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Posts Tagged ‘sola scriptura’

Regarding Carrie Prejean, Evangelicalism And The Culture War

Posted by Job on May 12, 2009

I recall a very recent incident where I purchased my first
Christian rap CD, certain that it would provide edifying entertainment for my
very young son during our frequent automobile trips. However, when the music
began to play, my son put his hands over his ears, and began yelling for me to
turn it off, the reason being “it sounds like the devil’s music.” Now
as I was very much enjoying the CD in question, I tried to explain to the child
that it was in fact Christian music. The child replied that he would much
rather listen to one of HIS CDs. So, the Christian rap went out, and one of his
several CDs of classic hymns, Negro spirituals and similar took its place,
which included “Standing On The Promises of God.” I confess to not having
learned the lyrics to this song, but I do remember something about “standing on
the promises that cannot fail.”

And now I find myself reading Pilgrim’s Progress by John
Bunyan for the first time. I not long ago passed the section where Christian
succumbed to the temptation of one Worldly Wiseman to depart from the hard path
given to him to the Celestial City by Evangelist and instead set out for what
was promised to be the easier path over Mount Sinai to Mr. Legality and his
handsome son civility in the nice village Morality. And this reminds me of the
Carrie Prejean tempest: this where beauty pageant contestant lost the Miss
America pageant (which is owned by Donald Trump, who considers twice divorced
prosperity preacher Paula White his friend and pastor) for speaking out against
homosexual marriage.

As a result, this Miss Prejean has found herself many
supporters in the evangelical Christian community for fighting the good fight
in the culture war, having had the privilege of such experiences as being
interviewed by James Dobson, speaking at a prominent evangelical Christian
university, and being a presenter for the Dove Awards. Miss Prejean’s Christian
advocates have presented her as an example of a bold Christian woman who has
risked and suffered in warfare.

While this is certainly true, as Prejean clearly lost the
Miss America title, was very nearly stripped of the Miss California title, and
has had explicit pictures (some that she acknowledges to be real, others that
she alleges are fake) released by those seeking to force the Miss California pageant
to strip her of her crown for violating her contract, I have to ask: what battle
is it that she is fighting anyway, and is it a worthwhile one?

Again, go back to “Standing On The Promises Of God.” God’s
promises cannot fail, which means that God’s battles cannot be lost, because in
God’s battles, it is not us that are fighting, but rather God Himself that
fights for us. So as long as remain obedient and faithful to scripture and
adhere to the things that Jesus Christ commanded of us, we cannot lose. Our
success is guaranteed, predetermined, predestined.

However, when we depart from the path, leave behind the
commandments of Jesus Christ, and start seeking our own agendas, failure is
inevitable. Oh, we may win a victory or two here and there, but it is only a
temporary fleeting battle won at a huge cost – not the least a great diversion
of prayers and works by well meaning Christians – in a war that will ultimately
be lost. The person who bears witness of this best is none other than James
Dobson, the very same who interviewed Prejean. Upon retiring from his leadership
of Focus On The Family, Dobson acknowledged that he, his organization and its
fellow travelers had lost every single battle, including that against
homosexual marriage, which will become legal in many parts of the country
within a few years. And let us never forget that the great legal victory that
made homosexual marriage possible was a court decision, Lawrence versus Texas,
given to us by a Supreme Court stacked with appointees of the very conservative
Republican presidents that Dobson and his peers spent a generation getting
Christians to not only vote but contribute, volunteer, fast and pray to get
elected in the first place. What do we know from this? As Jesus Christ promised
us that so long as remain faithful to Him and do His Will that we shall not
fail, the very failure of Dobson’s efforts, shows that Dobson and those like
him were never fighting the Lord’s battle to begin with.

And consider further the supreme irony: the biggest defeats
have come from the very people aligned with Dobson! Recall that Ronald Reagan,
when given the opportunity to appoint justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade,
instead put not one but two pro – abortion judges on the court, and George H.
W. Bush, who became president due to being the vice president of Reagan thanks
in no small part to people like Dobson, appointed a third pro – abortion judge,
and yes all three of those judges cast their votes in the Lawrence versus Texas
decision to pave the way for homosexual marriage as well.

