Sunday, April 29, 2007

Great Quotes: Martin Luther

This has to be my most favorite Luther quote ever... Actually Luther was the original "Cussing Pastor" but I won't put the scatological quote here is it a bit too vulgar for even me... (grin)


"Almost every night when I wake up the devil is there and wants to dispute with me. I have come to this conclusion: When the argument that the Christian is without the law and above the law doesn't help, I instantly chase him away with a fart."

~ Martin Luther (1483-1546), Luther's Works, Volume 54, Table Talk_ [1967], Number 469)

The whole being of any Christian is Faith and Love... Faith brings the man to God, love brings him to men . ~ Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Friday, April 27, 2007

announcing catastrophically high new royalty rates as well as a $500/year minimum per station

announcing catastrophically high new royalty rates as well as a $500/year minimum per station

I received this email today... if this new bill is does not go through iggyROCKS! may be finished...

April 27, 2007

Dear Live365 Broadcasters,

On March 21st, I wrote you regarding the initial ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announcing catastrophically high new royalty rates as well as a $500/year minimum per station. Despite the outcry of nearly all webcasters, the CRB denied the request for a rehearing and has proceeded with their original ruling.

In response to these new and unfair fees, Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act (HR 2060) on April 26th. This bill will provide immediate relief from the proposed new rates and can save thousands of Internet radio stations from going off the air. Live365 and the other members of the SaveNetRadio Coalition fully support this proposal and are working diligently to see it turned into law. The next step is to line up cosponsors for HR 2060, but time is running short. We ask that you IMMEDIATELY: CALL your Representative and ask them to cosponsor HR 2060 -- the Internet Radio Equality Act. Click here to find your Representative's number. NOTIFY -- YOUR LISTENERS, ARTISTS, and FRIENDS -- and have them call THEIR Representatives with the same request to cosponsor HR 2060.

We thank you again for all of the great support so far. Let's keep the momentum building into a crescendo that everyone can hear.

Sincerely, Jason Stoddard

PS. It looks like Live365 will be observing the "Day of Silence" on May 8th.
More information to come...

I was reflecting a bit on "Mike Corley's 5 Questions"

I was reflecting (contemplating) a bit on Mike Corley’s 5 questions and yet I seem to feel that there is a basic point being missed… maybe on both sides…

I think the point missed that that those questions are what we in the "emerging" are discussing and working through... some of us have already come to conclusions on most of this... yet there are those who have not... and they are prayerfully working through these in an open honest way to find faith in the postmodern world.

There are some questions that are a "given" though I know some are into the more "liberal" side...

One must remember that in some ways the emerging "movement" mirrors the whole or at least incorporates the whole of Christianity that is out there... there are liberals... and conservatives and people who love Bush and those who hate him... those that get it and those that don't... it would be like stepping back and looking at all who profess Christianity as a whole and saying what a mixed up group of people... some think abortion is ok and others shoot doctors that do them and think that is ok... to take on all as a whole we lose that some are not even Christian... or that some are not mature... and so on....

That is the fallacy that one gets into if they lump all "emergents" into a pile... it is like saying there is no difference between a Baptist and a Roman Catholic... it is ignorant... but from an outsider, both are "religions" that believe in Jesus.

It seems that even Ken misses that "emergent village" and the emerging conversation (or as it is commonly known as emerging church), are not the same… one is in and part of the other… but emergent village is not the same thing as emergent church.

One way to think of this is that emergent church is more generic as it has branches that reach out about everywhere… and is influenced by many different sources… both good and bad… and that is why I am open to saying we do have are issues…

As far as breaking the whole down… I am not sure we are there yet… I do not see that we have gotten to a point where we can graph out who is what within… nor do I think that a good idea… yet, I will say that there are liberals talking to conservatives on solutions instead of hammering each other on our differences… and that is the huge difference between what Ken Silva and crew do and what is going on inside the emerging conversation.

What looks at times like liberalism… is… and yet at times is not… it is taking a closer look at history and the Scripture and seeing what we ought to do…

Can a Christian be a true believer and support a war? Or if that is worked through… if one must serve in war… if we see it as not a just war… do we then still serve or do we stand against it?

These are not easy questions… and often anyone will be conflicted. The idea though is to get people talking… even if they disagree if in dialog they are at least working toward a resolution instead of fighting or talking past each other. Right now at Christian research Network… they are talking past people and not really doing anything as most do not even know who they are… and those who do see them as flies around Beelzebub. There really is not much substance there… and when there is, it is camouflaged by the dung tossed over it. What I mean is there is not that sweet aroma of Christ floating from them.

So, we can answer the questions, which I am not against… yet I am not seeing that there are that many questions that have not already been answered, and still not accepted as “good” as the questioner thinks it should be… or that the questions are simply phishing for ammunition to harm more people…

So, as far as myself, I have answered these questions on my blogs and I will not answer them just for Mike Corley… Again, that is for me… yet if others see it may be beneficial, have at it!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great Quotes: Maj Ian Thomas

By: Major W. Ian Thomas

For godliness is not the consequence of your capacity to imitate God, but the consequence of His capacity to reproduce Himself in you; not self-righteousness, but Christ-righteousness; the righteousness which is by faith ­ a faith which by renewed dependence upon God releases His divine action, to restore the marred image of the Invisible God. It is not inactivity, but Christ-activity; God in action accomplishing the divine end through human personality - never reducing man to the status of a cabbage, but exalting man to the stature of king! "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).

At first sight this might seem to offer to you the possibility of sinless perfection as the result of spiritual regeneration, but this is far from being the case; for it is only your faith and your obedience which allow Him to be in you now what He was then (perfect) - and you will be what He was then only to the degree in which you allow Him to be in you what He is now (perfect)!

All of the Father was available to all of the Son, because by His faith-love relationship, all of the Son was available to all of the Father, and this constituted His perfect manhood; and the availability of the Son to you will be in the degree of your availability to the Son, because of your faith-love relationship to Him!

From: The Mystery of Godliness. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. ©1964.

God or man maintaining the Church?

God or man maintaining the Church?

In one of the comments recently Jim Bublitz stated speaking of me:

“I think that he and I are actually waging two different wars (so to speak). He wants to keep 'watchblogs' from judging him and his Emerging Church friends, but what's been on the top of my mind has been a church's ability to conduct church discipline, and to maintain the purity of the church. For if we were to believe much of what comes from this pastor's blog about judging, it would have major ramifications for churches and pastors everywhere.” ~ Jim Bublitz

Interesting that Jim Bublitz has stated this as I think this is one of the core misconceptions of the emerging church. First off, what is the definition of “church”? Is it a building, a group of people, a community, or as I believe the literal Body of Christ Jesus Himself?

So I turn to the Bible as to where I get my answer… Ephesians 1:22-23 states clearly what, or rather who the Church is:

“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Some seem fixated on keeping the church, the Body of Christ a lifeless institution… and I admit fully that in some aspects there must be a bit of “institution” in it to have structure to operate. Yet, saying that, it seems that some have taken the backbone “structure” that is the framework and made it into a type of exoskeleton. In other words we have become like a turtle that has a hard shell on the outside and seems that if we get scared we pull inward to separate from the world.

This is totally contrary to the church of scripture that is told to go. In a small way a “church” is those that gather in a certain city. Yet, the big picture is that the Church as a whole that is in Christ and makes up His Body and many parts is at work and is to be on the “go”. We are to go to all the nations… (Matthew 28:19-20)

In that if the framework is the backbone which enables us to become more mobile than the turtle I think we can then do as Jesus commanded… In that framework is the administrational part of the Body… but it is not the Body in its totality.

We are then made up of many parts… and to me this is the crux of the issue. It seems we have become a people of parts that have separated instead of unified into One Body. In the past we see all the “tongues” in one church, all the Bereans in another, and so on with each part being specialized and functioning as if it was whole in and of itself.

What is happening now is that many different denominations have lowered the walls to look at the authentic and reality we find in Christ and focus on our fittings together…and honestly at this point it is a mess… one glorious and wonderful mess as some who thought they were feet find they are fingers, and some that thought themselves to be ears are seeing they are really hands… and so on… we are fitting together… sometimes with mistakes, yet in that most are expressing a gracious attitude…. Yet, some want to not change anything as it is not “in order”.

In physics there is a pull to unity in a thing. All the material that makes something finds that it has a place and job to do for that object to be as it should… yet, sometimes within that consistency there is an anomaly that seems out of place… and yet within it there is structure and order… and then a possible anomaly… and so on… this is a type of “chaos theory” that plays out in God’s creation… and if we would let God do His job, and that is transforming us… each one being that anomaly within this fallen world we will find in ourselves order that is of divine origin… God creates order out of chaos… and we need to have chaos in order to have God create out of it. In that comes God’s discipline.

