this text, the apostle Paul exhorts genuine believers to be constant
watchmen of every part of their being, with no exceptions. Paul did
not urge saints to watch in some things, or in many things or even in
most things, but in all things. Genuine saints are earnestly entreated
here to guard against every undesirable intrusion upon their spiritual
lives. For true believers, this admonition is not an option to be considered
but an obligation to be obeyed.
YOUR DOCTRINE-II Tim. 3:10, 4:3
doctrine is found over 30 times in the N. T. and simply refers
to divinely inspired instruction or teaching. The apostle Paul made
several references to doctrine in I & II Timothy. In II Tim. 1:13,
doctrine is described as "the form of sound words." Paul also
used the word directly in II Tim. 3:10 when he wrote about "my
doctrine," and in II Tim. 4:3 where he referred to "sound
about a shift away from sound doctrine in the last days. There
is a definite shift today away from sound dispensational doctrinal preaching
as proclaimed by the great Bible expositors of past generations. In
many professing evangelical churches, a frivolous, soft, surface "feel
good" experiential subjective preaching has replaced strong doctrinal
Board, editor of the now-defunct Eternity magazine expressed
it aptly when he declared "the modern Charismatic movement, whether
Catholic or Protestant, has been able to suspend doctrinal questions
and unite around a set of experiences. Doctrine divides, experience
unites." Jamie Buckingham - now deceased writer for the leading
Charismatic magazine Charisma stated: "We cannot have unity
based on doctrine. Doctrine will always divide the body of Christ."
appalling trend, Charismatic "please everybody" figures like
Joel Osteen and T. J. Jakes, along with "purpose driven" pastors
like Rick Warren, have replaced sound Bible expositors as America's
leading sources of religious instruction. Even some professing Fundamental
preachers have been affected by this dilution and negation of Biblical
never been a time in America's religious history when an emphasis on
sound doctrine was more needed than today. A gradual slippage in doctrinal
preaching has been occurring for several generations in Fundamental
circles, and that harmful trend needs to be immediately curbed. Solid
doctrinal exposition with relevant application to current societal trends
is a major essential if Biblical Fundamentalism is to remain a vital
force in religious circles today.
In II Tim.
3:16-17, Paul reiterated the truth that spiritual maturation cannot
take place in saints' lives apart from the exposition of sound doctrine.
In those verses, Paul inextricably linked profitable doctrine to a perfecting
demeanor in the believer's life. A fact that cannot be overemphasized
is that Bible doctrines never go out of date!
YOUR DEVOTIONS-II Tim. 2:15
grow and mature in the Lord are believers who invest daily time in the
reading, meditating and study of God's Word. The God blessed Christian-Ps.
1:1-3, the joyful believer-I John 1:4, and the fruitful saint is one
who abides in the Word-John 15:1-16 and communes daily with the Lord
in prayer-Rev. 3:20. Conversely, worldly backslidden Christians are
those who take little or no time daily or weekly for personal communion
with the Lord in His Word and in prayer.
M'Cheyne was a noted Scottish Preacher of the 19th century whose ministry
spanned less than a decade in time, dying at the early age of 29 in
1842. His life story, The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne
was penned by his close friend, A.A. Bonar. On p. 45 Bonar states, "From
the first he fed others by what he himself was feeding upon
loved to come up from the pasture wherein the Chief Shepherd had met
him-to lead the flock entrusted to his care to the spots where he found
On p. 75,
Bonar says, "his daily study of the Scriptures stored his mind
and formed a continual preparation. Much of his Sabbath services was
a drawing out of what he had carried in during busy days of the week."
Corresponding with a theological student in 1840, M'Cheyne penned this
wise counsel: "Keep much in the presence of God. Never see the
face of man till you have seen His face who is our life"(p. 37).
advice coincides with the example of Christ in Mark 1:35, "And
in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he departed into
a solitary place, and there prayed." The Psalmist declared in Ps.
5:3: "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning
will I direct my prayer unto thee and will look up."
to Bible reading, the F. D. editor suggests the following pattern: (1)
Read the Bible DAILY-Joshua 1:8, Acts 17:1; (2) Read the Bible DOCTRINALLY-I
Tim. 4:16; (3) Read the Bible DISPENSATIONALLY-Eph. 3:1-10, Col. 1:25-26;
(4) Read the Bible DEVOTIONALLY-Ps. 119:47 & 97:1.
prayer there is (1) CONCERT praying, praying with other believers in
concert congregational prayer-Acts 1:14; there is also what might be
termed (2) COURTROOM praying, when like an attorney believers plead
their case with God-Luke 18:1-8. The Scripture also teaches (3) CLOSET
praying, when believers enter into God's presence in solitary alone,
apart from the presence of all other human beings-Matt. 6:6.