So gentle Christians, what we should learn from this is that
Jesus Christ, God’s own Word and thereby God Himself, did not come to earth as
a human to be slain on a cross to pay the debt of original sin, in order to
redeem the culture. He did not do so in order to lend political support to any specific
nation, whether the United States or Israel, or any cause. The reason is that
cultures, nations, and causes are worldly things, and the result of the death
of Jesus Christ was to create the church, which is ekklesia in Greek, and
ekklesia means “called out.” What is the church called out of? The world and
worldly things. Instead of trying to change the world in some vain, idolatrous,
blasphemous quest to transform its sin and wickedness into the image of the
holiness and righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, instead of
trying to give that which is destined to die the image of that which through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ will have eternal life, the only duty that I
have seen given through Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets to the New
Testament church is that of saving and discipling sinners. Even the good deeds
and charitable works that Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to love our
neighbors and by this way to also love Him was towards that end; acts by which
the unsaved are reached and the saved are to learn to grow in the grace and
knowledge of our only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now let it be known that evangelical Christians are supposed
to be sola scriptura Protestants. After all, the term “evangelical” was taken
up as a self – descriptive one by the Protestant Reformers. So, I challenge any
sola scriptural Protestant to identify me the Bible verse that commands
Christians to put aside the work of evangelizing the world and discipling those
who by and according to the grace and prerogative of God the Father (those that
the Father gave to the Son) respond to the gospel and start working to give the
unregenerate masses the appearance of righteousness, a form of godliness that
denies the power thereof, show it to me and I will repent of this missive. If
no such verse exists – and I have never encountered it in the New Testament –
then those who continue with this behavior should cease to call themselves sola
scriptura, which means they should cease to call themselves Protestants, which
means that they should cease to call themselves evangelical, which means that
they should cease to call themselves Christians.

This is no mere doctrinal dispute. Again, Jesus Christ gave us in His Holy Spirit – inspired word promises that work done in His Name would
never fail. The end result of not only decades of the religious right but many
centuries of church – states and church – cultures has been nothing but massive
thoroughgoing failure. If you refuse to consider me to be one qualified to
speak to this matter, then heed Søren Kierkegaard; read his Attack Upon Christendom (that is if you can abide theistic existentialism long enough to). So by committing all of these
efforts to works, by fighting all of these battles, that we claim to be in the
Name of Jesus Christ, what witness does the church bear to the promises, the
veracity, the power, the faithfulness, the very Name of Jesus Christ by which
we are saved and are to overcome death, be resurrected from the dead, and
inherit the Celestial City when these things fail? When WE fail?

Because like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, we have abandoned
the path to the Celestial City and Mount Zion to the Morality Village, the
abode of Mr. Legality and Civility by way of Mount Sinai, that same is the way
of death. We have abandoned the counsel of the apostles, prophets and Jesus
Christ Himself for that of Worldly Wisemen politicians and hucksters, in
addition to not a few very sincere but ultimately misguided and sincere pastors
and theologians, which unfortunately included not a few of the very same
Reformers themselves, who were not long removed from the murderous yoke of the
Roman church – states themselves began drowning Anabaptists and burning
heretics. Indeed, John Bunyan himself spent twelve years in the dark prison of
a Christian nation, separated from his church and family, for the crime of preaching
the gospel.

Morality, legality and civility. Sound like “Christian
values”, “family values”, “American values”, “Judeo – Christian values”, “Judeo
– Christian heritage” and all the other buzzwords to you? It certainly sounds like
that to me. Well, those are legalism, an external righteousness of the
Pharisees, devoid of the religion of the heart that Jesus Christ gave us. It is
darkness devoid of the Light that came to this world that the darkness does not
comprehend. Of course, a person, a group, a movement, a nation can impose
morality, legality and civility for a period of time by expending no small
amount of energy or cost. Keep in mind however: such moral societies do not
have to be Christian … homosexuality, abortion, crime, divorce etc. are very
much kept under control in not a few Muslim societies, and such was also the
case in fascist regimes like those run by Pinochet and Franco. Also, a
democracy cannot maintain “moral societies” anywhere nearly as long as a
monarchy, totalitarian regime or dictatorship.

But it is only for a time. Remember Lot’s wife. Or better
yet remember the Holy Roman Empire! When Constantine allegedly converted (but in
truth began to exploit the faith for state power – including appropriating the
symbol of the Prince of Peace for warfare, a fact that we should think of when
so many evangelicals unconditionally support the war in Iraq as well as torture)
Eusebius and many other pastors and theologians of the time insisted that the
whole thing was the work of God, that Constantine’s making Christianity the
religion of the empire was part of God’s redemptive-historic plan for mankind,
and that through the Roman Empire the whole world would be subdued for Jesus
Christ. What happened? It failed. The Holy Roman Empire broke apart, falling to
the Muslims.

The reason why is that Jesus Christ did not come to earth,
conduct His ministry, die from the cross, and rise from the dead in order to
bring such things into existence. Those things are not wrapped up within the

promises of God, so they will fail. They are works of the flesh, not of the spirit, so they are vanity. You can fight it, you can delay it, but ultimately, as a dog returns to his vomit (Proverb 26:11) that which is sinful will return to sin. A system of laws and rituals can control an unregenerate person for a time, but that sinner will ultimately go back to sin just as
Pliable, Simple, Sloth, Presumption, Formalist, Hypocrisy, Mistrust, Timorous
and all the rest abandoned the true pilgrim Christian on the straight and
narrow path to the Celestial City. And as societies are by definition going to
contain large majorities of unsaved and in many instances shall be ruled by
them, they will go the same way.

