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Total Messages Loaded: 253


Tom -:- For those who are interested -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:14:44 (PST)
_
Five Sola -:- Re: For those who are interested -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:23:27 (PST)

Chad -:- Test -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 14:45:25 (PST)

Tom -:- Double Predestination -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 13:51:32 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Double Predestination -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:43:12 (PST)
_ Five Sola -:- Re: Double Predestination -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:14:19 (PST)

Tom -:- The Anti-Christ -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 09:54:51 (PST)
_
Five Sola -:- Re: The Anti-Christ -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:21:37 (PST)
_ JOwen -:- Re: The Anti-Christ -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 10:10:42 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: The Anti-Christ -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 13:58:00 (PST)
___ JOwen -:- Re: The Anti-Christ -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:27:35 (PST)

JOwen -:- THe Gifts -:- Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 09:08:35 (PST)

Eric -:- To John (Spiritual Gifts) -:- Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 12:37:11 (PDT)
_
John -:- Re: To Eric (Spiritual Gifts) -:- Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 19:11:53 (PDT)

Rod -:- Jimmy, please exegete... -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 10:16:09 (PDT)
_
Jimmy -:- Re: Jimmy, please exegete... -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 11:53:41 (PDT)
__ 'That Pharisee' -:- Re: Jimmy, please exegete... -:- Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 12:42:20 (PDT)
__ Rod -:- Contradicting the Word of the Apostle -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 12:27:24 (PDT)
___ An Observer -:- An Observation: 'Audience' -:- Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 09:42:40 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- Re: An Observation: 'Audience' -:- Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 15:44:26 (PDT)
____ laz -:- Hearty AMEN!!! (nt) -:- Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 11:32:51 (PDT)

Tom -:- Deacon/servant -:- Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 09:17:23 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 22:50:38 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 17:49:05 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Fri, Oct 27, 2000 at 06:24:26 (PDT)
___ Five Sola -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 15:16:47 (PDT)
___ John -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 23:22:38 (PDT)
____ Ruth -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 09:48:56 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:- Re: Deacon/servant -:- Fri, Oct 27, 2000 at 19:42:00 (PDT)

'A Pharisee' -:- What's Important -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 21:57:03 (PDT)
_
Jimmy -:- Re: What's Important -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 09:10:52 (PDT)
_ 'A Pharisee' -:- Re: What's Important/Correction -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 22:34:23 (PDT)
__ Pharisee-lite -:- Re: What's Important/Correction -:- Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 19:52:00 (PDT)

Pilgrim -:- NEW ARTICLE on The Highway -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 09:15:34 (PDT)

Jimmy -:- Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 12:16:49 (PDT)
_
Rod -:- Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 13:55:31 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 13:38:03 (PDT)
__ Jimmy -:- Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches -:- Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 12:07:32 (PDT)
___ curious -:- Question for Jimmy -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 19:39:44 (PDT)
____ Jimmy -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 12:00:00 (PDT)
_____ Five Sola -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 18:00:36 (PDT)
______ Jimmy -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 21:25:23 (PDT)
_______ Five Sola -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 18:01:55 (PDT)
________ Jimmy -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 09:47:46 (PDT)
_________ Five Sola -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 12:55:35 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Question for Jimmy -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 22:18:02 (PDT)
______ Rod -:- Furthermore... -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 19:58:59 (PDT)
_______ Jimmy -:- Re: Furthermore... -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 21:26:32 (PDT)
________ Rod -:- Re: Furthermore... -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 22:33:08 (PDT)
_________ Jimmy -:- Re: Furthermore... -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 10:05:09 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:- Rightly dividing the Word -:- Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 11:42:27 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches -:- Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 12:39:46 (PDT)
____ Jimmy -:- Prophecy not sermons -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 09:36:35 (PDT)
_____ John -:- Re: Prophecy not sermons -:- Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 06:10:02 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches -:- Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 14:08:24 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:- To add a little more -:- Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 14:30:58 (PDT)
______ Rod -:- And... -:- Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 15:23:57 (PDT)
_______ Tom -:- Re: And... -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 01:11:57 (PDT)
________ Rod -:- Re: And... -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 09:40:28 (PDT)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Elders and Ordination -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 12:53:35 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:- Re: Elders and Ordination -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 14:25:07 (PDT)
___________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Elders and Ordination -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 19:54:19 (PDT)
____________ Rod -:- Re: Elders and Ordination -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 22:45:48 (PDT)
_____________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Elders & Deacons and Equality -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 08:59:25 (PDT)
______________ Rod -:- Re: Elders & Deacons and Equality -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 09:57:44 (PDT)
_________ Tom -:- Re: And... -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 10:37:56 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:- Re: And... -:- Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 13:15:00 (PDT)
___________ Tom -:- Re: And... -:- Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 00:37:01 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:- Re: To add a little more -:- Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 14:57:56 (PDT)

Bro. Charles -:- Storms -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 19:44:25 (PDT)
_
Eric -:- Thank you, I really needed that. n/t -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 07:53:49 (PDT)

Hail -:- A question -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:21:11 (PDT)
_
FredW -:- Re: A question -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 04:39:57 (PDT)
_ Anne -:- Re: A question -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 02:27:00 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- A question answered! -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:46:12 (PDT)
__ Hail -:- Re: A question answered! -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 14:50:09 (PDT)
___ FredW -:- Re: 'All'-type passages -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 22:36:56 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- The question was directly answered. -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 17:21:47 (PDT)
____ Hail -:- Re: The question was directly answered. -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 18:46:53 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:- Re: The question was directly answered. -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 20:34:52 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Resources on The Atonement of Christ :-) -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 20:31:23 (PDT)
_ Five Sola -:- Re: A question -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:30:41 (PDT)

Eric -:- For Pilgrim (from below) -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 07:31:15 (PDT)
_
John -:- Re: For Pilgrim (from below) -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 03:03:11 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: For Pilgrim (from below) -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 22:54:12 (PDT)
__ Hail -:- Re: For Pilgrim (from below) -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 15:18:44 (PDT)
___ John -:- It's worse than we know -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 00:15:09 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: For Eric Above! :-) -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 07:56:39 (PDT)
__ Eric -:- Re: For Eric Above! :-) -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 08:23:34 (PDT)
___ Tom -:- Re: For Eric Above! :-) -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 11:47:34 (PDT)

Eric -:- Spiritual gifts (reply to John) -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 07:36:07 (PDT)
_
mebaser -:- For clarity's sake -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 18:58:40 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: For clarity's sake -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 23:35:55 (PDT)
___ Eric -:- Re: For clarity's sake -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 07:15:23 (PDT)
____ John -:- Re: For clarity's sake -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 22:18:42 (PDT)
_____ Eric -:- I don't know where to begin... -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 07:51:50 (PDT)
______ John -:- Re: I don't know where to begin... -:- Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 20:42:06 (PDT)
_______ Eric -:- Re: I don't know where to begin... -:- Tues, Oct 17, 2000 at 05:16:14 (PDT)

mebaser -:- Becoming all things to all men. -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 23:52:43 (PDT)
_
Jimmy -:- Re: Becoming all things to all men. -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:57:58 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:- Re: Becoming all things to all men. -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 15:41:21 (PDT)
___ Jimmy -:- Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 09:30:41 (PDT)
____ laz -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 14:15:58 (PDT)
_____ Anne -:- Oh, good post, Laz! -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 14:27:20 (PDT)
______ Tom -:- Re: Oh, good post, Laz! -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 15:44:40 (PDT)
_______ Anne -:- Right you are, Tom! -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 19:18:03 (PDT)
______ laz -:- Re: Oh, good post, Laz! -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 14:40:42 (PDT)
____ Five Sola -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:53:23 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 14:23:23 (PDT)
_____ Jimmy -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 15:38:18 (PDT)
______ Tom -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 00:08:29 (PDT)
_______ Anne -:- Oh, I don't know, guys . . . . -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 02:12:56 (PDT)
________ Tom -:- Re: Oh, I don't know, guys . . . . -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 11:22:54 (PDT)
________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Oh, I don't know, guys . . . . -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 07:36:36 (PDT)
_________ Anne -:- Now, did I say that? -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 08:53:50 (PDT)
__________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Now, did I say that? -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 16:59:47 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:21:00 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 13:32:00 (PDT)
_____ Jimmy -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 14:28:58 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:30:10 (PDT)
_______ Jimmy -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 09:05:23 (PDT)
________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 17:16:11 (PDT)
_________ Jimmy -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 00:04:33 (PDT)
__________ Pilgrim -:- More Rhetoric? How about Answers? -:- Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 09:42:53 (PDT)
________ lurker Jr -:- Re: Why they were persecuted -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 09:16:20 (PDT)
_ Tom -:- Re: Becoming all things to all men. -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 00:43:54 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:- An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-) -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 08:12:59 (PDT)
___ Tom -:- Re: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-) -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 10:39:02 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-) -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:45:19 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:- Re: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-) -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 13:53:43 (PDT)
___ Eric -:- Now that's a good strategy! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 09:36:00 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Now that's a good strategy! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:47:24 (PDT)
_____ Eric -:- I'm glad you realize that now. n/t lol -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 12:52:19 (PDT)

kevin -:- taking a risk -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:38:04 (PDT)
_
laz -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:33:16 (PDT)
__ kevin -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 15:11:52 (PDT)
_ Anne -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:17:54 (PDT)
__ kevin -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 15:04:07 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 18:16:11 (PDT)
____ kevin -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 11:25:28 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: taking a risk -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 17:33:34 (PDT)

Tom -:- Gal. 3:28-29 -:- Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 14:20:35 (PDT)

Tom -:- What do you make of this? -:- Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 14:00:21 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 17:06:57 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 00:38:17 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 08:00:57 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:48:15 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 17:30:16 (PDT)
______ Tom -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 00:17:10 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: What do you make of this? -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 07:29:43 (PDT)

Tom -:- Woman -:- Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 13:37:49 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Woman -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 12:37:34 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 13:07:44 (PDT)
___ John -:- Re: Woman -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 00:08:21 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 16:56:20 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Woman -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 17:34:41 (PDT)
______ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 22:02:21 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Woman -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 22:34:39 (PDT)
________ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 07:20:11 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 16:32:39 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Woman -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 21:27:35 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 22:28:34 (PDT)
_ Anne -:- Re: Woman -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 02:52:47 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: Woman -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 07:54:21 (PDT)
_ Tom -:- buck buck -:- Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 23:47:55 (PDT)
__ stan -:- Hesitate to ...... -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 11:14:09 (PDT)
___ Tom -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 12:49:41 (PDT)
____ stan -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 13:16:38 (PDT)
_____ Tom -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 10:04:46 (PDT)
______ stan -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 12:47:59 (PDT)
_______ Tom -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 14:28:27 (PDT)
________ John -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 23:45:07 (PDT)
_________ Eric -:- Shame on you... -:- Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 07:13:29 (PDT)
__________ John -:- Re: Shame... -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 05:59:53 (PDT)
___________ Tom -:- Re: Shame... -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 01:02:13 (PDT)
___________ Five Sola -:- AMEN! -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:42:52 (PDT)
____________ Pilgrim -:- Re: AMEN! -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 17:34:27 (PDT)
___________ Eric -:- For Christ's sake, reconsider... -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 07:54:01 (PDT)
____________ John -:- Re: For Christ's sake, reconsider... -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 04:58:03 (PDT)
__________ LAZ -:- Re: Shame on you... -:- Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 14:51:36 (PDT)
___________ Eric -:- Whoa! -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 08:03:47 (PDT)
____________ laz -:- Re: Whoa! -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 10:06:33 (PDT)
_____________ Tom -:- Re: Whoa! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 01:19:26 (PDT)
______________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Whoa! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 07:53:15 (PDT)
_______________ Tom -:- Re: Whoa! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:04:14 (PDT)
________________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Whoa! again -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 12:08:40 (PDT)
_________________ Tom -:- Re: Whoa! again -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 14:34:29 (PDT)
__________________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Whoa! again -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 15:35:01 (PDT)
___________________ laz -:- Re: Whoa! again -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 21:19:50 (PDT)
____________________ Tom -:- Re: Whoa! again -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 23:43:39 (PDT)
____________ Pilgrim -:- Whoa! right back at ya! :~) -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 08:42:54 (PDT)
_____________ Eric -:- I'm rubber, your glue -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:27:58 (PDT)
______________ LAZ -:- Re: I'm rubber, your glue -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:54:09 (PDT)
_______________ Eric -:- Going, going, gone! -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:32:05 (PDT)
________________ Five Sola -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:59:26 (PDT)
_________________ Tom -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 01:53:05 (PDT)
__________________ Five Sola -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:45:09 (PDT)
___________________ Tom -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 00:05:43 (PDT)
____________________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 13:26:20 (PDT)
_____________________ Tom -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 00:23:31 (PDT)
__________________ Eric -:- Re: Going, going, gone! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 09:18:18 (PDT)
___________________ Pilgrim -:- Absolutely Gone! -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:52:57 (PDT)
____________________ Eric -:- Where did you get that? -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 12:50:53 (PDT)
_____________________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Where did you get that? -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 16:23:03 (PDT)
_________ Tom -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 17:14:34 (PDT)
__________ John -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 06:21:15 (PDT)
___________ Tom -:- Re: Hesitate to ...... -:- Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 02:10:21 (PDT)

another view -:- 2 Cor. 4:4 -:- Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 09:06:10 (PDT)
_
laz -:- Re: 2 Cor. 4:4 -:- Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 19:52:53 (PDT)
__ another view -:- Re: 2 Cor. 4:4 -:- Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 12:19:07 (PDT)

Ken -:- church in Florida -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 16:02:32 (PDT)
_
Brother Bret -:- Re: church in Florida -:- Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 21:27:26 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: church in Florida -:- Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 17:20:03 (PDT)

Five Sola -:- Regulative Principle -:- Sun, Oct 01, 2000 at 20:41:50 (PDT)
_
Tom -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Sun, Oct 01, 2000 at 22:07:58 (PDT)
__ laz -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:58:24 (PDT)
___ Five Sola -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 12:52:24 (PDT)
____ laz -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 19:15:42 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 14:53:27 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 14:46:05 (PDT)
___ John P. -:- Re: Regulative Principle -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 10:18:41 (PDT)
____ Eric -:- Be skeptical... -:- Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 09:02:40 (PDT)
_____ Five Sola -:- Re: Be skeptical... -:- Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 10:22:43 (PDT)
______ John -:- Re: Be skeptical... -:- Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 05:46:29 (PDT)
_______ Five Sola -:- Re: Be skeptical... -:- Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 10:26:07 (PDT)
______ Eric -:- Re: Be skeptical... -:- Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 11:30:47 (PDT)
_______ John -:- Being more skeptical -:- Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 07:00:26 (PDT)
________ Five Sola -:- Re: Being more skeptical -:- Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 10:31:18 (PDT)

Brother Bret -:- Funerals -:- Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 21:09:04 (PDT)
_
laz -:- Re: Funerals -:- Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 19:47:26 (PDT)
_ stan -:- Re: Funerals -:- Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 15:29:25 (PDT)
_ Five Sola -:- Re: Funerals -:- Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 21:56:31 (PDT)
__ john hampshire -:- Re: Funerals -:- Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 02:58:55 (PDT)
___ John P. -:- Westminster Divines on Burying the dead -:- Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 20:59:05 (PDT)

another view -:- The Simple Truth -:- Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 14:20:25 (PDT)
_
FredW -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 02:03:14 (PDT)
__ Rod -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 03:18:23 (PDT)
___ FredW -:- Rod: a response to your post -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 22:29:46 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: FredW: a response to your post -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 23:12:14 (PDT)
_____ FredW -:- Pilgrim(and Rod): a closing post -:- Thurs, Oct 05, 2000 at 21:48:22 (PDT)
______ Rod -:- To Fred W -:- Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 07:37:12 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:- Fred: A closing post reply -:- Thurs, Oct 05, 2000 at 23:03:13 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:- Re: FredW: a response to your post -:- Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 07:41:35 (PDT)
___ laz -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:43:00 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 11:31:15 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 17:33:14 (PDT)
__ another view -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 07:20:23 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:05:03 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 07:58:23 (PDT)
____ another view -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 11:00:19 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 12:26:40 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 12:08:37 (PDT)
______ another view -:- Re: The Simple Truth -:- Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 15:27:26 (PDT)



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Subject: For those who are interested
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:14:44 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
For those who are interested, I was told that Dr. Michael Horton will be on the Bible Answer Man tonight. He will be discussing the Reformation. I for one am looking forward to it. Tom

Subject: Re: For those who are interested
From: Five Sola
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:23:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Drat! I will be in class. :-( I have been disappointed in Hanagraff in recent months but it might be interesting to catch the show online later tonight. Five Sola

Subject: Test
From: Chad
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 14:45:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Test

Subject: Double Predestination
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 13:51:32 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Up until very recently, I believed in double predestination, without question. But now since I saw a recent conversation on another Reformed board, I am not so sure that 'double predestination' is biblical. I don't see anywhere in scripture that says God predestines people to hell and heaven. God's word seems to be saying man goes to Hell because of his own sin, not because God beforehand predetermined or Pre-Chose to send anyone to hell. God, being omniscient, foresaw that man would fall and that not one would choose to serve Him, and 'knowing this,' He Predetermined to save some of them anyway. These are the the elect, these are the predestinated. Some use the story of Jacob and Essah to prove 'double predestination'. But does saying Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated, equate to 'I have predestinated and Chosen Esau to damnation.'? What it seems to be saying (at least to me)is that God loved Jacob, and predestinated Him, while He did not Love Esau. 1st John 4:19 says 'We love him, because he first loved us.' Esau, like all the rest of wicked man who is not Chosen of God 'by His own Sovereign will and for His own Purposes, are not Chosen of God. They are the opposite of Chosen, they are 'Not Chosen!' They do not come under the Love of God. But they, as created pots of the potter, are used of God to His own Glory. ..just as Pilate was, who crucified Jesus. Did God Predestinate Him to damnation? No, His own wicked heart brought him to the point that He was, and God used him to His own Glory! Indeed God allowed him to reach that point, to His own Glory. He was not Predestinated, He was allowed to be as evil as his wicked heart needed to do what he did. Perhaps I am misunderstanding something? Or perhaps I am being nitpicky, but those are my thoughts on the issue at this present time. Tom

Subject: Re: Double Predestination
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:43:12 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
Somehow you have become a bit confused, and I suspect due at least in part, to what has been said elsewhere. :-) Five Sola has rightly pointed out that God in predestinating the lot of mankind is either 'Active/Active' or 'Active/Passive'. And I believe he is further right in holding to the 'Active/Active' position. Now, so as not to confuse you further, this 'Active/Active' view is NOT the same as what hyper-Supralapsarianism teaches. This whole issue revolves around one's view of the 'order of the decrees'. Yes, with God there is in essence but one decree, but in systematic theology, we speak of 'decrees' due to the finiteness of our minds and for the sake of being able to distinguish the works of God. [see the article by A.W. Pink The Decrees of God]. Secondly, another fundamental concern is how God's decree to save a people for Himself stands in relation to the Fall. Supra's believe that God decreed to save before He created mankind and obviously before the Fall. Infra's believe that God decreed the Fall before He decreed to save. The later [Infralapsarianism], thus holds that God decreed to save a remnant of fallen mankind and decreed to reprobate those not elected in Christ. In both views, God is 'active'. If one would posit that God only 'actively' predestinates and elects but simply 'passes by' those He has determined not to save, then this immediately raises a specter against God's immutable sovereignty. Because God's Foreordination, which includes Predestination and Election were all determined in eternity and in 'an instant' within the Godhead, it then follows of necessity that God knew those who were to be saved and those who were going to be damned. Perhaps you haven't read Dr. R.C. Sproul's article: Double Predestination? He gives a simple but accurate description of this doctrine which so many find objectionable. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Double Predestination
From: Five Sola
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:14:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, I was a single Predestinator (real word? :-) ) until someone pointed out an inconsistancy (sp?) with my thinking. If you believe in true Predestination of the elect then you must believe in a predestination of the non-elect. If only to say that those God did not choose (the 'leftover') are by default chosen for reprobation. Now let me make a clarification, one that I was asking a while back. There are two views on double predestination in the Reformed camp. One is refered to (I think I am getting the labels right) as Active/passive and the other is Active/Active. These refer to God's involvement in the predestining of the Elect & Reprobate, respectively. So someone who believes that God actively chooses those who go to Heaven and then simply passes by or over the remaining is a active/passive (by the way, this is what the Westminster Confession of Faith supports or at least as a minimum for belief in the Reformed Faith), then one who believes that God Actively chooses both those for election and reprobation is an active/active. At this point I am in the active/active camp. I am still studying but from what I see I cannot say that God is not involved in both decisions, now there may be different reasons for the decision for election than for reprobation but I am still studying that. We do know that neither good nor evil causes Gods decision to love or hate the individual (ie jacob/esau, national israel/other 'pagan' nations) but we do not know the mind of God so I won't go any further. I just know that both decision bring forth His Glory as all things do. Five Sola

Subject: The Anti-Christ
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 09:54:51 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
The Westminster Confession, Chap. 25, Art. 6 says 'There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.' Westminster Confession, Chap. 25, Art. 6 Although my understanding would put the Pope as 'an anti-Christ'. I don't think I would put him as 'that anti-Christ'. If my understanding of scripture is correct I would say that designation should be reserved for Satan himself. Am I understanding what the confession is saying correctly? Tom

Subject: Re: The Anti-Christ
From: Five Sola
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:21:37 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Anti-Christ is not always used as reference to Satan, in fact most times it is not. In the eschatological sense it is an agent(s) of Satan and/or evil. But in many cases it is merely refering to someone who opposes the work of God and stands against it. I,II, III John mentions anti-Christ in reference to people who hold to various anti-christian heresies, (ie. not believing in physical death & Resurection, not believing in Diety of Christ,etc) If I'm not mistaken I think this is the meaning of the WCF. That the Roman church being an Anti-christian church is appropriately called an Anti-Christ for it is against Christ. Though there may be a deeper eschatological meaning to it that I am not aware of. [I am still the farely new presbie. :-) ] Five Sola

Subject: Re: The Anti-Christ
From: JOwen
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 10:10:42 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Try this site in respect to your question. http://www.historicism.org/index.shtml JOwen

Subject: Re: The Anti-Christ
From: Tom
To: JOwen
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 13:58:00 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Sorry I couldn't find any information about this particular topic, in the site you gave. Tom

Subject: Re: The Anti-Christ
From: JOwen
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 15:27:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Yes the Westminster Divines believed that the Antichrist was the Pope, as did all the reformed and orthodox theologians of that time. On the site I gave you, you might want to look at: The Anti-Preterist Historicism of John Calvin and the Westminster Standards - A short article by Dr. Lee. Rev. Greg Price of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton 'Antichrist and His Emissaries Unmasked and Rebuked' Many ref's to Westminster 1638-1649. JOwen

Subject: THe Gifts
From: JOwen
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 31, 2000 at 09:08:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
If I might, I would like to give you my take on the subject of the gifts. I was raised a Pentecostal, and am now approaching ordination in an Exclusive Psalmnodist Presbyterian Church. You can only imagine the road the Lord has put me on to lead me to this point. What a gracious Lord and Redeemer! I hope this will help in some small way. Major Premise: The Extraordinary gifts have ceased. It is my purpose now to prove three things; first, that the extraordinary gifts have ceased, second, immediate prophecy was an extraordinary gift, and last, all post canonical prophecy is mediate. For clarifications sake, immediate means by way of direct revelation, and mediate means by way of the Word only. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Cor 13-8-11). The Apostle in this text contrasts the revelatory gifts of prophecy, special knowledge and tongues, which by nature are dark and dim in contrast to the complete canon of Scripture (which was completed with the 27 books of the N.T.). That which was to replace the partial and do away with it was something designated “perfect.” “But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” It is difficult to miss the antithetic parallel between the “partial” thing and the “perfect” (“complete, mature, full”) thing. Since the “partial” speaks of prophecy and other modes of revelational insight (v. 8), then it would seem that the “perfect,” which would supplant these, represents the perfect and final New Testament Scripture (Jas. 1:21). This is due to the fact that modes of revelation are being purposely contrasted. Thus, it makes the man of God adequately equipped to all the tasks before him (2 Tim. 3:16-17). In other words, there is a coming time when will occur the completion of the revelatory process of God. Recognize also that, “face to face” is an adverbial phrase; it does not have an object. Second, “face to face” is contrasted with a “dim mirror.” Since “face to face” is adverbial without an object, the idea that it refers to Christ must be assumed or inferred. And since Paul has been contrasting forms of revelation throughout verses 8-12, it makes much more sense to interpret “face to face” in the sense of clearness (or perspicuity), in contrast to the dim mirror. The “perfect” is the closed cannon of scripture, and all we need for life and godliness. Within the context of 1 Corinthians 12 we do not need to do any herminutical gymnastics to see that 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 is dealing with immediate revelation. The word “tongues” in this passage means the gift of speaking in a language previously unknown to the speaker. The word “knowledge” is similar to tongues in that it is also an immediate gift; a gift of special understanding and wisdom that is a form of direct revelation from God. It would be foolish to think that we will no longer know anything when the cannon is completed, or in heaven for that matter. Scripture tells us otherwise. This word knowledge is a miraculous and immediate gift, designed for the benefit of those who are in an imperfect or dim setting i.e. the New Testament Christians. It is only fitting to agree that the context of the word prophecy in the same verse is also an immediate revelatory gift. Any who would try and repudiate this fact would be arguing against logic and sound hermeneutics. Minor premise: Immediate Prophecy was a Revelatory Gift Since Paul was referring to the universal church in Ephesians 2:20 and the Apostles and prophets laid the church's foundation by receiving and transmitting revelation (3:5), the implication is that once the Church was established the gift would be discontinued. By its very nature, a foundation cannot be continuously re-laid. This verse clearly implies that Paul viewed revelation as occurring during a specific, no repeatable era, with the church of subsequent ages commanded to discover its foundation in those apostles and prophets, or more specifically, in their doctrine as it is recorded in the Scriptures. Since the passage labels prophesy in itself as a foundational gift, the inevitable conclusion is that New Testament prophecy ceased along with the gift of apostleship. There are those who would argue that while the revelatory gift of prophesy as it pertains to the foundation of the Church has ceased, yet there is still a smaller, less pronounced immediate prophesy that is perpetual, and in fact has continued for almost 2000 years. I see a sound biblical exegetical foundation for cessationism (as mentioned above), but I am still not convinced of a sound scriptural basis for the perpetual nature of a lesser immediate gift. I do believe that the word prophecy is used post canon, but I believe it means something very different than what is being espoused by some. ERGO: All Post- canonical Prophecy is Mediate. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament is quite clear on the word propheteia when he says, Though much of the OT prophecy was purely predictive, see Micah 5:2, e.g., and cf. John 11:51, prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily fore-telling… it is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future. As Mr. Vine has pointed out there are many times in scripture where the word prophecy is used in a generic sense. Used in a way that is not immediate, but rather in a mediate sense. Lets examine briefly a few examples. Revelation 10:8-11 “ And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” It is common among orthodox reformed theologians to interpret this passage, as a commission from he Lord to John to preach is the revealed will of God. Romans 12: 4-8 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Here we see a clear teaching of the ordinary offices that are given for the well being of the church. It would be poor hermeneutics to read into this text a list of regular offices, and then slip in one extraordinary special office. And if the Lord is giving an example of an extraordinary office here, why just this one? Why not tongues? Why not the gift of healing? And why if this is truly the gift of immediate prophecy is it given in increments, “according to the proportion of faith”? If immediate prophecy is direct revelation, how can it be done “according to the proportion of faith”? If it is true revelation it must be 100% true, clear, and concise. There is no middle ground when immediate prophecy is given. When it says, “let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.” It is speaking about mediate prophecy and scriptural reason. In this verse the word prophesy means exactly what Vine says it does, and that is “Speak forth the mind and council of God.” There are other scriptures that I could use to display the mediate use of prophecy but I think it would be redundant. The point of this exercise is to show that the words prophecy and prophesy can and do mean something other than just immediate revelation. If I have shed any light on the topic at hand I hope I have established three things. 1. That the revelatory gifts have ceased with the close of the apostolic era, and the completion of the canon of scripture. 2. That immediate prophecy was a foundational revelatory gift. 3. That post-canonical prophecy can and does mean mediate revelation, and is the simple proclamation of the revealed will of God. It must be understood that we have all we need for life and godliness. To say that we believe in immediate prophecy tells those around us that the Word of God contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is NOT the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him, but there is still a need for something more. The Word is all we need, by the power of the Spirit. Blessings, JOwen

Subject: To John (Spiritual Gifts)
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 12:37:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi John, Last week I posted that I would respond to your post pertaining to your views on the non-cessationists. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to do so. Things are not going well for me, and I do not have the time or the energy to respond adequately to your post. I know this comes as a great disappointment to you, as you were really looking forward to my legendary exegetical skill and insight. :) Take care and God bless.

Subject: Re: To Eric (Spiritual Gifts)
From: John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 19:11:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, Sorry things are not going well for you. : ( It is OK if you don't respond on the cessation of certain gifts, I'll get by. As a matter of fact, just the other day, God spoke to me and told me that all revelatory gifts have indeed ceased. : ) (He also told me Arminianism is correct, there WILL be a 1000 year earthly reign, the NIVB is the most accurate Bible, and Baptism is by immersion -- go figure, I had it all wrong). I think there is room for some discussion on just what spiritual gifts are as the Bible describes them, not as Pentecostals/Charismatics distort it. Anyway, I'll see what I can put together (if only for the e-audience). You'll have more opportunities to debate this issue, allow me to give you some fodder. Take care, John

Subject: Jimmy, please exegete...
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 10:16:09 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
1 Cor. 9:11-14 in view of your statements below to 'a Pharisee.'

Subject: Re: Jimmy, please exegete...
From: Jimmy
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 11:53:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, 1Cor. 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 1Cor. 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 1Cor. 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 1Cor. 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. If we are to use the word 'ordained' in the way that you want to use that word, wouldn't that mean that Paul disobeyed God's 'ordained' way of support? I don't think so :o) Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Acts 20:34Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. 2 Thess. 3:8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you. Paul said that he was the pattern to be followed, and that we were to 'mark' those that followed his example. Phil 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. Phil 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Phil 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) Paul is the example for all 'preachers'. Paul and the other disciples of the New Testament are the patterns that we are to compare all that would preach the word of God to. People are asked to believe, by today's professional preachers, that there is no difference between a disciple of the New Testament and themselves, in spite of the fact that their existence is completely different from the pattern preachers of the New Testament. Today's professional preachers are not like the disciples of the New Testament, they are like the Pharisees of the New Testament. The 'Pharisee' led 'churches' separate the doctrine from the teacher but in Christianity the teacher is a part of the doctrine. A Christian disciple is to be the doctrine in practice, he is to be a living epistle, the living doctrine. If the person preaching the word to you is not living the NT then their words are useless, the word of God is so designed as to need living men to back it up. 2 Thess. 3:7-10 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Paul's talking about 'preachers' here, if they don't work, and that means so-called secular work, then they don't eat. Isn't it ridiculous to pretend along with the professionals that they are like the pattern people of the New Testament? Isn't that joining in, with them, in their hypocrisy? Phil. 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. Imagine how many professional preachers would be put out of work if Christians demanded that their teachers and leaders had to be like Paul and the other New Testament patterns for Christian leaders. 2 Cor. 11:20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. Listening to false prophets will eventually bring you into bondage to them. They will 'take of you,' they will 'exalt' themselves over you. Beware of the professional preachers because it is in their best interest to keep you as a sheep good for shearing. It is in their best interest to keep you in inoffensive mediocrity and not challenging their words, position or way of life. The passage of Scripture that you are using is much loved by the 'Pharisees' since they use it to keep from having to follow Paul's example. 1 Cor. 9:11-14 has been used by the Roman Catholic Church to support their clergy system. To forbid their 'priests' and 'bishops,' from doing any real work. The Protestants have used it to support their notion that the Chruch of God is suppose to be organized like the business of the world. The 'Pharisees' use this passage of Scripture to turn Christianity into an employer with thousands upon thousands of employees. Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. pharisees in all times have made money from religion One of the signs of a 'Pharisees' is the fact that they make money from religion. Here Jesus reproaches the Pharisees for using religion to gain financial profits. Paul, and those with him worked for a living. Paul was a tent maker by trade, not a professional preacher. Today, preaching is a trade, a profession, a way to make money. Christianity was never meant to be a money making business, a career. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for making money from religion, today every aspect of Christianity has been turned into a profession a way to make money. 1 Cor. 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. With this verse of Scripture, written through Paul who was a tent maker by trade, not a professional preachers, today's class of professional preachers try to justify making a trade out of Christianity. Salaries are what the hired professionals try to justify with this verse. With these words the paid professionals of organized Christianity try to justify themselves. With these words they try to justify living off of Christianity. With these words they try to justify turning it into a means of livelihood. With these words they try to justify making it into a professional career. With these words the professional class in organized Christianity justifies turning Christianity into an employer, and themselves into employees with fixed salaries. Living of the Gospel does not mean what they want it to mean. These words do not mean that God's servants are to be salaried employees of an organizational Christianity. They do not mean that Christianity is to be a profession, an occupation that can be followed as a means of livelihood or for gain. Living of the gospel does not mean receiving a salary for services renders, a salary for serving God. It does not mean that a servant of God should receive a definite amount of money, a pre-determined salary. It does not mean that God's servants are to work for hire. Living off of a salary is not to be found in God's Word. Today's system of paid, professional, service in the work of God was unknown in Paul's day. In God's word we read of no servant of God asking for, or receiving a salary for their services. Free-will gifts and not salaries are what Paul meant when he spoke of living of the Gospel. Free-will gifts may be received by a servant of God, but no stipulations can be made in connection with such gifts. No definite period of time is set as in a weekly paycheck. No definite amount of money is negotiated as in a salary. No definite responsibility and duties are sit as in a hired position. A reason, given for salaries is that if people have a settled income that they can trust in they will have more time for the work of God and will therefore do it better. But in serving God there is need for an unsettled income. There is a need to trust God and not an organization. There is a need to trust God and not a steady income, because it makes a close relationship with God absolutely necessary. A disciple who has faith in God is not influenced by any financial interest. He who supplies the money has the authority. Professional preachers receive a salary from an organization, and they have to account for what they do to that organization. Professional preachers are supported by an organization and their work is controlled by that organization. They also must do their works to be seen of men, to be seen of their employer if they are to continued to get their salary. Luke 16¨13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Serving Mammon, being a professional Christian, is the opposite of serving God being a disciple of Christ. A servant of God's is not to be governed by financial needs. If they are, then they are no longer servants of God, but servants of money, hirelings working for pay. 1Tim. 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. Who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit, a money-making business, a means of lifelihood. Those who think that godliness (acting piously or reverently toward God) is a means to financial gain, have been robbed of the truth. They are conceited and understands nothing. Paul wrote these words to warn Christians about 'preachers' who have been robbed of the truth and see their relationship to God as a way to make money. Today's system of making a career out of Christianity goes against the teachings of the Bible because It makes Christianity into a means of gain. It makes service to God into a profession, a career, a way to make money, a gaining from godliness. Living off of a salary is 'gain through godliness.' Sincerely, Jimmy P.S. I'm out of time for today, I see that there are other posts to me, I'll try to answer them but I'm not sure that I will be able to get to all of them.

Subject: Re: Jimmy, please exegete...
From: 'That Pharisee'
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 12:42:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy: There really isn't much more to say, than what has been said. Scripture and sound exegesis has been shared for you and the 'audience.' I would like to ask if there has been anything that has happened to you or involving you, in your past, that has caused you to take the attitude you have taken, as well as all the Scriptures you have taken out of context to try to support your incorrect position. I am indeed a pastor (a Pharisee as you like to incorrectly call it). When I first got to this church, they could not afford to 'pay' me for serving full time. I knew this coming in, and I worked full time while pastoring. They provided a small income and my housing. Since then, they have increased the income to me and I reduced the hours at my 'secular' job. I agree that a 'pastor' should not be paid $1.9 million :-), or so that he can have a Lexus or Mercedes instead of a Honda Accord (the Bible does say that they were all in one 'accord' hehe). The pastor's main function is supposed to be the study of the word of God and prayer (Acts 6). And those that labor in the word are to receive double honor. And today, with the many cults, catholics, arminians and modern churches, the pastor/elder needs be in the word of God and prayermore then ever! And that is why I must now take my leave :-). It is my hope and prayer, that you will study God's word expositorily in context, and not just punch holes here and there to try to support your personal belief system and/or agenda. That Pharisee Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

Subject: Contradicting the Word of the Apostle
From: Rod
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 12:27:24 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
This will be my last post to you until and unless you show some sign of dealing with all the Word of God on an equal basis. To pick and choose and use passages our of context and out of the context of the Bible for your own agenda is abominable. I won't exegete the passage, either, since you refused. I will point out one or two things for the benefit of the 'audience' if there is any. First, when Paul says, 'If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap you carnal things?' (verse 11), it is obvious that the things of this life are to be 'reaped' for the benefit of the body from those who benefit from the spirtual truth. 'Reaping' refers to 'harvesting' and living off that harvest, as a farmer does. Second, you cannot cop out and say that Paul worked for his keep and that he didn't mean what he said. Paul clearly identifies himself as an exception to the rule he has laid out previously, regarding himself as very different from even the other Apostles, an 'abortion,' one 'born out of due time' (1 Cor. 15:8). Verse 18 makes it clear that living from the gospel and not being burdened by supporting himself is 'my right,' but that he chooses, as one paying a debt to God by delivering the gospel to both Jews and Greeks free of charge (Rom.1:14). There is nothing in this passage to demand that same voluntary forfeiture of right by others.

Subject: An Observation: 'Audience'
From: An Observer
To: All Individuals
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 09:42:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The following phrase caught my attention: 'I will point out one or two things for the benefit of the 'audience' if there is any.' The reason it did so is because, it is important to remember that the messages and discussions that go on here always have an audience. The Internet reaches around the globe...And it may well be that the heavenly host are also watching, to see what kind of witness we might be for Christ...Perhaps even Satan and his legion watch and hope for the turning away from the spirit of godly discussion. Just a thought for all participants. An Observer.

Subject: Re: An Observation: 'Audience'
From: Rod
To: An Observer
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 15:44:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Glad to see you're observing. I didn't know if anyone was following these things or not, since there was so little activity in posting. May God grant that we speak and treat the truth at all times as it pleases His observation, His precepts.

Subject: Hearty AMEN!!! (nt)
From: laz
To: An Observer
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 11:32:51 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Subject: Deacon/servant
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 09:17:23 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Some people believe (not me) that the word 'deacon' in 1 Timothy chapter three, should in context be better be rendered 'servant'. Although this isn't my understanding, I would like someone who has more knowledge of this subject, show me why this is incorrect. For instance they say regarding 1 Timothy 3:13, using the Strong Concordance, the word USE is reference number 1247. The word OFFICE has the same reference number 1247. Lastly, the word Deacon also is referenced 1247. It appears that the words 'used the office of deacon well' could have been summed up more clearly by using the word 'servant' as it was in the other verses found in Matthew, Mark, John, and Romans. The words of Acts 6:3 'the multitude of disciples', is not the Greek word for the 'church',and the last two words of verse 3 are 'this business', referring to ministering to the Hellenists' widows. So the seven were not deacons, they were servants. If this is correct can one really make the case for a man or a woman being chosen as a deacon in the Church? Tom Tom

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 22:50:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
Although I do enjoy reading the Greek New Testament and have enjoyed my many years of study of the Greek language, I have seen all too often people trying to subvert the plain teaching of Scripture by its misuse. Usually, those who try and do this are depending upon others not knowing the original languages and thus inculcate and intimidate them resulting in unnecessary doubts. Could this be the case here? :-) Aside from this innovative use of the Greek words, and the tenuous use of Strong's Concordance, I strongly urge you to simply accept what is plainly taught in Paul's first Epistle to Timothy regarding the office of Deacon:
1Tim 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Tersely put, men and men ONLY are qualified and are to be considered for the OFFICE of Deacon. It just doesn't matter about all these other questions which someone has raised for the sole purpose of circumventing and contradicting God's explicit prohibition against women occupying the offices of Elder and Deacon in the church. Remember also one of the fundamental principles of biblical interpretation [Hermeneutics 101]; The Epistles interpret the Gospels. And NEVER FORGET CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT! 
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 17:49:05 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim You said: Aside from this innovative use of the Greek words, and the tenuous use of Strong's Concordance, I strongly urge you to simply accept what is plainly taught in Paul's first Epistle to Timothy regarding the office of Deacon: I understand what you are talking about, but for my own study of this issue, I would like to find out more about this issue. This person whom I am talking to, is a fairly regular poster on this forum. On most occasions he agrees with you, but after studying this issue(according to him) he had to change his previous oppinion about it. Like I said before, I am leaning strongly towards the view that you take on the issue, but there are some questions that I still would like to find out. One of them being whether or not we can concider Stephen and the other six deacons? Even in the verses of the choosing of the seven, it does not use the word deacon. Also, though there is no mention of any woman being chosen for the office of deacon. Still Paul does refer to at least one of them as a deacon. Though in my eyes, this does not prove that Paul was using it, for the office of deacon. One other question I have is, although I am almost 100% sure that the scripture's prohibit woman in the office of elder. I am not quite as sure about the office of deacon, since the descriptions of a deacon don't call for a woman to teach or have authority over a man (that I am aware of). Tom

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 27, 2000 at 06:24:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
John was kind enough to iterate what Paul wrote concerning the qualifications for the office of Deacon, which I initially included in my first reply to you in this thread. And Ruth also iterated another point which I have recently made to you also; that being the matter of hermeneutics. Paul, being under the direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, could not contradict himself and speak of women 'deacons' on the one hand and then command that Deacons be 'the husband of one wife, etc.' on the other hand. You also mentioned 'Still Paul does refer to at least one of them as a deacon.' Again, what I have just said applies here also; there is NO CONTRADICTION in Paul's writings AND the issue of hermeneutics demands that 'The universal interpret the local'. I.e., the passages in and to Timothy concerning the offices of Elder and Deacon were written SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of laying down God's will for those two offices and those who are qualified to occupy them. ALL other less specific passages and/or statements, inferences, elusions, etc. MUST be subordinate and be understood in light of the specific and didactic passages. And to be honest, this is just good old plain common sense and a universal principle that is applied in everyday life. Why discard it when reading Scripture? :-) You wrote:
'. . . but there are some questions that I still would like to find out. One of them being whether or not we can concider Stephen and the other six deacons? Even in the verses of the choosing of the seven, it does not use the word deacon.'
The issue as to whether or not Stephen and the other MEN were 'Deacons' in the same sense as what is described in the Pastoral Epistles is easily answered and understood when one takes into account the reality of the progressive development and maturity of the Church. There were no 'congregations' or established 'churches' as we know them today at the time of the ascension of Christ and that great day of the Pentecost. And it was quite some time before the churches actually matured to the place where they were organized in polity. This is why Paul was inspired to write the Pastoral Epistles to young Timothy and Titus; to set down specific guidelines and polity for the infant church. Thus, Stephen and the others were not office bearers 'officially', but they were indeed foundational and forerunners of those who would later be 'ordained' as Deacons. Were they 'Deacons'? Yes! without question they were, but their position and role was like that of fledgeling birds just setting out to flight on their newly acquired feathered wings.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: Five Sola
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 15:16:47 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, I don't want to attempt to answer for Pilgrim (he's much more eloquent than I :-) ) but I wanted to offer some things that help me settle the issue for myself. In my church about 2 years ago we were studying 'the Church' in sunday school. Of course the issue of the leaders in the church came up. The issu of women deacons was raised since some saw that there were some examples of women deaconess (servants). None were challenging the position of the church but just like you (i think) wondering how to answer a skeptic or liberal out there who will raise the same question. While the teacher said that the official position of deacon in the church is reserved for men only, he did give some 'flexibility' or at least acknowledgement to women deaconess if, AND ONLY IF, that was a pure servant role and in no way a role of leadership or authority. Now, I and him discussed this for a while (we came to agreement at the end) that he problem with this is in the use of the label deacon in its present usage. In the Presbyterian system the Deacons do not have as much leadership/authority as the elders (even though that is not entirely correct), but in the Baptist system the Deacons are the elders in a sense, so in that church government it would be absolutely out of the question. But there is even more to prohibit or caution women from the deaconate. Most people will automatically look to a Deacon with more respect and as a leader in the church (and rightly so) so to bestow the title to a women in the church would easily confuse alot of issues and I would think it is best not to get into that area. (I hope my ramblings made sense) :-) Five Sola ps. I hope in my post I did not offend any of the women posters for that was not my intent. Sometimes my mouth gets ahead of my mind and I say things that would best be kept silent. :-)

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: John
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 23:22:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>One other question I have is, although I am almost 100% sure that the scripture's prohibit woman in the office of elder. I am not quite as sure about the office of deacon, since the descriptions of a deacon don't call for a woman to teach or have authority over a man (that I am aware of). 1Tim 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.' If a deacon were to be a woman, then her wife must be faithful in all things and she must be the husband of one wife, ruling her children and house well. Obviously, the wife (woman) is not in view here. The man is the one who is judged based on how he rules over the house, wife, and children--the woman is not the head of the household. Nor can we assume the writer meant a woman could be married to a woman. john

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: Ruth
To: John
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 24, 2000 at 09:48:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, I have to agree with John 100%. Paul is very clear here that he is talking to and about men. He would not contradict himself where he otherwise is explicit that women be silent in church (and in church matters) and ask their husbands any questions they have. I have to leave your other questions for Pilgrim to reply to. In His Hands, Ruth

Subject: Re: Deacon/servant
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 27, 2000 at 19:42:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks I really appreciate everyone's imput into this topic. I must admitt that when I said 'that I am aware of...' I knew of the scripture verses that talked about being the husband of one wife..., and I never meant to make it sound like I was disregarding any verses. Although what you said (especially John) is what my understanding is on the subject, I have been wrong on what seemed to me to be the plain scripture meaning before. I want to be certain that isn't the case in this particular topic. For instance John 3:16, before I studied that issue indepth, my understanding on that passage was more in line with Arminianism with a twist, than the Calvinist understanding of the verse. Tom

Subject: What's Important
From: 'A Pharisee'
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 21:57:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Jimmie: I am one of those 'Pharisee's' that you have been writing about. I have been reading your posts with interest as well as the excellent responses you have gotten. As someone has already said, since what you say should be 'so obvious,' you and others like you should be assembling together somewhere so that you are not violating Heb.10:25. But having seen what your priorities are (much like many KJV onlies have a misplaced priority), I would like to know where you stand on the doctrines of salvation and sovereign grace. Do you talk to people about the Lord Christ and what He did for those the Father gave Him and believe? Are you equally as concerned about the modern gospel and reckless faith that has infected the professing body of Christ? And if you would, could you lay out for me how a 'church service' should go? You never did squarely respond to Pilgrim's questions to you about Pastors, Elders, Overseers, and 'those that have rule over you.' From what I recall, you just made a statistical comparison of how many times they were mentioned compared to 'brothers and sisters.' What do those 'few mentioned' Scriptures about Pastor/Elder etc mean? Finally, with all your assumptions about the mere existence of these positions in the church meaning that they think themselves better or more important regardless of their attitude and motives, must mean that you think the husband is better than the wife, the Master better than the slave, and God better than Christ, JUST BECAUSE THEY EXIST??? :-) Look forward to your response..............A Pharisee

Subject: Re: What's Important
From: Jimmy
To: 'A Pharisee'
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 09:10:52 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Pharisee, I don't have the time on the weekends to read or post on this forum, that's the reason for the delay in answering your post. You wrote: 'I would like to know where you stand on the doctrines of salvation and sovereign grace. Do you talk to people about the Lord Christ and what He did for those the Father gave Him and believe? Are you equally as concerned about the modern gospel and reckless faith that has infected the professing body of Christ? And if you would, could you lay out for me how a 'church service' should go? 1) Salvation is all of God, He saves who He wills. No one can save themselves. Salvation is made possible by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2) As for 'the reckless faith that has infected the professing body of Christ'. Yes, I'm very concerned and I believe it is the fault of the 'Pharisees,' that's the reason for by opposition to the man-made churches that have taken the name of Christianity. 3) As for a Scriptural Church service, Paul gives us that in his letters to the Corinthians. You wrote: ' You never did squarely respond to Pilgrim's questions to you about Pastors, Elders, Overseers, and 'those that have rule over you.' From what I recall, you just made a statistical comparison of how many times they were mentioned compared to 'brothers and sisters.' What do those 'few mentioned' Scriptures about Pastor/Elder etc mean?' As I have tried to explain, 'elder/pastor/bishop' all speaking of the same person, is not a vocation, it was never meant to be a profession, a means to make a salary off of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is a relationship and not an "official" trade, not a salaried position. Sincerely, Jimmy P.S. I notice that there are several posts to me, I'll try to answer them as time permits, forgive me if it takes awhile.

Subject: Re: What's Important/Correction
From: 'A Pharisee'
To: 'A Pharisee'
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 22:34:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I said: 'Finally, with all your assumptions about the mere existence of these positions in the church meaning that they think themselves better or more important regardless of their attitude and motives, must mean that you think the husband is better than the wife, the Master better than the slave, and God better than Christ, JUST BECAUSE THEY EXIST??? :-)' Rather, your line of thinking would be that everyone else must think that Husband is better than wife, Master better than slave, and God better than Christ, just because the positions exist. Can't change the last one, have made great strides with the second one (although the principle still exists with Employer and employee), and we best not mess with the first one either, eh? :-)

Subject: Re: What's Important/Correction
From: Pharisee-lite
To: 'A Pharisee'
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 19:52:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pharisee - me thinks you wasting your time....an answer from Jimbo is not likely forthcoming. In fact, I suspect this lone ranger is also a universalist....it's just a hunch. P-L

Subject: NEW ARTICLE on The Highway
From: Pilgrim
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 09:15:34 (PDT)
Email Address: thehighway@gospelcom.net

Message:
Although several new articles have been added to The Highway lately, one in particular needs to be announced here. I say this because of a topic of discussion that went on in the forum regarding the continuation of the 'sign gifts' and the mention of Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones as being Charismatic. The article itself is further enlightening as the author, Ronald Cooke, offers a very good interpretation of 1Cor 13:10, and the first part of the text, 'But when that which is perfect is come. . .' in sharper focus. All will admit that this is a very difficult passage to grasp. And the myriad differences of interpretations testifies to its difficulty. I think Mr. Cooke's insights are worthy of mention and to warrant my personal recommendation as a 'good read'. ENJOY!.
Click the link below to read the article:
Tongues — Nonsense and Martin Lloyd-Jones
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 12:16:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Continued from 'Becoming all things to all men' below. You wrote: ' Nor do you offer, since you have changed the all to most, any example of one of these groups that evidently you do recognize as existing that clearly manifest the true church of God. Since you didn't like being singled out as being the ONLY true Christian as opposed to every person who professes faith in Christ, perhaps you will now reply with specific illustrations from one of these 'exempt' groups as to how they are manifesting the biblical model?' I know of no manifestation of the New Testament church, I used the word 'most' because there may be places where people have come together in the way prescribed by God but I don't know of any. Nor have I ever claimed that there are no Christians in today's pseudo churches, on the contrary, that's the only way these 'churches' can exist, by holding Christians captive. That's where they get their life, that's how they can continue. You wrote: Lastly, I have consistently asked you, as I have done yet again here, for biblical texts, examples etc. that would support and illustrate your extremist charges and claims. Signs of a 'Pharisee.' 1) 'Pharisees' love religious titles (Matt. 23:7). One of the signs of a 'Pharisee' is the use of religious titles. 'Pharisees' separate themselves from the people of God by using religious titles. Religious titles are appellations that exalt some above others. Religious titles are used to exalt the leaders of organized Christianity above the rest of its members. Religious tiles are used to divide the professionals from the amateurs. Titles like pastor, minister, reverend, evangelist, the appellations that signify rank, office, or position in organized Christianity. There have always been certain people who covet religious titles. They like to attach titles to their names to show other people how important they are. To show what religious position they have obtained. To show what authority they have gained over others. To show how much respect and reverence is due them. In Matt. 23:7 Jesus forbid the use of religious titles by His Disciples. He forbid the use of reverential titles, Jesus forbid the use of instructional titles, headship titles, procreative titles and leadership titles. 2) 'Pharisees' love chief seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquet. (Matt. 23:7). Another sign of a 'Pharisee' is their love of the chief seats. Chief seats were seats of honor which were prepared for the elders of the synagogue and for the doctors of the Law. The chief seats were placed in front of a ark, which contained the law, in the uppermost part of the synagogue, at the 'Jerusalem end.' Those who occupied them sat with their faces to the people. Those seats, like today, were considered positions of honor. Synagogues have no Scriptural basis for there existence, today's 'churches' copy the synagogue system and not the New Testament pattern given for God's Church. 3) 'Pharisees' do their works to be seen of men. (Matt. 23:5). Matt. 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 'Take heed that ye do not your alms (R.V. 'that ye do not your righteousness') before men to be seen of them.' Righteousness, not alms is the correct translation. Righteousness is 'good works.' Today's 'Pharisees', by the very nature of the positions they have created must do their works to be seen of men, they must declare themselves to be righteous before man. 'Pharisees' must appear righteous before their followers. Today's 'Pharisees' must do their works in order to be thought righteous by man, so that they will be elevated to positions of authority by men, and receive payment from men. 4) 'Pharisees' control the Synagogues/Churches. (John 12:42). John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. 3John 1:9. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. This was the beginning of the end of the New Testament Church. In 3 John 9, we read of a church being taken over by one man, one man being elevated above the rest of the members. Diotrephes who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, to govern according to his own will. Diotrephes, a man of ambition, evidently had pre-eminence and occupied a high place in this 'church'. Today, Diotrephes has become the pattern and not the exception. 'Pharisees' control the 'churches.' 5) 'Pharisees' are highly esteemed. (Luke 16:15) 6) 'Pharisees' placed Traditions above the Word of God. (Mark 7:7-13). 7) 'Pharisees' are money lovers, who made religion into a means of profit. (Luke 16:14). 8) 'Pharisees' are hypocrites. (Matt. 23:25). 9) 'Pharisees' hindered people from entering the Kingdom of God. (Matt 23:13). This is going to get way to long if I continue, I'm more than willing to discuss any of these points in detail with you if you think it necessary. I do want to say something about the invisible versus the visible church. Matt. 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matt. 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. The doctrine of the invisible church equals invisible light. The 'Pharisee' led 'churches,' of today justify the obvious disunity of Christians by teaching that the 'real church' is invisible. That the 'real church' can only be seen by God. The 'true church' is some kind of 'invisible light' that people are not meant to see. The reformers, in order to justify so many fractions gave us the notion that the Church is invisible, known only to God, the true 'church' is hidden, and the saints are concealed. So much for the 'light of the world.' The theological distinction between the 'church' visible and the 'church' invisible is used by today's 'Pharisees' to defend denominationalism. This doctrine of the 'invisible church' makes it nearly impossible to discuss the New Testament idea of the Christian Church as communities of Christ living within but separate from the communities of the world. According to the doctrine of the 'invisible church' no visible communities, like those of the New Testament, can exist. These 'churches' dodge any responsibility to be like the Church of the New Testament by teaching that they are not really 'the Church' because 'the true church' is 'invisible.' Yet these 'churches' claim to represent Jesus Christ to the world. These 'churches' profess to speak in the Name of Jesus, to make pronouncements in His Name, to raise money in His Name. Today's 'Pharisees' speak as if their 'churches' are in fact 'The Church' that exists invisibly. Employees of each 'church' or group of 'churches' believe that they are the 'Church' and that what they believe, and what they do, constitutes the 'true' Christian faith. The Church of God is never divided, the Church of God is never corrupted. The Church of God cannot be divided by man, the Church of God cannot be corrupted by man, but The Church of God can be hidden by man. The Church of God is a Spiritual reality that can go unmanifested on the earth. The Church of God cannot be extinguished but it can be hidden as a candle under a bushel. The people of God can keep the Church of God from being manifested but they cannot change or destroy it. The unity of the Church of God has been made by the Holy Spirit, and it has never been broken. Although the members of this spirit union may or may not manifest their unity. John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. Invisible unity cannot be seen by the world. Spiritual unity must have physical unity to be manifested to the world. We can hide the truth of Christ from the world. We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, if we are divided. We cannot expect the world to believe Jesus' claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of Christians. And that oneness can only be manifested when we follow the pattern of the New Testament Church as given to us in God's Word. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches
From: Rod
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 13:55:31 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Jimmy, I won't reply to all your message--and I don't mean to butt in on yours and Pilgrim's thread/discussion--but several things you've said in relation to this subject in various posts do prompt me to speak up. In one post below, you mentioned the 'persectution' of the church involving the shedding of the Christians' blood. That may well be, but it seems your focus is all wrong. It isn't the shedding of the blood by the followers of Christ which is the important thing; it is the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. It seems you are emphasizing what men do or don't do to the detriment of what God accomplishes and desires to do in His will. Witness this statement of yours at the conclusion of the above post: 'We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, if we are divided. We cannot expect the world to believe Jesus' claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of Christians.' In that summing-up you equate men's belief unto salvation in the Lord Jesus with the proportional efforts of men, not the will and design of God. Several people have hinted broadly at it, but I don't think anyone has specifically quoted this verse: 'Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution' (2 Tim.3:12). The 'all' in that verse is the true Chruch. Will their persecution be extremely dramatic as viewed by others in every case (even the majority of cases)? Does it show plainly to society when one is ridiculed at work, loses friends, is forced out of a job, or is overlooked for promotion because of a Christian stance? Does God expect to give all his followers extreme witness due to their widely publicized stand in the face of persecution to the point of the shedding of blood? Doesn't the actual shedding of blood and even martydom become 'commonplace' and the public (even fellow Christians) become somewhat hardened by its often occurence? It is undeniably true that we are to stand for God and the Lord Jesus. It is true that the stance may at times be very costly, even to the point of physical suffering or death. But I suggest to you that this is not the rule; that the persecution will be most often less cruel and somewhat more subtle. I also suggest to you that the test is not how much you suffer, but how and for what motive: '...and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing' (1 Cor. 13:3). And along those same lines, the test of the Lord Jesus for witness to the entire world is not suffering, but, 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another' (John 13:35). That is our great call to witness: to show what is in our hearts by the power and gift of the God, witnessing inevitably to what God has given to us. 'And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulations worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us' (Rom. 5:3-5). What is in a Christian, if he is indeed one, will come out. The love of God and His gift will manifest itself in the life and witness of the person of the child of God, the member of the true Church of Jesus Christ. It is an individual thing, a matter of the heart. It will manifest itself corporately only as people of like mind and heart are associated with one another, not due to any bond or unity of a local church organization. That is the real test of 'New Testament' churchood. Are there 'New Testament' churches today? Yes, there are. They are found wheresoever the grace of God shines forth in the witness revealed 'from faith to faith' (Rom. 1:17). That is the formula and measure of determining the 'New Testamentness' of a local church and the Chruch of Jesus Christ: Are men and women of God being used by God to uphold the Head in glory, 'But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things who is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love' (Eph. 4:15-16). The context of that Ephesians passage is that this is done only and always through the gifting of the body of Christ with gifts from the Spirit of God in men's hearts so that the Church may have officers and people working within it toward to goal of 'edifying itself in love' in and through the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God.

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 13:38:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
Well, at least we have made a move from summary condemnations to generalizations! :-) Yet you still have not provided even ONE single specific example of either the abuse or practice of what you esteem is the 'N.T. church'. However, you did agree to discuss in more detail any or all of the things you mentioned. Okay, fine, that's a start eh? hehehe. You wrote:
'One of the signs of a 'Pharisee' is the use of religious titles.' and in another place, 'Another sign of a 'Pharisee' is their love of the chief seats. . . . Those who occupied them sat with their faces to the people. Those seats, like today, were considered positions of honor. Synagogues have no Scriptural basis for there existence, today's 'churches' copy the synagogue system and not the New Testament pattern given for God's Church.'
Although you were trying to make two separate points, I see them as being closely related enough to combine them. Please forgive my attempts at cogency and brevity. :-) What is seems to me that you are protesting against is the 'clergy'; that there is even any recognition given to any man who holds the office of 'pastor/teacher,' 'elder,' or 'deacon.' I won't bother to include the non-congregational position of 'doctor', which may be seen as more para-ecclesiastical rather than specifically ecclesiastical. If this is true, i.e., that you are denying any legitimate place for men to serve in an official capacity and/or in a leadership role within the visible church, then would you be so kind as to exegete, by way of example, the following passages?
Eph 4:11 'And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:' Acts 14:23 'And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.' Acts 20:17 'And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. . . . 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.' Phil 1:1 'Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:' 1Tim 3:2 'A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; . . . 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)' 1Tim 5:17 'Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. . . . 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.' Heb 13:17 'Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.' 1Tim 4:14 'Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.'
What all these passages clearly affirm is that there are men, who are gifted of God the Spirit to be appointed to positions of authority, leadership and recognition within the body of Christ. Whether or not they were addressed as, eg., 'Pastor Timothy' etc., can only be speculated upon. But regardless of the lack of evidence as to how they were addressed, they were recognized as being office bearers who were entrusted and ordained to the task of teaching, preaching and disciplining errant members of the local assemblies. Is it therefore, your view that I (we) have totally misconstrued these and many other like passages and used them in such a way as to gain undue 'honor' and/or 'privileges' in the churches? If so, please exegete at least some of these passages and thereby give what you believe they are saying. Lastly, if you agree that the church of Christ must be at least "visible", but that there are absolutely no churches today that are true churches as you believe the church should be manifested, then doesn't this mean that the church doesn't exist on earth? That's quite a claim on your part, don't you think? Further, I find it incredulous that in all the world there isn't at least one group of people who are practicing what you consider to be biblical Christianity and manifesting it as a "true church"!
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 12:07:32 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, The 'Pharisees' had pretty much taken over Christianity by the time of the King James translation of the Bible that you quote here. They have adulterated every translation of God's Word in their attempt to make it conform to their 'clergy' system. The New Testament knows no spiritual aristocracy or nobility, but calls all believers 'saints,' and calls all believers 'priests.' It knows only one high-priest, Jesus Christ, and clearly teaches the universal priesthood, all are to function as priests. All Christians are to do the work of God. 1Pet. 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1Pet. 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Rev. 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Rev.1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. The vast majority of Christians have been robbed of their priesthood, they have been relegated to the position of 'laymen' and there prime responsibility is to show up for 'church' on Sunday morning. Men, called of God to be priests, put on their Sunday suit, file into a church building, sit in a pew, give some money in support of the 'clergy,' listen to a sermon delivered in the Greco-Roman tradition laid down by Aristotle in a practice which Aristotle called rhetoric. You, the 'lay' Christian, a priest of Almighty God, have now served your function in today's 'church,' you have fulfilled your role as a 'lay' Christian. So now you can get up out of the pew and go home. Today's 'church' is an organization which only functions about 5 hours a week. Not only that but most of its membership participates only one hour per week. That's most certainly not the Church of the New Testament. The religions of the world have 'priest' systems, religious systems with a special class of 'sacred' workers separated from the rest of the members of the religion. Christianity is to be different, all are to be priests. In the New Testament all the children of God are the priests of God, if you are a child of God then you are a priest of God. The New Testament does not teach that Christians are to be divided into 'clergy' and 'laity.' It does not teach that the majority of Christians are to devote themselves to the so-called 'secular' while an elite class of professionals are hired to takes care of 'spiritual' or 'sacred' things. We are not to have a class of hired professionals who we exalt over ourselves as 'sacred' workers. After the New Testament period the organizing power of the flesh took over. Christians were robbed of their priesthood, deprived of their Holy Work. 'Pharisees' took control and a 'clergy' or 'ministering class' came into existence. I've already mention the beginning of this with Diotrephes in 1 John 3:9-11. There is the beginning of the system of one man controlling a 'church', of one man being in charge of the worship service. This is the beginning of a special ministerial class in Christianity. Here is the beginning of a separate class of hired professional religious 'workers' in Christianity, the beginning of the making of separate religious positions in Christianity. Here is the beginning of the 'clergy' and 'laity' division in Christianity. In just Paul's epistles there are over eighty references to Christian brothers and/or sisters. The book of Acts has nearly thirty references to brothers, referring to Christian men. All of the New Testament has just a total of 13 references to elders. Brothers and not 'elders' have the dominate position in the New Testament Church. The Roman Catholics took these passages which mentioned brothers and started having something they called Brothers. Eventually these brothers evolved into monks. The Catholics also read about sisters and ended up with nuns. Catholics could not conceive of an un-ordained people, a 'lay' people running the church. During the third century it became customary to apply the term 'priest' directly and exclusively to a separate class of men. 'Pharisee' and 'clergy' are pretty much interchangeable terms, both refer to a class of men that separate and elevate themselves above the rest of God's people. With the exaltation of the clergy came the tendency to separate them from secular business, and even from social relations, and to represent them, even outwardly, as a caste independent of the people, and devoted exclusively to the service of the sanctuary. They drew their support from the church treasury. After the third century they were forbidden to engage in any 'secular' business, or 'secular' work. The 'Pharisees' have taken the words, elder, bishop, pastor and done the same thing to them that the Catholics did to priest and brother. Taken terms that refer to relationship and turned them into official titles and paid positions. Even with the growth of this distinction of clergy and laity, however, the idea of the universal priesthood continued from time to time to assert itself. The fourth general council at Carthage (398) prohibited laymen from teaching in the presence of clergymen and without their consent; implying at the same time, that with such permission the thing might be done. The Protestant Reformers taught the doctrine of 'the priesthood of all believers,' meaning that each individual was both a priest for himself and for the world. Every Christian was able to deal directly with God, and God would deal directly with them without the mediation of any earthly organization or 'ministry' class. The Reformers, in returning to the bible and finding there that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only true Head of His Church, ruling His Church by The Holy Spirit, spoke out against the 'clergy' system of the Roman Catholic Church. They taught against the system of hierarchical levels of power and the identification of the Church with a priestly-sacramental clergy. The Reformers started out teaching that there were no longer to be two levels of Christians as in 'clergy' and 'laity.' They taught that all the members of the Church of God were priests, all were equal. Luther, while holding to the priesthood of all believers, insisted upon a specialized, trained 'ministry' who would keep the common Christians from falling into ignorance of their faith. Luther held that 'ordination' had been invented by the Church of Rome, but he did not condemn it. He reasoned, that while all Christians are priests, what is called the priesthood is merely a ministry entrusted to those who exercise it with the consent of other Christians. Luther kept ordinations as a ceremony for choosing preachers in the church. With Luther, Calvin held to a separate class of ministers called by God. Calvin began the 'election' of ministers by churches. He taught that 'ministers have the inner call of God.' And are to be chosen with the consent and approbation of the people at 'elections' over which other 'ministers' preside. Ordination to the 'ministry', which had become the wall of separation between 'clergy' and 'laity' in the Catholic church, again became a dividing line. Again this division into 'clergy' and 'laity' was brought about. The reformers, after starting with the 'priesthood of all' ended up teaching that professionals should be in charge of the churches. The 'Pharisees' again took control. While proclaiming the 'priesthood of all believers' and the equality of all Christians they actually brought about the recognition of a secondary class of Christians, the 'laity.' In stressing the need for a special, trained 'ministry' they again relegated most Christians to a 'laity' class, to a mostly passive role in Christianity. Not all reformers wanted a separate 'ministering' class to be in charge of Christianity. Luther had to deal with his former teacher, Andrea Carlstadt. Carlstadt saw, in the New Testaments teaching of the priesthood of all Christians, a complete equality of believers. Carlstadt held that a minister should have no academic degrees and no titles. He went further and stated that a minister should have no salary from the church. He renounced his religious titles, education, and positions and wanted to be called, simply, brother Andrea. He took a farm and worked for his living. Luther saw this as a threat to the whole program of a learned and official ministry and Carlstadt was banished from Saxony. The Radical Reformers, sometimes called 'enthusiasts', did not want reform, they wanted a return to the New Testament and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Since Luther rejected 'enthusiasm,' the claim of direct guidance by the Holy Spirit independent of 'church' structure, Luther experienced more opposition from radical reformers than he did from Catholics. The Radical Reformers did not consist of a single group but were a loose grouping of movements. Unlike the Reformers, the Radicals were not committed to the notion that 'Christendom' was Christian. They believed that the Church of God was separate from the state, even if the state claimed to be Christian. The Radical Reformers wanted a complete separation of church and state. The Reformers were dismayed when the Radicals interrupted Protestant sermons and meetings or attracted the most earnest of their members. For the Radicals what was perverting the church, among 'Evangelicals' no less than among 'papists,' was the turning away from the word of God as given in the New Testament. The pattern for the Church was the Church of God as it was in the New Testament, but the 'traditions of man,' 'the commandments of man' had caused a turning from that pattern. Therefore the church, 'the true church of Christ and of the apostles, together with all the sacraments, has been lost for a long time.' To Protestants and Catholics alike, the Radicals seemed to be a threat to the religious and social stability of 'Christian' Europe. The Reformers, by 1527 had determined to use all necessary means to root out the Radicals. They were joined in this determination by the Catholic authorities. In the persecution of the next 25 years thousands of Radicals were put to death, by fire in the Catholic territories, by drowning and the sword under Protestant regimes. Elders, bishop and pastor are words used for the same persons. Presbuteros, elder, is an adjective describing a comparative degree of maturity. The word elder refers to the person and denotes one who is spiritually more mature than others in the Church of a particular city. Bishop means 'overseer' and that's what an 'elder' does. An 'elder' oversees, he 'bishops,' an 'elder' refers to a person whose duty it is to see that things done by others are done correctly. Elders oversee, they do not do the work for believers. Elders are the spiritually mature brothers, who function as elder brothers in the spiritual family of God. Elder brothers, were, like in a flesh and blood family, the older brothers of the communities of Christ, spiritually more mature than the rest of the community. The terms, elders, pastors, and bishops, that appear in the King James version of the Bible, are not titles, they are terms that all apply to the same people, the elder brothers of the communities of Christ. An elder brother is a spiritually mature Christian and a spiritually mature Christian will look after his younger brothers and sisters. They will look after their younger brothers and sisters, not because it is an 'office' to which they have been appointed, not because it is a job, career, or profession to which they have been hired, but out of love for their younger brothers and sisters. It is not an 'office' that they hold, but a state of being, a state of spiritual maturity, that they have reached. In each of the communities of Christ there were some members who were spiritually more mature than the rest. These elder brothers, always a plurality, looked after their younger brothers and sisters, they were not 'official' rulers, but 'examples' (1 Pet. 5:2-3). The idea of a 'clergy' class is not to be found in the New Testament Church, in the book of Galatians there are ten references to brothers and not a single reference to a pastor or an elder or a deacon. There are only references to the brothers. There are seventeen references to brothers in just five chapters of Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians. And not one reference to a pastor. Not one to a minister. Not one to an elder. In Thessalonians the word brothers appears five times, with no reference to elders, etc.. That is twenty-two references to brothers in these two epistles, in a total of nine chapters. In all of first Corinthians there is not one reference to a pastor or a minister or an elder. But there are over twenty references to the local brothers. There are thirteen references to brothers in 2 Corinthians. None to any leaders of any type, sort or variety. In Romans there are sixteen references to the brothers who are meeting there in Rome. Not one reference to a pastor or a minister or an elder. The only time the word 'pastor' appears in the King James translation is in Ephesians, yet, today 'pastor' is probably the single most used word among Christians. The words 'elder,' 'bishop', and 'pastor' simply do not mean what you want them to mean. They have to do with relationship and not with official positions. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Question for Jimmy
From: curious
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 19:39:44 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, In light of your views on church office and related matters, I was wondering--what type of church do you attend? That is, could you explain the structure and government of the church you attend? I do know of a few denominations that might have no elders or clergy, but was wondering about your own church. Thanks.

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Jimmy
To: curious
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 12:00:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, In light of your views on church office and related matters, I was wondering--what type of church do you attend? That is, could you explain the structure and government of the church you attend? I do know of a few denominations that might have no elders or clergy, but was wondering about your own church. Thanks.
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-- Hi Curious, It doesn't much matter, I fellowship with Christians wherever I find them. There are Christians trapped in everyone of the 'Pharisee' led 'churches.' I know of no New Testament assembly. As you might imagine I'm not all that welcome in their 'churches.' Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Five Sola
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 18:00:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, I find that very odd. That if these qualifications you speak of are so clear in Scripture, that not one church (that you know of) has followed them. Nor have you sought one out so that you could worship in a 'true church'. It's odd that true christians would not discover this and form a 'true' church as you (mis)define it. Also that you alone have been able to discover this truth. For if it is as clear as you claim there should be many christians, through the ages that know it and would assemble accordingly. God is always faithful and always has a remnant of true believers that follow His Word. If your opinion is true then why has God been unable to hold to a remnant that will follow the true worship? I would say He hasn't failed, rather you are incorrect in you opinion. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Jimmy
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 21:25:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
In a post below Pilgrim wrote: 'To answer your question, even though I suspect it was derogatory and rhetorical, if I believe my congregation and/or church is the true church? No, I don't believe 'my church' is the 'true church', for the True Church is catholic (universal) made of justified sinners from every tongue, tribe and nation.' I take it that you disagree with this, and that you attend a true New Testament Church? It's like the one we read about in the New Testament? Forgive me, but I simply don't believe you. You wrote: 'God is always faithful and always has a remnant of true believers that follow His Word.' I have never denied that, not at all, but that does not mean that they are obeying God and manifesting His Church in their communities. Nor am I the only one that knows this, if you were versed in the History of Christianity you would know that ;o) Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Five Sola
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 18:01:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, You wrote: ' 'No, I don't believe 'my church' is the 'true church', for the True Church is catholic (universal) made of justified sinners from every tongue, tribe and nation.' I take it that you disagree with this, and that you attend a true New Testament Church? It's like the one we read about in the New Testament? Forgive me, but I simply don't believe you. ' Actually I agree with Pilgrim. I think the Church of the New Testament...rather, the entire Bible, is existent today. I think it has matured, for we now stand on the shoulders of Great men of God who have 'hammered out' the truth when confronted with heresies. A simple look at history and the Creeds/confessions that the Church has produced shows this. My point in this, which I guess you missed (you have done that repeatedly with Pilgrim, ie., refusing to prove you position biblically and/or exegeting the scriptures Pilgrim has provided for you.) My point is if it is sooo obvious what the true church is (in your opinion that is), then why are there not true NT churches you say should be? If it is so true, then there would be numerous churches that practice what you claim (even though this necessarily would not be proof, since it must be proven from scripture first). Apparently you are the ONLY one who has discovered that EVERY church known is in error and rebellion against God. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Jimmy
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 09:47:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Five Sola, You wrote: 'Actually I agree with Pilgrim. I think the Church of the New Testament...rather, the entire Bible, is existent today. I think it has matured, for we now stand on the shoulders of Great men of God who have 'hammered out' the truth when confronted with heresies. A simple look at history and the Creeds/confessions that the Church has produced shows this.' You believe that the Church of God in the New Testament has 'matured' into the many headed monster that we see today!!! Just which one of these denominations is the 'matured' Church of God that 'matured' from the Church given to us in the New Testament? I suppose it's the one that you attend? Everyone seems to believe that there's is the 'true church,' the church of the New Testament, and all the others are not. The one thing they do seem to have in common is the 'Pharisee' system and there seamless integration with the world. You wrote: 'My point is if it is sooo obvious what the true church is (in your opinion that is), then why are there not true NT churches you say should be?' Because the 'Pharisees' took control of Christianity just as they had taken control of Judaism. John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. Pharisees had no scriptural basis for their existence as a separated body within Judaism. These self righteous men formed a separate group within Judaism about two hundred years before Jesus. It is estimated that by the time of Jesus there were well over six thousand Pharisees in Jerusalem alone. By the time of Jesus they had gained much power over Israel and had become the teachers of the law, the teachers of the Word of God. Jesus confronted many adversaries, but the Pharisees, the so-called teachers of the Word of God were the most difficult. These religious leaders constantly challenged Jesus and the truth of God with their own traditions, doctrines and theologies. Today's churches are formed after the Pharisees controlled synagogue system and not after the New Testament Church. Christians don't seem to mind handing over their responsibilities to professional 'pastors' and other Christian employees. They seem to like the idea of hiring someone to do for them what they are suppose to be doing themselves. Sincerely, Jimmy P.S. "My point is if it is sooo obvious what the true church is (in your opinion that is), then why are there not true NT churches you say should be? If it is so true, then there would be numerous churches that practice what you claim (even though this necessarily would not be proof, since it must be proven from scripture first). Apparently you are the ONLY one who has discovered that EVERY church known is in error and rebellion against" Since you believe that your church is the "true church" just where was it in all the centuries of the Roman Catholic Church. If your church is obviously the New Testament Church, then where was it all that time?

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Five Sola
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 12:55:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, You have a bad habit of misinterpreting someones words, then answering that misinterpreted qoute. Then even having the arrogance to challenge that person (myself in this case) to come up with proof for the misinterpreted words. I have noticed that you have almost never (if at all) answered the questions and request for proof of your extremist babbling. You remind me of the legalist I grew up with in my church. I was once one of them too. now on to my reply: You said: 'You believe that the Church of God in the New Testament has 'matured' into the many headed monster that we see today!!! ' Yes of course the Church has matured. It is obvious if we look at scripture and history. We see how some in the early church taught heresies (take you pick) and then the elders & deacons (a biblical position) and of course those of the membership who were spiritually mature had to go back to scripture to see if what we being taught was in accordance with scripture. They then found the new teaching (or 're-born' teaching) was false and denounced it, sometimes using creeds to do so. This did two things, 1-publicly denounced the heresies and gave the reasons for it 2- gave a written form of christian doctrine that the church members could learn and prevent this heresy from showing up again. This is the reason we don't have to research what the trinity is every time that word comes up. The Church has searched and found the proofs of it. Or for the same situation of Jesus' Diety, we know it to be true and can easily find it because of the work of our spiritual forefathers. you said: 'Just which one of these denominations is the 'matured' Church of God that 'matured' from the Church given to us in the New Testament? I suppose it's the one that you attend? Everyone seems to believe that there's is the 'true church,' the church of the New Testament, and all the others are not. ' First I never made a claim that my denomination is the RIGHT one. Any one who does so is close to cultic beliefs. I used to believe that when I was growing up but that was part of my legalistic background. I do believe that because sinful man is involved there will not be a single church that is 100% correct (that includes the early church...just look at the epistles that dealt with the problems of the early church). Now I will say that some denominations/churches are more correct than others, and/or some have gone completely apostate. For example, those denominations which have gone fully liberal have left christianity and into pagan spiritualism. Yet there are some denominations as a whole if not many churches that still hold to the traditional/historic teachings of the Church (ie new testament church) you said: 'Since you believe that your church is the 'true church' just where was it in all the centuries of the Roman Catholic Church. If your church is obviously the New Testament Church, then where was it all that time? ' Again false presentation of my beliefs. I have already dealt with that but you bring up a good point. Where was the true church of God when the evil of the Roman Church was about. Well, some try to say their church went underground.. I don't buy that. God was preserving a remnant during that dark time. There were Christians that held true to scripture and stood up for it and most times died for it. Until God's timing when he brought out that remnant during the Protestant Reformation. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Question for Jimmy
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 22:18:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
For your information, there are some of us here who are well versed in the history of Christianity and Historical Theology. Since you implied that YOU are well educated in such things, then being of the same mind, allegedly, then you shouldn't mind referencing a few of these people and/or their writings which hold to this view you are espousing here? Then, we can vacate to our libraries and read these for ourselves! :-) And may I remind you once again, as Five Sola also did in his reply to you, you haven't attempted to exegete ANY of the myriad biblical texts that speak of elders, their authority, esteem, rule, etc. All you have done is throw out some arbitrary alleged comparisons between the Pharisees and your perception, real or imagined, of contemporary pastors. I can only surmise, that if you fail to respond to this request/challenge, that you are unable to do so and thus by default you are thereby proven wrong in your allegations! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Furthermore...
From: Rod
To: Five sola
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 19:58:59 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Five S, If you've read the latest rambling post below to Pilgrim, you'll note something very amazing. Jimmy claims that he and others have direct revelation from God, but he has not been able for all that to add one page to the Bible! If he really had that direct revelation from the Lord, we'd have to conclude that what God is saying now isn't as vital and important as it once was, when Scripture was being written by those who truly had such direct and special knowledge. What He said to and through these men was recorded at His direction as vital and necessary for the salvation and growth of His people. Those who claim this special knowledge for today simply don't realize the ramifications of the claim and how ridiculous it is.

Subject: Re: Furthermore...
From: Jimmy
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 21:26:32 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You wrote: 'Jimmy claims that he and others have direct revelation from God, but he has not been able for all that to add one page to the Bible!' I never said anything at all about any kind of 'new' revelations or of adding anything at all to God's Word. It takes the same Spirit of God that inspired the original writing of the Scriptures to apply them in each age. You apparently rely upon the power of 'rhetorical sermons' given by some trained professional, I suppose that's comforting as it relieve you of responsibility. 1 Cor. 14:3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. This is not adding to the Word of God, this is applying the Word of God, and all God's people not only have the right to do this, to prophesy, but they also have the obligation. Just compare what you are claiming is the 'true church' to the Church of God in the New Testament, you must be blind as a Pharisees to claim that they are the same. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Furthermore...
From: Rod
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 22:33:08 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Oh, Jimmy, You just keep putting your foot in it! It's apparent from this statement that you have not been reading my posts at all and know nothing of my stance: 'You apparently rely upon the power of 'rhetorical sermons' given by some trained professional, I suppose that's comforting as it relieve you of responsibility.' If you'd read what I'd written the last two days, you could never have made such a ridiculous statement. You've proved once again that you 'know so much' (snicker) that you don't have to read what others have said. You also made this amazing statement: 'I never said anything at all about any kind of 'new' revelations or of adding anything at all to God's Word.' When you couple that with this satement, you stumble all over yourself, possibly without knowing it, which is just pitiable: 'The same Spirit that had inspired David and the prophets in the Old Testament was now poured out in 'upon all flesh' as Joel had foretold (Joel 2:28-32).' Okay, it's the 'same Spirit' and then you note that because of this outpouring, 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams,' applying this to today. But if they have the same Spirit and they prophesy as did David, you see THEY MUST (meaning you must) have new revelation in the same way David and the prophets of old received it, and the Bible must be added to or there is no same Spirit 'INSPIRING' (your exact word) people today in the exact same way He did previously. 'All scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God,' wrote Paul (2 Tim. 3:16). If, as you declare, the same Spirit is doing things in the same way through you and the others who hold 'the only truth' you must of absolute necessity be able to come up with inspired things from the Spirit of the Holy God, 'For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit' (2 Peter 1:21). Now, Jimmy, those two statements demand that your interpretation means that you are on a par with David, Isaiah, and all the prophets of old, with Paul and Peter, for the simple reason that you think the Spirit is poured out on you in the same way, that your teaching is 'inspired.' If it's the same way, you can, you will, and you must achieve the same things they did in your 'prophesying.' Hint: you don't. Your position is laughable and utterly unsubstantiated. I call on you in the Name of the Holy God to renounce it at once.

