Loose Ends

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72 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    There are many who claim to be Christians who are sitting ducks for the coming One World Religion. Take a look at these ladies:


    The line in the sand between Christian and posers-pretending-to-be-Christians has to be drawn somewhere unless we are all Universalist-Unitarians. So yes, even attempting to dialogue with some groups* is impossible and labels many, including me, as an unapologetic anti-ecumenist.

    *Groups, not individual people. There is always hope for individuals.

  2. Michael says:


    According to the passage above, God’s elect will not be deceived.
    I know nothing about those ladies except that their taste in clothes is rather gaudy…

    Does not the Scripture also say that the wheat and the tares will grow up together and we’re to leave the harvesting of both to God?

  3. Em says:

    dispensational eschatology, eh? i’m ready to scat today – it’s still snowing
    in defense of us dispensational eschatologists, i’d just add that being watchful over sound doctrinal teaching does serve those of us who are of sound mind to track the trends as we see the end approaching – the loose canons (both kinds) will always be with us, tho 🙂

    i live in an area where the churches pretty much cooperate – they drew the line at letting the Mormons join their pooled charity organization, tho…

    the lights are flickering, thot i’d comment before the power goes out (which i am actively praying against) did i mention that it’s still snowing?

  4. Xenia says:

    PS Regarding the photo, I don’t know who are genuine Christians and who aren’t, but I would say that the priestess using her bishop’s vestments to promote the gay agenda is in serious trouble.

  5. Michael says:


    I hate snow, so you’re in my prayers…

  6. Em says:

    canons and cannons…

  7. Xenia says:

    It all depends where you draw the line in the sand, I guess, but everyone draws a line somewhere.

  8. Em says:

    thank you Michael… prayer appreciated – by everyone up here, i think

  9. Michael says:


    Here’s the greater problem.
    I do not doubt your salvation anymore than I doubt that the sun will set tonight.

    According to this tribe that makes me ecumenical and a compromiser with someone who holds to a “false gospel”.

    I rejoice when someone finds a home in your church or among the Lutherans or the other sects represented in orthodox Christendom.

    We have any different doctrines among us, but one Lord.

    That should be our focus in my opinion…

  10. Xenia says:

    Well, I am concerned that some will fall for the great deception that is surely coming. I would like to save some from the fire. I think we all know people who call themselves Christians who fall for every whackadoodle New Age Global whatever that comes on the scene. I would like to steer these people on the true path.

  11. Xenia says:

    I think many ODMs have the same goal- to warn people about the deception. The only difference between them and me is where we draw the line in the sand.

  12. Michael says:

    I’m not concerned at all.
    Every Scripture that addresses the matter says the elect will not be deceived.

  13. Xenia says:

    The Elect have been deceived many times over the centuries. You yourself have reported on numerous deceptions.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    I agree with Xenia’s philosophy, even if we disagree on exactly what the “True Path” might be.

    I’ve seen Rick Warren float so much silly stuff over the last few years, that it would be easy to make the connection that if people will fall for that, they’ll fall for anything. I would prefer people be educated about what they believe, and why they believe it, even if they end up thinking I’m a heretic of some sort. I don’t want them to blindly follow the wide path because it is the easiest to walk on.

  15. Michael says:


    it would be more accurate to say that the elect will not be deceived in a way that leads to damnation.
    According this passage the deception comes from God Himself…who is not trying to deceive His own.

    “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
    (2 Thessalonians 2:9–12 ESV)

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m not Calvinist, so my definition of Elect is a little different….but if there is NO concern, why bother teaching true doctrine at all?

  17. Michael says:

    What is “true doctrine”, Josh?

    You just said that we differ on a doctrinal definition.
    One of us is wrong, but I would contend that neither of us is deceived.

    We preach the Gospel because that is the way that God has chosen to call His own to Himself.

    We all agree on the basic “kerygma”…but that is about as far as agreement goes.

    I just posted two passages of Scripture that declare that God’s own will not be deceived into damnation…I agree with them. 🙂

  18. Paige says:

    I used to ‘know’ all about how the End Times would unfold.

    Now I know nothing of the sort. 🙂

    I appreciated that article on church succession, though reading the opening story gave me a flashback momentarily. Every so often, one of my sons, who are not believers, will say something like “We should go and take back our church, Mom.” It was our life. It’s gone now.

