Monday, October 29, 2007

John Calvin and Spurgeon on Alcohol.

Here is a little food for thought...

'And you shall bestow that money for whatsoever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, and your household.' ~ John Calvin teaching on Deuteronomy 14:26

It seems Calvin was not against alcohol, rather preached moderation. It seems that when a "Calvinist" states that all alcohol is wrong he is at odds with Calvin himself. Even more so if Calvin had been a Southern Baptist... oh well!

For that matter Charles Spurgeon would not make a good Southern Baptist today either...

“I neither said nor implied that it was sinful to drink wine; nay, I said that, in and by itself, this might be done without blame. But I remarked that, if I knew that another would be led to take it by my example, and this would lead them on to further drinking, and even to intoxication, then I would not touch it.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Such is appeasing the flesh with its rules "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? (Colossians 2:20-23)

Be blessed,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Does God “hate” people?

Does God “hate” people?

Every once in a while I run across those who teach how God hates mankind for their sin. I think this runs against the teachings that are clear as John 3:16 states “God so loved the world…” and many other verses about God’s unconditional love.

Yet, one verse that is often used is Psalms 5:5 which is rendered in the King James Bible
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Even the NIV states: 5. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.

Now, this seems to be clear that God “hates” some people so I think we need a bit of perspective as to who is hated and how this is so.

One version I found rendered the verse this way:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee: nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes.

Now, God hates sin. I think all agree that God hated sin so much He sent His Son who knew no sin to become sin for us… and in that as Jesus died on the Cross so did our sin.

Yet, there are those who dwell in injustice. They live their lives such that to bring hardship and injustice to others the do not know love. In a sense as harsh as this sounds, they have become less than human in their own devaluing of other humans. God hates iniquity, and that one would bring harm to others for their own pleasure shows that they are far from God and so God has turned them over to a depraved mind as Romans 1 teaches.

Now, can these be saved? Yes… undoubtedly. Yet, if one’s heart is so hardened that they cannot respond to God, then they will receive that due justice and penalty for their death.

Saying this, one must understand also that some place “God hates sinners” in a wrong context. They place this on those they deem are not keeping the Law, or even the standard of righteousness that they have declared as making one “worthy” of God’s grace. This is a travesty against God and His Grace as God has chosen even the worst of sinners to change and become sons of God.

In the OT if one was against God, as the Promise to Abraham states, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”, so those who oppose God or those He loves are dealt with because of that promise. The flip side is that the Gentiles were also to be blessed by Abraham as God promise to bless all Nations through Abraham.

Now, the issue is that if one is so proud or arrogant that they oppose God, then God will oppose them, though idea is resisting the proud and giving grace to the humble.

Yet, the promise that the Gentile was blessed was fulfilled by Jesus. So in that fulfillment, God sees all men only through Jesus and that all men “in Christ Jesus” are seen as if they are Jesus themselves for Jesus has become our righteousness and we the very righteousness of God, in Christ.

Things are changed. For even the Apostle Paul, while still Saul, violently opposed the Christians and proudly even stood by during the murder of Stephen. He asked for permission to go to other cities to destroy this “cult” called Christianity.

Yet, the Holy Spirit, which is God’s Spirit of Grace, (Heb 10:19) was poured out on all mankind on the Day of Pentecost. As this was the one thing that now opens all men to be able to turn to God, the only “sin” now that man will be judged by is what they have done or not done with Jesus. If they have not come to belief, they then will be dealt with by God on their own righteousness, and those who believe will have their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

In other words, we who believes will be spoken for by Jesus who is now our mediator.

God does hate sin, yet the issue is not whether mankind is held to Old Testament standards but whether man is held to New Testament standards. Does God resist the proud? Yes. Yet the issue is that as they resist Him, God turns them over to their own way. God has always given grace to the humble… yet the mark of true humility is the acceptance of Jesus and the rejection of our own way.

So, God now loves the sinner but hates the sin, He hated sin so much he sent His Son who knew no sin, to become sin… and as Jesus died on the Cross, Sin was judged and also died on the Cross.

Jesus now holds the Keys to death and Hades…

Romans 8:1 -14 speaks clearly of how sin and death are dealt with in the Believer and that the unbeliever still lives under the Law of sin and death and so will still experience death even though sin is dealt with.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Now even though sin was dealt with if one still lives as if it was not, then they will die though their sins forgiven… for as 2 Corinthians states in chapter 5: 10-21

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

The man that walks outside of reconciliation, and by the old nature of sin and death, will have to be judged according to the deeds done while in the body… yet so will those in Christ. Again the difference will be only in what they have done with Jesus. Accept Him and receive eternal life or having rejected Him will be tossed in the Lake of fire to be destroyed…

The Words of John should be a warning… John 3:35-36

“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him. “

For God once judge men, but now men are judged by the words of Jesus…

John 12:47-50
"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."

Now those who do evil do not know love, and the way to know Love is to be Loved and God is Love. Love does not cause harm to others and will seek to do what is best for others. It is this love as 2 Cor 5:14-16 tells us “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.”

We no longer view one man evil and another righteous, rather that all men are sinners in need of reconciliation to God through Jesus. We now are compelled as true believers to Love others and motivate us to tell others they are reconciled at the Cross and are not able to receive eternal Life in Jesus.

Does God still hate sinners, not since Jesus died for them… yet some will still place themselves under the OT covenant with death, and receive that covenants rewards without Jesus. God’s wrath will be poured out on all that is not “in Christ”… and this world will be purged of all that is not of Christ Jesus… all that is not of Grace and Truth will perish and all that is of Grace and Truth will have eternal Life in Christ Jesus. Those who choose to not be in Christ will perish as they reject the One Way of Life or their own and in that be judged with all things not in Christ Jesus.

It is a hard word, but still it is not God Who now judges, but what one does with the Word of God and whether they accepted the Life of Christ or not.

A dead man needs Life… even a forgiven dead man still needs life… and the Life is in the Son.

The one who teaches that God still "hates the sinner" is teaching a mixture of Law and Grace and perverting the purity of Grace and the message of the New Testament...

Be blessed,
Update: I have been getting a lot of comments on this at And for my readers, there are some editing issues between blogger and where ? marks replace some of the punctuation... please go to my blog at blogger (link is below) to read it without the editing issues.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Christoplatonism’s False Assumptions (against exaggerated matter-spirit dualism)

Here is a very interesting write up on how Platonist Dualism entered and has infused itself on to the Christian faith.

Here is an excerpt from the article.

"Platonic ideas began making inroads into Christian theology through the writings of Philo (ca. 20 BC–AD 50). An Alexandrian Jew, Philo admired Greek culture and was enamored with Plato’s philosophy. He was also proud of his Jewish heritage. In his desire to offer the Greeks the best of Judaism and the Jews the best of Greek philosophy, he allegorized Scripture. He did so in contrast to the literal interpretation of many rabbis.351

Philo’s ideas caught on. Alexandria became the home of a new school of theological thought. Clement of Alexandria (150–215), an early church father, was a part of this movement, as was Origen (185–254), an Egyptian-born Christian writer and teacher. Clement embraced Greek philosophy and maintained that Scripture must be understood allegorically. Origen developed an entire system of allegorizing Scripture. His method was to see the Bible as a three-part living organism, corresponding to body, soul, and spirit. The body was the literal or historical sense, the soul was the psychic or moral sense, and the spirit was—by far most important—the philosophical sense."

The whole article is here.

Be blessed,

A Different Perspective

A Different Perspective has some great thoughts from N.T. Wright... Alan Hartung is at Soularize and shared his thoughts on N.T.Wright.

Check out Soularize via FeedLive.

Be Blessed,

Tozer Devotional: God in "People" Expression

The Next Chapter after the Last
Chapter # Twenty-Five
The Logic of the Incarnation
God in "People" Expression

If in the infinite condescension of God, mankind was made with a nature somewhat like its creator, then is it not reasonable that God could clothe Himself with human nature in the mystery of incarnation? and all within the framework of easy possibility without the embarrassment of uniting things unlike each other? When the ancient Word stood up in human flesh, He felt at home. He was not out of His element, for had He not heard the Father say, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness"? There was nor jar, no wrench caused by the forced union of dissimilar natures. It is our humble opinion that the "exile" element in the earthly experience of our Lord has been greatly overplayed. That He was sad and lonely and far from home, a stranger in a strange land, is an idea that has grown up around the beautiful and the simple fact, but it is not necessarily a part of the fact. So far as we can recall there is nothing in the record to give the impression that His presence in human flesh was an unnatural or painful experience. He happily called Himself "the Son of man," not an exile among men. All this is not to attempt to take away from the valid mystery that surrounds the Incarnation or to lessen the awe with which we contemplate the wonder of the Word becoming flesh to dwell among us. It is rather to clear away unauthorized notions and give the beauty of the Incarnation a chance to make its own impression upon us. That impression will be deep enough without our adding anything to it.

Father, I see in Christ living among people what You desire in my living by means of the indwelling Spirit. He produces the product of His control-the fruit of the Spirit. May that fruit characterize my life!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.— John 1:14

In Christ, God becomes "people"-you and me kind of people except for our sin. He exuded the glory of the Only Begotten. The eye of faith could perceive His origin and sense that He was full of grace and truth. All this in "people" expression.

Doug Padgitt and a stolen bit from my other blog site.

First off those at will notice that this was a comment in the last post. But since this blog is originally at, not everyone has read those comments.

I finally listened to Doug Padgitt on Way of the Master Radio... and first off... Todd Friel is truly a rude individual. Doug did a great job. What I noticed is that this will of course be touted as Doug is a heretic and a win for their side... but I see that Doug pointed out the issues that are in the so called "systematic theology" that Todd was pushing on that site. I do wish Doug expounded a bit on the difference of Todd's version of "systematic theology" and true "systematic theology" as Todd just pieced about four out of context quotes of Jesus and ran them together in a sick display of proof-texting that only showed that Todd was proving his own preconceived doctrine.

Now, I do also wish Doug (who I admit sounded a bit arrogant, yet truly under the conditions was way beyond being gracious to Todd's rudeness) also unpacked a bit more on the idea of the narrative story that he believes... I do get that "Heaven is not a place" in the sense that Doug pointed out to Todd, yet confess it is a bit hard to wrap one's mind around if all you know is the view that Todd has been taught and which as Tony Jones pointed out about 90% of Christianity believes... so I do see Doug could have slowed down and walked Todd through this a bit.

Yet, that being my only real critique that thing that is being touted is that Doug stated that a Muslim or Buddhist will enter the New Creation... in other words that he stated that someone can be saved without Jesus. To be truthful, after listening to it twice I did not hear Doug say that. I heard that all men will be judged the same. I also heard that we are to lead people to Christ Jesus. I do wish Doug connected the thoughts.

Now we are dealing with people who have an escapist mentality and theology... they believe in the "Left Behind" theology that truly even distorts the traditional "Rapture" theology. These people do not see that judgment is a good thing that will set things right... and Doug alluded to a bit stating that anything that is not of God will be purged... (Sorry I can't remember the exact phrase he used).

The flip side is that if one is on the other side of this judgment then you will be purged also.

Interestingly, Todd used the word "destroyed" when talking about people being judged... I see that if Todd believes that in his own "systematic theology" then he is a heretic as a person cannot be "destroyed" and be "tormented forever" for a destroyed person does not exist!

Which leads me to these thoughts which were a bit in the same vein as the conversation lead my at site.

I find it interesting that much that is taught in Romans 9 is that some are created for wrath and some are created for mercy... and then most Calvinists stop at verse 18 or 24... yet in the next few verses, Paul does the punchline and states that those very vessels of wrath did not seek God and found Him, while the vessels of mercy had God and now were to be judged by God.

What that means is that many are being deceived that they are vessels of mercy by definition of Calvin when in fact it is about Jew and Gentile being made into one man and the Jew thinking he is saved by being a descendant of Abraham by blood and have turned faith into works, are now vessels of wrath, while the Gentiles which were considered the vessels of wrath, are not vessels of mercy! And this all by Grace!

Again, it is in this subtle misunderstanding that I see things go askew with Calvinism.Now, as I stated, I see Arninianism having some quirks also... and many lean on works to maintain salvation which negates Galatians chapter 3 or really the whole book of Galatians as well the bulk of Paul's writings.

Still I see both as branches of Christianity, and in a sense both polluted by Gnostic/Platonic dualism which makes the whole a little warped as it over emphasizes the existing heaven and hell as eternal destinations and goal of our faith over salvation and eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth... I just see that many are trapped in a faulty theology that denies that Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire and in one breath state men will burn forever and the other that they will be destroyed... it can't be both... but that is what is taught...

The New Creation, that we are now a part of as of the Resurrection and are called by Paul as believers... is the continuation and regeneration of all Creation being restored to and maybe beyond its original glory... I see that like we are resurrected and clothed in the imperishable it will still be us, that this will still be the earth and heaven only also clothed or purged of all evil and sin and what a glory that will be to behold.

be blessed,

I forgot about mychurch...

I forgot at some point I signed up for and had my blog at being posted there also... the last post on "John MacArthur: Can one be an Arminian and still be saved?" has been developing some interesting conversation over there.

Be blessed,


Thursday, October 25, 2007

John MacArthur: Can one be an Arminian and still be saved?

I read from two different sources what John MacArthur thinks concerning salvation of Arminians... and really I ended up scratching my head... what does he really believe?

"So, they are diametrically opposed. The question comes, “Can somebody who holds an Arminian view be a Christian?” And I would hate to say they couldn’t be. I really believe that it is possible to be Arminian and to be a Christian…to misunderstand your human capability, to misunderstand the election, to misunderstand the extent of the atonement, even to misunderstand the irresistible nature of God’s saving grace, and even to think you could lose your salvation. But, at the same time--while being confused or ignorant of those things--to know that you’re a sinner and know that the only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. I guess you could say that someone could be an Arminian and push those points far enough, where they could jeopardize my confidence that they really are a Christian. You could push the point of not being totally depraved far enough where you’re actually being saved by your own works, by your own belief, by your own ingenuity, by your own self-induced faith. And you could get to the point where you could really wonder whether someone understands that it’s all a work of God.
But, I think it would be going too far to say someone who holds an Arminian view, or anyone who holds an Arminian view, is, by virtue of that view, not a Christian. I think there are people who just don’t understand rightly those things, but who know they’re sinners and who cry out in their sin for the Lord to save them. They don’t understand how what they’re doing works together with the great purposes and power of God, and consequently can’t give God fully the glory He deserves for all of that, but they could be genuinely saved, by hoping in Christ and Christ alone." Source

Or this?

"He (Spurgeon) preached that both predestination and (limited) free-will were simultaneously in full force. He believed that in the end that salvation was wholly of God from start to finish, and yet God secures the complete cooperation of our wills in so-doing. He decried both antinomianism and fatalism (only predestination) and Arminianism (only free will) and said that anyone who denied either of these two truths was engaged in heresy.
He openly called both heresy. I tend to agree. I really like what this guy says since I had come to the same conclusions myself.
But he said something that confused me for a long time and said that John Wesley (a famous Arminian) was a man of God, yes he disagreed with him, but he said he had great respect for the man.
The best explanation I can come up for this is that Arminians are confused about how they came to Christ, but their definition of the atonement, and who Christ is is accurate, as is their view of sanctification (no striving by works), so it is possible Biblically to admit that Arminians are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It took me a lot of thought to get here however as at first glance I thought a heretical viewpoint always produces heretics who aren't saved.
The message I heard was that Arminians might be on the the right side of the line, but just barely, just a little more confused thinking about other related issues and the line is easily crossed. You don't have to get the finer points of theology to be saved, but certain basics are required and Arminianism appears to pass the test, barely, and only if you are willing admit that a faulty view of the atonment is not sufficient to block salvation. As time passes I realize that Spurgeon is essentially spouting double-speak, the definition of heresy is a soul-destroying perversion of either the Gospel or the nature of God. There is no such thing as a heresy that doesn't kill. Therefore, to be technically accurate, if you believe an Arminian can be a Christian, then to you, Arminianism is not heresy. However, many Arminians of today have swallowed enough other false doctrines to sink their ships so there is no need to argue about Arminianism. I for example was such a one. Spurgeon is consistent with most of his forebears however, including Augustine, who first faced a theology similar to Arminianism, and dealt with it as one would to a brother in Christ, and not as one would deal with a heretic who is outside the body. "

Now, talk about double speak! On one hand Arminians are saved, but are heretics and heresy kills... but as you keep reading John he is clear that they are not saved!

So which is it... or is he double minded?

Be Blessed,

a response to intolerant dogmatism

"There does not appear any greater evil in the disputes concerning matters of religion, than the persuading ourselves that our salvation or God's glory are lost by every little difference. As for me, I exhort my scholars, not only to distinguish between the true and the false according to Scripture, but also between the essential articles of faith, and the less essential articles, by the same Scripture." - Jacobus Arminius in response to intolerant dogmatism from both Calvinists and Arminians.

"Next to the study of the Scriptures which I earnestly inculcate, I exhort my pupils to peruse Calvin's Commentaries, which I extol in loftier terms than Helmich himself (a Dutch divine, 1551-1608]; for I affirm that he excels beyond comparison (incomparabilem esse) in the interpretation of Scripture, and that his commentaries ought to be more highly valued than all that is handed down to us by the library of the fathers; so that I acknowledge him to have possessed above most others, or rather above all other men, what may be called an eminent spirit of prophecy (spiritum aliquem prophetiae eximium). His Institutes ought to be studied after the [Heidelberg] Catechism, as containing a fuller explanation, but with discrimination ( cum delectu), like the writings of all men"(History of Christian Church - Ch VIII). ~ Jacobus Arminius

Tony Jones is Reformed!

Tony Jones is Reformed! But then who will listen when we have MacArthurites to say Tony is not…

I thought it was a good read though a bit old now. Oh! and don't forget to update your links to Tony's new blog.

Be Blessed,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You Might Be A Pharisee If...

You Might Be A Pharisee If...

(With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

  • If you missed a family reunion or a funeral of a close friend because you didn’t want to miss the midweek service…you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you ever worried about whether or not you should read the italicized words in you King James Bible because they weren’t in the original text …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you ever gave your pastor a doctor’s excuse for missing a Sunday evening service …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you ever tried to exchange your bratwurst for an Italian sausage because you found out they were beer brats …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you say grace before in-between-meal snacks …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you won’t let your kids read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe because there is a witch in the book …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you object to the new church hymnals because they have “contemporary” songs from the likes of Andrae Crouch and Dallas Holm …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you think the new youth pastor should not be trusted with the care of your children because he has an ICHTHUS tattoo…you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you rebuked the visiting preacher for not wearing a tie when he was in the pulpit …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you boycotted The End of the Spear because the part of Nate Saint was played by a homosexual …you might be a Pharisee.
  • If you refuse to watch The Passion of the Christ because it borrows too heavily from Catholic tradition …you might be a Pharisee.
Feel free to add any "You might be a Pharisee if..." ideas to the comments section below.

This is all from Gamaliel's Desk by Rick Presley. BTW the comments are about as funny as some of the other "mights".

Be blessed,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ingrid pushes Contemplative prayer!

Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea and Hope in Laodicea (both a bit ironic of names if you understand what happened biblically to Laodicea) has been often on rants against "contemplation" and "meditation" in which the emerging church has "latched" onto. Now, this is not the same as some Hindu practice... nor is it a derivative of it, though some practice a version of Yoga in which they focus on God and scripture and prayer...

Now the thing is that amazed me is that Ingrid in all her rants often turns to the Puritans for inspiration and either never really read this PDF form or missed what the writer stated... in a way it is not that far from something Doug Padgitt or Brian McLaren have stated. Here is the quote that caught my eye... I have added the bold to emphasize the part that Ingrid missed

"We rightly criticize those who engage in transcendental meditation and other mindrelaxing exercises because these practices are connected with false religions, such asBuddhism and Hinduism, and have nothing to do with Scripture. Such forms of meditation focus on emptying the mind to become detached from the world and to merge with the so-called Cosmic Mind, not to attach to, listen to, and to be active for a living,personal God. Yet, we can learn from such people the importance of quiet reflection and prolonged meditation." (PDF FILE)

So now it seems that IF Ingrid approves of a "form" of prayer it is fine, but if the emerging church practices it, it is worldly and of Satan...

I guess the Truth is that some see that some would rather exchange Jesus' righteousness for their own righteousness and judge others by themselves as the high standard... yet then turn around and practice and teach what they also judge others for doing.

Romans 2: 1-5
"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 revealed. "

So is Ingrid now the new "emerging guru"?

Be Blessed,

Monday, October 22, 2007

This sort of thing makes me sad...

Chris Pajak who writes for CRN once again shows the real underbelly and character of CRN... with this comment at

Here is a little background.

Dan Kimball lost his father last Sunday and there was a "hit" piece by SoL posted already on Dan without any acknowledgement of Dan's loss.

In this conversation someone pointed out that the Reformation seems to have become an Idol in some way... to this Chris Pajak commented.

"Comment from Chris P. Time: October 22, 2007, 11:20 am
Once again turning this into something that it isn’t. Where was everybody when both my parents died?
Looks to me like Dan Kimball is the idol, as he is one of the anointed. He doesn’t deserve any better treatment than anyone else. Do not tell me that the ecm is not a mirror of roman catholicism. It is the new imaginarium/magesterium. BTW who cares what politicians do?
While you are worrying about the odm sites, you should be concerned that you will also answer for every idle word and believe me this blog is full of them."

First off I will say I did not know Chris Pajak's parents both died so recently and offer my sympathy over his loss. I also ask for prayer for him as it seems that it is still very painful for him.

Also, it seems that there is a lack of compassion... and to attack Dan in a time like this... and to say the hate-filled words like "Looks to me like Dan Kimball is the idol, as he is one of the anointed. He doesn’t deserve any better treatment than anyone else." misses that God is a God of compassion...

Exodus 34:6 "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7. maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."

Again, my prayers go out to Dan Kimball and to Chris Pajak for their losses.

If you think that Chris P. is the only one who seems to lack compassion read this. News you can use, be sure to follow the links.


Dan Kimball’s father...

Dan Kimball’s father died yesterday.

My prayers are with you Dan...

Be blessed,

Grace: Sermon from Oct 21st

God’s Grace: What is it?

Proverbs 3:34. He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.


A man died and went before the pearly gates and of course there was Peter there. Peter greeted the man and began to explain that things are on a point system in order to get in.
The man stated “Great! This will be easy!” and then stated “I never cheated on my wife once…”
Peter stated, “That’s great! 3 points!, anything else”
The man proudly stated, “I never cheated on my taxes, yep paid every cent.”
“Wow!” said Peter, “That is another 2 points!”
Now this went on for about an hour until Peter said, “You have 35 points, anything else?”
“I have nothing more…” said the man.
The man began to realize his situation and trembling said, “It looks like the only way I will ever get in, is by the Grace of God…”
With that the Gates of Heaven swung open wide… and Peter announced loudly, “Enter in!”
Just to warn you we will be looking at a lot of verses today.

Grace the unmerited favor of God.
• This is the most used definition
• Pastor Allen’s definition brings out a fuller understanding of the definition being the way God feels about you… it is God’s emotion of compassionate love toward you.
• I still see that there is even a bigger understanding Grace as I see it as the very substance that holds all things together.

Our God is a Gracious God.

• The character of God is that of compassion. Exodus 33: 18-20. Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 19. And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
• God’s Character is that of Goodness
• God created all things out His goodness
• Genesis God speaks of creation that “it is good” for it came from Him.

Now fast forward to the New Testament.

• John 1:1-3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was with God in the beginning. 3. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

• John 1:14. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

• Galatians 5: 22-23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
God produces His fruit in us. We do not produce any “good” fruit.

• I touched on this a bit last time I talked, in Matthew 7:15-19. "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17. Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

• If one thinks that they can be good we must remember Jesus’ own words in Mark 10:18 "No one is good--except God alone.”

• To think any goodness comes from the human heart or human effort actually works against God’s grace.

God’s Grace is not by Human works

• The most famous verse of course is Ephesians 2:8-9 8. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9. not by works, so that no one can boast.

• Romans 11:6 if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

In order to have Grace one must have Jesus

• John 1:14. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

• Again Jesus was the “Let there be…” those very first words of God that started the Great Conversation. It is through Jesus all things were created and all things were good… for all things passed through Jesus and passed through Grace and Truth that were in Him.
Some teach of different “graces”

• Some teach that there is more than one grace; I see this as missing that there is one and that is the same grace that was in Christ who was in the Father before all creation.

• This Grace is the very plan of God of salvation, called “the election” that was purposed in Jesus by the Father even before creation.

• Ephesians 1:4-6 4. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5. he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6. to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Law versus Grace

Illustration of Law…

• The law is just: When I was in grade school they still spanked you when you broke the rules. One of the rules of the Southside School I attended was “Do not throw snowballs. Now that is a bit tough for a kid in the first place. One day after a nice snow fall, I was sitting on the swing in the play ground at recess. I suddenly felt a biff on the back of the neck and my neck became cold and wet. I told Tommy to stop as we are not supposed to throw snowballs… and biff he threw another one. Now once is enough, twice is a fight, but I was still under restraint of the Law… so I appealed to it again and biff… third time is a war! I picked up snow and packed it good and threw it… I don’t remember if it hit him or not, but I do remember the voice of the attendant yelling something about us being in a huge amount of trouble. I tried to explain I was only defending myself yet we both still were brought before the board of education… or rather the boards of education.
One was called Big Bertha it was the shorter of the two, the other was the Red Baron. These boards were paddles about 10 inches long and the other about 14 inches long… both had aerodynamic holes drilled in them for more precision. Now the Red Baron got its name of course because when it was used the person was bearing red when it was all done.

I appealed my case of self defense again, and the principal had his principles so he did not listen. I do remember that as I dropped my draws and Tommy did also, He received the Big Bertha… and I counted 1 then 2 swats… then it was my turn and of course I received the Red Baron… and I counted, 1 then 2 then to my surprise… 3 swats! Man… how was that fair?

• The Law is just and it has no mercy. It is what it is and one under must suffer the consequences even if the excuse for breaking it is a really good one like self defense from a snowball assault.

• James 2: 10. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

• Romans 9: 30-33 talks of those under the law stumbled over its purpose and those who did not even seek God were found by God by His grace. 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." That stumbling Stone is Jesus.

• The Law was a “school master” that leads us to Jesus. (Galatians 3:24) In fact it is actually the slave that was in charge of the child to help them learn the essentials of life… after the child had matured there was no need for the slave to continue his teachings. This is true of the Law it is to lead us to Jesus and in that we are mature… though this is the beginning of a New Life (in capitals)

It is by Grace through faith we are saved.

• After placing one’s faith in Jesus we are no longer under the Law but under
• This grace is all in Jesus and is Jesus just as Jesus is literally truth incarnate Jesus being filled with Grace and Truth embodied both..
• Jesus is also in “very nature” God. (Philippians 2: 6)
All that is, is of Christ, through Christ and for Christ…
• The eternal plan we that we would be “in Christ”
• The creation was all through Christ
• And we were created to be God’s image and that is for Christ. As we now are being transformed into His image.

There are many misconceptions our there about God’s grace.

• Some think and I was taught that Grace saved us, yet we must maintain our salvation… Yet, Paul states that is not true in Galatians. Galatians 3: 3. Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
• Some teach that we can add to our own righteousness yet that negates grace as we are giving the righteousness of Jesus in exchange for our own.
• Some teach that grace is like a bar of soap and that we only use it when we sin…
These are all lies.
• Grace is what saves us and keeps us… it sustains us and transforms us. I personally believe that God maintains our salvation and we cannot add to it by anything we do.
• Some are in bondage to the lies that are taught and this is why Jesus came to set those in captive free.
• If you are under this type of teaching (which is not happening here) I recommend getting out from under it.

Grace is not a license to sin.

• The biggest fear that some have of the freedom that come from grace is that they see it as a license to sin
• Some even took Paul’s words that stated that where sin was, Grace abound even more as a mandate to sin more!
• Paul stated that was not the intention at all of grace…

Grace is to set us free to walk in the righteousness of Christ Jesus

• Romans 5, 6, 7 all emphasize that we died to sin.
• Romans 6:9 states this: For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
• Since He cannot die again and we are in Christ… we will not die again also.

The Promise of the Resurrection.

• This is the promise of Grace… Romans 5:10. For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
• We are saved from death to experience new Life in Christ… this is the Life of the same resurrection of Jesus.
• This resurrection is the power to transform Lives.

Grace is meant to give away

• As we have been forgiven… which is by grace… we also are to forgive by grace.
• Colossians 3:13 -14. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Now this may sound funny to some of you… but I forgive you. I forgive you of all your sins in the Name of Jesus. Now all I ask is that you rise in the Newness of Life and walk in the very Life of Christ Jesus.
You were once dead because of your sins, but now you are reconciled to God. In that your sins died with Jesus on the Cross… and I close with this passage. I hope that you actually pray this passage of scripture as I read it.

2 Corinthians 5: 14-21

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteous of God.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I Forgot to mention...

I forgot to mention that I was teaching at Billings Vineyard today... if you missed it, it went very well! I am not sure if I will or when I will get a recording, but I do know that the Billings Vineyard website will soon be podcasting the sermons so it might be there sometime...

I taught on Grace. I started with the "most quoted" definition and tried to work my way to a bigger picture. I will post the sermon online here tomorrow.

I do believe it went well as there were those "God" times where I would go into a little sideline teaching... TES stated that at those times it seemed as if God had a message for someone there.

The strange thing, and I mean that in a good way was that everyone applauded when I was done. I have not been at a church were people applaud a sermon... usually they do not, yet I do think this is the most encouraging group of people I have had the privilege to serve. I was a bit embarrassed, but really realized how much these people love me and this fellowship... truly we have something very special.

It was pretty awesome to see God move after the service and see people praying for others. I think the biggest miracle was that I have a bad cold... TES and the prayer group prayed for me before the service... and all during the teaching I was completely clearheaded and had not one sniffle or cough, which was my biggest fear... that I would go into a coughing fit as I taught. I seem to be healed still at this point...

I am truly blessed to be a part of this fellowship... and thank God for the love those that attend share with all around.

Be Blessed,

Friday, October 19, 2007

A bit more of Derek Webb

Be Blessed!

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

Benny Hinn doing death metal... so let the bodies hit the floor!

Interesting points on the blogsphere

Ken Silva misses the point that he and Tony Jones agree that most American Christians are “Semi-palegian” and only focuses on the point that “John MacArthur” is mentioned as a "soft gnostic"… now even Calvin admitted to having been influenced by Plato, (many real scholars and researchers agree that this is true) so I see not reason why this is an issue to Ken Silva other than fanning the flames of discontent.

Now the comments at Tony Jone's site are well worth the read. Oh, Tony is moving to so update your blogrolls.

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

Vanguard Church is doing an interesting series on John MacArthur's "truth war" book.

1: John MacArthur’s Post-Enlightenment Philosophical Understanding of “Truth”
2: Is Rob Bell a Godless Man, Condemned by God?
3: Is Postmodernism Primarily Concerned with Truth?
4: Straw Men – The Emerging Church is Filled with Hard Postmodernists
5: MacArthur Fits His Own Criteria for an Apostate

I know this video is a bit old... but it still hits me and somehow seems appropriate.

Be Blessed,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thoughts on Technology

The new Supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain. When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and witness the scent of fresh hay. When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying. The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.
I don't buy toilet paper there any more.

A Letter from a gay man changed by Jesus Christ

Scot McKnight posted this letter from a man who was gay and a Christian. He talks of his struggles yet as you read it you will see that as he was lead by the Holy Spirit, he was lead out of the gay lifestyle. This is a message of hope that is in Christ.

I might add this is not the fruit of "emerging" though he recommends a Rob Bell book, it is solely the victory of Jesus Christ in a person's life as lead by the Holy Spirit.

Here is part of the letter...

"I came back into “church fellowship” through a man I met at a gay bar. He was actively gay at the time, separated, with one child, and deeply committed to his own walk with Christ. He and I never had sex. After several years, he became celibate and continued Christian outreach to gays. I was part of that outreach and had become celibate myself. I felt the Lord calling me to celibacy, at least for a time, after the painful breakup of the two “long term” relationships."

You can read the whole letter here

Be Blessed,

The Newest Threat to us All...?

There is a new threat to us all. An new religion threatens all others in it's assertion to be THE RELIGION.

Can we Christians stand up to this threat? Will Christianity be able to withstand its heavy burden to condemn all others religions? Can God defeat this sort of evil without our help?

Here is the site and source of this new idolatry.

The Church of Google

Stand with me and defend our faith against this ever evil spreading menace...

Be Blessed,

Jude and the Immoral Christian

It is said that bank tellers are taught how to spot a counterfeit bill, not by studying the counterfeit, but by studying the real money. They become so familiar with it that they can recognize it by touch. In some way this learning is striving to contend for the understanding of the real money. They spend time with the real thing so that they can spot a fake thing when they come across it.

Jude’s call was that those being influenced by error though familiar with truth (Jude verse 5) would know truth so well as not to be influenced by these men. These men were the Gnostics where some sects would teach total deprivation of sensuous things to the point they would die from depriving themselves the necessities of life. Yet, there were some that sought to destroy their bodies by indulging in every sinful act as to kill the body from these indulgences and free the spirit, for they believed that the flesh was evil and the spirit pure.

These men appeared in churches with this so called “higher knowledge” and taught that since we are to destroy the body to free the spirit that by grace we have a license to indulge in immorality. They did not realize that this was actually denying Jesus as our only Sovereign and Lord. This teaching made man the center of his own choices and a person would not seek the true wisdom of God through Jesus.

This same teaching is still in the church. It takes on the same form though not as blatantly. One has replaced the idea of indulging with the denial of the flesh… for the idea that “flesh” is evil and “spirit” is good still is alive in many churches. Now, to say that flesh is evil misses that the bible teaches it is the “desires of the flesh” and not the flesh itself that is evil. (Romans 1:24; 6:12; 8:5) It is the sin nature that resides in man that drives us to fulfill the evil desires of the flesh.

