Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Indifference Within the Church

Recently, having gotten together for fellowship over a coffee and a tea, a brother in Christ caught me by surprise when, in the midst of our conversation, he suddenly apologized to me for his indifference toward me. He confessed that it is I who frequently makes the effort through contact to maintain our brotherly relationship, and that this has weighed heavily on his heart. He offered no excuses, saying that there were not any that were valid or justifiable—not even busyness or family.

If I am honest, this is not the only relationship in my life, or within the church, past or present, where I am the sole initiator toward fellowship and/or maintaining that relationship. Whether in person, by phone, or by e-mail, 99% of the relationships in my life exist only because I reach out and attempt to maintain them. Even within my own family! If I did not make the effort to see them, I would never see any of them for months if not years!

If I am brutally honest, which tends to offend people for some reason, I could die in my apartment at the beginning of one month and nobody would even know I had died until the next month's rent was well past due—and they were likely to read about it in the newspaper. That is how many people come to visit me of their own accord; that is how many people call me by phone; that is how many e-mails I receive from others; and that is how many invitations I receive for anything. Sad, but true.

There exists only one relationship in my life where the other person reaches out to me as frequently as I reach out to him, and that is my friend, Jerry Sheppard, whom I have not seen in person since graduating from Bible College in 2005—and he lives out East! In the past, he has shared with me his frustration with friends inside and outside of the church whom never reach out to him for fellowship and such. Any time they get together it is because he is the one who initiates it. As he points out in one of his own blogs, such things are no wonder why people leave the church. If nobody shows that they care about you or that they are interested in you or that you are worth investing in, how do you suppose that makes a person feel about themselves? Do you suppose they feel welcome in your church? Or do they feel like strangers and aliens within their own church? We can make all the excuses we want, but none of them are valid or justifiable for not investing in another person's life and/or soul. This is the church's biggest problem when it comes to new converts as well. There exists no discipleship of these individuals because of the church's indifference. Indifference is apathy. Apathy is the opposite of love. Indifference within the church is a result of lovelessness—growing cold. Sorry, but it is true. Indifference is also a result of selfishness and self-centeredness.

Please do not misunderstand me. I do not write this to complain (seeing as how I have forgiven those who are indifferent toward me), but instead to open people's eyes. Imagine these relationships as if they were a marriage. If only one spouse is ever pursuing and initiating the other, what kind of relationship do they actually have? If the spouse that is pursuing and initiating were to suddenly stop, would there actually be any real relationship between them? Would the other spouse care one way or the other? Did they even care to begin with? I could ask far more profound questions and get into the psychology behind it, but I am not going to. Simply put, relationships are supposed to be two-way streets. When they are not, you can either sever yourself from that relationship entirely or you can continue investing in it because you genuinely love the other individual from the heart. True, a one-way relationship is not much of a relationship at all, but what would Jesus want us to do?
 
In such situations, if you were to suddenly stop initiating contact with those who do not reciprocate, months or years could go by before one day you suddenly bump into those people somewhere out in the world and they are like, "Hey! How're you doing? Haven't heard from you in forever." My thoughts would be, "If you were that concerned with not having heard from me for so long, then why didn't you pick up the phone and give me a call? You've got two hands and a mouth." But such concern is feigned. If they actually cared whether or not they had heard from you, they would have picked up a phone and called. The excuses they offer for why they did not are not acceptable.

Paul has a great method for combating indifference:
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4
Lord God, may we repent from our ungodly attitudes of indifference.
"Whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" 1 John 3:17

"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

"...the one who loves God should love his brother also." 1 John 4:21b
As the above passages imply, when your heart conveys an attitude of indifference toward the plight of your brothers and sisters in Christ, not offering to help them in their time of need, not giving of your abundance to help with their poverty, not reaching out to them because they are not part of your clique (inner circle of friends), then perhaps you might want to examine yourself to see if you are truly a Christian because your claim to love God is contradicted by the lack of love you show for and toward your brothers and sisters in Christ.
"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Proverbs 3:27

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Problem With So-called "Study" Bibles

There exists one main colossal problem when it comes to many so-called "Study" Bibles. They are not Study Bibles! The information contained in these so-called "Study" Bibles merely exists to indoctrinate their readers with the presuppositions, feelings, opinions, theories, and interpretations of the author. In not one single "Study" Bible do they teach you critical thinking, or how to actually study the Bible so that you can "rightly divide the Word of truth" (1 Timothy 2:15). The information contained in these "Study" Bibles is nothing more than the author's personal commentary, and therefore should be sold separately as a Commentary so as not to lead the reader astray by colouring the Scriptures with false information. A genuine Study Bible should help the reader study God's Word for all it is worth before turning to commentaries to see how their conclusions measure up. Commentaries should always be the last resort when studying the Bible—not the first thing the reader reads at the bottom of the page to indoctrinate them with the belief that a passage means something it does not actually mean.

Sadly, the majority of "Study" Bibles out there are Dispensational in content. They brainwash the reader with false interpretations and sensationalism. If the reader would simply read those passages in context, they would find that the Dispensational nonsense falls apart. The student of God's Word is to let the Bible speak for and interpret itself. Commentaries are only a means of checking our work to see if we are on the right track or not. This does not mean that every commentary will be accurate in its interpretation of Scripture. If the majority of commentaries agree on an interpretation, they may be correct, but not necessarily so. Take Romans 7, for example. Most commentaries view this as a Christian's struggle with sin. This is not what Romans 7 is teaching, so the majority of commentaries are wrong! Examine the context of Romans 6 through 8, study the verbs, and pay attention to Paul's rhetorical questions and his method for answering them. Paul's usage of "I" does not start in verse 14; it starts way back in verse 7. What is he teaching us in verses 7 through 12? Anyway, that is not the topic of this article. I have dealt with it numerous times in the past already. The simple fact is, a Study Bible should help us to actually study God's Word. These so-called "Study" Bibles do nothing of the sort.

The ironic thing here is that many Bibles that are actually good for studying God's Word are not even called Study Bibles. A proper Study Bible should contain the text of the Bible and those markings that lend to helping a person better understand the Scriptures and arrive at correct interpretations. The Newberry Reference Bible has markings that do just such a thing. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible has a unique system of chain topics you can follow through the Scriptures in order to understand better the Bible's teachings on such things. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (the only one of these three actually called a Study Bible), despite its several erroneous Dispensational notations, underlines key words and links them to Strong's Concordance. Instead of this Bible, I prefer its cousins (so to speak), The Complete WordStudy Old Testament and The Complete WordStudy New Testament, both of which contain the text of Scripture but have every word linked to Strong's Concordance as well as providing additional information as to the grammar of those words. They likewise have the same erroneous Dispensational notations, but I ignore them and use only what is profitable for in depth Bible study.

Of the so-called "Study" Bibles in existence, the ESV Study Bible is close to being a decent Study Bible, but, unfortunately, it contains many errors and false interpretations, too. For example, the commentary on Jesus' words in Matthew 19:9 says, "'And marries another' implies that the second marriage, though it begins with adultery, is still a marriage. ... The second marriage should not be thought of as continually living in adultery, for the man and woman are now married to each other, not to anyone else." Excuse me, but if a marriage begins as adultery, when does it cease to be adultery? Never! Furthermore, the Greek word translated "commits" is in the middle voice, which is present tense continuous, meaning a constant state of adultery. Therefore, this commentary note is in direct contradiction to the grammar of the Greek text. Likewise, the article Divorce and Remarriage on pages 2545-2547 is in complete contradiction to what Scripture accurately teaches. This is the interpretation derived from a wicked heart. Would I want to divorce my spouse if she committed adultery on me? Of course! It is what our flesh tells us to do. But where is Christ and His church displayed by doing such? Where is the Gospel displayed by doing such? Where is forgiveness and reconciliation displayed by doing such? Would you like Christ Jesus to divorce you when you sin against Him? Everything the Christian does needs to be about and display the Gospel for all to see. If we claim to be Christians, then let us Prove it!

Bibles such as the Scofield Study Bible, Ryrie Study Bible, MacArthur Study Bible, Jeremiah Study Bible, Max Lucado Study Bible, Joyce Meyers Study Bible, Jimmy Swaggart Study Bible, Joel Osteen Study Bible, etc., are merely products of vanity; not to mention anything in regard to their false teachings and/or heresies presented inside. If I were to give a Study Bible to someone, it would simply be a regular Bible along with actual study tools: The Complete WordStudy Dictionary Old Testament and The Complete WordStudy Dictionary New Testament, Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, and Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. A person's personal commentary should never be part of an actual Study Bible! If you want your presuppositions, feelings, opinions, theories, and interpretations to be read, then publish a Commentary!

