Defending the faith, ecumenism and all faiths together

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Why should Christians defend the faith?

The Alpha Course -Toronto Blessing -Pensacola

False unity

 Why should Christians defend the faith?

A very well known verse in scripture says "Jesus (the I AM) is the way the truth and the life".
Which part should we leave out? the verse goes onto say that  "No one comes to the Father except through Me".
If we take any element of who Christ by interpreting the bible as we want or making up in our own minds who Jesus is, then, no one will come to the Father.
The game of Chinese whispers can change a saving message into a nice message, but not the right and true message.
Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17:17-20  “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Jesus also said in Matt 28:18-20  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,“teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
And in Luke 24:46-49 we read "Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 “And you are witnesses of these things. 49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Did Jesus say here to do certain things ? Did Jesus intend for anything to be left out?
Later we read in Acts 2:40-46 "And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”Then those who gladly received his word were baptised; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,"

Do we not see in Acts the evidence that the commandments of the Lord to His first disciples/Apostles were Obeyed. Yes. They were given teaching (Doctrine) that had to be followed and passed onto the churches, they were to wait in Jerusalem to be impowered to be witnesses by the Holy Spirit.

Doctrine is both belief and action teaching that we are to Love is nothing in and of itself we must show love by demostrting it and we must speak love by teaching that there is only one truth.
In Eph 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers:  12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

1 Cor 13:6 says  "Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth";

 Jude 1:3-4 says "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

The point is when cirtain ungodly men come in our midst and bring in false teaching (in this case about Christ)
we need to get the sword out not a piece of string.
Contending earnestly. These words describe and teach what the Christian is to do for the faith and how he is to do it. The Greek word rendered "earnestly contend" is epagonizomai. This compound word is very descriptive. Consider W. E. Vine's comments concerning "earnestly contend:"
     "Epagonizomai: signifies 'to contend about a thing, as a combatant' (epi, 'upon or about,' intensive, agon, 'a contest'), 'to contend earnestly,' Jude 1:3. The word 'earnestly' is added to convey the intensive force of the preposition" (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
     Some linguists point out that the primary physical action of "earnestly contend" was often applied to the skilled wrestler. His object was both defensive and offensive: to avoid being thrown and attempting to succeed in throwing his opponent. Involved in Jude's spiritual use, there is definitely much energy and aggression in epagonizomai.
There are always going to be biblical teaching issues to sort out and there are always going to be fallings out whilst they are being debated and we must always find ways to be reconciled if we have fallen out over an a particular teaching that we might disagree with. But the fact remains our conduct is as much about doctrine as is the 6 literal days of creation. Please note it is in the interest of  Bible Teachers to study well, as they will be judged more highly (James 3:1).
1Cor 11:1-22 context  and overview-Being imitators of Christ -  Paul was exorting the church at Corinth for keeping the tradition given to him by the Lord (not man made onse) headship. But now Paul says this  

16 If anyone intends to quarrel about this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God.
17 Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse.
18 For in the first place, when you come together as a church I hear there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
19 For there must in fact be divisions among you, so that those of you who are approved may be evident.

Firstly note there are certain practices in the churches that are to be continued as taught by the Lord to the apostles. Here it has to do with how the love feast was not very loving as some where not waiting for the poorer members of the body  as we read in verse 21 each one takes his own supper ahead of the others, and one is hungry and another is drunk.
secondly therfore the church is not following the instruction (the traditions -teachings of Christ) as a result there are divisions and Paul knows that there will be such divisions. This is how those who are approved are made known.In other words those who know what the particular instructions are and will make sure they they are being uphold.

So why should Christians defend the faith? To uphold the teachings of Christ as past down to His apostles, by doing so the integrity of God's word remains sound. Hense we have sound doctrine not may be this and may be that.

The Alpha course -Toronto blessing -Pensacola

When Hilary and I were involved with a Pioneer church (Gerald Coates kingdom now/Dominion teaching)
We as naive Christians went for the Toronto thing. You see whether we like it or not as Christians we all have to start somewhere and what ever church circles you happen to be in when you begin you walk is going to influence what you do and what you believe and follow.
Someone once said to me as do many ignorant brothers in Christ. They say "that if a banker wants to know what fake money looks like study and hand the original"  The problem is if you are deceived you don't know you're deceived, if you have only handled false money and believe it to be genuine, it is likely that when the true money is given to you, that you will believe that it's a fake. So it was with us.
But by God's grace and some kind Christians who where willing to risk loosing friendship in order to provide factual and scriptural teaching on why such things as the Toronto Blessings and Pensacola where we left that stuff behind.  

