Friday, August 29, 2008

ANOTHER EVANGELICAL PASTOR TURNS PRAYER INTO A POLITICAL, ECUMENICAL, AND SOCIAL KUMBAYA

Since Wednesday evening I have had a terrible bout with food poisoning. Though I didn't sleep at all Wednesday night, I finally got a few hours of needed rest last evening. But I am still very weak, physically drained, massive headache, and by God's grace - have passed out only once briefly due to uncontrollable vomiting.

But in spite of having a nonstop case of the Montezuma's revenge and a horrendous case of projectile regurgitation, nothing that I have spewed from my body smells to high heaven with the putrid stench like these words from pastor Joel Hunter of Northland Community Church spoke at the end of Barack Obama's acceptance speech last evening. When are pastors in today's evangelical world going to have the "ecclesiasticals" to honor the Lord Jesus Christ in the prayers that they give at political rallies? It's as if they forget their biblical moorings, their biblical convictions, and the Christian faith altogether in order to please the gathered hoi palloi with their own brand of fatuous sucking-up to the popular political candidate and their respective media sycophants of the hour.

I have ministered in Joel's church before and that is what makes this post doubly hard. Clear and simple: he should know better; but he is easily swayed by popularity, the pressure of the crowds, and the need for self-validation. In the spirit of postmodernism's false sense of unity he now believes that "people with differing views can work together and can ultimately further their agenda without compromising their core moral convictions." Spoken like a true servile flatter. (At this point you will want to begin singing "We are the Word" and tear up by last chorus).

Hunter's risible prayer and convoluted, multicultural,
ecumenical, universal "amen" at the end
is nothing but sheer spiritual treason...
Hunter is not only a ministerial coward,
but he should be removed from his pastorate
as one who has abandoned the sacred charge
given to all pastors in 2 Tim. 4:1-5.

Watch and listen to another "pastor" compromise biblical truth in this little rant he calls a prayer. AND, do not miss the ending - it is the most poignant and saddest commentary on the current state of Christianity in this country to date.

101 comments:

donsands said...

First time I've ever seen that. "1,2,3, In Jesus name".

Crazy. Just crazy. He must think the Lord of heaven and earth like's people to pray to Him in however they feel comfortable. I don't know.

The truth says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men; the Man Christ Jesus." 1 Tim 2:5

Too much politics. Though he did, lightly, pray for the unborn.

I supose it's intimidating to pray in front of all these non-Christians, so I need to stand up for Jesus, but not cause any strife. is that what he thinks?

Anyway, just throwing down some random thoughts. Look forward to some good dialog.

Hope your sickness is behind you Campi. God bless and heal you.

SJ Camp said...

Good word brother. As always I thank you for posting your thoughts here.

The truth says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men; the Man Christ Jesus." 1 Tim 2:5

BINGO!

Hopefully today will be the end of this sickness... not fun.

Pastor Michael said...

You are right, that is a sad commentary on our state of this Laodicean age. I have never heard anyone ask people to close in prayer in whatever way their faith tradition allows for.

It sound to me like he is ashamed of the Gospel. He needs to heed Matthew 10:33
"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

Carla said...

I didn't think I could be stunned anymore by what professing Christians say.

I was so wrong.

I have a million thoughts right now but none real clear. I'll be back when I'm done feeling sick and outraged.

Deb_B said...

OT

Campi, take care and get your rest.

SJ Camp said...

Hunter's risible prayer and convoluted multicultural ecumenical universal "amen" at the end is nothing but sheer spiritual treason.

God does not hear the prayers of all people in that He gives them attention. It is only for His righteous ones and the prayer of repentance for salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone.

Hunter is not only a coward; he should be removed from his pastorate as one who has abandoned the faith and not held to the sacred charge given to all in pastors in 2 Tim. 4:1-5.

Stan McCullars said...

I'm afraid Joel Hunter fell off the deep end several years ago.

Now he's an agent of the Marxist left.

Rick Frueh said...

All evangelical preachers should refuse to pray at political events that are designed to use God's name in a perfunctory way. It's an affront to God Almighty when He is used to provide some religious token to an event that is as corrupt and carnal as could be imagined.

Debbie said...

Oh, boy. This is so sad to watch. What seems so pitiful is that he didn't have to end this prayer in this manner --- it seems to have been very deliberate on his part. Just another "I'm o.k., you're o.k" attempt toward inclusiveness at any cost. What a very high price to pay. Very sad and very bewildering ...

Steve, I hope you're feeling better today -- be well soon.

Mama Kraus said...

Oh My Goodness! I fell asleep toward the end of the speech, my husband was so angry by the middle of it that he had to leave the room. I am not a bible scholar, or the one everyone around me goes for biblical answers all the time. But I know my Lord and Savior and I trust the ability to reason and understand that he has bestowed upon me. What I know is that the hair on the back of my neck and on my arms stands on end when Barrack or anyone affiliated with him speaks. I have no trust for anyone in his "camp". Therefore, I pray. Thankful that the Lord will work it all out to his greater good.

SJ Camp said...

Debbie
This is so sad to watch. What seems so pitiful is that he didn't have to end this prayer in this manner --- it seems to have been very deliberate on his part.

Exactly.

How sad to offer prayer to God then to trash it in this way by turning the name in which you say amen one of choice by any religion by any adherent within any faith community as an acceptable period to true prayer!

If Hunter was a member of Islam, a Buddhist or New-ager, this prayer would have sense. But one who claims to be a reformed orthodox believer in Christ?

Unthinkable.

Deb_B said...

"I'll be back when I'm done feeling sick and outraged."

Ditto. It left me stunned, something which rarely happens anymore with much of what passes itself off as professing to Christianity today.

This "prayer" did it.

Outrageous, perplexing and very, very sad and grievous.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J. and Y'all

Another brother who is swayed by that which is popular, this is the ecumenical church of deceit at it's best. A church filled with the idol of every faith, because after all we can get so much more done together. Doesn't this echo what took place not long ago where some other wonderful 'men of god', signed a letter called "A Common Word Between Us", all of them wonderful brothers, just slightly confused.
These men need to be rebuked and removed from their positions of pastoral leadership. What more heinous, abominable sin could there be but for a shepherd of God's people to lead them into idolatry? Let's not candy coat this guys because this is exactly what Mr. Hunter has done as well as many other prominent 'men of god'. We need to pray and be on guard lest we be so easily sucked into the same deception, we need to especially pray for our spiritual leaders!

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Hope you feel better, will be praying that God fully heals you. Tomain poisoning can be a very serious thing, hit the liquids and add some electrolytes if you can.

Brian said...

Owwww

My head hurts. That was disgusting. Prayer to God, but nothing of the Bible and nothing of the true faith.

Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

The Blainemonster said...

*GASP* Are you kidding me?

"I want you to close this prayer in the way your faith tradition would close this prayer."

I was only moderately disappointed until those words came out. Un.Be.Lievable. Suddenly this is idolatry, no?

Wendy said...

I'm with Carla...I think I have heard it all and then something like this happens. What is somewhat stunning to me is the rapidity with which the apostasy seems to be growing.

Steve, I am praying for your healing.

Chris said...

I truly cannot believe this "pastor." I pray that he look back on his cowardice and repent. His very presence at such an event is questionable, but then he adds insult to injury by accomadating idolatry before the very God whom he suppossedly summons as if to say, "Jesus, I'm going to interrupt my plea to you so that these people can appeal to another deity because that's how we do things down here in America. We appeal to all faiths." This pastor should have remembered the words of the Apostle Paul,

"...what pagans sacrifice [this includes the "offering" of prayers] they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?" 1 Corinthians 10:20-22

Susan said...

Okay, this is just horrid...Steve, I think it's not food poisoning but a case of the DNC virus brought on from watching this travesty all week. DNC - Democrats and Nincompoops Coalition. Warning: Watching them get together brings on nausea, chills, and headaches. Can worsen over time so tivo and watch sparingly.

By the way, BIG QUESTION FOR STAN!!! Stan, I've tried every way to blow up your picture and can't...what in the world is hanging down from your head??!! It cracks me up!
Susan

Stan McCullars said...

Susan,
BIG QUESTION FOR STAN!!! Stan, I've tried every way to blow up your picture and can't...what in the world is hanging down from your head??!!

The picture was from an older camera phone so there were not many pixels to work with. The thing on my head is a hoodie sort of thing with dreadlock looking things hanging off it. The colors are orange and blue (with some white) which are Auburn University's colors. The picture was taken before the Auburn-Florida football game two years ago. Auburn won.

The Spokesman said...

SJ CAMP: Hunter is not only a coward; he should be removed from his pastorate as one who has abandoned the faith and not held to the sacred charge given to all in pastors in 2 Tim. 4:1-5.

Amen! Anyone who believes in an ecumenical, ungodly alliance of all religions, no matter his or her confession of Christ, denies the exclusivity of the Savior and His Gospel as is evidenced by his or her deeds (and words as expressed in this prayer).

donsands said...

"The picture was taken before the Auburn-Florida football game two years ago. Auburn won."

But did you beat the Crimson Tide that year is the question?

Susan said...

Steve, forgive the off topic, but I have to tell Stan that when LSU plays Florida this year I'd like to borrow his dredlocks--the orange can stay for the gold, but I'll need to make the blue purple. Thanks!

Michele Rayburn said...

This from Joel Hunter's website might help to explain where he is coming from. It speaks for itself, though it would make for a good discussion piece nonetheless:

"A New Kind Of Conservative" by Joel C. Hunter (book review)

...The United States, indeed the entire world, is in a test as to whether we can cooperate with others who are very different from ourselves.

Whether we are conservatives or liberals, believers or secularists, we tend to define ourselves by suspicion of the other side. What if there was a way to increase our identity and our intensity for right by associating in common causes with "the enemy"?

"A New Kind of Conservative" offers an intriguing alternative to the angry rhetoric associated with the extreme religious right...

The PBS program NOW recently interviewed John Green, senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion...about the "new generation" of evangelicals.

According to Professor Green, the new generation of evangelical leaders is best symbolized by two pastors: one is Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church...and the other is Dr. Joel C. Hunter...

Mr. Green explained,..."These are gentlemen that would like to see evangelicals cooperating not just with each other, but with other religious communities and even with people who don't necessarily share their faith in order to achieve certain goals through the political process."'


Joel Hunter said, "Because we are in a country that is still welcoming all faiths, I would like all of us to close this prayer in a way your faith tradition would close this prayer."

I always thought that the purpose of prayer was to pray to the only true God. Where is there unity in a diversity of gods?

If Joel is praying to his God, how does it make sense to close the prayer in the name of other gods?

Joel closed his prayer with "In Jesus name". I wonder in whose name others prayed. And more than that, I'll state the obvious to us Christians...how does praying in the name of other gods help anyone?

Joel should know better, shouldn't he? From what I heard of this prayer, and from what I posted from his website above, I detect Dominionism creeping into his theology.

Interesting in how Rick Warren, a Dominionist, was mentioned along with Joel Hunter as being the two pastors who best symbolize the new generation of evangelical leaders.

Steve, I hope you are feeling better today. Take care of yourself. You are in our prayers.

Michele

Stan McCullars said...

donsands,
But did you beat the Crimson Tide that year is the question?

Yes. That is the question.

Yes. We did win.

Stan McCullars said...

Susan,
I have to tell Stan that when LSU plays Florida this year I'd like to borrow his dredlocks--the orange can stay for the gold, but I'll need to make the blue purple. Thanks!

Never get between a bear and her cubs and never get between two SEC football teams. I'm going to have to stay out of that one. Hope it's a great game!

Only Look said...

Your literally having a pepto bismol moment during a pepto bismol moment.

It is going to get harder and harder to stand for truth in the future in the quasi form of godliness new age.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

P.R.E.Z. said...

You have GOT to be kidding me. I know it's not a joke but that is what is alarming and sad about the whole thing. It's a prayer for the people, not for God.

The scripture that has been playing loudly over here is 1 Timothy 4:3 and if this is not an example of beginning down that slippery slope, I don't know what is.

But let's not be surprised. The sway of this world is in the hands of Satan. Subtlety is how he does many things.

This should motivate us as children of God to call his card on this. As a pastor, he should simply know better. But that's an entirely different set of problems in the church today.

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto

The Spokesman said...

Michele,

Thanks for the link, it actually says what I have been trying to warn about. Here is a full paragraph from part of which you quoted: A New Kind of Conservative offers an intriguing alternative to the angry rhetoric associated with the extreme religious right. While Dr. Hunter is uncompromising on issues such as abortion and the redefinition of marriage, he urges conservatives to expand the agenda to include other biblical concerns: poverty, social justice, AIDS and the environment. Had Dr. Hunter not revealed his ecumenical agenda (which is no different from Rick Warren's) then he could have been next in line to moderate between presidential candidates using a moralist/religious worldview while appearing to be coming from a "biblical worldview", sadly with the approval of some.

Paul Wilkinson said...

Actually, I liked the ending, because at that point this "prayer" was over.

BlueDeacon said...

Do I hear "envy" here?

KarensFaith said...

Well, that was the most disgusting display of compromise I have ever seen, to end the prayer like that! Actually, didn't think much of the whole prayer either.

Steve, get better soon! I'll be praying for you!

God bless,
Karen

Trevor Davis said...

Steve,

As a pastor, I have been finding these recent posts very helpful. I'm having an internal difficulty in distinguishing how I am to lead my congregation in "social justice" for the sake of the gospel.

I have observed that helping people in need truly can open a seemingly hardened heart to a presentation of the gospel.

This blog and its commenters have helped me to clarify that compassionate ministries are useful to the kingdom when they are executed by the local church. Perhaps they lose the exclusive favor of God when the church works in concert with worldly entities to help people in need.

Trevor Davis

Carla said...

Only Look said

"It is going to get harder and harder to stand for truth in the future in the quasi form of godliness new age."

Actually, I don't think real Christians will find it difficult at all. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but quite frankly I'm actually looking forward to seeing more and more GENUINE believers stand up and speak up for Christ.

I couldn't come back to this today for the simple reason that I was so furious that a pastor would say something like this during a prayer, that my words would have not been seasoned with grace at all.

I gave it the day to think on and ask myself why I was SO angry, and there is no simple answer. And I'm still angry, but not as angry as I was this morning (I didn't see this last night on tv).

The way he closed this prayer... It's a lie, its a deception, it's unbelievably dishonoring to God, it's misleading to young/immature believers and non-believers alike, its a copout, it's a culturally embracable position, and it's just revolting all the way around to realize this man stood in front of millions of viewers representing evangelicals like all of us commenting here - and he actually spoke FOR us, whether we like that idea or not. In the minds of millions, he spoke for Christians and he dropped the ball, big time.

He did not speak for me, he definitely did not speak according to God's word, and he certainly doesn't speak for Biblical Christianity at all, to pray in such a way.

I honestly hope he receives LOTS of feedback on this and repents. He certainly should repent, if he's truly a servant of our Lord.

BlueDeacon said...

After actually seeing the video, I have two contrasting reactions.

On the one hand, I understand the outrage that Hunter didn't specifically pray "in Jesus' name." But as for his "ecumenical agenda" that he was praying, I have no problem with what a previous poster mentioned: "While Dr. Hunter is uncompromising on issues such as abortion and the redefinition of marriage, he urges conservatives to expand the agenda to include other biblical concerns: poverty, social justice, AIDS and the environment."

Like it or not, these are biblical concerns that evangelicals have begun to address in large numbers only over the past three or so years. Let us remember that Hunter is the same guy who resigned from the presidency of the Christian Coalition for not immediately adopting these concerns upon his inauguration.

My fear is that many conservative Christians are still behind the curve because their ideology won't bend even in the face of God's "moving on." That's why I said at first that the negative reaction may have been birthed by envy -- and that still might be the case.

The Spokesman said...

bluedeacon,

An ecumenical partnership with religious or secular unbelievers is in violation of and in disobedience to the Word of God therefore no matter how you slice it, it still comes up unbiblical, ungodly, and unacceptable in God's sight (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

As to your attributing the motive of "envy" to the negative responses on this subject, it is a logical fallacy called an ad hominem and has nothing whatsoever to do with establishing the truthfulness of a matter.

BlueDeacon said...

An ecumenical partnership with religious or secular unbelievers is in violation of and in disobedience to the Word of God therefore no matter how you slice it, it still comes up unbiblical, ungodly, and unacceptable in God's sight.

That's completely irrelevant to what I'm talking about, not to mention hypocritical to the max and utterly impossible anyway. For openers, we would have virtually no Christian involvement in the political arena were it not for relationships with "non-believers" -- in fact, we probably wouldn't even be talking about it at all on this blog. Jerry Falwell, for example, formed Moral Majority at the behest of a conservative fund-raiser who was tied to Richard Nixon, but not too many people complained about that at the time.

Beyond that, we're also talking about actual political positions, not just the process. I'm saying (and have been doing so for decades) that some of the issues that the "liberals" have raised are actual Biblical issues that we've ignored because, basically, addressing them might cost us something -- power, money, prestige or something else. That's the problem with American evangelicalism; it represents an attempt to cost as little as possible to our too-comfortable lives.

As to your attributing the motive of "envy" to the negative responses on this subject, it is a logical fallacy called an ad hominem and has nothing whatsoever to do with establishing the truthfulness of a matter.

I beg to differ. Were someone in Hunter's position at the Democratic National Convention thundering judgment on its leadership because of this positions, most people posting here would likely applaud -- that said, it's easy to do that from the outside. (I wonder what would happen at the Republican convention next week.) I called it envy because I get the distinct impression that they still want to control the discourse but can't anymore, so let's go beat up on an easy target. Let's face it, we Christians have lost a lot of authority over the past few years because most of us were only selectively outraged concerning political shenanigans in Washington, which is why not only does Barack Obama stand a good chance of winning the Presidency but also both houses of Congress will remain in the hands of the Democrats by greater margins than now.

Kirby L. Wallace said...

I think they chose him 'cause he could be a dead ringer for George Bush!

Dave Algie said...

Steve. Get well soon. You're in our prayers.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

Who do you speak for? God in Christ and what He has called His body to do? If you speak for Christ, to those of His body, please substantiate what you say with scripture that is in context and applicable to the conversation. I know this is asking some work of you but I am sure that you are up to it, I would just like to see if you have any idea how God has called his body to operate here on earth. I know that it is difficult to not use innuendo, rhetoric or ad hominem but I would certainly appreciate your effort.
If you speak for man and your own personal view points, then I suppose that there is nothing that you should change in your communications!

Bill Hamilton said...

Besides the liberally-guided prayer requests, what does Hunter think? That this prayer ascended to the various gods of people who ended it "according to their tradition?" Absurd! It certainly didn't ascend to THE God of Heavens and Earth.

BlueDeacon said...

If you speak for Christ, to those of His body, please substantiate what you say with scripture that is in context and applicable to the conversation.

Well, let's start with Jeremiah 29:7: "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."

