Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dr. Clay Nuttal on Platform Sharing & Identification

Lou has an authorized reprint of an important article up at his blog this morning; Dr. Clay Nuttal, Platform Sharing & Identification.

Here's a snippet:
I confess that I do not know why people protect error. Is it that they do not know better? Is it that they do not believe, or are there other possible motives? In academia, the young theologian is taught to have respect for other people’s views. It would be better to say that we should have respect for the right of other people to hold different views. To say that all views are equal is an affront to God. One of my administrators plainly told me that I was not allowed to say that someone else’s theological view was wrong; obviously, that person was not a biblical theologian. Can you imagine the cowardly attitude and disobedient heart that would fail to say that the denial of the virgin birth is error?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bad Kool-Aid: Paul's Lordship Salvation Testimony

If you don't know what I mean by "Bad Kool-Aid" please read the introduction to this series. 

On occasion it is said that the Apostle Paul was saved through submission to the Lordship of Christ when he was famously stopped by the Lord on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:1-9 are cited in support of this, verses 3 - 6 form the basis of the argument. 
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” 
It is said that Saul (who would later take the name Paul) submitted to the Lordship of Christ immediately, bowing down and asking what he could do for his Lord. 

This is Bad Kool-Aid for a couple of reasons. First, the Lord blinded him and he had to be lead by the other men with him. The Lord wasn't looking for service from Saul, He wanted him to believe that He (Jesus Christ) is God, and that He is alive again after having been crucified. This brings us to the second reason, and I would have you remember Paul's explanation of how faith comes about in a person;

Rom 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ
Paul retells the events, including what happened at Damascus;

Acts 22:6-16 
6 “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ 
Here we see that Ananias witnessed to Paul at Damascus; he spoke the word of the Lord to him. Just like  Paul (and Silas) later did with their jailer Acts 16:25-34 when he asked them what he must do to be saved - believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they told him, and then they witnessed to him by speaking the word of the Lord to them. Acts 16:32

What is this word of the Lord? It is the Gospel that Paul declares in 1Cor 15:1-11 Look at what Paul knew about Jesus Christ by the time that Ananias implored him to be reconciled to God 2Cor 5:20-21- Jesus is the Just One who died for our sins, was buried and rose to life again, and that by this we can have our sins washed away. 

Saul (Paul) wasn't saved on the road to Damascus. He was not saved by submitting to the Lordship of Christ.  God made sure he knew it didn't work like that by immediately blinding him so he couldn't consider his getting to Damascus his service to the Lord. He was taken to Damascus, he didn't "go obediently." Saul was saved when he received the Gospel as preached to him at Damascus. Then and only then were his sins washed away! 

Link To This Answer!

If you encounter someone spreading the Bad Kool-Aid of  "Paul's Lordship Conversion Testimony" please link them and their audience to this post. Here's a TinyURL to use: http://tinyurl.com/67dqxpf

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Church Order - Submit Yourselves One to Another

Don't let your assembly earn this warning.
Eph 5:15-21

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Over the years I’ve struggled to understand what “Church Order” is and what the implications of it are in the assembly I am joined with, and in my own life; perhaps you have too. Church order is established and maintained through submission; submission to the will of the Father, to the Lordship of Christ, to the promptings of the Spirit, to the revelation of Scripture, to the leaders of the local assembly and each believer one to another.

Having served for 20 years in the Canadian Forces I understand a thing or two about submission. From the outside the Church can look like a military, but this view is not accurate. It looks like we have a Great High General in God, and then various ranks down through to the individual soldier in the pew – but this is not how God has organized His Church. In a military organization one is submitted to a person of higher rank because of that higher rank’s authority over the lower rank. In the Church, the people who might be seen as having a higher rank are actually gifts to the people who might be seen as lower ranks; at least from a cursory look from the outside. In a military the higher ranked person is responsible for the wellbeing of the lower ranked person, and at least this much is the same in the Church – but in the military this is again a function of authority. The higher ranked person can impose their will on the lower ranked person, so they are ultimately responsible for imposing that will in a proper way. In the Church the higher ranked person has great influence on the lower ranked person – not imposable authority, but spiritual influence.

