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Lowell Brueckner

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New Standards and Teachings


New Standards

Let me name a few practices, popular in our times and often found in the church, which are directly forbidden by the Scriptures:

1.      Strong drink… Proverbs 23:31 “Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly, In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.” They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.” Godly wisdom describes here intoxicating wine, the hangover, delirium, confusion, sickness, numbness to pain, and lack of good sense experienced by the drinker, which ends by the onset of addiction. One of the most misunderstood issues concerns what the Bible teaches about wine, claiming that it gives license to moderate drinking. It doesn’t. An interpretation to any portion claimed by those who imbibe, contradicts this clear commandment to not even look at wine, when it is in an intoxicating state. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself. The word juice is only used once in the whole Bible, and most of the time, wine, especially new wine, means nothing more than grape juice. I understand, by those who have investigated, that processed wine in Bible times was so lightly fermented, that one could not hold enough in his stomach to become intoxicated.

Our son-in-law, daughter, and granddaughter were in an accident, in which the driver, who hit their car and was killed, had well below the legal limits of alcohol in his blood, but he had had just enough to sway his judgment. His wife and parents claimed that he was a good and cautious driver. A man told me of a friend of his, with whom he played chess. His friend would always beat him, unless he could persuade him to have a couple beers before the match.  That would be enough to dull his competitor’s mind and give him the edge.  

2.      Blasphemy… Exodus 20:7  “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” I cringe when I hear people, who claim to be Christians, say something like “Oh my God” or simply write “omg”. They do it so lightly, so flippantly. They have lost their reverence and fear of God. This one is straight from the Ten Commandments and God said that He would not pronounce “not guilty” those who use His name lightly. That obviously holds in the New Testament, as well as the Old. God will condemn the blasphemer.  

3.      Tattoos… Leviticus 19:28  “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” Could any commandment be any clearer? God says this is unbecoming to His people and those who do it do not attest to His Lordship over their lives. It is a pagan practice and Christians are not to follow the pagans. They are to be the head, an example to the world, and not the tail, which is influenced by the world.    

4.      Immodest dress… 1 Timothy 2:9  “(I desire that) women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…” Isaiah 3:16 “The daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet.”  Here we have a very clear New Testament command given by the Apostle Paul, joined with an Old Testament description, to give clarity as to what God found undesirable among His daughters. Their dress and attitude point to attention-getting lewdness, manifesting moral decay. It certainly does not depict people, who seek to glorify God in their lives. God says that He doesn’t like it.

5.      Long hair for men… 1 Corinthians 14:11, 15  “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” Here is apostolic teaching straight from the New Testament. God has not jumped on the unisex bandwagon and I am sure that His disapproval does not only concentrate on the hair, but any dress or ornaments that make men look like women and women like men. This is where lesbianism and homosexuality begin.

In part five, Paul states that the teacher is nature, that is, the natural reason and manner, for which God, from the beginning in creation, had willed for such things. What goes against the original purpose of God is perversion. This is true in music and in art. What is abnormal and unnatural is a perversion. The Bible doesn’t have to mention that which common sense teaches about what is bad and is harmful, such as music that injures your ear drums, smoking and taking drugs.

Not every evil practice is named or covered directly in the Bible. Many of them didn’t exist in Bible times. However, let me assure you that there are biblical principles that cover every area of Christian living. The one I just mentioned can be called the perversion principle

I will point out a few more of them:

1.      The world principle. I commonly observed as a boy, cows with their necks between the barbed wire, reaching as far out of their pasture as possible, though there are acres behind them, which they haven’t tasted. They depict the Christian, who wants as much of the world as he can get and yet still be inside. He continually asks, “What’s wrong with this or that. He still loves the world and the biblical principle is: “Love not the world… if any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” “You adulterers and adulteresses, whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Do not think of this only as a love for the world’s styles and entertainment, although that is certainly included. It involves a worldly mentality and manner… the world’s thinking and way of functioning. And do not think of the love of the world as an emotional longing, although that also is involved. But love means trust. It means looking to the world’s system for its security and future, rather than looking to God by faith.

2.      The root and fruit principle. “Make the tree evil and the root evil”. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. Jesus said that the state of our inner man will show itself through our body. We have tried to say that it’s what is inside that counts, not the position of the body. The Bible teaches otherwise. What is inside should be expressed by the body, for good or for evil. Otherwise we are hypocrites.  Just take the simple old-fashioned custom of kneeling while praying, for instance. If our hearts do not bow before almighty God anymore, then it is unlikely that we will kneel or prostrate before Him. Demons seek bodies in order to fully carry out their inbred evil. God wants to be manifested in our mortal bodies. Anything that our bodies do that does not glorify the Lord is sin. We do not have to name specifically a given practice.

3.      The wall principle of Nehemiah. Nehemiah couldn’t hide his grief, even before the king of Persia, who demanded happiness from his slaves within the court. It was illegal to be sad, but Nehemiah was gripped by the grief of the Holy Spirit and he couldn’t help himself. What was the Holy Spirit’s concern, manifested in Nehemiah? Jerusalem’s walls were broken down! Walls raise a clear division between what was Jerusalem and what was not. Jerusalem spilled out to the world and the world stormed into Jerusalem. You will notice in this book that Nehemiah would not allow hypocritical, insincere individuals to form part of the work and of the people.