To put it
frankly, any believer who is too busy to read the Bible and spend time
in prayer is simply too busy. That believer has incorrect daily priorities
and needs to re-arrange his/her schedule to invest time with Christ
in His word and in prayer.
are not always reliable and may be used for whatever purpose desired,
America's sad spiritual decline can be traced to the following purported
facts: In 1900, family altars were conducted in 50% of America's homes.
By 1975, this figure had declined to 5%. One can only conjecture what
the slim percentages are in 2005.
YOUR DIRECTION-II Tim. 4:10.
In II Tim.
4:10, the Apostle Paul brokenheartedly penned the tragic news that Demas
had turned in a different direction from the one he traveled just a
few years earlier in Col. 4:10, and that he had forsaken the historic
Biblicist position for the favor and love of the ungodly world of his
day. Unfortunately today, multitudes of professing Christians are following
that same unwholesome direction in several areas.
the Direction of Your Scriptures: In the last 50 years, approximately
150 new defective English Bible translations have been placed on the
commercial religious market for naïve believers to consume. All
these versions, *with one exception, are based on the apostate critical
text of Westcott and Hort that flows out of the unreliable Alexandrian
stream of manuscripts.
Bible versions are untrustworthy, making spiritual mincemeat out of
what was once a great Scriptural pie. Important doctrinal portions of
the Biblical pie have been cut out and deleted small slices at a time,
reducing the inerrant contents, while failing to inform gullible purchasers
about the erasures and removals.
In the English
speaking world, amidst these deplorable changes and cuts, only the time-tested
KJV retains its pristine trustworthy value, without content change;
a translation that is not only authentic in its text, but also authoritative
with its truth. *The NKJV is based on the TR, but makes so many concessions
to the critical text via small word changes and the explanatory notes
that the F.D. editor places it within the same defective stream.
the Direction of Your Services: Biblical Fundamentalists and babbling
Charismatics are two movements in striking contrast with each other.
Fundamentalists believe the inerrant Scriptures are the sole basis of
divine revelation-II Tim. 3:16-17, while Charismatics include extra-Scriptural
revelations in their authority structure. For Fundamentalists, objective
N. T. doctrine is the source of divine authority, while Charismatics
accept subjective religious experience[s] as their authoritative foundation.
based distinctiveness between these two movements, however, is gradually
disappearing as professing Fundamentalist services imitate and take
on charismatic worship service practices. Worship "teams,"
generally composed of male-female combinations, that "direct"
the corporate "worship," are gradually finding their way into
that flash praise choruses that have little musical variation and use
phrases repeated over and over again to a heavy bass rhythm, are replacing
reliable hymnbooks in some professing Fundamentalist churches. Children's
services now feature frivolous "Veggie Tales" that poke fun
at sacred Bible stories such as Jonah and the whale. C.S. Lewis fictional
"Lion King" stories and videos are replacing sound Bible instruction
for children in some formerly Biblically strong congregations.
churches are deleting their Sunday night services under the pretense
of giving Christian homes more "family" time on the Lord's
Day. One Fundamentalist church with which the writer is acquainted,
recently shut-down its mid-week prayer meeting, and is supposedly combining
this former vital ministry into a Sunday evening side room format.
the Direction of Your Standards: The F.D. editor's heart burns with
spiritual anguish as he watches the gradual steady erosion of dress
and appearance standards within Fundamentalist ranks. The world, not
the Word, dictates the appearance standards as many believers come dressed
to church services like they are attending a ball game rather than a
church service. They dress down rather than dress up! Attendees at church
services sometimes look more like spectators at a sports arena than
they do like saints at a spiritual activity.
dresses are a rarity, as females come to church by the multitudes, sometimes
in tight pants that belong on the opposite sex and with their hair cut
like a man or that resembles a female prostitute. Men are no exceptions.
Dress shirts, ties and jackets are out, while Hawaiian casuals, shirttails,
and tennis shoes are in, with earrings becoming standard ornaments on
godless Hollywood stars are replacing godly heavenly oriented saints
as role models. The world, not the Word, is dictating the appearance
standards of many believers today.
The F. D. editor has mentioned only a few of the key areas that believers
need to carefully guard. There are obviously many more! There never
has been a greater need for genuine saints to "WATCH
THINGS," than the present hour. The peril of believers becoming
entrapped by the world is a real problem-Rom. 12:2, I John 2:15-17 and
must be averted, regardless of the spiritual cost involved. D.J.
above article was designed to help, not hurt Fundamentalist churches
and families. He trusts that readers will not be offended by his forthright
observations, but sincerely ask the Lord to help them make necessary
change where such changes are necessary for spiritual maturation.
in this issue:
EXPOSED AS NEW-EVANGELICAL SBC SUBSTITUTE FOR BWA
NEW-EVANGELICAL BAPTIST PASTOR DROPS IMMERSION AS REQUIREMENT FOR CHURCH