Thursday, April 30, 2009

John Piper Continues To Show His Liberalism By Promoting Another Emergent Calvinist

Ken Silva has a new article on the issue of John Piper offering another Calvinist who finds use in pagan mysticism. Here are some excerpts:

Apprising Ministries has been researching the rejection of Sola Scriptura, in favor of highly subjective and existential Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, within the visible church for several years now. Developing as it has been into a veritable cult of contemplative spirituality it would certainly appear that the influence of Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster continues spreading within mainstream evangelicalism, and even within Calvinist circles.

For example in an April 17, 2009 entry at the Desiring God blog of the well-respected Calvinist pastor John Piper we read:

After our pastors conference in February, John Piper sat down with Matt Chandler for a conversation that is now available in 4 parts. (Online source)

We’re also told that in Part Three of this interview we get “Chandler’s thoughts on being a pastor, a Calvinist, and a Complementarian.” For those who don’t know Matt Chandler is lead pastor of The Village Church (TVC). That’s why as I followed up a tip from a reader I found it odd that in a search for Richard Foster in the Recommended Books of The Village Church, “that have challenged and helped us as a staff in our faith and in our ministry work”, we find his books Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, and The Challenge of the Disciplined Life.

End quote.

Silva goes on to explain and discuss the problems with Richard Foster and his book along with Quakerism.

This should not be surprising because Piper has been promoting the ECM for years now via Mark Driscoll the Goat Herder.

I've been saying for years now, much to the Calvinists' dismay, that John Piper IS liberal and IS a cancer within "Christianity".

John Piper continues to offer to his followers Emergent, Mystical, New Age, Foul-Mouthed men unapologetically. But because he and these men he promotes use the Secret Code, "TULIP", they all get a free pass while Charismatic mystics like Benny Hinn don't (however, there is a marriage between Charismaticism/Pentecostalism/ThirdWave and Calvinism via the Sovereign Grace Ministries of CJ Mahaney (throw in CARM's Matt Slick too since he claims two of the three Persons in the Trinity literally came to his conversion but he had no clue Jesus was resurrected for two years AFTER his conversion) so it just depends if you whisper the Code word or not in order to get a free pass.

All manner of excuses are given for what Piper has been boldly doing. Same with Driscoll.

Folks, WAKE UP. Anyone who rejects discernment and wisdom, and rather promotes false teachers and error, is not of HIM. Don't do what Piper does and pretend you can befriend and listen to such people without it staining you.


1Co 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." Piper is deceived, and so are his followers. If you read Piper or listen to him or his conferences, and think that his liberalism isn't affecting you, I'll ask you this: do you link to Acts 29 or Reformission? Do you find "good" in filthy talk or pagan Eastern Mysticism? Do you reject the weaker brother's conscience and flaunt your "freedom"? Do you defend Driscoll or Paul Tripp for being eternally "immature"? Do you see pure speech as optional? Do you think its IMPOSSIBLE that Piper could be deceived? Are you offended at what I just said?

Back in March I said the following, and Piper's recent endorsement of another Emergent Calvinist proves my point:

Is it any wonder that the God-hating Time Magazine applauds Driscoll and Piper and their Calvinism? Scripture says men hate His truth, they will not agree with it nor do they find it good. Rather they find all things of God as foolishness (1Cor. 2:14). So when the world pats a person on the back, that should be a red flag. It means they find you unoffensive, which means you aren't standing for Truth as Jesus did.

How did God deal with the shepherds of Israel? Did He wink at their sin and excused it as being merely "immature"? Or did He condemn them and pronounce judgment upon them? See Jer. 6:13-15; 7:4-24).

Consider this too:The continuing list of what a Reformer can hold to as optional yet find "unity" by "holding to" the TULIP and Creed and Confessions:

Feminism: women can be pastors and leaders over men in church (see the RTS Orlando pushing Synergy feminist conference). Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) and evangelical feminism…
Emergent Church Movement junk
Jesus' physical return
Our physical resurrection
Satan as our current enemy
Justification by faith alone
Adam is literal
Fruit of the Spirit
Creation in literal 6 days
Impeccability of Christ
Lordship of Christ
Not using freedoms in Christ to cover evil; causing a brother to stumble
Not Getting Drunk
Repentance
Gospel includes the resurrection of JesusLiteral hell/ hold to Annihilationism
The Narrow Road excludes many people (the Broad Road) (aka no Universalism)
The TrinitySufficiency of Scripture
Philosophy - hold to it
Truth in error
Faith Alone
Christ Alone
Inspiration of Scripture
Total DepravityPerseverance / Preservation of the Saints by God alone
Rejection of heretics
Rejection of Roman Catholicism
Edifying speech
Perpescuity of Scripture and its doctrines
Completion of God's revelation

This leads me to ask, what makes anyone a Christian? Because they SAY they are?This POMO age has created "Christians" that not only do not know biblical doctrine, they don't live by it nor do they think its clear. Instead it has trained "Christians" to think ignorance as a virtue rather than a vice. Truth IS knowable. Jesus said it is. Do you really believe HIM?

This is why Calvinism, which is really very man-centered, will fall for Emergent Eastern Mysticism, Foul Language, and treating the things in Scripture, even Scripture itself, not as holy, but as entertaining or trivial matters. They find Scripture interesting but as milk, and the theologians as meat. This ought not to be.

As a side note, if you want to know what a ministry really believes, skip to the "Resources" page. What they offer their readers or members (if its a church) is far more telling than the standardized Statement of Faith. Its the practicle outcome of what they really think is beneficial and good for their sheeple.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Infamous Former Peanut Farmer and President Wants Christians To Compromise: Well I Won't!

Is. 8 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

The infamous former peanut farmer and president, Jimmy Carter speaketh (article here).

"During his address Saturday at the Southeast regional gathering of the New Baptist Covenant, Carter said the shared faith in Jesus Christ should be enough reason for Christians to unite and that other divisive issues need to be put aside if they stand in the way of unity.Disharmony among Christians, he said, “is like a cancer metastasizing in the body of Christ.”'

If those who claim Christ would stop dividing FROM Truth, there wouldn't BE division. Its not those who actually believe and strive to live according to Scripture (which is knowable and clear). Its you libs that want to deny the Lordship of the Lord and then crawl all over our cases for not joining in your rebellion. You're acting like adolscents who don't want a boss over you....but you sure will tell US what to do and what to believe and what NOT to believe.

We're saved by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ. That's a fundamental in which I believe. And I think for Christians that's basically adequate,” the former president said to the more than 800 attendants gathered at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. "If you believe in that, no matter how you feel about homosexuality or the death penalty or church and state being separated ... we should put those things aside."

1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you NOT TO ASSOCIATE with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

Put aside Biblical truth for UNITY? Unity on what? Uniting? Which God? Which Jesus? What gospel is Carter referring to? The one that doesn't give a rip about homosexuality?? Carter wants us to ignore Scripture, be cowards like him, and make friends with the enemy of the Cross,holding up a white flag and offering tea and cookies to them, while slandering biblical Christians. He's good at tolerating Haters of Christ, but INtolerant of Lovers of Christ. No thanks Carter. You go on with your bad self. I won't be disloyal to Christ Jesus and Scripture.

They (Baptists overseas) see us (U.S. Baptists) at each other's throats, as argumentative, as struggling for authority and power,” Carter said Saturday, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Says you. In your warped liberal mindset YOU think its a power struggle thing. But YOU were the one to whine and complain, and then walk away with your toys because YOU refused to submit to Scripture and BE A MAN in leading your wife and child (not to mention country). You are shameful in trying to slam Baptists and act so holy. Ignorant of Baptist history, you really thing Baptists are supposed to be all in lockstep together like a bunch of Presbyeterians. Baptists, by distinctive and doctrine, are all independant churches. HELLO???

"Hoping to overcome any racial, theological, philosophical, geographical or political division, over 30 organizations representing 20 million Baptists (black, white, conservative, moderate, Republican and Democrat) lent their support to the start of the New Baptist Covenant last January."

