Saturday, October 29, 2016

Spiritual Warfare

Here is a new article from Pulpit and Pen on serious error in the War Room's theology and practice (which is the real theology of Pricilla Shirer and her father Tony Evans, as is with Charismatics worldwide), as discussed by Justin Peters and Jim Osman (this is part 2):

If you saw the 2015 “Christian” film War Room you might recall the scene described below by Justin Peters in his review of the movie.  (If you didn’t see the movie, you can safely skip it, as there is more to refute than there is to extol.)
In one of the more emotionally rousing scenes of the film, upon discovering her husband’s philandering ways, Elizabeth retreats to her war room. As she repeatedly cites to herself James 4:7b, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” indignation swells within her and she begins to talk to the devil. “No more, you are done! Jesus is Lord of this house and there is no room for you anymore! Go back to Hell where you belong and leave my family alone!” she shouts.”  Justin Peters
As Peters points out in his review, “there are at least two significant problems with this.” He correctly reminds readers that “Satan is not in hell,” though that’s a popular notion believed by many.  Peters reminds us that, according to 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is “prowling about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”
Peters’ second point is much more important for believers to understand …

As Peters and Osman discuss, there are two broad views about spiritual warfare. The first – and Scripturally-correct – one is the truth view. The second, perhaps more prevailing, but no less erroneous, view is that spiritual warfare is about territory.....

End quote.

Go here for the full article.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Reformation Is Not Regeneration

"Reformation is not regeneration, and a changed life does not always indicate a changed heart.
Have you been saved from a dislike of God’s commandments and a disrelish of His holiness? Have you been saved from pride, covetousness, murmuring? Have you been delivered from the love of this world, from the fear of man, from the reigning power of every sin?"
~ Arthur Pink, "Studies on Saving Faith"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Andy Stanley Attacks The Bible

Behind this shift in what authority will be “leveraged” is the historical conviction that “the Christian faith does not exist because of the Bible (any more than you exist because of your birth certificate).” Rather, the Bible exists because of the Christian faith. . . . Before the Old and New Testaments were combined and titled “The Bible,” Christianity had already replaced the pantheon of Roman, barbarian, and most Egyptian gods and was the state religion of the Roman Empire.

The reason for this, he says, is that “for the first 300 years the debate centered on an event, not a book.” Holding to our faith in the risen Christ, we should not believe, “Everything rises and falls on whether . . . all the Bible is true.” Thinking that way is “unfortunate and . . . absolutely unnecessary.” If we stake our faith on the whole Bible being true, then “Christianity becomes a fragile house-of-cards religion, when we hear that perhaps the walls of Jericho didn’t come tumbling down.”

~John Piper on Andy Stanley

Here's the thing: GOD holds His Word above all things and it is on His WORD that His name and nature rest. It is because of His Word, which is faithful and true and reveals to us Truth, that we can then know God and praise Him and His name for that very faithfulness. We can't know God's faithfulness apart from Scripture. We can't even know His name apart from Scripture. And we certainly can't know the Gospel apart from Scripture.

Ps. 138:2… You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

Pro 30:5  Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

Psa 119:42  then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in Your word. 43  And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in Your rules.

Mat 5:18  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Psa 119:89  Forever, O LORD, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

Mat 4:4  But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Luk 24:44  Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Andy Stanley and John Piper: dulling the Sword of Truth

Tell that to Andy Stanley and John Piper:

So Stanley is suggesting that we not quote the Bible as “Bible” but rather refer to its contents by citing its authors along with some historical context that lends credibility to what the author says.

Behind Stanley’s decision to move away from “the Bible says” in preaching, and to move beyond “the Bible tells me so” in discipling our young people, lie three pivotal views: 1) a view of culture, 2) a view of how the Bible illustrates contextualization, and 3) a view of how redemptive events behind the Bible relate to faith and preaching.
He says that about eight years ago he changed his method of preaching:
As part of my shift, I stopped leveraging the authority of Scripture and began leveraging the authority and stories of the people behind the Scripture. To be clear, I don’t believe “the Bible says,” “Scripture teaches,” and “the Word of God commands” are incorrect approaches. But they are ineffective approaches for post-Christian people.
End quote.

It wasn't ineffective for Jesus Christ nor the apostles.

