Thou shalt ask no questions...ever!

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Andre Smit, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. A quick history: I did not believe in God, Jesus or the Bible. I had almost no experience with the “Church” or any knowledge of the Bible. Then all that literally changed in a moment. My soul was set on fire and a passion for Jesus was ignited within me that burned so strong that I was actually scared it would consume me. I started to pray. I started to read and study the Bible. I joined the congregation that some of my family members attended and I got a very rude awakening. Our congregation was small and no one in the congregation really had healthy bank balances, which meant that we struggled financially as a “Church”. Our Pastor was transferred to a different congregation that effectively left us Pastor-less. We had discussions about the way forward, weighing up pros and cons. Should we appoint a new full time Pastor (who would need a salary), or would we carry on with lay preachers? This was the focus of a discussion we had when a representative of “Head Office” (the main Church board) paid us a visit. We were discussing these options when he reminded us that we could get by with a lay preacher, but that we would have to get a “qualified Pastor” in on the days that we have communion and when there are baptisms to be done. This had me completely confused. After the meeting when everyone was having tea and coffee I asked him why only “qualified” Pastors could do communion and baptisms and he replied that it was the doctrines of the “Church”. I then asked the most forbidden question imaginable (it sure felt that way) when I asked him where it said that in the Bible. It was just a question (not being knowledgeable about Church practises etc), but the aggressive and confrontational reply that I received from him for asking this came as a bit of a shock to me. The Bible instructs us to question everything so that we can find what is good and what is right. It goes as far as to say that only the Bible can be used for doctrine and reproof. It seems to me though that the “Church” that teaches us to study and to live the Word of God, sadly rebukes us when we do. This and other experiences have turned me away from “Traditional Churches”, but thank God, hasn’t turned me away from my faith. I was wondering if there were any of you who have had similar experiences with the “Church” and how you have handled it. Are we to not ask questions at all? Should we blindly believe and follow whatever the “Church” says without consulting the Word of God? Has the “Church” strayed so far from the truth that they are willing to compromise the Word of God to protect their own “truth”? As someone new to the faith this incident could easily have sent me back to my “old ways” and I cannot help but wonder if this is not the reason why the pews are getting emptier.
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  2. #2 aha, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

    Of course there is always a good way to address a question :)

    Yes, although, but, however :)
    It can happen in any human relationship, husband-wife, teacher-student, doctor-patient…and ahhh moderator-member haha! :)

    A related Bible verse, I can think of a lot of bible verses mentioning “teachers” which goes to mean (as I see it) that it was “institutionalized” or made “official” made “formal”

    By "made formal", it came from laws.. it's root word is "layer" or to put things in order...that is why I love "Laws" as it put things in man does agree to put things in order, but man usually forgot, thus agreement was made into writing, ie: Laws

    And laws can be (#1) Divine Law, ie: directly from God... (#3) purely man-made laws.... and the middle (2) “man-made laws with Divine Authority”

    Eg: Divorce,,, I believe it falls into category # 2 "man-made laws with Divine Authority" ie: "Law of Moses”

    Same goes with the institution of “Teachers” that is: being a “Teacher” is conferred by #2 man with Divine Authority

    Of course, there are “Teacher/s” who are conferred directly from # 1

    Just a thought :)
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  3. ie: same goes with who can "baptize" and who can "officiate" a "communion"
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  4. To find the truth, one must first have no opinion.

    You didn't have an opinion about the "church rules" because you were seeking truth. When it came contrary to the word of God you received the truth. I too had a similar encounter twice.

    I was a Wednesday night teacher, and I came across Matt 10. I couldn't reconcile the fact that although God was the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, why those miracles were not part of my life. I went home and poured out my heart to the Lord with burning tears. The next Wednesday I didn't have anything prepared, told everyone I didn't have anything and wanted to know if anyone had an example of Matt 10 in their lives. An older woman who only came on Sundays to take care of the children during services, was in the meeting and spoke up. She said, "I have been under the unction of the Holy Spirit all day to tell you this: my husband prays for our children when they get sick and they are healed. We have visitations by the Holy Spirit and we prophesy." I was so enraptured by her words! She was an answer to my tearful prayers. I felt so full of joy I couldn't explain it. Then the pastor said in the coldest terms with the emphasis "thank you for YOUR testimony!" WOOOOSH!! "It" was gone! But what was "It"? "It" was the Holy Spirit. She came to me to ask me to come and meet her husband. On the way to her house, driving in my car following her, I was terrified that I was being pulled into evil. Yes, the conflict was I was taught there were no miracles, no gifts of the Spirit, nothing today. So I cried out to God again, and I said, "Lord! If she is from you, have her lift her hand into the air." Before I could finish my prayer, her had shot up while she was driving her car and held it there. She didn't mess with her hair or the rearview mirror. She just held it there in the air. I met with her husband and to cut the story short, I got baptized in the Spirit.