The Alpha course

We should all be willing to share our faith with non believers. But when someone comes up with a course that is supposed to help us to share what we believe and introduce someone to "Christianity" what is wrong with that?
The thing is if material provided does not actually provide the simple meaning of the gospel which should include mans condition, his hopeless condemned state and therefore the need for the Saviour Jesus Christ then the material is useless. The problem is that because some do get saved as a result of such a course that some say  that that is a good enough reason for it being "used of the Lord"  well lets say a person got saved at a nightclub would that be the place you would keep going back to be discipled and to live out your Christian life? I hope not.
The thing is those who propagate Alpha will include those who believe the Roman Catholic teachings (RCT) (which are not biblical) and those believing the RCT will go away unchanged still believing what they did before, why? Because the Alpha course (AC) is a christian concept course it's not their to challenge anyone so people remain unchanged. So before long one realises that a ecumenical gathering could be encouraged using the Alpha course as the tool to keep a false unity on the boil.
The other fact is that the Toronto thing was going on and certain people at Holy Trinity Brompton including  Nicky Gumbel(NG) .NG is pro ecumenical. Below is a picture with him meeting John Paul 2nd in 2004

See another link here regarding NG connection with Rome.
Toronto blessing -Pensacola
Part of the AC is the Holy Spirit weekend.(HSWE)
It may have changed a little now. At the time of the AC Toronto Blessing TB was going on, so what could be more a better way to convince people that God is real than to have real Christians behaving like out of control loonies as a result of receiving 'the Blessing' Then those leading the AC could point these weird manifestations and say  "look what god is doing".  So this was what had to be aimed for at the (HSWE). The thing is if someone truly repents and believes as the word of God says then one does not have to wait for a particular weekend for the Lord to impart a spiritual gift to a member of His body.  
The thing is self control is a gift of the spirit the people at these TB events where always encouraged to let go and let god and as a result they were out of control, as was I.
In fact the word says a person will be born again and will be added to the church when they believe and the baptism of the spirit may or may not happen at the time one believess. This is something a Christian must pray to God for and ask Him for and it is something the Lord does not something you do. See Luke 11 and verse 5-13, Acts 8:14-20 , Acts 19:2-6
(See my recommended reading in side bar)

If the Alpha course is an introduction to Christianity then why is it not an introduction to Christ?
Why where and probably do so many report to have relieved the blessing at the Holy Spirit weekend yet had not repented and believed in Jesus?
If it's such a success why do Roman Catholics still believe the same things as they did before they went on the course?
I would not recommend it, in fact I would discourage it's use. As Christians we should just keep it to the word of God and explain the message of the gospel clearly and simply, explaining what condition  a person is in, that they are dead in trespass and sin, under God's wrath, condemned to Hell and only Jesus can save them, that God has demonstreted His Love whilst we we yet sinners Christ died for the us and that through Him is new life and eternal life by the Holy Spirit etc.
If someone believes, then baptise them in water ASAP. Explain they have been added to the church and invite them to come and fellowship with you  as often as they can. Take time to disciple them.

For further reading on the Toronto and Pensacola thing click links

False unity
There are many prophecies is scripture that have come to pass, one in particular is unfolding today, it concerns a women who rides the scarlet beast (Rev 17 &18). Babylon the great (Rev 18:2) is an anti christ power consisting of one system of religion and government. All the push towards a European union and all faiths being united is what we see happening around the world today.

See recommended link to  "A women rides the beast". by Dave Hunt.

The fact is there is one true Church under the headship of one Christ, Jesus. The true church is united by one Holy Spirit and sanctified by the word of truth. Christians are not to seek to have a common faith with other faiths but live by the faith described in the bible having been demonstrated by the life of the apostles and their inspired writings found in the New Testament..
Jesus said in Matt 24:4-5
“Take heed that no one deceives you.  “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Other recommended reading and listening.

Breaking down the barriers (ecumanism teaching)

The mixture

The Alpha Course

The Gospel of Unity