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Independent Ministries

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What the can not discern will kill them. 6. Independent vs. dependent ... Pray for discernment to recognize difference between major versus minor matters ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Independent Ministries


1
Independent Ministries
  • By James A. Cress
  • cressj_at_gc.adventist.org

2
Last Day Prediction
  • Apostle Paul, speaking to church leaders
  • Take heed . . . For I know this, that after my
    departing shall grievous wolves enter in among
    you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own
    selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,
    to draw away disciples after them. Therefore
    watch . . . (Acts 2028-30

3
Greatest Challenge from Within
  • Attacks come from outside like wolves.
  • Persecution combines pain / opportunity.
  • The blood of the martyrs is seed F. F.
    Bruce
  • Why inside problems greatest challenge?
  • Aim draw away disciples. Destroy good fruit you
    labored so diligently to harvest.

4
1. Good Intentions
  • Many independent offshoots see problems in the
    churches and begin with an earnest desire to
    reform the church.

5
2. Poor Methodologies
  • Focus inward vs. outward
  • Intent is directed at reforming the church rather
    than winning the lost.

6
Outreach Method for Revival
  • If you will go to work as Christ designs that
    His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you
    will feel the need of a deeper experience and a
    greater knowledge in divine things, and will
    hunger and thirst after righteousness. --
    Steps to Christ, p.79

7
3. Sociological Product of Times
  • Age of Fierce independence
  • Question leadership
  • Reject authority
  • Postmodern Query How do I feel? How does this
    all relate to me?

8
Members have same attitude
  • These devoted souls consider it a virtue to
    boast of their freedom to think and act
    independently. They will not take any mans
    say-so. They are amenable to no man. I was shown
    that it is Satans special work to lead men to
    feel that it is Gods order for them to strike
    out for themselves and choose their own course
    independent of their brethren. - Testimonies
    to Ministers, pg. 29

9
4. React to perceived negligence
  • Why doesnt the GC do something to solve this
    problem?
  • Believe in monolithic top-down control
  • Want world church to resolve local issues
  • Some believe world church failed to appropriately
    discipline heretics
  • Backlash from ultra-conservative right
  • Beware either extreme

10
Temptation Go Independent
  • God has a church upon the earth who are His
    chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is
    leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and
    one there, but a people. -
    Testimonies to Ministers, p. 61

11
5. Appearance of Righteousness
  • Fenced-off Stream
  • 90 Pure 10 Poison
  • What the can not discern will kill them

12
6. Independent vs. dependent
  • Totally dependent upon other peoples money.
  • 12-15 million annually diverted from the mission
    of the church to unaudited entities.
  • Funding that otherwise would have gone to mission
    of building up the work.
  • Presumption Cannot trust church to spend the
    money wisely.

13
7. Distinctions to keep cashflow
  • First, subtle difference between church and
    ministry
  • More conservative
  • More concerned
  • More committed
  • More capable
  • Later, greater differences
  • Finally, heretical doctrines

14
8. Major in Minors
  • Small issues made great - Men will make a world
    of an atom and an atom of a world. -
    Testimonies to Ministers, p. 65
  • Pray for discernment to recognize difference
    between major versus minor matters

15
Flaw of Pentecostalism Over-emphasize smallest
gift
  • Perfectionism
  • Nature of Christ
  • Worship style and music
  • Women in ministry
  • Sensationalistic eschatology
  • Attack-based evangelism
  • Preach against others instead of for Christ

16
Uniformity not required
  • We sought most earnestly that the Scriptures
    should not be wrested to suit any mans opinions.
    We tried to make our differences as slight as
    possible by not dwelling on points that were of
    minor importance, upon which there were varying
    opinions. - Testimonies to
    Ministers, p. 65

17
9. Pseudo-Reverence - Ellen White
  • Quote obscure passages emphasis supplied
  • Fail to quote others
  • Appearance of education, devotion, spirituality

