I’ve had them! You’ve had them! I would think everyone has had them!
And I would also think that once we became informed we felt a little silly for the preconceived notions we had.
This is what happened to me when my husband and I started dating and I found out he attended a Missionary Baptist Church! YIKES!
You see I was raised in a general baptist church and I had always heard that missionary baptist thought they were the only ones going to heaven. And they didn’t think you could lose your salvation, “once saved, always saved” is the phrase they use! And my favorite one of all, missionary baptist think you can live any way you want to and you will still go to heaven.
If the answer is true for all these questions then why wouldn’t everyone want to be of the missionary baptist faith?
I mean how cool is it that you could drink strong drink, fornicate, commit adultery, steal, kill, covet, break any and all the commandments and STILL get into heaven.
Provided of course that God has ACCEPTED you into His fold as one of His children.
After being a member of Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church for the past 5 years I can tell you why people aren’t standing in line!
It’s a little thing called church discipline.
What is church discipline you ask.
While I tried to put it into my own words, I failed terribly, so I started researching articles and found the following to be exactly what is to take place with church discipline.
What is church discipline/excommunication?
At Mt. Sinai, God gave Moses a long list of laws. The purpose of those laws was to set aside the people of Israel as holy, and make Israel a nation that followed and feared God. The law also contained specific penalties for those who broke the law. These included punishments such as monetary restitution, expulsion from corporate worship, corporal punishment, and even death.
God’s instructions to the church are similar, but in a different context. The church does not have the authority to enforce a law or punish an offense like a civil governing authority has. The church only has the authority to discipline within the context of the church body. The church and its members are called, just like Israel, to be set apart and to follow God’s standards. The punishment for disobedience, however, is a gradually escalating discipline within the church, culminating in removal from fellowship—excommunication.
In Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus gives the guidelines for confronting a brother in Christ about an offense. First, the offended party is to speak to the offender alone, explaining the situation and the wrongness of the action. If the offender is dismissive and unrepentant, the offended person is to return with one or two witnesses. Hopefully, the offender will repent and ask forgiveness, but if not, the issue is to be made known to the entire church. The last recourse is for the church to treat the offender like “a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17).
This is the only system for church discipline that the New Testament gives. The Bible does not say that the offender is to be humiliated from the pulpit, gossiped about, disowned, or even shunned outside of church. The most extreme punishment a church can give is to remove the offender from fellowship and treat him like an unbeliever. How are we to treat unbelievers? While we are not to have close relationships with them (2 Corinthians 6:14; Proverbs 12:26), we are to point them to Christ (Acts 26:18), pray for them (James 5:16), and gently correct them (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth give testimony to the power of church discipline. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, Paul confronts the church for allowing a member to remain in their fellowship while he was living in adultery with his father’s wife. Paul instructed that the man be delivered “to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5). The man was obviously unrepentant. He had flaunted his sinful lifestyle before the church. The best recourse was for him to be expelled from the fellowship. Apparently, it worked. In 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, Paul exhorts the church to welcome back an offender who had responded contritely to church discipline. In fact, Paul told them to comfort the man lest he be “overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.”
Second Corinthians 2:8 gives the desired result of church discipline: “to reaffirm your love for [the offender].” Church discipline is not to humiliate or control a person. It’s not about anger or self-righteousness or even recompense. Church discipline is designed to protect the corporate body of Christ from unrepentant sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-7) and to encourage someone living in sin to renew his or her relationship with God (Galatians 6:1).
The bible teaches in Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Also in John 31:8 Jesus explains to Nicodemus what man must do to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
John 3:1-8 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
2 Corinthians 5:17 -18 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 Peter 1:13-19 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
God has promised us eternal life if we are born again Christians. For a Christian to lose salvation, eternal life would have to be taken away. God would never break His promise to His children.
NO, NO, NO, we DO NOT think we can live anyway we want to, such as , drink intoxicating drink, fornicate, commit adultery, steal, kill, covet, break any and all the commandments and still go to heaven.
Following is the Church Covenant where I attend.
By becoming a member of Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church, we agree to live our lives by the following Covenant:
Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
Which brings us back to church discipline.
I hope you have found something in all this that will help you along the way.
Please do not be deceived by false prophets, false doctrines, easy believism, non-traditional and non-biblical baptism that is sometimes found in many large, modern and non-denominational churches today.
A non-denominational church is any church which is not part of a larger denomination. Many non-denominational or non-traditional churches of today hold to a wide variety of beliefs. Many wish to direct their ministry and teaching of the local church without interference or control from without.
Most of the time when members choose to leave a biblical, denominational, non-traditional church, it’s because they no longer wish to follow the strict doctrines of that church. They no longer want to hear how they are living in sin, or breaking God’s Commandments.
They do not want to hear the ugly truth about hell. They do not want their children to hear about the eternal fire they will burn in if they are not saved, born again, by God’s wonderful grace for fear they will be scared.
They want church and life to be easy. They want to live the way they want to live, not the way God commands us to live.
Therefore, they choose to leave the safe confines of a true doctrine, biblical church and seek out a more traditional modern church. Where they choose to conform with worldly ways, a more modern way of living. Or, sometimes they will form their own church with their own set of doctrines and laws.
However, there is something to be said for churches that have stood on a solid foundation for hundreds of years. The members of these churches have held true to God’s law on biblical principles, true doctrine, and The Ten Commandments. They have held true to church traditions and old-fashioned values, and they are fervent in passing down these laws, traditions and values.
God and His teachings are the same today as they were thousands of years ago. God’s law will NEVER change no matter how hard some try to change it.
MAN’S LAW WILL NEVER SUPERSEDE GOD’S LAW!!!!!!
The bible teaches that hell is real.
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
The story of the rich man and Lazarus
Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: