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To whom it may concern

With whole denominations moving into open rebellion against God and His Word, believers are being left shaken and unsure of how to respond.
 

 An open letter to whom it may concern


Dear brothers and sisters,
I write this letter with a great concern regarding the many and increasing sounds of bleating from ‘sheep without a shepherd’.
When we experience shaking and instability, we naturally grab for a handhold on those things that we regard as fixed, reliable and immoveable.
However as we read of political, economic and social problems and the quakes impacting upon the major institutions in our nation, we are also seeing the collapse and error within those mechanisms of organised religion that have existed over many, many centuries.

Faulty Foundations


Any architect or engineer worth his salt will look beyond the cracks in an upper storey, and examine the foundations of the affected building, because it is there that these other problems find their source. And as the Psalmist wrote: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3).
The current crisis within much of institutional churchianity is due to problems which have carried through from as far back as the early 'church fathers' and into the 3rd/4th centures through the Emperor Constantine – problems which even the Reformation didn’t rectify.
The subsequent Augustinian concept of the ‘visible’ (flawed) and the ‘invisible’ (pure) church created a mindset which has permitted and even condoned sinful behaviour in the churches. Meanwhile the model of evangelism which has prevailed over the great span since has been that of ‘get them into the church’ rather than ‘introduce them to Jesus Christ’.
This has resulted in vast swathes of avowed unbelievers in both pulpits and in the pews. Even today and very sadly we are hearing the parable of the ‘wheat and the tares’ (Matt 13:24-29) being used to justify a passive ‘shrug-of-the-shoulders’ acceptance of gross error and outright heresy which is manifesting in open rebellion against God and the authority of His Word.

Unbiblical models


Added to this, the totally unbiblical model of clergy and laity – the two-tier ‘professional/amateur’ system – has been allowed to develop and flourish; protected and defended. (Indeed there are many Godly men who serve the church as pastors and teachers with a servant heart: however at least one blog commentator suggests another side to the coin.§)
If we add to this the (also unbiblical) hierarchy which ‘presbyterianism’ has developed into within the denominational structures then we have a recipe for the serious problems which we are currently experiencing.

Maintaining faulty systems


In the present and grave crisis facing the Church of Scotland there is no pattern emerging; no response of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature. There are almost as many different reactions as there are ministers. In a situation like this it is incumbent on each believer to seek the Lord’s guidance at a personal and individual level. There is absolutely no point in blindly following any one person's lead as each is merely faced with having to decide for himself (or herself). What is right for one person may well be the wrong path for another.
Albert Einstein defined insantity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Yet a large part of the present situation (and those previous) is the repeating tendency of leaders to merely (re)create  (or join) an alternative set up based on exactly the same system that has just failed.
(See articles: Something biblical; or just more of the same? and  Presbyterianism - Scottish style.)

How should we respond?


The need of the hour is for every believer, whether minister, elder or church member to seek out those true believers in their immediate circle – irrespective of denomination (or non-denomination), background and affiliation – and join with them in fellowship, learning, discipling and prayer. And to do this on any day of the week and in any situation: in the home, in the shop, office or workshop; in domestic or workplace settings. (Remember that when the first disciples met 'on the first day of the week' what this refers to is actually Saturday night.)
The thrilling pictures which God’s Word gives us of the early church can be replicated today. But to allow this to happen there needs to be a reformation in what we currently see as the official mandated patterns for Christian fellowship, teaching, prayer and praise. (In all of this ‘remembering the Lord’s death until he comes’ is not circumscribed in a restrictive and extra-biblical fashion as some church laws suggest: all that is needed is a group of true believers and some food.)
We may have to wait and see how this could pan out; but one thing which is sure – the more we draw away from worldly systems and mindsets that have invaded the church and conform our living the patterns set out for us in the Bible, the more we will find ourselves in the centre of God’s will for His church and His people.
Paul wrote: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:2). And it is in that place at the centre of His plan that we can claim all the wonderful promises of God in Jesus Christ.

