Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Did You Know Being Wrong About Doctrine Is A Sin?

Did you? Being wrong about doctrine is to ascribe what is false to the Word of God, and that most assuredly is sin. In this day of "Can't we all just get along?""Let's just talk about Jesus.""We don't need doctrine, we need Jesus.""Doctrine divides!" Doctrine divides? You're darned right it does! Doctrine divides truth from error, it divides light from dark, it divides God from Satan. When preachers stand in the pulpit today and proclaim to millions "We need a new reformation, one of deeds not creeds!" Satan jumps for joy. "That's right," he says "Pile the law on as thick as they can stand it." These lies are being foisted upon an undiscerning evangelical church and it has to stop. We need division in the church today more than ever. A division along the lines of truth and we can only get to the truth by discerning proper doctrine from improper doctrine. I have not put up a crosstv video in awhile and I ran across this one over at Old Truth, enjoy.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The New Birth

I have had many different disagreements with many different people during my stay here in cyberspace. But I am often asked why I accuse some men, like Bill Hybells, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen of heresy while never mentioning men like John MacArthur, John Piper, and R. C. Sproul. Simple, these later men have the gospel right. While we are all fallible human beings prone to error as I believe Piper, MacArthur, and Sproul are in some areas, they have the gospel right. I think Piper and MacArthur are wrong on baptism, for example. And I believe Sproul's approach to apologetics is seriously flawed, but they have the gospel right.

The dismal state of the church is due to one major flaw in my mind. There is one point of doctrine with a subtle shift at the foundation makes for major heresy when put into action. It completely changes the way one looks at evangelism. It manifests dangerously in how worship is conceived of. It shifts the focus of the gospel away from God and onto man. It makes for a man-centered gospel instead of a God-centered gospel. What is this point you ask? It is the relationship of regeneration to faith. You see regeneration precedes faith. You can not do anything until God does His work. You can not believe until God changes your nature. You can not exercise your faith until God gives you the new birth. You can not repent until God makes you who were dead alive.

If we twist this just ever so slightly and start to preach faith precedes regeneration the consequences are devastating. If we have to exercise our faith, if we have the ability to resist God's call, if Christ did the same work for everyone, then salvation belongs entirely to man. If the only difference between you, who are saved, and your neighbor, who is lost, is your choice, then you have something to boast about and God is no longer omnipotent.

Regeneration precedes faith is crucial to the true gospel of God. I am going to put up a couple of quotes now, one from John MacArthur and one from John Piper. I wll include links to the entire transcript of each so you may read them in context if you so choose.

First from John Piper:
"Now we are in a position to answer our original question about the relationship between regeneration, faith in Christ, and loving people. Here’s what we can say and why it’s so important.
The New Birth Is the Cause of Faith

We can say, first, that regeneration is the cause of faith. That’s plain in 1 John 5:1: “Everyone who believes [that is, has faith] that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” Having been born of God results in our believing. Our believing is the immediate evidence of God’s begetting.
Loving People Is the Fruit of Faith

Second, we can say that loving people is the fruit of this faith. That’s the way John argues in verse 4: The victory that overcomes the world—that is, that overcomes the obstacles to loving others—is our faith.
The Order: New Birth, Faith, Love

So in the order of causation we have: 1) new birth, 2) faith in Jesus, and 3) the doing of God’s commandments without a sense of burdensomeness, namely, loving others. God causes the new birth. The new birth is the creation of new life that sees Christ for who he is and receives him, and that receiving severs the roots of the cravings of the world and sets us free to love."
From the sermon titled: "Regeneration, Faith, Love: In That Order"

Now from John MacArthur:
"And so, in all these passages you have a picture of the condition of the sinner who is spiritually dead, spiritually incapacitated, spiritually ignorant, cannot understand, cannot examine, cannot apprehend. And in that condition one asks the question, how does this sinner respond to a call from God, a saving call, an unyielding summons, a supernatural subpoena? How does he respond to this irresistible power grace, this drawing of the fire? What faculty is there to cause him to respond? How can he repent and believe and embrace, since he is dead and ignorant and helpless like a corpse?

