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  • unbelievers participating.

    The other thread on here titled "would you allow these people to stay in your church" (orsomething close to that gave me reason to think on something that has been going on in the church that we have been attending for about 6 months now.

    During Easter and Christmas, the church allows people from the community to be a part of their huge productions. Some are part of the orchestra and some are part of the choir.

    The thread that I mentioned has casued me to think on this a lot. Is it alright for unbeleivers to participate in such a way? I know that the Leadership has said that their hope and prayer is that at some point in time the truth of the message of Christ will be heard and they will respond.

    I really do not know how to feel or think of this. Apparently it has been going on for quite a few years..and I wonder hmmm...if in the seven or eight years that they have been coming, hearing, participating and they still have not been moved to receive the free gift of salvation, then maybe their hearts have grown hard? I really don't know...hmm:

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ears2hear View Post
    The other thread on here titled "would you allow these people to stay in your church" (orsomething close to that gave me reason to think on something that has been going on in the church that we have been attending for about 6 months now.

    During Easter and Christmas, the church allows people from the community to be a part of their huge productions. Some are part of the orchestra and some are part of the choir.

    The thread that I mentioned has casued me to think on this a lot. Is it alright for unbeleivers to participate in such a way? I know that the Leadership has said that their hope and prayer is that at some point in time the truth of the message of Christ will be heard and they will respond.

    I really do not know how to feel or think of this. Apparently it has been going on for quite a few years..and I wonder hmmm...if in the seven or eight years that they have been coming, hearing, participating and they still have not been moved to receive the free gift of salvation, then maybe their hearts have grown hard? I really don't know...hmm:

    Any ideas?
    What you have laid out is a good example. There are few churches I know of that do not have some unbelievers in them. I used to work for a guy that went to a 3000 member church (the same I mentioned in the other thread actually) who went there because it was, in his words, "good for business." But, he put on his Sunday best and played the roll, and before I stopped working for him, he became a DEACON! He did a snow job on each and every one of them....but he got a lot of business out of the deal.

    God extends us grace people...unmerited...undeserved favor. I believe we need to extend the same to those around us. The couple in my fellowship have no leadership roles. We go about our services a bit differently...but in our way of doing things, we often ask members to come up and read. We do not ask him. He will not become an elder, he will have no say on where the ministry money goes...they simply come and sing, and listen, and fellowship.

    I tend to agree with some of the "against" points that have been made. But when it comes to setting a "time limit" I believe we are treading on God's ground.

    Anyway, I have spoken my peace and will update you on their progress.

    peace.
    ken

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ears2hear View Post
      The other thread on here titled "would you allow these people to stay in your church" (orsomething close to that gave me reason to think on something that has been going on in the church that we have been attending for about 6 months now.

      During Easter and Christmas, the church allows people from the community to be a part of their huge productions. Some are part of the orchestra and some are part of the choir.

      The thread that I mentioned has casued me to think on this a lot. Is it alright for unbeleivers to participate in such a way? I know that the Leadership has said that their hope and prayer is that at some point in time the truth of the message of Christ will be heard and they will respond.

      I really do not know how to feel or think of this. Apparently it has been going on for quite a few years..and I wonder hmmm...if in the seven or eight years that they have been coming, hearing, participating and they still have not been moved to receive the free gift of salvation, then maybe their hearts have grown hard? I really don't know...hmm: Any ideas?
      Thanks and this is not necessarily an idea - more like my own personal conviction but I think Paul concluded this when he said:

      2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. I realize there is much to do with religious separation from yes!!! ... individuals to separate from idols, to separate from org. and etc; from Belial, from unbelievers, from 'them' and as he says from the 'unclean thing' - WOW!!! that covers the whole kit and caboodle (sp.?)

      Thanks, Sam

      Comment


      • #4
        Do you believe that every person on every Christian music album is a Christian? If you didn't know for sure that every one was would you still buy the album? What are the chances that you own a CD who has non Christians playing on it? Is there any differences? I don't see any so if there is you would need to enlighten me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kenrank View Post
          There are few churches I know of that do not have some unbelievers in them.
          ken, looking at this and then that which you say below is not adding up? How can you say there are a few churches you know of that have no unbelievers in them and then say when it comes to setting a time limit we are treading on God's ground??? Have you ever studied out how Paul dealt with all this in 2 Cor.4:14-18.

          But when it comes to setting a "time limit" I believe we are treading on God's ground.
          Thanks, Sam

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
            ken, looking at this and then that which you say below is not adding up? How can you say there are a few churches you know of that have no unbelievers in them and then say when it comes to setting a time limit we are treading on God's ground??? Have you ever studied out how Paul dealt with all this in 2 Cor.4:14-18.
            Thanks, Sam
            What I am saying Sam is that every Easter churches open their doors to people you know only show up on Easter. That in the case some churches, there are those who might say one thing with their mouth, but with their life deny Messiah.

