Go To Home Page
Messiah

Key: = Posted Today and Yesterday



'Theology Discussion Group'

Travel to the Highway home page and read our many fine articles and view the links to other sites by clicking on the blue The Highway logo in the upper right hand corner of this page.

« Forum Guidelines »

Total Messages Loaded: 404


Tom -:- Concern for a relative -:- Wed, Jan 31, 2001 at 12:52:03 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Concern for a relative -:- Wed, Jan 31, 2001 at 17:21:45 (PST)

Brother Bret -:- Cults and Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 21:12:25 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 06:36:45 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 13:48:10 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 10:50:38 (PST)
_ john -:- Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 03:45:40 (PST)

Tom -:- Matt. 24:13 -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 12:45:58 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Matt. 24:13 -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 17:20:50 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Re: Matt. 24:13 -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 14:55:15 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: Matt. 24:13 -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 11:07:31 (PST)

laz -:- 1Joh2:19 Isn't it clear?? -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 11:02:17 (PST)
_
Rod -:- Re: 1Joh2:19 Isn't it clear? -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 13:25:20 (PST)
__ laz -:- Thks for clarification. NT -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 18:48:50 (PST)

Trevor Johnson -:- Common Grace -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 18:02:50 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Common Grace -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 19:23:57 (PST)
__ David Teh -:- Re: Common Grace -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 05:09:42 (PST)

Rod -:- Misconceptions of the... -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 10:33:10 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- Who can be saved????? -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 19:42:35 (PST)
_
Chris -:- Re: Who can be saved? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 05:48:19 (PST)
_ Chrysostomus -:- Re: Who can be saved? -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 21:29:17 (PST)
__ Pilgrim -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 22:44:00 (PST)
___ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 23:00:45 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 17:21:45 (PST)
_____ Chrysostomos -:- Oh, P.... -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 22:51:58 (PST)
____ laz -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 13:53:22 (PST)
_____ Rod -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 14:21:28 (PST)
______ laz -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 15:41:56 (PST)
_______ Rod -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 15:54:09 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 12:35:36 (PST)
_____ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 21:46:45 (PST)
______ Rod -:- Re: Who can be saved?? -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 23:03:13 (PST)

Eric -:- Federal Headship and Government -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 07:51:59 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 08:41:05 (PST)
__ stan -:- Re: Now wait a cotton ... -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 15:57:29 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Now wait a cotton ... -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 19:26:45 (PST)
__ Eric -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 08:56:49 (PST)
___ laz -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 13:29:16 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 15:02:14 (PST)
____ Heidi -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 08:40:09 (PST)
_____ Tom -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 10:24:40 (PST)
_____ Tom -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 10:19:25 (PST)
______ Rod -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 10:51:20 (PST)
_______ Heidi -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 14:15:26 (PST)
________ Rod -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 14:47:09 (PST)
_______ Tom -:- Re: Federal Headship and Government -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 15:50:07 (PST)
________ Eric -:- More on headship -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 08:33:00 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Re: More on headship -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 12:38:08 (PST)
_________ Tom -:- Re: More on headship -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 10:20:35 (PST)

Rod -:- Logical inconsistencies -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 22:48:16 (PST)
_
Chrysostomos -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 23:51:09 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 19:51:25 (PST)
___ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 22:38:29 (PST)
____ laz -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 11:54:41 (PST)
_____ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 21:44:37 (PST)
______ Brother Bret -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 20:44:07 (PST)
______ laz -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 13:47:04 (PST)
_______ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 22:39:49 (PST)
________ laz -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 10:55:03 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: Logical inconsistencies -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 10:10:47 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Part II -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 23:21:07 (PST)
__ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Part II -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 01:20:59 (PST)
___ laz -:- Re: Part II -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 08:02:20 (PST)
____ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Part II -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 22:13:49 (PST)
_____ laz -:- Re: Part II -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 10:43:38 (PST)
______ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Part II -:- Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 21:33:01 (PST)
_______ laz -:- Re: Part II -:- Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 13:49:25 (PST)
________ Rod -:- Re: Part II -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 16:49:35 (PST)
_________ Chrysostomos -:- laz and Rod -:- Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 22:43:17 (PST)
__________ Tom -:- Re: laz and Rod -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 10:47:45 (PST)
___________ Rod -:- Re: laz and Rod -:- Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 14:18:05 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: Part II -:- Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 10:40:33 (PST)
_____ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Part II -:- Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 14:58:37 (PST)

Puritan -:- alms giving -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 17:15:32 (PST)
_
stan -:- Re: My two cents worth .. -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 19:00:13 (PST)
_ Brother Bret -:- Re: alms giving -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 18:16:19 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- New Series of Sermons -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 14:24:38 (PST)

Tom -:- KJV -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 13:50:46 (PST)
_
stan -:- Re: KJV -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 15:42:05 (PST)
__ Chris -:- Re: KJV -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 18:40:20 (PST)

Chris -:- The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 06:31:43 (PST)
_
FredW -:- Re: The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 14:17:49 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Re: The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 11:00:05 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 07:56:54 (PST)
__ Chris -:- Re: The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 11:15:06 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 14:12:45 (PST)
____ Chris -:- Re: The Love of Christ -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 18:02:46 (PST)

Joe Machuta -:- Another Question -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 19:08:24 (PST)

stan -:- A question. -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 19:27:18 (PST)
_
Chris -:- Re: A question. -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 06:21:52 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: A question. -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 08:06:24 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: A question. -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 01:13:57 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: A question. -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 07:20:55 (PST)
__ saved -:- Re: A question. -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 14:26:24 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: A question. -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 21:15:59 (PST)
_ saved -:- Re: A question. -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 06:18:55 (PST)
__ stan -:- Re: thanks ya'll! -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 14:29:04 (PST)

saved -:- The New Birth -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:30:43 (PST)

chosendust -:- Worm, The Inveterate Invertebrate -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 15:21:49 (PST)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: Worm, The Inveterate Invertebrate -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 13:37:34 (PST)
__ chosendust -:- 'Regretting...here?' was ? for St.Worm. -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 14:05:16 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Welcome! -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 17:05:48 (PST)
____ chosendust -:- Hello there! -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 17:58:42 (PST)

John P. -:- Baptismal Regeneration -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 14:31:03 (PST)
_
Diaconeo -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 15:43:32 (PST)
__ John P. -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:45:17 (PST)
___ John P. -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:52:15 (PST)
____ Diaconeo -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 14:28:47 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:41:52 (PST)
___ Diaconeo -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 14:36:03 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: Baptismal Regeneration -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 15:50:50 (PST)
_____ Chrysostomos -:- I'll bite, Rod... -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 20:47:29 (PST)
______ Diaconeo -:- Re: I'll bite, Rod... -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 12:29:49 (PST)
______ Rod -:- Re: I'll bite, Rod... -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 23:06:14 (PST)
_______ Chrysostomos -:- Re: I'll bite, Rod... -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 09:53:38 (PST)
________ Rod -:- Re: I'll bite, Rod... -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 12:02:20 (PST)
_________ Chrysostomos -:- wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 16:38:01 (PST)
__________ Rod -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 18:13:26 (PST)
___________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 19:20:09 (PST)
____________ Rod -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 21:12:13 (PST)
_____________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 21:15:33 (PST)
______________ Rod -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 21:42:36 (PST)
_______________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 22:44:55 (PST)
________________ Rod -:- Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss -:- Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 23:25:26 (PST)

saved -:- A Short Article about Faith -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 14:26:16 (PST)

Rod -:- Concerning James... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 13:52:16 (PST)
_
Chrysostomos -:- Re: Concerning James... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:29:11 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: Concerning James... -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:06:07 (PST)
___ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Concerning James... -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:25:52 (PST)

saved -:- Salvation is of the Lord! -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 20:44:27 (PST)

saved -:- 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 19:13:44 (PST)
_
Brother Bret -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 15:27:49 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 16:55:14 (PST)
___ Prestor John -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 09:43:19 (PST)
____ saved -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 15:44:16 (PST)
_____ Prestor John -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 12:53:50 (PST)
______ saved -:- OK, thanks - very good .....NT -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 06:28:51 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 13:33:15 (PST)
_____ Rod -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 14:38:39 (PST)
______ John P. -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 08:58:31 (PST)
_______ Rod -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 13:06:37 (PST)
_______ laz -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 11:17:24 (PST)
________ John P. -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 11:39:00 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?' -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:10:34 (PST)

saved -:- They shall never perish..John 10:28 -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 19:00:25 (PST)
_
Brother Bret -:- Amen & Jn.6:39 NT -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:20:00 (PST)

Eric -:- Imprecatory Psalms -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 12:40:04 (PST)
_
St. Worm -:- Look at them Christologically -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:46:02 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Imprecatory Psalms -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:43:31 (PST)

St. Worm -:- One final quote from Luther... -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 05:56:26 (PST)
_
Brother Bret -:- Re: One final quote from Luther... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 15:20:09 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Some observations -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 12:59:57 (PST)
__ St. Worm -:- Luther the vague? -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:40:03 (PST)
___ ST. Rod -:- Re: Luther the vague? -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:31:32 (PST)
____ St. Worm -:- Re: Luther the vague? -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 15:29:41 (PST)
_____ Rod -:- Re: Luther the vague?? -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 16:25:40 (PST)
______ St. Worm -:- Re: Luther the vague? -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 19:27:16 (PST)
__ Chrysostomos -:- Luther on Baptismal Regeneration -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:28:00 (PST)
___ Rod -:- Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:04:49 (PST)
____ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 15:29:45 (PST)
____ St. Worm -:- Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:19:14 (PST)
_____ St. Rod -:- Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:47:44 (PST)
___ St. Worm -:- Excellent point, brother. -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:42:10 (PST)
____ Chrysostomos -:- But... -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:00:48 (PST)

Rod -:- Cutting to the chase... -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 21:43:42 (PST)
_
Rod -:- Part Two -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 22:35:51 (PST)
_ Chrysostomos -:- Or--calling a spade a spade? -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 22:17:15 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: Or--calling a spade a spade? -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 23:11:21 (PST)
___ Tom -:- Yes very interesting! N/T -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 00:53:24 (PST)

St. Worm -:- Luther on Grace & Apostasy -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 21:32:41 (PST)
_
FredW -:- Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 03:16:10 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 16:07:13 (PST)
__ St. Worm -:- Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 20:51:21 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:15:10 (PST)
____ Chrysostomos -:- But P.... -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 15:49:36 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: But C.... -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 17:41:50 (PST)
______ Chrysostomos -:- Sure, I understand your position.... -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 22:54:45 (PST)
_______ Rod -:- Re: Sure, I understand your position.... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 10:04:57 (PST)
________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: Sure, I understand your position.... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:58:14 (PST)
_________ Rod -:- Re: Sure, I understand your position.... -:- Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:25:10 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: And I understand your position.... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 08:47:03 (PST)
________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: And I understand your position.... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:07:30 (PST)
_________ Prestor John -:- Re: And I understand your position.... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:56:25 (PST)
__________ Chrysostomos -:- Uhoh... -:- Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 21:01:52 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 20:46:58 (PST)

Brother Charles -:- Fasting -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 16:31:13 (PST)
_
David Teh -:- Re: Fasting -:- Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 07:41:34 (PST)

St. Worm -:- To start this off a little better.. -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 13:21:37 (PST)
_
chosendust -:- Hello St. Worm!! -:- Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 18:19:33 (PST)
_ Tom -:- Re: To start this off a little better.. -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 14:49:11 (PST)
_ laz -:- Re: To start this off a little better.. -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 14:08:52 (PST)
__ St. Worm -:- Re: To start this off a little better.. -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 14:40:12 (PST)

Tom -:- St.Worm on Luther -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 23:47:46 (PST)
_
Rod -:- Re: St.Worm on Luther -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 12:42:01 (PST)

Brother Bret -:- Prayer, Advice & Possible Support -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 15:19:46 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 16:50:46 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 19:43:29 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support -:- Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 15:48:03 (PST)
_ Brother Joe -:- Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 18:43:40 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Rod and Joe -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:11:42 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 16:55:21 (PST)
_ stan -:- Re: ? -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 15:50:15 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: ? -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:05:28 (PST)

JOwen -:- John Murray -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 10:25:12 (PST)

Rod -:- For Joe -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:06:34 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: For Joe -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:54:34 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: For Joe -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 16:30:15 (PST)
_ Joe -:- Re: For Joe -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:18:23 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: For Joe -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:45:28 (PST)

Joe machuta -:- Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:00:05 (PST)
_
Tom -:- Re: Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 23:43:59 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Re: Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:47:26 (PST)
__ Joe -:- Re: Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:57:15 (PST)
___ stan -:- Re: Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 14:34:27 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:36:27 (PST)
_____ Joe -:- Re: Communication -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 16:39:36 (PST)
______ stan -:- Re: -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 19:42:41 (PST)

Rod -:- More Luther theology -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 16:36:19 (PST)
_
Joe -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:40:55 (PST)
_ Tom -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 10:33:52 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 12:01:28 (PST)
_ Hail -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 18:34:56 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 21:59:41 (PST)
___ saved -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 09:50:14 (PST)
____ St. Worm -:- Slander is ungodly -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:39:02 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Slander is ungodly -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 10:38:46 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: More Luther theology -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 12:08:24 (PST)

saved -:- Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 06:47:15 (PST)
_
Rod -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 08:38:20 (PST)
__ St. Worm -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:22:09 (PST)
___ Rod -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 11:59:33 (PST)
__ saved -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 09:29:26 (PST)
___ St. Worm -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:24:05 (PST)
____ Tom -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 23:39:33 (PST)
_____ St. Worm -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 00:13:10 (PST)
______ Rod -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 12:09:18 (PST)
___ Rod -:- Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 10:20:42 (PST)

JOwen -:- Robert Raymond's New Systematic The -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 10:06:34 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 11:57:08 (PST)
__ JOwen -:- Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 13:08:21 (PST)
___ laz -:- Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 11:39:29 (PST)
____ JOwen -:- Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 09:18:36 (PST)
_____ LAZ -:- Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 14:01:45 (PST)

Tom -:- Luther and Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 14:54:57 (PST)
_
Rod -:- For Tom: Luther on assurance -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 12:34:04 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: For Tom: Luther on assurance -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 13:56:58 (PST)
___ Rod -:- Re: For Tom: Luther on assurance -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 14:12:52 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: For Tom: Luther on assurance -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 13:41:47 (PST)
_ Rod -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 12:51:21 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 13:17:02 (PST)
___ Rod -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 17:30:52 (PST)
____ Tom -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 18:21:35 (PST)
_____ Rod -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 19:43:58 (PST)
______ Tom -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 09:43:45 (PST)
_______ Joe -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 09:41:07 (PST)
_______ Rod -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 10:58:20 (PST)
________ St. Worm -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:32:14 (PST)
_________ Rod -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 12:40:21 (PST)
__________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 13:07:27 (PST)
________ Tom -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 13:08:25 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 21:29:28 (PST)
__ Chrysostomos -:- question for Pilgrim -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 13:13:27 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 17:16:01 (PST)
____ Chrysostomos -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 19:34:17 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 20:21:36 (PST)
______ Chrysostomos -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 08:10:45 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 21:20:25 (PST)
________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 10:23:04 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 11:22:22 (PST)
__________ Chrysostomos -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 15:14:46 (PST)
_______ Tom -:- Re: question for Pilgrim -:- Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 13:41:35 (PST)
__ Tom -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 09:51:42 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 17:02:30 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 05:56:45 (PST)
_ John P. -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 21:20:46 (PST)
_ laz -:- Re: Luther and Lutherans -:- Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 20:08:33 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- New Stuff -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 16:47:48 (PST)

kenb38 -:- 1 Cor 7 -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 08:41:44 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: 1 Cor 7 -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 16:31:17 (PST)
_ laz -:- Re: 1 Cor 7 -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 09:39:21 (PST)
__ Rod -:- Re: 1 Cor 7 -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 10:43:37 (PST)
___ Ken -:- Re: 1 Cor 7 -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 05:03:31 (PST)
____ Rod -:- Re: 1 Cor 7 -:- Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 12:23:23 (PST)

RJ -:- On Controversy By John Newton -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 13:33:01 (PST)
_
Anne -:- That was terrific...thanks for sharing! -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 17:32:40 (PST)

anonymous -:- 'Truly Reformed'?? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:26:29 (PST)
_
John P. -:- Re: 'Truly Reformed'?? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:48:46 (PST)
__ Puritan -:- Re: 'Truly Reformed'?? -:- Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 05:23:34 (PST)
___ John P. -:- Re: 'Truly Reformed'?? -:- Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 10:25:13 (PST)
____ Puritan -:- Re: 'Truly Reformed'?? -:- Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 17:12:09 (PST)
_____ John P. -:- Re: Dear John -:- Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 22:23:52 (PST)
_____ Puritan -:- Reformed Toleration -:- Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 17:52:32 (PST)

Prestor John -:- RPW or IPW??? -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 20:09:12 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:07:14 (PST)
__ laz -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 08:43:06 (PST)
___ Tom -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 16:56:31 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 13:07:45 (PST)
____ John P. -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 22:25:14 (PST)
____ laz -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 21:30:19 (PST)
____ Lady Jane -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 18:29:33 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 22:05:43 (PST)
_____ JOwen -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 20:35:18 (PST)
______ Prestor John -:- Re: RPW or IPW?????? -:- Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 20:09:53 (PST)
_______ JOwen -:- Re: RPW or IPW? -:- Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 13:01:40 (PST)

Brother Bret -:- Quotes On Water Baptism -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 07:03:43 (PST)
_
Tom -:- Re: Quotes On Water Baptism -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 11:17:12 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Quotes On Water Baptism -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 14:12:20 (PST)
___ Prestor John -:- Re: Quotes On Water Baptism -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 20:22:09 (PST)
____ Brother Bret -:- Re: Quotes On Water Baptism -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 14:17:16 (PST)

reformedeagle -:- Looking for a church home -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 23:43:56 (PST)

Hail -:- KJV-onlyism -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 15:49:12 (PST)
_
Webservant -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:52:19 (PST)
__ Chris -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 06:39:31 (PST)
___ Tom -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 08:07:17 (PST)
__ John P. -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 10:55:02 (PST)
___ Tom -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 08:18:32 (PST)
____ John P. -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 14:07:55 (PST)
_____ Tom -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 14:46:44 (PST)
_____ John P. -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 14:19:53 (PST)
___ Tom -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 17:18:05 (PST)
____ John P -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 19:11:36 (PST)
_ Brother Bret -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 21:13:13 (PST)
__ stan -:- Re: You are ...... -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 06:22:42 (PST)
___ Hail -:- Re: You are ...... -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 19:09:01 (PST)
____ Tom -:- Re: You are ...... -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 14:19:28 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 21:47:18 (PST)
__ Hail -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 17:09:03 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 09:15:06 (PST)
____ stan -:- Re: Goodness .... -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 14:53:03 (PST)
_____ Tom -:- Re: Goodness .... -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 17:08:43 (PST)
______ stan -:- Re: Ever ..... -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 18:12:31 (PST)
_______ Tom -:- Re: Ever ..... -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 18:24:11 (PST)
__ stan -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 16:05:00 (PST)
_ Prestor John -:- Re: KJV-onlyism -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 20:24:40 (PST)

Anne -:- Luke 2:14...which translation? -:- Tues, Dec 26, 2000 at 11:21:59 (PST)
_
chosendust -:- NASB -:- Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 19:51:37 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Luke 2:14...which translation? -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 07:03:36 (PST)

Kenneth -:- Justification in Luther -:- Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 15:00:50 (PST)
_
Rod -:- Re: Justification in Luther -:- Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 12:32:29 (PST)
_ saved -:- Re: Justification in Luther -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 08:11:44 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Justification in Luther -:- Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 17:26:10 (PST)

Prestor John -:- Christmas Message -:- Fri, Dec 22, 2000 at 16:57:13 (PST)
_
JOwen -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 08:50:39 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 12:42:24 (PST)
__ RJ -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 10:50:56 (PST)
___ JOwen -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Mon, Dec 25, 2000 at 12:55:52 (PST)
____ Prestor John -:- Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 19:51:50 (PST)
_____ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 18:41:38 (PST)
______ Chris -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:44:32 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:57:24 (PST)
________ marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 21:49:31 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Get a Job?? -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 08:56:49 (PST)
__________ Marrowman -:- Re: Get a Job? -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 14:41:11 (PST)
___________ Marrowman -:- Re: Get a Job? -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 15:11:28 (PST)
__________ chris -:- Re:JOwen, Puritan, Marrowman -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 10:18:46 (PST)
___________ Tom -:- Re: Re:JOwen, Puritan, Marrowman -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 18:15:26 (PST)
_____ JOwen -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 15:51:03 (PST)
______ Prestor John -:- On second thought... -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 09:34:20 (PST)
_______ JOwen -:- Re: On second thought... -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 10:06:10 (PST)
_____ Chris -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 08:17:28 (PST)
______ Prestor John -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 10:25:30 (PST)
_______ Chris -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 19:20:25 (PST)
________ Puritan -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 04:42:43 (PST)
_________ marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:20:30 (PST)
__________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:38:49 (PST)
___________ JOwen -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 22:16:53 (PST)
____________ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 22:42:41 (PST)
_________ chris -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 16:27:05 (PST)
__________ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:30:42 (PST)
___________ Tom -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 00:55:44 (PST)
____________ marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 01:28:54 (PST)
_____________ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 03:47:35 (PST)
_____________ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 03:19:00 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:50:58 (PST)
____________ JOwen -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 22:28:50 (PST)
___________ Chris -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:31:58 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 08:32:23 (PST)
__________ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:24:46 (PST)
_______ puritan -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 16:57:22 (PST)
________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 21:22:49 (PST)
_________ John P. -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sun, Jan 07, 2001 at 09:57:01 (PST)
__________ laz -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 09:18:05 (PST)
_________ JOwen -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 10:04:08 (PST)
Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 13:45:08 (PST)
___________ JOwen -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 16:04:28 (PST)
____________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 01:50:29 (PST)
_____________ Marrowman -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:46:45 (PST)
_____________ JOwen -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 13:14:56 (PST)
______________ Pilgrim -:- One Last Attempt! -:- Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 21:24:07 (PST)
_______________ JOwen -:- Re: One Last Attempt! -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 10:39:44 (PST)
________________ Pilgrim -:- Re: One Last Attempt! -:- Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 22:47:58 (PST)
_________________ JOwen -:- Re: One Last Attempt! -:- Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 09:37:57 (PST)
_________________ anonymousJR. -:- Re: One Last Attempt! -:- Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 06:36:22 (PST)
_____________ Puritan -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 07:06:47 (PST)
______________ Prestor John -:- Oh JOwen!!!! -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 16:25:24 (PST)
______________ lurkerJr -:- What about the Tree? -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 09:40:06 (PST)
_______________ marrowman -:- Re: What about the Tree? -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:21:20 (PST)
________________ Marrowman -:- Re: What about the Tree? -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:32:36 (PST)
______________ laz -:- Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch -:- Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 08:41:58 (PST)
____ Brother Bret -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 13:20:31 (PST)
____ chris -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Mon, Dec 25, 2000 at 13:36:23 (PST)
___ laz -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 19:10:55 (PST)
_ Brother Bret -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Fri, Dec 22, 2000 at 19:55:41 (PST)
__ chris -:- Re: Christmas Message -:- Sun, Dec 24, 2000 at 14:14:44 (PST)


Hotboards.Com Counter


Powerforum Plus+
Paradise Web Enhancements
Copyright 1997,1998



Subject: Concern for a relative
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 31, 2001 at 12:52:03 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I have a relative who does not have a lot of Bible knowledge, who I am afraid is being duped, by someone with their own web site. Although, I am knowledgable enough to know that what is on this site is bad theology. For someone who isn't all that knowledgable. This persons site, would seem to make some pretty good points. I am trying to show, my relative, just how this person is wrong. But I think I need help in doing so. If there is anyone, who is willing to help in this regard, please go to the following site: http://www.remnantofgod.org/~nicholas/Truthpro.htm Either post your findings here or e-mail me. Any help I can get, would be very appreciated. Thank you in advance Tom

Subject: Re: Concern for a relative
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 31, 2001 at 17:21:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
First of all I edited your message and corrected the URL so it now works! no charge!. So, I sauntered over to that sight and waited almost 5 minutes for all the brightly colored graphics to load, hehe, and took a brief look at was there. Brother, there is soooooo much heresy there I couldn't possibly tell you where to begin. So, perhaps for the sake of all of us here, who are willing to give you a hand with your relative, you might tell us just what specifically this relative of yours finds most appealing? Then we could try and address the issue(s) involved. Otherwise we will be chasing windmills. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Cults and Sharing the Gospel
From: Brother Bret
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 21:12:25 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
With the several admonitions to avoid, withdraw, turn away, not be hospitable, etc with false teachers, how biblical do you think it is when we try to reach out to cults such as JW's and Mormons and others? Look forward to the responses. Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel
From: laz
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 06:36:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hmmmmm, I think the biblical issue/admonition you are refering to applies WITHIN the local Church (or within Churches that share the communion table) .... it may not apply to folks in other aberrant sects or cults, who rarely never darken our Church doors, and should be regarded as unbelievers and thus objects of our efforts to make disciples of all. But even then, there comes a time when we must also consider not casting pearls before swine, giving what is holy to the dogs after our efforts have been spurned. I got a question: Should pastors (the good ones) avoid contact with false teachers/preachers? Or should they try to reason with them from the Scriptures? laz

Subject: Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel
From: Brother Bret
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 13:48:10 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Hmmm brother, you trying to tell me something? :^ ). I know, I know, if the shoe fits, where it hehe. I would think that the same thing would apply to Pastors. A couple of those admonitions are from Paul to Timothy. I'll look at the passages and contexts closer, but I don't know that all the admonitions are just for 'within' the local church. Would the 'withdrawing' and 'avoiding' be accomplished by eventual excommunication if there is no repentence by the erring person? Couldn't the admonistions also be to Christians in the Church as they deal with people in the highways and byways of life? BTW, I never did go on the radio show with that erring feller :^ ) Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel
From: Tom
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 10:50:38 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Laz You asked: Should pastors (the good ones) avoid contact with false teachers/preachers? Or should they try to reason with them from the Scriptures? It is my experience that many false teachers/preachers believe that they are teaching truth. Some even say if they are convinced by the scriptures that they are wrong in any doctrine. They they will bow to the scriptures. Given the fact that we do not know if that person will or will not, bow to the scritures, a pastor should try to reason with them from the scriptures. (if I may borrow a quote from you) But even then, there comes a time when we must also consider not casting pearls before swine, giving what is holy to the dogs after our efforts have been spurned. Tom

Subject: Re: Cults and Sharing the Gospel
From: john
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 03:45:40 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
How is one cult different from another? Are they not all together unworthy: is a cult more unworthy than a Methodist or a Pentecostal. Are there degrees in needing salvation: some a little and other’s more? Here is a nautical analogy. There are a thousand ships on life's seas, all different, but all sinking into the depths of confusion. Death awaits them all. You have a means to save some, a life raft. You are called by the ship's Captain to present the case on His behalf. If any person on any doomed ship desires to be saved, then you throw out your raft and help rescue them. It doesn't matter if they are seeking help while aboard a 'cult' ship, or some other ship. You provide assistance to whoever desires it. If no one seeks your raft, then so be it, their blood is not on our hands. The danger when dealing with leaky vessels full of holes is that we should think to abandon the safety of our sturdy vessel or by their trickery compromise our position of safety and seek to tie ourselves to their ship. Nevertheless, there is no need for worry if we stick to the commission our Captain has given us. We are not to bind ourselves in any way with these lost ships, or lest we drown together. We are not to prop up what was meant to sink. Therefore, we throw our life preserver to whoever desires it, no matter the ship that carries them. Yet we stay aboard the safety of our secure vessel, high and dry, no matter what others might implore us to do. john

Subject: Matt. 24:13
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 12:45:58 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
At the risk of being misunderstood. I am definately not asking the following question to support Chrys' beliefs. I am trying to understand what Matt. 24:13 is saying 'But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.' I am sure that it is not saying what at first glance it seems to be saying, for that would be conflicting with other verses of scripture, such as 1 John 2:19. What is it saying? Tom

Subject: Re: Matt. 24:13
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 17:20:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
At the risk of being misunderstood. I am definately not asking the following question to support Chrys' beliefs. I am trying to understand what Matt. 24:13 is saying 'But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.' I am sure that it is not saying what at first glance it seems to be saying, for that would be conflicting with other verses of scripture, such as 1 John 2:19. What is it saying? Tom
Tom,
What Rod replied is quite true. This text in Matt 24:13 is troublesome ONLY if one fails to keep straight the two fundamental doctrines of Scripture; God's absolute sovereignty and man's full responsibility. On the one hand, salvation is of the LORD (Jonah 2:9). From His immutable counsel in eternity to and through the elect's glorification, a sinner is in His hands. All is of God; we are saved 'by grace'! Therefore we hold to Sola Gratia, secured by Solus Christus and obtained by Sola Fide all of which is for Soli Deo Gloria as testified as truth by Sola Scriptura. (whew!) At the same time, on the other hand, it is the sinner who repents! It is the sinner who believes! It is the sinner who must endure to the end! Thus the inspired words of Matthew in the gospel are not to be diminished one iota. It is ONLY those who endure to the end who will experience that which they profess. As faith without works is dead, so is a life shown to be fallacious if it doesn't continue in those things which were first begun. Faith doesn't merit the salvation it brings! It is but the means by which one apprehends Him Who has earned the right to save. Likewise, the enduring enjoined doesn't merit salvation, nor does it put the actual salvation at risk, but rather it shows forth the salvation possessed. And so it is, that any who fail to endure to the end show themselves to be unconverted and never in possession of that which they professed to possess; reconciliation with God and the new life wrought by the Holy Spirit. We must not therefore, shy away from giving the full import of such texts as Matt 24:13 which exhort a person to do this or that out of fear of somehow compromising the equally true reality of God's predestination and preserving, providential mercy and grace. BOTH are true and must exist side by side, even though it seems impossible to reconcile the two in our own finite minds. The Scriptures teach it, we must believe it! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Matt. 24:13
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 14:55:15 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, First, let me affirm that you are exactly right in reading the entire Bible to get your truth and not relying on one verse lifted from the Bible and its context to get your theology. Don't be shaken in what you know is true from the whole of Scripture. (And please see my post of a little while ago under 'laz and Rod.') Our friend Chrysostomos is fond of citing Luther, but one of Luther's statements from a sermon I quoted awhile back speaks to this. In that sermon, Luther deplored people saying that statements pronouncing security for Paul or another Bible writer were not doctrinal, but applied strictly to the person writing. Luther loudly proclaimed that such statements were 'doctrinal' and to be applied universally, to every believer, just as most of us here accept them. Salvation is both completed and ongoing in time. In Rom. 8:30 the entire process, including our final glorification with the Lord Jesus is viewed as past. That is as God sees it. But, in time, and as man sees it, it is both assured and is ongoing. We 'are saved': 'For we are saved by hope...' (Rom. 8:24). We 'have been saved': '...according to the power of God who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began...' (2 Tim. 1:9). Finally, we 'shall be saved': 'For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved' (Rom. 10:13). That covers all the bases, doesn't it?

Subject: Re: Matt. 24:13
From: Tom
To: Rod&Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 11:07:31 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Thanks Guys As you are aware, I believe the P in TULIP wholeheartedly. However that doesn't mean I know how to reconcile every scripture that seems to contradict it. It is for that purpose that I came to a place where I know that I can find some answers. I had earlier checked a few commentaries on the verse. Not one of them gave as good an answer as you. One in fact just said something to the effect that, we shouldn't take this to mean that one can loose their salvation. However, they didn't tell what the verse actually meant. Thanks for answering my question. :-) Tom

Subject: 1Joh2:19 Isn't it clear?
From: laz
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 11:02:17 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Is there something unclear about these verses. Does Chry really believe it's talking about teachers? That teachers who leave the flock prove they were never of the flock...but that garden variety believers who leave the flock were truly saved/believers who CAN and DO apostacize? Rod, is that what you said is the position held by Chrysostomos? blessings, laz

Subject: Re: 1Joh2:19 Isn't it clear?
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 13:25:20 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Laz, Here is what Chrysostomos wrote to me from 'Wow, lots of topics to discuss' on Jan 23: (Lifting a quote from Rod) '>>>>All that's necessary to see that is to believe 1 John 2:19.' (Chrysostomos' response) 'You know, I did have a chat with Pilgrim about that verse last week or so (my original post to him on it was entitled 'question for Pilgrim') and he clarified what he meant by quoting it (given the rest of 1 John 2, which seems much more obviously appliciable to the individual believer). Anyway, I just don't understand making it such a pivotal verse in your argument, since it seems to be primarily directed at teachers (though there certainly is a component of individual salvation there). In any case, I think you're explaining away the clear meaning of my quote. However, I suppose that's the problem. The clear can't really interpret the unclear unless we're all agreed on which ones are clear to begin with.'

Subject: Thks for clarification. NT
From: laz
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 18:48:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Subject: Common Grace
From: Trevor Johnson
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 18:02:50 (PST)
Email Address: trevorjohnson@hotmail.com

Message:
This question concerns common grace. There is that grace which does not save, but which provides some goodness even in the hearts of the unsaved. Otherwise, the unsaved would be at each other's throats instantly. God is merciful to all in this common grace, and love all with some gifts, and yet, does not love all with all gifts (namely, eternal life). My question: What is the relationship between God's common grace and Christ's purchase? I welcome all replies....this has the potential to make a good discussion and will help edify all involved - including me!

Subject: Re: Common Grace
From: laz
To: Trevor Johnson
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 19:23:57 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hey Trevor! I think Christ's purchase of redemption for His people creates model citizens, great neighbors, charitable organizations, etc, etc...in otherwords, more common grace being dispensed to society at large on account of Christian activity and conduct. blessings, laz p.s. now if you're really asking about the extent/nature/purpose of the atonement...just come out with it! hahaha!

Subject: Re: Common Grace
From: David Teh
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 05:09:42 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi folks, I am kind of leaning towards the opinion that says the reprobate are living on 'borrowed time' until God's plan of redemption is complete. [Yes, I am a Calvanist.] The issue here, it seems, is what exactly is the fallen human nature.

Subject: Misconceptions of the...
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 10:33:10 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
uninformed and nonreformed. :^) In reading some of the posts of the last couple of days, I was reminded that the majority most often don't understand some of the basics. I'm referring to the allegations of Chrysostomos that, according to the belief system of those of us here, that is, the Bible :^), God 'coerces' men into receivng grace/having faith/being saved if they are elect. He, according to that line of thought, forces them to come to Him disregarding their wills, whereas the 'right thing to do' is to allow them to make up their own minds whether they want him or not. It's often hard to deal with all the issues in a thread or post, since so many complicated things are brought up. One has to be choosy as to what he deals with or volumes will be written. And some of us (I won't mention any names, but one's initials are 'Rod') are too wordy anyway. :^) So, to set the record straight, neither the 'Calvinists' nor the Bible believe that man is forced to come to God in violation of his will. Man isn't cleaned up or wooed by God to come to Him either. I'm speaking of the natural, unregenerate man. That man is absolutely dead to God, God's total enemy. He is incapable of pleasing God and has no desire ever to do so (Rom. 3:9-20; 8:7-9; 1 Cor. 2:14). This is the result of the inheritance of Adam's nature; all men join him in the fall (1 Cor. 15:21-22). This natural man is hopeless and spiritually dead. He doesn't want to be redeemed and is not redeemable. His will is to serve sin and he is 'free from righteousness,' being dead to it (Rom. 6:20). His will is not violated; he gets what he wants. So, what is the answer then? How does a man become regenerate and saved? How does he come to God? The only way is this: God gives him a new will which is a result of regeneration. The Spirit of God comes to the predestinated/elect person because of God's love for him and makes him alive to Himself (Eph. 2:4-5). This 'new man,' the 'new creation' (2 Cor. 5:17), has, quite logically, a new will, a will from the Spirit of God Who gave him life. That will desires and is free to turn to God, to love and serve Him. Operating by faith, believing the Word of promise of God which he can receive for the first time ever (Rom. 10:17), the 'new man' freely and willingly turns to God by the grace thus provided and is saved by the gift of God through faith. The old man, with his old will, struggles through the flesh and its desires to overcome the new man and drag him into sin. When one is enticed and allows himself to, he does fall into sin (James 1:13-15). So the old man isn't killed. He must physically die to be disposed of. The old man's will isn't violated by God, but is to be kept under by faithful obedience of the new creation in Christ whose will is to serve the Lord God in obedience to his nature. That is precisely why no Christian is 'perfect' practically, but is perfect positionally. He sins, but he is seen by God as possessing the righteousness of Christ Jesus on account of faith gifted to him by grace, the sins of the old man being forgiven the new creation in Christ. ''BUT AS IT IS WRITTEN, EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATH PREPARED FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM [the reason the unregenerate perceive these things as ridiculous]. BUT GOD HATH REVEALED THEM UNTO US BY HIS SPIRIT; FOR THE SPIRIT SEARCHETH ALL THINGS, YEA, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD...NOW WE HAVE RECEIVED, NOT THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD, BUT THE SPIRIT WHO IS OF GOD; THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN OF GOD.' (1 Cor. 2:9-12).

Subject: Who can be saved?
From: Pilgrim
To: Chrysostomus
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 19:42:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chrysostomus,
In a message below Rod asked you the following question:
>>>>You mention that people are saved without baptism. Then, if the 'laver of regeneration' is true, from whence come the exceptions?
And you answered:
I mentioned that it's possible. I could think of any number of situations: the guy that gets hit by the bus that I mentioned, some peasant in China who'd never heard the Gospel, someone who grows up and spends their whole life only hearing heresy, etc. My only point there is that God knows all hearts and He's the one who judges them. Not us.
I find this statement of yours intriguing, to say the least. Why? because you have stated on numerous ocassions that you reject 'Sola Fide'! And in its place you believe that one is justified by faith: through the 'church' + baptism + good works +?. Now given that even these things, regardless of the number of items you would either add or subtract as necessary for one to be justified before God, what is clearly absent from the examples you have mentioned above, of those who 'could' be saved, is the sacrificial work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus:
  1. On what basis are people saved without faith in the Lord Christ?
  2. What impetus is there for anyone to believe on Christ and strive to live according to God's holy law if salvation is possible otherwise?
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Who can be saved?
From: Chris
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 05:48:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
At the risk of sounding simplistic, Who can be saved? Whosoever believes. 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life' John 3:16 ASV And whosoever can believe? 'No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44 NKJV

Subject: Re: Who can be saved?
From: Chrysostomus
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 21:29:17 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Chrysostomus, With eye winking and elbow nudging: 'Finally, I must ask readers to be indulgent with the inconsistencies in my spelling of Greek proper names. All my life I have been impatient with the patronising way with which we westerners present Greek names in their Latin forms, and, in my old age, I decided to break free from it, adopting the principles used by my stand-by mini-encyclopedia, Der Kleine Pauly. Unfortunately, I have sometimes deviated from its high standards--for example, printing Chalkedon but shying away from from Nikaia.' --JND Kelly, from the Introduction to Golden Mouth, The Story of John Chrysostom; Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop. Sorry, I couldn't resist... >>>>you have stated on numerous ocassions that you reject 'Sola Fide'...And in its place you believe that one is justified by faith: through the 'church' + baptism + good works +? Looks like Luther did, too. And he invented Sola Fide. That was my original point, the one you called 'pseudo-history.' You said you weren't interesting in discussing it. If you do decide you want to pick the conversation back up, let me know, since your same accusations could be leveled at Dr Luther, and he's supposed to be on your 'side.' Chrysostomos 'It is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools.' --from 'An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans,' Luther's German Bible of 1522

Subject: Re: Who can be saved?
From: Pilgrim
To: Chrysostomus
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 22:44:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chrysostomos,
Gee, the fact that I asked the questions I thought would give a clear indication that I wanted answers? hahaha. As to your quote from Martin Luther regarding the inseparability of faith and works, I can without hesitation give my unqualified Amen! That's because I know Luther rejected categorically any form of works contributing to justification as he has boldly stated, 'simul iustus et peccatore'! Justification necessitates Sanctification. However, Sanctification in no way contributes to Justification, but only displays the reality of that Justification. Of course, James spelled that out in his inspired letter. :-) Now, will you please answer my few questions? :-) In His Grace, Pilgrim
LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN MARTIN CHEMNITZ (1522-1586)
ON JUSTIFICATION:
This unique doctrine in a special way distinguishes the church from all other nations and religions....[Justification] is the pinnacle and chief bulwark of all teaching and of the Christian religion itself; if this is obscured, adulterated, or subverted, it is impossible to retain purity of doctrine in other loci. On the other hand, if this locus is securely retained, all idolatrous ravings, superstitions and other corruptions are thereby destroyed (Loci Theologici II, p. 443)

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: Chrysostomos
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 23:00:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, At least you still have a sense of humor, I'm glad to see... >>>>Now, will you please answer my few questions? :-) Make you a deal. At least three times, I suggested that the notion of baptismal regeneration, as Luther has stated it, not me, is far less illogical than than the following statement from Rod: 'The fact that none except those elect are enabled to hear it doesn't lessen the fact that the offer is genuinely made.' Now, since I know you hold to the same notion as Rod (whom I do not in the least intend to disparage here, since I very much appreciate both our conversations and his zeal), I will address your two questions in depth if you would be so kind as to tell me how the above statement doesn't stand directly in contrast to plain old common sense, much less logic (and, lest I forget, a whole buncha Scriptures). Chrysostomos PS--what happened to St Worm? I see he's been posting on that other board lately. Came in with a flurry of posts and then--nothing. That's too bad.

Subject: Re: The "Free Offer"
From: Pilgrim
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 17:21:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chrysostomos,
DEAL! Your question is in reference to what Rod said in another post which was:
'The fact that none, except those elect, are enabled to hear it doesn't lessen the fact that the offer is genuinely made.'
I am going to presume here that you are primarily questioning the truth of God's sincerity or genuineness in the 'free offer' of the gospel in relation to the truth held by Calvinists that God has from all eternity predestinated some to everlasting life and the remainder to eternal torment. First of all it must be emphasized that the 'genuineness' of the offer of salvation which is found in Christ Jesus depends not upon the action and/or response of the intended recipient but only upon the intention of the Giver. Whether or not any recipient of the actual 'offer' accepts or rejects it; whether that individual is even able to accept it or reject it is of no consequence to the sincerity of the God Who has extended it to him. I would offer to you as indisputable proof of God's unquestionable genuineness and verity in His benevolence shown toward the reprobate and unbelieving from the following texts: Deut 5:29 (v. 26 in Hebrew); 32:29; Psa 81:13ff (vvs 81:14 in Hebrew); Isa 45:22; 48:18; Jer 32:17; Ezek 18:23; 33:11; Matt 5:44-48; 23:37; Lk 13:34; Acts 4:17. I hope no commentary is necessary to explain any of these texts, although I am willing to do so if found necessary. Secondly, the 'free offer' of the gospel must always include all its elements; two of which are 'repentance' and 'faith' as the prerequisites to be performed by any man so as to obtain the justification/salvation promised in the overture itself to come to Christ. There is no salvation apart from those prerequisites being done by the sinner. And both of these are expressions of a regenerated soul. First, some of the proofs for the inability of any man to repent and/or believe upon Christ in his natural state: Gen 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; 15:14-16; Eccl 9:3; Jer 12:23; 17:9; Matt 7:16-18; 12:33; Jh 6:44, 65; 10:26; Rom 8:7, 8; 11:35, 36; 1Cor 2:14; 4:7 2Cor 3:5; Eph 4:17-19. Second, some of the proofs that repentance and faith are sovereignly bestowed upon men according to the good pleasure of God as He wills; Ps 110:3; Matt 11:25-27; Jh 3:5-7, 37; 5:21; 6:37; 10:16; Acts 2:47; 3:16; 5:31; 11:18; 13:48; Rom 8:29, 30; Eph 2:1-5; Phil 1:29; 2Thess 2:13 2Tim 2:25, 26; Titus 3:3-5; Jam 1:18; 2Pet 3:9. There must always be a recognition between the 'decretive' will of God and the 'preceptive' will of God. In the former, whatsoever the LORD God has foreordained will come to pass. In the latter, whatever is published as God's law and therefore rule must and should be observed by men, but such observation may not be done by men. In fact no man does or can do that which the law of God requires wholly. For proofs of the 'decretive will of God see: Job 12:13ff; 23:13; Ps 33:6-11; 148:1-5; Isa 14:24, 27; 55:11; 46:10; Lam 3:37; Dan 4:35; Acts 2:23; 4:28; Eph 1:9, 11; Heb 6:17. As to the preceptive will of God, this is so obvious, that I see no need of referencing the countless texts which affirm it. The 'free offer' of the gospel comes under the preceptive will of God, Who has declared in all sincerity, that all who come to the Christ in repentance and faith will surely and infallibly be saved. (Matt 11:28-30; Jh 6:37-39; et al). However, the number of those who will be saved is fixed in the heavens by God's decretive will, of which no man can number nor can they know who they be. Thus the gospel goes out to all indiscriminately proclaiming that Christ is dead for sinners and that in Him and Him alone there is remission and forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God and the adoption as sons who are heirs of the present kingdom and the new heaven and new earth.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Oh, P....
From: Chrysostomos
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 22:51:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I was hoping for something that I could again just slap in a quote from Luther, but you're not giving it to me. hehe. You've given a thoughtful response, so I'll do you the courtesy of same. See you in a day or so... Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 13:53:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chry - there is no inconsistency...not from God's perspective. You are suggesting that God is unfair in His 'genuine offer' as we have presented matters. Right? Was Pharoah given a 'genuine offer'? Apparently NOT for he was created for a specific purpose by God. Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. You and others would have us cry, 'FOUL!' When did Pharoah get to exercise his 'freewill'? Where was the genuine offer to Pharoah to do what was noble and right? Where was Pharoah's chance to redeem himself...to grab hold of salvation's hand? To repent and team up with Moses? Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Who has resisted God's will? NO ONE! EVER! Pharoah did as God had ordained. Again, is God now unfair??? Here is the answer many despise: Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? Bottom line: God is in total control and offers His mercy to whomever He determines. And since God is impassible, having no shadow of turning ... His decisions were made in eternity past. Pharoah did what God ordained for him to do...as were the men who kill Jesus (Act 2:23). Yet, none are held blameless for their sin. Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. laz

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 14:21:28 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
laz. Let me state up front that I in no way disagree with you. Yet I think I know you well enough to say that you believe that Pharaoh was given the genuine offer in the command to 'let my people go.' And in the demonstrations of God's power and might, which his magicians finally failed to duplicate. He was given many proofs and the direct Word of God though His mouthpiece. He did what his will, as a lost man unenabled by the Spirit of God to believe, was free to do: He rejected God's revelation, as all lost men do, just as they are free to do. God was actually, in many ways, and over a period of time, very patient with Pharaoh's unbelief. He demonstrated what was in man's heart, just as the Lord Jesus did: 'But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man...Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again' (John 2: 24-25 and 3:7).

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: laz
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 15:41:56 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod - I guess I failed to emphasize the 'human responsibility' aspect of the sovereignty equation. Thanks and blessings, laz p.s. I just went back to reread my post...and see where you misunderstood me...I was being sarcastic in suggesting that Pharoah did NOT receive a genuine offer. Of course he did...as none are with excuse. I should have been more clear. ;-)

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 15:54:09 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, laz, I wan't 'correcting' you at all, brother :^). I was in complete agreement with you in every respect. I just wanted to elaborate. BTW, that was an excellent post earlier under 'Logical inconsistencies.'

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 12:35:36 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, I don't want to butt in on you and Pilgrim, but the explanation to my absurdity and foolishness is in the next thread above and in Chris' post in this thread. See especially the section from Paul in 1 Cor. 2:9-12 quoted at the end of my post and the quite natural, logical conclusion he makes from those inspired facts in verses 13-16, which I didn't quote. Simply stated, the man who is graciously indwelt by the Spirit of God in regeneration will believe the promises of God in Christ, be thus justified, and will show forth his faith by the works which the Father, whose workmanship he is, has 'before ordained that he should walk in them' as a functioning member of the body of Christ, following his Head (Eph. 2:10, and 4:11-16). Those indwelt by the Spirit of God are enabled to see and understand this, those not so indwelt think it ridiculous: 'For after that, in the widsom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe' (1 Cor. 1:21). I am very grateful to be a fool for Christ, enabled by grace to believe the gospel of God unto salvation.

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 21:46:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, You're not butting in. It was with you that I was having the original conversation.... We're back to the original problem, however. Luther thought the Scriptures were quite clear about baptismal regeneration. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Who can be saved??
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 23:03:13 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
But my authority isn't Luther, it is the Bible. I have stated previously that Luther rationalized the need for baptism as a means of salvation based on the command of the Lord Jesus to baptize. He was dead wrong on that, as Paul and others, including the Lord Jesus said repeatedly, as in very persistently. It is evident that you don't believe that salvation comes until the individual jumps through several hoops. That gives the glory to the person who has the power from within to keep himself saved, elevating man to a postion higher than God's. When man tips the balance by what he does, he becomes the prime mover, the supreme being. Sovereignty, however, as the Bible presents it, has God determining all things and working all things to the glory of God who will not share His glory with another (Is. 42:8). Pilgrim quoted you thus above in the opening post: ' I mentioned that it's possible. I could think of any number of situations: the guy that gets hit by the bus that I mentioned, some peasant in China who'd never heard the Gospel, someone who grows up and spends their whole life only hearing heresy, etc. My only point there is that God knows all hearts and He's the one who judges them. Not us.' Well, you still haven't explained to us the basis of that judgment you mention. You implicitly state in this quote that it isn't the gospel, so what is it? So then, your only basis for God's judging them worthy is if they somehow endure to the end, it seems. You do not acknowledge that they are 'saved' beforehand and are safe from judgment from God, as we do, but are really only saved when they finally crawl across the finish line, having worked to the end of this life for their approval before God. That is a definte denial of God's Word, Chrysostomos. The entire chapter of Romans 8, for just one example says so. It begins that there is 'no condemnation' for those in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. That faith gives to the person of faith the eternal, everlasting life of the saved person: 'But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you' (verse 11). The Apostle Paul goes on to say, 'The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God' (verse16). 'We are' God's children and He gives us the testimony within that we are His own. It is a state of current being, salvation, which is assured by many statements, such as this one, 'And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (verse 28). 'All things work together....' for the elect/saved person, the one whom God effectually calls. Now, do you suppose that a man (or men) causes every thing which ever transpires to work together for good for those who love God? That is preposterous. And why does a person love God and obey Him, being indwelt by His Spirit to eternal life? It is because of God; because He loved those whom He saved: 'But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace ye are saved)' (Eph. 2:5). It isn't baptism which saves us, or our continuance in good works, our own sticktoittiveness, but it is grace borne of God's love for the elect. Because of that grace He calls those whom He loved from eternity (Eph. 1:4-5). They in turn love Him and all things work together for their good because of God's will and determination. Even their devotion to Him is due to His action: 'We love him, because he first loved us' (1 John 4:19). I'm not just talking about the 'P', I'm speaking of 'salvation,' the work of God who, because of predestination and his having chosen us in love 'before the foundation of the world' (Eph. 1:4) 'to the praise of the glory of his grace, through which HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED; in whom we have [right now] redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace' (verses 6-7). That is the whole package! We are now and forever 'accepted in the Beloved' due to the love of God Who 'predestinated us to the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to himself' (verse 5, cp. Rom. 8:15). We are saved, we are being saved, and we shall be saved. You once referred to a person's finishing 'the race', stating, 'Your question puts the end of the race at the beginning, which makes a number of St Paul's images and analogies, well, nonsensical.' In mentioning the Apostle Paul, you neglect to note what he said about 'the race' as it applies to salvation: 'What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then, it is not of him that willeth, NOR OF HIM THAT RUNNETH, but of God that showeth mercy' (Rom. 9:14-16). Every person who makes it through to the end makes it through because the race was indeed finished in the beginning, when God showed mercy to him in grace based on predestinating love. That's the meaning of salvation. That is he who may be saved. And only that person can be saved.

Subject: Federal Headship and Government
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 07:51:59 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Is the leader of a country viewed as the federal head in the eyes of God? Since George Bush professes faith, and assuming it is genuine, will this change the way God views the United States? God bless.

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 08:41:05 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
There are only 2 'Federal Heads', at least according to God's Word (there are some who say otherwise); Adam and the Lord Christ. In both person's whatever they did had direct bearing on those who they represented as you well know. There is no other 'Federal Head' other than these two, as they were duly appointed by God for the sole purpose of showing for His love, mercy, grace, justice, holiness and glory in the redemption of mankind by His own will. George W. Bush is certainly an 'instrument' of God's will and a Federal Head of State, but hardly a 'Federal Head'. :-) And I don't think God considers the United States as a nation as He did Israel; i.e., one who is chosen of God etc. In other words, I reject the notion that the United States is a 'Christian' nation; even more so in regards to Canada as a nation, which I am convinced is far worse morally and spiritually than the United States! :-) Therefore I think God simply views the United States as the godless nation that it is and a promoter of wickedness and evil, albeit there is a good measure of Common Grace given to its citizens. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Now wait a cotton ...
From: stan
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 15:57:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
pickin minute you calling the good ole usa a godless nation - you - a Canadian calling MY country godless! Wish I could argue with you on that one but don't like being on the losin team! '-) stan

Subject: Re: Now wait a cotton ...
From: Pilgrim
To: stan
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 19:26:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
pickin minute you calling the good ole usa a godless nation - you - a Canadian calling MY country godless! Wish I could argue with you on that one but don't like being on the losin team! '-) stan
---
Stan,
Hahaha.... don't be misled brother! I am still an American citizen, much to my own shagrin. I'm only a 'Landed Imigrant' here in Canada and haven't even considered for a moment becoming a Canadian citizen even though it is permitted to hold dual citizenship. This is not to say that I am proud to be an American... :-); it's just the land of my birth and I didn't have much choice as none of us do. LOL! In His Grace, Pilgrim Heb 11:13 'These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.'

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 08:56:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Pilgrim, Thank you for your response. I have been listening to some messages by Douglas Wilson (of Credenda/Agenda fame), whereby he states that the whole concept of federal headship has been lost in modern times. He was speaking in regard to the man being the federal head of the family, and therefore responsible for it's members sins. Do you agree or disagree with this view of federal headship? Adam and Christ were the 'ultimate heads' of each type of humanity, but doesn't the concept apply to other societal structures? Also, I do not believe that America is a Christian nation, or under God's special blessing. ISTM that America is an apostate nation, and it's financial and political successes are not a blessing, but rather a curse. Thanks for your insight. God bless.

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: laz
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 13:29:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
For what it's worth...I happen to believe that where the king goes...the nation tends to follow. Just look at what the CLinton admin has done to the overall moral tone of our nation. One good example is what Clinton did to redefine sex. Oral sex is now an innocent extracurricular activity. In the OT...the people of Israel often became like the king leading them. The king definately set the moral tone/climate. I'm hoping that Bush will set high moral standards to prove to the world the stark contrast between conservative principles and liberal ones! Not that we don't have immoral conservatives and moral liberals...but for the most part, liberals tend to support questionable public policies from a biblical perspective (abortion, gay rights, license, promiscuity, humanism, etc, etc). That's why we are so lucky....we have the ULTIMATE King in Christ Jesus. May we strive to follow His example and live lives worthy of His blessed calling. laz

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 15:02:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
Indeed I vehemently oppose and reject Doug Wilson's outlandish teaching concerning the 'Federal Headship' of ANYONE other than Adam or the Lord Christ. His view is contrived and has no biblical support. Further the consequences of this teaching that result in families who try to implement it is devastating in many cases. It is one thing to be a 'covenant head'. But it is entirely different matter to be a 'Federal Head'. 'Foedus' is never used in reference to any husband, leader, etc. And no amount of sophistry will be convincing to me, at least, that a husband is responsible for his wife's sins. Perhaps others who have been taken in by Mr. Doug Wilson and this abhorrent teaching can attempt to defend it here on the forum? :-) I do know that there are some participants here who have first-hand knowledge and/or experience with Doug Wilson and this teaching, and perhaps they too can share their conclusions on this matter?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Heidi
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 08:40:09 (PST)
Email Address: sandhill@quixnet.net

Message:
Hi Eric A friend linked me to this discussion. My husband and I, for our 10th anniv. gave 'each other' the books Reforming Marriage and Federal Husband, as well as Nancy Wilson's book about the wife's duties, which title I cannot recall right now. My question for you is, how do you define Headship? and what are the responsibilities of the head of a household? I'm not going to defend Doug Wilson's position, and don't mean to sound defensive. Your post is the first refutation of his position that I've seen, and I am interested in how you would explain the biblical notion of headship, if it is a different explanation than Doug Wilson's. thanks Heidi Crane

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Tom
To: Heidi
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 10:24:40 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Heidi It just occured to me that you were asking Eric, not Pilgrim. :-)

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Tom
To: Heidi
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 10:19:25 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Heidi I am not Pilgrim and I am sure he could do a lot better job that I can do. But if I may, I would like to say something on this topic. Have a look at Eph.5:22, 'Wives submitt to yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord.' This is talking about family government. Like all government, God has ordained the husband to be the head of the household. Even with in the Godhead, the head is God the Father (see 1 Cor.11:3). We know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, make up the Trinity. All three make up one God, however the Son and the Holy Spirit are in submission to the Father. The lack of government is anarchy. The same is true for the home, there must be a head, and there must be obedience to that head. God has ordained that the place of headship be given to man. He indicated this by creating man first, then creating woman for the man. Submission, doesn't imply inferiority. This is different from federal headship. Like Pilgrim rightly said, the Bible only talks about two federal heads. Adam and Jesus Christ. Through Adam, we inherit our sin nature. Through Jesus Christ all those who are IN Christ, have Christ's rightiousness. I know this is rather a simplistic answer, but I am sure someone else wants to alaborate more on what I said. Tom

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 10:51:20 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, I was/am confused as to whom Heidi was addressing also. :^) You did very well in this explanation. I think the only other thing to emphasize is this: Federal headship refers to one being a substitute in his actions for all those who are 'in' him. 'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (1 Cor.15:22). In that sense, federal (representative) headship refers to the two sons of God, the created son, Adam (Luke 3:38) and the Second Person of the trinity, God the Son. A husband cannot sin or do good for his wife, only Adam and the 'last Adam' could do that. Thus, in God's eyes, these are the only two federal heads of the Bible, the one leading mankind into sin because they are all born 'in' him; the Other keeping the pure Law of God perfectly so that all 'in Christ' by grace through faith are regarded as having His righteousness in God's eyes.

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Heidi
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 14:15:26 (PST)
Email Address: sandhill@quixnet.net

Message:
Hi Tom, Rod, Pilgrim, Eric *L* and everyone else! What constitutes headship, then? I think there has been an understanding of husband headship as being Federal, in the past...hence, a head of household voted, but his wife didn't, because his vote represented his entire family. Or at least, that was the argument...and the argument came from an understanding of Headship as being representative in some way. So, if headship doesn't have representation in its definition, what IS Biblical headship? What are the practical outworkings of such a teaching? What does it mean, that a husband is the head of his wife? Is it no more than 'If a decision needs to be made, and there is disagreement, the husband's decision holds sway'? Is it possible that there are levels of representation? No, a husband doesn't provide righteousness to his wife, in his name, and he can't bear her sins. But what about the societal tradition of calling a family by the father's name 'The Jim Crane Family' that is still in practice today? Isn't that a sort of representation? The family's... appearance....in the community has bearing on the husband's name more than anyone else's, isn't it because the husband in some way represents his family to the community? well, just some thoughts. glad for the interaction! love, Heidi

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Rod
To: Heidi
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 30, 2001 at 14:47:09 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Howdy, Heidi, 'Heidi' is the way most of us Texans actually pronounce 'howdy' anyway! :^) I'm not certain I will answer your question in the exact way in which you asked it. You have been very thoughtful in your approach, BTW. Yes, there is an element of representation in the husband/wife relationship. However, as we have said, and you have noted, the representation for imparting good or evil to the wife as Adam did to his descendants and the Lord Jesus does to those whom God saves by grace is missing. In fact, the impartation by federal representation is to have been done for Christians prior to the marriage! We are commanded not to marry nonbelievers, those whose Federal Head isn't the Lord Jesus. The husband and the wife then each have a joint Federal Head, the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. These two people were 'in' Adam and are now to be 'in Christ' in marriage and all of life. Yet there is no federal headship involved as their saved status is not automatically passed on to their descendants; each individual offspring being responsible for his own lost condition as he/she is born in Adam and needing the Lord Jesus' salvation. Also, though the Bible appoints the husband as 'head of the wife' (Eph. 5:23), it is because of the Headship he is himself under. He is not appointed a dictator, but he is to be obeyed when his direction and decisions honor the Lord. A wife is not called to follow her husband into sin, but is responsible for living her own godly life. There is an element of physical protection involved in the marriage relationship: 'he is the savior of the body.' Likewise, a wife will have no trouble or doubt about submitting to her husband's leadership if he is operating under the leadership of the Savior, loving her 'as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify it and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word' (verses 25-26). A husband who is fulfilling this command of the Lord has the purity and sanctity of his wife foremost in his mind. It is his duty to lead spiritually, and to protect her against evil, not to make all decisions without consulting her or considering her wishes as a selfish person would. His is the final authority, but his is not authority to act out of anything but love and concern for her well-being: 'So men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself' (verse 28). Such a husband will lead as Christ Jesus wills and the wife of such a husband will willingly submit and 'reverence her husband' (verse 35). All that is possible because we have a Federal Head who has placed us in a position of having received His righteousness before God and enabled us by the indwelling Spirit of God to serve Him.

Subject: Re: Federal Headship and Government
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 15:50:07 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Rod Thanks, that is the point I was trying to make, though you alaborated on what I said. 1 Cor.15:22, is a great scripture verse to show federal headship. :-) Tom

Subject: More on headship
From: Eric
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 08:33:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Just so I am not representing Mr. Wilson's teaching on marriage and federal headship, let me clarify a couple of things. 1. Mr. Wilson uses the term covenantal and federal head interchangeably. Apparently some people distinguish between the two words--perhaps somebody could explain the difference. 2. Mr. Wilson teaches that the husband is responsible for his sins, the wife is responsible for her sins, and the husband is responsible for his wife's sins, because he is the head of the household. This also applies to children as well. I do not believe that he teaches that the husband will suffer eternal punishment for the sins of his household if the are unbelievers, but I do not understand what exactly he means by the word responsible. However to bolster his understanding of the man's covenantal responsibility, he cites the example of Job offering sacrifices to God on behalf of his sons, who might have sinned against God in their heart. Job 1:4-5 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings {according to} the number of them all; for Job said, 'Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did continually. God bless.

