Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This has been an interesting discussion that has gone to a few different places around the internet. I wanted to point out some of them.
Jordon Cooper: I interact with Bob Hyatt over the topic more.
Bob Hyatt: His Facebook comments where Tony Jones has chimed in.
You may not be able to access that link unless you are friends with Bob or Tony.
“The Last Dying Gasp…”
I recently had the privilege to have an (all be it brief) conversation with Bob Hyatt via Facebook.com. He stated in his update a very intriguing statement.
“I think I heard the final gasp of the emerging church's ability to speak prophetically to the Church today. Shame.” (1)
This was in response to a recent statement made by Tony Jones concerning about monogamous homosexual couples:
“…I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state” (2)
Now to be fair to Tony Jones, I believe he is really trying to work through this issue. I see he has a mixture of personal reasons as well as he is trying to work out theological reasons for his statement. In all I see the dialogue around Tony Jones on this is very refreshing though I do not hold his view point. Also, to be upfront, I am not addressing Tony’s statement at this time as I am holding back my thoughts until Tony can work through this more. I do have a great respect for Tony and believe over all he has some very insightful things to say in the emerging conversation.
Now, Bob Hyatt’s statement intrigued as well as bothered me. Not that I dislike Bob, rather I truly have great respect for him also. We have some theological differences yet over all I see that these are minor as opposed to some that hold his systematic viewpoint. Bob is a very open person to lively diologue and I have enjoyed his thoughts over the brief years I have known him.
The part that intrigued me was that Bob seemed to be saying that part of the history of the emerging church was that it came out of the conservitive evangelical church. I agree that in a fashion this is true. If one reads many of the writers like Tony Jones, Doug Paggit, Dan Kimball and Mark Driscoll they will state it all started with them as they were young pastors involved in Youth Specialties. I do not deny that this is true, rather I see it as short sited in the over all history of the emerging church.
Dan Kimball points out that the term is not new with his friends or him. In a post The Emerging Church circa 1970 Dan points out a book written by Bruce Larson and Ralph Osborne who address the church in the changing times Dan quotes the book:
"When historians of the future look back at the 1970's, they will doubtless see this is an era of chaotic change in the Church, a day of new beginnings, a strange mixture of despair and hope, frustration and boldness. disillusionment and expectancy."
Dan points out that this is very true... he states:
"Over 35 years have past since this was written, and how true those same words can be said of today's church. Chaotic change, new beginnings, frustrations and boldness, disillusionment and expectancy, despair and hope. Culture has changed since then, and quite a significant change in the church has emerged since then."
Yet, what bothers me about Bob’s assertion is that even though, as Dan Kimball points out, the term has been around much longer than Tony Jones or himself, is to me the actual “conversation” has been around before creation. I see that the conversation started with God Himself in Genesis 1:3 as God spoke “Let there be…” and it was. I see that this is the “Logos” of John 1 for the word “logos” means more than just “Word” as it is translated, rather it means a continuous thought in the form of a conversation.
Interestingly a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus who resided in Ephesus taught that logos was “the Word (Logos) as an ordering principle of the world” . (3) To connect the dots for you, John was referring to the same Logos that Heraclitus taught about yet instead of the impersonal “Logos” which was a “principal” John connected this “Logos” with Jesus. John wrote from Ephesus which was the very place Heraclitus was held in high regards.
So we must see that the idea, of this principal or logical order which Heraclitus used the word “Logos” held in its definition much more than “word” as we try to use it today. Further understanding of “logos” is that it is not only this eternal principal that holds all things together, it was also in thought a conversation. (4)
Again, all that is to say I see the emerging conversation is eternal and the very conversation God started in Genesis.
I see that to make the statement as Bob Hyatt stated, “I think I heard the final gasp of the emerging church's ability to speak prophetically to the Church today. Shame.” (1) as missing the big picture.
Now as far as Bob’s thoughts on whether the emerging church was historical conservative, I see his point, yet, I have been a part of the conversation for about 5 years and have seen that there are quite a few that are from the liberal side. So, as far as I am concerned Tony was and is a liberal and nothing has really changed in my mind about him. To be a liberal does not disqualify one’s voice from the conversation. In fact that is the beauty to me of the conversation is that all have a voice and labels do not matter that much.
