Things I Think

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188 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Amen especially numbers 6 and 10!

  2. Xenia says:

    10. When you arrive at the point when you are more fascinated by the person of Christ, than the doctrines around Him, you are much closer to holding right doctrine…<<<

    Amen and Amen.

  3. Jean says:

    “Perhaps the group should keep splitting until they find a group that believes the Scriptures…”

    That’s some shade!

  4. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    I’m having the nauseated feeling like before I paroled myself from SoCal, when I attended one CC much maligned by another, having to sneak around to have fellowship with guys I loved to avoid their sandbox-spat.
    It’s ironic though a peon like me (not really but the Nicolaitan mindset CCs foster) is saddened guys I served “under” can’t get along.
    It’s like a lot of marriages in the church we pretend aren’t happening.
    I wonder how much pretending God will allow us to get away with.

  5. covered says:

    Is it strange that before I go to bed on Sunday, I look forward to only 2 things when I get up on Monday. First, I get to spend my day off with my beautiful wife and second, I get to see what Michael thinks? I did keep my priorities straight at least 🙂

  6. Michael says:

    covered,

    You’re kind…and I know there’s a large gap between priority A and B… 🙂

  7. AA says:

    Covered,
    I believe you did keep your priorities straight and I have much the same thoughts come Monday along with “I wonder what Phil & Michael will be discussing on Calvin’s Corner “?

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I spend every day with my wife 24/7/365. The only time we are not together is when we drive to and from work in separate cars – and even then sometimes we are driving next to each other 🙂

    The car acts as our 15 min ‘cone of silence’

  9. Michael says:

    AA,

    Thank you…we’re talking about predators in the pulpit this week…

  10. John 20:29 says:

    not going to go into a long, drawn out comment – but i’m thinking the evil that is being aired here has gone on for a very long time in the churches, in the pews… it is evil, even demonic in many cases and reflects some things that God hates: insidious pride and the resulting lying tongues… this airing here on PhxP could have a very beneficial affect on the true Church…
    it seems clear to me that our Lord directed us to pray to be delivered from evil as we don’t seem able to stay clear of it on our own… keep praying

    point 5 – i can’t drink lukewarm coffee 🙂

  11. Steve Wright says:

    Tomorrow marks two weeks of silence since I sent my email to the CCA Council with a few questions.

    13 guys signing the last CCA letter. 14 days of silence.

    Even if a full QUARTER of the entire movement at once all wrote when I did, they could all be answered by just replying to 2 or 3 emails a day divided among our (ahem) leaders.

    If they can’t be bothered to respond to guys with 23 years in this movement and a track record at Costa Mesa….well, that might be pertinent information for pastors worldwide before responding to CCA’s encouragement to disassociate from Brian.

    And for the record, I know of several instances when people wrote to Chuck Smith, critically, and he responded to them personally by letter or by phone within the week.

  12. Mike says:

    When Martin Luther first experienced the fracturing that his movement had wrought and realized he would not be the last word to many that followed him, he decried that instead of 1 Pope, every man now claimed to be pope. Is this not further evidence of the problem within protestant Christianity in general and the idea of sola scriptura?

    Even Lutherans, Anglicans, and mainlines are backing away from what the early “sola scriptura”ers defined it as because of the schism upon schism it inevitably leads toward.

    The only surprise is that CC and affiliates lasted as long as it did, most only go on for 5-8 years with a founder thats alive. Once the face of leadership dies, the demise of an organization built on sands of man made doctrine and cult of personality is soon to follow.

  13. Ms, ODM says:

    Michael – Maybe you think about Calvary Chapel too much. I doubt such an obsession is good for you. Once you put your hand to the plow – don’t look back. When you look back you just make a crooked road. I think this is eating a hole in your heart.

  14. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    What’s eating a hole in my heart is watching so called Christian leaders (with the help of ODM’s) slander a brother with no cause and get away with it.
    It’s despicable and ungodly and I’m setting my face like flint against the whole lot.

  15. Jerod says:

    #1 It has barely spread to the pews. Where it has (yours truly) there are a lot of lessons to be learned about humility in discernment, airing disagreements and warnings in love.

    #2 The splits are needed. it will continue, imo, but not noticeably. Biblical doctrine, not pet doctrine, will be the wedge.

    #4 Chuck is dead and everyone needs to leave him buried.

    #8 Praying that God will strengthen your faith through your illness.

    #10 Not sure what you mean. Explain a bit?

  16. Bob Sweat says:

    Steve,

    Don’t hold your breath. Their lack of response should be all you need.

  17. Ms, ODM says:

    Michael- I’ve seen obsessions like this almost drive some people crazy. I’m sure I have more reason than you to hold such grudges against church leaders. If I were to vent, you’d get a mouthful. My three kids we raised in various Calvary Chapels are all adults who hate church. They love Jesus and the Bible, but none of them want to darken the doorway of anything called ‘church. They hate the hypocrisy and all the snobbery and being looked down upon because they wouldn’t be fit into anyone’s mold. Don’t get me started – I may start walking crooked if I do.

  18. Michael says:

    I see the pews raging all over Facebook about the matter…repeating the lies they’ve read.

    #10 is simple, but probably not your cup of tea.

    Focusing on the person and work of Christ doesn’t happen much when we’re arguing about the timing of the Rapture or whether women should be in ministry.

    When the focus is on Christ these things fade into their true priority…and some things become very clear.

  19. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    I don’t have any “grudges”.
    I have very deep convictions about what the church is and should be.

  20. Ms, ODM says:

    Please direct me to the church that does it right – I haven’t seen such a place yet.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    With regard to the CC situation, I find it heartbreaking. I think part of it has to do with CCCM being an “icon” of the movement. For the CC association, the separation of CCCM calls into question their own identity. Instead of looking at what might have caused the rift in the first place, it is far easier to go on the attack. Moreover, going on the attack becomes great cover for those who do not wish to have their motives and actions challenged.

