Friday, July 21, 2017

The Sin of Partiality

The sin of partiality is a major affront to the sound doctrine of Imago Dei in general, and the priesthood of all believers specifically.

A Biblical Sheperd

A shepherd is no shepherd who does not walk among and with the flock in the manner of the Lord Jesus Christ. He nourishes them through the unified corpus of sound doctrine in the manner that he has been nourished. He protects them from all assaults of encroaching errors, and sinful threats to their fellowship with Christ. He loves them by laying down his life, not vicariously, but sacrificially, committing them to Christ, their Head. He does not place barriers of self-ambition and vanity between he and them. Whatever famines men think there are, the greatest of these is that personality cultism has replaced the humble ministry of the lowly shepherd.

The Christian's Loyalty

The soldier's loyalty is seen in his obedience to Christ, unwavering proclamation of his King's edicts, and refusal to bask in the glory of the King's subjects. It is also seen in the soldier's desire to please the One who has enlisted him, and to walk among those he protects, willing to sacrifice his life, although not vicariously but lovingly, for all who belong to the King.

Biblical Discipleship

The goal of biblical discipleship is to see Christ formed in others, not yourself formed in others. Therefore the only means to accomplish this is by teaching believers all that Christ commanded in the Scriptures (Matt. 28:20). Discipleship, then, is not to rally individuals around one's personality, hobbies, or temporal interests; rather for them to know the Scriptures and apply what they have learned in their lives and the lives of others. It is to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and patience, and to connect believers to their biblical heritage as it relates to the unified corpus of sound doctrine.

~Doron Gladden

The Godly Man

The godly man is so not because he has been propped up by a consensus of men, money, and resources. The godly man is so because he is commended by God, often in spite of men, affirmed by Him, and holds to the mystery of godliness with a clear conscience.

~Doron Gladden

Christianity

A "Christianity" scrubbed clean of sound, courageous, fearless, truly humble men, raising up those who make it their business to praise one another is no "Christianity" at all.

Pragmatists Vs Biblicist

There are a long list of people, biblically speaking, who will trumpet "doing the right things." They do so while appealing to their pragmatic lusts and force you to bankroll their folly. Even those who make their living telling you that you must do what is right in the eyes of God. And then there are the few who, no matter the personal cost, or the consequence of man's shifting, futile opinions, live by their biblical convictions, and actually will do what is right instead of simply talking about what is right.

Compromise: the ecumenical spirit and the celebrity handmaiden

The following excerpts are in response to “The Nov. 17-19 conference, “An International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman,” will feature about 30 speakers from 23 countries and 14 religions.”

The gospel is not something to be discussed along with social causes. Noticeably our ages’ most celebrated compromisers generally use the term ‘gospel’ without identifying it as the gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone is the power of God unto salvation. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not some conference admission tool. It is not a ‘discussion’ between men with the hope of settling on some middle ground. It is not some intellectual debate. In fact, the Scriptures are not up for debate.

The visible church has defaulted on sounding the alarm and has stoned the discerning in the court of public opinion. In recent years, men such as John Piper and Mark Driscoll have affirmed the ecumenist Rick Warren. Their affirmations have legitimized men such as Warren. The three men must be avoided and the alarm must be sounded with more vigor, even if men would criticize because the alarm is too loud and frequent. Joining the Vatican Council is not the unity of Christ. It is the unity of the kingdom of darkness. It is not the unity of the faith, but the unity of the faithless. The faith does not need men’s help for exposure. In fact, a mark of the true disciple of Christ as not that the world unequivocally embraces the man, but that they unequivocally despise him (Matt. 10:22)....

This brings the final issue. We must stop our own love affair with coddling false teachers and apostates. We must stop criticizing those who are warning us of these things. We must stop pretending that we care so much for the local church that those who warn us about the universal church are labeled as bitter Christians. We must not accuse them of fault-finding, when Satan laughably sets the faults on the table, God exposes them for us, and we continue to excuse these faults, because the trojan-horse carriers are well-published, well-liked, and well-commended. The standard cannot be our own minds and feelings about men. This is folly. We must think God’s thoughts after Him concerning these things, namely as Paul the apostle has said in 1 Corinthians 1 that the gospel of Jesus Christ is foolishness to the wise. It confounds them. It brings up from them hatred of the blessed Son. God has not chosen the wisest, most esteemed, and beloved as vessels for His truth. It is the despised, the lowly and the maligned who bear true witness and testimony of His holy Gospel. In other words, we must repent of our desire to raise up celebrities, emulating them, and raising them up as the standard; finding them beneficial, even though they have demonstrated persistent disloyalty to Christ.

