Heath being witnessed to by a man who came back from the dead. An excellent post on the centrality of the Gospel and the necessity of God’s word.
Several weeks ago, pastor Ed Young out of Dallas went on an anti-Calvinist rant for some odd reason, accusing them of … and I’m not making this up… of wearing skinny jeans. For those of you who know a Calvinist, you know we are hiding under our desks with this new charge! Yes, we’re guilty of wearing skinny jeans. However, I have not worn any skinny jeans since some time in the 1980s.
Of course, I’m jesting. There is nothing wrong with wearing skinny jeans as long as you are skinny. I am not, so I like to wear relaxed fit jeans. Not baggy, gang banger jeans, but jeans with some room in them so I don’t look quite so fat (apparently I am, a friend who turns 99 next November accused me of such while I was on vacation.)
The point is that Ed Young ripped into us Calvinist accusing us of all manner of things, like wearing skinny jeans, in order to tell his congregation of 24,000 that we are … nasty bad people and that he doesn’t like us very much. Poor Ed Young did an absolute terrible job of showing how we are bad, after all, the Scripture never says anything about wearing skinny jeans. BTW, for those of you who do not know, Ed Young is absolutely enamored with what pastors wear since he has started a fashion web site to help inform us that we need to dress more like him.
This tirade of Young’s was answered by those who are bona fide Calvinists and know what we actually believe. You can see Neil’s post here, and James White’s response here. You may remember I met James White back in April.
Young didn’t seem to really know what we believed. Give what his tirade was over, Young might be hard pressed to give one theological distinctive of Calvinism. James White shows that Young really doesn’t know…
BTW, this is one of the reasons I believe in denominationalism. If he were a member a true denomination, they could actually rebuke and deal with Young. But given the state of the non-confrontational churches, there is no real oversight or accountability for people like Young. One reason why he may have gone off the deep end.
In the video below, Jerry Johnson gives his take as well.
I don’t, and guess what? I’m still a Christian. I know many of my brothers from Dallas Theological Seminary are taught that if we do not take the Bible literally, then we are not true Christians. The problem is: what does “literal” actually mean? According to Charles Ryrie, it means the normal usage of the word in the text. The problem with this is: who gets to determine what “normal” means?
The True Church has always let Christ and the Apostles define the terms since that puts Christ and the text of Scripture at the center of defining terms as opposed to men being at the center of those definitions. What Ryrie, and the rest at DTS, fail to see, is that they have set themselves up as the final authority’s on what the Bible means. This is a man-centered hermeneutic instead of a Christ-centered hermeneutic. In other words, this type of Bible interpretation is Solo Scriptura instead of Sola Scriptura. It is man-centered instead of Word centered.
For more on this, watch the video below from Jerry Johnson and Against the World.
In an interview with Fox411, Morgan Freeman came out and admitted that he is God. I’m not surprised by this. If we do not believe in the living and true God of the Bible then it is no great leap to conclude that we are gods as well. Here is the interview:
Fox411: Do you think there is a God?
MF: Do I think there’s a God? Um (pause) yeah.
Fox411: You paused.
MF: I paused because I am God.
Fox411: Because every man is created in God’s image.
MF: Yes or God’s created in my image.
This is the major problem with all mankind, both saved and unsaved a like. We want to make God out into our image, as opposed to the God who actually has revealed Himself in the 66 books of the Bible. This is the heart of man’s problem. It is why the first four commandments of the moral Law are so vital in understanding who God is, and who we are.
God simply states: You shall have no other gods before Me. He states this in the context of idolatrous nations that were in the habit of worshipping false gods, but the problem rested in Israel just as much as it rests in our hearts as well. We want so badly to be gods, that we must die to ourselves and our desires daily, taking up our cross as a matter of habit. Every conflict we face, ever sin we jump into is our declaration with Adam that we are god.
Yet Christ calls His followers to be different because He was different. His entire life was in submission to the Father’s will, and this is what He calls His children to do. The only way we can do so is to be in His word, allowing the Spirit to conform us to His image. It is a life-long calling for the believer.
