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266 Responses

  1. EricL says:

    Having a hard time with the pastor claiming God took his bride so that he would concentrate on the Bride. In grief, we will sometimes cling to odd things, desperate to find meaning in senseless suffering and loss. I do think God wants to bring something good out of the horror that happened, but I don’t see God as an active participant in the crime. I hope in time this pastor realizes where his sorrow has interfered with truly hearing God in all of this.

  2. Jim says:

    I’m not sure that the wording of the link that leads the the Josh Harris article is fair or accurate.

    Josh was CJ’s one true disciple, and CJ got in his head more than any other man.

    Josh was the chosen one. He would take over CJ’s church, then SGM, then CJ’s role as influencer to the broader church. He resigned from SGM’s board (which he could have taken over), and took his church out of the denom.

    The problem I’ve seen with many churches that left SGM, is that much of the culture remained, and this was true of CLC. I’ve often thought that actions like Josh is currently taking is the only hope for these churches.

    His hands are not clean, but it would hard to find another human who endured the horrendous mind-screwing Josh endured, and I think he’s doing the right thing.

  3. Michael says:

    EricL,

    I think that guy is sick…

  4. Michael says:

    Jim,

    Objection noted.
    My fear is that he clings to his celebrity and starts the same debacle again.

  5. EricL says:

    The Vancouver WA story is a good one. Lots of risks involved- I can see many ways how this could devolve into a mess- but I think it’s great that they are trying. They are taking the risk, showing that they think these people are worthy of the risk. That alone is lovely to behold.

  6. j2theperson says:

    It’s not surprising that that pastor is out there claiming that God murdered his wife so that the church could live. It is not uncommon for evangelicals to view God in that manner–as someone who abuses His followers in order to bring out the best results. I remember when I was growing up hearing multiple times the illustration of how 1st Century shepherds supposedly broke the legs of unruly sheep and then carried them around on their shoulders while they healed so that when they were healed they would rely fully on the shepherd and not stray; this, supposedly, was what God did to Christians–abused them so that they wouldn’t leave Him. I believe this view of God is, at best, harmful, if not outright evil, but it’s not uncommon and it doesn’t surprise me that this pastor would be clinging to that sort of view of God during an intensely painful period of his life. But, he’s going to cause more harm that good–both to himself and to the people who listen to him–if he keeps pushing this belief.

  7. Em says:

    the tiny houses for the homeless is ingenious – i pray for its success

    now i have a new perspective – i will pray for the lost to realize that they are, indeed, LOST

    the king’s food principle might just be the result of a mal-nourished church?

    water cooler poem – creepy, but a ring of truth

    will internet fill the gap left by newspapers’ decreasing investigations?

    i cannot be disdainful of Pastor Blackburn’s message – he is grieving, one could say, but perhaps God has spoken to him… i wouldn’t be surprised at all

  8. EricL says:

    Josh Harris’ claim to fame wasn’t just his SGM ties, but his awful book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. I think that book messed up more single believers than any other pop-Christian advice book of its day, leading many to think that dating was somehow sinful.

    I’m glad he decided to go back to seminary, but I wish he would do so without the publicity updates. Let go of the celebrity shtick.

  9. j2theperson says:

    The article about chronic pain seems pretty worthless to me. One quote stood out to me…

    ***Too often, when I’ve mentioned my chronic pain to a fellow believer, they’ve responded with a possible cure or treatment. “You should see a chiropractor.” “How much magnesium are you getting?” “Are you familiar with essential oils?” Certainly these responses mean well, but they aren’t the most loving. Instead, we can offer each other a listening ear, offer sincere encouragement, and pray for the sufferer.***

    But, he never actually explains what a listening ear, or sincere encouragement, or prayer would look like or why they would be helpful. I offer those things to my husband and they are no more useful than the responses regarding possible cures/treatments. Prayer and understanding and a listening ear and encouragement do nothing to ease the underlying problem which is that the person is in chronic physical pain. I actually think the questions about possible treatments are more useful than useless spiritual responses that don’t accomplish crap.

  10. Jean says:

    Dunn’s new book looks amazing.

  11. Em says:

    new heaven and earth raises a good point regarding justice… my favorite teacher: “What the righteousness of God demands the justice of God must perform: what righteousness condemns, justice judges: what righteousness approves, justice blesses.” So i would have to say the N.T. is also concerned with justice, as the two characteristics of God (and all His other attributes) are never set aside nor compromised in what He does.

    “in the world, but not of the world…” today the world, in the U.S. at least, makes so many demands for all our resources, mental and material… maybe, it takes something like the PhxP to help us sort and focus?

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Good for Bill Ritchie – for those who don’t remember or who weren’t around, he was the PPs own Stan the Man 9 – 10 yrs ago 🙂

  13. Em says:

    Boz Tchividjian’s article – ironically, R.C.s were very major players in the Motion Picture code of decency, mid 20th century – abuse of children by the sexually demented is a reflexion and a condemning validation of our inability to regulate the media – among other things? perhaps…

  14. The Dude says:

    Lunatics in the church.
    I’m starting to suspect Roger Olson doesn’t have very many friends left in the Body of Christ……just saying.

  15. Jim says:

    Keep in mind that Joshua was a celebrity when he was a teen. I don’t see him clinging to anything. He gave away the leadership of SGM, stood up to CJ and the board, and gave away the lead pastor role at a mega church.

    I know the good and bad inside dope on this guy, and nothing was taken from him-he walked away from all of it. He started as a public speaker and author, and Michael of all people should know that writers are going to write. I don’t see this article as a celebrity grab when he could have his pick of conference platforms or mega churches, but instead has decided to go back to school.

  16. Jean says:

    I am very happy to learn of Jimmy Carter’s encouraging medical prognosis. He has handled his cancer with such grace. Thank you Lord for your good gifts.

  17. EricL says:

    Jim @15. Thanks for pushing back. I think my views of the guy are too colored by past hurts/frustrations caused by his book from almost two decades ago.

    I’ll trust that you have a better understanding of Joshua Harris as he is now.

  18. Jim says:

    Eric,

    I’d be interested in hearing your story. As a member of SGM when the book was published, the only perspective I have is from within the bubble.

    My young teen daughters (at the time) saw Josh at a Baptist church in Orlando, before he joined SGM. They bought into the concept, and were relieved to find a way to exempt themselves from the pressures of teen romance.

  19. Em says:

    if i am ever a dissatisfied Christian, i will look into Orthodoxy – there’s certainly enough going on there to keep one occupied – hopefully, with Christ

    Mark Driscoll, the life of, …?…

    Jimmy Carter – a strange, southern duck, but God seems to understand his southern quack

    our lunatic fringe would be better combatted by addressing the teaching and forgetting the personalities – they don’t need to be publicized (ignoring them might annoy them and they need to be annoyed )

  20. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    How we got from Jesus to Christianity…

    Been saying these things for a few years now.

    Except for what the author terms as, “church became Christianity.
    The true Christians were always the church, not governing body, institution, or other man made system.

    As for how Judaism and Christianity went awry: both were Hellenized, although there were many sects of each that ran counter to these attempts to build the walls that would house the leadership into declaring itself to be the head or voice of the living Lord, God, and King. Totally schooled in Greek/Roman Philosophy, then cleaning out anyone whom disagreed with them. Sadducees and Pharisees did no less.

    Interesting to find out that the origin of these philosophical schools of thought was in Babylon and Egypt. And Constantine was most obliging in marrying Christianity with Roman and Greek Philosophy. Politically, it brought the kingdom together while expanding its borders even further—all the way to Jerusalem.

  21. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    I would strongly suggest you read the book as Dunn would laugh out loud at your conclusions.
    So does every other real NT scholar.

    I wish you folks who think that there was a pure church later corrupted by Greeks and philosophy would read a damn book.

  22. Michael says:

    I’m far from a fan of Jimmy Dunn…but N.T. Wright has done incredible work in this area that is easily assesible.

    Justo Gonzales, Frank James, even even Diamond McCulloughs epic “The First Three Thousand Years” are available and readable for people who seriously want to learn church history.

    There is no excuse for clinging to early 20th century fundamentalist mythology anymore.

    I don’t care if thats nice or not…

  23. Em says:

    Gospel for Asia has a lot of the Lord’s dollars sitting there – that would make them very uncomfortable if they really thought that God was looking

    i’ll skip the J. Falwell Jr. article as i’ve heard him explain himself and he made sense to me, but like so many other dangers, there ARE dangers…

    i didn’t know that there were any “great” Methodist pastors (sorry), but this one is humorous, except anyone who breathes a sigh of relief when entering a gun-free zone is delusional IMHO

    Questioning Christians – great – even if it comes from a Lutheran (who seem to do humor well)

    Josh Harris? he’s doing a good thing IMHO

    chronic pain? had it once – involving the nerves and the joint at the base of my thumb and if finally told the doctor after half a year to either cure me or cut my thumb off and i WASN’T kidding – i couldn’t think – he gave me a look that said he didn’t feel safe alone in the room with me and then said hold out a little longer these things always heal – it did – after a year … i agree with J2 – philosophy doesn’t help

    i’m only doing this because i’m snowed in and want to prove that i could read all the links in one day…

  24. Andrew says:

    Michael, can you elaborate on what is early 20th century fundamentalist mythology? I’m not doubting this exists but I have never heard this before and curious what you mean.

  25. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Give me just a second…have to vacuum while the cats outside.

  26. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael, what exactly that Uriah has said are you refuting?

  27. Em says:

    well, my comments on the next four disappeared, but i really did read them… don’t know anything about healing ministries, but i guess one would need some instruction… the liturgical calendar should be the Churches calendar – kind of like the two Jewish New Years, perhaps? hasn’t Christianity always been on “Life support?”
    and
    “Clarity of mission is a hallmark of megachurches: 79 percent have a clear purpose, compared with 41 percent of all congregations.” seems to me that we only have one and it should be clear…

    glanced at the last 2 and i need to spend some time reading them tonight –

    but i made it… i always feel cheated when i don’t have time to check out ALL the links – compiling the list must mean burning the midnight oil – thank you to Michael and Ericl

  28. Michael says:

    Ok…I’ll tackle this briefly.
    It enrages people every time I do it.

    First, the church has been a hot mess from the beginning.
    Read about the churches in Galatia, Corinth, etc…they had big problems.

    Second, understand that every doctrine of the church developed over time…sometimes hundreds of years of time.

    Now, there are those groups who believe that at one time in church history, early on…there was this pristine group of believers who had the whole pristine doctrines of the church and they practiced them pristinely.

    These people have been excised out of church history (usually Roman Catholic scissors are to blame) so history can’t be trusted.
    Except… for their version of it which has absolutely no evidence for.

    This marvelous group (that exists only in the fevered minds of the true believers) persevered through all the ages persecuted, maligned, forgotten…until the remnant of what was left showed up in some group that wanted to claim that lineage.

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was a hard (and deserved) backlash against German critical assessments of the Scriptures.

    Some of that backlash produced some of the greatest apologetics for the authority of Scripture written to that point in history.

    It also produced groups like the primitive Baptists who embraced the mythology I wrote about earlier.
    This mythology is still accepted in many Baptistic and fundamentalist groups that want to claim a direct line to the early church.

    It was also embraced by the various sabbatarian movements like the Adventists.

    That is your church history in five minutes.

  29. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Basically all of it, but her and I have been down this path many times.

  30. Andrew says:

    Michael, that was terrific synopsis of church history! Thank you.

  31. Soldier of Jah says:

    Regarding the New heaven and New Earth, I love Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”

    Obviously this hasn’t happened yet but one day this very earth will be made new and we will dwell in eternity with Jehovah and Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:1-5)

  32. Michael says:

    Andrew, thanks.

    This issue is one reason I stopped doing the church history series…got tired of all the email claiming I was only giving the “Roman” or “Greek” version of history…

  33. Jean says:

    Michael,

    Good synopsis.

    “Some of that backlash produced some of the greatest apologetics for the authority of Scripture written to that point in history.”

    There was (is) also a dark side of this with the advent of Biblicism and literalistic interpretations of Scripture which screen can deprive the Church of the richness of Scripture.

  34. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I’m close to that dark side myself…but I do affirm that biblicism was one of the results.

    The church continues to develop it’s theologies in many places.

  35. Michael says:

    Jah,

    I love how N.T, Wright writes about the eschaton…I disagree with some of his particulars, but the idea of heaven and earth becoming one place is marvelous.

  36. Soldier of Jah says:

    “How we got from Jesus to Christianity…

    Been saying these things for a few years now.

    Except for what the author terms as, “church became Christianity.
    The true Christians were always the church, not governing body, institution, or other man made system.

    As for how Judaism and Christianity went awry: both were Hellenized, although there were many sects of each that ran counter to these attempts to build the walls that would house the leadership into declaring itself to be the head or voice of the living Lord, God, and King. Totally schooled in Greek/Roman Philosophy, then cleaning out anyone whom disagreed with them. Sadducees and Pharisees did no less.

    Interesting to find out that the origin of these philosophical schools of thought was in Babylon and Egypt. And Constantine was most obliging in marrying Christianity with Roman and Greek Philosophy. Politically, it brought the kingdom together while expanding its borders even further—all the way to Jerusalem.”

    Uriah,

    It’s always the safe thing to just go by what the word of God says rather than the councils and creeds of men. Yes the early church quickly fell into error after the apostles perished. There seems to be a Jewish centric strand of the early church and also a Greco-Roman strand. I love the Jewish roots because it seems like a simpler faith than what the Greco-Roman Christians made it out to be with the influence of platonic philosophy and the Roman sun cults. Once the Catholic Church was developed in about 312 AD, it became a haven for heresies. By the end of the 4th century, the Roman Church was really just a Christianized version of paganism. As good as the reformation was, they didn’t shed all the false teachings of Catholicism and they also persecuted who they deemed heretics continuing to act like the Roman Church. Ultimately we need to stick to the simplicity of the word of God rather than the creeds and councils of man. I keep it simple to people when it comes to salvation, I just give them:

    John 17:3

    “And this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”

    Anything more than this as a requirement for salvation is going beyond what is written in God’s word.

  37. Michael says:

    Em,

    Thank you…it’s time consuming…I was going to drop it until EricL showed up. 😉

  38. Michael says:

    SoJ,

    “Once the Catholic Church was developed in about 312 AD, it became a haven for heresies. By the end of the 4th century, the Roman Church was really just a Christianized version of paganism. As good as the reformation was, they didn’t shed all the false teachings of Catholicism and they also persecuted who they deemed heretics continuing to act like the Roman Church.”

    No. Simply no.

    I’m going to make attendance at a church history lecture a prerequisite for posting here.

  39. Soldier of Jah says:

    “Jah,

    I love how N.T, Wright writes about the eschaton…I disagree with some of his particulars, but the idea of heaven and earth becoming one place is marvelous.”

    It’s awesome to know that Jehovah’s intention is for us to one day enjoy this earth as it was meant to be under Adam and Eve

  40. Josh the Baptist says:

    “but her and I have been down this path many times.”

    OK, that is what I suspected by your response.

    So you are rejecting the Trail of Blood stuff. Gotcha. Xenia actually told me about that on this blog. Read it. Nothing to it, but terribly intriguing. Like The Two Babylons. False, but captivating. I am intrigued by all that type of stuff. Of course, I am interested in conspiracy theories, too.

    Your first and second points of your quick history are, of course, dead on. We can read the Apostle’s writings, and then a few of their student’s writings, and then more a couple of generations in. So, their really isn’t any mystery about the VERY early church. And I agree, it was a mess. It was even before the Apostles died, but sped up when they were gone.

    Now, the question comes in on when, or if, the Roman church ever became apostate, and if so, were there other groups (whether officially in our out of the Roman church) that were holding to the Apostolic faith. I believe there were, but you are correct, there is very little evidence of their existence, other than the fact that the Lord’s church still exists today.

  41. Soldier of Jah says:

    Michael,

    What part of that statement would you specifically take issue with? The Anabaptists were clearly anathematized by protestants and burned at the stake by them as well as the Roman Church. As far as the state of the Roman Church by the end of the 4th century, would you not agree that all kinds of heresies were in the Church?

  42. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Here’s the thing.
    There is NO evidence of their existance.

    We know of all the groups that both East and West considered heretics and schismatics.

    The church has always kept excellent records.

    When the church persecuted a group, they publicized the fact that they were doing so.

    Where do you folks think we learned about all the ancient heresies in the first place?
    Where did we learn of the persecutions?

    From the writings of the church, for crying out loud.

  43. Soldier of Jah says:

    “OK, that is what I suspected by your response.

    So you are rejecting the Trail of Blood stuff. Gotcha. Xenia actually told me about that on this blog. Read it. Nothing to it, but terribly intriguing. Like The Two Babylons. False, but captivating. I am intrigued by all that type of stuff. Of course, I am interested in conspiracy theories, too.

    Your first and second points of your quick history are, of course, dead on. We can read the Apostle’s writings, and then a few of their student’s writings, and then more a couple of generations in. So, their really isn’t any mystery about the VERY early church. And I agree, it was a mess. It was even before the Apostles died, but sped up when they were gone.

    Now, the question comes in on when, or if, the Roman church ever became apostate, and if so, were there other groups (whether officially in our out of the Roman church) that were holding to the Apostolic faith. I believe there were, but you are correct, there is very little evidence of their existence, other than the fact that the Lord’s church still exists today.”

    The Waldenses are one group that came before the 1500’s reformers. The were a few others as well. As far as that book “Two Babylons” goes, what is the proof that it was false? I wouldn’t take any Catholic seriously who would try to refute that book.

  44. Jean says:

    “As far as the state of the Roman Church by the end of the 4th century, would you not agree that all kinds of heresies were in the Church?”

    The authorship of the Athanasian Creed is traced to the late 5th or early 6th Century. It is considered by Western Christians to be orthodox. I don’t know the EO’s position on the Athanasian Creed.

  45. Soldier of Jah says:

    “Josh,

    Here’s the thing.
    There is NO evidence of their existance.

    We know of all the groups that both East and West considered heretics and schismatics.

    The church has always kept excellent records.

    When the church persecuted a group, they publicized the fact that they were doing so.

    Where do you folks think we learned about all the ancient heresies in the first place?
    Where did we learn of the persecutions?

    From the writings of the church, for crying out loud.”

    Michael,

    What about the Waldenses? Do you think the Church was right in their persecutions? Also, once the Church entered into persecution of other groups then I submit that they apostasized and were no longer the Church. Jesus never taught that it was okay to persecute so called heretics. Actually the Catholics were the real heretics with their false doctrines.

  46. Michael says:

    “As far as the state of the Roman Church by the end of the 4th century, would you not agree that all kinds of heresies were in the Church?”

    Here’s your problem.
    At the end of the fourth century there was only one church.
    There was no “Roman” church…there was “the church”, period.
    There were heresies…but the church at that time destroyed the major heresies that plagued the church and set the doctrinal standards for centuries to come.
    There are still heresies today.

  47. Michael says:

    You can Google all the info on the “Two Babylons”… spurious book.

  48. Soldier of Jah says:

    “The authorship of the Athanasian Creed is traced to the late 5th or early 6th Century. It is considered by Western Christians to be orthodox. I don’t know the EO’s position on the Athanasian Creed.”

    Fascinating how that all went down, council of Nicea, Constinanople Chalcedon etc. Again I think it’s wise not to put too much stock in these creeds and stick with God’s word. Creed or no creed the Roman Church was already teaching heretical doctrines by the time.

  49. Soldier of Jah says:

    “Here’s your problem.
    At the end of the fourth century there was only one church.
    There was no “Roman” church…there was “the church”, period.
    There were heresies…but the church at that time destroyed the major heresies that plagued the church and set the doctrinal standards for centuries to come.
    There are still heresies today.”

    There was a eastern branch of the church at this time, no?

  50. Michael says:

    “What about the Waldenses? Do you think the Church was right in their persecutions? Also, once the Church entered into persecution of other groups then I submit that they apostasized and were no longer the Church. Jesus never taught that it was okay to persecute so called heretics. Actually the Catholics were the real heretics with their false doctrines.”