Where's the common ground here? The label "Baptist"? That doesn't mean they ARE Baptist OR Christian. By removing Biblical Truth, Carter has reject TRUE Unity and made himself the determiner of what SHOULD be held to. How pathetic.

In typical liberal style, Carter wants to hush those who will fight such nonse. Remember Rick Warren's similar declaration back in 2007? He said:

"As pastors, as shepherds of God's people, it's our job to protect our congregations from Satan's greatest weapon – disunity," he writes. "It's not always easy, but it's what we've been called to do."

Those in error, as we have seen lately even with the infamous Reformed blogger, don't want the Light of Truth to shine on them, so they dismiss and reject all thinking, discerning Christians as mean-spirited, judgmental, and gnit-picking. But God sees it differently (Matt. 7, Gal. 3, 1John 4:1-2; 1Cor. 5; Acts 17:11, 2John 10; Rom. 16:17-19 for instance).

Carter left the SBC years ago because he rebelled against the biblically upheld view of women submitting to their husbands. That's enough to show he is not anywhere close to Scripture in his thinking. But those who thought we were just too mean and needed to give him room, now he's being even more bold.

Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." (1Co 15:33)

Are You Evangelizing? Do You Care For Lost Souls REALLY? Are You Truly Saved? Tony Miano Shares Some Thoughts

Some of the "Just A Thought" from Tony Miano that I found challenging (his blog has more):

*Friendship evangelism is neither friendship nor evangelism without the verbal proclamation of the gospel.

*If you say that you believe Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life but you refuse to tell people, then you really don't care where people will spend eternity. Why? Because you will do what you care about.

*You can't be saved by a gospel you don't know. If you can't tell me biblically how I can get to heaven, then why should I believe you are going there?

*Remember the same verse that says "all liars will have their part in the lake of fire" also says that the cowardly will meet the same fate. When did you last share the gospel with the lost? Can't remember? Don't want to because your scared? Then you have a problem that may be more serious than you think.

*The true Christian understands that he is to remain in the world while not being of the world. But a false convert will sit precariously atop the fence separating two worlds and, when he thinks he is loosing his balance and he thinks he may fall, he will look to the world instead of Christ to catch him--all the while insisting his trust is in the Lord.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More on Prejean: Choosing One Immorality Over Another Is Biblical?

Ingrid over at Slice of Laodicea makes our points (women who actually stand against this constant defense and excusing of Carrie Prejean's immodesty while declaring her "opinion" on homosexual "marriage"--and that is what she keeps saying--its her opinion) really well and I'd like to post a few from her here.

First:

Christian bloggers and commentators, most of them male, continue to exalt Miss Prejean to the status of a Christian Woman for All Seasons. Rarely has there been this kind of uniform praise for any Christian woman taking a stand on the issue of homosexuality or anything else. Ordinarily, Christian women who take a stand for what is right are told to go home and shut up. Is there a connection between a great body and female credibility among Christian males today?

Does it trouble you that you are holding up Prejean as an example to her of godliness and moral courage? Would you like millions of men oggling the private parts of your daughter (or wife, for that matter) as millions of men undoubtedly were that night? Would you like your daughter/wife to be judged by the size of her chest and the state of her behind? That’s what was going on, Christian male defenders of this woman.

Miss Prejean, however sincere, is not a hero. She is a cautionary tale about what happens when a culture so infiltrates the church that public nudity is now viewed as not only perfectly acceptable, but even admirable. Now Christian men can admire not only her stance for marriage but her measurements. Truly, a Christian female men can support.

End quote.

Even I have had a few conservative male bloggers/commenters not want to touch the immodesty of Miss Prejean, but merely zero in on the political problems of increasing mockery by those on the Left.

It is unbelievable to me that men deliberately won't touch her near-nakedness issue! Is this not one of THE CLEAREST COMMANDS IN SCRIPTURE? I have to say, its like they are mesmerized by a pretty body instead of God's Word. Its like the Garden of Eden all over again. The men can't say "no" to a pretty girl even while she blatantly disobeys the God she says she serves.

No wonder women are so concerned over the lack of leadership in this country. They can't even take a stand on something so obvious as breasts falling out of little binkin tops and ball gowns!

As in Eden, we're supposed to turn a blind eye to the sin and just be ok with the "sincereity" of the sinner. Right? Then the same justification can be used for women elders, foul-mouthed pastors, sex talk from the pulpit, and the like. After all, at least SOMEONE is doing something, right? That's the justification I keep hearing, on any of these issues.

So why are you conservative and Christian? Because you say you are? But you are no different than the liberals who find no problem with women elders. Is truth optional?

Is it?

Is Truth Optional??

Then if not, having breasts fall out of skinny binkini tops isn't optional. Its SIN. You know it is. It cannot fall under Romans 14 and mere opinion, when God has clearly commanded that women ARE to dress modestly in accordance with godliness.

And please do not give me the tiresome justification of "its a maturity issue". That won't fly.

So why men (and some of you women)? Why are you so willing to ignore Truth? And why should a woman be the "spokesperson" for "tradional marriage" when it should boldly and loudly be men first? Are you getting my plea here? Where are the male LEADERS? Do you "lead" only when its safe or convenient, if at all? Is politics the ONLY THING you care about? And why do you think an "opinion" is a "bold" declaration??

And here which links to Herescope's post on this issue.

Another way to put this into focus: many professing Christians are applauding a woman's "moral stand" while showing immorality as she strutts her breasts, stomach, swings her hips, and thighs in high heels so people can judge her as the best beauty queen. Now are you seeing the hypocrisy and compartmentalizing?

Oh I get it....she's just growing like Mark Driscoll and Paul Tripp. Sin with "Christ" slapped on is ok as long as they take a social stand you agree with.

Remember how God holds those who claim Christ, to a higher standard: Ananias and Sephira were struck dead for lying. Or is that optional now also? You think HE doesn't have the same standard and works the same way today?

Your Children

Your children (Charles Spurgeon)

"Bring him unto Me!" Mark 9:19

Despairingly the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples, to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed--but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one, when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus' word, "Bring him unto Me!"

Your children are a precious gift from God--but much anxiety comes with them. They may be a great joy--or a great bitterness to their parents. They may be filled with the Spirit of God--or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one recipe for the curing of all their ills, "Bring them unto Me!"

O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf, while they are yet babes. Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it.

In the days of their youth we shall see sad tokens of that dumb and deaf spirit, which will neither pray aright, nor hear the voice of God in the soul--but Jesus still commands, "Bring them unto Me!" When they are grown up, they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God! Then, when our hearts are breaking--we should remember the great Physician's words, "Bring them unto Me!" Never must we cease to pray for them--until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless--while Jesus lives.

The Lord sometimes allows His people to be driven into a corner--that they may experimentally know how necessary He is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts--drive us to flee to the Strong One for strength--and this is a great blessing to us!

Whatever this day's need may be, let it like a strong current--bear us to the ocean of divine love! Jesus can soon remove our sorrow. He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him--while He waits to meet us!

End quote.

There is no promise of God to save our children. But we do know that He is the only one Who can. Pray for your children early on. Pray for their teen years while they are still little. Pray that He will go before you, perhaps in His mercy to cause those years to be less torrential and more peaceable, asking for His wisdom in dealing with them.

One thing parenting does: it teaches just how much we need Christ! I wouldn't know how selfish or impatient I really can be had I not been given children. But I also would not rely on Christ that much more either.

