Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I believe...in one God, Creator of all things, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that these three are co-eternal and are equal. Colossians 1:16
I believe...Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That He is the Creator and that all things were created through Him. He is coequal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; l Corinthians 15:3,4; Roman 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
I believe...that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God and without mistakes as originally written. It is the complete revelation of His will for salvation and the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life. It is God’s revelation of Who He is. ll Timothy 3:16; ll Peter 1:20,21; ll Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160
I believe...that man was created by and for God; that by man's disobeying God, every person incurred spiritual death, which is separation from God, and physical death as a consequence; and that all people are sinners by nature and practice. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a, Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2
I believe...in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers and thus enabling and empowering the life and ministry of the believer. II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 4:16,17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1
I believe...In the Old Testament it was understood that the way to God was through a priest. People went to the temple to give their sacrifice and had access to God through the priest. In the New Testament we are taught that Jesus Christ is our access to the Father and none of us needs to go through anyone - not a priest, a rabbi or a pastor - to reach God. John 14:6; I Timothy 2:5
I believe...Because God gives man eternal life through, Jesus Christ; the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security. John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; I Peter 1:3-5
I believe... God is sovereign ruler of the universe, and He is owner of all things. He has made us stewards of His possessions, and therefore man is accountable to God for that which God has entrusted to him. We are called to give ourselves as believers living sacrifices. That means all our resources are to go to God's glory. Giving can be in many forms, from ones time to money. Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Exodus 34:26; I Corinthians 16:2 Romans 12:1
I believe... God has redeemed and is giving man dominion through Jesus Christ over the earth making all things on earth as it is in heaven. John 17:4; Matthew 6:10
My Values are…
To be Missional… (from Friend of Missional one of the best sites I have seen on being missional)
Description of a Missional Church
- A missional church is one where people are exploring and rediscovering what it means to be Jesus' sent people as their identity and vocation.
- A missional church will be made up of individuals willing and ready to be Christ's people in their own situation and place.
- A missional church knows that they must be a cross-cultural missionary (contextual) people in their own community.
- A missional church will be engaged with the culture (in the world) without being absorbed by the culture (not of the world). They will become intentionally indigenous.
- A missional church understands that God is already present in the culture where it finds itself. Therefore, a missional church doesn't view its purpose as bringing God into the culture or taking individuals out of the culture to a sacred space.
- A missional church is about more than just being contextual; it is also about the nature of the church and how it relates to God.
- A missional church will seek to plant all types of missional communities to extend the Kingdom of God.
- A missional church faithfully proclaims the gospel through word and deed; how the gospel is embodied in our community and service is as important as what we say.
- A missional church will align all their activities around the missio dei -- the mission of God.
- A missional church seeks to put the good of their neighbor over their own.
- A missional church will give integrity, morality, good character and conduct, compassion, love and a resurrection life filled with hope preeminence to give credence to their reasoned verbal witness.
- A missional church practices hospitality by welcoming the stranger into the midst of the community.
- A missional church will see themselves as a community or family on a mission together. There are no "Lone Ranger" Christians in a missional church.
- A missional church will see themselves as representatives of Jesus and will do nothing to dishonor his name.
- A missional church will be totally reliant on God in all it does. It will move beyond superficial faith to a life of supernatural living.
- A missional church will be desperately dependent on prayer.
- A missional church gathered will be for the purpose of worship, encouragement, supplemental teaching, training, and to seek God's presence and to be realigned with God's missionary purpose.
- A missional church is orthodox in its view of the gospel and scripture, but culturally relevant in its methods and practice so that it can engage the worldview of the hearers.
- A missional church will feed deeply on the scriptures throughout the week.
- A missional church will be a community where all members are involved in learning to be disciples of Jesus. Growth is an expectation.
- A missional church will help people discover and develop their spiritual gifts and will rely on gifted people for ministry instead of talented people.
- A missional church is a healing community where people carry each other's burdens and help restore gently.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
These are the new holiness police...
Thursday, January 24, 2008
— Mark 9:24
My wife stated, "Thank you Jesus."
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I have taken on fundamentalist, and anti emerging church folk... so I was looking around and wondered who else can I take on who might also hate me! LOL!...
