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Featured Open letter to the church from millennial pastor - this is why we are leaving

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by mcarans, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

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    The OP referenced history as being important. Yes, but historical Christianity (and Judaism) has always rejected homosexuality as sinful.

    So, the OP is not only judging/rejecting current Christians but the vast majority of believers who have ever lived as well.
     
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  2. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    Should they be ousted and not allowed to be a part of a church or be allowed to be included at all nowadays or in today's day and age because of it, etc....?

    And I am asking as I honestly "don't know", and am still undecided on it at this point also...?

    And I didn't know if she was or is a homosexual or not, but even if I did, should it matter, etc...?

    As I said, still undecided on these things at this point, etc, and I am asking because I truly "do not know", etc...

    Anyway,

    God Bless!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  3. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Well-Known Member

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    I personally believe they should be welcomed to church. A practicing homosexual is no different than a man having an affair with his wife. However, I think the church should be clear that they don't condone either practices, if they are offended by that then that's on them. The Gospel is very offensive to some people does that mean we change it to accommodate everyone? What a lot of people fail to see is that if you try to please everyone than you please no one. Regarding, people of the LGBTQ community I think church folk shouldn't be judgmental towards them but it doesn't mean if they for example ask, "Do you think my lifestyle is sinful" that I am going to tell them yes in order to seem welcoming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  4. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Well-Known Member

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    Also people in the LGBTQ community came into this same issue they wanted to include everyone and now that certain people are saying they are attracted to minors and want to share their perspective many in that community said that that is "too far".
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  5. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    I think that, all sin is due to a sickness or is due to a condition or disease that we all have, etc, but it is all sin equally that I'm saying is that way equally though... So then, what follows is, "should all sin be treated the same", etc...? And then what follows is that, is that, "if not", then are we then to start compiling a list of sins that "you can have and still go to or belong to our church" or a list of sins "you cannot have and still go to or participate in or belong to our church", etc...?

    Are we to start doing that...?

    And also I think that, a person's attitude about their sin or sinful behavior/habits, etc, should matter, etc, whether they are, number one, "honest" about it/them and calling "a sin a sin", etc... then, number two, are "repentant" over or about it, etc, while they would belong to a or the or our church, etc, and are truly trying to overcome it/them also, etc... and/or/but while that might be what "I think", etc, or may be "my own opinion", etc, are we now to become judges of everyone else and each other in this, or over and about peoples having a right or wrong heart or not, or right or wrong and attitudes or not, etc, and either including them or else excluding them and kicking them out based on that also, etc...?

    Are we to start doing that...?

    And if were to treat all sin the same also, or on top of judging a person's right heart or right attitude, take, or perspective about it, etc, and including or else excluding them based on that, etc... Anyway, if we are or were to treat "all sin the same", what about others who either are not admitting sin, or are not calling a or their sin a sin, and are therefore not "repentant" about it or them, etc...?

    Anyway, where do we draw the line...? Or "lines", etc (plural, etc)...? And what or how, or in what or not in what, etc, anyway, do we judge or not judge, etc...? And/or else also, base membership, or belonging or not belonging or not, etc, or being included or else excluded or not, etc, based on that, etc...

    Anyway, where do we draw all the lines, etc...? Or else also, where do we not draw them, etc...?

    And again, do we treat all sin the same, and again, if we do not, are we then to compile a list of sins that you can have or that are permissible or that you can have and belong to our church, or else not have and not belong to our church, etc...?

    Anyway, are we to start doing that, etc...?

    Anyway, these are just some of thoughts I have been having or have been thinking about when it comes to these things, etc...? As I'm still, and still have not decided, and am still "undecided" on many of them yet, etc...?

    Anyway,

    God Bless!
     
  6. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    What if a practicing homosexual is married or they are both fully committed to each other and are exclusively exclusive to one another in every way, etc, is it still like a man cheating on his wife...?

    For that matter, is it even still a sin then, etc...?

    How should we treat it then, etc...?