This was the failure of the doctrine of the ecclesiola within
the ecclesia, the actual church within the political and cultural church-state
that was advanced in some form by Augustine (representing as he did Catholicism),
Calvin (representing church – state Protestantism) and various others, and it
is the same failure of the various modern dominionism movements -including but
certainly not limited to the religious right and some of the more robust forms
of premillennial dispensationalism and Christian Zionism – whose adherents
proclaim themselves to be taking (or taking back) cultures, nations and
ultimately the globe for Christ.

I am reminded of the words of the pastor character in Frank
Peretti’s novel The Visitation (not exactly Pilgrim’s Progress granted,
but a good read nonetheless!) who upon hearing an inexperienced and zealous
pastor state “we are taking this town for Christ” replied “not even Christ took
a town for Christ.” As Jesus Christ’s own nation, the Jews, rejected Him, what
more evidence is there that Jesus Christ did not die for a nation, a culture, a
political agenda, or any other worldly thing, but rather to redeem the church?
Now Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection did, against all odds, succeed. The
church was born, has existed for going on 2,000 years, and will live forever.
However, the failure of all of these movements proves that no matter the
sincerity, fervency, and honorable motives of many of the people who inspire
and are caught up in them, are sadly due to fail because they have no part in
Jesus Christ’s promises and thus will have no part in His resurrection.

I keep hearing Christians speak of how this can be changed
with a revival, and have taken it upon themselves to try to initiate one. They
recall how society was transformed in America and Britain through the Great
Awakenings, and long for another to happen. I remember the claims that great
outpouring of national unity and people returning to churches after September
11th 2001 may spark just such a revival, a return of this nation to
its “Christian values and heritage.” It was easy to suffer such fantasies when
George W. Bush was in office. Well, not only did George W. Bush prove to be
someone who does not believe that the Bible is literally true and the final
authority and also that Muslims and Christians (and presumably other religions
as well) all pray to the same god, but this nation is now saddled with a
president about whom no one can entertain such delusions. Alas, it was just
another failure by people who were never seeking the true Will of Jesus Christ
to begin with.

While Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and the other
revivalists of these awakenings may have had some state – church or state –
culture sympathies, the reason why their revivals as well as the missionary
revival started by William Carey and Adoniram Judson and before them Zinzendorf,
Spener and the Moravians succeeded was because their aim was to preach the
gospel and save souls! Their goals were not social or political but spiritual.
That was why they could not fail. They accomplished the results that they were
seeking because the results were the Lord adding to the church such as should
be saved (Acts 2:47). And yes, that verse does say THE LORD adding to the
church, not man through his own efforts doing so. Why? Because as stated
earlier … it was the Lord’s doing, the Lord’s work, the Lord’s battle to begin
with. Do the Lord’s will, and the Lord fights for you. Do your own will, and the
Lord fights against you. Do you deny this? Well then ask King Saul. His
kingdom, his portion was taken from him and given to another because he stopped
fighting the Lord’s battle the Lord’s way and started fighting his battles his
way. Instead of establishing God’s kingdom, it became about Saul’s kingdom.
When Saul’s son asked him for what cause did he seek the life of David, who had
never done any harm to Saul, King Saul cursed his son, calling him the son of a
dog, and asked “don’t you realize that as long as David lives you will never
have MY KINGDOM?” But it was never Saul’s kingdom to give. Saul and his sons
died, God’s kingdom went to David, and through the One Jesus Christ who
descended from David, it will last forever.

So, Christian, are you laboring for Mr. Legality with
Civility in the village Morality for things that, like the Holy Roman Empire,
the Reformed church – states, and Saul’s kingdom, will not last because they
are of this world and are things that Revelation 20 and 21 states will be
destroyed with fire and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth? Or are you
going to love Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments, and thereby laboring
for things that will last forever, in the Celestial City where the rust and
moth cannot destroy?

Gentle Christian, I sincerely entreat and implore you to
turn aside from all that which is pertaining to Mr. Legality, Civility, and the
village Morality … things of Sinai that will fail. Instead, join Pilgrim on the
narrow path to the Celestial City so that your works will last forever. In
closing, let me give you some words by Russell K. Carter, circa 1886.

  1. Standing on the promises of Christ
    my King,
    Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Refrain:
    Standing, standing,
    Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises that
    cannot fail,
    When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
    By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises I now can
    Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
    Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises of Christ
    the Lord,
    Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
    Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises I cannot
    List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
    Standing on the promises of God.
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    Will The Holy Spirit Be Taken From The Earth During The Great Tribulation?

