Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Alaskan Cruise and The Character of God

The Alaskan Cruise has been nothing short of spectacular so far. The seas have been calm; the Bible studies rich; the dialogue honest and profitable; the fellowship authentic; the debates enlightening; and the food... unbelievable! (I'm going to have to swim a few extra miles this week just to keep my weight loss goals on target – 28lbs in the past eight weeks—yeah baby!)

We are currently docked in Ketchikan, Alaska - a beautiful ocean side city with a Rockwell charm all its own. It is the Salmon capital of the world and has a quaint Internet cafe that I am blogging from just a few yards from the ship. I will be blogging now each day that we port.

I wanted to begin today by including some brief thoughts on the character of God. During the debate on board ship yesterday between Dr. James Renihan and Dr. James White had with Dr. Marcus Borg and Dr. John Dominic Crossan on theme of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (BTW, both Renihan and White were brilliant), the emphasis quickly shifted focus to the issues of the character of God in Christ and the sufficiency and veracity of God's Word. For more details of the debate click here

I must say before commenting more about this that on a personal note I am enjoying immensely getting to know the Borgs and Crossans (their wives are with them as well). They are absolutely delightful people: witty, affable, pleasant, good-humored and charming. They do consider themselves to be Christians which was surprising for they deny unashamedly the bodily resurrection of Christ; His vicarious substitutionary atonement for sin on the cross; His miracles; His sinless life; His virgin birth; depravity and sin; heaven and hell; and the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture. In saying that, they are genuinely devout humanitarians; and the burdens they express for their fellow man are commendable but only as they relate to the "here and now." For eternally, they are unprofitable (Isaiah 64:6). By their own denial of the above "essentials of the faith" it is unavoidably clear that their theological convictions stem from unregeneration—and therefore, what I believe we are seeing are two very gifted men intellectually under God's common grace who are trying to reconcile the claims of biblical Christianity absent of regeneration in Christ. As you know, this is an effort in futility (1 Cor. 2:11ff).

The biblical differences and concerns I have for them are profound and the cavern that separates us on the most basic elements of the gospel is enormous. And therefore, my sincere prayer for them is that the eyes of their heart would be opened to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation—embracing the His gospel of grace through faith alone. May I ask you to pray for these dear people that God would grant them saving faith; for it would be no greater joy than to see them born-again and to have them as our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Now, in response to the above I would like to share some brief thoughts with you on the character of God (with a lengthier unfolding to be posted tomorrow). Grace and peace to you all…

2 Cor. 3:5

From the 107 THESES:
1. All our works, both musical and written, must produce a high view of God-with our chief aim being to glorify God and worship Him forever. (Job 40:6-41:34; Psalm 29:1-2; Jeremiah 9: 23-24)

2. This means we are to represent God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in the fullness of Trinitarian character and attributes revealed through the Scriptures. (Romans 11:33-36; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Revelation 5:12)

3. This is paramount-for it brings glory to God to reverence Him in the totality of His worth and works. It elicits holiness and obedience in the life of the believer. (Psalm 96:9; 103)

4. Even in God's redemptive plan for man… salvation never begins with man and his need but with God and His glory. And no one ever lives greater than his or her view of God. (Ephesians 1:3-14; Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 1:7)

5. Whether, then, [we] eat or drink, or whatever [we] do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

6. We fail to glorify Him when we praise the servant through awards and accolades rather than exalt the Master. "I was but a pen in God's hand and what praise is due a pen?" (Baxter) God will not share His glory with another. (Psalm 115:1; Isaiah 42:8)

7. We fail to glorify Him when we speak of God out of our own vain imaginings or recreate Him in our own image; instead of honoring Him by how He has revealed Himself through His holy Word. (Psalm 50:21; 1 Corinthians 2:13-16)

8. We fail to glorify Him when we make money a prerequisite for ministry; some to their own destruction teach that godliness is a means to financial gain. "Freely you have received; freely give." (Matthew 6:24-34, 10:8-10; Acts 3:6, 20:33; 1 Timothy 6:5)

9. We fail to glorify Him when we publicly honor Him with our lips, but privately have hearts that are far from Him. (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9)

