Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How We Remember The Fallen

How do we remember people who have died? Not very accurately, and not very honestly.

I have a very ungodly interest in the television series House. I can't defend my interest in the show, I just really enjoy it. The last episode of Season 4 really makes my point clear. Wilson's girlfriend, Amber, was dying. She hadn't been well liked by the team of doctors as her nick name surely attested. But as she was dying they each went to say 'goodbye' to her. When they were deciding IF they should go see her the conversation went like this:
Kutner: We should go see her.
Thirteen: We didn't even like her.
Kutner: We liked her.
Taub: Did we?
Foreman: We do today.
There really is a bit of truth about humanity depicted in this short television scene. We tend to like people much more when they are either dying or dead.

Today when I opened my email I was warned of having been mentioned by name at a blog I used to frequent. One of my good friends, and a Brother in the Lord, is being attacked by a very disorderly Brother. It was suggested by the disorderly Brother that I should separate from the orderly, but outspoken, Brother. The blog post in question follows the author's well known style making use of his ability to craft manipulative writing to such an extent to be almost the perfect example of such.

The topic is that of how we should remember Zane Hodges who died recently. Zane is a hero of the blog post author. In fact, if one were to read the blog in question one would be hard pressed to find a post there that doesn't mention (directly or by implication) Zane. I have spent a great deal of time and effort correcting and protecting against the theology taught by Zane. No where near as much time and effort as some other people though, as I'm a fairly recent addition to the scene. I'm offended by the man's recent theology but others, having been longer in the fight, are much more so.

How do we remember the fallen? We remember Solomon as the "wisest man who ever lived" right? But Solomon didn't "finish well" did he? Does the great wisdom he used in his younger years give credibility to the terrible things he did at the end? Should we honor his error because he did so much at the first? I think not, and I would be surprised if any reasonable person would.

Consider Brother Hodges then. At the first he worked to protect the idea that the "free gift of God" truly is "free." I can not describe his good work, as I have not read the things I'm told were truly good. Unfortunately for me I have only ever been exposed to his later and very disorderly teachings. In debate it's commonly accepted that whatever both sides agree on can be considered reasonably accurate. Since every person I know considers Zane's earlier works to be good, I can state that they were with reasonable assurance. I honor that which honors the Lord.

Now the blog post in question seeks to build division between my Brother and I specifically. And generally between him and several men. I feel compelled to link because I am quoting the man, but I do not in anyway endorse the reading of the linked blog. In fact I believe those who are not very well read in the Word of God should absolutely stay away. This is quoted from Unashamed of Grace.
I have found men like Kevl, ExPreacherman, David Wyatt, and Jonathan Perrault to be gracious and honorable. My advice for them is to flee associations with XXXX XXXX, for it will be of no benefit whatsoever to be identified with that man. (I have removed my Brother's name so as to avoid adding insult to injury.)
It's all well and good for someone to suggest separation. But one must be very sure that separation is required. If you are the one who is in error and are suggesting that everyone separate from the man who is pointing out your error you may want to reconsider. Are you sure yours is the Biblical response?

But it becomes all together unacceptable when words are put in someones mouth. To build credibility for his post the author quotes one WJC whom I'm unfamiliar with. The quote is strong and amusing in spots.
XX is a prime example of someone who seems to enjoy tossing around pejorative terms and assaulting Godly men like Zane Hodges - who's handling of God's word dwarfs their feeble attempts to establish a distorted view of God's free and simple grace. His speech of utter disrespect says much about his own character and what animates his obsessive attacks - certainly not the Spirit of our Lord Jesus! Such attacks are characteristic of self aggrandizing men that are afflicted with EDD - Exegetical Deficit Disorder. Their pathetic attacks will ultimately be relegated to the dustbin of errant doctrinal history. In the mean time they do serve a purpose - to show the stark contrast between Zane's thoughtful, consistent and solidly biblical views and the utter chaos that characterizes the ramblings of his detractors (such as XX). Thanks in part to God's provision of gifted men like Zane, ultimately God's light will burn through the perpetual fog thrown up by the likes of XX and those who like to parade and perpetuate his erroneous views.
This is very clever. By quoting WJC, the author is neither seen as the "authority" on the quality of Zane's teachings nor the supposed violence that my Brother does against them. Unfortunately the author does not link to or provide a reference so we can not evaluate the quote as originally used. But the author surely benefits from how he displays it.

So now with credibility "established" the author goes on to inject thoughts, intents and words into the mouths of men such as myself. For example read the following from a comment left under the blog post by the same author. I was not in attendance at the funeral so I am not directly being referenced in this quote. I will leave the daring reader who reads his entire post to evaluate if words have in deed been inserted into my mouth by the author. I think some have been.
The disparity between the likes of XXXX XXXX and some of the others who disagree with the GES is stark and arresting. The more noble came and honored Zane Hodges at his death, speaking good words about him, and remembering him for the tremendous benefits he gave to the Free Grace Theology movement. They realized how much poorer our movement would be without the seminal scholarship and Christian statesmanship of Professor Zane C. Hodges. They understand the wealth of unrivaled exegetical and expositional material left for us by this man taken before his time.
Unfortunately, I do not remember Zane in any such way. He has long since gone into error and has his teachings and followers have been preying on the Body of Christ and those who seek to become part of the Divine Salvation offered in Christ Jesus.

I honored the fact that Zane was a saved Christian despite his terrible errors when he died. His, and the GES's error about the Gospel is deadly. I can not in good conscience ignore this just because he was a Brother who did good things at some point in the past. The truth is that his error has become his legacy.

What's worse is his neo-followers are now building that error up into a mantra and using our natural inclining to respect the dead more than the living as a tool against Zane himself. Now everything good he ever did is being used to bring credibility to his error. He will, I suspect, become more and more well known for his terrible error instead of the good that he did. This is the true violence committed against Brother Hodges.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Venting Part 2 - Israel and Gaza

I've just got one thing to say.

Before you criticize Israel imagine rockets were landing on your home town.

And just one question to ask.

What would you want your government to do?