    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.

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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.

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Can Just Any Christian Interpret The Bible?

    Posted by Job on March 2, 2008

    Some Roman Catholics allege that the sola scriptura emphasis of the Reformation is wrong because it is not given to all men to be able to interpret the Bible, and as such there is a need for an official body – the church – with properly qualified and ordained individuals charged with reading and interpreting the Bible for everyone else. Proof of this, in the eyes of Roman Catholics, is the many differing doctrines espoused by the thousands of Protestant Christian denominations (by doing this they ignore the many doctrinal divisions and orders that exist within the Roman Catholic Church).

    Well for the sake of arguing, let us presume that the Roman Catholics are correct in that not all born again Christians are capable of interpreting the Bible for themselves (Roman Catholics derisively refer to it as “special private interpretations” in a similar fashion that “special revelations” go to certain false prophets) . Let us say that it is, a gift of the Holy Spirit? If it is the case, and a Christian regards himself to be deficient in this area, all that he needs to do is obey John 14:13: ask God in the Name of Jesus Christ for the ability to interpret the Bible, and it, being a good thing, shall be granted to him!

    An even better illustration of this point is Luke 11:1-13. In it, Jesus Christ states that if even a wicked evil sinner will not give his child a serpent, stone, or scorpion when asked by that child for a fish, egg, or bread but instead will give him the item asked for, how much more will God not withhold any good thing from a person? Verse 10 says “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” And who can deny that this is a good thing that God wants to grant for us when God Himself repeatedly commands us to study, learn, meditate upon, live, and UNDERSTAND His Word. (By contrast, where does it say that we are to have others do this for us, and to rely on them in this matter other than Him?) Why would God command us to do something and then not equip us to obey Him?

    People, this really is not that hard. It is only a matter of receiving correct doctrine. And this is not just a problem in Roman Catholicism. In Protestant churches, there are these high and lifted up on a pedestal (by man) personalities – and not all of them celebrity megapreachers or renowned theologians! – that we feel we must put ourselves under and pledge ourselves to because of their alleged ability to comprehend the secret mysteries of the Word of God that God has seen fit to reveal only to them because of some special status before God that they possess. People, what is this but gnosticism, the heretical system based on the acquisition of secret knowledge? (This means, then, that the Roman Catholic system that claims that only church officials are capable of interpreting the Bible, is an institution built entirely on gnosticism, because in their estimation the church alone holds the secret knowledge that are the keys to salvation. So it is a bigger issue than their merely transgressing the specific commandment of God given to all Christians that they should diligently study the Bible.)

    And then there is this prosperity/Word of Faith doctrine. The former encourages us to go to God and ask Him continually for our own desires. Even if it is not cars, money, homes, jobs, or someone else’s spouse, it is often some “spiritual gift” that we desire for our own purposes. The Bible did say that there would be those with the offices and gifts of prophecy, apostle, preaching, teaching, healing, tongues, etc., not that we would all be prophets, apostles, preachers, and teachers or have gifts of healing or speak in tongues. The closest that the Bible comes in that regard – and not close at all I might add – is that WE SHOULD SEEK THE BEST GIFTS. What better gift is there than being able to interpret God’s Word so that you might live an obedient Godly life and edify others with your knowledge of God’s Word and by your example? But those that teach the prosperity doctrine urge us to seek carnal things, not spiritual ones, and even when it technically is a spiritual gift, we make them carnal with our corrupt desires to want to be able to speak in tongues or heal people so that we might make a name for ourselves just as did the rebels at the Tower of Babel.

    And the Word of Faith? Well, that doctrine does not even teach you to go to GOD and ask for things that you should not have and do not desire to use in your obedience and service to Him. That heretical doctrine based on selective out of context Bible snippets (Word of Faith people tell you that Abraham called things that were no as though they were, when the Bible specifically says that it was GOD who did such a thing, because when PEOPLE call things that are not as though they were it is called LYING which is a SIN, and God does not tempt us with SIN!) teaches you to create your own blessings, create your own miracles, based on some spiritual power that you allegedly possess. Now this power allegedly comes from 1) the Holy Spirit and 2) your portion of the power that was given to Adam to take dominion over the earth. Now the first, what fool regards Himself the master of God? If the Holy Spirit is God, then you are to be governed by the God that indwells you if you are indeed a born – again believer. God is not ruled by you, He does not bow down before you. The second: well you do realize that Adam fell don’t you? Do you wish to fall as he did? Further, the notion that we are all little gods (another verse that the Word of Faithers take out of context) all controlling our own little piece of nature is (Mormon) PANTHEISM. Now since everyone, including Christians, SIN, can you imagine the CHAOS that would result if we were all little gods running around controlling our own piece of creation? We would be starting earthquakes, tornadoes, sending lightning bolts, causing plagues and famines, etc. every time we were involved in minor traffic mishaps. Or more likely whenever we saw something that we weren’t supposed to have and coveted it. Now have any of you ever studied the pantheistic systems of Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, Babylonian, etc. mythology? One of the nature “gods” was always getting upset or jealous and chaos would ensue. If Word of Faith were true, Christians would have wiped out the human race during the apostolic period.

