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Scripture says that those rejecting baptism are treacherous: they
call Jesus Christ a liar. Reviewed by Kenneth Sublett
Sunday I told you of my preaching plan on the eve of the Billy Graham
See Believer's Baptism invented in
1525--too late to be Christian
Baptism--which is ancient pagan baptism.
Look carefully for the definition of baptism
and understand that it is Baptist
baptism. That is why it is no
compromise. However, the congregation is being fooled by double
Believer's Baptism as a Pagan form.
Much like the Eucharist in the Catholic
Mass, it demands that Christ come PERSONALLY to the believer so that
one can die with Christ or often to BECOME CHRIST and die for your
Jesus said that BELIEVE includes BAPTISM
saves. He said that BELIEVETH NOT makes one into a treacherous person
and an INFIDEL. Teaching or
fellowshiping the Zwingli form of baptism makes one a traitor to
Christ and calls God a liar.
Jesus said that without BAPTISM one CANNOT,
SHALL NOT enter into the kingdom.
In 1957 Graham announced his
"inclusive policy" to infiltrate rather than separate. In 1963 he made liberal Bishop Gerald Kennedy the
honorary chairman of his Los Angeles crusade. Kennedy's denial of the
diety of Christ in the book God's Good News felt that Kennedy should
be treated as 2 John states
transgresseth, and abideth not in doctrine of Christ, hath not God,
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.
In changing his crusade policies, Graham influenced many pastors and
churches to follow his example of compromise in a new approach to
evangelism called ecumenical evangelism because of the peer pressure
of a brother in Christ and for the sake of souls being saved. The
mixing of belief (hot) with unbelief (cold liberalism) created the
lukewarm condition of the Laodicean church as described in Revelation
3:15,16. In time it has created spiritual blindness, spiritual
poverty, and apathy. Resource.
God Really Loves
May 21, 2000 / Romans
Last Sunday I told you of my
preaching plan on the eve of
the Billy Graham
Crusade. I said that I
would be preaching these three themes on the Sundays immediately
prior to that June 1-4 event: the worth of human lives in the eyes of
God, how much God loves every woman and man of the human race, and
how near and available Jesus is to each of us. For one thing, I want
each of you to believe these things for yourself. For another, I want
you to think about them in relation to someone you know and care
about who is not a Christian.
Some of you are aware that
some preachers and area congregations of the
Church of Christ have been critical of my involvement as a member of the General Committee for the Graham Crusade. They have criticized our
being a host church for
They have declared
themselves unwilling to participate in the Crusade in any way, shape,
and denounced you for being associated with a
congregation that would do so.
In the first article which is
not a Satanic attack but a review Rubel Shelly's statement proves
that the you,
the congregation, had nothing to do with the decision. As the
"pastor" the decision was made by the Dr. and elders and then laid on
top of you at
Woodmont Hills. Click for
Please don't be
angry with those people.
And please don't be
too harsh about either their
statements or motives.
Why should "you" be angry or harsh when the corrective is applied to
the Leadership. Again, this is the blame game, the guilt clause, to
accuse "those being invaded with attacking the invaders."
One of the values of pop
psychology is the ability to use harsh, judgmental terms which,
because of musical dissociation and performance styles, will sail
over the heads of the logical brains and impact the emotional brain
of those always looking for someone to blame for everything. For
instance, another fellow-preacher turns logic upside down and blames
those who remained faithful for the division created by
"What began as an
inclusive and irenic (peacable) movement, aimed at uniting all
has become one of
the most exclusive and divisive sects
in the history of
"But (praise be to God!)
winds are blowing in the Churches of Christ, winds of the Holy Spirit... "Rubel Shelly is an outstanding Bible teacher,
and one of the leading
lights of what could be called
"the new Church of
There are still a lot
of people from our
background who think
that public preaching to large groups is the single best (or only
biblical) method for leading people to Christ.
This is not the view of the
American Restoration movement which repudiated the professional
"pastor" and demanded that anyone with a "call" must prove it by
obeying the direct
command of Jesus, the
examples of the
apostles and the necessary inference that you must go to preach to the lost. The Billy
Graham festival attracts the seekers of strange things but using
mental-dissociation (prepared by the early training) to get a lot of
"decisions for Christ."
don't work but we will sow discord among the
brethren to join with a big meeting which does work!
They think you must
teach and convince them of everything you want them to know in
In our time and place, public
preaching is one of the least effective ways of
teaching people the gospel.
That is what I have been
saying: remember about 10% of the non-biblical pop-psychology they
hear and act upon about 10% of the 10% or about 1%. That is why Jesus
commanded preach or dialog to the lost and then move on. So, the
solution is to disband the "staff" or make them honest men by sending
them out. Joining with Bill G would seem to be schizophrenic.
