The End of “The Bible Answer Man”

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222 Responses

  1. Captain Kevin says:

    Right on, Michael! I wish him all the best.

  2. Xenia says:

    On his program yesterday, naturally a caller asked him about his conversion and what started the ball rolling. He gave an unexpected answer. A few years ago he visited some Christians (probably not Orthodox) in China and he was so impressed by their simple love for Christ and for each other that he actually asked himself if he was even a Christian at all. He knew all the Bible answers but did he know Christ as well as these Chinese Christians. So he got to thinking.

    Somehow (not too clear on this part) he found the same spirit in the Orthodox Church. (It seemed like a leap to me, too, folks.)

    I think he saw in those Chinese Christians the same life and spirit that we read about the early Christians and he wanted that for himself. He wanted to love God like they loved God, without all the western-style hype. Whatever the linkage, he began attending a Greek parish and after 2 years of attendance, he, his wife, and 2 of his 12 children were received into the Church by chrismation, just like I was 15 years ago. Witnesses report that his wife had tears of joy streaming down her face.

    Except for marrying my husband and the birth of our 5 kids, my own chrismation day was the BEST day of my entire life. I know how Hank feels and I rejoice for him. I divide my whole life into “before and after” my chrismation.

    So now Hank has to walk circumspectly. He must not present himself as an expert on Orthodoxy. He must not become an Orthodox celebrity.

    God bless him and his family.

  3. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I’m hoping he doesn’t attempt to be the “Orthodox Answer Man”… it takes a lot more than two years to get your arms around EO.

    I was amused that even James White could only give a cursory overview of the group…

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    Well put Michael! I for one am so sick of those who are the gatekeepers of the faith – and it’s usually what they believe themselves…and no room at the foot of the cross for others.

  5. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Part of my attraction to Anglicanism is that I agree with the basic tenets, but it also allows me to bless other expressions of our common faith without threat of exile…

  6. dusty says:

    Xenia, I just love you! You are so sweet and so knowledgeable….I love your pure faith.

  7. Xenia says:

    I thought poor James White had finally met a religious group he couldn’t debate by means of text-proofing. And I give him credit for saying so.

    He’s good at debating Catholics because they have the sayings of infallible popes plus reams and reams of documents defining Catholic dogma in intricate detail. He can proof-text them with their own infallible words. This doesn’t work with Orthodoxy. We have no central leadership and we don’t really have much of a systematic theology. Yet of all religious groups, Orthodoxy has changed the least over the centuries. It’s the Liturgy. It never changes. It’s the same in all languages all over the globe. The Orthodox Liturgy is what has kept the faith from wandering all over the place.

    Mr. White rightly noted that the whole world view of Eastern Christianity is different from western Christianity. He blamed this on our weak understanding of sin and the atonement but like I said in the other thread, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

  8. I didn’t know he was even still on the air after the whole preterits dust up some years ago. I don’t think he’s been on Portland based Christian radio for a long time. I could be totally wrong about that.

  9. Xenia says:

    Aw, thank you Dusty! You’re the best. <3

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    That’s awesome Michael that you are in that place in your faith. Honestly I still have my hang ups, but I believe that in the end on the other shore that I will know better and will fellowship with those whom I considered outside the family.

  11. dusty says:

    Still praying with you Dan

  12. dusty says:

    Still praying for you Captain Kevin. Hoping you are feeling better.

  13. Jean says:

    If every Christian on the planet for the first 1,000 years was EO, how the dickens did our faith get to us, if not through the EO? Anyone who thinks EO is a false religion or heresy or apostate is not speaking from the Lord.

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    Although “Orthodoxy” is commonly translated as “right opinion”, its real root is “right glory” or “right praise”… Sometimes worship can speak more loudly than systematics or proof-texting.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, the whole church was not EO for the first 1,000 years.

  16. Jean says:

    The Greek and Latin churches were in fellowship until the Schism. Technically, you’re correct, but was there not one catholic church?

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The west would say they were the one catholic church.
    There has never really been a time of All Church Unity.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Also, the east and the west were in fellowship before the Schism — but there was no love lost between them.

  19. Jean says:

    “The west would say they were the one catholic church.”

    Of course they would. Who would say the opposite?

    Then again, how did the West steward their deposit?

  20. Jean says:

    Christians have been eating their own forever? No news there.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Actually, there were close connections and a good degree of unity (apart from the Arians) all through the fourth century and into the fifth. Oddly, it was when the empire was supposedly united under Justinian that the rift began to develop.

  22. JD says:

    The Bible Answer Man? Really! The question is: where and how did he (cough,cough) appropriate that title? ;?

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Christians have been eating their own forever?”

    It doesn’t need to be looked at that way. Sometimes you need to separate from each other and move on. Hey Barnabas split with Paul (because Paul was being an ass) and they both had productive ministries.

    We need to remember that after the split, there was still a close enough bond that the west ponied up to save the east from the Turks.

  24. Jean says:

    “It doesn’t need to be looked at that way. Sometimes you need to separate from each other and move on. Hey Barnabas split with Paul (because Paul was being an ass) and they both had productive ministries.”

    Barnabas and Paul did not split over doctrine.

    MLD, I’m not trying to bust your chops, but I’m impressed with the way that EO has not splintered the way Western Christianity has. In my opinion, Protestants have severely abused the doctrine of sola scriptura, particularly non-demoninational evangelicals, essentially re-writing it as solo scriptura. The other problem has been very poor ecclesiology.

    Is EO perfect? Not in my opinion. But there are some very commendable aspects to their tradition that we can all appreciate. And I have no reservations that EO is an orthodox Christian tradition.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    #24 Jean
    “The Orthodox Way” by Kallistos Ware (once Timothy Ware)… Fantastic introduction.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Did I say anything bad about the EO in my comments?
    Is dividing over doctrine bad? Somewhere Paul says that divisions are necessary.

  27. nathan priddis says:

    Well..that pretty much answers that.

  28. em ... again says:

    The Bible Answer Man had its place in pointing out the heresy of the cults… when that job was finished, they should have been also perhaps … dunno

  29. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Barnabas and Paul did not split over doctrine.”

    Would it have been more noble if they had? (I say yes 😉 )

  30. Jean says:

    “Would it have been more noble if they had? (I say yes 😉 )”

    No, but it would have helped your point make sense.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well the east and the west didn’t divide over doctrine – they divided over power.

  32. Xenia says:

    Well the east and the west didn’t divide over doctrine – they divided over power.<<<

    They divided over the Latin Pope's doctrine of papal supremacy.

  33. Xenia says:

    The Church was Orthodox (right belief, right glory, right worship) and Catholic (universal, whole) for the first 1000 years. Both adjectives applied. It was One Church. That the Greeks and the Latins squabbled doesn’t matter; they were one undivided Church.

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    #33 Xenia

    Absolutely right…

  35. Scooter Jones says:

    “I don’t believe these were “conversions” of already regenerated souls, but “transitions” to places the Lord prepared for them.”

    Thank you for putting it that way, Michael. The way I read some folks when they discuss their journey to (fill in the blank) their new “home”, it sounds just like they were never a Christian being part of (fill in the blank) in the first place.

  36. brian says:

    There were times I thought about going to EO to try it out. I still carry the “training” from my early days in the Christian faith that God would kill me dead if I crossed the door of an “apostate” faith. That could be EO, Pentecostal, many Lutheran groups, Anglican, congregational, and the express bus to perdition was definitely Catholic. There was a time I actually thought deep down that no one was saved and this was some cosmic joke God was playing on all of us.

    One aspect of Mr. Hanegraaff that always bothered me was how it was reported he treated some of his employees, in many faith-based groups I have been involved in that is not even an issue, employees have no rights. They should never have any expectations either. But I am glad for him and his family that they seemed to have found some peace in a faith community. I have come to understand that that seems to be an extremely unreasonable expectation so I really dont look to hard. I have tried but the past runs way too deep and the scars, well it is what it is.

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    Speaking of the division between East and West, it was on this day (12 April) in 1204 that the Western Crusaders breached the walls of Constantinople and sacked the city…. One of the greatest crimes in the history of Christendom. The loss of manuscripts alone is impossible to calculate, much less the works of art destroyed and/or dispersed representing a thousand years of Christian history.

  38. Jess says:

    I can’t speak for the Pulpit and Pen crowd (they’d call me a heretic for being free grace anyway). But you can’t deny that EO has a requirement of works for salvation. That was demonstrated in the other thread. Arguing with “proof texts” is a waste of time, obviously, and that isn’t my point, and I won’t bother getting into such a discussion again (I’ll just run to hundreds of verses that say that you can’t include any works). At any rate, the sinful flesh loves to feel that its doing something to promote itself (pride is the problem), thus, works for salvation will always be the predominant religion in the world, but works for salvation remains a false gospel that cannot save.

    My wife is from Russia, and she once attended the Russian Orthodox establishment with her mother. The place was dark and musty, people dressed in black robes, there was incense and statues, and they spoke in a Russian that was so antiquated that my wife could hardly understand anything that was being expressed. It was a religious experience. Nothing more. She called Russian Orthodox a fraud, once she came to the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ years later.

    The world loves to get a religious fix. Like a drug. But a religious fix isn’t truth, even if a religious fix feels wonderful to someone.

    I didn’t know Hank was even on the air anywhere still. I left him long ago.

  39. Surfer51 says:

    BLESSED SERVICE
    Poem by Reinhard Bonnke

    As soon as we take an interest in evangelism, God has an interest in us too.