Yet, Jude was teaching us to contend for the faith. This faith that Jesus has and is destroying the sin nature. That it is only by faith in Jesus that we are saved from our own sinful nature “who is able to keep you from falling”.

It is interesting that the description of these men is “These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires”. They will cut down other men for their own advantage.

Now, immorality can be of the sexual or fleshly manner. Yet, here we find “faultfinders, and they follow their own evil desires”. How naive to think that immorality is all just sexual. For, grumbling and faultfinding… and boasting about themselves seem to not fit in the “sexual” sin area.

So, here it seems these men who have taken a license for immorality, seem to take odds and find fault in others. I wonder if it relates to those also who were telling people like the Galatians to become circumcised and convert to Judaism in order to be able to accept Jesus.

Much of the descriptions of these men if placed against the fruit of the Spirit would seem to be the total opposite. In that I would be careful to listen to men who spend time finding fault in others and grumbling.

Now we all fail and fall. We may become critical or even judge others. We may grumble at our circumstances and even use flattery to gain more position. All this is what we battle everyday.

Now, there are some though who say they are called of God… they state they are “appointed by God as pastor/teachers” and should not be questioned. They cozy up to others who flatter them with words. They base their whole ministry in finding faults in others… in fact they “are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit”. These men today write books to do so, they have websites that seek only to find fault and grumble that others do not seek God as they do… and they boast in how their way is better and flatter men… even dead men.

The contrast of those who believe is that they are encouraged by Jude to “build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” Jude tells them to “Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” One of the signs of a true believer is that they are “merciful to those who doubt”. Their concern is not must for themselves to sell books or to look good or even to get more listeners for their radio show, or hits on their blog… it is to be concerned for others than themselves. Jude calls us to “snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

We are to be merciful and loving, not grumbling and faultfinding. In the end, who will care if it was a sofa you sat on in church or a pew, or whether one listened to a rock style worship of sang hymns, for without mercy and love neither is good. Even sitting in a pew or singing a hymn can be sinful if one’s heart tells them that it makes them more holy than others.

God seeks those who seek after His heart and His heart is Jesus.

Be Blessed,


Saturday, October 13, 2007

More on the so called “truth war”…

More on the so called “truth war”…

My issue is that John MacArthur seems to miss that Jesus IS the Truth and He is not at war but has passed on the ministry of reconciliation to us... with that we are to contend for the faith... contend is to strive for...

JM teaches we are to "defend" the truth... and if Jesus is truth how can any mere man defend Jesus? Also, it states nowhere in scripture to "defend" truth... it says we are to contend for the faith.. (I have recently written on this here)

The difference between defend and contend is this...

A champion boxer defends his title... but a contender strives to win the title but has yet to attain it.

We are to defend the Gospel. but that defense is not about bashing people with "truth" rather, it is about being ready to give an answer to the hope (Jesus) that is within us. And we are to do this with humility and gentleness and not be like the world whose tool is of Satan called "war".

God is not the father of war. Satan is, for he is the destroyer... God is the Creator... to declare war is to align oneself on the side of Satan.

Now, before one quotes a passage about God telling the Hebrews to "kill them all" it was because God promised to curse those who curse them and bless those who blessed them... and on occasion a pagan people who did no know God, were blessed by Him... as in the case of Jonah.

God is not about war... he is the God of Peace... of Love and reconciliation... to attach a satanic thing as war is an abomination.

God is our defender and Truth needs no defending as it is more powerful than lies just as darkness flees the Light.

I just cannot see how one can justify war and declare it in God's name... God fulfills His promises and all the wars in he OT are about keeping the promise to Abraham so that God’s grace will be known to all men.

Be Blessed,

Thoughts on "Revivals"

I have a question about this definition let alone “revival” in general.

“Revival is when God moves in a special way and revives a group of people are are seeking to be revived.”

If something has a need to be revived, it needs to be renewed somehow… re-energized.
Now, I beleive that we can have the Holy Spirit re-fill… as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and in that are sealed in our salvation as Ephesians 4:30 states of us.

Now, I think the issue is that God can send a revival… but what I have experienced as “revival meetings” have really been nothing more than a plea to emotionalism and evangelism… It rarely has had anything really to do with “revival” as Psalms 80:18 states.

One of the issues is that some try to make themselves “holy” and “humble” which there is no way to make ourselves more holy… for if God has made you holy how can one become more holy than that?

Now, humility is also not something we muster up. It is the condition of the heart that one who has realized he can do nothing receives… it is part and partial of the gift of Faith. God give us faith to re-experience God’s Grace through Jesus, in which then lead us to realize it is God Who does all things and we are to be dependant on His purpose and workings in us.

Personally (and this is not about boasting in myself but in God) I have not needed “revival” since I came to the knowledge of God’s grace and very own Life working in and through me.
A person must realize we cannot make a “revival” but as we are revived, to walk out this revival in the power of the Holy Spirit from which it came.

Again, maybe in rare occasions there have been “new” revivals… but what we need is not an emotional charged preaching that makes us all excited in Jesus… but a true turning to the Holy Spirit by and in and for His purpose and will and desire.
Anything short of that is compromise….

And btw I am one of the “emergent” guys here if you did not know that.

be Blessed,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Its not about us, it all about Him... and getting to cruise in a big ship!

This just seems strange to me... the Audience One Cruise Ship!

The tag states:

"The Worship Centered Life:
It's not about us, it all about Him."

One can pay from $717.00 Plus to $1,720.00 plus just to hear Steve Camp and maybe sit with him in the on ship hot tub! Oh Boy!

(Steve Camp thinks Mark Driscoll uses bad language but thinks Martin Luther who used the "s" word rather freely, as a great guy and it seems not surprisingly Ingrid at the kinder gentler "slice" agrees! I hope that they don't get offended by God's truth by reading Ezekiel 23: 19-21! I mean God inspired Ezekiel to write that pornographic passage of scripture and all Mark Driscoll stated was "knocking boots".)

The tag line seems a bit out of place... as it seems to be all about "me"... and not much about "Him"... Unless the "him" is Steve Camp or one of the other speakers.

Now, if I sound a bit harsh, I think that this is fitting that this fits their theology... that it is all about "me" getting saved from hell, and "me" getting to heaven... and "me" getting saved... it all sounds a bit human based and "me" centered to me. LOL!

But, they are free to pay for "indulgences" if they want... and if you go, tell Steve iggy says hi. I bet he has some nice things to say about me.

I hope Steve is making a few bucks on this as I know ministering on Cruise Ships has to be expensive!

Hope he remembers this...

"8. We fail to glorify Him when we make money a prerequisite for ministry; some to their own destruction teach that godliness is a means to financial gain. "Freely you have received; freely give." (Matthew 6:24-34, 10:8-10; Acts 3:6, 20:33; 1 Timothy 6:5)" ~ From Steve Camp's 107 THESES A Call for Reformation for Christian Ministry

be blessed,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Are we really called to "defend" truth?