Subject: Re: More on headship
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 12:38:08 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,
Reluctantly I continue with this topic! :-) First of all, Mr. Wilson has no biblical or logical warrant to equate or join the biblical concept of 'Federal Headship' with the concept of 'Covenant Headship'. Although in the examples of Adam and the Lord Christ they are inseparable. But again, there is no warrant to apply the office of 'Federal Head' to a husband. To do so incontrovertibly disrupts the uniqueness of both Adam and Christ in their ordained roles and their function in biblical redemption. Secondly, can one really posit that a husband is 'responsible' for his wife's sins without denying such texts as Ezek 18:4-20; Ps 62:12; Prov 24:12, 29; Jer 17:10; Matt 16:27; Rom 2:5, 6; 2Cor 5:10; Rev 20:12, 13, where it is more than perspicuous that each individual will have to give an account for their OWN sins, and not be held responsible/accountable for the sins of another? Accepting that these texts are clear in and of themselves, and given the great weight of their number, I would suggest that one not assume to fabricate a doctrine which is evident in Mr. Wilson's teaching, from the Job passage. Thirdly, Mr. Wilson also posits that a wife's sins are to be seen as at least partially due to her husbands sinful behaviour. Again, this is absurd. For theoretically, it would then be possible if a husband lived a pure and righteous life, none of his family would ever sin. The absurdity of this logical conclusion can be seen in the life of the Lord Christ Himself, Who sinned not, yet all those who were brought in under His 'Federal/Covenant Headship' continued to sin and do continue to sin even after they are justified in His blood. If we, who are under Christ's headship are yet sinful in thought, word and deed, how much less can one suggest that a wife and or children of a man will not sin, or even that they will sin less?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: More on headship
From: Tom
To: Eric
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 10:20:35 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Eric I think I answered your first question, in my earlier post. Rod also aloborated on what I said a bit. Please go back to them and re-read them. Perhaps after that if you have something more specific in mind, you could ask it. I would rather leave the other questions to someone else. Tom

Subject: Logical inconsistencies
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 22:48:16 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
To all, If you have been following the discussions of 'baptismal regeneration,' you may have noticed that St. Worm's and Chrysostomos' contentions are similar in the following respects. First, each seems to express the view that salvation can be lost. Second, though regeneration is only possible through the administration of baptism by the church, faith seems to be assumed in the individual submitting to the baptism, even though he is unregenerate, dead to God spiritually, and, therefore, incapable of having the faith of which God approves. I find these things to be totally illogical, as well as boldly unscriptural. Chrysostomos has written me thus concerning that charge: 'I am absolutely puzzled that you find the idea of baptismal regeneration illogical....' There are many things illogical about it. I have already written (at length) about the necessity of faith, the faith which God in grace supplies which saves, so I won't go into that again with the same proofs. But the Bible does make it clear that the regeneration of a person comes from the Spirit of God. Can that origination of the indwelling/regeneration be traced to baptism or to any other specific, identifiable event? John 3:8 is the key to understanding that the answer is 'No!' ''Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again'' (verse 7). Here we see the subject is the new birth, regeneration, the making alive of a person spiritually, making him alive to God. ''The wind bloweth where it willeth, and thou hearest the sound of it, but canst not tell from where it cometh, and where it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit'' (verse 8). Here we have a description of the mysterious coming of the Spirit of God to create a new life (regenerating an individual). It is as the wind. One can tell that the wind is blowing and the direction from which it is blowing, but he can't tell where it came from and can't tell where it will end up. It is mysterious, beyond human comprehension. So is the operation of the Spirit of God. There seems to me to be little question that this is the thrust of the verse. If that is so, then, if one is able to point to baptism and say, 'This event causes the gift of the Holy Spirit in creating new life and salvation,' then there is absolutely no mystery of the origin! The mysterious gifting of the Spirit of God is solved, when the Lord Jesus says it is insoluble from the human standpoint. Add to this the fact that Nicodemus was a pious Jew. He had already received the sign of the covenant of Israel, being circumcised, and the ordinance of baptism wasn't yet instituted, but he needed to be regenerated, he needed the new birth, as testified to in verses 3 and 7. How could he receive such a new birth? It had to be from above, from the explicit gifting of God in faith in 'heavenly things': 'If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things...And, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have eternal life' (verses 12-15). And, moreover, the narative goes on to mention 'belief' (faith) as the sole condition for 'eternal' and 'everlasting life' in verses 16, 18, and 36 of the same chapter. But beyond that, both St. Worm and Chrysostomos have each expressed a belief (faith) that a person 'regenerated' by baptism can fall away and be lost. In my concordance, I count at least 30 times the word 'eternal' is applied to the life and inheritance of a child of God. That is in addition to the 'never perish' verses and the 'everlasting' life assurances, and various others. Note what the Lord Jesus said to the pious Jews, ''Search the Scriptures,'' He commanded. Why? Well, He gives the answer immediately,...''for in them ye think ye have eternal life.'' And they were correct in so thinking eternal life was in believing God, but incorrect in the assumption such faith applied to them, as evidenced by his next statement, ''and they are they which testify of me'' (John 5: 39). Now note this: '' And ye will not come to me [believing], that ye might have life'' (verse 40). That it is belief (faith) of which He is speaking is verified by this statement in verse 44, ''How can ye believe, who receive honor from one another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?'' He goes on to lash them for their faithlessness: ''...there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust [have faith]. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings [the Scriptures], how shall ye believe my words?'' (verses 45-47). They have not the Spirit of God in them and are faithless and undiscerning, concerning Moses' Scriptural writing and concerning all the truth of God, even from God come in the flesh. The man of faith has the indwelling of the regenerating Holy Spirit of God. Like the wind, we can't tell why God sent it or how He did it, but we can discern His presence by the faith and the works thereof in the new creation in Christ Jesus. (See Part II below.)

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 23:51:09 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, >>>>>First, each seems to express the view that salvation can be lost. 'For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own;...I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature be thus minded; (Phil 3:8-17) There are many others. I don't base my 'case' on one passage alone, you know. >>>>Chrysostomos has written me thus concerning that charge: 'I am absolutely puzzled that you find the idea of baptismal regeneration illogical....' Yes, I still am, given that you made the following statement: 'The fact that none except those elect are enabled to hear it doesn't lessen the fact that the offer is genuinely made.' I'd still like you to address that one. >>>>>If that is so, then, if one is able to point to baptism and say, 'This event causes the gift of the Holy Spirit in creating new life and salvation,' then there is absolutely no mystery of the origin! No, Rod, there is no mystery to the origin. We know the origin. The origin is not the mystery. The Holy Trinity is the origin. It's the how that's the Mystery. Everything, from the very relationship of Christ to the Church (Eph 5) to the sacraments (which are actually properly called mysteries in the patristic Greek, continuing this NT tradition) is Mystery. The passage you quote actaully proves my point against your contention that we believe no one can possibly be saved apart from baptism (I don't know where you got that. Not even the RCs believe that). That passage is precisely why Orthodox make no judgements about those 'visibly' outside of the Church. It prevents one from judging that which he has no right to judge. And I've said quite emphatically that no one can point to baptism as a source of pride, as if they've 'made it.' Baptism is the beginning of the race, the enlistment in the battle--both NT images of the Christian life. If you don't finish the race, you don't get the prize and if you quit fighting on the battlefield...well, you get killed. >>>>>But beyond that, both St. Worm and Chrysostomos have each expressed a belief (faith) that a person 'regenerated' by baptism can fall away and be lost 'Then Peter came up and said to him, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. 'Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.' (Matt 18:21-35) So did the lord not really forgive the initial 10,000 talent debt? Of course he forgave it. The person was forgiven the debt and then thrown into jail to pay a debt he couldn't possibly repay. Why? Because he forgot that 'if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.' (Matt 6:15) The rest of your analysis of Christ's conversation with Nicodemus sounds good to me. I find nothing on which I couldn't agree with you. I did see your original post to St Worm (Part II), and have noted them as Topics Forty-Four through Forty-Seven (sorry, just trying to keep things chummy). I'll try to write you a response tomorrow evening. In the mean time, I'd still like to hear how your comment about the call being genuine in spite of the fact that certain person can't respond to it isn't totally illogical, not to mention unScriptural. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Brother Bret
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 19:51:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
1 know Rod or someone must have mentioned this before. But please, please tell me how if a person loses or forfeits their salvation that it cannot be a violation of Jn. 6;39 and 10:28? Thank you, Brother Bret. P.S. Then tell me what Mt. 7:2,1Jn.2:19; Heb.10:35-39 means!

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Chrysostomos
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 22:38:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Jn. 6;39 and 10:28? Matt 18:21-35 >>>>>P.S. Then tell me what Mt. 7:2, Matt 7:1 >>>>1Jn.2:19; 1 John 2:3,4,10,11,15,24,28,29 >>>>Heb.10:35-39 means! Heb 2:1-3; 3:12, 16-19; 4:1-2. There are more in that Epistle, but here's chapter 4, verse 6: 'Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,' I don't know how the comparison between the Christian life to the Israelites, Egypt and the promised land could be made any clearer. Maybe it's just me (on this board anyway!). You all call the 'P' or eternal security or what have you 'logical.' Tell me, were the Israelites who died in the desert not really delivered from Egypt? St Paul (or the author, whichever you prefer) is making a clear comparison between the two. However, if your doctrine is true, then this comparison makes no sense whatsoever. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 11:54:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chry - the comparison is clear...Israel was all about temporal blessing (and conditional in the earthly plane!), an earthly inheritance whereby they were given by GRACE the product of the work of another(s). Deut 6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; God CARRIED these people out of bondage...they did nothing to merit such favor! God has always GIVEN as promised to Eve, Abraham, etc! Give, give, give is what God always does on behalf of His people! Grace in action. The Church too is the beneficiary of a gracious God who ensures that all the work necessarily to receive and enjoy our heavenly/eternal inheritance has already been done FOR US...GRATIS. As for another comparision: Just as tares existing amongst the wandering Israelites (who fell by the wayside)... tares exist within the 'church' today. But none of this negates the fact that God is true to His word and blesses His Elect (throughout all redemptive history) according to His riches and grace - all without condition. His elect recognize His blessings and act in gratitude and obedience unto salvation..which is in the final analysis ALL OF GOD. laz

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Chrysostomos
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 21:44:37 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
laz, Please read some of the earlier posts. I also agree that salvation is given by God and not 'merited' by man. I never even implied that the Egyptians were delivered out of Egypt by their 'merit.' You still didn't answer the question, though... Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Brother Bret
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 20:44:07 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
And you never dealt with the Jn.6:39;10:28 directly, but posted different texts that did not relate to them. Also 1Jn.2:19. I had a typo regarding the Matthew verse. I meant to put Mt.7:21-23 not 7:2, sorry. So are you going to interpret those verses I asked about Chrys? If they don't mean what we think they do (that no one can lose/forfeit their salvation because Christ will not lose any and none will perish), then what do they mean. Please answer the question, Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 13:47:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
What question? LOL Pls ask it again as I thought I did address the meat of your position. In Him, laz

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Chrysostomos
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 22:39:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
What question? LOL Pls ask it again as I thought I did address the meat of your position. In Him, laz
---
'Tell me, were the Israelites who died in the desert not really delivered from Egypt?' See, there's being delivered from Egypt and then there's arriving in the promised land.... no?

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 10:55:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
OK...how about this: There's being part of a Church...going through the motions (Israelites chosen as race and leaving Egypt/wandering)...but it's another thing entirely being of the Elect and eventually going to heaven (Israelites who actually entered into the Promised Land). LOL!! Redemption of pre-Mosaic Israel was MORE than just escaping their temporal captors...it also included entering into their 'sabbath rest'. Obviously many where called...but few were chosen. It's always been that way... laz

Subject: Re: Logical inconsistencies
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 10:10:47 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, I see that all this is futile. (Actually I knew it would be from the start.) You have refused to see the elementary fallacy of your argument. One the one hand, you endorse, 'baptismal regeneration,' which in and of itself as a designation DEMANDS that the new life comes from baptism. Then, on the other hand, you have taken it away. That is confused and illogical, indicating a flawed understanding of 'regeneration,' salvation, and God's ways. When I said that the origin of the Spirit's working was 'mysterious' I meant, obviously, that we could point to no single event which produced it, since the Lord Himself said His (God's Spirit's) arrival to save an individual was as undiscernable as the wind as to its cause. He saves whom He will for His own reasons. It is so painfully obvious that God the Spirit comes from God that I didn't think you, a learned person and an academician, would have even dreamed I meant that. I'm astounded that you would make that connection. That is also most illogical.

Subject: Part II
From: Rod
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 23:21:07 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, I presented the following truth from Scripture and posed the questions which follow that three times to St. Worm. I never received an answer. Possibly you will answer the questions? ''St. Worm, Rather than respond to who believed what, let me pose this to you: If man can over-rule what God has achieved, who is really the Supreme Being? This is the most fundamental and important question. If God's will is the ultimate, determining factor, then how can His sanctifying grace be 'killed?' The bedrock premise that God is sovereign and that His will is all-important in determination of man's end, as you assert by your statement, 'all God's elect will make it by His will,' means that man cannot be the determining factor. Just to be certain that we're discussing the same thing, 'sanctifying grace' can be practically defined as God's setting aside an individual for His salvation, protection, and perfection, in a positional way. That can never be annulled, according to the Lord Jesus' own pronouncements (twice): 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and NO MAN IS ABLE TO PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY FATHER'S HAND. I and the Father are one' (John 10:27-30). The statement in verse 29 where, 'My Father is greater than all,' cannot be true if His decisions and will can be nullified by the actions of man, but the fact so clearly and unmistakeably emphasized is that man can't undo what God's sovereign choice affirms. It is in the sovereign will of God to 'sanctify' (positionally) a person for all time whom He elects and it is His will to keep him thus 'sanctified' positionally for all time with 'eternal life,' and 'never perishing.' In view of these statements of flat fact by the Son of God Himself, will you please consider and answer the following questions: 1) How does 'eternal life' get lost and come to an end? 2) How does a man negate the promise that he will 'never perish' from the lips of the Savior? 3) When God says, 'no man can pluck them out' of God's hand, how does the man in question pluck himself out of God's hand by losing his salvation?''

Subject: Re: Part II
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 01:20:59 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, The pregnant wife went to bed. I had some time... >>>>>posed the questions which follow that three times to St. Worm.I never received an answer What happened to that guy, anyway? Doesn't he know it's not polite to just stir up dust and then leave town? >>>>>If man can over-rule what God has achieved,who is really the Supreme Being? Again, you're assuming that man's eternal destiny is determined at what you define as the moment of regeneration (which is not really accurate, since some people were decreed to eternal salvation and some to eternal damnation before everything was created). We've just got to resolve this at some point.... Anyway, >>>>>If God's will is the ultimate, determining factor, then how can His sanctifying grace be 'killed?' That's a big if, Rod. Keeping in mind that I don't believe that one's eternal salvation or damnation was either decreed before the beginning of the world or at the moment of regeneration (given the decree part, isn't the argument about baptism somewhat superfluous? why not just argue the decree?), I don't believe that God's will is the only factor in man's salvation. Free will has to exist, otherwise God is the author of sin, or he coerces. Plus, he's a little whimsical and tyrannical, too. >>>>>The bedrock premise that God is sovereign and that His will is all-important in determination of man's end, as you assert by your statement, 'all God's elect will make it by His will,' Remember, that was St Worm's statement, not mine. >>>>>means that man cannot be the determining factor. Correct. The proper understanding is actually 'synergia' or cooperation with the grace of God for salvation. Because the sovereign God wants a man to love him out of his own free will and not coercion, it's not an either/or situation. He created all things. He didn't need to do anything. He did what he did out of love. He does not desire the death of a sinner, but that he should return and live. He does want all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. That doesn't mean that all men will love him, repent, or be saved. I can hear it now. 'But that means that God's own will doesn't get accomplished! It means he needs to peer into the future to find out if a man will be saved!' Or other such statements I've seen on this board. False. God knows all. God transcends all. But he does not coerce. If sin has it's origin in anything other than man's (or Satan's) free will, then God is the author of it. And that is not possible, since God is All-good. This is because evil is not a created thing. It is simply a product of disobedience. Man is responsible for his own mess, so to speak, God does not need to save him, and yet He does. God has accomplished man's salvation in Christ. Death was destroyed. The handwriting that was against us is gone. All the grace, all the mercy, all the help is there. It only remains for man to receive and run the race. On the Last Day, there can be no excuses, because God will say to every man, 'I gave you everything necessary.' In that sense, man's will does indeed determine salvation, because God has provided everything and man has no excuse. The 'assurance' is the goodness and mercy of God. That's the bedrock. It holds up the whole world, in fact. >>>>>'sanctifying grace' can be practically defined as God's setting aside an individual for His salvation, protection, and perfection, in a positional way. As should be clear from the above and previous conversations, I don't believe that salvation is a judicial delcaration. Salvation is union with God, the resoration of that which was destroyed in the Fall. All men are called to participate. Your definition continues to make God whimsical. Some he sets aside, some he does not. A theory which nullifies more Scriptures than it explains. >>>>>1) How does 'eternal life' get lost and come to an end? In my previous post, I quoted Phillipians to you. Your question puts the end of the race at the beginning, which makes a number of St Paul's images and analogies, well, nonsensical. >>>>>2) How does a man negate the promise that he will 'never perish' from the lips of the Savior? We might ask St Paul the same thing. We might also ask Christ the same thing, given what I previously posted about the servant who owed 10,000 talents. An even better passage that many people use to prove your point is in Romans, where St Paul says that nothing can separate one from the love of God. Yes, this is true. Christ conquered death, and the fear of death. And perfect love drives out fear. A Christian can be 'killed' by no external thing, again, because God has provided for everything, not tempting beyond what one can bear, says St James. So, on the Last Day, God can say, 'I gave you everything. I told you I would never leave you, never allow any harm to come to you beyond chastisting you for your own benefit, never give you something that you couldn't bear with my help. What excuse do you have?' None. >>>>3) When God says, 'no man can pluck them out' of God's hand, how does the man in question pluck himself out of God's hand by losing his salvation?'' By persistently refusing to get up (repenting) when he falls down (sins). This is pride (the original sin), a denial of the mercy of God. Keeping in mind that he hasn't lost eternal salvation. He failed to finish a battle in which he was guaranteed victory beforehand. Peter denied Christ three times, but he wept, repented and came back. Judas felt miserable about what he'd done, but didn't repent. What happened to each of them is clear enough, no? The point is to be like Peter and not Judas. 'if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful -- for he cannot deny himself.' (2 Tim 2:12,13) One may get injured in battle by faithlessness. One gets killed by denial. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Part II
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 08:02:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
So is 'denial' the ONE sin Christ did not atone for? Is 'denial' the unpardonable sin? laz p.s. then why does God sometimes kill the body (of a presummably elect person) to save the soul? hmmm

Subject: Re: Part II
From: Chrysostomos
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 22:13:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello again, laz! >>>So is 'denial' the ONE sin Christ did not atone for? Is 'denial' the unpardonable sin? I give up. You tell me what Matt 18:21-35 means. Especially verse 35. >>>>>p.s. then why does God sometimes kill the body (of a presummably elect person) to save the soul? hmmm Presumably? What are you talking about? Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Part II
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 10:43:38 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chrysostomos - Mt 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, IF ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Notice the IF and that...it is God which worketh in (us) both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Php 2:13 Also: Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. So, you see...I'm safe from apostasy if I'm truly of the Elect (and thus possesing a NEW HEART) since God will be wroughting godly forgiveness in me (as I am IN CHRIST) for His good pleasure...His grace always being sufficient for every occassion. ;-) In Corinth, some were being killed for their abuse of the Lord's table....I say some of the elect were PRESUMABLY being killed for their sin...because no one apart from God and the individual know whom are the elect. In Him, laz p.s. having said that (Verse I just posted in Php and Heb) ...you believe God violates our 'free will' in working in us to do that which He has willed according to His wise counsel and good pleasure?

Subject: Re: Part II
From: Chrysostomos
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 21:33:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Notice the IF laz, noticing the if is my point... Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Part II
From: laz
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 27, 2001 at 13:49:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
This 'if' is somewhat rhetorical since it would ONLY apply to those who only SEEM to be of the faith...but who eventually fall away because as John said...those that fall away PROVE they were never really OF the faith. (1Jh 2:19) laz

Subject: Re: Part II
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 16:49:35 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
laz, Chrysostomos believes that 1 John 2:19 applies only to 'teachers,' if I understand him correctly, though how this principle is applied only to some false believers and not to others is beyond this pore ole country boy.

Subject: laz and Rod
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 28, 2001 at 22:43:17 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
What you fellers claim for I John 2:19 is absolutely beyond me. That's why I asked P the question to begin with, which you can find in an earlier thread. For my part, I simply don't get it, so make of that what you will. The rest of the chapter seems clear enough. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: laz and Rod
From: Tom
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 10:47:45 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Chrys I do not see anything in the rest of the chapter that contradicts what we believe 1John 2:19 says. In case you don't understand our position. Let me say it this way. True faith always has a quality of permanance. If a man has really been born again, he will go on in the Lord. 1John 2:19 does not mean that we are saved by enduring to the end, but rather that those who endure to the end are really saved. Tom

Subject: Re: laz and Rod
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001 at 14:18:05 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, It seems Chrysostomos believes in a 'partial birth.' That God does something and it's up to man to validate it by obedience. That, obviously, could lead to a 'partial birth abortion,' to put it crudely. The Lord Jesus doesn't say, 'Ye must be partially born again.' Only a born person grows and functions as a human. A person who is never brought to term doesn't function so, but is yet unborn. Only a fully born again person can be a spiritual person and function spiritually. He is 'born of the Spirit' and, if he is not born (completely) of the Spirit, he remains dead in trespasses and sins: 'But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (Rom. 8:9). Chrysostomos believes the ancient lie of Satan that man's works secure salvation and the approval of God 'after the race' [of life] is run, rather than the fact of salvation being secured by an act of God in the regeneration of the Spirit in which that grace born of God's love causes the new creation to turn to God in faith, which in turn produces the works which show forth faith. Matthew 12:33 is the Lord Jesus' pronouncement about this: 'Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.' It's obvious from this statement that what is in man produces the fruit (works) of man. The man of flesh produces evil, corrupt fruit; the man of the Spirit of God, the man born again, produces the good fruit of faith. James said the same thing in the key verse to his Epistle: '...and I will show you MY FAITH by my works' (2:18). The Apostle Paul was in total agreement, which is not surprising, as the Bible is complementary to itself, not contradictory: 'For I am crucified with Christ [dead to the corrupt, evil flesh]: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me [making the tree good]; and the life which 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). Such a person lives the life of faithful works. He lives it purely and simply because of the regeneration of God and his immediatley resultant salvation and the Spirit of God living in him. As laz pointed out, God indwelling us is causing and enabling those who are His own to do His will and to show forth their faith. Along with James, Paul again confirms this: 'For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure' (Phil.2:13). Though Chrysostomos won't have it so, 'the race is over at the beginning' (Chrysostomos' saracastic words) for 'it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy' (God's Word in Rom. 9:16) in making the tree good. Chrysostomos' position is nothing new, but is the old lie brought forth once again. It is semi-Pelaganism in all its 'splendor.' Man has at least a spark of good in him which allows him to cooperate with God in getting himself saved, but the actual salvation cannot occur until he jumps through all the required ecclesiastical hoops to secure it for himself! ''NOW THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO JEREMIAH, WHILE HE WAS SHUT UP IN THE COURT OF THE PRISON, SAYING, GO AND SPEAK TO EBEDMELECH, THE ETHIOPIAN, SAYING, THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, BEHOLD, I WILL BRING MY WORDS UPON THIS CITY FOR EVIL, AND NOT FOR GOOD; AND THEY SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THAT DAY BEFORE THEE, BUT I WILL DELIVER THEE IN THAT DAY, AND THOU SHALT NOT FALL BY THE SWORD, BUT THY LIFE SHALL BE FOR A PRIZE UNTO THEE, BECAUSE THOU HAST PUT THY TRUST IN ME SAITH THE LORD.

Subject: Re: Part II
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 24, 2001 at 10:40:33 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Laz, I see you have latched onto the lack of logic and lack of adherence to Scriptural principles also. Chrysostomos, I see you haven't exactly been hanging on my every word recently, for I have made many references to Rom. 8:31-39 in the last week. The fact is the Bible is so full of proofs of God's position that one is able to cite many without having to repeat himself. I leave you to the tender mercies of others. Anyone who believes that God, the Supreme Being of the universe, the One Who proclaims Himself, infallible, immutable, omniscient, and proclaims that He doesn't need man, but man needs Him, would need/desire the cooperation of man to get man saved has a real problem. That problem is expressed in the fact that God's Word declares emphatically that man is, in his natural state (unsaved, unregenerate), God's enemy. He is totally consumed by that enmity, as expressed by the word 'is' in this Scripture, indicating an abiding state of being: 'For to be carnally minded is death...Because the carnal mind is ENMITY AGAINST GOD; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be' (Rom. 8:6-7). That is the 'free will' of man; he wills to be God's enemy. This you maintain God wants to cooperate with! This you maintain will somehow want to cooperate with God! Incredible and illogical. Lest you think I'm being 'unfriendly,' let me emphasize this. I have told you the truth of Scripture, as I promised to do a couple of days ago, when I cited Paul (Gal. 4:16) in saying that that in no way makes me your enemy. How you handle that truth is between you and God. I trust you will not remain as those unbelieving, unable to discern, Jews of John 5, but will be enabled by God's Spirit to discern Christ and His ways, trusting Him, and not your church, for salvation.

Subject: Re: Part II
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 25, 2001 at 14:58:37 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, >>>>>Lest you think I'm being 'unfriendly,' Not at all. Thank you for the discussion. Take care, Chrysostomos

Subject: alms giving
From: Puritan
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 17:15:32 (PST)
Email Address: bhackett@telusplanet.net

Message:
Greetings all, Man, I just recovered from that on tiff on the celebration of Christmass. That was a rough one. :O) Question; Do you believe that offerings during the worship service should be considered an act of worship just as public preaching etc? If so why. Why not? Peace to you all, Puritan.

Subject: Re: My two cents worth ..
From: stan
To: Puritan
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 19:00:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
phipp 4.18 indicates giving is a sacrifice and listening to some sermons is a sacrifice so yes ;-) If giving is a sacrifice then is must be a form or worship I'd think. stan

Subject: Re: alms giving
From: Brother Bret
To: Puritan
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 18:16:19 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Puritan: While it never uses the word worship in conjunction with tithes and offerings, I have always looked as it as a form of worship! Worship means 'worth-ship' right? So when we are giving to the Lord for Him, His gospel and His service, we are doing it because He is worthy, He deserves it! His cause is the most WORTHwhile cause to give to. Well that's my take on it anyway :^ ) Brother Bret Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

Subject: New Series of Sermons
From: Pilgrim
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 14:24:38 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Greetings in the name of the Lord Christ!
There is now online a new series of sermons by John Flavel (1628-1691) entitled 'On Keeping the Heart'. This series consists of 17 chapters which are an exemplary example of the Puritan gift in being able to delve into the recesses of the heart of man. Flavel is one of the finest representatives of 'Experimental Christianity' given to us. This series will certainly be of interest to anyone who has wrestled with the agony of sin within himself and whose primary desire is to please God. You can find the Table of Contents for that series here: On Keeping the Heart There is also a brief biography of John Flavel on a separate page: A Short Biography of John Flavel
In His Service and Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: KJV
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 13:50:46 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Like I said before, although I use the KJV as my preferred version. I do have some things that I am wrestling with in regards to the differences between the KJV and other versions, such as the NASV. I also understand that some of these differences are because they were translated from different sources of the original langauges. However, there seems to be many verses that change the meaning of the whole verse. I will give a few examples. ISA 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! In the NASB it reads 'O star of the morning,instead of 'O Lucifer' .' Why is this such a big deal? Because REV 22:16 plainly states that, 'I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.' Jesus is the bright and morning star, NOT Lucifer! ACTS 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. NASV reads 'too superstitious' to 'very religious' Superstitious and very religious seem to me to have different meanings. COL 2:18 The KJV reads 'Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,' The NASV reads 'has seen' as opposed to the KJV 'not seen'. Do you see why I am wrestling with the differences? Am I misunderstanding something? Tom

Subject: Re: KJV
From: stan
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 15:42:05 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The Isa text to me is speaking of the king of Babylon and behind him Satan. Thus the kjvers say that the niv makes christ into lucifer - they assume 'morning star' can apply only to Christ as a title. The term is not a title in Isa, but is more descriptive as I understand it. It is kind of saying if Lord refers to God once then it always relates to God, which in Deut makes a problem - it mentions God is lord of lords - both the same term - He can't be Himself as well as all other lords. I don't remember which one, but one of the proverbs is exactly opposite when read in the nasb and the kjv. We have to compare and study how words are used to determine which translation of a passage is best. stan

Subject: Re: KJV
From: Chris
To: stan
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 18:40:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The KJV is not the best translation to use today. Modern version proponents have spoken of errors in the KJV; this is a poor choice of words. It is better to point out archaisms, words that meant one thing in 1611-1769 but do not mean the same thing now. If one believes that the majority text/textus receptus is the best line of manuscripts, then the NKJV is the best choice, as it updates the archaisms of the KJV into modern english. Also available are the Modern King James Version and the 21st Century KJV, the latter not as modern as the NKJV. The NKJV is, I feel, the best modern translation to use for teaching and preaching.

Subject: The Love of Christ
From: Chris
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 06:31:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
One subject that often baffles me is the love of Christ. It is almost universally believed in evangelical circles that 'God loves everyone'. This invariably leads to the unbiblical idea of a universal atonement. Yet Scripture is quite clear that God does not love everyone. He loved Jacob, hated Esau, and he hates evil sinners: Ps 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. Yet I have heard even reformed pastors preach on the love of Christ for all men. This appears to be universal love. So my question is: Does Jesus Christ love all equally? Is the love of Christ different from teh love of the Father? Any thoughts woudl be appreciated.

Subject: Re: The Love of Christ
From: FredW
To: Chris
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 14:17:49 (PST)
Email Address: fred__w@hotmail.com

Message:
You are on the right track. God loves his people. These are grafted into his tree (adopted). God hates sinners (also see Ps 11:5). It could be said that the call is universal ('many are called, but few chosen'). May God be with you.

Subject: Re: The Love of Christ
From: Rod
To: Chris
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 11:00:05 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chris, I think Pilgrim has given the definitive answer. I will add a couple of remarks for reflection also. God shows kindness and forbearance to the lost in many ways, the foremost being that he doesn't squash them like bugs for their sins, but allows them, at least for a time, to continue in life. A second is in His provision for their needs in a physical sense: '...That ye may be the sons of your Father, who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust' (Matt. 5:45). And another is in His sending out His Word of promise universally, so that, if any is able to hear it with ears of faith, that person may be saved. The fact that none except those elect are enabled to hear it doesn't lessen the fact that the offer is genuinely made. The 'general call' does go out and men are obviously held accountable for their sin in rejecting the Son of God. The reasons behind all this are more complex than we can realize, of course, but must include these: 1) God isn't cruel and He, being good, provides good for all mankind. 2) More importantly, the lost and nonelect are here for a purpose, the wheat and the tares growing together (Matt. 13:24-32). The fact is that all men are 'dead in trespasses and sins' until they are rescued by the love of God in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:1-3). God, in His timing, brings the elect to Himself. We cannot determine why He waits and brings some later than others; it is all part of His planning. 3) It is in God's plan to suffer the sins of the lost for the benefit of the elect in the grand scheme of things: 'What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?' (Rom. 9:22-24; cp. 2 Peter 3:1-9 and Rom. 8:28).

Subject: Re: The Love of Christ
From: Pilgrim
To: Chris
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 07:56:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chris,
The love of the Lord Christ MUST BE the same as the Father's love since they are the ONE GOD. There can be no difference in the will of God since there is but ONE WILL. The objects of that will are those whom God Himself has chosen before the foundation of the world to be in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:39; Eph 1:4; 1Joh 3:16; 4:9, 16, 19) and them alone. The love of God is not simply some sentimentalism floating around in the Godhead. It is the expressive work of the will of God manifest to and in His creation. God's love is inextricably connected to the Lord Jesus Christ. Whomsoever is the recipient of the love of God is blessed with salvation and all the glory which is to come at the Lord Christ's return. Thus, if God loved everyone the same; everyone would be redeemed and eventually glorified. But we know the Scriptures are quite clear that only a remnant is to be saved and the remainder of mankind will face the LORD as Judge and be damned according to pure justice to the glory of God. The Lord Jesus was also discriminatory in His own life toward men, for His purpose was solely to do all that the Father purposed, (Joh 5:19, 30; 36, 37; 6:38; 8:28, 29; 10:30; 12:49, 50; 14:10, 11). And the will of the Father was for the Lord Jesus to lay down His life that He might redeem all those whom the Father gave Him (Joh 5:37, 39; 13:1 17:9, 10, 24-26) Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Love of Christ
From: Chris
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 11:15:06 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks Pilgrim (does that make me sound like John Wayne? ;-) Yes Christ and the Father are one God, but they are also seperate persons, with separate ministries. So a difference in expression of divine love is possible, no? All you say is true, but you have only really reiterated my original question. Yes, God has a special, electing love for his chosen, and yes, if God loved all of these the same, all would be chosen and all would be saved. Yet the person of Christ seems to have an all-encompassing love for all of humanity. Specifically in passages like Mark 10:21, 'Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”, and Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!' Does Christ have an expression fo love for the reprobate, related perhaps to lovingkindness or common grace, which is different from the hate the Father has for sinners?

Subject: Re: The Love of Christ
From: Pilgrim
To: Chris
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 14:12:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chris,
I think Rod has sufficiently answered the first part of your question concerning 'Common Grace' and God's benevolence for the reprobate. This 'Common Grace' may be called 'love', but the Scriptures seem to reserve God's love for His salvific purpose and affection for the elect, and them only. Today's 'evan-jelly-cals' have so distorted the truth, depth and affect of God's love that it has become nothing more than a weak emotional expression of the Deity that in the end accomplishes nothing; unless of course appendixed by a movement of the sinner's will. Secondly, you seem to want to bifurcate the love of the Son from the love of the Father? This again is an impossibility, for Christ's 'love' is the Father's love, albeit expressed in the totality of His coming, incarnation, humiliation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and coronation. Christ's redemptive work is nothing less than the Father's love in action. So, if in fact, the Lord Christ 'loved' anyone, then that 'anyone' would be effectually redeemed by His blood and made an heir of the kingdom of God. The 'Rich Young Ruler' was shown compassion by the Lord Jesus Christ, but we are never told if this man ever came to repentance and believed upon the Saviour. Let's not forget that there are at least two meanings for the word 'love' in the Scriptures; phileo love and divine love (for lack of better terms)! And even the Greek words themselves; philew and agape are used interchangeably throughout the New Testament, so that the overall teaching of Scripture and the context will determine how they are to be understood. So again, there is and cannot be any difference whatsoever between the 'love of Christ' and the 'love of the Father'. The are ONE! The love of God is demonstrably shown in the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 14:9 'Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?' . . . Joh 20:28 'And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.'
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Love of Christ
From: Chris
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 18:02:46 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks to all. I think I'm starting to sort it out.

Subject: Another Question
From: Joe Machuta
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 19:08:24 (PST)
Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

Message:
To All, Can someone tell me about the date of John's gospel, 1,2,3 John and Revelation. I'm interested in knowing about dating it 60AD rather than the date of 90 - 95 AD. Please cite theologians or historians. Thanks, In Christ Jesus, Joe

Subject: A question.
From: stan
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 19:27:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Not looking for discussion, but for information ;-) Ran across a defense of the King James on a Calvinist site. Is there a link between calvinism and kjvonlyism? I ask for two reasons: 1. dumb interest. 2. many kjv onliers are not calvinist. stan

Subject: Re: A question.
From: Chris
To: stan
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 06:21:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
There is no direct link from Calvinism to KJVO, although some Reformed place an over-importance on the KJV and the textus receptus as the Bible of the Reformation. Most KJVOs are arminian fundamnetalists, but for a reformed defense of the KJV, see http://www.chalcedon.edu/report/97jun/index.htm

Subject: Re: A question.
From: Pilgrim
To: stan
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 08:06:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Stan, There is nothing to link 'KJV Onlyism' with the Reformed faith and/or Calvinism. Narrowness of doctrine is one thing, but it takes a 'narrowness of mind' to take a stand for the KJV Only position! :-) In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: A question.
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 01:13:57 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim Like you I believe it is narrowness of mind, to take the KJV only position. I have read a fair amount on the topic. I was wondering if you could give a short example, of why you believe it is narrowness of mind to take the KJV only position. Also, in another thread, John P mentioned that the thee, thou's, ye etc... that are in the KJV, are there because they convey what the original languages convey (plurality etc.). There isn't another version that does this. Would you agree with him about this? Or is this really important? Not trying to start a debate. Tom

Subject: Re: A question.
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 07:20:55 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
I think the major tenet of the KJVO people, that God has providentially chosen, guided and protected the KJV as the 'ONLY' legitimate English translation Bible is paradigmatic narrowness. I think the proposition speaks enough for itself. :-) As to whether I think the KJV is to be preferred because it uses 'thee', 'thou' and 'ye', 'you', I don't consider this to be a good reason. Doubtless it is a 'good thing' (in my best Martha Stuart impression) to have this distinction, but to make it a criteria for choosing a translation? Is the KJV the MOST accurate translation? Nope! But it is close enough for me. ALL translations have their caveats. It is good to know what those are beforehand so one can make an intelligent decision about which translation is going to be used and relied upon. Again, I personally like the KJV for my own English Bible as the one I use daily for normal reading, etc. But the KJV is not 'the standard' by which I compare everything else! :-).
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: A question.
From: saved
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 14:26:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Stan, There is nothing to link 'KJV Onlyism' with the Reformed faith and/or Calvinism. Narrowness of doctrine is one thing, but it takes a 'narrowness of mind' to take a stand for the KJV Only position! :-) In His Grace, Pilgrim
---
Greetings Pilgrim, Yes, I agree; however, there is nothing wrong with defending the KJV as still the best version to use. I am not 'KJV only', but I use the KJV because I believe it is the best, and because it is taken from the same Received Text as the one used for the Geneva Bible - the Bible used by the Pilgrims and many of the reformers. Tyndale gave his life so that we could have the Bible today in English. Much of his noble work has been preserved in the King James Bible.

Subject: Re: A question.
From: Pilgrim
To: saved
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 21:15:59 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
saved,
I have no desire, nor will I enter into any frivolous debate about the KJV being the 'best version' available today. My reasoning is that to argue such is simply a matter of preference which is normally based upon a belief that the Textus Receptus is the 'preferred' source of manuscript integrity. The differences claimed between it and the Kurt-Aland Text and/or the Majority Text are minuscule in fact. And what invariably happens is that those who prefer the TR bring in an almost superstitious pietism to defend it. To be sure, this mentality and methodology has much in common with those who are of the KJV Only sect. This has nothing to do with the sincerity, fervour, spirituality etc. of individuals. But it is a matter of scholarship, history and fact. As I have many times before said on this forum and other places, I use the King James translation of the English Bible as my primary version. However, I do think there are just as worthy English translations, e.g., the American Revised Version (ASV) of 1901, the New American Standard Version (NASB) and the New King James Version (NKJV). But being able to read the Greek and Hebrew, albeit not nearly as fluently, LOL... I can honestly say that any of these versions are notable and reliable translations which no one should dismiss as being less accurate and/or reliable than any other of this group.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: A question.
From: saved
To: stan
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 06:18:55 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Not looking for discussion, but for information ;-) Ran across a defense of the King James on a Calvinist site. Is there a link between calvinism and kjvonlyism? I ask for two reasons: 1. dumb interest. 2. many kjv onliers are not calvinist. stan
---

---

---

---

---
- I have noticed the same thing... Gospel Mission is Reformed & Calvinistic, and also has books supporting the use of the King James Bible as the best version to use. I see noting wrong with that. It is the Arminian fundamentalists who have made an issue out of the KJV, and I think this is very harmful. Gospel Mission is located at P.O. box 318 Choteau, MT 59422 they have some very good books, I think, You have to request to be on their mailing list. I think they closed their website.

Subject: Re: thanks ya'll!
From: stan
To: saved
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 14:29:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The narrowness issue was about all I could think of, the calvinist is quite intent and sure of his position normally, but most of the kjvers I've run across are toward the other end of things. Thanks. stan

Subject: The New Birth
From: saved
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:30:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thomas Boston stated: >>> The new birth, however in appearance hopefully begun, may be marred two ways: First, Some, like Zarah (Gen. 38:28,29), are brought to the birth, but go back again. They have sharp convictions for a while; but these go off, and they become as careless about their salvation, and as profane as ever and usually worse than ever; 'their last state is worse than their first' (Matt. 12:45). They get awakening grace, but not converting grace and that goes off by degrees as the light of the declining day, till it issue in midnight darkness.<<< Maybe this is the type of 'apostacy' that Luther was refering to in his early messages. There is a 'spiritual abortion of the soul' of those who are only enlightened by the birth pangs of the Spirit, but still not truly converted and born again, sad to say... These are the ones that 'go out from among us' for they are not of us ( one of the sheep of Christ). They are only members of the visible church, and not members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones..Eph.5:30.

Subject: Worm, The Inveterate Invertebrate
From: chosendust
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 15:21:49 (PST)
Email Address: chosendust@yahoo.com

Message:
See for instance http://www1.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen0101/21/4/1/1.html Enjoy him! Regretting inviting Ligonierians here?

Subject: Re: Worm, The Inveterate Invertebrate
From: Prestor John
To: chosendust
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 13:37:34 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
See for instance http://www1.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen0101/21/4/1/1.html Enjoy him! Regretting inviting Ligonierians here?
---
You know, Pilgrim, the owner/operator of this forum has stated the rules/guidelines for posting in this forum, if people follow those rules then I don't believe that he cares where they came from. Whether its RYM, Timbuktu, or Abu Dhabi all are welcome here, as long as they follow the rules. Prestor John Servabo Fidem

Subject: 'Regretting...here?' was ? for St.Worm.
From: chosendust
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 14:05:16 (PST)
Email Address: chosendust@yahoo.com

Message:
See for instance http://www1.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen0101/21/4/1/1.html Enjoy him! Regretting inviting Ligonierians here?
---
You know, Pilgrim, the owner/operator of this forum has stated the rules/guidelines for posting in this forum, if people follow those rules then I don't believe that he cares where they came from. Whether its RYM, Timbuktu, or Abu Dhabi all are welcome here, as long as they follow the rules. Prestor John Servabo Fidem
---
Dear Prestor John, Again I was asking St. Worm if he was regretting posting an invitation in the Ligonier General Forum for people to join him here. Thus here *I* am, someone who is not a fan of his and who thinks y'all maybe should be cautioned regarding his, uh, 'spiritedness' at times (doncha love a good euphemism?)... Hey! The URL didn't hypertext! Lemme try Link URL... Sorry about my lack of clarity!... BTW, no offense but, it would be nice if people here didn't so frequently use the default message for the subject of replies. RE: [Previous Title] tends to make things sorta blur together when ya do that enough. Don't mean to be fussy. Just an idea... Again, sorry about my previous lack of clarity AFA the question. God bless! - chosendust St. Worm Tirade www.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen0101/21/4/1/1.html

Subject: Welcome!
From: Pilgrim
To: chosendust
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 17:05:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Thanks for joining here! You are welcome anytime.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Hello there!
From: chosendust
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 17:58:42 (PST)
Email Address: chosendust@yahoo.com

Message:

Thank you very much Pilgrim! And whoever posts to me, feel free to send it to my e-mail. In fact, please do! Thanks. Love In Christ, chosendust

Subject: Baptismal Regeneration
From: John P.
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 14:31:03 (PST)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings, As I have been reading along - hearing what Worm and others have had to say - I have noticed something which almost disturbs me as much as St. Worm's doctrine of baptismal regeneration. That something which disturbs me so much is this: the almost totally neglect of the efficacy of baptism. As Biblical, Calvinistic Christians, we have a duty to recognize that, albeit true baptism does not regenerate us (nor do we have the right to presume that the Holy Spirit regenerates at the moment of baptism sine exceptione - without exception), nevertheless, baptism is, 'not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized inot the visible Church.' (WCF 28:1) No - it is much more than that. Baptism is a sign and a seal of the covenant of grace (which God made with Christ and all in Christ), of the ingrafting into Chirst, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of the recipient's giving up unto God through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life (WCF 28:1). Furthermore, we - as Calvinist (Presbyterians) - believe that baptism is efficacious. Indeed, as the WCF says, 'by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in His appointed time.' (WCF 28:6) Now, how is this different from baptismal regeneration? In the following particulars: (1) Although we believe that baptism is efficacious, we believe it is efficacious in the elect only. As the WCF says: 'The grace promised is...really exhibited and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto...' (2) We do not believe that the efficacy of baptism is tied to the moment at which the elected person is baptized. WCF: 'The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered.' (3) We do not believe that all who are baptized (not even infants) are necessarily regenerated (obviously, many who are not elect are baptized and never regenerated). WCF: 'Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it; or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.' (WCF 28:5) There are maybe others which could be mentioned. However, as Calvinists, we need to remember that Baptism is not merely a declaration...it truly exhibits and confers grace, by the Holy Spirit, to those who through faith recieve the promises signified and sealed by it. True, the water does nothing. However, Christ did not give this ordinance in order to visibly preach the Gospel with His divine seal of approval, in order for us to wholly ignore this means of grace in reaction to those who superstitiously follow after baptism as an idol. Scripturally, this position is the only way to reconcile these three doctrines: (1) A person to whom God gives the grace of regeneration and thereby faith, cannot fall away from the state of justification. (John 10; Romans 5:9; &c.) Thus, if a person was regenerated and justified at baptism, then it is impossible to concieve of them apostatizing - albeit it is a known fact that many baptized persons end up in hell. (2) The Bible clearly teaches that there are baptized persons who have not ever been regenerated or justified. (Acts 8:13-21; 19:1-5; &c.) Thus, baptism didn't regenerate them. (3) We are baptized for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38; 10:43) Thus, it isn't merely an offer of the remission of sins - it is for the remission of sins. Now, with these facts, what can we conclude? Well, for one, not everyone baptized is regenerated. Two, the efficacy of baptism is not tied to the moment at which it is administered. And, three, in a way consistent with justification by faith alone, it is for the remission of sins - to wit, when the promises signified and sealed by it are received by faith. Thus, the efficacy of baptism depends on this, and this alone: the Holy Spirit, at the time of His own pleasure (John 3:8), regenerating and giving the elect individual faith to recieve the promises of the Gospel offered both in the preaching of the word and the sacraments. Thus, Holy Spirit wrought gift of faith alone justifies. Thus, the Holy Spirit is not bound by the sacraments. Thus, the sacraments are not merely equivalent to 'dedicating a baby,' or, 'making a public profession of faith.' Thus, the sacraments have an important role in the Christian life, while not being foolishly and superstitiously exalted to the stature of the way of our salvation. They - including baptism - are means of grace which aid our faith. This faith is the means through which God justifies us alone. I hope this helps. Baptists are going to have trouble debating Worm, because it is going to be difficult to avoid those passages which teach the efficacy of Baptism. Worm is going to have a tough time dealing with passages which de-emphasize the importance of baptism and demonstrate that it doesn't regenerate. The Presbyterian, on the other hand, will be able to deal with both kinds of passages adequately. BTW Worm, although I'm not a 'fan' of RC Sproul myself (although he has said a few things well, no doubt), I would be careful saying that he classified Luther as a 'Calvinist.' Usually - unless you have heard something I have not - he says Luther agreed with Calvin in believing predestination. In this particular, Augustine, Luther, Aquinas, and Edwards (the four men, in addition to Calvin, whom Sproul loves so much) Sproul would contend all agreed. I may be wrong on that, however. I, for my part, don't feel sufficiently studied in Luther's writings to confidently affirm or deny what Luther taught concerning apostasy. Sola Fide, John P. PS - I probably won't be responding in the near (or semi-far) future, but no promises. I'm busy.

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: Diaconeo
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 15:43:32 (PST)
Email Address: Diaconeo@minister.com

Message:
John P., After reading your post I must say that I cannot find any difference between what you posted and what I know to be the beliefs of friends and aquaintences that are baptismal regenrationists. Your post, in fact, echoed nearly all of thier same arguements. The only people I know that would hold to the thought all who are being baptized are saved would be a Universalist, and they don't believe that you must DO anything to enjoy eternal life. Though I strongly disagree with you in your interpretation, which appears to be wholey based on the WCF (am I correct in assuming that is the Westminster Confessions?), I am only going to respond very briefly to you conlusion of the Sacraments being the means of Grace. I am not sure what your bible says, though I am fairly possitive that it says the same in mine, but Romans 2:8-10 state specifically the means of grace as well as the reason for our salvation. It reads thusly: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. So you see, the Sacraments are NOT the means of Grace, but rather Faith that is. This saving faith, and once your salvation has been complete, there remains nothing else to do for it, it is in the believing alone. I noticed that you signed off by the Latin, Only Faith. But after reading your post, I have serious doubts as to your conviction to that statement. It is only by faith alone, and by no 'Sacrament' that man recieves the Grace of God that saves. In Christ, Matthew

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: John P.
To: Diaconeo
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:45:17 (PST)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings Matthew, Please don't misunderstand this post - I'm only hoping to correct your misunderstanding of what I previously wrote. There is actually a very big difference between what I believe and what a baptismal regenerationist believes (ask Worm or a Roman Catholic, I'm sure they'd let you know). They would say that all infants who are baptized are regenerated, but that some go to hell because they lose their salvation. I, on the other hand, would confess that not all baptized infants or persons are regenerated, and many never will be. This means that I do not even come close to saying that baptism is the instrument through which we receive salvation. Faith alone is the instrument through which we receive justification. Again, I reiterate: Baptism is in no way this instrument. What I was claiming is that baptism is A particular outward means of grace out of many, including the preaching of the word, communion of saints, prayer, etc. When I, or the Puritans, speak of the, 'means of grace,' we are not talking about the instrument through which we are justified. We are speaking about the 'means' through which the Holy Spirit works in order to aid our faith. For instance, let's pretend there is a fellow named Joe. Joe, prior to being baptized, hears the preaching of the Gospel of salvation (a means of grace), and comes to repent and exercise faith alone in Jesus Christ for his eternal salvation. At this time, I would argue that Joe is completely and immutably justified. Nothing can be added to his justification. Thus, because he was perfectly justified prior to baptism, it is necessary that we conclude that baptism could in no way help him get justified, nor improve his justification. However, once he is baptized, he receives a sign and a seal of the righteousness which came by faith prior to his being baptized. This sign and seal is a visible rite by which he is formally admitted to membership in the visible church, and it declares (i.e., is a 'sign'), with the outward authoritative 'seal' of the King of kings, that the promise of the Gospel of justification by faith alone is truly offered to him. Thus, because he is baptized, he may have a greater assurance that, through faith alone in Christ alone, he will be truly justified by God alone. In other words, rather than baptism being merely, 'an outward profession of our faith,' I am contending that baptism is in some ways analogous to daily Bible reading, prayer, sitting under faithful preaching, etc. It isn't what saves us - it is a help, or means which aids, the grace of faith that God has given to us. You would agree that your faith weakens if you neglect reading the word, would you not? How about if you neglect sitting under faithful preaching? Of course you believe this weakens your faith. Likewise, our baptism and the consideration of what it signifies and how it seals God's promises are really offered to us, aids our faith and makes us come more boldly to Christ alone for forgiveness of our sins and the imputation of His righteousness. NOTE: baptism does not save in and of itself, baptism does not forgive us of our sins, baptism does not change our heart, baptism is not the means by which we are reckoned righteous, etc. What baptism does do is this: it is the visible preaching of the Gospel which helps weak and sinful creatures like ourselves go forward with confidence that we may be, and will most certainly be justified by God through Christ if we simply trust Christ alone for this justification (and, of course, this faith is the sovereign gift of the Holy Spirit). In this sense, it is a means of grace. On a side note, I would just like to make comment in a way which is not spoken directly to you, Matthew. It is sad that, in reaction to popery and Lutheranism, we have come to make baptism nothing more than a dedication or outward profession of faith. Baptism is more than that. It signifies (or declares) the Gospel visibly to those who receive the sign, and it seals that this Gospel promise is really offered to the recipient of this ordinance. If we don't receive what is declared and sealed in baptism, then we are in grave sin and have made our baptism essentially vain / void. In fact, if we neglect to recieve the Gospel promised in God's word (and the preaching of it), and the sacraments, our participation in both of these things will simply add to our destruction. This doesn't mean they save us, regenerate us, or justify us. No, no. In and of themselves, they do nothing. By the Holy Spirit working by them, however, giving us the faith necessary to recieve Christ for our justification, they are made effectual for our salvation. On another side note: I don't get this doctrine just from the WCF. My point in using the Westminster Standards was simply to demonstrate that reformed men throughout church history have not given such an insignificant role to baptism as many modern people do. If you read my whole post (or read it more carefully), you will see that I did reference verses of Scripture in the latter half of it. My reason for doing so was to avoid just what you seemed to accuse me of: the appearance that I have an implicit faith in the Westminster standards. What I believe, I believe to be firmly rooted in the word of God. If it is a matter of faith and practice and is not found there, then it is less than worthy of belief. And, no, this post was not intended to give a Biblical argument for my position. Rather, it was intended to show you how my position is not inconsistent with a belief in justification by faith alone. In Christ, John P.

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:52:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
One more quick note: you may really want to be careful in who you claim is denying justification by faith alone. If I, and the Westminster divines, are all denying justification by faith alone, then you you are implying one of two things: (1) we aren't saved, or (2) we are saved because we are inconistent. Now, with respect to the Westminster divines, I - and even most reformed baptists (of which I am *not* one) - would have a real difficult time believing that they were inconsistent with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. John P.

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: Diaconeo
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 14:28:47 (PST)
Email Address: Diaconeo@minister.com

Message:
John, First, I'm not saying anything untoward about who may be saying what about justification by faith alone. What I was saying is that the WCF, and various other conventions, or 'divines' (I only believe there are 4 Divines total, the Three Divine Persons of the Trinity and the Divine Scriptures which are divine by definition, being God-breathed) place far too much emphasis on sacraments as a means of Grace. I personally only recognize two ordanances of the Church, the Lord's Supper and baptism (ritual vice real). While there is significant importance in both, they are rituals, powerfully symbolic ones, but rituals none the less. That the Lord Jesus Christ put specific commands to us to follow them is of great importance. Every believer has a duty to follow them in the presence of other believers in fellowship. But I stop far short of raising them to the level of being a means of grace. I will not raise them to that level because the scriptures do not raise them to that level. The only means of Grace biblically is through the work of Christ on the Cross. What I am most disturbed about in all of this, is that the majority of believers fail to see the difference in two distictly different baptisms. One is real baptism, the other ritual baptism. Real baptism is that which is done through the medium of the Holy Spirit upon believe into the body of Christ, sealing us forever into His Body (Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30, II Cor.1:22). It is this Baptism, and not water baptism that seals believers. It is because of this indistinction that this whole issue is in fact an issue. A very well written work on this can be found in Chafer's systematic theology (Vol. VII). In Christ, Matthew

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: Rod
To: Diaconeo
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 16:41:52 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Matthew, I'm certain that you meant to type 'Ephesians 2:8-10,' :^) but since you brought up Romans, look at what the same Apostle had to say about baptism in Romans, by not mentioning it at all in connection with salvation: 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH; to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith (1:16-17).There is an extreme lack of literal water in those verses, the key to understanding Romans, one of the greatest books of the Bible. '...unto salvation to everyone that believeth,' may we accept that at face value? 'But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus us the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through his name' (John 20:31). John the Apostle thinks so. 'He that believeth on him [God's Son] is not condemened; but he that believeth not is condemned already (John 3:18). The condition of salvation is explicit in the Scriptures.

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: Diaconeo
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 14:36:03 (PST)
Email Address: Diaconeo@minister.com

Message:
Rod, I'm sure someone will mention it, so it might as well be me. Mark 16:16 says this, 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.' Let me quote from Henry Morris, Jr.: 'Every true believer should gladly give testimony to his new life in Christ by following Him in baptism. Those who refuse or ignore this command should examine the reality of their professed faith. Baptism is clearly a part of the great commission (Matthew 28:19) and normally is to follow immediately upon true repentance and faith in Christ (Acts 2:38,41). Nevertheless, it is faith in Christ that saves, not faith plus baptism. As this verse says, 'he that believeth not'--not he that is not baptized--is unsaved. This is the clear testimony of many Scriptures (John 3:18,36), as well as Christ's promise to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43).' (footnote, The Defender's Study Bible) Of course, I agreed with this long before I read his foot note. But amen to it again! In Christ, Matthew

Subject: Re: Baptismal Regeneration
From: Rod
To: Diaconeo
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 15:50:50 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Thanks, Matthew. I'm aware of this verse and some others that people misinterpret to mean that baptism in water is necessary to salvation. I'm also aware that what we say here won't settle the controversy! :^) However, I do think, as you, it helps to state our beliefs and support them Scripturally for the simple reason that there may be some who are troubled by these things. It isn't up to us to convince them, but God's Spirit through the truth of His Word. I had thought that someone who believes in baptsimal regeneration might bring up these things, such as Mark 16:16, John 3:5, and Acts 2:38, as well as one or two others they think supports the position so that we might air them out and prove that they 'leak' when the truth is applied to them in regard to water baptism's efficacy for salvation. Maybe the issue is over; if so, I see no need to beat a dead mustang. :^) If someone does support this position, he should come forth and put forth his Scriptural proof. And, if not, there is no further need to refute it.

Subject: I'll bite, Rod...
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 20:47:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>If someone does support this position, he should come forth and put forth his Scriptural proof. In his Large Catechism, Luther seems to have liked this one: 'he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,' (Titus 3:5) Not debating with you, just seeing if I can't play Luther's advocate a bit. What sayest thou? (Please pardon me if you addressed this elsewhere I just missed it) Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: I'll bite, Rod...
From: Diaconeo
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 12:29:49 (PST)
Email Address: Diaconeo@minister.com

Message:
Christopher, You asked what Rod thought about this passage: 'he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,' (Titus 3:5) Well, it is not that difficult. The passage tells how the washing of regerneration and renwal was accomplished, namely, by the Holy Spirit. In Christ, Matthew

Subject: Re: I'll bite, Rod...
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 23:06:14 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, I fully expected to drop this for lack of interest. And I, being satisfied with the truth of the Scriptures, would have been glad to let it go. I do believe someone did address this quite a few months ago. Titus 3:5 is one of the few other verses which are used to support this idea of baptismal regeneration. A look at a couple of pertinent facts are useful to begin. First, Luther had a predisposition to believe, due to his background, in 'BR'; second, the verse does most definitely refer to 'washing,' the cleansing of the redeemed. The fact is that one must, indeed, be washed clean, but the question is: How is that achieved? In the same manner of the leper in the OT who had the "uncleanness" (representing sin) in his flesh. He must be cleansed from within and then he presented himself, cleasnsed of the disease of the flesh, to be accepted into the community of God. The descriptive phrase is, 'the washing of regeneration.' It is perfectly obvious (once again, as Luther pointed out) that the dead (unregenerate) man is evil, 'unclean' and full of sin, due to his dead-to-God nature. When the Spirit of God regenerates him, it is a new life given, a spiritual life; the regenerate man is given a new life and a clean heart, his sins forgiven. That is the 'washing of regeneration,' the new life from God. It is simply synonymous with the second portion of the last half of the verse in question, meaning the same thing as the 'renewing of the Holy Spirit.' The cleansing power is in the blood of the Lamb. The fact is that water doesn't clean anything, as is evidenced by the twenty-second verse of chapter 9 of Hebrews: 'And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission.' I have demonstrated below, in a post in reply to John P., that the giving of the Holy Spirit precedes all else and is the thing which causes regeneration, new spiritual life. That this cleansing is applied internally, not externally, is reinforced by Ez. 36:25-27. Likewise, Is. 52:13-15 has direct reference to the blood of Christ in sacrifice (verse 14) which is applied to many as He chooses. The fifteenth verse indicates, 'So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him; for that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they consider.' That is a direct reference to the truth and promise of eternal life in Christ. Not to belabor the point, but there are other proofs which can be offered. Heb. 10:22: 'Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.' Does that last clause refer to baptismal regeneration? See verse 19 which lays the groundwork for this statement: 'Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh....' That is the basis of saving faith made possible by God's grace. Did Paul preach the necessity of baptism for salvation? He did not, though he certainly taught the importance of baptism. 'For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel;...lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect' (1 Cor. 1:17). And the next verse verifies his great statement in Rom. 1:16-17: 'For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us, who are saved, IT IS THE POWER OF GOD,' echoing that 'it is the power of God UNTO SALVATION" as set forth in Rom. 1:16. Do you as an Orthodox person, Christopher, believe in BR? If so, please state your position. If not, then what need is there to persue this topic?

Subject: Re: I'll bite, Rod...
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 09:53:38 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Do you as an Orthodox person, Christopher, believe in BR? If so, please state your position. Since you asked: Yes, Rod, that Holy Baptism is the 'laver of regeneration' is the teaching of the Orthodox Church. However, I think the arguments made against baptismal regeneration assume some things that aren't there--at least as Orthodox undertand it. First, it assumes that anyone not baptized must necessarily being going to hell. Which isn't true. There is the thief on the cross, after all. And there can be no doubt that the All-merciful God is able to save people apart from Baptism. No one's too worried, I don't think, about someone who gets hit by a bus before they have an opportunity to be baptized. As is often emphasized here, God is sovereign, so we trust that he knows the state of such souls and makes a righteous and just judgement regarding them. There's nothing there that the limited human has the capacity to reason about. Second, it's assumed that the water itself has some magic power that elminates the necessity of faith. Also not true. For one who does not approach baptism with faith and afterward show the fruits of repentance, then the gift of the Holy Spirit received will be of no benefit to that person. Third, there's an assumption that the waters of baptism have something to do with cleansing the body (though it's true that'ultimate' salvation does include the body--'what is sown corruptible is raised incorruptible'). Of course, we know that St Peter says that baptism is not like washing dirt off the body. It's not any physical leprosy that is addressed in Baptism, but the spiritual leprosy that we all have due to being descendants of Adam. The Orthodox Church understands the Scriptures to teach that just as the first Adam was born of earth and the Spirit ('then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.' (Gen 2:7)), so all those born of the Second Adam are born of water and the Spirit. >>>>>Did Paul preach the necessity of baptism for salvation? He did not, Yes, I do. I don't think I Cor 1:17 means what you think it means, but I won't take that up unless you want to continue the discussion. >>>>>what need is there to persue this topic? I really was only playing Luther's advocate for the sake of an interesting discussion, not to replay discussions we've already had. But if you think we might cover ground we haven't already covered in a new friendly discussion, then I'd be glad to participate. If not, take care and it was nice chatting with you again. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: I'll bite, Rod...
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 12:02:20 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, You wrote, 'if you think we might cover ground we haven't already covered in a new friendly discussion, then I'd be glad to participate.' As far as I know, I have been friendly toward you in these exchanges over the last several days. I will try to donctinue to be so, while passionately defending the truth of the Scriptures. I think it is good to remember the words of Paul, 'Am I, therefore, become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?' (Gal. 4:16). The greatest good, the most friendly thing one can do for another, is to tell him the truth of the Scriptures. That I will endeavor to do. Concerning your own beliefs, you say this: 'Since you asked: Yes, Rod, that Holy Baptism is the 'laver of regeneration' is the teaching of the Orthodox Church.' Then you go on to qualify the statement with contradictions. You mention that people are saved without baptism. Then, if the 'laver of regeneration' is true, from whence come the exceptions? It is possible to say that not one person saved in the Bible is saved apart from faith. It is not possible to say that no one is saved apart from baptism by the church. You also wrote this, 'I don't think I Cor 1:17 means what you think it means, but I won't take that up unless you want to continue the discussion.' Yes, this must be taken up. And don't forget the directly parallel statement in Rom. 1:16-17. In neither instance is baptism in water mentioned for salvation. It seems to me your whole argument is rendered invalid by this one fact. You think salvation comes from the church. Yet the teaching of the Bible is this: The Church doesn't 'create' Christians; the Church instead is created by Christ from those Christians He has created. The Christian isn't created by the 'good work' of baptism, but the Christian is 'created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them' (Eph. 2:10). Only after being created in Christ Jesus may we do anything good. Baptism in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus is a good thing in God's sight. But God says, 'without faith it is impossible to please him' (Heb. 11:6). He also says the unregenerate man has a 'carnal mind [which is] enmity against God' and 'they that are in the flesh cannot please God' (Rom. 8:7-8). If such an unregenerate man came to God for baptism, he would be offering the "filthy rags" of Isaiah 64:6 and cause God to retch with rejection; he would be repeating the offering of Cain which was based on his own determination rather than God's chosen way.