Have we become dull of hearing and seeing like those in the time of Isaiah and the Prophets? Have we refashioned Christ so much that when His modern disciples cry out to us, we scorn them and cast them from our presence? We must repent of mocking those whom God has given the sorrowful burden of seeing these things and sounding an alarm from rooftops. We must stop deriding them as those who correct us too much or label them as discernment divas. We must see their faithful, biblical words as pure gold and batteries for our compass. Satan loves nothing more than to raise up his ecumenists, but more than that, he loves to use the mouths of compromising ‘evangelicals’ to commend his servants. We must not only test these things against the infallible Holy Scriptures, but also test ourselves in the faith to see if we are truly in Him. We must ask ourselves do we have a fraternal spirit of pseudo-gospel progress? Has this caused us to despise the true Christians who plead with us to return to our first love: Christ? Do we believe that the family is more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when the biblical gospel and true discipleship carries us away from our families into the bosom of Christ (Matt. 10:37)? ~Excerpts from "The Ecumenical Spirit And the Celebrity Handmaiden"

Friday, July 14, 2017

Think About It

To agree in principle what you disagree with in practice is hypocrisy. God hates hypocrisy & the sin of favoritism.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Eric Powers Deals With Evangelical's Doctrinal Triage

Of Mohler's self defined doctrinal triage, he lists the authority of Scripture as in the first tier. The problem is that this is in contradiction to his entire system since the doctrinal triage (DT) is an ATTACK on Scripture.

Eric Powers of the Biblical Christ Research Institute has published his thesis dealing with the doctrinal triage. Here are some excerpts that are noteworthy:
The library at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California allows access to more than 200,000 volumes. Among this vast array of works very few have been concentrated on an emerging topic in evangelicalism called the doctrinal triage (also known as theological triage – hereafter usually designated by “DT”), because, DT is a quite novel concept in evangelicalism.1 Accordingly, the inception of DT has been attributed to an article written on May 20, 2004 by Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In his article, Mohler defined the theological triage as a three-level system of doctrinal importance when he wrote:
“Today’s Christian faces the daunting task of strategizing which Christian doctrines and theological issues are to be given highest priority in terms of our contemporary context. . . theological seriousness and maturity demand that we consider doctrinal issues in terms of their relative importance. First-level theological issues would include those doctrines most central and essential to the Christian faith. Included among these most crucial doctrines would be doctrines such as the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, justification by faith, and the authority of Scripture. . . The set of second-order doctrines is distinguished from the first-order set by the fact that believing Christians may disagree on the second-order issues, though this disagreement will create significant boundaries between believers. When Christians organize themselves into congregations and denominational forms, these boundaries become evident. Second-order issues would include the meaning and mode of baptism. . . Third-order issues are doctrines over which Christians may disagree and remain in close fellowship, even within local congregations. I would put most of the debates over eschatology, for example, in this category.
In other words, the theological triage is the practice of prioritizing biblical doctrines to their individual degree of importance, labeling them as of primary importance, secondary importance, or tertiary importance. Mohler’s thesis was that doctrines from the Word of God differ in their level of importance, and that these levels of importance dictate the levels at which fellowship is possible with others among the Christian consensus....

Mohler’s isolation of doctrines in terms of their importance were categorized as “first-order” doctrines that are fundamental and essential to the Christian faith; “second-order” doctrines that are essential to church life and order in the local church; and “third-order” doctrines that do not threaten the fellowship of a local church congregation or denomination.8 The transition of doctrines from the pages of Scripture to the application of these doctrines in the life of the church go through this first-stage evaluation. Therefore, the danger of DT is when it becomes a “principle” in interpreting and applying God’s Word. Mohler argued that doctrines and theological issues are to be given highest priority in terms of our contemporary context. What is more, Mohler argued that theological seriousness and maturity demand that we consider doctrinal issues in terms of their relative importance. On the other hand, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics had a completely different take concerning the influence of the contemporary context on the relative importance of doctrine when the authors wrote, “WE DENY that the distinctions between the universal and particular mandates of Scripture can be determined by cultural and situational factors. We further deny that universal mandates may ever be treated as culturally or situationally relative.”
Hermeneutics is the discipline that deals with the principles of biblical interpretation.10 The goal of hermeneutics should be to determine the objective meaning from the Scripture. The only way to accomplish this is through the exegesis of the Scripture by using the literal grammatical-historical hermeneutic.11 The literal grammatical-historical hermeneutic is Scriptures’ self-attested rule for interpreting Scripture....
To summarize the origins of the history of the practice of triage, it began in military medical procedures only as early as the Napoleonic Wars and did not enter into secular emergency medicine or hospital emergency rooms until after World War II in the 1950’s….

