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Offline Reformer

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Branding Our Fellow Believers
« on: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 20:46:58 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Branding Our Fellow
BELIEVERS

    Of all the passages of scripture used by a host of disciples within “Churchianity” to disown and divide God’s sheep, Romans 16:17 is among those most wide­ly engaged. “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have been taught, and avoid them.” The KJV says to “mark” and avoid them. A related passage dealing with “doctrine” is II John 9-10. The context and universal scholarship agree that John’s “doctrine” refers to the fact that Jesus came in  the flesh.

    Paul’s injunction has been employed as a “sword of the Spirit” to rip apart honest saints who entertain “wrong views” on a diversity of subjects—premillennialism, “The Rapture,” cooperative endeavors such as missionary and benevolent societies, hats, long hair, and a host of other matters. Irrational interpreta­tions have been formulated and hierarchical action taken against good and contrite believers by those who have understood Paul’s admonition to mean that unity can be attained only by dividing.

    No religious party can long exist without rigid stan­dards. And those standards cannot be enforced upon others or used as divisive weapons unless some scrip­ture is made to teach that division is the answer to our already divided undertaking. Thus conquering  the human spirit that dares to differ is the only way to “maintain the true system.” For without this kind of scripture, tranquility would be exalted and love would flow as sweet and precious as John’s manuals.

    Rank division occurred when we demonstrated to the world that we would rather build walls instead of bridges. The end result is that we have hundreds of partisan cliques—denominations—within the walls of “churchitis” with each claiming to have a monopoly on truth and heaven hereafter. Most of these groups feel they have encompassed the whole body of truth and that others are divisive and teachers of falsehood because they “do not bring this doctrine.”

    Most of these factions contend that unity can be achieved only by joining them. And each splinter group designates their party “The church of our Lord!” Surely an injustice is committed against Ephesians 4:4, where Paul makes it clear that there is one body of believers—one whole body, not split, severed, or separated.

    There are valid reasons to believe that the “doctrine” Paul referred to is altogether alien to our contemporary issues, and contains no principle to deal with them. Even assuming his “doctrine does provide a blueprint for our divisive problems, we would be compelled to brand or “mark” every brother and sister who dis­agrees with us on almost any and all subjects, since each of us considers our views correct and important.

    When ambassador Paul was faced with the wretched doctrinal condition of the Christian community at Cor­inth, he neither “marked” nor excommunicated them. Rather, he called them brethren and saints, and even addressed his epistles to the “congregations of God.”

    Was he concerned? Yes. Did he take corrective action? Indeed. But not in the form of excommunicative edicts, except in the case of the incestuous brother. Nor did he call upon other congregations to “mark” and  avoid them. In fact, he did just the opposite. He told them the congregations in the province of Asia send their greetings [I Cor. 16:19]. He failed to direct the “faithful” saints to pull out and go to the other side of town and start a “sound church”—whatever that is. Instead, he initiated a program of love and concern. Positively stated, their problems were solved by their remaining and working together and loving one another.

    Why did Paul not use the principle most factions claim is found in Romans 16:17 and “mark’ and “avoid” the Corinthian believers? If he could tell others to use it, why not be consistent and use it himself? I suggest that if “doctrine” in the passage under study alludes to any­thing not specifically addressed in scripture, thus enve­loping all of our theological hang-ups, there is no hope for unity among believers. Thus Jesus prayed a useless and meaningless prayer in John 17. Of course, I am not ready to accept this conclusion. I do not believe our Lord prayed for an impossible goal.

    Then what did Paul mean in Romans 16:17? Permit me to paraphrase. “I beg you, my brothers, watch out for those who take pleasure in dividing God’s children, for all of you have been taught that division is con­trary to the doctrine that condemns  it.”

    Many of the different versions render this meaning. You will observe that individual action, as opposed to congregational action, is stressed. The dividers were to be shunned, avoided, observed, and ignored. “For such people are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” [v. 18]. These people were controlled by the party spirit of Galatians 5:20, and knowingly and deliberately attempted to separate God’s sheep from the corporate fold and start a party or faction of their own making.