    God Bless!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  7. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    Yes, I agree, that is going "way too far", "way too far", etc... (they need counseling, and therapy, and professional help, etc) (and keep that stuff private and get private professional help, etc), (and I think that even with all the "gay stuff" as well also, etc), (private and get or seek some professional help, etc) but laying that aside for a moment, where do we draw all the lines, etc, or judge, etc...? On "any of it or this or these things", etc? and how do we fully back up our right to judge, etc, so it is right, or so that we are fully in the right to judge, etc... Or include or else exclude based on those or that, etc...? And make it be "right", etc...? Or right in the sight of all, etc...?

    And if some are willing to admit it (whatever they might have) as a "sickness", and want to come to the, a, or our church still anyway, do we include them then, etc...? and/or do, or can we help them, or how can we help them, etc...? Or do we exclude them and tell them they need to get help "elsewhere", etc...?

    Anyway, just some of my thoughts on it, etc...?

    God Bless!
     
  8. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Well-Known Member

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    I don't think "judge" is the right word, in scripture the word "judge" is more used to convey a sense of condemnation.
     
  9. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    Well, "to judge" is also to make definitive definite decisions, etc, and is what I am basically meaning and/or am trying to convey or say in this or these situations, circumstances, or instances, etc...?

    God Bless!
     
  10. LightLoveHope

    LightLoveHope Jesus leads us to life

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    This raises are interesting point. God did not say it was wrong to be disformed, disfigured but you could not be a priest.
    Sex is about children, exclusively and building a loving relationship into which to bring them. Our sex is part of this identity, it defines our existence and our social habits etc. Because of genetics and mutations, variation dictates mixing of the attributes to bring about things that are destructive, unhealthy and to be discouraged.

    Our culture to exalt the individual is saying whatever focus the individual has, that defines morality. Putting on the throne every emotional whim is the essence of rejecting God and the limitations of our existence. When you begin to live with people 24/7 you realise personal relationships are what matters, not sex or sexuality. In an isolationist, individualist society where people can live alone in a city, little wonder that sexual connections with living alone becomes the ideal, the totally disconnected and selfish ideal. Pornography, fetishism, multiple sexual partners are just a symptom of a lack of connecting and pure sexual stimulation as the drug that quietens the soul.

    Little wonder cities breed this experience of life, the exhilaration of new partners not realising they are exactly like the previous failed ones of the past because people cannot connect. Or exalting the myth of the one life long soul mate, who few if ever find, until they realise they are just dreaming and need to learn how to be honest and open, and love and work in weakness and forgivenss as Jesus called us to.

    Sex is a climax, but actually not significant compared to the rest of life. When this is all you have, no wonder everything else goes to pot.
     
  11. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Out of the deep I called unto thee O Lord Supporter

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    edit. To be clear, I am not Todd Wilken nor did I in any way contribute to this essay. I believe it was is a thoughtful discussion of the subject and not a slam against anyone.

    Playing the Pharisee Card
    By Todd Wilken

    I have been called a Pharisee more times than I can remember. It goes with the territory. I host a conservative Christian radio talk show. I publicly defend the teachings and practices of the historic Church. I also publicly point out false teaching and practices in the Church today. For these reasons alone, some believe that I deserve to be called a Pharisee.

    But I’m not alone. Today, the label “Pharisee” is applied to many Christians just like me—perhaps you’re one of them. We are Christians who cherish God’s Word, the Church’s historic Creeds, confessions and practices. …

    When we see the Church abandoning these things to follow the latest fads and entertainments, we lament. When we see the Gospel itself being left behind in the Church’s rush to mimic popular culture, we are grieved. And when we question the Church’s infatuation with the spirit of the age, we are labeled Pharisees.

    The “race card” is a political term of art made famous during the 1988 presidential race between George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. In today’s presidential politics, we also have the “gender card.” The Race and Gender Cards aren’t designed to rise the legitimate issues surrounding race or gender. Instead, both the Race and Gender Cards are political tactics that exploit racial and gender divisions among voters, and appeal to the worst racial and gender stereotypes. In American politics, the Race and Gender Cards are played to discredit someone by implying that he is racist or sexist.