I have had a few conversations with atheists in the past yet recently I was told the definition of "atheist" and "agnostic" is not right... I do beg to differ in this as I see that this is a more recent "redefining" of terms...
An Atheist is one who had looked a the Theists proof and is not convinced at the evidence. Atheists claim to not have decided one way or the other... (I will again bear correction if this definition is not right)
Agnostics are defined differently by different people... but lets state here (and i will bear correction) that an agnostic sees that there is no God as there is no evidence to prove one exists.
Now, I have been talking to a few and really have not gotten anywhere as there seems to be a hang up on if "thought" exists or rather if "abstract thought" exists in the empirical world of the atheist and agnostic.
Now, for fun I want to submit this debate. Two rather articulate men Greg Bahnsen vs Gordon Stein. This is the famous debate that people still talk about.
Please listen to the whole thing the let's discuss.
I will do another posts with more debates.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Is Doug Pagitt a Universalist?
I was poking around and keep running into people who claim Doug is a Universalist…
Here is one example;
“Doug Pagitt is apparently one of the spokespeople for the emergent movement. His well reasoned response to the charge of universalism can be found here. Too much. Just too much. To give you a feel for the discussion, you can hear his views as they were broadcast here and here. Pagitt disagrees with the dualistic-Platonic understanding of the cosmos and denies heaven as a real place.”
-->Interestingly as I read this I went to Doug’s supposed admission (Ironically linked above) or whatever and found rather slanderous accusations by John MacArthur against Doug.
Now this all starts in an interview at Crosswalk.com
"Edwards: [When “Emergents” and many seeker-sensitive church advocates say “We do church a certain way,”] it seems to me that they do it by totally ignoring the book of Acts and the Epistles."
"John MacArthur: Let me just cut to the chase on this one: [Doug] Pagitt is a Universalist. What he was saying is real simple. He was saying when you die your spirit goes to God and judgment means that whatever was not right about you, whatever was bad about you, whatever was substantially lacking about you, gets all resolved. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Buddhist, a Hindu or a Muslim—doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian really; we’re all going to end up in this wonderful, warm and fuzzy relationship with God. That’s just classic universalism.
I think you know it’s most helpful, Paul, to go back and kind of recast how we view these people. He’s not a pastor; he’s not a Christian; that’s not a church. When you call yourself a Christian and you call yourself a pastor and you say you have a church, all of that has to be—to be legitimate—defined biblically. And if it’s not, that’s not a church and you’re not a pastor and you’re not even a Christian. What you have here is a form of false religion"
BTW Doug was “classic” in his interjections…
Yet, as one reads further, we find something interesting that Doug states…
“A couple of thoughts.
For those who want me to respond to allegations of being a universalist and a false teacher I will say I am not.But for most that will not suffice. I have written a number of books on this topic and have one coming in May called A Christianity Worth Believing. But I am also sure that all this will not remove such concerns.
And more importantly, thank you all for the kind words but do know that I am not at all hurt by such comments nor do I feel attacked. I feel sorry that people would talk about each other like I was talked about in the interview, but that is more on principle than personal hurtfulness.
So, please feel free to send all your good wishes and concerns but know also that what we read each week as a community of Solomon's Porch from Jude is true -
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!
"Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon."
"This is what your Sovereign LORD says, your God, who defends his people: "See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again."
Yep, I will stand back and let God defend me... I think that I will believe the bible over anyone who uses slander and lies to defend their god in some false "truth" war.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
That Incredible Christian
Chapter # Sixteen
The Need for Divine Illumination
Spiritual Truth Is Spiritually Discerned
Surely God has that to say to the pure in heart which He cannot say to the man of sinful life. But what He has to say is not theological, it is spiritual; and right there lies the weight of my argument. Spiritual truths cannot be received in the ordinary way of nature. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). So wrote the apostle Paul to the believers at Corinth. Our Lord referred to this kind of Spirit-enlightened knowledge many times. To Him it was the fruit of a divine illumination, not contrary to but altogether beyond mere intellectual light. The fourth Gospel is full of this idea; indeed the idea is so important to the understanding of John's Gospel that anyone who denies it might as well give up trying to grasp our Lord's teachings as given by the apostle John. And the same idea is found in John's first epistle, making that epistle extremely difficult to understand but also making it one of the most beautiful and rewarding of all the epistles of the New Testament when its teachings are spiritually discerned. The necessity for spiritual illumination before we can grasp spiritual truths is taught throughout the entire New Testament and is altogether in accord with the teachings of the Psalms, the Proverbs and the Prophets. The Old Testament Apocrypha agrees with the Scriptures here, and while the Apocryphal books are not to be received as divinely inspired, they are useful as showing how the best minds of ancient Israel thought about this matter of divine truth and how it is received into the human heart.
