January 29, 2009

Jonathan Edwards, Calvinist?

Jonathan Edwards preached the famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an angry God"

"There is nothing that keeps wicked men, at any moment, out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." "All wicked men's pains and contrivance they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, don't secure them from hell for one moment."

Johnathan Edwards wasn't a good Calvinist (if in fact a Calvinist at all). He believed in the well meant offer and universal atonement. He was practically an Arminian when he preached this sermon. Sinners are not in the hands of an angry God, Christ, His only begotten Son was in His angry hands. God laid on Him the sins of the world. His wrath was appeased at Calvary! This is NOT the message of fire and brimstone but a glorious proclamation and announcement!

Sinners are not called by men at all but God by the Holy Spirit regenerates men according to the pleasure of His own will. Once regenerate the call to repent and be baptized is issued. What was Jonathan Edwards thinking?

Did He believe that God saves sinners? Didn't he remember that Christ himself said He came not to condemn the world but that through Him they might be saved.

edit to add (Feb, 2, 2009: Perhaps I was overstepping to suggest that perhaps Edwards was not a Calvinist. My criticism is with the sermon and far be it from me to speculate about Edwards. The struggle with Calvinist to cooperate with the non-Calvinist in evangelism and revivals seems to me creates a tendency to compromise the sovereignty of God in making a free off to the sinner. This compromise by great men has created problems for Calvinism. When I say Calvinism I mean the Biblical gospel of grace. We are living with the consequences of those compromises today as witnessed by the current American Evangelical scene.

January 27, 2009

Do You Really Believe That God Saves Sinners?

Notes to Acts 2:4 Scofield Reference Bible
(8) Sins against the Spirit committed by unbelievers are: To blaspheme Mt 12:31, resist Acts 7:51, insult Heb 10:29, "despite," lit. insult). Believers' sins against the Spirit are: To grieve Him by allowing evil in heart or life Eph 4:30,31 and to quench Him by disobedience 1Th 5:19.
The right attitude toward the Spirit is yieldedness to His sway in walk and service, and in constant willingness that He shall "put away" whatever grieves Him or hinders His power Eph 4:31.

There is a problem with these notes. If you believe in total depravity then you know the sinner is spiritually dead and alienated from God. He can't blaspheme or insult God. If you believe in irresistible grace then you know that God cannot be resisted by the unbeliever.

However if you don't believe in these cardinal and orthodox doctrines then you believe like Scofield that the unbeliever can blaspheme, resist and insult God.

There is another problem with these notes. These notes do injustice to the sacrifice of Christ to take away sins. Didn't Scofield believe in the effectual atonement for sins? No, he didn't. Didn't he believe that Christ offered a once for all sacrifice for sins? No, he didn't. Didn't he understand the meaning of Christ sitting down at the right hand of God? No, he didn't. You don't either if you believe like Scofield!

Friends, do you believe in substitutionary atonement? Most American Evangelicals today don't, do you? Do you recrucify Christ anew every time to make the free offer to the sinner? Don't you recrucify Christ anew when you say that the greatest sin is the sin of rejecting Christ?

January 26, 2009

Conversion And Water Baptism

Yesterday at my Church seven were baptized. One child, five teenage girls and an adult lady.
I joined in with everyone in clapping of my hands as an expression of praise but it has left me contemplating what conversion means in our church.

All were ask the question, "have you put your trust in Christ as your savior?" All answered in the affirmative. "I baptize you, my sister, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Buried with Christ in His death raised to newness of life" was the pronouncement as they were immersed in water. Naturally they were lifted out of the water!

To differing degrees the minister commented on each candidate as to their conversion testimony. A couple of teenagers were particularly noted by the minister as vibrant in their witness to Christ.

Were their conversions the result of decisional regeneration? I am sure the pastor and his staff would be in an uproar if I asked that question of them. I do rejoice in these baptisms.

Nevertheless it brings me to the general question as to what we believe conversion is. The term has undergone changes in definition in our modern American society. When I was a boy a terribly ruthless child would be sent to a reform school where it was hoped he would be reformed in his behavior. An adult criminal was sent to a State Penitentiary where it was hoped he would through struggle of isolation reach a penitent state and come out reformed.

The rest of us were whipped vigorously by parent and teacher in hopes we would reform our ways. In all instances a change in behavior was evidence of reform and were rewarded with status in society. All this is history in our society and memories of days gone by.

We are encouraged to love and accept people as they are without judgment. They can't change and so society changes and adapts to their norm. Above all we must be a united and loving people. Hasn't this infiltrated the Church? Christ is a loving nonjudgmental being and we must follow him in a united nonjudgmental behavior before all.

So basically the problem for society is people like me who just can't give in to this. Eventually people like me will be sent off to institutions where it is hoped I will reform and be productive for society!

Oh my! I have digressed!

What is conversion anyway? Theologically there are three erroneous types of conversions represented by baptism that come to my mind. I have not gotten this from a textbook. It is a product of my own thinking. They are ceremonial, decisional and regenerative baptisms. All three involving actual water. I would hope that the nature of this would incite discussion and my views would not be seen as exclusive. I welcome debate.

First there is a ceremonial baptism, particularly infant baptism, that looks forward to a change in behavior and provides a historical landmark to look back to. There is no actual change in the candidate. The responsibility falls on the observers and baptizer to guide the candidate to a conversion. In my mind there is some validity to this as seen in the Acts accounts of households being baptized; adults, children and perhaps even servants. Still it lacks in some fashion.

