Loose Ends

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223 Responses

  1. Dan from georgia says:

    Take back ‘Murica!

  2. Dan from georgia says:

    That in my mind is what the picture is conveying, among other things.

    Looking forward to reading about Fred McNeil once I am done traveling and at home.

    Well put about being known by our love!

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you, Dan.

  4. JoelG says:

    I confess I’m angry. At all Christians. Cigarettes are my grace. Contempt and resentment is where I live. I’ve come to realize it may be more psychological than spiritual. I don’t know. I’m about ready to give up on the whole damn thing. I’m not looking for a fix here. Just venting. I know I’m in the wrong. But I don’t feel like there is hope.I feel isolated. Nobody understands. Thanks for letting me trash your comment section with my bitching.

  5. Xenia says:

    All I see in that billboard is the desire to win American souls for Christ.

  6. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    You have a lot of company.

    I maintain hope by focusing on Jesus… sounds like a cliche, but the Sermon on the Mount keeps me sane.

  7. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I don’t see anything about Christ…just the names of celebrities.

  8. Jean says:

    Some Christians are struggling to retain the vestiges of civil religion in America. Some politicians are pandering to them vigorously. Guess who gets left out? That’s the tactic of the unholy trinity.

  9. Xenia says:

    Would we be so angry if we just confined our concern to people in our own parish rather than getting angry at things that happen at other people’s parishes which we would never even know about except for the internet? There are people at my church that I have some serious disagreements with but God has thrown us together for a purpose. They are there for my sanctification. If I drift from church to church or abandon church altogether because I have such a low tolerance for other Christians, how am I demonstrating my love for others?

  10. Paige says:

    Awesome.

    All men will know you are My Disciples by your love, one for another.

    That’s pretty plain.

    Recreational rage.. well put. Rage kills…. “Some of you need the blessing of physical illness…it has a way of reordering you priorities.”

    Amen….. Good words, as always…. thank you my friend.

  11. Francisco Nunez says:

    Michael you make some good points. As Christians I realize we all have the same fallen DNA with the tendency towards heart failure,but thank God for His Son Christ who is our heart surgeon.

    You have the greatest heart surgeon on your side my friend.

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I can vote for Hillary – she is a Christian.

  13. Em says:

    Xenia’s #9 … this is so important to remember … before leaving a church one should ask oneself if there are other Believer’s there that need you, need your support. Is the pastor the problem or just a toxic few that are throwing their weight around in one or another…
    there are other reasons to leave a church, i know, but perhaps your faith is needed where you are?

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    “If it’s true that you keep them with what you catch them with, some churches are going to have to pay some bands”

    They already do.

    I always find it baffling that I don’t have the same social media experience that you do. I wish I could post pages of stuff from my facebook just to prove I’m not lying. It’s mostly goofy fun stuff. A BUNCH of Panthers stuff. Some devotional thoughts…etc. Here’s one I posted this morning after reading a little Phillip Yancey:

    The people who are loudest and angriest at God or the Church might be the people who have searched the hardest for love, and been most disappointed in what they’ve found. These people are not the enemy, they are just very thirsty.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I agree with Josh – my social media experience is nothing like Michael’s. No threats to kill or commit suicide if someone gets elected. No casting anyone into hell if the wrong candidate gets elected.

    Some pretty funny political memes get passed around at everyone’s expense

  16. bob2 says:

    Billboard —

    Where’s Jesus?

    Where’s Waldo?

    Guess mentioning the Suffering Savior would put a damper on the “crusade.”

  17. Papias says:

    Read that link about Fred McNeill – very sad. I thought it was only an autopsy they could confirm CTE.

    I saw yesterday that they confirmed it for Ken Stabler as well. Strange for a QB to have it as well.

    My son is big for his age, and we have joked about what sport he is going to play as he gets older. I am going to try to steer him towards Basketball or Baseball…

  18. Xeniadon't says:

    My FB feed is mostly relatives and church friends posting recipes, travel plans, art projects, grandchildren and dog videos. I am “friends” with numerous churches and monasteries that post many good things. I always come away from FB feeling loved and encouraged.

  19. Papias says:

    Josh – Good quote from Yancy.

    And I don’t get on social media much, but my experience is similar: Lots of stuff that says “Ignore me… nothing new to see here..” or “Type Amen if you agree”.

    Sure, there’s always someone who’s gonna vote differently than you do…

  20. Muff Potter says:

    I know I’m about as welcome as a turd in a swimmin’ pool here in these parts, but indulge me. Folks go down to the front of Laurie’s ‘crusades’ (just the name is telling) by the thousands to receive Christ. What happens to them after that? Is there any measurable change to America or is it just smoke an mirrors to keep the brand-name coffers ka-chinging?

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    Not an exact Yancey quote. It was just me thinking after reading a little of his Vanishing Grace.

    He’s a good writer.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    Muff, who doesn’t welcome you here? I’ve always enjoyed your thoughts.

    Re: Laurie (and crusade evangelism in general) – I’m not so cynical to think it is purely motivated by finances, but once the money starts rolling in, I’m sure it is much harder to change course.

    I think in general it is just a flawed idea of how to “do something for Jesus.”

  23. “Folks go down to the front of Laurie’s ‘crusades’ (just the name is telling) by the thousands to receive Christ.”

    The majority of those persons streaming down the aisles and filling the field are “counselors” who, by peer pressure manipulation, are “leading by example” to be an “encouragement” to those who are struggling christians and the occasional atheist & agnostic who has been brought by their friends.

    I used to think, “hey, as long as even one soul gets saved it’s all worth it!”

    Once I realized it’s a motivational speech with a concert and no contact high I decided the one-to-one relational investment among family, neighbors, coworkers and recovery gatherings was going to be a better way for me to spend my time, which it has with hundreds of lives positively influenced to know and continue with Jesus.

  24. Nonnie says:

    I’ve met Greg and I like him. He has a love for Christ and others.

    Some may not agree with the way he promotes things but I truly believe he has a passion for folks to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    In my experience with mass evangelism, it isn’t “the majority” of people who go forward that are volunteers, but it is the first ones moving who are volunteers. Manipulative tactic for sure.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why do you need to go down front to ‘receive’ Christ? Doesn’t the word itself convert?
    It should just end at – “this is the word of God – have a good night – tell your friends.”

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    Answer – you don’t “need” to go down front, as I’m sure many here are like me, and weren’t saved in a religious setting at all.

    I think it is the “confess with your mouth” part of “If you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart”, that decision driven evangelism is based on. There seems to be the need for a public profession, and coming down front may fulfill that requirement.

  28. Em says:

    going down front to receive Jesus is a very misleading description/invitation… BUT the concept of confessing Christ and your need of redemption before a bunch of curious onlookers AND good hearted Believers who are praying for souls to find him is – IMNHO – a very lovely, humble choice that pleases God… the problem is that it has become more of an experiment – “let’s see what happens, if we say the magic words,” a way to get noticed, perhaps?

    this is one of the best places to hang out if you’ve had your faith tested beyond the breaking point – BTW – agreeing with #22

    i have to go all the way back to my 20s and a country church that found itself in the way of the urban sprawl of the 50s to find a loving congregation in my life’s journey… it is sobering to realize how the corporate structure has crept into the American mindset and on into church structure… maybe that was better than where we’re headed next… maybe we can’t find what our souls’ desire, because we think we need someone to program us? is society becoming virtual? if we’re not plugged in, then we’re not real?

    G’s #23 is food for thought…

  29. Papias says:

    They also use the “If you confess Me before men…” passage in reference to evangelism.

    Heavy emphasis on “if you really meant that prayer you just repeated to accept Jesus, then you will want to come down to the field..”

    Yes, the sign above is problematic.

    I liked the graphics from years ago that emphasized the “Harvest” motif – shafts of wheat and such. Now it looks we are selling “Murica!” and Greg himself.

  30. filbertz says:

    It reminds me of the old saying, “I accepted Keith Green at a Jesus concert.”

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    Keith Green was an interesting character, wasn’t he? I haven’t heard much of his music, and don’t particularly like what I’ve heard, but he seemed like a neat guy.

    Also – Rich Joyner says that Bob Jones prophesied to him about the Panthers Super Bowl victory. Apparently the Lord has been waiting on Cam Newton and Luke Keuchly to show in in Charlotte before he could spark a world-wide revival.

  32. JoelG says:

    #26 – Because faith the size of a mustard seed isn’t big enough. You need to have a passionate response, otherwise it’s not valid.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    Imagine the surprise of some when they find out that this is a Christian gathering.
    ————————————————————–
    Is there a chance that ANYONE on earth would go to an advertised event like this by themselves (or take a friend) without at minimum going to the website shown in the ad to see what it is all about? Ever wonder about advertising “standards” in our PC age and how billboards need to be approved by the owners? Have any clue whatsoever about the things being judged????

    Greg preaches the gospel at these Crusades. Not a motivational speech. People bring lost friends and family members who are willing to come to one of these that otherwise would not darken the door of a church on Sunday morning. Sure lots are already Christians, sure some are “rededications” which may be Biblically something to discuss but personally a life changing moment for that person.

    Some people do get saved in hearing the gospel at these crusades. And the followup is mostly to give them some a Bible and help them connect with a local church.

    Personally, I doubt anyone would care around here if Laurie was not connected to Calvary Chapel and so obviously we must urinate all over it. How often do we hear about crusade evangelism the Baptists might be doing around the country?

    Unfortunately for the haters, Laurie has stayed true to his wife for over 40 years and has shown the hand of fellowship to those outside the CC bubble (like Warren) so about the main thing to trash is the crusades (Billy Graham used his name too you know) and the many volunteers who look for a chance to serve the Lord and reach the lost.