    I have greatly appreciated how Bill Ritchie handled it at CR…. and have suggested to him to ‘go on the road’ to teach the subject. Being a long time founding pastor is a bit like being electrocuted. It’s killing you (and your family) but you can’t let it go.

    I love snow. I think of it like grace. It makes a trash pile beautiful. Unlike Grace, which lasts, snow melts and the ugliness comes back. Sometimes sin is like that too.

    Have a great day all.

  19. Xenia says:

    ….because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. <<<

    I think this is the sticking point. As a Calvinist, you believe (I think) that they were predestined to refuse? Predestined to be among the non-Elect? As a non-Calvinist, I think it was their own free-will decision to refuse to love the truth.

    From my point of view, this Scripture supports my position. "They refuse."

  20. Francisco Nunez says:

    Michael thank you for this post. Sadly the ecumenical term is one that is difficult to define as many folks define it differently, but it is an easy term to vilify.

    A couple years ago one of my vineyard clients asked me point blank if I knew the local Presbyterian pastor in town………………………. and of course I didn’t at that time. Her response was “Wait you’ve been a Christian preacher all this time and don’t even know the Presbyterian pastor down the street?” I must admit this client even as an unbeliever …….made her point. Long story short this Presbyterian pastor and I are now good friends. This does not mean that I now subtribe to reformed covenant theology nor does he now embrace the dispensational theology that I embrace. We don’t consider ourselves ecumenicists, we simply share the unity described by Christ in John 17:22-23.

    Ultimately I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to be careful with these labels especially those terms that are difficult to define. For this reason I also avoid using terms like Emergent. This is another term that is so difficult to define but oh so very easy to kick around.

  21. Xenia says:

    … and since I believe in free will, they can be turned to the Truth before it is too late and therefore, I will continue to be concerned.

  22. Michael says:


    Whatever reason you choose for why “they” refused, the fact still remains that they were not God’s people.
    God’s people will not be deceived…especially by the God who came to save them, not trick them.

  23. Michael says:


    I’ve also been called emergent…depends on how mad I make them. 🙂

  24. Xenia says:

    That’s the whole point, Michael. If the great deception is coming (and it is), then we need to warn those who think they are Christians but are not.

  25. Michael says:

    The great deception is coming from God…if you think you can deter people from being deceived when God wants to deceive them, you can go ahead and give it a shot.

  26. Papias says:

    “AN interesting look at pastoral succession..”

    I think you meant to say, “A SCARY look at pastoral succession…”

    UGH… that was bad…but the website should have been a clue…

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    So your line is drawn at the Kerygma, (which is defined slightly different by different people), but that in itself is a doctrine.

    Jesus said that not everyone who calls on his name is a true Christian. There must be a line somewhere, and surely we should warn those we care about if they are close to that line.

    It could cause discomfort or hard feelings here on earth, but that is small if affects eternity.

  28. Xenia says:

    you can go ahead and give it a shot.<<<<

    Thank you for your blessing. I will do my best.

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Read Matt 25:31-46. Jesus explains the end times in detail. Do this and you will know all there is to know … except when.
    Anything else you have heard is fairy tale.

  30. Michael says:


    There is a huge difference between exhorting people to make their calling and election sure and marking them as stools of a one world religion conspiracy.

    Where do I draw the line?
    1 Cor 15 as explained in the early creeds and confessions of the church.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    What is preaching, teaching, evangelism…anything, if not trying to keep people from by deceived by Satan?

  32. EricL says:

    The pastoral succession article was revolting to me. I really hate the dictator-model of doing church, even more than I hate the business-model version. It’s not “your” church, pastor. The local congregation is not a mini Israel and you aren’t King David.

    Sadly, this article is from a ministry that apparently advises hundreds of leaders to believe this kind of manure, calling its stench the sweet scent of success.

  33. Xenia says:

    I, for one, do not believe God deliberately deceives people.

  34. Michael says:

    I just posted the passage that says that the great end time deception will come from God, not Satan.

    Preaching, teaching, and evangelism are to build up the church and further the kingdom…done well it also exposes Satan.

    I’m still looking for the passage that says God will allow His people to be lost to deception…

  35. Xenia says:

    Was Eve predestined to eat the “apple?”