See, we Christians have often operated with a fight-or-flight mentality -- demand our rights or else completely drop out of the culture. But if we understand that we are to a certain extent exiles but still called to bring God's blessing to a world that desperately needs it, He will give us the opportunity to witness for Him in that culture in "doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with Him" (from Micah 6:8). This is why working for social justice -- very biblical but often denounced as "liberal" -- is key to our efforts toward reconciliation.

Hayden said...

bluedeacon,

For YEARS evangelical churches have been helping the poor and reaching out to the 'least of these'. The ting is that much if this is done 'behind the scenes' and not through some governmental program.

It seems to me, every time and election cycle comes around evangelicals are told to 'not be one issue voters with abortion' and 'start being concerned with the poor'. That is denigrating to the literally thousands of Christian workers all around the globe who are doing great work. (WORLD magazine, which I do not wholly endorse, does many stories on such ministries)

I understand that we can do a better job at helping those in need, but the ONLY way this will be effective is if we do it in our local communities through our local churches. Some churches are not doing any of this and they must be rebuked for it. Some are though my friend. Quit painting with such a broad brush.

As for the prayer, HORRIBLE. I hope the congregation that preach in front of would kick me out if I ever prayed that way!!!!

Hayden

PS Bluedeacon, you may want to put up a profile. That is one of Steve's requirements here. (Read the sidebar)

Heath Clan said...

I wonder if the muslims there were praying to allah to aliminate all of these infidel christians?

pastorjj said...

How tragic! As a pastor I am not only saddened by Dr. Hunter's prayer, if you can even call it that, I am outraged. What a bunch of ecumenical dribble!

The worst part of all of this is that it demeans the character and glory and majesty of God, and it is dishonoring to Christ.

This verse from Acts came to mind.

Acts 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

By the grace of God may each of us remain faithful, steadfast, persevering till the end.

BlueDeacon said...

For YEARS evangelical churches have been helping the poor and reaching out to the 'least of these'.

Not entirely true. Most evangelical churches spend more money on themselves -- staff salaries and benefits and facility maintenance and expansion -- and foreign missions than ministering to the poor, partly because they're not even located in areas where the ministry is needed, and in the 1980s they spent more on political action. Besides, the poor also need access to capital and political clout so that they can make wise choices and not always depend on church charity, which my church (which is located in the "inner city" of a major Northeastern metro area), also supports, and that's what they mean by "more concern." You best believe that World magazine wouldn't dare publicize that because its agenda is all about power, which it doesn't want the poor to have.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

As a scriptural example with regards to seeking social justice you chose the passage Jer. 29: 7. The context of the passage has to do with Israel being exiled into Babylon by God, they were under the judgment of God and reaping the consequences of their sin. God still cares for Israel's people though and so the prophet Jeremiah transcribes a prophetic letter to the people and instructs them how to act while in captivity.
Here is Jer. 29: 5-7

5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 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. 7 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.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Je 29:5-7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Now, I would assume that what keyed you into verse 7 was the word 'welfare' and you somehow associate the word with social programs to help the poor, the down trodden etc... that is all well and good but it is not what the passage is actually speaking to. The Hebrew word here, translated as welfare, is the word shalom and the basic meaning of it is the word peace. So, what God is calling his exiles to do is to seek the peace of the city, it's welfare, seeks it's prosperity because as it says at the end of verse 7 'for in it's peace you shall have peace.' In other words, as the city went so went the citizens who resided in the city. God is calling them to pray for the cities welfare, it's peace so they to would have peace.
Sorry B.D., as hard as I try to find it, there is no call to social justice in Jer. 29: 7. The fruit of social justice might be bore by those seeking and praying for the cities peace, of course being under Nebuchadnezzar I am certain that it is going to be a real hard sell, they will be subject to Nebuchadnezzar's definition and from history any uprising against him was pretty well crushed.

B.D.: 'See, we Christians have often operated with a fight-or-flight mentality -- demand our rights or else completely drop out of the culture.'

I do not know where you get this from B.D., because it is just not the way things are where I am at. People actually are looking for things to do to serve and they are willing when asked to serve, granted we could always do more but I do not see folks demanding their rights and if not getting them dropping out of society. Perhaps you should speak to your own community B.D., especially since that is what you are limited to in your vision.
You also chose Micah 6: 8 as a passage to support your call to social justice. Let me explain the context of this as well. In examining this passage I see, once again, that God's hand of judgment is again overshadowing Israel. God had called Israel to live and conduct itself in a certain manner, a manner that was separate from the world and separated to Him. Here is Micah 6: 6-8

6  “ With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
 Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mic 6:6-8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

I know that we have the word justice here and it applies just as we see in English: a state or condition of proper, right and true judgment in disputes. Justice is based on and in the truth and true justice can only be found in one place and that is with God alone. Justice belongs to God, it is as if it were the foundation of his throne (Ps. 89: 14; 97: 2)and every decision and judgment that He makes is right!
The question is; To whom does this justice, the justice that is right and true, apply? The answer is that it applies exclusively to His people, in this case what we are reading is written to Israel however it carries over to the Church as well because it is a attribute of God and it is inseparable from Him.
So, when we as Christians fight for justice do we fight for God's justice? Or do we fight for the Justice as the world equates it, justice according to it's truths and laws? We as Christians can only fight for one justice and that is the true justice that comes from God and is found in His word. Primarily God's justice can only be applied in the body of Christ but when we are allowed to bring it to the world then we can apply it their as well, the thing is that the world hates everything to do with God and it hates true justice, it hates equal weights and balanced scales and you know that is the worlds nature.
Bottom line is B.D. there is only one way to obtain peace/welfare (shalom) and justice and that is to have one's life in right standing with Jesus Christ. Apart from that it will never be obtained. Granted you may have worldly justice and peace but that is a far cry from what God has for us, as a matter of fact it is garbage compared to what He has for us and in truth it is not peace or justice at all!

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

As a footnote, Jer. 29: 8, 9 says this:

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Je 29:7-9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

This applies quit fittingly to men like Donald Miller or Dr. Hunter, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren etc... The proof is found only in those that follow the truth given to us by the living God in Jesus Christ!

BlueDeacon said...

As a scriptural example with regards to seeking social justice you chose the passage Jer. 29:7. The context of the passage has to do with Israel being exiled into Babylon by God, they were under the judgment of God and reaping the consequences of their sin. God still cares for Israel's people though and so the prophet Jeremiah transcribes a prophetic letter to the people and instructs them how to act while in captivity.

And one of the ways in which Israel sinned was by not seeking the kind of justice for the poor that I'm talking about. That is clear from reading the other prophets. But the passage still applies because, as I mentioned, even in captivity Israel was obliged to bless the nation that captured it, in part to remind it how to act in the future. I see many of the same parallels with the church.

Now, I would assume that what keyed you into verse 7 was the word 'welfare' and you somehow associate the word with social programs to help the poor, the down trodden etc... that is all well and good but it is not what the passage is actually speaking to. The Hebrew word here, translated as welfare, is the word shalom and the basic meaning of it is the word peace.

No argument here -- it is indeed a "big picture" situation, which is where I was going with it. As such, I was not specifically referring to "welfare" as we understand it.

Sorry B.D., as hard as I try to find it, there is no call to social justice in Jer. 29:7.

You simply don't want to see it, and at this point no amount of Scripture I show you will convince you anyway.

I do not know where you get this from B.D., because it is just not the way things are where I am at.

The "flight" was historically the case in evangelicalism from the 1920s through the late 1970s; the "fight" is more common today, especially in the 1980s.

In examining this passage I see, once again, that God's hand of judgment is again overshadowing Israel. God had called Israel to live and conduct itself in a certain manner, a manner that was separate from the world and separated to Him.

You forget one thing about Israel that I will keep stressing: God never meant Israel to be isolated from the rest of the world, for His ultimate purpose was to bless the world. The same goes for the Church of today.

We as Christians can only fight for one justice and that is the true justice that comes from God and is found in His word. Primarily God's justice can only be applied in the body of Christ but when we are allowed to bring it to the world then we can apply it their as well, the thing is that the world hates everything to do with God and it hates true justice, it hates equal weights and balanced scales and you know that is the worlds nature.

Then why do so many in the church hate justice in the same way, even when their fellow Christians would be uplifted in the process? For the same reason many in Israel hated it -- they had it good as things were and didn't want their system upset, even though it clearly violated the Word of God.

Bottom line is B.D. there is only one way to obtain peace/welfare (shalom) and justice and that is to have one's life in right standing with Jesus Christ. Apart from that it will never be obtained. Granted you may have worldly justice and peace but that is a far cry from what God has for us, as a matter of fact it is garbage compared to what He has for us and in truth it is not peace or justice at all!

Then kindly tell me how this will occur, and don't you dare tell me it will happen when people simply get "converted." Some years ago my pastor even confronted our denomination's missionaries in Southeast Asia about their own racism; they then realized that they had developed a contempt for the people they were supposedly ministering to.

This applies quit fittingly to men like Donald Miller or Dr. Hunter, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren etc...

I for one get tired of "heresy-hunters" who focus so much on the bad guys for being "incorrect" that they don't recognize their own blind spots. Do you remember that Jesus' biggest fights came with the arrogant "religious" folks who thought they knew the Word but totally missed that that the Word eventually pointed to Him? Heck, He even said that!

Stan McCullars said...

How does one define "poor" in an American context? What exactly should be done for these "poor" Americans?