Subject: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 16:38:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>As far as I know, I have been friendly toward you in these exchanges over the last several days. Yes, you most certainly have, Rod. Didn't mean to imply otherwise. As far as 'new' is concerned, I meant the fact that we did have some extended discussions several months ago in which we talked about a number of things. My intent was to let you know that I wasn't trying to dredge up topics you and I had already discussed in some detail just for the sake of arguing. >>>>You mention that people are saved without baptism. Then, if the 'laver of regeneration' is true, from whence come the exceptions? I mentioned that it's possible. I could think of any number of situations: the guy that gets hit by the bus that I mentioned, some peasant in China who'd never heard the Gospel, someone who grows up and spends their whole life only hearing heresy, etc. My only point there is that God knows all hearts and He's the one who judges them. Not us. >>>>>It is possible to say that not one person saved in the Bible is saved apart from faith. It is not possible to say that no one is saved apart from baptism by the church. I agree with you on both counts, if you mean whether one ends up in heaven or hell. But we understand the topic of salvation to be more comphrehensive than that the 'tools' of salvation, so to speak, are in the Church and only in the Church. That's another topic. >>>>>You also wrote this, 'I don't think I Cor 1:17 means what you think it means, but I won't take that up unless you want to continue the discussion.' Yes, this must be taken up. And don't forget the directly parallel statement in Rom. 1:16-17. In neither instance is baptism in water mentioned for salvation. That'll have to be another thread. >>>>>It seems to me your whole argument is rendered invalid by this one fact. You think salvation comes from the church. Well, yes I do. Salvation is only through Christ (hey, at least we agree on one sola!) and the Church is the Body of Christ. I think we can agree that these two things are mentioned in the NT. The question simply becomes how we understand 'Church.' To say the least, you and I understand it differently. >>>>>Yet the teaching of the Bible is this: The Church doesn't 'create' Christians; the Church instead is created by Christ from those Christians He has created. If the Church is the Body of Christ, and Christ is the Head of the Body, and it's Christ that creates Christians, then, the Church does create Christians. I said it before, but just because a person has not been baptized an Orthodox Christian, does not, repeat, does not automatically consign them to hell if they die in the next instant. The Orthodox Church knows where the Church is in visible terms and can tell you where it's been in every generation for 2,000 years, but always maintains that we can't know who is a part of her or not part of her in invisible terms. Like I said above, there could be any number of reasons that a person never unites visibly with the Church. God knows those things. I don't. In any case, I don't see why you would have a problem saying 'there is no salvation outside of the Church,' yourself, since your definition of Church also excludes those outside of it from eternal salvation. >>>>>The Christian isn't created by the 'good work' of baptism, Baptism is not a good work. >>>>>but the Christian is 'created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them' (Eph. 2:10). Agreed. >>>>Only after being created in Christ Jesus may we do anything good. I think that's another thread. About the 'T.' In any case, non-Christians can do lots of good things. A non-Christian can save a baby from a burning building for example, or sacrifice his own life to save someone else's. Those are all good things which prove that man still retains the image of God in him, even though he lost the likeness at the Fall and that image is now distorted and disfigured. But not destroyed. >>>>>Baptism in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus is a good thing in God's sight. But God says, 'without faith it is impossible to please him' (Heb. 11:6). Right. But remember that Baptism is not a 'good work' and, as I mentioned in my previous post, faith is a necessary component. If there's no faith, then, to that person, it's just water. The Grace of the Holy Spirit is of no benefit to that person. >>>>>He also says the unregenerate man has a 'carnal mind [which is] enmity against God' and 'they that are in the flesh cannot please God' (Rom. 8:7-8). If such an unregenerate man came to God for baptism, he would be offering the 'filthy rags' of Isaiah 64:6 and cause God to retch with rejection; he would be repeating the offering of Cain which was based on his own determination rather than God's chosen way. But baptism is not a work offered to be evaluated for its goodness or it badness. It is the new birth, a gift being received by the person being baptized. Baptism is not a one-way ticket to heaven that I could show and say, 'Look! I was Baptized! Lemme in!' Nor is it something to lord over someone else, thinking, 'whew. At least I've been baptized, unlike that poor wretch. Glad I'm not him!' Like the Scripture says, by grace. Through faith. No one can boast. And even if baptism were considered a work (which I'm emphasizing that it is not), good works do not lead to any notion of 'meriting' anything. In addition to St Paul telling us that it is by grace and through faith so that no one can boast, Christ Himself says: 'So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'' (Luke 17:10) We got a lotta topics here, Rod. Forgive me for not being able to discuss them all fully in one response. Maybe we could choose a couple that interest you to begin with and work on them one at a time? Obviously, they're all interconnected. Maybe you feel there's one that's the outer layer of the onion, so to speak. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 18:13:26 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Wow, Chrysostomos, You are correct; there is very little here we can agree on! Let's start here. 'Baptism is not a good work.' As you view it, it is not, but you aren't seeing my point. Here is what I mean. When a person is baptized, he presents himself to your church for baptism. That is his decision, his desire to be baptized so that he may do what is necessary to be 'saved.' These are all things that he does in and of himself because, by your own admission, he is not already regenerated. So by presenting himself to be 'acted upon,' he is doing an act of submission to the God he hates as a natural, carnal man. That act of 'sumbmission' to the practice of baptism is his decision and the impetus comes from his dead self, since he is not regenerated prior to baptism, if BR be true. That makes it a 'good work' of a dead man and would nullify any efficacy the actual administering of the water could have, since the submission to it was done by one dead in trespasses and sins (unregenerate). You prove that you realize that fact when you write, 'remember that Baptism is not a 'good work' and, as I mentioned in my previous post, faith is a necessary component. If there's no faith, then, to that person, it's just water.' In saying this, you are in the same boat as Luther (pun intended). Your argument breaks down. Only a saved person is justified by faith, but a person can only be made alive to have faith by the act of baptism. That is logically inconsistent and the reason BR is unbiblical! If one has faith in the effecacy of the act of baptism, he has faith in an action, the action which he decided to obey, not the Person of God in Jesus Christ. In other words, he may be saved, in your view, but only if he completes the process of baptism by his submisison to it so that he may by saved. His faith is in an action, his trust is not in Christ alone to save him. Yet the very passage you quote says it is 'by grace and through faith.' It is self-evident that the passage means 'faith in a Person,' not faith in the submission to the water of baptism. Once again, the same Apostle, in the same chapter of the same Epistle lays out what the basis of the faith is. The faith is in the substutionary action resulting in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus: 'But now in Christ Jesus ye who were once made far off are made near BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST' (Eph. 2:13). The pre-emminent section on having the faith which justifies and pleases God and secures salvation by grace as Eph. 2 says is Rom. 3:21-4:25. In it Abraham received righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, solely on the basis of his faith. He was placed in a position of no condemnation before God because he had the gift of faith by grace to believe the promises of God; 'therefore, it is of faith, that it might be of grace, to the end that the promise might be made sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the Father of us all' (4:16). While Abraham did submit to circumcision later, it was because he was saved by God, not in order to be saved by God. The parallel to Christians' being of the seed of Abraham because of their faith is unmistakeable, as is the fact that baptism isn't necessary to bring them to that position of being saved. Paul told the jailer who asked, 'Sirs, what must I DO to be saved?' 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house' (Acts 16:30-31). What does that mean? It means to believe that Jesus was 'Lord,' the God of eternity come in human form to save his people from their sins. It means to believe that he, 'Jesus,' in human form was the Son of God, the sacrifice of innocent blood sufficent to wash away the stain of sin because innocent lifeblood is the only sacrifice God will accept, as the whole of the Law taught. It means to accept the 'Christ' Who is the great High Priest Who alone can offer the sole acceptable sacrifce to God, being both priest and sacrifce of purity. What did Paul say to the man? 'Believe' this and you will be saved at the instant of believing, as Abraham was. He could make that promise because he knew also, 'without the shedding of blood, there is no remission' of sin (Heb. 9:22). Then, and only then, having been saved by believing these things, could the jailer be baptized in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus. And that was not for salvation, it was for the fact that he was a child of God and could obey His command. The Great Commission makes that clear: 'Go ye unto all nations....' Why? So that they may hear the truth and be saved by grace through faith. Only then will they accept Christ's teaching: '...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoeven I have commanded you...' (Matt. 28:19). There is no commandment for these men preaching to save people. The commandment is to be faithful in preaching so that they may believe and be saved by the action of God in enabling them to believe and then receive baptism. God does the saving by granted faith by grace: 'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God' (Rom. 10:17). What they are to do is to preach, allowing God to save. Then baptism is to be administered, just as Paul followed the pattern in Acts, just as he emphasized in 1 Cor. 1. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 19:20:09 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>In other words, he may be saved, in your view, but only if he completes the process of baptism by his submisison to it so that he may by saved. No, no, no, Rod, he who endures to the end will be saved! Topic Number 43 on our list must now be the equivalency of your understanding of 'regeneration' with eternal salvation. And what you say only has a chance of being 'logically consistent' if the T in TULIP is true and, as you might guess, I don't believe that T is what Scripture teaches. I suggest the following: Let's talk about T, since I believe that you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. See you tomorrow sometime... Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 21:12:13 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, The problem which does exist is that 'regeneration' means new life, spiritual life from God. The Bible speaks of that numerous times as 'eternal' and several times as 'everlasting;' it is an integral part of salvation. Yes, he who endures to the end shall be saved because he is saved by God and kept by the indwelling Spirit to remaining. All that's necessary to see that is to believe 1 John 2:19.

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 21:15:33 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, >>>>All that's necessary to see that is to believe 1 John 2:19. You know, I did have a chat with Pilgrim about that verse last week or so (my original post to him on it was entitled 'question for Pilgrim') and he clarified what he meant by quoting it (given the rest of 1 John 2, which seems much more obviously appliciable to the individual believer). Anyway, I just don't understand making it such a pivotal verse in your argument, since it seems to be primarily directed at teachers (though there certainly is a component of individual salvation there). In any case, I think you're explaining away the clear meaning of my quote. However, I suppose that's the problem. The clear can't really interpret the unclear unless we're all agreed on which ones are clear to begin with. Anyway, you made a comment above which I found absolutely astounding, given the fact that you found all of Luther's arguments for baptismal regeneration 'illogical:' >>>>>The fact that none except those elect are enabled to hear it doesn't lessen the fact that the offer is genuinely made. I am absolutely puzzled that you find the idea of baptismal regeneration illogical, and yet can calmly make such a statement as this as if it makes perfect 'sense.' Not saying that to be polemical or argumentative, just making an observation about the things different people find logical and illogical. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 21:42:36 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, See the new thread at the top of the page.

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 22:44:55 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Sorry, Rod, you lost me. Which one? The one I pulled your quote from?

Subject: Re: wow, lots of topics to discuss
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 23, 2001 at 23:25:26 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
You were too quick on the draw for me. It takes me a long time to compose a post. See 'Logical Consequences' and 'Part II' above, a new topic concerning the same subject.

Subject: A Short Article about Faith
From: saved
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 14:26:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>The doctrine of another's righteousness reckoned to us for justification before God is one of the links that knit together the first and the sixteenth centuries, the Apostles and the Reformers. The creeds of the Reformation overleap fifteen centuries and land us at once in the Epistle to the Romans. Judicial and moral cleansing was what man needed. In that epistle we have both the imputed and imparted righteousness-not the one without the other; both together, and inseparable, but each in its own order, the former the root or foundation of the latter. It was not Martin Luther merely who took up the old watchword, 'The just shall live by faith,' and thus found the answer of a good conscience toward God. To thousands of hearts it came like a voice from Heaven, they knew not how. Sunshine from above had fallen upon one grand text, the text which the age needed. Men recognized the truth thus supernaturally lighted up. 'The nations came to its light, and kings to the brightness of its rising.' The inquiring men of that age, though not borrowing from each other, betook themselves to this truth and text. From every kingdom of Europe came the same voice, and every Protestant Confession bore witness to the unanimity of awakened Christendom. The longneeded, long­missing truth had been found; and Eureka! was the cry of gladness announcing the discovery. Our fathers saw that this truth was the basis of all real spiritual life. That which was superficial, and morbid, and puny, and second rate, might do with some less deep, less broad foundation; but all that is healthy, and noble and daring and happy and successful in religion must rest here: 'The just shall live by faith.' Religion is fashionable in our age, but is it that religion which sprang up, after centuries of darkness, among our fathers in Europe? God himself must be there with His covering of a perfect Righteousness, his cleansing blood, his quickening Spirit. Without this, religion is but a shell; holy services are dull and irksome. Joy in God, which is the soul and essence of worship, is unknown. The sacraments, prayer meetings, religious services, labors of charity, and all 'dead works' will not make up for having the living God and His holy Spirit in the heart. Men with their feet firmly set on Luther's Rock, the imputed Righteousness of Christ, being filled with the Spirit, and pervaded with the peace of God do the great things in the church; others do the little. The men of robust spiritual health are they who, like Luther, have made sure of their filial relationship to God. They shrink from no battle nor succumb to any toil. The men who go to work with an unascertained relationship give way in the warfare and faint under the labor: their life is not perhaps a failure or defeat, but it is not a victory; it is not a triumph. 'We do not war after the flesh' (2 Corinthians 10:3), and 'our weapons are not carnal' (2 Corinthians 10:4). Our battle is not fought in the way that the old man would have us to fight it. It is 'the fight of faith' (1 Timothy 6:12). It is not by doubting but by believing that we are saved; it is not by doubting but by believing that we overcome. It is 'believing' from first to last. We begin, we go on, we end in faith. The faith that justifies is the faith that overcomes (1 John 5:4). By faith we obtain the 'good report' both with God and man. By faith we receive forgiveness; by faith we live; by faith we work, and endure, and suffer; by faith we win the crown - a crown of righteousness which shall be ours in the day of the appearing of Him who is our Righteousness, both now, and forever!<<< Horatious Bonar ++++++++++++++++++ It is rather clear why I would want to post this now!

Subject: Concerning James...
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 13:52:16 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, You had this to say below in a curious post to Pilgrim: 'The other (not later) Reformers, however, like Calvin, certainly didn't take such a blasphemous view of Holy Scripture and, thus, tried to make it fit within Sola Fide. At least he recognized Luther's problem in this regard, but the dilemma is that the fellow who proclaimed Sola Fide believed what he believed and everybody since has only come up with what seem to me to be trite slogans to explain James. (The really dispensational dispensationalists are interesting, however, because they 'solve' the problem by simply saying that he was writing to Jews, not Gentiles. Same net result as Luther, though.)' There is so much in that paragraph I hardly know where to begin. As a Dispensationalist (though I don't know waht a 'really dispensational Dispensationalist' is) I don't believe the Book of James was written exclusively to the Jews. I don't know any others of my 'ilk' who do either! :>) I am absolutely certain one doesn't need a prybar to force the book of James into sola fide. It fits very nicely there on its own, since that is the design of the most holy God. In fact, one of the primary subjects of James' Epistle is exactly that: faith. Note the third verse of the first chapter, '...knowing this, that the testing of your FAITH worketh patience.' Verse 12 indicates that when that faith is so tested and proved, the faithful man (the one who 'endureth temptation') 'shall receive the crown of life,' which is is based on the promise accepted by faith of the Lord 'to them that love him.' Then, speaking of the kinds of temptations such a faithful one must endure, James again alludes to faith, though not by name: '...of [the Father's] own will begot he us with the word of truth,' a certain indication that the Word of Truth, the promises of God in Scripture, are accepted by faith (verse 18). And in verse 21 he speaks of the 'engrafted word, which is able to save your souls'--faith yet again. Then, in the second chapter, the entire thrust is faith: 'I will show you MY FAITH by my works, works are the evidence of God's gift of faith working within the saved man. This is precisely what Paul says in various places, but never better than in Eph. 2:10: 'For we are [God's] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus [by grace, through faith] UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." The Scriptures are perfectly consistent within themselves.

Subject: Re: Concerning James...
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:29:11 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, Clarification. What I meant by 'really dispensational' was a curious bunch I recently discovered who follow a fellow named Peter Ruckman. I had a brief converstation with of these people and it was a bizarre experience. Wasn't referring to folks like yourself, who seem to come from the same tradition as I. Please forgive me for any offense caused by my much too vague comment. >>>>>I am absolutely certain one doesn't need a prybar to force the book of James into sola fide My point is that Luther definitely needed one. Rather, he just didn't bother with it. >>>>>The Scriptures are perfectly consistent within themselves. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Concerning James...
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:06:07 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, I wan't offended by your statement. Your apology, though appreciated, was unnecessary. I just never met any of those folks and no thinking person I know who is a Christian thinks that James was written for Jews alone. It is ironic that the people who initially received the letter, Jewish believers, the 'twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad,' those who came from a tradition of 'works' under the old economy, had to be warned and instructed that real faith, true saving faith evidenced itself by its works which the Lord had 'before ordained.' Of course, it has to be remembered that faith in God's Word has always, even under the Law, been the foundation of regeneration and salvation.

Subject: Re: Concerning James...
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:25:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, It's too bad St Worm didn't decide to stick around (or maybe he'll come back). If he knows as much Luther as he says, I'd be interested in his take on some of these things. You don't come across a good old fashioned Lutheran every day... Take care, Chrysostomos PS--if you're curious, do a search on Peter Ruckman sometime. If nothing else, he certainly has 'interesting' ideas about some things.

Subject: Salvation is of the Lord!
From: saved
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 20:44:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
My defense of Calvinism is taken from Jonah 2:9: Salvation is of the Lord! When God opens a person's eyes to this great truth, they are forever Calvinistic in doctrine. I am sure Luther understood this verse very well, so that is why I will always say that 'Luther was Calvinistic in doctrine'. Luther also understood that our imputed righteousness is from God alone, receved by faith alone, and cannot be lost- see his works on Galations and Romans. Luther also understood that out redemption in Christ cannot be lost, for he understood that God's chosen people are all 'redeemed from among men'..Rev. 14:4. Luther also knew that Christ died for the church (or for all true believers - see Eph.5:25 in His version, so this proves that all true believers shall never perish. I have studied Luther's German Bible, and it has the good verse found in Eph. 5:30, which proves that Luther knew that all true believers are 'menbers of Christ's body, members of His flesh and of His bones'..and so shall *never perish* or 'fall away', for they are kept by the power of God, and are enabled to perservere unto the end. Luther's Bible also contains the verses Luke 10:20, Phil. 4:3, and Rev. 21:27, so he knew that all who become saved have their new names already written down in the Lamb's Book of Life. Christ's name is the first name on this list as the Head of the Body, which is the Church. If the Head is chosen for glory, so are the members chosen for glory, for we are made to be joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we see that none of the members of Christ's Body can ever fall away and perish, for then a portion of Christ Himself would 'perish'. and then some of the victory would go to the devil at that last and final day! If any one of God's elect could be lost, then there would be no cause for rejoicing and singing in heaven, and no final song sung such as 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain - TO REDEEM US from every kindred, nation, tongue, and tribe...see Rev. 5:9, and Rev. 5:12-13! (Some of the greatest verses that prove a particular atonement of all of God's elect are found in the Book of Revelation!) saved.

Subject: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: saved
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 19:13:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
St Worm said recently: >>>May God who has delivered us through Baptismal grace work in us true faith and grant us His peace, for the sake of Jesus His Son. Amen. <<< 'Baptismal grace?' The grace of God does not come to us through water baptism. It is clear that Luther did not have the correct view of baptism, and therefore often confounded it (baptism) with salvation. This is where St. Worm is also in error, I think. Luther still may have had much of 'Romanism on the brain' in his short ministry ( as Joe pointed out) but he was clear on justification - that is the main thing. Rod, your excellent message on John 10:28 was very good and inspirational, and it cannot be refuted! If Luther were here, I am sure he would say an 'amen'. saved

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Brother Bret
To: saved/Others
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 15:27:49 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Agreed 'Saved.' Luther of course was not Inspired like the New Testament writers were. If we are to take St. Worm's interprtetations as correct, then simply, Martin Luther was in error. Is there any way that we can get a chronological order on Luther's writings? Perhaps he was 'still growing in Christ' when he said some of the things about baptism until he grew to the point where he recognized it was sola fide w/o water baptism??? What do you think? Brother Bret

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Rod
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 16:55:14 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
BB, I don't know about a complete list, but check here: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-luther.html And here: http://www.ultranet.com/~tlclcms/mlserms.htm

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Prestor John
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 09:43:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Here is the doctrinal position held by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on baptism taken from their FAQ
. Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Baptism, we believe, is one of the miraculous means of grace (together with God's written and spoken Word) through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person's heart (see Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; John 3:5-7; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Titus 3:5-6; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13). This faith needs to be fed and nurtured by God's Word (Matt. 28:18-20), or it will die. Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the Bible says about baptism) that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. This faith cannot yet, of course, be expressed or articulated, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-6; Matt. 18:6; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:15). Lutherans do not believe that only those baptized as infants receive faith. Faith can also be created in a person's heart by the power of the Holy Spirit working through God's (written or spoken) Word. Baptism should then soon follow conversion (cf. Acts 8:37) for the purpose of confirming and strengthen faith in accordance with God's command and promise. Depending on the situation, therefore, Lutherans baptize people of all ages from infancy to adulthood. The LCMS does not believe that baptism is ABSOLUTELY necessary for salvation. The thief on the cross was saved (apparently without baptism), as were all true believers in the Old Testament era. Mark 16:16 implies that it is not the absence of baptism that condemns a person but the absence of faith, and there are clearly other ways of coming to faith by the power or the Holy Spirit (reading or hearing the Word of God). Still, baptism dare not be despised or willfully neglected, since it is explicitly commanded by God and has his precious promises attached to it. It is not a mere 'ritual' or 'symbol,' but a powerful means of grace by which God grants faith and the forgiveness of sins.
Now this is the LCMS view I can't say that this is the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) view. Prestor John Armchair Theologian, esperantist, and curmudgeon Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus Servabo Fidem!

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: saved
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 15:44:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Greetings friend! I was just wondering if you have ever read any of Thomas Boston? See the link I am posting on Regeneration. He says that 'All that are baptised are not born again'.. This does not seem to be the same as what you stated - if baptism has some sort of 'power' to give grace to the person who is being baptised. article by Boston www.xmission.com/~fidelis/volume3/chapter9/boston.html

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Prestor John
To: saved
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 12:53:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Gratia et pax saved!! Now, saved you did read the preface to the post I made didn't you? If not I'll post it again.
Here is the doctrinal position held by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on baptism taken from their FAQ

Now while I may have been raised a Lutheran, I personally don't hold to their particular view on baptism, in fact my view on baptism is stated here in the London Baptist Confession of 1689:

Of Baptism I. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with Him, in His death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Him;[1] of remission of sins;[2] and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.[3] 1. Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:27 2. Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16 3. Rom. 6:4 II. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.[4] 4. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36-37; 18:8 III. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.[5] 5. Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 8:38 IV. Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.[6] 6. Matt. 3:16, John 3:23
I hope that clears that up, I don't hold to baptismal regeneration at all. Prestor John Servabo Fidem Prester John's Demesne Pewsitters a reverant cartoon

Subject: OK, thanks - very good .....NT
From: saved
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 06:28:51 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Pilgrim
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 13:33:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Prestor John,
From the quote above, this section does seem to teach 'baptismal regeneration' or at least 'presumptive regeneration', which some Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed churches also teach and/or practice.
Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the Bible says about baptism) that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant.
With such a view one is inescapably forced logically into believing that the baptized infant who has true saving faith can fall away unto perdition, or believing that the 'believing infant' who grows to maturity can backslide to the point that no discernible fruit of faith can be recognized. In the latter case, it is held that such individuals are still saved in spite of their sinfulness. All of these views I consider aberrant and unbiblical regardless of the 'position' of those who have and do embrace them.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 14:38:39 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, Aberrations doubtless. Prestor John, Here are some interesting things from the site of a M.S. Lutheran church in Mass.: http://www.ultranet.com/~tlclcms/index.htm If they believe these things, they are very confused by their other beliefs which can be examined here: http://www.ultranet.com/~tlclcms/index.htm One simply cannot believe in grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, and and then add things to them. It is logically inconsistent.

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: John P.
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 08:58:31 (PST)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings Rod, I'm not writing this in order to express any agreement with the Lutherans on this point: I disagree with them. However, albeit true that they are in disagreement with Scripture on this point of apostasy and baptismal regeneration, this does not necessarily mean that they must reject sola fide. Let me explain. They do not believe that baptism saves them in and of itself. It isn't the water working salvation in us. They aren't claiming any magic. What they are essentially saying is this (if I understand correctly): when a person is baptized, because Christ has sovereignly promised the remission of sins and the Holy Spirit to accompany it, we believe that HE ALONE will honor His promise and, by His Holy Spirit, regenerate the baptized individual and, at that time, give them the faith to be justified. Thus, in this respect, baptismal regeneration as the Lutherans see it, is not inconsistent with faith alone: is is simply inconsistent with Scripture, which clearly teaches that there are unregenerate baptized persons. Now, does this mean that their sin in this matter is insignificant? Absolutely not. They are binding the Holy Spirit to work when and where Scripture has made no promise He will work. Furthermore, this leads to an almost incalculable amount of people who presumptously believe they, or their children, are regenerate simply because they are baptized. Obviously, the consequences of this erroneous doctrine are very serious. Furthermore, and what I believe is much worse, is the fact that they believe in the apostasy of a justified person. At this point, I do believe they have abandoned justification conceived as imputation alone, and, therefore, justification by faith alone as we understand it. Because I have written 'St. Worm' on this before, on a different forum, I will simply quote the argument I presented from there. It goes as follows (its rough, but...not particularly interested in rewriting it again unless necessary): I don't think you are understanding my position. Possibly this is because I am not positively stating my position, but am merely negatively rebutting your own. I suspect this is my fault since it appears as though both you and the other fellow who responded to me have misunderstood what I believe concerning justification. I apologize for not having done this earlier. I believe that God justifies those whom He has effectually called by pardoning their sins and accounting them righteous for the sake of Christ alone. I deny that anything wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, or done by us, is the reason for which God justifies us. I believe faith is not the formal cause of our justification, but is the instrument through which (or by means of which) we receive and rest on Christ's righteousness as the only grounds of our eternal felicity and peace with God. What I think is particularly important to notice is the fact that I do not believe that we are justified *for* our faith, but *for* Christ's sake alone. Now, if this is correct - and I believe it most certainly is (and Luther would heartily concur) - then once we are justified *for Christ's sake,* we cannot fall out of a state of justification unless there is a fault found in Him for whose sake we are justified, namely, Christ. Let me reiterate: we are not justified *for* our faith, but *through* (dia) our faith. We are not justified on account of our faith, but on account of Christ's righteousness and satisfaction. *That on account of which alone an already justified person is justified is that alone on account of which an already justified person can lose their justification.* Since we are justified on account of Christ's righteousness and satisfaction alone, the alone possible fault of losing our justification can be found in Christ's righteousness and satisfaction. *WE ARE NOT JUSTIFIED FOR, OR ON ACCOUNT OF, OUR FAITH - OUR FAITH IS MERELY AN INSTRUMENT GIVEN TO US BY GOD IN ORDER THAT WE MAY RECEIVE HIS GIFT GIVEN TO US FOR CHRIST'S SAKE ALONE.* If we are to be careful in how we state what we believe justification is, we would say, we are justified by Christ alone, not faith alone. Faith is just the instrument by which we receive Christ - the Object of our faith and He for whose sake we are justified. Thus, I maintain my position that the implications of believing in a doctrine espousing the possibility of a final apostasy of a truly justified person *are serious.* Another point is this: if the faith through which we are justified is wholly a gift of God which was given to us wholly independent of anything in us of worth, then what grouds do you have to say that God would withdraw this gift? If you say our sin provokes God to withdraw it, then I would respond that the presence of our faith (then) depends on *our* not sinning (and thus is a work). If you say He simply withdraws it as He gave it: for reasons wholly independent of anything in us, then I would respond by saying that this is contrary to God's nature, whose, 'gifts and callings,' are, 'without repentance.' (Romans 11:29) Indeed, we must keep in mind that every perfect gift and every good give is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variablness, neither shadow of turning. Unless you move the merit of our justification from Christ to us, you cannot give a reason consistent with God's nature that would prompt Him to withdraw faith from those to whom He has given it. He gave us faith when we were His enemies; He saved us *in spite of who we are,* *independent of who we are or would be,* and *wholly for Christ's sake and His own glory;* we ought to be very confident that He who justified us will sanctify us, and ultimately glorify us. And this confidence among God's people will motivate them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. 'But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.' (Psalm 130:4) John P.

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Rod
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 13:06:37 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
John P., I pointed out in a post to Chrysostomos, I believe, that Luther was adhering to the principles of the various solas as he saw them when he espoused his beliefs on baptistm (with which I heartily disagree). He went to the Scriptures, read them, tried to follow them, but grossly misinterpreted the sections on 'water and the Spirit' in John 3 and elsewhere. So, while he thinks he is being faithful to the Word, by his wrong interpretation he has fallen and led others into error. The Spirit of God is not given at or by baptism, the Spirit comes to quicken and indwell the chosen individual prior to any other actions. It is the foundation of all subsequent events in the salvation process. That process is based on grace alone, as evidenced by the quickening of the individual with spiritual life, which enables him to receive the gift of the 'engrated word' (James 1:17-18, 21). That is extremely clear from the Word of God: Because of His love for the elect, God, 'even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (BY GRACE ye are saved)' (Eph. 2:5). The distinction of the Word in describing how faith plays its part in all this and from whence it comes is manifest to all in the suceeding verses. 'Salvation,' the entire process of it is 'BY GRACE,' as Paul has just previously affirmed, and ' THROUGH faith,' as God, in grace, has chosen. But it is not merely 'justification' given at that point, but 'salvation,' and 'eternal life,' as described in verse 5, the life of Christ. And all of it, the entire package, designated by the word 'that' in verse 8, is God's gift to the saved individual. In succeeding order, order so rapid as not to be discerned by man, the individual is made alive by the Spirit of God according to predestination/election; given the faith he is now able to receive due to his new life; justified forever in God's sight with the righteousness of Christ; and consequently sealed by the Spirit of God as His own forever. That Spirit of God Who enables him to 'cry, Abba, Father' (Rom. 8:15) without being presumptuous or blasphemous at all. Such is the estate of the person who is saved 'by grace' and 'through faith.' Though baptism is an ordinance of the Church established by our Lord Jesus, it plays no part in obtaining or keeping salvation, all of which belongs to God.

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: laz
To: John P.
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 11:17:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
AMEN, JP! And what was the response? Where do some say you've gone wrong???? Inquiring minds wanna know! blessings, laz

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: John P.
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 11:39:00 (PST)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings Laz, Actually, nobody responded. I'm not sure that is because they didn't think they had an answer, or if that was because I titled that post as, 'One last try,' or something (so they may have thought that I was quitting). Nevertheless, both of the people against whom I was debating did not respond. I think it is the most powerful argument one can present against those who believe in the final apostasy of those who are truly justified. If we direct our arguments to other points, those who believe in apostasy typically have some response which makes their belief seem halfway credible (even though it is outright wicked). This argument, however, that they deny justification conceived as imputation, utterly destroys their position. To argue against this argument, is to blaspheme by either calling the Father unjust (for casting away a person against whom He said He will not impute sin), or to blaspheme by saying Christ (whose righteousness and satisfaction justified persons possess) was a sinner and not a sufficient sacrifice. Very serious, and it ought to cause all who reject perseverance of the saints to recognize that, albeit true they may be saved inconsistently, they have denied that which we believe is most central to the Gospel: the imputation of Christ's righteousness and satisfaction. I hope my post helps others who struggle with this issue, as I did in the past, to be more assured of the 'P' in TULIP. John P.

Subject: Re: 'Saved by Baptismal grace?'
From: Rod
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:10:34 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Thanks, Prestor John. This is interesting. I have only been acquainted with two Lutherans and we had no theological discussions as I was a 'baby' when I knew the first and the second is not amenable to discussion.

Subject: They shall never perish..John 10:28
From: saved
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 19:00:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Recently Rod said in his good message to St. Worm: >>>''I give unto them eternal life....'' This is not only 'everlasting life' (Matt. 19:29, John 3:16, 36, etc.), but it is the very life of the Son of God Himself due to the indwelling Spirit of God. This same God Who guarantees His own, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee' (Heb. 13:5, cp. Deut. 31:6 and more--this is a common statement in the OT). That is why the Scriptures speak of 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Col.1:27). ''I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.'' Now if they could lose real, sanctifying, justifying faith, God and His Son would be liars for the Spirit says, 'they shall never perish.' The meaning of that is obvious: Being 'in Christ,' having 'Christ...the hope of glory' in them, the sheep are guaranteed by God 'to be conformed,' from the moment of salvation until their final glorification, 'to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren' (Rom. 8:29). <<< I still do not see any response to this excellent post made to 'St Worm' about John 10:28! 'Let God be true, and every man a liar' saved

Subject: Amen & Jn.6:39 NT
From: Brother Bret
To: saved
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:20:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Subject: Imprecatory Psalms
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 12:40:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
How are we to understand the Psalms which pray for God to strike down David's enemies and cast off the sons of his enemies in light of the NT teaching that we are to love our enemies and bless those who curse us? Aren't these things mutually exclusive, and if not, what circumstances are we to bless or curse? I would appreciate any help. God bless.

Subject: Look at them Christologically
From: St. Worm
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:46:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The Psalms are principally the theology of redemptive history. Christ is the the topic of the Psalms. When David cries out for vengeance, we can link this to Christ's eschatological judgment. In this age the prayer is, 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do.' The age to come is the prayer, 'Repay them, O Lord...' St. Worm

Subject: Re: Imprecatory Psalms
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:43:31 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, See this article here: May We Pray the Imprecatory Psalms? In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: One final quote from Luther...
From: St. Worm
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 05:56:26 (PST)
Email Address: tekworm@hotmail.com

Message:
Greetings, precious baptised saints of Jesus. I earnestly hope this posting finds you all well. We begin in the name of the Father, and the [+] Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Before I give my last, and believe most potent, of all quotes from Luther on the question of apostasy, I want to address my brother Rod in short. I've not engaged, dear soul, into your question and challenge from John 10 simply because my schedule limits me severely from engaging fully every challenge I ever get on the net. As you well know, such topics deserve plenary and careful handling and consideration. I will, God willing, address every point of your concern in due time. I simply ask you grant me through sacred charity the benefit of the doubt that I'm not avoiding your posts or questions; I just don't have a prodigious intellect that would accomodate speedy responses all the while handling my familial/vocational affairs. In this vein I beg your patience. Secondly, I sincerely seek to establish some solid friendships here (as solid as one could get in cyberspace, I suppose). My intention isn't to be as a gnat buzzing around your faces. I am labouring under the assumption that this Reformed forum will welcome Lutheran Christians for meaty dialogue, and regardless of the stark differences and gaping chasm that separates our theologies, we can charitably exchange ideas and arguments. We've lost in our day and culture the masculine art of debating; people don't want to be offended with ideas and claims to absolute truth, so they run and hide at the first sign of conflict. I've not found this to be so among my Reformed brethren, and certainly not among my Lutheran brothers who know their confessions and Scripture. So in this spirit I ask all here to not cast me aside too quickly, but allow me room here to fellowship and challenge with the grace, weightiness, and seriousness the theological enterprise demands. Peace to you all. In light of the quotes of Luther from our first exchange, I've got one more quote that simply CANNOT be misinterpreted, re-interpreted, re-cast, or clouded by anything but an unwillingness to accept the words as they stand. Again, I'm willing to explain to my brethren here the 'mechanics' of Lutheran thought as it relates to election and perseverance and the use of Law and Gospel, but I'll leave that up to you. Luther's sermon on the Ninth Sunday After Trinity, from the same volume (pp.180-196), is preaching from I Cor. 10:6-13). I wish I had the time to type the ENTIRE sermon (wish modern day sermons were this long!) -- but the Luther's conclusive thoughts on the matter carry as much weight as the entire sermon itself. Here the good doctor is comparing the baptised community and our sojourning in this age with the Israelites in the wilderness -- and how they tempted God and many of the people were judged. Listen to how Luther explains/interprets this parallel (all caps are mine for emphasis, I'm not trying to shout): 'Now, as Paul teaches, if terrible judgment and awful punishment came upon these illustrious and good people, let us not be proud and presumptuous. We are far inferior to them and cannot hope, in these last ages of the world, to know gifts and wonders as great and glorious as they knew. Let us see ourselves mirrored in them and profit by their example, being mindful that while we are privileged to glory in Christ, in the forgiveness of sins, and the grace of God, we MUST be faithfully careful NOT TO LOSE what we have received and fall into the same condemnation and punishment before God which was the fate of this people. For we have not YET completed our pilgrimage; we have NOT arrived at the place toward which we journey. We are still on the way and must CONSTANTLY go forward in the undertaking, in spite of dangers and hindrances that may assail. The work of salvation is INDEED begun in us, but as YET is INCOMPLETE. We have come out of Egypt and have passed through the Red Sea; that is, we HAVE BEEN LED OUT OF THE DEVIL'S DOMINION INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD, through Christian baptism. But we are NOT YET through the wilderness and in the promised land. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF OUR STILL WANDERING FROM THE WAY, INTO DEFEAT, AND MISSING SALVATION. Nothing is lacking on God's part; HE HAS GIVEN US HIS WORD AND THE SACRAMENTS, HAS BESTOWED THE SPIRIT, GIVEN GRACE AND THE NECESSARY GIFTS, and is willing to help us even further. ***IT RESTS WITH OURSELVES NOT TO FALL FROM GRACE, NOT TO THRUST IT FROM US THROUGH UNBELIEF, INGRATITUDE, DISOBEDIENCE AND CONTEMPT OF GOD'S WORD. For salvation is not to him ONLY begins well, but, as Christ says, 'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved...' (sec. xxvi-xxvii). In conclusion, dear brothers, if the doctor of grace, along with Augustine, taught that a baptised, regenerate Christian who has received the gifts of salvation by faith, can through disobedience cast these gifts aside (which he plainly does in this text -- I omitted nothing in this pericope), it logically stands that Luther would neither accept or accord with the Calvinistic formulation and understanding of the meaning of apostasy. The quotes given to me by my gracious brethren here concerning Luther's writings of Christ's protective work is easily incorporated into his broader theology of Law/Gospel and the nature of grace; but, if we're honest, no Calvinist I EVER READ has even come close to using such language in the Christian context. Luther either was so double-minded that he could easily contradict himself from one sermon to the next (which is a possibility, but not a probability), OR, his theological paradigm is radically different than the Reformed understanding. Again, Luther with Augustine understood that the Spirit of grace can be resisted to the point of losing one's faith and salvation. Another possibility is that Luther is a deceiver and theologically irresponsible exegete and interpreter of scripture (which is also possible). But given the above quote, not a thing could be said to soften or re-arrange the meaning. Believe me, when I was a Calvinist I would have moved heaven and earth to make brother Luther 'one of us.' But historically it is impossible to do. His own writings prevent it, the confessions he signed his name to with the rest of the Lutherans forbid it, his contemporaries (Lutheran theologians) did not believe the 'P' of the TULIP construct, and Scripture has kept Luther from explaining the apostasy passages any differently than the norm of catholic teaching. This is Luther, for better or worse, this is the man who heralded sola fide all the while believing this article on apostasy. Interesting how Rome never accused the Lutherans (neither Luther nor his minions) of teaching one could not lose sanctifying grace, and believe me, Rome was looking for every occasion to reject Lutheran teaching publically. I shall let this quote be my last one in spite of the fact that there are a multitude more. Unless I'm asked to do so, I won't further molest anyone here with this matter of what Luther believed about apostasy. I consider it a plain and open fact of Luther's teaching, and so does every Luther scholar I've read. In closing, I'm open to discussing anything else on your minds. May God who has delivered us through Baptismal grace work in us true faith and grant us His peace, for the sake of Jesus His Son. Amen. Your earnest brother, St. Worm

Subject: Re: One final quote from Luther...
From: Brother Bret
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 15:20:09 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Greetings: I have been reading the posts with interest. In the text that Luther uses in your post (1Cor.10:6-13), please explain to me what you believe God is saying through Paul in verse 13: 'No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common unto man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.' In light of the context of this passage, and others that Rod has brought up (Heb.6:4-9; 1Jn.2:19), and if I may add one (Heb.10:35-39), it seems clear to me that only professing Christians can lose 'their' faith. Elected, effectually called believers shall not perish or be lost by Christ (Jn.6:37-39; 10:25-29). Thank you. By the way, I am TULIP toting Baptist :^ ). Brother Bret Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

Subject: Some observations
From: Rod
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 12:59:57 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
St. Worm, Taking the whole body of the things I have read by Luther and the quotations you have supplied, I would say that I still am not convinced that he believed one could lose salvation, being certain he had read and taken to heart 1 John 2:19. If there is a sermon on that section, it should be most enlightening. There are many who are deceived into thinking that Hebrews 6:1-8 support apostacy of real believers; however, if one reads on, we find in verse 9, these words, ''But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, AND THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION, THOUGH WE THUS SPEAK. And it is common in Paul's writing that he warn against a false security which one might feel, though he doesn't possess it. You mention 'a baptised, regenerate Christian,' as apparent evidence that ''baptismal regeneration'' is fact and what determines whether one is born again or not. Once again, I offer Luther's words on Christian assurance (though I have said I would retire from it): ''Christ teaches here that we are not lost, but have eternal life; that is, that God has so loved us that he allowed the ransom to cost him his only beloved child. Him he placed in our stead to suffer misery, hell and death, and let him drink our cup to the dregs. THIS THE THE WAY WE ARE TO BE SAVED. 5. Now, if there were another way to heaven doubtless he would have made it known to us. There is no other. Therefore, let us cling to the words, firmly pilot our hearts along this way and keep within it, and let us close our eyes and say: If I had the merits of all the saints, the sanctity and purity of all virgins, and the piety of St. Peter besides, still I would not give a fig for all I call my own. I must have another foundation on which to build, namely, the words: God has given his Son, that whosoever believeth on him, whom the Father sent out of love, shall be saved. AND LET US DEFINANTLY BOAST THAT WE MUST BE SUSTAINED. Let us fearlessly establish ourselves upon his words, which neither Satan, hell nor death can overthrow, for the Father mightily writes his Word over these terrors and all that clings to them. Come what will, let us say: Here is God's Word; that is my rock and anchor; to that I cling and that abides; and where that abides, there I abide also. For God cannot lie; sooner would the heavens and earth perish than the smallest letter or tittle of his Word would fail.'' (Sermon for Pentecost Monday, John 3:16-21) That is my stance, I will definatly boast, based on the Word of God alone, that I am saved by the will and love of God in the sacrifice for my sins, a fact accomplished when I was (as Paul says) 'crucified with Christ' (Gal. 2:20) before my birth, before I knew of my need for breath or the Bread of Life. God has devised the plan for my salvation; He has accomplished my salvation in His Son; and He has promised that no created thing, including myself and my miserable actions, shall separate me and my Christian brothers and sisters 'from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. This, by the way, is the only thing in my life of which I may legimately boast, glorifying God in the process, that 'for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, [he] hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace are ye saved)' (Eph. 2:4-5). I thank Him most profusely and gratefully for that gracious provision for me and my fellow Christians. And I thank Him for the revelation of the truth of His promises in the Bible and for the gifted preachers and teachers whom He has used to make me aware of it. May I suggest, St. Worm, that we confine ourselves to the issues of truth by referencing the Bible alone for our proof, rather than merely quoting men of the past, however great.

Subject: Luther the vague?
From: St. Worm
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:40:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'm not sure why you entered into a polemic against me about apostasy when the only design of my post was to show Luther's position on this matter. Like I said, I'll be happy to engage with you on this matter, but simply saying, 'Oh well, regardless of that quote I'm still not certain...' marginalizes, I think, the force of that text. Certainly you admit Luther used all the necessary language to convey that apostasy is possible, whereas if I or some other Lutheran came on this board and said the same things, without reference to them being Luther's words, would have been undoubtedly taken to task on the matter. I simply wanted to show my brethren here that Luther is unfairly represented by many Reformed folk for lack of reading and historical acquaintance. One Calvinist soul was brave enough to tell me in my face that Luther was wrong about the question of apostasy -- at least he understood that Luther was diametrically opposed to his Reformed paradigm. If this many quotes could not satisfy you, brother Rod, it is doubtful that a mountain of quotes could convince you. But that's alrigh, my dear brother, we can forego the fluff and discuss what the Scriptures teach about sin, grace, and salvation. First of all we'll need to address your enthusiast view of regeneration, and mark well whether God deigns to be sought outside of Word and Sacrament. But that I might have a better handle as to what kind of Reformed fellow you are, are you a Presbyterian? Reformed Baptist? CRC? That will better help me intelligently interact with your presuppositions. Peace to you, St. Worm P.S. I wish we had smiley-face icons I could use to show you I'm not embittered against you or think that just because you are in a sect that I think you're on your way to hell. God has sheep in Rome and in Geneva, y'know. ;P

Subject: Re: Luther the vague?
From: ST. Rod
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:31:32 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
First of all, St. Worm, be very careful of jumping to conclusions. This is not personal with me. The only thing I have concern for is the truth expressed in the Word of God. When you write, 'but simply saying, 'Oh well, regardless of that quote I'm still not certain...' marginalizes, I think, the force of that text....' you distort the facts. I have not denied that Luther wrote the things you quote, what I have denied is that based on a large number of other SIGNIFICANT statements by the same author, he meant things in the precise manner you have interpreted them. Similarly, though you imply I have made Luther vague, he is most definitely not vague in any of the quotes I have provided either, which you have in no manner whatsoever responded to. I have also invited you to leave this fruitless back and forth of 'he said....' and 'he said....' and to go directly to the Bible, something you have so far refused to take up. You also wrote this: ''I simply wanted to show my brethren here that Luther is unfairly represented by many Reformed folk for lack of reading and historical acquaintance.'' I have said that I am not an expert on any subject. You, however, have repeatedly expressed your belief that you are an expert, not only on Luther, but on all subjects of the Reformed view. I claim no expertise there, either, incidentally, not being strictly a 'Reformed' Christian, merely a 'Christian' simply. But, if it is ignorance and 'unfair' for me to read and quote Luther, in the exact same manner you have then so be it: I am unreasonable, ignorant, and unfair. Rather, the truth is, I assert, that I am passionate about the Word of God and its precepts. As to your P.S.: Bitterness, I have none. I merely don't want to be misrepresented, as you have done in your post above. BTW, you 'haven't the time' to reply to the substantive issues I've raised from the Bible, but you have time to remain on the board and read and respond to various posts...very interesting.

Subject: Re: Luther the vague?
From: St. Worm
To: ST. Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 15:29:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'll let go that snide comment about my time, since you don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. As to the quotes you mishandled by Luther (and yes, they were mishandled since you're grinding that through a 5-point grid anyway), the solution is quite simple once you get it through into your mind that Luther does not separate the means of grace and the gift of perseverance. Your a-sacramental approach forces you to read most everything Luther writes in Calvinese. But that's okay, Moises Amyraut did the same kind of thing with Calvin -- so you're in good company. I'll be happy to refute your construct. Perhaps we should start at square one, and discuss the question of Original Sin and its effects. Or maybe a deeper issue, your view of God (not) working salvifically through matter. This should prove to be an interesting debate. If you can weather the polemics, we should be okay. St. Worm

Subject: Re: Luther the vague?
From: Rod
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 16:25:40 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
I repeat, I am not personally concerned whether you believe in assurance, whether Luther did, and I am not interested in personalities. Let's discuss the meaning of specific Scriptures alone. I assume your goal is truth and not 'winning.' I certainly hope so. In a post below, Pilgrim pointed out that all the package of the 'Five Points' must be true or none of it is true. It is a logical progression of thought and conclusions. I think you will find that not all the folks here are as poorly informed as I am, so be certain you are ready for what you receive. As for my 'snide remark' and 'polemics', how would you catagorize this statement: 'As to the quotes that you mishandled by Luther (and yes, they were mishandled since you're grinding that through a 5-point grid anyway)'? Certainly sounded condescending to me, as have many of your statements assuming our ignorance here. BTW, how does one 'mishandle quotes' when he quotes Luther's writings in the same manner in which you did, who presumably handled them properly? :>) I find that most amusing, particularly since you never responded directly to even one of my quotations from Luther's writings over the days. As to where to start, I have already posed numerous questions to you. Please start by responding to those statements and challenges in 'Cutting to the chase....'

Subject: Re: Luther the vague?
From: St. Worm
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 19:27:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You got it bossman. Let's do it. ;-)

Subject: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:28:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>You mention 'a baptised, regenerate Christian,' as apparent evidence that ''baptismal regeneration'' is fact and what determines whether one is born again or not. Once again, I offer Luther's words on Christian assurance... Hi Rod, I think Luther most definitely did believe in baptismal regeneration. Unlike some of the quotes from sermons posted here, which certainly could be taken in different ways, depending on how one approaches them, his Large Catechism was written, as he says, specifically for families to teach to their children. Here is what he says: 'From this now learn a proper understanding of the subject, and how to answer the question what Baptism is, namely thus, that it is not mere ordinary water, but water comprehended in God's Word and command, and sanctified thereby, so that it is nothing else than a divine water; not that the water in itself is nobler than other water, but that God's Word and command are added. Therefore it is pure wickedness and blasphemy of the devil that now our new spirits, to mock at Baptism, omit from it God's Word and institution, and look upon it in no other way than as water which is taken from the well, and then blather and say: How is a handful of water to help the soul? Aye, my friend, who does not know that water is water if tearing things asunder is what we are after? But how dare you thus interfere with God's order, and tear away the most precious treasure with which God has connected and enclosed it, and which He will not have separated? For the kernel in the water is God's Word or command and the name of God which is a treasure greater and nobler than heaven and earth. Comprehend the difference, then, that Baptism is quite another thing than all other water; not on account of the natural quality, but because something more noble is here added; for God Himself stakes His honor His power and might on it. Therefore it is not only natural water, but a divine, heavenly, holy, and blessed water, and in whatever other terms we can praise it, -- all on account of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word, that no one can sufficiently extol, for it has, and is able to do, all that God is and can do [since it has all the virtue and power of God comprised in it]. Hence also it derives its essence as a Sacrament, as St. Augustine also taught: Aocedat verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum. That is, when the Word is joined to the element or natural substance, it becomes a Sacrament, that is, a holy and divine matter and sign.' 'In the second place, since we know now what Baptism is, and how it is to be regarded, we must also learn why and for what purpose it is instituted; that is, what it profits, gives and works. And this also we cannot discern better than from the words of Christ above quoted: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Therefore state it most simply thus, that the power, work, profit, fruit, and end of Baptism is this, namely, to save. For no one is baptized in order that he may become a prince, but, as the words declare, that he be saved. But to be saved. we know. is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil, and to enter into the kingdom of Christ, and to live with Him forever. Here you see again how highly and precious we should esteem Baptism, because in it we obtain such an unspeakable treasure, which also indicates sufficiently that it cannot be ordinary mere water. For mere water could not do such a thing, but the Word does it, and (as said above) the fact that the name of God is comprehended therein. But where the name of God is, there must be also life and salvation, that it may indeed be called a divine, blessed, fruitful, and gracious water; for by the Word such power is imparted to Baptism that it is a laver of regeneration, as St. Paul also calls it, Titus 3, 5.' But as our would-be wise, new spirits assert that faith alone saves, and that works and external things avail nothing, we answer: It is true, indeed, that nothing in us is of any avail but faith, as we shall hear still further. But these blind guides are unwilling to see this, namely, that faith must have something which it believes, that is, of which it takes hold, and upon which it stands and rests. Thus faith clings to the water, and believes that it is Baptism, in which there is pure salvation and life; not through the water (as we have sufficiently stated), but through the fact that it is embodied in the Word and institution of God, and the name of God inheres in it. Now, if I believe this, what else is it than believing in God as in Him who has given and planted His Word into this ordinance, and proposes to us this external thing wherein we may apprehend such a treasure? Now, they are so mad as to separate faith and that to which faith clings and is bound though it be something external. Yea, it shall and must be something external, that it may be apprehended by the senses, and understood and thereby be brought into the heart, as indeed the entire Gospel is an external, verbal preaching. In short, what God does and works in us He proposes to work through such external ordinances. Wherever, therefore, He speaks, yea, in whichever direction or by whatever means He speaks, thither faith must look, and to that it must hold. Now here we have the words: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. To what else do they refer than to Baptism, that is, to the water comprehended in God's ordinance? Now here's the interesting part, which comes after all of the above explaining what he believe Baptism is: Hence it follows that whoever rejects Baptism rejects the Word of God, faith, and Christ, who directs us thither and binds us to Baptism.' Luther's Large Catechism www3.edgenet.net/davet/large.html

Subject: Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:04:49 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Once agian, very interesting. He does emphasize and place effect on the water of baptism, but, again, it seems to me, only in the context of one's faith in doing it as part of God's command, as part of exercising faith which he already possesses. I, obviously, would disagree with much of what he writes, but appeal once again to his great principle of sola fide, which he attests comes first and is of highest importance. If one is not of faith, even though he is baptized, he is not saved in Luther's estimation. Here is what he said in a sermon 'On Faith and Coming to Christ, and the True Bread of Heaven': ''JOHN 6:44-55: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. I is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.'' ''SECTION I. On Faith, And Coming To Christ. 1. This Gospel text teaches exclusively of the Christian faith, and awakens that faith in us; just as John, throughout his whole Gospel, simply instructs us how to trust in Christ the Lord. This faith alone, when based upon the sure promises of God, must save us; as our text clearly explains. And in the light of it all, they must become fools who have taught us other ways to become godly.'' Now, from the same sermon, notice particularly these words: ''16. In this light I now remind you that these words are not to be misconstrued and made to refer to the Sacrament of the Altar; whoever so interprets them does violence to this Gospel text. There is not a letter in it that refers to the Lord's Supper. Why should Christ here have in mind that Sacrament when it was not yet instituted? The whole chapter from which this Gospel is taken speaks of nothing but the spiritual food, namely, faith.'' It's obvious, then, that he thinks that later the 'Sacrament of the Altar' is effectual, but that, without the command for Christians and the Church, it is unnecessary for salvation. That principle seems reinforced by this statement from the Larger Catechism concerning the Lord's Supper: ''Here also we do not wish to enter into controversy and contend with the traducers and blasphemers of this Sacrament, but to learn first (as we did regarding Baptism) what is of the greatest importance, namely that the chief point is the Word and ordinance or command of God. For it has not been invented nor introduced by any man, but without any one's counsel and deliberation it has been instituted by Christ '' Thus, it seems safe to conclude that he still retains the belief that the central thing is faith without which the effect of all else is nullified. A person who doesn't have true faith will be lost because he was never saved.

Subject: Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 15:29:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Sure, the central thing is faith. He did make that perfectly clear. However, he also connected baptism to the whole thing, in no uncertain terms and in stark contrast to the definitions of regeneration offered by the Reformed. I think that's the curious part. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration
From: St. Worm
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:19:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Correct, Rod, Luther did say baptismal grace must be received by faith for it to be effective. But also, Luther maintained that do seek salvation apart from baptism is as wrong as thinking baptism without faith is fruitful. This is how we differ from Rome. Lutherans believe baptism works ex opera operantis, Rome says ex opera operato. Both, however, agree that salvation deals with original sin, and is necessary for salvation, since God forgives us through baptism, and gives us the Holy Spirit therein. So truly I was born again when I was baptised in 1984. St. Worm

Subject: Re: Luther on Baptismal Regeneration
From: St. Rod
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:47:44 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
St. Worm, In a very brief statement, 'since God forgives us through baptism, and gives us the Holy Spirit therein. So truly I was born again when I was baptised in 1984,' you have covered a lot of theological ground. Please answer the follwing questions: 1) What is the Biblical basis for 'forgiveness' through baptism by water? 2) What Biblical passages demonstate that the Spirit of God is given to men by water?

Subject: Excellent point, brother.
From: St. Worm
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 13:42:10 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Amen, Chrysostomos. Luther thought it devilish to think that God saved us apart from Word and Sacrament. Thanks for the great quote. St. Worm

Subject: But...
From: Chrysostomos
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:00:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...baptismal regeneration and forensic justification may seem to be in conflict with one another to some people. The folks who frequent this board, for example. I've never met a real live Lutheran (I was raised on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan, hehe), so I'd be interested in your take on the article I posted for Rod on single and double predestination... Thanks, Chrysostomos

Subject: Cutting to the chase...
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 21:43:42 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
(Part One) Yesterday I posted in a thread far below the following statements and challenges to St. Worm which have received so far no response: ''St. Worm, Rather than respond to who believed what, let me pose this to you: If man can over-rule what God has achieved, who is really the Supreme Being? This is the most fundamental and important question. If God's will is the ultimate, determining factor, then how can His sanctifying grace be 'killed?' The bedrock premise that God is sovereign and that His will is all-important in determination of man's end, as you assert by your statement, 'all God's elect will make it by His will,' means that man cannot be the determining factor. Just to be certain that we're discussing the same thing, 'sanctifying grace' can be practically defined as God's setting aside an individual for His salvation, protection, and perfection, in a positional way. That can never be annulled, according to the Lord Jesus' own pronouncements (twice): 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and NO MAN IS ABLE TO PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY FATHER'S HAND. I and the Father are one' (John 10:27-30). The statement in verse 29 where, 'My Father is greater than all,' cannot be true if His decisions and will can be nullified by the actions of man, but the fact so clearly and unmistakeably emphasized is that man can't undo what God's sovereign choice affirms. It is in the sovereign will of God to 'sanctify' (positionally) a person for all time whom He elects and it is His will to keep him thus 'sanctified' positionally for all time with 'eternal life,' and 'never perishing.' In view of these statements of flat fact by the Son of God Himself, will you please consider and answer the following questions: 1) How does 'eternal life' get lost and come to an end? 2) How does a man negate the promise that he will 'never perish' from the lips of the Savior? 3) When God says, 'no man can pluck them out' of God's hand, how does the man in question pluck himself out of God's hand by losing his salvation?''

Subject: Part Two
From: Rod
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 22:35:51 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Luther's greatest principle is espoused in these words, pronounced in defense of his beliefs and published statements, 'Unless I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by an evident reason--for I confide neither in the pope nor in a council alone, since it is certain that they have often erred and contradicted themselves--I am held fast by the Scriptures adduced by me, and my conscience is taken captive by God's Word, and I neither can nor will revoke anything, seeing that it is not safe or right to act against my conscience. God help me. Amen.' These are wise and worthy words; let us indeed look to the Scriptures for our guidance into the truth of God's Precepts, as we are led by the indwelling Holy Spirit. ''But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice [cp. Rom. 10:17], and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one'' (John 10:26-30). To him who has spiritual ears, it is evident that those whom the Lord Jesus saves unto eternal life are sheep, by predestination/election and by justification resulting from the gift of faith by grace from God (Eph. 2:5,8). That results in their being able to hear His voice and follow Him when those who aren't sheep cannot. It is possible to mine the depths of these few verses for a very long time and not exhaust them, but let's concentrate briefly on verse 28: ''I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any [one] pluck them out of my hand.'' If we had no other statement in Scripture on the doctrine of eternal life/perseverance of the saints, this would be enough. In it is the essence of the assurance of the believer, resting on the promises of God in Christ. 'I,' he says, emphasizing Who it is Who is responsible for the action. The granting of the gift of eternal life is not dependent on anyone or anything outside the will of God in Christ Jesus. It is not dependent on man in any way for the granting or the keeping. The glory goes to 'I,' the Son of God alone. 'I give,' He states. It is a gift given and granted by the Savior unto the sheep marked out from eternity past. It is full and free and not contingent on works or 'staying,' but His keeping. If man could direct the giving and the keeping of the sheep (gain or keep salvation for himself), he would have something which to boast, but 'boasting is excluded'--Rom. 3:2--'But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord'--2 Cor. 10:17). ''I give unto them...,'' i.e, 'my sheep.' No one else possesses this precious gift of being kept from being snatched from the Shepherd's grasp. It is for a select group, which, as we have said, is made up of those predestined by God 'unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will to the praise of the glory of his grace' (Eph. 1:5-6). Again, the praise goes to God and His Son, not to any work of man in keeping himself, but is wholly dependent on the workings of the grace of God. ''I give unto them eternal life....'' This is not only 'everlasting life' (Matt. 19:29, John 3:16, 36, etc.), but it is the very life of the Son of God Himself due to the indwelling Spirit of God. This same God Who guarantees His own, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee' (Heb. 13:5, cp. Deut. 31:6 and more--this is a common statement in the OT). That is why the Scriptures speak of 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Col.1:27). ''I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.'' Now if they could lose real, sanctifying, justifying faith, God and His Son would be liars for the Spirit says, 'they shall never perish.' The meaning of that is obvious: Being 'in Christ,' having 'Christ...the hope of glory' in them, the sheep are guaranteed by God 'to be conformed,' from the moment of salvation until their final glorification, 'to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren' (Rom. 8:29). Let us be seized by the truth of these Word of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the truth contained in them: 'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out' (John 6:37). In adhering to the revelation of God, we will all be real 'Lutherans.'