  36. Michael says:


    This passage couldn’t be more clear.

    “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
    (2 Thessalonians 2:11–12 ESV)

    How else can this be interpreted?

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    “There is a huge difference between exhorting people to make their calling and election sure and marking them as stools of a one world religion conspiracy.”

    By exhorting them to make their calling true, though, you are leading them away from deception, whether that deception be a cult, one world religion, or any other conspiracy.

    I think that is a good thing.

  38. Xenia says:

    Yes, it does come from God.

    Where we are not seeing eye-to-eye is the role of Calvinistic predestination in all this.

  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    But the delusion from God is in response to the refusal to love the truth (vs 10).

  40. Michael says:

    I have not said one word about Calvinistic predestination.

    I have used the biblical term “elect” as it’s used in this passage and many others.

    “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
    (Matthew 24:24 ESV)

    The point of that passage is that the elect will not be led astray…it’s not possible.

  41. Xenia says:

    When Israel fell into idolatry, God sent the Assyrians.
    When Judah fell into idolatry, God sent the Babylonians.
    When the World falls into idolatry, God will send the delusion.

  42. Michael says:

    The Bible says that the one world religion will be people worshipping the anti-Christ.
    It says the elect will not be deceived.

    What am I to warn those in church of in regard to this matter?

  43. Xenia says:

    What am I to warn those in church of in regard to this matter?<<<

    You can help them make sure their election and calling is sure.

    You can get them mentally and spiritually prepared for persecution.

    You can build them up in the faith so when trials come, they will stand.

    You can prepare them for possible martyrdom.

    Not that this needs to be a continual theme.

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan rwith all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for sthose who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    That is the two verses prior to vs. 12. In context, it is clear that the people had a choice, refused salvation, and God sent the delusion.

  45. Michael says:


    We can agree on #43.

  46. Xenia says:

    Alrighty! 🙂

  47. Michael says:


    I’m not arguing predestination vs. free will.

    That’s been done already for a while.
    I’m arguing that God’s people will not be deceived and I’m arguing that indicting other brethren as tools of the anti-Christ to bring in a one world religion are false.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The Bible says that the one world religion will be people worshipping the anti-Christ.”

    It is the steps between truth and Anti-Christ that one must beware of. It seems most likely that there will multiple small deceptions before the great deception is carried out.

    “It says the elect will not be deceived.”

    Then the only questions are 1. Who is the elect? and 2. Does God ever use human agents to influence His elect?

  49. Michael says:

    The elect are those who are in Christ.
    “Saved”, if you will.
    I’m not of the group that believes that one can jump out or fall out of Christ.

    I believe in the perseverance of the saints and these passages speak to God who causes His people to persevere.

    The point being missed here is that the one world religion will be utterly and completely opposed to Christianity, not an amalgam of believers in Christ.

    Warning people against other brethren is not within the parameters of proper teaching on this subject.

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    Question 2 – Does God ever use human agents to influence His elect?

    If so, then perhaps He will use your warning to help another brother not to stumble.

    Finally, “Warning people against other brethren” assumes that everyone that calls on the name of Jesus is a brother. This is just not so.

  51. Michael says:


    How then do you distinguish between the wheat and the tares?

    Tares according to this group include Rick Warren, Eugene Peterson, most amillennials and certainly those damn Calvinists.

    The Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are peddlers of a false gospel and Rome is behind the whole mess.

    I think I’ll let God separate that mess out…

    Now, I do believe there are tares…and I’m named some in the past. 🙂
    Not because of doctrinal differences, however…

  52. Xenia says:

    Not warning people against the brethren but warning the people against false brethren who in all probably believe they are themselves genuine brethren.

    If ever there was an organization posed to accept anti-christ it is the World Council of Churches. Sure, there are genuine believers in that outfit but much of what they promote is anti-christian. They deceive many. But while there’s breath, there’s hope.

    “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…” Jude1:23

  53. Francisco says:

    RE #48 The elect are those who repent and believe. Salvation is not an altar call but a one time supernatural act of the Holy Spirit. True saving faith is accompanied by repentance and obedience.

    Yes God does use human agents to influence the elect throughout history. God sometimes used bad guys to bring His people to Him.We can say that the Assyrians and Babylonians were used by God bring brokenness and repentance to His elect in the OT.