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 1:17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

Paul appealed to the Gospel and the Scripture (the Gospel is only revealed to us in Scripture) when writing to the Romans:

Hab 2:4  "Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith. 

Eph 4:17  So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 
Eph 4:18  being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 
Eph 4:19  and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 
Eph 4:20  But you did not learn Christ in this way, 
Eph 4:21  if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 

The Christian VS Political Reforms

Dear friend,

Allow me to say, that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms. When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, than it would be to paint the cabin—while the ship is sinking! Or to decorate the parlor—while the house is on fire!

When our Lord Jesus was upon earth, He refused to get involved in disputes or politics, "Friend, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?" Luke 12:14. "My kingdom is not of this world! If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight!" John 18:36. God's children belong to a kingdom which is not of this world; they are strangers and pilgrims upon earth, and a part of their Scriptural character is, that they are the "quiet in the land." Psalm 35:19.

Satan has many contrivances to amuse people, and to divert their thoughts from their real danger!

My dear sir, my prayer to God for you is—that He may induce you to employ the talents He has given you, in pointing out sin as the great cause and source of every existing evil; and to engage those who love and fear Him, (instead of wasting time in political speculations, for which very few of them are competent,) to sigh and cry for our abounding abominations, and to stand in the breach, by prayer, that God's wrath may yet be averted, and our national mercies prolonged! This, I think, is true patriotism—the best way in which people in private life may serve their country.

I consider the ungodly as saws and hammers in the hand of the Lord. So far as they are His instruments, they will succeed—but not an inch further! Their wrath shall praise Him, and be subservient to His designs!

If our lot is so cast that we can exercise our ministry free from stripes, fines, imprisonments, and death—it is more than the gospel has promised to us! If Christians were quiet when under the cruel governments of Nero and other wicked persecutors, when they were hunted down like wild beasts—then we ought to be not only quiet but very thankful now! It was then accounted an honor to suffer for Christ and the 'offence of the cross'!

Those are to be greatly pitied, who boast of their 'liberty'—and yet they do not consider that they are in the most deplorable bondage as the slaves of sin and Satan, under the curse of God's law and His eternal wrath! Oh! for a voice to reach their hearts, that they may know their true and dreadful state—and seek deliverance from their horrific thraldom! May you and I labor to direct them to the one thing, which is absolutely needful, and abundantly sufficient.

If I had the wisdom or influence to soothe the angry passions of mankind—I would gladly employ them! But I am a stranger and a pilgrim here in this world. My charter, my rights and my treasures, are all in heaven—and there my heart ought to be. In a very short time, I may be removed (and perhaps suddenly) into the unseen and eternal world—where all that now causes so much bustle upon earth—will be of no more importance to me—than the events which took place among the antediluvians!

In the hour, when death shall open the door into eternity—many things which now assume an 'air of importance', will be found as light and unsubstantial as a child's dream!

How crucial then, is it for me—to be found watching, with my lamp burning, diligently engaged in my proper calling! For the Lord has not called me to set governments right—but to preach the gospel, to proclaim the glory of His name, and to endeavor to win souls! "Let the dead bury their own dead—but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God!" Luke 9:60. Happy is that servant, whom his Master finds so doing, when He returns!

As you have forced me to respond—both duty and love have obliged me to be faithful and free in giving you my thoughts.

I recommend you to the care and blessing of the great Shepherd and Savior; and remain for His sake, your affectionate friend and brother,

John Newton

End quote.

The link is here. Thanks to commenter Lyn for passing this on to me. It is so true.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Thoughts on Evangelicals and Freedom

Those unwilling to give up a favorite book or author will be unwilling to give up rights, comforts, conveniences, a church, safety, or family for Christ Jesus. If they can't sacrifice the smaller things, they won't sacrifice the bigger things for Him.

In Evangelicalism, voting is a non-negotiable dogma, but separating from and rejecting false teachers is not.

The freedoms Evangelicals are willing to cuss over and protest for as they rage in horror at the prospect of losing them, are the very freedoms they use to practice sin and rebel against Christ.

Evangelicals are more passionate and angry when freedom is in danger than they are of Christ and His doctrines being twisted, rejected, and prostituted.

The Election

If you could not separate Bill Clinton's personal life from his presidency, you cannot separate Trump's either. Be consistent.