10. God cannot be glorified where sin is pacified; and He cannot be extolled where sin is entertained. To live in and tolerate unrepentant sin is to write Ichabod across the doorpost of our lives and industry-"the glory of God has departed." (1 Samuel 4:21-22; 1 Corinthians 5:1-8)

11. We fail to glorify Him when pride struts like Nebuchadnezzar across the Babylonian palace of our accomplishments thinking our own hand has made us, our own hand has delivered us, our own hand has provided for us, our own hand has promoted us and our own hand has saved us. (Daniel 4:28-37; James 4:6)

12. We fail to glorify Him when we strive to please men rather than to please God. (Galatians 1:10: 1 Thessalonians 2:4)

13. We fail to glorify Him when we speak and sing of the benefits of the gospel, but fail to proclaim the Gospel itself. (Matthew 4:17, 7:13-27, 9:13, 16:24-26; Luke 14:26-33; John 1:12-13; Acts 20:27; Romans 3-5, 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 2:2, 9:16; 2 Corinthians 4:5, 7:10; Galatians 1:6-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 2: 9-18; 1 John 2:22-23, 4:1-4, 5:1-3)

The Awesome, Knowable God
How are we to know what a right view of God is? Who is to make the determination and how can we trust it when made? What standard do we apply? What measuring rod do we hold up as the plumb line to evaluate the personhood of the Creator of all things? Who is arrogant enough to say, "I know the mind of the Almighty." "I understand with absolute certainty the fullness of His character and attributes. Let me tell you about His ways, His acts, and explain Him to you."

We know, first of all, that the existence of God can be seen from His creation. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

But we only come to really know Him-His character and attributes-through one source alone: the Scriptures! The Bible is God's autobiography. It is the divine disclosure of the self-revelation of who He is and His redemptive plan for fallen man. Because He is God we don't have the right to redefine Him on our own terms.

Romans 16:25-27 "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen."

Romans 15:4 "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

1 Tim. 6:3-4 "If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing;"

If you desire to know Him, to worship Him, to walk with Him, to love Him, to serve Him, to pray to Him, to fellowship with Him, to commune with Him, to adore Him, and to obey Him, you must come to His Word. We are not slaves to our instincts. We are responsible.

Because HE is holy, His anger burns against sin.

Because HE is righteous, His judgments fall on those who rebel against Him.

Because HE is faithful, the solemn threatenings of His Word are being fulfilled.

Because HE is omnipotent, no problem can master Him, no enemy can defeat Him, and no purpose of His can be withstood.

Because HE is who He is and what He is that we now behold what we do - the gathering clouds of the storm of Divine wrath, which will shortly, burst upon the earth.

Because HE is almighty He is one who speaks and it is done, who commands and it stands fast. He is the One with whom "all things are possible" and "who works all things after the counsel of His own will."

Such is the God of the Bible, the God who throws out the challenge, "To whom then will ye liken God, or what likeness will ye compare unto Him?" (Isaiah 40:18). And as though that were not enough, in the same chapter He asks again, "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power, not one faileth...Hast thou not known? has thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" (Isaiah 40:25,26,28).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

J-Mac on Larry King Live
...a stellar performance; "ECBers" - pay attention

The big Mac-attack was on last evening. John gave a brilliant interview with the king of softball interviews... Larry King. Sitting next to existential guru Deepak Chopra, John was in true form. He was thoroughly biblical, spot on target on the issue, knew the debate at hand, was gracious, and didn't play politics with the truth. He was acting like a well-informed, biblically equipped, uncompromising Christian leader; and I am grateful to the Lord for him.

In a time where most evangelical leaders love to hear themselves spout theological dribble, think they're a player in world politics, and offer gospel-lite just to sell a few more copies of their latest tome, John MacArthur stands head and shoulders above the fray. They all should take a lesson on John's unwavering dedication to the veracity of Scripture and yet his ability to process the issues of the day through the lens of God's Word. It's called having a "biblical world-view;" and John isn't apologetic for it. He doesn't flirt with Romanism; lobby his person to Congressional meetings; promote political remedies for moral maladies; or bow the knee at the pragmatic altar of postmodernism. John is not driven by purpose... but lives only to please the Master. This is why I have said for years that John is the finest Bible expositor in the world. And it is not because he is the most eloquent, winsome or relatable of preachers; but because he actually believes the Bible to be true in all its representations and never reduces the Lord and His gospel to an infomercial just to further his own name, career, radio show or writings. He exemplifies Paul's charge to young Timothy:

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim. 4:1-5).

A few key quotes from last nights show that left them wondering between commercial breaks how to spell “erudite”:

"KING: How, John MacArthur, do you react to intelligent design as opposed to creationism, as Dr. Richards separates them?

MACARTHUR: Well, I think intelligent design is the only possible scientific position to hold, because we have intelligence in the universe. It has to come from intelligence, because we have complexity, it has to come from complexity.

The silver bullet, Larry, is DNA. Before our understanding of DNA, there was a lot of confusion and a lot of belief in evolution. It was like the emperor's new clothes. It was really naked but thought it was dressed up. DNA has, I think, spelled the end of traditional naturalistic evolution, which essentially says complexity comes out of simplicity. It can't happen. The silver bullet is not a single example of reproduction leading to an increased amount of genetic material necessary to produce a more complex organism has ever happened.

KING: As someone who learned (ph) in religion, though, you can't prove Adam and Eve, can you?

MACARTHUR: I don't think you can prove Adam and Eve, except that you know somebody was there to begin.

KING: So you believe it? You believe it?

MACARTHUR: Well, we're talking about two different things. Intelligent design is the only rational way to view the universe. Somebody intelligent made it. Religion answers who that intelligence is.

KING: Does it ponder you who made the intelligence, who created the creator?

MACARTHUR: I accept the Bible as the source, the authoritative source that tells me it was God, and something or someone has to be eternal, and the Bible says it is God who is the eternal one. "

KING: Yes. Just one second. John MacArthur, do you want Adam and Eve, taught in the public school?

MACARTHUR: I don't particularly care whether Adam and Eve is taught in a public school, because I'm not sure that the person teaching it or mandated to teach it would be able to teach it correctly or with conviction. And I don't believe that public education is to be a forum for teaching Biblical Christianity, but I do believe that individual teachers who teach in science or in any other discipline that integrates with science must admit the fact that evolution is a poor explanation for the scientific data. When it comes to origin, nobody was there. We can't reproduce it. It's not repeatable. So it's a faith base, even an evolutionist is putting faith in the eternality of matter or some natural element. It's all faith at that particular point. We choose to believe in the God who has revealed himself in scripture and his account of creation.

KING: Do you want to impose it in our schools, John?

MACARTHUR: No, I just want to say that the Bible defines and describes creation. God created the entire universe in six 24-hour days.

CHOPRA: In mythological terms.

MACARTHUR: It's not in mythological anything.

KING: What place does the Bible have in a public cool?

CHOPRA: As good as any mythology.

MACARTHUR: In a public school intended to teach education to young people, I don't expect the Bible to be taught there. This is the role of the church. This is the role of Christians to do this.

KING: Isn't that what the debate is about?

MACARTHUR: No, because if you look at science, you see intelligence. Why are the evolutionists so panicked over the fact that someone might teach that behind creation, is intelligence? Why is that so frightening to them?

This is so good, isn't it? We're having more fun than reformed believers should be allowed to!!! (You've got to read the entire transcript--it is very enlightening and entertaining.)

Thank you John for not selling out to the times and for being a lucid voice about the faith which so many evangelical leaders have abandoned to only fill the void with political, seeker-friendly, human potentiality, and positive-thinking speak. Well done… You may read the entire transcript here..

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mulligan Mondays
...sometimes you just need another swing at the ball

Today's Mulligan Monday (sorry I'm a day late, but well worth the wait) goes to no other than Pat Robertson of the 700 Club. As most of you know by now, brother Pat brings a new meaning to evangelical co-belligerence by suggesting that American agents assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat... here we go again. In October 2003, he suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear device. He has also said that feminism encourages women to "kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." While feminism remains an unattractive thing for Christians, he demonstrates the art of over the top disconnected sinful traits by political social ideology.

