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'Theology Discussion Group'

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Total Messages Loaded: 679


a monitor -:- Perspective -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:02:39 (PST)

laz -:- Veneration -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 06:18:56 (PST)

Vernon -:- Take your Time and read -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 04:10:23 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Take your Time and read -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:32:00 (PST)

eikke -:- Early Protestants and the Orthodox -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 03:32:23 (PST)

eikke -:- For those who value sola scriptura -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 03:13:22 (PST)

eikke -:- How the Early Church Saw Itself -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 03:01:04 (PST)

Christopher -:- 'novelty' of concillar authority -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 19:12:28 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: 'novelty' of concillar authority -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 21:02:48 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: 'novelty' of concillar authority -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 21:07:43 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: 'novelty' of concillar authority -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:38:15 (PST)

Sunshine -:- Double Predestination -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:19:33 (PST)
_
monitor -:- Re: Double Predestination -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:27:01 (PST)

Rod -:- God's 'mistake' -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 06:16:16 (PST)
_
Berean7 -:- Re: God's 'mistake' -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 18:53:16 (PST)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: God's 'mistake' -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 23:46:21 (PST)

Vernon -:- Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 03:16:15 (PST)
_
a monitor -:- Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 07:03:38 (PST)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 05:23:28 (PST)
__ Eric -:-
For john -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 09:28:37 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: For john -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 13:14:14 (PST)
____ Eric -:-
Re: For john -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 14:33:58 (PST)
__ mary -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 06:39:34 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 23:18:13 (PST)
____ mary -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 05:12:22 (PST)
_____ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 18:33:44 (PST)
______ mary -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:22:58 (PST)
_______ laz -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 06:13:02 (PST)
_____ a monitor -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 09:57:00 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 09:27:44 (PST)
___ Eric -:-
You are on the right track -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 07:59:14 (PST)
____ a monitor -:-
Re: You are on the right track -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 10:06:33 (PST)

eikke -:- Holy Orthodoxy -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:16:27 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Holy Orthodoxy -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:31:39 (PST)
__ eikke -:-
Re: Holy Orthodoxy -:- Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 21:14:24 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Holy Orthodoxy -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 04:41:32 (PST)
____ Christopher -:-
Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 12:27:03 (PST)
_____ john hampshire -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 00:36:51 (PST)
______ Christopher -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 12:03:50 (PST)
_______ john hampshire -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 19:53:35 (PST)
_______ Christopher -:-
Ah, yes, Zwingli... -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:38:14 (PST)
________ Tom -:-
Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli... -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:03:18 (PST)
_________ laz -:-
Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli... -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:08:58 (PST)
__________ Tom -:-
Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli... -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:25:31 (PST)
________ laz -:-
Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli... -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:50:33 (PST)
_________ Christopher -:-
Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli... -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:35:43 (PST)
_______ laz -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:37:18 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:34:29 (PST)
________ Christopher -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 15:21:12 (PST)
________ Christopher -:-
Re: Eucharistic Scriptures -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:11:24 (PST)
_____ Christopher -:-
The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 12:43:36 (PST)
______ john hampshire -:-
Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 06:34:16 (PST)
_______ eikke -:-
Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 12:09:35 (PST)
________ john hampshire -:-
Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:28:31 (PST)
_________ eikke -:-
Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 02:41:19 (PST)
_________ Christopher -:-
Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 21:13:26 (PST)
_______ Christopher -:-
Nestorian? -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 09:54:50 (PST)
______ Christopher -:-
The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 13:05:54 (PST)
_______ laz -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 14:38:05 (PST)
________ eikke -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 18:32:04 (PST)
_________ a monitor -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 12:08:49 (PST)
__________ eikke -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:04:41 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:55:44 (PST)
____________ eikke -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 02:48:29 (PST)
_____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:57:18 (PST)
__________ eikke -:-
Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church -:- Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 19:59:47 (PST)

Christopher -:- An invitation -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 19:40:14 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: An invitation -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:27:36 (PST)
__ eikke -:-
Re: An invitation -:- Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 12:23:48 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: An invitation -:- Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 14:39:00 (PST)
____ eikke -:-
Ah. -:- Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 20:37:27 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: An invitation -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 22:06:30 (PST)
___ eikke -:-
Re: An invitation -:- Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 21:21:05 (PST)

Vernon -:- A great and humble Calvinist -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 16:33:16 (PST)
_
Tom -:- Re: A great and humble Calvinist -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 23:30:44 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: A great and humble Calvinist -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 19:55:42 (PST)

Berean7 -:- Talking Religion -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 12:32:21 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Talking Religion -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 17:46:01 (PST)
_ Eric -:-
Re: Talking Religion -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 13:59:51 (PST)
__ Proginowsko -:-
Re: Talking Religion -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 16:09:13 (PST)

Eric -:- Sheol/Geenna/Hades/Tartaroo -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 07:22:13 (PST)
_
mebaser -:- Off the top of my head -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 14:10:19 (PST)
__ Eric -:-
Thanks, mebaser -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 09:37:37 (PST)
_ Christopher -:-
For Eric -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 08:54:58 (PST)
__ Eric -:-
Thanks -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 14:21:36 (PST)
___ a monitor -:-
just curious -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 20:28:58 (PST)
____ Eric -:-
Re: just curious -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 07:52:33 (PST)
_____ kevin -:-
Re: just curious -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 17:09:24 (PST)
___ Christopher -:-
Re: Thanks -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 14:31:46 (PST)

laz -:- Who's Authority? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 14:13:02 (PST)
_
Christopher -:- Re: Who's Authority? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 14:27:46 (PST)

freegrace -:- Thorn in the flesh - water baptism -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 09:33:43 (PST)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 22:26:19 (PST)
__ freegrace -:-
Re: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 08:17:59 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:34:43 (PST)

Berean7 -:- What is mans Responsibility? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 09:06:17 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: What is mans Responsibility?? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:26:58 (PST)
_ Apostle Paul said: -:-
Re: What is mans Responsibility?? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 09:34:12 (PST)

freegrace -:- God is to be praised..! -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:40:57 (PST)

TDT -:- Angels -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 19:48:30 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Angels -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:22:27 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: Angels -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:49:02 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Angels -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 23:39:54 (PST)

freegrace -:- The True Children of God -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 12:00:15 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:53:22 (PST)
__
ShowMe -:- Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:39:25 (PST)
___ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 20:47:26 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:35:53 (PST)
__ ShowMe -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:57:01 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 19:24:04 (PST)
____ ShowMe -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist??? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 22:07:46 (PST)
_____ john hampshire -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 00:12:27 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist??? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 22:57:56 (PST)
__ freegrace -:-
Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:38:11 (PST)

Tom -:- Calvin on Baptism -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 23:35:57 (PST)
_
Shelly -:- Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 12:10:25 (PST)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 19:46:25 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 21:42:07 (PST)
_ Gene -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 03:42:17 (PST)
__ Prestor John -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 17:01:46 (PST)
___ Tom -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 20:47:37 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 21:52:29 (PST)
_____ Tom -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:02:11 (PST)
_____ john hampshire -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -books -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 04:46:25 (PST)
___ Gene -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 20:38:04 (PST)
____ Prestor John -:-
Re: Calvin on Baptism -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 00:27:30 (PST)

mary -:- grieved in spirit -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 13:11:06 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: grieved in spirit -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 22:24:07 (PST)
__ mary -:-
Re: grieved in spirit -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:56:28 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: grieved in spirit -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 10:30:52 (PST)
____ mary -:-
Re: grieved in spirit -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 11:25:38 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: grieved in spirit -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:34:48 (PST)

becky -:- isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:36:47 (PST)
_
Old Faith -:- Re: Yes, Grace is for everyone! -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 06:52:00 (PST)
_ CMB 19 -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 21:02:07 (PST)
__ laz -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:38:54 (PST)
_ freegrace -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:48:06 (PST)
_ David Teh -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 06:16:41 (PST)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 03:43:52 (PST)
__ ShowMe -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 10:38:49 (PST)
___ Rod -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 02:19:48 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 10:54:34 (PST)
____ ShowMe -:-
Way Off Base! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 11:04:40 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
No, right on target! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:04:13 (PST)
______ ShowMe -:-
Junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:31:49 (PST)
_______ CMB 19 -:-
Remember this -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:10:08 (PST)
_______ Joel H -:-
An object with 'purpose' is not junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 15:26:33 (PST)
________ ShowMe -:-
Re: An object with 'purpose' is not junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 16:37:47 (PST)
_________ Tom -:-
Re: An object with 'purpose' is not junk! -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 08:52:20 (PST)
__________ ShowMe -:-
Missed Your Point -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:06:04 (PST)
___________ Tom -:-
Re: Missed Your Point -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 13:33:17 (PST)
_________ Joel H -:-
Re: An object with 'purpose' is not junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 18:43:51 (PST)
__________ ShowMe -:-
No Objections :o) -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 19:24:27 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 15:17:29 (PST)
________ ShowMe -:-
Re: Junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 16:39:53 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Junk! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 22:01:30 (PST)
__________ ShowMe -:-
Re: Junk! -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:08:01 (PST)
___________ CMB 19 -:-
Re: Junk! -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 22:11:32 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Junk! -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:55:49 (PST)
_______ kevin -:-
all junk goes to gehenna nt -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 14:40:29 (PST)
_ Anne -:-
Re: isn't Grace for everyone? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 09:10:59 (PST)

ShowMe -:- Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:57:17 (PST)
_
kevin -:- Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 15:00:26 (PST)
__ ShowMe -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:25:52 (PST)
___ Gene -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 18:52:22 (PST)
____ ShowMe -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 19:49:24 (PST)
_____ Gene -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 04:10:32 (PST)
_____ john hampshire -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 01:10:43 (PST)
______ ShowMe -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 09:48:54 (PST)
_______ CMB 19 -:-
Think about it -:- Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 22:51:53 (PST)
_______ kevin -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 11:51:06 (PST)
________ ShowMe -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:44:05 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 10:04:57 (PST)
__________ ShowMe -:-
Another Dimension? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 12:45:18 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Another Dimension? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:02:08 (PST)
____________ ShowMe -:-
What about His Body??? -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:59:29 (PST)
_________ kevin -:-
Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 13:19:15 (PST)

laz -:- WELCOME BACK, ROD -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:01:12 (PST)
_
Anne -:- Indeed, yes! -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:45:03 (PST)
_ Rod -:-
Re: WELCOME BACK, ROD -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:43:17 (PST)
__ Pilgrim -:-
Re: WELCOME BACK, ROD -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:10:30 (PST)

Vernon -:- What is The Reform View?? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 03:49:52 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: What is The Reform View? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 06:58:47 (PST)
__ Vernon -:-
Re: What is The Reform View? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:47:27 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: What is The Reform View? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:39:58 (PST)
____ Vernon -:-
You May Disagree,Pilgrim -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 03:01:49 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Vernon: Please answer the questions! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:58:37 (PST)
______ Vernon -:-
Re: Vernon: Please answer the questions! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 11:09:12 (PST)
_______ Tom -:-
Re: Vernon: Please answer the questions! -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:53:19 (PST)
________ Vernon -:-
Hey Tom -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 17:30:54 (PST)
_________ laz -:-
Re: Hey Tom -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 19:18:21 (PST)
__________ Vernon -:-
Re: Hey Laz -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 04:42:41 (PST)
___________ laz -:-
Re: Hey Laz -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 05:52:03 (PST)
____________ Vernon -:-
Re: Hello Laz -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 10:07:55 (PST)
_____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Hello? Vernon!! -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 22:41:49 (PST)
______________ laz -:-
Dear Vernon -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:54:20 (PST)
_____________ laz -:-
Re: Hello Laz -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 13:11:31 (PST)
___ Vernon -:-
Re: What is The Reform View? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:13:20 (PST)
____ Vernon -:-
Re: What is The Reform View? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:17:06 (PST)

Christopher -:- Fasting -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 22:40:15 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Fasting -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 02:04:20 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: Fasting -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 09:34:20 (PST)
_ kevin -:-
Re: Fasting -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 15:08:44 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: Fasting -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 20:27:41 (PST)
_ Eric -:-
Hey Christopher -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:30:13 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: Hey Christopher -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:23:51 (PST)

Christopher -:- laz -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 08:53:24 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: laz -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 08:58:48 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: laz -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:24:05 (PST)

Tom -:- Two Natures -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 19:05:09 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Two Natures -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:36:11 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: Two Natures -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:44:56 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Two Natures -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 15:13:04 (PST)
____ Christopher -:-
Re: Two Natures -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 20:41:02 (PST)

Highway Monitor -:- Rudeness -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 18:28:19 (PST)
_
Vernon -:- Re: Rudeness -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 04:13:00 (PST)
__ Chris -:-
Re: Rudeness -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 04:28:07 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- Papal Pardon? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 17:46:00 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Papal Pardon? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:08:20 (PST)
_ Christopher -:-
Re: Papal Pardon? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:22:18 (PST)

Brother Bret -:- Pilgrim and Baptist Churches/Below -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 10:28:50 (PST)

john hampshire -:- Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 23:13:23 (PST)
_
Tom -:- Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 16:32:47 (PST)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 00:28:11 (PST)
___ Tom -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 13:59:35 (PST)
_ freegrace -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 06:57:10 (PST)
__ Chris -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 04:49:44 (PST)
__ Prestor John -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 21:08:47 (PST)
_ Prestor John -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 20:56:38 (PST)
_ Tom -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 23:36:56 (PST)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 00:05:44 (PST)
___ Gene -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 02:48:36 (PST)
____ Vernon -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 03:48:57 (PST)
_____ Chris -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 04:27:20 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:28:43 (PST)
_____ Chris -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 09:36:54 (PST)
______ Tom -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 16:24:03 (PST)
_______ Chris -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 18:39:35 (PST)
________ Tom -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 16:12:56 (PST)
______ a stuckee monitor -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/???? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 13:39:03 (PST)
______ Joel H -:-
Re: Please use caution before judging ;) -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 12:56:40 (PST)
_______ Chris -:-
Re: Please use caution before judging ;) -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 18:44:27 (PST)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 12:34:53 (PST)
____ Chris -:-
Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 06:54:30 (PST)

cousin Earl -:- Kingdom Theology -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 19:08:44 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Kingdom Theology -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 06:49:39 (PST)

freegrace -:- Not Guilty in Christ -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 17:21:16 (PST)
_
freegrace -:- Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 07:50:18 (PST)
__ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:31:15 (PST)
___ freegrace -:-
Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 10:15:08 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 13:36:10 (PST)
_____ freegrace -:-
Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 12:26:58 (PST)
______ Rod -:-
Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 01:10:08 (PST)
_______ freegrace -:-
Re: Not Guilty in Christ -:- Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:30:49 (PST)

Vernon -:- Who Are We -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 02:58:02 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Who Are We -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 05:22:21 (PST)
__ Vernon -:-
Re: Who Are We -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 09:12:22 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: Who Are We -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:11:18 (PST)

Delta Boy -:- Could Jesus sin? -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 09:48:54 (PST)
_
CMB 19 -:- For the Bible tells me so. -:- Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 13:50:45 (PST)
_ David Teh -:-
Re: Could Jesus sin? -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 05:23:27 (PST)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Could Jesus sin? -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 22:28:33 (PST)
__ laz -:-
Re: Could Jesus sin? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 07:05:22 (PST)

Eric -:- A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 08:08:52 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 09:04:48 (PST)
__ freegrace -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 09:57:09 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Found Guilty in Him! -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 16:40:29 (PST)
__ Eric -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 13:52:35 (PST)
___ Christopher -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 20:29:21 (PST)
____ laz -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 05:01:21 (PST)
_____ Christopher -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 11:14:29 (PST)
______ laz -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:17:54 (PST)
_______ Christopher -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:59:50 (PST)
___ kevin -:-
Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 16:41:43 (PST)
____ Eric -:-
a reply to kevin -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 08:08:04 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
Re: a reply to kevin -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:47:09 (PST)
______ Eric -:-
You make my point -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:10:45 (PST)
_______ laz -:-
don't flatter yourself, ;-) -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 21:31:43 (PST)
________ Eric -:-
What could be plainer? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:30:23 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: What could be plainer? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:10:41 (PST)
__________ Eric -:-
Universalism-NO! -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:46:07 (PST)
_________ laz -:-
Re: What could be plainer?? -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 12:37:27 (PST)
__________ Eric -:-
okay -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:51:50 (PST)
_______ kevin -:-
Re: You make my point -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 19:33:16 (PST)
________ Eric -:-
Answers to kevin -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:15:56 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Answers to kevin -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:23:21 (PST)
__________ Eric -:-
Last Post -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 05:13:07 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Last Post -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:44:42 (PST)
____________ Eric -:-
Hopefully the last post -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 09:10:41 (PST)
_________ kevin -:-
Re: Answers to kevin -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:49:02 (PST)
__________ Eric -:-
More answers to kevin... -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:12:32 (PST)
___________ kevin -:-
Re: More answers to kevin... -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 19:42:29 (PST)
____________ Eric -:-
Last post on the subject -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 05:01:52 (PST)
_____________ kevin -:-
Re: Last post on the subject -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 14:48:41 (PST)
_____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Last post on the subject -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:10:39 (PST)
_____________ laz -:-
Re: Last post on the subject -:- Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 06:08:19 (PST)
_____ kevin -:-
Re: a reply to kevin -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 08:51:16 (PST)
______ Eric -:-
Re: a reply to kevin -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 09:56:17 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: a reply to kevin -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 10:21:01 (PST)

Chris -:- Sharing the Gospel -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 14:21:31 (PST)
_
Vernon -:- Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 03:03:00 (PST)
__ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 04:47:30 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 15:20:04 (PST)
__ PesterBrat -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 16:02:26 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 19:44:00 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 19:40:19 (PST)
__ Vern -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 03:07:35 (PST)
___ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 10:55:07 (PST)
____ laz -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 13:35:28 (PST)
_____ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 14:39:04 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 08:09:11 (PST)
____ PesterBrat -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 16:16:51 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 19:56:50 (PST)
______ Tom -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 16:50:37 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 22:29:08 (PST)
________ Tom -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 23:18:02 (PST)
_________ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 10:32:44 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:17:24 (PST)
______ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 20:15:30 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 21:25:32 (PST)
____ Chris -:-
Pilgrim -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 14:44:15 (PST)
____ Five Sola -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 10:32:49 (PST)
__ Prestor John -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 15:30:17 (PST)
___ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 18:45:39 (PST)
____ Prestor John -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 22:57:28 (PST)
_____ Chris -:-
Prestor John -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 15:47:16 (PST)
____ Gene -:-
Keep preaching! -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 02:49:40 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 20:21:20 (PST)
_____ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 04:27:43 (PST)
______ Anne -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 06:33:08 (PST)
_______ Chris -:-
Re: Sharing the Gospel -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 10:49:40 (PST)
________ Anne -:-
I love the book of Job! ;-> -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 13:20:20 (PST)
_________ Chris -:-
Re: I love the book of Job! ;-> -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 14:37:10 (PST)
__________ Anne -:-
Mea culpa! -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 15:15:23 (PST)
___________ Chris -:-
Re: Mea culpa! -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 20:18:02 (PST)
____________ Tom -:-
Re: Mea culpa! -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 17:36:40 (PST)
_____________ Chris -:-
Re: Mea culpa! -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 20:15:21 (PST)

Tom -:- Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian? -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 14:11:16 (PST)
_
Christopher -:- Re: Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian? -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 21:15:40 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian? -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 14:42:32 (PST)
___ Christopher -:-
Re: Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian? -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 18:26:28 (PST)
____ Tom -:-
Re: Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian? -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 22:44:17 (PST)
_____ Christopher -:-
Re: Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian? -:- Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:20:01 (PST)

Gary Griffith -:- John Brown Sermons -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 12:32:39 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: John Brown Sermons -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 18:14:00 (PST)
__ laz -:-
Re: John Brown Sermons -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 18:18:46 (PST)

Chris -:- Witnessing on the Job -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 04:14:26 (PST)
_
Vernon -:- Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 11:10:29 (PST)
__ Vernon -:-
Witnessing/John -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 19:10:44 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: Witnessing/John -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 21:10:12 (PST)
____ Vern -:-
Re: Witnessing/John -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 02:48:41 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Witnessing/John -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 23:07:04 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
Re: Witnessing/John -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 09:12:06 (PST)
______ Vernon -:-
Re: Witnessing/John -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 15:10:22 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Vernon -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 20:03:57 (PST)
________ Vernon -:-
Re: Vernon -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 02:32:36 (PST)
_____ Vern -:-
Re: Witnessing/John -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 02:51:41 (PST)
__ Prestor John -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 15:54:37 (PST)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 05:12:06 (PST)
__ Gene -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 17:25:22 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 15:07:09 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 03:47:18 (PST)
____ Chris -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 04:26:48 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 09:16:14 (PST)
______ lindell -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 03:14:45 (PST)
_______ laz -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 05:46:00 (PST)
________ lindell -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 05:22:58 (PST)
_________ laz -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 06:59:41 (PST)
__________ lindell -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:10:21 (PST)
___________ laz -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 17:44:23 (PST)
____________ Christopher -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 10:31:22 (PST)
_____________ laz -:-
Chris/Berean -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 10:59:59 (PST)
______________ Christopher -:-
Re: Chris/Berean -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:46:10 (PST)
____________ Berean7 -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job,laz -:- Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 10:08:59 (PST)
______ john hampshire -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 23:11:15 (PST)
_______ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 12:46:47 (PST)
_______ chris -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 06:25:54 (PST)
______ Chris -:-
Re: Witnessing on the Job -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 13:33:16 (PST)

Brother Bret/PesterBrat -:- Circumcision To Baptism -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 21:57:48 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 00:09:28 (PST)
__ Joel H -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 07:25:45 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 04:43:33 (PST)
____ laz -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 09:27:26 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 08:07:27 (PST)
_____ Prestor John -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 16:13:23 (PST)
______ mebaser -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 22:51:24 (PST)
_______ Prestor John -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 06:18:34 (PST)
________ mebaser -:-
i see, thanks -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 22:17:35 (PST)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 20:28:09 (PST)
_______ scott lewis -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 21:24:02 (PST)
________ Prestor John -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 21:40:25 (PST)
_________ scott lewis -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 12:46:29 (PST)
__________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 15:47:18 (PST)
_____ stan -:-
Re: Calling all BAPTISTS! :-) -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 15:28:05 (PST)
__ Gene -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 03:04:13 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 04:51:40 (PST)
_ Joel H -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 23:01:00 (PST)
__ freegrace -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 10:41:35 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:00:12 (PST)
____ freegrace -:-
Re: Circumcision To Baptism -:- Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 17:31:32 (PST)

Brother Bret/PesterBrat -:- Christian Liberty (from below) -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 21:51:03 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Christian Liberty (from below) -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 13:45:45 (PST)
_ Tom -:-
Re: Christian Liberty (from below) -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 00:03:01 (PST)

kevin -:- where do babies go when they die? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 17:58:13 (PST)
_
Eric -:- Why would a baby... -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 07:19:16 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Why would a baby... -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 12:13:18 (PST)
__ Joel H -:-
Re: Why? Original Sin That's Why! -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 09:35:57 (PST)
___ Eric -:-
Re: Why? Original Sin That's Why! -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 12:35:52 (PST)
____ john hampshire -:-
Re: Why? Original Sin That's Why! -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 05:27:57 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
Re: Why? Original Sin That's Why! -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 09:05:11 (PST)
____ laz -:-
Re: Why? Original Sin That's Why! -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 14:25:42 (PST)
_____ Eric -:-
A joint reply to laz and john -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 09:20:54 (PST)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Questions to Eric -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 11:19:18 (PST)
______ laz -:-
Re: A joint reply to laz and john -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 09:46:46 (PST)
_ Gene -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 02:56:20 (PST)
__ kevin -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 14:52:55 (PST)
___ Gene -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 17:29:24 (PST)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 05:03:01 (PST)
_ john hampshire -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 23:49:07 (PST)
__ kevin -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 15:04:01 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 00:20:08 (PST)
___ Hail -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 05:24:00 (PST)
____ kevin -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 15:07:54 (PST)
_____ Hail -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 17:57:20 (PST)
______ kevin -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 12:35:26 (PST)
____ laz -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 07:42:44 (PST)
_____ Hail -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 17:41:19 (PST)
______ laz -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 20:19:47 (PST)
_______ Hail -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 18:36:44 (PST)
________ laz -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die?????? -:- Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 05:53:40 (PST)
_ freegrace -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 20:28:34 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: where do babies go when they die? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 18:56:08 (PST)
__ kevin -:-
laz & freegrace -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 15:15:03 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: laz & freegrace -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 11:33:18 (PST)
____ kevin -:-
thank you -:- Sat, Mar 18, 2000 at 12:37:06 (PST)

Matthew Leroe -:- Need help understanding diff. verse -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 12:11:00 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Need help understanding diff. verse -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 23:56:50 (PST)

Tom -:- Re-Comments Please -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 11:48:10 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Re-Comments Please -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 12:44:09 (PST)

kevin -:- Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 09:03:04 (PST)
_
freegrace -:- Re: Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 13:45:39 (PST)
__ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 21:04:35 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 13:01:02 (PST)
__ Prestor John -:-
Re: Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 22:29:08 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 07:20:15 (PST)
___ Tom -:-
Re: Dr. David Jeremiah -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 23:40:12 (PST)

freegrace -:- Founding Fathers Christian? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 08:58:53 (PST)

freegrace -:- Arianism still here today? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 08:29:04 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Arianism still here today? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 12:36:39 (PST)
__ freegrace -:-
Re: Arianism still here today? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 20:37:35 (PST)
_ kevin -:-
Re: Arianism still here today? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 08:54:16 (PST)

Chris -:- Faith -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 08:56:09 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Faith -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 23:01:54 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Faith -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 13:17:21 (PST)
___ Chris -:-
Re: Faith -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 05:26:48 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Faith -:- Fri, Mar 17, 2000 at 11:07:28 (PST)
__ Chris -:-
Re: Faith -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 04:17:14 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: Faith -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 11:56:47 (PST)
_ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Faith -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 09:08:57 (PST)

Prestor John -:- Christian Liberty/Holy living -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 20:44:37 (PST)

Matthew Leroe -:- Hebrews 12:17 HELP!!!! -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 19:57:39 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Hebrews 12:17 HELP!!!! -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 07:07:15 (PST)
_ Anne -:-
Re: Hebrews 12:17 HELP!!!! -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 06:12:21 (PST)

Matthew Leroe -:- Unpardonable Sin Matt.12/Lk12/Mk3 -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 14:10:32 (PST)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Unpardonable Sin Matt.12/Lk12/Mk3 -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 23:29:16 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: Unpardonable Sin Matt.12/Lk12/Mk3 -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 17:27:21 (PST)

laz -:- Corporate Worship -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 13:10:39 (PST)
_
wcf -:- ****izing a simple, sound/historic doctrine -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 17:37:51 (PST)
_ brakel -:-
Re: Corporate Worship -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 17:11:21 (PST)
_ Guess who -:-
Re: Corporate Worship -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 13:48:38 (PST)
__ lj -:-
Re: Corporate Worship -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 17:42:55 (PST)
__ laz -:-
Re: Corporate Worship -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 14:21:10 (PST)
___ Gene -:-
Re: Corporate Worship -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 14:32:47 (PST)
_ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Corporate Worship -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 17:36:47 (PST)

Tom -:- Comments Please -:- Sun, Mar 12, 2000 at 16:56:29 (PST)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: Comments Please -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 19:44:43 (PST)
_ mebaser -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Sun, Mar 12, 2000 at 21:30:15 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 11:06:00 (PST)
___ mebaser -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 18:22:19 (PST)
____ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 18:45:08 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 09:17:15 (PST)
______ Tom -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 14:38:28 (PST)
_______ mebaser -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 22:37:18 (PST)
________ Tom -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 23:47:15 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 12:27:28 (PST)
__________ Tom -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 23:17:16 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 12:27:17 (PST)
__________ mebaser -:-
Thanks -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 18:29:42 (PST)
__________ laz -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 14:03:15 (PST)
___________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 17:39:24 (PST)
____________ mebaser -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 18:27:24 (PST)
_____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 21:23:34 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Comments Please -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 19:35:48 (PST)

Gene -:- Is there a difference? -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 10:10:08 (PST)
_
mebaser -:- semantics -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:33:00 (PST)
__ Gene -:-
Re: semantics -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:38:08 (PST)
___ Diaconeo -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 07:45:29 (PST)
____ john hampshire -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 16:54:18 (PST)
_____ Diaconeo -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Sun, Mar 12, 2000 at 09:51:01 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Sun, Mar 12, 2000 at 07:29:04 (PST)
______ john hampshire -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 02:46:49 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 07:08:08 (PST)
________ laz -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 12:38:45 (PST)
_________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 16:44:04 (PST)
_________ Brother Bret -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 15:20:46 (PST)
__________ laz -:-
What Defiles a Man? -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 22:59:07 (PST)
___________ Brother Bret -:-
Re: What Defiles a Man? -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 15:39:26 (PST)
____________ laz -:-
Re: What Defiles a Man? -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 16:12:36 (PST)
___________ Tom -:-
Re: What Defiles a Man? -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 23:30:39 (PST)
__________ laz -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 22:18:21 (PST)
__________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: semantics (not likely) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 21:03:06 (PST)
__________ Prestor John -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 19:33:42 (PST)
___________ Brother Bret -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 15:10:36 (PST)
____________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Tues, Mar 14, 2000 at 20:39:55 (PST)
___________ laz -:-
Re: semantics (perhaps) -:- Mon, Mar 13, 2000 at 21:25:42 (PST)
____________ john hampshire -:-
Tiz amazing -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 06:34:18 (PST)
_____________ lj -:-
Re: Tiz amazing -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 07:19:50 (PST)
_____________ laz -:-
Re: Tiz amazing -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 07:14:58 (PST)
______________ john hampshire -:-
Re: Tiz amazing -:- Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 22:44:19 (PST)
_______________ laz -:-
Please enlighten me, John? -:- Thurs, Mar 16, 2000 at 13:30:38 (PST)

OrthoPres -:- Spurgeon arminian? -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 12:00:54 (PST)
_
stan -:- Re: KJV only also ...... -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 18:28:42 (PST)
_ Prestor John -:-
Re: Spurgeon arminian? -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 16:30:47 (PST)
__ Gene -:-
Re: Spurgeon arminian? -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 04:40:33 (PST)
___ Prestor John -:-
Re: Spurgeon arminian?? -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 10:50:51 (PST)
___ David Teh -:-
Re: Spurgeon arminian? -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 08:25:40 (PST)
_ Brother Bret -:-
Re: Spurgeon arminian? -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 14:41:34 (PST)

Anne -:- Rod -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 18:34:19 (PST)
_
Tom -:- Re: Rod -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 01:07:37 (PST)

Gene -:- True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 13:39:42 (PST)
_
kevin -:- Re: True Worship -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 12:43:20 (PST)
_ mebaser -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 14:53:37 (PST)
__ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 15:44:06 (PST)
___ mebaser -:-
Pilgrim's post is right on -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 23:01:32 (PST)
____ Gene -:-
Re: Pilgrim's post is right on -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 03:56:43 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 19:30:23 (PST)
____ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 05:00:17 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 07:55:13 (PST)
______ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 18:49:51 (PST)
_______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 07:41:22 (PST)
________ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 13:07:48 (PST)
_________ monitor -:-
yeah right -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 18:56:05 (PST)
__________ Gene -:-
religious? -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:51:36 (PST)
___________ monitor -:-
Re: religious? -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 17:42:44 (PST)
___________ kevin -:-
3 simple statements -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 11:35:20 (PST)
____________ Gene -:-
It should be 1! -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 11:56:43 (PST)
_____________ kevin -:-
Reason -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 12:39:50 (PST)
______________ Gene -:-
Re: Reason -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 15:40:39 (PST)
_______________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Reason -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 21:32:09 (PST)
________________ Gene -:-
I am not alone here. -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 04:20:27 (PST)
______________ Tom -:-
Re: Reason -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 13:11:27 (PST)
_______________ Gene -:-
Re: Reason -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 15:44:30 (PST)
________________ kevin -:-
Re: Reason -:- Fri, Mar 10, 2000 at 15:55:46 (PST)
_________________ john hampshire -:-
Re: Reason -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 03:10:48 (PST)
__________________ Tom -:-
Re: Reason -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 07:26:42 (PST)
__________________ kevin -:-
Re: Reason -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 03:57:01 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 14:41:25 (PST)
__ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 15:24:44 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 17:17:15 (PST)
___ Linda -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 17:15:31 (PST)
____ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 17:57:16 (PST)
_____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 20:49:56 (PST)
______ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 02:45:16 (PST)
_______ lazarus -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 11:18:56 (PST)
________ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 12:34:20 (PST)
_________ kevin -:-
HEY GENE -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 06:33:48 (PST)
__________ Gene -:-
Re: HEY GENE -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 15:35:42 (PST)
___________ kevin -:-
Re: HEY GENE -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 16:13:33 (PST)
____________ Gene -:-
Re: HEY GENE -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 19:14:23 (PST)
_____________ mebaser -:-
Acts 2:42 again -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 23:26:58 (PST)
______________ Gene -:-
Re: Acts 2:42 again -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 03:54:29 (PST)
_______________ mebaser -:-
you missed my point -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 22:00:01 (PST)
________________ Gene -:-
Re: you missed my point -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 03:37:12 (PST)
_________________ mebaser -:-
Re: you missed my point -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:12:51 (PST)
__________________ mebsaer -:-
another way of saying it -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:24:15 (PST)
___________________ Gene -:-
Re: another way of saying it -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:35:36 (PST)
_________________ kevin -:-
help me out here -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 09:55:16 (PST)
__________________ Gene -:-
Re: help me out here -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 10:18:04 (PST)
_______________ kevin -:-
a little light that goes with my other posting -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 05:37:49 (PST)
_______________ kevin -:-
a word study for you -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 05:29:56 (PST)
_________ Christopher -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 12:40:43 (PST)
________ Christopher -:-
Hi laz -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 11:46:41 (PST)
_________ laz -:-
Re: Hi laz -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 12:22:36 (PST)
__________ Christopher -:-
Re: Hi laz -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 12:27:01 (PST)
_______ laz -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 05:34:06 (PST)
________ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 12:37:27 (PST)
_________ laz -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 20:54:27 (PST)
__________ Gene -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 03:30:41 (PST)
___________ Robert -:-
Re: True Worship -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 08:22:41 (PST)
____________ Gene -:-
My soul -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 13:59:57 (PST)
_____________ Prestor John -:-
Re: My soul -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 16:19:48 (PST)
______________ Tom -:-
Here is a thought -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 23:46:13 (PST)
_______________ Gene -:-
Re: Here is a thought -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 03:31:57 (PST)
______________ Gene -:-
Re: My soul -:- Wed, Mar 08, 2000 at 18:41:24 (PST)
_______________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: My soul -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 07:57:54 (PST)
________________ Gene -:-
Re: My soul -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 10:35:41 (PST)
_________________ Pilgrim -:-
Re: My soul -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 12:46:26 (PST)
__________________ Gene -:-
Re: My soul -:- Thurs, Mar 09, 2000 at 19:40:19 (PST)

Dean -:- Calvin and Nicaea -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 23:56:08 (PST)

Brother Bret -:- Covenant Theology -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 17:57:00 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 21:23:50 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 19:36:12 (PST)
__ Christopher -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 22:01:33 (PST)
___ laz -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 08:25:11 (PST)
____ Christopher -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 15:23:20 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 06:06:00 (PST)
______ Christopher -:-
Thank you, laz. (nt) -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 07:57:44 (PST)
____ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 11:04:33 (PST)
_____ Tom -:-
Egalitarianisnism -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 21:56:03 (PST)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Egalitarianism -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 07:23:28 (PST)
_____ laz -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 14:19:18 (PST)
______ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Covenant Theology -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 17:06:58 (PST)

Kenneth -:- prophesy -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 15:58:53 (PST)
_
mebaser -:- Re: prophesy -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 16:50:12 (PST)
__ john hampshire -:-
Re: prophesy -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 03:12:22 (PST)
___ Diaconeo -:-
Re: prophesy -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 10:20:20 (PST)
____ David McKay -:-
Re: prophesy -:- Sun, Mar 05, 2000 at 03:17:08 (PST)
_____ Diaconeo -:-
Re: prophesy -:- Sat, Mar 11, 2000 at 07:35:07 (PST)

AMOG -:- Third use of 'The Law' -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 10:53:55 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Third use of 'The Law' -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 16:30:54 (PST)
_ laz -:-
Re: Third use of 'The Law' -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 13:14:56 (PST)

laz -:- Interracial Dating/Marriage -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 09:17:49 (PST)
_
kevin -:- Re: Interracial Dating/Marriage -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 10:49:32 (PST)
_ Christopher -:-
From their response -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 10:40:33 (PST)
__ mebaser -:-
Interracial dating/marriage and the Bible -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 16:30:49 (PST)
___ Gene -:-
An old Jewish story -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 19:58:54 (PST)
___ Christopher -:-
Most definitely... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 17:24:08 (PST)
____ mebaser -:-
AMEN!! (nt) -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 01:05:16 (PST)
_____ Christoper -:-
Be careful, mebaser... -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 08:04:50 (PST)
______ mebaser -:-
Oh Boy!! -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 12:19:32 (PST)
_______ Christopher -:-
Re: Oh Boy!! -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 14:45:30 (PST)
__ kevin -:-
Re: From their response -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 10:54:08 (PST)
___ Tom -:-
Re: From their response -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 12:40:47 (PST)
____ stan -:-
Re: From their response -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 14:19:32 (PST)
_____ kevin -:-
Re: From their response -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 14:51:23 (PST)
______ Prestor John -:-
Re: From their response -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 17:21:25 (PST)
_______ kevin -:-
such false accusations should not be allowed -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 04:48:53 (PST)
________ Prestor John -:-
Re: such false accusations should not be allowed -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 09:28:27 (PST)
_________ kevin -:-
Re: such false accusations should not be allowed -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 14:56:11 (PST)
__________ Prestor John -:-
Re: such false accusations should not be allowed -:- Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 23:06:12 (PST)
___________ kevin -:-
you need to get over some things -:- Tues, Mar 07, 2000 at 05:55:32 (PST)
_______ stan -:-
Re: FYI -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 17:35:00 (PST)
________ kevin -:-
Re: FYI -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 04:54:22 (PST)
_________ stan -:-
Re: Just sharing info -- NT -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 14:54:41 (PST)
________ scott -:-
BJU Buckles -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 21:00:37 (PST)
_________ john hampshire -:-
Re: BJU Buckles -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 03:34:47 (PST)
__________ Gene -:-
Re: BJU Buckles -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 17:36:44 (PST)
_________ Christopher -:-
Ya got that right... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 22:44:56 (PST)

stan -:- AntiChrist identified. -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 18:47:18 (PST)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: AntiChrist identified. -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 20:16:24 (PST)
__ stan -:-
Re: -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 21:05:58 (PST)
___ kevin -:-
you two have too much time on your hands n/t -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 11:00:07 (PST)
____ Prestor John -:-
Re: you two have too much time on your hands n/t -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 16:25:29 (PST)
_____ stan -:-
Re: AAAAGGGGGGGHHH!!!!!!! -:- Sat, Mar 04, 2000 at 15:00:02 (PST)
____ stan -:-
Re: That's the pure joy of ......... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 14:08:43 (PST)
_____ kevin -:-
Re: That's the pure joy of ......... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 14:52:53 (PST)

Lurker Jr. -:- Federal Headship and Animals -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 18:15:19 (PST)
_
stan -:- Re: Rom. 8.22 maybe relate NT -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 18:22:53 (PST)
__ lj -:-
Re: Rom. 8.22 maybe relate NT -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 18:58:46 (PST)
___ Prestor John -:-
Re: Rom. 8.22 maybe relate NT -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 10:24:41 (PST)
___ john hampshire -:-
Re: Rom. 8.22 maybe relate NT -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 00:10:41 (PST)
____ lj -:-
Re: Rom. 8.22 maybe relate NT -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 10:33:21 (PST)
_____ stan -:-
Re: Well now ......... -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 14:24:58 (PST)
______ Gene -:-
Adam cursed? -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 14:30:29 (PST)
_______ stan -:-
Re: SO SOLLY ...... -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 14:34:10 (PST)
________ Gene -:-
Re: SO SOLLY ...... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 15:07:47 (PST)
_________ stan -:-
Re: So sorry you are sorry .......... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 17:24:58 (PST)
__________ Gene -:-
Re: So sorry you are sorry .......... -:- Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 19:55:44 (PST)

Tom -:- Ministry to First Nations People -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 13:31:27 (PST)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: Ministry to First Nations People -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 22:16:11 (PST)
__ Tom -:-
Re: Ministry to First Nations People -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 00:35:30 (PST)
___ Pilgrim -:-
Re: Ministry to First Nations People -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 07:19:40 (PST)
____ Tom -:-
Re: Ministry to First Nations People -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 14:35:52 (PST)

Linda -:- Everett Harrison -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 08:56:49 (PST)
_
laz -:- Re: Everett Harrison -:- Wed, Mar 01, 2000 at 18:52:16 (PST)
__ Linda -:-
Re: Everett Harrison -:- Thurs, Mar 02, 2000 at 15:50:05 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- Article of the Month for March -:- Tues, Feb 29, 2000 at 21:02:51 (PST)
_
Rod -:- Re: Article of the Month for March -:- Tues, Feb 29, 2000 at 22:00:27 (PST)

Pilgrim -:- The Highway UPDATE! -:- Sun, Feb 20, 2000 at 10:15:18 (PST)



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Subject: Perspective
From: a monitor
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:02:39 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I think it's ironic how we are accused by our Messianic bretheren of 'missing the mark' on account of our failure to understand the second century temple mentality. We ain't Jewish enough. Now we have some who say we lack a hellenistic perspective....we ain't greek enough. I'd like to see our Messianic folks go toe to toe with our Greek folks over which 'tradition' is the true tradition. a monitor Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Ga 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. No one ever regreted sticking too closely to God's Word...but traditions on the otherhand....


Subject: Veneration
From: laz
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 06:18:56 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Do we have any instances where the OT saints, prophets, etc ever venerated the dearly departed? laz


Subject: Take your Time and read
From: Vernon
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 04:10:23 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello, Pilgrim,,,,,,You have painted me as being a heretical and really unknowing of God's word. Well sir, I must agree in many ways with you. I only claim that which I do understand as the truth of God word and when I know it to be truth, I thank God for the Holy Spirit who leads me into truth. Sir, You ask me one time why I 'cut and paste' I suppose you have answered your question.....You have said that I need to learn the deeper things of God and I agree....In otherwords, I am telling you that I agree with you. I have learned much from this site and I thank you and others who have spent hours debating my faith...So, I paste with other views so that I in my unknowing views can discuss with you and others with a view that disagrees in an intelligent respectful way. It has never been my notion to offend or make mad anyone. But I do not agree in all you said to me and others. You have said we are far apart in our beliefs and theology. This may be true,but I find the point that we disagree ...Is'Predestination and Election. I do have a different view than the one you teach. However, I do believe in 'Predestionation and Election.' Elect, Election. The elect are those called by God to salvation. This election occurs before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and is according to God's will not man's (Rom. 8:29-30; 9:6-23) because God is sovereign (Rom. 9:11-16). As for Predestination: The doctrine that God has foreordained all things which will come to pass yet He is not the author of sin. He does, however, use sinful things for His glory and purpose. For example, the crucifixion was brought about by sinful men who unrighteously put Jesus to death (Acts 4:27); yet, in that death, we are reconciled to God (Rom. 5:10). Predestination maintains that God is the one who decides who will be saved (Rom. 9:16) and that it is not up to the desire of the person (John 1:13). God is the one who ordains the Christian into forgiveness, '...and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed' (Acts 13:48). Also, 'For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and who He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified' (Rom. 8:29-30). Further verses to examine are Eph. 1:4,11; Rom. 9. Sir, It really hurt me when you told Mary that I was full of venom. I suppose we both have been full of venom. Pilgrim more than once I have ask that you forgive me for anything I have said that was personal and offence to you. In all cases, you have never answered or replied except in the ways of your reply to Mary. I am a "Born Again" child of God and this makes me a Brother in Christ......"HOW SHOULD WE BE TREATING EACH OTHER?" Thanks to Bro Bret in his respect and the way he agrees or disgrees with me. "Thank You Brother" Laz, Thank you." I know you do not agree in all that I have said and this is ok.....If I am wrong, Then, pray for me and allow God to bring into His truth. Regeneration ...is the theological term for the Christian's 'new' or 'second' birth in Christ. By definition, regeneration is the act of God by which He imparts divine life to man upon the single condition of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Several words and phrases in the Bible express the concept of regeneration. The following passages show how frequently the doctrine of regeneration is found in the Bible. * In John 3:7 the words 'born again' express regeneration. * In Eph. 2:5, the words 'made alive' refer to regeneration, the new life * In 2 Cor. 5:17, the words 'new creation' speak of the new birth * In 1 John 3:1,2, the expression 'children of God' refers to regeneration. * In Titus 3:5, the word 'regeneration' itself is used. There are several aspects about regeneration which are important to give attention to. All People Need Regeneration Our condition demands it. Eph. 2:1 declares us to be 'dead' in sins. Death is a condition for which 'life' (regeneration) is the only solution. Out family connection demands it. Rom. 5:12 indicates that we are dead because of a family relationship. Therefore, we need a new birth, a new family, a new Father, all of which are provided by regeneration. The Author of Regeneration: GOD John 1:12 informs us that we must be 'born of God.' The word 'of' points to the source and origin of the new life - God is the origin and source of regeneration. John 1:13 eliminates all human aspects of regeneration. The phrase 'not of blood' shows that regeneration cannot be inherited. The phrase 'not of the will of the flesh' shows that God's life is not the fruit of a man's search for God. 'Not of the will of man' - man cannot generate eternal life. The Means of Regeneration - The Word 1 Pet. 1:23 makes it clear that the written word of God is the means of the new birth, because the written word is actually the living Word (see also Heb. 4:12; John 6:63; Acts 7:38) Remember, the gospel is preached after sin is made known. Because the sinner cannot come to God on his own, he must be convicted of his sin, and thus be made aware of his need for salvation. The conviction of sin is beyond our control. It is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8). The Power of Regeneration - The Resurrection We are 'born again...by the resurrection of Jesus Christ', 1 Pet. 1:3. This shows us the kind of power needed for regeneration. According to Eph. 1:19,20 the power that raised Christ from the dead is the greatest power ever displayed. This same power is applied in bringing regeneration to us. The Instrument of Regeneration - Faith Gal. 3:26 explains that faith is the hand by which we receive the gift of eternal life. The Basis of Regeneration - Blood Those who call on the Father, 1 Pet. 1:1719, the family concept of regeneration. It is the blood of Christ that makes this possible (v. 19). The Agent of Regeneration - The Holy Spirit John 3:5,6, the necessity of birth through the agency of the Holy Spirit. 'Flesh' begets 'flesh', 'spirit' begets 'spirit'. Divine life requires divine parents. John 1:12 '...to them gave He power to become the children of God' In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Take your Time and read
From: Pilgrim
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:32:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon,

What I have at this point is pity and sorrow for you are hard of head and hard of heart when it comes to the Scriptures. Yes, I am totally aware that you are caught between a rock and a hard place, where your personal convictions are constantly being challenged here and if you should ever change your mind, then all your friends, your position at church, etc., etc., would probably all come crashing to the ground. Pride is a horrible thing to waste eh? How many times have people answered the heresy posted in this 'cut/paste' repeat article of yours? three, four, five times? It is your constant and repetitive posts which bring about the 'wrath' of this forum. Either accept the Scriptural teaching set forth by the apostles and prophets and taught by the Reformers and Puritans and the vast majority of the Protestant Church or find some other means of recreation other than coming in here and posting the same old Arminian/Semi-Pelagian heresy and then crying 'foul' when someone points out all your errors. Here's a great example:

You wrote: Regeneration ...is the theological term for the Christian's 'new' or 'second' birth in Christ. By definition, regeneration is the act of God by which He imparts divine life to man upon the single condition of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

Not only is that statement heretical, it is irrational. John Hampshire recently dealt with this very same statement in a reply to you. Not only is there not one statement or even HINT that regeneration is the fruit/result of one's believing on the Lord Christ. Secondly, the Bible says ALL MEN are born DEAD in trespasses and sins and can't even 'see' the kingdom of God never mind recognize its King and believe on Him. Vernon, DEAD MEN don't believe... they are DEAD! They must first be MADE ALIVE! And God alone is capable of calling men out of their spiritual tombs. And He does so, NOT BECAUSE some dead person asks God to do it! Did Lazarus secretly whisper in the Lord Jesus' ear that he believed on Him, trusted in Him and wanted to live again? Which then moved the great Creator-Redeemer to fulfill this lowly request and recognize the faith of a dead man? GET SERIOUS! Vernon, many of your beliefs ARE HERETICAL according to what the Protestant Church has believed the Scriptures to teach and has itself taught for centuries. You are not even a Protestant by strict definition, but a Roman Catholic without all the trappings. You hold to a 'Faith-Works' gospel and a 'Synergistic' salvation. The historic Protestant Church and the Church of the first century apostles rejected this and Paul cursed all those who held it as truth. Why should we today allow Vernon or anyone else to teach and preach this heresy and further, extend a right hand of fellowship to those whom Paul wished would castrate themselves and pronounced ANATHEMA upon?? Unless Paul was unloving to his 'brothers in Christ', I am in no wise guilty of chiding you for your false gospel and man-centered theology. I rest my case and will continue to do what God Himself requires of me and all those who follow Him by faith. . . Expose the works of darkness and to cast out heretics from among us, with the hope that God will convict them of the seriousness of their error and give them repentance unto life. This has been the churches' practice for a couple of thousand years and I am not about to do otherwise because a bunch of modern moronic 'flower children' say to do so is 'unloving'!