    There’s a guy who is part of our church family who ministers in prisons, on the streets, and to anyone he meets who might not know Jesus. We help keep him stocked in Bibles. He also has been a part of the these crusades for a couple decades…I apologize in advance for him needing to also go down to the field to meet the people, and I apologize that he has to get up right away to make sure he is there when others arrive who don’t know Jesus. Oh the manipulation!

    My wife and I took a young man once who committed his life to Christ, showed the fruit in his life, and was killed a few years later….I won’t apologize for that.

    Thank God for Greg Laurie and the many who seek to bring Christ to the lost and shame on those who can’t find better things to bitch about…

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    No matter what we do or how someday we will look back and rue the messes we made. I cannot get to frothed about this. I hope Greg Laurie continues to help others meet Jesus. I hope my messes yield such life as well.

    As for the politics… yes I agree with that. It is incredibly hard to navigate a political year without splinters of the church being enveloped by political fervor and division.

    My own distrust of all things political is bad enough.

    Money has ruined our system, the money that people use to manipulate politicians and the money that voters manipulate politicians to allocate. In America the rule of self-interests leaves room for little else.

    But the water is sure to reach its level.

    The mess we’re in is prelude to the mess we are brewing.

    And still His increase and kingdom will have no end. What a great drama!

  35. Michael says:

    Nice rant, Steve.

    I didn’t say anything about Greg.
    What I did point out is that in all the marketing about this “crusade” there is nothing even remotely connected to Christianity.

    What is being marketed are celebrities…and I personally don’t think that’s right.

    It’s not bitching…it’s wondering exactly what we’re selling.

    I’m sure your fans will appreciate you once more setting me straight.

  36. Xenia says:

    Right now my entire family, red necks and libs, are united in their intense dislike of Trump. As I said before, we had a very peaceful Thanksgiving dinner.*

    If Trump gets the nomination, all that will change because there are some who will insist we vote for for Trump (to defeat Hillary) even if we think he’s an anti-christ.

    I take a much more supernatural view. If we follow our consciences, God will take note.

    * Actually, we always have peaceful Thanksgivings because all our kids respect their parents too much to ruin the meal.

  37. JoelG says:

    “And the followup is mostly to give them some a Bible and help them connect with a local church.”

    With Lutheran Churches? Anglican? Churches that won’t turn Christianity into an Amway Sales Convention?

  38. Xenia says:

    Heavy emphasis on “if you really meant that prayer you just repeated to accept Jesus<<<

    This was always my great fear that I didn't really REALLY mean the prayer, being the shallow, superficial person that I am.

  39. Michael says:

    “Thank God for Greg Laurie and the many who seek to bring Christ to the lost and shame on those who can’t find better things to bitch about…”

    Thank God most people come to Christ through the efforts of people who nobody would know if their names were called…

  40. Xenia says:

    Thank God for both of them.

  41. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve, with the caveat that I already said I think guys like Greg are doing the best they can, I do think crusades are manipulative. I know he isn’t the first to use volunteers to “oil the wheels”. Billy Graham did it. Furtick does it every Sunday. Probably goes back to Finney in some way. Maybe I got burnt out after traveling the country with these kind of shows for 10 years. Everything from lighting, to music, to advertising…to volunteers, is set up to elicit a response. Sure some people are genuinely saved at those events, and I don’t think they should stop or anything. I do, though, think methods and honesty are important. If we sew haphazardly, or because it works, or because it’s been done before, I’m afraid of what we’ll actually reap in the end.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – this is the issue with decision theology, where any part has been left to me. Did I have enough information to make the right decision. Did I pray hard enough? OMG I didn’t have my eyes closed all the way etc, etc.This is why there are so many rebaptisms and rededications. It is straight out of Finney and his anxious bench.

    But Greg Laurie does a good honest job — I would just love to once see him believe that the word by itself converts and just dismiss the crowd … but he hedges.

  43. Michael says:

    Totally off topic…

    The history of the Eagles on Netflix is fascinating.

    Just thought I’d share. 🙂

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – we’ve discussed it a million times before, but your system has the same holes. Otherwise, every baby ever baptized in a Lutheran church would live a complete life of faith. However, for some reason, it doesn’t always take.

    Michael, I watched the Eagles documentary a couple of weeks ago. It was good, especially the first half. Never was a huge Eagles fan by any stretch.

  45. Michael says:

    Josh,

    It was kind of surreal for me because I’d forgotten how much their music had been woven into many of my life experiences.

    It was a highly nostalgic evening…

  46. Xenia says:

    Here’s how the Orthodox have been evangelizing in America lately. They (we) open up a bookstore in the middle of town where all the people go. They sell Orthodox Christian books and if there’s room, other decent books like Dickens, etc. Some of them have a coffee bar (often manned by the bearded parish priest in cassock and pectoral cross) and one of my favorites shops (Not of This World Books in Santa Rosa) clears out a few tables and serves coffee and snacks free one night a week to who ever wanders by, often homeless people. Low key, “If you are interested, let’s sit down and talk,” “spooky* Ortho- music playing gently in the background, very inviting and non-threatening once you get past the exotic nature of Orthodoxy. No gimmicks. “Come to church this Sunday? Need a ride?” I’ve been to 3 or 4 of these bookstores and they are wonderful places.

    *By “spooky” I mean atmospheric chanting which sounds unique to the western ear.

  47. Xenia says:

    we’ve discussed it a million times before, but your system has the same holes. Otherwise, every baby ever baptized in a Lutheran church would live a complete life of faith.<<<

    Guarantee of the salvation of a baptized baby is not a feature of MLD's "system."

  48. JoelG says:

    Sorry to pile on Steve. It’s a sensitive topic. I’ve gone to a big CC for a while now and have soon what Papias references above, “If you confess Me before men…” , every Sunday for the alter call. It seems manipulative to me…. a way to count the “salvations”, add to the numbers, show “results”. It’s just doesn’t seem right.

  49. JoelG says:

    soon = seen

  50. Papias says:

    “History of the Eagles”…. I was thinking… someone made a documentary about the Philadelphia Eagles???

    I mean, I like the story of Vincent Papale.. but really now… 🙂

  51. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think the church here is a book store as well.
    Haven’t gone in there yet…

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia, nor is guarantee of salvation for anyone who comes forward at a Greg Laurie Crusade.

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    The bookstore sounds like a good idea, Xenia.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh –
    “Otherwise, every baby ever baptized in a Lutheran church would live a complete life of faith.”

    I have no idea what this even means and I don’t know anyone who has lived this life — do you?
    Here is the difference – baptism to a Lutheran (according to the Bible) has to do with what God does and what God has promised – and not the decision we make.

    My contention is that if one is truly saved at a crusade (and I don’t doubt many are) they are saved before they get out of their seat – so why make them get out of their seat and make them do something?

  55. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    What you fail to realize is that the cross, the dove and the name, “Jesus” are trademarked or tradenamed, as the case may be. I have it on firsthand information that Harvest offered an extraordinary sum of money to license any of them for this event, but was rejected by the licensors as being too paltry; hence the use of “star power .”

    If blame is to be placed, put it on denominational churches that in the past 20 years drove up the licensing fees for use in their churches since non- denominational churches have no use for them.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Guarantee of the salvation of a baptized baby is not a feature of MLD’s “system.”

    Well, in a technical way the guarantee is there in the work of God and he will not take that gift from you.

  57. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – already answered that.

  58. Michael says:

    Sheck… 🙂

    I knew you’d get to the bottom of this…

  59. Xenia says:

    Xenia, nor is guarantee of salvation for anyone who comes forward at a Greg Laurie Crusade.<<<

    Very true!

  60. Xenia says:

    Michael, maybe you would like to visit and buy this book:

    http://tinyurl.com/h3u6k54

    Father Arseny

    It is how a Christian can behave like a Christian in prison, in this case, the Gulag under Stalin.

    It is a very heartwarming, hopeful book, beloved by many.

    It exemplifies today’s topic of “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

  61. Xenia says:

    A quote from a an Amazon review of Father Arseny:

    “For example, the book opens with dawn in the sub-freezing gulag, as the feeble, aging priest struggles to light a fire for the barracks. Clergy were despised by everyone, even other prisoners; Christians were believed to be stupid. Yet in the course of this typical day Fr. Arseny endures beatings and abuse with patience, while caring for two sick prisoners and sharing with them his rations. One invalid is a criminal, and the other a deposed official who had signed Fr. Arseny’s own sentence. Through the course of succeeding chapters both become converts, and take the priest as their spiritual father. The character of this kindly, long-suffering priest contrasts with the American expectation of what a successful Christian leader would be like: glib, brisk, upbeat, forceful. Fr. Arseny represents a different kind of Christian spirituality…”

  62. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    Michael,
    I thought something when reading the daily posts over the past few months, but resisted saying something.
    This blog has become less of a safe place to share and more of group-think.
    I’ve never understood why the hell (purposefully inserted that word for any easy target to stop some from reading) some people come here to whine about what’s said.
    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, this blog was begun talking about something that an entire movement tried to squash!
    If that wasn’t bad enough, you’ve got some suck-ups who pretend grace, but by their sucking-up, they are known.
    Just a heads-up from a friend, not a phony friend, but someone who has NEVER spit at someone here hurting. And yes, I’ve known how JoelG feels.
    When we can’t even talk about Greg’s, um, “events”, good God, that’s a sign! Even his own people (previously, they too have been un-called) have always had issues!
    I’ve personally heard numerous CC pastors decades ago bemoan more Christians go than non-believers and the common joke, “who is going to get saved again?”
    Honestly, I quit caring long ago, maybe that’s not good, but it’s such an old debate that no one wants to constructively talk about, why bother (my thinking). And I’m not even talking about the money-changers as you walk in (that was to stop anyone who didn’t quite reading already).
    Anyway, I’ll still read, but this, the last hold-out for non-papal-ish control is slowly degrading in my opinion.
    Please don’t let this become an enclave for those who can’t relate to Jesus without the dove.