I find it interesting that people teach that we are to defend truth... or defend The Truth. Did you know there is not one verse that states that or teaches that?
Here is a short list of who and what we are to defend:
  • The Gospel (I know that the Gospel is truth... and I will get back to this)
  • The Weak
  • The afflicted among the people.
  • The cause of the weak and fatherless.
Now, there is much more and I challenge one to do a study on "defending".
Still not one verse that states to defend the truth... and some base their whole ministry on this idea.
Now.. we are to defend the Gospel... and the Gospel is truth. Now that is as close as one can get to this idea. Yet, the Gospel is this... for there is only One Gospel that was in Christ and taught by Christ and handed down to the Apostles... Jesus tells us this Gospel in Matthew 24:14
"...gospel of the kingdom..." it is not just about the death burial and resurrection though that is a major part of it... it is and was always and will always be about God's Kingdom.
Some teach that it is yet to come... but here in Matthew and elsewhere Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and no other Gospel.
How sad that some seek to defend Truth... For if they realized that Jesus is The Truth and God's Word does not return void to Him, they would see that Truth defends itself! It does not need man to defend it... or rather let me state it this way... Jesus does not need man to defend Him! He is our defender.
Now there is a verse that is used as a hammer to batter other brother and sisters in Christ with. And the sad thing is it is one of the most powerful verses in the bible... in it is a warning and an eternal truth that those who teach man must defend Truth miss...
Jude 1: 3-5
"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. "
Now the focus is on "I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."
Many read this without a thought that "contend" means to defend... rather it means to strive for... A quick look at the verses that use contend will show this true.
Now, in boxing a contender is not the champion who holds the title... it is the one who is striving toward the goal to win the title. What some have done with this verse is turn the contender into the defender and that is wrong.
We are to earnestly contend for the faith. We are to strive and seek after it. Paul used the idea of running the race... that we are to persevere and endure whatever comes at us and to strive toward the goal which is Jesus and His great salvation.
I see that this basic misunderstanding has caused much division out there. In our futile attempt to defend Truth, we miss that Jesus being truth and by His truth defends us as we trust Him at His word. To take that from Jesus is stating that we really do not trust Jesus defence of us or Himself and that we can do it better than Jesus can. It is arrogance to thing we can defend Truth better than God Himself...
We are to stand on the truth... as Moses was instructed "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock." (Exodus 33:21) we also are to stand on the Rock which is Jesus Christ and not depend on our own works to defend that Rock... that Rock is our defense!
It is by Grace we can even stand... Romans 5:1-2
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."
As we stand in His grace by faith we are earnestly contending for the faith.
We may debate and instruct as to God's word... we may rebuke and be rebuked by God's word and fall into conviction of the Holy Spirit... yet this is not defending... if one turns it into that it is no longer in love as it is then confrontation in the sense that one person is greater than the other. We are to esteem others greater than ourselves... and in love contend for the faith and while we do that encourage others to contend with us.
Now if someone is tries to state I am against truth... you really need to re-read this post again... I think that if I place my trust in Jesus who is Truth incarnate... that I place a high value on truth.
Be Blessed,

How Will You respond to Homosexuality

This is a great article about how we should respond to the homosexual who knocks on your church door.

Be blessed,

One night while she was co-hosting The 700 Club, Sheila Walsh felt led to pray for homosexuals. Honoring the Holy Spirit’s prompting, she thanked God for His love for homosexuals and His desire for a relationship with them. She then invited all homosexual viewers to pray with her for salvation. When Sheila finished praying she encouraged those who had prayed with her to go to a church in their area, tell the pastor that they had asked Jesus into their heart, and say, “Sheila Walsh sent me.”

Sheila later received a letter from a gay man who had been watching the broadcast. He had asked Jesus into his heart, gone to a local church, met with the pastor, shared that he was gay and about the broadcast he saw. The pastor responded, “We don’t have room for fags in this church.” In his letter, the man shared that he was grateful to her, but that being a part of “The Church” was just not possible.

I have heard and told this story many times, but I still cringe when I think of that honest, broken, searching man who poured out his heart only to be rebuked by a pastor with a reckless tongue and un-Christlike heart. I wish I knew where to find him so I could share that all pastors and churches are not like that one and that God is not like the pastor he spoke with. Read more here (Sorry for forgetting the link)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hackman the Blogger.

I kept getting these hits from and every time I go there I read something I like. So...

Here are a couple things I have read there.

If you have not heard of "the wink" that's OK... it was started by Doug Padgitt as a rebuttal to the accusations tossed at him. Hackman's Musings does a great job at covering the debate over this... (stupid*) situation.

*OK stupid in the way that the MacArthur camp has declared war on their brothers in Christ and are acting very childish in how they are doing it. I see that someone like Doug can only take so much of the lies and slander, as we cannot all be a graceful as Brian McLaren is with his critics.

Hackman also does a great post on the misuse of scripture.

I will also as I have time add his blog to my blog-roll. He has a great blog and is a great read... be sure to sign this "Free Burma" petition and the one below.

Be Blessed,

Free Burma! Petition Widget

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Do we live by "Christianity" or by Jesus.

I have to wonder at some of critics that are out there.

I have seen these things.

1. A person write against Erwin McManus' "the Barbarian Way" as he took the side of the civilized religionist... proudly!
2. A person add to statements so that they fit their critic...
3. People who lift up foul mouthed reformers like Martin Luther then attack Mark Driscoll. (Martin Luther like to use colorful scatological language.)
4. People who when challenged for their teaching as being biblical quote Spurgeon to prove it is!
5. People who condemn me for "playing down heaven and hell" and that the Gospel is all about "me"... I have to laugh as it is them who say "I got saved so I will not go to Hell and I get to go to Heaven"... I state that God came through Jesus to preach the Kingdom of God and that I am privileged to be called and enter into His Kingdom. Heaven is a by product of the big picture God is doing... and so is my salvation... so I am wondering... were is this all about me. Yet, it seems that many do accuse myself and others, then turn around and preach a "me-driven" gospel themselves! The focus of Christianity is not me, but Jesus Christ.

Now, here is the big difference that I see and it is summed up it this quote by Chris P.

"I believe that Mike’s point is that the majority of those claiming christianity, which is a religion btw, are not necessarily true saints."

Notice that "Christianity is a religion to Chris and if you look at the other examples that seems to be the consensus of this group! It is not a relationship with God through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus and then being filled with the Holy Spirit! Nope, it is a religion that is civilized and controllable and that can be understood by mere human reasoning.

They worship a controlled God of their own vain imaginations!

Then they accuse others of being me-based, when their whole religion is the same as the Pharisees who thought they could get God to move by their strict obedience to the Law.

God is sovereign and in no way impressed with man's religion. He is impressed only with His Son and those who depend totally on Jesus for salvation.

Be Blessed,

Stryper, Fischer and Jesus

I introduced my son to Stryper tonight... via an old VHS cassette of a concert in Tokyo. I was sort of joking as I put it in as it is so dated...

I will say that the musicianship is very good! I did not know that Michael Sweet did as much guitar work as he did.

Now, I was thinking that my boy tire soon and demand his Vegitales... yet he seem more fixated than I thought he would be.

