February 27, 2009

February 26, 2009

Free Will Ministries

T D Jakes is a Unitarian, a modalist, "One God, but manifest in...three different ways, Father in creation, Son in redemption, Holy Spirit in regeneration." This is called "Jesus Only" doctrine. He is a charismatic minister emphasizing divine prosperity and health.

Charles T. Russell, founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, is a Unitarian. He believes that Jesus as son of God is subordinate to Jehovah on the same level as angels. Joseph Smith is founder of the Mormons, Church of the Latter Day Saints. He is a polytheist. He believes that there are many gods and that we ourselves can aspire to be gods.
Adrian Rogers was a pseudo trinitarian who espoused trinitarian doctrine but in practice he was heading toward Unitarianism with his "come to Jesus" altar calls.
Kenneth Copeland: It is difficult to say what he believes. doctrine seem to matter very little to him but prosperity and health are uppermost. He says: " “If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike....If you stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and act and sound exactly alike....The image is that they look just alike, but the likeness is that they act alike and they are alike....All of God's attributes, all of God's authority, all of God's faith, all of God's ability was invested in that man.” (Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer IV (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0304), side 1)
Free will is a common thread that runs through the theology of these ministries. The path of free will leads to aberrant views of the trinity. Most of these ministries have reached that aberrant place in theology. Adrian Rogers' views are heading toward a non-functional view of the trinity. When he stands at the foot of the pulpit and says: "come to Jesus" he is the Father issuing the call and the Holy Spirit applying the Father's good pleasure. Rogers and the responding sinner are acting independently of God. The Christ they serve has to act independently of the Father.
Little gods act independently of God. All these ministries have little gods in their belief systems. They are constructed around free will.

Free Will, Continued

The path of free will leads to Unitarianism. Free will is independence from God. The Christ of free willism is an independent 'god' who acts on his own authority. That makes the gospel 'another gospel'. Free will makes man a 'little god', free and independent from God, Satan's delight! The love of free willism is a 'sloppy agape' and they insist that it necessitates the true worship of God. "We can't truly love God if our will is not free." "We are not robots and we will love God without Him!" The love for God is reduced to human sentiment. That is why so much of Evangelicalism today promotes so much folly in worship. It becomes entertainment and seeing whose sentiment is best. Who can sing the loudest, who can sing the best, whose performance is the best, who weeps the most etc. etc.

Christ successfully resisted this in the wilderness. He maintained what God expects of us all, a dependence on Him alone. This is something the humblest among us understands, the unnoticed common man and something the proud and arrogant deny! Our education and discipleship promotes this independence from God. To achieve success without God's help.

Have the humble naturally understood this? No, the humble are given the understanding by God. They understand because God grants them the understanding.

February 25, 2009

Free Will, Continued

Jesus from his birth had restricted dependent thought as Adam. Like Adam he was tested in like manner, only he suffered extreme hardship. Adam was in Eden, Jesus was in a rugged wilderness. Adam had excellent nourishment and a pleasant environment all provided by a caring creator. He enjoyed clarity of thought without duress. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit for the express purpose of testing and complied with the discipline of fasting. He struggled with clarity of thought under extreme duress.

The temptation of Christ was an attempt to cause him to act as a representative of God from his dependent thought. He was tempted to act independently of the Father. To surrender to this would make Christ another god like Satan himself. The argument given by Satan to Eve was quick and obvious, she should have known to resist this temptation. This temptation of Christ was perhaps lengthy with confusing principles few if any humans could understand. All this under duress.

Christ had not the benefit of counsel through the temptation only the mastery of the Word of God faithfully given through Jewish law; parents, friends, family and synagogue teaching. Dialogue with temple officials formed his understanding. The Holy Spirit was his constant companion through all this insuring he understood the truth.

Many evangelicals today sadly do not understand Satan's offer to Christ. He had to maintain his divinity as an incarnate son of man. He had to be both priest and sacrifice in order to accomplish redemption and that entailed being both God and man. The Word of God taught to the simplest individual was sufficient to combat the devices of Satan. Christ had to live by the Word of God, not tempt God, worship only Him and be His exclusive servant. He passed the test! Heavenly host were watching to see that he would succeed and angels came to minister to His needs.

