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Posts Tagged ‘church of england’

The Substitutionary Atonement Disproves Annihilationism

Posted by Job on August 22, 2009

Concerning the final fate of those who die unreconciled to Jesus Christ and as a result whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life and suffer judgment, punishment, the lake of fire, the second death, the historic position based on the plain readings of scripture has been burning eternally in the lake of fire. However, this doctrine has been under attack at least since the time of Origen, who proposed that punishment in the lake of fire would be temporary and rehabilitative, and after the period of rehabilitation everyone – humans and demons – will be forgiven. A more recent doctrinal trend rejects Origen’s universalism (and his rehabilitative punishment idea, in which the roots of the Roman Catholic purgatory doctrine can be found) in favor of annhiliationaism, the idea that rather than burning for an eternity, human souls will simply be consumed.

Now of course, this ignores that the Bible explicitly states that both wicked and saints will be resurrected from the dead, and at that time both wicked and saints will receive bodies that are eternal and indestructible, and that their torment would last forever. However, the annihilationist view rejects those in favor of various scriptures cited out of context to support the idea that the wicked will simply be instantly consumed, and that the references to eternal punishment mean that the wicked will cease to exist forever.

First, we have to consider the motivations for adopting this doctrine. Its adherents plainly state that it is because an eternity in the lake of fire is too cruel a punishment and therefore unjustifiable. Of course, this is a direct attack against and outright denial of God’s sovereignty, not far removed from the universalist position that a loving God would not condemn anyone. Further, this doctrine appears to be gaining traction when those consider the plight of people who were never exposed to the gospel. Free will-Wesleyan-Arminian-“Biblicist” annihilationists take the position that God cannot impose so severe a punishment on those who by their time and place of birth never had the opportunity to be saved through the exercise of their free will decision for Jesus Christ. (The extreme position of this view is taken by Clark Pinnock, who states that it is unfair for God to so severely punish even those who use their free moral agency to REJECT Jesus Christ, because that would place God at fault for giving us free will and the opportunity to reject Him in the first place.)

Reformed-Calvinist annihilationists have problems with the opposite end of the soteriology question: they cannot reconcile eternal punishment with a God who elects and predestines people to avoid it. Again, God’s sovereignty is in view here. Stating that God does not have the right to deal with His creation in any way that He chooses so long as His dealings are consistent with His nature is tantamount to suggesting that God had no right to undertake and accomplish creation in the first place. Amazingly, both the free will and predestinarian annihilationists have no problem with God punishing demons, evil spirits, forever. If it the issue truly is how a loving God is obligated to behave towards His creation, fallen angels should be the first issue of concern, as no redemption plan exists for them. Instead, it is only God’s prerogative with humans that drives doctrines that attack His sovereignty, which shows that humanism – a manifestation of the pride of life – is what is truly behind them, not the honest pursuit of theology, doctrines or theodicy. So, these folks start with the perspective of humanistic philosophy, wrap it in scriptures, and come up with a pious and spiritual sounding but ultimately false theology

However, it is rather simple to oppose this humanistic philosophy masquerading as theology with, well, theistic philosophy. Where humanistic philosophy that leads to the position adopted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Church of England (annihilationism), starting with the Person of Jesus Christ leads to a philosophically different viewpoint. Go right to the cross, and consider the doctrine of substitutionary atonement (which incidentally Roman Catholics reject). Substitutionary atonement is the Biblical truth that Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place, Himself taking the punishment of death for sin that God’s righteousness demands (Ezekiel 18) in our stead.

This is the rub: Jesus Christ was and is no mere man. Instead, He is the Word of God, the eternal second Person of the Holy Trinity! Meanwhile, humans are not eternal. We will exist forever FORWARD into eternity either in heaven or the lake of fire. But as creatures (created beings) we have no part in eternity PAST. Instead, we have a definite, finite point of origin. So, when Jesus Christ took the sins of the elect, the church on the cross and died, it was the ETERNAL Son of God dying. Metaphysically, cosmically, the punishment was ETERNAL, and Jesus Christ took an ETERNAL punishment in our place because God is ETERNAL.

And this is fitting the nature of sin. Sin is a crime against a holy ETERNAL God that has ETERNAL consequences. Paying those eternal consequences for a crime that offends an eternal God requires an eternal punishment, an eternal payment. Being eternal, Jesus Christ satisfied the consequences of this eternal punishment with His own death. So, the eternal punishment of sins, to be meted out to those who will exist forever, is paid. But for those who do not participate in the atoning redemption given by the eternal Son of God’s work still have to pay themselves.

Suggesting otherwise ignores the eternal consequences of sin and its affront to the holiness of God. So, in addition to being an attack against God’s sovereignty, annihilationism denies His holiness.

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Washington DC Pro – Homosexual Episcopal Leader Calls Biblical Christians Demonic!

