We like getting readers’ e-mails but they often write when they have problems, often with their church. What do you do when you have to leave your church because of false teaching? It happens to many believers. We have parted company from several churches. Here’s my response:
Good morning Susan, Be of good cheer! You are far from alone. There is a worldwide remnant church which does stick to scripture.
When I speak at conferences we often meet people, from all over America, who say much the same thing. The story goes something like this: "Our family were part of a local fellowship of which my grandfather was a founder member. It was a solid, Bible-believing church. Then the pastor retired.....
"A new team took over and suddenly we had rock music, a 'Purpose Driven' agenda and a 'Seeker-Friendly' church. So called. In fact if you disagreed with any of this they were not friendly at all....We were eventually told we were troublemakers and had to leave."
Much the same once happened to us. We parted company from a Baptist church because, among other things, we had brought in materials on creation, a family member had witnessed to a Catholic on a Bible Society walk and we were told, by an elder's wife, that we were "subversives."
I think the job of the church is, in a way, to be subversive. There's a lot in both church and society today that needs to be opposed, subverted and generally have the light of scripture shone into its dark corners.
Doing this doesn't make you popular. The real Gospel Truth is not what most churches want to hear, or even understand. That's why we need teachers like Dr. Arnold Fructenbaum, whose Ariel Ministry site is on our links, to aid our discernment with his scholarly commentaries. Here's the link: http://www.ariel.org/
We recommend all those sites we link with. We also have hundreds of articles, by Pat and myself and other commentators, in our archive. You can use our search engine, top right, and put in key words.
Calvinism doesn't stand up to even a brief comparison with what the Bible actually teaches. Here's a great rebuttal of the Calvinist false doctrine: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Doctrines/Calvinism/calvinism-hutson.htm
We also believe that without an understanding of the truth of the creation story in Genesis the rest of the Bible is hard to correctly discern. We recommend Creation Ministries International: http://creation.com/ They provide superb teaching aids, books and DVDs and you can also sign up for a free regular e-mailed newsletter. It is a great antidote to the evolutionary claptrap broadcast endlessly by the BBC - the Biased Broadcasting Corporation.
We thoroughly recommend Dave Reagan's Lamb and Lion Ministries and his TV program Christ in Prophecy, aired round the world. It is far and away the best thing on TV and a wonderful, inspired and informed ministry: http://www.lamblion.com/
For fine, all round discernment, Bible-based commentary and masses of teaching materials, go to http://www.thebereancall.org/ Again, you can sign up for a regular free e-newsletter. We need to stay informed as endless variations of deception are constantly being spawned in the church.
The late Dave Hunt, one of Christianity's finest writers and speakers, wrote two books exposing Calvinism with titles like "What Kind of Love Is This?" The fact that this earned him a barrage of attacks from Calvin's deluded followers told you all you need to know about their mindset. Basically, don't confuse us with the Biblical facts- we already know the truth....
Our friend Dr. Larry Spargimino of South West Radio Ministries, for whom I sometimes broadcast and speak at prophecy conferences in America, has written an informed article on when and how to leave a church that has gone astray and set up a house church. Here is it, on our website: http://www.thefreepressonline.co.uk/news/3/80.htm
Of course, this requires male leadership and the right men are in short supply, unfortunately. However, a few people could certainly meet for Bible study in someone's home. That's how many churches start. Our own fellowship began when a small group of people, two of them now our elders, had to leave the United Reformed Church when it started to ordain homosexuals.
They progressed from meeting in homes to renting a British Legion Hall, at which stage Pat and I became part of it. We all agreed that money should not go to pastors, nor to buildings but to mission. We said that if God wanted us to have a building He would have to provide it free. Rather amazingly, in our part of the country where land is highly valuable, that is just what happened.
We follow the early Christians' practice and do not have paid preachers. Pastors who are paid for full time work tend to take over churches and that is not Biblically right. There should be a plurality of elders. They, plus senior men who are able, deliver the Sunday teaching. This keeps us on our toes!
We get requests from others like you, Susan, saying things like:"Where can I find a good church?" Basically, there are precious few. I would forget virtually all mainstream denominations for a start, as they usually have erroneous ideas about Replacement Theology, dismiss Israel's future role in prophecy and are even growingly anti-Semitic.
They are, for the most part, a disgrace to the name of God and an insult to the Lord. I do sometimes speak at Baptist Churches and independent fellowships that invite me in America and, in Britain, have even twice spoken at Church of England meetings. These were rare occasions as the vicars had a love of Israel, which is unusual in the Anglican churches. People ask me where I speak: Anywhere I am invited, in America, Canada or Britain. Contact me for speaking dates at firstname.lastname@example.org
If people are visiting London we direct them to Tony Pearce's church: Bridge Lane Christian Fellowship: http://www.bridgelane.org.uk/
Tony is one of the best informed people in Britain on end times prophecy, Israel and much else. All his teaching is worth reading and listening to. I do not think I would have a single point of disagreement with Tony!
That's enough to be going on with. The truth is still out there if you search. As for where to fellowship, well, you may have to content yourself with meeting with a like-minded group of friends for a while. Or if you are within striking distance of Tongham, Surrey, on the fringe of Aldershot, Hampshire, we would be glad to see you at our fellowship: http://www.yeshuaspeople.com/http:
All our Sunday messages are filmed and you can find some of them on our site. Other materials, including my DVDs and copies of the books Pat and I write, are found on our web shop: http://www.thefreepressonline.co.uk/shop.htm
With our love in the Lord,
Alan (and Pat.)