Defining the Camp

Posted June 12, 2019 by SandreS
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Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:13).

There is an analogy to this position “outside the camp” in the wilderness journey of the Sons of Israel and the winsome admonition of Hebrews 13:11-13…

Any search for a position “outside the camp” today necessitates a definition of the camp. In context, the camp of Exodus 33 was simply the mass of the Sons of Israel on their wilderness journey from Egypt to Canaan. Their credentials were that they were indeed Israelites – the people of God, although a mixed multitude of others accompanied them (Exodus 12:38 and Numbers 11:4). …

Now it is obvious that the “Christian church” has been every bit as unfaithful as the camp of Israel ever was … Instead of the beautiful unity of its calling, it is hopelessly divided into many groups, each gathered on different principles with varying degrees of right or wrong, that its members adhere to. The believer, in associating himself with any part of this divided “church,” no matter how good, necessarily contributes to the division. The “Christian church,” along with the mixed multitude of the unregenerate that have forced their way into it, is certainly analogous to the camp of Israel …

For us, “outside the camp” embraces the unity of the Body of Christ, allowing us to “depart from iniquity,” to “purge himself from these,” and to: “follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call upon the Lord out of a pure heart” (II Timothy 2:19-22).

Hence, like Israel of old, “let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing the His reproach.”

Bud Morris
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Abandon Self-Appointed Authorities

Posted June 10, 2019 by SandreS
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There are also religious institutes, schools and seminaries promoting particular theologies and many allow for no critical thinking whatsoever. Basically, students are spoon fed a theology and expected to regurgitate it perfectly when they become professional clergy to their group. It’s the new form of tradition and it always ends up stagnating and stunting spiritual growth. Under the auspices of professional clergy, doctrine can then be spoon fed to the laity and then they are held accountable for remaining loyal to that doctrine, often at the cost of abandoning loyalty to family and friends. The authority of denominations and sects frustrates further needed reform and conformity to the Word of God. This loss of liberty is a major problem with only one solution; abandon the self-appointed authorities, do not submit to them and their theological boxes. Not only can one then show proper loyalty to family and friends, they can fully express love towards them without restriction and they will also be able to more fully conform to God’s Word. Christ alone is our head and when some other is allowed to impose religious authority over you (no matter how well intentioned), you have allowed them to usurp Christ’s authority and they can only degrade your relationship with Christ.

Ross Purdy
I Will Have One Doctrine and One Discipline (2006)
Bible Student’s Press
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So Much Waste

Posted May 17, 2019 by SandreS
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There is probably not another field of human activity where there is so much waste as in the field of religion …

In the average church we hear the same prayers repeated each Sunday year in and year out with, one would suspect, not the remotest expectation that they will be answered. It is enough, it seems, that they have been uttered. The familiar phrase, the religious tone, the emotionally loaded words have their superficial and temporary effect … Yet every Sunday morning for twenty years [a man] goes through the same routine and, allowing two hours for him to leave his house, sits through a church service and returns to his house again, [having] wasted 170 twelve-hour days with this exercise in futility.

A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)
Born After Midnight
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Churchiness

Posted May 2, 2019 by SandreS
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There are doubtless many reasons for the degeneration of Christianity into “churchiness,” and the narrowing of the Gospel for all mankind into a set of approved beliefs. But the chief cause must be the worship of an inadequate god, a cramped and regulated god who is “a good churchman,” according to the formulas of the worshipper.

J.B. Phillips (1906-1982)
For This Day (1975), page 201
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Digging Around in Church History

Posted April 28, 2019 by SandreS
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The more I’ve been digging around in church history, the more I’ve seen that the true history of the church often takes its course through the generations of those who were despised by organized Christendom. These Christians were often marginalized, silenced, and deemed heretics. Tragically, sometimes they were killed. As the saying goes, “Only the winners get to write history.”

— Jim Palmer
Wide Open Spaces (2007), page 38
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Notre Dame Cathedral

Posted April 18, 2019 by SandreS
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Construction of Notre Dame Cathedral began in 1160 and was not completed until 1260. What took a hundred years to bring to vain glory was simply reduced to shambles within hours.

As we watched the cathedral burn we were reminded of three main things.

(1) The temporal nature of life;
(2) That God doesn’t dwell in temples made by hands;
(3) That one day God Himself will burn all of man’s religious and governmental systems – atrocities that have infringed on the freedom and joy of His creation, as well as obstructed meaningful relationship with Him.

Pointedly the apostle James wrote, “What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (4:14). In Paris eight hundred years of history were gone in a day.

Our apostle, Paul, said candidly to the Pagans that “the God Who makes the world and all that is in it, He, the Lord inherent of Heaven and Earth, is not dwelling in temples made by hands” (Acts 17:24, Concordant). Yet, many hundreds of years later men are still are desolately ignorant of this profound truth.

Then, as we contemplate the future judgment of God, we embrace the realization that divine judgment is nothing short of setting things right. There is much that is horribly and tragically wrong with the world, and yet, those of us who have been granted enlightenment to know the One true God rejoice in the day when man’s oppressive religions and governments will be brought to ashes by the glorious passion of a loving and gracious God! After all, it will be Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) that will be used as the basis of future judgment (Romans 2:16).

Divine judgment will wipe clean the slate of religious and governmental kingdoms that have been unbearably built up and in turn have laid bare the backs of the common man. The corrupt Roman Catholic Church embodied the horrid wickedness of these two intrusive systems during the Dark Ages – a vile residue which malignantly fills the world even to this day. The relentless abuse of mankind by these evil empires will rightfully meet with the fervent fire of God, clearing way for all that is right (righteousness), and good, and loving (II Peter 3:10, 12).

With the anticipation of faith we look forward to that liberating day! Meanwhile we “withstand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6: 13), patiently laboring “as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23), being “kind … tenderly compassionate, dealing graciously … according as God also, in Christ, deals graciously” with us (Ephesians 4:32, Concordant).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The True Meaning of Judgment

Posted April 2, 2019 by SandreS
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“Punishment” is a word I have come to hate, for men have so fearfully misused it of God’s operations. Once we see that all of God’s dealings are with a view to the eventual reconciliation of all, the idea of punitive retribution, introduced by corrupt theology, will become abhorrent. We must remember that the object of all God’s operations are rooted in love and fruited in reconciliation. If God is love, He cannot be orthodox. Before there can be a universal reconciliation, each one must be set right with God, and this is accomplished at the judging. Such indeed is the true meaning of judgment.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
The Problem of Evil, pages 231-236
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