Subject: Or--calling a spade a spade?
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 22:17:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The dispute is (from the Reformed perspective) really single versus double predestination, no? Chrysostomos Double Or Nothing: Martin Luther's Doctrine of Predestination www.visi.com/~contra_m/cm/features2/cm98_bm_luther.html

Subject: Re: Or--calling a spade a spade?
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 23:11:21 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
This was most interesting--thank you.

Subject: Yes very interesting! N/T
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 00:53:24 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:

Subject: Luther on Grace & Apostasy
From: St. Worm
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 21:32:41 (PST)
Email Address: tekworm@hotmail.com

Message:
To my brothers of the Reformed churches: grace to you. We begin in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. As I promised earlier, I went back to the works of that great doctor and confessor of the faith, Herr Martin Luther, to collect sundry passages from his own pen on the question of faith, grace, and apostasy. The sources will be cited accordingly so as not to cast doubt on my research. The bulk of the quotes provided come from his own sermons preached to his congregation between 1522 thru 1535. Luther had many things to say about conversion, perseverance, faith, regeneration, justification, and the eternal inheritance that are ours through the Word and holy Baptism; and amid his preachings on these topics he dealt very frankly and pastorally about how a Christian can withstand the enemy's assault and obtain victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. In the presentation to follow we will see Luther affirming the possibility of a Christian suffering, through the mortal sin of unbelief, loss of all he gained in Christ. Luther was very astute in the things of spiritual warfare, and more than anything knew how to instruct Christians in protecting their souls from apostasy. This is Luther in context. Without this broader context, Luther could easily be made to say what he never means. Firstly, it should soundly and roundly be asserted that Luther's theology of the extent of Christ's atonement is without question universal. By 'universal' I mean that Jesus, in His holy passion, assumed the wrath of God for all men without exception. In contrast to this, it is not unknown that in his earlier years (circa 1512-1515) within the Augustinian cloister, Luther adopted a kind of Limited Atonement theology which would please many Reformed purists. It should be understood that this was not an Augustinian consensus. The backdrop for Luther's initial theology of the atonement was rooted in a 400 year old debate on the nature of the cross in relationship to those who die without its benefits. Medieval catholicism (12th century) took up this argument in academic circles, and some of the Augustinian orders gravitated toward the particular reference of the Atonement to the elect. This, however, does not mean that the Roman Church dogmatically adopted the conclusions of some in this debate. Luther's theology of the cross, however, was in quick transistion. His wrestling with God in terms of Law, forgiveness, and assurance of his personal election began to influence his grasp of the pure gospel. Stauptitz can be credited with helping Luther discover the gospel's riches, as he often urged the doubting doctor to see Christ's wounds and forget the Deus nuda. Luther's scholia in Romans was written at a time of transition, so consequently we'll find some of Luther's old ideas come to the fore. But not for long. By 1517, Luther had come to understand sola fide. His theology of the cross had already matured to the point of understanding what God is in the Word versus what He is to us outside the Word. To learn of God's will toward us apart from the Gospel can only damn and condemn us. God does not desire to be known in that way. This is why Luther said, 'The only God I want to know is the one on the Virgin's lap.' Luther's theology of the cross became God's yes to the world, though only the benefits only come to those who believe. Concerning Christ's death for all, Luther wrote: 'The theme of Christ's passion, then, must far outrank every other. His sufferings are like pure and precious gold, compared to which ours are as nothing. No one but Christ has suffered fro the sins of another. No man has ever paid the price of his own sins, great or small. Even if man's suffering could avail anything for sin, the individual could not go beyond expiating his own sins. But Christ had no need at all to suffer for himself; for...he had committed no sin. He suffered to leave us an example, but yet also to bring man the great blessing of being able to say, 'My sins and the sins of the *whole world* were atoned for upon the cross, blotted out, through Christ's death.' Peter, Mary, John the Baptist, and every other soul born of woman MUST include himself or herself in this statement, 'Christ also suffered for you.'' [Sermon, Second Sunday After Easter; Text of I Peter. 2:20-25. p. 255, sec. xvi. Lenker edition. ] Also, 'If you will not desist from the vice of covetousness then know you are not a Christian... You cannot say, 'Therefore he died for me, I trust.' Truly, Christ died for you, but if you continue in your wickedness, using this revelation as a cloak for your mean covetousness, do not -- such is the declaration of the text -- by any means apply that comforting promise to yourself. Although Christ INDEED died and rose for all, yet unto you he is not risen; you have not apprehended his resurrection by faith. You have seen the smoke but have not felt the fire...' [Easter Wednesday Sermon, Text of Colossians 3:1-7; ibid. page 226] Thus Luther. I could belabour his doctrine of the universality of the cross some more. Even his 'De Servo Arbitrio' expressly tells Erasmus that Christ did all things for all men. In his Galatians commentary he explains Paul's words, 'Christ gave Himself up for me,' in universal terms. The practical outworking of this is that in Luther's mind, though Christ died for even the reprobate, they must first feel the force of the Law before the comfort of the Gospel can be theirs. This is the Lutheran position, too. Christ died for all, but for a man to have the blessings of this he must feel his helpless estate and flee to Jesus alone. There are dozens of other quotes, but since this is principally a tiny treatise on his doctrine of apostasy, I'll forego this topic for now. Luther recognized that in the church there are the spawn of Satan, those who have a form of godliness and yet deny its power. His commentary on Jude makes this plain, and various sermons explain that this is a reality we must suffer for now. The Reformed would cheerfully concur with Luther's explanation of how there are wolves in our midst donning sheep's clothing. But aside from this, Luther also understood that the life of a Christian, a truly regenerate, justified and forgiven Christian, is exposed to ruin if we do not heed certain things. This is the crux of the controversy. We can discuss another time whether Luther was simply too dim or too biblically dishonest (from a Reformed stand point) to see the connection between election and regeneration. For now, let us see whether Luther was careless with words now and again, or whether Luther truly believed a Christian could fall from grace and go to hell. In Luther's Sunday After Easter sermon on I John 5:4-12, he begins to talk about 'Faith the Victor', but issues a warning against those who become indolent about their faith. Luther says, 'If you boast of being a child of God, but still live in fornication, adultery, and such vices, the devil has already overcome you and WRESTED you from the kingdom of God...' Again, 'God's Word and faith are the power which will bring [the Christian] through; he cannot be overcome so long as he adheres to them.' And again, 'Then, too, if the devil tempt you by his tyrannical, factious spirits...to forsake your pure doctrine for his deceptions, you as a Christian are to resist the temptation, remembering the blessings you have through faith received from Christ in the Gospel; you have been liberated from darkness, blindness, and error; have learned rightly to know God; and have obtained the sure consolation of grace and salvation, being aware upon what you must depend in life and death. Why, then, yield to the devil, allowing yourself to be robbed of salvation and eternal life?' [page 238, sec. xiv] This is absurd language to Reformed theology. Luther's teaching here simply does not coincide with the 'P' of the TULIP paradigm. Again, we can discuss later as to how this is, but for now let us hear from Luther in other places. Returning to Luther's Second Sunday After Easter sermon, we find the masterful theologian urging his congregation to 'be careful, then, what you believe and how you live, that the efficacy of Christ's suffering may be manifestly fulfilled in you' [p. 267 sec. xl] Here Luther expresses the vast difference of Christ's death for all objectively, and the subjective fruit of that death, which can be forsaken if we harden our hearts in unbelief or false doctrine. Similarly we find Luther speaking in his sermon on I Peter 2:11-20 saying to Christians, 'It is necessary to strive if we are to withstand the lusts of the flesh; for these, Peter says, war against the soul--against faith and the good conscience of man. If lust triumphs, our hold on the Spirit and on faith is lost. Now, if you would not be defeated, you must valiantly contend against carnal inclinations, being careful to overcome them and to maintain your spiritual, eternal good. In this instance, our own welfare demands the conquest.' [p. 284, sec. xxii] Again, Luther is not sympathetic to the Reformed understanding of grace and faith. He sees the mortification of the flesh as essential to preserving salvation. Luther's Sunday After Ascension Day sermon from I Peter 4:7-11, explains the words to Peter's descripton of the devil and his ministry of destruction as a roaring lion, saying: 'Peter's meaning is this: Since you are a people called to contend with this powerful spirit which is more intent on seizing your souls than is the wolf on seizing the sheep, it is essential you should take thought how to withstand him. Resistance is effected only through faith and prayer.' [p. 311, sec. xix]. Another powerful quote comes to us from Luther's epistle sermon on the Third Sunday After Trinity, preaching from I Peter 5:5-11, saying: 'Now [Peter] admonishes his readers to battle and warfare, that these blessings [of salvation] may be preserved. He shows us our enemy and adversary who seeks to rob us of our treasure and deprive of us our salvation and eternal blessedness. Hence he would say: Be not concerned about livinag a life of earthly glory, and let not anxious cares fill your soul. But be intent on humbling yourselves before God. Trust in Him. Let this be you care, that you may abide in the grace of humily. Let it never be wrested from you. For the devil seeks to instill these forbidden cares, and to produce disobediene against God, that he may tear faith and God's Word out of your heart' [p. 76, sec. xliii]. The mounting evidence of Luther's stance on faith and apostasy should allow me to discontinue this little work at this point. But to remove any lingering doubt as to Luther's understanding of this topic, I'll supply a few more statements. In the same sermon Luther cautions us against drunkenness and urges soberness. 'Satan' says he, ' employs [drunkenness of the soul], until [the Christian] grows numb [and] loses faith' [ p. 78, sec. xlvii]. Reiterating the point about Satan's ministry of destruction, Luther says 'He does not purpose merely to wound or prick you, but wholly to consume you, so that nothing of body OR soul will remain.' Therefore, 'If you would withstand these wiles, there can be no other plan or counsel than this: Fight with God's Word in firm faith... Further, keep in mind both your former misery and your present treasures of grace. Remember how you were once under God's wrath...had not God, in boundless goodness forgiven your sin and bestowed on you His grace. And give heed that you may not lose this treasure...' [pp. 86, sec. lxii; 87, sec. lxiv]. So concludes my preliminary evidences from Luther's own pen. I can continue if need be, but I don't think it's necessarily fruitful to pile on a multitude of quotes without discussing why Luther thought in this manner about grace and such. Perhaps we can continue this with that purpose. As for now, let the record stand that I have honestly represented the Second Light and Doctor of Grace, Herr Martin Luther, for the benefit of you, my Reformed brethren. May God grant us all the wisdom and humility to learn from the mouth of this fiery prophet, his sins and vices not withstanding. Amen. St. Worm

Subject: Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy
From: FredW
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 03:16:10 (PST)
Email Address: fred__w@hotmail.com

Message:
St. Worm: It seems you are testing the waters over here. Welcome in the name of our Lord. There are a few of us here from the other board of which you may be aware. I have gathered that the tone of this board is to the right of the other board. I must say that it sounds like you have read a lot, but through the limited reading I have done on Luther, I do not see a universalist strain in his being. However, I do not have the strength to elaborate just now. Peace to you.

Subject: Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy
From: Pilgrim
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 16:07:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
St Worm,
If Luther indeed did come to the same conclusion as you have, and I am assuming a number of others, that Sola Fide does not in any manner include a Definite Atonement secured for the elect by Christ, nor a Preservation/Perseverance of those same elect, then he must be found embracing unbiblical doctrine. Yes, I know, I know, you would strongly disagree, since you embrace the theology of Martin Luther. And for me, THIS is the issue; not whether or not Luther held to a Universal Atonement or the distinct and real possibility that anyone who is ingrafted into the Lord Christ can ultimately be damned due to a failure to abstain from sin. Since you have announced openly, that you are in some measure 'well read' concerning the doctrines of the Reformed Faith; coined 'Calvinism' as is detailed in the Canons of Dortrecht of 1618-1619, what rebuttal can you offer against the doctrine of 'Particular Redemption'; infamously known unfortunately, as 'Limited Atonement'? I think that would be of some interest to those here who embrace that as the biblical teaching and the truth of God. In Grace, Pilgrim PS: It is of some historical relevant note that Scott Hahn echoes a somewhat similar autobiographical description of his 'journey' as you have, with a slightly different end, although I think the similarities are over represented when compared to each other.

Subject: Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy
From: St. Worm
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 20:51:21 (PST)
Email Address: tekworm@hotmail.com

Message:
Certainly it is no secret that the Lutheran Reformation was of a different kind than the Reformed branch of the Reformation. The fact of these differences are underplayed, unfortunately, and Luther is often times solicited as a Calvinist. This was unfortunate when I was learning under R.C. Sproul at Knox Seminary (he was a visiting professor, and a friend and myself audited some of his classes) that Dr. Sproul told everyone that Luther was 'one of us' (i.e. 'Reformed'). At the time, being a historically naive Calvinist, I accepted his claim ex mano. So happily I read Luther with the expectation that his doctrines would mostly agree with my then Reformed paradigm. But as a matter of course, the more Luther I read, the more I found his theology radically driven by a different set of hermeneutical principles and presuppositions. It shook me to my foundations and forced me to ask the question, 'Why did Luther and Calvin disagree?' All of the sudden the Reformation wasn't this neat little unified front against Rome. It was Luther and his followers, Zwingli and his followers, then later Calvin and his bunch. Luther respected some of what Calvin early wrote, but then again, Luther respected St. Francis Assisi and St. Bernhard's writings, too. My purpose in this thread was only to prove, at the request of one Reformed brother, that Luther did not hold to the 'P' in the TULIP paradigm. I think I've sufficiently proved this, and any further doubts would come out of a resistance to the facts, and not due to any ambiguity in the evidence. If you would like to pursue a friendly debate on the nature of the atonement, I'd be happy to indulge you some. Dort is a good starting place, but it matters not to me whether you appeal to the WCF, the London Baptist Confession, the Philadelphia Confession, or whatever Reformed creed or confession you want to use. The argument doesn't change. Blessings to you, my brother. May the peace of our Lord Christ be with you. Amen. St. Worm (St. James i.xvii)

Subject: Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy
From: Pilgrim
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 14:15:10 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
St. Worm,
Again, to risk redundancy, I iterate, It matters not to me personally whether or not Martin Luther personally rejected the biblical doctrine of the 'Preservation/Perseverance of the Saints', for it is in fact a biblical doctrine which has and can be evidenced from the Word of God apart from any sub-authoritarian document written by men. As you surely must know, the infamous 'Five Points of Calvinism', as enumerated in some detail in the 'Canons of Dortrecht' either stand or fall as a one unified statement. They cannot be bifurcated without destroying the truthfulness and/or logic of any of the individual doctrines themselves. In other words, either each of the 'Five Points' are true, or none are true. For if but one of the doctrines is untrue, then there is an inescapable contradiction of the whole. Thus, albeit possible in the minds of finite men, it is impossible to accept but even one tenet without being logically forced into embracing the whole. Thus, Luther may well have questioned or even explicitly denied 'Eternal Security', but it was illogical and unbiblical for him to do so. It is my proposition, that the atonement of the Lord Christ is the centroid of soteriology. Upon its truth and understanding all else hangs. So yes, I would be more than willing to discuss/debate the nature and objects of Christ's atonement with you in detail without reservation. :-) The proverbial 'ball' is therefore in your court! If you are intent on debating the atonement of the Lord Christ with me and others, then I would ask you to begin a new thread and we'll 'cross swords' with the Sword of the Spirit in hand.
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: But P....
From: Chrysostomos
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 15:49:36 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...let's say Luther did have a different view of 'eternal security' than the Reformed. In any case, we do know that he did have a very different view of baptism. That would mean that the two 'camps' had a different view of the atonement, no? In which case, the two camps would have different views of what Sola Fide means, right? But how could you possibly agree on Sola Fide but not on atonement? Seems to me you couldn't agree on one without agreeing on both. Otherwise, you end up having two different definitions of Sola Fide. Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: But C....
From: Pilgrim
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 17:41:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chrysostomos,
I doubt Luther had a different view of the Atonement than the Reformed. He quite certainly differed on the 'means' of its fruit, as he placed far more emphasis on baptism than those who followed after him. Given the historical milieu within which Luther lived and laboured, I am not surprised that he only came 'half way' on the two issues of baptism and the Lord's Supper. And given that fact, I certainly am not one to cast stones, as it were at this pioneer who sought to bring the Church back to the Scriptures alone for determining truth. Therefore, I see no problem here with what you would like to see as an illogical inconsistency. Let me make myself clear, if possible on this matter. I said the 'Five Points' must be taken as a whole as they are but different facets of the one 'jewel' (the golden chain). Indeed there have been some who have claimed to hold to but some of them and labelled themselves as 'Four-point Calvinists, Three-point Calvinists and even Two-point Calvinists' [why they didn't rather choose to be known as 'One, Two or Three-point Arminians' is interesting if not amusing. :-) But it doesn't destroy the irrefutable logic of the 'Five Points'! It only shows the illogic and inconsistency of those who do such things! :-).
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Sure, I understand your position....
From: Chrysostomos
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 22:54:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...if there's one thing you convinced me of last year, it's that Calvinisim is a package deal. Being kinda Calvinist is like being kinda pregnant. I'm not debating the truth of your particular system, because we went through all that before. Even if I did want to debate it, I'd save us both a lot of time by just going to the archives. ;-) But... >>>>....he placed far more emphasis on baptism than those who followed after him. ...Zwingli didn't follow after him. He was a contemporary with whom Luther had direct contact. And Zwingli adhered to an approach to the Scriptures that the Reformed and Baptists hold to to this day. Calvin didn't even have remotely the same understanding of baptism and he was also a contemporary. My point is that it's not like they followed each other in some fashion so that a reasonable 'development' could be implied that would make them all basically agree on 'essentials.' If they were all agreed on the 'essentials,' then Protestant Europe wouldn't have split into a bunch of doctrinal pieces within 50 years of the 95 theses. (Yeah, I know politics is a big part. Always is. But there would have been far less opportunity for the politics part if it weren't for the doctrinal part) >>>>Given the historical milieu within which Luther lived and laboured, Again, that's my point. Calvin and Zwingli are a part of his historical milieu and they took drastically different methodologies with them when they sat down to study their Scriptures. Luther despised the scholastic method and it shows in his disputes with Zwingli over the Eucharist. It shows in his Catechisms. Luther wrote no 'systematic theology' because he hated it and seems to have been far more aware of what led western theology to the problems it faced it the 16th century. Not that I think he solved those problems, mind you, but my view on that is probably obvious. Basically, you guys and the St Worms of the world are battling over who really understood Luther in the same way that the Reformers battled with Rome over who really understood St Augustine. You're both trying to prove that Luther agrees with you. Whether he believed in eternal security or double predestination is not what I'm interested in. I think it's easier to show that Luther was totally opposed to the scholastic, systematic approach that resulted in the 5 points than it is to discern whether he really believed you could lose your salvation or not. Anyway, the bottom line seems to be that Luther knew what he meant by Sola Fide and he knew what he meant by baptismal regeneration. He didn't find them mutually exclusive and it doesn't appear to be because he just hadn't thought the whole thing out far enough. In fact, he spoke just as strongly against those who denied the power of the baptismal waters as Calvin did against those who denied paedobaptism ('furious madmen'). The scholastic types and the Anabaptists did find them mutually exclusive and, therefore, I think that concluding that you have two different understandings of Sola Fide here is not an unfair observation to make. Which is peculiar, since Sola Fide is the one common thread the Reformers are all supposed to have. The other side of the coin is Sola Scriptura. There's a different understanding there, too, since Luther claimed that St James preached a works righteousness in outright contradiction to Paul and said the work had 'no merit.' Therefore, it gets placed at the back of NT along with Hebrews, another book he wasn't all that fond of. The other (not later) Reformers, however, like Calvin, certainly didn't take such a blasphemous view of Holy Scripture and, thus, tried to make it fit within Sola Fide. At least he recognized Luther's problem in this regard, but the dilemma is that the fellow who proclaimed Sola Fide believed what he believed and everybody since has only come up with what seem to me to be trite slogans to explain James. (The really dispensational dispensationalists are interesting, however, because they 'solve' the problem by simply saying that he was writing to Jews, not Gentiles. Same net result as Luther, though.) So, whatever the particulars are, St Worm is right in claiming that you misunderstand Luther because you're reading him through a different 'paradigm.' That's not confessional polemics, it's just plain history. It's not at all like the Monopysites claiming that Chalcedon betrayed St Cyril's formula--after Cyril was dead--and so everybody had to hash who really understood Ephesus. All these disputes took place amongest these Reformers. The only common thread I've found is the common enemy. Rome on the one hand and then England over 100 years later. It's not til the Church of England starts making life miserable for the Prebyterians and the Baptists that the paedobaptizers stop following in Calvin's foosteps by calling them 'furious madmen.' Until that time, they seem to have been generally at each others' throats. There's nothing like a common enemy to make the lines start to blur and that's where things are today--blurred. To the point where infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, the 'real presence' in the Eucharist, and other such things are associated almost exclusively with RC errors. (Your site's critiques of RCism and sites like progospel.org seem to be sufficient to prove that point) Problem is, Luther believed all those things. And that's the guy that came up with the Solas that all 'conservative evangelical' parties, for lack of a better label, claim to have in common. Well, I guess that's something to end with. Getting late. Nice chatting with you again, by the way. What I can't figure out is how a 28 year old like St Worm writes so much like you. He's not old enough to be such a curmudgeon yet! ;-) Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Sure, I understand your position....
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 10:04:57 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Christopher, You didn't address me, but I have to butt in anyway, since several of your observations/conclusions are flawed, as I see it. Let's start here: 'Anyway, the bottom line seems to be that Luther knew what he meant by Sola Fide and he knew what he meant by baptismal regeneration. He didn't find them mutually exclusive and it doesn't appear to be because he just hadn't thought the whole thing out far enough.' I'd have to agree wholeheartedly with the first sentence, but the conclusion you've drawn in the second seems faulty. Luther doesn't seem to me to be able to grasp, for whatever reason, the inconsistency of the two positions. It isn't that he didn't contend with it and didn't think about it, it appears, but that he simply couldn't get past the extreme 'sacramentalism' to which he held. And I do believe that the Reformers seem to have a solid basis in sola fide, realizing that faith alone leads to justification in God's sight. In fact, that is possibly the only pure common ground they held. From there, however, the differing branches are mystifying to me, quite frankly. Here's why: If one believes that faith produces the righteousness of Christ in the faithful individual because it is God's imputation to him on the basis of that faith, making him blameless in God's sight, he believes essentially and necessarily that faith is a good thing, good in the sense that God (Who actually is good) chooses to view it as good. That is the thrust of Rom. 3:21-chapter 4. The fact that is is good is reinforced by James 1:17, where he pronounces that all good and perfect gifts come down from God the Father. Accepting that as so, since it is scriptural, we go to Eph. 2 and discover that salvation, BY grace and THROUGH faith, is a 'gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.' One who truly believes in sola scriptura must then conclude that faith comes not from within oneself, but is a gift from God and it is a good thing. There is no other possible conclusion, if we are relying on the evidence of Scripture alone. It is undeniably spoken of as a part of the package of salvation by grace and it is undeniably spoken of as 'a gift of God,' which is pronounced 'good' by the inspired book of James, as well as other Scripture. It is at that point that 'baptismal regeneration' must become unrealistic for those who hold to sola fide. If one is made alive (regenerate) spiritually by baptism, then it must necessarily be that he cannot do a good thing (good as God sees it) until he is alive to God in spirit. A dead man can't do anything except the works of the dead (evil), as Luther said in a sermon I quoted previously. Only one alive in God can do what God approves because of faith. Therefore, if a dead man has faith enough to get himself regenerated by baptism, he has done a good thing in and of himself and apart from God! He must have faith that God will regenerate him in the baptism, but that is impossible. He cannot have faith in that because he has only evil in him and faith is a good thing in God's sight! He has, out of his evil, had faith enough to get God to regenerate him and 'save' him! Totally irrational and unscriptural. Of course, for one who believes that salvation comes from the Church all of this is ridiculous. But to us who believe the Bible, that also is totally irrational and faithless. You also said this, 'The only common thread I've found [among the Reformers] is the common enemy. Rome on the one hand and then England over 100 years later.' Not true. Even though there is much disagreement, the 'common thread' is the devotion to seeking to find the true way of God to salvation in the Bible alone, by grace and through faith. The fact that the interpretations differ in how Reformers saw that approach developing doesn't lessen the fact that it was the path they took.

Subject: Re: Sure, I understand your position....
From: Chrysostomos
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:58:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, You basically just reproduced Zwingli's argument against Luther about the Eucharist. Different topic, same logic. That's my only point. Luther despised that sort of logic being applied to Scripture. I'm not saying I think he was consistent about his doctrines, mind you. He certainly does say a lot of curious things. But he was very confident about his abilities in understanding Scripture. Read here what he writes to those objecting to his adding the word 'alone' to Romans 3:28 in his German bible: 'If your papist makes much useless fuss about the word sola, allein, tell him at once: Doctor Martin Luther will have it so and says: Papist and donkey are one thing; sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. For we do not want to be pupils and followers of the Papists, but their masters and judges. Are they doctors? So am I. Are they learned? So am I. Are they preachers? So am I. Are they theologians? So am I. Are they philosophers? So am I. Are they writers of books? So am I. And I shall further boast: I can expound Psalms and Prophets; which they cannot. I can translate; which they cannot . . . Therefore the word allein shall remain in my New Testament, and though all pope-donkeys should get furious and foolish, they shall not get the word out.' [cited in G Florvsky, Reflections on the Critique of the Theology of the Reformation] >>>>>>Even though there is much disagreement, the 'common thread' is the devotion to seeking to find the true way of God to salvation in the Bible alone, by grace and through faith. The fact that the interpretations differ in how Reformers saw that approach developing doesn't lessen the fact that it was the path they took. I'm not doubting anyone's devotion or sincerity, Rod. Not at all. But interpretations do matter. 'For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you,' as St Paul said. But I think you're being far more charitable toward Luther than he was toward you: 'Hence it follows that whoever rejects Baptism rejects the Word of God, faith, and Christ,' Chrysostomos

Subject: Re: Sure, I understand your position....
From: Rod
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:25:10 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Chrysostomos, You wrote, ''I'm not doubting anyone's devotion or sincerity, Rod. Not at all. But interpretations do matter. 'For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you,' as St Paul said.' To that quotation, I would say a most hearty, 'Amen!'' I think you have misinterpreted my meaning. This, the avid seeking (that devotion) of 'the true way of God to salvation in the Bible alone, by grace and through faith,' not their sincerity of belief or interpretation, was my emphasis in the paragraph you quoted. And, yes, their conclusions most emphatically do matter, as they lead people down the path of truth, error, or, at least, partial error. As for Luther's feelings about me, I'm certain he would have found me less noticeable than a gnat. I have been also long aware that he would have regarded me as a heretic. I regard him as a great man and a man of God (with glaring faults theologically). It doesn't matter, his doctrine is purified now, since he has been so long with the Lord. The doctrine of all saved men await the same. None of us can afford to be so conceited that he thinks he has all truth. There is a vast difference in being confident in one's belief system and thinking he is on the same level as the inspired writers. I agree with no preacher or teacher 100%. It's why I admire many, such as Luther and Calvin, but pedestalize none.

Subject: Re: And I understand your position....
From: Pilgrim
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 08:47:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chrysostomos,
Thanks for the quasi history lesson and sharing your personal 'insights' into the struggles of Western Protestantism. Obviously, you had a lot on your chest which you had to get out, haha! Unfortunately and as has been the case in the past, it is irrelevant as a response to what I have had to say on this issue with St Wörm. Anyone else would know by now that in several places I have stated that I personally have little interest at this point whether Martin Luther held to the Preservation/Perseverance of the Saints. Nor is it important to me to debate his views concerning baptism, etc. This I have said over and over again here! :-) You weren't 'listening' perhaps? On the positive side, what I have said repeatedly, is that my interest lies in what the Word of God says concerning Eternal Security, Atonement, etc. However, you being so close to the mentality of Rome (despite your incessant denials otherwise) find it incredulous that the Scriptures Alone are sufficient to know the truth of these matters. All such findings, you insist, must be filtered through the screen of the ancient sages, who alone have the 'key to life'! Yes, and you could likewise consult the Forum Archives to substantiate this as well. :-) As to St Wörm's writing style being perceived by you as similar to mine in spite of his young years, I think this is a conclusion which only you are able to discover the answer to. And as to the 'curmudgeon' slur, again you haven't been paying close enough attention in class it seems. It is 'Prestor John' who has been using that humorous addenda to his signature here for years and not I. :-) Glad you found yourself interesting and amusing at times too.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: And I understand your position....
From: Chrysostomos
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:07:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Well, if you have no interest in discussing it anymore... >>>>>And as to the 'curmudgeon' slur, It was written with affection. Promise! Chrysosotmos

Subject: Re: And I understand your position....
From: Prestor John
To: Chrysostomos
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 20:56:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Well, if you have no interest in discussing it anymore... >>>>>And as to the 'curmudgeon' slur, It was written with affection. Promise! Chrysosotmos
---
As a duly licensed member of the local curmudgeon's union, local 465, I must instruct you to cease and desist from calling one Pilgrim a curmudgeon, who is not now an official memeber, nor has paid the dues to the local union. I warn you sir, that our lawyer will be seeing you if you continue. Prestor John Curmudgeon in good standing.

Subject: Uhoh...
From: Chrysostomos
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 21:01:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Legal action from a union is not my idea of a good time. Full compliance, I assure you, sir. Full compliance.

Subject: Re: Luther on Grace & Apostasy
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 20:46:58 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, I listened to a taped sermon today by Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, former seminary professor and teacher at Believer's Chapel in Dallas, in which his conclusion included a quotation from Luther (source uncited): 'If we perish, Christ perishes.' This would seem to place very much in doubt whether Luther believed in 'falling away' to damnation for a true saint of God. Furhtermore, one of St. Worm's quotations: '''If you will not desist from the vice of covetousness then know you are not a Christian... You cannot say, 'Therefore he died for me, I trust.' Truly, Christ died for you, but if you continue in your wickedness, using this revelation as a cloak for your mean covetousness, do not -- such is the declaration of the text -- by any means apply that comforting promise to yourself. Although Christ INDEED died and rose for all, yet unto you he is not risen; you have not apprehended his resurrection by faith. You have seen the smoke but have not felt the fire...' [Easter Wednesday Sermon, Text of Colossians 3:1-7; ibid. page 226]'' seems to suggest just the oppositite view St. Worm is espousing of Luther. Rahter, it would indicate that the person described was 'not a Christian' and, indeed, never had been. That conclusion is strengthened by numerous quotations I previously cited, along with some more as follows: ''II. The Bread Of Heaven. 12. The living bread, of which the Lord here speaks, is Christ himself, of whom we partake. If in our hearts we lay hold of only a morsel of this bread, we shall have forever enough and can never be separated from God. The partaking of this bread is nothing but faith in Christ our Lord, that he is, as Paul says in 1 Cor 1, 30, 'made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.' He who eats of this food lives forever. Therefore, the Lord says, immediately following this Gospel lesson, where the Jews strove among themselves about this discourse of his: 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 13. The bread from heaven the fathers ate in the wilderness, as Christ says here, was powerless to keep them from dying; but this bread makes immortal. If we believe on Christ, death cannot harm us; yea, it is no longer death. The Lord utters the same truth in another passage when he says to the Jews: 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my Word, he shall never see death.' John 8, 51. Here he speaks definitely of the Word of faith, and of the Gospel.' (from Sermon for Pentecost Wednesday, text John 6:44-51); and ''16. In this light I now remind you that these words are not to be misconstrued and made to refer to the Sacrament of the Altar; whoever so interprets them does violence to this Gospel text. There is not a letter in it that refers to the Lord's Supper. Why should Christ here have in mind that Sacrament when it was not yet instituted? The whole chapter from which this Gospel is taken speaks of nothing but the spiritual food, namely, faith. When the people followed the Lord merely hoping again to eat and drink, as the Lord himself charges them with doing, he took the figure from the temporal food they sought, and speaks throughout the entire chapter of a spiritual food. He says: 'The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life''' (ibid). Furthermore, a section I cited a few days previously doubly reinforces these facts: ''So we do also, if we stand and abide in this article of faith: I believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, who suffered, died and rose again for us, etc., then we need not worry about being lost, or that the devil can devour us, though he even opens his jaws ever so wide. For we are not then on our own way, nor do we walk with our own feet, but hang about the neck of our dear Shepherd and lay upon his back, where we are entirely safe. For although sin, death and hell appear ever so wicked and terrible, they cannot devour him; otherwise we poor sheep would too soon be lost and destroyed. 61. For even as the sheep cannot protect or provide for itself that it go not astray, unless the shepherd continually directs and leads it in the way; and when it has strayed and is lost, it cannot of itself find the right way or come to its shepherd, but the shepherd himself must go after it, and seek it until he find it, and when he has found it, he holds and bears it upon his back, that it may no more be frightened away from him, hunted or seized by the wolf. So we too cannot either help or advise ourselves, that we may obtain rest and peace of conscience, and escape the devil, death and hell, unless Christ himself brings us again and calls us to himself by his Word. And when we come to him and are in a state of faith, even then we are not able to keep ourselves in faith or be steadfast, unless he himself by his Word and power holds and carries us, because the devil every way and without ceasing watches for us, end lurks, round about us like a roaring lion, as St. Peter In 1 Pet. 5:8 says, to devour us. So that here it avails nothing whatever to boast of our free will and strength, either to begin or continue our return to the Shepherd, and to abide with him, but Christ alone, our Shepherd, must do everything. 62. But now we are certain of this, that as long as we lie around the neck of Christ, we shall be safe from all terror and misfortune. For he will certainly not permit us to be torn from his neck, norr will he cast us off, because he is so happy and of good cheer that he once again has his sheep, and can bring it back to the rest of the flock. In short, there is nothing here of terror, driving and commanding, but a simple friendly carrying and a mere life of grace, by which he cares for his sheep in the tenderest manner''(Sermon for the Third Sunday after Trinity, Luke 15:1-10). If one is not convinced about Luther's feelings on the subject after the many quoted proofs provided from his own words over the last few days, so be it. It is a subject from which I intend to rest satisfied that Luther believed in the perseverance of God's saints by the keeping power of God in Christ.

Subject: Fasting
From: Brother Charles
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 16:31:13 (PST)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
Hello to all, I was just wanting to ask what you all think on the subject of fasting (practices, and what the Bible says do through it) other than the prayer and worship. just wanting to know for future ref. your brother in Christ Jesus, -Charles

Subject: Re: Fasting
From: David Teh
To: Brother Charles
Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 18, 2001 at 07:41:34 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Charles, For your reading pleasure on fasting....please go to http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper95/piper95.htm and read the sermons from Jan 1 to Feb 19 1995.

Subject: To start this off a little better..
From: St. Worm
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 13:21:37 (PST)
Email Address: tekworm@hotmail.com

Message:
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. Having had a brief run in with some already here, I just wanted to let you know that I'm not here to cause 'trouble'. I still have a soft spot in my heart for my Calvinistic brethren, and wish to engage in some honest and helpful polemic and dialogue regarding the Lutheran/Reformed differences. Could we start from ground zero? Just to let you know a little about myself. I'm a 28 year old computer programmer and family man. I'm aspiring to go to Concordia Seminary in a few years, and have been a Christian for 15 years. In 1993 through a tract by Spurgeon on Calvinism I turned from my Charismatic/Arminian worldview and joined the OPC after a brief stint in the Reformed Baptist context. I devoured everything I could get my hands on in terms of Reformed theology, so my library is not too puny. I authored a local theology newsletter/journal, had a small readership, and conducted several interviews with people like R.C. Sproul, Michael Horton, Leonard Coppes, Kim Riddlebarger, John Gerstner (before he died), and such. I've engaged in formal public debates with Arminians and atheists. I'm very acquainted with a broad spectrum of Reformed works including but not limited to: Calvin's Institutes, 'De Praedestinationes Dei', I have all his commentaries (great set by the way!) Turretin's Intitutes, Owen's 'Death of Death', 'Display of Arminianism'; Warfield's 'Studies in Perfectionism', 'Calvin and Augustine', 'The Plan of Salvation'; Boettner's 'Reformed Doctrine of Predestination'; Murray's 'Redemption: Accomplished and Applied'; Pink's 'Sovereignty of God', 'The Atonement'; Packer's 'Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God,' Horton's 'Putting Amazing Back Into Grace', 'Mission Accomplished', 'Beyond Culture Wars', 'In the Face of God', 'Christ the Lord', 'The Law of Perfect Freedom', 'Agony of Deceit', 'We Believe'; Sproul's 'Justification by Faith Alone'; A.A. Hodge's 'Systematic THeology', Berkhof's 'Manual of Christian Doctrine', tons of Modern Refromation magazines (since 1992), various Reformed journals, and the list goes on. I haven't even commented on the books I borrowed and read. I'm just pulling some off the top of my head. The point is, I don't come to this debate as an 'outsider'. I was a committed and zealous Calvinist for 6 years, dedicated to the Reformed distinctives. The fact that I later found them wanting in no way shows I didn't understand or believe these doctrines. I've had friends at Knox Seminary whom I spent hours upon hours conversing with on Reformed theology. I was a thorough-going contintental-brand Calvinist that hated Arminianism as much as you guys do. I don't profess to 'know it all', but I am not unfamiliar with the hermeneutical and exegetical arguments. But my love of learning and books got me in trouble. Once I discovered that Christendom had a bigger base of scholarship than my Reformed world, I freely read (at the advice of my OPC elder) outside my paradigm. There is some gargantuan intellects and theologians that I soon discovered about, Luther included. It was through Calvin that I met Luther. And then Luther and his co-laborers brought challenged my Reformed assumptions. That's another story. Oh yes, I am also a church history fanatic. I read everything I can on church history. It's a fascinating topic. I extend God's charity to all here in hopes of building good dialogue. I've rejoiced to see some of my Calvinistic friends become Lutherans recently (and God willing my friend Chuck is almost there! We just had a debate on double-predestination this weekend. Needless to say he's going to go back and review Robert Reymond's arguments for supralapsarianism), but I don't dialogue simply to get converts. I genuinely love God's truth and desire to learn and teach what little light I've received. I'm not sure if this is one-sided board where you just HAVE to be Reformed to get a serious ear. The Sproul forum I come from is broadly catholic and consists of highly intelligent and engaging people. I'll do my best to conform to the spirit of this forum. Blessings to you, my brothers. St. Worm

Subject: Hello St. Worm!!
From: chosendust
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Sun, Jan 21, 2001 at 18:19:33 (PST)
Email Address: chosendust@yahoo.com

Message:

So nice to learn a bit more about you! ''Had a brief run in with some here already'' eh? I can't IMAGINE!! ;~) Did you see the thread I started above yet? Thanks for the general invite to Ligonier forum people you posted there. A little variety for spice. Neato what you can do with fonts 'n' stuff here! Now be a good boy here like you said you would (however you phrased it). Save the vituperative stuff for Ligonier! :~P Peace! - chosendust

Subject: Re: To start this off a little better..
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 14:49:11 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I just want to say that although I disagree with St.Worm on a number of issues. I have found him to be honest, cordial, and intellectual in his posts. Tom

Subject: Re: To start this off a little better..
From: laz
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 14:08:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
St. Worm - I for one am anxious to hear what you have to say...especially given that the folks at CURE (and the White Horse Inn) seem to get along just peachy despite the Lutheran/Reformed/Baptist/etc dynamics often at play. What IS so different about Reformed and Lutherans besides views on law/grace, sacraments...and others I can't recall...if I ever knew or understood them in the first place? LOL! blessings, laz

Subject: Re: To start this off a little better..
From: St. Worm
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 14:40:12 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The folks at CURE are long time friends and comerades. They have some common causes which we should all be happy they're banding together to advance. I don't want you to think that I think Lutherans are Christians and Calvinists are not -- we have some commonalities we should rejoice about. With that said, we shouldn't be naive about the stark contrasts in some very fundamental Christian concepts the Lutherans have over against the Calvinists. It's a theological and historical fact we must come to terms with if any dialogue will be meaningful. I'll be happy to outline in a few hours our differences. Gotta get back to programming for now. Blessings to you my brother, St. Worm

Subject: St.Worm on Luther
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 23:47:46 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I am posting this, just in case some of you (especially Rod) missed St.Worms reply to Rod, on the topic of Luther. You will find his posts further down the board. Tom

Subject: Re: St.Worm on Luther
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 12:42:01 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Thanks, Tom, Saw them right off.

Subject: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support
From: Brother Bret
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 15:19:46 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Dear Friends In Christ: As several of you know, I was contemplating whether to join a man that believes that Baptism is a part of faith and therefore necessary for salvation, on the radio for live discussion. As per the advice of most of you, I do not plan on doing it [although I listened to him yesterday at their 3:30pm slot and called in to respond to a question of what Eph.2:6 meant when they implied it is Baptism :^ )]. But the request that I mentioned in the heading is for something else. I'm contemplating going on that Christian radio station myself for a half our time slot for bible study. Please bear with me as I outline the options, and pro's and con's for your prayerful advice :^ ). 1. Most of the ministries I have heard directly or commercials are pentacostals/word-faithers. 2. The representative does say there are others. 3. They do not allow cults but do catholics even though there are no catholics on there now. 4. I told him what I believed, and based on his response I do not think there are any ministries on there that embrace and proclaim the doctrines of sovereign grace. 5. They have a 14 minute slot for $80, 28 minute slot for $120, and 56 minute slot for $225. 6. It can be prerecorded, live, or done over the phone. Although the latter does not have as good sound quality. I thought I had another point or two, but they allude me right now :^ ). Our church cannot afford to support it as an entity, but I would see if I could get folks in my church and any others to support by giving 'x' amount of dollars per week for the ministry. So let me know what you think. And if you think that you would like to help me get the doctrines of sovereign grace and we lift up the Lord Christ and the true gospel by giving a little bit regularly yourselves, please let me know. Most importantly, pray for God to give me wisdom, and do His will regarding this matter.Thanks as always, Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support
From: Pilgrim
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 16:50:46 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brother Bret,
What first comes to mind is my concern that any such venture interfere with your primary calling; Pastor to Christ's flock! Secondly, you have the responsibility of caring and leading your own family. And third, if you are still of necessity, having to hold down a job to provide the material needs of yourself and family this is yet another important responsibility. If after serious consideration and prayer, you still feel you can devote yourself to all these things and add a radio ministry and all that it requires, including the funding, to your calendar, then it might be something to consider. Another concern that I have is whether or not you are sufficiently prepared for such a task? Not only is there the time needed to prepare weekly presentations, but have you perhaps considered the correspondence this radio ministry might generate and need to be taken care of? I have been involved in doing a weekly broadcast many years ago and thus I speak from experience! :-) Your congregation who loves you is far more understanding and forgiving when it comes to the matter of speaking in error. A radio audience generally has little patience or room for what they deem as error. And they will often let their opposition be known in no uncertain terms and sometimes, in ways that lack a 'gentler, kinder spirit'! :-) Lastly, have you considered your own weaknesses, in body, mind and spirit? Will the added time and stress that comes 'with the job' cause you to gradually fail in health? Would a popular radio broadcast tempt you into pride and self-glory? And although you would need to prepare your presentation, even that which is based on the Word of God, have you brought to mind how many of such people have gone astray, not heeding to themselves what God has commanded them as those who profess godliness? My dear brother, I am not trying to discourage you! No! But I would have you seriously consider at least these things which I have brought forward for your contemplation before making any decisions concerning committing yourself to a weekly radio broadcast. At least if you are going to do this, do so with your eyes wide open and your mind enlightened to the burdens and perils which more often than not, accompany such things. May God open your heart and mind to hear what the Spirit is speaking to your spirit. And may you humbly submit to His leading. For it is His own glory He desires others to see in and through us.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support
From: Brother Bret
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 19:43:29 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Brother Pilgrim: Thank you for your response. They are very good questions that I need to continue considering. Most I have already thought about. The time that would be sacrificed would be the computer. Although I have said that before :^ ). I would like you to elaborate on the following comment you made, as I'm having trouble completely understanding it tonight...hehe: 'And although you would need to prepare your presentation, even that which is based on the Word of God, have you brought to mind how many of such people have gone astray, not heeding to themselves what God has commanded them as those who profess godliness?' Thanks brother. I always appreciate your advice, and look forward to your next reply...Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support
From: Pilgrim
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 15:48:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brother Bret,
What I meant was there are far too many 'radio preachers', not excluding others who are not on the radio, who spend countless hours preparing and delivering messages allegedly based upon the Scriptures, but they fail to practice what they preach! :-( In other words, they have failed to heed what the Scriptures are saying in regard to their own lives first and more focused on 'preaching to others'. We should always seek the Scriptures with the primary goal of hearing and being transformed into the image of Christ, first and foremost. And then the care of others secondarily. I think Pastor Albert Martin's article, What's Wrong with Preaching Today speaks to this issue most cogently.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support
From: Brother Joe
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 18:43:40 (PST)
Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

Message:
Brother Bret, This sounds like a big step. I think that a sound teaching ministry could be fruitful for some. Are you planning to expose error for what it is or just expound sovereign grace? Here in the San Francisco Bay area Christian Radio is mostly syndicated national preachers and local Pentecostals. There is one fellow in San Jose who has a half hour program on Sunday afternoon. He preaches soveriegn grace and the gospel each time. I know him and have visited his church. He says that he takes a lot of heat but he feels that it is worth it from the few that respond thankfully. He is a five point Calvinist who came out from among Oneness Pentecostals. His local assembly is a vital loving congregation even though small. I'll pray for you and if you are interested I can get you his address. In Christ Jesus, Brother Joe

Subject: Re: Rod and Joe
From: Brother Bret
To: Brother Joe
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:11:42 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod and Joe: Thank you for your advice and encouragement. I hope I get some more responses from others, including Pilgrim and Laz :^ ). Yes Joe, I would like that brother's address. You can e-mail it to me if you'd like. Because I do expect some opposition and flack :^ ). Thanks again, Brother Bret

Subject: Re: Prayer, Advice & Possible Support
From: Rod
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 16:55:21 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
BB, I don't have any sage advice, just some ramblings, not worth much. Here goes: 1) I personally think a teaching ministry for real and professing Christians COULD be fruitful, as the Lord leads. It is true that there seems to be little or no doctrine of sovereign grace being espoused. It might bring a great deal of opposition, particularly if the audience isn't used to it. Are you up for criticism in the extreme? You might not get it, but it's better to be prepared than surprised. 2) Be very sure of your financial support before you launch a ministry like this. I know that doesn't sound like I'm advocating faith, but people have a way of dropping out after the excitement wears off. I think the faith comes in knowing that God is behind you and gives you solid supporters. 3) I sincerely don't mean to be condescending, but I'd also be certain that you can talk to a phone or tape recorder for 15-30 minutes in a pleasant, interesting, and sincere way. If one isn't used to not having an 'audience,' it might be different from what you suspect. 4) Make every effort not to take your ministry time by anything like appeals for money. A simple statement that 'This ministry is provided solely by the financial support of Christians like you,' along with an address is enough, if the Lord is truly in it. You have my sincere prayers for the revelation of the Lord's will to you in this matter.

Subject: Re: ?
From: stan
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 15:50:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Crossed my mind that you did not state a purpose for going on the radio - is it to reach the lost or teach those that call themselves Christians ;-) Now, this is personal opinion, but I have wondered why any Christian would want to support or be on most of what I hear called Christian radio. What I hear is mostly false doctrine and so called music. Not a fan of Christian radio ;-) in case you can't tell. If your purpose is to reach the lost why not go for a secular station (where lost people listen) - if it is anywhere near affordable. stan

Subject: Re: ?
From: Brother Bret
To: stan
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:05:28 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Stan: Good questions. I haven't read the other 2 responses that are posted thus far. My goal is to reach the lost which would include professing Christians that are not truely saved, promote our church; and educate people with the whole counsel of God, the complete gospel, and doctrines of sovereign grace. This also includes preaching against the easy believism and modern gospel that permeates so many churches. But that is a good idea about the secular stations. Whether they would do it or not, I don't know. But it sure wouldn't hurt to try :^ ) Brother Bret

Subject: John Murray
From: JOwen
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 10:25:12 (PST)
Email Address: jerlewis@dowco.com

Message:
If there is any intrest... There is a new email discussion list called John-Murray. Men such as Dr. Francis Nigel Lee and Professor Barry Hofstedler are just some of the members. To join the list go to http://www.egroups.com/group/John-Murray and follow the instructions. JOwen

Subject: For Joe
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:06:34 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Joe, I went to your link and found this section in the 'Statement of Faith': ' We believe that those who put their faith and trust in the cleansing blood of Jesus receive the indwelling Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their salvation at the first moment of exercising their faith, by confessing with their mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believing in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead. (Ephesians 1:13-14)(Romans 10:9,10).' I think it is the general belief of those who frequent this board, and it is definitely mine, that faith doesn't precede the new birth, but faith proceeds from the new birth from God. The premise is that, as Luther said, 'Therein God concludes all man's works, previous to his justification, evil and ineffectual; he requires justification and goodness on the part of the individual first. Again, he concludes that all persons in the state of nature and of the first birth are unjust and evil. As said in Psalms 116, 11, 'All men are liars.' And in Genesis 6, 5, 'Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually.' Hence the natural man can perform no good work, and all his attempts will be no better than Cain's.' Such a person, before regeneration, before the Spirit comes to quicken him, is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3) and, as a spiritually dead man to God, simply cannot turn to God in Christ in faith. That is Paul's point in Eph. 2:1-10: Salvation is BY grace (God's action), through faith and all of that is the 'gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast' (verses 8-9). If man can get faith prior to God's action of quickening him by the regenerating gift of the indwelling Spirit, that getting of faith from within himself is one of the works Luther describes as 'evil' because the unregenerate person is evil and is of no avail. If man gets faith from within himself in order to receive the Holy Spirit of God, he has a work of which to boast, but Paul says that 'boasting is excluded' (Rom. 3:27). The quickening, indwelling Spirit of God comes to the individual first, creating a new man who is spiritually alive and then 'even we who were dead in sins, hath [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace are ye saved)" (verse 5). Note that it is not faith which saves, but grace, a fact repeated in verse 8. It is true that it is faith which 'justifies', but it is not true that faith makes one receive the Spirit of God: 'Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it willeth, and thou canst hear the sound of it, but canst not tell from where it cometh, and where it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit' (John 3:7-8). Saving faith, "justifying faith," is a good work, a work which can only come from God, since God alone is good (Matt. 19:17). Such faith must come from the impetus of the indwelling Spirit who enables the man to exercise the fatih with which God has gifted that man. Otherwise, there would be no other way to explain why one man hears the Word and receives faith from the hearing and another is "bulletproof" to it (see Rom 10:17).

Subject: Re: For Joe
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:54:34 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
Interestingly enough, if I have understood correctly how you took the 'statement' from the website referred to, I don't come to the same conclusion; i.e., that the statement is espousing that the 'new birth' follows in time from one's believing. Rather, I read it as saying that the Holy Spirit as the 'guarantor'
Eph 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, . . .” (cf. Gal 3:14)
But I'll wait for Joe to reply and clear this matter up for us! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: For Joe
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 16:30:15 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, I went back and read the quote twice and you may be right. The first clause gave me the impression that the thought was faith came first, but the latter statement about the 'guanantee' may mitigate that. Joe seems to be of the correct mindset on the order, as his reply below indicates. It's a very intricate process, but a very wonderful one! :>)

Subject: Re: For Joe
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:18:23 (PST)
Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

Message:
Rod, I can see that I need to revise. What I meant was sealed. The point of this portion of the statement was to mitigate against those who would teach the second blessing or that the Holy Spirit comes with a baptism after Salvation. I realize that one must be quickened by the Spirit of God to even believe the gospel. I would be interested in your reaction to the discussion points that are on the Home Page. In Christ Jesus, Joe New Wineskin Ministries http://www.newwineskinministries.homestead.com/

Subject: Re: For Joe
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:45:28 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, Joe, I perceive this is the major problem with creeds, confessions, and statements of faith--they all, though they may be very good, fail at some point, it seems, not actually being Scripture. (BTW, your commitment to accuracy is highly commendable.) I would assert that the person indwelt by the Spirit in regeneration is also 'sealed' by the Spirit simultaneously, as it is God's intent and 'eternal purpose' (Luther again) that that person be saved and never lost. All these events, indwelling/new birth, justification by faith, and all the rest accompanying salvation would occur in the 'twinkling of an eye', it seems to me, though they are separate events as theology necessitates, so that we can understand them.

Subject: Communication
From: Joe machuta
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:00:05 (PST)
Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

Message:
Much of the training of a lawyer is learning about precise communication. Their livelihood depends upon their ability to protect the position of their clients. This is achieved in great measure by the contracts and letters written by lawyers. They do this with precise communication paying particular attention to the meaning of words. On the other hand, society in general, uses words in a more connotative fashion. This makes many words connotatively idiomatic. That is to say that the meaning of many words has shifted from the origional meaning and are utilized by sub groups of the population. Look at this illustration; I am a member of the “holy catholic church.” Many people would misinterpret this statement to mean that I am a member of the “Roman Catholic Church..” The reality is though, that by the strict definitions of each term I have communicated that I am a member of the set apart, universal, assembly of believers. In other words I have stated that I am a true believer. One of the problems, from which the Evangelical Church suffers, is imprecise communication and perhaps is the sole chief cause of the factions and divisions. Each division has its own connotative lexicon of terms. Would it serve us to examine and define the meanings behind our language? We could look at terms such as justification by faith, sanctification, salvation. We could see what the Founders and other theologians meant by these terms. Who knows we may communicate better in the long run. What do you think? In Christ Jesus, Joe

Subject: Re: Communication
From: Tom
To: Joe machuta
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 23:43:59 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Joe As a person who has a tendancy to butcher the English language. Thus in many cases I am misunderstood. I can relate to your post, lol. Hopefuly I am getting better. Tom

Subject: Re: Communication
From: Rod
To: Joe machuta
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:47:26 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Okay, Joe, Hi, by the way! Sorry if you're an old hand, but I don't remember seeing you before. Welcome, if you're new. I have wondered about the difference between 'transubstantiation' and 'consubstantiation.' I know the alleged differences as supplied by the RCC and the Lutherans, but I see no practical differences. Maybe I'm missing something. Supposedly, when the Swiss were making their case about the Lord's Supper at the conferences with the Germans, Luther took a piece of chalk and wrote on the floor, 'This IS my body!' Can that incident be confirmed by anyone historically? Can anyone put the term 'consubstantiation' in terms I can understand as to how 'in, under, around, and through' (I think I got that right) is really materially different from 'becoming' the body? The line is so fine, I can't see it.

Subject: Re: Communication
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:57:15 (PST)
Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

Message:
Hi Rod and All, I am new. My understanding of the difference between 'transubstantiation' and 'consubstantiation.' is this. I am not certain if this is correct because it has been a long time since I read about it. The Roman Catholic position is that the bread and the wine actually become the body and blood of the Lord physically. The Lutheran position is that there is a mystical partaking of the body and blood of the Lord but not physical. I believe that Jesus clearly stated that it was memorial and when he told the Jews in John that His blood was drink and His body was food I believe he was Spiritualizing. Certainly there has never been any water issuing from the belly of the born again believer. In Christ Jesus, Joe New Wineskin Ministries newwineskinministries.homestead.com

Subject: Re: Communication
From: stan
To: Joe
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 14:34:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Erickson states that Luther denied transubstantiation and that it was a sacrifice, but held that the wine/bread have the elements of blood/body, though the wine/bread does not change - it now contains blood/body. I think some have suggested that it is wine/bread till it goes down during which it changes. Erickson mentions 'In his dialouge with Zwingli (the Marburg Colloquy), Luther is reputed to have repeatedly stressed the words 'This is my body.' He took the words of Jesus quite literally at this point. The body and blood are actually, not merely figuratively, present in the elements. From Erickson's Christian Theology p 1117. The quote is from Great Debates of the Reformation, ed. Donald J. Ziegler

Subject: Re: Communication
From: Rod
To: stan
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 15:36:27 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Additionally, the 'transubstantiation' and 'consubstantiation' would be thus equally 'mystic' wouldn't they?

Subject: Re: Communication
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 16:39:36 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes, but I have heard Catholic Priests explain that if the host in communion was regurgitated for some reason then it would be necessary to bury it as in a funeral because it was indeed the literal physical body of Christ.

Subject: Re:
From: stan
To: Joe
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 19:42:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Can't desicrate it if it comes up but it is okay to run it through the downward process?????? How about taking the host and having a massive heart attack on the way out the door - rip open the stomach and bury it??? sorry, just had to bring that up ;-) stan

Subject: More Luther theology
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 16:36:19 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
I told Tom I was going to leave this alone, but I suppose I lied. Here is some theology from a site containing hymns attributed to him. I have quoted only a portion of each hymn, emphasizing some points in bold print. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God's own choosing; Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His name, From age to age the same, And He must win the battle. Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice: To me He spake: Hold fast to Me, I am thy Rock and Castle; Thy Ransom I Myself will be, For thee I strive and wrestle; For I am with thee, I am thine, And evermore thou shalt be Mine; The Foe shall not divide us. The Foe shall shed My precious blood, Me of My life bereaving. All this I suffer for thy good; Be steadfast and believing. Life shall from death the victory win, My innocence shall bear thy sin; So art thou blest forever. 9. Now to My Father I depart, The Holy Spirit sending And, heavenly wisdom to impart, My help to thee extending. He shall in trouble comfort thee, Teach thee to know and follow Me, And in all truth shall guide thee. To Jordon Came our Lord, the Christ: Thus Jesus his disciples sent: Go teach ye every nation, That lost in sin they must repent; And flee from condemnation: He that believes and is baptized, Obtains a mighty blessing; A new-born man, no more he dies, Eternal life possessing, A joyful heir of heaven. Who in this mercy hath not faith, Nor aught therein discerneth, Is yet in sin, condemned to death, And fire that ever burneth; His holiness avails him not, Nor aught which he is doing; His inborn sin brings all to naught, And maketh sure his ruin; Himself he cannot succor. We All Believe in One True God: We all believe in one true God, Who created earth and heaven, The Father, who to us in love Hath the right of children given. He both soul and body feedeth, All we need He doth provide us; He through snares and perils leadeth, Watching that no harm betide us. He careth for us day and night, All things are governed by His might. I have been told that one of Luther's principles was that hymns should teach theology. It seems we have his theology and belief concerning the perseverance of the saints reaffirmed in his hymns.

Subject: Re: More Luther theology
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 13:40:55 (PST)
Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

Message:
Excellent point! Joe

Subject: Re: More Luther theology
From: Tom
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 10:33:52 (PST)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Rod As I said, I don't understand how Luther could say the things he said in his commentary on Romans and some of the other things you quoted and not believe in the P of TULIP. But some of his other maturial that I have read, writen by him, makes me believe that he was inconsistant in his theology. St. Worm has promised to send me proof of the things he says about Luther. Something else that I seem to remember, is that there were a few of the other Reformers that Luther was at odds with. Perhaps Zingley(sp?)and a few others? Should I copy and paste them here when I recieve them, or not? Tom

Subject: Re: More Luther theology
From: Rod
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 12:01:28 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Tom, The only major difference I'm aware of between the Swiss Reformers and the German ones is the issue over consubstantiation in the taking of the Lord's Supper. But I'm certainly no expert on the matter. They did part company (over this issue, I understand) with the differences unresolved. I am open to correction on this, as I have studied it only superficially. Tom, you mentioned the quotations in the thread below. Have you read the latest ones here? You mentioned that Worm had 'dozens' of things. I haven't pasted in that many, but have given several and, more importantly, have not found anything to negate the stance. I have no vested interest in this. It makes no difference to me or what I believe one way or the other, except that I believe Luther to have been blessed of God and more theologically correct than St. Worm gives him credit for being. Sure, why not paste in St. Worm's revelations, if he cites his sources so that we can look them up. Along those lines, all the quotations I have used have been from sermons taken from the site I listed in the other thread. They are very revelatory and I recommend reading some to all here.

Subject: Re: More Luther theology
From: Hail
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 18:34:56 (PST)
Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

Message:
Rod, As a Lutheran myself, I have found the recent discussion regarding Luther and Lutheranism to be quite interesting. Unfortunately, I am lacking time, so I cannot actively participate in the discussion. However, I want to post an answer from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's web site regarding this issue:
Lutherans believe both are true and Scriptural: It is possible for a believer to fall from faith and lose salvation, and it is possible for a believer to have complete assurance of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. If this seems paradoxical to human reason, then (Lutherans say) this is only because the teaching of Scripture itself on this issue (as on many other issues) appears paradoxical to human reason. For Lutherans, this is essentially a matter of properly distinguishing between Law and Gospel: Warnings against falling from faith are the strongest form of God's Law, intended to warn against 'carnal security' based on 'good works' or against the attitude that 'since I'm saved, I can do anything I want to do.' Assurances of God's constant and eternal love in Christ are the sweetest and purest form of Gospel, intended to comfort those who are plagued by their sins and by their failures to keep God's Law perfectly.
This may explain why Martin Luther seemingly contradicts himself in some of his sermons and writings.....why he speaks of both complete assurance and loss of salvation. God Bless, Hail

Subject: Re: More Luther theology
From: Rod
To: Hail
Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 21:59:41 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hail, Once again, it all goes back to 1 John 2:19. True believers don't want to offend their Lord by presuming on His grace and mercy. Luther, indeed, does speak to this in the sermons I mentioned, but makes it clear that the true Christian cannot be lost, as the quotes I provided attest to. Here are some selected words from Luther on the subject: 'Now, let it be sufficiently proven for the present that there are two kinds of good works; some precede and others follow justification. The former merely appear to be good and effectual; the latter are really good. Now, this is the point of contention between presumptuous saints and God. Right here carnal nature contends, even rages, against the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures everywhere treat of this contention. Therein God concludes all man's works, previous to his justification, evil and ineffectual; he requires justification and goodness on the part of the individual first. Again, he concludes that all persons in the state of nature and of the first birth are unjust and evil. As said in Psalms 116, 11, 'All men are liars.' And in Genesis 6, 5, 'Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually.' Hence the natural man can perform no good work, and all his attempts will be no better than Cain's.' 'In the preceding epistles we have heard that to be a Christian it is not enough simply to believe the story of Christ true--the Cain-like saints possess such faith--but the Christian must without any hesitancy believe himself one to whom grace and mercy are given, and that he has really secured them through baptism or through the Holy Supper. When he so believes, he is free to say of himself: 'I am holy, godly and just. I am a child of God, perfectly assured of salvation. Not because of anything in me, not because of my merits or works, am I saved; it is of the pure mercy of God in Christ, poured out upon me.' To such extent will he appreciate God's precious mercy, he cannot doubt that it renders him holy and constitutes him a child of God. But he who doubts, disparages to the utmost his baptism and the Holy Supper, and censures as false God's Word and his grace in the sacraments.' [Emphasis added.] 'Tell them what the prophet says in Psalm 86, 2: 'Preserve my soul; for I am godly'; and Paul's words in Romans 8, 16: 'The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God;' and they reply: 'Yes, but the prophet and the apostle did not mean by these statements to establish a doctrine or leave an example of what others may claim. They were enlightened and their holiness was revealed to them.' Similarly, they construe every passage relating to the subject as not doctrinal in design, but exhibiting a remarkable miracle, a special prerogative of certain individuals not to be possessed by every believer. This explanation is a mere invention of their own minds. Themselves unbelievers, tasting not the Spirit, they think no one else should so believe or taste. By such conduct--their own fruits--they may be clearly identified as thorns and thistles; not as Christians, but as enemies and destroyers of Christians, and persecutors of the Christian faith.' I could quote more, but it is obviously unnecessary. Regardless of what today's various branches of Lutherans believe, the Reformer himself is quite clear on the matter.