Those who tried to bully biblical Christians into voting for Romney (and then blame us for Obama) have yet to apologize while they have decided to not vote for Trump.

Monday, October 17, 2016

It's Not A Political War, It's A Spiritual War

Militant ‘anti-fascists’ launched

a brutal attack on an advocate of traditional marriage, in front of his wife and young children

as they headed towards a march in support of families.

Two videos show the unprovoked attack on the man as he and his family walked to join tens of thousands of protesters who marched through the streets of Paris urging the government to repeal laws allowing same-sex marriage.
Read more here.
2Ti 3:1  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 

Who's Endorsing Heretical "Jesus Is Calling"?

Pulpit and Pen report:

Here, then, is the list of those high-profile Christians who endorse the Montanist heresy that is Sarah Young and her Jesus Calling publications.
* Max Lucado, “Pastor and Bestselling Author”
* Mark Batterson, Pastor and author of another book of heresy, The Circle Maker
Melinda Gates, Wife of a billionaire
Roma Downey, Catholic Hollywood Mystic and Filmmaker
Rev. James Martin, SJ, Jesuit Priest
Shauna Niequist, “Bestselling Author of ‘Bread and Wind’ and ‘Savor’”
O.S. Hawkins, “Author of the Bestselling ‘The Joshua Code’ and ‘The Jesus Code’”
* Dr. Jack Graham, “Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, TX”
Sheila Walsh, “Bestselling Author and Speaker”
* Johnny Hunt, “Pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA”
Dr. & Mrs. Richard Lee, “Speaker for the Award-Winning ‘There’s Hope In America’ Television Series”
Kathie Lee Gifford, “Host of the ‘Today Show’, Author, Singer, and Actress”
Delilah, “Nationally Syndicated Radio Personality, Author, and Songwriter”
* Robert J. Morgan, “Pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, TN”
* Robert Morris, “Founding Senior Pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas”
Gretchen Carlson, “Television Commentator and Author”
Ainsley Earhardt, “Co-host ‘Fox & Friends First’”
Sean Lowe, “ABC Television’s ‘The Bachelor’ and Author of ‘For The Right Reasons’”
Charlie Daniels, “Award-Winning Country Music Superstar”
Jimmy Wayne, “Country Artist and Bestselling Author of ‘A Walk To Beautiful’”
Diana Hobbs, “President and CEO, ‘Empowering Everyday Women’ Magazine
Katie Farrell, ‘Popular Blogger of ‘Dashing Dish’”
Mike Reed, “Senior Vice President, Salem Media Group’
* Scott Sauls, “Pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville”
Janet Hunt, “First Lady, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA”
Diane Strack, “Author of ‘New Start For Single Moms’”
Josh Warren, “CEO, Purpose Driven Communications”
* Rev. Bob Fuguay, “Author, Senior Pastor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Indianapolis”
Anne Wright, “Wife of Johnson Ferry Baptist Senior Pastor, Bryant Wright”
Emily Ley, “Founder of Emily Ley Lifestyle Brand”
James Robison, “Host of ‘Life Today,’ Founder of Life Outreach International & The Stream Website”
Reba McEntire, “Bestselling Author, Artist and Actress”
Linda Leathers, “Chief Executive Officer, The Next Door”
Dr. Cindy Ryan, “Pastor, Writer, Speaker and Blogger”
Mike Gallagher, “Host of Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher Show”
Kristin Chenoweth, “Emmy and Tony Award-Winning Actress and Singer”
Phil Keaggy, “Guitarist, GMA Dove Award Winner, Grammy Award Nominee”
Lyn Mettler, “Writer and Blogger”
The list is sourced from the promotional website
So, while the enemy has amassed an impressive list of powerhouse, self-monikered “Christian” celebrities and notables to endorse this bestselling attack on the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, he’s also provided the Berean among us a helpful “Beware” sign. These notable names may be scratched off our list of reliable resources since they are eager to defy Scripture’s command regarding the fellowship of light and dark. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  Ephesians 5:11

End quote. More here.

Voting for a Mormon To Rule Our Nation

For those who'd rather have a Mormon rule over them because he seems better than another option, consider how treasonous it is against Christ the King when He addresses the Babylonian king:
Isa 14:13 "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north.
Isa 14:14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
Isa 14:15 "Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.
May I also say that such a cultist doesn't have reasonable thinking either; he is deluded and full of pride and arrogance. We must thinking of these things according to Scripture, not according to the flesh.