If people were truly wanting to "help" the Palestinians they would help them get rid of the terrorist organizations that run freely within their population. 75 rockets hit Israel according to CNN TODAY. There have been 3,000 attacks on Israel in 2008. These are not "freedom fighters" they are terrorists.

The UN is calling on both "sides" to to cease their violence. This is ridiculous. Hamas is not a nation. They are a terrorist organization attacking a nation. This nation has EVERY right to defend it's self.

Venting

So, as per my Christmas tradition I'm sick again... I seem to be on the mend though so that's good! Canada Post willingly accepted my cash (via debit) to send a money order to my Mom for Christmas. She's in particular need of it. But when she tried to cash it it was said to be invalid.... they confiscated it and accused her of passing a "false document." How nice right? Well after spending most of the afternoon on the phone with various postal agencies (and my upset mother) I still haven't gotten it solved. They are investigating and will call back within 24Hrs. I TRULY hope they will be able to simply give her the money with out my having to send another money order. The wait will not be pleasant for her if she does have to wait and I will be none to.

If someone asks me "Are you sick of feeling sick & tired?" I'm just going to answer "Yes." Even if they're trying to sign me up for some networking company.. I just don't have any fight left in me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

What a week it's been leading up to this night. Family is here, but they have been sick and the power to our home has been very far from reliable. Thankfully it's fairly warm outside still.

I've received the first comments and suggestions from my editor who's reviewing my book. Ouch. You really do need thick skin for this process. But I've also received the first two reviews by some Brothers in the Lord of the work as well.

I'm in awe of the first reports which include news that some Brothers in the Lord have been ministered to using this work already. What an amazing thing that is to hear. There are a couple of people who I couldn't have personally ministered to through something I've written. I'm flabbergasted by that.

And the Lord has given me a sign showing the seed of something He's doing in my life.

It's been a big week but tonight I hope to set everything aside to quiet my heart and worship the One who was willing to step out of the Glory of Heaven to come dwell here on the Earth as a flesh and blood man. So that He could demonstrate His worthiness and actually pay the price that is demanded for the sinful life that I have lead.

If you ever wonder why Christians WORSHIP God realize that GOD Himself took on our guilt as though it was His own and died for it. Yes He took on your guilt too. And if you'll just repent to trust Him then He will save you based on the payment for your sin that He made. And you'll join all the other Christians in living in new life because God didn't just die on the Cross. Since the payment was paid in full He came back to life. And if He lives, then those who are saved in Him will also live.

Because He came lived and died, was buried and lived again to pay the price for my sin, and to secure eternal life for me, I worship Him. And tonight I hope to do that quietly.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More thoughts on the Court Room Drama

Just a little over a year ago I posted about some failings in the traditional "Court Room Drama" that we all tend to use to explain what Jesus did for us at the Cross. If you follow the link you'll see that I never did follow up on a problem I had in it... bygones right? Maybe I will fix it someday...

Anyway. I was on the street with some people this past weekend and I was listening to one man explain the Gospel to someone using the traditional Court Room Drama. You're found guilty at trial, but Jesus comes in and offers to pay the fine.

Unfortunately he was giving a Lordship Salvation presentation. In so doing he was explaining his view of Repentance. "It means to stop going in the direction, turn around and head the other way." He then spent some time talking about why this was reasonable. He said that "Jesus gave up the most precious thing He had, His very life, and so this is what He expects of you and I. That we give up our life for Him."

It sounds very holy doesn't it?

Well, I got to thinking. In the arena of a court room. If all your debt to society is paid they let you go. You don't have to promise to never break the law again. You don't have to promise to love the Judge. You don't have to promise to do everything the Judge does. If the full debt is paid then you are free. Your payment has "justified" you before the Court. You are in right standing with the court and there is nothing more required.

This little drama is so popular because when Christ was about to die on the Cross He Himself cried out "It is finished!" or rather the Greek word τετελεσται (definition at BlueletterBible) which is what was written on the document that sentenced a convicted criminal once his full sentence was paid and he was completely free to go. It's payment in full.

In our case Christ died for all of our sins. Not just the ones we're aware of the day we put our faith in Him. So, if "it is finished" for all our sins, then Salvation doesn't have anything to do with what we pledge or how we promise to act. All the requirements for our salvation are met in Christ Jesus because Salvation is of the Lord, not man.

It has everything to do with Who we place our faith in.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who Is Your Avenger?

Well my ongoing soap-opera of a situation at work almost had me lashing out again today. But instead of defending myself, instead of putting up a stink I decided to just let an unpleasant situation play out. I became aware that God is my defender, my hope AND my avenger. I don't need to keep track of wrongs so I can right them later. God is my avenger. If I'm treated wrongly, He will avenge it, not me.

How about you?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Writing

So I have been working on finishing up my book - title to be revealed shortly I hope - and this has kept me in front of the computer about 7 so hours a day. I've needed to keep up with my work with TCC. So.... unfortunately it's been quiet here. I've got a few short posts to make, when my brain will be able to handle it. And then I'll be posting Part 5 of "The Gospel Delusion."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Publishing

I've been working on my first book for about the last 5 months. In these last few weeks my focus, and the amount of time to work on it have both increased. That's not a bad combination is it? :)

Well, I'm at the point now where I have to seriously consider which publisher to go with. Being a first time author I do not have great expectations of being published in the more traditional ways. So I will be self-publishing, and using a company that will print-on-demand and drop-ship my book.

Brother Lou uses Xulon Press, to print his book In Defense Of The Gospel and they are currently my first choice. However I'm going to leave my options open for a bit longer. Do you know of a better option?

UPDATE: I've decided to go with Xulon Press. I hope to have the book completed over Christmas and submitted by January. So it should be available in the March time-frame. If all goes as expected. ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Asking Christians to pray for the people of India

Hi all, last year I promised to pray for India for a year. Tonight that nation is facing what looks like an incredible terrorist attack. Please, get face down before the Lord God Almighty and pray for these people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Zane Hodges home with the Lord

Zane Hodges has gone home to be with the Lord. My prayers are with his family and loved ones. Please read the statement at FaithAlone.org

The Gospel Delusion - Part 4

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 4: Tall Orders


Please begin with Part 1 of this series.

