Audio

TSDN – 003 New Years Resolutions Are A Scam

2019 happy New Year

INTRODUCTION

Very much often people set up what they call New Year’s Resolutions. I have no idea how this practice began, but I am sure some life hacking “expert” suggested it to hundreds of people who were listening to his “expert” advice. These hundreds of people then spread the word and told their friends, families, and work colleagues about the wonders of setting up New Year’s Resolutions. There is no doubt that in 2017 many people made New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 and again in 2018 resolutions were made for 2019. What is amazing is that most people are very vocal about their resolutions for the new year. They tell everyone they would meet how they are going to get out of debts, quit smoking, get married etc

The question that remains is that, “Do New Years Resolution really work?”  My intention today is to show that New Year’s Resolutions are a scam and many people have been held prisoner by the idea that they have to make a resolution for a particular year in order to achieve a particular milestone in life. Today I am going to attempt to answer five questions:

  1. What are the New Year’s Resolutions?
  2. How did New Years Resolutions begin?
  3. Do they Work?
  4. Why you shouldn’t use New Year’s Resolution?
  5. What should you do instead of New Years Resolutions?

I WHAT ARE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?

New year’s resolutions are promises which are made by people at the beginning of each year, that they would accomplish certain things in that particular year. Many of these promises are made out of a sincere heart. You would hear one saying,”This year I will pay all my debts and I will quit smoking.” Someone will tell his wife, “This year I promise that I will be a faithful and a caring husband.” or “I promise that I will not touch weed this year.” As I said many of these promises are very sincere. The question is not whether these promises are sincere or not, the question is, will they ever be kept. Are we truly going to see the fulfillment of these  promises? Time does tell.

II HOW DID NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS BEGIN?

As I said earlier that I have no idea where, when, and why did the new year’s resolution begin. Which begs the question as to why am I even talking about their origin if I don’t know where this tradition came from. Well, for the sake of my dear lazy friends who only consume what is being said and never bother to go and check if the information is correct. I am putting a link to the source of the information which I am going to talk about.  I stumbled over history.com

Well, according to history.com :

Ancient Babylonians

The tradition of new year’s resolution is very old. This tradition can be traced back to the ancient Babylonians around 4000 years ago. It is said that ancient Babylonians would make promises to their deities whenever a new year began. Their new year was not in January as is the case today. The beginning of the year in January is due to some Roman nonsense which the world couldn’t shake off. It stuck with us like a woman’s lipstick on a shirt of a cheating husband. Okay back to the ancient Babylonians. The Babylonian year began some where around March.

The Babylonians promised their objects of worship that they would return what they have borrowed and also to pay all their debts. It was believed that when one would keep these promises they would be favored by their false gods. I mean come on, who doesn’t know that the Babylonian gods were false.

Romans

After Julius Caesar started his nonsense and tempered with the calendar and making the year start in January so the Romans began to celebrate new year’s day and they follow the Babylonian tradition of making promises but this time to Janus the false god after whom January is named. Of course these promises did not come with empty hands. They made a promise while they gave gifts to these false deities.

Christians

Sadly, it is very easy for Christians to follow through and perform foreign and unbiblical forms of worship which are inherited from the pagans. Some how Christians, the Methodist in particular, started to do what was known as watch-nights on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s day. This is where prayers were offered and resolutions made for the New Year.

It is clear according to the History.com that new year’s resolutions have a very strong and undeniable religious origin. This make me wonder if atheist play the new year’s resolutions game considering the source thereof.

III DO THEY WORK?

New years resolutions never work. It is always up to the person making them to work and keep the promises they have made. Sadly, year after year people think that making a promise would change their bad habit. I have seen many people promising to do better but in the end they fail because deep down in their heart there is no true conviction and no commitment to the promise they have made. Many have promised to quit alcohol but then make no effort to keep away from alcoholic friends or to join alcohol anonymous kind of group in search for help. I have seen people who were able to quit alcohol without any new year’s resolutions but with a made up mind and a commitment to change. Their desire to change was seen in their daily lives until they succeeded. They made physical and evident changes around them. They quit hanging out with wrong friends and they made new friends who would help them reach their desired state of life.

