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.


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


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."