Pray for your children's salvation, that God might be pleased to save them, perhaps early in life. Preach the Gospel to them, tell them their need for forgiveness of their sins by God. Always remember, no matter how precious they are, inside they are God-haters unless He saves them. Keep the standard high at home, in line with Scripture, as much as possible. Don't compromise---its too hard to turn the clock back, to withdraw the "yes's" when there should've been more "no's". Parent with the future in view: do you want an unruly and disrespectful teen or adult? Then parent the toddler accordingly. Pro 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Never presume upon God to be obligated to save your children (because He isn't). This will keep you earnestly seeking God's grace and mercy before the Throne Room.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Discernment Naysayers

I read with relief Daniel's post on his response to Tim Challies' arrogant swipe at all Discernment Ministries. While some have taken Challies on, some took the middle road (as usual). Daniel didn't do that. Here are some excerpts:

Quote:

In his highly inflammatory post, Challies utilizes zero Scripture to support his case and through analogy with the secular world accuses watchblogs or discernment blogs as utilizing evil as entertainment, merely because such watchblogs act as watchmen in portraying the errors within the professing visible Church. The irony that Challies is, in this one post of his, doing exactly what he accuses the watchblogs as doing (portraying the errors within the professing visible Church) is seemingly lost on him...

Whether rightly or wrongly, criticism comes to all of us, and to attack the act of discernment and discernment ministries themselves because criticism occurs is utterly fallacious. In fact, since Challies is discerning the watchblogs here, why isn't this act of his done in the flesh?

The second links to New Evangelical Frank Turk's article that discernment is to be exercised within the local church. Since discernment ministries are meant to inform people of error and in so doing contributing to the Great Commission by warning the flock of possible soul-destroying error, Turk's peculiar ecclesia localis centrism logically leads to the conclusion that evangelism is to be done only within the Local Church! This is simply untenable, and therefore Turk's view of the Local Church is in error.

Last of all, it will suffice that Turk is violating his own advice since this article of his is not posted within the context of the Local Church anyway, not to mention Turk is not a pastor or elder so he has disqualified himself on his own principles!

Challies finished by basically repeating the essence of his initial post. In his own words:

But a blog that has as its bread and butter exposing error in the church, and especially error that is completely decontextualized and irrelevant to any of its readers, is a blog I think we ought to avoid. A Christian’s thoughts ought to be dominated by “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). As I said last Monday, “Do I really need to read and to know about the seedy underbelly of the church, when such things happen thousands of miles away, among people I will never meet and in places I will never be? Such news is plenty entertaining, but it is useless to me. It does nothing to further my faith or to cause me to grow in godliness.”

How does Challies know whether a person is operating a watchblog because he is concerned over others, or because he wants to destroy others or entertain others with evil? He doesn't! Also, we shouldn't confuse the motives of the writers with the motives of the readers. If people read it because they want to be entertained by evil, the blame should be placed on the reader not the sharer of information, unless it can be proven that that was the motive of the sharer in posting it also.

Challies with his view of being loving and positivity has manifests his New Evangelical convictions and has done damage to the cause of Christ, with legitimate discernment ministries de-legitimized and the enemies of the Truth emboldened....

End quote.

Stephen Macasil also offers a good critque of Tim Challies here.

My observations:

Discernment is seen as a negative gift and therefore is one of the most unwanted and unwelcomed gifts from God by those who claim Christ. Why would a Christ-follower reject God's gift?

Discernment is judged by self-proclaimed non-judgmentalists as judgmental.

Discernment is seen as unloving, but it is precisely because of God's agape that He has gifted some of His children and therefore churches, with it. It is for their protection, as the Great Shepherd of the Sheep should be doing. Likewise a true Undershepherd as well, should appreciate and utilize the Discernment gifts to help aid in the protection of his flock. (You ought to see the persecution of those who have this gift--most wouldn't be able to stand up under such furious fight from "christians"--we're the first to feel the rejection).

People who have a distain for discernment like to determine how the discernment is to operate. These people don’t have the gift themselves, but they sure want to decide how and when and with whom and what it will be used for. Isn’t that hypocritical? Discernment naysayers desire to dictated and control those with the gift, and we know what that means: SHUT UP and SHUT DOWN the gift. It is the height of pride to neglect and reject discernment, for it is a spiritual gift God gives to protect His children and to honor His Word.

Challies, Turk, and their defenders should read what GOD Says about the gifts HE gives:

1Co 12:5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
1Co 12:6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1Co 12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Co 12:11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
1Co 12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
1Co 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
1Co 12:22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
1Co 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
1Co 12:24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,
1Co 12:25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
1Co 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

The Discernment Naysayers ARE saying "I have no need of you", when GOD says, "Oh yes you do!". Why do they quarrel with their Maker? And where is the reverence of the Sovereignty of God they say they hold to?

I find it interesting that Challies denies the right, even the necessity of being “negative” for everyone but himself. This is hypocrisy. Apparently only he can determine what is useful for folks and what is not. Now, why is he the determiner of these things? Could it be that he thinks higher of himself and his influence than he ought? I say yes he does.

Rejecting God’s discernment gift is one of the reasons so many people have been captivated by Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, Paul Tripp, the Emergent Church Movement, the Seeker/Pagan Friendly movement, Eastern Mysticism, Contemplative prayers, prayer labyrinths, etc.


While Challies makes a sweeping smear of Discernment sites that actually help others obey Scripture, he himself embraces the very evil we seek to caution others about.

Challies has applauded Donald Whitney and his book on “Spiritual Disciplines”. While Challies questioned the use of Richard Foster (a New Ager), he managed to swallow the pill despite the poison and then write highly of it. In other words, Challies finds a lot he likes in the book (calling certain actions "spiritual disciplines" even if its not biblically supported, or moreover, promotes a false teacher like Foster), yet he finds little use for Discernment websites that caution against such error as New Ageism, Romanism, carnality, etc?

http://surphside.blogspot.com/search?q=Bloggers+Who+Slam+Discerment+Websites+

Challies pridefully states:

“Do I really need to read and to know about the seedy underbelly of the church, when such things happen thousands of miles away, among people I will never meet and in places I will never be? Such news is plenty entertaining, but it is useless to me. It does nothing to further my faith or to cause me to grow in godliness.”

What he ignores is that he promotes other pastors by promoting books and interviews. Moreover, influence of a church can easily occur in numerous ways: through the church’s programs, the church’s pastor’s books, conferences, Youtube, audio sermons online, cd’s, tapes, dvds, fliers, chatrooms, and links at church websites.(Doesn’t Challies hold to the “universal church” notion?)

It is the practice of carnal, dead “churches” that boast about themselves in thousands of fliers, their church’s website, and Youtube. You better believe what happens thousands of miles away very easily can affect you!


I wonder if these Discernment Naysayers would slam Paul, John the Baptist, John, Jesus, Jude, or Peter for being so negative? Are we not to follow their example as they followed Christ’s?

2 Tim. 2: 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2Tim 2: 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

2Tim. 4: 14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

3 John 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 3John 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

In essence, Challies is decrying what these men wrote. And it should be clear: these letters were circulated to multiple churches. In addition they became even more public as they were Scripture!

See the Sacred Sandwich for more examples of how today’s “evangelical Christians” Discernment Naysayers would take on the apostles or Christ Himself.

So what it comes down to is this: positive = godly, negative = fleshly. Who decided this and how do they define these things, given the "negative" statements made about specific people in Scripture? Or is it ok only if the person is dead? Do we have a new secret standard God to only a few?



Flee Temptation: don't even look upon the cause of it

"She grabbed him by his garment and said, 'Sleep with me!' But leaving his garment in her hand, he escaped and ran from the house." Genesis 39:12


In contending with certain sins, there remains no mode of victory, but by flight. He who would be safe from acts of evil--must hasten away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes--not even to look upon the cause of temptation; for such sins only need a spark to begin with--and a blaze follows in an instant!


Who would wantonly enter the leper's hut--and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He alone who desires to be leprous himself--would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.


This day I may be exposed to great peril--let me have wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me--than the jaws of a lion. I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company--but I had better leave my cloak--than lose my character! It is not needful that I should be rich--but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule--must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. I am to resist the devil--and he will flee from me. But the lusts of the flesh, I must flee--or they will surely overcome me!


~ Charles Spurgeon



1Ti 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works.


Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

God has yet to lower His standard. Have you?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Defend Prejean's Traditions But Ignore Her Near Naked Body: Is This Honoring to Christ?

