Friday, November 26, 2010

Testing The Test - Part 2

What do you see?

In Part 1 we introduced the topic and looked at the objective portion of the test of Salvation, that the MacArthur organization’s website suggests to readers. This test can be found at the Grace To You website.
A Note About Subjective Testing: That a test is “subjective” does not invalidate the test, but it does reduce reliability to the same degree as it is subjective. Subjectivity increases in direct relation to at least two factors which are relevant to our discussion; the relational closeness of the evaluator to the evaluated and the value of a result to the evaluator.  In our discussion the evaluator is examining his or her own self to determine if they indeed posses Eternal Salvation or are condemned to Eternal Wrath. The relationship couldn’t be closer or the result more important.
As we progress through the subjective tests I will use examples of how particular factors related to subjectivity can affect the results. I will not say that because the test is subjective it is invalid. In many cases I will however show how a particular person or people group could fail or pass the test because of a specific item of subjectivity that they possess.
The second portion of the MacAthur website test is acknowledged to be subjective, and is introduced this way:
Second is the subjective or experiential test of assurance in which you ask yourself, "Is my faith real?" The apostle John's purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John was to give true believers assurance of their salvation (1 John 5:13). In that small epistle John gives several marks to distinguish a true believer.
As I introduced in Part 1 the very first test of validity for these tests is for me to determine if they come explicitly from Scripture. So here we see that the question being addressed - “Is my faith real?” Then 1Jn 5:13 is cited as the reason the author will use the 1st Epistle of John as the basis for their test. Now the language used in the introduction paragraph is tricky. “Is my faith real?” is a question asked as though it matches the intent  of 1st John; which the article states as being “to give true believers assurance.” However we’ll see that this is not an accurate equation, or even an entirely accurate representation of what the Apostle John wrote.
1Jn 5:13 reads:
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Notice that these things are written to those who believe in the Name of the Son of God. This is written to people who believe, not to people who may or may not really believe. John goes on to state the purpose. “That you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God.” His purpose is to assure them, not to give them a test to see if they should have assurance.
You can find the Greek text examined on this page.   
He is telling those who believe that they have Eternal Life, not giving them a test to see IF they have Eternal Life. Clearly this matches the tender character of this whole chapter written to “my dear little children.” 
  1. Does this explicitly come from the Scriptures? NO.
  2. Can every saved person pass this test in every situation? NO.
  3. Is it impossible for an unsaved person to pass this test? NO.
Since it does not come explicitly from the Scriptures we can know that it is not a valid test. Not every saved person can “pass this test” (it’s not actually a test so I’m straining the language to meet the demands of the article). We know this because as the verse continues it is possible that truly saved people can stop believing. Also an unsaved person could potentially "pass" the test. For example an unsaved person may think that believing in the Jesus of the Mormons is the same as believing in the Name of the Son of God.  
The test question “Is my faith real” is therefore unreliable and invalid. So by testing the introduction to this subjective test we find a failure at the very start. 


Nonetheless I will continue examining each individual subjective test question the MacArthur article asks because their own validity is not necessarily excluded just because the reasoning behind using them is invalid.
Question 1 reads;
  • True believers walk in the light (1 John 1:6-7). The light here means both intellectual and moral truth. Ask, "Do I affirm the truths of Scripture, and desire to obey them?"
The question offers a definition of what it means to walk in the light as being “Do I affirm the truths of Scripture and desire to obey them?”
And 1Jn 1:6-7 reads as follows
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
It is obvious through our first light reading that this passage does not bring up affirming the truths of Scripture and desiring to obey them. One can examine the deeper meanings of these words at these following links. Verse 6 and Verse 7.   
That being the case, John gives us an explanation of what it means to “walk in the light” himself; If we read the entire passage the meaning becomes most obvious.
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Hiding our sin, or claiming we have none is walking in darkness, or what we think is darkness. Such would have us calling God a liar for He has said that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. So His word is not in us, which is what “His truth” is not in us means. This is Jn 8:31-32, and Jn 15:1-8 in action. It is about discipleship, maturity and fruitfulness not IF one is saved or not. 
Eternal Salvation is not in view here, but fellowship and usefulness is. If we walk in the light we have fellowship. If we walk in the light, confessing our sin, then we are “cleansed.” This doesn’t mean saved, it is a cleansing in the same way that articles used in the Temple had to be cleansed in order to be used. This is the same teaching that the Lord gave to His Disciples when He washed their feet. They have already been washed, now they must only be cleansed.
If you are cleansed you can be used by God and therefore be fruitful, and have fellowship. If you are not cleansed, then you cannot be.
Therefore, as with the introduction we see this test question fails immediately upon inspection, but I will ask all three questions for the sake of being consistent and complete.  
  1. Does this explicitly come from the Scriptures? NO.
  2. Can every saved person pass this test in every situation? NO. Believers who are in rebellion, or are fearful about their sin (such as the ones that John is writing to in this Epistle) are not able to pass the test IAW with either the MacArthur’s version or what the Apostle John wrote (if it could be construed as a test of Salvation). Saved people in 1Cor 15:1, also came to deny the Resurrection, which is what Paul was correcting them on. The saved people in Heb 5:12-14 would not have passed this test. Therefore the test is invalid.
  3. Is it impossible for an unsaved person to pass this test? NO. An unsaved but religious person, such as a Catholic, can say that they affirm the truths of Scripture (as they understand them) and desire to obey them. In fact every religion in the world has these tenants, so followers of any religion could pass this test as worded by MacArthur’s website.  If we read the passage the way it was written, (not the way the MacArthur article uses it) then clearly we see that it is about fellowship and usefulness, not about Eternal Salvation. Understood as it is written in the Scripture I can say that no unsaved person could pass it (as if it were a test of Salvation). In which case we could say that YES it is true that no unsaved person can pass the test of qualifying for fellowship and usefulness. But this “yes” does not help the validity of the test question.
Question 1 is therefore unreliable, and invalid. 


Question 2 reads:

  • True believers confess their sin (1:8-2:1) Confess here doesn't mean to recite every wrong that we have ever done. Rather, it means to agree with God about our sin. That means that true believers hate their sin; they don't love it. They acknowledge they are sinful, and yet they know they are forgiven.
  1. Does this explicitly come from the Scriptures? NO. The word “confess” is in the Present Active Subjunctive form. This means it’s something that the true believers that John is writing to may or may not do. The result if we do is being cleansed and this conditional statement is clearly seen even in the English. Confessing our sins is something we may or may not do and reap the results of or not. MacArthur would have us see that this is a mark of a true belief verses false belief. However, 1Jn2:1 (even cited by MacArthur) makes it clear that this is written to “My dear little children” saved true Believers.
  2. Can every saved person pass this test in every situation? NO. As the verse says itself; this is something true believers may or may not do at any given time. Peter would have failed this test as he played the hypocrite.  
  3. Is it impossible for an unsaved person to pass this test? NO. As I have witnessed to many people over the years, on the street, on the radio, in churches, in coffee shops, at work…. I have found there is a percentage of people who will admit their sin but who will not believe that God has been satisfied by Christ’s death burial and resurrection. These people agree with God, to a point, about their sin but have not faith in Jesus Christ.
Question 2 is therefore unreliable and invalid. 
The subjective portion of the MacArthur test of salvation isn't fairing very well so far. We'll see how the remaining questions stand up in Part 3. 
Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abram was assured by God's word and this was accounted as righteousness. 


38 comments:

Nolan said...

I am confused by your exegesis of some texts in your post. In fact at "THIS" point, I think the way you explain some of these verses to be unbiblical. Who else holds to these interpretations of 1John that you do? Could you direct me to a site? A theologian? Past or present? Really, I would like to check it out. I have some questions to ask if you don't mind?

I am confused by this statement:

We know this because as the verse continues it is possible that truly saved people can stop believing.

(q) How can a believer stop
believing and still be
a believer? I know that a
believer who is secure in
Christ still sins, but never
heard that a believer can be
in unbelief, except from a
universalist.

(q) How do you handle the apostasy
verses?

(q) Do you believe that there are
apostates?