            If I said there are churches that have no unbelievers at all...I am refering to smaller churches where everyone knows everyone. But I gave a good example of a guy who attended a church for business reasons and became a deacon there..and STILL was only concerned with business. He told me this himself...I didn't attend that church.

            The time limit thing is this....if an unbeliever wants to come in on a Sunday morning and listen to a sermon...but not join, is there a problem? He can't have a roll in the church, he can't become a leader...but who is he hurting? God perfects who he wills in his time...and we are not privy to that timing Sam. It might be one visit for one guy, and a year worth of visits for another. As long as they are not in a church position NOR hurting anyone...how and why would we place a time limit on them?

            The couple in my congregation had their world turned upside down by Jews for Judaism. How long before they purge enough of that garabage out of their system so they can think clearly? I don't know...but they are there because they want to be.

            Let me put it another way Sam. Have you ever met a Jehovah's Witness who has converted to Christianity? if you have, ask them how long it took them to accept the true message of the bible. I will bet you a steak dinner it was more than a year! When you are in a way contrary to the true way, it takes time to purge the false teaching from your system so you can think in more clear terms again regarding spiritual things.

            13 years ago I began to go in a direction that was contrary to scripture. At the time I did not see it for what it was, I was VERY young in the faith. It took over a year Sam of prayer and study just to get to the point where I could think scripture without it being through THOSE eyes.

            So we will not place a time limit on this couple. If they turn out to ultimately reject Messiah, you will have been right, we wrong, and we will need to reavaluate our position. If however, this week or next...or in three months or 6, they stand up and make a profession of faith...then maybe we all should take a second look at the grace WE extend to others. All we are guilty of to this date is exhibiting patience.

            Peace Sam and thanks for your thoughts.
            Ken

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
              Thanks and this is not necessarily an idea - more like my own personal conviction but I think Paul concluded this when he said:

              2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. I realize there is much to do with religious separation from yes!!! ... individuals to separate from idols, to separate from org. and etc; from Belial, from unbelievers, from 'them' and as he says from the 'unclean thing' - WOW!!! that covers the whole kit and caboodle (sp.?)

              Thanks, Sam
              Paul was talking about inter faith marriages and close associations, Sam, not attending church. This concept has been with the Jews since Sinai. If a beleiver is so weak in faith that they can not withstand casual fellowship with an unbeliever, then I think there are other problems to address.

              Also, when Paul wrote this, non-messianic Jews were congregating with messianic Jews, and who knows what the Gentile associations were, so Paul could not have meant what you stated.
              Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would like to clarify.

                The church we attend know that these people are unbelievers. They are invited by the church to take part.

                I can certainly see why they are involving the unbelievers, but I just don't know if it is right. I mean, in our old church, if you were in blatant sin and in a leadership position like leading worship, you were asked to step down until there was repentence. Now, I am talking about blatant sin like affairs, premarital sex, dating an unbelievers etc. Well, the unbeliever is in sin because of their unbelief...so....sorry guys...not too sure how to get this out onto the cyber paper!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ears2hear View Post
                  I would like to clarify.

                  The church we attend know that these people are unbelievers. They are invited by the church to take part.

                  I can certainly see why they are involving the unbelievers, but I just don't know if it is right. I mean, in our old church, if you were in blatant sin and in a leadership position like leading worship, you were asked to step down until there was repentence. Now, I am talking about blatant sin like affairs, premarital sex, dating an unbelievers etc. Well, the unbeliever is in sin because of their unbelief...so....sorry guys...not too sure how to get this out onto the cyber paper!
                  Greetings Ears,

                  While its true that there are both wheat (believers) and tares (unbelievers) who grow together in the church until Christ separates them in the fullness of time...it seems the only reason these unbelievers are being invited to your church is because they have some artistic ability that your church wants to utilize. Is this correct?

                  If this is the only reason they are invited, then they are not there because they have been drawn by God to hear the preached Word. If they are not there to hear the Word, but your leaders preach to them anyway, then there will be no fruit from their labors.

                  But how can anyone know whether one of them might be drawn by God, and God is using their artistic talents to bring them under the hearing of His Word? So, as long as they are there, then preach the Word, and pray that God would give them ears to hear, and faith to believe, that they too might be turned from their sins and to Christ. We have to always remember..."there but by the grace of God go I."

                  Many Blessings,
                  RW

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ears2hear View Post
                    I would like to clarify.