Another article by a woman of course (where are the men?), on questioning the hypocrisy of Christians clamoring to Miss USA-Almost, Carrie Prejean's defense on marriage but ignore her immodesty. Cudos to Katelyn Beaty on this issue.

(Note of caution: Christianity Today isn't biblically based and I don't know Beaty's theology, but read this article and agreed with her point...so proceed at that website with much caution):

Excerpts:

Carrie Prejean might have stood up for Christian sexual ethics by skipping the Miss USA pageant altogether.

What has surprised me about the Christian media's response is a seemingly inconsistent sexual ethic at play: Celebrating Prejean as the lone voice for biblical convictions in a public square where it’s now bigoted to oppose same-sex marriage, while never questioning if a Christian woman like Prejean should be participating in the Miss USA pageant in the first place.

It doesn’t take much time on the official Miss USA website to see how much the competition is shaped by prurient interests. Unlike the rival Miss America competition, Miss USA doesn’t feature a talent category, where contestants play the piano, sing, or orate. No, the Donald Trump–owned Miss USA pageant only features evening gown, interview, and the ever-popular swimsuit category, in which contestants are judged on how “well-proportioned” their bodies are (i.e., bust and waist size) and how well they can strut in high heels on national television. Maybe some Christian women feel like the ministry opportunities that could come from winning far outweigh the troubling sexual implications of the swimsuit category. Maybe I’m na├»ve — maybe some Christians don’t see anything particularly troubling about a swimsuit competition. But I’m hard pressed to reconcile a swimsuit competition with Scripture’s wisdom about real self-worth and female beauty (Prov. 31:10–31, 1 Sam. 16:7, 1 Pet. 3:3, to name a few).

Therein lies the troubling inconsistency: Conservative Christians are willing to speak up about biblical sexual ethics in the public square when the issue is same-sex marriage, but are neglectfully silent when the issue is objectifying women’s bodies to spike TV ratings. Would Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer really have no problem with their daughter or granddaughter competing in the Miss USA pageant?

In an interview with the SBC-affiliated San Diego Christian College, where she attends, Prejean talks about the wonderful things she is already doing for Christ: serving women in the adult entertainment industry, volunteering at the local International Ministry Center to help refugees learn English, and working with a mentoring program to foster-care children. She says, “I especially have a heart for helping young girls with low self-esteem.” At this point, I would encourage Prejean to skip the beauty pageants, which set up the very standards of beauty that lead many young girls to devalue themselves, and focus on the far more lasting work she is already doing in the kingdom.

Unquote.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Christians" Again Defending Ungodliness: Touch Not The Beauty Anointed & Do The Pretty Ones No Harm

**Update at the bottom**

This is so wearisome, but it appears, yet again, that professing Christians are defending another worldly person, assuming she's a Christian. I am referring to Carrie Prejean, the woman who was runner-up for Miss USA. She answered a judge's question about her views on homosexual "marriage". She is a public woman and gave a public answer; she wants to say she lost her crown (a mere worldly "beauty" (which isn't true beauty) temporal crown) for her answer, so we should examine what she said. If the pagent judges are allowed to judge her on her answer, all the more Christians should too. Its just that our standard is to be higher than anyones: God Himself and His Word.

Her answer was:

"Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there, but that's how I was raised, and that's how I think it should be between a man and a woman."

Well there's a few problems I have with all of this, to be honest. First I don't know that she's a Christian. Taking a stand for traditional marriage does not reveal faith in Jesus Christ, because even a Mormon, a Roman Catholic, or a Jehovah's Witness or Muslim will do that.

It turns out that Carrie knew this topic was a possibility and so she should've prepared for it. If this was her preparation, that's even more scary:

FOXNews.com: Did your stomach sink when you first heard you picked Perez Hilton's question?

Carrie Prejean: I had a gut feeling. I knew he was controversial, and so was the question. Out of all the topics I studied up on, I dreaded that one, I prayed I would not be asked about gay marriage. If I had any other question, I know I would have won.
~Source

If you see what she said, it was a "truth is relative" answer. For her, because of her family traditions, she thinks marriage is between a man and a woman (it turns out her sister is in the military and is a homosexual activist, so one wonders how strong of a tradition this was and it could also be a factor in her weak answer).

Furthermore, it isn't great that in this country homosexuals can marry! How this is seen as a great freedom is unthinkable. Where's the grieving over sodomite unions as a Christian? And why defend a person who says it is?


Professing Christians need to go back and read Romans 1 again. This is serious. Homosexuality is not an optional lifestyle; its damnable according to 1Cor. 6. Its not something we ignore as Christians; its something we confront. Same with modesty. Modesty isn't an option. If we claim Jesus Christ as our Lord, we are to conduct ourselves in that way, which includes how we dress. I'm afraid the bar has been so lowered that it doesn't cause discomfort for people to see what's going on around us, in HIS name even. Its one thing for the world to strutt around men and women in a bikini with breasts hanging out. That's bad enough. But for Christians to do that, and then other Christians to DEFEND them, is absolutely incredible and disheartening. Romans 14 and 1Cor. 8.


1Ti 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works.

In this day and age when everyone claims to be a "Christian" when there is no fruit or proclaimation, or worse, when there is false teaching and bad fruit shown, we need to more, now than ever, test all things and that includes all people and all claims, to see if they are from God.
As Christians, we aren't called to be gullible. We are to be discerning. We are to test. We are to challenge. When a majority of "Christians" deny the Holy Spirit is a "living entity" or that Satan is real but merely a symbol of evil, we've got a LOT of confronting and challenging, and then preaching to do....within the churches and our familes.

I know the risks of standing up for truth. I know what its like to be persecuted by unbelievers as well as professing believers. When you know the Truth is being attacked, you don't back down. Unless you don't really believe it, or fear man, or want a crown or a promotion.


Prejean had time to prepare for her answer on this question. Her answer was man-centered and was Post-Modern, making herself and her family, the determiner of her view. She did not go back to the Bible. She left is as merely her opinion, what's good for her family. But the issue is always what God says. This would've been a perfect time to proclaim God's righteousness. If Prejean is a Christian (and we don't know that), then what is her motive for being in the beauty pagent? Was it as a Christian? If it was, she failed. Christ wasn't brought into at all. Folks, she's NOT being persecuted for Christ. It could've been a Mormon who gave her answer and she would've lost.


As usual, my problem has yet again, more to do with the defenders of Prejean than even Prejean herself. Why are Christians so quick to accept anyone who says "traditional marriage" (not even "Lord, Lord", but let's include that also), yet denouce those who know and love Jesus Christ and the Truth? Why slap on HIS name to anyone who says anything remotely conservative (that didn't happen here as it was offered as optional) and then cry "hands off!" when such a person is challenged and not believed? Are you a Christian because you say you are? Or because you really are? Are the standards so low that we will take everyone's word they are a Christian, when they don't walk in the Light nor profess Him?


Can we be overly critical of Christians? Pink answers this:

"Is it possible to be too critical of Christians (?) nowadays?" Why the qualifying "nowadays"? Has God lowered His standard—to meet these evil times? Is it permissible or expedient for me to compromise because the present generation is so lax and carnal? Do not the days in which our lot is cast, call for a clearer drawing of the line between the Church and the world? If so, should not this help to determine my conduct toward the individual?


We are mindful that large numbers hold the view that God requires less from people in degenerate times—but we know of nothing in His Word which supports them. Rather are such days the very time when the Christian most needs to show his colors, when shallowness and hollowness marks the religious profession all around, there is greater urgency for us to make manifest the reality that we are "strangers and pilgrims" in this scene. The Scriptures are just as much the Rule—and the sole rule for us to walk by—as they were for our more godly forebears. In the Day to come, we shall be judged by them as truly as they will be. It is never right to do wrong—nor to condone wrong.