Subject: Re: More Luther theology
From: saved
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 09:50:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Keep up the good work. I have been reading the different messages about Luther's doctrines. The hymn you gave by Luther also was very good. Maybe St. Worm is just a 'good churchman'; But good churchmen do not always make good Christians! Both doctrines cannot be true...(perserverance & apostasy of true believers). If a true believer can 'fall away' then that makes void God's election, particular redemption, and justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ. I think St. Worm really is teaching a 'salvation by works' because he believes that one of God's elect can 'fall from grace'..etc. Also, I think Tom has made a good defense of the truth in the other forum! Give honor to whom honor is due!..:-) saved

Subject: Slander is ungodly
From: St. Worm
To: saved
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:39:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I don't teach a salvation by works theology. Being regenerate does not of necessity make you elect. What makes this difficult for you is that you don't believe in Sacramental grace (like Luther), and therefore don't have a MEANS of being kept in faith. Luther's doctrine of election must be kept in context with his doctrine of faith and the pneumatology. Luther rejected Reformed pneumatology, and condemned vehemently those who would urge the Spirit's work apart from Word and Sacrament (i.e. baptismal regeneration and the holy Eucharist--the oral eating of Christ's flesh and blood). In Nomine Iesu, St. Worm

Subject: Re: Slander is ungodly
From: Pilgrim
To: St. Worm
Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 10:38:46 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
St. Worm,
You wrote, 'Being regenerate does not of necessity make you elect.' This statement begs at least two fundamental questions:
  • 'How DOES one become regenerate?'
  • 'What is regeneration?'
  • The 'Reformed' also reject baptismal regeneration and affirm that grace is imparted through God's designated means, i.e., the Word of God. We do however, also affirm that God is able and does impart grace apart from the Word in specific cases, e.g., unborn elect infants, and mentally 'challenged' persons. (cf. WCF X:III) In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: More Luther theology
    From: Rod
    To: saved
    Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 12:08:24 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Thank you. It doesn't surprise me that Tom mounted a manly defense.

    Subject: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: saved
    To: All
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 06:47:15 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    >>>Christ calls to Himself all sinners and promises them rest, and He is in earnest [seriously wills] that all men should come to Him and suffer themselves to be helped, to whom He offers Himself in His Word, and wishes them to hear it and not to stop their ears or [neglect and] despise the Word. Moreover, He promises the power and working of the Holy Ghost, and divine assistance for perseverance and eternal salvation <<<< Copied from another forum. Taken from The Lutheran 'Book of Concord'... This does not sound reformed to me at all. 'Christ wishes them to hear..?' I thought God causes His own elect people to hear and respond to the gospel. This is a continuation of the topic below about how Lutherans believe or are taught to believe. None of the writings of Luther that I have ever read have said that 'Christ wishes that sinners hear'..etc.

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: saved
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 08:38:20 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Hi, saved, Long time, no font! Someone once said words to this effect: 'Luther helped lead the Reformation and Lutherans have been leading away from him ever since.' The Lutherans of today often seem not to bear much resemblance to what Luther would approve, as is true of many other denominations who have 'left their first love.' Do you mind if I ask, saved, have you become 'Reformed' since we last corresponded?

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: St. Worm
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:22:09 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I'm fairly amused by your accusation that Lutherans today don't resemble Luther's doctrine. And I suppose you're going to tell me that he was kinda sorta mostly a Calvinist? I'd be curious to see how well read you really are in Luther. A little Luther student, St. Worm (happily ex-Calvinist and now Lutheran)

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: St. Worm
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 11:59:33 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    If you have read all my posts on this subject, you will note that I have never claimed to have been well-read in Luther. In fact, unlike yourself, I claim no expertise on any subject. The quote I gave above was by another who did claim to know something about Luther and Lutherans. A few years ago, when I gave a message concerning the Lord's Supper, I contacted a local Lutheran pastor who didn't really know anything about Luther's beliefs and was no help at all, as I wanted to compare and contrast, among other things, Calvin and Luther's beliefs on the subject. His only response was to try to 'convert' me to his brand of Lutheranism! There are differing branches of Lutherans and different convictions among them, obviously. In your post above entitiled, 'slander is ungodly,' you demonstrate lack of basic knowledge about the Reformed position, as Pilgrim has outlined for you. Coming onto a strange board with arrogance and belligerence, charging ignorance when you demonstrate it yourself, is not designed to foster dialogue. I would suggest that you, and invite you to, discuss the issues, rather than going on the attack of persons whom you don't know at all.

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: saved
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 09:29:26 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Thanks for the reply! Yes, I agree that Lutherans today have more or less 'left their first love'...so maybe that is why they can teach that a 'true believer can fall from grace'..etc. (Maybe you are thinking of someone else here. Since posting here, I have always been of the reformed Calvinistic faith. I just do not enjoy 'Psalm singing', but rather gospel songs better...Maybe that is what you are thinking of). saved

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: St. Worm
    To: saved
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:24:05 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    But Luther's sermon on the parable of the unforgiving servant made it clear that Christians can fall from grace and be damned. Please read Luther. St. Worm

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: St. Worm
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 23:39:33 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    St. Worm If it is true that what you said about Luther's sermon on the parable of the unforgiving servant made it clear that Christians can fall from grace and be damned. Why don't you save us some trouble and post it here for us, or at least give us a link where it can be found. By the way, I am still waiting for that maturial writen by Luther on how someone can fall from grace. Also I am still waiting for you to explain what you believe Luther meant in his commentary on Romans chapter 8. Tom

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: St. Worm
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 00:13:10 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    My dear brother Tom. I will not fail in my promise to you, it's only been rough since my programming has carried me into late hours. I will pledge myself to gather the quotes this week and by Friday have some more substantial proofs for you posted on this very forum. Please indulge me a little time as my schedule is very restrictive. Blessings to you, St. Worm

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: St. Worm
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 12:09:18 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    St. Worm, I'm very interested also in why you specifically bypassed the quotations I gave from Luther's sermons under 'More Luther Theology' and responded to other posts not dealing strictly with what he did say. Shouldn't all aspects of the statements by the man be considered?

    Subject: Re: Book of Concord ...Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: saved
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 10:20:42 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    saved, I used to correspond with a 'saved' on a couple of other boards (first name was G______--I won't reveal it, in case it's you and you don't want it to be known). I assumed that was you and, if so, didn't have the impression that you were Calvinistic. If I am wrong on any of these counts, I'm sorry for the mistaken identity.

    Subject: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The
    From: JOwen
    To: All
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 10:06:34 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Robert Raymond

    After Reading Raymond’s New Systematic Theology of The Christian Faith it is becoming clear that Gordon Clark was: 1. Strongly opposition to Van Til. He believed some of Van Til's ideas were irrational. (I believe he had legitimate and important criticisms of Van Til.) 2. He loved logic. He insisted that _logos_ denotes logic, and he suggested that John 1:1 should be translated like this: 'In the beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God, and the Logic was God.' He defended the absolute consistency of divine revelation, insisting that it is ultimately fatal to all truth to think God's revelation is self-contradictory or full of 'paradoxes.' Some decry him as a rationalist. I think his defense of the consistency and coherence of God's truth was his most important contribution, and in general he was right on this point. 3. His believed that the senses and empirical means play no role whatsoever in gaining knowledge. ('All science is false.') Clark went about as far in his rejection of empiricism as it is possible to go. He believed the ONLY thing we can _know_ is what Scripture reveals, and what can be logically deduced from it. He opposed inductive reasoning as well as empiricism. You have to read his material to see what he was saying. He set forth some very interesting arguments and ideas. A mere discussion of Clark's anti- empiricism is enough to get good Reformed people threatening to kill one another. This may be the most controversial aspect of his views. 4. His high Calvinism. Clark was very close to Hoeksema in the style of Calvinism he represented. (If I'm not mistaken, Clark left the faculty of Wheaton College--or perhaps was dismissed-- amid accusations that he was a hyper-Calvinist.) As I recall, he rejected the idea of common grace. He strongly objected to the view that the gospel is a 'free offer.' He was a dogmatic supralapsarian and just about as absolute in his predestinarianism as it is possible to be without being fatalistic. I think I recall reading where he felt the Westminster Assembly erred in the language they used when they said God is not the 'author' of sin. Has anyone else read this tome? I would be interested in any thoughts that the list might have regarding Clark. The rumor has been circulated that he denied assurance. Any proof of this or comments about this post?


    Kind Regards, JOwen.

    Subject: Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The
    From: laz
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 11:57:08 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    If the Bible is the ONLY source of revelation...KNOWLEDGE even...then what he's saying is of no value or consequence....it's just empty rhetoric...musings of a mad man? LOL! laz

    Subject: Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The
    From: JOwen
    To: laz
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 13:08:21 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Unless what he is saying is derived from that revelation, which he believes it is. WCF 1:6 'The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.' This seems to support what Clark is saying. Sola Scriptura. JOwen

    Subject: Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The
    From: laz
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 11:39:29 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Would that include making a good cup of coffee, quantum physics, differential equations and the how too's of integrated circuit board manufacturing? laz

    Subject: Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The
    From: JOwen
    To: laz
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 09:18:36 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Yes. God has given us all we need for life and godliness. JOwen

    Subject: Re: Robert Raymond's New Systematic The
    From: LAZ
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 14:01:45 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I don't dispute that...nor that God gave us calculus...but did we discover calculus in holy writ? Is the 'knowledge' of the fact that my 6 month old likes to suck her thumb revealed in scripture? Why do I feel this discussion is not going so well? lol laz

    Subject: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: All
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 14:54:57 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Recently I found out that Luther and Lutherans do not believe in the perseverance of the saints, at least in the way other Reformers do. I found out this by a recent conversation that I have been participating in. The following was addressed to me after I told my beliefs on the subject. Anyone care to comment? I am not sure what to say about it. 'I know what Calvinism believes, I was a Calvinist for 6 years immersed in that 5 point paradigm, trying to interpret every verse in accordance to that structure. What made it untenable was the forced and contrived way all the Reformed exegetes and theologians I've read (from Turretin to present-day authors) on this issue have not satisfied the force of the verses that threaten us if we fall away. The Lutheran approach doesn't feel compelled to override one verse for the sake of another. We readily acknowledge Christ has His sheep, and that in the end the sheep He was given will be divided from the goats. The elect make it, and God alone gets the glory. And these elect were wonderfully kept as Christ promised. Problem is with your slant on things is that those 'believe' passages aren't qualified the way Jesus qualifies. This is a faith of constancy that Jesus promises a person will be preserved for salvation. The one who endures to the end will be saved. We know there are passages addressing the elect specifically, and then passages that address all believers at present. Peter doesn't say that our election is guaranteed just because we believe now and that we are regenerated (purified from sin). The comfort of election comes of coure through Christ and the fruit of faith. This is the degree to which we can be certain of our eternal calling, as we are blooming in the faith. Explain to me, if you would, what in the world is so tragic about apostasy? Kim Riddlebarger (from the White Horse Inn) candidly admitted to Rod Rosenblatt that the Reformed has a doctrine of apostasy, but nobody's in it! I thought it telling that when Rod said this on the air not a Reformed person objected! In your system, nobody really forsakes salvation and peace. It's only about going from one appearance to another. That's not much of an apostasy. We always have tares among us -- that's nothing new.'

    Subject: For Tom: Luther on assurance
    From: Rod
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 12:34:04 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Tom, Here are some statements I've found by Luther: In a sermon on the parable of the lost sheep, 'For even as the sheep cannot protect or provide for itself that it go not astray, unless the shepherd continually directs and leads it in the way; and when it has strayed and is lost, it cannot of itself find the right way or come to its shepherd, but the shepherd himself must go after it, and seek it until he find it, and when he has found it, he holds and bears it upon his back, that it may no more be frightened away from him, hunted or seized by the wolf. So we too cannot either help or advise ourselves, that we may obtain rest and peace of conscience, and escape the devil, death and hell (emphasis added--Rod), unless Christ himself brings us again and calls us to himself by his Word. And when we come to him and are in a state of faith, even then we are not able to keep ourselves in faith or be steadfast, unless he himself by his Word and power holds and carries us (emphasis again added), because the devil every way and without ceasing watches for us, and lurks, round about us like a roaring lion, as St. Peter In 1 Pet. 5:8 says, to devour us. So that here it avails nothing whatever to boast of our free will and strength, either to begin or continue our return to the Shepherd, and to abide with him, but Christ alone, our Shepherd, must do everything.' From a sermon on Philippians: 'Such is the rejoicing, mark you, of which Paul here speaks--a rejoicing where is no sin, no fear of death or hell, but rather a glad and all-powerful confidence in God and his kindness'...And, 'He [David] declares (Ps 34, 1): 'I will bless Jehovah at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.' And David has good reason to do so, for who will harm or distress one favored of God? Sin harms him not; nor death nor hell (I added this emphasis--Rod). David sings (Ps 23, 4): 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.' And Paul queries (Rom 8, 35): 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?' And then he goes on (verses 38-39): 'For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.''' Until I can see a complete rejection of assurance for those who are truly saints and children of God, I must conclude Luther endorses 'perseverance.' [Tom, I took these quotations from sermons by Luther found at this Lutheran site: http://www.ultranet.com/~tlclcms/]

    Subject: Re: For Tom: Luther on assurance
    From: Tom
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 13:56:58 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Rod I don't want to take up too much of this boards space on the subject. But I just got an e-mail from St. Worm, that I think you might be interested in. You're interpreting Luther through a Calvinist lens. When Luther derides free will, affirms sola gratia, and holy election, he does so, as all confessional Lutherans, as a work God alone does. But Luther in other places shows us that one can fall away (non-elect) who was truly saved. This is our position. This is Luther's. Otherwise his sermons on apostasy are meaningless. Again, no Luther scholar of any denomination will agree with your sentiment. It's ripping Luther's statements out of his Augustinian construct and foisting Calvinism onto it. Please read Luther historians like Steinmetz, Elert, Preus, Ott, etc. None of these men would affirm your statement. They've read ALL of Luther, and nobody disagrees that he held to the Augustinian doctrine of apostasy among the regenerate. St. Worm If what he says is true, I think we need to look at a broad spectrum of maturial Luther wrote, in order to find out what Luther really believed. Tom

    Subject: Re: For Tom: Luther on assurance
    From: Rod
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 14:12:52 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Tom, I'll leave the further research up to you. If you can find a direct repudiation of the statements I cited below, which are definite in their intent that all is dependent on the Savior, including the keeping of the sheep, particularly this one: 'So that here it avails nothing whatever to boast of our free will and strength, either to begin or continue our return to the Shepherd, and to abide with him, but Christ alone, our Shepherd, must do everything,' I'd like to see it. For now, that statement from the preacher himself seems to settle it. I'm not looking at this from any particular point of view: It says what it says. From where the evidence stands now, it seems to me that St. Worm is the one with the warped view; otherwise, one would have to 'fear death and hell' which Luther expressly says hold no fear for the Christian, agreeing with the Apostle Paul in Rom. 8. In another of these sermons, Luther definitely speaks of the 'wheat and tares' growing together. It seems he recognizes that those who fall away were never really saved, a la 1 John 2:19. The ONLY REASON I look at these things with a 'Calvinistic' view is that the Bible does.

    Subject: Re: For Tom: Luther on assurance
    From: Tom
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 13:41:47 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Rod Thanks for that post and site. It would seem to me that from what I have read on Luther so far. He was inconsistant on his view of the subject. I was told to read Luther's sermon on the parable of the unforgiving servant, in order to prove that Luther didn't believe in the P of TULIP. I haven't found that sermon, as of yet but I entend to doing so. Perhaps I can find it in the site you mentioned? Tom

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 12:51:21 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Tom, I wanted to address this statement earlier, but I wanted to review some of Luther's writing first: 'Recently I found out that Luther and Lutherans do not believe in the perseverance of the saints, at least in the way other Reformers do.' As far as I can tell, this is an erroneous statement. I thought so at first, and my review of Luther's book on Romans confirms my belief. Luther, as far as I can find, makes no direct statement about the saints, 'perseverance,' but states the belief strongly in his dealing with the topic of predestination in discussing Romans 8 in his 'Commentary on Romans.' We have to remember that the 'Five Points' were not identified as such when Luther was writing, though the validity of the stance seems to be clearly recognized by Luther to me. That he endorsed the assurance of salvation is made clear by his handling of verses 18-30, as well as in other places. Under the heading for that section of Romans 8, either Luther himself or the editor gives the heading: 'The Believers' Certainty of Salvation by Faith.' If Luther gave it that heading, there is no doubt. If the editor supplied it, then it is evident that at least one other person, who was very intimately involved in the work, recognized his intent also. In this section, we find these words by the great Reformer: 'But when the Apostle says: ''Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?'' ''Who is he that condemneth?'' ''Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?'' (8:33,34,35), he shows that the elect are not saved by chance, but by God's purpose and will. Indeed for this reason, God allows the elect to encounter so many evil things as are here named, namely to point out that they are saved not by their own merit but by His election, His unchangeable and firm purpose. They are saved despite their many rapacious and fierce foes and the vain effors (to lead them into perdition)...Now he makes us to see that it [the wisdom of the flesh] amounts to nothing, and that our salvation altogether lies in His hands. God absolutely recognizes not chance; it is only men who speak of a chance. Not a single leaf falls from the tree without the will of the Father. All things are essentially in His hands, and so are our times. There are yet three thoughts that should be considered in connection with the subject of divine predestination. First, there are the proofs of God's unchangeable position, gathered from the words of Scripture and His works....' He goes on to mention and emphasize God's eternal purpose. Obviously, Luther means that man is assured of salvation because it is God's work, as he so earnestly emphasizes by the declaration, 'our salvation lies altogether in His hands.' At another point, he demonstrates that salvation is totally the work of God by the indwelling Spirit. Concerning verse 9, he says, 'That is: If the Holy Spirit dwells in you, who by His indwelling makes us new creatures.' By these declarations and others, Luther shows that he recognizes that salvation is from God, is dependent on God, and cannot be removed from man because it is the sovereign God who grants salvation by means of the indwelling of the Spirit of God to bring about His eternal purpose in election. I conclude that Martin Luther was convinced of the perseverance of the saints, whether today's "Lutherians" are or not.

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 13:17:02 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Rod Just to make sure you know, I in know way am doubting the doctrine of the perseverence of the saints. I believe it whole heartedly! But my knowledge can only take me so far when debating this kind of thing. It is with that in mind that I started this thread. I found what you had to say about Martin Luther to be interesting, and a quite convincing. However, some things that a Lutheran poster, who goes by the name St. Worm (I assume it is taken from Luther's diet of worms, lol) posted some things on the Renewing Your Mind general forum. That make me wonder about what Luther really believes on the matter. He claims that his quotes are from Luther himself. Tom.H

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 17:30:52 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Hi, Tom, I did figure you believed in the 'P' in TULIP. Luther, who came to understand and believe so firmly in justification by faith, which he insistently asserts is based on God's grace in the 'Commentary on Romans', would have a hard time, I think, believing this same sovereign God could lose one of His sheep. In fact, at one point he quotes the John 10 sections I mentioned below. The editor of the book did say that Luther altered some of his beliefs over the years (as do we all, I think, as we grow) and the editing refelcted those changes, a fact which I found interesting. From that book I'd have to say that Luther believed in assurance for the believer, at least as of 1522. St. Worm, eh? Well, as someone said, 'Diet of Worms? What a diet!' Let's hope instead his designation for himself came instead from the hymn line: "Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?" But your assumption is probably the valid one.

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 18:21:35 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Rod What do you make of the following? Here's one for my Calvinistick brethren: 'Is it not true that [the Father] neither wanted to judge or condemn you, but forgave you all your sins, suspended his judgment, and accepted you in grace? For that you should be grateful and do to your neighbor as your Father has done to you... If you do not do it...then the Father in Heaven will say to you, 'You wicked Christian, I have given you my Word, baptism, the Lord's Supper, eternal life...Because you have not done to your fellowman as I have done to you, I WILL IN TURN DO TO YOU AS YOU HAVE DONE TO YOUR FELLOW MAN... I HAVE FORGIVE YOU YOUR SINS, HAVE GIVEN YOU MY WORD AND BAPTISM... VERY WELL, I WILL WITHDRAW MY GRACE AND MERCY, I WILL TAKE BACK MY FORGIVENESS, ETERNAL LIFE, AND THE SALVATION THAT I GRANTED YOU. I WANTED TO ADORN AND DRESS YOU GLORIOUSLY.' --Sermon by Martin Luther, 1534 (4th Sunday after Trinity, Luke 6:36-42) Take that to Geneva and bank it. St. Worm

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 19:43:58 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Tom, I frankly don't know what to make of it. It seems a reversal of his other statements I have read. It may be that the context of the sermon makes it clear that such a person was never saved and his actions demonstrate it, but the part about withdrawing salvation seems to make that questionable. Whether Luther actually meant loss of salvation, as this seems to say; it is self-evident on the surface that if one has 'eternal' life then that cannot be lost. That which one possesses and loses was never 'eternal' by definition.

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 09:43:45 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Rod This St. Worm character, said he can literally supply me with dozens of quotes and articles written by Luther, showing that he didn't believe in the the P of TULIP. He said that Luther made a big distinction between mortal and venial sins. I also thought I would point out that there is someone else over at the other forum, who like us believes in TULIP. However, he said he has read a lot of Luther, and he agrees that Luther didn't believe in the perseverance of the saints. In the end, I guess it really doesn't matter if Luther believed in the P from TULIP or not. What matters is what the Bible teaches on the subject. Tom

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Joe
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 09:41:07 (PST)
    Email Address: Machutajmachuta@aol.com

    Message:
    Tom, aI am certain that you will find that the quotes all came from Luthers early development. His swan song (my view)'The Bondage of The Will' shows that he believed it was all of God and all of grace. If this is true then, it would be God who did not hold, not man who apostasized. Sovereign grace demands the P in TULIP. In Christ Jesus, Joe

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 10:58:20 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Tom, This really makes me want to delve into the situation more deeply. If this is true, then my enormous respect for Luther will be lessened a good deal, not totally, but significantly. How one could say, 'But when the Apostle says: ''Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?'' ''Who is he that condemneth?'' ''Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?'' (8:33,34,35), he shows that the elect are not saved by chance, but by God's purpose and will;' how he can say, 'they are saved not by their own merit but by His election, His UNCHANGEABLE and firm purpose; ' how he could state, ' All things are essentially in His hands, and so are our times;' and believe that God could alter His 'ETERNAL PURPOSE' (a phrase which Luther explicity uses in relation to these things) of election is beyond me. How one can read and quote Rom. 8:33-4, which indicate that neither God the Father nor God the Son will ever lay anything to the charge of God's elect could reject assurance, I don't know. How he could cite John 10:28-29 and entertain that notion, I can't fathom. And Luther does all this in his 'commentary on Romans.' The bottom line is what you said, 'In the end, I guess it really doesn't matter if Luther believed in the P from TULIP or not. What matters is what the Bible teaches on the subject.' That is always and forever true. I believe it was Luther himself who said, 'One man with God is a majority.' Being true to the teachings of the Word of God is foremost in the Christian walk. And it is further proof that no preacher, no man, is to be pedestalized. If I find anything definitive, I'll let you know. Please do the same for me.

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: St. Worm
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 22:32:14 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    What needs to be kept in mind is that Luther's Augustinian background informed his apostasy theology. Augustine himself agreed that a regenerate (born again) Christian can fall into mortal sin and kill sanctifying grace. But look at Augustine's doctrine of election -- it affirms that all God's elect will make it by His will. Luther was only following suit. St. Worm

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: St. Worm
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 12:40:21 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    St. Worm, Rather than respond to who believed what, let me pose this to you: If man can over-rule what God has achieved, who is really the Supreme Being? This is the most fundamental and important question. If God's will is the ultimate, determining factor, then how can His sanctifying grace be 'killed?' The bedrock premise that God is sovereign and that His will is all-important in determination of man's end, as you assert by your statement, 'all God's elect will make it by His will,' means that man cannot be the determining factor. Just to be certain that we're discussing the same thing, 'sanctifying grace' can be practically defined as God's setting aside an individual for His salvation, protection, and perfection, in a positional way. That can never be annulled, according to the Lord Jesus' own pronouncements (twice): 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and NO MAN IS ABLE TO PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY FATHER'S HAND. I and the Father are one' (John 10:27-30). The statement in verse 29 where, 'My Father is greater than all,' cannot be true if His decisions and will can be nullified by the actions of man, but the fact so clearly and unmistakeably emphasized is that man can't undo what God's sovereign choice affirms. It is in the sovereign will of God to 'sanctify' (positionally) a person for all time whom He elects and it is His will to keep him thus 'sanctified' positionally for all time with 'eternal life,' and 'never perishing.' In view of these statements of flat fact by the Son of God Himself, will you please consider and answer the following questions: 1) How does 'eternal life' get lost and come to an end? 2) How does a man negate the promise that he will 'never perish' from the lips of the Savior? 3) When God says, 'no man can pluck them out' of God's hand, how does the man in question pluck himself out of God's hand by losing his salvation?

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 16, 2001 at 13:07:27 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Rod,
    Amen, brother! All of God's 'pleasure' shall surely be done. (Isa. 46:10, et al). This of course is inseparably related to the 'pleasure' of God in sending His only-begotten Son to redeem all those whom He has elected from before the creation of the world. And if the Lord Christ's atonement was what the Scriptures incontrovertibly say it was; definite, efficacious, complete, and particular', then none of His who have been ingrafted into Christ Jesus CAN fall away and be ultimately 'lost'! The promises of God are true and sure as Paul testified to the Corinthians:
    2Cor 1:19 'For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.'
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: Rod
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 13:08:25 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Rod How indeed could Luther say those things, if he didn't believe in the P of TULIP? It doesn't make sence to me either. However, from some of his other writings, I am beginning to believe that St. Worm is correct about what Luther believed. You might find out more about this topic by going to the following thread at the renewing your mind general forum: http://www1.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen1200/414.html You will get a birds eye view of where I am coming from. Tom

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 21:29:28 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Tom,
    Got yourself in yet another 'pickle' it seems, eh? hahaha Well, it's so hard to try and comment intelligently, when all we have is what the 'other' person said in reply to something you said, which we don't know! :-) But what I can tell you is that just from what your friend wrote in the quote, he is making the infamous error of confounding the subjective aspect of salvation (our personal assurance which comes partly by the observation of the fruit of the Spirit at work in our lives) and the objective aspect of our salvation (the full satisfaction of Christ's atonement for the elect and to whom its benefits are infallibly bestowed upon them by the Holy Spirit.). Can a 'believer' fall away unto death? Sure can! But the person is only a 'believer' in his own estimation and/or the false perception of others. No true believer can possibly fall away! If that were true, then God's eternal decree to save a people for Himself is subject to failure! The Son's vicarious substitutionary atonement is insufficient to secure the redemption of those whom He died for! And the Holy Spirit's work of regeneration and preservation is ineffective as a fulfillment of the Father's decree and the Son's entire purpose in coming to earth to 'save His people from their sins'! etc. :-) I think the apostle John's brief statement is sufficient to explain the truth of the matter:
    1John 2:19 'They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.'
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: question for Pilgrim
    From: Chrysostomos
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 13:13:27 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hi Pilgrim, Long time, no ecumenical dialogue. ;-) I still check in occasionally and found this thread interesting. I wondered if you might answer a question. Why do you apply this verse to the individual believer? It seems that St John is warning about false teachers, since in the previous verse he says: Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. And then in verse 26, he says: I write this to you about those who would deceive you; Not that your verse wouldn't seem also to apply to the salvation of the individual teachers being referred to, but I'd just never heard that verse applied to the salvation of individuals generally. Just curious, Chrysostomos

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Chrysostomos
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 17:16:01 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Chrysostomos,
    To be sure the immediate context of 1John 2:19 is speaking of 'teachers' per se. However, the principle is applicable to 'plain ole believers' who don't hold the 'office' of teacher. I would have you consult: Rom 9:6ff; 1Cor 11:18, 19; 2Tim 3:1-9; Heb 10:38, 39. And for a more illustrative and historical example, read the account recorded in the Gospel of John 6:22-71 noting particularly the Lord Christ's words:
    Joh 6:64 'But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.'
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Chrysostomos
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 19:34:17 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hey Pilgrim, You lost me a bit, due to the fact that the reference to 2 Tim is also about teachers, no? But I understand what you're trying to say and got your point in your original post. I suppose the reason that I posted was because of the rest of I John 2, in which there seems to be much that is applicable to plain ole believers, the subject of this thread. For example, 3: And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4: He who says 'I know him' but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5: but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: 6: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. and 15: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. and 28: And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29: If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that every one who does right is born of him. Not implying that you haven't ever run across those verses. Quite the opposite. Which is probably what made me interested in your choice of vs. 19. Curiously yours, Chrysostomos

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Chrysostomos
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 20:21:36 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Chrysostomos,
    Well, there you go! :-) My intention was to show that there is really no difference between 'good ole professing Christians' and those who are 'teachers' among them. They both share the fact that they are 'professing' Christians and are 'saved' by the blood of Christ. And those who 'leave'for various reasons, e.g., doctrinal and/or lifestyle (sin) show themselves to not be among the true church. However, as another has rightly pointed out, this 'leaving' may in fact be a temporary thing and not necessarily and true indication of one's spiritual state, as repentance is always possible and should never be ruled out by others.
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Chrysostomos
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 08:10:45 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    >>>>>repentance is always possible and should never be ruled out by others. Agreed. Your response prompted another question. I would say that this repentance simply consists in a 'restoration.' Of communion, that is. However, what do you do when the person returns to repent who has fallen away? Where I come from (Baptist), the theology that says that if a person falls away, then that means that they weren't a 'true' Christian, results in varying explanations of how to respond and direct if that person comes back. Would he need to 'get saved' again? 'Rededicate' his life to Christ? Get rebaptized? In any case, a judgement is certainly made (by the Baptists, that is) about that person's spiritual condition (their eternal state if they would have died) prior to their 'fall,' so that a course of action going forward may be determined. I don't know that the Baptists ever decided on it. What do the Reformed do, at least in your experience? Chrysostomos

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Chrysostomos
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 21:20:25 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Chrysostomos,
    I guess to answer your question, I would have need of your definitions of: fall away and apostasy. If you equate the two, then one definition will suffice. :-) Can we in the flesh be absolutely sure that any individual has forsaken the Lord Christ unto death? I think we can be reasonably sure after the death of the individual, but while he/she is yet alive, should we not pray and encourage that person to repent and to return to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church for healing? Is not the 'Prodigal Son' the epitome of one who has forsaken God, the covenant, family and friends and chosen to live in a pig sty? Yet this same one was pulled out of that pit and led back to the Father and family to be received with open arms and reconciliation. Excommunication in Reformed churches means that as best as the Church can ascertain, an individual has displayed a life and/or doctrine that is forbidden by Scripture, been confronted and exhorted to repent of that sin(s), refused to heed that godly advice, and is therefore deemed an unbeliever; one who has forsaken the covenant. Therefore he/she is cast out of the visible church in the hopes that God will grant repentance and he/she will return in newness of life. The church has no authority nor power to decree a sentence of 'reprobation' upon anyone. We can only deal with externals and their possible eternal consequences.
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Chrysostomos
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 10:23:04 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim, Thanks. I suppose the confusion in American 'evangelicalism' is not so much the 'P,' eternal security, 'once saved, always saved,' or however one wants to put it, but rather the 'front end.' I'm reading a book called The Life, by Clark Carlton, which is an Orthodox 'catechism' on salvation. He's got a whole chapter on this topic and makes some interesting observations. He says that the 'strict' Calvinists are at least 'internally consistent' on the matter, but the Baptists are not, due to having an Arminian conversion experience, but being Calvinists for the rest of their soteriology. He claims this is something that's connected to pietism and revivalism in America, however, rather than historic Arminianism or Calvinism. Which does make some sense. It would also explain a little bit about why you people puzzled me when I first came here. Whether it's 'official' Baptist theology or not, I don't know. But it's certainly appliciable to what I was taught. Chrysostomos

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Chrysostomos
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 11:22:22 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Chrysostomos,
    May I suggest you either download the RefCon3.exe which is a Windows type Help file that contains many historic and Reformed Confessions which contains the 'London Confession of Faith'; the official and historic confession of the Baptists. OR.. . you could do a search on the Web for the 'London Confession of Faith'. You will be able to read what historic Baptists hold to in regard to Perseverance! :-)
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Chrysostomos
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 15:14:46 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim, Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. What folks like you and the rest on this board talk about is the historic understandings of these things, which is often very different from what the 'man in the pew' gets these days (a fact I think you yourself have lamented on this forum). Which is what made my original participation here a challenge (in the good sense). Chrysostomos

    Subject: Re: question for Pilgrim
    From: Tom
    To: Chrysostomos
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 11, 2001 at 13:41:35 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Chrysostomos I am a Baptist too. However, I think you only have part of what Baptists believe. You said: Where I come from (Baptist), the theology that says that if a person falls away, then that means that they weren't a 'true' Christian, results in varying explanations of how to respond and direct if that person comes back. Unless I don't know Baptist theology very well (which is possible), I would say that they believe if one falls away it could be an indication that they weren't a 'true' Christian. Not nessasarily that they are not a true Christian. It may be that God has delivered them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (see 1 Cor.5:5). Tom

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Tom
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 09:51:42 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Pilgrim I don't concider getting into a conversation like this getting into a pickle. I just am honest enough to admitt when I don't have an answer to something. When that happens, I usually come to my friends for help. If I understand what you have said, you have basicly said that no true Christian can commit apostacy. Someone who commits apostacy, was not in reality a true Christian, otherwise they would have continued in the faith. Am I correct? If anyone would like to get involved in the conversation. You may do so at the following site: http://www1.gospelcom.net/HyperNews/get/rymforum/gen1200.html Post number 414 Tom

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 17:02:30 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Tom,
    You asked,
    ' If I understand what you have said, you have basicly said that no true Christian can commit apostacy. Someone who commits apostacy, was not in reality a true Christian, otherwise they would have continued in the faith. Am I correct?
    Yep, you be correct! It is impossible that any true believer is capable of committing apostasy; i.e., falling away unto condemnation. The reasons for this have already given above!
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: Rod
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 10, 2001 at 05:56:45 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Pilgrim, This is very true. Just as we cannot determine whether a person is truly saved, aside from oursleves, we cannot judge whether the one who 'falls away' will return as a child of God surely will or remain, displaying his true nature. Tom, As we receive the gift of life, regeneration and justification, as a gift of grace, so are we kept by that same grace which gave us that life by the Spirit of God in Christ in the beginning. Neither the regeneration, nor the 'keeping' of it, is in our hands, but in the hands of the sovereign God Who preserves His own: 'But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (Rom. 8:9). If we can fix on that simple truth, nothing can shake us from our assurance. Salvation is a process (Rom.28-39) which our Lord completes from the beginning to the end. He assures us in Romans 8 that He is in total control and that it is not His purpose to condemn any of His own or to allow any of His creation to do so either (see especially verses 33-34). If He starts with 100 sheep, He will finish with 100 sheep. 'NO MAN' can pluck them out of His hand (John 10:28-30), including the individual under consideration himself. Nothing and no one in creation "shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord" (Rom. 8:39).

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: John P.
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 21:20:46 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings Tom, If you really want to get down to the significant problem with believing in a *real* apostasy - that is, an apostasy from true regeneration and justification (as we understand the terms), is simply this: To believe in *real* apostasy is to deny justification conceived as imputation. Now, please don't misunderstand me - I am not saying that people who believe in apostasy are all damned. I by no means intend to say that - they are Christians inconsistently. Usually, however, it is due to their different use of theological terms that makes them *sound* as though they believe in real apostasy. Nevertheless, let me explain why it is a denial of justification concieved as imputation to believe in *real* apostasy. On another forum, I had a debate with some fellows on this very subject of apostasy, and I will quote the argument for you. However, before I do this, please keep in mind that the, 'necessity of works,' for salvation came up as a part of this debate. Both the other fellow and myself agreed that good works must be in everyone who is going to enter glory; both of us agreed that good works *do not* merit salvation; thus, when I was speaking of the necessity of good works in this quotation, I was speaking of the necessity of their presence in the truly justified person (not their merit). Nevertheless, here is the quote: 'I'm not charging people as denying imputation because they are saying that works are necessary for salvation per se. In some respects it sounds as though there is a difference between how works are necessary in our two schema's. Nevertheless, what's more is this: the difference between the two schema's (at least between yours personally and mine) is only gathered by necessary inference. My argument is this (excuse the rusticity): (1) Justification for Christ's sake alone depends on absolutely nothing in us (although there will be works that accompany it, and the gift of faith as an instrument to receive it). (2) If justification depends on absolutely nothing in us, then nothing in us can cause us to forfeit it.
    ---

    ---

    ---
    - Therefore, (3) nothing in us can cause us to forfeit our justification. (4) If nothing in us can cause us to forfeit justification, then the fault must rest in the Justifier or He for whose sake we are justified if we can fall away. (5) From (3) we see that nothing in us can cause us to forfeit justification. (6) (In your schema) We can fall away.
    ---

    ---
    -- Therefore, (7) the fault of our apostacy must rest in the Justifier or He for whose sake we are justified. In other words, the reason why I have 'charged' people on this forum for denying justification for Christ's sake alone is not simply based on the necessity of works. Rather, it is based on (1) a Biblical concept of justification as imputation; (2) the incompatability of having a concept of justification as imputation and believing a person can be damned once justified; and (3) the justice of God and perfection of Christ's righteousness and satisfaction. In other words: if a person has a correct understanding of justification, together with a right understanding of the fact that we in no way do anything to provoke God to justify us, then I simply can't see how (while not contradicting laws of logic or Scripture) a person can lose their justification, or be damned while justified. True, passages appear to teach that people can fall away. I have no problem adopting that language completely. I know people who have trampled under foot the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified, fallen from grace, made shipwreck of the faith, &c. I have no problem saying that did just that. Were they ever justified? No, had they been, then they would have remained with us.'
    Hope this helps. John P. please excuse typos - I didn't check this one twice.

    Subject: Re: Luther and Lutherans
    From: laz
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 09, 2001 at 20:08:33 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I give up....what's the real beef here? LOL!! blessings, laz

    Subject: New Stuff
    From: Pilgrim
    To: All
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 16:47:48 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    For those who are participants and those who choose to 'lurk' here but have not registered to receive the Updates Notification located on the home page. There has been in excess of 12 new articles added just in the Calvinism and the Reformed Faith section of The Highway over the past week alone. There also has been other additional articles added in some of the other sections as well. And please note, that when the newer articles are added, the 'New' icon is removed from previous articles. So in some cases, an article that is just a week old may not have the 'New' icon next to it. In other words, you are going to have to take notice of what you have read and what you haven't! .
    ENJOY!
    In His Service and Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: 1 Cor 7
    From: kenb38
    To: All
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 08:41:44 (PST)
    Email Address: kenb38@aol.com

    Message:
    Greetings Seems I'm the focus of much attention in my very small church because my wife is either marginal believer (she has knowledge and believes herself to be a Christian) or one decieved (there is little fruit of the Spirit). At any rate much is being heaped upon me as her husband to rectify this situation. I point to Titus 2 (older women teaching younger) and to 1 Cor 7:15 (to live in peace -- my wife gets hostile with any attempt to question her faith) as my defense. The women of our church presented themselves to my wife one evening as 'Job's counselors' and she never wants to see any of them again (quit going to church, ect) My big question in this is: are husbands supposed to deal with an unbelieving wife in the same way a wife is to deal with a husband in the same situation? I just feel that I am being called to ruin an other-wise good marriage for a principal that may not square with scripture. After

    Subject: Re: 1 Cor 7
    From: Pilgrim
    To: kenb38
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 16:31:17 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    kenb38,
    First know that my heart and prayers are extended to you in all sincerity. There are many admonitions in the book of Proverbs which speak of women/wives who are less than congenial in the home (cf. Prov 21:9, 19; 27:15). It is apparent that the writer is setting forth a warning to men to 'walk softly' when dealing with their women. :-) Be that as it may, sometimes even the godliest of men are presented with situations in their relationships where it seems no matter what is said or done or how it is done or spoken, there is resistance and in some cases blatant rejection and hostility given in return. Do not be misled by anyone's 'advice' or 'rebuke' that if you were 'more loving', kinder, gentler, more understanding, etc., etc., then you wouldn't have this problem. Brother, this just ain't necessarily so. Although we as men should be all these things and more; for as Rod said so rightly (quoting Eph 5:25), we are to love our wives as Christ loved the Church. This includes being 'hard' at times and refusing to allow the woman to 'have her way', as is the teaching of the contemporary feminist propaganda which has infected virtually every facet of life, including many churches. We should ignore and/or be gracious on the peripheral issues which we find objectionable, but never waver to give in on the essentials which are clearly sinful. As to the women of the church visiting your wife, it would not be prudent for me to comment, since I have no knowledge whatsoever what transpired during that visit(s), the manner of the women themselves nor what was said to your wife. However, I do think there is a place for a 'visitation' by women of the church who are personal acquaintances and have a sincere desire and concern for your wife and her spiritual state. Laz is also correct in his wisdom in that the Pastor and Elders should be made aware of your concerns, so that they might first of all pray for you and your wife. Secondly, that they may take better notice of her and try to discern what might be a means of dealing with this situation as you have perceived it. (It is always possible that the problem lies with you and not her, or a that you are exacerbating the situation!). But unlike some, one of which has been mentioned already, I refuse to lay the guilt upon your head and counsel you that if you were the man which God wants you to be, then your house would be the epitome of Eden! :-) Doubtless you are well aware of many of your own personal weaknesses and sins. But nevertheless your wife is solely responsible for her life before God, whether or not she professes to love Christ. Lastly, it is true that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. And it is also true, albeit to a lesser degree that our outward actions either reflect Christ or our own sin nature before others and therefore are either a positive influence or no. Therefore, it may not be possible to lead your wife in family worship, depending on her attitude, etc. And to try and force her to do so would certainly be unfruitful to say the least. You can outwardly force a person to sit down who doesn't want to, but they are standing up on the inside! :-) So, your outward godly behaviour may at this juncture be the means God uses to slowly mould your wife and turn her from her backsliding; if in fact she is truly regenerate. And if this is not the case, that she is of Christ, then God can just as easily bring her under conviction and turn her heart to the Lord Christ for the first time too. Never doubt that! For 'Salvation is of the LORD!' (Jonah 2:9). In short, you are to be the man that the Lord Christ requires and wants you to be, first and foremost. And then to be a godly and loving husband to your wife, regardless of how she acts. This may mean taking a stand against her on certain issues and not allowing her to freely sin in the home. May God grant you much wisdom, strength, courage and most of all a deep and unending prayerful dependence upon His grace.
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: 1 Cor 7
    From: laz
    To: kenb38
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 09:39:21 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Kenb38 - sounds like you need to talk with your Church leaders. But I'd say that the husband has a different role in the marriage...one of modeling Christ-like behavior and leading in family devotions which would hopefully serve to lovingly encourage and instruct the wife to greater obedience and devotion. In otherwords, husbands help lead their wives to 'living' water....whether or not she drinks is a matter for God to decide. (Although D. Wilson might suggest you throw her in! haha...inside joke for webmaster, sorry). The wife, on the otherhand, is NOT called to directly lead her husband in any way. Instead, they ought to live holy lives before their husbands (and in service to God and them as their husband's helpmeet) so that peradventure the Spirit might lead the man to repentence as he sees the 'sanctifying' example of the chaste wife. But as for her 'brow beating' her unregenerate husband with 'holy' things....NO. Since when is someone's rate of sanctification a matter for the women of the Church to meddle in? These women need to understand that the Spirit works in our lives thru the Word heard ... not thru the prodding of individuals. If your wife is still on milk or having 'problems'...the best way to help is to expose her more to the Word and biblical materials that often 'prick the conscience' in ways that badgering from husbands/friends can't. blessings, laz

    Subject: Re: 1 Cor 7
    From: Rod
    To: laz
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 10:43:37 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Kenb38, Laz, as is his custom, has said wise things. First read Ephesians 5:22-31 to redefine your duty toward your wife as outlined by the Lord. Then re-examine 1 Cor. 7:16 in regard to your question about what a man is supposed to do in the case of an unbelieving wife. I know you've read it, from your post, but you seem to be questioning what the Lord would have you do in the event your wife is an unbeliever. Laz's advice to speak to the elders of the church is very good. They need to be made aware of the 'committee of perfect believers' coming to your wife and to instruct these women in the principles of the Lord as laid out in Matt. 7:1-5 and 18:15-17. Apparently your wife, as you have presented it, has committed no sin directly against these people, but offends them by what they perceive as 'a bad attitude.' We don't know what their approach was with her, whether it was out of loving concern or judgment, but it seems individual attention and loving commitment would have gone a lot farther. Finally, I urge a great deal of support for your wife and loving concern for her, coupled with your intense prayers for guidance and help in dealing with her in this situation. Now, to point out something that all of us tend to forget, though it is a principle repeated throughout Scripture and the determining factor in ascertaining one's individual salvation. In the end, only the Lord Himself and the individual may know the true status of his salvation. And John says we may know (1 John 4:11-15, especially 13) the truth of the matter for ourselves. The rest of us look on the outward appearances while God examines the heart (1 Sam.16:7). The proof regeneration is whether one is given the Spirit of God within, as John says, whether the Spirit dwells in him. Paul states that directly in several places, the most outstanding being in Rom. 8. 'For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit...But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (5, 9). This is the truth to help your wife see in determining for herself the truth of the matter. May the Lord God guide you in this endeavor and give you peace.

    Subject: Re: 1 Cor 7
    From: Ken
    To: Rod, Laz, Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 05:03:31 (PST)
    Email Address: kenb38@aol.com

    Message:
    I appreciate the great counsel from Pilgrim, Laz & Rod. If you were looking for feedback – I’m sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I’ve been dwelling on these matters and wasn’t sure how to respond but thought I should. All three have been a comfort and reminded me of things I should have already known but as I continue you may more fully see my conflict. I would like to make response to all three note. My personal attitude has been to walk softly in this matter but my pastor is apparently in favor of conflict and believes I should be initiating it. It had seemed to me that Solomon never treated the Shulamite sternly (In Song of) and that Jesus said that a prophet was not received in his own home (town). I just believe there are some places/methods a mate cannot go/use. So in reality this is probably my biggest immediate problem. And I want to quickly add that my wife is fairly pleasant to dwell with but of course worrying about a loved ones salvation provides an amount of anxiousness in ones life. I also wanted to add that of the 4 women that came to visit, the spokesperson was the pastor’s wife. They are a younger couple; in the ministry only three or four years. My wife’s feeling is that they came only to condemn and not to investigate. She also believes they all, have as many problems, if not more than we do. I believe they had a great motive to serve God and a friend but were ill equipped to do so. I’ve begun to investigate this issue myself and read some of Jay Adam’s material as well as John McArthur’s. He (Adam’s) mentioned that it is so easy to do more harm that good if you don’t know what your doing. It just seems to me to parallel Job’s story so well. Four counselors who meant the best but spoke out first without proper investigation or understanding, resulting in more torment for Job than words of healing. I am convinced that sin needs to be addressed; and I believe it is likely the biggest cause of all our problems. BUT the fruits of the Spirit must be the filter through which and investigation takes place. And WHO should do the entreating. I believe my attempts would only appear self serving. Laz had made mention of bringing this before the Elders. This caused me to grin. While we say that we believe in a plurality of Elders at my church, we are quite small and there is only the pastor. There are only two other men that appear to be studiously concerned about the body. One has been divorced and fairly liberal (somewhat antinomian) and the other has some family concerns of which you are now reading. One of the good things that has transpired from this is that I have convinced my beloved that I’m responsible to God to involve the family in the Word. Something no one wanted to take the time out for, in times past. I think I also failed to mention that my wife is a fairly ill person. Nothing life threatening (It’s called multiple chemical sensitivity). This (I feel) convieniently gives her an escape to not do anything she doesn’t want to do. My pastor has convinced me (it didn’t take much) that this very well COULD BE a result of sin (discipline – as in: why did the Shulamite woman get smacked?). Or God using it to get her attention (or mine?). Another problem I’ve had is that (this illness thing has been over 3 years) there has been much depression and anger (though not toward God -- like everyone expects) on her part and some talk of suicide (though not in the past year) and much medication and sleeping all wrapped up in this. We also have 3 daughters; 16, 14 and 12. Because of poor attitudes and temper I have great concern about proper Christian modeling (I tend to be quite -- simply not to further enflame situations – and yet attempt to insert Godly wisdom). On my part I don’t see any blatant sin that I can stand against (can you stand against sins of omission?). A previous pastor told me (he was very Calvinistic as I tend to be) that all I can do is politely verbalize my desires (as the head of the home) and leave the obedience between her and God (not using the Word to hit with). In all this though (I know we are not to compare ourselves to one another) as I look about; I don’t see any more strife in my home than I do most (professing) Christian homes (or many non-professing homes for that matter). This also causes me great concern. Where is the difference in our living for the glory of God? I do appreciate all the encouragement. Yes, I do more clearly understand that I need to gently lead to living waters. I feel like the solder who just received fresh supplies. Thanks to all Brother Ken

    Subject: Re: 1 Cor 7
    From: Rod
    To: Ken
    Date Posted: Sat, Jan 13, 2001 at 12:23:23 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Ken, I almost missed this post, as I was involved in some others and it got so far down on the list. I want to encourage you in your struggle in this issue. I also want to encourage you not to be disheartened in your own walk with the Lord. You seem to be well-versed in the Bible and many of its principles. Even this difficult situation will be used by God to work to your good as a believer, as the 28th of Rom. 8 says. Though you've been quite open and we know a good deal of the basics of the situation, we still have very little to go on. On the basis of that and the advice you have been given by the two pastors, I think the former pastor's advice is more noteworthy, particularly since you aren't certain about your wife's spirtiual state. We are earnestly praying for you and your wife and the three daughters who need their mother's leadership very much at this stage in life. May God resolve this problem and give you great peace. P.S. Could you e-mail me at rodpow1@swbell.net? I have something that might benefit you to share with your wife.

    Subject: On Controversy By John Newton
    From: RJ
    To: All
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 13:33:01 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    On Controversy Letter XIX By John Newton
    A minister, about to write an article criticizing a fellow minister for his lack of orthodoxy, wrote to John Newton of his intention. Newton replied as follows: Dear Sir, As you are likely to be engaged in controversy, and your love of truth is joined with a natural warmth of temper, my friendship makes me solicitous on your behalf. You are of the strongest side; for truth is great, and must prevail; so that a person of abilities inferior to yours, might take the field with a confidence of victory. I am not therefore anxious for the event of the battle; but I would have you more than a conqueror, and to triumph, not only over your adversary, but over yourself. If you cannot be vanquished, you may be wounded. To preserve you from such wounds as might give you cause of weeping over your conquests, I would present you with some considerations, which, if duly attended to, will do you the service of a great coat of mail; such armor, that you need not complain, as David did of Saul’s, that it will be more cumbersome than useful; for you will easily perceive it is taken from that great magazine provided for the Christian soldier, the word of God. I take it for granted that you will not expect any apology for my freedom, and therefore I shall not offer one. For method’ sake, I may reduce my advice to three heads, respecting your opponent, the public and yourself. As to your opponent, I wish that before you set pen to paper against him, and during the whole time you are preparing your answer, you may commend him by earnest prayer to the Lord’s teaching and blessing. This practice will have a direct tendency to conciliate your heart to love and pity him; and such a disposition will have a good influence upon every page you write. If you account him a believer, though greatly mistaken in the subject of debate between you, the words of David to Joab concerning Absalom, are very applicable: “Deal gently with him for my sake.” The Lord loves him and bears with him; therefore you must not despise him, or treat him harshly. The Lord bears with you likewise, and expects that you should show tenderness to others, from a sense of the much forgiveness you need yourself. In a little while you will meet in heaven; he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts; and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ forever. But if you look upon him as an unconverted person, in a state of enmity against God and his grace (a supposition which, without good evidence, you should be very unwilling to admit), he is a more proper object of your compassion than of your anger. Alas! “He knows not what he does.” But you know who has made you to differ. If God, in his sovereign pleasure, had so appointed, you might have been as he is now; and he, instead of you, might have been set for the defense of the gospel. You were both equally blind by nature. If you attend to this, you will not reproach or hate him, because the Lord has been pleased to open your eyes, and not his. Of all people who engage in controversy, we, who are called Calvinists, are most expressly bound by our own principles to the exercise of gentleness and moderation. If, indeed, they who differ from us have a power of changing themselves, if they can open their own eyes, and soften their own hearts, then we might with less inconsistency be offended at their obstinacy: but if we believe the very contrary to this, our part is, not to strive, but in meekness to instruct those who oppose. “If peradventure God will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth.” If you write with a desire of being an instrument of correcting mistakes, you will of course be cautious of laying stumbling blocks in the way of the blind or of using any expressions that may exasperate their passions, confirm them in their principles, and thereby make their conviction, humanly speaking, more impracticable. By printing, you will appeal to the public; where your readers may be ranged under three divisions: First, such as differ from you in principle. Concerning these I may refer you to what I have already said. Though you have your eye upon one person chiefly, there are many like-minded with him; and the same reasoning will hold, whether as to one or to a million. There will be likewise many who pay too little regard to religion, to have any settled system of their own, and yet are pre-engaged in favor of those sentiments which are at least repugnant to the good opinion men naturally have of themselves. These are very incompetent judges of doctrine; but they can form a tolerable judgment of a writer’s spirit. They know that meekness, humility and love are the characteristics of a Christian temper; and though they affect to treat the doctrines of grace as mere notions and speculations, which, supposing they adopted them, would have no salutary influence upon their conduct; yet from us, who profess these principles, they always expect such dispositions as correspond with the precepts of the gospel. They are quick-sighted to discern when we deviate from such a spirit, and avail themselves of it to justify their contempt of our arguments. The Scriptural maxim, that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God,” is verified by daily observation. If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn, we may think we are doing service of the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit. The weapons of our warfare, and which alone are powerful to break down the strongholds of error, are not carnal, but spiritual; arguments fairly drawn from Scripture and experience, and enforced by such a mild address, as may persuade our readers, that, whether we can convince them or not, we wish well to their souls, and contend only for the truth’s sake; if we can satisfy them that we act upon these motives, our point is half gained; they will be more disposed to consider calmly what we offer; and if they should still dissent from our opinions, they will be constrained to approve our intentions. You will have a third class of readers, who being of your own sentiments, will readily approve of what you advance, and may be further established and confirmed in their views of the Scripture doctrines, by a clear and masterly elucidation of your subject. You may be instrumental to their edification if the law of kindness as well as of truth regulates your pen, otherwise you may do them harm. There is a principle of self, which disposes us to despise those who differ from us; and we are often under its influence, when we think we are only showing a becoming zeal in the cause of God. I readily believe that the leading points of Arminianism spring from and are nourished by the pride of the human heart; but I should be glad if the reverse were always true; and that to embrace what are called the Calvinistic doctrines was an infallible token of a humble mind. I think I have known some Arminians, that is, persons who for want of a clearer light, have been afraid of receiving the doctrines of free grace, who yet have given evidence that their hearts were in a degree humbled before the Lord. And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility, that they are willing in words to debase the creature and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of. Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit. Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature, and the riches of free grace. Yea, I would add, the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such representations as hold up our adversaries to ridicule, and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments. Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge rather than to repress his wrong disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince, and puff up those whom they should edify. I hope your performance will savour of a spirit of true humility, and be a means of promoting it in others. This leads me, in the last place, to consider your own concern in your present undertaking. It seems a laudable service to defend the faith once delivered to the saints; we are commanded to contend earnestly for it, and to convince gainsayers. If ever such defenses were seasonable and expedient they appear to be so in our own day, when errors abound on all sides and every truth of the gospel is either directly denied or grossly misrepresented. And yet we find but very few writers of controversy who have not been manifestly hurt by it. Either they grow in a sense of their own importance, or imbibe an angry, contentious spirit, or they insensibly withdraw their attention from those things which are the food and immediate support of the life of faith, and spend their time and strength upon matters which are at most but of a secondary value. This shows, that if the service is honorable, it is dangerous. What will it profit a man if he gains his cause and silences his adversary, if at the same time he loses that humble, tender frame of spirit in which the Lord delights, and to which the promise of his presence is made? Your aim, I doubt not, is good; but you have need to watch and pray for you will find Satan at your right hand to resist you; he will try to debase your views; and though you set out in defense of the cause of God, if you are not continually looking to the Lord to keep you, it may become your own cause, and awaken in you those tempers which are inconsistent with true peace of mind, and will surely obstruct communion with God. Be upon your guard against admitting anything personal into the debate. If you think you have been ill treated, you will have an opportunity of showing that you are a disciple of Jesus, who “when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not.” This is our pattern, thus we are to speak and write for God, “not rendering railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; knowing that hereunto we are called.” The wisdom that is from above is not only pure, but peaceable and gentle; and the want of these qualifications, like the dead fly in the pot of ointment, will spoil the savor and efficacy of our labors. If we act in a wrong spirit, we shall bring little glory to God, do little good to our fellow creatures, and procure neither honor nor comfort to ourselves. If you can be content with showing your wit, and gaining the laugh on your side, you have an easy task; but I hope you have a far nobler aim, and that, sensible of the solemn importance of gospel truths, and the compassion due to the souls of men, you would rather be a means of removing prejudices in a single instance, than obtain the empty applause of thousands. Go forth, therefore, in the name and strength of the Lord of hosts, speaking the truth in love; and may he give you a witness in many hearts that you are taught of God, and favored with the unction of his Holy Spirit.
    From: John Newton's Works; Letter XIX- On Controversy
    * * * * * * * *


    In His Grace, -RJ
    :-) <
    ---
    --

    Subject: That was terrific...thanks for sharing!
    From: Anne
    To: RJ
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 17:32:40 (PST)
    Email Address: anneivy@home.com

    Message:
    I've been involved in a wrangle or two recently, and this hit hard in the tender bits. ;-> I'm going to keep this, for sure! Anne

    Subject: 'Truly Reformed'??
    From: anonymous
    To: All
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:26:29 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    This was posted on the Lignonier Ministries, 'Renewing Your Mind' Discussion Forum obviously in response to someone who thinks himself/herself 'more Reformed' than others.:
    'Very interesting. I've met your kind before. The Truly Reformed - From the Latin 'trulimus reformandus' - a term which is also the etymological basis for what psychologists refer to as anal retentiveness. Most TR's appear to be just like the rest of mankind, but they do have one physiological difference. They are lacking the gene which enables an understanding of the word 'prioritization.' This genetic defect causes these poor creatures to waste away their life destroying each other over the most trivial of issues. In my own field observations I have heard a TR assert that Charles Hodge was suspect because Hodge didn't believe in the right division of elders in church government (the two vs. three debate). One well known and rare species of TR anathematizes all other TRs who sing anything other than Psalms. An even more reclusive species believes the gospel is only found in its purity if joined to the practice of covenanting. The one fact that escapes most TR's is that there is always a tribe of TR's that are a bit more TR than they are. So while one TR (such as our current specimen) is anathematizing Arminians, there are other TR's who would consider him a heretic for one of his beliefs. Perhaps it would be over the issue of psalm singing vs. hymn singing, perhaps it would rest upon his acceptance or rejection of the Solemn League and Covenant, perhaps it would be the two elder vs. three elder debate. Our TR may not know it, but somewhere there is a group of men who are a little more Reformed than he, and in their eyes he is the blaspheming heretic who has denied the gospel. And somewhere there is a group a little more Reformed than that group, and in their eyes this other group has abandoned the true gospel. And so on and so on ad infinitum, ad nauseam.'