    I’ve never found Christians attacking Christians attractive. It may “work” for a time, but eventually it will come back to to bite the attackers. It will be those who show love in this controversy who will be remembered…

  22. Michael says:

    The point isn’t whether one place is doing it right…the point is that there are biblical standards that we must try to follow.

  23. filbertz says:

    I have grudges. I have bitterness and baggage. I have San Andreas-sized faults and more failures than Carters has liver pills. When I read #8, I have a glint of hope.

  24. CostcoCal says:

    If it turns out that my kids hate church, even if they love Jesus, then I will absolutely look in the mirror on that one.

  25. Ms, ODM says:

    You people just don’t get it. Calvary Chapel as founded by Chuck Smith under the guidance of the Holy Spirit died with its founder. Let the people mourn over their loss without you adding to the pain. Brian B did not fill Chuck’s shoes – I doubt if anyone could. And his vision is a huge departure from the founder’s. Those who have walked lock-step with Chuck are understandably hurt. But you blasting at either side only pours salt on the wounds.

  26. covered says:

    Hey Steve, I agree with Bob @ #16, you got your answer. If they can’t respond to a pastor in good standing within a reasonable amount of time, how can they assist you in other ways? It looks like they are just hoping some celebrities join up to bring a bit of credibility to their cause. I must say that the lack recruits speaks volumes.

  27. Ms, ODM says:

    #24 – I have clean hands in the matter. They love Jesus because I shared God’s Word with them all their lives. Where’s your perfect church?

  28. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM,

    Since when does mourning give one the license to slander and accuse the brethren.
    The CCA is not in mourning…they are engaging in a pure,carnal, power play.

  29. Col46 says:

    Duane @21 – ” It will be those who show love in this controversy who will be remembered…”

    Amen, and Lord help us to love!

  30. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Bingo on the identity issue…and the cover.

  31. covered says:

    Ms, O, you appear to be a little rough on Costco. Not sure why you would come off like that. It’s my understanding that Costco Cal is a big proponent of grace. Can we have too much of that?

  32. John 20:29 says:

    FWIW
    i have to disagree with Ms. ODM as i read the comments here – this problem needs a good airing, it needs to be spotlighted as it is not confined to CCers… there’s a vast difference between clear thinking tempered by grace and good manners and pretending there is nothing that needs to be confronted

    not every comment will be wise and insightful, but as the threads progress here on the PhxP, i am often amazed at how the Holy Spirit works to give all a clearer view of Truth…
    and false – or distorted by emotions – thinking
    i learn and i grow reading everyone’s comments

  33. Michael says:

    “i learn and i grow reading everyone’s comments”

    Me too…that’s why we keep plugging away.

    Some folks, however, are not interested in learning…

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well if it is getting out to the pewsters then I would think that would force the hand of Steve Wright and some of his colleagues to call a church meeting to discuss this with the congregation – so continuing falsehoods do not spread.

    But I think this would be a good time to call a prophecy conference to distract everyone. 😉

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    #30
    Michael,
    Now comes the hard part… while not agreeing with their conduct, we even have to love the people mounting this attack – and that’s a tough one…
    I only know a few of them from back in the day, but I want to believe they are the same people that I once talked with as brothers. We need to call out the bad behavior, as you rightly have done, but I also want to make sure that my heart is in the right place…

  36. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    Let me explain a bit more about #10.
    My beloved Dr. Packer has a saying (I don’t know if it’s original with him) that says all theology must lead to doxology.

    Doctrinal study that doesn’t lead to greater worship and love of Christ is not worth much.

    For example… Duane recommended this book over the weekend.
    “The Gospel and the Catholic Church” by Michael Ramsey

    Now,,, I knew I would be challenged…Ramsey and Packer didn’t always get along.

    I think Jim thought Ramsey was too “liberal”.

    By the end of the first chapter I was once again enthralled by Christ…it’s a beautiful book.

    I recommend it most highly…because it’s theology led to doxology…

  37. Michael says:

    Duane,

    That’s a very difficult challenge for me…all I see is the devastation in their wake.

    Having said that…you’re right…and I need to take heed.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I spoke too soon So OC beat me to the idea; Feb 4th – mark your calendar – see you there or see you in the air. Oh, that was a classic from Isaac Airfreight

    http://www.according2prophecy.org/2017-CCT-Bible-Prophecy-Conference.html

  39. Michael says:

    Ms. ODM has unfriended me…again.

  40. CostcoCal says:

    Mrs ODM…my “perfect” church? What does that have to do with what I said?

  41. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, the vast majority (i.e. far greater than 50%) of the people at our church do not have the slightest clue about this infighting. Why call a meeting about what other churches and pastors are saying about each other that has nothing to do with us at this time?

    And anyone who might be interested is not intimidated or unable to come up to me and ask about it. I am more than available to the congregation.

    I shared Dave Rolph’s excellent remarks on my facebook, which were shared by others, and that is more than sufficient at this time.

    Meetings are time killers and rarely lead to anything substantial. I have them as little as possible and I sure am not going to call one about this mess.

  42. CostcoCal says:

    Pardon me…Ms. ODM

  43. Michael says:

    I think this is more of an issue with traditionalist CC churches.
    I saw one pastor give a full Sunday night to the matter…

  44. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Thrilled to hear your reaction to Michael Ramsey… and you’re right!

  45. Michael says:

    Duane,

    I haven’t finished it yet…but it’s already in my all time top 10…

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    Michael made it sound that now it s to the pew level it is tearing people apart. I knew you said earlier you weren’t going to say something but that was before it turned into this big deal.
    Is it a big deal yet? I can’t tell I only see it here and I don’t think any of my PP & CC FB friends have discussed it other than here.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    I wonder if Jesus ever got tired of being around the hypocrisy, snobbery and pride He was surrounded with constantly.

    And that’s just among the 12 disciples.

    I’m glad He did not use all that for an excuse to take His ball and go home, departing from the rest of us who need Him so desperately.

    Amazing how He would know all about us mortals, and still command us to worship together in community.

