The Harlot Church Her Daughters Are Coming Home By E. L. Bynum
The Harlot Church
Her Daughters Are Coming Home
By E. L. Bynum
” And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Revelation 17:1-6)
Who is This Harlot Church and Her Daughters?
This passage from God’s word describes the Harlot Church of the last days. It also reveals that she has daughters, and these are her religious daughters who will be allied with her in this end time apostasy. „Babylon, `confusion’ is repeatedly used by the prophets in a symbolic sense. Two `Babylons’ are to be distinguished in the Revelation: ecclesiastical Babylon, which is apostate Christendom, headed up under the Papacy; and political Babylon, which is the Beast’s confederated empire, the last form of Gentile world-dominion. Ecclesiastical Babylon is `the great whore’….” (Rev. 17:1) The Scofield Reference Bible, Page 1346
Arno C. Gaebelein, famous teacher and Bible commentator, had this to say: (Emphasis ours).
„Babylon is seen as a great, worldwide ecclesiastical, political and commercial system, and her dwelling-place, from where she exercises authority, is a great city, which is the seven-hilled city Rome… Rome was the great center of the Roman empire and Rome will once more become the seat where the woman pictured in this chapter will exercise her authority.
„Who, then, is this woman, branded a harlot, whom one of the seven angels who poured out the vials showed to John? She represents the papal system in its final power and control in the world. We shall see how this assertion is fully confirmed by the words of this chapter… …When the true Church is caught up, the papal system, as we call it, the Roman Catholic `church’ will see a great revival. For a time she has been stripped of the temporal power she once had, but it will be restored to her. Along with the revival of the Roman empire there will be a revival of papal Rome. But we must look very briefly at some of the descriptions of this woman, the harlot. `She sitteth upon many waters.’ We find the interpretation in verse 15. `The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth are peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues.’… Her attire is purple and scarlet and she is decked with gold, precious stones and pearls. The Pope and his Cardinals wear these colors. Purple and scarlet are the leading colors displayed in great Romish celebrations; gold, precious stones and pearls describe her enormous wealth and dazzling glory, so attractive to the natural man. And in her hand was a golden cup full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. How clearly this describes papal Rome. Her service, called worship, her rituals, her splendid edifices, etc., all are fair to behold and pleasing to the eye, like a golden cup. But inside we find her filthiness in doctrine and in practices. She encourages sin by her indulgences. With the celibacy there is also filth connected. And then the vileness and abomination of the confessional. Her shameless character is written upon her forehead. The true Church is to have His name upon the forehead and the great harlot-system bears an inscription.” (From the Annotated Bible, a commentary on the Holy Scriptures, by Arno C. Gaebelien, Volume IX, page 252-253, Van Kampen Press, Wheaton, Illinois.)
I must tell you that Matthew Henry in his famous commentary writes along this same line of thought, and so does Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown in their commentary. Matthew Poole, a commentator highly recommended by Spurgeon, identifies the mother of harlots as being the Roman religious system known as the papacy. The same type of identification is given by John Gill in his commentary. Gill was a Baptist and he preceded Spurgeon as the pastor of the Church in London. The famous Pulpit Commentary takes the position that the woman in Revelation 17 is indeed the Roman Church and much, much more, with which we agree.
She and her harlot daughters are at the center of the false religious system of the last days. Many other commentators could be quoted that identify the Mother of Harlots with Rome. It is clear from the text that she is the Mother of Harlots, which means that she has a lot of apostate daughters whose false religion can be identified with Rome. This Harlot Church is the bride of Satan, while the True Church is the bride of Christ. Our view of Revelation 17 is not a new and novel interpretation, but has been advanced by both Protestant and Baptist commentators for a long time.
With this in mind, we see the fulfillment of the Scriptures, in the mad rush of Protestants and Baptists to be identified with the apostate Roman Catholic Church. Why anyone going by the name Baptist, would do this, is a complete mystery. Indeed, we believe that real Baptists will never be a part of this apostate system.
We Believe in Religious Freedom
This writer believes in religious freedom. In America, everyone has the right under law to believe and practice their religious faith in the manner that they desire. We would never try to stop the Roman Catholic or any apostate religious system from existing in our land. We would never try to establish an official state church or enforce religious conformity.
Having said that, I will do everything in my power to expose the error of Romanism and the coming worldwide apostate church. My freedom to state my views, according to the Word of God, are not for sale. I will not be silent out of fear, or a desire to be popular, with God’s help. We want the truth to prevail over error, and we want people to know the difference.