    So Christian, if you are born again, God wishes for you to read and interpret the Bible and give your interpretation to others through your words and actions. If you are currently incapable of doing this, just ask God to help you and He will do so. (God is not a genie with a magic wand that will instantly make the knowledge appear in your head at your command; you will still have to labor and work at it, and the Bible makes it clear that studying God’s Word is a lifelong investment of time and sincere dedicated effort.) But here is an unsubtle hint to help you out: the Bible means what it says, and when all else fails adhere to the literal interpretation. If that is not good enough for you, then what you are lacking is not some spiritual gift, but rather the faith to believe what you are reading and the obedience to act on it.
    If that is the case, actual salvation is what you are in need of. Please remedy that need today by following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

    Posted in apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, Christianity, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, heresy, prayer, prosperity doctrine, Word of Faith | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    The Mormon False God Is From The Planet Kolob!

    Posted by Job on December 20, 2007

    Actually, there is debate in Mormonism on the true nature of Kolob. Some say that it is a planet, some say that it is a star. Others say that the Mormon god is from there, others say that it is the closest star to his place of residence (this tends to mean that the Mormon god is not a transcendent one like the God of the Bible that the heavens cannot contain, but rather one that is part of nature and creation like the polytheistic and pantheistic gods). Seriously, why are Christians obliged to show tolerance and respect to these people’s beliefs in any way, shape, or form? I can understand why those who hate Christians demand that we must respect Mormon beliefs in a way that they themselves would NEVER respect Christianity. But what of CHRISTIANS that claim that we should respect their beliefs or that their beliefs have anything in common with ours? I will tell you: those Christians are not looking at doctrine but rather the externals. Well even though the book of James and the gospels say that Christians will be known by our externals, Christianity is a spiritual religion where everything begins with and proceeds with faith God as He revealed Himself in the Bible.

    The more I read stuff like this, the more I understand why this Mitt Romney/Mike Huckabee campaign is actually very useful. A great many Roman Catholics really dislike not only Huckabee but also his supporters. Do not get me wrong, while I certainly strongly disagree with both Romney and Huckabee supporters, I merely hold them to be mistaken (as I was for supporting George W. Bush and his brother Jeb from 1998 to 2006). It is clear that the Catholic antipathy is religion – based. Evangelicals are the only major group of Christendom that still strongly adheres to sola scriptura and sola fide. Mormons and let us face it all but the most conservative mainline Protestants reject both in favor of works and their own traditions and sacraments.

    So to Roman Catholics like Bob Novak – who has yet another hit piece on Huckabee and by extension his evangelical supporters today hypocritically bashing Huckabee for not opposing the rise of liberal evangelicalism when it was his own Roman Catholicism that invented liberal Christianity and won’t kick out a priest for being an atheist Marxist child molester homosexual so long as he doesn’t get married – they honestly find Mormonism more agreeable to their mindset than evangelicalism. The fact that Mormons reject the deity of Jesus Christ – and in truth God the Father – for a polytheistic system is not as important to them as the evangelical conviction that we can do just fine with the Bible and with faith. We do not claim salvation or justification by works. We do not claim that God’s grace is imparted through sacraments that are only legitimate if conferred by a church official (who again may be an atheist Marxist child molester homosexual so long as he is not married). Perhaps most importantly, we do not claim to be led primarily by a single figure that is God’s representative on earth, some vicario Jesu Christi or vicario deo figure or similar, but we believe in the priesthood of believers based on 1 Peter 2:5-9 (see this excellent document on that topic

    So apparently, this Mike Huckabee campaign is precisely the cover that frustrated Catholics have needed all these years to air their grievances against Protestants, something that they otherwise would not be able to do, especially in the context of religious right politics. I am wondering if this is not going to spill over from politics into the realm of religion and culture as well. Of course, seeing how a great many evangelicals are now urging Christians to drop our insistence on sola fide and sola scriptura and want us to simply surrender our Biblical faith for one that is not (see ) and pretty much have been since the days of Billy Graham, you have to wonder precisely what grounds the battle will be fought on. My prediction is grounds that are highly favorable to the Roman Catholics.

    Religious right Christians, this is to let you know: the GOP’s establishments’ rejection of Huckabee has NOTHING to do with his not being electable (as if Rudy Giuliani is), his ethics problems (again, see Rudy Giuliani) or his economic liberalism (again, Giuliani, Romney, and McCain are really no better, it is just that only the positive portions of their economic records are being reported where only the negative ones of Huckabee are). It is all about Roman Catholics disliking the evangelical faith, and that is precisely why they are trying to play this “either support Romney or be a bigot” nonsense.