Part 3 responded to Dr. MacArthur's claims that it has become popular to leave the lordship of Christ out of the Gospel presentation in modern times as a way of making the salvation seem as pleasant and easy as possible. We discussed how in the Bible the Lordship of Christ was only ever proclaimed in a Gospel presentation as a qualification of Christ to save people and never as a requirement for the sinner to attain Salvation. But it's not just the Lordship of Christ that the Doctor says is missing.

Dr MacArthur writes “The cost of discipleship; the need to hate one's own sin; Christ's call to self-denial; His command to follow Him; and (especially) every mention of submission to Him as Lord were systematically expunged from the message Christians proclaimed to unbelievers.”(1)

The message Christians proclaimed to unbelievers Dr. MacArthur is talking about is the Gospel as per his discussion on page 10 of his book. In Part 3 we looked at three clear Gospel presentations given by the Apostles that God sent to the world and gave to the Church to proclaim the Gospel. We know that the Gospel Paul preached was received directly from Christ Himself, not through man, and that this is the same Gospel that Paul preached and every other Apostle preached as well. Gal 1:1, Gal 1:11-12, 1 Cor 11:23, 1 Cor 15:11

Since we know there was perfect unity in the Gospel presentation by all the Apostles and since we've previously looked at these presentations in Part 3 we can without doubt state that the Gospel never included these things that Dr. MacArthur claims have been “systematically expunged” from it.

This is all well and good, but the title of his book is “The Gospel According To Jesus” (TGATJ) so did Jesus preach a different saving message to sinners than the one He had His Apostles preach? Hardly. I can not tell you what Dr MacArthur's motives in choosing a title were. But there is an intense emotional blackmail that comes with the statement that “Jesus said” this or that. What Christian would dare contradict Jesus, or even be seen in the appearance of contradicting Him? Surely not this believer.

So what did Our Lord preach as the Gospel? Well first we must recognize that the Lord first preached and sent His disciples out with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Which was not a salvation message at all. The word Gospel means “glad tidings” or “good news” not “salvation message” though if you were telling the good news of salvation through Christ that would be a gospel, because that IS good news. But it is also good news to some, though surely not to the same degree that there's a sale at WalMart. The book There Really Is A Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology by Renald E. Showers is one of the few books that will whole heartedly recommend to any and every believer. I highly suggest the reader pick this book up (which you can conveniently purchase by clicking on it's link at the top right of this blog) for a much more complete discussion of these things.

The Gospel of the Kingdom, or the Good News of the Kingdom can be found in Mat 9:35, Mat 10:7, Mark 1:14-15. It was simply, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” We see that the Disciples were sent to Israel with this Gospel. In Mat 10:5-33 we read that the Lord sent them to the “lost sheep of Israel” and explicitly not to the Gentiles and Samaritans. Pay attention also to the preparations to be made, and the provision to be brought with them. They were to supported by the people they were sent to.

But Israel rejected this Gospel. She did not believe it. So the Lord then began to show His disciples the Gospel that He told Paul to preach directly. We read in Mat 16:21

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. NKJV

Now this Gospel message was to be preached to all the world, not just the lost sheep of Israel. Mark 16:15. We also know that though they had been sent out to Israel previously with the Kingdom Gospel that this information was new to them because Peter reacted strongly and immediately to the idea that the Lord was going to die. Mat 16:22 It would hardly make sense for Peter to have gotten so upset about this information if he had already been preaching it all over Israel. Besides the fact that the Scriptures say that “From that time Jesus began to show His Disciples that...” As for the preparation and provision the Lord instructed the Disciples to make and take we can read in Luke 22:35-36 that hostile opposition was expected and that they were to provide for themselves, not have the world provide for them. The Gospel of Grace, that of Christ's death, burial and resurrection on our behalf is free. The Kingdom on the other hand is rewarded to those who work. It is so even in Christendom. Salvation is absolutely free, but we will each be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will be rewarded or suffer loss based on the things we do whether good or bad. 1 Cor 3:11-14, 2 Cor 5:10

I bring all of this into the discussion to show the importance of knowing what the Lord is saying when He's saying it. As this series progresses we'll be discussing some of the quotes Dr. MacArthur uses to justify his assertions in depth. I'm confident that the reader will come to a strong awareness of the dangers of Proof-Texting theology.

In John 3 we read what the Lord preached about salvation directly. He preaches that one must be born again, and this is accomplished by seeing your sin held up as the serpent was on Mose's staff in the wilderness. He explains that He, the Son of Man, must be lifted up as the serpent was and that those who believe will be saved, and those who don't will not be. There is no mention of discipleship. There is no mention of submission to His lordship. There is just the explanation of His qualification and the example of satisfaction, or God being propitiated for the sins of the world. When we see our own sin judged as per the Scriptures requirements and Christ raised up from the grave as effectual for us then we are saved.

We've seen that the items Dr. MacArthur claims have been “expunged” from the Gospel were never part of the Biblical Gospel at all. We've shown, albeit briefly, that it's easy to misinterpret Scripture when we think we know what it says before we read it. The example given was that the Lord God wasn't always talking about how to be saved. In light of this example we ought to be all the more careful how we read the Lord's words to be sure we are not applying His explicit teachings on another subject to the subject of the Gospel of Grace. For to do such is great error.

Before I close off this installment I ask you to consider these few thoughts.

When a student is applying for a school they are told what the requirements are in order to graduate. The student is not expected to be able to fulfill these requirements at that moment. He is not told to pledge to fulfill them. He's told that he'll be paying for the education that will enable him to be able to fulfill these requirements. Big difference. He's being told what he's going to be able to do, not what he has to do or even be willing to do to get in.

When a person considers joining a profession he is not told to accept and declare that he will fulfill all the complicated tasks that the profession will absolutely require. For example I have been employed as an Avionics Technician for nearly 18 years. It would have been completely unreasonable for the person who hired me to have asked if I would be willing to diagnose and repair the airborne SONAR system that I am now (after these 18 years) a “subject matter expert” on. I simply would not have been able to even conceive of what such a question would mean, let alone be able to honestly answer him. Any mention of my future employment was to show me the opportunities choosing this profession would offer.