Many religious leaders would try to tempt him during His three years of ministry. He had to have a clear understanding of who He was. He was not a god independent of the Father, that would make him a representative of God, acting independently. He was God equal to the Father, and not subordinate to Him. As man he surrendered this status to be subordinate to the Father and act dependently on the Father. From the cradle to the grave He was one of us, God the Son humbly obedient to God the Father. He as God died for the sins of the world. From the grave to the throne He sits exalted at the Father's right hand exalted as God and redeeming lamb and priest.

There is a connection to us asserting our free will and frustrating the divinity of Christ. Satan is the author of this confusion. The assertion of free will is a serious violation of Scripture, one which Christ avoided on earth! It is the most common failure of men to violate this. Anyone, even the simplest and humblest of men can comprehend this as demonstrated by Christ, himself. As Christ said to the religious leaders, "I tell you the truth and you believe me not."
This is the hardest truth to be heard by anyone holding to free will. You do not understand this because you are blinded by Satan from this truth, whether you sit in the pew or stand behind a pulpit.

Free Will, Continued

Adam was born sinless but without free thought; that alone belongs to God. The reason I say 'without free thought' is that there was the test that was before Adam and Eve and free thought, determinate knowledge cannot be tested. It stands alone. Adam was like God but not equal to God. Adam was a created representative of God. All that God created he pronounced it good from the beginning with the exception of Adam and Eve. They never heard that pronouncement, "this is good!" As God's special created representatives they would be tested and they would fail and a wonderful plan of divine intervention would take place to save mankind. This was designed from the beginning and not an after thought.

There is a mystery of iniquity here isn't there? Fearfully I tread here but this needs to be said, God is not the author of sin. His determinate nature, logos, is Holy. There is no lie in Him. We cannot say where sin came from. Christ did say that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and lived not in truth. Satan lies because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Satan was the source of man's test. He had a bent toward destruction and a desire to kill Adam and Eve. Satan served a purpose and did not have determinate thought, logos, else he would have been equal to God. He ursuped authority and became the god of this earth, the prince of the powers of the air. He is the reason we cannot own our own believe the truth. As Paul says, human free will is a lie of the Devil. Amen, brother Paul.

February 24, 2009

Free Will

Today at work I ask two colleagues a question: do humans have absolute independent thought? Yes came the answer from both who were Christians of the SBC persuasion. I answered back no they don't.

Both responded that man has free will and therefore must have independent thought. My belief is that only God can have independent thought. He knows the thoughts and intents of man's heart. By virtue of creation he made us and gave us thoughts. "I know the thoughts I have for you." There is nothing hid from Him! Satan and his angles do not have independent thought. The angles who serve god's purposes do not have independent thought. All that was created is subordinated to God and have restricted thought. Humans don't have independent thought and it is an attribute of sovereignty alone.

The logos of God is communicable independent thought. It is the council of the divine trinity whereby thought is communicated in a predetermined manner. All that exist was predetermined by this logos. Christ is the logos and the logos is God. Foreknowledge is the ability of God to see into the future what was determined from His past council. What was planed did not occur by foreknowledge but by determined independent thought. It was absolutely free without influence.

Man does not have this attribute neither is it shared with man by God. The Shema of Israel addresses this with regularity in the gathering of Israel for prayer. "Hear O Israel, "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God! The LORD is One!"

Man will assert and assault heaven and earth to defend his free will, saying "In order to love God man must have free will!" God is Love and all He determines is according to His own good pleasure. He puts the love in our hearts for Himself so that all things work together for good.

February 23, 2009

God Is Getting A Multitude Ready

Isaiah 61: 1-3
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

February 22, 2009

A Call To Apathy!

I've often wondered if the Holy Spirit works in a large Church like Bellevue Baptist with a famous pastor like Adrian Rogers. I have occasionally thought that perhaps the Holy Spirit has abandoned the Church and left them to their own man-centered devices.

However the Holy Spirit is still working in strange and mysterious ways. He moves among the common men. In spiritual issues doing nothing is preferable to doing the wrong thing. Most churches adopt the philosophy of pragmatic busyness. They quote the Bible "idle hands are the Devil's workshop" "Jesus is coming look busy."

Perhaps the Spirit is moving in the mist of the congregation discretely encouraging apathy! When Adrian Rogers preached evangelistically, soliciting decisions the Holy Spirit was whispering to men "let the preacher do what he does and don't get involved." When Dr. Rogers exhorted men to be soul winners the Spirit said to them, "ignore the plea."