And that question leads us to the simple answer of regeneration. There will be no response unless the sinner is supernaturally given life because the call of God is a call to life, but there must be enough life to respond to that call. It's a call to faith. It's a call to salvation. But there must be a faculty to react. And so the doctrine of regeneration, the teaching in the Bible of regeneration says that God gives to His elect life so they can respond to the call, the effectual call, the power grace, the Father's drawing."
And again:
"To believe that the sinner has the ability in himself to respond to the gospel is to believe a lie. Everything that is good, and everything that is perfect is from above, anothen. It's the same word that's used, by the way, in John 3, you must be born from above, anothen."
Taken from the sermon: "The Doctrine of Regeneration, Part 1"

John MacArthur says if you believe faith precedes regeneration you believe a lie. These are strong words but I think this doctrine needs to be defended with strong words. Many saved men are propogating this error that began with Pelagius, sent down to us through John Wesley, Charles Finney, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and out into the future. Surely you can see how this snowball effect has devastating consequences for our Lord's Church. It leads to a man-centered gospel in which we must always be trying to appeal to the masses, we must be seeker-sensitive, emergent or emerging. We must go into the community and see what would attract people to our churches.

No, we must get back to a God-centered gospel, a Christ-centered gospel. God has told us how to do church and to evangelize. The gospel, says the Lord, is the power unto salvation! So we need sound historical-redemptive preaching of the word. When the preacher steps into the pulpit and proclaims the word of God by exposition of the scriptures he truly is a prophet of God, one who speaks Gods words to the people. That is the mission I am about to embark on and I will never compromise to the culture or sway with the wind. I will proclaim Christ and Him crucified until He calls me home.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Seeking Greek Advice

Maybe it's just the excitement of preparing for seminary but I am studying Greek on my own and yesterday I was working on demonstrative pronouns and found myself just plain struggling. If any of you Greek scholars out there could let me know what you think or if there are any tricks my distracted mind might have missed I would greatly appreciate it. I am going to go back to verbs today and probably spend a couple of weeks with those and nouns before I try and tackle the participles before class begins.

Monday, April 21, 2008

No More Hoops! Well Almost.

It is official! I received my acceptance letter from Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson Mississippi today. That's right as of June 30 I will officially be in Seminary. You may leave your words of congratulations/condolences in the comments section or you can email me directly if you have my email address. But if you have my email address you have probably already received my letter telling you the great news and asking for prayerful/financial support. If you have my email address and did not receive this email check your spam folder and if it is not there and you feel left out leave me a comment, I will be sure and forward you a copy. But you know, as long as you are here you may donate by clicking the button to the left. My wife just donated $50 mainly because that button has been there for more than half a year and we have not received any emails about donations so we wanted to make sure it worked, it does. Okay enough self-promotion, have a great day.

In Christ

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bible Study Logos Style

Logos Bible Software, which I have endorsed here often, has just announced their plans to publish 2,000 new titles a year! That is not a misprint 2,000 titles a year. If you have not taken the plunge and invested in this amazing study tool I urge you to do so now. It will not be long before Libronix will replace my entire paper library and the benefits of electronic study can never be reproduced will a manual endeavor. Please take time to look into Logos/Libronix and tell them I sent you.

Logos is having a blog contest urging all of us bloggers to blog about it. This is my blog post about it. It is running for two weeks and then the Logos blog will publish links to all the blogs. I can't wait to read what those more creative than myself have to say. You can read about the contest here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wasting Time With Doctors

I went to a specialist today to determine what is wrong with my hip. You know what he told me, it is muscular take some Tylenol. Tylenol, are you kidding me? He obviously does not know the first thing about medicine. This pain I am having is incapacitating, but you know what, I have been called to preach the gospel so I am going forward with my plan to attend seminary. I trust the Lord will get me through it and hey, pain builds character, right? I thought I had enough character but obviously I was wrong. I will not turn down any prayers though.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Someone took exception to my portrait of Lutherans from my last post. I was talking about the LCMS and not the ELCA. The ELCA has nothing really distinctively Lutheran about them, in fact it is hard to tell them apart from the United Methodist, the Prebyterian Church (USA) or the Episcopal Church in America. All of these so-called Mainline denominations have one thing in common, they do not put themselves under the authority of the Bible therefor they are not Christian denominations. I am sure there are genuine Christians in these bodies but it is in spite of what they teach not because of it. When one makes decisions in direct contradiction to what scripture teaches why does one even want the name Christian? Ultimately these denominations have man as their authority and not God so they really should be social clubs not churches. Yes I was talking about the LCMS who hold to outdated doctrines such as not allowing homosexuals in the pulpit, this is not a social issue it is a sin issue, they would not allow a heterosexual in the pulpit who was having sex outside of his marriage either.
sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura, sola christo, soli deo gloria!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lutheran Vs. Reformed

I have had another request to do a post on the difference between Lutheran and Reformed views of the sacraments. In Protestantism there are only two sacraments, baptism and communion, and we can't seem to agree on these.

