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Sarah70

Bible Fellowship Study A Ecumenical Movement?

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I was recently invited to a local church, for a ladies Bible study on Revelations. I was told to go online to register because it wasn't held by the church, another Baptist Church, not my home church which is also Baptist. I went to the site Bible Fellowship Study and I registered, however when I clicked out of the registry articles popped up on my screen from ladies who left Bible Fellowship Study because they felt it was a ecumenical movement. Should I attend or Stay FAR away. Also should I bring up the issue with my neighbor who invited me, it is her home church hosting it. One last question should I also call it to my Pastors attention because many ladies from my church are also attending. In my heart of hearts, I feel that BFS is silently creeping one church unity into the Baptist church under the guise as a harmless Bible Study....HELP!

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I have attended Bible Study Fellowship  studies.  I do not believe they are an ecumenical movement.  They are not trying to "join" all denominations together.  They are simply trying to get women to study the Bible without denominational leanings.  However, they used to use the NIV as their text.  I don't know if they still do, but one thing I am sure is that they are not using the KJV.  Also, I heard subtle Reformed Theology leanings in some of the teaching.  SO, I don't warn anyone away from BSF on the grounds of ecumenicalism, but those other two issues.  I know some women who went to the studies and simply used their KJV instead of the NIV, they do not "make" you use the NIV, you just have to do some deciphering on some of the questions because they are written based on NIV wording.  If you know to look out for the Reformed Theology ideas that might pop up, I don't really consider that an issue either.  I have been considering going because the studies are well written and very good, but I haven't decided yet.  When I first took the studies I wasn't KJV-only.  I certainly preferred it.  But now I am KJV-only and the idea of having to work around NIV lessons is kind of disheartening to me.

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This is what I found and why I was leery of attending. On The wiki page it states this about them:

Bible Study Fellowship (also known as BSF) is an international Christian interdenominational or parachurch fellowship of lay people offering a system of structured bible study. It was begun in 1959 by Audrey Wetherell Johnson, a British evangelist to China.

When you "click" on Interdenominational it takes you directly to a page about Ecumenism.

It also states it is a parachurch organization and when you click on parachurch fellowship it too says it represent ecumenism..

Then I found the below references to BFS:

http://www.withchrist.org/bsf.htm

 https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/bsf-bible-study-fellowship-going-contemplative-going-off-the-narrow-path/

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2011/08/bsf-truly-ecumenical-fellowship.html

http://watch.pair.com/bsf.html

 

 

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it has been probably five or six years since I was involved and it has probably changed.  unfortunately organizations can start out very solid, but over the years fall away.  typically what happens is that in an effort to attract more people they make concessions that weaken their stand.  not saying this is what is happening, but it is a possibility.  I don't know who wrote the article about BSF on wiki, but I do know that Miss Johnson was a missionary to China, not an "evangelist."  It sounds like whoever wrote it has an agenda.  but like I said, it has been several years since I've been involved and things may have changed for the worst.

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Hi Sarah70, I can understand why you would be trepidatious about joining a bible study such as that.  "Interdenominational" is a word that throws up huge red flags for me! I (personally) prefer to study and have study fellowship with others who believe the same things I do, that's why I joined online baptist and consider my beliefs and understanding of God's word to be most in line with independent fundamental baptists. The "world" now days has a "form of religion" out there which is sweeping not only the US , but the world.  Their goal (I believe from what I've read)  is to form a one-world-religion.  For instance, the pope talks about how "all faiths have the same God" and we know that not to be true!  Another example is of the various TV evangelists who have SOME sound doctrine, but not all, nor even most of their teaching comes from sound doctrine.  The evil one is a trickster, satan knows the bible too... notice in Matthew 4 when he attempts to tempt Jesus... he uses scripture in Matthew 4:6, but notice he twists the scripture, he doesn't give the full scripture, and he doesn't use it properly.  Of course Jesus knew better, and Jesus withstood satan's tempting.  Now if the evil one was bold enough to try to tempt Jesus, you can bet he will try to tempt us too by using scripture also!!! That's not to say all bible studies are bad, no, not at all! God wants us to study His word! (2nd Timothy 2:15). But I personally would not join into an interdenominational study group unless I already had a very good grasp on the topic they intended to study and could refute what some other "denomination" had to say .