    Just as politicians and pundits play the Race Card or the Gender Card, many in the Church are playing the “Pharisee Card.”

    Just like the Race or Gender Cards, the Pharisee Card is not designed to raise a legitimate issue of doctrine or practice. Rather, the Pharisee Card is used to discredit someone by implying that he is narrow, rigid, and unloving—a Pharisee. Most often these days, the Pharisee Card is played to portray a fellow Christian as a “doctrinal purist,” resistant to change, and therefore, unconcerned for the lost.

    The Pharisee Card is a powerful weapon. Most of its punch comes from the fact that, during His earthly ministry, Jesus did often condemn the Pharisees. The Pharisee Card is intended to be tantamount to the condemnation of Jesus Himself.

    Why did Jesus so often condemn the Pharisees? Was it because (as those who play the Pharisee Card assume) the Pharisees were ultra-conservative doctrinal purists, with no love for the lost? No.

    Were the Pharisees Concerned with Doctrinal Purity?
    The Pharisee Card is played against Christians who are concerned with doctrinal purity. When used this way, the Pharisee Card is intended to discredit the doctrinal purist and silence any further questions about false teaching. It works beautifully. Those dealing the Pharisee Card know that many Christians would rather suffer silently under false teaching than speak up and risk being labeled a Pharisee.

    The only problem is, Jesus never faulted the Pharisees for being doctrinal purists. He faulted them for being false teachers who abandoned the truth of God’s Word in favor of the erroneous word of man (Matthew 16:11–12; 15:1–9; Mark 7:6–13).

    Jesus called Christians who demanded doctrinal purity “disciples,” not “Pharisees.” “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31–32) In fact, Christians who demand doctrinal purity are really following the example of Jesus, of Paul and the other Apostles (Matthew 7:15; see also Matthew 24:10–11; Mark 9:42; 2 Corinthians 15:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Timothy 4:16; 6:3–4; Titus 1:7–9; 2:1, 7–8; 1 John 4:1; 2 Peter 3:17).

    Were the Pharisees Resistant to Change?
    The Pharisee Card is also played in order to discredit Christians who refuse to abandon the historic practices of the Church in favor of the latest innovations. This too works beautifully. Those dealing the Pharisee card know that, to avoid being labeled a Pharisee, many Christians will tolerate an endless succession of fads in worship, music, and ministry. But Jesus never faulted the Pharisees for resisting change. On the contrary, He faulted them for introducing their own innovations and methods in the place of God’s Word.

    Dealers of the Pharisee Card will cite Luke 5:36–39 in favor of their own innovations:

    And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

    Was Jesus calling for wholesale change, or warning against it? The new patch ruins the garment. The new wine bursts the wineskins. The context of the parable is a discussion of fasting. Rather than advocating the abandonment of this ancient practice, Jesus instead taught that ancient practices must now be understood and practiced in light of Him and His redemptive work.

    Jesus didn’t condemn the Pharisees for retaining ancient practices, or for resisting change; rather, Jesus concluded the parable by saying, “And no one, after drinking old wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

    Were the Pharisees Unconcerned for the Lost?
    Christians who demand doctrinal purity and resist compromising change are often accused of being Pharisees with no love for the lost. This is probably the most common use of the Pharisee card today. Those who like to play the Pharisee Card know that Christians will put up with almost anything in the name of missions and evangelism, in order to avoid being called Pharisees.

    But Jesus never faulted the Pharisees for being unconcerned for the lost. On the contrary, He said:

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)

    Jesus had no problem with the missionary zeal of the Pharisees—they were zealous enough; Jesus had a problem with the Pharisees’ soul-damning message. Paul was of the same opinion:

    For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:2–3)

    And Paul spoke from experience. As a former Pharisee, his missionary zeal took him far and wide as a persecutor of the first Christians (Acts 9:1–2; Philippians 3:6).

    The Pharisees’ error was not a lack of missionary zeal; it was that their false teaching (however zealously preached) damned rather than saved.

