The CCA “Panel Discussion”…

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146 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    That chart speaks volumes.

    It would be interesting if every church made such a chart for their services for a month. Perhaps then the pew sitters could see where their worship is focused.

  2. Michael says:

    Jean,

    It was genius.
    It will offend many…

  3. Jean says:

    I would be more concerned about not offending the One.

  4. JM says:

    Well, that’s enough to fill a few barf bags. It reminds me of a scene from Casablanca when the Claude Rains character (Louie) protests that there is gambling going on at Rick’s (Bogie’s) Place, all the while receiving a handful of ill-gotten winnings from gambling at Rick’s Place. These are old hypocrites who never dealt rightly with Chuck’s fallibilities. For all their hype about being doctrinally pure–they have blinded themselves to the fact that they have survived on the fumes of emotionalism while sin in the camp proliferated in full view of all of them. There are so many things that they should not have gone along with because they violated Scripture, but they abdicated to their idol. Nothing can save them from their stupid now but repentance. Idolatry of an adulterer and abetter of such is disgusting. It is quackery by any pastor. Mental illness would also explain much.

  5. It occurs to me that the number of times Jesus, God, and Spirit would have been much more were Chuck still alive.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This reminds me of the suggestion by Todd Wilken to keep score to evaluate if you are hearing a Christian sermon.
    How many times is Jesus mentioned? Is Jesus running the verbs – doing the salvation work, or is he just mention in the historical narrative? If the message is not Jesus doing his salvation work, it may not be particularly Christian sermon. Chart your Pastor tomorrow – although it should be easy as I image everyone is preachingvPalm Sunday Jesus.

  7. John 20:29 says:

    i think – dunno – that the majority of the Church in this celebrity driven and somewhat creature comfort driven world today doesn’t “fear” God… He is more theory than reality and rather like patriotism, we claim citizenship and fly the flag, but don’t understand and don’t want to understand our “constitution” … errr something like that

  8. John 20:29 says:

    the chart should be an app – meant to say… but old people distract easily 🙂

  9. Stephen says:

    I absolutely appreciate the chart in all it’s tragedy.

    It’s also tragic that the CC pastors who attended the conference are choosing an illusionary form of “unity” instead of a God honoring righteousness.

  10. Papias says:

    The chart is an unfortunate reminder of 1st Cor 1 where “some were of Paul and others of Apollos and others of Christ”.

    Be careful who you line up behind…make sure it’s Jesus.

  11. Surfer51 says:

    Oh come on guys! The same can be said of this blog. Exactly how many times do we hear Jesus Christ mentioned in here? I rest my case…

    Lots of theology, lots of biblical hermeneutics, and such but very little Jesus Christ.

    Just saying…

  12. Disillusioned says:

    When someone calls for truth, and stands up for the disenfranchised, and has compassion on the abused, I see Jesus all over this blog.

  13. em ... again says:

    well… i think both Surfer and Disillusioned have a point… it is said that out of the abundance of the heart one speaks…
    when it comes to the big picture and then the details, as Christians, just how do we focus both on what we think and what we speak?
    thinking… thinking… thinking…

  14. Stephen says:

    Is a Blog different from a panel discussion at a conference?

    I think so.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OK I watched the CCA video. It seemed pretty benign to me. It was like me and my buddies sitting around talking about Woodstock 50 years later.

    If the Brodersen group has it’s own Q&A panel like this, I have a feeling that they will say the same thing. When McClure was talking about the data base it reminded me of the movie Glengarry Glen Ross where the real estate agents become desperate and go to any lengths to gain control of the leads.

  16. covered says:

    I just watched the CCA video as well. This was about Chuck worship and Calvary Chapel worship. Don’s answer as to why and how they ended up where they are was as clear as mud. The chart pretty much gives a picture of the entire video.

  17. Captain Kevin says:

    I’ve heard McClure speak maybe 10 times over the last 30 years, and I honestly can’t recall one time when he stuck to a text or a topic or even made coherent sense of anything. So no surprise here.

  18. Captain Kevin says:

    While all the old farts circle up the wagons, it’s the youngsters like Levi Lusko and Daniel Fusco that are having the biggest positive impact.

  19. Bobby Grow says:

    Here’s what I wrote in response to my viewing of the Q&A a few days ago:

    I say it’s a morass, for one reason, because if you listen to the Q&A session Don McClure and others can’t even honestly and openly talk about the real reasons this whole thing has happened. They can’t admit or talk about the substantial reasons why they think Brodersen is in error, and as such they demonstrate absolutely zero leadership qualities whatsoever. It is their ambiguous approach that continues to allow rumors and real issues to fester, which indeed, I would contend, is what has led to this split (which is what Brodersen has extricated himself from). The irony is that in the Q&A many on the panel emphasize how important being transparent is, when in the same moment they are being as untransparent as someone actually could be. They won’t deal with the substantial differences that have brought this division in a straightforward way; they are being disingenuous.

    But I would also contend that this is what happens when you’ve spent your whole life in “leadership” and at the same time not taken the time to cultivate theological and intellectual and communicative patterns of thought and communication skills into your leadership tool-bag. In other words, it’s almost like these guys don’t have the depth or means to actually articulate in substantial ways where their point of impasse with Brodersen actually is, and so they skirt around it. It is sad to watch actually, and I would never place myself under that type of “leadership” knowingly.

  20. Hannah says:

    There are a lot of people greatly hurt by this system.

  21. Michael says:

    Bobby,

    That was a very insightful comment on many levels…well done.

  22. Steve says:

    I think pastor Sandy Adams hinted at something that’s crucial. He is so close but no cigar for me. He mentioned that the CCA is being run contrary to the way their own churches are run. He understands that CC is made up of pastor defined churches but he admits CCA is something completely different in that there is collaboration among their members which create inefficiencies. Its revealing that he feels safe with the multitude of counselors and advocates going far instead of fast. Ironically, isn’t this exactly how they should run their individual churches, lest they are hypocrites to ask anyone to trust them? How can anyone feel safe in this kind of church that is run by one man? The lack of concern for the entire body is deeply troubling.

  23. Disillusioned says:

    Bobby,
    Nailed it and all true. I grieve for my friends who are still part of this system.

  24. Xenia says:

    I don’t “grieve” for people who are part of Calvary Chapel. I struggle with feeling superior to them, which is a grave sin on my part.

    Most Calvary Chapel people of my acquaintance are devout followers of our Lord and concentrate on Him and not the politics that swirls around the leaders.

    This is worthy of our grief:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/09/world/middleeast/explosion-egypt-coptic-christian-church.html?_r=0

    It is Palm Sunday and there are palm branches amidst the blood. We can grieve for these Christians today at our own Palm Sunday services and thank God that our own palm branches are not bloody this morning.