In His Sovereign Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Early Protestants and the Orthodox
From: eikke
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 03:32:23 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
See? Protestant/Orthodox relations do have a long history. Luther Had His Chance It was inevitable that, sooner or later, the Protestant Churches, protesting against Roman autocracy, should seek to find out about a Church which had made such a protest from the earliest times. Martin Luther's chief interest in the Eastern Question lay in the belief, which he shared with many of his evangelical contemporaries, and with many of the Greeks themselves before the fall of Constantinople, that the end of the world was near and that the Grand Turk was Antichrist: though he had an alternative candidate in the person of the Pope ... Luther himself was a reactionary in temperament, disliking the spirit of the Renaissance. But his leading disciples were children of the Renaissance. The most distinguished of them, Philip Melanchthon, had been professor of Greek at Wittenberg and was deeply interested in Hellenism. His interest extended to the contemporary Greeks; and he thought that it would be valuable to establish a friendly understanding with the Greek Church.1 The difficulty was to find out how to make contact with the Greeks. The only European powers in diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire were Catholic: Venice, France, and the Habsburg dominions. It was, he thought, through Venice, with its colony of Greek scholars, its Greek possessions and its lack of religious intolerance that an approach could best be made, particularly if a Greek scholar could be found there who was in touch with the East and had not joined the Roman faith ... But rather more than a year earlier he had received at Wittenberg an elderly cleric from Montenegro called Demetrius, who came with an introduction from James Basilicus. Nothing is known of Demetrius' early history. He was already an old man when he met James in Moldavia in 1558. Demetrius made an excellent impression in Lutheran circles. Melanchthon liked him; and Nicholas Hemmingius wrote in a letter that he was an old man of exemplary piety and admirable morals, whose claim to be a deacon was undoubtedly genuine, though the Lutherans could not check up on this; he was certainly full of erudition about his Church. Here was a heaven-sent agent for achieving the desired contact with Constantinople. In order that the Orthodox might be properly informed about the Reformed religion, the Confession of Augsburg, which summarized Lutheran belief, was hastily but ably translated into Greek by a learned Hellenist, Paul Dolscius of Plauen, and a copy was given to Demetrius to deliver to the Patriarch together with a personal letter from Melanchthon, which barely touched upon doctrine but suggested that the Lutheran and Greek Churches had much in common.2 Demetrius left on his journey late in 1559. Melanchthon died before an answer could have easily been returned, but his fellow-divines waited for many more months for news from Constantinople. At last they decided that Demetrius could not have delivered the letter. In fact he arrived at Constantinople at the end of 1559 and was received by the Patriarch, but the documents that he brought embarrassed Joasaph and the Holy Synod. A brief glance at the Confession of Augsburg showed that much of its doctrine was frankly heretical, but it would be undesirable to spoil relations with a potential friend. The Patriarch and his advisers took refuge in the favorite device of oriental diplomacy. They behaved as if they had never received the communication, which they carefully mislaid.3 Demetrius waited for two or three months for a reply to carry back to Wittenberg. When none was forthcoming he did not venture to return to Germany. He moved to Transylvania, where he spent three years trying to introduce Lutheranism into its villages, encouraged by James Basilicus. After James' fall he carried on his propaganda in the Slav dominions of the Habsburg Emperor. The date of his death is unknown.4 The subsequent events in Moldavia must have confirmed Joasaph in his suspicion of the Lutherans. Some fifteen years later the atmosphere improved. The Habsburg Emperors employed a number of Lutheran officials. In about 1570 an Imperial Ambassador arrived at Constantinople who was a Protestant, David von Ungnad; and he brought with him as chaplain an eminent Lutheran scholar, Stephen Gerlach, who was in close touch with the Lutheran universities in Germany. Gerlach soon made friends with the learned Protonotary of the Great Church, Theodore Zygomalas, who introduced him to the Patriarch Jeremias II, then in his first term of office. In return he put Zygomalas into touch with the leading professor of Greek in Germany, Martin Kraus, or Crusius, of Tubingen, a man interested not only in Classical Greek but also in the Greek world of his time. Through Zygomalas, Crucius entered into correspondence with the Patriarch Jeremias, whom he greatly admired.5 When such friendships were established it was natural for the Lutherans to press again for closer ecclesiastical relations with the Greeks. In 1574 Ungnad was prompted by Gerlach to write to Germany to ask for fresh copies of the Confession of Augsburg. In reply six copies were sent out by Crusius and Jacob Andreae, Chancellor of the University of Tubingen. One was to be given to the Patriarch, one to Zygomalas, one to Metrophanes, Metropolitan of Berrhoea, one to the scholar Gabriel Severus, and one to the rich layman, Michael Cantacuzenus, who had promised to have it translated into vernacular Greek. A copy translated into Georgian was dispatched a little later, for transmission to the Orthodox Church of Georgia in the Caucasus. To the Patriarch's copy the Lutheran divines added a letter, in which they said that, though because of the distance between their countries there was some difference in their ceremonies, the Patriarch would acknowledge that they had introduced no innovation into the principal things necessary for salvation; and that they embraced and preserved, as far as their understanding went, the faith that had been taught to them by the Apostles, the Prophets and the Holy Fathers, and was inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Seven Councils and the Holy Scriptures.6 What the Georgians thought of the Confession of Augsburg, if their copy ever reached them, is unrecorded. To the Greeks it was as embarrassing as it had been fifteen years previously. Cantacuzenus did nothing about its translation into the vernacular. But Jeremias could not ignore the Confession as Joasaph had done. Von Ungnad and Gerlach were close at hand, pressing for an answer. After a little hesitation Jeremias wrote a polite letter of thanks to Tubingnen, promising to send a statement on doctrinal points a little later. These delaying tactics were in vain; Gerlach continued to ask for his views. At last, after consulting with the Holy Synod, the Patriarch, with the help of Zygomalas and his father, John, composed a full answer to the various points in the Confession. The letter was dated 15 May 1576. The Confession of Augsburg contains twenty-one articles. Jeremias replied to each in turn, stating wherein he agreed or disagreed with the doctrines contained in them. His comments are valuable, as they add up to a compendium of Orthodox theology at this date. The first article states the Nicene Creed to be the basis of the true faith. The Patriarch naturally concurred, but pointed out that the Creed should be accepted in its correct form, omitting the Dual Procession of the Holy Ghost, an addition which, as he explains at length, was canonically illegal and doctrinally unsound. In the original Confession the second article proclaims original sin, the third is a summary of the Apostles' Creed and the fourth declares that man is justified by faith alone. In the Greek version the second and third articles change place; which is more logical. The Patriarch's second chapter therefore deals with the Creed. While approving of the Germans' summary he adds for their benefit twelve amplifying articles which, he says, contain the traditional doctrine of the Church. Three concern the Trinity, six the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and the Redemption, and three the life hereafter. He gives further glosses to these and appends a list of the seven cardinal virtues-he actually gives eight-and the seven deadly sins. On original sin, the Patriarch takes the opportunity of pointing out that baptism should be by triple immersion and not by aspersion, and should be followed by chrismation. The baptismal practice of the Latins is, he says, incorrect. In his fourth chapter, on justification by faith alone, the Patriarch points out, quoting Basil, that grace will not be given to those who do not live virtuous lives. He amplifies his views in his fifth and sixth chapters. In the Confession, the fifth article says that faith must be fed with the help of the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments, and the sixth that faith must bear fruit in good works, though it repeats that good works alone will not bring salvation. Jeremias takes for granted the doctrine given in the fifth article, and uses the chapter to continue his previous argument. The Sermon on the Mount lists virtues that will bring salvation without any reference to faith. Faith without works is not true faith. In the sixth article he warns the Germans not to presume on grace nor despair of it. He makes it clear that he disapproves of anything that might suggest predestined election. The seventh article of the Confession declares that the Church is one and eternal, and the sign of its unity is that the Gospel shall be rightly taught and the Sacraments rightly administered. So long as this is fulfilled, differences in ritual and ceremonial do not impair its unity. Jeremias agrees; but he goes on to talk about the Sacraments. Suspecting that the Lutherans held baptism and the Eucharist to be the only Sacraments, he insists that there are at least seven Sacraments. Jeremias concurred with the eighth and ninth articles in the Confession. The former says that Sacraments do not lose their validity even when administered by evil priests. The latter recommends infant baptism, so that the child may be at once qualified to receive grace. The tenth article was more controversial. It says that the body and blood of Christ are truly present at the Lord's Supper and are distributed to those who participate in it; and those who teach otherwise are condemned. So far the Patriarch could agree. But he may have learned that the original German version of the Confession added the words 'in the form of the bread and the wine,' words omitted in the Latin and Greek versions. He asks for further details, saying: 'for we have heard of certain things about your views, of which it is impossible for us to approve.' The doctrine of the Holy Church, he maintains, is that at the Lord's Supper the bread is changed into the very body of Christ and the wine into His very blood. He adds that the bread must be leavened, not unleavened. He points out that Christ did not say 'This is bread,' or even 'This is the figure of my body,' but 'This is My body.' It would indeed be blasphemy to say that the Lord gave to His disciples the flesh that He bore to eat or the blood in His veins to drink, or that He descends physically from heaven when the mysteries are celebrated. It is, he says, by the grace and invocation of the Holy Spirit, which operates and consummates the change, and by our sacred prayers and by the Lord's own words that the bread and wine are transformed and transmuted into the very flesh and blood of Christ. Jeremias is here making three points. In two of them he considered that the Lutherans were following the errors of the Latins. The Greeks, faithful to the traditions of the early Church, had long disapproved of the Latin use of unleavened bread, which seemed to them to mar the symbolism of the Sacrament; for the leaven symbolizes the new dispensation. Then Jeremias touches delicately on the Epiklesis, the invocation of the Holy Ghost which to the Greeks completed the change in the elements. They could not condone the Latin omission of the Epiklesis. On the actual question of the change in the elements Jeremias is cautious. He avoids the word which is the exact Greek translation of 'transubstantiation.' The words that he uses do not necessarily imply material change. He does not explain the exact nature of the change, leaving it, rather, as a divine mystery. But the Lutheran view that though Christ's body and blood were present at the Sacrament there was no change in the elements seemed to him inadequate. The eleventh article of the Confession advocates the use of private confession, though it is not absolutely necessary; nor can one enumerate all one's petty sins. The Patriarch agrees but thinks that more should be said about the value of confession as spiritual medicine and as leading to true acts of penitence. It must be remembered that to him the act of penitence ranked as a sacrament. The twelfth article teaches that sinners who have lapsed from grace can receive it again if they repent. It disavows both the Anabaptist view that the saved can never fall from grace and the Novatian view that the lapsed can never recover it. The Patriarch concurs but adds that repentance must be shown by works. The thirteenth article declares the Sacraments to be proofs of God's love for men and should be used to stimulate and confirm faith. This seems a little crude to Jeremias, who stresses the need for the Liturgy as providing the necessary framework for the Sacraments, the whole divine drama which gives them their spiritual value. To the fourteenth, which states that only ordained priests should preach or administer the Sacraments, the Patriarch agrees, so long as the ordination has been correctly performed and the hierarchy canonically organized. He clearly doubted whether this was the case with the Lutheran Church. The fifteenth article pleased him less. It approves of such rites and festivals as are conducive to giving peace and order to the Church but denies that any of them are necessary for salvation or provide the means for acquiring grace. To the Greek Church, with its full calendar of feasts and fasts, such teaching was distressing. The Patriarch, quoting at length from the early Fathers, emphasizes that these holy days and the ceremonies attached to them are lasting reminders of the life of Christ on earth and of the witness of the saints. To deny them any spiritual value is narrow-minded and wrong. He concurs with the sixteenth article, which says that it is not contrary to the Gospel to obey civil magistrates or to engage in warfare if they should order it. He adds that one should remember, all the same, that obedience to the laws of God and to His ministers is a higher duty, and that no true Christian seeks for worldly power. He concurs also with the seventeenth article, which foretells the coming of Christ to judge the world and to reward the faithful with eternal life and punish the wicked with eternal torment. He seems to have been unperturbed by the implied denial of the doctrine of Purgatory. The eighteenth article deals with free will. The Lutherans maintained that, while a man may by the exercise of free will lead a good life, it will avail him nothing unless God gives him grace. This is too close to the doctrine of complete predestination for the Patriarch, who points out, with long quotations from John Chrysostom, that only those freely willing to be saved can be saved. Good deeds conform with the grace of God, but that grace is withdrawn concurrently with an evil deed. The nineteenth article, declaring that God is not the cause of evil in this world, is perfectly acceptable. The twentieth returns to the problem of faith and works, repeating that, though good works are necessary and indispensable, and it is a libel to say that the Lutherans ignore them, yet they cannot purchase the remission of sins without faith and its accompanying grace. The Patriarch agrees about the dual need for faith and works; but why, he asks, if the Lutherans really value good works, do they censure feasts and fasts, brotherhoods and monasteries? Are these not good deeds done in honor of God and in obedience to His commands? Is a fast not an act of self-discipline? Is not a monastic fraternity an expression of fellowship? Above all, is not the taking of monastic vows an attempt to carry out Christ's demand that we should rid ourselves of our worldly entanglements? The Patriarch was especially shocked by the twenty-first and last article, which says that, while congregations should be told of the lives of the saints as examples to be followed, it is contrary to the Scriptures to invoke the saints as mediators before God. Jeremias, after citing the special powers given by Christ to the disciples, answers that true worship should indeed be given to God alone, but that the saints, and above all, the Mother of God, who by their holiness have been raised to heaven, may lawfully and helpfully be invoked. We can ask the Mother of God, owing to her special relationship, to intercede for us and the archangels and angels to pray for us; and all the saints may be asked for their mediation. It is a sign of humility that we sinners should be shy of making a direct approach to God and should seek the intervention of mortal men and women who have earned salvation. Jeremias ended his letter with a supplementary chapter, stressing five points. First, he insists again that leavened bread should be used at the Eucharist. Secondly, while he approves of the marriage of secular clergy, the regular clergy should take vows of celibacy and should keep to them. Thirdly, he emphasized once more the importance of the Liturgy. Fourthly, he repeats that the remission of sin cannot be attained except through confession and the act of penitence, to which he attaches sacramental importance. Finally, and at great length, he gives arguments in support of the institution of monasteries and the taking of monastic vows. Many mortals, he admits, are unfitted to bind themselves to a life of asceticism; and if they lead good lives according to their abilities, they too can reach salvation. But it is, he thinks, a better thing to be ready to forswear the world and to devote one's life to the disciplined service of God; and for this end monasticism provides the proper means. His final paragraph is written in a mixture of humility and condescension. 'And so, most learned Germans,' he writes, 'most beloved sons in Christ of Our Mediocrity, as you desire with wisdom and after great counsel and with your whole minds to join yourselves with us to what is the most holy Church of Christ, we, speaking like parents who love their children, gladly receive your charity and humanity into the bosom of our Mediocrity, if you are willing to follow with us the apostolic and synodical traditions and to subject yourselves to them. Then at last truly and sincerely one house will be built with us ... and so out of two Churches God's benevolence will make as it were one, and together we shall live until we are transferred to the heavenly fatherland.'7 his reply reached Germany in the summer of 1576. The German divines detected in it a certain lack of enthusiasm. Crusius arranged a meeting with the theologian Lucius Osiander; and together they composed an answer in which the points to which the Patriarch seemed to object were elucidated and justified. They confined themselves to doctrines mentioned in the Confession of Augsburg and therefore did not touch on matters such as leavened bread, the Liturgy or even monasticism. They attempted to show that their view on justification by faith was not really so very different from the Patriarch's; and they repeated at some length the Lutheran view that, though Christ's flesh and blood were present at the Lord's Supper, there was no material change in the elements. They made it clear that they believed in only two Sacraments and that they could not admit the propriety of invoking the saints. Their letter was written in June 1577, but it probably only reached Constantinople in the course of the following year. Once again Jeremias tried to avoid sending an answer, but Gerlach was still in Constantinople, pressing for one. Gerlach left to return to Germany in the spring of 1579. In May, Jeremias sent off at last a further statement of his views. His tone was now a little less conciliatory. He pointed out clearly and at greater length the doctrines which the Orthodox Church could not accept. It could not admit the Dual Procession of the Holy Ghost. In spite of what the Lutherans claimed, their views on free will and on justification by faith were not Orthodox and were in the Patriarch's opinion too crude. While admitting that the Sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist ranked above the others, the Patriarch insisted that there were sacraments. He repeated that it was correct to invoke the saints and added that respect should be paid to holy images and relics. A committee of Lutheran divines, including Crusius, Andreae, Osiander and Gerlach, met at Wurttemberg to compose a further reply, which was dispatched in June 1580. Its tone was very conciliatory. When not yielding on any points, it tried to suggest that the doctrinal differences between the Churches on justification by faith, on free will and on the change in the elements at the Lord's Supper were only matters of terminology, and that other differences could perhaps be treated as differences in ritual and usage. The Germans had to wait for an answer. Jeremias had been deposed in November 1579, and did not return to office till September 1580. Some months elapsed before he could settle down to compose an answer. It was eventually sent in the summer of 1581. He briefly recapitulated the points of disagreement, then begged for the correspondence to cease. 'Go your own way,' he wrote, 'and do not send us further letters on doctrine but only letters written for the sake of friendship.' In spite of this, the Lutheran committee sent one more letter, almost identical with their last. The Patriarch did not reply to it. 1 For Melanchthon's attitude towards the Greeks see E. Benz, Die Ostkirche im Lichte der Protestantischen Geschichtsschreibung, pp. 17-20. 2 Benz, Wittenberg und Byzanz, pp. 94ff., giving the text of Melanchthon's letter. 3 Ibid. pp. 71-2: J. N. Karmiris, GET TRANSLATION, p. 36. 4 Benz, Wittenberg und Byzanz, pp. 73ff. 5 For Ungnad and Gerlach see E. Benz, Die Ostkirche im Licht der Protestantischen Geschichtsschreibung , pp. 24-9. Gerlach's very discursive Tagebuch was not published until after his death; but Crusius in his Turco-Graecia frequently cites Gerlach as the sources of information. Jeremias II spoke no Western European language. When Phillippe Du Fresne visited him in 1573, Theodore Zygomalas and his father were present to act as interpreters. P. du Fresne Canaye, Voyage du Levant (ed. M. H. Hauser). pp. 106-8. 6 Benz, Wittenberg und Byzanz, pp. 94ff. 7 It was this letter which gives Jeremias II's fullest statement on doctrine together with the Lutheran arguments that he was answering, that the Jesuit Sokolowski published in 1582, thus obliging the Lutherans to publish the whole correspondence. Taken from Stephen Runciman's The Great Church in Captivity (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1968).


Subject: For those who value sola scriptura
From: eikke
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 03:13:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
...with some discussion of Reformed liturgy and thought. Let's take the debate from another angle, shall we? Holy Tradition vs. Sola Scriptura The Witness of the Liturgy by Pedro O. Vega Since the Reformation, the polemics between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have centered on the role of the Bible as the only rule of faith for the Church over and against any notion of Bible and Tradition as being the normative rule of faith. In recent years, the debate has taken the same popular note that it once had during the Reformation. Roman Catholic apologists such as Karl Keating (director of Catholic Answers) and Patrick Madrid frequently square off against Reformed Protestant apologist James White (director of Alpha & Omega Ministries) in a battle for the mind, the heart, and, ultimately, the soul of their listeners and readers. Orthodox Christians may assume that Roman Catholic apologists represent the Orthodox position in Western polemics. This is due, in part, to the absence of Orthodox Christian apologists from this debate. The purpose of this article is to provide an Orthodox perspective on the matter of Sola Scriptura, that is, the Protestant tenet that the Bible alone is sufficient as the rule of faith of the Church. At the same time, we will seek to restate the Patristic framework Orthodoxy assumes when speaking of Holy Tradition, which is not normally present within Roman Catholic apologetics. This framework is provided by the Divine Liturgy of the Church. This framework centers on the role of the Liturgy as the 'container' of Tradition, as something that owes its very existence to Tradition. In other words, the Liturgyóthe Eucharist in its core actionsóis the proof for the existence of an extrabiblical Christian belief that was binding for all the Churches which called themselves Christian, Orthodox, and Catholic, and which assert a historical continuity with the New Testament Church. We will discuss the important implications the Liturgy has on the Protestant claims of the sufficiency of the Bible. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi Lex orandi, lex credendi is a tenet of the early Church that nowadays is often used as a cliché. But what did it mean then? What does it mean to say that the law (or rule) of prayer is the law (or rule) of belief? The answer lies in what Orthodox Christians call the Divine Liturgy. First, we will define what liturgy means, what is its origin, and what its basic form, or shape, consists of. Once we organize and briefly analyze the data, we will then proceed to formulate some conclusions and, hopefully, state a definition of Holy Tradition from the Orthodox perspective. From there we will examine the theological implications of our findings upon doctrine and the notion of Sola Scriptura. Liturgy Defined Etymology Liturgy is derived from the Latin liturgia and the Greek leitourgia (a compound word: leitos + ergon), meaning 'public duty' or 'public worship.' The word and its cognates can be found in the New Testament (cf. Acts 13:2). Working Definition Dom Gregory Dix,1 perhaps the foremost liturgist of this century, defines liturgy as follows: ĎLiturgyí is the name given ever since the days of the apostles (Acts 13:2) to the act of taking part in the solemn corporate worship of God by the Ďpriestlyí society (1 Peter 2:5) of Christians, who are Ďthe Body of Christ, the churchí (Ephesians 1: 22-23). ĎThe Liturgyí is the term which covers generally all that worship which is officially organised by the church, and which is open to and offered by, or in the name of, all who are members of the church. It distinguishes this from the personal prayers of the individual Christians who make up the church, and even from the common prayer of selected or voluntary groups within the church, e.g. guilds or societies. In the course of time the term the Liturgy has come to be particularly applied to the performance of that rite which was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself to be the peculiar and distinctive worship of those who should be ĎHis owní (John 13:1); and which has ever since been the heart and core of Christian worship and Christian livingóthe Eucharist or Breaking of Bread.2 Thus, whenever we speak of liturgy and liturgical in this essay, we do so under the light of the above definition. Nature of the Protestant Problem We all participate in corporate prayer. Every Sunday we go to our respective houses of worship to do just that: worship. Yet, very seldom do we stop to think of the origin and the meaning of the actions we perform within the context of public, corporate worship. This is especially true of so-called low church Protestant Christians. There is little or no connection between the way that these Christians worship every Sunday (or every quarter) and the way the early Church worshipped and prayed. If the question occurs to them at all, they might answer that it is the spirit that matters in their current worship circumstance. Ancient ritual can be safely dismissed, without further thought, as dead letter and empty tradition. It is at this spiritual and, ultimately, individual level, however, that Protestant Christians experience their affinity with the worship of the early Christians. John Calvin represented the faction of the Reformation which most rapidly did away with Catholic liturgical trappings (cf. The Second Helvetic Confession, chapter XXVII, Of Rites, Ceremonies, and Things Indifferent). Calvinís liturgy itself was a modification of another Reformed order of worship previously created by Martin Bucer. Calvin published his order of worship in French at Strasbourg. He titled the work La Forme des Prières Ecclésiastiques. It is said that Calvinís Institutes created the most international form of Protestantism; due credit should also be given to his order of worship, which is essentially preserved in every low church Protestant community to this day. It also heavily influenced other Protestant traditions, particularly that of the Church of England. Much can be said of the Protestant break with the Roman Catholic past. The liturgical and moral excesses of the medieval Church are well known and do not need to be revisited in this article. It can also be argued that the medieval Roman innovations were themselves real breaks from the faith and practice of the early Church. That is another subject unto itself. Suffice to say that the Reformers felt justified in making the changes they did to the order of Christian worship. Influenced by the humanist battle cry Ad fontes! and permeated with the spirit of Nominalism, the Reformers set out on a quest to restore the authentic faith, worship, and practice of the early Church. However, Protestant worship services have much in common with the Latin Mass against which they reacted. Dix, in fact, sees the Protestant worship services as a subdivision of the Western Catholic liturgical rite. Dix writes: Elsewhere in the West, as a consequence of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, there has arisen what from our point of view must be considered the Ďfourth cropí of local variants of the basic Western type, in the rites of the Reformed bodies. It is true that those who use them do not, as a rule, think of them in this way. Their compilers were far more concerned to follow what they regarded as Ďscriptural warrantí than anything in the liturgical tradition against which they were in revolt. But the Reformers themselves thought largely in terms of the Western tradition within which they had been trained. In consequence, their rites all reveal under technical analysis not Ďprimitiveí characteristics at all, nor anything akin to the special Eastern tradition, but a marked dependence on the basic Western liturgical tradition at a particular stage late in its development.3 The Reformed Protestant problem is this: Though the Reformers set out to restructure their worship ritual according to what they perceived had scriptural warrant, their final product resembled more a truncated late medieval Latin Mass than anything else that could be called primitive Christian corporate worship. Proof of this discrepancy is found by way of contrasting the Reformed orders of worship with the ancient texts of the earliest Christian liturgies available to us. Low church evangelical Protestantism, especially that American Protestantism still struggling to remain faithful to the insight of the classical Reformers, faces a dilemma. The dilemma is, ironically, the Reformersí own creation. Let us not forget the Reformers lived at the dawn of critical historiography as a scientific discipline. Much of the Protestant critique was based upon the work of the Roman Catholic philosopher and humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam. It was he who advocated a full critical reading of the ancient sources. He also produced the first critical Greek edition of the New Testament. By using comparative analysis, he debunked the historicity of long authoritative pro-papal documents such as the Gratian Decretals. The Reformers used these developments to their advantage. Lutherís discovery that the New Testament said, 'Repent, change your hearts, change your ways!' versus the Latin Vulgateís rendition 'Do Penance!' is a classic example of the superior scholarship inaugurated by Erasmus under the motto Ad Fontes! Yet, we fail to see a similar Protestant advance in the field of Liturgics. This is due to four things: (1) Protestantismís lack of interest in ascertaining the existence of the historical Liturgy; (2) the lack of manuscript tradition in which to work at the time; (3) the belief that an appeal to Sola Scriptura superseded any other appeal to Liturgy as a doctrinal medium; and (4) just plain apathy. The Reformers felt free to recast public worship according their particular view of scriptural warrant. Curiously, when it came to the Liturgy, the Reformers fell short of the Ad Fontes! ideal. This takes us back to the Protestant problem: Their worship is, in one way or the other, a modified version of the late medieval Latin Mass. Only the Quakers carried the Protestant recasting of the Liturgy to its logical end: Their worship was devoid of any outer form and relied solely on the illumination of the individual worshipper. If the rest of Protestantism failed to reach this logical end, they did so because of a vague feeling of the very human (and Christian) need for communal worship. Ad Fontes! To say that the Orthodox Church holds the Liturgy in the highest esteem is an understatement. The Liturgy is the basis for Orthodox theologizing when it comes to Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and almost every ancillary -ology in the Church. Theology without Liturgy is falsely so-called, according to Orthodox Christian teaching. Orthodox Christianityís high regard for the Liturgy does not derive from a merely antiquarian interest. Nor is it an attempt by the Church to establish a historical continuity with the past by mere imitation of ritual or gestures. The Orthodox Church holds the Liturgy in the highest esteem because the New Testament Church and the Church of the Fathers held the Liturgy in the highest esteem. And the New Testament Church and the Church of the Fathers held the Liturgy in the highest esteem on account of its origin, its purpose, and its function. The Liturgy in the Bible That the Christians in the New Testament Church worshipped together, no one denies. Thus in Acts 2:42,46 we find: And they devoted themselves to the apostlesí teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayersÖAnd day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (RSV) The verse does not tell us much about the how of New Testament Christian worship, but it does give us two tantalizing hints: (1) there is something Jewish about it (Temple worship), and (2) there is something Christian about it (the Breaking of the Bread).4 The closest that the New Testament gets to talk about the actions involved during Christian worship (and the earliest reference) is in St. Paulís first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11, verses 23 to 26: 'For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lordís death until he comes.' C.P.M. Jones5 endeavored to sketch the Corinthian liturgy from an in-depth study of St. Paulís epistle to the Corinthians: 'It is a plenary session and may not begin until all are assembled. It is a real meal, to which (or at least the well off) all contribute food and drink. It opens with the customary Jewish blessing of God over the bread, which is then broken in pieces and distributed to all, probably with words of interpretation or distribution identifying the bread as the Body of Christ.ÖBy this the gathering is constituted as the Body of Christ. The meal continues, and at the end the Ďcup of the blessingí is produced and thanksgiving is said before all drink of it. It would seem that during that thanksgiving the death of the Lord , the risen, victorious ever-present Lord of the community, is proclaimed Ďuntil he come.í' Post-Apostolic Development Again, it is not the purpose of this essay to provide a detailed narrative of the development of the Orthodox Christian liturgy. Such a task would be, of itself, a very lengthy one. Instead, we shall briefly sketch the development of the liturgy up until the fourth century, highlighting certain common themes constantly present during this development. We will do so by looking at a few representative early Church documents: ē The Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles through the Twelve Apostles, commonly known as The Didache. There are many theories about the origin and purpose of this early work. Paragraphs 9 and 10 are relevant to our discussion. Their primitive character is attested by their lack of the Words of Institution (Take , eat. . . . Take, drink.) and by the wording of its Thanksgiving prayer, which is very close to that of Jewish forms of grace at table. ē The Letter of St. Clement of Rome to the Corinthians. St. Clement deals with issues of order and procedure (cf. paragraphs 40 and 41). He already models the Eucharist on the pattern of Temple worship. ē The Letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans. St. Ignatiusís reference to the Eucharist as the body,6 or flesh,7 of our Savior may indicate that the Words of Institution, as they are known in the Gospels, were already in use (cf. paragraphs 7 and 8). ē The Apostolic Tradition of Hyppolitus, a third-century document, is the most important source of information we possess on the liturgy of the pre-Nicene church.8 It contains an undeveloped form of the Eucharistic prayer and reflects the liturgical tradition of the local Church of Rome. It makes direct use of the Words of Institution. ē The Mystagogical Catecheses of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. The Catecheses were instructional lectures, first delivered orally but written down in shorthand. The form we have today is that of a transcript made by someone in the audience, and it is not St. Cyrilís original manuscript.9 These lectures were delivered to Christians in various states of instruction. It contains a full description of the Liturgy in Jerusalem in the fourth century. The Form of the Early Liturgy Several other liturgical traditions existed at the time; for example, that of the Churches at Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Edessa. Though the petitions and emphases of these early liturgies varied somewhat, they all shared in common a central core, or form. This form, or shape, is distinguished by a four-step scheme in the Eucharistic action: (1) The Offertory. Bread and wine are taken and placed on the table together; (2) The Thanksgiving or Eucharistic Prayer. The president, or celebrant, gives thanks to God over the bread and wine together; (3) The Fraction. The Bread is broken; (4) Communion. The Bread and Wine are distributed together.10 This four-step action is somewhat different from the scheme we find in the New Testament. There we find a seven-step scheme within the inauguration narrative. There we read that Our Lord: (1) took bread; (2) gave thanks over it; (3) broke it; (4) and distributed it, saying certain words. Later, He: (5) took a cup; (6) gave thanks over it; (7) and handed it to His disciples, saying certain words.11 The central question facing us is: why? Why is there a discrepancy between the actions of Jesus, as narrated in the Synoptic Gospels, and in St. Paulís letter to the Corinthians and the Liturgical actions of the early Church? The answers lies, paradoxically, at the origin of the Eucharist itself: the Last Supper. The Last Supper, the Eucharist, and the Jewish Milieu The obvious answer to our question is this: The last supper of our Lord with His disciples is the source of the Liturgical Eucharist, but not the model for its performance.12 Let us refocus our answer: The actions which transpired during the Last Supper and preserved in the canonical Gospels and in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians are not the model for the performance of the historical Eucharist. As it will be demonstrated, the New Testament narratives influenced the Liturgy at a relatively late period of its development. The traditions from which the New Testament and the Eucharist developed had a common origin. They progressively influenced each otherís growth and canonicity up until the doctrinal settlement of the fourth century. To arrive at this conclusion we examine the source of the Liturgical Eucharist: the Last Supper. The Jewish Chabûrah Meal The Last Supper should be seen within the historical context from which both the New Testament narratives and the Liturgical Eucharist evolved. To do that, the following hypothesis is in order: According to St. Johnís Gospel, our Lord instituted the Eucharist at a supper with His disciples, which was probably not the Passover supper of that year but the evening meal twenty-four hours before the actual Passover.13 The Last Supper, then, belonged to another formal category of meals for which there were also exacting preparations and rituals known as chabûrah (from Heb. chaber=friend).14 Dix uses quite a bit of ink to support his claim that the Last Supper was a chabûrah meal. We will limit ourselves to reading one of Dixís conclusions that is relevant to our inquiry. Reconstructing the primitive Eucharist, Dix finds the origin of the four-action shape of the Liturgy in this meal: (1) The Offertory. Each communicant brings for himself or herself a little bread and wine, and also frequently, other small offerings in kind of different sorts, oil, cheese. . . . This is simply a survival of the custom or providing the chabûrah supper out of the contributions in kind by its members, though in the case of the bread and wine, another meaning was given to the offering by the church before the end of the first century. (2) The prayer. The long Thanksgiving at the end of the meal was always regarded as and called in Jewish practice Ďthe Blessingí for all that had preceded it. It was also specifically the blessing of the Ďcup of blessingí itself (which did not receive the ordinary wine blessing). Accordingly, it now becomes 'the Blessing' or 'the Prayer' of the Eucharist, said over the bread and wine together. . . . That this was so can be seen from its special name. 'The Eucharist' (-ic Prayer), he eucharistia, 'The Thanksgiving,' which is simply the direct translation into Greek of its ordinary rabbinic name, berakah. (3) The fraction. The bread was originallyóat the chabûrah meal and the Last Supperóbroken simply for distribution and not for symbolic purposes immediately after it had been blessed. So, in the liturgical 'four-action' shape of the rite, it is broken at once after the blessing (by the eucharistia, along with the wine) for Communion, which follows immediately. (4) The Communion. It appears to have been the universal tradition in the pre-Nicene Church that all should receive Communion standing. This was the posture in which the cup of blessing was received at the chabûrah meal, though the broken bread was received sitting or reclining at table. Presumably the change in posture for receiving the bread was made when the meal was separated from the Eucharist. The Jews stood for the recitation of the berakah and to receive the cup of blessing, and this affected the bread, too, when its distribution came to be placed between the end of the berakah and the handing of the cup.15 The Liturgy as Oral Tradition Thus far, we have seen how the four-action shape of the Liturgy differs in form with the series of actions narrated and preserved in the Institution narratives contained in the New Testament. We have also seen how this shape had as its origins the Jewish ritual meal called chabûrah. Once again, the question we now face is: why? Why has a nonscriptural, Jewish religious meal provided the framework for Christian worship for over 1500 years? Before we attempt to answer this question, we will backtrack a little to the period preceding the writing of the canonical Gospels. We should agree, as a matter of principle, to the following tenets: ē Jesus wrote no book; He taught by word of mouth and personal example. ē Some of his followers taught in writing as well as orally. ē Often, indeed, their writing was a second-best substitute for the spoken word.16 There is nothing unlikely about this fact. In an era when reading and writing were skills mastered by a relative few, oral tradition was the necessary vehicle to preserve and hand down practical and religious knowledge from father to son, and from teacher to student. Nor were the Jews unique in this respect, either at this time, or in that region of the world. Most, if not all, of the cultures in the world at that time were, fundamentally, oral cultures. The scholarly consensus is that the Synoptic Gospels were written near or before 70 A.D. This is also true of the Pauline corpus. It would take some years before they would become authoritative and, as a result of this, canonical. Yet, even before St. Paul put in writing 'that which [he had] received' (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-24), the shape of the Liturgy already existed. For now, we will refer to this tradition as the liturgical tradition. The evidence also warrants the following conclusion: this liturgical tradition existed independently from, yet shared a common origin with, the oral tradition from which the New Testament evolved. That it was held in the highest esteem is proven by the fact that the four-action shape of the Liturgy was not affected by the Gospels or First Corinthians. Apparently, the Church had very grave reasons to hold to the shape even if it meant ignoring the New Testament in this one point. Let us also remember that the first written hint of the New Testament having an effect on the prayers of the Liturgy is found in the letters of St. Ignatius.17 By that time, the Church had been celebrating the chabûrah of the Lord for about 80 years. Again, in a culture such as the Jewish one, where oral tradition was held in the highest esteem, the staying power of the shape is not unexpected. What is unexpected and relevant to the Sola Scriptura controversy is that it had such an authority, such a binding power over and beyond the New Testament through subsequent generations of Christians, most of them not even Jewish. The Liturgy As Foundational, Binding Tradition Once again, Dix seems to say it best: 'It is important for the understanding of the whole future history of the Liturgy to grasp the fact that the Eucharistic worship from the outset was not based on Scripture at all, Old or New Testament, but solely on tradition. The authority for its celebration was the historical tradition that it had been instituted by Jesus, cited incidentally by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11, and attested in the second Christian generation by the written Gospels.'18 Thus, the Liturgy is: ē An oral tradition, originating with Jesus Himself; ē Parallel to the traditions that originated the New Testament; ē Handed down, as it were, in the very act of its celebration; ē Handed down from one generation of Christians to the next by those who participate in it in different capacities. We can then speak of the Liturgical tradition as a foundational tradition, as one of the traditions that established the Church as a chabûrah of the Lord, as a community of Thanksgiving, and as something upon which the subsequent doctrinal and disciplinary structure of the Church was to be built. For Christians, a foundational tradition is a binding tradition. The concept of binding was one that the Apostles and the first Jewish-Christian generation were familiar with. The celebrated verses in Matthew 16, for example, use the terms binding and loosing, no doubt, because its intended recipients, converts from Judaism, were familiar with the terminology. To bind is, in fact, a legal term often used by the rabbis to define who belongs to the Elect (i.e. Israel) and who does not. What is bound is the believerís conscience, who must respond in love and obedience to the authority of the God who reveals Himself. The Liturgical tradition, being foundational and binding, is then considered holy. It is holy on account of its founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. The very fact that the liturgical tradition is foundational makes it holy. It is holy on account of its purpose, which is to define the identity of the Christian Church against the unbelieving world, to set the Church apart (i.e., to sanctify her, to make her holy) from the world and for God as His chabûrah.19 The liturgical tradition is also holy on account of its end, the glorification of God in the Person of His Anointed Son, whose saving deeds are made present anew within the worshipping community. It is also within this community, joined in holy Liturgy, where the hope of His coming again in glory is preserved. Though we can now speak of the Liturgy as a holy tradition, we cannot still refer to it as Holy Tradition, in capital letters, as a proper name. We will refrain from doing so until we define the Liturgyís pedagogical character, its relationship with the New Testament, and its ultimate scope. Once again, we return to the period before the writing of the New Testament. The Liturgy as Pedagogical Tradition The Liturgy preserves Apostolic, Christian teaching that predates the writing of the canonical New Testament and parallels the foundational, binding, oral traditions that originated the New Testament. This teaching communicates real, historical knowledge about the Person, the deeds, and the teachings of Jesus. What is this teaching? The teaching is the kerygma: the proclamation of Jesus as crucified and risen Lord, who was, is, and is to come; the teaching and retention of the idea of monotheism, a tenet not contradicted by the proclamation of Jesus as Lord. Another object of teaching is about the nature of God and the anamnesis (a memorial in the sense of re-actualization) of His saving deeds contained in the berakah, the Jewish prayer of thanksgiving. This prayer will retain its basic structure in the Christian Liturgies. It becomes now a prayer to the Father of Jesus, 'King of All Creation.' But most important for our inquiry is the fact that the Liturgy probably served as the crucible for the New Testamentís formation, its trigger and preserver. The Liturgical Tradition and the Formation of the New Testament20 As the Church developed from the day of Pentecost, so did her public worship. The Church borrowed many things from Judaism: the usage of reading from the Scriptures and singing of psalms being one of many. This carryover became the Synaxis (Gr. meeting). The Synaxis became fixed in Christian worship in the decade after the Passion.21 The Christian Synaxis had its own unchanging outline everywhere. It is as follows: (1) Opening greeting by the officiant, and the reply of the Church; (2) Lesson; (3) Psalmody; (4) Lesson (or Lessons, separated by psalmody); (5) Dismissal of those who did not belong to the Church; (6) Prayers; (7) Dismissal of the Church.22 The Lessons, or readings, were at first from the Old Testament, as this was the immediate Jewish custom that the first generations of Christians gave to the Church. It is within this context of worship that the words and deeds of Jesus were first remembered. First, quite informally, the Apostles or the surviving witnesses would relate the words of Jesus, his sayings, his actions, or the main events in the life of the Savior. This possibly took place after the reading from the Hebrew Scriptures, to which the given pre-Gospel narrative would be related in some way. The faithful remembered these words with varied degrees of clarity. Other hearers would take notes of these extemporaneous, kerygmatic narratives, centered on the words and deeds of Christ. As the Apostles and the first Christian generation started to pass on, the attempts to preserve the Memories of the Apostles became more and more formal, culminating in the writing of the canonical New Testament. Clues to this scenario can be found in the New Testament itself. The Gospel according to St. Mark, for example, preserves the simplicity and the directness of something that was primarily proclaimed orally, rather than in a written form. We can also find another clue in the existence of hymns in the New Testament, which were later adapted to support points of doctrine. We can see those hymns in the first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, for example, or in the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians 2:5-11. These hymns (and there are others) were more than likely composed by now unknown believers and then sung in the early Christian Liturgies. They were significant enough in doctrinal content to be included in the New Testament. Thus, the Liturgy had a direct impact on the formation of the New Testament. First, the Eucharist, the Christian chabûrah, preserved the knowledge, nay, the experience of the risen Lord as Messiah and Savior sent by the Father; now it fostered the thirst of the community for more knowledge about the Messiah. The Liturgy, then, attracted the foundational, binding, and oral traditions that were later collated and redacted into the canonical Gospels. As this relationship developed, these traditions influenced the evolution of the Liturgy more and more. These traditions gave the Liturgy new modes of expression, prayer, and song. The pre-Gospel oral traditions received from the Liturgy their legitimacy, format, and focus. Once this mutual relationship started, it never stopped. The Christian Scriptures received their constitution from the independent, foundational, and binding liturgical tradition. They formed a continuum, a unity. They both disclose, in exactly the same way, the God revealed in Jesus Christ. Each of the liturgical and the Gospel traditions only becomes intelligible with the help of the other. Together they form the rule of faith, the Holy Tradition of the Church, as Orthodox Christianity understands it. Holy Tradition Defined We can now attempt to compose a definition of Holy Tradition: Holy Tradition is the totality of Godís self-disclosure in Jesus Christ, granted through the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and preserved by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of the worshipping, liturgizing Church, which is given for the purpose of revealing to that very same Church Godís hidden designs regarding the salvation and sanctification of the human race. The above definition enjoys the following advantages: ē It sets the origin of Holy Tradition in God Himself. We have seen that the Old Testament, the holy traditions that became the New Testament, and the Liturgy all originate in the Person of the Logos, be that in His eternal existence with the Father, or during His earthly ministry; ē It is set in Godís disclosure in Jesus Christ; it is Christian Holy Tradition; ē It is preserved by the Holy Spirit, not only in its outer form, but also in its inner interpretation, be it of the Bible, or of the Divine Liturgy; ē It is given to the Church, and to that Church that maintains the Apostolic rule of worship; it is given to a Church that offers the Divine Liturgy. Other Christian bodies which do not liturgize lack the Holy Tradition. It is also within the liturgical context where the Word (to quote Luther) is rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered. Finally, this aspect of the definition sets forth the constitution of the Church as the Body of Christ, bound by the mysteries of Godís revelation, the Eucharist, and the Apostolic Preaching. It sets the Church of Jesus Christ apart from rival claimants; ē It is given for the salvation of the Church, which is granted within the Liturgical Church. Those who are in the Church are granted the full knowledge and benefit of Godís revelation in Jesus Christ for the sanctification and salvation of their souls. Holy Tradition as Doctrine Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan defined doctrine as that which is believed, taught, and confessed.23 For this definition to be complete, from the Orthodox Christian perspective, we need to again recall the ancient standard of belief: Lex orandi, lex credendi. The law (rule, or standard) of prayer is the law (rule, or standard) of belief. How and when did they pray as a Church? They did so in the Liturgy. What is believed is then taught. What is taught is then confessed by the Church. Where do we find this confession? We find it primarily in the Divine Liturgy, where the primitive confession first took its shape and found its earliest expression. We find it in the New Testament, the first inspired, written confession of the Church. Finally, we find it in the more formal declarations of faith that we call creeds. The Orthodox approach to doctrine is holistic. By maintaining the liturgical context within which Christian revelation first came to be, Orthodox doctrine is more organic, more attuned, to the entire continuum of Christian revelation.24 Because it encompasses the rule of prayer as the rule of belief, and the sources or instruments of Revelation within itself, together with proper exegesis and interpretation of the Bible, Holy Tradition is the source of doctrine for the Orthodox Church. What, then, of Sola Scriptura? The Protestant failure to establish, reform, or restore the ancient standard of Christian worship stands as a symbol of the failure of Sola Scriptura. The Bible alone was not sufficient for the Reformers to reestablish the ancient understanding and shape of the Liturgy and the Eucharist. They only succeeded on rehashing the medieval Latin rite in accordance to their notion of Scriptural warrant. Conventional wisdom suggests that the Protestant preference for Sola Scriptura preceded and justified the rejection of anything smacking of Catholic forms of worship. This is especially true of Reformed Protestantism in its multiple manifestations. Perhaps we have placed the cart before the horse here. Protestantismís birth was due, in part, to a reaction to medieval abuses that have crept into the Latin rite and deformed it, obscuring its underlying, original shape. The tenet of Sola Scriptura is the only logical remnant of Apostolic teaching after the rejection of the historical Liturgy in all of its forms. Once Reformed Protestantism rejected the revelational and salvific value of the Divine Liturgy, it became necessary to hold on to, and further develop, the notion of Sola Scriptura. There was no other alternative. Conclusion Sympathetic as we might be to the Protestant quandary, and to its underlying causes, we need to understand the inadequacy of the Bible being the only and sufficient source for Christian faith and morals and the sole container of Divine Revelation, especially in the light of the evidence presented above. The Protestant believer needs to face the Orthodox challenge to Sola Scriptura, a challenge which forms the basis for our conclusion: The existence and divine origin of the Liturgy or Eucharist, specifically, of its shape, and of its role in creating, forging the belief, teaching, and the confession of Christian doctrine obviates the need for the Protestant tenet of Sola Scriptura. It is not Scripture Alone, but Holy Tradition, in its all encompassing nature, that forms the basis of Christian doctrine. Protestantism has failed in its mission of reforming the Church to its original intent through its ignorance and failure to understand the Eucharistic nature of the Church and the Liturgical context of Christian Revelation. This failure is the fatal flaw of Protestantism. Notes 1. Dom Gregory Dix was a British Anglican Benedictine. Vital dates unavailable. 1901 -1952 2. Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, p. 1. 3. Dix, 10. 4. This author does not deny the Jewishness of the bread-breaking ritual itself. However, the Breaking of the Bread was, by Lukeís time, already a Christian action, a uniquely Christian function (cf. Jerome Biblical Commentary, 45:24). John Calvin himself understood it as a uniquely Christian function, too. He refers to it as the breaking of the mystical bread in his discussion on the fourth commandment (cf. Institutio, 2.8.32). 5. The Rev. Canon C.P.M. Jones, was, at the time of the writing of this article, Principal of Pusey House, Oxford University (cf. Jones et al, eds, The Study of Liturgy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, 'The New Testament,' p. 150). 6. Staniforth et al, Early Christian Writings, p. 103. 7. Jurgens, William A., The Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. 1, p. 25. 8. Dix, p.157. 9. Jurgens, vol. 1, p.347. 10. Dix, p.48. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid., p.50. 13. Ibid. Dix quotes another work by Dr. W.O.E. Oesterly, Jewish Background of the Christian Liturgy, as his authority to assert the Johannine priority upon the development of the Liturgy. Dix is also aware of the (for him) recent challenges to that Johannine priority. The Reverend R. T. Beckwith, in his article for The Study of Liturgy ('The Jewish Background to Christian Worship,' p. 48) takes the opposite view: Jesus and His disciples took part of a Passover meal as the Synoptic Gospels seem to tell us. Both authors agree that the Jewish prayers contained in the Talmud (Jer. Berakoth 7.2; Bab. Berakoth 48b) form the model of the Christian Eucharistic prayer. The Orthodox Church has traditionally held the Johannine priority. It also sees confirmation of the fact that the Last Supper was not a Passover meal because of the use in all the New Testament sources of the word artoz (leavened bread) to designate the bread that Our Lord took and broke, and not axumoz (unleavened bread), which is essential in the Jewish Passover rite. 14. This is not to deny the Paschal character of the Lordís Last Supper. After all, the New Testament belabors the connection between the Lordís death as 'the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world' and the institution of the New Covenant with the Paschal Lamb and the institution of the Old. Our purpose is to categorize the type of meal that the Last Supper was, not to deny its obvious antitypical significance. 15. Dix, 78. I disagree with Dix when he states that the breaking of the bread had no symbolic meaning in the Last Supper, just as it does not during the chabûrah meal. The Lord was quite free to invest the elements of the ritual with new meaning, and He, in fact, did so with the main purpose of the meal. 16. F.F. Bruce. The Canon of Scripture, p. 118. Bruce is known worldwide as the dean of evangelical biblical scholars (from the inside cover of his book). 17. It is also significant that these letters also offer the first written testimony of the knowledge of, and the extent of, the fledgling New Testament in the post-Apostolic Church. 18. Dix, 2. Emphasis mine. 19. 'Set apart' is the primitive meaning of the verb sanctify or make holy. 20. The following scenario is based upon what we know of the development of the pre-Gospel oral traditions as determined by form criticism. 21. Dix, 36. 22. Dix, 38. The transition to the Eucharist proper developed later. 23. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition, p.3. 24. Orthodoxy avoids drawing any doctrine solely from one individual source, be that the Bible alone, or the magisterium as the regula próxima fidei. Works Cited Beckwith, R.T. The Jewish Background to Christian Worship. The Study of Liturgy. Ed. Cheslyn Jones et al. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Brown, Raymond E., et al. The Jerome Biblical Commentary. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1968. Bruce, F.F. The Canon of Scripture. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1988. Calvin, John. Ed. John T. McNeill. 'How far does the Fourth Commandment go beyond external regulation?' Institutes of the Christian Religion. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1960. 2 vols. Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. London: Dacre Press, 1945. Jones, C.P.M. The New Testament. The Study of Liturgy. Ed. Cheslyn Jones et al. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Jurgens, William A. The Faith of the Early Fathers. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1970. 3 vols. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol.1. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1971. Staniforth, Maxwell, and Andrew Louth. 'The Epistle to the Smyrnaeans.' Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers. Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1968, 1987.


