11. Authoritarian leadership or Lording Over Others - First of all, good leadership leads us to Christ and not to the leadership. If you ever meet up with a spiritual leader who is not gentle and kind while trying to instruct you; You have one who has forgotten from whence they came. There is something called „ Church Abuse ”, a mistreatment of volunteers or employees in the Church or in any Christian organization. Only Jesus can say, „ All authority in Heaven and Earth is given unto me ”, everyone else has limited authority. A spiritual leader does not have the authority to be mean, sarcastic and destructive towards any person or to have a double standard in treatment of people. A spiritual leader must understand authority and most of all, that they are under a greater authority who will hold them accountable. Good leadership among adults is authoritative, but never authoritarian or totalitarian. If you find yourself in such a situation, you must pray for that person, love them and consider what else the Lord would have you to do. Remember that the Bible talks about bad leadership and that we are all responsible most of all directly to the Lord. Totalitarian and authoritarian leadership in Christian work are both harmful and abusive. The Biblical model is authoritative leadership. Read 1 Peter 5, 1 Cor. 4 & Ephesians 4
12. Lordship Salvation - If ones Lordship salvation teaches that you must make Christ the Lord of every area of your life before you can be saved; This is an impossible proposition for anyone to carry out in the power of the flesh. If one teaches that we need to accept Him as Lord as well as Savior; This must be true, because in order to have saving faith it must be in Him alone and He is the Lord who is saving us from Penalty and Power of sin - the double cure. At the point of Salvation one must trust Him wholly and Him alone. In that sense He must be Lord over all. There can be no other Lord and certainly no other Savior. Lordship salvation has nothing to do with using phrases like Lord and Savior or Savior and Lord to describe how we accept Jesus into our lives. Jesus is always the Lord as we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. His dominion over our lives is the process we call sanctification. To be received into the Family of God you need only believe in Christ and the One who sent Him. Jesus taught us in John 3, that no one will really come to light who does not want his sin dealt with. There will always be fakers. We come to Him with empty and sin stained hands. He washes us clean and His Lordship is established in His Salvation by the new creation. There can be no other Lord and Savior. In that sense alone we must accept Him as Lord as well as Savior and must place our lives in His hands. As we continue to trust and act in faith our lives are changed and conform to the image of the Son. Read 2 Cor. 3 & Gal. 2, John's Gospel and " Absolutely Free " by Zane Hodges
13. Limited Priesthood - In the Old Testament there was a limited priesthood. Since the veil hanging in the Temple was torn apart, all believers could enter God’s presence. All believers now can stand before God themselves and our High Priest is Jesus Himself. All believers are addressed as the Royal Priesthood in the New Testament. The top leaders in the church should have only one wife and should keep their children in order. In the current big CELIBACY debate, the Scriptures are being ignored by the press. The idea was to prove you understood children and families by having children and a family of your own. This was the way we were instructed to pick our Church overseers. Read 1 Peter 2 & 1 Tim 3 Good Reading: "Living Supernaturally in Christ" by Bill Bright
14. Continual Mass Sacrifice - In the Old Testament, Jewish priests sacrificed with blood on the altar on a continual basis. This sacrifice was a picture of the one great Sacrifice at one point and time for all the sins of the world. That sacrifice was made by the Only Righteous One, Jesus Christ. It never needs to be repeated for the remission of our sins. It was the perfect sacrifice and it is sufficient for all of our sins, for all time. Read Heb. 10 & Rev. 5
15. Charismania - The word Charisma is a good and valid word. There are gifts from God the Holy Spirit which are given to serve others. God is capable of miracles even greater than those in the first Century. The greater miracles are God extending someones life for eternity and loving each other. However, the Miracles of the New Testament left nothing to the imagination. Walking on water, ascending into the air, healing those who were known with major illness, causing the lifelong blind to see again, raising people from the dead and so on, are not seen today among the followers of Christ as they were seen in the New Testament. The Lord can at any time give this gift and create healings like never before. He gets the credit and He does the healing. Miraculous healing comes from God alone. God can and does heal, but He chooses the time and place. If one church truly had a corner on health and they lived longer than others, we would all sign up tomorrow. Worship is limited in its depth in Charismania, concentrating on feelings. Being slain in the Spirit and barking like a dog is not Biblical. 1 Cor. 14 teaches us to listen to each others prayers to see if they are of the Lord. These deviations from Scripture detract from the message of the Bible to the degree they are practiced. Read 1 Cor. 14 & Rev. 4