All across America, and indeed the world, the ecumenical road of compromise on its way to Revelation 17 is gathering steam. The constant drumbeat of ecumenical unity is being sounded by many denominations, and many para-church groups. It is evident in ecumenical evangelism, in Promise Keepers, among Charismatics, and in the mainline denominations. Those who oppose this demonic, Satanic road of compromise had better do so before the persecution begins.
Lubbock, Texas is considered to be a religious, conservative town, but more and more that is changing. Southern Baptist churches in Lubbock have been some of the more conservative churches in the SBC. That is changing fast. The rush to Rome and compromise is on, and part of the more conservative among them are leading the charge. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (5-31-99), carried a shocking tale of compromise written by Beth Pratt, the able religious editor of the LAJ. She is Southern Baptist and simply reports the news in this case, without giving approval or disapproval. We are going to print the major portion of her article, along with our own comments. The headline read as follows:
Lubbock religious leaders sign covenant of unity
There was a smiling picture of the Catholic Bishop, with a grin like the cat that ate the canary. The caption under the picture read as follows:
Roman Catholic Bishop Placido Rodriguez was a principal sponsor of Sunday’s „Jubilee Pledge for Charity, Justice, and Peace.”
The article continues as written by the religion editor.
By BETH PRATT
A-J Religion Editor
History was made Sunday afternoon as some key leader’s of Lubbock’s Protestant churches signed a Roman Catholic „Jubilee Pledge for Charity, Justice, and Peace: Christian Commitment for the New Millennium.”
About 5,000 Catholics filled the exhibit hall at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center to celebrate Holy Trinity Sunday and to respond to a call for Christian unity in the third millennium by Bishop Placido Rodriguez.
„You take a place of honor among us,” the bishop said to his special guests, leaders from a variety of churches outside the Catholic tradition.
Signers of the covenant to seek „charity, justice and peace” were not participating as representatives of their churches or institutions, but as individual Christians of good will, the bishop stressed.
Comment by ELB: This was a Roman Catholic meeting, make no mistake about it. The Catholic Bishop presided and he offered the blasphemous mass, which is the re-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Baptists, Protestants, and Charismatics who attended, were like whimpering pups groveling at the masters table, hoping to be tossed a bone. We are told that this was a covenant of „charity, justice and peace.” Let me ask the question, how can there be a covenant of „charity” or love, with that which is evil and false? „Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” (Amos 5:14-15) How can lovers of the truth make common cause with those who despise the truth? How can believers have love and peace with those who stand for a condemned religious system? „Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) We are commanded to depart from evil, not to embrace it. „Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (Psa. 34:14) The Christian is instructed to abhor that which is evil, not to sign a covenant with it. „Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” (Rom. 12:9) God’s people are to abstain from evil, and this does not mean sign an agreement with it. „Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (I Thess. 5:22) We are not to follow after evil, nor to sign covenants with those that do evil. „Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” (III John 11)
How can there be „justice” with a Church that is responsible for the death of millions of Baptists and Protestants down through the ages? Millions of martyrs cry out for justice upon a false religious system that denied their freedom and shed their blood.
How can there be „peace” when there is no peace. „For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (I Thess. 5:3) „For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 8:11)
Modern day religious leaders seem to completely ignore the warnings of the Bible concerning false prophets and damnable heresies. It is almost as if they were living in a spiritual vacuum or isolation ward, where they had no access to the truth. „But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (II Pet. 2:1)
These religious leaders claimed that they did not represent their churches, but only represented themselves as Christians of good will. Make no mistake about it, they did represent the churches that they lead. Their claim is only a copout to keep the heat off of them, just in case some of their members objected. Those Baptist churches should hold their pastors accountable for their compromise.
Rodriguez invited Rabbi Heidi Coretz of Congregation Shaareth Israel to serve as witness to the signatures in recognition that the idea of a Jubilee Year comes from an ancient Jewish tradition.
„I appreciate him including me,” she said. „It is clear he made every effort to include Christians and nonChristians. I appreciate that sign of unity in our community.”
It is interesting that the Catholic Bishop would invite a female Rabbi to witness the signing of the covenant of unity. The fact that the Rabbi does not believe in the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His atoning death, and His glorious resurrection, does not seem to dawn upon them. She needed to be witnessed to, not to be a witness of the signing of an unscriptural covenant. This does not bother the Bishop or those Baptists and Protestants that he signed with. The only thing they are interested in is their ecumenical covenant. They are certainly not concerned about the unequal yoke. „Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14) The Baptists that signed this agreement joined in unequal yoke of unrighteousness and darkness. May the Lord help them to wake up before it is too late.