  54. Michael says:

    I suppose it boils down to what you consider anti-Christian.

    There is much in evangelicalism that I find deeply offensive…but not damning.

  55. Michael says:


    Well said.
    God does bring discipline to His erring kids.
    He does this to save them, not to damn them.

  56. Babylon's Dread says:

    One of the things I like the most about Michael is his absolute inability to stop poking a stick in the eyes of the bully, the beast, or the empowered entrenched entities.

    This in the same post were purportedly he does not want to pay the price of doing just that.

  57. Michael says:


    There are some beasts that have gored me already…I let them rest. 🙂

  58. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t judge anyone else’s salvation, but I would certainly warn against following those who are teaching anything false.

    I would advise anyone against going to Rick Warren’s church. The guy may end up in heaven. I hope so, but he leads his church into some really silly things.

    The Roman Catholic church could definitely lead someone to damnation. I would absolutely advise anyone against going.

    AS much as I’d love to say we are all on the path, we just aren’t.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have been sitting in an economic conference in a room overlooking the ocean in Carlsbad. I have reached a point of minimal interest so I am reading a theological journal article our friend Jean sent me – Simul Justus Et Peccator — did Luther and the confessions get it right?

  60. Steve Wright says:

    I do think whether one is pre-wrath or pre-trib will influence the opinion outworking of how this passage works itself out in the end….

    Frankly, I do not understand why the pre-trib crowd, of which I am one, warns anyone about the coming anti-Christ or one world religion….but then again I think a pretrib rapture will then see the largest worldwide revival ever seen in history…and therefore those who do not receive the love of the truth and are then deceived by the anti-Christ later have truly hardened themselves to a great work of God’s Spirit bringing salvation to multitudes…very publicly, very clearly.

    A lot of inter-connected pieces to the eschatological puzzle in my opinion.

  61. Xenia says:

    Steve, I have forgotten all my pre-mil/ pre-trib theology. It teaches that anti-christ comes after the Rapture of the Church, correct? This would affect how one viewed this subject.

    As an amillennialist, I see the appearance of “the” Anti-Christ as occurring before the 2nd Coming. So I might be around to see him.

    Of greater concern at the moment are all the little anti-christs running around.

  62. Steve Wright says:

    Yes Xenia. And I think the standard pre-trib interp. of Revelation has the great revival I wrote of…after the rapture, but before the anti-Christ.

    I think that is what the Bible is teaching but beyond that, from a common sense standpoint, if one allows for a rapture in Scripture, it makes sense a whole lot of people would get saved quickly afterwards who were not saved when it happened. Like lots of my facebook friends when I am no longer around to respond to their messages. 🙂

  63. Steve Wright says:

    Of greater concern at the moment are all the little anti-christs running around.
    And I agree with you there…and I see a lot of warnings in Scripture about them and the Church’s need to do so.

  64. Em says:

    “Was Eve predestined to eat the “apple?”” … YES, she was … the devil thought he had the victory that day … i’ve said it before, but IMV we way underestimate what this creation is all about and how important the creation of us was/is
    do i know what God’s plan is? no, what is recorded for us only gives us hints … but all this drama, tragedy and triumph is, in the end, to God’s glory – every move of Satan only brings us closer to it …
    course, sometimes i wonder if we’d prayed more thru the ages, might we not speed things up? dunno

    just sayin – again 🙂

  65. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s funny as I have always thought of Adam and Eve as the only humans to have ever had free will. After the fall, we have all had a bound will.

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So here is a loose end – Is Donald Trump a Christian? He has come out and said he does not ask God for forgiveness as he does not think he does anything wrong?

    Based on that, and I don’t know if it is fully accurate I would say no.

    What say others??

  67. Michael says:


    I just deleted a long answer.
    It’s not worth the pain.

  68. Em says:

    well, Putin claims to be a Christian… Trump and Putin? Christian whats, i wonder… i recall Herod wanting Jesus to perform magic for him and Jesus wasn’t having it… must be an application of some kind there, eh?

  69. Trump and Putin? Christian whats, i wonder…


  70. Em says:

    impersonators is more likely than wannabes, i guess

  71. Surfer51 says:

    A good influence leads to still waters and much contentment…
    [vimeo 51219146 w=500 h=281]

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