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          Intro: How many once strong fundamental independent Baptist churches have disintegrated into compromising, carnal, play grounds? Where once were sound doctrine, spirituality, soul winning, healthy mission programs, good sacred music and high dress standards; now is a social gathering with the emphasis on ‘me.’ Many a pastor battles to fly the standard high only to give in to people bent on having fun and being entertained. Many a solid, God fearing Christian has been discouraged and finally given up fighting and left a church, when the Bible is changed, standards are lowered and the spiritual focus is gone. The atmosphere is more centered on worldly things and the people are carnal minded in their pursuits. When this happens you know the enemy has bludgeoned another good church. Some signs to watch out for:

ü  A Change in the Bible  - From the KJV to a corrupt Bible

ü  A Change in the Music – From God honoring, sacred music to CCM - worldly rock.  

ü  A Change in the Dress – People dressing like they are going to a Bar B’Que

ü  A Change in Standards – The bar is lowered in every area of the church

ü  A Change in the Preaching – The messages get shorter and sweeter, so as not to offend.

ü  A Change in the Focus – From the concern for men’s souls to ME!

 

I list the enemies I thought of below. There could be more or some might group differently but this is my paper so I give you six (number of man) “Enemies of the New Testament Church

At the end of each enemy will be the ‘Answer’ to drive the enemy out.

           

 

            Liberalism / Modernism -  There is really no problem with someone being liberal or something being modern. The problem starts when your liberalism (The word liberal in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church teachings) and your new ways and philosophies go against the old paths. There must be a standard other than human reasoning, and wisdom, and that standard is God’s word. Below are the areas of concern when the modernists come into the church. This is where they attack. 

u The Bible - – Not taking the Bible literally and as the infallible Word of God is the first step down into complete apostasy The theology of liberal Christianity was prominent in the Biblical criticism of the 19th and 20th centuries. This means that the Bible is not considered a collection of factual statements, but instead an anthology that documents the human authors' beliefs and feelings about God at the time of its writing—within a historical or cultural context. Thus, liberal Christians do not regard the Bible as divinely inspired (God's Word), but subject Scripture to human reason.

ü  The Jesus Seminar - The Jesus Seminar was a group of about 150 biblical scholars and laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan under the auspices of the Westar Institute. The seminar uses votes with colored beads to decide their collective view of the historicity of the deeds and sayings of Jesus of Nazareth.

                  Isn’t it enough to make you sick when these so called scholars put their          own spin on the teachings of the scriptures? This group of herectics denies the virgin birth, Jesus’ miracles, His substitutionary death for sinners, and His      resurrection from the dead.

                  Now what do we say to these enemies of the New Testament church? One           admonition, two admonition, then you are out. These are those who can critically         wound the faith of new believers if they get their hands on them.

u No preaching on Hell fire

ü  The feel good gospel – This is the self esteem message that says your ok. This is the preaching that is careful about preaching about sin. Some good preachers today don’t want to name specific sins. There is preaching that is careful about whom they might offend. They are concerned about numbers not souls. We must be careful to balance our preaching between rebuking and exhorting our people. They need both but it seems good balanced preaching is not as prevalent as this “don’t be offensive” preaching. There are those who teach and don’t preach and vice versa. Again we need preachers who are teaching their people also.

            Now we must not be mean spirited but get mean against sin. Preach (as some have said) as dying men to a dying people. Christians must be urged to live right and lead holy lives. Lost people must be shown the truth about their condition. The wages of sin is death and they are going to die. There is a no way of getting around the burning fires of hell for all who reject Christ. How do you soft soap that truth and then pillow your head and sleep soundly at night? I couldn’t! Preach like dying men to dying people. “…the night cometh when no man can work.”

u No Separation –The Lord has always wanted His people to be different from the world. Jesus said Himself that we are in the world but not of the world. John15:19 He chose us out of the world. The Lord has set His people apart from the world by His word. John 17:17   When we are not changed and living like it we are no longer and effective witness for Him. We must separate ourselves from worldly practices. We simply must be different and not be a friend of the world. James 4:4 God hates spiritual adultery.           

            Even in “Christian” circles there needs to be separation. There is the mentality that we must get along with everybody for the higher cause of spreading the gospel. It doesn’t matter how or what you worship as long as we want to see people know God. Phooey! That is from the pits of hell. I am not speaking of pushing everyone away but there is a line I cannot cross in spiritual things. There are things that separate me from other ‘so called Christians. They may be Christians but I cannot worship with them when I believe they are not preaching sound doctrine or a biblical gospel. 

 

Answer – Prov. 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

            The answer will always be the same, get back to the Book. Don’t be afraid of men’s faces or what they say or do. It is up to the man of God to stay true to the book. Hold the line against the liberals and modernists as they attack. Don’t give up or give in. Fight back with truth and don’t be ashamed to stand alone. A lot of good men have. Mind your conscience preacher.