Have you ever heard people joking about not wanting to give to charities? They may say “Charity starts at home!” It’s a play on words, abusing the notion that giving should be a foundation of our lives to make it be about ensuring our own homes are prosperous before we give to anyone else. That concept is funny to the world, and rightly offensive to the mature Christian. However, submission does start at home – or with one’s own person.

In the Church we submit ourselves one to another. In a military the higher rank imposes their will, and those below must submit to it. This isn’t submitting one’s self to the higher rank, it is capitulating to their will. When we submit ourselves it is exactly that, people deciding to and willingly submitting to someone else. When someone actually out ranks me, has more power, has more authority, then I am submitted by their power and I can only surrender or capitulate. This is not how the Church is organized.  Eph 5:21 finishes Paul’s immediate thought with the words “submitting to one another in the fear of God.”  Willingly submitting ourselves one to another is actually submitting, or even capitulating to the will of the Lord Eph 5:17. I submit myself to each other believer as a wilful act of my own, based only on my own relationship with Christ – not based on the other believers whatsoever. I also am not to require any be submitted to me, I am only to be focused on my own submission.

Eph 4 makes it clear that the gifts given to each believer and most specifically the giving of people to hold offices in the Church are an explicit operation of the Lordship of Christ. 

Eph 4:7-16 

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
      “ When He ascended on high,
      He led captivity captive,
      And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Verses 7 – 9 explains the basis for His giving gifts being that He is God – He alone has descended and ascended, He is Lord.

Verses 11 – 12 tell us why He gave us these people to hold offices; for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for edifying the body of Christ. And for how long; for as long as we are here in our bodies and not in Heaven with Christ when we will be “as He is” 1Jn 3:2 a “perfect man” in “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”

Verses 14 – 15 give us the result; mature believers

Verse 16 tells us how; according to the effective working of each believer edifying the whole.

This brings us back to Eph 5:15-21 where we are told that exercising the will of the Lord, or the Lordship of Christ is being controlled by the Spirit, worshiping God and submitting ourselves one to another.

Brethren, for the sake of the Angels (who desire to look in on this salvation we have 1Pet 1:12) we need to maintain order. 1Cor 4:9 1Cor 11:10 1Tim 3:16 1Tim 5:21 and for the sake of the great cloud of witnesses Heb 12:1 (the best examples of which are found in Heb 11) we need to recognize the Lordship of Christ over us and His Church by submitting ourselves one to another.

This is Church Order, and how we will each grow in godliness.

1Tim 3:14-16 

14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

      God was manifested in the flesh,
      Justified in the Spirit,
      Seen by angels,
      Preached among the Gentiles,
      Believed on in the world,
      Received up in glory.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Line in the Sand

Where do you draw your line Brother?
In essentials unity. 
In non-essentials liberty. 
In all things charity. 

Biblical Separation goes beyond just being sanctified (separated from the rest of the world) to the Lord; it often means separating from other Brethren who are disorderly or for whatever reason are preaching against some essentials of the Christian faith, making them false teachers. Victims of false teaching are not to be quickly separated from, because they are victims and may be able to be returned to good order through fellowship. Paul fellowshipped with and corrected the Corinthians who were taught to reject the resurrection, but he did not fellowship with those spreading the heresy.

Last year I learned a thing or two about practicing Biblical Separation; it is not easy to do gracefully, it costs you dearly and in many ways, people resist it in many diverse ways, people don't tend to think they are the ones that need to be separated from. Here is something I have learned - HOW you separate is every bit as important as the reasons for the need to separate. You must be clear, graceful and decisive.

