One way that I offset my amazing salary and my love of music is to D.J.,run sound for weddings, conferences, or public speaking. Having done this for 15+ years I’ve compiled quite the collection of interesting and sometimes bizarre stories. After this past weekend of running sound for a women’s conference I’ve decided to do a semi-regular series on what I see, experience, and generally am amused by from the most powerful seat during any performance.

WHERE THE ODM’s GET IT RIGHT

While I often, ironically, don’t agree with the methods employed by Online Discernment Ministries I do sometimes agree with the fact that, what I’ll call “short theology”, is becoming more prevalent in American Christianity. This is not to say that I think the Church should be hinged to tradition or nostalgia. Rather the church, like missionaries, should speak the language of culture while maintaining the truth of scripture. Where the ODM’s and I part company is their penchant for hyperbole, slippery slope argumentation, guilt by association, and seeming legalistic approach to everything.

All that to say; this past weekend I was feeling like an ODM. Every speaker and most of the worship music was a little “short” on the full gospel. They were really big on “being loosed” and “letting God love you” but nary a mention of “I’m the chief of all sinners”. Speaker after speaker spoke of the terrible struggles in their lives (which were powerful stories), but never a mention of “I’ve fallen short of God’s glory”. Most everything was about those who had wronged them but nothing of “forgive those who trespass against us”. In short it was “short” theology. All Love but no Sacrifice. All Grace but no Guilt. All Freedom but no Law.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that these women weren’t saved. Nor am I saying that the Romans road needs to be mentioned every time someone speaks at an event. I recognize that a lot of conversations happen before and after speakers. Also the Holy Spirit works even through bad gospel presentations. What I am saying is that when a unbalanced view of God is presented than perhaps unbalanced growth occurs. In other words is it possible that we risk not having a fullness of faith when we only see God as either a wrathful, angry, smiter of men or an angelic lover of all that we are? I would say yes. It is not an either/or it’s a both/and

WHERE THE ODM’S GET IT WRONG:

Some in the ODM community spend to much time evaluating every word, (well except when they proof text, then they only evaluate certain words) attacking anything that doesn’t line up with their very narrow view of God. They are the same as the women’s conference just on the opposite end of the spectrum.

This weekend I saw ministry happen. This conference had a lot of broken women that really need someone to journey with. It was not enough to say “I’ll pray for you” and then go on their way. It was a blessing to watch these women pray for one another and minister.

Now if I was a true ODM I would fire up the blog and talk ad nauseam about the evil that was this conference. My blog would contribute 3,4,…25 blog posts about the abomination that is women’s conferences. With as much verbose language as I could muster I would tell everyone how they are wrong and I am right. Then I would lay out my theological treatise, call it my thesis and demand that if you don’t live up to all it’s points you are damned. I would petition others to take up the cause. I may even start up a youtube channel to really push back the gates of hell. But I can’t do that. Why?

Because I believe that even in the midst of “short” theology God works. In spite of my poor efforts to communicate the gospel, God works. Regardless of how polished I appear to the outside world I recognize I am a sinner saved by grace who falls short every day. I suspect I get it wrong more than I get it right. So I would rather faithfully, as best as I can, strive to be more like Jesus. Which I suspect most ODM’s also strive for. It’s just hard to see with all the wrathful, angry words they write.

God is still in control. Thank God!

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151 Comments(+Add)

1   John Hughes    
May 18th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Good, insightful article Chris.

2   Thomas Booher    
May 19th, 2009 at 3:19 am

Shouldn’t sound doctrine be defended? Even things that don’t directly involve the gospel?

For instance, why did we hail Miss California as some kind of great Christian theologian? Why did Liberty University give her a full ride scholarship? Her answer wasn’t even related to Christianity, she said it was simply her opinion. Now, if she believes that the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman, then great, that’s good, but let’s not herald her as the queen of Christianity. Regardless of when the topless photos were taken, the latest I have heard is that she stands by those photos as being acceptable (correct me if I am wrong.) And when we put her on the plateau that we have, as this incredible defender of the faith, we have just made a mockery of God. The unbelievers know this, just ask them. They mock at us praising Miss California, because they can see our own hypocrisy. We are overlooking her immodesty, and even outright nudity, which she has, from what I have heard, not repented of, and yet we praise her for voicing her opinion on marriage.

I do applaud her for standing firm on her convictions on what marriage is supposed to be biblically, however, let’s not ignore her own immodesty. That is very hypocritical and the unbelievers laugh at us and mock us all the more, and in this case, rightly so.

3   Thomas Booher    
May 19th, 2009 at 3:25 am

My point here is this: Ingrid Schlueter is right to say what she has about Miss California. If the only thing we are concerned about holding soundly to is that “Jesus died for sinners, he rose again, and he offers forgiveness for all who repent and place their faith in Him” then inevitably we will not even hold on to that. We may say we do, but we will water it down, because everything else that supports the basic message of the gospel will be out the window. Their will be no foundation, because the gospel is to save sinner’s not merely from the penalty of sins, but indeed their own sinfulness. And we have lost that part of the gospel. We make it a “get out of hell free card” and you can live however you want, just as long as you are not an axe murderer, rapist, and you occasionaly do humanitarian deeds.

I would like to know where some of the people that frequent this website draw the line on the minimum requirement for what must be preached when presenting to gospel for the Holy SPirit to convict unbelievers of their sins.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 7:03 am

“My point here is this: Ingrid Schlueter is right to say what she has about Miss California.”

Most mature believers recognize the inpropriety of such events. The Issue with Ingrid is rarely does she make a reasoned and well presented point without hyperbole and obsessiveness. She even managed to include attacking other bloggers in her expose of Prejean.

As usual. even in the midst of a legitimate issue, Ingid manages again to project her own self righteousness. We have come to expect it.

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 7:53 am

And just for a point of communicative education, when you present everything and everyone as a volcanic explosion of apostasy, two things happen.

1. Most people tune you out.

2. A handful of people believe everything you say.

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 8:11 am

And as a current example of Limbaughesque self touting entertainment journalism, this is the opening sentence in Ingrid’s current post:

“Dr. Tony Campolo, someone I exposed nearly 20 years ago for his revolt against Holy Scripture and his rank spiritual rebellion…”

I just adore it. Ingrid is incapable of stating a case without blowing her own horn. Thank you, Ingrid, for exposing Campolo, we are forever in your debt. :cool:

7   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 19th, 2009 at 8:17 am

Shouldn’t sound doctrine be defended? Even things that don’t directly involve the gospel?

Absolutely. However as Rick pointed out when you do so in a manner that is incongruent with other mandates of scripture (fruits of the spirit) then pointing out the sin of others is hypocrisy.

Specifically to your point about Carrie Prejean. The whole episode is a feeding frenzy for those who like the spotlight.

Carrie Prejean: Beauty Contestant who says her opinion and then complains that she lost because of her biblical stand.

Perez Hilton: A blogger who’s 15 minutes should have ended 10 minutes ago. And uses his platform as judge to push an agenda. Unfortunately Carrie Prejean played right into his hands.

Donald Trump: Well enough said

James Dobson: Anything he can do to further make Focus on the Family a political action committee.

Shanna Moekler: Quits the pageant committee because of her moral qualms. A quick search of her life and well.

Ingrid: How many articles does it take to prove your point get your blog hits up?

Hypocrisy? We all have it in spades.

8   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 9:34 am

Idolatry is rampant in the Christian atmosphere. Stances on maorality, the family, homosexuality, abortion, and go ahead and pick the moral cause du jour have all become stages for self righteous demonstrations that completely obscure the core of the gospel of redemption.

The Jesus model has been shelved in favor of the John the Baptist model. And so many Christians come across as if they invented morality or that God is impressed with their stances. Without humility that acknowledges everything we are and believe is by grace, all our moral projections are clandestine attempts to elevate our spiritual standings.

Another words, filthy rags.

9   Chris P.    
May 19th, 2009 at 9:45 am

No one believes that Ingrid posts to get her “hits” up. Look in the mirror.
You are doing the very same thing you accuse others of.
Who does actually read this blog?

Rick F
“She even managed to include attacking other bloggers in her expose of Prejean.”

This is a hoot. Once again go to the mirror.
This site could post on the talmudic roots of the weather, and the bias of the post, along with the comments would immediately go to anti-Ingrid, Ken etc etc.

If Ingrid is Limbaugh, this blog is Al Franken-ville.
IOW the humour/sarcasm is sophomoric and you actually believe you’re funny.

10   nc    
May 19th, 2009 at 10:29 am

Well… I don’t know anybody who thinks Prejean is a “theologian”…

and as far as Liberty giving her a full ride scholarship…well, ’nuff said.

I don’t think you can say the world is attacking hypocrisy. Donald Trump is a pretty worldly guy and he and his people didn’t find the photos offensive.

Besides, since when did ODM’s etc really care “what the world thinks”. Aren’t they always saying that’s bad and all emergent-y?

This is a dumb issue. Further discussion about Miss California should be banned from this thread.

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 11:31 am

“Donald Trump is a pretty worldly guy and he and his people didn’t find the photos offensive.”

So he isn’t a hypocrite? I was confused about the Trump standard.

12   nc    
May 19th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

My point is that “the world” is not uniformly “going after” hypocrisy.