At the covenant ceremony, Episcopal Bishop Wallace Ohl read from Jesus’ prayer of unity given in John 17:19-23, which says in part: „I have given them the glory you gave me that they may be one, as we are one – I living in them, you living in me – that their unity may be complete.”
Let us quote this passage correctly and see what it really says. „Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:20-23) When Jesus prayed „that they all may one,” he was not praying for an ecumenical hodgepodge of religious people who believed different things. Not one of those these He prayed for believed in praying to Mary, bowing before images in idolatry. Not one of them believed in baptismal regeneration, or sprinkling for baptism. Not one of them was a charismatic, a whisky drinking Episcopalian, or an unbelieving liberal Methodist. All of the members of Jesus’ church believed the same thing, and it was the truth that He had taught them. He never had in mind that Bible believing Christians would be one with idolaters, baptismal regenerationists, and other assorted apostates. The motley crowd that signed the covenant here in Lubbock could never be one under Christ. They could be one under the Antichrist, because they have one thing in common and that is the rejection of the truth.
The Rev. D.L. Lowrie, pastor of Lubbock’s First Baptist Church, gave the closing prayer after the signing of the covenant, offering „thanksgiving for the whole body of Christ.”
The article also contains a picture of D. L. Lowrie, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lubbock as he prays during the Catholic idolatry event. The caption under the picture reads as follows:
D.L. Lowrie, pastor of Lubbock’s First Baptist Church, prays during Sunday’s „Jubilee Pledge for Charity” at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Lowrie was one of several non-Catholic clergymen invited to attend the event.
This was truly sad to see this Baptist pastor join in signing the covenant and praying at this event. He reminds me of King Jehoshaphat when he made an agreement with wicked King Ahab. „Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.” (II Chron. 18:1) This affinity involved him in marrying his son Jehoram to the daughter of wicked Ahab and Jezebel. Thus idolatry was introduced into Judah, resulting in its destruction. „And he (Jehoram) walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.” (II Chron. 21:6) By joining in this covenant of compromise, Lowrie is leading a multitude to do evil in the sight of the Lord.
Jehoshaphat was a good man, and so is Dr. Lowrie, but this can never make compromise right. After Jehoshaphat married his son to the daughter of a harlot, He went down to visit Ahab and they had a great feast. While he was there, Ahab proposed that Jehoshaphat king of Judah should join him in a military alliance to recover territory that had been taken by the Syrians. (All compromise is joined for a supposed good cause.) „And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.” (II Chron. 18:3) Against the advice of the godly prophet Micaiah, Jehoshaphat forged the alliance that led to the death of Ahab and almost resulted in his own death. When he returned to Jerusalem he met a true prophet of God, who issued a stinging rebuke. „And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.” (II Chron. 19:2)
That is the question I would like to ask the pastor of the First Baptist Church, „Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD?”
Other clergy signing the document with Rodriguez, Ohl and Lowrie were the Rev. Robert A. Barndt, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (ECLA); the Rev. Bill Couch, pastor of LakeRidge United Methodist Church; the Rev. Paul Cunningham, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Debra Elvers, Salvation Army; the Rev. Mark Elvers, Salvation Army; and the Rev. Peter Fritsch, rector of St. Paul’s-on-the-Plains Episcopal Church.
Also signing were the Rev. T.L. Garrett, staff pastor, Trinity Church; the Rev. Bruce Green, associate minister, St. Paul’s-on-the-Plains Episcopal Church; Douglas Hale, minister of Vandelia Church of Christ; the Rev. John Hill, pastor of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church; the Rev. Judy Holton, associate pastor of St. Luke”s United Methodist Church; the Rev. Andrew Hurst, Texas Tech Wesley Foundation.
Also, the Rev. Charles Johnson, senior pastor at Second Baptist Church; the Rev. Gary Kirksey, senior pastor at Trinity Church; David Langsford, minister at Quaker Avenue Church of Christ; the Rev. Clifton A. Mann, rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Parish; and the Rev. Jo Roberts Mann, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
Also, the Rev. Tom Mills, pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church; the Rev. Michael Passmore, senior minister at First Christian Church; the Rev. McKinley Shephard, St. Moses the Black, Orthodox African Catholic Church; the Rev. David L. Veal, canon for the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas; the Rev. Jackie White, senior pastor of Church on the Rock and the Rev. David Wilson, pastor of Southcrest Baptist Church.