Chavez is a bad apple... but assassination? Here is Pat's brilliant biblical analysis of the situation: "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with." Despite the fact that Chavez has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush, accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him... for an evangelical leader to want to "put him on ice" by some covert military action is, how shall we say, unloving? Yes… unloving.

A just war is permissible biblically... however, murder is not. God doesn’t "delight in the death of the wicked." And "thou shalt not kill" has to mean something here. God is sovereign and in control of all world powers and their leadership. Chavez has no occupied seat of command apart from God allowing it.

This is a prime example when an untrained man biblically has the microphone and his comments are attributed then to all of us as evangelicals. Pat, next time you “feel the need” to speak on political issues to the media... don't. You have no authority on these issues whatsoever and you're insights are less than profitable. Stick to the Word of God and please stop commenting on things that make you and the church cringe with embarrassment. Even Limbaugh today couldn't bring himself to address this issue for fear of being identified by the liberal press with Robertson. El Rushbo is wise.

So here is the mulligan tip for Pat today: Walk the course... You get to see the real layout of the fairways and greens when you're "with the people" and not perched a top the millions you made off the body of Christ by selling a “TV ministry” to the world. Think before speaking; and remember... no one has elected you to anything. So stop pretending that we have and try to stay focused on what is important. The gospel...

"Shooting" from the carpet,
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mulligan Monday - Justice Sunday 2
...the cross waves lower than the flag

No long commentary needed today folks. The ECBoys gave the "politically driven life" seminar last night in Nashville, TN at Two Rivers Baptist Church. Grandstanding was the mode of the hour with the Word of God playing second fiddle to "Hill" concerns. This is the expected fruit when Christians playing political advocates allow their passion for combating "judiciary activism" to eclipse the message of God's sovereign authority over the affairs of government and men. Was there prayer offered for those in governing authority (1 Tim. 2:1-4)--no. Was there biblical instruction on this issue and how the church should respond (1 Peter 2:11-17)--no. Was there the presentation of the gospel at the conclusion of the broadcast to repent and come to Christ (Phil. 3:1-10)--no. It was God bless the USA--not "when will the USA bless God?"

Politics is a good vocation for most of these that participated last evening--for faithfulness to the gospel means carrying a cross; but faithfulness to politics means the ability to compromise. And that is what they've become good at; and that is what exactly took place.

Pastor Jerry Sutton of the host church Two Rivers did have some clever and effective quips last evening about liberals and liberalism. One very witty technique he employed was coming up with a series of "short phrase one-liners"—sound bites if you please—answering the sound bites of liberal campaigns and ideology that they have launched as an attack against conservatism. In that spirit, here are a few short one-liners that didn't get shared last evening that I would like to dedicate to "our ecumenical JS2 friends" as a gentle reminder of their duty as Christians: preach the Word; contend for the faith; pray for those in authority; worship the living God; affirm the supremacy and sovereignty of God in government; proclaim the gospel of sola fide; it's the biblical worldview..."stupid;" Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:11-17; Jeremiah 29:4-9; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; and 1 Corinthians 2:2.

Mulligans in generous supply for years to come (I'm afraid) are in order for our JS2 evangelical friends. But wait; usually you only get one mulligan each nine holes? OK, they've used up their share as of today.

There’s a famous saying in golf: “You drive for show, but putt for dough.” Translation: style over substance never wins the day. We only hope and pray that those associated with JS2 would learn it’s not about the rally; it’s about faithfulness to His gospel.

Learning to read the break of the greens…
Grace and peace,
1 Peter 4:15

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Trent Compared with the Scriptures
...Justice Sunday 2 and ECB's flirt with Romanism

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (Jeremiah 29:4-7).