2Co 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

Joh 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It Begins With Evangelicalism

The choices offered to voters is a reflection of our nation both spiritually and morally. Evangelicals, take a look at the churches before you point fingers at either politician. I'll put it another way: Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, Tim Keller, the Presbyterian churches, the SBC, the UMC, the "Christian" magazines, the "Christian" "artists"; adultery, fornication, pedophilia, homosexuality,plagiarism, coarse talking from the leaders down to the church-goers, divorce, mysticism, feminism, evolution, rejecting all biblical doctrine as all important (starting with Genesis 1-3), church gluttony (spending millions of dollars on church buildings, leaders double-dipping) are the reasons God is judging this nation. He begins with the household of God. That's where we should start too.

1Pe 4:17  For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 


Mal 1:8 "But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.

Mal 1:13 "You also say, 'My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?" says the LORD.
Mal 1:14 "But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King," says the LORD of hosts, "and My name is feared among the nations."

"Good enough" mentality. Even the pagans would be offended but Evangelicals think God should be pleased. They have more respect for their political and spiritual leaders than they do for the Holy One of Israel.

Jer 23:14 "Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

Jer 23:17 "They keep saying to those who despise Me, 'The LORD has said, "You will have peace"'; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, They say, 'Calamity will not come upon you.' Jer 23:18 "But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?

Eze 34:1  Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 

Eze 34:2  "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? 
Eze 34:3  "You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. 
Eze 34:4  "Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. 
Eze 34:5  "They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. 

Endorsing What Is Contrary to the Truth

When those who profess to know God's Word endorse what is contrary to the truth of God, error is kept in power - Spurgeon

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Voting or Conspiring For Failure

For those who say to not vote for a "lesser evil"is to vote for evil, consider this:

Isa 8:11  For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
Isa 8:12  "You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
Isa 8:13  "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
Isa 8:14  "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Pope Makes Liberals New Cardinals: one equalizes abortion to joblessness

Pope Francis announced his choices for the new cardinals on Sunday. Among them are known liberals including  Archbishop Cuprich. The more conservative ones were left in the dust, like the archbishop of Los Angeles,Charles Chaput.
The report states the division between the liberals and "conservatives" within the magisterium:
A year ago, Archbishops Cupich and Chaput faced off over a theologically indefensible op-ed published by the Chicago Archbishop that suggested that abortion was no more important than a number of other social justice issues such as unemployment, immigration, and capital punishment.
In a signed essay in the Chicago Tribune, Archbishop Cupich listed a series of social ills that he said people should find “just as appalling” as the gruesome ripping apart of unborn children and the sale of their organs by Planned Parenthood.
While applauding the strong reaction to the Planned Parenthood videos, Cupich immediately added: “We should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.”
This is nothing short of equalizing evil (aka "sin is sin"). This is contrary to Scripture and frankly, it trivializes heinous sins like that of murdering unborn babies to far less evil things like lack of medical care. To have the audacity to equalize abortion with joblessness is not only UNJUST, it is perverted thinking. One need only go to the book of Deuteronomy or Leviticus or Exodus, to see how God views various sins and how He punishes them accordingly.

On a side note, this demonstrates that there is no unity within the Vatican. Claims of unity by Romanists up and against divisions within Protestantism is fallacious. 

Friday, October 07, 2016

Not All Sin Is Equal

Not all sin is equal.
1Ti 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

Isn't it interesting God didn't just say "the law was made for the sinner" and moved on? In fact God compares sins and shows their distinctions. Using the Greek, which He chose to have the New Testament written in, He shows us us these distinctions (see below). One example is that not all love is equal. Agape love is not the same as eros or brotherly love. We wouldn't say "love is love" would we? I don't know, maybe today's Post-Modern Evangelicals would. They do, after all, have an eros love for "Jesus" (they speak and sing of "falling in love with Jesus" and of Jesus as a love-sick suitor; Ann Voskamp promotes eros with "god").

When it comes to sin, God's justice demands He deal with each man's sin in proportion to that sin. His laws reflect this justice as in Ex. 21:23's "eye for eye" example of proportionate justice (out of proportion would be unjust). Not all liars are the same: some lie about that which doesn't involve another person; a perjurer lies in court against another, slanders him, and perverts justice. So not all lying is equal. Not all stealing is equal. Stealing bread to feed a starving man is not the same as stealing money from unbalanced scales (cheating a customer of his money):

Pro 11:1  A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight. 
Pro 16:11  A just balance and scales belong to the LORD; All the weights of the bag are His concern. 