I wasn't as graceful as I could have been last year when I separated from an organization I had poured my life into. I could have been more gentle, and as recently as last week it was brought up that I caused hurt in doing it the way I did. It hurts me to think about causing pain for people I love. Here's the thing though, separation is a ministry of warning to people you love - it is, and always will be painful. It never feels good to be shown, clearly, what error you are spreading.

This week, I had to repeat the process somewhat. I still owned an asset of the organization (for several complicated reasons). I should have shut the asset down so that it could not benefit the proliferation of heresy, but I did not because I couldn't bring myself to cause more pain. I was wrong not to shut it down, I pretty well knew it at the time, but I was - frankly - too chicken to do what I knew to be right. (again... sigh) The result? The person I was separating from feels justified in their views... thinks it isn't as serious as I told him it was... The issue was fidelity to the Gospel in accordance with the Scriptures - it doesn't get more serious than that.

When separation occurs everyone thinks they are at least mostly right, and they think it should be OK to continue fellowshipping. This week I was told that because other organizations of somewhat similar views to mine work with organizations which preach the Lordship Salvation heresy that it should be OK for me to as well.  Apparently it is unreasonable for me to expect people to simply stick to what the Bible teaches about the Gospel or consider them accursed. Gal 1:6-9 This is just how people act... I was told that it had actually been ME that changed my views on the Gospel and drifted away from what had previously been preached - however, those who go looking for a statement of faith at the organization's website will no longer find the previous exhaustive statement; now there is only a very generic statement.  Of course you will see the all important statement:
We believe that all are justified solely on the ground of faith in the shed blood of Christ, and that only by God's grace through faith alone are we saved.  
It's a shame that these words are so seldom tested when they are spoken by teachers. They are, so often, a false letter of commendation 2Cor 3:1-3 that false teachers use to get their feet in the door. Unfortunately when this statement is made a huge "but" follows it. But you have to define "faith" or "belief" in a special way.  The "faith alone" that is spoken of here is about "forsaking sins and turning to serve a living God" not trusting that Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose again the third day all in accordance with the Scriptures. No not faith, but service.... "but" they don't preach works salvation as their Pastor explains.

So what is to be done? I spent months developing a statement of faith with that old organization, each person had to sign it stating full agreement, each person's Pastor had to acknowledge it.... that was not enough. Brethren, the solution is only clear, graceful and decisive separation from those who preach and practice error on the essentials of the faith; anything that affects the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here are a number of passages that ought to help you draw your line in the sand. I pray you will read these, they will convict you and you will be faithful to stand on the truthful side of the line with only those who will faithfully stand there with you.

2Jn 1:9-11
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Acts 20:26-32
26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Rom 16:17-19 
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.
Mat 7:13-23    
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Gal 1:6-11 
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. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 
Gal 5:7-12 
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! 
2Pet 2:1-3 
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
2Tim 4:3-4 
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2Thes 3:6 
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 
1Cor 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.
2Thes 3:13-15 
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
2Tim 3:10-15 
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 
These are just a few passages which are relevant to separation on the subject of the Gospel. Scripture doesn't make it a minor issue at all - do you? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Final Thoughts on Slave

I finished reading John MacArthur's new book "Slave: the hidden truth about your identity in Christ" back on January 14th. Before I started reading Slave I had intended to do a huge review of the work. All the way back on January 13th I recorded my initial impressions of the book.  As I was formulating those initial impressions I was still expecting Slave to be the focus of a detailed review, and a new focal point in the pro/anti Lordship Salvation heresy discussion. I stand by my initial impressions, but my anticipation would have been better spent waiting on the ketchup to come out of a bottle...

Since that time, perhaps, some of you have been anticipating my review of the book. After-all I've been saying that I would review it. In the two months since I finished reading Slave I've been contemplating how to review it fairly. I’ve decided to do less than a review and simply offer my “final thoughts” on the book. I had expected a much stronger work that would need to be answered in detail. I expected it to be compelling. I expected it to at least almost live up to how it was promoted.

Well before I get ahead of myself let's look at the promotional video for Slave. Even if you've seen it before please watch it again.  Back in December I described this video as the Bible X-Files, and I think that description is pretty close to the mark.