  48. Mike says:

    Ms. ODM,

    why are you certain the Chuck Smith himself was led by the Holy Spirit in the first place? There are successful organizations the world over, religious and secular that have excelled in one manner or another so that is no proof of being led Divinely

  49. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Like I said, I think it’s a much bigger deal in the old line churches.
    If pastors are forced to choose then it will be a much bigger deal everywhere…

  50. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I think a large number of the people who now go to our church have no idea what a Calvary Chapel is other than the name on our signs and bulletins.

  51. CostcoCal says:

    There was a time in which I believed the Calvary Chapel movement would have a large chapter in church history. That was a long time ago. I’m neither giddy nor sad about how things are playing out. It simply reminds me that life is short. And that Paul the Apostle was right on the mark when he said, “I am determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That is the hill to die on.

  52. Bob Sweat says:

    #50

    That is one of the things that troubled me during my 12 years in CC. Nobody appears to know much of anything. I find it quite refreshing that I know what is going on at my church as well as the overall denomination. Steve, I find it sad that a large number of people in your church have no idea what a CC is other than a bulletin.

  53. Xenia says:

    Come to my parish Ms ODM, it’s perfect.

    I get to partake of Christ in the Eucharist- what could be more perfect than that?
    I get to sing praises to the Lord: Perfection!
    I get to pray with my brothers and sisters in Christ: Perfection itself!
    I am forced to rub shoulders with difficult people which is exactly what I need- perfect for me.

    No matter how you look at it, I attend the perfect Church.

  54. Xenia says:

    That book Duane recommended and Michael is reading….

    I keep waiting for the author to wander off into something scandalous and titillating but he keeps zeroing in on Christ crucified.

  55. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, I find it sad that a large number of people in your church have no idea what a CC is other than a bulletin.
    ———————————————————————
    I find it refreshing.

    I spent a lot of years in Orange County when a new Calvary Chapel could hang up its shingle and get 200 people in a month that had been driving to other CCs and now “this one is closer”

    That ain’t what a church family to me is all about. And it gives me a confidence that the Lord is leading His sheep for His purposes when someone new shows up here. Sure, we get people who move here and look up the local CC because that is their background. That’s how I got here after all….But I’ve never been big on the whole brand/denomination mentality.

  56. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Isn’t that wonderful!
    I can’t believe I’ve never been exposed to this writer before…Packer was hiding him from me… 🙂

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    Chuck Smith failed the test of fatherhood and his children are playing out the consequences. A father tells his children who they are. A father leaves something for his children and clarifies it. A father sets order in his house. A father looks at the horizon not just the bylines.

    This mess is all on CS himself.

    Not saying I would havre done better. I certainly haven’t done as well. But ripping the kingdom apart is a sure sign that you are serving the wrong kingdom.

  58. covered says:

    Sobering words BD. Well done.

  59. Jerod says:

    Michael
    Ah, I see. I forget that most everything gets aired over the NSA’s operant conditioning program since I don’t use it. No, I don’t think I’m special for abstaining from Facebook

    just smarter 😉

    It is so important (and honestly y’all here helped me see it) that if we have to divide it should be as Paul and Barnabus did, save blatant heresy and false teaching. Brian made valid points at NWPC about some stuff, but I believe his solutions are jumping from the jelly to jam, no I’m not speaking of v x v. I am probably most in line with Ms, ODM, hoping to drop a nugget here and there for everybody to consider (however weak my theological acumen is 😉 )
    But, to Ms, ODM, it seems the point of all this emailing and “leaking” was to air it publicly, or to respond publicly once it had been revealed. Even the line of questioning at NWPC was pretty leading. This is a direction that BB has intended to go and he is making his move, ecumenizing, globalizing. I have a problem with that but CCA seems to be on the same branch, for all intents and purposes. What seems to be getting passed over are the people who need the gospel nearest the locales wanting to increase their field. It’s like the hospital, police station, and Calvary in my town. Those parts of town are the worst parts to live in.

    # 10, what if it’s backwards? The only way to know Christ is through the Holy Spirit illuminating his commands and prayer. John 14 How do we know truth about Christ if we have poor doctrine?
    Faith has to start in the heart, but our minds will be transformed by the Apostle’s doctrine. What do you think?

  60. Babylon's Dread says:

    Bible/evangelical churches have prophecy conferences
    Charismatics have prophets giving words for the new year
    Their results are about the same.

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    Don’t you feel compelled at all to inform your congregation of things they do not know but could affect them down the road or about something that could blindside them?

    The quietness of CC (I won’t call it secrecy) has always bothered me. I remember when I was at CCCM for about 4 – 5 years, the guy who led worship – I never knew his name (I know, a modesty / humility thing) until one day I found myself running my ministry under him at Ocean Hills. It was Holland Davis – and I told him how strange it was that the only person’s name you knew was the senior pastor.

    At Ocean Hills before it was a CC had pictures of the pastors and elders in the narthex so you could recognize a leadership person if you needed help or had question.

  62. Michael says:

    “Bible/evangelical churches have prophecy conferences
    Charismatics have prophets giving words for the new year
    Their results are about the same.”

    That was rich… 🙂

  63. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    Have you actually ever listed to BB teach?
    It’s Calvary Chapel to the core…there isn’t a nickels worth of difference between him and most CC guys I’ve heard.

    “How do we know truth about Christ if we have poor doctrine?”

    Almost everyone on this site has disagreements with everyone else on doctrine…some of those differences are significant.

    Having said that, I expect to either greet or be greeted by everyone here when I get home.

    I’m a Calvinist Anglican wannabe… and I fellowship with joy with my Lutheran, EO, Baptist, and CC brethren.

    We know the same Christ…and that covers a multitude of error and sin.

  64. covered says:

    Steve,
    Don’t you feel compelled at all to inform your congregation of things they do not know but could affect them down the road or about something that could blindside them?
    _________________________________________________________________________

    MLD, it sounds to me as if the folks at Steve’s church don’t care. I can certainly understand that if Steve is bent on teaching the Word and shepherding the flock rather than telling CS stories and always attending conferences etc.
    The church I pastor is the result of a CC split and I have rarely heard anyone discuss or ask if or why we aren’t a CC. Like Steve says, it just doesn’t matter to them.