Is Morgan Freeman truly God? Nope. Not in the least. What Freeman is saying is what everyone single man, woman and child has said since Adam’s fall: “I want to be god, and I hope the living and true God doesn’t mind.” The problem is that the living and true God does mind, hence the Ten Commandments and the Cross. Let’s hope God shows Freeman grace to repent of his own idolatry, and grace to us in order to do the same.
I have often said that when an Arminian prays, they pray like Calvinist when it comes to the salvation of others. What I mean by this is that Calvinist believe that the Spirit of God must move in a person’s heart before they are saved. The Spirit moves, causing them to be born again, and THEN they have the ability to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. God gets all the glory for our salvation because we are completely dependent upon Him.
Whereas the Arminian goes around spouting the damnable doctrine of free will. They say that we have the freedom to choose God of our own and when we trust in Christ for salvation, it is because we are just infinitely smarter than everyone else. The focus is always on what we “do.”
Yet, when it comes to their prayers, Arminian’s do not pray consistently with their doctrine. Instead of praying that God need not move in the hearts of the unbeliever, since they are wise enough to make the choice on their own, they pray that God would move and change their hearts… O Lawd!!!
Jerry Johnson, with Against the World, demonstrates this by giving us a consistent Arminian prayer in the following video:
Calvinism, calvinistic baptist, Charles Finney, Faith Alone, Grace, Grace Alone, Religion, Revivalism, sinner s prayer, Sinner's Prayer, Sola Fide, Southern Baptist, southern baptist church, The Gospel, Theology, true belief, Works Theology
The Southern Baptist Church voted this week at their convention to keep the “sinner’s prayer” as a form of conversion. Some might think this an odd thing, but the there have been those Baptist Calvinist who have questioned the use of the “sinner’s prayer.” They have done so because it gives the allusion that by saying the “sinner’s prayer,” one is actually saved.
One is not saved by saying the “sinner’s prayer.” I agree with the Calvinistic Baptist and this in one of the reasons I left the SBC back in the 1990s. Too much emphasis is put on what we do as opposed to what God does in saving us. No where does the Bible ever tell us to utter this prayer, it truly is an invention of men, specifically that bastard of revivalism known as Charles Finney. Sorry but I must call him that. He did more damage to the church in American than a hundred liberal courts or seminaries with the implementation of his new methods, i.e., the sinner’s prayer. More churches have been led down a hell-bound path by adopting such practices as altar call than any liberal professor could ever dream of. It would boggle our minds to know the number of people who were led to believe they were saved by trusting in these damnable actions of their own, instead of trusting in Christ. You hear it today every time the sinner’s prayer is put forth, and once a person says this prayer, they are told to write the date down so they can remember when they were saved.
This is all focused on what the sinner does and not what Christ does. If we are truly to be saved, we must believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. We are not to “say” a prayer, although prayer will result after true belief comes about. We are not told in Scripture to walk an aisle, go to the altar or do any other thing in order to be saved. Simply believe in Christ and His work for salvation. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, and this is NOT of ourselves, but is a gift of God. We are merely passive recipients of God’s grace.
To take and add altar calls and sinner’s prayers to the gospel is no different than the Roman Catholics calling for indulgences in order to be saved. It is Christ plus our works that ends up not saving us at all.
So I am saddened by the actions of the Souther Baptist Convention. They have added works to our salvation. This should be rejected by all Christians, Baptist and non-Baptist alike.
Here is a bit from the story about the SBC:
The resolution was originally presented by Eric Hankins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oxford, Mississippi, though the version approved by the committee omitted language designed to refute the denomination’s increasingly Calvinist membership. (An effort to put much of the language back in was defeated in a floor vote, as was an effort to remove references to the phrase “Sinner’s Prayer.”)
Indeed, Hankins says his resolution was sparked by a talk from one of the SBC’s Calvinist stars, David Platt. Speaking at the Verge church leaders’ conference March 1, the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, said the emphasis on the Sinner’s Prayer is unbiblical and damning.