(q) How is "belief" different than
"unbelief"?

I hope you will take the time and answer these. It would be helpful for me.

Thanks

Kevl said...

Hello Nolan,

I don't know what you are looking for. Are there other theologeons that don't think 1Jn is a series of tests of salvation? MANY... check the various links at the side of the blog. I'm not going to search out teachers for you to evaluate though. The Scriptures are enough.

How can a Believer stop believing and still be a believer? - "Believer" is a title not an action. Aside from the passage that I'm discussing in 1Jn that says that a Believer may not continue in belief you mean? Well there is 2Peter 1:9 for example... not to mention the Corinthians who stopped believing in the Resurrection...

Apostasy is more than lack of belief, or lack of confidence - which is more of what John and Peter are getting at.

Yes I believe there are apostates.

I don't know what you mean by how belief is different than unbelief. I didn't write anything about this in the article. If you were to ask about disbelief I would say that it is a wilful refusal to believe.

Unbelief can include unawareness... belief must include awareness. Belief in the faith sense is assurance - one can become unassured.

Hope this has helped.

Kev

Nolan said...

Let me rephrase my question on this comment you made:

truly saved people can stop believing.

Truly saved people can stop believing what?

As far as 1 Peter 1:9 is concerened how do you take verse 10?
What does it mean to make your call and election sure? How does one do that?

Kevl said...

Truly saved people can stop believing lots of things... One is not saved by continuing to believe. One is saved by being baptized into Christ's death, burial and resurrection.

Election that Peter is talking about is not a pre-choosing by God for a person to be saved. I don't have time - or inclination to get into Election here, and it doesn't really relate. However I understand your question and it is valuable to speak about at some point.

In short this Election has to do with your life and purpose. I know you won't agree - but this isn't the spot to argue about election. I do not say that no one is elected to salvation, but I do not hold that all saved people are elected to it either.

I trust you'll understand why I don't want to get into a very complex conversation that doesn't relate directly to the article at hand.

To answer your question - as best I can without the associated discussion - I do not know how a person could make their "Election unto Eternal Life" (or their Unconditional Election) "sure" For that sort of Election must be "sure" and not unsure.

The language does not work for the Calvinistic view of the word - which is what I assume you are getting at.

You asked what my take is on Vs 10.

2Pet. 1:10   Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I say include Vs 11 and ask "do what things?" The things that Peter says you need to do in order that you grow - following his instruction in 2Peter 1:5-9

Again, this just doesn't fit with the making sure you're really saved interpretation.

Hope this helps,
Kev

David Wyatt said...

Hey bro. Kev. Excellent, as usual. Just a thought that came to mind as we're discussing this text from 2 Peter 1. I've come to see that in interpreting Scripture it is best to interpret the less clear (to us) texts, such as 2 Peter 1:10, in light of the clear ones, such as John 3:16 for example. It is not good practice to try & interpret clear ones by the less clear. Though we may not understand all of what making our calling & election sure means, we certainly do understand what eternal life means, & it comes by believing, an act of trust in Christ who bought it for us. Hope that may help some. God Bless.

Kevl said...

David there's a credit course in hermeneutics in that comment!

I'm going to be considering your words as I work through the rest of this series - and beyond. You're absolutely correct.

Kev

Nolan said...

Truly saved people can stop believing lots of things

Again,

(Q)Truly saved people can stop believing what? Can you give examples please?

(Q)Is there a "limit" to what a professing believer can stop believing?

(Q)If so what defines/determines this limit?

Nolan

Kevl said...

Nolan,

I don't know if there is a limit - I have my own ideas but they are just that. I know of no instructive passage on in the Bible that tells me what a truly saved person can or cannot "stop believing".


Kev

Nolan said...

You stated that apostates are a legitimate reality.

(q) Would you say that an apostate
is someone who once professed
"belief in Christ"?

Nolan

Kevl said...

Nolan,

I feel like you're trying to trap me into saying something.

How exactly does this line of questions relate to the article and what is your purpose in asking?



Kev

Look up said...