  65. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, if you or anyone else could tell me how “this” could effect the people “down the road” then I am all ears. I have said before and say again, people are facing life and death medical needs, crippling financial problems, family splits and on and on I could go.

    At present there are 16 different pictures on our website of various leaders.

    We have ushers, prayer leaders, there at each service, clearly visible. Names and contact info in the bulletin.

    I don’t buy what your are selling. If you wanted to know the name of the worship leader, why on earth did you not go up to him and ask him? It reeks too much of the same old “nobody was friendly at that church” when uttered by someone who walks in, sits down and leaves without dreaming of actually putting out their own hand first.

    Maybe I should be like Robert Plant and go around the room each service and say “Jimmy Page on guitar!..on bass, John Paul Jones…John Bonham on drums!”

  66. Steve Wright says:

    but could affect them down the road
    ————————————–
    As an aside, for someone like MLD who takes shots at prophecy conferences whenever he can, it is rather rich to hear advice that we need to tell people NOW, what MIGHT happen some indefinite time “down the road”

    You could sideline for Missler with that MO.

  67. Erunner says:

    5. I have had maybe one sip of coffee in my life. The smell of it is unbearable for me. How’s that for being a contrarian?? 🙂

    6. I’m not sure what masculine Christianity is. The one person I know who might be described that way has served three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He received the Purple Heart for being a hero under fire. He’s out of the Marines now due to the injuries he suffered. Me? My daughter beats me in arm wrestling!

    7. This is my favorite time of year. I wish strangers Merry Christmas and try to be a kind voice to them. Goodness knows there are many who are struggling right now. I could do away with the commercialization though but it’s not going anywhere.

    8. I couldn’t agree more. It’s the personal aspect of me that I must be concerned about. God knows my many weaknesses and every sin I commit yet He loves me unconditionally. We love Him though we’ve never seen Him. Imagine that for a bit. He’s more than enough if we allow Him to be.

    9. Yes. I saw kids ringing the bell yesterday while there mother had stepped away. It was like seeing children running carefree in the sanctuary.

    10. When you arrive at the point when you are more fascinated by the person of Christ, than the doctrines around Him, you are much closer to holding right doctrine… There’s so much there in what you stated. Thanks.

  68. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Steve

    How dare you even write these guys a letter? How dare you then proceed to request answers, seek clarity to their positions or hold them “accountable” to the facts? As “leaders,” they are above criticism. You should know that. The fact you question shows you to be divisive, insubordinate and spiritually rebellious.

    I have talked with a few dozen CC pastors, the majority of whom wrote like you did. Same lack of response. Amazed that Don couldn’t write a letter. I’d help if he asked.

    Charitably one might identify this behavior as arrogant, inconsiderate, or both. Critically, one could say their behavior and ways are emblematic of cult behavior…and this from a person who lived in one of the great American cults of the last century.

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, it’s not a “what might happen” but it seems to be a “what is now happening”

  70. Michael says:

    Sheck,

    That’s exactly the response some have gotten…no answers, just a simple get in or get out.

  71. Steve Wright says:

    about something that could blindside them?
    ————————————————————-
    Final Thought

    That ache that won’t go away. Turns out after some testing to be pervasive cancer with a 6 month prognosis until death.

    Blindsided.

    That spouse of 30 years comes home one day and announces the marriage is over and is moving out.

    Blindsided.

    That late night phone call is from the police, sorry to report that there has been an accident and your child was killed in a head-on collision.

    Blindsided.

    A typical Friday starts out with a call to the boss saying that despite your 15 years with the company (and your mortgage and 3 kids to support) that you are being let go.

    Blindsided.

    As a pastor who makes every effort to stay in the trenches and do the work of ministry, even if it consists only of “weeping with those who weep” I want to repeat I find it the height of lunacy to think that Christians in the seats of a Calvary Chapel can be blindsided by news that their pastor no longer is having lunches and going to conferences with a certain group of other pastors and will only have the church name on one website locator instead of two. (And that assumes THAT will even happen one day if an either/or choice is forced upon us)

    Madness.

  72. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    Good stuff, my friend…

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, I didn’t care who he was – it was no big deal. But when he was brought on board at Ocean Hills, it hit me as odd at our first business planning meeting that I never knew his name. But that may be my fault for not being a groupie and not recognizing a platinum record winner – which was quite impressive when I saw them in his office.

    It was obvious as our church transformed from a community church to a Calvary Chapel (when Skip came to OH) that he did not want anyone to know anyone’s name but his either when he had the lobby pictures removed.

    But I guess what goes around comes around as I now see it working all over CCA as they keep even 23 yr veterans in the dark and don’t address their concerns. That dark silence seems to run both ways in CC.

  74. Erunner says:

    Thanks Michael.

  75. Rob says:

    Secrecy? Elite leadership? Am I the only person thinking “what a creepy little cult”?

  76. Jerod says:

    I have listened to BB teach

    You’re right, save where he says he’s ecumenical, and wants to tone down prophecy and considers the whole counsel of God to be less than the whole Bible. Is that classic CC Distinctives? Not from what I read. I’m not sure about how he actually feels about women in the pulpit, heard a lot of hype, not looked into the whole matter.

    As a teacher I think he’s… Okay.

  77. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia

    This is just for you… don’t tell anybody else!
    http://anglicanhistory.org/amramsey/constantinople1962.html

  78. Michael says:

    Jerod,
    What’s the opposite of “ecumenical”?

  79. Jerod says:

    Concerning interfaith

    Truthful

    Concerning intrafaith

    Clear

  80. pstrmike says:

    just getting caught up on this on.

    @21 Dr. Duane nailed it

  81. Anon says:

    What’s the opposite of “ecumenical”

    That would be sectarian. Sects believe only they have the truth. Others be damned. A whole lot of black-and-white thinking goes on.

    Sects are often where cults get started.

  82. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    That made no sense at all.

    You claim Brodersen is ecumenical…and that he is in error.