1Pet. 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

1Tim. 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

            You will have to answer to God for your choices not theirs!

Rom. 14:5 “…Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Nobody will stand in your place at the Judgment Seat!

 

            Calvinism Calvinism (also called Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a theological system and an approach to the Christian life. Calvinism is a theology that was developed by John Calvin (1509-64) in the sixteenth century. The system is often summarized in the Five Points of Calvinism and is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity, stressing the absolute sovereignty of God and the futility of human action. Calvinistic theology was summarized into five points during the debate over the teachings of Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609). Those five points are called T.U.L.I.P.

T – Total Depravity, U – Unconditional Election, L- Limited Atonement,

I- Irresistible Grace, P – Perseverance of the Saints

BAPTISTS MUST FACE THE ISSUE OF CALVINISM. It is a divisive subject, but it must be faced because it touches some of the most important points of biblical truth and affects how Christians perceive the gospel and the very person of God. It is interesting to observe that there have always been divisions among Baptists on the issue of Calvinism. The early Baptists in England were divided into the General Baptists and the Particular Baptists, referring to how they viewed Christ’s atonement, as to whether it was for all men (general) or only for the elect (particular). There is a disturbing teaching of election concerning national (Israel) and personal election by the Calvinist. This is heresy that says God ‘elects’ some to salvation without any believing on the part of man. Of course the others have been predestined to hell. Heresy! Adam Taylor’s History of the General Baptists of England (1818) deals with the history of the non-Calvinist Baptists in Great Britain, and there were a large number of them. To my knowledge, Taylor is the only 19th-century British Baptist historian who was not a Calvinist. It is certain that the vast majority of Baptist histories are written by Calvinists and they typically neglect and sometimes misreport the history and beliefs of the non-Calvinist Baptists. Be that as it may, the fact remains that Baptists have always been divided on this issue and it is not wise to draw back from dealing with it today, even though divisions are certainly the result.

 

u Creeping in to the church and Bible colleges

ü  Young men coming out of Bible Colleges and taking over established churches bring with them their school professor’s theology. The teaching of the sovereignty of God is a true and needed teaching but it does not negate the responsibility of man to believe. Why does there have to be change just for the sake of change. Why not stick to the clear teaching of the Book. You wouldn’t become a Calvinist just by reading the Bible. You must be influenced from outside the scriptures to believe this false doctrine.

u Affects the soul-winning – Many who hold to the tenets of Calvinism believes soul winning efforts are useless. If a person is ‘elected’ then what is the sense of going about compelling people to believe the Gospel. It is unconditional and irresistible so what is the sense. If Calvin is right and the scriptures wrong let God do what He will. That is a very silly statement isn’t it? The scriptures are right and Calvin is wrong. God has told us to ‘Go’ and preach the Gospel. The bible is replete with scriptures that put the emphasis on preaching the gospel “…to every creature…” so they can know God.

           Why would a Calvinist go into all the world to save lost sinners? William Carey’s ‘Obligation of Christians (A paper written for use to convert the heathen) published in 1792 found few readers and produced little effect. To most of the Baptist in England at the time of his views were visionary and even wild, in open conflict with God’s sovereignty. At a meeting of ministers (where the senior Ryland presided) Carey proposed that at the next meeting they discuss the duty of attempting to spread the Gospel amongst the heathen…Ryland, shocked sprang to his feet and ordered Carey to sit down, saying: When God please the to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine.

           Charles Haddon Spurgeon took his first pastorate in 1854. Many Calvinist opposed Spurgeon and his broad and indiscriminate invitations for sinners to come to Christ. Did not Jesus say “…even so send I you.”  He sent us to tell EVERY lost person.

Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

u A sense of elitism – Calvinism is a high- minded, pride filled doctrine from the pits of hell. Can you honestly sit there thinking you have been predestined to heaven while another is predestined to hell? God is Sovereign, I agree. God in His sovereignty said that all who reject Jesus Christ will go to hell. God also said all who believe on Him will be saved. They are predestined to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ. Eph.1:5

           I don’t accept Calvinism is because it tends to lead to a spirit of conceit that does not speak of Christ. I could bring in a whole library of quotes of statements by Calvinists where they proclaim themselves to be so much smarter, historic, godly and advanced than other Christian groups. This arrogant and condescending spirit really turns me off. These young fundamentalists who are going over to Calvinists paint themselves as so educational, so scholarly, so spiritually advanced and mature. That is not a very Christian attitude and they have a great need to develop some humility.