Kev

Nolan is an inquisitioner straight out of Rome, he doesn't preach the gospel, all he ever does is ask questions hoping to trap someone inquisitioner-style. BTW if you didn't already know, he is Mr. Blessed, and very satisfied to remain dead in his religion.

Nolan said...

I feel like you're trying to trap me into saying something.

How exactly does this line of questions relate to the article and what is your purpose in asking?

I am not trying to trap you.
I am asking these questions to figure out where you are coming from. The way you interpret certain texts of scripture is extremely problematic. You say that a believer can be a non-believer. When you say a non-believer you readily admit that a professing believer can “choose” not to believe certain doctrinal teachings or truths. But yet, you say that apostates are a legitimate reality. In your realm of thinking it makes the doctrine of apostasy an impossibility. When pressed on the issue of how much can a professing believer can actually choose or reject, you conveniently say:
“I don't know if there is a limit - I have my own ideas but they are just that. I know of no instructive passage on in the Bible that tells me what a truly saved person can or cannot "stop believing".

That should be a no brainer. Someone who rejects the Trinity, deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the resurrection, the sinless life of Christ, Christ as fully human, the virgin birth, faith in Christ alone, or even the existence of God, surely that person cannot be regenerate. These are essentials to the gospel. I don’t care how many times he says he believes or even how long he has been a believer, once believing these things and then rejecting them he is not a Christian nor was he ever one.
In your line of reasoning you would have to believe that a believer can lose his salvation to become an apostate. Which is totally an unbiblical teaching. I think you would agree. This is where you are logically pressed to go in your thinking. That thinking being, that a believer can become a non believer. You see, you lose certain truth’s or doctrines when you jettison these verses that show what a true believer looks like. An apostate is someone who professed Christ and later it shows that he actually never posessed Christ. No matter what you say, you hold to a mental ascent of the gospel only with this kind of thinking. At best you would hold that some can have only a mental ascent and that others can be fruit bearing disciples of Christ. Which sets up a two tier type Christianity, sort of like Keswick theology. This mental ascent to the gospel “just for some” which, I am sure, you would staunchly deny is extremely similar to the Glassite heresy that began in Scottland and found it’s way to America through Richard Sandeman. This teaching is more widely known as Sandemanianism. This is where your theological understanding has taken you. This is the trap you have laid for yourself. I only ask these questions of you because, I know that there are people who could be easily swayed by this type of teaching.

Kevl said...

Hi Nolan,

Are you the same person as Blessed as Look Up has said?

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Nolan,

I am not trying to trap you.

Really?

I am asking these questions to figure out where you are coming from. The way you interpret certain texts of scripture is extremely problematic.

Then why have you not offered discussion about any of them?

You've drawn the discussion off in a direction you think you can control. Do you think I don't recognize your tactics? The only reason why I've entertained your questions is because of the more Christ-like behaviour of Blessed - who to my current best knowledge is at least a partner of yours.

Kev

Look up said...

"Nolan" is the husband of "Blessed".

Kevl said...

Nolan,

You say that a believer can be a non-believer.

I have said no such thing.

When you say a non-believer you readily admit that a professing believer can “choose” not to believe certain doctrinal teachings or truths.

I have said no such thing.

In your realm of thinking it makes the doctrine of apostasy an impossibility.

Perhaps in whatever doctrinal understanding you have - but not according to Scripture.

That should be a no brainer. Someone who rejects the Trinity, deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the resurrection, the sinless life of Christ, Christ as fully human, the virgin birth, faith in Christ alone, or even the existence of God, surely that person cannot be regenerate.

Have you even READ the New Testament? If you have not then you really should before you spout foolishness.

The Corinthians for example were saved people who had been led in to disbelieving the Resurrection until Paul corrected them and brought them back to the Gospel they had received....

You should read what Believers did, and stopped believing in... you can read about these things in the New Testament.

In your line of reasoning you would have to believe that a believer can lose his salvation to become an apostate.

LOL!! I've said no such thing. However, I strongly suspected this is what you wanted to be able to accuse me of.

You're funny.

No matter what you say, you hold to a mental ascent of the gospel only with this kind of thinking.