    The second time was when my wife and I were to be married. I had only met her pastor once. The Lord had told me that her pastor wouldn't like us not getting married by him and so I prophesied to my wife that her pastor would become vitriol towards her, and that only three people would come to her house before the wedding. Indeed, within a week, her paster called and cursed her saying our marriage wouldn't work, God wouldn't bless us, everything you can imagine. My Spanish wasn't great then, but I knew what had happened. The next weekend, three people came to my wife's house and stood with her against the lies of the "church". We've been married 26 years with 3 wonderful children and we've seen the world. The "church" is a fast food restaurant now.

    I only go to buildings when the Spirit asks me to, because I am the Church.

    I hope this helps.
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  5. Sounds like you have run into religion and not Christ and His uncompromised Word of God. As abdicate said, we are the church, and unfortunately many have been deceived into thinking that churches like you have experienced are ok. Don't get me wrong there are many good and wonderful pastors/preachers and members of these churches, but the enemy has unfortunate gotten in to pervert the gospel and the Holy Written Word of God. The sad part is that to many people don't read the Word for themselves, or they read with a religious mindset (because it's the way they grew up and have been trained to believe) and they miss some of the very most wonderful nuggets of truth from God's Word.

    But be of good cheer... there are many churches that God is raising up, that preach the uncompromised Word. And teach what is written straight from the Holy Spirit. Those are the ones that we should be seeking out, and asking God to show us so that we may grow in the grace and admonition of the Lord.

    If your at a church that does not allow questions or whose preaching is not in line with the Word of God... It's time to be seeking God for some answers. For you don't want to get untruth planted in your mind that will cause you to miss God and His ways. Walking with God is greatly important. And as John 14:21 says.. If we love Him we will obey His commands, and he will love us and manifest Himself to us. But if we dont have a good grasp on what those commands or ways are we won't receive or have manifested in our lives what God desires for us to get from his Word

    God bless you abundantly
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  6. #6 bobinfaith, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    Andre Smit, Today at 3:09 AM
    A quick history: I did not believe in God, Jesus or the Bible. I had almost no experience with the “Church” or any knowledge of the Bible. Then all that literally changed in a moment. My soul was set on fire and a passion for Jesus was ignited within me that burned so strong that I was actually scared it would consume me. I started to pray. I started to read and study the Bible. I joined the congregation that some of my family members attended and I got a very rude awakening.

    Abdicate, Today at 9:00 AM

    To find the truth, one must first have no opinion.

    You didn't have an opinion about the "church rules" because you were seeking truth. When it came contrary to the word of God you received the truth.


    Hello, Andre; Thank you for your testimony and your first experience in the church.

    Churches who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the authority of the Bible - God's Word, all belong to God. God promised His churches would be the perfect place, whether the smallest of congregations to the mega churches, to gather for Christians battling with challenges.

    We would all love the ideal, perfect church but what may be ideal and perfect for me may not be for another. Every church is going to have it's inner and outer cup problems. The Pastor may be very knowledgable in theology and know the scriptures, but doesn't have people skills and rarely stays in touch with God's sheep. The Bible study teachers may only teach on a shallow surface base and not allow some disciples to get a deeper meaning of the scriptures. The men's and women's ministry may get together for breakfast or tea and crumpets with no real vision of why. Some church missionaries scrape up the love offerings to go overseas on "short term" missions and spend more time shopping and site seeing with minimal missions or evangelism to the people.

    Let's be fair. There are many churches of God, praise Him, who are well structured in all the angles of the church body - preaching, teaching, discipleship, music, administration, finances, etc...And lets be fair again, there are other churches of God who are not consistent but more inconsistent in some or most ministries of church.

    When we recognize our weaknesses in our home churches, we all need to start by being an example of Christ.

    Andre, you shared your soul was set on fire and a passion for Christ burning in you that burns so strong. This is great! Then we encourage you, and all of us, to get out there and do what we do, be that burning fire and passion for Christ. Many times this will heal the weaknesses existing in the church. Others church family members, especially the church leadership, will be inspired and see your witness through the Holy Spirit and could very well strengthen that area in your church.