16. Arianism *** - This false teaching which states that Jesus is not God, ignores the major teaching of the Gospel. God became flesh and dwelt among us. It is the backbone teaching of the Unitarians, Christian Science, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims and the Mormons. It is so alien to the Gospel, that we simply say that those who hold this view are not born again because they do not believe in the words of Jesus and his disciples. In the New Testament, seventeen titles used for God-Jehovah in the Old Testament are used for Jesus in the New Testament. The enemies of Jesus wanted to kill Him because he made Himself God . In Matthew and Luke for example Jesus used Jehovah's name „ I Am ” for Himself, as He identified Himself to the frightened disciples who saw Him walking on water, not only in the more famous Gospel of John passage. Read John, Col. 1 & Phil. 2
17. Liberalism *** - A Protestant movement which gave up foundational beliefs such as: the resurrection, innerancy of the Bible, miracles of Jesus and the second coming. The basis for their unbelief was simply that they couldn’t accept the historical New Testament documents as a true witness to what actually happened. Since the development of Liberalism, archeology and new evidence has proven that the historical record was written within the lifetime of the Apostles and that we have more than 24,000 manuscripts which agree with each other from the second through fifteenth centuries. The entire New Testament can also be reconstructed from the quotations of the early church disciples. Liberalism was born from the basic belief that man was getting better and that he could do well on his own. Liberal churches in America are dying churches and new churches were formed in the 20th Century which represent what is called the evangelical movement. Read 1 Cor. 15 & Jude
18. Macro-Ecumenism - Unity among the true believers and followers of Christ is a valid and major theme in the Bible. Macro - Ecumenism includes those who are not believers in the Christ of the Bible. They hold to the teachings of men rather than to the teachings and examples clearly set forth in the New Testament and Old Testament records. Read John 17 & Rev. 13 ( Good reading here is " Christ Among Other Gods " by Erwin Lutzer )
19. Ex opere operato *** - is a Latin theological expression meaning literally "from the work having worked" and with the specific meaning "by the very fact of the actions being performed". "Without faith it is impossible to please God" Heb. 11:6 . Yet we meet many who have doubts about Jesus Christ and in this state participate in communion and baptism " just in case". The answer to this misunderstanding is found in the book of James, where James states flatly, " ... for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord ..." James 1:6,7
20. Liberation Theology *** - Contrary to the teachings of our Lord, Liberation Theology seeks to use Jesus as a political revolutionary. Jesus saw that the real problem was never going to be solved by those like Barabbas who would only change things on the surface. The heart of man needed changing and this is what Jesus did on the cross. Those whose hearts are changed can really change the world on all levels in a positive way, through a revolution of love . Read Acts 17 & Heb. 11
21. Praying to Others - All of the Prophets, All of the Old Testament Priests, all of the New Testament Apostles, Mary the earthly mother of Jesus prayed only to the Lord; And the Lord Jesus Himself prayed only to God the Father. We were instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ ( God the Son , whom we can also pray to ) to pray in His name. They never prayed to or through anyone, but always directly to God. This is also the only teaching on this matter in all of the Bible. Whenever Israel prayed to anyone but God, they were punished. In Jeremiah, Israel is punished for praying to the Queen of Heaven, a false god. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you must follow His teachings, which were to pray to God in Jesus name. He also stated that no one comes to the Father except through Him and that those who try to get to the Father through any other way are thieves and robbers. Read the entire Bible where it is very clear whom and through whom we pray.