Discipline is often misunderstood…some see it as just a rigid structure in order to beat ones body into submission, or that one must maintain a consistent type of structure in order to please God… now get this…

WE CAN DO NOTHING FROM HUMAN ORIGIN AND WORKS THAT PLEASE GOD… so if we think that the “disciplines”, reading the bible, prayer, journaling and such will make us more godly and more pleasing to God we are deceiving ourselves. God is only pleased by what His Son has done… and is doing. "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) is what God said of Jesus and it is through Jesus we become sons of God.

Galatians 3: 26-27. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

We were placed into Jesus and are clothed by Jesus… God only sees Jesus and His works and none of ours. We are saved by Grace through Faith… As in Ephesians 2:4-5

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.”

It is God Who makes us alive with Christ even when we only deserve the wages of sin… being death! We are alive… as we were once dead.

If one still thinks he can add one thing to his salvation… then understand this…

Romans 5: 17. “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

All of our righteousness is through the one man, Jesus Christ. We have no righteousness of and in ourselves… if we did then God would be a liar. Romans 3:4 Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you (God) may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

Now here is the thing that pulls this all together. All men are liars… to others to themselves… we lie that we are good, or worthy or pure… and in and of ourselves we are not… it is only in Christ we any of these things and only because we are placed in Christ’s Body… the church. The ramification is this… God disciplines us and that is not just in the sense of punishment…. Rather it is in the sense a basketball player who runs the bleachers. The athlete in training does not do it because he loves the training... He perseveres the training because he loves the game… likewise we persevere the training of God because we love God…

Jesus persevered and learned obedience even unto death… Hebrews 5: 7-9

“During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

Notice Jesus offered prayers and petition to the Father to save him from death. Often we think of Jesus boldly going ahead and dying in some sort of self sacrifice without any mind to himself… yet He did have a mind of Himself yet still persevered through it. Jesus was tempted as we are… Yet, God desired that Jesus, being His Son learn obedience… this should twist some’s theology to the limits… but it is there in Hebrews… deny it if you want. Jesus suffered to learn obedience and in that was made perfect… I state this sometimes and people get offended… thinking I am saying that Jesus was not perfect here on earth… I am not saying that. I am saying though perfect He was not tested in His perfection until His death and in that was raised to life…

We must be like Christ and submit to God’s discipline that we too learn obedience unto death… yet our death is now in Christ and our Life is also.

To think one of us can bring this discipline our effort is taking it from God’s hands… it is thinking that by human effort we can obtain the lessons that are of God and God alone. Being mere humans we cannot know God until we too are perfected in Christ.


Monergism versus Synergism or do we have too many "isms"?

Monergism versus Synergism or do we have too many "isms"?

Now in the “heat” of a recent attack it was stated I did not believe in Monergism and that I believed in Synergism… Here I admit I mistakenly understood Synergism as a different term than was thrown at me. Yet, I do and am a Monergism… but maybe not in the traditional sense or at least by the “Calvinist” defintion.

In fact I see that the Calvinist view is opposed to the Biblical view as I have stated already.

Yet, saying that, the traditional definition of Monergism is:

Monergism (literal "one work.")
Monergists correctly assert that conversion is the single work of God. It is God who saves through Christ. It is God who creates faith through the hearing of the Gospel.

As opposed to synergism.

Synergists believe that conversion is a cooperative work between man and God (see "Pelagianism").

The fifth century heresy of Pelagius who taught that man is not totally corrupt and can be saved by an act of his own will (see "Arminianism," "Monergism," "Revivalism," "Total Depravity").

Now, I know in the past I held a more traditional Armininian view that man was not totally corrupt, yet I see in scripture that all men have sin and no one is righteous. I do see though that the idea of the Calvinistic “Total depravity” may not be as biblical as is supposed.
I see in scripture that man can choose. If one reads Irenaeus they will see that he taught man does know the difference between good and bad… yet it seems mankind has a short coming as far as man being neutral and knowing good from evil yet losing his path and choosing not to come to Christ for salvation… I see that man being neutral chooses his own way, and in that without the Holy Spirit to come to call us out of the path that leads to death one will be doomed to the penalty of his sin… no matter the man more good than bad, sin demands its payment of death. To sin once is to forfeit eternal life…

Many think that man is immortal and the I Scripture clearly states Jesus alone was immortal. This death then is the end of a man… yet with Christ alone man is redeemed. Redemption is the sole act of God. A man seeking after God and His goodness will find that he hears the Calling that leads to repentance and conversion, redemption and salvation.

To say that regeneration takes place first misses that regeneration is the act of the transformation of sinner to saint… it is not that act of Grace that for a moments opens a sinners eyes, for that is Mercy and Grace showing the Loving Kindness of God… this then leads to repentance…

To place regeneration is a grave misunderstanding that confuses the atonement with salvation. Some take justification and salvation as the same and to me they are not. We were justified/atoned at the Cross, this was the sole act of Christ and there is nothing we can add to it. We are also only redeemed by the power of the Resurrection as it is by Christ’s very Life we now Live… for the redemption unto salvation is solely the work of Christ alone and it is that He lives His life in and though us. To think we can add our own “works” to gain more sanctification misses that the reason se are sanctified is that Christ is living in us and these works are His and His alone… they are not ours.

So, I do not make a good Calvinist, yet I do believe that it is the total working of the Calling of the Holy Spirit that we are saved. Our response is only that… a response that we agree that there is no work we can do to be saved and not a work in that we are part of the process of salvation. It is not in our “turning” we are saved, it is in the calling that we hear and respond… and our total surrender that we realize there is no way to salvation except by God’s Mercy and Grace.

There is a joke that illustrates this:

A man died and came to Saint Peter at the gate of Heaven. Peter told them man that he will be awarded points to enter in… he only needed 100 and he would be able to enter into heaven freely.
So the man stated proudly, “I never cheated on my wife.”
Peter replied, “Very good, that is worth 2 points.”
The man stated, “I never stole anything from anyone.”
Peter looked and smiled and stated, “Very good! You now have three points!”
This went on for about an hour and the man wearily looked at Peter and stated, “I have nothing else… it looks like I can only enter by the Grace of God.”

Peter smiled brightly and hit a button… and the Gates opened wide… as Peter stated, “That is the only right answer! Enter in!”

Now remember that is a joke to illustrate a point and I do believe we need to accept Jesus to receive that Grace… this “joke” falls short on many levels yet the point that we are at God’s mercy… and Grace… is the point. If a man thinks there be any other way, he is deceived… and the Truth is not in him.

As far as Synergism or being a synergist… I see that salvation alone is of God… the only part we play is that we come to an end of ourselves and turn to God through Jesus and cry out “Lord, save a poor sinner like me.”, and in that moment are brought into a relationship… is the of desperation a “work” of us? No, I see it a realization of our condition… that being a moral agent we do not have the tools to carry through.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls this “shame” and which is our condition, and in that we can be shamed by most anything so it is not the resolution as it is acquired and learned… Yet, it is in the recognition of our disunion that we find this condition if left on our terms, on reconcilable. It is not that we are totally depraved, but ill-equipped to be able to sustain a “righteousness” that is of God’s approval on our own… we in a sense see what we are to do, but as Paul laments do not do as we ought to do.

This condition is the recognition of having a sin nature… a nature that runs contrary to the good that God desires for us. If left unchecked God then turns one over to their depraved thinking and in that we only earn the wages that sin offers. If given that we have the realization that we are moral agents that have lost their moral grounds, we then turn to Christ Jesus, we find in that the Calling, and in that the Voice of One Who calls out forgiveness and a new way of Life… it is in this Kindness we find redemption as we repent (which means to turn around) which can be either tears of sorrow and thanksgiving or tears of rejoicing and gratitude… repentance in not a formula, but a heart changed by God Himself.

Some may now criticize that I have not given Bible references… and if that is you, then you don’t need them… go and search and then prove me wrong if you need to. Yet, I know there are those who may not have read the Bible… and I commend you for getting past all the “isms” as I hope that an “ism” does not keep you from Jesus. If you have never read the Bible before, start in John, or any of the Gospels… read them as a story of a friend you have just met… and just try to get to know Him… you will be amazed at how much you will grasp with just an open heart. Most who have walked with Christ often assume they know the Gospels...yet, in them even if you do not understand what is going on, Jesus will still speak to you clearly in what you need to know now. In that I hope that the Life that Christ Jesus lived will come to be Life itself for you also.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Walking through Romans PT 4: Romans 1: 16 – 2: 8

Walking through Romans
Romans 1: 16 – 2: 8

16. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
17. for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

I was told recently by someone who thought themselves rather wise in the Scripture that Paul was only writing to Gentile believers in Rome. I pointed out to him it was written to Jew and to Gentile and in a way as we go through Romans you will see the first 9 chapters are mostly to the Jew, and that is what we see here.

