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Church


Church

You are not to bad to come to Church

or too good to stay away.

Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

Mat_11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

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Death


Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church.

Rev_2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

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A Father’s Gift


The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother”

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it:” Eph. 5:25 KJB

“Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12 KJB

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Church Members


Floating members make a sinking church.

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A CHURCH THAT DOES NOT EXIST


William Andrew Dillard

The title is paradoxical. To say that there is a church is to say that it exists, but to say there is a church that does not exist is a contradiction of thoughts. Yet, I have read about such a church, and I am sure you have, too. In newspapers and magazines, it will not be unusual to read of “the Baptist church.” This reflects a thought pattern of the church being universal. Of course, expressions of “the Catholic church,” the Methodist church,” etc. are more nearly correct since Catholic and Protestant churches consider themselves to be universal. Catholic theology points to a universal, visible church while Protestants point to a universal invisible church.
So, to which of these lines of theological thought do Baptist churches generally subscribe? Neither! It is the Bible presentation that the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are both visible and local. Each church is totally independent under the headship of Christ Jesus. There is no ecclesiastical (preacher) authority. There is no hierarchy. There is no little church/ big church difference in the eyes of the Lord. All are local assemblies, answerable only to God, with the full weight and responsibility of carrying out the commands of Christ as though they were the only congregation on earth. The only headquarters of the Lord’s churches is in heaven. His churches have equal authority to win disciples, baptize them, teach them, and administer the ordinances according to the Word. A church simply cannot get any more independent than to have the independence God gave to it to represent Him on earth. But, a church can get a lot less independent by subscribing to false doctrines, practices, and acquiescing to the designs and schemes of men. The purpose of such is usually for the sake of “business advantage” and/or to capture congregational power to enhance economic, political, and strained theological activity that God never commanded or intended.
There is no such thing as a biblically recognized, universal church on earth whether visible or invisible! Jesus set in motion a local congregation and empowered it to do likewise in carrying out the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. I understand “Johnson Street Baptist Church” or a church by some other name that distinguishes it as a local assembly in a specific location or in a specified dedication of service. I do not understand nor will I accept the terminology of “The Baptist Church.” It is a church that simply does not exist.

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HOW DO PEOPLE START ATTENDING CHURCH?


 

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A friend Invited Me – 86%
Organized Visitation – 6%
Invited by the Pastor – 6%
Advertising – 2%

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The Lord’s Church


A Bible-reading church is an informed church.

An informed church is an interested church.

An interested church is an acting church.

An acting church is a serving church.

A serving church is the Lord’s church.

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FLAVORED COFFEE, LITE SALT, AND THE LORD’S CHURCHES


JIM HARRIS·FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019·

My wife tried an experiment year ago and brought home some coffee she had bought in one of those coffee shops. It was a “flavored” coffee (though, flavored with what, I don’t know). There was only one problem: It had so much “flavoring” in it, it did not taste like coffee. Now, I know how real coffee is supposed to taste (most preachers do), and I want my coffee to taste like coffee. This stuff had lost its distinctive “coffee” taste by being mixed with so many other ingredients.

This incident reminded me of what Jesus said to His church in the Sermon on the Mount. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Salt has a distinctive flavor, and all of the “lite” salts and salt substitutes in the world cannot match it. Can you imagine someone tampering with the flavor of salt, adding “extra” ingredients, in order to make it taste better? All they would do is cause it to taste like something other than salt.

I believe something similar is happening to the Lord’s churches and to the truths they are to preach. Men are trying to change the flavor. “Let’s not make church seem like church, and let’s try to sweeten those doctrines which taste so bitter to the lost and religious world” seems to be the attitude of the day. In other words, “Let’s try to change the taste of the salt.” Also, many churches have become so mixed with other ingredients that they have lost their distinctive flavor. (Sadly, it seems that some do not want the distinction that standing firmly for the truth will give them.)

