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About sparkman

Basic Information

Age
54
About sparkman
Name:
Robert
Gender:
male
Marital Status:
not married
Spiritual Status:
Christian
When saved:
1985
Country Flag/Nationality:
USA
Country (Location):
United States
State/Province/Region:
Indiana [USA]
Favorite Bible Verse:
I Peter 5:7
About:
This chat site is a great place to talk with other Christians, but it is not a substitute for real, face-to-face local Christian fellowships.

Why isn't it a substitute? It is plain from Scripture that the Church is to be a face-to-face community of believers who adhere to the apostolic doctrine, observe baptism and communion, are being shepherded and discipled by elders, and practice the "one another" Scriptures together. These elements are part of face-to-face relationships.

Several here are often not mature Christians, and convey serious doctrinal error. Others are not Christians at all, and are associated with cultic beliefs such as vehement denial of the deity of Christ or the Trinity.

Every variety of aberrant belief is present here. Reasonably sounding people can hold terrible doctrine, and represent cultic extremes.

Do I think they might sincerely hold their false beliefs? Yes, but sincerity is not the criteria for sound doctrine or even saving knowledge. Someone can be sincerely deceived by false doctrine with serious repercussions. Scripture warns about being deceived by false doctrines. A deceived person doesn't know that he is deceived.

In addition, it is a COMMON affliction that men, in particular, think that they hear God closer than anyone else, and that God listens to them closer than anyone else. As a result, they proclaim themselves to be an authority and start teaching their misunderstandings to others. Many of these claim to be apostles or prophets, but others just think this venue is a place to preach.

Women don't typically have this tendency as a part of their nature, although I have seen some women claiming to be prophets.

In REAL, face to face fellowships, those who are appointed leaders in healthy churches have proven themselves to be led by God by their behavior within the community and their families. We cannot assess whether the person preaching on an internet venue bears this type of character, and it is FOOLISH to give them that kind of credibility, especially since many of them are young men who haven't proven themselves, and others who are older don't reflect sound thinking, or haven't demonstrated basic character such as marital fidelity.

Some unhealthy professed believers are church haters who claim this chat site is their "church".

The Scriptures are clear in that we are to be involved in a local fellowship of believers who encourage one another, practice communion and baptism together, and are being led, and disciplined in a loving manner by elders. This is not an ambiguous teaching, and those who ignore it are in rebellion of basic New Testament teaching.

Many think they are too smart, or too spiritual, to fellowship with others in their community. Resistance to authority of any type accompanies this mentality in many cases. Scripture is, again, clear where the attitude of resisting authority comes from...Satan. Don't be led astray by the enemy.

Church rebels are often reflecting the nature of Satan, even while being a believer. Rebellion of authority and an attitude of pride and superiority comes from Satan.

It is commanded to fellowship, and being a "lone ranger" Christian is not a viable option.

Obviously I'm not talking about individuals who cannot attend for legitimate health or logistics reasons. God gives extra grace in such circumstances. I've been there myself.

It also may take a while to find a healthy fellowship. Been there, done that. I'm not suggesting attending a place that teaches severely compromised doctrine. But, in the USA there is a sound fellowship within driving distance for just about everyone.

As a young man, I got involved with the teachings of a cultic group, so I am very concerned that newer Christians fall into the snare of the devil by failing to be involved in the Church and Scripture.

I highly recommend 1) studying sound materials regarding salvation and Scripture, especially ESV Study Bible and Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and 2) finding a solid, loving, biblically-based church and attending regularly. I make further recommendations below.

Regarding salvation, if you'd like to discuss it, I'd be glad to talk to you and help you with study materials and church recommendations.

I would recommend these books in particular:

What is the Gospel?, Greg Gilbert
The Explicit Gospel, Matt Chandler
Core Christianity, Michael Horton
The God Who Is There, DA Carson
Christian Beliefs, Wayne Grudem

I recommend these books for believers who are not experiencing joy in their salvation, or are failing a lot in the area of sin and temptation (backslidden):

Union With Christ, Rankin Wilbourne
Who Do You Think You Are: Finding Your True Identity in Jesus, Mark Driscoll
Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, Russell Moore

All of these books are written by sound-thinking, no-nonsense evangelical authors, and cover key concepts that will help you a lot, such as our identity in Christ and our spiritual union with Him. These are all essential concepts that I've been benefitting from being more aware of lately.

My email is [email protected] if you want to ask questions or discuss Christianity. My facebook page is

https://www.facebook.com/sparkmanrl

I attend an Evangelical Free Church of America congregation.

If you are in the USA and seeking a church, I would recommend Evangelical Free Church of America (www.efca.org) or Christian and Missionary Alliance (www.cmalliance.org) churches. There's also an association called 9marks that has high standards (http://www.9marks.com). Acts 29 also has some good churches http://www.acts29.com. All four have church finders on their site that would help you to find a sound, local fellowshp nearby.

Additionally there are many good Baptist churches, and other local churches that may be fantastic but it's harder to comment on those since I can't assess every individual church obviously.

In other countries, I suggest looking for a church that is associated with evangelical doctrine. There are other evangelical church associations in other countries. If you need help finding an association, I can likely find one for you.

Here is one in the UK:

https://fiec.org.uk/

Here is one in Australia:

http://www.fiec.org.au/

Evangelicals affirm the standard doctrines of evangelical Christianity which include:

1) the full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ
2) monotheism (there is only one God)
3) the doctrine of the Trinity or Triune nature of God
4) justification by faith alone
5) authority and inspiration of Scripture alone
6) substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross
7) original sin
8) virgin birth
9) bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
10) eternal reward of the righteous and eternal
punishment of the wicked at Christ's return

I suggest that you avoid any organization or individual that teaches against any of these points. Cultic or sub-Christian groups deny one or more of the above points.

My favorite Bible teachers include RC Sproul, David Platt, Michael Horton, John MacArthur, DA Carson, Alistair Begg, Voddie Baucham, Tim Keller, James White, Wayne Grudem and Matt Chandler. All of these individuals have either YouTube videos, SermonAudio sermons, or books that you can benefit from.

My favorite Christian music groups include Vertical Church Band, Rend Collective, Jason Waller, Citizens & Saints, Norton Hall Band and Dustin Kensrue. These groups generally have upbeat music and Scriptural lyrics.

FAVORITE QUOTES

You can trust a God who is not only sovereign but bleeds for you. —Don Carson

Be faithful planting the gospel seed in the hearts of those who hear, and rest in the knowledge that it is God who sovereignly regenerates sinners -- Cameron Buettel

The Old Adam is drowned in baptism, but that jackass is a good swimmer - Martin Luther

Trusting God in the midst of pain and suffering may be the greatest expression of worship that we can accomplish here on earth - C. Michael Patton

Faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it, regardless of how we feel, because God promises a good result - James MacDonald

The weakness of all semi-Pelagianism is that it invests in the fallen, corrupt flesh of man the power to exercise faith.- R.C. Sproul

"Rules without relationship leads to rebellion and resentment." – J.D. and Veronica Greear

Pretty insightful..God gives us commandments, but it is in the context of a loving relationship. Others in our lives may not have given us that context.

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Christian chat is a good place for fellowship, but many unsound doctrines are expressed here. Find a good, evangelical church for discipleship.

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