Answer – Run the Calvinist out with sound doctrine, and the clear verses that scream ‘free will’ of every man. The Bible is sufficient of itself to turn away any false doctrine of which Calvinism is right at the top. It matters not to me how many doctorates you have or how scholarly people think they are; I will stand with the clear literal teaching of the Bible that was given to me. My King James Bible (Not ESV, popular with the Calvinist) was translated into the English language so I could understand it. The Holy Spirit is my Teacher and final authority. Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

 

 

          Bible Critics and Rejecters – No doubt the issue for modern Bible critics and rejecters starts with Westcott and Hort. They were the first real departure from the Received Text and laid the ground work for today’s Bible critics. The new versions are almost all the work of these two rationalists. Men of corrupt minds

u Inspiration - The Bible is perfectly inspired and contains no error. This is supported by the Bible itself. The Bible claims to be the perfect, inspired Word of God. This view is also called infallible or inerrant inspiration. The Bible has proved itself by its fruit of changed lives and nations to its fulfilled prophesy. We have God’s word!

u The New Versions – These new versions are nothing more than cash cows for publishing companies. There are literally hundreds of new versions from the ‘Rappers Bible’ to the ‘Teen’ versions that put the words into some kind of generation ‘y’ language. For anyone who will do the research or follow the evidence they will find there is only one Bible for the English speaking people. Only one comes from the right text, uses the proper translation techniques and done by the right translators. That Book is the King James Bible.

           There are basically two lines the bibles follow; the one from Antioch in Israel and the one from Alexandria in Egypt. There is only one bible from the pure line and that is the KJV.

 

 

          Worldly MusicThis is one of the most dangerous enemies of the New Testament church. It has been used by the devil to soften the Biblical stand of so many good men and churches. This is the devil’s dirty bomb. No it is not the Bible rejecting, false teaching modernist atom bomb that kills a good church in one blast. This is a subtle, creeping, poisonous release that permeates the church and makes way for all the other compromises to good, soul winning, sound, KJV, churches.

u Christian” Rock - Almost wants to make throw up your dinner doesn’t it? Have you ever heard of such a clash of words in all your life? How does this garbage get into to our churches? This is what the worldly carnal “Christian” is listening to at home and in the car. If they cannot get it into the church they will be gone soon enough. The problem is they are succeeding in getting this junk into the church through the subtlety of the devil’s ways. The way in is CCM – Contemporary Christian Music sic. My next point!

u Contemporary Christian Music aka CCM – This subject is huge. Many independent Baptist churches that still have any sort of conviction against CCM are “adapting” it by using the words while toning down the rhythm. They are trying to take the “rock” out of Christian rock. They think they can tame the beast and turn Charismatic praise music into fundamentalist praise music. This results in the gradual acceptance of and increasing use of CCM, the gradual allowance for sensual rhythms, a continual pushing of the boundaries.

Some quotes

                                  1.           This quote is by the late Victor Sears:
“Good fundamental Baptists and others that refuse the teachings of the charismatic crowd concerning tongues, signs, miracles, and so forth are NOW SINGING THEIR MUSIC in our churches and preparing our people for the world, the flesh and the Devil. It is the new Trojan Horse move ... to deaden our churches to spiritual truth” (Sears, Baptist Bible Tribune, 1981).

                That quote was thirty years ago and it is as true as stink on a pig. Furthermore he says…

He recognized that CCM comes predominantly from the charismatic movement with its heretically bogus, demon-inspired tongues, signs and miracles. He warned about fundamentalist churches that “SING THEIR MUSIC.” Observe that he didn’t say that a church has to sing charismatic music in exactly the same way that they sing it. They just have to sing it to whatever tune they want, toned down as much as they want, and that CCM music becomes a Trojan horse to deaden the church to the truth.

                                    2. The late Evangelist Gordon Sears:
“When the standard of music is LOWERED, then the standard of dress is also lowered. When the standard of dress is lowered, then the standard of conduct is also lowered. When the standard of conduct is lowered, then the sense of value in God’s truth is lowered” (Evangelist Gordon Sears, Songfest newsletter, April 2001).

 

u The attitude behind CCM – The world’s ways and attitude is behind CCM. The worlds philosophy of me first, last, and always is prevalent. This is a compromise and will only lead to more unscriptural behaviors. This is a disobedient crowd that wants this music. They are probably not the ones who love the preaching and serve in the church faithfully. More than likely these are the vain talkers and sowers of discord in the church.

 

Answer Drive it out with sacred, God honoring music. This can be controlled by the man of God. The pastor and leadership must stand together on the music in the church. The music in the church will be the music that the pastor wants. He has no one to blame but himself if this stuff creeps in. ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3

 

          Carnal and Lost Church Members and lording Leaders

u Diotrophes present – (A lording Pastor.) The man of God is the overseer, shepherd, and teacher of the flock of the local church. One thing he is not to be is a domineering tyrant who tries to control everyone’s life. A lording pastor will seek the praise of men and desire the power and control for himself at the expense of allowing the flock to be influenced and influence other Christians from out side that church. Many other preachers, missionaries and evangelists are excluded because Diotrophes is present. He doesn’t want anyone else to take his place of being first in the people’s eyes. Even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself would not have the preeminence when Diotrophes is present.

u Superficial Christians – Saved but carnal in thought and deed. – 1Cor..3:1 – These Christians cause strife and division in churches. They prefer cliques and honor men above God. This is the climate in many churches that were once strong, spiritual churches. There is a turning to self and fun and away from spiritual things. This Christianity is an inch deep and a mile wide. Shallow muddy, of no value to anyone.