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

Yes, Israel was to be a light to the nations, they were supposed to be a righteous example and because of God's blessing them the nations would stream to them. Yes they were to treat them with the same truth and justice that they received. The point, however, that in order for these people that came to them to have peace, to have truth and to have true justice they had to turn to the living God, until then, you could feed them, clothe them, give them health care and if they did not receive the living God they were dead. If they chose not to live according to the laws of the land they were put out. The end of all things that is all men would turn to God, and that is the message in all of the good works that we do towards our fellow man, apart from taking them the Gospel and telling them that they worship false gods, pointing out their dire need for Him, exposing there utter depravity there was no way to God because they were blind and dead.
The system of social reform that you hold to and call for is the broad path that leads to death. You give a man a blanket or you feed them, but you never tell them the truth and they continue to wallow in their own depravity. You have met they felt needs but you neglect to take them to the need that has to be filled if they are to live and that is their need for Jesus Christ! Tell me B.D., is their any other name under heaven through which salvation may be obtained, is there anyone else that can break the yoke of bondage, is there anyone else other than Christ that can bring true freedom? One thing that does not make sense in your program and plan B.D., actually many more things than one, but anyway, why is it that the poorest people that know Jesus Christ are the happiest and freest people, those who do not seek the help of your inane empty social programs, why are they so free, why are they so happy? Wealth, riches, health care does not do it B.D., it is only Christ. Who else is there D.B.?

BlueDeacon said...

How does one define "poor" in an American context? What exactly should be done for these "poor" Americans?

Talk to them, spend time with them, move into their neighborhoods. You will learn then what to do for the marginalized, locked-out, scorned. The Savior did no less.

The end of all things that is all men would turn to God, and that is the message in all of the good works that we do towards our fellow man, apart from taking them the Gospel and telling them that they worship false gods, pointing out their dire need for Him, exposing there utter depravity there was no way to God because they were blind and dead.

That has to be done by example, however, which is something a lot of "conservatives" have conveniently overlooked because doing so costs them something. Too many of us Christians are afraid to be different and want to look like the world in order to, as I said before, avoid spiritual warfare. You can't "preach Jesus" to people when it's not clear the distinction He makes in life down here -- the early church grew because it operated from totally different parameters, willing to suffer persecution in the process.

I would also like to hear from you a short summation of the "Gospel." Here's one for you -- reconciliation. The Gospel mends the breach between mankind and God and then builds bridges between men and women. It's not simply about the "fire insurance" or "personal improvement" -- God calls for an entire change of life and focus. Frankly, I don't always see that from people with "good theology."

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

What is the Gospel? It is, simply put, the good news that there is a savior and His name is Jesus Christ, who came to save his people from their sins, he came to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles! All of this was carried out according to His good pleasure, the entire cost bore by Him who died the most heinous death, even upon a cross! What shall we do who have been given such a great salvation if we reject it? As many have chosen to not receive such a great salvation God has determined that the consequence of such denial should be equally terrible and great and that is a eternal separation from Him in eternal pain and torment, the last place to be the eternal residence is the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
While God offers such great deliverance there is no guarantee in this of any social reform, rather a peace and deliverance that is far above what the temporal can provide. That is why those that are without are at such great advantage, their dependence is entirely on Him who give them true peace. No social program can equal this, nor can it lead any man to salvation. Rather the fruit of man made social programs has lead to exactly the opposite conclusion that man would reject God and rely on his own pride.
The fact is that any country that has a strong social welfare and reform system has failed miserably and the society at large is Godless.
Does this negate our call to bare fruits that are of God and would have us show mercy to our fellow man? No, not in any way! Rather what needs to be realized is that all of our works serve one purpose and that is to take the Gospel to all mankind, to tell them the truth and hide nothing from them, even those things that expose their depravity and utter need for Him. Simply put, and there is one verse that says it all

Romans 1: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 1:16-17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

It is no surprise to me that you ask for a definition of the Gospel, because you rely on the works of men to fulfill salvation. What you have chosen to rely upon has been a utter failure on every account! As far as leading by example is concerned, if there is no Gospel then their is no example other than the example that leads to death. John 15 says that apart from the true vine we can do nothing. The Gospel can provide for eternity what your social programs can fill needs for only a moment, in that moment if the Gospel is not proclaimed then all that you have done has failed and that is why the system you hold to is such a wreck!
Lastly, with regards to your teaching that God came to restore relationships between men and women, if it were not for the Gospel that would not be possible and it is a fruit of what has to come first and that is salvation through the Gospel. It is Christ first, then true restoration and that is no guarantee of societal reform, nor a guarantee that there will be no poverty. It is a guarantee of eternal security and peace in Him, knowing that He is in control of all and no matter what our state, if we are known by Him as we know Him, we shall be with Him and in that place there will be no poverty, pain or sorrow!

By the way B.D., you never answered the most important question that I asked; Is there only one name under heaven by which men might be saved? Is there another to look to for salvation? If there is someone else B.D., who is it?

Stan McCullars said...

How does one define "poor" in an American context?

gigantor1231 said...

Stan

Poor in an American context? For the majority it is a condition of choice, for the rest, the few truly poor, there is true need. Our system has been so liberal and non discriminating in catering to the poor that the distinction is difficult if not impossible to make with regard to the genuine few and the players. Hence the system is a failure, typical of government and man made programs!

Stan McCullars said...

gigantor1231,
Thanks for that.

I am always amazed at the poor who have multiple cars, microwave ovens, TVs, cable television and better food on the table than I can afford.

BlueDeacon said...

While God offers such great deliverance there is no guarantee in this of any social reform, rather a peace and deliverance that is far above what the temporal can provide. That is why those that are without are at such great advantage, their dependence is entirely on Him who give them true peace. No social program can equal this, nor can it lead any man to salvation. Rather the fruit of man made social programs has lead to exactly the opposite conclusion that man would reject God and rely on his own pride.

This is where and why I find your definition of "salvation" incomplete and defective. As I was saying, there's more to it than "fire insurance"; however, the way I hear you put it is that all you need to do is "say the right words" and you're in and that's all that's important. However, it's also clear from the Scripture that faith must be accompanied with and confirmed by deeds -- that is to say, if you're not doing the "things of God" down here, your so-called salvation should be in question. That's why I consider your question if I believe in "salvation under any other name" irrelevant, because it was never about just the afterlife -- my pastor today was talking about the rewards we'll receive, or not receive, once we get to heaven.

At my church we don't have the time to simply focus on "personal piety" -- we have work to do in order to bring "shalom" to our neighborhood. Just yesterday I learned that we may buy a nuisance bar down the street, to shut it down and transform it into something else; as we have a "community development" fund we already have the money to do that. Thing is, because of the work we've already been doing in the community we'll be applauded for doing so; God has given us the authority to show the love of Jesus effectively rather that simply tell it with questionable or non-existent proof. Is this "works-based" salvation? Not at all.

Going back to the topic, this is why I have a hard time with people who focus so much on "theology" instead of what's done with it and in its name. To be truthful, the attacks on this blog on the "heretics" sometimes make me ill because God never called us to focus upon that; Jesus' parable of the wheat and the tares tells us not to focus on rooting out false believers -- in due time God Himself will expose them. Rather, we need to focus on our own idolatry, if we do that our enemies and critics will look foolish.

I am always amazed at the poor who have multiple cars, microwave ovens, TVs, cable television and better food on the table than I can afford.

The untold story is they're all either used or rented. (Ever hear of "Rent-A-Center"?)

BlueDeacon said...

For the majority it is a condition of choice, for the rest, the few truly poor, there is true need. Our system has been so liberal and non discriminating in catering to the poor that the distinction is difficult if not impossible to make with regard to the genuine few and the players. Hence the system is a failure, typical of government and man made programs!

This is a stupid, arrogant and uninformed remark that is not worthy of the Savior. I suggest you go to your nearest "'hood" and learn the truth, not listening to whatever some ignorant right-wing yahoo tells you.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

Truth is, you won't answer the question because you do not believe it yourself. However, as usual, you parade your own self righteous works in order that you can elevate yourself above those that you assume are just religious. The fact is that you do not know any of us here beyond what we say and just because we do not parade those works that God has called us to do before you, you assume that we just have our little cloisters and discuss doctrine. For certain doctrine is important, the things that you know will determine how you act and what you will do. As for those good works, with regards to the passage in James that you allude to you said;

'Scripture that faith must be accompanied with and confirmed by deeds -- that is to say, if you're not doing the "things of God" down here, your so-called salvation should be in question.'

Salvation is a faith issue alone, apart from works, open your bible and read Eph. 2: 8, 9; then go to Romans 4 and tell me what Abraham was accounted righteous for. Now open your bible to James and read chapter 2 specifically, keep in mind that the entire context of the book of James is based on faith, and also see that it is faith that is revealed by works, faith is evidence of salvation, it is not needed for salvation, it is not required for salvation, it is something that happens after you are saved completely and thoroughly! You are saved, then come the works as a fruit, it is not the other way around.
It is great that your church could purchase the problem tavern in your community. My hope would be that you would use the opportunity that God has given you to preach the Gospel in it's entirety to that community because of the door that He has opened. If you do not then you will just continue what the tavern brought and that is death and separation from God, the only difference being is, in your lack of willingness to share God's truth with the community "HIS ENTIRE TRUTH TO MANKIND" not your personal version, you will have just wrapped the tavern in a different facade and people will just continue down the wide road.