Subject: Re: Furthermore...
From: Jimmy
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 10:05:09 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, I'm sorry if you feel that I have not given enough attention to your posts, I do the best I can with the time I have. You wrote: 'When you couple that with this satement, you stumble all over yourself, possibly without knowing it, which is just pitiable: 'The same Spirit that had inspired David and the prophets in the Old Testament was now poured out in 'upon all flesh' as Joel had foretold (Joel 2:28-32).' Okay, it's the 'same Spirit' and then you note that because of this outpouring, 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams,' applying this to today. But if they have the same Spirit and they prophesy as did David, you see THEY MUST (meaning you must) have new revelation in the same way David and the prophets of old received it, and the Bible must be added to or there is no same Spirit 'INSPIRING' (your exact word) people today in the exact same way He did previously.' Are you saying that we receive a different spirit? That can't be what you mean, can it? Has God changed? I believe that it takes the same inspiration of the Spirit to understand the Scriptures that it took to write the Scriptures. The Spirit of God inspired Paul to write, that same Spirit of God is necessary for us to understand what Paul was inspired to write. It is not education, it is not position, it is the Spirit of God that gives the Word of God meaning, lets us understand, teaches us. 1 Cor. 14:3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. This is not adding to the Word of God, this is applying the Word of God, and all God's people not only have the right to do this, to prophesy, but they also have the ability through the Spirit of God that has been poured out. You wrote: 'Your position is laughable and utterly unsubstantiated. I call on you in the Name of the Holy God to renounce it at once.' And just which one of these 'true churches' would you have me join? And which 'Pharisees' would you have me submit to? Who am I to give up my God given birthright and responsibility to? Who should I pay to do the work of God for me? Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Rightly dividing the Word
From: Rod
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 23, 2000 at 11:42:27 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I care not, Jimmy, whether you read my posts or not. What I do care about is a wild accusation such as you made above which clearly demonstrates that you have not bothered to find out anything about me before you maligned me. You wrote,' Are you saying that we receive a different spirit? That can't be what you mean, can it? Has God changed?' Now that you are apparently reading, please use some discernment. A Christian is indwelt by the Spirit of God; it is his spiritual life and what places him 'in Christ' for salvation and the process of glorification with the Lord Jesus. 'Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (Rom. 8:9). But, we must be very careful how we build on that, not running before the Spirit of God hastily and on scant knowledge coupled with false interpretation. You have just now backtracked from your embarassing statement that all Christians are 'inspired' (your exact word) and now say that some, such as Paul are 'inspired' to write the revelation of God, but that all Christians have the same gift and ability to discern the meaning of Scripture and the same ability to interpret its meaning. In this you are getting closer to the truth, but between the lines and beneath the surface, though it sounds better, you have changed nothing. You still believe that every single Christian has the gift of prophecy given by the Spirit of God in the way you described in your interprtation of the Acts passage above. That is a glaring, gross, and, indeed, as I said before, pitiable, error. In your view God is terribly confused. John wrote, 'But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye [plural] need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye [plural] shall abide in him (1 John 2:27). So, yes, the Spirit of God is the Supreme Teacher of every Christian, every one whom He indwells in salvation to true faith in the Lord Jesus. But do we have license to say that means that every Christian has the gift of prophecy you (not God) confer on them? If we do say that, we make God a liar by ignoring other, equally inspired passages. Paul wrote of the gifts given to the individuals and those gifted individuals given to the Church thus, as has been pointed out to you carefully before by me and others: 'Wherefore, he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men' (Eph. 4:8). Continuing speaking about those gifts and the men who have/use them, Paul wrote: 'And he gave some [not all!] apostles; and some [not all!] prophets; and some [not all!] evangelists; and some [not all!] pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...' (Eph. 4:11-12). Differing gifts to differing people, but for one supreme, overiding purpose: 'to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ' (verse 12). Paul is perfectly consistent with himself on this in other places: 'But the manifiestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit' (1 Cor. 12:7). Here we see the edifcation (profit) of the body of Christ in view again, the one great prupose of the gifting of men with spiritual gifts by the Spirit of the Holy God. But then we see again, a total refutation of your interpretation: 'For TO ONE is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; TO ANOTHER, the word of knowledge of the same Spirit; TO ANOTHER, faith by the same Spirit; TO ANOTHER, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; TO ANOTHER, the working of miracles, TO ANOTHER, prophecy; TO ANOTHER, discerning of spirits; TO ANOTHER, various kinds of tongues; TO ANOTHER, the interpretation of tongues. BUT ALL WORKETH THAT ONE AND THE VERY SAME SPIRIT, DIVIDING SEVERALY TO EVERY MAN SEVERALLY AS HE WILL' (verses 8-11). Now no one reading with discernment that passage can say that every Christian has the same gift in the same degree as every other Christian, including 'prophecy.' Prophecy is specifically mentioned as being given to some, but not all. The Spirit of the Holy God gives, 'to every man severally, as he will,' His will being tied to His purpose of the edifying of the body of Christ. Well, then, how do we reconcile those statements from Paul (and there is at least one more) with John's statement that 'ye need not that any man teach you?' Simply this way: When one studies the Scripture and allows himself to be led by the Holy Spirit within, he will recognize the truth of God when the gifted teacher given by the Spirit of God delivers it with power and correct interpretation, the discerning Christian having prepared himself to be discerning by the careful study of the Word of God. One so led and so prepared to discern the truth of God recognizes false teaching when he hears it. The Holy Spirit is the 'Spirit of truth' (John14:17) Who will, 'guide you into all truth...he shall take of mine and show it unto you' (John 16:13, 15). In this way "ye," the body of Christ, the Church discerns collectively who is gifted and who is delivering the true message of God to the edifying and profit of Christ's Church. They do this in the "Berean way" as the Bereans did with Paul, affirming his teaching by affirming that it agreed with the Word of God (Acts 17:11). God is pleased to use gifted men to lead his people into deeper knowledge of the truth; it's the way He has chosen, as the inspired Word of God instructs us. ________________________________________ You worte this also, pugnaciously and in a non-edifying way, 'And just which one of these 'true churches' would you have me join? And which 'Pharisees' would you have me submit to? Who am I to give up my God given birthright and responsibility to? Who should I pay to do the work of God for me?' I simply, as I have before, just call on you to start reading the Bible with discernment and start obeying the Word of God as the Spirit has given it to those in Christ Jesus. He will guide you into the truth, if you are saved and submitted to Him. Where and how to worship will be shown a faithful servant of God and the Lord Jesus Chrsit.

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 12:39:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
You ineffectively avoided exegeting any and all of the texts I presented from the Scriptures, which clearly teach that there are to be men who 'rule', 'have authority', 'oversee', 'discipline', 'preach', 'teach', etc., etc. These 'clergy' as you like to call them are EQUAL before the Lord Christ with their brothers and sisters within the body of Christ, but they are to be 'held in esteem' and are 'worthy of double honour' not due to some inherent superior spirituality or goodness, but rather because it is God the Holy Spirit Who has called them out of the congregations to serve; having been gifted for service. Again, go back and exegete the texts as they are written. Enough of your Eisogesis. For a 'text out of context is nothing more than pretext.' Further, your constant equating the Pharisees to a godly minister of the Word is almost comical. No amount of casuistry can hide the perspicuity of Paul's inspired words concerning an ordained ministry and deaconate as being valid for the church. What Rome did and has continued to due, to bifurcate the church into two classes of people and putting a barrier between believers and direct access to God through the Lord Christ is an abomination. But again, you are wanting to equate ALL offices within the church to some pre-contrived idea of Pharisaism that is, according to this, inherent to those offices. You have yet to even show from the Scriptures how an ordained pastor is nothing less than a modern Pharisee, never mind prove it. Care to try again? A discussion over the TEXTS would be most profitable. But your ranting and raving against strawmen serves to only bring disrespect and apathy from the readers here I assure you.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Prophecy not sermons
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 09:36:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, You wrote: ' You have yet to even show from the Scriptures how an ordained pastor is nothing less than a modern Pharisee, never mind prove it.' I've shown that today's 'ordained pastor' is guilty of the very same things that the Pharisees of the New Testament were doing. Using religious titles, separating themselves from the rest of God's people, etc., etc., etc. How can you not see that 'clergy' and 'laity' divides the people of God into 'sacred' and 'secular.' Pastors have to do their works to be seen of men, the parallels between the Pharisees of the New Testament and today's professional 'pastor' leave no doubt that they are very closely related. Today, 'church services' revolve around the sermon prepared by the hired preacher. The English word 'sermon' comes from the Latin and means a talk, discourse, or speech. Webster's dictionary defined a sermon 'as a speech given as instruction in religion or morals, usually by a clergyman in a pulpit using a text from Scripture.' The sermon is the most important part of todays 'church service,' and that makes the professional 'preacher' the most important person in a 'church'. A person does not have to be 'spiritual' to preach a sermon. To make and deliver sermons of homiletical and exegetical perfection. Anyone can learn to prepare and preach sermons. You don't have to be 'called of God' or spiritually 'gifted' to preach a sermon, all you have to do is learn how. Professional preachers are taught how to prepare and deliver sermons in seminary. A person does not need to be a Christian to get a degree in theology. There is nothing taught in seminary that could not be learned by a non-Christian. It is very dangerous to accept theological degrees as a sign of spirituality or authority. Preaching a 'sermons' is based upon 'natural' ability. 1Pet. 1:12. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Peter here reminds the New Testament Church of the example and the standard set before them by the preachers who had brought the gospel message to them. He speaks of those 'that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.' Prophecy is a speaking forth of God's Word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The basic meaning is to proclaim divine revelation. The noun means a prophet, one who proclaims and expounds divine revelation. Prophet means, one who speaks forth or openly, a proclaimer of a divine message, the word of God. The prophet is a forth-teller, not necessarily a foreteller. 1 Cor. 14:3. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. The prophets 'speak unto men to edification,' 'edification,' literally, is speaking the things of 'building up'. Edification is the promotion of spiritual growth. The prophets 'edify.' The prophets also preach the Word of God that 'exhorts,' that urges people to pursue some course of conduct, always prospective, looking to the future, and always according to the will of God. Prophets also speak the words of 'comfort.' They advise, warn, and recommend actions in times of trial. The prophet is the New Testament preacher. Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: Acts 2:18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: The same Spirit that had inspired David and the prophets in the Old Testament was now poured out in 'upon all flesh' as Joel had foretold (Joel 2:28-32). Num. 11:29. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! Prophecy is a gift that is given to all of His 'servants' and 'handmaidens' not just to some 'elite' few. Prophecy, preaching, is a gift of the Spirit that is given to all of the members of the Christian community, without distinction, all are called to prophesy, preach the Word of God. In the New Testament prophecy, the right to preach the Word of God is not a gift for a 'chosen' few, it is a gift for all. With the rise of the 'Pharisee' class, prophecy, inspired preaching, was replaced by reasonings. Prophecy being open to all Christians, the freedom of speech, the freedom to speak forth God's Word threatened the 'clergy' and was soon forbidden. The 'clergy' class kept growing in power and by 398 A.D. so-called 'laymen' were forbidden to teach without the consent of the 'clergy'. The 'sermon' was regarded as the primary duty of the 'bishop'. By this time the 'clergy' had invented the doctrine that the church was to have a separate ministry who 'lived by the altar.' The clergy were now forbidden to 'work with their hands' for their livelihood. In connection with the Church a new profession, and a new 'class' had arisen, the 'clergy' class. While many early 'preachers', even among the 'clergy', recognized the difference between proclaiming the gospel and impressing an audience with the 'wisdom of man.' The majority believed that the church would benefit from the study of rhetoric, that it would make preaching more powerful, so they turned to the methods of traditional rhetoric. The aim of pagan rhetoricians was to impress and entertain an audience with a great speech. Rhetorical preaching is based upon reason, its aim is to entertain and explain, not to lead into spiritual experience. In the thirteenth century the kind of preaching we have today, thematic preaching from a short text with careful introductions, transitions, and conclusion, appeared in university circles. It was called 'modern' in contrast with the older form of homily. By the time of the reformation 'sermon' preparation and delivery had become a speaking 'art'. Luther placed more value on preaching than on the written word. Luther explained that when he referred to the word of God in the gospel he was 'not speaking about the written gospel, but about the vocal one.' Luther urged that the two necessities in any 'sacrament' were the word of God (which came from a trained, professional, 'preacher') and the outward sign, therefore baptism and the Eucharist were the only true sacraments. Speaking the word of God is the privilege and the right of all Christians and not the exclusive domain of a professional 'clergy.' 1 Cor. 14:29. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. Prophets, not 'pastors' or 'elders' preach in the New Testament Church service. Neither 'pastors' or 'elders' are even mentioned in the Church 'service.' There is no mention of professional 'preachers' leading the New Testament Church. When Christians assemble for the New Testament Church 'service' there is no mention of elders, pastors, or evangelists, no mention of any one person being in charge of the 'service.' 'Let the prophets speak two or three.' Two or three of those that have come with a revelation, a prophecy, a message from God speak the word of God to the assembly. The word is brought forth by two or three of the prophets present while the rest judge. It is not one person leading but each gifted member contributing to the meeting as the Spirit directs. It is not the same person week after week preaching a sermon. Two or three come prepared with a word by God and preach the word of God as the Spirit leads. At the next meeting a different two or three may be prepared by the Spirit to give forth the revelations, to preach the word. It is never the work of a particular professional preacher to bring forth the word of God week after week. It is not the same person preaching week after week while the rest of the people sit in pews listening to sermons. 1 Cor. 14: 30. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 1 Cor. 14:31. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. Prophesy is preaching God's Word. 'All may prophecy,' the Holy Spirit is free to use anyone, there are no 'special ones' in God's Church, God is free to use anyone, God can use anyone, God will use anyone. What a difference from the tradition of a professional preacher who preaches week after week and year after year. 1 Cor. 14:29. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 1 Thess. 5:20,21. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. We have been robed of our birthright, the 'Pharisees' are alive and well and in control of organized Christianity, dividing up God's people as spoil. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Prophecy not sermons
From: John
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 06:10:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, If your assumption is true... Act 14:23, was it wrong of Paul and Barnabas to appoint elders in certain cities within the new churches? Act 15:2,6; was it wrong of Paul and Barnabas to consult with only the apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church--why did they not appeal to the entire congregation for decision making authority? Even if later the whole congregation agreed, why the emphasis on elders to consider a matter? Act 16:4 why are elders also ordained (appointed) in the Jerusalem church? What is the meaning of 'elder'? If it is just mature Christians... why ordain them? We are all called to spiritual maturity, but we are not all ordained elders, are we? Why does 1Ti 5:17 speak of 'elders that rule well...'. The word 'rule' means to preside over--why does this seem to imply a special status in the church, with special requirements to be met, and special responsibilities worthy of double honour? The elder is an overseer (bishop) of the church in Tit 1:7; who must be able to exhort and convince the gainsayers with sound doctrine as he has been taught. How does this fit with your beliefs concerning the equality of congregation in office? Why does 1Ti 3:1 say a man who desires to bishoprick (office of overseer) has done well? Why are there job requirements listed in 1Ti 3:2? Why does Tit 1:7 say to bishop is to be a steward of God (are we all stewards)? Why does Peter associate Bishoping with Shepherding in 1Pe 2:25, indicating it is the job of one who cares and tends the flock (oversees the affairs of the flock)? See also Mt 9:36 where people are like sheep having no Bishop (shepherd). Why does Php 1:1 define the church of Philippi as having bishops and deacons? How shall we explain the two apparent offices within the church? Do you suppose too that a Pharisee to be an illegal activity within the church prior to Christ's death? If the office of Pharisee was not supposed to be in the temple, why didn't Jesus simply say they have no authority to rule? If the temple of Jesus’ day had offices with authority over the congregation, why is it so remarkable that the NT church should have a church government with offices too? If the OT church became corrupt with evil men ruling improperly why must this equate that NT offices are automatically evil? Is it the office that was evil or the men given rulership in the office? You'll have to explain these Scriptures to convince me. john

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Pharisee's Churches
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 14:08:24 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim If I may add a little something to what you said. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that Jimmy has mixed up the offices of the Church with the priest hood of believers. They are not the same thing, a pastor is someone who ministers and instructs the flawk in the word of God. Where as the priest hood of believers means that all believers can go to the Lord on an equal footing. In Old Testament times it was the high priests responcibilty to go to God on behalf of the people of God. Now, because of Christ's death and reserection the curtain has been ripped from top to bottom, indicating that all believers have access to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. Tom

Subject: To add a little more
From: Tom
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 14:30:58 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I said: a pastor is someone who ministers and instructs the flawk in the word of God. If that elder/pastor is doing their office correctly, then the people of his flawk will be going out into the mission field and preaching the gospel.

Subject: And...
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 15:23:57 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
In some respects the leadership offices in the local church can be compared to leadership in the home. If each spouse is saved and each is 'spiritual,' each is then serving God in his/her capacity and, though there is leadership, there is no real inequality, each spouse serves and cherishes the other in his/her appointed role. If the poeple in the local church are functioning in that manner of each person in christ employing the spiritual gift(s) he is given, the body is 'increas[ing]...unto the edifying of itself in love' (Eph. 4:16). It is for the reasons of some of Jimmy's objections that I favor and believe that the Bible provides specifically for a system of plurality of elders in every local assembly. It is also the reason I believe that it is Biblical for men not to 'ordain' elders, but that God ordains them and that the body of elders recognizes that He has ordained another among them because that person is doing work suited to an elder through the power of the Spirit of the Holy God.

Subject: Re: And...
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 01:11:57 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Rod You said: It is also the reason I believe that it is Biblical for men not to 'ordain' elders, but that God ordains them and that the body of elders recognizes that He has ordained another among them because that person is doing work suited to an elder through the power of the Spirit of the Holy God. I agree that it is God that ordains elders. However, how does that play out when a Church is searching for a new pastor? For instance when a pastor retires, the Church needs to find a new pastor. The board of elders, is helpful for a time, but most do not have the training of a pastor who has. Are you advocating that the Church shouldn't go looking else where, that they should just rely on the board of elders they have? Tom

Subject: Re: And...
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 09:40:28 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, Tom, You have to remember that I don't believe in a 'THE pastor' as Biblical. I have put forth my views on that before in detail here and, while I don't mind doing it again, I'll try to be very brief for the benefit of those who know my stance and/or don't buy it. The word 'pastor' is rather uncertain as to its exact meaning in the NT, being translated that way only once and the other times as 'shepherd.' I don't recall it's being translated any other way offhand. It probably refers to 'one who provides pasturage,' or 'feeds the sheep.' In Eph. 4:11 it is intimately and seemingly irrevocably linked to the word teacher, some feeling the 'and' is superflous and that a hyphen should have been used. Addititionally, there is nothing about a church 'seeking' pastors/teachers/elders in the Bible. All these are in the realm there of 'spiritual gifts.' God gifts the person (a man in these cases) with those gifts and the man thus obtains the office. In the context of Eph. 4:11, it is clear that the Lord 'gave' the men to whom the Spirit had given the gifts to the Church, I take this to be the church-at-large, the whole, universal, true Chruch of Jesus Christ, but I still have yet to see an individual church in the Bible seeking out and searching for a single pastor as is the custom today (and I believe a practice/custom is all it is). God is to do the gifting and providing. In the context of that, the Bible indicates that it is the elders who feed the sheep. They do this in two ways, at least: 1) they, as a body, oversee and select those who do the teaching/preaching, insuring that it is Biblical; 2) they themselves may be 'teaching elders' who have the gift of preaching/teaching. The Word ministry doesn't have to be the exclusive domanin of one man, a sort of CEO or 'local pope' who runs everything and whose word is law in the assembly. In a church of any size, it is very likely that God has gifted a plurality of men with the gift of being able to preach/teach. Since there are several opportunities per week for this (as is trypical in the way church meeting are conducted traditionally), there are multiple opportunities for each to share his gift. One whom God has gifted with eldership ('ordained') will inevitably demonstrate his gift by doing the work of an elder--he will function as an elder should (within limits, of course, since he has not yet been 'recognized' by the assembly) and the other elders, spiritual men, will recognize the gift and the demonstration of what God has done in him by 'recognizing' him as an elder. I trust that sheds some light on why I don't feel that a local church will ever be without a 'pastor,' having, by Biblical mandate, a plurality of pastor/shepherds, and will never have a 'THE pastor.'

Subject: Re: Elders and Ordination
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 12:53:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
I do like most of what you said concerning the church and 'pastors'. Personally, I don't see a hard line distinction between those who preach and those who teach. And elder, is an elder is an elder. Having said that, generally there are those men who 'stand out'; i.e., those who have a greater knowledge of the Word and are able to articulate it among those elders. It is such a one that normally should be doing the bulk of the preaching, since the preaching of the Word of God is a primary work. Now with this in mind, it has been the practice, historically and certainly without any violation of any biblical mandate or example, that this man has been 'set apart' from the others and supported financially by the congregation [they are worthy of 'double honor'] , so that he may devote himself exclusively to further study and preparation, he having the responsibility to expound the Word to the body of Christ (1Tim 5:17). As to authority, it is my understanding and therefore view, that no elder regardless of his position in the church has any more 'power' than any other elder. As you have also said, a congregation is to have a plurality of elders, thus providing for a 'check and balance' structure which lends itself to preventing a dictatorship and implementing mutual accountability. Further, the office of deacon, I believe, is to be no less esteemed. They too are gifted of the Spirit of God for a particular function; different than an elder, yet no less crucial and honorable. In far too many churches especially today, deacons are seen and treated as 'second-class' office-bearers when compared to elders. This ought not to be. I cannot find any such hierarchy in Scripture where the 'pecking order' is Pastor then Ruling Elder and then Deacon. Regarding ordination: we seem to differ here a bit. I would agree that it is God the Spirit Who gifts men for office in the church. And those men are generally members of a local congregation, where the brethren are witness to the exercising of those gifts given. However, I do not find any place where it is said that 'God ordains'? With the bestowal of the gifts for service there is surely a 'setting apart' according to God's eternal decree. But in providence, this is brought to pass through the instrumentality of men; men who by the Spirit recognize those gifts and talents of that man. It is here that the congregation, by whatever polity is seemed good by them, to 'appoint/ordain' these recognized men to that office by the laying on of hands. (Acts 6:3; Titus 1:5; 1Tim 4:14; 2Tim 1:6). God's 'ordination' therefore is not something ethereal but tangible as it is administered and received through the instrumentality of the members of the body of Christ. Lastly, I would also agree that ANY elder has the authority to preach. Whether or not a particular man is 'good' at it, is another question... hahaha. Now, I am NOT implying that only those who possess outstanding elocutionary skills should be allowed to preach. For we all know, or should know, that it is the Spirit that quickens the mind and heart. :-) But as to who should be doing the majority of preaching in any particular congregation, see my comments above.
In His Grace, Pilgrim
Remember: If at first you don't succeed, sky diving is not for you!

Subject: Re: Elders and Ordination
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 14:25:07 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I don't think we have any fundamental disagreement here, brother Pilgrim. All elders are to be 'apt to teach,' but there are different forms of applying that, I think. Though all should be able to deliver some form of acceptable, coherent message from a pulpit, if necessary, that might not be their strong suit. It might be, however, that they are more able than others to explain the gospel in an informal setting. They might be able to deal in a general way with the public who aren't of their assembly (or even any assembly) better than those who are better pulpit performers. There are a number of applications, I would think. It is true that some preachers are 'better' than others. The problem is, as you say, to identify how to judge those that are better. Some that minister effectively to others hardly appeal to me at all. I know they are good, sound, godly men, but they just don't reach me or affect me greatly by their word ministry. I can't explain it, but there it is. Also, if an assembly has a variety ot preacher/teachers, say three, then one is probably going to be the 'best' and the others will be lesser, while one of them will probably be better than the other. I don't take it that this 'best' one should do all the work, however, for several reasons, not the least of which is that it takes a lot of time and prayer to prepare effectively. When one is speaking all the time it's difficult for him to be spending the time before the Lord and in preparation he needs to, though the preparation needs vary for individuals. Also, when a person practices his gift from God, he usually improves in its use. Then, again, there is that factor of not everyone 'liking' the same preacher. _____________________________________________ In regard to 'appointing' men to office, I still don't see that we have an essential disagreement, but I could be wrong. Titus was to 'ordain'/appoint elders in every city, 'as I had appointed thee' (Titus 1:5). This he did under direct command from one who had apostolic authority, a gift which is past. It was done because there were no elders in offiice in those churches at that point to recognize/appoint others whom God had similarly gifted. When an elder is 'recognized' as appointed to that office by God, he has been observed and evaluated by other, ruling elders to have the attributes and characteristics of an elder according to the Word of God--it is in recognition and acceptance of the fact of the gifting of God for the person to the office. The man doesn't rule or hold the office in that church until so identified by fellow elders already ruling. Yet I think all here would agree that one so gifted and displaying those gifts must be recognized and be allowed to serve in that capacity by the other elders. To fail in that would be an affront to God. ___________________________________________________ In regard to deacons, I would apprecaite your input on what their exact functions are in a local church, as you see it Biblically. ___________________________________________________ 'Remember: If at first you don't succeed, sky diving is not for you!' One of the many reasons why I don't jump from planes--'Lo [not high :>)], I am with you alway' (Matt. 28:20).

Subject: Re: Elders and Ordination
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 19:54:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
If I may just stretch this subject of the ordination of elders a wee bit more? :-) I would like to do so because of this statement penned by you:
This he did under direct command from one who had apostolic authority, a gift which is past. It was done because there were no elders in office in those churches at that point to recognize/appoint others whom God had similarly gifted.
This might have been true that there were no elders yet in these infant assemblies to which Paul enjoined Titus to appoint some men to the eldership. However, I think this is a matter of speculation, since nothing explicit is mentioned about those churches. But there are other passages which speak of men being 'appointed/ordained' to office apart from direct Apostolic injunctions, e.g.,
1Tim 4:14 'Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.'
The emphasized word 'presbytery' in the original is presbuteriou, which in Koine and Classical Greek it means a 'body or plurality of elders'. Thus we have at least one example in Timothy where he was 'ordained' by elders apart from the direct oversight or appointment of one of the Apostles. One can also safely say that in this early stage of development, congregations were small and limited probably to one in each rural town or village. From this then, it would seem that this 'presbytery' consisted of men who were from several congregations rather than all from one congregation. Of course, this idea was formulated into a principle of practice among Presbyterian and Continental denominations over time. The point I am trying to make here is that God uses means by which to 'ordain' men to the eldership and deaconate; that being the laying on of hands by other elders. This laying on of hands I think is far more than a simple 'recognition' of the gifts presence in the individual being 'ordained'. With the laying on of hands is also the approval of the candidate by the delegated authority vested in the office of Elder, whereby the man is set apart for the work of ministry in that office. Now I realize that there has been and continues to be a gross distortion of this truth, both in the sacerdotal polity of the RCC, Orthodox and in Protestant churches as well. But the abuse does not negate the validity of the authority which is inherent in the office of Elder. :-) Okay, now the office of Deacon. I will only give a very short description of the duties of Deacon which I believe the Scriptures teach. Deacons first of all are part of the triad of offices within the church which exemplify the three offices of Christ; Prophet, Priest and King. It is my understanding that the Deaconate reflects the 'Priestly'. Their primary duty is to oversee the congregation's needs in their everyday lives, eg., clothing, food, shelter, medical problems, etc. As the Lord Christ showed great compassion upon His fellow men in their woes, so the Deaconate ministers likewise to the flock over which they have been 'ordain/appointed'. Thus in the exercise of their responsibility, they logically are involved with the collecting and distributing of monies which the many members contribute to the general 'fund' (some may prefer to see this as the Tithe). But I think it would be a grievous mistake to think that the Deaconate is limited to this responsibility, which in itself is one of great honor requiring wisdom, integrity and self-abasement. In the process of carrying out their duties, they are also to be involved in the spiritual health of the members of Christ's body as well. Thus they are to be involved in matters of discipline of errant members, polity decisions, etc.; albeit these things fall more upon the Elders; just as the Elders should also be privy to deaconal needs of the members as well. As I stated above in my other reply to you, I cannot accept any view which puts Deacons in an inferior position to Elders. For if, as I do believe, that the Elders and Deacons are analogous to the three offices of Christ, then both are equal though represent the different aspects of ministry which the Lord Christ fulfilled in Himself. I think it would be quite strange indeed for anyone to propose that there was a hierarchical element within those three. But if one should be so bold to do so, then would not the supreme office be that of Christ as Priest? For it was in that office that He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Thus, applying this idea to the Deaconate, THEY should then be esteemed higher than all! :-) I think such argumentation leads to discredit the notion prima facie, but is in the end an affront to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Elders and Ordination
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 22:45:48 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, Once again I find substantial agreement. A couple of points, or rather, one point and one question/observation. In regard to the ordination of 'elders in every city' as entrusted to Titus (1:5). it seems evident that 'the things which are wanting' which are to be 'set in order' in the preceding clause involve in a dramatic way a system of ruling and government lacking in those churches in question, hence the special and specific need for elders and the mandate for their appointment by and through Titus' agency as given by Paul to his legate. Granted that there is much that we have to really pray about and seek the Lord's will about in this matter, as the Bible is not overly specific about many things concerning elders and deacons in regard to their selection and approval process. Concerning the deacons, I would observe this statement of yours: 'As I stated above in my other reply to you, I cannot accept any view which puts Deacons in an inferior position to Elders.' I'm not exactly certain of the meaning of that. If you mean that no Christian is above another, that we all are saved and equal in the sight of God as far as our santification positionally is concerned, and that we remember that no Christian is to 'lord it over' another; that the leader is to be the 'servant of all,' (Mark 10:44) then I would be in complete agreement. However, in matters of ruling and governing, and in compensation by the church, it seems to me that the Bible is clear (from some of the passages you yourself have mentioned already in this thread) that the elder has the higher office. For example, it is evident from 1 Tim. 5:17 that all elders are to be 'honored' by implication because the 'elders that rule well' and who 'labor in the word and doctrine' particularly are to be 'doubly honored.' No such provision is made for other officers. It is noteworthy that in 1 Tim. 3:13, "For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith." While the "honor" or "value" (possibly "pay") of the elder is given inherently with the office, the double honor is earned. But the high standing of a deacon is not given in the same way it seems from that passage (no "honor" is mentioned), but is "purchased" by the use of the office. That is not to say that the deacon isn't to be respected and admired because of his office, but it seems that his office doesn't command the same regard as that of elder. Once again, it is somewhat like the married couple, the wife is not inferior to the husband, but the husband is the head of the wife, for the sake of unity and order. But, 'there is is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise' (Gal. 3:28-29). That is the basis of not 'lording it over' one another and serving one another, yet 'he gave some [men]' the various offices mentioned in Eph. 4:11. The Lord God gave them those gifts and then He gave the gifted men to the Church specifically and specially to hold those offices in His service, honoring some men above others. Some men are chosen by God for more favor and responsibility than others: 'Moses, my servant' with whom the LORD spoke 'mouth to mouth' because he was 'my servant' in a realtionship which no other man had with the LORD God as a type of Christ Jesus (Numbers 12:7-8); David (also typical), the 'man after God's own heart' (1 Sam. 13:14); and Abraham (typical in his own fashion), the 'friend of God' (James 2:23) whose seed we believers all are because God has graced us with his faith (Rom. 4:14), the faith that leads to the obedience of God in Christ which designates His followers as His 'friends' (John 15:14). Some men are more intimate and closely related to God than others, given more power and responsibility by the Spirit of the Holy God, but all believers are positionally equal and joint-heirs, and that joint heirship is with the Lord Jesus Himself in terms of sonship by adoption (Rom. 8:14-17). There is leadership and distinction, but not inequality. It is a paradox in many ways, but there are no 'superior' Christians and no exalted offices, though some are more powerful than others in certain matters. When Paul exhorts in 1 Tim. 5:19, 'Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses,' it is a grave, improtant, and serious thing. Yet it is the exact provision of the Mosaic Law that the truth is established against any person who is charged--all were to be found guilty by at least the testimony of two witnesses who agreed as to the charge. So, it's a special admonition to be careful concerning accusations against leaders, but it also indicates that they are to be accountable in the same way as all others. A very interesting way of putting it from the Word of God.

Subject: Re: Elders & Deacons and Equality
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 08:59:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
Sorry for the vagueness in my statement concerning 'equality' among the Elders and Deacons. What you have said is true and what I also hold to be true; i.e., Functional Subordination. The analogy of the marriage relationship between husband and wife is one that I often use myself, hehehe. What I was trying to counter is the how Deacons are looked upon, not by the 'laity' in the body, but by the 'clergy' themselves. And consequently, from esteeming them as being nothing but glorified social workers and/or valets of the church, they are excluded from many deliberations that occur and even from decisions concerning the expenditure of church funds. Again, Elders and Deacons are equal as brothers in Christ. And further, even the qualifications for these two offices are more than similar. The character and abilities of these men are, for all intents and purposes, identical with few exceptions. Yes, the two offices, shadowing two different aspects of the Lord Christ and His ministry (Prophet/King and Priest) will of course involve different functions and responsibilities. And the Elders are to receive 'double honor' and for those that labor in the Word, even subsistence. So, obviously we are of one mind here. I just wanted to dispel the idea that is so common in churches, especially Reformed churches, that Deacons are glorified Butlers and as such are seen only as 'hired help' without the pay. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Elders & Deacons and Equality
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 09:57:44 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Thanks for your input and patience, my brother. It is good to be able to discuss issues and come to agreement on the intent and thrust of the beloved Word of the Holy God and our Savior.

Subject: Re: And...
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 10:37:56 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
When I look at our elders, I see only one that has any gifting to be able to preach. There is a man in our congragation that has preached before when the pastor was away. But there isn't anyone that I know of that would preach every Sunday. Personally speaking, as the gift of preaching/teaching is a gift that is of high importance to the body. I do not see a problem with hiring someone who has gone to get training. Of course that man, should be scrutinised before being hired, but someone with training is able to use his gifts with more knowledge of the word of God. I am not saying it is wrong not to hire a pastor. I just do not see a problem with it. My pastor told me that he works approximately 60 hours per week. We have a very active congragation, that is using commited believers, ie. Sunday school leaders, Bible study leaders, etc.., but all the activity in the Church, keeps my pastor very busy. Tom

Subject: Re: And...
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 19, 2000 at 13:15:00 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, I don't see anything which precludes paying someone for preaching, and in fact I see definite Biblical precedent/support for it. I don't, however, see any Biblical support for a 'Christian hired man' to be performing the 'work of the ministry' as defined and mentioned in Eph. 4, where it is the responsibility of the officers of the church, which are given by God, 'for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ' (verse 12). When an assembly hires a 'THE pastor' and expects him to do their praying, studying, all the preaching/teaching, visiting the sick, counselling, etc., etc., I see that as a direct violation of this principle of God. Saints in such a situation are NOT being 'perfected for the work of the ministry' and are not ministering. The wrong is compounded when this person is vested with all authority, leadership, and is deferred to as some 'local pope,' who runs the whole show, almost in the manner of the concept of the Catholic Pope as the 'Vicar of Christ' who cannot err or be challenged in any respect. I also don't see anything wrong with one being educated to help in making his preaching/teaching more effective and beneficial to the hearers, whether it is self-education (which is very possible) or in more formal training. I also don't think one has to be an elder to preach/teach, though I believe that there are 'teaching elders.' The elders can select other people to teach, making certain that they are sound and Biblically based in their messages as a part of their charge of 'feeding the sheep,' providing pasturage. And I am not surprised that your man says he spends '60 hours working.' That is another reason why I firmly believe that, to be done correctly, the preachers/teachers need to share in the duties as a lot of preparation and prayer time goes into just preparing a message. I always supported myself financially, but I spent nearly as much time in preparation as I did in my paid vocation when I was privileged to deliver messages for the Lord, and I wasn't responsible for all the messages given. What I am saying is that there is a lot of wordliness in the method of selecting a 'THE pastor' and too much authority delegated/given/expected to and of such a one. Having been a part of assemblies of denominations where 'pastor searches' were conducted, I saw very little Biblical about it. And in those churches, 'THE pastor's' office wasn't Biblically treated either by 'THE pastor' or by those 'under' him. I reiterate that 'THE pastor' seems not to be a Biblical concept.

Subject: Re: And...
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 20, 2000 at 00:37:01 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
When I used the term 'the pastor' I was not referring to a higharchy. In the church I attend, the pastor is concidered the head of the board of elders. That doesn't mean he is the ruler. It just means that he has been appointed by the elders to (fighting for the right words here) make sure that things are done decently and in order. Especialy during board meetings, where decisions need to be made. I would agree with you that if an assembly hires a pastor and expects him to do all the studying, praying, visiting the sick, counciling etc...that they would be in dirrect violation to the principles of the scriptures. My pastor does not do all these things (and sometimes gets flack from people about it), he does spend a lot of time praying and trying to get people plugged into their ministry gifts. This is done in conjuntion with the rest of the board of elders. When I said he spends about 60 hours a week working. I believe that he does that because he is a stickler for getting things right. That and the fact that nomatter how much we try to get the message out, there are still people(not elders) that think he should be doing the all the things you mentioned. Usually these are the older fokes who are set in their ways. He also does the majority of the preaching, because that is the area where he is the most gifted in. We just hired an associate pastor, in the hopes that it would relieve some of the pressure from him. That and the fact that we have a large teen group, that he is not gifted in ministering to. Yes we have other people that work with the youth of the Church. But they (youth) seem to need more time than the church can presently provide. Teenagers are a handful, if you know what I mean.:-) Tom

Subject: Re: To add a little more
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 18, 2000 at 14:57:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I said: a pastor is someone who ministers and instructs the flawk in the word of God. If that elder/pastor is doing their office correctly, then the people of his flawk will be going out into the mission field and preaching the gospel.
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Tom,
You are correct that Jimmy, among so many other things, has wrongly equated 'priesthood' in the N.T. with the 'Priesthood' in the O.T. and then makes a wrong equivalency between the O.T. 'Priesthood' and the offices of the N.T. church. As I briefly pointed out in my response to him, post-resurrection believers are EQUAL in that they are ALL able to access God directly by the Spirit and through the risen Christ. The office bearers in the N.T. church share equally this privilege since they too are redeemed by the same blood of Christ and incorporated into the body of Christ. However, in the government of the church, there are those who are given to rule, etc. by the calling of God. These men are also empowered, gifted and given authority to act as 'undershepherds' (Acts 20:28, et al) of the flock and are consequently held to a higher standard due to their delegated responsibilities. It is also true, that those whom are the members of the body of Christ will thereby be equipped for the work of ministry (Eph 4:11, 12) and share in the ministration of the body.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Storms
From: Bro. Charles
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 19:44:25 (PDT)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
I am sorry it is so long, the Lord showed this to me and I thought I should share it with my Brotheren. Matt 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. Matt 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. Matt 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. Matt 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. Matt 14:27 But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. Matt 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come unto you on the water. Matt 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Matt 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Matt 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O you of little faith, for what reason do you doubt? Matt 14:32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Matt 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth you art the Son of God.
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Most of us are like Peter; we are ok when we keep our eyes on the Lord, but when we move our focus to the storms around us (Trials, temptations, times we fail) we find our selves in a corner, trapped, or sinking. We think more about the power the storm may have over us. We tend to some times forget that Jesus is right there beside us, and by his grace we would get through the storm.
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-- Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. Mark 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, care you not that we perish? Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are you so fearful? how is it that you have no faith? Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
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-- Here again; we, just like Christ's disciples pay more attention to the storms about us. Worrying of the great power the storm may have over us, and how it might destroy us. We sometimes think the storm is to much for us to handle and sometimes wish the Lord would take that storm from us, or us from the storm. We are so worried about the storm and we think the power of the storm is so great we tend to forget about the one that has dominion over the storms of life. These storms are a test of faith, as the wind and rain was a test of faith to the disciples. These two things Jesus said, one unto Peter and one unto the disciples. In Matt 14:31 'O you of little faith, for what reason do you doubt?' And in Mark 4:40 'Why are you so fearful? how is it that you have no faith?' Jesus also says in Luke 12:22-26 Luke 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. Luke 12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Luke 12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? Luke 12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? We need to keep our eyes on Christ and know that he will get us through it. This is easy to say yet hard to do. I hope that we would pray for each other to keep our focus as we go through these divers trials in life and that we would encourage others to keep there focus. In Psalms it says; Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Prov 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: Prov 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Prov 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: Prov 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Prov 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Prov 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Subject: Thank you, I really needed that. n/t
From: Eric
To: Bro. Charles
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 07:53:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Subject: A question
From: Hail
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:21:11 (PDT)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
I have a question for the Calvinists here. What do you tell an unbeliever who says he is predestinated to hell? I know of a pastor who encountered this very problem when a man visited his church. This man sincerely believed that he had been predestinated to hell, and therefore had no chance to get to heaven. What would you tell this man? That he might very well be predestinated to hell? Since you hold to limited atonement, you surely cannot say to him that Christ died for his sins, since he may not be one of God's elect. I have been wanting to ask a Calvinist this question for a while, and what better place than here? :-) I know what I would say since I'm not a Calvinist. I'm Just curious how you would handle this. Hail

Subject: Re: A question
From: FredW
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 04:39:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I affirm what my brethren said below. I have two other thoughts. First, I had a friend who was quite sure of the same thing as your friend. After my hours of encouragement and little apparent change, I was humbly reminded that ultimately God had to pull him out of that thinking. That is, don't be let down if he persists in his beliefs. Second, one can use the same tracts used by other groups. The main distinction I note is that, whereas many Christians affirm that day a point-in-time when one is saved, others like myself emphasize how difficult it is for we humans to recognize such a specific point often till well after the event. This is because we must examine ourselves for a period of time with the test of 1Jn 2:3 (Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep His commandments) until we have a sense whether God had saved us. Then I affirm the many verses where God promises, for example, 'if you seek the Lord your God, you shall find him; if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut 4:29)'. Many blessings to you as you counsel your friend.

