Posts Tagged ‘apostasy’
Posted by Job on January 27, 2012
Posted by Job on January 26, 2012
All right folks. I said that I was going to give this online discernment ministry thing up. The first reason was that there were too many false teachers and doctrines to keep track of. The second reason was that based on my interactions with those following these false preachers even after their unBiblical scandalous doctrines and behavior had been exposed that folks were going to believe what they choose to believe anyway. The third was that I had felt that I had adequately addressed the issue with the 3 years of blogging that I did dedicate to the topic. The fourth was that I felt that the best way to combat error was with the truth, so I decided to take this site in a more exegetical direction. And the last of those was also chosen for practical reasons: I no longer have the time to answer comments and interact with people that I did back when I made exposing false teachers so writing about scripture’s meaning and application seemed to be a superior use of time (and yes I do need to get back to writing about the Bible).
But the T.D. Jakes issue is timely right now due to Jakes’ recent appearance at a respected evangelical event of some estimation where he was “interviewed” by Mark Driscoll, where the topic of Jakes’ rejection of the Holy Trinity was discussed. Now I don’t mean to attack anybody, but one Christian blogger quickly proclaimed Jakes’s statement satisfies me that he is a Trinitarian and that we should celebrate that Jakes has joined the Trinitarian camp. (Which, er, makes all his time as a false preaching modalist heretic and the people that he deceived during that time “ok” I guess. The truth is that at best he was an unregenerate false teacher when he was in the pulpit before, and even if he believes in the Holy Trinity NOW and is born again NOW, he has no business in the pulpit. His previous experience and service is worthless, and he needs to take his place in the pews learning from an actual Christian pastor. Otherwise, we can go get Jewish rabbis, Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Muslim imams, and liberal “Christians” who perform homosexual “marriage” ceremonies and put them into the pulpit immediately after they say a salvation prayer.)
Another Christian blogger made a similar – though more guarded – statement: “By far, the session that was most anticipated was the one in which T. D. Jakes was asked to clarify his position on the Trinity. Thankfully, he did so – though perhaps not in a way that would satisfy all of his critics. I believe we should celebrate his affirmation of the truth that there is one God in three Persons.”
The problem with doing so: Jakes own words on the Holy Trinity in the past and present. Now, here is a link to the transcript of the Elephant Room session, judge Jakes for yourself. But what follows is MY evaluation.
Part 1: I used to follow T.D. Jakes. Now … not so much. Without calling him a liar (while actually, you know, calling him a liar) allow me to propose that just because Jakes says something does not make it so. So … just because Jakes says that he believes “One God three Persons” DOES NOT MEAN that we should take it at face value. Jakes has been “less than forthcoming” on many issues in the past, so he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Just because Jakes is in the pulpit and calls himself a Christian does not mean that we should believe what he says. So no, listening to what he says and being “satisfied” requires a presumption that he is telling the truth, a presumption that he does not merit. Does that sound harsh, the bitter words of someone who has “church hurt” as it is called? Well keep reading.
Now in one context I can be SYMPATHETIC to Jakes’ views because I don’t like the wording or terminology used by the Cappadocian fathers myself. But this unease with the Cappadocian formulation needs to be addressed by someone other than Jakes. Why? Because Jakes has been known to be less than honest with the truth, and not merely on this issue. Recall that when Jakes was first challenged on the Trinity doctrine by Christianity Today, he submitted a modalist doctrinal statement that he insisted be accepted as Trinitarian!
Do not take my word on this: another ministry came to the same conclusion, that Jakes was dishonestly trying to pass off modalist heresy for orthodoxy. When challenged on it, he dissembled, claiming that his views on the Trinity were adapting and growing, that he was studying and learning more about it, and how Christians need to stop all this infighting and arguing about such things as minor differences in phraseology and get to the weightier matters of the kingdom, and such excuses for retaining and defending heresy as “these things are too mysterious to be comprehended or explained.” Jakes even resorted to race-baiting, stating “Christians will never agree on every theological issue any more than the colors of our skin will all suddenly match.” So, if Jakes was a liar and a demagogue on this Trinity issue in the past,why should we presume that he is any different now? What has changed to make us presume that Jakes has changed? Especially since he is still preaching heresies in other areas, such as the prosperity doctrine and trying to pass off ecstatic babbling done by mystics in many false religions as “speaking in tongues”?
Part II: From the transcript, it really does appear as if Jakes is fine with “persons” in his Trinitarian statement so long as “persons” is synonymous with “manifestations.” Basically, he says, “well, so long as I can call a ‘person’ a ‘manifestation’ then I am Trinitarian.” He says “My doctrinal statement is no different from yours except the word” – and Driscoll finishes his thought – “manifestations.” What he says next is a amazing.
“Manifest instead of persons. Which you describe as modalist, but I describe it as Pauline. When I read…let me show you what I’m talking about…when I read I Timothy 3:16 – I didn’t create this, Paul did.” And then he goes onto the time-honored modalist lying techniques from the pit of hell: “I think it’s important that we realize that our God is beyond our intellect. And if you can define Him and completely describe Him and say you are the end-all definition of who God is, then He ceases to be God. Because the reason Paul says it is a mystery, is that we deify the fact that God does things that don’t fit our formulas. And because people’s formulas and understandings of a description of an unbiblical God did doesn’t make them demonic.”
Let us go to his abuse of I Timothy 3:16. Yes, the King James Version that many oneness pentecostal liars claim is the only translation – and I used to be KJV-Only myself, and still today am KJV-Preferred, but not because of the translation itself but the texts used to produce the translation, as I believe text criticism used to produce the new manuscripts is a false science – reads “manifest” as its rendering of the Greek word phaneroō. But other versions translate phaneroō to be “appeared” and “revealed!”
Another thing: phaneroō’s definitions: “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way.” So, rather than being a “mode” or “state” or “relationship” after the doctrines of the oneness heretics (for example, as water has a liquid, solid and gas manifestation as water, ice and vapor) phaneroō’ in this context merely meant how God was shown to men! That is revelation, after the same manner that the Greek word apokalypsis was used in Revelation 1:1. Paul could have just as easily used apokalypsis instead of phaneroō!
Further, according to the definition, what can phaneroō “reveal” or “manifest”? A PERSON! It is right here in definition 1d in a common Bible lexicon placed online via BlueletterBible.com:
1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way
a) make actual and visible, realised
b) to make known by teaching
c) to become manifest, be made known
d) of a person
1) expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear
e) to become known, to be plainly recognised, thoroughly understood
1) who and what one is
Jakes is exposed as a liar by exegesis of the very text that he used to claim that he was telling the truth! In this Jakes fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 10:2, which reads “The wicked in [his] pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.”
Now the dictionary entry makes the Cappadocian utilization of “Person” more justifiable in my mind and it who knows, the Cappadocian fathers might have relied heavily on 1 Timothy 3:16 when they formulated their Trinity doctrine (which would make Jakes’ abuse of that text still more ironic) because that text refers to the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ and not the mere exhibition of a mode of existence or relationship (and moreover this revelation refers to Christ’s existence being shown to the world; for phaneroō to have the meaning that Jakes claims that it does, THE TERM WOULD HAVE TO REFER TO HIS INCARNATION IN THE WOMB OF MARY, NOT HIS EXISTENCE AND WORKS BEING WITNESSED BY MEN, WHICH IS THE TRUE CONTEXT OF 1 Peter 3:16 AS WELL AS REVELATION 1:1, WHICH AGAIN IS WHY APOKALYPSIS COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN USED INSTEAD) but I confess to still uneasy with it. But the difference between me and Jakes is that JAKES IS LYING. That is the bottom line.
