23 January 2015

This 'n' That

Because this post is random, and so is this picture.
Ah, Friday, we meet again. As often happens, in spite of an eventful week, I find myself sitting before my computer, largely unable to determine how I'd like to open this week's post. Instead of a few nice, carefully written paragraphs, then, you simply get to enjoy a few of my random thoughts as they pop into my head. Don't worry, I'm as wary as you probably are, because I'm not quite sure how this is going to work. Let's give it a try, shall we?

So…the Packers lost on Sunday. I know, I know, it's Friday and I should get over it. I'm working on it. Apparently I heal slowly.

Speaking of healing, I think someone must've stolen the anointed Benny Hinn healing hanky I ordered. Guess I'll just have to take Jesse Duplantis' advice and shout the devil away instead of wiping him away.

I have a daily devotional on my desk that is absolute rubbish (it's okay, I knew it was when I bought it. The purchase was intentional). Everyday it tells me how awesome I am. No, I'm not joking. It's kind of making me nauseous just looking at it, actually.

On the flip side, I also have a Martyn Lloyd-Jones devotional on my desk, which seems to help keep the universe in balance.

I was pondering the circumstances of my life this week (or at least some of them), and was absolutely awed at what God has graciously done and is doing, both in the joys and in the trials. And I don't just mean so-called 'big' things, I mean He has been over-the-top faithful in my mundane, everyday life. I am so utterly unworthy, and my praise and thanks just seem to pale in comparison to His goodness. Brethren, do you realize what an amazing God we serve? I love Him, don't you?

This seems like a good time to turn things over and let you sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • So, what you're saying is, this year's flu shot is worthless, but we all should still get one anyway. Okay…
  • Yeah, I guess this means we shouldn't do this, no matter how much we dislike someone.
  • Pastors need to rightly handle God's Word.
  • The story about Alex Malarkey and the book that erroneously bears his name as co-author, "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven," has been getting a lot of press the past two weeks. Here's an interview with John MacArthur on the subject, and Pastor Don Green is rightly calling for Tyndale and Lifeway to make things right. Phil Johnson continues to bring the truth to light and this is a secular article you will want to read.
  • The depravity of the Romans 1 world in which we live is sometimes downright disgusting.
  • I'm going to need one of these at around 3:00 today.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable. You can thank Amy for this one. Warning: It may overload your adorable meter.
  • I think I want to read this book.
  • I remember when the Newsboys were all the rage in the "Christian" music scene. Now it turns out that one of the co-founders is an atheist. Shocking…or not. Here's the best quote of the article: "The Newsboys have not yet responded to Perdikis' remarks, but some Christians who have read the trending article opine that from the details in Perdikis’ piece, he may have never been a Christian in the first place." Um…you think? Because if he had been a Christian, and now is an atheist, that means we can lose our salvation, and we're all in a lot of trouble. Good grief, people, we are talking about basic theology here!
  • "Our brains cannot handle information the way it is presented in a traditional sermon. The average person can only pay attention for about 10 minutes." This article is ridiculous. Powerpoint pictures, incense, shorter sermons? Talk about catering to your congregation's itching ears. Pastors, preach it…for as long as you need!
  • If you live near Green Bay and are wondering what to do this weekend, you might want to check out the Snow Conference.
  • Phil Johnson teaches on the history of Calvinism:
photo credit: jspad via photopin cc

21 comments:

  1. Hi Erin, so according to that ridiculous article, the average person can't pay attention to anything for more than 10 minutes, therefore pastors need to shorten their sermons, etc? Really? Hm, all I could think was Acts 20:7-12.

    GTY's current blog series on pastoral qualifications - fantastic.

    Romans 1 depravity, no kidding. Every day the headlines descend to deeper lows.

    The cookie recipe looks delicious... except we don't have a microwave....................... so enjoy one for me.

    -Carolyn



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  2. If it's true-and I know it is according to Scripture that God is Sovereign and if it's true that we cannot enable ourselves to understand Scripture apart from God much less control the very breath of life and it is GOD who enables us, then wouldn't God enable those who are genuine Christians and are Armenian in their thinking to eventually believe what Scripture actually teaches about Election? God eventually enabled Phil Johnson to what Scripture teaches. If a person is never brought to a clear understanding of what Scripture teaches concerning the doctrines of grace, Total depravity of man, Unconditional Election, Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the Saints, does that mean that A) they may not be saved, B) they are saved but have myopic view which simply robs them of the riches God has in store -and the deepest profound walk they could have had with Christ? I know that in Ephesians 2:8 there is no room for "free willies" so I don't understand how they can arrive systematically that the Bible teaches that man has free will. I recon I would simply ask that they would pray for the Lord to grant them understanding -that's unless they think they have free will to make the choice to understand what is inspired only by the Holy Spirit to open men's minds and hearts to understand..

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    1. Erin, I was hoping you would address this comment, as I too wonder about this.

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    2. Forgive me, but I guess I'm a little confused about the question. It sounds as though you want me to explain why God, in His sovereignty, decrees and wills things as He does?

      “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
      “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways
      And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)


      If time allowed, I would go into a longer discussion of God's sovereign election, but a comment string isn't exactly the best forum for that. Perhaps this sermon will help your understanding.

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    3. I think Linda was asking why some believers come to wrong understanding on doctrine. And if God is Sovereign, then why does he allow that? It seems illogical to us humans. It seems that He would will all believers to believe correctly. So either they are not believers, or God wills that believers hold some false understandings on doctrine. Neither makes sense to me.

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  3. The Gospel of minority - Give what you command, and command what you will.

    Therapeutic Leavenjellycal Theism of majority: - Give what I command, command what I will.

    And you cannot pick one of them by yourself...

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  4. This is one of the biggest flaws in calvinism, IMO. Because a calvinist will insist that you have to believe those doctrines to be a true believer, but that would mean you are saved by having your doctrine straight, which contradicts what the bible teaches: that you are saved by believing that Jesus was the son of God, died on the cross paying the penalty for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day. Will be interested to see if Erin responds to you.

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    1. Anon, Doctrine matters.You are not saved by -"believing Jesus was the son of God, died on the cross paying the penalty for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day."

      --you missed one very important truth in what Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit ((According to Scripture)). -1 Cor.chp.15

      Even demons believe Jesus is the son of God, that he was crucified on the cross dead and buried for our sins and rose from the dead on the 3rd day. -James 2:19 makes that clear. Even the Catholic system teaches this and even many unbelievers believe these truths but they are not saved.


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    2. Linda, I agree that doctrine matters. However, I do not believe all truly born again believers have all of their doctrine perfect. It seems you are implying one is not saved if they lack understanding or are wrong on any one point of doctrine. I disagree, as believers are always at different stages of maturity.
      What are you implying that I missed from chapter 15 of 1 cor. ? Paul is teaching about the resurrection of believers.

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    3. "he bible teaches: that you are saved by believing that Jesus was the son of God, died on the cross paying the penalty for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day. "

      That above is actually the doctrine. So you claim and assert what you deny to the terrible and mean "calvinist" by saying:

      " Because a calvinist will insist that you have to believe those doctrines to be a true believer"

      So who is actually consistent and honest? You the nice and get along Arminian or the mean and terrible "calvinist"? ;) This is a rhetorical question only.

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    4. Despeville, I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian. I just believe what the bible teaches, to the best of my current understanding, always moving forward and learning more as the Holy Spirit leads. I am not convinced that people have to hold the same understanding of election as Calvinists do, in order to be saved. Individuals are not saved because of what they believe about election. They are saved by recognizing they are sinners in need of a savior, believing Jesus was fully man and fully God, died on a cross paying the price of our sins, and rose again on the 3rd day, and will return bodily to judge all man kind. Linda still hasn't answered my question as to what I supposedly missed in 1 cor 13. I would honestly like to know. I think a lot of people who label themselves Calvinist will have some surprises when we all get to eternity, that people they would not have labeled "saved" are. And I am not speaking of people getting in who do not go through Jesus Christ alone. I am speaking of people who do not agree with all of the man-made system of Calvinistic theology.