IV WHY YOU SHOULDN’T USE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?

You should not make new years resolutions because they are a waste of time. If you are not making important steps towards changing today, you will not change even on the following  year.  You need to make resolves today and start today to work on what you want to achieve.

There are Christian friends who have not read the bible from cover to cover. They keep postponing. “In January,” they say, ” I will start reading my bible until I finish it in December” January comes and also excuses accompany it. February comes and go. Before you know it, December is upon us and the bible has not been read from cover to cover as was promised. So new year’s resolution makes liars. My advice is if you are committed to read and finish the bible from Genesis to Revelation in 365 days. Start today. If you start in 2019 January 3,  your reading plan will end in 2020 January 2. If you start in May 25, your plan will end the following year on May 24. So stop the nonsense of New Year’s resolutions and save your self sometime. You’ll thank me later.

V WHAT SHOULD YOU DO INSTEAD OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?

Instead of wasting your time with new years resolutions, you need to set goals and plan decisively on achieving them. You must want to achieve that goal and the journey to achieving it begins now. You must be prepared to leave your comfort zone and actually get dirty working with your hands or with available tools to achieve what you want. You must set a time frame for you goal. You don’t want to work for the rest of your life and getting nowhere. You must know how long it should take you to work in what you need to achieve. Have a comprehensive plan, with each step clearly defined.

Say your goal is to lose weight, and today is the 3rd of January. You could say something like : “By 3 June, I should have lost 50kg. To achieve this I shall run for 20 minutes every day.  My diet will consist of vegetables only and I will eat meat once a week. I will weigh myself every Wednesday and record my progress. I am starting this afternoon.”

I hope you will quit this bad habit that takes you nowhere, that is, if you are a new year’s resolution kind of person who gains nothing by them.

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Audio

TSDN – 002 How To Deal With Peer Pressure

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How to Deal With Peer Pressure by Lungisa N Joctrey
The music in this audio file is provided by YouTube Library

HOW TO DEAL WITH PEER PRESSURE?

Hello and welcome to the The SpokesDude Podcast episode 002. My name is Lungisa Joctrey, thank you very much for joining me. Let me start off by saying, if you haven’t yet, you are welcome to subscribe to The SpokesDude Network on iTunes. You can also go to our website http://thespokesdude.com and subscribe there. When you click on the subscribe button on iTunes or on the website, you always will be notified when a new episode or post has been released.

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Well, let us waste no more of your time and get on with the business of the day. Today we are talking about “Peer pressure.”  How to deal with peer pressure?

Dealing with this topic we are going to answer a few questions on peer

  1. What is peer pressure?
  2. Are there different kinds of peer pressure?
  3. Is peer pressure good or bad?
  4. If bad who are the victims?
  5. If bad, how to overcome peer pressure?

Let’s get to it then.

WHAT IS PEER PRESSURE?

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines peer pressure as, “ a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age or social group in order to be liked or respected by them.”

Another definition I picked up from google search is, “influence from members of one’s peer group.”

ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEER PRESSURE?

Peer pressure come in different forms. Some forms are well known and can be easily identified and other are subtle and affect a large number of people even those who think they are free from peer pressure.

(Non- Verbal) Asch Paradigm

I recently watched on YouTube three instances where an experiment was conducted to determine how an individual person would make an obvious wrong decision just because everyone is making it, even though that individual knows that it is wrong.

Right Answer/Wrong answer Experiment

The first two experiments I watched were practically the same. The one involved adults and the other teenagers. The majority of participants were ordered to give the same wrong answer so to determine how the test subject (who clearly had no clue that this was a setup) would react. The group was shown two images. One on the left and one on the right. The image in the right displayed three vertical lines and the one on the left had one vertical line. The group was required to compare the line on the left image with the three lines on the right image to determine which of the three line was of equal length as that to the left. The test subject eventually gave the wrong answer just as the whole group

The experiment was altered a bit, one more person was added who was instructed to give the right answer. With the partner who would give a right answer just before the test subject took their turn, the subject gave right answers.

