Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ashley Smith's Unusual "METH"ods

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about here? She gave a very troubled man a drug that calmed him down and aided in his capture. From what I gather, she wasn’t “using” at the time and was in rehab. And it looks as if a combination of the drug, Rick’s book, her gentle manner had an effect on this man that led to his capture. Needless to say, the Lord still protected her and countless others from harm’s way by bringing this murderer to justice.

I wasn't even going to post on this, but two things came to mind worth mentioning: 1. That people would somehow use this to discredit the providential hand of the Lord in this situation; and 2. Those who already don’t like Rick Warren’s PDL material, will use this recent news to once again poke fun at him and the book.

First off, I am not a fan of Rick’s material. Though I believe there are some helpful things in PDL that are biblical and worthy of our time. But the reasons I wouldn't publicly endorse it center around (a.) the core pragmatic emphasis absent of biblical foundation that permeate his writings; (b.) the very weak gospel presentation (if there was one at all) presented in PDL; and (c.) the proof-texting, ad-nauseam, using primarily "stream of consciousness opinion-phrase" like The Message (it was like a Logos Bible Software search on the word "purpose" overheated, then exploded and all the "purpose" words from twenty different bible versions had landed neatly in this book and then carelessly applied to support the PDL concepts whether those verses meant those things or not) remain major issues in his book for me that I would like to hear him address.

Secondly, God's hand of protection was very evident here, wasn't it? Nichols had killed several people, without just cause, hours earlier without hesitation. He didn't with Ashley; and he didn't harm her in any manner even before she gave him some Meth. Let's not be quick to discredit God's sovereign hand at work here.

Thirdly, what can we take away from this? Smith and Nichols still need our prayers, the gospel and discipleship. The eternal is what is important here not the latest gossip or pillow talk for the blogosphere to circulate. May we pray that the Lord brings in both their paths some godly, biblical Christians to share the gospel with them (if they haven't yet come to Christ) and to encourage them in the Word of God. As for Mr. Nichols personally, we can rejoice he is behind bars, that others have been spared the tragedy of his murderous actions, and that justice will prevail.

In conclusion, as for the Meth… illegal drugs are wrong and hot chocolate would have been a much better choice to produce the desired effect; but the Meth seem to work just fine. People have asked, "if it was you in that situation, Steve, what would you have done?" I can tell you: if possible, I would have reached for my Beretta, called 911, and ministered the gospel to him. If he tried to hurt me or my family in any way, I would have trusted the Lord that my aim was straight and the clip was full... and then "ministered to him" in a different manner.

Then, and only then, I would have made some hot chocolate.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"Eggs" Benedict Serves Up Indulgences to Youth
still heretical after all these years

I've heard that Wittenberg Beer might have had some influence in Benedict's life as a youth growing up in Germany. I think the name of the beer was "Papal-Bull-Weiser." You know the slogan: when you've said "pay Papal-Bull-Weiser, you've freed them all." However, I have it on very good authority that the Pope's most favorite pop song that he likes to sing around the Vatican late at night when he thinks that all the other little "Romie Homies" are quietly asleep is: "B-B-B-Bennedicty and the Tetz."

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Germany on August the 18th last month to address more than 400 000 young people at the 20th World Youth Day meeting. This marked his first visit to the country of his birth since he was crowned pontiff back in April of this year. What also makes this trip "out of the ordinary", is that he granted two special indulgences for the young people attending the World Youth Day (held in Cologne, Germany August 16-21). As you might be aware, the practice of indulgences dates back to the time of the Reformation (1517). “Eggs” Benedict (my nickname for Romanism's conservative antichrist figure) is showing his true papal colors these days by reviving authority in the apocryphal teachings of Tridentine doctrines (such as the selling of indulgences - but in this unusual case the indulgences weren't sold, but he makes them earn them and then he grants them) which he unashamedly represents as infallible truth; but in reality are nothing but damnable lies. The “yoke” – you might say– is on him.

