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  1. centorian says:

    Great post …. FIRST!!!

  2. Michael says:

    Centy, thanks…I wasn’t sure I made sense, but I trust your judgment.

  3. Em says:

    my goodness, those are good thoughts and insights, Michael

    the song says, “God shed His grace on Thee [America]” and now nobody notices that it’s in the past tense

    i’ve been working this week to get some old material onto my new iMac (won’t copy and paste). I put it together years ago and today i was really struck by the fact that a point is reached where no amount of misery will cause men to turn to God. It hit me right in the pit of my stomach – that God does give up on us, not the Church, but mankind – haven’t been able to set it aside all day – i hope that we haven’t reached that point

    praying for that man anointed by God to scare us – or whatever, in God’s wisdom it takes – to turn us to reality and repentance before Him – praying

    summer-time makes a night-owl out of me for some reason… but now i’m gone

    insight and wisdom Michael… that’s not a bad birthday gift from God IMO

  4. Babylon's Dread says:

    yes

  5. ( | o )====::: says:

    Just a little weensy point of clarification… that is a present tense if it’s sung as the prayer that the authors of the song intended…

    ” America the Beautiful

    O beautiful for spacious skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the fruited plain!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea! ”

    …as in, “may God shed or God is continually shedding”

    We’re on the receiving end of 2000+ years of Judeo-Christian cultural evolution and for all the problems this country is still a land of opportunity. Freedom is practically unbridled and we can move freely and do pretty much what we want, think what we want, wear what we want, say what we want.

    I want to be a prophet of joy and promise, of encouragement, and point people toward “He Who creates from nothing”, that they may have faith in His ability to bring forth life, solutions, promise and hope thru love in action in community.

    I pray I am afraid if I ever forget His continued goodness and bounty.
    May He give us boldness to believe in Him for goodness and creativity!

  6. ( | o )====::: says:

    I just have to post all the lyrics since we so rarely experience them…


    America the Beautiful
    Words by Katharine Lee Bates, Melody by Samuel Ward

    O beautiful for spacious skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the fruited plain!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea!

    O beautiful for pilgrim feet
    Whose stern impassioned stress
    A thoroughfare of freedom beat
    Across the wilderness!
    America! America!
    God mend thine every flaw,
    Confirm thy soul in self-control,
    Thy liberty in law!

    O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife.
    Who more than self their country loved
    And mercy more than life!
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine
    Till all success be nobleness
    And every gain divine!

    O beautiful for patriot dream
    That sees beyond the years
    Thine alabaster cities gleam
    Undimmed by human tears!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea!

    O beautiful for halcyon skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the enameled plain!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    Till souls wax fair as earth and air
    And music-hearted sea!

    O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
    Whose stem impassioned stress
    A thoroughfare for freedom beat
    Across the wilderness!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    Till paths be wrought through
    wilds of thought
    By pilgrim foot and knee!

    O beautiful for glory-tale
    Of liberating strife
    When once and twice,
    for man’s avail
    Men lavished precious life!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    Till selfish gain no longer stain
    The banner of the free!

    O beautiful for patriot dream
    That sees beyond the years
    Thine alabaster cities gleam
    Undimmed by human tears!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    Till nobler men keep once again
    Thy whiter jubilee!

  7. ( | o )====::: says:

    there it is, over and over…

    “…God shed his grace on thee
    Till…”

    sung as a prayer

  8. Em says:

    ah, she wrote it from the place i was born (almost) and it is a prayer (in context)… written after the War between the States, it had to be a prayer for promises yet unfulfilled

    are other lands as beautiful as this one or other flags as perfect? God help us

    thank you, G

  9. Michael says:

    Grendal is a light bearer…thank you for the balance my friend.

  10. London says:

    I like it all…except the thing about being set on fire.

  11. London says:

    oh…and having the hell scared out of me by prophets. don’t like that part either 😉

  12. Michael says:

    Nomans…is that a good wow or a bad wow?

  13. Michael says:

    London,

    I’ve had it scared out of me recently and I just want to share… 😉

  14. London says:

    That’s why I just avoid prophets all together :mrgreen:

  15. London says:

    Seriously though, I think, if I’m intrepreting you correctly, that what you’re describing is what happens when we try to live out our christianity in our heads. We try to be the smartest, most knowledgable, and most articulate christian we can be and that ends up leaving us filling empty and frustrated.
    All the noise, and teaching eventually just makes us confused if it isn’t balanced out with doing and living life on some sort of more grounded level.

    I’ve been thinking about this, sort of, alot lately as I’m trying to decide if I’m going to make a major transition in my career life. I’ve done some pretty cool things and been some pretty cool places. But, at the cost of being “grounded” in a community and living life with people outside of airports and hotels. I’m way happier right now doing the stuff I’m doing than I ever was doing any of that.

    It feels like for the first time in more than a decade, I’m “anchored” and “connected” in a way I’ve wanted to be for a while.

    It’s not about filling my head with new information about systems, policies, processes blah, blah, blah…it’s about living a life WITH people.

    It kind of feels the same as what I hear you saying. It’s not enough to fill our heads with more and more noise and data. It’s time to live life outside the “ivory tower” of theology and live your life WITH people.

    I think it’s a good thing. Uncomfortable as hell to make the transition…but a very good thing none the less.

  16. Nomans says:

    It’s an awakening wow.
    It’s a my spirit bearing witness to your words wow.

  17. ( | o )====::: says:

    “are other lands as beautiful as this one or other flags as perfect? ”
    …if you believe in “bloom where you are planted” then, sure.

    How I see it, Jesus doesn’t love america anymore than He loves afganistan, iceland or russia. I’m just convinced that most other religions and heritages aren’t the best hope for the planet ‘cuz i most strongly resonate with the Judeo-Christian world view tempered by Enlightenment thinking and Deist sensibilities.
    …in other words, I live by the following: search the scriptures to learn the lessons from the past, pray, seek God, then roll up my sleeves and use my brains and don’t expect God to do for me what I need to do for myself. He’s perfectly able and willing to stand in the gap where I just can’t perform, but that doesn’t let me off the hook to perform!

  18. Michael says:

    London,

    You have grasped much of what I was trying to say.

    We have all the information, all the exegesis, all the doctrine we need.

    We’ve had it for a long time.

    What we have lost is the life in the Spirit, the radical life that is supposed to accompany all that doctrine…and our ears are shut to the warnings that He is shouting.

    I’ll go out on a limb…I think you’ve heard from Him, personally.
    You’re moving as He moves and you are living in the real kingdom…and it’s both exciting and scary to watch.

    Thank you for reading…and sharing ….I think you’re responding to Him and that’s a privilege to watch.

  19. ( | o )====::: says:

    Michael,
    #9
    you’re welcome

    I wasted almost 40 years being a darksider so the next 40 are going to be spent being overly optimistic and trying to find something good about whatever i’m facing.
    …ehh, it couldn’t hurt 😉

  20. London says:

    You think it’s scary to watch, you ought to be in my shoes 😯

    It’s scary..and fun…and exciting…and scary…and well…scary

  21. ( | o )====::: says:

    g’night all!
    exhaustion demands my attention

  22. London says:

    when I was 13 or 14 we had this old “prophet” guy come to our church and he prayed over all the kids. I still remember it precisely. My brother is the only person on the planet I’ve ever told what the guy said (my pastor at the time told me years later, that he remembered it too) but it’s always been at the back of my mind for my whole life.
    I think now is the time in my journey that if prophecy is true, and if that guy was geniune, then that is coming to fruition for me. It freaks me out almost every day. 😉
    But…having that there in the back of my mind has actually allowed me to not immediately shut down opportunities or conversations about potential opportunities.
    I dunno, it could all just be made up but it “stuck” in my head and so I think it’s true…just dunno.
    I do know this…the important thing is to move. To do the thing you feel prompted to do even if it’s scary or you look like an idiot (I’ve done that enough times that it doesn’t bother me any more I guess)
    Living in the UK gave me a much better sense of it being ok to just “have a laugh” at ourselves anyway. Americans take ourselves way too seriously…

  23. Linnea says:

    Great post, Michael. In my experience, the prophets are ones we don’t listen to….the homeless man, missionaries from other countries to the US, the new believer fresh with God’s Spirit… these don’t make their way to the megaphone of the old or new media.

  24. JimB says:

    I have had talks with people recently about the fact that there are a lot of people we know who for many years and even decades walked with the Lord and had great ministries who have just sorted of faded away in their zeal and walk and aren’t really doing much serving of the Lord these days. You’re right about us needing a fresh prophetic ministry today. The church needs to wake up and get back on its course. I need to stay focused. God help us!!!

  25. TonyP. says:

    Ahhhh….

    Michael,

    Once again you are dead-bang center of where God has pushed me….
    From your finger-tips to the ears of those called to step out in wondrous faith.

    Excellent word for me personally today.

  26. centorian says:

    TonyP!!!!!!!
    how ya doin’

  27. TonyP. says:

    centy,

    I am ducky at the moment. How’s about yerself??? 8)

  28. Michael says:

    Thanks, Tony!

  29. paigemom says:

    Yes, amen. Michael, I believe that you are one of those prophets. So is Daniel Fusco.
    Ministries takes different forms and those of us behind the scenes need to pray for you and the voice that God has given (ie: this site, etc)

    Check out the lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic (also written by a woman)
    My goodness, we have left the ways of the Lord in this country.

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
    His truth is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

    I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
    They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
    I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
    His day is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

    I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
    “As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
    Since God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

    He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
    Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
    Our God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
    As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
    [originally …let us die to make men free]
    While God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

    He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
    He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
    So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
    Our God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

    Our pastor has a body guard because he speaks so strongly about sin and cultural drift in America. The local city government gives the church a hard time about activities, permits, etc because Pastor Martin preaches the whole Gospel, the whole Truth.

    On another note, David Jeremiah is doing a series on Job that is excellent and very encouraging for those of us who have become ‘broken bread and poured out wine’ as Brother Chambers said. You can listen to Dr Jeremiah’s archived programs
    http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/?gclid=CO2gsK3i3qICFQdaagodzzMorw

  30. Cheri (sisterD) says:

    “They heard the words and missed the heart…blind to the vision, deaf to the revelation.”
    Don’t want to miss it, Lord.

    “We don’t need any more books, we need some prophets.” Prophets of old were rejected and ridiculed.
    I don’t want to miss them either.

    Eyes wide open
    Expectant

  31. TonyP. says:

    Maybe it’s a lack of this?

    Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit-
    And when has the Holy Ghost ceased to have an influence upon men? We find that still he deals with his ministers and with all his saints. Turn to the Acts, and you will find that the Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Paul and Barnabas for the work.” I never heard of an attribute saying such a thing. The Holy Spirit said to Peter, “Go to the Centurion, and what I have cleansed, that call not thou common.” The Holy Ghost caught away Philip after he had baptized the Eunuch, and carried him away to another place; and the Holy Ghost said to Paul; “Thou shalt not go into that city, but shall turn into another.” And we know that the Holy Ghost was lied unto by Ananias and Sapphira, when it was said, “Thou hast not lied unto man, but unto God.” Again, that power which we feel every day, who are called to preach—that wondrous spell which makes our lips so potent—that power which gives us thoughts which are like birds from a far-off region, not the natives of our soul—that influence which I sometimes strangely feel, which, if it does not give me poetry and eloquence, gives me a might I never felt before, and lifts me above my fellow-man—that majesty with which he clothes his ministers, till in the midst of the battle they cry aha! like the war-horse of Job, and move themselves like leviathans in the water—that power which gives us might over men, and causes them to sit and listen as if their ears were chained, as if they were entranced by the power of some magician’s wand—that power must come from a person; it must come from the Holy Ghost.

  32. Xenia says:

    I agree with the sentiment of your post, Michael, but I don’t think we need a prophet. We all already know what we need to do in our own lives. We need to set aside the vanities of our culture and begin to deny ourselves and follow Christ. What could a new prophet tell us that we don’t already know but refuse to do?

  33. Em says:

    from 1Tim 6:
    “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound [fn] words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain [i never before noticed what Paul is saying here – he’s speaking to expecting to materially profit from the Faith – what the Church has come to in my time – and what you guys are backing off from – PRAISE GOD]
    …..
    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge, for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. “

  34. Em says:

    Grendal, re your #18 “How I see it, Jesus doesn’t love america anymore than He loves afganistan, iceland or russia. I’m just convinced that most other religions and heritages aren’t the best hope for the planet ‘cuz i most strongly resonate with the Judeo-Christian world view tempered by Enlightenment thinking and Deist sensibilities” …
    the heroine of my corny and tedious little book ends up sitting with a Navajo in the New Mexico mountains having that very discussion… dangerous ground to explore

  35. Believe says:

    Amen.