    Who has this pristine doctrine you advocate for and who is in error?

  83. CostcoCal says:

    #79…Jerod, you had quite the anchovies on your sub sandwich.

  84. Erunner says:

    Just finished watching the first episode of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.” I highly recommend it to everyone. It airs on A&E and the two episodes that have already aired are available.

    I’ve heard the word cult tossed about when describing CC. Having been on the blog for so long it saddens me to say there have been cult like actions by some within CC. The results have been seen here for years by those who were terribly hurt.

    I’ve seen stuff on Scientology before and have read about the lengths the Mormon Church has gone to to keep things gussied up. Any study of these groups and Christianity dispels the notion all roads lead to God. Two plus two doesn’t equal 4,5,6,7, etc.

    As I watched my stomach sank as the story unfolded of some who got out of Scientology and the lengths they go to in order to ruin your life. Allegedly.

    On one hand I was thrilled to see people get out of such a wicked organization but realized they could get out and still be lost.

    As believers I’m sure we all have loved ones who are in a cult or have denounced/walked away from Christianity.

    Seeing something like I just viewed is tough. Your heart breaks for those involved. People go from being lost to still being lost when they escape the clutches of a cult. You so want them to come to Christ and know the one who will never leave or forsake you.

    I think people shouldn’t use the word cult in describing CC. It takes away from what a real cult is. It reminds me a bit of the way the term Nazi has been used towards Trump and his supporters. It trivializes the horrors the Nazis were responsible for.

    Pastors and leaders should see something like what I just saw to get an idea of what has slipped into some of our churches. It’s to our shame.

    Coming out of the world and living a life that truly glorifies Christ is something the devil wants to see abolished. Sadly in some cases he’s had his way. If interested you can follow the link below to watch an episode.

    http://www.aetv.com/shows/leah-remini-scientology-and-the-aftermath?gclid=Cj0KEQiAsrnCBRCTs7nqwrm6pcYBEiQAcQSznInxXSyECFX5xkLhtaRbxz8HFHF1QrZd4wDT-wDKwZYaAjeI8P8HAQ&&mkwid=s0mzvhlZ2|dc_pcrid_165409007039_pkw_leah%20remini_pmt_e&utm_source=&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=leah%20remini&utm_campaign=&paidlink=1&cmpid=PaidSearch___leah%20remini&ef_id=WEhMmAAAAYSz1tPn:20161213035640:s

  85. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Duane!

  86. Xenia says:

    Now that I’ve read it, double thanks!

  87. Jerod says:

    Well, its easy really. Inter- means between and intra- means within. I don’t claim it; BB said he’s ecumenical.
    It is error. Ecumenism lays truth alongside error; e.g., though Christ is clear about his body and blood, Courson wonders if it’s just a matter of having enough faith to believe in transubstantion. Ecumenism lies about the realities of unifying with those other faiths within nominal Christendom (RCC, Mormons, JW’s, Prosperity). It must gloss over the truth by laying alongside it pretexts of non criticality ignoring that God plainly says our faith is critical to maintain purity of doctrine and protection of the Sheep. Ecumenism equates love to tolerance instead of agapé being willing to speak the truth in love and suffer the consequences. This is all over the Bible but most plainly in John 4 and Ezra 4 – respectively, that apathetic shrug of, “Well, God’ll sort it out in the end” and “We worship the same God as you do”. No we don’t and yes, He will. On the right and the left.

    No Anon, that’s not Sectarianism that is the word of God saying over and over in typology and out of the mouth of God in the flesh, “You don’t know what you’re talking about” John 4:22

    But what is the truth underneath the ecumenical veneer? In these times people, especially youth, are falling for the temptation of self deception that they can be as God. Our churches are dying, because our kids are leaving, and all ecumenism does is raise more questions than it answers as they walk out.
    Ecumenism makes a hagiography of the Bible, exemplified by BB’s worrisome statements about the whole counsel of God. Perhaps for him they are not related, but for Satan that’s a ledge on which to camp. What takes the place of God’s inspired books left out of a teaching curriculum?
    Ecumenism is a wide wide road that smells of sulfur.

    It is incredible that choosing to take God at his word seriously is now sectarianism.

    Going to get trampolines for the bombs I am anticipating…

  88. Jerod says:

    CostcoCal I don’t know what that means but it is probably kinda funny at my expense and I appreciate it. 🙂

    No one has the pristine doctrine Mr. Alinsky and I’ll burn that strawman down.

  89. Michael says:

    Jerod,

    Who determines error?
    You?
    Calvary Chapel?
    The hillbilly answer is “the Bible”…which virtually every Christian group claims to base their doctrine on.
    We all base our doctrines on our best understanding of the Bible.
    You bring up the Eucharist, which you claim the Bible is “clear” about.
    To most of the very earliest church and the vast majority of Christians of all time, it is clearly the body and blood of Christ.
    That’s not a “Roman Catholic” doctrine, it’s the historic doctrine of the church.
    By what authority is your particular sects interpretation the correct one?
    Have you ever read for example, a Lutheran defense of their view?
    It is utterly biblical…just like many others.
    Who has maintained doctrinal purity in your schema?
    Name them and their authority that we can all be pure….
    Your statements about ecumenicism are laughable and sad…ecumenicism simply recognizes the work of God in all the places He is and has the humility to recognize that we all have error and truth in mixed measure.

    Finally, Brodersen never said we leave out any book, nor has he left out any book…that’s just a cheap lie to keep people like you spewing venom.

    My guess is that you have never read a standard seminary level church history book…it would enlighten you greatly if you did.

  90. Steve Wright says:

    How does one lump prosperity teachers, Roman Catholics, and Mormons & JWs?

  91. Michael says:

    Steve,

    What he’s saying is ‘everybody but us”…whoever his “us” is…

  92. Anon says:

    Jerod,

    You obviously live in a very tight bubble.

    I hope you and the other 11 “true believers” never have to step outside it.