13   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Further in support of comment #8, here’s a fascinating piece on a relatively new term called “Slacktivism” (a play on activism – only without any personal risk or real energy):

To quote a piece of the article:

“Slacktivism” is an apt term to describe feel-good online activism that has zero political or social impact. It gives those who participate in “slacktivist” campaigns an illusion of having a meaningful impact on the world without demanding anything more than joining a Facebook group. Remember that online petition that you signed and forwarded to your entire contacts list? That was probably an act of slacktivism…

“Slacktivism” is the ideal type of activism for a lazy generation: why bother with sit-ins and the risk of arrest, police brutality, or torture if one can be as loud campaigning in the virtual space? Given the media’s fixation on all things digital — from blogging to social networking to Twitter — every click of your mouse is almost guaranteed to receive immediate media attention, as long as it’s geared towards the noble causes. That media attention doesn’t always translate into campaign effectiveness is only of secondary importance.

This has not escaped the Christian blogosphere – on both sides. It gives us a sense of importance (”Hey, we’re discussing issues critical to the future of the church”) but at what cost? Basically, it can be reduced to a feel-good diversion.

14   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Sorry – here’s the link if you’re interested.

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

nc – As it pertains to Trump I suggest a business/financial motiev – perhaps massively. :cool:

16   nc    
May 19th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Which only further makes my point.

There isn’t a uniformity of opinion from the “world”.

17   Thomas Booher    
May 19th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

//My point is that “the world” is not uniformly “going after” hypocrisy.//

I didn’t say EVERYONE that is a non-believer is pointing out the churches hypocrisy regarding Miss California. Obviously not every single person is doing that, and of course, using Donald Trump is not a very good example, since he runs the pageant and was in a sticky situation.

//The Jesus model has been shelved in favor of the John the Baptist model.//

Rick, I was not aware that Jesus and John the Baptist had opposing models. They both preached repentance for forgiveness of sins. I am not sure how taking stands on morality, taking stands on things that the BIble tells us that we are to take stands on (such as against sin obviously) is obscuring the core of the gospel of redemption.

Let’s talk about the gospel, that is far more important and at the heart of the matter here after all.

18   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
May 19th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Rather the church, like missionaries, should speak the language of culture while maintaining the truth of scripture.

Amen.

The problem with most of these conferences, like Christianity 21 which is coming up, is not only short of the Gospel, there is no Gospel at all. A partial Gospel or a libertine Gospel or grace without transformation is not God’s grace.

I agree that God can save people and does save people through weak and broken vessels (like myself). I do not always preach a perfect message, but it is something we can strive for, and I personally strive for. All too often, a short Gospel is representative of a lack of study or understanding. All too often, it shows a lack of fear of God, and a right understanding of scripture. It shows also a low view of scripture and a high view of the ministry that we do.

This week, I spoke with Tony Jones on the radio. He claims to have a high view of scripture, yet he and many of his emerging friends show a higher view of contextualization and compromise when it comes to issues such as women in church leadership, homosexuality, the atonement (and its universal application) the Gospel, the truth of two eternal destinations. This low view of scripture seeps its way into a low view of the church and a low view of the role of the church in the world. Tony Jones and some of his friends say, for example, that when we are saved, we do not experience a change in nature. That, my friends, is a low view of God and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

As to Carrie P and other Christians of high profile in the world, we demonize those who make an unpopular stand for righteousness, and we glorify those with two feet in the world and the worlds standards. We are not to judge those in the world by Christian standards. But those who name the name of Christ and claim to be brothers (and sisters) in Christ are to be held to a very high standard for the reason we are witnessing here. Her church (if it is a biblical church) her Pastor (if He holds to Biblical standards) her Father (if he is a Christian) should have and should be disciplining and discipling her- BEFORE she took those nude photos, BEFORE she strutted around 3/4 naked before millions. If they didn’t before, they should be now. She should not be a hero for being partially obedient to God.

Now what business is this of mine? Of Ingrids? Of Paul Proctor’s? It shouldn’t be, and wouldn’t be if the local church did its job. Now the damage is done, the church looks like the world, and the hypocrisy claim is again justified because of our foolish actions.

Back to the OP; The sound board guy (Chris) feels conflicted and uncomfortable when he hears this stuff called preaching, and well he should be. I think a note (in private) to a leader or a Pastor that oversees this event (is there one??) of the concern would be more than appropriate. What they do with it from there is their responsibility before God.

19   Mike    
May 19th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

You know I agree with the original post almost 100%. I think that many of us in the Christian subculture have been in that culture for so long that we literally speak a different language from most.

We discuss theological principles and parse words and proof text scripture, and we find our discussions relevant and meaningful, and this is not necessarily wrong. But most of the world could care less about pietism, or substitutiary atonement, or monergism or Calvin.

Most of the world is worried about their kids doing well in school, if they are going to lose their job, is their spouse cheating on them and what am I going to do Sunday morning (when I am not in church) to get rid of the person I slept with last night.

I think that sometimes these new preaching types or church types or new advertising campaigns may be in a language that we as Christians don’t understand, but if you are trying to speak the language of the world, these new methods may bring people in to hear the Gospel or to meet someone who can share the Gospel or however God chooses to reach that person.

Some of these styles, I feel, are crass and way too secular, but I also am willing to give those churches and preachers the most charitable interpretation of what they are doing.

Because let’s face it, I just may not be their target audience.

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

“They both preached repentance for forgiveness of sins.”

That is one of the most common misconceptions and erroneous teachings that many use. If by repentance you mean to believe on Christ than you are correct. If by repentance you mean a sinner must repent of their sins to be saved you are completely wrong.

Sinners, in fact, cannot even be aware of what are his sins are according to God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Commanding a person to forsake his sins before he may be saved is heresy.

All the prophets had callings which they executed imperfectly and with some distortion of focus. The ministry of the Messiah differend substantially from the ministry and calling of John the Baptist.

Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Men are incapable of fully rejecting sin, even after they are born again. Only the Spirit within us never sins. Every blogger and every preacher and every writer and commenter here sins every day; some willingly and some from natural practice.

21   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

If by repentance you mean to believe on Christ than you are correct. If by repentance you mean a sinner must repent of their sins to be saved you are completely wrong.

First, we must clarify that to repent is not so much the words you say, but represents a turning in one’s life from darkness to light. It is an action more than it is a series of words (ie: “Sinner’s Prayer”).

And both Christ and the apostles would agree to the letter that this is important if one is to be saved.

The reason Christ did not condemn the world is for the same reason that you cannot kill a dead man. The world was already condemned, but he came to give it light or bring it back to life – as many as received him, that is.

When we were in darkness, you are correct in that we had no choice, but now that light has entered, we are confronted with a battle.

A changed life is absolutely important – it is not us simply reforming, but yielding (over the course of our lifetime) to Christ.

22   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Here is Paul’s commission, direct from the lips of the man who received it directly from Jesus Christ:

Acts 26:

But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

“First, we must clarify that to repent is not so much the words you say, but represents a turning in one’s life from darkness to light.”

That is incorrect, Paul. Meta-noia means changing your mind from unbelief to faith. Turning from sin is a process within a believer.

24   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

So it is the words you say?

Even by the definition you’ve provided above, which I agree with (a changing of one’s mind), it is represented in one’s life.

As Jesus said:

Luke 6: Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and yet do not do the things I say?

What I was emphasizing is that it is not a phrase that’s important, but a deeper change within – an illumination – that brings forth a turning. I also agree that turning from sin is not immediate, but we overcome sins and habits over the course of our lifetime (hence the last paragraph in comment 20).

In the quote from Acts 26 above, Paul sees repentance and works meet for repentance as important.

As an example, the people in Ephesus were involved in witchcraft. In order to demonstrate that this lifestyle was dead, they repented. How? By burning their valuable books.

25   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

To specify here: my main point is that repentance (a changing of mind) without works (change of lifestyle in accordance with Christ) is no repentance at all. We all fall terribly short, but we must walk according to his ways according to the measure of grace given.

Hence the parable of the Talents (Matt 25), the parable of the Vine (John 15) and many other references.

26   Thomas Booher    
May 19th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

//That is incorrect, Paul. Meta-noia means changing your mind from unbelief to faith.//

So Rick, in your opinion, what are we being saved from?

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

From unrighteousness to righteousness without any works on our part. Whoever attempts to include works of any kind is letting the Mosaic camel’s nose under the tent.

Cast out the bondwoman and her son, she has no part with the seed of Isaac.

28   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Rick – can you describe what Paul was saying in Acts 26 (as quoted above)?

Or, could those Ephesians who believed in Christ have kept their witchcraft books and still be saved?

29   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Again (based on discussion on other thread) – there is a difference between ceremonial law keeping works and works meet for repentance.

I can see how, if you don’t see a difference, you cast off works as man’s interference.

In addition to comment 27 questions, do you see a difference between the 2?

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Paul (good concersation) – doctrine cannot be formulated by a narrative. In doctrinal theory, a man can trust Christ with no future strings attached. If you are suggesting that if no change takes place makes a person’s salvation is suspect, I agree.

31   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Rick, I think we agree based on your last sentence, but I am curious as to how you see the difference between ceremonial works and works “meet for repentance”.

My understanding, which I know we agree on, is that in no way can keeping ceremonial laws (circumcision, etc) bring about salvation. This was done away with as Paul and others clearly show.

