Cults, sects, and false religions.
Cults and False Religions
By David Cox
Let’s just define these for clarity. A church has to at least have a clear, scriptural plan of salvation. If the group, church, or principal leaders have doctrinal error on the doctrine of salvation, then it is a false religion. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, etc. are all false religions because they either do not believe in Jesus Christ as the unique and singular savior of souls, or because they add works to salvation. That correct, orthodox view of salvation has to be a key principle focus of the church to even begin to consider it as a good church.
Moreover there are churches that seem to have “lost their way” as far as the spiritual fight we are in, and they have taken the Don Quixote position of attacking windmills instead of the enemy. There is a saying that is an excellent guide here. “Major on majors, and minor on minors.” Salvation, holiness, evangelism, service, these types of things are majors. A church that minors on things that are not really very important, but they make them important because of some driving obsession with proving their point on minor matters is simply a bad church. At times this becomes difficult to discern the line. I believe it is very, or rather extremely important to stress the authority of God’s word, and to uphold and defend the inspiration of Scriptures. In my book, churches that think that holding up a KJV Bible answers all of that is just off base. Why? Because issues of importance WILL ALWAYS WITHOUT EXCEPTION HAVE A FOUNDATION IN SCRIPTURES, EXPOSITING KEY VERSES.Continue reading
A Clear Plan of Salvation
A Clear Plan of Salvation
By David Cox
There are probably hundreds of different valid presentations of the gospel out there. Looking into the actual Bible, we find Jesus presenting the salvation in various different forms. We cannot speak authoritatively about how Jesus witnessed because being God, he could very well discern perfectly the heart of the person that he was dealing with and emphasize what that person particularly needed. The best we can do is to imitate that as imperfectly as we can.
It can only be of Satan when God’s evangelists confuse and make salvation “hard”. The hard part of salvation is and should be belief. Belief is a coin with two sides. First one side is faith in the work of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. The flip side of the coin is repentance, giving up all hope that anything else other than Jesus’ work on the cross before the Father can do anything to get you to heaven. This includes any idea of personal works. We are not saved by a work of “faith”, but because we believe God’s promise and work of salvation through Jesus on the Cross. It is not “in us” that saves us, but rather what Jesus did that saves us.
At the same time we must insist that election is not what saves us, but our faith, as the Bible repeatedly insists. We are saved by grace (God’s giving to us something we don’t “merit” somehow) and this is obtained by us through the means of our faith, our believing God.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
While actual salvation is not within us, our faith is what God goes by in order to save us.
By Pastor David Cox
It is extremely sad to see so many hours that preachers and pastors preach in the pulpit over the years, and probably the least mentioned topic in all this preaching is what the preacher should morally be (his moral example), and what he should be doing in the ministry. It should be a great concern among all men of God, but unfortunately, there are few “biblical preachers“. Most seek what they consider best, and while they will beat horribly the cults and false doctrines of others because they don’t really respect nor highly esteem the Word of God, rarely will they hold themselves, their ministries, and their personal lives to the same standard as they demand from others. Unfortunately when a hypocrite stands before a crowd and teaches, the norm is that the crowd ignores what he says and becomes like what he is morally, a smart (and often Bible quoting) hypocrite. Although this is simply God blessing or cursing us on the basis of what we are, all of this is very firmly presented in the Word of God, and even so, we regularly ignore it (on the part of ministers as well as laymen).
ch16 The Example of the Man of God.
ch24 The Power of a Spiritual Example
It is important to understand that the Pulpit Committee is making decisions which will decide the spiritual welfare of that church perhaps for the next 15-30 years, and they may well condemn the church to spiritual ruin if they make an error. That should not scare us from undertaking the task, but it should make us very careful and prayerful in all that we do.Continue reading
By David Cox
Perhaps I should comment on the idea of an “abusive church”. An abusive church is a church that perhaps has orthodox doctrine but has practices and conduct that is not biblical, un-Christlike. Most commonly abusive churches are seen by their refusal to believe in and practice Christian liberty. In order for these people to control the brethren in a way that is advantageous for them, they also use unscriptural church discipline. By this I mean that they use tactics like public shame over issues that they do not have strong scriptural basis for, and they do it in an unscriptural way.
Let me digress with an example. For example, a pastor says that his members have to attend ALL church functions, and can only miss if they ask their pastor for permission first, and he grants it. A valid reason is that you are sick and dying in a hospital. Family reunions out of town, visiting another church, etc. are all invalid. The person ignores this imposed asking-permission structure, so the pastor now publicly says embarrassing things about the family, revealing private matters or joking in such a way as to cause the family shame, embarrassment, or discomfort on some level. Perhaps he removes the man from the deacon board suddenly, or removes either husband or wife from responsibilities or service in the church, because the pastor “has doubts”. The point is to use press to cause wayward members to tow the line. This psychological pressure is what makes them abusive. (Here I would exclude members who are serving, but the pastor or leadership removes them because of serious problems, such as marital separation, infidelity, or drinking/drug/sex problems. Also doctrinal heresy that comes to light would be a legitimate reason for removal.)Continue reading
Governing Principles in Church Work
By Pastor-Missionary David Cox
Church Work’s Governing Principles is a review of my concept of my philosophy of the ministry reviewing how to attack a good philosophy of ministry. When I was working on my masters in educational administration, I had to take a class called “Philosophy of Education”. Essentially it was a complete “philosophy” of how to educate, and the purposes behind this philosophy. Over the years of ministry (30 some to date) I have many times “figured out how and why” to do something in church, and I have made kind of informal rules.
For example, we do not allow our teens to invite other teens to our teen outings. That is because transportation is a problem for us living in Mexico City, but the real reason is because everybody almost in Mexico City CAN GET AROUND by public transportation. A parent comes and drops off their kids for the first time visit to our church in one of these teen outings, and the teen gets frustrated that we are “preaching to him”, so he takes off without telling anybody, and gets the metro back home. The leaders don’t know where he is, and he won’t answer his phone (being mad at us), and when they get back to the church, there is an irrate parent there wanting to know what happened to their teen, and we have no answers, nor do we know where the teen is.