Perhaps a great move of the Spirit took place and over a thousand people just sat there obedient to the call of the Spirit. They were not recognized for their obedience but in their hearts they knew they loved God and they would not be intimidated by motivation to be busy for the sake of busyness.

America is full of good obedient Christians who are not recognized instead they are the objects of scorn, Sunday after Sunday and through the week on TV and radio. They are the religious oppressed and some are persecuted for the sake of the name of Christ. They have not someone to open the good book at Isaiah 61 and say, "this day this scripture is fulfilled in your midst."

I exhort you to say no to:

1. Any witnessing class teaching you how to lead someone to Christ, just say no.
2. Say no to ascetic practices that make you feel you have earned God's blessings.
3. Say no to disciplining and mentoring, just say, "no thanks I have the Holy Spirit for that, He will teach me."
4. Say no to music entertainment, large orchestration and accomplished singing.
"No thank you, I will just sit here and make a joyful noise to the Lord!"
5. Say no to unity and yes to purity.

Join the massive ranks of good Christians who have been doing nothing for years. Rise up...er...sit there and do nothing. You are a member of a numberless body of people who dearly love God and are doing nothing. You will have your reward! See the salvation of the Lord! The Lord is faithful!

February 20, 2009

What I Don't Have To Do To Be Regenerated!

1. Push ups
2. Jumping jacks
3. Knee bends
4. Cry
5. Scream
6. Repent
7. Jack Squat
8. Raise my hand
9. Walk forward
10. Believe
11. Listen
12. Hear
13. Pay money
14. Take out a loan
15. Accept Christ
16. Tithe

What Do I Have To Do To Be Regenerated?

Click here for full disclosure!

February 17, 2009

Proud Grandfather!!!

For the fifth time I am a grandfather. A boy 9 lb. Big guy, Chase Allan!!! Thank you Lord.

February 13, 2009

'ordo salutis' Order Of Salvation

Theologians describe the process by which God brings redemption subjectively to the sinner in 'ordo salutis'. This is perhaps the least understood element of soteriology. This determines whether one is monergistic or synergistic, God alone works in saving saving sinners or there is a cooperation of the sinner with the saving work of God. This determines if atonement is substitutionary (once for all) or an ongoing work of salvation. It also determines when justification is given to the sinner.

My JW friend believes that all this was a hastily devised plan after the fact of the fall of Adam in the garden. The "interim ethic" and "passover plot" are also hasty views of Christ's death. The view that Christ resigned himself to the death of the cross after a disappointing attempt to set up a political Jewish kingdom is the result of a faulty order of salvation.

Between these faulty views and the correct biblical view is a wide space of theological manipulation attempting to reconcile what one wants God to do and what God actually does.

Paul in Romans 8:28-34 gives us his order of salvation. The Protestant Reformation was constructed around this in difference to the Roman Catholic belief in faith repentance and good works.

February 12, 2009

Heavenly And Eternal Salvation

My Jehovah Witness friend believes that God designed a perfect Eden for man to live in. He created a place for man to dwell and enjoy perfect fellowship with Himself. In this garden the world would be replenished and an eternal Kingdom established on earth. The fall of man was not in the mind of God and thus the plan of redemption emerged in war-like conflict. The plan of redemption was an afterthought, an interruption of divine plans by mortal men and fallen spirit beings. So now a patient God waits to test his creation as to who will truly follow His ways or rebel in disobedience. It will end in a destruction on earth of all evildoers and a final setting up of an "edenic" kingdom on earth ruled by an angel of God, Jesus Christ, the chief of Princes and his elect heavenly class (144,000) spirit beings.

The plan of salvation then is an afterthought! It is an interruption of divine plans. Naturally I have taken issue strongly with him on this. Christ's death was not an afterthought but a decision made before the foundations of the earth was laid. It was decreed in eternity before any created order. Oh, does he ever disagree with that! "Why that would violate free will." "Man sinned by free choice otherwise God would be the author of sin!"

Our salvation was a product of heavenly holiness. A state of perfect love and justice. Decreed by a triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. An eternal counsel was convened in eternity and a plan laid out without interruptions. There were no conflicts nor mysteries. There were no opposing forces in this plan. God is just and right in all His ways!

February 11, 2009

Eternal Redemption Accomplished

The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins. But it could grant forgiveness for the errors of the people on a regular basis. The conscience of sins remained with the worshippers.
The covenant with Israel was maintained by ceremonial sacrificial laws.