Paul was a task theologian. Many try to make Romans a book or of endless truth and I am not saying these things are not contained within the book, but that was in no way the focus of Paul.

We have seen that this is
1. A letter of introduction to the Church n Rome as Paul had not been there yet.
2. A missionary letter as Paul hoped to go to Rome and wanted support for those in Rome
3. A letter to clear up “rumors” that had spread about him.
4. A letter to bring an end to the division between the Jewish believers and Gentiles believer that lived in Rome

So, that is where we are now… points 3 and 4. Paul sets this up with verses 16 and 17, The Gospel has the Power to save for everyone who believes. Notice not some, but to everyone. Some believed that since the God had chose the Israelite, given the Law through a Jew, made promises to the Jews and the Messiah had come through the Jews that one must naturally convert to become a Jew to be a true follower of Jesus. It seems reasonable and logical; Yet, Gods ways are not our ways and God had made promises, as we will see later in the book that those who did not seek will find Him.

The main point of Romans is summed up with the phrase: “"The righteous will live by faith." As we have already covered.

We are now on to a rather long portion of Scripture that if one does not take in one huge chunk, one will come out with only part of the story and in that, will have a rather improper view of God.

The phrase “everyone who believes” is one that if over looked, will also cause one to accept strange doctrines and will cause one to justify scripture to fit his pet doctrines.

Paul never heard of Calvin, Luther, Armius, or any other of the great Reformers. He is cup of the Fountain in which God revealed to us through this gospel that is first to the Jew then to the Gentile. Paul was called to preach to the Gentile and as he did this would first teach at the temple, the most often be tossed out. Then he would go to the market or where mostly women would gather to wash clothes or gather water. There he would also teach and be invited to stay at their house, thus in that way many house churches started.

18. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
19. since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
20. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23. and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
30. slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
31. they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

This passage needs great care for context as one reads through it as with most of Paul’s writings. Peter states of Paul I “Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3: 15 - 16), so Peter even states that some things are hard to grasp and this is from another Apostle and one who walked physically with Jesus in His time on earth.

The “wrath of God” portion, is sadly so misused and the point is so often missed… in fact if not taken as intend becomes a passage of condemnation only and not of a promise of redemption. Some have turned this into the anti homosexual passage, and though that sin is mentioned these people often miss that so are “full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice” and are “gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful” and Paul states, “they invent ways of doing evil” and as if it is the worst of all Paul states, “they disobey their parents”, which seems strangely out of place in a list of murderers and such.

What most miss is this is not just a list of “sins God hate” for God hates all sin… and that is why Jesus who knew no sin, became sin… and so sin itself died on the Cross. No, it is not a passage of “sins” but it is much more. For the Jewish believers laid these accusations at the feet of the gentiles. It was common thought that the gentile was not worthy and the Jew, especially those who believed in Messiah Jesus, was now even greater than all. The Jew in general had disdain for the gentile and as one reads in Acts the saga unfolds and Peter argues with God whether what God has made clean is clean or not! We find in this passage Paul stating that yes “these” people, without saying “gentile” deserve wrath… and the Jew hearing this letter would be going, “AMEN PAUL PREACH IT BROTHER ISRAELITE!” and yes those who do such things do deserve the wrath…

Yet, we will come to the blow of the “velvet hammer” as N.T Wright calls it soon. There is more that is missed in this passage.

The issue is not these sins; it is at least two matters that are often overlooked.

1. God has revealed Himself to all through creation.
2. Having made His Glory clear, men thought better to worship creation.
3. Man’s wrong thinking lead to wrong worship.

God has created Himself I His creation, and man can see the Glory of God. As I grew up I was fascinated with the Beartooth Mountains and I still am. To me it is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. I feel close to God in those mountains. I think someone has to be blind not to see God there, yet many just see it as a pretty place to camp, fish and hike and in a sense worship nature. In this we find that man who was the greatest of all God’s creation, has lowered himself below lesser created things and bow low to worship… man has worshiped the creation instead of the Creator. Man knew God yet chose his own way of thinking, he exchanged the Truth for a lie and forsook God’s Glory to worship created things. Instead of acknowledging their error even though they could see it they not only did it more, but encouraged others to do likewise.

Now, still the Jew would be going, “Yes, those Gentiles those “others” are wicked and deserve their due punishment… and thank God I am not like them.” Yet, there is more as Paul is not done here as some seem to teach or think as we must finish the thought that Paul started… and I Chapter 10 we see Paul not strikes the blow of the “velvet hammer”:

Romans 2: 1-11

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be God "will give to
each person according to what he has done."
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
For God does not show favoritism.”

You see so many stop before chapter 10, and miss the punch line, as Paul now gets to the meat of what he was getting to. “You, therefore, have no excuse you who pass judgment on someone else”… To judge another as the Jewish believers were doing and they themselves also did those very things, made them just like the Gentiles.

God’s judgment is based on truth. For He is Truth itself… and man suffers from “their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Other versions state “You, O man..” and in the Greek we find it to be “mankind”… Paul set the Jewish believers up… and then showed them that “those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”.

God does not play favorites… and being a Jew does not give one any better standing than being a Gentile… in fact we will see later that it may mean more judgment the more one knows… yet we will also see that in turning to God it will take more humility and in that more Grace will come to those who think themselves wise in their own eyes and later find they are not…

Even as a Christian, to think we are “better” than those who are not, we miss the point Paul is making… to judge others by our own standard of “goodness” or “righteousness” we will find that we are only their equal… or worse in need of more Grace as we miss the kindness of God toward us and to them… in that to show God’s goodness and kindness, to show His mercy and Grace, His tolerance and patience’s to others… we minister to others all this so that they will see God’s kindness and come to repentance. Otherwise “you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance.” There is not place for prideful arrogance toward others and those who deem themselves greater than others will become less and are in danger of storing up the wrath of God against them…

Again, many get this all backwards, they stop and the end of chapter 1 and think themselves better… and in that find only their own judgment… Remember in verse 17 we read of true righteousness is revealed by God through the Gospel:
“…a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."” It is through this same kindness from God, we receive Grace, and respond in faith, we are to recognize that this same faith that we are saved through sustains us… It is not our faith in the sense that we on our own merit bring it out of ourselves, for even faith itself is a gift to us from God… so this same faith that saved us, sustains us form first to last… by Grace and Mercy… to the Glory of God!


HITLER’S THEOLOGIANS: The Genesis of Genocide by Stan Meyer

Even today there is a theology of hate that states it is alright to judge other's salvation. Meaning that we can now judge if someone is going to hell... and treat them that way.

Many have already forsaken the way of Love... the way of kindness that leads to repentance and feel it is better to judge others by their redefinition of the "fruit of the Spirit" which is, tithing, reading your bible, going to church, and singing worship songs, none which in itself is bad, but it is a new form of pharisee-ism as it replaces Jesus with "doctrinal rules" and whenever we replace the Bible's teachings with man made doctrine we are headed for trouble...

This is a tough article but it shows were a theology of hate has lead some before.


HITLER’S THEOLOGIANS: The Genesis of Genocide by Stan Meyer

April 4, 2007

“For almost twenty centuries . . . the church was the archenemy of the Jews—our most powerful and relentless oppressor and the worlds’ greatest force for the dissemination of Anti-Semitic beliefs and the instigation of the acts of hatred. Many of the same people who operated the gas chambers worshiped in Christian churches on Sunday. . . . The question of the complicity of the church in the murder of the Jews is a living one. We must understand the truths of our history.”

—Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation Leaguei


Most Christians would say that Adolf Hitler was not a Christian because he did not follow the teachings of Jesus nor did he understand the meaning of the New Testament writings. Yet, in his own way, perverse though it was, he saw the genocide of the Jewish people as a “sacred” mission. Writing in Mein Kampf, Hitler said: “Today, I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” [italics in the original].” In addition, there are those who would allege that it was not only Hitler’s personal “theology” but also two thousand years of anti-Semitism by the church in the name of Jesus that laid the foundation for the Holocaust.