Therefore, the purpose of triage in emergency medical pragmatism is sorting and prioritizing patients to treat them based on the allocation of resources. The microallocation and macroallocation is contingent on the resources that are available. Specifically, it is dependent on which geographical area treatment is provided because resources can be scarce. But the Christian has the entire corpus of God’s Word. Therefore, the Christian does not have a shortage of doctrinal resources for the purpose of practicing microallocation and macroallocation. Triage has a place in emergency medical pragmatism. But does DT have a place in the church? Although emergency medical departments rely on tax payer’s money to dispense emergency care – there is no lack of resources with God. God is infinite and He has unlimited resources. What is more, the triage as a concept concerning ethical thought did not invade the overall western culture and implement itself into mainstream secular philosophies of education until the 1970’s....
In his article “A Call for Theological Triage and Christian Maturity,” written on May 20, 2004 Mohler explained how he came up with the idea for theological triage. He explained in his article that he borrowed the concept of triage from a trip to a local hospital emergency room. He invoked the memory this way when he wrote, A trip to the local hospital Emergency Room some years ago alerted me to an intellectual tool that is most helpful in fulfilling our theological responsibility. In recent years, emergency medical personnel have practiced a discipline known as triage–a process that allows trained personnel to make a quick evaluation of relative medical urgency. Given the chaos of an Emergency Room reception area, someone must be armed with the medical expertise to make an immediate determination of medical priority. Which patients should be rushed into surgery? Which patients can wait for a less urgent examination? Medical personnel cannot flinch from asking these questions, and from taking responsibility to give the patients with the most critical needs top priority in terms of treatment. . . Thus, the triage officer in the medical context is the front-line agent for deciding which patients need the most urgent treatment. Without such a process, the scraped knee would receive the same urgency of consideration as a gunshot wound to the chest. The same discipline that brings order to the hectic arena of the Emergency Room can also offer great assistance to Christians defending truth in the present age....

Mohler’s theological triage has gained commendation in the blogosphere and popular online video teaching programs. For instance, one blog writer identified Mohler’s original article on DT as seminal and praised the work as the solution to determine not only the relative importance of particular doctrines in the church but also the solution for triaging the distinctions between what he categorized as bad doctrine vs. heresy. 26 On October 20, 2016, a popular and influential online teaching program dedicated an entire hour when a guest speaker and pastor argued that Mohler’s Theological Triage is the solution for maintaining the unity of the faith across the dividing line. 27 What is more, not only has DT made an impression on blogosphere and popular online video teaching programs, it has also influenced academic institutions beyond Mohler’s Alma Mater. For instance, a Master of Divinity thesis was written in 2007 by David Gundersen which was strongly influenced by Mohler’s original article. Consequently, Gundersen entitled his thesis “Biblical Principles for Determining the Relative Importance of Particular Doctrines.”28 Accordingly, Gundersen’s thesis purposed to develop biblical principles to examine a doctrine in order to distinguish its approximate scriptural weight.29 Nevertheless, the author confessed that Scripture does not teach DT as a biblical principle and demonstrated his frustration to create DT as such when he wrote, “Scripture does not provide a diagram or a list of all primary, secondary, and tertiary doctrines. . . It is impossible to create a flawless machine that can mass-produce doctrinal importance levels.”30

Footnotes:

26 Mike Riccardi, “Bad Doctrine vs. Heresy: An Exercise in Theological Triage,” www.thecripplegate.com, 15 November 2015, http://thecripplegate.com/bad-doctrine-vs-heresy-anexercise-in-theological-triage (accessed 27 November 2016).

27 Alpha & Omega Ministries, “Theological Triage – Maintaining the Unity of the Faith” (video of lecture, Pastor John Samson guest host on today’s Dividing Line, Streamed live on October 20, 2016) accessed November 27, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSPf3UwQGdA.

28 David A. Gundersen, “Biblical Principles for Determining the Relative Importance of Particular Doctrines” (M.Div. Thesis, The Master’s Theological Seminary, 2007).