B.D. You reveal your true colors by being unwilling to give a answer for the hope that is within you. By saying

'That's why I consider your question if I believe in "salvation under any other name" irrelevant, because it was never about just the afterlife'

you make it plain that you do not hold Christ in your heart as the only true messiah, you do not believe that He is the one and only God, Immanuel-God with us! If this is not the case then tell us He has come into the world to deliver his people from their sin just as He said. Tell us He is your Lord and savior and that apart from Him there is no God. Do not worry Blue, it is truly a matter of more than just words or mental ascent. It takes a heart change worked by the only one that can change the heart and that is God himself in Jesus Christ. If your heart is not changed then just saying the words will be meaningless and even the good works that you do will be garbage, as John 15 says, apart from Him, the one and only true vine, you can do nothing, here is the quotation from John 15: 5-11;

5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jn 15:5-11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Even in this passage it makes it clear that you must be in the vine, in Christ before your works amount to anything, because apart from Him it is meaningless, you are just a loose cannon apart from Him.
What a terrible thing to think that there are all of these people that have been coached to do 'good works' thinking that what they have done is pleasing to God, when all along He never knew them and they were never saved, Matthew 7: 21-23 elaborates on this, and take note that these folks did mighty works in His name;

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. 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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 7:21-23). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Then in John 6: 28, 29 some disciples ask what must we do to be doing the works of God, and Jesus says;

28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jn 6:28-29). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

It is after this belief in Him that the works come and they come because He has empowered them by His Holy Spirit to do the works, it is not even of themselves, and they are saved before these works appear as evidence of salvation!

It would have been better for them to never have come to the knowledge of the Gospel preached by some insufficient preacher, and then after all that to not have been saved, how tragic! So it is in many churches today, the call to social justice is made and a easy gospel is preached, incomplete of the truth of the true Gospel, the true Gospel proclaiming the hope of Christ and the desperate need of man. Are you in one of those churches B.D., one of those churches that holds to the form but denies the power? Read 2 Timothy 3!

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

How do you know I am not in the hood now? Now who is arrogant.
I was at someones house not long ago 'in the hood'(true story) and I stood amazed as I watched her count her stack of food stamps, among all of her rare cobalt blue antiques, her newly remodeled bathroom that she pointed out to me and her beautiful caddies in the drive way. Granted, the truly poor do reside 'in the hood' and there is great need, but after that you would have to go a long way to convince me that there were not a lot of players there too, and from the looks of things, all that I saw indicated that there were a large percentage of players.
Maybe what you need to do B.D. is listen to Jesus, drop your anger and bitterness and get on with Him in truth!

Ms Darla said...

I couldn't watch or listen to the whole speech; it certainly was not a prayer, and to whom was he praying?

When men become "learned" they seem to go off the deep end; drowning in their own thoughts, because they are not careful in keeping the way.

Sadden, but not surprised.

BlueDeacon said...

Truth is, you won't answer the question because you do not believe it yourself. However, as usual, you parade your own self righteous works in order that you can elevate yourself above those that you assume are just religious. The fact is that you do not know any of us here beyond what we say and just because we do not parade those works that God has called us to do before you, you assume that we just have our little cloisters and discuss doctrine.

You wouldn't criticize me as much as you do if that that weren't the case. In other words, you convict yourself because you continue to accuse me falsely of subscribing to "works-based salvation" when I didn't or wouldn't say anything of the sort. I will continue to say this, however: If you aren't willing to live what you believe out in the community you will simply forfeit the right to preach the Gospel. And the Gospel at its heart is reconciliation (2 Corinthians 4). Because my church has lived that out for decades, not just in Word but also in deed, God has given us the authority to "expand our territory" and reclaim the neighborhood for Christ.

You reveal your true colors by being unwilling to give a answer for the hope that is within you. ...

At this point you're talking trash, delivering insults that detract and distract from the topic at hand. Frankly, I'm not impressed in the least by your alleged knowledge of Scripture because doctrinal "purity" doesn't mean a hill of beans if you won't act on what you believe in the way that God shows you. I personally am trying to do that, but because that doesn't suit your ideology you feel the need to run me down.

Maybe what you need to do B.D. is listen to Jesus, drop your anger and bitterness and get on with Him in truth!

Physician, heal thyself! The truth be told, you have actually exhibited far more anger and bitterness than I; if that weren't the case you wouldn't have gotten personal and judgmental.

I learned long ago to get along with believers I don't agree with on "non-salvation" issues; however, we can walk together as family and work together to build the Kingdom. I truly enjoy that fellowship with those who are not like me because we can learn from each other.

This is why I shake my head when I see people bash other Christians and Christian leaders for not following their agenda to the letter, as though they're not true Christians who hear from God and revere the Word. And let me go back to what I said earlier in this thread: I do detect some envy toward Rick Warren, Brian McLaren and others who are making names for themselves (so to speak) who don't subscribe to the "received" doctrine -- as I've said many times, it's very possible to subscribe to a sophisticated, elaborate theological system and completely miss God in the process. Do you remember that Jesus had compassion on the people who didn't "have it right" but continually slammed the religious "experts"? Let's get our priorities straight!

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

You still did not answer the question with regards to Christ! I simply was looking for a answer for the hope that was in you, and the only hope for the entire world. You should never be ashamed or hesitant in naming the name of Christ if you believe He is who He said He is, Immanuel-God with us, He came to save His people from their sins B.D., God came to save us!
With regards to being personal, you had already breached that long ago, I have just finally gotten around to responding to your baseless accusations towards the body of Christ. Your accusation based upon your own bitter view, you deny that there are those here that do just as much as you if not more, but then again we do not feel that it is necessary to parade things before you to make a point, our reward is in heaven. You talk about getting along with those that have common ground yet you deny even those things that I say that are complimentary towards you! You deny it when I have brought up specifics with regards to supporting labor among those who are less fortunate, and you never mention the need for their knowledge of the Gospel of Christ!
Quite frankly, your knowledge of the word of God is a display of what you believe in, itself, simply put you neglect to look at what the word of God actually says, what is being spoken and you pick and choose sound bites that make you feel justified, eisegesis is where you spin things to your advantage, Rick Warren is a master at this too! You directed to 2 Cor. 4 as a example of man's reconciliation to one another, but the point to the whole passage is that any reconciliation is attained through obedience to the Word of God and that reconciliation is only between man and God, then it is only between those that have a saving faith in Him! In verses 1-6 it is anything but reconciliation to those that are in the world because, as it says, "Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled,, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake.
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." If you would have read chapter three you would understand that we are servants to the ministry of reconciliation, and that reconciliation is God to man in the case of these passages, we do not bring reconciliation man to man, the only way that is attained is if the 'veil is removed from the hearts of those that do not believe' and that is only done when one turns to Christ alone. There is no liberty apart from this... right B.D? Just read chapter three too, that is if you have bothered to read any of this at all!
Since I am certain you will accuse me of denying that we need to be reconciled to one another, which is true, let me make it clear that the only reconciliation that is possible between men is the reconciliation that is wrought between God and man first and then the Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of the other work between men, read 2 Cor. 5: 16-21, this a much more applicable passage to our call to reconcile man to God, but then again it does not call us to reconcile man to man, that is a work that can only be achieved via the fruit of the Holy Spirit that comes after we are saved. Apart from Christ there is absolutely no hope of reconciliation!
With regards to the envy of the other teachers that you mention and that you say you 'detect here,' that is quit laughable and untenable B.D.. May they have all the attention and exposure that they want, ultimately God will expose them for what they are, false teachers.
Once again, your denial in answering the questions regarding Christ is quite telling. I will pray that you come to a knowledge of the truth of Christ, who He truly is and what it is that He has called you to, a true liberty and the only redeemable fruit bore in Him. He is the one and only true God and there are no other gods beside Him. One day you will bow to this B.D., your pastor too, as will all of us, some willingly but many will be forced.

BlueDeacon said...

With regards to being personal, you had already breached that long ago, I have just finally gotten around to responding to your baseless accusations towards the body of Christ. Your accusation based upon your own bitter view, you deny that there are those here that do just as much as you if not more, but then again we do not feel that it is necessary to parade things before you to make a point, our reward is in heaven.

Please -- I've seen with my own eyes the things I'm talking about. Since the 1980s I've known personally what's it's like to be denigrated by other believers for not being "politically correct"; I can handle it, however. Bottom line, my accusations are thus not at all baseless. And as for your contention that there are people here who do as much as we, if that were the case you would have applauded it and possibly even asked more questions about our ministry, also saying, "How can we do the same?" Because we have zero doubt that we are obeying God; otherwise He would not blessed us with not only numbers but also unparalleled opportunities to get the Gospel out, even to political leaders in the city.

I don't know what church you attend, but based on your pronouncements I wouldn't go there. And if I weren't already a believer you would have a hard time convincing me to follow Christ -- because, ultimately, He is not the focus of this discussion; defeating me is (and I don't particularly how much Scripture you can quote; Satan can do that better than you or I). For that reason, as I've been saying, you can come up with a system of theology to justify your opinions that completely misses God Himself. I will thus not continue this line of questioning.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

B.D.: 'if that were the case you would have applauded it'

Gig: 'It is great that your church could purchase the problem tavern in your community. My hope would be that you would use the opportunity that God has given you to preach the Gospel in it's entirety to that community because of the door that He has opened.'

I also have agreed with you on many more things than just this, it is simply your denial of Christ that makes the work that you do void! You will not even answer the most basic of questions with regards to Him and it is plain for all to see.

B.D.: 'Please -- I've seen with my own eyes the things I'm talking about.'

You have not seen it all B.D., as I have said 'it is your own narrow little slice' of your world, and that is tinctured with your own bitterness as displayed by your bitter words here and denial of the Word of God.

B.D.: 'Because we have zero doubt that we are obeying God; otherwise He would not blessed us with not only numbers but also unparalleled opportunities to get the Gospel out, even to political leaders in the city.'

What is your Gospel B.D.? Who is the One through whom it comes? What is His name? Is there any other name under heaven by which such a great salvation might be obtained?
Your confirmation is purely pragmatic I assure you. Not that God does not bless, but assurance comes by means other than blessings of prosperity and numbers. This is exactly the methods that the pharisees held to in their 'zero doubt' that God was with them. I might recall to your attention Mt. 7: 21-23

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. 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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"

Those that He 'never knew' did mighty works as well!