    The question is: how many evangelicals are going to play along instead of  standing up to attacks on their faith? From what we have seen so far, plenty. We know that Huckabee is not going to do a thing about it because he wants Roman Catholics  to vote for him. We have also seen plenty of prominent evangelicals endorse Romney because they are so deathly afraid of being publicly counted as bigots. Again, this is not to say that evangelicals should endorse and support Huckabee, whose support of Kenneth Copeland and John Hagee are just as bad as endorsing Romney. If anything, it is worse, because at least people who endorse Romney can claim to be compartmentalizing between sacred and secular, but by defending Copeland from that Chuck Grassley probe  and preaching at John Hagee’ s church, Huckabee cannot even claim that! Still,  Roman Catholics probably are unaware of (or more likely completely apathetic concerning) the theological problems with Huckabee, Hagee, Copeland, Rick Warren, etc. so it is useful to keep an eye on this situation as it relates to Roman Catholics’ hatred of sola fide and sola scriptura.

    Posted in Bible, John Hagee, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, mormonism, Rick Warren | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

    Reformed Christianity: Scripture Alone And The Covenant

    Posted by Job on November 25, 2007

    R.C. Sproul Series.

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    On The Old Churches And Why Protestants Are Still Right

    Posted by Job on November 20, 2007

    From ChristianTheology.Wordpress.Com:

    On the old churches and why Protestants are still right

    Posted in catholic, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Should Evangelical Christians Become Roman Catholics? J.P. Moreland Thinks So!

    Posted by Job on November 17, 2007

    *Please do not mistake me for claiming that all Roman Catholics will burn in the lake of fire. Rather, I seek to use heavy satire to convey the utter unacceptability of leaving biblical Christianity for Roman Catholicism.

    In this entry Moreland makes appeals to science, charismatic Christianity, philosophy, etc. before his real agenda becomes clear: he is demanding that evangelicals become neo – Roman Catholics. His reason for taking this stand was Francis Beckwith (rather justifiably) being forced to leave his leadership of the Evangelical Theological Society after his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

    He says: “In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ,” he said. “And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus.”

    Sooo … why blame Protestants and not Roman Catholics in this matter? Why should we become more like them instead of them joining us?

    “The problem, he said, is “the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice.”

    Hey buddy, if being a Christian instead of a Mormon, Scientologist, or worshiper of a head of cabbage like Rerun in that episode of What’s Happening is being a problem, then color me guilty. What about you? If you were placed on trial for being a Christian, would you be found guilty?

    And now Moreland goes apostate.

    “Suppose an archaeologist discovered a portion of the ancient city of Jerusalem that was specifically described in the Old Testament, Moreland said:

    Could the archaeologist have discovered the site without the use of the Old Testament? Once discovered, could the archaeologist learn things about the site that went beyond what was in the Old Testament? Clearly the answer is yes to both questions. Why? Because the site actually exists in the real world. It does not exist in the Bible. It is only described in the Bible and the biblical description in partial.

    Likewise, Moreland argued, “because the human soul/spirit and demons/angels are real, it is possible, and, in fact, actual that extra-biblical knowledge can be gained about these spiritual entities. … Demons do not exist in the Bible. They exist in reality.”

    This reminds me of the Johnnie Cochran Wookie defense on South Park. (Not that I watch South Park anymore. Nor What’s Happening reruns for that matter. Don’t waste much of your precious time pondering why.) Rather than going into exactly HOW it reminds me of it, let me play a simple substitution game with that last sentence and say “Jesus Christ does not exist in the Bible. He exists in reality” and see where that leaves the person that believes it. Want to try it? Well you go right ahead. And let me know how that works out for you. Right after judgment day. Don’t worry about a thing. Judgment does not exist in the Bible. It exists in reality. Or something.

    By not researching how demons work, how to fight them, and other such issues by, for example, working with exorcists, Christian scholars are harming the church, Moreland argued. In a similar vein, he thinks evangelical scholars and the movement as a whole are rejecting “guidance, revelation, and so forth from God through impressions, dreams, visions, prophetic words, words of knowledge and wisdom.”

    Rejecting the guidance, revelation, and wisdom that Rerun got from that head of cabbage? Or Stan Cartman got from Mr. Hanky? I guess I am guilty about that as well. What about you?

    “We shut that down because of charismatic excesses,” he said. “Because of abuses, we fear teaching people how to use it. We think it’s all going to be Benny Hinn or something like that.”

    It can also be about the fact that Benny Hinn is actually an amateur compared to the long history of Roman Catholic mysticism.