Subject: Re: A question
From: Anne
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 02:27:00 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Like the other guys said, one can't know the mind of God, but a further reflection is that the reprobate don't usually seem to consider the possibility they're reprobate, if you see what I mean. If this man is using his perceived status as one of the 'lost' to sin up a storm, then he might easily be in serious trouble. If he is thinking he's lost, yet attending church anyway and reading Scripture and trying to obey Christ's commands, he's probably in reasonably good shape, and just needs to be urged to trust -- really trust! -- in our Lord's promises. For many people, the Good News is too good to be true, at least when applied to them. Anne

Subject: A question answered!
From: Pilgrim
To: Hail
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:46:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hail,
I know what any Calvinist worth his salt would say! :-) First of all, I would tell this young man that he is not God to whom alone belongs such knowledge of salvation among men. Such knowledge has not been revealed, if for nothing else, because it would produce such beliefs as he holds about himself. What we do know is that God has not willed that all men be damned for their sins, but He has out of the abundance of His mercy and love chosen to save a multitude of undeserving sinners to receive His grace and pardon in His incarnate Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, if he is to be cast into hell in the last day, it will because he has spurned the only Person by whom he can be reconciled to God and to be saved from the just judgment of God. No man is condemned because he has been 'predestined' to hell, but rather because he is a sinner and is deserving of eternal punishment, having sinned against a Holy God in every thought, word and deed from the very day of his conception. No, I could not biblically or morally tell that man that 'Jesus died for your sins', for again, it has not been revealed for whom Christ died before the fact. But we do know that all who come to Him in repentance and with a trusting, living faith He will assuredly receive. And in so doing, his sins will be remitted completely and without fail. Salvation is given to BELIEVERS, never to doubters or haters of God and of the Lord Christ. I can also tell him that 'Christ died for sinners just like you and me!' Of course, much more could be said in a reply to such questions, but I think these will suffice for now, unless you would like to pursue this issue in more detail, or perhaps you have further questions of 'us Calvinists'? Evidently, you have never read any of the sermons preached by the Reformers or Puritans? For if you had, you would never have asked these questions here. They were eminently Gospel preachers for they urged and pleaded with sinners to come to Christ for salvation. Every argument conceivable, which the Scriptures allow, were used by them to show sinners their need of the Lord Christ and to display Christ's willingness to receive them should they have the desire to come to Him. Would that God would raise up more of these type of men and proclaim the glories of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of sinners.
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: A question answered!
From: Hail
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 14:50:09 (PDT)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
You are correct, I have not read many sermons from the Reformers or Puritans. :-) At the moment, I attend a Lutheran church that believes in 'single' predestination and unlimited atonement. They also believe that person can lose salvation, which I disagree with. I am definitely not an Arminian, but I do not consider myself a full five point Calvinist, at least not yet. The Bible says numerous times that Christ died for 'all', 'every man', and the 'world.' I don't see any verses that state that Christ did not die for unbelievers. But, the Bible is also clear on predestination and election. Well, I guess my Tulip is missing a petal. :-) I think that there is a lot more to election than we think. I view it simply as a mystery unfathomable to our human comprehension. I was encouraged by your response and the responses of all the others. Indeed, only God knows such things regarding salvation among men. Hail

Subject: Re: 'All'-type passages
From: FredW
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 22:36:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
H: The Bible says numerous times that Christ died for 'all', 'every man', and the 'world.' FW: Although there are many 'all' type passages in the Bible, consider the following: (1) In Luke 2, God declares that Caesar called for all the world be taxed; however, all does not include non-Roman subjects. (2) In John 17:9, Jesus prays 'I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me; for they are yours.' (3) Here are sample passages where Christ condemned the whole world. I cite them in hope that they will force the free will camp to look at 'all'-type verses differently:. Ps 9:7-8 'But the Lord shall endure forever. He has prepared his throne for judgement. And he shall judge the world in righteousness. He shall minister judgement to the people in uprightness.' Ps 96:12-13 'Let the field be joyful and all that is therein; then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord for he comes. For he comes to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with his truth.' Ps 98:9 '...for he comes to judge the earth. With ighteousness shall he judge the world and the people with equity.' Is 13:11 'And I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity. And I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease. And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.' Mt 18:7 'Woe unto the world because of offenses! For it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes.' Jn 16:8 'And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.' 1Cor 6:2 'Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? ...' Heb 11:7 'By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.' 1Jn 5:19 'And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.' Your servant, FredW

Subject: The question was directly answered.
From: Rod
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 17:21:47 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hail, Could you please exegete John 10:11,15? Thanks.

Subject: Re: The question was directly answered.
From: Hail
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 18:46:53 (PDT)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
Rod, John 10:15 - '...I lay down My life for the sheep' Of course Christ died for His sheep. But did he also die for unbelievers? I don't see any verse in scripture that states that Christ did not die for unbelievers. I do see a plethora of verses that state Christ died for the sins of all people. Hebrews 2:9 - 'But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.' Here we see very clearly that Jesus tasted death for EVERY MAN. How does EVERY MAN in this particular verse equate to believers only? 1 Timothy 4:10 - 'God is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.' This verse states that God is the Savior of ALL MEN. ALL MEN is obviously a larger category than 'those who believe.' This DOES NOT say that Christ died for believers ONLY. It seems that most Calvinists think since God predestinated certain souls to salvation, logically, Christ must have died for believers only. I see both predestination AND unlimited atonement taught in Scripture. How can these two seemingly contradictory beliefs come together? God's ways are higher than ours. I don't think we have the understanding as humans to fully comprehend this mystery of divine election. Hail

Subject: Re: The question was directly answered.
From: Rod
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 20:34:52 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hail, I believe you have totally missed the point of the John passage. The Lord Jesus said twice in that passage for whom He died. (I note you did not attempt to exegete the passage, as asked.) By directly saying for whom He died, He said for whom He did not die in a propitiatory way--those who aren't sheep. Please note what He said in verse 16, and the import of it: 'Other sheep I have....' He already possesses them though they are not yet believers, multitudes having not even yet being born. It is for those whom He has; those for whom He was sent; those whom the Father had reserved for Him (John 17:6, 9); those who were to be glorified with Christ by God's decree so that they might be 'the children whom God hath given me' (Heb. 2:13, cp. verses 11-12 and Rom. 8:29). The ones for whom the Lord Jesus died are the predestinated and elect. There is no way around that; it (the atonement) is part and parcel of the predestination/election. If we think about it, it is inconceivable that the Lord Jesus could have died for anyone else. If He had atoned for them, there is no basis for condemnation of them. Their sin is paid for and there is nothing for which to judge them. The only other conclusion is that the Lord Jesus failed. He meant to die for all men, but the payment wasn't good enough; His blood isn't sufficient. But that is unthinkable and hateful for me even to type! The precious payment in blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is so powerful that it cleanses all it touches from all sin. Why do we know this? We know it from such conclusive verses as Rom. 8:3-4: 'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.' That statement says that God accomplished salvation by sending His Son as a man and 'for sin.' We have to conclude that He died 'for sin,' that sin for which the Lord God specifically sent Him. The 'us' in that passage refers to the saved, the sheep, the predestinated and elect, for whom Christ specifically died. It specifically says that God sent Him 'for sin.' Now, if that were for all sin of every person who ever lived, then, if God is God, they have all been atoned for. It must, therefore, refer to a specific group because the Lord Jesus propitiated God and redeemed men by His sacrifice (Rom. 3:22-23). He was a sacrifice, as 8:3 says, 'for sin.' If that statement is true and if it is true, as you contend, that He died for all men, then all men's sin is covered by His blood. If all their sin is covered by His sacrifice, they all are in God's salvation plan and will come to faith. We know this isn't true. All men are not saved; all men are not covered by the Lord Jesus' sacrifice and God's redeeming grace. If we say, 'Well, that's easily explained, men must come faith in order to be saved, in order for the blood to be effectual,' then we have a much more serious problem. It takes salvation out of the hands of the sovereign God and places it in the hands of the creatures of God: the people who must choose God rather than God choosing them. That makes the choice of man even more important in salvation than the blood of Jesus Christ. It makes salvation 'by faith' and not 'by grace' as the Bible states (Eph. 2:5, 8). Arminianism is then not a lie, but the truth in that scenario. But God says the Lord Jesus was sent 'for sin.' He emphasizes over and over in the NT, especially in books like Hebrews, Romans, and Ephesisans, the need for the cleansing of blood for the guilt of man. He says in John 10, as well as other places, that it is exclusively 'for the sheep' that the Lord Jesus gave His lifeblood so that they could have their penalty paid and live vicariously in the Lord Jesus the life which meets the requirement of the Law of God and thus have righteousness, the righteousness of Christ, imputed unto them. Universal atonement fails on the count of the Word of God contradicting it conclusively. The fact that the Lord Jesus was 'made [by God] to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him' (2 Cor. 5:21) means just that. The ones for whom the Lord Jesus died ('us,' the believers whom God gifts with faith, Eph. 2:8-9) are the ones who are 'made,' by God's action of grace, righteous by having the righteousness of the Lord imputed to them. It is an action of grace received on the part of those chosen by God for His salvation. The writers of the Bible never include themselves in with the lost. The terms 'we' and 'us' refer to the Chruch, believers, the predestinated and elect. ____________________________ Hail, I haven't commented directly on your quoted verses because they have been dealt with many times here before. They are verses which, when examined in context and in the context of the whole Bible, don't mean what you've interpreted them to mean. If they did mean what you say, then the Scriptural citations I've provided would mean that we have a Bible which can't be trusted--it would be at odds with and contradictory to itself. This doesn't mean you don't deserve an answer as to why they don't say what you contend, but that I will leave it to others, as I have gone on long enough.

Subject: Re: Resources on The Atonement of Christ :-)
From: Pilgrim
To: Hail
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 20:31:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hail,
I am certainly glad that found the replies you read encouraging. I would further encourage you to visit The Highway's home page and peruse the myriad articles offered there for your information and edification. As to the extent of Christ's atonement, may I suggest you visit the The Atonement of the Lord Christ section which you can do by clicking on this link. Probably one of the finest articles there is Dr. J.I. Packer's 'Introductory Essay to the Death of Death in the Death of Christ'. Of course the finest polemical work ever written was by John Owen of the same title. Owen wrote this:
To which I may add this dilemma to our Universalists: God imposed his wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of hell for,
  1. either all the sins of all men,
  2. or all the sins of some men,
  3. or some sins of all men.
If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God enter into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: 'If the LORD should mark iniquities, who should stand?' Ps. cxxx. 2. We might all go to cast all that we have 'to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty,' Isa. ii. 20, 21. If the Second, that is it, which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room Suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world. If the first, why, then, are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins? You will say, ' Because of their unbelief; they will not believe.' But this unbelief, is it a sin, or not? If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not. If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death? If he did not, then did he not die for all their sins. Let them choose which part they will.
I would gladly further this discussion on the extent of the atonement as it is probably the most rewarding subject one could hope to understand, IMHO. :-)
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: A question
From: Five Sola
To: Hail
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:30:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hail, I'm sure others will answer (and they may be better too) but I thought I would give it a shot. :-) First, I would tell the person that they have NO way of knowing the mind of God. They have no way of knowing they are elected to reprobation (hell) or for election. And thus if they are trying to use that as an excuse for their continuance in sin they are left with only themselves to blame. When I talk to people I just tell them that they are commanded to believe in Christ as Savior AND Lord. And to trust Him. Sometimes I get into the election issue depending on how the conversation goes. If they 'know' the calvinist position and try to use that as a reason why they 'can't' believe, I tell them to just trust in Christ and not to worry about the election aspect. They may find out that they were indeed elected unto salvation. I don't mess around (nor should anyone) with figuring out the mind of God. Not our business. Five Sola

Subject: For Pilgrim (from below)
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 07:31:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You asked what Five Sola posted that was not representative of the Charismatic movement. Here is his post: I don't know all of the errors of the charismatic/Pentacostal movement but some could easily be seen as the belief (among all that I have met) are that 1) Tongues is essential to prove salvation, 2) a Second blessing/baptism is necessary to complete salvation 3) Salvation is Eternal but can be lost due to sin (one belief that I find amazing for any one who claims to believe in Christ atonement) Having left a Pentecostal church over the issue of spirirtual gifts and Arminianism, I had several discussions with the Pastoral staff, as well as researching the denominations official position on these issues. The church I left was an Assemblies of God church, which is the fastest growing denomination in the nation, as well the largest Pentecostal denomination in existence. (I believe the above facts are accurate.) According to the Assemblies of God: Tongues are not essential to prove salvation. They acknowledge that the majority of Christians do not speak in tongues, and that this in no way reflects their salvation. Also, a second blessing/baptism in the Holy Spirit is not necessary to complete salvation, but rather it is a gift from God to those who are saved, in order to empower them for more fruitful lives. Again, most Christians have not experinced this because they did not earnestly ask God for it. It has nothing to do with completing salvation. As far as losing salvation, that stems from Arminianism, and is not related to the distinctives of Pentecostalism. The above positions are the Assemblies of God's, and not mine. God bless.

Subject: Re: For Pilgrim (from below)
From: John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 03:03:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, For whatever it’s worth. The 'Dictionary of Christianity in America' states concerning the Assemblies of God: 'Efforts to discourage dissent have resulted in strong affirmations of both premillennialism and the denomination's distinctive doctrine of tongues as uniform initial evidence of Spirit baptism.' Concerning Charismatics it says: 'Charismatics are frequently well educated, yet seldom theologically literate. They are avid proponents of inner healing and consider spontaneous, revelational prophecy a commonplace. Their doctrinal centerpiece remains baptism in the Spirit. Most leaders readily equate their experience with that of classical Pentecostals, but have disavowed the older Pentecostal formulas of two or three so-called works of grace, with tongues-speech as the initial evidence of baptism in the Spirit. In reality, however, there is considerable pressure for communicants to'move up higher' spiritually and not be satisfied until they have spoken in tongues'. So, tongues is the holy grail of Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, whatever else beliefs may differ. John

Subject: Re: For Pilgrim (from below)
From: Tom
To: John
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 22:54:12 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
A few thing I would like to add about a lot of Charismatics(not all). They are constantly attracted to healing crusades. However, although at these crusades although they claim great healings. That I know of, there is no recorded documentation to athenticate these healings. My doctor who is a Christian, was telling me that he has checked into this phenominum himself for proof. He can not find the evidence that these healings are real. As a doctor he has access to these type of records, so it seems odd to me if they are real why they aren't recorded. I might also mention that where there is success, one can look at other things such as witch doctoring and find the same kind of success. It has been proven that in a lot of cases, patients who have not been healed by a doctor or medicine, simply because of what doctors call psycosematic illness(I think that is what it was called.) Meaning that although the desease is very real to the patient. It could be cured if they had the right frame of mind. In some cases these healing crusades can cause healing simply because the patient is convinced that they are healed. However when the healing does not occur, they can sink into a worse condition than before. Some however just go from one healing crusade to another, with the hope that the next time will be the time they are healed. In these healing crusades the speaker usually says something to the effect of, 'If you are not healed it is simply because you don't have faith.' Or something like, 'Many people are not healed, because they don't have the patience to be healed. They believe that if it doesn't occur right away, then it will not happen at all.' If you are wondering how I know this, it is because I have been to many of these crusades myself years ago. I can tell you from experience, that when one isn't healed it can bring about great anxiety and guilt in the individual. I went through this myself. It took a long time to get over it, even after God delivered me from the movement. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not labeling all Charismatics the same way. What I am doing, is trying to show that when someone gets too involved with their emotions(not that emotion is wrong) they can tend to put it above God and make emotion their God. This usually is not intentional, but Satan is a very crafty creature. This isn't just something that can happen to just any person, it can also happen to theologians, who for whatever reason or another get tangled up with their emotions. They may even give glory to God during these crusades. But if they could look at what is happening with their emotions in an objective manner. They would realise the truth is, they are more interested in what they may get out of it, than the God that may give it. This is no different from a lot of people in the gospels who followed Jesus, simply because they thought they were going to get something out of it. They were more interested in the miracles that the miracle giver, Jesus Christ. Tom

Subject: Re: For Pilgrim (from below)
From: Hail
To: John
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 15:18:44 (PDT)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
John, Praise the Lord for your stand on this issue! I was involved with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) for a number of years up until six months ago. I have seen the 'latest' manefestations within Pentecostalism, and it continues to grow worse. The charismatic movement unfortunately continues to expand its grip upon Christendom. All of the ecumenical denominations like the Southern Baptist, United Methodist, PC-USA, etc. seem to be readily accepting the charismatic movement even if they disagree with its doctrine. These denominations seem to pass this off as a difference in opinion. It is much more than that...the charismatic movement is dangerous. The reason why I left the charismatic movement was inconsistency with Scripture. I began to see that abosulutely none of the manifestations in my church were consistent with the Biblical accounts of them. Then there were the manifestations that cannot even be found in scriptures, such as 'slain in the spirit', 'drunk in the spirit', and 'holy laughter.' Tongues is definitely the primary focus of the charismatics, and pinpointed even more...the 'unknown tongue' or 'prayer language.' Slain in the Spirit is also popular. People always rush to the front to get 'carpet time' with the Holy Spirit, as the charismatics call it. Most of the time, people just lose there balance when the pastor pushes them down. The charismatic movement is very deceptive. Nothing supernatural every occurs, but people believe it is from God simply because the pastor tells them it is a move of the Holy Spirit. What really caused me to evaluate my beliefs, was a time when the pastor and several other people were supposively 'drunk in the spirit.' The pastor was hanging over the podium moaning and groaning, saying that he felt heavy and could hardly stand up. I had a very bad feeling in my stomach when this happened, and I knew this was NOT the Holy Spirit. This type of behavior is much more akin to occultism and demonic possession than a work of the Holy Spirit. We must take a stand against the charismatic movement and sound the alarm. It is indeed very dangerous. But I must say that there are true believers within Pentecostalism. God even works through heterodox church bodies to gather His elect. Hail

Subject: It's worse than we know
From: John
To: Hail, etc.
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 00:15:09 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Well, Tom and Hail, I agree with much of your points. Any false gospel is dangerous and should be challenged. I was never comfortable with the AoG church for the few years I attended. I had just started to learn about Calvinism in the late 1970's and was asking question of AoG people (why I don’t know). I was given books to read (Arminian) and could not follow the logic. I was given books/tapes explaining tongues/healing and Spirit filling, but again the answers were childish in their simplicity. For instance, to prove that tongues was for today, Jimmy Swaggart said in his tapes on the subject: 'Tongues is in the Bible, they can try and deny it but it's right there'. My reply, 'So what'. It boils down to really lousy theology and lousy logic. The assumption that tongues is for today is defended at any cost. To prove modern healings occur I was given a paperback book detailing the account of missionaries in Sumatra. It was beyond comical. Attacking alligators turned tail and ran at the name of Jesus. Headhunters poisoned the missionaries with 'the most powerful poison known to man' yet they lived and immediately the entire tribe became Christians when they didn't die. Sermons by the AoG pastor began with Scripture quotes, and quickly became rambling, tongue-filled screaming session that had no point. I sat appalled while the rest of the congregation rose ecstatically with shouts, chants ('Praise Jesus' repeated 80 times gets old fast) and more nonsense tongue speaking. People were always weeping, talking, crying, speaking in tongues, shouting... it was bedlam. They claimed the 'Spirit' was moving... but to me it was a gross display of ignorance with a dose of induced hysteria. Have you ever wondered what implications we can draw if God is speaking to these people (and not Calvinists). He must approve of their practices. He must approve of their gospel. Arminianism must be the correct means of salvation. Amillenialism must be wrong. We should be seeking a second blessing. We should be seeking healings. Why is it, God seemingly approves all these doctrines that can be shown in the Word of God to be false? Odd isn’t it. Sure the damage is great. Poor people told they will get rich. Sick people told they will get well. Spiritually dead people told they are spiritually well. All lies. This is Satan's last and greatest deception. His ploy is to effectively silence the true gospel, and Satan has nearly accomplished his goal. God has prepared the world for judgment. The church has been tested and has failed the test. It is near time for the end to come, for Christ to return in judgment, but, not to setup some earthly Kingdom (yet another lie of Satan). If anyone finds something redeeming (in the general sense) with the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement, let me know. John

Subject: Re: For Eric Above! :-)
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 07:56:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
But sir, this offers nothing to disprove Five Sola's statement! One denomination, a very large one relatively speaking is NOT representative of the majority of Charistmatic/Pentecostal churches. So often this type of discussion is based upon 'one's own experience' which is more often than not, very narrowly based. May I suggest to you respectfully that you broaden your knowledge on the subject? I'll even suggest a valuable read to you, A Theology of the Holy Spirit by Frederick Dale Bruner. This historical data alone is worth the cheap price of this book. And NO, I am not basing my defense on the validity of Five Sola's statements on this one book. . . I have LOTS more, but if there was one book that stands out among them, it is Bruner's. Some people might even read one book that is recommended, but rarely a long list of them. :-) By the way Eric, just for your information, in MY personal experience of over 28 years of speaking with Charismatic and Pentecostal people and particularly pastors, the vast majority of them did hold that tongues was an essential sign of salvation, and that anyone who didn't have the 'second blessing' was less than a Christian; or as a modern heresy coins it a 'Carnal Christian'. So who's personal experience are we to believe? And one last bit of personal information; I have two close friends who are pastors of a Pentecostal church. Both are Calvinists [the are not Reformed] and you would probably never know they were Pentecostals unless you went to their church 'worship' services. :-) Get and read the book! hehehe
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: For Eric Above! :-)
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 08:23:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Pilgrim, If what you state is true, then I apologize for my ignorance. I know that most in the A/G would strongly condemn such heretical statements. That is why I objected to sweeping allegations against Charismatics. From what I have seen, there seems to be a growing maturity in the Pentecostal movement (at least the Assemblies of God). I think that more and more leaders(still a minority) are being gracefully lead in the direction of the truth, and that most of the excesses that surrounded the beginnings of the movement in the late 19th-early 20th century, are no longer present--up until the 'Brownsville Revival' and 'Toronto Airport Fellowship' Obviously, there are many groups outside of the A/G that don't reflect this maturity. Also, it is sad that more and more people are attracted to the signs and wonders being purported by the practicioners of this 'power religion.' One of the big problems when trying to get a handle on the Pentecostal movement, is that there is no real leadership, or authority with which you can identify them. Obviously a lack of church government is a contributing cause to these type of problems. There is nobody with authority to step in and say that something/someone is out of line. God bless.

Subject: Re: For Eric Above! :-)
From: Tom
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 11:47:34 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I don't understand how we can labal all Charismatic Churches under the same umbrella? They are very deverse within each denomination. They may have started out under the same umbrella. But they are no different from other denominations, such as Baptists(some Calvinist, some Arminian) Presbyterians, etc.., when you examine what they believe (whether right or wrong) they are very different. For example how many denominations are there that call themselves Presbyterian? I am not sure if the differences within the various Presbyterian denominations are as vast as those within the Charismatic movement, but hopefully you have caught my meaning. Tom

Subject: Spiritual gifts (reply to John)
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 07:36:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello John, You wrote: If you are interested in discussing Charismatic theology or the use of gifts today start a new thread and I'll explain exactly why I find their beliefs an abomination. You wrote, 'For, it is abundantly evident, that scripture does speak to the reality of spiritual gifts, and it is equally clear that there is no scriptural basis for saying that those gifts are not in existence today!'. If there is no Scriptural basis then I must be in error, problem solved. But if Scripture makes my point, perhaps you would like to know it, if only to be better informed (or you can just use this forums search under 'tongues' and save me the typing). Since you offered to provide your biblical support for the cessation of spiritual gifts, I will ask you to provide it. Just a note, I am not Charismatic, nor do I believe that the spiritual gifts are normative for believers. You should know, I find your argument that 'For those who hold the banner of Sola Scriptura, your stance should be seen as contrary to that wonderful principal' as incredible. Do you know why? Because the very basis of Charismatic/Pentecostal theology rests on dual sources of divine information. Does Sola Scriptura mean we rest on Scripture PLUS a voice, vision, prophecy, word, impression, dream, utterance, oracle, sign, wonder, movement, or spirit? What does the Bible alone and in its entirety mean today if we also have direct revelation from God? When God speaks shall we ignore Him or shall we write His Word down and obey?? If a manifestation is not from God where is it from? Why does God say an evil and adulterous generation shall seek after these kinds of things (hint hint)? Why does God say in Rev 22:18 we are not to add to the words of the prophecy of this Book? (hint hint hint). If God is not speaking today, but Satan goes about posing as an angel of light to deceive... should we care (especially during the last days)? Then we should be extra careful to avoid the errors of Pentacostalism. My point is, is that you have made belief in cessationism so very close to being essential for salvation. Also, if you truly hold to the principal of sola scriptura, then you must have ample, clear biblical support for your position. Those who hold to particular beliefs that are not clearly spelled out in scripture are no different than somebody seeking extra revelation, for you have inadvertantly made your own opinion equivalent to the Word of God. I will not comment on those verses you cited at this point, as I assume that you will provide a more thorough response, with which we can proceed. Hopefully, we wil be able to carry on this conversation w/o resorting to exaggerations, or misstatements concerning the Charismatics beliefs, as well as the notion that not all non-cessationists are alike, and that there are widely differing theological constructs w/in the movement. God bless.

Subject: For clarity's sake
From: mebaser
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 18:58:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello John, You wrote: If you are interested in discussing Charismatic theology or the use of gifts today start a new thread and I'll explain exactly why I find their beliefs an abomination. You wrote, 'For, it is abundantly evident, that scripture does speak to the reality of spiritual gifts, and it is equally clear that there is no scriptural basis for saying that those gifts are not in existence today!'. If there is no Scriptural basis then I must be in error, problem solved. But if Scripture makes my point, perhaps you would like to know it, if only to be better informed (or you can just use this forums search under 'tongues' and save me the typing). Since you offered to provide your biblical support for the cessation of spiritual gifts, I will ask you to provide it. Just a note, I am not Charismatic, nor do I believe that the spiritual gifts are normative for believers. You should know, I find your argument that 'For those who hold the banner of Sola Scriptura, your stance should be seen as contrary to that wonderful principal' as incredible. Do you know why? Because the very basis of Charismatic/Pentecostal theology rests on dual sources of divine information. Does Sola Scriptura mean we rest on Scripture PLUS a voice, vision, prophecy, word, impression, dream, utterance, oracle, sign, wonder, movement, or spirit? What does the Bible alone and in its entirety mean today if we also have direct revelation from God? When God speaks shall we ignore Him or shall we write His Word down and obey?? If a manifestation is not from God where is it from? Why does God say an evil and adulterous generation shall seek after these kinds of things (hint hint)? Why does God say in Rev 22:18 we are not to add to the words of the prophecy of this Book? (hint hint hint). If God is not speaking today, but Satan goes about posing as an angel of light to deceive... should we care (especially during the last days)? Then we should be extra careful to avoid the errors of Pentacostalism. My point is, is that you have made belief in cessationism so very close to being essential for salvation. Also, if you truly hold to the principal of sola scriptura, then you must have ample, clear biblical support for your position. Those who hold to particular beliefs that are not clearly spelled out in scripture are no different than somebody seeking extra revelation, for you have inadvertantly made your own opinion equivalent to the Word of God. I will not comment on those verses you cited at this point, as I assume that you will provide a more thorough response, with which we can proceed. Hopefully, we wil be able to carry on this conversation w/o resorting to exaggerations, or misstatements concerning the Charismatics beliefs, as well as the notion that not all non-cessationists are alike, and that there are widely differing theological constructs w/in the movement. God bless.
---
For the sake of clarity, let me make a comment to both Eric and John and ask for a response. In the message above, I believe Eric quotes John, who in the quote happens to be quoting Eric (i think) saying, 'it is abundantly evident, that scripture does speak to the reality of spiritual gifts, and it is equally clear that there is no scriptural basis for saying that those gifts are not in existence today!' My comment is that there are at least three forms of cessationism. The most common one is the moderate cessationist view which believes that the spiritual gifts detailed in 1 Corinthins 12 and elsewhere are normative for the church today except the 'revelatory' gifts, such as prophecy, tongues, and special knowledge. These three gifts have completely ceased. Another view is the radical cessationist view which believes that all the spiritual gifts in 1 Corithinans 12 and elsewhere, not only the revelatory ones, are no longer given to the Church today. The third view (which is the one that I hold to) is similar to view 1. It believes that the spiritual gifts detailed in 1 Cor. 12 and elsewhere are normative for the church today except the revelatory ones, but with a concession for the gift of tongues. While believing that prophecy and special knowledge have been done away with, this third view allows that God may, on specaial rare occasions, gift a believer temporarily with the gift of tongues, which is defined as being able to speak a human language that is previously unknown to the gifted believer, for the purpose of furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ. No new revelation is given, merely the ability to declare the truth of God's word in a previously unrehearsed language. The question is, to which view do you address this debate? In Christ, mebaser

Subject: Re: For clarity's sake
From: Tom
To: mebaser
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 23:35:55 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Mebaser If I understand what you are saying correctly, view number 3 in which you hold. Is the possition that was held by John Knox and a few of the other Reformers. I think that is the view that I lean towards myself. Tom

Subject: Re: For clarity's sake
From: Eric
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 07:15:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I will let John define the terms of the discussion, however he has already stated that Charismatics are apostate, and not his brothers in the Lord, and are therefore lost. My point is that there is no scriptural warrant for making that judgement, and he is in serious error to do so. Now if John wants to say that only radical Charismatics are apostate, and that those who hold to a non-cessationist position are not, then good--it would be a step in the right direction. On numerous occasions I pointed out that there is a large diversity w/in the Charismatic movement, and John has yet to differentiate between a person like Benny Hinn, and Wayne Grudem. God bless.

Subject: Re: For clarity's sake
From: John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 22:18:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, When you go to a car dealership to buy a car, you don't argue down the price from the inflated MSRP. It is best to start at the dealer's cost and argue for that (plus a little profit). We could discuss all kinds of wrongs in the Charismatic churches, we could argue all the varied ways of understanding Charismatics; but let's start instead with the dealer's cost. One note: There is no way for one person to convince another of anything, even using Scripture references, apart from God’s intervention. Your stance has been that we cannot call Charismatics apostate and therefore unregenerate. We shall see that God has done this for us. Whether we accept this is another story. The Charismatic movement began, they say, on Jan 01, 1901 when Agnes Ozman spoke in tongues at Charles Parham’s Kansas Bible School. The movement began amongst the poor and theologically ignorant but spread eventually to the middle class (and theologically ignorant). By the 1960s the modern Protestant (and Catholic) church was under assault. The movement became a voice to the marginalized, a means to be spiritually enlightened and meet God without creeds, doctrines, or deep Bible study. It should also be noted that its source was among Americans with the lowest cognitive ability (the poor). That is, those most inclined to not study and avoid intellectual challenges. Over the years, Pentecostal/Charismatic schisms have created some 300 different denominations and groups, the largest being the Assemblies of God founded in 1914. Despite claims to the contrary, the movement is purely modern with no lineage to the early church’s experience of signs and wonders. Now some concepts that we need to understand. Before the first coming of Christ, national Israel was the church, and that era ended when Christ went to the cross. We should know that before OT Israel fell away from God, God had prophesied that it would happen. Likewise, the Bible predicts a time when the NT churches will fall away and rebel against God. 1Cor 10:1-11 explains that despite God’s many blessings upon the OT church, His judgment was not spared 'But with many of the God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness'. The purpose of detailing the OT churches judgment by God is: 'Now these things were our examples, to the intent, we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted'. The sins of ancient Israel are spelled out in Numbers 16:41-50, 21:5-9, and 25:1-9. Again in verse 10 of 1Cor 10, 'Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come'. God’s dealings with OT Israel anticipate how He will deal with the NT church. Jude 5 warns the NT church: 'I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not'. God says here to look to the OT to learn from His dealings with the ancient peoples. Why was God upset with ancient Israel? Near the end of Israel's time as a free and independent nation, Jeremiah was written, just as the Babylonians were beginning to come against Israel. Jeremiah 5:30-31, 'A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?' The prophets and priests taught and preached in the name of Jehovah God. But they taught their own doctrines, they brought messages that suited their fancy to please the congregation 'my people love to have it so'. The statement 'and what will ye do in the end thereof?', is a rhetorical question by God--what will they do when God judges them for their rebellion. The prophets were declaring peace and safety, everything is well, God will not bring judgment against His own people. Ancient Israel was not interested in the Gospel as the Scriptures were given by the prophets. They wanted to have a contemporary gospel (of their day), how wonderful the Assyrians and Babylonian alters, priests, and worship was, they wanted that. The beginning of judgment by God is that He blinds the wicked, as in Isaiah (speaking of Israel some 800 years before the end) 'Make the heart of the people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes…'. Isa 6:10, 29:10. The next step is the removal of truth from them (Isaiah 3:1-5), and then He rejects them (Hosea 4:6). God blinded ancient Israel. He took the truth away from them, and He rejects them-—they no longer are His congregation. The final end of a rebellious people is that God destroys them. In the case of Israel the destruction came by wicked nations, 'The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand' (Deut 28:49). This was foretold before Israel entered the land of Canaan, the promised land. Isaiah 28:7, God speaks to the ten tribes of the northern kingdom He is going to destroy Israel because of their sins: 'But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way: the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up in wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment'. God uses the picture of wine and strong drink as types of those who run after other gospels. In Isa 28 God says 'woe…to the drunkards of Ephriam', that is, the prophets drunkenly run after gospels or religions of nations whose language they do not understand. God declares in Isaiah 28:11, 'For with stammering lips, and other tongue, will he speak to his people'. Concluding with 'that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken'. Assyria was that nation that destroyed the ten tribes and the capital city in Samaria. Some 123 years later (587BC) the nation of Judah with its capital in Jerusalem came into judgment because of its sins. Jer 5:15-17, 'Lo, I will bring a nation upon you fromfar, O house of Israel, saith the Lord; it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say…'. Destruction again was by a nation whose language they did not understand. God had set up a testing program for Israel and Judah, he brought Assyria close to the ten tribes and 'thou has played the whore'. That is, they were like an adulterous woman seeking after false worship and false gospels. There are distinct parallels between the congregation of the OT, national Israel, and the New Testament church. There is an expectation in the Bible that the NT church will, too, fall into grievous sin. The nature of the sin that will envelop the congregation is disclosed, for example, 1 Tim 4:1-2, 'Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron'. The NT church is seduced by gospels that are under the power of Satan, they will have 'a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away' (2 Tim 3:5). The secular world does not have a form of godliness, only the church wishes to appear godly. 2 Tim 3:1-5 is speaking of the church it has become a congregation ruled by those who are unregenerate. The church is ruled by those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, who are covetous, proud, blasphemers, unholy, false accusers, and traitors. To help describe these so-called 'Christians' now existing in churches everywhere the term 'carnal Christian' is invented. Such a description in contrary to Scripture. 1 John 2:3-5 warns 'An hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…'. There is also a statement in Dan 7:25 which speaks of the little horn (Satan) 'And he shall speak great words against the Most High…and think to change times and law: and they (the saints) shall be given into his hand, until a time and times and the dividing of time'. In the most blasphemous manner of changing times and law we see the gospel of salvation by grace changed to a perverse teaching of salvation by works, not within cults, but within the mainstream churches. Similarly to the OT church, there shall come a blinding upon the NT church 'Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed; the son of perdition: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God'. Verse 9-12 speaks of Satan coming with: 'all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness'. This statement is speaking of the church. We have seen that as the church becomes more rebellious against God—-it changes laws and times, men’s love grows cold, it preaches a man-made gospel. The truth is removed by God, and in its place is given a strong delusion to believe a lie. Jeremiah 23:20 emphasizes the removal of truth, for as it says 'In the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly'. The term 'latter day' refers to the NT period, and sometimes it refers particularly to the end of the NT period (end times). Jer 23 says 'I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies...they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah'. Jerusalem typifies the body of believers. Of these false prophets God declares (Jer 23:15a) 'Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, Behold, I will feed them with wormwood'. Wormwood may be a synonym for hemlock, a poison. In other words God feeds the false prophets poison, rather than the pure water of the true Gospel. Verses 15b-16, 'And make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Harken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord…'. That is the judgment that is coming on the church, Jer 23:20-21, 'The anger of the Lord shall not return, until He has executed and till he have performed the thoughts of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied'. The church is overrun by people who God has not sent, who bring their own gospel. They have been blinded, they preach happiness and ignore God judgment; the teach God will do wonderful works. A preacher of truth, a declarer of God’s Word (prophet) does not deceive the congregation. 'But if they had stood in My councel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and form the evil of their doings' (Jer 23:22). God is speaking to the congregations where the true believers should be found. These things are for the 'latter days' and were typified by ancient Israel for our edification. 'I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophet that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord'. This passage warns of apostasy in our day, not in Israel’s day. The 'latter days' is the NT period, even though it was written in the time of national Israel. So listen carefully. Many congregations today feature pastors who are deceived, they pretend to preach the Word of God, then instead they offer doctrines and philosophies that come from their own mind. As has been seen in ancient Israel, God spiritually blinded the congregation of that day, then He removed the truth from them, then He rejected them. God will also reject His NT churches as they head into deep apostasy 'And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, 'What is the burden (i.e., message) of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden (message)? I will forsake you, saith the Lord.' When pastors preach from their own minds, God warns them He will forsake them, He will reject these blind leaders of the blind. In this rejection every man’s message will be his own Word; it will not be the Word of the Bible. 'Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? And, What hath the Lord spoken? And the burden (message) of the Lord shall ye mention no more; for every man’s word shall be his burden (message); for ye have perverted the words of the Living God, of the LORD of hosts our God'. (Jef 23:35-36). While this is not the state of every congregation, there are many who declare not the Word of God and are deceived, blinded, and rejected. Now, the testing program that God brings upon the NT church focuses on a nation whose language the congregation does not understand. God tests the congregation through the activity of false prophets, 'If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them-—thou shalt NOT hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God PROVETH you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul'. (Deut 13:1-3). To be sure God says just prior to this in Deut 12, 'What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it'. God says man is not to add to or take away from the Word of God. When the Bible, the Word of God was competed, we find God warning again 'For I testify unto every man that hearth the words of the prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this Book.' (Rev 22:18-19). This Book can only be the Bible. An additional articulated, verbalized message from God delivered through a dream, vision, or any other means, would be an addition to the Bible. To believe these false messages are from God is to effectively worship a god other than the God of the Bible. Such a one is subject to the plagues, that is, he is under God’s wrath. Deut 13 says the false prophet is a dreamer of dreams, he is convinced he hears messages from God. If the message comes true, yet the message is not from God, and he is encouraging the people to go after a god other than the God of the Bible, then what?. Deut 13 says the prophet is to be put to death, that is how serious God is with those who deceive the congregation. Remember too, this is a test, for 'the Lord your God proveth you', he tests you to see if you will remain faithful to His Word. Here is a clue. 1 Cor 14:21 says, 'In the Law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord'. 1 Cor 14 is discussing tongues, a manifestation of the church of Corinth. Certain people would receive messages in a language (tongue) the congregation could not understand. With interpretation this was a valid spiritual event in the church of Corinth. Because these messages were from God, they were an addition to the Word of God (the NT Scripture was not completed yet). Even the apostles were able to receive direct messages from God. God mentions in the middle of this that He would speak to the people through tongues, but they would not listen. This is a reference to the law of the OT, particularly Deut 28. Moses tells Israel prior to entering the promise land they would be rebellious and be punished, Deut 28:48-49, where we read '…The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand'. This passage of the law is being referred to in 1 Cor 14 in regards to the tongues phenomenon. A final warning is given by God in Isa 28:11-12, 'For with stammering lips, and another tongue, will He speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear'. It was by this 'stammering tongue' that God indicated His anger (by bringing the Assyrians against Israel), yet they would not hear. Similarly 123 years later Judah was tested through Babylon, a heathen nation whose language they did not understand (Jer 5:15-17). God focuses on 'a nation whose language thou knowest not', the language of 1 Cor 14:21, all tie to God’s judgment on the end-time church of their day. God uses 1 Cor 12, 13, and 14 as a test for the end-time church, will they be faithful to the Word of God. Just as God made the nations of Assyria and Babylon rich, powerful, 'clothed in blue, captain and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses', to borrow Ezk 23:5-6, so too God uses a heathen congregation to entice the Israel of our day. The success of Babylon and Assyria suggested that their god was more powerful than the Jehovah God. The success of the tongues movement appears to confirm that God has blessed these churches, the power of the Holy Spirit is behind this movement. The Charismatic gospel or tongues gospel has it authority in the Bible plus the messages that supposedly come from God in a tongue, dream, vision, or voice. If this is not the true Gospel then it is a false gospel. Tongues is called a 'sign' in 1 Cor 14:22, a part of the signs and wonders of the early church. Yet, God has much to say about signs and wonders in connection with the end of time. Every reference relates to Satanic activity. For example, Mat 24:24, 'For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect'. The false prophet in the church comes with a gospel that mimics the true gospel, so much so that the elect might be fooled. 2 The 2:9 God warns of the man of sin who sits in the temple 'even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders'. In Rev 16 God speaks of satanic activity just before Judgment Day, 'For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great Day of God Almighty'. God brings His judgment upon an apostate church through gospels that feature miracles, signs and wonders, tongues. Are you surprised that these manifestations are combined with a false salvation message? Yet, Satan’s message is similar to the true salvation message, but twisted enough to make man the king and not God. Satan is the master deceiver. He is the antichrist. While churches are looking for this or that political leader to come as the antichrist, Satan has already overcome the churches with false gospels. 2 Cor 11:13-15 says, 'For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an messenger of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works'. Satan is not scared away by religious talk, by 'pleading the blood of Christ'—-this is the kind of language he speaks through ministers who follow false gospels. Satan the father of lies has blinded countless people into thinking they are serving God by serving him. This judgment upon the modern church for their adultery, the seeking after another god than the true God, is a great tribulation. As Matt 24:21 says, 'For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be'. The character of the final tribulation is not about physical persecution, or destruction of nations by conquering armies. Matt 24:21 gives some clues as to its nature: 'When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains'. The only holy place after Christ went to the cross is the body of believers as they are found in congregations or churches. The 'mountain' is the Kingdom of God. Satan is said to be ruling amongst the body of believers (or where they should be). Dan 8:13 speaks of how long '...the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?'. The sanctuary, like the 'holy place' is the body of believers, who are trodden under foot, that is, ruled over. These verses speak of the vanquishing of the true church by Satan. His ministers are ministers of unrighteousness who are false prophets (prophets declare the Word of God). These same ones 'shall shew great signs and wonders' and they will 'deceive' even to the point they could deceive God’s own elect. Remember, prior to Jesus’ return in Judgment, first 'there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God'. Satan is called the man of sin; he is typified by the king who reigned over ancient Babylon in Isaiah 14. Babylon is a type or figure of Satan’s kingdom. In verse 16, '...Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms...'. Satan rules in the church (temple) through his false ministers, becoming the object of worship as if he were God (the only true object of worship). Rev 13 speaks of the beast (Satan) who comes out of the earth, '...and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image of the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live'. The beast that was wounded by a sword is Satan. Christ destroyed Satan by going to the cross (Heb 2:14), Satan lives as a tool used by God, but his end is sure. The idea of 'to make an image' refers to idol worship, the seeking after false gospels as the children of Israel did many times. Rev 13:11 pictures the beast as having two horns like a lamb. But Christ is the Lamb, yet Satan comes with the appearance of Christ. Because the Charismatics have a different authority than the Bible alone and in its entirety they have a different gospel. Rev 22:18-19, the last verses of the last book of the Bible define the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is circumscribed by the Bible alone, the Bible is the only true divine authority. If we follow any authority, whether narrower or wider, we are not following the Gospel of the Bible. No matter how lovely, powerful, or exciting another gospel may be, if it adds or subtracts from the Gospel of Christ it is a false gospel. While signs and wonders may attest to the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement as genuine, it in actuality attests to God having blinded them to the true Gospel and their subsequent rejection and punishment for not remaining true. It is a testing program that only the elect can pass. To wrap up: It can be shown that tongues is a manifestation that is either directly from Satan, or is a learned response (many heathen religions have similar phenomena). There is a process that a person undergoes, and stumbles through to become a speaker of gibberish. The mind actually is quite capable to do this. As for visions and dreams, how do we know they are from God--because they came true? No, even if the manifestation attested to a truth if God says he has/will not speak unto a people then they must be ignored, for God is testing your faithfulness. (Deut 13:1-3) This is an important point. When God does not speak we cannot add to His revelation, it is a period of testing. Yet, God says 'Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul'. In other words, God uses such things to test our obedience to His word. He says 'What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt no add thereto, nor diminish from it'. We are not to take away nor are we to attempt to add to the words of God. God's testing program for Israel was a type of what the church would undergo in its final days—that is now. 'For the LORD you God proveth you' (or tests you) is the manner God uses to test the congregation: allowing those who say they declare the Word of God but who are in fact false prophets to be within the congregation. Should we marvel that Satan comes as a messenger of Light to deceive. That he comes bringing signs and wonders to lead astray the church. And like Israel of old, the church is beguiled by the sparkle, power, and excitement of this new god. God tests His church, as a matter of fact the testing of mankind BEGINS with the church (they should have known better). Have they harkened only to the Word of God as God commands. Sure, the believers are ultimately not fooled, they are kept safe. But the unbeliever easily abandons it all for miracles, tongues, dreams, visions-- the signs and wonders which Satan brings. It is God's test, it is how He begins the process of separating the wheat from the chaff so that when the Lord returns 'will He find faith on the earth?'. Take a good look around, where did the true church go, what replaced it seemingly overnight. The church was overrun with signs and wonders and has never looked back. God has nothing to say, it is all contained within the pages of your Bible. The next thing that God speaks will be words like thunder with flashes of lightning...that is, it is Judgment Day and God calls out the dead in Christ and the dead of spirit. There is not a chance that God speaks or communicates (tele-evenagelists included) to anyone, it is the Holy Spirit that leads us into truth, and that only by determined study of God Word! Lastly, the implication of Rev 22:18 is that those who seek these things remain under the wrath of God, and that is true. It does not mean God cannot save someone deep in sin, or course He can. It does not mean that a Christian could be off-base in thinking he received some divine information. There is a difference between being wrong about a matter and actively seeking with a determined will the magical world of signs and wonders. One is a mistake of an imperfect being; the other a lifestyle. Remember: IF God were speaking through men today it would certainly be canonical and binding on matters of faith and practice. Shall we accept God to speak and then deny its power upon us? A prophet is to be checked to see if what they say comes true, if it does not, then they are a false-prophet for God has not spoken. Yet it doesn’t end there, as we saw God has more to say concerning prophets. In the last days of Jerusalem the prophets spoke falsely, yet the church of that day was led astray. 'For both prophet and priest are polluted; even in My house [God’s church] I have found their wickedness, declares the Lord' (Jer 23:11). The problem was that God was not speaking to the people, yet the prophets made declarations anyway. To this God says, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord' (Jer 23:16). As ancient Israel was a type that foreshadowed the events which would unfold during the last days, this is given for our instruction. The wickedness that overtook the OT church is there for an example for us. 'The anger of the Lord will not turn back…in the last days you will clearly understand it'. (Jer 23:20). This comment by God is addressed to the New Testament church using National Israel as a picture of what He will do to the church today. God says, 'I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.' (Jer 23:21). This is our example. In these last days, false prophets and false christs are to arise with signs and wonders to lead astray many. This is the nature of the deception which Satan brings against the church. Just as our OT church was deluded and believed the lies of those who claimed God had spoken unto them, so today we find the same events have unfolded. God condemns the false prophets, 'But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people' (Jer 23:22). By this God means that a true prophet would have obeyed God’s council (the Word of God, i.e., the Bible) even if He was not providing utterances to the prophet. 'Behold I am against those who have prophesied false dreams…and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I DID NOT SEND THEM OR COMMAND THEM, …'. Jer 23:32) While it is correct that a true prophet’s declaration will come true, it is does not mean the church is safe. 'Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, What is the oracle?' The Lord declares, 'I shall abandon you'. (Jer 23:33) In other words, for those seeking for divine information when GOD HAS NOT SPOKEN, they shall be accursed. Those who say, 'What has the Lord answered' or 'What has the Lord spoken' (Jer 23:35), they shall be punished by God. The rule here is simple. If God has not spoken to the people, we are not to go seeking divine revelation. If we say, 'The oracle of the Lord' when God has said, 'You shall not say, 'The oracle of the Lord', then God says, 'I shall surely forget you and cast you away from my presence…and I will put an everlasting reproach on you… which will not be forgotten'. (Jer 33:39-40). This, for those who still don’t ‘get it’ is directed at the church of that day AND the church of this day. The everlasting reproach God is speaking of is the same as applies to those who seek to add to God’s revelation, Rev 22:18, '…God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book'. That is, they are under God’s wrath. There is much more that can be said, but such a long post as this doesn’t get read. Even less is it understood. We must remember that God did use prophets to speak, and that those things spoken were the Word of God and equal with all Scripture. When God says in concluding His Book we're not to add or subtract from the 'words of the book of this prophecy', He means precisely that. Anyone who receives a dream, vision, or prophecy that is supposedly from God has just added to the word of God, whether we write it down or ignore it, it is an addition to the cannon of God and is therefore an additional source of divine truth. Even if the divine utterance is Scriptural, or even a quote from the Bible itself, it still is an addition to God’s word and commanded not to be done. Even if the event comes true spoken of, if God has not spoken the prophet is still a false prophet. God says in Jer 23:18 in a rhetorical fashion 'But who has stood in the council of the Lord...who has given heed to His word and listened?'. The answer, of course: It is the believer who stands firm in the council of the Lord. The believer will not chase after false prophets, though they be so convincing that they could 'lead astray, if possible, even the elect'. Based on God’s clear warning that there is no additions to God’s word upon its completion (John’s Revelation was the end of God’s revelation, and thus with it came the warning), and that those who seek additional divine revelation from God are worthy of God’s wrath, and that we have the example of the church of Israel which disobeyed God and were destroyed. I will 'give heed to His word and listen'. God has spoken not to seek these things and that makes it more than clear for me. I could go on about the nature of the supposed revelatory gifts such as tongues, dreams, visions, prophecy which is going on in the church today… but I will leave that abomination for another time. To reiterate: If a man received what he thinks is a prophetic utterance from God, we can know with utmost certainty that whatever else it might be, it is not from God. Even if it apparently comes true. 'They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, 'The Lord declares', when the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word' (Ezekiel 13:6). Hope this gives some understanding of God's point of view. John