Subject: How the Early Church Saw Itself
From: eikke
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 03:01:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
For those rare and admirable individuals who actually read about religions other than their own. Enjoy! The Structure and Worship of the Early Church By Clark Carlton
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-- The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread (1 Cor. 10:16-17). The reason why different denominations, with very different forms of church government, can all claim to be based on the 'New Testament model' is that the New Testament is not very specific about how the Church is to be organized or how services are to be conducted. It would be a grave mistake, however, to infer from this that the early Church had no definite structure or patterns of worship. The New Testament does not give a detailed plan of Church government, because the Church already existed when the books of the New Testament were written. As we pointed out above, the epistles were not written to be an 'owner's manual.' Because of this, if we want to know more about the early Church, we must look beyond the pages of the Scriptures to the earliest documents of the post-apostolic Church. This is not to suggest that these other documents are more important-or even as important-as the Divine Scriptures; they certainly are not. Their importance lies in the fact that they tell us how the earliest Christians interpreted the Bible and applied those interpretations to their lives. In doing so, they answer many of the questions that modern Protestants have about Church life. In Chapter Five, we examined how the description of Baptism in the Didache shed light on the biblical passages relating to the practice of Baptism. Let us now turn our attention to a more systematic study of life in the early Church, focusing in particular on Church government and worship. In addition to the Didache, four other documents from the first two centuries help us understand how the early Church was organized and how She worshipped: I Clement , the Letters of St. Ignatios of Antioch, the Apologies of St. Justin the Philosopher, and Against Heresies by St. Irenaios of Lyons. To be sure, we have many other documents from the second century, but these contain the most specific information about Church life. I Clement is a letter that was sent from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth around A.D. 95-96. Although St. Clement is not mentioned by name in the letter, early tradition is unanimous in assigning it to Clement. There is now no serious scholarly challenge to this attribution. St. Irenaios of Lyons, writing in the latter half of the second century, tells us that Clement was the third bishop of Rome and that he personally knew Ss. Peter and Paul. He has also been connected with the Clement mentioned in Phil. 4:3. This letter, therefore, stands as a bridge between the apostolic and post-apostolic ages.1 Around A.D. 107, St. Ignatios, the bishop of Antioch, was sent, under arrest, to Rome for execution. During his sojourn, he wrote letters to several Churches. Seven of those letters are extant. They provide an invaluable insight into Church life at the beginning of the second century. 2 The Apologies of St. Justin the Philosopher are somewhat unique in that they are addressed not to fellow Christians, but to the pagan emperor. Dating from the middle of the second century, their value for our purpose lies in the fact that Justin describes Church life to the emperor in order to dispel various myths that were circulating through the Roman world. I Clement and the Letters of Ignatios are similar to the epistles of the New Testament in that they are occasional letters. Justin, however, describes in some detail things that these letters only hint at. 3 One could say that St. Irenaios is the theologian par excellence of the second century. His Against Heresies is a gold mine of information. This work dates from the second half of the second century. Though he is known as the bishop of Lyons in Gaul (France), he was originally from Asia Minor and knew St. Polycarp of Smyrna, who was himself a disciple of St. John the Apostle. Thus, Irenaios was a spiritual grand-child of the Apostles. 4 From these documents we learn that the Church of the first two centuries had a definite governing structure, consisting of four principle offices: the bishop, the presbyters, the deacons, and the laity. The Church worshipped according to a pattern based upon types set forth in the Old Testament. Furthermore, both Church government and worship were firmly rooted in the doctrine of the Incarnationčthat is, in the belief that God had truly become man so that man might be able to truly share in the life of God. What is most important about this, however, is the way in which all of these elements of Church life were integrated with one another, forming a seamless whole. As we shall see below, episcopal government is tied directly to the nature of the Church as a Eucharistic community. At the same time, the Eucharist is the ultimate manifestation of the Church's belief that Her life is nothing less than life in Christ: He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him (John 6:56). Bishops and Presbyters In the New Testament, the terms bishop and presbyter are used interchangeably. 5 This is evident from the following passage from Titus: For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders [ lit. presbyters] in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre (Titus 1:5-7). We can quote many similar passages from the literature of the early Church where these terms are also used interchangeably: Our Apostles also knew through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife over the title of bishop. For this reason, therefore, since they had perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the aforementioned persons and later made further provision that if they should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their ministry.... For it will be no trivial sin on our part if we depose from the bishop's office those who have in a blameless and holy manner offered the gifts. Happy the presbyters who have gone on their way before this, for they obtained a ripe and fruitful departure; since they need not fear that anyone should remove them from their appointed place (I Clement 44 ), 6 But when on our side we challenge them [that is, the Gnostics] by an appeal to that tradition which derives from the Apostles, and which is preserved in the churches by the successions of the presbyters, then they oppose tradition claiming to be wiser not only than the presbyters but even than the Apostles, and to have discovered the truth undefiled.... This tradition the church has from the Apostles, and this faith has been proclaimed to all men, and has come down to our own day through the successions of bishops (Against Heresies III:2:2; III:3:2). There is one writer from the second century, however, who did not employ bishop and presbyter as interchangeable terms: St. Ignatios of Antioch. In his Letters, St. Ignatios makes it clear that in a given local Church, there is one bishop, a council of presbyters, and the deacons: All of you follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles; respect the deacons as the ordinance of God (Smyrnaeans 8 ). It is commonly asserted by Protestant scholars that St. Ignatios' view of Church government was unusual in the early Church - even revolutionary. Indeed, the authenticity of the Ignatian Letters was hotly contested by many Protestants, based upon their a priori conviction that the episcopal form of Church government was impossible in the first decade of the second century. 7 Today, however, there is little doubt among scholars as to the genuineness of the seven Letters in the current collection. It cannot be denied that St. Ignatios' clearly defined use of bishop and presbyter is highly unusual for this point in Church history. Nor can it be denied that he places a much greater emphasis on the role of bishop than do the other authors we are considering. However, this does not mean that the actual Church structure he describes was unique to Antioch. On the contrary, an examination of the other documents under consideration will demonstrate that they evince a similar understanding of Church government. 8 Although St. Clement uses bishop and presbyter interchangeably, there is considerable evidence that he has in mind the same kind of Church structure as described by St. Ignatios. This letter was occasioned by dissent within the Corinthian Church. In particular, there was a revolt against the current presbytery. In arguing that the Corinthians should submit to their appointed leaders, St. Clement speaks of the proper order in the Church in terms of the Old Testament ministers of the altar: Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtless or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, for they follow the laws of the Master and do no sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on the Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity. Here, St. Clement is describing the proper order of the Church, but he does so using the imagery of the Old Testament. The high priest represents the bishop. 9 The priests represent the presbytery, and the Levites represent the deacons. Notice also that St. Clement specifically mentions the role of the laity. Thus, for St. Clement, the Church has a four-fold structure: bishop, presbyters, deacons, and laity. Notice also that St. Clement uses specifically cultic imagery. That is, the structure of the Church is presented within the framework of Israel as a worshipping community. In other words, the structure of the Church is directly related to the way She worships God. This point is of the utmost importance, and we shall return to it below. In Against Heresies, St. Irenaios uses the succession of bishops in the various local Churches as an argument against the Gnostics' claims to have special knowledge handed down secretly from the Apostles. As we saw above, St. Irenaios speaks of the succession of both presbyters and bishops. However, when he gets around to actually listing the succession of bishops for a particular Church-he uses Rome as his example-he gives a single line of succession. That is, he describes one bishop succeeding another. There is no suggestion of multiple successions. Indeed, it is Irenaios who formally identifies St. Clement as the author of the letter from the Church of Rome to the Corinthians: The blessed Apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the Apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed Apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the Apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone, for there were many still remaining who had received instructions form the Apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians . . . To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the Apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus, after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sotor having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the Apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the Apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the Apostles until now, and handed down in truth (III.3.3). From the foregoing it is evident that while the terminology regarding the offices of bishop and presbyter remained somewhat fluid in the first and second centuries, the offices themselves were not interchangeable. Ss. Clement and Irenaios, like St. Ignatios, know of only one bishop in a church at a time. The key to understanding this is provided by St. Justin the Philosopher in his First Apology. In describing the Eucharistic celebration to the emperor he writes: And on the day which is called the Sun's Day there is an assembly of all who live in the towns or country; and the memoirs of the Apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits. When the reader has finished, the president gives a discourse, admonishing us and exhorting us to imitate these excellent examples. Then we all rise together and offer prayers; and, as I said above, on the conclusion of our prayer, bread is brought and wine and water; and the president similarly offers up prayers and thanksgivings [Lit. eucharists] to the best of his power, and the people assent with Amen. Notice that he describes the leader of the Church's worship as the president.l0 This is extremely important. Obviously an assembly can have only one president. Regardless of how many presbyters may have been present, only one of them could have presided.ll Notice also that this passage deals specifically with the celebration of the Eucharist. Remember that St. Clement treated the topic of Church government within the framework of the Church's worship. The Church is first and foremost a worshipping community, gathered around the Table of Her Lord. Thus, it is precisely the Eucharistic nature of the Church that defines the structure of the Church's ministry. John Meyendorff writes: It was in the eucharistic meal and through it that the Church was truly herself, the Church of God and it is, therefore, within the framework of the eucharistic assembly, gathered every week on the Lord's Day, that the internal structure of the Church had to take its shape. Indeed, if the Eucharist was a reenactment of the Last Supper, someone had to sit in the place of the Lord and pronounce the words He commanded His disciples to say. On the other hand, the Eucharist was also a participation in the forthcoming Messianic banquet of the Kingdom as it was seen by the author of Revelation: 'a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne . . . Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders [ presbyteroi] . . .(4:2,4). 12 St. Ignatios also speaks of the place of the bishop in the Church in terms of the Eucharist: Take great care to keep one Eucharist. For there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup to unite us by His Blood; one sanctuary, as there is one bishop, together with the presbytery and the deacons, my fellow-servants. Thus all your acts may be done accordingly to God's will ( Philadelphians 4 ). Let no one do anything that pertains to the Church apart from the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is under the bishop or one whom he has delegated. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be; just as wherever Jesus Christ may be, there is the catholic Church (Smyrnaeans 8). 13 From the writings of the early Church Fathers such as St. Clement, St. Ignatios, St. Justin, and St. Irenaios, it is evident that the governing structure of the early Church was directly related to Her nature as a Eucharistic community. The Church is most truly Herself when She is gathered around the Table of Her Lord. It is in this most self-expressive of liturgical acts that the various ministries of the Church are delineated. The New Israel Christianity did not spring from a vacuum. Jesus Christ did not found a new religion. The first Christians were Jews, and from the very beginning, they viewed the Church as the New Israel. There is no question that Judaism is a liturgical religion. Most Protestants, however, fail to make this liturgical connection between the Old and New Israels. Within the New Testament there is evidence that the Apostles continued to observe Jewish liturgical practices. 14 Perhaps even more significant, however, is the fact that the literature we have been examining, written by Gentiles long after the Christians had been expelled from the synagogue, also testifies to the fact that Christian worship was based on Jewish patterns. In the first century, Jews prayed at set times of the day and fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. The Didache enjoins Christians to fast and pray, but in a way that differentiates them from the Jews: Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites,15 for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays, but do you fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. l6 And do not pray as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, pray in this way, 'Our Father . . .' Pray thus three times a day. The important thing to notice about this passage is that although the early Christians were eager to disassociate themselves from the Jews, they nevertheless saw their life and worship in terms of Jewish liturgical practice. Concerning the Eucharist we read: On the Lord's Day of the Lord come together, break bread and hold Eucharist, after confessing your transgressions that your offering may be pure. But let no one who has a quarrel with his fellow man join in your meeting until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice not be defiled. For this is that which was spoken of by the Lord, In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and My name is wonderful among the heathen . 17 Notice that the Eucharist is considered an 'offering' and a 'sacrifice.' These non-Jewish Christians understood their worship as a direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Their interpretation is confirmed by the fact that, according to the Law of Moses, sacrifices were to be offered only in the tabernacle or in the temple in Jerusalem, and only by the Aaronic priesthood. Only in the Christian Church-the New Israel-is it possible to offer a pure sacrifice in every place. St. Clement also speaks of Christian worship in terms of its Old Testament prototype. He warns the Corinthians that they must not revolt against their appointed leaders, for only those appointed by God are able to offer the sacrifice of the altar. There can be only one Church, and one offering: Not in every place, my brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered or the free will offerings, or the sin offerings and trespass-offerings, but only in Jerusalem. There also the offering is not made in every place, but before the shrine, at the altar, and the offering is first inspected by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. 18 Those therefore who do anything contrary to that which is agreeable to His will suffer the penalty of death. 19 You see, brethren, that the more knowledge we have been entrusted with, the greater risk do we incur . It should be stressed at this point that these Christians were not practicing Jewish rituals. Indeed, St. Ignatios goes so far as to say, 'It is monstrous to speak of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism' (Magnesians 10:3). They were practicing Christian worship, but their worship patterns were based on Jewish patterns. 20 St. Irenaios of Lyons makes this perfectly clear. He too interprets Malachi 1:10-11 as a prophecy of Christian worship: And He also counseled His Disciples to offer to God the firstfruits of His creatures, not because He needed these gifts, but so that they should not be unfruitful nor unthankful. This He did, when He took bread, of the natural creation, and gave thanks, and said, This is My Body. Likewise the cup of wine belonging to the creation of which we are part, He declared to be His Blood, and explained as the new oblation of the New Testament. This oblation the Church receives from the Apostles and throughout the whole world She offers it to God, Who supplies as our nourishment the firstfruits of His gifts in the New Testament. Concerning this, Malachi thus prophesied: I will not receive sacrifice at your hands. . . . In every place incense is offered in My name, and a pure sacrifice; for My name is great among the gentiles. . . . By this he quite clearly means that the former people will cease to offer to God, but in every place a sacrifice will be offered, and that a pure sacrifice while His name is glorified among the gentiles (IV:17:4). Speaking specifically about the difference between Christian and Jewish worship, St. Irenaios states: There are oblations there and oblations here; sacrifices among the chosen People, sacrifices in the Church. Only the kind of sacrifice is changed, for now sacrifice is offered not by servants but by sons. There is one and the same Lord; but there is a character appropriate to servile oblation, and a character appropriate to the oblation of sons, so that even by means of the oblations a token of liberty is displayed (IV:18:2). A college New Testament professor of mine once outlined the order of service for a Jewish synagogue of the first century for our class. He then drew direct comparisons between the synagogue service and a typical Baptist service. We were all rather impressed by the fact that our worship practices had their roots in Jewish worship. Far more important, however, than what we learned in class that day was what we did not learn. Our professor neglected to inform us that this basic pattern is that of the liturgy of the Word, which is common to most Christian traditions. In his Apology, St. Justin describes the Sunday service in the second century as having two basic parts. In the first part the Scriptures are read and explained in the sermon, and in the second part the Eucharist is offered. The liturgy of the Word, not unlike the typical Baptist service, is indeed patterned after synagogue services. However, the Sunday service in St. Justin's day - and today in the Orthodox Church - did not end with the liturgy of the Word. We must remember that, strictly speaking, the worship of Israel did not take place in the synagogues. The synagogue derives from the period of exile in Babylon. There is no provision for the synagogue in the Law of Moses. 21 Indeed, as we saw above, the only place where Israel was authorized to offer sacrifice was in the temple in Jerusalem. The documents we are considering testify to the fact that the early Christians saw their worship precisely in terms of sacrifice. As an Evangelical, however, I was taught that the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross put an end to all sacrifice. How, then, do we reconcile the undeniable practice of the early Church with the uniqueness and finality of Christ's work? The Flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ When St. John the Baptist first encountered Christ, he exclaimed, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). This theme is echoed in the Book of Revelation. John beholds a Lamb upon the throne as the angels and elders sing, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Rev. 5:12). St. Paul writes that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:7). In Hebrews we read: And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool(10:11-13). Jesus Christ is, therefore, our Passover Lamb, slain for the salvation of the world. 22 Moreover, His Sacrifice is perfect and can never be repeated. There can be no doubt that the Crucifixion of Christ is the apex of all human history. There is a tendency in Protestantism, however, to limit the Cross of Christ to a point in history. That the Sacrifice of Christ cannot be repeated is taken to mean that it can only be remembered as a past event. Thus, the Lord's Supper is a 'memorial' -an act of psychological remembrance. 23 This is manifestly not how the early Church saw things. To begin with, the Greek word for remembrance-This do in remembrance of Me (1 Cor. 11:24)čhas an active connotation. 24 It involves more than the mere psychological act of remembering. It implies the representation of the event remembered: When the Church is conceived to be the Temple of God and its members living stones and a holy priesthood, then the eucharist becomes a sacrificial meal -sacrificial in the sense that it is the means of entering into and sharing Christ's sacrifice. This is implicit in the words 'Do this in remembrance of me,' although the translation 'remembrance' does less than justice to the underlying idea. 'Remembrance' implies the mental recollection of what is absent, but in the biblical perspective the word has rather the sense of re-calling, of making what is past present again so that it becomes operative by its effects here and now. The offering of the eucharist in the Church, therefore, is identified with the offering of Christ, not in the sense that his sacrifice is repeated, but that the eucharistic offering is the re-calling or re-presentation of his perfect oblation so that the sacrifice is present and operative by its effects. 25 Thus, the Eucharist is an active participation, here and now, in the unique and unrepeatable Sacrifice offered by Christ on Golgotha. It is not merely an act of reminiscence, but an act of genuine Communion with Christ: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread (1 Cor. 10:16-17). In his Letters, St. Ignatios takes great pains to counter the claims of the Docetists, who maintained that the Word of God had taken flesh in appearance only, not in reality. These people, seeing themselves as more spiritual than the rest of the Church, absented themselves from the worship of the Church. What is most interesting, however is the reason why they did not participate in the Eucharist: They abstain from Eucharist and prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who suffered for our sins, Whom the Father raised up by His goodness (Smyrnaeans 7). In the early Church, the only people who denied that the Eucharist was truly the Body and Blood of Christ were those who also denied that the Word had truly become man. There is, in the eyes of the Fathers of the early Church, a direct and unbreakable correlation between the doctrine of the Incarnation and the Real Presence of Christ in Eucharist. To deny one is to deny the other. Writing to the emperor of Rome, St. Justin also makes an explicit connection between the Eucharist and the Incarnation. Just as the Word of God became man in the Incarnation, even so the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist: And this food is called among us Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the one who believes that the things that we preach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins and unto regeneration,26 and who is living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these, but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, and took flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food over which thanksgiving has been offered by the prayer of His Word, and from which our blood and flesh are nourished through its transformation, is the Flesh and Blood of that Jesus Who was made flesh. . St. Irenaios is even more specific about the relationship of the Eucharist to the Incarnation. His primary target in Against Heresies is Gnosticism. Among other things, the Gnostics taught that the God of the Old Testament and the God of Christ were two different Gods. Furthermore, they explicitly disdained creation, asserting that matter is not capable of being a true vehicle for the spirit. Irenaios, therefore, goes to great pains to affirm both the inherent goodness of God's creation and the reality of the Incarnation: We are His members, and are nourished by means of His creation, and He Himself provides His creation for us, making the sun to rise and sending rain as He wills (Mat. 5:45). Therefore, the drink, which is part of His creation, He declared to be His own Blood; and by this He enriches our blood. And the bread, which comes from His creation, He affirmed to be His own Body; and by this He nourishes our bodies. Whenever, then, the cup that man mixes and the bread that man makes receive the Word of God, the Eucharist becomes the Body of Christ and by these elements the substance of our flesh receives nourishment and sustenance. How, then, can they allege that flesh is incapable of the gift of God, which is eternal life, seeing that the flesh is fed on the Flesh and Blood of the Lord and is a member of Him (V:2:3)? We saw that earlier in the second century the Docetists whom St. Ignatios opposed absented themselves from the Eucharist because they did not believe it to be the Body and Blood of Christ. They may have been heretics, but at least they were consistent. According to Irenaios, the Gnostics were not consistent. They called creation evil and denied that Christ had truly suffered and died, yet apparently they continued to participate in the Church's worship. Irenaios was quick to point out the discrepancy between their theology and their practice: Again, how can they say that flesh passes to corruption and does not share in life, seeing that flesh is nourished by the Body and Blood of the Lord? Let them either change their opinion, or refrain from making those oblations of which we have been speaking. But our opinion is in conformity with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist confirms our opinion. We offer to Him what is His own, suitably proclaiming the communion and unity of flesh and spirit. For as the bread, which comes from the earth, receives the invocation of God, and then it is no longer common bread but Eucharist, consists of two things, an earthly and a heavenly; so our bodies, after partaking of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the eternal resurrection (IV:18:5). There are two aspects of this passage that are of crucial importance for our study. First of all, St. Irenaios states, 'But our opinion is in conformity with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist confirms our opinion.' In other words, his theology is in accord with the worship and life of the Church, and the worship and life of the Church confirm the truthfulness of His theology.27 This is another example of how the Fathers of the early Church appealed to the life of the Church-tradition-in order to settle theological disputes. Earlier in Against Heresies, Irenaios actually talks about the relationship between Scripture and tradition. He says that when the Gnostics are refuted from the Scriptures, they claim that there is something wrong with the Scriptures. They then rely on their own tradition, which, they claim, has been handed down secretly (III:2:1). To this secret tradition, St. Irenaios opposes the tradition handed down by the Apostles and maintained publicly by the bishops in the Church. 28 For Irenaios, Apostolic Succession is not merely a means of insuring valid Church government, it is also a public guarantee of the authenticity of the Church's teaching: It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the Apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the Apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and the succession of these men down to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these heretics rave about. For if the Apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting privately and secretly to the 'perfect,' they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were entrusting the care of the Church (III:3:1). It is, no doubt, difficult for Evangelicals to understand why the Fathers of the Early Church would place so much emphasis upon tradition, particularly upon worship. We are used to thinking that we do x because we believe y. It can be somewhat disconcerting, therefore, to hear someone assert the inverse as well: we believe y because we do x. Yet, this is precisely what St. Irenaios is saying. This brings us to the second notable aspect of St. Irenaios' argument: '. . . so our bodies, after partaking of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the eternal resurrection.' For Irenaios, as for the other Fathers of the second century, as for Orthodox Christians today, the Eucharist is genuine Communion with Christ. It is our participation in His divine humanity. The reason that St. Irenaios is able to interpret the Scriptures based on the way He worships in the second century is because that which is described in the Bible is experienced first-hand in the life of the Church. The Scriptures testify to Christ; the Church is life in Christ. St. Ignatios writes to the Church in Philadelphia: I hear certain persons saying, 'Unless I find it in the archives I will not believe it in the Gospel.' And when I replied, 'It is in the Scriptures,' they answered, 'That remains to be proved.' But as for me, Jesus Christ is the archives, the inviolable archives are His Cross, Death, and Resurrection, and faith through Him (Philadelphians 8). Ss. Ignatios and Irenaios understood that there is little point in arguing about Scriptural interpretation. They are able to interpret the Scriptures correctly not because they are smarter than others, but because in the Church they have true union with Christ. The Church is not a voluntary assembly of individuals who happen to have common beliefs about God, She is the mystical Body of Christ, His continuing presence in the world.29
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-- Footnotes 1. For a general introduction and bibliography, see Quasten, pp. 42-53. Translations may be found in collections of the Apostolic Fathers. Cf. Ch.5, n55, above. There is also a translation by J.A. Kleist, The Epistles of Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, Ancient Christian Writers, Vol. 1 (NY: Newman Press, 1946). It is generally accepted that II Clement is an early sermon by someone other than St. Clement of Rome. 2. Cf. Quasten, pp. 63-76. For translations see Ch. 5, n55, and Ch. 9, nl. 3. Cf. Quasten, pp. 196-221. There is a translation in Vol. 1 of the Ante Nicene Fathers, pp. 159-193, and excerpts may be found in Bettenson, The Early Christian Fathers, pp. 58-64. 4. Irenaios is also spelled Irenaeus. For background and bibliography see Quasten, pp. 287-313. We do not possess complete texts of Against Heresies. There is a translation in Vol. 1 of the Ante Nicene Fathers, pp. 315-578. For excerpts, see Bettenson, pp. 65-102. 5. Most English translations render presbyter as elder. The KJV and RSV usually render bishop as bishop, although the KJV does render it as overseer once (Acts 20:28). The NIV, however, renders it as overseer exclusively, thereby avoiding using a word that is objectionable to most Evangelicals. For the use of bishop in the NT (albeit written from a Protestant perspective), see Hermann Beyer's article on in Gerhard Kittel, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), Vol. II, Tr. by Geoffrey W. Bromily (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), especially pp. 615ff. 6. For St. Clement, the office of bishop derives from the Apostles. Elsewhere he writes, 'The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ: Jesus the Christ was sent from God. Thus Christ is from God, the Apostles from Christ. In both cases, the process was orderly and derived from the will of God... They preached in country and town, and appointed their first-fruits, after testing them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who were going to believe' (42). Thus, the concept of 'Apostolic Succession,' dates from the first century. 7. For an account of the history of the interpretation of the Ignatian Letters, see Stephen Neill, The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861-1961 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966), pp. 41ff. 8. The only exception to this is the Didache, which gives very little information about Church government. The Didache is concerned primarily with the authority of traveling apostles and teachers and takes an almost apologetic attitude toward local clergy. This is a point in favor of dating the Didache in the first century, perhaps as early as A.D. 70. It is highly unlikely that a second century document would give such emphasis to traveling teachers. 9. This terminology is still used in the Orthodox Church. l0. A close relative, is used in the NT synonymously with Cf. 1 Th. 5:12. 11. It is possible, of course, that the office of president (ie. bishop) was not held permanently by any one presbyter, but rotated among them. However, there is not the slightest bit of evidence to support the idea that this is how the early Church was actually governed. On the contrary, all of the documents from this era, from St. Clement's equating the bishop with the OT high priest to St. Irenaios' list of episcopal successors, explicitly rule out this idea. 12. Catholicity and the Church, p. 53. l3. This is the first extant use of catholic as an adjective modifying the Church. Contrary to popular opinion, catholic does not primarily mean universal. Literally, it means according to the whole. Thus, to speak of the Church as being catholic means that the Church is whole, complete, lacking nothing. 14. Cf. Acts 2:42, 20:16. 15. That is, the Jews. l6. To this day, the Orthodox Church observes Wednesdays and Fridays as fast days. 17. The quotation is a conflation of Malachi 1:11,14. 18. At the time this was written (c. A.D. 96), the temple in Jerusalem had long since been destroyed by the Romans. It is obvious, therefore, that although St. Clement is speaking in terms of the OT cultus, he is talking about the Christian Church. l9. In the OT, Korah and his followers offered incense to God, contradicting the directives that God had given to Moses. The ground opened up and swallowed some, while others were burned up by fire from heaven. Cf. Numbers 16. 20. It has become popular in some circles for Evangelicals to celebrate the Jewish Passover seder. This would have been seen by the early Church as an act of apostasy. Christ, and Christ alone, is the Passover. 2l. The purpose of the synagogue is primarily educational. Likewise, the purpose of the liturgy of the Word is to instruct Christians and catechumens in the faith, so that they might be prepared to participate in the Eucharist. 22. According to St. John¹s chronology, Saturday was the Passover. The Passover seder would have been on Friday night. This means that Christ died as the Passover lamb was being sacrificed. 23. This is the position of those who follow the theology of the Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli. See Ch. 9 below. 24. Cf in TDNT, 1:348-349. 25. J.G. Davies, The Early Christian Church: A History of Its First Five Centuries (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980), p.62. 26. That is, Baptism. 27. What would happen if we pressed modern Evangelicals to demonstrate the continuity between their professed theology and the way they worship? If in the early Church belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist implied the doctrine of the Incarnationčthat is, that in Christ God had truly become man, then what would be the logical implication of the Zwinglian view that the Eucharist is not truly the Body and Blood of Christ? 28. By publicly I mean the tradition that was open and available to all the baptized members of the Church. This tradition, however, would not have been made available to those outside the Church. See the discussion of St. Basil's understanding of tradition in Ch. 7. The Gnostics claimed to have a tradition that was not public knowledge within the Church, but was accessible only to a small spiritual elite. 29. 'lgnatius is no docetist. Christ came in flesh and we are to 'flee to the gospel as the flesh of Jesus Christ.' But that historical coming in the flesh is really and timelessly present in the church now' so that to 'flee to the presbytery' is to flee to the apostles. The (Greek Word) or eucharistic assembly represents a reality which entered time and history and is significant just because it is such. Union with the bishop in union with the diaconate and presbyterate establishes contact therefore with an historically grounded reality. Christ is incarnate in the flesh and as such there will be represented in the church which is the extension of the incarnation the dual character of flesh and Spirit of him who is both 'Son of David' and 'Son of God.'' A. Brent, 'Pseudonymity and Charisma,' Augustinianum 27 (1987), p. 351.


Subject: 'novelty' of concillar authority
From: Christopher
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 19:12:28 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
OK, I know I said I posted my last, but I'm almost through reading the Council of Ephesus. Pilgrim, you said some time ago that my idea about the council of Jeruslem in Acts being normative for the Christian Church was 'novel.' I haven't read the first two yet, but this is from that Third Ecumenical Council in 431: From the Letter of Pope (a Roman Pope, no less!) Celestine to the Synod of Ephesus: 'Every council is holy on account of a peculiar veneration which is its due: for in every such council the reverence which should be paid to that
most famous council of the Apostles of which we read is to be had regard to.' Should I go back even further and see how much less 'novel' this idea becomes? Christopher


Subject: Re: 'novelty' of concillar authority
From: Pilgrim
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 21:02:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Christopher,

What I perceive is the irrational crying out of a drowning man! :-) Of what weight is the personal opinion of a pagan Pope to a person indwelt with the Spirit of the living God? Is he in some manner endowed with divine authority to which I must bow, accepting any and all his ravings? To the contrary, I have been given two new eyes that see, a mind that is now able to comprehend the great mysteries of God and a heart which is drawn to love the truth of God's inerrant and infallible Word (written and made flesh). I need not listen to the dribble of Popes, 'holy Fathers' or Orthodox traditions, nay ANY man, for God has spoken in these last days by His SON... 'hear ye Him!'

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: 'novelty' of concillar authority
From: Christopher
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 21:07:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I addressed only your charge of 'novelty.' Nothing else. Christopher


Subject: Re: 'novelty' of concillar authority
From: Pilgrim
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:38:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I addressed only your charge of 'novelty.' Nothing else. Christopher
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Christopher, And I addressed that point above quite tersely, in case you didn't notice! It is a 'novelty' indeed since the true church has never adhered to it and it has been embraced by 'novel' folk as you have so conveniently pointed out by quoting this pagan Pope! :-) I'm always appreciative of those who help, even if was unintentional on your part! hehe Pilgrim


Subject: Double Predestination
From: Sunshine
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:19:33 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Try again! It seems I put my 'name' in the wrong place! (Who wants to call themselves 'various' anyway??) Well, if anyone can tell me what 'double predestination' means, I'd be grateful. Thanks again!


Subject: Re: Double Predestination
From: monitor
To: Sunshine
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:27:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Try again! It seems I put my 'name' in the wrong place! (Who wants to call themselves 'various' anyway??) Well, if anyone can tell me what 'double predestination' means, I'd be grateful. Thanks again!
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Here you go, 'Various'! haha! Double Jeopardy www.gospelcom.net/thehighway/DoublePestination_Sproul.html


Subject: God's 'mistake'
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 06:16:16 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
I was catching up on the postings since I last felt like dropping in and read twice statements that God only intended hell to be for the 'devil and his angels,' falsely interpreted to mean that men were never intended to be sent there. That interpretation demands that one conclude that God made an error and had to revise His plan, sort of making it up as He goes along. We have dealt with this terrible view in the past and no doubt it will arise again. Please be aware of what you're implying if you are one saying this and taking this false road. You deny the sovereignty and omnipotence of God, a very serious error. The whole intent and purpose of God is involved.


Subject: Re: God's 'mistake'
From: Berean7
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 18:53:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Hell was originally prepared for the Devil and his angels, look at Matthew 25:41. We have to keep in perspective that God created man with Free Will. Eventhough God is sovriegn and knows all things, He still created them that way. We have to remember the purpose of God creating man in the first place. For a relationship and for fellowship. Robots can not willing choose to worship or fellowship with its creator, so thus God created us with Free will. But, because of the fall(know we have no free will:)), we are all in unbelief and anyone who stays that way till death, will partake in the place prepared originally for the Devil and his angels, 'Hell, Hades, Sheol, and eventually Lake of Fire.


Subject: Re: God's 'mistake'
From: john hampshire
To: Berean7
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 23:46:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Berean7, The place of fire prepared for the 'devil and his angels' is also translated (better) 'devil and his messengers'. Guess who are the messengers of the devil? Guess who are the messengers of Christ? The point is, the lake of fire was not prepared as an after thought due to a surprise in man's free will being lost. You wrote: Robots can not willing choose to worship or fellowship with its creator, so thus God created us with Free will. Well technically, robots have no will whatsoever. There really is no analogy there. A better illustration (maybe): Adam was created 'tuned' to God, his spirit was 'tuned' to God's Spirit, they were in perfect communion. With Adam's act of rebellion, God removed His signal (no more fellowship). Adam and Eve were bound by their design, they must 'tune' to some voice, and the voice they found was the devil. They were as much freely slaves to God inititally as they were to become slaves to Satan afterwards. The problem for all men born without 'direction' is to immediately 'tune' into the nearest substitute for that missing thing (God). I would disagree that 'Hell, Hades, Sheol are some precursor place of punishment prior to the Lake of Fire. I know many have differing opinions, but IMO Hades/Sheol are the abode of the seperated parts of man (death is seperation) and the Lake of Fire is the abode of the re-joined man (seperated from God forever). That is, Hades/Sheol is the grave (for the body) and a place of silence (for the spirit). All men end in Sheol, their bodies are buried, both elect and non-elect alike. But the spirit of the elect is different, being perfect in Christ it awaits Christ's return in heaven with all the other elect spirits (plus Enoch, Elijah, and Moses). The re-joined place of dwelling for the elect is called the new heavens and new earth. The re-joined place of dwelling for the non-elect is called the Lake of Fire. All these things were designed by God from the start. Or to say it better, they were always part of the 'mind' of God. john


Subject: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: Vernon
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 03:16:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hllo Pilgrim, I have read below where you embrace Calvinism and seem to highly embrace John Calvin. Men such as Welsey and Finney you most likely would call them heretical. But I tell you there is none better to embrace than Jesus Christ. I laugh when you write twenty pages using word beyound my brain calling me everything but stupid in scriptures. I read what you wrote to Mary and it did not disapoint me. I would never expect any different from you. Sir, according to the word of God, We all are sinners and guilty before Him if we have not been forgiven through Faith in Christ Jesus. You write and speak as if a person like Mary and I have nothing but a heretical view and understand ing of Gods word. I even wounder if you believe us to be lost. I know that Mary and I are worthless with out Christ and neither of us deserves God's wonderful grace and mercy. Sir, I almost since that you preceive your self high and mighty before the Lord. But I hate to tell you.....'Your knowledge is nothing before God...You are a sinner just as I am and in need of Christ to even have a relation ship with thr Father. Pilgrim, without the Holy Spirit, You could have no relationship with CHrist nor have any knowledge in God's word. I laugh when you ask.....' What comes first......Regeneration or Faith? Pilgrim, Pilgrim, have I not told you that a man must be 'Born Again' to have a saving Faith. It seems that you do not like the term.....'Born Again.' Would this be the same as regeneration? I have told you that mans heart is wicked and he the man is dead in his sin and can only be made spiritually alive with a trusting faith in Christ Jesus. I have told you more than once that it is God the Holy Spirit working in the World and man to convict them of sin and bring all who do hear his voice to a trusting faith in Christ Jesus. Do you believe this is a heretical view Mr Pilgrim? I know man in his own ability can neversee nor understand the things of God. Any man who truly is 'Born Again' could never disagree in that. As much as you disagree, Man sins because he choose to sin and disobey God. God did cause Satan to rebel against him, nor Adam to sin. These two sinned because they chose to sin. That means we have a will to sin. Pilgrim, I do not disagree with 'Predestination nor Election, but not in the way you believe it to be true. Pilgrim, to hear you speak, a man must follow the doctrine of John Calvin to be saved. John Calvin was nothing more than a sinner saved by the Crace of God just as you and have been. I spoke of Pastor Whitefield and I do like the way he presente Calvinism. He was not Hyper and he fully represented God, not John Clavin. He had love and He presented the Loving word of God in a way that it won souls to Christ. This is what I did not see in your reply to Mary. You could not wait to chop her legs from under her with Calvinism. Sir, would it have been better to witneas Jeus Christ to her and allowed the Holy Spirit to do the work rather than being so prideful and dogmatic in your attitude? Think about it....presenting calvinist view with the love of Christ. Do not delight in Calvlnist Theology, but delight in presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ with love and in a way to have people seeing Christ in you. In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: a monitor
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 07:03:38 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern - Born Again = Regeneration Paul, Augustine, the Reformers and countless others since to include Whitfield preached a gospel that was TOTALLY FREE based on God's mercy ... Calvin merely taught this very same Gospel....one you reject in favor of a man-centered one. As for your salvation, that's not my business.... a monitor


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: john hampshire
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 05:23:28 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon, You wrote: 'I have told you that mans heart is wicked and he the man is dead in his sin and can only be made spiritually alive with a trusting faith in Christ Jesus'. Vernon, do you not know, or care, that the above statement is incorrect. If a man is dead in his sin, how does he possesses a trusting faith in Christ Jesus that it should make him spiritually alive. Your statement could be restated to say: 'If a dead man were to see, hear, talk, and walk, then the Doctor will give him life'. Does this make any sense to you? You wrote: '...it is God the Holy Spirit working in the World and man to convict them of sin and bring all who do hear his voice to a trusting faith in Christ Jesus'. You must understand by now, after so long, that this statement of yours is incorrect. Who does the Holy Spirit bring to a trusting faith in Christ Jesus? Is it everyone in the world? If this is the case, then everyone in the world will come to a trusting faith in Christ Jesus. Or shall we say that some folks reject this work by God, then who can be saved? Why, if this is true, only those who turn to God by their own work of hearing, by their own faith are saved. We, in other words, would be the author of our own salvation--by works no less, if this were true, which thankfully it is not. You wrote: 'These two [Adam and Eve] sinned because they chose to sin. That means we have a will to sin'. Do you suppose that a will in bondage to sin, dead to good works, estranged from God, working only evil continually, will also, given some nudge by God, turn from all this and believe in Christ Jesus, exhibiting faith? Do you think man is capable of pleasing God and performing good works under his own power? Not a chance. We have all gone astray, our works are like sewer stained rags before God. Can you not see that expecting spiritually dead men to do good works is impossible. That God must first give life (regeneration), creating a new spirit that lives and functions. Can you not see that apart from the Holy Spirit regenerating, there is no faith, no repentance, no life. Can you also not see that the Holy Spirit ONLY regenerates those that Christ has redeemed, which are the same group (the elect) that the Father gave His Son to die for? You wrote: 'Do not delight in Calvinist Theology, but delight in presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ with love and in a way to have people seeing Christ in you'. But Vernon, how is Christ displayed if we speak a theology that is incorrect. How do people see love in a lie? Is it loving to say, 'your faith has made you whole', when they are actually still dead in their sins? Do you think such a vast difference is worth your time and effort to understand and preach correctely? I think so! Who wants to spread a false gospel, who is willing to remain a false preacher? If we call the true gospel 'Calvinism', how is that unloving? It IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no difference. It is not John Calvin's ideas, he promoted these truths, but he certainly did not invent it. Calvinism came straight from Scripture-- IT IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. It is what every believer should understand and preach. This Vernon IS love, real and honest love. Any other gospel, including the incorrect one you have expressed, is a gospel of death, it leads you away from truth. You decide, what is important to you? Displaying kindness, and speaking of salvation to the lost, but preaching a lie. Or being honest, truthful, and pointed to those who are perishing; speaking the truth that can set them free. Which one is true love and which one is an impostor, a wolf in sheep's clothing pretending to be love? That is why some folks on this forum do not allow the gospel to spiral into a stream of incorrect statements. It is just too important. Believe it or not, these people who seem angry and judgmental to you, are the ones who love Jesus Christ and the Gospel He preached. They love it more than they love the feelings and wants of men, they simply will not compromise on truth. How's about you, how important is truth to you? john


Subject: For john
From: Eric
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 09:28:37 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
How exactly is the gospel that a Calvinist presents, different than the gospel that a person who holds to a modififed Arminian/Wesleyan presents (which I think is to what Vernon holds to, forgive me if that is an invalid assumption). While the underlying truths as towards the 'why' someone accepts or rejects the message, to the unregenerate, isn't the 'how' and the gospel truth the same as far as the individual's perspective is concerned? It is only after someone has been regenerated that they can grasp the underlying doctrines anyway.


Subject: Re: For john
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 13:14:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

Not to answer for John, for he is certainly capable in doing that for himself. But it seems to me and history seems to support my view, that one's theology will determine not only what one believes but how one expresses it. Thus there is a vast chasm of difference between what I, the Reformers and Puritans preached concerning the gospel itself and what most modern church-goers are preaching as the gospel. The article I referred Mary to by Dr. J.I. Packer makes this same point quite clear and spells out the vast differences between the two 'systems' and how each expresses them to others. The bottom line is that the 'modern gospel' puts man in the 'driver's seat' of salvation and consequently not upon Christ. Yes, yes, they will all tell you they are trusting Christ, but in fact they are trusting in their 'decision for' Christ. Easy Believism is a lie and it has deceived hundreds of thousands with a false assurance of salvation. It DOES matter what you believe and consequently what you say.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: For john
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 14:33:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I think a lot of what you say is true, but then again, I think that much of what passes for Christianity today is not really Christian, and that is more a function of modernity as opposed to soteriology per se. Many of the old Reformed denominations have gone the same way as the old Weslyan denominations--liberalism and the social gospel. Just look at Robert Schuler-and how the RCA still allows him ordination is beyond me. Or take the PCUSA, or how the CRC is starting down that slippery slope, or even the PCA is probably going to split in the next 20 years because of all the in-fighting. I don't know how I got off on this tangent, but my point is that the basic facts of the gospel are the same--believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Both Calvinists and Armininians agree to that--I hope! Many old school Armininians (those not of the Finney ilk) would be shocked at how the gospel has turned into a man centered appeal to felt needs as opposed to a biblical presentation. Gotta run


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: mary
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 06:39:34 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
As you can tell I'm having a problem trying to post but I will keep trying. I read both Vernon's post and John's. At this point I am reading materials that Pilgrim asked me to read and it is quite a large amount of reading which I fully intend to finish because I want to know where you are both coming from. I just wanted to say the following, that I became aware that I was a sinner at age 5. You might say that that was not likely. But until this day 55 years later I can tell you the circumstances causing me to understand that I had sinned. I can't say that I understood fully what had happened, but I knew that I had done something to displease God. You would probably say that I had just at that time known that I had done something wrong. No I knew that I had sinned, I had taken the money that dad had given me for the sunday school offering and bought candy with it on the way home from church. I can only tell you that I was under such conviction that I have not forgotten that incident in 55 years from that time until the day I fully understood what regenerated, bornagain,or whatever term you choose to use and surrenderd to the unmerited Grace of God I was working trying to be good enough to please God and I can tell you that that didn't work. I only became exhausted trying to please God because I did't at that time know that it was through the work of the Cross of Christ that I would be bornagain. I can only tell you this that I had heard the Gospel since I was a child, my mother was a loving christian mother, BUT until the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and anointed my ears to HEAR I was LOST. I don't know what light either of you will see this through, Calvin or what ever I understood that salvation was a free gift from God throught the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and it was not of works lest any man should boast. The following scripture comes to mind The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. I just have one question. Is not a man bornagain when he believes on the work of Jesus Christ, and he came to that point because the Holy Spirit led him there. Jesus said without me ye can do nothing. I had nothing to do with my salvation except to accept or reject the work of Jesus on my behalf. I even had to have my spiritual eyes opened to do that. mary


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: john hampshire
To: mary
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 23:18:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mary, It is interesting that children know what constitutes wrong, they have to be 'programmed' by parents, adults, teachers, society and the rest to accept their wrong as right. The conscience is quite able to 'see' the altered state that even the tiniest sin brings, it is like a motion detector for the soul, as each sin binds the sinner and he/she sinks a little deeper. I would say that there is a recognition of sin, with regret, even repentance of wrong-doing, but salvation is an entirely different animal. it is an altered state of being. You wrote: 'I had nothing to do with my salvation except to accept or reject the work of Jesus on my behalf. I even had to have my spiritual eyes opened to do that'. Just to highlight what you have said, there is a problem. If we have nothing to do with our salvation, yet we must do this or that, then we have something to do with our salvation. It is akin to saying: 'God does it all, except for the part I do'. It is a contradiction. Yes, God does it all. That's the end of the sentence, there is no following 'But I....'. It is God who opens eyes, which He does in conjunction with the life He imparts to the spirit. Due to this new life there are many changes that take place, many new desires. But none of this requires us to 'accept Jesus' or 'claim Jesus' or any such thing. There is nothing required of us. That is why it is called grace, it is free. If we had to 'accept' Jesus, then we must leap a hurdle, perform a work that initiates grace, and by this grace is no more grace. Keep on reading, studying, and asking questions. john


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: mary
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 05:12:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mary, It is interesting that children know what constitutes wrong, they have to be 'programmed' by parents, adults, teachers, society and the rest to accept their wrong as right. The conscience is quite able to 'see' the altered state that even the tiniest sin brings, it is like a motion detector for the soul, as each sin binds the sinner and he/she sinks a little deeper. I would say that there is a recognition of sin, with regret, even repentance of wrong-doing, but salvation is an entirely different animal. it is an altered state of being. You wrote: 'I had nothing to do with my salvation except to accept or reject the work of Jesus on my behalf. I even had to have my spiritual eyes opened to do that'. Just to highlight what you have said, there is a problem. If we have nothing to do with our salvation, yet we must do this or that, then we have something to do with our salvation. It is akin to saying: 'God does it all, except for the part I do'. It is a contradiction. Yes, God does it all. That's the end of the sentence, there is no following 'But I....'. It is God who opens eyes, which He does in conjunction with the life He imparts to the spirit. Due to this new life there are many changes that take place, many new desires. But none of this requires us to 'accept Jesus' or 'claim Jesus' or any such thing. There is nothing required of us. That is why it is called grace, it is free. If we had to 'accept' Jesus, then we must leap a hurdle, perform a work that initiates grace, and by this grace is no more grace. Keep on reading, studying, and asking questions. john
---
John maybe I am saying this very poorly, God knows I am not a scholar. My point is this, I want to acknowledge that I give the total Glory to God for my salvation. Maybe I am not expressing it correctly, but I know in my heart what I am trying to say, though you couldn't know that because you are unable as am I to discern the intent of one's heart. To be totally honest with you I know very little of the doctrins which have been discussed here in this forum. My understanding of the scriptures has come about mainly by reading them first of all, and by listening to Pastors such as John Mcarthur from Grace to you and David Jerimiah of California, and at one time many years ago I attended a reformed church although I was very young and remember very little if anything of what was taught there. I do believe that Grace and Salvation are a free gift from God. It has always been my desire to read the scriptures through the light of the Holy Spirits leading so therefore, I haven't read many books on other's experiences or thoughts, just the Bible. I have always believed that God the Holy Spirit would lead me into all truth as he promises to do if I just continued to stay in his word and I have yet to be disappointed. In fact, I am often suprised by just how faithful he is do exactly that, I don't know why I am suprised because God can't lie and he doesn't make false promises. I guess I am amazed that he does it for me. I want to thank each one of you who have responded to my posts for your kindness and concern for my soul. I sense a lot of love in your replies. I don't know what doctrin my views fit into but I Know without a doubt that I am a child of the Living God and that I will spend eternity with him because he has secured my salvation through Calvery. Thank you for your kindness in your post. Because I am not able to discuss doctrin I don't feel I should be participating in this forum but I hope you don't mind if I just pop in to say hello once in a while. I will still be reading your post as I have done for a while now. Take care and God bless. Love in Christ Jesus Mary


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: Brother Bret
To: mary
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 18:33:44 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@aol.com

Message:
Hi Mary: You said: 'and by listening to Pastors such as John Mcarthur from Grace to you and David Jerimiah of California.' To use the terms for identification, did you realize that MacArthur is at least a 4 point if not 5 point Calvinist? And it is my understanding that David Jeremiah is a 'closet' Calvinist :^ ) in as much that he embraces the T-U-L-I-P, just doesn't advertise it. Do you have a MacArthur Study Bible or read any of his commentaries? If you read any of that stuff, or books such as 'The Gospel According To Jesus' and others, you will see that he believes in the historic biblical reformed view of total depravity (inability), unconditional election, irresistiable grace, and perserverence (preserving) of the saints. As with any study bible I recommend caution, but I do recommend his and the New Geneva Study Bible (by modern reformers), which are both in the New King James Version. May God bless you according to His will and good pleasure (Is. 46:10; Ph. 2:13) Brother Bret


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: mary
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:22:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brother Bret I hope this post will be ok. I was logged off my carrier and lost everything I had written and had to start over. No, Brother Bret I didn't know that John Mcarthur or David Jerimiah held to the Calviniest doctrine and it doesn't really matter. I have always maintained that we agree on more than we disagree on. You suggested John Mcarthurs study bible and I did try to order it but I was at work and couldn't really take the time to wait as his line was busy. The it just slipped my mind. I do have one of his books. Its title is Ashamed of the Gospel, you may have read it. As I said, I do not read to many books on religeous doctrine but I truly respect and trust John Mcarthur enough to buy his book and read it. Although, I will still measure everything he says by the Word of God just as you would that I am sure of. I haven't finished it but if you haven't read it I recommend it. Thank you again for your love and concern. In His Wonderful Love. Mary


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: laz
To: mary
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 06:13:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brother Bret I hope this post will be ok. I was logged off my carrier and lost everything I had written and had to start over. No, Brother Bret I didn't know that John Mcarthur or David Jerimiah held to the Calviniest doctrine and it doesn't really matter. I have always maintained that we agree on more than we disagree on. You suggested John Mcarthurs study bible and I did try to order it but I was at work and couldn't really take the time to wait as his line was busy. The it just slipped my mind. I do have one of his books. Its title is Ashamed of the Gospel, you may have read it. As I said, I do not read to many books on religeous doctrine but I truly respect and trust John Mcarthur enough to buy his book and read it. Although, I will still measure everything he says by the Word of God just as you would that I am sure of. I haven't finished it but if you haven't read it I recommend it. Thank you again for your love and concern. In His Wonderful Love. Mary
---
I recently purchased 3 or 4 copies of MacArthur's 'Ashamed of the Gospel' to give away...they were on sale...4 bucks for hardcopies! I enjoyed it. Oh, he does have a good section on 'Election' of the 'calvinistic' variety. ;-) laz


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: a monitor
To: mary
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 09:57:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mary - this website is
PRECISELY for folks like you! Theology (or the study of God) is everyone's business....since what we understand about God directly impacts how we live. No? By the way, one of the other monitors is a graduate of 'The Masters Seminary'...John MacArthur's ... yes, a man who also believes in 'free grace'. ;-) In Him, a monitor p.s. don't forget about the OPEN Forum next door (link above) if you feel a little intimidated here. OPEN Forum www.paradise-web.com/plus/plus.mirage?who=highway&shownew=ok&showall=ok


Subject: Re: Pilgrim's reply to Mary
From: Pilgrim
To: mary
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 09:27:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
mary,

Thanks for the testimony! Why you decided to share this at this time is known only to you I suppose. Another question that popped up in my mind as I read your message, was the mentioning of the name of 'Calvin'. I believe that if you were to search any and all of my replies to you, you will not see me name John Calvin even once. In fact, what you will see is most Scripture references and reasoning from them. The same can be said of most everyone's correspondence with Vernon; rarely is Calvin's name evoked by US. It is Vernon who invariably brings up John Calvin and for only evil purposes; i.e., he is always contending that those of us who love the Lord Christ and HIS gospel of Sovereign Free Grace, are followers of John Calvin! hehehe... yes, this is actually quite funny but also quite sad. For this accusation is so far from factual one must wonder if Vernon is suffering from some form of mental deficiency and/or he does in fact have a serious spiritual problem. I shall not pretend to know what his problem is other than he is embracing serious error and preaching it to others. That much I do know and have taken countless hours trying to point it out and offering remedies to it. Many others have done the same in brotherly/sisterly love. But what we always receive is 'Vernon's Venom' in the form of fiery flaming darts, ad hominem slurs, false charges of following men, admonishments of being 'too educated', false allegations of questioning his salvation, etc., ad nauseam. Consequently, he has been banned from this forum numerous times for his UNLOVING attitude and HERETICAL views... both of which are clearly listed in the guidelines as offenses which will not be tolerated on this forum. You will however notice, that he is here AGAIN, and we have graciously tried to teach him again from the SCRIPTURES (no mention of John Calvin), but only to have our efforts fall on a hardened heart and deaf ears. And in return, we are 'rewarded' with his non-sensical rhetoric and false charges of all sorts. Okay, enough of this poor man. I am more interested however in responding to you and telling you that I am happy to read that you are indeed actually reading that one article by Dr. Packer I recommended to you. Although it appeared first as the Introduction to John Owen's magnificent work, 'The Death of Death in the Death of Christ', reprinted by The Banner of Truth Trust some years ago (the original treatise is found in Chapter 10 of his 'Works', there were so many requests for this Introduction to be printed separately, that it eventually was printed in booklet form. I had already read Owen's original treatise in his 'Works' but when the reprint appeared with Packer's 'Introduction', I had to buy it just for Packer's remarks. Since then I have purchased and given away literally hundreds of copies of this booklet. However, it became impossible to financially support the giving away of so many and thus I was even more thrilled when it was made possible for me to reproduce this booklet on the Internet in The Highway web site. I will always remember the very first time I read Packer's 'Introduction' for I was having some serious conflicts as a new Christian. The Lord had given me an insatiable hunger for the Lord Christ and His infallible Word. Thus I poured over the Scriptures day and night, sometimes going without sleep for two or three days because I was so captivated by this new book called the Bible. The church I was attending was a typical conservative, evangelical congregation. The preaching was also typical in that the theology behind it was that which is most popular today with a few exceptions. The pastor was surely a godly man, whom I loved more than my own biological father, and still do to this day. He lovingly took me aside and discipled me personally. It wasn't long before I had questions which arose from my Scripture reading about what he was preaching and teaching. What I was reading in the Scriptures appeared to be in contrast to what my beloved pastor believed. In some cases, he was unable and/or unwilling to answer some of them, eg., 'Who did Jesus Christ die for?', etc. I began to feel like a 'black sheep' among the members of this church, and in fact I was a 'black sheep' because the rumor quickly got around that I was questioning some of the most dearly held beliefs of the people. How could anyone question whether or not it is true that 'God loves everybody equally'? or that 'Jesus Christ died for everybody'? But I couldn't deny what the Scriptures appeared to me to teach. Despondency was my lot for some time as I continued to ask questions and received hardly an answer from anyone. It was like I had the plague. There were few if any who would or even could open their Bible and show me what God had said to my questions. Well, as God's marvelous providence would lead me, I came across 'The Works of Jonathan Edwards' and the bookstore manager asked me if I had ever read Edwards? I told him I had never even heard of Jonathan Edwards. He strongly encouraged me to buy the set and read everything in those books. Wow! What first came to my mind is that there was someone who believed just like me!! I wasn't really alone in my beliefs. And here was a man who was purportedly famous and used mightily of God to bring about the Great Awakening in America. The short of it is, I afterward learned that what I had come to believe as being God's truth, was nothing less than what the Reformers also believed and which was the doctrine of all the major denominations of the Protestant Reformation until the late 1800's. Thus, my personal theology, which I had embraced from reading THE SCRIPTURES ALONE, was not some theology of a 'Lone Ranger' but the theology of Moses, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Amos, Malachi, Paul, James, Peter and the Lord Christ Himself which had been nicknamed 'Calvinism'. It was THE Gospel of Free Sovereign Grace; 'Salvation is of the Lord' (Jonah 2:9). So, Packer's words in that little Introduction were 'music to my ears', for they clearly showed the great difference between what is currently being preached and taught as the 'gospel' compared to what the Scriptures teach as THE GOSPEL. Further, he also shows as John Hampshire stated so well above, that Calvinism IS the Gospel by just another name. Call it what you will, but what it is, is the proclamation of God's salvation of sinners in the Lord Jesus Christ, by grace through faith alone. It is biblical Christianity come to its own; in its purest state thus far. No other 'system' of theology, and everyone has a system of some kind, exalts God so highly, debases man so lowly and has sinners saved so graciously as what is infamously called, 'Calvinism'! It's just the truth of the Bible's teaching. It is hated by people like Vernon because it strips away all self-reliance, self-help, self-assurance and makes God the SOVEREIGN REDEEMER who 'will have mercy on whom HE will have mercy'. I look forward to your comments and/or questions when you have finished reading Packer's 'Introductory Essay. . .'!

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: You are on the right track
From: Eric
To: mary
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 07:59:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Keep focused on Christ and His excellencey and sufficency for your life, and you will not stumble. Don't get caught up on whether your doctrinal views are as precise as others, or even if things are confusing. Keep meditating on the Word of God, and continually petition God to give you greater understanding. He is a merciful and gracious Father, He will provide you all the light you need to get you Home. 95% of all scripture is crystal clear, don't let the other 5%, that many so often differ upon, distract you.


Subject: Re: You are on the right track
From: a monitor
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 10:06:33 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Keep focused on Christ and His excellencey and sufficency for your life, and you will not stumble. Don't get caught up on whether your doctrinal views are as precise as others, or even if things are confusing. Keep meditating on the Word of God, and continually petition God to give you greater understanding. He is a merciful and gracious Father, He will provide you all the light you need to get you Home. 95% of all scripture is crystal clear, don't let the other 5%, that many so often differ upon, distract you.
---
On the surface this seems like good advice...but what do we make of JW or Mormons who may say that they agree with us on 95%....when we know that it's that nasty little 5% remaining where their system is stuffed with doctrines from demons? The 'essentials' (quality) is what should unite us, NOT the the volume of doctines (quantity) we agree on. I commend Mary for having the guts to search for herself in true Berean fashion to see if in fact what the Reformers taught (and what we believe and promote) was in fact the truth. I believe her beloved brother, Vern, is stuck in a rut and can't seem to get out. Not sure why that is. ;-) The nature of grace, faith, justification, etc as they relate to salvation/redemption are NOT trivial matters. If there is disagreement, we need to discuss it for they are at the very heart of the Gospel. We need to nail these matters down...otherwise we are not being faithful to the Word entrusted to us. No true believer is going to throw his/her hands up and let God's grace be defined by popolar opinion or sentiment. They are going to want to know THE truth of the matter. a monitor


Subject: Holy Orthodoxy
From: eikke
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:16:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello- I'm a student of Christianity in general, and Orthodoxy in particular (since, God willing, I hope to be baptized into it some day). I'm new here, so I'm wondering what the folks who frequent this board know/think about Orthodoxy, ancient Christian history, etc. Thank you in advance for any responses. In IC XC


Subject: Re: Holy Orthodoxy
From: laz
To: eikke
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:31:39 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Greetings, Eikke - I'm no expert, but as I just told your friend Christopher, I have noticed many similarities btwn 'Holy Orthodoxy' and Roman Catholicism...especially wrt the nature of justification....and of course ecclesiology (sp?). Be interested in hearing what you know about the doctrines of the Reformation. blessings, laz


Subject: Re: Holy Orthodoxy
From: eikke
To: laz
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 21:14:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello- I know comparably little about Reformation theology, other than the stereotypical 'Calvin was a dark and bitter man, took Augustine's fatalism to its logical extreme conclusion, all are damned, only God's whim saves us,' etc. I don't know how far any of that's true (most of it, I suspect), but I look forward to learning about it nonetheless. Maybe we can make a trade... :) At this point in the game, quite a few of the similarities that the Orthodox share with the Roman Catholics are more apparent than real. Orthodox ecclesiology is radically different from that of the Catholics, actually, and our views on justification don't quite jibe either. After all, there is a reason why the Reformation took place under the Roman Church. The Orthodox have no Purgatory, hence no indulgences, and they have no infallible hierarchy, like the Papacy. These two details in themselves should be a tip-off that there are some radical differences between the so-called Eastern Orthodox and the former Western Orthodox (which is how the Orthodox occasionally refer to pre-11th century Christian Europe, with whom they were once in communion). Then there are the controversies over the Filioque, the nature of the Eucharist, the nature of Holy Tradition, inherited guilt (the Orthodox have no dogma of an Immaculate Conception), the tendency to emphasize the Crucifixion to the exclusion of the rest of Christ's life (which all of western Christianity, protestant and Roman, inherited from -again- the 11th century St. Anselm), etc. Those things that the RC holds in common with the Orthodox were actually the common heritage of all Christendom prior to the 11th century, i.e. the real change in the Eucharist, the absence of any doctrine of sola scriptura, the veneration of the Mother of God and the saints, the belief in the One, Visible Church, etc. As you will find if you visit the Phronema board (where the debate is much more learned than what I can muster), there is an Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism board, where all of the differences are brought to bear. In fact, there's even an Orthodoxy vs. Protestantism board for you to cut your teeth on, should you feel so inclined. But a lot of Orthodox would actually be appalled to find their beliefs equated with Roman Catholicism, and for as many historical reasons as doctrinal ones. In IC XC


Subject: Re: Holy Orthodoxy
From: john hampshire
To: eikke
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 04:41:32 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
YOU SAID: 'Those things that the RC holds in common with the Orthodox were actually the common heritage of all Christendom prior to the 11th century, i.e. the real change in the Eucharist, the absence of any doctrine of sola scriptura, the veneration of the Mother of God and the saints, the belief in the One, Visible Church, etc.' If these beliefs were the 'common heritage of all Christendom prior to the 11th century', one might think they are Biblically based and extend back to the very early church. Which Scriptures support these beliefs? 1. The real change in the Eucharist 2. The absence of any doctrine of sola scriptura 3. The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints 4. The belief in the One, Visible Church john


Subject: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 12:27:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Which Scriptures support these beliefs? 1. The real change in the Eucharist<<<<< Quoted in the course of catechetical lectures by St Cyril of Jersulalem in the fourth century. 1 Cor. xi. 23. I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, how that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, 1. Even of itself the teaching of the Blessed Paul is sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, of which having been deemed worthy, ye are become of the same body and blood with Christ. For you have just heard him say distinctly, That our Lord Jesus Christ in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it, and gave to His disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood.
Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? 2. He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood, and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood? When called to a bodily marriage, He miraculously wrought that wonderful work; and on the children of the bride-chamber, shall He not much rather be acknowledged to have bestowed the fruition of His Body and Blood? 3. Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mayest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we became partakers of the divine nature. 4. Christ on a certain occasion discoursing with the Jews said, Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, ye have no life in you. They not having heard His saying in a spiritual sense were offended, and went back, supposing that He was inviting them to eat flesh. In the middle of the second century, St Justin Martyr, in his first apology, says: And this food is called among us Eukaristia(5) [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.(6) For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, 'This do ye in remembrance of Me,(7) this is My body;' and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, 'This is My blood;' and gave it to them alone.
---

---
It's not a matter of 'Scriptural support,' it's a matter of how the Scriptures are understood, no?


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: john hampshire
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 00:36:51 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Christopher, Certainly 1Cor 11:23 mentions the breaking of bread which you quote. You wrote: 'Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer?' And? And what was the next thing Jesus said? It was, 'Do this in remembrance of Me'. He did not say, 'Do this and I will turn the bread into flesh so you will not only remember Me, but see Me'. Likewise for the wine. 'Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes'. He did not say 'You will remember Me each time you do this for a real piece of Me will form in your cup and your hand until I come'. What is remembering Christ, what is remembering His death? Is it so hard to see that the bread and wine represent His death which we should remember until He comes? You wrote: He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood, and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood? You mean, if Jesus changed water into wine to symbolize the atonement, wouldn't it make sense that the wine in the cup would also be used to SYMBOLIZE the atonement? Did Jesus ever turn anything into actual blood? The incredible part of this is to believe that Biblical symbols are transmuted into physical realities, when the Bible is clear they are symbols of spiritual things. You wrote: Christ on a certain occasion discoursing with the Jews said, Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, ye have no life in you.. Yes, and as you recognize, the spiritual connection was in view. Or should we expect the Pharisees to, perhaps, munch on his leg? So, recognizing that this is a spiritual invitation to eat Christ's flesh, the logic follows that... the bread is a PHYSICAL eating???? Whew, how does one make such an illogical grandiose jump into no-Scripture land. The obvious implication here is: The body of Christ in view is a spiritual union with Him -- not by chewing on His actually body. You wrote: St Justin Martyr, in his first apology, says... Well, I think Justin Martyr owes another apology. (hehe) He reasons that if Jesus became a man, flesh and blood, for our salvation, then the bread/wine must also become flesh and blood for our salvation. That's some logic. If Christ in His body is sufficient for our salvation how is it that we must really eat Him for our salvation? Would not logic dictate that if Christ went to the trouble to be a flesh n blood man, that is all our salvation requires. What need does anyone have of physical food? You make Christ's atonement insufficient by the inclusion of this bizarre act of cannibalism, and all this against common sense and Scripture evidence to boot. You wrote: It's not a matter of 'Scriptural support,' it's a matter of how the Scriptures are understood, no? Err no! If we take the plain teaching of Scripture and mutilate it, then ignore Christ's constant use of spiritual imagery to force a physical fulfillment, you might as well not even bother studying Scripture. Want an example?: I know you said 'Yes'. Jesus is described by John the Baptist as the 'Lamb of God'. Now let's make a similar teaching out of it. Let's teach Christ was transmuted, just as the bread is, into an actual lamb. We can even argue as Justin Martyr so ineffectively does that this must be so because Christ was to be a sacrificial Lamb so the physical lamb is a requirement just as the flesh/blood food is a necessity to the bread/wine communion. Why not? The only thing lacking is a thousand years of endorsement by a church to make it gospel truth. We can not gain Scriptural support and understanding apart from the Scriptures. We cannot take Scripture and begin to express all kinds of doctrine from it because we simply like our ideas. I hope you can see that this teaching is useless, unnecessary, and wrong. If not, go down to your local grocery store. Take a long look at the meat selection, find lamb chops, and remember: one of these packages may indeed by Christ's body--packaged for your convenient worship. False teachings are as easy to start as that. And you know what? There are a million people out there who will believe whatever is tossed their way. Sad isn't it. john


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 12:03:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
john, What would be sad would be if God waited almost 1,600 years to give a teacher to the Church who correctly understood what the definition of 'is' is. That is what seems to me to be 'against common sense.' Christopher


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: john hampshire
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 19:53:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Christopher, >>>'What would be sad would be if God waited almost 1,600 years to give a teacher to the Church who correctly understood what the definition of 'is' is.' Even Bill Clinton was unsure what the definition of 'is' is, but he has an excuse, he's a known liar and hypocrite. Fortunately the churches have no one like that for a leader. (hehe) To your point, in all seriousness, by your statement I will assume you would agree that except for those church leaders who proposed and hastened the deification of Mary, they were without opposition? It must be so, for otherwise we would find OTHER leaders who were instructing the church differently into different doctrines. If there were other leaders throughout the history of the Orthodox or RC church, then the churches were NOT without leaders who explained and expounded truth to the laity. Or are we to believe that the only 'true' church teachers are church teachers who teach the doctrines that tickle your ears and support the Orthodox or RC churches? I suppose then the rest are false teachers? If they are false, then should we not burn them at the stake, or torture them to recant? This is the logic the RC used, and the smoke of burning Reformers is their undeniable trademark. Indeed their were men speaking the truth, but they are not part of your church history. They are part of a different church, small groups that met in individual houses. These devout Christians were criminals, law-breakers, the very enemy the RC church sought to destroy. Fact is, the church has NEVER been without the truth. It was not always popular, not always preached though by the popular church leaders of the day. Actually, from a Reformed perspective, we could say the truth was much hated, much suppressed, and the cause of much turmoil and death. But it NEVER disappeared. Not from the first Pentecost onward, the NT churches have always kept the candle lit somewhere. Today, you can find a candle here and there, just as in most periods of history. It is the clever, people-pleasing churches that are visible, powerful, and continue the tradition of apostasy. We don't burn people at the stake anymore, we just don't publish their books. We don't torture people anymore, we just ignore them or slander them. The truth is not always readily available, just as in the days of the house churches when the giant RC church suppressed truth, and tortured those who dared to have their own Bible, burning the printing presses, and robbing and cheating the populace to build grand stone churches. Churches that resemble stone tombs in which the dead worship. The Pope's army is gone, kings no longer bow to him, no more torture, death, and genocide. No more persecutions, no holy wars, no sickness, poverty, and death on their account. But it was off the bones of the poor and ignorant masses, forbidden to learn, the RC church grew, like a fungus on rotting debris. Today, this hulk of ignorance, superstition and man-made doctrine continues to bind ignorant peasants with their works doctrine and cult of Mary. They continue to defend every man-made invention and abhor the teaching of Scriptures. You may have it all, I will keep the Scriptures, and honor the few brave men who withstood that tempest of ignorance and hatred, who gave their lives as a sacrifice to Christ to announce the truth to the huddled masses. Throughout history, unknown men and women met together to worship God under the heel of an oppressive political-religious cult. Remember them! They kept the truth, they passed it to their children... until the day God ended the reign of tyranny through men like Martin Luther (and inventions like the printing press). So ended the manipulation of the masses and began the process of bringing these long-held truths out for all to see. And thus was the end of the age of the Holy Mother Church, slain by honest men with a pen. john


Subject: Ah, yes, Zwingli...
From: Christopher
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:38:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
john, You once said you didn't like long posts. Sorry. But I think this is about all I have left to say. The second part should also answer a monitor's question regarding how one would determine who's got the Truth. There is no need to object, as I post this for informational purposes only. 'The Swiss entered the colloquy intending to present their view of the overriding importance of the spirit at the Lord's Supper, not to squabble over its exact relationship with Christ's flesh. However,
Luther's experience as a debater, combined with his inherent unwillingness to compromise, led him to stigmatize the Swiss' argument by his statement soon after the colloquy began: 'You seek to prove that a body cannot be in two places at the same time' (Kittleson 223). He falsely deconstructed their argument to the 'physics' of Christ's body, forcing them to prove that his strict interpretation of Jesus' words 'This is my body' was wrong. In defending against Luther's incorrect accusation, the Swiss primarily referred to John 6:63 saying, 'The flesh is of no avail' (Kittleson 223). Because of Luther's shift of the burden of proof away from himself, he was not obligated to prove the Swiss' opinion wrong. This became an early hint of Luther's steadfastness to his version of the gospel and his unwillingness to change, a personal characteristic that doomed any attempts to resolve the Sacramentarian Controversy. Luther came to the colloquy not to debate in hopes of collaborating on a new truth about the Eucharist, nor did he even come to persuade the others to his side. He merely came to state his opinion and see all other notions collapse before its rightness, without him having to defend or even thoroughly explain the dogma.' 'Contrarily, Zwingli prefaces his 67 Articles with the statement: 'The articles and opinions below, I, Urlich Zwingli, confess to have preached in the worthy city of Zürich as based upon the Scriptures which are called inspired by God, and I offer to protect and conquer with the said articles, and where I have not now correctly understood said Scriptures I shall allow myself to be taught better, but only from said Scriptures' (qtd. in Hastings 12:875). Trained in the humanist tradition, Zwingli's clearly intended to seek the truth by proof and re-proof while studying the 'original source' of Christianity, the New Testament. He did not boldly claim to have the absolute truth, as Luther for the most part does. Because Zwingli did not arrive at his position through a personal, agonizing experience like Luther did, but through a more scholastic, Scripture based method, Zwingli does not share Luther's unyielding adherence to his own theology. Because of Zwingli's apparent openness to correction, it is unfortunate that Luther did not attempt to prove to Zwingli with Scripture that 'This is my body' means exactly what it reads. Also, because of Zwingli's openness to scholarship by his admitting that he did not possess the pure truth, he allowed Luther to turn the burden of proof onto him and his Swiss counterparts without much resistance.' http://silcon.com/~akraus/ecumenism/lordsupr.html Contrary to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, Orthodoxy does not utilize humanism, scholasticism or any other 'ism' developed or revived in the first half of the second milleneum (indeed, the Hesychast controversies and St Gregory Palamas' responses to them prove this beyond all doubt) as the principal of Christian knowledge. I know you objected to my statement that the issue was really about how we understand Scripture, but the small quote above should suffice to prove that the way in which Scripture is approached has a direct bearing on what conclusions one derives from it. The man-centered, self-reliant spirit of the Renaissance/Reformation resulted in everyone enjoying the priviledge of having their own personal interpretation of Scripture. For my part, I have not rejected the 'plain' or 'clear' teaching of Scripture at all. I endeavor to reject, as much as I am currently able to humble my own mind, the individualistic methods of approaching Scripture which were developed in the west after it split from the Church. The following methodology is the corrective to all these different ways of approaching Scripture which were unknown to the early Church. 'II: A General Rule for distinguishing the Truth of the Catholic Faith from the Falsehood of Heretical Pravity I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church. But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason,--because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another. Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation. Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense 'Catholic,' which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.' --St Vincent of Lerins, 5th c. Vladimir Lossky, 20th century Russian theologian,put it nicely: 'Tradition is the principle of Christian knowledge.' It is only via the lens of Tradition that one can understand the Scriptures properly. Not via humanism, not via scholasticism (Aquinas), and not via rationalism--none of these methods are the principle of Christian knowledge. If one does not seek out true Tradition (yes, that would be contained in Orthodoxy), then one must necessarily resort to one of these other approaches to Scripture.


