Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Baptism Bonded To Doctrine

Baptism is bonded to many doctrines such as the Trinity, teaching of doctrine, the Lordship of Christ, repentance, the atonement, and sanctification.

Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

To ignore the doctrine (and practice) of Baptism is to ignore the very command Jesus gave to baptize believers in His proclamation of having ALL AUTHORITY over Heaven and Earth. Unbiblical baptism is NO baptism and to relegate the issue as a "non-essential" IS to relegate HIS authority and HIS command as "non-essential." That is to say, it IS to be anti-Lordship and be in rebellion against the King of kings and Lord of lords.

See also Rom. 1:1-12, Acts 2:36-42, Acts 8:12, Acts 10:36-42, Matt.3:12-17

To separate the doctrine of Baptism from the other doctrines by creating a doctrinal triage, one is actually divorcing it from them. Divorce is, after all, man separating what God has joined together.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Reason For The Season: remembering the resurrection of Jesus Christ




Rom 1:1  Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Rom 1:2  which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Rom 1:3  concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 
Rom 1:4  who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Teddy Bear Christianity: religious political correctness and spiritual terrorists

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.



"Our security services and our police, hamstrung by political correctness, are just as interested (or more?) in rounding up Twitter “hate speech” offenders than criminal, rapist, or terrorist migrants. Our borders are as porous as our brains. We refuse to realise that there are now literally millions of people amongst us who hate us. Who hate our way of life, and who will, one day, dominate our public life." - Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, "Enough With the Teddy Bears and Tears: It's time to take back our civilization" on the West's repeated reactions to terrorists attacks like Brussels'

This can be said spiritually too. Church discipline is hamstrung by "religious pc" (aka the idol of graciousness and tolerance, aka "fair and balanced"). "Christian leaders" are more interested in silencing "hate speech"( aka ungracious speech, aka judgmentalism, aka unloving or unkind speech). Our doctrinal borders are as porous as our brains. Christians refuse to believe that there are enemies of the cross who secretly have crept in among us, among our own church elders, among the famous celeb Christians (teachers/speakers/bands/authors), those who really do hate Christ but have camouflaged themselves as "brothers"--- not so much to "spy out our freedom" but to spy out biblical obedience to the laws of Christ Jesus. Like our politicians unwilling to call Muslim terrorists, terrorists or jihadists, even refusing to call a jihad by its name but rather scale it back to "workplace violence" by "lone rangers", Christians refuse to call false teachers as such, but merely brothers who differ in doctrine and/or practice--someone with some bad theology, but someone who's not that bad. In both arenas, without identifying the enemy, we won't deal with the enemy appropriately. We live in a Teddy Bear Christianity, a Love Boat, if you will. Christians and their leaders demand we all co-exist. But by the time the doctrinal explosion has been detonated and it's fall out of sinful living has spread like a virus, horrific damage has been done to the souls of men, but worse, to the name of Christ and the Scriptures. Some might wander around shell-shocked ("How could he say that?" or "How could he do that?"), it's too late. Had they listened to the intel of the spiritual profilers (aka discerners), they could've avoided a church split, false teaching cancer, huge building debt, stealing of funds, plagiarism, public humiliation of the fallen pastor, the take over of an entire church. But like the West, and specifically, America, Christians think that spiritual terrorists won't attack their church, nor could they ever infiltrate their elders or "worship leaders". Arrogance both politically and spiritually is deadly. And avoidable.


Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. Rom 16:18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

Mat 7:15  "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Mat 7:17  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
2Co 10:5  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 

Doctrinal Divorce

Doctrinal triage is doctrine divorce. It’s a severing of doctrine by man when in reality all doctrine is married not only to each other, but to God’s very nature. His doctrine is true reality and reveals His mind (1Cor. 2:16).