    The Anabaptists are the only group that has clean hands regarding persecution.

    Rome, the Reformed, and Lutherans all engaged in persecutions at one time or another.
    That doesn’t make them apostate, it made them wrong.

  51. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, Michael, I gave you the fact that I enjoy conspiracy theories AND that there was not much evidence, so there won’t be much argument here.

    But, i’m always a little skeptical about official history written by the winners. There’s always another side. Remember when Columbus was a hero?

  52. Michael says:

    SoJ,

    Just for giggles look up when the church split between East and West…it’s not hard to find.

  53. Jean says:

    Comparing the Church at any point in time to a so-called “apostolic faith” is a Straw Man. The faith at the time of Acts was not even the same between the Jerusalem Church and Paul’s Gentile dominated Churches.

    Pining for the past is a waste of time. Today is where we are called to serve.

  54. Josh the Baptist says:

    There was a guy who wrote a good, easy reading refutation of the two Babylons. It was almost as much fun to read as he original. Can’t remember his name.

  55. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Even when Columbus was a hero, you could still read his diaries yourself.
    They weren’t hidden or destroyed.

  56. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Ralph Woodrow.

  57. Josh the Baptist says:

    So you don’t think anyone thought the things Luther thought before he did?

  58. Josh the Baptist says:

    That was the guy! Ralph Woodrow. He had lots of neat little pdf’s and booklets on his site.

  59. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The seeds of both Lutheranism and Calvinism are Augustinian.

    The question is had anyone defined the doctrines and were there any groups practicing them?

    All of our doctrines and practices developed before they became part of any sects practices.

  60. Jean says:

    “Again I think it’s wise not to put too much stock in these creeds and stick with God’s word.”

    Maybe if I had the mind of Aquinas, Luther or Calvin. But, alas, I’m just a small town dude in Iowa who reads nothing by English. So, I will cling to the ecumenical creeds to ensure that I am walking within the boundaries of the faith of the historic Church.

    And I take issue with anyone who thinks it’s possible to “stick with God’s word” unmediated by any presuppositions. That’s delusional thinking. 🙂

  61. Michael says:

    “I take issue with anyone who thinks it’s possible to “stick with God’s word” unmediated by any presuppositions. That’s delusional thinking. :-)”

    Amen and amen again, Jean.

  62. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, we know of the Waldenses, and I’d guess they weren’t born in a vacuum either. My hypotheses is not that there was some large group of Southern Baptists hiding out in 700 AD, just that God was preserving His church in some way. In a way, the Great Schism of 1038 could even be evidence of that.

  63. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Let me take this a step further as it was a really good question.

    When Luther or Calvin debated with representatives of Rome the stakes were very high.

    Lives were on the line.

    So…when they defended Lutheranism, Calvinism, or any of the associated doctrines, they quoted extensively (and in Calvin’s case, extemporaneously) from the apostolic and early church fathers.

    They would then go to Augustine and others showing that their doctrines were crafted from theologians Rome accepted and not their own imaginations.

    They would have loved to have had some early, pristine, version of Protestantism to reference.

    There is none.

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have no problem with anyone trying to more faithful to Scripture.

  65. Josh,
    The biggest question is were any of those who had thoughts like Luther’s willing to fight long enough to get a foot in the door – or could they keep their head on long enough.

    But yes, many others had the exact same thoughts as Luther – the writers of the New Testament and all the apostles (big A and little a)

  66. Michael says:

    The Waldensians were a heretical sect of Catholicism until the sixteenth century Reformation.

    There isn’t a Protestant on the planet that would embrace their original statements of faith.

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    “They would have loved to have had some early, pristine, version of Protestantism to reference.”

    Sure. I’ve never made that claim.

  68. Michael says:

    I was going to say that Calvin’s thoughts were those of Jesus and Paul, but I refrained… 🙂

  69. Josh the Baptist says:

    The Waldense confession of 1120? Seems pretty solid to me.

  70. Michael says:

    Josh,

    So you believe that perfection can be obtained by poverty?
    That was the founding doctrine of the Waldensians…

  71. EyesOpenedHeartBroken says:

    We moved to Vancouver, WA from the east coast a few months ago. We also left the Calvary Chapel movement because, well, anyway…. so after some time of healing, we felt God nudging us to try again, don’t give up on church because of bad CC experiences…. just trust…… and that church just happened to be the place we were being nudged to (with a comforting fact that a former pastor from CCFTL pastors there and we trust him very much)….. and of course we were ignoring the nudging. :)…. so here we go checking your site, like we do, and low and behold first and foremost in your linkathon…. then in reading the article, that church. Good to know God hasn’t given up on us….. so thank you Michael. and thank you God. Message received.

  72. Michael says:

    EyesOpenedHeartBroken,

    Good stuff!
    I’m glad you found a new home…

  73. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Don’t get me wrong…I’m fascinated by the Waldensians.

    I would have you note, however that we do know about them and have a ton of historical evidence for them despite the persecutions.

  74. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course not, but that’s not in their confession. Listen, I already said there weren’t any good Southern Baptists back then 🙂 I also don’t think the Waldenses were hellbound heretics either. ( Confession – I have a soft spot for the Waldenses. They settled this area when escaping persecution.)

    “But yes, many others had the exact same thoughts as Luther – the writers of the New Testament and all the apostles (big A and little a)”

    I agree, and I don’t think they disappeared fro 1500 years. That’s all.

  75. Jean says:

    We should distinguish between faith and theology. Faith is child like:

    “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

    Theology, on the other hand, is complicated, evolving and contextual.

  76. Jean says:

    “But yes, many others had the exact same thoughts as Luther – the writers of the New Testament and all the apostles (big A and little a)”

    Except for perhaps the Lord’s brother, James. 🙂

  77. Xenia says:

    #50

    The Anabaptists are the only group that has clean hands….. <<<<

    Google the Munster Rebellion.

  78. Soldier of Jah says:

    “Again I think it’s wise not to put too much stock in these creeds and stick with God’s word.”

    Maybe if I had the mind of Aquinas, Luther or Calvin. But, alas, I’m just a small town dude in Iowa who reads nothing by English. So, I will cling to the ecumenical creeds to ensure that I am walking within the boundaries of the faith of the historic Church.

    And I take issue with anyone who thinks it’s possible to “stick with God’s word” unmediated by any presuppositions. That’s delusional thinking. :-)”

    I disagree with you, it’s the Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth. I’ll take scripture at it’s word and trust the Spirit of Jehovah and Jesus to lead me to the truth. I do glean from men and women but I measure the words by scripture not man’s creeds and councils.

  79. Soldier of Jah says:

    “#50

    The Anabaptists are the only group that has clean hands….. <<<<

    Google the Munster Rebellion."

    If we hold that against them then the Catholics and Protestants are screwed.

  80. Xenia says:

    I have discovered in my own life that when I thought I was trusting in the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture for me I was really trusting in in my own wisdom – or lack of same.

  81. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Point taken…I try not to credit the extremes of the movement to the main group.

    That was a crazy mess…

  82. Jean,
    “Except for perhaps the Lord’s brother, James. ”

    But then you would have to say that James preached a different message than Paul.

    This is why it is so important to understand the difference between early Luther and later Luther. James is included in Luther’s Bible and Luther grew to understand James better … a thing that many works oriented Christians could learn from.

  83. Xenia says:

    …. the Catholics and Protestants are screwed.<<<

    True.

  84. Xenia says:

    Miqchael, I can never pass up the opportunity to play Miss Know it All.

  85. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I appreciate the correction and you know that I respect the fact that you’ve put the work in to have a reasoned opinion.

  86. Soldier of Jah says:

    “Maybe if I had the mind of Aquinas, Luther or Calvin. But, alas, I’m just a small town dude in Iowa who reads nothing by English. So, I will cling to the ecumenical creeds to ensure that I am walking within the boundaries of the faith of the historic Church.

    And I take issue with anyone who thinks it’s possible to “stick with God’s word” unmediated by any presuppositions. That’s delusional thinking. :-)”

    So what happens if in your studies you find truth that contradicts the ecumenical creeds?

  87. Michael says:

    “So what happens if in your studies you find truth that contradicts the ecumenical creeds?”

    You’re probably becoming a heretic.

  88. Jah,
    “So what happens if in your studies you find truth that contradicts the ecumenical creeds?”

    I will assume my studies are incorrect.

    But the 3 ecumenical creeds have been around a long time – have you found a contradict to your studies?

  89. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yeah, the Creeds are pretty basic Christianity, really. Not much to argue with.

  90. Jean says:

    “But then you would have to say that James preached a different message than Paul.”

    Okay, MLD, I will take the bait. Let’s have some fun.

    Paul: “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

    James: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

  91. I wouldn’t say basic Christianity – I would say the Creeds are real Christianity.

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    basic=fundamental=real

  93. Jean – OK, are they both talking to the same people for the same context?

    But still, if you are right, then you are saying James and Paul did not agree – that there are 2 different Christian messages about how one is saved.

  94. Paul is speaking in the context of how one is saved. James on the other hand is telling the saved people what others will look for to see if you are saved. “You see that a person is justified…”

    You will know they are saved as Paul says by faith apart from works – but the works you see the saved person do.”

  95. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I suppose even for the Munster situation some Anabaptist sympathizers could pull the no true Scotsman defense. But I’d say our access to ecumenical church histories has reached a point where none of us, regardless of our respective teams, can pull the no true Scotsman defense. You can’t even quote an axiom from Gandhi now without someone point out his legacy of racism. It might be easier to take at face value “there is none who is righteous, not even one” but the temptation to say “except for me and my team” is strong!

  96. but the works = by the works

  97. Jean says:

    MLD,

    From the Athanasian Creed:

    “He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.”

    Who’s right, Paul or James, or is it Paul and James?

  98. Michael says:

    Now this is funny.
    Jean takes a shot at “biblicism” then takes two proof texts to try to create conflict between James and Paul.

    Did Paul say anything else, anywhere, that might show that he agrees with James in context ?

    Yes, he does, but you can’t get there by simple proof texting.

