what they see and feel because they lack all the facts - like the illusion of a magicians act (Nolan #2)

2d Deliberate Fraud (Mayhue 90, Randi Article)

3d Satanic involvement: we know he has great power and loves to imitate God (2 Cor. 11:13-15)

4d Healing capacity of the body: the body heals itself if given enough time

5d Wrong medical diagnosis: the prescribed medicine is ineffective so in the meantime he gives up on the medication goes o a healer and his body cure itself

6d Psychosomatic illness: a change in the mind can change the illness

7d Emotionally induced illness: "stress" is believed to be involved in 50-80% of illness in the US and often causes symptoms of illness; the meetings alleviate that stress for a time (Psa. 32:3-7)

8d God intervenes in spite of the error

2b The Wealth of the believer (James 2:5): our wealth is in our inheritance

3b The Baptism of the Spirit

1c All believers are baptized with the Spirit at the moment of salvation (1 Cor. 12:12-13)

2c Filing is not to be confused with the baptism of the Spirit (Eph. 5:18)

1d Argued: baptism with the Holy Spirit, filling of the Spirit, and speaking in tongues all take place at the same time (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4)

2d Answer: Though the two works can occur at the same time, does not mean they are the same thing

1e Filling is commanded but baptism is not (Eph. 5:18)

2e All are baptized but not all are given the gift of tongues (1 Cor. 12:4-13)

3e No believer is baptized more than once but there are records of believers being filled more than once

4e One can be filled without speaking in tongues (Acts 4:8; 9:17-18)

 

Part Two