Secondly there is decisional baptism that result from a previous decision followed by a water baptism. The responsibility falls on the candidate to actualize the conversion. Only he can validify the certainty of the decision. In my mind there are lots of problems associated with this baptism. Predictably there is a vast falling away of candidates from this.

Regenerative baptism is the greatest error and hopefully least practiced. It assumes at the time of baptism the candidate undergoes a conversion and is saved at baptism. It is expected that some evidence of conversion is displayed at the time. An emotional display of rejoicing by the candidate is expected and particularly with some Pentecostals the evidence of speaking in tongues is the single evidence of salvation. These are "Jesus' name" baptisms in which the doctrine of the trinity is denied. It is not only erroneous but dangerous in that it encourages phony evidence in order to meet the demands of the observers and baptizer. In a sense you get a one shot for salvation and you had better come up shouting and speaking in tongues. Incredible coercion creates nervous ship-wrecked believers, spiritually.

I hesitate to mention a fourth error because it is a conversion that does not need actual water.
It is "faith" baptism. It is often call "word of faith" and it seems to place little importance on water baptism at all. A personal positive confession of scripture made without verified evidence is all that is needed. It is ceremonial and intellectual and the results come later. You "name it and claim it" and it is yours by "faith." Many Charismatics and "health wealth and prosperity" preachers hold to this belief. Also many of the decisional baptism people practice this as well. It has a strong emphasis of "faith."

I hope that this encourages you to think and perhaps debate. What do I believe? I believe in Holy Spirit baptism, I Cor. 12:13, in which an actual heart conversion takes place, not ceremonial nor intellectual assent. It is like a birth all over again! It does not come from the believer's faith but the will of the Father. It is followed by a water baptism with the baptizer pronouncing confidently "thy sins are forgiven! Thou shalt receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and follow Christ!" It is a supernatural work resulting not in perfection but progressive sanctification looking forward to glorification. The rejoicing is not by the candidate but the emotionally excited baptizer and observers. They embrace him in a teaching community. The candidate is established in faith in an affirming community!

January 25, 2009

How Can Irresistible Grace Be Denied?

Steve Gaines preached a good sermon dealing with irresistible grace. He nearly convinced me to drop the doctrine as unbiblical! He has a sophisticated and intellectual audience and they were trained by Dr Rogers to listen intently and imitate the Bereans in searching the scriptures.

He made a few preparatory statements leading up to the main point. He has been trained in theology and good presentation. Who could argue with him? His main point was "some people believe that stuff!" I was floored. I had never thought that deeply along that line.

Webster online dictionaryfor "stuff": "writing, discourse, talk, or ideas of little value : trash" But it is not just Gaines using the word to settle a theological issue it is the way he says it. When a man from Alabama uses the word "stuff" he enunciates it with a snarl. Elvis could pronounce "stuff" with a snarl, raising the lips on one side and with a mouth full of mush.

The sanctuary was full of Christians and doubtfully not a single person could protest. This was the final authority. It was a definite infallible pronouncement.

He was a member of the 2000 BF&M revision committee and did he contribute this wisdom at the table with the other members? I wonder if Al Mohler just quietly accepted this definition?
I'm sure Dr. Rogers agreed with him. I would like to have been a fly on the wall in this discussion!

What this causes me to ask, is there credibility with Gaines and Rogers? Is their anti-Calvinism a willfully insincere denial of irresistible grace. I am inclined to think there is willful deception.
To deny irresistible grace is to admit that God's will can be resisted and that the blood of Christ is not effectual, that there will be people in hell who refused the blood of Christ.

January 24, 2009

Irresistible Grace

The sinner cannot resist the grace of God. Man cannot turn the jet stream that flows over America neither can he stop the earthquakes that erupts in her belly. Neither can he resist the Spirit of Grace! The Lord is not slack concerning His promises. God accomplishes His will!

edit to add: Irresistible grace is also effectual drawing. John 6:44 No one is dragged kicking and screaming into heaven but through regeneration the elect are drawn from spiritual death as one draws water from a deep well. (R C. Sproul) The sinner is not wooed to come up from the deep but is literally re-birthed and by the active force of the Holy Spirit brought to Christ according to the Father's will. None of this is accomplished under any cooperation of the elect. The Holy spirit compels by force. He does not extend an invitation or entice anyone to come. Jesus spoke to Lazarus and he left the tomb of death and came to life.

January 23, 2009

William Carey

Wouldn't you like to be able to go to India and labor for ten years without a single convert? I hear the virtues of Carey being praised from pulpits everywhere. With unwavering faith he labored steadfastly in the face of difficulties without a single convert! Oh my, I wish I was that dedicated!
Fret not thyself! Today, thanks to the development of Christian Science and media technologies you can go to India and see souls saved on the airplane before you get to India. The vision of Charles Fuller and the struggling missionary pioneer, William Carey, has been perfected and refined from a ten year struggle to a ten week crash course. In fact you don't even have to have the crash course. My friend if you have forty dollars to spare you can equip yourself! There are now 'means' to reach the lost. NavPress offers a "one verse evangelism" program for under, now don't miss this, $39.99. Evangelism Explosion offers a Level 1 Trainee Starter Kit w/ KJV Learning Cards for $34.95!
Today you can become a William Carey in the ease of your own home. Win friends and influence them to make a decision for Christ. In this day and time, if you are an Arminian, you have no excuse for not winning souls. No one but yourself hinders the cause. If souls are not saved it is your fault! Now go out there and get some decisions!