    …we’ve got many “prophets” within the Church today…unfortunately many are the false kind.

    I believe the Holy Spirit is awakening many…regular joe and sue Christians…as the former “security” in our consumer driven culture erodes further.

    Pressure does one of two things…it brings about repentance and a desperation for Jesus Christ…or it pushes a person under.

  36. Tim says:

    The corollary question would be: if/when the Holy Spirit raises up His prophets, do we receive them any better than the cultures of old? I wonder if we would actually hear them or merely get riled up about how “judgmental” they are & look for any chink in their armor to take them down.

    We need to pray not only that God would raise up prophets, but give us ears to hear.

  37. SPQR says:

    “We don’t need any more books”

    Including, “Institutes of the Christian Religion”

  38. Another Voice says:

    Just to get this out of the way, the prophets seem to arise in times of spiritual darkness and crisis and when they do, they are rejected by not just the world, but by those they are sent to speak to.

    Or put more simply – Amen to Tim’s #37 at 10:39am

    Many of us would do well to put down all books save the One Book. To cut off all noise except His Voice. I do hear what Michael is saying and I feel a kinship here as to where my journey presently has me. But not all are at this stage in the journey.

    As to whether we need more books in this century. Did we really need more books in the last century? It seems the same argument could easily have been made – yet God raised up a brother named Lewis who wrote Mere Christianity, a brother named Packer who wrote Knowing God, a brother named Tozer who wrote The Pursuit of God.

    Here is what I would like to see. I would like to see pastors stop clogging the shelves with their recycled sermons in printed form to try and earn a few shekels. Put those sermons online for free for the world to enjoy (or ignore).

    But if you have a book in you – by all means bring it forth. Prayerfully, slowfully write and rewrite what it is that God has shown you is needed to be said today to our world. Pray God that it might be your only book, at least of any consequence, as William Guthrie (below), and yet be used as a ministry aid for centuries to come.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/guthrie/interest/files/interest.html#Heading1

  39. Believe says:

    Amen AV.

    Write and post it for free…or just recoup your hard cost if you are already supported in ministry and have your needs met.

    It turns my stomach that “men of God” get rich off of books, speaking engagements, etc.

    Reminds me of Jesus in the Temple with the money-changers.

    If it’s ministry…then let it me ministry…not a business venture.

  40. Another Voice says:

    Believe, I think it is proper to find a publisher for a worthy work. A publisher can be a great aid in the influence such a work might have.

    If your book is just another collection of sermons that your secretary transcribed, then just point us to the mp3s online and be done with it.

  41. Believe says:

    AV, do you believe it’s “of the Lord” for a big name “pastor” or any other “pastor” for that matter…to get filthy stinking rich from his books and speaking engagements…all in the name of the Lord?

    Who should benefit from all the money? The pastor’s lifestyle? The ministry machine?

    I’m all for the money being raised through book sales…as long as the pastor puts it back into practical things like helping people…and not just spiritually…physically, practically.

  42. ( | o )====::: says:

    Em,
    “the heroine of my corny and tedious little book ends up sitting with a Navajo in the New Mexico mountains having that very discussion… dangerous ground to explore”

    Why do you feel that is dangerous ground to explore?

  43. Michael says:

    I’m confused as to why a writer can’t profit from his work if he’s also a pastor?

  44. Another Voice says:

    I’m confused too Michael.

    Believe, I know what you are bemoaning. but it’s not anything I am saying above. So I don’t know why you ask me the question.

    If a non-pastor Christian writes the next Narnia that sells millions and is optioned for 3 movies, he (or she) will become “filthy stinking rich” – do you have a problem with that?

    The LOVE of money, not money, is the root of all evil.

  45. Another Voice says:

    Michael, are you familiar with that work of Guthrie’s I mention?

  46. ( | o )====::: says:

    Believe,
    I’ll give you a guy for whom the religious media publishing thing hasn’t gone to his head, Rick Warren. Still humble, still accessible, decided he had way enough for his family, turned the $ for most of his publications back into the ministry at Saddleback which serves people effectively.

    Nothing wrong with wealth, commerce, exchange of goods and services for donations and offsetting costs. The old system was called “tithing”, the new system is “freewill offerings”.

    What’s wrong is when the masses are told “you can’t live the xtian life without my materials, seminars, and prayer cloths”, that’s when I draw the line. Everything else is souvenirs, branding and lectures put to a page or DVD and made available to the willing with money to spend.

    BTW, would you like a coffee mug imprinted with your website logo and Buster’s repurposed dove? I know a graphic designer.. 😉
    Once you make your first $50k you would have to roll all proceeds back into PhxP…

  47. Captain Kevin says:

    SPQR,
    Institutes is a classic and worthy of attention by all. The point is that we don’t need any MORE bks, especially if they’re just going to regurgitate or re-package what we already have. Since you did not use a smiley at the end of your post, you either don’t know blog protocol for fun and teasing, or you meant it as a jab. In the latter case, I would say to you, “Take a hike!”

  48. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, you my friend are a prophet. May God raise up many more, perhaps even from the PP community.

  49. ( | o )====::: says:

    SPQR,
    Is that shorthand for “Rome”, and by the title do you imply a need or value for the Roman Catholic faith? I think if you follow Captain Kevin’s coaching on the smiley thing and approach your time here with a collegial mindset we could all find value in our interactions.

    I’ve an affinity toward the RCC from my roots and find much value in the more mystical and contemplatives from the church.

    PAX
    ( | o )====:::

  50. Michael says:

    AV,

    I haven’t read it…

  51. Believe says:

    Michael and AV…what are the qualifications of a pastor/elder?

    Why do pastors often stray and have crises of Character?

    Temptation is a powerful force and an effective tool of the devil.

    Have either one of you been “rich”? I have. There is much temptation.

    The Standard for being a pastor/elder is difficult enough…throw a ton of money in the equation…and good luck.

    Matthew 19:24

  52. Believe says:

    Grendal, I admire Rick Warren’s example…and am aware of it…thanks for the reminder.

    Praying more follow his example…

  53. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I’ve been doing this for a long time and I will flat tell you that power corrupts far more men in the ministry than money.

    The idea that somehow ,for some reason a pastor must live a totally different life than other Christians is one of the reasons why men are leaving the ministry in droves.

    The biblical injunctions are hard enough, add a man made Torah and who can stand?

    Not me, for damn sure.

  54. Believe says:

    I hear you Michael…from my experience, however, is that money is power.

  55. Believe says:

    …in the Church, in Society, in Politics.

    Show me the money. Follow the money.

    Money = Power and leads to corruption and abuse (in many cases).

  56. Kevin H says:

    I don’t have a problem with a pastor profiting from a book. As AV said, the problem is the love of money, not money itself. I’m sure there are some pastors who have become rich from book profits and their hearts aren’t right in regards to money. Others have hearts that are right. They may give back or give away a good portion of the money, but I don’t begrudge them for keeping some, too. There’s no magic formula as to how much they should give and how much they should keep.

    I, too, think Rick Warren and his so-called “reverse tithing” where he keeps only 10% of his money and gives away 90% is to be admired. But I wouldn’t have a problem if he chose to keep more.

  57. Tim says:

    “Here is what I would like to see. I would like to see pastors stop clogging the shelves with their recycled sermons in printed form to try and earn a few shekels. Put those sermons online for free for the world to enjoy (or ignore).

    But if you have a book in you – by all means bring it forth. Prayerfully, slowfully write and rewrite what it is that God has shown you is needed to be said today to our world”

    I just thought AV’s comment was worth posting again.

    Amen!

  58. Bill Walden says:

    A veteran pastor I know went through a big change in his life. Change of ministry, location, duties. Everything changed. He knew that God was taking everything away, and in essence, he was starting a whole new chapter of life.

    Someone asked him how he felt about all the changes.

    He said, “It’s good to be afraid again”.

  59. Michael says:

    Believe,

    I’ll catch hell for this, but I have to say it.

    There are some bad guys in ministry.
    No doubt.
    I know some by name.

    To extrapolate that we have to set up draconian measures to keep an entire calling in line because a few guys suck just doesn’t fly with me.

    The vast majority of churches in this country have under 300 members.

    The vast majority of pastors work in obscurity and make less than their average congregant.

    If not for the PP nobody would have ever heard of me yet this year is my 11th teaching the same folks in the same place.

    I haven’t got rich…I barely have my head above water.

    Barely…

    Maybe as was said, I’ve outlived my usefulness, but I think it far more true and fair to deal with specific issues with specific people in the ministry than broadbrush an entire calling.

  60. Believe says:

    Michael, you won’t catch hell from me…I respect your opinion…and I’m open that I could be wrong.

    Just speaking my heart…and I know the door swings both ways with you, as well.

    I’ll consider what you’ve written. Love you bro.

  61. Michael says:

    Believe,

    You’re in the midst of a whirlwind right now and I understand that…I think God is going to use you greatly…just remember… lasers, not shotguns.

    Love you too…thank you for listening.

  62. Another Voice says:

    Have either one of you been “rich”? I have. There is much temptation.
    ———————————————————————————
    (Maybe this needs to be said now, but may God forgive me if I am wrong)

    Believe,

    I thought God had called me to be a Christian businessman with the gift of giving back in the day. I have given more money away than some I minister to today have ever earned.

    When I knew His real call on my life, I walked away from a six figure income to minister His word to His people wherever He wanted (including apparently the internet).

    Of the big three temptations for pastors (pride/power – women – money) money is a distant third for the pastor you presently are speaking to.

  63. Michael says:

    “Of the big three temptations for pastors (pride/power – women – money) money is a distant third for the pastor you presently are speaking to.”

    AV, I knew we were kin! 🙂

    Way distant third….

  64. Michael says:

    Bill,

    Good to see you…there are many going through these reinventions these days…I find it fascinating.

  65. papias says:

    “Of the big three temptations for pastors (pride/power – women – money) ”

    And as Romaine would follow-up with listing these big three, he also would say

    “Pride doesn’t come in like a wave and kill you – it comes in degrees.”

  66. Believe says:

    AV…roger that on the women part. When Jesus said to gouge out your eye…there are times I’d like to chop off…well you get the idea 🙂

    Regarding Money = Power:

    Where do the following get their Power?

    1. Drug Cartels.
    2. Governments.
    3. Corporations.
    4. Big Banks (think Goldman Sachs).
    5. Unions.
    6. Politicians.
    7. World Powers.
    8. Religious Institutions (think RCC).
    9. Skip Heitzig.

    …you get the idea.

    When Pastor Chuck says, “vote with your feet”…the wallets go with the feet.

    Money = Power.

  67. Believe says:

    …on that note…time to take a break. Don’t want to drag the thread down. TTYL all.

  68. Michael says:

    The church world has a slightly different economy.

    Numbers are the key to influence, and money is simply what you use to buy more of that by spreading your brand.

    I don’t think #9 is particularly wealthy…he is far more interested in influence in my humble opinion.

  69. Kevin H says:

    But let’s also keep in mind that power, in and of itself, just like money, is not evil. It’s a matter of how the power is attained and then how it is used.

  70. papias says:

    AV – “Here is what I would like to see. I would like to see pastors stop clogging the shelves with their recycled sermons in printed form to try and earn a few shekels. Put those sermons online for free for the world to enjoy (or ignore).”

    I would tend to agree with this on a personal level, meaning that I would tend to not buy a book that is a collection of sermons. But if someone else wants to, have at ’em.

    My other issue with this subject is the idea that the pastor was paid by the church to prepare the sermons, but makes additonal money off the books.

    I do think this is a VERY small number of pastors. Most are laboring and don’t have the time/resources/skills to write a book, independent of sermons.

  71. Another Voice says:

    Well said Kevin H

    I would add the same is true for women..at least one particular woman for me! 🙂

  72. Another Voice says:

    My other issue with this subject is the idea that the pastor was paid by the church to prepare the sermons, but makes additonal money off the books.
    —————————————————————-
    Amen. Where is MLD to shout Amen with me?

    I believe the term he used was “work product” when this topic came up a couple months ago.

  73. Michael says:

    I want to get back to the prophetic thing I offered.

    The modern era prophet to me is like a weatherman who sees the storms coming and gives the evacuation route.

    I sense a change of the spiritual season and fill a chill despite it being 101 in Medford.

  74. Another Voice says:

    Most are laboring and don’t have the time/resources/skills to write a book, independent of sermons.
    ——————————————————————-
    Funny that the few pastors who do write most of the books seem to be from the larger churches….one would think they might be the busiest, no?