    Moreover, contrary to everything the Pharisee Card is meant to imply, just because someone is concerned for doctrinal purity and resistant to theological innovation does not mean that he is unconcerned for the lost. On the contrary, departure from the pure Word, in doctrine and practice, does not help, but hinders the preaching of the Gospel, therefore impeding the mission of the Church. False teaching does not save sinners. Purity in doctrine and practice makes the preaching of the Gospel possible. Purity in doctrine and practice makes the preaching of the Gospel imperative.

    The irony is that those most often called Pharisees in the Church today are those most concerned about the lost, and therefore preaching the pure Gospel to them.

    The power of the Pharisee Card is based on the mistaken idea that those unwilling to compromise in doctrine and practice are the modern-day counterparts of the ancient Pharisees. This idea has no basis in fact.

    Why Did Jesus Really Condemn the Pharisees?
    So if Jesus never condemned the Pharisees for bring ultra-conservative doctrinal purists with no love for the lost, why did He condemn them?

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their apostasy. The Pharisees had abandoned the Old Testament faith and therefore they rejected Jesus Himself (Matthew 8:11–12; 21:42–46; 22:41–46; Luke 7:29–30; 13:28–30; John 5:39, 43–47; Acts 4:10–12; Romans 9:1—11:36; 1 Peter 2:7–8).

    The Pharisees taught that salvation was the result of God’s mercy plus man’s obedience. They reduced the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to a system of do’s and don’t's. In this sense, the Pharisees were the inventors of what we call today “rules for living,” and the first preachers of “how-to” sermons.

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees for softening the demands of the Law. Because they taught that human works contributed to salvation, the Pharisees had to make the Law more “user-friendly.” The Pharisees diluted the Law’s requirement of perfect obedience with manageable human rules that could be kept (Matthew 5:17–48).

    A compromised Law meant a compromised Gospel. Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they abandoned God’s Word for the word of man. In this sense, the Pharisees were really the Liberals of their day.

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. This hypocrisy and self-righteousness was most often the subject of Jesus’ condemnations. But it was merely a symptom of the Pharisees’ false faith in their own obedience:

    He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9–14)

    The Pharisees trusted their own obedience and moral progress. In this sense, the Pharisees were the original proponents of the victorious life.

    Jesus condemnation of the Pharisees had nothing to do with doctrinal purity, resistance to change, or lack of missionary zeal. It had everything to do with the false hope of human obedience.

    The Real Pharisees?
    Who are the real Pharisees today? You are. I am. You, me, and every sinner—but not in the way that the players of the Pharisee Card say we are.

    All of us are more willing to trust our own obedience than trust the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ. All of us soften the Law’s perfect demands so that we can say we’ve kept them. All of us are therefore inclined to hypocrisy and self-righteousness. All of us are natural-born Pharisees.

    Now, if someone wants to call me a Pharisee for that reason, I will gladly and repentantly be called a Pharisee.

    But I will not be called a Pharisee for loving and defending pure doctrine. I will not be called a Pharisee for resisting the ill-conceived innovation and compromising change in the Church. I will not be called a Pharisee for demanding that the Gospel we preach to the lost be pure.

    Some say that the pure Gospel is an impossible dream. I disagree. I hear it preached every week—more often than not by those Christians who are wrongly labeled Pharisees.

    Those who play the Pharisee Card hope to dismiss Christians like you and me as ultra-conservative doctrinal purists with no love for the lost. But like a fifth Ace up the sleeve, the Pharisee Card is a cheat. Those who play it ignore the real errors of the real Pharisees. They wrongly apply the name to those who stand in the way of false teaching, compromising change and a watered-down Gospel. In the end, the Pharisee Card amounts to nothing more than name-calling. And, like the Race or Gender Cards are in politics, in the Church, the Pharisee Card is always the sign of a losing hand.

    The Pharisee Card — Pirate Christian Media
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  12. mcarans

    mcarans Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "Was it because (as those who play the Pharisee Card assume) the Pharisees were ultra-conservative doctrinal purists, with no love for the lost?"
    Yes. eg.