People are led to
Christ in this culture through one-on-one relationships that allow
teaching over time. People in our Postmodern culture feel disconnected and lonely.
Postmodern means post-Biblical
and post-Christendom. What 2,000 years called THE WORD OF GOD
because it was the Word of Christ has grown obsolete BECAUSE our
culture has changed! However, John York and Rubel Shelly say we must
partner with God to derive OUR Scripture for OUR
time. I have been
trying to imagine a "mite" teaming up with an infinitely tall
elephant. That is being unequally yoked together. Yet, Rubel Shelly
claims that he is JUST THAT MANY.
I suspect that people who
oppose Billy Graham understand how people are taught. The
Postmodern invention of a new "for hire cottage industry" has
not changed that in the least.
Didn't Dr. Choate tell you
about the post-modern view of Dr. Shelly and his David Lipscomb University
crew? Doesn't this diminish the power of the gospel?
authority in general and the church
in particular. In the culture of two generations back,
That is another misdirection of guilt: the preachers refuse to go
out but the "church" gets the blame. I suspect that tel-evangelists
have generated the mistrust which is well-founded.
you could reach people
in big groups (e.g., gospel meetings)
and lead them into
a smaller community (i.e., Sunday School class, family relationships,
small group) of faith.
In this generation, it works the other way around. They will more
nearly connect in a small-group community and have some of their
removed and pass into
the 'big group' of a church's assemblies and membership over
Now, let me recover a bit.
Did I hear that correctly?
- Big meetings don't work any
- We will join with a big
- It will work because of the
Rubel Shelly: No, we're not abandoning our belief in
baptism, church membership, or the Lord's
Supper by working with the upcoming Crusade.
Now, the BAPTISM we believe
in is BECAUSE we
are saved by faith IN grace. However, by claiming to believe in "baptism" the
people will not grasp that it is an ancient PAGAN baptism restored by
Zwingli in 1525.
Didn't we do that in 1997 by inviting Max Lucado
knowing what he believed?
Leroy Garrett's Similar Claim that Alexander Campbell
taught a baptism as the sign or affirmation that one is saved by
Hear Alexander Campbell deny it. "No relation can be changed by believing, apart from the acts to
which that belief, or faith, induces us."
As a reaction against the mysteries within Catholicism, and not as well-thought-out
theology, men like Zwingli formulated a new doctrine in the
world. This doctrine
was, within decades, adopted by John Smyth and other separatists as a fundamental tenet of a new creed. Since the
early 1600s groups developed which grew into a a new modern system of
mysteries or sacramental religion.
John Smyth, claimed by Baptists, in a
Confession of Faith, denied original sin:
(5) That there is
no original sin (lit;, no sin of origin or descent), but all sin is
actual and voluntary, viz., a word, a deed, or a design against the
law of God; and therefore, infants are without sin.
(11) That faith, destitute of good works, is vain; but true and living faith is
distinguished by good works.
(12) That the church of Christ is a company of the faithful;
baptised after confession of sin and of faith,
endowed with the power
of Christ. [ 1993a ] [
(13) That the church of Christ has power delegated to themselves of
announcing the word, administering the sacraments,appointing ministers, disclaiming them, and also
excommunicating; but the last appeal is to the brethren of body of
However, his formulation was
grasped by Baptists and seems to be accepted by Dr. Shelly:
(14) That baptism
is the external sign of the remission of sins, of dying and of being
made alive, and therefore does not belong to infants. [ 1993 ]
and Calvin reduced
the sacraments to signs
and seals of grace which is inwardly communicated by the Holy Spirit.
They asserted the sovereign causality of God, and the independence of
the Spirit who "bloweth where it willeth" (John 3:8). God can
communicate his gifts freely as he chooses. We are, however, bound to
his prescribed means. Schaff
Dr. Shelly also makes baptism a symbol:
- Turning away from your sin,
to Christ for his
- And he affirms that pardon to you in baptism.
This is in two stages: (1)
turning to Christ brings pardon and (2) He confirms that
prior pardon in baptism.
If Christ confirms or makes
known pardon in baptism then doesn't this say that pardon was
prior to that confirmation at baptism? That is
what Billy Graham would say. But this is not what Jesus commanded or
This the latter-day Zwinglian
dogma is that belief or
repentance authomaically causes God to remit sins. However, is it
tougher for God to cleanse us or wash us at
battism than to "affirm"
the finished fact by "turning only?"
When you're dirty, what
do you need to do? Take a bath?