                    The church we attend know that these people are unbelievers. They are invited by the church to take part.

                    I can certainly see why they are involving the unbelievers, but I just don't know if it is right. I mean, in our old church, if you were in blatant sin and in a leadership position like leading worship, you were asked to step down until there was repentence. Now, I am talking about blatant sin like affairs, premarital sex, dating an unbelievers etc. Well, the unbeliever is in sin because of their unbelief...so....sorry guys...not too sure how to get this out onto the cyber paper!
                    One of the things I have always not liked about e-mail and message boards is the lack of tone in one's voice. Too easy to be taken the wrong way. Look, we are called to make students of Messiah. We are to teach, we are to share the work of Messiah, and we are to do this with those who don't know him. Sure, we continue teaching those who come to him...equip them with the knowledge they can use not only to give an answer for themselves, but so they too can share the Good News and teach. It doesn't mean they are in the "position" of teacher....but everyone on this board is "teaching." When we share our own viewpoints, we teach. We may not always be right...but even then, sometimes the wrong message unlocks something that answers something else.

                    Un-saved people coming to your assembly is half of what you assembly is for. We should open the doors to EVERYONE as long as they are not there to cause division. No un-saved person should have ANY kind of leadership position, but we need to let them come. While there, they hear the Word of God, through which, faith comes. Since faith is the foundation of our faith, and it comes from hearing the Word of God...then sinners should be able to go where the Word is spoken.

                    At some point the couple in my congregation will stand up and make a profession of faith, or leave. Either way, we have done all we can do in affording them a place to hear the Word of God and SEE by example how a Messiah believing person lives.

                    Peace.
                    Ken

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kenrank View Post
                      One of the things I have always not liked about e-mail and message boards is the lack of tone in one's voice.

                      Peace.
                      Ken
                      I assure you that there is no negative tone to my post. A bit of frustration because I seem to lack the ability to say what is rattling around in my head.

                      Thanks for your input.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                        Paul was talking about inter faith marriages and close associations, Sam, not attending church. This concept has been with the Jews since Sinai. If a beleiver is so weak in faith that they can not withstand casual fellowship with an unbeliever, then I think there are other problems to address. Also, when Paul wrote this, non-messianic Jews were congregating with messianic Jews, and who knows what the Gentile associations were, so Paul could not have meant what you stated.
                        I may agree partly but who marries unbelievers or unrighteousness? or darkness? or Belial? or an infidel? or idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. If what you proclaim is all true then God is directing you to not only not have sex with but also come out from among them!!! WOW!!! To be separate has to do with both the world and in certain situations within the church as Paul instructed in 1 Cor.5;...

                        Thanks, Sam

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                          I may agree partly but who marries unbelievers or unrighteousness? or darkness? or Belial? or an infidel? or idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
                          Um..people who claim to be Christian date and marry unbelievers all the time. I had a good friend whom I (at the time) looked up to as a mentor who became involved with an unbeleiver because "he wasn't a pervert like a lot of Christian men are." Sorry to say, but the state of the church to day is very, very sad. I think it's because most of us are taught that faith is based only on 'thinking and agreeing'' and 'doing what God says to do' is 'works' but that's for another thread.

                          Originally posted by Samsheep2 View Post
                          Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

                          If what you proclaim is all true then God is directing you to not only not have sex with but also come out from among them!!! WOW!!! To be separate has to do with both the world and in certain situations within the church as Paul instructed in 1 Cor.5;...

                          Thanks, Sam
                          Come out from among them - absolutey I agree. But to invite an unbeliever in? Yes, I will do that. Any time I can proclaim the Good News, I will take it. That doesn't mean I hang out with unbeleivers and particpate in their profane acts. I would never do that, become one of them.
                          Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We attended a church where the band included some hired members who were not Christian and didn't even attend the church. That really bothered me when I learned about that. How can a nonbeliever lead believers in worship? But it was more about having a "quality performance" it seems, than "spirit and truth" worship. I don't mind if unbelievers come into the church, I think it's important they feel welcome. But it is a problem when the church compromises the solid Bible teaching in order to make the nonbelievers more comfortable.
                            Love In Christ,
                            Tanya






                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tanya~ View Post
                              We attended a church where the band included some hired members who were not Christian and didn't even attend the church. That really bothered me when I learned about that. How can a nonbeliever lead believers in worship? But it was more about having a "quality performance" it seems, than "spirit and truth" worship. I don't mind if unbelievers come into the church, I think it's important they feel welcome. But it is a problem when the church compromises the solid Bible teaching in order to make the nonbelievers more comfortable.
                              WOW! Have you been rattling around in my head!? THAT is exactly what I have been trying to express.
                              Thank you!

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