  63. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    JoelG,
    Please remember something JESUS SAID, he’d leave the 99 for the one!
    YOU are the one my bro, and “the church,” “leaders,” and not even you (that’s last one can be the most powerful) can separate you from His love.
    Also, even a cursory reading of church history proves Jesus doesn’t give up on people. And I’m not even talking about the easy targets (Inquisition, etc), we (church) jailed each other in this country just 150-ish years ago for not going to the “right” Protestant church!
    We don’t talk to each other, I know more unbelieving people caring for the poor than believers, I’ve experienced more love and care before Christ when all I cared about was sleeping around, being drunk, and shooting people (Vet) than in the last 20 years as a believer!
    And yet Jesus promised He would be in charge!
    My point is this. I’ve tired of stumbling, falling, in/out of depression trying to hold-on to anything from man. When I SOLELY focus on Jesus, my heart is A LOT more stable, not always because of PTSD (not that the church gives a dam), but better.
    And no I’m not saying to do more Jesus push-ups (pray more, etc.). I’m saying, please try and ignore the religionists and only embrace the simple love of God-no b/s, rules, man-worship.
    Other’s may be pissed-off you too are going to the kingdom without following their dumness, but that’s their problem, you are God’s, not theirs.

  64. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I plan on going in there as soon as I get past this health issue.
    Hoping tomorrow I’ll be better as things seem to be settling down.
    I’ll pick that book up…

  65. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    In the midst of all this back and forth, I believe we all have been remiss in failing to acknowledge the death of the voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy DuCk, two “rascals” from my long ago youth. Shame, shame

  66. Jean says:

    I listened to Laurie a couple years ago.My recollection is that the gospel he preaches is a therapeutic power to help people deal with their personal problems. He invites speakers who give testimonials of what that power did in their lives. The music is used to create a spiritual response in the crowd. If people are saved in this manner, it is despite the false teaching.

  67. JoelG says:

    UnCCed@UnCCed.com, thank you brother. I’m in “the wilderness” right now. I’ve retreated to the “blogs” to vent. Your words are comforting and encouraging. I confess I suffer from anxiety and depression, so I know much of my issue is mental. But I find very little comfort and hope in evangelicalism. Thank you so much. 🙂

  68. Michael says:

    UnCCed,

    The blog has always had people who disagreed strongly with the things I wrote.
    This is nothing compared to ten years ago…

    We have very few CC people here anymore…we used to have a bunch.

    I think it’s both fair and healthy to have some opposition as long as it doesn’t take over threads or cause undue strife.

    When I get the book finished I’m going to do a total makeover here anyway…from here on out I have to take care of me too.

    Perhaps what we need is more articles that encourage people like you and JoelG and literally hundreds of lurkers who have similar feelings.

  69. Michael says:

    Sheck,

    Sadly, you neglected to mention Bob of Bob and Ray…funny guys as well.

  70. Cash says:

    Joel G, UnCCed,

    Know that you are not alone in your mental anguish. I too suffer these things and sometimes it can feel like God is a million miles away and the church non-existent. Some days are better than others, of course, but most days I am just trying to retain what little sanity I have left. I’d like to encourage you both to stay around here as much as possible. There are some really good people here and this place can almost be like a church when you have nowhere else you feel you can go. More than that, I feel and meet Jesus here at times through His people and through His Spirit.

  71. Dan from georgia says:

    Politics and religion mixup: every four years Jesus packs his bags and sits in front of the tv watching the election returns to see if it’s his time to return. If the republican wins, its “Happy Days Are Here Again” and Jesus sits back down knowing he won’t be needed another four years. If the lib wins, he grabs his bags and gets ready to come to earth because the lib will obviously do everything wrong and we all know that the return of Jesus is directly connected to who’s in the White House…

  72. Dan from georgia says:

    Ok, a little extreme I know, but that is how some people see it!

  73. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I see that every day on social media…

  74. Michael says:

    Thanks, Cash.

    I need to work a little harder on material that encourages the weary to keep on keeping on…

  75. Jess says:

    In theory, it is possible that not one person has ever been saved at any Greg Laurie event. Walking to a stage doesn’t save. I know this will not be an agreed-upon post by perhaps anyone, but I am convinced what I say here is true. But I’ll say again that it is, in theory, possible that not one person has ever been saved at any Greg Laurie event. It would have been money better spent to just post John 3:16 on the billboard, then the names of celebrities. I walked forward at events with several guys, and still never had any assurance of my salvation. Once I read John 3:16 and believed it, then I knew that Jesus saved me.

  76. JoelG says:

    Thank you Cash. I’ll be here. Michael’s posts and all the comments are such an encouragement. I’m so glad you, UnCCed, and all others have found Grace here. I have too. Michael you do such a great job. No improvements needed. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  77. JoelG says:

    Amen Jess. You believed before you “went forward”. You “go forward” into a hurting world.

  78. Jean says:

    John puts it simply but well: “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 ESV

    If we focus only on Christ’s faithfulness and promises, and never on our fickle hearts and minds, we can have clear consciences before God and man. He wants us to to have that assurance. That is a point of attack by the accuser.

  79. Jess says:

    Thank you JoelG, you are right. Actually it was later down the road after those events, that I saw the simplicity of salvation. But yes, we should be going forward to the world, not to a stage.

    Calvary Chapel built a reputation of avoiding practices that are not in the Bible. There is no walking to a stage in the Bible, to be saved. I would have thought they would have seen that right off.

  80. JoelG says:

    Yes, so simple. I don’t doubt anybodies conversion that goes forward. My concern are those that don’t go forward yet believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord. They are no less saved than the ones that do. As Jean says in #79, our assurance is found in Christ’s faithfulness to us, not our faithfulness to Him, thank God Almighty.

  81. Cash says:

    Michael,

    “I need to work a little harder on material that encourages the weary to keep on keeping on…” Not sure if working a little harder is what you need right now my friend. 🙂 Your work already is a vehicle for much grace and encouragement. My prayer for you is that you will find rest in His presence.

  82. Erunner says:

    So often we leave out the heart and motivation of the seeker in matters of any type evangelism be it a crusade or out on the street. If that person hears the gospel and understands their sinfulness and need for a savior they will be saved.

    It’s amazing that God has chosen any of us to be His voice to a dying world.

    Yet when one person repents there’s joy in Heaven.

    I went forward at an altar call at CCCM back in the day. I sensed the presence of God’s spirit in a powerful way as I was convicted of my sin. I sensed that same thing at a Billy Graham crusade. In both cases it was as if something holy was taking place.

    If God’s word is preached soundly I believe whatever the circumstance He is at work there even when we don’t get things perfectly right.

    I recall Greg Laurie having visited this blog when the discussion was he didn’t speak of repentance. I believe the next night he did that very thing. That told me he was open to criticism/correction.

    For those who are struggling emotionally my prayers are for you.

  83. Em says:

    “In theory, it is possible that not one person has ever been saved at any Greg Laurie event.” in theory that is possible … odds make it not probable
    “Walking to a stage doesn’t save.” true fact
    “It would have been money better spent to just post John 3:16 on the billboard, then the names of celebrities.” …brings a question to mind: does spending money ever save anyone? dunno … hmmm… probably does if we’re talking about a mortal life… but an eternal soul? thinking … thinking…

    #72- is that what the hold-up is? 🙂

    this thread is a good read again… lot of laundry getting done IMHO

  84. Cookie says:

    If this site is getting a total makeover maybe it should start with the title. How about “Christianity Sucks”? Or “Never Trust a Pastor”? Or Christian Complainers Anonymous?

    Greg Laurie has been preaching the simple straightforward Gospel of Jesus Christ for 40 years. He gives the same message Peter preached after Pentecost. Which by the way was a “mega event” attended by thousands just like Harvest. To actually read dozens of posts by Christian brothers and sisters knocking questioning and criticizing an event designed solely to deliver the Gospel to the unsaved – where is your love? Michael you started this thread talking about Christian love and then proceeded to ignore that for the rest of the thread!

    Unbelievable

  85. Jess says:

    Cookie wrote: “Greg Laurie has been preaching the simple straightforward Gospel of Jesus Christ for 40 years. He gives the same message Peter preached after Pentecost.”

    Peter told people to walk a line to get saved? That’s not true. I’m just saying that it’s a distortion of the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to tell people to “come forward” to be saved. You can’t be saved by walking. And it brings glory to the man, and not to the Lord Jesus.

  86. Cookie – I missed Peter’s billboard campaign, the year of planning, the mailers, the leadership meeting and the money spent before he hit the streets.

    Why doesn’t Greg Laurie just walk into a town (like Peter) and let the Holy Spirit just draw those to whom he will draw? Is that too radical to have the Holy Spirit work?

    I was ‘saved’ at Greg Laurie’s church back in the day it was CC Riverside. I had never heard of him before and my wife and I just walked into his church – I think the HS drew me to him and the HS did his work.

    Today, PR and marketing campaigns mark the ‘work’ of the HS.

    *** disclaimer *** but I do confess, Greg is out there doing the work and I am sitting here in my PJs commenting on a blog.

  87. Surfer51 says:

    Over the years you have picked on Greg Laurie.

    I went to school with Greg.