    If our concerns don’t blend with God’s, and stick with us like glue,
    It’s like eagle and mole, which have no fellowship at all.

    They can’t, since one is in the sky – the other in a hole.

    But side by side with Jesus, we’ll surely find our godly role:
    Soaring eagle with eagle, and that under God’s control.

    Fishers-of-men gone fishing, that is our supreme commission.

    Whether academic or illiterate, we are empowered by His Spirit.

    Some go on forever, grabbing degrees and diplomas,
    By leaving the harvest to others, those thought of as fools and dummies.

    Yet, the gospel is the Rock that never rocks, and Calvary the voice of God.

    “Salvation” is the heart cry from that hill, and we will go, o yes we will!

    Will you go?

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2016/10/jesus-replied-no-one-who-puts-hand-to.html

  40. Surfer51 says:

    “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
    Matthew 4:19

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2016/07/reality-of-christians-failure-to-share.html

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    By the time we hit the 4th crusade, the 1204 Duane mentions, there is nothing Christian about them. All of the Crusades – most people don’t know there were 11 over 400 yrs. (approximate numbers as I get ready for work) – were populated by pagans and drunkards looking for work and favors that the church was giving out. They were religious sanctified marauders.

    Another interesting point as the Muslims like to accuse how Christians harmed Islam through the crusades – the Church won only the 1st of the 11 crusades and all were in response to Muslim invasions and land grabs.

  42. Alex says:

    Good article. Interesting that Hank H. transitioned to EO. It was probably the Apostolic Succession issue that finally convinced him…and he has to pick between RCC and EO.

    I’m back to Pro-Calvary Chapel after a LONG and rather drama-filled tumultuous journey away from that Tribe, but thank God for grace and mercy or we’d all be charcoal briquettes.

    “On the Essentials, Unity…” and love and grace for differences of opinion on non-essentials. Something most of us agree on (thankfully).

  43. Alex says:

    MLD, ironically, after being reintroduced to Raul Ries and the conservatives/traditionalists/fundamentalists in CC, I’ve observed they pretty much teach a Law and Gospel message similar to Lutherans (largely). Law followed up with the answer: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, they do take the Sacraments.

  44. Alex says:

    Hmmm, after reading Xenia’s comments, it probably wasn’t the Apostolic Succession issue, but experiencing the love and humility he observed in EO circles.

  45. Xenia says:

    Jess,

    We don’t have statues in Orthodox Churches, just to clear that one up. Flat icons, yes, statues, no.

    We do not believe we are saved by works. Salvation is of the Lord.

    For example, I know many “good” people around town who do a lot of volunteer work. They feed the poor, clothe the naked, etc. But they do not believe in Jesus Christ. Their good works will not save them.

    Also, “works,” in the NT writings (especially the writings of St. Paul) usually refer to the OT sacramental system. Jews are not saved today by keeping the Torah. The works of the OT temple system are not salvific.

    So: Good works (charity work, acts of kindness) without Christ: No salvation.
    Torah-keeping: No salvation in that, either.

    However, for the Christian, why do you see the need to separate faith and good works? Faith produces good works and good works increases one’s faith. There is no need for a sharp dividing line between the two. The more faith I have, the more good works I will do and the more good works I do, the more my faith increases. The Christian life is not static. We grow to become more like Christ. It is hard to read the Sheep and the Goats passage without coming to this conclusion.

    But works alone will not save you. And if you claim you have faith but have no works, I will question if you have faith because faith will produce works, as St. James says.

    So don’t separate the two. Have faith and do good works. Do good works and have faith.

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex, just 6 weeks back in and they have already brainwashed you 😉

    You are right about one thing – guys like Raul do preach law and the gospel … but they do not distinguish between the two – and in no way can it be compared to the Lutheran way.

    The CC guys preach law to the believers and they do so to keep them in line. You will never find them preaching the “for you” of the gospel to the believer. (someone may let it slip this Sunday, but it will be as a past event)

    The gospel part of their message is reserved for the guest / unbeliever who may be in the audience and is always saved until the end — similar to a parting gift, ‘thanks for visiting.’

    I will be glad to listen to any CC message where the focus of the gospel is TO the believer – the Jesus lived his perfect life, died, was buried and on the 3rd day rose from the dead – for you the believer.

    The sad truth is if this is not preached every week, people are not hearing a Christian sermon – they may be hearing a Bible sermon, but it is not a Christian sermon.

  47. Xenia says:

    I for one am delighted to have Alex back in the Christian fold.

    God bless you, Alex.

    -Xenia

  48. Xenia says:

    AND as much as I respect MLD, I do not consider him to be the determinator of what constitutes a “Christian sermon.”

  49. CostcoCal says:

    Xenia,

    If you don’t mind, where in Scripture (specifically in the New Testament) is there the reference that good increase faith???

  50. CostcoCal says:

    *good works

  51. Xenia says:

    CostcoCal,

    You need a specific verse for this? In your own life, haven’t you found that when you do things with Christ your faith in Him increases?

  52. Michael says:

    Xenia @ 45… well done!

  53. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – Mother Teresa’s testimony seems to be that at the end of her life she had very little faith – in fact may have been apostate – at least in her mind.

  54. Xenia says:

    I cannot comment on what went on in Mother Teresa’s mind, heart and soul.

  55. Ms. ODM says:

    I think Larry Wessels said it best:

    The so-called “Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff has left Biblical Christianity for the lesser known twin sister of Roman Catholicism known as Eastern Orthodoxy (see http://christiannews.net/…/bible-answer-man-hank-hanegraaf…/ & links to this story at https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search…).

    Believe it or not this story does not surprise me one bit since I have been battling against Hanegraaff almost since the day he took over Walter Martin’s ministry under very suspicious circumstances back in 1989 after Walter’s death (for more see: Is Hank Hanegraaff the Rightful President of CRI? -http://www.dwaddle.com/focus/Pages/hank.html, Hard Questions for the Bible Answer Man: Hank Hanegraaff and His Takeover of the Christian Research Institute -http://www.dwaddle.com/focus/Pages/home.html, “Hank Hanegraaff Lawsuit Against Christian Apologist Thrown Out Of Court” at http://www.apologeticsindex.org/515-hank-hanegraaff-lawsuit… http://www.religionnewsblog.com/…/hank-hanegraaff-bill-alnor, Bible Answer Man Sues Christian Apologists http://www.crossroad.to/articl…/…/dwayna/answer-man-sues.htm). Hanegraaff never struck me as a true believer but as a business man who only had a high school diploma who had no real knowledge of Christian apologetics at all when he first took over the ministry of Walter Martin (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

    Besides all this Hanegraaff has been defending Romanism as a true Christian religion since he took over Walter Martin’s ministry. See the many videos we’ve produced against Hanegraaff over the years concerning this which included Hanegraaff’s suppressing the truth that Walter Martin had actually written a booklet against Roman Catholicism called “The Roman Catholic Church in History” where Martin himself in this booklet said that Roman Catholicism “negates the gospel” on page 39 which means it is under the divine curse of Galatians 1:6-9 (Walter Martin’s booklet on Romanism has been out of print for decades but now those who would like a printed version of it can obtain a free transcript of the first half of the booklet covering popes & tradition at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=14172131420 & the second half covering the Virgin Mary, Confession, Mass, Purgatory & Penance at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=215171150329). Here’s just a few of our videos against Hanegraaff on the issue of Romanism over the years (there are more): “Review of Walter Martin’s Book on Roman Catholicism Part 2: Is Romanism an Apostate Religion or Not?” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzBVM-hQKyc, “AN ANALYSIS OF HANK HANEGRAAFF & THE CHRISTIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE ON ROMAN CATHOLICISM (PART #1)” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I8hnjNiPHU 6.”ANALYSIS OF HANK HANEGRAAFF & C.R.I. ON ROMANISM (PART 2) & THE ROOTS OF EVANGELICAL APOSTASY” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YLWryi5gSM 7.”ANALYSIS OF HANK HANEGRAAFF & NORMAN GEISLER VERSUS WALTER MARTIN ON ROMAN CATHOLICISM (PART 3)” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik5eftZzeN8. See our playlist “Dealing with Roman Catholicism, Idolatry & the Virgin Mary” at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFFA8D69D1B914715 with 157 videos.

    Since Hanegraaff has always believed apostate Romanism was a true Christian faith it only makes sense that he would join something like Eastern Orthodoxy which is just another apostate religion very similar to Romanism proving that Hanegraaff himself is just as apostate. We have two videos posted that deal directly with Eastern Orthodoxy: “EASTERN ORTHODOXY: SALVATION BY EARNED WORKS, ICONS, TRADITION, DEIFICATION & THE VIRGIN MARY” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMDNSwbjSd0 and “Eastern Orthodoxy: Spiritual Death or Spiritual Life? Twin Sister of Roman Catholicism & Dead Works” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUZE-g61wXY.

    It has been said that Eastern Orthodoxy is “Roman Catholicism without its papacy” and that is indeed an apt summary of its theology and practice. Some church historians make much of what is termed the “Great Schism” that occurred in the 11th century between the Western church (centered in Rome) and the Eastern church (centered in Constantinople). But the impetus for that division was not a choice between obedience to the Word of God and the word of man, but rather a choice between two competing sets of that which Scripture repeatedly condemns as “the commandments and doctrines of men.” What really matters are not the differences between Rome and Constantinople, but between both of these visible bodies and Holy Scripture.

    Like the Roman church, the Eastern Orthodox church insists that it is the one true church of Christ on earth. Like Rome, the Eastern Orthodox church also holds to the false doctrine of apostolic succession, claiming that its patriarchs are the latest in an unbroken line of successors to the authority of Christ’s apostles. They believe that salvation lies within the Orthodox church alone.