    “The sparse landscape of evangelical political thought stands in stark contrast to the overflowing garden both of evangelical biblical scholarship and Catholic reflection on reason, general revelation, and cultural and political engagement,” he said. “We evangelicals could learn a lesson or two from our Catholic friends.”

    Yep, we could learn a lot about everything except how to get to heaven from Roman Catholics. Silly me for only being concerned about going to heaven and having absolutely no motivation for being a Christian or living my life for that matter apart from that. Although I do say that if I ever do decide that knowledge outside of Jesus Christ is for me, then heads of cabbage, wookies, and Mr. Hanky seem to offer a lot more promise than does Roman Catholicism.

    “‘No, more provocative was Moreland’s argument about why evangelicals became over-committed to the Bible. Rather than developing a robust epistemology in response to secularism, he said, evangelicals reacted and retreated. Now evangelical theologians aren’t allowed to come to any new conclusions about the truths in Scripture, and they’re not allowed to find truths outside of Scripture. As a result, he said, they’re engaged in “private language games and increasingly detailed minutia” and “we’re not seeing work on broad cultural themes.””

    So … evangelical theologians are smart enough to realize that A) they aren’t going to find anything new in the Bible that almost 2000 years of Christian scholarship hasn’t found already and B) that even if they are going to find something new, trying to keep up with and please a world that hates and has rejected Christ is not a motive. You do know that world hates and has rejected Jesus Christ, don’t you J. P. Moreland? I can understand you not knowing that. But do you know how I found out? It was by reading the Bible. And by the way, I can deal with “broad cultural themes.” Mankind in his unregenerated state is totally depraved with nothing but vile affections and no knowledge or desire for the things of God. There, is that broad enough for you?

    This is a group torn between its desire to do respectable scholarship and its desire to serve the church. Moreland’s jeremiad hit them on both fronts.” Well hey, that explains it all. The door was wide open for such an attack because it hit a nerve. Why? Because these great learned men and women are having such conflict over whether to do respectable (by whom?) scholarship and serving the church. I can solve that conundrum for you: PICK DOOR NUMBER THREE AND SERVE GOD ONLY! But wait … can you do that and still be considered “evangelical” in today’s world? The fact that this fellow was even suffered to address this conference in the first place would make sincerely doubt it.

    By the way, Christianity Today, founded by Billy Graham, has always promoted unity between evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Recently Christianity Today has added promoting unity between Christians and fans of Harry Potter, Spongebob Squarepants, and Pulp Fiction to their agenda as well.

    The problem here is the fact that a lot of biblical Christians count Roman Catholics among their close friends and family members. While sensitivity to those bonds are to be respected, claiming that biblical Christians should allow Roman Catholics to have positions of authority in our institutions or that we should accept or emulate them based on it is akin to suggesting that the Reformation should have never happened in the first place, and the Reformers were the party in error.

    Update: I based the assertion that Francis Beckwith was forced out of ETS on this quote from the Christianity Today article: “The first part has not been controversial of late, but the second was the focus of the society’s recent fight over open theism and was named as a reason why Francis Beckwith could not remain as ETS president after his conversion to Roman Catholicism.” Francis Beckwith stopped by and provided a clarification:

    Posted in apostasy, Bible, christian worldliness, Christianity, church worldliness, ecumenism, evangelical christian, heresy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »

    Where Bobby Jindal And Many Charismatics Are Wrong

    Posted by Job on October 30, 2007

    Religious right types are embracing Bobby Jindal unconditionally. In doing so, they completely ignore the fact that Jindal’s Roman Catholic views as represented A) by the Catholic Church’s own teachings and B) Jindal’s own writings are made fair game by Jindal’s own campaign that sold his religious beliefs as an asset. The actual reason why so many of these folks are feigning such outrage is that they do not want Roman Catholicism’s true teachings concerning Protestantism – and Jindal’s writings represent only a mild version of them – to be commonly known. Again, Jindal has a right to his faith. But Jindal’s making his faith virtually part of his platform makes examining it appropriate. So, from this link:

    (1) SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION: Is sola scriptura (the Bible alone) a sufficient basis for the modern Christian to understand God’s will?

    The Bible does not contain either the claim that it is comprehensive or a listing of its contents, but does describe how it should be used. Scripture and Tradition, not the Bible alone, transmit God’s revelation.

    It is fitting that Jindal and his Catholic brethren would reject that notion, because the Bible itself disagrees! Acts 20:27 says “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Counsel means revelation, and that statement means that the complete, final revelation of God to man was given to the church during the apostolic era. And of course we have the famous 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” That means that scripture contains all that is necessary and sufficient for eternal salvation, holiness, good works, and to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to the Lord.

