Monday, March 31, 2008

A slice of Spurgeon pie

I do not think I differ from any of my Hyper-Calvinistic brethren in what I do believe, but I differ from them in what they do not believe. I do not hold any less than they do, but I hold a little more, and, I think, a little more of the truth revealed in the Scriptures. Not only are there a few cardinal doctrines, by which we can steer our ship North, South, East, or West, but as we study the Word, we shall begin to learn something about the North-west and North-east, and all else that lies between the four cardinal points. The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.

I have often wrestled with two Biblical supported doctrines; free will - there was a tree in the garden; and God's complete and utter sovereignty. It's nice to know Spurgeon did as well, and he explains it quite masterfully.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The clarity of false teachers

This statement by Pastor Dave of the Trinity Presbyterian Church of Bethesda, MD in regards to homosexuality being holy before God and most assuredly not condemned in the strongest possible language in the Biblical texts;

But explorations of the complexity and depth of Scripture are not the friends of literalism."

Does anybody notice a common theme here? God's word is just too complex and too deep for you "friends of literalism" to understand. In other words, Stop taking the bible literal when its obvious the book is about your own personal spirit.

If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.

Some advice:
Slowly take the eye plucker out of your hand, put it back in your eye plucking sin expelling box and start taking your sins dead serious.

If the word of God is complete and sufficient for reproof, correction, and for training in righteousness - 2 Timothy 2:16-17, then the last place one should seek Godly wisdom is outside those texts. If it's not, consider yourself God's enemy and the target of His righteous wrath.

The fact that God has commanded something, the Mosaic Law for instance, would necessitate that it indeed has a moral capacity to it; after all, God wrote it. The apostle Paul provides an example of this, among many others, in 1 Corinthians 9:9, “For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING" God is not concerned about oxen, is He?”

R.T. France provides a sufficient and very wise analysis of how and why the New Testament writers utilized the Old Testament texts;
The source of the distinctive Christian use of the Old Testament was not the creative thinking of the primitive community, but that of its founder. It was not the early church which inscribed its theology on the blank cheque of its Master’s teaching, but Jesus whose teaching and life initiated that theology. The church did not create Jesus, but Jesus created the church.

The word’s of Jesus recorded in Matthew 16:15, “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’”, must be answered with clarity and authority by the faithful.

“The Bible is a Book about God—not a book about human sexuality” - says Soulforce's Rev Mel White. Adopting the view that the Bible promotes the supremacy of love or compassion over the word and law of God, Rev. White has just annihilated the very source of love and compassion, and more important, the very truth taught in the ministry of Christ. When human sexuality is divorced from God’s word, it must then be divorced from truth. It allows him to create his own laws governing human sexuality. If in fact God’s word is employed to strengthen his position, it is thoroughly corrupted to meet a preconceived conclusion; “Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times”. Notice now the Holy Spirit is used by Rev. White, as if the Holy Spirit is also divorced from Jesus – subtle indeed.

His line of reasoning may sound logical and reasonable to some folks, but this kind of unbiblical interpretation of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit resembles that of a buffet of gods; people pick and choose which god suits their particular appetite, rather than submit their appetites to the eternal truth of the one eternal word of God. It encourages, at a minimum, a “loose” understanding of God’s word - it is after all an “ancient” document and the “holy spirit” tells me so.

The gay Christian movement’s teachings are a direct assault on the word of God. The moment a doctrine dismisses biblical texts, divorces the eternal God from Jesus, dismisses the Old Testament writings, or puts one’s personal “spirit” above the word and law of God; Satan is at work. Jesus’ identity is not rooted in the fashions of the day; it is solidly and historically rooted in the words of scripture. Christ is the word, Christ is God, Christ is King, Christ is Savior, and Christ will return to gather His church.

Heretical teachings will often gain large numbers of supporters when a popular figure; remember Arius was popular in his day, re-invent God’s word. This statement by Archbishop Tutu is an example of that reality today; "If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God" Surely the faithful will not reject God’s word based on His law; sadly Archbishop Tutu and Pastor Dave remain unfaithful. The battles will continue, but peace of mind may be assured in the fact that Christ will indeed build his church, then and now - Matthew 16:18.

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

You are right Pastor, these verses are very vague indeed.

The Bible says what it means and it means what it says. Discerning illustrations, metaphors, and literal texts from one another etc.. is not as hard as Pastor Dave and others may lead you to believe. In fact, when one stops living in rebellion to God, the clarity scripture is all the more clear - it is never some hidden mystery. Only God's enemies find it necessary to rewrite, dismiss texts, or corrupt it's perfect clarity - why? to appease, reject and dismiss the very real wrath that awaits them - Satan's age old, time tested, garden mode of operation - surely God didn't say that...