Read and obey!…

30 03 2009

I came across the “Bart Simpson Chalkboard Generator” and I couldn’t resist….

bart-chalk





An illustration of Romans 1

30 03 2009

Sometimes you just run across something that is such a clear picture of the truth of scripture…

In the previous post in which the subject was Arminian logical fallacies, a commenter had the following to say:

Yep, this is a lovely theology. To remind my kid of it, maybe I should set our family dog on fire for peeing on the rug, despite the fact that he has a urinary infection.

That’s pretty much what God does, right? Punish people for doing EXACTLY what He created them to do.

I really liked that rug … and the dog ruined it … doesn’t matter if he could “help himself” or not, right? So maybe we should do what God does: take it out in the back, tie it to a tree and set it on fire.

Unlike the dog who only has to suffer for a minute or so – those “sinners” will suffer for eternity.

You need help. You don’t realize it yet, but dude, seriously … they have medications that will treat sociopathic and psychopathic behavior.

What immediately came to mind was:

Romans 1:18-23

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

And:

1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

I don’t think this needs any additional comment.

Editors note: Only adding: This turned out to be more true than I realized.





Arminian logical fallacies…can we put these to bed?

24 03 2009

If you’ve spent any time at all interacting with fellow Christians, you’ve no doubt heard these logical fallacies…they are repeated ad nauseam.
They are never proven; just assumed. Considering that the false doctrine of Arminianism is the standard position of almost all Christians these days, that’s not surprising.

The following is a short article from Rev. Roger Smalling, D.Min that I found at: http://www.smallings.com/LitEng/Essays/armin.html

So read these statements and ask yourself if you have been guilty of repeating them; and then ask yourself just how biblical are they?

1. God would not command us to do what we cannot do.

Or ‘God would not command us to do what we cannot do.’ God gave the Law to Moses, The Ten Commandments, to reveal what man cannot do, not what he can do.

  • This premise is unscriptural. God gave the Law for two reasons: To expose sin and to increase it so man would have no excuse for declaring his own righteousness. Why? Because in the context, he does NO righteousness. As Martin Luther said to Erasmus, when you are finished with all your commands and exhortations from the Old Testament, I’ll write Ro.3:20 over the top of it all. Why use commands and exhortations from the O.T. to show free will when they were given to prove man’s sinfulness? They exist to show what we cannot do rather than what we can do. Yes, God gave commands to man which man cannot do. Therefore commandments and exhortations do not prove free will. Nowhere in scripture is there any hint that God gives commands to men to prove they are able to perform them.
  • This premise is irrational. There may be many reasons for commanding someone to do something, other than the assumption that the can do it. The purpose, as above, may be to show the person his inability to perform the command. Thus, NOTHING can be deduced about abilities from a mere command.

2. If our will is bound, then we are not responsible for our actions.

Or, “If not free, then not responsible.” This means if we are unable to make a contrary choice, then our wills are not free. Thus, if we are completely bound in sin so that we can do nothing else but sin, then we are free from responsibility for those sins. This is irrational because the assumption behind this is the idea of neutrality.

  • The Bible does not present the concept of freedom in this way. According to Scripture, freedom is described as holiness. The ultimate freedom is absolute holiness. If that is true, then God is the most free being in the universe. Otherwise, we must say that God is the most enslaved being in the universe because He is the one least neutral on moral issues.
  • Likewise, if we affirm that bondage of will eliminates responsibility, then the best way to avoid responsibility for ours sins to be as bound by them as possible. The drunk who is bound by alcoholism is therefore not responsible for his actions. Should we encourage people to sin all the more therefore, so that they are not responsible any more?
  • The entire idea of neutrality of will is absurd. If the decisions of the will are not determined by the internal nature of the person, then in what sense can it be said that those decisions are the results of a decision of the person himself? How in fact could be a decision be truly a moral one if it is morally neutral? How can morally be morality at all and be neutral?

3. For love to be real, it must have the possibility of being rejected.

God wants us to love him freely, not by compulsion. Therefore, fallen man must have the ability to love God. It is simply that he chooses to love other things.

  • Scripture teaches that love for God is a product of His grace. 1Ti.1:14. If grace is necessary to make us love God, then it follows that follows that we had no ability to love him before the arrival of grace. It also means that grace is not given because we chose to love God. We chose to love God because grace is given. Grace, not a virtue in man, takes the initiative.
  • This premise is similar the one that says, “Contrary choice is necessary for freedom to exist.” Does God periodically give the saints in heaven an opportunity to hate him so as to be ‘fair’? Did Jesus have some ability to hate the Father? Or was His love for the Father a reflection of what He himself really is?
  • If faith is a gift of grace, as we saw above, then why is it strange to think that love may not be also a gift of grace?

4. A person cannot be punished for what he cannot help doing.

  • If that is the case, then a Christian may not be rewarded for what his new nature compels him to do. Let us not forget that the nature of a person is not a thing he possesses. It is something he is.




Mormons again…

17 03 2009

The Mormons are at it again….this time they are being outright dishonest…





LDS: “Hey! At least I didn’t surf porn on Sunday!”