  75. deadmanwalking says:

    My other issue with this subject is the idea that the pastor was paid by the church to prepare the sermons, but makes additonal money off the books.

    ————-

    I know several published authors and there is not much money to be made off of selling Christian books unless they are really well known to begin with. And even then their income from books is minimal.

    And Christian musicians are almost all poor even if they are well known.

  76. papias says:

    Michael, “The modern era prophet to me is like a weatherman who sees the storms coming and gives the evacuation route.”

    That’s one thing I am getting out of listening to Keller’s mp3s on “Preaching Christ to the Postmodern” – the idea of connecting to the audiemce and give them Jesus from the text. Its forcing me to think differently.

  77. judy says:

    Michael: Many people have already moved out of the camp. There is a movement outside the church that is led by God and filled with nobodies, if you measure things by the world’s standards. God has already called up a whole mess of nobodies for the work He has to get done. You don’t have to look too far to find them or to hear what God is saying to them.

    The church doesn’t want to repent. They’ve had cheap grace for so long that they don’t even know what sin is half the time. Hard message, yes. If 90% of Christian men have a porn addiction and are unable to get free of it (and this is what several pastors have told me they know to be true), where is the holiness or fear of God in the church? Where is the repentance from sin? Where is the power of God in their lives? And who, Michael, is going to show them how to get free? Who knows how God works? Who knows how God releases the prisoners? And why are all these men, including our leaders, ensnared in a sin so sick and unable to get free? Why does no one truly understand the power of His resurrection?????

    It is a very sad day for the church. The world is dying and the church is worried about stupid piddly stuff. Same old sermons, mostly powerless. Same old story. Same old programs. Same old videos. Same old TV programs. Same old.

    I am not directing this at you personally, Michael. It’s just my own frustration with a church that is powerless and doesn’t seem to care. Or know.

  78. Another Voice says:

    The modern era prophet to me is like a weatherman who sees the storms coming and gives the evacuation route.
    —————————————————————-
    I disagree, gently.

    Specifically to the evacuation route part, for I see no escape.

    The modern prophet instead is:
    1) preparing the sandbags
    2) building the bomb shelter
    3) boarding up the windows

    In short, preparing the people for what IS going to hit, and hit HARD.

    Matthew 7:24-26 comes to mind…

  79. SHW says:

    Doctrine:

    Bible “Contradictions”

    The Bible is like a finished giant “puzzle” that was perfectly put together by the mind of God. Each individual passage and/or verse about faith and doctrine is true and therefore each one must fit seamlessly with all the other passages/verses in order to be understood correctly.

    So, for example, when one passage/verse states:

    “For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (10:13 of Romans),

    but another states:

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (7:21 of Matthew),

    both of these are true statements even though they seem to contradict each other.

    So, since both are true, then under what circumstance/condition is the first statement true, but not the second one?

    The first statement is true when we first come to the Lord. He saves/justifies us as His free gift of grace to us when we first believe in Him Mark 16:16 He commands us to be baptized (6:11 of 1 Corinthians).

    Under what circumstance/condition is the second statement true, but not the first one?

    The second statement is true when we must prove our faith by our works on Judgment Day because on Judgment Day we are not judged by our faith; instead we are all judged according to our works. The works, whether good or evil, that we do on earth are the true measure of our spiritual state. Matthew 25: 31-46, (2:5-9 of Romans) If we have not been faithful to God’s commands during our sojourn on earth, we will not be approved to inherit eternal life on Judgment Day. (6:9-10 of 1 Corinthians), (5:19-21 of Galatians), (5:5-6 of Ephesians), (3:5-7 of Colossians)

    This is why James states: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” (2:24 of James), (5:6 of Galatians)

    And also: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (1:12 of James) (7:9 of Deuteronomy), (14:21 of John), (2:4 of 1 John)

    Jesus is the source of salvation on Judgment Day for only the persons who obeyed His commandments and it is only these whom He will approve to inherit eternal life. He does not save the persons who disobeyed Him and so they will not be allowed to enter into eternal life. (5:9 of Hebrews) (19:16-19 of Matthew), (1:7-9 of 2 Thessalonians) (22:14 of Revelation) (3:15-16 of Revelation) (2:18-20 of James) (15:6 of John) (33:12-13 of Ezekiel)

    Faith plus (and) works (faith working through love) are both necessary in order for us to be approved to enter into eternal life after we die.

  80. SHW says:

    Matthew 7:19-21 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:”

  81. Another Voice says:

    Oops..didn’t mean to leave out verse 27 from above.

  82. Bill Walden says:

    My reason for the comment about the pastor that was “afraid again”, was that everything was ripped away, and he loved having none of the props that he may have consciously or unconsciously leaned on.

    He was back to having a walk of faith, nothing but faith. The routine of church and ministry was gone, and he needed fresh revelation.

    Michael, your opening post reminded me of that man.
    He was rebooting, and had nothing but Jesus.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
    The fear of man is a snare.
    There is far too little fear of God in His Church, IMO.
    We hear the fearlessness of God in stale sermons and in misbehavior of leaders as well as the rank and file

    When people have a reverential fear of God, the norm is upset, and routine is tossed, the status quo is jettisoned, and the man who fears God is frightening to be around.

    We are simultaneously drawn to him and afraid of him.
    We want the life he has, but we don’t want to take the chances he takes.

    Those kinds of men can speak with a prophetic voice, because they fear no man, only God.

    Michael, amen to your desire for this.

  83. Michael says:

    Bill,

    That was better than my article…well said and amen!

  84. SHW says:

    Judy,

    I agree with you.

    What will happen to these pastors on Judgment Day if they do not repent and stay free from this sexual sin before they die?

    Matthew 7:19-23
    ” “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    These pastors will not be allowed to enter into eternal life. Instead, they will be condemned to hell for eternity.

    Romans 2:5-9
    “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;”

  85. SHW says:

    This is why Jesus states:

    Matthew 5:27-30
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.'[a] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

  86. Bill Walden says:

    Michael, you wrote…
    “We need some prophets…or to go outside the camp.”
    I cant quite understand that one line.
    Could you elaborate a bit?
    Thanks.

  87. Em says:

    Grendal re ; dangerous ground to explore… “How I see it, Jesus doesn’t love america anymore than He loves afganistan, iceland or russia. I’m just convinced that most other religions and heritages…” – perhaps ‘dangerous’ was a bad choice of word – it’s a ‘difficult’-to-put-on-paper concept succinctly – maybe, as a live discussion, not so…
    (i wrote for my grandchildren – it wasn’t a theological treatise, and i am concerned that when i’m dead and gone they’ll say granny was a universalist…)

  88. SHW says:

    People love to quote 2:8-9 of Ephesians, but they neglect 2:10 of Ephesians:

    2:8-9 of Ephesians
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.”

    We have been saved by grace through faith as a free gift from God. Wonderful!

    However, we were saved for a specific purpose and we must fulfill this purpose if we desire to enter into eternal life after we die:

    2:10 of Ephesians
    “10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    People think that Ephesians 2:10 is a suggestion. It is not a suggestion. It is a command. After they are saved, if they desire to inherit eternal life after they die, then they must fulfill God’s command which is “to do the Father’s will” until they die.

    If they do not “do the Father’s will” that God has prepared for each of them to do, then they will not inherit eternal life. People who disobey God’s commandments are not doing the Father’s will and so they will not be approved to enter into eternal life after they die. Instead, they will be condemned to hell for eternity.

    So it is much more helpful for all of us to read this passage in the context in which it was meant:

    “8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    Jesus clearly teaches:

    7:21 of Matthew “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

  89. Em says:

    SHW – may i ask? aside from the cross, itself, what is it that drew you personally to Jesus in the first place?

  90. Em says:

    FWIW – passing comment on the big three discussed above… it sounds to me more like either the big two or the big four … money and power – women and pride … FWIW

  91. Em says:

    another FWIW and, then it’s nap time for me 😆

    J V McGee today spoke of his time pastoring in LA – he was asked to join a committee to clean up Los Angeles – he declined to do so – his logic was that he was called to fish in the pond, not clean it up…

    may be old and told among the preachers here, but was new to me today

  92. Michael says:

    Bill,

    The heat got me and I had to lay down for a while.

    What I mean by that is that the prophetic voices I’m hearing and reading are secular, not sacred.

    When I went on sabbatical I was so fed up with our books and blogs and pods that I was going to read nothing but secular stuff all summer to to keep from being embalmed in the same rut.

  93. SHW says:

    Em,
    Thank you for asking. 🙂

    God loved me first. I responded to His infinite love for me first through the actions of my God-fearing parents who baptized me in the name of the Lord (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) Matthew 28:18-20 when I was eleven days old. (3:3-5 of John)

    After I became a child of God through baptism (I was spiritually regenerated Titus 3:5), my parents taught me Jesus’ commands/gospel. I have tried to serve Him faithfully ever since because I want to be with Him in heaven forever after I die.

    On Judgment Day, I want Him to say to me:

    ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ( 25:23 of Matthew)

  94. Na'amah says:

    AV @ #75 “Funny that the few pastors who do write most of the books seem to be from the larger churches….one would think they might be the busiest, no?”

    They often have a cast of assoc. pastors to pick up those usual busy tasks that may interupt one’s writing time…that is usually scheduled/blocked in the pastor’s appt. book

  95. BrianD says:

    Amen, Michael (your 12:49 p.m. comment).

    There are plenty of good men and women in the ministry. Plenty.

  96. SHW says:

    Salvation is a lifelong process.

    We are saved by grace alone. It is the Holy Spirit’s (God’s) sanctifying grace alone which saves us.

    God must be abiding within our souls (15:10 of John) (15:6 of John) at the time of our deaths in order for us to inherit eternal life. 1 Corinthians 6:11 It is His presence alone within our souls at the time of our deaths which guarantees that we will be saved. 2 Corinthians 1:22

    If He is not abiding within our souls at the exact time of death, then God will not “know” us. (9:27 of Hebrews) If He is not abiding within our souls at the exact time of our deaths, then He destroys/condemns us for eternity. (13:24-28 of Luke) He will even claim on Judgment Day that He never knew us. (7:20-24 of Matthew)

    If we commit grievous sins after we are baptized, (5:22 of Matthew) then the Holy Spirit no longer abides in us ( 5:32 of Acts) because we have defiled His temple (3:16-18 of 1 Corinthians) and grievously insulted Him. (10:26-30 of Hebrews)

    He will not abide in us again unless we repent and confess and do works befitting repentance. (26:20 of Acts) (33:12-20 of Ezekiel)

    If, at the exact time of death, a person’s soul has the Holy Spirit abiding in him, then he will be approved to inherit eternal life. If, at the exact time of death, a person’s soul does not have the Holy Spirit abiding in him, then he will be condemned to eternal hellfire.

    Until the moment we die, we continue to choose by our actions whether we serve Christ or deny Christ. (1:16 of Titus) (10:33 of Matthew)

  97. ( | o )====::: says:

    “If, at the exact time of death, a person’s soul has the Holy Spirit abiding in him, then he will be approved to inherit eternal life. If, at the exact time of death, a person’s soul does not have the Holy Spirit abiding in him, then he will be condemned to eternal hellfire.”

    Sorry, that is the biggest theological line of terrorism I have ever read, and it takes a twisting of a bunch of random bible verses strung together to make up a hellish theology such as it is.

    Assurance is that when Jesus says that all who The Father gives Him, He will lose not one, and His sheep know His Voice, and whosoever will call upon the Lord shall be saved… it all depends on which verses one decides to string together, and I cannot fathom a willy-nilly capricious god who leaves it up to a human to practice the presence of god in such a way that it would satisfy such a henious requirement.

    What of the unconscious person who cannot practice the presence of god in such a way to be able to hold the awareness of the presence of god in his/her mind? What of the child who is of diminished capacity due to illness? What of the heartbroken mother who in a moment of doubt cries out “my god, my god, why have you forsaken me”?

    This construct you offer is not what Jesus came to offer. Jesus said He came to bring life, and that in more abundance than any lawkeeping of Torah or a legalism that Paul and his followers never intended

    ( | o )====:::

  98. Michael says:

    and I absolutely affirm the guitar mans assessment of that theology.

  99. eric says:

    “The corollary question would be: if/when the Holy Spirit raises up His prophets, do we receive them any better than the cultures of old? I wonder if we would actually hear them or merely get riled up about how “judgmental” they are & look for any chink in their armor to take them down.”

    Guess that would depend on how judgemental they are. Most New Testament reformers (Do we have a need for prophets speaking for God when we have God the Holy Spirit soeaking to us?) Were judgemental of the religious system, and thereby reformers.

  100. eric says:

    Is SHW a Catholic? Thats classic works based righteousness. We do good works because we love Him, not to garner salvation points

  101. Bill Walden says:

    Michael…got it. Thanks.

  102. I like Bills illustration of his pastor friend “rebooting”. Thats’ where I am right now. Having walked thru the valley of the shadow of death personally and experienced up close and personally fear and aloneless that accompanies that journey, my faith, my understanding of God and the joy Christ promises is being rebooted.

    I was a man going thru the motions with God and as a pastor. I had no vibrant relationship with Him even though my congregation thought I was some spiritual giant. That is all being rebooted.

    This may sound cliche but more than any prophecy, or bible study, or random passage of scripture quoted to me, the best thing that ever happened to my spiritual life was getting cancer.

    I am still processing it all…much to lear still…but for now,I hope to never be the same self absorbed person I was

  103. Lutheran says:

    Excellently stated, Grendal!

  104. SHW

    Not making a case for sinning after being inhabited by the HS. Transformation is part of the new birth process but your post turns makes Father God look more like “The God Father”

  105. Lutheran says:

    Eric,

    Affirmative.

  106. Believe says:

    Steve H said, “the best thing that ever happened to my spiritual life was getting cancer.”

    That resonates with me Steve. The best thing that ever happened to me was a serious convergence of trials…”the perfect storm”…that washed by castle away…because it was built on the sand.

    Alone, scared to death and crushed…God did the rebuilding. The foundation is the Rock and the storms still come…and will come…however, next time around…I know that what God constructed will weather the storms…and that gives me peace.

  107. deadmanwalking says:

    Heb 1:1:1* ¶ In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2* but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3* The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

  108. Em says:

    SHW, thank you for answering my question – you do have a good grasp IMO of the absolute holiness of God; but, like some others here, i would have to take issue with your aspirations of achieving worthiness thru extreme IMV diligence… however, it won’t keep you out of heaven, i guess, unless you bring it to the Father as righteousness…

    by your measuring rod, i won’t make it, but experientially i know and commune with my wonderful Redeemer and confess my debt to His grace… i, too, “KNOW Whom i have believed and persuaded that He is able to keep that which i’ve committed unto Him against that Day.”

    you are right in having noticed that many have presumed on grace waaay too much in these latter years… God have mercy on our carelessness – not much ‘carelessness’ among those who come here, tho – if you take a step back, a deep breath, you’ll get blessed by the love of God’s Truth here

    God keep

  109. eric says:

    Em-

    Not so sure they have presumed on grace too much, as trampled it underfoot as not enough. All over Christendom are lists of rules Christians keep, you must do this now that your a Christian, and you mustn’t do that…. where is the Awe of the Grace and the expanse thereof? Or a simple understanding that God Loves me no matter what I do, nothing can separate me from the Love of God, nor the Grace of God, not for me But for His righteousness sake. The impossible yoke of the Holiness Doctrine and a Works based righteousness have overtaken the American church to a point we cant even be real with each other for fear others will know we dont measure up….sadly we never will and never can, thank God He did

  110. deadmanwalking says:

    I guess I would have to ask if God did send a prophet, where would he send him??

    With a new denomination forming every week the church is like a delta or a marsh where the water is divided and so shallow that is not moving much. If there is a current somewhere I don’t see it.

  111. judy says:

    I think God would send a prophet to the streets. Hasn’t revival always started outside the organized church and on the street? I would think He’d send him to the same kinds of places that he sent Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, among others.

    And, Eric, if God sent a prophet, most Christians would blow him off. They would consider him negative, too fundamental, and a big downer with big problems. They would also throw him out of church. They would discredit him and do everything they could to render his work useless. They’d humiliate him, shame him, and put him down as a nut job.

    The good news is that personal revival is alive and well in America. It’s happening. It’s not coming from the top. It’s coming from the bottom. People are waking up to righteousness and holiness and they are repenting of their powerless religion and moving under the wings of the father.

  112. eric says:

    But Judy, the Last Prophet God sent spoke words of comfort, and love and grace…He was crucified.

    If you have God inside you speaking to you, why do you need a man outside telling you what God said?

  113. Michael says:

    Same reason we needed a Luther…to bring a crystal clear, God given, anointed voice to the church on certain matters.

  114. deadmanwalking says:

    Living in Lake Elsinore I have personally met several prophets. And I have met at least a half dozen who were one of the two prophets from the Book of Revelation.

    Two prophets said God was going to kill me, the one of the called the Church and left a Message that God to him to kill me and he had bought a gun, and I have not seen or heard from him since.

    Oh yeah God walked into my office one day while I was meeting with a new couple from our church and introduced himself to me, and I just told him it was nice to meet him but was busy at the moment and I showed him out the door. He came back often wanting to make announcements at our church.. We didn’t let him in..

  115. Michael says:

    I think men like Tyndale, Hus, Luther, Calvin and others , while not being capital “P” prophets, spoke prophetically to the church.

    Those are the sort of men I’m talking about.

  116. Em says:

    eric, your words are a very sobering ponder… is it equally …
    i can think of a lot of adverbs, but let me just ask, is it equally ‘wrong ‘to use the grace card to cover wanton sin as it is to self justify with acts that we believe are demanded by God as a redeeming justification of our souls?

  117. Em says:

    after killing the thread here, i’m going to call it a day…

    the kids can come out now… 😆

    God keep all close

  118. deadmanwalking says:

    At the start of the Reformation it looks to me that the attempt was to go back upstream to reclaim the truth that was lost along the way. It seems today that the Protestant have now lost their way. It is a lot of people looking to lay claim to some part of the swamp of stagnant waters and few are looking to go back to the fountainhead

    Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water

  119. eric says:

    DMW’s on a roll!!

  120. Na'amah says:

    @ #115 DMW “Oh yeah God walked into my office one day while I was meeting with a new couple from our church and introduced himself to me, and I just told him it was nice to meet him but was busy at the moment and I showed him out the door. He came back often wanting to make announcements at our church.. We didn’t let him in..

    you’ve met Lightening Amen? I believe he resides in your neck of the woods in California. I had to interact w “god” in a court proceedings a few years back.

    ( | o )====::: and Michael, Eric, DMW and others THANK YOU for your words in response to SHW’s interpretation of what our relationship w our heavenly Father entails. I accept that this is SHW’s relationship w our Father and it has worked for him/her. And one of the very things that brought me to desire to be a part of the fellowship of Christ was the experience of being loved w/out FEAR by the professing Christians in my life for the 1st time in my life…

  121. Another Voice says:

    I think men like Tyndale, Hus, Luther, Calvin and others , while not being capital “P” prophets, spoke prophetically to the church.
    ————————————–
    Tyndale and Hus were martyred.
    Luther was certainly a wanted man in his day and would have been killed outside of his circle of protection.
    Even Calvin was kicked out of Geneva if memory serves and certainly a polarizing figure for the church throughout his life.

    I detect a pattern…

  122. Michael says:

    No doubt…but God raised them up when we needed them.

    Do it again, Lord…

  123. Fred says:

    Tyndale – translate the bible so the common man could read for self and not require church to do it for him, heresy. And opposed kings divorce on scriptural grounds, really heresy.

    Hus -Came against church leadership position and the Eucharist saying they were not according to biblical standards. Results heresy, burned at the stake by church.

    Luther – Did not like raising money for Popes personal projects and the lying to people about it. – Heresy chased him and church would have put to death, if they could.

    Calvin – Took stand against doctrine of church

    Common thread here is these people went against the established church and they were biblical literate. Also they did not go against the common man.

    So when does the church grow to such a monolith size it needs to be reformed?

    Go Alex (Believe)!

  124. deadmanwalking says:

    Na’amah—

    —-
    was he the same guy that thought he was the son of Albert Einstein and had a flying saucer in the mountians??. And would from time to time break all the windows on main street and then swim out to the middle of the Lake naked?… The police here knew when all the windows were broken they would have to get a boat and go get him..

    Elsinore is like Orange County now.. Hasn’t been much fun for a long time. The interesting people all move out and normal people have taken over.. I feel like maybe I should get out of town and find out where all the crazies went.

  125. Na'amah says:

    lolol DMW Lightening Amen had approx 8 women w/in the computer programming community handing their paychecks to him while they and their children lived in ‘cottages’ in LE w/out electricity and running water, dressed in matching 1890’s attire and were happy, content, peaceful and ‘filled w the Holy Spirit Lighten Amen has approx. 20+ aliases, a rapsheet that could be used as a yardstick and says he is Jesus Christ returned

  126. Na'amah says:

    so all the ‘normals’ have not left LE yet….but then i have not had to mediate any child custody issues w his women and the fathers of Lightening Amen’s followers for approx 4 yrs. He may have moved on to a less ‘normal’ area

  127. Captain Kevin says:

    FIRST!!!!

    Just getting a head start on tomorrow.

  128. Na'amah says:

    Captain Kevin lolol

  129. London says:

    AV per your #63…
    How’d you know that’s the direction you were supposed to go – from making money to giv away to other folks that were “doing the work” to being the one “doing the work”?
    What thought process did you go through?
    Did you make a conscisous choice or did it just “happen”?
    Do you ever feel guity that you’ve gone from a position of funding others to being funded? That kind of thing….

    May be a conversation we ought to have off line instead of clutter up this thread, but I’d really like to hear the steps you took and the thinking behind that decision of you don’t mind sharing…

    my email is inlondonengland at yahoo dot co dot uk

    thnx

  130. brian says:

    One thing I have always struggled with, Can God save? From the cheep seats the answer is honestly no, not at all. almost everyone on the planet, almost every single human soul has to be lost, from the foundations of the world. Basically God will save maybe .000000000000001% of humanity and that is on a good day. The rest will burn. Granted I swim at the very shallow end of the spiritual pool but I think God can save, and wants to save. How totally pathetic is that? I know I sound like a broken record, but from where I sit, it really is not very good news, not at all.

  131. ( | o )====::: says:

    brian,
    If I read your post correctly then the writer of John’s gospel could be understood to say,
    “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him,” that being .000000000000001% of humanity, “should not perish but have everlasting life”

    either that is very sobering or there’s something else going on and the whosoever is only part of the equation.

    To leave it solely up to a small percentage of humanity who will hear the story of Jesus and put faith in that story to be true to the point of worshiping Him as God, builds a case for some extraordinary and far reaching mercy & grace beyond just this one facet of the loving kindness of God.

    …but what that is I can only hope in such grace & mercy based on His character and love for His creation, especially humans. If He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads and knows if a sparrow falls from an olive tree in Jerusalem at 2:57pm local time, then Jesus is painting a picture of His Father Who is intimately involved with His creation, caring, doting, paying attention. If He goes on to illustrate Him as being the Good Shepherd and leaves the secure flock to seek out and save the single lost lamb from sure death, then that is the image He wants us to have of His Father, the one who He also tells of welcoming the prodigal by running to Him and embracing him to the point of throwing a party.

    I think that, thankfully, increases the #s dramatically of those other parts of the story are to be believed

  132. ( | o )====::: says:

    sorry, that should read “IF those other parts of the story are to be believed”

  133. ( | o )====::: says:

    …and, may i add by implication, they are to be believed 😉

  134. Linnea says:

    CK…you salty dog!

  135. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    RE: “Assurance is that when Jesus says that all who The Father gives Him, He will lose not one, and His sheep know His Voice, and whosoever will call upon the Lord shall be saved… it all depends on which verses one decides to string together, and I cannot fathom a willy-nilly capricious god who leaves it up to a human to practice the presence of god in such a way that it would satisfy such a henious requirement.”

    REPLY: The people who are going to inherit eternal life were already put into the Father’s hand before the foundation of the world. The people whom the Father gave Jesus were already given to Him before the foundation of the world. This “choosing” of the “elect” was done according to God’s foreknowledge. Whom did He choose to be His elect? He chose “all who fear Him and work righteousness” until their deaths. (10:34-35 of Acts) (24:12-13 of Matthew)

    God is omniscient. He knows all things. The elect were chosen according to God’s foreknowledge. He knew which persons would inherit eternal life before He created them and He predestined these persons and these are His elect. (1:1-2 of Peter) Peter calls all members of the Church “elect” as an encouragement, but only God knows who His elect truly are. We individuals do not find out for sure whether we are members of God’s elect (or not) until we are judged after we die. (9:27 of Hebrews) (16:22-23 of Luke)

    We do not know for sure who the elect are, only God knows, and He has always known.

    Peter tells his flock to do certain things so that they will “make their call and election sure.” (1:3-11 of 2 Peter) He would not need to tell them this if they were already guaranteed to inherit eternal life. He also would not need to warn them about the “devil who is like a roaring lion and that he goes about the world seeking the destruction of their souls” if they were already guaranteed eternal life. (5:8 of 1 Peter) (9:27 of 1 Corinthians)

    Jesus teaches that “few” people are saved. I believe Him. (13:22-27 of Luke)

    RE: “What of the unconscious person who cannot practice the presence of god in such a way to be able to hold the awareness of the presence of god in his/her mind? What of the child who is of diminished capacity due to illness? What of the heartbroken mother who in a moment of doubt cries out “my god, my god, why have you forsaken me”?”

    REPLY: Either God is dwelling within (abiding in) our souls or He is not. His presence is not dependent on whether we are “aware” of His presence. His presence is not dependent on our “feelings” or “emotions.” If we have been baptized and have not committed grievous sins since our baptisms, then He is abiding within our souls. If we have been baptized and have committed grievous sins, but have repented of them, then He is abiding within our souls.

    The heart-broken mother has not committed a grievous sin when she cries out, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” This is actually the same prayer that Jesus prayed on the cross. (22:1 of Psalm) Jesus chose to be abandoned by His Father for this “moment” so that His suffering for us would be perfect and complete, (no suffering could possibly be worse or more painful for Him than to be separated from His Father’s fellowship), but God never, ever leaves us or forsakes us for as long as we live. (13:5 of Hebrews)

    A person is separated from Him only when he is condemned to hell. God cannot abide in darkness. (1:5 of 1 John) Until a wicked person dies, God is continually calling him to repent. God is faithful to us even when we are not. (2:11-14 of 2 Timothy)

  136. SHW says:

    Eric,

    Yes, I am Catholic. 🙂

    I do the good works that God has prepared for me (His will for me) because this is what God commands of me and it is for this purpose He saved me by His grace. Works done for any other reason are worthless. It is Him working in me who accomplishes these good works. I can no good works by myself.

    2:8-10 of Ephesians “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

    I must fulfill the Father’s will (I must do the good works that He has prepared for me to do) if I desire to enter into eternal life. ( 7:20-23 of Matthew) In the parable, the son who later obeyed his father’s command is the one who did his father’s will. The son who said that he would work in the vineyard, but did not, is the disobedient son and he did not do his father’s will.

    21:28-31 of Matthew “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” (12:50 of Matthew)

    “Faith working through love” is what saves us and makes us “worthy” to inherit eternal life. (5:6 of Galatians) ( 2:24 of James) (2:19-22 of James) (3:4 of Revelation) “Faith alone” does not save us. The demons “believe” that God is (I AM), but they did not “obey” Him so they are condemned for eternity. Faith without works is worthless faith. (3:15-16 of Revelation)

  137. ( |o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    Sorry, am posting via iPhone, not blog friendly technology so I’ll have to get back to ya in depth later.

    I’ll say this much, I checked your site and I cannot agree with your premises nor conclusions. The assurance of the followers of Jesus is what motivates us to continue to follow & to do love & good works. We respond to God Who is the lover of our souls. What wife would ever think her husband loves her if she were in constant terror of his rejection.

    Your theology is an airtight legal presentation but lacks any aspect of love, which is why I shall be a strong voice against what you come here to represent.

    Having said that, I offer you a friendship as disagreeing fellow travelers on this spiritual journey with Jesus

  138. Lutheran says:

    One of the things I find sad about SHW’s brand of hard-shell, medieval, preReformation Catholicism is this:

    It’s like those who hold her position are on the 5-yard line near her team’s end zone, screaming and demanding that the football be returned to the 5.

    Meanwhile, both teams long ago marched up the field and are in fact far up the field. Here’s a large group of Catholic scholars who admit that Luther’s reforms were necessary to correct the deep corruption in the late medieval Church. Here are the Catholics and evangelicals who penned the “Catholics and Evangelicals Together” document a few years ago.

    Those are just two examples. There are many more.

    I think you catch the drift.

  139. SHW says:

    Steve Hopkins

    Hello, 🙂

    RE: “Not making a case for sinning after being inhabited by the HS. Transformation is part of the new birth process but your post turns makes Father God look more like “The God Father”

    REPLY: Well, the apostles and disciples warned us in Scripture that we must “continue” in the faith if we desire to enter into eternal life so I do take their admonitions seriously.

    11:22 of Romans “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” (11:23 of Acts), (13:43 of Acts), (2:42 of Acts), (4:16 of 1 Timothy) (3:14 of 2 Timothy) (5:13 of 1 John)

    1:16-18 of 1 Peter “because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
    17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,”

    12:1 of Romans “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

    9:27 of 1 Corinthians “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

  140. SHW says:

    Em.

    RE: “…like some others here, i would have to take issue with your aspirations of achieving worthiness thru extreme IMV diligence… however, it won’t keep you out of heaven, i guess, unless you bring it to the Father as righteousness…”

    REPLY: Please see post # 138.

    I can do no “good” by myself. It is God working in me who does the “good.” James 4:6-7 I submit to Him and obey Him. God does the rest.

  141. Michael says:

    Verse 29: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” What does “foreknew” mean? Some have taken it to mean that God simply foresees who will believe on him and these are the ones he predestines to be like Jesus. But this assumes two things that are not true. One is that the faith God foresees is ultimately and decisively our work, not his work. In other words, the point of this interpretation is that God does not cause our faith, he only foresees the faith which we cause.

    Now this is not what the Bible teaches, not elsewhere (Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Matthew 16:17), nor here in the context. When Paul says in Romans 8:30, “Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified,” he means all the called are justified. But to be justified we must believe (Romans 5:1). So he is saying all those who are called believe and are justified. But how can he say ALL who are called believe? The reason, as I tried to show in the exposition of “called” in verse 28, is that the call is the powerful work of God to bring about what he demands. It’s an effective call. It’s a call that creates what it commands. It’s a call like “Lazarus, come forth!” and the dead man lives. So the point is, believing for justification is not some thing I do on my own. God enables me. God empowers me. I must do it. Believing is something I do. But my doing is a gift of God. I do not take ultimate credit for it. I thank God for it. I am saved by sovereign grace from first to last.

    So it is wrong to assume that when Romans 8:29 says, “God foreknew” some, it means he simply foresaw that they would believe by their own power. He gave that power, and so some something more is going on here than the mere foreseeing of what we do.

    Here’s the other mistaken assumption of this view. It assumes that the meaning of “foreknowing” is not the meaning it has in many Old and New Testament texts that would give a more coherent meaning to this passage. Listen to these uses of “know” and ask yourself what each means. In Genesis 18:19 God says of Abraham, “I have known him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord.” Virtually all the English versions translate this, “I have chosen him.” In Amos 3:2 God says to the people of Israel, “You only have I known among all the families of the earth.” He knew about all the families, but only chose Israel. In Matthew 7:23 Jesus said to the hypocrites at the judgment day, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” Psalm 1:6 says, “The Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.” He knows about the way of the wicked too. But he knows the way of the righteous in the sense of approving and recognizing and loving. In Hosea 13:5 God says to Israel, “I knew you in the wilderness, In the land of drought,” meaning he took note of your plight and cared for you. And Genesis 4:1 says, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.” That is, he made her his, and knew her intimately and loved her.

    Because of all those texts I think John Stott and John Murray are exactly right when both of them say, “”Know’ . . . is used in a sense practically synonymous with “love’ . . . “Whom he foreknow’ . . . is therefore virtually equivalent to “whom he foreloved.'” Foreknowledge, is “sovereign , distinguishing love” (John Stott, quoting Murray, Romans, p. 249). It’s virtually the same as set your affection on and choose for your own.

    So the meaning of the first act of God in Romans 8:29 is that God foreknows his own people in the sense that he chooses them and loves them and cares for them. Paul will speak of this later in the language of “choosing” or “election” (Romans 8:33; 9:11; 11:5,7).

    All things will work together for your good if you are called, and love God, because, as verse 29 says, God has known you, and chosen you, and loved you, from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4f; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8; 17:8)

    “He Also Predestined”

    The second act of God done long ago to put certainty under the promise that all things will work for your God is “he predestined.” “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined.” This simply means that, having chosen you for his own and set his love on you and cared for you before you ever existed, he decided what would become of you, namely, you would be conformed to the image of his Son.

    “Predestine” means decide or ordain ahead of time what destiny you will have. And the reason this verse puts such a massive foundation under the promise of Romans 8:28 is that that those who love God and are called according to his promise are destined to be like Jesus — destined to be conformed to the image Christ. All things work together for your good because you were chosen and loved before you existed, and the way his choice and love expresses itself is in ordaining for you an unspeakably great future, namely, to be like Christ. All things work for your good because all things work to make you like Jesus. For this you were loved, and for this your predestined.

  142. SHW says:

    Michael

    RE: “Same reason we needed a Luther…to bring a crystal clear, God given, anointed voice to the church on certain matters.”

    I believe James rather than Luther:

    James 2:24 “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

    I believe Paul rather than Luther:

    5:6 of Galatians “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”

    13:5 of 2 Corinthians “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

    How do we know if Jesus Christ is in us? How can we know if we are disqualified?

    Only those persons who “obey” God’s commands have the Holy Spirit (and the Father and the Son) abiding in them. (12:26 of John), (17:21 of John)

    5:32 of Acts “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

    Grievous Sin defiles our souls (the temple of God) and the Holy Spirit does not abide in a temple that has been defiled ( 3:16-18 of 1 Corinthians) (10:26-30 of Hebrews) by these types of sins: (5:5-7 of Ephesians), (3:5-7 of Colossians), (5:19-21 of Galatians)

    The writer of Hebrews even uses hyperbole to stress the seriousness of the offense of grievous sins:

    6:4-6 of Hebrews “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”

    Peter compares these persons, who sin grievous sins after baptism, to “fools” and “dumb animals.”

    2:20-22 of 2 Peter “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,”[a] and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” (26:11 of Proverbs)

    I am in good company with the apostles. I will stay with them. 🙂

  143. ( |o )====::: says:

    I’m sitting in the back of a men’s meeting, hearing the prayers of broken, hurting, tired guys who are leaning on Jesus the best they can. All who are here cling to the promises of Jesus that they are His :: now :: never to be rejected by Him.

    This is why the followers of Jesus reject the notions of any theology that ignores the assurances brought by Jesus

  144. Michael says:

    SWH,

    The apostles taught the whole counsel of God…you do not.

    Your presentation is a false Gospel based on your works and your righteousness, not the righteousness that was given to us based on the perfect life and substitutionary death of our Savior.

    I fear for you when you show up in heaven clothed in your filthy rags expecting entrance to the banquet.

    I rest in the finished work of Christ on my behalf and the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit to sanctify me.

    To accompany your tradition you also depend on “The Treasury of Merit”, indulgences, purgatory,and other such nonsense that the apostles never knew of…all to somehow make clean what has already been washed in the blood of Christ.

  145. ( |o )====::: says:

    Help me with this, Peter Paul Christian,
    What basis can you cite from Jesus in the Gospels that supports the notion that Zhus death on the cross & sacrifice for sin would be effectual for only the sins UP TO the moment of one if His follower’s repentance?

  146. Xenia says:

    Then I guess I believe a “false gospel” too because I pretty much agree with SWH.

    Bye.

  147. ( |o )====::: says:

    The 4 Gospels illustrate the life of Jesus and His teaching. How can anyone arrive St the idea that He made eternal life dependent on human works to assure us that we are kept by those works. We do good works because they evidence our relationship with Jesus, because we abide in Him. The Jewish approach to the story is to see God’s care, his approach to always working His garden. When we hold faith in our works we are likened to vines apart from Him, fruitless. But to insist we are going to be thrown into the fire because we are “fit” for it ignores all of the rest of the body of teaching and example of Jesus’ life & ministry.

  148. Em says:

    i think that many of the admonitions to grow as Spirit-born believers in this present life and the warnings to not let sin get between us and God (stopping our ‘growing’) gets mis-applied to our salvation. One is a state of affairs, the other is an unchangeable fact.

  149. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    Thank you for checking out my website. My pen name is Peter Paul Christian. Thank you for your offer of friendship. I accept your kind offer and I offer you my friendship, too. 🙂

    RE: “The assurance of the followers of Jesus is what motivates us to continue to follow & to do love & good works. We respond to God Who is the lover of our souls. What wife would ever think her husband loves her if she were in constant terror of his rejection.”

    REPLY:
    5:24 of John “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

    6:47 of John “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

    How does a person “believe” in Jesus?

    A person who believes in Jesus “obeys” Him. Unless there is obedience to Jesus’ commands, there is no belief in Him. (3:18-19 of Hebrews)

    What must we do “daily” to prove/show that we truly believe in Him?

    9:23 of Luke “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

    We must deny ourselves (our flesh) and instead follow Him in obedience to His Father’s commands even if this obedience causes our own deaths. (2:8 of Philippians)

    And if we do not take up our cross daily and follow Him in righteousness (do the will of His Father), then what will happen?

    10:38 of Matthew “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

    If He does not find us worthy/faithful, (4:2 of 1 Corinthians), then He will not approve us to enter into eternal life after we die. (1:12 of James)

    8:34 of John “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” (6:15-16 of Romans)

    If we listen to the Spirit and do righteous works, then we are indeed following Him and we can truthfully say that we are being led by the Spirit and that we walk in His ways. (8:14 of Romans)

    We are judged by no law at all when we live in obedience to God’s commandments. However, if we disobey His commandments, then we are judged by the Royal Law and because we “transgressed” this law, we will then face the consequences of “breaking” this law. Royal Law: (8:14 of Romans), (2:8-9 of James)

    If we listen to our own flesh (7:20-23 of Mark) and/or to the demons (3:5 of 1 Thessalonians) and do evil works, then we are following Satan. When we sin, we are not following the Holy Spirit and we are not being led by Him. (2:2 of Ephesians)

    What we have on earth is “hope of eternal life.” We do not have “guarantee of eternal life.”

    3:7 of Titus “that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

    Hope is for something not yet received. (8:24 of Romans) Hope is not a guarantee that you will receive it.

    6:10-12 of Hebrews “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

    Hope of eternal life is not a guarantee of eternal life.

    Example of “hope:”
    Even though I had hoped to win the race last Saturday, I stumbled and fell and so I did not win the race. My hope was in vain since I lost the race. (9:24-25 of 1 Corinthians) I did not obtain what I had hoped for because I stumbled and fell.

    Likewise, Christians who stumble and fall away from the faith because they commit sins of the flesh (6:9-10 of 1 Corinthians) will not enter into eternal life (unless they repent before they die). (1:2-11 of 2 Peter)

    When Adam sinned, one of the punishments for his sin (besides death) was that he and none of his descendants could have “hope” to enter into “eternal life.” The gates of heaven were closed (tree of life was off-limits) and this is why Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom after he died (the rich man was in hell).

    No one could enter into heaven until after Jesus died on the cross and this is because only He could re-open the gates of heaven and it took His death on the cross to re-open them. (3:13 of John) Because of Jesus’ death and the consequent re-opening of the gates of heaven, all of us can now have hope of inheriting eternal life after we die.

    It is our own actions/choices on earth determine whether we actually receive the “end of our hope” (eternal life) after we die. (3:5-11 of Hebrews)

    22:14 of Revelation “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”

  150. SHW says:

    Lutheran,

    RE: “Here’s a large group of Catholic scholars who admit that Luther’s reforms were necessary to correct the deep corruption in the late medieval Church.”

    Reforming corruption, yes, changes were definitely needed. Changing doctrine to fit Luther’s own interpretation of Scripture, no, this was definitely not desirable. 🙂

  151. ( |o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    To be fair to you as a newcomer I need to let you know that my focus us entirely on the 4 Gospels & Jesus so, though I respect the books & writings that follow the Gospels, my basis for understanding Jesus puts Him & the gospels first, and when I find texts brought from anywhere else to support a theology that I understand as counter to Jesus then I put those aside to ficus solely in Him.

    Having said that I’m glad you acknowledge those verses you quoted…

    5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

    6:47 of John “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

    How does a person “believe” in Jesus?
    “Believe” means to “trust in, rely upon, cling to”

    Jesus’ followers added commentary which needs to be ignored for sake of staying true to Him alone.

    My assurance doesn’t include all the other stuff, just a reliance of His ability to do what He says because of Who He is.

    That means, even if I never partake in the sacraments, never give alms, never go to confession, just as the other criminal Jesus assured apart from his trust in Jesus, He says to us, “This day you will be with me”

    The criminal could do no act other than have trust in Jesus, and that is where I solely place my trust. If any good works proceed from my relationship with Jesus it is because of the fruitful bounty of His grace in my life

  152. ( |o )====::: says:

    Ok, trying to do this from my iPhone in a teeny screen with crazy autocomplete is rendering my posts randomly edited so I’ll check back later

    I’ll just say, the thief on the cross’s good works of faith shall ever be my model

  153. Em says:

    Grendal, “The criminal could do no act other than have trust in Jesus…”
    that’s the key, he couldn’t to more and God knows the hearts and circumstances of us all – He expects more of those who are in a position to grow and mature to do so (which will = fruit). Only He knows how much each of us can gather ourselves to yield and serve – why does it seem to so many Believers that He honors our efforts that are born out of our need to ‘feel justified’ or that seek it by our works?

    He expects us to confess our sins, yes – specifically and constantly as we can – He can take it from there IMX

    there’s a fire going gangbusters thru a wildlife and big tree area here right now – hot and dry and winds forecast

    we are in great jeopardy after a wet, grass growing spring and early summer… prayer appreciated, really, really appreciated

  154. eric says:

    Its so typical of the human spirit to return to what we can do… when will we ever learn it aint what we can do, its what He did…if its all about doing the Mormons have us beat in spades and we should all get sackcloth and ashes and give up.

  155. SHW says:

    Michael,

    RE: “Verse 29: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” What does “foreknew” mean? Some have taken it to mean that God simply foresees who will believe on him and these are the ones he predestines to be like Jesus. But this assumes two things that are not true. One is that the faith God foresees is ultimately and decisively our work, not his work. In other words, the point of this interpretation is that God does not cause our faith, he only foresees the faith which we cause.”

    REPLY: God “foreknew” and “knows” only the persons who will be in heaven with Him for eternity. He never “foreknew” and He does not “know” any of the persons who will not be in heaven with Him for eternity.

    The work of faith is God’s work. (10:17 of Romans), (12:3 of Romans) He calls all of us and He desires for all of us to be saved and so Jesus died as a ransom for all mankind in order to make this possible. (2:3-7 of 1 Timothy)

    If we submit to Him and obey Him until the instant of death (no matter how many detours we take away from Him, if we return to Him before the instant of death), then we will inherit eternal life. (3:9 of 2 Peter), (25:13 of Matthew)

    God “knows” on Judgment Day “only” the persons who were in spiritual fellowship with Him at the time of their deaths. He does not “know” (13:24-28 of Luke) (25:1-13 of Matthew) and He even claims that He “never knew” the persons who were not in spiritual fellowship with Him at the time of their deaths. (7:20-24 of Matthew) (33:12-20 of Ezekiel)

    8:29-31 of Romans “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

    I will use the term “foresaw” to make it easier for us to understand, but in reality; God knows everything about everything: past, present, and future; all the time and all at the same time.

    Those whom God “foresaw” before the foundation of the world (4:3 of Hebrews), who at the time of their deaths had the indwelling Holy Spirit in the temple of their souls, these persons only did He predestine to eternal life.

    God did not “predestine” any person who did not have the Holy Spirit abiding in his soul/temple at the time of his death. “Predestine” is only used in a positive sense when speaking of salvation. So are “foreknew,” “know,” and “knew.” No person can be predestined to hell; however, he can be condemned to hell as a result of his own choices. (3:10-12 of Titus), (5:9 of James)

    So, every person that God “predestined” as a result of/according to His “foreknowledge” (1:2 of 1 Peter), He also “called,” “justified,” and “glorified.” He calls these “predestined” persons His “elect.”

    But, He “calls” every person and this is because He “desires for all men to be saved” and Jesus “died as a ransom for all.”

    Some people whom God “calls” do not choose to answer His call and so they do not come to repentance. Since they do not come to repentance and baptism, they are not justified, and since they are not justified, they will also not be glorified (they will not inherit eternal life after they die). (22:11-14 of Matthew)

    Some people whom God “calls” do choose to answer/obey His call and so they do come to repentance and baptism and therefore they become His disciples. So, these people have been “called” and “justified.”

    But, these people do not continue in the faith (they fall away through disobedience to God’s commandments and they do not repent before death) and so they are not glorified (they will not inherit eternal life after they die). (8:13 of Luke)

    A “few” people whom God “calls” choose to answer His “call” and so they become “justified” through baptism. But, these people keep themselves in the love of God (1:20-23 of Jude) for their entire lives until they die and so they alone are glorified (they inherit eternal life after they die).

    God called some people whom He did not justify (according to His foreknowledge). He also called some people whom He did justify, but He did not glorify them (according to His foreknowledge).

    The persons whom God predestined according to His foreknowledge, He also called, justified, and glorified. It is only these persons who will spend eternity with Him in heaven.

  156. eric says:

    em-
    prayers ascending

  157. Michael says:

    SHW,

    Romans 8 is clear.

    Those he “foreknew” (set His love upon in eternity past) are already positionally glorified by God.

    According to Romans 9 it was not on the basis of foreseen faith or works but on the basis of God’s good pleasure.

    John 6 tells us that ALL who are called WILL come and ALL who come WILL be raised up on the last day, because He will lose NONE of them.

    I’ll take His word for that and you can hope like hell you don’t forget a sin of omission or commission before you die.

    Trusting in your works is spiritual suicide.

  158. ( | o )====::: says:

    em,
    get outta there if you’re anywhere in danger!
    prayin’ too

  159. SHW says:

    Michael,

    RE: “The apostles taught the whole counsel of God…you do not.

    Your presentation is a false Gospel based on your works and your righteousness, not the righteousness that was given to us based on the perfect life and substitutionary death of our Savior.

    I fear for you when you show up in heaven clothed in your filthy rags expecting entrance to the banquet.

    I rest in the finished work of Christ on my behalf and the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit to sanctify me.

    To accompany your tradition you also depend on “The Treasury of Merit”, indulgences, purgatory,and other such nonsense that the apostles never knew of…all to somehow make clean what has already been washed in the blood of Christ.”

    REPLY: I hope that you do realize that this is your own opinion based upon your own understanding. Perhaps it is my understanding that is the correct one and not yours. 🙂 However, God knows the truth, and He will judge both of us according to His own ways. Ezekiel 33:12-20

    I do appreciate and thank you for allowing me to present “my” understanding of the Scriptures on “your” blog. 🙂

  160. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    All I can say is if you’re right I’m going to become a Buddhist

    actually, most of my Buddhist friends already think I am one, with a Jesus fixation 😉

  161. Believe says:

    Praying for you Em…

  162. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    RE: “What basis can you cite from Jesus in the Gospels that supports the notion that Zhus death on the cross & sacrifice for sin would be effectual for only the sins UP TO the moment of one if His follower’s repentance?”

    It would help me to better answer your question if you would please cite the Scripture(s) that support your own understanding that Jesus’ sacrifice guarantees your entrance into heaven after you die and that this “guaranteed inheritance” is not dependent upon any action of your own. In other words, please show me the Scriptures that you believe “prove” OSAS (or Eternal Security). Thank you.

    I have cited several Scriptures in past posts that have addressed this topic. Perhaps you missed them. Here are a few:

    Hebrews 10:26-30, Hebrews 6:4-6, 1 Timothy 4:16

  163. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    RE: “The criminal could do no act other than have trust in Jesus, and that is where I solely place my trust. If any good works proceed from my relationship with Jesus it is because of the fruitful bounty of His grace in my life”

    The criminal on the cross had no time to do any good work except to acknowledge Jesus and His kingdom and that was definitely enough to save him. This was an extraordinary circumstance.

    However, for most of us who are never put into a situation such as this one, Scripture tells us that we must do works worthy of repentance. Acts 26:20, Revelation 2:1-7, Matthew 3:7-9

  164. Lutheran says:

    ‘Reforming corruption, yes, changes were definitely needed. Changing doctrine to fit Luther’s own interpretation of Scripture, no, this was definitely not desirable’

    If you knew the smallest bit of history about Luther and the Reformation, you would know better than to make such an ignorant assertion.

  165. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    No, I saw them, but I put all the other bible passages into a different catagory, like I shared earlier. I depend solely on the 4 gospels and everything, even other bible passages, are on a less authoritative level for me. Those 4 are where the source of my understanding of Jesus resides. When I was a young man in my teens beginning my faith journey one of my parish priests told me, “To get to know Jesus, read the gospels, and you will know your faith & understand all you need to know about The Father & The Holy Spirit”.

    That sage advice has served me well and those 4 gospels are what I cling to and have for the past almost 40 years of being Jesus’ follower, even when I was for a season the most strident protestant evangelical. Jesus’ words of assurance shall be my only assurance. Anyone elses’ words of un-assurance (not a word but, what the heck), I now set aside in the “for further inquiry” folder to keep my faith in Jesus simple.

    But thanks anyhow.

  166. ( | o )====::: says:

    OBAABA…
    (no not that guy in the White House)
    rather

    Once
    Born
    Again
    Always
    Born
    Again

  167. SHW says:

    Michael,

    RE: “Those he “foreknew” (set His love upon in eternity past) are already positionally glorified by God.”

    REPLY: Those He foreknew (according to His foreknowledge of their faithfulness/obedience to Him) are already positionally glorified by God.

    9 of Romans is a difficult passage.

    9:15-24 of Romans “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

    7:3 of Exodus “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.”

    These Scripture passages seem to state that God denied Pharaoh free will but God does not actually deny Pharaoh the use of his free will. God can not take back His gift of free will which He gave to all mankind because to deprive man of his free will would be against His divine nature and He cannot do anything contrary to His divine nature. Instead, these Scripture passages depict God’s mercy. (33:19 of Exodus) God’s mercy is not unjust, but we do not fully understand how God uses His mercy to fulfill His own purposes or why He does the things in the manner that He does them.

    Israel did not deserve God’s mercy. Pharaoh did not deserve God’s mercy. No one deserves His mercy. Mercy is a gift. “Whom He hardens” does not mean that God forced Pharaoh against his will to disobey Him. God desires for all men to be saved. (3:9 of 2 Peter) God foresaw the character of Pharaoh and God foresaw that Pharaoh would harden his heart when he heard God’s commands. Without cooperation with God’s mercy and grace, a person will continue to sin and he will stubbornly refuse to repent. This stubborn impenitency is called “hardening of the heart.”

    God did not literally force Pharaoh to disobey His commands. Pharaoh did not want to obey God when he heard what God commanded and therefore he hardened his own heart against Him. Pharaoh exalted himself above God. Pharaoh gave in to Satan’s temptations to sin against God because of his own selfish desires (7:21-23 of Mark) and so he used his own free will and chose to disobey God. It is true that God appointed this particular Pharaoh to be in power at this time in history in order to fulfill God’s purpose (plan of salvation). (13:1 of Romans)

    We do not understand exactly how God accomplishes His will, but we do know that He never compromises the free will of mankind in order to accomplish His will. (4:6-7 of James), (10:13 of 1 Corinthians) What Paul is saying is that we should not question God’s purpose (His will), (11:2 of Luke) nor should we question His manner of doing things, because His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. (55:7-9
    of Isaiah)

    Commentary from the Navarre Bible: “God is not unjust, Paul says, when he distributes his grace unequally among men (vv. 14-18). He has mercy on whomever he chooses without that meaning he is unfair. However, if a person in the exercise of his freedom rejects God’s gifts, God respects that decision. Therefore, when Paul says that God “hardens the heart of whomever he wills” (v.18), this should be read as a typically biblical way of speaking–attributing to God’s action things that he merely permits. A sinner is always responsible for his own hardness of heart. End of Commentary.****

    See also (9:15-18 of Exodus), (3:14-16 of Hebrews)

    (8:15 of Exodus) “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.”

    Here, we see that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

    (1:13 of James) “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.”

    God is love and God is all-good, so He can never do evil. Evil is contrary to His Divine Nature. (19:17 of Matthew), (4:8 of 1 John) God does allow us to be temped by demons and tested by trials/tribulations to prove whether our faith is genuine or not. (10:13 of 1 Corinthians), (2:17-18 of Hebrews), (1:11-13 of Mark), (4:13 of Luke)

    Some persons blame others for their own sinful actions instead of themselves. A student caught cheating might say to his teacher, “You made me cheat on the test because you made the test too hard.” Or in other words, “You made me cheat. It’s your fault that I cheated.” So Pharaoh perhaps hardened his own heart because he was jealous of God’s mercy towards the Israelites. It would be like Pharaoh saying, “It is God’s fault that I hardened my heart towards the Israelites because it is His fault that I am jealous. Because God favored the Israelites over the Egyptians, God is not fair so I will not let the Israelites leave Egypt. God hardened my heart against the Israelites.”

    6:64-67 of John “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

    God knew “before the foundation of the world” who would be saved and who would not be saved. The Father only put into Jesus’ hand the persons whom He “foresaw” who were in the state of sanctifying grace (had the indwelling Holy Spirit in the temple of their souls) at the time of their deaths.

    Also, notice in the above Scripture passage that it says, “His”disciples” went back and “walked” with Him no more.”

    These disciples (followers of Christ) walked away from Jesus and His gospel and so they no longer had faith in Him (they no longer believed in Him). Therefore, they are no longer saved and so they will not inherit eternal life after they die.

    They were His disciples, but then they stopped being His disciples when/because they did not like what He said to them. They only endured in the faith for a little while.

    However, the persons who do endure to the end of their lives (24:12-13 of Matthew) in faithfulness to God’s gospel/commands will be saved and they will inherit eternal life. (2:10 of Revelation)

  168. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    RE: “All I can say is if you’re right I’m going to become a Buddhist”

    🙂 Do they offer eternal life?

  169. ( | o )====::: says:

    No, but neither do you 😉

  170. SHW says:

    Lutheran,

    RE: “If you knew the smallest bit of history about Luther and the Reformation, you would know better than to make such an ignorant assertion.”

    Actually, I have read quite a bit about it. Reforms were necessary as there was much disgusting corruption, but changes in doctrine were warned about in Scripture. (2:1-2 of 2 Peter)

    So, you actually believe that Jesus, who promised to be with His Church until He returned again at His Second Coming at the end of the age, (Matthew 28:19-20) was not powerful enough nor diligent enough to keep error from entering into His own Church’s doctrines and so error entered into the Church which He Himself founded? (16:18 of Matthew), (2:19-21 of Ephesians). I don’t agree with your assessment of His Church nor of Him.

    Jesus had His Judas and the Church will always have evil members, but the Catholic Church’s doctrines on faith and morals have never changed. The Holy Spirit has been guiding this Church for over 2000 years and He will continue to guide it until Jesus returns to take His Church to heaven at His Second Coming. (16:13 of John) The early church Fathers’ writings show that there is no OSAS.

    The Church’s doctrines have not changed in 2000 years and they can not ever change because Jesus is the cornerstone of His Church and His Truth cannot change nor does it ever change.

    I believe that Jesus did do and that He is doing exactly as He promised. He is and has always been faithful to His Bride, the Church. He is faithful and He always has been faithful to His Body, the Church. Jesus’ doctrines are God-made and eternal. Luther’s doctrines and others like his are but man-made doctrines.

  171. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    “All” Scripture has equal value:

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    1 Corinthians 14:37 “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.”

  172. ( | o )====::: says:

    “the Catholic Church’s doctrines on faith and morals have never changed.”

    Come on, SHW, really?

    follow the development of the heretical embrace of Mary, from her being a simple fellow servant of God to being elevated to “Mother of God”, to now being venerated as “Queen of heaven”, co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix WITH JESUS?!?

    Look, let’s be honest, as friends, protestantism has really messed up but do you really want to assert that the Roman Catholic Church has not changed it’s doctrines?

    Just from a practical level, SHW, you cannot ignore or spin the evolutionary nature of The Holy Mother Church’s reinvention of Herself and the mistakes she has made over history.

  173. Lutheran says:

    SHW,

    Sorry. You have disqualified yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

    There’s so much BS in your last post.

    I’m outta here for now.

  174. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    A person can only be baptized (born again) once. John 3:3-5 (“Water and the Spirit” is baptism.)

    This “baptism” remits original sin (the main purpose for baptism) and it also remits all the personal sins on the soul at the time of the baptism. Baptism gives us “hope” of eternal life; it does not give us a “guarantee” of eternal life.

  175. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,Careful, you are now engaged in circular reasoning and proof texting.
    Ever study how we received the “canon”?
    When Paul wrote those words they had the Tanakh and the Septuagint as their “scriptures” and the rabbis debated ’til they were blue in the face about the meanings. Also, remember that the constructs from the Apocrypha need to be set to a lesser level, just like the Jewish scholars placed them.

    Let’s make this easy. Like I said before, Jesus is the only One Who really holds water for me in this discussion anyway, because, according to Him, He’s God. With that in mind, let’s just confine the discussion to HIS reliability based on the text of the 4 Gospels.

    The plain issue is that of you stick to the 4Gospels you are never going to arrive at the positions you are maintaining or the view of God you want us to embrace.

    Agreed?

  176. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    Your idea of baptism doesn’t work when you try to equate it with being “born again”, especially when you look at Jesus and the thief on the cross. Baptism was not required by Jesus when He approved of the faith of those He dealt with. Again, from the 4 gospels you cannot require this of His followers.

    Just admit it, Jesus threw open the doors to “whosoever will”, and you are like the guy at the door trying to punch tickets that He already punched and signed “paid in full” by His precious blood. All I’m saying is, “get out da’ way, bro!”

  177. ( | o )====::: says:

    Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus, was speaking about being born again, then the writer of John clarifies it with his statement about God, so loving the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall NOT perish.

  178. ( | o )====::: says:

    also, “original sin” wasn’t taught by Jesus
    that is something that began to be taught through extrapolation by Augustine of Hippo during his lifetime in the 3rd-4th century

    again, example of the RCC’s evolving nature and understanding of theology

  179. ( | o )====::: says:

    SHW,
    Namaste
    -gotta go play some guitar, give space to others. I’ve said my peace, my friend.

    Enjoy PhxP, Michael and the family here have allowed me to hang out, even though I am sometimes pushing the envelope. These are great people.

    EM,
    Hope you’re doing OK with regard to the fire!

  180. Em says:

    i believe we have trouble getting our minds around a very basic, vital truth:

    Jhn 7:37 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
    Jhn 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
    Jhn 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

    this is where all useful work and production occurs … out of our bellies – it flows life when we live Christ … every day focused on Christ, the easy yoke, the light burden, the river flows

    the Bg Horn sheep have just lost their canyon here … i hope we haven’t lost the herd

  181. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    RE: “follow the development of the heretical embrace of Mary, from her being a simple fellow servant of God to being elevated to “Mother of God”, to now being venerated as “Queen of heaven”, co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix WITH JESUS?!?

    Look, let’s be honest, as friends, protestantism has really messed up but do you really want to assert that the Roman Catholic Church has not changed it’s doctrines?

    Just from a practical level, SHW, you cannot ignore or spin the evolutionary nature of The Holy Mother Church’s reinvention of Herself and the mistakes she has made over history.”

    REPLY: The “development” of doctrine is necessary, but once doctrine has been promulgated, it can never change. The circumcision “problem” is a good example for us in the Bible about the “development” of doctrine. Acts 15:1-29

    Mary: Mary was indeed a servant of God and she was extremely humble. However, God exalted her and she became the mother of the Son of God Incarnate. Since Mary is the mother of Jesus and He is God, she is therefore the mother of God. (Mother of the Son only, not mother of the Father nor mother of the Holy Spirit)

    Jesus is King regardless whether there are other kings who came before Him or who came after Him.

    There was an idol called the “queen of heaven.” However, Mary’s queenship is dependent upon the kingship of her Son. All mothers of kings in the Davidic line of kings are called queens. No king’s wife in the Davidic line was ever a queen. Since Jesus is king of heaven and earth, then His mother is automatically and irrevocably queen of this same realm.

    “Co” does not mean “equal.” If Mary had not said “yes,” then there would not have been redemption for mankind. It is because she cooperated perfectly in God’s redemption plan that she is called Co-Redemptrix. Jesus is the Redeemer, not Mary. Jesus redeemed Mary (extraordinary special grace) before she was conceived because He could not possibly be conceived in an unholy womb. She, herself, had to be perfectly holy with no stain of original sin in order for Him to be conceived and nurtured in her womb.

    Co-Mediatrix means that Jesus, in order to show special honor to His mother, sends His graces and blessings through her and that she intercedes for His Church members on earth. Mary is not above Jesus and she cannot ever be elevated above Him. Jesus is divine. Mary was created.

    Yes, I do assert that the Catholic Church has never changed its doctrines about salvation. She has always taught that “faith plus works” are necessary for salvation. 🙂 Check out the early church fathers’ writings and see for yourself.

    The Catholic Church has always had evil members within its ranks beginning with Judas. So many, in fact, that one saint made the statement, “the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/2002Apr/apr1doc.htm
    Bishops do sometimes become heretics and thereby also lead members of their flocks astray.