Subject: I don't know where to begin...
From: Eric
To: John
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 07:51:50 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
to respond to your detailed and thorough post. However, I will say that your method of biblical exegesis is unsound. Your typology of Israel and the NT church goes way to far, and you see types where none were meant. You also throw in a little bit of (dare I say dispensational-esque) eschatology that adds to the confusion. I counted 3 passages quoted from the NT, and the rest were from the OT. You did not deal with the passages that affirm the reality, and the desireability of seeking the spirirtual gifts. I will respond more fully to your post when I have time, but suffice to say, your method of biblical interpretation is so different from the Reformation principles, that I will only be able to scratch the surface in a response. God bless.

Subject: Re: I don't know where to begin...
From: John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 20:42:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Eric, Rather than scratching my supposed unsound biblical exegesis, would you rather exert effort toward explaining why you think the spiritual gifts continue today, specifically tongues? (or signs and wonders, in general). john

Subject: Re: I don't know where to begin...
From: Eric
To: John
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 17, 2000 at 05:16:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi John, First off, I really don't think that the spiritual gifts are normative, and might even be non-existent today. But, that opinion comes from my understanding of the general intent of them, as well as the past 2000 years of church history, and not from scripture. As I have pointed out, I am not Charismatic, but I don't think that a biblical case can be made to say that all purported spiritual gifts must by necessity be spurious. I meant to say in my first post that I will reply in more detail as to why I feel that cessationism is not mandated scripturally. I will try and reply in a couple of days when I have more time. BTW, I hope you weren't offended by my post to you, that wass not my intent at all. God bless.

Subject: Becoming all things to all men.
From: mebaser
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 23:52:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Greetings all in the name of Christ, It has been a long time since I have engaged in the forum discussion, but I would now like to bring up an issue that recently came to my attention. We all know the catch phrase 'I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some' that comes from 1 Corinthians 9:22. There are many who would use this passage of Scripture to justify 'adapting' the Church to the culture around it that it may be better able to relate to that culture, which in some minds would increase the positive response by the lost to the gospel. I know that most of you who participate on this forum cringe (as I do) to this form of religious pragmatism. But what then does this passage actually say in context? I believe I have a reply. The context of 1 Corinthians 9:22 is set up by verse 19 which says 'For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. Notice that Paul indicates that he, in his freedom, has made himself a slave to all, that he might win the more. The key word is the word 'slave' (Greek root: DOULOS) which emphasizes the servitude of the slave rather than his ownership. So with the emphasis on servitude, the point of the passage in question points to 'becoming all things to all men' in the sense of becoming a servant to them in the ministry of the gospel. So when Paul says, 'to the Jews I became as a Jew, … to those who are under the Law, as under the Law,… To the weak I became weak,' the Church does not need to feel that it needs to relate to the culture in order to further the gospel. Instead, the Church needs to know how it can subject itself in service to the culture around it in the ministry of the gospel. This may indeed include a sensitivity to the cultural norms and attitudes, but that does not mean that the Church needs to transform itself so that it is like the world. How do others feel about this issue? Am I looking at this passage in a clearer light than the seeker/cultural sensitive pragmatic approach? Romans 12:2 'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.' In Christ, mebaser

Subject: Re: Becoming all things to all men.
From: Jimmy
To: mebaser
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:57:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You wrote: 'We all know the catch phrase 'I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some' that comes from 1 Corinthians 9:22. There are many who would use this passage of Scripture to justify 'adapting' the Church to the culture around it that it may be better able to relate to that culture, which in some minds would increase the positive response by the lost to the gospel. I know that most of you who participate on this forum cringe (as I do) to this form of religious pragmatism.' I dare say that the 'church' as manifested in this world is totally conformed to the world culture in which it exists. You probably believe that the 'church' that you attend is the exception but I'm sure that it is not. If it is an incorporated entity it most certainly has conformed to this world system, it is simply another non-profit corporation. If it has a bank loan to build a 'house of the Lord' it has fallen even further from the New Testament, if it has conformed itself to the organizational systems of this world it has left the pattern given to Christians in the New Testament. I would be most amazed if the 'church' that you attend has very much at all in common with the church of God that we read about in the New Testament. The Church of God that we read about in the New Testament is not being manifested in this world at this time. All of the so-called 'churches' have conformed, organized themselves according to the world systems in which they exist. It's all play Christianity, counterfeit Christianity, organized Christianity, profit seeking Christianity, Christianity as business, Christianity as employer. Cringe as you might but New Testament Christianity is not being manifested by the 'church' organizations of this world. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Becoming all things to all men.
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 15:41:21 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
Your view of course must ASSUME that the church of the New Testament was a static organism <
---
-- OXYMORON. To push your methodology to its logical end, then the church of the New Testament, which by the way was the Old Testament church coming to maturity, was also 'worldly' for its members paid taxes, wore clothes, bought food at the local market, etc., etc. The New Testament church also was ridden with worldliness in that it had members which were guilty of sinning; even gross sins. Your 'claim' therefore proves to be even too much for your church and you as a person. The monasteries were a vain attempt to escape from the world, but what they failed to acknowledge was that the 'world' resides WITHIN.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Why they were persecuted
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 09:30:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
New Testament Christians, the followers of Jesus, could be easily identified. Christianity, for the first Christians, was a new way of life, a radically different way of living in this world. James 4:4 Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. The first Christians had no friendship with the world. Because they lived to please the Father and refused to participate in the things of the world and spoke out against the ways of the world they were labeled as dangerous fanatics. Because many of them declined to engage in war and considered earthy citizenship unimportant because they were citizens of heaven, they were hated by the governments of the world. Since they worshipped with neither image or shrine, they caused the priests of the temples a loss of money, they were persecuted by the religions of the world. They caused trouble wherever they went, Christianity broke up homes, setting the husband against the wife, the children against their parents, the salve against his master. Mat.10:34-38 They were opposed to the whole governmental, social, and religious systems of the world. They spoke of concepts totally foreign to the structures of the society in which they lived. They contradicted, denounced and protested in the name of God, every thing the world holds dear. Because they were so obviously different from non-Christians, they were soon called 'the third Race.' They were thought of as neither pagan or Jew, they were regarded as a race apart. Their separation from the world, their condemnation of the world made the rest of the world look upon Christians as the worst of degenerates who should be cast from society. No punishment could be too severe for these people called Christians. They were terribly persecuted by the world, yet remained true to their faith. The first Christians knew that they were joining an unpopular community and that their membership could and most probably would cost them everything. They knew that they were joining a hated minority group and that their life and liberty would always be in jeopardy. How would church membership be today if things were, as they are suppose to be, like they were in the NT? Can you imagine a government in the first century of Christianity saying, ' this would be a good religion for our country? ' Absurd! But today many governments of the world consider Christianity the 'state religion.' Why? Because today's churches are organized like the organizations of the world, they're part of the world system, in many countries they are even given special tax advantages, all the proof that is needed to see that they are valued parts of the world system. The world does not pay them for nothing! They provide a service that the world profits from. If as you say 'the church of the New Testament, which by the way was the Old Testament church coming to maturity…' then I must assume that you believe that the churches of today are the mature church of the New Testament. If that's the case then I much prefer the immature church of the New Testament to these impostors that litter the world today. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: laz
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 14:15:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hogwash Jimmy - you some kind of a pacifist? hehe! Now that I've got your dander up....actually, your disdain for 'modern Christianity' is not without merit ... but then you go off the deep (and unbiblical) end by throwing out the baby with the bathwater. You wrote: New Testament Christians, the followers of Jesus, could be easily identified. Christianity, for the first Christians, was a new way of life, a radically different way of living in this world. Agree, as this 'new way of life' was rooted in a NEW INWARD REALITY which caused them to think and live differently...transforming their lives as they grew in conformity with the Word of God....the WHOLE Word of God...not just the parts they felt were relevant. Come by my office and ask my coworkers if they think I'm 'radically different in the way I live'... some if not most would say ...'YEP, he's one of them diehard 'bible-believin' Christians'. Most will have nothing to do with what I stand for or believe...even some who call themselves 'christians'. But does that necessarily make me a true/blue believer? Don't devout Mormons and JW's take the same kind of heat for what THEY believe? Pick up the newpaper...are not fundamentalists ridiculed, marginalized? Why? Because they take the Bible seriously as the sole rule for faith and PRACTICE. The visible Church, is indeed still the object of scorn today. But then again...so are some cult groups. As for being a friend of the world....how much of an ENEMY of the world does a 'professed' christian have to be in order to be a 'possessed' Christian?. Do we need to be trouble makers in order to prove ourselves to be genuinely of the Faith? No! Sometimes we need to chill out, go about daily life working and minding our own business. 1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; ...and be at peace with all men...not be troublemakers...looking for fights or being easily offended. Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. You again wrote: Because many of them declined to engage in war and considered earthy citizenship unimportant because they were citizens of heaven, they were hated by the governments of the world. And in case you are a pacifist...read Romans 13 to see what the government's role is as ordained by God...and that we are to be the BEST of citizens... which does not mean we are necessarily 'friends' of the world....a world where Satan is worshiped as the prince of the power of the air, as altars to him and his ways are set up in every high place ... to power, sex, materialism, entertainment, pragmatism, moralism and hedonism, etc, etc, Were Joseph and Daniel...two great men and leaders of apostate kingdoms...'FRIENDS' of the world? We are citizens of BOTH planes...just as Joseph and Daniel were. We serve God and bring honor to His name by serving our fellow man as unto Him in whatever legal capacity God places us....butcher, baker, fireman, police officer, judge, soldier...etc... God's common grace is clearly manifested in the work each living person does on behalf of family, friends and society as a whole. I thank God for the dedicated pagan doctors who help keep us healthy. You wrote: They (early believers) were opposed to the whole governmental, social, and religious systems of the world. They spoke of concepts totally foreign to the structures of the society in which they lived. Gee...I thought I was doing that too!!! Do I need to be eaten by lions or sawn in two to prove it? haha! For BIBLICAL reasons, I refuse to get caught up in too many earthly/fleshly/political entanglements for the sake of it. No, my battle with 'the world' (and with many who call themselves christians) is theological and therefore SPIRITUAL. 2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; So, if you got some beef with 'Christians' or Churches, ... make sure you bring your Bible 'cause we don't take American rhetoric, human reasoning, good intentions, moralism, etc, etc. In otherwords, back up your charges with Scripture. Finally, don't be too upset that things aren't perfect in the visible Church....that heresies abound... 1Cor 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. In Him, laz

Subject: Oh, good post, Laz!
From: Anne
To: laz
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 14:27:20 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Many sound points in it, indeed. You know, something that occurred to me was that the early Christians weren't always especially visible, and anxious to be tortured and killed. Isn't that where the fish symbol came from? One person would casually draw it in the sand and see if anyone recognized its significance? Perhaps that is apocryphal, though. Well, it is why the catacombs exist, however. . . . for secret worship. However, one can make a pretty decent argument that the conversion of Emperor Constantine, so that Christianity became the ruling, state religion, was in a real sense the end of the Christian 'good old days.' Nothing corrupts like power, and unfortunately, that applies to us, too. We aren't exempt. Do you suppose there probably aren't necessarily a whole lot more Christians now than there were then, percentage-wise? Just seems like it, since Christianity is the country's unofficial, default religion? Anne

Subject: Re: Oh, good post, Laz!
From: Tom
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 15:44:40 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Anne Personally I think the visible church thrives on persecution. They don't like it, but persecution, makes the false Christians turn away and those who really are Christians, hang onto their Lord even tighter. I have read many stories about Christians in countries where to call oneself a Christian is to be persecuted. There are not a lot of professing Christians in these countries, but that shouldn't surprise anyone, should it? Tom

Subject: Right you are, Tom!
From: Anne
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 19:18:03 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
I think the visible church thrives on persecution. They don't like it, but persecution, makes the false Christians turn away and those who really are Christians, hang onto their Lord even tighter. Exactly! I'm reading John MacArthur's 'Gospel According to Jesus,' and he points out that in the beginning, when to be Christian was illegal, there was no easy-believism . . . . no sir, this was a gut-wrenching decision, since to pick up Christ's cross and follow Him could have, and very possibly would have, extraordinarily negative consequences. As Jimmy noted, it was not unusual at all for families to be split asunder over it. Things have changed in the intervening centuries, haven't they? Make no mistake, I'm weak, and with a low pain threshold, so I'm not complaining at living when and where I do. Truth is, I am not at all confidant that if someone were to come at my eyes with a hot poker, I wouldn't cave in. A very demoralising thought, but one which causes me to feel enormous respect for those who are suffering and dying for their faith. Anne

Subject: Re: Oh, good post, Laz!
From: laz
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 14:40:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
hey Anne...I added another thought to my post as you were posting your reply. hehe Good point about believers not looking for trouble...in fact, they were instructed to FLEE(Matt 10:23)!!! This fleeing being instrumental in propogating the gospel in the early days ... all them believers FLEEING for their lives! Reading history I'm inclined to think that the world is a much kinder and gentler place as a whole .... I will have to admit that many modern societies have a 'form of godliness' (while denying the power thereof -2Tim3:5)...and yes, perhaps the % of believers has remained unchanged worldwide....sorry all you 'posties' out there. hehe Blessings, laz

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Five Sola
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:53:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy, I haven't finished reading the thread so I hope I am not repeating a point someone else made later, I apologize if I am. I found some things you said perplexing... You said: 'Because they lived to please the Father and refused to participate in the things of the world and spoke out against the ways of the world they were labeled as dangerous fanatics. ' I need you to clarify this. I hope you are not implying that they separated themselves from all activities in the world (those activities not listed as sinful) for they held earthly jobs, ran business, etc. Are you simply implying that they did not involve themselves with the sinful activities of the world... then what is difference from the true church today. you said: 'Because many of them declined to engage in war... ' hmm, I don't know of any examples of them declining war or involvement in war? We know that war is acceptable in some occasions for God ordained war many times and even developed some creative attack plans/formations (book of Joshua). you said '...and considered earthy citizenship unimportant because they were citizens of heaven,... I'm not sure what you mean here. Are you simply meaning an attitude of not placing our citizenship and possesions of earth above those of heaven? I would agree with that if it is your case but one must be careful not to adopt the gnostic heresy in that view. We do know that earthly citizenship (support of a given city/state/country) is not wrong for Paul even appealed to his Roman citizenship to give him some levarage in one instance. you said: 'They caused trouble wherever they went, Christianity broke up homes, setting the husband against the wife, the children against their parents, the salve against his master. Mat.10:34-38 ' I really don't like the way this is phrased. Christianity does none of those things. If there is a situation of a marraige of a pagan and a christian then sometimes the marriage breaks up but it is always due to the pagan leaving (if the christian is obedient to the Word of God). Also issues like slave/masters, Paul even told runaway slaves to return to their masters and serve them faithfully as unto the Lord. The same with families, etc. Jimmy, it seems that you are almost (and please correct me if I am wrong) preaching that christians should be irrateable and troublemakers for its own sake. That if a christian is not being cursed, spit at, or insulted they are not proclaiming Christ enough. While I will agree with you that if we proclaim Christ as we should (which many do not) then the world WILL dislike us, even hate us, but we should always handle this in a graceful and Christlike manner. We are to be in the world but not of it. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Tom
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 14:23:23 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Jimmy I should probably stay out of this and let someone like Pilgrim answer this. However, something that comes to my mind is. Lets suppose you are correct, then logically if you follow it to its conclusions. Then there are no true Christians today. The Church is an organization made up of Christians, warts and all. Who have a common goal to honour God, through loving their God with all their mind, soul,and strength. This is done through the obedience, of the word of God. There is not a Christian on the planet that does that perfectly. But thank God, it is not us, but Christ in us, that does the sanctifying of those who belong to Him. There are both wheat and tares in Church's today, and even if one found a Church with no tares, we would be adviced not to join it, lest we ruin it. Tom

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Jimmy
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 15:38:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, You wrote: 'There are both wheat and tares in Church's today,…' But the Bible teaches that the field is the world, not the Church of God! Mat. 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; You wrote: 'The Church is an organization made up of Christians, warts and all. Who have a common goal to honour God, through loving their God with all their mind, soul, and strength. This is done through the obedience, of the word of God.' If this is done, as you say 'through the obedience, of the word of God' then they would be 'organized' according to the pattern given to us in God's word, that's obedience, but the cost is too great for today's pseudo Christian, they do not want to suffer the same consequences that God's Church suffered in the New Testament. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Tom
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 00:08:29 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Jimmy I understand your point about the field being the world. Maybe I didn't use the right alalogy to get my point accross. I will concede that to you. I probably should have used sheep and wolves. I was not talking about the field, I was talking about the Church, both universal and local. No matter where one goes, among those who call themselves Christians there are those who are true Christians and those wo are Christians in name only. If you read the epistles to the Churches you will find the same kind of thing going on even in Bible times. For example, Paul writing to rebuke and correct the Corinthian Church. You said: If this is done, as you say 'through the obedience, of the word of God' then they would be 'organized' according to the pattern given to us in God's word, that's obedience, but the cost is too great for today's pseudo Christian, they do not want to suffer the same consequences that God's Church suffered in the New Testament. Pilgrim asked you a good question concerning this, in a post below, please answer it. But I will say this, concidering you have blanketed all Churches the same way as not being obedient to the word of God. Then I take it you are saying that you are being obedient to the word of God, and nobody else is? Remember Enoch? Tom

Subject: Oh, I don't know, guys . . . .
From: Anne
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 02:12:56 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
I rather liked Jimmy's posts, and thought he scored some significant points. For one thing, it should always be humbling to realize how little our faith costs us here in America or Canada, etc. compared to either the early church, or those lambs in Indonesia today, for example. The truth is, we have it very, very easy, and really, that ought to be a cause of concern, oughtn't it? Either the populace at large has attained an unusually high state of grace -- which I take leave to doubt -- or the church has settled in comfortably and we're all (church and world) getting along like a house afire, which is not precisely what Christ seemed to have in mind. What has interested me has been the degree to which modern, Western Christians get their knickers in a twist if they face any form of perceived persecution, notwithstanding our Lord's warning that it should come with the territory. Here in the Metroplex some guy positively insisted that he gets to wear a cross pinned on his police uniform. Well, the rules are plain in that police department's dress code: no religious symbols are to be worn with the uniform. (These days, this seems prudent, I must say.) PD told him to take it off. He refused. He got fired or put on a desk job, I forget which. He sued, since his rights had been violated. He seemed like a pill to me, and I think Paul would have been disgusted with him. He thinks he's being mistreated just 'cause he has to leave off a little cross on his uniform? This is his notion of Christian persecution? Hoo, boy! Can you imagine what'd happen if the brands or lions or rack was in the offing? The American Christian response to any perceived persecution is to take the offending party to court to 1) get it stopped, and 2) maybe score some bucks. Oh, yeah, this is Scriptural! Trouble is, ISTM, Christianity has turned into the default religion . . . . unless one is active in another faith, people just sort of assume they're Christian. Which is, naturally, so much baloney, but that's what happens, I guess, when the church cozies up to the state, and becomes a seamless part of society (Christmas as a legal holiday, for instance). The World's default religion!? We really aren't doing much of a job presenting Christ to a fallen, lost world, are we? Anne

Subject: Re: Oh, I don't know, guys . . . .
From: Tom
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 11:22:54 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Anne The problem I have with Jimmy's posts on this subject, is not that we all couldn't be given a boot the pants to get us going. It is just that he seemed to be saying that there are no true churches today. Which in my oppinion is putting himself up pretty high. Maybe Jimmy's problem is one that I have, that is expressing what he has on his mind on the printed page. If that is the problem, I apologise to Jimmy right now. But I ask Jimmy to clarify his possition. Tom

Subject: Re: Oh, I don't know, guys . . . .
From: Pilgrim
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 07:36:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne,
I think we are going to have to 'butt heads' on this one dear sister. Although the 'church' in the Western Hemisphere, particularly the U.S. and Canada is probably guilty of being the most worldly, universally, nonetheless, this is no guarantee against persecution. Why is it that the church MUST be constantly and perpetually in a state of persecution by the world? Did not Israel have a relatively peaceful existence for periods of time? And was this not due to God's providence? Think about it for a moment! The founders of the United States originally came there to escape the domination of the State and to be able to freely express worship to God as Christians. Christianity for a short time was the ONLY religion among the civilized residents. And let's not forget, that the influence of Christianity had lasting affects upon all of Europe for centuries. NO, I am NOT saying that Europe was 'Christian'. Nor am I even suggesting that Christians weren't persecuted even during the 'best of times'. What I'm saying is that as Christ promised that He would build His church, in doing so, the world would be positively influenced and the blatant murder and eradication of Christians would not be the 'rigor de jeure'. My point here is that Christianity, due to God's providential care and direction has been a great influence in the moral development of the U.S. and Canada. One need only to look at the health care, education, criminal laws, etc., etc. to see that influence. Let's also remember, that persecution comes in various forms. And also remember that there are laws to be observed by the citizens of these two countries, one of which is the 'Separation of Church and State'. The 'troops' just can't march in to a church on Sunday morning and throw all the people in jail because they are refusing to bow down before Bill Clinton and proclaim him God. (He does that for himself, hehe)! There are some people who will go out of their way to find someone to persecute them. But try telling your present or a prospective employer that you don't work on the Lord's Day and see what happens! Ask any Christian doctor what happens when you refuse to perform abortions. [Actual situation here at the local hospital where a group of doctor's (some Christian some not) refused to do abortions. The government immediately removed the hospital's Board of Directors, who refused to penalize those doctors, and replaced it with a group of people who advocated a Pro-Choice position. These same doctors still refuse to obey the hospital policy to perform requested/needed abortions. Some have lost 'hospital privileges'.] And there are some of us even today, who have been and will be put into jail due to our Christian convictions. Thus, if Christians lived perfectly in this life; conforming themselves to every jot and tittle of the law [of course, then they would be equal to the Lord Christ], then would they all necessarily be executed? I think not! Would they suffer persecution? Surely, but as to how and to what degree, that is something GOD would determine, not the world around them. There is currently much persecution going on, but perhaps it isn't the 'type' of persecution you or Jimmy think it should be, but rather it is exactly what God has determined it would be so that the Kingdom of God continues to be established in the hearts of men. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Now, did I say that?
From: Anne
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 08:53:50 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Well, I wasn't actually proposing we all head off to locate the nearest lions' den and march into it, you realize. ;-> It puzzles me, however, when Scripture says in words too clear to be mistaken that God's elect and The World will be at loggerheads, but we Christians react with stunned surprise and dismay when it happens. You are, it seems, surprised at the board of directors at that hospital being replaced. I'm not. Par for the course, human nature being what it is. Trouble is, I guess, is that I'm not at all certain everything's going to just keep on getting better and better from here on in. As you correctly pointed out, the USA was partly established just for the sake of Christian freedom (and partly so younger English sons, etc. could own property and make some moolah . . . . let's not forget the financial realities) . . . . two hundred plus years later, how does this seem to be working out? The church has conformed to The World, that's how, and true Christians are still the minority. We certainly have a hard time accepting that, though. Ciao! Anne

Subject: Re: Now, did I say that?
From: Pilgrim
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 16:59:47 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne,
Actually, I was NOT surprised at all that the hospital Board of Directors was replaced with a bunch of godless, left-wing feminist promoting atheists, who were more than willing to try and force the and of the dissenting doctors. :-) But, although one isn't surprised, or at least shouldn't be at such things, does that mean that we shouldn't be upset when it does happen? When one comes to the place where the doctrine of Total Depravity is REALLY understood, nothing comes as a surprise when it comes to the immorality men do. Yet, one should be 'moved' and passionately at these same things, for the honor and name of God is thereby defamed. I agree whole heartedly with you concerning the future decline of the human race. Being an A-millennialist (labeled a pessimist by Posties but especially Reconstructionists), I take seriously the words of the Lord Christ:
Luke 18:8 'I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?'
And again,
Mark 13:22 'For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.'
Tribulation will surely be the lot of all true Christians. However, we must not try to put ALL Christians into the same box. For the Lord God can surely preserve some from severe persecution, as He has surely done in throughout history. Such preservation should never be construed by any of us as a sign of a person's lack of commitment or spirituality. As laz pointed out, one does not have to be a Christian to suffer persecution! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:21:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
You responded to Tom with:
'. . . then they would be 'organized' according to the pattern given to us in God's word, that's obedience, . . .'
Doubtless two major questions need to be asked therefore:
  1. What do you suggest is the 'pattern given to us in God's word'?
  2. Obedience to what exactly?
Of course there is that other matter about Christians who are yet 'living in the world' but are 'not of the world' (Joh 17:13-16). As I mentioned in my first reply to you, Christians, as long as their are in their physical bodies are commanded to live in the world and to cooperate with the world without being a partaker of the SIN of the world, e.g., paying taxes, showing obedience to the civil authorities, etc. You haven't replied to this yet, but perhaps you can include that when you answer the two questions above?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 13:32:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
The mass of denominations today are NOT the 'true church', and therefore I could easily agree with your disparaging remarks toward them. However, I can just as quickly affirm that there ARE congregations today that reflect the Spirit of the New Testament church as they are members of the Body of Christ. One need not walk around in a plain and tattered gown and sandals, speaking in pietistic 'god words' before one is living the true Christian life. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 14:28:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I assume that you believe that your congregation is the 'true church' that it is not like all the other denominations that are not the 'true church.' You apparently believe that your congregation is one of the few that 'reflect the Spirit of the New Testament.' I have no idea as to what you mean by 'reflect the Spirit of the New Testament.' That sounds to me like just more theological double-speak a double-speak that has no real meaning at all. It's so easy to talk about the spirit of a thing but the spirit of a thing is manifested in this world physically, and I doubt very much that your church manifests the Spirit of the New Testament, if it did, you would be running for your life. The world would attack it like a cancer, do all in its power to remove it, treat it just as the world treated the Church of God in the New Testament. Or, do you believe that the world is no longer at enmity with God? If the Church is truly being manifested as the Body of Christ in this world, then it will most certainly be treated as He was treated. Blood is the foundation of the Christianity of the New Testament. Christianity brings opposition from the world, because it is the truth, because it is the truth and it is in the world. Jesus Christ, the Truth, lived a life of suffering and the Blood of Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity. Blood was the means by which Christianity spread throughout the world, it was spread by disciples who were willing to suffer everything for the truth, the truth of Christianity. They suffered in this world, they sacrificed life and blood for the truth. Christianity spread through the world with the blood of the disciples of Christ, the martyrs for the truth. I don't think that we need to worry about preaches walking about in 'a plain and tattered gown and sandals' there's way to much money available to religion for that. Jesus said to the Pharisees: LUK 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Today, preaching is accepted as a legitimate profession by the world. Many preachers are even called upon to 'sanctify' and 'bless' the things of the world. Most preachers today are, like the Pharisees, highly esteemed among men. They and there churches are even subsidized, one way or another, by the governments of man. Christianity which belongs to a kingdom that is not of this world does not need, seek or want to be authorized by the world system. Government authorization, instead of being a badge of genuineness, should be a sign of worldliness because it means that 'Christianity' is being accepted along with all the other religions that the world has. Today's 'churches' are a 'culture-religion.' They are a marriage of 'church' and world. It is professing Christians giving in to a culture, giving in to a world system. Joining the world instead of separating from the world. Making friends with the world instead of being at enmity with the world. Compromising with the world instead of confronting the world. They talk about the separation of the church and state, the church and the world while they depend upon tax deductions. If there were no deductions allowed, what would happen to their 'churches'? How would they function with annual taxes on their 'church' properties, 'ministries', and investments? Without a favored position in the political and economic systems of the world, most of what we now know as organizational Christianity would not and could not exist. You can't have the 'Spirit of the New Testament church' without physically being like the New Testament church, the New Testaments is the pattern, it shows us the way that Christians are to live together in this world, I truly doubt that your congregation has very much at all in common with the congregations of the New Testament. Unless, of course, you spiritualize everything :o) Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 19:30:10 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
Well, this all sounds like a bunch of 'Martyrdom Double Talk' to me! :-) From all that you have said about the necessity of true Christians and the 'true church' being constantly and perpetually persecuted, can I then assume that you are presently in prison somewhere because of the lone fact that you profess to love the Lord Christ? If not, then perhaps you are not a 'true Christian'? Or perhaps even more, you are a hater of God and the followers of Christ and are trying desperately to discredit them with a false understanding of what the true Church of the Living Christ is? Or. . .??? Just exactly are you trying to prove and/or say? To answer your question, even though I suspect it was derogatory and rhetorical, if I believe my congregation and/or church is the true church? No, I don't believe 'my church' is the 'true church', for the True Church is catholic (universal) made of justified sinners from every tongue, tribe and nation.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 09:05:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I don't have the time right now to answer all the responses to my posts but I really feel the need to respond to this one of yours. You wrote: If not, then perhaps you are not a 'true Christian'? Or perhaps even more, you are a hater of God and the followers of Christ and are trying desperately to discredit them with a false understanding of what the true Church of the Living Christ is? Or. . .??? Just exactly are you trying to prove and/or say? I think that you prove the points that I'm trying to make when you imply that I'm 'a hater of God and the followers of Christ' As soon as a person points out that the churches have little in common with those of the New Testament, they are condemned, first with a questioning of their salvation, followed by name calling, then condemnation as evil doers, and finally, as the history of counterfeit Christianity so vividly shows us, persecution by those that call themselves Christians. Thankfully, today they cannot get away with burning or drowning those that disagree with them and that's a real good thing as your post shows. What you are calling Christianity is not Christianity, it is a manmade copy of Christianity. Christianity has been all but destroyed by religious bureaucrats. The 'Pharisees' are alive and well today, and just as they took control of Judaism they have taken control of Christianity and turned it into something other than Christianity. Every congregation that copies the organizational systems of the world is a 'Pharisee' led congregation. The Church of God is not being manifested in this world, it is all play, all religious self-righteousness. All make believe, a never ending stream of words that carry no power, an endless straining at gnats. You ask: 'Just exactly what are you trying to prove and/or say?' I'm simply responding to mebaser's original post. From your posts I see that you defend the status quo. Perhaps you have good reason for doing that! I would suppose that you are deeply committed to the false Christianity of today and will attack anyone that would question it. How anyone can read the New Testament and still believe that today's organized Christianity is the legitimate offspring of the New Testament Church of God is beyond me. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 17:16:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
Your altruism isn't going to cut it here! :-) And misquoting me and trying to put words in my mouth so as to martyr yourself on the pyre of false piety isn't going to cut it either! :-) Your salvation was no where labeled as being spurious. I simply asked a series of possibilities that may be true and then asked you directly, what exactly it you are trying to say and/or accomplish. Because I reject your extremism doesn't automatically equate to upholding the majority of modern 'churchianity'! In fact, I disdain many of the churches and their theology, practices, morals, etc., etc. Your blanket accusations are first of all, unbiblically based and illogical. Again, IF what you say is true concerning the entire modern church, in all places, then just who do you say that YOU are? This might be construed as one having a Messianic delusion? Thirdly, you didn't answer any of my questions, but simply wrote them off because you claim 'you don't have the time right now!' Come on Jimmy, did you really expect that your extremist comments were going to go without rebuttal? And just because someone disagrees with YOUR unbiblical notions doesn't mean they are not followers of the Lord Christ. That's caustic and arrogant at best. How about giving some concrete examples of your claims and drop the summary condemnations so that we can respond intelligently to them; either by agreeing or disagreeing? Invariably, those who choose to get up on their own soap boxes, usually do so much too quickly and end up slipping off and suffering from the painful fall that ensues. So, are you going to reply intelligently, or are you going to continue to run off at the mouth, making unsubstantiated claims against EVERY local church and EVERY professing believer? EXCEPT FOR YOURSELF of course! hehehe.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: Jimmy
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 00:04:33 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, You wrote: ' Your salvation was no where labeled as being spurious. I simply asked a series of possibilities that may be true and then asked you directly, what exactly it you are trying to say and/or accomplish.' When you say to someone, as you said to me, in your post, and I quote: 'If not, then perhaps you are not a 'true Christian'? Or perhaps even more, you are a hater of God and the followers of Christ and are trying desperately to discredit them with a false understanding of what the true Church of the Living Christ is? Or. . .??? Just exactly are you trying to prove and/or say?' These are not doctrinal question but personal attack's, they are very 'spurious' indeed, designed to cast doubt upon my salvation. Instead of asking me if I were a Christian, you say, '…perhaps you are not a 'true Christian' then as if that's not enough to sow your seeds of doubt about me you imply that I'm not only not a Christian but I may even hate God! You wrote: ' Because I reject your extremism doesn't automatically equate to upholding the majority of modern 'churchianity'! In fact, I disdain many of the churches and their theology, practices, morals, etc., etc. Your blanket accusations are first of all, unbiblically based and illogical.' I'm not being anymore 'extreme' than the New Testament, nor do I believe that my accusations are unbilical or illogical. Even a person with just a minimal understanding of the New Testament can see that what is called the church today has very little in common with the church of God they read about in the New Testament. You apparently believe that the Church of the New Testament has 'matured' into this many headed monster that we see today. You support the status quo, proclaim that even though your church is not really the 'true church' it is the church of God. You make no sense at all. On the one hand yours is not the 'true church' and on the other you proclaim that it is. It is true that the universal church includes all Christians in all places and at all times but that does not mean that the Church of God is not to have a physical manifestation in the here and now and in order for that to be then the people of God must follow the pattern for the manifestation of the church given in the New Testament. You wrote: ' Thirdly, you didn't answer any of my questions, but simply wrote them off because you claim 'you don't have the time right now!'' Here again you attack my character, you imply that I lied when I said that I did not have the time to answer the posts. I did not lie, I left for the day right after my post to you. I've been out all day, and I will be out all day tomorrow, I still don't have time to answer all the posts to me, I've read them, and appreciate them, but I can't answer them right now. I'm not really sure what you are asking me. Paul laid out exactly how the Church of God was to be manifested on this earth, even down to what we are to call ourselves in the communities of the world that we are in. We are to be separate communities within the communities of the world, in the world but not of it, this is corporal and not just individual. You wrote: ' Again, IF what you say is true concerning the entire modern church, in all places, then just who do you say that YOU are? This might be construed as one having a Messianic delusion? I'm just a sinner saved by grace, praise His Holy Name. I'm sin from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head. If God almighty does not save me I'm without hope. Again, you take the personal route, and try to make out that I have some kind of 'Messianic delusion' because I attack the false Christianity that has been used by the 'Pharisees' of today to usurp the church of the New Testament. You wrote: ' So, are you going to reply intelligently, or are you going to continue to run off at the mouth, making unsubstantiated claims against EVERY local church and EVERY professing believer? EXCEPT FOR YOURSELF of course! hehehe.' I simply don't understand what you are asking me to do, the question of this thread was about whether or not people on this forum believed that the church had become all things to all men and thereby joined the world. I believe that it has, that's all that I've been saying. You on the other hand seem to believe that the church of today is the New Testament Church matured, or that the 'true church' is not really suppose to exist physically, that it is only suppose to be some kind of 'spiritual' church. The Church of God as described in His Holy Word is not being manifested in most of the communities of the world, that's all I'm saying. It is not being manifested in the communities of the world because a counterfeit church system has been created by 'Pharisees' who rule over it and divide up the people of God as spoil. Sincerely, Jimmy

Subject: More Rhetoric? How about Answers?
From: Pilgrim
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 09:42:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy,
Same old rhetoric!?? Your reply sounds so much like someone running for a political office; general statements without substance, out cries against vicious and unwarranted personal attacks, sweeping condemnations against your 'opponent', etc., etc,! Does the word, IF mean anything to you? May I suggest you reread all or any of my replies to you and notice the prolific usage of this word. Now here's a fine example of your summary condemnation of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ:
'The Church of God as described in His Holy Word is not being manifested in most of the communities of the world, that's all I'm saying. It is not being manifested in the communities of the world because a counterfeit church system has been created by 'Pharisees' who rule over it and divide up the people of God as spoil.'
Here you have clearly tempered your previous universal criticism, for you have used the word most where before it was all. But again, you only condemn and give nothing by way of example in either the specific worldliness etc., which you claim the modern church as a whole is guilty of. Nor do you offer, since you have changed the all to most, any example of one of these groups that evidently you do recognize as existing that clearly manifest the true church of God. Since you didn't like being singled out as being the ONLY true Christian as opposed to every person who professes faith in Christ, perhaps you will now reply with specific illustrations from one of these 'exempt' groups as to how they are manifesting the biblical model? Lastly, I have consistently asked you, as I have done yet again here, for biblical texts, examples etc. that would support and illustrate your extremist charges and claims. But all we get by way of reply is more of the same unsubstantiated and caustic condemnations of all churches in all places. Here again are your words:
'I'm not really sure what you are asking me. Paul laid out exactly how the Church of God was to be manifested on this earth, even down to what we are to call ourselves in the communities of the world that we are in. We are to be separate communities within the communities of the world, in the world but not of it, this is corporal and not just individual.'
Okay, show me (us) specifically some of these passages where Paul 'laid out exactly how the Church of God was to be manifested on earth. . . etc.'Oh, yes just in passing, it is rather peculiar that you didn't have time to reply to my specific questions, but you DID have time to write more rhetoric? All I, we want is some substance and support for your claims from Scripture and by example. Can you do this? In His Grace, Pilgrim 'It is an inexpressible grief to me to see the church spending its energies in a vain attempt to lower its testimony to suit the ever-changing sentiment of the world about it.' — Benjamin B. Warfield Was B.B. Warfield one of those 'Pharisees' which have made spoil of the people of God, etc.?