The elevator experiment

We all know that when we enter the elevator we turn around and face the door. No one teaches us that. We all know it. It happens naturally. The experiment gets a large group of people who are spread from floor to floor and they each walk into the elevator, pick their floor number and stand facing the back of the elevator. Now again there would one test subject. Eventually about 80% of the test subject slowly turned to the back of the elevator just because they felt uncomfortable doing what others were not doing.

The traffic light decision

My observation of this kind of Peer Pressure is when we are in the city and we have to cross the road at the traffic light. I have heard a lot of angry car horns hooting at pedestrians who crossed the road illegally just because they followed two or three people who had carefully calculated their act to get to the other side despite the traffic. When some people see these brave idiots cross the road, they simply follow as sheep behind the shepherd, without even checking the traffic light.

So human beings have a tendency of depending on other people’s decision making, when making they own decisions. It does not matter whether these people are acquaintances or complete strangers. The philosophy is when you come to Rome you do as the Romans do.

Verbal Peer Pressure

This is a common type of peer pressure. An individual is persuaded by others into doing something they don’t want to do or something they know to be wrong just to avoid being ridiculed. They are told that taking drugs brings relaxation and clears the mind. They would cave in to the prompting of their peers or social group and participate in the practice that would otherwise ruin their lives rather than clear their mind.

Adult Peer Pressure

Many people think that only teenagers experience peer pressure. The adults also get to feel it and cave in to it.

One buys a new van just because each of his friends has one.  Another will shop at a particular shop just because most of his acquaintances or his neighbors shop there. When I grew up you’d hear the adults say, “what would the people say?” or “what would the pastor say?”


Yes, adult peer pressure is even recorded in the bible in Matthew 21:23-27.

And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”  

IS PEER PRESSURE GOOD OR BAD?

Peer pressure can be bad and also can be good. It simply depends on the context of it. We know that it is bad when people are bullied to do wrong things. Whenever peer pressure is mentioned that is the idea which comes to mind. We all sort of thing negative of peer pressure and for right reasons.

There can be instances where peer pressure is good. Like getting people to keep the local area clean. That kind of peer influence is good and it benefits everyone. It is also good to get people to think more about helping those who are in need. These are just examples of positive peer pressure.

IF BAD, WHO ARE THE VICTIMS?

Peer pressure affects everyone in general but in most cases negative peer pressure affect teenagers and it has driven some to either drop out from school, to get in a criminal life, or to commit suicide.

IF BAD, HOW TO OVERCOME PEER PRESSURE?

My thought on this question is that, people should be educated on these issues. Teenagers and old people should be made aware of that we are responsible and accountable for everything we do. When we make decisions we should think carefully on whether we are doing the right or we are just please strangers who would abandon us we get into trouble.

Audio

TSDN – 001 Don’t Answer Before You Hear

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Many people do not pay attention to what they hear or read. They tend to make important decisions based on the little information they have received without listening to the full story and thus get into trouble.

This is true in many areas of communication.

  1. Social Media Posts
  2. Signing of Contracts
  3. NewsPaper Headlines
  4. Bible Text

It is very easy to get into trouble when one enters into an agreement without first reading and fully understand the terms of that contract.  On Today’s Episode we are looking at that issue.

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Video

Know the Bible

To be an expect in any thing requires commitment, and daily practice. A top sportsman or sportswoman becomes the best not by chance but by that they keep on training daily and avoiding certain habits in order to improve their perfomance. The same principle applies to us as Christians, especially to leaders.