John, the apostle of love, began his third epistle with these words, "The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the Truth." What a needed word is this for today, when so much that passes for love, even in avowedly Christian circles, is nothing but a sickly sentimentality at the expense of the Truth. One of the outstanding cries in the religious world, is to this effect— "though we have differed in our beliefs and practices, let us now sink our differences and come together in love." When I was the pastor of a church in Sydney, I was regarded as a narrow-minded bigot, because on what Rome calls "good Friday" I refused to take part in an "ecumenical Communion service," where Fundamentalists, Liberals, Unitarians, and Evolutionists were invited to gather together, and thereby express "brotherly love" for one another. What a travesty and mockery! The wisdom which is from above is "first pure, then peaceable" (James 3:17). The more I am walking in the Truth and the more my brother is doing the same—the more cause have we to love one another.

If pride and haughtiness are to be reprehended; then mock humility or even an undue occupation with our own frailty and faultiness, is not to be commended. If we must wait until we are blameless, then there are many precepts of Scripture we cannot act upon. If we must tarry until our own character and conduct be faultless, then we are disqualified from rebuking anybody. We greatly fear that many have created their own difficulty or deterrent through a wrongful appropriation of those words "he who is without sin—let him first cast a stone" (John 8:7). How often have we heard professing Christians say, when it had become their manifest duty to admonish another, "Who am I—to cast stones at others?" It should be remembered, that John 8:7 was not spoken to conscientious saints, jealous of the honor of the Lord, anxious to promote the good of others—but to hypocritical pharisees, who were deliberately seeking to ensnare Christ.

Hence the force of "bearing with one another in love" (Eph 4:2); yet that must not be twisted into "winking at one another's faults" or condoning sin—under the pretense of love.


No, we cannot "always tell" whether a professing Christian is a regenerate or unregenerate person, and therefore it behooves us to be cautious and conservative, lest we be guilty of giving that which is holy—unto dogs (Matt 7:6). It is a very serious and solemn matter to encourage a deluded soul in his deception, as we do when we lead him to believe that we regard him as a Christian. But how is this to be avoided? By a withholding the tokens of fellowship; for example, refusing to address as "Brother" or "Sister" —from all whom we stand in doubt of, especially from those whose walk is manifestly worldly and contrary to the precepts of Scripture. While we cannot read the hearts of those we mix with—we can test their outward life by the Word, and if its general tenor is opposed to the requirements of holiness, and is contrary to the example of Christ—we certainly are not warranted in regarding them as children of God.


Unquote.


We are to reserve the right hand of fellowship to those we believe really are Christians, and there must be profession and fruit, as I said. To label worldiness (immodesty, foul-mouth, x-rated links on "Christian" websites) with the holy name of Jesus Christ is abominable!


A.W. Tozer once correctly stated (and you can insert "conservative" for "prophet" and see the same thing):


"Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God… This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit.

Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality.“Try the spirits” is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church (1 John 4:1). We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world (Tozer On The Holy Spirit, August 3).

Slice of Laodicea's article has a good response as well.

**Update**

Prejean spoke at all five services at her church (the pastor didn't know her prior to meeting up in NY after the pagent) and they are calling it "No Compromise: Standing Firm On Your Faith". When I turned on the live video feed, the pastor was praising God for the support she has received from the "gay community" even though they differ in their "opinions". Prejean keeps referring to her answer as her "opinion". Again, truth is lowered to mere opinion and THIS IS THE PROBLEM I HAVE HAD. Heterosexuality vs. homosexuality isn't a matter of opinion, but of absolute TRUTH found alone in Scripture.

Miss USA: That Was No Stand She Took

"Public defenders of biblical morality should actually wear clothes while doing it.The tolerance of nudity and immodesty in the world is of little surprise... That God’s people see nothing wrong with a woman professing Christ while standing nearly naked before the likes of Perez Hilton for his judgment on her “beauty” demonstrates how far down we have sunk."

~Slice of Laodicea

It is striking how this young "Christian" woman sees homosexuality as optional, but for her "personally" she "thinks" its not an option, but hey, thank GOD everyone can choose!??? This is no Christian stand and her loosing the contest wasn't because she is a "Christian"! She denied Him when she stood there and proclaimed same sex unions as an option but just not for her. God says its NOT an option for anyone at any time and to disobey HIM in this is to be earning Hell (See Romans 1:22-32; 1Cor.6:9; 1Tim.1:9-11). Her view was the world's view, NOT God's view.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Without The Holy Spirit All "Christian" Efforts Are But A Waste

This was sent to me this week by a friend.

A.W. PINK ON THE HOLY SPIRIT & THE CHRISTIAN WORKER


In the great majority of cases, professing Christians are too puffed up by a sense of what they suppose they are doing for God, to earnestly study what God has promised to do for and in His people. They are so occupied with their fleshly efforts to "win souls for Christ" that they feel not their own deep need of the Spirit’s anointing. The leaders of "Christian" (?) enterprise are so concerned in multiplying "Christian workers" that quantity, not quality, is the main consideration. How few today recognize that if the number of "missionaries" on the foreign field were increased twenty-fold the next year, that that, of itself, would not ensure the genuine salvation of one additional heathen? Even though every new missionary were "sound in the faith" and preached only "the Truth," that would not add one iota of spiritual power to the missionary forces, without the Holy Spirit’s unction and blessing! The same principle holds good everywhere. If the orthodox seminaries and the much-advertised Bible institutes turned out 100 times more men than they are now doing, the churches would not be one bit better off than they are, unless God vouchsafed a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. In like manner, no Sunday School is strengthened by the mere multiplication of its teachers.

O my readers, face the solemn fact that the greatest lack of all in Christendom today is the absence of the Holy Spirit’s power and blessing. Review the activities of the past 30 years. Millions of dollars have been freely devoted to the support of professed Christian enterprises. Bible institutes and schools have turned out "trained workers" by the thousands. Bible conferences have sprung up on every side like mushrooms. Countless booklets and tracts have been printed and circulated. Time and labors have been given by an almost incalculable number of "personal workers." And with what results? Has the standard of personal piety advanced? Are the churches less worldly? Are their members more Christ-like in their daily walk? Is there more godliness in the home? Are the children more obedient and respectful? Is the Sabbath Day being increasingly sanctified and kept holy? Has the standard of honesty in business been raised?"


Those blest with any spiritual discernment can return but one answer to the above questions. In spite of all the huge sums of money that have been spent, in spite of all the labors which has been put forth, in spite of all the new workers that have been added to the old ones, the spirituality of Christendom is at a far lower ebb today than it was 30 years ago. Numbers of professing Christians have increased, fleshly activities have multiplied, but spiritual power has waned. Why? Because there is a grieved and quenched Spirit in our midst. While His blessing is withheld there can be no improvement. What is needed today is for the saints to get down on their faces before God, cry unto Him in the name of Christ to so work again, that what has grieved His Spirit may be put away, and the channel of blessing once more be opened.

Until the Holy Spirit is again given His rightful place in our hearts, thoughts, and activities, there can be no improvement. Until it be recognized that we are entirely dependent upon His operations for all spiritual blessing, the root of the trouble cannot be reached. Until it be recognized that it is "‘Not by might, (of trained workers), nor by power (of intellectual argument or persuasive appeal), but by MY SPIRIT,’ saith the Lord" (Zech. 4:6), there will be no deliverance from that fleshly zeal which is not according to knowledge, and which is now paralyzing Christendom. Until the Holy Spirit is honored, sought, and counted upon, the present spiritual drought must continue. May it please our gracious God to give the writer messages and prepare the hearts of our readers to receive that which will be to His glory, the furtherance of His cause upon earth, and the good of His dear people. Brethren, pray for us.

A.W. Pink (1886-1952)

He Who Eats The Grapes of Sodom

Standing in stark opposition to today's popular "evangelical" "pastors" :

He who eats the grapes of Sodom (Charles Spurgeon)

"As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins." Numbers 6:4

Nazirites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat either fresh or dried grapes. They were, in fact, to avoid even the appearance of evil.

Surely this is a lesson to the Lord's separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form; to avoid not merely its grosser shapes--but even the appearance of evil. Strict walking is much despised in these days--but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and the happiest course. He who yields a point or two to the world--is in fearful peril. He who eats the grapes of Sodom--will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah!