Justice Sunday 2 is taking place this coming Lord's Day at Two Rivers Baptist Church, Nashville, TN at 6pm. This is an ecumenical political rally supplanting the worship of God and the preaching of His Word to discuss the important and "eternal weighty issue" of... judicial activism. Tony Perkins from the FRC said today in his "Take Action Alert" when commenting about JS2, "Justice Sunday II will feature a host of great speakers, including Dr. James Dobson, Sen. Zell Miller, Rep. Tom DeLay, Chuck Colson, Bishop Henry Jackson, Phyllis Schlafly, and others, all discussing judicial activism and how we can stop it. It will be broadcast live in churches across the nation and carried live on hundreds of radio and Christian TV stations, and via live webcast. Millions of Americans will have access to Justice Sunday II and learn how to counter judicial activism, which is responsible for court rulings establishing abortion as a Constitutional "right," eliminating religious displays from public spaces, promoting homosexuality and same- sex "marriage," and much more. Then, after the broadcast, the event will be available to millions more via DVD in our "Save the Court Kits" to be sent to churches and individuals. Each kit has the potential to reach and mobilize thousands of families." In addition to the fact that this lacks biblical precedent, it is unheard of that a Baptist church is allowing a Romanist (Bill Donahue, of the Catholic League) who denies the very gospel of sola fide, the authority of sola scriptura, the exclusivity of solus Christus, and the sufficiency of sola gratia to share the pulpit this Sunday evening. Welcoming an "angel of light" to the platform of a SBC church for political strategery to battle a run-a-way judiciary in confronting moral decline is foreign from the biblical record. So what does this mean beloved?

It means that the enemy of our souls is very subtle indeed; and though he may not find immediate access to our churches through unsound doctrine and a false gospel, he has cleverly bewitched those who are putting on JS2 to allow unity on temporal matters, giving many the illusion that doctrine, truth and the gospel really can be amputated from our biblical duty to government; and that causality rather than principial theological claims is now all the common ground needed to become unequally yoked in the culture wars. I wonder what Ridley and Latimer would say having given their lives at the stake for not succumbing to the threats of Bloody Mary and her hellish Romanism. Here is a brief account of their heavenly courage:

"When Henry the Eighth of England died, he left three heirs: his son Edward and his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward succeeded to the throne and was a staunch Protestant (or at least his advisors were). Under his rule, the church services, previously in Latin, were translated into English, and other changes were made. When Edward died, the throne passed to his sister Mary, who was firmly Roman Catholic in her beliefs. She determined to return England to union with the Pope. With more diplomacy, she might have succeeded. But she was headstrong and would take no advice. Her mother had been Spanish, and she determined to marry the heir to the throne of Spain, not realizing how much her people (of all religious persuasions) feared that this would make England a province of the Spanish Empire. She insisted that the best way to deal with heresy was to burn as many heretics as possible. (It is worth noting that her husband was opposed to this.) In the course of a five-year reign, she lost all the English holdings on the continent of Europe, she lost the affection of her people, and she lost any chance of a peaceful religious settlement in England. Of the nearly three hundred persons burned by her orders, the most famous are the Oxford Martyrs, commemorated today.

Hugh Latimer was famous as a preacher. He was Bishop of Worcester (pronounced WOOS-ter) in the time of King Henry, but resigned in protest against the King's refusal to allow the Protestant reforms that Latimer desired. Latimer's sermons speak little of doctrine; he preferred to urge men to upright living and devoutness in prayer. But when Mary came to the throne, he was arrested, tried for heresy, and burned together with his friend Nicholas Ridley. His last words at the stake are well known: "Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust by God's grace shall never be put out." (the stone cross above marks the spot at Oxford where they were martyred).

Nicholas Ridley became an adherent of the Protestant cause while a student at Cambridge. He was a friend of Archbishop Cranmer and became private chaplain first to Cranmer and then to King Henry. Under the reign of Edward, he became bishop of Rochester, and was part of the committee that drew up the first English Book of Common Prayer. When Mary came to the throne, he was arrested, tried, and burned with Latimer at Oxford on 16 October 1555."