    Like the Roman church, the Eastern Orthodox also reject the doctrine of the authority of Scripture alone, declaring it to be the great heresy of the Reformation. They believe that Protestants in particular have departed from the true faith. Eastern Orthodoxy holds that the single source of revelation is what it terms “holy tradition.” This is, in fact, not a single source of “revelation” but an amalgamation of many alleged sources. In addition to Scripture, the Eastern Orthodox church recognizes these forms of man-made tradition as authoritative:

    *The writings and decisions of the first seven ecumenical councils, which took place between the 4th and 8th centuries *The writing and decisions of later church councils through the centuries (which have often conflicted with each other as well as Scripture) *The writings of so-called church fathers, especially those of the first four centuries A.D. *Icons made of metal, stone, wood, and cloth which are set up as objects of worship by edict of the church *The official (and complex) Liturgy of “holy tradition.” *Eastern Orthodox canon law of rules & regulations is known as the Pedalion (Greek for “rudder”), since its purpose is to “steer” the church.

    Authentic Christianity, in contrast, tells us to reject the commandments and doctrines of men: *Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words… Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men … (Colossians 2:4-10)

    The Eastern Orthodox church rejects the Bible’s teaching that man is in spiritual bondage due to the corruption of his nature through the fall of Adam. Therefore the Eastern Orthodox church also rejects the doctrine of the imputed guilt of all mankind, having sinned in Adam. Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that men are guilty only for their own sins rather than being already under condemnation as a consequence of Adam’s fall, before they have done any good or evil of their own.

    Authentic Christianity, in contrast, declares the doctrine of original sin and the guilt of all men in Adam, and the necessity of the person and work of Christ as the Second Adam who redeems them from that condemnation: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned … (Romans 5:12-19)

    Like Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy teaches the necessity of confession of sin to a human priestly mediator in order for the individual to maintain his salvation, and teaches that the Eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice for confessed sins in addition to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

    Authentic Christianity, in marked contrast, declares the priesthood of Christ alone: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time…” (1 Timothy 2:5-6, see also Hebrews 7:26-28)

    Like Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy holds that salvation commences with water baptism. Eastern Orthodox theology falsely claims that no one can be saved unless he is baptized with water. Like Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that man is able to cooperate with God in bringing about his salvation, and that regeneration is the product of a synergistic effort of God and man. Like Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy rejects the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as heresy. The operative word describing salvation in Eastern Orthodox theology is theosis – “becoming God”. This term describes an alleged progressive transformation of the individual into full likeness to God, in both soul and body, through a cooperative effort involving faith and good works. Like Romanism, Eastern Orthodoxy denies the distinction between justification (God’s unilateral act in declaring a sinner righteous based on faith in the merits of Christ alone – Romans 5) and sanctification (the indwelling Spirit of God conforming the regenerated individual more and more to the image of Christ, a work consummated in the believer’s glorification – Romans 8). In fact, Eastern Orthodoxy’s false doctrine of theosis additionally conflates regeneration with justification and sanctification.

    Authentic Christianity, in marked contrast, declares: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2, see also Romans 5:6-11)

    Jesus Himself said only a few would be saved & that many would not be saved – Matthew 7:13-29 cf Luke 13:23-30; see also 1 John 2:19). See our video “87% OF EVANGELICAL “CHRISTIANS” DON’T KNOW WHAT THE GOSPEL IS OR WHAT JUSTIFICATION IS” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im4ozy_EiR4&t=43s.

  56. Ms. ODM says:

    under moderation again Michael, come on now

  57. CostcoCal says:

    Xenia,

    Yes, I have found that when I have done good works for Christ it has increased my faith.

    I have also found, maybe just as often, that when I do good works for Christ my faith is challenged.

    So I am certain that faith does increase good works.

    I am not sure where the New Testament states that good works increase faith.

    But I’m certainly open to that being pointed out to me!

  58. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    Any comment with links is automatically moderated by the system.
    This prevents literally hundreds of thousands of pornographic and spam comments from littering the blog.
    Comments with links have to be manually approved by the one blog moderator (myself).

    I’m not always able to do so instantly.

  59. Xenia says:

    I remember that Mrs. ODM does have a legitimate beef with Hank.

    Maybe he is repenting of all those things now.

  60. Michael says:

    I find these verses interesting when speaking of the faith/works issue…

    “You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;”
    (James 2:22 ESV)

    “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.”
    (Revelation 3:2 ESV)

  61. Michael says:

    I’ll throw another wrench in…I don’t think it wise to boil the whole Christian faith down to the doctrine of justification one holds…

  62. CostcoCal says:

    “…And faith was completed by his works.”

    And…

    “I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.”

    Good things to chew on!

  63. CostcoCal says:

    I don’t think it’s wise to do so either, Michael.

    I do know that I personally need it for myself.

    And am so grateful that it can be found in Scripture quite easily.

  64. Michael says:

    “And am so grateful that it can be found in Scripture quite easily.”

    Evidently not quite so easily.
    The doctrine of penal substitution took the church 900 years to see and the doctrine of justification by grace through faith took 1500 years.

    Perhaps we need to listen to each other with a bit more charity on these matters…

  65. Michael says:

    The Truly Reformed are surrounding my house with torches as I type…

  66. Jean says:

    Notice what Paul says here:

    “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

    Where does Paul say that the manifold wisdom of God is made known…? Answer: “through the church”.

    People condemn some churches because they hold church tradition and the symbols of the tradition, such as the Creeds, in high regard. They want to reduce everything to the Bible without any illumination from church tradition. This in spite of the fact that the Bible itself says that the manifold wisdom of God is made known “through the church.”

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I find that my good works increase my pride and not my faith.
    We sin in most of our good works because our motivation is wrong.

  68. Michael says:

    MLD,

    “I find that my good works increase my pride and not my faith.”

    Then you should repent. 🙂

    We all know Luther thought James “an epistle of straw”…

  69. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Excellent observation @ 66…I’m thinking through this a lot these days.

  70. Alex says:

    “The Truly Reformed are surrounding my house with torches as I type…”

    Hahaha. That is why you are Anglican, the Anglicans find a good balance and don’t seem to fall too in love with their Doctrinal/Theological Boxes, at least the Anglicans I read and follow.

    But, I love the “Truly Reformed” guys as well. They serve a function in the Body and while I am Member at Eagle Christian Church….and some in that Tribe consider Calvinism and OSAS as a “cult” akin to any other cult….I keep my light-Calvinism to myself there LOL so I don’t get kicked out haha.

    I think underneath all our humanness and pride and wanting to advocate for our particular Brand and Flavor of Christianity….the vast majority of us are Jesus-followers first and foremost and the other stuff is just opinions and it’s not necessary to go to Holy War over.

    If a good person who loves Jesus like Xenia isn’t saved, then I will be shocked. I think Ms. ODM and Xenia will both be in heaven someday, as will, likely, most of the PhxP peeps.

    Xenia examples a grace and maturity and love for Jesus and holds to the orthodox “little O” basics/essentials of the Faith as solidly and consistently as anyone I’ve seen.

    Ms. ODM is quite a character, but she loves the same Jesus as well, she just has very strong opinions about who is in and who is out etc. and I don’t think it will go like that. I think the “Saved Filter” is a bit more broad, or I hope it is LOL 🙂

  71. CostcoCal says:

    My viewpoint is purely Scriptural and personal.

    I am inquiring out of curiosity and respect.

    No theological flexing from my side of this.

    Just conversation.

  72. JoelG says:

    Since the wisdom of God is made known through the church, why do those who hold to Tradition discount the Reformation as part of the history of the church? It’s good to look back to the church Fathers and learn as a supplement to Scripture. But why do Orthodox and Catholics believe the Holy Spirit stopped Illuminating Scripture before the Reformation? I think I related myself.

  73. JoelG says:

    Repeated myself

  74. Michael says:

    “My viewpoint is purely Scriptural and personal.”

    Which implies that those who disagree with you are either sub biblical or opposed to biblical truth.

    All of our traditions believe they are rooted in Scripture …

  75. Ms. ODM says:

    Xenia – #59 – Not on your life! Hank is the biggest narcissist I’ve ever known. He’s only in it for himself. My hunch, knowing his MO, is that he has demoralized his donor base with all his Israel bashing and such, that the well has run dry. His newfound mere church now is just an untapped reservoir for his foundation building.

  76. Michael says:

    I affirm the following from the 39 Articles;

    XI. Of the Justification of Man.
    We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

    XII. Of Good Works.
    Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.

  77. Jess says:

    Xenia, everyone runs to James chapter 2, but it is about rewards, helping others, testimony, and about saving your life (as Rahab did). It’s not about heaven and hell. Romans chapter 4 is about heaven and hell. And Romans chapter 4 says, no works. Add just one work, and you are hellbound.

    And you can call things statues or whatever you want to call them. My wife could clearly see the difference between religion and truth easily, way before she and I met. People looking for some fix, and they get it with religion.

  78. Alex says:

    “Alex, just 6 weeks back in and they have already brainwashed you”

    LOL

    I can’t be brainwashed. In fact, I have to fight to not let my brain talk me out of Faith in God and Jesus.

    The CC guys in both Wings of that Tent are orthodox and preach a legit Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    The traditionalist/fundamentalist wing is very down-the-middle fundamentalist evangelical with a little more emphasis on End Times than some other evangelical fundamentalists, but that’s about the only minor difference.