  25. Disillusioned says:

    Xenia,
    The grief I feel doesn’t compare to this. Murder always tops the list.
    But that doesn’t negate my feelings.
    It is a grief borne of the knowledge that my friends are putting their trust in someone who is not worthy of it, and engage in a bit of idolatry at the same time.

  26. Michael says:

    Disillusioned,

    I think it important at this stage to recognize that people are where they want to be.

    I’ve given this group of pastors more than enough information for them to demand some accountability from their leaders.

    They prefer the safety and security of the ever changing mythology that they are fed.

    They find certain lies noble and worthy of addition to the greater narrative they choose to believe.

    That…is not fixable with truth.

  27. Disillusioned says:

    Michael,
    I would say — and admit this is speculation– that it’s not a stretch to believe truth has no (fruitful) impact on this particular group of self-appointed “spiritual fathers” because they are deluded and completely blind to their own sin. They have convinced themselves that they are truly hearing the voice of God (who, I’m convinced, sounds a lot like them — or their wife) and as such, they have the moral authority to do and say the things they do, Scripture be damned.
    And sadly– and in many, many lives — it is. Because of them.
    Cowards and hypocrites!! Apply scripture to your own lives before DARING to speak it from the pulpit!!! Have you forgotten that “there in nothing hidden in all of creation” from His eyes? Repent now, or answer to the King. (((Shudder)))

  28. Hannah says:

    As someone who was part of the CC world, my problem is not with doctrinal issues as much as financial greed, and Chuck S. and creating a system where the Pastor can do anything he wants with the money coming in.

    To a small CC that may not happen, but to the many megachurches, this is going on.

    And people are duped.
    Sad thing is that if you tell them, they are in such a “daze” of ignorance they don’t give a rats a$$ (I always liked that phrase and heard it here first many moons ago).

    I will continue to tell them to run from this man made system.

  29. Hannah says:

    Disillusioned

    Sounds like a bunch of false converts…
    And the people wanted a king…..

  30. JM says:

    Very good exchange.

    Hannah, So good to see you here! You are right. Hope you are well!

    Captain Kevin, “Old Farts”–good stuff!

    Michael, #26, you are right and Scripture concurs that there will be people who do not agape the truth. People who are so wholly deluded are beyond its reach. Love your #2. 🙂

    Disillusioned–Kudos to absolutely everything you have said!

    UnCCed from the “CC Conference”, closed thread–Well articulated, very good points!

  31. Michael says:

    These discussions quickly deteriorate into something less than worthy.

    The vast majority of these churches do not act as ATM’s for the pastors.
    There is some serious misunderstanding out there about how non profit laws work.

    Calling people who attend them false converts is not true or productive.

  32. Disillusioned says:

    I wouldn’t say false converts either — more like men who lost their way.
    However, there is validity to the claim of finances being spent at the sole discretion of the pastor. There is no system of checks and balances where I came from. No accountability.

  33. em ... again says:

    #31 – wise words all
    it is interesting that we so easily get off of principles and onto personalities/people… we all do, i think
    when folk here stay on a search for the Truth and off the individual hearts, which only God knows, much has been gained in both perspective and understanding…
    men (generic term) like the late Chuck Smith fit in a category that i had a knee jerk prejudice against and yet…
    i have dear family members who NEVER would have been wooed to Christ without their one on ones with this man – they are strong in the Lord, have raised strong children, following the Lord right up to this day
    i’ve asked God’s forgiveness and i thank Him for raising up Chuck Smith to do a ministry that was needed at that time… we must remember that many souls came to Christ, not to Chuck Smith nor, as is attested to here, to the Calvary Chapel organization as the only way to walk in the Faith
    the Holy Spirit moves and then moves on… or so it seems to me

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Disillusioned,
    “It is a grief borne of the knowledge that my friends are putting their trust in someone who is not worthy of it, and engage in a bit of idolatry at the same time.”

    I think your grief is that you placed your trust in people not worthy of it and now you feel hurt and ashamed. In an effort to massage away you embarrassment you project that your friends are just as foolish – so you are just projecting your wayward trust on them.

    Turn your frown upside down and move on with your life – your friends are probably doing just fine.

  35. JM says:

    You know, MLD, whether you would believe it or not, sometimes the points you make get me thinking and I may even agree with some of the hard lines you draw. However, In this case, I don’t understand why you decided to, not only make assumptions about Disillusioned’s references, but play the amateur psychologist. Unfortunately, you open the door for someone to say your “lack of empathy” slip is showing. I hope you will take the time to reflect upon what you posted in #34. Maybe Bob Grenier should pray for you, too.

    I will also add this. For some of us the reference to “friends” could easily be removed and substituted with “family members” who have done likewise. This can deepen the pain and concern, because of the divisions it has caused in many families. For some, this means they have to deal with brainwashed CCophiles on a daily basis if they want to see their kids, their grandkids, etc. This is partly my story, so smoke that–but don’t inhale.

    Although this site has featured a variety of stories dealing with corruption, much of it has been devoted to exposing corruption specific to CC’s. Many have come here because they have felt the freedom to speak openly about their experiences. Since Alex shut down his site and neither he or his father seem interested in finding someone to take up that banner or rebuke those responsible inside of Happyland, there is, to my knowledge, few, if any other places to go. I guess all the faith was used up in their reconciliation and there isn’t any left for the other poor souls who are still screwed by the system. Ah, Gee! Did I say that outloud?

    While I have championed the cause of those disenfranchised by the sick system that is CC for many years, I do actually agree with Michael that the odds of CC leadership ever apologizing or changing are as good as the AntiChrist repenting. So…why do I do it? Maybe it is similar to why Michael keeps doing it. All I know is that it keeps the light on. It means that they cannot continue to do what they do in the dark. Surely they may never change–but I will not make it easy for them. They may not apologize–but as many people as possible will know the kind of woosie butts they are. There’s probably not a set of man parts between them all and I hope the world knows it.

    Based upon that, MLD, you could say, your grief and your trust in what you “think” people should be is wrongly placed and, in an effort to massage away your disappointment, you are projecting your wayward trust in your own paradigm. You really should move on with your life and put on a happy face.

  36. Hannah says:

    JM

    Hi to you!

    We will never all agree on doctrine. So why talk about CC doctrine as the problem?
    I believe Jesus is coming back to set up his kingdom on earth..so God’s plans for Israel will be completed.
    Some think God is done with His people.

    The heart of the issue is the heart.

    I have seen and know too much of the greed and corruption.
    And the drive for financial gain is often the motive for ministry.

    MLD keeps stating we put too much trust in man.
    I guess Jesus put too much trust in Paul, and Paul put too much trust in Timothy…

  37. Hannah says:

    PS JM

    Maybe you can start your own CC blog!

  38. Michael says:

    “We will never all agree on doctrine. So why talk about CC doctrine as the problem?”

    Because one of the root issues is the doctrine of ecclesiology.

    “I believe Jesus is coming back to set up his kingdom on earth..so God’s plans for Israel will be completed.”

    You’re right…we’ll never agree on doctrine. That is terrible theology.

  39. Michael says:

    When people ask about the forthcoming book I always get a bit queazy…because the end of the book is going to be a call to take personal responsibility for ones own spiritual health.

    We’re not going to ‘reform” anything or anybody but ourselves…

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah,
    You have never made sense yet and I don’t know why I would expect you to now. You said “MLD keeps stating we put too much trust in man. I guess Jesus put too much trust in Paul, and Paul put too much trust in Timothy…”

    Your argument is not with me – you need to take this up with your buddy Disillusioned who said – “It is a grief borne of the knowledge that my friends are putting their trust in someone who is not worthy of it, and engage in a bit of idolatry at the same time.”

    He is making the judgment that others are putting too much trust in their CC pastors – just as you guys did.

  41. Hannah says:

    Do you tell Steve Wright this is terrible theology?

    Or any of the Calvary Pastors that frequent here?

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JM,
    If you want to make who controls the checkbook the issue of abuse – go right ahead.

    You said ” Many have come here because they have felt the freedom to speak openly about their experiences.” That is fine – speak of your experience, but realize it is YOUR experience and your friends you condemn or grieve for don’t want to hear about it – they are happy as can be – but you are not happy having judged your church experience – you want to judge theirs also.

    I came out of the Skip deal at Ocean Hills – I moved on. Would it be appropriate if I used your standard fare and said “I grieve for you that you won’t put it behind you.”

  43. Michael says:

    Steve Wright would never make that statement.

    While he is dispensational, he is not senseless enough to state that the primary purpose of the return of Christ is to deal with Israel.

    I will not insult him by saying so, though we would disagree with vigor on some of these issues.

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah,
    Your question may have been to Michael – but I will jump in.
    “Do you tell Steve Wright this is terrible theology?”

    Every chance I get. Steve and I used to go to lunch just so I could tell him how terrible his theology is.

  45. Michael says:

    Furthermore, if Steve or any other pastor came on this blog denying the need for water baptism, I would call it terrible theology and have absolutely no respect for them as a trustworthy expositor of the Word and would mark them as aberrant and cultic.

  46. Michael says:

    Further, furthermore, almost without exception when someone says they can interpret the Bible on their own (with only the “Holy Spirit” as a guide) they are unteachable rebels against the Church and end up with aberrant doctrine and try to convince others of their heresy.

  47. Hannah says:

    I never said I interpret the Bible with the Holy Spirit as my guide.
    No idea where you got that.

    That sounds like the burning in the bosom of the Mormons.
    About the baptism.

    I think someone labeled me as an Acts something or other.

    I think we all deserve respect, and should all be teachable.
    I am willing to study…I came across a study on baptism and its relation to the Priesthood and the initiation. And that men were getting Johns baptism..then I think I asked if baptism now was the same as Johns baptism. Also not much response…

    I think there was a conversation on whether the word “baptism” meant water or baptized INTO Christ at salvation..but the conversation never progressed because of the anger.

    The kingdom is a big deal. More than water baptism.
    Either God made plan to His people that he changed his mind about, or He will return to set up His kingdom on earth.

    See I tried to avoid all this.

  48. Jean says:

    Hannah wrote:

    “Some think God is done with His people.”

    This is a caricature of the NT and the Christians who believe it. If you actually studied the NT, you would conclude that God is not done with His people. In fact He sent Jesus to be their Savior. Then He expanded His people to include the Gentiles. So, now He has ONE big happy people. Paul makes that abundantly clear in Ephesians.

    What God is done with is the old covenant with its Temple practices. But Christ cut a better, new covenant in His blood, which is available to the whole world until he returns to judge the living and the dead.

  49. Hannah says:

    Michael,

    If I posted a video series on Baptism that I heard, would you be willing to have a discussion on it?

    I would respect opinions on it.

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah,
    Paul in 1 Cor 6 describes baptism as ‘wet’ – Paul always describes baptism as ‘wet’.
    ” And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    So, when Paul says washed, which do you think Paul meant – washed or dry cleaned? 😉

    You also said that the kingdom is more than baptism – but the scripture says that baptism is the way you enter the kingdom.
    “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Hey, no baptism, no holy spirit – no holy spirit no kingdom.
    “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Note again that washing. Why would the Bible use the idea of washing, if there was no water involved?

  51. JM says:

    Hannah, don’t know if the world would be safe for democracy if I added my two-cents to the blogosphere. Besides, it would reduce the number of people on this site whose postings MLD can twist and that might make him depressed. He would lose his happy face. But then again, it might make him happy because he wouldn’t have to deal with someone he cannot bully. Tough decision.

  52. Hannah says:

    MLD

    I did a quick word search for “washed” that brought me to John 13.

    Would you conclude that the disciples were saved by the washing of their feet?

    I think “washed” means saved in 1 Corinthians.
    It fits in with the rest of the chapter in Corinthians.
    I don’t think it refers to water baptism there.

    In the gospels, the main cast were Jews under the law.
    They understood that to serve God in the temple you needed ceremonial cleansing.
    Which brought me to the question of whether women were getting baptized by John?
    The nation of Israel were to be a “royal Priesthood”

  53. Hannah says:

    Psalm 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

    Is this water baptism?

    I’m not trying to start any argument here.
    I requested to post a video with discussion..
    I will wait for that.

  54. Hannah says:

    “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Hey, no baptism, no holy spirit – no holy spirit no kingdom..MLD

    Yes, they were ushering in the kingdom that was prophesized in their scriptures.
    The disciples were doing this even before Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.

    But what was Paul saying?
    No works gets you in!
    It is GRACE you are saved…no works…

  55. Michael says:

    I would have to see it first before I put it here.
    I’m not going to publicize heresy.

  56. Jean says:

    Hannah wrote:

    “I think “washed” means saved in 1 Corinthians.”

    So, Paul begins that letter talking about water baptism in the very first chapter. Ex.: “I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.” No honest exegete would ever say Paul wasn’t taking in that section of water baptism.

    Moreover, no honest interpreter of that book would deny that “washed” means more than take a bath. “Washed” of course means cleansed of sins, but that is not the issue. What is the mode of the washing. The mode is water baptism. It is the application of God’s Word in the water, which according to his Scriptural command and promise conveys the forgiveness of sins.

    Now, are you discussing or just arguing?

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah – I made the case that baptism and washed involved water – every use of water is not baptism. Any drink of water I took today was not saving act.

    So was the washing of the feet water based or some spirit act?

    You said – “It is GRACE you are saved…no works…” – When you become a Christian perhaps you will understand – baptism is God’s work. There is plenty of work in the salvation process – and for you to say “no works” is a denial of Jesus’ work on the cross.

    You said – “The disciples were doing this even before Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.” Nope – wrong again – Jesus instituted saving baptism (and I will assert water baptism) in Matthew 28 when he said to baptize in the name.

  58. Hannah says:

    Jean

    I am reading 1 corinthians 6.
    How far back are you going to say Paul starts with water baptism?
    Im multitasking right now at dinnertime

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah, Let me clear up your foggy thinking some. Jesus was done with Israel in Matthew 12 – when the Jews attributed all of Jesus’ work to Satan.

    The remainder of Matthew was Jesus continuing his saving work culminating on the cross. From Chapter 12 forward, Jesus is working on establishing a new Israel which would be called the Church.

  60. Hannah says:

    You said – “The disciples were doing this even before Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.” Nope – wrong again – Jesus instituted saving baptism (and I will assert water baptism) in Matthew 28 when he said to baptize in the name. –MLD

    I am talking of John’s baptism.
    The ceremonial washings were part of the law.

  61. Hannah says:

    So when Paul says the gospel is to the Jew first , then the Greek..he is wrong?

  62. Jean says:

    In the first chapter of Corinthians, Paul in his discussion of the divisions in that church specifically brings up water baptism. See 1 Cor 1:13-17.

    He uses language such as “were you baptized in the name of Paul” and “I did baptize”. There is no doubt that Paul is talking about a water baptism. This language describes a ritual performed on an initiant with specific language to be used (e.g., “in the name”).

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah, I don’t know why you are so focused on John’s baptism – John’s baptism is under the old covenant – just like slaughtering bulls and goats. What’s your point?

    When you question if women were baptized by John – do you also ask if women were circumcised at the same time?

    Even though I am not a dispensationalist I do see a new thing happening when Jesus’ death on the cross ushers in Jeremiah’s new covenant of the Church.

  64. Jean says:

    Hannah wrote:

    “So when Paul says the gospel is to the Jew first , then the Greek..he is wrong?”

    You are still not listening. MLD said that Jesus was done with Israel. He did not say the Gospel is not for the Jews.

  65. Michael says:

    I find this to be foolish.

    The historic Christian church has baptized in water from day one.

    Those who “rediscovered” the Gospel of grace in the 16th century continued the practice of baptism.
    From the early church to Augustine, to Luther, to Calvin, to this very day, water baptism has continued.

    Neither Luther, nor Calvin, nor anyone else associated with the Reformation believed there was a conflict between salvation by grace and baptism.

    Either the church has been wrong for two thousand years and some asshat with a video finally got it right or we just need to follow what the church has always done in accordance with Scripture and tradition.

    I will stand with the church, thank you.

  66. em ... again says:

    if water effects salvation then isn’t it logical to ask those who pour/sprinkle why do you not just put penitent sinners’ feet under… that flows logically does it not?
    that is what our Lord did to his disciples when He said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you”
    okay, that is taking John 13’s account out of context perhaps
    i was baptized twice to fulfill the required procedures of 2 different denominations and i suspect that that is the whole purpose of rite – it is commanded as a humbling act that is visible to other Believers – a testament to our new life in Christ
    it’s a demonstration of obedience, the thought that counts?
    at any rate, i hate to see the Church snag on the issue, when there is so much need to focus on the walk we walk every day in Christ
    the crucifixion is, on the other hand, black and white and start as it can be – no wiggle room whatsoever in our understanding of the fact and the need
    just sayin…

  67. Jean says:

    Michael,

    I agree it is foolish. What puzzles me to no end is the intransigence of people who are steeped in this type of theology. It reminds me of the parable about the house that was swept clean.

  68. Michael says:

    Perhaps I am a complete jerk, (instead of just a partial one) but this debate points out my major beef with some people.

    I was studying baptism a few years ago.

    I didn’t study it online.

    I found out who the consensus best historical scholars were on the topic and I spent a bunch of money and bought their great big books.

    Then I read them.

    Now that I am joining the Anglican community, I’m not just watching a couple videos and noting that I have J.I. Packers autograph.
    I’ll have read close to a hundred books on the subject by the time I’m actually received into the communion.

    It takes work…and if you really care, you’ll do the work.

    Rant over.

  69. em ... again says:

    i was interrupted by a critter here as i commented @66 – left out some ‘thes’ and that was “stark” not “start”… senility? perhaps, but definitely losing my God-given female ability to multi-task

  70. Michael says:

    We can (and do) argue about what baptism means or accomplishes.

    These tend to be highly nuanced debates based on theological traditions.

    Those have some value.

    I see no value in trying to discount all of church history and the clear teaching of Scripture to discount the practice entirely.

  71. em ... again says:

    a question just came to mind… does anyone here contend that we can discard water baptism?
    for the record – not me

  72. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    “it is commanded as a humbling act that is visible to other Believers – a testament to our new life in Christ”

    Can you show me a scriptural passage where someone was told to go get baptized to show another person their faith? and not for the purpose to cleanse them, wash away their sins flat out save them – so they would receive the holy spirit etc?

    When Paul was baptized he was told to be baptized to wash away his sins (read all about it in Acts 22). He was not told to be baptized so the body of believers would know he was a Christian.

  73. Jean says:

    Em,

    That’s precisely what Hannah is arguing – that water baptism ended somewhere in the middle of Acts. In other words, Paul’s mission to the Gentiles excludes water baptism.

    But when you consider the theology, her point is worthy of consideration for this reason: If you believe that water baptism is an act of obedience, but salvation is by grace through faith, then you’re in a pickle. Hannah makes a clean break with water baptism. The Bible says baptism is not an act of obedience but the grace of God, consisting of water and God’s word of promise, applied to a sinner, which bestows the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.

  74. Hannah says:

    From what I am learning, water baptism of John ushered in the kingdom for the Jews who were waiting for it,.

    My reason for digging is because I did not see water baptism in Pauls teachings.
    We are baptized into Christ now.
    No one is addressing this.
    What about the verses of being baptized into Christ?
    Is that another baptism?

    What is the difference of looking into another mans opinion in the past verses now?

    And I am careful to let the scriptures speak.
    It is God through His word I am trying to understand.

  75. Hannah says:

    I want to add that I take my walk and relationship with the the Lord very seriously.
    I think it is not fair to mock another Christians quest for the truth.
    We are all on our own path. I choose to remain open to what I believe the Lord leads me to.

    I think respect for others is very important.
    A couple of hours ago, I complimented a ladies hand crocheted shawl on line at BJs.
    That is something I do for a hobby.
    It led to a conversation where I found out she is a Mormon.
    I spent some time talking with her , her husband and her daughter about Mormon doctrines vs what the Bible says.
    I ask the Lord to guide me to truth.
    It has taken me to several paths.
    I get up every day asking Him to use me to draw others to salvation.
    It has isolated me and cost me much, but I will do it until he takes me home.

    I just ask for some respect as a woman, and someone who is seeking, as I hope we all are.
    Just because I am a woman and not a theologian, does not mean God can’t lead me to truth.

  76. Michael says:

    “What is the difference of looking into another mans opinion in the past verses now?

    And I am careful to let the scriptures speak.
    It is God through His word I am trying to understand.”

    This is called being unteachable and it’s the height of spiritual arrogance and my personal hot button.

    God has placed Spirit led teachers in the church for two thousand years to teach people like you.
    They worked and trained and read voluminously and deeply to be able to do so.

    Then people like you come along and decide that you have no need for teachers.

    Unbelievable.

  77. Hannah says:

    I have no need for teachers?

    I am learning for others.
    Why are you so angry?

  78. Michael says:

    “Just because I am a woman and not a theologian, does not mean God can’t lead me to truth.”

    Being a woman has nothing to do with it as one of my closest friends is not only a woman, but an excellent theologian.
    There are multitudes of excellent female theologians, professional and otherwise.

    I have NO respect for those who are unteachable and who reject the riches that God has already given us in the church with theologians and historians.

  79. Michael says:

    I’m off to celebrate Trey’s birthday…have at it in my absence.

  80. em ... again says:

    well, yes, baptism is a little more nuanced … i do not believe it is salvific, if i understand the term correctly … and it clearly does have O.T. Middle Eastern roots in cleansing … one does not submit to baptism without thinking of themselves as helpless sinners, desperate and unable to cleanse themselves … it isn’t simple a rite of passage, like running a gauntlet

    where i part company with so many here and with my Presbyterian heritage is declaring anyone who has been baptized as ‘saved’ … i guess that spills into other denominations also, but i am thinking particularly of the helpless baby, who has yet no ability to repent

  81. em ... again says:

    bowing out here as i am content to let all follow their own hearts and minds on this baptism issue, if they’ve got a clear understanding of what was accomplished by God on the cross

  82. Hannah says:

    when I said I let the scriptures teach me.
    That is alongside some men who have been Pastors for decades.
    Some who had the same questions I had about Paul vs the 11 ministry.

    I am not professing to do this alone.
    If that is what you thought, I should have made it more clear.
    I’m getting the feeling that unless someone subscribes to your denomination, they are ignorant, prideful and stupid.

    I would have to look back, but I dont even think I started this conversation. I just replied to CC and the financial gain for the Pastors.
    It want my intent to get into this,.

    If there cant be a civil discussion, I wont post here anymore.
    I feel abused her at this point.

  83. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah,
    “From what I am learning, water baptism of John ushered in the kingdom for the Jews who were waiting for it,.” If nothing else you are consistent.

    Hey, I take issue over the same area with Steve Wright and the rapture theology / dispensationalists – just like you they hold that in the end (where you seem to place it at the beginning) Jews are saved (allowed entry into the kingdom) in a different manner than the rest of mankind who come through Jesus Christ.

    It’s funny that you deny any efficacy to Christian baptism – but for the Jew it is the fuel for entry into the kingdom. I call you a mid acts dispensationalist – but in the end you are a dispensationalist.

  84. Hannah says:

    MIchael

    You say I am unteachable.
    Have you ever had a conversation with me other than the few posts here?

    You have no right to judge my heart.
    My life is searching for the truth in the scriptures.

    This reminds me of when I took a womans discipleship training 1 and behind my back, told her friend who was head of women’s ministry (and also someone she worked with in that specific ministry….)..she didn’t think that was my “gift”..that my gift was evangelism..
    As if she knows me better than God or myself.

    I think you ought to be careful in judging me.
    God knows my heart.

  85. Hannah says:

    “It’s funny that you deny any efficacy to Christian baptism – but for the Jew it is the fuel for entry into the kingdom. I call you a mid acts dispensationalist – but in the end you are a dispensationalist.”

    MLD, you must know everything about me..how interesting.

  86. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    “particularly of the helpless baby, who has yet no ability to repent”

    This is where you err and I think if you reconsider you may see what we mean. Why would you insist that a person must repent themselves. The four parts of salvation are repentance, justification, sanctification and glorification – without all 4 there is no salvation.

    So do we justify ourselves? Do we sanctify ourselves? Do we glorify ourselves? If we don’t do those 3 why do we expect that we do the repentance. In the KJV (you can look it up – I think in the Psalms) David says turn me Lord and I will be turned.

    If this is true – then why can’t God do such for the infant when the word of God is spoken over him / her and the waters pour over this one?

  87. Jean says:

    Hannah wrote,

    “I’m getting the feeling that unless someone subscribes to your denomination, they are ignorant, prideful and stupid.”

    Michael has told you truthfully several times that you are in the minority, that over the course of 1800 years from the beginning of the Church, water baptism was never questioned. Even today, your view represents less than 5% of the worldwide self-professing Christian view.

    I think dispensationalism is a fruit of the Age of Enlightenment. Your sect has questioned orthodox Christian tradition and has deemed to follow a different direction. I’m not being mean, and I’m not condemning, I’m not insulting, I’m just observing. Maybe your fathers in your tradition were enlightened with wisdom which was absent in the Church for its first 1,800 years. Somehow the Church survived in its error all that time, thanks be to God.

  88. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah, fair point – show me where you don’t teach that Jews are saved under a different dispensation – based on what you said and I quoted.

    You can be proud of it – I know many rapture theology / dispensationalists who are proud of the 2 method theory – classified as Plan A and Plan B.

  89. Hannah says:

    Jean

    I don’t believe God is done with the Jews as you believe.

    We are from a different starting point.

    If this is what all the “fathers” said, I don’t believe it and I will not believe it.
    So there would be no way to get past this point,.

    I am a Physician, so I think I have some intellect.

  90. Xenia says:

    A baptized baby will spend the rest of his or her life repenting. The baptism gets them started on the Christian life. It is God Who does the baptizing. It is God Who saves us.

    Hannah’s idea that baptism has been done away with is the logical end of the common doctrine among evangelicals that says baptism should be done out of some kind of obedience but it doesn’t “do” anything. If it doesn’t really “do” anything, why retain the practice. At every evangelical baptism I have ever attended the pastor made sure we all knew it had absolutely nothing to do with salvation, it was just for the benefit of the onlookers. (Yet the Ethiopian eunuch had no audience.)

  91. Hannah says:

    MLD

    “Fair question”…but you won’t answer it..interesting

    You cant be saved by keeping the law..
    What did Jesus say when he was on earth before the cross about keeping the law?
    Was Jesus under the law?
    Were the other Jews being baptized by John under the law?
    Were all the Jews under the law before the cross?
    He was talking to law keeping Jews..He himself was one.

  92. Xenia says:

    In short, some believe that:

    1. Jesus only came to save the Jews but…
    2. The Jews rejected their Messiah so…
    3. God inaugurated Plan B (as MLD mentioned)….
    4 Which meant giving the Good News to the Gentiles, mostly to…
    5. Provoke the Jews. This Plan B…
    6. Is called “The Great Parenthesis” by those who believe the Church was an afterthought.
    7. It is called the Kingdom of God by the rest of us.

  93. Hannah says:

    Xenia

    If you look at Johns baptism and what was understood under the law by the Jews (especially men over 30-who could be in the Priesthood)..it will help the understanding of why John was baptizing Jews.

    The problem is that MLD wants to erase everything having to do with Jews from his doctrines..
    I am not saying I understood this until recently.
    The Jews were awaiting a Messianic Kingdom.
    The focus was the Jews when Jesus was on earth.
    Do you deny this?

    So if you don’t , how can you take a Jewish baptism and somehow bring it to the “church”?

  94. Jean says:

    Hannah,

    Let’s put that intellect to work: read my #48 and reconcile it to what you said I believe in your number 89: “I don’t believe God is done with the Jews as you believe.” What you will find is I affirmatively stated that God is not done with the Jews.The Gospel, the New Covenant and the Church are for all the Jews and Gentiles. Read this very carefully along with the entire chapter:

    “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Eph 2:13-16)

    This is Paul speaking of one faith, one baptism, one method of salvation, one Church and one Kingdom.

    If you cannot see these things, then perhaps Michael is correct when he says you’re unteachable. But, I am going to trust that God’s Word is stronger than your resistance.

  95. Xenia says:

    Another way to look at this:

    Ask yourself:

    Was the purpose of the creation of Israel to save Jews as a people? Are they the center of the biblical narrative? Is it all about them?

    Or

    Did God set aside the Hebrew people to produce the Messiah, who came to save all men and is HE is the center of the narrative?

  96. Hannah says:

    In short, some believe that:

    1. Jesus only came to save the Jews but… (I don’t)
    2. The Jews rejected their Messiah so…(not all of them . the “little flock” were Jews”
    3. God inaugurated Plan B (as MLD mentioned)….(no..Paul was dealing with jews in the synagogue..there was a transition period-overlap)
    4 Which meant giving the Good News to the Gentiles, mostly to…(PAUL)
    5. Provoke the Jews. This Plan B…(pAUL)
    6. Is called “The Great Parenthesis” by those who believe the Church was an afterthought.(revealed to Paul–never an afterthought-the “mystery”)
    7. It is called the Kingdom of God by the rest of us.(The kingdom was a Jewish doctrine in OT)

  97. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    I agree with everything you’ve written. Thank you.

  98. Hannah says:

    Was the purpose of the creation of Israel to save Jews as a people? Are they the center of the biblical narrative? Is it all about them?

    Who was the OT for? The Prophets? The prophecies of Messiah?) Did not God choose them, so that the entire world would be blessed by their Messiah?

    Or

    Did God set aside the Hebrew people to produce the Messiah, who came to save all men and is HE is the center of the narrative?

    They are set aside temporarily, until the time when Jesus returns (2nd coming) to setup the kingdom on earth and finish his plan for His people.
    I guess if you don’t believe this , you also believe Israel is not their land?

    I have to go-a busy day tomorrow.

  99. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hannah,
    So are the Jews awaiting the messianic kingdom by the sacrifice of bulls and goats today? Would they if they could build their temple?

    You need to read the book of Hebrews — wait, who was that book to? Oh the Hebrews – the book that says the sacrificial system is done and that the priesthood is done – the Temple is done – it is all in Christ — not saved for the Jews.

    But for those who don’t what dispensationalism puts forth – given the right timing (ie the rapture of the Church) God will then go back to dealing with His people the Jews – with a new temple, a new priesthood and a whole new bloody animal sacrifice system to save. They will rip the Book of Hebrews from the Bible.

    Dispensationalism is Greek for Danger! 😉

  100. Hannah says:

    Jean

    ” Let’s put that intellect to work:

    If you cannot see these things, then perhaps Michael is correct when he says you’re unteachable. But, I am going to trust that God’s Word is stronger than your resistance.”

    I have no need to subject myself to such disrespect.

    There is no grace here.

  101. Xenia says:

    The Church is Israel. We are the People of God, not any ethnic group.

    Adam and Eve were the first people of God.

    Their descendants fell into sin but Noah and his family were saved on the Ark. All the others were cut off from membership in the People of God. We are now down to 8 souls who are People of God.

    Of Noah’s 3 sons, only Shem and his descendants remained of the People of God. Ham and Japheth- no longer the People of God.

    Of Shem’s descendants, God chose Abraham. All the rest of the Shemites are now excluded from the People of God.

    Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 12 Patriarchs: These are the People of God. All others have fallen into idolatry and are no longer of the People of God.

    The undivided kingdom (Israel and Judah) is formed. They are the People of God.

    Israel and its ten tribes fall into idolatry, are carted off by the Assyrians, and vanish from history. They are no longer part of the People of God. They were genuine Hebrews but they are now cut off from the people of God.

    Judah hangs on, even in captivity. They return to the land and rebuild the Temple. They are the People of God, awaiting their Messiah.

    He comes and preaches the Good News, which many of them accept and many reject. THOSE WHO ACCEPT ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD, those who reject the Gospel are NOT. They are just as much on the outs as all the other groups throughout history that fell away from God.

    The earliest Church was made up mostly of Jewish believers yet in the process of time, more and more Gentiles entered in. This group of people who believe in the Messiah, be they of Jewish heritage or any other ethnic group, is the Church. The Church is now the People of God. All others have been excluded, either by the vagaries of history or by their own stubborn refusal to follow God.

    No one who denies Christ is of the People of God.

    Membership in the People of God is open to everyone. It is not based on ethnicity.

  102. Jean says:

    Hannah,

    Grace is a free gift. I gifted you a substantial amount of my personal time this evening trying to teach you. You have repeatedly misrepresented what I and other orthodox Christians have written to you. In all the interactions which you have had on this blog regarding baptism, you have never so much as granted a minute point to another who disagrees with you.

    Eventually you get to the victim card. Well, I’m crying crocodile tears here for you.

  103. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Yep, these guys are fully immerses (no pun intended) in the Mid Acts community. The Mid Acts folks believe that Peter and Paul did separate works – Peter with Jews and completing the old covenant and Paul was really the beginning of the Christian Church – hence the term Mid Acts.

    In their statement of faith they spell it out — “We believe the Bible must be Rightly Divided according to the principle set forth in II Timothy 2:15. Therefore, our emphasis is on the Message of Grace committed to our trust by our risen Lord through the ministry of the Apostle Paul, and on the Grace-life this message produces.”

    Note the particular wording – “through the ministry of the Apostle Paul,”

  104. Hannah says:

    Jean

    In all due respect, I never asked you to teach me.
    You chose to do this.

    Watch the video and if Michael chooses to have a discussion on this, Ill be back

  105. Jean says:

    Hannah,

    Under almost any definition of heresy, your mid-Acts dispensationalism is heresy. MLD’s #104 is accurate; I say the same thing on your guru’s website. I will not watch the video and would recommend to Michael that he delete the link and silence you from speaking of it further.

    The greatest heresy here begins with what your theology does to the doctrine of God. Lord have mercy.

  106. Michael says:

    MLD nailed it early.
    I’m not going to spread that heresy.
    Had to deal with it here a few years ago.
    The link is down and that will be the end of that.

  107. Jess says:

    “I have NO respect for those who are unteachable and who reject the riches that God has already given us in the church with theologians and historians.”

    Which church? The catholics? The protestants? Calvary Chapel? The Moonies?

    I’ll stick with being “unteachable” and read the Bible for myself and come to my own conclusions, thankyouverymuch.

    John 3:16 🙂

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I’ll stick with being “unteachable” and read the Bible for myself and come to my own conclusions, ”
    Said Joseph Smith
    Said Ellen G White
    Said Mary Baker Eddy
    Said Charles Taze Russell
    Said Sun Myung Moon
    Said David Koresh
    Said Jim Jones
    Said Jess

  109. Michael says:

    MLD has spoken very well @ 108… that is exactly where you end up.

  110. Surfer51 says:

    @12 Disillusioned

    “When someone calls for truth, and stands up for the disenfranchised, and has compassion on the abused, I see Jesus all over this blog.”

    You are correct in what you said.

    That was not what I was saying. I was just using the same measuring stick that was charted in the post.

    Your answer could be directed at the maker of the chart in the post as well as to me.

    Your answer would apply I am sure to CCA in delineating how they are also.

    Their panel discussion is much the same as what we do here, talk among our selves.

    By the way everyone this has been a really great discussion.

    Praying for our Coptic brethren. So sad indeed…

  111. Surfer51 says:

    MLD nails it hard @ 108!!! Out of the park dude.

  112. Jess says:

    MLD and Michael will go with the “historical church” which persecuted and murdered millions. Sick and twisted, but true.

  113. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess,
    Even if what you say is true – that the ‘historic’ church is made up of bad people (sinners), you have not made a case that the teaching of the Church down through history is not true.

    You are correct in saying that MLD will follow the historic church – but I must say it is much more preferable than following one that I made up in my head 2 years ago as you have.

  114. Jean says:

    When Michael or MLD use the term “following the teaching of the historic church,” what they actually mean is what theologians call the “Rule of Faith” (Regula Fidei) or “Analogy of Faith” (Analogia Fidei). This Rule of Faith defines a standard for orthodoxy and includes the the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds.

    Imagine what would have happened to MLD’s list at #108 (as well as a few names he left off), if those folks would have submitted to the Rule of Faith when interpreting their Bibles or other revelations.

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Let’s just put the teaching of the historic church on the table and see just what it is that Jess denies or despises of these teachings.
    Let’s begin with the 3 Eccumentical Creeds and the Didache. – Jess, what is your issue with these teachings?

    I don’t think Jess understands how much of what he knows when he sits down to discover the Bible by himself has already come into his head from the teaching of the historical church.

    Is Jess suggesting if we just hand someone a Bible they will come to an understanding of the Trinity similar to the Athanasius Creed?

  116. Rick says:

    When I was first a Christian (part of Jesus Movement in the 70’s) I was very caught up in dispensational theology. I remember telling my dad when I was 17 in response to his question regarding what I was going to do with my life that “I am going to be a dishwasher until Jesus comes”. Did not go over well but I remember being happy, my attitude was, as many were saying, it’s all going to burn–so live in the moment and any day now the church would be raptured out.

    One statement changed my life, my theology–the church, somewhere in the world, has always been in tribulation. Why do we think we are going to be delivered when they have not been. Made me think–a book that helped me in a very objective way was An Examination of Dispensationalism, by William Cox (written in 1963). 2 years spent in Germany after reading this book gave me the opportunity to look at the church historical–what has the church believed through the centuries as opposed to what teaching has arisen in the last 100-200 years. Had access to a great library with many old books (in a castle/ministry center owned by IVCF).

    The faith once delivered to the saints, that has stood the test of both persecution and time, has greater meaning for me. It is why, I think, I love the liturgy, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican or Lutheran, because of the historical context of them–provides an anchor. Interestingly, as of the last decade or so, I, who once found arguing theology fun, no longer finds it a priority. I am satisfied to fellowship with any who share assent with the historical confessions of the church. I am less certain of which millennial doctrine is correct–but am daily more certain that true faith produces evident fruit.

  117. Michael says:

    Rick…well said!

  118. Jess says:

    Michael gives a hearty “amen” to Rick’s support of the catholic establishment, and so that confirms what I said much earlier. Michael’s catholic-based belief in the “lordship salvation” false gospel would eventually lead him to the catholic cult, as it does all ecumenicalists. Game, set, match.

  119. Michael says:

    Jess,

    You may be a brother, but you’re my brother the idiot.

    I have no idea what the “catholic establishment” is ,but then you have no idea what the church or it’s history is.

  120. Jess says:

    This “idiot” recognizes that there’s no point in continuing the discussion. I only wanted to state that I did indeed make the call that it would happen.

  121. Michael says:

    Jess,

    You are clueless.
    You have no idea what I believe .
    I am not in any “catholic cult” but the historic Christian faith.

  122. Jess says:

    You’re in a historic religion, I’ll give you that. Call it whatever you want.

  123. Michael says:

    I call it what it is…an expression of the historic, Christian faith.
    I’m sure you’re in the one, true, church…

  124. Jess says:

    I’m a part of the one true church made up of all born again people, with the one true Gospel. But I don’t have the enormous numbers you have, so you must be right. The majority is always right.

  125. Michael says:

    Jess,

    What group is that which is totally pure?

    I wasn’t aware that Anglicanism had enormous numbers…especially in the group I’m going in.

  126. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess tagged the RCC as Lordship Salvation people? This alone suggests total ignorance on Jess’ part.
    Lordship Salvation is an evangelical fabrication – led by John MacArthur.