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This is what I found and why I was leery of attending. On The wiki page it states this about them:

Bible Study Fellowship (also known as BSF) is an international Christian interdenominational or parachurch fellowship of lay people offering a system of structured bible study. It was begun in 1959 by Audrey Wetherell Johnson, a British evangelist to China.

When you "click" on Interdenominational it takes you directly to a page about Ecumenism.

It also states it is a parachurch organization and when you click on parachurch fellowship it too says it represent ecumenism..

Then I found the below references to BFS:

http://www.withchrist.org/bsf.htm

 https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/bsf-bible-study-fellowship-going-contemplative-going-off-the-narrow-path/

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2011/08/bsf-truly-ecumenical-fellowship.html

http://watch.pair.com/bsf.html

I don't know about those other links but your findings on the Wikipedia page don't mean a lot. The page won't have been written by the organisation as such (although maybe some members/supporters have contributed in their own time) and the links are there simply because someone at some point in time decided to associate those words with the Wikipedia page that defines Ecumenism. It's possible that a Wikipedia editor who knows nothing about BSF glanced over the page and decided there were some long words that needed defining, so he looked up 'interdenominational' on Google and ended up adding links to ecumenism.

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Sarah70,

I  would not advise attending the, 'Bible Study Fellowship.' The NIV is a perversion of the scriptures and Reformed Theology is unsound doctrine. Because Reformed theology, Calvinistic churches, cults, and folks who are unsound in their doctrine do not go soul-winning they use Bible studies such as this to make disciples and take away people from good IFB churches. 

Alan

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If you belong to a good, bible believing Baptist Church there is no reason to go outside of it for study. Your church should be providing all of your spiritual needs.

To mix different denominational teaching into any bible study is a recipe for disaster. 

 2Cor. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

Now I know that someone will pop up and say that there are believers in other denominations, I agree. But there is only one truth and it is only found through the preaching and teaching of His church. The only thing to be had through Interdenominational teaching is confusion and God is not the author of confusion.

 1Tim. 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 

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While I wouldn't endorse this particular Bible Study, I also wouldn't say just because a person attends a Bible believing Baptist church they can get all their spiritual needs met there. Not every good church is large enough to offer what bigger churches can; not every good church has the members or available members to provide Bible studies and other such things.

I've been in a couple good, but very small Baptist churches which were only able to offer one or two services a week, nothing else. Praise God for that! Beyond that I was on my own for further spiritual growth.

Depending upon the situation, it's sometimes possible to form or just get together with a group of other believers and have Bible study.

Thankfully the church we attend now has several Bible studies during the week, several adult Sunday school classes and a gathering of ladies who study various matters of Scripture, as well as an early morning men's Bible study once a week.

We now have a membership of over 200. Back when the membership was about 30 these things weren't available.

As to the original post, it's good to see folks seeking good counsel and being discerning about things such as Bible studies. There are some good things out there, many more bad, and those in between. We have to be cautious and wise in choosing what to partake of.

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John, with all due respect I disagree about a church having to be large to provide for everyone's spiritual needs. To me this is like saying that God is not able.

I was saved in a mission work started in the pastors house in a small "end of the road" community in Alaska. Attendance grew from about six people. We had to build another place to worship, then it grew more and we had to build anew.

Through all of this there was only the missionary pastor and one adult Sunday School teacher. There were two children's Sunday School teachers.

In the thirty five years I attended this church I saw God work through its pastor and teachers. The pastor, and older man, was one of the most dedicated, spiritual and able men of God I have ever known. The needs of the congregation were always met through sound, knowledgeable preaching and teaching.