Nazi anti-Judaism was the work of godless, anti- Christian criminals. But it would not have been possible without the almost two thousand years’ prehistory of ‘Christian’ anti-Judaism. . . . —Hans Küngii

It is a painful but inescapable truth that anti- Semitism, which seethes with hate, was spawned and nourished by Christianity, which reveres a Jewish prophet who preached love and compassion. . . .Two thousand years of Christian anti-Judaism . . . hardened hearts against Jews. . . .This mind-set, deeply embedded in the Christian outlook, helps to explain why so many people were receptive to anti- Jewish propaganda. —Marvin Perryiii

From the standpoint of history, was it really Christian teaching that supplied the fuel for the crematoria? Did conservative Christian doctrine really pave the way for the poison that filled the showers? Is there anything in orthodox Christian theology that would lead Germany’s church leaders to advocate murdering six million Jews? Who were the heads of the church, the seminary instructors, the spiritual leaders of Germany’s church in the 1930s? What “religion” were they really teaching? Could it be that a Germany that was leading the world in art, physics and literature—producing Mahler and Wagner, Uhlmann, Klaus Fuchs and Max Born—was sending the world down the road of genocidal mania? Could a Germany that was pioneering in the fields of theology, religious study and biblical scholarship be morally bankrupt? And how could those whose profession was to study God’s Word and lead pastors into God’s truth, based on the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the New Testament, condone or even advocate Hitler’s demonic course? Who were Hitler’s theologians? And what “Christianity” did they teach?

To understand the religious climate of a pre-Holocaust Germany (circa 1930s) it is helpful to re-visit the seventeenth century when the Modern Era dawned on Western Europe. The Age of Reason, also known as the Enlightenment and the Age of Rationalism,iv was a period in history when philosophers emphasized the use of reason as the best method of learning truth. Thinkers relied heavily on the scientific method to discover truth in all disciplines. Philosophers emphasized experimentation and careful observation.v These modern thinkers believed that reason could be tested and was therefore reliable, but revelation (which claims to be Godgiven) was beyond testing and therefore unreliable. Many believed that reason must “validate” the claims of the Bible for those claims to be true. John Locke (1632-1704) asserted that reason is “the candle of the Lord set up by Himself in men’s minds” and “must be our final judge and guide in everything.”vi

The Age of Reason produced a generation of Bible scholars known as Rationalists. They argued that only through reason could we learn about God.
Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834)

Friedrich Schleiermacher, called the founder of Liberal Protestantism, argued that God is unknowable. He taught that it is not possible to verify the historical events described in the Scriptures, such as the parting of the Red Sea, the Exodus from Egypt, or even the giving of the Ten Commandments. Therefore, according to him, faith is merely a “religious feeling.” He wrote, “. . . belief in God, and in personal immortality, are not necessarily a part of religion; one can conceive of religion without God, and it would be pure contemplation of the universe.”vii According to Schleiermacher, religious truth is subjective; it is not derived from the Scriptures but rather is relative to a person’s conscience. Consequently, religious principles of right and wrong are merely interpretations based on an individual’s perspective.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche carried reason’s critique of religion much further. In Thus Spake Zarathustra the protagonist proclaimed, “God is dead.” This was Nietzsche’s dramatic way of alleging that most people no longer believed in God. He lamented that civilization was left with a terrible void since religion no longer provided a basis for making moral choices. He put forth the idea of the übermensch (super human), who through his “will to power” could bring down false ideals and moral codes of his day. This übermensch could overcome nihilism by creating new or better ideals.

By the late nineteenth century Liberal Protestant Bible scholars regarded the historical accounts of both Israel and the life of Jesus as inaccurate. In 1906 Albert Schweitzer published The Quest for the Historical Jesus, arguing that we can know very little about the real Jesus. Jesus’ life, the New Testament and even the Torah were cloaked in mythology. Schweitzer claimed that historians needed to “demythologize” the Bible—strip away the miracles and ask questions such as “who really wrote these books?” He maintained that only an historical method rather than a religious one was needed to get a verifiable biography of Jesus. A scientific approach to the Bible was developed, known as the historical-critical approach. In this approach, readers attempted to reconstruct what they believed was the original text. Important to note is that this method denied divine inspiration, rejected miracles, and presumed that the biblical text we have is a composite of editions and alterations by various parties with varying and unique interests.
Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918)

Julius Wellhausen was born in Westphalia, Germany. He earned his doctorate in theology at the University of Gottingen. After teaching theology for twelve years, he resigned his position because he began to doubt the authority of the Scriptures to teach religious truth. In 1882, he took a position at the University of Halle, teaching Middle-Eastern and Semitic languages. He applied the historical-critical approach to studying the Jewish Bible. Wellhausen proposed the Documentary Hypothesis, which argued that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible. Rather, Wellhausen suggested that the Pentateuch is a composite originating from four sources that he designated as J, E, P and D. J stood for Jehovah and referred to those documents in which God is identified by his four-letter name. E represented those documents in which God was referred to as Elohim. P stood for the Priestly source used to identify those parts of the Torah that Wellhausen believed had been added by the Jewish priesthood. Finally, D stood for Deuteronomy, referring to those portions of the text that were repeated in the final book of the Torah. Wellhausen believed that the D source possibly originated in the era of a late Judean king. According to his hypothesis, different groups added portions of text, with each redaction reflecting that source’s human agenda and version of Israel’s history.

The Documentary Hypothesis quickly spread among Bible scholars in Central Europe. It eventually crossed the Atlantic and debuted at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Rabbinic scholars immediately protested what they perceived as an attack on the holiest books in Judaism. Solomon Schechter, the founder of Conservative Judaism, stated his concerns in a 1903 seminary address titled “Higher Criticism— Higher Anti-Semitism.” Schechter believed that the Documentary Hypothesis would lead to an attack on Judaism and ultimately an assault on the Jewish people. Jewish historian Marc Zvi Brettler summarized Schechter’s comments, which in hindsight seem rather prophetic:

[He] equated Wellhausen’s approach with “professional and imperial anti-Semitism,” calling it an “intellectual persecution” of Judaism. viii


As historical-critical tools sought to explain textual origins, new theories such as those put forth in Darwin’s Origin of the Species attempted to explain human origins in purely scientific terms. Darwin alleged that humans were evolved from more primitive animal species. Theologians adopted his language and began explaining religion in terms of evolutionary forces as well—the “Evolution of Religion.” They reasoned that if modern man evolved from more primitive species, many of which are now extinct, then perhaps modern religion evolved from primitive religions, such as Judaism. The corollary, based on natural selection, was that the “primitive” religion should also become extinct to make way for more evolved religion. If the source of the Hebrew Scriptures was not divine, then Judaism and her Scriptures were merely the products of anthropological evolutionary forces, acted out in ancient Semitic societies.

In 1875, Professor Robert Smith of Edinburgh, Scotland delivered a series of lectures titled “The Religion of the Semites.” Smith outlined the primitive origins of the Jewish beliefs as follows:

We have seen that ancient faiths must be looked on as matters of institution rather than of doctrines or formulated beliefs, and that the system of an antique religion was part of the social order under which its adherents lived . . . broadly speaking, religion was made up of a series of acts and observances, the correct performance of which was necessary to secure the favour of the gods or avert their anger.ix

In The History of Israel and Judah, Wellhausen predicted that Judaism and the Jewish people would become extinct:

The . . . emancipation [i.e. assimilation] of the Jews must inevitably lead to the extinction of Judaism wherever the process is extended beyond the political to the social sphere. For the accomplishment of this centuries may be required.x

Following this progression, Liberal Christianity would take center stage.
Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930)

Adolf von Harnack, born in Estonia, earned his doctorate at the University of Leipzig. He taught church history at the University of Giessen and later at the University of Berlin. Over time he became convinced that Jesus was not divine. The main focus of Liberal Protestantism is the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. As one of its proponents, von Harnack tried to show that Jesus was a progressive teacher, but not divine. According to his theories, the god of the Hebrew Scriptures was a tribal war god, jealous for his subjects’ worship and waging war on his enemies. The Jewish belief that God required an atonement for sin was dismissed as merely stemming from the primitive semitic belief in a tribal god who demanded blood to satisfy his wrath. Von Harnack maintained that the Christian teaching that Jesus’ death atoned for sin was Hebrew in origin, obsolete, and should be discarded. Von Harnack’s views are not original. In the second century, the Gnostic Marcion taught that the god of the New Testament had defeated the war god of the Hebrew Scriptures. Marcion and many Gnostics urged the church to reject the Jewish Scriptures. Von Harnack asserted that:

To reject the Old Testament in the second century perhaps was a mistake which the great Church refused rightfully . . . but to conserve it after the nineteenth century as a canonical text in Protestantism, was the result of a religious and ecclesiastical paralysis.xi