As far as the other thing that bothered me. Bob spoke of the prophetic voice that now is “gasping”. This bothers me as I see the prophetic as God’s voice and not our own. Tony’s statement may or may not disqualify him as prophetic as it will yet to be seen. Yet, I see that to open the doors of the church to the GLBTQ communities is not a bad thing but a good thing as the Spirit can work in their lives as He does in my own. We must never underestimate the Power of God as He works through His Spirit Who was given to lead us in all Truth.
Again, I see Bob may be just shooting out a momentary reflexive thought. I hope he will unpack his thoughts on this. I see that all this disagreement as a really great thing. I see that it opens the door to healing the divisiveness that has harmed the GLBTQ communities. I pray that this be so. We must remember the emerging conversation is not “just” about us, but about the Kingdom of God. We must not lose sight that we are privileged to be part of the Greater Things of God. As I told Bob in our conversation, “Emerging to me is not a movement or organization. It is growth. Tony is on a journey and came to conclusion that I even disagree with. Yet, again, this is by far not the final gasp... I see it as taking on a new form in a sense... expanding outward as does the Kingdom of God”
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Picture yourself on a boat on a river,
The river runs swift taking you down.
You feel like the waves will turn the boat over,
Tossing you; you fear you might drown.
Picture the boat finding the sea,
The waves are as big as the fear that now grips you.
You feel so small in the middle of nowhere,
The ocean feels like it could swallow you to.
Seeking that inner peace.
Looking with fear within.
Finding no hope.
To start again.
The water looks like it goes on forever.
The salt on your tongue stings in the wind
Your lips are so dry as dry as your soul
Your mind races by wishing life to begin again,
Seeking that inner peace.
Looking with fear within.
Finding no hope.
To start again.
You see something there on the horizon
A glimmer of hope or just a mirage?
You scream yet no voice rises from within.
You gather last strength and courage,
And dive in
Seeking that inner peace
Looking with fear within
Finding new hope.
To start again
Picture yourself on a ship on the ocean
The captain assures you he knows where to go…
November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I just read a quote on a blog. This guy quoted himself... = ) is a good quote.
"The gospel doesn't "engage" the culture. It subverts it."- a quote from a guy who hates me.
Funny this quote in different variations are in most emerging/emergent books I read. I see it as true and yet, this guy agrees with the thought and hates the emerging church.
I run into this more often than you think. One person likes tell me whatever I say is wrong and then simply restates it as if he is right. I don't get that as he tells me I am wrong then agrees.
Hate is a powerful opiate. Some only seem to thrive as they waller in their hate for some other group. If they have an enemy, then their world is right. Yet, the bible states to "love your enemy." Neither of these guys have given much love to me. In fact both have written some pretty awful stuff about me.
Pride keep us from truly loving others. In all honesty I do want to retaliate at times... to give them a does of instant Karma... yet thank God Karma is not "christian"... LOL! So I sometimes stumble and read their blog and marvel at how close our thoughts are and yet how far they insist on distancing themselves from their brothers and sisters in Christ.
The fellow with the quote I dare not link to. I want to... some of you may already know who he is if you know your iggy history... it goes back a couple of years. I would love to link to him and yet, I dare not as I want peace for him and myself. I am sure if you google him you might find the quote...
I pray for both these guys and others out there who deem people like me the enemy. May they grow in the Grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus... I also pray that for myself everyday.
I spent yesterday in bed. Why? Really I am not sure. I just felt empty and uninspired. Yet, in that moment where I slept more than thought I sensed that I was fighting something bigger than myself. Why in this moment did I want to shut down and not face the “whatever” I sensed was bugging me. Oh, and I hate to confess this so openly, it was the first day I tried to stop smoking cigars. Yep… addicted again to the devil’s weed. Arrgh.
It was not that facing the prospect of not smoking though that was bothering me. It was in a sense the idea of having lunch with a friend I had not spent time with for a while. Again, I was not sure of the “why” I was feeling as I was. I slept instead of facing the strange desire to call him and make up some excuse. “I am just too busy today.” “I have too much homework today.” “I don’t feel well today.” All excuses… to not face this strange feeling of dread…
Now, I finally got up. I had stayed up way to late as it seems I do too often and am doing now as I write this. I stayed up until 4:30 am Sunday. I know that is part of the reason I slept so much Monday. Yet, when I woke a noon, I just did not feel like getting up and out to face the day. I did check my blood sugar which was much too high again and took the dose of insulin. I also took care of some bodily functions that need attending…. Yet instead of going out and seeing what type of day God gave me today… I went back under the covers and hid. Sleep gave me the comfort and grace to face the day I dared not face.
My friend is a good guy though he is a bit messed up. He smokes, which I can’t hold it against him as I seem also to have this unhealthy fixation with tobacco, yet also he is stuck in a hold that seems to in able him to get a job and live his life more fully. He medicates himself with what is illegal in many states as he has horrendous back pains he says has kept him from working. We have prayed for healing and yet it seems that it does not come. He believes that this substance should be legal and is one of the best ways to help people like him. I agree that some people who have cancer or other issues may need this, yet I wonder for him if it is his “staying in bed all day” remedy. I try not to judge him about this as I know he loves Jesus as much as I do… maybe more. I also wonder though if I have the right to tell him that this may not be the remedy he truly needs. By the way, I do not indulge in his remedy if you were wondering.
No, I have my own that I face. Not “illegal in some states” types maybe, rather I tend towards things like eating, or in the case of Monday, shutting down.
It seems though as I woke up at 1:30 this morning that Grace is on my mind. Not at first, as I took a walk to buy a cigar and cursed my failings. I took a drive and listened to a recent book on tape about grace and found that just maybe that is what I was hiding from. You see, I believe I am grace to my friend. I am that safe space where he can be himself with all his flaws and find acceptance. I also realized my friend is grace to me. This was a bit of a shock as I thought about it. God’s grace covers our shortcomings. I am not saying that we should pursue our short comings as most often those are unhealthy ways of dealing with life. I see my friend in a bit of a different light tonight as I write this. I desire to fix him, yet also see I cannot fix myself so how could I fix anyone else. I sometimes wonder if God cares about fixing us… as I see that God seems more intent on making New Things out of the old. Is this the same? I do not think so as I ponder this idea.
Grace is not an easy thing to explain let alone understand. Theologians have many different ideas, yet as I studied them I get the feeling that in all their certainty, they are truly not arrived at any real conclusion. Is Grace truly just getting what we don’t deserve? Is there more to Grace than some theological definition? Of that I am certain. To me Grace is the very substance that holds all creation together. I see no “common grace” as some teach, nor do I see the many other number of breakdown explanations theologians give. Instead, I see the same God that spoke all things into existence is the same God that can un-speak all He created as if it never was… yet chooses not to.
I see Grace in Jesus. Funny to say that as it should be so obvious. I see in Him who all creation came, as one who could have “fixed” things. Please don’t get me wrong, in a way Jesus did. Yet, instead we find Jesus in a sense failing. Yes, I said it. Here was the King of all creation laying down His life and letting those sick little creatures call humans nail Him to a Cross. Jesus should have done some major house cleaning like He cleaned the Temple. Yet, it seems that God chooses a different path that what we humans see as best. Often I desire the God that sent down balls of fire and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. I want the quick fix that would let people see God and tremble and bow down low… yet, God seems content in giving us days we cannot face and then pouring out Love in the form of Grace on us.
Even in my own definition of Grace I come up short. Much too short I must confess. Grace is more than a substance rather it is the radiance of Jesus. It is intangible yet in moments we experience it we cannot deny that it is more real than we are. I experience Grace in my children as I choose to discipline them or as I just watch them play. I experience Grace in music. I experience Grace when I am playing in the worship band and hit the right notes on my guitar. I experience Grace as I sit with those who I see as much more in tune spiritually than I am. I see Grace as I drive by the bars at night or see a drunk staggering to find a warm place to sleep. I experience Grace as I sit quietly or chatter excitedly about something I learned or… as it is more often relearned about God’s Word. I experience Grace in those I see as hurting. I experience Grace as I hurt and am not comforted… or when I am not. Grace is the touch of my wife as I tell her I failed. Grace is in her eyes even when I hurt her with my failings.
Grace is not easily explained. It can come in a lyric or a song, a bible verse… or your enemies. Yes, even in the choice of whether to set the record straight when some person states lies about me, I find Grace.