    Subject: Re: 'Truly Reformed'??
    From: John P.
    To: anonymous
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:48:46 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings, I'm writing this in response to the slander contained in the previous post. I don't have the time that I would like to have to post on these boards recently in my life, but my heart simply goes into bewilderment, with a compilation of mixed up feelings of disgust, sorrow, et cetera, when I continue to read the slander put forth by people against the Covenanters. I am a Covenanter: we believe Christians in the USA (and certain other countries) ought to hold to the Solemn League and Covenant. We obviously don't believe this - or any other truth of God which He deemed worthy to reveal - is 'trivial.' However, this belief of ours by no means implies that we believe that other people - who are not Covenanters - who believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ are denying the Gospel. To portray us as believing such an abomination is simply uninformed, slanderous, and heinously sinful. To accuse anyone - without evidence - that they are anathamatizing people who believe in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is simply wicked. Abominably wicked. Period. It is sadly amazing to me that, while we (the Covenanters) believe there are many brethren in Christ in the various denominations throughout the world (yes, even the Roman Catholic Church on occassion), and openly confess this without hesitation, others will go about and publicly state, publish, et cetera, that we are anathamatizing the very people we call brother. Simply slanderous. John M. Putz putz7@msn.com

    Subject: Re: 'Truly Reformed'??
    From: Puritan
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 05:23:34 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Greetings, I'm writing this in response to the slander contained in the previous post. I don't have the time that I would like to have to post on these boards recently in my life, but my heart simply goes into bewilderment, with a compilation of mixed up feelings of disgust, sorrow, et cetera, when I continue to read the slander put forth by people against the Covenanters. I am a Covenanter: we believe Christians in the USA (and certain other countries) ought to hold to the Solemn League and Covenant. We obviously don't believe this - or any other truth of God which He deemed worthy to reveal - is 'trivial.' However, this belief of ours by no means implies that we believe that other people - who are not Covenanters - who believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ are denying the Gospel. To portray us as believing such an abomination is simply uninformed, slanderous, and heinously sinful. To accuse anyone - without evidence - that they are anathamatizing people who believe in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is simply wicked. Abominably wicked. Period. It is sadly amazing to me that, while we (the Covenanters) believe there are many brethren in Christ in the various denominations throughout the world (yes, even the Roman Catholic Church on occassion), and openly confess this without hesitation, others will go about and publicly state, publish, et cetera, that we are anathamatizing the very people we call brother. Simply slanderous. John M. Putz putz7@msn.com
    ---
    Sorry john, But I was a part of the 'covenanted reformation movement' for five years and I found them to be just what the prior post stated them ro be. On many occassions I witnessed people in their group make outlandish claims to the effect that they were the 'only faithful group on th earth' and such. Their witness was sorrowful indeed. The group that I was apart of was known all over the USA and Canada as being one of the most schismatic 'christian' groups around. I am not judging the personal merits of every individual in their group, however I will say that I would strongly encourage anyone considering membership with this group to avoid them like the plague.The fruit of their efforts is known well as many of their members have left them to join the greater body of the reformed world. I hope that you as a covenanter stand to give these groups a better reputation than what they have achieved thus far. sincerely, Puritan

    Subject: Re: 'Truly Reformed'??
    From: John P.
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 10:25:13 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings Puritan, If you were a part of the Covenanted Reformation movement (particularly the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton in the past, and now the Reformed Presbytery in North America) for five years, then you should already know that the Covenanter Presbyters believe that truly converted individuals can and do exist all over the world - even in the Roman Catholic Church. In, A Brief Defense of Dissociation in the Present Circumstances, written by the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton / Prince George in 1996, we read the following: For example, though the church of Corinth was plagued with division, immorality, and false doctrine promoted by some within the church (and therefore manifested a lesser degree of purity than other truly constituted churches, cf. the church of Smyrna in Rev. 2:8-11), it was, nevertheless, a truly constituted church for it was constituted by apostolic authority (with apostolic doctrine, apostolic worship, apostolic government, and apostolic discipline). Thus, for a church to constitutionally adhere to Arminianism, Dispensationalism, or Charismatic experientialism (false doctrine), singing uninspired hymns or using instrumental music in public praise (false worship), Episcopacy or Independency (false government), or unrestricted communion (false discipline) is to qualify as a constitutionally false church. That is not to say that there are no believers in churches that are not truly constituted (there may be many in some cases). Nor is it to imply that ministers or elders within those churches do not courageously stand for many truths taught in Scripture. It is simply to say that authority to rule in the church must come from Christ, and if a church does not have a constitution of which He approves (as King of His church), then there is no lawful authority to rule or to administer the ordinances on His behalf. This is little different from what all other denominations implicitly state (Although we actually state this). For, when they have separated from all other denominations in order to establish their own, they don't do this because they consciously believe they are believing in error. In fact, they do it because at the time of their separation, they do not believe they can be as faithful to Christ as they can be in the denomination from which they are separating. If they separate for any other claimed ground than this, then they are consciously, sinfully, and unwarrantably dividing the visible church of Jesus Christ. The point is simply this: if you read that paragraph again, you will see that the ministerial leadership of this church (ministerial in that they are 'ministers' under the authority of Christ), believes, and has published this belief, that there can and are Christians in other denominations, and that other pastors whom we believe are erring in some points can still be valiantly fighting for many truths of Christ. This doesn't warrant your scare quotes which you put around our being a, ' 'Christian' group.' This is Christian. The Church of Scotland, in which many godly men were members of and pastors, believed the same thing. Now, you may have been a part of a different group of 'covenanters' who weren't orthodox (They are some out there). In that case, they may (depending on who you are talking about) warrant scare quotes around their being, 'Christian.' But the Covenanters who are probably the most known (those promoted by Still Water Revival Books - see link at the top) have not strayed from orthodoxy. Secondly, just because we believe that we are the only truly constituted church does not mean that we are the only Church in the world. We believe that everybody from the Roman Catholic Church, to Methodist, to PCA, to OPC, to RPCNA, to Baptist, etc., are real churches with valid sacraments. I was baptized, for instance, by a Roman Catholic Priest (not that I agree with their corrupting of that ordinance). That is a valid baptism. The distinction that we believe needs to be made is between a church in well being, and a church in being. The Roman Catholic Church is a church as to being - but certainly not as to well being. Calvin made this distinction, too: 'To sum up, I call them churches [as to being-JP] to the extent that the Lord wonderfully preserves in them a remnant of his people, however woefully dispersed and scattered--and to the extent that some marks of the church remain--especially those marks whose effectiveness neither the devils wiles nor human depravity can destroy. But on the other hand, because in them those marks have been erased to which we should pay particular regard in this discourse, I say that every one of their congregations and their whole body lack the lawful form of the church [well being-JP]' (_Institutes of the Christian Religion_, Book 4.2.12, Translated by Ford Lewis Battles). Thus, we are not differing from Calvin when we say that there are some churches which are churches in being (with valid sacraments, true believers amongst them, etc.), while at the same time confessing that they lack the lawful form of the church. This is the way in which we view other churches. We do not see them all as so apostate as to have no believers amongst them. No, no. God forbid. We view them as churches as to being, but not as to well being. Now, if you were a part of the Covenanters (specifically the PRCE / RPNA group), then you shouldn't judge the movement as nonchristian just because you may have run into members of the church which erred by believing Christians are not Christians (I don't know any, but I don't know every member). The elders of this church, and our confessional standards, in no way teach that salvation can be only had in our denomination. Christ can save whoever He wants, whenever He wants, and is not bound to using our church as the means. The Corinthian church was truly constituted, but had sinful people. That is how we view our church. If you reject us because we have sinners among us, then that seems to be a bigger problem than others concerning which we have spoken. Love, John P. Still Water Revival Books www.swrb.com

    Subject: Re: Dear John
    From: Puritan
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 17:12:09 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    John, How many times have I heard this kind of response when people raise objections to your movement. Yes John, it sounds so nice, but not nearly convincing. I used to try and reconcile these ideas all of the time. So often however what is layed out so nicely on paper seems not to be the practice of your leaders. Tell me John, If your group believes that they are simply 'more pure' than the rest of the 'real churches'on the earth why are the people in your congregation a not allowed (under the threat of discipline) to attend even weddings and funerals unless your minister is leading it. So sad, the many times dear Christian people have obeyed stifling man made laws like this one that your leaders contrive. It wouldn't be so bad if it were actual cult services that you were forbidden from partaking in, but as it stands these are Godly reformed ministers that your movement is calling apostate simply because they will not abide by your unbiblical rules. When GI Williamson came to Edmonton to speak on exclusive psalmody (a doctrine that your church holds to) your church members were strictly forbidden to attend the services! How do I know this John? I was one of the people that was informed by your leaders that if I went to these services held by Reverend Williamson, I would be disciplined. John, do you actually believe that your church leaders have been given this kind of power by Christ?! I think not. I will go no further. I will refrain from the MANY examples like this one that I could give, but I think that my point is clear. If any reading this post would like info on the topic at hand you can check out the following sites. Puritan <>< http://www.fpcr.org/fpcrprc/Steel2.htm

    Subject: Re: Dear John
    From: John P.
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 22:23:52 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings Puritan, I certainly hope that you will give what I have to say some serious consideration - even if you do so for no other reason than that you understand the movement from which you have left. If I am understanding your last post, you are essentially saying that you don't believe my claim that we - the Covenanters - believe these two things (in spite of the fact that ordained men in our church have publicly published that we believe this, our confessional standards teach this, and personal conversations with the elders testifies that they practice these beliefs): (1) You don't believe that we believe that there are sincere believers in 'denominations' other than our own; and, (2) You don't believe that we believe that, in spite of the fact that we don't count elders of other denominations as lawful elders, we do believe that they can administer valid sacraments and take valiant, Christ-honoring stands for certain truths of the Christian religion. If I am misunderstanding you, then please correct me - I don't intend to misrepresent what you have said. As far as I can tell, you believe that the elders, and myself, are essentially trying to deceive people into believing that we are orthodox. Now, if that is the case, then that would be news to me. In fact, if it is, I sincerely would like to see the evidence that I have been duped so that I can forsake this wretched assembly (if it is, which I totally deny). However, when I read your reason for not believing the Covenanter's plainly published words, and my express statements posted on this board, I find it sadly lacking substance. You contend that our belief that we should not sit publicly under the teaching of a minister of a different church (whether wedding, funeral, Lord's Day service, etc.) proves that we don't believe there are Christians in other denominations and that other ministers do not administer valid sacraments / stand for many wonderful truths. That argument isn't valid - and, obviously, since it isn't valid, it isn't sound. Our unwillingness to sit under the public teaching of an ordained person (or a person unordained who is officially representing another denomination) whom we believe is backslidden from previous Biblical attainments in no way logically implies that we don't believe they are real Christians, faithfully standing up for one or many great truths of Scripture, or that no individual sitting under them regularly is a Christian. It is preposterous to even claim that these two things are related. Scripture plainly teaches that there are times when we have a duty to withdraw ourselves from people who may lawfully and legitimately be esteemed as brethren in Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14,15: '6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.' So, as you can see, it isn't a good argument to conclude that, because we won't sit under GI Williamson while he defends exclusive Psalmody, therefore we don't believe he is a brother in the Lord, nor that other people who sit under him aren't regenerate. We believe (unless others in our church know something of GI of which I am unaware) that he is a Christian man, and we all believe that he is faithfully standing up for many truths of Scripture (though unfaithful in other points), and that other people that sit under his teaching may be - and many probably are - truly regenerate people. The reason why we believe we shouldn't sit under his teaching is simply this: when we - like many other denominations have done (like the PCA, PCUSA, Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, RPCNA, etc.) - separated from every other denomination in the world, in order to form our own courts distinct from theirs, we do not believe we did so for flippant reasons. Thus, we believe that it is only consistent that, if we believed we should have separated from the visible body of Christ over what we believe are the errors of our brethren, that we don't ignore those errors on the individual level while making them worthy of separation on an ecclesiastical level. Thus, although GI is a Christian man, stands up for many truths, and may have written many helpful books or tracts, we do not believe we should sit under his teaching unless we are also prepared for our denomination to join his. Lord willing, this post will help you see that we do not believe contrary to our word (in fact, all we're doing is being consistent). Love in Christ, John P.

    Subject: Reformed Toleration
    From: Puritan
    To: John Putz
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 17:52:32 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    P. S. Another good book on the topic at hand by a dear freind of mine, and ex-covenanter, Jerrold Lewis. Puritan<>< A Peacable Plea for Reformed Toleration www.geocities.com/goodwin1600/Plea.html

    Subject: RPW or IPW?
    From: Prestor John
    To: All
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 20:09:12 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    BTW no one said that 'celebrating God's coming to earth' is evil we celebrate that everyday and especially every Lord's Day. You have missed the whole point ... Which is: God is to be worshiped in the manner in which He directs .... not in the way that we invent. Q50: What is required in the Second Commandment? A50: The Second Commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word. Q51: What is forbidden in the Second Commandment? A51: The Second Commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in His Word.
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    The Heidelberg Catechism Q96: What does God require in the second Commandment? A96: That we in no way make any image of God,[1] nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded us in His Word.[2] 1. Deut. 4:15-19; Isa. 40:18, 25; Rom. 1:22-24; Acts 17:29 2. I Sam. 15:23; Deut. 4:23-24; 12:30-32; Matt. 15:9; John 4:24
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    -- The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXI Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.[2] 1. Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1-4a; 50:6; 86:8-10; 89:5-7; 95:1-6; 97:6; 104:1-35; 145:9-12; Acts 14:17; Deut. 6:4-5 2. Deut. 4:15-20; 12:32; Matt. 4:9-10; 15:9; Acts 17:23-25; Exod. 20:4-6, John 4:23-24; Col. 2:18-23
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    - The Belgic Confession of Faith, Article VII The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures to Be the Only Rule of Faith ..... For since the *whole manner of worship which God requires* of us is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, though it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul says. For since it is forbidden to add unto or take away anything from the Word of God, it does thereby evidently appear that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects.
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    - The Second Helvetic Confession - Chapter V Of the Adoration, Worship and Invocation of God Through the Only Mediator Jesus Christ But we teach that God is to be adored and worshipped as he himself has taught us to worship, namely, in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 f.), not with any superstition, but with sincerity, according to his Word; lest at any time he should say to us: Who has required these things from your hands? (Isa. 1:12; Jer. 6:20). For Paul also says: God is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything, etc. (Acts 17:25).
    Our esteemed opponents in this debate has sought to prove from the various confessions, select scripture, and from their own arguments the supposed uniformity and validity of the RPW and that all adhered to it. Now in the above quote (and I've included it all lest I misrepresent) the make use of the Second Helvetic Confession to support his claim that the Church shouldn't celebrate Christmas as it wasn't commanded to in scripture. However, in the Second Helevetic Confession we have this:
    The Festivals of Christ and the Saints. Moreover, if in Christian liberty the churches religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord's nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, we approve of it highly. But we do not approve of feasts instituted for men and for saints. Holy days have to do with the first Table of the Law and belong to God alone. Finally, holy days which have been instituted for the saints and which we have abolished, have much that is absurd and useless, and are not to be tolerated. In the meantime, we confess that the remembrance of saints, at a suitable time and place, is to be profitably commended to the people in sermons, and the holy examples of the saints set forth to be imitated by all. The Second Helvetic Confession - Chapter XXIV Of Holy Days, Fasts and the Choice of Foods (emphasis mine)
    It appears to me that the framers of the Helvetic Confession viewed the celebration of Christmas and the rest of the liturgical calendar (within certain conditions) to be part of the liberty of the believer and the churches if they wish to do these things or not. Something I and others here have said all along. In fact Steve Schlissel has an excellent series on the RPW and what he promotes the IPW which I believe is a better view. Why don't you follow the link and see for yourselves. Prestor John Servabo Fidem All I Need to Know Series on the Regulative Principle of Worship: www.messiahnyc.org/rpw.htm

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 07:07:14 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Prestor, Great set of articles on the IPW (Informed Principle of Worship)! I am sure the man is disdained by the self-labelled 'True Reformed', even more than we are disdained and called 'Idolaters', because he has gone public with his this series. The author has raised some very provocative but salient points concerning the RPW and exposed the fallacy of some of its adherents. In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: laz
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 08:43:06 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I only read GI Williamson's response to Schlissels view on RPW and agree with GI...especially about the 'two-tiered' types of worship being proported by Schlissel. Pilgrim, what did you make of GI's piece? blessings, laz

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: Tom
    To: laz
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 16:56:31 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Laz Can you give something specific that you agree with GI about? Tom

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: Pilgrim
    To: laz
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 13:07:45 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    laz,
    After reading ALL of the articles on Schlissel's site re: RPW, I am left with several questions in my own mind, but for the most part I think Schlissel has raised some very interesting points indeed, which at this point in time, there has been no reasonable rebuttal offered. The two replies to him; one by G.I.Williamson to which you referred and another by Brian Schwertley, which is no longer accessible for some reason, offered nothing substantial whatsoever that would show his view should be summarily dismissed as unbiblical and outlandish, but rather contained more empty rhetoric and castigations against Schlissel himself. I would refer you to the reply to Williamson by Brian Mattson here: Mattson's Reply to Williamson. The slashing outcry of John P above to the anonymous poster is however all too typical of those whose tenacious subscription to the 'RPW' are subject Schlissel's scrutinous articles. 'He it is who cries loudest whose ox is gored!' Hopefully, there will appear some replies to Schlissel that are more substantive and worthy of consideration in the near future. :-)
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: John P.
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 22:25:14 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Pilgrim, I have a couple of questions: were Covenanters slandered in the anonymous post? If so, how was my correcting the slander, and acknowledging the seriousness of it a, 'slashing outcry?' All I have done is acknowledge that I account you - and others on this forum - as brethren in Christ. I corrected a person who said I, and other Covenanters, think otherwise. I can't seem to figure out why you would have sought out something in a comment confessing an orthodox position for which you could reproach me? It seems to me that whether I spoke up, or did not, you would have looked for the worst in what I wrote. If I remained silent, then you all could have assumed that - yes - Covenanters do believe you are damned. If I spoke up, corrected the slander, and reproved the sin, acknowledging you all as brethren, I am accused of being a person given to slashing outcries. It seems that, much like the generation in the time of Christ, which found fault in John the Baptist because he did not come eating or drinking while finding fault in Christ because He did, I would be despised no matter what I did or said. 'And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.' Whether I pipe unto you, or whether I mourn, you don't seem willing to respond appropriately - you simply ignore what I have stated correctly, and seek to find something for which you feel you can reproach me. You have shown little charity to me throughout the last year - and that, in spite of the fact that I have publicly confessed you as a brother in Christ several times. Love in Christ, John P.

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: laz
    To: Pilgrim/Tom
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 21:30:19 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim/Tom - I read the rebuttal to Williamson...it was good. I clearly need to make a study of this matter. Is the issue really about how far to take the RPW? I know my Pastor would subscribe to it...he knows Williamson and admired our Christmas tree this evening...but also is aware of the lamentable historical 'Puritan' mindset on certain issues (this one included). He made a passing comment that the Puritan's tended to get very picky (as if to imply that they lived to raise other's dander). blessings, laz

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: Lady Jane
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 18:29:33 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim wrote: 'which is no longer accessible for some reason, offered nothing substantial whatsoever that would show his view should be summarily dismissed as unbiblical and outlandish, but rather contained more empty rhetoric' ************** No longer available ... huh? It is in the same place it has always been @ http://www.all-of-grace.org/pub/schwertley/schlissel.html Lady Jane A Brief Critique of Steven M. Schlissel’s Articles Against the Regulative Principle of Worship __________________________________________________ Recently, a series of articles was written by Pastor Steven M. Schlissel against the regulative principle of worship, entitled “All I Really Need to Know About Worship...I Don’t Learn from the Regulative Principle.” These articles were published in Schlissel’s newsletter, Messiah’s Mandate, and were reprinted in an edited-abridged form in Chalcedon Report. They received a rather wide audience in Reformed circles and are being referred to by opponents of Reformed worship. The purpose of this essay is to examine Schlissel’s main arguments and expose them as false, unscriptural, and based upon poor exegesis and faulty reasoning. After reading Schlissel’s articles we want to commend him for his openness and honesty regarding his position on the regulative principle. Many people in Reformed churches give lip service to the regulative principle while doing everything they possibly can to get around it. They confess it with their lips, but dread it with their hearts. They formally adhere to what they in practice continually deny. At least Schlissel, in his quest for human autonomy in worship, is consistent. He jettisons the foundation of Reformed worship altogether and in its place advocates what he calls the “informed principle of worship,” which we will see is, in principle and in reality, no different than the Lutheran or Episcopal conception of worship. Before we examine Schlissel’s false presentation of the regulative principle, his sloppy exegesis and faulty reasoning, let us first examine his disapprobation of Reformed worship and the historical relativism that accompanies it. Throughout his three articles against biblical worship Schlissel shows a strong disdain for the regulative principle and those who adhere to it.Schlissel calls regulativists “chauvinists” (3:1 and “sourpusses”(3:1).[1] He argues that regulativists are radicals and extremists who have succumbed to “the pendulum phenomenon” (1:2). Schlissel teaches that regulativists are no different than legalists such as teetotalers, people who advocate celibacy and people who forbid the use of makeup and jewelry for women (1:1-2). He compares regulativists to communist party officials who must maintain dictatorial control over their delegates to the United Nations (3:2). He says that “regulativists are totalitarian in what they exclude” (3:2), that “regulativists treat people like infants incapable of sound judgment” (3:2). Schlissel says that the regulative principle is “not biblical” (1:3; 2:4), that is “an invention of men and therefore an imposition upon the consciences of those forced to accept it” (1:7). He says that it is an addition “to our legal obligations under God” (1:7) which is based on “a pattern of obfuscation” (2:1). He also teaches that “it cannot survive when measured against Scripture” (3:1). After realizing that he has insulted and impugned all the Calvinistic reformers, all the Reformed Confessions, and all the Reformed churches (Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, French Huguenots, the Puritans) Schlissel offers up some historical relativism.[2] Even though, according to Schlissel, the regulative principle is unbiblical, legalistic, an invention of men,based on obfuscation and false exegesis, dictatorial, totalitarian, contrary to our legal obligations to God and a human imposition upon the consciences of men, what the Reformers did was not unethical because of their unique historical situation. They were just coming out of Romanism. If the regulative principle is an unbiblical, dictatorial and human tradition that is a perversion of biblical worship (as our brother asserts),then what the Reformers did was positively sinful. Schlissel cannot have it both ways. He cannot repudiate modern advocates of the regulative principle without also repudiating the Reformed faith.[3] What separates the Reformed Confessions from Luther and Calvinistic Baptists[4] is not soteriology, but worship and government. Reformed worship is squarely founded upon the regulative principle. Once that foundation (and the worship and government that rest upon it) is removed, the word Reformed means nothing. This makes the following comments all the more alarming: “Not more than one or two sourpusses have responded bitterly to our series so far. Sweet mail received from ministers and elders (TR variety) in the PCA, the OPC and other Presbyterian denominations was almost uniformly positive (a pleasant surprise), with many expressing sincere gratitude for the salty series” (3:1). Apparently there are elders and ministers in the PCA, OPC and other Presbyterian denominations who consider themselves or are considered by Schlissel to be “TR” (i.e., Truly Reformed as opposed to semi-Reformed evanjellyfish) who approve of Schlissel’s denunciation of the Reformed faith. Did not these men take vows to uphold the Westminster Standards? Should not these men be honest and resign their positions? Such men are Reformed in name only. Schlissel’s False Definition of the Regulative Principle The first issue that needs to be addressed is foundational and thus affects a number of Schlissel’s assertions. Note that Schlissel, throughout all three articles, repeatedly gives and builds arguments upon a false definition of the regulative principle. He gives us a classic case of setting up a straw man (which unfortunately many Christians do not have the theological knowledge to recognize) in order to easily knock it down. What is truly sad regarding this tactic is that, given the works that Schlissel cites in his endnotes, this deception is apparently deliberate! There is the possibility, however, that he has not read all of the works he cites, or is incapable of understanding them because of his presuppositions. In order to prove my assertion let us compare Schlissel’s definition of the regulative principle with the standard Reformed definitions offered by apologists for Reformed worship. Schlissel writes: “At the time of the Reformation, the nausea induced in the godly upon their awakening to the sinful Romish excesses and superstitions in worship gave rise to a radical, but not fully thought out solution, the Regulative Principle of Worship: If it is not commanded in Scripture to be performed in worship, it is forbidden in worship. It is sometimes said in other words: Only that which God has commanded is permitted.... Anything which could not pass the somewhat arbitrary test for ‘commanded’ was viewed with grave suspicion as the very thing which would cause—or begin to cause—the Reformed churches to return to Babylon.... The RPW, however, adds another requirement pertaining to worship, saying that in worship, if God does not command it, it is forbidden” (1:2,7). Schlissel’s second article begins: “We have been arguing that the Regulative Principle of Worship—if it is not commanded, it is forbidden—is not the principle given by God to regulate worship in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This definition is repeated a number of times in the second and third articles. Is the regulative principle merely “If it is not commanded it is forbidden,”as Schlissel asserts?[5] Although it is not uncommon to see regulativists give a statement (such as Schlissel’s) as a brief statement or definition of the principle, the Westminster Confession and virtually all Reformed authors define the regulative principle in a much broader fashion. The regulative principle refers not just to explicit commands of Scripture, but also to approved historical examples within the Bible and to good and necessary consequence, i.e., a particular worship practice or ordinance is inferred from many passages of Scripture. The Westminster Confession of Faith I.VI. says, The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary; for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men. Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed. For the Westminster divines, sola Scriptura is the natural starting point for the regulative principle as a spring is to a stream. There can be no question whatsoever but that the phrase “good and necessary consequence” applies to the worship and government of the church. To argue otherwise would render the section on the “circumstances concerning the worship of God and government of the church” totally out of place. What is particularly bizarre regarding Schlissel’s false presentation of the regulative principle is that it leads him to quote this section of the Confession as a corrective to the false version he sets up in his articles. He writes: “Though this does not stop them from serving the Lord’s Supper to women. This is an inconsistency in their system, since there is no clear NT command to do so. The same method that leads us to recognize women as fit recipients of the Supper can lead us to see covenant children as fit candidates for baptism. It’s called ‘good and necessary consequence.’ WCF, I vi.” (2:8, endnote 1).[6] Schlissel chooses an interpretation of the regulative principle that is absurdly narrow, one that was never held by the Puritans and early Presbyterians, and then quotes the Westminster divines who were very strict regulativists (cf. Confession of Faith XX.II., XXI.I.; Larger Catechism 109; Shorter Catechism 51) to prove the unreasonableness of it. Schlissel quotes the real, correct understanding of the regulative principle against his straw-man version. This is incredibly sloppy scholarship, to say the least. John Owen in his essay, “The Word of God the Sole Rule of Worship”deals with an opponent of Puritanism,Samuel Parker. Owen says that Parker considers the “foundation of all Puritanism” to be this principle: “That nothing ought to be established in the worship of God but what is authorized by some precept or example in the Word of God, which is the complete and adequate rule of worship.”[7] This accurate definition was formulated by Parker by reading the available Puritan literature of his day (the seventeenth century). When one reads the Puritans and encounters the statement “that which is not commanded is forbidden,” one should keep in mind the overall teaching of the Puritans and Presbyterians on the subject. As Schlissel writes: “The RPW has a historic discernible, commonly received meaning” (2:5). But he is the one who completely ignores the historic, discernible, commonly received meaning! Here are more examples of definitions of the regulative principle that expose Schlissel’s version as false and absurdly narrow: John L. Girardeau writes: “A divine warrant is necessary for every element of doctrine, government and worship in the church; that is, whatsoever in these spheres is not commanded in the Scriptures, either expressly or by good and necessary consequence from their statements, is forbidden.”[8] James H. Thornwell writes: “We have not been able to lay our hands upon a single Puritan Confession of Faith which does not explicitly teach that necessary inferences from Scripture are of equal authority with its express statements: nor have we found a single Puritan writer, having occasion to allude to the subject, who has not explicitly taught the same thing. The principle of inference they have unanimously affirmed. Our own Confession of Faith—and surely that is a Puritan document—does it, in a passage already cited.”[9] Hetherington writes: “They [the Scottish Reformers] dared, therefore, to conclude that Divine authority might be rightfully claimed, not only for the direct statements contained in the Scriptures, but also for whatsoever could be deduced from Scripture by just and necessary inference.”[10] William S. McClure writes: “God’s commands are either explicit,clearly stated, or they are implicit, implied as a logical, necessary inference from authoritative example, such as that of Christ or His Apostles.”[11] William Young writes: “The mode of prescription need not be that of explicit command in a single text of Scripture. Approved example warrants an element of worship as surely as does an express precept. Moreover, good and necessary consequence may warrant acceptable worship. Without entering upon disputed questions as to the proper subjects of baptism, all would agree that Scripture warrants the admission of women to the Lord’s Table, although no express command or approved example can be adduced.”[12] In Schlissel’s first article (endnote 2) he quotes (but does not reference) from a book that gives the following as a definition of the regulative principle: “Whatever is not commanded by Scripture in the worship of God is forbidden. Anything that the church does in worship must have warrant from an explicit command of God, be deduced by good and necessary consequence, or be derived from approved historical example (e.g., the change of day from seventh to first for Lord’s Day corporate worship).”[13] Another book that Schlissel cites (cf. 3:5, endnote number 31) is Michael Bushell’s The Songs of Zion. Apparently either he did not read the whole book or purposely ignored the excellent chapter on the regulative principle. Bushell writes: When we say that each element of worship requires a divine warrant, we do not mean that an explicit command in a single text is required in every instance. Commandment in the narrow sense of the term is not necessary to establish divine prescription. Approved example or inference from relevant scriptural data is sufficient to determine the proper manner of worship. The Confession of Faith clearly operates on the assumption that principles derived from the Word by “good and necessary consequence” are every bit as binding upon us as those “expressly set down in Scripture.” It is remarkable that there is so much confusion in Reformed circles concerning the validity of this essential principle.... The assumed validity and binding character of argument by inference from Scripture is an essential part of the life of every Christian and lies at the base of every statement of doctrine or belief that goes beyond the express words of Scripture. Certainly we may want from time to time to question the validity of inferences which some people draw, but that is a different question altogether from that of whether or not the church may bind the conscience of a believer on the basis of an inference from Scripture.[14] Schlissel’s repeated misrepresentations of the regulative principle are inexcusable. Whether he means to or not, Schlissel impugns the Calvinistic Reformers (Calvin, Knox, Farel, etc.), the Presbyterians, the Puritans, the Dutch Reformed and the French Huguenots, by falsely portraying them as incompetents and hypocrites. According to Schlissel these geniuses and giants of the faith did not fully think out the regulative principle. In his mind, they haphazardly adopted the idea “that if there is not an explicit divine imperative found somewhere in Scripture for a worship ordinance or practice, then it is forbidden.” Yet the theologians of this period repeatedly used scriptural inference and inspired historical example to prove infant baptism, a first day Sabbath, presbyterian church government, and so on. The truth is not that these godly scholars professed one thing and practiced another, but that they all (contrary to Schlissel’s assertions) believed in, taught, and used divine imperatives, good and necessary consequences from Scripture, and inspired historical example. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Reformed teaching on worship would not take his articles seriously at all. They are full of outright misrepresentations and falsehoods. Now that we have established that all three of Schlissel’s articles are founded upon a total misrepresentation of the regulative principle, let us dispense with the arguments that are derived from this falsehood. His first argument based on this falsehood is that: (a) the worship of the synagogue was never commanded by God; (b) Christ and the apostles attended and approved of synagogue worship, therefore, (c)Christ and the apostles rejected the regulative principle. Schlissel writes: “The very existence of the synagogue, however, undoes the regulativist’s position! For he knows that the synagogues existed. And he knows that Christ and the Apostles regularly worshipped at synagogues without so much as a breath of suggestion that they were institutionally or liturgically illegitimate. And he knows that he cannot find so much as a sliver of a Divine commandment concerning what ought to be done in the synagogue. And,according to his principle, if God commanded naught concerning what ought to be done, then all was forbidden. And if all was forbidden, then the whole if it—institution and liturgy—was a sinful abomination. But that brings him back to Christ attending upon the service of God there and Christ following its liturgy: did He sin by participating in an entire order of worship that was without express divine warrant? The thought is blasphemy!” (1:7). If we accept Schlissel’s false version of the regulative principle (that an explicit divine imperative must be found for every worship practice) then this would be a good argument. However, since good and necessary consequence and approved historical examples are sufficient, this argument is worthless. The fact that Jesus Christ participated in synagogue worship without the slightest hint of disapprobation is warrant enough. Further, there are many passages by which synagogue sabbath worship can be deduced. Leviticus 23:3 says,“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest,a holy convocation. You shall do no work in it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.”[15] Matthew Henry writes: “It is a holy convocation; that is, ‘If it lie within your reach, you shall sanctify it in a religious assembly: let as many as can come to the door of the tabernacle, and let others meet elsewhere for prayer, praise, and the reading of the law,’ as in the schools of the prophets, while prophecy continued, and afterwards in the synagogues. Christ appointed the New Testament sabbath to be a holy convocation, by meeting his disciples once and again (and perhaps oftener) on the first day of the week.... Note, God’s sabbaths are to be religiously observed in every private house, by every family apart, as well as by many families together in holy convocations.”[16] Note the words of James in Acts 15:21, “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” Psalm 74:8 says, “They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them altogether. They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.” Matthew Poole writes: “All the synagogues of God in the land,i.e., all the public places wherein the Jews used to meet together to worship God every sabbath day, as is noted, Acts xiii. 27, and upon other occasions. That the Jews had synagogues is manifest, both from these and other places of Scripture.... it is undeniable that they did worship God publicly, in every sabbath, and other holy times, even then when they neither did nor could go up to Jerusalem... ”[17] Not only can one deduce weekly synagogue worship from the Bible, but also the basic worship elements of Scripture reading and exposition (cf. Neh. 8:7-8; Lev. 10:8-11; Dt. 17:8-13; 24:8; 31:9-13; 24:8; 31:9-13; 33:8; 2 Chr. 15:3; 17:7-9; 19:8-10; 30:22; 35:3; Ezra 7:1-11; Ezek. 44:15; 23-24; Hos. 4:6; Mal. 2:1, 5-8; Mt. 4:23; 9:35; 13:54; Mk. 1:21,39; 6:2; Lk. 4:15-22, 44; 13:10; Ac. 15:21; etc.) and prayer (2 Chr. 6:34-39; Neh. 8:6; Isa. 56:7) can be deduced. Virtually all regulativists recognize that the Christian church was the natural outgrowth of the synagogue, in which the covenant people conducted weekly non-ceremonial public worship. The Regulative Principle of Worship Versus Human Tradition Because Schlissel misunderstands the regulative principle with its approved historical examples and good and necessary consequence (in addition to explicit commands), he not only sets up straw-man arguments but also mistakenly argues that human traditions in worship can be and are acceptable to God. He writes: “To see how comfortable Jesus was with human traditions which properly honored God, it is only necessary to see Him in the synagogue. When we find Him attending synagogue, ‘as was His custom,’ we must remember that He was attending a service of worship at the institution which had no divinely authorized blueprint. The standards for establishing one, administering one, or disestablishing one, were all derived from ‘human tradition’” (2:4). How does Schlissel justify human tradition in worship? First, he either wrongly attributes worship passages that require divine warrant solely to the temple or he simply rejects the obvious meaning of the passage in question (this will be dealt with below). Second, he completely misunderstands and misrepresents the standard historically received definition of the regulative principle, rendering it absurdly narrow. Third, he assumes that when we encounter worship practices in the Bible that have no prior inscripturated divine imperative, these practices must have originated from human tradition. All three of these justifications are related in Schlissel’s thinking. All of the errors in Schlissel’s articles are related in some manner to these three points. Let us contrast Schlissel’s faulty reasoning with the standard Puritan and Reformed way of thinking. First, they properly interpret the many regulative principle passages as demanding biblical warrant for all worship practices. Second, they hold to the (genuine) broad definition of the regulative principle of worship which includes approved historical examples from the Bible, and good and necessary consequence. Third, based on the analogy of Scripture (Scripture cannot contradict itself and is its own best interpreter) and the clear need of divine warrant, it is assumed that historical examples that are not accompanied by explicit commands are based on some prior revelation that did not make it into the canon. John Owen writes: For a long time God was pleased to guide his church in many concerns of his worship by fresh occasional revelations, even from the giving of the first promise unto Adam unto the solemn giving of the law of Moses; for although men had, in process of time, many stated revelations, that were preserved by tradition among them, as the first promise, the institution of sacrifices, and the like, yet as to sundry emergencies of his worship, and parts of it, God guided them by new occasional revelations. Now,those revelations being not recorded in the Scriptures, as being only for present or emergent use, we have no way to know them but by what those to whom God was pleased so to reveal himself did practice, and which, on good testimony, found acceptance with him. Whatever they so did, they had especial warrant from God for; which is the case of the great institution of sacrifices itself. It is a sufficient argument that they were divinely instituted, because they were graciously accepted.[18] In the Bible we find Abel offering an acceptable blood sacrifice by faith (Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4), even though there is no previously recorded explicit command by God to do so. We also encounter godly Noah offering sacrifice of clean animals, even though there is no previously recorded legislation or imperatives by God to do so. After the resurrection of the Lord the universal practice of the apostles and all the churches was Lord’s day public worship. Yet once again, there are no explicit commands to do so. Given the testimony of Scripture regarding human tradition and adding or subtracting from what Jehovah says, the Puritan view of approved historical examples (because not all prophecies and divine imperatives were inscripturated) makes perfect sense. Schlissel’s procedure of assuming that human traditions are the foundation of worship practices that are not accompanied by explicit inscripturated divine imperatives violates the analogy of Scripture and cannot be proved from the Bible. It is nothing but an assumption. Thus, a large portion of Schlissel’s argument against the regulative principle is nothing but pure speculation—a speculation that contradicts Scripture and supports the foundational principles of Romanism and rabbinical Judaism. Truly Reformed or Evangelical Pap? Schlissel bids us to forsake sola Scriptura and go down the path toward Rome, all the while claiming to be truly Reformed. He does say, “It is not, for us, a question merely of whether an observance can be traced to ‘human tradition,’ but it is also a question of fidelity to Scripture, propriety in worship, and profitability to the people of God” (2:4). Aside from the fact that his position itself is contrary to Scripture, let us consider the logical outworking of allowing human tradition with Schlissel’s supposed “minimalist” conditions. Suppose the elders of a church decide that “Christian drama” should be introduced into public worship. Is it expressly forbidden in Scripture? Can it be profitable to the people of God? Can it be done in a tasteful orderly manner? Suppose the elders decide that readings from the Apocrypha and notable Christian authors should be introduced into public worship. Is it forbidden? Can it be profitable? Can it be done decently and in order? How about a new sacrament? Why not? It’s not forbidden. It certainly can be edifying. We promise it will only be done with proper solemnity. Or, how about a new holy day to commemorate the martyrs of the Reformation? One could come up with thousands of innovations which meet Schlissel’s conditions. Schlissel himself may not want to introduce such things into worship. He may even have a very old-fashioned, traditional Reformed service. However, the only difference between Schlissel and pastors who introduce such innovations is personal preference. Schlissel’s position regarding human tradition in worship is nothing but the typical evangelical understanding of worship. The Issue of Liberty of Conscience Another area in which a sharp contrast exists between Schlissel’s position and the Puritan-Reformed position is over the issue of liberty of conscience. Schlissel argues that the regulative principle is “an imposition upon the consciences of those forced to accept it.” Is it true that the regulative principle is a human imposition while Schlissel’s position is one of true Christian liberty? No. It is Schlissel’s view that leads directly down the path of ecclesiastical tyranny. With the regulative principle, people are only required to do that which can be proved from Scripture. Everything in worship must have divine warrant. But with Schlissel’s position, people are forced to submit to the traditions, ordinances and commandments of men. If the elders of a church which follows Schlissel’s principles decide to add a holy day, or a sacrament, or a drama group, or some other such thing, are the church members required to participate in these services? Is attendance during the practice of such human inventions voluntary? If optional, are church members allowed to leave the service during the optional portions? Are church members disciplined who refuse to submit themselves to these human additions? If so, then on what basis? Is Schlissel willing to argue that these human additions have an authority over his church members? If these human additions (which he admits are not based on divine warrant) have an authority, where does this authority come from? When one argues that authority comes from the church fathers, or long-standing tradition, or the decision of the session,then that person has in principle embraced popery and prelacy in this matter. If one argues that we can prove these practices from the word of God (divine warrant), then he has denied his own position and embraced Reformed worship. We challenge our dear brother to explain how human traditions, the commandments of men, and all such additions in worship in the church can be authoritative. Arguments For Human Tradition in Worship Refuted Since the major difference between Schlissel’s view and Reformed worship is over whether or not human traditions are permitted, a brief consideration of his other arguments in favor of allowing human tradition are in order. Schlissel’s other arguments are: 1.Jesus partook of a Jewish Seder with all its human additions to the original passover feast (2:4). 2.Christ read from the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue. 3.The apostles quoted from “uninspired texts and practices”; therefore, “All the New Testament authors are comfortable with tradition” (2:4). 4.Paul observed “Jewish customs, even ritualistic Temple centric customs” (2:2). 5.Jesus “honored Chanukah by His presence at its celebration in John 10:22.” 6.The Jews “quite apart from any divine precept or command, took it upon themselves and their descendants to observe a special holiday every year, forever” (2:3). An examination of these arguments will show that they are based on false assumptions and poor reasoning. First, Schlissel argues that Jesus partook of the Jewish Seder. What is the evidence for this assertion? There is no evidence! It is simply assumed that since Christ and the apostles had wine with their meal,they also participated in a Seder with its additional rituals. Note: Not one of the Jewish additions—the ritual of the Seder—is mentioned in the various accounts of the Last Supper. What about the use of wine? Is the use of wine a violation of the regulative principle, as Schlissel asserts? No, for the passover was a meal, and the drinking of a beverage is an ordinary, necessary circumstance of eating. During the feast of unleavened bread, the Israelites were commanded to eat unleavened bread for seven days (Ex. 12:15ff.). Yet, nothing is mentioned whatsoever of any beverages to be drunk. According to Schlissel’s caricature of the regulative principle, this would be a week when most Israelites would die of thirst. The fact that Christ and the disciples drank wine with their meal was not significant at all until Jesus made it a gospel ordinance in the Lord’s supper. An argument from an historical account must be based on the written account itself, not on assumptions about what happened. Second, Schlissel argues that when Jesus read from Isaiah in the synagogue, He clearly violated the regulative principle; therefore,He obviously did not believe in such a principle. This argument is flawed for a number of reasons: 1. It is not based on the true definition of the regulative principle, but on Schlissel’s straw-man version. The reading and exposition of the Scriptures is easily inferred from the Bible. 2. The passage he refers to (Dt. 31:9-13) is a command regarding the reading of the law every seven years at the feast of tabernacles when the whole nation came together. It is not even speaking to the issue of synagogue worship. 3. The New Testament authors under divine inspiration used the term law to denote the whole Old Testament (cf. Jn. 10:34; Rom. 3:19). In 1 Corinthians 14:21, Paul says, “In the law it is written” and then quotes Isaiah the prophet (Isa. 28:11-12). All the Old Testament scriptures carry an equal authority. If Schlissel was fair to his opponents and used a correct interpretation of the regulative principle, he would not offer up such ludicrous arguments. Third, Schlissel argues that the apostles were comfortable with human tradition because they quoted from uninspired texts and practices. With this type of argument, one could say that the apostle Paul was comfortable with Greek paganism, for he quotes from both Aratus (Ac. 17:28) and Epimenides (Ac. 17:28; Tit. 1:12). Does the fact that R. J. Rushdoony quotes from Playboy magazine, Karl Marx, Mao Tse-Tung, and the Marquis de Sade in his Institutes reflect in any way on his attitude toward their traditions? No, of course not! Such an argument is absurd. Fourth, Schlissel notes that Paul observed “Jewish customs, even ritualistic/temple centric customs.” There is no question but that the first generation of Jewish Christians was permitted to engage in various Jewish ceremonial practices. However, we should note that: (a) no works righteousness was attributed to these practices; (b) these practices were not man-made traditions but were based upon Old Testament revelation; (c) these practices were not allowed to be imposed upon the Gentile believers (cf. Rom. 14:5ff; Ac. 21:25); and (d) these practices were permitted because of unique historical circumstances. The first generation of Christians lived in a period in which the old order was coming to an end. Christ brought to an end all the ceremonial aspects of the law when He died on the cross (e.g., animal sacrifices; Jewish holy days; circumcision, etc.). Yet, prior to the end of the age when the Jews were divorced and judged as a nation and the temple was destroyed (A.D. 70), God allowed a period of transition. If Schlissel wishes to argue that modern Jewish believers should continue keeping certain ceremonial laws, perhaps he could explain why that which is anticipatory, typical, and thus temporary, should continue. That which the Bible calls the inferior (Heb. 9:11-15), the shadow (Heb. 10:1; 8:4-5), the obsolete (Heb. 8:13), the symbolic (Heb. 9:9),and the ineffectual (Heb. 10:4) does not continue. Fifth, Schlissel argues that Jesus “honored Chanukah by His presence at its celebration in John 10:22.” John 10:22 says, “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch.” Whether or not Jesus honored Chanukah cannot be ascertained from this text for a number of reasons.[19] 1. The text does not say that Christ went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of dedication, but merely that He was in Jerusalem at that time. Hengstenburg (as Meyer, Weiss and many others) says that Jesus had been staying in Jerusalem since the feast of tabernacles. 2. The feast of dedication was not a feast that occurred only in Jerusalem, but was celebrated throughout the whole nation. John is not making a statement regarding Jesus’attitude toward Chanukah, but is giving us an historical setting to the addresses that follow. 3. Even if Christ went to Jerusalem to be there during the feast, the chapter as a whole indicates that He went there to teach. There is not a shred of evidence that He participated in any rituals. (Note: Paul preached at the Areopagus [Ac.17:22ff.],not because he had a favorable attitude toward Greek philosophy, but because it provided an excellent evangelistic opportunity.) 4. Most commentators who discuss the significance of the mention of the feast of dedication argue that here Jesus dedicates Himself to death (cf. Pink; Lightfoot; Stachen; etc.). In other words, the mention of the feast points to Christ, not human tradition. Once again, Schlissel doesn’t prove his point with real, tangible evidence. He merely offers more unprovable assumptions. Sixth, Schlissel argues that human traditions are permitted in worship because the Jews made up their own holy day, “quite apart from any precept or command.” He is referring to the Feast of Purim. Schlissel and many others point to Purim as a justification for man-made holy days such as Christmas and Easter. The problem with this argument is that it uses days of thanksgiving (which are lawful) to justify special religious holy days (which clearly are not). The events of Purim are: “Joy and gladness, a feast and a good day...and of sending portions to one another, and gifts to the poor” (Est. 8:17; 9:22 KJV). There were no special worship services. There were no ceremonies. There were no Levitical or priestly activities. Purim did not come about because the people or church officials got together and decided to make up a holy day. It came about because of a unique historical event in Israel’s salvation history. The festival was decreed by the civil magistrate (the prime minister, Mordecai, and the queen, Esther). Religious leaders had nothing to do with it. After the civil decree, it was agreed to unanimously by the people. Purim should not be compared to popish holy days, such as Christmas, but to special days of rejoicing such as Thanksgiving day. The Westminster divines (who were champions of the regulative principle) used Purim as a proof text (Est.9:22) authorizing occasional days of thanksgiving. If men are permitted to make up holy days as they see fit (as Schlissel asserts), then why was God so angry with king Jeroboam for setting up a feast day “in the month which he had devised in his own heart” (1 Kgs.12:33)? (We can safely assume that Scripture does not contradict itself.) Further, the occasion and authorization of Purim are inscripturated in the word of God and approved by the Holy Spirit. Thus, Purim itself satisfied the requirement of the regulative principle as properly defined. Has Schlissel offered any solid biblical reasons why Reformed believers should abandon the regulative principle and allow human traditions in worship? Has he proven his case by a careful exegesis of Scripture? No. Rather, he has offered numerous assumptions coupled with fallacious reasoning. Having considered Schlissel’s straw-man tactics (i.e., his false definition of the regulative principle that undergirds a large portion of his argumentation),his implicit denial of liberty of conscience, and his major arguments for the use of human tradition in worship, we will now turn our attention to his other major contentions. Does the Regulative Principle Apply Only to the Tabernacle/Temple Worship? Schlissel’s second major argument against the regulative principle is that it only applied to the sacrificial system of worship. He refers to this worship as “the Sinai approach.” According to Schlissel, the ceremonial, priestly, Levitical worship of the tabernacle and temple was strictly regulated in particulars “while the decentralized synagogue worship was never so regulated.” Since Christ did away with the whole ceremonial law by His death, Schlissel asserts that there is no regulative principle at all in the New Covenant era. Schlissel argues that the proof texts used by regulativists for well over 400 years actually prove no such principle. According to Schlissel, these texts have either been taken out of context, or have been made to teach that which they were not meant to teach. He then argues that regulativists “skip the synagogue.” In other words they purposely overlook the non-ceremonial, non-regulated synagogue worship because it destroys their position.[20] Schlissel spends a lot of time dealing with Deuteronomy 12:32: “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it, nor take away from it.” His basic contention regarding this verse is that regulativists completely ignore the context and thus apply this verse beyond the worship of the central sanctuary. Thus, the regulative principle applies not to “worship per se, but the sacrificial worship of Jehovah, that is the tabernacle/temple service” (1:2). Schlissel says that this ultra strictness was,“because in the Tabernacle/Temple, God was displaying ‘preaching’ Christ, His Person and work, prior to His incarnation” (1:2). This is Schlissel’s cleverest argument. It at least appears to be based on the exegesis of Scripture. However, his restriction of the regulative principle to the tabernacle/temple worship must be rejected for a number of reasons. First, there is no textual reason to assume that since Deuteronomy 12:32 comes in a section that deals with the law of the central sanctuary, it must be restricted to the worship of the tabernacle. The passage comes in a section (12:1-13:19) that also speaks to the repression of idolatry and the syncretistic admixture of heathen rites with the service of Jehovah. Are we supposed to believe that the verse which immediately preceeds verse 32 which discusses child sacrifice is only directed to temple worship? No, of course not! If the Israelites would worship God in a manner that He has authorized, then idolatrous practices would not be introduced. Given Israel’s subsequent history and the analogy of Scripture on this matter, the authors of the Reformed confessions were justified in giving this passage a broad application to all worship practices. Further, if Schlissel wants to argue that the tabernacle/temple service is restricted, while human tradition in worship elsewhere is permitted, he also must explain away the virtually identical sola Scriptura phraseology found in other passages such as Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; and Ecclesiastes 3:14. Second, Schlissel’s argument ignores the fact that tabernacle/temple worship contained ceremonial and non-ceremonial ordinances. The sacrificing of animals, the burning of incense and the priestly and Levitical use of instruments during the sacrifice were ceremonial. But the reading of Scripture, prayer and the singing of praise were not ceremonial. Schlissel exaggerates the antithesis between temple and synagogue worship when he says that the regulative principle applied solely to the temple. We do not deny that the ceremonies of the temple typified Christ and His work. However, the temple was also a place of worship. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father” (Jn. 4:21). He also said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’” (Mt.21:13). If the regulative principle applied to the temple worship,then it also regulated the non-ceremonial worship that occurred there. Thus, the regulative principle cannot be restricted to ceremonial ordinances. Third, there are a number of passages that apply the regulative principle outside the sphere of tabernacle/temple worship. If even one passage can be shown to apply the regulative principle outside of tabernacle/temple worship, then Schlissel’s whole argument is worthless. We will briefly consider three passages. In Matthew 15:13, Jesus condemned the Pharisees for adding ritualistic washings to the law that occurred in the home and not the temple.“Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, ‘Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?’” Schlissel argues that Jesus only condemned “human tradition which obscured,nullified, set apart or contradicted the Word of God” (2:4). Yet here our Lord refused to submit to and condemned something as apparently innocent as washing one’s hands. “Washing of the hands is a thing proper enough; one could wish it were oftener practice; but to exalt it into a religious rite is a folly and a sin.”[21] The disciples of Christ were well trained, for they knew that any human tradition, no matter how good and innocent, must not be complied with when it is given a religious significance and status by man without divine warrant. “Note, illegal impositions will be laid to the charge of those who support and maintain them (human traditions in worship), and keep them up, as well as those who first invented and enjoined them.”[22] “Antiquity and Fathers without Scripture is the old charter of superstitious formalists.... Hence learn: That God in wisdom brings men’s ceremonies to a dispute and so to be refuted and condemned...” [23] Jesus is a champion of the regulative principle. He rejects the most innocuous of religious traditions and also shows us how human traditions and laws drive out and thus set aside what God has commanded. Rutherford writes: And when the Pharisees saw some of the disciples eat bread with unwashed hands, they found fault. The challenge was for an external omission of an outward observance which may be seen with the eyes. Ergo, these traditions are not condemned by Christ because they were contrary to God’s word, or impious, but in this, that they were contrary because not commanded. For in the external religious act of washing hands, there was no impiety of a wicked opinion objected to Christ’s disciples, about the piety of these traditions, nor about any inward opinion. Nor is there any question between the Pharisees and the Lord’s disciples, whether the traditions of the elders should be esteemed the marrow and sum of all religions, as Vasquez saith; but only anent external conformity with walking in the traditions of the elders, or not walking, as is most clear in the text. It is true, Christ objected they accounted more of the traditions of men, nor of God’s commandments, as papists and formalists do;but that was not the state of the question between the disciples of Christ and the Pharisees. 2. Christ rejecteth these traditions, by an argument taken from the want of a lawful Author, while he calls them precepts of men, opposed to the commandments of God.[24] The arguments offered by Schlissel (and others such as Doug Wilson) regarding the regulative principle are not new but are (in general matters) restatements of old prelatical arguments long ago rejected by the Reformed churches. Note the words of Zacharias Ursinus (written in the 1570s and first published in the 1580s): There are some who object to what we have here said, and affirm in support of will-worship, that those passages which we have cited as condemning it, speak only in reference to the ceremonies instituted by Moses, and of the unlawful commandments of men, such as constitute no part of the worship of God; and not of those precepts which have been sanctioned by the church and bishops, and which command nothing contrary to the Word of God. But that this argument is false, may be proven by certain declarations connected with those passages of Scripture to which we have referred, which likewise reject those human laws, which, upon their own authority,prescribe anything in reference to divine worship which God has not commanded, although the thing itself is neither sinful nor forbidden by God. So Christ rejects the tradition which the Jews had in regard to washing their hands, because they associated with it the idea of divine worship, although it was not sinful in itself, saying, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” “Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within ye are full of extortion and excess.” (Matthew 15:11; 23, 25). The same thing may be said of celibacy and of the distinction of meats and days, of which he calls “doctrines of devils,” although in themselves they are lawful to the godly, as he in other places teaches. Wherefore, those things are also which are in themselves indifferent, that is neither commanded nor prohibited by God, if they are prescribed and done as the worship of God, or if it is supposed that God is honored by our performing them, and dishonored by neglecting them, it is plainly manifest that the Scriptures in these and similar places condemn them.[25] Note also that the apostle Paul, writing several years after the regulative principle was supposedly abolished, enforced the regulative principle. He explicitly condemned man-made doctrines,commandments,and will-worship“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why as though living in the world do you subject yourself to regulations—‘Do not touch,do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false, humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh” (Col. 2:20-23). Paul says that any addition to what God has commanded or authorized is self-imposed religion, or as the King James Version says,“will worship.” The Greek word used by Paul (ethelothreskeia) signifies worship that originates from man’s own will. ‘This is worship not enjoined by God, but springing out of man’s own ingenuity—unauthorized devotion.... The worship referred to is unsolicited and unaccepted. It is superstition...” [26]“The gist is that these ordinances are forms of worship or religious service chosen by man according to the will of man, not means chosen by God. This is the essence of corrupt worship, when men seek to establish their own forms of religious service. We might call it free-will worship, since the advocates of man-made worship are claiming that men possess the right (or freedom) to institute acceptable means to worship God.”[27] Paul says that adding to God’s Word is a show of false humility. Can man improve upon the worship and service that God has instituted? It is the height of arrogance and stupidity to think that sinful man can improve upon God’s ordinances. “It is provoking God, because it reflects much upon His honor, as if He were not wise enough to appoint the manner of His own worship. He hates all strange fire to be offered in His temple. Lev. x 11. A ceremony may in time lead to a crucifix. Those who contend for the cross in baptism,why not have the oil,salt and cream as well...”[28] As Paul says, man-made rules and regulations are “of no value” to the believer (Col. 2:23). We ask our brother: What is lacking in the worship that God has appointed? Why are you so angry with those who just want to adhere strictly to what God has authorized in His word? What is arrogant or wrong with submitting to God’s commands without departing to the right or to the left? How has strictly adhering only to that which has divine warrant hurt the church? Has it not left the church in the exact place of purity as the apostolic church? Yes, it is true that there has been declension in denominations that profess to adhere to the regulative principle. But was this because of the regulative principle itself? Or, because the principle was abandoned or redefined? History shows clearly that it was the latter. When Jesus discussed worship with the Samaritan woman and contrasted Old Covenant worship with New Covenant worship,He taught that worship in both dispensations was to be conducted upon the same principles. “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You worship what you do not know;we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:21-24). Note the phrase, “the hour is coming and now is.” The need to worship God “in spirit and truth” was not a new principle, for it was already in effect when Jesus spoke these words. According to Jesus, God is to be worshipped in spirit and truth, not because the temple represents the gospel, but because of God’s nature and character. Bushell writes: “The Spirit that is the source of eternal life must also be the source of true worship. If we assume that the Spirit works only in and through His word, it is a fair inference from this principle that all true worship must be founded upon the Holy Scriptures.... Acceptable worship must be consonant with the character of God as it is revealed to us in the Scriptures, and must be in conformity with that sufficient rule at every point. Only that worship that proceeds ultimately from the Spirit through His word is pleasing to God.”[29] This passage of Scripture by itself refutes Schlissel’s whole theory that the temple was strictly regulated while the synagogues were not, for when Jesus begins this discussion, it is clear that He is speaking of the temple worship in Jerusalem (v. 21). Therefore, when he says that the same worship principle of “spirit and truth” that is now operative in the Old Covenant era will also be operative in the New Covenant era, He is connecting the strict worship principle that regulated the temple to the New Covenant synagogues. Thus, the idea that the regulative principle only applied to the tabernacle/temple worship is unscriptural. It is a clever attempt at circumventing the clear teaching of Scripture in order to cling to human tradition. Schlissel’s Dismissal of the “Which I Commanded Them Not” Passages Another one of Schlissel’s arguments against the regulative principle is that “regulativists find it where it isn’t” (1:3). His main contention in this section of his article is that regulativists misuse passages say, “which I commanded them not,” by turning them into an extra-scriptural worship principle, when the point of each passage is merely to condemn what was already forbidden. Schlissel accuses regulativists of purposely ignoring the fact that the context shows that what the Israelites were doing was explicitly forbidden. He writes: “When the context explicitly reveals that Israel is condemned for worshipping idols, the regulativists leave it out. When the context explicitly reveals that Israel is condemned for child sacrifice to demons (1 Cor. 10:20), the regulativists don’t tell you. I told you before that at some point the RPW took on a life of its own. This is evidenced in the controlling influence it has exerted over their exegetical methodology. The same texts are carted out and mishandled in similar ways in virtually all their works (better get used to it!). RPW advocates edit Scripture in an attempt to make it conform to a conclusion they have determined in advance must be reached. This is completely unacceptable” (1:4-5). The author does not know what books Schlissel has used on this subject, because when quoting from regulativists he usually leaves out the references. However, the author does know that his statement is totally false. Here is a quote from a book that Schlissel may have read (because he quotes from it in 1:8, endnote 8). “Idolatry, murder and child sacrifice are explicitly condemned in the law and the prophets. Yet, Jeremiah cuts to the essence of idolatrous worship. Judah was worshipping in a manner that did not originate from God’s heart. Judah’s worship was not founded upon God’s command.”[30] Note, the context is clearly acknowledged before the comments regarding the regulative principle are made. Unfortunately Schlissel’s articles are riddled with straw-man argumentation and false accusations regarding his opponents. Regulativists freely acknowledge that the phrase “which I commanded them not” is found in situations in which the people have violated the express commands of God (e.g.,Jer. 7:31; 19:5). The question that needs to be answered is: If God in these passages is merely condemning violations of His law and is not also reminding the covenant people of God of the important principle that human innovations in worship are forbidden, then why is the phrase ‘which I commanded them not’ in these passages at all? Schlissel apparently assumes that if it can be shown that an express violation of God’s law has occurred, then explicit statements of the regulative principle by the Holy Spirit can be ignored. The statement “which I commanded them not” is the regulative principle. The prophet’s covenant lawsuit preaching clearly presupposes that the regulative principle is an integral part of God’s law. It presupposes that God’s people are only to base their worship practices on divine revelation. It makes perfect sense for God not only to condemn explicit violations of His law, but also to remind His people of the principle that underlies purity of worship. If Schlissel is correct, and these passages merely condemn sinful behavior, then what does this phrase mean? Does it mean what it plainly says, or is it just there for dramatic effect? Schlissel acts as if this phrase wasn’t even there. He does recognize the plain meaning of Jeremiah 19:5 when he says: “They were not condemned merely for doing something which God had not commanded, but for doing what God had expressly forbidden” (1:4). Regarding this statement, we concur. But, apparently he takes it back in his very next statement: “Obviously, if God had forbidden it, then ‘neither came it into my mind’ is not to be read in a wooden fashion, but rather as plainly expressing that God would never take pleasure in such an act” (1:4). In other words, let’s not take the passage literally (at face value) in order to fit it into our own non-Reformed paradigm. Should we carefully consider the contexts of these passages? Yes, absolutely. But we should not use the context in an attempt to circumvent the plain meaning of the text itself. Calvin’s exposition of Jeremiah 7:31 captures the plain meaning of the prophet. He writes: ...God here cuts off from men every occasion for making evasions, since he condemns by this one phrase, “I have not commanded them,” whatever the Jews devised. There is then no other argument needed to condemn superstitions, than that they are not commanded by God: for when men allow themselves to worship God according to their own fancies, and attend not to his commands, they pervert true religion. And if this principle was adopted by the Papists, all those fictitious modes of worship, in which they absurdly exercise themselves, would fall to the ground. It is indeed a horrible thing for the Papists to seek to discharge their duties towards God by performing their own superstitions. There is an immense number of them, as it is well known, and as it manifestly appears. Were they to admit this principle, that we cannot rightly worship God except by obeying his word, they would be delivered from their deep abyss of error. The prophet’s words then are very important, when he says, that God has commanded no such thing, and that it never came to his mind; as though he had said, that men assume too much wisdom, when they devise what he never required, nay, what he never knew.[31] Another passage in which Schlissel circumvents the plain meaning of the text is Leviticus 10:1-2: “Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censor and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane[or “strange,” KJV] fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.” It is Schlissel’s contention that the problem with Nadab and Abihu’s behavior was that they violated the prohibition in Exodus 30:9 regarding the offering of strange incense. He even mocks those who teach that the problem was not strange incense, but strange fire. He writes: “Well, now, we find ourselves here entering the arena of Clintonian rhetoric.... It was a package deal. ‘Strange fire’ clearly encompasses the incense which it was burning. To parse these as regulativists try to do is like unto saying, ‘It depends on what the word “is” is.’” (1:8, endnote 2). There are a number of problems with Schlissel’s argument. First, if the text meant strange incense, why wouldn’t it say strange incense? This would only be logical considering the fact that strange incense is expressly forbidden. In addition, some doctrines are proven by and dependent on the presence of one word. Who is really guilty of Clintonian rhetoric? Those who argue that the text means what it says? Or those who give it a different meaning? Second, if it is a “package deal,” as Schlissel asserts, Nadab and Abihu were still guilty of offering strange fire. Third, the fact that they were consumed by fire certainly favors the interpretation that their sin was strange fire and not strange incense. The problem for Schlissel is not just the mention of “strange” (zar) or “unauthorized” fire, but the explicit statement of the regulative principle in verse 1. Once again we ask the question: To what does the phrase “which He commanded them not” refer? One cannot simply explain this phrase away by arguing that the sin was strange incense. The Holy Spirit says that their sin was that they did something that was not commanded. They offered fire without divine warrant. Whether Schlissel likes it or not, that is an explicit reference to the regulative principle. If the passage does not mean what it says, then he must tell us what it does mean. Schlissel would have us ignore what the passage says and pretend it says something very different. Instead of “which He commanded them not,” he wants us to pretend it says,“Which He had expressly forbidden.” Wishful thinking and pretending are no substitute for true biblical exegesis. Conclusion After examining Schlissel’s arguments on worship, we have noted the following: 1. Schlissel does not understand what the regulative principle is. He repeatedly gives a false definition of the regulative principle and bases much of his argumentation on this misrepresentation. This is the old “straw-man” methodology. 2. Schlissel shows a contemptuous disdain for the historic, confessional Reformed view of worship. To appear as a friend of the Calvinistic Reformers, he engages in historical relativism (i.e.,what was ethical then is now unethical today). 3. Schlissel denies liberty of conscience by intruding human traditions into the worship of God. 4. Schlissel falsely accuses regulativists of skipping the synagogue. Besides being untrue (cf. endnote 20),this whole argument is based on a false understanding of the regulative principle. 5. Schlissel offers several arguments for the use of human tradition in worship. We have noted that many of these arguments are based on assumptions which are then read back into the text. We also noted faulty reasoning and sloppy exegesis. 6. Schlissel argues that the regulative principle applied only to the tabernacle/temple worship. We noted that his exegesis of Deuteronomy 12:32 is fallacious. We also noted that there are clear passages of Scripture that applied the regulative principle outside the sphere of tabernacle/temple worship and that the temple worship itself contained non-ceremonial aspects. 7. Schlissel argues that regulativists find the regulative principle where it is not. We have noted that: He falsely accuses regulativists of ignoring the context. He assumes that if a statement of the regulative principle is given in the midst of rebukes for behavior that is prohibited by Scripture, we then can either ignore the explicit statement of the regulative principle, or regard it as teaching the opposite of what it says. He assumes that Leviticus 10:1-2 says what it does not, and once again simply pretends the explicit statement of the regulative principle in this passage is not there. Schlissel has totally failed in his attempt to disprove the continuing validity of the regulative principle in the New Covenant era. We would ask our brother to go back and do his homework so that at least he could interact with the real regulative principle instead of his “straw-man” version of it. What Schlissel offers as a replacement for confessional Reformed worship is not new. In essence, it is no different than the typical conservative evangelical understanding of worship. Evangelicals reject the regulative principle and in its place say that we must not do what is forbidden and we must make sure our worship is biblical. This is the old Lutheran-Episcopalian conception of worship. He says that our biblical theology must guide our worship, and that a biblical theology would produce biblical worship.[32] Most conservative Lutherans, low-church Episcopalians or conservative evangelicals would agree. Why? Because Schlissel has abandoned the Reformed understanding of worship for a conservative Lutheran conception. He openly admits that he believes that human tradition in worship is acceptable. Schlissel wants us to abandon the regulative principle and adopt his view because he believes his position can better withstand “exegetical attack” and thus will better preserve biblical worship. How will allowing human tradition in worship preserve biblical worship? How can allowing what Jesus and Paul explicitly forbid withstand exegetical attack? We live in a time in which many human innovations are coming into the churches—even “Reformed” ones. The pastors and elders in “Reformed” churches which have puppet shows, sermonettes for children, drama groups, musical groups, dance troupes, liturgical calendars, and unauthorized holy days love these articles by Schlissel. Why? Because his articles justify human autonomy, i.e., human tradition in worship. If one were to talk with a CRC or PCA pastor who practiced such things, one would find essential agreement with Schlissel’s arguments. People despise the regulative principle of worship not because it is itself an innovation but because they know it condemns their best-loved human worship inventions. It condemns all will-worship. Schlissel may object to the so-called “celebrative” worship described above. But, according to his own principles, there is really nothing he can do to stop it. For these things are not expressly forbidden by Scripture. (Where is the list of forbidden worship practices in the New Testament?) All that Schlissel can do is argue that such worship is not “majestic” enough, or that is not done decently and in order. The proponents of such worship would of course disagree. They would argue that it is session-controlled, very orderly, and wonderfully “majestic.” The regulative principle of worship (i.e., truly Reformed worship) is the only principle that can withstand all exegetical attacks and stem today’s sweeping tide of human worship innovations. It can withstand all exegetical attacks because it is founded upon the sacred Scripture and nothing else. It can stem the tide of human innovation in worship because it cuts off, at the root, all innovation, all human tradition and will-worship. The seeds of will-worship are killed before they can sprout. Humanly originated worship traditions are forbidden at the outset, and are thus not given the opportunity of taking root and displacing that worship which God has instituted. Everything in worship must have a divine warrant;i.e., it must be proved from the word of God. Thornwell writes: “As under the Old Dispensation nothing connected with the worship or discipline of the Church of God was left to the wisdom or discretion of man, but everything was accurately prescribed by the authority of God, so, under the New, no voice is to be heard in the household of faith but the voice of the Son of God. The power of the church is purely ministerial and declarative. She is only to hold forth the doctrine, enforce the laws, and execute the government which Christ has given her. She is to add nothing of her own to, and to subtract nothing from, what her Lord has established. Discretionary power she does not possess.”[33] It is our prayer and desire that our brother would cease his arrogant attacks upon Reformed worship, and instead use his many talents to work for the reformation of worship in these times of serious declension. [1]As used in this paper, “(3:1)” means article number 3; page 1. [2]Schlissel writes: “Though most excellent and welcome in its historic situation, the Regulative Principle somehow loosed itself from its moorings and took on a life of its own in certain Reformed and Presbyterian circles. Many took it to be not merely a good word on worship but the last word, in fact, God’s last Word on the subject. And as men are wont to do, zealots—who saw in this principle the only way to acceptably approach God—began to extend and apply it more and more rigorously” (1:2). Tell us, Pastor Schlissel, how something that you say is unbiblical, legalistic, an invention of man, a human imposition, contrary to our legal obligations, totalitarian, etc., is also at the same time excellent, welcome, and a good word on worship. Please also point out where modern advocates of the regulative principle differ from the Puritans, the Calvinistic Reformers and early Presbyterians. In the denominations that practice a cappella exclusive psalmody (with which I am familiar) the worship services are virtually identical to the services as practiced in the Reformation churches of Holland, England, Scotland, Switzerland, France and Germany. In fact, the historical situation is the exact opposite of what Schlissel alleges: the early Puritans and Presbyterians were far stricter than today’s RPW denominations (with some exceptions) over issues like holy days, head coverings, sabbath keeping, church discipline, etc. Please also explain how the Calvinistic Reformers and pastors, elders and theologians who composed the great creeds and confessions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries considered their deliberations on the RPW to be evolving documents that would soften over time to fit new historical circumstances. Are we supposed to believe that the old divines regarded their carefully thought-out and crafted statements to be mere suggestions that should be cast off when Romanism was less of a threat ? Schlissel has created a historical fantasy to justify his own departure from the Reformed faith. [3]All the Calvinistic Reformers and all Reformed Churches adhered to the regulative principle. In the early days of the Reformation, if the Lutheran theologians and the Reformed theologians had been able to agree over worship (in particular the Lord’s supper), there probably would have been one church rather than two. Calvin’s view of the regulative principle can be found in his Institutes I, XI, 4; XII, 1 and 3; II, VIII, 5 and 17; IV, X, 1 and 8-17; cf. his commentary on Jer. 7:31; sermon on 2 Sam. 6:6-12; his tract on “The Necessity of Reforming the Church,” and the confession drafted by Calvin for the Reformed churches of France (1652). John Knox’s view is clearly set forth in A Vindication of the Doctrine That the Sacrifice of the Mass Is Idolatry (1550). The Reformed creeds also teach the regulative principle of worship: cf. the Belgic Confession (1561) Art. VII, XXIX, XXXII; the Heidelberg Catechism Q. 96; the Westminster Standards:Confession 1:6, 7; 20:2; 21:1; Shorter Catechism Q. 51; Larger Catechism Q. 108, 109. A strict interpretation of the regulative principle can be found in the writings of George Gillespie, William Ames, Samuel Rutherford, Jeremiah Burroughs, David Dickson, Thomas Watson, Matthew Henry, John Owen, James Begg, James Bannerman, William Cunningham, Thomas Ridgeley, Thomas Boston, John Cotton, Thomas Manton, William Romaine, R. L. Dabney, James H. Thornwell, John L. Girardeau, John Murray, and many others. Anyone who advocated Schlissel’s views would have been defrocked in any of the Reformed of the past, whether English, Dutch, Scottish, German, French or American. [4]There are, however, “Particular Baptists” and so-called “Reformed Baptists” (i.e., Calvinists) who do adhere to the regulative principle. The London Confession, article 7 (1644), says, “The Rule of this Knowledge, Faith, and Obedience, concerning the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not man’s inventions, opinions, devices, lawes, constitutions, or traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained in the Canonicall [sic] Scriptures.” The second London Confession (1677) I.6, XXII.1, An Orthodox Creed (1679), art. XL, and the London Baptist Confession of 1689 (which are adaptations of the Westminster Confession of Faith) also contain explicit statements of the regulative principle. [5]After this author’s critique of Schlissel’s articles was distributed, a person in agreement with Schlissel’s position wrote a “refutation” of the critique and argued that this author completely misrepresents Schlissel’s version of the regulative principle, that “Schlissel never limited the RPW to ‘explicit commands’ in the first place.” In other words, Schlissel really does present the historically received broad definition of the regulative principle and is totally misrepresented in this author’s critique. Is this charge accurate? Is this author guilty of setting up a straw man? No, not at all. If one carefully reads the three Messiah’s Mandate articles or the five shorter articles in Chalcedon Report (entitled “All I Really Need to Know About Worship...I Don’t Learn From the Regulative Principle”), one will note the following. First, Schlissel always defines the regulative principle as “if it is not commanded, it is forbidden” (1:2, 3, 4, 7; 2:1, 4, 5; 3:1, 3). He never states or interacts with the real, broad definition of the regulative principle in the body of his articles. Second, it is very clear from Schlissel’s argumentation against the regulative principle that he regards it as referring only to a “clear” or “explicit command.” Note the following quotations from Schlissel’s articles: “And he [the regulativist] knows that he cannot find so much as a sliver of a Divine commandment concerning what ought to be done in the synagogue. And according to this principle, if God commanded naught concerning what ought to be done, then all was forbidden” (1:7). “Who, then, has the authority to introduce into worship the public reading of the Prophets? If we may only do what God explicitly commands, we’d need a command to legitimate the reading of anything besides Moses in public worship” (2:4). “Beginning with their ‘principle,’ they go through the New Testament looking for commanded elements” (2:5). “That leaves us with no clear command to sing in Christian worship services” (2:6). “But where did this worship principle come from in the first place? Does the Bible really teach that ‘only that which God has commanded may be done in worship’?” (2:1) Schlissel’s argumentation presupposes the false, absurdly-narrow definition of the regulative principle. The phrases “only that which God has commanded,” “only do what God explicitly commands” and “that leaves us with no clear command” come directly from Schlissel. Thus this author’s assertions regarding Schlissel’s position are totally accurate. [6]Although this endnote is given in connection with a discussion of anti-paedobaptists, it is clear from the context that Schlissel is comparing regulativists to Baptists. He writes: “As we have seen, we have here a matter inextricably bound up with the way we approach and handle the Bible. In this it is not unlike the issue of baptism. Antipaedobaptists insist that the New Testament is so entirely new that our obligations are limited to what is commanded therein. Moreover, if it is not commanded in a certain way it is still forbidden, particularly regarding the sacraments. Hence, for Baptists, the absence of a clear NT command to baptize babies, joined to the many clear examples of adult baptisms following profession, leads to their conclusion that babies, covenant or otherwise, may not be lawfully baptized. This conclusion is inevitable once their premises are granted, but it is precisely their premises which are in need of repair. You see a remarkably similar handling of Scripture by regulativists. They assume their principle and make it the unchallengeable starting point” (2:1). [7]Samuel Parker as quoted in John Owen, “The Word of God the Sole Rule of Worship” in Works (Carlisle, Pa: Banner of Truth, 1967[1644]) 13:462. [8]John L. Girardeau, Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church (Havertown, Pa.: New Covenant Publication Society,1980 [1888] p.9. [9]James H. Thornwell, “Boards and Presbyterianism,” in Collected Writings (Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1974 [1875])4:255. [10]W. M. Hetherington, History of the Church in Scotland (Edinburg, Scotland, 1848), 1:15 as quoted in Thornwell, 4:256. [11]William S. McClure, “The Scriptural Law of Worship” in John McNaugher, ed., The Psalms in Worship (Edmonton, AB. Canada: Still Waters Revival Books, 1992 [1907]), p. 33. [12]William Young, The Puritan Principle of Worship (Vienna, Va.: Publication Committee of the Presbyterian Reformed Church, n.d.)p.10. [13]Brian M. Schwertley, The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas (Southfield, MI: Reformed Witness, 1996) p. 4. Schlissel quotes from page 9. [14]Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion: A Contemporary Case for Exclusive Psalmody (Pittsburgh, Pa.: Crown and Covenant, 1993[1980]), pp. 122-123. [15]All Scripture New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), unless otherwise noted. [16]Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (McLean, Va.: MacDonald Publishing, n.d.) 1:535-536. [17]Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible (Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1962 [1700] 2:117-118. [18]John Owen, “The Word of God the Sole Rule of Worship” in Works (Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1967 [1644] 13:467. Opponents of the regulative principle will probably argue that the reference to Abel and Noah offering sacrifice in accordance with a prior revelation (that was not inscripturated) is an argument of begging the question (i.e., assuming that which one sets out to prove). The idea that Abel and Noah’s offering sacrifice was based on prior special revelation, however, is not simply an assumption based on silence but is inferred from the overall teaching of Scripture. 1. In Hebrews 11:4 we are told that “by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” Biblical faith presupposes divine revelation. Throughout Hebrews 11 true faith is spoken of as a belief in God’s word that results in obedience to God’s revealed will. Any idea that Abel’s offering was based on reason alone, or that God’s acceptance of the blood sacrifice was arbitrary or based on the subjective state of Abel’s heart alone, must be rejected as unscriptural. John Brown writes: “Though we have no particular account of the institution of sacrifice, the theory of its originating in express divine appointment is the only tenable one. The idea of expresing religious feelings, or of expiating sin, by shedding the blood of animals, could never have entered into the mind of man. We read that God clothed our first parents with the skin of animals; and by far the most probable account of this matter is, that these were the skins of animals which He had commanded them to offer in sacrifce. We have already seen, in our illustrations of the ninth chapter, ver. 16, that all divine covenants, all merciful arrangements in reference to fallen man, have been ratified by sacrifice. The declaration of mercy contained in the first promise seems to have been accompanied with the institution of expiatory sacrifice. And expiatory sacrifice, when offered from a faith in the divine revelation in reference to it, was acceptable to God, both as the appointed expression of conscious guilt and ill desert, and of the hope of mercy, and as an act of obedience to the divine will. It would appear that this revelation was not believed by Cain, that he did not see and feel the need of expiatory sacrifice, and that his religion consisted merely in an acknowledgement of the Deity as the author of the benefits which he enjoyed. Abel, on the other hand, did believe the revelation. He readily acknowledges himself a sinner, and, expresses his penitence and his hope of forgiveness in the way of God’s appointment. Believing what God has said, he did what God had enjoined” (Hebrews [Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1963 (1862)], pp. 493-494). 2. Throughout both the Old and New Testament we are repeatedly told that the only worship that is acceptable to God is worship that is of divine appointment. One of the most fundamental principles of biblical interpretation is that Scripture cannot contradict itself. Therefore, when one assumes that the sacrifices of Abel and Noah were by divine institution one is simply using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Thus our argument regarding Abel and Noah is not an argument from silence but an argument from the analogy of Scripture. When Schlissel argues that a practice of Christ or the apostles is founded upon a human tradition because it is not accompanied by an explicit divine imperative he violates the analogy of Scripture. [19]Regarding the Feast of Dedication, Hendriksen writes: “This feast was (and is even today) the commemoration of the purification andrededication of the Temple by Judas the Maccabee in the year 165 B.C. (on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev, which approximates ourDecember), exactly three years after it had been defiled by the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes.... It is an eight day joyous festival, marked by illumination of the dwellings (hence, also called ‘Feast of Lights’) and family reunions. Though it is not one of the three great pilgrim feasts, it nevertheless drew many people to Jerusalem.” (William Hendriksen, The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1953] pp. 119-120). The defeat of the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes and the purification and rededication of the Temple clearly qualifies for a special time of thanksgiving. What regulativists disagree with is the taking of special days of thanksgiving (which is lawful), and turning them into religiously significant recurring holy days that are set up alongside the commanded festival days with their own religious rituals and so on. [20]One of the most ridiculous accusations that Schlissel makes against regulativists is that they completely miss the significance of the synagogue for the worship of the New Covenant Church. The truth is that Presbyterians have written more on the subject of the synagogue as it relates to the church than any other denomination (e.g., Samuel Miller; William Cunningham; James M. Willson; John Owen [Puritan-Independent]; James Bannerman; J. L. Girardeau; John McPherson; Douglas Bannerman; etc.). How does Schlissel tell us of the significance of the synagogue as it relates to the church? He quotes from Marcus Dodds, John MacPherson, and Douglas Bannerman, all of whom were Presbyterian. Virtually every book written by Presbyterian regulativists against the use of musical instruments in public worship has a section dedicated to proving that New Covenant worship was patterned after the synagogue. Why do regulativists emphasize the synagogue so much? Because the synagogue’s non-ceremonial worship helps us understand the worship of the early church! [21]Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1987) p. 201. [22]Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (McLean, Va.: MacDonald; n.d.) 5:210-211. [23]David Dickson, Matthew (Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1987 [1647] p. 207. [24]Samuel Rutherford, The Divine Right of Church Government and Excommunication, etc. (London: John Field, 1647) p. 138. [25]Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed, n.d. [from 1852 edition]), pp. 518-519. [26]John Eadie, A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979 [1884], pp. 199-200. [27]Kevin Reed, Biblical Worship (Dallas: Presbyterian Heritage Publications) 1995, p. 56. [28]Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, [1692] 1986), p. 63. [29]Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion: A Contemporary Case for Exclusive Psalmody (Pittsburgh, Pa.: Crown and Covenant Publications, [1980] 1993), pp. 149, 151-152. [30]Brian M. Schwertley, The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas (Southfield, MI: Reformed Witness; 1995) p. 12. Note also how William Young acknowledges the context: “A most remarkable passage bearing on the question is Jeremiah 7:31: ‘They have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the Son of Himnon, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.’ How clearly does this passage show that God does not view sin as does man. Man would revolt at the unnatural and inhuman cruelty of the burning of the fruit of one’s own body before an idol. But in God’s mind this is but secondary, the essential evil being that it is worship which He did not command, neither came it into His heart” (“The Second Commandment...” in Frank J. Smith and David C. Lachman, ed., Worship in the Presence of God [Greenville Seminary Press, 1992], p. 85). Other regulativists who acknowledge the context of the Jeremiah passage are John Owen, George Gillespie, John Calvin, etc. [31]John Calvin, Commentary on the Prophet Jeremiah (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), 1:413-414. [32]There is no question that that doctrine affects worship. Sacerdotalism (as Schlissel points out) leads to an exaltation of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper over the preaching of the Word. However, we should also note that worship can affect doctrine. When Presbyterians and Congregationalists abandoned exclusive psalmody and replaced their Psalters with effeminate, unbalanced, emasculated, man-centered “revivalistic” hymns, the path to Arminianism and eventually Modernism was made much easier. Hymnals speak much about God’s love and very little if anything about God’s hate, wrath, judgment, etc. I am not familiar with any imprecatory hymns. When denominations speak and sing about nothing but love (especially the false humanistic version of love found in many churches), they become unwilling to confront evil in the church and in society. The result is no church discipline (except perhaps for gross sexual sins). As a result, heretics are allowed to infiltrate all the church’s main institutions, and a false pietistic non-involvement in politics and society is the inevitable consequence. [33]James H. Thornwell, Collected Writings (Richmond: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1872), 2:163. by Brian M. Schwertley www.all-of-grace.org/pub/schwertley/schlissel.html