Who is John Tetzel?
John Tetzel, was Pope Leo X emissary; a braggart hired as Rome’s chief fundraiser by promising a “get out of jail free card” for the price of a financial offering to the Pope. He was ordered to sell the idea that buying indulgences would release sinners from divine punishment. "Indulgences" were printed permits or coupons listing the monetary value of a personal confession of sin. Bishop Albrecht of Mainz had authorized the sale of indulgences in order to pay Rome for making him an archbishop. The monies raised were used to assist in building St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. This became known as the selling of indulgences. Tetzel was the great mouthpiece, commissioner, and preacher of indulgences in Germany. His preaching raised enormous amounts of money which were sent to Rome. He had a very clever saying that he was infamous for when motivating people with the false promise of avoiding purgatorial punishment, playing with fear on the sentiments of many that by giving to him and Rome their friends and loved ones would be immediately released from torment to heaven's glory. He would "sing": "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs."

Luther, who was outraged by this abhorrent practice issued a public call for theological debate on the sale of indulgences by posting his ninety-five theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on the eve of All Saint’s Day, October 31, 1517. He strategically trumped, by one day, Tetzel's influence over the people by challenging his unbiblical view of indulgences in a public forum. Printers distributed copies without Luther’s knowledge and permission. Within a few weeks, Martin Luther was known everywhere as the "voice of renewal." He began to see clearly that the church of his time stressed human merit—works righteousness, rather than trust in God alone for the salvation of men’s souls. It is no wonder that Luther and the other reformers gospel cry became: grace alone-sola gratia; through faith alone-sola fide; on the Word alone-sola Scriptura; because of Christ alone-solus Christus; to the glory of God alone-Soli Deo Gloria.

"Monking" Around
"This indulgence was highly respected. When the commissioner was welcomed to town, the Papal Bull (a written command or edict from the Pope) was carried on velvet or gold cloth. All the priests, monks, councilmen, teachers, pupils, men, women, maids, and children went to meet him singing in solemn procession with flags and candles. The bells tolled and when he entered the church the organ played. A red Cross was put up in the middle of the church to which the Pope's banner was affixed. In short: even God himself could not have been welcomed and received more beautifully.” [Source: Friedrich Myconius, Historia reformation is, p. 14.]

Turnabout is Fair Play
“After Tetzel had received a substantial amount of money at Leipzig, a nobleman asked him if it were possible to receive a letter of indulgence for a future sin. Tetzel quickly answered in the affirmative, insisting, however, that the payment had to made at once. This the nobleman did, receiving thereupon letter and seal from Tetzel. When Tetzel left Leipzig the nobleman attacked him along the way, gave him a thorough beating, and sent him back empty-handed to Leipzig with the comment that this was the future sin which he had in mind. Duke George at first was quite furious about this incident, but when he heard the whole story he let it go without punishing the nobleman.” [Source: Luthers Schriften, herausg. von Walch. XV, 446.]

Here’s the Issue in a Nutshell: History Repeats Itself
According to a Latin-language decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary dated August 2 and made public August 8, a plenary indulgence is available to the faithful who attend the sacred functions of World Youth Day and also "attentively and religiously" participate in its solemn conclusion on Sunday, August 21. The decree lists the additional conditions that must be fulfilled in order to gain this or any other plenary indulgence: sacramental Confession, reception of Holy Communion, prayer for the intention of the Holy Father, and a soul free from attachment to any sin.

A partial indulgence is available to all the other faithful,
wherever they may be during World Youth Day, if, with a contrite heart, they pray
fervently that Christian youth be strengthened in the profession of the Faith;

be confirmed in love and reverence toward their parents; and

form a firm resolution to follow "the holy norms of the Gospel and Mother
Church" in living out their present or future family life, or whatever
vocation they are called to by God.

This brief explanation below taken from Rome’s own "Primer on Indulgences" and will give you their justifying reason for this hellish practice.

