Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Believers Old and New Are Clueless about the Claims of Christ and Other Biblical Doctrine

From The Christian Post:

"The preaching to questions posed by young believers [in Q&A Emergent churches] comes at a time when Christians are increasingly addressing the failure of churches and seminaries to equip believers with the truth and how they can defend their faith. In a culture where truth is relative, more Americans are abandoning a traditional view of God and the Bible, according to The Barna Group, with only nine percent of the "born again" population holding a biblical worldview.

Focus on the Family launched The Truth Project last year to introduce believers to the Truth claims of Christ and tackle the pervasive problem ill-equipped Christians. Also, more Christian authors and leaders have published books answering some of the most common questions both believers and nonbelievers have about God and Christianity."

The Emergent Church Movement is HARDLY equipped to answer with sound biblical doctrine as their heart is one of rebellion against one VERY fundamental doctrine: the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Barna's definition of a Christian isn't even biblical. How would he even know what is a "biblical worldview" when he can't even biblically define a follower of Christ (he assumes Roman Catholics can be Christians for one thing, not to mention how he defines "Born again Christians" at his site]?

There is no room for error on what we believe about Jesus Christ. What we believe about Jesus has eternal consequences.

Joh 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."John 8: 58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” See Ex. 3:14.

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Joh 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

Col. 2: 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. [See Matt. 28:19-20 below--this is part of the Great Commission.]

Another problematic quote is FOF's goal through their Truth Project is to "introduce believers to the Truth claims of Christ and tackle the pervasive problem ill-equipped Christians"

What makes people think these are believers?
What gospel did they hear and trust in?
Could it be that the "ill-equipped Christians" aren't even Christians if they aren't saved in Truth and by Truth (John 8:24, Romans 10:9-10)?

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Why aren't the local churches teaching the truths of Christ?
Why are "Christian leaders" writing books instead of preaching to their flock?
How are these para-"church" organizations such as FOF and miriads authors (there's no unity of faith and knowledge of Christ even among them) being held accountable?
Why does FOF speak for Christians?
Where's the discipleship of new believers?

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

The role of the local church IS to equip each believer until we are unified in the faith (not a false unity, but one set upon Truth AND Knowledge of Christ), and are a MATURE MAN, no longer being children tossed around by every wind of doctrine that comes our way. The local church is where teaching and accountability meet. Not a seminary where there is little accountability and where the faculty has no clue who is coming or going.

Eph 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Easy believeism, mass alter calls, and a gospel without the proclaimation of Christ Jesus' deity, sinlessness, death on the cross for sinners, repentance of the sinner, the resurrection from the dead on the third day of Jesus, the wrath of God on sinners, is not gospel. Its no wonder that so many people think they are saved but have no clue about Jesus. The Lord, however, commanded us to declare HIS Gospel, make disciples by investing in their lives, baptizing them in the name of the Triune God, and teaching them all He has commanded us in Scripture.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taking God's Name in Vain and Postmodernism

I read today on Parchment and Pen a post that I found interesting.

Speaking of Ray Comfort and how he points out taking God's name in vain to those who are lost to show their sin is "Emphasizing on non-essentials. Making the focus of his evangelistic persuasion to convince people of their sin is not the problem. This is a necessary part of the Gospel. The problem is focusing on the trivial sin of saying G-D. Well, let me correct this. He is focusing on listening to someone say G-D, not actually saying it yourself! If that is not straining out a gnat while ignoring the camel, I don’t know what is. "

How does God see His name being misused in any fashion?

Exo 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Vain: H7723 BDB Definition:
1) emptiness, vanity, falsehood
1a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity
1b) emptiness of speech, lying
1c) worthlessness (of conduct)

It can mean swearing to do something by His name. Ecclessiastes says this in chapter 5 I think it is, as does James. Roman Catholics (they are not Christians) blaspheme God when they call mere men "Holy Father" which is a title reserved ONLY for God the Father (John 17:11; Matt. 23:9). It would include mouthing "Jesus is Lord" and all other phrases "Christians" spout off all the time in a trivial manner. But it also includes swearing His name as an exclamation of unbelief or cursing....because its not from a humble heart crying out to God for mercy and in prayer, but rather rattled off from a pagan who hates the very Person and Name of God Father and God the Son.