The very first words of this promotional video, spoken by Dr. John MacArthur himself, are "Exploring the New Testament I uncovered a distortion truth when it came to the word doulos." So Dr. MacArthur claims to have uncovered a distortion of truth when it comes to the word doulos. I want you to get this claim straight from his own mouth - because it is central to one of the most common criticisms of the book.

According to Amazon.com the hardcover is 240 pages long (I read it using the Kindle app on my Macbook Pro and iPod Touch). Though MacArthur claims there has been a cover-up of biblical proportions to hide an essential truth from the world he has 373 references, and a full chapter entitled "Voices From Church History"... it is true that some chapters have several scripture references, so we can take maybe 30 references out of that number... that would still give us around 343 references of other people telling us about the word doulos. On my kindle app the references for each short chapter are several pages long. The video for the book makes this “cover-up” sound, well impressive. The book makes the failed attempt seem pathetic, or perhaps it may make one think there was no cover-up at all.

When I read and reviewed MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus, I found myself getting upset with the man. The book was filled with proof-texts (out of context short quotations of Scripture) and conjecture. He would posit something over a number of pages – without support from the Scriptures, then move on to another topic which would be supported by saying since we know such and such is true then… and the such and such would be whatever he had just posited without support. I really thought it was intentional, and perhaps I still feel like some of it was. Now though, I’m beginning to think he has been blinded by his own argument. He’s not able to imagine a real argument against it so he doesn’t even bother to try to support what he claims.

Slave is, in my opinion after having read it and then considered it for two months, is a shockingly limp, lazy and loose work which doesn’t even make a point let alone bother to argue for it. I realize that Slave is just one cog in a machine designed to drive MacArthur readers to embrace the theology that I can only describe as the Lordship Salvation heresy. The whole system might be described like this:
Christians are slaves, Roman slaves had no will of their own and were totally subjected to their masters, Christians therefore have this same relationship with their Master, Jesus Christ, therefore Lordship Salvation is true and one cannot be saved unless they are completely, radically, fully, wholly, subjected to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every aspect of their life, for their entire life time.
Previous works by MacArthur fit later in the system than Slave does. Slave is an enterance book – a means to draw new followers of Lordship Salvation.  It’s a lite read, doesn’t draw too many conclusions and so won’t stir up many objections in the mind of a novice to the topic.

When I gave my initial reaction to a Brother I’m accountable to in regard to these matters, he counselled me not to make the review about the last page of the book. What is that last page? An advertisement for the Slave study guide.  Sadly it appears to me that the book has two purposes; first to give the impression that the word doulos can only mean “slave” and that the Roman slave trade is the definition of Christianity, without exploring what that really means to the individual; and second to sell the study guide. There is no good example of exegesis in this book. He quotes several passages but does not dig into any of them to any great depth at all. Perhaps the study guide does?

The problem is that the person who reads Slave and then decides to get the study guide has likely already bought into the Roman slave trade view of Christianity based on MacArthur’s convincing before they ever get a chance to examine the Scriptures. This is a horrible reversal of how theology is supposed to be developed in a Christian’s mind. Our understanding is to be driven by the Scriptures, not the other way around. Of course one might bring up that the Bereans listened to Paul first and then went to the Scriptures but I caution to you read what is said of the noble Bereans. Acts 17:11 They listened to Paul with ready minds and then went to the Scriptures to see if what he said was actually true. They did not listen to Paul and then have him lead them in a study. Likewise we ought to obey 1Thes 5:21

One sincere person recently showed a clear example of what happens when you get this wrong. In so doing he gave me the push I needed to actually finish this blog article. I will paraphrase him anonymously because I’m reasonably sure he would not want to be quoted.  

Why not just let the Word speak for itself? The word is doulos and it only means “slave.” Look it up, it’s Strong’s # 1401. 
Do you see the system I described above in this man's words? Do you see how if this teaching style is used, this one word can define Christianity without even the aid (not to mention the correction) of the rest of Scripture? If not, hopefully you will before the end of this article.