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Lady Jane
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 22:05:43 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Lady Jane, Thanks! I tried the link to this article from 3 different web sites and only got the infamous '404 Error' message. Perhaps the hosting server was down? In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: JOwen
    To: Lady Jane
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 20:35:18 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Steven M. Schlissel

    I also have read Steven M. Schlissel's articles against the Regulative Principle of Worship and I have found them insufficient to cause any real change on either side. I would be surprised if he convinced a single person to switch. Not only are the articles scholastically week (although well written), but also they are based on poor exegesis and non-sequiter reasoning. To be sure, the Regulative Principle of Worship is still safe if this is the best that non-regulativists can produce.


    Kind Regards, JOwen.

    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: Prestor John
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 20:09:53 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:

    JOWEN

    Well you know JOwen I really didn't expect any of the puritans to come over to the unregulated side with that series of articles, I was more interested in sharing others who had the same views as those of us of the non-puritan viewpoint.
    I'm still of the opinion that the two of us can exist as comrades in arms even if we differ in regards to how we view the regulation of worship.
    If not well never let it be said I dinna try to mend fences.


    Prestor John

    Servabo Fidem!


    Subject: Re: RPW or IPW?
    From: JOwen
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Thurs, Jan 04, 2001 at 13:01:40 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Prestor John

    I could not agree with you more! Some of my best friends are ministers that are “other” than puritanical in respect to the RPW. I am fine with that. One of my closest friends is an RB minister and we agree to disagree on many things. That is not to say that the position held by the vast majority of the historic church is left without an adequate defense of the RPW or those of us that are HR (Historically Reformed) will simply roll over when confronted. I consider you a brother in Christ and would work beside you on many fronts I’m sure. However, in respect to intramural debates we can argue passionately our position’s without ad hominem rebuttal. I thank you again for your openness to correction from the brethren.


    Kind Regards, JOwen.

    Subject: Quotes On Water Baptism
    From: Brother Bret
    To: All
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 07:03:43 (PST)
    Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

    Message:
    Happy New Year To All: I have been in dialogue with a catholic gentleman and he sent me the following quotes. If my memory serves me correctly, most of them were on the 'fringe' so to speak with their beliefs, but please remind me. I am especially curious though as to Augustine's quotes. But wasn't there more than one Augustine? One in the 2nd century or so, and one in the 4th century? Please let me know what you think of the Augustine quotes especially, as well as the others. Thanks! BB AUGUSTINE: ' It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated...when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, ' Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents'' or ' by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him,'' but, ' Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit,'' The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefits of grace, both regenerated in Adam' ( Letters 98:2 [ A.D. 408]). AUGUSTINE: ' Those who, though they have not received the washing of regeneration, die for the confession of Christ-it avails them just as much for the forgiveness of their sins as if they had been washed in the sacred font of baptism. For he that said, ' If anyone is not reborn of water and the Spirit, he will not enter the kingdom of heaven,'' made an exception for them in that other statement in which he says no less generally, ' Whoever confesses me before men, I too will confess him before my Father, who is in heaven'' [ Matt. 10:32] ( City of God 13:7 [ A.D. 420]). TERTULLIAN: ' [N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, ' Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life'' ( On Baptism 12:1 [ A.D. 203]). JUSTIN MARTYR: ' As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [ Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, and instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we pray and fast with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father...and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit [ Matt. 28:19], they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, ' Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'' ( First Apology 61 [ A.D.151]). IRENAEUS: '' And [ Naaman] dipped himself...seven times in the Jordan'' [ 2 Kgs.5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [ this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: ' Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'' ( Fragments 34 [ A.D. 190]). RECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT: ' But you will perhaps say, ' What does the baptism of water contribute toward the worship of God?'' In the first place, because that which has pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because when you are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the fraility of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so...you shall be able to attain salvation; but otherwise it is impossible. For thus has the true prophet [ Jesus] testified to us with an oath: ' Verily, I say to you, that unless a man is born again of water...he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'' ( Recognitions of Clement 6:9 [ A.D. 221]). CYPRIAN: ' [When] they receive also the baptism of the Church...then finally can they be fully sanctified and be the sons of God...since it is written, ' Except a man be born again of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God'' ( Letters 71 [ 72]:1 [ A.D. 252]). BASIL THE GREAT: ' This then is what it means to be ' born again of water and Spirit'': Just as our dying is effected in the water [ Rom. 6:3, Col. 2:12-13}, our living is wrought through the Spirit. In three immersions and an equal number of invocations the great mystery of baptism is completed in such a way that the type of death may be shown figuratively, and that by the handing on of divine knowledge the souls of the baptized may be illuminated. If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from nature of water, but from the Spirit's presence there' ( On the Holy Spirit 15:35 [ A.D. 375]).

    Subject: Re: Quotes On Water Baptism
    From: Tom
    To: Brother Bret
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 11:17:12 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Unless one believes in baptismal regeneration (which is contrary to the rest of scripture) then the word 'water' in John 3:5 is not referring to water baptism. The exact meaning is under debate by many theologians. Some believe it is refering to the word of God, they use 1 Peter 1:23 and James 1:18 as proof texts. Still others believe that it is referring to the Spirit, they refer to John 7:38, 39. They also say that the verse could be translated this way: Unless one is born of water, EVEN the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' I have even heard a few say that the word 'water is referring to our earthly birth. They support this by the fact that the expression 'born of the Spirit' is found twice in the verses following (verses 6, 8). It is for that reason that I am leaning on that interpretation, but I am not completely dogmatic about it. Tom

    Subject: Re: Quotes On Water Baptism
    From: Brother Bret
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 14:12:20 (PST)
    Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

    Message:
    I believe it is referring to the earthly birth because of Nicodemus' question of 'how can be born when he is old, can he enter a second time inrto his mother's womb and be born?' AND Jesus response in verse 6 'that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' Thanks for the reply. Didn't mean to imply that the quotes were confusing me. Jusat concerned about the Augustine quote out of the 'City of God' writing :^ ) BB

    Subject: Re: Quotes On Water Baptism
    From: Prestor John
    To: Brother Bret
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 20:22:09 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    You needn't have been concerned Bro. Brett, sure we all like Augustine, and his discussions on God's grace are among the best. However, we hold to SOLA SCRIPTURA and not to the teachings of men. When people such as the one you are talking about quote these men and their quotes are against what scripture teaches we can easily confound them by using scriptures as our teacher not men. But you know this, have a nice day. Prestor John Is that my soul that I hear call my name?

    Subject: Re: Quotes On Water Baptism
    From: Brother Bret
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 14:17:16 (PST)
    Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

    Message:
    Dear Prestor John: Thanks for responding. I was and am still hoping for more. I just wanted to find out what people knew, if anything, about Augustine's quote or others. it seems to contradict his stance on the grace of God. perhaps the quote was earlier in walk with the Lord? But one of them was allegedly from the City of God?!? Thanks anyway. BB P.S. What did you mean by 'Is that my soul that I hear call my name?' That one I'm afraid is going over my head :^ ). But that's not hard to do...hehe.

    Subject: Looking for a church home
    From: reformedeagle
    To: All
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 23:43:56 (PST)
    Email Address: reformedeagle_lv_nv@msn.com

    Message:
    I am looking for a group to worship with in the greater Las Vegas, Nevada area which is baptistic, holds to the doctrines of grace, and to a reformed government. Denominational or non-denominational is unimportant. It can be a mission, a church, or just a group of like-minded people who have not yet formed a church. If you belong to or know of such a group, please e-mail me at reformedeagle_lv_nv@msn.com. Thank you.

    Subject: KJV-onlyism
    From: Hail
    To: All
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 15:49:12 (PST)
    Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

    Message:
    I am in an e-mail debate with a staunch KJV-onlyist that insists the KJV is the only true Word of God. The person brought up this verse: Matthew 5:18 'For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.' How would you go about showing that God's Word is inerrant in light of the fact that no single translation is 100% correct to every jot and tittle? Thanks, Hail

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Webservant
    To: Hail
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:52:19 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I am in an e-mail debate with a staunch KJV-onlyist that insists the KJV is the only true Word of God. The person brought up this verse: Matthew 5:18 'For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.' How would you go about showing that God's Word is inerrant in light of the fact that no single translation is 100% correct to every jot and tittle? Thanks, Hail
    ---
    Common sense should tell anyone that the KJV is only a translation for the original Greek and Hebrew. And the Bible has been translated into many other languages. The Word of God in its purest form would be in the original languages. Language changes all the time. For one thing, new words are added every day. Old English is now archaic, and many of the words have lost their meaning over the centuries. However, while KJV is only a translation, it is a superior translation, in my humble opinion, for several reasons. For one thing, the concordances are keyed to the KJV. For another, it seems to be easier to memorize. Also, it seems that the later translations have tried to accomodate our modern culture to some degree. Incidentally, nowhere in the verse you mentioned did I find the KJV mentioned. Stratford Orthodox Presbyterian Church www.stratfordopc.org/

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Chris
    To: Webservant
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 06:39:31 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    In reference to the KJV issue, I thought I would define what I consider King James onlyism. After all, what good does it do to debate a topic in which all cannot agree upon the definition? Group 1: The KJV is the best English translation of the Scriptures. This group believes that the KJV is the best English translation ever made, based upon the best mss and the best scholarship, and no modern version has shown itself to be better in either style or substance. Although believing the KJV to be best, they acknowledge that it is not the only legitimate translation, and while they personally prefer it, they do not condemn those who use other translations. This group is not KJV Only. 2. Majority text advocates. This group believes that the textual basis underlying the KJV is the best textual basis available, and though the KJV does not completely follow the MT, it is the closest translation we have to the MT, as the KJV is very reliable, for most of the reasons in group 1. This group welcomes newer translations based on the majority text. This group is not KJV only . I put myself in this group. 3. The Textus Receptus only group. This group believes that the textus receptus is the finest textual basis available, and since the KJV is based on the TR, it is the favored translation. People in this group are generally open to other faithful TR translations (NKJV, MKJV, LITV, KJ21, etc) but some in this group also believe like group 1 that the KJV is the finest translation of the TR available and remains unsurpassed, so it should be the recommended version to use. This group is not KJV only. 4. The perfect King James Version. This group believes that the King James Version itself is the perfect, reinspired word of God, containing no translational errors or amendations. Their concern is not with the original language basis at all, but believe that the KJV should correct the Hebrew and Greek. They believe any version that deviates in wording from the KJV is 'corrupt', and that the KJV alone is the word of God alone. Anyone who uses another version of Scripture is deemed a fool or an instrument of Satan to be fought on every front. They cannot be reasoned with or shown reliable evidence contrary to their view. This group is King James Only. . So by these definitions, only the fourth group is considered KJVO by myself. These are my definitions based on my experience, and I present them for general discussion.
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    Soli Deo Gloria

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Tom
    To: Chris
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 08:07:17 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Chris I have run into another group, that is similar to number 3. The only difference is that they don't believe that any other version is faithful to the Textus Receptus. Although I don't know this for sure, but they seem not to believe it possible to make a version that is close to being as faithful to the TR as the KJV. For that reason they condemn all other English versions. Tom

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: John P.
    To: Webservant
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 10:55:02 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    One more reason why the KJV is a superior translation: in the original Greek, and I believe the Hebrew, too (although I don't know Hebrew), there is a distinction made between second person singular and second person plural verbs and pronouns. This distinction is not made in modern translations and is made in the KJV. For instance, in a modern translation, the pronoun, 'you,' is used for both a single individual, and a group of individuals. For instance, in Romans 2:4 (New American Standard Version), we read as follows: 'or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?' That is a second person singular in the original. In Romans 1:6 (same version), we read, 'among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.' In this instance, the 'you' is a second person plural in the original language. However, if you didn't notice, there is no distinction in the modern translation - the same word, 'you,' is used in both instances. In the KJV, however, a second person singular is almost always found as a 'Thou,' or a, 'thee,' and a second person plural is almost always found as a, 'Ye,' or a, 'you.' The importance of this rests in the fact that the KJV is making a distinction that is made in the original languages, while the modern translations almost wholly neglect it. In some cases, this can be rather important in our interpretation of a passage. As an example of a passage that demonstrates its importance is Philippians 1:6. Here are the four major translations of this verse: Phil 1:6 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV) Phil 1:6 6 {For I am} confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (NAS) Phil 1:6 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV) Phil 1:6 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (NKJ) Although all of these translations use the pronoun, 'you,' the KJV's use of this pronoun in this place indicates that the, 'you,' is plural. If it weren't, it would be translated as, 'thee.' The other translations, however, leave the passage ambiguous because they would use the word, 'you,' whether the original indicated a singular individual or group of individuals. Thus, some people who use modern translations will argue for the perseverance of the saints from this passage as though it conclusively proves their point, when, at best, it just shows that perseverance of the saints is a possibility. For, the verse actually is saying something to the affect of, 'God, who has begun a good work among (GR - 'en') the whole group of Philippians will bring it to perfection.' NOT, 'God, who has begun a good work in an individual will bring the work in that individual to perfection.' Now, I believe in the perseverance of the saints - but, knowing this, I wouldn't use this verse to defend it. This distinction is important in other places, too. Also, as a side note, you have probably noticed that some people in prayer address God with, 'Thee's,' and, 'Thou's.' Some people find this offensive, and complain that these people are, 'holier than thou,' types. Although I don't think it is necessarily a sin to pray with pronouns such as, 'you,' I think it is more appropriate to use the, 'Thee's,' and, 'Thou's,' because the men in Scripture always (so far as I have studied it) addressed God in the second person singular. If the English langauge can make this distinction - and it can - then I can't seem to find a reason why we shouldn't make that same distinction in our prayers. I'll stop here, though. John P.

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Tom
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 08:18:32 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    John Do you think it is possible to make a translation that is as accurate as the KJV? Is it possible not to use the thee's and thou's, and use words in their place that give the same meaning as the original languages? Tom

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: John P.
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 14:07:55 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings Tom, You asked: 'Do you think it is possible to make a translation that is as accurate as the KJV? Is it possible not to use the thee's and thou's, and use words in their place that give the same meaning as the original languages?' Yes, it is possible to make a translation better than the KJV. I suspect it is possible to make a translation that does not use, 'thee's and thou's,' which has the same meaning - but not in English (unless we want to add some new words to our language which have these meanings, or give the Bible a rather strong southern drawl, 'y'all (sp?) for ye'...which nobody has done yet, to my knowledge). It could be complicated if we don't simply use the, 'thee's and thou's,' but it is possible. Godspeed, John P.

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Tom
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 14:46:44 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    John I guess the reason I asked that question, is that I know people (such as my wife) that trip all over the language of the KJV. She even told me, it is a good thing that the KJV isn't the only Bible, or she wouldn't be able to get anything out of it. Myself, although I used to have trouble with the KJV, I no longer do, and use it as my main study Bible. Though I do use other versions as well for study. Tom

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: John P.
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 14:19:53 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings again Tom, I was just looking at Chris and your discussion above - I would probably fall into one of the first two categories he listed. I'm certainly not in the fourth, though. John P.

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Tom
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 17:18:05 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    John I believe you bring up a good point about the thees and thous. However, I would be curious as to your responce to some of the accusations at the following site: http://www.bible.ca/b-kjv-only.htm#errors Tom

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: John P
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 19:11:36 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Greetings Tom, I wasn't intending on saying that the KJV is an infallible translation. Only the autographs are infallible. I do believe that the KJV is the only translation that should be used in corporate worship, but not because it is without error - it was the only translation that was authorized by what I recognize as a lawful General Assembly. I don't have time to discuss that, for the time being. All I was pointing out is the fact that the KJV is a translation which is far superior to modern translations, for many reasons - not the least of which is the, 'thee's and thou's.' I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear - I should have taken more time to state my position more fully. Love, John P.

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Brother Bret
    To: Hail
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 21:13:13 (PST)
    Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

    Message:
    A couple more thoughts? When the word of God was translated into other languages, whether English or otherwise, was it in the language that was common to the people at that time? When a preacher or Christian is preaching or teaching from the King James Version, don't they expound and proclaim it in the common language for our day? How often does what the preacher say end up matching the New King James or New American Standard versions? As Pilgrim also said, the KJV is my main version and what I use from the pulpit. But I also use the NKJV greatly, as well as other versions for comparable study. Brother Bret Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

    Subject: Re: You are ......
    From: stan
    To: Brother Bret
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 06:22:42 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    trying to use logic and that is a subject many kjvonlyers never bother with ;-) or just don't understand. I think as you dig into the movement you will find that they are getting off base in a lot of other areas as well - really odd ball doctrine. I know - I know! Who am I to talk about other peoples odd doctrines ;-) http://www.bible.ca used to have a section on kjvonly - had a lot of questions for the kjv only folk for those that are interested. stan

    Subject: Re: You are ......
    From: Hail
    To: stan
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 19:09:01 (PST)
    Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

    Message:
    Stan and all, Bible.ca still has the KJV-only page. It is located at http://www.bible.ca/b-kjv-only.htm. I just found it, and the plethora of information has helped me better understand and refute the KJV-only issue. Hail

    Subject: Re: You are ......
    From: Tom
    To: Hail
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 14:19:28 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    I found what that site had to say on the subject to be quite good. But on another issue that I found on the site, they believe in baptismal regeneration. They have a section on topics like this. Tom

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Hail
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 21:47:18 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hail,
    I have no desire to get into a long and detailed treatise on the errors espoused by the 'KJV only' advocates. But rather I'll just throw out a few comments which I think address the more salient points necessary. :-) 1. Is it really true that Moses spoke in Elizabethan English? 2. What of the Cloverdale, Geneva and Tyndale Bibles, which the KJV is based upon? How can one bifurcate these and other translations, including the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint which the KJV is inseparably bound? 3. No worthy scholar would nor ever has proposed that ANY translation (including the KJV) is 'infallible and inerrant'!! Only the original manuscripts are recognized as possessing these qualities. ALL translations, regardless of language, are inherently 'flawed'. Some more than others. The KJV, in my opinion, is an excellent translation, but so is the American Standard (orig. Revised Version), and the New King James. 4. The real debate actually is with the Textual Manuscript Evidence and not with the translations. 5. The translators of the KJV, although they have done an exemplary job, were not 'inspired' and thus there are places where their translation is wanting, as one consults and studies the Textus Receptus upon which it is based. Like anyone, they were bound by their limited knowledge of history and culture of biblical times. And thus their translation is not as accurate as it might be compared to the new 'light' we now possess due to archaeology and other sources of historical significance. Okay, that's enough... LOL! BTW, I use the KJV as my main English translation. So I'm not overly biased against it!
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Hail
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 17:09:03 (PST)
    Email Address: hailstreak@cs.com

    Message:
    Thank you for the information, Pilgrim! The argument of the person I am debating with is entirely based on the assumption that God used 70 scholars in 1607 to correctly translate Scripture. My question to this person was, 'How do you know this?' I find it interesting that the entire KJV-only argument is based on pure assumption. I think the KJV-onlyers need to use some common sense here. :-) Hail

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Hail
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 09:15:06 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hail,
    Yes, there is a whole lot of 'assumption' going on in that camp. Using their illogical premise, why isn't the Septuagint the only inspired translation? After all, there were '70 scholars' involved in that one too? :-)
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Goodness ....
    From: stan
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 14:53:03 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    maybe you've got something there Pilgram, write us a book and we will be able to start a new movement!!!!!!! ;-) Seppey only lives!

    Subject: Re: Goodness ....
    From: Tom
    To: stan
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 17:08:43 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Stan Forgive me for my ignorance, but what was your point in your comment to Pilgrim? Tom

    Subject: Re: Ever .....
    From: stan
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 18:12:31 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    hear of humor? Sorry, will try to refrain from further outbursts. shlep

    Subject: Re: Ever .....
    From: Tom
    To: stan
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 18:24:11 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Stan Yes I have heard of humor. I use it myself from time to time, lol. However, when I do, I do it for a purpose, I wasn't sure what your purpose was. Tom

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: stan
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 16:05:00 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Having been around the block a time or two with a kjv onlyer or two I would suggest the following concerning your answers. I speak from experience with their followers, not the volumes of books on the subject - have not wasted my time reading those! 1. Irrelevant. 2. Irrelevant. 3. Irrelevant. 4. In some KVJonliers minds - in others Irrelevant. 5. Irrelevant. There are lots of shades of kjvonlyism of late - it is a doctrine that is in flux ;-) The kjv is the inspired book not the originals, though some might go back to the originals I don't think most do anymore. This covers number two - it doesn't matter what the kjv is based on it is the one that is inspired. No worthy scholar - in their eyes their mentors are worthy scholars ;-) but you are quite correct to point out the originals are the ones that were inspired and I would also agree on the 'no worthy scholar' point. Actually I've seen a few doctrinal statements quite lacking in this over the years - not mentioning in the original. In years past the Textus Receptus was held to be the correct side of things, but many of the kjvers now don't bother with it - it is the kjv that is inspired, no matter where it came from. I did see one the other day that mentioned that the kjv is the inspired version for the English speaking folk. This gets them out of the doghouse with the argument that the gospel can't be given to non English speaking people. Not sure what the fellow would have suggested that the inspired version would be for other languages. stan

    Subject: Re: KJV-onlyism
    From: Prestor John
    To: Hail
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 20:24:40 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Well Hail, I'd like to point out that verse says not one jot or tittle will pass from the law. I don't see anything saying: 'the King James Version, plus by that reasoning if its not of the law then its subject to error. So what do we do with the Psalms, Proverbs, Galatians, etc . . .? That's not law, is it? Also where does it say how God will preserve His Word? Does it mean that God will never allow the substance of what His Word says to be changed or does it mean that there will always be one 'pure' translation no matter the language? See the passage doesn't even address those concerns does it? So in reality it can't really be used to prop up that sad old song about KJV being the one true version can it? Prestor John Armchair theologian, curmudgeon and esperantist Servabo Fidem!

    Subject: Luke 2:14...which translation?
    From: Anne
    To: All
    Date Posted: Tues, Dec 26, 2000 at 11:21:59 (PST)
    Email Address: anneivy@home.com

    Message:
    NIV: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.' RSV/NASB: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!' NKJV/KJV: 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!' YLT: 'Glory in the highest to God, and upon earth peace, among men -- good will.' There's a significant disparity between the NIV/RSV/NASB translations and the KJV/NKJV/YLT translations, since the former do not possess the universal greeting motif of the latter. Any thoughts as to why there is such a difference between them, and which is most likely to be accurate? Hoping everyone here had a holy, blessed, and joyful Christmas,BTW! Anne

    Subject: NASB
    From: chosendust
    To: Anne
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 19:51:37 (PST)
    Email Address: chosendust@yahoo.com

    Message:
    Wish I could remember sources...hey, in Peanuts strip once Linus favored the first cluster..or did he just make a note of it? my poor memory...well, that wasn't meant to actually be signif. Anyway, Dr. James White called the NKJV a superior translation of an inferior text (i.e. the TR being inferior to the later text). This, I think, was a general comment but applies. - chosendust

    Subject: Re: Luke 2:14...which translation?
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Anne
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 07:03:36 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Anne, Basically this difference is due not to the translators, but the manuscripts used by the translators; Nestle-Kurt Aland or Majority Text or the 'Received' Text; Textus Receptus. Pilgrim

    Subject: Justification in Luther
    From: Kenneth
    To: All
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 15:00:50 (PST)
    Email Address: vandahl@post10.tele.dk

    Message:
    I have just been reading a sermon by Luther on Gal 4:1-7 that seems to make justification a rather psycological occurence rather than a legal one. There is something very subjective to it, something like Christ sets us free to do good voluntarily, but it is not made clear whether this liberation is merely psycological or also and primarily forensic. Is there somewhere in Luther where it is clearly stated that justification is an objective occurrence? Or, that in justification the person as such is set free, not only this person's mind or will? Kenneth

    Subject: Re: Justification in Luther
    From: Rod
    To: Kenneth
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 12:32:29 (PST)
    Email Address: na

    Message:
    Kenneth, I don't know if I have misunderstood your question or not, but Luther would never, in my estimation, declare a person 'set free.' His will is perpetually in bondage: as an unsaved person to sin and to do evil; and as a saved person (justified) to serve God, to Whom he is now bound instead. He, quite obviously, would be freed from his bondage to sin, but the freedom he acquires by the grace of God is to 'fulfill the law of Christ.' I strongly recommend Luther's book on Romans, if you have not already read it. In the introduction, he says: 'In this sense, then, you understand chapter 7, in which St. Paul still calls himself a sinner, and yet says, in chapter 8, that theyre is nothing condemnable in those who are in Christ on account of the incompleteness of the the gifts and the Spirit. Because the flesh is not yet slain, we are still sinners; but because we believe and have a beginning of the Spirit, God is so favorable and gracious to us that He will not count the sin against us or judge us for it, but will deal with us according to our faith in Christ, until sin is slain...Faith, however, is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1); it kills the old Adam...and it brings with it the Holy Ghost...and so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly....'

    Subject: Re: Justification in Luther
    From: saved
    To: Kenneth
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 08:11:44 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I have just been reading a sermon by Luther on Gal 4:1-7 that seems to make justification a rather psycological occurence rather than a legal one. There is something very subjective to it, something like Christ sets us free to do good voluntarily, but it is not made clear whether this liberation is merely psycological or also and primarily forensic. Is there somewhere in Luther where it is clearly stated that justification is an objective occurrence? Or, that in justification the person as such is set free, not only this person's mind or will? Kenneth
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    - I agree with Pilgrim on this. Hear this good sermon when they upload the sound. Luther & Justification www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?currSection=sermonsspeaker&sermonID=6267

    Subject: Re: Justification in Luther
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Kenneth
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 17:26:10 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Kenneth,
    There can be no doubt that Martin Luther was one of the greatest defenders of 'Sola Fide'; Justification by Faith Alone. His position was one which proclaimed an immediate and actual forensic justification at the moment a person believed on Christ Jesus. His 'by-word' is well known: simul iustus et peccatore translated: 'simultaneously justified and sinner'! I think you will find more than sufficient evidence that Luther held to a forensic justification in his two volume commentary on 'Galatians' [Luther's Works, vol. 26 and 27, American Edition]. Even many of his own hymns testify to this fact.
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Christmas Message
    From: Prestor John
    To: All
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 22, 2000 at 16:57:13 (PST)
    Email Address: pdnelson@icehouse.net

    Message:
    And with two days to spare I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Prestor John's Demesne Christmas Message for 2000 www.icehouse.net/pdnelson/index.htm

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: JOwen
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 08:50:39 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Thanks for the sentiments, but our family and church does not take part in this roman holy day. Happy New Year. JOwen Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: Brother Bret
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 12:42:24 (PST)
    Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

    Message:
    JOwen: I'll be the first one to admit, that I have struggled with aspects of the 'celebration' part of Christmas. But if I have my history correct, isn't this something that was started by Constantine in the 4th century before the Roman Catholic Church got rolling as an organzation and later became corrupt? Brother Bret

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: RJ
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 10:50:56 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Thanks for the sentiments, but our family and church does not take part in this roman holy day. Happy New Year. JOwen Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    ---
    JOwen, This is a surprise!..Please explain why you do not celebrate? In His Grace, RJ

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: JOwen
    To: RJ
    Date Posted: Mon, Dec 25, 2000 at 12:55:52 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    The 25th of December, Christmas, is rooted in pagan idol worship. "Many of the earth's inhabitants were sun worshipers because the course of their lives depended on its yearly round in the heavens, and feasts were held to aid its return from distant wanderings. In the south of Europe, in Egypt and Persia, the sun gods were worshipped with elaborate ceremonies at the season of the winter solstice, as a fitting time to pay tribute to the benign god of plenty, while in Rome the Saturnalia reigned for a week. In northern lands mid-December was a critical time, for the days became shorter and shorter and the sun was weak and far away. Thus these ancient peoples held feast at the same period that Christmas is now observed (Encyclopedia Britannica 1961 ed., 5:643). During the winter solstice period the Babylonians worshipped Tammuz;( Ibid., 5:642.) the Greeks and Romans worshipped Jupiter, Mithra, Saturn, Hercules, Bacchus, and Adonis; the Egyptians worshipped Osiris and Horus; the Scandinavians worshipped Odin (or Woden). "Among the German and Celtic tribes the winter solstice was considered an important point of the year, and they held their chief festival of Yul to commemorate the return of the burning wheel. The holly, the mistletoe, the Yul log, and the wassail bowl are relics of pre-Christian times."( Ibid., 5:642). The Apostolic church did not celebrate Christ mass, nor was it celebrated in the first few centries until A.D. 245, Origen (Hom. 8 on Leviticus) repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ, "as if he were a king Pharaoh." The reason that Christmas became a church holy day has nothing to do with the Bible. The Bible does not give the date of Christ's birth. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate Christmas. Christmas (as well as many other pagan practices) was adopted by the Roman church as a missionary strategy. It is interesting to see the motives behind the use of pagan festivles by the Roman Catholic Church. I believe they used it as a point of evangelism. Look at Pope Gregory I's instructions to missionaries, given in A.D. 601: "Because they [the pagans] were wont to sacrifice oxen to devils, some celebration should be given in exchange for this. . . they should celebrate a religious feast and worship God by their feasting, so that still keeping outward pleasures, they may more readily receive spiritual joys”( The United Church Observer, Santa's Family Tree, Dec. 1976, p. 14). This syncretism with paganism explains why Christmas customs are pagan to the core. The Christmas tree came into use because sacred trees were an important aspect of pagan worship during the winter solstice season. In Babylon, the evergreen tree represented Nimrod coming to life again in Tammuz who was supposedly born of a virgin, Semiramus. In Rome, they decorated fir trees with red berries to celebrate Saturnalia. The Scandinavians brought a sacred fir tree into their homes in honor of their god Odin. "When the pagans of Northern Europe became Christians, they made their sacred evergreen trees part of the Christian festival, and decorated the trees with gilded nuts, candles (a carry-over from sun worship), and apples to stand for the stars, moon, and sun” (World Book Encyclopedia, (1955 ed.), 3:1425.). The Roman Catholic Church hates the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Roman church uses human inventions, such as Christmas, to keep millions of people in darkness. The fact that millions of Bible-believing Protestants are observing a Roman Catholic holy day which has not been commanded anywhere in God's Word reveals the sad state of modern Evangelicalism. "We cannot conform, communicate, and symbolize with the idolatrous Papists, in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation." Our attitude should be that of the Protestant Reformer Bucer who said, "I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord's day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the Word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names” (A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God's Worship, (n.p., 1633), p. 360.). My thoughts on this subject are plain. If you do celebrate the 25th of December, please do not bring Christ into it. He never asked you to bring his name into this Roman holy day. Have you presents, your turkey, family get together, and tree, but please don’t bring Jesus into your celebration, please. I know I will be labeled a legalist by many on this list…so be it. I am in good conscience and good company. Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Subject: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Prestor John
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 19:51:50 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    You know JOwen I don't mind that you don't celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Your loss, I've known a few of your ilk and they always appeared to be the happiest when cutting off their own nose to spite their face. See the point is this you could have look at my greeting and then said: 'Well another person going around with Merry Christmas on their lips bah humbug.' See you could have been like Scrooge keeping Christmas the way you do (or don't as the is case )and allowing us who have the pleasure of celebrating the holiday alone. However, you instead are of those that want to stop Christmas from coming at all. Now it maybe that your shoes are too tight or your head's not screwed on quite right, or that your heart is two sizes too small. Or perhaps, just perhaps its because you desperately want to out do your Puritan heroes. Now JOwen the Puritan's did a lot of good things I love reading the real John Owen's writings but the Puritans had the bad habit of tossing the baby out with the bath water. Your battle cry being: 'if Christ did not tell me to do it I won't!' The trouble is neither did Christ specifically command you to do what you are doing. Now let's take a look at your statement about December 25th being rooted in pagan idol worship. And your absolutely correct, but then what isn't? The days of the week, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc... are all based upon pagan gods. So are the months, so unless your calendar is based on the Jewish one (in which it would show you that Monday was the 28th of Kislev) by using that Gregorian device you are commingling with the pagans. Along with this I have to ask this: Why is it wrong to replace pagan festivals with Christian ones? When the early church fathers decided upon a liturgical year it was with the expressed purpose of showing God's sovereignty over time (hours, seasons, days) and to focus our thoughts upon Christ's life. As well as developing a reading schedule that would have the entire Bible read in a three year time during the services. The idea being to change the people's thoughts on how they viewed the days. And lastly in regards to your Christmas tree fetish. I give you a link by Pastor Richard P. Bucher The Origin and Meaning of the Christmas Tree A Lutheran Pastor who says it much better than I could. BTW did you know that Martin Luther celebrated Christmas? Some of his best sermons on grace were preached on that day. God bless us everyone!! Prestor John

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 18:41:38 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hi all, The trouble with this kind of reasoning , is there nothing biblical in it. What ever happened to the doctrine of 'sola scriptura' where the Bible is the ultimate authority on all matters of faith and practice. I have seen it so many times. First someone uses a scriptural principle then any rebutals to it come in the form of 'I feel' or ... did u know that ' Martin Luther or whoever did this or that ?'. Historical testimony is fine in its place...but give me a break... lets begin 1st by refering 'To the law and to the testimony:' (Isaiah 8:20). I could care less what this person or that person did in worship throughout history... For we are not to'follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2).When it comes to *God's worship* he will *tell us* what He wants. For He is the owner of such things. We'must worship Him in spirit and in truth'.(John 14:17) How could anyone think that God would be pleased with any worship that is based on lies. All across the world there are nativity scenes in the stable surrounded by animals with three wise men from the east bearing gifts. But Scripturally there: * is no inkeeper in the Bible, much less a kindly inkeeper who offered his stable for Joseph and Mary. * is never any indication the the Baby was in a stable * are no animals mentioned- anywhere. * are no wise men at the the birth of Christ ... they did not show up for almost 2 years after His birth ... and even then they visited them at a house. I'm sure we could find more lies ... but this should suffice to make my point. As far as celebrating the birth of Christ goes ... where does God ask for such a thing? If He actually desired such a thing ... would He not have given us warrant to do so? Leviticus 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he *commanded them not.* Jeremiah 10:2 'Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen' Do you not think that if God wanted us to worship Him in this manner ... He would have supplied us with ... LOL... at least the correct day. Not some Romish makeover of a pagan holyday! Jeremiah 10:3-4 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. If any care what the Bible actually has to say on this matter. see : http://www.reformed.com/pub/xmas.htm Christmass www.reformed.com/pub/xmas.htm

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Chris
    To: Marrowman
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:44:32 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Marrowman, Does the Bible also deal with Legalism, Touch not Taste not, Handle not. We are so concerned about our own Ideas and knowledge that we will miss the whole point of the Freedom we have in Christ and will end up in the Bondage of Mens own Standards or prefrences. But I for one wont serve Men though because of Love would rather be obedient to the Scriptures than to see one of my Brothers to offend and sin. Then i would have to give an account for it. We all again need to reflect on what is going on here. Now I do agree that there is alot of Verses in the Bible that deal with certain issues that we are dealing with, but why are we Judging one anothers motives and intentions and we dont even know each other. JOwen, Puritan, and Marrowman dont want to observe Christmas, that is fine and I admire you all for that, the rest of us dont have a problem with it, according to the Word of God, if they have such a problem with it then we should not Celebrate it at all as the world stands in their presence. And the same thing goes for anyone else within the local Churchs.(If it becomes an issue and cant be settled)

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Chris
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:57:24 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Chris,
    John Calvin was of the same mind when it came to the liberty which we have in Christ. And he was no Antinomian! :-) And he was imminently a man who knew and believed the Scriptures:
    'The third part of this liberty is that we are not bound before God to any observance of external things which are in themselves indifferent, ('adiafora') but that we are now at full liberty either to use or omit them. The knowledge of this liberty is very necessary to us; where it is wanting our consciences will have no rest, there will be no end of superstition. In the present day many think us absurd in raising a question as to the free eating of flesh, the free use of dress and holidays, and similar frivolous trifles, as they think them; but they are of more importance than is commonly supposed. For when once the conscience is entangled in the net, it enters a long and inextricable labyrinth, from which it is afterwards most difficult to escape. When a man begins to doubt whether it is lawful for him to use linen for sheets, shirts, napkins, and handkerchiefs, he will not long be secure as to hemp, and will at last have doubts as to tow; for he will revolve in his mind whether he cannot sup without napkins, or dispense with handkerchiefs. Should he deem a daintier food unlawful, he will afterwards feel uneasy for using loafbread and common eatables, because he will think that his body might possibly be supported on a still meaner food. If he hesitates as to a more genial wine, he will scarcely drink the worst with a good conscience; at last he will not dare to touch water if more than usually sweet and pure. In fine, he will come to this, that he will deem it criminal to trample on a straw lying in his way. For it is no trivial dispute that is here commenced, the point in debate being, whether the use of this thing or that is in accordance with the divine will, which ought to take precedence of all our acts and counsels. Here some must by despair be hurried into an abyss, while others, despising God and casting off his fear, will not be able to make a way for themselves without ruin. When men are involved in such doubts whatever be the direction in which they turn, every thing they see must offend their conscience.' (BOOK III CHAPTER 19 SECTION 7)
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: marrowman
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 21:49:31 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim wrote: Agreed ... but has was also no innovator of God's worship ethier. John Calvin was not condoning additions to God's worship as indifferent. Liberty in Christ is not liberty to sin.One of the aspects to having liberty in Christ is, no longer being bound by the types and shadows that point to Christ. Including those days that were appointed by God .... and were allowed for a brief transitional time (until the destruction of the temple in 70 AD). Here is a bit of what Calvin actually believed concerning men worshipping 'God according to their own fancies' '...which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.' '...God here cuts off from men every occasion for making evasions, since he condemns by this one phrase, 'I have not commanded them,' whatever the Jews devised. There is then no other argument needed to condemn superstitions, than that they are not commanded by God: for when men allow themselves to worship God according to their own fancies, and attend not to his commands, they pervert true religion. And if this principle was adopted by the Papists, all those fictitious modes of worship, in which they absurdly exercise themselves, would fall to the ground. It is indeed a horrible thing for the Papists to seek to discharge their duties towards God by performing their own superstitions. There is an immense number of them, as it is well known, and as it manifestly appears. Were they to admit this principle, that we cannot rightly worship God except by obeying his word, they would be delivered from their deep abyss of error. The Prophet's words then are very important, when he says, that God had commanded no such thing, and that it never came to his mind; as though he had said, that men assume too much wisdom, when they devise what he never required, nay, what he never knew.' --John Calvin, Commentary on Jeremiah 7:31

    Subject: Get a Job?
    From: Pilgrim
    To: marrowman
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 08:56:49 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    marrowman,
    Again, you are erecting some strange strawman and falsely accusing us of 'false worship'. Perhaps you are visually impaired? and therefore have missed how many times your contentions have been clearly denied? Or perhaps more likely, you are so ingrained and blinded by your personal prejudices and allegiances to 16th century issues that you can't comprehend the truth of this matter?
    1) We are not conducting 'worship services' on December 25th! 2) We are not 'worshipping' the Lord Christ in a Roman state church mass. 3) We are not 'worshipping' the Lord Christ through symbols, e.g., lights, trees, etc. 4) We are not involved in O.T. idolatrous practices which your irrelevant quoting of passages would imply.
    If you are so intent on wiping out the idolatrous practices to which you are so concerned, then may I seriously suggest you direct your venomous accusations toward those who are truly guilty of these things? ie., the Roman Catholic Church, of whom YOU recognize as a legitimate church! Personally, I don't recognize the RCC as a church at all! :-) And therefore, whatever they do is idolatrous and blasphemous as far as I am concerned. And/or you can picket those Protestant assemblies who do hold corporate worship services and set up trees as idols, through which they believe they can reach God. I think if you would do this, you wouldn't have much to do?? The bottom line is that whatever I do on December 25th is MY business and not YOURS! My private and silent contemplations, meditations and prayers to God are just that: PRIVATE and are not subject to yours or anyone else's false accusations. Nor am I subject to your Pharisaical impositions of what you or anyone else thinks is allowed on December 25th in my home nor what I choose to do outside my home, e.g., feeding the poor, visiting the infirmed, etc.
    In the Freedom of Christ my LORD, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Get a Job?
    From: Marrowman
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 14:41:11 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    If it is not a 'worship' day then what is it then? You say, 'whatever I do on December 25th is MY business and not YOURS!' This may be true sir but the issue is that a man was asked a question by RJ 'Please explain why you do not celebrate?'. A few of your 'ilk' postal on the man! Just for answering and explaining his convictions to someone who seem truly curious. I have found it quite common for those of your persuation to re-invent word definitions and facts to justify there unbiblical practices. So I would like to know your definition of 'worship' ? Websters dictionary uses these terms to define'worship': Worship- worthiness, honor, reverence, repute, or respect paid to a divine being, an act of expressing such reverence: to perform or take part in an act of worship. It can also mean an extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem. Hmmmmm.... so is it Christ or the day? You have not yet explained what this day is to you ... if it is not a worship day then, I ask again what is it? You are using this non-worship day defence to try and get out of have to defend you actions by scripture. So be it ... if not an act of worship then it is in vain ... it is mingling holy with unholy. ect Rudolph the Red Nosed Drunkard Rudolph the red nosed drunkard, had a very shiny nose and if you ever saw it, you'd say he's so drunk he glows! All of the pagan witches, used to go and do the same, Get drunk, indulge on Christmass, though it had another name! Then one Saturnalia eve, churches came to say, 'Woden, Yule, Tammuz you like? Just do it for Jesus Christ!' Then how the pagans loved them, and they shouted out hey wow! We'll keep our pagan worship, just offer it to Jesus now! Marrowman I would like to have a penny for everytime a Biblical principle has been defended in history and someone cries ' Pharisaical' or 'legalistic'

    Subject: Re: Get a Job?
    From: Marrowman
    To: Marrowman
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 15:11:28 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word. The opposite persuasion which cleaves to them, being seated, as it were, in their very bones and marrow, is, that whatever they do has in itself a sufficient sanction, provided it exhibits some kind of zeal for the honor of God. But since God not only regards as frivolous, but also plainly abominates, whatever we undertake from zeal to His worship, if at variance with His command, what do we gain by a contrary course? The words of God are clear and distinct, 'Obedience is better than sacrifice.' 'In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,' 1 Sam. 15:22; Matt. 15:9. Every addition of His word, especially in this matter, is a lie. Mere 'will worship' (ethelothreeskia) is vanity [Col. 2:23]. This is the decision, and when once the judge has decided, it is no longer time to debate. John Calvin (Calvin, Tracts, Vol. 1, pp. 128-29.) Deuteronomy 12:1-4: These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God. II Corinthians 6:16-18: And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Acts 5:29: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Luke 16:15: That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Deuteronomy 12:29-32: When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. I Corinthians 10:20: But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Romans 14:23: And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 10:2-3: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Matthew 15:1-9: ... But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ... ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:6-9: ... in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. I Peter 1:18: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers. Leviticus 10:1-3: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. Deuteronomy 13: ... And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. (v.5) Deuteronomy 17:1-5: ... if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. Colossians 2:18-23: Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. I Samuel 15:22-23: And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. I Kings 12:32-13:5: And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.... Exodus 32:5-7: And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. Daniel 7:25: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. II Thessalonians 2:3-10: 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.... Revelation 13:11-12: And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. Jeremiah 10:2-5: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    Subject: Re:JOwen, Puritan, Marrowman
    From: chris
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 10:18:46 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Brethren, clearly by reading Pilgrims response this seems to have gone far enough. Out of Love and Respect I admonish you all to change the subject or stop insulting each other with what you are saying. This is not Christlike in any way shape or form. Please lets think of the interest of others in this matter and you all need to understand that we have no problem with Celebrating the Birth of Christ and you do. We shouldnt out of love do it around you nor talk about it in your presence if it is going to cause such contention. This is not a Fundemental of the faith and believe we are dealing with the Lack of Love, understanding and bordering Leagalism. Lets keep this in Prayer and remember each others feelings. Grace to you

    Subject: Re: Re:JOwen, Puritan, Marrowman
    From: Tom
    To: chris
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 18:15:26 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    Chris Thank you for that responce. I truly believe that if one is convinced scripturally that celebrating Christ's birth is sin. Then for them, it is definately a sin, for it would be done not of faith. Though I believe we should all seek to find out the truth of scripture and act on it. In the end, we are the one's responcible for our actions, not anyone else. It is very important for all of us to seek the objective truth of scripture. For scripture is not subjective, it is objective. However, each and everyone of us is at a different point in our Christian developement. For that reason, when disagreances like this come along. We should pray for each other. Doing otherwise, may be a sign of pride, for even the party who is correct biblically. God, is in control and knows how to teach and lead His children. I will end this by saying. Each and everyone of us, nomatter what our possition on this issue is. Should ask themselves, is our position truly one that we believe out of conviction from God? Or is it a possition that we take because it is the majority view, or the easiest to believe? Let us all seek to do the will of God out of love for the Lord. Not just out of a sence of duty. Tom

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: JOwen
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 15:51:03 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    “…your head's not screwed on quite right, your heart is two sizes too small…a Pharisee, a viper, hardened, arrogance..” Your words sting. Prestor John, you do not know me, or my station in life, my theological background, my conscience before my God, or my relationship with my saviour. Your words are disrespectful to say the least. I can investigate a theological position with a person who disagrees with me, but how do I defend against words such as these? You leave me at a loss for words Prestor John. To attack the person and not the argument is vicious and un-Christ like. I will not correspond with you any further until you apologize for these remarks. JOwen (Sinner ravaged by the converting power of the Holy Spirit) Father of Five (so far). Assc.D, B.Sc./Religion Masters Candidate in Theology/History Student Minister Associated Presbyterian Church of Scotland Vancouver, BC, Canada. (A little about myself).

