Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

WHOA! The Aardvark's BACK!
I've missed being here, but I have been busier than I have EVER been before. Our screenprinting operation has mushroomed, and I have had to be a major squeegie-jockey to keep up. As I do NOT wish to hire outside of my household at this time (to avoid multiplied Imperial entanglements), we have maxed ourselves out, and are looking toward getting an automatic press to multiply our efforts.

No doubt you have heard of the Philadelphia Four, aptly appelled by Joseph Farah.
(Hi, Joe. How are you?)
These members of a "Christian Ministry" attended a homosexual rally, preached the Word of God in a peaceful and non combative way, and are facing 47-some-odd years in prison for their troubles. Hate speech. This is a hateful attack on First Amendment
rights, certainly. The preachers assert that "The early church preached in the open air, in the marketplace." That's as may be, and I do not agree with the prosecution of these guys, but neither do I agree with their tactics.

They are wrong.

How can a Christian of some 34 years standing say such a thing? How can I not stand in solidarity with my brothers?

Because they are wrong.

They are preaching against the EEEE-VILS of homosexual practise.

Yet they are still wrong. Wrong on at LEAST two counts. First, there is this whole "Christian Ministry" thing. God in Christ Jesus authorised ONE Christian ministry.

The local church.

Not Repent Now. Not the 700 Club. Not the Billy Graham organisation.Not even Focus on the Family.

The New Testament authorises only ONE Christian Ministry. The local church. Anything else is presumptive error. It may be a GREAT idea, but it is only man's idea, and is thus WA-A-A-AY less than God's best. Try actually READING the thing beyond your "Upper Room" devotional. All these "para-church" organisations are man's addition to God's Pattern, and will all ultimately be as successful as Uzzah was when he reached out to keep the Ark of the Covenant from tipping. He didn't play by the rules, either.

Second, they were doing theological bear-baiting. Back to New Testament authority for stuff: Not even Paul when confronted by the rampant idolatry of the Athenians, not EVEN Paul attacked these people. Acts 17 shows that Paul actually found a place of AGREEMENT with them, and proceeded from that point to teach them:

Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are very religious.
Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Paul acknowledged their devotion, and THEN taught them. He did not quote anti-idolatry verses from Jeremiah at them. He did not wag the bony finger of indignation at them and intone:"You worship idols...YOU'RE GOIN' TO HELL!".

Paul met them on their turf, introduced them to the Creator God, and His Son Jesus Christ, and a local church was born. Athenians believed, were baptised and the work expanded.

Be very clear on this. Paul preached CHRIST.
The early church preached Christ, and Him crucified.

This must be understood. We must preach the answer which God has provided: the Good News of Jesus Christ. We must preach it from the platform God Himself has authorised: the local church. Not just in the building...certainly in the marketplace, but the message and the platform must be God's, else we will be doomed to failure.

Look at American Christendom after fifty-plus years of evangelism being dominated by
not-the-church organisations.

We're ALMOST as successful and unified as the Republican majority in Washington.

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