Following the same pattern that I found so offensive in The Gospel According to Jesus; in Slave MacArthur makes the argument that doulos only means slave, and therefore Christianity is like Roman slavery, and every time the Lord spoke of a person doing work, or being employed by someone else He was actually using what MacArthur calls “slave language” to show what true Christianity is. It is a brilliant practice to employ with people who will not test your argument rigorously.

You may have noticed in the video that MacArthur ties the word “bought” into the equation of understanding that true Christians are slaves of Christ. This of course gets discussed in the book as well. Frankly, it is an understanding of redemption that is corrupted by forcing the doctrine of Limited Atonement on it.

If those whom Christ bought are all “doulos” to Him, and if the word doulos can only mean slave, and this defines Christianity as slavery to Christ then all those who are bought are slaves in total subjection to Him. This is how Slave helps you think, and it is the intent of the paraphrased quote above.

2Peter 2:1-3

 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
Here are a group of false prophets who were “bought” by the Lord. Most obviously these people are going to be destroyed in judgment – they will be going to the Lake of Fire. These are not saved people.
But what if I’m wrong, what if they are saved people who have gone astray and will face harsh judgement at the Judgment Seat of Christ, being "saved as though by fire"? 1Cor 3:9-15 Even that doesn’t help the MacArthur doctrine. The problem remains, they are either bought and going to be destroyed or they are bought and most obviously not in subjection to the Lordship of Christ in every aspect of their lives. There is no solution for the MacArthur doctrine in this example.

That ought to be enough, but Scripture is actually full of examples that show the complete failure of MacArthur’s doctrine. We’ll look at just one more.

Were the Corinthians saved people? Yes. Were they bought? Yes. (hint: Jesus Christ paid for everyone, and everything at the Cross. The Cross wasn’t just about the Elect because it wasn’t just about people – it was about all of Creation.)

Anyway let’s look at the Corinthians.

1Cor 6:20

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Paul is telling them that because they were bought that they are to glorify God in their bodies and spirits. Why would you have to tell someone to do this if they were a slave, without will and in total subjection to the Lordship of Christ? Were they saved or not?
OK well one Lordship Salvation proponent might say that since all Creation was bought by the Lord on the Cross, that Paul giving a Gospel presentation, a salvation appeal even! Well no, actually the Corinthians Paul was writing to had long before received the Gospel; as we read back in Acts 18.

Acts 18:5-8
5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook  his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
Paul was preaching that Jesus is the Christ, though many Jews rejected this message many of the Corinthians heard, believed and were baptized. These are saved people, and yet they went on to have a famously fleshy assembly filled with all kinds of infighting and sexual immorality. So can it be said that these bought and saved Christians lived in a Roman slave-like relationship to Christ for all their days? If you think they did, please… please read 1st and 2nd Corinthians.

In this article I have followed the example of the noble Bereans. I have listened to what MacArthur has taught and then I have gone to the Scriptures to see if what he teaches is true; it is not. I therefore must reject what he teaches in accordance with 1Thes 5:21.

Slave is a disappointing read and it builds a false view of Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Update

No one likes "quick updates." Believe me, I don't like doing them any more than you like reading them. :)

The review of Slave is nearly finished and I expect to have it up in the next day or two. I'm still absolutely flat out at work, which is why I haven't been writing very much on here. However, that will be done for me in less than a month! Big news coming on that front!

I will be back to my normal level of writing very soon!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Looking for a Christian publisher in Canada

My last book was published in the USA and that has proven to make receiving payments problematic. Xulon has lived up to their agreement fully, and I recommend them to anyone, but I definitely want to skip the whole cross border publication deal this time.

So I'm looking for a Christian publisher in Canada. My next book is officially in production, albeit just.

I'm going to start looking myself, but if anyone out there has a recommendation I sure would appreciate it!