Subject: Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli...
From: Tom
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:03:18 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Hope this helps John 6:51-54 is an important passage that can help us better understand the Lord's Supper. It focuses on Christ presenting Himself to the people as the Bread of Life. In verse 51 He says, 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ' That means that God the Son entered our world by taking on human form, He offers eternal life to those who receive Him in faith (symbolized by eating). Of course only the the elect will John 6:37;44&65. Although He used physical terminology, He was conveying a spiritual message: to take Him to satisfy one's soul as a man eats bread to satisfy his stomach. Jesus' statement confused some of those who heard Him: 'The Jews, therefore, [argued] 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. He who eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him' (vv. 52- 56). These Jews were interpreting Jesus's metaphor in a literal, physical sense, but the Lord was speaking in a figurative way. He was saying they would need to acknowledge that He was God in human flesh and appropriate His sacrificial death on their behalf. Unless you can accept the incarnation and the substitutionary blood- atoning death of Christ on your behalf, you will never have eternal life. When you were saved you did just that. And when you share in the bread and cup of Communion, you symbolize that spiritual appropriation. Communion is a restatement of our salvation, and should also be a rededication of our faith. So it's vital that we share in it. Tom


Subject: Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli...
From: laz
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:08:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hope this helps John 6:51-54 is an important passage that can help us better understand the Lord's Supper. It focuses on Christ presenting Himself to the people as the Bread of Life. In verse 51 He says, 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ' That means that God the Son entered our world by taking on human form, He offers eternal life to those who receive Him in faith (symbolized by eating). Of course only the the elect will John 6:37;44&65. Although He used physical terminology, He was conveying a spiritual message: to take Him to satisfy one's soul as a man eats bread to satisfy his stomach. Jesus' statement confused some of those who heard Him: 'The Jews, therefore, [argued] 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. He who eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him' (vv. 52- 56). These Jews were interpreting Jesus's metaphor in a literal, physical sense, but the Lord was speaking in a figurative way. He was saying they would need to acknowledge that He was God in human flesh and appropriate His sacrificial death on their behalf. Unless you can accept the incarnation and the substitutionary blood- atoning death of Christ on your behalf, you will never have eternal life. When you were saved you did just that. And when you share in the bread and cup of Communion, you symbolize that spiritual appropriation. Communion is a restatement of our salvation, and should also be a rededication of our faith. So it's vital that we share in it. Tom
---
That begs the question, what kind of 'meat' were the OT and preresurrection saints munchin' on? laz


Subject: Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli...
From: Tom
To: laz
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:25:31 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Laz You said: That begs the question, what kind of 'meat' were the OT and preresurrection saints munchin' on? I am trying to understand where you are coming from when you ask that question. Are you disagreeing with something I said? Tom


Subject: Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli...
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:50:33 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
BUNK! - a true understanding of the basics is given by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit to whomever has been given eyes and ears.... The TRUE church supplements the believer in providing fellowship, preaching, sacraments, discipleship, discipline, correct teaching and godly exhortation of those things revealed to the Elect thru the Word. You simply have NO basis (logical, historical or scriptural) for claiming to be the ONE true 'visible' Church...NONE! If you are, you've done a VERY poor job of discipling the nations. laz


Subject: Re: Ah, yes, Zwingli...
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:35:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I've got logical, historical and Scriptural basis for everything I've ever presented here. You just don't happen to agree with any of it. :) Christopher PS-I think my time here is done (don't cheer too loud, everyone). But participation on this board has certainly helped me ask questions which I may or may not have thought of myself and forced me to do digging which I might not have otherwise done. Thanks.


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:37:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
john, What would be sad would be if God waited almost 1,600 years to give a teacher to the Church who correctly understood what the definition of 'is' is. That is what seems to me to be 'against common sense.' Christopher
---
AAAAHHHH, BUT....! ...1600 years to the Lord is like one day and just past lunchtime of the next! LOL! laz p.s. the greater shame is the wholesale introduction and promulgation of doctrines not to be found nor implied ANYWHERE in scripture...


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: Pilgrim
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 13:34:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Christopher,

I was wondering how long it would take to have this type of discussion here! With all the cries from the Orthodox about being so alien to the Roman state church, it is amazing how similar the theologies are in many matters. Here, for example, we have the doctrine of transubstantiation being promoted as the 'doctrine of the historic church' by the Orthodox, no differently than the apologists for the Roman state church do. Yet in both cases, what is to be carefully recognized is that the few references made to the 'Eucharist' and those that appear to support this fantastic proposition, that the bread and wine actually and really are transformed into the flesh and blood of the Lord Christ, by the 'Fathers' were NOT the universal nor majority view of the early church. Augustine even is often quoted as a proponent of transubstantiation, but in fact if the man is read in context and such statements given as support for it are compared with the bulk of his writings, he obviously and in many places vehemently rejects this view. That there was much disagreement amidst the early church, even during the last days of the Apostles is not any secret. For heresy was present during the lifetime of Paul and Peter as they both directed admonitions and exhortations to the churches to beware of these false teachers and prophets. It is a shallow argument, to say the least to pick and choose which 'Father' supports your particular view of doctrine when there are many others who wrote contradictory views during the same time. Why not adopt Origen's view of God? Why is he wrong and others correct? Frankly, you have no valid answer or polemic against doing this, and thus the TRUE church has always and will always rely upon the one and only source of truth; the Word of God WRITTEN!. That men will disagree over its interpretation is a given, as the Scriptures also reveal. But that should be no deterrent to a child of God to seek the truth, not from some alleged preserved 'tradition' or 'holy Father', but from the SOURCE itself. Therefore there is no substance to your proposition (indeed a disheveled strawman at best) that antiquity equals veracity and thus truth is to be found only by submitting to a small group of men whose proximity of life to the Apostles is closer than ours. Further, the conclusion is false therefore, that a disagreement with a doctrine now which was held by a select few means that the church was without truth for 1600 years. Even the Apostles, before they were anointed with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost held to grave error and were mistaken about many things concerning God and His kingdom. Is it too difficult to understand therefore, that those who came after them, yes, even those who were allegedly discipled by some of them, were fraught with myriad misconceptions and errors? The 'Fathers' were not INSPIRED but men such as we and therefore susceptible to all manner of errors in life and doctrine. Lastly, on what documented grounds are you able to contend that men like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, Bucer, Bullinger, and later Tertullian, Edwards, Owen, Warfield, Hodge, et al were slaves to the writings of Augustine or some other 'ancient father's ideas'? To summarily dismiss the intellect and spirituality of all these men and to suggest that they either did not or were incapable of searching the Scriptures on their own is utterly preposterous and ingenuous. To be sure, all make reference to many forefathers in their writings, but one thing that stands out above all these references, unlike the apologetes of the Orthodox and Roman factions, their excursus are enmassed with Scripture passages and the exegesis of them.

Isa 8:20 'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' Hos 8:12 'I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. 13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.'

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: Christopher
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 15:21:12 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>.....unlike the apologetes of the Orthodox and Roman factions, their excursus are enmassed with Scripture passages and the exegesis of them.<<<<< OK, one last post. Have you ever even read St John Chrysostom? Almost everything written by him is verse-by-verse exegesis. It is your 'we quote Scripture and nobody else does, therefore we're right' claim that doesn't seem to hold much water. When I've quoted others, it's usually one of two things--either commentary on Scripture itself, or writings which illustrate our different approaches to understanding Scripture. Like I told laz, I've got plenty of logical, historical, and Scriptural basis for these beliefs. You folks just don't agree with any of them. :) I thanked laz and I would like to thank you, too, for your continued willingness to engage in discussion over the past several months. In Christ our True God, Christopher PS--many thanks to john and Rod, too. Don't want to skip anyone!


Subject: Re: Eucharistic Scriptures
From: Christopher
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 14:11:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Please see the post from 'eikke' on the word symbol. This excludes the idea of transubstantiation. Just as with the Immaculate Conception, it is a totally unnecessary doctrine. I'm not going to argue with you about Augustine again. We've been down that road before. It should suffice to refer to a post by a monitor above referencing 'Paul, Augustine and the Reformers.' Christopher


Subject: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints
From: Christopher
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 12:43:36 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Which Scriptures support these beliefs? 3. The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints<<<<< St Cyril of Alexandria, whose teaching was supported by the Council at Ephesus in the early fifth century, said: 'If any one does not acknowledge that Emmanuel is in truth God, and that the holy Virgin is,
in consequence, 'Theotokos (Mother of God) for she brought forth after the flesh the Word of God who has become flesh, let him be anathema.' I'm sure you're aware of the Nestorian heresy he and the rest of the Church was fighting. Everything having to do with the veneration of the Mother of God, the saints and icons has to do with that 'in consequence' and the fact of Christ's conquering of death.


Subject: Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints
From: john hampshire
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 06:34:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Sorry Christopher, but when I read you post I found it amusing. I know you are serious about these things, but I just cannot fathom it. We know that Christ is the Word of God. We know the Word was God and was with God (John 1:1). Then it says: 'all things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being'. That means, if we understand it, Christ, the Word of God, created all things. He is the Creator God. Mariam who provided the biological cells that became Jesus was created by the Word, that is Christ. But in stark contrast to this, Cyril of Alexandria wrote that Mary created Jesus and is the Mother of God by consequence. So, the Word which became flesh and took on the appearance of a man has a creator under this teaching, this woman Mariam, in complete opposition to Scripture. Even worse John 1:14 says the 'Word became flesh, and dwelt among us...the only begotten from the Father...'. Begotten by whom? Mary the Mother of God???? No, The Word was begotten by the Father. We can take an idea, as some churches do, and run wild with it, but Scripture must first be mangled to do it. Mariam is no more the Mother of God, who has no beginning, than James was the Brother of God. Mary was Jesus' earthly mother, that is correct, but to say any more than this is an incredibly blasphemous doctrine, one I am surprised any rational man would even consider adopting as their belief. It is utterly ridiculous to boot. Because Mariam was used by God to provide the genetic material to create the body for Jesus she becomes God's Mother-- whew, that is phenomenally bad. Sorry, but this doctrine really is offensive. As Jesus said to His mother, 'Woman, what have I to do with you? That is to paraphrase: 'I am not under your authority except in the most basic mother-son relationship, I am God and don't forget it'. Jesus knew His mother's place, Mariam knew her place (most of the time). It seems some churches have forgotten a lesson Mary knew all too well. john


Subject: Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints
From: eikke
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 12:09:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi John- This is one of the benefits of belonging to a Church that understands the world in the same way that the Apostles and Gospel writers did. You see, the German Reformers who began your traditions did not understand symbolism in the same way that the average Greek of the 1st century did. For moderns, symbols are seen as signs unconnected in any essential way with the things they represent, i.e. your view of the Eucharist. It's a symbol, it points to a higher reality, reminds us of Christ's sacrifice, but otherwise there is no essential connection between the bread/wine and Christ. Symbolism for the Greeks (including the authors of the Gospels, who to varying degrees thought like Greeks, especially St. John) meant that an object, or a word, or an idea, was somehow viscerally connected (in its essence) to the higher reality that it represented. That which makes an object what it is, it's essential 'it'ness, is somehow related metaphysically to the thing or being that it represents. It's as simple as that. That's how it came about that Christians from the very beginning understood the Eucharist to be in some sense literal. They were, after all, only thinking about it in the same way that the gospel authors were. For further illustration, the same idea applies to idolatry. If, after all, idols were mere lumps of clay or wood, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to pray to them. But they were seen to be essentially connected to the beings they represented, and were thus viewed as demonic in and of themselves by Jews and Christians. IC XC NI KA


Subject: Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints
From: john hampshire
To: eikke
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:28:31 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You wrote: For further illustration, the same idea applies to >>>>idolatry. If, after all, idols were mere lumps of clay or wood, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to pray to them. But they were seen to be essentially connected to the beings they represented, and were thus viewed as demonic in and of themselves by Jews and Christians' I thank you for your clarification on symbology, but please permit me to continue to disagree. The bread and wine are understood to represent something -- bread is the gospel of Christ and the wine is the blood that was shed, as defined by Scripture itself. You argue that there is an intrinsic connection, a certain metaphysical binding of the blood to the wine and the bread to Christ's body. But in reality, this idea is foreign to the Bible's use of symbology and Christ's usage for that matter. Sure an idol is considered evil, but not because it has become the god it represents. It is evil because it is forbidden by God. Should we think that there is some metaphysical reality in which the wood idol actually BECOMES the god it represents? Yes, some believed it did, they were pagan idol worshippers. By contrast then, would those who believe the bread/wine actually BECOMES the real body and blood of Christ equally pagan worshippers? They are cut of the same cloth, who else believes such ridiculous notions. Did the early church believe that lambs BECAME Christ during their sacrifice? Did the Jews think that the unleavened bread actually became manna? Did the apostles think the water used in baptism actually became God the Holy Spirit? Did those who heard Jesus preach that He was the water of life really think Jesus could become water suitable to drink? Is there any instance, outside the beliefs of the pagan church of Rome and the Orthodox church, where we find Scripture teaching that the symbol actually becomes the thing symbolized? Is it found anywhere?, even by any means possible, including some metaphysical meaningless mumbo-jumbo? No, it is always understood as we do today. The symbol is just a symbol, the reality never becomes the symbol. If this is the benefit of belonging to a Church that supposedly understands the world in the same way that the Apostles and Gospel writers did, then there is no benefit. It would be more truthful to say it is the benefit of belonging to a church which pretends its many aberrant unscriptural doctrines are the apostles, and does this simply by stating it to be so without proof or Scripture to corroborate, so that it has a means to defend what it cannot prove otherwise. It may seem more holy and powerful to say your teachings are those of the Apostle John, and I suppose it dupes the unwashed masses, but that claim is a bold lie: a popular lie, but still a lie. It is no better than a Pentecostal saying ďJesus told me.... just the other dayĒ. A lame attempt to make the indefensible seem defendable. john


Subject: Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints
From: eikke
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 02:41:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Your post is full of good points. It had not occurred to me before reading it that the first century hellenes of the mediterranean looked at the world in a fashion so similar to the way you and your 16th century north european forebears do. You said: But in reality, this idea is foreign to the Bible's use of symbology and Christ's usage for that matter. What exactly is the Bible's use of symbology, then? Has it occurred to you that a symbol with no intrinsic connection to that which it represents is arbitrary and therefore meaningless? You wrote: Sure an idol is considered evil, but not because it has become the god it represents. It is evil because it is forbidden by God. Nobody said anything about the idol becoming the god it represents. You're reading too much into my example. I just said the idol was seen to have an essential connection to that which it represented. It was not considered the same thing as the demon it represented. Now, the above is some pretty dead end reasoning. You're saying that idolatry is not inherently evil, we just call it evil because God forbids it, or because He has decided that it is. Forgive me. I've been out of protestantism so long that I forgot how arbitrary and circular a logician your God is. Should we think that there is some metaphysical reality in which the wood idol actually BECOMES the god it represents? Yes, some believed it did, they were pagan idol worshippers. By contrast then, would those who believe the bread/wine actually BECOMES the real body and blood of Christ equally pagan worshippers? They are cut of the same cloth, who else believes such ridiculous notions. Well, all Christians until the 16th century, actually, and the majority of Christians today. With one and a half billion people worldwide believing in such ridiculous notions, and with a religion that has believed in them everywhere for 2000 years, it's good to know that there are a few million intelligent armchair theologians in America to set us all straight. You just don't get what I was saying. You see, that attitude wasn't just restricted to idols, sacrifices, or other religious paraphernalia. It was applied to everything. Nobody thought their idols were the gods themselves, not even the pagans. They believed there was a metaphysical connection between their idol and their god. The fact that early christians believed that there is an essential connection between an object and its symbol did not mark them as pagans, any more than your belief in a fatalistic God makes you a muslim. That is, assuming you're Reformed. That way of thinking was just part of the 'intellectual furniture,' of their world. It was just assumed by everybody, whether they were monotheistic Stoics, hellenized Jews like the Apostles, or pagan polytheists. The only people back then who looked at symbols in any way remotely resembling the way you do all happened to be atheist Cynics. The parallel is fitting, since that's what your religion reduces people to. You wrote: Did the early church believe that lambs BECAME Christ during their sacrifice? Did the Jews think that the unleavened bread actually became manna? Did the apostles think the water used in baptism actually became God the Holy Spirit? Did those who heard Jesus preach that He was the water of life really think Jesus could become water suitable to drink? Apparently not, since we have no sacrament that involves drinking water. Is there any instance, outside the beliefs of the pagan church of Rome and the Orthodox church, where we find Scripture teaching that the symbol actually becomes the thing symbolized? Is it found anywhere?, even by any means possible, including some metaphysical meaningless mumbo-jumbo? Actually, it's your logic that reduces the Eucharist to meaninglessness, not 'metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.' Btw, I'd be careful about throwing out those kinds of phrases, if I was you. The author of the gospel which begins with a discussion of that well known metaphysical term 'the Logos' might hear you. Gee, I wonder if he meant anything by using a term that had been familiar to Greek philosophy for centuries, in order to get his idea of a divine Son of God across to a Greek thinking audience. Nah, it was probably just more of St. John's metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. And this last part is kind of a silly question, insofar as there were no writings on the nature of the Eucharist outside of the Church for the first couple of centuries, unless you count the gnostics. Therefore, there could be no 'instances outside of the beliefs of the Roman and Orthodox Churches,' considering they were the only ones writing. You have to remember: The Bible is ours. The One, Visible Church put it together at the end of the 4th century, not the 1st. You're welcome. I'm not sure I know which period of 'the early church' you're talking about. You mean Israel? Can you really be asking such a silly question, considering as their God had not performed the act of the sacrificial lamb at that point? What on earth does that have to do with Christianity, which came about only after the sacrifice was made? If you can find me a point in the OT where God splits a lamb asunder and says, 'Take, eat, this is my body, and this is my blood, etc.', then your question might be relevant. We're talking the NT Church here, and they never sacrificed lambs. As for the water used in baptism: does anybody say that the water actually becomes the Holy Spirit? I've never heard this. Still, I have to wonder why baptism was instituted for the Church if God could purify us by any means and at any time. If one wants to make a symbol nothing more than a representation of a certain reality, then why not just forego the symbol and say that God has purified you regardless of immersion? What does water do to facilitate the descent of the Holy Spirit? Nothing, right? Then water baptism is an empty ritual, and best done away with, right? You wrote: If this is the benefit of belonging to a Church that supposedly understands the world in the same way that the Apostles and Gospel writers did, then there is no benefit. I still don't see where you've shown there to be no benefit. I'd prefer to understand God in the same way that the 1st century Greek christians did, considering they're probably a lot closer to the truth than 16th century swiss or germans, or 20th century Americans like yourself. It would be more truthful to say it is the benefit of belonging to a church which pretends its many aberrant unscriptural doctrines are the apostles, and does this simply by stating it to be so without proof or Scripture to corroborate, so that it has a means to defend what it cannot prove otherwise. First off, you're asking the Orthodox and Catholics to play exclusively on your homecourt, and that just ain't gonna happen. Sola scriptura is a man-made doctrine, a historical fallacy. What point is there in debating according to its rules when we're discussing early christians who themselves had never heard anything like it? It may seem more holy and powerful to say your teachings are those of the Apostle John, and I suppose it dupes the unwashed masses, but that claim is a bold lie: a popular lie, but still a lie. This really says nothing, of course. But I do think that in the interest of good christian humility, the people on this board shouldn't make such frequent contrasts between themselves and 'the unwashed masses.' It is no better than a Pentecostal saying ďJesus told me.... just the other dayĒ. Yeah, it's almost as lame as somebody saying 'I had all of these questions and nobody at my church could answer them. Then I began reading Calvin and found out that he agreed with me. I knew from that point on that I was right.'


Subject: Re: The veneration of the Mother of God and the saints
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 21:13:26 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
So irrational, isn't it? So foreign to human reason! The pagan Greeks thought the idea of Logos having flesh and blood (and bile, according to one objection) was mumbo-jumbo, too...quite a ridiculous notion. Christopher


Subject: Nestorian?
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 09:54:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Let's at least be intellectually honest with one another, shall we? Tell you what, read the Council of Ephesus, readily available online or in any 38 volume collection of the works of the Fathers that a good library would have. When you have read the canons, and the brief arguements for both sides, generally provided by Nestorius and Cyril, then we can have an educated conversation about whose doctrine is blasphemous and not according to Scripture and whose isn't. Blasphemy is a serious charge and if a discussion is to steer clear of meaningless rhetoric, then both parties should probably be on the same page. Not that I expect you to hold the Council of Ephesus as any sort of authority for yourself. I am merely curious as to how your rejection of the very Scriptural doctrine of St Cyril and the council does not lead directly to the allegedly Scriptural Nestorianism and a hopeless division of the Person of Jesus Christ. I am becoming more and more convinced that most Protestant theology actually is Nestorianism. The rejection of the title Theotokos is usually defended, as you have defended it, by splitting up the Person of Jesus Christ into different parts, as if one could explain the Mystery of the Incarnation of God in such a manner. Christopher PS--just FYI, I am no longer under the delusion that what I believed prior to converting to Orthodoxy was, in any real sense, 'Reformed.' Although I was raised Baptist, my thinking was shaped far more by CS Lewis than anyone else. In fact, I probably would have eventually become Anglican if it's American branch, the Episcopal Church, had not exchanged the teachings of men like Lewis for men like Bishop Spong, and I had not discovered, by the mercy of God, the Orthodox Church first. In rereading some of Lewis recently, I was struck by how Orthodox a lot what he wrote actually is. The Screwtape Letters would be a perfect example. And his recommendation, in his introduction to the translation of St Athanasius' On the Incarnation, that one should read three old books for every one new book still seems very sound. Whether you consider St Athanasius or St Cyril Fathers of the Church or not, there is at least value in reading them to ensure that one is not dooming oneself to repeat history. So that's why I'd like to see if the brands of Protestantism that reject Mary as Theotokos are, in fact, Nestorian in their theology of the Person of Jesus Christ. Nestorius was only willing to grant 'Christotokos,' much as you might.


Subject: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: Christopher
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 13:05:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>Which Scriptures support these beliefs? 4. The belief in the One, Visible Church<<<<< Start with Eph 4:6 and 1 Tim 3:15? Please see the attached link for how these Scriptures are understood in the Orthodox Church. It won't take up too much of your time. Christopher PS--I'll leave the conversation regarding sola scriptura to eikke, if he chooses to respond. We've been down that path several times and I don't think revisiting the subject is likely to yield any new arguments from either side. The Church is Visible and One orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/church.htm


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 14:38:05 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Seems to me that the true Church, like a house, having her beginning with the FOUNDATION built by the Apostles (with the chief cornerstone being Christ himself (1Pe 2:5))has been undergoing successive growth in maturity with the passing of time under the superintending presence of the Spirit. Some call this 'progressive revelation' whereby the Body has been getting stronger and smarter relative to the things of God as He has revealed Himself (in scripture). We are transformed as we grow in grace and knowledge with time as individuals ... the Church as an organism has also been undergoing the same transformation - growing in grace and knowledge as new heresies have come to be (or reemerged) and as annointed teachers/preachers have been raised up for the edification of the saints. No NEW revelation, mind you, but increased understanding (fuller understanding) of the revelation already given in holy writ. Rome and Orthodoxy have never 'grown up'... in fact, they refuse to put the 'errors' of the early church (who were not all in agreement on many things!) under the all revealing light of the God's Word...
a lamp unto (our) feet, and a light unto (our)path. Ps119:105 Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. In fact, their errors (especially Rome's) have been compounding over the centuries...kinda like interest! ;-) Sola, Raised To The Fifth, laz


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: eikke
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 18:32:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'm still curious as to which errors you believe the Orthodox adhere. Say what you will about Rome (the Orthodox were calling her on the same errors that the Reformers protested, after all, just 450 years earlier), but I'd like to know which developments in the last thousand years have taken the Orthodox from the ancient understanding of the Word of God? But do you really mean to say that you have a better, fuller, more mature understanding of Christ's mission (because you live 2,000 years after He did) than the Apostles or their disciples did? Merely because there are so many more books on the subject today than back then, or because the catalogue of Christian experience is wider now than in the 1st century? I assume the traditional response to your idea of 'progressive revelation' (or progressive understanding of revelation) would be to question why it is that those folks who have changed the least since the days of the Apostles (i.e. the Orthodox, for the sake of this argument), and who understand the meaning of the revelation as the Apostles did -having that direct line of discipleship from the Apostles to the Apostolic Fathers, and down the line- should be held somehow to be inferior in comparison with those whose teachings (the Reformers) have less in common with the mindset that guided the Holy Apostles. Is not Christ the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow? If anything, shouldn't we be seeking to adopt the mindset that has guided the ancient faith for millennia, rather than condescending to it by calling it a less mature species of our own faith? I ask this especially in light of the fact that the Reformers, in going back to what they thought was the mind of the ancient Church, actually sought to do so by using the same Church Fathers (St. John Chrysostom, et al) that have always undergirded Orthodoxy. The Reformation was, after all, fueled in part by new translations of the Greek Fathers into German -which translations rarely, if ever, existed in Latin. Ironically enough, the idea of a progressive revelation is actually Roman Catholic. It might interest you -and anyone else who looks on Orthodoxy as an eastern form of Catholicism- to know that the Orthodox look on protestantism and Roman Catholicism as two sides of the same coin. This is a prime example. The Orthodox have no truck with 'progressive revelation.' They understand the Ecumenical Councils, for instance, not as meetings to discuss new Christian doctrines, but rather to define what Christians have always believed. The Roman Catholics, on the other hand, understand revelation as a sort of gold mine from which new and interesting facts about God are constantly extracted. That, in fact, is how the errors of the Catholics have been gaining compound interest. What you call errors, they would call examples of the 'fuller understanding' that you claim. It's the same principle as 'reformed and ever reforming.' Now, you've seen the mistakes that that attitude has led Rome into. Do you think that hydra-headed protestantism stands a better chance with the same principle? History certainly doesn't bear that out. The idea that the 'Church' is constantly growing and improving is more rooted in the post-Enlightenment belief in inevitable progress than in historical reality. Especially if you look at it from the Orthodox point of view, according to which the last 900 years have seen Western Christianity fall further and further away from the true and ancient Faith. As for the supposed tendency that the Orthodox and Roman Churches have of not submitting their findings to Holy Scripture: it was only with the scholastic movement in the 11th-15th centuries that the Catholic West developed doctrinal theories based on philosophy largely divorced from Holy Tradition or scripture. I believe this is one of the main qualms that Luther and his ilk had with the scholastics, and rightfully so. It had appalled the Orthodox for centuries. But this development never took place in the East. The Orthodox never threw the Holy Bible, the Church Fathers, or the Holy Traditions overboard for the sake of reason-based philosophies. Read any of the Church Fathers, and see how much their exegesis depends on the Bible, or on their copious commentaries on the Holy Books contained therein. I imagine you would not be surprised to see how much of their thought is vitiated with the mindset of the Bible, considering that in many cases these are men who spent their entire lives in remote monasteries studying their holy books. I'd also like to know how you (or any of the other protestants here) view the Church as somehow stronger now than it was in the past, considering that at one time most of Europe, Asia Minor, mediterranean Africa, and the Balkans were Christian. Today, America is hardly even nominally Christian, Europe is well known to be a post-Christian continent, Asia Minor and mediterranean Africa were conquered and forcibly converted to Islam, and the Balkans are a political nightmare. Can anyone really say that the Church is healthier now than it was even 100 years ago, the Holy Spirit notwithstanding? IC XC NI KA


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: a monitor
To: eikke
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 12:08:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Errors of Orthodoxy? How would determine that an error has been committed? What would be my barometer for truth? hmmm If I were from Mars and wanted to settle the dispute between Orthodoxy and Rome....how would I go about arbitrating ...coming to the truth...determining who is right...who is the true and rightful heir to the 'keys of the Kingdom'...and apostolic succession? a monitor


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: eikke
To: a monitor
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:04:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
That would be an involved undertaking, and one that I suggest our martian friend get down to doing, rather than sitting snidely by, pointing out the fact that there are differences between the only historical churches. After all, if he wants to determine who's right and who's wrong, he has to study the canons, the consensus patrum, the history, the traditions, the theology, the commentaries, the liturgies, the lives of the saints, the Whole Dang Thing. Unlike Catholics and protestants, the Orthodox have no one person to determine who's right and who's wrong. They do so after sifting the above. I suppose an Orthodox would suggest that our martian friend start by reading Plato, since he not only had a profound influence on the Fathers, but on St. Paul and some of the gospel writers as well. It's always good to know what mindset St. John the Divine was writing for and with, what all he means by Logos, etc. Then the more generous Orthodox would steer our martian friend to a general, popular history of Christianity, written by a humanist Catholic like Paul Johnson. If he wanted the Orthodox view of said controversies, he could (and should) read Papadakis' The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy, in addition to Meyendorff's Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions, both meant to be accessible for students and the general reader, and very well written. If our martian friend likes reading religious history, he'll find both books to be real page turners. They can be found on the net at Eighth Day Books, for about $20 apiece. I suppose a Catholic would guide him to a more expensive book, like the weighty Documents Illustrative of Papal Supremacy, if he wanted to prove his point. The Orthodox would argue that Papadakis' and Meyendorff's books provide the only balanced assessment of ancient Christendom out there today, as all the other histories tend to speak of it as a purely Western phenomenon. The Orthodox know -and have always known- that the real split in Christendom is not between Catholics and protestants, but between the Catholic West and the Orthodox East. The Orthodox would point out to the martian that, in some pretty fundamental ways, the protestants are just Catholics without the sacramentalism, so that he need not bother reading up too much on them. The martian, being an outsider and forced to look at the three faiths objectively, would note that while the Orthodox and Catholics may seem to dress and decorate their churches alike, it is truly the Catholics and protestants who have the most in common. Now, if our Martian friend weren't absolutely sick of Christianity by this point, but were in fact eager to learn more about the true faith (which in any case would lead him away from so-called protestantism and towards one of the historical churches), the Orthodox would point him to Michael Pomozansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, which is both lucid and accessible, and contains many edifying citations from the Fathers. Perhaps our martian has a taste for more popular books, ones that contain well-rounded surveys of theology and history in one. The friendly Orthodox would point him in the direction of Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Church, which the martian at any rate should be able to find at his nearest Barnes & Noble or Borders. Or, if our Martian were something of an intellectual, they would point him to Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes, as well as Lossky's The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, both of which protestant thinkers (at least those protestant thinkers who even think about Christianity outside of protestantism) have been contending with for some time. And, of course, no martian ever went wrong in buying up every one of Fr. Georges Florovsky's books that he could find. Of course, our martian, being a visitor from another planet, most likely has no American currency to plunk down for these purchases. In that case, our frustrated little friend must settle with Patrick Barnes' www.orthodoxinfo.com, which really isn't much of a letdown because it contains a gigantic amount of information on the historic faith. More than any one person could digest in a month. Say the martian wants to see comparisons between the Orthodox and the Catholics, Anglicans, Reformed, and other protestants. He can do so by following the link to the 'For Anglican Inquirers,' 'For Reformed Inquirers,' links, etc. On the Reformed link, he will even find a link to a wonderful site put up by a former Presbyterian elder converted to Orthodoxy. The Catholics, I suppose, would direct our martian to The New Advent Catholic Supersite, at newadvent.org. There the martian will find links to the Fathers AND THEN SOME. There's the ever-informative (if a little dated) Catholic Encyclopedia, as well as links to the ancient councils, canons, and all the rest. Our martian will find that this site is actually far more satisfying along these lines than the Wheaton Church Fathers site, which his erstwhile protestant friends had once suggested he visit. After sifting all of these things, our sincere (as opposed to proud and mocking) alien will then be able to see for himself what the root causes of the schisms and controversies between the churches are, why they are -in fact- so important, how they have been resolved at various times in the past, and how they may be resolved in the future. But then, all of this presupposes somebody who actually cares enough about the truth to do the legwork and find it. The lazy martian will return to his ship without supplementing his prior beliefs by further study, impoverished in his understanding of his own faith, if not in his knowledge of the history of his religion. IC XC NI KA


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: Pilgrim
To: eikke
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 20:55:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
eikke,

And a true Christian would emulate the Lord Christ and His apostles, 'And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.' (Luke 24:27) . . . 'And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,' (Acts 17:2) . . . 'But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:' (Rom 16:26) . . . Further, it is hopefully the desire and actual practice of true Christians which enables them to echo the apostle Paul when he wrote:

Acts 20:26 'Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.'

Our foundation and hope is built upon the person of the Lord Christ and His Scriptures; nothing more, nothing less!

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: eikke
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 02:48:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Our foundation and hope is built upon the person of the Lord Christ and His Scriptures; nothing more, nothing less!
---
Paradoxically enough, your foundation and hope are built upon far more and far less than Christ and the Scriptures, but rarely on the two of them alone. IC XC NI KA


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: Pilgrim
To: eikke
Date Posted: Sat, Apr 01, 2000 at 07:57:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Our foundation and hope is built upon the person of the Lord Christ and His Scriptures; nothing more, nothing less!
---
Paradoxically enough, your foundation and hope are built upon far more and far less than Christ and the Scriptures, but rarely on the two of them alone. IC XC NI KA
---
eikke,

You may indeed write your ad hominem slurs, albeit not for long in here, but what you may not do is to judge/determine where my hope lies. In this you are unqualified and your opinion stated is woefully erroneous. You may wish I would become an icon-carrying Orthodox, but until then, I'll trust in the Scriptures ALONE, the Lord Christ ALONE, by faith ALONE, and the source being BY GOD'S GRACE ALONE. I am glad that you guys have decided to try your traditional hands here in The Highway Theology Forum. I am indebted to you three, really!! :-) It has brought back found memories of a dear friend I met while in college many years ago. He was Greek, John Ephantides was his name. And sometimes he would share with us something of his life in Greece. One of the things we found most fascinating was his release from the captivity of the Orthodox church. The truth of the gospel and the power of God had set him free from the 'Traditions of men' which made void the word of God. John was indeed a free man in Christ and loved the Word of God so very much, for it was his 'meat indeed'. I sometimes take out the Greek Bible he gave me as a gift and read it, for it is a sure reminder how easy it is for someone to follow men and not God according to the Scriptures.

By 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).' ó Maurice Roberts


Subject: Re: The belief in the One, Visible Church
From: eikke
To: a monitor
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 31, 2000 at 19:59:47 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
That would be an involved undertaking, and one that I suggest our martian friend get down to doing, rather than sitting snidely by, pointing out the fact that there are differences between the only historical churches. After all, if he wants to determine who's right and who's wrong, he has to study the canons, the consensus patrum, the history, the traditions, the theology, the commentaries, the liturgies, the lives of the saints, the Whole Dang Thing. Unlike Catholics and protestants, the Orthodox have no one person to determine who's right and who's wrong. They do so after sifting the above. I suppose an Orthodox would suggest that our martian friend start by reading Plato, since he not only had a profound influence on the Fathers, but on St. Paul and some of the gospel writers as well. It's always good to know what mindset St. John the Divine was writing for and with, what all he means by Logos, etc. Then the more generous Orthodox would steer our martian friend to a general, popular history of Christianity, written by a humanist Catholic like Paul Johnson. If he wanted the Orthodox view of said controversies, he could (and should) read Papadakis' The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy, in addition to Meyendorff's Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions, both meant to be accessible for students and the general reader, and very well written. If our martian friend likes reading religious history, he'll find both books to be real page turners. They can be found on the net at Eighth Day Books, for about $20 apiece. I suppose a Catholic would guide him to a more expensive book, like the weighty Documents Illustrative of Papal Supremacy, if he wanted to prove his point. The Orthodox would argue that Papadakis' and Meyendorff's books provide the only balanced assessment of ancient Christendom out there today, as all the other histories tend to speak of it as a purely Western phenomenon. The Orthodox know -and have always known- that the real split in Christendom is not between Catholics and protestants, but between the Catholic West and the Orthodox East. The Orthodox would point out to the martian that, in some pretty fundamental ways, the protestants are just Catholics without the sacramentalism, so that he need not bother reading up too much on them. The martian, being an outsider and forced to look at the three faiths objectively, would note that while the Orthodox and Catholics may seem to dress and decorate their churches alike, it is truly the Catholics and protestants who have the most in common. Now, if our Martian friend weren't absolutely sick of Christianity by this point, but were in fact eager to learn more about the true faith (which in any case would lead him away from so-called protestantism and towards one of the historical churches), the Orthodox would point him to Michael Pomozansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, which is both lucid and accessible, and contains many edifying citations from the Fathers. Perhaps our martian has a taste for more popular books, ones that contain well-rounded surveys of theology and history in one. The friendly Orthodox would point him in the direction of Timothy Ware's The Orthodox Church, which the martian at any rate should be able to find at his nearest Barnes & Noble or Borders. Or, if our Martian were something of an intellectual, they would point him to Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes, as well as Lossky's The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, both of which protestant thinkers (at least those protestant thinkers who even think about Christianity outside of protestantism) have been contending with for some time. And, of course, no martian ever went wrong in buying up every one of Fr. Georges Florovsky's books that he could find. Of course, our martian, being a visitor from another planet, most likely has no American currency to plunk down for these purchases. In that case, our frustrated little friend must settle with Patrick Barnes' www.orthodoxinfo.com, which really isn't much of a letdown because it contains a gigantic amount of information on the historic faith. More than any one person could digest in a month. Say the martian wants to see comparisons between the Orthodox and the Catholics, Anglicans, Reformed, and other protestants. He can do so by following the link to the 'For Anglican Inquirers,' 'For Reformed Inquirers,' links, etc. On the Reformed link, he will even find a link to a wonderful site put up by a former Presbyterian elder converted to Orthodoxy. The Catholics, I suppose, would direct our martian to The New Advent Catholic Supersite, at newadvent.org. There the martian will find links to the Fathers AND THEN SOME. There's the ever-informative (if a little dated) Catholic Encyclopedia, as well as links to the ancient councils, canons, and all the rest. Our martian will find that this site is actually far more satisfying along these lines than the Wheaton Church Fathers site, which his erstwhile protestant friends had once suggested he visit. After sifting all of these things, our sincere (as opposed to proud and mocking) alien will then be able to see for himself what the root causes of the schisms and controversies between the churches are, why they are -in fact- so important, how they have been at various times resolved, and how they may be resolved in the future. IC XC NI KA


Subject: An invitation
From: Christopher
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 19:40:14 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You are all hereby, with all due respect to the 'master' of this website, invited to participate on a new board that involves discussion between Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestants. It's new still, but some of the discussions are substantive, and the input of some of the 'old timers' here would be of value for everyone. Please do stop by when you have a moment. Christopher Phronema pub4.ezboard.com/bphronema.html


Subject: Re: An invitation
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:27:36 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I was struck by the Georges Florovsky's piece and how much it resembles Roman Catholic thought relative to justification. For a moment I thought he might even be suggesting that the reformers neglected 'human responsibility'. He tried hard to avoid being accused of Pelagianism...but at the end of the day, synergism is just as diabolical. I was shocked to see him outright deny alien
imputation of Christ's righteousness....again, so very Romanish. I didn't get the feel that he was promoting monasticism per se, but I was constantly reminded of this: Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. YET....! Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. AAAHHHH, such grace, sweet and free.....what have we done to deserve such favor? zip... laz p.s. not that I consider myself an 'old timer' with anything to contribute, but I did visit and bookmark that website/discussion board,,,my system got hung up ....may try again.


Subject: Re: An invitation
From: eikke
To: laz
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 12:23:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'm curious to know how you define Pelagianism, and how the Orthodox doctrine of the divine energies is to be considered 'just as diabolical?'


Subject: Re: An invitation
From: laz
To: eikke
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 14:39:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I'm curious to know how you define Pelagianism, and how the Orthodox doctrine of the divine energies is to be considered 'just as diabolical?'
---
eikke - I (a non-scholar/theologian) define Pelagianism as the denial of original sin and the affect it had on Adam's (and our) total being whereby we die physically AND have inherited both his guilt(imputed to us ala Rom 5), and a will/emotive/desires at odds/emnity with God. We inherited corruption and are 'dead in trespasses and sin' completely and totally unable to understand 'spiritual' things as they pertain to God's special revelation. We are unable to help ourselves salvifically speaking....like a corpse, like Lazarus as he lay rotting. The author was quick to qualify his statements so as to preclude any notions of a self-help gospel of works-righteousness (pelagianism), but in the final analysis, he clearly defended synergism... that we cooperate with God's grace in our justification through our 'works'. Monasticism being the works of the best kind, or so I gathered. Was monasticism a requirement (even a consideration?) for the Apostles...or Paul or Timothy or those elders/deacons to be chosen by them for service in the first Churches identified in Scripture? What about the seven churches identified in Revelations? laz p.s. call me biased but I think monasticism exists because synergism is clearly embraced...believed to be meritorious towards justification. This is the heart of our beef with Rome...the nature of justification, and apparently with Eastern Orthodoxy.


Subject: Ah.
From: eikke
To: laz
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 20:37:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
In that case, I think there may be a problem, because we define the heresy differently. I assume that Pelagius' argument was really meant as an optimistic/humanist defense of God, i.e. that no one could blame God for their damnation. Pelagius, after all, was a pretty cheerful guy. I am by no means a scholar or a theologian myself, as will become readily apparent, but my understanding of Pelagianism was that the essential doctrine didn't necessarily have anything to do with inherited guilt. It ultimately revolved around the proposition that God made man inherently capable of fulfilling His commandments, and He just lets us to it. He made us so that we don't need His help in returning to Him. The two components of St. Augustine's argument, as I understand it, are Original Sin and Inherited Guilt. For the Orthodox, the doctrine of the first is sufficient to refute Pelagius, and it also confirms the truth that we are fallen beings. However, the Orthodox also adhere to the familiar belief that we are responsible for our own sins, not Adam's and Eve's. Now, the Orthodox do believe in Original Sin. They believe that physical (and, more importantly, spiritual) death entered the world through Adam's and Eve's sin, and that we are naturally (rather, unnaturally) inclined to flout God's will for the sake of base pleasures and whatnot. Man's nature has degraded since Adam to the point that we are now more inclined to bad than good, and only God can save us from our own fallenness. But the Orthodox do not believe in inherited guilt, nor did the Church in the West before St. Augustine. It is important to remember that Augustine's reading of Romans 5 was based on a faulty translation of that passage. St. Augustine didn't know Greek very well. Oddly enough, the great theological mind of the Western middle ages wasn't very good at picking up languages. I do think it's highly significant, however, that of those Church Fathers whose native tongue was Greek (and who therefore read the NT in its original language), not one of them -even in St. Augustine's day- ever agreed with the doctrine of inherited guilt. Now, when one speaks of the late Fr. Georges Florovsky's views, one is almost always speaking of Orthodox belief itself. He's a widely recognized Orthodox stalwart. I only say this so you know where he stands in regard to Orthodoxy. Moreover, unlike what I'm about to say, his thinking was actually organized, and the essay to which you refer dealt specifically with a justification for monasticism from the NT. If it isn't too much trouble, would you mind bringing up those points in Fr. Florovsky's essay with which you take issue? The way I understand 'synergism,' and I think this is how most Orthodox look at it, is that our cooperation with God (hence, our salvation) is impossible without Him. Which is to say, synergism is manifestly not Pelagianism, as the Orthodox recognize that nothing in our salvation happens without the Savior. If I'm not mistaken, synergism is based in part on the belief that the Incarnation was entirely God and entirely Man, having two natures and two wills, with neither His human nor His divine aspects submerged in the other. This is thoroughly orthodox, being defined throughout the Seven Ecumenical Councils, to which I assume Calvinist theology (like that of Luther and Melanchthon) seeks to conform. At any rate, the Orthodox believe that in Christ the divine and human wills, though separate and distinct, yet work as one. In addition, the Orthodox have this strange habit of looking at their Christology on a personal level, i.e. what is true of Christ's nature can be true of ours, God willing. In a way, Christology is a psychology of man. To a large extent the relationship between the human and the divine in Christ defines the nature of the relationship between the Holy Spirit and its human agents, which is another way of saying that it determines who we are as human beings, now that human nature and the Divine have become united in the Incarnation. This partially explains all the riots and destruction that accompanied the Christological controversies way back when. To deny that we have any role in our salvation is, Christologically speaking, the heresy of Nestorius, which held that in Christ the Divine enveloped the human nature ('Christ's humanity was but a drop in the ocean of His divinity', or something like that), and thus His human will was forcibly submerged in His divine will. Do I understand correctly if I perceive this to be your view of man's relationship to God the Holy Spirit? We are saved purely through an act of God's will, and none of our own? As for Fr. Florovsky and monasticism: Monasticism per se is not really looked on as 'works of the best kind,' at least, not by the Orthodox. They have multitudes of married saints in their liturgical calendar. Indeed, at least one of the Church Fathers (St. Ambrose) was married. But, as I believe Fr. Florovsky pointed out, most men and women are not made by their Creator for the vocation of strict monasticism. The Orthodox attitude is that, while the majority of us are better prepared to live 'in the world' than in a mountain cell, layfolk are still called to pursue righteousness. Thus it happens that layfolk -no less than monastics- are expected to participate in the feasts and fasts of the liturgical calendar, that they too are expected to renounce the world wherever it conflicts with God's will, to pray as much as possible (last time I heard, the Orthodox have eleven appointed times every day when they are called to set aside time for prayer), to deprive themselves of those pleasures which contribute to the corruption of their souls, to attend church services whenever possible (most Orthodox churches have at least a few services every day) etc. The main difference between the average monastic per se and the average layman per se is that the monastic is constitutionally capable of taking himself out of the daily grind of the working world, which places innumerable barriers to constant prayer, fasts, and self-renunciation; while the rest of us are not. But again, layfolk are still called upon to live as much of a monastic life 'in the world' as possible. By asking about a 'monastic requirement for the Apostles' are you referring to clerical celibacy? Because if so, the Orthodox have always had married clergy. The Roman Church did too, up until the 11th century when -in reaction to the corruption of inherited dioceses- they made celibacy a requirement of all clergy. Oddly enough, the 11th century was also the point when the Roman Church fell away from the Orthodox East (they were one Church before then). As far as the Orthodox look at it, monasticism began with St. Anthony of Egypt, roughly two centuries after most of the Apostles had died. And monastics do not look at their vocation as being meritorious of grace. Actually, it seems like that would lead to a sort of spiritual snobbery. But in any case, talk to any monastic and they will likely tell you that they are a greater sinner than you are, though you may be inclined to disagree after observing the long hours they spend in prayer, contemplation, work, Church services, and self-renunciation. They lead their entire lives seeking purification of the temple of the Holy Spirit, which they know cannot be had without His grace. P.S. I could be wrong, but I believe that looking into the Orthodox view towards justification will show you that their view of it differs significantly from that of the Roman Catholics. In IC XC


Subject: Re: An invitation
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 22:06:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi laz, Please do try again. There are several folks over there whom I'm sure you'd enjoy conversing with. I see 'eikke' stopped by. I hope Kwanstantinos does, too (he's Greek--spells some 'o's with a 'w' for some reason, I forget). Both pretty sharp. Christopher


Subject: Re: An invitation
From: eikke
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 29, 2000 at 21:21:05 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Chris- Kwnstantinos spells his name that way because the 'w' is Omega in Greek, which makes a short 'o' sound (as in boat), while the Greek 'o' (Omicron) makes a long o sound, as in 'long'. Forgive my pedantry. :) In IC XC


Subject: A great and humble Calvinist
From: Vernon
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 16:33:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Pilgrim. Would you accept George Whitfield's teachings,I do agree and find him different in his Calvinist teaching. A great evangekist. In Christ Vernon One of the greatest evangelists ever to set foot on American soil was George Whitefield. Read carefully the following quote and note his pleading with sinners. I offer you salvation this day; the door of mercy is not yet shut, there does yet remain a sacrifice for sin, for all that will accept of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will embrace you in the arms of his love. O turn to him, turn in a sense of your own unworthiness; tell him how polluted you are, how vile, and be not faithless, but believing. Why fear ye that the Lord Jesus Christ will not accept of you? Your sins will be no hindrance, your unworthiness no hindrance; if your own corrupt hearts do not keep you back nothing will hinder Christ from receiving of you. He loves to see poor sinners coming to him, he is pleased to see them lie at his feet pleading his promises; and if you thus come to Christ, he will not send you away without his Spirit; no, but will receive and bless you. O do not put a slight on infinite love--he only wants you to believe on him, that you might be saved. This, this is all the dear Saviour desires, to make you happy, that you may leave your sins, to sit down eternally with him at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Let me beseech you to come to Jesus Christ; I invite you all to come to him, and receive him as your Lord and Saviour; he is ready to receive you. I invite you to come to him, that you may find rest for your souls. He will rejoice and be glad. He calls you by his ministers; O come unto him--he is labouring to bring you back from sin and from Satan, unto himself: open the door of your hearts, and the King of glory shall enter in. My heart is full, it is quite full, and I must speak, or I shall burst. What, do you think your souls of no value? Do you esteem them as not worth saving? Are your pleasures worth more than your souls? Had you rather regard the diversions of this life, than the salvation of your souls? If so, you will never be partakers with him in glory; but if you come unto him, he will supply you with his grace here, and bring you to glory hereafter; and there you may sing praises and hallelujahs to the Lamb for ever. And may this be the happy end of all who hear me! George Whitefield was a staunch Calvinist. There is one thing certain--Whitefield's Calvinism did not in any way dampen his holy zeal for the souls of men.


Subject: Re: A great and humble Calvinist
From: Tom
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 23:30:44 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Vernon I find nothing that is at odds with what Whitfield said here and Calvinist theology, though it could be interpreted that way. For instance: I offer you salvation this day; the door of mercy is not yet shut, there does yet remain a sacrifice for sin, for all that will accept of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will embrace you in the arms of his love. Whitfield does not go into his theology in detail, but indeed if someone TRULY accepts the Lord Jesus Christ, He will indeed embrace them with open arms. The problem is nobody will accept Him unless they first have been regenerated and given the faith to believe. If you had read any of the works written by Whitfield, you would realise what he meant by the word 'accept'. It is not meant in the same sence that an Arminian preacher would mean it. For if it was he would be contradicting his own theology, for the sake of a few more false professions of faith. That is not to say that Arminian preachers haven't led people to the Lord, I am proof that it can occur. But I am convinced that it is the exception to the rule. For indeed there are true believers in Arminian Churches. Tom


Subject: Re: A great and humble Calvinist
From: Pilgrim
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 19:55:42 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon,

More games Vernon? hahaha.... You may like what old George was preaching here, but you would not be in agreement with the theology behind it which made it possible for him to preach so passionately to sinners. For you are in fact in agreement with John Wesley far more than Whitefield, and Whitefield used no buttery words when describing the errors of Wesley. Whitefield's preaching is hardly 'different in his Calvinist teaching' than most all other Calvinists. How you perceive that it is, only you would know. I am confident that I have read 100's perhaps 1000's more sermons, articles and books by Calvinists than yourself, and there is absolutely no warrant to see George Whitefield's teaching as being any different than the great mass of those other Calvinists I have been privileged to read. If you want a simple evidence of this, then I refer you to: George Whitefield - The life and times of the great evangelist of the 18th century revival by Arnold Dallimore and specifically to Volume II, pp. 551-569 (Cornerstone Books: Westchester, Ill., 1979). On the other hand, I find your Semi-Pelagian/Arminian teaching to be no different than those who have held this heresy before you. :-)

In His Sovereign Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Talking Religion
From: Berean7
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 12:32:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brethren, I have a question to ask; What is one to do if he is asked not to speak religion or share his faith with others in the workplace? Would appreciate any Biblical views and instruction:)


Subject: Re: Talking Religion
From: laz
To: Berean7
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 17:46:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brethren, I have a question to ask; What is one to do if he is asked not to speak religion or share his faith with others in the workplace? Would appreciate any Biblical views and instruction:)
---
Depends who's (not 'whose', hehe) asking. If the boss says stop talking religion because he believes, rightly or wrongly, that it's disruptive/divisive/etc and bad for business...you should stop. If you disagree, then if a little badgering of coworkers is commanded, then CONSTANT badgering would be even more biblical. ;-) If a coworker asks to not be badgered...honor his request. No skin off your nose. No sin in NOT witnessing to him when and where he/she desires not to be bothered. Can we badger a person into the kingdom? We are called to live at peace with all men... laz


Subject: Re: Talking Religion
From: Eric
To: Berean7
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 13:59:51 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Abide by there request. However, your actions speak so much more loudly than your words will. Let them see your love and compassion and diligence towards your job. Let them see your disinterest in the things of this world. Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. IMHO, it is when people see that you live what you profess, that they will be willing to listen or respond to the message. There is a gentleman in my office who professes often to be a believer, but yet he is disliked for his smugness, meanness, and arrogance. People have no interest in what he has, for he is just like they are, even worse.