    Jess – you have not answered my question about your objection to the 3 Ecumenical Creeds and the Didache? They are online if they are unfamiliar to the church in your head.

  127. Jess says:

    I don’t know the numbers, Michael. I know there’s churches here, there, and everywhere, where people are born again by believing the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel that must be without any works (Romans chapter 4, verse 5). I don’t take a poll of everywhere that calls itself a “church” or fellowship around the world to find the numbers.

  128. Xenia says:

    Well Jess, you have added to the Gospel.

    Christ said that whoever believes on Him will be saved.

    You have added “…. and also holds to the Reformation doctrine of Salvation by Faith Alone.”

  129. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    Perhaps you’ve read this from near the end of the Athanasian Creed:

    “At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds. And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.”

    By the way, just one resurrection and just one judgment.

  130. Jess says:

    Xenia, Romans chapter 4 verse 5 is in the Bible. So that’s a silly comment on your part.

  131. Michael says:

    There are lots of verses in the Bible.
    I believe them all…I love the book of Romans and the book of James…

    “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
    (James 2:14–17 ESV)

    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
    (James 2:20–24 ESV)

  132. Michael says:

    “He will render to each one according to his works:to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”
    (Romans 2:6–8 ESV)

    Proof texting is a mine field…

  133. Jess says:

    Michael brings up a ton of verses that are about rewards and discipleship, and not about getting into heaven. Yes, Michael is indeed a proof texter.

  134. Michael says:

    Jess,
    You are a hoot.
    Unfortunately, your ignorance is only exceeded by your judgmentalism.

    I leave you to enjoy the fruit of both…

  135. Jess says:

    Michael is good at ad hominem. “Idiot”, “judgmentalism”, “ignorance”. Does “hoot” qualify? It’s kind of dated and old fashioned, so I’ll leave it out of the list.

  136. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well you can’t dispute theology with Jess – he got it straight from the Holy Spirit.

  137. Xenia says:

    Here’s a question: Suppose you have two pious Christians who are studying the Bible. One believes the Holy Spirit is teaching him A, the other that the Holy Spirit is teaching him B.

    How do you decide who really hears from the Holy Spirit? Is the HS playing games with His people, telling some A, some B and some C? The Spirit of Truth is lying to His people? Deceiving almost everyone except you, Jess? Are you one of God’s favorites?

    Or does it have to do with the holiness of the student. Is it only the holy person who hears accurately from the Holy Spirit? How do you become holy enough so you can hear the Holy Spirit better than anyone else on the entire planet?

    What good works must you do to become holy enough to hear straight from God? Tell us, Jess, we all want to know how we can be good enough so we can receive our doctrine straight from God, too.

    Or is your faith stronger than everyone else? How can we have as much faith as you have, Jess? Please let us know so we can hear from God like you hear from him.

    Thank you.

    Xenia

  138. Michael says:

    Jess,

    You have failed to make a single theological argument to address…instead you began with ad hominem statements directed toward me that had a lot of catch phrases but no substance.

    If you have a theological argument to make, we’re all waiting…

  139. John 20:29 says:

    i say repentance must come before baptism, i say one can be born again without baptism, i say baptism is symbolic and also pleasing to God and is a necessary act of obedience, i say one repents once and after that one confesses… others say repentance goes on and on throughout the Believer’s life, others say there’s no such thing as a literal born again being, that it is a figure of speech, others say baptism is the cleansing part of the salvation process (what process, i’m not sure), others equate “repent” and “confession” as interchangeable terms… and on and on and i’m beginning to see how wise our Lord’s earthly mother was in keeping her mouth shut and pondering as she watched her son’s life unfold here on earth
    a humble and a contrite heart please the Lord as does the avoidance of foolish and unlearned questioning…
    since i am borderline foolish, definitely unlearned and i do have trouble being humble and contrite (i have encountered those folk along the way who are willing to help me by pointing those things 🙂 )
    i find myself happiest here when i read what everyone else has to say about the God that all here love – God and His plan… sometimes i think, “that’s dead wrong” and sometimes i think, “that’s right on target and i haven’t thought about that” – the only thing that i hate here is when we think we have the right to belittle another of God’s children…
    now i have no problem with taking exception/wrestling with Truth…

    i do love what i know of the Faith and i know that perspective can’t help but infect our views – am i wrong to not put total confidence in any fellowship’s hard and fast distinctions? well, it’s got me through 66 years and i respect everyone else’s right to walk One on one with our Lord… ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit that guides, no matter how much we love and profit from our teachers and we do do that

    enough pontificating…

  140. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, are you really saying that one must do something before God will save you? Really? I must repent to be saved?
    God has made an offer (salvation), all you need to do is meet the entry fee (your act of repentance) and you get your hand stamped and you are in.

    This is what I don’t get in all the conversations we have had here at the PP. I do absolutely nothing to get saved – every act along the way is a work of God and not at all an act of mine own – not even in cooperation.
    God offers up his grace through his work and ya’ll refuse it.
    God saves me through his absolution, he repents me, he baptizes me, he justifies me, he sanctifies me, he will glorify me – and none of it counts if I say “no God, I will repent myself, I will be baptized only for obedience, not to receive you saving grace. In fact God, I will let you justify me and glorify me – but we are 50 / 50 partners on the sanctification thing.”

  141. Just passing by says:

    Beware of anything that competes with
    loyalty to Jesus Christ.
    – Oswald Chambers

  142. em ... again says:

    “em, are you really saying that one must do something before God will save you? Really? I must repent to be saved?
    God has made an offer (salvation), all you need to do is meet the entry fee (your act of repentance) and you get your hand stamped and you are in.”

    with all due respect, MLD, that’s a silly take away … responding to God is not the same as a “work” – i hope you respond to God, how sad if you don’t as God must wonder if you’re listening 🙂 …
    besides, isn’t it the antichrist who requires a “stamp?”

  143. Rick says:

    Jess, you made an interesting extrapolation regarding my comment about my valuing Catholic liturgy to some sort of “support” for Catholic establishment–actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The liturgies of the major church systems express truth independent of the validity of their governmental structures.

    I hold a view that would be considered heretical by many–authority is based in trust, not position. I would consider what the Pope, or Archbishop or whoever says on an equal par to that of the church custodian. Position means nothing–character and humility which merit trust are what matters. Those who value ‘power’ ought not to be trusted with it. I have witnessed too many abuses (mostly in Evangelical circles) to embrace any sense of positional authority.

  144. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, since repentance is just symbolic, it probably doesn’t matter anyway.

  145. em ... again says:

    MLD, repentance is symbolic? sometimes your responses remind me of conversing with my late mother… 🙂 there is no logic going on, just a knife fight

  146. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    Why is it not reasonable to consider repentance symbolic but reasonable to call baptism symbolic … or the Lord’s Supper symbolic?

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