So God gives you a bath in
signify what he is doing to your heart because
you have chosen
Jesus said that we have
chosen when we have OBEYED his direct commandment. Remission of sins
comes after faith and repentance. It is a SYMBOL in the same sense
that the check for a MILLION DOLLARS is a symbol. You don't get the
money until you obey the DIRECT COMMAND inherent in the
Peter says that when we wash
our bodies in baptism, God sprinkles our HEART. This gives us A holy
spirit (Acts 2:38) or a clear conscience or consiousness (1 Pet
away your sin" -- not, of course, because of the water but by the
power of the blood of Jesus Christ alone (Acts 22:16). Being saved,
after all, is "not the removal of dirt from the body but the
pledge of a good conscience toward God" (1
Pet. 3:21). Baptism is a grace-gift that is accepted in a
faith-action; it is not a works-display with saving merit.
From another Dr. Shelly Sermon
NOT A PLEDGE BUT A
Dr. Shelly quotes the NIV but
the word "pledge" does not mean a symbol
of affirmation but:
Eperotema (g1906) ep-er-o'-tay-mah; from 1905; an inquiry: -
Eperotao (g1905) ep-er-o-tah'-o; from 1909 and 2065;
seek: - ask (after,
questions), demand, desire, question.
Therefore, baptism is not the
Zwingli or Baptist "sign" or "signal" or Shelly "affirmation" that we
saved. Baptism is the time and place where faithful obedience
asks God for cleansing. Cleansing is always
after baptism and not before.
to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the
flesh, but an appeal to
God for a good
conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter
(That, by the way, is what
baptism pictures for us: In baptism we show that we have been saved
from death and doom by the resurrection of Christ; not because our
bodies are washed clean by the water but because in being baptized
we are turning to God
and asking him to cleanse our hearts from sin.) 1 Peter 3:21LIV
Baptism, which corresponds to
this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an
God for a clear
conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter
We all know that baptism isn't
a work which demands a wage but the Holy Spirit still says that
saves. If Jesus wanted
to save us by having us hold up our hand then holding up our hand
would save us because that is the physical way He ordained to get
into the spiritual realm. Baptism is no more works oriented than
Therefore, when preachers
assure everyone that they can still
believe in baptism it is important to understand the nature of that baptism. Jesus made baptism the
means in that it was the time and place to
"accept the will of God for your life." If you reject baptism then
you reject God who commanded it.
Max Lucado laid down a foundation stone of the Jubilee Movement:
salvation is by calling upon God.
Dr. Shelly says that baptism
is God's affirmation of the prior salvation by repentance.
By participating with Billy
Graham this seems to be affirmed. Therefore, it is not fair to sow
discord among brethren by causing them to judge both the
statement and motives
of those who oppose the participation.
This has the same dissociating
power of music: if you question the decisions of the leadership you
are joining with those who are attacking you.
Most Post-Modernists deny that salvation depends upon
compromising our identity as a church.
We are simply grateful for the opportunity to receive and teach
people who may go to a big-group event at the coliseum out of curiosity but
who will not become
followers of Jesus unless they connect with a few Christian friends
or a small-group Bible study.
Why replace CHRIST with the
COMMUNITY then? It is because Rubel preaches the "community of the
great demonstration" of Exodus. Rubel claims that Exodus is "our
pattern for worship and COMMUNITY." Community being "commune."
Mark Hicks preaches that Paul used the ANIMAL SACRIFICIAL FEASTS to
explain the Lord's Supper. That is why, John Mark Hicks claims, that we must
celebrate and have a JUBILEE around an Agapae (polluted paganism)
TABLE where God actually EATS with us.
Isn't it tragic that Jesus
didn't know that: the Holy Spirit didn't know that. Now, to the seven
"ones" of the "core gospel" in its post-modern sense, we have added
some new "apple." People will not follow Jesus unless they first
follow "me." Not only is that Post-Modern, it is Post Willow Creek
where people are led to God by seeing the talented performance of the "musical worship team."
The unbelieving brothers of
Jesus wanted Him to
go to the Feast of Tabernacles which had become a fertility ritual.
After all, with his "tricks" He could become a "man of note" and get
on the lecture circuit. And if He sill believed that He was God,
wouldn't the biggest festival in Jerusalem be the place to find the
seekers? No. Jesus knew that these people
couldn't find God in a noisy crowd and the "festival leaders" in
Jerusalem would be attempting to destroy the "Jesus influence" by
The coliseum event will be a tiny first step of
infancy faith for many people who can be encouraged and nurtured to
maturity in Christ, if someone cares
about them enough to help them.
But, of course are you going to
pledge yourself to direct the Catholics to a priest? Is compromise
love? With less money, Woodmont Hills Family of God could do what
Harold Hazelip did in the pre-post-modern era. They could tell
everyone who will attend the crusade that you don't believe that a
God of love is going to be in the coliseum to make his selection of
whom He will
save and whom He plans
to harden just to get them into a burning, eternal hell. That is what predestination believes. God said that
"burning babies" never came into his mind.