LOL... I'm well aware that you were and will continue to argue against what you want me to be saying "no matter what [ I ] say..."

What's great about your style of interaction is that you have a name for every doctrine you like to argue against.. .and some teacher of that doctrine that you will argue against.

two tier type Christianity
Keswick theology
the Glassite heresy
Richard Sandeman
Sandemanianism

Well Nolan... I'm sure you are well prepared to argue against these things.. and these people... but you have not even been willing to engage ME.

You have shown your true colors - by your fruit I know you.

Your cleverness has earned you the right to NOT post here any more.

You could have engaged any of the verses you thought I interpreted. You could have challenged my interpretation by quoting Scripture. Instead you tried to lead me into saying something that I am not, and then argued against it.

That's a straw-man argument, and if you witness like that then there is little doubt that the people who you witness to think less of Christ than they should - for Christ NEVER used a Straw-Man.

Do not post here any more.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Look Up,

You said "Nolan" is the husband of "Blessed".

Thanks - that makes sense to me. I wasn't convinced they were the same person.

Kev

Kevl said...

Clarification;

PREVIOUSLY:

When you say a non-believer you readily admit that a professing believer can “choose” not to believe certain doctrinal teachings or truths.

I have said no such thing.

I haven't said anything in that manner. However, what I have said is that Believers can be lead into all kinds of error - as demonstrated throughout the NT.

The intent of Nolan's statement is what I have issue with. It is true that Believers can be mislead about just about anything....

Kev

Kevl said...

Nolan sent a private message about this statement

You say that a believer can be a non-believer.

I have said no such thing.

He said that because I said a Believer may stop believing something that I did in fact say that a believer can be a non-believer.

He went on to quote me on 1Jn 5:13. However, I never said a Believer can become a non-believer. I said that a Believer may stop believing various doctrines. The Apostle John said that a Believer may not continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God. So perhaps Nolan's real argument is with him.

Since Nolan was previously attempting to bait me into to saying something I do not mean and then use that to argue against the article I feel it's important to be clear here.

One can not become a non-believer, because as I explained to Nolan clearly - "Believer" is a title not an action. It is a title given to one who has believed the Gospel.

Kev

blessed said...

Hi Kev
This is one of those times that I wish I could talk and not type. I hope you can believe that I am not writing this to prove anything or to argue anything…I understand if you do not post this bc it has to do with what you and Nolan were discussing.

I know there are certain truths that are considered orthodox....like, if you dont have these truths about Christ then you dont have the real Jesus...you have fashioned a Jesus of your own making. I know that there were councils formed to discuss these things due to the heresy being taught in the church (just like in the days of scripture)…so my only concern right now is what someone would THINK you are teaching.


This didn’t sound like a teaching that would conform to scipture:
The Apostle John said that a Believer may not continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God.


so I looked it up to see if "continue" was in the original Greek (you did that to a verse I was asking you about so I thought I would check this one)

It actually reads:
These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

(And even when I read the “may continue” I didn’t read that as “because you may not and that’s ok” more like, so that you will continue to believe in the One taught to you from the beginning and NOT the one being taught by these men that went out from among us.)



We all agree that you can deny some doctrinal truths (although I am not sure how far you take that) but we are indwelt with the Spirit of Truth that will lead us into all thruth about Jesus.…I would go so far as to say that the Spirit will confim the truth of Jesus being the Son of God, fully human, born of a virgin and the many other truths presented clearly in the scriptures.

Scripture says that when a believer stops believing certain things they become apostate and are not considered believers. That is what John was talking about in the letter when he said "they went out from us bc they were not of us"....they started with them...they believed some things that John held to but at some point they started believing something different and not what was taught from the beginning. He is exhorting the believers not to believe what they were teaching but to hold fast to what they were taught…so I don’t think he was saying they could just go believe whatever they heard.

You never laid out what it is you think a believer can stop believing but from what I understand there was a sentence in your article that just said a beliver can stop believing and you left that open to sound like they can just stop believing on Jesus Christ. because what is it a believer believes? The things they were taught from the beginning. That would be why you were asked about apostasy…is an apostate saved or lost? If they are lost what was it they stopped believing? That is what was trying to be established in my understanding. I am sorry that everything got so confused. I know that was not Nolans intention….