Primer on Indulgences of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Those who claim that indulgences are no longer part of Church teaching have the admirable desire to distance themselves from abuses that occurred around the time of the Protestant Reformation. They also want to remove stumbling blocks that prevent non-Catholics from taking a positive view of the Church. As admirable as these motives are, the claim that indulgences are not part of Church teaching today is false.

This is proved by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states, "An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishment due for their sins." The Church does this not just to aid Christians, "but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity" (CCC 1478).

Indulgences are part of the Church’s infallible teaching. This means that no Catholic is at liberty to disbelieve in them. The Council of Trent stated that it "condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them"(Trent, session 25, Decree on Indulgences). Trent’s anathema places indulgences in the realm of infallibly defined teaching.”

This is the sad reality of the current state of Romanism. Is there any doubt that this is a false church, led by a false shepherd, representing a false gospel, according to false doctrine. The Reformation did actually happen folks... but in light of the above, we need to still be "pounding on Wittenberg's Door."

Having more fun than a Reformed Baptist should be allowed to...
Stephanus Johan Campius
Galatians 1:6-8

Monday, September 19, 2005

Waking Up in Perdition
...a tragic end to John Paul II's loving humanitarianism

Today's Mulligan Monday goes to the dear Roman Catholic men and women who have heard the genuine gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ from a Christian friend, family member or neighbor, and responded in repentance of sin to salvation by God's grace gif of saving faith to them. But who may still be attending Romanist churches. This could be out of ignorance, family ties, tradition, peer-pressure, personal friendships/relationships, etc. they still remain in a Roman Catholic church for a season. I have many former Romanist friends who all, without exception, have told me that when they met the Lord, they had to leave the Roman church and its false teachings eventually--and there was a bit of uncertainty about making that decision because they didn't know where to begin to look for a new church. So let us remember to pray for those caught in that scenario and encourage them to get into a solid Bible believing church for their daily growth and fellowship in the Lord. We all need His grace (Titus 2:11-13) to move on daily from the "old ways"... don't we?

I have included this article for them to let them know further about Rome, the Pope, and what its Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, and Nuns really believe and practice. This, I realize is shocking for many to hear--but necessary and done so in the spirit of Christian charity and fidelity.

(May I also wncourage to read the article and the comments listed entitled, "Eggs" Benedict Serves Up Indulgences to Youth ...still heretical after all these years." found to your left in the "previous post" section.) It will help clarify several doctrinal issues surrounding Romanism.

From the fairway of grace,
SJ Camp
"The SledgeHammer"
Jeremiah 23:29

Waking Up in Perdition:
According to a new Vatican volume that chronicles the last two months of his life, the Pope's (John Paul II) last comprehensible words were "Let me go to the house of the Father." According to John 8:44 he got his dying wish (cp, 1 John 3:8-10; Galatians 1:6-9). You will notice on this photo to the right that John Paul II's casket bears part of his coat of arms - a long-gated cross with a large "M" underneath it. Even to his last breath, JPII denied that salvation was by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone; and affirmed the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church known as "The Fifth Marian Dogma" (Mary as Co-Redemptrix; Co-Mediatrix with Christ). This Pope was one of the most Marian centered in papal history. He prayed to and worshipped her as the Queen of Heaven (a Babylonian cultic term) and was even leaning upon "her grace" for his acceptance into glory. This is a graphic and heartbreaking photo that unquestionably marked John Paul's eternal condemnation.

In light of our recenet discussion on this blog about Pope Benedict XVI, here is an article written last April a few days after the passing of John Paul II. Read with a heavy heart, for even God "does not delight in the death of the wicked."

The Wages of Trusting in a "Gospel" of Works Righteousness
The most frightening words anyone could ever hear would be those of our Lord found in Matthew 7:21-23, "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. 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?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Can you imagine, you called Him Lord; you did works in His name—even works of ministry; and He declares that you were only workers of lawlessness and that He never knew you? Thinking you were on your way to heaven, you wake up instantly upon your death in Hades in the full conscience of your sin, His Lordship and the eternal punishment that awaits you?—can there be anything more loathsome to fall on an unregenerate yet religious man?