As you look at the long list of signing pastors you will note the pastors of Trinity Church, and Church on the Rock. These are Charismatic churches who are basically Pentecostal or Assembly of God. As a matter of fact, Trinity Church was once Highland Assembly of God, until they changed their name so they could deceive more people. They once boasted that 27 denominations worshiped there. There are many there that were once members of Baptist churches. I would guess that there are more ex-members of First Baptist, than any church in town. Why would anyone at First Baptist hesitate to go there, for after all, they are in alliance with Trinity Church and other assorted false churches.
Please note that the ministers of two different Churches of Christ were among the signers. Yes, these are the old died in the wool, dipped or be damned Campellite churches. Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Baptist and Greek Orthodox could all join with the Roman Catholic Church in compromise. They all believe different doctrines and different ways of salvation and how could they be one, except in compromise.
Please note that David Wilson pastor of Southcrest Baptist Church signed the covenant of unity. This is a fast growing Southern Baptist Church, and the members of that Church should rebuke him for his sin. These Baptist preachers need to read The Trail of Blood, written by J.M. Carroll, who was a good Southern Baptist of yesterday.
Johnson, one of about eight clergy who remained for the Millennium Mass in celebration of Holy Trinity Sunday, said the invitation to work together in the areas of charity, justice and peace showed „bold spiritual leadership on Bishop Placido’s part. He has worked tirelessly in joyously inviting us today. It wasn’t any casual vision on his part, but deep and heartfelt.”
Charles Johnson is the pastor of Second Baptist Church, by far the most liberal Baptist Church in town. This is a Church that is so liberal that they were excluded from the Lubbock Baptist Association (SBC). They have ordained women preachers on the staff and as deacons. They have had a Methodist preacher on the staff. He remained as a Methodist preacher.
Ohl said the occasion was a „chance for all of us to proclaim we are in the family of God.”
„Making a commitment to work together shows the world,” Ohl said, „that though we may be broken, that’s not all there is to us.”
In his homily, Rodriguez cited the divisions that have occurred in the church, beginning in 1054 and continuing with the Protestant Reformation in the mid-1600s. His vision, and that of Pope John Paul II, he said, is that the third millennium will be a time of unity among Christians.
The Catholic Bishop never mentioned the millions of Baptists and Protestants that they murdered all during the dark ages. That record can be found in The Trail of Blood booklet which is available from us.
Unity With Rome A World Wide Problem
What we are writing about is not just a problem in Lubbock, or the USA, it is a world wide problem. The Baptist churches in Lubbock may not realize the dangerous path they are on. Like Little Red Riding Hood, they trip merrily along on the way to grandma’s house to do a good deed. Never realizing that it is not grandmother in bed, but a big bad wolf disguised as grandma. We all know what happened to Little Red Riding Hood. The same thing is going to happen to these Baptist Churches, because the big bad wolf of Roman Catholicism is disguised as something good in the house where they are headed.
Baptists Accepting Catholic Baptism
If you doubt that Baptists will ever accept Roman Catholic baptism, read the following chilling report of what Baptists in Poland are doing. Baptists in Poland are ready to sign an agreement, in which they agree to accept the baptism of Catholic, which of course is sprinkling. The signing of the covenant of unity in Lubbock, is just the prelude of things to come. It may be years in the future, or it may be sooner than you think. They are paving the way for unity with the Harlot Church of Rome. In the following paragraphs, David Cloud reveals what is happening in Poland.
June 2, 1999 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277) – Seven Protestant and Baptist denominations in Poland plan to sign a mutual recognition of baptism with the Roman Catholic Church in the year 2000. The seven denominations, which are grouped together into the Polish Ecumenical Council, include the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (Lutheran), Polish Baptist Union, Evangelical Reformed Church of Poland (Presbyterian), Orthodox Church in Poland, and the Methodist Church in Poland.
The Polish Ecumenical Council and the Roman Catholic Church have maintained a joint commission since 1974. In April the commission finalized a text on baptism which is expected to be signed by all of the denominations in January 2000 during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Ecumenical News International, May 3, 1999).
Churches that stand upon the apostolic faith once delivered to the saints practice believer’s baptism, meaning baptism is a church ordinance whereby the believer is immersed in water to symbolize his union with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no authority in the New Testament Scriptures to support the practice of infant baptism or baptism by sprinkling and pouring. Baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).
Extensive studies on scriptural baptism as well as infant baptism can be found in the Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity, available from Way of Life Literature (1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. 360-675-8311).
