An interested reader named Ike posted a comment on this site a few months ago and I offered a reply. Recently he returned to counter my reply. Since I don’t want to tie up the comments section with discussions and counter replies I’ve made a separate page where Ike and I can have an exchange.
Below is Ike’s original message. In the comment section below that will be our exchange. Other comments are welcome.
I was a Southern Baptist who is now an Independent Baptist. What you describe as “Phariseeism”, I call it choice. I choose to attend a church that honors God in music, version of Bible (KJV is the only “non-profit” Bible), dress, and worship. Is it for everyone? No, but it is for some of us. I resist the contemporary crowd for my PERSONAL beliefs.
My question would be: Who forced you to attend this church? We make choices based on our values and convictions, if yours and mine differ, then we are different. Nothing wrong with that, it is what makes us different. Rather a simple thought, but this tends to fire the liberals and our opposition into anger. It appears it has angered you as well. I will apologize if my beliefs anger you, but please choose how you vent your anger. I hope a lost person does not read this and responds by thinking all churches are full of legalistic crazies!
If you would study all denominations, you would realize that all churches upheld the same standards sixty years ago. The message has not changed, why should the messenger? We see people saved almost every week, so the message still works. I was attending a church where the new preacher relaxed on the “values-based” parts of the ministry. Come as you are is a spiritual idea, not a physical. The girls wore next to nothing and he “preached” from a newer version of the bible. He taught on love and forgiveness, but never on the consequences of sin or separation. Both are in the Bible. We had two young ladies end up pregnant and drop out of high school. In three years, the attendance went from 160 on average to less than 75. Why? I felt we were no longer honoring God in our worship.
All of this to say if you have found a better way, great! I hope you stick with it. Otherwise, I would recommend you refresh yourself with Matthew 7:5.