ü  Bad Attitudes – They complain about everything and are involved in nothing. If they are involved it seems they consider their service more a burden than an opportunity to store up riches in heaven.

ü  Sowers of discord – Talebearers

u Tares – the unregenerate church members

Answer – Proper presentation of the gospel would be first on the list. There must be a clear presentation and a real desire on the part of the lost to ‘want’ to be saved. No leading statements or questions by the soul winner before repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ are thoroughly explained.

            Congregations need to spend more time upfront praying and questioning anytime they are calling a pastor. Ask the hard questions and find out who a man is.

 

          False Doctrine False teaching is the enemy of any church. Sound doctrine must be guarded and propagated through the church by teaching and preaching. It is the pastor who must be on constant guard against false teaching creeping into the church. It must be stopped at the door, in the Sunday school and in small group discipleships. False doctrine will, without a doubt bring down the healthiest and sound churches if not cut off, and cut out like a cancer.

u Can we know sound doctrine? – Absolutely! Open your KJB and study it. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. John 16:13 We are His children and He desires to teach us His truth. We have the word of God, it is only for us to search the scriptures daily to learn and build our foundation.

u How does false doctrine get in the church? – Four reasons for the spread of false doctrine.

ü  Satan is a liar and his desire is to deceive Rev.20:3 - John 8:44 tells us that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies. He cannot tell the truth because it is not in him. God cannot lie - Titus 1:2 because there is no lie in Him. Satan always lies, and don’t think for one second you can ever trust anything he says. We must hold every thought up to the light of scripture. 2Cor.10:5

ü  False Teachers - Men want power and make money from their false teaching - 2Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

ü  The shepherd lets down his guard – There are many vain talkers and deceivers Paul tells us in chapter one of Titus, so in the first verse of chapter two we have these words. Titus 2:1  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

                                    It is the duty of the Pastor to hold fast to the truth and expose and rebuke                               the false teachers. Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been                                  taught,             that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the                                   gainsayers.

                       When the preacher does not teach and desire the “…wholesome words…” of the Lord Jesus Christ, then he is a proud fool who will do nothing but bring about strife and division in an otherwise good church.

ü  The people turn from the truth, to their own lusts -  2Ti 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

Answer - Acts 17:11 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.

            We live in an age of lazy Christians. They do not read their Bibles so they are easily deceived. Also, they have no time or regard for strong sound teaching but want something to make them feel good, not spotlight their sinful ways.  The only sure way to drive out the enemy of ‘false doctrine’ is with the teaching of the truth. Again it is up to the leadership to hold the line and not stop paddling against the flow of what the bible calls fables. A fable is a myth, an untruth, a tale or little story. Fight the battle with the Sword of the Spirit the Word of God. It matters not what the people want it is what the people need. We are in this fight for Him and we must hold on till He comes. Satan is a liar, and false teachers will continue to creep in but only if we are unaware. Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares…”

The Problem and the Bible Answer

Gal.2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

       5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.                 Amen! and Amen!

 

Conclusion:  There is no doubt that the Christian church today has its share of enemies. Satan is behind the spiritual side of the attack but why do we have to help him. Sometimes we scratch our heads and wonder why if we all have the same Holy Spirit, then why don’t we all think alike.

            Well we may all have the same Spirit but not the same desire to know the truth; desire being the key word. You and I both know that most Christians do not read their Bibles. We also know that a lot of reading outside the Bible is done and that can cloud the truth. Once we go outside the Bible (no matter who the person is writing or their integrity) there is the opportunity for error. I am all for reading the works of men and learning all I can. I read books and I believe the person who doesn’t is missing out on a great resource.

            So, as Satan attacks let’s fight him with the truth and when our own ‘brethren’ fail us then let us stand on the truth, and speak it in love. The enemies of the New Testament church are from without and within but they will all be beaten with the Sword of the Spirit, the word of God. God gave us His word for just that reason.

            The Bible tell us in 2Tim.3:16, 17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

            The only enemy that cannot be beaten is the one that doesn’t meet up with the Sword of the Spirit. God is not at fault, never was and never will be. We are the ones who let down the guard. We must stand and fight in this evil day.

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

                                                                                          Respectfully Submitted - Daniel Eberly

Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

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