For anyone to be a successful preacher or pastor, it is necessary that they give themselves to prayer and studying of the Bible. This should be their daily practice. These two things are none negotiable. They are critical in the life of any church leader. For us to be able to teach well and shepherd the flocks of God faithfuly we must always meet our Master in prayer, to report our concerns and our progress in the work we do and also to request more grace to help us carry on with serving Him. We must soak ourselves in the word of God and be instructed of the Lord by means of his written word. We should learn from the example of the apostles, in that, when matters of food and waiting of tables arose in the church, the apostles set themselves apart by refusing to get involved in such matters and suggested that deacons be appointed for the purpose of waiting tables and managing distribution of food. The apostles said, “It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables… but we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2,4). There are certain things, though they be good, which are to be abandoned or avoided in order to excel in the most important duty into which one is called.

Paul affirms that the written word of God is critical for our lives. After showing in 2 Timothy 3:16, that all scripture is inspired by God. He then shows us that the same is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. This is all necessary, so that, “the man of God may be perfect, and throughly furnished for all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:17) This means that the Bible is enough, for our perfection and to have us totally equiped to do every good thing required by the Lord from us. We cannot raise healthy churches if we ignore the word of God. To ensure that the church members are growing, pastors must be committed in prayer and be full of the Bible and then train their members to do the same.

If we as pastors commit ourselves to do thus, there won’t be a need to fake miracles or even to resolve to magic and manipulation in order to woo the crowds for the purposes of gaining a large following.

The Bible Crooks

Bible Crooks.gif

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…” (2 Peter 2:3a)

Gone are those days where a person who wanted to rob you had the decency of wearing a balaclava and for his dignity, his conduct was in such a manner that he would wait in the bushes or around a street corner at night in order to carry out his evil purposes. Today that is not the case. You get robbed right in broad daylight by a man who is well known and who has no shame of carrying a Bible. Not only does this unscrupulous devil’s advocate have the guts to carry the Bible in public but he is bold enough to open it, read it to you and make damnable claims about it. If you don’t know your Bible, you will sure go down and the “Bible Crook” will walk all over you. Peter warned the brethren in his days that there were false prophets in the olden days and there sure will be false teachers among the brethren. This warning is very relevent for us today because what I choose to call the “Bible Crooks,” are the false prophets of today.

1. Through Coveteous

Peter speaks about the driving force behind the “Bible Crooks.” These men and women are driven by coveteousness. Their apetite for wealth and power is a bottomless pit which gets bigger and more demanding each time it is fed. These are hungry wolves who will do anything in their power to deceive and to loot the people off their money and prized possessions. They teach not the words of Jesus. If they ever try to teach what Jesus taught, they would twist His words in order to benefit themselves. Like a pack of hungry wolves they team up against God’s people to devour and to scatter them.

2. With Feign Words

These crooks have a very powerful tool they use to make their kill. Peter says that, they use “crafty words.” These people are not idiots, they are endowed with tremendous amounts of deviousness. They are able to make people do unimaginable things through their crafty speeches. They have the gift of the gap and have no shame of speaking on subjects about which they have no clue whatsoever. They can pretend to be medical professionals, business owners, pastors and many others. These crooks enjoy the spotlight and are very egocentric, in fact, they make people think very high of them, even higher than God. I know it is absurd to say such a thing. Allow me to explain.

A Bible Crook always has a story that would protray him or herself as a close friend of God. They never fail to tell their audience about the private conversations they get to have with God. Once they win their audience’s hearts through such stories, they proceed to paint a picture of a puny god, the one who is absolutely under human control. They seem to know better than God. You will see this in their constant critique of the difficult parts of the Bible. They would resolve to some weak and shallow human philosophy and they have no shame to present their opinion as though it is the word of God. Their victims are caught in the nets of their deception, thinking that the men they feed is the man of God, not knowing that it is only an impostor, who is well versed in the matters of holiness yet lacks the skills to apply such matters in his own life by means of practice.