Father, often I am satisfied with an intellectual grasp of Your Word when it is the spiritual understanding of it that matters. And You have given Your Spirit to enlighten me.
Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God's Spirit. Such a person really does not understand them; they are nonsense to him, because their value can be judged only on a spiritual basis (TEV).
— 1 Corinthians 2:14
Those outside of Christ are unable to grasp spiritual truth. Only by means of the Holy Spirit is spiritual truth discerned. If we better understood this we would give far greater priority to prayer than to clever presentations.
Join us in Prayer
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I received a copy of the book by Dave Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons a while ago and was pretty excited to read it. I am sometimes a sucker for data and graphs and such as I expected from a book by the Barna research group.
As I read through it though, it seemed as if it was old material. What I mean is this is the data to back up what many of us have already been stating and have witnessed.
The “Christian” Church has become in many ways unchristian.
Now, what does that mean? It does not mean we all have forsaken doctrines and such, rather it means that though we still hold many things that are true and of great value, somehow we have given off some very unchristian messages.
We are perceived by people as:
Too focused on getting people saved
Now on the surface each of these may not sound that bad to some. Yet, remember this is what people think of “Christians”. My question is, when asked, this is their reply instead of “People that love Jesus and love others.”
Are we just a people that hate gays? Is that what some view sums up being a Christian? I hope not. Yet it does seem that many of us are missing the boat.
Are we to be known for what we are against or Who we are for?
It was a hard read as at times I wanted to yell, “THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT!”
Funny thing is that I read another review where the author stated the real issue was that the “Emergents” were corrupting the church… I guess they missed the chapter on judgmentalism…
I recommend the book. It has in it some quite differing viewpoints on how and what we need to do to change others perceptions of Christians… like Brian McLaren and Charles Colson which some might say are polar opposites so it should appeal to a wide variety of people. Other contributors included are Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, Chris Seay, John Stott and a few others.
Friday, January 11, 2008
There are areas of Christian thought, and because of thought then also of life, where likenesses and differences are so difficult to distinguish that we are often hard put to it to escape complete deception. Throughout the whole world error and truth travel the same highways, work in the same fields and factories, attend the same churches, fly in the same planes and shop in the same stores. So skilled is error at imitating truth that the two are constantly being mistaken for each other. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which Abel. We must never take for granted anything that touches our soul's welfare. Isaac felt Jacob's arms and thought they were the arms of Esau. Even the disciples failed to spot the traitor among them; the only one of them who knew who he was was Judas himself. That soft-spoken companion with whom we walk so comfortably and in whose company we take such delight may be an angel of Satan, whereas that rough, plain-spoken man whom we shun may be God's very prophet sent to warn us against danger and eternal loss.
O God, I am easily deceived. Thank You for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide through Satan's deceits and disguises.
Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not."— Genesis 27:21
Often we encounter error disguised as truth. Crucial is our relationship to the Holy Spirit who seeks to guide into all truth. It is the Spirit who can unmask the deceiver.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Now, mind you John MacArthur read the book and seemed to disagree with Steve Camp:
From the Foreword:
Dr. John MacArthur Pastor-Teacher, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA
Now, Tim is making the blog rounds and has met on Andrew Jones blog. Here is the interview. Note also that there will be more to this blog tour.
This seems like it could be interesting as emerging bloggers and MacArthurite bloggers clash over whether they really believe in the priesthood of all believers.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Friday, January 04, 2008
Salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.
We deny that the gospel is preached if Christ's substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited.