The Connections of Compromise
You will note that the pastors of Trinity Church, LakeRidge United Methodist Church, and St. Luke’s Methodist Church, all signed the covenant of unity. There is a chilling connection between these three churches. They are all members of the Willow Creek Association, headed up by Bill Hybels. This organization breaks down all denominational barriers, and leads churches into an ecumenical purpose driven type of ministry. The literature coming out of the headquarters of this Association, comes from The Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois, Bill Hybels, pastor. In some of their materials they recommend that Baptist churches drop the name Baptist, and quite a few have already done so. Many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention are members of this organization, including the First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX, where W. A. Criswell pastored for over fifty years.
Bacon Heights Baptist Church, and Indiana Avenue Baptist churches of Lubbock also belong to the Willow Creek Association. There are many churches of most denominations that belong as well. A number of the churches of the Baptist Bible Fellowship, General Association of Regular Baptists, and Conservative Baptists Association, belong to this unscriptural organization.
A Conservative Baptist Association Pastor Writes
I recently received an email letter from the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, San Jose, California. This Church is a Conservative Baptist Association member, and is listed as being a member of the Willow Creek Association. Here is what he said.
One of my members gave me a copy of your „Web of Compromise” article from the Internet. My response to him was „Thanks and that it looks like he had too much time on his hands.” He chuckled with me.
I write, not to carry on a dialogue. I realize that would only be possible when we reach heaven. We will both see things much differently then. Meanwhile, I write only because you listed our church in your compromise listings. My education started at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. It continued at Tennessee Temple. Then to Sacramento Landmark Baptist Seminary, Covington Seminary, then Liberty Seminary. With all of that background and an earned doctorate from on(e) of the „fundamental” schools, I know clearly your background and position. Trained in your same school patterns and preached or rather spoke from the same platform early on in my ministry. Thirty-four years of pastoring brings me to say „Praise God that He is not a Baptist and loves variety and there are those of us who still believe in the blood, the Book, and all the essentials as strongly as you do.” I close this short note by saying thank you, for putting First Baptist Church on your list. We are proud to be there. (Emphasis his)
I pray you will have a good day tomorrow at Tabernacle.
San Jose, CA.
The above letter is typical of those who are on the road of compromise. These people completely ignore the many Scriptures that teach ecclesiastical separation. „Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (II Cor. 6:17) (For a list of many other Scriptures that teach separation, send a stamped, self- addressed envelope and ask for a free copy of Tract # A-322.)
The above letter speaks volumes concerning the schools that he attended. The Baptist Bible College, Tennessee Temple, and the others, contain a mixed multitude that are taught to tolerate compromise. The path of compromise is simple and smooth. First you associate with false doctrine, second you dialogue with it, third you tolerate it, fourth you fellowship with it, and fifth you join it. The above pastor finished his training at Liberty University (Jerry Falwell); which is a finishing school for compromise. Falwell is now in the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as the Baptist Bible Fellowship. How art the mighty fallen!
In the next issue of the Plains Baptist Challenger, we will deal with how that modern day evangelism is being used to lead multitudes toward the Harlot Church of Rome.
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Lessons Learned From Our Leaders
The worst thing about the scandals in Washington in 1998 is the effect they had on the nation’s moral judgment. As a pastor, I was more concerned about what the American people were thinking than about what the President had been doing! If folks both inside and outside the church begin acting on the „lessons” we have been learning from the words and actions of our leaders and the media over the last year, everybody will be in deep trouble. Here are seven mistaken moral messages that have come from Washington over these months and the Bible’s answers to them.
1. Adultery is not so bad.
At least that’s what some Congressmen and commentators have been saying. But the Bible says, „marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
Hardly any human activity has more bad consequences than illicit sex. I Corinthians 6:18 warns us to „flee fornication,” and says that this particular sin is committed against one’s „own body.” Proverbs 31:3 tells a leader of men, „Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.”
It is wrong, it is reprehensible, it is worthy of condemnation for an individual to sin against his wife, his family, and decent society by committing adultery, no matter what anybody says!
2. Perjury is justifiable if it is committed to cover up adultery.
Some have actually been saying that adultery justifies perjury! The way they say it is, „Lying about sex is understandable.” Sometimes they say it is expected! But God did not choose to overlook the deception used to cover up David’s adultery. II Samuel 11 says, „The thing that David had done displeased the Lord” (V. 27). In Chapter 12 we find that the Lord did not give David „a pass” for his adultery and deception either. The prophet Nathan told him that „the sword shall never depart from thine house” because of these sins. Lying is condemned and punished in many parts of the Bible. „Perjured persons” and „liars” are lumped with murderers, whoremongers, and sex perverts in the condemnation of I Timothy 1:9-10. Proverbs 12 has a series of strong sayings against deception:
„. . .a lying tongue is but for a moment” (v. 19)
„Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil . . . ” (v. 20)
„Lying lips are abomination to the Lord. . . ” (v. 22)
Deception to cover up wrongdoing is never justified.
3. If a man is doing a good job, his morals do not matter.
No more destructive falsehood could be spread among the people than this one. When getting a job done becomes the most important part of a person’s life, and doing right means nothing, the ethics of criminals have been adopted. It is clear in the Bible that obedience to divine commandments is highly important in God’s evaluation of one’s job performance. I Samuel 15 gives us the Lord’s opinion of King Saul’s work. „It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he. . . hath not performed my commandments.” (V l l )
In verses 22 and 23 we read, „To obey is better than sacrifice. . .For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. . .Because thou host rejected the word of the Lord, he hath rejected thee from being king.”
Saul tried to make up for disobeying by offering God many sacrifices, but to the Lord, morals mattered more than an impressive show. The king could not claim to have done a good job because he seemed to have done some good. In truth, to do good is to do right.
4. If you say you’re sorry, everything is OK.
Some are learning from the way the president’s „problems” are being handled that the expression of remorse, and if necessary more expressions of more remorse, can eliminate the consequences of serious misdeeds. But Pharaoh said he was sorry, too! In one of the famous confrontations between Moses and the king of Egypt, Pharaoh is recorded as saying, „I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked” (Exodus 9:27). His stubborn refusal to obey God’s orders to release Israel from bondage had already brought seven plagues on the land. Now he professed repentance, and promised, „I will let you go” (Exodus 9:28). But when he was relieved of the current plague in answer to the prayer of Moses the Bible says, „he sinned yet more, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go. . . ” (Exodus 9:34-35). His repentance was phoney, and so his apology was meaningless. Then God sent another plague. Just saying that you are sorry without repenting in your heart will do you no good, before God or before men.
5. Some people are above the law.
Of course, reasonable people will not agree to this. Tyrants of all ages have thrived on this premise, but good men have always rejected it. And the Bible denies it, too!
„Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates . . and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons. . . that which is altogether just shalt thou follow . . .” (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)
6. Crimes should not be prosecuted if the perpetrator is popular.
This mistaken notion is based on the previous one, and is very dangerous. Our whole judicial system would collapse if it were widely believed and followed! Exodus 23:2 says, „Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil, neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment. . . ” Popular opinion should never influence court proceedings or constitutional processes.
7. We can trust a morally weak person with great governmental responsibilities.
Again, we are being told a lie. The twenty-eighth chapter of Proverbs has much to say about the moral character of political leaders. „For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof; but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.” (v. 2)
This means that sin in the nation will produce instability in the government. Leadership changes will be frequent. It happened in the kingdoms of Israel (See II Kings 15) and Judah (See II Kings 24) when they were about to fall as a result of their sins. It has been happening in America ever since we expelled God from our school system, and as we legalized the murder of the unborn. A president was assassinated. The next president served only one term. The next president resigned. The next man was another one-term president. Then came Mr. Reagan. Bush was a one-term president. Clinton has been impeached.
„The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor; but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.” (v. 16)
„When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.” (v. 28)
These verses (See also Proverbs 29:2) make it clear that the moral make-up of a leader determines what kind of leader he will be, and what kind of government we will have. Wickedness in high places makes problems for a nation. Haven’t we learned this?
The lessons of 1998 have been important for us to learn, if we have learned the right lessons. Sadly, many mistaken moral messages came out of Washington last year which could ruin individual lives as well as decent society. These false notions must be met by scripture, and the lessons of the Bible about sin and its consequences must be heeded by all. – Dr. Richard Flanders, Vassar, Michigan – From Christian View of the News
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By Bill Mosley
Modern ecumenist are sounding out their opposition to positive identification by denomina tional names with more volume and velocity than ever. Denominationalism is the culprit and ecumenicalism is the answer in the mind of the ecumenist. One of Webster’s definitions of a denomination is „a class or kind (especially of units) having a specific name or value.” Not one of the fellowships or their founders that we will mention are ready to eliminate denominationalism anywhere except in religion. If you doubt this read some of their appeals for monetary support and you will notice denominational increments of $5 to $100 and more. I assure you when they purchase $50 worth of merchandise and pay with a hundred dollar bill if they are given five bills in change they will take note that it is of the proper denomination.