When a person applies to the Canadian Forces (and I suspect any military) they are not asked if they would be willing to give the “ultimate sacrifice.” The person is not required to be willing to serve for years on the front lines of a war. No these are the things that the individual gets trained in. The military builds the soldier they want out of the person they get. See the parallel here?

In each of these three examples the person is accepted in and then taught how to, and given the skills to actually be able to perform the basic requirements for the job, school or profession. The Gospel is similar though not exactly the same. Salvation is absolutely free. There is no agreement to perform included in the Good News that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and was risen to life to be seen in the flesh by more than 500 people on the third day. The Good News of Salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ Jesus is a declaration of His performance on our behalf. This is received and one is saved, or it is rejected and one is in the end cast into the Lake of Fire for all Eternity.

Christians are justified apart from works. Rom 4:4-8 but we are created as new beings in Christ Jesus for the purpose of Good Works so that the Father will be glorified. Eph 2:10, Mat 5:16 But we are discipled by the Body of Christ and more importantly by the Holy Spirit Himself so that we are conformed to the image of Christ and become fruitful. This fruitfulness, this discipleship or our willingness to be discipled is not a condition of salvation. The condition for salvation is to repent to believe that Christ carried out the Gospel on our behalf. Then Discipleship begins, whether we like and agree to the idea or not.


Please read Part 5: Well if you have to ask...

References:

All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

  1. Pg 10-11

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to work tomorrow

I've had three weeks (broken) of Sick Leave and tomorrow is my first day back. I'm told that the environment is going to be somewhat improved. Things will be far from ideal, but I hope it will be tolerable. I'm hoping to maintain my witness.. as best as is possible.

I would appreciate prayer for favor in the workplace, and with replacing my current career if that becomes the only option.

Thanks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fossilized Toy Car Is At Least Millions Of Years Old

When you're walking on the beach are you walking on stones that have taken millions of years to form? Billions maybe?

You've just got to check CMI's article out.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Remembering our need

A thought occurred to me today that no matter how much God helps us our need for Him and His help does not diminish.

We are always strongest when we are weakest because it is those times that we recognize our need for Him and have no choice but to depend on Him. I've heard many men express, and have experienced it myself, that God keeps us in a place of need so we will learn to depend on Him alone.

Today God gave me help, and I thank Him for it. Yet, I will keep my continued need in mind. That one symptom is dealt with does not change the fact of the disease. So today God helped me, and I rejoice, but I will not forget my dependence. God willing, this time I will not forget.

Of course there are obvious things like my need of employment that will keep me on my knees. But, in the past, I've often experienced the illusion of independence right after He has helped me in some way. I think it is this independent notion in me that has brought me to much of the pain in my life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Money Matters


I'm asking you friends of the Gospel to join in prayer with my ministry, family and I. The Cross Current, which is a uniquely positioned out-reach ministry, has reached the point of requiring true expansion. Please visit www.thecrosscurrent.com to find out more about the ministry it's self and how we help Pastors develop the Saints in their care. And visit www.tccradio.com to see and hear the hub of our ministry, The Cross Current Radio Show.

Here's what we need.

To bring Cory (Founder, Radio Show Host, Speaker) on full time and fund the support of 12 churches we required 250 people each giving $25 each month.

Then to bring me on full time and to fund our growth into major cities nationally we need an additional 250 people each giving $20 a month.

To bring TCC to full funding and have the ministry operating fully staffed and assisting Pastors in all the areas we envision across Canada we only need a total of 750 people each giving $25 a month.

TCC is incredibly efficient and has been designed from the ground up to be reproduced in city after city.

If you will, please pray with us for these goals to be met. If you can help please contact us and let us know.

Thanks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Gospel Delusion - Part 3

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 3: That Old-Time Modern Gospel

Please begin reading the series with part 1:The Obligatory Introduction

On the 10th page of his work Dr. MacArthur states “Long before The Gospel According To Jesus (TGATJ) was first published, it was popular in certain circles to exclude any mention of Jesus' lordship from the gospel message.” (1) Oddly enough, (considering the incredible amount of red ink I have used on his book) I can find nothing to argue with Dr. MacArthur on this point. In fact, let's look at how the Gospel “message” was presented some 2,000 years before TGATJ was first published.

1 Cor 15:1-11

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
NKJV

The observant reader will find that the Apostle Paul is declaring the Gospel which he had preached to these Christians who had been saved through having received that same message. Another important observation will be made by the same reader, that this is the same message that was preached by all the Apostles. In light of Dr. MacArthur's comments most shocking observation... or lack there of, however is this: There is absolutely no mention of Jesus' lordship in this presentation of the Gospel “message”, and since it is the same message that all the Apostles preached, none of them presented His lordship. I guess it really was “popular” long before TGATJ was ever published.

Dr. MacArthur's explanation of why Jesus' lordship is excluded is that lordship implicitly demands obedience and that is seen to mean preaching a works based salvation.(2) I really couldn't say it better myself. But I suppose the Apostle Paul could.

Gal 1:6-7

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. NKJV

Gal 3:1-3

1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? NKJV

Check out Paul's question. Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? Obedience. There's that word again. What kind of obedience does the Gospel demand for salvation to occur? I submit the following.

The Gospel it's self actually is something one must “obey2 Thes 1:8, 1 Peter 1:17, Rom 10:16. This is the “truth” that Paul wonders about the Galatians not obeying.

Rom 10:16

But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” NKJV

Obeying the Gospel is “believing” it, as per Rom 10:16. Obeying the Gospel is not following it's instructions and commands, for the Gospel has neither instruction nor command. The Gospel is the “Good News” of things accomplished by God on our behalf. This news is “received1 Cor 15:1 in so “obeyed” or “rejected” John 12:48, Acts 13:46 and therefore disobeyed.