Back to the Bible


It may require some risky ‘out of the box’ and ‘into the Bible’ thinking (Rom 12:2), but the greatest risk of all is to merely look for a solution in the machinery which has so evidently failed and continues to do so.
Our confidence and calling
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:19-25)
Our manner of living...
[The disciples] devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No-one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need (Acts 4:32-35).
..in difficulty days:
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
You sympathised with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (Heb 10:32-35)
Our commitment and expectation
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Heb 10:36-39)
Revelation and responsibility
You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."
The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
(Heb 12:22-29)

Dear brothers and sisters, we are living in extraordinary and tumultous times. The faulty foundations are being laid bare; and we are witnessing a collapse, in fact and in confidence, of all that man has built – whether it be religious, societal, political or economic. Whether it be the very latest innovation or the traditions of centuries, anything which is not based on God and His Word is utterly untrustworthy and will fail us; most likely at our hour of greatest need.
For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
(1 Cor. 3:11)
Colin Wilson: Editor, Christians Together

Footnote: If you wish to make any response to this letter please contact me directly.
 

§ ‎  "THE great necessity today, at least in the West, is not for new denominations and Church meetings but for the Church to see herself as a true society that functions as a society and thereby creates a Christian social order that will transform the world.
There is no reason why the Christians in any community should not start doing this. All that is lacking is belief in this vision and the will to follow it.
The ministers I have seen for the most part are simply not interested in this vision. Their interest is in the Church worship cult, the meetings and the worship services, which are mostly clergy performances. What this shows is that there is no real biblical vision for the kingdom of God, only for the Church as a mystery cult. It is this faulty understanding of the role and calling of the Church that we must seek to overturn."        Stephen Perks
(Author: The Editor)


Articles in this group

An 'exchange of views' on the Pre-trib rapture
During the 'QnA' session with Tony Higton on endtime events Donald Cameron responded at length with rebuttals to Tony's writings to which Tony has replied. (Author: Donald Cameron / Tony Higton)

Deception in a Dumbed-down environment
Our fast-food culture could be robbing Christian believers of the ability to discern between truth and error. (Author: The Editor)

Of the Spirit or not?
During his lifetime Derek Prince wrote on the subject of phenomena in the church and the need for discernment under the title: 'Uproar in the church'. (Author: Derek Prince)

Will there be a sudden, secret Rapture?
A highly-influential interpretation of Scripture evolved in the mid 19th century teaching that believers will –without warning – be removed from the earth prior to Jesus return. But is it scriptural? (Author: Tony Higton)

Sound Doctrine for the Remnant; a resource for believers
A free 'Christian library' resource offering teaching material on DVDs and CDs. The ministry aim is to strengthen 'the Remnant' in the days in which we live. (Author: Christians Together)

Is the church heading underground?
With increasing pressures from new legislation and growing constraints on freedom of speech, how will Christians and churches respond? (Author: Christians Together)

What to look for in a church
As more and more believers are finding that existing church structures, practices and teachings are inadequate and/or flawed it is important to examine some basic characteristics of meeting together. (Author: Christians Together)

What we are not hearing from God's Word
Joel Rosenberg offers some notes on prophecy and eschatology; subjects which he believes are vital and yet not being widely taught. (Author: Joel Rosenberg)

Peter made the connection: we must do the same
When the Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost, the The apostle Peter ‘joined up the dots’ between that event and its relationship to God’s prophetic word. The same perspicacity is vital in our day. (Author: Christians Together)

Christians are being robbed of their faith
Cessationist teaching is robbing Jesus’ disciples of a fully-orbed faith and can result in Christians turning towards dangerous ‘remedies’ on health issues. (Author: Watchman)

Study Bibles: danger handle with care!
A Study Bible can be a very useful and convenient tool in exploring the Word of God. However there is a very real and unavoidable danger when using one. (Author: Christians Together)

When Jesus Returns
Every believing Christian holds the view that Jesus is to return. The 'when' is beyond question: only God knows. However the how and why attract a range of views. (Author: The Editor)

The (Coming) Millennium
A chapter extract from an excellent little booklet entitled 'The Coming Saviour and The World's Crisis' by a Scottish lay preacher and former City Missions' Superintendent. (Author: William H. Shanks)

Satellite Christian TV - Blessing or Danger?
With the spread and reach of Christian TV broadcasting we need to ask the question whether all that we see and hear is trustworthy an true. (Author: Christians Together)

Putting a stop to Cessationism
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit has, and continues to be a subject of much controversy, mis-understanding and abuse. In a day when the Christian church needs to be all the God intends for her, Ray Borlase defends his corner. (Author: Ray Borlase)

Clericalism is killing the church
While there are many sincere and conscientious believers in pulpits who are labouring diligently in their calling, the unbiblical clergy/laity divide is killing the church. (Author: Watchman)

Occult spirits in the church?
A mature believer writes of his exposure to 'bizarre behaviour' in the church; and of leaders who ignored the warnings and silenced the expressed concerns. (Author: DN: a personal testimony)

I will set a Plumb Line amongst My People
When the foundations are faulty it is pointless to fiddle with the superstructure. The problem needs to identified and remedied before the building can be soundly restored. (Author: )

It's right to allow calls to gay ministers
Amongst all the hoo-ha surrounding the Church of Scotland’s decision on gay clergy, the folk of Queen’s Cross were and are – at one level – totally within their rights to call Scott Rennie. (Author: Christians Together)

Once saved; always saved
The 'Platypus Challenge' series kicks off with the question: 'Once saved; always saved'? (Author: The Editor)

What is Next for Rick Warren?
Roger Oakland sees the drive for 'peace and unity' as the bait which will draw Christian churches and believers into a multi-faith mix. (Author: Roger Oakland)

Q 'n' A sessions after Sunday sermons?
The apostle Paul advised his audience to 'check him out'. Surely contemporary preaching should be subject to the same scrutiny? (Author: Christians Together)

Sexuality, eschatology, Israel: and falling leaves
A recent letter from a believer outlined these issues as important when looking for a spiritual home amongst the range of churches and denominations. They are vital issues in our day. (Author: Christians Together)

Countering the Insider Movement: a new film
The newly-released film 'Half Devil: Half Child' is a response to the tendency to compromise God's Word in order to reach those of different religions and cultures. (Author: Christians Together)

Voting: the great church splitter
‘One person; one vote’ may be the preferred option in a democratic situation but it has no place in the body of Christ. (Author: Christians Together)

Facts about Islam
Dr. Peter Hammond outlines the normative progression of Islamic influence and behaviour in countries in relation to the demographic statistics. (Author: Christians Together)

Ten things everyone needs to know about Islam
Dr. Emil Caner sets out some of the basic facts regarding what is by some, judged the fastest-growing religion on the planet. (Author: Dr. Emil Caner)

Obstacles to Spiritual Growth: An Overview
An introductory session to a 6-part teaching course on the 'blockages' and difficulties which disciples of Jesus face in the road to maturity and righteousness. (Author: Christians Together)

The Platypus Challenge
A previous article related to those ‘awkward’ (Platypus) verses which do not fit comfortably within some traditional theological frameworks. This present article sets out a mechanism to address the issue(s). (Author: The Editor)

Platypus Verses
Every belief system has its pet doctrines and dogmas; but some of these need to be challenged. The exception proves – or disproves– the rule. (Author: Christians Together)

Wycliffe Woes
The problems afflicting Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) are continuing to run over the concerns that basic words such as ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ have been removed in order not to offend Muslims are growing. (Author: Christians Together)

Truth, error and deception
The world with its deceptions and error is a dangerous place for any Bible-believing Christian to be: sometimes it is even more dangerous in the church. (Author: Watchman)

Will the church be all-conquering before Jesus comes back?
Two different and opposite theological systems both see the church as coming to assume a dominant position over the nations; but is this view biblical? (Author: Al Dager)

Something biblical; or just more of the same?
In the present collapse within society and within the church there is great potential: the potential for rebuilding from the foundations or merely seeking to restore that which has failed. (Author: Christians Together)

Rick Warren builds bridge to Islam
Al Dager of Media Spotlight magazine looks at the issue of compromised faith as 'America's Pastor' Rick Warren works towards syncretism with Islam. (Author: Al Dager)

Passion Week/Last Supper/Traditions
Chris Hill speaking on the events of Passion Week. He speaks on the Last Supper and the nature of that meal, the question of which day was Jesus crucified and touches on the problem of 'traditions' (Author: Chris Hill / Christians Together)

Are we really caring for one another?
Has the body of Christ succumbed to the common view that the primary provider of welfare and care for believers is the secular state rather than the church of God's people? (Author: The Editor)

Reformation document is damaging the church
A document drawn up by the Westminster Parliament in the 17th century has profoundly influenced the Reformed churches since that date; biblical in part only, it is severly damaging the church today. (Author: The Editor)

Reformation; Sacraments; Babies and Bathwater
Subsequent to the ecclesiastical upheavals of the 15/16th centuries, many Christians who are sick today are turning to highly-dangerous spiritual practices. (Author: Christians Together)

Off Message: attacks from the inside?
Lost in Translation? Modern user-friendly Bible versions; or paraphrases; or corruptions of God's Word? You choose. (Author: Berean Research Institute)

Depression and the Christian (2)
Depression is a problem from which Christians are not immune. However the response to and 'treatment' of the malady should be markedly different from those of the secular world. (Author: Christians Together)

Depression and the Christian (1)
Jesus said that He those who were to follow him would enjoy life in all its fulness (John 10:10). In this context should Christian disciples suffer from depression. Johan Tangelder has written on the subject. (Author: Johan D. Tangelder)

Prophecy fulfilled: rumours of wars arising
Much of the prophetic passages relating to future events have been reduced to the point of meaninglessness leaving the body of Christ weakened and unprepared. This article seeks to speak into that void. (Author: Wilfred Hahn: Eternal Values Review)

A situation; a request
A recent letter to Christians Together sets out a situation and makes a request. Perhaps you can help; or maybe you are in the same situation. (Author: Letter to Christians Together)

What shape the church?
With the failures – in a variety of forms – within much of institutionalised churchianity many believers are now looking critically at a range of underlying issues. (Author: Steve Taylor)

Leaven in the lump, and tares amongst wheat
The parable of the wheat and the tares is sometimes mistakenly offered as a biblical justification for the resigned acceptance of error in the church. The problem has an ancient root. (Author: Unknown)

When everything shakes, in whom do we trust?
Widespread error and apostasy across the spectrum of organised churchianity has caused many believers to question of what or whom to trust. (Author: Christians Together)

David Pawson's Fireside Chats
In a completely new venture David Pawson is broadcasting 'Fireside Chats' with the fist focussing on the riots in Britain in 2011. (Author: Christians Together)

Don't read this...
Warning: clicking on this link could result in damage to your status, raise your blood pressure, cause your knee to jerk and challenge a lot of what you have been taught (Author: Watchman)

Is there anything wrong with Rob Bell's gospel?
J. Lee Grady suggests tha the controversial book 'Love Wins' by very popular author Rob Bell celebrates God's love but drifts dangerously into Universalism. (Author: J. Lee Grady)

The 'Left Behind' doctrine relaunched
With a fanfare of publicity the 'mega best-selling' Left Behind series of books is being re-launched.The question is whether today's Christians are taking their doctrine from their Bibles or from popular fiction. (Author: Christians Together)

Christian Survival Resource
A section of the Christians Together website aimed at being a resource for Christians in the 21st Century facing church fragmentation and false teaching. (Author: )

Kingdom Now teaching: beware!
With many movements it is difficult to define exactly what they are and believe. This article is a recent example of what Kingdom Now theology teaches. (Author: Example of Heresy)

Thank God: someone has said it at last
It is very very sad that it needs to be said. It's also very sad that no one has said it before. It's only an American who could say it: at last someone has.. (Author: J Lee Grady)

Kundalini spirits in the church?
Andrew Strom has expressed strong concerns about what he sees as the worst invasion in church history of deceiving spirits into the body of Christ. (Author: Christians Together)

The Shack; huge help or subtle heresy
In our microwave dumbed-down culture are enquirers and Christians helped or led into heresy by the easy-read attractions of 'Christian' novels and allegories? (Author: Watchman)

The 'Emerging' Church and Straw Men
The (so-called) Emerging Church presents a confusing picture, and offers huge possibilities for misunderstandings as Christians debate 'church in the 21st century'. (Author: Christians Together)

Disarming of The Church
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe." The words of a 18th-century politician with relevance for the church of the 21st century (Author: John Green)


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