Faith Works
Man’s best works, even those mentioned above, are nothing but “filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Paul makes it abundantly clear that our salvation is because “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4). Even when/if we had done all things in perfect obedience to the Lord, Jesus still calls us “unprofitable [or unworthy, useless] servants” (Luke 17:10).

If all our righteousness is considered lawlessness; filthy rags; unfit to save us; and renders us unprofitable, useless servants damning us to an eternal hell—then how much more our sin, even the most insignificant or trivial of our failings from the standard of God’s law, His holy character and perfect Word, is sufficient to incarcerate us all in hell forever!

Rome's Religious Works: The Wide Road to Hell
Today, this very moment, such is the horrifying plight of Pope John Paul II if he continued in the false gospel of Romanist works righteousness to be saved (which he never recanted during his life in any manner whatsoever). The gospel of this Pope and of Rome has always been a false gospel. (This is what Luther and Melanchthon contended for and the reason for the Reformation: reclaiming the gospel of Sola Fide.) Romansim has always propagated a gospel of Semi-Pelagianism: works+faith, rather than faith alone; merit+grace, rather than grace alone; inherent infused righteousness of Romanism+Christ, rather than the imputed righteousness of Christ alone - rather than the great Augustian biblical gospel. It's not that we (Romanists and Evangelicals) "have differences" about the same gospel. What Rome has always believed is a different gospel fulfilling Matthew 7:21-23 and Galatians 1:6-8. The Scriptures clearly state, without equivocation, that a rejection of the gospel of grace--justification by faith alone--is only sufficient to damn and cannot save--ever. If you trust in that gospel of works, you do not wake up in the glory of heaven in the presence of the Lord, but you wake up in perdition in the horror of your own righteous rags.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul when he powerfully rejects a gospel of works righteousness:

"For if Abraham was justified by works,
he has something to boast about,
but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say?
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" -Romans 4:2-5.

Could it be anymore clear than this?

The Pope's Best Righteous Deeds; Still Filthy Rags The Pope by human/political/philanthropic evaluation was a good humanitarian; a political figure of peace; a champion for the poor and unborn children; a voice for human rights in oppressive countries; a caretaker for those inflicted with HIV/AIDS around the world; a faithful practitioner of religion; the recognized leader of a church with membership totaling 1.5 billion people; even one who is currently heralded by evangelical leaders giving profound praise for John Paul II being "the most beloved religious leader of our time"; "May his death remind each of us that some day we too must die and enter into God's presence -- and may we each commit ourselves afresh to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation"; and "that the Pope didn't fear death, because all who are in Christ need not fear death"; he offered daily prayers to Mary; believed in the Fifth Marian Dogma (that she is co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix with Christ); adhered to the teachings of Trent, Vatican II and the 1994 Catechism of the Church; believed in the continual perpetual sacrifice of Christ through transubstantiation in communion; held to Purgatorial cleansing of sin; The Treasury of Merit; and believed that salvation was a matter of our works plus His grace. And yet, in spite of what are considered to be good acts of loving kindness, social justice, human dignity and religious piety, trusting in those things as evidence of one's salvation can only awaken one in perdition. Again, because John Paul II believed in a gospel of Christ plus works; Christ plus merit; Christ plus inherent righteous; etc. - for no one can be saved by the utter futility of salvation by works righteousness - he awakened in perdition and none can help him; not the Vatican; not Mary; not any Cardinal or Bishop. He is forever cut off without hope (Heb. 6:4-8). That is why we should feel great sadness of heart for John Paul II, for now he has full knowledge of his eternal torment for he tried coming to God in another way other then how the Lord has prescribed through the pages of Scripture alone (John 14:6). The shocking reality is that ringing in John Paul's ears this very moment are the words “I never knew you; depart from Me you practice lawlessness.” He now knows that salvation is only by faith alone, through grace alone, because of the resurrected Christ alone, on the Word alone, to the glory of God alone.