    This seems to be the central truth of the passage. Thus, those who are always accusing others of “going beyond the doctrine of Christ,” and who avoid and “mark” those who disagree with them, are the actual dividers, regardless of their sincerity. The “markers” are those who need to be “marked!”  Watch out for them, avoid them, shun them, for their partisan nature demands division. Love and tolerance will reunite God’s children. The partisan spirit that marks all who differ will divide us even more.
________

    FREE COPIES— If you will send me your Postal Address, I will send you a few free copies of my book entitled “The Son of Perdition,” an easy-to-read 96-page thesis on Roman Catholicism. It is well documented. If interested, email me your Postal Address. I will pay the shipping charges.—Buff.
« Last Edit: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 21:19:04 by Reformer »

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Branding Our Fellow Believers
« on: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 20:46:58 »

Offline 4WD

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #1 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 04:34:58 »
Watch out for them, avoid them, shun them, for their partisan nature demands division. Love and tolerance will reunite God’s children.
I think I am missing something here.  How can I "....watch out for them, avoid them, shun them..." and still "...love and tolerate them...."?

Offline Yeshua153

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #2 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 05:44:18 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Branding Our Fellow
BELIEVERS
Love and tolerance will reunite God’s children. The partisan spirit that marks all who differ will divide us even more.
________

   

I agree with some aspects of a tendency to cause division, but the word 'contrary' in Romans is 'para' in Greek, where we get parallel from. This is because the true & false gospels run almost parallel, in doctrine, & are the result of there being 2 Jesus's in the bible. As 2Cor11v4 says;
For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
So for me, I make folks aware of the differences, even though they don't agree, nevertheless I am here to find others who are God's elect. This is not easy, as we are all in different stages of our spiritual walk, & those who I think maybe they are not, later it may turn out they are, so I don't dismiss anyone, no matter how much they may be against what I believe.
I do not agree with your 'love & tolerance will reunite God's children' comment, much too Hollywood movie, where everyone lives 'happy ever after'. The 'love' is doing the commandments of God, by preaching what we know to be true.
As for 'tolerance', another term used in the world is 'political correctness', where we all are supposed to hold hands & tolerate our differences, well we know who started his 'edict of toleration', & that was Emperor Constantine, who merged Christianity & pagans together, to form Roman Catholicism, later Protestants & all the other denominations, & manmade churches. As I have said before 'denomination' comes from the Greek, de-no & nomos-law, so man makes his own laws & doctrines, that run parallel with the true one, thus deceiving, if possible, the very elect.

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #2 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 05:44:18 »

Offline johntwayne

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #3 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 08:03:15 »
I find the opposite to be the problem. Error is tolerated and people are led astray into the devil's camp. Reformer, is there anything we should take a stand on. Was Paul divisive when he wrote Galatians?

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #3 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 08:03:15 »
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Offline Reformer

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #4 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 09:59:36 »
Fellows:

Out-of-town till evening. I'll offer a reply to your sentiments later.

Buff

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #4 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 09:59:36 »



Offline GB

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #5 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 10:58:22 »
author=Reformer link=topic=105197.msg1055153682#msg1055153682 date=1577674018]
Quote
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Branding Our Fellow
BELIEVERS


    Many of the different versions render this meaning. You will observe that individual action, as opposed to congregational action, is stressed. The dividers were to be shunned, avoided, observed, and ignored. “For such people are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” [v. 18]. These people were controlled by the party spirit of Galatians 5:20, and knowingly and deliberately attempted to separate God’s sheep from the corporate fold and start a party or faction of their own making.

Doesn't this describe the founding principles of every religious denomination on the planet? The "corporate fold" would be the Catholic Church, Yes?.

Quote
  This seems to be the central truth of the passage. Thus, those who are always accusing others of “going beyond the doctrine of Christ,” and who avoid and “mark” those who disagree with them, are the actual dividers, regardless of their sincerity. The “markers” are those who need to be “marked!”  Watch out for them, avoid them, shun them, for their partisan nature demands division. Love and tolerance will reunite God’s children. The partisan spirit that marks all who differ will divide us even more.


