Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Just read George Fox autobiography. There is a man who believed the Word of God enough to get moving for God -- and enough to stand against the established religion of the day. He condemned Anglican priests as "hirelings" and insisted that the Lord Himself would teach the believer. Not surprisingly he suffered great opposition - imprisonment and beatings - for standing up for the Word of God against the heresies of the day.
What is the heresy of established religion today? There are probably many, but I have encountered one in particular as I lead music for Methodist Church in rural North Carolina. It well known that many seminaries are turning out pastors who no longer believe the Word of God. They are not forthright about it because their congregations wouldn't accept them if they knew. In fact, the congregations are more faithful to the Word of God than their leaders.
Poses problems in denominations where the pastors cycle through churches, and leadership is responsible for choosing their pastors for them.
I was encouraged to attend a Bible Study called, DISCIPLE. This is a widely popular Bible study
In this study, which is supposed to take the Christian through the entire Bible, I discovered that denomination is pushing theories that run counter to the clear meaning of the Biblical text. And doing so as if it were established fact.
For example, in ISAIAH - one of the most remarkable prophetic books which deals with the kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon and their exiling God's people - in order to explain away the supernatural - they say, there were several Isaiahs - writing over hundreds of years.
Another example, in DANIEL - in which prophesies cover the rise and fall of four world powers as well as the coming of the Christ and the end times -- they don't even cover Daniel's prophesies in the DISCIPLE STUDY but instead cover the fiery furnace account - a bedtime story compared to the book's powerful prophesies.
Finally, JONAH -- DISCIPLE STUDY lumps together the mid-eighth century prophet, Jonah, with the post-exilic writings of Ezra saying Jonah was influenced by Ezra's xenophobia. But the Bible says Jonah was a contemporary of Jeroboam II.
What has this review of the DISCIPLE STUDY got to do with anything? Well, for one thing, the Methodist church is about to formalize their heresy. The split of the Methodist church which is likely to happen formally in 2022 - is likely to result in a slicing away of Bible-believers - likely only 20% of Methodist churches are still led by conservative pastors - though a majority of their congregations are still conservative.
Just as George Fox stood against errors of the 17th century - all Bible-believing Christians - not just Quakers - need to stand against the lies of the errant church. Perhaps it is time for all of us to follow the methods of George Fox (as well as the methods of the early Methodist movement) and take it to the streets.
Licia Kuenning: "So I do not say to Friends that if they study the Quaker past they will learn how to recreate it. The seventeenth century will not come again. I have the more modest hope that we will learn to tell the truth about it."
This is really interesting Coleen. Thanks for posting. I read the scriptures daily as part of my prayer time. I think reading the scriptures helps me get over myself and connect to the ancient and present wisdom of God's presence. Not a distraction from Christ but a help towards him. So, closer to you, and I think to Fox, than some.
Thanks for your post Alice. I agree with you - for me too the regular reading of Scriptures keeps me close to Him.
The biggest mistakes I made in life are when I was not regularly reading his word. My life experience reinforces that the Scriptures (Old Testament and New) are dependable for instruction in righteousness. (Not my own idea of righteousness -- but His idea of righteousnss -- I want to satisfy the One who will ultimately judge me.)
We need a God-centered faith rather than a self-centered or peer-centered one. "Ego", what I think I (or, Heaven forbid, my friends) can accept as Truth, will never take us where we need to go! Draw close to Christ and learn of Him.
I watched Rick Steves on PBS last night -- journeying through Egypt. I thought it was an indicator of the times - and culture in America - when Rick Steves said that America too has a problem with fundamentalists.
Really? He would compare Conservative Christians with Jihadists? It is shocking -- how fast my fellow Americans, and public television has become so intolerant of a Biblical worldview.
The following article is about how a school changed policy after a parent called to complain that her child was told to remove a mask because of the message, "Jesus loves me."
The school leadership dug in their heels and said it was policy just a few hours before formalizing it and MAKING IT policy. The Gospel has become such a great offense.
But to me - it is the power of God, the truth and the only real hope for the world.