But you know what? This is not truly about Jakes anyway. The reason is that anyone who goes and clicks on the T.D. Jakes category on this blog will know why no legitimate Christian pastor should touch Jakes with a 10 foot pole, unless that pastor has been instructed by God to smite Jakes with it. Instead, it is about the people that are embracing him. It is one thing for the decadent TBN (who has their own tag) Pentecostal abomination to embrace Jakes, and please recall that it was TBN who made Jakes into an international figure. TBN is run by a man who paid off a TBN employee with whom he had a homosexual encounter with, and has since been sued by another man making the same charges. These charges and the many other scandals are commonly known by those who patronize that network anyway and … well now you see why I felt that there were better uses of my time than exposing people who have already been exposed because people simply do not care!
But now, TD Jakes is being embraced by the “more respectable” corners of evangelical Christianity as represented by (ironically named) The Gospel Coalition, which includes some of the most prominent pastors and theologians in evangelical Christianity today. Now of course, there was significant “debate” over inviting Jakes. The fears of those objecting were quite founded, as it resulted in Mark Driscoll, himself a very troubling personality, doing very much to rehabilitate Jakes, largely because of Driscoll’s own desire to push his false anti-cessationist doctrines into the Reformed/Calvinistic evangelical movement. Also, those who would have challenged Jakes rather than accommodate him were not allowed to participate. But the fact that there was even a debate at all shows how far gone the evangelical landscape is! Having Jakes in the Elephant Room should have been as much a nonstarter as having Richard Dawkins or Pope Benedict!
And that brings us to the real issue: further evidence that the evangelical church in America is veering off the rails. (It is such times that even people who MILDLY stand against Jakes and his lies are the ones to be mocked, opposed and condemned.) Is the great apostasy, the great falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 upon us? This event is prophesied in scripture, and will come to pass. It is a very tragic development in and of itself, but 2 Thess 2:3 tells us that the great falling away is a precursor to – or more accurately a precondition for – the coming of the beast, the anti-Christ, the man of sin, which occurs during the great tribulation. It is my position that the church will experience this great tribulation, and not be raptured from or otherwise escape it, as many pastors and teachers propose. So as difficult as things are now for the church as evidenced by its willingness to not only suffer but endorse and promote such false teachers as Jakes, it is only paving the way for even tougher times to come. Christian, watch and discern the times. Pray. Be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord so that you will not be deceived, that you will resist temptation, and stay in the faith.
For those of you not in the faith, realize that the proliferation of false doctrines and those who gain wealth, fame and power by teaching them does not undermine Christianity, but rather is evidence that the Bible is true, for Jesus Christ Himself and His apostles predicted that such a time as this would come thousands of years ago; Christ referred to men such as Jakes as ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. That many will follow such people is evidence that narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, and wide is that which leads to destruction!
Enter into the narrow gate. Be saved in the Name of Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ. Follow
Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: anti - Christ, apokalypsis, apostasy, beast, discernment, elephant room, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelicalism, faith, fulfilled prophecy, great apostasy, great falling away, heresy, holy trinity, homosexuality, man of sin, Mark Driscoll, modalism, oneness pentecostalism, online discernment ministries, online discernment ministry, phaneroō, prophecy, prosperity doctrine, Prosperity Gospel, sound doctrine, T.D. Jakes, TD Jakes, trinity | 5 Comments »
Posted by Job on March 26, 2011
Those who have raised and eaten their own chickens are aware of a certain curiosity with this fowl that those who simply acquire the birds from the grocery store may not be aware of. Of course, having to cook a (formerly) live chicken requires having to kill it first so that it can be properly prepared (i.e. feathers and giblets removed). The simplest, most common way for folks who raise their own chickens to dispatch of them is to chop their heads off with an axe. And often, this is when the curiosity begins. Most other animals, when deprived of their head, have the rest of the body immediately go limp, or at the very most does a bit of twitching. Not necessarily though with chickens! They will jump up, run around, and do all sorts of other activities, and in some rare cases, this activity will continue quite awhile! This phenomenon is common enough for the “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” is an idiom, a saying, in some parts.
Now the saying “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” is not in any sense positive, such as a reference to toughness, perseverance, overcoming adversity, or beating the odds. Instead, it speaks of vain, useless, worthless activity, or of going about expending a lot of energy in a chaotic, random, mindless fashion. All the effort spent is wasted or even counterproductive because of the disorganized, frenetic, aimless, undirected nature of it. This cliche’ exists because though the headless chicken is running around, there is no rhyme or reason to its activity because the brain, which gives such purpose and organization to the body, is missing. Further, even if by chance the headless chicken did manage some semblance of useful, productive, logical or sensible activity, it would still be pointless from the chicken’s perspective, because the chicken is dead. It’s brain is gone. The activity is merely the result of nerve endings firing off, causing the body to go through the motions. Even if this goes on for quite awhile (there are stories of such animals lingering in this state for as long as two years!) despite all appearances, in a very real sense the chicken is dead! And it would be absurd for one who witnesses a headless chicken running around and say “that chicken is still alive.” It would be absurdity on top of absurdity to claim that – despite not having a head – this is a normal, healthy chicken with nothing amiss. Maybe it would be permissible if such claims were made by one lacking proper information – such as a small child – who presumes that any animal that is moving is just fine. But for an older person who has the experience (or the coursework in anatomy) to know better to make this claim would be inexcusable.
Yet, the equivalent of this inexcusable absurdity is commonplace in Christianity today. Make no mistake: the Bible declares that the Head of the church is Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 5:23). Jesus Christ said that He was the rock, the foundation stone, and that He would build His church. So, in a church, Jesus Christ is not merely present, such as a spectator. Jesus Christ is not just some advisor or board member. He is not part of a ruling committee or governing council. Jesus Christ is not the “co-pilot.” No, Jesus Christ is the Head. The church is wholly His, built by Him, owned by Him, governed by Him, completely ruled by His Lordship, and totally guided by His Spirit.
Only churches that love Jesus Christ are headed by Jesus Christ, and scripture declares that the only way to love Jesus Christ is to keep His commandments (John 14:15). The church that refuses to attempt to keep the commandments of Jesus Christ or despises the holy scriptures that reveal and contain the commandments of Jesus Christ does not love Jesus Christ and does not have Jesus Christ as its head. Jesus Christ states this in Revelation 2:5, when He says that churches that do not repent and return to Him in obedience will lose His presence. Of them, they are Ichabod, God’s grace having been departed.
Now if a church is the body (or at least a portion thereof in a local congregation sense) and Jesus Christ is the Head, and the Head is removed, what does that mean for the body? The only answer is that in a real sense, the body is dead. A church that does not have Jesus Christ at the head of it is a dead church. Whether your basis for believing this truth is the Bible, biology, experience or common sense, it is still a truth. Remove the head, and the body is dead. That which gives the body is ability to reason, its capacity to organize, its sense of focus, its knowledge of its reason for existence, its purpose and destiny, is gone. All that is left is a dumb, brutish stump. Now this dumb, brutish stump may continue to exist for quite awhile. That does nothing to alter the fact that a dumb, brutish stump is all that it is.
Now this dumb, brutish stump may deceive many. Why? Because the dead chicken while it is running around “seems” alive. It may have a pastor that delivers compelling, erudite and passionate sermons. (But he’s an expository preacher who expounds Reformed theology in a manner that makes it come alive!) It may have a very skilled and captivating choir (they sing the traditional hymns!), a moving worship (no flesh pleasing “relevant” faddish contemporary worship!) and a congregation that is very friendly, engaging, inviting and compassionate. This church may offer a strong menu of programs and activities (a Christian academy that provides excellent academic, moral and religious instruction!), immaculate facilities, outstanding amenities, a hard-working and professional staff, and experienced dignified deacons and ministers. It may steadily grow with a lot of baptisms, and do great works in the Name of Jesus Christ, including casting out demons and faith-healing. It may do all these things and still more, and to a great many people appear to be a lively, thriving, vibrant successful church. Yet, if Jesus Christ is not the Head of this church, it is still but a chicken without a head.
If Jesus Christ is not the Head because the church is not obeying His commandments, on judgment day they will be counted as goats and not sheep and therefore rejected and cast into the outer darkness. 1 Corinthians 13 compares such great works and achievements to “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals”, and gives lack of charity, or love, as the reason that it is so. Well, true love begins with the love of Jesus Christ, and we cannot love Jesus Christ without keeping His commandments. The church that is not in obedience to Christ is not headed by Christ, and despite all of its appearances, is one that is dead. Yet despite their dead condition, many headless chickens are quite popular and held in much esteem because of their ability to continue for quite a time running around aimlessly. That is enough to fool and please a great many people, for apparently that is all these people are looking for to begin with: a church that has a good reputation, is entertaining on some level, and activities to occupy them. Vanity is what these people seek, and vanity is what they will find. However, the Bible says that all things that are vanity will come to ruin on judgment day, so beware such vain things and flee them!
Of course, this is not to say that churches are going to be perfect. There are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people to lead or attend them. Further, Satan and his evil kingdom is going to rise up against and attempt to thwart and destroy the people of God and their works, including work to cast many snares and stumblingblocks in the way of the faithful, and to try to cause tension and division: to create problems where there are none, and to magnify and exacerbate the problems that do exist. However, there is a difference between unavoidable imperfection and a church that is making absolutely no attempt to comply with the clear imperatives of the Bible on many serious fronts. The former is a church that is alive despite its flaws, the latter is a church that is dead in spite of its seeming virtues. Blessed is the Christian that perseveres in the former, and woe unto the man that is found in the latter when it falls, for this man will share in its sins and receive its plagues (Revelation 18:4).
This is not to deny all of the things that these churches do. This includes the ability of a great many of these churches to legitimately present the gospel, and for people to be saved, born again in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit as a result. Instead, our first and ultimate fidelity must be to Jesus Christ through His word. We cannot use good works, including those from which we personally benefited, to excuse our disobedience. If we do, we are elevating good works over the One for whom these works are supposed to glorify. In doing so, rather than worshiping God, we are making an idol of the works instead.
This issue is also not an excuse for neglecting fellowship, for the Bible clearly tells us not to forsake fellowship with other Christians. Instead, it is the duty of a Christian to submit to and obey God’s leading Him to a church headed by Jesus Christ, and to remain in that church as long as God suffers Him to do so. Anything less is disobedience. Anything less is being a goat rather than a sheep. Anything less is being akin to a chicken without a head that running around the backyard. Do not let that be you.
In conclusion, let it be known that being a member of a church that Jesus Christ is the head of will not save you. Instead, only being united with Jesus Christ so that your sins are forgiven and Jesus Christ thereby becoming your head with you being part of the body of Christ will save you. On judgment day, Jesus Christ will not confess you as being His based on your church membership. Instead, He will only do so if you are His; if you have responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ with faith, repentance, and submission to His Lordship. If you have not done so, please do so, and today. Otherwise, all of your works will be in vain, rejected just as was the faithless sacrifice of Cain, whose faithless, depraved and unregenerate condition was put on display when sin became his master and he slew Abel. Now is the time for your salvation! So if you are not born again in Jesus Christ, then please:
Posted by Job on September 14, 2010
Rod Dreher, the so-called “crunchy (environmentalist I guess) conservative” religious right Catholic, criticized the ouster of Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke from Reformed Theological Seminary over prattling the “evangelical evolution” heresy of Francis Collins. Quoting Dreher (and why is a Catholic getting into a dispute between those who left Catholicism to begin with?): “Why? It’s not clear, but this comes right after he was excoriated by other conservative Protestant figures for statements made in a video posted to the BioLogos website. (Full disclosure: BioLogos receives grant money from my employer, the John Templeton Foundation). According to an eyebrow-raising statement on the BioLogos site, Waltke stated in a video commentary that had been posted to the site that the church needed to come to terms with the fact of evolution, explaining that “if the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult…some odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God’s Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness.” He said that refusing to deal with science as it is will marginalize Christians.”
In case you missed it, Dreher states: “Full disclosure: BioLogos receives grant money from my employer, the John Templeton Foundation).” So, Dreher criticizes a Christian seminary for forcing out a person who disagrees with the position of someone that his employer gave grant money to, and it is safe to presume that his employer did so because he agrees with the agenda of BioLogos to get as many supporters of the “theistic evolution” heresy into evangelical seminaries and pulpits as possible. And since the list of seminaries and Bible colleges that affirm Biblical creation is small (see this list!), it looks like Dreher’s employers are getting what they are paying for.
Now after indulging in some Mark Noll type “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” type Protestant bashing, religious right Catholic Dreher (who has been prominently and positively covered by Christianity Today and Pat Robertson’s CBN) reveals that it is inerrancy, and ultimately the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura, that is his real problem, and he conveniently quotes some “ex-evangelical” to portray the idea that Bible-believing Christians are actually Bible idolaters, because, you know, the Bible is inconvenient as it tends to restrict things like iconography (idolatry) and praying to “Virgin” Mary (idolatry) and to “saints” (idolatry). Dreher is able to get away with mocking Christian beliefs – including his several vicious attack on those who believe in the rapture – because he is conservative, and as a result religious right Ameri-Christians (the same who are embracing Glenn Beck) won’t go after him the way they did Barack Hussein Obama after his “clinging to God and guns” PRIVATE COMMENT.
But Albert Mohler clearly lays it out: evolution means no Adam and Eve. No Adam, and no original sin. No original sin, no need for the ministry and work of Jesus Christ for original sin on the cross, or for Jesus Christ to have been deity to perform this work, or to resurrect from the dead. Therefore, Christianity becomes semi-Pelagianism (like Dreher’s Catholicism) at best, a philosophical/ethical/political system around a failed revolutionary and reformer who left rambling, incomprehensible and incomplete teachings behind at worst, but generally for most people a works-based “earn your salvation” religion like Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism and Islam. It is revealing that Karl Giberson, the “moderate Baptist” to whom Mohler responded, stated that evolution requires a Christian to formulate “new and better way to understand the origins of sin.” Of course, that requires a “new and better” religion than actual Christianity, and that is the whole point of evolution: rejection of Bible-based Christianity. As Rod Dreher belongs to a Catholicism that rejected legitimate Christianity over 1000 years ago, it is no coincidence at all that he supports others who also desire to turn others away from a Bible-based faith, the faith once delivered to the saints, and that he and others like him preach “tolerance”, “diversity”, “ecumenism”, “big-tent”, and denounce Biblical separation in favor of allowing people who reject the Bible to remain at our seminaries and Bible colleges and in our pulpits and congregations.
By the way, this is no “slippery slope” type of argument. Rejecting Biblical creation, trying to allegorize or symbolize Adam and Eve event, is no less than a rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Doing so pulls the very foundation away from the rest of the Bible, and as a result leaves no reason for the events of salvation history to have taken place to begin with. So yes, it is absolutely mandatory to have the position that one cannot believe in evolution and be a Christian, just as one cannot deny the deity of Jesus Christ or salvation by faith and do the same.
Now of course, the so-called evolutionary evangelicals will deny this. This is only because they are not being as intellectually honest as as Giberson. With no literal creation story, the doctrine of the cross as laid out by Paul in Romans (for instance) is totally unworkable and moot, because Paul’s federal headship atonement doctrine requires a literal, human Adam as the father of the human race. No first Adam, no need for a second Adam (Jesus Christ). And it also goes to the very heart of the meaning of Holy Spirit inspiration. For instance, it is obvious that Paul believed in a literal Adam and Eve and wrote Bible texts based on it, including not the aforementioned Romans passages, but also the 1 Timothy 2:14 passage that denies women the ability to hold the office of pastor-teacher based on Adam receiving the command from God (and attending covenant responsibility), not Eve. Why would the Holy Spirit use something that Paul was completely in error about as a basis for such vital doctrines as original sin, atonement, and the role of women in the church? If Holy Scriptures – and its foundational doctrinal points no less – are based on grievous errors and lies, then in what respect can they be considered “holy”? People for whom the Bible is not the final authority do not care about these things, and neither do those who reject inerrancy. But the evangelical who claims that evolution is compatible with the Bible is either fooling himself by refusing to think these issues through, or fooling others by rejecting these doctrines within himself while still desiring to be defined as an evangelical for his own reasons (including but not limited to retaining influence and other benefits).
So Christians, despite the fact that the world is going to mock and reject you over it, the fact remains that you are going to have to continue to refuse to reject the evolution falsehood, even when that ravening wolf comes in a so-called evangelical sheep’s clothing.
Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: 1 Timothy 2:14, apostasy, BioLogos, Bruce Waltke, creationism, evangelicalism, federal headship, Francis Collins, heresy, inerrancy, Karl Giberson, rod dreher, science, substitutionary atonement, theistic evolution | 3 Comments »
Posted by Job on September 9, 2010
Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, is planning to commemorate the 9th anniversary of September 11th by burning copies of the Qu’ran (Koran), which is regarded as the holy book for those who practice Islam. These intentions have horrified a great number of people. Many of them, including of course Muslims and also Bible-believing Christians, are no doubt sincere in their intense opposition to this event. Many others, however, are of course grandstanding hypocrites who passionately defend and take pleasure in similar attacks against Christianity and those who practice it. However, there is another group of hypocrites that figure prominently in this controversy, as they were the ones who laid the very groundwork for such a thing as this to happen with their words, doctrines and deeds. Many Christians involved in “religious right” politics are falling over themselves to denounce Jones and his actions as un-Christian, taking full advantage of the opportunity to publicly exhibit their opposition to bigotry. These religious right Christians have spent decades preaching the false gospel of what can be called “Americhristianity“, a syncretism of (false) Christianity and America worship. Realize this: Terry Jones is being consistent here. He is only practicing what his religion preaches, and so is the “Ameri-Christian” who commits a “hate crime” against a Muslim, illegal immigrant, abortion doctor, homosexual or what have you. For the religious right sorts to disseminate their idolatrous doctrines and then disavow the consequences is no different from the imam who preaches jihad and then distances himself from the suicide bomber. Now do not get me wrong, only a tiny percentage of Muslims commit violence based on their religious beliefs. But make no mistake: the same is true of Ameri-Christians.
This should not surprise anyone, as violence is a logical consequence of idolatry. A look at Romans 1:18-32 shows us the evil that following dead idols causes: being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful, etc. Muslims get angry over a Florida pastor burning a Qu’ran? Well, a Florida pastor received death threats from the Ameri-Christians in his own congregation over his removing the American flag from the pulpit! His motivation? Wanting the church to focus on Jesus Christ!
Time to rewind a bit. A lot of people have made false equivalence between burning Bibles and burning the Qu’ran. This is apples and oranges because where Christians merely respect and cherish Bibles, Muslims actually regard copies of the Qu’ran as holy. Essentially, to the Muslim, the Qu’ran is an idol. Christians have no such view of the Bible, because Christianity holds that only God is holy. Thus, the only way to be holy is through a connection to or relationship with God. Born-again Christians are hence holy because God grants us this status through Jesus Christ, and also because God’s Holy Spirit indwells the Christian. So, in Christianity, one commits no sin against anything holy by burning a Bible. Instead, the Christian commits a sin against that which is holy when he sins against his body by breaking God’s commandments to us (see 1 Corinthians 6:18). (Among those commandments? Not to be an idolater!)
So why the difference between the Christian view of the Bible and the Muslim view of the Qu’ran? Return to Romans 1:18-32. It tells us that early in the history of the human race, beginning with Adam and for a time thereafter, man knew God. Now this may give pause to Christians who are conditioned to see God’s being known to man, particularly in a special or religious sense, through Old Testament Judaism and Christianity. Please recall that the Bible is not a comprehensive history, but concentrates on that which is necessary for salvation. Also, the Bible does speak of those who had a relationship with him prior to the calling of Abraham, a group which includes Abel, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek and Job. The Bible says that men began to call upon the Name of Yahweh in Genesis 4:26. “Call upon the Name” means to worship. Now God had been worshiped prior to that, for remember Abel’s sacrifice, an act of worship that God accepted. Also, the divine Name Yahweh was already known to humanity at that time, as Eve used it in Genesis 4:1 on the occasion of Cain’s birth. So, whatever development that Genesis 4:26 is supposed to refer to exactly, it is clear that at that stage, humanity had knowledge of God by worshiping Him using God’s personal Name.
However, by Genesis 6, things had changed. The population of the earth increased, and man became extremely wicked. Mankind had perverted himself, and as a result the earth was filled with violence. The cause of this? Again, Romans 1:18-32 says that wicked imaginations, perverse natures and violence comes from idolatry, and it also strongly suggests that at this time mankind completely gave himself over to this practice. Verses 21-25 read:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Mankind ceased to worship God, the unseen Spirit, and instead worshiped creatures, meaning things that are created. This included the use of tangible, physical objects that represent entities or ideas – idols – in worship. And to the idolater, the creature, or its symbolic representative stand-in, is itself regarded as “holy”, and even may be considered to have magical or supernatural powers. If nothing else, the idol is a very valuable, cherished and beloved possession because of what it represents to its owner. So, mankind totally gave himself over to rejecting the holiness of the Creator in order to embrace the idea that things created – whether by God or man – were worthy of this reverent status instead.
Because this mindset was embedded in fallen humanity, God condescended to mankind’s status and incorporated some elements of it in the Sinai religion given by Moses to the Jews. Because of this, in Old Testament Judaism, certain days, holidays (or “holy days”), observances, places, objects and rituals were declared holy. However, we must realize that these things were so because God declared them to be as such. Also, God had His purposes. For instance, things that came into contact with God’s presence or were used in giving offerings to God had to be set apart and purified in order to teach Israel about God’s sinless nature and man’s sinfulness. Further, other things were declared holy because of Christological typology.
So what must be emphasized is that things like the temple, the altar, the ark of the covenant, the burnt offering tools etc. were not holy in and of themselves, but were only so because of their identification with God, their proximity to His presence and their use in His plan. It was never an endorsement of the idea that objects, places, rituals or even ideologies were to be considered holy, contained some spiritual or magical powers, imparted grace, and treated that such. So, when Jesus Christ fulfilled all things concerning the Sinai religion that was used as a schoolmaster to bring us to Him (Galatians 3:24-25) the idea of “holy things” ended. Evidence of this was the ripping of the veil of the temple.
However, the desire of people call things other than God holy did not end. As a consequence, Islam reveres not only its books, but its (alleged) prophet, buildings, cities (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem), and even nations that are fully under Muslim control as holy. But the issue here is that it is not unique to Islam, but is also present in false versions of Christianity. Consider Catholicism (Roman and Orthodox) with its sacraments that according to their teachings impart grace, and its seemingly endless assortment of “saints”, icons, relics etc. that are targets of “veneration” because of some spiritual or mystical reason or other.
What does this have to do with Terry Jones? Well, his Ameri-Christianity is more of the same. His Qu’ran burning is not being done for theological reasons. If it were, he would also burn the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower Magazine, and articles from other false faiths. Instead, Jones is singling out the Qu’ran because he has bought into the right wing dogma that Islam constitutes some sort of threat to the American way of life. And since Ameri-Christianity is this blend of certain – but not all – Christian doctrines and some – but again not all – American ideas and traditions, in the eyes of the Ameri-Christian like Jones, an attack on one is an attack on the other.
Make no mistake, whether they support this Qu’ran burning of Jones or not, religious right Ameri-Christians worship the creature besides the Creator. This great nation of ours is but a creature. Further, as Old Testament Israel was the only nation to be created by God, it is a creation of men. And God did not create our institutions or system of laws as He did with Old Testament Israel. Instead, men created democracy (where the Bible only deals with monarchy and theocracy), men created capitalism (which did not even exist until the groundwork for it was accidentally laid by John Calvin), and men created the concept of individual and human rights (the result of Enlightenment philosophers’ taking portions of the Roman Catholic concept of natural law that they found useful and applying it to the secular arena). Ameri-Christians have taken these works of human hands to be the result of divine providence, and quite possibly even divine revelation, and therefore in their eyes to oppose them is to oppose God, and supporting them is part and parcel of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can turn on conservative talk radio – or even Christian radio – at any time and hear so many Christians profess “I believe in and support the Bible and the Constitution 100%” when the truth is that not only does one not have anything to do with the other, but that the worldviews of the Bible (divine revelation) and the Constitution (humanism and deism) are opposed. The Bible is the Word of God, the Constitution is the word of Caesar. Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but give to God that which is God, and never shall the twain be intermixed!
Now again, let us go back to the Biblically established truth that idolatry leads to violence and apply it to Ameri-Christianity. How many Christians accept without question the idea that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were justified in order to protect the American way of life because it includes the ability to practice Christianity freely? How many of us even justify this concept with thinking like “America needs to remain free and prosperous so that American Christians will have the financial resources to sponsor missions and help the poor in third world countries.” Well dear Christians, the early church of Acts was neither free OR wealthy, yet they managed to evangelize the Roman Empire AND meet the needs of the poor!
Consider another example. How many Christians advocate – or would refuse to criticize – the killing of a robber that is only taking money or property and not physically endangering anyone? Truthfully, very few, because we have the conviction that “we have the right/responsibility to protect our private property.” Now do not err by bringing up the law given to Old Testament Israel concerning executing thieves. A person operating under New Testament doctrine knows that human life is more valuable than property, and that it is better to spare a thief in the hopes that he might hear the gospel down the line than to blow him away after the manner of some Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson movie. This is further evidence that mammon (possessions, “rights”, and the pleasures and passions that we obtain from them) is the true god of the Ameri-Christian.
Consider that such people live in fear of losing their freedoms, their rights and way of life. Well, what freedom, what rights does a slave have? What way of life does a slave enjoy except that which his master dictates? Now the legitimate Christian is a slave to Jesus Christ. The slave of Jesus Christ is able to find joy, peace, fulfillment and all else that he needs whether he is free prince in America or an oppressed pauper in Indonesia. Ameri-Christians reject slavery to Christ in favor of the idea of being their own masters. Being Christian is merely another lifestyle decision that they choose for themselves, and quite frankly they would find practicing Christianity under adverse or oppressive conditions to be more burdensome than liberating.
Thus, it would not surprise me the least if an Ameri-Christian is far more likely to suffer the experience of enduring living in a poor, oppressive overseas regime as a member of the military and therefore willing and ready to kill if ordered to do so by the creature than as a missionary sharing the gift of eternal life if ordered to do so by the Creator. To such a person, making such a lifestyle sacrifice in order to mete out death in defense of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is more agreeable than doing so in order to share the message of life and life more abundantly. And we can only imagine what such a person would think of the one who is a conscientious objector because of the teachings of Jesus Christ on the Sermon of the Mount! For the Ameri-Christian, “the American way of life” is morally and theologically prior to the New Testament.
This ideology is guilty of recognizing one of the main themes of the Sinai religion of the Old Testament. Consider the offering altar. It could only be made of earth, or of a single stone. It could not be made of hewn stone or constructed in any way, because the tools used to make the altar were unholy, and that which was holy was not allowed to mix or come in contact with that which was holy. That was a principle that held for everything and everyone that came into contact with God’s presence, or was used in making an offering to God. If anything common or regular came into contact with anything or anyone that was supposed to make an offering to God or be in God’s presence, then the thing that was supposed to be holy had to go through a purification process.
This was supposed to teach Christians that God is unique, separate and holy and cannot be mixed with or attached to anything worldly, common or unclean. That is what Ameri-Christianity does. It takes the worldly, common things (culture, economics, politics, ideology) and attempts to fuse it with the holiness of God’s Holy Spirit and presence. The result is something that is no longer clean, holy or spiritual, and hence no longer legitimately Christian. Think about that the next time that you hear someone declare that America is “a Christian nation.” Such a thing cannot exist, because it is a mixture of a common creature (America) with a Holy Creator. The very tools that were used to construct America defile it, making it an unworthy altar, and we cannot make an acceptable offering to God on an unclean altar that God rejects. Thus, the person who in any sense joins being American with being Christian is only capable of making an offering to God after the manner of Cain. And let us recall that this same Cain slew Abel, who made the acceptable offering.
And this is why the actions of one Terry Jones, and also of the many other religious right Ameri-Christians doing their best to distance themselves from him because being associated with them hurts their economy in the American political mainstream that they desire and need to remain relevant and powerful in, should be taken notice of. Again, Ameri-Christianity is idolatry. Idolatry leads to violence. And the primary target of idolatrous violence is going to be any non-idolaters that are available. As Galatians 4:29 tells us, those who are of the flesh persecute those who are of the spirit, just as Cain slew righteous Abel and Ishmael persecuted Isaac.
And remember the prediction of Jesus Christ in John 16:2! Can it be that Ameri-Christians may believe that by persecuting us for being “un-American” that they are doing God service? Consider the Glenn Beck rally, where not a few evangelical Ameri-Christians joined this dominionist crusader in his Mormonism worship rally. If the economic problems continue, illegal immigration persists and the American way is threatened by enemies like Iran and North Korea abroad and liberals at home, will the refusal to join ecumenical/interfaith Americanism movements be seen as a betrayal of God? Judging from Ameri-Christian David Barton, who states that we should “judge Beck by his fruits” (meaning his effective support of the religious right agenda), you can guess the answer. So, Christian, what are you going to do when the Ameri-Christian comes for you bearing chains and staves to deliver you to the authorities? Will you stand? Or will you wilt and refuse to profess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all?
That, of course, presumes that you are indeed a Christian and not an Ameri-Christian. Which are you? Today you must make your stand. If you worship God, worship Him only. If you worship Baal, worship Baal only. How long will you halt between two opinions? If you are on the Lord’s side, then flee the syncretism! Come out of Babylon and the abomination of her idols immediately! Otherwise, when Babylon falls – and she will fall – you will with her.
If you are unsaved and are not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I urge you now
If you are saved, then here is a prayer. Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please lead and guide me so that I can discern that which is holy and that which is not so that I may follow the former, spurn the latter, and worship you only in spirit and in truth as you desire and require. Amen.
Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, religious right | Tagged: 9/11, America idolatry, Americhristianity, apostasy, blasphemy, David Barton, dominionism, Dove World Outreach Center, idolatry, Islam, Jim Garlow, Koran, koran burning, mammon, murder, patriotism, Quran, Romans 1:18-32, September 11, syncretism, terrorism, Terry Jones, violence | 6 Comments »
More Evidence That Female Pastors Lead To False Churches Endorsing Homosexuality This Time From The Emergent Church
Posted by Job on August 2, 2009
From the brother at Apprising Ministries. Please click on the link to read his important article!
Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: apostasy, blasphemy, contemplative prayer, contemplative spirituality, doug pagitt, ecumenism, ELCA, Erwin McManus, evangelical lutheran church in america, feminism, heresy, homopressive, homosexuality, inclusivism, interfaith, mysticism, Nadia Bolz-Weber, New Age, Sarcastic Lutheran, Southern Baptist Convention, spirituality, tony jones, women preachers | 2 Comments »
Posted by Job on August 2, 2009
(To be fair, Eugene Rivers works both sides of the aise)
WASHINGTON – From a sparsely adorned office building a stone’s throw from the White House, Joshua DuBois carefully navigates the delicate line between church and state.
Each morning, he sends a devotional message to President Obama’s BlackBerry. He appears before religious and community groups to explain his role as director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and, in turn, relays their concerns to administration officials. In the course of any given day, he’ll receive as many as 750 emails from religious leaders, reporters, and government officials.
But in all the political juggling, the 26-year-old preacher’s kid remains a person of faith who quotes from favorite hymns – “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one. The Bible, too, serves as inspiration.
“I’m often inspired by the grass-roots nature of Acts and the early church,” he said recently in an interview, “and what they were able to build from virtually nothing.”
A distinct contrast
To some extent, DuBois is doing just that with the faith-based office, which Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush, but revamped in a bid to expand its focus, depoliticize the grant-making process, and tamp down church-state concerns.
DuBois, a veteran of Obama’s Senate office who oversaw religious outreach for his presidential campaign, is a distinct contrast from the Republican appointees who preceded him, including the policy wonk John DiIulio, who opened the office in 2001, or Jim Towey, a former lawyer for Mother Teresa, or the cerebral Jay Hein.
Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church by his mother and stepfather, a minister in Nashville, Tenn., DuBois became an associate pastor of Calvary Praise and Worship Center, a small, African-American Pentecostal church in Cambridge, Mass., while an undergraduate at Boston University.
“I am very clear about the fact that I am a committed Christian and my faith is important to me; it’s a central part of my life,” he said. “At the same time, I am now in a role in this office … to reach out to Americans of all different religious backgrounds and folks who don’t adhere to a particular religion.”
In Washington, DuBois attends a nondenominational church that worships in a rented movie theater. He still maintains ties to the Cambridge church and to Boston, where he worked with the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation, which encouraged black churches to aid at-risk, inner-city youth.
“Josh was very serious and very smart and was very concerned … as an undergraduate in trying to connect faith to issues of public policy,” said Eugene Rivers, a co-founder of the foundation and a prominent black Pentecostal leader.
In a May interview with radio host Krista Tippett in St. Paul, Minn., DuBois talked about his awakening in 1999 when New York police officers were acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.
“It shook in me a sense that I needed to connect to something larger, to understand all the nuances in the world, both in terms of politics and also in terms of religion,” he told Tippett’s “Speaking of Faith” program.
“So that’s when I found my church and my faith and also started my political path as well.”
That political path is taking shape as his office helps craft Obama’s key speeches on religion – Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, Islam at Cairo University, for example. His office also works with various federal agencies on issues ranging from disaster preparation to the upcoming 2010 census.
Though he doesn’t dwell on his relative youth, he said he realizes the weighty responsibilities given to someone who hasn’t even reached 30 yet. “I think one of the most important things is to know what you don’t know,” he said.
In his talks to various religious groups, DuBois outlines the office’s four-point focus on economic recovery, abortion reduction, responsible fatherhood, and interfaith relations. He’s met with evangelicals, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as secularists who think his office shouldn’t exist.
Religious leaders, including members of the office’s advisory council, say DuBois, like the president, is a good listener who seeks to find common ground among disparate viewpoints.
Leah Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister who until recently was the chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee, sees DuBois’ Pentecostal background informing his work.
“The kind of work that he’s doing in reaching out to people across political spectrums, across ideological perspectives, across theological perspectives, really can only be done if you’re Spirit-led,” she said. “Because it’s the same spirit of Christ that sought to reach beyond the confines of his own people.”
While DuBois’ day job is heading up the faith-based office, he also carries another title: special assistant to the president, which includes the daily presidential meditations as well as helping the first family find a church home in Washington.
Some people who have known DuBois say his workload can cause him to be disorganized and unresponsive, although they declined to have their names attached publicly to their criticisms. For his part, DuBois says he’s doing the best he can.
“We’re a federal entity that’s coordinating 11 offices with pretty key priorities. … I try to be as responsive as I can, along with my staff and others here at the White House. But there are always going to be some challenges in that regard.”
Daughtry joked that DuBois – who finds time to be a Big Brother to a Boston teenager and keep up a five-year relationship with his girlfriend – has made a bargain of sorts with God to manage his busy schedule.
“He’s attached to that cell phone like it’s another appendage,” she said. “I’m convinced he’s got some deal with God to give him a couple of extra hours a day.”
(The seeds of this “many paths to heaven” religious inclusivism/pluralism are being sown into Pentecostalism through politics in this generation just as Billy Graham did the same among Baptists and evangelicals in the prior one, and as it was done in other movements i.e. the mainline denominations earlier in the last century. We Christians must watch and pray. By the way, we Reformed Christians shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers, as the Reformed/Calvinist state churches practically invented inclusivism, unitarianism, universalism and other forms of theological liberalism, and liberal Episcopals, Presbyterians etc. have long been religious pluralists. The Pentecostals are just following the older and more established Christian movements down the path which may lead to one world religion and one world government.)
Posted in Christianity | Tagged: apocalypse, apostasy, Catholicism, charismatic, church state, ecumenism, endtimes, eschatology, Eugene Rivers, faith based, Hinduism, inclusivism, interfaith, Islam, Joshua DuBois, Judaism, Leah Daughtry, many paths to heaven, Muslim, one world government, one world religion, pentecostal, pentecostalism, pluralism, politics, prophecy, religious pluralism, Sikhs | Leave a Comment »
Proof That Ordaining Women Leads To Endorsing Homosexuality And Other Forms Of Theological Liberalism
Posted by Job on July 26, 2009
See link below. The issue is not attacking women with spiritual gifts, but fidelity and obedience to scripture and its authority.
Posted by Job on May 26, 2009
Courtesy of SoldierServant.
Posted by Job on May 18, 2009
From Youtube user wordoffaithchannel.
The Tower of Babel was never actually built!
The nature of Adam (Speaking spirit). The Youtube user’s notes: “Word Faith teachers have redefined some of the major tenets of the historic Christian Faith. Kenneth Copeland recasts Adam as the first God “manifested in the flesh.” So instead of saying that Jesus is the second Adam one could say that Adam is the first Jesus (God in human flesh). Jesse Duplantis expands on this teaching.”
You, not God, decide when to die! Youtube user’s notes: “Jesse Duplantis makes the case that since “death and life” are in the power of the tongue he then concludes that we, not God, decide when to live or die.”
Adam (not God) breathed life into animals
How Jesus defended himself
Posted by Job on May 17, 2009
Posted by Job on May 2, 2009
Many premillennial dispensational pastors teach that during the time of the great tribulation, the Holy Spirit leaves earth along with the church. Now consider this. As God is a spirit (John 4:24), the Holy Spirit is the presence of God. For God’s presence to be removed from the earth during the great tribulation or at any other times causes real problems, because God sustains and directs creation, which cannot operate without God’s presence and involvement. (The idea that God accomplished creation and left it to itself without His needing to operate, sustain, or otherwise be involved in it is theological liberalism at best and deism at worst.)
But apart from the larger question of precisely how creation will be sustained and operated for seven long years with God’s presence absent from it, there is the issue of salvation. Can anyone name a premillennial dispensationalist who denies that people will be saved during the tribulation? That would be very difficult, because Revelation does make reference to Christians that will be martyred after the time that according to this doctrine the church will have been raptured, and this is so for both the pre-tribulation and mid-tribulation rapture believers. First off, for this to even happen will mean that Jesus Christ’s promise concerning the Holy Spirit of John 14:16-18, that He will not leave us comfortless (meaning that the presence of God will never leave the church) would be broken. So … if John 14:16-18 can be violated, even for a time, then what secures John 3:16 and the other promises of God to the church?
But again, back to salvation. The Bible explicitly teaches that the Holy Spirit is what accomplishes salvation. The Holy Spirit not only draws the sinner and convicts the sinner of unrighteousness, but the Holy Spirit actually accomplishes rebirth. This must be the case, for salvation is quite literally a miracle, and all miracles are the work of the Holy Spirit. No miracles cannot occur without the presence, moving and working of God. But if the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth, how can salvation occur? Who will draw sinners? Who will convict sinners of unrighteousness? Most important: who will perform the miraculous work of regeneration, of new birth?
Recall what Jesus Christ told Nicodemus in John 3:5-8, which is that salvation, new birth, is impossible unless someone is born again, and born again can only occur by water and spirit, which is the Holy Spirit. But to repeat, if the Holy Spirit has been taken from the earth, how can the rebirth, the salvation that can only occur by the Holy Spirit occur?
There is only one explanation. It is the doctrine that salvation is not the work of the Holy Spirit, but rather of human decision, of free will. Now claiming that it is totally or completely free will is Pelagianism, or shall we say hyperArminianism. The mainstream orthodox free will doctrine is that the work of the Holy Spirit empowers a free will decision to accept or reject Jesus Christ. An extension of this is foreknowledge, which states that God from His timeless perspective knows in advance who will accept and reject Him, so He elects those who will – or in truth have already – elected Him, and places them in human history in situations where they will hear the gospel. (In other words, God loves us because we first loved Him.)
Now the free will doctrine which states that the job of the Holy Spirit is to empower human decision is necessary to reconcile decision soteriology with what the Bible actually says. However, we see that this really is merely a cover, an exterior. At the heart of this doctrine is that salvation is completely the work of human decision, and that the Holy Spirit is not necessary at all. That is why it is so easy for the very same free will Christians to declare that salvation is made possible by the Holy Spirit’s overcoming the effects of the fall long enough to empower man to make a free will choice to immediately turn around and assert that during the tribulation, the Holy Spirit is gone and yet people will still be saved!
This makes the work of the Holy Spirit to draw, convict, and actually accomplish new birth a mere technicality to free will salvation, an accessory if you will, that while very useful can be discarded if need be, such as during a crisis. And during the great crisis for humanity and creation that is the great tribulation, the presence of the Holy Spirit for those being saved is no more necessary than is the presence of a second lung or kidney. It is nice to have, but ultimately you can get along without it. After all, you still have the other lung or kidney, right? Well, it appears that with free will doctrine, one lung or kidney is God (the Holy Spirit) and the other lung or kidney is human initiative, human decision, human righteousness and self – worth, human works. It is interesting that in a crisis, God is the one which is declared to be superfluous, not truly necessary for life, and therefore sacrificed, while our human freedom, what is truly valued and important above all else, are the horns of the altar to which we hold fast to (see 1 Kings 2:27-34). Perhaps, then, life as a slave or in an authoritarian culture (please recall that Christianity was birthed in the authoritarian, fascist Roman Empire which had no respect for individual rights or freedoms except for that of a privileged few, and most early converts to the religion were noncitizens and slaves!) is better suited to creating a mindset conducive to Christianity than previously thought. After all, the Declaration of Independence was written by a deist, not a Christ.
According to all Biblical evidence including the words of Jesus Christ Himself, the idea that salvation can occur without the Holy Spirit is severe error, a rejection of a truth plainly taught in scripture, and also attributing the work of the Holy Spirit (salvation) to another, giving another credit for what God does. (However, it is not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the unforgivable sin, which Jesus Christ states is attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan. Giving the glory for the work of the Holy Spirit to man is a sin, but quite different than attributing salvation to being the work of Beelzebub.) So is the idea that the church will be left without its Comforter, the Holy Spirit. So, what does that mean for this doctrine?
I suppose that the rapture doctrine itself can be salvaged for those who choose to adhere to it. However, one simply cannot claim that there will be no Christians afterwards, as the Bible clearly contradicts it … saints will be martyred during the tribulation according to Revelation and the Olivet discourses. One also cannot claim that the “tribulation church” or the “tribulation saints” will be there without the Holy Spirit, as Jesus Christ said that such a thing would never happen. And one cannot claim that the “tribulation saints” will consist of a single person born again while the Holy Spirit is removed.
So, the only way to salvage the rapture doctrine is to abandon the claim that the Holy Spirit will be taken from the Earth during the great tribulation, or at any other time that the church will be on the earth or that people will be added to the church. While this is certainly possible, the question must be asked A) where this “the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth during the tribulation” doctrine came from and B) why it was embraced. Why did not these people, these great pastors, theologians, and eminent Bible scholars, simply ask: without the Holy Spirit how can anyone be saved and “how can any Christian endure daily life, let alone tribulation and martyrdom, without the ministry of the Comforter?”
Now the doctrines of God are supposed to be the head of all doctrines of Christianity and the focus of our faith. We are supposed to look at every doctrine and ask “How is God working in this? How does this glorify God? How does this accomplish God’s purposes? Where is God in this story”? That this “the Holy Spirit will be removed from the tribulation church” doctrine has been able to gain such unqualified support in huge swaths of evangelical Christianity shows that this is not the case. In it, God and His workings are not necessary to bring about conversion, to seal believers, to preserve them in the faith. Man is able to accomplish these things, to save himself, minister to himself, and persevere in the faith himself, without God’s help. Oh what a great, glorious, marvelous, fantastic, mighty to contemplate and behold, inherently virtuous thing this man must be! But if this was the case, then why did Adam, who knew not original sin, fall?
Instead, this shows that for so many premillennial dispensational Christians, the head of their doctrines are not the doctrines of God, but rather the doctrine of the rapture and the doctrine of human decision. Now the Gospel of John depicts the sin sacrifice of God’s own Word on the cross as the climaxing event of human history, the ultimate act of revelation and self – disclosure to creation. Premillennial dispensationalism, on the other hand, places the rapture of the church as the climax of human history, and the cross as merely being an event that leads to it. Why? Because the cross was about God, Jesus Christ. The rapture, meanwhile, us about the church. The cross is about people. Saved people, yes, but still people. The rapture is about US.
Which means, of course, that Christianity basically becomes about the desire to be raptured. Being raptured becomes our hope, our motivation, the main priority. And that explains so many of the strange actions in these last days. For example: our relationship with the Jews and Israel. The ingathering of Jews to Israel and the rebuilding of the temple is the main priority because of its importance to the rapture. So, Christians are required to deny the fact that Jesus Christ replaced Israel and fulfilled Israel’s mission in salvation and world events within Himself. Even further, Christians are required to pretend that modern Judaism is just another godless religion, no different from Islam, and pretend that there is any precious difference between a government and society based around modern Judaism – a theocracy – and a similar Hindu or Muslim nation like India or Turkey. It has even reached the point where leading pastors can openly advocate dual covenant theology, that there a superior path to salvation for Christians and an inferior, harder, but still attainable and valid path of salvation for Jews, without causing a ripple of controversy. And it has reached the point where investing an incredible amount of resources to lending political and financial support to a theocracy who denies Christ and works to continue and further the denial of Christ by as many people as possible has taken priority over actually doing what Jesus Christ told us to do, which was the Great Commission. Again, where not one scripture can be honestly interpreted in a way that would command Christians to support the modern political state of Israel, the primary thing that Jesus Christ told us to do, evangelize, gets neglected. Why? Because evangelizing the world – the one thing that Jesus Christ actually said would bring about His return – is not as important as ingathering and protecting Jews in Israel, because obeying the commands of Jesus Christ has to take a backseat to getting raptured as soon as possible. So, given the choice between giving money to Israeli causes knowing full well that the Israeli charities forbid evangelizing Jews and also helping to rebuild the temple takes priority over obeying the commands of Jesus Christ by, say, making a concerted effort to evangelize the Palestinians. Why? Because though obeying God by evangelizing the Palestinians is nice and all, I would rather support the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (which adamantly opposes converting Jews to Christianity) and help breed heifers for the new temple (never mind that Hebrews stated that burnt offerings went away with Jesus Christ). Why? Because while obeying God is a good thing and all, supporting anti-missionary organizations and building a temple that rejects the work of Jesus Christ helps me by speeding up the rapture and getting me out of here faster, and pursuing my own interests takes priority over the commandments of God!
So, it is apparent: doctrines of man, and particularly of man’s inherent righteousness and ability to do good works apart from God, including pursue his own interests, and of the rapture, which provides a doctrinal construct to pursue these things, are at the head of this particular strand of premillennial dispensationalism, and not the doctrines of God. So the question is: does this go as far as being another gospel? Is it another gospel?
This is a question that we must ask Reformed pastors who believe in the rapture as do Albert Pendarvis and John MacArthur. Such people state that salvation and perseverance of the saints are impossible without the Holy Spirit, that free will, human initiative, is impossible in these matters. If that is the case now, how can it be the case after the rapture? Reformed evangelical pastors emphasize grace. But how can the grace of God by which salvation and perseverance is only possible through the ministry of the Holy Spirit no longer be necessary after the rapture? Reformed evangelicals also assert sola scriptura. Well, can any sola scriptura Reformed evangelical who believes that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and the tribulation church following the rapture show where it states or even implies in scripture where it is so? I dare say that the scriptures that Reformed evangelicals use to support cessationism, a doctrine about which I am very doubtful, make a much stronger case.
Now my position is that the position that the church will be raptured, whether pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation (before the final bowl judgments) by itself is not. However, the position that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth during the great tribulation is another gospel, because it teaches that man can save himself and can persevere in the faith by himself without needing God to perform – or so much as even aid – either. That is a strong delusion, and from such a false gospel, I urgently beg, entreat, plead, and in the Name of Jesus Christ pray that you will turn away.
Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: Albert Pendarvis, apostasy, Arminianism, blasphemy, Calvinism, Calvinist, cessationism, dual covenant theology, endtimes, error, eschatology, evangelical Christianity, evangelicalism, free will, grace, heresy, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, hyperArminianism, John MacArthur, Left Behind, olivet discourse, Pelagianism, perseverance of the saints, predestined foreknowledge, Premillennial Dispensationalism, rebirth, reformed, regeneration, Revelation, salvation, scofield, sola scriptura, soteriology, strong delusion | 14 Comments »
Posted by Job on March 23, 2009
Brother Mike Ratliff wrote this in response to the tactics of the emergent church – which truthfully is no church at all because LIKE THE POST VATICAN II ROMAN CATHOLICS they are a pluralist “many paths to heaven” separate religion entirely – but it applies to attitudes and practices common to modern Christianity. If you will not vigorously promote and defend the faith, then you have no faith at all. You are a barren vine, a fig tree that is not bearing fruit and will be cursed and withered by Jesus Christ. See Mike Ratliff’s post below.