    I witnessed Greg being saved on the lawn at school.

    I worshiped Christ with Greg.

    The man is the same as he has always been.

    He has never changed from being 100% dedicated to being a servant of Jesus Christ!

    He is never cynical.

    He has never cast aspersions upon other Christians.

    The only thing I have seen Greg do is be all that he can be for service of Jesus Christ.

    He is not immune to the vicissitudes of life.

    He lost his son.

    There is a very deep pain in his heart.

    We have our sons.

    Be grateful for that…

    Admittedly there is machinery around the man that organizes his evangelistic gatherings with all of the tools they deem necessary to draw in the unsaved.

    I am sure they have found what works for them and what doesn’t work in their service of Christ in getting the gospel message out to the unsaved masses.

    Which brings up the question in my mind:

    “What did I do in service of Christ to get the gospel message out yesterday? What will I do to get the gospel message out today?”

    Mark 16:15-16King James Version (KJV)

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    Greg Laurie started out as one individual who branched out into many individuals to accomplish this as best as they collectively can.

    I am sure that in eternity there will be untold thousands upon thousands that will be so grateful for what Greg had done while in his skin upon this old earth during his life time of service to Jesus Christ our Lord.

    All of us are to be a light unto the world around us, are we not?

    Matthew Five:Fourteen-sixteen King James Version (KJV)

    14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

    15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

  88. JoelG says:

    Believers need the Good News too. This is what Michael does in a daily basis that the church doesn’t do because it’s all about numbers. Who does numbers glorify?

  89. j2theperson says:

    What Greg Laurie does doesn’t really affect me. I’m just glad that I’m not really a part of that world any more. The steady emotional manipulation was too much for me. The focus on feeling the right thing–so common in the evangelical environment I grew up in–is very wrong-headed in my view. And I wonder how many people at big events like this are manipulated, via music and social cues, into responding emotionally in a certain way.

    I became a Christian when I was 6 years old in response to an alter call at my school. I prayed the prayer because I felt like it was expected of me and I wanted to do the right thing. Then I spent years doubting my salvation because I knew I’d only felt the things I felt and done what I did because I was maneuvered into it by my teacher.

  90. Kevin H says:

    I have my misgivings about crusade evangelism. I think it is fair to question the techniques and practices that are used in all the manners used to draw a crowd and also the setting in which the preaching is done and the call to come forward. It is fair to question whether this is the best or healthiest way to conduct evangelism. All of this should not be above criticism.

    At the same time, I do not think it is fair to question if the gospel is being preached. Maybe it’s not being preached in the purest fashion as some would like to see, but it most definitely is being preached.

    This is where I fall back on Philippians 1:18.

    These matters should be open for discussion. Sometimes we do a pretty crappy job doing it.

  91. JoelG,
    “Believers need the Good News too.”
    I love this. It is a hallmark of Lutheran theology to say ‘the gospel needs to be preached strong enough to save even a believer.’

    Evangelicals refuse to preach the gospel to believers. Oh, they will state what the gospel is, but never preach the ‘for you.’ They will tell the historical events of a gospel, but never preach it to the believers.

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Evangelicals refuse to preach the gospel to believers.”

    Wildly untrue.

  93. JoelG says:

    MLD I think my wilderness journey is going to end in a Lutheran church of one variety or another.. I encourage others here who are struggling in the evangelical church to explore Lutheran theology. I think you will find a place to rest.

  94. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think all of us have experienced those days of doubt, particularly in our younger years. I wonder if that is the product of a certain evangelical methodology, or just the fact that we worship an invisible God. I’m betting non-evangelical kids struggle with doubt, too?

    In what ways could we pass on our faith to our kids that would have them doubting less? I think that is a good conversation to have.

  95. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Michael has pointed out on several occasions that there are more people who have come to this blog and converted to Lutherans than any other denomination and given this, somehow the numbers justifies the frequent trollish comments made by MLD. Along with this, there seems to be this knee-jerk rage that rises up whenever, the topic of living a holy life is brought to mind by me or others. Ironically, Michael also takes issue claiming he is quite open in permitting others to present their opinions, but then loses his temper and even bans people when doing so. That grieves my heart and overall I have left this blog—-although do visit once in a while to glean from the comments to understand how others in the body view various issues–believing that in this, it does represent a sample of what or how Christianity has evolved into what it is now, today.

    I think people really need to do better research to understand just who Luther was and stop excusing his behavior and teachings as being “normal” given the “days he lived in.”

    http://jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Lutherans/truth_about_martin_luther.htm

    MLD once called me an unbeliever and a heretic——in this, not only is he being a bit full of himself, but ever so lost in thinking for a minute that he will give an answer for casting one into hell, when in truth, it is he that needs to repent and take full responsibility for the sins that he chooses to commit while being most abusive towards others—-no matter how well he treats his wife and family ( Michael’s argument to justify this).

    Once in a while though—MLD does get it right, but mostly when people like Law Prof puts him in his place. “Good Man,” I think not —- just a man who needs to be born again and stop making excuses while dragging others down with him into his worshipping of Luther, instead of He who has told us that we all need to be born again of the Holy Spirit, and to walk in obedience.

    Linked article will chalk up the rest of what needs to be known on this. A twisted theology and as close to RCC as one can be.

  96. Michael says:

    I don’t think I’m picking on Greg.
    Actually you people pretty much make my point that this is about Greg.
    I’m questioning the whole concept of spending millions of dollars and man hours for a a one shot event that will be primarily enjoyed by believers.

    Thank God I didn’t ask why these events are always held in places with a white suburban demographic.

    Then we always get the folks who will infer either explicitly or implicitly that because I question this concept then obviously I do no evangelical activity and neither does my church.

    Hence forth, I will have us all record any such activity on a smartphone and add a CCM soundtrack after the fact.

    That’s all the budget will allow.

    We have a young man that frequents this blog who spends all day every day doing evangelism on college campuses.

    He only posts with his initials.

    God knows his full name as well as he knows Gregs.

    Cookie…if you don’t like it here I can assist you in leaving.

  97. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    You do hold to heretical beliefs and if MLD offends you, follow Cookie.

  98. j2theperson says:

    ***In what ways could we pass on our faith to our kids that would have them doubting less? I think that is a good conversation to have.***

    I think a big thing is if people in positions of religious authority over kids genuinely loved them and treated them in a genuinely loving way. I was bullied by the teachers of the religious school I was sent to, which made me feel like a horrible person who was failing as a Christian. Of course I doubted God loved me and felt like I was a failure as a Christian because His representatives all disliked me and could only see the things they thought were faults.

  99. Michael says:

    If you want to understand Luther, the good and bad, I suggest buying a couple books written by historians, not consulting inane websites so badly designed that they cause blindness.

  100. JTK says:

    Tragic regarding CTE.
    Thank God my son has other outlets.

    I’ve never been less engaged in politics as I have been lately.

    But I can’t bear MLD saying anything favorable about Hillary…..why isn’t there a B Dread inspired icon for pot stirring?

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JoelG,
    ” to explore Lutheran theology.” Good observation.

    I never tell people to go to a Lutheran church. I try to get people involved in Lutheran theology which I think after time will get them in a Lutheran church.

    If you would like to explore some, I can provide you with well vetted information. You will hear the stuff you wish for every week sitting in an evangelical church and do not hear.

    If you are comfortable Email me at mld1517 at yahoo dot com
    I am safe.

  102. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    You will have to post your links to lies and lunatics elsewhere.

    If you want to discuss truth and books of substance that deal with church history, we can do that.

    If you want to continue to litter my blog with scabulon you will be summarily banned.

    Period.

  103. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Uriah,
    Here is what will shock you – Luther wrote books and preached for years. Over the years he may have said or wrote several stupid things. There are over 150 volumes of big thick books of his writings in German (about 69 have been translated into English) – I should post a picture as I am sure you have never read a book.

    So the guys you follow – what kind of publishing record do they have?

  104. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Michael,

    Again, what I have shared on leading striving to live a holy life is not heretical; however, in the manner that what I have shared has been severely twisted into things I never did or would say, makes what I have shared appear to be heretical.

    That is most grievous to my heart–sincerely, but also understand the propensity of those who do so when it does not fit within their denomination/theological underpinnings.

    Hopefully, one day you will find that what I have spoke is as true to the gospel as one can be. In Word and in Deed.

    I will take my leave now—-take care all.

  105. Cookie says:

    Michael. If you weren’t intending to single out Greg Laurie you shouldn’t have focused on Harvest crusade which, by the way, has been held in Philly, NY, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, to name a few. Hardly places with a white suburban demographic. I know that you would prefer we go back to the days of itinerant Wesleyan evangelists on horseback but you use the culture you are in to the best of your advantage and we are in a culture that facilitates large gatherings. When Paul showed up in a town he went to the largest gathering place there was- the temple. He didn’t sit under a tree and wait for people to come to him- he went where the people are. That’s what Harvest is about.

    I came here to find a place to listen to different Christian perspectives. Other then the Prayer thread and Sunday teaching thread the rest of this site is very anti-everything it seems to me.

  106. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    Your assertions that that sins of men are only forgiven up to the point of salvation is Roman Catholic doctrine…that Luther would have corrected for you if you had chosen to listen.

    It’s heretical to any Protestant.

    You wouldn’t know the Gospel if it bit you on the butt.

    The good news of the Gospel is that Christ has done it all….not that He did a bunch, but it’s up to you now.

  107. Anne says:

    Cookie – it is not Michael’s fault that Laurie and Harvest, Inc. provided a perfect example of two of the biggest threats to the church today: worship of celebrity and nationalism as tenets of American Christianity. As Michael pointed out in comments above, his article did not mention GL personally. He just let GL’s choices speak for themselves.