When Christ died the perfect sacrifice was offered and accepted by an offended Father. Sins were finally atoned. It was a "once for all" event. The old ceremonial law was now useless and that fact was demonstrated by the ripping from top to bottom of the veil that kept the worshippers from accessing the Holy of Holies. The common man could look into the sacred place and not be destroyed.

I'm certain that the arrangements were quickly made to repair the veil and continue the ceremony of sacrifices. Only now there was not a need of sacrifices. Christ had ascended to the Father's right hand as priest and lamb. What the old covenant could not do Christ had perfected the way into the presence of God.

From Calvary's cross eternal redemption had been accomplished!

February 10, 2009

Christ's Victory Cry, "It Is Finished!"

Hebrews 10:12-18 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Christ died, rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the father where he maintains an expectation that his enemies will be his footstool. This heavenly sacrificial transaction, unlike the earthly transaction, was an eternal once for all event.

Unlike the earthly sacrifice it was offered often. But Christ's offering was a once for all sacrifice not to be repeated. This means that the Lord's supper is to be an ordinance of remembrance not a transubstantiation of the elements into the body and blood of Christ. The symbol of the empty cross represents a once for all sacrifice for sins. The worshipping of a crucifix from which a suffering Christ hangs is unbiblical. The confessional booth from which sins are confessed to a priest is unbiblical. It all nullifies the wording of the New Testament book of Hebrews.

The sin of Adam and Eve is forgotten. There is no quilt for their sin and the errors of the saints are to be confessed personally to the heavenly high priest, Christ our advocate. We have the calm assurance of ready grace and cleansing from heaven.

Catholics are not the only abusers of Christ's sacrifice. Evangelicals demand the sinner to repent. This is something that the sinner can't and won't do anyway. But to go ahead and urge repentance is a judgement imposed by the saint upon the sinner. We are told specifically not to be a judge following our Savior who came not to condemn but to save. When we bring up the sin of the sinner we are requiring a re-cucifixion of Christ and that means the sinner has to confess his sin in order to obtain salvation. This then is Pelagian and Arminian evangelism far more deceptive than Roman Catholicism! It is salvation by works! It is cooperative salvation by the confessing sinner and the coerced Savior. The Holy Spirit has to acknowledge the confession, Christ has to die again for the sinner's sin and the Father bows to the will of man. This is a humiliation to God and yet in His loving kindness and patience sinners are saved. Someday someone will pay dearly for this evangelical disgrace.

February 7, 2009

The Battle For Gospel Preaching

Murray makes the statement on p. 70 of his book: "So the preacher has not done his work when he has spoken of Christ and proclaimed the historic facts of salvation." (emphasis mine) "From there he must go on to urge the reception of Christ upon all men." This is hypothetical universal atonement, hypo-Calvinism. It is an attempt to appease the Arminians while being a "five point" Calvinist. It is an attempt to appear evangelistic in order to endure the free-willers. It is a deceptive theological position.

On the day of Pentecost Peter preached about Christ and the historic facts of salvation. (Acts 2:22-36) That is all. The Holy Spirit did the rest! They were pricked in their hearts when they heard him. "What shall we do?" Only then did Peter urge them to repent. The Bible is clear that unregenerate men are never urged to repent. When a Biblical offer for repentance is given it is in the general context that repentance is part of the gospel but never urged upon sinners.
The non-condemning Christ offered himself a sacrifice for the elect who will believe when the Holy Spirit regenerates. That is the message that we preach indiscriminately to the whole world. We preach convincingly in the power of the Spirit, believing that the Holy Spirit will give the increase.

February 6, 2009

Are Southern Baptists Blind Or Blindfolded?

Dr Adrian Rogers did not employ a gay associate. The associate was a pedophile for just a few months but that is in the past and let us not bring this subject up any more, please! Gays do not serve as SBC ministers. We love gays but they do not hold official positions in the SBC and especially at Bellevue. Now every once and awhile a male minister may abuse an under aged boy but he is not gay.

Didn't I say we don't employ gays?

February 5, 2009

Stifling Dissent

If people are not allowed to express their views about the color of the carpet in the sanctuary then they will be silent when an associate pastor sodomizes his own son.

When Jesus overturned the tables of the currency exchangers and merchants displaying anger toward them with a whip in hand he was the son of God. "My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?" He stood at the entrance and would not let merchants carry merchandise taking a shortcut through the temple court.