    3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
     
  13. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Out of the deep I called unto thee O Lord Supporter

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    You didn't read the entire article and it shows.
     
  14. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like something I'd love to hear, is your show available online?
     
  15. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Out of the deep I called unto thee O Lord Supporter

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  16. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    I read your post, and I'm obviously not going to reply to "all of it", OK... (and I'm heading for bed also, etc).

    I'm just going to ask you to please not assume things about me that you just "do not know", etc, or maybe "cannot know at all", OK, (the "Pharisee" always thinks they can do that), anyway, or try to put me in the same place or same box as you, OK...

    Cause I really don't think I fit into the box your trying to put me in, or are putting me into, etc, OK...

    My replies came from the general great, great lack of love and generally "Pharisitical behavior" and/or actions and/or attitudes I saw all over this thread, OK...?

    Bottom line, you don't know me at all, and we are not alike, OK, so please don't try to think you know me, K, cause I 100% guarantee you just "don't", OK...?

    Anyway, going to bed very soon,

    Goodnight and,

    God Bless!
     
  17. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh. I just noticed the “by section” of the post. Thanks I’ll check it out.
     
  18. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    This is another thing that seems unique to western churches and societies. I cannot imagine anyone in a natively-planted Middle Eastern or African church attempting to condemn others for being too traditional. From my limited experience, they wouldn't confuse being kind to downtrodden people with being fungible on basic doctrine, either.

    Exhibit A: This propaganda video about HH Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church



    Disregarding the claims of the voice-over regarding how great HH is, it is as HH puts it himself:

    "I may be very gentle with the poor; however, if it touches the religion or the doctrine, I become another person" (i.e., we don't exchange one for the other)

    and

    "We are not pressured by anyone except by the teachings of the Bible"

    It seems that for many, because the second isn't true, the first isn't either.

    The question I would have (since obviously this is an example from my own Church, so it's pretty safe to say that we don't have this 'Pharisee card' problem...at least not yet...) is why are western churches doing this to themselves? I understand why individual western Christians would do this to each other -- it's a way of having moral/ethical purity if you clearly do not have doctrinal purity (and obviously inherent in this kind of thing is the idea that the two can or ought to be separated, with the moral or faux-moral placed above everything else; this really isn't a new idea, particularly in some forms of Protestantism) -- so that explains things like this lady's screed, but why does it seem like this stuff is taking/has taken over entire churches, in some cases causing splits (e.g., the formerly-united United Methodists) over the hot button political/social issues of the day?

    It's funny to me, because so much of the criticism from millennials and others about Christianity amounts to it being "too political". What do they call all this behavior, then?

    It really does seem like for these people that when the Church has a stance that I don't agree with, then it is being "too political", but when I have a stance that the Church doesn't agree with, then it is a sign that the Church is "Pharisaical" and must change or else it will collapse or whatever, because obviously it can't go on without people like me. Huh. Isn't that convenient? In this scheme, the Church is always automatically wrong no matter what it does (unless it involves capitulating to my every desire), and I never have to reexamine anything I believe or do to see if I might be wrong.

    ^^ Ladies and Gentlemen, Damas y Caballeros, I give you the real reason why modern western Christianity is dying. ^^ (At least among a certain type of person who thinks the entire world revolves around them, which is pretty common with Millennials. Just look at how many times I used the words "I" and "me" in this very post.)
     
  19. LightLoveHope

    LightLoveHope Jesus leads us to life

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    This is very long. Jesus biggest insight to the pharisees is simple.

    Matthew 23:25
    "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

    Jesus was rejected because they did not love God.

    John 5:37-42
    And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
    You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
    "I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts."

    Without the love of God in hearts we cannot hear Him, ever.
     
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  20. GraceBeliever

    GraceBeliever New Member

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    People Don't Need Church
    They Need New Birth
    People Don't Need Behavior Reform
    They Need Christ Jesus
    People Don't Need To Become Good
    They need to Get Alive
    People Don't Need To Act Better
    They Need Resurrection
     
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