B.D.: 'I don't know what church you attend, but based on your pronouncements I wouldn't go there.'

Be that as it may the invite is out to you any time. I would still come to your church no problem, may not agree with it's methods or doctrine but I would be glad to be a guest.

B.D.: 'And if I weren't already a believer you would have a hard time convincing me to follow Christ -- because, ultimately, He is not the focus of this discussion'

OK B.D., you have to know though that it is the Father that draws all men to Himself. I am simply one of His vessels that sows and waters His words, I am nothing in the grand scheme of things and it is Him who brings the increase.
As for Christ being central to the discussion, I have deferred to His words for direction and it is in them that the truth to this whole issue has resolved. I have asked you to name Him a number of times, I have called you to proclaim who He is to you and you have denied to do so all the way. I refer you back to Mt. 7: 21 "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven.

B.D.: 'He is not the focus of this discussion; defeating me is'

Defeating you is not and has not been my goal. Rather a faithful exposition of the truth. I have tried to take you to the Word of God and show you what it says and that is all that I can do. I have proclaimed to you who Christ is, Immanuel-God with us and I have shown you what it is He commands us to do, I have even agreed with you on certain points of which you have disregarded all together. So, what can I do but pray for you that you would come to a knowledge of the truth. You have said that 'it is about more than just getting fire insurance' and I agree with that to a point. The problem is that if you are not redeemed by Him and you do all the good deeds that the world has, your works are still considered as filthy rags and you will perish with them! He is the eternal one and it is all about Him. He is the beginning and the end, Jesus the one and only true God, apart from Him there is no other and everything that we do apart from Him is futility. In the end, when everything is said and done, He will have all of the glory, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ, and only Him, is Lord of all.

The Heretic said...

You were right about the ending. I gasped and hung open mouthed at that. How in the world does this guy think that God will hear the prayers of "all faiths" and be pleased and bless that? This is truly sad. I think it goes way beyond Kumbaya. I am really speechless and don't know what else to say.

The Seeking Disciple said...

And yet Christianity Today is calling this prayer "great" and "what courage". This truly shows how far the church has fallen in America (2 Timothy 3:5).

melissa said...

My 2 cents:

The "prayer" was irreverent and worthless.

BD is a good example of how some "christians" have distorted, cherry picked, and twisted the Word of God. I pray God will bring him and those like him, into the complete fullness of the truch of Christ and His gospel message.

To the person who mentioned the food stamps in the hood. Yep, seen it myself with my own eyes, many many times, when I used to work in a local grocery store. They would hand me food stamps with diamond laden fingers, then put their purchases into the back of a Lexus or a Caddy. Our social programs where a great thing, and are still good for those who really need them. But they've been abused by con artists and lazy bums to the point that many of those who really need the assistance, can't get it. It reminds me of a commentary I hard Paul Harvey make once about social welfare programs. His analogy is this:

There is a reason that park officials in large cities and such make the rule that you should not feed the squirrals and other animals. Once you begin to feed them, they will stop foraging. And eventually they will completely depend on hand outs.
Well said, Mr. Harvey.

BlueDeacon said...

BD is a good example of how some "christians" have distorted, cherry picked, and twisted the Word of God. I pray God will bring him and those like him, into the complete fullness of the truch of Christ and His gospel message.

melissa -- FWIW, I grew up in a strong Reformed church, committed to the LORDship of Christ myself nearly 30 years ago and have never backslidden; however, I come from a very different background and thus interpret the Scripture and foundational doctrine just a bit differently. Just because I have never supported conservative ideology and never will do so -- in fact, it's not far off to call it "idolatry" -- is no excuse for you to question my relationship with the Savior. As it is, I see some things in the Word of God a lot of people with "good theology" won't address because their real goal is cultural authority, not spiritual maturity.

You know, we Calvinists talk a good game about the "doctrines of grace" but, as this blog has shown, often do a poor job of extending grace to people who don't see things quite our way. I wish we would be more like Spurgeon, who had the highest regard for John Wesley despite his belief that Wesley's teachings were way off.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

The crux is who you see Christ as! Do you see Him as Immanuel(Hebrew-God with us Is. 7: 14; Is. 8: 8; Mt. 1: 23)? Is there any other God besides him(Dt. 32: 39; 2Sam. 7: 22, 32; Is. 44: 6)? Is there any other name under heaven by which men might be saved(Acts 4: 12; Mt. 1: 21; Acts 10: 43; 1 Tim 2: 5-7)? Is it true that Jesus is the 'way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by Him (John 14: 6)?
Just a few simple questions for you to answer. You have neglected to answer them before and by so doing you have disobeyed 1 Peter 3: 13-17;

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Pe 3:13-17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

You said that my focus before was not Christ. Well, now it most certainly is! Perhaps you did not know that you are supposed to be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Here is a golden opportunity to set the record straight B.D.. Look forward to hearing from you B.D..

BlueDeacon said...

gigantor123 -- The short answer is that I do, every word. However, the "afterlife" has never been my focus; doing right in this life is, and I think that's where I part company with most "evangelicals." In fact, the very phrase "born again" has nothing to do with heaven; Jesus was saying to Nicodemus, effectively, "Unless you adopt God's viewpoint, you will not understand what He's doing in the here and now." (The context should be clear considering the conversation.)

You see, I wasn't won to Christ through preaching and the fear of being condemned to hell; it was the example of the character of the people whom I attended church with, which was different from my world of that day. I thought, "If that's what being a Christian is, then that's what I gotta have."

That's why I don't get all bent out of shape about such issues as "do they have their theology right"? That's often irrelevant because God is so much bigger than any box we put Him in and none of us gets it 100 percent right anyway.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

B.D.; 'The short answer is that I do, every word.'

Gig.; I do, every word?
If the Word of God holds any authority in your life at least consider that these questions are central to the faith that it speaks of and if you want to be short then be short in specific addressing each question!

B.D.; '"born again" has nothing to do with heaven"

Gig.; The literal Greek is better translated 'born from above.' Please point to some respected commentaries that hold to your opinion. As it stands that is all I see, your personal opinion and that does not mean much to me. With in the last year I conducted a class and did a thorough study on John 3 and your conclusions do not fit with in the confines of how biblical scholars have translated this chapter, especially verse 3!
Who is right, those that have given their life in the study of the Word of God, or you?

B.D.; 'I wasn't won to Christ through preaching'

Gig.; The Word of God specifically addresses this! Either you are confused and do not understand, or you contradict what it says. I will let it speak for itself.

Romans 10: 5-21;

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says,  “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?  “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says,  “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For  “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says,  “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
a “ Their voice has gone out bto all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
 “ I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a efoolish nation I will make you angry.”
20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
 “ I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But of Israel he says,  “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 10:5-21). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

No doubt we have all seen examples, M.L.K., Graham you pick the person. The fact is that it is the Father that drew us to Christ, and if you were drawn by their Godly example that is great. If it is simply a mental ascent that you have chosen because it makes sense then you have a problem. John 3 speaks to a heart change by spiritual means and it has nothing to do with you and your mental ascent, everything to do with God's choosing. You see, Nicodemus did not even ask the question that this addressed, Christ knew his heart and he said to Nicodemus exactly what it was that he needed to hear, it had nothing to do with personal decision!
As I requested, please point to some recognized scholars that hold to you opinion.

B.D.; '"If that's what being a Christian is, then that's what I gotta have."'

Gig.; Was it their works that saved you, or was it His work on the cross? The greatest theologian has said that it is none of him and what He endeavors to do is preach only Christ and Him crucified. He said that it is the cross and Christ crucified that has made the way, not the works of man!

B.D.; 'That's why I don't get all bent out of shape about such issues as "do they have their theology right"?'

Gig.; Actually I do not get bent out about being right either! Rather I contend earnestly for the truth. Whether one is right is of little consequence, however if you have the truth the other naturally follows.
By the way, you echo the teaching of many worldly teachers that say that they do not focus on teaching what is right about God, rather they are concerned about making better people. Problem is that God does not see things that way, it his standard that matters and that is what one has to live by to be with Him. Your theology better be true!

B.D.; 'That's often irrelevant because God is so much bigger than any box we put Him in and none of us gets it 100 percent right anyway.'

Gig.; The only box that I have used is the Bible. Is it OK to use that one B.D.?
As I have said before, I do not contest that there are good works that we are supposed to do. However, those works have absolutely nothing to do with being saved, they are the fruit that comes after ones soul has already been saved! We have nothing to boast in because it is all of Him! What we believe will ultimately determine what we do, not the other way around! And more importantly, even if you do 'mighty works' if He does not know you then He will tell you to depart from you and go into everlasting darkness. There is no guess work or opinion involved with what I just wrote B.D., it is exactly what the little box of the Word says, by the way, it does instruct us to fear Him, Mt. 10: 28;

' 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.'

The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 10:27-28). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Christ said this, if you believe the things that you have told me you believe then I would recommend that you take His advice!

BlueDeacon said...

gigantor123 -- I am not going to respond to these questions, even though I can very easily, because I see what you're doing and don't appreciate it one bit. Basically, you are trying to discount the testimony of what God through Christ has actually done in my life and how He has done so because I don't think the way you do. And you call me judgmental!

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

I am not trying to discount anything, I am trying to add value and validity to what you say. We are to test the spirits, and that is does not just apply to the world it applies to all Christians. So, if my questions are so easy to answer, then answer them, the only person it could possibly benefit is you and the one who receives glory is Christ!