  108. Michael says:

    Cookie,

    I’m not a fan of most of evangelicalism.

    I write what’s on my mind and then I allow people to discuss those things.

    Some people think certain topics shouldn’t be discussed.

    I don’t care what most people think.

    The internet has something for everybody…I simply don’t understand those like you and Uriah who think they were born to correct it.

    If you enjoy the discussions, then participate.

    If you don’t, move on.

    For the sake of my health and those who do enjoy the community I’ll be making some changes soon.

    Those who wish to disagree agreeably will be welcome to stay.

    Those who want to do little but carp at the host or his readers will move on.

  109. JoelG says:

    Emailed MLD

    Josh, It’s not that I’m struggling with doubt. I’m struggling because I believe…. andthe good things I want to do, I don’t do. The bad things I don’t want to do, I do. I suck at being a Christian. That’s why I need Jesus.

    A Holy life just isn’t going to happen in this life, Uriah. I tried and failed miserably.

  110. Muff Potter says:

    @ JoelG :

    I’m one of the nones and one of the dones. But if I ever deigned to darken the door of a church again, it would be Lutheranism. If not for the theology, then for the great people and wonderful camaraderie that inhabits the religion. Don’t get me wrong, other religions also have good people, but Lutheranism has a central governance which makes it hard for ‘spiritual pulpit bullies’ to set up shop and rule as autocrats based largely on subjective interpretations of Scripture which they’ll not hesitate to use as whip and a club.

  111. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    I’m a Calvinist, not a Lutheran.
    Having said that, the one thing that so many that come here lack is a clear understanding of Gospel truth.
    You will hear that truth every week in a Lutheran church.
    It can change your life.

    MLD is safe.
    A curmudgeon, but safe.

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Josh, It’s not that I’m struggling with doubt. I’m struggling because I believe…. andthe good things I want to do, I don’t do. The bad things I don’t want to do, I do. I suck at being a Christian. That’s why I need Jesus.”

    Well, I think you, me, and the apostle Paul can all agree on that one.

  113. JoelG says:

    Muff Potter I get why you are none and done. I hope you are simply resting in His Grace for you. Thanks for the heads up on the Lutheran church.

    Thank you Michael. You and MLD both sound the same when it comes to the Gospel…. You may be less of a curmudgeon, tho.;)

  114. JoelG says:

    Josh, yes for sure, we all can I hope. And there is now no condemnation in Christ. And finally, the evangelical church wants to saddle you with the Law again. Now you have to be “fully enganged”, “radical”, have “crazy love”…. basically kick your booty down the sanctification trail so much you want to give up. Keep in mind Josh, I help coordinate an outreach out of an evangelical church (I don’t attend anymore). I want to spread the Good News… that Jesus’ yoke is easy, His burden is Light, that we are forgiven, now go in peace. Amen.

  115. Josh the Baptist says:

    When I was a young teen / burgeoning criminal, I use to break in the Lutheran church after school. They had sleeves of the communion wafers that I would steel and eat. I’ve still never seen those things anywhere else. They were super thin, about the size of a silver dollar in diameter, and sort of dissolved in your mouth.

    Are those still a thing? Baptists have always used theses little square crackers.

  116. Jean says:

    “[T]he theologian of the cross knows something the theologian of glory doesn’t. The rules and the advice make the situation worse. They push us further from God. A theology of glory assumes our goodness and ability. It assumes we have the ability to improve with a little help. (God helps those who help themselves!) It doesn’t assume our selfishness. It doesn’t assume our desire for self-glory. It denies original sin and total depravity.

    And this is exactly where I was at: doing a lot of the right things for mostly the wrong reasons. I think this was the first time I realized, I had been living my life, especially my life as a Christian, as a theologian of glory.

    I didn’t need more advice. I didn’t even need to jump from one system of theology to another, but from ways that weren’t leading to life. Martin Luther says, “The remedy for curing desire [for glory] does not lie in satisfying it, but in extinguishing it.” I had to be content with being nobody, dead as it were, hidden in Christ’s life. “The cross is an attack on human sin…It is also salvation from sin.” I needed intervention.”

    http://lutheranknuckleheads.weebly.com/home/on-my-journey-to-lutheran-theology-theology-of-the-cross

  117. Muff Potter says:

    JoelG,
    I am like a man surviving a tsunami in the arms of Messiah. His very person is the only object of my trust. His cloak provides me an air pocket to breathe, and his arms keep me from being ground to carrion by the debris…

  118. Josh the Baptist says:

    Muff- That’s beautiful.

  119. JoelG says:

    Beautiful indeed.

  120. JoelG says:

    Jean that is so very helpful. Thank you.

  121. j2theperson says:

    Josh, we use those wafers at my Episcopal church–and, I’m assuming, any Episcopal church. And, they still use them at the Lutheran churches I’ve attended.

  122. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    People confuse living a holy life with that of perfectionism. This is where legalism finds it way into that which none of us should be found. At the same time, this does not mean we should not walk in the Spirit and forsake those things (sins) that hinders us from being obedient in doing the works of the Spirit. Such as:

    1. Not lying to one another
    2. Not helping others in need.
    3. Being faithful to our spouses and not lusting after others.
    4. Giving up our addictions.
    5. Loving others and setting clear boundaries to keep that which is of the devil out from that which we do have control over.
    6. Using foul, offensive, and any manner of filthy language.

    It is a choice and the Holy Spirit enables one to either walk in holiness. Not perfection, but with a heart that has been changed manifesting the evidence of such via ones thoughts, actions, and behaviors. If not, then repent and get to root of why one chooses to do otherwise—–stop using grace to excuse and to justify, but rather seek those things that are honoring and give glory to He who gave His blood to give us a new life in Him.

  123. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    What about bearing false witness against the brethren…like you’ve done with Luther, Calvin, and MLD?

  124. Xenia says:

    I agree with Uriah’s 124, which probably doesn’t help her case here very much….

  125. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    “Your assertions that that sins of men are only forgiven up to the point of salvation is Roman Catholic doctrine…that Luther would have corrected for you if you had chosen to listen.”

    I never stated this.

    What I quoted was scripture telling us that:

    Romans 3:25 ( KJV) 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;

    Doesn’t mean forgiveness for sins committed thereafter coming to Christ is not forgiven. Only that we do need to heed the way that we do walk in Him, and when in sin, need to repent and turn away from the direction we are going.

    Thus striving to live a life of holiness by the power, strength, and direction, as given in His word and the Holy Spirit who we have received if we have truly been born again.

  126. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Uriah – I just sent the Apostle Paul an email about that list. He emailed me back saying that it is a very fine list and he really wishes he could do better – he said he has tried in the past but does not know what to do. Well, he actually put it this way;

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.”

    He’s a crazy old coot, wouldn’t you agree?

  127. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    You have stated many times that full remission of sins only includes those sins committed before “salvation”.
    Past that point only those sins properly repented repented of are covered.

    That is heresy in protestant theology.
    It is classic RC theology.

  128. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I certainly did not say this.

    This is a twisting of what I said.

    As for Paul, he also stated:

    (KJV) Chapter 6 Romans

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

    2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

    4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

    6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

    7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

    9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

    10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

    11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

    13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

    14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

    20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

    21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

    22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

    23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  129. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    If I die in unconfessed or unrepented of sin, do I go to heaven or hell?

    Lets say I fall into sexual sin today and have a heart attack right in the process…heaven or hell?

  130. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Uriah – a couple of points

    1.) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    Yet when we do sin (at least us common folks) grace does indeed abound! Can I get an amen? That Uriah is the GOOD NEWS in case you have never had that encounter in the past.

    2.) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    So which are you under – the penalty of sin – or the free grace of God? I don’t know of any particular theology that addresses this – so I guess the choice is your. I think you know where I stand. 😉

  131. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    No one just falls into sexual sin. And most likely laden and undergirded with many others.

    God knows the heart and He will judge accordingly. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap the consequences of death and eternal fire. If you sow to the spirit, you will inherit eternal life with Him.

    You simply cannot say you are in Him and have a heart that remains unrepentant and unchanged.

  132. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    (KJV) Romans chapter 8

    1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

    10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

    12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

    13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

  133. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    Just come out and say i would be going to hell.

    This is your error.

    If I’ve been born again and died in that state I would still enter the gates of heaven.

    I gain heaven not because of my righteousness, but because of His.

    He lived a perfect life in my place and then died in my place.

    By faith, His righteousness has been imputed to me.

    His works have saved me, not any of my own

    That’s good news.

    That’s the Gospel.

  134. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Uriah accused me of calling her an unbeliever. If I didn’t then I have no choice based on her own words to now make the claim.

    How can someone deny the claims of Jesus, refuse to rest in his salvation, count on him to do nothing and count on themselves to keep themselves, pure, clean and away from sin.

    Uriah, hell will be full of people who tried to do the good on their own. Those who say “step aside God, let me show you how this is done.”

    If you need me to deliver this good news to you, my email is posted above.

  135. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    On Sept 13 of last year you stated this;

    “He provided the sacrifice to pay for sins which were committed prior to our conversion and also sins repented of after our conversion. Without repentance there is no forgiveness—-regardless of what some would have others believe. Prior to conversion, a person is in a constant state of sin, however, after conversion, this is not to be so. Rather, we are to be striving to be more and more like Him and less and less like that which we were or that which mirrored the world and he that is the epitome of all that is opposed to God.”

    You clearly state that there is no forgiveness of sins unrepented of post conversion.

  136. Xenia says:

    Uriah consistently states that any goodness or holiness that she manages is done by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. She never says she is able to do any good on her own.