Tetzel's Den of Thieves
Dear beloved, as we are watching the foolish parade of Pope John Paul's corpse through “Tetzel’s Den of Thieves” in Saint Peter’s Basilica, may we remember that because Pope John Paul II has trusted in a another gospel other than the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:6-9) the wages of another is death. Because of which he has spent already what must seem like an eternity under the holy wrath of a living God. And even this is but a foretaste of the torment that awaits him (Heb. 10:29); for one day he will be given a resurrected body for torment; and as he stands before the Great White Throne Judgment to hear the Lord’s final words of perditious sentencing; he will then be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and his demons, with Death and Hades, and with all who have rejected the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:13ff). This is cause for great sadness, beloved, for even God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11).

The Fear of the Lord and the Call to Repentance
Are you quickened today with the fear of the Lord? Is it by the terror of the Lord that you are persuading men to repent of their sins and follow Christ? Have each of us even on this forum trusted in Christ alone for our salvation or have we been spiritually charmed to believe that our works plus His grace somehow saves us?

This should cause us all to be moved beyond measure to share the gospel of grace with all that the Lord has sovereignly put in our path; to reach out especially to those who are trapped in the false religion of Romanism—Satan’s greatest hellish masterpiece on earth; and call to repentance even now evangelical leaders who are playing politics with God on CNN and FOXNEWS; who lack the courage, compassion, love and grace to call people to the real gospel of grace and warn them of the wrath to come if they believing in another gospel think they can be saved--a gospel of works (the gospel of Pope John Paul II and Rome) which is not another gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-8)—and ultimately denies justification by faith through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 3:21-26).

Justification by Faith in Christ Alone: The Gospel According to Jesus
Listen to the words of Paul when he said, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law”
(Romans 3:19-28).

As the Day Approaches,
Steve Camp
Col. 1:9-14

CLICK HERE to visit AudienceONE Ministries to read about the Council of Trent and its skewed teachings

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Church of St. Arbucks
...their coffee cup is brewing up strong messages

I like Starbucks very much... It is my first stop in the morning everyday after I get all five of my children to school and swim my mile or two at the "Y." It is a great place to work on the blog; read the news; study the Word; and interact with the faithful members of the church of St. Arbucks.

Some evangelicals are up in arms at SB's recent "The Way I See It" campaign which solicits short quips and thoughts about life, culture, the times, etc. and posts them on their paper-mugs. The reason that some are concerned is because of the nontraditional family values liberal bent of most of their messages (like the one shown) that are appearing on their paper mugs once you shed the brown protective wrap.

Personally, I don't mind them at all (even though I am a conservative politically and a Reformed Baptist). In fact I thank the Lord for them. That's right--this is a blessing, a gift to the body of Christ. Why? When I order my favorite "cup of Joe" at St. Arbucks, I immediately remove the brown sleeve to see what new "message" is printed on my cup. I then share that message with another standing in line or seated at the tables. It engages us in the lively art of conversation about all matters of issues and I am wonderfully afforded the opportunity to bring the biblical worldview into the discussion. This has proven to be a fantastic way to proclaim the gospel of grace and the truth claims of our Lord Jesus to those who will never come to church on a Sunday or show up at the myriad of Christian events circling the evangelical planetary subculture that many Christians choose to remain hidden within.

So may I encourage you today to write our good friends in Seattle, thank them for opening up many great opportunities for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, continue to go to the church at St. Arbucks (its service times are seven days a week from 7am to 10pm in most cities--and they are always full) and dialogue with the patrons from a biblical worldview, explain the hope that is within you with gentleness and reverance and enjoy some of the finest "Joe" in the world.

Let's be salt and light,
For those who have ears to hear...
Matthew 5:13-20