Stan McCullars said...

BlueDeacon,
Testing the spirits is the right thing to do. Paul has strong words for those who have different doctrine regarding the gospel. Namely, depending on which version you're reading:

(ESV) let him be accursed

(ISV) let that person be condemned

(NET) let him be condemned to hell

(NIV) let him be eternally condemned

(TNIV) let that person be under God's curse

Certain doctrines are critical. Be sure you're in the truth.

BlueDeacon said...

Testing the spirits is the right thing to do. Paul has strong words for those who have different doctrine regarding the gospel. Namely, depending on which version you're reading...

There's more involved than that. Say if you have someone like Apollos, who had the "basics" down but was missing a few things, which were explained to him eventually. And besides that, is that person bearing "fruit of the Spirit," such as goodness, kindness and self-control? In addition, does he or she "love the brethren"? Doctrine, while necessary, takes you only so far.

Stan McCullars said...

Doctrine, while necessary, takes you only so far.

False doctrine takes you nowhere good.

Works take you nowhere at all in a salvific sense.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

"There's more involved than that. Say if you have someone like Apollos, who had the "basics" down but was missing a few things, which were explained to him eventually. And besides that, is that person bearing "fruit of the Spirit," such as goodness, kindness and self-control? In addition, does he or she "love the brethren"? Doctrine, while necessary, takes you only so far."

And where do you get this information B.D.? Sorry to tell you this but it comes from your Doctrine! I would hope that you want the truth in your life and would be unwilling to settle for a lie, or even to compromise the truth just for the sake of unity, there is no unity without truth!

BlueDeacon said...

And where do you get this information B.D.? Sorry to tell you this but it comes from your Doctrine! I would hope that you want the truth in your life and would be unwilling to settle for a lie, or even to compromise the truth just for the sake of unity, there is no unity without truth!

Not necessarily, because there's such a thing called "majoring in minors." I managed to escape a quasi-Christian cult in the mid-1990s that did just that; its problem was not so much its doctrine (though it certainly did have doctrinal problems) but also its focus on "obeying the rules," which in this case basically ignored the grace of God. Besides, even a little child who doesn't have much "doctrine" can have the light of Christ shine in him/her and still be effective, and I know adults who don't always get into its fine points but who love and serve Him and His people with all they have. You can have all the "doctrine" you want and still be a complete jerk -- a lot of pastors are that way!

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

When we speak of the Word of God and Doctrine, what we are speaking of is truth. If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God then this a undisputable fact. However, if one has doubts about the veracity of the Word of God then their opinion of it and what comes from it would be quite low, one would be willing to compromise it with non truth, for say the sake of unity. So, to say that Doctrine is not important, at any level, is quite a naive statement or, perhaps, it is very telling about what one believes.
The bottom line is, even with a child, what we know determines how and for what reason we do things! Yes, God is gracious and He allows for our errors of comprehension or simple ignorance, the problems come with the willingness to compromise what one knows is truth for something else and this is a heinous sin.

BlueDeacon said...

So, to say that Doctrine is not important, at any level, is quite a naive statement or, perhaps, it is very telling about what one believes.

I never said that, as someone who myself subscribes to good "doctrine." That said, if you're into doctrine but if it doesn't assist in the kind of holiness and service that God demands of His people your doctrine is virtually worthless -- remember, the Pharisees were heavily into doctrine but in the process completely missed the God Who was in their midst. (This is what James meant when he said that "faith without works is dead.")

As I said before, I was won to Christ not through "doctrine" but by the example of the believers around me, and probably the same can be said for most of the converted. The Bible isn't just (or primarily) something to be digested; it calls us to action -- specifically, to be the "colony of heaven" that displays God's ultimate purpose. If we hold to that we won't need to do much evangelism because the world will beat a path to our door and we won't be able to build churches quickly enough.

gigantor1231 said...

B.D.

Obviously doctrine is not the end in itself but it is most certainly the beginning. James 2: 14-17 says;

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

The New King James Version. 1982 (Jas 2:14-17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

So, faith is dead without works, not only is it dead it was never alive! If one has genuine saving faith, which is entirely dependent upon doctrine because one must know their need for Christ and have been born from above, then that faith, 'in Christ alone', will produce the natural fruit of good works. It does not cut the other way, if you have good works it does not mean that you have saving faith. Anyone can do what appears to be good works, not having faith in the one and only savior and messiah to the world Jesus Christ! Then He will say to them "I never knew you";

Mt. 7: 22, 23

"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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"

As I have said, before the works are good, the doctrine must be right. I am not implying that our doctrine is not a work in progress with respect to what we do not know, I am saying, however, that it all starts with doctrine and if one does not know Christ according to what the Bible says then what they do is no good work at all and they will parish eternally if they reject that doctrine! This is why in our attempts to reach out to others we must proclaim the Gospel! Because if they do not know the Gospel, if they have not heard the Gospel then those that we reach out to are eternally separated from God! We can give them blankets, food, etc... all of this is temporal and will run out, if we give them the Gospel then what we have done is given them something that is eternal and if they perish physically accepting it then they are saved and in eternal relationship with the one and only living God, Jesus Christ.

BlueDeacon said...

As I have said, before the works are good, the doctrine must be right. I am not implying that our doctrine is not a work in progress with respect to what we do not know, I am saying, however, that it all starts with doctrine and if one does not know Christ according to what the Bible says then what they do is no good work at all and they will parish eternally if they reject that doctrine!

But people need to see that knowing Christ actually makes a difference other than the "afterlife"; they will not be impressed just because it's "what God says." Remember how God touched you; you will more likely "touch" others in the same way. That's why I just can't agree that it starts with "doctrine"; you may have grown in Christ but I seriously doubt you were brought to Christ in the first place because of it. That's also why Calvinists make notoriously poor evangelists despise their reputed focus on evangelism.

Deb_B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb_B said...

Blue
"That's also why Calvinists make notoriously poor evangelists
despise their reputed focus on evangelism."


Please give us some specific examples of a few of these "notoriously poor" Calvinist "evangelists" pastors and teachers against whom you lodge these allegations, preferably both from historical and current contexts.

Perhaps, for example, from a historical perspective Augustine? Luther? Spurgeon? Manton? Owen? Krummacher? J Edwards? Colonial missionary to American Indians David Brainerd? John Calvin himself?

From our current Calvinist pastors/teachers, to name but a few, who? Dr. John MacArthur? Dr. John Piper? Dr. DA Carson? Steve Camp? Ray Comfort? Michael Horton? Kim Riddlebarger?

Who are these "notoriously poor" Calvinist evangelical pastors and teachers, historically and currently against whom you lodge these extremely serious allegations?

Could you please cite specific resources we can reference?

Thank you.

P.R.E.Z. said...

I think both of you (bluedeacon and gigantor) are missing the point. You need both.

The Bible is clear about sound doctrine being something that a Christian needs and not to just go after whatever comes around because it looks good. (2 John 9, Ephesians 4:14).

However, the doctrine that we build upon must produce the fruit of that doctrine (Romans 6:20-22) or otherwise it's dead and useless (James 2:17-26).

When you have doctrine and no fruit, you have nothing but pride and legalism (1 Corinthians 8:1). If you have works without doctrine, you have instability, a prime candidate to be deceived into cults and the like (Hebrews 13:9, Galatians 1:6).

So it's not an 'either/or' situation. You need them both.

God bless.

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto

gigantor1231 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigantor1231 said...

PREZ

Please explain Eph. 2: 8, 9 in light of what you say. Christ did all to save, we take no credit at all, also explain in light of John 15 how we can do anything apart from Christ, Rom. 3: 27-31, 2 Tim 1: 8-14, 1 Cor. 1: 26-31. Works are a fruit of that salvation, good works are what we are designed for, Eph. 2: 10, Phil. 2: 12-13. James 2 says that it is evidence, it also says that it is what God uses to perfect our faith. Abraham was accounted as righteous because of His faith but it was his work of offering His son that was the visible tangible evidence and justification. Salvation is not of works but after one is saved it is bore out and perfected, it is the fruit, it is the evidence, by works we are justified, by grace we are saved through faith! Honestly though, even in our works there is nothing that we can take credit for because it is all of Him and it is Him who works to will and to do in us!!
I agree with you on this prez, beyond being saved, a work of Christ alone no works of man will ever attain salvation, after one is saved then works goes hand in hand with faith, essentially that is what James 2 says.

B.D.

God uses our good works to draw others to Him, just as He used Baalam's ass to talk to him! We have no part in the work of salvation in the sense that we save anyone, it is all of Christ, it is all to His glory. Those evangelists that sit and tally their conversions are in great sin because this is something sacred and of God in Christ alone.
As far as your comment on Calvinist, or reformed people being poor evangelists; where do you get your information? I notice that you post nothing to support your assertions! Whats up with that B.D.? As a matter of fact where do you get any of the information that you post here, seems to be just your opinion.

BlueDeacon said...

When you have doctrine and no fruit, you have nothing but pride and legalism (1 Corinthians 8:1). If you have works without doctrine, you have instability, a prime candidate to be deceived into cults and the like (Hebrews 13:9, Galatians 1:6).

Thank you -- that's the very point I was trying to make.

As far as your comment on Calvinist, or reformed people being poor evangelists; where do you get your information?

Look around today -- I'm not aware of any Reformed church that's having an impact on our culture, especially for the sake of Christ, while focusing all the while on "theology." Much of our literature is geared toward people who are already believers, and that was the case in the OP church in which I grew up. As for the people that Deb mentioned, I've read much of their stuff (I particularly like Horton) and they all assume a certain familiarity with historic Christianity; were I not already a believer I wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of it.

