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Johan
Johan
South Africa
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Recent Posts
Your opinion please
by Robin - Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:08 PM
True of False
by NetChaplain - Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:33 PM
Natural Theology
by Pilgrim - Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:10 AM
Mandatory Vaccines
by Robin - Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:21 AM
Progressive Christianity
by Readin - Sun Oct 17, 2021 1:39 AM
Obstinate Learner
by NetChaplain - Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:21 PM
Your opinion please Johan Yesterday at 04:36 PM Good day everyone! It is quite a long time since I have posted something here. I have been extremely busy over the last almost 24 months.

Recently I noticed something in the weekly newsletter of a local church that made me wonder whether someone can write something as if Christ Himself has dictated the words to the author. The background to my question is the following invitation of the two pastors in this church to the congregation:

Quote
To you, a beloved member of the Reformed Church Potchefstroom-The Bult
These are our words as teachers, shepherds, and servants of the congregation: We are
thankful that the lampstand of the congregation has been giving its light IN, ON and
BEYOND the Bult for the last 10 years. We know that some of you have been part of
the congregation for all ten years and that you also remember a time before The Bult. We
also know that some of us only know this congregation, as she was before Covid, and she
had to continue to be salt and light even in the pandemic. We share in your thankfulness
for the grace of our Lord in Jesus Christ.

During this year’s Focus Season, we listened to Him who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks among the seven golden lampstands (Rev 2:1), who is the First and the Last, who
died and came to life again (Rev 2:8), who has the sharp, double-edged sword (Rev 2:12), the
Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze (Rev 2:18),
who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars (Rev 3:1), who is holy and true, who
holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can
open (Rev 3:7), the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation (Rev 3:14).
We listened to what the Spirit is saying to the congregation.

Now we want to hear from you, and your family, and your Small group: What would the Lord
say to us as a congregation or how do we as a congregation look in the eyes of the Lord?
What would He commend us for? Where have we failed or neglected his commands and
therefore need to repent? We are looking forward with great expectation to receive a letter
from you with your answers to these questions. Answer one question or answer them all, share with us what you heard from the Spirit in this time.
We hope to compile these answers into a letter or bundle of letters to The Bult congregation.

Until we hear from you, we will continue to live in our shared hope in the fulfilment of the
Sevenfold promises to the overcomers. We also look forward to the day on which our Lord
Jesus will return. With love from house to house, to everyone who is part of our heavenly
Father’s household here on the Bult.

Signed by the two pastors to whom the letters should be addressed.


Now, I have seen one of the letters written to the pastors and it is the style of the letter that made me wonder what is going on. Unfortunately, the letter is in Afrikaans and it makes no sense to quote it here. The letter starts with "Thus says He who hanged in your place on the cross, Who conquered death, ... He that holds your right hand, and surrounds you with His love so that no virus, no corruption in government and poor service delivery (by local government) can separate you from His love. "
The letter then continues with sentences starting with "I know you in these strange times", "I know that you honestly try to walk in My footsteps as your Saviour to still be the church". "I see that in humbleness you ...." The letter ends with "But I have a few things against you....." Clearly "I" means Christ.

I was just wondering what authority the author of the letter has to formulate it such as if Christ has revealed these things to him or her personally. You will note that in the letter by the two pastors they write "share with us what you heard from the Spirit in this time". What if, say, there are 20 letters, all saying different things. Does the Holy Spirit work in this way? Surely the pastors or church council can ask these questions but I don't think any member has the right to answer as if it is Christ Himself who speaks in the letter.

Btw, this church ordained women as elders and consider what we see in secular society about the role of women as part of the general revelation and that Scripture should be read and interpreted in the light of what happens in society.

I hope my question is clear.

Johan
2 19 Read More
True of False NetChaplain Yesterday at 02:37 PM There are types of people who profess to be in Christ; those who are truly in Him and those who are not in Him. This has always been the situation since the beginning of Christianity, and the false professors are the hypocrites who will inevitably manifest that they do not truly believe by apostatizing (leaving or departing) from their false profession, for only those truly reborn (saved) never cease their profession in the Christian walk. Hypocrites are those whom the Lord Jesus said that “this people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me” (never reborn - Mat 15:8).

The difference between true and false professors is important to identify, and is why the Lord said “the tree is known by his fruit” (Mat 12:33). One of the primary functions of Scripture is to teach believers how to identify those who nominally profess to believe, which eventually show itself outwardly by their lifestyle. Those who are not truly saved always give up, and those truly saved never give up; and this is seen in the parable of the sower in which only one of the examples presented is saved.