Kevl said...

HI Blessed,

Many of the things you ask are answered in the comments.

1Jn 5:13 - that you may continue to believe is how the NKJV renders the verse because the word "believe" is a verb which is constructed as present active participle masculine plural dative.

It is a conditional thing that those who are Believers may or may not do. As I discussed with Nolan this is more about faith than it is about doctrine - it is about being confident which is John's purpose with the letter.

One may loose confidence because of many things, including being led into bad doctrine, looking at one's flesh to see how evil we are..and others as discussed in this comment thread already. The solution is to see Who Jesus Christ is, what He has done and what He will do for Believers.

This has all been discussed.

You said Scripture says that when a believer stops believing certain things they become apostate and are not considered believers.

Really? Where does Scripture say this?

"they went out from us bc they were not of us"

I'd really like to see you explain this from the Bible instead of theology. Show me how this is about people who stopped believing, and thus shows that they were never believers in the first place. Please show me.

You may want to define who he is writing about before you interpret the verse; hint: "antichrists"

Kev

blessed said...

Kev

I want to be clear that I am using the word believer in the same way that you are, a title that one claims not an action...so when I say a believer stops believing that would mean someone that calls themselves a believer, that goes by the title of believer...so in using the term the way that you describe it we can agree that a "believer" can stop believing but I would go on to say that would mean they are part of the falling away (apostasia 2 Thess)
To fall away would mean that you were at somethng to beging with and left it, unlike an unbeliever who never professed Christ to begin with.....
I do not understand your meaning of don't come at this with theology....theology is something we all have, it means the study of God. There is no way for any of us to throw out what we learned from the scriptures nor are we called to do so.....we can engage in conversation to sharpen iron but to throw out the "thats your theology" card is probably a fallacy of some sort. Of course you have your understanding of what God is showing you about Himself (your theology) and I have what god is showing me..that is why we are able to read the same scriptures and still come away with different understanding. We are all at different places in our learning, in our study of God (our theology)

The bible speaks of false teachers arising from among the churches....not from the outside but from the inside....these men are being written about in the scriptures to warn believers not to follow after them...I know John speaks of the antichrist....he is speaking of the very men that were WITH them...so they must have been a part of the group. I do not even come close to claiming I understand all there is about apostasy but I know its there in scripture, I know there are some scriptures that cause many people to believe they can lose their salvation...that they can fall away and its understandable if they have no concept of the apostasy that will come...that is in the church even now. A true believer that is believing on the Lord Jesus can never fall away, but there are those among us that hold the title of believer that do not truly believe...any spirit opposed to Christ is of the devil...
Are you really unaware of the apostasy or are you asking these questions just to see where I am with it?

Kevl said...

Blessed, yes your comments are often doubled when I receive them. Blogger doesn't do well with long comments. Normally when it says "request too large" the comment is posted anyway - but not always.

I'm away from my email so I cannot respond that way.

Kev

blessed said...

It has never told me that the comment is too long it just navigates to another page...i will try to keep them shorter....

Kevl said...

Blessed you said

I do not understand your meaning of don't come at this with theology....

I mean don't quote a verse and tell me what it means...

Quote a verse, and quote the author explaining it.

This is an example of Theology driving the interpretation of a passsage:

Scripture says that when a believer stops believing certain things they become apostate and are not considered believers. That is what John was talking about in the letter when he said "they went out from us bc they were not of us"....they started with them...they believed some things that John held to but at some point they started believing something different and not what was taught from the beginning.

If you however quote John from elsewhere to show who he means when he talks about "antichrists" (plural not singular), and then quote him explaining what it means to be "among us" and "going out from us" and who "us" is... then you will find that Scripture is interpreting Scripture instead of Theology interpreting Scripture.

Kev

Kevl said...

With regard to Apostacy..

Are you taking up the task that Nolan had intended?

The Great Falling Away, is not believers stopping believing things and therefore showing themselves to be unsaved....

The Great Falling Away has to do with the whole world. Revelation says the world will reject everything that is even called a god.

