Archive for the 'John Ashbrook' Category

Separation from Brethren

feature-article.gifSeveral years ago I spoke to a group of independent churches in a neighboring state on the subject, “The Church Today: Its Affiliations.” I had two main points, explaining the policy of our own church. (1) We will not associate the name of our church with any church, mission, youth movement, or evangelistic movement that does not believe and obey the Word of God. (2) We will not associate the name of our church with any church, mission, youth movement, or evangelistic movement that maintains connections with men or movements that do not believe and obey the Word of God. The first point received head nodding and amens. The second point made an abrupt change in the climate of the meeting.

After the message, the president of a well-known Bible school and a retinue of his followers cornered me. They protested that my message was unscriptural, that it is never right to separate from other believers; after all, we will all be together in Heaven. The final volley was, “We believe in separation, but we do not believe in second degree separation.”

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The Emerging Church (part 3)

This is the conclusion of an article continued from the two previous issues of the Visitor.

feature-article.gifAt the outset of this series of articles, Pastor Ashbrook indicated he would make ten statements about the emerging church. The first installment (August 2008) contained the first four statements, the previous issue (September 2008) presented the next three, and this issue will conclude with the final three statements and a conclusion.

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The Emerging Church (part 2)

feature-article.gifThis article is continued from the last issue of the Visitor.

The Emerging Church is hostile to traditional evangelism.
Bible-believing people have traditionally been soul winners. They have believed in testimonies, tracts, street meetings, and personal evangelism. While I am not a proponent of “easy-believism” or seeking simply to get a person to say a prayer and then pronouncing him saved, let me just mention three essentials of the gospel. To be saved a man must know he is lost before a holy God and openly repent of his sin. He must understand that Jesus Christ made atonement for his sin at Calvary, and the death of Christ alone is the foundation of salvation. He must wholeheartedly place unfeigned faith in Jesus Christ.

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The Emerging Church (part 1)

feature-article.gifThe purpose of this article is to make some observations about that new movement of postmodernism called the emerging church. There is a striking oxymoron in that first sentence, as the movement dislikes using the word “church.” I have encountered numerous names in my reading such as: Axxcess, Quest, Warehouse 242, Solomon’s Porch, Ooze, Matthew’s House, Landing Place, Water’s Edge, Levi’s Table, Tribe, Three Nails, Sanctuary and New Ground, The Bridge, ReIMAGINE, Thursday PM, Jacob’s Well, House of Mercy, Vine and Branches, and Apex. I believe you will get the idea that the emerging church does not want to be known by the regular biblical title of the gathering of the Lord’s people. Many of those who meet in these groups have an antipathy to the church, feeling that they have been hurt, shortchanged, wounded, or misguided by it.

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Joel Osteen

Why would the Visitor run an article about television personality, Joel Osteen? Some of our readers may not even know the name. However, Osteen’s website (joelosteen.com) states:

“According to Nielsen Media Research, Joel is the most watched inspirational figure in America. His weekly sermon is broadcast into every U.S. television market where it is viewed by seven million Americans each week and more than 20 million each month.”

I would guess that some of those 20 million people sit in our Ohio Bible Fellowship churches. Those very people may view Osteen as a Bible preacher and react favorably to his upbeat view of life. It would therefore behoove us to look at his ministry with an open Bible.

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The Family Tree of New Evangelicalism

feature-article.gifOne of today’s popular hobbies is genealogies. I am thankful for some godly and stalwart relatives in the generations I have known, but I am not tempted to go beyond that. If I did, I am certain I would find ancestors who were famous and more who were infamous. The only two ancestors of whom I am dead certain are Adam and Noah.

Despite my view of genealogy I recently came across a family tree I was interested in. The October 2006 issue of Christianity Today, its fiftieth anniversary issue, arrested my attention with an article titled, “Where We Are and How We Got Here.” A subtitle, emphasized in red, proclaims, “Here’s a look at the influences that shaped the movement.” The article is by Mark A. Noll, a prominent and prolific new evangelical writer. I thought, “He is going to talk about the family tree of new evangelicalism and I’m interested.”

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The Government of the Home

In one of my books I have used a quotation from Dr. Theodore Cuyler, Pastor of the Lafayette Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn in the last half of the 19th century:

“For one, I care little for the government which presides at Washington, in comparison with the government which rules the millions of American homes. No administration can seriously harm us if our home life is pure, frugal and godly. No statesmanship or legislation can save us if once our homes become the abode of ignorance or the nestling place of profligacy. The home rules the nation. If the home is demoralized, it will ruin it.”

Today we can do little about “the millions of American homes.” However, I would like to give some guidance to hundreds of Christian homes. I would like to direct your attention to the first great Bible text on the government of the home.

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The OBF Visitor is the official publication of the Ohio Bible Fellowship. Feature articles from past issues of the Visitor are made available here for your use. You may read, distribute, and use this material as long as you do so in its entirety and without modification. All articles © The Ohio Bible Fellowship.

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