There is no argument in this statement except that I think often people miss that "substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father" may include more than "substitutionary atonement". Scripture is clear that Jesus was the substitution for us at the Cross, but few understand that as He indwells us we are the substitution of Him on earth.
Also, it is in His sufferings He learned obedience, that we also learn fro our sufferings His love for us. I see that Christus Victor also fits well within the understanding of Substitutionary Atonement.... yet... it is not just an atonement, but a "propitiation". If one does not understand what propitiation is, they will come away with only a partial view of the Cross.
J.L Packer states this in his book Knowing God about propitiation:
“Has the word propitiation any place in your Christianity? In the faith of the New Testament it is central. The love of God, the taking of human form by the Son, the meaning of the cross, Christ’s heavenly intercession, the way of salvation–all are to be explained in terms of it…and any explanation from which the thought of propitiation is missing will be incomplete, and indeed actually misleading, by New Testament standards” (181).
On this step the lover must needs see that which he loves, or die; at this step was Rachel, when, for the great longing that she had for children, she said to Jacob, her spouse: ‘Give me children, else shall I die.’
Here men suffer hunger like dogs and go about and surround the city of God. On this step, which is one of hunger,[Lit., ‘On this hungering step.’]
the soul is nourished upon love; for, even as is its hunger, so is its abundance; so that it rises hence to the sixth step, producing the effects which follow.
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel[a] is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent?
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?”[j] 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.18 But I say, have they not heard?
It has been a while since I have done something on the Walking Through Romans series. So here it goes.
Verses 1 through 4:
Paul states that these live by this false righteousness in hope that he Law will bring about a righteousness that will save them, yet, true righteousness only comes through Christ. (For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.)
Many today also do not understand that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness… they confuse the truth by mixing in the law with Christ. This is not much different than if they confessed Christ as savior and then went to give a sacrificial animal to atone for their sins.
There is a righteousness that comes from the Law, but it is not in the blind obedience to it. In fact it is in the understanding that we are not right as we reflect on the Law, that we see God’s Righteousness and none from us. This is the “righteousness of faith” that the Law is to produce. Obedience does not produce righteousness as all righteousness come solely from Christ Jesus alone.
Note Romans 5: 18-19
“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
It is not by our own obedience we are made righteous. I have been in many churches that call for sinners to be righteous or holy. If one understands that one has no ability to be these, then one can only truly trust in Christ as one’s own righteousness.
If one confesses that Christ lives, He lives in them. With the heart, one believes. In this belief is Love. Out of the flows the confession of the mouth that brings the righteousness of Christ on the person who now believes. It is belief in action and is the response to the gift of faith.
I have already written on The verses 14 – 21 here.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
In a way I do not want to write this, yet after praying I realized that many of us need to speak out on this topic. It pains me as far as the examples I will use, yet I hope to give a real life presentation of the Gospel in action against the false teachings of some. One of the examples is a friend and I do not wish to bring any more pain to him so I hope that this will not add to his hurt, but lift him out of the pain of those who deem themselves as more worthy sinners than others.
Tim Reed is a good guy. I really enjoy his thoughts and have gained things from him. He is a pastor of Owasso Church of Christ. The first thing I want you to note is that I do not agree with Tim on some doctrinal issues, yet I see those issues as secondary to his faith in Christ so I focus on that instead of where we disagree.
Now, Tim loves to play some sort of “Fantasy” game which seems to include that one might become an evil dictator who wants to rule the world. Tim stated that he had played these games for many years before coming to Jesus.
Ingrid is a radio show host and “watchdoggie” blog. She likes to report on the failings of those she sees as heretics. Now, I agree with her on some things so this is not a total “I am against Ingrid” post. In fact, if I was to percentage out what she talks about, I would agree more with her than against her… yet she seems to think that all falls on the emerging church and is very vocal against those that have a differing “style” of worship ie, pastors should not wear jeans to preach in, churchs should have pews (though I understand she attends a house church) and music for worship can be performed by a secular choir, but not rock music by believers who desire to worship Jesus. So, my “beef” is that she confuses preference with God’s holiness and style with biblical mandates.