    Brodersen’s wing of the CC Tent is orthodox and preaches a legit Gospel of Jesus Christ as well…they just have more hipsters and they don’t see the End Times stuff in the same way as the other wing of CC and they don’t care to make it an emphasis. Most of the differences are stylistic and not really that substantive IMO.

    I actually think the split is healthy, it allows both Camps to be who they are w/o trying to mix two styles/approaches/emphases that were hard to mix together.

  79. Alex says:

    “Xenia – #59 – Not on your life! Hank is the biggest narcissist I’ve ever known. He’s only in it for himself.”

    You knew him well. Unfortunately, I think that’s the temptation of anyone who gets popularity and a large following.

    It’s why I’ll never be a pastor. I would likely be able to attract a following b/c I speak well and have decent looks, but Pride would be my downfall.

    Today, I’m much less ODM with regards to doctrine, but I think the ODM stuff is appropriate to monitor actions/behaviors of the pastorate. I know that Pride is something we all fight, even with little or no followings.

  80. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “Then you should repent. ?”

    I do. I can’t count the number of times I do good works because I want to please God – and then I feel good because I think I pleased God. Time to hit my knees and repent of my wrong motives.

  81. CostcoCal says:

    “Which implies that those who disagree with you are either sub biblical or opposed to biblical truth.”

    I added “personal” along with “Scriptural” to not imply that very thing.

    Hence, the word “personal.”

    I won’t take any of this…personally.

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

    Hi Alex,
    Wishing you well!

  83. Alex says:

    Hi G! Thanks brother! (I think you’re going to heaven, too…shhhhh, don’t tell Ms. ODM 🙂 but what do I know LOL, I can be EPICLY wrong).

  84. Alex says:

    What if we’re all wrong and only the Amish have it right? LOL

  85. Xenia says:

    Mrs. ODM, I don’t think anyone is so far gone they can’t repent.

    By the way, I am very sure that you will be in heaven. More sure about you than I am about myself.

    MLD, no one’s motives can be pure yet that should not stop us and if we feel good afterwards…. so what? Pride is wrong but feeling happy about a job well done is not a sin. If we struggle with the sin of pride, we repent and ask God for help in overcoming this sin.

    Thank you, Alex. 🙂

  86. Duane Arnold says:

    #66 Jean

    A very good point in this discussion. It’s easy for me to place a “stop” on the wisdom of God made manifest through the Church around the fifth century. Others want to place that “stop” in the sixteenth century. I’m of the opinion, however, that God hasn’t been on vacation for the last 500 years… there’s more to learn. Luther looked back to Augustine. Modern theologians have looked back to Luther and Augustine. It is a continuum…

  87. Alex says:

    Something I think I’ve learned, what is the Fruit?

    If what you’re doing is producing Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Self-Control aka “the fruits of the Spirit”….then you’re probably doing something right.

    If what you’re doing is producing bitterness, pride, hatred, division, envy, unrighteous anger, unforgiveness, trouble etc, then you’re probably doing something wrong. That is directed at none other than myself.

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

    Alex,
    I am apologetically a Christian “universalist”. I believe there is no sinner who has not or will not be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Love wins, regardless of the illusion of human choice, which makes all the ODMs and BibleAnswerPersons irrelevant to me.

    Glad you include yourself as part of this online family.
    You’ve been through a Sharknado sh*tstorm and here you are, kept by and clinging to Jesus. I could not be happier, my friend.

    Blessed Passover & Easter to you and yours.
    p.s. (Don’t overdose on Cadbury eggs!)
    http://images.sweetauthoring.com/product/14138.png

  89. CostcoCal says:

    I also wouldn’t mind….

    If Xenia would point out where the New Testament states good works produce faith. 🙂

    I know that faith is a fruit of the Spirit but not sure that it is a fruit of good works.

  90. Alex says:

    G, that was an awesome post thank you my friend 🙂

    AND, for the warning on the Cadbury eggs….I am known to overindulge in those sugary little demons LOL

    Hope you and yours have a great Easter as well 🙂

    “Sharnado sh***storm” hahahaha and even that is an understatement 🙂

  91. CostcoCal says:

    I can now relieve any tension.

    Galatians 5:6. “Faith worketh by love.”

  92. Michael says:

    “If Xenia would point out where the New Testament states good works produce faith. ?”
    I don’t think there is an explicit statement to that effect, but James clearly teaches that faith without works is not saving faith.

    Parse it any way you choose,but I believe this to be an under developed Protestant doctrine…

  93. CostcoCal says:

    …yet I found a seemingly explicit statement of that effect.

    It seems to me anyway.

    Faith worketh (energeo) by love (agape).

    There you go!

    Faith is energized by love.

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

    “James clearly teaches that faith without works is not saving faith.”

    Please inform the enablers & supporters of the current administration 😉

  95. Xenia says:

    At the time of the Reformation, Catholics were literally trying to buy their way into heaven by means of almsgiving, indulgences, going on crusades, going on pilgrimages, endowing churches, etc. It was very transactional: If I do or give this much, God is obligated to decrease my time in Purgatory or let me into heaven. It was bribing God. And of course, God cannot be bribed! And it was corrupting for everyone.

    So of course this situation needed correction and who blames Luther for saying we are saved by faith alone. But I believe he over-corrected, to the point where we now have people doubting the value of genuine good works done out of a genuine love for God.

    As I have related here before, I would suggest charitable projects for my old CC women’s ministry and was chastised (gently) for suggesting we should work our way to heaven, salvation by works, works righteousness, etc. As a result, that women’s ministry held spa days by the pool, tea parties, fun retreats, and Bible studies, but seldom reached out to clothe the naked, feed the poor, etc. (That was 15 years ago and they may have…. reformed.) So this is wrong, too.

  96. Xenia says:

    Faith is energized by love.<<<

    Yep.

  97. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia,
    “MLD, no one’s motives can be pure yet that should not stop us…”

    You always run there – like someone is not going to do some good work because – well I don’t know what motive.

    My view is that a Christian cannot NOT do good works – totally impossible. Some may do more than others and some may even do bad acts – but do bad acts negate your good works?

    As I said, I am willing to admit that I do most of my good works from bad motives — but my neighbor does not care about my motives as long as he gets my good works.

  98. Xenia says:

    MLD, yet I myself have not done certain good works because I felt my motives were self-serving. I should have done them anyway because as you say, my neighbor does not care about my motives.

    I have actually heard sermons (not from CC) where the pastor would say things like “It would be better not to do the good work at all if you are doing it for the wrong motive.”

    Yep, that kind of teaching is out there!

  99. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    An honest question – not trying to “catch out” anyone – If the Holy Spirit dwells in you, motivating you, as a result of your baptism and nourished by the Eucharist, will not the Spirit motivate you to good works?

  100. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane,
    What do you get out of my comments that suggests that I avoid good works? What I said is I am motivated by the wrong motives to perform my good works.

    Remember, Xenia suggessted that the performance of good works will increase your faith. My reply was that my performance of good works usually result in me being prideful.

    Let’s do this. The widow Mrs. Smith next door to me bakes great cookies – in fact I see that she has some fresh ones cooling on the sill on her kitchen window. Mrs. Smith’s lawn needs to be mowed – and she is an old widow after all – I’ll bet if I mow her lawn, she will give me some cookies. There, I did a good work – in fact I did a real good work and I am feeling pretty darn good about myself. Now to go reap my reward – the cookies.

    Does anyone doubt that I did a good work?

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

    The good works a person does springs from their values, specifically their training to value others, which comes from upbringing, family and community.

    One needs no faith based framework to love, to be kind, to share, to be noble, to do good, essentially to be a mensch.

    Where we gain enrichment is to study, reflect upon, value and choose to emulate Jesus, as he is found in the 4 Gospels.

    We are good because we choose to be good and do good, all from what we’ve internalized.

  102. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    I understand, but again, does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by baptism and the nourishment of the Eucharist cause a change in your motives enabling you to do a good work?

  103. Xenia says:

    To MLD’s credit, he is one of the people here who always gives a dollar to the homeless person, no questions asked. I do not doubt that he does good works, maybe more than the rest of us.

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

    “To MLD’s credit, he is one of the people here who always gives a dollar to the homeless person, no questions asked. I do not doubt that he does good works, maybe more than the rest of us.”

    …and the fact that we know that means MLD has his reward, at least, according to Jesus

    😉

  105. Michael says:

    The Scriptures commends those who do good works, exhorts us to do good works, and says we have had them prepared for us to do.

    I don’t find any place that says anything about our motives…

    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
    (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

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

    Michael,
    Jesus makes a big deal about motives, about doing good “to be seen of others”.

    All throughout Judaism the value of being a blessing to the nations is restated.

    I think Jesus whips out the fine tuning tools to keep the good engine running, and that not too loudly.

  107. Xenia says:

    G, I think that came up in a conversation where we were discussing how to help panhandlers. I think everyone told what they usually do.

  108. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    What I’m trying to get at here is whether or not any of us believe that baptism and the eucharist (and the other sacraments as well) creates with in us that new heart that enables us to do those good works that are acceptable to God. If the idea of Theosis has even a hint of truth… it doesn’t start at death but here…

  109. Michael says:

    G-man,

    I get that…but I nowhere see that all good works are done from sinful motive.

  110. Xenia says:

    I agree w/ # 108.

  111. Xenia says:

    Just as our good works may not be done perfectly (maybe MLD will miss a patch of grass or will run over the petunias) so our motives may not be perfect.

    So what? Repent of the bad and keep up the good.