Subject: Re: Talking Religion
From: Proginowsko
To: Eric/Berean7
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 16:09:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Gentlemen: Witnessing on the job both verbally and through our lives does require balance. I recall some of the posts below regarding this subject. Just today I was talking to a customer who was sharing things about his life and being at a crossroads so to speak, and it being difficult to make certain decisions in life that probably should be made. This customer is a Dentist and knows my wife and daughter and therefore a little bit about me. I asked him what his 'faith' was. He said he was Jewish, and I proceeded to tell him that I have some Jewish in me too :-). I proceeded to tell him that there was a point that I accepted Christ as Messiah and Savior. He said he wouldn't do that, but that it was that type of 'cutting against the grain' decision that he needed to make. All of this was done at a time that normal conversation takes place while doing business. I agree with what many have said regarding Christians being the best and most honest employess. So true. And we should not verbally witness so that it will take away from our job performance. But if other conversations are allowed then certainly so is conversation about the Lord Jesus, IF someone has ears to hear. And even better, if they ask us something about faith, church, God, etc. It's amazing how talk of sex, dirty jokes, innuendos, and cursing God's name is okay, but nothing about God's grace in salvation etc is acceptable. One lady on my job today was saying that the homosexuals didn't bother her any. She wouldn't do it, but that is was their business. I put my 2 cents in and talked about how the tolerance has hurt us as a nation. And that every nation or empire in the past mentioned in the word of God and history were either destroyed by others or self destructed(humanly speaking) when they became immoral. Was it okay for her to make her comments (she was my immediate supervisor), but not okay for me to make mine? Finally I would like to ask: Was our Lord Jesus being disobedient when he talked with the doctors in Jerusalem while His earthly parents were continuing on? 'And He said unto them, how is it that you sought Me. Wist(know) ye not that I must be about My Father's Business' (Lk.2:39-49). Blessings, Proginowsko


Subject: Sheol/Geenna/Hades/Tartaroo
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 07:22:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Are these words referencing different places/states? Sheol/Geenna/Hades/Tartaroo It seems that these words are often translated as being the same, but certain passages indicate that they are not all referring to the same thing. Any info?


Subject: Off the top of my head
From: mebaser
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 14:10:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Eric, Now off the top of my head, I remember the following information from studying this issue. Sheol - in the Old Testament, this Hebrew word was a reference not so much of a place, but a state of being, that is 'death.' It would be very similar to how we would use the phrase 'the grave' in our conversatoins (i.e. Both the wicked and the righteous will go to the grave). Gehena - Literally, Gehena was a specific location where refuse was burned continually. Metaphorically, some New Testament authors refer to the place where the wicked go to be tortured by burning after they die. Hence, the usual translation for this word is 'hell' in many Bible versions. The lake of fire of Revelation 20 (although the word Gehena does not appear in that passage) is the ultimate expression of the idea that Gehena conveys. Hades - In the New Testament, this word is used much like Sheol is used in the Old Testament. In greek mythology, there is no heaven or hell, but one place called Hades (run by the god of death - himself called Hades). Greek language then adopted the word Hades to, again, refer to 'the grave' or 'death' itself. The actual Greek word for death is THANATOS, and appears frequently in the Bible. We have an interesting example of parallel thought in Revelation 1:18 and 20:13-14 where the two words (THANATOS and HADES) appear together ('and I have the keys of death and of Hades';'and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them';'And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire'). Notice that Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is reminiscent of Gehena. Tartarus - also from Greek mythology, the place 'in Hades' (it was more of bottomless pit) where the wicked were condemned to suffer for all eternity. I don't actually know if this word is used in the New Testament, but if it is, it may have to do with where the wicked go, or perhaps in Revelation, allegorically depicting a pit that was used for a prison for the devil or other demonic agents. There you go, I hope that helps. In Christ, mebaser


Subject: Thanks, mebaser
From: Eric
To: mebaser
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 09:37:37 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Would it be fair to say that the OT does not speak of what we commonly refer to as Hell? Your point about death and Hades (Sheol) being thrown into the lake of fire (Hell) must mean that these are distinct things. Now, where are the dead currently? Are they in Sheol/Hades, or Heaven/Hell? The verse that I often hear referenced is Paul's telling us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, is commonly interpreted as meaning that at least as far as a Christian is concerned, they're immediately in heaven, and not in any sort of immediate state, also, there is some symbolic statements in Revelation that indicate this as well. P.S. Tartoroos is mentioned only once in the NT, by Peter who refers to it as the place where fallen angels are chained. II Peter I believe.


Subject: For Eric
From: Christopher
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 08:54:58 (PST)
Email Address: mtl9904@yahoo.com

Message:
Hi Eric, I apologize if I seemed unwilling to talk in my previous post. In lieu of a long post detailing differences, please see the attached article by Georges Florovsky. It provides a nice explanation of the Orthodox objections to Reformation interpretations of St Paul and it's not too long. It was one of the first articles I came across when researching Orthodoxy and, upon rereading it, I still find it to be one of the better critiques of the Reformation doctrine of justification. Should you desire further reading, there is a link at the top right hand corner of the page which will take you to articles on other topics of interest to Evangelicals. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. There's a ton of stuff on the web and I must have most of it bookmarked, so I would be glad to pass on information on whatever topic you may be interested in. Christopher PS--Regarding your recent discussion here: are you a Methodist? Wesley is the only Protestant theologian I'm aware of that went in the direction you did here with the Scriptures on the topic. Whatever information you could pass my way would be appreciated. I am interested in Protestant denominations that do not adopt an Augustinian concept of original sin/guilt. Thanks. Link for Eric orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/florov_nt.htm


Subject: Thanks
From: Eric
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 14:21:36 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Don't worry about it. I will e-mail you sometime in the near future with some questions--I hope. I have been pretty busy lately, but then again, who hasn't? As to my background, I haven't read anything by any Methodist. I grew up Pentecostal, but upon seriously examining their doctrines, I decided to raise my family in a different church. As to the doctrine of Orginal Sin, honestly, I haven't read anything about it besides the Reformed view, but it just didn't seem to fit with my understanding of the character of God. I think justification by faith alone is truly biblical, but I also think that the majority of Protestants have put their interpretation of Paul over and above Jesus's own words. They read Jesus in light of Paul, as opposed to reading Paul in light of Jesus. God bless.


Subject: just curious
From: a monitor
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 20:28:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric - if I may ask, what church DO you attend and could you explain your comment abouit how many interpret Jesus in light of Paul? Enquiring minds wanna know, a monitor


Subject: Re: just curious
From: Eric
To: a monitor
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 07:52:33 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I attend a Baptist church, however I tend to disagree with their stated position on a number of issues. I lean towards paedobaptism, weekly participation in the Lord's Supper--very hard to find unless one is Catholic, paedocommunion, I prefer the Lutheran emphasis on Christ, but am uncomfortable with their dramatic distinction between law and gospel, amillenialism, strong church discipline, the Reformed/Lutheran concept of '2 kingdoms.' As far as my comment of many reading Jesus through Paul, I get a sense that their is such a strong fear of preaching a works based gospel, that many go to far. For instance: Matthew 25:34-46 'Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. [35] For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, [36] I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' [37] 'Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? [38] When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? [39] When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' [40] 'The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' [41] 'Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. [42] For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, [43] I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' [44] 'They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' [45] 'He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' [46] 'Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.' Matthew 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Instead of taking Jesus' words at face value, many will soften their meaning, and read their understanding of Paul's view of the law/gospel antithesis into Jesus words, as opposed to the other way around. Jesus was so radical in his teaching, but His message of the Christian life is unrecognizable in most of it's followers today. Almost all of Jesus teaching was about DEEDS. IMHO, the Reformers, did a good job in clearly spelling out the gospel, but their personal piety and private devotion kept the personally from moving to far away from the necessity of good deeds, but subsequent generations, have taken justification by faith alone into a greater distinction between law and gospel than what is presented in the bible. I think this may also play a large part as to why the 'church' is so ineffectual today, and irrelvant in society. I often hear that whatever is not gospel, is law. I don't think that is quite right, at least the way it is often lived out.


Subject: Re: just curious
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 17:09:24 (PST)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
Eric, Excuse me while I jump in here for a sec. I understand and agree with you on the weekly communion idea. John Calvin actually held to that as well. The church I attend has communion every Sunday evening. We are non-denominational with teachings that lean strongly in the Reformed view. The church does not hold to padeobaptism but does allow young children (starting at age 6) to partake of communion. If you are curious as to why we allow at that age I would be happy to let you know but for brevity sake I will abstain in this post. As a whole we are amillenial. Now my other question. Have you ever read D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones? If not I think you should try to find some of his sermons. There are many in print and even some on the internet in various places. Also there is a book put out by Zondervan Publishing House title 'Five Views on Law and Gospel.' I think you would find that of great interest. Each of the 5 people put forth their argument and the other four state their objections to the view. All five views are treated this way. This is actually part of a really good series. I would be happy to supply you with the other titles and possible locations of purchasing them. Lastly, I partly understand your concept of people interpreting Jesus in light of Paul's writings. I agree that there could be a danger but we must remember that Paul's writings are on par with what Jesus said. The two never contradict one another and the two should never be pitted against each other. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Re: Thanks
From: Christopher
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 14:31:46 (PST)
Email Address: mtl9904@yahoo.com

Message:
Eric, You're welcome and I look forward to hearing from you. And may God bless you, as well. Christopher


Subject: Who's Authority?
From: laz
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 14:13:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Way down there on the other side of town (dozens of threads down the list), 'Christopher' recently made an interesting point about how we determine who we're gonna listen - to doctrinaly speaking. He said:
You believe that Reformed doctrines are the clear teaching of Scripture because you trust the authority of the teaching you have received. A good Methodist is likely to strongly disagree with what you perceive to be the clear teaching of Scripture because he believes that John Wesley's doctrines taught within his church have more authority. Am I to conclude that the 'referee' in this debate is some 'church' or tradition alledgedly finding it's roots in antiquity? hehe ...and NOT the authority of the Scriptures? I'd say I trust my pastor for instance, because his classic reformed teachings most clearly resonate for me when I consider the whole counsel of God and the creeds/confessions/doctrines held by so many before me. Modern Christianity is truly a buffet line with so many flavors to pick from. But, then again, there is one cuisine that's been around for centuries which can trace it's roots far back...and better yet, is faithful ultimately to God as He's spoken infallibly to us....yep, Sola Scriptura. I reject other teachings when they cause gapping and irreconcilable holes in the gospel message systematically revealed thru holy writ. The infallible scriptures should ULTIMATELY form and shape our thinking on all matter pertaining to faith and practice....that is, LIFE. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds...and that's done thru the Holy Spirit as He works in concert with the Word, for it alone is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb4:12 I guess my point is that no one should be relying on which source seems most credible or historical... but which source stacks up most honestly with the only infallible and straight stick of truth. I believe in propositional truth and am persuaded by the Biblical record (and backed up by many far more learned than myself) that John Wesley, for instance, missed the mark on a few key doctrines. I happen to think Rome has stayed on some essential doctrines, as have her cousins, the Eastern churches. laz 2Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


Subject: Re: Who's Authority?
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 14:27:46 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Ah, well. May God bless you richly, laz. Christopher


Subject: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism
From: freegrace
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 09:33:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
http://www.founders.org/library/malone1/string.html That is what this writer calls water baptism... a 'thorn in the flesh'...! Could it be that our baptism is now of the Spirit of God alone? If only the church would follow the one baptism of the Spirit as Paul tells us -- There is One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Rather, they 'teach as doctrine, the commandments of men'...! freegrace www.founders.org/library/malone1/string.html


Subject: Re: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism
From: Prestor John
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 22:26:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Freegrace let me ask you this plainly: Do you believe that the New Covenant that Christ institued was to the church? Including the ordinances of Water Baptism and Communion? If not is the Church under any covenant with God whatsoever? If not what is your proof of this? Prestor John Servabo Fidem


Subject: Re: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism
From: freegrace
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 08:17:59 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Greetings! What I am looking for are the Scripture verses that say the sacraments and/or ordinances are 'means of grace' for the church (the Body of Christ) today. I think there is a danger of placing our well known confessions (as good as they are), and making them equal with the Scriptures. BTW, what did you think of the article? You probably support his views - since you follow baptism by immersion. IMHO, The church could have saved itself alot of trouble if it followed the one baptism of the Spirit as taught by the apostle Paul. Water baptism has become a 'thorn in the flesh' for the entire church, I think. freegrace


Subject: Re: Thorn in the flesh - water baptism
From: Pilgrim
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:34:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
http://www.founders.org/library/malone1/string.html That is what this writer calls water baptism... a 'thorn in the flesh'...! Could it be that our baptism is now of the Spirit of God alone? If only the church would follow the one baptism of the Spirit as Paul tells us -- There is One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Rather, they 'teach as doctrine, the commandments of men'...! freegrace
---
freegrace, It is not an 'either/or' choice between water baptism and Spirit baptism! It is
both/and. I would hardly and with great trepidation even intimate that the commandment of the incarnate God; the Lord Christ to baptize disciples in the name of the Triune God to be teaching 'as doctrine, the commandments of men' . . . In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim PS: Have you read this: The Means of Grace: Baptism?


Subject: What is mans Responsibility?
From: Berean7
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 09:06:17 (PST)
Email Address: Isaiahscall68@aol.com

Message:
Brethren, Please inform me of what Mans Responsibility or accountability includes when it comes to Rejecting Christ as the Messiah? We know that man is first of all accountable for his sin and therefore will spend an eternity in a place prepared for the devil and his angels. But how is anyone held accountable for rejecting Christ if that person was chosen not to recieve or be given faith to believe to begin with? In Christ, Berean7


Subject: Re: What is mans Responsibility?
From: Pilgrim
To: Berean7
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:26:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brethren, Please inform me of what Mans Responsibility or accountability includes when it comes to Rejecting Christ as the Messiah? We know that man is first of all accountable for his sin and therefore will spend an eternity in a place prepared for the devil and his angels. But how is anyone held accountable for rejecting Christ if that person was chosen not to recieve or be given faith to believe to begin with? In Christ, Berean7
---
Berean7,

All men are responsible and held accountable for EVERYTHING they think, feel and do. It makes no difference whether or not a person has been 'chosen' to receive grace unto salvation. For example: Would you say that a man/woman/child who commits murder is not responsible for the act if that person is not one of the elect? How about a more biblical example. Do you believe that those who physically nailed Christ to the cross or those who were directly involved in His mock trial and sentencing are responsible for their act even though they did so according to the 'determinate and foreknowledge of God'? Our sins are our own; not God's doing. Our salvation is of God; and not our doing. Thus being born 'dead in trespasses and sins' is no excuse for our sinning, which is always a willful act. Yes, one might try and blame God ultimately for his/her corrupt nature, since it is inherited from Adam and is not a result of our own direct actions. However, as the other post correctly quotes Paul in Romans as rhetorically asking the question in behalf of his antagonist readers, 'why then does He find fault?', to ask such a question reveals a shallow or non-existent knowledge of the persons and or workings of the blessed Trinity. Let me put it simply this way; everything which has ever been created or brought to pass is the result of the eternal foreordination of God. Whether we perceive them as being 'good' or 'bad', all things were determined first and foremost for the glory of the LORD God Who is perfect in all His works (Deut 32:4). No creature of God has or ever will receive anything which is unjust. The entire human race will be treated 'fairly' according to God's perfect holiness. In this we find our hope and put our trust. That God has determined to save a remnant of undeserving sinners who willingly are rebels against the Most High and spurn His infinite goodness shown to them every minute of every day should evoke praise and adoration from all for His incomprehensible mercy. Again, whether or not anyone has been chosen to be found in Christ by grace through faith has no bearing on each person's individual responsibility to repent of their sins and their sinfulness and cast themselves upon the only Saviour of Sinners; the Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Marvelous Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: What is mans Responsibility?
From: Apostle Paul said:
To: Berean7
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 09:34:12 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Brethren, Please inform me of what Mans Responsibility or accountability includes when it comes to Rejecting Christ as the Messiah? We know that man is first of all accountable for his sin and therefore will spend an eternity in a place prepared for the devil and his angels. But how is anyone held accountable for rejecting Christ if that person was chosen not to recieve or be given faith to believe to begin with? In Christ, Berean7
---
Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 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. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 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. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 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?


Subject: God is to be praised..!
From: freegrace
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:40:57 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John recently posted: >>>Yes, there ARE vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath, such as the Potter has made. However, we do not find that God takes happy, whole pots (babies) and wacks them 'til they crack so He can get some vessels of wrath. This is the false implication of double predestination. It implies falsely that God takes perfect pottery and ruins it just to get His quota in hell. Rather, the pottery was ruined by Adam, a perfect pot gone bad. God allows the junk pots to continue, but has no plan to re-create them (re-fire them) into shiny new pots. So the junk pots have always been planned to remain so, and end in the junk pile. This is the first predestination: all pottery is junk, cracked and worthless, none can be used, all will go to the junk yard. The second predestination says that God will send His own Son to the junk yard in the stead of a handful of worthless pots. This frees the worthless pots from the first condition. Both are predestined, both are under God's Sovereign Will, neither can avoid their end. But God cannot be blamed, rather He is to be praised for saving SOME of the junk which deserves to be destroyed. <<< I say to this Amen! God is to be praised for saving *some* from Adam's fallen race! Our election to salvation and eternal life must always be seen with man's sin in the background. However, I believe that God is not saving just a 'handful' of pots for His glory, but rather a *great multitude* which no man can number! freegrace


Subject: Angels
From: TDT
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 19:48:30 (PST)
Email Address: aaront@junct.com

Message:
Hello Everyone! I am studying angels and would like to find some Biblical Facts! If you know of any links or sites I might find helpful I would appreciate it! Thank You! TDT


Subject: Re: Angels
From: laz
To: TDT
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:22:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Everyone! I am studying angels and would like to find some Biblical Facts! If you know of any links or sites I might find helpful I would appreciate it! Thank You! TDT
---
All I know is that angels are messengers that historically have been sent to proclaim Christ and/or redemption of some type. Much of what we find today on the subject or of alledged appearances of angels often make no mention of Christ Jesus....like that silly TV show,
Touched By An (false) Angel. laz A Start on Angels www.christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t005.html#9


Subject: Re: Angels
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 11:49:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
And they are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation, no? Christopher


Subject: Re: Angels
From: john hampshire
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 23:39:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Facts? Hmmm, Angel means messenger. The messenger of the Lord is Christ. He is called Michael (He who is like God) the Chief Messenger. It was this Messenger that Jacob wrestled by the river until dawn. I believe the angel of the Lord that was at the tomb on Sunday morning was indeed Christ, as were the three angels that met with Abraham. Christ was the Messenger in the burning bush which Moses saw and spoke with. Christ is the angel (messenger) with the flaming sword which protects the way to the tree of life. And on and on. Now there are also angels, messengers of God, such as in Luke 22:43, 'Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him'. Believers are also angels, that is, messengers of God: Gal 4:14, 'and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.' Well, I can go on indefinitely. Hope this helps. Remember angel refers to: an angel (created being), Christ, the believer. P.S. - Christ was not an angel, in case someone is want to misunderstand. john


Subject: The True Children of God
From: freegrace
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 12:00:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
This is a repeat from a recent post by Pilgrim, and I just thought it was beautiful! I posted it again just in case anyone here missed reading it! >>>The fact that the LORD God has eternally determined to save a remnant out of Adam's fallen race to be redeemed from destruction by the substitutionary obedience and work of the Only Begotten Son of God; adopted into His kingdom as heirs, joint heirs with Christ and made to sit in the heavenlies is incomprehensible to any enlightened sinner who has received grace. 'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!' (Rom 11:33). For the heart of God's children, who have received the mercy of God in Christ Jesus are not want to ask, 'How could a loving God hate Esau?' but rather they speak in tears, 'How could a holy and loving God love Jacob? How could He possibly set His infinite love upon ME?' The true children of God are very much aware that they are undeserving of anything good from God. And this awareness is something which grows throughout their earthly pilgrimage, for the Spirit is merciful in revealing slowly and progressively the blackness of their own heart and the depth of their sinfulness, which exalts all the more the mercy and love of God to them.<<< (From a recent message posted by Pilgrim)


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:53:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe,

I am sorry you are unable to grasp the Scriptures, Calvin, Calvinists or myself in these matters. There is absolutely NO contradiction between my views on double predestination, the Fall or salvation with Augustine, Calvin or historic Reformed teaching which is found in any of the historic Confessions. I agree 100% with Scripture and Calvin in that God decreed from all eternity that Adam should fall and all his posterity should suffer the consequences of his actions. Yet, God is in no sense the 'author of sin'. The guilt is owned by Adam and his progeny and them alone. If you are unable to accept this, well, that's a personal problem which you must deal with. I am glad to say that there have been millions of others before you and will hopefully be many to follow who have searched the Scriptures and have concluded these things to be God's truth. I believe I have suggested you read, 'Calvin's Calvinism' before. If not, then I suggest it now and you can even read a copy online on The Highway at: Calvin's Calvinism - 'The Eternal Predestination of God' and 'The Secret Providence of God'. In that magnificent work, Calvin answers most every possible objection and accusation which I have ever heard against God's free sovereign grace, and many more. In His Grace, Pilgrim PS: FYI, my theological view was formulated long before I had ever heard of Calvinism or read anything written by a Calvinist. I was taught Arminianism and read Arminian writings along with much study of the Scriptures first. It was God who opened my blind eyes to the truth and the result was a complete rejection of all other views and an embracing of what is nicknamed Calvinism through the study of the Scriptures ALONE. It was afterwards that I came to realize that what I had determined before God was His truth was held my myriad 'giants' of the faith and was called Calvinism or the Reformed Faith. I followed no man's teaching blindly to what I believe. Yet I am not a rogue theologian who stands at odds with the historical church's dogma. Thank you!


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: ShowMe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:39:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, You wrote:
'I am sorry you are unable to grasp the Scriptures, Calvin, Calvinists or myself in these matters. There is absolutely NO contradiction between my views on double predestination, the Fall or salvation with Augustine, Calvin or historic Reformed teaching which is found in any of the historic Confessions.' Augustine and Calvin differ on the view of predestination and yet you say that you are in agreement with both of them! That simply cannot be! You wrote:' In that magnificent work, Calvin answers most every possible objection and accusation which I have ever heard against God's free sovereign grace, and many more.' Iím not the one that has a problem with 'Godís free sovereign grace.' But you cannot have the one without the other, thatís why Calvin was a supralapsarian. Calvin taught that sin had no more to do with a persons condemnation to hell than good works had to do with the elects salvation. You try to blame manís condemnation on his own demerit, true Calvinism does not allow that. Calvin taught that man is saved only because of the will of God, and that man is condemned, only because of the will of God. Condemnation or salvation was a settled fact before anything or anyone was created. Before anyone ever sinned, God had already determine who was to be saved and who was to be damned. Then you say that everyone has been created in the image of God or at the very least maintains something of that image, while at the same time teaching that man is totally depraved. Iím donít understand why you cannot see your contradiction. How can anyone that maintains any aspect of Godís image be totally depraved? Thatís like saying that the image of God that they maintain is depraved and that simply cannot be. Iím familiar with Calvinís writings, and the Calvinism that is dished out today is not Calvinís Calvinism. Like everything else in Christianity it has been watered down to please the masses. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: Brother Bret
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 20:47:26 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@aol.com

Message:
By being created in the 'image of God' means that we are thinking (intellect), feeling (emotions), acting (will) beings just as God is. Due to the 'fall' and us being dead in trespasses and sin, the way we think, feel and act is wicked and as filthy rags.....Brother Bret P.S. Why don't you share with us who you are? Are you an old friend to the Highway? Do any of us know you? Not that it is that big of a deal :^ ).


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: laz
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:35:53 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Golly Gee, ShowUS - your fingers must be tired and sore by now.... It would have been easier if you'd simply read the article by RC Sproul on 'Double Predestination' (which none here would deny, biblically defined of course).... for of course, predestination is 'double-sided'... but Pilgrim's point is that man was created 'good' (if not better).... And let's not forget the
mystery (which I think you really hate)...that God's immutable decrees and human responsibility go TOGETHER. ;-) laz Double Jeopardy... www.gospelcom.net/thehighway/DoublePestination_Sproul.html


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: ShowMe
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:57:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz, I read the article that your link led me to, thatís not Calvinism, that a kind of 'new age' Calvinism, a watered down Calvinism, a counterfeit Calvinism that people try to pass off as the real thing. If you want to argue the subject then let us stick to Calvinís writings, I quoted more than enough to get us started. There is no 'mystery' on this subject in Calvinís writings, it is quite apparent that Calvin was a supralapsarian and so was Theodore Beza, Calvin's successor at Geneva. It is true that Infralapsarians were in the majority at the Synod of Dort. Four attempts were made at Dort to condemn the supralapsarian view, but the efforts were unsuccessful. Although the Canons of Dort do not deal with the order of the divine decrees, they are infralapsarian in the sense that the elect are 'chosen from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault from their primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction' (I,7; cf.I,1). The reprobate 'are passed by in the eternal decree' and God 'decreed to leave (them) in the common misery into which they have willfully plunged themselves' and 'to condemn and punish them forever...for all their sins' (I,15). Thatís simply not Calvinism, no matter how much you want it to be. People did not fall through their own fault, that is totally contrary to the Calvinist understanding of the Sovereignty of God. Defenders of supralapsarianism continued after Dort. The chairman of the Westminister Assembly, William Twisse, was a supralapsarian. Supralapsarianism never received confessional endorsement within the Reformed churches, because it is, as Calvin stated a 'dreadful' decree. You can pretend that you are a Calvinist all that you want but that does not make it so. You have a watered down version that has been made more palatable for you, to gain your acceptance, but if you truly follow Calvinism then you must accept that 'dreadful' decree. You must rely upon 'mystery' because you are embracing something other than Calvinism. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: john hampshire
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 19:24:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe, Calvin's beliefs (?): 1. Sin does not place the sinner in hell. 2. Good works does not place the believer in heaven. 3. Salvation is all the will of God 4. Condemnation to hell is all the will of God 5. God predestined His elect to salvation 6. God predestined His non-elect to damnation Calvin wrote: '...they are PREDESTINED to eternal DEATH SOLELY by his decision, APART from their own Merit'. In other words, God did not predestine anyone to be vessels of wrath based on their intrinsic worth. Calvin wrote: 'God hardens or shows mercy to whom he wills, MEN ARE WARNED BY THIS TO SEEK NO CAUSE OUTSIDE HIS WILL'. That is, the final cause for those who end in heaven is God's will that it occur. The final cause the wicked don't get to heaven is God did not will it. It does not imply that Calvin meant sin is not a proximal cause. Rather, the reason sin is counted against the wicked is that God did not provide for their redemption, it all ties back to God's will. Calvin said, 'Those whom God passes over, he CONDEMNS; and this he does FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT HE WILLS TO EXCLUDE THEM' That is, God condemns them ultimately because it is His will not to include them amongst those who He redeems. They are excluded by God, left to their own devices, which God permits, so they have no hope outside of God's election. Calvin said, 'What of those, then, WHOM HE CREATED FOR DISHONOR IN LIFE AND DESTRUCTION IN DEATH...His immutable decree had once for all DESTINED THEM TO DESTRUCTION. That is, yep. Now that does not mean that the sin of the wicked is not accounted for in God's judgment. They are not destroyed solely because God decreed them such, but on account of His decree (which is the beginning of all things) they have been provided no covering for their sins. Unlike the elect, who sin too, but have been provided a means of escape. Calvin said: '...the fall of Adam is not presupposed as preceding God's decree in time, but IT IS WHAT GOD DETERMINED BEFORE ALL AGES' That is, God planned that Adam would fall, determining all events for His grand purpose. Could Adam have avoided this decree and remained upright? No. Rather, God utilize the means inherent to His creation to bring His creation down. There was no flaw, Adam was perfect, but God exploited the very thing that He created in Adam, so that Adam would sin by his volition under the planned circumstances, as surely as gravity attracts an object downward. YOU SAID: '...God of necessity becomes the author of sin and of evil, since He decreed it from eternity'. Now if you compare what Calvin wrote, and what he meant to your summation of what he wrote, we find you have made a leap of reasoning, a faulty one at that. The quotes above do not teach such a thing, nor would Calvin have professed such a thing that makes God the author of sin. You have inserted your beliefs as Calvinís. In regards to predestination you said '...God wills/decrees not only the reprobation of the damned but also the sin which leads to it...'. There is, of course, a distinction between willing an event and making a person commit an act of sin. While certainly the sin is part and parcel with a sinner, and the sinner is a sinner because God has not withheld them from it, but we must also say that God is allowing that which is by nature the will of each sinner to do. He also wills that the elect commit sin, as they too will to disobey. How is it God is blamed for a sin which He is not responsible nor required to prevent? Why is it men sin? Certainly not because God makes them. He may decree it, and then use various means to bring it about, but He never forces sin upon men so that He becomes the author. You said, 'Augustine referred only to Godís decision to redeem, and did not include the act of assigning some to damnation'. Well then, what would Augustine have done with the wicked? Is God a Sovereign ruler over some, but not all? How could the wicked not be marching to God's drumbeat? If they are not under God's control, do they then control God? Obviously, God planned the wicked to be passed by, to act according to the nature they possess, and never to be redeemed. The end result: The wicked are damned to hell from the get-go. But they were not forced to sin, not forced to hate God, not forced to ignore God's salvation. In other words, God is not keeping them down. They are down by their own will, which God uses for His purposes. You said, 'Double predestination involves an unconditional positive decree of reprobation and the resolve of God to punish these non-elect eternally in hell'. Yes, there ARE vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath, such as the Potter has made. However, we do not find that God takes happy, whole pots (babies) and wacks them 'til they crack so He can get some vessels of wrath. This is the false implication of double predestination. It implies falsely that God takes perfect pottery and ruins it just to get His quota in hell. Rather, the pottery was ruined by Adam, a perfect pot gone bad. God allows the junk pots to continue, but has no plan to re-create them (re-fire them) into shiny new pots. So the junk pots have always been planned to remain so, and end in the junk pile. This is the first predestination: all pottery is junk, cracked and worthless, none can be used, all will go to the junk yard. The second predestination says that God will send His own Son to the junk yard in the stead of a handful of worthless pots. This frees the worthless pots from the first condition. Both are predestined, both are under God's Sovereign Will, neither can avoid their end. But God cannot be blamed, rather He is to be praised for saving SOME of the junk which deserves to be destroyed. You have tried to argue that true Calvinism makes God the author of sin, that God sends the wicked to hell for no other reason then He wants them there, and Calvin and other Reformers taught these things. But that is not what Calvin taught, it is rather what you teach. You have found in Calvin's remarks justification to make a strawman, one that you would like to foist on all Calvinists. Do you see the difference between what you say Calvin taught, and what Calvin taught? john


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: ShowMe
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 22:07:46 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, You can add all the 'that isís' that you want but it will not change the fact that Calvin was a supralapsarian. You want to do away with supralapsarianism because it teaches an election to hell that you find repulsive. Modern Calvinists say 'we do not teach any one is elected for hell but that they are only passed by and left to themselves.' Calvinists who call themselves 'infralapsarian' say God predestined individuals to hell before the world's creation in consideration of Adam's sin (i.e., after mankind's fall had been contemplated). Supralapsarian Calvinists teach that God predestined people to hell free from any influence of what man might do (i.e., before mankind's fall had been contemplated). The 'infra' version of predestination they say is not an election to hell and certainly not undeserved because it comes into view after Adam's sin had been forseen. They usually argue that God elected to salvation some undeserving sinners out of the fallen mass of humanity without electing the rest to eternal damnation. According to the infralapsarian, God merely 'passed by' the rest and left them to themselves, forever condemned in the sinful state they inherited from Adam. The 'infra' sequence is actually the thing that keeps the infralapsarian Calvinist at peace with Calvinism. Without it, they would be teaching that men not yet contemplated as sinners are foreordained to hell, which they simply are not ready to accept. But even your brand of Calvinism, the infra brand teaches that everything was decreed before the creation of the world apart from a foreknowledge of the future. You donít have to look any further than the Westminster Confession to prove that, the Westminster Confession is a confession of faith accepted by virtually all infralapsarians and it states:
'God from all eternity did...of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass....Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future... The Westminster Confession Sect. 3:1,2 Notice that the Westminster Confession says God decreed whatsoever comes to pass and then adds yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future. Now, where it says 'whatsoever comes to pass' and 'anything' let us replace it with the fall, an event that was to come to pass, Adam's sin, and see how it reads: God from all eternity did...of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain [Adam's sin] ...Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet hath he not decreed [Adam's sin] because he foresaw it as future... There it is, even in the Westminster Confession, Adam was ordained to sin not because God foresaw it as future, but by a free election. Thus, elected sin is the only possible sin available upon which the infralapsarian can base a predestination to hell. The only way man might have deserved a foreordination to hell before the creation of the world is if it was based on a foreknowledge of what man would do in the future. But that option does not exist in the Westminster Confession, yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future. Indeed, it is impossible for man to deserve a foreordination to hell if God decreed everything with none of it being because he foresaw it as future. Infralapsarian has no actual sin in view upon which to base a predestination to hell. The only 'sin' in view is one divinely elected to an innocent person. With no actual sin in view, there can be no actual guilt upon which to base a foreordination to hell. There can be no actual basis for saying the foreordination to hell was deserved. And that results in an election to hell, undeserved by any sin and that is supralapsariaism, thatís Calvinism. Calvinís Calvinism teaches a predestination to hell before any actual sin of man is in view. Honest Calvinism teaches a bonafide election to hell undeserved by any sin, and not merely a foreordination to hell based on 'a passing by of sinners' and it really doesnít really matter whether you call it infralapsarian or supralapsarian, both, as the Westminister Cofession shows, teach the same thing, just what you wrote at the beginning of your post: 1. Sin does not place the sinner in hell. 2. Good works does not place the believer in heaven. 3. Salvation is all the will of God 4. Condemnation to hell is all the will of God 5. God predestined His elect to salvation 6. God predestined His non-elect to damnation Thatís Calvinism, and I get so tried of Calvinists denying it, watering down Calvinism in order to make it 'acceptable.' Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: john hampshire
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 00:12:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Showme, You said: You can add all the 'that isís' that you want but it will not change the fact that Calvin was a supralapsarian. You missed my point. I don't care if Calvin was, or was not, a supralapsarian. My point was that you have misrepresented Calvin's position by your grand assumption concerning his written statements. I evaluated Calvin's statements as they stood, with no axe to grind, and found nothing implausible. You said, 'You want to do away with supralapsarianism because it teaches an election to hell that you find repulsive'. To know what I believe one would have to READ what I wrote, but apparently you are able to skip this step. I do not mind, as I said, the idea that God predestinates the non-elect to 'hell', the only problem I have is when someone tryís make God responsible for sin by forcing the acts of the wicked upon God, something that is unnecessary and wrong. You said, 'Modern Calvinists say 'we do not teach any one is elected for hell but that they are only passed by and left to themselves.' Why is it both cannot be true? Why cannot God determine that the final state of the wicked is 'hell', and pass them by in His plan of redemption? Your definition of the infra/supra uses the term 'foreseen' concerning God's knowledge of future sins. Should we expect God to be surprised by Adam's sin? You said, 'men not yet contemplated as sinners are foreordained to hell', how does God contemplate a new idea? Did He not know, and then learned something? Who was His teacher? You said, 'the infra brand teaches that everything was decreed before the creation of the world apart from a foreknowledge of the future'. What is the future except the unfolding of God's predetermined plan. Does the future operate independently from God, does it think and act, is it alive? If God did not foreknow or predetermine the future, then who did? The Westminster Confession says God did ordain and predetermine the future in an unchangeable decree. Then it says, 'yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future'. That means to me that God set the future based upon His plan which He decided beforehand. The second part says there was nothing independent of God which could council Him or cause Him to alter His plan, nothing yet future. Well that's all the time I have right now. Let me know your many objections. john


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 22:57:56 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe,

You have tried to distort the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith as you did with the writing of John Calvin. When the Confession states that God ordains all that comes to pass, 'yet hath he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future.' the writers had no intention as to what you suggest, that is, that the Fall was not considered in the decree, for the decree indeed included the Fall, both by Supralapsarians and Infralapsarians alike, as the very names themselves indicate. What the Confession is clearly stating is a polemic against Semi-Pelagianism which would have God be subject to the prior actions of men. Indeed, since the decrees of God were from all eternity, what COULD God see that was future, since nothing exists but what He has decreed. As to whether or not Calvin was a Supralapsarian is a debatable point. There are times he writes as if he were one, and other places he writes as if he were Infralapsarian. The fact is, historically that distinction was not refined enough to impose either view upon him. Personally, I am of the opinion that Calvin was neither but both. Lastly, just who are you to make the determination that 'true Calvinism' is what you have defined it to be, which is classic Hyper-Calvinism? This is an old argument which has never worked and never will. Those of the Westminster Assembly and those who were in attendance at the great Synod of Dortrecht who embraced Supralapsarianism openly rejected YOUR definition of 'true Calvinism'! Your presence here is obviously not one that has any good intention as its end. I suggest you move on willingly at this point for the good of all. Thanks.... !

Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Pilgrim, aren't you a Calvinist?
From: freegrace
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:38:11 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
To ShowMe... It sounds as if you are trying to defend or make a case in defense of those who perish and are finally lost.... Pilgrim is correct that man was created upright, and all of the human race had 'free-will' in Adam at the beginning; but when Adam sinned, the entire human race was brought into a lost state or condition. If there were no election unto salvation, none would be saved! The entire human race would have perished! Laz has already reminded us about the fact of human responsibility - along with the doctrine of predestination. Your quotes from Calvin are showing just one side of the truth only... In all of the John Calvin books I have read, one of the first things I noticed was how he always stressed human responsibility -- just as the great Calvinistic Puritan writers have done in the past. It is misleading I think to show Calvin's quotes of the decrees of God, and not also show his quotes where he speaks of the human responsibity of man. Also, as I have said before, reprobates will never search the Word of God to 'find themselves' in the Scriptures. The gospel is good news for all who have 'ears to hear'... Our job is now to tell the good news that God saves sinners by free grace alone, and not to be 'overwise' in searching out the ways and decrees of God made before time began. I have never really had any problems with election and reprobation; if the Bible teaches it, we are to believe it! Besides, that is God's business. But also remember that God has ordained the means as well as the end. To whom much is given much shall be required. As the Puritans have written, 'if one is to be warm, he must come near the fire'. To be eternally lost even after hearing the gospel message in this forum week after week would be very sad indeed! Now the 'fire' of God's truth is burning brightly! Do not miss it, my friend! Now is the day of SALVATION! - (The Bible never says: 'Now is the day of damnation'). freegrace


Subject: Calvin on Baptism
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 23:35:57 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Calvin, in his book Institutes of Christian Religion stated: But whether the person being baptised should be wholly immersed, and whether he should only be sprinkled with poured on water-these details are of no importance but ought to be optional to churches according to the diversity of countries. Yet the word baptise means 'to immerse,' and it is clear that the rite of emmersion was observed in the ancient church. IV,xv19 I agree with John Calvin on this, but if the word baptise means to 'immerse' then I have to say I have to go with immersion over sprinkling. If my studies on baptism are correct, up to this point that while many Greek words might have been used to discribe the mode of baptism in the New Testament, only one was used exclusively. That word is 'baptizo' which means to immerse- put down under. And as far as I can tell(and I don''t know Greek),is the only word used to discribe water baptism in the New Testament. Which makes me wonder, if the only word used exclusively in the New Testament for baptism means emmersion. Then why should we choose the method of sprinkling over baptism? Remember even Calvin said that baptism means to immerse and that is how it was used in the ancient church. Tom


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Shelly
To: Tom
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 12:10:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, check out this link. ...Some examples of 'baptizo' which do not necessarily mean to 'immerse'. Quite interesting... In Him, Shelly
Which Baptism is Baptism?


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: john hampshire
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 19:46:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Well, there is the problem, and I can understand your problem very well: 'That word is 'baptizo' which means to immerse- put down under'. The word baptizo does not mean to immerse, to put down under! : o There are some books I have which show the truth of this, perhaps I will have time to quote some of it. The best identification that baptizo has is with washing or cleansing. Such as Mark 7:4 'and, [coming] from the market-place, if they do not baptize themselves, they do not eat; and many other things there are that they received to hold, baptisms of cups, and pots, and brazen vessels, and couches.' It was not the custom of the Pharisees to immerse their couches or themselves..... wash or cleanse YES, but immerse no. That is why Jesus mentioned things being CLEAN vs UNCLEAN and relates it to being spiritually clean vs physically clean. The baptism of cups made them clean, but the Pharisees were spiritually unclean. Jesus was defining the word correctly. As a matter of fact (don't prove me wrong here) but the Bible contains no word, Hebrew or Greek that speaks of immersion (going under) or emersion (coming out). Kinda hard to formulate an entire doctrine around an idea that the Bible does not even mention. Now, washing, sprinkling, cleansing it never ends speaking of. If you need more info, I'll look up stuff from my library. Quite interesting the way he refutes the writing of D.A. Carson (I believe that was his name, I'm not at home right now). Carson wrote a length (tedious) book explaining that baptism can ONLY mean to dip or immerse. Carson's book is refuted and shown to be incorrect. I have Carson's book, so I was glad (being a sprinkling proponent) to find where the errors were, and see that baptizo was still safe from the clutches of Baptists. john


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 21:42:07 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John You said: The word baptizo does not mean to immerse, to put down under! : o Are you saying that Calvin was wrong about that? I thought I would write out some of the imformation that I have looked at so far, FYI. Words not used to describe baptism in the Greek New Testament If I knew how to I would type out with Greek letters, before the pronunciations of each word, but I donít. Louo- The word signifies either to bathe the whole body in water or to bathe the body all over by the application of water. It appears in John 13:10 Nipto- This term signifies washing some particular part of the body or some item. It appears in Matt. 6:16-17. Ex-echo- To pour out. It is applied to the pouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:17-18. Katapontizo- To plunge down, to drown. It is found in Matt. 18:6 Rhantizo- To sprinkle. It is found in Hebrews 9:19. Brecho- To moisten or make lightly wet. It is used in Luke 7:38. From my research I have found that several of these are used in different churches today, to express different modes of baptism. However none of these appear in the scriptures with reference to baptism. Why is that? The Greek word I see in reference to baptism is baptizo. Tom


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Gene
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 03:42:17 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, According to Pilgrim, baptism cannot mean immersion. Well...he quoted an author that said it could not mean immersion. I do not know what Pilgrim himself thinks. Be that as it may, is Calvin wrong?


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Prestor John
To: Gene
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 17:01:46 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Whether the person baptized is to be wholly immersed, and that whether once or thrice, or whether he is only to be sprinkled with water, is not of the least consequence: churches should be at liberty to adopt either according to the diversity of climates, although it is evident that the term baptize means to immerse, and that this was the form used by the primitive Church.

Actually according to Calvin it doesn't matter whether you sprinkle, or immerse but that the churches should be a liberty to adopt either. And that is the important principle not whether people need to be immersed or not. It is foolish to continue this arguement thats a hint Gene think about it.


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Tom
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 20:47:37 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Prestor John My question is why do some people choose sprinkling over immersion, when the word baptise means to immerse? It is not a contentious issue with me, but never the less I would like to know why that is. Tom


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 21:52:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,

The reason why there is so much disunity on this issue is due to the very fact that some, Baptists who wrongly equate 'baptizo' with only immersion and others, who wrongly equate 'baptizo' with only sprinkling. The fact is that a thorough word study on 'baptizo' and all its derivatives will show that it means immersion, aspersion and effusion (dunking, sprinkling and pouring). All are legitimate meanings for the verb 'to baptize'. As with all words and their proper meaning, the context must determine which meaning is applicable. To put all one's 'eggs in a basket' is to ask for trouble. And this being done by some has resulted in needless denominationalism in some cases. The BAPTIST denominations being one fine example. 'If you ain't been dunked... you ain't been really baptized'!! This is sectarian and needless. If a particular group doesn't believe it is legitimate (biblical) to baptize infants; that's fine. But to require believers to submit to immersion for entrance into the church of Christ is criminal. I of course, don't know which book John is referring to that he has that refutes Carson's contention that 'baptizo' IS immersion. I do have several of my own, one being Dr. John Murray's book, Christian Baptism which also destroys any notion of that position. From my own advanced study in the Greek N.T., I also would have to agree with Murray's findings as well. I was open to either position at the time, so there was no biased on my part. And if I was biased at all, I was biased toward the Baptist position and not the Paedobaptist position, if that is of any consequence to you! :-)

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:02:11 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Pilgrim I hope you do not think I am being disagreable here. That is surely not the case, I like Calvin don't want to make a big deal about this issue. But I also want to be like a Barrean(sp?) and see what the word of God says about the issue. I don't have the time or the bugeted money to add another book to my list, for indeed it is long. I hope you understand where I am coming from on this issue. I don't nessasarily agree with everything that the Baptist Church believes. In fact I don't think there is a Church denomination that I could agree on 100% of the time. But then again God is not finished with me yet :-) Tom


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism -books
From: john hampshire
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 04:46:25 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The books I have found are: 'Baptism in the New Testament', written by G.R. Beasley-Murray, which wishes to show believers baptism as the proper method. 'Holy Baptism, Words which Unlock the Covenant' by Duane E. Spencer who says the mode doesn't matter. 'The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism' by Pierre Ch. Marcel wishing to prove infant baptism. And 'Johannic Baptism - Baptizo', by James W. Dale which ruins D.A. Carson's immersion theory and sets the grounds for understanding the meaning of the word baptizo. I especially thought the last title useful, and very well done. Should like to re-read them all, if time permits. Anyone familiar with these works or the men who wrote them? john


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Gene
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 20:38:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
My point was the Pilgrim quoted an author that says baptism cannot mean immersion. Calvin obviously believed it does. By the way, where does Calvin get the scriptural authority for this statement; 'churches should be at liberty to adopt either according to the diversity of climates...'? Why, because he said so?


Subject: Re: Calvin on Baptism
From: Prestor John
To: Gene
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 00:27:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I suppose that since there is no direct statement in the bible that says that baptism is to be done by a particular method that Calvin sees this as neutral and should be done as the Churches see fit. Again you are making a mountain out of a mole hill, and trying to discredit Calvin's reputation for no reason other than your own pettiness. Now while I believe in believers baptism I was not always of that mind set and when I was the member of the Lutheran Church had my son baptized as an infant. However, my two girls were baptized as adults after making their confession before witnesses in church. Yet, I do not pressure my son to get rebaptized but leave it to his own convictions. If he never gets baptized as an adult I will never say that his baptism as a infant excludes him from membership in the covenant community of believers. The point is that what is important is that the sacrament is obeyed not the method. Prestor John


Subject: grieved in spirit
From: mary
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 13:11:06 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I just wanted to take a moment and express how grieved I felt when I read the message to Vernon from Pilgram. There was nothing bad in what you said it was how you said it. It cost nothing to show respect, it cost nothing to show kindness, but to love as Christ loves it will cost you everything. You will have to love the unlovely, you will have to love those who do not speak as well as you, you will even have to love your enemy. I must be honest with you I know Vernon and if you met him you would love him, because he is the most humble loving person that you would ever want to meet. And his first love is Jesus Christ. You see I know this because he's my brother. Thank you for listining to me. I hope you read this knowing that I mean no disrespect to anyone at this site.


Subject: Re: grieved in spirit
From: Pilgrim
To: mary
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 22:24:07 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
mary,

My dealings with Vernon have nothing to do with any alleged 'goodness of heart', sincerity, or any other positive attribute which he may possess or that which you perceive in him as having. This is a theological discussion board, and therefore my concern is far more sober and important an issue that these things. And please don't misconstrue this as meaning that I don't consider sanctification or the fruit of the Spirit as important. For indeed I do. However, it is Vernon's theological views which are in question here. He embraces heresy and thus is preaching a false gospel which puts his hearers in peril of eternal damnation (speaking from a position of human responsibility). Vernon has been shown his error for over two years here on this forum alone by countless people. He has systematically avoided dealing with the Scriptures shown him, reason presented to him and questions asked of him. It has NOTHING to do with someone's alleged inability to spell, write, articulate or any other thing better or worse than someone else. Those issues are irrelevant and thus are mute. Loving one's enemy is being willing to speak the truth to him/her knowing that by nature they are opposed to that truth and that the typical response will always be defensive, offensive and fraught will all manner of avoidance, unless the Spirit of God enlightens their hearts and minds. It is a far simpler thing to do to just smile and nod your head in an insincere manner to someone who is espousing untruth rather than confront them. Today, if someone DOES emulate the Lord Christ as He did in confronting those who held positions of responsibility and authority, there comes an immediate cry of 'foul' and the castigations flow like water. And so with such unwarranted protests I must echo the Apostle Paul, ' 1Thess 2:3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:' May God grant you therefore a deeper understanding of the sobriety of what is taking place here and that it is for the benefit of all and particularly for the salvation of those who are yet outside of Christ. Biblical respect, kindness and love are not necessarily synonymous with the modern conception of 'love' nor of 'What would Jesus do!' It is sometimes necessary to bring sorrow to those heard of hearing so that they may be moved to repentance.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: grieved in spirit
From: mary
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:56:28 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgram I have visited your site once in while but have never participated before now I'm not quite sure what heresy you are refering to when you refer to Vernon. If you mean that he does not seem to embrace Predestination then I guess you would think that I am a heritic also. Vernon and I do not agree on all things but I believe he is every bit as much a Bornagain Christian as I am. The diciples did not agree on all things. Paul and Peter were examples of that, but they believed on the most central part of Christianity. They believed as I do that Jesus is the Anointed one of God that the Old Testament proclaims and that he is indeed a part of the God head and is God. I believe in that with all my heart. I read your statement of faith when I first found this site. I find it hard to find much that we disagree on except maybe predestination. And I have read the most recent statements that Vernon has posted to you and it seems he was quoting scripture to back up his statements. It looks to me as if the two of you disagree on this one area of the Scriptures. Will that keep either of you out of the Kingdom of God? If you both believe that Jesus is the Christ and He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world are you not both saved by this conviction? Does one have to believe in predestination to believe that God is soverign over all things? I am not being critical of you I truly want to know the answer to that question. My constant prayer, and I mean this literally, is that God will lead and guide me into his truth and that I wont deceive myself, nor be deceived by others when it comes to his word. Since the diciples disagreed on somethings (not the Deity and Lordship of Jesus Christ) I do not feel that God would condemn me to hell for not believing in Predestination. But I do believe if I did not believe in Jesus Christ I would have been condemn by my own disbelief. I do agree with you that you must always speak the truth, but God's word is a two edged sword and must be weilded with love. Jesus proved that when he called the Pharasees white washed tombs full of dead mens bone he loved them but he still spoke the truth to them. So I stand corrected and receive you reply with love and hope you receive mine in the same way. Thank your for your kindness. Mary


Subject: Re: grieved in spirit
From: Pilgrim
To: mary
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 10:30:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Mary,

My dear lady, this is NOT about 'Predestination' although 'Predestination' is surely a part of the gospel. Vernon's and perhaps your understanding of the gospel, although popular today, is not the gospel which the Scriptures, nor what the true church has believed and preached since the first. And because what you, Vernon and multitudes now believe is in vogue, for anyone, including myself to question it and to point out that it is in fact heresy most often brings loud cries of 'foul' and the one who does so is more often than not labeled by such terms as 'narrow', 'unloving', 'schismatic', 'dogmatic', 'puffed up with knowledge', and a plethora of such terms. However, this is not a matter of being any of those things, but one that concerns the OBJECTIVE teaching of the Scriptures and the salvation of God which is by GRACE ALONE! The Apostle Paul was kindly, as it were, toward those who out of sinful motives preached the TRUE GOSPEL (Phil 1:15-18) for the TRUTH was being made known. However, he was anything but kind or tolerant of ANYONE who preached a false gospel, regardless of their sincerity or motives (Gal 1:7-9; 5:12) and warned of giving an ear to them (2Cor11:2-4). This is a matter of utmost importance and the gravity of it cannot be underestimated. I am glad that you have confessed to being 'open' to learning and that you are concerned about believing and speaking forth God's truth. Therefore I would highly recommend that you read the following article which is posted on The Highway home page. You can access it by clicking the link here: Introductory Essay to the Death of Death in the Death of Christ by Dr. J.I. Packer. In this rather lengthy exposé, Packer sets forth the great differences and gulf that exists between the 'modern gospel' and the gospel of the Scriptures and the historical church. I hope that you will indeed take the time to read this for your personal edification and sanctification. And that the result will be a positive turning to the truth that is found in Christ Jesus. In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim 'I am not permitted to let my love be so merciful as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order.... when these are concerned, neither toleration nor mercy are in order, but only anger, dispute, and destruction -- to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon.' - Martin Luther 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: grieved in spirit
From: mary
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 11:25:38 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgram there is a problem with your URL when I clicked on where you instructed me to click the page 'reads there is an error and it should be reported to webmaster@gospelcom.net'. As to what you responded I guess I am at a loss. I am a simple person who believes that we are saved through the Grace of God and redemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I refer to Hebrews Chapter 9. I will be the first to admit that I am not a student of theology although I have read the Bible through many times and found that I learn deeper truths eveytime that I have. I ask in all honesty, what am I reading in the Word of God that I am misunderstanding? Hebrews 9 tells me that Jesus is Gods passover lamb. What am I missing? Ephesians chapter 2 tells me this 'you hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the air the spirit that now worketh in the childre of disobedience. It tells me that he has quickened or made me alive together with Christ and made me to sit in heavenly places in Christ. It tell me I am not saved by works but by grace. Please tell me what I have misunderstood. This is the only gospel I have ever heard other than Jehovah's witness which I have never believed, or the social gospel that says do what ever feels good because a good god would not send you to hell. I dont believe God sends anyone to hell except satan and his angles. I believe anyone in hell chose to be there, deceived yes, but non the less they made the choices that took then there. I will try and find the pages you are refering to in you reply. Meanwhile, please tell where I am wrong because I am always open to truth if it matches the Word of God. We should all search the scriptures comparing scripture to scripture. Is harder to be deceived that way. Thank you again Pilgram mary what has been posted before because in order to hold an intellegent conversation I have to know what you believe and mary


Subject: Re: grieved in spirit
From: Pilgrim
To: mary
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 14:34:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
mary,

First, here is the direct URL for the article by Dr. J.I. Packer: http://www.gospelcom.net/thehighway/Death.html. I personally tested that link in my last post and it worked fine. So I don't know why you experienced the problem you did? If this URL doesn't work for you, then just go to the home page, which you can quickly do by returning to the main message page of this Forum where all the threads are displayed, and at the very top right hand side is a blue logo that says, 'The Highway'. Click on that and it will take you to the home page. Then, click on the link, 'The Atonement of the Lord Christ'. When that page opens you will see the listing/link for this article at the very top of the list. :-) Your post which I am replying too is really messed up. Not in what you wrote but in how it was physically displayed. I don't have a clue as to why it is so. :-( But I can perhaps respond to one item you mentioned. It's not in what you have written that is wrong. No, not at all, but rather in the actual meaning of what you wrote. For example, you quoted Ephesians 2:3 which says,

'Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.'

Now the current interpretation of that passage is that men are sinners and thus 'dead in trespasses and sins', BUT they are still able to exercise faith in Christ. A further distortion of that text is sometimes stated, as Vernon has many times done here and in other places, is that God convicts a sinner of his sins and then it is up to that person to either 'ask Jesus into his heart' or reject the 'invitation' to do so. If the response is positive, then the person is 'born again' and saved. If a person rejects the gospel, then he remains unsaved, but may 'decide for Jesus' at some other time as he/she wishes. However, the passage clearly says that all men (generic) are DEAD in trespasses and sins. And it is God Who in His grace 'makes them alive/quickens' them. Most importantly, in regards to this issue is the end result of this 'quickening', which Paul states in verse 5: 'Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)'. The being 'made alive/quickening' infallibly and thus ALWAYS leads to being placed in union with the Lord Christ and salvation apprehended and secured. The quickened sinner therefore believes upon Christ and is justified. There is no other possible result other than salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ for one that has been 'born again/regenerated/made alive/quickened'. For. . . 'by grace ye are saved'! This 'quickening/making alive/new birth' is the sovereign work of God the Spirit, accomplished in whom HE wishes and when He wishes as John 3:5-8 teaches. Those who believe upon Christ are those, and those ONLY who have BEEN 'born of God' (Joh 1:13). The new birth is the origin of faith. And this faith ALWAYS and INFALLIBLY: seeks, finds and rests in the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation. The modern 'gospel' denies this truth by making the 'new birth/regeneration/quickening/making alive' depend on the initial believing of the individual. It is the sinner's faith that actually saves at the end of the day. Why? Because according to the modern 'gospel' all other things are equal. The 1) love of God the Father 2) the atonement of Christ the Son 3) the influence of the Spirit is indiscriminate, i.e., all men share God's love, the Son's death and the influence of the Spirit. Yet, some are saved and some are lost. The deciding factor is therefore the will of man in his cooperating with these three things. In essence, this is nothing less than 'synergism'; a cooperating with God's 'grace', which amounts to the following 'salvation formula': 'Grace+ Work (man's faith) = Justification - works'. But the Scriptures teach: 'Grace (which creates faith) = Justification + Works'. As you can see, there is a stark contrast between the two views. Roman Catholicism is very much in agreement with the modern Arminian 'gospel' which states: 'Faith + Works = Justification'. Let me summarize the modern Evangelical view once again, so that there is no misunderstanding either in my ability to convey it or your ability to comprehend it. This view confesses that salvation is by GRACE. But this 'grace' is not sufficient in and of itself to save anyone. The person must also contribute to this salvation by exercising his/her faith which he/she may or may not do according to their will. In total contrast, the Reformed and biblical view holds that the GRACE of God is the origin and end of salvation. Yes, a sinner believes upon Christ and he/she does so willingly. But until the sinner is 'born again/quickened/regenerated/made alive' he/she lacks any desire or ability to do so. And once grace has been applied to the sinner, the result is ALWAYS a believing upon Christ unto justification, sanctification and glorification (Rom 8:30; Heb 12:2; Acts 13:48; et al). 'Salvation is of the LORD' (Jonah 2:9), from beginning to end. Thus GRACE never fails to accomplish that which it was intended to do. ALL who receive grace, while they were yet 'DEAD in trespasses and sins' are brought to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. I certainly will try and explain further if necessary and/or to answer any other questions you might have. But again, I would recommend you read in full what Dr. Packer has written for I am confident that what he has to say will clarify much of the confusion you might currently have about our differences. :-)

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: becky
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:36:47 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
hello everyone, i have been thinking about predestination...and i believe that God forknew who his children would be, but the question i have is, why would He bother creating people who He did not desire to be His? why wouldnt He die for us all? how can i witness to people and say 'perhaps He died for you, or perhaps he didnt', 'He may love you and call you to be His own, or He may of just created you to go to hell'. what is the use of praying that God to draw certain people to Himself so that they would be saved if God does not continually desire reconciliation with ALL people? being adopted, i know what it's like to be an unwanted child. i am grateful that i have now been 'adopted' into His kingdom, but how am i to trust a heavenly Dad who shows favoritism and creates 'unwanted children'? this is not an issue of 'fairness' for me because, in fairness, i believe we all deserve to die...this is more a question of why would God have bothered to create all these extraneous people if He did not desire that ALL people be reconciled to Him through His Son's work on the cross? does this mean that, infact, 'God does make junk?' thanks for listening, becky


Subject: Re: Yes, Grace is for everyone!
From: Old Faith
To: becky
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 06:52:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes, Grace is for everyone! We all get more than we deserve. It's just that for the vessels fitted for destruction, grace is only a temporal thing. They don't receive all 'badness' in this world. But they are used contrastingly for illustrative lessons to the elect. Of course even elect iron sharpens iron via this board, et. al.