    “each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
    (1 Corinthians 3:13–15 ESV)

    “So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.”
    (1 Timothy 5:25 ESV)

    “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,”
    (1 Timothy 6:18 ESV)

    “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,”
    (Titus 2:7 ESV)

    “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
    (Titus 2:14 ESV)

    I could go on…Paul and James were both correct, both inspired by the same Spirit, and it’s irresponsible to try to create conflict where there is none.

  99. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, is not our good work only that done in Christ Jesus?
    If so then I think Paul & James would both give thumbs up.

  100. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, it’s the way Jean and I play. He’s cool

  101. Michael says:

    I have no issues with Jean…but I have to remember there are always lurkers taking notes…

  102. Lutheran says:

    Yes, Michael, there are lurkers. Just back for something I couldn’t resist flapping my gums about —

    I get a kick out of folks who think there’s 16 centuries of silence and apostasy between the apostolic church and the Reformation. Then, all of a sudden, the church becomes “alive, ” massively purified, or whatever.

    If you believe that, you’re mistaken. Like most things, it’s a lot more complicated and nuanced

    I’d suggest a book, “The Justification Reader,” written by a Methodist theologian and someone who’s done a lot of study of the first 5 centuries of Christianity,Thomas Oden. He shows that the early church and the Fathers (East and West) were on board with justification by grace.

    (I love this guy. He’s also written a killer one-volume systematic, “Classical Christianity.”)

    http://www.amazon.com/Justification-Reader-Classic-Christian-Readers/dp/0802839665/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449638009&sr=8-1&keywords=the+justification+reader

    http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Christianity-Systematic-Thomas-Oden/dp/0061449717/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449637941&sr=8-1&keywords=thomas+Oden

  103. Michael says:

    Lutheran,

    Glad you jumped in for a minute.

    I have much respect for Oden…excellent call.

  104. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Oden has been on my “I should get to this author” list for a while but baby steps. Been having fun getting back into reading music history and musicology this year for a change. Still working through the Menn book.

  105. Nonnie says:

    J2’s number 6. yes!

  106. Josh the Baptist says:

    Correction to my #62 – The Great Schism was 1054. I didn’t feel like googling last night.

  107. Josh the Baptist says:

    The Davey Blackburn quote is disturbing. I am sure he is mourning and grasping for straws, but I bet in a few years he’ll really regret that. I wish there was someone older and wiser to guide him through this.

    Unfortunately, his mentor is Perry Noble.

  108. Anne says:

    A thoughtful response by an Anglican seminary student to Falwell Jr’s call to arms- https://sojo.net/articles/im-seminary-student-liberty-university-heres-why-falwells-comments-concern-me

  109. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Michael,

    Your initial response to my comment was sarcastic and demeaning. To say or to intimate that I have not read the material that you believe establishes fact regarding the history of Christianity is weak, since you really don’t know what I have or have not read and studied and for how long.

    Along with this, the comments you made after this then attempted to place me in a particular box, holding to this or that is obviously a sore topic for you. Someone noted that it was interesting how one establishes facts by the history written and then verified by those who would like everyone to believe that those “church” fathers were legitimate and did not seek to understand scripture primarily through Roman and Greek Philosophy.

    To say that there is no other writings other than what we know came from those who were working to establish a church, (that church later referred as the Catholic and Orthodox churches), thus it is from them that we must gained our understanding of scripture and the Christian faith, is sorely lacking the reality of history. That being, this faith called Christianity being formed at the time of the early “church” fathers, and that unless it was to be studied and filtered, then dictated by those who were engrossed in Roman and Greek Philosophy, any material outside of this was dismissed, dismantled, burned and destroyed. Like it or not, these church fathers were thoroughly Hellenized and placed philosophy above scripture, thus making themselves the voice of authority over all who claimed Jesus as their Savior. Then, became an institute making them, the leadership as the giver and keeper of the souls and life of others. To the point of persecuting and destroying all evidence of anything having existed outside of it. As for Scripture, it was used to establish what they wanted others to believe—not necessarily what Scripture really means, but rather cut and pasted to fit their own Hellenized Greek and Roman desire to control and to keep their pagan hearts from having tor repent, and to come to the truth to recognize that in doing so, Christianity was so much more than what they made it to be within its walls of corruption, abuses, and persecution against those who would not recognize their authority.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/early-church-father

    This is only the history that they wanted you to know about.

    Hellenization was going strong when Jesus walked the earth. It was through them that we should have learned. It was Paul who took the Christian Jews to task, yet both lessons were ignored and voila’ Christianity went awry, just as the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We have been trying to find our way back ever since with and without the leading of the Holy Spirit and unfortunately, more study being done those who did rely upon the philosophers and scholars following after them.

    Michael, this is the path you have chosen and many would agree with you. At the same time, many would not. Either way, let us not be demeaning or sarcastic, but rather may it behoove each of us, to be of a good conscious and filled with the Holy Spirit to always, but always place scripture above all, no matter how highly one might esteem another. For in it is all that God would have us to know, to do, and to be in Him, as He has made plain from Genesis to Revelations.

  110. Michael says:

    Uriah,
    I’m not the least bit apologetic and I will boldly refute and scorn your writing every time you post the same inane nonsense.

    It offends me, it’s wrong, and I will never tolerate it bring unanswered on this site .
    Period.

  111. Jean says:

    Uriah,

    If we look at the 3 ecumenical creeds, Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian, is there a specific error you can point to? You’re making allegations, but so far I don’t know what doctrines you believe are in error.

  112. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Jean

    I’m not refuting these creeds. It’s not about the creeds. Never was about the creeds. The creeds were already, there in scripture. Nothing new and thus anyone who authors anything having to do with them ought to be giving credit where credit is due—not be crediting or giving authority to those who did not author them.

    Anything beyond them is just an opinion — be it a scholarly one or otherwise.

    Michael,

    “I’m not the least bit apologetic and I will boldly refute and scorn your writing every time you post the same inane nonsense.”

    As mentioned, what I had shared in my first comment had nothing to do with what you shared after demeaning me in order to dismiss and discount me simply due to believing that what you think I was sharing was about what you had outlined in the comments following your rudeness. So this nonsense that you see me put forth cannot possibly be unless what I was sharing was where I took a position and was practicing within. Which would be nonsense in itself if it was true. Which it is not. I just don’t venerate or hold in authority the church fathers and the teachings they claim to have come from them as a result of being supposedly ordained and keeper of the keys to the kingdom.

  113. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Jean,

    There is only one area that I see as a major stumbling block to the church at large. That having to do with repentance and a changed heart, ready to walk in obedience, enabled by the Holy Spirit, as a result of being born again.

    From this, throughout church history, there have been an endless trail of making scripture into what fits one’s desire to keep what they cannot have and to give up that which is so close, simply due to what Jesus told us.That is, they love darkness more than they love light. And so, we come up with men taking a few words in a phrase, carving out a whole theology into then becoming, yet another denomination, for other men to follow after if it fits into the lifestyle, habits, and proclivities one would like to indulge. But hey, there’s the communion cup and the bread that cleanses us, then set us up to start all over again until the next bloody cup and flesh of the Living Lord is served up again and again, right.

    I’m sorry, but Jesus shedding His blood that ran through His body once was enough for me. And when He returns, He will bring His Kingdom to this earth to join His bride, the church — His church and not that made by those who twisted and distorted Scripture to suit themselves for that control and power that was never ever given to them.

    I do digress, so will take my leave at this point.

  114. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    I can tell you haven’t read anything of substance because you wouldn’t keep repeating nonsense if you had.

    The creeds were developed because of the need to clearly define the faith in times of heresy.
    They were developed because a lot of people did not see the doctrines clearly in Scripture.

    “To say that there is no other writings other than what we know came from those who were working to establish a church, (that church later referred as the Catholic and Orthodox churches), thus it is from them that we must gained our understanding of scripture and the Christian faith, is sorely lacking the reality of history. That being, this faith called Christianity being formed at the time of the early “church” fathers, and that unless it was to be studied and filtered, then dictated by those who were engrossed in Roman and Greek Philosophy, any material outside of this was dismissed, dismantled, burned and destroyed.”

    History leaves a mark.

    What you have is an imaginary group with imaginary writings that were burned in an imaginary fire during an imaginary persecution.

    We have much evidence still of heretical sects whose writings were burned and their teachings condemned…but none of this imaginary sect untainted by philosophy or the world.

    Now, you have no record of what this imaginary sect believed, but you’re sure they held to the same theology you do…even though there is no record whatsoever to establish either their existence or theology.

    Now that takes imagination.

  115. Michael says:

    “And so, we come up with men taking a few words in a phrase, carving out a whole theology into then becoming, yet another denomination, for other men to follow after if it fits into the lifestyle, habits, and proclivities one would like to indulge.”

    That’s just rude, not just to say historically illiterate.
    Sects and denominations have come because groups wanted to be more faithful to their understandings of Scripture, not so they could indulge in some pet sin wantonly.

    You have a horrible view of the bride of Christ and you need to repent of your accusations toward her.

  116. Jean says:

    Uriah,

    Thanks for getting to the crux of the matter. I get it; you don’t like loose living Christians.

    But why do you blame the Church fathers? Many of them gave their very lives for the faith. By comparison, the Church fathers were probably much more pious than the average Christian today. I am not aware of any Church history indicating that the Church fathers endorsed libertine lifestyles.

    And, I don’t find the allegations of the influence of Greek or Roman Philosophy or Hellenism relevant either. Aristotle’s philosophy, for example, was heavily virtue driven.

  117. Soldier of Jah says:

    “That’s just rude, not just to say historically illiterate.
    Sects and denominations have come because groups wanted to be more faithful to their understandings of Scripture, not so they could indulge in some pet sin wantonly.

    You have a horrible view of the bride of Christ and you need to repent of your accusations toward her.”

    I used to be anti denominationalism but thank God for them as your right finding a group that holds most closely to your understanding of scripture is a good thing.

  118. Soldier of Jah says:

    Michael,

    What do you consider heretical about the Waldenses?

  119. Michael says:

    SoJ,

    They were founded upon the notion that poverty was the means to perfection.
    If that was true, I’d be damn near perfect.

    To their credit, this group grew in grace and knowledge and are one of the sects that I admire in church history.

