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DOWNSIZING THE FAITH

          "I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you" (Acts 20:20); "For I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God " (Acts 20:27).
          Downsizing has become a major factor in business economics, Major home staples such as coffee, soap bars, washing powder, napkins, paper towels, frozen foods, and dozens of other items have been downsized in recent years. Coffee packages, for instance has been gradually reduced from 16 oz, to 13.5 oz. to 11 ounces.
          Practicing commercial deception, the manufacturers' packages sometimes still look as large as they formerly did, but do not contain the same amounts, having been gradually reduced in content. Despite the volume content loss, the prices of downsized items have increased rather than declined. Purchasers are paying more while obtaining less, without clear notification.
          On a religious scale, the same tragic process is occurring today, as the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) is being downsized by compromising leaders. Its adherents, however, are not being informed about the unscriptural cutbacks and deletions.
          1. DOWNSIZING THE SCRIPTURES
          In many professing evangelical and Fundamental Baptist churches, modern translations are gradually replacing the accurate, reliable KJV. In some churches, the saints are getting less and less of the KJV and more and more of the new translations based on the apostate liberal critical text.
          The NASV, NIV, NKJV, ESV, HCSB, RSV, TNIV, TLB, NLB, GW, NEB, TEB, New Century and the Message are just a few of the versions available to a gullible religious public today. When placed in a pile together with all their deletions, a considerable downsizing has taken place. Yet the average evangelical Christian believes he still possesses the same content as his former KJV.
          Some versions are more bold and blatant with their deleted alterations and changes, while other translations are more subtle in their removals. The verbal preservation of Scripture, the triune God, the deity of Christ, the blood atonement of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the old fashioned doctrine of repentance, and baptism for new converts are representative of the truths that are being downsized, diminished and deleted. Yet none of the publishers of these versions will admit to any unbiblical down-scaling
          2. DOWNSIZING THE SERMONS
          Many sermons today have been downsized with regard to doctrine. Solid Biblical exposition of Scriptural doctrines is being diminished, neglected and ignored. A feel-good easy lifestyle Christianity that emphasizes happiness rather than holiness and that offends no one but the choicest saints, is replacing sound Bible teaching.
          The "elders" in a rapidly growing "Bible" church in Southeastern Maine were asked by a newspaper reporter to delineate the reasons for the swift attendance growth the church was experiencing. Believe it or not, the elders in this "Bible" church reported that one of the major reasons was the "de-emphasis upon… doctrine"! Bible doctrines, however, never go out of date! Neither does Biblical terminology! In some pastor's ministries, the pastor has merely become a referral agent as the couch replaces the cross and psychology replaces preaching.
          The duration of services and sermons is being downsized. When the F.D. editor was a lad, two-week long-three Sunday length revivals twice a year were the norm. Evangelistic crusades were gradually cut to a week, then a half week, later to a three day weekend. Now many churches are advertising "one-day" revivals and the average evangelist's endeavors have been turned into a pulpit supply ministry.
          The norm for sermons was reduced to one hour, then to 45 minutes, then to 35 minutes, then to 25 minutes. Now in some churches, you have 1½ hours of CCM "worship" entertainment and a 15 minute "talk" on a "bar stool" with an open shirt. We now have preacherettes, preaching sermonettes, that are producing Christianettes!
          Even the direction of the sermons has changed. Eternal vows are out, while temporal values are in; holiness is out, while happiness is in; heavenly sermons are out, while earthly sentiments are in; Scriptural truths are out, while sensitivity training is in. Sermons emphasize the here-and-now, rather than the hereafter. Yet few preachers are willing to acknowledge that their sermons have been purposely downsized.
          3. DOWNSIZING THE STANDARDS
In many evangelical, conservative, and professing Fundamentalist churches, church edifices look more like Hollywood theatres and sports arenas than they do like religious sanctuaries. Standards-or more accurately the lack of standards-are being dictated by the world rather than by the Word! Genuine reverence and respect for sacred entities is being demolished as pastors, key congregation leaders and families come to church dressed like they are coming into a ball park rather than to a place of divine worship. Christians look more like they were going to a place of entertainment than a place of edification.
          God given sexual roles are being gradually reversed via symbolic attachments. In some churches, feminine jewelry is becoming conspicuous on men, while masculine apparel is becoming common on women. Tight pants, jeans and hip huggers are common sights in formerly sacred sanctuaries. Saints who used to carefully dress up to go to church now carelessly dress down. Yet few will honestly admit that the standards have been downsized!
          Handbooks in Christian Colleges and Universities have been quietly revised to accommodate to secular minded students and to attract materialistic oriented young people. Dress standards, music standards, and dating standards have been silently lowered without fanfare, while gullible parents send their children to these institutions naively thinking their alma maters have not changed.
                                                                                                   GOD'S ANTIDOTE
          God's antidote is not popular! It requires vigorous protest and expose-Gal.2:11-14. A Return to the Biblical scriptures, Biblical sermons and Biblical separation is an urgent imperative., Necessary separation, both personal separation-Rom. 12:1-2 and ecclesiastical separation-II Cor. 6:14-18- must be implemented The believer's aim must always be positive-II Tim. 2:24-26, and purifying-II Cor. 2:1-11 in purpose, with complete restoration to the old paths-Titus 1:9, as the ultimate goal.
          Economic downsizing may succeed in the business world, but it must never be utilized in the spiritual realm. The faith once delivered to the saints has a set of Scriptural dimensions that must never be altered or changed. Toying with God's unchangeable declarations is dangerous and diabolic activity-I Tim. 4:1-2, II Tim, 4:3-4. In Acts 20:21 and 20:27, the Apostle Paul plainly declared that he had never downsized the truth for the sake of temporary gain with the Ephesian believers, a pattern that all historic Biblical Fundamentalists must emulate and follow.

Also in this issue:

Studies in the School of Prayer

The Plaguing Compromise of the Conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention

The Catholic eucharist Christ is not the Biblical Christ and the eucharist sacrifice is not the sacrificial atoning blood of Christ

Editorial - August-September 2005 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.
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