January 22, 2009

The Sacredness Of Grace

The Catholic church treats the handling of the communion elements with utmost respect. When it is blessed it becomes for them the actual body and blood of Christ. The officiating priest carries a cloth to wipe the cup lest any excesses be spilt. The wafer crumbs are to be caught and placed in the silver plate. A cloth is used to wipe any residue and then shook into the plate. If any of the wine is spilt it is wiped with a dampened cloth and rung back into the chalice.

The remaining host is consumed by the priest and the wine is either drank by the priest or placed back in the sanctuary where it can be used in another service or served to the sick-at-home. Any misuse of the elements is considered a sacrilege.

This is symbolism of irresistible and effectual grace. No grace is ever wasted and to consider grace an unholy thing to be wasted by the sanctified is to insult the Spirit of grace. This is trampling under foot the son of God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.

Adrian Rogers' misleading his followers into Pelagianism is guilty of a sacrilege of grace. He was a careless and indifferent priest, mockingly spilling the blood and scattering the bread to be trampled underfoot. There is no forgiveness for this and to do so is to fall into the hands of an angry God!

The blood is effectual and irresistible and not to be cast out carelessly. Not a drop of holy blood will be carried into the lake of fire. Every drop will be carried through the portals of heaven to be displayed before the Father for his glory.

January 21, 2009

Anti-Calvinistic Arguments - Continued

Adrian Rogers chaired the 2000 BF&M committee for the Convention. He met with able bodied men who thoroughly discussed all the assorted aspects of the document. Surely he was nothing less than Semi-Pelagian when he discussed original sin and enabling grace. He was an informed participant to the discussion of Calvinism. Like many of his peers he would argue for "mystery". Surely he would subscribe to the fact that there is an unknown element in the manner in which God grants a decision.

Yet when he stood in the pulpit he intentionally preached a deceptive message. He adjusted his belief so as to appeal to the common man. His presentation was a Pelagian argument. His straw man argument issued from a Pelagian view. Sadly all who listened and adhered to his sermons were led into Pelagianism. The common man in the pew cannot readily accept the ambiguity of Semi-Pelagian arguments. The simple ideal of all men having the capacity to choose is Pelagianism. This is not a small matter. It is not insignificant.

At the least Dr Rogers was insincerely wrong however the possibility exist that he was intentionally mischief with his theology. His attack may be an attack on the beliefs of Bible believers.

January 20, 2009

Anti-Calvinistic Arguments

Two predominant arguments arise against Calvinism. I have argued against both. Simply put they are: 1.) "Calvinism doesn't make sense to me." 2.) "Calvinism makes sense to you."

The first is rooted in Pelagianism, emotive and generally comes from an uninformed person. The second comes from a Semi-Pelagian and informed person. It carries errors of ambiguity.

The first ignorantly (at least the people I have argued with) deny original sin. Usually they blame me for doing harm to others by saying "God elects those He saves." They bring up the salvation of their children. It is a highly charged emotional argument that can erupt in outburst if pushed. To them Calvinism does not make sense. These people fail to give a good argument for total depravity.

The second group believe in original sin and total depravity and thus are Semi-Pelagian. They are informed and non-argumentative. Included in this group are those who insist on the universal free offer. They are hypo-Calvinistic and in my opinion are not really Calvinist. They are Arminian of a different sort. Their appeal is that my Calvinism is logical.

They embrace "mysticism" to describe the method God employs to give the sinner free will. The appeal is beautiful and implies the essence of faith in order to accept it. It has a Roman Catholic ring to it. It is the sacramental language of communion, how a dead sinner is enabled to make a choice.

Both groups by differing degrees reject any regeneration that precedes faith. The first group clearly insist faith precedes regeneration, clearing the way for an aggressive evangelism to the whole world. The second group insist that regeneration and faith are inseparable and mystical. It is such that a "universal free offer" is made to all rather than just the particularly elected.
The free offer is thus contrived and made to appear evangelistic. Simultaneously limited atonement is embraced by an insistence of two wills with God; a desire to see all saved and a special will for the elect to be effectually saved. This group takes issue with the first.

Both groups accuse hyper-Calvinism of being the enemy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Neither of them can identify a hyper-Calvinist, though it is the arch enemy of the evangelism of the church!

Evangelical's Rick Warren

Now we know what kind of Christianity will converge with the one world religion. It will be emergent ministries that are the product of Arminian American Evangelicalism. It comes from Fuller Theological Seminary. It is Church Growth Ministries with missionary emphasis. It is Evangelistic. It has a SBC flare about it! It carries an Adrian Rogers endorsement.

The religions it emerges with carries a temporary acceptance of "one man one woman marriage" but we all know this will just be a honeymoon thing. In fact the honeymoon has already been soiled by a gay activist prayer partner with Warren who will pray first.

"Blest be the ties that binds..."

edit to add: Reverend Lowery, not a gay prayer partner, offered the closing prayer.

January 18, 2009

Baptism Of The Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is regeneration, the new birth. God sovereignly directs new life into the hearts of the elect. It is the impartation of a new nature whereas the old was dead.
It is a quickening, a calling, a drawing, resurrection, translation, new creation and a "circumcision of the heart." All these describe a different aspect of the new birth. The Holy Spirit washes and renews us, baptizing us into the body of Christ, We are mystically joined to his universal body of believers. God is active in this birth and man is completely passive. It is not progressive but immediate and effectual. It is supernatural and actual.