I surrendered to preach at this church and since that time five other men have done the same. They are either pastoring or doing over seas missionary work even to this day.

This church was used of the Lord to put two missionary families on the mission field of Far East Russia when the Iron Curtain came down. Our church membership was never over forty, but was blessed in being able to put the first missionaries in Far East Russia and doubly blessed in being able to fully support them without the assistance of any mission board or convention. I never underestimate the ability of God to work miracles through his local church, no matter how small it is.

 

So in closing I would have to submit that while having members that can teach and preach is a great blessing, a good, dedicated pastor and/or teacher can supply all the needs of a small church.

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I agree that a good, dedicated pastor (also with proper doctrine) can lead a small church well (or even a large church).  The problem is... there aren't any in many  areas of the country now. It used to be when you saw "Independent Baptist" you knew you were going to get sound doctrine.  Now it can mean just about anything in this day and age...  also there aren't always IFB churches in driving distance.  Many people end up going to what they consider to be "the next best thing" an SBC... and I already told my horror story with the local SBC here.  I pray about this often, and not just for this area, but all areas where there isn't sound doctrine being preached, and where that's not happening, then it's likely any bible study they have is going to be weak milk also, if not twisted and corrupted.

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Pretty much what Ronda said.

I didn't say a small church can't be effective in meeting the needs of the congregation. The problem is, most are not. If the pastor has to work another job and there are no mature men or women available to disciple others, there can be unmet needs.

Add to such a situation the most common problem in churches of congregations being spiritually lazy and without any structured training and instruction, the congregation goes home and spends the week working, watching TV and sleeping.

As Ronda pointed out, even among IFB churches these days many are lacking. There are several within driving distance of me that I wouldn't waste the gas to drive there because they are no longer anything like a traditional IFB church anymore.

There have been several members on this board who have pointed out the churches they once attended took a bad turn; or of their difficulties in trying to find a church home after such or a move.

Finding a solid church home can be difficult to impossible in some areas. Some on this board have had to settle for second or third rate church homes due to lack of any better options.

Praise God for the good, sound churches still out there, they are becoming fewer and farther between.

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There is no church at all in the small community I am in now. But if there was and it was not IFB, I would not attend. In that case I would and have held my own services. I now drive an hour and a half to get to church, I do it three times per week. Most people would not drive that far.

Before I found my present church there was no IFB church within 100 miles of me. Once I found this church I attend it every time the doors are opened. An hour and a half going and the same coming back, but you know what, it is worth it because that is where God has made a place for me.

I get to fill in for the Pastor at times when he has to be away, I get to preach special meetings....good 'nuff.

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Thank-you all for your input. I won't be attending. I am disheartened though knowing that many young are.....I will pray for counsel on if I should approach them and how to do so.

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There is no church at all in the small community I am in now. But if there was and it was not IFB, I would not attend. In that case I would and have held my own services. I now drive an hour and a half to get to church, I do it three times per week. Most people would not drive that far.

Before I found my present church there was no IFB church within 100 miles of me. Once I found this church I attend it every time the doors are opened. An hour and a half going and the same coming back, but you know what, it is worth it because that is where God has made a place for me.

I get to fill in for the Pastor at times when he has to be away, I get to preach special meetings....good 'nuff.

I thank God for providing you with a good church and the ability to travel such distances. We have several in our congregation which drive 1 to 2 hours to get here (then again to return home). Many more drive half-hour to an hour to reach here. Such is the lack of worthwhile churches to attend. Unfortunately, many more Christians either settle for a "not much to it" church (not even bothering to find second or third rate church nearby) or they don't attend church at all.

Most folks don't have the money and/or time to spend 2-4 hours on the road to get to church; especially not to do so more than once a week.

I'm thankful the Lord has always provided, and during those times when there wasn't "best" church to attend, I was able to find one that was good to fill the gap until I was able to attend a better. The Lord has also provided me with men to gather with for Bible study over the years and there were times when I was far from home this was a great blessing.