You could gather all of those
who do not believe in a wrathful, Graham-type God together and hold a
counter-revival. Jesus came to remove the "burden" laded on by clergy
where "burden" is defined as "spiritual anxiety created by religious
ritual." This ritual is calculated to create the anxiety always
connected with Calvinism to manufacture the "experiences" which
rarely happen with indivisuals. this proof of predestination will
give people the conficence they need without every "joining up" with
a small group.
believers will need somebody to connect them to the love of God. And that's where you come in. That's
where today's sermon comes in.
Acts 2 treats "believers" as
baptized believers. Because the "gospel" will
not be preached the people will respond but more to Billy Graham than
It is somewhat identical to
ancient paganism that the Woodmont Hills Family of God "Musical
Worship Facilitator" (means manipulator" was hired to "lead the worshipers into the presence
of God." The Billy
Graham hires some of the most powerful professional performers. Will
they lead people into the presence of God?
Now, you need a trained person
them to the love of God.
Next, we are going to get
the guilt trip laid on -- with love, you understand? If you don't
agree with my decision it is going to be because you are not a loving
person and you are under Satanic attack!
Why Some People
Doubt God's Love
For a variety of
reasons, today's sermon may be the hardest
of the three pre-Crusade lessons for some people to hear. The claim 'God
really loves you' falls on stony hearts with some people. It isn't so
much that they don't want to believe in God and his love,
I think, as it
reflects some painful
things out of their past that
has made them doubt
there is such a loving and benevolent Creator of all things who cares
about them. (That is the old decadent and deliterious doctrine of
the church of Christ. That means rotten and destructive)
Life, you see, has a way of
inflicting some terribly painful wounds on human hearts.
And Satan tries
to use those hurts as wedges between people and God. Let me explain
what I mean.
The Golden Text of the Bible says this: 'For God so
loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life' (John 3:16).
Contrary to the pagan belief
that a "worship team" can lead one into the presence of God or into
the love of God, John 3:16 doesn't begin and end with John 3:16. The
musical idolatry at Mount Sinai was an ancient ritual drama of
Osiris under the idol of Apis the bull. The
goal was to "ascend" or "go across the sea" of death to find the lost
god to lead them.
Paul warned the Corinthians in
chapter 10 that they were involved with the feasts of demons and in
Romans 9-11 they were
trying to ascend to find God. Musical performance at Sinai and in Corinth was the key mind-manipulator
to try to "lead the worshipers into the presence of God." However,
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down
from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. John 3:13
And as Moses lifted
up the serpent
in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: John
him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:15 (An
acceptance act is always attached to every act of faith: they had to
look upon the serpent)
For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not
his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world
him might be saved.
Paul connected the 'belief
in Him' and the salvation through Him:
For ye are all the
children of God by
faith in Christ Jesus.
When? For as many of you as have been baptized
into Christ have put
on Christ. Galatians
Notice that when you look at
the whole message of Jesus and don't shut him up mid-sentence, the
Spirit says that one must believe in him to keep from perishing.
However, to the believer,
on him is not
condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God. John 3:18
Jesus made this clear in the
Great Commission which must be "into all the world."
As Paul might say: "baptism does not save and not being baptized does not save: keeping Christ's commands is
what counts." In the case of baptism practiced by John and the
disciples of Jesus, the Jews were not condemned because they were not
condemned because they "rejected the counsel of God for their
So, you see, this is an
example showing that
Christ really meant: "He that is not
baptized shall not be
Unless, of course,
one can be saved while rejecting the counsel of God. One first
believes the counsel and then acts upon it or one rejects it and it
is just belief and not faith.
And Peter said that was not the water baptism as a
mechanical "body wash" which saved but baptism was the
time and place
which Christ ordained by which we ask God for a clear conscience and
He, and not the water, gives it:
In the case of Mark 16: 15-16
Jesus said that:
He that believes
and is baptized shall be saved
He that believes not---------------shall be damned
You see it takes
both to be saved. That is, it takes faith
and acting upon whatever is believed. However, in the latter case,
the person is
not damned because they were
but damned because they didn't
Their refusal to be baptized,
in John's baptism, was proof that they didn't trust themselves to
Christ. Their failure to be baptized was rejecting the commands of God and it was the rejection
mind and not the
absence of the water which damned them.
Baptism, like faith, grace and
everything we will ever have is "the gift of God." However, we
don't get God's free gift of 'watermellons" until we plant the seed
and allow God to give the increase.
The ultimate act of hate is to
hide God's gift of
baptism. To teach
"faith-only" as the "high five" from God that you have been
predestinated to heaven and grasped out of the fires of hell is
anti-Christ and to
participate is to endorse it. The love of God does not extend to
deliberate, with a high hand sin.