The New Perspective of Paul, Open Theism and Brian McLaren's Postmodern Emergence are three of the most deadly heresies to come on Christianity in years. But they pale in comparison with the impact and inroads that the political movement championed by Dobson, Colson, Mohler, Land and Parsley are now leading. Why? Though the nature of those other heresies are more profound, they have not captured the hearts and minds of the populace. They are gravely damaging, no question, but they remainly mostly a concern among church leaders and those in theological academic circles; they haven't yet made significant inroads with the average lay person. That doesn't minimize their leavened condition, but the average churchgoer is not even aware of those issues. But, the political movement among evangelicals has captured the hearts and minds of millions of Christians across our land, virtually dumbing-down an entire evangelical/protestant church, rendering them as obtuse and biblically moronic to what the Word of God says about the church's role in these matters. This has been done at the silencing of the gospel, not adhering to the authority of Scripture, and distorting the role of the church in a pagan society. Collective action without clear biblical foundation has and will continue to marginalize the gospel among the very ones who love its truth. Patriotism does not equal biblical Christianity. America is not Israel; we are not a theocracy; and these men, though popular and well meaning, are not acting in accordance with Scripture and must repent of these skewed methods to try and produce cultural change and the preservation of morality and family values absent of regeneration through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The simple fact, that these ecumenical evangelicals have adopted an ECT strategery and find no prick of conscience in partnering with one of Rome's defenders in an SBC church on the Lord's Day, to which they have purposely designed to make, worship, the preaching of the Word, prayer, the fellowship of the saints, and the heralding of the gospel secondary to political issues is catastrophically profound. Read the following and see if you think that biblical Christianity has any affiliation with Satan's greatest accomplishment on earth--the Roman Church. Then pray that these brothers would repent of their sin (acting outside the authority of Scripture and for depleting the body of Christ of literally millions of dollars to support their cultural causes that could have been used by the local church for genuine ministry) and come back to sola scriptura in all that they do for the Lord. If Latimer and Ridley could speak from the grave they would undoubtedly say to these ECB brothers, "Play the man..."

The Council of Trent was a Catholic council held from 1545-1563 in an attempt to destroy the progress of the Protestant Reformation. This council denied every Reformation doctrine, including Scripture alone and grace alone. Trent hurled 125 anathemas (eternal damnation) against Bible-believing Christians. These proclamations and anathemas were fleshed out in the murderous persecutions vented upon Bible-believing Christians by Rome, and the solemn fact is that the Council of Trent has never been annulled.


"If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts [the 66 books of the Bible plus 12 apocryphal books, being two of Paralipomenon, two of Esdras, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Sophonias, two of Macabees], as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA."

Scripture says:
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" -2 Timothy 3:16-17.

"Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" -Jude 3.

"But know this first of all, that (N)no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" -2 Peter 1:20-21.


SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: "If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).

Scripture says:
"because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law" -Romans 3:20-29

SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: "If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24).

Scripture says:
"For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT" -Romans 4:2-8.

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" -2 Corinthians 5:21

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" -Romans 5:1

Explanatory Note: (We are not justified by an infused righteousness that we obtain via papal authority applying merit from "The Treasury of Merit" imputed to us from Mary, the saints, the Pope himself or through indulgences, so that we can be freed from Purgatory cleansing for sins we committed. Justification is a forensic, legal declaration secured soley by Christ alone on the cross as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins. But even more importantly, being justified through Jesus Christ our Lord is being clothed with the perfect of righteousness of Christ through faith. Christ on the cross was treated as if He lived my life-my sin was imputed to Him though He is holy... sinless; so that I could be treated as if I lived His life-His righteousness imputed to me, though I am a sinner and by nature a child of wrath worthy only to spend eternity in an everlasting hell (Ephesians 2:1-3). My own righteousness, even religious good works, and all "graces" obtained under papal decree, are nothing but filthy rags before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Faith is the instrument by which this becomes a reality--and even that faith is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9.)

SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: "If anyone says that the Catholic doctrine of justification as set forth by the holy council in the present decree, derogates in some respect from the glory of God or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, and does not rather illustrate the truth of our faith and no less the glory of God and of Christ Jesus, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 33).

Scripture says:
"I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! -Galatians 1:6-9

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS' -Matthew 7:21-24

"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away" -Isaiah 64:6

"for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith" -Philippians 3:3-9

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM: "If anyone says that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on Baptism, Canon 3).

