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Doctrine in dialogue format

 

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From the Pastor's Pulpit

CHOOSING A CHURCH

for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal,



"Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Candor Dispassion and I will be your moderator for this session of the Pastor's Pulpit. Today we have as guests two very well known pastors who represent opposing sides of the issue of the church credibility. On my right we have Pastor Armando Archaic representing the traditional view. And with me on my left is Pastor Variant VanGuard representing the modern view. Gentlemen, thank you for being our guest."

"Our pleasure to be here Mr Dispassion."

"Today, because time is short, we will go right to the phones. On the line I have Mrs Quandary from Doubtful Mississippi. Mrs Quandary, you have a question for our guests?"

"Yes Mr Dispassion. I live in a small town and I'm looking for a good solid Christian church to attend. I am a new convert to the faith and I want to make sure I start out right. But when I see the large number of churches listed in the directory, I become nervous and confused for fear I'll pick the wrong one and be taught false doctrine. Could you gentlemen possibly point me in the right direction?"

"Pastor Archaic, would you like to start out and answer this caller's question?"

"I would indeed Mr Dispassion. Mrs Quandary, you say you live in a small town. I take it then that your choice of churches is rather small. Perhaps if you tell me what is available to you I might best be able to guide you to a suitable church."

"I believe I can do that Pastor Archaic, and I'm most appreciative of your help. First of all I see here in the directory a Mormon church close by. That would be easy for me and the family to attend."

"No Mrs Quandary. The Mormons are a cult. You want to avoid them at all costs."

"A cult Pastor Archaic? What do you mean?"

"A cult is a group that is not well founded in the doctrine of Christ. You want to avoid them."

"Thank you for that warning Pastor Archaic. Well, here I see a Jehovah's Witness church just a couple blocks from me. That would be nice."

"No again Mrs Quandary. They too are a cult."

"Oh, I see. Well, here's a Seventh Day Adventist church..."

"I'm sorry Mrs Quandary, no again."

"Oh. Well here's a Quaker church, they..."

"No again Mrs Quandary."

"Baha'i? That sounds interesting."

"No Mrs Quandary."

"I see there's a Catholic church just down the street. They...."

"Is that Catholic church pre or post Vatican two Mrs. Quandary? Does it say?"

"No. I don't see anything about posts. Does it make a difference Pastor Archaic?"

"Very much so Mrs Quandary. But either way it's not a good choice."

"Oh. I see. Well here's a good one Pastor Archaic, an Episcopal church."

"No Mrs Quandary. They believe in a false Christ."

"Oh my! Well here's a Methodist church. Surely..."

"No Mrs Quandary. The Methodists allow women to preach from the pulpit."

"Oh. Well here I see a Pentecostal church. How about them Pastor Archaic?"

"It's hard to go wrong with a good old traditional Pentecostal church Mrs Quandary. Which one is it?"

"Which one Pastor Archaic? I don't know. It just says Apostolic Pentecostal."

"The Apostolic Pentecotals do not believe in the Trinity Mrs Quandary. You must avoid them."

"My my. I'm running out of churches here Pastor Archaic. I do see here a Church of Christ..."

"No Mrs Quandary. They are elitist, only accepting of those fully baptized into their own church."

"Elitist Pastor Archaic? And I take it then that you are not part of an elitist organization?"

"Absolutely not Mrs Quandary. We're very Evangelical accepting of everyone solidly based in truth."

"Hmmm, I see. Oh, well here's a Baptist church. I suppose...."

"You can't go wrong with a Baptist church Mrs Quandary. There's no church more stable or founded in the fundamental faith. Which branch is it? Does it say?"

"All it says is that it's Free Will, Pastor Archaic."

"I'm afraid we've struck out again Mrs Quandary, they do not believe in the eternal security of the saints. Is there another Baptist church listed?"

"Ummm, yes, here's one I believe. And it's close by. That would be good for us."

"And which one is it Mrs Quandary? Is it Southern, ABA, Regular? Does it say?"

"No Pastor Archaic. I don't see anything like that here. Does it matter? It says it's Baptist. Aren't they all the same.?"

"No Mrs Quandary. There is a vast difference between some of them. If it doesn't say which Baptist organization it belongs to, it might well be an Armenian or an Independent. To be on the safe side Mrs Quandary, I would avoid that church as well."

"Well, that's all the churches there is in my town Pastor Archaic. And I live a very long way from any other town with a church. What should I do? Maybe if you told me what church you belong to it would help."

"I wish I could Mrs Quandary. However the rules of the forum do not allow us to divulge our church affiliation because it might create a conflict of interest. All I can tell you is that the church I belong to is very strongly based in the Word and will not steer you wrong. You can be assured of this."

"That would be comforting to me Pastor Archaic, if I only knew what church that was. How about you Pastor VanGuard? Can you help me?"

"I'm afraid I must agree with everything Pastor Archaic had to say about the churches you mentioned except one, which I am not allowed to tell you which it is, being as it is my own. Other than that all I can add is that I must disagree with Pastor Archaic when he expresses such a firm confidence in his own church. I'm afraid Mrs Quandary, you would be lost in left field should you trust in his church."

"Oh my. Pastor Archaic? What do you say to that? Is Pastor VanGuard correct?"

"I can assure you Mrs Quandary, he is not. However I will have to agree with his words, if they were directed toward himself and his own church. But as for mine, there is none better."

"Well, thank you both for your help, I guess."

"You are entirely welcome Mrs Quandary. I'm glad I could have been of help. Have you then made a decision as to which direction to go?"

"I believe I have Pastor Archaic. From all you've shown me, I think I'll give up on this Christianity thing and go back to my old religion. It's not nearly so confusing."

"Gentlemen, I'm afraid we have run out of time. Thank you again for joining us. This is Candor Dispassion bidding you all a good night, and hoping you will tune in to the Pastor's Pulpit next week."



51Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:)

25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (Mat 12:)

17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom 16:)

13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2Tim 3:)

10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Mat 24:)


Title verse from 1Cor 3:4


 

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