It takes place below the level of consciousness. Like a new born babe he is not aware of his existence. He will acquire that consciousness as it grows. In Acts 2:37 it is described as a pricking.
It is the flow of spiritually fresh blood in an otherwise spiritually dead body. With the eyes of a child he ask "what must I do"? The new born have to be parented. Disciples are born and have to be taught the ways of Christ.

Perhaps most people, if not all, are unaware of their new birth. It does not come by the whims or desires of man. It blows like the wind and the source and direction is unknown. It is brought about by the Word of Christ, spoken in creation terms. God spoke and it came to be. It is effectual to whom he speaks. God's word never return void!

It is irresistible. Those whom the Father draws are effectually and wonderfully added to Christ's Church.

January 17, 2009

Come To Jesus!

Did Adrian Rogers hold to claims of being God? When he said "come to Jesus" to an auditorium full of people did he think he was God himself? Could he draw men to Christ? If salvation is according to the good pleasure of the Father wasn't Dr Rogers doing the Father's work by calling them to Christ? Was salvation according to the will of Adrian Rogers?

Did Adrian Rogers claim to be God? When he said "come to Jesus" did he believe that he had a magical key that would produce the new birth in the hearts of sinners? He said when you come forward someone would show you some scriptures and pray with you. Was there a magical incantation that if the sinner would yield to he would be saved. All the sinner had to do was submit to that secret prayer. When he uttered this prayer he would be mystically saved!

Dr Rogers undoubtedly believed that Jesus was divinely God, fully God. He had to be to fully purchase our salvation. But...did he know the Father and Spirit were equally God? Were they weak in certain areas and needed his help? Could the Father work according to his own good pleasure and was the Spirit capable of doing his part without the help of man?

January 16, 2009

Decisional Regeneration

There are three views of regeneration: baptismal, monergistic and decisional regeneration. Some believe that you are born again when you are baptized. The Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Oneness Pentecostals believe that you are regenerated when you are baptized. Others hold to a Holy Spirit Baptism, monergistic, solely the work of God apart from any cooperation from man. These are Calvinist and Reformed believers. The third baptism is the predominant view of evangelicals. It is decisional baptism in which the believer cooperates with God, opening his own heart to God for regeneration.

Decisional baptism is regeneration, new birth, received at the time of a sinner's deciding to accept Christ. It is expressed as walking down the isle to accept Christ. One may be lead to Christ by a soul winner who explains the way of salvation and leads the sinner in a prayer of acceptance. This DOES NOT MEAN that everyone saved this way are lost but it does mean that many false conversions are secured in this manner. Too many to dismiss this topic as merely argumentative. It has inherent dangers and poor results.

The dangers are a mistaken believe in the ability of man and this corrupts the foundation of all else that is professed in Christianity. It is an insult to the sovereignty of God and his own self determined pleasures.

It has no biblical basis nor does it have a historical tie to the first century church. It is a product of Charles Finney's methodology seen in the last several centuries.

For a good article about this and particularly as it relates to the Southern Baptist church go here.

January 14, 2009

Amazing Grace

I have this obsession of gnashing my teeth and humming. It drives my wife crazy! The last five days I have been humming "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the rising sun."

Last Saturday my manager and a coworker from work went with me to the homeless shelter to feed the hungry. Our Bible fellowship class along with a group from Arkansas go there once a month.

That day at work that tune was going over and over and the Lord dealt with me to sing that song in the service after the feeding. I haven't sung in church for over 20 years! I was scared and asked for permission thinking I would be denied. They already had very good singing and I am not that good and it had to be without music since the pianist didn't know that song!

They heartily agreed to let me sing. Now, it seemed that the Lord had directed me how to do this. There were nearly 200 homeless in the room and with the workers the room was packed.
I gave a brief testimony and then sang a few verses and though nervous I did OK but not real good. I forgot some of the words.

Now the Lord had directed me to get some fellows to come and help me. I said to the men "Is there anyone here who can do better?" About four hands quickly rose and as instructed I said, "well get up here, quickly." Everybody laughed but only a one armed man stood by me. I pointed to a songbook I had found and pointed to the verse and we would sing together. I don't think he could read so he said, "you sing the verse and I'll join you." I put my arm around his neck so we could share the microphone. He sang so forcefully and our voices blended in good harmony. Together we were good! I never felt so close to heaven! The praise was wonderful and the whole room came alive. I led the whole group to sing with us.

We become like Christ when we get with the right people. That one armed man needed that the well fed men needed that and I needed that. Thank you God for leading me!

January 12, 2009

As The Leader So Goes The Church

" The SBC church, institution or agency that believes the "leader" is beyond simple accountablity will find that leader has the capability to ruin the organization. When and if that happens, the fault will reside not only with the leader, but those laymen who were unable to see that a lack of transparency is the first indication that something is wrong." Wade Burleson

I am sure that Wade didn't have Dr. Rogers in mind when he posted this. However it applies to Rogers. I commented: "Is Bellevue the only SBC big church run this way? Rogers got by on this earth because of the self discipline of his personality. He just made you like him! That veiled something that God is revealing and Jesus said that wich is done in darkness will be revealed. Perhaps Paul Williams and this recession are providentially arranged to make known the truth."

Someone else said long ago: "The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

January 11, 2009

Was Rogers' God Contemptible?