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: CMB 19
To: becky
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 21:02:07 (PST)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
'this is more a question of why would God have bothered to create all these extraneous people if He did not desire that ALL people be reconciled to Him through His Son's work on the cross? does this mean that, in fact, 'God does make junk?' ' Well let me ask this. If GOD knows who will be his and who will not, then why did he bother to create Adam & Eve? And you asked; 'how can i witness to people and say 'perhaps He died for you, or perhaps he didn't', 'He may love you and call you to be His own, or He may of just created you to go to hell'. what is the use of praying that God to draw certain people to Himself so that they would be saved if God does not continually desire reconciliation with ALL people?' Well, the fact is we don't know who is his. That is why we have to witness to all so that when His sheep do hear his call they will come. It's like a young shepherd going into a field filed with sheep to find the ones that belong to his master. Some belong to the shepherd's master and some don't. The young shepherd can't tell them apart so, he sounds his master's call to all the sheep. And the ones that belong to the master will hear the master's call and come out from the other sheep, and then return to the master.


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: laz
To: CMB 19
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:38:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
'this is more a question of why would God have bothered to create all these extraneous people if He did not desire that ALL people be reconciled to Him through His Son's work on the cross? does this mean that, in fact, 'God does make junk?' ' Well let me ask this. If GOD knows who will be his and who will not, then why did he bother to create Adam & Eve? And you asked; 'how can i witness to people and say 'perhaps He died for you, or perhaps he didn't', 'He may love you and call you to be His own, or He may of just created you to go to hell'. what is the use of praying that God to draw certain people to Himself so that they would be saved if God does not continually desire reconciliation with ALL people?' Well, the fact is we don't know who is his. That is why we have to witness to all so that when His sheep do hear his call they will come. It's like a young shepherd going into a field filed with sheep to find the ones that belong to his master. Some belong to the shepherd's master and some don't. The young shepherd can't tell them apart so, he sounds his master's call to all the sheep. And the ones that belong to the master will hear the master's call and come out from the other sheep, and then return to the master.
---
Hey CMB 19....I like THAT! blessings, laz


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: freegrace
To: becky
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:48:06 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
This is a good question! I believe that the gopsel comes to us as good news! All who have 'ears to hear' will hear it as Glad tidings of great joy! Since we do not know whom the Lord God will call, we are to sound out the message to everyone. The Words of the gospel are Words of Life to all those whom Christ came to save - (HIs elect). The reprobate never searches the Scriptures to 'see if these things be so' or not. Only the elect are 'made willing' to come to the Mirror of the Word, and see themselves (so to speak) as lost sinners, in need of a Saviour. Psalm 110:3...KJV. Reprobates can pray, read the bible, and be religious, etc. but they still are lost nevertheless, because they have not been made willing to come to Christ (inwardly) to be covered by His imputed Righteousness alone for an eternal justification in the sight of God. Romans 10:3. Therefore, We never need to 'fear' about giving the gospel to the non-elect. The gospel comes as 'Words of Life', and has the power to quicken even the hardest of hearts. freegrace


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: David Teh
To: becky
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 06:16:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Becky, I don't know if this helps, but you might want to prayerfully consider Romans 8 to 10. May the Lord (if it be in accordance to His pleasure) grant you (including myself and all others) grace to understand.


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: john hampshire
To: becky
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 03:43:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
No doubt God could have designed a salvation program that included redemption for all. But He decided to provide redemption for some instead. I would imagine the main reason being, that God intended to make known His character, which includes His mercy and His wrath both. If God provided grace for everyone, salvation for everyone, mercy to everyone, love to everyone, forgiveness to everyone, choose everyone, we would be missing God's wrath, anger, hatred, and judgment of sin and sinners. We would not understand His Holiness, Righteousness, and Perfection. As for God making junk, it was not junk, it was perfection, in Adam. The rebellion and death was not God's, it was Adam's doing. While God makes one vessel for mercy and another for wrath, essentially all vessels deserve only wrath. It is God who takes His chosen vessels off the conveyer belt to destruction, and remakes them into vessels of mercy. It is God who loves us when we are junk, and was willing to essentially become junk Himself for our salvation. Now imagine how much more Godís love is demonstrated when a Holy and Perfect God condensends to become Junk Himself Some would say it is more God-like to redeem everyone, I say the only real way to know who God is and what He is like is to NOT redeem any, saving but a few. You know what makes choice jewels rare? It is not because every single rock is a ruby, if that were the case who would marvel at a jewel? john


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: ShowMe
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 10:38:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, You wrote:
'No doubt God could have designed a salvation program that included redemption for all. But He decided to provide redemption for some instead. I would imagine the main reason being, that God intended to make known His character, which includes His mercy and His wrath both.' You can find those that make very persuasive arguments for the teaching that God did design a salvation program that includes redemption for all. As for God having to torment people forever in order to reveal His wrath, that seems to be a bit of overkill. My children are well aware of my wrath without my having to endlessly demonstrate it, when they did something wrong they were punished but the punishment was always tempered by my love for them. In order to have God punish people forever there can be no love involved. Those that God would punish forever cannot ever have been loved by God. They must have been created as objects of hatred. Under the Calvinist system of theology God did indeed make 'junk' objects of wrath fitted for destruction. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: Rod
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 02:19:48 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Show Me, Under your system of theology, God has to do things your way instead of His own. Let's quit remaking God into our own image and let Him be God.


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: laz
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 10:54:34 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe - I guess it boils down to how we view God and His holiness...you obviously have a lower view of it...believing that He owes us salvation based on our decisions/works. Perhaps YOU should reread Rom 8-10 as well....? I think your man-centered objections are answered clearly there. laz


Subject: Way Off Base!
From: ShowMe
To: laz
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 11:04:40 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz, You wrote:
' I guess it boils down to how we view God and His holiness...you obviously have a lower view of it...believing that He owes us salvation based on our decisions/works.' I have no idea how in this world you came up with this based upon my post to John! God certainly does not own anyone salvation, and salvation is most certainly not based upon any decision and/or work that any human being can do! Thatís simply ridicules! There is absolutely nothing that a person can do in order to save themselves. The very term salvation negates that idea. You are way off base here! Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: No, right on target!
From: laz
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:04:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz, You wrote:
' I guess it boils down to how we view God and His holiness...you obviously have a lower view of it...believing that He owes us salvation based on our decisions/works.' I have no idea how in this world you came up with this based upon my post to John! God certainly does not own anyone salvation, and salvation is most certainly not based upon any decision and/or work that any human being can do! Thatís simply ridicules! There is absolutely nothing that a person can do in order to save themselves. The very term salvation negates that idea. You are way off base here! Sincerely, ShowMe
---
ShowMe - I think not. Questioning God's ways, His wrath upon vessels prepared for destruction (Rom 8-10)- and then comparing yourself as a dad to God (albeit as an analogy, but even that is ridiculous) makes my point, to the point. laz If you have a problem with 'calvinistic' soteriology...the only game left in town is arminianism....i.e., works-salvation...or maybe universalism.


Subject: Junk!
From: ShowMe
To: laz
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:31:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz, You wrote:
' Questioning God's ways, His wrath upon vessels prepared for destruction (Rom 8-10)- and then comparing yourself as a dad to God (albeit as an analogy, but even that is ridiculous) makes my point, to the point.' I have in no way whatsoever questioned Godís ways! I have no idea what you are talking about! My whole point was that God, according to Calvinism, does indeed create 'junk'! If God created people to be vessels of wrath only fit for destruction, that means that He did create 'junk'! He never loved them, He never intended to save them, He hates them and has always hated them. They were made for destruction, to be thrown away, they are 'junk'! You cannot have God tormenting forever objects of love. If God loves someone He will save them. You wrote: 'If you have a problem with 'calvinistic' soteriology...the only game left in town is arminianism....i.e., works-salvation...or maybe universalism. Nor have I stated that I have a problem with 'calvinistic soteriology.' You must have really misread my post to John. You are getting so defensive when there has not even been an attack! Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Remember this
From: CMB 19
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 21:10:08 (PST)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
To say they are 'Junk' kind of sounds like your saying 'I'm better than them' Remember this, before we (true believers) where saved we where no different. The only difference now is that through God's grace he stepped into our lives and changed it. (from our point of view) Like I said in my other response, we don't know who is and who is not. Don't start labeling those who sin. We where ALL there before. We are NO BETTER. If you start to reject all sinners (not saying that you do) you WILL miss out an opportunity of witnessing.


Subject: An object with 'purpose' is not junk!
From: Joel H
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 15:26:33 (PST)
Email Address: jh6@muw.edu

Message:
ShowMe, I could be wrong, but you seem more pre-occupied with using inflammatory rhetoric hoping to convince all of the 'misinformed' people on the board (or perhaps even yourself) of the 'stupidity' or 'injustice' of Calvinism, rather than desiring to come to a better understanding of the truth (Scripture). Your insistance that the objects of wrath be labeled as 'junk' is a good example. If you consider vessels which God uses to show His eternal qualities of justice and wrath as 'junk', then God has made 'junk'! Why is this wrong or ignorant? I personally don't understand why you would label a vessel with an important 'purpose' (to show God's qualities) as junk. Do not the objects of mercy serve the same purpose (to show equally important qualities) as the objects of wrath? Are the objects of mercy junk too? So what if God made some people who will never know His infinite grace and mercy? So what if God made some people to whom He could express perfect emotional hatred? God crafted a plan where none of the objects of wrath would be undeserving of their foreordained destiny! Please try to grasp that point. Perhaps you would benefit more from leaving personal arguments aside and basing your arguments more on Scripture? If the whole idea of God having objects of wrath is obviously a foolish or cruel idea, then I am sure a solid Biblical defense would not be difficult. Joel H


Subject: Re: An object with 'purpose' is not junk!
From: ShowMe
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 16:37:47 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joel H, If you read the very first post by Becky in this thread you will see that she asked, and I quote
Ödoes this mean that, in fact, 'God does make junk?'' In using the term 'junk' I was simply answering her original question. I have no idea as to why you are so angry about my response. You wrote: ' If the whole idea of God having objects of wrath is obviously a foolish or cruel idea, then I am sure a solid Biblical defense would not be difficult. Those are your words, not mine. I have never said any such thing. Your heading was 'An object with 'purpose' is not junk' you therefore affirm that God created the vast majority of humanity so that He could use them, give them purpose, by punishing them forever and thereby manifesting His Justice, Righteousness, and Wrath to His elect. As an aside, do you think that the punishment of these vessels of wrath forever in order to manifest His wrath to the elect is necessary in order to keep the elect ones in line? To keep them from sinning in the way that some of the angels did? Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: An object with 'purpose' is not junk!
From: Tom
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 08:52:20 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Showme Think about the Old testament for a few minutes. How did God use other nations against Israel when Israel was disobedient to God? Now think about what kind of things happened when they obeyed God. Tom


Subject: Missed Your Point
From: ShowMe
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:06:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, I really don't understand what your post has to do with this subject. Israel was/is God's elect nation. Sorry, but I simply don't get your point. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Missed Your Point
From: Tom
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 13:33:17 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
My point is that God used and uses other people and nations whether saved or not, to make His elect face Him and be obedient to Him. Tom


Subject: Re: An object with 'purpose' is not junk!
From: Joel H
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 18:43:51 (PST)
Email Address: jh6@muw.edu

Message:
I concede the fact that the term 'junk' did not originate with your post. However, you did seem to vigorously adopt the terminology in your critic of others. Nevertheless, I did not reply out of anger at the time of my last response. If you perceived me as being angry, then my tone was out of a deep desire to manifest the truth, not out of a desire to 'attack' you :) For the sake of eliminating more potential misunderstandings, I will cease to comment on your motivation for posting on this forum in the future and let others judge the 'evidence' for themselves. Fair enough? About your last set of questions, the eternal punishment of the vessels of wrath is not a motivation for obedience to the elect. God did not make an 'example' out of the reprobate to scare the elect into obedience. In fact, God has made known to the elect in His Word that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He freed us from the mortal terror of His eternal wrath, so we can serve Him out of sincere love and appreciation, not out of dread of punishment like the law. However, to know others will suffer eternal damnation for their disobedience is not without effect on the elect. To understand His justice, is to understand His mercy. You grasp a much greater sense of His grace, when You better understand that you are not getting what you deserve, like so many others. Think of colors, how good would your understanding be of a certain color without contrast? Am I helping you understand this position? A question to you: If you are posting here to clarify your understanding of the 'Calvinistic' viewpoint, perhaps I would be of more help to you if I knew from what perspective you are viewing this particular issue. Keeping that in mind: Would you perceive ignorance or injustice on the part of God,
if He created a plan which included objects of wrath to be made for destruction to accomplish His eternal purpose? Any other possible objections? Do you have any objections at all? Joel H


Subject: No Objections :o)
From: ShowMe
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 19:24:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joel H, You wrote:
'To understand His justice, is to understand His mercy. You grasp a much greater sense of His grace, when You better understand that you are not getting what you deserve, like so many others. Think of colors, how good would your understanding be of a certain color without contrast? Am I helping you understand this position?' I do understand the teaching that some were created as vessels of mercy while others, the majority were created as vessels of wrath. Iím not sure about your idea of people getting what they deserve. As I understand it the vessels of mercy and the vessels of wrath were determined before anything was created, before anyone had sinned. It was predetermined who would be vessels of wrath and receive endless punishment and who would be vessels of mercy and receive endless blessing before either were born. I donít see how 'deserving' fits in at all. I mean, if you were chosen for salvation before you were even born, if it were determined that you were to be a vessel of mercy before you were born, then you get what you 'deserve' by right of birth, you get to be a vessel of mercy and receive endless blessing. That's what you were created to be and thatís what you are and you therefore 'deserve' to be treated as a vessel of mercy. You ask: If you are posting here to clarify your understanding of the 'Calvinistic' viewpoint, perhaps I would be of more help to you if I knew from what perspective you are viewing this particular issue. Iím not sure what you mean by my perspective. God can do whatever He wants. Iím closer to Reform, in so far as I understand it, in my beliefs, than any other system of theology that Iím aware of. Iím not comfortable calling myself a Calvinist, I prefer the label Christian. You continues: 'Would you perceive ignorance or injustice on the part of God, if He created a plan which included objects of wrath to be made for destruction to accomplish His eternal purpose? Any other possible objections? Do you have any objections at all?' I would never presume to object to anything that God decided to do. Iím not sure that He has created people just so that He could use them to manifest His wrath, just so that He would have them to punish forever but if that is the case, then I certainly cannot object. Sincerely, ShowMe P.S. You wouldn't happen to know where heaven and hell are, would you?


Subject: Re: Junk!
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 15:17:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe,

You wrongly assuming that 'love' and 'hate' are mutually exclusive! Can not a Judge who is also the father of a convicted murderer sentence his own son to death for his crime, but simultaneously be grieved over his son because he loves him? God's love in the Scripture is not some sentimentality which directs His immutable and holy will. Far be it from God to be likened to fallen mankind who has so distorted the image he was originally created with. The love of God is DISPLAYED in His foreordination to save unworthy 'vessels of wrath' who otherwise, if left to themselves would much rather occupy hell than spend eternity praising their Creator. Further, the cost involved in accomplishing their salvation is incomprehensible in that it was God Himself who condescending to become man and suffer the pangs of hell in those who were elected by grace to receive the benefits of the Lord Christ's vicarious substitutionary obedience and death. Such love is incomparable to anything done within the realm of mankind.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Junk!
From: ShowMe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 16:39:53 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Am I to therefore understand that you believe that God loves everyone with the same love that He has for the 'elect'? Is that your position? He loves everyone equally? The vessels of wrath created for destruction are just as much objects of Godís love as are the 'elect'? Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Junk!
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 22:01:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Am I to therefore understand that you believe that God loves everyone with the same love that He has for the 'elect'? Is that your position? He loves everyone equally? The vessels of wrath created for destruction are just as much objects of Godís love as are the 'elect'? Sincerely, ShowMe
---
ShowMe,

Is this a game with you? In a reply to Joel H. you stated that you are closer to the Reformed 'system' than any other. If that were true then would I not be wrong to presume that you have at least a basic understanding of the doctrines of that system? Taking that as the most reasonable conclusion one could come to, then why is it you are asking me such a fundamental question which is espoused by Calvinism and the Scriptures? There are myriad passages which clearly state that God HATES the wicked, etc. Obviously the LORD God doesn't love the reprobate in the same way as He has eternally loved the elect. That God has a general 'love', i.e., a benevolence for all men as His creatures is a truth. However, the Scriptures make clear that God's 'love' is salvific and efficacious, which is only extended to the elect. Again, whatever God desires/wills is that which He has decreed and will infallibly come to pass (Is 43:13; 46:10; 48:13-15; Ps 33:11; 135:6; Dan 4:35; Rom 11:33, 34; Eph 1:9-11; Heb 6:17). On the contrary, God hates those who are not destined to inherit the kingdom as adopted sons through the Lord Christ (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 10:3; 11:5-7; 21:8-13; Prov 6:16-19; Mal 1:1-3; Matt 7:22, 23; Rom 9:11-13). The immutable and eternal love of God shown to the elect is the exhibition of His eternal counsel. It is not some sporadic existential emotion which is spurred by a perception of the objects of His own creation. The LORD God is Omniscient and Omnipotent and has no need to react emotionally to that which is a result of His own doing.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Junk!
From: ShowMe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:08:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, In my very first post in this thread I wrote:
'In order to have God punish people forever there can be no love involved. Those that God would punish forever cannot ever have been loved by God. They must have been created as objects of hatred. In your first post to me in this thread you wrote: 'You wrongly assuming that 'love' and 'hate' are mutually exclusive! Can not a Judge who is also the father of a convicted murderer sentence his own son to death for his crime, but simultaneously be grieved over his son because he loves him?' Yes, I was very confused by your responce, you seemed to me to be comparing a vessel of wrath, the murderer, as a son of God that God grieves over because He must condemn him to death. That is not Reformed Theology! I donít know how else I was suppose to read your analogy. Furthermore, your example falls apart because the father in this case created the son to be a vessel of wrath and therefore the son in your example was simply fulfilling the purpose for which he was created. Actually in your analogy the son did what he was suppose to do and should be rewarded, not punished, for doing that for which he was designed. Iím certainly sorry if I misunderstood you but I really donít see how I could have taken your post any other way. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Junk!
From: CMB 19
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 22:11:32 (PST)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
'Furthermore, your example falls apart because the father in this case created the son to be a vessel of wrath and therefore the son in your example was simply fulfilling the purpose for which he was created.' Yes, I'm sure that all fathers can say what there kids will do when they grow up and leave the house. And I believe a judge will not 'create' his child to brake the law. A father that spanks his child he does it because he loves his child. And think about that old saying 'This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you' really think about that one.


Subject: Re: Junk!
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 09:55:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe,

Yes, you certainly have misunderstood the analogy and what the Reformed (biblical) Faith teaches. God did not CREATE men sinners (Supralapsarians might disagree here) but 'Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.' (Eccl 7:29). It is was God's purpose that Adam be created perfect yet he fall according to his own will. This disobedience on the part of Adam, who being the Federal Head of the entire human race, brought corruption, guilt and the ultimate ruin of all who would follow. The guilt is man's to bear alone and God cannot be held responsible or culpable for man's condemnation. God can and does 'love' the reprobate in the sense that they are His creatures, who despite their corruption, still bear the imago dei in them. This being so only makes them more vile and worthy to be damned, for 'What if God, willing to shew 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 afore prepared unto glory, destruction' (Rom 9:22, 23). This 'longsuffering' is manifested in myriad ways, even in the fact that God has often lavished these rebellious and unthankful people with most of the earthly wealth and riches. As the Lord Christ said of the Pharisees, 'They have their reward.' (Matt 6:2, 5. 16). All men everywhere are the recipients of God's benevolence in common grace to one degree or another, which they accredit to the creature rather than the Creator, 'who is blessed over all, Amen'. Thus God has given them over to their own vile affections and desires for which they shall suffer the punishment due on the day of Judgment. Yet, in complete agreement with the Reformed (biblical) Faith, even in His wrath when He justly sentences them to eternal torment, God will do so with a 'broken heart' 'As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:' (Ezek 33:11). It is not one attribute diminishing or nullifying another, but all exist in perfect harmony in the Godhead, for His ways are always perfect (Deut 32:4). 'That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?' (Gen 18:25). The fact that the LORD God has eternally determined to save a remnant out of Adam's fallen race to be redeemed from destruction by the substitutionary obedience and work of the Only Begotten Son of God; adopted into His kingdom as heirs, joint heirs with Christ and made to sit in the heavenlies is incomprehensible to any enlightened sinner who has received grace. 'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!' (Rom 11:33). For the heart of God's children, who have received the mercy of God in Christ Jesus are not want to ask, 'How could a loving God hate Esau?' but rather they speak in tears, 'How could a holy and loving God love Jacob? How could He possibly set His infinite love upon ME?' The true children of God are very much aware that they are undeserving of anything good from God. And this awareness is something which grows throughout their earthly pilgrimage, for the Spirit is merciful in revealing slowly and progressively the blackness of their own heart and the depth of their sinfulness, which exalts all the more the mercy and love of God to them.

SOLA GRATIA SOLA FIDE SOLUS CHRISTUS SOLI DEO GLORIA

By His Sovereign Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: all junk goes to gehenna nt
From: kevin
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 14:40:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:


Subject: Re: isn't Grace for everyone?
From: Anne
To: becky
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 09:10:59 (PST)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
...this is more a question of why would God have bothered to create all these extraneous people if He did not desire that ALL people be reconciled to Him through His Son's work on the cross? does this mean that, in fact, 'God does make junk? Well, since all humans are created in God's image, we are none of us junk. Most assuredly not. As to why He creates us all, knowing that some will receive justice in lieu of mercy, it is critical, I think, to remember that His divine and holy justice (and by logical extension, His wrath) is to be worshipped every bit as much as His divine and holy love. For both to be displayed properly, He requires some to be objects of His wrath, while others are chosen to be objects of His mercy. Whether one is the object of His wrath or his mercy, one is still displaying His glory. There is no doubt, however, that it will be a lot more pleasant to be an object of mercy, and not only due to improved living conditions. We will grow to our fullness in the afterlife, whether being sanctified with Him in Heaven, or by being totally given over to our sinful natures in Hell, with no more divine interference, for lack of a better term, holding us back from being 'all that we can be', to borrow a well-known recruitment slogan. And where you are, theologically speaking, is where I was just last October, so I easily understand your confusion. Anne


Subject: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: ShowMe
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:57:17 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
In Reformed theology are Heaven and Hell real places? Do you believe that Heaven is up above, perhaps another planet? Do you believe that Hell is in the center of the earth? Are Heaven and Hell actually places, or do you see them as some kind of other dimension outside of time and space? Or, do you understand them as simply some sort of symbolic state representing man's abandonment by God? I canít find much on this subject, Edwards apparently believed that Heaven and Hell were right next to one another since he taught that those in Heaven can watch the suffering of those in Hell. But, then, just where are Heaven and Hell? Are they then both under the earth? This is a rather important question for me and I would appreciate your Scripture based views. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: kevin
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 15:00:26 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe, That is an interesting question. I shall try to answer but I do need to know what you believe hell and heaven are. Do you believe that Hell is real? Do you believe it is eternal? Do you believe that Heaven is real? Is it eternal? I am not trying to avoid your question, I simply need to know what knowledge you do have to hopefully avoid future, fruitless dialogue on the attributes of heaven and hell. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: ShowMe
To: kevin
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:25:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Kevin, You wrote:
'I am not trying to avoid your question, I simply need to know what knowledge you do have to hopefully avoid future, fruitless dialogue on the attributes of heaven and hell.' Please allow me to decide for myself what is and what is not 'fruitless dialogue' :o) My question really has little to do with the attributes of heaven and hell other than there locations. If you believe them to be real places, Iím simply asking, where are they? Are they separate planets? Is Hell beneath the earth? Can you stand in heaven and see hell? Simple questions. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: Gene
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 18:52:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Show me, Some interpret questions like yours as 'doubt.' They think true believers would not ask such questions. Here is what I believe thus far in my spiritual journey: There is a place for the wicked. Where it is and what it is like-I do not know. The Bible describes Hell as a place of fire and burning. Try and describe a very bad place to us humans and you come up with 'fire' and eternal burning. What could be worse? Is it literally 'burning'? I doubt it. Heaven, I believe is a place like the garden of Eden. To me, that would be heaven. In fact, John describes heaven this way in Revelation. Heaven is a 'return to Eden.' Where is this place? I have no clue. Good questions! This is how I believe it to be.


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: ShowMe
To: Gene
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 19:49:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Gene, Thank you for your reply but Iím looking for the Reformed teaching on the locations of heaven and hell. The Reformed have quite a system of theology and I would think that the question of the location of heaven and hell would be covered somewhere in that system. You wrote:
' Some interpret questions like yours as 'doubt.' They think true believers would not ask such questions.' Thatís a very good observation, and one that I did not take into consideration. I consider myself to be a 'true believer' and therefore Iím free to question any and all systems of theology. I feel that I would be remiss, as a 'true believer', if I did not ask these kinds of questions :o) We certainly should know what we believe and why we believe what we believe. Again, I appreciate your personal views on the nature and locations of heaven and hell but Iím looking for the Calvinist or Reformed teaching on the subject. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: Gene
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 04:10:32 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes indeed! God does not have the 'sensitivities' as some do. He does not get angry when people ask Him questions (See the Psalms!). Hellenism is a big influence in the NT. Much of their imagery concerning hell (hades, tartarus, etc.) in the NT is borrowed from Greek Mythology. Hades, for example, is the god of the underground. Keep asking those questions brother!


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: john hampshire
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 01:10:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe, Everyone knows heaven is in northern California and hell is in central Oklahoma. As for the Reformed view of heaven and hell, I probably could research 10 reformed authors to get 10 opinions. Here's mine. Gehenna is derived from the Hebrew 'ge' meaning land or valley, and hinnom, a valley southwest of Jerusalem. It became the symbol of the place of eternal torment (see Matt 25:30,46). Some would say, based on the terms for 'hell' as 'lake of fire', 'furnace of fire', 'abyss', 'tartarus' that it must currently exist somewhere. Since there is mention of the 'heart of the earth' as to where Christ likened His death, and 1Ptr 3:19 says Christ freed the captives from the prison house, it is inferred that 'hell' is down in the earth, and Christ went there to preach to the saints or the wicked. I reject that entirely. :0 There is not a lake of fire in the center of the earth. The 'heart of the earth' describes the seperation which Christ endured, as Jonah also was seperated from all blessing in the great fish. Christ did not preach in 'hell', it is rather Noah and other believers that Christ preached through in the OT, making proclamation of salvation to the spirits then in prison, i.e., the wicked (slaves to Satan). So where is the lake of fire? It is not anywhere. It doesn't exist. It is a condition, a matter of being subject to God's wrath. It is only upon Judgment Day, the last day of this earth, that the wicked are judged, and thrown into the Lake of Fire. It is then that the condition of being under God's wrath turns into a reality as the sentence is executed. Then the Lake of Fire will be populated. As for the location of heaven, that is easy. Heaven is wherever the Father's throne is. The Bible speaks of the third heaven. The first is the air, where birds fly. The second heaven is where the stars shine. The third is where God dwells. It is not within this created universe. It is there that the dead in Christ (saints) await the end of the earth's existence. The new heavens and new earth are what is created after this current universe is destroyed. It is a totally different manner of universe than the present. It will be as different as a seed is from a redwood tree. It is the eternal dwelling place of the elect, angels, and God. Since I am Reformed in Theology, you can consider this a reformed perspective. john


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: ShowMe
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 09:48:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, Iím not to keen on the use of symbolism when it comes to actual places. I can accept it if you believe that heaven and hell are purely symbolic but when you also describe them as actual places then symbolism must give way to literalism and real places that must be somewhere. I know where Gehenna, the Valley Of Hinnon, is :o) It is located west and south of Jerusalem and runs into the Kidron Valley at a point opposite the town of Silwan. The Valley of Hinnom, a watercourse, is still know today as the Wady (the streambed of fire), it is about fifteen miles long and empties into the Dead Sea. As for the Lake of fire, literally, the lake of THE fire, I can make a very good argument that it is the same Dead Sea :o) that Gehenna empties into. You wrote:
' So where is the lake of fire? It is not anywhere. It doesn't exist. It is a condition, a matter of being subject to God's wrath. It is only upon Judgment Day, the last day of this earth, that the wicked are judged, and thrown into the Lake of Fire. It is then that the condition of being under God's wrath turns into a reality as the sentence is executed. Then the Lake of Fire will be populated.' Apparently you believe that the lake of the fire does not exist at this time, it is yet to be created, and that it then becomes a place of eternal or endless torment? Even if I were to accept that the lake of fire does not yet exit and therefore has no location I cannot accept that it is to be eternal because the Book of Revelations says that when the time of the Great White Throne period is over, God will then create a new heavens and a new earth (Rev.21:1). All the former things (including the Lake of Fire) will pass away (Rev.21:4,5).'Behold, I make all things new' (Rev.21:5). On heaven you wrote: 'As for the location of heaven, that is easy. Heaven is wherever the Father's throne is. The Bible speaks of the third heaven. The first is the air, where birds fly. The second heaven is where the stars shine. The third is where God dwells. It is not within this created universe. It is there that the dead in Christ (saints) await the end of the earth's existence.' Heaven is not in this created universe? Iím sorry but that simply makes no sense to me, I mean that most respectfully, I really donít understand what you mean. You think that heaven is in some un-created universe? Only God Himself is un-created, everything else has its origin in Him. You also say that the 'dead in Christ await the end of the earthís existence' in this heaven that is not within the created universe. That brings up another question about the nature of these saints, do they have bodies? If so, how can that be since the resurrection of the dead has not yet come to pass? Do they have mass, as in weight? You say: ' Since I am Reformed in Theology, you can consider this a reformed perspective.' To be honest, Iím not sure that your 'perspective' is all that Reformed, far more symbolism than I thought Reformed theology allowed. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Think about it
From: CMB 19
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 28, 2000 at 22:51:53 (PST)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
Can you see someone's spirit? As in where it is going to go. No. The spirit is inviable to the eye. And so are where they go (Heaven, Hell) I believe that there are real places, but not within our world/universe. If they where, than we could get there without having to die. And the only way that will happen is when the rapture of the church happens. As for your question about bodies. those in Heaven and Hell will get eternal bodies. I believe the lake of fire is real. If you burn this body it will pass away. But, an eternal body will not. Think about that, being consumed by fire for ever and remembering all the times you where witnessed to. That is Hell.


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: kevin
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 11:51:06 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe, I ask my questions for a reason. That is to better understand your question. But since you find it not necessary to divulge any information as to where you are coming from then I will answer your question. Heaven is in the presence of God. Hell is in the presence of God. Both places are eternal and real since God is eternal and real. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: ShowMe
To: kevin
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:44:05 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Kevin, If you ask me a direct question perhaps I will be able to answer you. Iím not trying to keep from divulging information, Iím just trying to understand the Reformed teaching on the locations of heaven and hell. You wrote:
'Heaven is in the presence of God. Hell is in the presence of God.' Iím not quite sure what you are trying to say. In a certain sense everything is in the presence of God but that does not mean that they donít have locality. Jerusalem is in the presence of God, but I also know where it is locally. Do you believe that heaven is another planet? Do you believe that hell is beneath the earth? Where do you, according to Reformed Theology, believe that they are? That's all that I'm asking. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 10:04:57 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe,

Kevin has answered your question simply and rightly. Heaven is a place where the souls of departed 'saints' dwell to await the final Judgment and the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth. Hell is also a place where the souls of the departed wicked dwell to await their final sentencing and casting into the Lake of Fire on that great day of final Judgment. As to their location, the Scriptures do not say. However, they are NOT on, in or beneath this physical earth, that much we do know. They are a part of the spiritual dimension. Angels exist, but are unseen to the physical eye. God exists and has eternally, yet He is not visible to the physical eye of man. Is it so difficult to accept that heaven and hell also exist and are invisible to the physical eye of man?

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Another Dimension?
From: ShowMe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 12:45:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, You wrote:
'As to their location, the Scriptures do not say. However, they are NOT on, in or beneath this physical earth, that much we do know.' Actually the notion that 'hell' is under the earth is a very old Christian tradition. Likewise the idea that Heaven is above is also an accepted Christian tradition. You wrote: They are a part of the spiritual dimension. Angels exist, but are unseen to the physical eye. God exists and has eternally, yet He is not visible to the physical eye of man. Is it so difficult to accept that heaven and hell also exist and are invisible to the physical eye of man? Iím not so sure that Angels are unseen to the physical eye, the Bible has several instances where they are seen by people. As far as God not being visible to the human eye, I cannot agree, as Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, was very visible to the human eye after His resurrection. Do you think that the resurrected Christ now dwells in another dimension, one that excludes His resurrected body, a body that Thomas could touch and feel, a real body? If Christís resurrected body was tangible we then can conclude that heaven, His dwelling place is also tangible and therefore has location. Your explanation that heaven and hell exist in some other dimension, a spiritual dimension is simply not acceptable, nor do I believe that it is Scriptural. For me, they are real places and therefore they have location, even if they are in some other dimension, they have location. Do you believe that heaven and hell are superimposed upon this physical dimension that we are in? That the heaven and hell dimension are all around us, that angels and demons are all about us, going about their daily existence in the same space that we occupy, only in another, different dimension. If so, thatís way to science fiction for me. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Another Dimension?
From: Pilgrim
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:02:08 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe, You wrote,
'That the heaven and hell dimension are all around us, that angels and demons are all about us, going about their daily existence in the same space that we occupy, only in another, different dimension. If so, thatís way to science fiction for me.' As so it must be 'science fiction' to you and all those who are of the flesh. The kingdom of God cannot be perceived by the flesh, but by the spirit/Spirit alone. And I leave you to it to enjoy while it is yet day. Pilgrim


Subject: What about His Body?
From: ShowMe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 15:59:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Am I then to deny that the resurrected body of Jesus Christ is not truly touchable? That it is some 'spirit body' that dwells in some other 'spirit demension'? I'm certainly not prepared to do that. Sincerely, ShowMe


Subject: Re: Heaven and Hell, where are they?
From: kevin
To: ShowMe
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 13:19:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
ShowMe, I am answering your question. Heaven is in the presence of God eternally. Hell is in the presence of God eternally. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: WELCOME BACK, ROD
From: laz
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:01:12 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
This may not be 'theological' so sue me! hehe I just had to tell Rod that I'm glad he's back and feelin' up to snuff....enough to post on the Highway! Blessings, laz p.s. let me be 'legal' and make this post theological.... Rod, you believe in God? LOL


Subject: Indeed, yes!
From: Anne
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:45:03 (PST)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
So glad you're home, and on both the mend and the Net! (severely) Do
NOT overdo. Anne


Subject: Re: WELCOME BACK, ROD
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:43:17 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
Thanks, laz. I still really can't do this--typing is hard and thoughts are too, so I'll just mostly continuue to lurk. Do I believe in God? Yes! and He has chosen to allow me to continue in that trust! :>) He is so wonderful to me/us. Bye for now.


Subject: Re: WELCOME BACK, ROD
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:10:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, It was heart warming to see the fruit of our prayers at your first post since your operation! :-) May the LORD our God continue to bring healing to your frail body and to strengthen you in the inner man through the indwelling Spirit of Grace, so that you may continue to serve Him here on earth in whatever capacity He has ordained for you unto His ultimate glory. In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: What is The Reform View?
From: Vernon
To: To All
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 03:49:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The fruit of the Spirit refers to the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility) and self-control. When you display irresponsible behaviour, pride, expressions of enmity, lack of love, and other works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), you are lacking the fruit of the Spirit. If you have been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are eligible to receive the things of the Spirit of God. You must be willing to let the Holy Spirit produce these virtues within you (Galatians 5:22,23). What is the view of Reform theology in the Holy Spirit and do you believe that the Holy Spirit has a part in bringing man to the understanding of his lost condition and seeing Christ as the Redeemer of his soul? Why did the Father send Christ into the world and when Christ left this world, what was the purpose for the Holy Spirit to come? In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: What is The Reform View?
From: laz
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 06:58:47 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern: not exactly sure what you're getting at but I will comment on this your question:
What is the view of Reform theology in the Holy Spirit and do you believe that the Holy Spirit has a part in bringing man to the understanding of his lost condition and seeing Christ as the Redeemer of his soul? The irony is that it is us 'reformed' types that not only beleive that the Spirit has a part in bringing man to the understanding of his lost condition....' but that He does far, far more. It is the Spirit that actually gives us the unshakable desire to irresistably grab hold of Christ ...(none of this allowing us to pick between vanilla and chocolate) so that once unconditionally regenerated by the Spirit, we can do no other thing than to recognize our falleness, Christ's atonement for US and lay hold to that which our soul longs for most. Can a 'natural man' see Christ as the redeemer of lost souls? No way! Only a 'born again', 'spiritual man', can see such a thing. Only a regenerated person knows he's lost! Only the Spirit regenerates and only those for whom it has been purposed in God from all eternity. So, in the reformed view...salvation is ALL/100% of God. He has seen to it that those whom the Father has elected and for whom the Son has made payment....are mercifully saved - again, this grace and ensuing act of faith both coming from God according to His purposes. laz


Subject: Re: What is The Reform View?
From: Vernon
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:47:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Laz, I agree with you and said this to many of you but not in theses words. Some time back I posted to Pastor Bro Bret's Site outling the works of the Spirit . I have alway said that it is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit who is God in Spirit that convicts man to his knees and pleading for God's forgivenness. Otherwise, how will man be convicted of his sin? In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: What is The Reform View?
From: Pilgrim
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:39:58 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Laz, I agree with you and said this to many of you but not in theses words. Some time back I posted to Pastor Bro Bret's Site outling the works of the Spirit . I have alway said that it is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit who is God in Spirit that convicts man to his knees and pleading for God's forgivenness. Otherwise, how will man be convicted of his sin? In Christ Vernon
---
Vernon,

Half a truth is no truth! And some of us who have 'been round the block' for many years have become very astute in recognizing deceit, whether intentional or not. I, for one am very familiar with your Semi-Pelagian theology, couched in modern 'Evan-jelly-cal' phraseology and therefore not easily taken in with such statements as you have made immediately above.

'I have alway said that it is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit who is God in Spirit that convicts man to his knees and pleading for God's forgiveness. Otherwise, how will man be convicted of his sin?

What is glaringly absent from your statement is the most important part, i.e., that the Holy Spirit's work in bringing a man to conviction is NOT the conviction of sin whereby it INFALLIBLY brings a man to the Lord Christ in repentance and faith unto Justification. Your view holds that once a man has been brought to some place in his life where he knows of his sin(s), he is at a juncture wherein he CAN either 'ask Jesus into his heart' or 'reject the gospel'! This is NOT biblical conviction of sin sir! True conviction is a spiritual grace whereby the sinner is brought low to the point of despair. He realizes that not only has he committed myriad sins but that he is a person who is helplessly bound by his own willful SINFULNESS. His cry is like unto that of Isaiah's, 'Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.'. What is inextricably bound is the vision/knowledge of one's true corruption and the holiness of the LORD God. It is at this point that the Spirit also gives the sinner eyes to see the loveliness and sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of sinners. He is IRRESISTIBLY drawn/driven to the Lord Christ and bows before God and pleads for mercy, resting his whole heart, mind, soul and strength in the person and work of the great Redeemer LORD; Christ Jesus. In other words, THERE IS NO CHOICE that any regenerated sinner will or CAN make other than to flee to the Lord Christ. In Him and Him alone is there any hope of life, either temporal or eternal for an enlightened sinner. The Spirit also gives the quickened sinner ears to hear, 'My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' (Song 2:10), for '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, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.' (Joh 10:27-29). And the Spirit also enlightens the mind so that he understands 'It 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.' And so the convicted sinner flies to the Lord Christ and his heart and voice both exclaim, 'His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.' (Song 5:16). THIS is what happens to each and every one whom the Spirit convicts of sin; it INFALLIBLY leads one to the Lord Christ and in Him he puts his entire trust and dependency FOREVER.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: You May Disagree,Pilgrim
From: Vernon
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 03:01:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, There is a large communication gap between us. I am not sure why this is, but I feel there is. A man must see himself lost."Man in his own power and natural state will never see this. then, how will the man see? Pilgrim, 'What is the definition of Conviction?'........ I will supply with a definition give by Mathew Slick who is a Calvinist: Conviction The work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him: guilty, defiled, and totally unable to save himself (John 16:8). Conviction of the Holy Spirit of an unbeliever reveals sinfulness and guilt and brings fear. Conviction of the Holy Spirit of the believer brings an awareness of sin and results in confession and cleansing. This conviction is produced by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), the Gospel (Acts 2:37), the conscience (Rom. 2:15), and the Law (James 2:9). Conviction of our sins brings us to the cross. It shows us our need for forgiveness Do you understand now by what I mean in bringing man to a place of understanding his codition before God? For man to receive forgiveness, repentance is necessary (Luke 17:3-4). For the holy God to extend forgiveness, the shedding of blood is necessary (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11). Forgiveness is based upon the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. I agree that there are many who walk in this world and call themselves Christian and are no more saved than satan himself. These people think they are doing the will of God when in fact they do every work for there own prideful will and not that of God's will.They base there Salvation in there own personal act of repentance and walk before a local Chruch saying they have repented. Come, Come Pilgrim, This is not what I mean in repentance and I have expressed to you and the many here who have disagreed with me.'A MAN MUST KNOW HE IS A SINNER AND WITH OUT CHRIST, HE IS LOST.' Did you hear what I just said to you? How can he see this and truly believe it unless it be by the illumination of his spiritual mind by the power of the Holy Spirit?' A man can never believe unless he has been 'Born Again' from above (John 3:3 ) Repentance....To repent means to turn. In the NT repentance means to turn from sin. We were called by God to turn from sin. In fact, all men everywhere are commanded by God to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). God's longsuffering leads us to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9) as does His kindness (Rom. 2:4). There is true and false repentance, 'For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death' (2 Cor. 7:10). You spoke of Justification, 'WELL!...Justify,Justification, is to be made righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is 'declared' sinless. This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, '...having now been justified by His blood...' (Rom. 5:9). When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and 'sees' him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost for it required the satisfaction of God's Law, '...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness' (Heb. 9:22). By the sacrifice of Jesus, in the 'one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men' (Rom. 5:18 ). In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself--Jesus. We receive mercy--we are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed upon us--we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24), by faith (Rom. 3:28) because Jesus bore our guilt (Is. 53:12). But how can man come to this understanding? Pilgrim, I will use Paul's words to explain to you.......Rom 10:6-11 But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, 'Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down),or 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).' But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart'-- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus {as} Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.' Paul continues with this statment....Rom 10:12-15 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same {Lord} is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him;for 'Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.' How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!' (NAS) I hope you receive a better understanding in what I am saying to you. But in any case. The man who hears God's there is a respone made by the man in as much as you may disagree. In Christ Vernon


Subject: Vernon: Please answer the questions!
From: Pilgrim
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:58:37 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon,

Here we see your continued 'modus operandi' which completely avoids the true issues and differences between your unbiblical, man-made Semi-Pelagianism and the teaching of the Scriptures which were the foundation of the Protestant Church at the time of the Reformation and of the sporadically visible church from the days of the Apostles. I didn't even hint at wanting to know your or Matt Slick's definition of conviction, repentance or justification. These are ancillary to the more basic question of man's nature/condition after the Fall. The subject which I thought was clearly brought up for your reply was the EFFICACY of true regeneration which involves conviction. So I will but one last time ask you to either confirm or deny the following: 1) Does regeneration precede or follow faith? 2) Does regeneration ALWAYS and INFALLIBLY bring a person to the Lord Christ whereby he/she is ALWAYS justified? 3) Does Holy Spirit wrought conviction ALWAYS AND INFALLIBLY result in true saving faith being exercised in Christ? If you are unable to understand these questions, please seek help in doing so that you might be able to intelligently and directly answer them. I am not interested in your alleged conversion, love of God, sincerity in your beliefs or any other peripheral information. All I want is a straight forward answer to these questions. Thank you, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Vernon: Please answer the questions!
From: Vernon
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 11:09:12 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I just do not understand.... There seem to be a real communication gap with communicating with you. I believe I did say a man must be illuminated spiritually. Would this be the same as 'Regeneration.' The truth is.... man can not be saved until he believes. And he can not believe until the Holy Spirit illuminates his mind to believe,,,, hmmmmmmm! In Chtist Vernon


Subject: Re: Vernon: Please answer the questions!
From: Tom
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 12:53:19 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Vernon For the sake of clarity, can you do us all a favour and answer Pilgrim's question in the order he gave you? For example in number 1) use 'precede' or 'follow'. 1) Does regeneration precede or follow faith? 2) Does regeneration ALWAYS and INFALLIBLY bring a person to the Lord Christ whereby he/she is ALWAYS justified? 3) Does Holy Spirit wrought conviction ALWAYS AND INFALLIBLY result in true saving faith being exercised in Christ? Tom


Subject: Hey Tom
From: Vernon
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 17:30:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
For the sake of clarity, can you do us all a favour and answer Pilgrim's question in the order he gave you? For example in number 1) use 'precede' or 'follow'. 1) Does regeneration precede or follow faith? 2) Does regeneration ALWAYS and INFALLIBLY bring a person to the Lord Christ whereby he/she is ALWAYS justified? 3) Does Holy Spirit wrought conviction ALWAYS AND INFALLIBLY result in true saving faith being exercised in Christ? : Please answer the questions! Message: I just do not understand.... There seem to be a real communication gap with communicating with you. I believe I did say a man must be illuminated spiritually. Would this be the same as 'Regeneration.' The truth is.... man can not be saved until he believes.Man can not believe until the Holy Spirit illuminates his mind to believe,,,, hmmmmmmm! In Chtist Vernon Tom: The word ďIlluminateĒ as used in the Bible means........ To be spiritually or intellectually enlightened. In the BOOK OF hEBREWS 10:32 it referes to those who are knowledgeable of the saving message of the gospel. Now... Having knowlege of the message of the gospel in its self does not save anyone. But one being been illuniated to the point where they believe in the truth of the Gospel and see themselves as God sees them..... ďGuilty and lost with out Christ ď and putting full trust in Christ would mean they have been ďRegenerated.Ē They could not ďBelieve: with a saving Faith unless they had been ďBORN AgainĒ This would be the sane in saying ďThey could not believe unless they be regenerated first.Ē Tom, the word ďRegenrationĒ is not in the Bible (I do not )Ē Is this a man made term? I use the term "Born Again.Ē Using your term..... If a person has been ďRegeneratedĒ He is saved. I do not believe that every man who is convicted of sin is saved. Conviction in its self is not salvation. In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Hey Tom
From: laz
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 19:18:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern: Regeneration in the Bible...
Mt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; What is so difficult about those three simple and direct questions, meant to get to the very bottom of your understanding of grace and salvation? Mind if I answer them for you and presumptively for everyone who has a biblical understanding of the nature of FREE AND SOVEREIGN GRACE...the very heart of the GOSPEL? 1) Does regeneration precede or follow faith? ANSWER: Regeneration precedes faith. Those DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS cannot exercise faith (faith also being a gift from God, Eph2:8-10)- how can they possibly do this until there has been a sovereign act of God upon the soul, an act rooted in His purposes in Election (Rom 9:11)... whereby spiritual life is breathed back into it. For the 'natural man' can't understand (1Cor2:14)the things of God...regeneration, a bloody atonement clearly being among these things being either foolishness, stumbling stone, or a rock of offense (Is 8:14,1Cor1:23, 1Pet2:8). Notice above in Titus 3:5 that it's God's MERCY, and not our thoughts, words, deeds, NOTHING ELSE, not even a DECISION FOR JESUS that saves...it's MERCY manifested in sovereign and unconditional regeneration. We have NO PART in our salvation...other than our REACTION TO IT once it's been given to us as a free gift BY grace THROUGH faith. God saves some....God leaves others behind without consulting EITHER. IT'S ALL OF GOD! 2) Does regeneration ALWAYS and INFALLIBLY bring a person to the Lord Christ whereby he/she is ALWAYS justified? ANSWER: ALWAYS AND FOREVER. All of those given to Jesus by the Father will come...(John 17). The ELECT are always found and saved. ALWAYS....God never misses His mark. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Notice how it implies that those that come won't be cast out...as if it were possible for some NOT to come - that we are given a CHOICE to come or not to come - but in the preceding part of the verse it says that all that the Father gives SHALL COME. Salvation is ALL of God...none of the chosen ever get left out in the cold to make some sort of a DECISION....they get saved....100% of the time. 3) Does Holy Spirit wrought conviction ALWAYS AND INFALLIBLY result in true saving faith being exercised in Christ? ANSWER: Answered above. Yes. The Holy Spirit thru the washing of regeneration brings about true conviction unto repentance unto salvation on behalf of those elected by the Father and atoned for by the Son. laz Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


Subject: Re: Hey Laz
From: Vernon
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 04:42:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello , It matters not in what I post, I really believe that the many of you will disagree with me for I do not adhere to your doctrine in its useage and definition. This is way I have used different peopleís writingsto explain my self which many were Calvinist and to my surprise, You have denied them also. Simply put it, ď Anything I would post, You will disagree with it.Ē I have even posted ďPaulĒ and you have disagreed with him. Therefore, When I say that I agree with the below, I know one of two things or maybe three will happen. ( No response from you, or total disagreement and lastly...kick me from the site. ) All these have happened in the past because I disagree in how you define predestination. I do not disagree in predestination in its self. In Christ Vernon REGENERATION The spiritual change brought about in a person's life by an act of God. In regeneration a person's sinful nature is changed, and he is enabled to respond to God in faith. The word regeneration occurs only in the New Testament (Matt. 19:28; Titus 3:5), but the concept or idea is common throughout the Bible. The literal meaning of regeneration is 'BORN AGAINĒ a first birth and a second birth. The first, as Jesus said to Nicodemus (John 3:1-12) is 'of the flesh'; the second birth is 'of the Spirit.' Being born of the Spirit is essential before a person can enter the kingdom of God. Every biblical command to man to undergo a radical change of character from selfcenteredness to God-centeredness is, in effect, an appeal to be 'born again' (Ps. 51:5-11; Jer. 31:33; Zech. 13:1). Great religious experiences like that of Jacob at Jabbok (Gen. 32:22-32), Moses at the burning bush (Ex. 3:1), Josiah on hearing the reading of the Law (2 Kin. 22:8-13), or Isaiah in the Temple (Is. 6:1-8) might well be regarded as 'new birth.' Thus, regeneration involves an enlightening of the mind, a change of the will, and a renewed nature. It extends to the total nature of man, changing a person's desires and restoring him to a right relationship with God in Christ. The need for regeneration grows out of humanity's sinfulness. It is brought about through God's initiative. God works in the human heart, and the person responds to God through faith. Thus, regeneration is an act of God through the Holy Spirit, resulting in resurrection from sin to a new life in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).