It is interesting that Scripture doesn't allow for giving false teachers/ apostates a platform,nor says they have some truth that we can learn from. It states just the opposite. The claim of "who has perfect doctrine" is destroyed in this passage, as is the anti-Lordship salvation view:
On the qualifications of elders [caps, my emphasis]:
Tit 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Tit 1:10 For there are many REBELLIOUS men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
Tit 1:11 who MUST BE SILENCED because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.
Tit 1:12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
Tit 1:13 This testimony is true. For this reason REPROVE THEM SEVERELY so that they may be sound in the faith,
Tit 1:14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.
Tit 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
Tit 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and WORTHLESS for any good deed.
Indeed, myths and dogmatic teachings of men weren't harmless things they could hold to along with truth. Additionally a godly life is in direct correlation to sound doctrine (v. 9-16). Charismaticism is demonic and earthly, it is gnostic and fleshly. So to accept it as valid is to violate Titus 1.
Doctrinal fidelity in all doctrine proves one's fidelity to Christ Jesus.
2Co 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2Co 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

Deu 13:3  you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4  "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 

Doctrinal triage also divorces doctrine from practice (sanctification), so the practice of some sin is ok (as shown above) like fellowship with Belial or darkness via gnostics or false teachers even (2 Cor. 6). 

When people use a doctrinal triage, they are divorcing sanctification from salvation, etc, which rejects the whole point of salvation which is that: we are God’s handiwork (Eph. 2:8-10), created for the end of our salvation (Eph. 1:3-4,10-12; 1 Peter 2:12; 4:10; Titus 2:14; 2Thes 1:11-2) which is for His full glory, magnifying His grace in full praise for these attributes of His, according to His decree, purpose, plane, and will (1:4,9-11;2:6-7) and power (Eph. 1:19). We also are saved to the end of salvation for an inheritance (Eph. 1:1,4,18; 5:5; Col. 1:12, 3:24; Heb. 9:15). All of this demonstrates God’s power and Christ’s glory over all (Eph. 1:20-23).
1Th 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Deathbed Conversions?

"If nothing more than the fear of death or horror of Hell prompts the sinner to call upon the Lord, he might just as well call upon the trees. The Almighty is not at the beck and call of any rebel, who, when he is terrified, sues for mercy... The only calling upon His name which the Lord heeds, is that which issues from a broken, penitent, sin-hating heart, which thirsts after holiness."
~ Arthur Pink, "Studies On Saving Faith"

Andy Stanley: people who love small churches are small minded people

Recently, Andy Stanley ***accused Christians who prefer small churches with the sin of selfishness:

When I hear adults say, “Well I don’t like a big church, I like about 200, I want to be able to know everybody,” I say, “You are so stinking selfish. You care nothing about the next generation. All you care about is you and your five friends. You don’t care about your kids [or] anybody else’s kids” … If you don’t go to a church large enough where you can have enough middle schoolers and high schoolers to separate them so they can have small groups and grow up the local church, you are a selfish adult. Get over it. Find yourself a big old church where your kids can connect with a bunch of people and grow up and love the local church. Instead… you drag your kids to a church they hate, and then they grow up and hate the local church. They go to college, and you pray that there will be a church in the college town that they connect with. Guess what? All those churches are big.

~as reported in "Christianity" Today


This lambasting diatribe by false teacher Andy Stanely (who has a dog in the race--his own branch of megachurches) actually speaks out of ignorance on one level. According to a recent study by Duke University  by researcher David Eagle at Duke's Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, megachurches have less people involved than smaller churches.

Quote:
Research published last week by the American Sociological Association's journal Socius found, according to its abstract, "a negative relationship between size and the probability of attendance for Conservative, Mainline, and black Protestants and for Catholics in parishes larger than 500 attenders."
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/megachurches-less-involved-members-than-small-congregations-duke-study-finds-157080/#VLBDSwMuY4xqbrU4.99

Research published last week by the American Sociological Association's journal Socius found, according to its abstract, "a negative relationship between size and the probability of attendance for Conservative, Mainline, and black Protestants and for Catholics in parishes larger than 500 attenders."


"The addition of control variables does not change these patterns. These results support the theory that group cohesion lies at the heart of the size-participation relationship in churches," continued the abstract.

"With the rapid growth of megachurches in the United States, a negative relationship between size and frequency of attendance could serve to accelerate aggregate declines in attendance.

Eagle told CP that he believed three factors were generating this trend: megachurches having an inherent appeal for those who do not want to regularly attend church, megachurch attendees struggling to form social connections, and megachurch attendees having more members with high incomes than smaller congregations.