The "god" of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The "god" who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form "gods" out of wood and stone, while millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a "god" out of their own carnal mind. A "god" whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt. Arthur W. Pink

Was Pink talking about Adrian Rogers' Jesus.? Well let's see.

1.) Could his Jesus be resisted?

2.) Could his Jesus' designs be frustrated?

3.) Could his Jesus be checkmated?

4.) Could his Jesus possess a title to Deity.

5.) Could his Jesus be worthy of worship?

All five items enlist argument as to whether his Jesus was the logos of John 1:1. Was He the Jesus who was with the Father and was God? Any one item that fails would disqualify Rogers' Jesus of being truly God. My considerations here are extremely radical and leave little room for anything but contempt for Rogers' Jesus. Am I as radical as Arthur W. Pink? You be the judge.

Mrs. Rogers' inheritance

And one of the company said unto him, "master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, "man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?" And he said unto them, "take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, "the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully": and he thought within himself, saying, "what shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?" And he said, "this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry."
But God said unto him, "thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

January 10, 2009

Message For Joyce Rogers

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

January 8, 2009

This Is Fun!

Pie Thrower said...
Mr. Page: My name is Darrell. I was the man that threw that pie in your face back those many years ago. I have read your "version" of that incident. Now please let me tell all about what really happened.We were on the town square celebrating the history of our town. Several of our town officials had volunteered to have pies thrown in their face to raise money for abused and orphaned children. It was hot and many people had lined up with money in their hands. All of sudden this young teen rudely pushed himself into that line and brutally shoved people aside to see what was going on. Apparently from your story, that rude young man was you.Well many were hurt and angered by your actions. So I exacted a sense of justice. If you wanted to see what was going on so badly to act the way you did I thought it only proper to show you up front, first hand. I threw that pie in your face. And let me tell you I would do it again if you acted the same way.I see that you are claiming to have suffered from “Arrested Development” for many years afterwards. What I should have done was had you arrested then; then you would have really suffered from being “Arrested”. Have you ever thought just once about the harm you did to those people you shoved aside so rudely? Have you ever apologized to them? How about taking an ad out in our Southern Standard and apologize to those people you hurt and injured by your actions? You were not the only one hurt that day. One of those hurt was my wife. You pushed her to the ground and she injured her knee badly. She ended up having surgery on it. How selfish of you to forget the pain and horror of your actions that day. Shame on you. Mr. Page; do the Biblical thing and ask them for forgiveness or does the Bible not apply to those you hurt and injured that day? I guess it only applies to you when convenient. Shameful, oh so shameful. Darrell
January 8, 2009 11:36 AM

My insightful, gracious and deeply humble response.
WatchingHISstory said...
Darrell, you are desperately lying!But let me say this, if you were the pie thrower I forgive you and you should know that you are an instrument to develop me as His servant. What you meant for evil (public assault on an under aged child - never to be justified regardless of my actions) has turned into good. I love you dearly and pray for your best from God.
January 8, 2009 11:48 AM

WatchingHISstory said...
Darrell, my friend What side of the courthouse did the event take place? what side of the crowd was I standing?What was the flavor of the pie? What kind of material was the pie plate? Was it cloudy that day?What outstanding thing that made the day around the courthouse interesting?
What was the closest public school to the courthouse? What was the closest church? Where was the Southern Standard Office? What local Radio station was nearby? What was the name of the funeral home near by? What was the name of the Auto dealership next to the courthouse. All these are things you would know. Naturally I have inserted trick questions and you would know which ones are tricks!
January 8, 2009 12:02 PM

Ain't I sharp? Tell me on the poll in the margin.
edit to add:
Pie Thrower said...
Dear Mr. Page: You and I both know I am not a female. I am not sure where you are coming from with all those other names and stuff, but you are STILL the same rude young man that hurt and injured several people many years ago and you refuse to apologize. I am almost 74 years old and I have little patience with you as I did back in McMinnville. I should have turned you over my knee and spanked your behind good. I cannot believe you are still as rude as you were back then. My dear Hilda wants to do more to you because of the way you hurt her. But it would not do any good, she is almost blind and is confined to a wheelchair. After I hit you with the pie you took off like a scalded dog. The way you scrambled off was got folks laughing at you. You can tell me on this blog that you forgive me but what about my dear Hilda? And the other people. You know very well you hurt people that day. I know my days are short before I join my dear Savior and I don't think I will hear, read or see you apologize to those folks. I was foolish thinking you would. This will be my last post to you on this subject. My sweet grandson, Sidney has been so kind to type all this for me. He has to be back to college and finish his degree in the seminary. He leaves in the morning. I am still amazed at all this high tech computer stuff. Never knew they had such gadgets. I really don't know why you are so mean. Maybe someday the blinders will really come off your eyes. Good bye Mr. Page.
January 8, 2009 8:03 PM

Hypocrisy - Leaven Of The Pharisees

Not all Pharisees were hypocrites. Many sought out Christ and He dined with them. He had lasting friendships among them. However "Pharisaical" has become synonymous with hypocritical. Jesus said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

We all sin daily and fall short of God's glory. We are normally remorseful and seek forgiveness. This sin so often springs from ignorance and failures to exercise diligence. Sin is inexcusable and yet seemingly unavoidable. Our common lot is a daily miserable state of wretchedness! Like the apostle we seek deliverance from this "body of death." "A just man falleth seven times and rises up again." Proverbs 24:16

There is a condition of sinfulness which is not the result of accident or ignorance. It is a willful construction, intentional and purposeful from a calloused heart. It is taught and mentored. It is rooted in pride and self glory rather than seeking the glory of others. While we are taught that the blessed life is found in poverty of spirit this condition is never remorseful nor repentant.
It exacts the law in ways that Christ warned, "ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin".
It is pressing, forcible and and urgent, efforts to obtain the desirable and appropriate demand for self fulfillment. To rise above the common lot of men and be seen as successful and self determined. Often this is seen in efforts to achieve victorious Christian living and an absorption with the overcoming life.