The Lutheran view of communion is called 'Consubstantiation' as opposed to the Roman Catholic 'Transubstantiation.' In the Roman view the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ, worthy of worship, which they do, they actually worship the elements. In Lutheran doctrine the bread and wine are the body and blood in a 'mysterious' manner, they do not try and explain it save to say that Christ is in, with, and under the elements and they do not worship the elements. They also practice close communion, meaning one must be examined by clergy and agree with their stance on the supper before partaking.

The reformed view is, as Calvin put it, "The Eucharist is a visible sign of an invisible reality." The bread and wine are just bread and wine but they signify and present to us a spiritual reality that takes place - a spiritual feeding on Christ by which believers are nourished. Calvin proposed that that at the Supper, Christians are taken into communion with Christ in heaven by the Holy Spirit. We practice an open communion while administering the proper warnings about wrongful partaking, we allow baptized members in good standing of Bible believing churches to participate.

Baptism in the Lutheran view is efficacious. This is why they baptize infants. Baptism regenerates one and brings them into salvation. This is often referred to as Baptismal Regeneration.

The reformed view is the one I have been promoting over the past many weeks. We baptize as a sign and a seal of what Christ has done for us. Infants are brought into covenantal relationship through baptism but baptism itself is not efficacious, it does not save one.

If any Lutherans read this and think I have misrepresented your stand please do not hesitate to correct me. I hope this has cleared some things up for some of you.

In Christ

Monday, April 7, 2008

Calvin On Infant Baptism Pt. 9

"25. Another passage which they adduce is from the third chapter of John, where our Saviour’s words seem to them to imply that a present regeneration is required in baptism, “Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). See, they say, how baptism is termed regeneration by the lips of our Lord himself, and on what pretext, therefore, with what consistency is baptism given to those who, it is perfectly obvious, are not at all capable of regeneration? First, they are in error in imagining that there is any mention of baptism in this passage, merely because the word water is used. Nicodemus, after our Saviour had explained to him the corruption of nature, and the necessity of being born again, kept dreaming of a corporeal birth, and hence our Saviour intimates the mode in which God regenerates us—viz. by water and the Spirit; in other words, by the Spirit, who, in irrigating and cleansing the souls of believers, operates in the manner of water. By “water and the Spirit,” therefore, I simply understand the Spirit, which is water. Nor is the expression new. It perfectly accords with that which is used in the third chapter of Matthew, “He that cometh after me is mightier than I;” “he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Mt. 3:11). Therefore, as to baptise with the Holy Spirit, and with fire, is to confer the Holy Spirit, who, in regeneration, has the office and nature of fire, so to be born again of water, and of the Spirit, is nothing else than to receive that power of the Spirit, which has the same effect on the soul that water has on the body. I know that a different interpretation is given, but I have no doubt that this is the genuine meaning, because our Saviour’s only purpose was to teach, that all who aspire to the kingdom of heaven must lay aside their own disposition. And yet were we disposed to imitate these men in their mode of cavilling, we might easily, after conceding what they wish, reply to them, that baptism is prior to faith and repentance, since, in this passage, our Saviour mentions it before the Spirit. This certainly must be understood of spiritual gifts, and if they follow baptism, I have gained all I contend for. But, cavilling aside, the simple interpretation to be adopted is that which I have given—viz. that no man, until renewed by living water, that is, by the Spirit, can enter the kingdom of God.