Subject: Re: Hey Laz
From: laz
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 05:52:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern - why then do you post material from other calvinist who DO agree with the our view of predestination...YES, even Matt Slick agrees with our (the historic reformed/calvinistic) view of predestination? You obviously don't understand what Matt is REALLY saying for I seriously doubt that he embraces arminianism. What's up with THAT? Why the deception? You repeated say, 'I agree, I agree'...knowing full well that our views are miles apart when we get down to brass tacks? You agree with the 'end'... that it is God thru His Spirit that regenerates...but then attribute the 'means' to man thus denying the nature of grace. In a nutshell, you have the cart before the horse and refuse to see it. Can't say I didn't try..... laz p.s. I went back to read your post on regeneration above...and have no problem with it... We all agree on what regeneration IS....
the issue is WHEN AND WHY does it occur in the first place?? You are correct about one thing...the issue IS rooted in the definition of predestination....yours being arminian. You have admitted that you deny biblical predestination for a defn of your own liking...so I guess we all should just let you be now that you've 'come clean.' ;-)


Subject: Re: Hello Laz
From: Vernon
To: laz
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 10:07:55 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello Laz, I went back to read your post on regeneration above...and have no problem with it... We all agree on what regeneration IS....the issue is WHEN AND WHY does it occur in the first place?? You are correct about one thing...the issue IS rooted in the definition of predestination....yours being arminian. You have admitted that you deny biblical predestination for a defn of your own liking...so I guess we all should just let you be now that you've 'come clean.' ;-) Ps: Laz, you have called me arminian and you have said that I reject the biblical definition of predestination. (1) If my view is arminian, then, why do the arminians accuse me of being Calvinist, Why do the Universalist call me a Calvinist? To be truthful with you Laz, I am neither. I really care less about these lables. After all, ďI believe it is more important as to what the Father God call me.Ē Amen! (2)You have said that I disagree with predestination as told in the Bible. I am not assured that this is true. It would be more accurated to say that I disagree with the condition and defination as you have explained them. (3) Laz, Pilgrim and All, do one have to believe in predestination to be saved? Why was Jesus sent to this world? Who did He come to save? Who are the Lost? In what way do we become a Child of God? Whom does God choose to be children of His. (4) Would you explain (1 John 5:1-5 ) Laz, if an Arminian or Calvinist stands in Faith and rest in the truth of these scriptures, ďIs he a Christian saved by the grace of God?Ē If you would, Please explain (1 John 5:10-12 ) (5) Laz, Who is the word of God speaking in verses ( Acts 2:22-24 ) and right above in verses 21 Peter said what ? Now in (Romans 10:13-17 ) Paul answers Peter, and what did Paul say? Laz, man can not call upon the Lord unless they what.......ĒBelieve.Ē How shall they be able to believe or have faith..... By the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit. The truth is and I am sure you do not mean Predestination in the way I am hearing it from you, Here is what I hear>>>>>It is not necessary to witness for all who have been chose or Predestinated will come to God regardless of witnessing. This is what I hear coming from this site from some. In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Hello? Vernon!!
From: Pilgrim
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 22:41:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon,

Again you are expending all your energy in trying to avoid the real issue(s), and some of us are not buying it for a moment. We are not even close to being close in our theology, PERIOD! What you believe is antithetical to what I believe and what the Protestant Church has historically believed up until the late 1800's when Liberalism and Finneyism came to the fore. It is NOT JUST 'Predestination' that we disagree on. We disagree on the fundamentals of the faith, especially redemption: 1) You deny Total Depravity, i.e., men are born: DEAD, dead dead! You believe that man is 'dead' but yet alive albeit in a small way and thus has the ability to believe without first being 'made alive' by the sovereign free grace working of the Holy Spirit. 2) You deny Unconditional Election, i.e., it is God's eternal and immutable counsel that predestinated a remnant of Adam's fallen race to receive mercy and be brought to salvation in Christ. You say that 'predestination' is conditional; being determined by the person's choice beforehand... [ala 'postdestination] and further that 'predestination' never involves individuals as persons, but only a generic 'plan of salvation' of which anyone who wills may adopt. 3) You deny Definite Atonement/Particular Redemption, i.e., that the Lord Christ came to redeem a specific number of people, whom He knew by name and who the Father gave Him to live a perfect life and suffer eternal death in their place. You say that the Lord Christ died for everyone, yet failed to actually secure their salvation. In your view Christ only came to make salvation 'possible', and that determined by the 'free will decision' to ask Jesus into their hearts. 4) You deny Irresistible Grace, i.e., that those whom the Father predestinated to be in Christ, those whom the Son atoned for and secured their salvation, the same whom the Holy Spirit regenerates are infallibly brought to faith in Christ and thus are adopted as sons, sons of the Living God. You say that the Holy Spirit only produces a superficial conviction and/or desire in all men which are then left to their own wills to either 'accept Christ' or to 'reject Christ'. 5) As to Perseverence/Preservation of the Saints I have not been able to hear your views on this in detail enough to determine if you actually hold to the doctrine as it is stated biblically, or you again have some divergent view which is contrary to it. Thus, you deny 4 out of 5 of the fundamental doctrines of salvation by grace alone 'Sola Gratia'. And this being true, if one who professes to be an Arminian calls you a Calvinist, he/she is either totally ignorant of Calvinism, Arminianism or both. If a Universalist calls you a Calvinist, it is because they are invariably not a true believer, and thus true doctrine is not something they have the ability to comprehend. The fact is that you are 4/5's in agreement with the doctrine espoused by the Remonstrants which railed against the doctrines of the Reformation churches and who were devoted followers of Jacobus Arminius and his doctrines... aka ARMINIANS! You don't like the label? Then change your doctrine. With the exception of but one point, which is still questionable, you are a classic Arminian in your theology, and thus more in line with Roman Catholicism than Protestantism. And of necessity, your 'gospel' is the end product of what you BELIEVE. This is true of everyone. Your view of God will determine what you believe about salvation, and what you believe about salvation will be what you tell others. Your doctrine of God is in error, thus your doctrine of salvation is flawed and thus your gospel is false. Lastly, your accusation against laz, myself and my staff is also false! Any messages you have posted here that have been deleted have been done so because they were in violation of the stated guidelines. When you were banned it was for the same reason; you were in serious breach of the guidelines set forth for this Forum. When we disagree with you it is not because we don't like you nor because we question your salvation necessarily, but because this being a Forum whose stated foundation is the Reformation doctrines of Free Sovereign Grace, you have openly rejected those doctrines and tried to 'preach' a man-centered 'grace+works'- salvation. The Protestant Church has heard your doctrines for centuries in all its myriad forms and for centuries it has judged it to be heresy and rejected. Lastly, you want to know if one has to believe in Predestination to be saved! No, I don't believe that is true.... however, as I showed above, your problem is NOT just Predestination, but as it is usually the case, it is not a matter of Predestination, but all the other fundamental doctrines on which Predestination rests and are inseparable. And as I have stated on numerous occasions and even to you personally many times over, 'IF you believe sincerely with your heart those things which I have enumerated above in regards to Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Definite Atonement and Irresistible Grace, then you CANNOT be saved, for your basis for salvation rests not in SOLUS CHRISTUS, in Christ alone, but rather a shared confidence in Christ AND your free-will decision to 'accept Him'. To this, Paul says you are yet 'dead in your sins'. But whether or not this is the case with you, only God knows. But God has given to the church and its members the Spirit to be able to discern truth from error and to rebuke those who profess His name and believe the devil's lies and the doctrines of men, with the hopes that they will repent and trust in CHRIST ALONE, through FAITH ALONE. May that be so with you! In His Grace ALONE, Pilgrim 'The Sovereignty of God is the stumbling block on which thousands fall and perish; and if we go contending with God about His sovereignty it will be our eternal ruin. It is absolutely necessary that we should submit to God as an absolute sovereign, and the sovereign of our souls; as one who may have mercy on whom He will have mercy and harden whom He will!' -Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)


Subject: Dear Vernon
From: laz
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2000 at 08:54:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern - not sure you will grasp all that Pilgrim has confronted you with above (nothing new, however).... but in my view...the bottom line in his message to you is this: If you truly believe that God has left it up to you to decide for yourself whom you will serve...in otherwords,
YOUR DECISION APART FROM GRACIOUS REGENERATION becomes your passport to paradise, then your confidence has not been placed on Christ's FINISHED work and His alone. Sorry to say but such a 'faith' ...a synergistic one making you no different than a JW or a Mormon or a RC...CANNOT SAVE....your unbridled sincerity notwithstanding. Which will it be....Christ ALONE...or Christ+Vern? Grace ALONE ...or Grace+Vern? laz


Subject: Re: Hello Laz
From: laz
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 13:11:31 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern: I will quote your verses for the very first one makes my point: 1Jo 5:1
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: OK, this could mean; (1)that those that believe are then born again (your position), OR, (2) that those that believe, do so because they have already been born again (regenerated). WHICH IS IT? I have shown on this thread that it's God who has acted first, INDEPEDENTLY of the actions, thoughts, will of man...this is FREE GRACE. God picking for Himself whom He will save thru His ordained means, and whom will be left in their sins. I have shown many verses to show that the second interpretation is the biblical one. Again, we believe because we have been predestined to be upon hearing the gospel. Your comment about predestination making preaching the gospel of no use is NOT what anyone teaches for the most prolific evangelists EVER have clearly been CALVINISTS. You can now toss that silly argument aside. The preaching of the gosple is God's MEANS of reaching his Elect. We preach to reach! It doesn't happen by fiat...God calls us to preach to reach the sheep. hmmm, startin' to sound like the Rev Jessie Jackson...SLAP ME NOW! haha Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. We were born again on account of the will of God...NOT of our own. NO ONE DECIDES IN ORDER THAT GOD MAY REBIRTH US....NO ONE SIMPLY BELIEVES UPON GOD..UNLESS IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO HIM (JOHN6:65)...AND THEN IT'S A SURE THING. For all given to the Son by the Father SHALL COME to Him. As I have shown on this very thread. PREDESTINATION STANDS. IT CAN'T BE DENIED.... The very nature of saving faith rides on our confession, just as Peter's did. Mt 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. So it is with everyone that ends up believeing ....GOD HAS REVEALED IT TO US THRU REGENERATION!! PREDESTINATION DOES NOT SAVE ANY MORE THAN A 'DECISION' TO ACCEPT CHRIST AS OUR PERSONAL SAVIOR SAVES....God saves out of the riches of His mercy and grace towards ELECT sinners. God saves. Why is this so hard for you to grasp? Do you hate the thought of God not OFFERING salvation to all men? Must God OFFER salvation, convict a man, allowing this man to make a choice before He can legally sentence him to hell? laz


Subject: Re: What is The Reform View?
From: Vernon
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:13:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I believe in the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit. We are born in sin, without spiritual life. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5) Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7-8) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 ) By the new birth, or regeneration, we receive spiritual life. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:6-7) This new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.(John 3:6) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (Titus 3:5) Following the new birth, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16) Our new life is characterized by a change of behavior, empowered by the Spirit. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10) By:B.J. Creed In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: What is The Reform View?
From: Vernon
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 17:17:06 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I believe in the gift of eternal life by the grace of God. Salvation is a gift, by grace (i.e., without our merit). For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) It comes to those who believe on Christ. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)


Subject: Fasting
From: Christopher
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 22:40:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Interested in Reformed views? Usually heard how one shouldn't fast, but how do you feel one
should fast? You folks managed to surprise me on infant baptism (somewhat), so I thought I'd throw this out there, it being Great Lent and all...


Subject: Re: Fasting
From: john hampshire
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 02:04:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Fasting, there's a concept. In Luke 5:34,35 Jesus speaks of fasting. Yet He is not talking about going without food, which the Pharisees implied was important. Jesus said, 'when the bridegroom is taken away, then the companions of the bridegroom will fast'. Who is the bride, and who is the bridegroom? Christ is the bridegroom, and the church (the elect) are the bride of Christ. When Christ was taken up, then salvation came, then the elect went out to bring the gospel. In Matt 17:21 Jesus remarked concerning a demon that couldn't be cast out, 'But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting'. Would less food have moved the legions of Satan? No, it is not food that Jesus is speaking of. In Isa 58:1-7 we find that the Jews were fasting beyond any command required of Scriptures. But they were not really humble in asking for forgiveness, they liked the works they did in fasting. To this God says 'Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?' (vs 5). 'Is this not the fast which I chose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the band of the yoke'. 'And to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke'. (vs 6). The meaning of fasting is in providing for food for others. It is a spiritually hungry world, the fast that God chooses is to break the bonds of wickedness. 'Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry', 'and to bring the homeless poor into the house'. The hungry are spiritually hungry for the word of God. They are fed by the preaching of God's word concerning salvation. It is by this, that the yoke of wickedness and the yoke that binds one to Satan is loosed. That is, fasting involves the spreading of the gospel (bread) and salvation. We share this bread with the poor of spirit, those who have no spiritual home in the kingdom of God. Fasting is 'when you see the naked, to cover him' (vs 7). The fasting that God wants is to provide for the naked. God provides the covering, it will be the robe of Christ's righteousness that covers the sins of the naked. That is why when Christ, the bridegroom leaves, the believers must fast. It is time for salvation, it is time to bring the gospel of Christ. This is the fasting that God wants. This is how the devil is cast out, as pictured by the demon possessed man. How do you get the demon out? You pray for salvation and fast, that is, bring the good news of salvation. God does the work, we are His ambassadors. As Vs 10 says 'And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the soul of the afflicted, then you light will rise in darkness...'. We are the light that shines in a dark, gloomy world. The afflicted are dying, they are under the sentence of death-- even the second death. We give ourselves to the hungry, feeding the multitude with the bread of life, that once eaten, you will never hunger again. And the water of life, which will forever satisfy your thirst. It is by this means that God's elect are 'like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail'. (vs 11b) The world is dry and scorched, we fast by bringing the gospel, it is like water. Out of our belly shall come a spring of living water, as we bring the gospel to the dying. We are each little buckets, filled with the Spirit, commissioned and ready to nourish the spiritually dying. If we do these things, then we are truly believers. For only believers are cups of water, as the wicked are cups of poisoned water that kills. It is not about eating, fasting is about speaking the word of God, providing hope to the hopeless, food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, a house to the homeless, a Father to the fatherless, and a Husband to the widow. It is all about Christ, and Him crucified. That is what I believe fasting is all about. Bringing the gospel. john


Subject: Re: Fasting
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 09:34:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
john, Thanks for your reply. You make some excellent points about the 'positive' aspects of fasting, ie-not just abstaining from some thing. If I may ask you a question: how did you end up at the conclusion that the meaning of New Testament fasting was a completely 'spiritual' thing? Christ's instructions in Mark 6:16-18 would seem to make no sense if fasting did not have a literal component of physical abstinence. Thanks, Christopher


Subject: Re: Fasting
From: kevin
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 15:08:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Christopher, Hey there. I first want to state that this is my own view of fasting and how the church I attend goes about fasting. First we consider ourselves fasting towards something which is usually bettering our relationship with the Lord. Once a month we abstain from something that is normally fairly important to us, generally meals (my wife and I will drink water and have fruit, we are not very big people and to totally avoid eating may not be the best idea). Anyway we do not eat our normal meals and snacks and the like. Our church fast day falls on a Thursday and we usually spend Mon thru Wed praying for God to reveal areas in our lives that need more of Him and less of us, to put it simply. On Thursday, rather than indulge ourselves we pray. And that is the point to us. It is not really what we abstain but what we do instead witht the time. That is fasting to something. It is a time when we put ourselves aside and focus on the Lord. Our church is open that evening for about 4 hours for prayer. Well that is my answer. I am not saying it is the Reformed view. I honestly have never passed this one by Calvin :) In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Re: Fasting
From: Christopher
To: kevin
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 20:27:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi kevin, Forgot to thank you for your post. >>>>>I honestly have never passed this one by Calvin<<<<< I like that one! Christopher


Subject: Hey Christopher
From: Eric
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:30:13 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I think you mentioned that you are Orthodox. I am uninformed about that part of the Body of Christ. I am familiar with the stereotypical views of the Orthodox, but I would be interested in what you consider to be the main areas of disagreement with Evangelicals.


Subject: Re: Hey Christopher
From: Christopher
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:23:51 (PST)
Email Address: mtl9904@yahoo.com

Message:
Hi Eric, I have observed your recent discussion here and am interested as to where you come from, as well. However, answering your question on this board will bring up issues that have been thoroughly discussed between me and other members of this board. At this point, repeating them here does not seem appropriate. Please do email me, if you get a chance. I am interested to know how you came to hold some of the views you have expressed here. If you don't feel comfortable with email, continuing the discussion on another board of your choice would be another good option. Thanks for your understanding. Hope to talk to you again. Christopher


Subject: laz
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 08:53:24 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi laz, In a post below, you put the words 'evidence of understanding' in quotes. Apparently, I was too lazy that day to respond in a complete sentance. Did you put that in quotes just for emphasis or is that a Reformed theological term with which I am unfamiliar? I've missed certain terms in past here that made conversation more difficult than they needed to be, so if you could clarify, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Christopher


Subject: Re: laz
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 08:58:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hey Christopher - I recall your post. Nothing formal about the expression 'evidence of knowledge'. Just my way of saying that I look for evidence that someone understands the Bible by how they rightly divide the 'whole counsel of God'...not that I'm an expert, mind you...but some doctrines are not difficult to dismiss as being in error, biblically speaking. laz


Subject: Re: laz
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:24:05 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
OK, thanks. Just wanted to make sure I didn't miss your meaning.


Subject: Two Natures
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 19:05:09 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Good article by R.C Sproul on the subject of the two natures of Christ. http://www.fni.com/heritage/oct96/Sproul.html


Subject: Re: Two Natures
From: john hampshire
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:36:11 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
On this subject, though RC Sproul only gives a cursory background, it often said that one of Christ's natures was responsible for His miracles, another for His sadness at the misery of man. The effort is to define Christ's natures as separate, then claim we can be like Christ in our flesh. There is much talk of 'power' and how the Holy Spirit gave the human Christ 'power', something we can 'plug into' today. Thus, we all can become miracle workers, raise the dead, heal the sick, know the future, even walk on water... if we 'plug in' to the Spirit. This all assumes Christ can be divided. I think Christ was born of flesh, as we all are, yet in a body without sin. He was without a human father to transmit the 'curse' of Adam upon Him. His Spirit was the Holy Spirit, not a created spirit, as in us. Thus, His body was free from corruption, His Spirit was God. He could do all the will of the Father, because He was God, He could heal because He was God, not because God 'gave' Him power. His will and the Father's will were one, thus His thoughts were the Father's thoughts, His desires were the Father's desires, but He moved and had His being as God. His flesh nature could hunger, tire, thirst... but it lacked the 'thing' (ego) that comes from a sin-nature. His flesh was like Adam, but His volition (will) was God, thus He could not sin. Unless we think God can sin. There is no Spirit 'power' that we tap into to get all filled up with God so as to go about doing things that Christ did. Certain charismatic groups act as if Jesus was a dry-cell battery, charging and discharging. They claim a Christian can get 'charged up' by God, and speak of Christ in the same way. This is the problem with trying to split Christ's natures to serve a predetermined purpose. john


Subject: Re: Two Natures
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:44:56 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>He was without a human father to transmit the 'curse' of Adam upon Him.<<<<< Now you sound like a Roman Catholic, john! Christopher


Subject: Re: Two Natures
From: john hampshire
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 15:13:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chris, I don't mean to imply there is some particle of sin that is transmitted disease fashion from father (can we still call males who have offspring fathers?) to child. Though biologically and genetically we instill physical errors, but not a physical error that inclines a child toward sin, that is a spiritual problem. I suppose an example might help (or not). If we were slaves, we would be property of our slave-owner. All our children born of each male slave is property of that slave-owner. Now if Satan does own mankind by right of conquest, our slave-owner is Satan, and we are slaves to sin. All children born of man (beginning with Adam) are offspring of Adam and are born as slaves. If this is so, and Christ's body was not in a male line from Adam, then Christ is not owned as a slave to Satan. The woman does not matter here, it was Adam who caused the fall, he was the one given charge by God, only he is ultimately responsible. The sin of Adam did not affect Christ, He was apart from it, God could find no fault no reason to turn-away from Him, He was not born a slave like the rest of us. But I would also say, that slavery and death, even the second death, are related. The idea of death in the Bible carries the idea of separation. We are dead because our spirit is separated from the body. The second death would be a separation from God. The dead spirit we possess apart from regeneration is separated from fellowship with God. That does not mean we have NO fellowship, we are not without some higher identity. Thus, when Adam sinned, he switched allegiance, in my understanding. God turned from him and Adam immediately died spiritually. He did not become his own man, he became separated from God and immediately joined as a slave to Satan. So in the day that Adam disobeyed, he did die, and later he died again--physically. Jesus therefore was not born under the ownership of Satan, nor was His Spirit ever without fellowship with God (except momentarily to die for His elect). He was more like Adam prior to the fall, in perfect fellowship with God and with a perfect body (yet with a Spirit not a spirit). That is how I see an unbroken transmission of a sin state from Adam onward. Satan still has the pink slip on mankind, except those bought and paid by Christ as given to Him by the Father as chosen before the foundations. john


Subject: Re: Two Natures
From: Christopher
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 20:41:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
john, Thank you for your reply. I apologize for my flippant remark, both for the fact that it was inappropriate and for the fact that it would lead us into a discussion that we've already had. Neither of us probably wants that. :) Christopher


Subject: Rudeness
From: Highway Monitor
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 18:28:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
It seems to me that some of you here feel you may say anything that pops in your head. Including ungracious remarks. I would remind you here that you are guests and if you abuse our hospitality you will suffer the consequences. I FIRMLY SUGGEST THAT ALL REREAD THE GUIDELINES. This also includes you Gene. Thank you. Guidelines for the Forum www.gospelcom.net/thehighway/discuss.html


Subject: Re: Rudeness
From: Vernon
To: Highway Monitor
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 04:13:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello, I agree with you. Just plain and simple....... Love one another John 13:34...... As I often said, I may not agree with you in all that you post, but I should disagree with you showning total respect without anger. I know in the past, I have been guilty of being disrespectful, but at this point in my FAITH and life, 'What does disrespect and anger prosper?' Those of us who preach the gospel should live of the gospel. ( 1 Cor10:23). In Christ, Vernon


Subject: Re: Rudeness
From: Chris
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 04:28:07 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern, Another hardy Amen to that:)


Subject: Papal Pardon?
From: Pilgrim
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 17:46:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

As many of you know, Richard Bennett is one of the most prolific and outstanding apologists against the Roman state church today. Having been a priest for many years in that blasphemous organization, his insights are unique. Recently the Pope allegedly confessed to sins committed against mankind over many centuries by the Roman church. Was this a sincere expression of genuine godly repentance or something other? Richard Bennett and Michael de Semlyen have written a response to the Pope's alleged confession of sin which can be found on the The Highway web site in the Roman Catholicism section or by clicking on the link here: Papal Pardon or Papal Pride?.

In His Service, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Papal Pardon?
From: john hampshire
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:08:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I thought the Pope was to make an admission of guilt, that is, that the his church was responsible for the torture and murder of millions of people, for the stealing of property and land holdings, for the abuse of the populace and systemic ignorance and poverty that his church created and demanded of all men, and lastly, beyond all the crimes against humanity, the utter state of ignorance, violence, and repulsion shown to the gospel by his church, its popes, as they spread their false gospel of works; contrived doctrines that oppose truth at every point. It is an amazing side-show, one the media panders to, how anyone cannot see and be repulsed by such a apostate church and their arrogant, apostate leader. This particular cult is not different than any less visible cult, it simply has erred longer and larger with more power than any of the many other 'whack-o' groups that spew their fertilizer to the deceived masses. The Roman Catholic church is notable for being the king-daddy of all cults, all false gospels, all apostate churches. They do it wrong better and with more arrogance than anyone else, Arminians, Mormons, JWs, not withstanding. I suppose if the RC church were to disappear overnight, the unblinking, psychotic masses would turn in need to the next available psychopathic icon that presented itself -- how much the deceived need a greater deceiver to lead them away into greater deception; a more perfect deception. If not the pope, his horde of adoring followers would crown some other psychopath leader, or else rush headlong off a cliff into the sea. What a pathetic spectacle of man-made religious futility. john


Subject: Re: Papal Pardon?
From: Christopher
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:22:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>The frosty relationship of earlier years with the Russian Orthodox Church has warmed up and a Papal visit to Moscow and a meeting with Patriarch Alexy II is being discussed.<<<<< If your author wishes to imply that the Orthodox Church is about to concede papal infallibility, purgatory, indulgences, the filioque with its resulting theological errors, and all the other errors in Rome that have resulted since its split from the Church almost 1,000 years ago, I can tell you that he is quite mistaken. The Pope's recent reception in Georgia and the response by Orthodox clergy in the Holy Land to his visit there are only two examples of the extreme distance which still exists between Rome and the Orthodox Church. The Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow may or may not meet. If they did, and the Patriarch made some announcement that he agreed with all the Roman errors of the last 1,000 to 1,500 years, the response from the rest of the Church throughout the world would be somewhat similar to the response of the American people if the next President of the United States announced on his innauguration day that he was declaring himself king and suspending the Constitution. In any case, the Patriarch of Moscow is a Patriarch, not an infallible guide similar to the Pope who speaks 'ex cathedra.' While there are undoubtedly ecumenists within Orthodoxy who will or have compromised the Faith for the sake of unity, they are only individuals who do so to their own peril (and, unfortunately, those who listen to them). Surfing Orthodox sites on the web only briefly will make the stance towards Rome and its innovations clear. Just FYI Christopher


Subject: Pilgrim and Baptist Churches/Below
From: Brother Bret
To: Pilgrim/All
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 10:28:50 (PST)
Email Address: Lovitz5@aol.com

Message:
Brother, I agree with much of what you are saying. Certainly, if 'Baptists' believe that 'Baptism' has nothing to do with salvation, than should it indeed be a membership requirement? I put that in question form, because I do still want to think on these things you have brought up. I do think that your illustration of the baptist church being the only one within 1,000 miles is extreme :^ ). Especially in North America? Also, what is the position on Presbyterian Churches on membership and those who do not believe in Infant Baptism? Finally, as I think I have requested once before, I would love to learn more about Ecclesiology in the historical church. Would you be willing to share some things with me by e-mail? Let me know brother :^ ) Brother Bret


Subject: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: john hampshire
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 23:13:23 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
There was a case made in a post (way) below that water baptism is apparently not required, as all baptism is one, and that being a spiritual baptism. Other support was found in that the 'Great Commission' in Romans 16:25-27 does not mention water baptism (nor church attendance either, oh no) So the reasoning goes, the discussion of the mode of water baptism is a moot point, it is only a spiritual baptism done by God. Paul did say he performed some water baptisms, yet less than others, so is this a prooftext: 'I give thanks to God that no one of you did I baptize, except Crispus and Gaius --that no one may say that to my own name I did baptize '(1 Cor1:14) Or in Heb 6:2 '...of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment'. This verse implies there were at least two washings recognized in the early church: spiritual baptism and water baptism. While there is mention of water baptism and much more speaking to spirit baptism, where can we conclude, from various Bible verses, that we should expect to be baptized in water (by any mode)? Why do we do it, where's the requirement? : | john


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 16:32:47 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John You said: While there is mention of water baptism and much more speaking to spirit baptism, where can we conclude, from various Bible verses, that we should expect to be baptized in water (by any mode)? Why do we do it, where's the requirement? : | If I understand your question properly, water baptism is commanded of each believer by our Lord (Matt.28:19). The book of Acts repeatedly shows that the early church practiced water baptism (Acts 8:12, 10:44-48, 16:31-33, 18:8) and that it was an external sign by which believers were publicly incorporated into the Spirit-baptized fellowship of Christians. Tom


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: john hampshire
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 00:28:11 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom and others, Well, that was my question. Yes water baptism is spoken of here: Matt.28:19, Acts 8:12, 10:44-48, 16:31-33,18:8. But is this the type of baptism done today? Matt 28:19 Jesus speaks of 'all authority' being given to Him, which implies His ability to regenerate (baptize) or spiritually clean the elect. Thus, the baptism is into the Father (who elected), the Son (who redeemed), and the Spirit (who regenerates). In Acts 2:38 we find Peter beginning that mandate to make disciples of all nations. Here Peter tells the mixed group 'Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins...'. We could say there MUST first be forgiveness of sin (regeneration) then water baptism. We could also say there must be a spiritual baptism first for their to be forgiveness of sins. Thus, 'those who received the word were baptized'. It is assumed that most of those who received the word were first regenerated in order to receive it. Certainly the souls that were added that day were saved. Thus, the 'receiving the word' that Peter preached showed their converted hearts. If water baptism is here at all, it is after they believed the messsage. Perhaps there were more than 3000 who were baptized that day, but only 3000 were clearly spiritually baptised by God. In Acts 8:12, 16 we find Philip preaching and folks being baptized, which must be water baptism. Notice, these folks believed Philip (Vs 12), and some, such as Simon, clearly remained unregenerate (vs 21), they certainly were not all spiritually regenerated. But it is interesting, that despite this lack of a changed heart, they were water baptized anyway, because some did SEEM to believe. It was later, when John and Peter arrived, that the laying on of hands sealed the REAL believers with the Holy Spirit. Laying on of hands is not regeneration, it was a unique sign to show that regeneration had taken place and they were qualified to bring the gospel. To those who had already been regenerated the Spirit was given. Water baptism had already been done, and apparenlty wasnít repeated. So, in this case, those who received the Spirit, were first regenerated, then formally acknowledged by John and Peter by the laying on of hands. Today we donít need laying on of hands, regeneration and the sealing with the Holy Spirit of God are together. It was only for the early church, during the transition to this new economy. If Acts 8 is an example of how water baptism should be done, then, we should water baptize everyone who believes our message, men and women alike, just as Philip did, right on the spot In Acts 10:47, we find clearly those who believed had received forgiveness of sins first (regeneration) (see Vs 43). There was no laying on of hands, Peter was still speaking and they received the Holy Spirit. Those who received this sign of their commission to bring the gospel certainly were already regenerated. This receiving of the Holy Spirit, I think, was like the pouring of oil on the head of a king, priest, or prophet. It is a symbol of their commissioning. Thus the speaking in foreign languages demonstrates the gospel message going to all mankind from them. After this demonstration, who could doubt these were not believers, so Peter says 'surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized'. In this case, water baptism was done afterwards, in Acts 8 it was done prior, based on belief. In Acts 16 the jailer was regenerated that night, perhaps prior to the earthquake, then acted in faith and was water baptized by Paul and Silas. In this case, there was no laying on of hands and no special languages. The jailerís baptism was done because he believed, made possible by his previous regeneration (and his family too). We should also suppose, if the water in his house was enough to wash his wounds, it was enough to baptize (by sprinkling). In Acts 18:8 Paul baptized Crispus and perhaps his household (1 Cor 1:14), and someone else baptized all the Corinthians who believed his message. The consistent theme in all this seems to be, if a person was an unbeliever, then gave evidence they believed, he was baptized in water. Regeneration cannot always be determined beforehand, except when a sign of the Holy Spirit was given, which clarified the matter and baptism followed. Since the household was baptized too, including we assume, slaves and children, we find no limit to age or need of some confession. It is not stated a baby was baptized, but certainly if the family had one or two, they would have been. Lastly, it seems the job of believers to baptize those who believe, not necessarily just a leader in the church or teaching elder. Isnít that what Matt 28:19 says all believers are to doó- make disciples and baptize? Now I am ready to listen to any comments? john


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 13:59:35 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John Sometimes I misunderstand what you are trying to say in your post so keep that in mind as you read mine. As I look at Matt.28:18-19 I see Jesus saying that that 'All power has been given to me in heaven and earth.' By this I think He is identifying His authority to make the command He makes in verses 19-20. In verse 19 He commands them to teach all nations, and to baptise in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. As you probably know, 'in the name of...' means by the authority of... similar to a police officer saying 'stop in the name of...'. Something else that I hope you will notice is that it is not Jesus doing the water baptisms, it is believers that do it. Therefore it could not be the baptism of the Spirit that Jesus is talking about here. You said: In Acts 16 the jailer was regenerated that night, perhaps prior to the earthquake, then acted in faith and was water baptized by Paul and Silas. In this case, there was no laying on of hands and no special languages. The jailerís baptism was done because he believed, made possible by his previous regeneration (and his family too). We should also suppose, if the water in his house was enough to wash his wounds, it was enough to baptize (by sprinkling). I think you are missing something here. When you said: We should also suppose, if the water in his house was enough to wash his wounds, it was enough to baptize (by sprinkling). If you look closely I think you should find that they didn't go into the house until after the baptism (verse 34). In verse 13 you will see that there was a river close by, so I don't think it is a stretch to say that is probably where the baptism took place (not that I think it is a big deal). Tom


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: freegrace
To: john hampshire & All
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 06:57:10 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi John, I am glad you started this topic, and not me...:-) I do not see in the scriptures where 'water baptism replaces circumcision' as you (and others here) seem to say. Also, may I add (as I find in the messages below) that to 'follow the Lord in believer's baptism' is really not found in the Pauline doctrines of grace; but rather we find that we are made *members of His body* by the *Holy Spirit* placing us into the Body of Christ. Romans chapter six is all about the baptism of the Spirit, and not a 'water baptism' as many people think. It is true that Paul baptised some in the early part of Acts - but Acts is progressive revelation from Jew to Gentile, etc. The gospel was to be sent 'to the Jew first' and so this is why Paul baptised in the early part of his ministry. This was *before* Paul's prison epistles were ever written -please keep in mind. I believe it is an error to teach that Acts 2:38-39 is for us today, when Peter here is preaching to the nation of Israel, and is calling for a *national repentance* for the crucifixion of Jesus, their Messiah and King. At that time in history, all those who obeyed *Peter's* message* were baptised and received the holy spirit. Please note that (at that time) the calling of the Gentiles and the calling of Saul of Tarsus had not yet taken place, so we see that there is some progressive revelation for us to consider. The Jews require a sign, and so this is why water baptism had all of the signs and wonders associated with it. See Mark 16:15-20..! (No wonder they try to remove these verses from the text!) freegrace


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Chris
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 04:49:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Freegrace, Hmmmmm....... What about cornelius and his family, they were Gentiles and wasnt they baptized in obedience to the Faith. How about the Ethiopian Enuch? What about the Jailer in Philippi that was baptized, him and his family? I hope you are not saying there is no need for water baptism. Water Baptism does not save you but shows a good conscience towards God. Also in Acts 2:38 I agree with you in the sense that before the ministry of Jesus, John was baptizing people that were signifying fruits of repentance? (You may have to help me with this one:))Which would be the reason for Peter and the disciples to use this type of language in these verses. In Christ, Chris


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Prestor John
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 21:08:47 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
So what ordinances are required for those that are under Paul's commission? And are believers part of the New Covenant? Prestor John Servabo Fidem.


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Prestor John
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 20:56:38 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The 'Great Commission' for the church is given to the apostle Paul, and is found in Romans 16:25-27. (water baptism is not even mentioned here). Circumcision is now *spiritual* and baptism is also now *spiritual*. It is the operation of God alone, and is not the work of the hands (of men). Colossians.2:11 --'made without hands' it says. therefore, we cannot 'glory in men' and say so and so baptized me...for it is written - 'Henceforth know we no man after the flesh' - or according to outward appearance, station in life, etc. As you can see, this does away with any 'apostolic succession'..etc freegrace
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ On the contrary John I believe this goes way beyond baptism here. Because baptism and communion are recognized as ordinances belonging to the New Covenant and to its gospel. (Matt 28:18-20) However, freegrace states here that this gospel and commission belongs to the church and because of the lack of mentioning of either baptism or communion then it could be argued that the covenant here is different then the New Covenant. If that is the case we have here 2 different gospels. The question needs to be asked is that which gospel is the church under now? And what are its ordinances? Prestor John Servabo Fidem.


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Tom
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 23:36:56 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
John The Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized by Phillip, and '.....came up out of the water...........' [Acts 8:39] Also, as soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.......' If it meant only sprinkling then what was Jesus and the Eunuch doing in the water? Again personally speaking I don't believe that the mode is as important as the fact that we should be baptised. But I think it is something to ponder, especially in light of your question. Tom


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: john hampshire
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 00:05:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, Yes Phillip went down into the water with the eunuch, but they both did not dunk under the water. They walked down to the bank of the water, into the water, and then the eunuch was baptized. When Jesus came straight ways out of the water, He did not pop up like a cork, He was baptized by John and immediately left the water went up the bank and departed. We musn't think that Phillip or John baptised each member by going down into the water (immersion) with them. I personally believe it makes more sense to understand that they sprinkled the water over them, as I doubt dunking will be a practical method away from a river (as in someone's house). But the real question is: Why do we baptize in water, where is it found that the church should do this? john


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Gene
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 02:48:36 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, The word 'baptize' literally means 'to immerse.' There is a seperate word for 'sprinkle.' One would not 'bury' someone by sprinkling dirt on their head (Rom 6:1-4).


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Vernon
To: All/Pilgrim from bel
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 03:48:57 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Gene, While I do not believe that a person needs to be baptized to be saved, I do believe that a person who has been 'Born Again' should want to be baptized for it is an act of obediance and Faith. We are to follow the example that our Lord set before us. Being so, 'Was He baptized, and for what reasons did John baptize anyone? Was Jesus sprinkled or immerse and who was it that came down from heaven and landed upon Jesus as a dove?' Gene, some here have said that the baptist et 'Baptizing as a requirement to join the Church.' I belong to a baptize Chruch and you do not have to be baptized to join.' The requirement to join is to confess Christ as Lord and Savior openly before the Church. Now, I know many here will jump on this with both feet. But the truth is , being a member of the local building church just means that you are associated with that local church. But, how does one become a member of the real body church of Christ? This is more important than being a Baptist or any other. 'Amen' In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Chris
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 04:27:20 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon, Amen, though I will add if I can. A person who wants to join and they have never been baptized before, should be baptized then. Like you said its the first step of obedience in following the Lord. In anycase a true believer would want to be baptized, because a true believer will want to be obedient:) Amen or Oh me! In Christ, Chris


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Pilgrim
To: Gene
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:28:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, The word 'baptize' literally means 'to immerse.' There is a seperate word for 'sprinkle.' One would not 'bury' someone by sprinkling dirt on their head (Rom 6:1-4).
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Gene,

Just where do you come up with these truly ignorant statements? Did you go to school to learn how to do this or does it come naturally to you? Dr. John Murray, in his famous book, 'Christian Baptism' goes to great length to examine the biblical words and derivations and concludes without question that 'Baptizo, etc.' does not and cannot mean immersion. Personally, that view is so silly, that I won't even waste my time refuting it.... Baptists can just continue dunking and that's fine, but when anyone says that Immersion or Effusion or Aspersion is the ONLY mode, they are embracing error..... SERIOUS error that excludes Christ's sheep from the fold.

Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Chris
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 09:36:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I kinda wonder where you get off talking to another professing Christian like that. Your words are very prideful, judgemental, and destructive. I warn you as a brother to be more kind and gentle in your wording. I wonder how you would feel if I told you that refuting or instructing about the truth to you was wasting my time. Did Jesus ever do that? ???? What is really Serious is whether our hearts are settle with Grace or Works(sacrafice). In Christ, Chris


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Tom
To: Chris
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 16:24:03 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
Chris Is not the doctrine of the Trinity an essential doctrine? Gene does not believe in the Trinity. Tom


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Chris
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 18:39:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom, The doctrine of the Trinity is one that must be accepted by faith. If one truly has the Spirit of God, eventhough he may not totally understand the Trinity, he will still accept it as true by faith:) Chris


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Tom
To: Chris
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 16:12:56 (PST)
Email Address: ahardy@rapidnet.net

Message:
That is my point! A true Christian believes the in the Trinity whether or not they understand it or not. Gene clearly at his own admission does not believe in the Trinity. Tom


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: a stuckee monitor
To: Chris
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 13:39:03 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I kinda wonder where you get off talking to another professing Christian like that. Your words are very prideful, judgemental, and destructive. I warn you as a brother to be more kind and gentle in your wording. I wonder how you would feel if I told you that refuting or instructing about the truth to you was wasting my time. Did Jesus ever do that? ???? What is really Serious is whether our hearts are settle with Grace or Works(sacrafice). In Christ, Chris
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************* Dear Chris - as Pilgrim mentioned, I get to be the bearer of 'bad news' relative to your recent exchange with him? If you are new to the Highway...you can not possibly appreciate the longsuffering which has been shown our friend 'Gene' these past many months (admittedly, we are 'firmer' in our rebuke at times). Gene not only willfully and with forethought denies essentials of the Faith, but is known for his mocking tone towards some of the regulars - which isn't so bad... but he is clearly no friend of the gospel of grace - which is, after all, why this website exists in the first place. From our perspective, biblically, we are persuaded that that makes Gene 'lost' and a fool. We have been 'loving' enough to inform him of this fact, repeatedly. His presence is 'tolerated' for the sake of illuminating others with the truth of grace as it meets Gene's demonic doctrines straight from the pit. Let me add that if we could 'shake the dust off our feet' relative to this one who refuses to 'receive the Good News' as it's presented in the Bible and defended by the Church, we would. Unfortunatly, Gene continually returns to grace us with his unbelieving presence. ;-) I don't think you meant to offend anyone....but can I ask that in the case of Gene, that you simply sit back and watch any further intercourse...not allowing yourself to be goaded into 'rebuking' the webmaster or anyone else willing to 'answer a fool according to his folly'? ;-) As for kindly, loving and gentle ... please consider these words: (and don't forget that there is a time and place for everything...and we believe it's time to take Gene to the woodshed, sort of speak) Mt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. (OOOUUUCCCCHHHH!) Having said all of this...Gene's 'confession' is of no value here...nor would it be in any true Church. It is my conviction that we are not unfairly and hypocritically admonishing a fellow sheep...but merely keeping a wolf at bay. By His Grace, a monitor 1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Subject: Re: Please use caution before judging ;)
From: Joel H
To: Chris
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 12:56:40 (PST)
Email Address: jh6@muw.edu

Message:
Chris, Your post is the one that seems prideful and judgemental to me. Who are you to judge him? Do you know Pilgrim or know his intent towards Gene in making such remarks? Are you completely familiar with the circumstances surrounding those remarks? Perhaps Pilgrim was trying to 'spur' Gene to think more before he posts? His post may seemed overly sarcastic to you, but you're the one that seems prideful to have judged Pilgrim without at least inquiring with him privately before rebuking him openly. Just my humble opinion. Joel H


Subject: Re: Please use caution before judging ;)
From: Chris
To: Joel H
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 18:44:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joel, You are right, in the sense I should have gone to him privately. This is the second time I have done that and do apologize and will try not to in the Future:) Its hard sometimes to see the attitude behind the posts and sometimes its not:) Again forgive me my brother. Chris


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Pilgrim
To: Chris
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 12:34:53 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I kinda wonder where you get off talking to another professing Christian like that. Your words are very prideful, judgemental, and destructive. I warn you as a brother to be more kind and gentle in your wording. I wonder how you would feel if I told you that refuting or instructing about the truth to you was wasting my time. Did Jesus ever do that? ???? What is really Serious is whether our hearts are settle with Grace or Works(sacrafice). In Christ, Chris
---
Chris,

Again, you are new to this forum and obviously haven't a clue as to who Gene is!! In the interest of 'good manners' I'll refrain from rebuking you for your unwarranted 'ditz', especially of the forum owner and allow one of the 'regulars' or the Monitors explain things to you. :-)

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Mandate for Water Baptism/?
From: Chris
To: Gene
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 06:54:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, Matthew 28:19-20, 1Peter 3:21(Baptism of the Spirit puts away the filth of the flesh, where baptism of water shows a good conscience towards God. Baptism in the water shows the death, burial, and ressurection of Christ in You. Of course the reality of that is done through the Holy Spirits baptism, but the outward show of the inward change is through water baptism. I will have to agree with Tom and Gene in the fact that full immersion does best signify the death and burial of the Old Man and ressurecetion of the New Man. In Christ, Chris


Subject: Kingdom Theology
From: cousin Earl
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 19:08:44 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim-I hve encountered a lot of people talking about Kingdom Theology of late and would like to hear from someone who knows more that I do on the subject. Is this something new and where did it originate?


Subject: Re: Kingdom Theology
From: laz
To: cousin Earl
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 06:49:39 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Earl, You asked Pilgrim...but my curiosity got the better of me. hehe In a nutshell and from my brief parousing, KT looks very 'messianic' and 'earthy'.... This site is very informative. Enjoy. blessings, laz Kingdom Seekers www.geocities.com/Heartland/Fields/2418/


Subject: Not Guilty in Christ
From: freegrace
To: Pilgrim and All
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 17:21:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim - thanks for your good reply today! I see what you are saying now; however, Christ finds us as guilty in His sight at the first.....but after we are clothed with the imputed Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, He then find us as *not guilty* in His sight. To be found in Christ is to be found *not guilty*. It is *then* as if we had never sinned in His sight. That is the meaning of justification, from what I have read, anyway. I am not trying to find fault with you, but I respect your tremendous Bible knowledge and God given Wisdom. freegrace


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: freegrace
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 07:50:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The little book entitled 'Not Guilty' by James Buchanan is available from: http://www.cvbbs.com/ This is called a GREAT CHRISTIAN CLASSIC No.10, and is a wonderful little study on justification, I think. Now you can see why I thought Pilgrim had finally 'made an error' here in the forum! His messages are for the most part so impeccable! Of course, outside of Christ, we are by nature children of wrath - as others, and are guilty of Adam's sin as well as out own sins. freegrace


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: Pilgrim
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:31:15 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes, wonderful book! :-) So do you feel I am still 'in error'?? :-) Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: freegrace
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 10:15:08 (PST)
Email Address: freegracealone@yahoo.com

Message:
Yes, wonderful book! :-) So do you feel I am still 'in error'?? :-) Pilgrim
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- Pilgrim, Who am I that I should try to 'correct' you..? :-) To be truthful, I just thought it was a typing error on your part. I have always thought that God even removes our guilt (In Christ), but I have not done as much reading and study as you have, so I will just drop it and let you decide the 'issue'... It is clear that all of God's elect are 'accepted in the Beloved', and so therefore , no longer guilty in the sight of God, but we are still guilty in our own sight, that is for sure. freegrace


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: Pilgrim
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 13:36:10 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
freegrace,

Who am I to be above correction even from a child within whom the Spirit dwells? Honestly, I think you have misunderstood what I have said. I was speaking against what is a very popular view that says, 'In the blood of Jesus Christ, God clears the guilty'. Therefore I attempted to point out by way of the Scriptures and of reason that the Lord Almighty never 'winks at sin', nor is it possible for Him to extend forgiveness or pardon apart from exacting the punishment due to the offense. God cannot 'clear the guilty' but must punish them according to His own divine and inexorable holiness. For the LORD our God is a JUST God and therefore judgment is essential to His nature and integrity. God looks upon a redeemed sinner as having been 'set free' from the bonds of the debt owed for the Redeemer has paid that debt vicariously for him. The guilt that was ours became His and His righteousness became ours. Yet we remain debtors in the sense that the payment made was done so without our having a part in it. The canceled bond is thus a DECLARATION of our being set free and not anything that is inherently ours to claim. Thus Luther was so correct in saying that in Justification we are, 'simul iustus et peccatore' [simultaneously just and sinner]. Our justification is forensic and not actual. We are not righteous in ourselves, but remain sinners and will remain sinners until the day Christ appears in our stead and we receive the glorification of our bodies. Indeed, we are 'Guilty in Him', for if that were not true, we are then yet guilty in our own sins and await the Judgment. This entire matter is to show the lack of understanding of the cross and what transpired there so many years ago. The propitiatory aspect of the atonement is little known or even accepted today and even its substitutionary element is diminished or out rightly rejected by some. The cross was about JUSTICE and how it was executed by God's wrath falling without restraint upon Himself, who having humbled Himself, took the form of a man and a servant and living the life which we are not able or even desirous to do and suffering the pangs of death for OUR sins. A profound exchange took place that day which we in God's good time come to experience when we are given to believe upon the Great Redeemer God, the Lord Christ. May God grant you a deeper understanding of the love of God in Christ Jesus as you contemplate the cross and the justice which was carried out there for the redemption of poor needy sinners like you and I.

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: freegrace
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 12:26:58 (PST)
Email Address: freegracealone@yahoo.com

Message:
Pilgrim, maybe you just 'threw us a curve' here on this one! You said: >>>Secondly, we are indeed judged guilty in Adam<<<, and then i was expecting to hear next>


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: Rod
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 01:10:08 (PST)
Email Address: na

Message:
freegrace. I'm very sorry this will be so brief. It isn't meant to be curt, but must be so as my physical limitations prevent more eleaboration. Maybe someone else can take it up for me. I see two basic flaws with your stance. One is that God doesn't just see us as gulity: we are guilty. And we are guilty irredeemably outside the Lord Jesus. If our sins were judged as they deserved, we'd be as lost as the rest of humanity. Instead, God has 'found' a way to be both Just and the Justifier of His own saved people, as outlined in Rom. 3:26 and other verses. God has by the principle/fact/miracle of imputation assigned our deserved punishment to the Lord Jesus and His righteousness to us. But it is much more than just 'seeing it' that way, it is an actual accomplishment. Believer's sins have been judged, finally, completely, in Christ. Though they are 'children of wrath' until and unless they come to Christ in faith and receive the imputation, that imputation is inevitable in God's Supreme and supremely minutely edtailed planning. We are going to be (in predestination and election) effectually called and justified. This is all the concerted action of the One God, the living Triune God, Who is working in concert within Himself in His three Persons to effect just what He/They have already purposed in eternity. The bottom line is: God gives saved people His own actual righteousness, the righteousness of His Son, without which one can't enter the holy place. That gifting by imputation is by justice, grace, love, mercy, all working together to glorify God.


Subject: Re: Not Guilty in Christ
From: freegrace
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Mar 25, 2000 at 08:30:49 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
++++++++++++++++++ Amen! That is why I say that all those who are *In christ* are found to be 'not guilty'. It is 'just as if' we had never sinned in His sight; that is the meaning of justification. God has now given us His perfect Righteousness which is far better than the 'mutable righteousness' that Adam had at the first. freegrace


Subject: Who Are We
From: Vernon
To: All/Pilgrim from below
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 02:58:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thank You, You have answered rightly my friend. Silly games. Not sure how to take this statment.But Pilgrim, in the last few weeks God has shown me a few things about my self. He showed me that in all of my knowledge of Him ( At what ever level it may be) it is nothing without Christ. He has shown me, anything we do, and it is not by the leader ship of the Holy Spirit, it is nothing.Our churches are filled with self-seeking Christians who want to befirst,the greates ,and best. But the path Jesus walked was called the loss of all and death of self. Jesus humbled himself, emptied himself, and yielded his own self completely to the will of God,his Father. Many come in the name of Christ and say,' Lord, Lord, have I not did this and that in your name and He will say, 'Depart from me for I never knew you.' Yes, many are seeking God's will but never come to the place of laying down their own will first. The surrender of our will, (is death of self). What I am saying to you is this .... In those calling themself Christian today, many see themselves before multitudes ministering. They have their eyes on the buildings,the filled seats,the money, the croweds, the honor and the glory. They think they have their eyes on the Glory of God,but their eyes are only on themselves. Because when the opportunity comes for them to talk to a shut-in, a prisoner, a drunk, or someone homeless they can't (not unless it is on TV programs) or before the church so they can be somebody. Many today are full of knowledge, but truly do not have the love of God in them. On the outside, they look beautiful on the inside they are what they are not. So, many today are doing things in the name of the Lord. But how much of it is the will of God? Piligrim, I have shared with you many times that I have been saved by the mercy and grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. I have said over and over that it is God who caused me to hear the message of Salvation and gave me the faith to believe. There is no other way a man could ever believe unless it be that the Holy Spirit be in the mist of it all. Now, is not the Holy Spirit God? Pilgrim, I have the upmost respect for you and your knowledge. I believe you are far ahead of me in your knowledge of the word of God. I have no right in judging your salvation unless it is very clear you place your hope in reaching the mark in the wrong methods or it is not in Christ. I say without a doubt based in waht I have read of you.....You are a man of God. I do not always understand everything you post, for I am just a low common man and it is over my head. But there are things I do understand and disagree. To disagree in honor and respect is right. But to disagree does not always make us right in that which we disagree. If we are found to be wrong, then it is right to agree. Silly games, Seeking the Truth of God's word is not a silly game with me. In my whole purpose here in this Forum has been to learn,teach where possible,fellowship and share the word of God, as He has given me in understanding. I ask once again....'Who does God say that you are,And this question is for all us to answer. If you are not seeking in its answer, then you are not in the word of God. 'We are nothing without Christ.' In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Who Are We
From: laz
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 05:22:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Who are we? Precisely those whom He 'hath raised (us) up together, and
made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:' (Eph2:6) We are those chosen/elect from before the foundations of the earth, God's beloved...who have been made to sit together in heavenly place IN CHRIST JESUS. He MADE us sit...not 'asked us to sit'...MADE US SIT....salvation being all of God from first to last... We did not earn or cause this to be by the force or power of our corrupted will, nor does God quicken only enough to allow us to decide for ourselves...for it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy ..yes, US, who where dead in trespasses and sins - his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, You may still embrace a salvation rooted in possibilities if only we believe...but I say salvation by grace thru faith is for those IN HIM from before the foundations of the world... Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. In Him, laz p.s. as always, Vern, this has nothing to do with YOUR salvation...but everything to do with your soteriology, which I see has not evolved much toward greater conformity to the plain teaching of scripture since our last encounter. Or has it?


Subject: Re: Who Are We
From: Vernon
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 09:12:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Laz; No laz, I donot embrace predestination in the same way you do. Yes, God did set down the requirement for a man to be saved before the foundation of the earth. Who did Jesus say He come to save......'The Lost.' Who are the lost? The lost is anyone who does not believed that Jesus is the Son of God and that He has been resurrected from the dead and is on the right hand of God. One does not just wake up one morning and believes in Christ. Paul out lined how a person comes to salvation in Chapter 9 or 10 of Romans. i do not have my Bible before as I write this to you so forgive me for not being more direct. Laz, a man's faith in Christ can be only true if it meets that which is explained in the Bible. Salvation is given only to those who believe and trust in the works that Christ has done for them on the cross realizing they themselves could never save them selves by any works good or bad which they do themselves. Only one way to be saved, only one door to heaven and it is through Christ. In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Who Are We
From: laz
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:11:18 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vern: you wrote:
Laz, a man's faith in Christ can be only true if it meets that which is explained in the Bible. I guess you still fail to grasp that at the end of the day, your view is tantamount to WORKS salvation....for a condition on our part (and apart from God) MUST BE MET. Besides, I thought faith came from God...Eph 2:8-10....Heb 12:2? Your view that God quickens ALL (prevenient grace?) is simply nowhere to be found in all the pages of holy writ. In your view, the only difference between the saved and the damned, the distinquishing factor is .... THE INDIVIDUAL....and not Christ Jesus and God's free grace. The 'vote breaker' is man....and his 'will'...again, and NOT God. Man has been enthroned. Men/women who want to occupy heaven are the ones making it....not men/women whom God has chosen...a people for Himself. What you have is works my good man, odious works, filthy rags even....and man being the sovereign one and not almighty and merciful God. The Bible, especially Rom 9 preaches sovereign and unconditional election. laz Ps 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.


Subject: Could Jesus sin?
From: Delta Boy
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 09:48:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
As we are told in the book of Hebrews, Jesus was tempted at every piont yet was without sin. My friend believes that Jesus could have sinned if He chose to. Could He have? I dont believe so. I would like for someone to help me out here, perhaps a website location, book or something. Pilgrim anything you might have on this would be appreciated, I really enjoy your biblical insight. Your methodical explaination of original sin and Adam's federal headship to Eric was great. I hope eric see's the problem with his thinking, especially in light of imputed righteousness. Delta Boy


Subject: For the Bible tells me so.
From: CMB 19
To: Delta Boy
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 30, 2000 at 13:50:45 (PST)
Email Address: BNFLD3@juno.com

Message:
You have a good question. Let me give you some scripture to answer your question. Romans 3:23, 6:23, 8:8-9&13 James 1:15 1st John 2:15-17, & 3:8 Read these and think about your question. By the grace of GOD your eyes will be opened to the truth. - CMB19


Subject: Re: Could Jesus sin?
From: David Teh
To: Delta Boy
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 05:23:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
A partial reproduction from 'THE PLEASURE OF GOD IN ALL HE DOES' by Pastor John Piper. Psalm 135:6 'Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.' Two assumptions lie at the foundation of this new series of messages on the pleasures of God. 1. The first assumption is that 'The worth and excellency of a soul is measured by the object of its love.' (Henry Scougal). If we apply that to God, then one way of beholding the worth and excellency of God is to meditate on what he loves. Another way to put it would be to say that the measure of God's dignity is determined by what he delights in. Or another way would be to say that the greatness of God's excellence is registered by his enjoyments. What he takes pleasure in signals the beauty and the preciousness of his character. 2. The second assumption is that when we fix our mind's attention on the worth and excellency of God, that is, when we meditate on his glory, we are changed little by little into his likeness. And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another. (2 Cor. 3:18) So my goal in these next 12 weeks is to direct your attention to the pleasures of God revealed in Scripture; in the hope that you will see in them some of the infinite measure of God's worth and excellency; and in seeing this glory that you might rise one step at a time into his likeness; so that at home and work and school people will see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Portray his pleasures in preaching. Behold his glory in listening. Approach his likeness in meditation. Display his worth in the world. May God be gracious to bless the ministry of his word in these weeks. Last week we focused on the pleasure that God the Father has in his Son. The most important lesson to be learned from that truth is this: God is and always has been an exuberantly happy God. He has never been lonely. He has always rejoice with overflowing satisfaction in the glory of his Son. You might say that the Son of God has always been the landscape of God's excellencies or the panorama of God's perfections. And therefore from all eternity God has beheld with overflowing satisfaction the magnificent terrain of his own radiance reflected in the Son. A second lesson to learn from this truth is that God is not constrained by anything outside himself to do anything he does not want to do. If God were unhappy, if he were in some way deficient, then he might indeed be constrained from outside in some way to do what he does not want to do in order to make up his deficiency and finally to be happy. That is the way we are. We come into the world knowing almost nothing and have to spend years and years going to classes or learning in the school of hard knocks. Parents and teachers tell us to do things that we don't like to do because we need to do them to overcome some deficiency in ourselves -- to increase our knowledge or strengthen our bodies or refine our manners. But God is not like that. He has been complete and overflowing with satisfaction from all eternity. He needs no education. No one can offer anything to him that doesn't already come from him. And so no one can bribe him or coerce him in any way. You can't bribe a mountain spring with bucketfulls of water from the valley. Therefore God does what he does not begrudgingly or under external constraint as though he were boxed in or trapped by some unforeseen or unplanned situation. On the contrary, because he is complete and exuberantly happy and overflowing with satisfaction in the fellowship of the Trinity, all he does is free and uncoerced. His deeds are the overflow of his joy. This is what it means when the Scripture says that God does something according to the 'good pleasure' of his will. It means that nothing outside God's own pleasure -- the pleasure he has in what he is, nothing but that pleasure -- has constrained his choices and his deeds. This brings us to the focus of today's message -- 'The Pleasure of God in All that He Does' -- and today's text: Psalm 135. The Psalm begins by calling us to praise the Lord: 'Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord.' Then, starting in verse 3 the psalmist gives us reasons for why we should feel praise rising in our hearts toward God. It says, for example, 'Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.' The list of reasons for praise goes on until it comes to verse 6, and this is the verse I want us to focus on this morning: Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Psalm 115:3 says the same thing: Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases. This verse teaches that whenever God acts he acts in a way that pleases him. God is never constrained to do a thing that he despises. He is never backed into a corner where his only recourse is to do something he hates to do. He does whatever he pleases. And therefore, in some sense, he has pleasure in all that he does. Isaiah uses the same Hebrew word (as a noun) in Isaiah 46:10 where the Lord says, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my pleasure. On the basis of these texts and many others we should bow before God and praise his sovereign freedom -- that in some sense at least he always acts in freedom, according to his own 'good pleasure,' following the dictates of his own delights. He never becomes the victim of circumstance. He is never forced into a situation where he must do something in which he cannot rejoice. This is a glorious picture of God in his sovereign freedom -- to do whatever he pleases and to accomplish all his pleasure. "THE PLEASURE OF GOD IN ALL HE DOES" www.soundofgrace.com/piper87/jp870006.htm


Subject: Re: Could Jesus sin?
From: john hampshire
To: Delta Boy
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 22:28:33 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
If Jesus could sin, what was IN Jesus to be attracted to such disobedience? How could God be attracted to breaking the Law of God? I have heard some say that there was some things Jesus did in His humanity, and some that were via God. The reasoning used here is to exclude such things as are considered pentecostal gifts, determining those things as such any Christian should have, Jesus being an example for us. The reasoning apparently behind this division is it keeps the pentecostal gifts viable today. Such a division really doesn't feed the bulldog anyway, especially if the gifts ceased by God's decree. Such an argument doesn't help support the idea that Jesus could sin in His humanity but not in His Spirit. Sin in the flesh and spirit cannot be separated, otherwise on Judgment Day we might find some folks going to heaven in their spirit, but 'hell' in their bodies. But then the argument becomes that Adam was perfect in body and spirit, yet he sinned. But Adam could be enticed by a foreign idea, Jesus had perfect communion with the Father, no foreign idea would distract Him from the Father's purpose. The major difference: Jesus is God, and Adam was not. Thus, Adam could sin for he could be enticed, but Jesus could not. The final analysis: I think Satan wasted his time trying to make Jesus fall, it was a test, but not one that Jesus could fail. However you look at it, if Jesus could sin, then God can break His own rules, which makes Him violate His own character, and He ceases to be God.... a perfect, unchanging God who is imperfect, not even remotely possible. john


Subject: Re: Could Jesus sin?
From: laz
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 07:05:22 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John - you asked?
If Jesus could sin, what was IN Jesus to be attracted to such disobedience? How could God be attracted to breaking the Law of God? The same 'stuff' that 'very good' Adam had in him ... the ability to not sin...(whereas Adam ALSO lacked the ability to not sin forever). Let's not forget the fact that Jesus had a complete 'human nature' (untainted however, as Adam originally had). Let's not loose the mystery in all of this as well. The historic creeds are clear... Where is Pilgrim when you need him? hehe I believe that angels CAN sin also (perhaps we too in our glorified state will theoretically have the 'ability' but will not indulge - ever ... just like I currently have the 'ability' to kill but have no desire or compulsion to ever do it)... but have absolutely no desire to do so (they choose to not sin, as Jesus in His humanity did)....at least those angels that remained after the original cosmic rebellion in which Satan fell. It may not have been much of a test for Jesus to be tempted (which I don't believe is true since the Bible clearly says He was TEMPTED)... but it was temptation nevertheless. Someone can try to give me $10M to kill a person...but in reality, for me...it would not be much of a temptation. ... actually, depends on who the victim...naaaaaaaaah! ;-) laz


Subject: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: Eric
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 08:08:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>This statement appears to be a direct contradiction of the position you are espousing here. If it is true, which it surely is, that only a regenerated soul can bring glory to God, then is it not also necessary that infants be regenerated before they can 'bring glory to God'? When did Adam die spiritually? When he sinned. It was at this point that his fellowship with God was severed. Now God knew all along that Adam would sin, and yet He still had fellowship with him until He did. So, it was inevitable that Adam would sin. This is similiar to an unborn child or infant that in time they will absolutely sin, and then they will become spiritually dead. I am aware that this analogy isn't perfect. Also, I apologize for being sloppy in my language. When I said that people need to be regenerated, I was speaking of people who have actually sinned, and not embryos or infants. >Thirdly, You deny that infants, even at conception have a corrupt nature. So when do they acquire this corruption? Does an 'act of sin' produce the corruption? (cf. Matt 7:17-19; Lk 6:43-45; Eph 2:1-3). No, I don't deny that they have a corrupt nature. I deny that an embryo with a corrupt nature can sin when it doesn't even have a brain stem. >Fourthly, you reject the biblical teaching that all Adam's progeny inherit a corruption of nature, but you do affirm that they have inherited guilt? If this is so, assuming I have understood your view correctly (I am open to correction here!), I think you have misunderstood my position. I affirm that all men are born with corrupt natures. I deny that anybody will be judged eternally for somebody elses sins. I will be judged by mine, you will be judged by yours, Adam will be judged by his. >...on what basis is any man found guilty? And guilty of what? Biblically, guilt is ALWAYS associated with the act which brings the guilt. Thus since all men are indeed guilty before God (Rom 2:11ff; 3:19-23; Jam 2:10; et al) and are subject to condemnation by virtue of who they are by nature, which is expressed outwardly and inwardly and completely. You are making my point. Guilt is associated with the act--sin. Do you really think the verses you quoted refer to eggs that were just fertilized? Is that what Paul and James had in mind? I don't think so, unless you want to go through the Bible and make 'all' always refer to every living being since creation, both in the womb and out. I hope I have answered your questions.