P.R.E.Z. said...

gigantor

I didn't say anything about salvation and I didn't reference that. You're going off on some tangent that's not relevant to the post I made.

My point was simply that you need both doctrine and fruit. Teaching and action.

Calvin was a man of God but he wasn't infallible. We need to focus on scripture and it's application (Proverbs 3:21)in our lives to affect other people and combat the nonsensical philosophies in our culture (2 Timothy 4:3). All of which is done by the power of the Holy Spirit and submission to Him.

As far as this exchange goes, it's really something that should be put under the bus because it's going in circles (2 Timothy 2:23). I think we've gotten to a point where we all agree. So let's move on. Nothing to see here. :-)

P.R.E.Z.
Truth Manifesto

gigantor1231 said...

prez

I agree with you, as I said. I was trying to speak in a voice of agreement and re examine the things that you said that were in common! As I said before; Yes, faith and the fruit of works go hand in hand, it is simply in the beginning, the actual act of salvation, all work is of Christ and there is nothing of us, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (doctrine!) we are of know effect until faith is combined with His word, faith is the gift, His sacrifice is the work of grace, we have nothing to boast in!
As for the exchange here, going in circles There is a considerable amount of history between B.D. and I, it has been a profitable exchange for me and I enjoy discussing these things with B.D., although I do not know if the feeling is mutual, it has still been something profitable personally!
Not meaning to be rude but if the exchange we have bothers you then by all means choose not to read.

P.R.E.Z. said...

By no means is it bothering me. If it was, I'd just mark your name and ignore everything you wrote because I thought you were generally annoying and someone who liked to cause divisions. It hasn't gotten to that point in this case and I don't want it to quite honestly.

However, when I see that the banter has gone away from what the actual blog post is about and we're 90 comments into this thing, I think a suggestion that it's probably time to quit is due. Not saying don't talk about it but to encourage taking the exchange elsewhere if it's not really pertinent to the post.

I say this, of course as a blogger and having to axe comments that are eight pages long that have nothing to do with the post.

Just my two cents. Do with it what you will.

Jude 2

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto

gigantor1231 said...

prez

I understand that our conversation is not spot on with what this thread began as, but Steve has been gracious towards others and I and allowed conversation to extend into the fringes of the topic, I mean this is about the political, ecumenical and social kumbaya that is prevalent today and that is what the thrust of B.D. and my conversation has been about. So, as long as the moderator of this blog has seen fit to allow us this grace I think we are in pretty good standing.
As for not being 'X'd' because you consider me divisive I appreciate your graciousness. I do have a question though; since truth can be so divisive, and even Christ said in Mt. 10: 34-42, He came to bring a sword not peace. The whole passage is divisive and Christ says that He came to divide. I have seen your own blog, "The Truth Manifesto", if what you hold to is the scriptural truth in your writings and verbal address,I have been accused of being divisive myself just by pointing out scripture, what a arrogant thing that I would go to scripture. I would imagine you have seen and produced your own share of divisiveness.
What is your standard in determining who you 'X'? What is the standard that you use to test and examine yourself in regards to being arrogant or puffed up? Is your standard with regards to this issue the same that Christ is addressing in the passage that I referenced? What say you?

BlueDeacon said...

I mean this is about the political, ecumenical and social kumbaya that is prevalent today and that is what the thrust of B.D. and my conversation has been about.

And I'm questioning why that is seen as such a threat. The charge here is that Rick Warren is consistently selling out the Gospel for political or social gain, which looks ridiculous to me because that's been happening for the past 30 years without complaint. Frankly, in my view it's ideology masked as faith that causes people to pass on the claims of Christ -- from the perspective of the outside it looks too much like inside baseball, people cannibalizing each other.

BlueDeacon said...

After examination I must amend my remarks -- it was about Joel Hunter, not Rick Warren, and I wouldn't have done what Hunter did either. That said, I still say the folks were looking for some reason to complain about, and it does sound like a desire for cultural control, not defending the faith.

P.R.E.Z. said...

Ahhh. Back on topic....sort of. :-)

Blue is right that this has been happening slowly but surely for decades. I'd say longer. Probably close to a century or more.

Even so, Rick Warren is the new mystical guru and his doctrine, which I believe gigantor was getting at, is off. Badly. Some call it heretical. But instead of calling his card on it, the church does nothing except those of us who speak out against it. Then we're vilified as being divisive and hateful and cult like. If you don't believe that, you can check out Slice Of Laodicea and check out the Rick Abanes story.

Even though it's been happening for quite a long time, it doesn't mean we ignore it. We keep saying something. What it looks like to the world is irrelevant because we are said to hold each other accountable in scripture. When someone doesn't take correction but continues on a path that's not according to sound doctrine, then it's not Christians eating each other. It's Christians defending the gospel against someone who's perpetrating like he has it and doesn't.

If you want to start a thread on where he's in error in his doctrine, tell me the forum ad I will certainly join in.

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto

BlueDeacon said...

Blue is right that this has been happening slowly but surely for decades. I'd say longer. Probably close to a century or more.

Actually, truth be told, going back to Constantine, when Christians "captured" the halls of power -- and that's the heart of the problem. As much as most of us who subscribe to this blog appreciate Reformed doctrine, the Protestant Reformation was still very much about power politics; since then faith and political ideology have gotten mixed up to the detriment of the Kingdom of God. History has shown that there is absolutely no way that the Christian faith can have the kind of mass cultural appeal many of us hope for without somehow being watered down.

This is where and why I was arguing with gigantor123 -- at other times I felt it was necessary to address some longstanding injustices (specifically, racism in this country and even in the church); as a result I was falsely accused of being "bitter" and lectured that I just need to "focus on Jesus." Ultimately, however, it doesn't work like that because we do have to get our own house in order, or at the least work on that, before we can effectively witness for Him.

It's also why I feel the "heresy-hunters" have missed the point. As I mentioned before, I don't have a problem with good doctrine, but if your doctrine doesn't lead to fundamental changes in the way you think, talk or act it's useless. A former pastor of mine noted that idolatry is a bigger problem in the conservative church than heresy -- because there is a tendency to want to use God rather than love Him.

P.R.E.Z. said...

Well it's looking like we're on the same page Blue, especially about the church having mass appeal. Jesus was pretty clear that it was not going to happen (John 15:14). Those that live Godly will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).

The church should be on the forefront when it comes to combating injustice and things that are blatantly against scripture (2 Timothy 4:3). Whether it's in the church or outside of the church. We are supposed to be the light of the world in everything, not just some things.

Where we deviate is the issue on heresy-hunters missing the point. I don't think they're missing the point as much as they are operating out of their gifting.

Everyone in the body of Christ is gifted at different things (Romans 12:6-8). These gifts define us. Who we are. Our personality. This mix of gifts color the way we look at the world.

Where we get it wrong is when we think our outlook is THE way instead of looking at what's being done and seeing if that serves the body of Christ according to scripture. We start projecting our views as being the only view and that's just not the case (1 Corinthians 12:15-18)

We need that diversity in order to operate as one unit. When this is according to doctrine, it works perfectly. But when we see things through one lens, we generally miss it.

Those who are actually spot on are correct (you do have the ones who take things way out of context and have a spirit of legalism behind what they say). What they're calling for is an adherence to sound doctrine and not every wind of one (Ephesians 4:14). We need that.

At the same time, we need to be calling people on to holy and righteous living because God calls us to be that way (2 Peter 1:15). We need this desperately. One big reason we have no power (2 Timothy 3:5).

I would also add, and this is just huge to me, that we need church discipline. People are in positions of ministry that have no reason being there (2 Peter 2:15). In addition followers are continuing to live openly in sin and attending church as if it's O.K. when they should be put out of the church (1 Corinthians 5:5). This shows the world that we take take what we do seriously and also makes them hates us.

This post is WAY longer than what I wanted it to be. Well, time for church. I'll hit you up later because I'm sure you have something to say. lol :-)

Jude 2

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto

islego said...

Must have missed something...we can, and in far too few efforts do, work alongside other faiths in common goals such as injustice to the poor, the fight against HIV/AIDS, world hunger, abortion, human rights, poverty WITHOUT sacrificing core moral values or our stand on the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Let's learn to work together where we can OR we can just keep fighting each other and pointing fingers at those who don't pray/dress/baptize/use the same Bible/sing/worship as we watch the world go to hell in a handbasket. A lot of the comments on Steve Camp's rant while ralphing sound like the cricism of Jesus for being a friend of sinners.

BlueDeacon said...

P.R.E.Z. -- I would add only that it's usually way too easy even to join a church in the first place. In the church to which I belong today, a couple of elders actually asked me for a brief testimony before I would be received as a member, and believe me, I appreciated that. We also need to be accountable to each other before it even gets to the point of members, let alone leadership, needing to be disciplined.

P.R.E.Z. said...

islego - Steve has been doing this for quite a long time. The blog is new but he has 20+ years of solid ministry under his belt and his doctrine is pretty solid. I personally have never been a fan of the music (just not my style) but always been a fan of his grasp of scripture for the most part.

What he's saying here is, quite frankly, about compromise which you yourself just mentioned you didn't want to happen. Even the Lord said if they're for us, they're not against us so it would be rather foolish to shun help doing a good work based on what a person believed. But when it came to Jesus and biblical doctrine, the apostles were pretty adamant about defending it. We should be also.

Again, it's looking through the proper lens of life. Personally, I look at everything through the lens of scripture as we all should. If it's not lining up, we should call it out to the light. It's our responsibility.

BlueDeacon - Can't agree with you more bruh. Can't agree with you more.

P.R.E.Z.
The Truth Manifesto