That verse plays
beautiful, positive notes of music in my heart. I know what it is to be loved by
someone (e.g., father, mother, wife, children), and I can
transfer those positive notions to God. I can
imagine the positive, affirming attitude of God
toward me and calculate some of the positive effects of such a love in my
'As a mother comforts her
child, so will I comfort you' (Isa. 66:13). I can identify with that
image of God because of experiences with my mother when I was so sick
for so many years as a child.
Well, let's return to the
whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be
Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:13
When Jesus came he was forced
to identify Jerusalem with fertility religion: "You piped and tried
to force me to sing and dance." John in Revelation identified it with
Egypt and Sodom:
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are
sent unto thee, how often would I
have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her
chickens under her wings,
and ye would not
Like so much of the Bible, a
little proof-text of a part of a verse is always followed by other
For, behold, the
Lord will come with fire,
and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire. Isaiah 66:15
For by fire and by
will the Lord plead with
all flesh: and the
slain of the Lord shall be many. Isaiah 66:16
And they shall go
forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have
against me: for their
worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they
shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. Isaiah 66:24
[This statement was also spoken
to the Babylon whore (male) whose harps would go with her into Sheol
and be consumed upon a bed of maggots on the edges of the eternal
'But while [the
prodigal son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and was
filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms
around him and kissed him' (Luke 15:20). I know I disappointed my
father in some situations, but he never turned against me or cut me
out of his life. So I can identify with these positive images of
God's parental role in my life.
That is so true, but is the
conclusion to be drawn by the Woodmont Hills Family of God that
joining the Billy Graham association is the only way to
love? Isn't playing "prayerful brinkmanship"
in Navigating the Winds of Change, the old right-wing judgmentalism
now being played out in the God-like, and psychologically-disturbing
need to acquite others
Will attending the Crusade,
like attending with the 40,000 "clergy" with Billy at Promise Keepers
96 in Atlanta, give vent to the confession of judgmentalism and
somehow liberating everyone by confessing sins and affirming those we
And so on for biblical
metaphors about Christ loving the church as a husband loves his wife,
my unqualified love for my daughter and two sons, and the meaning of
friends and other affirming persons in my life.
True, true. Our unconditional
love is absolutely necessary. However, in our spiritual pursuits we
are not loving for a season but for eternity. We cannot permit ourselves or others to jump off
tall buildings because we love them too much to teach them about
But if ye be
without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye
bastards, and not sons. Heb.12:8
I used to tell the story about
"Jackie" the stray dog who joined me in the "holler" while I built a
house 90 miles from home. I told the self-consumed "young marrieds
class" that "My dog loves me because I feed her loaves and fishes."
The next week I had to say: "Even Jackie has left me." So, the love
of God cannot be manifested always in people who will almost always
let you down when the loves and fishes cease. Can we expect less than
God Incarnate who wasn't always loved and affirmed?
But there are some
people who no longer believe in love because they have been
hurt and exploited in the name of 'love.' A woman remembers being
molested as a child by some man who pretended to love her. Or maybe
she was a teenager or young adult when somebody said he loved her and
then dumped her and left her behind ñ maybe with children to
care for by herself.
I am not sure how this
connects to a focus on Billy Graham rather than Jesus.
A man is defrauded by
business partners he thought were his friends. Someone's memories of
childhood involve an abusive parent who scolded, berated, or beat him
in the name of 'loving' him. People have been betrayed by preachers
who ñ in the name of 'God's love' built little empires or
practiced their immoral behaviors behind a smokescreen of
If the word 'love' conjures up
negative memories, painful images, and thoughts of defective
relationships, talk about God's love can be barren or painful.
We have looked at a recent
sermon at Woodmont Hills which is the most unloving, false chage
against those who do not use instruments this writer has ever read.
On the other extreme, a lot of silly stuff is written about
instruments but we don't know of a book which is as judgmental as this sermon.
And, at Abilene Christian University, non-musical churches are accused with
being: "fratricidal, traditionalist, legalists, attitude of superiority,
unChristian posture, schismatic, Satanic, sectarian, idolatrous, irrelevant, just pushing junk." In both articles,
to be non-musical is to be idolatrous as Alfred
those with a "hermeneutic" which goes with the flow as "churches" and
the non-musical groups who follow the first-century Bible with being
Love does not mean turning
Biblical and historical facts on their heads.
Others cannot believe
in God's love, for they have been taught that God has been he source
of all their heartache. 'God took your baby because he wanted him
more than you did' or 'God gave you that brain tumor to teach you to
Well, I never believed that
preacher rubbish anyway. But why is there such a stretch to teach
everyone the need go ecumenical with Billy Graham, Charismatics and
Catholics? Don't make sense to this engineer.
Last Wednesday a
broken-hearted lady whom I had just met confided her confusion and
anger at God over a severely handicapped and mentally retarded child.