~ Excerpts from "Christianity" Today

More importantly, Stanley is pushing for dividing families IN the churches. While I'm not a proponent of "Family Integrated Worship", I do believe that his view is divisive not just with families but with the church. He is borrowing from the secular government school model where all children are divided up by age and that is all they associate with. They become divisive among themselves (6th graders wouldn't be caught dead being seen talking to much less playing with a 3rd grader!), developing a "us versus them", "we're in, you're SO out" clique mentality inside the churches as well as families. This is, ironically, the very heart of selfishness--the thing Stanley wants to accuse small-church members of.

Moreover, it shows Stanley's lack of maturity, that he never grew up out of the government elementary school/high school mentality himself. Scripture however, says that the various ages are a good thing.

Tit 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

Jas 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism....Jas 2:4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
Jas 2:8  If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well. 9  But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

There is no wisdom from among one's young peers--and if ever this passage holds great warning for such views as Stanley, this is it: 2Ch 10:6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you counsel me to answer this people?" 2Ch 10:7 They spoke to him, saying, "If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever." 2Ch 10:8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.
2Ch 10:9 So he said to them, "What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, 'Lighten the yoke which your father put on us'?" 2Ch 10:10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, "Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.' Thus you shall say to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins! 2Ch 10:11 'Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'" 2Ch 10:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, "Return to me on the third day." 2Ch 10:13 The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders. 2Ch 10:14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions."

Rebellion and lack of wisdom among peers is often the case and causes more rebellion.

Pro 22:15  Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. 

So how can a mere child grow into maturity with other immature kids, especially since it's likely that most of whom aren't even saved, as the road to destruction is Broad and that these megachurches are deliberately attracting unbelievers?

The selfishness of children, developed and emphasized by the world, teaches these children to have a haughty attitude of not associating with younger children. Cliques are the epitome of selfishness.

And frankly, it reveals Stanley's desperation to create a problem (selfishness and lack of loving their children) and then offers the solution, megachurches like his.

From my own experience, it is true: it's easy to hide in a large church but it isn't so easy to hide in a small church. How is wanting accountability and fellowship "selfish" anyway? How is wanting to actually know the people selfish? How is wanting to know who teaches your children and who is influencing them (and yourselves) "selfish"? Such accusations are those of a slanderer who is actually guilty of the thing he accuses others of being. To desire the best for a child and the family is the heart of agape love and parental authority. Stanley claims the opposite.

Back in 2013 I reported about Andy Stanley's view of churches and pastors. This is key to understanding how horrible his recent slander and attacks on Christian are: Quote: Andy Stanley who denies "shepherd" is a right term for pastors in his interview with "Leadership Journal":

There's nothing distinctly spiritual. I think a big problem in the church has been the dichotomy between spirituality and leadership. One of the criticisms I get is "Your church is so corporate." I read blogs all the time. Bloggers complain, "The pastor's like a CEO." And I say, "OK, you're right. Now, why is that a bad model?"
So what's the principle behind the CEO model?
"Follow me." Follow we never works. Ever. It's "follow me." God gives a man or a woman the gift of leadership. And any organization that has a point leader with accountability and freedom to use their gift will do well. Unfortunately in the church world, we're afraid of that. Has it been abused? Of course. But to abandon the model is silly.
Should we stop talking about pastors as "shepherds"?
Absolutely. That word needs to go away. Jesus talked about shepherds because there was one over there in a pasture he could point to. But to bring in that imagery today and say, "Pastor, you're the shepherd of the flock," no. I've never seen a flock. I've never spent five minutes with a shepherd. It was culturally relevant in the time of Jesus, but it's not culturally relevant any more.
Nothing works in our culture with that model except this sense of the gentle, pastoral care. Obviously that is a face of church ministry, but that's not leadership.
Isn't shepherd the biblical word for pastor?
It's the first-century word. If Jesus were here today, would he talk about shepherds? No. He would point to something that we all know, and we'd say, "Oh yeah, I know what that is." Jesus told Peter, the fisherman, to "feed my sheep," but he didn't say to the rest of them, "Go ye therefore into all the world and be shepherds and feed my sheep." By the time of the Book of Acts, the shepherd model is gone. It's about establishing elders and deacons and their qualifications. Shepherding doesn't seem to be the emphasis. Even when it was, it was cultural, an illustration of something.
What we have to do is identify the principle, which is that the leader is responsible for the care of the people he's been given. That I am to care for and equip the people in the organization to follow Jesus. But when we take the literal illustration and bring it into our culture, then people can make it anything they want because nobody knows much about it.

