47 Question 2

I did not mention the name of the group you referred to and had never heard of this group so I looked up their website and read about them.  It seems that this is a satellite system where one man seeks to minister to several congregations via broadcasts to different locations.  This, in itself, is odd.  In writing his epistles, Paul addressed several different local churches, such as in 1 Corinthians 1:1-2, “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”

The local assembly of believers comprises a testimony to the Lord in their particular area.  The local church is given the authority and responsibility to administer discipline if it is found to be necessary.  We get instructions in Matthew 18:15-20 which says, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Church leadership is local and there are requirements that need to be met in order to serve in a leadership role.  We read in Titus 1:5-9, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”  These vital qualifications must be seen by the local church so that the local leadership role is in order.

With that being said, I read the statement of belief of this group and found nothing alarming about it.  Their position as to salvation says, “Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.”  This is biblical, so it seems this group is a true Christian group.  Even at that, you should be careful to make sure their practices and teachings are scriptural.

If you should decide to visit this group, don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have.  They should be very glad to answer any question you may have.  Politely insist that any answers they give you include scriptural references.  It is the Word of God that is authoritative, not anyone man’s ideas or opinions.  You need to be a student of the Word so that you can discern any cult-like behavior or teachings.  Let’s read Acts 17:10-11 which says, “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  These saints from Berea were willing to hear what the Apostle Paul had to say, but they would search God’s Word to make sure that it was in agreement with the words of Paul.  We all need to take on that responsibility and examine the scriptures to make sure what we hear is compatible with what the Bible says.