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Doctrine in dialogue format
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16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1Cor 3:)
"Hi-de-ho everybody. This is Michael Jay Busybody in a typical Fundamental church in a typical city on a typical Sunday morning. I thought for today's program I would look in to what the typical churches are doing nowadays and see if they differ from the typical churches I grew up knowing. Oops, quiet now, the preacher is about to give his message."
"Before I begin my sermon today I would first like to thank our band. We are fortunate to have such a talented youth Punk band that is sought after everywhere. We were sorry to see our Heavy Metal band leave however, but the world was calling them to higher places and offered them more money for their talents. I do have a request of our band however. I personally would like for you, Harry, to pull your pants up above your groins when you are on stage, and for you Mary to wear a skirt that is a tad longer than the handkerchief you now wear. This is not a criticism you understand, only a personal request. I wouldn't want you to think I am standing in the way of your freedom that grace provides. By the way Laurie, I like your new purple Mohawk hairdo, it goes well with the large cross you wear around your waist the skull and crossbones buckle you wear around your neck. You will pardon me if I have difficulty hearing your responses as I am still having a terrible ringing in my ears from the massive speakers you youngsters employ.
"As an announcement, the board of elders and I are debating the possibility of placing ash trays at the entrance of the church and locations in the parking lots. In the meantime, please do not throw your cigarette butts on the ground as someone has to pick these up.
"As for prayer requests, Jennifer has asked me to thank you all for the prayers on her behalf. The mother, that is, Jennifer is doing well. And for those of you unfamiliar with our stance on abortion, no, we don't condone abortion, but we must remember that Jennifer is a born again Christian securely in the hands of the Lord. Though we do not approve of her abortion, her fate has been sealed and the Lord has welcomed her into His Kingdom as He has all His children. Incidently, Jennifer is still asking prayer that her search for the real father will come to fruition soon.
"Mike and Larry Bloom are being considered for deaconship of our church and ask you to give them serious consideration in their quest for this position. As you know, Mike and Larry were married right here in this sanctuary only two months ago and are just recently back from their honeymoon.
"The children my now be released to their Sunday School class. This week they are learning to make paper crowns to prepare them for the crowns they will be wearing in the Kingdom to come. I hope no one became too ill from the cookies they made last week. One trip to the hospital and a quick stomach pump was all I needed. I'm afraid my wife didn't fare so well however. I have a request for you Mrs Preceptor. One of our congregation said they have trouble hearing me because you play your radio so loud in your Sunday School class. I don't wish to deprive the children of the entertainment you provide them, but perhaps you could move the radio to the other side of the room away from the sanctuary?
"Today's sermon is about perfection and salvation, and what it means to us as believers. I find it rather difficult to give such a sermon considering that everyone here is already perfected and saved. How can I legitimately give an alter call in a church that is already fully in the loving arms of Jesus? Nonetheless, I will do the best I can. I see that I have misspoken, there is one person in the congregation that has not been brought into the fold. Jack, please stand if you will. Yes, thank you. Jack, do you accept Jesus as your personal Savior?"
"Um, yes, I guess so. Yeah, sure. I do."
"Jack, you are now fully in the arms of our Lord and sealed with the Holy Spirit. How does it feel to be saved and know you will be taken into Heaven when you leave this life of sin and corruption?"
"Um, ok I guess. I really hadn't thought about it much."
"Thank you Jack, you may be seated. Now, in last week's message I pointed out to you how all God's children, which means every one of you, is perfect in the eyes of God. That is, everyone who is under the blood is free from sin and death, and is above the evils of this world. God can not see through the blood of Jesus, therefore sin does not exist for the Christian. I showed you how everyone is perfect and holy in God's view of His creation. Now I will ask that all of you who understand that you are perfect to stand. Very good, I see all of you understand God's will. You may be seated. Bill? You're supposed to be seated now, where are you going?"
"I ain't perfect Reverend, so I'm leaving. I got too many sins in my life to say I'm perfect like all you folks is. I guess I got to find me a church what ain't so perfect. See ya Rev."
"Please, sit back down Bill. We'll talk about this later. I'm sure you'll see salvation under grace differently after I explain a few things to you.