I submit that it is Jesus Christ's lordship that allows Him to justify the ungodly on the basis of faith apart from works. Anyone can declare a man who does good is good. But it takes the LORD God to justify one who is ungodly. Rom 4:5-8 This is why our submission to His lordship, as right as that submission would be, is not a requirement for salvation. His lordship is proclaimed to all the universe as He does justify the ungodly on the basis of faith in Him as per the Gospel. Sinners can be saved by Grace through Faith apart from works only because Jesus is Lord. He does so justly and righteously because He does it on the basis that we are baptized into that payment He made through faith so thereby that payment is accounted to us. Rom 6:3

Peter gives a Gospel presentation in Acts 10:34-43, and those who received his words were immediately saved Vs 44. The beginning of this presentation shows off Jesus' lordship but in the same context as I have shared above showing that Jesus is qualified by being Lord of all, not requiring submission to His lordship. In fact at the end of his presentation the Apostle says in Vs 43.

...all the prophets bear witness that every one that believes on him will receive through his name remission of sins.” NKJV

In much the same way, Peter's Gospel presentation in Acts 2:14-40 also shows Christ's ability to save by His lordship, not a requirement for a sinner to respond to His lordship. Acts 2:41 shows that those who received his message were saved that moment.

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. NKJV

I don't want to give the impression that Christians are not to work. We are created in Christ for good works. And its by our good works that people will glorify the Father. Eph 2:10, Mat 5:16 But our salvation is not dependent on obedience to anything except the Gospel. Though, as I'm sure every believer reading this is aware, if we are not obedient the Holy Spirit will work on us to make sure we become so. Heb 12:1ff, 1st John, Peter's epistles come to mind immediately.

In Acts 17:22-31 The Apostle Paul preaches the Gospel to intellectuals. Once again the call is to believe, and proof of Christ is offered. The Gospel presentation is always aimed at bringing about belief, it proves God. It does not force the sinner to prove himself.

The word “repentance” gets tossed around a lot in the culture of the Church today. Dr. MacArthur's definition of the word is not fitting with Scripture or the Greek language. It is in fact a “change of mind” an “after-thought.” It is not a turning from sin or a becoming more godly. It is going from disbelief to belief. This is done by the convincing and convicting by the Holy Spirit through revelation. John 16:8-11

You will notice that in the Gospel presentations quoted above, the Apostles attempt to get the listeners to repent by offering proof and information to believe in. They did not call for submission. These preachers knew well that the Holy Spirit would work those this in anyone who did believe unto Salvation.

The preacher of Lordship Salvation may well ask about Paul's defense of himself in Acts 26:19-23.

19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me . 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” NKJV

We must first understand that Paul is not declaring or even presenting a “Gospel message” here. He's giving a defense of himself for the actions he'd taken. He was not explaining how to be saved. He was recounting what he did in obedience to a “heavenly vision.” It is SO very important when we handle the Word of God that we do so with the greatest of care. As this series I've entitled “The Gospel Delusion” continues I will show again and again how the Word is not handled with care at all by some men.

What is this “heavenly vision” Paul is talking about? It's found in the preceding verses, the entire account of Paul's encounter with the Risen Lord, Christ Jesus on the Damascus Road is found in Acts 26:12-18, but my purposes require quoting only Vs 17-18. The Lord says to Paul;

17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ NKJV

Again even the Lord shows that we are sanctified by faith in Him. But the Lord tells Paul to do more than just preach salvation, but to also make disciples who will have an inheritance, earned reward in Heaven. And so Paul preached to the Gentiles to repent, turn to God and do good works. The whole package. Of course the Jews were upset that Paul was doing this among the Gentiles because they had not believed the Lord's words in Isaiah 55:1ff In that chapter the Lord details a free salvation, freely given to everyone both Gentile and Jew.

So yes, Dr. MacArthur is correct to say that long before his work was ever published it was popular in certain circles to leave out submission to Jesus' lordship from the Gospel. I guess in this installment of The Gospel Delusion I am forced to agree with at least this much of what he says.

Part 4: Tall Orders

References:

All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

  1. Pg 10

  2. Pg 10

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God's will for all men?

1Tim 2:1-7
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Now I know Calvinists will redefine the word "all" used three times here. They will also talk about the idea that to want something is not to "will" it. However the Text is clear the word is "all" not "some out of all the world" and the word "desire" is θέλω or thelḗsō and it means "To will, i.e., to have in mind, purpose, intend, please."

What this does not say is that God has willed that all men are going to be saved. It does mean that when Christ gave Himself it was for all people, the purpose was to provide ransom for everyone.

Imagine, if you will, that if "all" didn't mean "all" here that God would in fact have been ordering Christians to lie in Mark 16:15
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Notice the content of the Gospel, declared by the Apostle Paul.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Now if we are told to preach this message to every created being on the planet, and if God didn't really die for all of our sins, then we have been told to lie which is just not possible because God cannot lie.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Gospel Delusion - Part 2

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 2: Not Just Hard, Impossible.

Please read Part 1: The Obligatory Introduction first.

Dr. MacArthur argues for a salvation that is hard on the believer. His work talks about all the requirements, “strings” perhaps, of true Salvation. He goes on about the demands that Jesus makes on a sinner that must be met in exchange for Salvation. As though Salvation is some sort of barter system(1) In his preface he says that modern evangelicalism has aimed at making the the Gospel sound as easy and appealing as possible and then describes Jesus' way of presenting the Gospel as “making salvation sound well-nigh impossible” (2) and quotes Mark 10:17-26 as his support for this, and then continues with “because for fallen sinners who are trying to save themselves, it is impossible.(v. 27)” Which is funny because it is the truth of his continued thought that impeaches his point. Jesus doesn't make salvation sound hard, He tells people that it is impossible for a man to be saved by or through his own effort. This does not contrast what Dr. MacArthur says about modern Gospel presentations making salvation sound easy... it actually agrees with it. In the Scripture cited the Lord shows “The Rich Young Ruler” that no one is “good” except God, that even though the man thinks he's kept the Law from his youth he can not actually do good enough to be acceptable to God. No matter how he prepares and presents himself, he'll never be “good enough.” His astonished listeners ask “then who can be saved?” Answering, the Lord says what is impossible for man is possible with God. The Lord isn't suggesting that Salvation is hard for a man. The Lord isn't attaching “strings” (see Part 1) to the deal. In fact when some, who thought Salvation was to be earned, asked the Lord what they must do He told them to believe. John 6:28-29

A portion of Scripture that will play prominently in the minds of those who evaluate Dr. MacArthur's work using Scripture is Romans 4:5-8. Why? Because in this short section the Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that faith/belief is not a work, and that salvation is totally and completely separate from works.