It's such a shame to live in a country with church buildings all around us (this little town still has four) and yet most of them are of a watered down, wayward or outright unchristian sort.

It's been a few years now since one of the IFB churches across the river switched from KJB to NASB, dropped their dress standards, changed some of the separation standards (mostly for the sake of local political action) and made other changes so that about the only thing still IFB about the church is their name. Many others around here have taken a similar course.

We need to be in much prayer and thanksgiving for the remaining good churches we are yet blessed with.

Jim, I pray the Lord will bless the church you attend and use your service there for His glory and honour.

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I thank God for providing you with a good church and the ability to travel such distances. We have several in our congregation which drive 1 to 2 hours to get here (then again to return home). Many more drive half-hour to an hour to reach here. Such is the lack of worthwhile churches to attend. Unfortunately, many more Christians either settle for a "not much to it" church (not even bothering to find second or third rate church nearby) or they don't attend church at all.

Most folks don't have the money and/or time to spend 2-4 hours on the road to get to church; especially not to do so more than once a week.

I'm thankful the Lord has always provided, and during those times when there wasn't "best" church to attend, I was able to find one that was good to fill the gap until I was able to attend a better. The Lord has also provided me with men to gather with for Bible study over the years and there were times when I was far from home this was a great blessing.

It's such a shame to live in a country with church buildings all around us (this little town still has four) and yet most of them are of a watered down, wayward or outright unchristian sort.

It's been a few years now since one of the IFB churches across the river switched from KJB to NASB, dropped their dress standards, changed some of the separation standards (mostly for the sake of local political action) and made other changes so that about the only thing still IFB about the church is their name. Many others around here have taken a similar course.

We need to be in much prayer and thanksgiving for the remaining good churches we are yet blessed with.

Jim, I pray the Lord will bless the church you attend and use your service there for His glory and honour.

In the 1800s there was a minister of a small Baptist church in the village of Egerton.  He lived on the isle of Sheppey and walked every Sunday to the Church.  The records say it was 23 miles but Via Michelin says 29 miles.  A man called Jonathan Reeves lived in Kings Road Rochester and once promised to attend a meeting with a special preacher at a Baptist Church in Faversham during the 1840s.  He wrote later that he and a friend had got up at 4.00 am to walk the 17 miles but torrential rain had delayed them and when the rain had not subsided by 6.30 they had to call the journey off. I read in another book that Jonathan's mother sometimes took him on the same journey  hear William Huntington.  When I found this I worked out from the age of Jonathan and the death oh Huntington, that Jonathan could not have been more than 11 at the time.  Samuel Eyles Pierce in his memoirs said that on Christmas eve 1813 he caught the stage from London to Maidstone then walked the 26 miles to Faversham, preached twice the following day (try to get our people out twice of Christmas Day, even on a Sunday.) Then preached 3 times the following day, it being the Lord's Day.  Then walked the 10 miles or so to Canterbury for the New Year.  

Kay has a friend whose grandmother said that they walked great distances to services because they did not believe in using transport on the Lord's day.

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Sarah70,

I  would not advise attending the, 'Bible Study Fellowship.' The NIV is a perversion of the scriptures and Reformed Theology is unsound doctrine. Because Reformed theology, Calvinistic churches, cults, and folks who are unsound in their doctrine do not go soul-winning they use Bible studies such as this to make disciples and take away people from good IFB churches. 

Alan

Absolute nonsense.  Calvinists have always preached the gospel. Spurgeon was one of the great soul winners of the 19th Century. Earlier Whitfield was.

On Wednesday I was in Canterbury and saw two men preaching salvation in Christ in the market.  One I know was a reformed Baptist and probably both were.

Luther (have you read his Bondage of the will?) Calvin and all the reformers believed similar.  Go used them to break the power of the Catholic Church.  See Rev. 10,  for a description of the reformation.  