A little crevice in a large dyke may soon break open--so that a whole town is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins.

Doubtful things--we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us!

Tempting things--we must not dally with--but flee from them with haste!

Careful walking may involve much self-denial--but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And You Look To Driscoll For Wisdom?

Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

This is the man so many pastors and leaders and public figures claim they fave fellowship with and can learn from (italics are my own subtitles, the rest of the text are direct from Cathy Mickle's document; emphasis is mine):


Driscoll repeatedly has found the things in Scripture as hilarious entertainment, not serious holy things:

In Genesis 3 ” According to Mark, this is where all "good comedy begins."”

Driscoll sets the stage for more mocking of Scripture by describing the Old Testament as "a redneck hillbilly comedy." He finds humor in Jacob, Aaron, Moses, Job, Jeremiah, and Noah. For example, he undermines the seriousness of the messages of Jeremiah, a prophet of God, by describing him as someone "who cries like a newly crowned beauty queen all the time." He laughs at Noah for getting drunk and ending up naked in his tent, and then compares him to "some redneck on vacation." Why would Driscoll find amusement or pleasure in seeing Noah's dignity reduced or undermined?

Similarly, why would Driscoll compare a story in Scripture to a Monty Python skit and even elaborate on what he describes as the "scatological humor" or "poopy comedy" he sees in Ezekiel 4?

Without shame, he turns the issue of circumcision found in Galatians 5 into a crude "cut off your pickle joke."


For those who would be alarmed by this cavalier handling of God and His Word, Mark also has an arrogant, cocky response. He says, "...religious people are too serious.....judgmental....they're such a joke."

Also, unlike all the biblical scholars who have gone before Mark Driscoll, he comes up with another name than the one given in Scripture to describe the Holy Spirit. In his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev, he thanks "God the Ghost" for helping him write his book. In another part of the book, Driscoll just shortens it to "Ghost."

This pastor (remember, they MUST be mature, above reproach, able to teach, teaching Scripture AS WRITTEN, self-controlled) MOCKS Christ Jesus the Lord:

Mocking and poking fun at Jesus and his family, Mark writes, ".....everytime they (the religious leaders) see Jesus, it agitates them that he is always surrounded by a crowd telling knock-knock jokes to miscreants who love his sense of humor because his perfection had to have included comedic timing."

In other communications Mark refers to the King of Kings as "a dude" and uses word pictures depicting Him as "a prize-fighter with a tattoo down his leg..." In Driscoll's human attempt to make Jesus relevant, he turns the spotless lamb into a blemished lamb tarnished with the markings of the streets of Seattle. (The Radical Reformission, pg. 30.)

In the words of Christ to Nicodemus, Jesus said, "You must be born again. " But without shame, Driscoll recklessly destroys the words of God and their intended meaning for the title of his new book called, PORN-AGAIN Christian. The cover on the book is also meant to shock.

Who would tamper with the Words of Light and then use them as an introduction to a discussion on the perverted world of pornography and masturbation? For sure, the enemies of Christ take pleasure in any seed planted that undermines a respect and reverence for God and His word.

Mark had fun with the question whether or not Jesus went "potty." In response, according to Driscoll, "...yes, Jesus went number one and number two," but he did it "perfectly....never got the toilet all wet." What was the congregation’s response? They laughed.

He gives sexual insinuations with Jesus:

For instance, in Driscoll's book, The Radical Reformission, he insinuates a perverted homosexual idea regarding Christ. In Chris Rock style, Driscoll states he had to learn "to love Jesus without feeling like we had a thinly veiled homosexual relationship." On another page, he paints a similar dishonorable thought saying one of his former pastors taught him "to have a relationship with Jesus that did not feel like he was my lifelong prom date." (The Radical Reformission, pg. 14-15).

Other reckless descriptions about the life of Christ surface in Mark's book stating that by the time Jesus was thirty years old He was "a classic underachiever with no wife, kids, stable career or even much of a home."

Jesus as a bartender and promotion of hanging out at bars, drinking beer, and talking theology:

Then he plants a less than honest idea about the ministry and character of Christ saying, "....God came to earth and he kicks things off as a bartender...." This inaccurate description of Jesus the bartender feeds into other controversial aspects of this ministry, which includes Driscoll's promotion of men gathering in bars to drink beer and talk theology. (The Radical Reformission, pg.30.)

Jesus as a dude, heterosexual, and ultimate fighter

In a Christianity Today article titled, "A Jesus for Real Men," Driscoll is quoted as saying that "real men" avoid the church because it projects a "Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ." However, according to Driscoll, "real men" - like Jesus, Paul, and John the Baptists- are "dudes: heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes." The article states this is the sort of Christ men are drawn to- what Driscoll calls "Ultimate Fighting Jesus." http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/april/27.48.html

~Source

So what could you possibly find beneficial from such absolute dung? And WHY would you bother to go there?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Steve Camp Back Peddals On Mark Driscoll

"The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted.""Pure Christianity, instead of being shaped by its culture, actually stands in sharp opposition to it." -A.W. Tozer

What an utter shame that the righteous fall before the wicked. Compromise because of friendship with a man who is impure before man and God, without a clean conscience, is truly disloyal to Christ.

I saw a recent post at Steve Camp's website on how bloggers should be careful when criticizing Christians and to be cautious with the words we use, etc. Last night I figured out why he posted that. He sadly did a back flip with regard to Mark Driscoll and took full blame for all he said in the past regarding to Driscoll's horrific language and treatment of Scripture. Instead, while saying he believes pastors are to be careful with their language, declared himself to have been the one in sin. So now he's going to try to give wisdom those who refuse to cave to such raunchy behavior because he has a new friend in the putrid-mouthed man, Mark Driscoll. I lost respect for Steve and it grieves me deeply. In fact I was very upset last night and then again this morning when I woke up to get ready for church.

A friend of mine rightly said to me today in an email as she pondered his turn around: " Did he take heat? So what. Sometimes doing the right thing takes great strength and IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! Why do we always look back instead of forward?"

Why indeed? Are we not to count everything loss for the sake of gaining Christ? Does HE not demand purity? Why is it so hard for so many Reformers (Driscoll says he's a reformer) to reject a false teacher entirely instead of hanging on to the fleshly corpse of false brother?

Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.

Jud 1:10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

Jud 1:12 These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; Jud 1:13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Jud 1:16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Many will say "Lord Lord did we not perform miracles in your name...." Did Jesus say, "Well, I know your heart and meant to do good" and let them into Heaven? "Well I realize no one has perfect doctrine or behavior, so that's ok, come on in"? NO! He said:

Mat 7:17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. Mat 7:18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

Its almost like so many professing Christians, even Reformers, deny this passage. They can't see that such men are in their own camp (this is pride).While looking down at Arminians who often say, "love the sinner, hate the sin", they love the false teacher, but just hate his false teaching. They cannot bear to reject a man entirely (unless its a Charismatic nut or a pre-mill Christian--hence the hypocrisy), just the bits they disagree with. But God calls us to a higher standard.

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Where do they think false prophets come from? They come from their own churches. 1John 2:19 describes this as well. They were never true believers, but yet Christians will continue to call them "brother" and slap the name of Christ Jesus onto a dead, decaying, rotting corpse and rejoice in that!

Mar 7:20 And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him.
Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."

Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." (1Co 15:33)

It seems to me, the more tolerant people become of men like Driscoll, Piper, Tripp, etc., the more they will accept them and their corruption. There's a reason God said do NOT BE DECEIVED: BAD COMPANY RUINS GOOD MORALS. This truly dishonors the Lord. Just read 2 Cor. 6. One CAN be deceived into thinking that hanging with foul-mouthed and brazen fleshly men won't change them, but Scripture says IT SURELY WILL.