"Jesus sacrificed Himself in order that we might be free from the restraints of the law the Jews lived under. And to insure that we all realize this truth, God had the Temple destroyed and the people scattered. However still today we have those among us who insist on clinging to the law, to the binding restrictions of legalism. We, the saved of the Church, now live under grace, we have liberty to live a full and happy life with complete assurance of Heaven, as we sang in the song earlier, Blessed Assurance. We find that because of the love of Jesus, and His sacrifice, the anger of God the Father has been fully appeased and He is no longer angry with His people, those of the body of Christ, which all of you are. God desires each of us to be happy and healthy and live a prosperous and contented life. Jesus Himself promised us that whatever we ask for, the Father will give us ten times over what we desire. He loves us that much. And because He wants us not to fear anything in this life, He has given us the assurance of life eternal in a grand mansion He is preparing for us.
"And before I forget, we're going to take up a special offering this morning for the new audio-video system we need so badly. Yes, I agree that $20,000 is a lot to pay, but we really need this updated equipment so we can do justice to the psychedelic movies we present in order to better explain the simplicity of the Gospel.
"Be sure to come for this evenings service and partake of the cake and ice cream provided by the missionary committee. And be prepared to bring an offering to support the missions so we can better fulfill our part to spread this much needed Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the world as we were commanded. It wouldn't be fair to keep this vital knowledge from the Spiritually ignorant in other lands.
"An update on my transportation situation. As you know the car I had was all of three years old and beginning to see wear on the upholstery. I traded it in and purchased a new Mercedes, and the wife and I are very happy with our new automobile. This holds true of the beautiful villa we purchased recently. I know it's a lot to spend on a house with acreage, but I must keep in mind that it is for our retirement which will be upon us fairly soon, and that we may better serve our Lord winning soul to the Kingdom.
"That I believe concludes today's message. I hope you better understand the purpose of the Church and the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Drive carefully on your way home, and don't forget to come to Wednesday night Bible study where they will be delving deeper into the life of Buddha and how he and Jesus may well be incarnations of the same Godhead. Thank you for coming today, and God bless."
"I do declare Mr Busybody, I believe this is the first time I have spoken before two different audiences in one morning. Surely I'll give you my time. That's what I'm here for. What is it you would like me to tell you?"
"Well, first I would like to ask you if you are aware of how much the church has changed over the years? That is to say what I heard today is very much different than what I experienced in church many years ago. Have you noticed such a change? And if you have, what is your reaction to this change?"
"Yes Mr Busybody, I have noticed the change. But you have to keep in mind that the times have changed as well. It's a different world the Church is a part of than it was way back when. You may be aware that a short while back there was a book that came out that stated the church must change or die. Are you aware of that book Mr Busybody?"
"Indeed I am sir. Of course the changes the author had in mind was a bit different than what has changed in the church. But then, on the other hand, maybe it wasn't so different after all. I have a question for you pastor, if you had a faithful old horse that was on it's last legs and was near to death, what would you do with that horse?"
"I hadn't really thought about such a situation before Mr Busybody, but I did have a faithful old dog once that was in the condition you mentioned. I found the best thing I could do is shoot the poor thing and put it out of its misery. Why do you ask?"
"Well pastor, after what I witnessed today, I was thinking the very same thing you just described. There are some things that should die, when they have past the point of redemption."
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1Tim 4:)
6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:)
2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, (Rev 18:)
4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Rev 2:)
[Author's note: I would like to point out to you that what I portray here is not something I made up. Each incident is something I've either witnessed personally or heard of from someone who was there when it occurred, and it was in a church I attend. When it was told to me by someone, their intent was not to demean or criticize the episode but they were merely relaying to me the events of the day. The exception to what is stated here is the monologue on the subject of abortion and of homosexuals leading the churches. These have come from statistics that can be found anywhere from the newspaper to the web.
Do any of these portrayals depict your church? If so, what are your feelings toward them? Are you content with such behavior? Is this the church Jesus gave His life to create? Would Jesus be pleased to be a part of such a church that represents His Holy name? You be the judge.]
13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Gal 5:)
15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness ["Depravity, wickedness"], but as the servants of God. (1Peter 2:)
6And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations, 7In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. 8And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. 9Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel (Ezek 44:)
14And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:)
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