By the way, I poured the “flavored” coffee out and made some coffee that tasted like the real thing. Jesus said of the salt that has lost its distinctiveness, “It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” And, I believe the Lord has done and will do the same with churches that refuse to stand for Him and the truth of His Word. May God bless us and grant us grace so that WE do not “lose our flavor.”

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PROPHESIED DAYS ARE HERE


(Understanding our day)

William Andrew Dillard

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matt. 24:11-12

The words of the above scripture were spoken by Jesus as He foretold conditions approaching the close of the present age. At that point in time, the church was being cared for by the personal presence of the Son of God. It was totally Jewish as it would be until sometime post-Pentecost. Notice the key words in Greek New Testament writing, their import, meaning, and fulfillment in the present day.

“False Prophets” is “Pseudoprophetes” “False or lying prophets.”
“Deceive” is “Planao” “deceit, fraud, lead one cunningly away from truth.”
“Iniquity” is “Anomia” “Not observant of rule or law; esp. that of God; anarchy.”
“Abound” is “Plethuno” “Multiplied; multitudinous.”
“Love” is “Agape” “Genuine love as for God and His work.”
“Wax cold” is “Psucho” “to cool by blowing (process of evaporation)”

Let us rephrase this precious verse with the definitions above: “Lying prophets shall rise up to cunningly deceive and lead nominal Christians away from truth. Due to the lack of their observing the teachings of God’s Word, spiritual anarchy will be multitudinous and the sweet, pure love for God and His work shall evaporate.”
For the first 1500 years of the Lord’s church, there was persecution from state religion. It never succeeded in eliminating it. So the devil changed tactics beginning with the Protestant Reformation. Now, the church would be counterfeited again, and again, and again practically without end. As those multi-viewed organizations permeated society, all claiming to be the Lord’s church, and engaging in evil and iniquitous practices, there would ultimately come the discouragement, and falling away by those who would rather listen to man than to search out answers from the Creator Himself.
Certainly, the conditions described by Jesus, and those evidenced by present day status appear to coincide. Who, then will stand in this evil day, and in that near day of our King’s appearance Whose question was: when the son of man comes will He find faith on the earth? Those who stand will be those who have sought the true answers; who are not content to hinge their eternal destiny with that of other religious sinners who may be as wrong as wrong can be. Certainly, the world is full of them, and they shall not stand when the Son of Man appears, but will cry for the rock and mountains to fall on them; to hide them from the face of Him Who comes.
To whom are you listening today? Is it the proverbial Dr. Whizbang, or the Word of God? Has your love of God and His Word waxed cold (evaporated)? It is time for each one to get into the Word. Let Dr. Whizbang answer to God for himself, which he most surely will, but he will not, cannot answer for you! You and you alone will do that!

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Feds Raid, Take Possession, and Bulldoze Large Church to the Ground!


Posted: 12 Feb 2019 09:17 AM PST

Dr. Dixon taken out of church during raid

Posted by Don Boys on February 8, 2019

Helicopters whirled overhead, snipers were poised on the roof of the K Mart across the street and on the church roof, and the street was full of people and Indianapolis City Police cars. Wow, surely terrorists had taken over the church and the good guys came to rescue innocent Christians. No, afraid not. The terrorists were all in uniform charged with taking control of a Baptist Church. Inside, about 30 people had spent the night as they had for 92 days but many others had gone to work so only 8 people along with pastors and associates praying at the altar were taken out of the church by police officials.

For the first time in American History, the Federal Government, under color of law, put a large Baptist Church out of the Gospel business. Well, at least they tried.

It was February 13, 2001 when 85 federal officials (FBI, ATF, etc.) supported by Indianapolis Police Officers (doing crowd and traffic control) raided the Indianapolis Baptist Temple (IBT), known as the 11th largest church in America, according to Christian Life Magazine. Dr. Greg J. Dixon was the long time pastor but his son Greg A. Dixon was now the church leader. The church was being raided not for unpaid taxes as almost everyone declared, but for permitting their school teachers (my daughter was one), administrators, etc., to pay their own FICA taxes. Thousands of American churches have always followed that practice.