3John 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,


In verse 2, the word "insincerity" is hupokrisis, which means hypocrit. "Seared" is kauterizao, which menas to brand as with a hot iron. A seared steak is not soft on the outside anymore. Nor is a seared conscience. Its a type of hardening. One with a seared conscience is a hypocrit and speaks lies and will continue to do so, while claiming Christ Jesus, because they are hardened to the Truth. They do NOT have a clear conscience before God and man.

And where these men are oh-so-tolerant of a disqualified pastor, they are quite INtolerant of those with discernment, exposing the deeds of darkness.

How much do you REALLY believe HIS Word? If you defend Driscoll, then you don't really believe what HE said, and you too, are deceived and your conscience is being seared.

Agape love does not rejoice in evil, but with the TRUTH.

"I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear professors pleading that they may do this, and do that--that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, "Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your cravings show how rotten your hearts are. If you are hungering after such dogs food--go dogs, and eat the garbage! "– Spurgeon

**Update**

As a reminder I'd like to repost to Slice's article from January 2009 which reflects the heart of what I'm saying.

Cathy Mickles offers insight:

I am astonished that evangelical pastors would highlight a pastor not only known for his crudeness and careless handling of Scripture, but a pastor who also credits foul-mouthed comedian Chris Rock with teaching him how to preach,” stated Cathy Mickels, former Washington state president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum and co-author of Spiritual Junk Food: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth.

In response to those who will claim Driscoll is doctrinally sound, Mickels states, “Since when is it doctrinally sound to refer to Jesus as some ‘dude’ who tells ‘knock-knock jokes’?” Since when does Biblical doctrine tolerate the description of the Old Testament as ‘a red-neck hillbilly comedy’ containing mocking comments about Noah and Jeremiah?”

Quoting from Driscoll’s book, Confessions of a Reformission Rev, Mickels states, “It also appears Mark Driscoll discovered early on that talking about sex could help him build his church. In fact, Driscoll wrote, ‘I assumed the students and singles were all pretty horney, so I went out on a limb… Each week I extolled the virtues of marriage, …oral sex, sacred stripping and sex outdoors…This helped us a lot because apparently a pastor using words like penis and oral sex is unusual, and before you could say aluminum pole in the bedroom, attendance began to climb steadily to more than two hundred people a week.’”

“It is just as puzzling,” observes Mickels, “why a pastor, who warns young men about the dangers of pornography, admits to frequenting a barbershop Driscoll describes as ‘providing the finest selection of waiting area pornography in our city.’”

Mickels concludes, “Instead of a pastor spiritually lifting up the Body of Christ to a higher standard, Mark Driscoll is dragging the Church through the gutter. Is it any wonder we are losing spiritual ground in this country?”

End quote.

Then Slice rightly comments:

Mark Driscoll should be shunned by decent people everywhere. There are Mormons and certainly Muslims who have more of a sense of decency and propriety in sexual matters than he does. There is a filthiness about this man that evokes a strong desire for a disinfecting bath after watching him. This is not the spirit of Christ. It is the spirit of the age.

Equally guilty are the pathetic, sniggering, middle-aged pastors who refuse to rebuke him, but rather see him as a doctrinally orthodox Sexpert for the young, who, as we know, must discuss every bodily function, fluid, and sexual detail in vivid color in order to be “real”. What we really have is a nation of vulgarians, both inside the church and out. What does Scripture say? Don’t fornicate, don’t commit adultery, keep your mind pure, honor your marriage vows. Absolutely none of the prurient detail explored by Driscoll is necessary. None of it. But Mark Driscoll enjoys his role as Sexpert. It gets him attention, you see. There is no other explanation for it. And it’s time we turned our back, collectively, on such exhibitionist behavior.

Unquote.

Absolutely women! You are both right on.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

John MacArthur on "Why Every Calvinist Should Be A Pre-Millenialist"

John MacArthur on "Why Every Calvinist Should Be A Pre-Millenialist"

Audio and Transcript

Excerpts:

Did not God fill Scripture with end time prophecies? Some say that nearly one-fourth of Scripture relates to the prophecies of the end. Did God in this significant volume of revelation somehow muddle His words so hopelessly that the high ground for theologians is simply to recognize the muddle and abandon any thought of the perspicuity of Scripture with regard to eschatology? Is in fact working hard to understand prophetic passages needless and impossible because they require a spiritualized or allegorized set of interpretations that says the truth is somehow hidden behind the normal meaning of the words so any idea of what it might mean is as good as any other idea of what it might mean since it doesn’t mean what it says?

O. T. Allis, writing in Prophecy and the Church, a well-known Amillennialist writes, “The Old Testament prophecies, if literally interpreted, cannot be regarded as having been yet fulfilled or being capable of fulfillment in the present age.” That was a problem for him.

Floyd Hamilton in The Basis of the Millennial Faith said, “Now we must frankly admit that a literal interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies gives us just such a picture of an earthly reign of the Messiah as the Premillennialist pictures.”

So to protect some kind of preconception it is necessary to change the rules of interpretation. Now if we’re going to change those rules, I think we need a word from God. We better have a word from God because He cares that we get it right.

I don’t think God wants us to change the rules of interpretation when we go to Genesis 1 to 3. I don’t think God is pleased when we come up with progressive creationism, theistic evolution or any kind of day-age view of Genesis 1 to 3. I think God is exalted as the Creator in the full glory of His creative power when we take Genesis 1 to 3 at face value. There is no other way to take it because there is nothing in the text that gives you any kind of mandate to indicate that this is something other than specific, literal, normal, factual language. Really you can’t even justify calling it poetry because that doesn’t work.

We don’t want anybody tampering with the beginning. Why are we so tolerant of people tampering with the end? And why, when we don’t want to arbitrarily allow somebody to introduce their own hermeneutics to Genesis 1 to 3, are we content to allow people to introduce their own hermeneutics into prophetic passages throughout the Bible and particularly in the Book of Revelation? Where is the divine mandate on the pages of the Bible to do this? What passage is it in? What verse? Where is it? And who decides then the new rules for engagement?

.... The irony is that those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election regarding the Church and its inviolable place in God’s purpose from predestination to glorification and those who most aggressively and militantly defend the truth of promise and fulfillment, those who are the advocates of election being divine, unilateral, unconditional and irrevocable by nature for the Church, unashamedly deny the same for elect Israel. That is a strange division. As it does, the perpetuity of the elect Church to salvation glory so the Scripture in similar language and by promises from the same God, affirms the perpetuity of ethnic Israel to a future salvation of a generation of Jews that will fulfill all divine promises given to them by God. In both cases this is the work of and the result of divine, sovereign election.

Let’s leave Amillennialism for the Arminians. It’s perfect. It’s ideal. It’s a no-brainer. God elects nobody and preserves nobody. Perfect. Arminians make great Amillennialists. It’s consistent....

Let’s leave Amillennialism to the Charismatics and the semi-Pelagians and other sorts who go in and out of salvation willy-nilly; it makes sense for their theology. Sure, Israel sinned, became apostate, killed the Son of God. That’s it. You’re out. Forfeits everything. Church gets it all if they can do better than Israel. So far doesn’t look real hopeful.

But for those who get it, for those of us who get it, that God is sovereign and listen, and He is the only one who can determine who will be saved and when they will be saved, and He is the only one who can save them, Amillennialism makes no sense because it basically says Israel, on their own, forfeited all the promises. Do you think, on their own, they could’ve done something to guarantee they’d receive them? What kind of theology is that? That’s Arminian theology. You think Israel lost their place in God’s economy because they didn’t, on their own, do what they were supposed to? When you look at the idea of election in the Bible, the great reality, you only have four specifics-- specific persons that are mentioned in regard to being elect. The Holy angels are elect.

1 Timothy 5:21, “the elect angels.” Christ is elect, Psalm--Isaiah 42, I should say, and 1 Peter 2:6. Christ is elect and those elections are forever, are they not? And there are only two people elections in Scripture; Israel an eschatological group of ethnic Israelites that will constitute the future nation who will receive the promises of God, and the Church. There’s no reason in the Bible to mingle the two; or because the Church is elect, therefore, cancel Israel’s election. Isaiah 45:4 calls Israel “My elect.” God says, “For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called thee by thy name.” Isaiah 65:9 again, speaking of Israel, “My elect” and that they will inherit the promise. Isaiah 65:22, the same thing, “My elect.” God has repeated it a number of times--those are just a few--that Israel is God’s elect.