Some people from a church near her had told her, 'God gives children
with such special needs only to very special mothers who can give
them what they need.' (Though I'm sure those people meant well by
their pious sentiment, what they didn't know was that her health was
beginning to break under the strain and that her husband had just
told her that he couldn't take it anymore and was leaving! Did God
arrange those things for her because she was capable of handling
What reasonable person can
believe in a loving God if he or she has been taught to think that
bankruptcy and heart attacks, car wrecks and divorces, or handicapped
children and deserting husbands are his doing to single people out
Therefore, we should support
If preachers preached the
gospel this wouldn't happen, would it. And if preachers "went into
all the world" she would never hear such rubbish.
At this very moment, a
two-week-fire in New Mexico has scorched more than 50,000 acres of
land, left over 400 families homeless, and damaged the storied Los
Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory. You know what such a disaster is
called in insurance lingo, don't you? Why, it's an 'act of God.' No!
Such events are often simply natural disasters caused by lightning or
devastating tragedies caused by careless campfires. This one appears
to have been caused by human error or, arguably, human
Wouldn't it be grand if all of
the money spent on Billy
Graham as the guru to
whom people will be pointed just took the money and sent it to New
Mexico. Now, that would be an "act of God."
I know what the people
out there need right now. It is for multiple true 'acts of God' to be
displayed toward them. They need for some of us who still have our
houses, jobs, and possessions to share with them. That might restore
their shaky confidence over facing life after this tragedy has
passed. So let's help them.
[Doug Poling comes to the
platform to call for a special contribution for victims of the Los Alamos fires, some of whom he
All of us will agree with the
rest of this sermon. However, when it is preached in the context of
internal and external criticism for getting involved with Billy
Graham, Charismatics, Latter Rains and the Catholic church -- and who
knows who else -- it is a false accusation because it must have the
motive of defending the internal decision (at high levels, not by a
vote) and to brand those who criticise the decision as
Beyond self love or sentimental
love which we should all have for those in need, the love of God is
hath my commandments, and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth me: and he that
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him. Jn.14:21
You see, Christianity is not
seven facts about
Jesus but obeying what Jesus said:
commandments, ye shall
abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and
abide in his love. Jn.15:10
And hereby we do know that we
know him, if we keep his commandments. 1Jn.2:3
We suggest that Paul meant that
the work of the church is to equip individuals for the ministry. They, then take the love to the
world. However, the work of the evangelist is to "go preach the
gospel and baptize people" and this is the only love which we can
express which has eternal value because "the poor you have with you
Making God's Love
Rubel Shelly: The reason so much of this church's outreach begins
with compassion is simply that we understand how some people cannot
see God as a source of love and goodness in their lives. They have
been hurt and betrayed. They are sick or homeless or enslaved to
alcohol and other drugs. They are in miserable marriages that keep
them perpetually frustrated and angry.
And therefore Billy Graham
is the way for Rubel to GO?
That seems fine to me but what
does this have to do with Billy Graham? Is it supposed to mean that
those who oppose
an organizational connection with Billy Graham don't outreach or
love? I suggest that small, non-celebrative churches probably spend
more of their income on missions and charity than big-city churches
with a "staff" which would make Moses gag at the pyramidal structure
God imposed upon him.
For the $250,000.oo (estimated)
spent on Jubilee 98 our little church could send a medical mission to
Guayana with more real visible effects than a Billy Graham festival.
About $100,000.oo so we could do 2 1/2 Jubilee 98. To spend this
money to collect the book-sellers and teach wholesale error does not
sound like love.
Maybe they are
angry at life in general because they've had
such a hard time. Perhaps they are angry at themselves for ruining
what was once a fairly decent life. So God has become their 'whipping
boy,' for he seems to be a fairly safe punching bag for their
disappointment and rage. It's like an angry child screaming at her
Mommy because she doesn't know what else to do with her anger.
scream at or indict God because they are in more pain than they think
they can bear, and they simply must strike out in one direction or
It is hard to believe that
people who try to teach the truth in the face of a radical "falling
away from the church" are screaming children who are angry at God. To be angry with Dr. Shelly is not to be angry with
God. We don't have much use for the 'right wing' either but as long
as they hold to the Bible as the Word of God both "gospel" and
"doctrine" they can always correct defects as they go along. However,
once you have carved out a "core gospel" of seven facts about Jesus
and relegated the rest of the Bible to the confused interpretations
of waring apostles and divisive churches you have lost the ground and
the sinking sand will consume you and your "family."
So I cannot assume that
everybody I meet feels kindly disposed toward God. From a wide
variety of life experiences, he may have very ambivalent feelings
toward God's love. She may not believe in God at all because of her
secular worldview. He may be so confused by what he has seen in and
Christians that it is
impossible to make sense of (much less believe!) the words 'God loves
you very, very much.'