  137. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – but that does not address the good works left undone – where is the Holy Spirit there?

  138. Xenia says:

    In the case of good works left undone, assuming these are good works that God actually expects of us and not products of an over active conscience, the Holy Spirit nudges us to do them and empowers us to do them.

  139. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The problem with even “Holy Spirit empowered” obedience is that it will always fall short of the demands of the Law.

    We will all die full of sins of omission and commission , any one of which could damn us.

    Under Uriahs system we all go to hell…including Uriah.

    That’s bad news.

    My only hope is the imputed passive and active righteousness of Christ.

    That’s good news.

  140. Xenia says:

    As you know, I don’t believe in the doctrine of imputed righteousness. I believe He empowers people to be truly righteous if they cooperate with Him. Synergy.

  141. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This all goes back to what Jean says about the Theology of Glory – that I can tell what God thinks of me by looking at the circumstances of my life … instead of just ‘gazing’ at the cross and there seeing what Jesus thinks of me.

    It is my old man, my flesh and and devil that makes me think I are keeping God’s law, and that God is therefore pleased. That is call self justification.

    I too even dabble in that sin of self justification from time time time – it actually feels good — just like eating that last piece of pizza. 🙂

  142. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I can respect you or the Roman Catholic who have renounced the doctrines of the Reformation and hold to a completely different theological system.

    What I cannot abide is someone who claims to be of the Protestant tradition and denies the core doctrines of the Reformation.

    The Roman Catholic church believes that baptism removes original sin and then salvation is a synergistic process.

    Uriah has swapped out baptism for born again and is every bit as synergistic.

    I reject this utterly and completely.

  143. Em says:

    got tired of reading at #130… 🙂
    for the life of me, i don’t see why this is so hard to nail down… we ARE sinners as long as we live… we can continue right on into eternity and accept the consequences or we can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, repent and receive redemption from the slave market (of sin)…
    we then can, then do better and probably will to a greater or lesser extent… but we move from repentance to confession – the sooner we confess a sin, the better… individual sins do not chip away at our redemption, but they do trip us up in our walk and they do try the grace of God… sometimes i think the acronym: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense doesn’t quite hit the mark… grace describes God’s patience and provisions (for both the redeemed and the rest of the race as this scenario plays out IMO)
    with apologies to those who think differently…

  144. Xenia says:

    Michael, I get what you are saying about someone holding non Protestant views while claiming to be a Protestant. I wonder if Uriah claims the Protestant label for herself? A lot of people we see as obvious descendants of the Reformation don’t consider themselves to be Protestants.

  145. Xenia says:

    How does one repent, Uriah? Does it involve an apology to the one sinned against and maybe a confession to someone in authority or is it, as it was for me back in the day, a quick “Sorry, Lord!”

  146. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You just nailed my other frustration.
    Instead of studying church history to understand these matters we get these inane,insipid, idiotic, links to web sites created by people who haven’t done the work required to understand these matters.

    Some people would claim to not be from Protestant, RC, or Orthodox descent but from some pure strain of Christianity that is wholly biblical and has always been practiced in secret by the remnant from apostolic times.

    This, despite the fact that there isn’t a shred of evidence that this group ever existed.

    These people need to get a grip and buy a book…or several.

  147. Xenia says:

    I wonder how a person can maintain a thourough-going synergy without all the “machinery” of a full blown liturgical, sacramental church for support.

  148. Jean says:

    Uriah’s teaching is dangerous and false for the following reasons:

    Biblical Gospel: Salvation (i.e., the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Christ) is a gift (grace) from God through faith in Christ.

    (1) Salvation is either a gift or it’s wages for something we do. The Bible says it’s a gift. Uriah mixes wages into the equation. Uriah wrote: “God knows the heart and He will judge accordingly. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap the consequences of death and eternal fire. If you sow to the spirit, you will inherit eternal life with Him.”

    Uriah fails to fails to understand that we are reckoned righteous before God wholly on account of Christ’s perfect life and obedience unto death for our sake. Christ stands between us and the Father interceding on our behalf. He made atonement for us. There is no single or great number of works that would justify us for one second before the Father. There is no single or great number of sins that Christ’s blood does not atone for.

    (2) Even faith is part of the gift. Dead people don’t worship God; it is God who raises the dead. What is repentance? It is the change of mind that God works in us when he turns us from belief in ourselves and our own self-justification to belief in Him who justifies the ungodly. Uriah is still looking to self-justify himself before God. How miserable this must be.

    (3) Uriah wrote: “You simply cannot say you are in Him and have a heart that remains unrepentant and unchanged.” Here again is another fallacy. God does not do renovations. He does not promise to change your heart. He promises to give you a brand new heart, to go with a brand new resurrection body.

    The more Uriah strives and struggles to reform the old, the further he venture from the Holy Spirit who creates new life in Christ. This is because the Christian life must be one of reception. Grace and works are mutually exclusive.

  149. Xenia says:

    Isn’t Uriah just espousing basic Arminianism? And if not, what’s different?

  150. Em says:

    i haven’t followed Uriah very intently… but it does seem that he/she is being misinterpreted as i haven’t seen any assertion that salvation is works based by Uriah… are grace and works mutually exclusive? not unless one is using their works as justification – earning redemption… “For by grace are you saved, not of works, lest any man should boast” or something to that affect (or is it effect?)

    we have 2 aspects of life that are labeled sin… one is a state of affairs (our birth defect, if you will) – remedy = the message of the cross
    the other is an event – i committed a sin (or a bunch of them) – remedy = for the unbeliever see the state of affairs remedy and the sooner applied the better
    but for the born again one the remedy = confession – the sooner the better as sin is very destructive and affects our walk and our witness

  151. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    It’s nowhere in the neighborhood of historic Arminianism.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go into that.

    I skipped my meds this morning so I could drive up the mountain and see how God has blessed us with new water.

    I’ll respond more later…

  152. Xenia says:

    I await your explanation. Enjoy the mountains!

  153. Xenia says:

    While you were enjoying nature, I did a little googling which of course, makes me an expert on the topic. I did see that there appears to be two categories of Arminians, the Classical Arminians and the Wesleyans. Our Uriah seems to match the Wesleyans more than the Classics, looks like? What do you think?

  154. Pastor Al says:

    Greg Laurie is disgusting.

    His only product is selling “Jesus” and he’s nothing more than an over-paid public speaker and businessman.

    A multi-millionaire from selling “Jesus”.

    He has his reward.

  155. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – RCC believes you can sin away your salvation.
    Uriah walks around in a protestant body with an RCC heart.

    The Pope reads Uriah’s post to check out his own doctrine.

  156. Xenia says:

    I am not asking these questions to be contentious, by the way.

    Are there not groups of protestants who believe you can sin away your salvation? It seems like some Wesleyan groups, such as holiness pentecostals, believe this. Would you not consider these folks to be Protestants or even Christians?

    Again, genuine questions, not being argumentative.

  157. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    From one of the foremost contemporary Arminian scholars, whose blog articles are frequently published in Michael’s PP Links:

    “Finally, Arminius distinguished sharply between justification and sanctification in good Protestant fashion. The former is the application of Christ’s expiation or propitiation of sins through his blood; the latter is the purifying of the sinner by the blood of Christ. “In justification, this sprinkling [of Christ’s blood] serves to wash away sins that have been committed; but in sanctification, it serves to sanctify men who have obtained remission of sins, that they may further be enabled to offer worship and sacrifices to God through Christ.”24 There is no hint in Arminius that justification is in any way dependent on sanctification; remission of sins and imputation of Christ’s righteousness is independent of inward cleansing and growth in righteousness although the latter always follows the former.” (Roger E. Olsen, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, p. 207)

    “Two sermons by Wesley especially reveal his Protestant commitment to the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone: “Salvation by Faith” and “Justification by Faith.” Critics trip over his emphasis on sanctification, but they need to take into account the Methodist founder’s heightened concern to counteract antinomianism among some who claimed free grace as license to sin. Wesley’s typical way of expressing the subject was that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, but true faith is never alone. In other words, justification as imputed righteousness always results in inward transformation that produces works of love. In “Salvation by Faith” Wesley put to rest any notion that any part of salvation could be based on human merit: “All the blessings which God hath bestowed upon man, are of his mere grace, bounty, or favor; his free, undeserved favor; favor altogether undeserved; man having no claim to the least of his
    mercies.” All good works are unholy and sinful apart from grace. Grace is the source of salvation, and faith is its only condition. “None can trust in the merits of Christ till he has utterly renounced his own.”” (p. 212)

  158. Jean says:

    “Are there not groups of protestants who believe you can sin away your salvation?”

    The way I’ve read and heard it, from some Reformed and 2-point Baptists/evangelicals is that if you are sinning beyond some threshold, then you were never saved in the first place.

    But, either way, you are looking in the wrong place for your justification.

  159. Xenia says:

    I suspect that Uriah would agree with the second paragraph, especially the part about inward transformation.

  160. Jean says:

    Speaking of so-called inward transformation, here is a short quotation I recently shared with some friends, that may freak some folks here out a little bit. 🙂

    The Christian Life is “Reverse Progress”

    “The Journey of Moses into God’s presence is an apt symbol for the odd progress in our spiritual life: the progress takes us through the darkness, rather than from the darkness, into the light of God. As we mature in faith, we move away from pride in ourselves and our own achievements to a gradual awareness of our spiritual failure and Christ’s work in us as we entrust ourselves to Him. We move away from the conviction that we are self-sufficient to the repeated experience of spiritual bankruptcy. We move from delusions of our spiritual importance to a growing sense of our utter insignificance and the glory of God. We move on from delight in our own power to the painful recognition of our spiritual weakness. We are brought from our self-righteousness to the increasing consciousness that we are sinful.” John W. Kleinig, Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today

  161. Xenia says:

    Well, I should quit talking for Uriah. She wants to obey God by the power of the Holy Spirit. So do I. That’s probably all we have in common as far as theology goes and I am not someone she would chose as a defender anyway, knowing how she feels about catholicky things.