A few decades ago the charismatic movement chipped away at the fundamental doctrine of biblical identification of the Lord’s church. Then came the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International and founder Demas Shakarian urging a departure from any religious denominational name. Yet all the while creating his own denomination known as the FGBFI. This denomination is so closely associated with his name that when one is mentioned the other also comes to mind.
One of the most recent branches sprouting from the stump of clouded demarcation is the Promise Keepers movement and their founder Bill McCartney. McCartney’s main thrust is for pastors to meet, with the men of their churches, at their state capitols on Jan. 1, 2000 and put a stop to „racism and denominationalism.” Yet Mr. McCartney has started a denomination of his very own. The notable theme of the PK denomination is to „break down the barriers” and all religions become one big denomination. The thought also rings clear that the PK denomination declares denominationalism in the same category with racism.
There is a similar appeal from Evangelist Billy Graham. At the mid-year meeting in the Bay Area ’98 crusade, Mr. Graham made a statement something like this during an interview, „Wouldn’t it be great if we could all forget about denominations and just be children of God.” Not one of the above movements or messengers really want to forget about denominations. They have personally developed their own denomination as they try to decimate all others. Some doctrinal convictions must be forfeited if denominationalism is to exterminated.
The „Stand in the Gap” meeting of the Promise Keepers reported „Catholics stood next to Baptists and Messianic Jews stood with Seventh-day Adventists. The denominational myths and barriers evaporated . . .” If „denominational myths and barriers evaporated” it necessitated someone compromising doctrine. Along with Mr. Graham the PK movement would not challenge those to whom they minister to forsake a works religion and seek fellowship with a Bible believing, preaching, teaching Baptist church. If they did this their „breaking down the barriers” and „climbing over the walls” mottos would have to be changed.
Since denomination is a means of identification of a specific unit or purpose, let us consider how God feels about „breaking down the barriers.” Of course this may be altogether irrelevant to those devising methods of denominational eradication. We will consider denominationalism based on Webster’s Dictionary definition of „a class or kind having a specific name or value.”
God designed all creation to function according to His divine will. All created beings were directed to their particular assignment whether man, beast, or fowl. There can be no doubt this divine plan included a proper worship assigned to Adam and his posterity. An obvious difference of opinion arose between Cain and Abel of how to perform this worship properly. Because Abel would not compromise his conviction of proper worship it cost him his life at the hand of his brother. Although the topic of conversation between these first sons of Adam is not revealed in scripture the result of their difference of conviction is clearly disclosed. If Abel had only followed the advice of 20th century ecumenist he may have pleased Cain and lived, but he would NOT have pleased his Creator.
The pre-flood record shows Cain driven out from the presence of the Lord and a replacement given for martyred Abel, named Seth. Comparing the genealogy of Seth with the line of Cain indicates a decided difference. These two „denominations” could never be compatible apart from Cain being reconciled to God. However, this would never include eliminating the designed worship of God which the lineage of Seth must follow.
Hurry to the end of this period and challenge Noah concerning his religious distinctness. For 120 years he faced a critical denomination of people who very likely challenge everything from his motive to his method. Yet he continued to be the preacher of righteousness and separation that God called him to be (2 Pet 2:5). Breaking down the walls of the ark was never entertained in the mind of Noah. Let me interject a bit of irony here. Non-denominationalism just will not float!
We come to this period with much left unsaid of the above era for sake of space. God entered Abram’s life while in his native land and called him to start another denomination in a foreign land. Every instruction given to Abram led to a system of worship that was clearly different that all other systems around him. To say the area to which God sent him was without denomina tional religion would indicate blindness or ignorance of biblical truth.
Abram departed from Haran to Canaan under the direction of God. (Gen. 12:1-6) There is ample evidence in scripture that the Canaanites were extremely carnal in their worship yet they doubtless worshiped in some manner to their false gods. The first thing Abram did upon arriving there was to build an altar unto the Lord. (Gen. 12:7) „And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” Had the PKs, FGBFI, and modern ecumenical evangelicals been there they would have insisted he not build another denominational barrier. Though he found himself among many religions he positively was not of them. He followed a different doctrinal foundation.
Along came Isaac and Jacob and later the children of Israel. Although twentieth century ecumenist would challenge the Israelites concerning their separation from all other religions, God was definitely against their breaking down their doctrinal barriers. In fact Israel’s main failure was when they did not heed God’s warning to be separated. From practicing circumcision to planting crops they were to be different. From working animals to wearing garments they must perform according to God’s direction. These were scriptural directives that Abraham’s decedent were to follow if they were to expect the blessings of God. Let us go quickly to another denominational difference.