"Not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the
Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Corinthians 2:13

Friday, April 17, 2015

Prove It!

by J. R. Miller, "The Glory of the Commonplace"

It is related that the famous French artist Gustave Dore was once wandering in the mountains of Switzerland, when some officials met him and demanded his passport. "I do not have it with me," he replied, "but my name is Gustave Dore." "Prove it, if you are," replied the officers, knowing who Dore was, but not believing that this was he. Taking a piece of paper, the artist hastily sketched a group of peasants who were standing near, and did it with such grace and skill that the officials exclaimed, "Enough, you are Dore!"

In the same way, the world cares little for a mere profession. We say we are Christians, and the challenge is, "Prove it!" If we are of Christ, then we must do the works of Christ, live the life of Christ, and show the spirit of Christ. The artist's skillful drawing proved his identity. Just so, we must prove that we are the followers of our Master by the love, the grace, the beauty, the holiness of our life.

Religion is not merely a matter of creed and profession, or of church-going and public worship; it is far more a matter of daily life. It is not how we behave on Sundays, nor the kind of creed we hold, nor the devoutness of our worship—it is the way we act at home, in school, in business, in society, in our associations with others. It is vitally important that all who profess Christ shall manifest Christ's beauty in their life and character. It is not enough to preach the gospel in words alone; others must also read it in our daily life. "So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders." 1 Thessalonians 4:12

"Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself." 1 John 2:6

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The God of Popular Christianity

by Milburn Cockrell, "The Master of the World"

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth! Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might!" 1 Chronicles 29:11-12

In these days of man-centered religion, verses like these have been ignored. The pulpits of our land preach . . .
   a defeated God,
   a disappointed Christ and
   a defenseless Holy Spirit.
Man has been deified—and God dethroned.
God has been relegated to the background.

The God most people believe in has benevolent intentions, yet He is unable to carry them out. He wants to bless men, but they will not let Him. The average church-goer thinks Satan has gained the upper hand, and that God is to be pitied rather than worshiped. The god of popular Christianity has a weak smile and a halo!

To suppose in the slightest that God has failed, or that He has been defeated, is the height of foolishness and the depth of impiety! The religious world needs to get God off the charity list!

The Bible knows nothing of a defeated, disappointed, and defenseless God. The God of the Bible is the "Almighty God" (Genesis 17:1) Who has all power in Heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). With Him nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37) or too hard (Jeremiah 32:17). His eternal purpose is being worked out. Everything is going according to His plan, and all things are under His control.

The God of the Bible is the Supreme Being in the universe! He is the most High, higher than the highest. He has no superiors and no equals.
God is God. He does . . .
   as He pleases,
   only as He pleases,
   always as He pleases.

"He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? What His soul desires, even that He does" (Job 23:13). Agreeing with this is Psalm 115:3: "But our God is in the heavens: He has done whatever He has pleased." As the Master of the World He declares: "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure!" (Isaiah 46:10)

God is the Supreme Being and the Sovereign of the universe. He exercises His power . . .
   as He wills,
   when He wills,
   where He wills.
"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. But He does according to His will in the host of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth. No one can ward off His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" (Daniel 4:35)

God governs all His creatures and their actions. The events that take place on earth do not take place by chance, or fate, or luck. The so-called accidents are not even incidents with the Master of the World. He numbered the hairs of our head and noted the sparrow's fall in eternity past by His "determinate counsel and foreknowledge" (Acts 2:23).

The Master of the World set the bounds of our habitation on earth. The number of our months is with Him, and our days are appointed!

God is holding the helm of the universe, and regulating all events. The Master of the World "works all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). It is God's eternal right to do all His pleasure. He is not accountable to any of His creatures. Job 33:13 declares: "He gives no account of any of His matters."

God controls all things—or nothing.
He must either rule—or be ruled.
He must either sway—or be swayed.
He must either accomplish His will—or be thwarted by His creatures.
He is not obligated to leave the affairs of this world to be governed by accident, chance, or the will of sinful men.

If we admit that God absolutely governs all things according to the counsel of His own will, then we admit that He has determined what shall and what shall not transpire in time and eternity. To deny His universal control of all things, is to deny His eternal power and Godhead. If He has the power and wisdom to determine all events, then He can cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Why, They Are Like Jesus Christ

by J. R. Miller, "The Face of the Master"
"God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!" 2 Corinthians 4:6

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory!" 2 Corinthians 3:18

The face of Christ has transforming power. Those who look upon it in love, and intently, are changed by it into its own beauty. This teaching is brought out very clearly in the New Testament. John tells us that when we shall see Jesus as He is, we shall become like Him.