As I write this I am sure of one thing. Grace is humbling. In fact, in order to see it and experience it one must be humbled. I hold to many prideful things and in them only find dissatisfaction is my life. Grace drives out all that pride and in that moment of weakness, I find strength that was not there. Luther stated to “sin boldly”. More accurately Luther stated:
“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.
As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner.” -Martin Luther, in a letter to Phillip Melancthon
I will add, if I be bold enough to add to Luther’s words. That it is in the Person of Christ we find the New Creation Paul wrote of. For without Christ there is no true Grace. With out our sin we cannot find this Grace. I am not saying that we should live un-righteously, rather it is in this understanding we find the True Righteousness of Christ. We only begin to see our own failings as the contrast to the Life of Christ which as a believer now dwells in us. Yes, “sin boldly” yet with the understanding of our need for the Righteousness of Christ to drive us to live out His Life in us. For in our failings we find Grace and in our triumphs through Jesus, we give Grace to others.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Ephesians 1: 3.Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
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. 7. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8. that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10. to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12. in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
13. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14. who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.
The word “Logos” used in John 1:1 which is often interpreted as “Word”. We use it today in the word “logic” which has part of the meaning as when God created all things it was out of a chaos that existed. Both Genesis 1 and John 1 start with “in the beginning”. This should show us that we exist outside of the eternal and in a different dimension called time. The word “logos” is very much misunderstood and is really watered down in our English translations and understanding. God spoke “let there be…” and though it was not it was. Yet, we see in Ephesians, that there was a mystery that was before all things began. In the eternals (if there be a way to grasp this idea outside of Plato’s dualism) we see that we were chosen to be in Christ before creation. That means that before God created he had a plan that was that all things dwell in Christ.
Logos lost some of its meaning in our translations and understandings as we grasp that John was playing a trick on the Gnostics. John uses the Platonic concept to show that this is even greater than Plato’s ideas of dualism. In a simplified understanding it means a conversation. In a fuller meaning it is an ongoing conversation that started in the Godhead with the Father and Son and their unity or the Holy Spirit. Now I do believe the Holy Spirit is a Person, so don’t get me wrong on that. Yet this eternal conversation was of a Kingdom in the form of a Person being Jesus.
Jesus is not only the savior of me and my kingdom, which in the end is that of death; rather he is also the King of all Creation. I see that just as David desired the Temple to be built; it was his son Solomon who finished the Temple in which God filled with His Glory. This is the idea that God the Father desired for us in His Son Jesus. Instead of temples made by man, we are now the Temples of God in which He dwells and also we dwell in Christ Jesus for he is the New Jerusalem.
The Kingdom is not just a future event. It is in some sense as I see that it is still filling the earth with the Glory, yet as we still have death God has yet to fulfill this promise. God is making earth His dwelling, yet is preparing it for a time. I see in the narrative this tearing down of walls and divisions between first God and man in the Person of Christ that will also tear down walls and division between humanity. Yet, this Kingdom is not just some place to go after we die. It is not our dream that we hope for someday, for the Blessed Hope is of the return of Christ in all His glory and the Glory of God filling the earth as it is in Heaven. N. T. Wright speaks of the intertwining of heaven and earth and a restoration of both.
Understand that though God ruled the heavens it to was tarnished by the rebellion. I see in the book of Job a sense of many theaters. We have God and Satan in one theater and then we focus on Job and Satan. Then we focus on Job and his troubles on earth… Job and his friends until we come to a point were a person name Elihu appears and refocuses on God. God then reminds all that he is God and does as He wills and owes no man any reasons for His actions. Humorously, God does by letting us in on the story of Job. There are many kingdoms in play in Job.
2. Satan in his glory,
3. The restoration of the focus on God in his Glory.
4. The restoration of man in His Glory
God shows a picture of what is and is to come.