Subject: Re: Why they were persecuted
From: lurker Jr
To: Jimmy
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 09:16:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Jimmy - I would be very interested in finding a 'true church' and true 'first century' style believers...and what exactly do they believe doctrinally...about simple things such as grace, faith, and the Bible (where we learn of such things so despised by the 'world'). Can you help? lurker jr

Subject: Re: Becoming all things to all men.
From: Tom
To: mebaser
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 00:43:54 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Mebaser First of all let me say welcome back, it is good to see you post again :-) I am not the best one to answer your question, but let me say this. I am involved in native ministry, and one thing I have found out about ministering to native people, is that one must know what is culture with the native people and what isn't. For instance, almost every native person I minister to have almost no concept of time. In other words, if you ask them to meet you for coffee at 10:00 AM at Tim Hortons (Canadian dounut shop)don't be surprised if they show up at least 10 minutes late. I have talked to missionaries who minister to natives all the time, and they tell me, it is a cultural thing, they are not doing it for spite or to be impolite. Another thing, that I have had to adapt to, is to be patient and don't get discouraged, sometimes it seems like I am waisting my time, while ministering to the native people. Don't get me wrong, I have seen spiritual growth in some of the native people, but it is slower going than I would like it to be. I guess that is one part that humbles me, every time I get discouraged and start to pray about the issue. I am reminded of just how much patience God must have for me. I don't know about you, but that has a tendancy to spur me to a closer walk with my Lord. I realise that I haven't been much help biblically, but I hope what I have said is somehow helpful. Tom

Subject: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-)
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 08:12:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
You wrote, I have talked to missionaries who minister to natives all the time, and they tell me, it is a cultural thing, they are not doing it for spite or to be impolite.' I must confess that when I read this my blood began to boil. [this is called hyperbole Tom :-)]. This is nothing less than making excuses for 'poor native people' or more modern, being 'Politically Correct'. This is a vain attempt to cover up the sin of irresponsibility. Pleeeeeeeeease, 'almost no concept of time'??? I couldn't care less what culture a person belongs to, if they agree to meet someone at a specific location and at a prearranged time, then they are obligated to be there, barring some disaster or emergency. I know you have committed yourself to some form of ministry to the 'Natives' in your area, and as I have said before I now say again that I hope your efforts will be fruitful. But don't 'wink' at sin; not ever! Once you start down that road, it is almost impossible to turn back. Everyone becomes a 'victim' and blameless for their condition, etc. The Lord Christ came to call SINNERS to repentance, i.e., those who by the inner working of the Holy Spirit KNOW they are sinners. And what is the MEANS that the Spirit uses to accomplish this initial work? ah.. . . THE LAW OF GOD! Exposing sin will never make you popular, but it will be pleasing to God. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-)
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 10:39:02 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim I agree that it is sin, and I didn't say that you couldn't tell them what you think about them being late. However, I can tell you from both the experience of missionaries and myself. If one gets upset, and stops ministering to the native people because of things like that. You might as well stop ministering to them. Hopefully down the road in their spiritual walk, this sin will stop, but it is not going to detour me from trying to minister to them. Tom

Subject: Re: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-)
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:45:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim I agree that it is sin, and I didn't say that you couldn't tell them what you think about them being late. However, I can tell you from both the experience of missionaries and myself. If one gets upset, and stops ministering to the native people because of things like that. You might as well stop ministering to them. Hopefully down the road in their spiritual walk, this sin will stop, but it is not going to detour me from trying to minister to them. Tom
---
Tom,
I never even hinted that you should 'stop ministering to them' over this specific thing! :-) What I am opposed to is the reticent tendency of many missionaries to 'look the other way' at the sins of people and even accept such things as being just part and parcel of a different cultural heritage. In business, e.g., if someone were to make an appointment with me for a specific time and failed to show or came late on a regular basis (yes, this has happened) I would refuse to do business with that person. At the least, making good on one's word is should be considered a matter of courtesy. In ministry, there are millions of people who are needy of hearing the gospel. Playing 'games' with people who are not interested enough to even treat you with respect is a waste of time, IMHO. :-) Again, notice that I have NEVER suggested that an entire 'people' be forsaken because they are less than courteous or respectful. The reference was to INDIVIDUALS.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: An aside for Tom. . . Sorry! :-)
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 13:53:43 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim I think the difference lies in that, for most native people they don't see a problem being late for an appointment. They do it all the time to each other, and they are not offended by it. In fact they expect it. As to your example about business appointments. I would agree with you, after telling them your concerns about them being late. If they continue to be late, then I would have to say that it is more than just a cultural thing. In business, sometimes time is money. Tom However the problem comes when two cultures collide. In my oppinion, this is where we need to have a little give and take. As a side note, in some of my conversations with native people, they find a lot of things that go on in white man culture to be strange. Actually, we have had a good laugh at the differences. In a way it is quite comical to look at a situation, through the eyes of a different culture. Bottom line to me, when run up against something that may be cultural. Is I ask myself, is this person deliberately sinning or is it something from their culture that is just different from mine? I do however think it is good to be honest and keep the lines of communication going. Sometimes it becomes eye opening to both side, when done in respect.

Subject: Now that's a good strategy!
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 09:36:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Missionary: I will meet you in the center of the village at Noon. Native: Okay. 12:10 p.m. Missionary: How dare you sin against me native, you told me you were going to meet me here at noon, repent of your sin, you liar! When you tell me you will meet me at a certain time, it is a sin against the Most Holy God to be late! Native: But sir, in my land, when we agree to meet at a given time, it is understood that we will be there around that time. After all sir, what possible difference can 10 minutes make either way? I mean, we really do things a little bit differently here than you Westerners are used to. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful of you sir. Missionary: I don't care how you used to do things. It doesn't matter that you didn't mean to mislead me, you sinned sir, and I am calling you to repent of that sin. Native: I am sorry I offended you. Now, can you please continue telling me about this man Jesus who came to earth, and poured out his life in love? Now that's how missions is supposed to be done!

Subject: Re: Now that's a good strategy!
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:47:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
Now that's plain ignorant!
Pilgrim

Subject: I'm glad you realize that now. n/t lol
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 12:52:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
zzzz

Subject: taking a risk
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:38:04 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
I was following Tom's thread in regards to woman in leadership roles of the church. What I found were some pat replies to the issue of cultural relevance in scripture. I whole heartedly agree that there is serious danger in this approach to God's word. It reeks of dispensational error. I would like to point out some issues to ponder for all who are curious. I will start with a little background. From my first becoming a Christian until about 2 years ago I dogmatical disaproved of women in a leadership position. I still know all of the arguments against it quite well. That is why the thread peeked my interest. I was curious to see if any new infromation in regards to the issue had arisen. I found none. What I would like all to consider is a couple of issues in scripture that have made me to question the validity of my writing off women in leadership roles as utterly anti and non scriptural. I was faced with two particular instances in scripture. One is Debora the judge. I will let you read the scriptures revolving around her ascension to power of Israel on your own. But I do know that she came to that position as a result of there being no men who God could use and God wanting to make a point. Now I do agree that this CAN be a one time deal. But one must honestly confess that both sides must imply their personal views on this issue. The second section is Priscilla and Acquilla. Mainly when THEY corrected Apollos. Once again I would ask that you read the passage in Acts yourself. I do not desire to taint ones understanding of this passage with my opinion. With those two instances in mind we must come to believe whether or not they are exceptions or rules. Prayer is very helpful in this matter. But one must also keep them in mind when reading 1 Timothy chapter 2. If Paul is telling Timothy that women are not to teach men then Priscilla was in error in sharing along with her husband the deeper issues of the Holy Spirit with Apollos. But here is what we know about the time Paul was writing Timothy. His own letter makes them apparent. THere were many false teachings going around. There were many unqualified men attempting to teach the church and falling into ruin through pride. Paul had already warned Timothy of believing no other doctrine but the one Paul told him. So here is a pastoral letter sent to encourage and instruct young Timothy. Paul, in the context of this letter, tells Timothy there is much error spreading and for this reason a woman should not teach. Why? Because of the nature of man versus woman. According to Paul, who turns to creation for his defense, if was Eve, not Adam, who was decieved. It has less to do with the order of creation. Adam was commanded to not disobey. It has more to do with the fact that Paul teaches us that woman is more susectible to temptation than man. For it was not Adam who was deceived but Eve. So Paul is basically setting up a guideline. As a rule women are not to instruct men due to the fact that deception plays more easily on them than men. But there are exceptions to this rule, otherwise surely God would have given us an account of Paul rebuking Priscilla for her hand in instructing Apollos, but we rather find Paul commending both husband and wife for their great faith and work in the Lord. So in the rare instance that a man is incapable of leading it may be done by a husband and wife. And I would allow for the extremely rare case of a sole female (chaste and unmarried) and that would be the shame of the men of that particular congregation just as it was the shame of Israel when Debra told them to remember that this day a woman led them into battle. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss PS One last thing. I hope that no one harps at me as being chauvenistic in the view I put forth of woman being easier to deceive than man. I firmly believe that when Eve was tempted and failed that Adam was right behind her and did nothing to stop it. The bible says that Eve turn to Adam. She did not have to seek him out. In a simply phrase, women are more apt to fall into error by temptation while men are mor apt to fall into error by sheer rebellion.

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: laz
To: kevin
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:33:16 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
DIE, YOU HERETICAL SCUM!!!!!!!!! hehe Interesting perspective. In the OT...a horrible situation is being described here by: Isa 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. I say that Deborah was the 'civil' leader for a spell in order to perhaps SHAME the nation? She was not, however, part of the ecclesiastical leadership during the Israeli theocracy, NOT part of the priesthood, the contemporary and functional equivalent of ordained MEN in the Church. I see description and not PRESCRIPTION with the Deborah matter. She simply made all the men of Israel look weak and pathetic....and rightly so! ;-) As for women teaching within the Church ... they do it all the time....to kids and other women, it's called Sunday school, Bible study, etc ... but never to the broader audience (the entire Church) at least not about doctrinal matters. Men are to be leading worship, preaching...standing in as Christ's undershepherds. Q: Don't major reformed seminaries hire women professors of theology, Church history, etc? Are seminaries considered 'outside' Church? As for Pricilla/Aquilla jointly teaching ... here's a weak argument...the two shall become ONE...the two WERE one flesh...as a married couple. Therefore, I see no issue with my wife and I jointly leading a coed Bible study...me as the man being the team lead of course. I see no issue with a wife sharing the gospel or even teaching ALONG with her husband (but under his headship) in their homes. Does this make the wife an elder, teacher, preacher? Not in my book. She is to be under the authority of her hubby (at home) and elders (at church). laz

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: kevin
To: laz
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 15:11:52 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Save your wood I always bring my own when it is time to be roasted.;) Your question is a good one and I never really paid much attention to that. Probably because I am merely an ignorant bafoon with a liberal arts bachelors. (You do not know flesh burning until you major in Theatre and everyone knows you are not only a Republican but also a Christian {being a Calvinist did not help matters either}) As to your 'weak argument' of being one. I honestly find truth in that statement. I personally believe it actually supports what I have stated a little more clearly. Now we can arrive at different understandings in the end, but I do still believe that there is enough evidence allowing a husband and wife to be leaders of a church. (and if anyone is married they will know that even if it is just the husband he does precious little without his wife) That is not a full blown rib to married people, present company included, but I know that I personally seek my wife's counsel on many issues. Bottom line it is my decision to make but Solomon was no fool when he wrote 2 are better than 1. One more thing to consider in this treatment. I have read some reformed writings trying to understand prophesying in the NT as pretty much expounding scripture. Now I do not neccesarily agree with that, but I do find it interesting that Philip had how many daughters and what did they do? Paul also does not discrimenate in the spiritual gift field either. Well that is some more of my two cents. I guess I will be getting change back. Or maybe even a refund. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: Anne
To: kevin
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:17:54 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
But, Kevin, Priscilla was in her own home, not teaching officially in the syngogue or church. Possibly there are those who would frown on her doing this, but I don't know them. Scripture is plain that we females are to pray , sing, etc. in church, and evangelize and such outside of it. It's just church leadership that is forbidden. And about Deborah . . . . Scripture says (Judges 4:1-4): 'After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the LORD. So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help. Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.' Deborah's reign, for lack of a better word, took place during a time of the Lord's judgment on Israel. . . . . while she was judge the people were crying to the Lord for help. Not because of the job she was doing judging, mind you, but still . . . . the only time a woman sat as judge was during a time of oppression. And I honestly don't think you are paying enough attention to this bit: 'Very well,' Deborah said, 'I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman.' This can hardly be construed as a ringing endorsement of female leadership, and it is Deborah making this observation! Okay, she'll do it, but it isn't anything for Israel to be proud of, or that's going to lead to honor for Israel, she seems to say. I'm always a little perplexed when egals haul Deborah out as an example of how God thinks female leadership in the church is just ducky-doodles. Deborah, herself, didn't seem to think of it that way. Ciao! Anne

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: kevin
To: Anne
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 15:04:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne, Thank you for your reply. I agree that Debra is a weak argument for setting up female leadership as a rule. But I think there is an issue in it that I did address in my original post. As for Priscilla it says that she and Aquilla took Apollos aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Now I know that says nothing definite about location. But there were no 'churches' at that time (not intended to be condescending) and for the Jews it was unheard of even allowing women to teach. Look at Jesus' ministry and how He was treated because He served women. But I still believe that the example given to us in the scriptures in Priscilla and Aquilla plus Pauls commendation for them is proof enough to allow a husband/wife leadership in the church. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: Pilgrim
To: kevin
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 18:16:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
kevin,
You wrote in your first message, in so many words, that all that you basically hear/read from those who oppose women in ecclesiastical office is the same old arguments. But sir, if their arguments are the ones that Scripture gives and they are true truth, then why would anyone need to come up with something 'new'? By analogy, since the Scriptures teach the doctrine of Sola Fide (Justification by Faith alone), is there some necessity for us to fabricate some clever or new argument to defend it? Hardly! The Scriptures are the 'sole and final authority in all matters of faith and practice.' Secondly, the arguments against using Deborah as a paradigm for allowing women to occupy official positions within the church given above are I think sufficient by themselves. However, I would like to add another, if I may. The issue for me is a hermeneutical one; and a fundamental axiom at that. The New Testament always interprets the Old Testament. And the N.T. is clear that only men are to occupy the offices of elder and deacon in the church (1Tim 2:12-3:13 and Titus 1:5-9). A further hermeneutical issue is that these texts are dealing specifically with office bearers and the qualifications which must be met by those who are appointed to those positions. It is not necessary to speculate, formulate or devastate those passages to try and make them apply to who is to serve as an elder or deacon. These are didactically written words and are exacting instructions. However, the situation with Aquila and Priscilla is written as a historical account, with no mention whatsoever of the capacity of either in regards to whether they, he or she held any office in the church. You mentioned as an aside that at that time there were no churches formed. Accepting that as being true, for the sake of argument, then that actually gives more support to the position that women are not to be appointed nor take upon themselves any official position of authority within the church. For Priscilla's co-ministry with Aquila her husband is irrelevant, since if there were no churches, then there were no office bearers ruling them. Again, the hermeneutical issue comes to bear, due to the fact that the Pastoral Epistles were written at a much later date than this situation of Aquila and Priscilla. And therefore, they must take precedence over whatever a priori arguments one might choose to use. The onus, I believe, surely falls upon yourself and all who have dismissed Paul's explicit injunctions concerning office bearers and their qualifications as being unsubstantive to show even ONE example where a woman actually served as an elder and/or deacon in the church. Further is there any pedagogical passage that speaks explicitly to the matter of who is qualified to serve as an elder or deacon other than the two I quoted above and which clearly show that women not only can but should serve in the church of Christ as an elder or deacon? If there are no men in an assembly to serve as an elder, then there can be no church. Pragmatism cannot justify transgressing what is clearly taught concerning office bearers in the church. Further, this type or 'reasoning' additionally subverts the sovereignty of God and the present and real providential administration of the church by the Holy Spirit, who alone distributes the gifts necessary for one to serve in the church.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: kevin
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 11:25:28 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
Pilgrim, I understand your position quite well. I struggle still with the issue. I did not use Deborah as an example, except in an instance of God raising up a woman to the shame of men. That is quite in line with the scripture. I even stated that it would be an extremely rare situation for such to occur. Secondly, I fail to see the argument against the Priscilla/Aquilla ministry from the pastorals. I know you do not truly mean that the two of them were not ministering when Paul wrote his pastorals. I also understand the issue bearing on 1 Timothy. But it is not that I am rejecting the scripture. I am simply stating that the scriptures do not speak against a husband/wife leadership in the church. For more clarity I would like you to know that it is not that I decided to think that a woman could teach alongside her husband on a whim or out of conformity to some social norm of the day. I strongly disagree with a female as the sole leader of a church. Having firmly believed that the view that no woman should ever teach under any circumstance at one time is where I come from. It was not that someone challenged my view. It was when I sought to better understand why. I applaud Grudem and Piper for their treatment on the issue in Rediscovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. But until someone can prove definitely from the scriptures that Priscilla was in the wrong for teaching, alongside her husband, Apollos deeper things of the Spirit then I beleive that my stance remains grounded in the word of God. I appreciate your reply and concern in this matter. We simply do not agree on this (and I am sure it is one of the few) particular issue. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss

Subject: Re: taking a risk
From: Pilgrim
To: kevin
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 17:33:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
kevin,
You are certainly entitled to believe what you want! :-) However, it appears, at least to me and all those who reject any notion of a woman serving as an office-bearer in the church of Christ, that Aquila is no where said to have been an ordained elder in a congregation. It seems that this couple had an itinerant ministry, perhaps analogous to our modern missionaries, and came upon Apollos in their travels. Thus, I certainly won't disagree with you that Priscilla was not violating any Scriptural commandment concerning her teaching along side her husband. But in no way is it logical to then jump to a conclusion and doctrine that women are therefore qualified to be 'co-pastors,' 'co-elders,' or 'co-deacons' in conjunction with their husbands who have been ordained to those positions. However, for some reason you seemed to miss my point concerning the historicity of Paul's 'Pastoral Epistles'. The qualifications for Elder and Deacon as enumerated by Paul came later on in the development and maturity of the church. I have no doubt, however, that what he wrote was already being implemented in the churches, yet the Pastorals gave absolute authority and sanction to them, having been written by inspiration. Again, in these qualifications, it is absolutely undeniable that men, and men only are qualified to serve as pastor/teachers, elders or deacons. Women are prohibited by God's perfect design for HIS church.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Gal. 3:28-29
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 14:20:35 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Am I right to say that Galatian 3:28 is answered by verse 29? In other words, all who are in Christ Jesus belong to Christ, and are heirs to the promise. Can we read anymore into what these verses are saying? I don't think so.

Subject: What do you make of this?
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 14:00:21 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
The following is about Grudem article called 'An open Letter' Six questions that haven't been answered'. I am trying to understand her points and how I should answer her. In your first answer you are making the same mistake many heirarchicalists make. Being the kephale of the wife is not the same thing as being the ruler of the home, no matter what position you take on the meaning of kephale. In fact, there are passages directly referring to women as the ruler or managers of their own households. The fact remains that heirarchy in its many contemporary forms, including the flavor that likes to term themselves 'complementarian' (as if Egalitarians do not believe men and women complement each other!) ultimately places a human intermediary between a woman and her ONLY Lord and Savior. That is not the reason the temple veil was torn in two at the moment of the atonement, and most certainly not the reason Peter calls us all priests. You may have attempted an answer to Mrs. Groothuis' essay, but her book is much more than that. And there are many other books in which Grudem has been answered. He just doesn't like the answers. Phoebe

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 17:06:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
I think you have gotten yourself, again, over your head here, hehehe. But 'Phoebe' just doesn't get it to be sure. If there are texts which clearly speak of a woman as being 'the ruler or managers of their own households.', and are taken to mean that absolutely, by the Analogy of Faith, we are faced with a serious contradiction in the Word of God. However, we know that God doesn't stutter, nor does He speak with a forked tongue. ALL authority within the church and the home has been divinely ordained and delegated to MEN. Therefore, such texts MUST be understood as a woman 'runs' her home under the ultimate scrutiny of the man. 1Timothy 2:12-3:1ff is perspicuous in its teaching; i.e., MEN and MEN ONLY are to be office bearers in the church, for even a cursory reading of that passage shows that men are the only gender that CAN qualify. As to the matter of her bringing up the veil being torn asunder, etc., etc. (I'm surprised that she didn't throw Gal 3:28 in for good measure), this is irrelevant. One's gender is mute when it comes to reconciliation through the Lord Christ. The issue is once a person has become justified, the sanctification which of necessity follows will be that which conforms to the divine will of God. Since He has established the various facets of life, that being a covenantal structure according to His own being/nature, then there is an 'order' which must be followed. For the sake of argument, if one were to adhere to the view that men and women are summarily 'equal', then when Paul writes by inspiration : 'For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: . . .' (Eph 5:23) we could also conclude that the church is EQUAL to Christ in all things. Of course, this is absurd and has no merit whatsoever. Might I suggest you simply bow out of the discussion you are having with this other person and move on to something more profitable? :-) BTW, I haven't read any worthy rebuttals to Wayne Grundem's 'Open Letter', albeit I haven't read all that are out there, and I could easily venture that there are many who have tried.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 00:38:17 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim You would be very correct that I am in over my head, if I was doing the debating. I am not doing all the debating myself. In fact I am for the most part observing and studying the issue, and sometimes giving my 2 cents to see if my understanding holds up. This debate is happening on RC Sproul's site, at: http://www1.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen0900.html Anne is one of the debaters. Tom

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 08:00:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
I simply indicated that you were 'in over your head' because it has all the appearances that you are gathering 'ammunition' to use in an ongoing debate, which from what you have pasted in here from the opposition, is beyond your current knowledge. :-) But taking bits and pieces of truth and then fling them out at those who are trying to assert an erroneous doctrine is an exercise in futility, if your intent is to 'convert' them. It's not unlike putting a loaded gun into a person's hand who has little knowledge and/or training in firearms. If they are 'lucky', they might hit the target. But there is also the danger they could injure themselves in the process! hahaha. There are times when wisdom would dictate that one simply observe and say nothing, particularly when one is yet unsure of where they stand on an issue. No, there is nothing wrong with asking questions of people, most of the time. But there is also the old adage that says, 'You don't have to jump into the sewer to know that it stinks!' There are times when you just KNOW (just might be the Holy Spirit keeping you out of trouble, eh?) that a view is unbiblical, wrong or suspect even though you aren't sure what is true and/or able to articulate the biblical position in a cogent manner. I'm not surprised to hear that Anne is involved in a debate on that topic. She's a real trooper and a feisty one at that when it comes to defending the biblical position of women in the church. Hey Tom! Enjoy yourself but try and keep out of trouble eh? hehehe :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:48:15 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Thanks Pilgrim To be quite honest with you, I want to take the egalitarian side of this debate, but to me it seems that one has to read into texts things that just aren't there. I am by no means enjoying this. It is one of those topics that if I am not tactful, could cause stress between me and a lot of people who are close to me. But then, when have you ever seen that stop me? I am a sucker for punishment. But I think I am going to have to take your advice on this and not get into the debate. I would probably learn just as much in just observing. You know what I am seeing about this debate? It is starting to attract more egalitarians. Tom

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 17:30:16 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
You wrote, 'To be quite honest with you, I want to take the egalitarian side of this debate . . .' And just why is it that you 'want to take the egalitarian side' brother? In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 00:17:10 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim I want to take the egalitarian side, simply because I think it is the possition that cost the least to take. I would like it to be the correct position biblically, because I know more people who are egalitarian than I do who aren't. My own wife being one, but I don't even think she knows what an egalitarian is. But like I said before, I will not take a possition simply because it is the easiest possition to take. I think that would be foolish of me. Do you understand what I am saying? But let me say one thing, although I am about 85% sure about this issue. There is a part of me, after looking at some of this debate that tells me that it is possible that I am wrong about the issue. I also found out that their are Reformed believers who are egalitarian. At least one of the Reformers was egalitarian (sorry name escapes me at the moment). But I think his name is John Chr..? Tom

Subject: Re: What do you make of this?
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 07:29:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
Let me end our discussion on the following note. In 28 years I have never read or heard one good argument that would make me even question the clear teaching of Paul and the Lord Christ's qualifications for elder and deacon which are restricted to men only. If the argument from this modern anti-Scriptural notion of 'cultural boundness' is a valid one, then one might as well throw the Bible out the door as the Liberals did back in the early 1800's. For there would be no absolute truth and certainly no eternal truth. The other arguments are simply untenable when the biblical Grammatico-Historico hermeneutic is constantly applied; as I briefly tried to show in my last reply to Kevin. Personally, I desire to take whatever the Scripture says is true, regardless of how hard it may seem or whatever consequences might come my way due to my holding fast to the faith once delivered to the saints. Without doubt there are 'egalitarians' among all the various denominations, and the Reformed churches as far as I know don't have an exemption certificate issued by the Lord. However, the term 'Reformed Egalitarian' is an oxymoron. :-) May the Lord guide you into and by His truth.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Woman
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 13:37:49 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Hi I am about to do a study on woman, in particular as to whether or not they should be allowed to be in leadership. Or in a deacon capacity, or even whether they should speak up in Church at all. Up until this point, I have not taken a firm stand on the issue. But when I hear some say things such as 'when Paul said such and such, he was talking to the culture of his day. Now in our day I don't think God would object to woman taking a more active role in Church.' To me this smacks of liberalism, and though I haven't studied this matter indepth enough to take a firm stand. Never the less, that is the way I lean on this matter. I was hoping that I could get some feed back, to get myself jump started in this topic. I want to learn the biblical stance on this topic, not nessesarily what I think is logical. Without taking the Bible into account, I can not think of a reason not to have woman play a part of the leadership of the Church. After all, there are many woman who are just as gifted and scripturally knowledgeable as men. But like I said before, I would rather agree with scripture than what seems logical. Thanks Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 12:37:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
The question of 'cultural relevance' is but a clever attempt to avoid the obvious teaching of Paul. I would suggest that those who would promote such a method of interpretation do so due to an already reticent denial of Verbal Plenary Inspiration. In addition, they have an 'a priori' agenda that is not based upon biblical teaching, but rather worldly ideas that believe that men and women are equal in ALL respects. (when is the last time you heard of a man becoming pregnant and bearing a child? hmmm). What does the Word of God say?
1Tim 2:11'Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.'
Notice first, that Paul no where refers to his own contemporary culture in this passage!! Secondly, notice that what he does refer to is the ORIGINAL CREATION of Adam and Eve and the order of their creation. Adam is given the place of honor and authority and Eve the place of 'functional subordination' to him. Contrary to what Stan indicates that at least some Charismatics believe, re: going back to the pre-Fall situation, Paul clearly shows that there was by God's design a 'natural' order. He brings this out even clearer in Eph 5:22f
Eph 5:22 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.'
The Lord Christ came not only to redeem those who the Father gave Him, but also to initiate and secure the redemption of the entire creation and did so. Thus within the marriage relationship, the woman is to be subjective to the man, which Paul says is akin to the covenantal headship of Christ where the man is subjective to Him. This then shows that there is nothing different in principle regarding the relationship between men and women now than there was in the Garden of Eden. For the Lord Christ has established in principle the 'new world order' in His atonement of restoration and reconciliation. Thirdly, Paul drives home the point that women are not to usurp or to have authority over men in the church when he then makes reference to the Fall itself. It was Eve who was deceived and not Adam. We must be careful here not to move too quickly and miss the profundity of Paul's argument. It wasn't just that Eve was in some way more easily swayed by the serpent's guile, but that she wandered from her proper position in relation to Adam her head. In other words, she ventured into the realm of autonomy, and took upon herself to do that which Adam was given the authority to do. Further she actually usurped his authority in a rebellious act in that she willfully disobeyed his instructions to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Gen 2:16,17; 3:2). As Adam was subject to the commands of God, so Eve was to be subject to her husband and his commands, which he received from the Lord. Thus by disobeying Adam, she was disobeying God. And this is Paul's point exactly, that women are not to be 'independent' of men but are to be 'bound to them' and under their authority. This was and is the estate which the LORD God designed and still demands upon all men. Lastly, Paul positively says that the women will be 'saved' (i.e., delivered; protected; preserved) by tending to their roles as wives and mothers. Yes, to even suggest such a thing today is totally Politically Incorrect! But we must maintain that this does NOT teach that women are to be doormats for their husbands, house bound slaves, maids in their own homes, and do nothing but bear children. The point here is that there is a proper 'role' for women, that being 'helpmeets' and NOT seeking nor holding positions of authority over men in the church. From this point on, the requirements for elder and deacon are outlined, since the foundation principle that men and not women are to be those who serve in that capacity. The pronoun 'he' is used prolifically throughout that section. And there are certainly specific requirements which women are not able to meet, e.g., 'husband of one wife'. A quick side note too might be in order concerning this idea that some women are 'gifted of God' and should be used accordingly. I would contend strongly, that what is perceived as 'gifts' are of the flesh and have nothing to do with the Spirit-wrought gifts, which Christ distributes as He will by His Holy Spirit, (Eph 4:11,12). Would it not be rather foolish of Christ to give the necessary gifts for one to serve as a pastor to a woman, when He only calls men to that office? There is a relevant article in the Calvinism and the Reformed Faith section of The Highway here: An Open Letter .
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 13:07:44 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I want to explore something further that you said. You said: Lastly, Paul positively says that the women will be 'saved' (i.e., delivered; protected; preserved) by tending to their roles as wives and mothers. I take it that you were quoting from 1Tim. 2:15. What is your view of the word 'saved' here? I don't think it is referring to their eternal salvation. Other wise it would seem like a works based salvation. Nor does it seem like it is talking about saved from physical death, because many Godly woman have died giving birth over the centuries. The only other thing I can think of is that it may be talking about their possition in the Church. Since verses 8-15 is talking about men and woman in the Church. But that comes with a few problems too. Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: John
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 00:08:21 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
1 Tim 2:15 seems to indicate women are saved by having children. Yet the verse prior speaks of Adam's deception coming through the woman. Transgression has dispersed down through all generations. It would not seem likely that simply bearing more rebels that women could be saved. But what if, from her seed, One would come who will bruise Satan on the heel (Gen 3:15). What if by this process of childbirth, the God-Man would be made manifest, who is able to remove this curse of death from all mankind. That by the woman Mariam all the world would be blessed: as Simeon said 'For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation'. It was from woman that sin entered the world, and through a woman that the Answer to sin entered the world. The other half of the equation completes 1 Tim 2:15 '...if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint'. These are the signs of regeneration. Thus, by this they can know they have a redeemer and are children of the promise. john

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: John
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 16:56:20 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
John A problem I see, about that is that at the time of the writing of this, the Redeemer (Jesus) had already been crucified and resurrected. As I look at the verse with the rest of the chapter, it would seem to me that it is talking about woman's natural position in life and the Church. This is done by the woman surrendering to God and taking up the roles that He has given to woman at their creation. As a helpmeet, with the husband as her head. Not in an unequal sense, but in a natural role sense. I once heard it said that where no one takes up leadership, nothing is accomplished. I believe that is why God gave Adam the headship. That and the fact that Adam was created first. Which fits with verse 13 of the chapter. Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 17:34:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
I don't know where you are going with all this, hehehe, but here's a little something for you to think on. You said by way of a quote, 'I once heard it said that where no one takes up leadership, nothing is accomplished. I believe that is why God gave Adam the headship. That and the fact that Adam was created first.' I doubt seriously that God 'gave Adam the headship' because of this axiom, the foundation of which is Pragmatism. Secondly, I doubt seriously that because 'Adam was created first' he was the determining cause for his being given the headship over Eve. It seems to me that all of life's relationships are based upon some form of covenantal structure, whether they be marital, parental, political, economic, etc. The REASON why this structure exists is because, I believe, it reflects the relationships within the economic Trinity. The Father is the head of Christ (the Son is subordinate to the Father) and the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son from whom He proceeds. Thus all of life reflects its Creator in His being. Secondly, as to 'Adam being created first', if you would sit back and think about that statement, I am confident that you will quickly dismiss it as being quite foolish. Why? Because to suggest that God created Adam and THEN decided to give him some measure of authority over his bride to be, is to deny God's Omniscience. Adam, and by design all men, was ordained to have authority over the woman in eternity; before he was created. Isn't this similar to the Arminian doctrine of 'foreknowledge' where God 'peers down the corridors of time' and then decrees what shall be, i.e., He simply reiterates what He allegedly 'saw' taking place apart from His authority and control? Perhaps it is even more far fetched since this idea suggests that it was after the actual physical creation that God 'decided' to bestow authority/headship upon Adam. What seems clear to me, and also to John as well, is that the headship of men and the subordinate role of women to men is consistent throughout the entire history of mankind. What was designed for the first man and woman is still valid and should be practiced today. 'Cultural Boundness' is an empty attempt to deny the providential design of the Creator for His creatures. Headship isn't abrogated because of Christ's appearance, but rather it is re-established as the Divine order and is antithetical the philosophy of the world and its never ending quest for autonomy.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 22:02:21 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilrim Excuse my unlearnedness in this matter.:-) It may also be that my skills at putting things from my head into print, isn't very good. Actually what I had in mind when I said Adam was first created and then Eve. Was not the same way an Arminian would look at the matter. I am quite aware that God ordained the relationship of man and woman that way. But isn't it also true that God also used the first born in a manner of the headship? We see an example of this in Jacob and Esau. It also shows God's Omniscience in that situation, in the fact that Esau sold his birth right to Jacob. Which of course is what God used in order to have His will. But I was referring to 1 Tim.2:12-13 12 'But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.' Perhaps I have misunderstood something? Maybe you can tell me what your take is on 1 Tim. 2:12-13? Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 22:34:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
Perhaps it is as you say just in the way to phrase things that leads to misunderstanding? :-) As to my 'take' on 1 Tim. 12-13, I thought I did that here: My Take. I realize that it was brief, but is there something more specific you are looking for?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 07:20:11 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim You said: Secondly, notice that what he does refer to is the ORIGINAL CREATION of Adam and Eve and the order of their creation. Adam is given the place of honor and authority and Eve the place of 'functional subordination' to him. Basically that was the point I was trying to make all along.:-) Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 16:32:39 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim As I said before, I am studying this issue and don't want to take a firm stand until I have examined all the facts. I however do want to say that so far my studies have pointed to what you have said about the subject. I do however want to comment on something you said: The question of 'cultural relevance' is but a clever attempt to avoid the obvious teaching of Paul. I would suggest that those who would promote such a method of interpretation do so due to an already reticent denial of Verbal Plenary Inspiration. In addition, they have an 'a priori' agenda that is not based upon biblical teaching, but rather worldly ideas that believe that men and women are equal in ALL respects. (when is the last time you heard of a man becoming pregnant and bearing a child? hmmm Though I think that may be true about some believers. I don't think that is the case with all Christians. Just this morning, for example I was in conversation with a friend concerning the subject, he told me what his understanding of the subject was, and you guessed it it was about culture. This is what he has been taught by pastor's who he has high esteem for. When I told him my misgivings about that. He like the person I have grown to respect as a man who believes God's word over what seems to be correct. Said,'Oh I see what you mean.' Now I have his mind working, wondering what the truth is about the subject. I also have someone to study the topic with. I also want to state that I do not believe in anyway just because a woman is to be submissive to men in the biblical sence, that it in any way makes them unequal to man. Just because a role is different, does not make them any less equal. Man and woman were created equal. Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 21:27:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
You professed:
'I also want to state that I do not believe in anyway just because a woman is to be submissive to men in the biblical sence, that it in any way makes them unequal to man. Just because a role is different, does not make them any less equal. Man and woman were created equal.'
Could you please explain what you mean by 'equal'?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 22:28:34 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim Perhaps an exerpt from a sermon from John MacArthur can answer that better than I can. In the creation account of Genesis 1 we find God's first word on the subject of men and women (verse 27)--they were both equally created in the image of God. Neither received more of the image of God than the other. So the Bible begins with the equality of the sexes. As persons, as human beings, as spiritual beings, standing before God, men and women are absolutely equal. Despite this equality, there is in Genesis 2 a more detailed account of the creation of the two humans which show some differences in their God-given responsibilities. God did not create the man and woman spontaneously at the same time, but rather He created Adam first and Eve later for the specific purpose of being a helper to Adam. Though Eve was Adam's equal, she was given a role to fulfill in submitting to him. While the word 'helper' carries very positive connotations, even being used of God Himself as the helper of Israel (Deut. 33:7, Ps. 33:20), it still describes one in a relationship of service to another. When craftily tempted in the Garden of Eden, Eve, rather than seeking Adam's counsel or leadership, took the lead herself, eating of the forbidden fruit and then leading her husband into sin (Gen. 3:6). Because Adam and Eve sinned in disobedience to the command of God, there followed certain consequences for them and also for the serpent (Gen. 3:14-19). For the woman, God pronounced a curse which included multiplied pain in childbirth and tension in the authority-submission relationship of the husband and wife. Genesis 3:16 says the woman's 'desire' will be for her husband but he shall 'rule' over her. In Genesis 4:7 the author uses the same word 'desire' to mean 'excessive control over.' Thus, the curse in Genesis 3:16 refers to a new desire on the part of the woman to exercise control over her husband--but he will in fact rule or exert authority over her. The result down through history has been an ongoing struggle between the sexes--with women seeking control and men ruling instead, often harshly. Before the fall and the curse there was true harmony in the husband-wife relationship, but through the curse a new element of tension and dissension entered into the marriage relationship. It is significant to note that the responsibility of wives to submit to their husbands was part of God's plan even before the curse. Feminists often dispute this, viewing submission as something which came in through the curse and which should be eliminated through the cross of Jesus Christ (just as we seek to relieve the pain of childbirth through drugs and breathing techniques, and as we seek to ease the toil of the field through modern technology, even including air-conditioned tractors). But since a careful reading of Genesis 2:18-25 shows that God created the woman to support her husband an be a suitable companion to him, we do not erase woman's submission in marriage through the cross but rather we add harmony to the relationship. Tom

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Anne
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 02:52:47 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
ISTM Scripture is clear as crystal that women are not to be leaders in church, though we are to join in with congregational prayers, singing, etc. The arguments in favor of female leadership always irritate the dickens out of me, as they usually fall back on cultural relativism . . . . i.e. Paul's instructions applied only there and then, with no relevance to today. Bosh! Once we get started applying white-out to the bits of God's Word we consider irrelevant, where would it stop? Plus, such an argument negates Almighty God's complete sovereignty over His creation. What, He didn't know how those conditions developed in Corinth or Ephesus or wherever, so He hoped we'd be bright enough to figure out that thse verses have expiration dates on them? Ha. If conditions existed that would cause Paul to write . . . . more than once! . . . . that women are to be quiet and in submission in church, then it was because God jolly well designed it thataway. I've been reading C. S. Lewis's book, 'God in the Dock,' and boy, did he hit the nail on the head: instead of us being in the witness box, and God on the judge's seat, we have reversed it, so that we coolly and oh-so-rationally evaluate God and His commands to make sure they meet up to our high standards of what is reasonable. If part of Scripture doesn't seem reasonable or explicable to us, then O-U-T goes it! Perish the thought that we could be wrong, ye ken . . . . oh, mercy, no. When what appears rational to us is in conflict with God's Word, then God's Word is grasped and twisted into a shape comprehensible to us. Still, even I have weighed this command and come up with a couple of reasons WHY God made it: 1) Men need to be flat-out instructed to take and retain the lead, since women will cheerfully and eagerly wrest it from their grasp. Men require no urging to turn into couch potatoes, and women no urging to morph into drill sargents. Women default to 'Oh, here! . . . . let us do it! That's not the way!' while men happily relinquish control, responding, 'Whatever you think best, then. . . . whatever you want.' 2) God's plan for gender roles is a nifty, uncomplicated test of obedience for us. At home and church, men are to lead; women are to follow. This, to quote Emeril, ain't rocket science. Nothing vague or difficult to understand about the relevant passages in Scripture, but still we struggle to be obedient . . . . after all, it just doesn't make sense! He couldn't possibly have meant this the way it sounds! Think about it . . . . most everything, over thousand of years, will change (transportation, occupations, country borders, scientific knowledge, etc.), except for one constant: male and female, He created them. If He wanted to set in place an obedience test that would be effective throughout the centuries, this was a stroke of brilliance. Of course, He is given to those! ;-> Well, you asked . . . . that'll learn you. Ciao! Anne

Subject: Re: Woman
From: Tom
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 07:54:21 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Thank you Anne You know what I have always wondered about? I have wondered why it is that many sound teachers, who are otherwise very sound biblically, but on this issue they take the other side? For instance I know one pastor, who I consulted about this issue, who said: You will certainly be doing a whole lot better than me if you can, as your words say, 'check out all the facts' about this matter...because there seems to lots of them and again, you will be doing a whole lot better than me, as you say, 'take a solid stand on this issue' because there seems to be as many stands as there are people who write about it. Please let me know what you find out.' Tom

Subject: buck buck
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 23:47:55 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Chicken hey? Just kidding. Perhaps a female poster wants to reply first. Tom

Subject: Hesitate to ......
From: stan
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 11:14:09 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
post such false teaching, but it does relate to your question and might make for interest in the study. The charismatic, or at least some of them, base their use of women as pastors on the thought that they are bringing Christ back. Christ can't return until we - the church - bring the earth and its society back to the way it was before Adam fell. Since there was no restriction in the Word concerning women prefall, then all rights were equal in all respects before the fall and to make things right today we must have no differences. This is based in part I think to Paul's thought that he tied some restrictions on women to the woman being decieved. This goes to their governmental thinking as well - bring Christ back by instituting world wide theocracy. Now you have it! Let em speak, let em........ well you get the picture ;-) stan

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: Tom
To: stan
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 12:49:41 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Stan It sounds like they are making a point that woman's roles changed because of the fall. Now that we are in Christ, that is done away with. However, how would they handle 1Tim 2:8-15? Particularly, verse 13. It is talking about before the fall, not after it. Tom

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: stan
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 07, 2000 at 13:16:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Verse 13 is basis for Paul's restriction post fall and post cross. The thought isn't based on being in Christ, but the attempt to get back to prefall status. Paul is clear post cross there are still restrictions. I Tim. 3's terminology makes it clear that men are to be the leaders. I personally don't like the thought of even women deacons, though women actively serving the church and especially the needs of other women is a vital ministry that needs to be met. stan

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: Tom
To: stan
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 10:04:46 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Stan Thats not what I asked you. I asked how the Charismatics would handle that verse. Tom

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: stan
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 12:47:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Don't know - you'd have to ask one ;-) probably ignore it as they often do. I'm sure they wouldn't see inequality in it.