The end of the last century and the beginning of this century we saw a revival of Phariseeism in the form of John Darby and C. I. Scofield's dispensationalism. "Ye exact the Bible for the scientific and precise meaning of every word," Christ would surely say. Not content to see through a glass darkly with our "fragmented and disconnected" words and our utter dependency on the Holy Spirit to be progressively sanctified, we were given a glorified form of the Word. Perfection had come in the form of a Bible, not a translation but a reference Bible that gives the "vital reality" "wholly lacking...in expository novelties and merely personal views and interpretations." "The last fifty years have witnessed an intensity and breath of interest in Bible Study unprecedented in the history of the Christian Church." That which is perfect has come in the form of scientific minds, great men, humbly acknowledged in the third person by Scofield himself! Reference the Introduction to the Scofield Reference Bible

How arrogant can a man be? All this is "clear to his mind," and the "invaluable collaboration of a wide circle of spiritual and experienced Bible students and teachers in England and the United States." This is the works of men and then to seal out the Holy Spirit's assistance it is acknowledged in near blasphemous tones that these "injunctions," scientific determinations, are equivalent to the "commandments of the Lord." see Scofield's note to I Cor 14:1 item 5 old Bible edition

"Thank you, Holy Spirit, we don't need you and our word is equivalent to the writing of the Apostle Paul!" Phariseeism! At it's worst! So prevalent in today's American evangelical community. Many have abandoned the Scofield Reference Bible, however the wicked self-absorbed spirit remains in the form of Spiritless expository preaching and discipleship programs. Adrian and Joyce Rogers have been the chief proponents of this Phariseeism. Hardly any part of evangelical Christianity is unsoiled by this science.

January 7, 2009

Rogers' Island

Greg Alford on Southern Grits and Sovereign Grace deals with the issue of SBC and Pelagianism.
He is a scholar I aspire to be. He commented last night Tue Jan 06, 09:55:00 PM 2009 to Wade's blog, Grace and Truth to You: But I do know that the “vast majority of Southern Baptist hold Pelagian beliefs of some sort or another…” Then I responded this morning at 7:29 AM.

This is the point I am crudely making on my blog with real person accounts in ways that are offensive to people. See Anon's comments on my two previous post and I am certain we will hear from him again today. He cowardly refuses to reveal his identity. He makes "drive by comments" and my windows are full of bullet holes! Ha! Naturally his comments are emotional and baseless.

Adrian Rogers built a ministry on the sandy mythical island of human goodness. He falsely attributes this goodness to an enablement of God's grace, so stated in his BF&M. His methodology insist on the existence of this island and the people he leads to Christ live on a similar island. On this island a sinner can make a choice to accept or reject Christ. Naturally he is not clear if everyone lives on an island like this or if only the elect. It seems from his altar call methods everyone, that is everyone in the building, do live on such an island.

This is a variation of Pelagianism and Pelagianism is heretical! Is this variation also heretical? In my opinion I tend to think so with growing understanding of it. Can you make a decision for Christ on a sandy mythical foundation and then move to a secure place, which he calls eternal security? (and boast that you are a one point Calvinist) I don't think so.

He has denied original sin, total depravity, election, predestination, sovereignty and unconditional grace. How close to heresy can you get?

I believe that he lived his "regenerate" life on this island and claimed growth in "sanctification" and by conduct even "glorification!" This is the reason for the charismatic attraction that his followers saw in him. "He could do no wrong." From childhood he and Joyce were such good people! He could build a great ministry without anyone questioning him. He was virtually unaccountable to anyone. Boards and committees were just mirrored reflections of his views.

When Joyce rushed to Steve Gaines to get an affirmation that her husband did not know about the awful crimes of Paul Williams she was asserting residence on this mythical island. Listen to me, Steve Gaines, a man just like Dr. Rogers in theology, saw for himself the sandy foundation she stood on and could not affirm her request. I believe that day her house crumbled from a faulty foundation.

While everyone else all around her were tainted with Adam's awful sin, she and her husband were clean from this issue. Adrian Rogers sits weeping in heaven.

January 6, 2009

The Sin Of The Pharisees

The sin of the Pharisees was neglecting the weightier matters of the law. Matthew 23:23 In terms of importance this sin is a greater sin. It is committed willfully, repeatedly and knowingly with a calloused heart.

Only with the assistance of the Holy Spirit can the Christian properly discern the presence of sin but also the deceptiveness of the heart. Left to our own human devices we are certainly always going to be deceived.

Most American evangelicals believe that the only Gentile condition for salvation is believing and without delay the Holy Spirit is obligated to save. (see Schofield note 2 g - Acts 2:4) This places the final decision on the individual and eliminates both the willful desire of the Father and the fulfilling work of the Holy Spirit.

There has created a false belief that the inspired Word from the Holy Spirit is replaced with the rational discourse of the "mere" mind of man who properly exegetes the Word. (Schofield note ICor 14:1) He who properly exegetes the Word has the presence of God Himself. Believing this exegesis obligates God to act according to his Word. This human twisting of God's arm is shameful and brings awful consequences.