  162. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – Do yall use those disolvy wafers?

  163. SJ says:

    @148
    The apostles practiced a pure early strain of Christianity, no? In other debunking arguments presented in older previous discussions, it was stated that the descendants of the apostles got all tangential with their beliefs and hence heretical, then the apostolic early church came in and set it all straight. The practices in Acts seem simple and find it hard to believe there was/is/can be no remnant even though there may not be prolific writings on it.

    Without all the verbiage, correct me if I’m wrong, more simply to Uriahs argument, we are to TRY to live holier lives with the help of the HS(I know perfection can’t happen). Not PUT ourselves under the law. But….its all optics. The rabbit hole always develops with TRYING which then equals the law then equals the RCC’s works righteousness. Over and over and over……..

  164. ( |o )====::: says:

    Just thought I’d leave this here

    https://sojo.net/articles/obama-prayer-breakfast-jesus-good-cure-fear

    carry on

  165. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – “MLD – Do yall use those disolvy wafers?”
    Yes and we wash them down with wine. I sometimes go back for seconds.

    Do you guys use that wine stuff?

  166. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    SJ
    “(I know perfection can’t happen).”

    Let’s follow the logic. If you are a new man, a new creation with a new heart and God has commanded you to be perfect – why is perfection not possible?

  167. Xenia says:

    We use loaves of leavened bread, home baked by Father G. It is cut up into small pieces and placed in the Chalice with wine. It is served to the communicate on a spoon: a little piece of bread with a bit of warm wine.

  168. Pastor Al says:

    The “transformation gospel” is bullcrap.

    News Flash: Every single one of you on here will die “in sin”….guaranteed.

  169. Pastor Al says:

    You see that “transformation gospel” mindset and mythology creep into nearly every single Sect and 9,000 to 30,000 denoms/flavors of “Christian”

    It’s human nature to want to justify your “salvation” and have some sort of control over it.

  170. Pastor Al says:

    Whatever it is, however it works….none of you know it

  171. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Pastor Al,
    You have been sold a bill of goods – the transformational Gospel is alive and well – we are transformed from death unto new life.

  172. Em says:

    sin=death … to die “in sin” is a little vague

    i intend to die out of sin – i’m going to leave sin behind, leave it here with my mortal, now decaying flesh…

    perhaps, the theologically inclined here can give us an all comprehensive definition of the word “sin?”

    not the Latino one 🙂 … or maybe it fits … kinda

  173. Francisco says:

    Pastor Al,
    There is no doubt that since the fall of Adam that man has given a poor testimony of God, but that does not change who God is or His Word. His Word remains. The truth is that man will fail you but Christ never will.Christ still sits on the throne and He will reconcile all things to Himself. Those who don’t know God do not have the ability to repent so we can’t expect them too. One must trust that Christ as King and judge will Carry out this ministry. It is His not ours and this irrevocable truth brings peace.

    Let’s not also forget that who know Jesus are simply……..sinners saved by Grace. Those who died and have been born again have simply been given the ability to repent and submit to Christ as Lord.

    Christ didn’t promise us reedemtion this side of heaven but one day in heaven with Him.

  174. Em says:

    “There is no doubt that since the fall of Adam that man has given a poor testimony of God, but that does not change who God is or His Word. His Word remains.” a double amen to that

    while i’m asking for definitions… i see a difference between the two terms “repent” and “confess” – a difference that affects their application in our spiritual journey…

    is there a generally accepted standard theological definition of each?

  175. Francisco says:

    Em re: Confession and repentance.

    Great question. I would simply say that repentance includes confession, in other words one must confess in order to repent.

    psalms 51:17 says that the Lord will not reject a contrite and repentant heart so I would say that confession is an essential component of repentance.

  176. Jean says:

    Sin

    Since the fall of Adam all men (except Christ) are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence. Christians sin in thought, word and deed, by what we do against God and our neighbor, or leave undone, according to the law of love.

  177. Jean says:

    Repent

    From the Greek word metanoia, which means change of mind. For purposes of salvation it is the change of mind from unbelief to belief in Christ.

  178. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The actual means can be discussed at a later time, but in Luther’s 95 theses the very first one – numero uno is about repentance.

    1.) When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” ( Matthew 4:17 ), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

    (I always like to remind people that the 95 are not a Lutheran document but a 16th century protest document.)

  179. Jean says:

    Confession is to admit something. Ex. My sins; What I believe.

    “If we confess our sins, he faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

  180. Jean says:

    “he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

    This is a very important point. We are constantly returning to our vomit. Therefore, we must constantly turn back to God…to hear His Word of forgiveness, which consoles the conscience.

  181. Em says:

    good words on repent, confession, sin… and MLD’s #180 reminds me that i don’t think that pride and repentance can co-exist… God’s plan is indeed beautiful – perfect

  182. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Jean pretty much answered your question for me.

    Uriah’s theology bears some resemblance to Wesleyan holiness thought, but her soteriology concerning the work of Christ is something they would reject as well.

    I do note that when I found her quote she denied we haven’t heard from her since…

  183. Xenia says:

    Well…. none of us are theologians here. I know that not everything I write is always consistent with good theology or even consistent with something I wrote just the day before.

    I think [putting words in her mouth again] that what she is really saying, when you boil it all down, is that Christians should obey Christ. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey Him. We will never reach perfection on this earth but it is the path Christians should take. She believes that Christians have been transformed into new creatures, not just positionally but in actuality, which means the believer becomes more like Christ every day they follow Him, or at least, this should be the normal life of the Christian. This is Eastern Orthodox theology, by the way. She has made a mixture of both worlds for herself. Maybe it works for her! I hope it does. God bless her.

    And Uriah, forgive me for talking about you in the third person.

  184. Xenia – As you have just stated that perfection is not attainable, I will ask you the same question I asked SJ @ #168 at 2:09pm “Why not?”

    “Let’s follow the logic. If you are a new man, a new creation with a new heart and God has commanded you to be perfect – why is perfection not possible?”

    What is the new man, the new creation – if we are truly new why aren’t we made just like Christ at that point – why do we have to do a day by day thing, and continually fall / fail (wait, that sounds like before I was the new creation – the new man.)

    If it’s not positionally but in actuality (your words) why doesn’t it work? I never get an answer to we are commanded to be perfect, we are made new and then people say we can’t be perfect.

    Xenia, I say in your position you are a free will sinner — you do it on purpose.

  185. That last line didn’t come out right – a little harsh. What I mean is if everything has been given you and the condition renewed or removed, why does someone freely sin?

  186. Xenia says:

    Maybe perfection is attainable. I just know it’s not likely for me while on earth. I suspect there are some elders on Mount Athos who are pretty near perfect. Why not me? Because I am a willful person who more often than not, prefers to do things my own way.

    Yes, I do sin on purpose. But I have the choice not to and I have the help of the Holy Spirit not to sin if I would only avail myself of His assistance. But it’s more fun to sin, eh?

    The day by day…. this is walking with the Lord. We believe that even Adam and Eve had things to learn in the Garden before the Fall. Yes, God could zap us and make us perfect in position and in reality but He created us to enjoy us. Part of the enjoying us is teaching us day by day, just as I enjoyed teaching my children day by day.

    It’s all about relationship, I think.

  187. Xenia says:

    It wasn’t too harsh, MLD. It actually helped me make my point.

  188. Jean says:

    Jesus gave us the following beatitudes:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

    I don’t know a single Christian who doesn’t lament and mourn his/her sin. We are all in agreement there.

    However, how can one “poor in spirit” or hungering and thirsting for righteousness (without ever attaining it) be blessed (i.e., happy)? Why doesn’t Jesus say “blessed are the people who obey God’s laws”? Wouldn’t that be the natural thing for Jesus to say if that is what he has in mind for the Christian life? But Jesus doesn’t say that. Jesus says happy people are the ones who live in spiritual poverty, who thirst for a righteousness that they do not themselves possess.

    If Jesus gave us the power to obey the 10 commandments, how many people here would remember Jesus as their savior? Be honest.

  189. Xenia says:

    Synergism means cooperation with God. I can choose not to cooperate. That’s sin. I can choose to cooperate. That’s a step towards holiness.

    God does all the heavy lifting. (Don’t ask me for a percentage, please. 🙂 ) But I have to make an effort, even a feeble effort. That’s what makes it a relationship.

  190. Xenia says:

    He says elsewhere that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

  191. Xenia says:

    And this is the greatest of His commandments:

    Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

  192. Xenia – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    Have you ever done either? I mean really done it?

    Who are they guys at on Mount Athos?

  193. Xenia says:

    We have this discussion about every six months, I think.

  194. Xenia says:

    No, not perfectly, MLD, which is what I explained already. But shall I ignore what the Lord Himself said to us?

  195. Xenia says:

    He gives us an impossible standard and then says “With men it is impossible but with God all things are possible.”

  196. Jean says:

    I am keenly aware of the context in which St. Matthew says this about Jesus:

    “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matt 12:20-21)

    Xenia has said many times here that in the EO faith she has found in the Gospel, peace and rest in Christ. The same is true of MLD in Lutheranism. While there are differences between the two traditions, both traditions share an essential truth: In Christ alone we hope. In Christ alone we rest.

