COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (BNC) — Many congregations among us “are facing a decision. They have never really had to make this choice before. Now they are in a situation where they must decide,” Kerry Duke, Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Tennessee Bible College, wrote Dec. 2 on the school’s blog, “Ring Out the Message.” This is why they “are digressing so rapidly,” he said.
Kerry, who has worked with the West End congregation in Livingston for 19 years, said this new decision is facing those who grew up under biblical teaching and “accepted it out of convenience or family loyalty more than out of conviction.”
They have been baptized, but they never really decided whether baptism is essential to salvation or not. They have never worshipped with a piano or an organ, but they really don’t know if it is wrong. They have never heard a preacher say that God spoke directly to him, so they have not really thought about whether this could happen or not. And they have not been concerned enough about the truth to study these things and teach their friends and relatives who are in denominations.
Denominationalism is not only knocking at our doors, Kerry wrote, but it is already in many congregations of the body of Christ.
These members are now seeing denominationalism in their own assemblies for the first time.They are hearing sermons that are denominational: just preach Jesus and don’t worry about doctrine. They are seeing worship that is denominational: clapping and swaying and even using instrumental music. They are seeing women stand before the worship assembly, babies being dedicated in worship, and the Lord’s Supper being used for reasons other than the commemoration of Jesus’ death. They are being taught that people can be saved without baptism, that hell is not forever, and that the Holy Spirit speaks to people directly today and may even work miracles.
As a result, the decision is being forced upon many saints. Kerry ended by giving thanks for those “Christians who grew up hearing the gospel and have stayed with it because it is the truth.”
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He sometimes writes “7 Points.” http://randal.us