The Great Falling Away is underway because the Church's witness is so poor - mostly because we spend all our time getting our ears tickled instead of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the World.

When the Church is removed from the planet the Great Falling Away will truly happen - when the Restrainer is removed the world will fully reject God and everything called a god.

There are people who fall away, who frustrate grace, who do many things - but who are not unsaved. These could be called "apostate" in that they have done the same as the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians and the rest of us have done in many cases. Read Revelation and see how those assemblies made out...

Anyway.. it's a huge topic and has nothing to do with the article at hand. It's mere distraction.

You brought up discussion about 1Jn 5:13 which was well and good... but almost all the posts under these articles seem to be intentional Straw-Man building.

Kev

blessed said...

Anyway.. it's a huge topic and has nothing to do with the article at hand. It's mere distraction.

I agree that it is huge. The only reason I wrote back to you was to tell you that there really are things a believer must know/believe about Christ or they do not have the right Jesus and they are believing in a Christ of their own making. I only thought I should say that bc if you are telling people that they can be a believer and not believe and if that is wrong to do then you would want to have that shown to you so you could bring it to the Lord in prayer. Just like I read your articles and ask the Lord to show if I am doing/believing/saying wrong things. I dont think you are pointing out Macarthurs wrongness for any reason other than you are concerned that he is leading people astray. You know what you know about yourself, Christ, the Holy Spirit etc from scripture and you would be on very shaky ground to say you believe on Jesus but it be a Jesus that is NOT the Jesus presented to you in the scripture and revealed to you through the Holy Spirit...

blessed said...

I only brought up the apostasy to try to show you why Nolan was questioning the way he was....how it tied in to the things you said.

on this:
I know John speaks of the antichrist....he is speaking of the very men that were WITH them.

I know that its plural, that why I said "men"...i just wrote it wrong...I think I was going to put antichist spirit....sorry for the confusion.

Quote a verse, and quote the author explaining it

I am not a trained and schooled theologian but I do know there are many verses that the author may not go back and explain..I understand scripture interpreting scripture and I understand systematic theology...(I read an article you wrote on here concerning that and you understand that it is necessary to gather information using the whole of scripture, allowing the clear verses to explain the not so clear etc)....

again, I am not trying to argue or be right, that is why I did not care if you posted my thoughts or not as long as YOU got them for consideration.

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

The only reason I wrote back to you was to tell you that there really are things a believer must know/believe about Christ or they do not have the right Jesus and they are believing in a Christ of their own making.

You are correct. This is why Paul and John wrote much of what they wrote - to keep Believers believing proper doctrine. It DOES matter!

However... if they have believed the TRUE Gospel, then they are saved... and the issue is not to test their salvation but to exercise correction, discipline and exhortation....

Kev

Kevl said...

Blessed,

So who are these "antichrists" that John is writing about?

I do not for a moment believe he is writing about general false converts whatsoever. He explains who these people are himself.

Kev

blessed said...

I just reread your comment...you agree there are apostates, you just say they are saved?

So those that claim they were saved but then turn their back on christianity are those you would call the antichrists and not apostates?

And UGH! No I was not trying to pick up where Nolan intended to go but I am truly intrigued now!

Kevl said...

Blessed,

Confusing several doctines into one is a common problem with NeoCalvinism. Wrapping a bunch of different people up into a bag and calling them Apostates isn't helpful...

There are people who are saved, and then never perform well. For various reasons, the Lord talks about some who grow up in the weeds and get choked before they produce any crop...

There are people who are saved, but get led into gross false doctrine and never produce anything of value...

There are people who have never recieved the Gospel (1Cor 15:1-11) but think they are "Christian" for whatever reason...

All of these people have been described as Apostate by various different teachers.

The Great Apostascy is about the the world - not the Church. It can only happen when the Church is removed because we are God's agency. The salt and the light. God's restraining power through the ministry of the Spirit is largely worked through the Church.

Slapping a lable on a bunch of different doctrines and situations is what the Neo Calvinists have done with Repentance as well - with the same results: confusion.