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    5. Excuse me but how is any of what you have written above responding to my documented observation about a massive dichotomy in your thinking and believing? It does not. You are completely avoiding it while at the same time complaining about a lack of answer from Linda which is another inconsistency... Please do not tell me about your "I am neither..." for it is plainly unrealistic superficial and not corresponding to the Scriptures at all. I am not trying to be harsh on you but point to you that you are plainly not understanding the issue at hand at all. Yet without that understanding you go on to comment and speak about "flaws"... None cares about Calvin, many do care about Christ and His Gospel and Calvin matters only insofar as he cared about Christ and His Gospel and he did care plenty and did a marvelous job teaching the true Gospel of Christ after a night of counterfeit humanistic religion of Rome. That is the issue. Please do study it more before you go on and write about what you do not fully understand. For example do open the "The Institutes of Christian Religion" and read it for a year or two and then do speak about "flaws"...

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    6. Despeville,
      My point was my original question was misunderstood by you and Linda. I thought Linda was inferring that one had to believe in Calvinistic understanding of election to be truly born again. Or, to put it another way, a born again believer WILL believe the Calvinistic understanding of election. I do not believe there is biblical evidence to support this assumption. I was asking if someone would point out to me in scripture where this is evidenced. Or, perhaps I have misunderstood Linda. You, however, want to purposely misunderstand what I am saying so that you can continue with your angry diatribe. I really don't understand what you are trying to accomplish, but your demeanor does not reflect Christ. At all. I was sincerely asking a question that no one has honestly answered.

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    7. Just to be extra clear, in case my comment I just submitted isn't clear enough:
      "Excuse me but how is any of what you have written above responding to my documented observation about a massive dichotomy in your thinking and believing? "
      My answer: You misunderstood my original question and so your response was addressing something I had not asked. I was clarifying that.

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    8. I was just making an observation about the inconsistency you have embraced. On one hand you claimed clearly stated doctrinal truths but on another you have denied Calvinist a right to claim the doctrine. That is inconsistent and dichotomous.

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  5. Linda,
    Valid questions and tough ones, too.
    #1, Yes, He does. Timing, method, etc. left totally up to Him. The Arminian heresy is so engrained in the preaching and teaching of "pastors" it is not easily laid aside by those who hold to it. The Arminian lie has become a huge idol centered around the "free-will" of man. There are many who will give lip service to the "sovereignty of God" but stop short when it comes to who determines the ones who will actually be saved. In order for a person to come to their senses and believe the Word it is necessary to abandon their idol of "free-will" and most Arminians refuse to do so.

    #2 Saved or myopic? One of the biggest 'parts' of the Gospel has been completely ignored in nearly all today's teachings: "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Matt. 1:21. If someone insists upon hanging on to a particular sin, and refuses to lay it down all the while claiming to be "saved" this man's claim is nonsense (Luke 14:27). To claim salvation by the act of one's imagined "free-will" is a slap in the face of the Lord Jesus as is the claim to His salvation and the ability to retain our favorite sin(s) and/or idols. Arminianism is "another gospel" that Paul spoke of in Gal. 1:6-9. Notice in these verses that the condemnation pronounced by Paul is not against the message preached, but the messenger preaching it. Arminians make Christ a minister of sin, because their entrance into heaven is subject to their "choice" and not the choice made by the Father-John 1:13; 6:44; 6:65; 15:16. The Arminian lie is a great seducer. I know of no one who teaches this lie that does not also insist that one's "salvation" may be lost due to any number of 'reasons'. Eventually it ends up in the universalism taught by Billy Graham and his followers.

    Christ does not leave us in our sins, bur delivers us from them---Rom.6:14; Col.1:13. The 'myopic' view of salvation does not get a person past heaven. The real view of salvation is that He has and will continue to deliver us from our sins. There are hundreds of verses that speak directly to the absolute sovereignty of God in all things and most especially when it comes to who is saved and who is not. Whole chapters have been devoted to this theme (Rom. 9; Rom.11; John 6; John 8 and others.

    There is a great book by John Owen on this theme called: "The death of death in the death of Christ." He totally dismantles all the Arminian foolishness, and does not cease to point to the utter sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ. Not you Sunday afternoon read, it took me months to digest it all

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    1. "Yea, that first distinction, between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is enough to overthrow the pretended universality of the covenant of grace; for who dares affirm that God entered into a covenant of grace with the seed of the serpent?"

      John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, book 3.

      Darrell what you think of it? I do understand the seed of Satan in a spiritual sense. That is visible every single sense. I just found out that many in the Church believed in the seed of satan also in a physical sense where Eve committed double betrayal in the garden of Eden. Betrayal if her God and if her husband. Is Owen speaking above about the first sense i.e. spiritual seed of satan on which we all can agree or is he speaking also about physical sense of satan's seed on which most of believers would disagree?

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    2. John Owen is unable to clarify his statement that you question, nor shall I try to speak for him. Gen. 3:15 is plain enough and when taken with John 8:44 we can see the seed of satan is first spiritual, with the inescapable consequences of rebellion engulfing the entire spirit, soul, and body of a man. "You are of your father the devil..." spoken by the Lord Jesus (John 8:44) speaks directly to the fact that some are indeed appointed to eternal punishment 'before the foundation of the world' just as the saved were so chosen to be saved. It is the doctrine of "reprobation" as seen further in 2 Peter 2 and all of Jude. A doctrine that most "reformed" folk deny, not to mention those of the Arminian bent. Many give lip service to the 'sovereignty' of God, but stop short of "allowing" Him the right to predestine men to hell, which is what is taught in 2 Peter 2, Jude, Rom. 9 and elsewhere.

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    3. I am with the Gospel and with you as far as clear teaching that God has a right and will to save as well as not to save which is resulting in reprobation. As far as Reformed many are no more Reformed than broad leavenjellycalism is Protestant... I do get that that Genesis 3:15 and John 8:44 speak of spiritual seed of satan. Having said that none of these texts precludes also a physical seed of him which is the intriguing possibility which I must study more. Thank you and hold fast.

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  6. I agree with you Darrel. I have also noticed that when you stick to the word of God the Armenian truncates the word of God or they hopscotch through it taking verses out of context. They stray away and begin using the traditions of man and not Scripture. I also agree that it is another Gospel. Either Jesus does it all or he doesn't. I do know there are many Armenians who are Christians but my greatest fear is that many are not saved because of their easy believism.


    One verse in the bible that really caught Phil Johnson's attention in changing his thinking was 1 John 4:19-"We love, because He first loved us.…"

    I just cannot understand how they can get past their act of "free will" when according to Scripture 1) "We are dead in our trespasses and sin", 2) "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags to God".-that includes the act of "free will".

    I've been called a (Calvinist) for simply using verses directly from God's word that show that God chose us and predestined us-Eph. 1:5,11 while we were still "dead in our transgressions"-Eph 2:5. It's all God's GRACE. I've also been marginalized and have been gagged by rules of men on a forum -that I could not say what I believe the word of God actually teaches.

    If I disagreed with the free willers, I was considered teaching false doctrine and my comment would be deleted. I finally told them that although I disagree with them and they disagreed with me, no Genuine Christian or Brother should be gagged to not be able to say what they believe backed up with Scripture what God's word actually teaches. We are to want to arrive at the truth. Yet, It was beginning to be in my estimation occultic and controlling. If we disagree, then it should be shown from God's word where. But rather than showing me by backing up their views with God's word, I was given their (opinions).
    Anyways, if one is a brother or sister in Christ, I have no problem with worshiping the Lord alongside them. I ONLY have a problem when one is forced to side with their view or else the name calling, ad hominem, and straw men arguments begin. Very unChristlike

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    1. Good points and free willism as expressed and thought almost everywhere now as "decisional salvation" is altogether a different and counterfeit pseudo "Gospel". As such I do have a problem with and with worshiping with those who hold to it. Having said that I also realize that many are holding to it because they were deceived by a popular default if ignorance and traditions if men. The real problem arises when those who were deceived refuse the truth when it is shown to them from the Scriptures and they still refuse it. For then it is no longer default but affirmation of rebellion and false belief which in fact a disbelief.

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