  93. Jerod says:

    Well, I did stay at a Holiday Inn

    Steve Wright
    Interfaith ecumenism. Perhaps you missed Anglican Bishop Palmer, Copeland and the Pope declare the reformation over? That’s how.

    Michael –
    Again, same retort. I am not claiming doctrinal superiority. The scriptures are clear though. The flesh profits nothing. Strawman again.

    I have posted BB’s quotes numerous times. He’s not even the issue just a symptom of it.

    No, I haven’t. I have stated numerous times I am not a seminary student or theologian and you have been sweet enough to claim authority over my opinion based on what? Your example of theological acumen is an interpretation of a book which is an interpretation of Luther who went all the way back to Augustine, who used the , Vulgate? Itself an interpretation and mistaken in places from the original tongues.

    Now if you want to prove me wrong with something from the Bible that you don’t have to pilfer from another source, I’m game. I haven’t been exposed to all the sources you have so, sorry, you’ll have to come down from that horse and use the inspired texts.
    I am a pretty good behaviorist, though. So as long as you’re getting all personal and stuff : I do know that reinforced behavior will repeat itself with more intensity and frequency. Men with large platforms have a hard time getting off the stage when their person is given such praise. The probability is that, given his assets and platform and networking with NAR and his stated ecumenism, BB will sway ever more progressively taking CCCM along, save intervention by the Holy Spirit. You will sway even more progressively, save the same. I’m sure you know that over 30% of mainline denoms, and fifty percent of Methodists themselves, deny the Virgin Birth and Physical Resurrection of Christ Jesus? Where do you fall on those issues?

    Why is everyone so reluctant to back up their opinion with scripture?

    Steve, can you show me ecumenism in the Bible? I’ll shut up about it if you (or anyone) can shut me up from the Bible.

    God can work in every place, any place. People can get saved in EO, RCC and get out. People can get saved in liberal ecumenical supersessionist churches, and get out. Not saying any of your readers or yourself fall in that category or anything…

    So far the best arguments I’ve encountered here are: You’re not a seminary student, not a pastor, stupid, laughable. Wow. Swinging for the fences!

  94. Jean says:

    I may be wrong, but I assume Michael and Jerod are using the term ecumenism differently.

    Whereas Jerod is talking about it in the context of a church or body of associated churches who claim (or would like to claim) a unity of certain doctrinal distinctives, Michael uses the term to describe an online community with diverse Christian beliefs which all fall within historic orthodoxy (small “o”).

    I don’t think ecumenism works inside a church setting, where only confusion would reign, but in a social media setting ecumenism can work very well as a sounding board for ideas, discussion and even debate among “mature” Christians would desire to grow, learn and help others grow and learn.

    So, when it comes to inside the church, I would tend to agree with Jerod’s position on ecumenism in general, but since I don’t know any of the individuals who are accused of being ecumenical or what the perceived error is, I won’t stand behind the specifics of Jerod’s accusations.

    I joined the LCMS Lutherans precisely because I wanted a dependable and biblical communion of believers with accountable and professionally trained clergy with whom and under whom to live my Christian life. The last thing I want is a sort of salad bowl buffet of theological options and choices when I enter the church.

    But, Michael also makes a valid point: Just because two churches or people claim to hold to sola scriptura doesn’t mean they won’t have significant differences on major doctrinal issues. This is because the term “sola scriptura” for many people is either actually “solo scriptura” or their presuppositions cloud their interpretation. These differences may prevent full communion, but outside of the sanctuary, these folks can still walk together as brothers and sisters in Christ as friends or in promotion of common interests such as right to life, defense of religious liberty, etc.

  95. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t think that Jerod understands that he practices ecumenism in the most holy way. Everytime he communes at a worship hall that has open communion, he is saying by the very act that he is in communion with all who are there.

    If the Roman Catholic mother shows up with here evangelical son (especially of the CCA type) he is saying that he is in communion with Roman Catholics. The same is true if a Saddleback Sam shows up – Jerod is granting that he is in communion with Rick Warren.

    As I know it is with many here – disgusting the thought of roping off the table – if a Mormon or JW partakes as the plates are passed around unsupervised, then Jerod is saying that he is in communion with Mormons and JWs.

    As is everyone who practices unsupervised and open communion.

  96. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, that’s why, in a lage service where all are not known, you warn and remind that God is not mocked. Assuming you think God is able to handle such things…He seemed to be at Corinth.

  97. Steve Wright says:

    Jarod, from Scripture you ask? I think you are a living example of the opening to 1 Corinthians and would suggest you get out and circulate more to see what real enemies of Christ, haters of Scripture, look and act like in the real world.

  98. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m sorry, as I don’t want to be contentious here, but I think we’re comparing apples and oranges. Does anyone here really believe that CCCM is going to institute the Holy Eucharist on a weekly basis with the sacramental theology that such a move would involve? I think not…
    LCMS, ELCA (some), the Episcopal Church (some), ACNA, Eastern Orthodoxy, RCs, etc. are wholly different from mainstream evangelicals in history, approach and, in most cases, their emphasis on the centrality of the Eucharist. Reading some of the comments, here and elsewhere, one would think that BB is preparing to don an alb and chasuble any moment!

    Having an appreciation for other traditions does not make one a thorough going ecumenist, no more that hanging an icon on your wall makes you Eastern Orthodox. I might add that simply sitting on a platform with someone from another tradition, does not mean that you have embraced that tradition…

  99. Xenia says:

    I’ve listened to the Chuck Tapes 2x and sat through 20 years of CC sermons and I can tell you that a large chunk of time was given over to crude criticisms of “everyone but us.” I say crude because the criticisms weren’t careful, thoughtful comparisons of theology but more of the “Vain traditions of men” complaint with no understanding that other groups, too, read and attempt to follow the Scriptures. Zero understanding of the 2000 years of history and its tradition that some groups still exemplified and various ways.

    If Pastor Brian B. is moving away from this knee-jerk brittleness, if he is able to look outside the CC bubble and observe the fact that other Christians might just be genuine Christians after all, God bless him. If that is “ecumenism,” let’s have more of it.

    Within a Church, there should be doctrinal consistency, of course.