Scripture says:
"and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions" -Colossians 2:11-13

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM: "If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on Baptism, Canon 5).

Scripture says:
"who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--)not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him" -1 Peter 3:20-22

Explanatory Note: (The fluid has no saving power nor does the act of being baptized. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone; it is not of works lest any man should boast. If baptism was necessary for salvation and a sacramental means of grace as Trent claims, why does the Apostle John say that the Lord baptized no one (cf, John 4:1-2)? And the same was said of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:14-16. Furthermore Paul lucidly says, "Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void." If baptism is part of the gospel by Rome's canon, why does the Apostle Paul definitivly claim the exact opposite under divine inspiration?Listen, no ordinance or sacrament of any church, Pope or council can add one thing to the once for all sacrifice and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ the Righteous for our salvation.)

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM: "If anyone says that children, because they have not the act of believing, are not after having received baptism to be numbered among the faithful, and that for this reason are to be rebaptized when they have reached the years of discretion; or that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be baptized in the faith of the Church alone, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on Baptism, Canon 13).

Scripture says:
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified." Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" -Acts 2:36-38

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" -Romans 6:4

"If anyone says that the confirmation of those baptized is an empty ceremony and not a true and proper sacrament; or that of old it was nothing more than a sort of instruction, whereby those approaching adolescence gave an account of their faith to the Church, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on Confirmation, Canon 1).

Scripture says:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight" -Ephesians 1:3-8

"If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ, but says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 1).

Scripture says:
"While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins -Matthew 26:26-28

Explanatory Note: (This was only a symbol--not our Lord's literal body.)

"If anyone says that Christ received in the Eucharist is received spiritually only and not also sacramentally and really, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 8).

Scripture says:
"In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. -1 Corinthians 11:25-30

Explanatory Note: (It is received as an outward symbol only of the finished work of Christ on the cross. The bread and wine have no inherent power in themselves and do not become the literal body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This would suggest that the Lord's sacrifice on the cross was not sufficient and that a continual "bloody" sacrifice through the mass is necessary for salvation; making communion a work.)

FOURTEENTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: "If anyone says that in the Catholic Church penance is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ the Lord for reconciling the faithful of God as often as they fall into sin after baptism, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 1).

Scripture says:
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" -Titus 3:11-13

"I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death" -2 Corinthians 7:9-10

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" -Romans 5:8-11

Explanatory Note: (It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, God's gift of repentance, and His daily sanctifying grace in our lives that conforms us to Christlikeness. There is no other sacrifice or penance needed for our sins--it was all accomplished in Christ alone. All of our sins, their guilt and penalty, and the wrath of God which burns against us and our sin was completely satisfied in the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and secured by His bodily resurrection from the dead. There is no other penance needed or required by God. To suggest otherwise is to say that Christ's sacrificial work is not enough, "it is finished" as our Lord cried from Calvary is a lie, it turns the grace of God into lasciviousness and perverts the gospel of grace of our Lord. That is nothing less than a hellish, satanic deception.)

"If anyone denies that sacramental confession was instituted by divine law or is necessary to salvation; or says that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Catholic Church has always observed from the beginning and still observes, is at variance with the institution and command of Christ and is a human contrivance, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 7).

Scripture says:
"Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" -Hebrews 2:17

"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" -Hebrews 4:15

"By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" -Hebrews 10:10-14

Explanatory Note: (We have been thoroughly and completely sanctified, made holy and set apart from this world unto eternal life by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He alone is our only priest, our High Priest, not like the unholy, fallible, sinful priests of earth. We are complete in Christ alone.)

"If anyone says that the confession of all sins as it is observed in the Church is impossible and is a human tradition to be abolished by pious people; or that each and all of the faithful of Christ or either sex are not bound thereto once a year in accordance with the constitution of the great Lateran Council, and that for this reason the faithful of Christ are to be persuaded not to confess during Lent, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 8).

Scripture says:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" -1 John 1:9

"How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which He [Jesus Christ the Lord] was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?" -Hebrews 10:29

Explanatory Note: (Confess means "to agree with." When we confess our sins to the Lord, we are agreeing with Him that what we have done is sin, sin against Him, and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. No Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, or Parish Priest can forgive sin, issue absolution, or cleanse our sinful unclean heart.)