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “ Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” NKJV

It is absolutely clear that we are Justified without works. Not that works don't just enter into the earning of Justification, or the process of Justification but that Justification happens totally and completely without works. This means that if one believes unto salvation and never does a good work but dies that he in fact was saved. His faith may have been “useless” or unprofitable as in James 2:1ff, and he will will be judged under the Law of Liberty and suffer loss of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ but he will have been Justified and accounted just as Righteous as any other Saint who ever has or ever will live. Rom 8:1, 2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:11-14

Salvation isn't just hard for a sinner, it's impossible. Jesus doesn't make it “sound well-nigh impossible” as Dr. MacArthur would have us believe. Jesus states that actually is impossible for us. Would it be the Lord's council to try or earnestly strive for something that He, the God of the Universe, clearly states is impossible? I think not.

But the Lord doesn't stop at telling us that it is impossible for us to be saved by how we prepare and present our selves to Him. Thankfully, He went on to say that what is impossible for us is easy for Him because He is all powerful. Mark 10:27

But why is Salvation impossible for us? Is it because we are hopelessly fallen, “totally depraved” beings? When the Lord presented the Gospel that saves, He began to show His followers that He must suffer, die, and be raised from the grave to life again. Mat 16:21 For this is what is required of the sinner if they are to live again. For every one who doesn't continue to do all that is written in the Book of The Law is cursed. Everyone who is not perfectly righteous is cursed, and bound for Eternity in the Lake of Fire. Deut 27:26, Gal 3:10. In fact since sinners are under a curse, if we wanted to attain Eternal Life apart from Christ's full provision we would have to die and raise to life again ourselves. And all would agree that this is impossible for a mere mortal man to accomplish. The mortal part kinda makes the concept absolutely clear doesn't it? And we read the very same thing in Rom 6:23 with the added clarity that salvation is a “gift” not something that is worked for.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV

The Apostle Paul tells us that we are baptized into Christ's death and resurrection. This is how Salvation is accomplished for the sinner. Christ became sin for us, He was cursed, and He died for us. So the sinner positionally dies and raises to life again when we are baptized into Christ's death and resurrection. The Law is then established, as the just requirements of it are fulfilled in the sinner's death. Rom 6:1ff, Rom 3:31, Rom 8:1-4, Rom 2:25-27

As Dr. MacArthur's argument progresses he surmises that the sinner needs to become worthy of salvation to actually be saved. But sin doesn't require a change in the way we behave. Sin requires us to die. The sinner who comes to God with the slightest thought of saying “I'm trying to be worthy Lord” does not yet understand the Gospel. We present ourselves as wholly needing the Sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the Cross to atone for our sin. When we come to God with that as our only reason for confidence to stand before Him, so that we can come confidently before the Throne of Grace expecting mercy, then we will be saved. Heb 4:14-16 Just like “The Rich Young Ruler” we can not ever be good enough to approach God. We come baptized into Christ's death and resurrection by Grace through our having received the Gospel or when we come before Him we will receive only destruction.


Part 3: That Old-Time Modern Gospel

References:

All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

  1. http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2008/07/is-lordship-salvation-barter-system.html

  2. Pg 10

The Gospel Delusion - Part 1



The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition


Part 1: The Obligatory Introduction

The preface of Dr. MacArthur's work states that his understanding of the Gospel, as gleaned from a very long intensive study of the book of Matthew, is the “backbone of everything (he) preach(es)”. (1) Of his position and it's presentation in this edition of his work he says “This edition makes no significant revisions to the 1994 edition but includes one new chapter – chapter 1- which amplifies and sums up the book's main point.”(2) These two statements are the reason my review of his work, and therefore his theology, will be based solely on the preface and first chapter of this edition of his work. His main point is the backbone of everything he preaches, and this one chapter is his presentation of that point. The rest of the book, though it may well build on and/or argue more completely, will stand or fall on the fidelity of Chapter 1 based on the author's own description.

As I sat down to dig into The Gospel According To Jesus (TGATJ) this past summer I did so with just a bit of fear in my heart. I had to be honest before God, and in my hands was the highest writing on the subject of Lordship Salvation. My honesty before the Lord demanded that I approach the work with an open mind, fully ready to throw out everything I have believed in favor of Truth if it truly was to be revealed to me. There is simply no other way to approach theology with honesty. So I prayed that the Lord would give me the courage to make known my convictions if they were in fact changed. See I have made no secrete of my opposition of Dr. MacArthur's theology in the past. If I were to be converted to his way of thinking by his strongest work on the subject then I would have to be equally as open about this as I was about my opposition. After prayer... and with a serious sense of caution I opened the book and began to read. Moments later I grabbed the red ink pen that over the next month would end up covering much of the free space in the pages of the book. It had begun, and so let's also begin.


The premise for writing the book is Dr. MacArthur's opposition to the idea that “Jesus is a kind Savior who patiently waits for sinners to accept Him and that He offers eternal life – no strings attached – in exchange for anyone's decision to do so.”(3) I could end this review ever so quickly, and really save myself much work if I were to quote verses such as 1 Cor 15:1-2, Acts 16:30-34, Rom 2:4, Rev 22:17 and/or many others but that would spoil the fun. And really, if I just responded to that statement Dr. MacArthur's followers would say that I didn't actually read his arguments... or that I am misrepresenting him or something...

But before I leave this quote I ask that you read it again, and then read what the Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” NASB
The stark contrast between what Dr. MacArthur writes and what the Apostle wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is hard to miss.

Describing the book Dr. MacArthur writes that it “offers simple, clear, straightforward, unflinching biblical answers to some crucial questions that desperately need to be dealt with and settled.” (4) As the parts of this article progress I will explore if he does give these kinds of answers to the questions surrounding Lordship Salvation, or if something else altogether happens.

