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What do we do with people who are at different levels of sanctification? We preach the Word to them like Jesus. That Word includes strong, repeated, NEW TESTAMENT, instruction about sins of all types. Some of these sins are mentioned more than others due to their destructive nature. Sexual sin is one of them. And yes, people are fallen and struggle with temptations of all kinds. But a failure to preach the Word clearly, concisely, thoroughly will result in people who â€śjust arenâ€™t bothered by that particular sinâ€ť, even those God mentions over and over (sexual sins). Repentant people when tempted wrestle privately due to their new shame God has given them about their sin. Unrepentant people donâ€™t have that gift from God yet and need to hear the Word about that sin. Bold, comfortable sinning should prompt the minister to reevaluate his preaching, not reevaluate the Holy Spirit. To then say the Holy Spirit has changed and clearly FORBIDDEN BY GOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, life-destroying sins are now akin to Israelâ€™s shellfish restrictions is bizarre.
Since we know faith comes by HEARING the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and we know the Holy Spirit will convict the conscience of sin after this hearing (John 16:8), rather than lecturing the Church these men should take a moment and look at their ministering skills. Have they delivered the Word on these topics? Are the unrepentant people unrepentant because of the silence of these â€śpastorsâ€ť? Or worse, is sin being â€ścelebratedâ€ť? If I had a church full of prostitutes, I would be rejoicing that they came to hear the Word, but they would hear what the Word says about being identified by the glaring sin that enslaves them. If they were still unmoved, they would be earnestly WARNED of their eternallity in that place of torment. Their complacency and comfort in their glaring sin would be a sign of my failure as a minister of the Word. To make a bizarre comparison of Israelâ€™s Old Testament dietary law to CLEAR, often repeated New Testament commands regarding sexuality, is almost laughable. But penning a blog demanding that Godâ€™s clear, concise Word and His Holy Spirit be â€śreimaginedâ€ť to compensate for their ministerial failures is a sad sign of the times.
To be honest, I've tried to avoid reading anything associated with the Crystal Cathedral (cc) because of heresy. I don't think they ever had the Biblical message of sin, Christ's complete & perfect payment for that sin, and our deadness without Him. That wouldn't film well on TV. But cc's cash flow was strong with the self esteem false gospel for a season. Alas, competition was stiff and the hip church growth guru's competed directly with them, pushing them to bankruptcy. I think they've sold the crystal palace to Mr. Shoemaker's eucharist worshipers. Perhaps Mr. Shoemaker will now be a regular speaker in the sacramental cult he seems to prefer over Christ. Unbelievable! Paul's words in Galatians are prophetic for those who turn from the true Gospel to "weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage". Mr. Shoemaker is leading this once great fellowship back to Roman bondage, in a known heretical "megachurch", while professing to be a Bible-believing pastor. Unbelievable! Thank you for shining some light on this. It's simply unbelievable the compromise in today's church!
Does Shoemaker worship the eucharist as a god? That's catholic teaching. Does he worship Mary as co-savior with Christ? That's catholic teaching. Do the sacraments save you from hell and not faith in Christ as the Bible says? That's catholic teaching. I escaped catholicism 2 decades ago and am sickened that once great Bible fellowships are sliding into it. Mr. Shoemaker's favorite, St. Charles church, likely had a eucharist worship session just prior to his dropping in, where you kneel and stare at the wafer, displayed in a golden chalice, and you pray to it as a false christ. It's a complete rejection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God and His FINISHED work on the cross!! Mr. Shoemaker should be removed from the Bible fellowship or the fellowship should renounce Christ and embrace this catholic nonsense outright. Having it both ways will certainly spell judgment for Grace Brethren fellowship.
Pastor O'Neal, congratulations on leaving that fellowship! You can know with certainty that our Lord Jesus Christ would not want His name on that liberal, Christ-minimizing, pope-promoting, ecumenical mess that is the new Grace Brethren Fellowship!! You can stand tall with the African Anglican churches that left their "fellowships" over women bishops and homosexuality promotion. We need more Pastors that will stand for the Gospel!