The Bible calls God “The God of Israel” over 200 times. The God of Israel. There are over 2000 references to Israel in Scripture. Not one of them means anything but Israel. Not one of them, including Romans 9:6 and Galatians 6:16, which are the only two passages that Amillennialists go to, to try to convince us that that cancels out the other 2000. There is no difficulty in interpreting those as simply meaning Jews who were believers, the Israel of God. Israel always means Israel; it never means anything but Israel. Seventy-three New Testament uses of Israel always mean Israel. It should be noted that Jews still exist today. That’s interesting, isn’t it? You ever met a Hittite? How ‘bout an Amorite, a Hivite, or a Jebusite? Anybody know any of those folks? How ‘bout an Agagite? Do you know that the Israeli Immigrant Bureau in the land of Israel requires DNA tests where Jewish ancestry is questioned, and they know what Jewish DNA looks like?

I’m confident that God did not reveal prophetic truth is such detail to hide or obscure the truth, but to reveal it for our blessing, our motivation and ultimately His glory. Return the sovereignty of God in election to its rightful place and, therefore, return the nation Israel to its rightful place in God’s purpose, and all eschatology will unfold with magnificent beauty and with the normal hermeneutic, and you can take every passage and when it’s saying something that’s very clear like “the desert will blossom like a rose,” that’s exactly what it means. And if you tell me it doesn’t mean that, then I’m done talking to you because you don’t have any further revelation.

Is the Old Testament Amillennial? Is that a fair question? Is the Old Testament Amillennial? Now a note here please. It is not legitimate to interpret the Old Testament as secondary to the New Testament as primary. Okay? That’s not legitimate. Otherwise, the Old Testament was literally darkness, not light. If you say that the Old Testament cannot be rightly interpreted apart from the New Testament, then you have denied the perspicuity of the Old Testament, and as Walt Kaiser puts it, “Now you have a canon within a canon”. The question must be answered: Does the Old Testament itself propound an Amillennial view? You cannot remove the Old Testament from having a true interpretation on its own and make Old Testament promises relate to the Church, which is by Paul’s own statement, a mystery unknown in the past. You cannot, therefore, make the Old Testament unintelligible and irrelevant to the reader. But the idea that the New Testament is the starting point for understanding the Old Testament is exactly where Amillennialism comes from, reading it back into the Old Testament; and, of course, you damage the perspicuity or the clarity of the sensibility of the Old Testament in and of itself; and it leads, I think, to an even more grand kind of spiritualizing that goes beyond just prophetic texts and gives license to spiritualize all kinds of things and read New Testament Christianity and New Testament Christian principles back into those texts in the Old Testament where they do not belong.

All the curses promised to Israel for disobedience to God came true literally on Israel, and now all of a sudden we are supposed to split all those passages that give blessing and cursing and say all the blessings that were promised to Israel aren’t coming to Israel; they are coming to the Church instead? Where is the textual justification for such a split interpretation? And wouldn’t you think that whatever way the curses were fulfilled would set the standard for whatever way the blessings would be fulfilled?

So when God gave unilateral, unconditional, as primary cause, sovereign, gracious promises to an elect people guaranteed by divine faithfulness to be fulfilled like all His salvation work by divine power, and when God says such covenant promises are irrevocable, we cannot without impunity and guilt for any seemingly convenient idea or assumption say these are void. Why? You say, well, what about Israel’s apostasy? Doesn’t that cancel the promises? Doesn’t Israel’s apostasy cancel the promises? Do you understand that the New Covenant promises given in Jeremiah and Ezekiel were given to Israel at the time when they were under divine judgment for apostasy? They weren’t given to them when all was well and they were living and flourishing in obedience to God. They were so apostate they were out of their land, and then the covenant was given to them and God was saying, “Don’t get the idea that what’s going on by way of apostasy changes my promises.”

Was Jesus an Amillennialist? This matters. Right? Was Jesus an Amillennialist? Turn to Acts 1. Acts 1...For forty days He talked about the kingdom of God. This is His moment. If Jesus is an Amill, this is where He has to tell them. Their apostasy--that’s a given. Their rejection of the Messiah--that’s a given. The execution of the Messiah--that’s a given. This is the perfect place for Jesus to launch Amillennialism. Go down to verse 6, “So when they had come together, they were asking Him saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’” Now, what do you think He said? “Where did you get such a stupid idea? Where did you ever come up with that concept? Haven’t you been listening for forty days?” “I’m an Amillennialist.” “What a bizarre thought--that I am going to restore the kingdom to Israel!” “You don’t listen.” This is it. If Jesus is Amill, this is His moment! He’s got to say, “No, the Church is the new Israel.” Forty days of instruction on the kingdom, and they knew one thing for sure, the kingdom for Israel was still coming. And all they wanted to know was, what’s the question? WHEN? That’s all. And He said to them, “It’s not for you to know the times or seasons.” You can’t know timing. He didn’t say “Wait, wait, wait, there isn’t going to be a kingdom.” He said, “It’s not for you to know times and seasons”. By the way, “…which the Father has”—what?—“fixed by His own authority.There’s that sovereign election again. It’s sovereign. They knew that. “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom?” They knew that it was a divine work to do it. This is a perfect opportunity for Jesus to straighten things out. Dig a little into the text, verse 7, “which the Father has fixed.” Tithemi: set, appointed. I love this. “Fixed” is in the aorist middle—“fixed for Himself.” Fixed for Himself. It’s about His glory. Right? It’s about His exaltation. It’s about the whole world finally seeing paradise regained....It’s about the glory of God and the honor of Jesus Christ. And God the Father has fixed for Himself that time by His own authority. It is singular, unilateral. There is no other way to understand it. There’s no replacement theology in the theology of Jesus! There’s no supercessionism. This is a movement to establish that there is no earthly kingdom for Israel. That is absolutely foreign to the Old Testament and completely foreign to the New Testament.

Does Peter cancel the covenant? What does he say? “You are the sons of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed,’ For you first, God raised up His servant, Christ, sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” And He will do that; you’re still the sons of the covenant. Perfect opportunity to cancel those promises. ...

Look at Romans 3, verse 1, “…what advantage has the Jew? Or what benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all…they were entrusted with the oracles of God. What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?! May it never be!” And this is where Paul should have said, “Absolutely! Absolutely it nullifies the promise of God! Unquestionably it nullifies the promise of God!” Doesn’t say that....

And then, perhaps most notably ... Romans 11. And I don’t need to go into this—you know it very, very well. Romans 11:26, “…all Israel will be saved.” How can you interpret that? One way! You tell me that’s not Israel?! Where in the text does it say it’s not Israel? I would understand if it said, “And God has cancelled His promises to Israel.” But it says all Israel will be saved just as it is written “The Deliverer will come from Zion, will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Yes, they are enemies at the present time, but that is for the sake of the Gentiles. Verse 29, “…the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” And now we’re back to where we started, right? Look, if it depended on them to obey on their own, was it was impossible from the start. Only the one who made the promise can enable the obedience that is connected to the fulfillment of the promise. ...

I suggest for your reading Israel and the Church by Ronald Diprose. We should have some in the bookstore. It first appeared in Italian. It was a Ph.D. dissertation. It has no connection to traditional Dispensationalism. It’s a really, really fine work on replacement theology. It shows the effect of this idea as forming the Church of the Dark Ages, explaining how the Church went from the New Testament concept of the Church to the sacerdotal, sacramental institutional system of the Dark Ages that we know as Roman Catholicism. Diprose lays much of that at the feet of replacement theology that rises out of Augustine and the few before him, Origen and Justin. Where did the Church ever come up with altars? There is no altar in the New Testament.... Replacement theology justifies bringing in all the trappings of Judaism.