"If anyone says that God always pardons the whole penalty together with the guilt and that the satisfaction of penitents is nothing else than the faith by which they perceive that Christ has satisfied for them, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 8).

Scripture says:
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men" -Romans 5:12-18

"If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God; or that to be offered is nothing else than that Christ is given to us to eat, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 1).

Scripture says:
"For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God" -Romans 6:10

"who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself" -Hebrews 7:27

"and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" -Hebrews 9:12

"By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" -Hebrews 10:10

"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit" -1 Peter 3:18

"If anyone says that the sacrifice of the mass is one only of praise and thanksgiving; or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a propitiatory one; or that it profits him only who receives, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 3).

Scripture says:
"whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed" -Romans 3:25

"Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" -Hebrews 2:17

"and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" -1 John 2:2

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" -1 John 4:10

"If anyone says that it is a deception to celebrate masses in honor of the saints and in order to obtain their intercession with God, as the Church intends, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 5).

Scripture says:
"and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" -Romans 8:27

"Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" -Hebrews 7:25

Explanatory Note: (Only One intercedes for us: Jesus Christ the Righteous. It is not Mary, the Saints, the Pope, or the Church. Why? It takes a perfect High Priest in heaven to intercede for us. Christ alone is worthy makes that intercession for He alone is seated at the right hand of the throne of God--the place of rule and authority.)

"If anyone says that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood, or that there is no power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord and of forgiving and retaining sins, but only the office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel; or that those who do not preach are not priests at all, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 1).

Scripture says:
"Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" -! Peter 5:1-4

"If anyone says that the bishops who are chosen by the authority of the Roman pontiff are not true and legitimate bishops, but merely human deception, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 8).

Scripture says:
"It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. These men must also first be tested -1 Timothy 3:1, 10a

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" -2 Timothy 2:1-2

"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" -2 Timothy 4:1-5

"Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has, following the sacred writings and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, taught in sacred councils and very recently in this ecumenical council that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and chiefly by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar, the holy council commands the bishops that they strive diligently to the end that the sound doctrine of purgatory, transmitted by the Fathers and sacred councils, be believed and maintained by the faithful of Christ, and be everywhere taught and preached."

Scripture says:
"it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" -Hebrews 9:27

"The holy council commands all bishops and others who hold the office of teaching and have charge of the cura animarum, that in accordance with the usage of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, received from the primitive times of the Christian religion, and with the unanimous teaching of the holy Fathers and the decrees of sacred councils, they above all instruct the faithful diligently in matters relating to intercession and invocation of the saints, the veneration of relics, and the legitimate use of images, teaching them that the saints who reign together with Christ offer up their prayers to God for men, that it is good and beneficial suppliantly to invoke them and to have recourse to their prayers, assistance and support in order to obtain favors from God through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who alone is our redeemer and savior; and that they think impiously who deny that the saints who enjoy eternal happiness in heaven are to be invoked, or who assert that they do not pray for men, or that our invocation of them to pray for each of us individually is idolatry, or that it is opposed to the word of God and inconsistent with the honor of the one mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ, or that it is foolish to pray vocally or mentally to those who reign in heaven."

Scripture says:
"who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us" -Romans 8:34

"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" -1 Timothy 2:5

(Highlights of Trent compiled by David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061 - Scripture applications compiled by Steve Camp; additional notes by Steve Camp

Thursday, August 04, 2005


I have added one additional rule of engagement per some emails that were sent to me asking for clarification. Here is the additional rule:

6. All posts must be in the form of an actual comment, not as a link. "Links" posted as comments that redirect people away from the discussion of an issue from this blog is unacceptable and will be deleted immediately.

In other words, if you have something to say, just say it... all comments are welcomed and encouraged. Here is the exception: if there is a news article, a theological paper, etc. posted at another blog or actual website that assists in helping to clarify a point being made in a particular discussion, that 's one thing. But a comment "only in the form of a link" is unacceptable.

Thank you all in advance. Keep on with "guns a blazing!"

Grace and peace,
Jude 3