14 03 2009

Interesting…

Can you guess the state that leads the nation in downloading internet pornography?

Not just leads, but is the runaway leader?

You guessed it…Utah.

The most interesting part of this video is that although they lead the nation in surfing smut…they don’t do it on Sundays!

Ya gotta love that works-righteousness!

Question for the LDS folks out there…when an LDS member repents, they are only REALLY repentant IF they don’t repeat the sin, otherwise it’s not true repentance, and if they didn’t repent, then they aren’t getting more “godlike” and being perfected….how do you deal with that?

Note to all you Christians out there…lest you think that you are better than our LDS friends…the stats for closet porn there isn’t much better. You have something to repent of also!

My point in posting this was NOT to say that we, as Christians are sinless and don’t surf porn…but only to juxtapose the outward LDS system with the “inner man” that the bible speaks of.

The Christian system of belief is NOT based on “working our way” to the Celestial Kingdom, and while we sin just as much as LDS folks…we thank God that our acceptance is NOT based on our performance, but solely on the finished work of Christ.





The promises of God: Part 2

12 03 2009

Last post, we looked at John 6 and said that the Father gives men to the Son, and the Son raises them up without failing. I had mentioned that this is not for everyone. The Father does not give everyone to the Son, nor does the Son raise everyone to eternal life.

Did that take you by surprise?

If you’re like me, then you might have immediately thought of John 12:32:


And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”


Hmm…that seems to conflict with what’s already been said in John, where Jesus said:

  1. No man has the ability to come
  2. The only ones who come are the ones previously given by the Father
  3. The ones give will be raised to eternal life

So what do we do with John 12:32 because it seems to say that Jesus will draw EVERYONE to himself…so then nobody goes to Hell? Everyone is raised to eternal life??

Uh oh….

Well, if we just let it hang there without looking more closely at the context of each of these passages, we’ve got a dilemma; clearly one passage says that only those whom the father gives will come and the other passage says that Christ will draw all.

The context of John 6 from last week was the unbelief of those following Jesus. The context of our current passage is the expansion of the promise from the Jews only, to now onto the Gentile regions and beyond.

Chapter 12:20 begins with:

Now some Greeks were among those who had gone up to worship at the feast. So these approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”

So the context of the word “pantas” or all, is “Not just the Jews, but the Gentiles and beyond.” In other words: “men from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people.”

Is this Greek mumbo-jumbo slight of hand? Certainly not. The word “pantas” can, (and frequently does) have this meaning; instead of a universal all encompassing meaning. Words are always limited by their immediate context. There is no other way to understand spoken and written communication.

Example:
When the teacher says “Is everyone present today?” we don’t really think she means “everyone on the whole planet” do we?
No; of course not. We understand that the context; her being a teacher of a certain class, and it being class time, limits her inquiry to “those who are enrolled in this class and are supposed to be there that day”

The same holds true for reading scripture. You’ve heard that “Context is king” and this is a good example.

So the two statements can sit side by side with no conflict. One is speaking about the unbelief of some; and the other is speaking about the extent of the promise.

And here is that promise:
The Father chose some before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1) and those he gave to the Son (John 6) and the Son will raise them up (John 6) and He will do so from “every tribe tongue, nation, and people” (John 12, Rev 7)

And now beautiful those words are to the believer.
Soli Deo Gloria
bob





The promises of God (aka the Doctrines of Grace)

5 03 2009

I was just thinking about something. As you probably guessed, I believe that the Doctrines of Grace are biblical…they are simply the gospel defined. And because of that, I believe that the typical “Arminian free-will” view is wrong.

But I was just thinking that the Doctrines of Grace, (aka Calvinism) get a bad rap.

Why?

Because they are always seen in a negative light as in “look what God is not doing for this person, or that person” or “look how this doctrine is limited” or some such nonsense…but really, these doctrines are a beautiful set of promises from God to the believer! Indeed; they are the foundation of our trust, and I cannot imagine why any believer would not embrace them.

Let’s look at just one issue and one passage:

What saves us and keeps us? Is it our own abilities? Our own intelligence?

Thankfully not.

It’s rooted in the promises of God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
This what Paul says:

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.
For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.
He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will -to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.
He did this when he revealed  to us the secret  of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth  in Christ,  toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up  all things in Christ – the things in heaven  and the things on earth.  In Christ  we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope  on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

Just look at the glorious language being used!

Who is the subject; performing all of the actions in all of this?
God
Who are the direct objects of his actions?
Us

Just look at His actions:

  1. He chose us
  2. He blesses us
  3. He predestined us
  4. He revealed His will to us
  5. He claimed us
  6. He marked us
  7. He put a down payment on us

Wow…no wonder Paul says that if God is for us…who can stand against us?

This is the foundation of our hope; the rock we cling to…the fact that it’s not our actions that saved us…nor is it our will that keeps us…
If it was then we are all in a lotta hot water.
Thankfully it’s all God.
Don’t forget to thank Him.

Soli Deo Gloria.
Bob