It is interesting that the Marion County Sheriff’s Department under Jack Cottey refused to participate in the raid. Jack was a principled man who had also served in the Indiana House of Representatives where I had served.

The Indianapolis church leaders refused to handle the withholding since the government cannot force a church to be a tax collector: the lowest, most hated position in New Testament times. However, no one refused to pay taxes and no taxes were owed. It was simply the Federal Government, then run by newly installed President George W. Bush, letting everyone know that churches must kowtow to Washington or they would be put out of the Gospel business. Federal Marshall Frank Anderson was in charge of the illegal raid and was elected Marion County Sheriff in 2003, serving until 2011. Of course, the Feds had declared the church’s action to be illegal; consequently, the raid was “legal.”

We were seeing the assertion and application of might at the expense of what is right. The IBT discovered that Voltaire was right when he said that it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. The church was right; the feds were wrong.

Some local media people were in the church having spent many nights sleeping on the floor and church pews along with pastors from across America. Some of the media had characterized the church people, especially the pastors, as being “patriots” (gasp!), “militia” etc. Some even spoke of guns even though the pastors had made it clear that no guns would be permitted. and no violence would take place. But you can’t be too careful; these are Baptists—you know like John (the Baptist) or Jerry (Falwell) or Billy (Graham)—so an overwhelming force was ordered along with the snipers on the rooftops.

You can’t be too careful you know. Some of those Baptists might even thump their Bibles (KJV, of course) and that could be dangerous especially if the thumping were caught on television.
The raid was ordered by former two-term Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator and active Christian layman in the Assemblies of God and the now U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. John also wrote, “Let the Eagle Soar” and sang it after his speech at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2002—where both my son and grandson earned their doctorates. The song was satirically featured in Michael Moore’s movie Fahrenheit 9/11. While the lyrics are mediocre, and John’s voice is tolerable, I recommend that John not surrender his license to practice law.

The Christian school building, home to hundreds of students and the 2,000-seat auditorium on 20 acres of prime property, were padlocked and later bulldozed to the ground to make room for a new Charter School. Hundreds of Christian students and thousands of church members were now homeless—thanks to GOP President George W. Bush.

This case had been simmering for seventeen years when pastor Dr. Greg J. Dixon and his son and co-pastor refused to withhold FICA taxes on the church school staff. At the time of the raid, the younger Dixon was pastor and served as pastor until December of 2015 when Matt Roller was called to that position.

Ashcroft wrote a book after he was out of office and dedicated seven pages to the Indianapolis Baptist Temple tragedy. He alleged that the church was guilty of “tax evasion” but that is not true. He admitted in his book that the church employees paid their own taxes from funds “received from the church.” Ashcroft also alleged that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the church; however, that is another mistake: the Court refused to hear the case.

During the raid, Pastor Greg A. Dixon asked one of the marshals if he was not a member of a local Southside, Bible-preaching church that was not taking FICA out of the church staff’s salary—what the Indianapolis Baptist Temple was charged with. He refused to answer.

About that time, another marshal asked Dr. Dixon for the keys to his car that he promised to move to the K Mart lot so it would not be impounded. Dr. Dixon appreciated his kindness. The AP carried a story revealing that the church parsonage that had been the pastor’s home for 32 years had been taken by the feds. After the eviction, the media quoted Mrs. Dixon as saying, “Wait until you see me in my new home.”

All the principal people involved with the church were highly committed and principled people—not the rebels and anti-government trouble makers as presented by most of the media. Paul Harvey led his national broadcast with a fair and positive report of the raid and most of the other national media dealt with it with their normal critical spin. Congressman Ron Paul wrote a wonderful defense of IBT in his Congressional Bulletin.

About sixty of those who served in the church ministry were audited by the IRS, and it was concluded that they had no tax liability of any substantial degree and all had paid their own tax liability including both shares of the Social Security Tax. This of course means that the valuable property, built and financed over many years by dedicated Christians, was seized to satisfy a bogus tax bill that had already been paid.