Now, my biggest issue with Online Discernment Ministries, (ODM’s) is that they often go way overboard in their zeal to expose and shame those they deemed as worse sinners as themselves. In this case Ingrid parsed through 1 and ½ years of posts to find one comment made by Tim (which I will not post here as it is very distasteful). Many of these comments were in defense against atheists who attacked him for his beliefs at the discussion forum, yet he made this one comment that later came back to haunt him.
Soon after Tim made the comment he was IM’d by a friend and the moderator who both rebuked Tim for his overboard comment. He saw his wrong and apologized to all offended parties and was forgiven by them.
Now, again 1 ½ years later, Ingrid finds times forgiven sins and resurrects them publically to shame Tim and expose him as one of the “new pastors today” she seems to dispise.
Now, remember Tim does not deny he stated the things Ingrid posted… and he does show remorse and did all he could to make it right with the people around him. He even went so far as to create a new story line for himself in the game so he would nto be so evil.
1. Tim sinned.
2. Tim was rebuked.
3. Tim repented.
4. Tim was forgiven.
5. All was well with the world again.
Tim later, (after the post at SoL), deleted his account where Ingrid quoted him as supporters at SoL were attacking those at the forum and judging and condemning them. He openly admits to all this.
Then came Ingrid who even after reading all the facts having already stated Tim to be one of the “enemies of Jesus Christ”, states he is being “deceptive”.
Here is Tim’s side if you want to read it.
As far as living out the obedience to Jesus by forgiving others as He commanded, Ingrid seems to think that is not a command that applies to her.
Forgiveness is not part of the ODM’s doctrine when it comes to those they hate. I am sorry, but out of all this I do not see these verses coming out of the ODM’s side at all.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
“So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,’ forgive him.”
I have heard the ODM’s state things as, “You redefine fundamentalist. You redefine pharisee You redefine salvation. You redefine Jesus and the Gospel. You are a credit to post-modern dogma. The Gospel is all about reconciliation and forgiveness. It is not an excuse to blow-off sin.” Yet, then miss the very opportunity to forgive the stated sin… but instead cast more self righteous stones at Tim or whoever.
Now, what motivates such people to hate others so much? I will not get into Ingrid’s or others motives, as they will be exposed by God in His due time. Yet, I have found from experience, both out of my life as one who would at one time cast stones without thought to giving forgiveness, and having received the stones from the ODM’s myself. They seem to express some sort of maturity yet seem to miss the core of the Gospel of Reconciliation. In fact these (again I include myself as I did this myself) mock the very Gospel they proclaim. I will add that a person who is inclined to cast stones often does not understand the forgivness and Grace of God as they trust their own works as the "back-up" if God's grace is not sufficient for them after all.
Is sin forgiven? According to the bible there is not one doubt and without hesitation I must state yes! Yet, it seems that if one does not like a person, a religionist will not accept the “so called” offender repentance. In this lack of grasping the Gospel of reconciliation they give no reconciliation to the other and only mock God and the gospel as they leave the other in their sin.
I will state this about Tim; he did all that God required so no man (or woman) has a right to add to that. To those who dig up old dirt then use it to shame and “expose” others only expose that they know not Grace nor love the Kindness of God. They seek only to show how right they are in their own eyes. Such a person need be avoided for they shame the Gospel and count Jesus Blood as nothing. I see that often the very sins one notices in others is the type of sin we see in ourselves. If one is under the performance type faith and sees God as the “God Father” instead of God the Father, then they well view obedience as “payment” to keep their god happy. They deceive themselves as only Jesus pleased the Father and we all need be in Christ to also be pleasing to God. Without Jesus no one is pleasing to God. In that being the truth, no one can boast that they are more pleasing to God than another. That is called humility.
Tim is being accused of covering up his sins… he is not. I see though that some sin openly against their brothers and sisters in the role of being the Accuser of them. They then cover their own sin in a thin veil of self righteous prater that only drive more away from Jesus or more into a false gospel of works.
"Used today in reference to widespread destruction or devastation. If you will not banish this word, I ask that its use be 'decimated' (reduced by one-tenth)." – Allan Dregseth, Fargo, North Dakota.
So good luck and Happy New Year. May this one be a blessing to you.