End quote.


Contrary to this false teacher, Acts indeed does continue with the biblical model of shepherding (ironically Acts 20 connects shepherding God's flock of believers in relation to protecting them from wolves like Stanley): Act 20:27  "For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 
Act 20:28  "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 
Act 20:29  "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Act 20:30  and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Act 20:31  "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

As well, Jesus Christ who is God the Son, identifies Himself as the Great Shepherd over His sheep of believers:

Heb 13:20  Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
Heb 13:21  equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus combined the two in John: Joh 10:1  "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 
Joh 10:2  "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 
Joh 10:3  "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 
Joh 10:4  "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 
Joh 10:5  "A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers." 

The true shepherd (versus the hireling) owns the sheep and therefore has a personal interest in their well-being. A CEO much less Fuhrer Elder does not own the sheep and has no personal vested interest or love for the people. 

Also the Shepherd/sheep model describes our sin and rebellion against Christ and His authority over our souls:

1Pe 2:25  For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 

1Pe 5:1  Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
1Pe 5:2  shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 
1Pe 5:3  nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

As you can see, Stanley's view of the local church has been unbiblical and worldly for years. It's no wonder he slanders Christians who see the value in a smaller flock where they can know the undershepherds (elders) and the sheep (believers).


*** Apparently Stanley had to walk back his careful and deliberate sermon and apologize for his harsh words. Despite his messy attempt to justify his words, it did in fact reveal his heart. His apology was self-contradicting too: he acknowledges his teaching is heard and read by people all over the place and then said that his remarks were "only" for the adults in his church (a church which, again, is full of ungodly people and led by a false teacher--himself) which followed, ironically a weekend sermon to middle school kids called "Walking Wisely". There's much to criticize in this interview of Stanley trying to patch up his reputation and words, but I won't do that here.






Thursday, March 03, 2016

Don't Even Greet False Teachers

2Jn 1:10  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11  for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

"greet":

chairō
khah'ee-ro

A primary verb; to be full of “cheer”, that is, calmly happy or well off; impersonal especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting), be well: - farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice.

The Christian is not to treat a false teacher as a brother in Christ and offer fellowship to him, much less give him, quite literally, aid and comfort. Of course many would say this is harsh and unloving (the false brother being the loudest to decry such behavior, no doubt), but our loyalty is to Christ alone. When He limits our hospitality to those who are of the household of God and not those who are teaching falsely about Him and the Scriptures, we are to obey Him and not feign a "better" compassion than He has. To give a warm approval of false teachers is to be guilty of their wickedness and is to help in their deception in the eyes of other Christians, thus misleading them as well. Purity in doctrine and practice is commanded by God.

Mat 7:15  "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 

Mat 7:20  "So then, you will know them by their fruits. 

Mat 7:21  "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 

Mat 7:24  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 

2Co 6:14  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 
2Co 6:15  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 
2Co 6:16  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 
2Co 6:17  "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Doctrine, Discernment, False Teachers, and Hospitality

2Jn 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

This letter is to a woman ("the elect lady") and the command is for her (and all) Christians to 1) know all the doctrine of Christ, 2) judge all who claim to be teachers of the Word, 3) stand on their own two feet b/c they will be attacked when alone --no appeal to hierarchy of church leadership but do one's own battling for Truth and against error, 4)discernment in hospitality -hospitality is not for all people, 5) no warmth or friendliness toward false teachers (no common ground, no excuses, no view of "I can withstand them and so I'll befriend them", no doctrinal triage, 6) see them as wicked workers, 7) don't even have an appearance of, much less actual approval of such men; not even the look of fellowship (see also Rom. 16:17).