    Subject: On second thought...
    From: Prestor John
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 09:34:20 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Mr. JOwens: On reflection my Seussian retort towards you was too intense for what you were saying. After all, it isn't like I haven't heard the same sentiment before, however wrong it may be. I ask for your forgiveness for my attacking of your character instead of your position, I can only say that my blood was hot at the time and it's passion ruled me. And I regret that, and so hope that you will find in your own heart the means of forgiveness. Prestor John Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxi culpa.

    Subject: Re: On second thought...
    From: JOwen
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 10:06:10 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Forgiveness free and sure brother. JOwen

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Chris
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 08:17:28 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    You know JOwen I don't mind that you don't celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Your loss, I've known a few of your ilk and they always appeared to be the happiest when cutting off their own nose to spite their face. See the point is this you could have look at my greeting and then said: 'Well another person going around with Merry Christmas on their lips bah humbug.' See you could have been like Scrooge keeping Christmas the way you do (or don't as the is case )and allowing us who have the pleasure of celebrating the holiday alone. However, you instead are of those that want to stop Christmas from coming at all. Now it maybe that your shoes are too tight or your head's not screwed on quite right, or that your heart is two sizes too small. Or perhaps, just perhaps its because you desperately want to out do your Puritan heroes. Prestor John, ''?????'' ''Love???'' Your post of explaining was great, but we could be dealing with a weaker brother. You instructing him is great, but name calling or whatever you were doing with what I copied above, well, is questionable? See the point is this you could have look at my greeting and then said: 'Well another person going around with Merry Christmas on their lips bah humbug.' See you could have been like Scrooge keeping Christmas the way you do (or don't as the is case )and allowing us who have the pleasure of celebrating the holiday alone. However, you instead are of those that want to stop Christmas from coming at all. Now it maybe that your shoes are too tight or your head's not screwed on quite right, or that your heart is two sizes too small. Or perhaps, just perhaps its because you desperately want to out do your Puritan heroes.

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Prestor John
    To: Chris
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 10:25:30 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Chris: I know you mean well, and there is a time to speak soft words to persons who know no better, and there is a time to call a Pharisee a viper. I've called it as I have seen it. Believe me this isn't the first person who held to these concepts in regards to Christmas that I've talked to and I can distinguish between mere babes who have been confused and those hardened by their own arrogance. Prestor John Armchair theologian, curmudgeon and esperantist Servabo Fidem

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Chris
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 19:20:25 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Prestor John, I appreciate your response to this matter but believe that you are wrong in your approach to JOwen. Its always encouraging to read I Corinthians chapter 13. We can have all the credentials that are offered and achieved in this life, but without Love its all in vain and for nothing. Please understand that as I write this, I am included with this comment. Grace to you as you deal with this situation. Also let me repeat myself that we All need to reflect on this and be persuaded in our own minds and look out for what is best of the weaker brethren in the faith. And if we dont agree, then we are not to Judge those who dont celebrate Christmas or those who do with a clear conscience. JOwen, I celebrate Christmas, but its the Savior that I celebrate and through it witness to the Lost about Christ. The Tree means nothing, the Lights mean nothing, the Presents mean nothing. Christ means everything. I will say this, I taught the Children in the Childrens Church about Christ being the Light of the World by using a Christmas tree, colored lights, white lights and a white lighted star. We can use what the world corrupts and make it a blessing to others. It seems that Satan can take all the blessings of our God and use them for the fleshly desires, so we can take what is implied as bad and use it for the Good. Right??? Anyway I hope this helps. By the way, Prestor John, i am just a common man, so please talk to me in comman language, it would be most appreciated:O) hehe!

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Puritan
    To: Chris
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 04:42:43 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    <>< Pilgrim, PJ, It is quite sad to see the direction that this discussion is going. These are the words of Prestor john to Chris in response to the correction that was passed on by Chris; 'Chris, I know you mean well, and there is a time to speak soft words to persons who know no Better, and there is a time to call a Pharisee a viper.' 1. I don't think that Chris means well Prestor john, I think that he knows better. Christian maturity and Charity would tell us all that brothers should not conduct themselves in the manner that you have regarding this topic or any other for that matter. Considering passages like 1 Cor 13 before we speak is not 'well meaning' but rather wise. Not the thoughts of 'babes' but rather those that desire meat as it were. 2. When Christ addressed the Pharisees as being vipers he was in-fact calling them unbelievers. This is not complicated to prove either. Read the Gospel of John chapters 8-10. Christ called the Pharisees 'the children of the devil.' So why would I conclude that you have accused JOwen of being an unbeliever? Simply because you have used language that biblically speaking would indicate this. Sorry I am a simple man; I read what is before me and try to interpret it through the light of scripture. 3. Pilgrim, I am far less concerned about the celebration of the mass that has no bearing on salvation than I am in conducting myself in a Christ- like manner. If you would like to discuss the celebration of holy days I'm game. But lets move forward with the counsel that Chris has put fore us in the for-front of our minds. Christian charity first. Brotherly love before all. Lets do it in such a manner that when those visiting our discussion group witness what is happening they see Christ first. Finally, Pilgrim, JOwen has done a nice job in his brief post to give some historical/ theological background on the topic at hand. The responsibility lies with you to respond. I understand that you and many dear Christian folks like you try to separate the Christ from the pagan elements of the mass. My question to you is this; what liberty are we given in scripture to so? You say that this is not a holy day yet you openly admit that it is a day that you celebrate Christ in. Why? Please show me from scripture that we as Christians are given this kind of liberty with worship. I will in turn attempt to show you that we are in fact not given any such freedom in scripture. Chris, you write, 'It seems that Satan can take all the blessings of our God and use them for the fleshly desires, so we Can take what is implied as bad and use it for the Good. Right???' I am not so sure about this kind of reasoning. I am unclear as to what you are saying. What biblical principle would you be using for this type of approach to worshiping Christ? Curious…:^) Puritan

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: marrowman
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:20:30 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Wise words Puritan! What gets me is how they will not (or I should say cannot) defend thier practice from the Bible so the ad hominen starts to fly. They just don't seem to see that the onus is on them to prove that God has commanded ... or at they very least allowed this addition to worship. The actual birthday of Christ is hidden for the very same reason Moses' burial site was also hidden .... that it might not become an Idol. People turn vicious when you start to attack thier Idols. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,and perfect, will of God They respond in the same manner as the world does to the Gospel ... hmmmm. I have seen a few... to thier credit actually try to defend this and other such practices scripturally. They always ended up eventually in the antinomial camp trying to do so ... lol. 2 Timothy 3 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Marrowman Worship www.reformed.com/pub/

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: marrowman
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:38:49 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Marrowman,
    Strange that you choose to defend a position that is forbidden in Scripture as has been shown by several here, including myself. I say 'strange' because it was this very type of Pharisaism and Legalism which sparked the Marrow Controversy; the adding of rules and regulations to the simple gospel truth by well-intentioned men of God. As the other two gentlemen have done, you too have erected a strawman ('worship') for easy destruction. But nowhere has anyone even hinted that the recognition of the Incarnation on a particular day; December 25th being that day, is a form of worship. Since I have asked the other two but have yet to receive a reply, I ask you also, 'Is the Regulative Principle (as you define it) to be applied to all of life or just to the corporate worship?' I would strongly suggest, that if are of the mindset to apply the principle; i.e., that nothing is to be done without a direct commandment of God, then life as we know it would cease!
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 22:16:53 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    To Pilgrim’s question on whether the RPW applies to all areas of life. This is a rather interesting question. The RPW does apply to all of life, because all of life is worship. There is no biblical evidence to support the idea that the Regulative Principle was only meant for public worship. In fact, the biblical evidence supports the opposite view. As you all know, Cain was condemned for a novelty in private worship (Gen. 4:2-8). Noah, in family worship, offered clean animals to God (Gen. 8:20-21). God was pleased and accepted Noah's offering on behalf of himself and his family. Abraham, Jacob and Job offered sacrifices to God in private or family worship, according to God's Word. God accepted these lawful offerings. The idea that innovations in worship are permitted in family and private worship is unbiblical; it is totally arbitrary because it does not have it’s root in Sola Scriptura. If an innovation in public worship displeases God, then how does it please Him in private worship? Would it not be permissible, under such premises, to have little shrines in our homes where we burn incense, wear surplices, miters and such, as long as we keep such things out of public meetings? There are some differences between public and private worship (e.g., private worship should occur two to three times a day, whereas public worship should occur at least once every Lord's day.) People in Reformed denominations who brought in unbiblical innovations such as Christmas, women teaching the Bible and theology to men in Bible studies and Sunday school, hymns and Christmas carols, etc., did not seek to justify these new innovations by appealing to Scripture. Instead, they arbitrarily set these activities outside of the Regulative Principle by pronouncing them all as under the sphere of private worship. How is a woman teaching several men on the Sabbath private? How are fifty people singing Christmas carols engaging in private worship? Do not presuppose that God permits innovation and human autonomy in private worship. Try to prove it from the Word of God. You cannot. Do not arbitrarily declare what is obviously public worship as private. The rabbis of old justified all sorts of nonsense with such reasoning. In my mind the question is not if the RPW applies to private worship, but rather brothers, how it is applied. I know that Pilgrim will now bring up many circumstances where he believes someone like myself will find it hard or maybe impossible to obey or find divine command for said actions. So be it. We will cross that bridge when we get there. But before we go down that long road I believe it is imperative that we establish the biblical warrant for such. In other words, do we all agree on the RPW? If so, practice will be a natural outflow of the principle. Having said this, I believe that even my good friend Pilgrim will find “another definition” for the Regulative Principle of Worship, than is stated in our Confession(s). This I’m afraid will be the all too deep breach in terminology, and, entering stage left…innovation. Apart from a cohesive definition of the RPW, a dialogue concerning it will prove to be utterly fruitless. The RPW is as much a divine injunction as the 10 commandments. Are the 10 commandments public only? Are they private only? Then I ask you, is the Regulative Principle of Worship not a natural subcommand flowing from the second commandment? If it is, it applies to all of life. I wont be able to respond to you until Monday as I am preaching tomorrow. Good night brothers, and may the Lord give you all a wonderful Sabbath rest. JOwen P.S Pilgrim, before you jump on Marrowman on the subject of legalism please remember that each and EVERY one of the Marrowmen would detest Christmas ans sing Exclusive Psalmody. Again your analogy is wanting. :-)

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 22:42:41 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    [Pilgrim, before you jump on Marrowman on the subject of legalism please remember that each and EVERY one of the Marrowmen would detest Christmas ans sing Exclusive Psalmody. Again your analogy is wanting. :-)] TY JOwen I'm not so sure that any further discussion with these men is even worth it.They will not prove thier practice by Scripture ... they instead resort to attempting some type of logical acrobatica ... and name calling. They are masters at dodging the questions posed. Answer a question with a question at all times especially when you can take the heat off and not answer a direct question seems to be the mentality. What is so hard about it? ... All I want to know is.. Can you prove that God approves of your Christmass worship? If it is not worship, then what is it? If it is just a civil holiday ... then it is vain and blasphemous. If a day of worship as in 'Christ being the reason 4 the season' then we must have proof that God approves. Marrowman

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: chris
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 16:27:05 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Puritan, My line of reasoning is that Satan takes what is Good and can be used as Good and turns it into things used to satisfy the Sinful Flesh. Like for example, Christmas, Easter, Music(instruments, Guitar, drums, etc.) TV, Computers, and on and on. Why cant we use these for Good and to Glorify God. If the Main purpose of Christmas and Easter to Christians is to Celebrate the Birth, Death, and Ressurection of Christ and to Preach the Gospel as we Celebrate, then arent we fulfilling the Great Commission, though I do stress the Importance that we do this everday, not just two set dates out of the year. My only point is that it can be used for the Good and that is what is important. Also thanks for your support on what I was saying and trying to do, this part of the reason I really dont like coming to these boards. But through it all they can be quite informative and encouraging:O)

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: chris
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:30:42 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    But should we'do evil that good may come'? Romans 3:8 Marrowman

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Tom
    To: Marrowman
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 00:55:44 (PST)
    Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

    Message:
    How is celebrating God's coming to earth as a human, evil? It was an act along with His death and reserection, that secured salvation for His elect. The way I see it, although we should be greatful every day, as long as our focus is on the Lord, there is nothing wrong with celebrating His coming to earth on a set day. However, like I said in another post, if it is not done out of faith, it is a sin. Tom

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: marrowman
    To: Tom
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 01:28:54 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    How is celebrating God's coming to earth as a human, evil? It was an act along with His death and reserection, that secured salvation for His elect. The way I see it, although we should be greatful every day, as long as our focus is on the Lord, there is nothing wrong with celebrating His coming to earth on a set day. However, like I said in another post, if it is not done out of faith, it is a sin. Tom
    ---
    Too bad you did not read all the posts ... lol ... you would see why. If your still think that after readin them maybe you could answer the questions no one else will

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: marrowman
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 03:47:35 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    The London Confession, article 7 (1644), says, “The Rule of this Knowledge, Faith, and Obedience, concerning the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not man’s inventions, opinions, devices, lawes, constitutions, or traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained in the Canonicall Scriptures.”

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: marrowman
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 01, 2001 at 03:19:00 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    BTW no one said that 'celebrating God's coming to earth' is evil we celebrate that everyday and especially every Lord's Day. You have missed the whole point ... Which is: God is to be worshiped in the manner in which He directs .... not in the way that we invent. Q50: What is required in the Second Commandment? A50: The Second Commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word. Q51: What is forbidden in the Second Commandment? A51: The Second Commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in His Word.
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    The Heidelberg Catechism Q96: What does God require in the second Commandment? A96: That we in no way make any image of God,[1] nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded us in His Word.[2] 1. Deut. 4:15-19; Isa. 40:18, 25; Rom. 1:22-24; Acts 17:29 2. I Sam. 15:23; Deut. 4:23-24; 12:30-32; Matt. 15:9; John 4:24
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    -- The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXI Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.[2] 1. Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1-4a; 50:6; 86:8-10; 89:5-7; 95:1-6; 97:6; 104:1-35; 145:9-12; Acts 14:17; Deut. 6:4-5 2. Deut. 4:15-20; 12:32; Matt. 4:9-10; 15:9; Acts 17:23-25; Exod. 20:4-6, John 4:23-24; Col. 2:18-23
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    - The Belgic Confession of Faith, Article VII The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures to Be the Only Rule of Faith ..... For since the *whole manner of worship which God requires* of us is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, though it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul says. For since it is forbidden to add unto or take away anything from the Word of God, it does thereby evidently appear that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects.
    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---

    ---
    - The Second Helvetic Confession - Chapter V Of the Adoration, Worship and Invocation of God Through the Only Mediator Jesus Christ But we teach that God is to be adored and worshipped as he himself has taught us to worship, namely, in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 f.), not with any superstition, but with sincerity, according to his Word; lest at any time he should say to us: Who has required these things from your hands? (Isa. 1:12; Jer. 6:20). For Paul also says: God is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything, etc. (Acts 17:25).

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Marrowman
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:50:58 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Marrowman,
    But it seems that your presupposition is that recognizing the Incarnation of Christ is an 'evil' thing? Is decorating one's house with brightly colored lights and 'evil' thing? I giving gifts to the poor and 'evil' thing? etc. Using your own position, that we shouldn't rest in tradition or any other authority other than Scripture, where in Scripture is the idolatrous practices of Roman conjoined to a tree so that the tree becomes 'evil'? Where is this sovereign authority and power which you want to ascribe to Rome to demonize whatever they say and/or do so that it becomes 'inherently evil'? I find nothing in the Scriptures that even remotely speaks to this 'evil'!! By giving credence to what Rome has done and then saying that such things are binding is hypocritical and contradictory. Meat offered to idols is untainted and worthy of consumption. We care not about what Rome has declared or done, for they have no power to change the inherent goodness or purity of anything and magically transform it into something 'evil'! This sounds more like superstition than biblical wisdom!
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 22:28:50 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim said to Marrowman: 'But it seems that your presupposition is that recognizing the Incarnation of Christ is an 'evil' thing?' Pilgrim, not only is this statement inflamitory(because Marrowman never said that recognizing the incarnation was 'evil') but it is nonsensical for any believer to say such. God gave the church 52 Holy Days on which to celebrate his incarnation...it's called Sunday. Kind regards, JOwen

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Chris
    To: Marrowman
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:31:58 (PST)
    Email Address: CEvanglst4@aol.com

    Message:
    Marrowman, Good Verse of Scripture, but that is not what I am saying here. Is it evil to celebrate Christmas(Christian Celebration of the Messiah), Easter(Christian Celebration of the Ressurection, is it evil to listen to Christian Music with instruments including Electric Guitars and Drums, etc. Is it evil to watch TV, Roam the Internet, etc.? We know full well how the Devil and Man in his fallen nature distorts all of Gods blessings to Mankind and uses it for the sinful flesh. All I am saying is that it is not wrong to Celebrate Christmas, easter or anything that is done in Faith of the Lord Jesus and a Clean Conscience. The Lord will be my ultimate Judge and what I do and why:O) Grace to you

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 08:32:23 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Puritan,
    The reasoning given by you and JOwen is spurious as it attempts to join inseparably what some 'flesh' decided to invent hundreds of years ago and impose this unholy union upon the day itself and those who choose to recognize it. Secondly, the onus is upon you I am afraid, as the incarnation of Christ is clearly mentioned in Scripture. And I seriously doubt that no one ever spent time contemplating that great and marvellous day until some Roman pontiff decided to make it some 'holy day'! Again, the issue here is whether or not individual Christians have the biblical right to give recognition to certain events or days concerning the person of God and His redemptive work. A goodly portion of the Psalms are illustrative of this practice from early on. This has nothing to do with Corporate Worship and the church 'sanctifying' a particular day which is obligatory upon its members to keep according to a specific manner. This is clearly Christian Liberty and weak brothers trying to impose Pharisaical rules and regulations upon those who are strong. So be it. Again, if you truly hold that if God has not commanded the recognition/celebration of the Incarnation of Christ, and thus it is not to be done, then how far are you willing to carry this maxim; i.e., no Christian is to do anything which is not commanded in the Scriptures? Is it 'unlawful' [which is sin] to set aside a portion of a day during the year and contemplate and meditate on specific events in the life of Christ, e.g., the crucifixion and resurrection? the ascension? Pentecost? etc.? And in doing so giving thanks to God for His unspeakable grace and mercy shown to him? If I celebrate my own birthday, which is nothing more than a recognition of my insignificant birth compared to the Incarnation of the Son of God, then how is giving reverent recognition to His birth sinful? Perhaps I shouldn't celebrate my birthdays either, since God hasn't commanded me to do so? Of course, that would be fine as my age grows on... :-).
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:24:46 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Perhaps I shouldn't celebrate my birthdays either, since God hasn't commanded me to do so? Of course, that would be fine as my age grows on... :-). Ya don't fall down and break a hip ... lol (or a rib) Marrowman

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: puritan
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 16:57:22 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Dear Brothers, I for one share in in JOwen's sentiments regard ing the celebration of the Mass. Prestor John, You have essentailly called this man an unbeliever. Do you realize the gravity of this charge? you have called one that Christ died for a child of the devil. I have known JOwen for sometime now and hav witnessed his love for Christ and his family. Praying for you, Pruitan.

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: puritan
    Date Posted: Thurs, Dec 28, 2000 at 21:22:49 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    puritan,
    Unfortunately it appears that the responsibility rests upon me to inform you that Prestor John in no wise even implied that JOwen was an unbeliever. This I can personally testify to. :-) Secondly, there has been no mention of a 'celebration of the Mass'. From this statement it would seem that you want to attach the Roman state church's abominable practices to the recognition of this singular day called 'Christmas'. Whereupon, the onus is upon you to show the inherent evil of this particular day and more so of those who desire to contemplate the incarnation of the Lord Christ. I have heard myriad and similar polemical babble concerning all sorts of things. One of them stands out vividly in my aging mind.. LOL. I was told once that card playing of any kind is evil! The reasoning went something like: 'The faces on the cards were representative of the Pope, the Devil, etc.' and to use these evil devices for entertainment is to entertain the Devil himself. Doubtless, the church is full of people who hold to 'weak' views and some try to impose and or judge those who are 'strong' in the faith. I for one have no smiting of the conscience in 'eating meat offered to idols' knowing full well, that 'all things are pure', which God has created for my use. There has been absolute no mention in this brief thread of any CHURCH making December 25th a 'holy day' and imposed its observation upon its members. Thus there is no 'official' corporate worship which is based upon this day. Secondly, I don't recall reading anyone saying that they participated in anything 'worldly' on this day either? The pagans who perhaps introduced the idea of a tree don't have a 'market' on that idea. I have known several families who actually have a tree growing inside their homes. Decorating a tree with lights is not inherently evil either; one's imposed significance just might be however. The bottom line here it seems is that you would like to impose and apply the Regulative Principle of Worship upon all of life. If you really want to do that, then I think life itself would be verily impossible, for there is little to be found in God's Word concerning direct and specific commandments to do 99% of what I do from day to day. It's your turn.... :-)!! In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: John P.
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sun, Jan 07, 2001 at 09:57:01 (PST)
    Email Address: putz7@msn.com

    Message:
    Pilgrim wrote: 'Whereupon, the onus is upon you to show the inherent evil of this particular day and more so of those who desire to contemplate the incarnation of the Lord Christ.' There are three different ways people chiefly argue for the celebration of Christmass. If these ways can be shown to violate the principles of Scripture, then to celebrate the day is inherently evil. Argument #1 for celebrating Christmas: it is a way for us to honor Christ by setting aside this day for the celebration of His birth. Now, generally, these people do attend corporate worship on this day. In so doing, they are offering strange fire because they are worshipping God after a manner which He has not commanded - hopefully, no body would dispute this. This was very clearly the sin of Jeroboam in 1 Kings 12:30-33, where it is said to have become a sin to him that he, 'So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.' (v. 33) Others who believe they are honoring Christ by celebrating this day don't celebrate corporate worship on that day as though it is peculiarly special in an ecclesiastical sense. These people use the second argument which is brought in favor of celebrating Christmass: Argument #2: Christmas day is not a specially holy day wherein we ought to come to corporate worship, etc. Rather, it is a day on which we have chosen to sanctify (set apart) to honor Christ by remembering His birth. In response to this, I think a Scriptural analogy is useful. In Deuteronomy 12:29,30, we read: 'When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.' In this passage, we see that, upon the Christians discovery of something practiced as worship by pagans (or, by implication, baptized pagans: papists), they are commanded not to do, 'likewise.' Now, suppose the Israelites, upon entering the land of Canaan, adopted a holy day of the Canaanites, but didn't call the day holy. Rather, they took in an amost innumerable number of the practices of the Canaanites, they made them have Jewish meanings (possibly looking forward to the Messiah), but didn't celebrate corporate worship. Have they truly obeyed the commandment of God? Nominally at best. It is mere sophistry to argue this way, and hardly deserves a response. The third group who argues for the celebration of Christmas, eliminates the name or Christ from the day. They argue as follows: Argument #3: If you are going to celebrate Christmas, eliminate Christ's name wholly from the day, or eliminate everything pagan from it. This argument fails as well. Sure, since Scripture does teach that some sins are more aggravated than others, I have no problem believing that this is less aggravated than the above mentioned sins; nevertheless, it remains true that, if we eliminate Christ's name from the day, we nevertheless are celebrating the day by learning the way of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2). If you didn't learn the day from the heathen (or papists), then you wouldn't be celebrating it almost the same way on the same day, and probably with them! If, perhaps, one claims to have eliminated all the paganism from the day in order to celebrate this day as a merely, 'Christian,' day, then we run into the following problems: were it not for pagans and papists, this day would never have come to your mind to celebrate as a day remembering Christ. It certainly wasn't found in the Bible - and it wasn't the day Christ was born. Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine how you can - with integrity - prove yourself to be distinguished from the Roman Catholic day when the day you are celebrating was given its name and purpose (whether you apply that purpose the same way as papists or not) by the Roman Pontiff. Nevertheless, I think that if a person gets so far as to try to eliminate all the pagan and papist origins of this day, they are on their way to parting with the day wholly. Why? Because they are people who apparently have given some thought to the celebration of this day, and don't merely want to hold to a tradition mommy, daddy, and pope taught them. They have already taken steps to demonstrate that they really prefer to do what is right in spite of the fact that they will be different from the world. It is hard to imagine that they can continue the celebration of this day for a long time as they are without coming to the logically consistent conclusion that, 'You know, if it weren't for pagans and the pope, I really wouldn't have thought to set aside this day as holy. Hmmmm. I suspect I really ought to have dropped this day entirely.' I even know a family who has forsaken this day this very way: he is now a very thankful to be wholly on this side of this pagan / papal festival. All in all brethren, all I have to say is this: this day, as much as people like to defend it, really isn't Christian. It is a sign of (possibly?) a type of naivete when it comes to viewing our own practices. We cannot separate a day's celebration both from its origins and the present practice of the multitudes. I mention both the origins of the day and the present practice of the multitudes because longstanding practices are almost wholly defined by these two aspects of them. If something began pagan, and remains papal, then we have no reason to assume that its character can be holy. If, on the other hand, something began Christian, and is now profaned by Romanism, then we have something to work with. This day, however, only has a history of evil to define it. Why try to Christinize something which ought to be anathamatized? It is - simply put - the sinful desire for autonomy that rests in the bosom of we proud fallen creatures. Godspeed, John P.

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: laz
    To: John P.
    Date Posted: Mon, Jan 08, 2001 at 09:18:05 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    JP - your second argument gives me heartburn as it seems to impy that we are still under the Mosiac theocracy where EVERYTHING was to be done as prescribed by Law which dealt often in types and shadows now realized in Christ. Where does Christian liberty and the idea that we have 'freedom' (of conscience?) beyond food, drink, days, moons, etc...where the 'law' now is to give thanks in all things and to not let others make evil of what we believe is perfectly OK? laz

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 10:04:08 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    I think it is sad and unfortunate that men like Prestor John and now Pilgrim are tossing about viper, Pharisee, and pharisaical, especially my close friend Pilgrim (who has sadly called me that to my face on a few occasions). I do not understand why mature men can’t engage each other without mudslinging or calling names. If indeed I am the weaker brother, it behooves a rebuke to men such as these that abuse the weak with foul language that clearly was intended for hardened unbelievers. Puritan is quite right in his short exposition on the word “viper”, and to use the words Pharisee (Prestor John ), and Pharisaical (Pilgrim), are strong words reserved for unbelievers and should not be in the vocabulary of intramural debate. This discussion seems like it could be less reactive, more civil. I am inclined to defer any real debate on this subject because it is clear at the very outset, after one short post on the subject, it should warrant the very strongest language used by the Holy Spirit in scripture...and against brothers in Christ, this is unheard of in scripture. The reaction that I have drawn from a simple historical/theological post was pure emotionalism, and clearly is a subject better left alone. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” The weaker brother, JOwen

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 13:45:08 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    JOwen,
    I believe the phrase 'Pharisaical' is more than justified in this discussion. It has no inherent meaning of 'unbelieving', but rather it is used in contemporary discussions to refer to the act of adding to or subtracting from God's law and making such binding upon the consciences of men where God never did so. It's an adjectival expression and not a name! Indeed Pharisaism and its older brother Legalism are natural tendencies of the human heart which all men are subject to. As you know, the Marrow Controversy was generated from the Pharisaism and even Legalism of well-intentioned Presbyterian brethren. Like Sola Fide (Justification by Faith alone), which Martin Luther considered to be a 'razor blades edge' which men have a tendency to fall off from, so is Christian Liberty. One can fall into the error of accumulating rules of that speak of 'don't eat, touch, or celebrate days' and/or you must 'eat, touch or celebrate days'. The Westminster Confession of Faith says it all to well:
    The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XX Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience
    I. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law;[1] and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin;[2] from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation;[3] as also, in their free access to God,[4] and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind.[5] All which were common also to believers under the law.[6] But, under the new testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected;[7] and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace,[8] and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.[9] 1. Titus 2:14; I Thess. 1:10; Gal. 3:13 2. Gal. 1:4; Col. 1:13; Acts 26:18; Rom. 6:14 3. Rom. 8:28; Psa. 119:71; II Cor. 4:15-18; I Cor. 15:54-57; Rom. 5:9; 8:1; I Thess. 1:10 4. Rom. 5:1-2 5. Rom. 8:14-15; Gal. 4:6; I John 4:18 6. Gal. 3:8-9, 14; Rom. 4:6-8; I Cor. 10:3-4; Heb. 11:1-40 7. Gal. 4:1-7; 5:1; Acts 15:10-11 8. Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22 9. John 7:38-39; Acts 2:17-18; II Cor. 3:8, 13, 17-18; Jer. 31:31-34 II. God alone is Lord of the conscience,[10] and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship.[11] So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience:[12] and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.[13] 10. James 4:12; Rom. 14:4, 10; I Cor. 10:29 11. Acts 4:19, 5:29; I Cor. 7:22-23; Matt. 15:1-6, 9; 23:8-10; II Cor. 1:24 12. Col. 2:20-23; Gal. 1:10; 2:4-5; 4:9-10; 5:1 13. Rom. 10:17; Isa. 8:20; Acts 17:11; John 4:22; Rev. 13:12, 16-17; Jer. 8:9; I Peter 3:15 III. They who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.[14] 14. Gal. 5:13; I Peter 2:16; II Peter 2:19; Rom. 6:15; John 8:34; Luke 1:74-75 IV. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God.[15] And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by the censures of the church.[16] [and by the power of the civil magistrate.] 15. I Peter 2:13-14, 16; Rom. 13:1-8; Heb. 13:17; I Thess. 5:12-13 16. Rom. 1:32; 16:17; I Cor. 5:1, 5, 11-13; II John 1:10-11; II Thess. 3:6, 14; I Tim. 1:19-20; 6:3-4; Titus 1:10-11, 13-14; 3:10; Matt. 18:15-17; Rev. 2:2, 14-15, 20
    In His Grace, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 16:04:28 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim,
    I am getting tired of the “Liberty of Conscience” phrase being used in reference to this subject so let me comment on…
    One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it' (Rom. 14:5-6).
    1. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, was addressing a situation unique to the early church. There were Jewish believers who 'regarded the holy days of the ceremonial economy as having abiding sanctity.' The 'days' spoken of in Romans were days commanded by God in the old economy. Paul is 'referring to the ceremonial holy days of the Levitical institution.' Virtually all commentators concur with this interpretation. Paul allows for diversity in the church over the issue of Jewish holy days because of the unique historical circumstances. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the ceremonial aspects of the law (e.g., animal sacrifices, Jewish holy days, circumcision, etc.) were done away with. Yet prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, the apostles allowed certain practices by Jewish Christians as long as no works-righteousness was attributed to these practices. In Acts 21:26, we even encounter the apostle Paul going to the Temple 'to announce the expiration of the days of purification.' Jewish believers who were already accustomed to keeping certain holy days of the Mosaic economy were allowed to continue doing so for a time. But once the Temple was destroyed, the canon of Scripture was completed, and the church had existed for a whole generation, these unique historical circumstances ceased. And even if this passage were still applicable to our present situation, it could not be used to justify Christmas, because these days were not 'Christianized' pagan holy days nor arbitrary holy days set up by man. Therefore, if this passage were still applicable to our situation, it could only be used to justify the private celebration of Jewish holy days by weak Jewish believers. It cannot be used as a justification for man-made days or pagan days which God has not commanded.
    2. Not only does this passage not allow Christians to celebrate Christmas, it most certainly forbids holding Christmas services of any kind and having Christmas fellowships or parties. Paul allows for diversity in the church over this issue (i.e., Jewish holy days). Both parties are to accept each other for the sake of peace and unity in the church. Both parties believe that they are obeying the Word of God. 'Compelled conformity or pressure exerted to the end of securing conformity defeats the aims to which all the exhortations and reproofs are directed.' Therefore, it would be wrong for the weak Jewish believers to force the church to have a worship service in honor of a ceremonial holy day, because the strong Gentile believers would feel compelled to attend the public worship of God. Therefore, those who did celebrate Jewish holy days had to do it privately unto the Lord. Those who use this passage to justify celebrating Christmas would likewise be forced by Paul's injunction to keep the day a private affair. Thus, Christmas services and church Christmas parties would cease, for they violate the freedom of Christians not to celebrate such a day. Of course, Christmas, not being commanded by God and being a monument to idolatry, is forbidden, anyway.
    3. We all know that the Westminster Confession of Faith on the Chapter concerning liberty of Conscience never intended this liberty to extend to Roman Catholic Holy Days.
    “That all days that heretofore have been kept holy, besides the Sabbath days, such as Yule [Christ-mass] day, Saint's days, and such others, may be abolished, and a civil penalty against the keepers thereof by ceremonies, banqueting, fasting, and such other vanities. --General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Articles to be Presented to my Lord Regent's Grace.”
    Festival days, vulgarly called holy-days, having no warrant in the Word of God, are not to be continued. --Westminster Assembly, Directory for Publick Worship” (1645).
    “The General Assembly taking to their consideration the manifold abuses, profanity, and superstitions, committed on Yule-day [Christ-mass] and some other superstitious days following, have unanimously concluded and hereby ordains, that whatsoever person or persons hereafter shall be found guilty in keeping of the foresaid superstitious days, shall be proceeded against by Kirk censures, and shall make their public repentance therefore in the face of the congregation where the offence is committed. And that the presbyteries and provincial synods take particular notice how ministers try and censure delinquents of this kind, within the several parishes. --General Assembly, Church of Scotland, Act for Censuring Observers of Yule-day, and other Superstitious days (1645).”
    I would suggest that in the future Pilgrim, if you would like to use subordinate standards to support your position, see if it really does support your position. The engagement of the 25th to the authors who drafted and accepted the chapter on Liberty of Conscience unanimously disagree with your stated use of the chapter.

    Kind regards, JOwen P.S Your use of the word pharisaical may mean something different to you Pilgrim, but the scriptures are clear as to what the word really means.

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Pilgrim
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 01:50:29 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    JOwen,
    Your supporting material is irrelevant! I for one do not 'celebrate' that which was prevalent during the 1600's when the writers of the WCF sought to end the practice by Presbyterian laymen etc. What the Catholic church did or did not do is totally alien to my thoughts and practices. And, again, I am not subject to any human authority, no matter how good their intentions might be, when my conscience is free for there is clearly no violation of Scripture in my recognition of the Incarnation of Christ. This is sheer Pharisaism, clear and simple. The phrase is apropos in this situation to be sure, although it stings those who are guilty of it, which may be a good sign indeed. Without doubt, your rigorous application of the Regulative Principle, although you said it was to be set aside, is the primary basis for your objections. It runs like a scarlet thread through your replies. :-) I for one, along with countless others, believe that it is a misapplication of the Regulative Principle, no less than the Exclusive Psalmody issue is a misapplication as well. Accusing me and myriad others of 'idolatrous' practices hardly qualifies as a non-judgmental assessment of those who choose to set one day of the year aside to meditate on the Incarnation of Christ. Pagans invented Halloween, but on that same day I celebrate the Protestant Reformation. All the foolishness and wickedness that is associated with October 31st has no bearing upon what I do on that day whatsoever. And so on Christmas day, all the pagan practices and superstitions which have been devised by men throughout the years has no bearing whatsoever upon me or any other Christian who chooses to set their hearts of the Son of God's Incarnation as God's true gift to a perishing world. Your disdain for all those who 'celebrate' Christmas is more than similar to the excommunication of an innocent Christian man who attended the Roman Catholic funeral of his friend. :-) If giving recognition and thanksgiving to God for the coming of Christ on December 25th is idolatry (according to you and those who are 'more Reformed'), then I'm guilty! And if I'm truly guilty of idolatry, I will surely perish! Now THAT'S biblical! (1Cor 6:9)
    Rom 14:4 'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.'
    Free in Christ, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Marrowman
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 19:46:45 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hi all, this is a repost it belong here instead ...lol The trouble with this kind of reasoning , is there nothing biblical in it. What ever happened to the doctrine of 'sola scriptura' where the Bible is the ultimate authority on all matters of faith and practice. I have seen it so many times. First someone uses a scriptural principle then any rebutals to it come in the form of 'I feel' or ... did u know that ' Martin Luther or whoever did this or that ?'. Historical testimony is fine in its place...but give me a break... lets begin 1st by refering 'To the law and to the testimony:' (Isaiah 8:20). I could care less what this person or that person did in worship throughout history... For we are not to'follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2).When it comes to *God's worship* he will *tell us* what He wants. For He is the owner of such things. We'must worship Him in spirit and in truth'.(John 14:17) How could anyone think that God would be pleased with any worship that is based on lies. All across the world there are nativity scenes in the stable surrounded by animals with three wise men from the east bearing gifts. But Scripturally there: * is no inkeeper in the Bible, much less a kindly inkeeper who offered his stable for Joseph and Mary. * is never any indication the the Baby was in a stable * are no animals mentioned- anywhere. * are no wise men at the the birth of Christ ... they did not show up for almost 2 years after His birth ... and even then they visited them at a house. I'm sure we could find more lies ... but this should suffice to make my point. As far as celebrating the birth of Christ goes ... where does God ask for such a thing? If He actually desired such a thing ... would He not have given us warrant to do so? Leviticus 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he *commanded them not.* Jeremiah 10:2 'Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen' Do you not think that if God wanted us to worship Him in this manner ... He would have supplied us with ... LOL... at least the correct day. Not some Romish makeover of a pagan holyday! Jeremiah 10:3-4 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. If any care what the Bible actually has to say on this matter. see : http://www.reformed.com/pub/xmas.htm

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 13:14:56 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim, You said: “Your supporting material is irrelevant!” Well if that is the game we are playing, to simply pass off the other brother’s arguments as irrelevant, then your supporting material is irrelevant too! There, now we can all move on to the next topic. We would all agree, I’m sure, that this kind of language is not conducive to healthy debate. To say my supporting material is irrelevant says nothing at all to the argument at hand. Pilgrim YOU used a 17th century document (Westminster Confession of Faith) as support for your position…fair enough. I simply responded by using the underlying constructional and theological understanding of the same 17th century document you quoted, in the authors’ own words. And you call it irrelevant. That is just plain double talk. Pilgrim you said: “This is sheer Pharisaism, clear and simple.” There is that word again Pilgrim. As a friend I have asked you to refrain from such harsh language against a brother and you continue not to head the rebuke. I will ask you again not to refer to myself, or Puritan as such. We are blood bought children of God who are weak, frail, and perhaps even mistaken as to our position on the present topic. This however does not warrant such language by a senior brother in Christ. It is simply inflammatory. FYI according to the Webster’s Dictionary (the scriptures do not define this word) the name you keep calling me is defined as: “Ridged observance of external forms of religion without genuine piety; hypocrisy in religion”. I am genuinely not sure if you understand what you are calling me, or if you actually believe that this definition describes my character. Pilgrim you said: “I for one, along with countless others, believe that it is a misapplication of the Regulative Principle, no less than the Exclusive Psalmody issue is a misapplication as well.” Pilgrim, we have discussed the RPW multiple times, and if you actually believe that this issue is (in principle) as Exclusive Psalmody then I heartily welcome further debate for the following reason. I have observed your attack on Exclusive Psalmody and it is based on your personal redefining of words such as hymn and psalm to suit your own definition. As well you have already admitted to me that you have NO divine injunction for what you call a hymn in the New Testament. Your position, at the end of the day leaves you without a Regulative Principle position of your own (this at your own admission). You then asserted at the conclusion of our discussion that you were not a polemicists on the RPW, and therefore could not adequately defend your position. I wonder if I was to push you on this subject if we might not find the same result? Pilgrim you said: “Your disdain for all those who 'celebrate' Christmas is more than similar to the excommunication of an innocent Christian man who attended the Roman Catholic funeral of his friend. :-)” First of all I never used the word distain for anyone who celebrates the Christmas so please do not put words in my mouth. We all have abiding sin in our lives Pilgrim and elongated discussion with the scriptures set before us is a fine way for the Holy Spirit to show us our error. And I am very willing to see the error of my ways on this subject. Second, to use the Lord Mackay event in comparison with the celebration of Christmas is a misapplication of Christian Liberty dear friend. Lord Mackay “found” himself in attendance at mass by virtue of a friend and colleague dying. He detested the procedure and never believed for one moment in the idolatry that was set before him by circumstance was real or inward. If Lord Mackay had attended Mass for his own edification and enjoyment then he would be guilty. But certainly not for “finding” himself there under strange circumstances. Pilgrim this is an improper analogy. And finally lets put the scripture you quoted in context shall we? Rom 14:4 'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.' 1. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, was addressing a situation unique to the early church. There were Jewish believers who 'regarded the holy days of the ceremonial economy as having abiding sanctity.' The 'days' spoken of in Romans were days commanded by God in the old economy. Paul is 'referring to the ceremonial holy days of the Levitical institution.' Virtually all commentators concur with this interpretation. Paul allows for diversity in the church over the issue of Jewish holy days because of the unique historical circumstances. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the ceremonial aspects of the law (e.g., animal sacrifices, Jewish holy days, circumcision, etc.) were done away with. Yet prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, the apostles allowed certain practices by Jewish Christians as long as no works-righteousness was attributed to these practices. In Acts 21:26, we even encounter the apostle Paul going to the Temple 'to announce the expiration of the days of purification.' Jewish believers who were already accustomed to keeping certain holy days of the Mosaic economy were allowed to continue doing so for a time. But once the Temple was destroyed, the canon of Scripture was completed, and the church had existed for a whole generation, these unique historical circumstances ceased. And even if this passage were still applicable to our present situation, it could not be used to justify Christmas, because these days were not 'Christianized' pagan holy days nor arbitrary holy days set up by man. Therefore, if this passage were still applicable to our situation, it could only be used to justify the private celebration of Jewish holy days by weak Jewish believers. It cannot be used as a justification for man-made days or pagan days which God has not commanded. 2. Not only does this passage not allow Christians to celebrate Christmas, it most certainly forbids holding Christmas services of any kind and having Christmas fellowships or parties. Paul allows for diversity in the church over this issue (i.e., Jewish holy days). Both parties are to accept each other for the sake of peace and unity in the church. Both parties believe that they are obeying the Word of God. 'Compelled conformity or pressure exerted to the end of securing conformity defeats the aims to which all the exhortations and reproofs are directed.' Therefore, it would be wrong for the weak Jewish believers to force the church to have a worship service in honor of a ceremonial holy day, because the strong Gentile believers would feel compelled to attend the public worship of God. Therefore, those who did celebrate Jewish holy days had to do it privately unto the Lord. Those who use this passage to justify celebrating Christmas would likewise be forced by Paul's injunction to keep the day a private affair. Thus, Christmas services and church Christmas parties would cease, for they violate the freedom of Christians not to celebrate such a day. Of course, Christmas, not being commanded by God and being a monument to idolatry, is forbidden, anyway. Pilgrim your conscience is not the final court of arbitration. That Supreme Court belongs to the scripture alone. III. They who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life (WCF Chapter 20:3). A bond servant to Christ, JOwen

    Subject: One Last Attempt!
    From: Pilgrim
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000 at 21:24:07 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    JOwen,
    Since it appears that all attempts to show you that your insistence that all those who choose to set aside a particular day (December 25th) to give a more focused attention to the Incarnation and birth of our LORD Jesus Christ is 'idolatrous worship' is erroneous (in fact nothing more than sophism), I will try another approach. Taking your own premise, 'it is impossible to separate the intent from the thing itself', one must wonder how you would deal with the inevitable dilemma when December 25th falls on Sunday, the Lord's Sabbath? Do you therefore abstain from any form of worship? since that particular day has been made 'evil' by an arbitrary declaration from an apostate individual in the Roman state church hundreds of years ago? Do you strive to keep all thoughts of Christ out of your mind and thus prevent yourself from 'pollution' in participating in that 'evil' day? Further, taking this 'principle' which is of your own choosing, and applying it consistently (which I find nowhere in God's Word); the intent is inseparable from the thing itself, What is your solution to this same dilemma when any of the 'world's polluted worship' falls on the Sabbath? e.g., Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, etc.? Again, all your argumentation from alleged 'biblical proof' and 'Puritan sources' is irrelevant because what I do on December 25th has absolutely no relation to what Rome or the world chooses to do on that day! You are trying to destroy a strawman to which you choose to put my name on thus make me an 'Idolater'! You can use all the sophistic arguments you wish to try and escape the inescapable; i.e., IF what you and others like you are contending against me and others is true, that we are guilty of vain worship which God finds abominable because it is 'Idolatry', then we are all destined to everlasting punishment lest we repent, for so it is written:
    1Cor 6:9 'Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.'
    The Lord Christ gave a stern warning to those who would pass judgment upon the brethren:
    Matt 7:3 'And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.'
    Doubtless my use of the term 'Pharisaical' is justified in this case, and perhaps it is an understatement of the truth of the matter. But to be sure, it is a far better thing to be accused of being 'Pharisaical' in the application of the Scriptures, than to be judged an 'Idolater' whose end is a fiery eternity! :-)
    In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

    Subject: Re: One Last Attempt!
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 10:39:44 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Pilgrim, You said: “Since it appears that all attempts to show you that your insistence that all those who choose to set aside a particular day (December 25th) to give a more focused attention to the Incarnation and birth of our LORD Jesus Christ is 'idolatrous worship' is erroneous (in fact nothing more than sophism), I will try another approach.” Please display in any of my posts where I said anything that even remotely resembles my insistence that anyone who set aside a particular day to give more focused attention to the incarnation is an Idolator. I give special and focused attention every Lord’s Day to this grand event. Pilgrim, it is the 25th and all the linkage between the 25th and the pagan/roman origin that day that I am concerned with. Pilgrim, why the 25th? If the 25th is simply a day on which you pay special attention to the incarnation why not change your time of recognition to the 8th of June and escape the appearance of evil? Why use the pagan/roman origins of the 25th (which we would both agree has it’s root in blasphemy) instead of another day? 1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. Your unwillingness to give up “the day” speaks volumes Pilgrim. You said: “Taking your own premise, 'it is impossible to separate the intent from the thing itself', one must wonder how you would deal with the inevitable dilemma when December 25th falls on Sunday, the Lord's Sabbath?” Here you have done exactly what I forecasted. You have leaped over the RPW (a term that I said we MUST establish before we can go further) and landed on my position taking it to all kinds of places BEFORE we have established a proper premise. I fear that if we were to establish what the RPW actually means, we would find you have redefined it to suit. Will you define the RPW Pilgrim? If we do define it, we then can test ALL outworking practical situations in light of it. Until that time we are at a stalemate. To very quickly answer your question Pilgrim, I can worship on the Sabbath that falls on the 25th because it is the Lord’s Day and he has commanded me to do so and because it preempts any Christmass. Simply put, it is lawful. I will not go out of my way to preach on the incarnation on that day per se but if by circumstance the passage we are on deals with the incarnation in an overt fashion I will do so with a clear conscience. I see no “dilemma” as you call it because it is His day. Perhaps you can show me this dilemma. You said “Again, all your argumentation from alleged 'biblical proof' and 'Puritan sources' is irrelevant because what I do on December 25th has absolutely no relation to what Rome or the world chooses to do on that day!” Then change “your day” Pilgrim to some other day, and if you will not, then let stand the indelible linkage between your day and the pagan/roman etymology. You said: “You are trying to destroy a strawman to which you choose to put my name on thus make me an 'Idolater'!” I make you nothing Pilgrim; God makes men what they are. I never called you an idolator. You said: “You can use all the sophistic arguments you wish to try and escape the inescapable; i.e., IF what you and others like you are contending against me and others is true, that we are guilty of vain worship which God finds abominable because it is 'Idolatry', then we are all destined to everlasting punishment lest we repent.” This coming from the man who told me that he would excommunicate any woman who did not wear a head covering to public worship. You said: “Doubtless my use of the term 'Pharisaical' is justified in this case, and perhaps it is an understatement of the truth of the matter.” I am very concerned Pilgrim at your apparent ease in which you call me Pharisaical again. I have called you nothing Pilgrim. Remember this discussion came about by someone asking me why I do not observe Christmas. All I did was answer the question. Since then I have been met with much offence, some repented of (thankfully-PJ) and some not. In all my posts I have not called anyone anything. I have never called you or anyone else an idolator. You have assumed too much of me. And, I am grieved in my heart Pilgrim at your willingness to continue this personal name-calling in spite of several pleadings to discontinue. I am grieved because you seem to be very willing to toss away a friendship over a “freedom in Christ” to call them as you see them. I was once very much into that kind of Christianity too Pilgrim, when I was a Covenanter. It becomes a lonely existence Pilgrim. JOwen

    Subject: Re: One Last Attempt!
    From: Pilgrim
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Tues, Jan 02, 2001 at 22:47:58 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    JOwen,
    I stand firm on what I have written! :-) And why should I or anyone else 'change the day' on which we choose to give a focused attention on the Incarnation of the Lord Christ? This is totally inane, in my opinion? It is this ridiculous notion, which you insist upon; that the 'intent cannot be separated from the thing itself', thus making December 25th some kind of 'evil' day due to some apostate's pronouncement hundreds of years ago. This borders on superstition me thinks!! Should I refrain from wearing yellow, because the Gay community has 'claimed it' as their color of identification? Secondly, you also insist that I have called you 'names'... better reread my posts! :-) As I have made tried to make crystal clear, there is a vast difference between using the word 'Pharisaical' adjectivally and calling someone a 'Pharisee'. And since you are wont to bring up personal conversations which have passed between us on a public forum, let me remind you that you openly confessed that you 'just might be Pharisaical'! :-( Thirdly, having reread the many posts in this thread, you have indeed described the recognition of December 25th as 'Idolatrous' and 'Idolatrous worship', etc., thus effectively making those who do such (in your estimation) Idolaters. So please tell me, how can one be guilty of annual 'idolatry' and not be an 'idolater'? hehe Fourthly, somehow I have failed to communicate to you what I wanted to wanted to know, re: The 'dilemma' that would appear to occur when December 25th falls on a Sabbath day! It had nothing to do with the RPW! :-) My question was queried to you because of something YOU said, i.e., 'You cannot separate the intent from the thing itself!' thus anyone who worships on that day is guilty of participating with the inseparable 'abominations of Rome' which they have somehow managed to inseparably connect with that day. Fifthly, my definition of the RPW is exactly what those who adhere to the RPW have defined it as: 'If it is not commanded, explicitly or by good and necessary consequence, it is forbidden in worship.' Lastly, I don't recall saying I would excommunicate a woman for not wearing a hat in church. I believe I said a woman, who being a member of a church whose policy was that women are to wear head coverings, and who willfully chose not to wear a head covering in that church after having been spoken to about the matter by her husband and the elders, would be subject to discipline. :-)
    In His Grace, Pilgrim 'All men become like the objects of their worship. Our inward character is being silently moulded by our view of God and our conception of him. Christian character is the fruit of Christian worship; pagan character the fruit of pagan religion; semi-Christian character the fruit of a half-true understanding of God. The principle holds good for us all: we become like what we worship ­ for worse or for better. 'They that make them are like unto them' (Psa. 115:8).' — Maurice Roberts

    Subject: Re: One Last Attempt!
    From: JOwen
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 09:37:57 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Since I see nothing substantial in your last post regarding the comments made in my last post. I will simply let my last post stand. JOwen

    Subject: Re: One Last Attempt!
    From: anonymousJR.
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 06:36:22 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Seems to me that this whole affair in a humorous sort of way can be likened to the Romanists who insist that they are NOT worshipping saints or Mary (as Protestants accuse them of) but only APPEARS to be the case in the eyes of those who lack understanding of RC doctrines/practices or who prejudiciously second guess a Romanist's heart and intent? In otherwords, Christmas observers really aren't 'worshipping' the holiday and practicing idolatry simply because is may appear to be the case when you factor in the origin of Christmas, the tree, gift giving, etc, etc...they are REALLY trying to honor God. Is this a fair analogy?

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: Puritan
    To: Pilgrim
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 07:06:47 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Dear Brothers, As I am reading the dialogue and have been preparing some of my own info on the topic it has become clear to me that we have come to an impass. Obviously if all that JOwen has said to this point is 'irrelevant' in the minds of PJ and Pilgrim then what more could be said to convince you? Your minds are already made up. You are determined to believe that this topic of holy days should be relagated to some some unusual application of Christian Liberty. Well, so be it then. I leave you with these passages to ponder upon. Remembering of course the topic at hand is that of worship wether public or privarte. For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. Jer 7:30,31 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Deut 12:29-32 Pruitan <><

    Subject: Oh JOwen!!!!
    From: Prestor John
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 16:25:24 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Hey JOwen: I don't mean to complain, really I don't but I sense a double standard here. Here I have your compatriot Puritan, a man after your own views, calling myself and Pilgrim idolaters. Yet I see nothing calling him to task for the language he's using. Are you agreeing with him? Do you consider me an idolater? Prestor John Servabo Fidem

    Subject: What about the Tree?
    From: lurkerJr
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 09:40:06 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    As for the real celebration of Christmas with a Christmas tree, it all comes down to what is in the heart, not what is in the house. Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. If you feel you cannot glorify God with a christmas tree in your house, then by all means don't have one. But if you can look upon that tree merely as a symbol of the Present, beauty and joy of the birth of a Saviour, then by all means you may freely display it. But under no circumstances are we to speak evil of another man's good. We should bring to remembrance that Good and evil are in men, not in symbols. Just as the Lord gave us the example of things sacrificed to idols being eaten. You see, there is no inherent evil in the meats, but in the man only. Would I worry that the person who invented the pew was an atheist, and so not ever use one? No, because it is immaterial who first used it. What is at issue is how I use it! Likewise, many false gospels use Mary in an abominable way, does that mean that I from now on will not call her blessed because of their idol worship. Again, what they do has no bearing on belief, or in the right way to serve God, it's what I do and how I believe which counts. It's how I believe that counts. It's not the cross, or the tree, or the gifts, or the meats offered to idols, it's the Heart. It's what is within a man that counts, not the tree outside. Has not God made that much clear to us yet? We get the same misapplied scriptures in many complaining we should not celebrate the birth of Christ at all. But it's all part of the same error. I feel I can serve God well and bring Glory to Him by having a Christmas tree illustrated by my witness to all who would see it that it is in honor and glory to the birth of Christ, and His sacrifice, and the gifts he gave to men. If Christ be the root of your tree, then the tree be in Glory of Him! But whosoever cannot understand this, or feels this improper, then do not use a tree in celebration of the nativity of the Lord. But it's not evil, it's just a piece of wood! So judge not another man's servant (Romans 14:1-6). To his own God he stands or falls. by T.Warren - Mountain Retreat

    Subject: Re: What about the Tree?
    From: marrowman
    To: lurkerJr
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:21:20 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    As for the real celebration of Christmas with a Christmas tree, it all comes down to what is in the heart, not what is in the house. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 19:21 'There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand'. Joshua 24:15 '... but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.' Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?' Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Yes this is true ... but how do you define your faith? By your heart? If you feel you cannot glorify God with a christmas tree in your house, then by all means don't have one. feel .... hmmmm ... am i the only one who has a problem with this' feel' thing? Why is the heart treated as if it is a viable sourse of truth apart from the word of God? Just some thoughts Marrowman But if you can look upon that tree merely as a symbol of the Present, beauty and joy of the birth of a Saviour, then by all means you may freely display it. But under no circumstances are we to speak evil of another man's good.

    Subject: Re: What about the Tree?
    From: Marrowman
    To: marrowman
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 20:32:36 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Sorry forgot about this one : ) So you are admitting that you use it as an addition to worship. Where is this to be found in Scripture? ... does this mean we cannot speak evil of what is evil ... if someone owns it? LOL Marrowman

    Subject: Re: Your a mean one Mr. Grinch
    From: laz
    To: Puritan
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 08:41:58 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    Dear Brothers, As I am reading the dialogue and have been preparing some of my own info on the topic it has become clear to me that we have come to an impass. Obviously if all that JOwen has said to this point is 'irrelevant' in the minds of PJ and Pilgrim then what more could be said to convince you? Your minds are already made up. You are determined to believe that this topic of holy days should be relagated to some some unusual application of Christian Liberty. Well, so be it then. I leave you with these passages to ponder upon. Remembering of course the topic at hand is that of worship wether public or privarte. For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. Jer 7:30,31 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Deut 12:29-32 Pruitan <><
    ---
    ************* Puritan - I was partially convinced that you and JOwen might have a point when you brought the matter up in apparent CONTEXT relative to celebrating (or NOT) Jewish holy days as we find in the NT during the early Church period. Recall the post? Basically, you (or JOwen) were saying that Pilgrim has the matter of Christian liberty all wrong and out of context. We like CONTEXT! ;-) CONTEXT works for me. CONTEXT is CRITICAL to understanding and applying scripture. Agreed? However, then you bring up these two passages in the OT about burning children, high places, abominations, idolatry, etc.... With respect to how I or others 'celebrate' the Incarnation, where did CONTEXT go when you quote those two passages? Show me the wicked inner man bent on idol worship, child sacrifice...show me the abominations that must SURELY be pricking the hearts of tens of millions of TRUE believers (in every sense of the word) across the world? Where is the inner guilt that MUST be present in many of us (if not MOST!) if the Holy Spirit is at work in each and every one of us? [Pilgrim has already given you the answer to this one with scripture. Rom14:4-9 In fact, I say that the issue is not limited to meat, holy days or ANYTHING....the context in Romans 14 is far broader since I think an all-encompassing PRINCIPLE is being taught. Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Also note in Verse 16 that in us keeping Christmas a private matter of conscience (and not necessarily a sanctioned corporate worship event) ... and thus rightly exercising our 'christian liberty' for something we believe is void of ANY evil ... you then ought not be insisting that we are practicing evil....just as we SHOULD try to keep you from speaking evil of our non-evil. In otherwords, shame on you for speaking evil of our good which we practice with clear consciences before our Lord. Actually, as I vaguely recall, you nor JOwen came out with guns ablazin' on this issue but were merely expressing your heartfelt disdain for this 'holiday'. Christian Liberty gives you the same right to feel as you do as well - to NOT practice Christmas observance! haha! However, as soon as WE start casting stones at one another for our respective convictions...that's when we practice sin. We can argue the merits of our cases...but we ought to do it within the context of Christian charity. In Him - especially during this blessed Christmas season, laz

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: Brother Bret
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 13:20:31 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    JOwen: To my response above of the following, you never responded: 'JOwen: I'll be the first one to admit, that I have struggled with aspects of the 'celebration' part of Christmas. But if I have my history correct, isn't this something that was started by Constantine in the 4th century before the Roman Catholic Church got rolling as an organzation and later became corrupt? Brother Bret'

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: chris
    To: JOwen
    Date Posted: Mon, Dec 25, 2000 at 13:36:23 (PST)
    Email Address: CEvanglst4@aol.com

    Message:
    JOwen, What you say may be true, though just because the World celebrates that way, doesnt mean Christians do too. Also the Bible says that when it comes to things like food, observing days, etc, and I believe this applies too, we must be fully persuaded in our own minds what is right and wrong. I will say that it would be our responsibility as brothers, if you dont agree with Celebrating Christmas, we should not offend you or cause you to stumble and sin because we have no problem with it. I do believe that is what the Bibles definition of love means. Paul, I believe said that about food. If he knew it offended a weaker brother he would not eat it. JOwen, I understand what you are saying and I used to be the same way about certain things, but if one Celebrates sincerely and with a clean conscience, we shouldnt Judge. But if it bothers you and would cause you to sin, then we probably need to let this subject well alone. Also JOwen, please dont go against your conviction about this matter, because anything we do not of faith is sin to us. I admire your honesty and concern. Also I will say this, we as Christians have allowed within the Church and our homes to much of the Paganistic ordinances that come with this Christmas season. This is something we all need to reflect on and deal with personally and collectively as Christians.(Please be reminded that this comment is bipartisan, for the Lord alone knows our hearts. May the Lord bless you as we Celebrate the Birth, Death, and Ressurection of our Lord Jesus Christ everyday. Chris

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: laz
    To: RJ
    Date Posted: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 at 19:10:55 (PST)
    Email Address: Not Provided

    Message:
    ....what then do we make of Easter? ;-) laz

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: Brother Bret
    To: Prestor John
    Date Posted: Fri, Dec 22, 2000 at 19:55:41 (PST)
    Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

    Message:
    Amen brother. Looks like part of what I'll be sharing this Sunday, the Lord willing :^ ). Merry CHRISTmas to you and the others on the Board too! Brother Bret

    Subject: Re: Christmas Message
    From: chris
    To: Brother Bret
    Date Posted: Sun, Dec 24, 2000 at 14:14:44 (PST)
    Email Address: CEvanglst4aol.com

    Message:
    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All. Also let each of us be fully persuaded in our own minds. Also remember love use this time to lift up the name of Jesus amongst our family and friends as we celebrate. Godbless and may we all come to know the depth of Gods love!!! Chris, Erica and Hannah


    Copyright 1997 Paradise Web Enahancements
    All Rights Reserved