God places HIS name and Word above all else:

Psa 138:2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

Mat 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.

God places great importance on His name, for His name carries His character. His name and character go hand in had. To take His name in vain, however the “manner”, is to trivialize not “just” His name (let’s not forget how many unbelievers take the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in vain, too) but the very Person of God.

Psa 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

In fact we often see how God’s name, such as Jehovah Jireh, was born out of God’s very character and faithfulness. He is the God Who Sees; The God of Hosts; the God Who Provides, etc.

Exo 3:13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Mat 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).

If it is wrong to God, then it is a sin and it should bother us as well. Even one sin earns a person death and Hell (which is why every person needs the only God and Savior, Jesus Christ). This is not a trivial matter. Its God’s character and our sin that is the issue.

With such a low view of Scripture ( denial the inerrancy of Scripture here and says the Cannon of Scripture is NOT closed here ), its no wonder taking God's name in vain in any capacity doesn't bother their conscienceThey oppose God's declaration in Ps. 138:2 where HE says He holds His NAME AND HIS WORD ABOVE ALL THINGS. Pretty hard to do when you think God's word isn't inerrant nor completed. I won't even link to the other post on taking God's name in vain, because its riddled with swearing and using God's name in vain (with the cute and sarcastic note that those who are offended are just too immature to handle it).

Even to remove taking God's name in vain and thus making it useless and trivial, even unbeliever's speech will be judged:

Mat 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Parchment and Pen goes on to say, "Our postmodern culture is smarter than this. Not only can they smell hypocrisy from a mile away, they are on the hunt for it. All this does is serve to confirm the postmodern suspicion that Christians live in a naive world that has no real depth or understanding."

The Postmodern culture wouldn’t know truth if it bite them on the nose. They are the epitome of hypocriscy, so really, they have no “moral authority” much less any absolute truth to make any distinction on anyone else’s behavior. They are the very ones who defy absolute truth. They ask along with their father Pontus Pilate, “What is truth?”, and abhor anyone who dogmatically claims to know truth. They are the group who clamours about being oh-so-tolerant, until you tell them they are wrong or are in sin. Suddenly they have an absolute! So really, without any foundation of the fact that Truth is knowable and God has revealed it to us in His Word and to some extent in our consciences (Romans 2 about simple right versus wrong issues), its not the Christians that have a lack of real depth or understanding, but rather the Postmodernists who claim there is no Truth or that Truth is unknowable.

Jude spoke of Postmodernists when he penned his letter:

Jud 1:10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

Jud 1:14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

Jam 5:12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

For more on Postmodernism's error and how to combat it go here.

"I admire him for doing what he is doing, but he really needs to understand what he is talking about before he hits the street....Forgive me for being simplistic with such satire, but that is what people are hearing when the focus of peoples rebellion becomes such things."

I thought they were supposed to be Irenic? This post was hardly peaceful, rather it comes out running with a kitchen knife at Ray Comfort who at least is out there proclaiming the Gospel. Where's the peaceful way of looking at opposing view points that Reclaiming the Mind prides itself on, here? Its missing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Unity has been an ongoing issue at my church in recent months. There’s been a plea for unity on the current church building project. My pastor even switched from his current series of going through the Gospel of Mark, to jumping into Eph. 4:1-3, as his call to unify and not divide, on the church's building fund (first they showed a DVD, then had a pep talk by some guy to rally around this project, then this topical message).

I noticed C. Michael Patton also wrote about unity at his blog.

Something is missing from both men, and its this: unity, true biblical unity is always based on Truth.

What my pastor failed to do that Sunday, was to start with the doctrines proclaimed in Eph. 1-3, which is Paul’s basis for going on to discuss how to live out the truth and thus have unity. I know for a fact, had he done that, it would have caused DISunity, simply because even our elder board, let alone many people at church, do not believe in Sovereign Predestination as Eph. 1 clearly proclaims. Its easier to get on the bandwagon for a building I guess.

Patton goes beyond that and says in his post:

I believe that it is a real possibility—even likely—that God does not want absolute doctrinal unity. In fact, practically speaking, I think it would do more harm than good.

What I am saying is this: it may actually be God’s sovereignty that brings about division over the doctrine of God’s sovereignty!