The apostle Paul describes in wonderful way, the transforming power of the face of Christ as we look upon it: "But we all beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory!" The glory of the Lord is the glory which shines in the face of Jesus Christ. We cannot see that glory with our eyes, for Christ is in Heaven. But it is reflected for us on the pages of the gospel. As we ponder Him in these pages intently, we look upon His glory.

The effect of this continued beholding, is the transformation of our lives into Christ's image. That is, as we consider Christ, as we . . .
   read the story of His life,
   think of Him,
   meditate on the beauty of His character,
   look into His face with love and adoration—
the brightness of that face prints itself upon our faces, and we are transformed into His image. This transformation is not wrought suddenly, instantaneously, but gradually—"with ever-increasing glory."

Life is a school. The qualities of Christian character are studies set for us. No one learns a musical instrument in one lesson. No one can become an accomplished artist in a day. Just so, no one can get the full beauty of Christ into his life in one brief year. We have it here in Paul's words—"But we all beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory!" that is, line by line, little by little.

Friendship with Christ is the essential thing in cultivating godly character. Not only is He our teacher, it is not enough that He shall set the lessons for us; but He brings down the divine life and imparts it to us. John lay upon the Master's bosom, and in this close friendship he grew into the Master's likeness. It is thus that we all must live, if we would get the beauty of Christ upon our lives. We never shall grow like Him, if we stay habitually far away from Him.

If a Christian lives distant from Christ, he soon grows earthly and loses the spiritual loveliness out of his life. But if he abides near his Master, in adoring love, in close companionship, then the glory of Christ enters his life and transforms him. Looking at Christ, intently, with devout, reverent heart, beholding Him not merely in a brief glance now and then, but continuously, the brightness of that blessed face prints itself upon his life!

Those who look intently at the face of Christ . . .
   entering into the spirit of His life,
   walking in daily fellowship with Him,
   bearing His cross,
   loving Him and doing His will—
take His image upon their own lives, grow like Him, until neighbors and friends begin to see the resemblance and say, "Why, they are like Jesus Christ!"

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Torch To Light People To Hell

by Thomas Watson

"You believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe that, and tremble in terror!" James 2:19

Bible knowledge without repentance, will be but a torch to light people to Hell!

You who have knowledge of God's will, but do not obey it—wherein do you excel the demons, who believe and tremble?

"Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally!" Luke 13:5

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Bible Is No Lazy Man's Book

"If you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure--then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God!" Proverbs 2:4-5

"The Bible is no lazy man's book! Much of its treasure, like the valuable minerals stored in the bowels of the earth, only yield up themselves to the diligent seeker." —Arthur Pink

"Do not be satisfied with a superficial survey of Scripture, as many Christians are. These are not the days of contemplation as the old Puritan times were, we are too apt to be superficial; but do remember that while there are nuggets of gold upon the very surface of Scripture, yet the most valuable mines of gold are far down!" —Charles Spurgeon

"Truth lies deep, and must be dug for." —William Gurnall

"Strive to penetrate to the bottom of Divine truths, and never be content with a superficial knowledge." —David Brainerd

"Dig for the truth like a man digging for Australian gold!" —J. C. Ryle

"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding!" Proverbs 4:7

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Prejudice or Racism?

Three years ago, I wrote an article on Race and Racism. I was recently watching a couple older TV series when what the characters said struck an "Ah ha!" chord within me. It seems that in the 1970s and 1980s people had enough brains to call a spade a spade and to do so accurately and correctly. It seems that intelligence to rightly call something by its proper name was lost some time after these decades. For the last 15 years, at least, every TV series and every movie flaps their gums ignorantly about "racism this" and "racism that."

Diff'rent Strokes, season 1, episode 3 (1978):
Willis: Arnold, how could you laugh after that lady fainted?
Arnold: It's easy, I just open my mouth and out it comes.
Willis: What's the matter with you? Don't you know that lady fainted when she looked at us?
Arnold: No she didn't. She fainted when she looked at you.
Willis: She fainted because we're black.
Arnold: Oh, she did? Well, it's nice to be noticed.
Willis: I guess you just don't understand that some people are prejudiced.
Did you notice that he did not say, "You just don't understand that some people are racist"? It is because he said it accurately and correctly to the truth of it. He called it by its proper name.
Willis: That lady didn't fall on her face because she got jet lag—she got black lag.
Mr. Drummond: Now hold it, Willis. My mother is very fair about prejudice. She looks down on people of every colour.
Did you notice that he did not say, "My mother is very fair about racism"? It is because he said it accurately and correctly to the truth of it. He called it by its proper name.