  112. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I’ll take it a step beyond that or (walk in lock step with it).
    If we are in “union with Christ” then ( positionally) what’s true of Him is true of us.
    Thus, our works are acceptable to God through Christ.
    Before anyone has a cow, that’s a bare thumbnail sketch…very bare.

    When I read Calvin’s doctrine of union with Christ I hear echoes of theosis all the way through it…

  113. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G says “…and the fact that we know that means MLD has his reward, at least, according to Jesus.”

    And he says it right. If I do any ‘good deed’ for any other motive than my neighbor needs the help, I have done it for the wrong motive. Luther spoke to this in his Heidelberg Disputation 1518. If my motive is reward or to please God, then I need to repent.

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

    Michael,
    yes, I agree completely with your study. Scripture, in context, NEVER writes off human good works as “all” being from sinful motive. Some are Trumpish in their bombastic actions to impress supporters, but the greatest majority are simple acts of kindness ranging from being kind and considerate to spending one’s hard earned property & time for the betterment of others, with humility. They do what they do, unseen, just because it blesses “the other”.

    Remember the scene in “The Apostle” where Robert Duvall and a paritioner leave a bag of groceries at the front door of a poor family, ring the door bell, then dash off without a trace? It’s that kind of silly loving act that happens everywhere around us.

    …and it’s you loving and serving at the skatepark.

    You do it because you just can’t do otherwise, but I’m sure you don’t think, “Well now, what would Jesus do?” You just do it!

  115. Xenia says:

    Desiring to please God is a sin, in MLD’s eyes.

    “Oh God, I am sorry I want to please you.”

    Good grief.

  116. Duane Arnold says:

    #112 Michael

    You see where I’m going with this… similar to the Psalm “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desire of your heart” – it’s not about giving us “stuff” – it’s that God gives us the desire of the heart to do that which is pleasing to him…

  117. Michael says:

    Duane @ 116… exactly.

  118. Ms. ODM says:

    Xenia – God most certainly thinks good works are important.

    “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:21

    “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matt 5:16

    ” For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Eph 2:10

    ” That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Tim 3:17

    “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” – Titus 2:14

    “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” – Titus 3:8

    ” And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” – Heb 10:24

    “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” – 1 Pet 2:12

  119. Ms. ODM says:

    OK Michael – my last comment is moderated and I shared scriptures – no links at all

  120. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    Scripture verses are automatically converted into links by the blog.
    It’s a feature,not a bug.

  121. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – you must be stuck in Ortho speak.
    I did not say “Desiring to please God is a sin, in MLD’s eyes.” There are many things I do in my personal life I do to please God.

    My good works towards others is not one of them. I do those good works with the motivation that my neighbor needs them. Please note the people who were commended by Jesus in Matt 25 for their good works towards neighbor – people did those good works because their neighbor needed them — not a one was motivated by pleasing God.

    Now the 2nd set of people were just the opposite – so focused on pleasing God that they neglected their neighbor.

  122. Michael says:

    G-man…I’m with you @ 114…

  123. dusty says:

    I don’t think about what I am going to get when I do good works, I just do what I am told to do.

  124. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think I missed a Duane question. Yes, I do think that the word and sacraments do many things to motivate me in the right direction.

    What about my lawn mowing for the old widow lady – and cookies as my motive? That’s a good work and it is something she needed – and I do get my reward on the earth.

  125. JoelG says:

    Our God is a comforter. As we are nurtured by Him, so do we want to comfort those in our midst. Even in the smallest acts of kindness. How can we not? Our hearts, as they are conformed to Christ, are broken by the brokenness of this world and we have no choice but to want to bring comfort into the brokenness. All because of Jesus. Thank you Lord.

  126. Duane Arnold says:

    For me, it’s pretty simple. If the sacraments are efficacious they “do something” with regard to the person effected by God’s grace and action in the particular sacrament. They bring about change. Call it “conversion of manners”, sanctification, Theosis, Union with Christ… all these point to the same reality… and that change is reflected in works, fruit… whatever you might wish to call it.

  127. Michael says:

    JoelG… well done.

  128. Xenia says:

    #121

    MLD, evidentally I misunderstood you. I am sorry.

  129. Xenia says:

    # 118

    Mrs. ODM- Amen!

  130. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I agree.
    All those do point to the same reality that we all have different ways of defining and understanding.
    They should produce change that produces things pleasing to God.

    We may spend way too much time parsing and not enough doing… 🙂

  131. Alex says:

    Ironically, Xenia and Ms. ODM are pretty much on the same page when it comes to “Works” 🙂

    And, MLD, I think you don’t see the nuance in the fundamentalist side of CC like Raul and Rosales etc, they very much preach Law and Gospel and they remind saved and unsaved about the Law and use it to point us all to Jesus and the Gospel every week.

    Every message I heard at the CC pastor’s conference was steeped in a call to holiness and repentance and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Even though there are some 9,000 different flavors of “Christian”….most have a lot of similarities that is lost in the nuances and different terms.

  132. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – I will put it to the empirical test. I will find at random the last 2 Rosales’ tapes and listen to them to see if he is preaching Jesus Christ for me for the forgiveness of my sins..

    They will be on my MP3 player for my trip to the desert. I will report back 🙂

  133. JoelG says:

    G-man @88

    This may be too big a question for this thread, but I’m curious about who / what has influenced your view? I hope you are right.

  134. Jean says:

    Duane and Michael,

    Let me add another dimension to the discussion of sanctification. Churches which follow the church calendar and liturgy worship in an important way handed down from the OT. Before you read further, re-read Psalm 77 please.

    What you’ll notice first of all is that worship and prayer has an aspect of “remembrance”. In the case of OT Israel, their remembrance usually focused on the deliverance and salvation that God worked for them in the Exodus our of Egypt and the defeat of Pharaoh. You notice that the Psalmist in his lament addresses his situation by remembering and meditating on the mighty works that God did for his people in the Exodus from Egypt (The Mosaic feast of unleavened bread was similar).

    So, why does he do that and what does that have to do with Christians?

    (1) By bringing to remembrance God’s past wonders worked for his people, the Psalmist is strengthened in faith and hope that God will again act to save and deliver him from his current troubles and enemies. This remembrance brings hope for the future.

    (2) Christians have an Exodus too. It is Christ’s exodus on the cross for us and resurrection. We go through Holy Week in remembrance of Christ’s Passion and resurrection, which strengthens us in faith and brings us hope that we who are united with Him in Baptism, and are promised forgiveness, life and salvation, and the resurrection of our bodies.

    This is one important reason (perhaps the primary reason) why we follow the liturgical year and liturgy.

  135. John 20:29 says:

    MLD’s lawn mowing job… what about the old man on the other side of you who can’t bake cookies and can’t mow his lawn either? if you’d mow both their lawns, then i think (ahem) that the cookies were just a happy, hoped for side benefit of your good deeds and God was pleased at your representation of the family 🙂

    up here we bless the guy who’ll plow out our drive cuz he’s just done his own and wants to be a good neighbor, so far it’s never been done by a Christian neighbor, but it has been done by a pagan and by a mormon … oops, forgot the Roman Catholic who used to plow our long and uphill driveway some years back (i think he did it, because it was fun to run his ATV plow up and down the hill, tho)

    speaking of fun, it’s kind of fun to read everyone’s parsing of good deeds today – you all do good deeds – i know you do and God sees lol

  136. Duane Arnold says:

    #134 Jean
    Nicely put…

  137. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean’s comment at #134 seems to support that it is God’s work – and our looking in that direction that builds our faith — and not as was said here earlier that our own works build our faith.

  138. JoelG says:

    If I may add to Jeans point at #134….

    Several weeks ago Michael posted this link for the Daily Office.

    http://thetrinitymission.org/

    This has been such a valuable resource between Sundays. We need this nourishment from the Lord each day. There is comfort in the repetition and reminders.

    Thank you Michael.

  139. Jess says:

    I believe in Jesus, so I have eternal life (John chapter 6 verse 47), so I am going to heaven no matter what. No matter what. 🙂 Even with a lack of works (works are important but they aren’t a part of salvation). Even with a lack of a “changed life” that satisfies churchy people.

    That simple statement caused a catholic man to become so obsessed with me, that he followed me around on a message board which had nothing to do with the Bible, just to keep commenting on how much he hated me saying that.

  140. Jean says:

    Well Jess, no one can force you to read and believe Scripture. Good luck to you.

  141. Xenia says:

    Our faith does not rest entirely on our good works. If I gave the impression that I thought that, I apologize. It is one of many things that build up faith. Other things would include:

    1. The sacraments, especially the Eucharist
    2. Reading the Scriptures
    3. Reading other Christian works
    4. Hanging out with good Christian people
    5. Etc.

  142. Xenia says:

    And prayer. (How could I leave that out?)

  143. Jess says:

    Jean, I just quoted Scripture, and I believed it. I reject EO. But I read the Bible, and I believed it. You have a problem with that, that is indeed your problem. You have that in common with the catholic guy I guess. I will be in heaven no matter what, because I believe in Jesus (John chapter 6 verse 47, John chapter 3 verse 16, Acts chapter 16 verse 31, Romans chapter 4 verse 5, and on and on and on…)

  144. Xenia says:

    I will be in heaven no matter what, because I believe in Jesus <<<<

    Yes, I believe you will be in heaven.

    Pray for me, a sinner.

  145. Jean says:

    “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

  146. Disillusioned says:

    Michael quoted Ephesians 2:10, and it’s this verse that nails it for me.
    God knew us before we were created (psalm 139) and He gave each of us gifts to use to glorify Him. For me, that means that whatever good works I do, they came from God first. As such, He gets the credit. No room for pride there.
    There is also tremendous liberty in this verse, because it means striving is over. Walk in the Spirit and He guides our steps.