Why would our government be so vicious and unethical and illegal? Because government is in the control business and true churches refuse to permit secular control since every theologian is aware of the lordship of Christ over everything. Federal prosecutor Douglas Snoeyenbos was quoted as saying that the “higher ups in the U.S. Justice Department are out to totally destroy the pastor and the Indianapolis Baptist Temple.” He also expressed personal dislike for Dr. Dixon even though he had never met him according to the church attorney. Well, I’ve never met Snoeyenbos and I don’t like him or his name, but then he can’t help that.

The church has a memo from the Treasury Department in the mid-eighties (date illegible) signed by an IRS agent declaring that the pastor of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple “spoke out against the IRS and other government agencies in general” which shows the feds have no respect for freedom of speech, religion, etc. It is perfectly legal and ethical to speak out against various agencies. After all, one can abhor an administration or agencies without hating his nation.

I often spoke out on television and wrote about government intrusion in personal lives and into church matters. I even testified at a congressional hearing in Washington dealing with the IRS attempted takeover of Christian schools. I then published it in my first book, Liberalism: A Rope of Sand! I also wrote a scalding letter to the FBI about their treatment of Dr. Dixon regarding another incident. I wonder if the feds have a file on me. Or you.

U.S. Attorney Robert Metzler admitted in federal court in Indianapolis on August 23, 2001, that the Indianapolis Baptist Temple owes no taxes if they would only file for an exemption, which shows that this was not a tax issue—but who will control the Lord’s assembly, God or the IRS. He said the same thing in oral argument at the Seventh Circuit on May 11, 2000. U.S. Attorney Metzler said twice before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal on that same day that “an uncontrolled church is untenable” in America today. But then, thousands of churches in America conduct their affairs just like the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. Will the government begin closing those churches? Are the churches left alone because they are so docile?

Frankly, I am not concerned with an uncontrolled church but I am very concerned about an uncontrolled government. George Washington said, “Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Our founding fathers knew what current officials refuse to recognize about federal government: A government out of control is like a forest fire that destroys everything in its path.

So, our government planned a dangerous raid on God’s church against innocent people because the pastors had spoken against pornography, the IRS, and leftists in general and had done so for decades. Moreover, few local pastors, even Baptists, stood with the church much to their shame. Many of those pastors were and still are my friends but they showed cowardice rather than courage at that time.

Hundreds of students in their Christian school and thousands of church members had their rights attacked by their own government officials who had sworn to protect those rights. The large, expensive buildings were bulldozed to the ground. Students were no longer taught by committed teachers and hymns of praise no longer echoed along East Street. Alas, the enemy had won!

But that was the prelude. The story continues. Like the Phoenix (the pagan Greek myth), IBT rose from the ashes. The Indianapolis Baptist Temple is even stronger than before and has multiplied its ministries many times. After the raid, the church immediately moved services to a large new public high school auditorium about five minutes from the original church and school buildings.

The wounded church rented similar buildings for five and one half years. Finally, Pastor Greg A. Dixon led the church to lease a large sports building near Interstate 65, only five minutes from the interchange. The church renovated the complex and continued their work of world evangelism.

After serving as pastor until 2015, Pastor Dixon resigned to be followed by a member of the church, Matt Roller. The IBT is alive and well and the disgraced government officials responsible for the illegal raid are (mostly) now has-beens with a badly soiled record. Others have died.

Many will declare that the officials were only doing their job, a defense that is a non-defense. Principled people will never do wrong even if it costs them everything. Bush was wrong to permit the raid. John Ashcroft was wrong to authorize it and should have told Bush that he respectfully should not carry out the church raid. U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson should have informed Washington officials that he would not participate in taking a church away from its members. The 84 other federal agents should have refused to be involved. And the Indianapolis Police Department should have refused federal orders including individual officers. There is nothing wrong in resisting an authority to obey a higher authority. It’s better to be hated for being right than to be honored for being wrong.

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