But I do believe that it is critical to point out that salvation is a process that requires works.

Grace (the unlocking of the prison door) was not of our own doing and could never be. But we must walk in this newness of life, which is exactly what Christ teaches in numerous parables and discourses, as does Paul and the other apostles. We have a responsibility to the grace shown us – hence Peter calling us “stewards of the manifold grace of God”.

James emphatically states that if any man is a hearer only (received Christ, hooray!) but is not a doer (works) then his religion is in vain – without reward. Paul and Christ also agree with this.

At the end of Revelation, Christ states he will come suddenly and His reward is with Him to render to every man according as his works (response to grace) shall be. In another place:

John 5: Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Grace and works of righteousness/repentance are not enemies.

Am I making sense? If you see my position here as wrong, please let me know.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

When a sinner becomes born again ther should be and almost always is an outward change that reflects what has happened internally. But the Scriptures clearly define carnal believers whos lives will be as wood, hay, and stubble at the Bema seat.

My contentions center on the premise that all of us continue to sin and yet continue to demand certain hoops through which others must jump.

33   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 19th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

My contentions center on the premise that all of us continue to sin

Amen – we all fall short. But James, who made the beautiful relationship between faith and works come to life, fully admits this:

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways.

yet continue to demand certain hoops through which others must jump.

Discipleship according to God’s principles is critical – as for adhering to man-made laws or ceremonial laws, these “hoops” are immaterial to salvation. But to make light of obedience as a ‘nice-to-have’ is a false gospel. If we live contrary to Christ, we will reap accordingly. A person’s lifestyle and response to grace is important and their salvation hinges on this, according to the measure given to each person (God will judge).

34   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

“A person’s lifestyle and response to grace is important and their salvation hinges on this, according to the measure given to each person”

There is where we may disagree. If a sinner’s faith was genuine when he trusted Christ, he is saved. We may assess his life as not reflective of a genuine faith, and well it may be, but his salvation does not hinge upon that.

That is exactly why Jesus commanded us not to pull up tares, because there may be some wheat that look like tares.

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

There should be a discernable change in a person’s heart and life when they have become born again. But the manifestations of grace are not part of the actual grace itself, and God can and does save some sinners as they lie moments away from death and never exhibiting anything

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 19th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

(sorry) …never exhibiting anything that would support or deny the presence of grace. If we say that no one could receive the grace of God by faith but never manifest works that would belie that condition then we undermine the definition of grace itself.

Even Paul asked rhetorically “Should we continue in sin” which indicates a choice.

37   Thomas Booher    
May 20th, 2009 at 12:07 am

//Even Paul asked rhetorically “Should we continue in sin” which indicates a choice.//

Are you saying that Christians can choose to continue in sin? No true Christian will desire to stay in sin.

A person’s very faith in Christ is for Christ to save them from their sins. Not just the penalty of their sins, no, but their sinfulness too. To have a change of mind, which is what repent means, is not merely a change of mind from not believing in God to believing in God. No, it is turning from our sins and to God. Nobody puts faith in Christ without repenting of their sins. That is why in Luke 18 we see the tax collector calling out to God saying “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Those words were the manifestation of the inward change of heart, or change of mind, the tax collector had concerning his sins, and he realized he could not save himself, but that only God can save him from his sins. Repentance is of sins, as Paul says in Acts 26 “Repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” If repent simply meant “turning to God in belief” then it would simply say repent and do works befitting repentance. But, as we see, Repentance and turning to God are not the exact same thing. We repent of our sins and turn to God (faith) to save us from and out of our sins.

It doesn’t mean we will be perfect, no, not at all, but we will produce good fruit (obviously, a person who is on their death bed and gets saved may not produce much visible fruit, but that is quite a unique situation, and wouldnt anything the person said, such as the tax collector calling out to God to save him, be a “work befitting repentance” anyways?) and we will be in battle with sin. We will be dying to self, crucifying the flesh, for a Christian has received the gift of the Holy Spirit, which convicts us of sin. So a person cannot be a TRULY carnal Christian, in the sense that he has no godly sorrow over his sin. Can we be carnal at times, sure, but to actually be living a lifestyle of carnality and having no remorse, yet paying lip service to the name of Christ does not make a person a Christian at all. More like a hypocrite.

38   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 6:39 am

“Are you saying that Christians can choose to continue in sin? No true Christian will desire to stay in sin.”

Like the man in Corinth who was living with his wife?

“So a person cannot be a TRULY carnal Christian”

You and Paul disagree, most of the Corinthian church was filled with carnal believers. Hebrews addresses such carnal believers as well.

“Nobody puts faith in Christ without repenting of their sins.”

I did and so did Scotty. When I was saved in 1975 I never really gave my sins a thought, I rushed to Christ when the Spirit illuminated my heart as to Who He was.

To restrict the Spirit and place him in a box of our making is carnality. :cool:

39   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 8:39 am

I

did and so did Scotty. When I was saved in 1975 I never really gave my sins a thought, I rushed to Christ when the Spirit illuminated my heart as to Who He was.

Amen! As far as sin was concerned, at that time I thought I was OK. I hadn’t murdered anybody, hadn’t cheated on my wife, etc. I thought at the time of my salvation I was basically OK. I didn’t come to Christ because I was burdened with sin(in a worldly sense.),

40   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 8:47 am

Are you saying that Christians can choose to continue in sin? No true Christian will desire to stay in sin.

Thomas,
Are you saying that you have never, since you’ve come to Christ, chosen sin over Him?

41   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 8:49 am

I agree with some of Paul C’s premise, for I believe it comes from a heart that desires to walk in holiness and to compel others to do the same.
This is biblical.

However, the underlying insinuation (as I’m seeing it) is that my salvation hinges on me continuing in obedience, not in Christ alone.

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 8:55 am

I believe the Bible clearly teaches the correction of God concerning disobedient children. Those would be carnal children, right? Corinthians seems to indicate believers dying early because of sin, doesn’t that indicate sin as well?

There is a dichotomy and paradox in the Christian experience. The Scriptures call us to a high calling of holiness, and we are to teach and preach that standard. However all believers fall very short in fulfilling that calling.

So how can these things be reconciled?

Grace.

43   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:01 am

However, the underlying insinuation (as I’m seeing it) is that my salvation hinges on me continuing in obedience, not in Christ alone.

I’m not certain if you are saying that you believe this way or if that’s how you’re perceiving the argument?

Either way I would contend that salvation is a work that begins with one step and continues (work it out with fear and trembling). As a Christian who adheres to the reformed tradition I would also say that one can not lose salvation once obtained.

So for me the question is what assurance is their in my salvation? Is it at the moment that I confess or in an obedience of walking/living in a way worthy of the calling that I have received?

44   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:02 am

Let me clarify my statement.

If I can never be good enough to earn my salvation through works how bad to have to be to lose it?

HT: CS

45   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:06 am

Rick, a personal note:

Likewise, I never came to Christ by falling down at the altar. I would say that as I was exposed to light more and more, I wanted to know Him all the more.

However, I do clearly remember a turning point – I was reading Matthew 5, 6 & 7 in my room and I remember saying out loud, “How come nobody ever told me there was another way to live?!?!” almost in anger. In the background I had my hip-hop music playing softly. Hip-hop is not just music, it’s a lifestyle. I understood, after pausing from my reading the listen to the lyrics, that these 2 things can’t go together. I gathered up all my cassettes in a garbage bag and went across the street to the basketball court and dumped them. At the time I didn’t realize that this represented the turning point for me.

In regards to the deathbed experience, I’ve also had one of these, when my mother passed away a number of years ago from cancer. As I was praying, she woke up. I asked her if she’d like to receive Christ and she said, “Yes Paul, yes I would.” We prayed… a few months later she died.

How would you explain Paul’s commission, outlined in Acts 26 that speaks of repentance and works meet for repentance? Can you answer that directly?

46   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:09 am

Chris,
You asked “I’m not certain if you are saying that you believe this way or if that’s how you’re perceiving the argument?”

Good question.
That is how I’m perceiving Paul C’s conviction.
I do not believe that.

I do believe that our new nature in Christ compels us to obedience and holiness.

But I also know first-hand that my flesh is a worthy adversary that continually contradicts and resists the Spirit of the risen Christ within me.

Sometimes I choose sin.
Sometimes I choose life.

The concept of sowing and reaping is a very stark reality in these moments of decision. When I sow to my flesh, I reap death. When I sow to the Spirit of God within me, I reap life…sweet, invigorating, refreshing, reviving life.

I just have a hard time reconciling my eternal standing with God hinging on my obedience, not on Christ alone.

Hopefully this answer clarified rather than confused.
:)

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:11 am

I will offer this analogy once more:

Three men are in danger of death due to an oncoming wild fire. There is only one bridge leading to safety across a deep gorge. The first man walks confidently and steadily acroos the bridge. The next man is still scared and walks haltingly and fearfully and does not make swift progress.

The last man steps upon the bridge and is careless, stops and looks back at the fire, and actually stops and takes a nap before crossing the bridge. The question is who is actually brought to safety?

All three. The issue falls completely on the integrity of the bridge, not the men crossing.