One Final Word
Several of the issues regarding gifts, administration of ordinances/sacraments and understanding difficult issues regarding predestination and man's responsibility can be minor if we concentrate on the main things. None of us have 100% of all the answers. Some of these points are just cautions for true believers to understand each other and to beware of being sidetracked. This list deals mainly with those teachings we often come up against today in our ministry. In conclusion, let me say whom we are to believe and whom we must trust to be saved. The Scriptures are clear on this matter, we can only trust God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God has revealed Himself to us in a special way through His Son. Prior to His coming, men were saved by believing in the Promise and the Salvation which was to come. This was expressed in the sacrifice to the Lord of the best of your animals - which were being slain anyway for food. His words and the words of those He personally chose and taught are found only in the New Testament and are witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets in the Old Testament which is also the Word of God witnessed to by Jesus. We can trust the Bible completely - Old and New Testaments. In Conclusion please read Eph. 4. There is no need for divisions among true believers. It is still possible to say things differently and to have differences on minor issues - even some of the things I wrote here in these twenty one points. Major issues of doctrine are found in the statements of faith and early creeds that each evangelical organization or church has, but only in brief summary. The Bible is our only final word. The greatest and only binding Statement of Faith however, is the entire Bible - Old and New Testaments.
WHO IS LOST?
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
Who is lost and in need of salvation? The Bible clearly teaches that many are lost and perishing. Who are they? Jesus made it clear to both religious and non religious that all of us start Lost. He also warned that "many" will follow the wrong path to salvation. Here are just seven situations that keep men Lost!
1. Those who try to earn or deserve favor with God by their own righteousness are Lost. Luke 18: 9-14; Romans 3:20; 9: 30-33
2. Those who have a dead faith that is half hearted with divided allegiance, are Lost. Matthew 15: 8-9; James 2:19
3. Those whose faith lacks the fruit of obedience are Lost. Mark 4: 2-9; Matthew 7: 15-20; James 2: 18; Romans 1:5; 16: 26
4. Those who choose to follow a religious path that deviates from what is known as right and true, even if it is in the name of Jesus, are Lost. Matthew 7: 21-23; Galatians 1: 6-10; Jude 3
5. Those who follow or trust in anyone else but the Lord and our only Savior Jesus Christ; God incarnate, Creator of all things who died on the cross, shed His blood as a payment for our sins, rose again and is coming back - are Lost. John 8:23-24; 14:6; Acts 4:12
6. Those who place or trust the word of man over or being equal to the Word's of Christ and His chosen Apostles or Prophets in the Old and New Testament are Lost. John 10: 1-15; Matthew 24: 4-5; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 3: 2; 1 John 5: 11-13; Revelation 22: 18-20
7. Those who are not Born Again of God and His Holy Spirit by grace through faith in Christ alone are Lost. John 3: 1-18; 1 Peter 1:1-15; Romans 8: 9-17; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5: 1
Ultimately God will decide who is saved and who is lost based on His understanding which is greater than ours. However, on the basis of His Word in the Bible, God "desires all men to be saved". 1 Tim 2: 4 and is "not willing that any should perish". 2 Peter 3: 9 Jesus said, many who think they know Him will be disappointed. God loves the lost more than any of us do and He already did everything for us. The thief on the Cross may not have understood much theology, but he knew to call on God, believe in Jesus Christ and he was convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sinfulness. (Luke 23: 42-44; Romans 1: 18-20; 10: 14-21) Since the beginning of man, prophets, missionaries, yes angels and visions have been sent to reach those who call on Him. Read about Cornelius if you have any doubt. Acts 10: 1-6
Note: See MissionPoland Partners on Facebook for how to get UN LOST!
Three levels toward establishing good teaching
1. That which is explicitly taught in Scripture and is essential ( Diety of Christ, Resurrection, Salvation by Grace thru faith, etc. )
2. That which is implied where interpretation may differ ( like fine points on gifts of the Holy Spirit )
3. That which is surmised, which we should never mix with the first two; Theories which we can personally & loosely have on the side, which do not conflict with the faith, but should never be treated as sound doctrine.
" IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY. " ( RUPERTUS MELDENIUS or Peter Meiderline ? - many other people also get credit for this motto which has been used by many confessions over the years since the Reformation and credit given to Augustine has yet to be verified by anyone, though we would rather give the credit to him. )
Joe Losiak ( MissionPoland - P.O. Box 681481 - Schaumburg, IL 60168 )
January 6, 2001