  100. Xenia says:

    Dear Jerod,

    You said, “The scriptures are clear though.”

    But they are not. If they were clear, there would only be One True Church instead of the hundreds of fragments we see today, each believing they have cornered the market on the clear truth of the Scriptures. Each group believing the Holy Spirit is talking to them in an especially clear way. So what’s up with that? Is the Holy Spirit telling one group one thing and capriciously telling another group something else? Is He telling one group that Predestination is true but another group that Free Will is the truth? How can you trust a Holy Spirit Who acts like that? How can you trust God if you can’t even count on Him to tell His people the truth about what the Scriptures say?

    Your system of determining what the Scriptures say and therefore, what God requires of us is faulty because it does not work.

    God must have a different plan for us.

    And He does.

  101. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, what is a “CC sermon” – you’ve shared your old (unnamed) CC pastor’s perspective and I have often stated that not only do I disagree, but Chuck would disagree. How many of those 20 years were sitting under Chuck himself? You mention “the tapes” – which ones. The through the Bible series do not contain one single Sunday morning message.

    I have heard Chuck say, many many times, that he thanked God for the different churches out there in the larger body of Christ. Of course, he thought he was “doing church right” just like you guys think you are. Just like I think and hope we are.

    We had the recent testimony of Dave Rolph on this matter as well, very clear, very direct.

    We have Chuck’s own WORDS from the opening to The Distinctives booklet. ” Now, God loves everyone. He loves the highly emotional and He loves the
    dull and unemotional. In the same way, wanting all men to be able to relate to
    Him, God created a wide variety of churches. Some churches appeal to those
    who are very emotional in their nature while others appeal to a more staid and
    formal personality. God, desiring to reach and bless all kinds of people, seems to
    enjoy having a wide variety of churches so that everybody’s needs might be met,
    from the highly emotional to the very formal, and all those in between. Each of
    us has a part to play in God’s plan, but we all need to know where we fit in this
    wide spectrum. That is why it’s crucial for us to grasp what we call the Calvary
    Chapel Distinctives. As we see what makes our fellowship unique, we will also
    come to better understand our position in the body of Christ.”

    again….that is in The Distinctives, in print. Versus “I used to hear Chuck say…” stuff.

    Hagiography is one thing…but so is misrepresenting a dead servant of God. Or lumping him in by name with one’s personal (and annoymous) prior pastor from whom one’s personal dissatisfaction and separation took place.

  102. Duane Arnold says:

    #99 Xenia,

    I have enormous respect and regard for Chuck, but he was a man of his time and came from his own tradition. Thankfully, he was able to overcome some of what he carried to do a great work, but much of what he carried was still there. It does not diminish my regard for him. He was, in the main, a good man… but a man nonetheless with his own faults and shortcomings… as with us all, I might add.

  103. Xenia says:

    My pastor will remain “un-named” out of respect. He is a good man who has served the Lord faithfully all his adult life and I have no intention of bringing up his name here. I no longer agree with much of what he taught or his attitude towards other groups of Christians but he is a good man of God and at the end of his life he will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” He outshines me as a Christian in every way.

    The tapes I heard were Church’s 5000 series which I listened to for Bible College.

  104. Xenia says:

    *My former pastor, that is.

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    You need to overcome your flaw of thinking all posts are written to you or about you.
    The point of my #95 was to direct Jerod to the fact if he is so against ecumenism, as he clearly states, then he should be demanding that his church practice closed (better known as close) communion – so that he does not run amuck into error.

    To give warning really doesn’t mean anything to the Mormon / JW who genuinely thinks of himself as a good Christian – they are still at your table. I know in your case you do not personally serve the bread and wine to the congregation, but if you were in a small setting and did and a well known Mormon came up with his hand out, would you serve him?

  106. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, to your #98;
    Which would you find more shocking – that CCCM (or any CC) would institute a supper with a sacramental theology or that they would institute a weekly supper? 😉

  107. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, the point about anonymity is twofold.

    Your respect does not preclude you over the years from launching many a criticism his way, which of course he is unable to respond to with his clarification or point of view. In protecting him, out of respect, instead you consistently use such examples to tarnish ALL Calvary Chapel pastors and teaching, or even larger evangelicalism in the whole. (Which, in this forum, often leads me to respond in an attempt to even the record – but I can’t (and won’t) argue with one’s experiences, can I. Especially when one can’t pick up the phone and ask him.

    Maybe when you are trashed online by someone who is readily believed by others wanting to believe the worst and refuse to pick up a phone and ask you (or your church leadership) what really happened…you will understand my chafing to the tactic.

    Secondly, by not knowing who he is, we have no idea his relationship to Chuck Smith at all. He could have learned his tactics sitting under one of the men on the council for all we know. The same ones trashing Brian now.

    Personally, I think the greater respect is to criticize by name to one’s face (or at least inbox) if warranted and profitable…or just stay silent.

    Someone else can do the Bible study on the godliness of anonymous criticism and borderline false witness and slander of a deceased servant of God. I’ve got to run.

  108. Duane Arnold says:

    #106

    MLD, I think many evangelicals are closer to sacramental theology than we credit… if either ever took place, I would be pleasantly surprised, but not entirely shocked.

    Here in Indy, a couple decades back, a whole evangelical congregation was received by the Orthodox…

  109. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – No, I would not serve a known Mormon.

    May I remind you that the LCMS served me when I was not only not a Lutheran, but most likely not even born again yet. Back in early 1993.

    So your protections might need a software upgrade… 🙂

  110. Xenia says:

    Duane, was that Fr. Peter Gilquist and his folk?

  111. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    But we would say that LCMS church was wrong and that they are not practicing closed communion. But they are wrong and going against the stated confessions — even their own. Yours however is a matter of common practice.

    So, would you be like the soup nazi on Seinfeld? No Communion For You!! 🙂

  112. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane,
    “I think many evangelicals are closer to sacramental theology than we credit…”

    If there is one that would be more than I credit.

  113. Xenia says:

    It took about 2 seconds to flip me to the sacramental view.