Pro 20:23  Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good. 

Pro 6:30  Men do not despise a thief if he steals To satisfy himself when he is hungry; 31  But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house. 

Not all murder is equal. Murdering a parent is far worse b/c it goes against not only the Commandments but goes against God's creative order of authority. Even cursing a parent was worthy of death--how much more murdering a parent?
Exo 21:14  "If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die. 15  "He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. 
Exo 21:17  "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. 

The intent of the heart is also weighed by God, not just the act.

Not all sexual sin is equal. Fornication is distinct from homosexuality, incest, and bestiality according to Scripture. 1Cor. 5:1 says that the "Christians" in Corinth were proud of their tolerance of the incestuous couple, something even the pagans would not tolerate. Sounds like today's Evangelicals. 
1Co 5:1  It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2  You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 

Rom 2:5  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 
Rom 2:7  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 
Rom 2:8  but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 

Rom 2:14  For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 
Rom 2:15  in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 

There is no vagueness with God regarding sin or obedience. God is a God of precision. His Word is precise. His holy requirements are precise. His penalty for sin is precise. His prophecies are precise. His requirements for elders and deacons are precise. He deals with us in specifics, therefore we are too.
(Btw, Lev. 18 says that to have sex with an adopted sibling is sexual sin and depraved.)
In other words, those who say "sin is sin" don't have God's view of sin. He shows that even what they would call a "small sin" is heinous (ie, cursing one's parent earns stoning; lying to God and then to man earns death--Acts 5 with Ananias and Sapphira for example, or Achan's hiding booty God prohibited in Joshua 7). Instead, their aim is to remove the heinous nature of sin, NOT TO PROVE IT. They treat sin as no big deal and this is obvious in their claim to humanity (who's perfect? we all sin). They treat sin lightly, especially those sins God treats with absolute hatred. In other words to equate all sin as equal is to treat serious sin lightly and thus to treat God, His Word, and His nature lightly. Moreover, it necessitates that the punishment is to be softened for such heinous wickedness.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Speaking The Truth In Love

"Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 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. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ," Eph.4:13-15.

“Speaking the truth in love” has come to mean that you more or less praise everything, but above all, that you never criticize any view str
ongly, because, after all, there is a certain amount of right and truth in everything.

We must therefore ask the question, Is this a right and a true interpretation of Paul’s statement? Is this what is meant by “speaking the truth in love”? I answer immediately that it cannot be, for the reason that the Apostle does not simply tell us here to speak lovingly. What he says is “speaking the truth” or “holding the truth”. We are not told by the Apostle to cultivate a vague, loving spirit, but to hold “the truth” in love. The very word truth, in and of itself, makes the modern popular exposition of the statement obviously and patently wrong. Furthermore – and this is where the context is so important – if the phrase merely denotes a loving spirit, how is it connected with what the Apostle has said in verse 14If “speaking the truth in love”, “holding the truth in love”, means that we are to smile upon all views and doctrinal standpoints, and never criticize and condemn and reject any views at all, how do we avoid being – children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine”? This supposed “loving spirit” makes it impossible to use terms such as “sleight of men” and “cunning craftiness” and “lying in wait to deceive”. The very text itself and especially the context, make that interpretation completely impossible;indeed it is a denial of the Apostle’s statement. 

We must not hesitate to say so plainly. To put life, or “spirit”, or niceness, or anything else, before truth is to deny essential New Testament teaching; and in addition is to contradict directly the Apostle’s solemn warning in verse 14. It is to set up ourselves, and the modern mind, and 20th-century man, as the authority rather than the ‘called apostle’ Paul and all others whom the Lord has set in the Church to warn us against, and to save us from, this attitude which dislikes discrimination and judgment. Never was it more important to assert that friendliness or niceness or some sentimental notions of brotherliness do not constitute Christianity. You can have all such qualities without and apart from Christianity without “truth”. So that, whatever else it may mean, “holding the truth in love” does not mean a vague, flabby, sentimental notion of niceness and fellowship and brotherhood.