By 1930, Liberal Protestant church leaders in Germany had come to believe that the Jewish people, like their Bible, had served their purpose and therefore the Jewish roots of Christianity were to be denied as well:

We must emphasize with all decisiveness that Christianity did not grow out of Judaism but developed in opposition to Judaism. When we speak of Christianity and Judaism today, the two in their most fundamental essence stand in glaring contrast to one another. There is no bond between them, rather the sharpest opposition. (Reich Bishop Ludwig Muller, 1934)xii

Church leaders endeavored to remove all Jewish influence from German society in both the political and religious spheres. Alfred Rosenberg, publisher of Der Stürmer, (the weekly Nazi newspaper most notorious for its anti-Semitic cartoons) was the link between nineteenthcentury Liberal Protestantism and Hitler’s twentiethcentury Aryan agenda. Doris Bergen, professor of history at Notre Dame explains:

Alfred Rosenberg dubbed the Old Testament a collection of “stories of pimps and cattle traders”; but the high school religion teacher and German Christian agitator Reinhold Krause earned sustained applause in November 1933, when he repeated that phrase at a rally of twenty thousand people.xii

It was in this setting that Liberal Protestant pastors founded the German Christian Movement in 1932. They wanted to create a “Reich” or “state” church that all German Protestant Christians would rally around; their symbol was a Christian cross with a swastika in the middle. They did not hold to a high view of Scripture; conversely they were devoted to eradicating Old Testament readings from their worship services and they even altered the New Testament so as to excise references to the Jewish people or worse, demonize them. They did not want Jews to believe in Jesus either— they saw all Jews as a cancer to be excised. Point nine of the German Christian Movement’s 1932 platform stated:

In the mission to the Jews we see a serious threat to our Volkstrum (race). That mission is an entryway for foreign blood into the body of our Volk. . . . We reject missions to the Jews [because of ] . . . the danger of fraud and bastardization [of the German race].xiii

In 1939, they issued the Godesberg Declaration, which said, “Christianity is the irreconcilable religious opposite of Judaism.” The declaration also announced the establishment of the Institute for Research into and Elimination of Jewish Influence in German Church Life.xiv

Conservative Protestants maintained that both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament were inspired by God, and they were incensed by the platform of the German Christian Movement and their advocacy for altering the Scriptures. They contended there was nothing “Christian” about the German Christian Movement. They saw the movement’s agenda as a collapse both of faith and Judeo-Christian morals. In 1934, theologically conservative pastors and theologians founded the Confessing Church, a movement broad enough to include Lutheran, Reformed and United churches of Germany. Committed to resisting the downward tide of the German Christian Movement, their theological underpinnings can be found in the Barmen Declaration written largely by Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth. This statement not only affirmed the key doctrines of the Christian faith, but also served as a protest against the Liberal Protestant Church that embraced Hitler’s ideology. The declaration repudiated any other doctrine as false that made the church “an organ of the State” or that gave religious status to “ruling powers.”

Notable Lutheran leaders such as Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer also had a hand in crafting the Barmen Declaration. These theologians were devoted to belief in the inspiration and authority of both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. They were opposed to Hitler and his perversion of the Scriptures.

Conservative German church leaders such as Bonhoeffer publicly denounced Hitler and even plotted his assassination. As a result, he and many in the Confessing Church were executed. But the resistance was not limited to theologians and church leaders.

Yad Vashem contains the records of over 18,000 individuals deemed “Righteous Gentiles.” These men and women risked their own safety and that of their families to oppose the Nazis and save Jewish lives. One of the most well known among them was Corrie ten Boom, whose story was told in the book The Hiding Place. She and her family held to a conservative Christian theology and their faith led them to risk hiding Jews in their home. Eventually they ended up in a concentration camp. Others, like Diet Eman, joined the underground and fought in the Dutch resistance, risking their lives to stop Hitler and save our people from his evil.

In looking back at the theology that marked the Modern Era, it becomes apparent that era ended with the Holocaust. Most historians conclude that the Holocaust was the lid on its coffin. After all, the Modern Era failed to lead humanity to a higher level but instead brought it to the depths of degradation. And Liberal Protestantism, which rejected the foundational beliefs of Christianity and instead embraced Hitler’s ideology, was part and parcel of that failure. Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, in his popular work After the Evil—Christianity and Judaism in the Shadow of the Holocaust, points out that Hitler’s ideology “was not only not Christian, it was anti- Christian.”xv

Though Hitler used Christian jargon to spout his venom, his actions opposed the teachings of both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. He certainly couldn’t embrace the promise made to the first Jew, Abraham:

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse. (Genesis 12:3)

Nor could Hitler acknowledge the words of the psalmist that the Jewish people would be set apart as God’s prized possession:

For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession. (Psalm 135:4)

Nor could he admit that the New Testament makes God’s commitment to the Jewish people clear:

Theirs [the Jewish people] is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! (Romans 9:4, 5)

So what was Hitler’s personal theology? Did he see himself as the übermensch (superman) espoused by Nietzsche 75 years earlier, the precursor of the master race? Some, like William Shirir, have indicated that Hitler was influenced by Nietzsche’s philosophy. Writing in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Shirrer, points out: “Hitler often visited the Nietzsche museum in Weimar and published his veneration for the philosopher by posing for photographs of himself staring in rapture at the bust of the great man.” Michael Kalish in his research paper, “Friedrich Nietzsche’s Influence on Hitler’s Mein Kampf,” makes a convincing case for this connection as well:

The underlying themes in Nietzsche and Hitler’s philosophies are the importance of impulses and action for self-preservation, the danger of the clever Jew (i.e. the slave who has re-valuated strong as evil and weak as good), and the prophesy of a new type of man that will question the Jewish values and return the glory of the blond beast.xvi

Hitler did not follow the biblical teachings of Christianity; nor did he emulate those theologians who held to the authority of the Scriptures. Instead, he burlesqued Christian teachings, twisting them to his own purposes. By using language that sounded familiar to Christians, he was able to pose as an adherent to the religion when in actuality he was a self-proclaimed pagan: “I am myself a heathen to the core.”xvii

Hitler took advantage of a time in which people had learned to measure the Bible according to their own thoughts and perspectives, rather than the other way around. God was deemed unnecessary to religion. Reason and science, both important disciplines, were revered beyond anything that true reason or science would suggest or even tolerate. And science and reason proved to be cruel gods that produced heartless followers.

Hitler’s theologians got it wrong. Their theology was fatally flawed. They denied the truth of the Hebrew and New Testament Scriptures. They denied that the Jewish people were special to God. They denied that Y’shua the Jew was God’s way of salvation for all people. In their revised Bible, John 4:22, which originally read, “Salvation is from the Jews,” was changed to read, “Jews are our misfortune,” xviii What a sad irony! In the end, Hitler’s theologians tragically missed the mark by denying the very people whom God chose to use to bring redemption, the Messiah Y’shua.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Over 20,000 served so far...

With just a bit of over 500 posts I have hit over 20,000 hits on this blog sometime between yesterday and today... and I missed it! LOL

Now I know that number is actually not accurate as I did not have a counter on for most the first year... but still....

Thank you for your loyal readership.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007


In light of the love that MacArthurites have shown me...

Most eradicationists follow the Covenant line of Lordship--both for justification, and for sanctification. Christ's Lordship is primarily found in the Synoptics. It is the stage where believers try to do for the Lord; to one degree or another it results in the Romans Seven struggle.
One might refer to the Lordship motivation as the adolescent stage of the Christian life. That is as far as the Lordship advocates see, and they tragically think that is the way the Christian life should be. Anything short of Lordship they consider to be an unsaved condition; anything beyond, antinomian. Centering upon Lordship deters the believer from coming to know Christ as his Life. Being under His Lordship constitutes law--doing. Knowing Him as Life constitutes grace--being.
quotes from MJS review of WINNING THE WAR WITHIN, Dr. Charles Stanley

Be blessed,

Why I am not a Calvinist part 3

Why I am not a Calvinist part 3

Irenaeus who was a disciple of Polycarp who was a direct disciple of the Apostle John clearly taught man has a free will. Some Calvinists will state that man does have a free will on a minor level… yet man is not a moral being… and is totally depraved.