You may rightly guess that I was not converted to his way of thinking by my study of his work. The simple, and sad, answer to the question of if he provides the kind of answers that he himself describes, can be found by examining a quote from the same page. “...this book still expresses what I believe Jesus said about the gospel in the best way I know how to summarize it.” (5) Well, Dr. MacArthur's book offers a 282 page “summary” of the Lord's presentation of the Gospel when the Lord's entire life and ministry was recorded 4 times over in only 189 pages in my NASB Scofield III Study Bible which includes extensive notes. And in 155 pages in my Darby translation with limited translation notes included. It's clear that Dr. MacArthur's “summary” is much longer than everything God saw fit to write about the Lord's entire earthly ministry. That fact alone ought to lead a person to question the idea that his answers will be simple, straightforward, and biblical, but we'll well begin dealing with that in Part 2.

As I write this introduction I have just finished the first few installments, and I'm realizing that my review of Dr. MacArthur's work could easily get to be as long as his book. Somewhere between 10 and 15 installments. So, I believe I will end up covering much less than I intended to, but I'm going to leave this series of articles open so that I can keep building on it as long as is required. That means that I will be posting the beginning of this series long before it's completion. And that ought to make things interesting, if not down right complicated for me.

Important Notice!

I do not question Dr. MacArthur's Salvation and will not tolerate comments that do. Dr. MacArthur has drifted into serious error. I trust his intentions were honorable in the beginning and I realize but for the Grace of God there I would go also. I recognize the many good contributions that this man has made in Christendom. My intentions with this work is not to disparage the man but to rebuke theology that is in error.

I believe that the earnest reader of this series needs to purchase TGATJ. I will quote from his work to show his statements but it would be impossible, and illegal, for me to present all that the man writes. I do do not fear adding to the sales of this book by suggesting you purchase it. After all I purchased it myself and believe me it is a very popular book. The few sales my suggestion will add to it will not make much difference. The lack of sales that this review could result in would not be noticed. My intent is not to deny Dr. MacArthur profit for his work, it is to protect the Brethren from it.

I categorically and without apology state in the clearest possible way I can think of, that the Lordship Salvation gospel is no gospel at all and that it does not save. However, be sure of the Lord's Grace. If one were to receive what truth is presented by the Lordship Salvation gospel then God Himself will ensure further revelation is given until the true Gospel of Jesus of Christ is either received or rejected by the individual. It is my prayer that God would use this work for just that purpose.

Please go on to read Part 2 of The Gospel Delusion Not Just Hard, Impossible.

References:

All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

1. Pg 9
2. Pg 11

3. Pg 11

4. Pg 11

1 Timothy 5 in action at our Communion service today.

1 Tim 5:17-25 NKJV
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.
23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
24 Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.
You may remember my post about how spontaneous repentance broke out at one of my church's recent Communion services. Well God again did something amazing today. One of our Elders publicly announced his resignation from his position due to sin. He is repentant and has been restored to full fellowship as a congregant in our church. In response to this man's confession the Lord has cleansed him of all unrighteousness. That sin is not just forgiven, it has been cleansed from him.

I now stand with my Brother in the Lord and will walk with him through this season into God's promise.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Spurgeon the Free Gracer

Brother Robb sent me an email this morning that I've just got to share with you.

November 8

Morning Verse

"As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord." Colossians 2:6

The life of faith is represented as receiving—an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation. The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us—a person who lived a long while ago, so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my own: I appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, He becomes my Saviour, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able to rob me of Him. All this is to receive Christ—to take Him as God's free gift; to realize Him in my heart, and to appropriate Him as mine.

Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings, we have received CHRIST JESUS Himself. It is true that He gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; He gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ Himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received Him, and appropriated Him. What a heartful Jesus must be, for heaven itself cannot contain Him!

—Morning and Evening

In an hour dark, and a moment sad.

The Apostle Paul said "when I am weak I am strong." It's a tougher message when you read it in context.
2 Cor 12:7-10
7
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Well I am feeling very weak. I'm tired of being embattled. Tired of weakness in my walk. Tired of asking to be restored yet again. Tired of needing escape from the traps and nets set by the enemy's minions and my own failings. Tired of not being on the front lines needing nothing more than revelation and provision for the war. I'm tired of having to remind myself that I need to forgive people even if they don't deserve it. I'm tired of having so much I want to do but being distracted by flaming arrows bombarding my family. I guess with all this tiredness one might say I'm weary.

Jesus said.
Mat 11:28-30
28
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Would you pray with me that I would enter into that rest. I know I need to stop being my own protection. I need to lay down the sword of my own might. I know these things. Yet it is a vicious circle I'm walking in these days. Exhausted from the fight, which makes me so vulnerable that my defenses are going up instead of letting my faith be a shield.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congrats Barack Obama

CNN just predicted that Barack will be the next president of the USA. I know that many Christians won't be happy with this, while many others likely will be.

Friends and Brethren, the election is now over. Please now put down the campaign slogans and pray earnestly for this man, the country, and that the Church would lead the USA into godliness.

*Update: Brother Robb, host of Good Morning Jesus Christ! has more on this subject.

*Update 2: Robb shared this YouTube video. I've never heard of this guy before but after watching his video I surely find the guy fun. And he's got a lot of the same opinions as I do. That means he's GOT to be good right? :) Check it out.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Family Study

I'm sitting at the kitchen table with my lovely wife. We've each got identical MSI Wind netbooks and we're each about to do a course at BBNI.

What a lovely time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Spirit's Authorship

Well I've been trying to keep it away from my blog but the truth is my family is under great attack. A great fiery trial that I was delivered from earlier this year has seemingly returned to try to take us down a second time. My employment is being attacked. Please be praying, for my faithfulness, and protection and provision for my family. I'm not going to get into details here. Although I admit it was wrong of me not to share that it was happening... seeing as this blog is supposed to be "On My Walk"....