The Huguenot Christians at one time were estimated to be up to 48% of the French population, but then the beast from the bottomless pit rose up and made war with them.  If you attended a service in France at that time and were caught you would be sentenced to life as a galley slave.  One of the last galley slaves to be released was 82 years old. If you were a woman in the south of France, and caught attending a service you would be sentenced to life in the tower of Constance. 

4980165464_794efc5ec8_z.jpg

Tower of Constance.  

One of the last women to be released was 52 and had been there since attending a service with her mother when she was 8.

A pastor or preacher would be sentenced to have his body broken on the wheel and then hung. 

You accuse Calvinists to be cultists, but the KJV translators were Calvinists, as was King James 1 himself, so if they are cultists why do you use their bible?  They also believed the pope was the Antichrist .  Futurism did not appear in the non Catholic church till 1826.

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Absolute nonsense.  Calvinists have always preached the gospel. Spurgeon was one of the great soul winners of the 19th Century. Earlier Whitfield was.

On Wednesday I was in Canterbury and saw two men preaching salvation in Christ in the market.  One I know was a reformed Baptist and probably both were.

Luther (have you read his Bondage of the will?) Calvin and all the reformers believed similar.  Go used them to break the power of the Catholic Church.  See Rev. 10,  for a description of the reformation.  

The Huguenot Christians at one time were estimated to be up to 48% of the French population, but then the beast from the bottomless pit rose up and made war with them.  If you attended a service in France at that time and were caught you would be sentenced to life as a galley slave.  One of the last galley slaves to be released was 82 years old. If you were a woman in the south of France, and caught attending a service you would be sentenced to life in the tower of Constance. 

Tower of Constance.  

One of the last women to be released was 52 and had been there since attending a service with her mother when she was 8.

A pastor or preacher would be sentenced to have his body broken on the wheel and then hung. 

You accuse Calvinists to be cultists, but the KJV translators were Calvinists, as was King James 1 himself, so if they are cultists why do you use their bible?  They also believed the pope was the Antichrist .  Futurism did not appear in the non Catholic church till 1826.

Invicta,

Thank  you for your history lesson on persecution.

Please read my post very carefully. You not only changed the subject that I was talking about, you introduced, as all Calvinists do, Spurgeon and Whitfield, into my post to change the subject.

Furthermore you made a very libel and slandersous statement when you said, "You accuse Calvinists to be cultists..." That is a slanderous and libelous statement. I said no such statement, nor even hinted such a statement. I would appreciate a public apology.

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
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Sarah70,

I  would not advise attending the, 'Bible Study Fellowship.' The NIV is a perversion of the scriptures and Reformed Theology is unsound doctrine. Because Reformed theology, Calvinistic churches, cults, and folks who are unsound in their doctrine do not go soul-winning they use Bible studies such as this to make disciples and take away people from good IFB churches. 

Alan

Brethren,

I would like for everybody to read the above statement very carfully as it was miss-interpreted by Invicta to say something it did not say. And Invicta claimed I calledour Calvinistic and Reformed Theology brethren, "cults."

I clearly said, "The NIV is a perversion of the scriptures and Reformed Theology is unsound doctrine. Because Reformed theology, Calvinistic churches, cults, and folks who are unsound in their doctrine do not go soul-winning they use Bible studies such as this to make disciples and take away people from good IFB churches."

1. I did not say Reformed Churches or Calvinistic churches are cultic, or a cult. I completely seperated the types of people who do these nefaraious  Bible studies in order to take good saints out of good IFB churches and indictrinate them into unsound doctrine. I clearly stated that all of the groups mentioned were, "...unsound in their doctrine..." I did not say they were cults. A saved person can be unsound in their doctrine.

2. "...do not go soul-winning..." I have been in the ministry for over 40 years and I have not seen members, or pastors, of Calvinistic or Reformed churches, out soul-winning. I know Calvinistic missonaires here on Taiwan and they do not go soul-winning and they have  Bible studies to get their converts and steal sheep from other churches. I have personal friends in the States that were once soul-winners, became Calvinistic, and now they do not go soul-winning and now they call me ignorant.

