Archive for August 6th, 2008

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Jesus

I have heard this verse used over and over again by ODMs to show that few will enter into an authentic relationship with Jesus and find true life. This is usually in response to mega-churches that are using a “watered-down gospel” that leads hundreds to confessions of faith. That many people could obviously not enter into a relationship with Jesus… the road is too narrow. This verse is often used when large groups of people are at peace with the gospel (a man-centered, false gospel in their opinion). I mean, few will find this path… how could that many people have found our secret gate to life?

Well, this morning I was thinking about a thread I had started on God dreaming, and this issue came up again. I then had an epiphany (which hardly ever happens, so I was a bit surprised). The calvinist doctrine states that we are totally depraved, and completely unable to see God. He elects those who will come into a relationship with Him. There is no such thing as free will or human choice in the matter.

Well, then I started to think how that applies to this verse that most ODMs are so quick to quote. The gate, road and width of said road is completely irrelevant to the salvation equation. We couldn’t even see the dang road if we wanted to. Heck, the road could be 2 inches wide and the same number of people will get through, because we have nothing to do with it. So, I am not too sure how the gate even fits into the calvinist’s view of salvation.

so that was my thought for the day.

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Friends,

One of the things that has always impressed me about CRN.info, is the willingness to allow any and all comments to appear in threads. When I first discovered this blog, it was like a breath of fresh air that the writers here do nothing to stifle conversation, nothing to prevent disagreement, nothing to censor those with whom they have differences. I have always appreciated that because more often than not what I have found is an opportunity for grace to flow freely and to be administered abundantly. Coming here and finding this kind of free flow of ideas and thoughts and grace was like walking into a flowered field after traipsing through a cow pasture.

The recent conversations here have been even more occasions for grace to abound. I have enjoyed many of the thoughts people shared with me concerning our family’s recent graduation. I was also very impressed with many commentors who took time here to wish Jim B prayers and thoughts as he goes through a very difficult season in his own life. I was also very encouraged when Chris L posted a lengthy essay concerning Roman processions and Mark’s Gospel. The comment thread was filled with effusive praise for Chris’ hard work and research. It was also very nice to pray for Mr & Mrs Schlueter while they were on vacation recently. I can honestly say, though, I really appreciate the conversations that take place in these threads even when we do not happen to agree with one another.

By way of contrast, however, many blogs that are critical of blogs such as CRN.info do not have comment sections. They prefer, instead, to write up their opinions and not interact with anyone who may have a differing opinion. I think this is sad because in a way it is like saying, “I have the only opinion that matters and I am unwilling to even consider that someone else may have feelings or thoughts invested in this.” (This is exactly why I accepted the invitation to blog here: Nowhere else on the internet does grace flow so freely. I am treated better by some atheist’s whose blogs I visit than I am by some of the drive by ODM’s who visit here.) So I got to thinking, after spending some time reading the posts of some other bloggers where comments do not appear, what the conversation might look like if comments were allowed to appear. I have paraphrased what such a conversation might look like and what sort of devilry it might contain.

Sven

Wow. That was amazing. I have never read such a compelling damnation of Wick Rarren’s apostate heretical teaching in all my life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I have blogged about it and I am feeling rather persecuted because I wrote about it. I request that my bio be posted on page 483 of Boxes Mook of Fartyrs because I suffer for my blog. (PS–if you’d like to help me, please make a contribution to my tax deductible tip jar.) My ministry is so important, but I will rise up and overcome. So many benefit from my work.

Jansenboy

Wow. That was amazing. Imagine how nice life would be in the church if everyone just thought like we did! Imagine how wonderful the church would be if we were the only Christians! Oh wait! We are the only Christians!!!!! On the other hand, since we are the only Christians….well, nevermind. I am the best witness on the planet! Yea! Watch me witness! Yea! What me condemn others who disagree with me!

Inga

When I was 18, I went on a field trip to a local zoo. There I was terrified to learn that there is actually more than one species of bird. All my life I had grown up my family farm thinking the only bird that existed was the chicken. I know one thing, those other birds are not birds at all. They are imposters, fakes, frauds, phonies. They only have faux feathers. They are not birds at all!

Wiggy

Don’t you all think you are being a little hard on these other folks? Isn’t there any room for grace in your church? Didn’t Jesus die for us all? I mean, I have never read anywhere that Wick Rarren denied that Jesus was Lord or that communion didn’t matter or that the Bible was errant.