“I’m convinced that many people in our churches are simply missing the life of Christ, and a lot of it has to do with what we’ve sold them as the gospel, i.e. pray this prayer, accept Jesus into your heart, invite Christ into your life,” Platt said. “Should it not concern us that there is no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament? Should it not concern us that the Bible never uses the phrase, ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ or ‘invite Christ into your life’? It’s not the gospel we see being preached, it’s modern evangelism built on sinking sand. And it runs the risk of disillusioning millions of souls.”
Speaking at the SBC Pastors’ Conference preceding the Baptist’s annual meeting, Platt referenced his Verge sermon, lamenting that his messages “can become three-minute YouTube clips.” But, preaching from John 2-3, he reiterated his statements that believing in Jesus is not enough. “Many assume they are saved simply because of a prayer they prayed,” he said. “It’s not that praying a prayer in and of itself is bad—but the question in John 2 and 3 is what kind of faith are we calling people to?”
Well, maybe not exactly, but it sure looked like Armageddon on Sunday afternoon as the smoke from forrest fires over in Lincoln National Forrest descended upon our community. I was hoping to capture the gloominess of the moment, but I don’t think I quite got it.
I’m not one to look at all the signs and wonders around the world and say, “The end is near!” But I am one to say that Christ could return at any moment. Some believe that there are certain things that must happen before Christ returns, like the gospel going forth to all nations and peoples, or the temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt, etc. I don’t believe that anything must happen before Christ returns because all that is necessary for His return has already happened.
Remember, the gospel has gone forth to all nations. Yes, I know there are un-reached people groups around the world, but that doesn’t mean that the gospel hasn’t been there before. Places like India, China, and that area all had the gospel there back in the 10th Century because of the Apostle Thomas. There are places, like South America, that didn’t get the gospel until the last 100 years or so, but that shows us it has been there.
The point is that Jesus could return at any moment. Our goal is to be ready for His return by believing in Him while it is yet today.
Jerry Johnson, of the Nicene Council, does an excellent job of showing that true-biblical love has slowly died since the beginning of the Romantic age in literature. What has replaced biblical love is romantic love, based upon our base emotions toward a person instead of our covenantal commitment spoken of in Scripture. For example, we know that Christ died on the cross for the love of His people, who, were quite unlovable when He died for them. Had He waited for the modern-day emotion that so many base love upon, He would have bypassed the cross all together.
True love for a person is a covenantal commitment before God, not emotions that determine our happiness. After all, if we base our marriages on emotional happiness, what will happen when that happiness fades? The question isn’t: “will it fade?” But, “when will it fade?”
When it does fade, we need to remember that true, covenantal love is a commitment toward a person, not just an emotion toward a person. This is alteration of the definition of love is the reason so many have caved in the area of marriage, be it biblical marriage, or the current debate surrounding gay unions. Since so many believe that love is based on emotions and not commitment, then who are we to truly question the emotions of people who divorce and remarry, who marry people of the same sex, or marry their dog (which is coming next). When we return to the biblical understanding of love, and marriage, these arguments fall by the wayside.
Watch the video:
Here is the true definition of love according to 1 Corinthians 13:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I have to say this one convicted me a great deal. Jerry Johnson asks the question of why so many young people are joining moves such as Obama’s campaign in 2008, Ron Paul’s campaign today and the empty-headedness of the Occupy Wall Street movement over the past year, but they don’t join the church?
It’s because of so many inside the church that have pessimistic, doom and gloom, cut-your wrists theologies like Dispensationalism, and pessimistic Amillellinnialist. In other words, far too many believe the world is going to hell in a handbasket and there is nothing we can do about it… even though we… the church, have the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power unto salvation, which is the message that turned the world on its head 2,000 years ago, and again 500 years ago, and again 250 years ago… Watch the video:
The argument between Reformed Presbyterians and Reformed Baptist essentially boils down to the following statements:
BAPTIST: “You Presbyterians use too little water too early!”
PRESBYTERIANS: “You Baptist use too much water too late!”
There, now you have it.