The Pharisees believed that a strict legalism obligates God to honor their reverence and obediance. American Evangelicalism denounces Pharisaical legalism and embraces easy believism.

Both groups create a false "island of righteousness" from which springs all sorts of hypocrisy.
That sin is religious pride, tedious devotion to outward conformance (self perfection) to the neglect of the important matters (the glory of others).

So let me say that when Joyce Rogers sought the protection of her husband's legacy she was acting from this "island of righteousness" and neglected a prayerful searching of the mind of Christ from the Holy Spirit. She was "pharisaical" shamefully so and failed to denounce the awful sin of Paul Williams and did harm to the one who bore the painful consequence of that criminal act, Chris Williams. She thought only of herself and nothing at all of Chris. She, of all people, should have made a public display with the same fervency she rushed to protect her husband and embraced Chris Williams. That is what Christ would have done!

She of all people should have led the congregation back to God, allied with Steve Gaines seeking to repair the breech between an offended God and a broken church. No, she jumped ship!

She has now reaped the consequences of opposition to Calvinism. The teaching of Pelagius has bore it's fruit and reaped it's awful destruction. People still will say "theology is not important!"
"Though she is wrong she is sincere! God love her." That won't cut it!

January 5, 2009

Joyce Rogers' Sin

A H Strong in his Systematic Theology says that everyman is by nature (not) prone to every form of sin. This is because some forms of sin exclude others. For example the sin of stinginess may exclude the sin of luxury, the sin of pride may exclude the sin of sexual desires. Strong references Matthew 23:23 as a scriptural illustration.

Joyce Rogers' strong sinful pride drove her to announce her husband's innocence before a Memphis TV channel 5 reporter and then call Mike Fleming's radio talk show on AM 600, WREC defending her husband's innocence of Paul Williams' horrible crime.

She acted on pride and failed to denounce the awful sin of Paul Williams. A sin of commission excluded a sin of omission. "We who teach shall be judged with a greater strictness." James 3:1; Luke 12:48

Not only did she fail to denounce Paul Williams with the intensity she defended her husband's integrity she led by example an arrogant walkout of Steve Gaines and her beloved Bellevue thus leading to a massive following of folks. This has lead to a large lay-off of regular laborers at Bellevue and perhaps even more. A Church she and her husband built she has helped destroy.

To the praise of Steve Gaines Bellevue is rebuilding with a newer vision.

Reference my previous posts here, here and here

January 4, 2009

My Testimony: My Day Of Pentecost

Remember my previous post of a secret cloud hanging over my head from age 13. Now I am going to tell you something about myself that occurred despite this unknown cloud. Sanctification is a life long process initiated at regeneration and continuing toward glorification. Glorification takes place at a glorious time of the Christian life, his or her death! Death, where is your sting?

Many of you will struggle with this testimony because you have dispensational issues. So don't just throw the baby out with the bath water. Read and rejoice or shelf it for contemplation.

Growing up Pentecostal I struggled with what was erroneously called the "baptism of the Holy Spirit." This baptism is regeneration. I Cor 12: 13 This baptism is a necessity for the new birth and a walk with Christ. It was the baptism of Jesus and the promise of the Father and the experience of Pentecost we sought. In my eight years of tarrying in my hometown church for this experience, I never realized a Biblical fulfilment of this promise. (only those of you familiar with classical Pentecostalism understand this) I never achieved the confidence that I was truly baptized with the Holy Spirit. This was probably because I was never taught the Biblical pattern for baptisms. I was unquestionably baptized by the Holy Spirit and had been baptized in water (trinitarian baptism) by a faithful minister but it was the baptism of Jesus and the promise of the Father I sought. I did not understand this nor did I know that I did not have to seek it! It was a promise and a gift.

In 1966 I was drafted into the Army and was stationed at Dachau, Germany. Our post was part of the concentration camp and our barracks were formerly for Hitler's SS troops. Across from our barracks was a small military chapel and we started a Pentecostal fellowship. Glen Wise was the fellowship leader and G. A. Swanson was the servicemen's representative for the Church of God European Servicemen's Department.

One night prior to our departure for the Kaiserslautern Serviceman's Camp meeting I was again tarrying along with others in the service. As usual it was getting late (time is never a factor in a Pentecostal service!) and in exhaustion I slipped from the altar and went back to my pew.

I sat down ready to go and get some rest for the long ride to Kaiserslautern, the next morning.
The first Biblical hint about this Pentecostal experience is I was "sitting" and more than likely when the seasonally southerly Egyptian wind blasted into the upper room in Jerusalem their "one accord" minds were not necessarily of a spiritual concern. They had been there for ten days! Maybe some were praying, some were testifying or singing. But there had to be some young Davids sneaking a peek at a young Mary at the back of the room. And there were some tired saints wishing they could retire to a sleeping mat somewhere. There were probably people huddled reminiscing of favorite times with Christ.

The only command was to tarry in Jerusalem not Dachau! When Jesus from heaven poured out the promise of the Father on the obedient 120 disciples it began a flow that has not stopped over the face of the earth. They tarried for Jesus' baptism. That is all the tarrying to be done!
We are not waiting on Jesus, He is waiting on us! The irony is that you are waiting on Jesus! No! You are the holdup! If you want this bad enough you will receive it. Ironically your tarrying is the very hindrance because it is a gift and a promise.