Jansenboy

Jesus only died for the elect and all the rest are going to eternal hell in an eternal hand basket. I witness better than anyone. Wanna fight? Doesn’t matter. The other day, I watched a church get wrecked because they had a motorcycle in the building. I’m sure that it is absolute heresy to have motor-bikes in the Sanctuary. Lalvin said so. So did Sputher. So did Curgeon. So did Peter. Paul. Inga said so. Sven wrote it! And Waul Pasher preached on it when he was witnessing to Gypsies. If Waul Pasher said it and cried while he preached it, then that’s enough for me!

Yrrej

Well. I am sorry you feel this way. I thought there was room in God’s grace for many people–those people God is fond of. I thought Jesus died for us all. I thought he died for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2) Your friend, yrrej.

Sven

We are not friends and don’t you ever insinuate that we are again. In fact, your presence at this blog’s comment section is absolute proof that God’s grace is narrow.  

Rick

What are friends anyway? :) I have written several posts about this myself. Send me an email and I will send you the full catalog of links.

Alittlelevity

Wick Rarren is the worst kind of theologian there is and his defenders are even worse. The only thing that matters in this life is getting rid of Wick Rarren because no gospel is better than what he is preaching and teaching.

Brede P

Jansenboy is right. You free-wheeling, purpose-driven, Maclaren loving, rubbing-elbows with the Dala Lama, Rob Bell Hitlerians are worse than Hitler and Rob Bell combined. You don’t read your own stuff. You are what you hate. You are what you eat. You are becoming the very people you are the inverse of. You lovers of all people don’t understand the grace of God at all. God’s grace doesn’t mean everyone who has faith is saved–it means only those who have signed our manifesto are saved. And I can assure you that anyone who follows Erwin McManus is not saved!

Fritjov

God made the world in six days.

Sven

Inga, didn’t you write a post about that on your other blog, and do a program about it on your radio call-in program, and didn’t you condemn The Shank and all who read it as universalists who follow a man-made Jesus, and post a podcast at one of your blogs, and a youtube video at your youtube channel, and write about it in your monthly newsletter, and at your other blog, and your billboards, and on the side of your airplane? We need to make people aware of this. Let’s all write posts about it on the same day and post them at our own blogs. I am feeling rather persecuted right now. My esteem is low.

Editor

Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Inga

When I was 19, I went on a vacation with my family. We flew to the mountains and there we met the hated Yeti who was nothing at all like the Yeti’s we met on the other private jet we rented one day to go to a convention in Siberia. It was every one else’s fault that Jesus had to die. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Yeti is not going to heaven. We know this to be true because he read, yes, Yeti’s can read, the Porpoise Driven Couch and The Shank. Don’t you remember reading it in the Bible where it says that Yeti’s who read PDC and The Shank can’t get into heaven? I called my lawyer and he confirmed that the Yeti had no business whatsoever attempting to ge into heaven. But I forbid anyone else from talking to their lawyers about the Yeti.

Elof

What about that other guy who does nothing but defend the Porpoise Driven Couch?

Inga

I won’t even post that. You are banned forever Elof! I’m putting in a special call to Peter at the pearly gates to make sure you are prevented from ever setting foot on a cloud or touching a harp. Wiggy is banned too! I will not have any of you mentioning grace at my blog! You are only allowed to send me stories and comments about the failures of the Porpoise Driven Couch and the Shank.

Burr

I agree with myself.

Erlend

I agree with Sven.

Hulda

I agree with Inga.

Inga

I agree too.

Sven

I agree.

Jensenboy

I agree.

Editor

You had better agree with me!

Well, this is how I imagine such a conversation might go. It’s not a pretty sight to see. What I have learned, however, is that those who belong to the so-called ODM (I have a new definition: ADM and it’s not the supermarket to the world) are safe with Jesus. For the rest of us, Jesus is not enough. I recall reading something one day from a friend. I’ll paraphrase it: I’d rather be anything than an legalist. If you are a Christian, and you enjoy being saved by grace, go ahead and comment here. You are welcome. If you hate grace and think you are the only one saved, well you can comment here too because unfortunately for you those who agree with you do not permit comments only private emails. Still, we will welcome you with open arms and invite you to be a part of our family of commentors.

***This is satire. Any resemblance the above imagined conversation bears to real or computer generated people is sheer coincidence. Again, this is pure satire and the product of my imagination.***

HT: Slice

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