Charles H. Spurgeon puts it well when he says, “A graceless pastor is a blind man elected to a professorship of optics, philosophizing upon light and vision, discoursing upon and distinguishing to others the nice shades and delicate blendings of the prismatic colors, while he himself is absolutely in the dark! He is a dumb man elevated to the chair of music; a deaf man fluent upon symphonies and harmonies!” (Lectures To My Students, Pg 14).  The Apostle Paul said that these men had a form of godliness yet they deny its power. They profess to be godly yet in their private quarters they perfom terrible acts of blasphemy. They preach about humilty yet they themselves are plagued with an incurable desease of pride.

3. Make Merchandise of You

The Bible Crooks are not the friends of God, neither are they the shepherds of the flocks of God. These are business men and business women. Their expectation is profit. They fleece their followers and do whatever they can to establish and sustain their empires. Peter says, “they shall make merchandise of you.” What he is saying is, they shall make business of you. They will sell you out without thinking twice. Their involvement with you would be pure business. How often are you told, “In order to be blessed sow a financial seed to a pastor or to a prophet?” Today churches have sales stands where Bible Crooks display their products. These product range from “anointed soap,” to “anointed oil,” to “anointed condoms” and to many other outrageous items of the “anointed” series. The Bible ignorant people will be pouring their money into these shops which are disguised as churches. Like shops in a shopping mall, so are the churches in the residential areas.

There are very few churches which are interested in the glory of Christ and to assisting people into becoming more like Christ. Many churches have discipleship goals written down but now those goals are collecting dust in some shelf as the pastor forgets that he has a Master before whom he shall give account and he roars away with appetite for power and wealth.
One sad and probably the most shameful trend among the Bible Crooks is the lack of self control, particularly in sexual context. They use the gullibility of desperate women to satisfy their own sexual desires. They promise them a wide range of possibilities in exchange for sex. These silly women would believe the crook and would allow him to do as he pleases and in the end the woman is shamed and the crook escapes unharmed. Paul did warn of this kind of immorality. He said,”For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,” (2 Timothy 3:6)

Conclusion

What then can be done with the information on this post? Well, Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15)  That means, be on guard always. Don’t fall asleep. Always keep your eyes on Christ Jesus. Don’t rely on men. No matter how big the claims they make about themselves and about their walk with God. Fix your eyes on Jesus. If you are strong in the word of God, protect those who are weak. If you have knowledge on things of God, help those who don’t have it. Like a good soldier of Christ, stand your ground and fight for TRUTH. Reject and expose the Crooks. Call them out by name with the hope that God will give them true repentence. Remember, in the Kingdom of God there is no room for a coward.

Why I won’t visit your Church

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Picture borrowed without permission from Quit Playing Church

Seven years ago, if you asked me to visit your church for the purpose of sitting down and listening to the preaching being done there, I would. Seven years later I have completely changed. I now choose carefully the churches I go to. There are many reasons for this but I will give you two which I believe are critical.

1. Doctrine

The doctrinal stand point of your church is critical. If your church stands on unstable grounds with regards to basic biblical doctrines, then I won’t be coming there again to listen to the preaching because it would be poisonous to my spiritual life. If a church does not hold to the sound doctrine, then it is clear the same is a carrier of false doctrine. A false doctrine is not the word of God at all and the men who are preaching false doctrine are not men of God but they are the servants of the entity whose doctrine they teach and in most cases that entity is the devil. We often hear people say, “Love unites, Doctrine divides” whenever we speak of doctrinal issues. Love won’t overlook false teaching. If we throw away sound doctrine in favour of love then it would not be the love of God we would be favouring. We would be embracing an emergent poison that shall see millions of people to hell.

Example 1:  The Doctrine of Hell

The truth is, false doctrine is blasphemous against God. If one believed that hell will be empty and everyone will go to heaven irrespective of their religion and lifestyle, as this is the message propagated by the “Love and Acceptance Movement,” the same person would be contradicting Jesus Christ, as He said :

“So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:48-50

Jesus made it clear, not only in this passage but in many others, that there are people who shall go to hell. In His sermon on the mount, He told those who were listening to Him that many people shall go into destruction but few shall find the way to life (see Mat 7:13-14). There is not a single human being who knows better than Jesus Christ. If Jesus says that there is hell, then there is hell and there is no amount of argument anyone can raise to do away with that fact. No amount of “love and acceptance theology” can do away with the factuality of the doctrine of hell.

Example 2:  World religions

Another doctrinal problem that we witness is that of different religions. Hundreds of people believe that “all religions lead to the same God.” This statement is a lie, in fact nothing could be this further from the truth. The bible is very clear, Jesus Christ made this bold statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). When Jesus the Head of the church has thus spoken and we choose, under the false gazebo of love, to ignore His word and embrace the heresies of Islam, Roman Catholicism and many more, we become prostitutes and blasphemous breed in the sight of the Holy God. Those who teach that Allah is the same God which the Christians worship but under a different name, they teach a lie. Allah has no son but our God has a Son, and His Son is Jesus Christ. It is no rocket science to notice that one God has a Son and the other god is totally incapable of having a son no matter how much he wanted to.

2. Preachers

Another critical element that would determine whether I would come and listen to the preaching in your church, is the preacher. There are preachers I know for sure that they would speak nonsense because I have listened to them over and over again and they haven’t changed. Just to give an example of this, I would not waste my time and hard earned money going to a stadium to listen to Benny Hinn or Joel Osteen or even that crook from Malawi who goes by the name of Shepherd Bushiri. There are hundreds of wolves who come to steal people’s money under the guise of ministry. I am very careful and very selective as to whom I listen to. I don’t wish to spend 90 minutes listening to a sermon that tells me how powerless is Satan and what I should do to him. My aim is to hear about Jesus and be told how I should please Him. I don’t wish to be told how great I am or I could be, I wish to be reminded how great God is. I wish to be told how powerful Jesus is. If I am to believe on God then preach on God and glorify Him.

I had a very unfortunate experience in 2011 where I was invited by one friend to visit their church on a Sunday. I was very uncomfortable when a preacher took Psalm 23 and narrowed and centered its application upon the pastor. Without any shame whatsoever, he proclaimed that the pastor as a shepherd will lead the people to green pastures and to the still waters. This man deliberatly dethroned God and put his pastor friend on the throne instead. Jesus was not glorified in that preaching but the pastor received every last once of glory there was to be offered.

Friends, Psalm 23 is very clear as to who it refers to. The very first line says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” There is therefore no way whatsoever that one can accredit the verses that follow to a pastor and still be exonerated from being a heretic. It was at that moment that I decided never again to just go to any church and sit through a poisonous sermon.

“Is there a perfect Church?” You may ask. Of course there is no perfect church but there are worse churches out there and what makes them worse is the preaching that goes on in them and the lifestyle of their preachers. I would prefer to go to a church that has preachers who love Jesus and who seek to honour Him in their preaching and through their lifestyle. The bible tells us to take note of those who cause divisions among the brethren and this is what Paul says,

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” 

You see that Paul points out, that the trouble makers came with a false doctrine and Paul says, “avoid them.” In other words they should exclude and shut out false teachers because their “new doctrine” will cause division among the brethren. He  continues to say that these false teachers are servants to their bellies  and not of the Lord Jesus. These preachers are only in ministry as a means of getting a quick buck. They preach what men want to hear and not what God commands. He also points out that the false teachers are talented with words, they are eloquent oraters and they aim to deceive those who are gullible and stupid. So be watchful and be on your guard lest you be deceived also. I choose not listen to any garbage no matter who dishes it out.

Conclusion

I stand with conviction that there are people who are to be avoided at all possible costs due to their false doctrines and that I should not be under any obligation to continue listening to a preacher who has stopped proclaiming the pure and unadulterated word of God. The key factors that would determine if I would come to your Sunday church meeting are the doctrinal stand point of your congregation and the preachers. There are other factors that may influence my decision not to honour any invitation to any church but such shall be discussed when I find convenient time.