Then once these all encompassing titles are accepted the Text must be interpreted using these doctrines. Thus you find people believing 1Jn is a test of Salvation, that Regeneration precedes faith, that repentance has a definition a mile wide and an application an inch thick, that there is no true assurance in the finished work of Christ, that we can't know that someone is saved, that the Church and Israel are the same thing, that God's promises are spiritual only... and on and on and on....

Kev

blessed said...

Slapping a lable

you did that well with neo calvinist

Then once these all encompassing titles are accepted the Text must be interpreted using these doctrines

these doctrines (teachings) are formed from understanding scripture as a whole.your doctrine comes from what you understand about scripture...from reading the scriptures and fitting them together

You do see that you fit a category as well?.....you come to certain texts with a basic premise for the most part as well...you HAVE to do that because there are verses that seem to be contradictory so you must come to those scriptures in light of the other scriptures...for example there are some texts that you can only interpret in a certain way if Israel is different from the Church and if there is a secret rapture that happens before Christs return....if someone does not see that secret rapture then they will not read those texts the same way that you do...thats why Church of Christ can say we are saved thru baptism...scripture says it..1 Peter3:21, Col 2:12, Mark15:15-16...so if you do not have the understanding of faith alone and brought that belief to these texts then you would have a hard time explaining them.....and though you may say you do not fit in a group that reads scripture in a certain way you really do....it may not be neo calvanist, maybe its arminian dispensational.

There are people who have never recieved the Gospel (1Cor 15:1-11) but think they are "Christian" for whatever reason...

What would say about Dan Barker...he is an atheist that used to be a christian...when he was told that he couldnt have been a christian he actually argued that he was....he argued that he was saved by a God that he doesnt even believe exists..but he really really did believe it back when he was a christian....he is what I call an apostate...he professed Christ then went out from among us.

Kevl said...

sigh... yes because I used a movement's common name that excuses wrapping a bunch of doctrines up into one doctrine and insisting that it is biblical...

Way to latch on to another rabbit trail to avoid talking about the points in the article.

I asked you to quote John to explain who he meant by the antichrists and you have been unwilling to do so.. instead you keep explaining to me what you think the passage means.

Yes I got your other comments.. .I'm tired of sifting through a bunch of questions and answering them one by one while you side step the conversation.

Have a nice day, but I'm not going to play this game any more.

Kev

blessed said...

I asked you to quote John to explain who he meant by the antichrists and you have been unwilling to do so.. instead you keep explaining to me what you think the passage means.

I thought I did that in the comment that you didnt post?
Thats why I asked if you got it....because the one you posted was where I never intended to go in the first place......

Kevl said...

Blessed,

As I read your comment I didn't find you quoting John at all... you made the same explanation as you did previously. Then I got another comment from you (the one I did post) which seemed to be correcting yourself....

I've been answering your questions for weeks now and it has not helped one little bit.

I'm done with this conversation - unless you simply quote Scripture to show your view is expressly written therein.

I dont' want you explanation of what John really meant, quote him explaining what he really meant and leave it at that.

Also I don't want another 20 questions from you.

I've played this game enough.

Kev

blessed said...

Kev

I apologize for making you angry, I am truly not trying to play a game....in the first comment on this thread I told you that I didnt expect you to post it much less answer it...when you didnt post my last couple of comments I assumed you werent going to answer so I didnt write anything else but then you posted to me so I answered. I really didnt think anything I said was out of line and I am sorry if you did.

Looking back at the comments I see about 4 questions minus the ones in the comment you didnt post (maybe there were alot in there, I remember 3)

I did answer your question about the antichrists and I what I wrote was straight from scripture I believe..(unless you really didnt get the comment that I am referring to)

I apologize

Kevl said...

Blessed,

I've just quickly reviewed your posts to the three articles in this series and found there are at least 18 questions or comments you expected answers to.

I suspect there were many more statements that needed clarification.

You said I did answer your question about the antichrists and I what I wrote was straight from scripture I believe..(unless you really didnt get the comment that I am referring to)

I have received no comment from you where you quoted John explaining John. I have received multiple comments from you where YOU explain John.

Kev