********************

The Lord has told His people to kill a lamb and place the blood on the doorposts. One father leads his family and with great faith places the lamb’s blood on his doorposts, and tells his family that they are safe.

The next door man places the blood on the doorposts, but he is still unsure about their safety. He keeps goning outside to see if the blood is still there, and he is restless and anxious about the entire thing.

When the death angel passes, which house is safe? Both. The safety is in the blood, not the actions of the family.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:17 am

“How would you explain Paul’s commission, outlined in Acts 26 that speaks of repentance and works meet for repentance? Can you answer that directly?”

I will answer that again. The Book of Acts cannot be used as the foundation for doctrine since it accurately records what people have said but their words are often not accurate in doctrine. There are many things that were done and said by early believers that were used of the Holy Spirit but not completely accurate.

Everything Paul said was not inspired and surely not doctrinally accurate. The Pauline epistles that were made part of the canon are the only inerrant teachings that are from the Apostle Paul.

The Book of Acts was not written to teach doctrine apart from the epistles to the church. As you know I find Paul’s calling compelling, however he was not a pope.

49   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:21 am

So Rick, to follow these analogies onwards to obedience and disobedience…

If the people in Acts who, when they received Christ, decided to burn their books despite the massive amount of money “wasted” – if they had received Christ, but still continued practicing witchcraft, they are OK. The safety is in the blood of the lamb, not the actions of the people.

If the man who was given a single talent (his measure of grace) just buried it in the ground because he trusted in “the blood”, as you put it, not in his own actions… when it comes time for the master to return, he on solid ground because it was by grace, irrespective of his response? The bible – in several areas – tell us differently.

Can you explain this parable?

I appreciate your analogies, but they in no way address Acts 26. Why were Paul and Christ so emphatic on repentanceand works meet for repentance?

I mean, this was the commission on which Paul’s entire ministry was built. And if we don’t understand what this says, all we have to do is look at his actions and further epistles. We have James, Peter, John and Jude to make the point even clearer.

50   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:27 am

Everything Paul said was not inspired and surely not doctrinally accurate.

So, these words – the basis of Paul’s entire commission – were somehow lost in translation or misunderstood by Paul? He is quoting – verbatim – the words Christ spoke to him on that dusty road… I doubt he would ever forget them.

The Book of Acts was not written to teach doctrine apart from the epistles to the church.

And that’s the beauty of it – there is no motive here to do anything other than report what happened, as opposed to cram things into a doctrine. In fact, none of the gospels were written to teach doctrine, and Paul’s letters were mostly corrective letters to churches, not dissertations or treatise.

I find #47 a little troubling because you are basically disannuling something that simply doesn’t fit with what you’ve formulated in your mind. But we run into trouble on this when – all of a sudden – there are dozens and dozens of other scriptures that bear out this same point.

51   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:28 am

Sometimes I choose sin.
Sometimes I choose life.

True enough – it appears we’re in the same boat my friend. If you read my comments, nowhere am I claiming that I can trust in my own righteousness because there is none. I quoted a few times from James 3:2 (We all stumble). I hope you’re not missing my point…

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:31 am

There is an important nuance here. If corresponding works are necessary for grace to be active, then it is no longer grace. But if a new believer does not display the fruits that reveal his new life, then the Word instructs him to examine himself.

You said, “The safety is in the blood of the lamb, not the actions of the people.”

Exactly. Works and fruits should accompany a believer’s life, however they are not what makes him safe – at all. It is definitely possible that many who say they have trusted Christ but lice careless lives are not true believers.

However it is also possible for a sinner to trust Christ and in the coming days be deceived and dragged down into a careless life and fall off the journey. His eternal safety is in Christ, and his disobedience does not supercede the work on the cross.

Only God knows who is saved.

53   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:32 am

Metanoia: a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct

This is a good definition of repentance (not mine). This is what Paul’s commission represents clearly.

But so does Christ’s…

So does Peter’s…

So does James…

So does John…

On this point, I am surprised there is confusion. The main reason I am debating this point is because of the inherent danger that is posed in the alternative:

Accept Christ, and even if you live like the devil – not to worry, you’re saved. Jesus paid it all.

This is a false gospel that will damn a lot of people if they embrace it.

We can make an idol out of the doctrine of grace.

54   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:32 am

I understood, after pausing from my reading the listen to the lyrics, that these 2 things can’t go together. I gathered up all my cassettes in a garbage bag and went across the street to the basketball court and dumped them. At the time I didn’t realize that this represented the turning point for me.

While I understand this I would like to push back just a little.

If I’m understanding all that you have written perhaps the turning point/s in our lives are not just one moment but continual. That is to say, “I struggle with XYZ the Holy Spirit has brought not only conviction but also power to overcome” These moments are constant in my life. I can not do anything under my own power. As indicated earlier “That which I want to do I can not do and that which I don’t want to do I do” Paul understand the battle with the flesh. Did he fight? (resist the devil and he will flee) absolutely. Did he fall? Absolutely. What then is Paul’s salvation experience. The Road to Damascus or his continual transformation from glory to glory?

As Rick pointed out in his analogy. Paul makes a strong case that salvation is a one time event but to what extent we live into that is up to us.

1 Corinthians 3.

11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.

55   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:33 am

Paul,
I believe we are in the same book (the Book of Life) but on different pages.
:)

I appreciate your zeal and your desire to walk in obedience and to compel others to do the same.

I think, judging from our previous conversation as well, that we differ slightly on the scope of grace covering willful disobedience.

Shalom, dear brother.

56   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:37 am

Accept Christ, and even if you live like the devil – not to worry, you’re saved. Jesus paid it all.

I have not seen anything close to a comment like that in this thread or in the other one when this was discussed.

We’ve agreed that fruit reveals the root.
We’ve agreed that Christ calls us to lives of obedience and holiness, and that He also provides the grace to walk in these.

57   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:39 am

How we live matters.
Choices we make matter.

But ultimately, my eternal salvation is in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:42 am

Paul – I have said I believe we should warn those who live disorderly concerning their standing before God. I am not saying a sinner can say a prayer with no intention of following Christ and with that have assurance. I am saying that a believer’s fruits are subjectivly discerned and cannot accurately define the xtent to which grace is operating in anyone’s life.

And most of all I am saying that a person’s works do not add nor subtract from grace. Everyone is either saved or lost now without respect to their works. And again, only God knows who theyr are.

The Lord knows those that are His. And let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from sin. (That last statement indicates an unpleasant possibility)

59   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:47 am

And let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from sin.

Here we all agree.

60   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:47 am

Not sure why 1 Cor 3 keeps coming in here… Paul is speaking of ministers (specifically of those who rely on worldly wisdom instead of Christ and the Holy Spirit – see 1 Cor 2).

The gold, silver, etc. is not people’s lives, but the methods used to build the church on the foundation of Christ. Read the verses preceding.

Again I ask, kindly explain the parable of the talents or outline for me Acts 26 and I will rest my case. :)

There are too many scriptures that poke holes in your doctrine, at least in my view. Look what Paul says here:

Phil 2: Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, (WHEN JESUS RETURNS) that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Is it possible that someone can be lost? Of course. To say no is to actually lie.

61   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:49 am

BTW, I genuinely appreciate this forum. Please don’t take my zeal in the case for antagonism.

62   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 10:04 am

Is it possible that someone can be lost? Of course. To say no is to actually lie.

Paul, who here has said that it is impossible for someone to be lost?

What I am saying is that those who have a genuine saving faith in Christ have been granted eternal salvation.

Eternal salvation does not stop being eternal or saving because of disobedience.

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 10:09 am

In my view Paul (?) in Hebrews teaches personal apostasy. One cannot sin away his salvation but he can openly deny Christ.

It is noteworthy to say that sin can lead to apostasy.

64   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 20th, 2009 at 10:11 am

BTW, I genuinely appreciate this forum. Please don’t take my zeal in the case for antagonism.

Not at all. I appreciate the discussion. This forum is a difficult way to communicate so it takes time to flush out the intent.

65   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 10:13 am

I appreciate this forum as well. It gives me an opportunity to disseminate wisdom to those in need. :cool:

66   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 10:21 am

Rick – regarding ‘personal apostasy’ – how do you envision this coming about? Can I ask where you arrived at this conclusion?

Hebrews 6: It is impossible… If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…

There’s that pesky word again (repentance).

Hebrews 10: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth…

If we want to understand how the Lord considers those who receive grace and backslide afterwards, it is cleared up here:

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Paul, who here has said that it is impossible for someone to be lost?

See #62.

67   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 10:21 am

#64 – :)

68   Brett S    
May 20th, 2009 at 10:29 am

It is noteworthy to say that sin can lead to apostasy. – Rick

Or, maybe even worse.

but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin – Mark 3:29

“…’blasphemy’ does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross” – John Paul II (Dominum et Vivificantem)

69   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

“How would you explain Paul’s commission, outlined in Acts 26 that speaks of repentance and works meet for repentance? Can you answer that directly?”

First off – what the heck is “works meet for repentence mean”?

Here is a clearer version: “…that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” – ESV.

or

“…that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” – NIV

or

“…that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” – NAS

It then becomes clear that Paul is speaking of behavior that is appropriate, consistent, in line with repentence. But causation or works that effect salvation are not to be found in this passage.

70   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Grace (the unlocking of the prison door) was not of our own doing and could never be. But we must walk in this newness of life, which is exactly what Christ teaches in numerous parables and discourses, as does Paul and the other apostles. – Paul C.

Are you Roman Catholic? This is fundamental RC soteriology, and I don’t mean this as GBA in any sense.

71   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

RE 70: I guess I should have said – a lot like RC soteriology. They beleive Christ opened the store houses and the goods are dispursed through the church. Paul C. seems to just do away with the middleman.

72   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I do believe Brett is Roman Catholic.

And Neil has outlined my original point. Is it possible that a gay man can have many areas of his life reveal a significant change which represent observable repentance, but yet be blinded over his sexuality?

If not, than can any of us remain blind to a particular sin (greed, unforgiveness, judgment, self righteousness, covetousness, idolatry, etc.) and still be redeemed and under God’s grace after we have believed on Christ?

If not, then there are certain requirements attached to “grace”.

73   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

No Neil, not a Roman Catholic at all.

A couple comments:

- some people here are saying that repentance is not necessary for salvation

- some are saying that works/obedience is not necessary (though dozens of scriptures say they are, as I highlighted just one: the parable of the talents, Matt 25)

- some are also saying it is impossible to fall away or lose your salvation or, rather, the promise of eternal life

These are areas I disagree with as I think the scriptures clearly bear all these points to be incomplete/false.

74   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

So, by Rick’s view (72), the people in Ephesus could have still retained their sorcery books and received salvation at the same time. Or a man can bear unforgiveness in his heart, yet expect that God will forgive him.

AGAIN, we all sin in many ways, but to cloak unrepentance in this way (#72) is dangerous. No where do you see such broad allowances for sin in the scriptures.

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

#74 _ Paul, how can you say everyone sins but there are some sins that mean you cannot be saved? Which sins mean you cannot be saved?

“No where do you see such broad allowances for sin in the scriptures.”

Salvation is the covering of all sins. Hebrews tells us that if you are a believer God will chasten you. I do contend God “allows” sins, He deals with them. However that does not mean you are not his child.

And I believe you can commit apostasy.

76   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

You are correct in that God does deal with sin as a loving father.

However, everywhere in scripture – OT and NT – the call is to depart from sin and turn to righteousness. This is God’s grace calling to us, but we must repent and amend our ways with His help.

Rick, in your understanding, the man who was given the single talent was judged unjustly by God. Afterall, he received grace, but because he wasn’t diligent with what God had given, he lost everything.

Look at his answer: “Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.”

He squandered what God gave Him. We know the end result. We are stewards of grace (as Peter clearly says).

Here’s your version of this parable after the steward’s words:

“It’s OK. From the moment you accepted me your eternal salvation was secure. Even though you built your own kingdom and put mine on the backburner, that’s all good, because GRACE covered it all! Enter into the joys of the Lord!”

This is just ONE instance of many I could point to… there are literally dozens more.

AGAIN, as a reminder, every scripture you point to that condemns works is only referring to ceremonial works (law keeping like circumcision, etc), but not works “meet for repentance”. This is the gospel:

- praise God the prison is open by the blood of the Lamb – freedom I receive by grace alone and not of any works of righteousness
- I can walk in newness of life, free from my shackles
- work out my salvation with fear and trembling
- take heed that you continue this race on the narrow path (like Paul)
- receive eternal life at the resurrection

77   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Gotta run guys, but good talking with you.

78   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

- some people here are saying that repentance is not necessary for salvation

I would say repentance is part of faith, and therefore assumed.

- some are saying that works/obedience is not necessary (though dozens of scriptures say they are, as I highlighted just one: the parable of the talents, Matt 25)

I would also say they are not necessary for salvation, lest anyone boast as Paul would say… but they are expected/assumed.

- some are also saying it is impossible to fall away or lose your salvation or, rather, the promise of eternal life

If ya loose it, it ain’t eternal then. Romans 8 plus a whole host of other passages seal it for me… including passages that say I am sealed, btw.

79   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Or a man can bear unforgiveness in his heart, yet expect that God will forgive him.

AGAIN, we all sin in many ways, but to cloak unrepentance in this way (#72) is dangerous. No where do you see such broad allowances for sin in the scriptures. – Paul C.

No one is making allowances for sin. And I agree that we should be careful not to do so… but we should also avoid the other extreme, the extreme you propose by saying we work for salvation… or can loose it if we commit – what sin what it, or how many, that causes us to loose our salvation?

80   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

However, everywhere in scripture – OT and NT – the call is to depart from sin and turn to righteousness. This is God’s grace calling to us, but we must repent and amend our ways with His help.

This is dangerous. Just how mended do we need to make ourselves to justify being justified by grace? You are correct that we are called to depart from sin, but you are confusing the fruit with the root. If I preached this Gospel, people would have no joy, no peace, no assurance. They would perpetually wonder if they have been repentant enough, amended enough, in other words, good enough for grace. Which guts grace of all meaning.

81   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

AGAIN, as a reminder, every scripture you point to that condemns works is only referring to ceremonial works (law keeping like circumcision, etc), but not works “meet for repentance”.

What the heck does “meet for repentance mean?” You have created a distinction that is foreign to the Scriptures.

See comment 69, there is no working for salvation here. There is working in response to it.

82   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 20th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

There is working in response to it.

And this is all I am advocating. Without any response, there is no eternal life. The distinction that is foreign to the scriptures is that once I receive Christ everything else is optional (obedience and responding to His grace a la the parable of the talents).

My view is not extreme when you simply and honestly read the few scriptures I’ve highlighted – without a pre-formulated, doctrinal position on grace that is off the mark.

With the option being proposed here a man can continue in sin, with no change, and in the end still be saved. This is foreign to Christ, Paul, Peter, James, and the rest.

Look at the curious statement Christ made to EACH of the 7 churches of Asia Minor:

“I know your works…”

in other words

“I am acquainted with how you have responded to the grace given unto you.”

If it’s important to Christ, it should be important to us. BTW, notice how few churches got a ‘free ride’ because grace paid it all.

If someone can just properly and honestly explain the parable of the talents, Matt 25, then I will stop defending my position.

83   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 20th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

No one can “lose” their salvation, but they can reject Christ and count His blood as an unclean thing. You then do not lose it, you reject it.

84   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Without any response, there is no eternal life.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” The only response I see here is belief.

85   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Look at the curious statement Christ made to EACH of the 7 churches of Asia Minor:

“I know your works…”

And these words were spoken to churches not people. Salvation is not the issue in these letters.

86   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

If someone can just properly and honestly explain the parable of the talents, Matt 25, then I will stop defending my position. – Paul C.

These are parables not allegories, therefore they are teaching a lesson and we should look for the lesson and not expect every detail to mean something specific.

In the parable of the talents, the subject is life in the Kingdom, not how to enter it. So the lesson is about how the faithful should live, not how to be saved. The lesson – being faithful with what you have been given.

87   Neil    
May 20th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

My view is not extreme when you simply and honestly read the few scriptures I’ve highlighted – without a pre-formulated, doctrinal position on grace that is off the mark.

The problem with comments like this is they imply that only you are reading the Scriptures honestly and simply.

This is kind of the Christian blog version of Godwin’s Law. The longer a discussion goes the probability that one person will claim their position is the obvious biblical position, or that they are being more serious with Bible approaches 1.

88   Thomas Booher    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:15 am

//I did and so did Scotty. When I was saved in 1975 I never really gave my sins a thought, I rushed to Christ when the Spirit illuminated my heart as to Who He was.

To restrict the Spirit and place him in a box of our making is carnality… //

lol um, no you didn’t. If you did, what did you get saved from? Please, please, PLEASE don’t say hell. That’s so ridiculous.

89   Thomas Booher    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:22 am

//In my view Paul (?) in Hebrews teaches personal apostasy. One cannot sin away his salvation but he can openly deny Christ.

It is noteworthy to say that sin can lead to apostasy.//

So Rick, which parts of the BIble do you believe is inspired and which parts do you just throw out?

90   Thomas Booher    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:29 am

//This is dangerous. Just how mended do we need to make ourselves to justify being justified by grace? You are correct that we are called to depart from sin, but you are confusing the fruit with the root. If I preached this Gospel, people would have no joy, no peace, no assurance. They would perpetually wonder if they have been repentant enough, amended enough, in other words, good enough for grace. Which guts grace of all meaning.//

I believe Neil said this. The point Paul C is making is the HOly Spirit CONVICTS us of our sins, and opens our eyes to our own sinfulness and depravity, so that, when we are saved, our response to God opening our eyes will be repenting, which would be having a change of mind about our sins, and asking God to save us from our sins. Obviously, no “works befitting repentance” are done yet, however, the change of mind about our sins will have taken place. We will detest our old sinful self and want God’s righteousness and holiness.

Anyone who says they did not even think about their sins and turn from them and to God as it says in Acts 26 was not saved then. Perhaps since then they were saved, but Jesus said to preach “repentance for remission of sins” to all nations. Also, Scripture is pretty clear that disbelief in God is quite synonomous with disobedience to God, so when it says disbelief that also entails disobedience, you can’t miss that unless you are intentionally trying to.

91   Thomas Booher    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:39 am

Paul C,

I think we agree on most stuff, although I do not believe we earn salvation in any way shape or form. We repent, because God has called us and commanded all men everywhere to repent. Repentance is not a work, but a right response, however, it is NOT an optional response, it is a response that will happen when God opens man’s eyes to their sinfulness and depravity.

Also, I do not believe man can lose their salvation. I think if a person denies their faith, becomes apostate, or lives a lifestyle of habitual, unrepentant sin, this is indication that they were never saved to begin with. I hold to perseverance of the saints.

92   Thomas Booher    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:42 am

One last question to those who are saying you can be saved without repenting of your sins. IF we can be saved without turning from our sins, then why bother strugglign against sin? If this were true (which it isn’t, Scripture is crystal clear on this) then I would sin all the time, because who cares if God isn’t happy, as long as I am going to heaven, then thats fine by me. Give me women, let me get drunk, give me all the money in the world, all the pleasures I say if God isn’t calling us out of our sins and just into… um… well who knows what God is calling us to, but it doesnt matter because I am going to heaven when I die. Wooohooo!

93   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 21st, 2009 at 7:58 am

If this were true (which it isn’t, Scripture is crystal clear on this) then I would sin all the time, because who cares if God isn’t happy, as long as I am going to heaven, then thats fine by me.

You don’t? I mean I have repented of many sins, sometimes daily. I have turned away from sins in my life but not all of them.

Where we agree (I’m assuming you adhere to Calvinistic doctrine) is that I don’t believe one can lose salvation. As you said if you continue in your “old self” then salvation probably never occurred.

Finally I find it interesting that both yourself and Paul C. you the statements “Scripture is perfectly clear” on this. The truth is there wouldn’t be disagreement if that were true.

94   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 21st, 2009 at 7:59 am

both yourself and Paul C. you the statements

Should be:

both yourself and Paul C. use the statements

95   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 8:56 am

IF we can be saved without turning from our sins, then why bother strugglign against sin? If this were true (which it isn’t, Scripture is crystal clear on this) then I would sin all the time, because who cares if God isn’t happy, as long as I am going to heaven, then thats fine by me. Give me women, let me get drunk, give me all the money in the world, all the pleasures I say if God isn’t calling us out of our sins and just into… um… well who knows what God is calling us to, but it doesnt matter because I am going to heaven when I die. Wooohooo!

Okay, that’s just silly.
Seriously, Thomas, no one is even remotely suggesting such behavior because the Bible is crystal-clear (this time it actually is) that followers of Jesus are to forsake the works of darkness and sin, and they are to walk in obedience and holiness.

No one has denied that on this comment thread or in the one last week.

The contention has been, and will continue to be, we cannot add obedience and repentence to grace.

96   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
May 21st, 2009 at 9:38 am

Finally I find it interesting that both yourself and Paul C. you the statements “Scripture is perfectly clear” on this. The truth is there wouldn’t be disagreement if that were true.

Sure it would…Jesus said in John 8:46b-47

If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.

The Pharisees and the crowd had Jesus right in front of them. He gave them very clear teaching from the mouth of the Word- yet they were confused and unbelieving. They had misinterpreted the scriptures they claimed to love so very much.

What happens in this postmodern era is that many people have many opinions that run counter to the clear teachings of scripture. Guys like Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, and the list goes on ad infinitum sprinkle scriptures in when it is convienient,throw in post modern prose on modern day repackaged versions of heresy, and then, with the serpent, say “Hath God really said?” They all claim to have a high view of scripture, but their words, books, radio interviews, and ’sermons’ speak otherwise.

Let us look at the clear, unadulterated scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit and there seek to find Christ.

97   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 9:38 am

I have never suggested a sin free-for-all is acceptable behavior for a professing believer. Let me make a few observations:

* Every believer struggles with sin with varying levels of victory.

* Every believer’s stuggle with sin has various levels of sincere effort.

* Every believer sins on purpose.

* Every believer sins while being blind to that sin.

* Discerning a person’s salvation status is a ministry of the Spirit.

* Setting levels over which people must ascend before they can be considered saved is self righteous

* Warning people who have no concern about their lives is Biblical.

What does it say about the Scriptures when one man sees universal salvation and the other sees constricting guidelines? I personally stand in the middle, I reject the new emergent humanitarian gospel and yet I see the parameters of grace to be wider than the ODMs would suggest.

98   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 9:41 am

Thomas, your theology clouds your vision.

99   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 10:00 am

The gospel is a narrative, however it must be believed as more than just a narrative. With the unseen illumination of the Spirit a sinner is enlightened to the eternality of that narrative. He cannot see the entirety of all thye implications a profound truths of that gospel, the Spirit will begin to teach him later.

But ALL that sinner must do is BELIEVE. Simple, glorious, majestic, and completely beyond all human reasoning. Believe on Christ at a mustard seed level and a sinner can be saved. The message of the gospel has not been disguised, or placed in a difficult test format, and even children can understand it on their level.

To tether the effecacy of salvation to the future works of the initial believer is probationary salvation, not eternal life.

100   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:25 am

I believe Neil said this. The point Paul C is making is the HOly Spirit CONVICTS us of our sins, and opens our eyes to our own sinfulness and depravity, so that, when we are saved, our response to God opening our eyes will be repenting, which would be having a change of mind about our sins, and asking God to save us from our sins. Obviously, no “works befitting repentance” are done yet, however, the change of mind about our sins will have taken place. We will detest our old sinful self and want God’s righteousness and holiness.

Yet, what Paul C. said was that we “…must repent and amend our ways with His help.” Must amend our ways to be saved? No, no, no.

101   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:28 am

Anyone who says they did not even think about their sins and turn from them and to God as it says in Acts 26 was not saved then.

I would be extremely uncomfortable saying someone was not saved because they did not follow the formula as I see it.

102   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:31 am

(which it isn’t, Scripture is crystal clear on this) then I would sin all the time, because who cares if God isn’t happy, as long as I am going to heaven,

Thomas,

This is both a non-sequitor and insulting. No one is advocating sinning all ya like – so let’s just drop that from the discussion. And as I said to Paul C., comment like “Scripture is crystal clear” only serve to insult those who disagree.

103   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 10:31 am

Amending our ways to be saved is what the world thinks we preach due to touting moral issues. I have searched the Great Commission in Matthew, and the one in Acts, and I have yet to find morality in the message.

“He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (Jesus)

“He that believes on me, and produces a certain amount of works, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (not Jesus)

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 10:34 am

“Anyone who says they did not even think about their sins and turn from them and to God as it says in Acts 26 was not saved then.”

Thank you for that all knowing information, I just realized I was not saved. Don’t worry, I just said the prayer on the back of the Purpose Driven Life book. I feel like a new man!! :cool:

105   Brett S    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:36 am

* Discerning a person’s salvation status is a ministry of the Spirit. – Rick

Now we’re talking the same language, Rick. I would also say that discerning MY salvation status is a ministry of the Spirit. He saves me from the “work” of having the bible figured out perfectly.

If you love me, you will obey my commandments” – John 14:15

I’m also free to love Christ and obey him; trusting him to pick me up and dust me off when I fail.

[For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.]

106   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:41 am

Pastorboy,

So our options are to believe what they say is clear – or we are not born again? – FAIL!

Seriously dude, we’re having a nice theological discussion and you get all historically stupid about it.

What happens in this postmodern era is that many people have many opinions that run counter to the clear teachings of scripture.

Blah Blah Blah – I would agree with you if you could make an argument without demonizing postmodernism.

I might agree with you if you would argue nuances of a subject instead of such broad-brushed comments that mean nothing.

Postmodernity has nothing to do with it. Modernists were just as quick to offer teaching counter to the Bible. Premodernists were as well.

You continually create the strawman caricatures and warm yourself by setting them afire.

ARRRRGGGG! Please,please, please – think before you post.

107   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:44 am
However, everywhere in scripture – OT and NT – the call is to depart from sin and turn to righteousness. This is God’s grace calling to us, but we must repent and amend our ways with His help.

This is dangerous. Just how mended do we need to make ourselves to justify being justified by grace? You are correct that we are called to depart from sin, but you are confusing the fruit with the root. If I preached this Gospel, people would have no joy, no peace, no assurance. They would perpetually wonder if they have been repentant enough, amended enough, in other words, good enough for grace. Which guts grace of all meaning.

I will repeat this. To say someone must amend there ways as part of being saved from sin is not grace.

it placed a burden on people to be good enough to receive grace that the Bible does not.

108   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:49 am

Pastorboy,

OK – maybe I was a bit harsh.

But please understand that postmodernism is not the enemy here. It is just a philosophy used as a tool – and that tool can be wielded for good and for bad.

Modernism when it became popular was just as much a tool used just as much as postmodernism against, and for, Christ.

So, just what was your point other than to take a swipe at Bell et. al.…?

109   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 10:50 am

What has not been answered is just how good (amended) do we have to become in order to be saved by grace?

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 11:03 am

Neil – John insinuates a grace that is attached to works – wrong. Bell, Paggit, and Rollins suggest a grace without the gospel – wrong.

Two sides of the same coin.

111   Brett S    
May 21st, 2009 at 11:03 am

To say someone must amend there ways as part of being saved from sin is not grace. – Neil

AMEN!
Especially when it’s some preacher, priest, or bible telling me I gotta change something I’m doing to be acceptable to God.

I do believe that scripture teaches that saving grace does have the power to perfect and sanctify even the worst of us. I suppose if I had my choice, I might like to check out and get my flip-flops on a beach up in heaven somewhere right now. But God’s plan doesn’t always seem to fit my plans, and I guess he’s not done saving me yet.

112   Brett S    
May 21st, 2009 at 11:16 am

#111 – sorry, I mean’t bible teacher/thumper, not (bible)

What has not been answered is just how good (amended) do we have to become in order to be saved by grace? – Neil

be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect – Matt 5:48
when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:2

It is Jesus (Yahweh Saves) who is doing the saving all the way to the end, right?

113   Brett S    
May 21st, 2009 at 11:27 am

Rick,

If you don’t mind my saying, you insinuate a grace that is not capable of far more powerful works, than merely human works.

114   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 11:31 am

I understand the concern of abusing grace… but the answer is not to add works.

In response – sure. Works that are appropriate, and consistent with salvation – absolutely.

But works that are required for salvation – No.

Neil

115   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 11:37 am

#114 – And Neil provides the concise answer. And I would add this:

It is possible that someone in the grace of Christ does not always display works that are appropriate for salvation. (unfortunately)

116   Brett S    
May 21st, 2009 at 11:46 am

Rick,

It’s NEVER possible that someone in the grace of Christ works the works “appropriate for salvation” (whatever that means).

It is Christ who works (lest any man should boast), right?

117   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Right. You have graduated.

118   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 21st, 2009 at 1:09 pm

107 – sorry – on a blackberry…

What can I say? Part of Paul’s comission was to preach repentance and proving your repentance by your works.

Both Christ and John Baptist preached repentance accompanied by a changed lifestyle.

Discipleship is important. How is discipleship defined?

John 8 – if you CONTINUE in my words, THEN are you my disciples and (as a result) you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.

Romans 2 – talks about patient continuance is well-doing resulting in salvation.

No one has provided an accurate interpreting (aside from saying mine was incomplete) on Matt 25 (talents parable).

The comment re “I know your works” in Rev was weak.

We do NOT work for our salvation, but without works there is no eternal life.

Belief without works in unbelief. When Christ said we must believe, remember He also said we are to eat his flesh and drink his blood. People don’t like to hear this and it decimated his church.

119   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:25 pm

No one has provided an accurate interpreting (aside from saying mine was incomplete) on Matt 25 (talents parable).

cf. comment #86.

120   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:28 pm

The comment re “I know your works” in Rev was weak.

The letters in Revelation were written to churches, and the warning was to remove their lampstand – which would mean that that particular church would no longer exist.

The letters are warnings to churches, and are moot to a discussion on personal salvation. This is not weal, it’s interpreting Scripture within its context.

121   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Discipleship is important. How is discipleship defined?

Agreed – and that is a different subject from salvation… linked, but separate.

122   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Romans 2 – talks about patient continuance is well-doing resulting in salvation.

Two thoughts:
1) specific verses please, and
2) well-doing (i.e. works) resulting in salvation?

How can you claim works result in salvation AND we do NOT work for our salvation?

123   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 1:34 pm

.

..and proving your repentance by your works.

I can agree with works that show repentance and salvation, but not with works that result in salvation.

Again, I think you confuse the fruit and the root.

124   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 21st, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Yes, I read 86 but found it missing the point by a long shot… Why I say this that is because I doubt Jesus was joking – there are real consequences and you have to commit biblical gymnastics to deny this.

Look at Matt 24 re the unfaithful servant or the parable of Virgins. Look at the parable of the Vine or what Christ did to the UNFRUITFUL fig tree.

Can we receive grace in vain – see 2 COR 6:1.

125   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 21st, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Re Romans 2, I think it’s verse 7 (driving right now) – read the context.

Re Rev explanation – Neil, the church is nothing more than a body of individuals. The church’s works are the people’s works/lives. And if that’s not enough, see the end of Rev (ch 22) – rewards to every man according as his works shall be.

126   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Yes, I read 86 but found it missing the point by a long shot… Why I say this that is because I doubt Jesus was joking – there are real consequences and you have to commit biblical gymnastics to deny this.

Look at Matt 24 re the unfaithful servant or the parable of Virgins. Look at the parable of the Vine or what Christ did to the UNFRUITFUL fig tree.

Can we receive grace in vain – see 2 COR 6:1.

So, first you say to deny your interpretation means we miss the clear and honest meaning – which implies dishonest reasons… and now I am committing biblical gymnastics?

And no where did I even hint that Jesus was joking – why the condescension?

Funny how you ask for an explanation on a parable, and dismiss it as being gymnastic while introducing a bunch of other parables…

Sorry… you insults have caused me to become irritated.. calming down now…

The point is – they are parables about living in the Kingdom, about living as believers, the issue is not becoming a believer, or what onne does to be saved.

It’s an issue of responsibility with what you have been given, not how to get it.

127   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Re Rev explanation – Neil, the church is nothing more than a body of individuals. The church’s works are the people’s works/lives. And if that’s not enough, see the end of Rev (ch 22) – rewards to every man according as his works shall be.

Agreed – but the issue is NOT salvation!

The lampstands clearly represent the churches… are you saying their removal is tantamount to lost salvation? If that is the case you would have to say everyone in the church looses their salvation – which is clearly not what the passage is about.

There is no judgment of which you speak in Rev 22, did you mean another chapter?

128   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Yes, Romans 2:7 is the reference.

I see two choices: this passage is either saying we gain salvation through perseverance in good works, or it is not talkig about salvation. Given paul’s emphasis on grace and not works – I choose the latter.

Every reference to eternal life does not mean the passage is about how we attain it.

129   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Look at the parable of the Vine or what Christ did to the UNFRUITFUL fig tree.

Again, not talking about slavation… the vine references were about abiding in Christ as what can be accomplished (or not) apart from that. Not about remaining saved.

The cursing of the fig tree is a parable about the spirituality of Israel – particularly given the context of destroying the temple.

You come pretty close to denying grace and the power of the Gospel to say we must somehow produce enough fruit to remain saved?

130   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 21st, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Sorry Neil, not trying to be condescending and I do appreciate your answers.

The problem with your explanation of the parables is that they also highlight eternal consequences – and to deny this is what I meant be gymnastics. I say this because Jesus gives FOUR parables in a row that go to lengths to show how are responses in this life can carry eternal consequences or benefits.

That’s why I also brought in Rom 7 – how much clearer does it have to be? Eternal life is mentioned in the same breath.

I am a strong proponent of grace and am forever thankful for what Christ has done – he paid a dead he did not owe, I owed a dead I couldn’t pay! Praise be to God.

131   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 21st, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Paul – I always appreciate your testimonies of your own experience of grace, it comes across as genuine and not just a doctrinal montra!

132   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I say this because Jesus gives FOUR parables in a row that go to lengths to show how are responses in this life can carry eternal consequences or benefits.

I agree Paul C. In fact, I have really come to appreciate N.T. Wright on this very subject. Though I would say it is not a matter of attaining or maintaining salvation.

In other words, unlike the tree, I do not think God will condemn anyone for lack of fruit.

133   Neil    
May 21st, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I am a strong proponent of grace and am forever thankful for what Christ has done – he paid a dead he did not owe, I owed a dead I couldn’t pay! Praise be to God.

And on this agreement we all stand together!

134   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 21st, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Thanks Rick.

Neil, I know you don’t promote a gospel that eliminates the need for holiness, obedience and the pursuing of our great God. But many, many people promote grace to the status of God, and use it as a license for all manner of ungodly living. It seems this has happened throughout history.

I have seen this firsthand in Africa over a period of time, and know of it occurring elsewhere.

I don’t rush to the extreme of works as a result of this, but it has caused me to look deeper into what the scriptures teach. In my view it is clear and very consistent.

In the end no man will stand justified by his works of righteousness. But the scriptures show that we will give an account on that day – all of us. It would be wise to pay heed to the cautions in scripture (ie parables we discussed, Rom 2:7, 2 Cor 6:1, 1 Cor 10, the list goes on).

2 Cor 6:1 is very revealing. Can we receive grace in vain? Obviously so. Otherwise what does Paul mean here.

I think Rev captures it beautifully:

‘They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb (Christ) and the word of their testimony (their lives and response to grace).’

Both elements working together for an eternal result.

I am not on pins-and-needles every moment, and I am a sinner within and without, but neither should I be casual with whatever the Lord has given me. I trust Him, love Him, and deeply need Him more than I ever realized.

We all do.

135   Neil    
May 22nd, 2009 at 10:02 am

It’s nice to have a vigorous exchange on the nuances of our faith. And then, in the end, enjoy the commonality of faith and grace and what God accomplished for and through us.

Thanks Paul.

136   Thomas Booher    
May 25th, 2009 at 1:08 am

Rick you said earlier in comment 97: //* Every believer struggles with sin with varying levels of victory.

* Every believer’s stuggle with sin has various levels of sincere effort.//

But before that you said in 38:

//I did and so did Scotty. When I was saved in 1975 I never really gave my sins a thought, I rushed to Christ when the Spirit illuminated my heart as to Who He was.

To restrict the Spirit and place him in a box of our making is carnality. //

So you were saved without giving your sins a thought, yet you also say that EVERY believer struggles with sin. If this is true, then you were not a true believer. And you cannot be saved without being a believer. I must ask, what made you rush to Christ? You say when the SPirit illuminated your heart to who He was. Well, who was He? What is it about God that the Spirit illuminated in you, if it wasn’t your own sinfulness?

137   Thomas Booher    
May 25th, 2009 at 1:32 am

Thomas,

This is both a non-sequitor and insulting. No one is advocating sinning all ya like – so let’s just drop that from the discussion. And as I said to Paul C., comment like “Scripture is crystal clear” only serve to insult those who disagree.

Neil, while you may not be advocating this, many are certainly saying it is a possibility, yet those who enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do the will of God (Matt. 7). I am not saying that we are saved by works, I am saying that a true faith in Christ will result in works, because the Holy Spirit convicts us of sins, and because we came to Christ recognizing our sinfulness and depravity, and God gave us the will and desire to turn from our sins and to follow Him. It is not a work, but a grace of God, that leads men to repentance and faith.

138   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 25th, 2009 at 8:44 am

We as preachers are called to warn, but we can never judge. Ours is a surface assessment while God sees the heart.

We have constructed a man made list of sins, mostly sexual, and left out a significant portion dealing with greed, idolatry, covetousness, judgment, unforgiveness, self righteousness, and other more inclusive sins that don’t get the portions of publicity that they should.

139   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
May 25th, 2009 at 8:55 am

Rick, What do you do with 1 Corinthians 5, then?

We are called to judge- the CHURCH…those who call themselves brothers. We are NOT called to judge the outside world. We are to judge these who call themselves brothers so much so we should not even eat with those who call themselves brothers and are involved in unrepentant sins listed there in 1 Corinthians 5.

140   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 25th, 2009 at 9:00 am

My use of the word judgment was only as it concerns salvation and condemning brothers. The Corinthian correction was redemptive, even as Paul has described it.

To sit back and mock and condemn and demean people like some blogs do consistantly is unchristian and has no redemprive value.

That is primarily what I mean by judgment. When a sinner is openly and unashamedly sinning and yet claims to be a believer that is cause for sadness and intercession since he is either a deceived saved sinner or a deceived lost sinner.

141   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 25th, 2009 at 9:09 am

Matthew 6:19 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

I Tim.6-10 -But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

******

These two verse accurately describe a good portion of all American evangelical churches, even those that would never have anything but condemnation of the gay lifestyle. If we are to be consistent, let us condemn these hedonists as well. If you are saving money for retirement you are sinning according to Jesus who never saved a cent – unless you reject the words in red. :cool:

142   Ladoli    
May 25th, 2009 at 9:47 am

Rick Frueh:

This is my question on your positions of ODMs

Yes, while you may say they are flaws and “unbiblical” in the way they do things, is it not also true that there are barely any other groups out there who try to point out to others their false ways. I would say that it doesn’t matter who points out your flaws, aslong as they are flaws, deal with them.

At the “Do not Judge” comment, would scripture for that more correctly say Do not Judge hypocritically?

Are we not to warn believers of what is false? And if teachers and their teachings are what is false, then it is our duty to tell the believers about it. But the thing is, if you tell someone that Theology A is wrong but do not warn them of Teacher A then what happens? Is there not a chance they will still listen to what Teacher A has to say in the future? I beleive that those who preach the Word Of God incorrectly and mislead many deserve harsher punishments if they refuse to change from their teachings after being confronted correctly. The Apostles said in a letter to the Corinthians that if a beleiver continues to live in sin after being warned constantly, that they are to excommunicate him/expel them from their midst so as to not rot the fruit and not be an embarassment to non-beleivers.

Thus, false doctrine should be dealt with severely.

Also, have you not done what these “ODMs” have? Talk about others of Christianity in an effort to keep what you consider decent beleivers out of their teachings and theology and have thus done what you yourself have ridiculed?

Is that not also what they are trying to do?

On “short theology”, if we let it be, then it will be just that… short theology. Is it not better when we have a chance to change that “short theology” to become more sound that we should take it? Short theology might work, but does that not mean more whole and sound theology would be even better for the soul?

I would rather have ODMs than have heresies spreading throughout the church like wildfire(Even you have to admit, this is true) and changing doctrines.

I can see comments are censored… hopefully you will let this post through as no profane words are here and what I have posted is not in anyway slander…

143   Ladoli    
May 25th, 2009 at 10:14 am

Hmm, I think the bible speaks much about the sins of sexuality and its subsin, homosexuality, don’t you?

The thing about those other sins you mentioned is the fact that I don’t see greedy people go lobbying saying that greed is a good and okay thing and that we should just accept it. That is something we see with homosexuals. So ofcourse, by the laws of physics, naturally, when more force is issued by an opposing force, the only way to counter it is to move more force to counter that other force.

Imagine a circle with equal forces on each side pushing each other. Then a force on one side gets stronger… how do you keep it a circle? Naturally, you have to push harder on that side which is being attacked.

144   ncgal53    
May 25th, 2009 at 10:57 am

Phil Naessens blog has a new pod cast up for this morning. Please go listen. It has to do with Spiritual Pathways Ministries. Blog is Theology Today blog.

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 25th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

“The thing about those other sins you mentioned is the fact that I don’t see greedy people go lobbying saying that greed is a good and okay thing and that we should just accept it.”

You are incorrect. Ask a pastor if he stores up money for himself down the road and he will tell you he does and that God desires us to. Additioanlly, sign up for John MacArthur’s annual $$$$$$ “Christian” cruise where he and his other teachers and singers go for free, get paid to go, sell their CDs, and still receive their significant salaries back at the church.

“Are we not to warn believers of what is false?”

I believe sometimes I do, like here.

“I would rather have ODMs than have heresies spreading throughout the church like wildfire(Even you have to admit, this is true) and changing doctrines.”

It isn’t either/or, we all must strive to exemplify Christ in all we do. My comments are based upon the seeming obsession with certain sins, and the demeaning way lost sinners are addressed. And hypocrisy must be dealt with the orthodox as well as the aberrant.

“Is that not also what they are trying to do?”

Some of them, sure, but there are those who express such arrogance and such self promoting expressions of self righteousness that it does damage to the cause of Christ. This is to say nothing of the blatant compromise of their professions of complementarianism while at the same time encouraging unordained women to demean and rebuke ordained pastors from around the world.

I’m sure you will now agree with me. :cool:

146   Ladoli    
May 25th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

“You are incorrect. Ask a pastor if he stores up money for himself down the road and he will tell you he does and that God desires us to. Additioanlly, sign up for John MacArthur’s annual $$$$$$ “Christian” cruise where he and his other teachers and singers go for free, get paid to go, sell their CDs, and still receive their significant salaries back at the church.”

Well, if you read their posts you will also see that they are also against such activities of “pastors”. This was one of their cases against TBN and those of the word of faith movement.

So I would say they put effort on this issue aswell.

I would say even ordained pastors can/should be rebuked if they go against scripture, which there are a bunch of like those who proclaim that Jesus is not the only way or those who are openly gay.

And did not Jesus rebuke Pharisees and many others including his own apostles?

Tough love is needed for those “In Christ” who are in the wrong. I support that. From the Discernment blogs I’ve read, they haven’t slandered without reason. They spoke truth as far as I know. Yes, sometimes they over react… but atleast they react! Unlike most of the others out there that just want “unity” even if it outrightly rejects scripture, God’s Word and sometimes even Jesus Christ O.o

By your arguements, you seem to be a decent Christian, though in my humble opinion a bit self-righteous(Sorry! First impressions), though I would complain that your reference to ODM’s hits any and all blogs out there that post on heresy/rejection of scripture. If I were you, a better way would be to post on the things they do in a your “more Christian” way.

147   nc    
May 25th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Yep, cuz “reacting” without regard to the “how” has been so helpful to bring those who are “errant” back to the fold.

gimme a break.

148   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 25th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Correction must be in love and with humility. Just because a person suggests he or she has the truth does not mean he can serve it in self righteous pots of poison.

Someone once said:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

That should be the believer’s Hippocratic Oath.

149   chris    
May 26th, 2009 at 8:58 am

I don’t see greedy people go lobbying saying that greed is a good and okay thing and that we should just accept it.

No they just openly embrace it as though it’s the very hand of God blessing them. GOD BLESS AMERICA…I’ve got 3 cars, a $250,000, and I vacation 4 times a year. I don’t give a damn about the widows and orphans and if I do I just write a check. As long as it doesn’t cause me to have to sacrifice to the point of loss for myself.

The gospel is meant to shape “me” into the image of Christ not to be used as a hammer to bludgeon others.

But let Truth Mercy and Justice flow like a mighty river.

150   nc    
May 26th, 2009 at 9:39 am

The sad reality is that more self-righteous people who have anger, gossip, control, etc. etc. issues have destroyed or crippled more churches than sex outside of marriage or a adulterous pastors ever have.

Just because those issues are regarded as “more sordid” than the others, or “more obvious”, says more about our own cultural idolatries than anything else.

151   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 26th, 2009 at 10:14 am

There is a distinct difference that some refuse to see:

* I do not condone homosexual behavior, I condone reaching out with grace and love.

* Many ODMs are blind to their sin of self righteosness, hedonism, lying, and graceless verbiage, all of which they DO condone and practice.