Hardline religion

Many people enjoy a dislike of “religion.” Hence the popularity of the spiritual but not religious identity … which is often the slogan (of sorts) for the pro-Jesus, anti-church mentality.

Religion is equal to rules. Rules are equal to standards. Standards are equal to responsibilities. Responsibilities are equal to religion. Hence the exodus of many “churches” and their relationship to any perceived hint of hardline religion.

Somehow people have managed to convince themselves that a relationship with Jesus is not based on any sort of hard-line – because Jesus was anti-religion, right?

Granted, Jesus took extreme issue with the religious leaders of his earthly day (a religion, mind you, that ultimately revolved around and pointed to Jesus – Luke 24:22, Galatians 3:24), but Jesus’ issue wasn’t with religion in general – his problem was with the way they practiced their religion by blurring hard-lines created by God! (Matthew 15:1-9, Matthew 23, Mark 3:1-5, Luke 14:6, John 5:10-16) And such an issue was nothing new (Amos 8, Jeremiah 23).

So before you think being against hardline religion makes you pro-Jesus (or vice-versa), keep these teachings in mind: Continue reading

#balance, #error, #jesus, #religion

April 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • What Church Membership Means (Don Prather)
  • Why I’m Rearing My children WITH Religion (Sam Willcut)
  • Some Do’s and Don’ts for Preachers (Carl B. Garner)
  • Young People and the Guarding of Their Influence (Roger Jackson)
  • Raising the Banner of Error (Kevin Cauley)
  • “What is RIGHT with It?” (Pat McIntosh)
  • “I Do Not Preach on That” (Rob L. Whitacre)
  • An Unnecessary Exercise (Dan Winkler)
  • All of Our Divisions (Don Prather)
  • The Parable of the Hammer

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#children, #christian-worker, #church-membership, #division-within-the-body-of-christ, #doctrine, #error, #good-influence, #judging-others, #parenting, #pdf, #preaching

A mindset that will cost many their souls

With a title given for an article like the one above there are sure to be some who would immediately write me off as being too judgmental, a legalist, or even a heretic. But what if I were to say that the title above is based on a plainly written piece of the scriptures? Would it cause you to stop and think and read and think some more? Let’s find out.

There are many people in Christendom (I’ve heard it myself) who believe that the love of God is all that matters when it comes to one’s doctrine, practice, profession and salvation. And while saying that the love of God does not play the largest role in these items is furthest thing from my point, my major point is that there’s more to sound doctrine, an active practice, a holy profession and eternal salvation than the love of God for us. What I’m saying is that a mindset that says, “The love of God is all that matters” can and will cost many people their soul.

So where do I get the audacity to say such a thing? Well, to be perfectly honest it’s not my audacity that’s saying it. It’s not Matthew’s, Mark’s, Luke’s, Paul’s, James’, Jude’s, Peter’s or John’s audacity either. Neither is it an audacious “Old Testament” commandment! The warning comes straight from the mouth of Jesus:

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will go into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the pleasure of my Father in heaven. A great number will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, were we not prophets in your name, and did we not by your name send out evil spirits, and by your name do works of power? And then will I say to them, I never had knowledge of you: go from me, you workers of evil.” (Matthew 7:21-23 – BBE)

Is the love of God all that matters according to Jesus’ admonition? Or does our love for God and doing His will actually play a much more serious role than what some present? Am I still being too judgmental, or a legalist, or am I still a heretic now? If you believe so then I would earnestly encourage you lay aside the costly lessons of men and women and take a seat with the rest of Jesus’ disciples at the foot of the mountain (Matthew 5-7) because it’s there that you’ll find that our mindset towards God can cost us as much as God is willing to pay for us.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:23-24)

#christianity, #error, #god, #love, #mindset, #salvation

The Absurdity of Calvinism Keeps Rolling

The last post that I did concerning Calvinism dealt with the absurdity of its adhere’s (primarily the words of John MacArthur) inviting someone to come to Jesus because at the end of the day (according to Calvinism) it has already been decided whether or not they’re going to listen or stay right where they are regardless of humanity’s interaction, involvement, intervention or whatever you want to call it. Because as the old Calvinistic saying goes, if you don’t have it you can’t get it, if you get it you can’t lose it and if you lose it you never had it – which leaves a person asking why would they even invite someone to come to Jesus if that person can’t accept or reject the invitation for his or her self to begin with?

Well that post caught the attention of a person who decided to make a reply that fell three words short of 2,200 words (by comparison, this post is 20+ words shy of 1,000). The reply didn’t get approved, and it wasn’t because it made some point that I was “afraid of” or because “I couldn’t handle” what they presented. I didn’t approve the reply because there was nothing new to it or in it, and it added nothing significant to the conversation at all despite the vast number of words it used. It was more of the “your blog is nothing but opinion that tries to hide the truth of God’s word” along with a few other little “compliments” mixed in here and there. But again, that’s nothing new either; but all of that aside, there were a couple of other very closely related reasons why I didn’t approve the comment; namely because the comment and the commentator only revealed more of the absurdity that I referred to with the original post that attracted the comment to begin with. It revealed the fact that the majority of Calvinists don’t really believe what they preach!