  147. Disillusioned says:

    Alex,
    I am glad to see you here. I followed your blog. I’m also happy for reconciliation in your family.

    BUT — I am dumbfounded at your pro-CC stance. Your situation involved lies and distortion, and was proved false. (Well, some of it….?)

    There are others – myself included – whose stories were 100% true. The abuse that comes from a one-man show still exists and flourishes under this sick system.

  148. Darlene says:

    First time to comment here. Actually, first time reading your blog. Thank you, Phoenix Preacher, for the charity that you have extended to Hank Hanegraaff. I, too, am one of those former Evangelicals that “transitioned” to the Orthodox Church. Your kindness in extending grace towards those who transition to Orthodoxy is a mindset not easily found among Evangelicals. So, it’s nice to feel the love once in a while. God bless you!

  149. Jess says:

    Jean, bearing fruit is about discipleship, growth spiritually, and works. Not about salvation. It’s a parable. It’s not a literal branch, and it’s not a literal fire. Not every mention of fire in the Bible is talking about hell. It’s talking about the potential usefulness of the believer. If the believer isn’t abiding in Christ, then they are as worthless in terms of helping others, as a dead branch doing nothing, that people take and burn. There is a literal eternal lake of fire, and it’s not being talked about in John chapter 15. So you are of the wrong lordship position that thinks that every verse in the Bible is about heaven and hell. But very few verses are about heaven and hell. You want to go to heaven. John chapter 3 verse 16, Romans chapter 4 verse 5.

  150. John 20:29 says:

    Darlene, i can’t speak for Michael (i believe he, too, is transitioning), but his blog site is full of charity and you’ve found a good place here to “talk” about THE Faith… IMO

    speaking as an evangelical (old school evangelical) 🙂

  151. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess,
    The way you have divided and view sanctification separate from justifiv is a big deal. This will probably always be a large divide between Lutheran theology and evangelical theology.

    Sanctification is all wrapped up in justification. Have you ever looked at Paul – 1 Cor 6?
    “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    Wow – that’s not even close to the run of the mill evangelical order – how does your sanctification precede your justification? How does it all follow baptismal washing?

  152. Michael says:

    Darlene,

    Welcome aboard!

  153. Jess says:

    MLD: 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 17, I came not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel. Therefore baptism is never part of the Gospel that is to believe and that saves. Sanctification is separate from justification. Justification is by choosing to believe in Jesus. Sanctification is by agreeing to walk in the Spirit and abide in Jesus through His Word.

  154. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess,
    That is another evangelical tactic – use scripture against scripture.
    1.) do you think by the time Paul left town, there were unbaptized believers? I don’t think so in fact Paul does mention some he did baptize.
    2.) In the verse I highlighted, Paul puts baptism first.
    3.) Can you show me scripturally where sanctification is somehow listed as a separate event from justification. Are you making the case that there are justified people who are not sanctified.
    4.) Can you show me from scripture (as I know that by your own proclamation you do not read anything but the Bible) justification comes from man’s action of choice? The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God – not by my choice.
    5.) I agree to walk in the Spirit?

  155. Jess says:

    MLD, this is another religious tactic — use man’s false tradition against Scripture.

    You’ve already been annihilated with one verse in 1 Corinthians. And since Scripture cannot contradict itself, you have to choose whether you will be Jesus’ disciple, or Martin Luther’s disciple.

  156. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess the self taught,
    I know that dispensationalist deny that Jeremiah’s new covenant is for the Church – but that is their loss and I don’t know if you count yourself among them, but… God, speaking through Ezekiel is very clear about baptism in the new covenant

    “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

    Note God’s starting point – oh wait, that was Paul’s starting point in 1 Cor 6.

  157. Jess says:

    MLD the religious man’s tradition taught. MLD, who’s authority is his truth. The authority in question here is protestant/catholicism.

    You see sprinkling in Ezekiel under the law to Israel, and you import it naturally to water baptism? Whatever lol

    It takes a man taught in man’s traditions and authority to miss the truth.

  158. Jess says:

    The only “sin” here is apparently thinking for yourself and submitting to God directly, and refusing to submit to the authority of men who are sinners like me and who also die like me.

  159. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess – the disciple of Jess,
    Why do you think that the Ezekiel passage is speaking about something in the old covenant.? God, speaking through Ezekiel is very clear that it is for a time of a new covenant. This is the same new covenant and same changing the heart spoken of in Jeremiah 31.

    For us.

  160. Jess says:

    MLD, so I chose thinking for myself vs. letting dead Luther do my thinking. Ezekiel isn’t even talking about water baptism. The sprinkling is symbolic, as they would do literal sprinkling under the law in the OT as a symbol of washing. Just like water baptism is a symbol (not required for salvation as I proved earlier, and cannot be added to salvation as I proved earlier). Otherwise, if it was literal water washing being spoken of in Ezekiel, then what literal uncleanness is literal water baptism cleaning? Did I previously roll around in the mud? LOL. You’ll arbitrarily switch from literal to symbolic and vice versa in line with your authority, Martin Luther. He’s your everything. But I will choose to think for myself, and if that gets me mocked, why would I care? Every man will die alone and answer alone. Luther won’t be standing next to you to defend you.

  161. Michael says:

    Jess,

    I’m just curious…why are you here?
    There’s no market for your silliness among us.

  162. Xenia says:

    Hello, Darlene, welcome!

  163. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess, have you ever considered that thinking for yourself is harming you.

    Check out Acts 22 where Ananias by the word of God tells Paul to get up and get baptized for the forgiveness of sin. I say Paul went to some water supply and was baptized.

    What say you? Did Paul go to the dry cleaners?

  164. Jess says:

    MLD, I can’t believe that you say my thinking for myself is harming me. That’s very lockstep.

    According to Michael, it’s a “market” that isn’t looking for my “product”. Okay. Discussion closed on my part.

  165. Xenia says:

    But Jess, everything you think you have you have received from others.

    Did you translate the scriptures all by yourself?

  166. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess, the question about Ezekiel and Jeremiah – for the Church or for Israel?

    So what about Paul in Acts 22? Wet or Dry?

    I didn’t say that thinking for yourself was harming you – I asked if you had ever considered that it may. I know in many areas of life, thinking for myself has gotten me into trouble.

    The fact that you don’t think there is a single person on earth worth consulting about any of these Biblical issues is troubling.

  167. Michael says:

    Jess,

    Xenia has spoken well.
    This “no lordship”/free grace” junk is from a group out of Dallas Theological Seminary that produced it.
    You either received it from them or one of their addled followers.

    It’s only about forty years old and will hopefully have a short life.

  168. Xenia says:

    Jess, you never did answer the question I asked you way upthread: How is it that YOU, Jess, hear from the Holy Spirit correctly and very few others can make this claim? What unique qualities do you possess that everyone else lacks?

  169. Jess says:

    Xenia, I will answer your question, even though Michael said there is no market for my product here 😉 At any rate, to answer your question, I trust the Scripture that says that the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth. If He doesn’t, then the Scripture is failed and there’s no point in any of this. But since the Scripture is true, then the Holy Spirit will lead ME to all truth.

    Michael says I got it all from Dallas Theological Seminary, but I’ve never been there, and I have a very superficial reading of some of those that have gone there. And I disagree with the GES crowd on their foolish “crossless” heresy. And I disagree with the FGA crowd on their denial of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and their inclusion of those that have horrible eschatology. Other than those two groups, I don’t even know of anyone that went to Dallas Theological Seminary. So Michael built a straw man.

    The truth is, I am thinking for myself. If some things were revealed through those folks, great. But I don’t agree with vast quantities of what each of them say. So I can avoid being labeled with any label. Y’all here seem to love labels, but, I can’t fit into any label, because I am thinking for myself. And my thinking for myself with the Bible is that Jesus paid it all, so I add nothing.

    I’m not honestly sure why this is so offensive anyway. I’m saying that the death and blood of Jesus is my guaranteed ticket to heaven, and I cannot add anything to it. Sounds Biblical and honoring and respectful to the Lord’s work to me. But what do I know? I don’t have your religions and their “special anointed” blowhards to back me up 😉

  170. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” I trust the Scripture that says that the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth.”

    I think what Xenia was alluding towards is that you probably don’t read Greek or Hebrew, and thus, had to rely on someone else’s scholarship to even be able to read the bible.

  171. Michael says:

    Let me boil the free grace position down to what it actually says.

    It believes that all that is needed to be “saved” is intellectual assent to the Gospel.

    Repentance, obedience, perseverance, and good works are not only not necessary,but believing they are part of salvation will actually damn you.

    Period.

    Frankly, I believe that the position is aberrant almost to the point of heresy.

    https://faithalone.org/grace-in-focus-articles/what-is-free-grace-theology/

  172. Jess says:

    Josh, I’m a KJV guy, so I’m sure nobody wants me to torment people with that (nor do I care to waste time with the typical mocking that will arise from it). The originals in Greek and Hebrew don’t exist anywhere, so, you’re trusting someone to have “preserved” what they claim is the original Greek and Hebrew. So that’s all flimsy anyway. The scholarship I trust is that the Lord promised to preserve His Word for me, and He did. Either I trust that, or I trust some “church” that contradicts the Bible, is full of scandals, and is led by people that are sinners and die just like me.

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

    JoelG,
    “G-man @88

    This may be too big a question for this thread, but I’m curious about who / what has influenced your view? I hope you are right.”

    Theodicy.

  174. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess,
    “I’m saying that the death and blood of Jesus is my guaranteed ticket to heaven, and I cannot add anything to it.”

    Actually what you said was that your choice is what saved you.

  175. Jess says:

    Michael again goes running to GES (faithalone.org), but I already disavowed them as “crossless’ heresy. So again, straw man. Michael wants everybody under a label. I don’t follow GES.

    And I do believe in repentance, obedience, perseverance, and good works. Just not as part of salvation. And not as “guaranteed outcome” of salvation. Only as part of spiritual growth, rewards in heaven, and love towards God and man.

  176. Michael says:

    Jess,

    Which version of the “Authorized” version is the right one?

  177. Jess says:

    MLD, if you want to believe that free will doesn’t exist, and that choosing to believe something out of obedience to Jesus Christ who commanded to believe is some kind of “works”, you can follow that foolish nonsense.

  178. Xenia says:

    Not only what Josh said, but how can it be, Jess, that you alone hear accurately from the Holy Spirit and no one else does? What is so special about you that the Holy Spirit tells you the truth but lies to almost everyone else? He has led you into ALL truth?

  179. Jess says:

    Michael, I don’t even trust the “history” that claims “this one came first, then this one, then this one….”. I have a Bible. I’m happy with that, and I trust God completely with the issue. I know it won’t pass your intelligence test, but, the truth is for the fools of the world, not for the “wise”.

  180. Jean says:

    Jess,

    Do you believe that Jesus’ parables are addressed to people today?

    If not, how do you decide what is written for you and what is not?

  181. Jess says:

    Xenia, if the Lord said that He would lead us into all truth, then I don’t consider Him a liar on the matter. But I am still learning many things. In the things I’m sure of, I’m sure of those things, period.

  182. Xenia says:

    Jess, it’s obvious that you don’t believe the Holy Spirit is lying to you but you seem to think He has been lying to the almost everyone else.

  183. Jess says:

    Xenia, the Lord says that His flock is a “little flock”. The Lord says that the way is narrow, and few find it. Few probably really means few. So I’m not surprised if there aren’t a lot of people around that see it. Yet I have met thousands and thousands over the years that see the Gospel (none of them join up with these massive groups that all have lordship errors of various flavors). The Gospel is easy and simple. Apparently too easy and too simple for the complicated sinful flesh, if the sinful flesh and pride are permitted to get in the way (just my opinion in that last part).

  184. Jess says:

    By the way, Xenia, the Lord isn’t lying to anyone (per your 182). The person lies to themselves, and man lies to fellow man. The truth is available to everyone that wants it, and I’m a true nothing.

  185. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jess, people are piling on you and I don’t want to do that, but i will respond to your KJV claim.

    The KJV is a fantastic translation! It is a product of the best scholarship of its time. If that is your bible, then you are dependent upon not only the translators of the KJV, but also the ones who compiled and preserved the manuscripts that were used at that time, along with the already existing Latin translation that was used, too.

    We know what the originals said not because we hold a copy, but because their is amazing agreement among vast manuscripts from entirely different parts of the world. It is really incredible to look at!

    You shouldn’t doubt you KJV at all. It is a good translation, but you should understand that God worked through scholars to bring that about, and you are the beneficiary. That’s not a bad thing. Learning Hebrew is hard.

  186. Jess says:

    Josh, you’d have to prove that the Hebrew manuscript that someone gives to me, is faithful to the original (which is long gone) anyway. The whole thing is too easily manipulated by individuals and groups with religious and political (read: monetary) goals.

    Thus, I return to my original assertion. The Lord promised to preserve His Word for me perfectly, so I trust Him that He did, and I leave it at that. I see that the Lord puts a very high premium on believing Him. That’s where I’m at. Then I don’t have to worry about all the “problems” that the masses have with the supposed claimed “history” of this and that.

  187. Jess says:

    Just as there’s the issue of “fake news” these days, there is also “fake history” and “fake religion”

  188. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    There are old sayings – one was in trying to fight with the newspapers through letters to the editor or public proclamation – “you can’t fight and win with someone who buys their ink by the 55 gallon drums.”

    The other is”you can’t argue the Bible with someone who hears directly from God.”

  189. Jess says:

    I guess so, MLD. Just like Luther claims that he heard from God, and now he has a disciple 😉

  190. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess,
    “Thus, I return to my original assertion. The Lord promised to preserve His Word for me perfectly, so I trust Him that He did, and I leave it at that.”

    Where do you find that promise to you in the Bible?

  191. Michael says:

    The KJV is a good translation…most of the translators were Anglicans… 🙂

  192. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess,
    “Just like Luther claims that he heard from God, ” Can you reference this for me.

    Lutheran theology is very much silent or negative on people hearing directly from God.

    Help me out here so I can go read it.

  193. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, Jess it is easy to find the critical text (combination of manuscripts) that the KJV was translated from, because the translators told us what they used and the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament that they used are readily available (called the Textus Receptus). I can look at those documents and see that the translators of the KJV were very faithful to the manuscripts that they had. They even made good notes where things were questionable.

    So God perfectly preserved His Word in the KJV…can a non-English speaking person know God’s Word? Or would they have to rely on someone like you to translate it into their language?

  194. Jess says:

    MLD, Psalm 12 verses 6 and 7 (you’ll have to read it in the KJV, as most of the other versions change this most needed promise). Since it mentions a generation in that, then it is temporal, in our time, not just an abstract concept of the eternality of God. There are many other verses as well.

    Michael, considering the fact that the Anglicans at that time seem to have understood clearly the monster in the Vatican/jesuit scene (just look at the gunpowder plot not many years before), then I admire them for allowing themselves to be used of God for this most important purpose. However, that doesn’t mean that their doctrines are all true. God can and does use anyone for His purposes. It isn’t a sign that the person is doctrinally correct on anything. After all, an unbelieving temple leader could prophesy that Jesus should die for the people, but of course, he didn’t even know what he was really saying.

  195. Jess says:

    Josh, I have studied this issue to a degree in Spanish and Russian. Spanish because most places I’ve lived have very large Spanish-speaking populations. And Russian because my wife is from Russia. In those two languages, there is one version that is a KJV-type situation, and then there are other versions that are kind of puke-inducing to me. So I would believe that many languages have that situation going on.

    But as for the KJV being used in other countries, is it a coincidence that English is basically a universal language at this point? God didn’t promise to preserve His Word in every language and dialect of the world. He promised to preserve His Word. And He did. Is it a coincidence that English became the most important language in the world? Not a coincidence in my opinion. Because the KJV is perfect, then God works it so that everyone wants to learn English, to lead them to be able to read the Scriptures.

    Everywhere I’ve been a missionary, we’ve done English classes to preach the Gospel and teach the Bible. Because everyone, everywhere, wants to learn English.

  196. Josh the Baptist says:

    Oh my.

    Well, brother, in this we shall depart. The KJV did not fall from the sky. KJV English is not God’s language. It would be laughable if it weren’t so damaging to the cause of Christ around the world.

    Good luck to you.

  197. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jess, Jesus’ perfect words, directly from his mouth (on this Maundy Thursday)
    This is my body…given to you for the forgiveness of your sins.

    Are you eating his body or denying his words?

  198. Jess says:

    Josh, “damaging to the cause of Christ around the world”??? Tell that to those you will see in heaven that believed the Gospel through our missions of teaching English in several countries 😉

  199. Xenia says:

    Well that’s it, folks. English is the Holy Language of the universe.

  200. Jess says:

    MLD, His words are spirit in John chapter 6 (verse 63). So I need not move to cannibalism. Anyway I’m of the view that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday or a Thursday, since in John it was a high sabbath, and then Jesus can be in the earth for three days and three nights. The “good Friday” thing is a tradition of man.

  201. Jess says:

    It’s been a fun discussion, but I have to run. Thank you all for the chat. I have to get one son to football practice, and another son to basketball. Relationships that are second only to my relationship with the Lord. 🙂

  202. JoelG says:

    G-man @173,

    Thank you

  203. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Tell that to those you will see in heaven that believed the Gospel through our missions of teaching English in several countries ”

    Brother, missionaries were bring souls to Christ for 1600 years before there even was a KJV. Think about what you are saying! It is nonsense.

  204. Josh the Baptist says:

    And yes, telling someone they must learn English to have a realtionship with the Lord is terribly damaging. Jesus never spoke English! None of his disciples knew English! What have we created!?!?

  205. covered says:

    Josh, maybe Jesus has an English accent like in all the Jesus movies where He is tall with a blond beard and blue eyes etc. We have all been wrong about that Jewish thing all along…
    🙂

  206. Josh the Baptist says:

    Uh oh. I’m ranting again, aren’t I? 🙂

    I just can’t believe the cognitive dissonance it must take to look at the KJV and say “I trust that”, but then to say you can trust the very documents that it was translated from.

  207. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will say Jess is a good sport. He took all we threw at him and seemed to stay good natured.

  208. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m sure Jess is a good guy. He’s from a system that discourages thinking. There’s room for him too.

  209. Scooter Jones says:

    I was listening to Family Radio Bible Reading Hour yesterday while driving. I cringed at phrases like, “whithersoever thou goest.”

    I suspect that no modern English speaking person would even know what that means, unless they were exposed to the KJV in church somewhere.