I was entering my ninth year of tarrying! I was not giving up but this altar experience was not working and it would not work. I was "sitting" and suddenly I was filled with the promise of the Father! I leaped into the air feeling like I would reach the ceiling. Before my feet touched the floor I was speaking in tongues and praising God. I was endued with power from on high.
Everyone looked back to see what the commotion was. The tarrying stopped and all joined me in praising God. We rejoiced back to the Wise's quarters and that night I knelt by the couch, my bed, and prayed away most of the night in tongues. At Kaiserslautern I met up with fellowship brethren from Munich and we rejoiced in the German streets running, speaking in tongues and praising God. Were the Germans understanding us? I don't know. Was there a gift of interpretation of tongues? I don't think so. We had a personal prayer language. I know that.

So here is the application. I believe it was Tozer who said "no one was filled with the Holy Spirit in a way that he doubted he was filled!" If you doubt you were filled then you probably were never filled. There are two conditions. This sounds contradictory doesn't it? First, sit down, stop resisting, stop hindering and start believing in Christ to baptize you. Let him 'gift' you this promise. He will not 'gift' you a stone or a snake. His eagerness to 'gift' you is greater than your expectation to receive it. Can't you see the self hindrances you put up? I can already hear you saying, "now that speaking in tongues is crazy!" "I will never do that!" "You'll never catch me jumping up and acting a fool!" Well, let me say, you won't receive it! You will never experience the baptism of Christ though you know the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Second and connected to the first is you have to "hit the street" with this baptism. You have to "go into the world" speaking the marvelous mysteries of God. You have to proclaim it in the market place, every place that commerce is transacted you have to be heard and not just seen.
Now this will not be a decision on your part to be heard and not just seen. It is a product of the filling. You will be swept outside. If you are not being heard in the streets then you have not been filled. Absolutely! Not seen in the world but heard in the world. Shame and this baptism don't mix. Bashfulness is swept away by this baptism. If you are ashamed and bashful before the world, if you are intimidated by what men think or say, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTIZED BY CHRIST IN BIBLICAL FASHION.

Well, I said many of you will not be able to receive this and now you know why! Go, sit, contemplate your commitment and then receive this promise. Maybe, though I truly doubt it, you may receive this endowment with out acting like a fool and "speaking in tongues" but when you are filled you will know it. You will speak the mysteries of God and that in itself is a "foreign language" to most evangelicals today. When you are filled and you know it "speaking in tongues" will be a piece of cake and the world will think you are a fool!

January 2, 2009

My Testimony: Arrested Development

Not till quarter to midnight December 31, 2005 did I realize what had happened to me when I was thirteen years old. My wife and I were watching TV. I had my Bible open to John 16 and was sharing with my wife what I was reading, I dropped to the floor and on my knees said to her, "honey, when I was a boy I was hit in the face with a pie!"

Immediately I thought to my self, "where did that come from?" I had never told anyone about that incident. It was 45 years ago! I was downtown McMinnville, Tennessee and we were celebrating our sesquicentennial founding of Warren County. I was alone and trying to elbow my way into the crowd to see the pie throwing event. Pies were being thrown at local celebrities. Someone thought it would be cute to hit an unsuspecting individual and I was that person. Suddenly I was the focus of the crowd and everyone was laughing at me. People still laugh at me when I tell this but it traumatized me to the core. I had to go to the 'colored' bathroom that was used as a homeless bathroom. It was filthy and the pie dried to my face making it difficult to clean it off.

I never told anyone about that event. It entered my deep psyche and remained hidden for 45 years. It left me frightened of crowds, always afraid of people laughing at me. It robbed me of my own human potential. I lived 45 years with this deep buried secret. I went on with life, Army, college, marriage, family, career and on the morning of December 20th, 2005 did what I did every morning while taking a shower; bang my head on the shower wall and repeat over and over, "I am so stupid." That was my life's mantra for 45 years.

My Testimony: "God Saves Sinners"

I was regenerate at 10 years old! No one knows when they became regenerate but they know when they confessed their sins and were baptized. Youth camp on Lee Highway, east of Chattanooga, Tennessee was the place I first received remission of sins. I remember weeping as we sung "Oh how I Love Jesus" standing on sawdust and wood shavings in an old open air tabernacle!

Even though I was raised a Wesleyan Pentecostal I was a Calvinist before I knew what Calvinism was. My family listened to local radio, especially Church programs and gospel singing. I heard an old fashion Baptist preacher say Sunday after Sunday we are "sinners saved by grace." That was the little leaven that leavened the whole loaf. I never read what John Calvin wrote. In fact I never heard about Calvin till college. The words of that old preacher went to the core of my being and remained steadfast. Nobody knew better than me that I was a sinner "saved by grace" and when Wesleyan preachers said, "we are not sinners saved by grace, we are saints of the most high," I knew better. While everyone else was confusing glorification with sanctification, I was a young sinner in a struggling process of sanctification seeking what B. B. Warfield called "that sight of the majesty of God that pervades all of life and all of experience."

I overheard adults describe a god who observes human lives from atop a tall building and he sees the cars in collision courses and therefore has knowledge of what is going to happen. "He doesn't force us to do something we don't want to do" they said. I said, "my God has to be bigger than that!"

I knew I was weak and had only a little strength and if I was to keep his word I would need a God bigger than that, otherwise I was on too many collision courses. As a young lad I focused on a sovereign God and not my human potential.