When I try to be Jesus in that
person's life and help him in the midst of his pain, it may backfire
on me. If you'll pardon the analogy, it is sometimes like trying to
rescue a bird with a broken wing or a puppy who has been hit by a
car. Try to pick up the
bird, and he'll peck at you and make angry sounds. Try to examine the
dog's broken leg, and he'll snap at you -- bite you, if he
I have heard this explained
something like this:
We "invade" others
by challenging their old, destructive doctrine
Those being invaded become
hostile and attack
This proves that they were
wrong all along.
Undoubtedly the church is
filled with sick animals. However, you don't try to heal the bird by
demanding that the ecumenical animal kingdom has discovered wheels
and you are going to cut off the wings and attach wheels. Or you try
to feed the puppy with food which has been declared unhealthy by
every "doctor" for 2,000 years. Presumption of doctor-talent brings a
lot of risk.
Will endorsing PAGAN BAPTISM
solve those problems?
The one thing we must
not do is use the anger,
ingratitude, or negative responses of some of the people we try to help as our excuse for withholding compassion and love.
The job of the church is to make God's love believable by treating
people with respect, care, and support even, no especially, the 'hard
Ultimately, however, the proof of the love of God
doesn't come from our attempts at imitating Jesus to the people among
whom we live but in telling the story of God's dealings with humanity
across the centuries.
This is part of DeGroot's
"living church" in which we understand Jesus, not form the Bible, but
from the events of history.
He is incredibly
quick to compassion and slow to anger. He is eager to bless and
reluctant to punish. 'He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but
everyone to come to repentance' (2 Pet. 3:9).
This is a repudiation of the
Billy Graham predestination.
And even when he must
punish evil in order to defend not only his own integrity but those
who are attempting to live in holiness, he does so with the option of
grace always on the table. 'You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you' (Psa. 84:5). People
remember the terrible flood of purging waters that God sent over the
Earth but are inclined to forget that he gave wicked humanity 120
years to repent and be spared. People remember the fiery end of Sodom
and Gomorrah but seem to forget that if only ten people could have
been found in those two cities who could grieve over their wickedness
both would have been spared.
One of the most extraordinary
stories in all the Bible for me is told in the Book of Jonah. I'm not
talking about the big fish that swallowed and then spit out the
prophet either. I'm referring to Jonah's racism
and nationalism that made him pleased at the thought that Yahweh was
about to destroy Nineveh. Nothing could have pleased Jonah more! So
he finally -- reluctantly, for this is where the flight by ship and
big fish story come in -- got to Nineveh and preached: 'Forty more
days and Nineveh will be overturned' (Jon. 3:4b). When the people
heard of impending judgment, they repented and turned to the Lord.
And Jonah's reaction was bitter, bitter disappointment. He wanted
those people annihilated.
Are you racists if you don't
endorse Billy Graham?
Don't lose touch that this is a
pre-crusade sermon justifying the decision of Woodmont Hills
critics from churches
of Christ. Coming out of Jubilee, the Zoe Group and Willow Creek and
ACU is the story of the Restoration Movement which makes the
rejection of instrumental music the result of racism and nationalism. We have noted that the battle over music was in the
North and was not based on racism. Our friend was ridiculed and
charged with being a present-tense racist for resisting the
introduction of instrumental music in the church.
Click For More.
If conservative churches really
wanted all sinners to be destroyed by refusing them the right to
repent One could think of no better method than for Jonah to
commandments-- to the
However, the law of silence would permit Jonah to hire a local
musical band in Nineveh. Then, he could skip, wave his hands and
sing, "Repent, repent, and again I say, repent" while the band plays
down the street.
So even if Jonah, in this
parable, is the disciple of love he would still promote a circus
atmosphere, carry out God's commands, no one would take him
seriously, and he could go find a goard vine while Nineveh
But Jonah was greatly
displeased and became angry.
He prayed to the Lord, 'O Lord, is this not what I said when I was
still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew
that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and
abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity' (Jon.
Thank God that he is so
gracious and compassionate, so slow to anger and abounding in love!
Thank God that he 'relents from sending calamity' when we make the
slightest moves back to him!
Jonah ran from God because he
was a bigot
but God still pursued him. Hosea's wife was a prostitute, but Yahweh
told Hosea to pursue her as he was still pursuing Israel. Noah got
drunk, Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal, Elijah burned out. Moses
stuttered, Naomi was a widow, and Samson (can you believe it!) had
long hair. Both Moses and Paul had the blood of a murder on their
hands. Peter was afraid of dying, and Lazarus already had died.
Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a neurotic worrier, and John could be
Why does God keep on pursuing
people like these 'losers'? Why does he keep on lavishing his love on
me? Why is he trying to connect with your heart right now? It's
because he loves you. He loves you very, very much. He really
But only if you agree about
With Three Themes
The final proof of God's love for you is the cross of
Jesus Christ. Augustine was right when he said the cross is a pulpit
from which Jesus preached God's love to the world. 'This is love: not
that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an
atoning sacrifice for our sins' (1 John 4:10).
Augustine also projected his
sexual problems on the Garden of eden and determined that every human
being was in the semen of Adam. So, when Adam sinned, everyone
sinned. Billy Graham would buy that. to Augustine, the pulpit is the
place to preach to the predestinated.
attention to this incredible text and the three strands it weaves
together from the biblical record:
You see, at just the right
time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very
rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man
someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love
for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom.
First, the crimson thread ends the verse:
'Christ died for
us.' What does that
mean? There are mothers and fathers in this room who would die for
your children. You love your babies so much that you would gladly
trade places if cancer or a car out of control was threatening your
child's life. I've stood in hospital corridors more than once and
heard people sob, 'Why couldn't it have been me? I'd have gladly
taken his place!' Do you hear the words: take his place, trade
places, die for her? That's what Jesus did on the cross.
ORIGEN.: "none is free from pollution, though his life be but the length of one
day upon the earth."
Calvinism: but only for the predestinated to
heaven. The Baptist atonement is a limited atonement. If these poor
believed people are predestinated to hell then why should we argue
that God didn't kill them just to get them started over the barbecue?
there is a stained
threat in this text:
Christ died in our place 'while we were still sinners.' We weren't
obedient, loving children when Jesus was put to death in our place.
We were rebels. We were disobedient. We had not asked him to do
anything for us because we were determined and deliberate in our
sinfulness. Because of our sins, we deserve to die. Because he traded
places with us that day, we can live. 'The wages of sin is death, but
the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Rom.
6:23). We didn't deserve it and hadn't asked for it. It was a gift to
us in our pathetically dark, stained, sinful lives.
The wages of sin is
still death to those who deliberately sow
discord. Again, the Calvinistic threat is still there to burn you in
hell -- if you are an inch long -- if you are not predestinated to
God's loive. The gift of love is only for the loved and predestinated
before the foundation of the earth: if you are not loved there is
nothing that you can do and if you are loved there is nothing that
you can do to be saved. I don't know the eternal destiny of Job, do
there is a golden thread of divine love: 'God demonstrates his own
love for us in this.' In some other settings and in light of some of
your experiences, the message that God loves you very, very much can
sound hollow, unconvincing, and even trite. But if you have been
moved to see the cross of Jesus through the eye of faith, those words
ring true! They hold the prospect of forgiveness and the beginning of
a brand new life.
Gordon Jensen put all this
wonderful theology of divine love this way in a song:
In letters of
crimson God wrote his love
on a hillside so long, long ago.
For you and for me Jesus died
and love's greatest story was told.
'I love you! I love you!'
that's what Calvary said.
'I love you! I love you!
I love you! written in red.'[i]
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) is the composer you know
through such songs as 'A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody,' 'I'm Dreaming
of a White Christmas,' and 'God Bless America.' In an interview with
a reporter from The San Diego Union, he was asked, 'Mr. Berlin, is
there any question you've never been asked that you would like
someone to ask you?'
'Well, yes, there is one,' he
replied. ' "What do you think of all the many songs you've written
that didn't become hits?' And my reply would be that I still think
they are wonderful.' And that from a songwriter who wrote over a
Do you realize that God feels
that way about you? He thinks every single one of us is wonderful. It
doesn't matter what anybody else thinks whether they see you as a
'hit' or not, whether you've been acclaimed as a howling success in
life or written off by someone as a hopeless failure. God's opinion
of you is that you are awesome. Wonderful. Beloved.
How can I be sure? It's written
in blood at the cross of Jesus.
Jesus didn't BUILD a worship
center with hirelings sitting in the temple at the top of the Towers
of Babbling. Jesus promised to build His Ekklesia which is a synonym
for Synagogue which is a SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE. Jesus promised to
GATHER (synagogue) when two are three are ready to listen to the
Master "Pastor" as He still speaks through His Words. He said that
"my words are spirit and life" (John 6:63). Therefore, you CANNOT
bring people to Christ: He told you to GO and PREACH and there is
nothing within your supreme power which can PARTNER with
With or without Billy
But God also
A naughty person, a
wicked man, walketh with a froward
mouth. Proverbs 6:12
with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet,
he teacheth with his
fingers; Proverbs 6:13
Frowardness is in his heart,
discord. Proverbs 6:14
Therefore shall his
shall he be broken without remedy. Proverbs 6:15
These six things doth the Lord
hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: Proverbs 6:16
A proud look, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood, Proverbs 6:17
An heart that deviseth wicked
imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, Proverbs
A false witness that
speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs
Rubel Shelly Sermon
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