  120. Soldier of Jah says:

    The word Ekklesia actually means congregation, assembly, calling out rather than Church. The 1611 KJV rendered ekklesia as Church to keep the focus on the organization and buildings rather than what the “church” really is which is the people. In reality, once the Catholic Church started it’s persecution of so called heretics they forfeited being the “Church’ as the true Church (meaning the believers themselves not an organization) doesn’t persecute with the sword. I’ll take Jesus words of this rather than man’s.The Papacy was Satan inspired as they burned and killed precious men and women for a good 1260 years. The true Christian Congregation at this time was in the wilderness not Rome.

  121. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Have you read Reagan’s “The Errors of Replacement Theology linked with Lions and Lamb ministry? Lots of historical facts perhaps you may be unfamiliar with given your belief that yoyou are justified in the manner you have lashed out towards me.

  122. Michael says:

    Oh. my. gosh.

    You actually sent me to a prophecy wonk to bolster your arguments.

    If you really believe that is how one studies history, there is very little I can say to you.

    That made me laugh when I wasn’t cringing.

    If the point is that there is a long history of anti-Semitism in the church, that’s no secret to anyone with a passing knowledge of church history.

    To rip quotes of of context is dishonest to history and those who wrote.
    To blame amillennialism for anti Semitism is evil and just plain stupid.

  123. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I need to repent of no such thing in terms of the true bride of Christ whose position is not dependent upon any denomination or institution or man-made heirarchal laity of self annointed and philosphical hellenized Roman and Greek teachers or scholars, who fell short of precisely what Paul told his Christians Jewish brothers and ststers not to do, as well what Jesus called out the Jewish leadership for doing as a result of their own process of being hellinized and thus turning Judaiism into something entirely different — totally ignoring scripture and prophecies that would have brought to light that He was the Messiah. Like the Roman and Greek Theologians, they placed their understanding of the things of God through the filters of this hellinised philosophical and very politicized system, thus losing sight of the truth of what God has always said. IT IS AND ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE HEART OF THE HUMAN AND THEIR NEEDTO REPENT, TO WALK IN OBEDIENCE AND TO DO SI KNOWING HE ALONE IS GOD. not with lip service or traditions, but because you really do know Him and have made the choice to give up those things that you know are so displeasing and dishonoring that which was provided by the way of the cross and the blood of Jesus. That through God’s grace, He provided an escape to free us from sin, giving us a new heart filled and empowered to do what He has commaned, dictated, instructed and exampled or modeled to us, to do as one of His own and as a true bride waiting upon Him.

  124. Michael says:

    uriah,

    So far as I can tell you’re the only one qualified for your “body of Christ”.

    I have brothers and sisters in every orthodox sect of Christianity…and that orthodoxy was defined by those you slander.
    God has used the different traditions to bring us something from each…an emphasis that enhances our understandings of God within our own traditions.
    These traditions were founded around those emphasis, not on some desire to avoid accountability for sin.

    You really need to take this stuff elsewhere as I cannot and will not tolerate it.

  125. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I think you misunderstood me when I spoke of the true church or bride of christ. I too know brothers and sisters who attend the various denominations just as I know those who call themselves brothers and sisters but who are not.

  126. Em says:

    for those who, like myself, are the academically unwashed don’t miss the last link in the list
    (said i’d get back and read it – glad i did)

  127. Em says:

    how did we get from Jesus to Christianity?
    the R.C.’s still seem to be working on the fundamentals of how we got from the Jew to the Christian
    from the BBC website today:
    “The new document is called “The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable” and was written by the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews.
    It says “the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews”.
    …..
    “Turning to the vexed question of salvation, the document says: “that the Jews are participants in God’s salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly, is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery”.

  128. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Let people decide for themselves the history of the Christian faith, its people – the church and those who sought to rule and hold authority over them.

    http://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-error-of-replacement-theology/

  129. Michael says:

    uriah,

    I hope the people learn history from people who are smart enough to spell “christian” properly.
    This is horrible exegesis and terrible history.
    I let you post this spurious garbage this time.
    Next time you’ll be banned just like the Catholics banned your imaginary forefathers.

    I will not have this blog become a place where ignorance is furthered… honky tonk history leading to hillbilly theology.

    This will be the only warning you get.

  130. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    I don’t believe in what is called replacement theology however I also don’t believe today’s modern geo political Israel is a fufillment of Prophecy nor Jehovah’s chosen people. What I do believe however is that the Church is open to Jews and Gentiles. ONE Lord, one faith, one baptism. I do agree though the Christian Congregation became highly influenced by greek philosophy and the Roman sun cults hence Catholicism. The Jewishness of the Church was greatly diminished due to strong anti semitism. That’s why most Churches no longer keep the Sabbath as Catholicism sought to anathematize anyone who kept it with the charge of Judazing

  131. Michael says:

    You’re on a short leash too, EGW Disciple.

  132. Michael says:

    I’m done with people doing theology by Google and exegesis by internet.

    If you’re too lazy to study real scholars, you’re too lazy to have an opinion.

    I’m not putting up with this crap anymore, ever.

  133. Michael says:

    When I get past all the medical stuff at the first of the year, changes will be coming…

  134. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Michael,

    You assume others are not read up. Even Catholic scholars will admit to the change from Sabbath to Sunday. They say that this the Catholic Churchs mark of authority. You are familiar with Constantine’s National Sunday Law in 321 AD. Rome even challenged Protestants about this very thing in the late 1800’s when many Protestants were trying to get sunday laws passed.

  135. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Sorry, linked wrong article: here’s the one with historical facts.

    We should seek the truth, no matter where it might be found—be it by a donkey, a small child, or even those outside the circle that seeks to control it.

  136. Michael says:

    I’m familiar with the SDA arguments.
    The first church worshipped on Sunday…it’s in the Bible.

    If you want to be a sabbatarian, have at it.
    Just don’t spout historical nonsense.

  137. Michael says:

    “those outside the circle that seeks to control it.”

    This nonsense stops now.
    Spread conspiracy theories on your own blog.

  138. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Catholic scholars even admit the Church adopted many sun cult pagan practices to Christianize the pagans and they are proud of it.

  139. Michael says:

    Last warning for both of you.
    Next nonsense will be the last.

  140. Michael says:

    He’s someone with no theological training and or background in church history.

    It shows.

  141. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Gosh, I never once mentioned anything about a conspiracy. I only spoke or shared regarding the incomplete or acts of omission regarding the history of Christianity.

  142. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    Read slowly and carefully.
    I’m done with this line of nonsense.

    The internet is a big place…you can have a site and post ignorance all day long if you want to.
    It’s not happening here anymore, nor am I going to argue about it anymore.

    This is my house and I’m done with people hijacking it with things I think hurt the body of Christ.

  143. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Really? Now how would you know how well read and studied he would be in church history and theology, It’s obvious he is well educated, disciplined, world traveled, and culturally aware, as well as, being a Pastor with ordination recognition. He’s written several books that cover a multitude of topic, including that of world affairs, business, and of the Christian Church.

    Any good writer know they must research their topic, know it, then build upon that to establish that purpose and meaning for undertaking it in the first place.

  144. Michael says:

    He’s a pre trip prophecy wonk who makes spurious and wicked claims against the brethren.

    Start your own blog and do as you please.
    This conversation is over.

  145. ? says:

    Question: If Im a person who has low IQ, so not very bright, bad reading comprehension, etc.
    It isn’t enough to read the Bible, know the important scriptures, such as: I’m a sinner, need a Savior, pray to The Lord to save me, ask the Holy Spirit to guide my day, ask for forgiveness when I have acted in my flesh, etc etc…
    Do I really need to know the history of the church fathers and all the creeds?
    How did anyone get by the first 100 years?
    What I’m asking sincerely is this.. Why does all that matter?
    I know right from wrong because I have been saved and understand the incredible grace and mercy bestowed upon my life.. I know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.. I understand the blood shed for me and I recieve it… The faith is simple…what do I really need to know apart from this?

  146. Em says:

    ? – i think you did summarize all we have to know… i am one of the ones who is too lazy to wade into the Biblical scholars’ world and so i just peek and poke and forget – i should keep my rabbit trailing to myself … i apologize for my part in stirring this up here tonight – not the night for such blather …

    God keep

  147. Michael says:

    One does not “need’ to know more than the Gospel.
    However, if someone choose to express an opinion about a matter than they should have at least a working familiarity with the body of knowledge available on the topic.

  148. Jean says:

    “Do I really need to know the history of the church fathers and all the creeds?
    How did anyone get by the first 100 years?
    What I’m asking sincerely is this.. Why does all that matter?”

    Great question. As Jesus demonstrated in his ministry, even a child can have saving faith (not to accuse anyone on this blog of having the mind of a child). But the Gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the key issue.

    If you are fortunate enough to be a member of a church which teaches Christ crucified for the forgiveness of your sins and the pure Gospel at the pulpit and in Sunday School and/or Bible studies, then you’re fortunate and good to go.

    But very few churches teach nothing but Christ and the pure Gospel. Listen to what Paul said to the Corinthians:

    “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

    Can you say these things about your pastor(s)? If you can then your are receiving the grace of God through the preached Word. Are you also receiving the means of grace through the Sacraments?

    The Creeds are important as a measuring stick to determine if what your are being taught is Biblical Christianity. We have the Creeds for our protection. Pastors are human beings, just as we are, and sinners just as we are. The Creeds, the lectionary, liturgy, historic hymns of the Church are all for us to protect us from man-made doctrines, heretical teaching and focus us on Christ alone. The Church is the bride of Christ. If when the church meets it isn’t singularly focused on the Groom, then something is terribly wrong.

    Many people don’t realize that you can teach God’s Word, you can teach the Law all morning long, but remember that the Law always accuses, the Law condemns. Paul taught in Romans that no one is justified by the Law. So just because the Bible is taught in church doesn’t mean people are being saved there. Only the Gospel conveys Christ’s forgiveness, justifies and acquits sinners and gives eternal life.

  149. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Concerning the law (10 Commandments), the Bible says that it is perfect.

    Psalm 19:7 (ASV)

    7 The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul: The testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple.