Your position here is perplexing. You seem to be speaking against divisions in the collective religion called "Christianity". And yet Jesus and Paul warned about this very religion over and over.

Matt. 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I (Jesus) am Christ; and shall deceive many.

2 Cor. 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Jesus also said;

Matt. 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Wondering out loud I ask "why would "many" want to follow a path that leads to destruction?" well, I'm sure those on this path have been convinced they are headed to eternal life.

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Jesus also said;

Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Jesus could have "tolerated" those religious men of His time who transgressed His Father's Commandments by their own religious traditions. He could have "united" God's Children that He came to save. But He Loved them instead. His Love didn't include telling them lies about God to make them feel better about themselves.

In fact, it is because of HIS Love that they hated Him. And He tells us that just because we may call Him Lord, Lord, doesn't mean we are part of the Body of Christ.

The notion that religious men, through their version of "Love" and tolerance, will unite the broad path with the narrow one sounds good. But I question their ability to stop a division Jesus came to deliver.









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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #5 on: Mon Dec 30, 2019 - 10:58:22 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #6 on: Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 20:00:42 »

4WD:

    You asked earlier, "I think I am missing something here.  How can I '....watch out for them, avoid them, shun them...' and still '...love and tolerate them....' ?"

   On the other hand, do you feel Paul possessed hatred for his divisive brothers? Plus, do you think our Lord hated those who nailed Him to a tree? Instead, He prayed for all His enemies. Discipline can be advanced without hatred.

[Just now getting around to making a few replies.]

Buff

Offline Reformer

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #7 on: Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 20:27:34 »

Yeshua153:

   You noted in your remarks above, "I do not agree with your 'love & tolerance will reunite God's children' comment, much too Hollywood movie, where everyone lives 'happy ever after'. The 'love' is doing the commandments of God, by preaching what we know to be true."

    There are many passages of scripture that relate to unity involving love and tolerance. I suggest you start with Jesus' prayer in John 18 and take a good read of verses 22-24.

    Additionally, check a biblical concordance and you will find dozens of scriptures that speak of love and how it relates to every facet of our lives.

Buff

Offline Reformer

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #8 on: Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 20:32:25 »

GB:

   I have re-read your long response, and I think the contents of my column clarifies most if not all of what you wrote. I suggest you return to said column and give it a slow evaluation.

Brotherly,

Buff

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #8 on: Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 20:32:25 »