Irenaeus stated:

“ But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for such were they created; nor would the former be reprehensible, for thus they were made [originally]. But since all men are of the same nature, able both to hold fast and to do what is good; and, on the other hand, having also the power to cast it from them and not to do it,-some do justly receive praise even among men who are under the control of good laws (and much more from God), and obtain deserved testimony of their choice of good in general, and of persevering therein; but the others are blamed, and receive a just condemnation, because of their rejection of what is fair and good. And therefore the prophets used to exhort men to what was good, to act justly and to work righteousness, as I have so largely demonstrated, because it is in our power so to do, and because by excessive negligence we might become forgetful, and thus stand in need of that good counsel which the good God has given us to know by means of the prophets.”

He then adds:

“No doubt, if any one is unwilling to follow the Gospel itself, it is in his power [to reject it], but it is not expedient. For it is in man's power to disobey God, and to forfeit what is good; but [such conduct] brings no small amount of injury and mischief.”

What we see here in the writing of a disciple of the direct linage of John the Apostle the very opposite of the crux of which is the Calvinist argument… does man have a free will?
On one hand man has never had a “free” will as he is either a servant to sin or a servant to Christ… yet even in that bondage and freedom God gives man a choice to choose and believe or not to believe. Now the Calvinist will challenge this and state, “Then you are preaching works!” To that I state this plainly if a man sees he is lost and in need of salvation from death… note I am stating death not sin as God gave the Israelites the sacrificial system… a way for forgiveness, yet in that there was not way to eternal life and salvation from death. This is an area that the Calvinist often misses also… that we are not being saved from sin into heaven… but from death into life… and that life is eternal I am not saying that the sacrificial system was a way to permanent forgiveness as God has always looked not at the blood of bulls and goats… but at the repentant heart that turn in faith that God alone will save him. Yet, if it was just forgiveness man needed… then Christ could have died and stayed in the grave… yet it is in the Resurrection we have Life… God has a free will and as stated in the first part to subject God to a system then denies God to have a free will and makes him no longer sovereign. Yet, as God has a free will so also man in His image has one also.

Irenaeus states a bit later:

“If then it were not in our power to do or not to do these things, what reason had the apostle, and much more the Lord Himself, to give us counsel to do some things, and to abstain from others? But because man is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will, in whose likeness man was created, advice is always given to him to keep fast the good, which thing is done by means of obedience to God.
“And not merely in works, but also in faith, has God preserved the will of man free and under his own control, saying, "According to thy faith be it unto thee; "thus showing that there is a faith specially belonging to man, since he has an opinion specially his own. And again, "All things are possible to him that believeth; “and, "Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee."

The issue then is was man perfect in the Garden… or was he innocent? We are not told that man was ever perfect… only that he was good. Genesis 1: 31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.”
Man and woman made in the image of God were made good… yet it never says perfect. Man and woman were perfectly innocent I will give into…

Now the Calvinist will state that before the fall man was perfect…though if he was then he would not have fallen…so it seems that man was not yet perfected… but rather had something still to learn. I suspect that was what the walks in the Garden were, times of intimate teachings.

Yet, before this could happen man fell. Now, there are scriptures to support that the sin of Adam is imputed to us. Yet there are also scriptures that clearly state man is to be held guilty for his own sins…. A man who sins dies is the point. Deuteronomy 24: 16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.”

This makes sense as we can only die ourselves… we cannot die for someone else… unless we are immortal beings which we are not… only Jesus is. (1 Timothy 6:16)

Romans does speak of how the sin nature that man inherited at the fall is past on… 1 Cor 15: For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. For as in Adam… or as Adam sinned and died we too sin and die…yet this does not mean the same thing as total depravity. Man is blinded we are told… he is given over to his own wicked desires and in that deserves God’s wrath… yet God has given a way of salvation to all mankind… as all have sinned and are cursed to die, all have been given the gift of salvation… contingent on if we receive that gift. A man must still choose… Life or death. The sin nature is not passed on as some Calvinists teach through the blood of the man.

Again, this is not works… it is taking God at His word and having faith in a Hope… A hope that is not seen. And in that Hope is salvation itself.

Be Blessed,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why I am not a Calvinist part 2:

Why I am not a Calvinist part 2:

One of the teachings of scripture is that man is fallen.

The third reason I am not a Calvinist is that though I believe that man is totally depraved, I see that the reasoning of how one is totally depraved is not biblical. For the bible teaches that man is a sinner because Adam fell… Calvinism teaches that it is because God has made some Elect and some not… and like Allah… when he judges will though who he sees fit over his left should and who he sees good over his right shoulder…

I see this is based on the misunderstanding of Romans chapter 9 in which the Calvinist uses to prove his doctrine of Election.

I already did a post covering this a bit and so if this sounds a bit familiar that is why… I am expanding it a bit more.

Esau I hated…

This phrase is found in two places, once in Malachi 1:2-3 and in Romans 9:13.
Many use this verse to prove God hates the sinner… when in fact it is not the “sinner” God hates but the sinfulness that dwells within the sinner. Many have taught it Like Martin Luther, and even today people like John MacArthur, yet it is a twisting of the scripture to fit their doctrine and not actually what is taught in the verses themselves.

Esau became the father of the people known in the Bible as the Edomites. These were wicked people who as their “father” did not see that following God was a worthy thing. In fact we read that Esau is used interchangeably in much of the OT as Edomites. In that God did not hate Esau in the sense many teach. They teach that God just chose out of thin air to hate Esau. Esau did not see that his firstborn rights were of any value. He, like Adam gave over his rightful inheritance for a pot of portage. With that was he also saw the blessings of the father of no real worth until after Jacob, who being a bit of a scoundrel tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau. What many miss is that again God did not randomly just decide to hate Esau. In fact there was still a blessing that seems to be missed as a blessing unto the Gentiles.

The Edomites became wicked people and bore the wrath of God. Yet in that blessing Isaac states.

“His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." (Gen 29: 30-40)

I believe the real blessing was in that last phrase. “But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck." You see Esau was in bondage to Jacob. He was a slave to Jacob through the blessings that Isaac gave to Jacob. In Romans we find that Paul is building up to something.

Malachi is a great book. Many reduce it to just a book to guilt people into tithing… which misses the very point of the book which is pointing to the Coming of Jesus.
The first passage is where you find the OT reference to "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated”. (Verses 2-3) Yet miss that what Malachi is doing is pointing out that even though Edomites were wicked, they had more faith in that though God had destroyed them, they would rebuild… of course only to have it destroyed once again. The Hebrews thought that they were better as they were the descendants of Jacob… The destruction of the Edomites was so great that even other nations told of the Greatness of God… yet here the Hebrews stood and gave God improper acknowledgement in the form of sick and improper sacrifices. They showed less honor than the pagans… who where God’s enemies. What this oracle is about is showing that the Hebrew were no better than the heathens and in fact worse as they knew how God desired to be worshiped and did not do it that way. To say that this is about God loving Jacob because he was “Elect” misses the whole point when you get to Romans 9.

Here the passage in Romans 9: 13-26 ( I know my Calvinist friend will not like this but follow it through and you will see this is not about the Elect going to heave and the non Elect going to hell… this is more glorious as it shows that God is compassionate and merciful…)

Just as it is written:

"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

As he says in Hosea: "I will call them `my people' who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one' who is not my loved one," and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called `sons of the living God.'"

Most do not connect the Hosea with the rest of the passage. God is holding back His wrath to show mercy… just like the story of Jonah… He gave mercy. He called the gentiles people to Himself… God redeemed the Wicked Edomites and they have now become as God called them “`my people' who are not my people;”

This is not a passage of a hateful God showing His wrath, but of a loving merciful God who has compassion on Who He desire to have compassion on.

God hated the sinful ways of the Edomites, He hated what Esau did… yet instead of just giving wrath, which they already did suffer as the Edomites were judged severely in the OT, they were also vessels of mercy. Esau and his descendants were the shadow of the gentiles whom God also “hated” but still redeemed.

Now I have gone through all that once before yet… here is the eror that most Calvinist miss… and even John Piper has fallen prey to this misconception. Romans chapter 9 does not have only 18 verses…

Did you know that?

I know someone will say that John Piper is only stating in that article that God is sovereign… and in that I fully agree… yet look where he stops… even after telling the reader that one must take scripture in it fuller context starting from cahpter 7… John stops as most Calvinist do at verse 18…

And this is why…

I refutes their teachings on election.

You see this is where the Calvinist confuses the Church with Israel and person election with the election of the people of Israel.

You see the idea that Jacob I loved and Esau I hated is not aobut individuals… but of a nation that God called out of Abraham… a nation based on the “faith of Abraham.

Romans 9: 18 – 10: 1-4

18. Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"
20. But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'"
21. Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
22. What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction?
23. What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory--
24. even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
25. As he says in Hosea: "I will call them `my people' who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one' who is not my loved one,"
26. and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called `sons of the living God.'"
27. Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.
28. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality."
29. It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."
30. What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
31. but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.
32. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
33. As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Romans 10

1. Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
3. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
4. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Paul is building up to a huge point… that the gentiles and Jew are now one people in Christ. How? Through their faith… and they, who are the faith of Abraham, are children of God. The Calvinist see God is sovereign then twists this to say that some are created for damnation and some to salvation… and Paul is heading here to say that all are reconciled and joined to each other as one man. Jesus is the New Israel and we are in Him… joined together by faith.

So just stop and verse 18 we miss this point in which Paul was making… That God is just as he keeps His promise to Israel… and the true Israel is not of blood, but of faith.

The accusation is that God is not just for He created some for hell and some for eternal life… and the Calvinist teach just that type of unjust god… yet Paul states that it is not through a blood line but by faith… and in this faith a remnant of Israel was preserved… and even more God fulfilled His promise that

"I will call them `my people' who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one' who is not my loved one, “and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called `sons of the living God.'"

It is actually the very opposite as God faithfully has saved those who are considered by the Jew as non human dogs… the “others”… the gentiles. The gentiles were not consider redeemable and here these “vessels created for wrath” have been saved to be filled by God Himself… and engrafted onto Israel.

Be blessed,

I Repent.

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If Derek Webb desires me to take this down I will... I only wish to share this with all my readers as it has had a profound impact on me.

Be Blessed,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pray for Virginia Tech...

Gunman kills 32 in Virginia Tech rampage

No motive was found yet... but 32 people were shot to death and counting the shooter 33 are dead...

I have nothing more to add but this...

If there was ever a time for prayer... it is now.

So please...


Why I am not a Calvinist PT 1

Why I am not a Calvinist. Pt 1

Before I start this critique of Phil Johnson’s "Why I am a Calvinist" I want to say I do not consider Calvinists as heretics or anything that would imply that to be one is not to be saved by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ.

I will say I do not agree with certain assertions made by Calvinist to “prove” their doctrine… in fact I see many things taught in Calvinism that run contrary to the teachings of scripture.

Phil Johnson did a series on Calvinism and I thought I might do a response to each part of the series… yet it seems that it is just another shallow overview of a “modernize” version of Calvinism. So I almost view it a waste of time to go over it point by point.

I will go over certain teaching within Calvinism that are of its foundation and I think one will see that it is not base entirely on proper scriptural teachings.

Again, I have many friends who I respect greatly that are Calvinist… yet I have had the most vicious attacks against me from the Calvinist camp….

So the first reason I am not a Calvinist is that I see that systematic theology was not taught by Paul as many assert. In fact if you read Paul faithfully, Paul is a “task theologian”… which meant he met with a task and sought how to deal with it through the Revelation he received from Jesus.

To say that God’s Gospel is Calvinism as Spurgeon stated is really a huge claim… and if Calvinism errored in any fashion then that claim would be false and that gospel would not be the true Gospel. So, humbly must be met as we look at our own theological bent.

For years I tried to take what I saw in Scripture and see which view I best fit into… that is really a mistake as if scripture differs at one’s theological points then there must be an issue in that theology.

To say that God has a tight system and that it must fit perfectly together is a bit of a stretch. In fact I hold that as suspect as it seems that one must pull out of the Bible theology and in that interpret it… and then to fit it into a theological system… means that if something does not fit…one must bend and twist it until it does. And if it does not ignore it or deny it.

I see this at a few points in Calvinism as I see that God is bigger than a “system”. I have heard and read many, many sermons and teachings about God’s sovereignty…l in which I agree He is… how it works is a manner of opinion and speculation as we mere men’s ways are not God’s ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

If the system is as the Calvinist states perfect and then God must submit to the system of Calvinism. So, then we have a God that is submissive and not Sovereign.
Also I see that if God made such a system that saves it would in its nature be that one must meet the conditions of the system and then at that we have a works oriented system of salvation. For it becomes the very thing that saves us is our belief in the system. The system then demands that its Legal qualities be done perfectly. For you see God did have a system in place and Moses gave it to the Israelites. And that system we already had forgiveness of sins… and most people miss that… in fact that is what most people see the Gospel entirely is… which it is much more… in fact that idea forgets the Resurrection by which we are saved.

In Calvinism we see that without realizing it… denies that one is saved by Grace as it says it teaches. It is a return to works in the sense IF one sees God’s works his own and not Gods alone. Many teach this in Calvinism, yet miss that if one denies one point, then they will be considered out of the system… then out of the will of God and at best suspect of not being Elect… or worse be labeled a heretic. So, as with the Law, one must tow the company line in order to be saved… and in that we negate the Blood of Jesus and replace it with the system that is supposed to support it in its very teachings.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Finding new people linking to me...

Finding new people linking to me... is like finding a treasure... i am always amazed when I find people that do that... in fact i am amazed that anyone links to me! LOL!

Sometimes I am honored and then horrifed as I have a huge respect for many of you who link to me... so i shudder a bit and wonder if I am posting anything of real quality.

Recently i found out that Jon Trott of JPUSA has linked to me... He is one of the reporters from Cornerstone magazine who broke open the story of Mike Warnke and Lauren Stratford being fraudualant...

As awful as I feel about it, I was crushed to read the stories as i was a huge fan of Mike Warnke... yet... what he did was not right as lying is not the best way to evangelize other to come to Christ.

It is an honor Jon to have your link. I really recommend checking his blog out.

I also recently have started a new blog that has been getting a ton of attention... I have had links from Tony Jones and a few others. Watching the Watchdawgies For Christ is not even a blog i want to do... in fact I feel like I am babysitting. I just felt tired of watching some act like schoolyard bullies who lie about many of my friends... and I guess i have some issues to work out against schoolyard bullies. LOL!

So, if you have anything to contribute to the WtWFC blog feel free to contact me. Mostly I am watching Christian Research Network.. and Apprising ministries (those links will garner a visit from Ken Silva, you just watch!) Yet i also read the contributors sites and some others who have slandered myself and others on the blogosphere.

So... with that I desire all of your prayers so that i am fair and honest myself... I know i can push the limits as far as telling it like it is and sometimes sound less loving than i mean things to sound...

Also, pray for Ken Silva and CRN that they can attain the desires of their hearts as they line up with the will of God instead of quoting people, then creating a new context and constructing straw men arguments that no one can argue against... except those of us who have seen the quote in context and note that Ken is lying...

Be blessed,

Great quote! G.K. Chesterton

"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"Thinker up has "Hot List" about "emergent" beliefs and authors!!!!!"

Kennyo said...
the purpose of this list is not for commentary on the authors but rather an aid in helping identify who those involved in the Emergent church like to read and are influenced by.
1:05 PM

This is in the comments as if an after thought... but here is the "list" of "evil" emergent practices and authors that we read... according to ThinkerUp

Emergent Beliefs and Characteristics:
• Redefine the Christian Faith to accommodate "post-modernity"• Redefining the doctrine of hell as not being literal
• God's judgement interpreted as simply being embarrassed by your sin or an inability to gratify your desires
• Reinterpreting the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross
• Questioning the inerrant authority of scripture
• The bible primarily as a "story" or narrative• Conversion as becoming a part of "His story"
• Planetary salvation (Restoring the entire earth to it's original Creation and "rhythm")
• Proclaiming of the Kingdom of God being established on earth in present history more than the gospel of salvation
• Promoting a "social gospel"
• Defines themselves as "missional"
• The Protestant Reformation as possibly an ongoing process
• Believes Emergent could be a "Second Reformation"
• Questions are esteemed higher than answers
• Social and environmental activism
• Anti-war and political liberalism
• Promoting spiritual disciplines (meditation, fasting, contemplative prayer, breath prayers, centering prayer, labyrinth prayer walks, guided imagery, Lectio Divina, Ignatius Examen, stations of the cross)
• Promoting the mystical, the sensory and the experiential
• Anti-establishment
• Truth is determined by cultural influences or tradition* Truth is not propositional
• Teaching should be multi-sensory and creative rather than linear
• Traditional preaching is replaced by discussion and dialogue
• Reluctant to call homosexuality a sin
• Occasionally use profanity to get point across
• May become worldy to reach the world
• Life experiences determine theology and orthodoxy
• Language is oriented around self – feelings, opinions, and attitudes
• Community, relationships and unity are highest priorities
• Uncomfortable with historic christian orthodoxy as having an exclusive claim on truth
• Tolerate ideological and theological differences, very inclusive and ecumenical