Now Jesus sits at the right hand of God in Glory. Jesus rules, yet in deference to my preterist friends, I still see that there is a time when Jesus returns in fullness of Glory. I see that just as Jesus lives, he will return in all his glory to restore all things and to bring all things into himself. I see that Jesus will abolish death and the grave. I suggest for a matter of perspective to take a walk through a grave yard and notice few graves have burst forth. I suggest that you notice also those who are dying in cancer wards. Death is still here and so is the grave. These have yet to be tossed into the Lake of Fire. Until then I see that we are now in two kingdoms. One that is coming down being the Kingdom of God, and another that is being driven out being the kingdom of darkness. I see that at points we can see the intertwining that N. T. Wright speaks of. That we can now grasp the Kingdom of God in its fullness as it is not a part of this creation but of a new thing God is doing. I see that that some things to us are yet in the future they are also now.
I am not suggesting dualism by stating that there are two Kingdoms as there is only one that is in Christ. It is that until the Light shines in all man as we find life not in our blood but in this Life of Christ we begin a journey in a New Kingdom that seems so far away yet is within us and all around us. Though it is about us in a small sense, it is also about a judging of Israel and in a greater sense a judging of all things that are in rebellion against God. (Matt 19; 1 Cor 6:3) We are now in that age. Then He who has final judgment will judge both the living and the dead.
Now we have to look at all this in a greater narrative than “God saved me”. We need to see that there is a narrative from before creation that is carrying on into a New Creation that will open with judgment then the restoration of all things being brought first into Christ then back into the Father. We are free from the sting of death, yet also will one day be free of death itself. All this is in a Kingdom… all this is in a Person… Jesus.
In this Person, being Jesus we see God bringing all things back to Himself. God’s plan even before creation was Jesus. There is no other plan. Heaven is where Jesus rules and as Jesus lives in us, and us in Him, Heaven is within us. Jesus is to be “all in all” as God eternal plan has always been. As the passage in Ephesians shows, we were included when we came to faith. The mystery is Christ Jesus who now rules in Heaven, our hearts and will soon place all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is Death.
1 Cor 15: 19. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27. For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
Death and the Grave will one day be cast into the Lake of Fire. Until the day we are clothed in the imperishable just as we are now clothed in Christ Jesus, we need spread the message of the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor 15:42)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In talking to many modernist Christians it seems that their math does not add up. Often they add man made philosophies to the Truth of Scripture. Never do they realize to have Absolute truth means then there is truth that is lesser... meaning that they created an issue that denies scripture's teaching that Truth is the Person of Jesus and not some abstract thought. If Truth is diminished by adding to it, then I see it is the modernist who then diminishes truth as a whole.
One cannot have a lesser truth as the Bible simply calls that a lie. Truth is the Person of Jesus and if we add to that we only come to wrong conclusions and according to scripture it just will not add up. Believing a lie even dressed as truth is still believing a lie.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Paul Washer: 10 Indictments against the American Church. Part One
I want to say first off I have nothing against Paul Washer. I believe him to be sincere and a man seeking after God’s heart. From my understanding he is Calvinist, which again to me is not an issue in the sense that I see him as not one that is of the DOCTRINES of grace variety rather being of the doctrines of GRACE variety.
Now saying that I hope the reader reads this with charity as I am not out to blast Paul Washer rather give a Biblical critic of his sermon the 10 Indictments against the American Church. In this I hope the reader goes to the scripture and not just accept what I say, or just accept what Paul Washer has presented.
I will say I admire his opening prayer. In it I hear a man who dares not be presumptuous. I appreciate the humility and can sense his love for the Church.
I will say I have had trouble listening to this sermon as I see it full of “works” instead of dependency on the Holy Spirit. In fact Paul sets the tone by saying, “We need revival. We need an awakening, but we cannot simply expect the Holy Spirit to come down and clean up all the mess we have made.” (1)
Now this is a huge concern and in this statement I fear that the tone is then shifted from the works of God by the Holy Spirit to the works of man and our own ability to bring revival and reformation. If we believe that to remove the Holy Spirit and to not depend on the Holy Spirit will bring reformation and revival, then we only fool ourselves and leave it in our own hands and out of God’s hands. This is much too serious to overlook that Paul Washer states this. I hope in his heart that he does not believe this as true yet as I look at the indictments I see that he then places all the responsibility on human efforts.
Indictment 1: A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.