  197. Xenia says:

    while there are differences between the two traditions, both traditions share an essential truth: In Christ alone we hope. In Christ alone we rest.<<<

    Yes, I agree.

  198. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Xenia,

    You have represented what I have shared well. Thank you.

    My leaving had nothing to do with what quote you posted. I do have responsibilities and a life, mind you.

    Now, since Xenia and some things that Em noted, I think what has been twisted to be made into that which is a distortion of what I have shared, there is no further need for me to comment.

    Xenia, we do have a kindred spirit in many things, but as you duly noted with the exception of “those” catholicky” things. No offense meant.

    As for repent:

    http://gospeltranslations.org/wiki/Biblical_Repentance/The_Meaning_of_Repentance

    As for Confession: is simply to own that you did this or that.

    This can be accompanied with repentance, but does not necessarily mean that it will.

    See article, next comment. It will be my last comment.

  199. Xenia says:

    I think God rigs it so we have to cling to Him. If it was too easy, we could do it all by ourselves. (Or so we might think.)

  200. Xenia says:

    No offense taken, Uriah. I am just happy I didn’t misrepresent you.

  201. One last thing then I need to go down to dinner.

    If we are told to love God with the description above and we don’t do it that way, isn’t that the same as not doing it?

    Do people attain heaven by giving it the good old college try? Is it really “do your best and God will do the rest?”

  202. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    Spare me.
    I posted a direct quote from you.
    That’s not misrepresentation.

    You made it clear that dying with any sin unrepented of will damn one because unrepented sins were not covered at the cross.

    Let’s just hope you don’t go to your reward angry from arguing on a blog…straight to the pit you will go.

    Actually, you’ll get home because of His grace and mercy…despite your untimely sin.

  203. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    http://gospeltranslations.org/wiki/Biblical_Repentance/The_Meaning_of_Repentance

    Source may not be viewed as viable by some, however, if it has substance and agrees with scripture, then it is true.

    One need not be a scholar to understand the Bible—-only humble to receive that which was made quite plain to those who is of the Holy Spirit.

    Remember, God speaks in many ways and through that which some would call foolish—-even a donkey.

    The number or volumes of book one has written, the scholarly credits they may have earn, and the number of followers that have jumped on their bandwagon has little, if anything to do with how accurate scripture may be interpreted by them. Jesus told us you must be born again to hear, to know, and walk in obedience according to what the Father has set before us as His children. Remember Nicodemus—-He too was perplexed. But His heart was right and so Jesus spoke to him in a manner that was not the same as He did when he declared the woes to other in like position within the Jewish leadership.

    We truly do need to be circumscribe in our hearts—in this, He will pour out onto us streams of living waters to walk with that which He has shown us to do towards God and others. A new creation, transformed by His Holy Spirit, as we are sanctified through the process of becoming and maturing in Him, as each and every trial and tribulation, and even blessing is placed in and upon us to learn, to take heed, and to be in the world, but not of it. To be holy, as he is holy and not make excuse to be anything less, but to run the race, to be overcomers, and to strive for that which is set before us, as we die to the self and bear witness to that which He has done, in and through us, hating those things that He also hates without excuse, apology, or feeling pressure to do otherwise from those who may confess with their mouths, but hearts are far from Him.

    Yet, at the same time bearing under such pressure to not strike out but to speak the truth in season and out–as the Spirit leads one to do. For such was many of us, including myself at one time. May He forgive me for this and may I ever be mindful of the patience that was endured by those whom I mocked as well.

    Shalom, in Jesus

    Again, Thank you Xenia.

  204. Bob2 says:

    Methinks the EO person here isn’t telling the whole truth.

    “The most ancient and original instrument for spreading divine revelation is holy tradition. From Adam to Moses there were no sacred books. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself delivered His divine doctrine and ordinances to His disciples by word and example, but not by writing. The same method was followed by the Apostles also at first, when they spread the faith abroad and established the Church of Christ. The necessity of tradition is further evident from this, that books can be available only to a small part of mankind, but tradition to all.” (The Longer Catechism of the Eastern Church, question 21)

  205. Michael says:

    Bob2,

    If you’re accusing Xenia of dishonesty….you may want to rethink that.

    I can’t think of a quicker way to get nuked by the blog owner.

  206. Xenia says:

    Bob2, I agree with what you have quoted. Don’t you?

  207. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Michael!

  208. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    You’re welcome.
    That was just an odd thing to say…followed by a quote that you obviously would affirm.

    I should have stayed on the mountain… 🙂

  209. Xenia says:

    I think Bob2 believes that the good people of PhxP would be shocked to hear that I believe in Tradition. He thinks he’s uncovered a dark secret that I have been keeping from you all.

    To the quote:

    From Adam to Moses: Very true, there was no Bible then. How did Cain and Abel even know they were supposed to offer sacrifices to the Lord unless this information had been given to them orally by God? They certainly didn’t find this information in a book.

    Our Lord Jesus…. not by writing. Again, very true. Christ did not write a book, he sent the Holy Spirit to bring His teachings to the memories of His disciples, who wrote the Gospels. And they didn’t write them immediately, either, so there was a small period of time when there was no written Gospels so the Good News was passed down orally.

    The Apostles, when they spread the faith abroad: Do you really believe the Apostles carried Bibles with them on their travels, considering that the NT hadn’t been written yet, for the most part, and certainly not compiled into the form we have today? (That took a few hundred years, by the way.) Yet they were empowered by the Holy Spirit in their preaching.

    Books can be available to only a small part of mankind…. Yes, this was true for most of history. Now we all can have our own copy of the Scriptures, Glory to God!

    Bob2, I do not think you understand what is meant by “Tradition.” If you are interested, I will be happy to explain.

    God bless!

    -Xenia

  210. Michael says:

    I’m shocked. 🙂

  211. Em says:

    reading the protestations of those who don’t buy the Bible as the word of God (not thinking of any particular protester now) it occurs to me this morning that they are saying that they don’t believe it is humanly possible to write such a book… well, that’s step one 🙂

  212. Em says:

    i suspect that the Apostles did carry some scriptures with them… if the people they were sent to had none…
    but i’m going to chew on how it validates the Bible to claim that men couldn’t have written it as Believers claim (under the inspiration of God, Himself)… I’m going to say that they are right to an extent … men could not have written it and have it come together into what we now are blessed to hold in our hands… and ponder… and pontificate… and praise… in our simple minded ways

  213. Xenia says:

    Em, I am sure they took some OT writings with them.

  214. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    You are not welcome to post hours of inanity on my blog.
    Feel free to start your own blog to disseminate such foolishness.

  215. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Why don’t you leave it to others to choose what length of video they will view rather than to justify this by dismissing it as foolishness.

    People are able to discern truth, Michael.

    Permit people to know the truth, not your truth, but what is true per scripture interpreting itself.

  216. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    This is my blog, not a public service.

    I’m under no obligation to post anything I don’t choose to, nor am I under any obligation to allow people to post anything I find offensive.

    The internet is wide open to anybody who wants a platform.

    If you want a platform, you can build one.

    You aren’t going to use mine to post your views.

    Period.

  217. Em says:

    “This is my blog, not a public service.” amen … and with dues paid in full … 🙂

  218. Michael says:

    Thank you, Em.

    I shouldn’t have to even have this conversation with people.

    If I don’t agree with what a website posts I don’t read it…I don’t feel the need to change it to suit my tastes.

  219. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Now really, did you view the video—–

    Or does it represent that which that you are opposed. It would be good to know this as well, Michael. As much as it would be good to be as opened as you permit those who do or have posted who do not necessarily agree with your platform, as you phrase this.

    I do not have a platform, Michael, but I do seek after to share with others those things that I find that do have substance for consideration and thoughtful contemplation, always but always keeping scripture as the authority over all that is submitted.

    In spite of how you view me, Michael and how you misrepresent what I have share, it still doesn’t change the fact of who I really am and what the truth of what I have or why I have shared. Just means, that you don’t listen or read very well and do not really mean it when you say your blog has a lot more about being double minded in what you say and what you really do in terms of having a platform for people to share and to discuss their own opinions while respecting the opinions of others, including myself.

    I really thought you were so much more than this, Michael—-I think and would like to believe that you are capable of doing so much better.

  220. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    P.S.

    I did not post “hours of inanity” on this blog. I did, however, post a link that provided a pretty good overview on the emerging/emergent church, however. I also noted that it was lengthy.

    It is for the person to choose if they wish to view this. Rather controlling of your part to make the choice for them, being they are adults and many having the Holy Spirit and the Bible to determine for themselves whether, or not is has any value or substance.

    Or will you elect to not post this comment as well.

    In this, we part company—Michael.

    In peace, with no hard feelings on my part.

  221. Michael says:

    Uriah,

    Enough.

    I have no respect for your theology and doctrine.
    I have nothing but contempt and mockery for it.

    Inevitably that contempt leads me to be harsh and to sin.
    I don’t need or want to be continually placed in that position.

    There is more diversity of religious opinion on this blog than any I know of.
    There are Lutherans, Calvinists, Orthodox, Baptists, and even a couple from CC.

    What I will no longer allow is theology and doctrine that is not grounded in Christian history and the historic creeds and confessions of the church.

    I will not allow the unbiblical, anti-historical, graceless, distortions that you continue to promote.

    There are things that even an ecumenicist can’t support.

    It is entirely your choice whether or not to participate here in other ways.

    My decisions do not reflect on your worth as a person or a Christian, but this is the last time I want to deal with this issue.

    This is my blog and I no longer choose to allow doctrines and historical assertions that I find not only wrong, but dangerous.

    Period.

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