Emergent Preferred Authors and Speakers:
• N.T. Wright
• Brian McLaren
• Henri Nouwen
• Dallas Willard
• Richard Foster
• Donald Miller
• Tony Campolo
• Rob Bell
• Dan Kimball
• Doug Pagitt
• Erwin McManus
• Gregory Boyd
• Andy Crouch
• Chris Seay
• Tony Jones
• Leonard Sweet
• Shane Claiborne
• Brian Walsh
• Miroslav Volf
• Brennan Manning
• Walter Brueggemann
• Dr. Robert Webber
• Steve Chalke
• Alan Mann
• Matthew Fox
• Tom Hohstadt
• Bono
• Ryan Bolger
• Spencer Burke
• David Bosch
• Eddie Gibbs
• Tilden Edwards
• Marcus Borg
• M. Scott Peck
• Jacques Derrida
• Karl Barth
• Søren Kierkegaard
• Carl Jung
• Thomas Merton
• Thomas Keating
• Cynthia Bourgeault
• C.S. Lewis
• Sue Monk Kidd
• Anne Lamont
• Rowan Williams
• Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
• Madam Guyon
• Jürgen Moltmann
• Dietrich Bonhoeffer
• William Blake

Emergent Preferred Catholic Mystics, Desert Fathers and Monks:
• St. John of the Cross
• Ignatius of Loyola
• Peter Faber
• Dionysius
• St. Francis of Assisi
• Juliana of Norwich
• Thomas Merton
• Meister Ekhart
• Basil Pennington
• St. Teresa of Avila
• St. Thomas Aquinas
• Pierre Teilhard d Chardin
• Richard Rolle
• The Cloud of Unknowing (anonymous monk)
posted by Kennyo at 7:43 PM

That is quite a list isn't it...

Now, there are many I have never heard about and will definitely look them up... Some I agree are not that good and some i will say are just weird to see and really wonder what was going on in this persons head?

Really this goes to show that most emergents are pretty well read

Yet, I will add a few that are not on this list i have encountered...

  • Jesus (in the Bible and our hearts)
  • Paul and all the other writers of the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit
  • Fancis Shaffear
  • Pual Viera
  • Pete Greig
  • Frank Viola
  • Wayne Jacobs
  • Jim Wallis
  • Scot McKnight
  • Karen Ward
  • Michael Frost
  • Alan Hirsch
  • John Piper
  • John MacArthur
  • Frank Page
  • Steve Taylor
  • Brian J. Walsh
  • Sylvia C. Keesmaat
  • George Barna
  • Maj Ian Thomas

This is really a good list and you can see that there is a mixture of some great things and a few not so great things... though I would disagree with many things on the list, I have seen in many traditional churches these same things... but hey, why look at your own log when you can point out splinters in others.

What i don't see on the list is really telling... and here are some core things that would never be found in emergent circles.

  • hatred
  • justification of judging other (condemnation)
  • Someone to be the Holy Spirit for you
  • someone who tries to control you
  • someone who accepts you only if you tow the company line

I am sure there are more... so go ahead and add to the list.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Great Quote ~ John Wesely

Are you persuaded you see more clearly than me? It is not unlikely that you may. Then treat me as you would desire to be treated yourself upon a change of circumstances. Point me out a better way than I have yet known. Show me it is so, by plain proof of Scripture. And if I linger in the path I have been accustomed to tread, and am therefore unwilling to leave it, labour with me a little; take me by the hand, and lead me as I am able to bear. But be not displeased if I entreat you not to beat me down in order to quicken my pace: I can go but feebly and slowly at best; then, I should not be able to go at all. ~ John Wesley

Be Blessed!

Scot McKnight: What’s a “heretic” anyway?

Scot McKnight: What’s a “heretic” anyway?

Scot goes into some good details as to how to properly use the term heretic...

It seems that so many like to throw this word around as if they themselves have some sort of "special" authority over others... There is a real important and proper usage of this word and to just throw it out and misuse it really does more harm than good. It diminishes the word and it becomes less important... and that is truly dangerous!


The hypocrisy of the “religionist”

The hypocrisy of the “religionist”

The hypocrisy of the “religionist” is rather interesting at times.

Romans 9: 30 – 33

“What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
As it is written:

"See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

We see that the religionist misses the point… They pursue God on wrong terms… they seek Him by their works, that is not by faith but by works as they seek the law of righteousness for themselves. There is no righteousness apart from Christ Himself and to think we can add to the righteousness that we have through Jesus nullifies the very Grace of God.

Paul warned the Galatians or rather spoke strongly to the Galatians of the “religionists” of that day called the Judaizers. These men were believers in Christ who believed that since God chose Abraham, and then gave the Law to Moses… and then spoke through Jewish prophets of the Messiah to come… being Jesus Who was a Jew… that naturally one would have to convert to Judaism in order to be accepted by Jesus as the Messiah. That is the reason Paul wrote the book of Galatians and it is dramatically played out to the point that Paul even confronts Peter of Peter’s hypocrisy as it was through Peter the gentiles were even realized to be included in this outpouring of God’s Grace…

Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter 3: 1-5

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”

Paul then build on these questions… yet what most seem to miss is this one question. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Paul is saying that one cannot add to what the Holy Spirit has began by human effort… or works. What has begun by the Spirit is complete and sustained and maintained by the Holy Spirit… if not then it is considered works.

Many religionists will say… “But I trust in the Holy Spirit and I am saved by Grace yet we are told to do good works…” yes we are, yet these are not OUR good works but Gods and Gods alone. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling… yet that is where the religionist stops… he seems to not read the rest of the passage (as is the case in Romans chapter 1 that leads into the first sentence of chapter 2, or that they read the whole of Chapter 9 of Romans in its context… only stopping to prove their doctrine that God hates some and loves others… yet missing that in that very passage the ones hated, being the gentiles and considered vessels of wrath by the Jew are actually the vessels of mercy… and Gods grace and mercy are displayed through that!) which leads me to this point.

A religionist places doctrine before Love…

A religionist will be overly concerned with doctrine… that it be perfect. Yet, in expecting that, the do not realize that while doctrine in itself is not BAD, one then has shifted into works as the way they are justified.

Doctrine is not bad… but as in the passage I quoted:

Romans 9: 30 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, righteousness that is by faith; 31but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."

They stumble over Jesus as they try to fulfill their doctrine… in a sad way some religionist have replaced the Law even with doctrines… and in that have fallen from Grace into the Law.

Galatians 5: 4 “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
Again, often this is very subtle and is the reason we must go humbly to someone to restore them lest we too fall into a sin similar.
So what are some of the sign of a religionist besides too much emphasis on the Law?

Well a person named Julie (in the comments) over at CRNinfo has set up a few questions which I will dress out further… that are gleaned from the questions that were demanded of Dan Kimball at Teampyro which then seemed to not care to get any answers as they have closed down the comments on that post… These are a type of questioning and not the exact questions asked by Phil Johnson of Dan Kimball.

1. “We need precise answers.”
They demand that a specific definition (theirs) is the standard and in that display no Grace.

2. “It’s a valid question.” They demand that their authority is greater and their question is not to be questioned nor their authority

3. “Answer me.” They demand an answer immediately.

4. “That’s not sufficient. You’ve not answered me well enough.” When given an answer and it does not meet their definition they demand to have more… much like the Pharisees did with Jesus in the Gospels.

5.“I don’t believe the words you are saying correctly cover your true belief.” Even if you tell them they will deny that you believe what you have stated and call you a liar… like the Pharisees telling Jesus that His miracles were of Satan.

6.“Matthew 18 is a cop-out.” They simple deny scripture as they place their doctrine over it and interpret scripture through their doctrinal bent.

7. “I’m only trying to discern.” Which really means we are judging you as to whether you are saved or not while over looking that they too are but sinners saved by Grace?

8. “He hasn’t answered my question and obviously I have the right to an answer.” Victory is declared even if they are wrong… they demonize the other. They take that when one gives up as there is not way to win, they are the winner.

9. “Comments closed.” We really never cared or wanted to listen as our pride does not allow us to.

Notice that none of this is done with humility nor with Love… they want it done their own way. This is the bottom line of the religionist. They have placed God into a religious structure to be able to control Him… they are no better than the Idolaters who used idol to control their gods… in fact they are worse without even realizing it as they in their religious zealousness, have turn Christianity into an idolatress religion that seeks to only control God by their rules and doctrines… that is a dangerous state to be in.

That is why I call for prayer as a religious spirit is one of the hardest to cast out. I know as it took the grace of God to cast it out of me… and even now I still must resist the desire to control God with my performance. This is truly a lie from Satan and sadly many believers in Christ fall for this every day.