    When members of the Church commit personal sins, their sinful actions do not change the doctrines of the Church. However, they are not obeying the commandments of the Church/gospel and so they will be punished by God sooner or later.

    What “reinvention” are you talking about? The Church’s dirty laundry is being viewed by everyone these days. Vatican archives have been opened and are now available on the internet. More will be made available as time permits.

    This Catholic Church would never had stood the test of time (2000 years) if Jesus had not personally been holding it up. It is His Church and It always will be. I believe that a great deal of his agony on the cross was “knowing about” and “suffering for” the sinfulness of His future church members.

  182. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    RE: “Your idea of baptism doesn’t work when you try to equate it with being “born again”, especially when you look at Jesus and the thief on the cross. Baptism was not required by Jesus when He approved of the faith of those He dealt with. Again, from the 4 gospels you cannot require this of His followers.”

    REPLY: Until Jesus died, there was still no new covenant ratified so the thief was not under the New Covenant when Jesus forgave Him. Also, God can save whomever He wants to save regardless of any covenants. He is above His covenants since He is the author of them. Romans 9:15, Luke 6:5

    This is enough for today. I will catch up with you all later on a “newer” thread. 🙂

  183. you know, any one can quote scripture…but context and hermeneutics are import to their application as well as understanding them

  184. Why is is the PP attracts people who feel they need to evangelize or convert us to their way of thinking or correct our bad theology? This isn’t the first time this type of thing has happened. Sheesh!

  185. eric says:

    ““Co” does not mean “equal.” If Mary had not said “yes,” then there would not have been redemption for mankind. It is because she cooperated perfectly in God’s redemption plan that she is called Co-Redemptrix.”

    Seriously?? Your god sure is a weak kneed non omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient god… The fate of all mankind depended not on God laying down his life, but rather a mortal saying yes or no… So had she said no, the entire old testament would have been a lie, all of Gods promises lies and God Himself the king of lies. Do you even think through this crap or just vomit it all over the interwebs

  186. Xenia says:

    This from Eric, who has a thread mocking amateur church web sites.

    I think I am finally over this place. Good bye and good luck.

  187. eric says:

    Xenia-

    Im sorry if I dont see the corelation between discussin bad church website design, and claiming God would have failed had Mary said no.

  188. ( | o )====::: says:

    Eric has a good eye for web design, but, hey Eric, Xenia is having a little problem with your feelings toward the RCC.

    I like Eric, though he needs to know a stake awaits him if he ever accidentally programs the wrong code and ends up back a few centuries

    I like SHW. We’re gonna be good friends! =)

  189. eric says:

    Hey G-

    Im sorry if Xenia or anyone has problems with my feelings, they arent towards the RCC but against what SHW has espoused. I find beauty and comfort in the words of many of the contemplatives in the Catholic Church. But saying Mary had to say yes or the whole house of cards failed just kinda seems silly.

    And I write bad code daily, and get called out on it. Its how we grow as designers and developers…and people.

  190. Em says:

    Mary was the mother of the man, Christ Jesus. The mother of the incarnation. She didn’t produce God the Son. She must have been a beautiful and perfect choice to mother the baby and the boy. Did she have free will to reject God’s assignment? I think not. I think more of us are going to find that we carried out assignments of God’s choosing, not ours. Sometimes, we need to say, think, feel “Thy will be done,” instead of “oh, c-wrap…” 😉 I know I do. We feel stuck and just don’t think of everyday life as His assignment. I know I don’t.

    With due respect to SHW, it seems that some folks grip on God’s Truth is closer to a strangle hold. Then there’s folk like me who are dependent on His grip. Too dependent? – dunno 🙂

  191. Em says:

    thinking more on Mary saying ‘yes’ to God… implying that she had a choice (she showed extremely beautiful grace and faith)
    i can’t think of a single person recorded in Scripture as called by God to do ‘something’ whom He requested their permission to use them… just thinkin ….

  192. ryan couch says:

    Michael,

    When you and I spoke the other day I told you that I think I’ve become really good at parroting information. I too want a fresh vision from God, a personal experience with Jesus that isn’t second hand.

    However those revelations don’t come cheap…they only come through death. To often we want the power of His resurrection without the fellowship of His sufferings. The trials I’m going through right now are drawing me closer to Jesus than I’ve been in a long time, these hardships are clearing away all the competing voices and allowing me to hear from Jesus and Him alone. Which then creates a power in the pulpit that cannot be gained through a conference, new book, or mp3. It takes an infusion from the Holy Spirit as you experience the sufferings of Christ (Col. 1:24).

  193. Fred says:

    X:

    “Then I guess I believe a “false gospel” too because I pretty much agree with SWH.

    Bye.”

    Yep, but you have good company.

    The RCC, EO, CC, SBC, AoG, Lutheran (all of them), Brethren, Church of God, and any others you guys can name are not the body of Christ. He has no official church in which you can become a member in. That’s the good news!

    In another time I would be burned at the stake (by the church) for pushing such heresy.

  194. Another Voice says:

    EM is spot on. Where does God ask Mary anything? He (through the angel) proclaims.

    And even if we grant the thought that God was depedent on Mary exercising some aspecct of a freewill, I think Esther 4:14 is appropriate to remember.

    God does not NEED us for anything.

  195. Another Voice says:

    And for the record – I am not a “Mary-bashing Protestant” She is the most blessed of all women to ever live.

    Considering she recognized she needed a Savior too, Luke 1:46-48 I think she would be the first to withstand false teaching in her name.

  196. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Mary, the mother of God. We should not take this statement lightly – the statement is about who Jesus is, not about Mary. Jesus, God the Son sat in Mary’s womb for 9 months fully God and fully man.

  197. Em says:

    Eric, Grendal and all who pray, thank you for the prayer regarding the fire here – 4,000 acres and still burning at 7:30 – the area is a wildlife preserve with only 4 residences in the canyon – (pretty much has to be a man caused fire) – i’m not in this one’s path, thanks for the concern, tho

    we get grass fires quite a bit, they heal, but not so the forest and wildlife areas in this dry climate

    AV-your affirmation of my thot noted and appreciated, too

    God keep all close and comforted this night

  198. Em says:

    MLD, no one here takes Jesus, the only begotten son of God, lightly or sees Him as less than God incarnate – of that I’m sure and I’m sure that was not what you meant to imply
    to be clear, as i say good night here: whether or not God, Himself, was in Mary’s womb is a side issue. If you want it that way, that’s fine. Myself? I dunno

    BTW… what was he ‘sitting on’ in there? 😉

  199. Na'amah says:

    em probably ‘on’ her bladder

  200. London says:

    “Seriously?? Your god sure is a weak kneed non omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient god… The fate of all mankind depended not on God laying down his life, but rather a mortal saying yes or no… So had she said no, the entire old testament would have been a lie, all of Gods promises lies and God Himself the king of lies. Do you even think through this crap or just vomit it all over the interwebs”

    Eric –
    Ya know I love ya…but dewd, that was just rude.

  201. centorian says:

    actually, I agree with eric on this one…..

  202. London says:

    that doesn’t make it any less rude though Centy.

  203. eric says:

    Sorry L-
    I know this has come up before and we are supposed to be gentle and meek when someone feminine comes in like a steamroller and tells everything we believe is bunk and they have all authority under heaven and earth, but that statement was just stupid and needed to be challenged

  204. Believe says:

    Catholic Theology has a gaping hole.

    Hierarchy of sin “Venial” vs. “Mortal” and man’s “conscience”…

    I had this discussion with SHW (Marie) before.

    There are necessarily only two options in the Garden.

    1. Adam was created with his conscience in tact.
    2. Adam received his conscience after eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    Adam made the decision to disobey God and eat of the Tree.

    If Adam was created with his conscience, then when Adam, pre-fall, made the decision in his mind to disobey God…and then ate of the Tree…Adam’s will could not have been for good (as Catholic Theology states). Adam necessarily disobeyed God “knowing” his disobedience was wrong…pre-fall. This would negate the “free will, which is for good” principle laid out in Catholic Theology.

    Scenario #2:

    Adam gets his conscience after physically eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    If Adam was not created with his conscience, he could not have known that what he was doing was wrong when he made the decision in his mind to eat of the Tree. Therefore, it would have been counted as “Venial” sin, since Adam did not understand that his decision was sinful and wrong. Therefore, God would not have had to kick Adam out of the Garden.

  205. London says:

    Eric, even if SHW was a guy.
    The way you put out a “challenge” was still rude.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve all (ahem) been guilty of saying something “stupid” a time or two on here yeah?

  206. eric says:

    I’ve said LOADS of stupid things…and ive been called out for them. And i’ve also recanted my stupid statements LOADS of times. Its really not that hard if your doing more than just pontificating. And yes ive also done LOADS of pontificating…
    Still dont know what discussing bad church web design has to do with it though

  207. London says:

    Ummm…ok..finally something we can agree on! you HAVE said loads of stupid things :mrgreen: (ok…me too)

    Really you don’t see the similarities between what you said to SHW and your thread on “crappy” web design done by volunteer church folks??

  208. London says:

    well…I think the similarities are about attitude.

    I can’t speak for Xenia, and my post wasn’t about the design stuff, but if I were to guess, I’d say that ridiculing a volunteers best attempts at creating a website for their church is in the same tone of the “mega pastors” you guys mock over on your blog’s attitudes toward house churches, and small churches and “non professional” pastors. It appears to be the same attitude, but different subject, of those you accuse of being haughty and arrogant over there.

    It also seems to me, that same attitude is present in the post to SHW. It’s not about gender btw, at least not for me, and I think you already know that. It’s more about respect.

    I definately don’t agree with SHW’s conclusions and I think there’s many holes in the logic of what she’s (and the RCC apparently) have used to come to those conclusions. But, I can see that she’s put the time and effort into working through to those conclusions and is willing to dialog in a respectful manner with people about them.

    To me, I see the same attitude in that post that I see in the commets about bad website design and it’s the same attitude I think you guys are decrying over there when it comes from the pulpit.

    That’s my take on it anyway…

  209. brian says:

    I loved what you said ( | o )====::: though I know it is, like me reprobate, almost all of humanity is lost, not a chance with no hope. That sums up my Christian experience, basically God created, from the foundations of the universe the vast majority of humanity to hell, from the soul of a child in the womb to the elderly in the conversant hospital, most are lost with no hope, no hope at all. I know this is open mouth insert finger contents but I have been involved on both sides of the spectrum. It seemed with all my prayer and pleading few, no actually no one repented of their sin and asked Jesus to be their savior. I understand that is my fault, I failed, and daily I grieve over that. Of course that does nothing for those that have died and are now suffering an eternity in hell because I did not tell them the gospel clear enough. The first time I heard that a family member was frying in hell because of my complacency was truly troubling, it should not have been but it was. I wept, which did nothing, they were already condemned and I failed them, and that was another evangelical gift that keeps on giving.

    With all honesty from the cheep seats, it is not, never has been and never will be good news, so stop saying that. It is a false hope for most of us, we are damned and we should just move on and get over it. I find that sad. True but sad I always have.

  210. brian says:

    “ridiculing a volunteers best attempts” My point London is that volunteers are the lowest form of life in the evangelical church, they are beneath contempt as they do not belly up to the bar and get a job in the corporation. I have been a volunteer for my last 29 years of being an evangelical, and each and ever second is beneath contempt and that is on a good day. It is the classic carrot and stick routine you do your best and then get whacked on the head for not being perfect. I count every single volunteer experience in the Christian community a total loss, I weep at that, which is irrelevant but I still weep. Volunteers are canon fodder nothing more, and they never have been.

  211. brian says:

    “Seriously?? Your god sure is a weak kneed non omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient god… The fate of all mankind depended not on God laying down his life, but rather a mortal saying yes or no… So had she said no, the entire old testament would have been a lie, all of Gods promises lies and God Himself the king of lies. Do you even think through this crap or just vomit it all over the interwebs”

    No offense but my irony meter exploded on this one, actually I was thinking the same thing about the American Evangelical god, small g, as it could not be the God of the universe. Nope I dont vomit this stuff on the web, but I have often seen it spewed out on the web. Do you want a real challenge look at talk origins website and deal with some of their material, or biologos forum. Personally it is completely frustrating seeing the same apologetic used. Basically because it just does not hold to any observable facts.

  212. London says:

    bri –
    “It is the classic carrot and stick routine you do your best and then get whacked on the head for not being perfect.”

    Yep! that would be exactly what I was gettin’ at.

  213. SHW says:

    I have “replied” to your “comments” on the “Loose Ends” thread. 🙂

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