Be the church that Jesus built

How to be the church that Jesus built  
How to be an apostate church
1. Be the church of the New Testament. "Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3, 4).   1. Teach that it is ok to be different from the New Testament church. Recognize human churches as ok and define yourself as just another denomination.  
2. "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away" (Heb. 2:1).   2. Introduce changes slowly so people don't notice. If there is too much objection, back off and wait a while.  
3. Please God, even if people do not like it (2 Cor. 5:9-11; 1 Thes. 2:4, 5).   3. Try to please men to make the church more popular.  
4. Worship "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23) "finding out what is acceptable to the Lord" (Eph. 5:10), "serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:28, 29 see Lev. 10:1, 2).   4. Introduce entertaining forms of worship not found in the NT, such as music instruments and clapping, because people like them. Teach that it is ok to add to the worship.  
5. Christ delivers us "from this present evil age" (Gal. 1:4). "Be saved from this perverse generation" (Acts 2:40). "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8).   5. Be progressive and follow the spirit of the times. Call those who object "traditionalists".  
6. Maintain unity based on the word of God (John 17:20, 21). Be of the same mind (1 Cor. 1:10). "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3).   6. Emphasize superficial unity with much room for diversity. When someone objects to something as being unscriptural, accuse him of being a trouble-maker and causing division.  
7. Avoid divisive false teachers who use smooth words and flattery (Rom. 16:17, 18). (See also Gal. 1:6-10; 2 John 9-11; Heb. 13:8, 9).   7. Use smooth words and flattering speech to introduce new doctrines to bring the church up to date and make it more modern.  
8. Accept the Scriptures as equipping us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:14-17).   8. Do not view the Scriptures as sufficient or normative. Teach that the church is led dynamically by the Spirit so it can adapt to new circumstances.  
9. No private interpretation of Scripture (2 Peter 1:19-21).   9. Everyone has his own interpretation of Scripture.  
10. Rule-making and self-serving religion are sinful (Col. 2:8, 20-23).   10. Make up your own rules. Worship any way you want.  
11. Recognize the New Covenant as a "pattern of sound words" (2 Tim. 1:13), a "form of doctrine" to which we have been subjected (Rom. 6:17).   11. Ridicule those who believe that the New Testament provides a pattern for the church by calling them "patternists".  
12. Do not go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). Abide in Christ's doctrine (2 John 9). "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed" (John 3:31).   12. Make fun of those who require biblical authority for all religious practices by calling them "legalists" and "traditionalists".  
13. Jesus said: "You shall know the truth" (John 8:32). Jesus came to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).   13. Claim that no one can really know the truth.  
14. Jesus: "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Disciples observe all that Christ commanded (Matt. 28:20). Spiritual people accept Paul's writings as commands of God (1 Cor. 14:37).   14. Accuse those who want to carefully keep the commands of the New Covenant of being legalists. Teach that what is in your heart is important, not whether you keep commandments.  
15. Remember that worship based on commandments of men is worthless (Matt. 15:8, 9).   15. Teach doctrines of human origin. Celebrate religious holidays not found in the NT.  
16. Some "will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:3). Elders "hold fast the faithful word," teach "sound doctrine" (Tit. 1:9), silence those who teach error (Tit. 1:11). Preach "sound doctrine" (Tit. 2:1).   16. Do not emphasize doctrine but emphasize personal devotion. Limit your teaching to things that are so broad that just about all religious people can agree and will not be offended.  
17. God's grace is not license to do wrong (Jude 3, 4). "Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4).   17. Emphasize grace to such an extent that one does not have to be too concerned about obedience, doctrine or practices because God will forgive all our sins.  
18. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom, but he who does the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21-27).   18. Teach that salvation is by grace alone and that salvation does not depend on what we do.  
19. "A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ" (Gal. 2:16).   19. Or, go to the other extreme and teach that one can earn salvation by works.  
20. "A man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).   20. Teach salvation by faith only. Then you can be friends with everyone.  
21. Baptize for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Teach that baptism saves (1 Peter 3:21) by grace (Titus 3:5).   21. Teach that salvation does not occur at baptism.  
22. "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak" (1 Cor. 13:34). "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man" (2 Tim. 2:12, 13).   22. Encourage women to speak in the assemblies and to teach men in Bible classes.  
23. "Let deacons be the husbands of one wife" (2 Tim. 3:12). An elder must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6).   23. Do not have deacons but have 'ministers' including men and women. Rather than elders have a "leadership team/committee" composed of men and women.  
24. Teach that divorce and remarriage is adultery unless one divorces a spouse for fornication (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:9).   24. Do not apply what Jesus says about divorce and remarriage. It upsets too many people.  
25. "Note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17).   25. Invite denominational preachers to speak in the assemblies and for lectureships.  

Roy Davison

Published in The Old Paths Archive