  210. The New Victor says:

    I was reading the Last Supper story (from Mark) last night to my kids. Rather than pulling it up on my phone or tablet, I read from the same Bible I’ve had since 1986, which is one of the few possessions I’ve kept with me over the years through many moves. It is a KJV my mother gifted to me back then. I had to stop several times and explain a few words to my 1st grade son. I think it’s good for his vocabulary :^)

    We did get through the Garden and Jesus’ arrest and interrogation, ending with Peter’s denial. That was a good reading to explain what bearing false witness meant and what he understands as lying, in that it is a form of lying about someone else. I’ve been trying to stress for a while that sinning is what which we do which hurts others.

    Thereafter, he was saying something about hunting for eggs is pretending we are finding Jesus. Verily, I stumbled a bit trying to explain this to a 7 year old mind.

  211. Scooter Jones says:

    The Bible Answer Man responds to “leaving the faith” charges. Sorry if this was already linked here.

    http://www.equip.org/article/left-christian-faith/

  212. Alex says:

    Disillusioned said, “Alex,
    I am glad to see you here. I followed your blog. I’m also happy for reconciliation in your family.

    BUT — I am dumbfounded at your pro-CC stance. Your situation involved lies and distortion, and was proved false. (Well, some of it….?)

    There are others – myself included – whose stories were 100% true. The abuse that comes from a one-man show still exists and flourishes under this sick system.”

    Hi, thanks for the kind expression 🙂

    It will be hard for many to understand or accept my Pro-CC stance now, after being one of their most brutal critics for many years. That is very understandable.

    But, I cannot deny what I’ve learned. Nearly everyone is sincere and believes they are 100% right in their own eyes. Human perspective is an imperfect thing. Look at Mike MacIntosh’s video where he sincerely believes Chuck Smith wasn’t mentioned or honored at Brian Brodersen-led CC pastor’s conferences. Mike isn’t lying there, that is his “perception”. If you asked him, he’d tell you he’s “100% right”….yet we can see evidence his perspective is not literally right.,

    I learned this in the blogging. I had so many “sources” who were so sincere and “100% right” etc. Under the intense scrutiny of the legal process with depositions, evidence, etc, things broke down. Stories changed, stories recanted, stuff said in emails and on the blog were told differently to authorities, some wouldn’t testify in official proceedings, my parents presented evidence that told the other side of many of those stories….and perception that was “100% right” turned out to be oftentimes not the case. Stuff was out of context or incomplete or exaggerated and sometimes outright false. Some stuff was true, but the stuff that was true was not nearly as serious as the most inflammatory stuff and did not deserve the death penalty that the more serious charges would have deserved (metaphorically).

    Calvary Chapel is made up of humans. They will let you down. The Moses Model is not a perfect System, but it is not the Devil. It has pro’s and con’s as all Systems have. If I turned a critical eye on any church System or any human System or Group I would find as much negative things as in Calvary Chapel, b/c all human Groups are flawed. If I took a critical eye of pretty much any human individual, there would be very few that would not look very bad if I focused on their negatives. I was wrong to go scorched-earth and Saul Alinsky on Calvary Chapel. The Alinsky stuff is evil, I am convinced of that now. You can tear down any human Group with that scorched-earth approach. It’s what the Marxist/Socialist Liberals do today in Politics, Black Lives Matter is an example. They hyper-focus on the negative and highlight every mistake the cops make and use it to tear them down, and it is effective in getting people riled up and ticked off, but it is evil and divisive and not Godly.

    I’ve learned some hard lessons and I hope you’ll consider forgiving your pastor and viewing him as a ministry and one who you can minister to and show grace to instead of as an adversary and enemy. It is hard to do, I know, but I think it is Godly and what Jesus wants us to do.

    I think it is still valid to critique things like the Moses Model when done responsibly. I think those employing that church polity should listen to critics and be careful to use that System in a responsible and Godly manner. I think the Elders and Board Members at the individual CC’s should be mindful that they have a real responsibility to do the right thing and to help bring peace to Pastor and member relationships when there is a conflict. Those Elders and Board Members should also be good stewards of the budgets and finances and should help the Pastor by holding the Pastor accountable, but in a loving and respectful manner. I think that happens a lot in CC, and sometimes it doesn’t. I am not saying “nothing bad happens in CC now!” no, not at all, in fact I guarantee you Pastors will still sin and that things are not done perfectly in CC. That is the same in any church, any business, any government any human System. Speak the truth in love. Be respectful. View everyone as a ministry, even the Pastors. (all of that directed at myself, as reminders to stay on the Narrow Path).

  213. Disillusioned says:

    Alex,
    Thanks so much for trying to explain your position. I really respect your effort to be balanced in your perspective.
    Sadly, for me, even my forgiveness would not change the broken relationships. The person who called himself my pastor: lied to me; lied about me; intentionally misled me to keep truth from me; made leadership decisions based on marketing (by his own admission) and not the Holy Spirit; deliberately separated us from our brothers and sisters, causing divisions; slandered me and libeled me — all in effort to cover his own butt.
    Elders?? Oversight?? No such thing in this CC.

  214. Alex says:

    Disillusioned, I am sorry to hear that. It hurts when there is a breach and loss of relationship. That hurt w/o reconciliation can hurt for a long time. Unfortunately, what you report does happens sometimes and is very real. I’ll pray that God changes that man’s heart and mind. The Holy Spirit changes hearts and minds, not our efforts, a hard lesson I’ve learned on both ends of the situations.

  215. Alex says:

    I don’t want to over-participate (a mistake I’ve made in the past). I love you guys, I really do. I pray for Michael and this blog daily. I hope you enjoy your Easter. He is Risen.

  216. Disillusioned says:

    Alex,
    Thank you for your prayers. I appreciate that more than you know.
    I only wish the best for you.

  217. Bert Hercules says:

    Coincidently I listened to a Walter Martin “tape” last night on whether one can lose his salvation (no) and he said how someone (a tare) can mimic a true believer for years until finally comes to fruition. He was perhaps speaking propheticlly about his successor, Hank H. who degression has been thus:

    Dutch Reformed –> CC –> Coral Ridge –> Preterism –> EO.

    Tossed about (and tossing others about) by every wind of doctrine. The Bible Answer Man was dropped yesterday from my local radio station. After years of riding the cimmute home with Hank, I will miss his analyses on Evolution, Islam, Homosexuality, and other pertinent topics..

  218. David says:

    Bert Hercules –

    Are you trying to make the case that this somehow shows Hanegraaff’s “digression” out of Christianity (because he’s really been a tare all along) , which includes holding to an unpopular (in CC circles) theological position on eschatology … but do you understand that Preterism isn’t a church ? There are preterists in any number of different denominations. So that doesn’t fit in to the line of digression/regression you are proposing, showing him moving from Reformed –> to Calvary Chapel –> to Coral Ridge (Presbyterian , same as Reformed on all key doctrine) –> to Preterism (not a denomination) –> to the Orthodox Church . Actually , I would say being received into the Orthodox Church is not a regression, but rather a progression , he’s in a better place now than he’s been before. Also I think your chronology is wrong … I believe he was associated with Coral Ridge Presbyterian before he moved to California and got pulled in to the Calvary Chapel movement .

    “Tossed about by every wind of doctrine” is the whole tragic history of Protestantism summed up .

    Perhaps now that Hank Hanegraaff has found his way into the Church he won’t be tossed about as he was in his years spent in various forms of Protestantism. Maybe he’ll finally be able to confess and repent of the devious way he took over CRI after Walter Martin’s unexpected death . I pray that he will experience true repentance which will lead to reconciliation with the people he’s hurt.

  219. myth buster says:

    Salvation by faith alone is a damnable heresy. 1 Peter 3:21 clearly says that baptism saves us, as does the Great Commission. Therefore, if anyone refuses to be baptized, thinking it superfluous, that one shall have no part in Christ. Thus saith the Lord, “If any man denies Me before men, I will deny him before My Father.” Therefore, even if you believe more fervently than the Apostles, if you deny Him in word, thought or deed, you shall perish in fiery Gehenna. We must persevere to the end in order to be saved, and we must obey the Gospel, lest Christ say to us, “You wicked, lazy servant! Depart from Me into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not live out the Faith will be condemned by his faith. Indeed, the Scriptures warn that those who fall back into sin after conversion are worse off than unbelievers. That means that not only can Christians go to Hell for returning to sin and persisting in it until death, but such wicked Christians will suffer more fiercely in Hell than those who never believed. Work out your salvation in fear and trembling, lest you find yourself envying pagans on account of your pains.

  220. Alex says:

    myth buster said, “clearly says that baptism saves us, as does the Great Commission. Therefore, if anyone refuses to be baptized, thinking it superfluous, that one shall have no part in Christ”

    Interesting. I guess the Thief on the Cross was an exception. “You will be with me in Paradise”.

    What about all the Old Testament figures? Moses wasn’t baptized. Neither was Abraham, etc etc.

    If you are going to take the Water Baptism as an necessary act for Salvation then why do you seem to ignore other similar verses regarding Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

    “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

  221. Alex says:

    “John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

  222. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex,
    Water baptism was not a condition of the old covenant and the thief on the cross was still under the old covenant. Jesus in Matthew 28 does institute baptism as the new covenant method of making a Christian.

    But this is a question I always like to ask – and I never seem to get an answer. Why do people say that the baptism of the holy spirit is different than water baptism? I think that is the whole misunderstanding people have. Paul is quite clear that there is only ONE baptism – and this one baptism includes all of the ingredients – water, the holy spirit and whatever is meant by John when he says fire.

    In other words I don’t think we line up at 3 different service windows to receive 3 different baptisms. Happy Mother’s Day!!

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