The issue of this thread, and my post, is our generation and not past generations. I did not mention any past history at all but instead dwelt on the current issue. Invicta changed the whole subject matter to miss-interpret my post. 

3. As I deliberately inserted, "The NIV is a perversion of the scriptures..." it is very obvious that this can only refer to our generation and is not applicable to other generations such as Spurgeon or Whitfield.

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
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I often wonder why non-Baptist people come here and become members.  Could it be they want to cause contention and chaos? What good work are they doing for the Lord by doing this? NONE that I can see.  Is that a Christian thing to do? Is Calvinism am IFB doctrine? Nope. Why try to throw in a reference to non-IFB beliefs in every other forum topic?  ? Why doesn't the non-IFB member go start their own site and their own forums for their own denomination/beliefs? Could it be that mayb they weren't "predestined" to start their own forum/site??? lol 

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I often wonder why non-Baptist people come here and become members.  Could it be they want to cause contention and chaos? What good work are they doing for the Lord by doing this? NONE that I can see.  Is that a Christian thing to do? Is Calvinism am IFB doctrine? Nope. Why try to throw in a reference to non-IFB beliefs in every other forum topic?  ? Why doesn't the non-IFB member go start their own site and their own forums for their own denomination/beliefs? Could it be that mayb they weren't "predestined" to start their own forum/site??? lol 

Ronda,

Thank you for your thoughts. You asked some good, and serious, questions. :clap:

It is the hope of some that the non-IFB folks on this forum are here to learn, study, and maybe change their un-sound doctrinal beliefs. Hopefully, this forum will help their understanding. If they are here to learn than I welcome them all with open arms. There are numerous Bible studies and numerous subjects posted on OnLine Baptist that the non-IFB individual can learn from.

To my understanding, Calvinism is not an IFB doctrine.

If, and I do not want to judge the heart of anyone listening, they are here to cause contention, chaos, change the subject, miss-quote us, then perhaps their motive needs to change also. As we cannot see the intents of the heart (only the fruit), we will let the Lord be that Judge.

Maybe, as you suggested, if the non-IFB folks are here only to cause strife and spread their un-sound doctrine, maybe, as you suggested, they need to start their own forum to attract disciples. Maybe, just maybe, they are, "predestined," to start their own forum to spread their un-sound doctrines. Hmmmmmm....?  

 

 

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Here we go again:

This thread is in the "Questions for Baptists" section. Nothing like strife in a non-member to member question area. The subject matter at hand is an online Bible Study with a side issue of ecumenicalism.

 

Invicta, while I can see your natural response to defend what you perceived as a misrepresentation, it was clearly a mis-read on your part.

 

The off-track issue is WAY out of place in this particular location

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Futurism did not appear in the non Catholic church till 1826.

Invicta, I am not sure exactly what your use of the word "futurism" means. But you said it did "not appear in the non Catholic church until 1826."

In light of this statement may I ask what Isaiah was referring to in these verses if it was not future?

 Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 
 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 
 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 
 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 
 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 
 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

These verses speak of a future happening. I am quite sure that the first church, which was Baptist by the way, preached on the future things we see in the OT well before there was even any Catholic church.

 

We can see that Philip preached this and he was a member of the first church, well before any Catholic church.

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Invicta, I am not sure exactly what your use of the word "futurism" means. But you said it did "not appear in the non Catholic church until 1826."

In light of this statement may I ask what Isaiah was referring to in these verses if it was not future?

 Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 
 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 
 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 
 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 
 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 
 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

These verses speak of a future happening. I am quite sure that the first church, which was Baptist by the way, preached on the future things we see in the OT well before there was even any Catholic church.

 

We can see that Philip preached this and he was a member of the first church, well before any Catholic church.

You may not have seen my post, the current off-topic topic needs to end or be resumed in a new (or older, yet related) thread.

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