[If this is true, why does God declare His sovereignty on every page of Scripture--and clearly in entire CHAPTERS of Scripture? Genesis 1:1 makes it clear HE IS SOVEREIGN and between that verse and Romans 1:18-21, for example, HE says HE has made HIS sovereignty known to all men by virtue of His creation. Psalms 33 also screams out HIS Sovereignty over creation and all men and their plans as does Is. 40, etc. The list is HUGE.]

He also says:

I believe that doctrinal disagreements are healthy for the church. When there is conflict between opposing options, the issue at hand is understood at a more profound level than is possible in the absence of the conflict. Conflict, in the end, can bring about a deeper conviction of the truth. When there is no conflict, there is no iron sharpening iron.

It is often said that heresy is God’s gift to the church. Why? Because when a false option is presented the truth becomes much clearer. In contrast there is clarity. In clarity there is conviction.

It is for this reason that we must be continually engaged with alternative options. As hard as it is to engage in beliefs that go against our present convictions, we need to recognize the value of the struggle.

Here’s the problem with that post-modern thinking.

There was no Scripture to support his view. Knowing Patton has a very low regard for Scripture: he denies the inerrancy of Scripture here and says the Cannon of Scripture is NOT closed here. Its no surprise he didn’t include it.

Unity is imperative according to Scripture.

Scripture says God wants believers unified based on Truth and is reflective of the Godhead:

Joh 17:21 that they may ALL BE ONE, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that THEY MAY BE ONE even AS WE ARE ONE,

Is there disunity among the Persons in the Godhead? No.

1Co 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ALL of you AGREE and that there be NO DIVISION among you, but that you be UNITED in the SAME mind and the SAME judgment….IS CHRIST DIVIDED? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

This seems clear to me. There is to be some division? NO! There is to be NO DIVISION among you, BUT (in contrast to division) be UNITED in the SAME MIND. This could not be CLEARER.
But wait, there's more...

Eph 4:3 EAGER to maintain the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is ONE body and ONE Spirit–just as you were called to the ONE hope that belongs to your call– 5 one Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, 6 ONE God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Eph 4: 13 until we all attain to the UNITY of the faith and of the KNOWLEDGE of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

1Pe 3:8 Finally, all of you, have UNITY of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

This isn't a suggestion. God is commanding us to have unity of MIND.

Phi 1:27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in ONE spirit, with ONE mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Phi 2:2 complete my joy by being of the SAME mind, having the SAME love, being in FULL ACCORD and of ONE mind.

This is just as clear. Unity is commanded. Same mind, one mind, FULL ACCORD.

Oh, you thought I was finished? Not yet.

To say that disunity is pleasing to God is to reject clear Scripture.

Joh 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you ABIDE in my WORD, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you WILL KNOW the truth, and THE TRUTH WILL set you free.”

1Jo 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT, and because NO LIE IS OF THE TRUTH.

Unity is to be based on the Word of God and God Himself. Not some man-made notions of philosophy or a church building scheme. And not about whether someone agrees with ME. I am not the issue. Scripture is. We need to be unified on Truth for then we will be like-minded and of one spirit in one faith.

Patton and other philosophers say that through considering error we come to know truth clearer. Is that biblical? I find Scripture saying we come to know the Truth by the Spirit of Truth and Scripture; we know Truth and what is right and what is wrong by going to Scripture and thus going to the Lord as we dwell on His Word.

Isa 45:19 …I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right.

Joh 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

1Jo 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

2Co 4:2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God

2Ti 2:7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Luk 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Is. 8: 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psa 119:104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Not done yet. There's more Scripture on how to know Truth.

1Ti 6:3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 1Ti 6:5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

2 Cor. 10: 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Phi 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Eph 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Heb 5:13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Psa 19:9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. 11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psa 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

1Co 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge," 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.

2Ti 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

2 Tim. 2: 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

Act 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Truth IS knowable, and Scripture has clearly stated what unity is and how it is achieved. Its only those who have a low view of Scripture and a man-centered mentality that are the dividers from Truth and seek to infest His Body with error, while calling us who stand for Scriptural Truth “divisive” “judgmental” and “hyper-critical”. Yet its not US who bring in the error and man-centered philosophies. Its them. To their shame. God still is in control, but such division FROM Truth, calling that which is evil, “good” and demanding unity on materialistic things instead of Truth is DISOBEDIENCE and SIN. God will not be glorified in that.