As tough as this situation is the Lord did something that amazes me today. As I was sitting home at lunch feeling weak, wounded, even defeated in a lot of ways, an email came in with the title "Bless you Brother Kevin." What powerful words. The email it's self was short. It was a link to a beautiful picture of Brother Ricky's family and the simple question "How are things in Halifax?" Yes I cried and cried hard. Just this morning the Lord had been impressing on me how He is present. Now here was a Brother, and what's more an Evangelist (we are a singular crowd in case you don't know), asking such a simple question. It was like a touch from God Himself. If that sounds overly emotional, then you're in need of a touch from the Lord yourself.

Over a couple of emails, we exchanged phone numbers and decided to chat tonight. I've emailed Ricky a few times in the past but hadn't really gotten to know him. Turns out we not only have fellowship in Christ but our lives have many close links! I won't get into details because that would be to share my Brother's private thoughts but I was absolutely amazed at our conversation.

Isn't God good at giving you just exactly what you need at just the right moment?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Expelled on DVD today


Hey All, the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was released on DVD today. Go buy some copies! And if you're interested visit the TCC Radio Expelled series page to hear our four part radio show series on the movie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Beyond moderation

How do you have a conversation, a real honest and open conversation with someone who disagrees with you at your blog? I have found that it can be a great challenge. The issue I see coming up at the blogs I frequent of brethren who I esteem highly and who I openly associate with is trying to find the line between conversational defense of a position and advertising promotion of that position.

I guess I'm evaluating this more and more. I want people who disagree with me to WANT to post here. But I also don't want this blog to be a place where error can freely be found. I doubt I will ever allow guests to link to content that could lead some astray. But, but, but.... I want people to be able to argue their point. Where is the line?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christ's work for us, not His work in us, brings peace.

I was just looking up the biography of one of my heroes of the faith, CH Mackintosh, as part of a comment at another blog. This gave me opportunity to learn of the man's conversion. I'm kind of surprised I haven't read about his conversion before... but alas it is encouraging to read today none-the-less.

Here's what I just read. Oh what blessed assurance comes from Christ's work on the Cross.
He obtained peace with God through reading J. N. Darby's 'Operations of the Spirit', and learning that it is Christ's work for us, not his work in us, that gives peace.
You can find Operations Of The Spirit of God here, Part 1 and Part 2.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Now stop worrying and enjoy your life?


Imagine the hope a message on a buss can bring. Imagine the hope a message that there's probably no God could bring. Imagine the hope a message that tells us to stop worrying and enjoy our lives could bring. Just imagine it. Come on, I know ya wanna. The website for this bus-ad campaign says that "With your help, we can brighten people’s days on the way to work......" See their motives are right! They're trying to make people feel better. So go ahead, imagine the hope this message could bring.

For some of you it won't be hard at all. For others it will be impossible.

This message isn't about logic or evidence... it's about fear and emotion. If I were to respond in kind I'd likely be made out to be a fear monger. But you know... I don't mind really. That is one thing I'm not going to worry about. So enjoy! :)
You probably don't have Cancer. Now stop worrying, and enjoy your life.

You're probably not going to loose your job. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

You're wife is probably not going to leave you. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

You're probably not going to die if if you drive drunk. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

They're probably not going to re-possess your home. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.


Your HIV test is probably not going to be positive. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.
Don't those messages make you happy? Don't they brighten your day?

Well the truth is, unless you're facing something I've mentioned there you won't feel the true impact of the statement. Until you're the one sitting in front of the Oncologist or taking an HIV test or not answering your phone because it might be the bank you likely won't understand the full weight that sits on the person who is facing that.

Would everyone who is reading this please form a line? OK. Now each of you, look at the person on your left, and the person on your right. In the next 130 years there is a 100% chance that these people are going to be dead. 10 out of 10 people die.

The Bible agrees with this fairly well tested and established fact. This is not an argument for the faith. It's just a little blog post that is exposing the failing of a bus-ad campaign that is not designed to give people hope or to make them enjoy their lives. It is designed to woo them to sleep so that when the do ultimately die they spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Want some real hope? Hope that can change your eternity so that the enjoyment you have is not based on ignoring something by avoiding the possibility of it's existence? Do you want security that matters?

I know ya wanna.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

David and on-going sin

How often has David's history with Bathsheba recounted to show how the Lord Our God deals with sin? David slept with his friend's wife, got her pregnant, and sent her husband (his friend) off to the deadliest part of a war so that he would surely be killed, and actually was killed. Then David covered it up... and the Lord God sent Nathan to him and Nathan described a man to David who did all the things that David did and David condemned the man... only then did Nathan reveal that it was David himself that he was telling him about. And of course it's recounted that David is a "man after God's own heart." Verses like Ps 89:19-37 and Acts 13:22 are cited.

The incredible Ps 51 is this same man repenting and confessing before the Lord, and being restored!

This is all true. But I am writing today to say that this is probably not the best example of David's failing before God Almighty. I propose a reading of Deut 17:14-20, where God gives some explicit instruction on what a King must do.
Deu 17:14 "When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, 'I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,'
Deu 17:15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.
Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'
Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
Deu 17:18 "Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,
Deu 17:20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.
Of course we know that David took many wives. There are at least 8 named in the Bible but I've been told (sorry I could not quickly prove) that he had as many as 300 wives and concubines.

The Lordship Salvation proponent will tell you, as readers of this blog have become well familiar with, that 1 John 3:9 means that a "True Convert" can not "continue" in sin.
1Jn 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
I think it's clear that David is a "True Convert" given God's statements in Ps 89 about him. It is also clear that David continued in sin. I would argue that 1 John shows the source of sin, and shows that our New Man, that created in the image of Christ for good works cannot sin - at all. Eph 2:10 But that the flesh, or our Old Man, though our spirit is alive in Christ is still dead in sin. Rom 8:10. I also argue that the we must abide in Christ, by walking in the Spirit in order to live holy lives and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Gal 5:16

I do not write these things to promote sin. In fact I hope that each of you will read 1st John closely without making excuses and without changing the meaning of the words to suit your idea of what the Epistle must mean. Just read it. There is the solution to sin found there. There is assurance and there is exhortation. I will close with Romans 6:1-15
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Rom 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Rom 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Rom 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Rom 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
Rom 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!