29 Ibid., iii.
30 Ibid. 


End quote. (emphasis, mine)

Please go here for the entire thesis which goes into greater detail.
On the history of triage from which Al Mohler borrows to use as a hermeneutic to interpret and prioritize (and determine who's in and who's out of Christianity) and this is KEY (and you should ask yourself, who is the spiritual equivalent of "trained personnel" and "medical personnel" who rate the priorities of incoming injured people to the ER? Who gets to determine what doctrines are higher or lower of importance? How do they determine that? By what standard? You should be asking these questions and then search the Scriptures to see what God says in His Word.

Damnable Gospel From John Hagee



We all dream of absolute forgiveness of our transgressions. To attain this pardon, we must do our part, and He promises to do His.
8:57 AM - 7 Jul 2017


Gal 1:7  which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
Gal 1:9  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!


Rom 3:9  What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
Rom 3:10  as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 
Rom 3:11  THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 
Rom 3:12  ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." 
Rom 3:13  "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS";
Rom 3:14  "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS";
Rom 3:15  "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
Rom 3:16  DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
Rom 3:17  AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN."
Rom 3:18  "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."
Rom 3:19  Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
Rom 3:20  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21  But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 
Rom 3:22  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 
Rom 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
Rom 3:24  being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 
Rom 3:25  whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 
Rom 3:26  for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 
Rom 3:27  Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 


Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 
Eph 2:9  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 
Eph 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 


Other noteable false teaching by Hagee:

The daily application of God’s Word through praise, proclamation, and prayer is the direct pathway to success and prosperity.

In case anyone wants to refute challenging him, he says "we are our brothers' keeper".

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A List Of How James White Was Wrong In Promoting Imam Qadhi

In January, 2017 Christian apologist James White invited Muslim leader Yasir Qadhi to have an inter-faith dialogue meeting at Grace Church in Memphis, TN. White has come under attack for this event for many reasons including: (1) Allowing Qadhi to justify Islam by lying and misleading Christians with demonstrably incorrect claims all unchallenged; (2) Endorsing Qadhi’s dishonest portrait and promotion of “true” Islam as being peaceful even though it is not, and even though Qadhi has recently endorsed, buddied up with and defended terrorists, and even though Qadhi is a member of numerous terrorist and Muslim Brotherhood front groups (as the Holy Land Foundation Trial proves); (3) Having an inter-faith meeting in a church in front of Christians which is unbiblical; (4) Allying with a wicked leader of a false religion like Qadhi is unbiblical (e.g. calling Qadhi his “mentor,” saying he has a “kindred spirit” with Qadhi, wanting to unite with Qadhi and Muslims against secularism, saying he is honored by Qadhi’s presence, and "fellowshiping" with Qadhi and Muslims as the event banner advertised, etc). In this article I will explain the reasons why these criticisms of White are valid.
White’s critics include the following Christians and experts in Islam:

Keith Thompson of www.reformedapologeticsministries.com, Sam Shamoun of www.Answering-Islam.org, Anthony Rogers of www.Answering-Islam.org, Robert Spencer www.JihadWatch.org, David Wood (on White’s denial “true” Islam is violent) of www.AnsweringMuslims.com, Paul Flynn of www.megiddoradio.com, Brannon Howse of www.worldviewweekend.com, Usama Dakdok of www.thestraightway.com, Steve Hayes (on various objections) of www.triablogue.ca. Even James Simpson of www.theamericanthinker.com has critiqued White on this, as has former FBI counter-terrorism expert John Guandolo of www.understandingthethreat.com. At the end of this article all the relevant critiques of White from these people will be provided. Thousands of Christians viewing the controversy on the side lines have likewise taken a stand against White for his compromising actions.
Below is the video of the event and throughout this article I will provide time-stamp references whenever I quote or allude to statements of White and Qadhi from it (e.g. “05:11”, etc).

End quote.

~Reformed Apologetics

Also, I suggest looking at exactly how Yasir Qadhi lied and therefore how James helped the lies by leaving him unchallenged.

John MacArthur Says It's Not A Sin For A Christian To Bake A Product For A Same-Sex "Wedding"

He couldn't be more wrong. Mac, you're killing me. To bake for a sodomy union is akin to helping them celebrate something blasphemous. I can't believe he's relegated this to a mere issue of personal preference/political issue. He's compromising and it's hard to watch.

Christian Post reports that during the Q&A at Ligonier's 2017 conference, MacArthur answered this question: is it sinful for a Christian to make a product for a same-sex wedding?