Offline RB

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #9 on: Wed Jan 01, 2020 - 05:05:59 »
Of all the passages of scripture used by a host of disciples within “Churchianity” to disown and divide God’s sheep, Romans 16:17 is among those most wide­ly engaged.
I agree and do not disagree with using it, and it has even been used on me personally by a church near me where I know many of its members, some that were at one time very close to me, but no longer, even though I still would show them the kindness of God if the opportunity presented itself to me, and I have, and would do so again and again. So that been said, Paul's words are to be heeded, the question is, when, how and over which doctrines~for it is true that two sincere and faithful saints cannot walk together unless there is an overall agreement on the essentials doctrines of the holy scriptures.
Quote from: Reformer on: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 20:46:58
A related passage dealing with “doctrine” is II John 9-10. The context and universal scholarship agree that John’s “doctrine” refers to the fact that Jesus came in  the flesh.
Buff, This doctrine concerning the Sonship of Jesus Christ is the absolutely most important doctrine taught in the word of God, err here then separation must occur, and the erring professing brother must be exposed and mark as a heretic. The great error of the heretic would be to deny that Jesus Christ was NOT God manifest in human flesh~even the Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jesus came in the flesh, but reject his complex natures being both  man and God in one body while living in the flesh. The truth of the word of God is that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the likeness of sinful flesh~yet God was NOT Jesus Christ, but is and always has been a Spirit that lives in eternity~past, present, and future....... world without end!
Quote from: Reformer on: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 20:46:58
Paul’s injunction has been employed as a “sword of the Spirit” to rip apart honest saints
Rip apart? not sure, but without question to justified and to secured the many mini popes throughout time and present who have convinced their followers that they are to follow them and their faith if they are to please God, and to beware of any from within who do not follow every word that they hear from their pastor! This lone verse has been abused to secure a following and to reject any other voice if that voice does not say the exact same thing that that the pastor said and teach.
Quote from: Reformer on: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 20:46:58
who entertain “wrong views” on a diversity of subjects—premillennialism, “The Rapture,” cooperative endeavors such as missionary and benevolent societies, hats, long hair, and a host of other matters. Irrational interpreta­tions have been formulated and hierarchical action taken against good and contrite believers by those who have understood Paul’s admonition to mean that unity can be attained only by dividing.
Not sure about this~ personally, I believe people just gravitate toward the many splinter groups in Christendom that believe somewhat what they were brought up in or what they believe or want to believe and care little about the finer details of others beliefs. I believe that Romans 16:17 can and should be used, but not in the manner in which a few Diotrephes' seized the opportunity to vainly get the Spirit's support in their strong desire for POWER!
Quote from: John
3rd John~"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not."
So, as these power-hungry little popes, sees any voice within their congregation that does not believe just as they believe they quickly labor to silence them and mark them to others so that they can secure their power over the congregation~they encourage others to be little "watchdogs" for them as though they are doing God a service when in reality they are serving the power-hungry prophet. They use such scriptures as Romans 16:17!
Quote from: Reformer on: Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 20:46:58
No religious party can long exist without rigid stan­dards. And those standards cannot be enforced upon others or used as divisive weapons unless some scrip­ture is made to teach that division is the answer to our already divided undertaking. Thus conquering  the human spirit that dares to differ is the only way to “maintain the true system.”
That's more or less what I'm saying and what these power-hungry, glory seekers, do to maintain their followers in believing what they believe.

I'm coming back to give examples of what I'm saying and how these men use Romans 16:17 and how the Spirit through Paul exhorts us to truly mark all who teach things they ought not to teach.
« Last Edit: Wed Jan 01, 2020 - 05:08:50 by RB »

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #10 on: Thu Jan 02, 2020 - 09:40:17 »
It appears that the place to start is to consider what is asked of folks before they are baptized.  It appears it would be a bait and switch to ask someone something before baptism and then after that threaten them with the boot for not having the "right" answers afterward to other questions.  Encourage each other to grow and get off each other's backs.  I seem to recall a statement I read a few years ago that said "baptism is a rite by which you enter an arena of theological disputes that will hound you until your dying day".  It ought not. 
« Last Edit: Thu Jan 02, 2020 - 09:42:49 by Mere Nick »

Offline 4WD

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #11 on: Thu Jan 02, 2020 - 10:50:05 »
4WD:

    You asked earlier, "I think I am missing something here.  How can I '....watch out for them, avoid them, shun them...' and still '...love and tolerate them....' ?"

   On the other hand, do you feel Paul possessed hatred for his divisive brothers? Plus, do you think our Lord hated those who nailed Him to a tree? Instead, He prayed for all His enemies. Discipline can be advanced without hatred.

[Just now getting around to making a few replies.]

Buff
I didn't say anything about hating anyone.  But avoiding and tolerating are not compatible.

Offline Johnb

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #12 on: Thu Jan 02, 2020 - 13:28:46 »
I think I understand what Buff is saying.  He is not saying there are no standards but those standards should come from clear biblical principles.  Example a local preacher announce a bible study on Tuesday night at a place where one cold enjoy a cold beer.  You can imagine all the condemnation and legalistic proof texting in an effort to show it to be a sin for a Christian to ever take a drink of alcohol.

Offline Reformer

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Re: Branding Our Fellow Believers
« Reply #13 on: Thu Jan 02, 2020 - 19:48:28 »

4WD:

   As to your answer [above] to my questions, I think you digested the thrust of what I shared in reply to your remarks.

Buff

 

     
anything