Doogie Howser, M.D., season 1, episode 20 (1989):
Doogie: Vinnie, do you have any black friends?
Vinnie: Yeah, sure.
Doogie: Really? I mean, guys you hang with, not just guys you know?
Vinnie: I don't really hang with them but I know a lot of them.
Doogie: Me too. But I don't really have any black friends.
Vinnie: So?
Doogie: So I wonder why I don't. Maybe Raymond was right about us, maybe we are prejudiced.
Did you notice that he did not say, "Maybe we are racist"? It is because he said it accurately and correctly to the truth of it. He called it by its proper name.

As I stated in my previous article, racism is a misnomer. It is a misleading term. There is no such thing as race or racism because there only exists the human race. If such things as The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or Star Trek were real, then we would have such a thing as racism because there would exist different races with which to be racist against. However, on planet Earth every single person belongs to the same race. Skin colour is not a race. Ethnicity is not a race. The correct terminology to be used is "prejudice." White people who dislike black people or black people who dislike white people are prejudicednot "racist." It is no different than a fat person not liking a skinny person or a skinny person not liking a fat person. To call it racism would entail that they dislike or hate the entire human race, regardless of colour or ethnicity, because that is the only race that exists on this planet and in this universe.

It would seem that the only people who refer to this type of prejudice as "racism" are the ignorant and unlearned. Anyone who has the slightest inkling of intelligence and knows what he/she is talking about will call it accurately and correctly what it is: prejudice. Acts 17:26 declares, "He made from one blood, every nation of mankind..." God created Adam and Eve, a single race of humans. The rest of mankind's lineage is as follows: Adam → Seth → Enosh → Kenan → Mahalalel → Jared → Enoch → Methuselah → Lamech → Noah → Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After the flood, you had a single family of mankind to replenish the Earth. The descendants of Shem are what we know to be Asians. The descendants of Ham are what we know to be Africans. The descendants of Japheth are what we know to be Europeans. Despite the differences that appeared within their skin colour, all these people do not belong to different "races." The Bible refers to the different people groups as "nations, tribes, languages, and people." Never as "race," because they all belong to a single race—the human race, mankind.
 
To those who are guilty of it, stop repeating the cycle of ignorance by calling it something that does not exist. There is no such thing as "racism." The correct terminology for this attitude/behaviour is prejudice. If you cannot address it correctly, then do not attempt to address it at all!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Leaven

Leaven, in Scripture, is always a picture of sin. But it is more than just that. In Matthew 13:33, Jesus said:
The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.
Likewise, in Luke 13:20-21, He said:
To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.
If we are familiar with the book of Revelation, we know that a woman represents a church. So what exactly is leaven?
And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, "It is because we took no bread." But Jesus, aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16:6-12

And He was giving orders to them, saying, "Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod." Mark 8:15

Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Luke 12:1
Leaven, then, is hypocritical doctrine (teaching) and the seeking of signs. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Herod all wanted to see signs performed by Jesus. Jesus did not interact with Herod (Luke 23:9), and He walked away from the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 16:4c). Seeking after signs is spiritual adultery (when committed by unbelievers) and spiritual fornication (when committed by believers). Listen to the apostle Paul's admonishment to the church:
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
The apostle Paul also says "A little leaven leavens the whole lump" in Galatians 5:1-12, after asking the Galatians, "Who hindered you from obeying the truth?" We need to guard our doctrine (teaching) well, which Scripture admonishes us to do: "Pay close attention to yourself and to your doctrine (teaching)" (1 Timothy 4:16). People like to say, "doctrine divides." Yes, it surely does. It divides truth from lies and it divides genuine converts from false converts. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine (teaching) [What is right.], for reproof [What is wrong.], for correction [How to get right.], for training in righteousness [How to stay right.]; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). A little bit of false teaching slowly permeates through the congregation until the entire church is consumed by it. As examples, the Catholic church, the Charismatic church, and the Emergent Church and filled with nothing but leaven. However, this does not mean that the Reformed church or the Baptist church or other churches do not or cannot have leaven as well. We need wisdom, understanding, and discernment.