  150. Lutheran says:

    “Hillbilly theology.”

    I spewed my coffee. LOL.

    Michael, you have the patience of Job — maybe more!

    God bless you.

  151. HA HA -I was at a church meeting last night and missed the Linda & Sol Rod tag team nonsense

  152. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Off topic Michael,

    What do you think of the Geneva Bible?

  153. Josh the Baptist says:

    I know it frustrates Michael , but this was entertaining 🙂

  154. Josh the Baptist says:

    Why would one have an opinion on the Geneva Bible?

    It was a popular early English translation.

    Is there any other opinion of it?

  155. Anne says:

    Doesn’t the law spoken of in Psalm 19 and elsewhere refer to the whole law not just the 10 commandments?

  156. Jean says:

    “Concerning the law (10 Commandments), the Bible says that it is perfect.”

    Has anyone on this thread claimed the law is not perfect? I haven’t read that here.

  157. Andrew says:

    This question is really to anyone who can answer it, But Uriah motivated it with the website she posted. What exactly is a Jew today in your mind? Or for that matter Israel? Is a Jew one that can trace their heritage back to Abraham with precision? Is it one that is born that way or chooses it? Is it one that associates with a certain sect of Judaism? Is it one that aligns themselves with the modern political nation state Israel? Is it one that follows the Torah believing it was specifically written to them? Is Israel just a piece of land with very precise land borders or is it something completely different? Or is it the way I see it in a spiritual way that a true Jew is really a Christian in the church. If you can’t define exactly what a Jew is today, why would anyone be so outrageous to condemn replacement theology or ammilenialism? I don’t get it. Isn’t spiritualizing what a Jew is, exactly what the apostle Paul did?

  158. Josh the Baptist says:

    There are ethnic Jews, followers of Judaism, and both.

    Not that hard, right?

  159. Andrew says:

    So which ones are the part of the promise where all this prophecy stuff comes up? If you are not an ethnic Jew or one racially but you are a strict follower of Judaism are you part of the promise of Abraham yet reject Christ at the same time?

  160. Michael says:

    The Geneva Bible is very good.
    The only reason King James wanted a new bible was because the notes in the Geneva advocated rebellion against godless authority…

  161. Jean says:

    #162 Andrew,

    Paul’s argument is as follows (you really should read the whole thing, but here are the highlights from Romans):

    Ch II: “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” This describes the Christian.

    Ch III: “9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

    ‘None is righteous, no, not one;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.'”

    “28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”

    Paul elsewhere states that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.

  162. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It frustrates the hell out of me.
    If a person so desires, they can access wonderful church history classes online for free.
    You can read all the early fathers online for free.
    You can buy great volumes on church history in ebook form for very little.

    If one does any of the above they won’t post hysterical drivel on my blog and make me yell at my cat.

  163. Jean says:

    Andrew,

    “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” (2 Cor 1:20) Jesus fulfills all God’s promises.

  164. Andrew says:

    Jean, this is good stuff. So if there is not Jew nor Gentile in Christ, why would anyone keep talking about the promises to Jews or Israel apart from Christ? This is hard to understand.

  165. Josh the Baptist says:

    “but you are a strict follower of Judaism are you part of the promise of Abraham yet reject Christ at the same time?”

    Of course not. The promises are fulfilled in Christ.

  166. Josh the Baptist says:

    “why would anyone keep talking about the promises to Jews or Israel”

    Because some understand Scripture to include a place for the Nation of Israel in the end times. This does not mean there will be salvation apart from Christ.

  167. Jean says:

    Andrew,

    Michael is very kind to allow diversity on this blog (as long as Mr. Calvin isn’t savaged 🙂 ), but I live in a relatively small community in the Heartland and haven’t been exposed to some of the craziness one might read here. I go from laughter to weeping at some of the ridiculous stuff posted here, but I am concerned about souls, so I try to help where I can.

  168. Andrew says:

    Josh, so who are these Jews in that Nation of Israel that will be redeemed? These prophecy wonks say that all of Israel will be saved.

  169. Michael says:

    Strongly enough, I believe in a future for Israel.
    I’m not amill.
    I’m convinced that this isn’t an either/or question, but a both/and.

    What I think gets missed in people who follow uriah line is the fact that in Jesus all the promises, all the everything of God, are fulfilled (not replaced) in Him.

    The climax of the redemption story is Jesus, not Israel.

  170. Andrew says:

    Michael, I am sort of with you in believing in a future Israel but my faith wouldn’t be shaken one bit if it doesn’t happen that way. Amillenialism is always an option for me and definitely not the center of my theology. Jesus is.

  171. Josh the Baptist says:

    I can’t read scripture without coming to a pre-millennial conclusion, but I’m OK with being wrong on that, too.

  172. Andrew says:

    Josh, we could both be wrong but as long as we get the Jesus part right I’m fine with these variations in belief.

  173. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sure. Absolutely.

  174. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    Cant i ask,a question? geez some of you guys are a bit sensitivite. i bring it up because in the study notes for the Geneva Bible in the book of Daniel the commentator acknowledges that Jesus and Michael the archangel are one and the same.

  175. Josh the Baptist says:

    Where did I get sensitive? I didn’t get the jist of your question so I asked.

    The commentator is obviously wrong.

  176. Michael says:

    “i bring it up because in the study notes for the Geneva Bible in the book of Daniel the commentator acknowledges that Jesus and Michael the archangel are one and the same.”

    And?

    I thought you were asking about the quality of the translation.
    There are notes in every study Bible that I don’t agree with.
    I’d have to look up that reference, but it proves nothing other than someone in the 16th century had a strange notion that’s lasted a while.

  177. Xenia says:

    The Jehovah’so Witnesses also believe Jesus and Michael are the same individual. They are even more heretical than the SDA. Both groups were spawned in the same restorationist soup that hatched the ideas being espoused here by certain people.

  178. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    It’s about time you showed up. 🙂

    I’m off to the doctor, I’ll check back later.

  179. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    It seems to me that mpsy of what I shared been twisted into sometimg different, simply due to presenting additional historical infoation.

    The study of history happens to be an atra that I have spent years. Sarcasm, pot-downs, and anger does little in estabishing truth or even a decent exchange.

  180. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Actually JW’s have a different viewpoint of Jesus as Michael than SDA’s do. SDA’s just believe it’s another title for Jesus as Michael means who is like God and archangel means Cheif messenger. SDA’s I firmly believe have the truth when it comes to state of the dead and they expose the false teaching of unending torment in a spiritual underworld.

  181. Michael says:

    uriah,

    You’re not providing additional information.

    You’re twisting and distorting events, people, and institutions to fit a particular narrative.

    I have no intention of letting that go unchallenged here.

  182. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    See Walter Martin regarding SDA. They are not a cult or cultish.

  183. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    To say that SDA’s are heretical because they some beliefs that are similar to JW’s is erroneous. It’s just like saying many of today’s Protestant and evangelical churches are heretical because they have similar teachings to Roman Catholicism.

  184. Xenia says:

    I have argued with people who hold these views before and it is pretty futile because they will not read the early writings of the church nor will they read reputable church histories so they don’t know what they are talking about.

    Here’s the thing. If someone is going to present themselves as experts on the early church, they have to read copious amounts of primary source material. There are no short cuts. The third or fourth had musings of some onine writer are simply not adequate.

  185. Josh the Baptist says:

    Walter Martin did not end up with a flattering review of the SDA.

  186. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    I’m content with SDA doctrine, went into deep studies on them. I believe Ellen White to be a prophet. I read her writings for myself and have beem richly blessed

  187. Andrew says:

    Uriah @ 185

    It sounds like Walter Martin may have changed his tune a bit with SDM. This from 2009 sounds to me like he believes them a cult.

  188. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I believe Ellen White to be a prophet.”

    And that is where you are leaving the correct path.

  189. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    She qualifies as a prophet. She speaks according to the law and the testimony (Isaiah 8:20), her character is pristine, she was loving and unlike many in the past who represented God, she didn’t persecute those disagreed with her. Her writings always glorified Jehovah and Christ. Like Michael said earlier we can’t just go by internet accusations. I believe the same would apply to Sister White. Joel 2:28-29 says that Jehovah will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, men and women to prophesy and dream dreams and have visions.

  190. Josh the Baptist says:

    She was a false prophet, man. Don’t go down that path.

  191. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    Do you have some examples of false prophecies from her?

  192. Josh the Baptist says:

    1844 ring a bell?

  193. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    That was William Miller. He actually repented of getting that date wrong for Christ return
    Ellen White warned about date setting

  194. Josh the Baptist says:

    Surely you aren’t an Ellen White disciple who is having to Google 1844?

  195. Josh the Baptist says:

    She actually claimed that Miller was correct. That Something DID happen in 1844, just that the unwashed masses didn’t get it.

  196. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nevermind. I see SolRod knows as much about Seventh Day Adventists as he does about church history.

    Sol, I’ve seen you sway with the wind over the years here, and this is your new jump to the next phase of crazy. All you need is the Gospel of Jesus christ. None of this other garbage matters. Throw it away and follow Christ alone.

  197. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    Yeah the cleansing of the Heavenly sanctuary according to the 2300 year Daniel prophecy. She didn’t predict the literal return of Christ in 1844.

  198. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Josh,

    If your gonna be insulting lets not continue discussion. If you want to discuss respectfully im down with that. Going in to counsel with a Pastor. Ill check,in later

  199. Steve Wright says:

    A couple points. Traditional dispensationalists teach that Israel will be judged and many will not enter the Kingdom – a future revival to receive Christ for ethnic Israel does not mean every last Jew is saved when it happens. Not at all. Ezekiel 20 would be one of several passages to note. And has been said, the key is saving faith in Jesus – just like now. Not a 2nd way to salvation or whatever nonsense we are accused of.

    Secondly, those non-dispensationalists, the Roman Catholic church, announced yesterday they believed the nonsense, saying that Jews can be saved apart from Jesus, and thus should not be witnessed to…you can look it up. It was just in the news yesterday

  200. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sol, She did the “Behold the Bridegroom” thing about 1844. She later couched that with the heavenly cleansing stuff. It’s easy to see through. I’m not insulting you. She was a false prophet. That’s all. We can talk about dozens more that she got wrong. Do you think Sunday worship is the mark of the beast?

  201. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    By the way Josh,

    I have family that is Adventist so I know a little something about the SDA Congregation. Also have family that is JW and I know a lot about them so when people try to compare the two as being alike it’s erroneous.

  202. Josh the Baptist says:

    I did not compare, but they were born from the same movement. That doesn’t necessarily mean that both are cults, just a fact of history.

  203. Em says:

    #202 – Pastor Steve, see my #127… i’m afraid that’s what started all this – hope not

  204. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    https://youtu.be/fMDBzlrJm8A

    The above link is a video I made regarding my journey into Seventh-day Adventistism.

  205. Em says:

    one thing seems clear to me… no one should go looking for prophets or “new religions” until they are firmly rooted and grounded in the Faith – all the trappings and special insights can, and for many do, lead one into forms of godliness without the power – if you want to come together on Saturday to worship, do so – if you want to eat vegetarian, do so … and, for my part, i think there are many other trappings that are personal preference only (some are like Dumbo’s magic feather – like a ring that i wear as it was there when i met God)
    But, until you are rooted in a solid understanding of the basics of God’s plan, be careful of who you give credence to … enlightenment can be a misleading and dangerous illusion

  206. Steve Wright says:

    No idea where I wrote it earlier in the week but will stick it here. Remember me mentioning the Republican establishment screwing themselves and now having a problem when the convention meets….they are already planning their shennanigans

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/ben-carson-rnc-washington-post-216674

    Imagine the literal collapse of one of the two major political parties within a year. Fascinating

  207. Josh the Baptist says:

    EGW – Whew! 1hr 14 minutes! Can’t swing that 🙂 Listen man, I’m sure you are a sincere guy, you are just addicted to the “Big Change”. Settle down. Jesus is enough.

  208. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I used to work with Dr. Martin. Initially, there were concerns regarding the SDA, so CRI/Dr. Martin met with them and found these concerns were unwarranted. Later, after Dr. Martin went home to be with the Lord, his daughter created her own ministry and differed in her opinion of the SDA.

    When we use the words, reputable, experts, or acceptable, we also need to know who is touting such as being so. Is it being stated by those who are only quoting those who have spent a lifetime in creating that history, while disregarding information that might admitted would mostly likely cause a change on many levels.

  209. Michael says:

    I’m going to repost Xenia’s # 187 every day until the Lord takes me home.

    Succinctly nailed it.

    “I have argued with people who hold these views before and it is pretty futile because they will not read the early writings of the church nor will they read reputable church histories so they don’t know what they are talking about.

    Here’s the thing. If someone is going to present themselves as experts on the early church, they have to read copious amounts of primary source material. There are no short cuts. The third or fourth had musings of some onine writer are simply not adequate.”

    That was simply beautiful.

  210. Josh the Baptist says:

    Hey guys, don’t be so harsh. At least we got a link to wikipedia.

  211. Michael says:

    From Wikipedias mouth to God’s ear.
    Amen…

  212. Josh the Baptist says:

    A to the men.

  213. Xenia says:

    The SDA is trinitarian. Believing in the Trinity is probably the lowest common denominator for orthodoxy (small “o”) but it is probaly enough to exclude them from the “non- Christian cult” category. An SDA can probably affirm the Nicene creed.

  214. Michael says:

    I’ve known a lot of Adventists…and one of the finest men I ever knew, who I owe my life to…was an Adventist.

    Having said that, I agree with Xenia.

    They can affirm the early creeds and that puts them within the bounds of orthodoxy.

    They hang a lot of weird stuff off that affirmation, but so do many others.

  215. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t consider present day SDA a cult. Ellen G White was a false prophet.

  216. Michael says:

    I was talking with some older Adventists once and asked about EGW.

    One sweet older woman said simply “the dear lady got hit in the head by a rock”…

    That was the end of the discussion. 🙂

  217. Xenia says:

    My earlier comment where I compared the SDA with the JWs was to point out the historical fact that both groups (among others) came out of the Restoration Movement which, as has been proposed here, was an attempt to return to an imagined pristine, primitive form of Christianity.

    For this theory to hold water, it requires the existence of a group of hidden Christians who were never connected with the established Church and who survived through the centuries. There is no evidence that such a group ever existed. There were groups that claimed to be Christian that were not part of the established Church, such as the Bogomils, but they were clearly heretical.

  218. Josh the Baptist says:

    You know, the Waldenses claimed to be descendant of Claudius of Turin. I guess every group wants to claim some apostolic succession.

  219. Michael says:

    “There is no evidence that such a group ever existed.”
    Period.

    I’ve spent very little time on the history of the Restoration Movement…I need to fix that.

  220. Em says:

    i don’t know if i can state this clearly, but i will try…
    the history of Christianity from the time of the Acts of the Apostles on is, in my mind, a bit like genealogy studies… if one has or delves into and develops an appetite for it, Church history must be an almost unending, fascinating wealth of information and may be a requirement of a good teacher…

    i fall short of spending enough time for even a good overview, rather i just depend on resource materials when needed for a specific item .. i think that the Bible itself provides us laymen with everything we need to function as a child of God – God the Holy Spirit and the Bible … but good teachers shepherding the sheep is the ideal as God designed, no doubt

    that said, i must add that i do peel off when a teacher-so-called comes up with “special” revelations – IMV that is far different from the teacher who gives an opinion prefaced with the disclaimer that their words are just what they think they see and may or may not be true; making clear that it is to be taken as such … so Ellen would have scared me off back then, for certain

  221. Em says:

    i just spent very little time on Wikipedia’s information on the Restoration Movement… it was all i need to know now – thank goodness 🙂

  222. Michael says:

    Em,

    It fascinates me…but we already know I’m a little off center… 🙂

  223. Em says:

    Michael, my take-away is that the Church has seemed to obsess with restoring itself for quite a while now … kind of like having too many women trying to run the same house

    BTW – just where is ‘center?’ 🙂 and thank you for updating us over on TGIF

  224. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I had an insurance client who was a 7th day adventist pastor and in talking to him about the faith at his home I never got the impression I was speaking to someone not a brother. You can’t go 2 minutes with a Mormon or JW in a similar conversation and not know they are off the rails.

  225. Michael says:

    Steve,

    When I was a child my doctor was SDA.
    His waiting room was full of SDA childrens literature that was actually quite good.

    More than that, he was good.

    We were poor, I was sick…so every week he drove up the mountain to my home and checked on me and made sure I had the medication I needed.

    For free.

    Jesus in a cherry red station wagon.

    He’s the one to blame for my still being here… 🙂

  226. Jean says:

    The temptation to follow a false prophet, whether a self-identifying “prophet” or the more common celebrity spiritual leader who the hearer himself bestows prophet status to, is one of satan’s most powerful tools to lead Christians away from Christ.

    Jesus said that unless we become like babies we cannot enter the kingdom. Babies are passive recipients of their parents’ grace. They don’t work for their food and can’t earn it. However, they are content and trust that they will be fed and they are. That is the picture of the Christian and why Jesus could say that his yoke is light.

    The old Adam hates the unconditionality of grace. Satan’s lie is to give give the old Adam a new revelation, a different project, something to work on, a different way to God, a condition. Anything but Christ crucified for the forgiveness of your sins. Unconditional grace is too dangerous. What will Christians do with that kind of freedom? Surely there is something more.

    So, the false prophets come alongside eager to offer you a lie. There are only two words that a preacher can give you: Christ and not-Christ. Like the two paths, one leads to eternal life, but the other leads to eternal damnation.

  227. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    More on Martin and the SDA

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Ralston_Martin

  228. Xenia says:

    The Adventists used to publish a wonderful set of books for children, maybe ten in all, that told the Bible story from beginning to end. My dad, the Baptist deacon, bought the set for me when I was a kid and I read them all but my dad read them first to make sure they were ok.

  229. Jean says:

    I reviewed the SDA official website, so that no one will accuse me of publishing false opinions. Let’s take a look at some of their beliefs:

    “I’m not writing to tell you to follow the rules. If that were the case, I would just say that the rules are there for our protection (which they are), and that you should follow them for that reason (which you should). But that’s not good enough. When you meet God—and I mean really meet Him—it all just comes together. The rules that seemed so stifling before you knew Him will suddenly make sense in your life, and it will no longer be about trying really hard to do the right thing. It will be about this newfound friendship with God.

    God is real. So if He’s only an intellectual idea or a character in a story for you, you’re limiting the pleasure you can have in a relationship with Him. If you don’t experience God in a very real way in your life, you’re just playing a mental exercise in your head, and frankly, you’ll find His rules pretty stifling.

    It’s true that you need to know God’s rules, and it’s true that you need to try to obey them, just as I expect my son to try to obey my rules. But simply reading God’s rules and trying hard to obey them can be a distraction from what matters most—Him. If He doesn’t feel real, you haven’t met Him. Do something about that first, and the rules will be a pleasure to obey.

    So don’t just go in search of rules to follow. You won’t be able to follow them anyway. Just open yourself up to God and ask Him to do something with your life, something beautiful. Ask Him to make Himself real to you. That’s a prayer He always answers, and you’ll find that the rules will weave their way into your life in a way you never imagined.”

    So, going back to a previous thread, here before your eyes is a theology of glory. This is the message of “not Christ.” Jesus came not to save the righteous, but sinners. Once the “rules weave their way into your life”, you’re all set; no more need for Christ.

    Can you see how this theology directs you away from the cross and back towards you? How is my relationship with God? Am I experiencing him in a very real way in my life?”

    I would urge anyone to steer clear of this tradition. It is not evangelical.

  230. Em says:

    rules? does God have “rules?” how do rules differ from laws? hmmm…

  231. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Jean,.

    We believe in following the 10 commandments and that it is Christ in us that allows us to do so and that He is our mediator to the Father Jehovah.

  232. Jean says:

    “rules? does God have “rules?” how do rules differ from laws? hmmm…”

    Em,

    I’ve learned a few things the hard way over that last few years (and I am hard headed). One of the things I’ve learned is to cite or use Scripture instead of paraphrasing, whenever possible. Who the heck knows?

  233. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    “Once the “rules weave their way into your life”, you’re all set; no more need for Christ.

    Can you see how this theology directs you away from the cross and back towards you? How is my relationship with God?

    I guess it all depends if you are doing works of the flesh or works wrought by He who is in you, which means the first is not about the cross, and the second is because of the grace of God, via the blood shed upon the Cross and now being born again, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Without Him, I can and I am nothing. In and of Him and He within me—the works set before me, I am enabled to know Him, to serve, love, and to even just sit and learn of Him, as He reveals Himself to me. For the joy of the Cross, He counted such a price worthy of all who would believe and follow after Him. Thus, we are then reconciled with the Father, through His Son. Our Lord and Savior. And so much more.

    The law is good—but without Him, we are under condemnation.

  234. Michael says:

    Funny thing about those commandments.
    If you break one, you break them all.

    Funnier still, Jesus made it clear that obedience was a matter of the inner man, of the heart, and not of external duty.

    Anyone who thinks they keep them fully is deceived.

  235. Jean says:

    “We believe in following the 10 commandments and that it is Christ in us that allows us to do so and that He is our mediator to the Father Jehovah.”

    Uh, I think the monastics tried this.

  236. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Doesn’t mean we still should not strive to walk in them, through He who enables us to abide or not to abide.

    It is through what we say and do that manifest the inner person.

  237. Michael says:

    You can strive until you sweat blood and you still won’t get through an hour without breaking the law.

    That brings us back to the cross where the strivers and the ones who rest are all on equal ground.

  238. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    When we transgress the law we come to our Saviour Jesus as our High Priest

  239. Michael says:

    EGW Disciple,

    How often do you do that?
    Do you understand that the law demands perfection?

    Just thank God you don’t believe like Uriah who says that only the sins you committed before faith are covered at the Cross…you’d have to be a hell of a record keeper to stay out of hell….

  240. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Has nothing to do with “duty.”

    It has to do with being a new creation in Christ, born again, indwelt with the Holy Spirit, our hearts being changed, our minds being renewed, our life dying to the old man and taking on the image of Christ. Rejoicing that indeed, we are set free!!

  241. Michael says:

    uriah,

    Please speak like a normal person.

    All the religious jargon is distracting.

    The point is simply that no one can keep the law and we’re all in need of grace every minute of every day.

  242. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    The law in itself demands perfection.
    In Him, we are perfected, and when He comes we will be clothed with that perfection.

    While in this earthly body, we will not obtain perfection—-to say that this is what those who strive to lead a holy life is seeking and believing is not accurate.

    We know that sin separates us from fellowshipping with Him.
    We also know that one sin leads to another, than another and so forth and that it does hurt others, as well as, ourselves. We are instructed to love one another. In order to do this, we cannot hold on to those attitudes, beliefs, and behavior that harms, hurt, abuse, or places a stumbling block to cause a person to sin themselves or to giving them a reason to curse God.

    The commandments are a gift from the Lord to provide guidance to us in our daily lives. To say that they are impossible to abide in is telling God that He asks too much and telling others that God didn’t really expect us to examine our hearts and to obey them.

    God doesn’t ask us to do anything that we are not able to do. It is for us to dig deeper to get to the core of why we are tempted and why we tell ourselves that just because we are sinners, saved by grace, we really don’t need to pay attention to the way God has instructed us to live each day and how to treat others along the way. In this, we will be able to discover what drives that sin that besets us, and in Him, we can find forgiveness and healing as we go through the process of getting it out of our life.

  243. Xenia says:

    I agree with Uriah’s 244. Not with everything she has written, nor with the extrapolations others have made, but her 244 is basic Christian piety.

  244. Michael says:

    “God doesn’t ask us to do anything that we are not able to do.”

    “Be perfect as I am perfect”

  245. Xenia says:

    Ironically, if one does study the writings of the early Christians they will find a piety much like Uriah’s 244.

  246. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    He equips us and enable us.

    “Be perfect as I am perfect.”

    Two thoughts: In and of my own, any efforts without Him would be works the flesh. It would be more like a check off list, rather than coming from a heart that had been changed and now living in Him.

    The second thought has to do with becoming mature in Christ, not just going through the motions and trying to do things right, but now doing them as if they are second nature to me, as part of the changed heart that are now manifested within my character, if you will.

    God uses difficulties, challenges, adversities, trials, temptations and others to get our attention to mode us and make us more and more in His image. If we are paying attention, and bend to His will—our thoughts, words, and behavior will reflect this.

    Philippians Chapter 3

    10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

    11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

    12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

  247. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    #249… true.

  248. Jean says:

    “God doesn’t ask us to do anything that we are not able to do.”

    Jesus ran into these dudes too.

    Hey brow, yeah, you’ve followed the commandments since your youth, now go sell all your stuff [so you will trust God for your daily bread] and follow me.

    Yep, brow, you have the commandments down pat. Oh, what? Who is your neighbor? He’s the guy who patched up his enemy who he found lying half dead in a ditch and took him to a motel and gave the inn keeper a blank check to take care of him.

    do you see a pattern here?

  249. Michael says:

    uriah,

    So…you can be perfect?

  250. Michael says:

    Xenia, correct me if I’m wrong here.

    In my opinion Orthodoxy is the only communion with a theological basis for possible perfection because of the doctrine of theosis.

    Does that make sense?

  251. Xenia says:

    I think Wesleyans have a theology that allows for this but John Wesley was influenced by Orthodoxy.

  252. Michael says:

    I know the Wesleyan doctrine, but found it unconvincing.
    The Orthodox come from a completely different angle…fascinating for a Western believer.

  253. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Like Paul:

    Philippians Chapter 3

    10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

    11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

    12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

  254. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Jean,

    “do you see a pattern here?”

    It’s not that they could not—it was because they would not.

  255. Jean says:

    Uriah,

    Have you noticed in the Gospels, that Jesus only set up ‘obedience to the Law tests’ for the Law-minded? Did he ever set up conditions when choosing disciples or when forgiving or healing sinners?

  256. Michael says:

    Jean,

    That’s interesting…have to think on that one.

  257. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Will respond more this tommoe, but for now will say this not so.

  258. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Will respond more this tomorrow, but for now will say this not so.

    Matthew 5:19
    Also, “Go and sin more or worse may . . .

    I inclined to take this as meaning the sin of sexual immortality.

    The disciples were a work in progress, aloh with God knowing their hearts, as well as, teaching privately and they witnessing what Jesus was speaking forto others. Many times Jesus call the disciples out privately and took them to task reminding them what Scripture have taught and that they got to abide in it recognizing who he was, by what authority he had to stay two things as well asto provide comfort to them by telling them that they would not be alone but that the Holy Spirit would be sent to powers out to fulfill the Great Commission while standing strong against the enemy of the faith principally Satan and all the things that would tempt them to fall away.

  259. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Given the numerous typos, I think using the phone to share is clearly not useful expedient. My heartfelt apologies to all.

  260. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Thought I would take the time to edit this:

    Will respond more on this tomorrow, but for now will say that Jesus did speak of the law constantly to everyone, including those in leadership. Oh, He may not have used the “law” specifically, but He always was addressing the condition of people’s heart, as well as, their thoughts and behaviors (actions). Even before the Holy Spirit would be sent, He was telling them to get their heart rights, getting beneath the core of sin which the law was made to correct, to convict, and to guide. People tend to get stuck on the tip of the iceberg, so to speak when it comes to rules. Jesus went below the water line to get to the core, thus enabling us to see why the law was good. Not a list to check off in doing this or that, but rather understanding there was a purpose in the laws and commandments provided to us by God. All having to do with loving Him and loving others.

    Matthew Chapter 5:19

    Also, “Go and sin no more or worse may . . .

    I am inclined to take this as meaning the sin of sexual immortality.

    The disciples were a work in progress. God knew their hearts and also knew what kind of men (and women) they would be upon receiving the Holy Spirit. He spent 3 solid years with them teaching them about Him and God’s desire to be reconciled the Human race. He taught them that not everyone would hear or see or believe. But privately, and as being witness to what he taught the people and put forth with others, they learned more about why they law was given and why Jesus had to suffer and die, as He did.

    Please keep in mind that none of the disciples believed He had risen. It wasn’t until He showed them the wounds, and then breathe upon them, then commissioned them. But before this happened he told them He would be leaving and that He would suffer, but that they would not be alone, not for one solid minute. He would send the Holy Spirit to empowered them, to continue teaching them, guiding them and confirming them, while standing strong against the enemy of the faith principally Satan and all the things that would tempt them to fall away.

    And final, Jesus speaking to the disciples, as the multitudes gathered:

    Matthew 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Selah

  261. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Instead of Matthew 16, it should be Matthew 5, beginning at verse 16.

  262. Jean says:

    There is a Hillsong Christmas song video that went viral because of its very poor taste. After receiving voluminous negative comments on U Tube, the video was made private. However, a discernment website copied and has posted it.

    As I browsed the website, among the listed criteria for identifying a cult was the following (which brought me back to this discussion):

    “JEROBOAM CRITERIA

    A group or movement can be classified as a cult when they:

    When they rewrite biblical or church history.

    Just like the false teachers and prophets in Israel’s day, today’s false teachers often alter history and prophetic writings to bolster their credibility as a prophet and teacher. Thus, when you look at the Old Testament prophets, (and even the sermon of the prophet Stephen in the New Testament), you will notice that true prophets handle the historical accounts of Israel accurately to demonstrate their genuine prophetic office. False teachers and prophets don’t. (See Aaron (Exodus 32) and Jeroboam (2 Kings 12)).

    What we see a lot of cults and or heretical churches doing today is either distorting or neglecting church history as well as insisting that Christianity must change or die, (become irrelevant) to further the leader’s cause. Some of these leaders will even insist that their congregants not look back at Christianity’s past but only seek progressive change. They will dismiss the creeds and catechisms and call what happened before their time “dead” and “religious”. What these false teachers are essentially doing is discouraging people to investigate the authority upon which their teachings stand.”

    http://churchwatchcentral.com/2015/12/17/hillsong-from-silent-night-to-sordid-night/

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