“Requirements” for Church Membership?


“Over the course of the last three years, I have been to 30 “Christian” churches. Only one of these would I consider joining. Even that church which had the essential doctrines of salvation and sanctification correct–required formal church membership and water baptism in order for a person to be fully accepted into the life of the church. Jesus accepted anyone who believed in Him. Shouldn’t we do the same? I see these requirements as the first step in trying to control people, to lord it over others’ faith, when God did not give these requirements for local church membership. I already am a member of the church based on my belief in Jesus. As a believer, I am already baptized in to the death and resurrection of Christ (the only spiritually efficacious baptism). I am a new creation in Christ, holy and righteous in Him. As believers, our activity is to believe in Jesus and who we are in Him, and love God and people and ourselves, and be led by the Spirit of God in our spirits, and spread the Gospel and be salt and light in this dark world. I think making formal local church membership and a water baptism ritual a condition of full acceptance into church life leads to legalism, and leads to the death of true spirituality. A few years ago, when I felt far from God in both faith and morality, I went to the church and felt uplifted and cleansed. Now I go to church and I feel like I am with people who give God one hour a week, instead of the entire week. What do you all think?”

–Curtis Smale

It All Boils Down To This


 

Spiritually, everything boils down to this: having faith in the God-man Jesus, crucified on the cross for all sins, and resurrected, for our salvation; loving God, and loving and forgiving others as yourself, as Jesus loves; believing and following the Word and Spirit as a redeemed child of God, by His grace; and eagerly looking forward to Jesus’ Return and Our Father’s promise of Heaven–our destiny.

–Curtis Smale

Believe in the God-Man Jesus as Savior–Crucified for All of the Sins of Everyone, Buried, And Resurrected; Love with God’s Love; and Forgive, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, as a Child of God, Who Is Your Heavenly Father


If I needed to sum up what Christians and churches should be, these three things would be it.

Of course, there is Bible study, prayer, evangelism, worship and fellowship, and many other things, but based on the Bible, if I could pick three things that are really needed, these would be those.

Today’s churches focus on Lordship Salvation False Gospel, attendance–large crowds, theologically deficient ego-rock for songs, Family focus (what about all the single people like me?), Money and Entertainment and Politics.

My guess is Jesus is ready to spit many of them out of  His mouth after getting a taste of what they are doing. (see the book of Revelation)

Curtis Smale

Who Are The Biggest False Teachers/Preachers?


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The biggest false teachers/preachers/churches are: the Roman Catholic Church (some within this church are saved, if they trust in Jesus alone without relying on any good works), The Lutheran Church (which I grew up in), (and almost all Reformed and Calvinist Churches), Billy Graham, John MacArthur, and John Piper.

There are many, MANY other False Gospel Teachers who teach that SALVATION comes by ~repenting from sins~ and a ~commitment~ to ~lifelong discipleship~. These all teach WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS salvation. But the Bible says that salvation is a FREE GIFT received through faith in Jesus.

People think these churches and preachers are conservative and respectable, but they are deadly. Jesus said: “MANY false prophets will appear and DECEIVE MANY PEOPLE.” (Matthew 24:11), and Galatians chapter one puts -two- damnation curses on anyone who preaches a False Gospel.

The Gospel is found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

Notice that there is no mention of repentance of sins or discipleship included as the way to be saved. These are NOT part of the saving Gospel.

The Bible clearly says that salvation is “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)

Everyone who believes in Jesus alone, without relying on his or her good works to be saved, has everlasting life. (John 6:47: Most assuredly, I say to you, he [or she] who believes in Me HAS everlasting life.”)

–Curtis Smale

Crude, Simplistic Christianity


So many ideas in the Christian church today about living for God are simplistic and foolish. Many things are not “either/or.” Yes, our lives are to be lived to God’s glory, but that does not also mean that we do not need comfort, and do not need to have our needs met. We do. The simplistic and shallow, and loud, black-and-white ideas of many in the church today are immature and almost inhuman, and it is exasperating when these extreme, unstable, and unspiritual people set themselves up as “teachers” for others. Often, these people have never suffered or gone through extreme difficulties in life, and so, to them, “suffering” is nothing more than a word with nine letters.

–Curtis Smale

“Why Are American Churches So Anemic?”


Two of the great deficiencies in modern American churches are: a lack of the sense of the holiness and majesty of God; and also, a lack of the sense of sin and confession of sin, which is essential in practical progression toward holiness and sanctification. The modern American church is interested in money, and therefore large numbers of people, customer-pleasing doctrine, and entertainment. But that is not the biblical purpose of the church and this is why some of the most spiritual people are turning from the circus of the modern American church to draw nearer to God personally and in small groupings, to pursue spiritual growth in Christ.

–Curtis Smale