His answer:
"No, it's not sinful for a cake maker to make a cake for a gay wedding anymore than its sinful for a guy who runs a restaurant to serve dinner to somebody who is gay, sits in a booth and eats the food, or goes to the market and buys a loaf of bread and you own the market," he argued. "What the issue is, is not whether that's sinful. It's weather the federal government can demand that people do certain things, which goes against their Christian conscience."
MacArthur argued that this is "more of a political governmental issue."
"I actually think that we need to show love to everyone and particularly, we need to do good to all those that are outside the kingdom, as well as inside the kingdom, as much as possible — a gesture of kindness toward some unregenerate person is in itself not a sin," he added.
However, MacArthur suggested it is plausible for Christians to feel that serving a gay wedding violates their "conscience in some way" and argued that they should have the right to act in accordance with their conscience.

End quote.
It's one thing to feed a person food to eat, but quite another to aid in their abominable celebration. That's straight up approval. MacArthur is not ending his ministry well at all, and while I've benefited from his teaching immensely for 30 years, it's clear that he's become just another compromiser.
The political/governmental catagorizing wasn't an answer to the question. The question was, is it a sin for a Christian to bake a cake for a sodomite union? And just because it's lawful (via civil government) doesn't mean it's right or good. God defines what is good and righteous.
Is. 45:19b I, the LORD, speak righteousness, Declaring things that are upright.  
"Doing good" doesn't include promoting their sinful behavior. He's mixing the idea of the Good Samaritan (meeting a TRUE need and doing good) with selling meat for idol worship (which is not a need and is helping them sin against the Holy One of Israel) and it just can't be done biblically. How is it showing kindness and love by aiding and abetting a pagan do continue in his abominations and doing so as a Christian? How?
MacArthur has become more political and less spiritual. He wasn't doing this 10-15 years ago.
Rom 3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)
Rom 3:6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?
Rom 3:7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?
Rom 3:8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come"? Their condemnation is just.

1Th 5:22  Abstain from every form of evil

Isa 31:2  Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster And does not retract His words, But will arise against the house of evildoers and against the help of the workers of iniquity. 
Isa 31:3  Now the Egyptians are men and not God, And their horses are flesh and not spirit; So the LORD will stretch out His hand, And he who helps will stumble And he who is helped will fall, And all of them will come to an end together



Friday, June 30, 2017

Lies and Deception of Muslims: it's taught in their books

Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them. There are several forms:
• Taqiyya (Shia) or Muda'rat (Sunni): 
tactical deceit for the purposes of spreading Islam.
• Kitman: deceit by omission.
• Tawriya: deceit by ambiguity.
• Taysir: deceit through facilitation 
(not having to observe all the tenets of Sharia).
• Darura: deceit through necessity 
(to engage in something "Haram" or forbidden).
• Muruna: the temporary suspension of Sharia in order that Muslim immigrants appear "moderate".

Though not called taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans (known as Hudaibiya) that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover. The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the treaty two years later. Some of the people in the city who had trusted him at his word were executed. 

Another example of lying is when Muhammad used deception to trick his personal enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to slaughter by pretending to seek peace. This happened in the case of Ka'b bin al-Ashraf (as previously noted) and again later against Usayr ibn Zarim, a surviving leader of the Banu Nadir tribe, which had been evicted from their home in Medina by the Muslims...

Such was the reputation of early Muslims for lying and then killing that even those who "accepted Islam" did not feel entirely safe. Consider the fate of the Jadhima. When Muslim "missionaries" approached their tribe, one of the members insisted that they would be slaughtered even though they had already "converted" to Islam to avoid just such a demise. However, the others believed they could trust the Muslim leader's promise that they would not be harmed if they simply offered no resistance. (After convincing the skeptic to lay down his arms, the unarmed men of the tribe were quickly tied up and beheaded - Ibn Ishaq 834 & 837)...

Leaders in the Arab world sometimes say one thing to English-speaking audiences and then something entirely different to their own people in Arabic. ..

~End quote. Go here for the full article with a dozen examples from the quran,hadith, and Islamic law, as well as historical examples.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Compromise Of Churches

[I]f the world will not come to Jesus, shall Jesus tone down his teachings to the world? In other words, if the world will not rise to the church, shall not the church go down to the world?
Instead of bidding men to be converted, and come out from among sinners, and be separate from them, let us join with the ungodly world, enter into union with it, and so pervade it with our influence by allowing it to influence us.
Let us have a Christian world. To this end let us revise our doctrines. Some are old-fashioned, grim, severe, unpopular; let us drop them out. Use the old phrases so as to please the obstinately orthodox, but give them new meanings so as to win philosophical infidels, who are prowling around.
Pare off the edges of unpleasant truths, and moderate the dogmatic tone of infallible revelation: say that Abraham and Moses made mistakes, and that the books which have been so long had in reverence are full of errors. Undermine the old faith, and bring in the new doubt; for the times are altered, and the spirit of the age suggests the abandonment of everything that is too severely righteous, and too surely of God.
The deceitful adulteration of doctrine is attended by a falsification of experience. Men are now told that they were born good, or were made so by their infant baptism, and so that great sentence, “Ye must be born again,” is deprived of its force.
Repentance is ignored, faith is a drug in the market as compared with “honest doubt,” and mourning for sin and communion with God are dispensed with, to make way for entertainments, and Socialism, and politics of varying shades. A new creature in Christ Jesus is looked upon as a sour invention of bigoted Puritans.
It is true, with the same breath they extol Oliver Cromwell; but then 1888 is not 1648. What was good and great three hundred years ago is mere cant to-day. That is what “modern thought” is telling us; and under its guidance all religion is being toned down.
Spiritual religion is despised, and a fashionable morality is set up in its place. Do yourself up tidily on Sunday; behave yourself; and above all, believe everything except what you read in the Bible, and you will be all right. Be fashionable, and think with those who profess to be scientific—this is the first and great commandment of the modern school; and the second is like unto it—do not be singular, but be as worldly as your neighbours.
Thus is Isaac going down into Padan-aram: thus is the church going down to the world. Men seem to say—It is of no use going on in the old way, fetching out one here and another there from the great mass. We want a quicker way.
To wait till people are born again, and become followers of Christ, is a long process: let us abolish the separation between the regenerate and unregenerate. Come into the church, all of you, converted or unconverted. You have good wishes and good resolutions; that will do: don’t trouble about more.
It is true you do not believe the gospel, but neither do we. You believe something or other. Come along; if you do not believe anything, no matter; your “honest doubt” is better by far than faith. “But,” say you, “nobody talks so.”
Possibly they do not use the same words, but this is the real meaning of the present-day religion; this is the drift of the times. I can justify the broadest statement I have made by the action or by the speech of certain ministers, who are treacherously betraying our holy religion under pretence of adapting it to this progressive age.
The new plan is to assimilate the church to the world, and so include a larger area within its bounds. By semi-dramatic performances they make houses of prayer to approximate to the theatre; they turn their services into musical displays, and their sermons into political harangues or philosophical essays—in fact, they exchange the temple for the theatre, and turn the ministers of God into actors, whose business it is to amuse men.
Is it not so, that the Lord’s-day is becoming more and more a day of recreation or of idleness, and the Lord’s house either a joss-house full of idols, or a political club, where there is more enthusiasm for a party than zeal for GodAh me! the hedges are broken down, the walls are levelled, and to many there is henceforth, no church except as a portion of the world, no God except as an unknowable force by which the laws of nature work.
This, then, is the proposal. In order to win the world, the Lord Jesus must conform Himself, His people, and His Word to the world. I will not dwell any longer on so loathsome a proposal… Notice his master’s outspoken, believing repudiation of the proposal.
He says, shortly and sharply, “Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.” The Lord Jesus Christ heads that grand emigration party which has come right out from the world. Addressing His disciples, He says, “Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
We are not of the world by birth, not of the world in life, not of the world in object, not of the world in spirit, not of the world in any respect whatever. Jesus, and those who are in Him, constitute a new race. The proposal to go back to the world is abhorrent to our best instincts; yea, deadly to our noblest life.
A voice from heaven cries, “Bring not my son thither again.” Let not the people whom the Lord brought up out of Egypt return to the house of bondage; but let their children come out, and be separate, and the Lord Jehovah will be a Father unto them. (Online source)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

To Grow In Grace Is Not To Grow In Complacency

"Let it be said emphatically that growing "in grace" most certainly does not mean an increasing satisfaction with myself. No, it is the very opposite. The more I walk in the light of God, the more plainly can I see the wiliness of the "flesh" within me, and there will be an ever-deepening abhorrence of what I am by nature. "For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Rom. 7:18) is not the confession of an unbeliever, nor even of a babe in Christ, but of the most enlightened saint. The only relief from this distressing discovery and the only peace for the renewed heart is to look away from self to Christ and His perfect work for us. Faith empties of all self-complacency and gives an exalted estimate of God in Christ."
~ Arthur Pink, "Regeneration or the New Birth"