    So then, are the traditions and teachings of man inherently wrong or evil? No they are not. Quite the contrary, such things may aid in understanding the meaning and intent of the scriptures more perfectly, instruct people on a practical living faith, or help the gospel spread to diverse places and cultures. The caveat is that they cannot contradict that which is given in scripture. Against that both Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7 warn: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

    So, you have Catholics on one hand with their unmarried priesthood, doctrines concerning Mary and the pope, veneration of human beings, works doctrines, and iconography. On the other hand, you have charismatics with their prosperity/Word of Faith doctrines, their “willingness to negotiate” on Trinity and other important doctrines, the claims of many that salvation or baptism of the Holy Spirit must be “proven” by unknown tongues, and their embrace of female church officers (pastors, elders, bishops, and deacons). And yes, both movements have their “mystical” elements where people claim to receive prophecies, dreams, visions, etc. that add to or contradict canonical scripture.

    It is no surprise that so many people have decided that the Bible is not good enough for them and as such they have to go seeking after other doctrines and revelations. Life is hard and uncertain, filled with the heartaches and heartbreaks of outrageous fortune. The road is narrow, winding, and tough that not only oftentimes we cannot see the end, but we fear that when we get there we will suffer even worse! So it is not unusual that we would seek to put our trust in an institution that claims to be able to forgive our sins or a human that claims to have the answer.

    But those things are not faith. Rather, they are substitutes for it. For all of the charismatics that need prophesying and miracles to validate their experience, have we forgotten that Israel went for hundreds of years at times without a prophet, and that when the Word of the Lord did come often it was not to a great many people or to a person of high office but to lone itinerant people who only received a few such revelations during their entire lives (with the vast majority of them working no miracles)? Yet many of them remained faithful. For the Catholics that put their trust in an institutional church, have we forgotten that the Jews lost their temple, king, sovereign nation, and priesthood in 586 BC? Yet many of them remained faithful. What about the first century Jewish Christians that had to witness the destruction of the temple, being driven out of the synagogues and from their own people? Yet many of them remained faithful.
    Make no mistake, it is the sola scriptura sola fide solus christus soli deo gloria sola gratia Christians that are the remnant, the descendants of those that have remained faithful throughout the ages; the perseverance of the saints.

    Thus, it is incumbent upon Christians not to be deceived, and not to allow contemporary political alliances to cause us to paper over the real differences for the sake of expediency. William Donohue would rather not have you thinking about this, because he wants you to support his political candidates, judicial nominees, and faith – based legislative and executive agenda without asking questions. Despite his partisan Republican culture war pot – clanging, he also does not want you to know that both parties are generally consenting to the “big ticket items” of his agenda. He is not the only one: there are power brokers in the charismatic movement as well, most notably Pat Robertson – he of the frequent prophecies and revelations on the 700 Club – who really would rather you not know a lot of the things that he is REALLY doing. It is incumbent upon sola Christians to keep our eyes open and on our Bibles, and to turn aside from institutions and religious leaders that tell us to deny, deny, or remain ignorant of what is written therein.

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


    Posted by Job on May 23, 2007

    As a free – willer, I have my disagreements with the Calvinists at Pulpit (not that the pastors, scholars, and theologians over there are even aware of the existence – let alone have any reason to show regard for the opinions – of one such as myself), but the great Bible – based work that they do over there often makes me regret some of my more unfortunate diatribes like this one: Ah, live and learn. In any event, in response to a challenge from a representative of the people who pray to Mary and maintain that the pope replaces Jesus Christ in the Trinity on earth (Catholics), they produced this excellent historical defense of sola fide and sola scriptura. And what, pray tell are sola fide and sola scriptura along with sola gratia, solus Christus (or sola Christo), and soli Deo gloria? Simply put, those are what makes on a Christian (as opposed to a cultist, heretic, or apostate). Now while Christians will and do have disagreements among themselves on other issues – as I do with Calvinists, rapture deniers, tithers, and various others – the point is these are honest disputes over reasonable varying interpretations of scripture and the doctrines and traditions that emanate from them that imperfect men living in different places, times, cultures, and conditions are invariably going to have. So, it is man setting himself against man, and while that is in some ways regrettable (but in other ways I propose are actually helpful and even necessary, which is why I regret my earlier anti – Calvin diatribes) it is not tragic. But if you are against the solas, then that IS tragic, because you are setting yourself against the Bible and the God who gave it to us. So please, read this excellent defense of sola fide and sola scriptura, and then (for those that are unaware of the solas, which regrettably includes quite a few people and is a reason for all of these false doctrines and movements in the church) read this excellent document on all five What really bothered me is that finding a suitable link that explained all five solas was much more difficult than it should have been. What a commentary on the state of modern Christianity.

    Posted in Apologetics, Bible, catholic, Christian hypocrisy, nepal, thou shalt not murder | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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