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: Tom
To: stan
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 14:28:27 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Trying to find one to ask, but so far haven't found one. Tom

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: John
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 23:45:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Why are Charismatics supposed to hold special insight into 1 Tim 2:12? They are hardly of one voice. They are a sub-group of a larger liberalism that arises when we bring God down to be our equal, which most denominations have done. The battle cry of Charismatics and non-charismatic churches alike is: 'God wants me to be happy, whatever I do that makes me happy is OK'. God is just like us, he doesn’t want us to get hungup on theology; just listen to our hearts. So the modern female heart wants to be in-charge, have authority, teach, and lead the church—so that too must be God’s plan. It would be hypocritical of these churches not to give some lip service to the Scripture, after all they are 'christian' and the Bible is supposed to be the guidebook. So confronted with Scripture such as 1 Tim 2:9-12 you get the rationalization of human reasoning. Speak of women not adorning themselves with riches designed to impress others and you are told we are not under the Law. That is, God has no interest in how anyone dresses, God is not strict, He just wants us to love Him with 'heart', not 'head' knowledge. Speak of verse 11 about submissiveness and quiet instruction and the rationalization is: some women need quiet instruction while others have been gifted by God for a higher calling. You wouldn’t want to suppress the Holy Spirit’s leading, would you? Now verse 12, the pivotal verse: 'But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet'. No problem, they all will agree. 'You see', goes the story, 'Paul is giving his opinion here and not a commandment'. 'Paul had trouble with some women talking in church across the isle to their husbands', they say. 'He is not forbidding a women to teach in the church, but simply admonishing some who were talking during the service'. Thus, we can rationalize away Scripture. Besides, some women are better teachers then men, God would not want their talents wasted. Returning to the main theme: 'God wants us to be happy, if we are gifted in teaching then we should not quench the Holy Spirit. That would be sin. Hence, a women who does not teach in the congregation and have authority over men is sinning', So, despite what the Bible says, the opposite of Tim 2:12 must be true: God want women to teach and have authority over men. Excuses, rationalization, there is no rational debate possible. Those with a twisted world view mold the Bible to fit their preconceived notions, Charismatics included, and will never submit to the authority of Scripture (all the while claiming to do just that). It is an emotional response based on ego. Whatever I want must be right, and whatever I do must please God because God is like me and He always wants what I want. God loves me no matter what, or closer to the truth…. God is Me (a.k.a, I am my own god). john

Subject: Shame on you...
From: Eric
To: John
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 07:13:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Such broad and sweeping insults against one particular group of Christians should not be tolerated. If you want to disagree about something, do it charitably, and not with a spirit of arrogance and condesension which came screaming through your post. May God continue to show you more grace than you show your brothers and sisters.

Subject: Re: Shame...
From: John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 05:59:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Eric, Insults? Well probably it is insulting to basically be told Charismatics and many other liberal churches hold to a false gospel and play fast and loose with Scripture all the while eagerly defending their bad theology. But if in fact they do hold to a false gospel and play fast and loose with Scripture while defending their bad theology, then I'm just being honest in exposing the lies. It all depends which camp you are in. Conversely, I do not call people who reject truth and hold to what is in my opinion apostasy as brothers and sisters, nor do I label them Christian. That is not to say God cannot save a Charismatic or for that matter an asthmatic, He certainly can. In case you miss my point: I stand firmly in opposition to Charismatics and all they hold dear. If you find that arrogant that is obviously your choice. You will notice that whenever someone takes a stand: whether political, philosophical, moral, or religious, they are automatically labeled arrogant (and close minded, unloving, cold, blah blah) by those who sit the fence. Further, in case someone should wonder, I do not hate them or anyone else. There is no emotional connection here at all. They are simply in gross, unrepentant error, and Charismatic churches are as wrong as many non-charismatic churches, they are not unique. No matter how happy, friendly and loving, we might think a group of people are--spreading damnable heresy is not to be tolerated without opposition. As Forest Gump said: That's all I have to say about that. John

Subject: Re: Shame...
From: Tom
To: John
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 01:02:13 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
John I agree with most of what you said. However I want to say that I believe that there are Charismatics that I concider my brothers and sisters. The late D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones being one of them. To whom I believe Pilgrim once said something to the effect of (excuse me if I get this wrong Pilgrim) D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a theologian extrordiniare(Excuse my bad spelling). If you want to know more about him, I think Pilgrim can tell you more than I can. But I can tell you that he was Reformed in his theology. Tom

Subject: AMEN!
From: Five Sola
To: John
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:42:52 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, Praise the Lord for you strong stand, brother. It is what I was commenting about not too long ago on how if someone stands up to what is typically accepted as right then you are labeled hateful, etc, when in fact this is what Jesus did with many people. I have yet to read it but Machen's book "Christianity and Liberalism" is supposed to be a GOOD book. He shows why the liberal theology (and 'theologian' holding to it) cannot be counted as a Christian for they do not believe the Bible, nor any of it's teachings. The 'all roads lead to God' thinking doesn't work. Don't be discourage brother, keep up the good work. Five Sola

Subject: Re: AMEN!
From: Pilgrim
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 17:34:27 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Five Sola, Machen's book is superb and worthy of reading by everyone today. Even though the book focuses upon Liberalism, much what he criticizes about them is very applicable to Pentecostal/Charismatics directly and many other groups indirectly. Enjoy. In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: For Christ's sake, reconsider...
From: Eric
To: John
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 07:54:01 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello John, I did not call your remarks arrogant, nor do I find them unloving because I sit on the fence on the issue, nor am I afraid to speak out against false doctrine, as I am doing right now. What I see as being very problematic, and unbecoming a Christian is the labeling of Charismatics as non-Christian, and believers in a false gospel. For those who hold the banner of Sola Scriptura, your stance should be seen as contrary to that wonderful principal. For, it is abundantly evident, that scripture does speak to the reality of spiritual gifts, and it is equally clear that there is no scriptural basis for saying that those gifts are not in existence today! I am not Charismatic, despite having grown up in a Charismatic church, and have seen and experienced some of the serious problems associated with some branches of the Charismatic movement. Perhaps you were unaware that there are many branches w/in the Charismatic movement. To condemn all is like condemning all Presbyterians on the basis of the PCUSA, or all Lutherans on the basis of the ELCA, or even all Protestants on the basis of the United Methodists, etc... Are there some elements w/in the Charismatic movement that are unChristian--probably. Are there some who believe in the spiritual gifts that hold to Reformed theology--absolutely. You see John, my Mother, Father, both Grandmothers, Uncles, and many other relatives are Charismatic. I have witnessed first hand the tremendous works that Christ has done through them. My Grandmother has suffered more than anybody I have ever known, and yet she is the most godly woman I have ever come across. Her whole life, in the midst of tremendous sufferings and loss has revoloved around Christ. One of her sons made copies of her diary that spanned over 60 years of her life, and to read those pages, where she talks about her trials, and at the same talks about her devotion to Christ, makes me get on my face before God and repent of my weak faith and trust in God's Word. So, when I hear somebody say that Charismatics are non-Christian, I will speak up, and confront that awful lie. For, I have witnessed first hand the power of God working in the lives (often in spite of) of those who are Charismatic. Your position is in serious error, and I urge you to base your opinions on God's revealed Word. God bless. Eric

Subject: Re: For Christ's sake, reconsider...
From: John
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 04:58:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, If you are interested in discussing Charismatic theology or the use of gifts today start a new thread and I'll explain exactly why I find their beliefs an abomination. You wrote, 'For, it is abundantly evident, that scripture does speak to the reality of spiritual gifts, and it is equally clear that there is no scriptural basis for saying that those gifts are not in existence today!'. If there is no Scriptural basis then I must be in error, problem solved. But if Scripture makes my point, perhaps you would like to know it, if only to be better informed (or you can just use this forums search under 'tongues' and save me the typing). You should know, I find your argument that 'For those who hold the banner of Sola Scriptura, your stance should be seen as contrary to that wonderful principal' as incredible. Do you know why? Because the very basis of Charismatic/Pentecostal theology rests on dual sources of divine information. Does Sola Scriptura mean we rest on Scripture PLUS a voice, vision, prophecy, word, impression, dream, utterance, oracle, sign, wonder, movement, or spirit? What does the Bible alone and in its entirety mean today if we also have direct revelation from God? When God speaks shall we ignore Him or shall we write His Word down and obey?? If a manifestation is not from God where is it from? Why does God say an evil and adulterous generation shall seek after these kinds of things (hint hint)? Why does God say in Rev 22:18 we are not to add to the words of the prophecy of this Book? (hint hint hint). If God is not speaking today, but Satan goes about posing as an angel of light to deceive... should we care (especially during the last days)? By the way, I have family members who also are caught up in the evil of Pentecostalism. They are loyal, kind, gentle people. Yet they are engaged in gross rebellion against God. When Scripture is compared and the test made, my nice, gentle family members find their beliefs at odds with the Bible. They do not repent, they do not search the Scriptures to see if these things be so. They say, 'you're missing out on the Holy Spirit, Satan has blinded you to God'... yet no Scripture need apply. It is an emotional soup with lip service to Scripture. Their proof that tongues, miracles, healings, visions... are for today: 'because I've seen it'. Yet, what they are convinced they saw was really a story the were told or a book they read or an account from their pastor. When pressed for proof (by inquiring minds) the evidence of truth is: a warm tingling sensation, happy feeling, uncontrolled crying spells, a sixth sense of His presence, God spoke to me in a dream last night, I saw Jesus at my bed last night, God told me directly my vision was real (think about that one), how anything so wonderful could be from Satan (were you expecting a guy in a red devil suit). These 'proofs' are a condemnation (as if Scripture was not plain enough). The entire system is crafted on emotional energy... akin to belief in astrology or channeling. When we say Sola Scriptura we are by definition eliminating exactly this kind of supposed revelation in all its devious forms. It is the Bible alone that determines truth, not how tingly our skin gets (which is supposedly God speaking) or some other 'impression'. I'll say it clearly: adding to the Word of God (The Bible) is an abomination... and as God Himself says 'if anyone adds to them (words of the Bible), God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book.' That is to say they are still under the curse of God and must contend with an angry God. We dare not call them 'brethren'. We best reprove and correct them so that if God wills, some may live. Lastly, there are great men who have held loosely to a continuation of gifts. They are not seeped in seeking visions or running after tongues or any such thing. While I would challenge them to study further, I do not say they are necessarily numbered with the larger group which is sold out to Satan's lie. We can still be a true believer and obedient to God in the large sense, while we may fall short in another area and not remove the Baal shrines from every hill. It is one thing to be imperfectly sure of something and another to be a high priest in the temple of Baal, if you get my meaning. john

Subject: Re: Shame on you...
From: LAZ
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 10, 2000 at 14:51:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric - from one who is not been called to the carpet often for being a meanie...I'd say that John's post was right on...not a bit of condescension or arrogance when I read it...just a firm conviction on what the Bible seems to clearly teaches in contrast to what is truly true about the 'groups' he cites. You being overly sensitive or something? ;-) laz

Subject: Whoa!
From: Eric
To: LAZ
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 08:03:47 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi laz, You are damn right I am being sensititve to this issue, but not overly so. This is perhaps the most outrageous thing I have come across on this board, and yet nobody has spoken out about it but myself. Why is it when one person differs slightly in a complex theological point, many are willing to jump right in and post a correction, but when somebody grossly over steps the bounds of Christian conduct, it slips by? Perhaps, some people are more concerned about being a proper Calvinist, then a proper Christian! (This is not directed at you.) If you will read John's post with discernement, I think you will find his position unbiblical. The issue is not about whether one is mean or not, it is whether one is basing his opinion on truth, or on error. Are you willing to say that all who hold to the perpetuity of spiritual gifts as apostate, and non-Christian? If you really believe that, then you must have a plethora of scripture with which you can base your position on. Please provide those. I find it quite unbelieveable that those who proclaim sola scriptura, are so willing to speak where scripture doesn't, even to the point of condemning one to hell. The absurdity of such a position would be laughable were it not among those who were bought with a price. God bless.

Subject: Re: Whoa!
From: laz
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 10:06:33 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric - I'd be the first to concede that brotha John, our resident 'eccentric' (HAHAHA!!) SEEMS to have a narrower bound of fellowship than many ... but in the end, John knows (and has admitted in his most recent posts) that only God knows who's truly of the Elect. I reread John's post with 'discernment' and have to agree with Pilgrim that John was addressing the GENERAL problem (theology, attitude, me-ism, etc) ... as John also included criticism of non-Charismatics as well. You gotta admit...there is something grossly amiss about the charismatic mindset!! Hey, a couple months ago I accompanied a curious friend (yep, charismatic) to what turned out to be a weeklong (we only went the first nite) 'revival'.... yep, charismatic, Word-Faith (Revival Fellowship International)....I was absolutely aghast...witnessing virtually every heresy I learned about in CRI's BAM broadcasts and Hank's seminal work, 'Christianity in Crisis'. Hinn was the MAN!! Some of the healing 'stories' were simply incredulous to boot. Imagine an old dog being flattened like a pancake by a large truck ... suddenly (after gramama laid hands on it) coming back to life without as much as a scratch. Yeah, right.... And then to hear a lady after the 'show' come up to my friend afterwords saying what an informative and life-changing nite it was!! EEEEEKKKK!!!! Fortunately, I had a long talk with my friend and his wife on the way home and expressed my 'concerns' with this type of teaching ... which they took to heart. This is the legacy being left by our weak-minded charismatics who are not heeding scripture about the false gospels certain to come. The leaders do deserve our condemnation....just ask the apostle Paul. laz

Subject: Re: Whoa!
From: Tom
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 01:19:26 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Laz Your concern about the Word Faith movement is very legit. Believe it or not, at one time until God opened my eyes I belonged to a Word Faith Church. However I do want to point out that most of the Charismatic movement has distanced themselves form the Word Faith movement. One of the most damnable herecies I have heard come out of the Word Faih movement, is them saying that when one becomes a Christian, they don't just get the Holy Spirit in their life. They literally become the Holy Spirit! If that is not herecy I don't know what is. Tom

Subject: Re: Whoa!
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 07:53:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz Your concern about the Word Faith movement is very legit. Believe it or not, at one time until God opened my eyes I belonged to a Word Faith Church. However I do want to point out that most of the Charismatic movement has distanced themselves form the Word Faith movement. One of the most damnable herecies I have heard come out of the Word Faih movement, is them saying that when one becomes a Christian, they don't just get the Holy Spirit in their life. They literally become the Holy Spirit! If that is not herecy I don't know what is. Tom
---
Tom,
I think you might consider that the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement hasn't changed its unbiblical theology concerning a 'direct communication with God', but that there are those within the movement who have gone further down the toilet and this just creates the illusion that those who haven't embraced the 'Word Faith' garbage are acceptable. :-) And this phenomena is universal I might add! Just think about what happens when our Canadian gas prices jump to 85.9 cents/liter from 54.9 cents/liter and then come back down to 72.9 cents/liter. The 72.9 cents/liter looks mighty good compared to the 85.9 cents/liter, but it is far more than it was before the original jump. Personally, I believe this type of thing is orchestrated to produce a desensitivity and disorientation among consumers which eventually ends in apathy. I say all this to illustrate the strong possibility that Satan's wiles follow a similar pattern in his attacks against the Christian church particularly and the world generally. What was illegal 40 years ago is now legal and if you oppose it, you are breaking the law; e.g., Gay 'rights', abortion, etc. So to come back to the point, hahaha..... The Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement may have 'distanced themselves' from the more extreme things, but they are just as objectionable as they were before the Vineyard, Toronto Blessing, etc., came on the scene. They only 'appear' more conservative and acceptable because of those who have gone 'nuts', LOL! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Whoa!
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:04:14 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim I understand your point, but I am not sure you can paint all of them with the same brush. For instance, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, was a man who defended the Charismatic gifts in a way that showed he was interested in the Bible above any tradition. Now he may be wrong, but I don't think I would accuse him of the kind of things you mentioned above. Of course he doesn't concider the gifts(tongues and prophecy to be extra-biblical. For he is a supporter of the sola's. Tom

Subject: Re: Whoa! again
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 12:08:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim I understand your point, but I am not sure you can paint all of them with the same brush. For instance, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, was a man who defended the Charismatic gifts in a way that showed he was interested in the Bible above any tradition. Now he may be wrong, but I don't think I would accuse him of the kind of things you mentioned above. Of course he doesn't concider the gifts(tongues and prophecy to be extra-biblical. For he is a supporter of the sola's. Tom
---
Tom,
I am afraid you missed my point entirely! The more conservative of the Charismagic/Pentecaustal milieu can be wrongly seem 'acceptable' when one compares them to the more radical. But the fact is that their doctrines are no less objectionable and thus should be rejected. As to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who you seem to want to include with the Charismatics, I think you err here. He was anything but a Charismatic, and rejected 90% of their doctrine and practice. He held to a non-Cessationist view in part concerning the continuance of the 'ecstatic gifts', but was not a practitioner or recipient of them. Believing that such gifts may be operative in the church today is a far cry from being a 'card-holding' Charismatic/Pentecostal. :-) Yes, I believe he was woefully wrong on this point. And simply denying that the revelatory gifts aren't revelatory anymore doesn't make it so. The fact is there is not ONE single mention of either prophesy or original tongues with interpretation as being anything BUT revelatory in the Scriptures. Wayne Grudem has tried to defend this position, and Dr. Richard Gaffin's responses to this claim have been soundly smashed and shown to be untenable. :-) Need I say again? that I have myriad books etc. written by Dr. Lloyd-Jones and I have very high regard for him. But on this matter, he was simply dead wrong! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Whoa! again
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 14:34:29 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim My point about mentioning Dr. Lloyd-Jones was not to conclude whether he was right or wrong on the issue. But to mention that he was a Charismatic. You said: As to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who you seem to want to include with the Charismatics, I think you err here. He was anything but a Charismatic, and rejected 90% of their doctrine and practice. He held to a non-Cessationist view in part concerning the continuance of the 'ecstatic gifts', but was not a practitioner or recipient of them. Believing that such gifts may be operative in the church today is a far cry from being a 'card-holding' Charismatic/Pentecostal. :-) I think you are wrong about that. I have a copy of one of his books in front of me, called 'Joy Unspeakable The Baptism with the Holy Spirit' On pages 22-23 it says: 'I take it that that is therefore abundantly clear-you cannot be a Christian without having the Holy Spirit in you. But-and here is the point-I am asserting at the same time that you can be a believer, that you have the Holy Spiri dwelling in you, and still not be baptized with the Holy Spirit...' This is something that I was taught when I was in the Charimatic movement. Though I don't think he would agree that tongues is the evidence that one is Baptized with the Holy Spirit. I think he would say that, tongues is an evidence. But not all have the same evidence. (It is been quite some time since I read the book, but if I find the information to back that up, if you want I will post it.) Within the Charismatic movement, there are factions that would agree with that point. One thing I did get in the book, is that he warned about some of the fanatasism in the movement, and warned that a true believer should test all things out with the scrptures and not rely on experience alone. But he was convinced that there is a second experience, called the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Tom

Subject: Re: Whoa! again
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 15:35:01 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, IF what you say is true concerning Dr. Lloyd-Jones belief in a 'second blessing' then he is even more wrong... :-) Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Whoa! again
From: laz
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 21:19:50 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom ...I don't think that being baptized in/by the Holy Spirit is necessarily a SECOND blessing...but part and parcel to the FIRST and ONLY blessing of regeneration. IN otherwords, I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit..but it happens at regeneration...if it's not synonomous with. laz

Subject: Re: Whoa! again
From: Tom
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 23:43:39 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Laz I agree:-) You know what is a little funny about that, is even when I was in the Charismatic movement, and believed in tongues. I eventually took that possition. Even though I was a minority in the view. Tom

Subject: Whoa! right back at ya! :~)
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 08:42:54 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
You lamented with passion: '. . . but when somebody grossly over steps the bounds of Christian conduct, it slips by?' But, then you wrote, 'Perhaps, some people are more concerned about being a proper Calvinist, then a proper Christian!' Now isn't this an example of the 'kettle calling the stove black'? What? a 'proper Calvinist' is antithetical to being a 'proper Christian'? Eric, I think your mind and heart have been clouded over by the rage you have over John's sweeping charges against the Charismagic churches. I took his statements to be general and not a wholesale condemnation of every single individual within that camp. It is my own conviction that yes, the majority of Charismatic/Pentecostal churches do in fact preach/teach a false gospel. Their 'worship' is at best unacceptable in practice. And, well. . . the list could go on and on. How about practicing what you preach to John? :-) And by the way, the most consistently 'proper Christian' IS a 'proper Calvinist'!
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: I'm rubber, your glue
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:27:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Pilgrim and laz, I was careful to put the qualifier perhaps in my statement, for the exact purpose of avoiding what you are pointing out. I don't know anybody's motivation, so I was just pointing out one possible interpretation of the facts. I am sure you have run across certain people who were more concerned with theology, then with acting Christ-like. You are correct, the most educated Christian would hold to the main tenets of Calvinism. But, obviously there are some who claim to hold to Calvinistic theology, but are not Christian. I didn't respond in rage to John's post. But it does disturb me greatly when somebody who is w/in the body judges who is saved and who is not with unbiblical standards. This issue is not even close to the 'are Catholics saved' discussion we had a couple of weeks ago. As to you interpreting John's remarks to be a general indictment on the Charismatic movement, as opposed to individual, I would disagree. Besides, even if that were what was intended, he would still be in error. As I pointed out before, there are many branches w/in the Charismatic movement, and to paint them all w/the same brush is either ignorant or foolish. Do you really think that Benny Hinn is comparable to Wayne Grudem? And since you made the charge, I am going to ask you to clarify and back up your statement that the majority of Pentecostal churches are teaching a false gospel. Can you provide one essential element of the gospel that the majority of Pentecostal churches teach that is in error? BTW laz, Hank Hanegraff is a non-cessationist, and Word of Faith doctrine, is not accepted, and condemned, by many of the Pentecostal churches with which I am familiar with. God bless.

Subject: Re: I'm rubber, your glue
From: LAZ
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 11:54:09 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric - you are correct...Neopentecostals are charismatics but not all charismatics are neopents. And Hank is charismatic but vehemently anti neopent. As for your question: Can you provide one essential element of the gospel that the majority of Pentecostal churches teach that is in error? That's so easy .... they may be ignorant of this FACT, but nevertheless they have more in common with RC, unitarians, JW's in one area ESSENTIAL to the gospel message, soteriology, in being guilty of semi-pelagianism/arminianism...with FREE GRACE being turned into works-righteousness. The blood of Christ being rendered of no affect. Isn't THAT sheer heresy! The folks at Dordt thought so. Are they necessarily doomed as a result....nah, doctrine doth not save....but I'm glad I'm not in their shoes. By His Grace! laz

Subject: Going, going, gone!
From: Eric
To: LAZ
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:32:05 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Boy you hit that belt high fastball out of the park. I should have been more precise. While the vast majority of Pentocostals are Arminian, I was trying to ask what it is that Pentecostals uniquely believe that is tatamount to a false gospel. IOW, what is it that makes an Arminian Pentecostal different than an Arminian cessationist? I should have been thinking more clearly.
---
Save the jokes. God bless.

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Five Sola
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 12:59:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, I don't know all of the errors of the charismatic/Pentacostal movement but some could easily be seen as the belief (among all that I have met) are that 1) Tongues is essential to prove salvation, 2) a Second blessing/baptism is necessary to complete salvation 3) Salvation is Eternal but can be lost due to sin (one belief that I find amazing for any one who claims to believe in Christ atonement) I will stop there. I can think of a few but do not want to get into a discussion over those. :-) Five Sola

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Tom
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 01:53:05 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Five Sola I hate doing this, but as an ex-Charismatic I think I qualify to disagree with some of what you said. 1) Tongues is essential to prove salvation, Though that may be true of some Charismatics, that is not what I was taught when I was in the movement. I was taught that although tongues is not nessasary for salvation. It is the evidence that one has had the second blessing(the baptism with the Holy Spirit). Any Christian who has not recieved this blessing, is missing out on the power of the Holy Spirit. 2) a Second blessing/baptism is necessary to complete salvation Again this is something that some Charismatic Churches teach, but it is not what I was taught. The second blessing has nothing to do with salvation, though without it, the believer lacks the power of the Holy Spirit. Though that doesn't mean that they can not be effective in their ministry, since they are preaching the Word. One Penticostal pastor put it this way: 'Billy Graham is probably the most successful evangelist today, and he isn't even baptised with the Holy Spirit. Can you emagine what it would be like if he was baptised in the Holy spirit!?' 3) Salvation is Eternal but can be lost due to sin (one belief that I find amazing for any one who claims to believe in Christ atonement) This is something that the Arminian side of the Charismatic movement believes. Not the Calvinist side. Please do no misunderstand what I am saying here, my purpose is not to defend the Charismatic movement, just to present the true facts about it. The fact that I said I am an ex-Charismatic(heavy on the ex) should say something to you. Tom

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Five Sola
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:45:09 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Ok. That is why I made the clarification that this was based on every charismatic I have met. I am happy to hear that all charismatics or that it is not a standard doctrine. This shows there is some hope for charismatics, for obviously those who did believe this would have to question their salvation according to scripture. The do have a big disagreement (even after you clarification) with the 2nd blessing theology. Besides the fact of limited (or no) scriptural support, it creates a false dicotomy in the christian life. The average christian (with out the 2nd blessing) and the good and powerful christian (with the 2nd blessing) it is sad that they would create this hiearchy in the christian life with no justification. Just like the comment about Billy Graham, (paraphrased) he could be so much better if he had the second blessing.... how arrogant. I praise God that He delivered you from that. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Tom
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 00:05:43 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Five I also find the comment about Billy Graham to be arogant. Though I do believe the man who said it, didn't mean it in an arogant manner. Though I disagree with his theology, when I look at his life and see his devotion to the Lord and how much time he spends studying the word of God. I am quite humbled. I found out that he goes through about a Bible every year or two, because he spends so much time studying it. I have seen the pages of one of these Bibles and it is the most worn Bible I have ever seen. You could see the tear marks and worn finger marks throughout it. As for the second blessing, though I believe one recieves the baptism with the Holy Spirit at regeneration. I do see how one could take the other view. One example is (this is from memory of a scripture verse) 'Have you recieved the Holy Spirit since you believed?' I believe this verse can be found in Acts. Tom

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 13, 2000 at 13:26:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Of course, you are assuming that Billy Graham is regenerate! Some people aren't so sure. :-) A sound exegesis of Acts 19:2 will quickly dispel the notion that this teaches a 'second blessing' theology. In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Oct 14, 2000 at 00:23:31 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim I assumed nothing about Billy Graham's condition. I was simply stating what a Penticostal pastor said. Yes I agree with you, one recieves the Holy Spirit at Baptism. However, when one read it in the KJV it uses the word 'since', in verse two. This can give a wrong impression to some readers. I believe the correct word is 'when'.

Subject: Re: Going, going, gone!
From: Eric
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 09:18:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Tom, I think you are right on with your points. Your experience sounds similiar to mine. However, it is troublesome that some (not Five Sola) will damn people to hell for their beliefs, while all the while being ignorant of what the actual belief system is. God bless.

Subject: Absolutely Gone!
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 11:52:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
Are you then suggesting that God will not damn anyone who is 'ignorant of what the actual belief system is.' Does this mean that just as long as an individual is sincere and lives the best he can according to the 'light' that he is given, God will accept him?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Where did you get that?
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 12:50:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Pilgrim, I think you misunderstood what I wrote, I have a tendancy to type long, comma infested sentences. My point was, (there I did it again) that Five Sola posited some objectionable beliefs held by Charismatics. His points were all wrong, and would be objected to strongly by all the Charismatics I have talked to (except for losing salvation). So to condemn to hell Charismatics because they believe X, is foolish, because they don't believe X. Note: Five Sola did not do this. My point had nothing to do with sincerity, it had to do with judging people based on false information. God bless.

Subject: Re: Where did you get that?
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 16:23:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
Okay, so let's say for the sake of peace I erred in understanding what you wrote. :-) So, now could you please enumerate those 'false allegations' which you allege Five Sola accused the Charisimatic/Pentecostal groups of believing. Personally, I didn't see anything that could be construed as being false as to their doctrines. Now, please don't reply that you know personally some who don't adhere to these things. For I can make the same claim. What Five Sola said, I believe, applies GENERALLY. Exceptions don't in any way disprove the 'rule'! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: Tom
To: John
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 17:14:34 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
John Although I agree with you and the oppinions of this board on the matter. I have so far run into people that do hold the scriptures in very high regard. Who just happen to think that it is ok for a woman to lead in a Church setting. The problem I believe with some of them, is that some time in their scripture learning they have unfortunately gotten some liberal teaching on the issue, without even realizing it. I have read one commentary that is perported to be conservative, that takes the stand that it is ok for a woman to be a leader. I am pretty much convinced about this topic, but being that it effects some of the people I am associated with, I want to be able to give a reasonable defence of what I believe the scriptures are saying. That may include, being able to defeat the arguements of the other side of the issue. In one of Pilgrim's posts, he included an article called 'An Open Letter' that I think is very helpful in that regard. Tom

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: John
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 11, 2000 at 06:21:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, I wish you the best of providence (not luck). I would like to agree and add one thought. A proposition: People who embrace error are normally not dissuaded by Scripture evidence (lest they be regenerate). For them, it is necessary to embrace doctrines that strokes the ego, making one feel right in doing wrong. A fallen (unregenerate) man to want truth is as rare as a leper who seeks out mirrors (i.e., it doesn't happen). Sub-point: Unrepentant ego can only use Scripture as a tool to transform error into a similitude of truth. The average church today is a field of stubble and thorns with sparse sprouts of corn. The corn will hear you (because they have 'ears' hehe), the rest will oppose you no matter how crafty or tightly woven your argument. john

Subject: Re: Hesitate to ......
From: Tom
To: John
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 12, 2000 at 02:10:21 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
John I get your point and I agree with it for the most part. I am glad you said: People who embrace error are normally not dissuaded by Scripture evidence. I think the key word here is 'normally'. I think I am one of the exceptions to this. I also know that there are many who embrace error who do not even know it. In fact, I would venture to say, that based on my past experience, I would have to say that I embrace error today without even knowing it. There probably is not a person alive today who is 100% scripturally error free. Spend your time on a board like this and you should see this fact. We take possitions on an issue based on our knowledge of the issue. If we miss something when we are studying an issue, we will probably come out with a wrong conclusion. Don't paint everyone who disagrees with you on a given topic, with the same brush. Only God knows for sure the condition of their heart. That doesn't mean I advocate a mamby pamby approach to combating error. Tom

Subject: 2 Cor. 4:4
From: another view
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 09:06:10 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
This message below was found today in another forum, and I would like to ask all the learned brethren what is the correct view -- is 2 Cor. 4:4 speaking about Satan, or about God Himself? ============== ..., In 2 Cor 4:4, the much quoted “god of this world” is found. I have heard many preachers use this verse to credit satan as the “god of this world”. The bible makes no such claim. If you look that word up in Strongs Exhaustive Concordance, you will find that it is capatalized. Nowhere in the bible is satan ever credited with blinding anyone. I submit to you the following scriptures. You decide who has blinded the jews, that they did not see Jesus , their king. 2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear) unto this day. Romans 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Isaiah 42:18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Isaiah 42:19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant? Isaiah 42:20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. Zephaniah 1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Matthew 23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Matthew 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. John 9: John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. I think it’s high time we stopped giving satan credit due our God, the real God of this world, don’t you? ....etc.
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- any comments here? I always thought this verse was refering to the devil. I always thought that God permits Satan to blind the minds of all unbelievers, etc. another view

Subject: Re: 2 Cor. 4:4
From: laz
To: another view
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 19:52:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Maybe you're splitting hairs...since we know that all things (including the blinding of some) are ordained by God...yet responsibility is never negated. Satan 'snares'...and does play an active role in God's hands immutable plans. Satan is called the 'prince of this world', 'prince of the power of the air', and other similar titles for a reason. The term 'god' used of Satan presents no issue with me...since this word is used of men in at least one scripture. Bottom line: A 'god' is anything worshipped....so, Satan is whom the world worships...ergo, Satan is the 'god of this world'. Satan is RESPONSIBIBLE for mischief, individual are RESPONSIBLE to resist Satan...and in all things God uses MEANS to accomplish His holy purposes. So, my rendering of 2Cor4:4 in context suggests Satan is in view.
Fifthly, the devils are still continually engaged against man, particularly the godly. This is evident from the exhortations to manfully resist the devils. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11); “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). a Brakel, Wilhelmus, Th.D., The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volumes I and II, (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four Group) 1999.
Note also these showing Satan at work: 2Tim 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 1Tim 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. YET, YET...God is not responsible for sin! ;-) laz

Subject: Re: 2 Cor. 4:4
From: another view
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 12:19:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks for the keen spiritual insight here. I hope you will not mind if I copy this, and post it in the forum where I found it. They can use some light on this verse, I think.

Subject: church in Florida
From: Ken
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 16:02:32 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'm moving to Lake Mary, Florida and I'm trying to find a church with sound Bible teaching. Could anyone help me?

Subject: Re: church in Florida
From: Brother Bret
To: Ken
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 21:27:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Lovitz5@aol.com

Message:
What part of the state is Lake Mary in? Florida is a big state :^ ). I pastor a church in south Florida 10 miles north of Ft Lauderdale and 35 miles north of Miami. RC Sproul is in Orlando, FL. I believe. D. James Kennedy is right in Ft. Lauderdale. Brother Bret Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

Subject: Re: church in Florida
From: Pilgrim
To: Ken
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 17:20:03 (PDT)
Email Address: thehighway@gospelcom.net

Message:
Ken, Since I live more than 3000 miles from there, I can't recommend a specific church. But have you tried any of the Church Locators in The Highway's resource pages? You can get there by clicking here: Church Home Page Directories In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Regulative Principle
From: Five Sola
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 01, 2000 at 20:41:50 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Dear Reformed brothers/sisters, I am about to do a study on Regulative Principle of Worship. Could you recomend books and articles to me. Articles on the web would be the best for me to start out with. I like to get the short 'overall' description/defense of it, before I do an intense study. This always helps me collect my thoughts and see the big picture as I am working through a book and bible passages. Five Sola ps. please pray for me also. Issues in my church related to worship are the cause for me to study this. I need to find out if I am making my preference the standard or if I am in the right biblically. Thanks

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Tom
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Sun, Oct 01, 2000 at 22:07:58 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Five I am probably not the best person to give advice on this subject, so I will just tell you where I think you will find articles on this subject. Go to the Highway's main pages and you will find articles written by various people. Also in the Highways main page, you can down load some free maturial that has the Reformed Confessions. Happy hunting. Tom

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: laz
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:58:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
FIve - check these links. Reg Principle G. Machen blessings, laz GI Williamson www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/Schlissel.htm

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Five Sola
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 12:52:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz, Thanks for the links (and others who included links too). I have not read all of them yet, but I have a few questions. First, is Exclusive Psalmody (sp?) a must for Regulative Principle ( RP) or is that were some divisions in that camp are? Also in one of the links you included an article at the 'outside the camp' site. I went ahead and read it even though anything on their site distresses me. They are the ones that say only a calvinist can be saved and calvinist who believe arminians can be saved are themselves lost (which includes most of the great reformers). Did you just include that article for the purpose of a brief explanantion or do you support their views? (ie in the article they bring out that even if someone followed a strict RP worship but did not follow a Regulative Gospel, meaning believing that only Calvinist could be saved then the worship was worthless and repugnant to God). or were you just including that one to show the extremes some take this to? a concerned Five Sola

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: laz
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 19:15:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
FS - sorry...i was actually looking for a great article on the subject I stumbled on last week...could not find so I took a stab at the dark recalling the name of that Outside the Camp site...did not know it was hyper. That's what I get when I post hastily. Neverless, did you learn something? LOL! laz

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Rod
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 14:53:27 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Five S, If you want to wade back through the archives a few months, there was discussion of these topics here some time back. Pilgrim posted on the Reg. Principle and E. P., as well as others.

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: Tom
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 14:46:05 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Five Good point about the Outside the Camp group. I have had my run ins with them. You are correct that within those who hold to the RP, there is an in house debate about Exclusive Psalmody. Tom

Subject: Re: Regulative Principle
From: John P.
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 10:18:41 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Coming from someone who holds to the regulative principle, I would recommend the following as the best (i.e., without comparison) overall introduction to the subject. Now, by all means, there is much to learn beyond what is contained in this source. However, you won't find an easier-to-read, nor more clear and concise, explanation of the RPW than this. It is by Kevin Reed: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibW_ch0.htm Click on the link at the top of this post if you care to go directly there. Sincerely, John P. "Biblical Worship" www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibW_ch0.htm

Subject: Be skeptical...
From: Eric
To: John P.
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 09:02:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
No instruments, no singing other than Psalms, no crosses, etc... Be very careful in adopting such a position. Don't let a justififed indignation with the contemporary worship attitudes cause you to adopt an extreme and unwarranted position. God bless.

Subject: Re: Be skeptical...
From: Five Sola
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 10:22:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric 'outside the camp' takes the extreme view on many things including Regulative Principle. While I am trying to study its full implications on worship today, I already believe it and am convinced of its biblicalness (is that a word?). I am trying to study it and see how far it reaches and to what point do I draw the line between preferences and biblical guidelines. I am thrown into this becuase of my church starting to take some steps to a 'relaxed' worship on sunday evenings which may or maynot include drama. :-( I am trying to get my 'facts straight' before I make a stand or am forced to leave (I don't look highly on divorce unless they are 'adulterizing' God's teaching) That being said, I am not holding to RP because of a distaste for contemporary worship. Actually RP changed my view on worship. I used to be a 'praise and worship', raise you hands and clap type of worshiper, but was convinced of the self-centeredness and wrong in that. RP states that the only acceptable worship before God is that worship stated in scripture. That means if it is not commanded in scripture than it is not acceptable. God takes His worship seriously and people approaching God sincerely to worship Him is irrelevant (He has killed and/or punished many people who were very sincere in their worship and/or actions but were doing things He had not commanded or commanded against). I think also that the perspective of worship is different (at least for me). Worship has NOTHING to do with us being fulfill, inspired, or blessed. The sole reason for worship is to honor God. period. Now if we do that, we will benefit in that by being refreshed, bless, etc., but that is not nor should not be our focus or point of worship. I can't say (from my experience growing up) that has ever been the goal of contemporary church worship (i know there may be some good churches out there but those are exceptions) Five Sola

Subject: Re: Be skeptical...
From: John
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 05:46:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You said, 'I don't look highly on divorce unless they are 'adulterizing' God's teaching'. While leaving a church may be a big decision, it isn't divorce. We are not married to our local church. There is no sin in seeking a Bible centered church. john

Subject: Re: Be skeptical...
From: Five Sola
To: John
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 10:26:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
john, I have to disagree with you. When I joined the church (or anyone does) I made a covenant with them. I should not leave over little things. My point was in reference of how many christians 'church hop' because they are getting what THEY want from the church, or it's not perfect by their standards. If we leave a church it should only be for solid biblical reasons, and even then it should be in tears and not rejoicing. I am not advocating a 'once you join you can't leave' view, but rather a 'once you join, there had be a serious charge before you leave'. A good example would be what lead to the formation of the PCA. They were formed from a leaving of the PCUS which is now a fully liberal 'church'. They left 27 years ago and formed the PCA but before that they fought the liberals and tried to bring the church back to God and scripture, they fought for 7-9 years (I forget which) and at the point they realized that the liberals had control and no christians could in good conscience remain, they left. That is what I mean. I am searching this issue to find the accurate view of it, then when i am certain, if I find that my church is straying from the biblical teaching I will raise my objection properly and struggle to make them aware of it. If after a certain amount of time (not sure how long) and they are unrepentant on it then at that time I will begin to consider leaving this family and breaking my covenant with them (divorce). Five Sola

Subject: Re: Be skeptical...
From: Eric
To: Five Sola
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 11:30:47 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
While I would not be a big fan of drama as part of a corporate worship service. The RP is logically inconsistent. Was the early church offending God prior to the canonization of the NT, or even the widespread distribution of the various books? What year was the first NT book written--and wasn't the early church already thriving at that point? How did they practice the RPW? Did they use OT standards. or something different? How about present day issues? What color suit/gown should a minister wear?--and I don't recall the wearing of a Geneva Gown being mentioned in scripture. What rhythm should the Psalms be sung with? Must we use harps and lyres? What should the sanctuary be made of, how should we enter--single file, should we stand or sit. What about languages, is English acceptable--obviously it is not commanded in scripture, and therefore unacceptable? How about prayers to God? Do we have to recite scripture only? Maybe God is offended if we offer up prayers in any language but Hebrew, Greek, and Aramiac. Sorry for being taking it to the extremes, but if one sincerely believes the RPW, I don't know how one can arbitrarily draw the line at what place to stop. >>>>God takes His worship seriously and people approaching God sincerely to worship Him is irrelevant (He has killed and/or punished many people who were very sincere in their worship and/or actions but were doing things He had not commanded or commanded against). Not true at all. Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Did you see it, the key factor is the heart, and not the form. I don't think that you can seperate the two components of worship--are giving praise to God, and our resulting joy that comes from it. Acts 17:24-25 'The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. God doesn't need our praise, or our worship. I like what C.S. Lewis said about praise. Something to the effect that our joy is only made complete when we praise or extol the virtues of it. In other words, we must be so satisfied with God that our acts of praise simaltaneously(sp?) honor God and provide us true joy. The truth is, we receive so much more from God than we could ever hope to give Him during worship. BTW, continue to ask God for wisdom in making a decision to leave a church over this or any issue. I do believe that it is a serious matter, and this decision of yours should take a long time (several months or more). It is possible that God can use you to be a corrective influence among the body. God bless.

Subject: Being more skeptical
From: John
To: all
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 07:00:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Psalm 98:5 says 'Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp and the voice of a psalm.' Here psalm means 'zimrah', music or melody. Psalm 101:1 'A Psalm of David...' Here psalm means a melody using 'mizmowr'. Psalm 105:2 says 'Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him...' Here psalm means 'zamar', to make music or sing praise. If we sing Psalms, are they not praise songs? Is David's psalms the only songs when the sense I get is that psalm simply means music or melody. What of Isa 38:20 where Isaiah says '...therefore we will sing MY songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD'. Whose songs in the house of the Lord…. David's or Isaiah's? What are we to do with Col 3:16 (or Eph 5:19)? Are we to believe we are to think psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are only references to David's Psalms? Then should Col 3 read: '...and admonishing one another in psalms and psalms and spiritual psalms, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord'. Was Paul and Silas in error in Act 16:25 for singing praises unto God. What psalm (or hymn) was sung by Jesus and the disciples on the way to the Mount of Olives (Mt 26:30)? Were they restricted to David's songs? Is it proper for the saints in heaven to sing a new song saying 'Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by they blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation....'. This song is certainly new and different, not found anywhere else. Is God offended, should He be? Rev 15:3 says believers were singing 'the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb...'. What happened to the exclusive singing of the songs of David? Was God offended by their use of Mose’s songs (Ex 15:1) against His supposed command to only sing David’s Psalms? If we take Heb 13:15 literally, we should '...offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually...'. Should we praise with songs only from the Psalms continually? I also worry about Heb 2:12 where it says 'I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.' It sounds as if the singing of praise is extemporaneous and not memorized. Wouldn’t this be forbidden in the church? I am not for modern church music or unbiblical songs, not by any means. But the Bible seems to imply that the believer will sing continually to God a new song. God’s focus is on praise from a glad heart, not memorizing OT psalms. In the OT nearly every act concerning worship was stipulated exactly. But where do we find this symbolic use continued in the NT church. Where does God command the types of songs we must sing in the NT church? I am sure if singing is restricted to the Psalms the Bible will clearly explain. Where is the clear Scripture reference that proves this again? john

Subject: Re: Being more skeptical
From: Five Sola
To: John
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 04, 2000 at 10:31:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, you said:'I am sure if singing is restricted to the Psalms the Bible will clearly explain. Where is the clear Scripture reference that proves this again?' Personally, I agree. and bear in mind that not all those who hold to RP are exclusive Psalmody. You could check the archives and see this discussion in its entireity since it went on a few months back. Personally (at least at this point) I see 'psalms, hymns and spiritual songs' as permissable for worship. I am just trying to consider the other aspects of it. I won't go any further in this. I was originally just seeking resources to study for RP, and recieved a number of good things. I would default to one of the more knowledgeable of posters here to answer any questions on RP. I am not that person :-) Five Sola

Subject: Funerals
From: Brother Bret
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 21:09:04 (PDT)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
I have the honor of doing my first funeral tommorrow morning :-). How biblical do you think funeral services are? Don't recall any in the word of God. They just buried them right? Or am I making a big deal out of nothing? One thing that I won't do, is give anyone a false hope when their life was known to be...well. But then again, no one knows for sure, so should any preacher at a funeral talk about the deceased being in Heaven even if they appeared to be walking the walk and were doctrinally correct? What do ya'll think? :-) Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Funerals
From: laz
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 19:47:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
BB - everything I ever read these past few months about James M. Boice assumed that he went to His Maker in glory. His life (even in death) was 'proof' of God's grace. So, have his friends been presumptuous? I don't think so.... Preach on!! blessings, laz

Subject: Re: Funerals
From: stan
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 15:29:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Personally a moment of remembrance at the graveside is all I want for me and mine, but funerals are a great place to share the gospel in a loving way to those present. You have their attention where it needs to be - centered on death! Within our own society I think we probably need to go with funerals for now and begin teaching the proper view of death, and getting there ;-) Probably just another one of those things we've inherited from the church of the past - what is it - tradition or is it rut? ;-) Luke 16.22 seems to leave the viewing and funeral out as well. 'And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;'

Subject: Re: Funerals
From: Five Sola
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 21:56:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Bret, Wow! I don't really have an answer for you, and since I am not ordained (I don't serve in any pastorate or elder position either). But for me I would not do a funeral unless I had a certainty of the deceased salvation (as much as we are allowed to know in this life.) There just is nothing that can be said for someone we are unsure of or certain of their reprobation. I hope others will respond to you (quickly also), but I will pray for you that God will give you some wise words tommorow. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Funerals
From: john hampshire
To: living
Date Posted: Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 02:58:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...suffer me first to go bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Mat 8:21 The point may be that the physically dead should be the concern of the spiritually dead. The next point is: Lu 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: BUT GO THOU AND PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD. So the living in Christ should keep their focus on the living who are dying of spiritual famine. If someone were to speak at a funeral, I would suggest, what better time to 'preach the kingdom of God' to the living. john

Subject: Westminster Divines on Burying the dead
From: John P.
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Sep 30, 2000 at 20:59:05 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
******QUOTE******* Concerning Burial of the Dead. WHEN any person departeth this life, let the dead body, upon the day of burial, be decently attended from the house to the place appointed for publick burial, and there immediately interred, without any ceremony. And because the custom of kneeling down, and praying by or towards the dead corpse, and other such usages, in the place where it lies before it be carried to burial, are superstitious; and for that praying, reading, and singing, both in going to and at the grave, have been grossly abused, are no way beneficial to the dead, and have proved many ways hurtful to the living; therefore let all such things be laid aside. Howbeit, we judge it very convenient, that the Christian friends, which accompany the dead body to the place appointed for publick burial, do apply themselves to meditations and conferences suitable to the occasion and that the minister, as upon other occasions, so at this time, if he be present, may put them in remembrance of their duty. That this shall not extend to deny any civil respects or deferences at the burial, suitable to the rank and condition of the party deceased, while he was living. ******END QUOTE******

Subject: The Simple Truth
From: another view
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 14:20:25 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...The simple Biblical truth is that God created Adam with a free will. He could choose to do good or evil, but he chose to do evil. Every single descendant of Adam was guilty of this sin as he was our corporate head, and every single descendant of Adam was now incapable of choosing to do anything good. God knew all this was going to happen and He arranged it to display His mercy and justice. Even before time He decided to save some and not others. He displays His infinite mercy by saving His elect. They do not deserve this because they participated in the sin of Adam and committed numerous sins of their own. He displays His justice by punishing the reprobate. They do deserve this because they participated in Adam's sin and they chose to commit their own sins. God is both infinitely merciful and infinitely just. Man had free will but only before Adam sinned. Paradox solved. No need to propose some previously undisclosed age before the beginning of time. See also the Creeds that are posted on this web site. All should note that the teaching in the previous post are clearly rejected as error by the Synod of Dordt. I will post below the teaching in that article and their rejection as errors by the Cannons. 'God's selection of the Elect is not arbitrary, it is based upon His foreknowledge of those predestinated.' 'Those who chose God and not evil in that hypothetical aion are then predestined unto salvation in this aion.' Who teach: that in the election unto faith this condition is beforehand demanded, namely, that man should use the light of nature aright, be pious, humble, meek, and fit for eternal life, as if on these things election were in any way dependent. Who teach: faith, the obedience of faith, holiness, godliness and perseverance are not fruits of the unchangeable election unto glory, but are conditions, which, being required beforehand, were foreseen as being met by those who will be fully elected, and are causes without which the unchangeable election to glory does not occur. 'It is possible for someone to meet God part of the way and then He will do the rest.' Who teach: That the unregenerate man is not really nor utterly dead in sin, nor destitute of all powers unto spiritual good, but that he can yet hunger and thirst after righteousness and life, and offer the sacrifice of a contrite and broken spirit, which is pleasing to God. For these are contrary to the express testimony of Scripture. 'Ye were dead through trespasses and sins,' Ephesians 2:1,5; and: 'Every imagination of the thought of his heart are only evil continually,' Genesis 6:5; 8:21. Who teach: That grace and free will are partial causes, which together work the beginning of conversion, and that grace, in order of working, does not precede the working of the will; that is, that God does not efficiently help the will of man unto conversion until the will of man moves and determines to do this. For the ancient Church has long ago condemned this doctrine of the Pelagians according to the words of the Apostle: 'So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy,' Romans 9:16. Likewise: 'For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?' I Corinthians 4:7. And: 'For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure,' Philippians 2:13.
---
Copied from another forum

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: FredW
To: another view
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 02:03:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Agree with all except that, although we inherited Adam's sin nature, I believe we did/do not participate in Adam's sin. He did his and we each do our own. All in all, though, I'm with you. God bless.

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Rod
To: FredW
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 03:18:23 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Fred, Would you mind explaining why it is that 'we each do our own' sinning? That is, why is it that every human being from Adam on has invariably sinned, the Lord Jesus excepted? I think you'll have to admit that there's some powerful force being exerted upon each of Adam's offspring. Paul declared, '...for we have before proved both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin...there is none righteous, no, not one' (Rom. 3:9, 11). Billions of people, all sinning without fail! It sort of strains the credibility that they aren't like their father by inheritance, doesn't it, since they all are in his image: 'And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years and begot a son in his own likeness, after his own image' (Gen. 5:3), not after God's image. The proof is in the fact that all Adam's children die without God's direct intervention ( see verse 24), but for all others, the refrain is monotonous, 'and he died.' They died because they were, as Paul states, 'under sin.' Sin was theirs judgmentally and internally: 'For they that are after the flesh [of Adam] do mind the things of the flesh...so then, they that are in the flesh [in Adam, under sin] cannot please God' (Rom. 8:5, 8; cp. especially verse 7). It might be well to examine Rom. 5:12-21. Note particularly verse 19, 'For as by one man's [Adam's] disobedience MANY WERE MADE SINNERS, so by the obedience of one [the Lord Jesus Christ] shall many be made righteous.' 1 Cor. 15:20-21 is a restatement of these principles. They/we 'were made sinners' by what Adam did. It's very hard to get around that direct statement from God's inspired Word, don't you think? Without that imputation of sin and the inheritance of a sin nature, there seems to be no way to account for the fact that every single person who ever was born of human parents sins. The only alternative to that is to defy God's Word on the matter and declare that every person ever born since Adam and Eve has a free will and every one, universally, makes the free choice to sin in spite of having the ability not to sin. But God says 'they are all under sin...there is none that seeketh after God.' None. Not ever. Not unless they are acted upon in the new birth, what we call 'regeneration,' receiving a new heart and a new will to seek God in Christ.

Subject: Rod: a response to your post
From: FredW
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 22:29:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Fred, 1. Rod: Would you mind explaining why it is that 'we each do our own' sinning? That is, why is it that every human being from Adam on has invariably sinned, the Lord Jesus excepted? FW: Because we all have a sin nature inherited by Adam and are not capable of being righteous (note: the filthy rags passage). We choose to sin. ...I think you'll have to admit that there's some powerful force being exerted upon each of Adam's offspring. Paul declared, '...for we have before proved both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin...there is none righteous, no, not one' (Rom. 3:9, 11). Billions of people, all sinning without fail!... 2. Rod: It sort of strains the credibility that they aren't like their father by inheritance, doesn't it, since they all are in his image:... FW: They are behaving exactly as their father Adam did. ... 'And Adam lived ... It might be well to examine Rom. 5:12-21... 3. Rod: They/we 'were made sinners' by what Adam did. It's very hard to get around that direct statement from God's inspired Word, don't you think? FW: Indeed, if Adam had not chosen to eat of the tree, he would not have had to surely die. His offspring inherit the nature to sin, but they are damned by their own sin. 4. Without that imputation of sin and the inheritance of a sin nature, there seems to be no way to account for the fact that every single person who ever was born of human parents sins. FW: Amen. 5. Rod: The only alternative to that is to defy God's Word on the matter and declare that every person ever born since Adam and Eve has a free will and every one, universally, makes the free choice to sin in spite of having the ability not to sin. FW: Actually, man has a bonded will: that is, in bondage to sin. Free will, as it is typically debated, refers to the ability to choose to obey God. So, man chooses to sin and has no ability not to because he is a slave to it. 6. Rod: But God says 'they are all under sin...there is none that seeketh after God.' None. Not ever. Not unless they are acted upon in the new birth, what we call 'regeneration,' receiving a new heart and a new will to seek God in Christ. FW: Again, amen.

Subject: Re: FredW: a response to your post
From: Pilgrim
To: FredW
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 23:12:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
FredW.,
Your reply to #3 is written as follows:
'Indeed, if Adam had not chosen to eat of the tree, he would not have had to surely die. His offspring inherit the nature to sin, but they are damned by their own sin.' [emphasis mine, P]
The problem here Fred is two-fold: 1) That all men have inherited a sin nature due to the judicial act of God is of necessity a punishment that was merited by Adam and his posterity due to the transgression which incurred GUILT. Is this not exactly what Paul says in Romans 5:12?
'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
The sin nature inherited by every human born since Adam is God's just punishment meted out to them BECAUSE 'all have sinned'! No guilt! No punishment! The reality of the case that all men are born with a depraved nature of necessity indicates that they are GUILTY! And so it is, that all men have IMPUTED to them, GUILT. Taking this truth in the proper order then, because all men are found GUILTY in Adam, they inherit a sin nature and thus physical death is but an outward display and proof of their guiltiness before God. Paul in this passage gives further proof of this, as he compares the imputation of Adam's guilt upon ALL men to that righteousness of the Lord Christ which is imputed to all that are in Him. IF . . . IF I say, there is no imputation of guilt from the first Adam, then there is no imputation of righteousness from the Second Adam, and consequently, we are all doomed and will surely perish. 2) I would contend and affirm that at conception, all individuals are subject to the just judgment of God, for by nature we are all 'children of wrath' and destined for condemnation in and of ourselves. As David also confessed, 'Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.' (Psa 51:5). There was no overt act of sin committed by David at conception, yet he confesses that he was 'shapen in iniquity'. By what just act of God was David made to be the inheritor of that sin nature? The Scriptures answer because David was GUILTY in Adam and thus bore the punishment of that act. The inherited GUILT is enough in itself to find a person damnable. Adam's GUILT resulted in a sin nature AND condemnation. Thus again, we are all "children of wrath" and subject to judgment. One doesn't have to sin FIRST before they are liable to eternal damnation. All that is necessary is their conception. The sins, which all men commit are but indicative of the sin nature and thus their guiltiness before God. Acts of trangression in thought, word, and/or deed only add "fuel to the fire" and increase our guilt.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Pilgrim(and Rod): a closing post
From: FredW
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 05, 2000 at 21:48:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim (and Rod): I started to give a line-by-line response, but quickly found that, although we agree on most everything, we disagree on this matter of guilt at conception. I do agree that all men are accountable from the Bible before they die, and can understand your concern at the theoretical possibility of someone dying without having committed a sin, but I hold that that situation cannot occur because other verses won't allow it. I hereby drop out as the debate will not sway either of us. Much grace to you, brother, FredW

Subject: To Fred W
From: Rod
To: FredW
Date Posted: Fri, Oct 06, 2000 at 07:37:12 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I seem to be something of an afterthought in your view of all this, but I would like to make a couple of observations. First, sometimes, when there is a stalemate it is useless to continue a discussion/debate. But simple avoidance is not healthy. Many Christians won't dispute others for the wrong reasons. They think it will make the other person mad (doesn't have to happen if both sides are conducting themselves properly) or they think that nothing is served in the process. I personally have my mind made up in this matter. I believe the orthodox Christian view is the one I hold--that is, it is both true to the Bible and historically the view of the true Christian Church. If I didn't believe that, I would not hold it. If you can convince me otherwise, I don't want to hold it. Naturally, I don't believe you can convince me otherwise, but no one seeking to serve the Lord Jesus with all his heart will cling to a view in the face of Biblical evidence that he is wrong. That includes hardheaded people like me. I am most disappointed that you didn't address the points I made in my last post, particularly the impossibility of redeeming someone when there was nothing to redeem them from. That meaning this: If one doesn't have guilt upon him, there is nothing to redeem him from. When Paul states unwaveringly that 'There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus' (Rom. 8:1), isn't is safe and logical, Biblical, and conclusive that there is condemnation (guilt by decree) upon all who are not 'in Christ Jesus?' When does one get to be 'in Christ Jesus?' When he is born again, regenerated. When does one get to be 'in Adam?' When he is born physically; at the exact point when he becomes one of Adam's race, he is 'in Adam.' When David said, 'Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me,' was he being literal that, from the time of his inception, he was associated with sin and the consequences of it? Or, was he being figurative, that he really wasn't so involved and associated with sin and guilt that he was doomed by it as well as to it by his father and mother's lineage from the first sinner? I see no conclusion other than that he knew he was 'in Adam' from his first moment, not only in his bent to sin, but in his guilt before God. In this Psalm, David was confessing his specific sin concerning Bathsheba, yet in this particular verse, he is confessing before God that he was, at his core, in his essence, in his utter being, guilty before God from the beginning of his existence. 'In Adam all die,' pronounces Paul in 1 Cor. 15:22, but just prior to that he said, 'For since by man came death....' We know from the Romans section I cited several posts ago that the death came 'by one man' and that death 'because sin entered the world' through that man, and 'death by sin' (Rom. 5:12). The death sentence; the guilt by imputation; the 'condemnation' came onto all Adam's children by imputation and the just pronouncement of the sentence of condemnation of guilt by God because of what Adam did. 'In Adam all die,' and in the same manner, by imputation and the pronounced judgment of God, 'even so in Christ Jesus shall all be made alive.' They are 'made alive' by God by His judicious action, and that after having been concluded guilty in Adam by His prior judicious action and decree. The imputation of Adam's guilt to all mankind is necessary to and a vital part of God's mercy to those whom He saves. He pronounces them guilty because it's just (they could have done no better than their father) and because it allows Him to make provision in Jesus Christ for their redemption. If God had not decreed them under guilt, He could not have paid their penalty in His Son for their guilt because of the simple fact that they would not have been guilty until they sinned. There is no condemnation, no death sentence, justly borne for those who are not under the condemnation of guilt. For all the future generations from the time of the Savior's death by substitution, there is no propitiation, the wrath of God still rests upon them: They had no Substitute for sin, having not yet sinned. This is the Arminian view, that man inherited no guilt, merely and only a 'bent,' a 'proneness' to sin, but not the actual guilt from sin. Under this system of belief there is 'no condemnation' because one is in Christ alone, but also because he is not condemned by God until he sins. It nullifies God's design and provision. But, having sinned in Adam, being guilty before God by imputation and decree, being worthy of death, they are placed in Christ on the cross in judgment of sin and redeemed along with all else whom God mercifully saves. This is the opposite view from the Arminian; it is the Biblical view. Thus the Bible makes it clear that the Lord Jesus died for that which was already condemned by God as actual fact, not simply what would, in time, become fact by virtue of future sinning. In time, while he was living, the Lord Jesus Christ bore the guilt possessed by those He came to redeem. He lay down his life 'for the sheep.' 'The sheep' included those of Israel for whom He died and the 'other sheep,' the Gentiles and future generations he mentions also, multitudes who had not yet physically sinned, not having had the opportunity in time (see John 10:1-30). 'For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him' (2 Cor. 5:21). '...Christ also suffered for us...who in his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed' (1 Peter 2:21-24). As Paul, we who are given salvation by grace through God's gift of faith are 'Crucified with Christ,' having already been judged guilty of sin by God at the time of crucifixion, standing in need of salvation though countless numbers were yet to be born. It is because we were judged guilty in Adam that God could redeem us at that time by substitutionary death. We can joyously proclaim with Paul, 'Nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me' (Gal. 2:20). All that is made possible by one fact and one contingency: I am guilty before God 'in Adam' and, therefore, 'I am crucified with Christ.' [Now, Fred, after haing invited you to rejoin the fray, I must bow out shortly. I will be unavailable to my computer for awhile, so, if you reply, I won't see it after today until some time later.]

Subject: Fred: A closing post reply
From: Pilgrim
To: FredW
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 05, 2000 at 23:03:13 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Fred,
After reading your 'Closing Post' I had to ask myself if somehow I failed to communicate clearly the issue here. It would appear that either I did just that, and miserably, or you have failed to grasp the simplicity of the matter. Let me very briefly state what I believe is a perspicuous truth:
Rom 5:12 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:'
Original Sin is not to be understood as the personal and solitary act of transgression committed by Adam in the Garden of Eden!! Original Sin is the just punishment of God which was the CONSEQUENCE of Adam's disobedience. It is a 'state of being'; the corruption and depravity of the soul. It is described in myriad ways throughout the Scriptures, but probably the most poignant one occurs in Ephesians 2, where Paul uses the phrase dead in trespasses and sins; dead in sins (vss. 1 and 5). Looking again at Rom 5:12, this death came upon all men BECAUSE, THE RESULT OF; DUE TO THE FACT THAT; CONSEQUENTLY; says Paul, 'for that all have sinned:'. Here, Paul is not speaking of the sins committed during one's life, but rather Adam's sin, which he says we all share in, including the GUILT of that sin. Men die because they are guilty with Adam. They are born into this world with the punishment of death inherent within their souls because Adam's guilt is IMPUTED to them. The depravity of soul IS 'Original Sin' which is owned due to one's personal guilt IMPUTED from Adam's personal sin. What is most fundamental here, is that Paul presents a contrast between two events and their consequences; Adam's sin and the judgment of death as its consequence, and the Lord Christ's atonement and the meritorious righteousness as its consequence. And more important is the way men share in these two consequences. Adam's guilt and consequential punishment comes upon all men by imputation and inheritance respectively. And Christ's righteousness and consequential reconciliation with God and eternal life comes upon all believers by imputation and inheritance. This is the 'Great Exchange'. The doctrine of Sola Fide (Justification by grace through faith, alone) is inseparably joined to the doctrine of Original Sin and the guilt that is its primary and sole cause. Put simply, if Adam's guilt is not imputed to all men, then Christ's perfect righteousness CANNOT be ours! For Christ's righteousness is IMPUTED by judicial decree no less than Adam's sin is imputed to us by the same method; i.e., the just judgment of God. Lastly you made this comment:
'[I] can understand your concern at the theoretical possibility of someone dying without having committed a sin . . .'
To the contrary, that is not my concern at all, for it is an illogical statement. For if it were possible for one to not sin, then that person would never die, as was ultimately demonstrated in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, physical death is but the evidence of spiritual death (original sin) and the penalty that results from being GUILTY before God. Thus even fetuses are born 'children of wrath' because of the fact that they have imputed to them the guilt of their father Adam and thus inherit a corruption of nature. Consequently, they suffer physical death no less than one who has 'sinned his life away' for over 100 years. I hope this serves to make plain the issue itself and the consequences bound up with it. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: FredW: a response to your post
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Oct 03, 2000 at 07:41:35 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Yes, brother Pilgrim, I wish Fred had read my post below and responded to that after laz pointed out that I had misread his original contention. As I said there, nevertheless, the fact that people do inherit the sin nature is inseparably linked with the just imputation of the guilt. Separation of the too takes a finer edge than any surgeon's scalpel. Even laser surgery can't accomplish it. And, as you identify, it is precisely because it is based on a judicial act of the holy God, Who acts because we are in Adam, receiving the imputation of his sin and guilt. Paul again points that out when he says, 'Is the law, then, against the promises of God? God forbid; for if there had been a law given which COULD HAVE GIVEN LIFE, verily righteousness should have been given by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe' (Gal. 3:21-22). Doesn't this indicate that all men have not life, spiritual life, naturally? Certainly it does. And based on that declaration, we have additional proof that we are all born under the condemnation of Adam's guilt, children of wrath, born physically alive and spiritually dead, signifying that the wrath of God rests upon all of mankind from the onset. But the purpose of the law was to mirror our guilt and helplessness because we are in Adam and to bring men to the realization of it. Our whole history is that of representation and achievement by representation. On the one hand, we have Adam whose sin secured the wrath of God on all mankind. On the other, we have the Lord Jesus Christ whose sacrifice bore that sin and its penalty away from all in Him. If we had not the wrath of God judicially, then we had not the need nor the opportunity for the Lord Jesus to be the Substitute who bore the penalty, for there could be no penalty prior to men's having committed sin. For all those who were yet unborn at the time of the cross, there would be no sin upon them, only the furture and impending ability to sin, but not imputation of guilt. Therefore, they would have been born alive to God, but have died in their own sin afterward, and the penalty, which was incurred after the cross, would have no remedy. The sacrifice paid by the Lord Jesus Christ at His shed blood was a ransom, a payment of life for a debt of life already owed, even if an actual act of physical sin had not been accomplished. Prior to condemnation, there can be no redemption. There is simply not anything to be redeemed from. Redemption is from the guilt of sin and it can only be obtained where guilt exists at the time of the redemption, the act of sacrifice 'for sin.'

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: laz
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:43:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod - I think you misunderstood Fred..he agrees that we inherited Adam's sin nature...but NOT Adam's sin...i.e., not Adam's guilt. Which goes against Paul in Romans...since the comparison is being made between those IN ADAM and sharing IN ADAM'S SIN (while we were not in the Garden)...and those IN CHRIST sharing IN CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS (while we have been sinners since conception. laz

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 11:31:15 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Thank you, laz. I went back and reread what Fred said (say that 5 times real fast!) and I did misread the first sentence. I apologize, Fred, the spirit was willing but the flesh and eyes were weak! That said, The passages quoted and cited do indicate that his sin is ours, just as you indicate, laz. The two Adams give us what is theirs intrinsically. Adam's sin is imputed to us, and justly so. Likewise, what he did caused a curse to be passed onto his offspring. The distinction of being 'in Adam' is important. We are in him in a twofold way: 1) we are in him by partaking of his nature; and 2) we are in him by being present with him in sin in the same sense that Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek beofre he was even born (see Heb. 7:9-10). It is in a like manner that we were 'crucified with ' our Lord (Rom. 6:6). We weren't even born and hadn't even sinned yet in time, but it was our sin (the nature as well as the consequent acts) which forced Him to pay the penalty. We were there with Him in our sin when He paid for us what was due. Then we receive His righteousness by imputation. The two things seem to me to be inseparable: If we inherit the sin nature, it is because we were also active in the sin, along with the representative man. If we say that one inherits the sin nature, but not the guilt, then we say that it is the act of sinning which condemns, not the fact that the person is born spiritually dead.. We know that it is from birth that men are lost and in need of salvation (guilty before God) because in Eph. 2:3 Paul says we 'were by nature children of wrath.' The wrath of God is our inheritance from Adam and the wrath rests on us who have carnal minds due to our natures which are only composed of 'enmity against God' (Rom. 8:7). That principle seems to be borne out by Rom. 6:23, where 'the wages of sin is death.' It is 'sin' in the singular which brings death. That means that the fact of sin, the fact that it is in us, makes us worthy and deserving of the death penalty. The extent of the sinning determines the degree of punishment for those outside the Lord Jesus, but they all suffer the same penalty, eternal death and retribution in varying degrees. The fact that all men must suffer that sentence and punishment due to their inherent guilt forced the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross in substitutionary payment for the guilt of the predestined and elect so that they might be viewed guiltless and righteous in Him, the last Adam. The wrath of God is due to the fact that we are 'in Adam' from our beginning, identified with him in nature, in his act of rebellion, in his just condemnation. It's often said, but bears repeating, 'You aren't a sinner because you sin; you sin because you ARE a sinner.' Nevertheless, the individual's responsibility for his own acts of sin and what he is isn't diminished by the fact that he receives the nature and the curse from his father. Each of us is responsible before God and mankind is responsible before God for all that we are. The fact that those of us in Christ receive mercy from God through His provision is the only thing relieving us of the responsibility and that because it has already been met in Him.

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Pilgrim
To: another view
Date Posted: Fri, Sep 29, 2000 at 17:33:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I found the following statement taken from above to be rather vague:
God knew all this was going to happen and He arranged it to display His mercy and justice.
What is 'vague' and subject to criticism is the ORDER stated. The biblical teaching is that God FIRST 'foreordained' [arranged (but by decree)] the Fall and thus He 'knew' (foreknowledge). God's Omniscience is perfect and complete due to the fact that He foreordained all things. This is the teaching of the Canons of Dordrect, the Reformers, Puritans and all the Reformed Confessions. I just wanted to make this particular point clear! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: another view
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 07:20:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks for the reply; however, if the fall was decreed by God, then how can God justly condemn the human race for being sinners? A. W. Pink writes:... ... How is it possible for God to DECREE that men SHOULD commit certain sins, hold them RESPONSIBLE in the committal of them, and adjudge them GUILTY because they committed them? Let us now consider the extreme case of Judas. We hold that it is clear from Scripture that God decreed from all eternity that Judas should betray the Lord Jesus. If anyone should challenge this statement we refer him to the prophecy of Zechariah through whom God declared that His Son should be sold for 'thirty pieces of silver' (Zech. 11:12). As we have said in earlier pages, in prophecy God makes known what will be, and in making known what will be He is but revealing to us what He has ordained shall be. ...etc. If you or anyone else here can make this clearer for me, that would be great. I do not understand the difference between God's 'will be' and God's 'shall be'...when it comes to the fall of mankind especially.

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Pilgrim
To: another view
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:05:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
another view,
Sometimes the TRUTH isn't so simple! :-). There isn't much I can add to what Rod has replied to you but only offer you what has been agreed upon by our forefathers who I believe summarized the biblical teaching rightly.
The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III Of God's Eternal Decree
I. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[1] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[3] 1. Psa. 33:11: Eph. 1:11: Heb. 6:17 2. Psa. 5:4; James 1:13-14; I John 1:5; see Hab. 1:13 3. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28: Matt. 17:12; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33 II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,[4] yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[5] 4. I Sam. 23:11-12; Matt. 11:21-23 5. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18 III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels[6] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[7] 6. I Tim 5:21; Jude 1:6; Matt. 25:31, 41 7. Eph. 1:5-6; Rom. 9:22-23; Prov. 16:4 IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[8] 8. John 10:14-16, 27-28; 13:18; 17:2, 6, 9-12; II Tim. 2:19 V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[9] out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto;[10] and all to the praise of his glorious grace.[12] 9. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:28-30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9 10. Rom. 9:11, 13, 15-16; see Eph. 1:5, 9, 11; 2:8-9 11. Eph. 1:6, 12 VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[12] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[13] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[14] and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation.[15] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[16] 12. I Peter 1:2; Eph. 2:10; II Thess. 2:13 13. I Thess. 5:9-10; Titus 2:14 14. Rom. 8:30; see Eph. 1:5; II Thess. 2:13 15. I Peter 1:5 16. John 4:47, 6:64-65, 10:14-15 & 26, 17:9; Rom. 8:28-39; I John 2:19 VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.[17] 17. Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Jude 1:4; I Peter 2:8; II Tim. 2:19-20 VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[18] that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[19] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[20] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[21] 18. Rom. 9:20; 11:33; Deut. 29:29 19. II Peter 1:10; I Thess. 1:4-5 20. Eph. 1:6; see Rom. 11:33 21. Rom. 8:33; 11:5-6, 20; Luke 10:20; see II Peter 1:10
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Rod
To: another view
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 07:58:23 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I'm certain Pilgrim can and will answer you on this. I won't try to speak for him. I will say a couple of things, however, in regard to your post. First, you don't cite your reference for Pink's quote--what is the book or article, and page number, in case anyone wants to check it out? Second, it seems to me you've misinterpreted Pink's intent. Though I don't know the source of the quotation, and you haven't quoted all he said, it seems apparent that he's saying that the mystery is that God did decree and did justly condemn. It's a 'mystery' in the sense that we can't fully understand it, but it is, nevertheless, true. I don't want to put words into Pink's mouth, but I can't imagine him siding with you on this issue. As the supreme example of how God can foreordain and decree that something be so, but that men can be responsible for their sin in bringing it to pass, look closely at Acts 2: 22-23: '...Jesus of Nazareth...him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and with wicked hands have crucified and slain.' Is it not amazingly clear from that concise statement that God was ultimately behind the Lord Jesus' deliverance to be crucified? Furthermore, is it not just as plain from that the shameful betrayal by Judas, followed necessarily by the crucifixion by others was 'wickness' on their part while God was blameless? The only thing which isn't clear is how God was able to accomplish that. But He, being God, could and did. Conversely, we, being human, don't fully comprehend the process. What men determined to do and carried out because of the evil intents of their hearts, God meant from eternity for His glory and the salvation of His elect. Men accomplished evil at God's decree, sinning in the process, while God wrought good from it, creating a pathway by means of the shed blood applied to sinners for entrance into Heaven. He also established His justice by making the provision on the cross of His Son and the rejection of it the basis of just condemnation for those under the penalty of sin. By this watershed event, God demonstrates both mercy and justice, establishing His glory as the Son glorifies Him and He the Son.

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: another view
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 11:00:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks for the replies. My question is --what is the difference between foreordain and decree? As you said: >>As the supreme example of how God can foreordain and decree that something be so, but that men can be responsible for their sin in bringing it to pass, look closely at Acts 2: 22-23: '...Jesus of Nazareth...him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and with wicked hands have crucified and slain.'<< I can see how God ordains individual sins to bring about His sovereign will, etc. but I'm still having trouble with how and why God ordained or decreed the fall of mankind. It appears that the non-elect are found to be sinners and judged for their sins (with eternal damnation) by the decreee of God alone, and by not any 'fault' of their own. This is often used by Arminianism as it speaks out against the true Calvinistic view. (I am a Calvinist, but taking the side of the Arminian for the moment for matters of debate).

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Rod
To: another view
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 12:26:40 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I've forgotten to whom I replied not too many days ago, but, as I told that poster, my dictionary theologically equates ordination and decree by God. Both are based on 'foreknowledge' (or the lack of it) as outlined in Rom.28-30, esp. verse 29. As we have discussed before on this board, this is more than knowing something would happen, or learning that it would happen by 'peering down through the ages,' but consists of an intimate, loving knowledge and provision for the predestined and elect of God from the beginning of eternity. 'Those whom he foreknew he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son' (verse 29). Is there anything in that which condemns God because He effectively determined in the foreknowledge of the elect that others would be lost in sin. No! That is an emphatic negative reply purely and simply because He gave the representative man every incentive not to sin and every opportunity to avoid the one act which was forbidden to him. Yet God knew in His glory and majesty and righteousness and justice that Adam would sin, though he had free will to choose. Thus, God is behind all things and ultimately responsible for them, yet He is not morally responsible for the sin which men do of themselves. That simple, yet profound, fact He declares over and over in the Bible and it is self-evident to the person of faith who believes the Word of God: He is holy and righteous as He constantly declares. God doesn't explain or attempt to justify His actions, He simply announces what they are and that they are just and right. To those whom He gives faith to receive the truth, it is abundantly clear. To the lost, it is apparently unjust and unjustifiable. Yet, as we've been discussing above in this same thread, the guilt of man stems from the first man and the fact that he became a sinner under the most auspicious of circumstances and having been close to, intimate with, God. Therefore, it is just and right that all men share in his nature and his guilt before God, for we could have done no better than Adam. That is justice. But what is ignored in all that is that God is more than just. He is just and He is merciful. He justly metes out the punishment deserved on the sinner. Every sinner. In the case of the lost, it is in eternal death and retribution. In the case of the redeemed, it is in the reception of the guilt and punishment for it in the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross (see above posts, this thread; again, compare Rom 6:6 and Gal. 2:20). The fact that His mercy is based on foreknowledge is not completely understood by man. But the fact of our ignorance doesn't wipe out God's holiness and righteousness. It simply demonstrates how finite we are and how far past finding out His ways are for us in time. God doesn't base His righteousness on our ability to grasp it. That righteousness exists as a fundamental fact of His existence. His justice is righteous--all sinners pay, either in themselves or in Christ Jesus, but all that is owed God is paid. All the predestinated receive mercy, not because of anything in them, but because of the love and mercy which is within God alone (see Eph. 2:4-5). All of them invariably receive it and that totally at odds with what they truly deserve. Would you really want God to be 'fair' according to human understanding as it is clouded by sin? If so, then the Lord Jesus doesn't become flesh and dwell among us to pay the sin penalty. That was totally unfair for Him to accept our guilt, to my way of thinking. His life on earth as the God-Man doesn't happen and the awful suffering of the cross isn't borne. All men go to hell in that scenario. Personally speaking, I wouldn't change a thing! Instead, I praise God that He is merciful and not merely just without mercy. It is only in His just action that His mercy is unbridled. I stand in awe at what He accomplished in His perfect plan. As Paul says, 'To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus' (Rom. 3: 26). Because He is just, He made a way to justify those on whom He has mercy. Who dares find fault with that? Or with any of His just and righteous ways?

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: Pilgrim
To: another view
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 12:08:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
another view,
There is no real difference between the terms foreordain and decree. Both connote the sovereign determination of all things and their disposition. Secondly, you asked:
I can see how God ordains individual sins to bring about His sovereign will, etc. but I'm still having trouble with how and why God ordained or decreed the fall of mankind
The 'How' part of your question, I will address below. As to the 'Why' part... it was for His glory and to the honour of His name. Knowing that all the works of God are perfect (Deut 32:4) and that as the supreme and holy Judge of all the earth, He can and only does that which is right (Gen 18:25; Rom 2:6-10), not imputing sin where there has been no transgression of the law (Rom 4:15). And what is the difference between God ordaining 'individual sins' and ordaining the Fall of Adam, who committed an individual sin, albeit his transgression was done not only as an individual, but also as the Federal Head of the race, as ordained also by God. Knowing this, would this not make Adam's sin even the more odious? Would there not be a far greater impetus to obey God, even from the standpoint of knowing that the consequences would be universal and not isolated to the transgressor alone? And further, the greatest 'mystery' is not How could God ordain the Fall and not be culpable for sin committed, but rather, how could a perfectly created being, who had no predisposition to evil but only an unfeigned love for his Creator, commit an act of transgression as Adam did? The fact is, Adam transgressed the explicit commandment of God not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil without any coercion on God's part. Adam's will was not forced to do that which he himself did not desire and thus choose to do. The guilt is Adam's alone and not God's. Thirdly, you asked:
It appears that the non-elect are found to be sinners and judged for their sins (with eternal damnation) by the decree of God alone, and by not any 'fault' of their own
As you stated correctly, this is only an appearance for it is not true in actuality. As Rod pointed out with his illustrations from Scripture, eg., the betrayal of Judas and the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, God sovereignly decreed both events, as He does also ALL THINGS, yet all those involved in these wicked acts are culpable and guilty due to their own willful acts. As to HOW the immutable and indisputable sovereignty of God works in conjunction with the ultimate responsibility of man, this is incomprehensible to the finite mind. What stands firm is that the infallible and inerrant Word of God teaches it. And thus we are to bow before it with a humble and full acceptance of its truth. But let us not forget the 'Good News'... that in spite of Adam's transgression which brought condemnation and death upon the entire human race, GOD in mercy decreed to rescue a remnant to receive His infinite grace in Christ Jesus, to the glory of His name. :-) Remember too, the LORD God extends this heartfelt invitation to ALL.. Matt 11:28 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' The real question then becomes, WILL YOU COME TO CHRIST?
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Simple Truth
From: another view
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 15:27:26 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks to Pilgrim and Rod -- Both replies are very well written, I think. This will give me plenty to think about; and it may even help some others here to embrace the Calvinistic doctrines of grace -- if they have not already!


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