He was even yelling out lines from the songs! "Together Forever!" "Jesus is the way!" coming out of my sons mouth! It was hilarious and great at the same time.

He was fascinated by Michael's hair... he said he wanted his that way! LOL! (I am still not sure how I feel about that as Oz Fox's hair is cooler!)

It was fun... the video is a bit low budget yet the Stryper without pyrotechnics seemed to hold the audience... of course Michael sounds a bit funny speaking too slowly so the Japanese audience could understand English...

Well after all these years, the Yellow and Black attack is still spreading the Name of Jesus...

and my son was impressed...

BTW he is 3 1/2 years old...
Also, did you know what Stryper means?
Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace Encouragement and Righteousness...
And that is still cool!

Be Blessed,

Walking through Romans: Romans 9:13 - 33 part 12

Walking through Romans: Romans 9:13 - 33 part 12

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 9:15 For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 9:16 So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. 9:17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 9:18 So then, God has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden.
9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 9:20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being – to talk back to God? Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 9:21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 9:22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath prepared for destruction? 9:23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory – 9:24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 9:25 As he also says in Hosea:
“I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, ‘My beloved.’”
9:26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
9:27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 9:28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 9:29 Just as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of armies had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have resembled Gomorrah.”

9:30 What shall we say then? – that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 9:31 but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not attain it. 9:32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 9:33 just as it is written,
“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble
and a rock that will make them fall,
yet the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.”


Is God unjust by His Mercy and Compassion and who He gives grace to? Certainly on the surface it would see that it is unfair. Why would some, who have strived to show they are followers of God, not be chosen in the end? Why would some be chosen as if by random and without any rhyme or reason? We are left with the feeling that we have a capricious God who really does not care for righteousness nor dose He care for man’s worship. He will just do as He pleases, and if He be a man, would be selfish in His doing so if not considered mad.

Yet, this is not the case as if God chose us on our own merit, or if somehow we gained favor from Him in something we did, we would still need to address that them men are righteous on their own without God. For you see God is Right and is The Just. If man could satisfy God’s required perfect holiness, then they would be gods themselves and in no need of God.

Now, Paul has already stated that all have sinned, (Roman 3:23) and that no one is righteous, (Romans 3:10) and so has set the foundation of this revelation in that we are dead in our sins… and that there was only One who was Just, and the Justifier… God through Jesus Christ.

Now many miss that Mercy is how God shows His power as God speaks of this as He spoke to Moses and Paul brings it up now. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” We also find God chooses to show His power as He can soften the heart of some and harden the heart of others. Yet, it seems that as we look back in Romans 1 we see that this hardening is that man had the knowledge of God but forsook it.

“For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)

Man still chooses the direction of his heart but it is God who either draws man to himself or hardens man’s heart and they are turned over to the futility of their thoughts and vile worship of created things.

It is not that God response to man’s heart in its own turning but that if one turns away they are hardened… and all men have turned away. Yet, by grace God has mercy and softens some men’s heart… and in that moment grace breaks down the barrier and the heart of man turns once again to God.
Man can ask why God made him this way… yet still many peoples theology teaches that God made some people bad and some to be saved by Grace. The truth is in Genesis where man as part of creation was declared “Good” (Genesis 1: 31)

So man originally made good turned away as in that his heart was hardened. God did not make any man “evil” or any man to be tossed into the fire. He did not create some to just partake in wrath. Man was made and was declared good, then sinned and then was condemned to receive the wages of sin… which is death.

In that we are condemned to death.

Now from a purely human perspective God seems to have made some to be vessels of wrath and some to be vessels of destruction. And because of “sin” all men are vessels of destruction. God did choose the Jews as if by random to display His mercy and grace. They did nothing to be chosen though that seemed to be lost to some as they took God’s favor as earned because they kept God’s law. Now, God did bless them for keeping the Law, yet it was not for their salvation that the Law was given as the Law gave no provisions for salvation or forgiveness of sins. Sacrifice was needed for forgiveness of sins, yet all men still went to the grave… for all men still died even if forgiven by the blood of bulls and goats. Now, it was for forgiveness that the blood of bulls and goats was demanded, yet, that blood never nor could take away the sins of a person… only cover, yet, we find Jesus’ Blood takes away the sins of a person.

Hebrews 9: 11-14
“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus did more than atone for our sins He took them away as the prophet John the Baptist stated in John "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).

Hebrews 10: 2-12 also shows more that the sins are taken away not just covered.

“If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
Then I said, `Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.'"
First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”

God’s provision for sin is complete and for all. For by this grace that is Jesus who was sent to take away sin, was born also as a man, a vessel of wrath, learned obedience even unto death and so overcame death. We must now realize that we also must be born of heaven to live. It is in this new birth as we come to believe and receive Jesus, become the children of God… the same children of the Faith of Abraham. It is in this that Jesus is our Eternal Father, yet also being the first fruit of the New Creation, is our brother.

Now, God is willing to display His wrath on man, yet even more He wants to show His compassion. God chooses to endure those so deserving of wrath with patience… remember it is all of us that are deserving of His wrath…

In this patience, we find that there are those who are vessels of mercy. These vessels of mercy have not earned their title. In fact many thought that they were these vessels and called the “others” who they deemed not chosen as the vessels of wrath as dogs or even less than human. Many of the Jews believed that they were in God’s favor simply because of their birthright of being dependences of Abraham, yet Paul, sadly states that “not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel” (Romans 9:6) Yet, now we find the punch line… as some seem to twist this chapter to mean that God created some for wrath and some for destruction and in that negate the truth of creation. Men are created to be the image of the Living God. Man was created “good” and fell from this “goodness” and forsook it for a lie. To state that some were created for the purpose of destruction cuts across man being created to be the Image Bearer. Now, this punch line is that the very ones that were deemed dogs and vessels or wrath, are now as the Prophet Hosea states: “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved,’ My beloved. (Romans 9:25)

Now, one might ask if then the Children of Israel are all lost if God has now turned to such favor on the Gentiles… Yet, Paul states there is a remnant.

Now, here I see that to state that God made some to be tossed into the fire is a lie. God desired none should perish… (2 Peter 3: 9). Yet sadly there are some that will refuse to exchange the lie for truth.

God is merciful. He is Just. Those that were given the Law missed the purpose of the Law which was to reveal their sin and make them cry out to God for salvation. Instead they took the Law as a way to salvation. They sought to gain God’s favor by works and not by faith. They stumbled over the “Stumbling Stone” who we find out is Jesus. This Rock was given so that we would ALL fall and in that put our faith in this Rock and not perish or be put to shame.

The punch line is that by Jesus God flipped the very thought that some are created for destruction and some for wrath on it’s head. God planned before creation that in Christ Jesus all would have a way of salvation. Yet, again, sadly though all will hear the Calling, not all will be chosen as they will not believe on Christ or receive the Life of Christ that gives all men salvation. Some will be lost and instead of be lifted up, will stumble but all will have to face the “Rock” that is Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed,