February 17, 2014

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Church Dividers: Tithing, Speaking in Tongues, Calvinism plus more!

I will be leaving the blogging world for another extended leave as I delve into some disturbing trends that I am witnessing before my very eyes. Things that are tearing apart churches or at least causing a lot of confusion and bringing about a ton of questions.

It’s quite disturbing to see the confusion that is brewing within our churches in this present age, but it’s confusion that has existed since the early church. With John MacArthur tackling many of these same topics in his “Strange Fire” conference, many of us are beginning to wonder if we are in the midst of strange fire within our own church walls.

This is not a complete endorsement of John MacArthur’s strange fire, but there are many points I agree with and points I disagree as evidence by my listing of Calvinism as a divider of the church and John MacArthur is a well known Calvinist.

But here are some of the questions being posed to many of our churches today:

Tithing

  • Are today’s Christians required to tithe 10%? 10% of our gross income? Net income? Or is 10% even required?
  • Are we cursed if we don’t and receive blessings if we do?
  • The churches that do teach tithing, are they actually following the Old Testament way of tithing?

Tongues

  • Is speaking in tongues still biblical for today’s Christians?
  • Is speaking in tongues a special prayer language as well as a known and understood language if it is practiced?
  • Is tongues meant for self-edification for edification only of the church body?

Baptism/Filling of the Holy Spirit

  • Is there a difference between baptism of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit?
  • Which one is continuous and which is one time only? Or are they both continuous actions that take place in believers lives?
  • Does one need to tarry or ask to receive the Holy Spirit?
  • Is the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit always speaking in tongues? Or something else?

Miracles

  • Are believers expected to perform the same miracles as Christ did? Or even the Apostles did? Is there such a thing as temporary spiritual “sign” gifts?

Calvinism

  • Does God choose who becomes saved without man exercising his free will to believe in Him?
  • Does God predestine many to Hell?
  • Did Christ die for the sins of the whole world or only for the “elect?”
  • Are Calvinists truly secure in their salvation?

We all need to carefully examine the scriptures and do as those in Berea did back in Christ’s time who were commended for examining everything that was taught to them:

“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:10-11

The question then becomes is there room for disagreement in your church? At what point does one decide it’s time to move on or is it possible to serve the Lord and remain in the same church if one finds themselves at odds with some of the teachings? Several points to ponder in my upcoming articles on these topics.

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Updated 10/30/2014

© 2014, Carlotta Morrow. All rights reserved.

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1 Comment »

  1. hickman says:

    we each have to “work out our own sanctification” in the above. We need to read an search the word for our own answers. But alas many want a EASY WAY, with little effort and thinking. Plus many who “one to one tutor” a new believer want and expect them to follow things their way. That’s why a small group is best for a new believer to be in as they get to see more than one way God guides and find out how God is guiding them.
    There is not any excuse for those who have internet and want to learn more as radio programs, podcast of sermons and TV programs that are the meat of the word and focused upon male, female, single, gay/ lesbian, parent, addition, abuse and divorced and others are all present.

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