This is closely related to and apart of God’s plan in the above denomination. But decide here in which denomination you would rather be. Or would you be willing to „break down the barriers” between the children of Israel and the religion of Pharaoh when God sent the plagues? The God of Heaven placed a screen door between the two religions to keep the flies out of Goshen. No lice, lightening, leaches, nor lamenting was found in Israel’s camp when the plagues began. If there is a denominational barrier that pleases God I certainly want to be behind that barrier.
Joseph’s spiritual influence on Egypt had long since diminished. A Pharaoh came to power that „knew not Joseph.” God’s mighty arm would deliver His people. His word demanded of Pharaoh to „let my people go.” (Ex. 5-12) The reason being that „they may serve me.” If it didn’t matter how Israel worshiped they would have been as well off in Egypt as traveling the troublesome route to the promised land. It has always been a challenge to be different than the religious world.
Now we come to the Red Sea crossing. An insurmountable obstacle between Israel and safety from the pursuing Egyptians. Decision time! It seems at this point the safest place to be would be in the camp of the Egyptians. It would appear the thing to do is to forget about the doctrine of separation and break down the barriers and go back to Egypt. Before you join the non- denominational crowd listen to Moses’ message. (Ex. 14:13) „And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” I want to be in that denomination that will still be standing with God when His judgment falls.
Israel walked across the Red Sea on dry ground and the Egyptians were drowned in the midst of the sea. Denominations come and go but the denomination that follows the direction of the Lord will come out victorious on the other side. This line of thought could be carried out to the crossing of Jordan and on beyond to the land of battling the Canaanites. The Tabernacle and Temple of God were points of distinction between denominations of the world and that people that wholly followed the Lord.
New Testament Denominationalism
Surely none will deny that there were many religious groups during early New Testament times. Sadducees, Pharisees, Herodians, and others were present when John the Baptist appeared. At least two among this group wanted John to „break down the barriers” that God had placed upon proper subjects for baptism. (Matt. 3:7-9) „But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” What a separatist he was to dare stand on the assumption that this was God’s will. Remember, „There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (John 1:6) John makes it clear that God had sent him „to baptize with water” those who truly repented of sin. (John 1:33; Matt. 3:1,2)
Then there is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus makes it clear there is a difference in His denomination of people than any other congregation at that time. It is absolutely the same today. After being baptized by John, Jesus also began to preach the same message as that of John. (Matt. 3:16; 4:17) However, those who followed the Lord varied in their alliance with Him. As the doctrine became more demanding the crowd diminished. (John 6) Of those who continued with Him, He chose twelve and named them apostles. (Luke 6:13) Later Jesus made an unmistakable declaration that would forever remain unchanged regardless of the amount of opposition. „And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18) None of the above mentioned denominations were what the Lord wanted to carry on the ministry of reaching the world with the Gospel. He issued guidelines for this denomination to follow and the responsibili ties they must fulfill. (Matt. 28:18-20) „And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This was the same group He spoke to in Matt. 16:18. He did not give this command to the Sadducees, Pharisees, Herodians, Promise Keepers, FGBMI, or any other man made denomination. It was to „His church,” a denomination completely different in policy and practice.
At His ascension Jesus once again reminded „His church” of their lasting responsibility. (Acts 1:8) The apostles continued this ministry to their death and left with an urgent plea for others to continue in this work. (2 Tim. 2:2-4) „And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” There are four generations mentioned in verse two. „That thou hast heard,” Timothy; „of me,” Paul; „faithful men,” those who Timothy would teach; „others also,” those that faithful men would teach. What were they to teach and be taught? (1 Tim. 3:15) „But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” „Behave thyself in the house of God” means conducting oneself properly in truth and doctrine. Where is this to be done? In the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. This is the same church that Jesus called „His church.” That is the denomination that I am happy to be a member of.
Break down the barriers and tear down the walls? Never! That is the design of Satan! I did not have a part in the decision of the Lord Jesus to establish His church, but I have decided to hold on to and preach the blessed doctrine of the Lord’s church. I did not set up the barriers of doctrinal truth for the Lord’s local church, but I will gladly accept the name calling along with those who have died for these truths in the past. Heavenly Father, in Jesus Name, give us pastors and preachers who will stand in the gap and stem the tide of ecumenicalism. Some Baptist pastors/preachers are falling for and leading their churches into the trap of ecumenism. This is not the doctrinal route the Lord designed for His church to follow.
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Tabernacle Baptist Church
E. L. Bynum, Pastor
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Lubbock, Texas 79411
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