18
Abuse Misuse the Gift
  • I have been made very sad in reading the
    pamphlet that has been issued by Brother S. and
    by those associated with him in the work he has
    been doing. Without my consent, they have made
    selections from the Testimonies, and have
    inserted them in the pamphlet they have
    published, to make it appear that my writings
    sustain and approve the position they advocate.
    - Testimonies to Ministers, p. 32

19
Methods Lack Integrity
  • It will be found that those who bear false
    messages will not have a high sense of honor and
    integrity. They will deceive the people, and mix
    up with their error the Testimonies of Sister
    White, and use her name to give influence to
    their work. They make such selections . . . they
    think they can twist to support their positions,
    and place them in a setting of falsehood, so that
    their error may have weight and be accepted by
    the people. - Testimonies to
    Ministers, p. 42

20
Doing the Devils work . . .
  • Those who start up to proclaim a message on
    their own individual responsibility, who, while
    claiming to be taught and led of God, still make
    it their special work to tear down that which God
    has been for years building up, are not doing the
    will of God. Be it known that these men are on
    the side of the great deceiver . . .

21
. . . Doing the Devils work
  • . . . Believe them not. They are allying
    themselves with the enemies of God and the truth.
    They will deride the order of the ministry as a
    system of priest-craft. From such turn away, have
    no fellowship with their message, however much
    they may quote the Testimonies and seek to
    entrench themselves behind them. -
    Testimonies to Ministers, p. 51

22
10. Ignore Matthew 18
  • Reject Gods methodology for conflict.
  • Avoid engaging directly individuals with whom
    they have differences.
  • Take concerns directly to the church
  • Bypass the church polity (Board of Elders)
  • Tell the world!

23
11. Work secretly at first
  • Presuppositions dictate methodology
  • Secret information tends toward secret
    processing
  • Targets
  • New believers
  • Recently revived members
  • Emotionally vulnerable
  • Warn of potential persecution from pastor

24
12. Target New Believers
  • Doubt
  • Despair at moment when new members most need
    nurture and protection
  • Create alternative authority in vulnerable minds
    of spiritually immature

25
13. By Their Fruits
  • Church needs to be pure to win souls
  • Emphasize behavioristic performance
  • Refuse to enter kingdom and prevent others
  • Parasite lives off host

26
Identity of True Church
  • Jesus sees His true church on the earth, whose
    greatest ambition is to cooperate with Him in the
    grand work of saving souls. -
    Testimonies to Ministers, p. 19

27
Whose spirit controls?
  • When the truth abides in the heart, there is no
    place for criticism of Gods servants, or for
    picking flaws with the message He sends. That
    which is in the heart will flow from the lips.
    - Testimonies to Ministers, p. 88

28
Criticism curses the critic
  • Earnest workers have not time for dwelling upon
    the faults of others. We cannot afford to live on
    the husks of others faults or failings. Evil
    speaking is a twofold curse, falling more heavily
    upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He who
    scatters the seeds of dissension and strife reaps
    in his own soul the deadly fruits . . .

29
Changed by what we look for
  • The very act of looking for evil in others
    develops evil in those who look. By dwell-ing
    upon the faults of others, we are changed into
    the same image. But by beholding Jesus, talking
    of His love and perfection of character, we
    become changed into His image.
    - The Ministry of Healing, p. 492

30
14. Presumptive Claim Historic Adventism
  • Essentials The Sntials
  • Sola Scriptura
  • Sabbath
  • Sanctuary
  • Stewardship
  • Salvation by Grace
  • Second Coming
  • State of Dead
  • Spirit of Prophecy

31
15. How to Know Who to Trust
  • Credentials
  • Trusted Recommendations
  • Track Record
  • Associates

32
16. Create Big Lie with Cover-up
  • Matthew 28 Falsehood justified by the
    conclusion that the end validates the methodology.

33
cressj_at_gc.adventist.org
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