For one, this person used 2,200 words to try to do something that they, according to their own teaching, couldn’t do – that’s make someone “see the truth.” Because according to them, and I quote in the caps that they used, “SALVATION IS A DIVINE WORK OF GOD APART FROM THE COOPERATION OF MAN.” To that my question in return is, in the caps that I’m going to use, “WHEN IT COMES TO THE GOSPEL WHY EVEN BOTHER TO TELL SOMEONE THAT THEY’RE WRONG IF YOU CAN’T HAVE AN EFFECT ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY SEE THEIR ERROR???” That’s absurdity! If, as they said, “The will to come to Christ is the outcome of God’s unconditional, free and Sovereign election” is true, and they really believe that, then why even try to convince someone of something to which they cannot be convinced of through the given effort?!

And as far as the whole salvation issue goes, how does this person indeed know that they are correct in their belief that God’s grace has forgiven them if they have NO PART TO PLAY IN THEIR SALVATION? Don’t dare suggest it’s because of something that they’ve done because then that would be absurd to them if they’re willing to remain consistent with their belief! Remember, they have nothing to do with whether or not they’re saved.

The second reason I didn’t approve the dissertation of denial concerning Calvinism’s absurd invitation to come to Christ is because of the commentator’s inconsistency concerning their stance on the issue of salvation and God’s love towards others. On this particular commentator’s blog they presented a book to their readers called “Jesus Loves The Little Children” wherein the Calvinist author presents “the Gospel without words” so children can learn about sin and Jesus. Besides the fact that it sounds like they’re trying to do “the Spirit’s work” for him again, the title is in fact true but the title is in fact incongruous with what they believe, for if a child is not a part of “God’s unconditionally elect” then there is no love for that child! Because according to their own belief every child that is born is born already saved or already damned to Hell despite what Jesus did upon the cross. Now this is how they said it in their reply: Unregenerated man is dead in his sins, blind to the gospel, in enmity (having a deep hatred) with God, not subject to God’s will and never can be. But my description only says what they teach with a little more frankness and honesty concerning children that few Calvinists will share. So to be genuine with this commentator’s doctrine and self-purported beliefs the title of the book should be changed to, “Jesus Loves The Little Unconditionally Elect Children And Only Them” no matter how it may sound to others…because after all, that’s the “truth” of the “gospel” according to Calvinism!

This is the whole reason why I called Calvinism’s invitation to come to Christ absurd to begin with, and it’s also the reason why I’m not going to deal with the absurd inconsistencies of its commentators who try to defend it.

There are few things more absurd than trying to talk with people who refuse to remain consistent with the plants that their doctrinal seeds lead to – namely, in this case, the poor and pitiful salvation blinding TULIP that Calvinism presents as the supposed truth. The absurdity may keep rolling but I’m not rolling with it.

Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that when the Pharisees heard this saying they were offended?” And he replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them! They are blind guides. If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mt. 15:12-14 – NET)

Related Article:

#calvinism, #comments, #error, #false-doctine

We all make stupid mistakes from time to…

We all make stupid mistakes from time to time but usually they aren’t life threatening. However, last November (04) a 19-year-old man in San Jose, Calif., attempted to clear a jam in a wood chipper by stomping down on the debris with his foot. He paid for it with his life. As tragic as that is, it is not the ultimate price to pay for stupidity. Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

#error, #just-a-minute, #mistake, #stupidity

Foundations and False Doctrine

A false doctrine, no matter how artfully constructed, is still a false doctrine. No building can be successfully built with a shoddy foundation.

Paul said our faith should be “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).

We each have a sobering responsibility to pore over the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), to see if we are truly living as God’s people (Ephesians 4:1).

We build the foundation of our faith on the rock of Jesus, so we can withstand the forces of sin.

” Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27).

We must have the courage to examine our doctrines and be certain they are Biblical, so as to please God. False doctrines have no transformative power, in that it does not elevate us into the arms of God (Romans 12:1-2). Rather, it drags us down into the displeasure of our Lord (Galatians 1:7-9).

We must beware what we teach because it DOES carry a heavy price (John 12:48) on our souls and those of the world (Matthew 28:18-20). Build carefully by the Lord’ building codes.

#doctrine, #error, #foundation, #truth

Response

Replying to the nudge, I had two primary responses. First, my response was toward the audacity of the man and his disregard and convoluted manipulation toward his mishandling of Scripture. That he was a sincere man, I think, no one will doubt. But, as with Paul during a time in his life, this man was (is) sincerely wrong and his life is nearly over! Second, apart from him being a false teacher, I regard the situation with sympathy. He is an old man, and I am sympathetic toward older people, especially those sincerely driven. I have sympathy toward all those that he has led (and continues to lead) astray. How can one not?! Yes, I know, each one is responsible to the Lord for himself, but still…

I have taken this situation and tried to make some application in my life. I have given myself a responsibility to be sure to oppose error within the pages of the newspaper via the editorial page. In a small community opportunity is afforded me that may not be given to others; I will take advantage of that.

#emotional-response, #error, #nudge