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 09:04:48 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

I believe you have clarified a few salient points for me so thanks. But the end result is the same. :-) You affirm that all men, even embryos are born with a 'corrupt nature'! But you then deny that anyone is condemned for being corrupt in nature. You rather state that people are condemned ONLY on the basis of overt sins committed in the body. But this is a total contradiction of what Paul states in Rom 5:12-14:

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.'

Death is the 'wages of sin' (Rom 6:23) and thus death came upon ALL MEN because ALL MEN SINNED. And from whence came this sin? Not from a 'tabula rasa' that somehow was influenced to do that which is against the law!! But sin flows from a CORRUPT NATURE. Thus it is essential that ALL MEN, including women, children and embryos need to be 'born again' (regenerated/quickened/resurrected/made alive). Their natures need to be dramatically and radically changed, which only God in His sovereign good pleasure can and does do. One does not break the Law of God and thereby die spiritually or 'become a sinner'! One is born/conceived in sin (Psa 51:5; Gen 5:3; 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; 15:14-16; Joh 3:19; Eph 2:3) and out of that CORRUPT NATURE flows sin (Jer 13:23; Matt 7:17, 18; 12:33-35). WE SIN BECAUSE WE ARE SINNERS! It is erroneous to think that the same situation that existed with Adam, that being innocent before his disobedient act applies to every person who is conceived and brought into this world. This was a singular and unique situation which the LORD God created for a purpose; to test the Federal Head of the human race. That 'head' failed and brought corruption and GUILT upon all men. All men are conceived as GUILTY before God because of the very fact that they are Adam's progeny and have inherited both the corruption and guilt which befell their forefather and 'head' Adam. Thus all who are conceived are 'by nature children of wrath'!! The fact that some die in the womb proves that they are sinful by nature, for 'death is the wages of sin' for 'all die for all men sinned'! Notice that Paul didn't say 'because all men SIN', but because 'all men SINNED!' There is an inseparable union between what Adam did and the punishment incurred and all that flow from him. What one does is determined by one's NATURE. And thus a 'corrupt nature' can only do that which is corrupt. Therefore all human beings being born with a corrupt nature are sinners and 'by nature, children of wrath'! You wrote: 'I affirm that all men are born with corrupt natures. I deny that anybody will be judged eternally for somebody else's sins. I will be judged by mine, you will be judged by yours, Adam will be judged by his.' This statement contains both truth and falsehood. We are indeed judged for what we do in the body, but not just for overt sins, but also in thought, word and deed. As the clear teaching of the Lord Christ shows in His Sermon on the Mount, it is not just murderers who are guilty of breaking the law, but also those who have anger/hatred in their hearts that are guilty of breaking the law. It is from out of the heart that such acts are done. The acts themselves are but the fruit of a CORRUPT NATURE, and thus we are all guilty as law breakers BY NATURE. We must follow the biblical teaching here and reject any attempt to EXTERNALIZE sin. Sin is a 'heart problem' and not just a 'hand or head problem'! Secondly, we are indeed judged guilty in Adam! And it is upon this profound truth that we are also saved. We are not saved due to our own perfection, but upon the basis of an ALIEN RIGHTEOUSNESS; that of another. This is Paul's point in Romans 5:12-18 exactly! There are two representatives 'heads' that have come; Adam the first who brought corruption and condemnation upon all men who are of him, and Adam the second who brought justification upon all men who are of Him. In both cases, men are either condemned or justified by the acts of another. Reject the corporate solidarity of Adam the first and you are forced to reject the corporate solidarity of Adam the second. The entire premise of imputed righteousness by virtue of the vicarious substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is founded upon the imputed guilt and corruption of Adam to the human race. Therefore we are conceived as sinners, having inherited a corruption of nature and the guilt of Adam and therefore are liable to the just Judgment of God. Likewise, we who have been 'born again' by the Spirit of God are made to be partakers of the atonement of Christ and His righteousness by imputation and are thus pronounced 'guilty in Him' and justified freely by grace. Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus and therefore Soli Deo Gloria

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: freegrace
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 09:57:09 (PST)
Email Address: freegracealone@juno.com

Message:
Pilgrim said: >>>Therefore we are conceived as sinners, having inherited a corruption of nature and the guilt of Adam and therefore are liable to the just Judgment of God. Likewise, we who have been 'born again' by the Spirit of God are made to be partakers of the atonement of Christ and His righteousness by imputation and are thus pronounced 'guilty in Him' and justified freely by grace. Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus and therefore Soli Deo Gloria In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim <<< Greetings Pilgrim, You probably mean to say we are pronounced 'not guilty in Him'... Am I correct on this? - just wondering -- thanks! freegrace


Subject: Re: Found Guilty in Him!
From: Pilgrim
To: freegrace
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 16:40:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
freegrace,

This is a much misunderstood truth which I stated correctly, 'We are found GUILTY IN HIM!' Paul put it this way, 'I have been crucified WITH CHRIST. . .' It is the common misconception that in Christ God clears the 'guilty'. But this is impossible for God cannot clear the guilty for He Himself has declared:

'for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.' (Ex. 20:7) 'And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.' ( Ex. 34:6, 7) 'The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.' (Num. 14:18)

According to the immutable holiness and justice of God ALL transgression MUST be subject to punishment. And so the Judgment to come. A proper understanding of this profound truth doubtless brings one to comprehend the depth of not only the vicarious and substitutionary nature of the atoning work of Christ, but the marvelous union that exists between the Saviour and the sinner for whom He gave Himself on the cross. Although our finite minds are incapable of comprehending the depth of these things, it has been the LORD's intention that we should know something of it and therefore He has seen fit to write of these things through His appointed Apostles. In one place Paul speaks of that inseparable and inexplicable union between the elect and Christ Jesus:

'For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' (2Cor. 5:21)

This single statement is but a summary of what the prophet Isaiah wrote in much detail:

'Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.' (Isa. 53:4, 5, 12)

Upon that cursed cross the Lord Christ bore the punishment due those whom the Father gave to Him; to suffer in their place. The death which the Son of God died was substitutionary; in Him we received the full wrath of God and died with Him. We were found GUILTY and sentenced to death for our sins IN HIM!. Can anyone who professes to rest in the Saviour not be overwhelmed with both profound sense of both grief and joy? Grief because it was MY SINS which He bore. Joy because I have a Saviour Who loved me and gave Himself for ME. Yes, freegrace, we are found GUILTY IN HIM:

'I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: 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.'

And thus God is pleased to declare us JUSTIFIED, for the eternal debt has been rendered in full; the ransom has been paid; God's wrath has been propitiated; the sacrifice has been offered up and found acceptable.

'Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.' (Rom. 3:24-26)

'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.' (Rom. 11:33-36)

In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 13:52:35 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
A couple of passages that also must be considered. Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Inspired passage, right? Deut. 24:16 Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. (This is Godís law to man, but it is patterned after His holiness and character.) Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.' I think a case can be made that Paul is referring to physical death being pronounced on all mankind because of Adamís sin. This is different than eternal judgement. Also, how can sin not be imputed if there is no law, if sin was imputed to every person by Adam prior to the law being given. Paul is making a distinction in verses 13 and 14 between death and sinóAdam sinned, but death spread to all mankind. I admit, I donít know how to deal with the last part of verse 12 in a definitive way. Could not Paul be speaking about all men historically have died because all men have sinned? >It is erroneous to think that the same situation that existed with Adam, that being innocent before his disobedient act applies to every person who is conceived and brought into this world. I agree, I thought that I wrote that the analogy couldnít be taken to far. >>What one does is determined by one's NATURE. And thus a 'corrupt nature' can only do that which is corrupt. Therefore all human beings being born with a corrupt nature are sinners and 'by nature, children of wrath'! If what you say is true, then Adam must have been created with a sinful nature, otherwise he couldnít have sinned. >You wrote: 'I affirm that all men are born with corrupt natures. I deny that anybody will be judged eternally for somebody else's sins. I will be judged by mine, you will be judged by yours, Adam will be judged by his.' >This statement contains both truth and falsehood. We are indeed judged for what we do in the body, but not just for overt sins, but also in thought, word and deed. As the clear teaching of the Lord Christ shows in His Sermon on the Mount, it is not just murderers who are guilty of breaking the law, but also those who have anger/hatred in their hearts that are guilty of breaking the law. I agree wholeheartedly. But, here again Jesus is defining sin as an action, whether in thought or deed. And we will be judged by those thoughts and deeds. >Secondly, we are indeed judged guilty in Adam! And it is upon this profound truth that we are also saved. We are not saved due to our own perfection, but upon the basis of an ALIEN RIGHTEOUSNESS; that of another. This is Paul's point in Romans 5:12-18 exactly! There are two representatives 'heads' that have come; Adam the first who brought corruption and condemnation upon all men who are of him, and Adam the second who brought justification upon all men who are of Him. In both cases, men are either condemned or justified by the acts of another. No. We are saved by Christís work. We are condemned by our own work. How else do we bear any responsibility. People will not be cursing Adam in hell, they will be cursing themselves. >Reject the corporate solidarity of Adam the first and you are forced to reject the corporate solidarity of Adam the second. The entire premise of imputed righteousness by virtue of the vicarious substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is founded upon the imputed guilt and corruption of Adam to the human race. Well, we are told that we must have faith to be saved, there is a conditionality to salvationóeven if it is God who causes us to meet the condition, I donít think you will deny that. So, the imputation of guilt and righteousness, are not the same. Unless you maintain that all men would have made the exact same choice as Adam, hence he was THE perfect representative of humanity. (a theory not supported by the Bible) Donít forget, in the same passage you quoted in Romans, Paul says: Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. Are you prepared to accept Universalism? >Therefore we are conceived as sinners, having inherited a corruption of nature and the guilt of Adam and therefore are liable to the just Judgment of God. Likewise, we who have been 'born again' by the Spirit of God are made to be partakers of the atonement of Christ and His righteousness by imputation and are thus pronounced 'guilty in Him' and justified freely by grace. Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus and therefore Soli Deo Gloria I guess I never did ask you, what do you think is the eternal destiny of all the aborted babies? If you maintain that some are saved and some are lost, how do you differentiate the two? Since infants canít produce faith as defined in the Reformed Confessions, it would seem that the logical position is that all are in hell. This may in fact be the case, but for personal reasons, I hope it is not.


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: Christopher
To: Eric
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 20:29:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>I think a case can be made that Paul is referring to physical death being pronounced on all mankind because of Adamís sin.<<<<< Which is exactly what the Greek Fathers taught, contrary to Augustine. I now wonder what the Reformation would have looked like if Luther and Calvin had looked to John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa (to name two) for their interpretations of Rom 5 instead of the Bishop of Hippo. Christopher


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 05:01:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>>>I think a case can be made that Paul is referring to physical death being pronounced on all mankind because of Adamís sin.<<<<< Which is exactly what the Greek Fathers taught, contrary to Augustine. I now wonder what the Reformation would have looked like if Luther and Calvin had looked to John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa (to name two) for their interpretations of Rom 5 instead of the Bishop of Hippo. Christopher
---
I wonder what errors John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa (to name two) would have avoided if they'd relied more heavily on the whole counsel of God (Is 28:10-13)...as the 'Sola' people have been doing since antiquity? ;-) laz


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 11:14:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi laz, Always willing to look at evidence from antiquity that would support your claim... Christopher


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: laz
To: Christopher
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:17:54 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi laz, Always willing to look at evidence from antiquity that would support your claim... Christopher
---
No, always willing to look at 'evidence of understanding' from antiquity to see if it reflects faithful consistency with God's
complete and infallible testimony to us. ;-) laz


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: Christopher
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:59:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
'evidence of understanding?'


Subject: Re: A response to Pilgrim, from below
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 16:41:43 (PST)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
Eric, Aside from personal reasons, why would an aborted human life be let into heaven? Damnation comes as a result of the state of the individual. Jesus cursed the fig tree because it did not bear fruit. Why does a tree not bear fruits? Because it is corrupt from the beginning. The same holds true with human beings. We are by nature sinners, corrupt in nature. An unregenerated person cannot ever bear good fruits that are pleasing to God. Never. This inability comes from their nature. A person sins because he is a sinner. One does not become a sinner when one sins. That is original sin. Sin is not an action but an attitude, or our nature. Chaff is chaff by nature and wheat is wheat by nature. One other example. Jesus told Nicodemus that unless a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Nicodemus questioned how a person could re-enter his mother's womb. We are told by Christ that this is a born again of the water and the Spirit. So obviously Jesus is not speaking of physical birth here (in regards to your brainstemless embryo). However it is interesting that Jesus would use birth in his teaching. Let's look at what Paul stated in Romans about Adam and how all are sinners by his transgression. By our natural birth we partake in his sin. We are created corrupt because of sin that entered into the world with Adam's transgression. Jesus is the second Adam. We are spiritually reborn with Christ as our head. Adam is no longer our head or authority. As believers we no longer have Adam's corruption. We are imputed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. (I am speaking of justification here and not sanctification, I do not hold to perfectionism). So the one birth that was both natural and spiritual via Adam is put away with the new birth which is in Jesus Christ. At the moment we experience the spiritual but we will one day receive new glorified bodies, our natural rebirth. So with that said what does it matter as to what God does with aborted babies to us? God is soveriegn and God is just. He will not wrongly send any individual to Hell, especially since every person conceived deserves it due to their corrupt, anti-God nature. The only injustice is that Jesus Christ, blameless and holy, had to die for my sinful, corrupt soul. Praise God for the mercy of sending His only Son to accomplish what would take me an eternity in Hell to do. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: a reply to kevin
From: Eric
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 08:08:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I know you weren't trying to be callous in your post, but you asked: Why should we care about aborted children, and the death of infants? Have you ever had a close friend or relative lose a child? Do you have any idea of the grief and anguish? Do you have kids? If not, then you canít imagine, if you do, you know what I am talking about. How do you console a parent. Do you tell them that their infant was an object of wrath who will spend an eternity in hell? Do you stick to your theology at that point, and say that God may or may not be merciful with the child? Now, letís get back to the subject. If we are all guilty of Adamís sin, how do you explain this verse from the same passage? Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, ***even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam***, who was a pattern of the one to come. Doesnít that say that we are not guilty of Adamís sin? I did not hear an explanation as to the verse I quoted from Ezekiel which clearly says that we will all be judged for our own sins, and not the sins of another. Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Another interesting passage that touches this subject: Acts 17:26-27 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. [27] God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us Now, how can God say that He determined the time and places they will be born FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE THAT THEY MIGHT SEEK HIM, if He created them with a corrupt sinful nature that CANNOT SEEK HIM. Do you see the contradiction? If God is the sovereign creator of life, and also is not the author of sin, how can he create sinful creatures? Again, what sin has a fertilized egg/infant committed? Please be biblical in your answer, being sure to include refutation of Ez. 18:20 and Rom. 5:14. Maybe you can also touch on the reasons why Jesus rebuked his disciples for hindering little children and babies from being brought to Him, if they were objects of wrath, detestable in His sight. I have provided many verses in this thread that say that we will be judged eternally by our sins, and not the sins of another. I have yet to be shown one verse that says that we will be judged eternally by Adamís sin.


Subject: Re: a reply to kevin
From: laz
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 13:47:09 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric - there are some of us familiar with death of children....but if you trust God's testimony...why should we be concerned with what God does with fetus, infants, young children? He is God! He is Holy. He is merciful and just. End of argument. Deut 29:29 As for paying for others sins...context, context, context. Ex 20:5
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Firstly, the ultimate sin that resulted in DEATH (spiritual/physical) was committed by Adam...and we all share in it! While we are 'charged' for our own sins (i.e., we pay for our own sins, unless justified) the consequences of our sins do impact our progeny and God says that such consequences will be visited upon our kids, and their kids...is this not a historically verifiable fact of life? But again, Adam's sin is OUR SIN...and so...ALL DIE. As for children and Jesus CHrist...how could Jesus the God-MAN think any differently about those He came to represent? Did He not spend time with gross sinners? He was a MAN with a heart for the lost! But we also know God hates sinners (Ps 5:5, 11:5 and 7:11). Are we to presume that all those kiddies on Jesus' lap went to heaven...that they all confessed Christ in adulthood...that they were all of the Elect? Context. And what of the kiddies killed by the invading Israelites as they obeyed God/Jesus in possessing their inheritance? Poor kiddies.... God has judged ALL men according to Adam's sin. Also Romans 5:12-13 shows clearly that all will die (but WHY???)....law or no law (i.e., even if God can't charge us for OUR sin where there is no law) ... BECAUSE Adam's ONE and original sin has been imputed to all even if there may be (or have been) some who did not know 'the law'... but again, we DO know that they knew enough (Rom 1 & 2) such that NONE HAVE AN ESCUSE (Rom1:20). Therefore as by the offence of ONE judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; Rom 5:18) There you have it...what could be plainer... Your case is completely baseless in light of scripture. laz A fertilize egg is corruptable and not fit for heaven...unless... 1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Only those specifically shown mercy by God...made FIT for heaven according to His purposes and good pleasure, adult or fetus, will be there....grace, grace...sweet grace, it is a gift, therefore none can boast.


Subject: You make my point
From: Eric
To: laz
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 08:10:45 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>>but if you trust God's testimony...why should we be concerned with what God does with fetus, infants, young children? He is God! He is Holy. He is merciful and just. Amen. >>> Ex 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; >>>Firstly, the ultimate sin that resulted in DEATH (spiritual/physical) was committed by Adam...and we all share in it! >>>While we are 'charged' for our own sins (i.e., we pay for our own sins, unless justified) the consequences of our sins do impact our progeny and God says that such consequences will be visited upon our kids, and their kids...is this not a historically verifiable fact of life? This is my point exactly. We suffer temporally because of Adamís sin, but not eternally. The consequences of Adamís sin is death. The consequence of Davidís sin was the death of his son, but the son went to heaven--temporal/eternal. All of humanity suffers because of Adamís sin, however, we are judged eternally for our own sin, and not others. My parents got a divorce-I suffered greatlly from it many years ago, but I wonít be held accountable for my parentís sinótemporal/eternal. >>>But again, Adam's sin is OUR SIN...and so...ALL DIE. No, Adamís sin is his sin. However, Adamís disobediance brought a curse upon all humanity, which we all suffer for. Adam chose for mankind to be disobedient and trust in themselves instead of God. We all suffer for that choice. That is one of the reasons why faith is the key for salvation. Faith in God is a return to our intended place, where we rely wholly on God for our guidance. In effect, we return to the Garden of Eden, and deny what seems right to ourselves, but trust in our Creator, Jesus Christ. Since we are all subject to Adamís choice, it takes a sovereign move of God to restore us to a reliance upon Him, for we know no other way but to trust in ourselves. Now at what point do we assume responsibility for not trusting in God? I donít know. Scripture doesnít speak on this issue. I suspect it is a lot earlier than most people think. >>>As for children and Jesus Christ...how could Jesus the God-MAN think any differently about those He came to represent? Did He not spend time with gross sinners? He was a MAN with a heart for the lost! But we also know God hates sinners (Ps 5:5, 11:5 and 7:11). Are we to presume that all those kiddies on Jesus' lap went to heaven...that they all confessed Christ in adulthood...that they were all of the Elect? I think Christ came to represent the elect, and not the reprobate. Your argument is with The Christ. Matthew 18:3 And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:13-14 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. [14] Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' I will use your words hereÖ.ĒThere you have it...what could be plainer... Your case is completely baseless in light of scripture.Ē : ) >>>And what of the kiddies killed by the invading Israelites as they obeyed God/Jesus in possessing their inheritance? Poor kiddies.... God has judged ALL men according to Adam's sin. They suffer temporally, I do not deny this at all. Do you have a verse that says that these children that were slaughtered are in hell? >>>Also Romans 5:12-13 shows clearly that all will die (but WHY???)....law or no law (i.e., even if God can't charge us for OUR sin where there is no law) ... BECAUSE Adam's ONE and original sin has been imputed to all even if there may be (or have been) some who did not know 'the law'... but again, we DO know that they knew enough (Rom 1 & 2) such that NONE HAVE AN ESCUSE (Rom1:20). Again, temporal judgement. >>>Therefore as by the offence of ONE judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; Rom 5:18) >>>There you have it...what could be plainer... Your case is completely baseless in light of scripture. Why did you cut off that verse laz? Letís not stop there, lets continue on in the verse: Öso also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. Crystal clear huh? So you are a Universalist? What could be plainer? The following verse is: Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. >>>A fertilize egg is corruptable and not fit for heaven...unless... >>>1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. We will all undergo a change before heaven, we will receive incorruptible bodies. >>>Only those specifically shown mercy by God...made FIT for heaven according to His purposes and good pleasure, adult or fetus, will be there...grace, grace...sweet grace, it is a gift, therefore none can boast. I agree.


Subject: don't flatter yourself, ;-)
From: laz
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 21:31:43 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
eric - please, universalism is clearly
not biblical so the 'all men' being justifed can not possibly mean every single person...as you recognize, so, it MUST mean the Elect...the only ones who ever believe, those IN CHRIST. Same argument for Jn 3:16 and the term 'world'. However, the part of the verse I quoted DOES mean that Adam's sin is imputed to ALL men. Therefore as by the offence of ONE judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; Rom 5:18 again, what could be plainer???? laz p.s. as for Jesus Christ and children....the Kingdom belongs to SUCH AS THESE, not literally or necessarily children ... but a spiritual point is being made using a physical analogy. The 'children' in view are THE ELECT...the sheep who hear the Master's voice....babes in the Spirit...adopted children of the Most High.


Subject: What could be plainer?
From: Eric
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:30:23 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
laz, The portion of the verse you cite as perfectly clear nowhere says that Adam's sin is imputed to us, only that we are under judgement due to it. Yet the verse *clearly* says that all men are justified. What other verses do you read this way? I have given you verses that *clearly state* that we will not be judged by another's sin, and the best you can do is take a confusing passage and insist that it is clear, when you don't even treat it as such. Interesting hermenutical approach. :) Your response to Jesus and the children really doesn't make any sense since Jesus rebuked the disciples for not allowing them to be brought. Read it again. Did Jesus really rebuke the disciples because they were hindering his object lesson? I have read some of your other posts in other threads, and found you to be pretty sharp, however, it should be obvious that you are really stretching on this one. :)


Subject: Re: What could be plainer?
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:10:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

I can agree with you on one point, and one point only: that the text in question is not as clear as many others found in Holy Writ. However, having said that, your understanding of the text is clearly in error. What IS clear, is that Paul is setting up a comparison between many things, a couple of them being the condemnation, 1) The condemnation which comes upon all mankind, they being descended from Adam and the justification which comes upon all men as they are descended from Christ. 2) The federal headship of Adam over those who are descended from him and the federal headship of Christ over all those who are descended from Him. Now, the actually relational bond which exists between the descendants of Adam and those of Christ is entirely different matter. All mankind, without exception are descendants of Adam according to the flesh. But those who are related to Christ are so not by the flesh but by virtue of the Spirit through the faith given to them and the consequent Justification received. One need not be a theological scholar or academician to be able to read through the Scriptures, especially the N.T. and see that the vast majority of mankind will be consigned to eternal damnation and that only a remnant will be saved. Those who are saved are those who have been JUSTIFIED by grace through faith in the Lord Christ and Him alone. This justification includes their ADOPTION into the kingdom of God whereby they are given to be heirs of eternal blessing and glory. In addition to this future aspect, they now, in the body are given to be partakers of the divine nature and thus are made one with Christ relationally, in body, spirit and as 'joint heirs' with Him. To suggest, as you clearly have, that the 'all men' in the passage is a universal phrase which includes all men all inclusively, without distinction would be a flat contradiction of the doctrine of the final Judgment and eternal punishment. For it would of necessity conclude that 'all men' are in Christ and thus justified and destined for eternal glory. Therefore, the 'all men' phrase is to be rightly understood as referring to 'all' who are under the headship of the respective individuals; Adam and the Lord Christ and are the recipients of either the condemnation or justification which each brings. One other note: The Apostle Paul writes,

'Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.' Eph 2:3

If all mankind are born without sin, and continue to be without sin until their first act of transgression, as you have so stated, on what basis is God wroth with them? Further Paul says this state of being under the wrath of God is one which is inherent with all men, for it is 'by nature'. Unless you are wanting to redefine what 'by nature' means; i.e., that there are various morphisms of nature through a person's life, then I cannot see anyway of escaping the obvious truth here, that at conception, there is a radical rift between a person and God which warrants God's eternal wrath. We know that God's wrath never is shown to the righteous but only to the wicked, for He is a just God and always does right (Gen 18:25; cf. Ps 1:4-6; 5:4, 5; 7:11; 11:5-7; Eph 1:4-13; etc.) One cannot have imputed 'guilt' without also having that which is responsible for that 'guilt', i.e., the sin itself. This would be far more of a case of injustice than what you are objecting to. There is nothing in all Scripture which would suggest that anyone is born anything other than sinful and under the just condemnation of God. All are in need of the new BIRTH, for their first birth which is of the flesh in corrupt and therefore cannot even 'see the kingdom of God'. What amazes me is that even Semi-Pelagianism acknowledges that all men are born with a corrupt nature, while they err in saying that there is yet a very small part of that nature that remains untouched by sin and therefore is able to respond to the Gospel if it so will. But what you are espousing is nothing less than humanism, which relegates sin to something external to man and therefore cannot be held accountable until some overt transgression has been committed. This is hardly a biblical or a Christian view.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Universalism-NO!
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:46:07 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You probably weren't closely following my posts with laz, I deny Universalism. You are right, it is foreign to scripture. I was making a point that one needs to be careful in how we interpret that passage. I was trying to be absurd. (Insert your own comment here)--talk about a softball! :) As to the verse in Ephesians. It seems to me that Paul is referring to the fact that we are under judgement because of the way we walked in our former lives. I haven't thought this through totally, but when we sin(which we all do), we confirm Adam as our representative. When we have faith in Christ, we confirm Him as our represntative. I deny semi-pelagianism. There is no part of us that isn't corrupted, and that can exercise faith in Christ without the power of God. As to Humanism, I don't get how you come to that conclusion from reading what I have posted. We are all sinners, it is who we are. We are not good people who happen to make mistakes. Now, will you tell me how you reconcile Ezekiel 18:20 with the imputation of Adam's sins. Perhaps you have thought of a way to do this, credibly. I haven't. I was hoping that somebody would provide it, but nobody has yet.


Subject: Re: What could be plainer?
From: laz
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 12:37:27 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
laz, The portion of the verse you cite as perfectly clear nowhere says that Adam's sin is imputed to us, only that we are under judgement due to it. Yet the verse *clearly* says that all men are justified. What other verses do you read this way? I have given you verses that *clearly state* that we will not be judged by another's sin, and the best you can do is take a confusing passage and insist that it is clear, when you don't even treat it as such. Interesting hermenutical approach. :) Your response to Jesus and the children really doesn't make any sense since Jesus rebuked the disciples for not allowing them to be brought. Read it again. Did Jesus really rebuke the disciples because they were hindering his object lesson? I have read some of your other posts in other threads, and found you to be pretty sharp, however, it should be obvious that you are really stretching on this one. :)
---
Eric, we both know that Rom 5:15-16 can't 'clearly' be talking about universalism...it's not even being hinted. Rom 5:15-16 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto
many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. CLEARLY, justification is imputed from ONE person to those found IN the second Adam....as condemnation has been imputed from ONE person to those found IN the first Adam. Again, what part is not clear....and pls forget the argument for universalism...it's getting kinda silly. laz


Subject: okay
From: Eric
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:51:50 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You are right, Romans 5:18 does, which was the verse you quoted at first. Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. You are right it was silly. It was meant to be. My only point was that the passage must be interpreted in light of others, which you have done with the **all men*** portion of it, but IMHO, failed to do with the first part of it. I think the horse is dead, I will put down my whip.


Subject: Re: You make my point
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 19:33:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, You posted: ///This is my point exactly. We suffer temporally because of Adamís sin, but not eternally. The consequences of Adamís sin is death. The consequence of Davidís sin was the death of his son, but the son went to heaven--temporal/eternal. All of humanity suffers because of Adamís sin, however, we are judged eternally for our own sin, and not others. My parents got a divorce-I suffered greatlly from it many years ago, but I wonít be held accountable for my parentís sinótemporal/eternal. 1) What is your scriptural basis for the temporal/eternal suffering? It can't be Ez. 18:20 because it mentions that the sins of the fathers will not visit their children, yet you agree that they do temporally, however, that is not what Ezekiel is dealing with. It seems he is speaking for God against those who use 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, adn the children's teeth are set on edge' as an excuse for their condition. There is correction here to an error that simply because sins are passed down (ie. alchoholism, spouse abuse, child abuse) the children are still accountable for their actions. Basically God is correcting a problem that is prevelant in our society today. 'it is not my fault.' 'If I was only raised in the proper environment.' Look at Ez. 18:14. I think that is what Ezekiel is dealing with. This is not the issue of federal headship being disputed but the issue of children seeing the sins of their parents and then commiting the same sins and then the children blaming their parents for their own sin. 2) With the above in mind how does this relate to Adam's transgression and our fallen, sinful nature? The two are not the same, but they are not mutually exclusive either. To believe that we can do nothing but sin until the Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts to repent and believe ont he Lord Jesus Christ is (1) grace and (2) the truth that we witness Adam's transgression by nature of our being and still commit sin as Adam did does not mean that we can point to Adam and say it is his fault. That is how Ez 18 fits into original sin and Adam's sin passed down to us. 3) I will admit that I do not recall but may be wrong, where does it say that the first child of David and Uriah's wife went to heaven? ///No, Adamís sin is his sin. However, Adamís disobediance brought a curse upon all humanity, which we all suffer for. Your statement is not really in disagreement with laz. Because of the curse of Adam, which you have stated you believe was put upon all humanity (however inclusive you deem humanity to be) Jesus Christ had to become a curse for us redeeming us from Adam's curse (Gal. 3:13). Therefore all humanity is subject to the penalty of the curse received from Adam. That penalty is eternal damnation. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Answers to kevin
From: Eric
To: kevin
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 09:15:56 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
kevin, Thanks for your thoughtful questions, it is refreshing. I will try and answer your questions completely. I get my view of temporal vs. eternal judgement from my underlying assumption that the Bible is the Word of God, and inerrant in the original autographs. So, when I run across statements that SEEM to contradict themselves, I assume that I am not understanding the original intent of the author, and I seek to reconcile the apparent contradiction to the best of my ability. If you remember how this thread got started, I asked for what sins would an infant be sent to hell for, and I was told Adamís sin. I looked through the scriptures, and I find no mention of that, but I do see direct statements that say that people will not be judged for the sins of others, only their own. But the scriptures are also clear that death entered the world because of Adamís sin. Based upon experience, and the Biblical record, it is obvious that everybody does suffer due to the sins of others in this world. The only way that I can reconcile the two, is to affirm that we suffer temporal punishment as a result of otherís sin, and we suffer eternal judgement for our own. In this way, there is no contradiction, when we keep in mind that the word death is used differently. As to Davidís child being in heaven, I confess that the only person I have ever heard on this topic was R.C. Sproul. He said that in 2 Sam.12:23 when David says he will return to his child, but that the child will not return to him, is referring to David seeing the child again after he dies. On to Ezekiel 18. I see where you are coming from in your interpretation of this passage, but I did not notice this until just now, but this seems to directly refer to the notion of imputed guilt. Read verses 14-20 carefully, pay particular attention to verse 19, and the question that was asked. [14] 'But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things: [15] 'He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor's wife. [16] He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. [17] He withholds his hand from sin and takes no usury or excessive interest. He keeps my laws and follows my decrees. He will not die for his father's sin; he will surely live. [18] But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. **** [19] 'Yet you ask, 'Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?' Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. [20] The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Did you see it? Verses 14-18 talk about a son whose father was wicked, but the son was righteous, it goes on to list all the righteous thinks that the son does. And then verse 19 says ***YET YOU ASKÖ*** So the author carefully spells out that the son is righteous, and the questioner asks why does he not share the guilt of his father, this canít be referring to imitated deeds, it has to refer to imputed guilt. The author then goes on to say that we will be judged for our own sins. We confirm Adamís representation of us every time we sin. I am a firm believer in the Providence of God. I started out this thread by stating that it is my belief that it is an act of Godís mercy upon infants who die, it isnít by accident, it has been determined from long ago. I think I have answered your questions, now will you answer mine from the previous post?


Subject: Re: Answers to kevin
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:23:21 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

The truth here is so clear. . . 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die. . .' (Ezek 18:4, 20). Since infants die; since unborn children die; since miscarriages occur whereby the 'embryo' dies; then one must conclude that sin is inherent? 'The wages of sin is death!' and 'for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.' (Gen 2:7). Physical death is but the outward manifestation of the inward spiritual death which brought it about. Did God therefore lie? He said, 'in the day that thou eastes thereof thou shalt surely die.' Yet we see both Adam and Eve still drawing breath and afterwards hiding their nakedness with leaves and thereafter conversing with God. This doesn't fit the description of 'physical death'!! Either they died that day as God said they would or they didn't!

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Last Post
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 05:13:07 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, We all know that when the bible speaks of death, it has a variety of meanings. When God said that Adam shall die in the day that he eats of the tree. I think it is valid to interpret that as being the time when Adam's body was subject to decay, and he ceased to be immortal. Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.' Nowhere does God say that it would be a spiritual death. In fact, God has to send Adam out of the garden because he now has the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 3:22 And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' Any further discussion on this topic will probably be unfruitful. God bless you and yours.


Subject: Re: Last Post
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 07:44:42 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

For once we can agree on something. . . any further discussion will be unfruitful. You have failed to deal with many passages I have offered to you personally, eg., this last text where God said Adam would die 'on the day he ate. ..' Your constant attempts to skirt such texts is unfortunate. Secondly, you have failed to reply to my logical reasons which are the result of my exegetical study of various texts, eg., Rom 5:12-18. What I have heard echoing through your posts is, 'I haven't been shown one passage that says that Adam's sin was inherited by anyone else.' This is childish and ineffective. Do you also deny the Trinity because there isn't one passage that states that God is one and three persons? You haven't offered any support whatsoever for your view that infants die but are found guiltless, even though you admit they are born with a corrupt nature. You have also failed to offer any support for your view that spiritual death occurs only afterward and as a result of a person's first actual overt sin. You have also failed to give any support whatsoever that 'sin' is restricted to actual physical action and not as the Scriptures teach that sin is the fruit of one's nature. If one's nature is corrupt, then the 'fruit' will also be corrupt. Therefore condemnation is due to the nature one possesses and not how much, how little or even if it isn't expressed. Men, women, children, unborn infants will be condemned because of WHO THEY ARE, and not simply on what they have done or not done in life. There are but two TYPES of people; sheep and goats! Each will evidence their natures of who they are by what they think, feel and do. James sets forth the nature of the redeemed when he says, 'faith without works is dead'. A regenerated nature is given faith which will and must show forth its existence by good works. But God doesn't have to see a person's 'good works' to know his nature, for it is God who sovereignly recreates the new nature, or by-passes a person and leaves him/her in their corrupt nature, which will and must express itself in 'bad works'! Those who are yet in the womb and have been destined to die in the womb are not subject to the scrutiny of men as to whether or not they are elect or reprobate. We know that all men die physically because they are GUILTY OF SIN, else they wouldn't die. Those unborn infants who God has set His eternal love and mercy are regenerated and taken home. All others are left in their natural state and will receive their just reward as all others like them. Lastly, you may not like having someone point out the fact that your view of Original Sin, which you deny, is humanistic in origin. You can deny it all you want, but it's just the facts as it is true that your potpourri of ideas are a mishmash of Pelagianism, Humanism and Arminianism and simply aren't biblical and/or Christian.

Enjoy the day, Pilgrim


Subject: Hopefully the last post
From: Eric
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 09:10:41 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
You might think that my asking to be shown from scripture that we are judged eternally for Adam's sin and not our own is childish, I do not. I have answered every verse you have quoted, because I don't interpret them the way you do, does not mean I haven't dealt with them. I did not deal with verses that you referenced without posting the text though, I do not have the time. I don't deny the Trinity because it isn't explicitly mentioned in scripture, rather I affirm it, because it is mentioned in numerous passages that can't be reconciled in any other way, and they don't need to be because they don't contradict scripture. I have given numerous verses that say that we are judged eternally for *our* sins, and have not found one that says we are judged eternally for the sins of Adam. I have also given crystal clear passages of scripture which say that our sould will not die because of somebody elses sin, but only it's own. I have also given you Jesus's words about infants and young children, and your view, as presented by laz, is really weak. As far as the New Testament interpreting the Old Testament, as a general rule is the best way to go, but not when passages are unclear or confusing. All scripture is profitable..., and remember, Paul is talking about the OT here, as you are aware that the NT wasn't available. The most sound approach, is to let the clear interpret the unclear. As I have repeatedly pointed out, nobody takes Romans 5:12-18 completely at face value. As far as your notion that my ideas are a mish-mash of Arminianism, Humanism, Pelagianism, and Anti-Christian, I really have no reply. I would be curious though if you think I am not a Christian because I disagree with the Reformed view of Original Sin. Didn't Martin Luther say something about it not being safe or right to change his views unless convinced by scripture and reason? You have not convinced me my brother. I have repeatedly posted that all men are sinners and in need of a Saviour, and cannot come to Christ without the life giving power of the Holy Spirit. If that makes me a heretic, well then I guess I am.


Subject: Re: Answers to kevin
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:49:02 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, First, what questions were asked that I did not address? Second, where is it written in scripture that David and Bathsheeba's first child went to heaven? Third, I am not in disagreement with your interpretation of the passage in Ezekiel. It seems to me that we agree that it is dealing with those who pick up their parents sins. However, I fail to see how this supports your view of an age of innocence. Why did the child of the wicked father not commit the sins of his father? Was it because God gave him a heart of flesh for a heart of stone? If this is the case when did God do this? The passage is silent. You assume that people are born with no inclination towards sin. That is what the view of all babies go to heaven must believe. You must deny that all people are conceived with a sinful nature to maintain a salvation that saves all infants and unborn babies. THis brings us back to an earlier question. Are we by nature of who we are in Adam sinners? Or are we not? Look again at James and his view of what comes out of the heart being spout from the mouth. Look at Jesus' when he tells the Pharisees they are the children of the devil. With the fall of Adam sin entered into the world. God creates us to be in this world and as a result of us being born into this world we are imputed with Adam's sin. Basically, if you hold to the salvation of all unborn and young children then you do not hold to original sin as described in the scriptures. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: More answers to kevin...
From: Eric
To: kevin
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 13:12:32 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Here you go kevin, this thread has pretty much run itís course, perhaps after you answer the questions below, we should wrap it up. >>Second, where is it written in scripture that David and Bathsheeba's first child went to heaven? I answered that in the previous post, re-read itóit was early on in the post. >>>It seems to me that we agree that it is dealing with those who pick up their parents sins. It is dealing with our being judged for our own sins, and not the sins of others. >>>However, I fail to see how this supports your view of an age of innocence. Why did the child of the wicked father not commit the sins of his father? Was it because God gave him a heart of flesh for a heart of stone? If this is the case when did God do this? The passage is silent. Not the issue in question. We are in substantial agreement on this topic. >>>You assume that people are born with no inclination towards sin. That is what the view of all babies go to heaven must believe. You must deny that all people are conceived with a sinful nature to maintain a salvation that saves all infants and unborn babies. Absolutely not. I have repeatedly said that we are all destined to sin because of Adam. It canít be avoided. We have a corrupted nature, we all do what is right in our own eyes as opposed to trusting in God. My view is that we will be judged for our sins that flow out of this corrupted nature as opposed to being judged by this nature. Again, Christ says that we are judged by our works. >>>This brings us back to an earlier question. Are we by nature of who we are in Adam sinners? Or are we not? Look again at James and his view of what comes out of the heart being spout from the mouth. Look at Jesus' when he tells the Pharisees they are the children of the devil. With the fall of Adam sin entered into the world. God creates us to be in this world and as a result of us being born into this world we are imputed with Adam's sin. What is the heart that James is speaking about? Is it not our thoughts and attitudes? How does this apply to an embryo? >>>Basically, if you hold to the salvation of all unborn and young children then you do not hold to original sin as described in the scriptures. No, I donít hold to Original Sin as described in the Reformed confessions. You have yet to provide me a scripture that says Adamís sin is imputed to all men which they will then be held accountable for. I would say that you donít hold to Original Sin as described in the scriptures. Now, for the questions from before. Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, ***even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam***, who was a pattern of the one to come. Doesnít that say that we are not guilty of Adamís sin? Didnít you say that babies are suffering in hell because of Adamísin. This seems to suggest that our sin is not the same as Adamís. I did not hear an explanation as to the verse I quoted from Ezekiel which clearly says that we will all be judged for our own sins, and not the sins of another. You affirm that we suffer both temporally and eternally for or ancestorís sins. What option do you have other than to say that this verse isnít inspired? Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Another interesting passage that touches this subject: Acts 17:26-27 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. [27] God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us Now, how can God say that He determined the time and places they will be born FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE THAT THEY MIGHT SEEK HIM, if He created them spiritually dead. Do you see the contradiction? If God is the sovereign creator of life, and also is not the author of sin, how can he create sinful, dead creatures? Please touch on the reasons why Jesus rebuked his disciples for hindering little children and babies from being brought to Him, if they were objects of wrath, detestable in His sight. Matthew 18:3 And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:13-14 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. [14] Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' I have provided many verses in this thread that say that we will be judged eternally by our sins, and not the sins of another. I have yet to be shown one verse that says that we will be judged eternally by Adamís sin, because there isnít one. We both agree that scripture is not explicit on the issue of the fate of the unborn or infants. We both agree that it is only by Godís wonderful mercy that anybody will be in heaven, and we both agree that if everybody was left to do what seems right to them, they would deservedly end up in hell. This issue is really very minor, and my position is only slightly different than yours. However, I do thank you for causing me to read the scriptures more closelyósomething that I should do more of, more often. I do hope that you have read my posts in the manner that they were intended-sincerity and respectfully. Thank you.


Subject: Re: More answers to kevin...
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Mar 23, 2000 at 19:42:29 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, I am unable to answer your questions for a couple of reasons. 1) I feel I already have in regards to original sin. 2) So has Pilgrim and laz. 3) In one of your posts to Pilgrim you affirm agreement with him on original sin, yet you tell me that scripture does not teach imputation of Adam's sin. Do you find a difference between the two? I do not. 4) What answer do you want to hear regarding Ezekiel? I will try one more time to give you my view on Chapter 18 of Ezekiel. The prophet just finished explaining the purposes of God in respect ot the future of His kingdom and glory in the world. He now is getting on them about their sin by pleading the case of the righteous. All of 18 is to be seen in light of the parable that Ezekiel is refuting. The Isrealites are claiming that their state is not a result of their sin but of their misfortune. The quoted false proverb supports their thinking. However, this is not the case and that is whay Ezekiel is telling them. It is the same with us. Our death, spiritual and physical is a direct result of Adam's transgression (the Romans verse you and laz have been discussing). We can try to say 'why does God still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' (Rom. 9:19) Paul replies by saying who are we to reply against God? Indeed who are we. Since death has always reigned over everyone, even those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is the type of Him who was to come. The free gift is not like the offense. (Rom 5:14) Look at all of Romans 5. Notice that vs 12 begins with therefore. Read what leads up to Paul's therefore. I hope that you do understand that original sin and the imputation of Adam's sin are virtually synonymous. I also hope you see what I am stating in regards to Ezekiel and how it coincides so nicely with Chapter 9 of Romans. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Last post on the subject
From: Eric
To: kevin
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 05:01:52 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
We have reached a dead end my friend. You interpret Ez. 18 in light of Romans 5:12-18, and I interpret Romans 5:12-18 in light of Ez. 18. I think it was Augustine who said in essentials-unity, in non-essentials-liberty, and in all things charity. Take care and God bless.


Subject: Re: Last post on the subject
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 14:48:41 (PST)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
Take care my brother and I hope to see you in future posts. Thank you for the challenge. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Re: Last post on the subject
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 08:10:39 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
We have reached a dead end my friend. You interpret Ez. 18 in light of Romans 5:12-18, and I interpret Romans 5:12-18 in light of Ez. 18. I think it was Augustine who said in essentials-unity, in non-essentials-liberty, and in all things charity. Take care and God bless.
---
Eric,

1) Augustine also said, 'The New Testament is in the Old Testament contained, the Old Testament is in the New Testament explained! ie., your hermeneutic is not that which the Bible itself teaches. You've got it backwards my friend. 2) The 'essentials' to which Augustine referred to included Original Sin, as his prolific and sober arguments against Pelagius and his followers clearly show. The result with an official declaration of the church in the Council of Orange. This same heresy in modified form came and went for centuries afterward, always being rejected and it came to be debated once again during the Quinquarticular Controversy in 1618-19 at the great Synod of Dortrecht and again, it was exposed as unbiblical and pronounced heretical by a unanimous vote. Thus this subject is not one of the 'non-essentials' which is what most heretics are quick to cry out in their own behalf so as to not have their error exposed for what it is....... heresy clear and simple!


Subject: Re: Last post on the subject
From: laz
To: Eric
Date Posted: Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 06:08:19 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
We have reached a dead end my friend. You interpret Ez. 18 in light of Romans 5:12-18, and I interpret Romans 5:12-18 in light of Ez. 18. I think it was Augustine who said in essentials-unity, in non-essentials-liberty, and in all things charity. Take care and God bless.
---
OK, just one last pt...the NT is clearer than th OT...so, we should interprete the OT in light of the NT. ;-) laz


Subject: Re: a reply to kevin
From: kevin
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 08:51:16 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, You still fail to understand original sin. We are condemned to hell by our nature. Our actions are only the outworking of that nature. Bad tree. Bad fruits. Good tree. Good fruits. We obtain salvation once again by our nature. Unless God changes a persons heart of stone to one of flesh then that persons nature will not be changed. Unless one is born again of the Spirit then that person does not have a new nature. In Adam's sin all of the human race received the nature of sin, hence we sin. Adam is our representative. Now Jesus Christ has become our representative. His nature is imputed upon us. We are no longer slaves to sin unto death but slaves to righteousness unto eternal life. So it is not a matter of what we do and do not do. That is only sin in practice. Sin is not simply an action. Remember Jesus' statement to the men wanting to stone the woman caught in adultery? If someone sins in their heart then they sin outwardly. James affirms this by stating that the tongue only puts forth that which is in the heart. If the heart is one of stone and enmity towards God then it naturally spouts forth sinful actions. If it is one that is quickened by the Spirit of God then faith that is pleasing to God is brought out. That is faith with deeds that is not dead. Whereas our works do not save us but our faith in Christ produces works, also neither do our works condemn us but our sinful nature that is within us which produces the sinful actions. As to what do I tell my friends. God is sovereign and the same hope and grace that saves small children, adults, everyone is the same that saves unborn children. The only other option is to state that God has a different plan for unborn infants and really young children than he does for those who are older. Jesus Christ is the only propitiation for our sins. Nothing else. If one's name is written in the book of life from the foundation of the world then that person is saved. Unborn infants acquire salvation the same way their parents (if they are Christians) did. By the grace and mercy of God our Father who, while we were yet sinners sent His only Son to die for us. In Him, kevin sdg


Subject: Re: a reply to kevin
From: Eric
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 09:56:17 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
All I have asked for is one verse that says we will be judged eternally by our nature as opposed to our actual sins(both outward and inward). You are emphatic that it is not our sins that send us to hell, but our nature. Is this nature than sin? If so, this contradicts Ezekiel. If Adam's sin is imputed to us, in which we will be judged, then we better rethink inerrancy. In actuality kevin, it is you who has set up two systems of salvation. One for infants/and the mentally impaired, and one for adults. For adults must have faith in Christ, which is expressed outwardly in confession, and inwardly in the mental process of believing. Unless you hold to all who die in infancy are in hell. How did David's child enter heaven? Did he exercise faith, or was he saved apart from faith in Christ alone?


Subject: Re: a reply to kevin
From: Pilgrim
To: Eric
Date Posted: Tues, Mar 21, 2000 at 10:21:01 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric,

Faith is that which resides in the heart and is expressed outwardly by the mouth and evidenced in the acts of the body. One is saved by GRACE through faith. The Spirit of God is He who implants faith in the heart at the time of regeneration. Men, by nature have only unbelief and NO FAITH in God. Faith is more than an assent to facts or truths... it is a personal resting in and dependency upon Christ which flows out of a hatred of sin and a love of holiness. Regeneration is given to only the Elect and was foreordained before the foundation of the world to be implemented in God's good time to those whom He foreloved. Faith, being part and parcel of regeneration is not therefore dependent upon anything of man. Man simply responds in believing upon Christ AFTER faith has been given. Thus, NO ONE is unable to receive faith in regeneration, including infants and those who are born with diminished capacities, who are unable to outwardly express that faith in ways which 'normal adults' are expected to do. Therefore, elect infants, indeed all the elect are saved by faith in the same manner. The expression of that faith obviously differs with the state of the individual. There is no dual salvation involved in any of this. Pelagians of course cannot comprehend grace, nor will they for it would mean a total abandonment of their self-appointed autocracy.

In His Grace, Pilgrim


Subject: Sharing the Gospel
From: Chris
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 14:21:31 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello All, I want to say something in response to all the talk about Witnessing on the Job. That is since when does sharing Christ become forcing? When you share Christ with someone and they either change the subject or tell you they dont want to hear it, then dont talk to them about it! Very simple to understand, but if that individual does not say anything and continues to listen, whether or not they will agree, then its your responsibility to share it. I do pray and wait of the Lord, but you have to remember the commission given by the Lord in Matthew 28:19-20 and in Mark 16:15-16. Jesus says GO! Why are we so quick to say 'wait on the Lord' when the Lord already said 'GO!' If we are living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit, yes the Spirit may direct our thoughts, paths, etc. But the courage and ability to share the Gospel is always there. WE MUST OR WE WILL BUST:)


Subject: Re: Sharing the Gospel
From: Vernon
To: Chris
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 03:03:00 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hello To All, May I ask a question....'Good.' What is the meaning of the word 'Witness' and what is 'Sharing?' Also, is the word 'Go' in the original context of (Matt. 28:19-20 )? Chris, I am never against sharing the gospel with anyone,but there is truth to the fact that it is God who prepares the man's heart to believe. This I believe. Otherwise, man would never be able to believe. He may hear you but never believe. We do not know whom God has prepared, so, pray and ask God to lead you to that heart whom He has prepared to hear and receive your sharing of the gospel so that it falls not on closed ears. Hang in there and keep seeking and sharing the truth of the gospel. In Christ Vernon


Subject: Re: Sharing the Gospel
From: Chris
To: Vernon
Date Posted: Mon, Mar 20, 2000 at 04:47:30 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Vernon, To be a witness is to be able to testify to the account of Jesus Christ. We have that testimony shed abroud in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that He has given to us. My understanding of Go in Matthew 28 is that instead of waiting for them to come to us, we need to go and share with others the gospel that those who may hear will be saved. We share with all(universal call), so that those who are Gods sheep will hear and come out from among the world(effectual call). I can pray and seek His guidance, which my Wife and I do everyday, but the gospel will always fall on people who will not hear, but through sharing with all, it could fall on the one who will hear and that is why we are here(Along with becoming Spiritually mature.) You are right it is not for us to know who God has prepared, but its our responsibility to obey the Great Commission. In Christ, Chris


Subject: Re: Sharing the Gospel
From: Pilgrim
To: Chris
Date Posted: Sun, Mar 19, 2000 at 15:20:04 (PST)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Chris,

I certainly agree with much you said, but I must correct this misunderstanding and thus misuse of Matt 28:18-20. I realize that this is like trying to sell freezers to the Eskimos when one questions the contemporary understanding of this text and others, e.g., John 3:16, Rev 2:20, etc. The errors have been so ingrained in the minds of people, that to root them out is nearly impossible humanly speaking, of course! :-) The current and popular misunderstanding of this passage is exactly as you have rendered it, 'Jesus says GO! Why are we so quick to say 'wait on the Lord' when the Lord already said 'GO!'' In the original Greek text, the word 'GO' is not the main verb at all, but rather a participle. The main verb is 'make' with it's object being 'disciples'. Thus 'make disciples' is what the Lord Christ is emphasizing in that passage. In other words, if I may be so bold as to paraphrase what the Lord Christ said there, 'As you are going [about your daily lives], MAKE DISCIPLES, of those people who the Spirit brings in your way. Teach them all I have commanded you, and if they should be given repentance and faith, baptize them with the Trinitarian formula of 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost'.' The main thrust in this passage is the injunction to instruct people in the Word of God who have shown a genuine interest in the Lord Christ. There is no mention of beating people over the head with the '4 Spiritual Laws', or handing out neato 'Gospel Tracts' to people indiscriminately on the street, only to have them littering the byways with them. The passage isn't dealing with those called to be Evangelists or Preachers of the Word of G