26. This, moreover, plainly explodes the fiction of those who consign all the unbaptised to eternal death.604 Let us suppose, then, that, as they insist, baptism is administered to adults only. What will they make of a youth who, after being embued duly and properly with the rudiments of piety, while waiting for the day of baptism, is unexpectedly carried off by sudden death? The promise of our Lord is clear, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). We nowhere read of his having condemned him who was not yet baptised. I would not be understood as insinuating that baptism may be contemned with impunity. So far from excusing this contempt, I hold that it violates the covenant of the Lord. The passage only serves to show, that we must not deem baptism so necessary as to suppose that every one who has lost the opportunity of obtaining it has forthwith perished. By assenting to their fiction, we should condemn all, without exception, whom any accident may have prevented from procuring baptism, how much soever they may have been endued with the faith by which Christ himself is possessed. Moreover, baptism being, as they hold, necessary to salvation, they, in denying it to infants, consign them all to eternal death. Let them now consider what kind of agreement they have with the words of Christ, who says, that “of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 19:14). And though we were to concede everything to them, in regard to the meaning of this passage, they will extract nothing from it, until they have previously overthrown the doctrine which we have already established concerning the regeneration of infants.

27. But they boast of having their strongest bulwark in the very institution of baptism, which they find in the last chapter of Matthew, where Christ, sending his disciples into all the world, commands them to teach and then baptise. Then, in the last chapter of Mark, it is added, “He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). What more (say they) do we ask, since the words of Christ distinctly declare, that teaching must precede baptism, and assign to baptism the place next to faith? Of this arrangement our Lord himself gave an example, in choosing not to be baptised till his thirtieth year. In how many ways do they here entangle themselves, and betray their ignorance! They err more than childishly in this, that they derive the first institution of baptism from this passage, whereas Christ had, from the commencement of his ministry, ordered it to be administered by the apostles. There is no ground, therefore, for contending that the law and rule of baptism is to be sought from these two passages. as containing the first institution. But to indulge them in their error, how nerveless is this mode of arguing? Were I disposed to evasion, I have not only a place of escape, but a wide field to expatiate in. For when they cling so desperately to the order of the words, insisting that because it is said, “Go, preach and baptise,” and again, “Whosoever believes and is baptised,” they must preach before baptising, and believe before being baptised, why may not we in our turn object, that they must baptise before teaching the observance of those things which Christ commanded, because it is said, “Baptise, teaching whatsoever I have commanded you”? The same thing we observed in the other passage in which Christ speaks of the regeneration of water and of the Spirit. For if we interpret as they insist, then baptism must take precedence of spiritual regeneration, because it is first mentioned. Christ teaches that we are to be born again, not of the Spirit and of water, but of water and of the Spirit."

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Translation of: Institutio Christianae religionis.; Reprint, with new introd. Originally published: Edinburgh : Calvin Translation Society, 1845-1846., IV, xvi, 25 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Cult Oprah

How so many are sucked in by the pure evil being spread by Oprah Winfrey is beyond me. Everything she does has the appearance of good but at the heart of her "ministry" is nothing but unadulterated evil. Watch this video and warn everyone you know who has joined in this temple cult prostitutes alter of anti-christ to flee for their lives.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I went to the doctor and found out the x-rays were negative. So it may not be osteo-arthritis after all. What exactly it is remains a mystery but what is not a mystery is it is getting worse. I realized last night I could not work like I was 2 months ago and I am not sure I could cook dinner like I was 2 weeks ago. I go for a bone scan and MRI in 2 more weeks and am getting frustrated. I am sure God has called me to preach the gospel but I am not sure exactly how He is going to enable me to endure the training. Any prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Green On Infant Baptism Pt. 7

"7. Infant Baptism Stresses the Initiative of God in Salvation

All agree that baptism is the seal on the covenant between God’s grace and our response. But you have to administer this sacrament at some time or other. Should it be attached primarily to man’s response, or to God’s initiative? That is the heart of the question. It is here the paedobaptists (i.e. those who baptise children) and Baptists take different roads. The Baptist believes baptism is improper until a person believes, because he attaches the covenant seal primarily to man’s response. The paedobaptist position, which has been the mainstream of Christian thought, takes a different view. Yes, response is important, vitally important. Room must be made for that, in some such sacramental act as confirmation. But, supremely, baptism is the mark of God’s prior love to us which antedates our response and calls it forth. For the Baptist, baptism primarily bears witness to what we do in responding to the grace of God. For the paedobaptist, it primarily bears witness to what God has done to make it all possible."

Michael Green, Baptism: Its Purpose, Practice and Power, 55 (Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, 1987).