In the first chapter of “The Christ of the Apocalypse”, I wrote about the difference between what we saw in the USA, before we went to Mexico in 1964 and what we found, when we came back to live in the US in 1979. I have observed a great difference between Christian standards in Eastern Europe compared to the West. Of course I could include other parts of the world in this comparison, up to this day.

New Teaching

Relatively modern doctrine has done great damage to the evangelical church. I remember a teaching that came in strongly in the 1950’s and 1960’s that said that Christian principle and standards, outside of that clearly stated in the Bible, was a matter of personal conviction. From that time on, Christian standards took a decided turn for the worse. Once it caught hold, people became offended by preachers who delved into these matters (they said that they had stopped preaching and started meddling) thinking that they were interfering with their personal lives and business.

I remember also teaching pertaining to the pre-charismatic times, before the term “charismatic” was coined. I am not making a blanket condemnation of that movement, because I saw too much of the workings of God, at least in its beginnings. However, even in that time, there were teachings and emphasis that, when they developed and became accepted, have done untold damage and actually set evangelicalism in another direction. Almost all those who have come into the church in the last generation have never known anything different. They believe them as if they were gospel truth. Many from the past generation have gradually become tolerant on these issues. Here are some of them:

1.      Positivism. Positive thinking had already settled in. “Christian Science” had been preaching it for decades and “Guidepost Magazine’s” Normal Vincent Peale fueled the fire.  Positive confession worked its way in and became a very prominent teaching. Already in the 1960’s terms were used to describe different types of preachers. I heard it said of those who preached positively, that they “ministered life”. Those who attacked sin and warned of judgment were called “condemnation preachers”.

2.      A discrediting of all that was old. Old hymns were sometimes totally thrown out, replaced by simple new choruses and songs. It’s quite surprising that up until the 1960s, hymns that were 500-years-old had not gone out of style in the church. Now, “old songs” are barely five years old. They don’t have enough substance to survive a decade. The centuries-old hymns were still “our music” and the young sang them, as well as the old. But then, all centered on new things, based on certain texts that stated that God would do a new thing. Church history was not relevant and even heaven was not often preached. I remember when the song “Won’t It Be Wonderful There” became, “Oh, It is Wonderful Here” The expression “here and now” was frequently heard in those times.

3.      An insistence on unity. A grave misinterpretation of Jesus’ words and desires in John 17 were purported. Oneness with the Father and the Son, the vine and branches principle, was not the priority, but unity among people… anyone who called himself “Christian”. Ecumenical thought became ever stronger at the cost of doctrinal truth.  The second commandment was raised far above the first.  Loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength was overtaken by unconditional love for people. Eventually, somehow the “love your neighbor” teaching, gave way to “love yourself”, a totally unbiblical idea. Liberal Christianity was brought into the evangelical fold and soon even cults were included.  

4.      Judge not. I got upset enough to write a tract on this subject and you can read it on this blogspot. I cannot take the time and space to go over all the miscalculations and misinformation that developed on the premise that Christians are not supposed to judge.  Judge not meant discipline not and veered far away from the biblical theme. I will just mention that Jesus taught, “Judge righteous judgment”, and Paul said, “Don’t you know you will judge angels. Are you not able to judge the smallest matters?” The church admitted all kinds of unacceptable teaching and teachers due to a false view towards judging.

5.      A misinterpretation of Christian liberty including an antinomian, that is, an anti-law position. These people would certainly call what I am stating here “legalism”.  It is no such thing. Legalism is a way of thinking that claims that salvation comes through the keeping of the law or that our salvation must be maintained through the keeping of the law (or norms or rules).  That’s what Paul opposed. I am talking about Christian standards… setting a standard for the world, rather than letting the world give us our standards. God’s people should have high standards!

Christian liberty began to mean take all you want of the world and be a Christian at the same time. Have fun, mix and mingle with the world and its people. It meant that you could give free rein to all your zest for pleasure and satisfaction, except, of course, for the basest lusts. Galatians, where Paul most teaches about freedom in Christ, needs to be reexamined to see that along with that liberty are some wonderful views of the cross… “I am crucified with Christ.” “They who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.” “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

So here we are almost 15 years into the 21st Century, engulfed by new standards and new teaching, entertaining an apostasy such as the church has never seen in its entire history. It’s wake-up time folks. Get rid of your idols, run from the trends of the times and start building the walls. Get in touch with God’s people and shun the proponents of cross-less Christianity. Burn the modern trash literature and cling to the classics. Some of the worst junk ever presented to the church have sold millions of copies. Vance Havner said a generation ago, “The situation is desperate, but God’s people are not!” Get desperate; get ready to stand against the fury of hell and the wrath of hypocrites. Heaven is near and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is at hand. Nothing else is important. 


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