When Scripture speaks of those falling away, departing, etc., it refers to false professors who never continue professing to be living in the faith (not falling from the faith but from their false profession of it), because it requires the Spirit creating one in rebirth to be saved and remain. One of the reasons why many people practice false professions (many unaware it’s false until later) is to attempt to ease their conscience by and outward show so that they will be accepted, as guilt always attempts to seek self-justification.

Continuing in professing Christianity does not produce salvation but shows one is saved, for only one who is saved will continue without ceasing. Inwardly we are assured by the Sprit that we are saved (Rom 8:16); outwardly we will manifest this by God’s love for one another (Jhn 13:35). Not our natural love which is to others in the same degree we love ourselves (Mat 22:39), but in the love we have of Christ to others (Jhn 13:34), as this is what makes love to others a “new command.”

I believe one important reason why there are false professors is to outwardly affirm the true professors, just as the Tree of Knowledge was to affirm God’s holiness via contrast of good and evil (He wants us to know His holiness); and as the wheat and the tares bear resemblance when young, they can be distinguished when the ears of grain begin to show in the wheat.
2 15 Read More
Natural Theology Tom Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:24 AM Natural Theology
I was on a Reformed board recently and the topic was Natural Theology. Some of the discussion was going over my head, because I have never actually looked into ‘Natural Theology’ before.
I decided to look into what is was, before I decided whether or not to participate in the discussion. The first link I noticed in my Google search was a Greg Bahnsen article. https://defenseofaith.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/greg-bahnsens-critique-of-natural-theology/
In the article Greg Bahnsen had a section called: “Five problems for natural theology”.
As I was reading these Five problems, to be quite frank I could not understand how someone Reformed could possibly because in natural theology.
For example number two says
Quote
2) It thinks that the unbeliever can be fair and open-minded and use right reason and will affirm a portion of religious truth upon the strength of the evidence.
-Scripture views the unbeliever prejudiced about God, having a pre-judgment against the God of the Bible. He is closed-minded and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.-Only grace takes evidence and makes it plain to the eyes of the sinner.
I decided to participate in the thread, by using what I have learned in these five points.
However, the response I received I found a bit confusing. It almost seemed like it was talking about something different.
For example, the following is a response I got.
Quote
Tom Hardy our confession (1689) if we hold to that, does not assume via Natural Theology “unbelievers can *come to Christ* This from Turretin via Daniel is helpful
https://www.baptistdogmatics.com/.../onapjzzffz1whi42a8iu...
Anything, that might help would be appreciated.

Tom
4 69 Read More
Obstinate Learner NetChaplain Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:21 PM “If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:26 KJV).” “If we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins” (NLT).

If it were said that one received the truth (the Gospel), it could be correctly conceived that one believed and accepted salvation. But this passage refers to, not the truth but the “knowledge of the truth.” Can one reborn (saved) continue to live sinning intentionally—as was prior to rebirth? No! This would prove the absence of rebirth. The design of the passage intends the sense of one coming to know what the Gospel is, and continues to willingly live in sin, without receiving the Gospel—but only receiving (discovering) the knowledge of it.

“It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness (receive the knowledge of the truth), than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment” (2Pe 2:21). “They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin” (Jhn 15:22, 24).

“And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luk 12:47, 48). This answers to the saying that “proportionate to a man's light is his guilt!”
0 23 Read More
Progressive Christianity Tom Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:31 AM Progressive Christianity

As many may know, there is quite a dangerous movement called “Progressive Christianity”. They seem to liberal Christianity’s (oxymoron) answer to today’s culture.

They embrace things like Woke and LBGQT+ and actually use Scripture to justify themselves. This movement also attracts people, such a several relatives of mine, who grew up in abusive Churches.
They love to use theologians that support them.

That is actually why I am bringing this question to this forum.

Matthew Vines, who is openly gay, is someone that is used by them. The following is what he says about Leviticus 18:22

"Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
There are many passages of Scripture, dealing with the subject such as this particular Old Testament verse.
First of all, I would like to provide what an openly gay theologian says about it and then say a few things."

MATTHEW VINES
Quote
Christ fulfilled the Old Testament law, and the New Testament teaches that Christians should live under the new covenant rather than the old one. Consequently, this verse has never applied to Christians. For a man to lie with a man “as with a woman” violated the patriarchal gender norms of the ancient world, which is likely why Leviticus prohibited it. But the New Testament casts a vision of God’s kingdom in which the hierarchy between men and women is overcome in Christ. So not only is Leviticus’s prohibition inapplicable to Christians on its own, the rationale behind it doesn’t extend to Christians, either.”

I do not believe it all that hard to see what is wrong with this; not to mention they start out with a fallacy right away.
However, I thought perhaps others here might think of a better way to show that Matthew Vines is all wet in what he says.

Tom
2 75 Read More
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