    During Paul's second missions he wrote to the Thessalonians and encouraged and affirmed the love, praising God for their faithfulness during persecution and the internal challenges amongst the church family.

    1 Thessalonians 5:8-12, 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

    A word of encouragement offered at the right moment of challenges in the church can be the difference of accomplishing or crashing.

    12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. - ESV

    The church should not be without a Shepherd. The Shepherd receives the Word from God in the ministerial direction your church is taking. Moses, Joshua, Paul and especially Jesus were key examples in the Old and New Testaments. However, there are churches for many reasons, who don't have a pastor and are serving with lay preachers. Lets not limit God and seek what He says about the church's situation, starting with prayer, individual and corporate prayer.

    Many church congregations are "autonomous" and have exercised laying hands on their Elders, or church leaders to do Communion or lead baptisms. Please see Philip in Acts 6 and 8:36-39.

    Years ago my pastor could not attend our leader's retreat so hands were laid on me to lead Communion. When a believer visits a dying patient and they want communion, does the believer withhold because the pastor is not present? I have not found in scripture where only an ordained pastor can perform communion.

    However, many churches want their pastor to serve the Communion or Baptism.

    Abdicate shares that finding Truth, in Christ Jesus, one must first have no opinion. Jesus teaches in Matthew, Mark, Luke and Revelation, "those who have ears to hear let them hear" so we can understand what the Spirit is saying to us and the church. Its an important time to listen first, when receiving Truth.

    Overall, we should give more grace and patience to the flaws in our home churches and PRAY for our church leaders. They would really appreciate that and can go a long way in uplifting our Shepherds. At the same time questions by us should always be received with grace and patience by our church leaders. How are we going to grow?

    If we are appointed where we serve in church then we have to follow Paul's teaching in 1 Thessalonians. If our Spirit is not being fed, if the controversy is not getting resolved, then it could be a crossroads that God is redirecting you to another church for His Purpose and plan for you. But before any of us step down from ministry or serving in our home church we should also go to God first and seek what His plan is for us.

    God bless you, Andre.
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  7. Oh wow, stay strong young man. I praise God that He led me to a church where even the preacher stands up and says that if they were to say something you are not sure is in the Bible, then question them. Ask them to tell you where they found that information in the Bible. I had an experience when my son was saved. I asked my preacher if my father, being a preacher, could baptize him. He told me that he could not because he was out of state. I look back now and wonder "where did that come from?" Sometimes I believe it is a leadership issue in the church. But you are right in asking questions. I believe Thomas proved a powerful point when he wouldn't take anybody's word about Christ rising from the dead. He had to see it for himself. So many times people believe something because their parents, grandparents, or someone they hold in high regard has told them that is what they believe. This is a personal relationship between you and the Lord.
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  8. Just a thought... If God wants you to stay where you are.. try to find some preachers on line or you tube to keep you growing in the Word during the week.

    God bless
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  9. im still praying for a church near me, so I use online preachers I trust whilst reading the bible. ( im very new to the Word)I'm actually very passionate about Cristian life and it's awesome( it's filling the hole in me that has been there all my life). The first and last one I went to was the kind of preaching I liked but I felt pressured to join up there and then. It put me off.
    I'm not in the Word enough yet also to be discerning enough to question things, so I could be vulnerable to religious bluff instead ofwhat the Word says
    Thankyou Andre you have put a sticker in my spirit now to remember to question things that don't line up with the word and sorry I don't have anything to add to your thread that's valuable wisdom to you but I'm sure the other posters here can
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  10. Greetings Andre Smit
    It sounds like the church in question has fallen into this modern day trap of its a business first.

    I would do some serious praying and see if this is where you belong.

    However do Not make a decision to leave because you got barked at.
    God may have you there to change things by using you.

    The way I see it, one stays where one is planted until the Lord Uproots you.
    This means if things are not how you want them, you stay anyway and don't try and justify leaving.

    The same is true for staying in a church. If God is leading you else where then one should not be comparing where they are to where God has Called you.

    The way I see it, Blessings, Provisions, Grace, Growth and so much more is waiting for you at the Church God called one to go. Nothing else matters, not the people, the lighting, the singing and so forth. Just the fact He said Go Here.

    Welcome again Brother and truly looking forward to some good ol fellowship one with another.
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  11. Amen and we all have seen growth in you very much.
    Your love for God and His Word is truly an inspiration to us all.