In the core I agree with Paul, yet just reading and studying the bible is not enough. In fact by removing the Holy Spirit from the process, one cannot understand the Bible at all. For we are taught:
1 Cor 2: 12. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16. "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
One can only understand Spiritual things by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. For how can we understand without the revelation that comes by the Counselor of all things. (John 14: 15-17, 26) To remove the Holy Spirit from the equation is the most gravest mistake one can make in understanding the Scripture.
Interestingly, Paul sound a bit like many of those Paul’s followers hate. In this statement he sidesteps inherency:
“When you come to believe as a people that the Bible is inspired you have only fought half the battle because the question is not merely is the Bible inspired, is it inerrant. The major question following that that must be answered: Is the Bible sufficient or do we have to bring in every so called social science and cultural study in order to know how to run a church? That is a major question.” (2)
Now I agree with the statement as I see that we have been given all things needed for Godliness. Yet really is it the Bible that equips us with Godliness? If one looks at the scripture itself Peter states:
2 Peter 1:3. His (Jesus) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Note it is not the book, but the Person that equips us. Yes, the bible is one of the tools that Jesus uses to help us and exhort us, yet if we believe it is just the bible that leads us to all truth and believe that by just reading it we will be equipped to bring revival and reformation we only fool ourselves… in fact we deceive ourselves and fall into the very trap that Paul Washer warned about as Paul stated: “There is little need for the devil and evil men to oppose a man praying for revival unless he is also laboring for reformation. We have been given truth and we cannot simply do what is right in our own eyes and then expect the Holy Spirit to come down and bless our labors.” (3)
I do agree that we need be careful not to do what is right in our own eyes. There is danger in mere acceptance of doctrines often passed down as many are not of God but of man. Even in the traditional and most fundamentalist church man corrupts God’s truth with his own. While I agree we must return to Scripture to gain insight in how we must live, again I cannot emphasize enough that without the Holy Spirit it is works and results in nothing more than kindling and does nothing for the Kingdom of God. Using man’s own understanding leads us to only doing what is right in our own eyes. I have been victim and have witness the harshness of those who claim grace yet use worldly ways to bring their own understanding of godliness about. They care less about kindness and see only harsh and harmful words as the tools to bring down their supposed enemies. In this they lost sight of the Power of the Holy Spirit to bring real change in others lives.
The second indictment: An ignorance of God.
Paul Washer states: “Why the rampant sinning even among God’s people? A lack of the knowledge of the God, of God.”
I challenge this statement as though it is true in one sense, it is not the lack of the knowledge of God that sin runs rampant, it is the misunderstanding of the Life of Christ that is imparted to us for godlily living. We can have all the knowledge of God we can absorb, yet we are warned of knowledge: 1 Cor 8:1 “…We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” It is not more knowledge we need unless it is in the form of God’s love. To state that a lack of knowledge will cure sin is again deceiving ourselves and the Bible teaches that it can lead to pride which is sin… Also, Satan himself has much more knowledge of God and most Christians and is the father of all sin… yet one thing he lacks is love. It is the knowledge of God’s loving kindness and his great love for us as displayed by his Grace through Jesus Christ. Without the very Life of Christ in us, we are no better than an unbeliever as we lack the power to stop sinning. Yet even more there is a fundamental issue in Paul Washer’s understanding that is missing. Jesus is the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world. If one is in Christ, who has not sin, then we are without sin. Now on the outside we may still do wrong things and fail, yet in God’s eyes through Jesus we are pure as Jesus Himself. The issue is that without the Life of Christ we are only half way to the fullness of the Promise of salvation. One can accept forgiveness yet not realize that they need the Life of the Resurrected Christ which is eternal. One who thinks that all they need is forgiveness and never moves into the Life of Christ remains merely a forgiven dead man. Now, I believe God’s grace will cover much of our missing understanding, yet that is the reason many lack to power to stop their sin. They washed the outside of the cup and missed the inside and are still full of the same filth they started out with. This idea that we must “do” to make God move seems very strange coming from an Calvinist and more strange that other hard-line Calvinist do not stand up and call foul to the “do” list. I will try to get to the other indictments as I can.
Sermon Index Site Ten Indictments - A Historical 21st Century Message by Paul Washer
Sermon Audio Site Download MP3 (14.0MB)
1. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) - Part 1 paragraph 6
2. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) - Part 1 paragraph 5
3. Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message) - Part 1 paragraph 6