Posted by Job on July 17, 2008

Normally liberal Christians like the Episcopals do not even acknowledge that demons exist. They have totally despiritualized their interpretation of the Bible, claiming that accounts of demonic possessions were actually mental or physical diseases, and that Jesus Christ’s healing accounts were allegories. They also claim that other things in the Bible referring to good, evil, final judgment, etc. merely speak of social, political, and economic conditions. But now you see what takes them out of their mold. Last year a prominent Christian liberal – and a hateful critic of Biblical Christians – who previously denied the existence of sin or God’s judgment decided that JUST MAYBE global warming was God’s wrath being poured out against big business. So he modified his position that there was no sin and no judgment to say “well I guess sin and judgment exist after all FOR THE RICH.” And now you have this guy, who attributes opposition to homosexuality to evil spirits. This really shows how angry and vicious these people are getting against those that oppose the sin of homosexuality. They have really gotten to the point where they have decided that even having civil discussions with those that disagree is impossible. According to them, people that oppose homosexuality are not only wrong but evil, and not worthy of any consideration save what it takes to ban, censure, and punish them. I have to tell you, once gay marriage becomes legal and hate crimes laws are enacted, opposition to homosexuality will rapidly become an untenable position for anyone to hold in respectable mainstream society. The reason is that government, media, and the elite universities have become so powerful that rather than responding to and reflecting the needs and the will of the people, they lead on virtually every issue and people just follow. And yes, this includes the church. Again, I do not like to use this term that I see on the websites of some of my more bold Christian brothers, but with regard to following whatever is popular and acceptable in mainstream culture, many Christians have in fact become “SHEEPLE.” The reason is that Christianity has now become just another product that you can buy, sell, and COMPARISON SHOP, and you can have it either buffet, a la carte, fast food, gourmet, stir – fried, or even sushied. I am not saying that most evangelical churches will become pro – homosexual the instant President John McCain signs San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s hate crimes bill and his veto of the Defense of Marriage Act. No, evangelicalism will do as they have done everything else as it has become inconvenient in the public sphere: THEY WILL STOP TALKING ABOUT IT! Case in point: I have a book from the “Counterpoints” series where prominent theologians debate an issue whose subject was the lake of fire (or hell). All of the theologians agreed that evangelical pastors had ceased talking about the subject, and that when the publishers of the book were looking for someone to represent the orthodox Biblical doctrine on the matter, NO ONE WANTED TO DO IT! The only one willing to step up and do so was a single very old (and indeed since passed away) Baptist preacher and former seminary president. And when was this book published? 1994! Almost 15 years ago! So 15 years ago you had all of these political evangelical leaders more than willing to publicly criticize Bill Clinton’s adultery before the TV cameras, but none who were willing to preach about the lake of fire before their own congregations. So 15 years from now, how many leading conservative pastors will be willing to speak out against homosexuality? My guess is that you will ask them, and they will shift uncomfortably, avert their eyes, and reply “the Bible and Christian tradition are clear on such matters” and let that be that! And yes, the reason why they will take that approach is because they don’t want to endure the sort of things said against them contained in the link below. And please do not think that I am just some homophobic bashing homosexuals. The REAL issue here, the REAL stakes, is the inerrancy and authority of scripture. THAT is what John Chane was speaking of. 

I think it’s really very dangerous when someone stands up and says: ‘I have the way and I have the truth and I know how to interpret holy scripture and you are following what is the right way,'” he said “It’s really very, very dangerous and I think it’s demonic. The Episcopal church has been demonised. It has been a punching bag, and I’m sick of being a punching bag as a bishop and I’m sick of my church, my province being a punching bag.”

What this fellow is saying is that insisting on a particular interpretation of scripture is evil, because in his view scripture should have no authority over the church. The church can use whatever verses that it finds convenient to reinforce their philosophical platitudes, but that is it. So, the view is going to soon be that declaring the Bible to be the unique and final revelation of God to man is evil and dangerous. And guess what? The “third wave” charismatics led by Todd Bentley agree. This neo – Montanist sect (which incidentally has totally rejected the piety of the original Montanists) are trying their best to instigate a civil war between sola scriptura Christians and those who believe in continuous revelation. Why? Sola scriptura in their demon and confusion addled minds will hinder the worldwide revival that will fulfill the great commission and cause the rapture (clue pre – tribulation dispensationalism). In other words, they are trying to fulfill the ambitions of their founder William Seymour of Azusa Street. And who do these folks have on their side? Why, the “Jesus Christ had to be born again” and “if you want to see God look in the mirror” Word of Faith/prosperity people! Fred Price, whose newest title sequence proudly proclaims that he was the ORIGINAL Word of Faith/prosperity teacher before all of these “new school” guys like TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, Paula White, and Joyce Meyer came out and started stealing his thunder, has been anointed as an APOSTLE by Todd Bentley. That link is from Soli Deo Gloria. PJ Miller is sola scriptura, too, so he is one of the people that these new wave Pentecostals, the Word of Faith/prosperity people, and the liberal Christians are at the moment going after because of his fidelity to the truth, infallibility, and final authority of scripture. But Psalm 1 talks about what is going to happen to those people! Pay particular attention to verse 5! Oh yes, and don’t forget about Psalm 2! The mighty day of the Lord is coming, and on that day it will clearly be revealed who is on the Lord’s side. Those who are NOT on the Lord’s side will not only be the ones who reject His Son through His Word AND those who CLAIM to accept it BUT WILL NOT PUBLICLY DEFEND IT. Are you a sheep or are you SHEEPLE? TODAY is the time to take your stand, because I have to tell you, tomorrow is not promised to you! And this is not to defend Omar Khadr (other than to point out that he clearly should have been treated according to the Geneva Convention) but I cannot help but thinking that the data that the government is using on him and all of the rest of their Guantanamo Bay human guinea pigs, doing all of these tests on them to learn about the human mind and gain all sorts of “valuable data”, is going to be used on Biblical Christians one day. Well, Christians, if you won’t open your mouth in defense of the faith today, you won’t be able to stand up to torture like this tomorrow.

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/17/religion

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