    We are Very Blessed to have met you
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  12. Via dolarossa said:
    im very new to the Word)I'm actually very passionate about Cristian life

    Amen, Jim!

    Via Dolarossa, thank you for your fellowship and sharing your posts. They do bless us.

    God bless everyone and your families!
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  13. Thank you brothers and sisters in Christ for the passionate and wise responses. I have been blessed in many ways in my life (and in retrospect even before I came to know Christ). One of the greatest blessings that I have received was making new friends through Christian weekend camps and so forth, and among these brothers are a couple of Pastors who have helped me on my journey. The very first lesson that I learnt was that the building people go to on Sundays is NOT the Church, and I fully agree and understand that I am the Church; a living stone. These friends have often spoken to me until early hours in the morning answering questions and yes, we have even had some very lively debates, often about doctrines, but thankfully when debating certain "hot" topics, when done in love, it doesn't destroy relationships, but I have found that it strengthens them. God placed these people in my life because He knew beforehand that I would face challenges when joining the "Church", and had it not been for His grace and His mercy, I might have given up on my quest for truth. We serve and awesome God!
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  14. Agreed. Not all of my children live close to us. Because of the distance they have their own church that that attend. One of the great joys in my and my wife's life has being able to baptize three of my grandchildren and the honor and respect given to me as I was invited by two church pastors do to just that in their church.

    Those men showed great love and Christianity toward us and I will never forget it.
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  15. My dear brother. Asking questions is not only permitted, it should be encouraged by any pastor. Any Pastor who does not want questions asked about the Bible does not have any answers and is afraid you will ask him something he can not answer. That my brother is the sin of Pride.

    A "lay" pastor only means that he did not attend a school of higher education in the Christian faith and uselly does the job for little or no pay. Uselly that is because the local church does not have enough income to support a full time pastor.

    However, the local church can "Ordain and license" this man and he will have the same authority as a full time paid pastor. The truth is that there are probably more "Lay" pastors and bi-vocational pastors out in the hills and byways of our country than there are paid full timers.

    My experience has been that these men tend to be extremely dedicated and faithful. They may not have the education to write essay's and books but they have a great heart for Christ which IMO makes up for any short comings of knowledge.

    My encouragement to you is that maybe it is something that you should consider. Keep reading the Bible. Study the Scriptures so that you can be approved as a workman who rightly divides the Word of God and not a novice, Why not volunteer to teach a Bible study class at your church?

    That would force you to study in depth a Bible lesson every Sunday as it would allow you to grow in knowledge and also whether or not you would be able to speak openly to others in a group setting.
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  16. What a blessing that had to have been.
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  17. You can not imagine!!!
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  18. when i so many times wanted to do what you did God told me that it was not the place of a sheep to correct a leader - so pray instead

    God also told me that He was speaking to them and they were not listening, so they for sure were not going to listen to me

    i understand your innocent question and am sorry for the aggressive reply you got

    i have known many others that asked innocent questions and got a similarly aggressive answer

    praying for you to find good friends here and irl who love the Lord with all their heart

    i do attend church but one thing i have noticed - scripture does not say go to church

    it says forsake not the gathering of yourselves together

    it also says where 2 or 3 are gathered in MY name - there am I in your midst

    so it is good to find believers to gather with, but imo it doesn't have to be a church

    imo, it could be a home meeting, prayer meeting - anywhere people gather in Jesus' name

    praying for you my dear friend

    God bless you
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  19. Very true it is not ever ok for a sheep to correct their shepherd however it was only a question to why only one of their so called Qualified pastors could do communion .

    That in itself is dumb!!

    However if He was not intending on a church then why Bother calling those to Preach and Teach and Equip the sheep?

    This is always a good thing especially when added to also sitting under the authority of a Leader, Shepherd, Pastor etc.

    More times then none, when one only meets in these small groups, they tend to not grow very much and get stuck in doctrines.

    Far too many people think they have the right and are called to judge God's servants as if it's their calling.

    Well it is a calling but it ain't Called of by the Lord! !

    Blessings my Dear Brother
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  20. In a word yes.
    May I offer to you the following info about The Revival Fellowship in South Africa.
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    water baptism
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    what must I do? As the name of our fellowship suggests, we stand for revival. Revival of peoples lives through the revival of the Bible salvation message.
    Our salvation message is naturally therefore taken directly from the pages of the Bible. All the simplicity of the Gospel message can be found in one Scriptural
    passage as spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
    remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2: 38 We have included here on our web site a few articles that deal with these key
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