He was the Son of God doing this but he was also a man as well. He was a homeless man without any credentials, a stepson of a carpenter from Nazareth.

It was common folk who picked up stones to stone a high-handed violator of the Mosaic law. Where did the common man get this passion for the law? It was embedded in his mind. The judicial system starts with the passion of the common man. Sin abounds when the passion of the common man is stifled. Scholarship, appointed authority, judicial sitting and skilled leadership are not the source of the move of the Spirit among men but the obscure common man. God dwells in the hearts of men by regeneration. He is the source of the passion that humble men possess and that passion which is a powerful force in man should not be quenched.

If God wants the carpet to be purple then He will get the right carpet by giving a common man the passion for purple carpet. But if the common man is told that it is not his business what color the carpet will be then don't be surprised if nothing is said when an associate sodomizes his own son. The common man will just sit back and let authorities take control and usually sin is covered.

"The carpet should be purple and I am mad as hell!"

February 2, 2009

Fire And Brimstone preaching

Fire and brimstone is a term used, sometimes pejoratively, to describe a motif in Christian preaching which uses vivid descriptions of judgment, and the damnation to Hell of sinners forever to encourage repentance out of fear of divine wrath and punishment.
Puritan preacher Thomas Vincent (an eyewitness of the Great Fire of London) authored a book called "Fire and Brimstone in Hell", first published in 1670. In it he quotes from Psalm 11:6 "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, this shall be the portion of their cup."
Preachers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield were referred to as "fire and brimstone preachers" during the Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s. Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" remains among the best-known sermons from this period. Reports of one occasion when Edwards preached it said that many of the audience burst out weeping, and others cried out in anguish or even fainted. One member of his congregation, Joseph Hawley, slit his throat after listening to it.
Today, preaching in more conservative branches of Christianity, such as many
Baptist, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Restoration Movement and Church of Christ churches, may be described as "fire and brimstone" in style. In contrast, such styles would be out of place in quietist traditions, such as the Society of Friends (or Quakers). The term "fire and brimstone" is more often used in current language to stereotype fervent preachers (though such few preachers would label themselves that way). -from Wikipedia

Edwards preached: "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours."

I am not appealing for a modern gospel of love in which we follow a Christ who provided an example for us to follow our own path of righteousness. I believe in substitutionary atonement. God laid on Christ our sins and he bore the awful wrath for us. Edwards lost sight of that in his effort to bring about reformation of the youth he cared for. Edwards and Whitefield sought evangelistic results in Arminian style through compromising their Calvinism.

Fire and brimstone sermons are products of Arminian-like theologies. Calvinist who seek to compromise limited atonement and irresistible grace are proponents of fear sermons that fail to consider the substitutionary atonement. The preacher is insisting that the sinner's sins are not atoned until a decision by the sinner is made. This annuls the words of Christ from the cross, "It is finished!"

February 1, 2009

Think About It!

Really! Sinners in the hands of an angry God! Why did Christ die on the Cross? Didn't His death appease the righteous wrath of God? Christ himself came not to preach a hell, fire and brimstone message but to save the world. When he open the scroll he went directly to His passage in Isaiah and he spoke graciously.

The poor were having the gospel preached to them. Who gave us the notion that we have to preach a message of fear, urging men to repent and accept Christ. "Hang them over the hot flames of hell by a thread!" Why would you ask a spiritually dead sinner to repent, when he can't? Why try to complicate a simple message with unwholesome words designed to entice a decision.

The decision lies with the Father, but you think that narrows the "saved" to just a few with the majority lost. First, we have no control as to how many, but the descriptions of heaven portray a large crowd too large to count. We are commanded to speak the words of the gospel. God uses the mouths of men to spread the good news and the Holy Spirit works alongside that speech.

The message is a proclamation, an announcement without coercion. The Holy Spirit does the convicting and revealing by regeneration. The message to believe and repent follow this work of the Spirit.

Christ tell us not the sinner that "he who believeth on him is not condemned." Paul tells us not the sinner, "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." John tells us not the sinner, "whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely." We are not told to tell the sinner these things but we are told to believe that is what happens when the regenerate are coming to us. The regenerate believe, call and drink when they are born again. They need us to provide the promises to believe, give their savior a name, and hold out the cup to drink freely.

I will post later about who is in the hands of an angry God. It may surprise you.