  114. Duane Arnold says:

    #110

    Yes… and by the way, it was the choir from that group who sang on John Michael Talbot’s, ‘The Lord’s Supper’…

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But I would hope everyone would agree that if you are going to participate in an open communion setting, that you are stating that you are communing with all the different Christian groups whether you agree with them or not and therefore should have no problems with ecumenism – least of all sharing the pulpit.

  116. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    You need to get out more, my friend! I could give you lists of people…

  117. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, by your own example, the church adopted communion as sacramental (which has a specific meaning) and felt obliged to leave their evangelical founding behind.

  118. Duane Arnold says:

    #117 And there are many, many more on a similar journey…

  119. Duane Arnold says:

    #117 I should have added, most of us don’t leave our evangelical founding behind… We take it with us…

  120. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, and that is my point – sacramental theology and evangelicalism are like oil and water and you cannot hang on to both – one will give way to the other. They will either give up their evangelical theology / practice or they will give up the sacrament.

    In holding to the supper as a sacrament vs an ordinance does not only affect your theology of the supper – there are enormous changes that must take place to your Christology … major changes.

  121. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    My #120 was before your #119

  122. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    What do you have to give up in evangelical practice or theology to embrace sacramental theology? “Ordinance” is denominational nomenclature. I can still hold to “conversion” and not have it opposed to baptism (think John Wesley or Ignatius Loyola). Francis of Assisi actually held “altar calls” or “calls to conversion” in public settings. I do not leave behind “Grace alone”. I do not leave behind the forgiveness of sins. Sacramental theology, in my mind, actually enhances evangelical practice and theology…

  123. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Actually you do need to give up your traditional altar call and make the supper become your altar call.

    But first the evangelical church needs to come up with an altar. 😉

  124. Duane Arnold says:

    Exactly. By the way, as I remember, in C.F.W. Walther’s ‘Compendium of Positive Theology’, his section on Regeneration and Conversion reads as though it could have been written by a Calvary Chapel pastor… just saying…

  125. Jean says:

    How can an altar call work alongside biblical baptism?

    Altar call: unbiblical; the person becoming his own means of God’s grace; a manmade work.

    Baptism: biblical; God delivering His grace to the person, who receives the grace through the word and water.

  126. Josh the Baptist says:

    All biblical baptisms were believer’s baptisms.

  127. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – I don’t think you will find this from a CC Pastor.
    6. The principal efficient cause of regeneration is the triune God.

    7. The internal impulsive cause is the mercy of God.

    8. The external and meritorious impulsive cause is Christ the
    mediator.

    9. The lesser principal efficient cause are words, baptism, and in
    his ways also the same ministers of the church.

  128. Duane Arnold says:

    “Altar call” is, of course, 19th century terminology. “Repent and be baptized” is, of course, biblical…

  129. Duane Arnold says:

    #127 I’ve heard all but No. 9 from CC pastors (one occasionally comments in threads on this blog)… As to No. 9, if you said “preaching to call people to repentance, offering them the opportunity to be baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we will stand with you in Bible Study and counsel”… I’ve heard that as well from CC pastors…

  130. Erunner says:

    I responded to an altar call and was soundly saved as a result.

  131. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – no one ever said that CC pastors aren’t right on some things.
    It’s not what we confess that is as important as what we deny.

    And #9 is a big deal – does God use physical means to save people?

    Another thing – the repentance is not separated from the baptism as your #129 seems to suggest. It is repent AND be baaptized – as in (Repentance and Baptism) one act. – not repentance and then we will offer you the opportunity…

  132. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    e,
    “I responded to an altar call and was soundly saved as a result.”

    No, you were saved before your butt left the seat.

  133. Xenia says:

    I don’t like the emotional, manipulative altar calls of my youth but I can’t really find any fault in, after preaching the Gospel to a mixed crowd, asking if anyone would like to be baptized and if so, come on up and we’ll talk.

    This isn’t something that would normally take place at a liturgical service, though. Maybe at a soup kitchen or a lecture or some open air preaching- anywhere where people need to hear the Gospel.

  134. Duane Arnold says:

    #131

    Ah, here we might actually have a difference. I think we are usually more correct in what we affirm than in what we deny.

    I think it tends to be the “zeal of the convert” to turn over all that came before – especially in matters of faith. I am more of the school that hopes to integrate what I have learned and experienced as I believe God is the one who leads each of us in our journey of faith. Of course, I can only speak for myself…

  135. Josh the Baptist says:

    “not repentance and then we will offer you the opportunity…”

    Also, not sprinkle you and then hope that one day you repent.

  136. Xenia says:

    We are to live a life of repentance. We repent every day.

  137. Josh the Baptist says:

    I agree with Xenia’s 136.

    Mld say we don’t repent. He says God repents us.

  138. Jean says:

    This is what the SBC teaches:

    “Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? Let’s review what this commitment involves:

    I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior – this is to repent or turn away from sin

    I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead – this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins

    I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God – this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

    I receive Jesus as my Savior forever – this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised”

    Can anyone here honestly say they’ve done all of this?

  139. Jean says:

    2nd question regarding my #138, is that what the Bible teaches for making disciples?

  140. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – you must be one of those who thinks we repent – instead of it is God who repents us.

    We pray for God to turn us – and that is what he does in baptism — even to the ones who are little.

  141. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Can anyone here honestly say they’ve done all of this?”

    Yes, 100% absolutely.

  142. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    hey Josh – I was typing what you just said I say – I am glad you pay attention.

    Let me ask this – is it more important that I repent or that God has repented – when he turn his wrath away from me?

  143. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – you must think Peter was actually preaching to God in Acts 2.

  144. Michael says:

    I’m late to this party in an effort to avoid being a jerk, but we’ll see how this goes.

    Jean is correct, both Jerod and I are using the term “ecumenical” in a different sense.

    I love what Xenia said here and it defines my place on the matter;

    “If Pastor Brian B. is moving away from this knee-jerk brittleness, if he is able to look outside the CC bubble and observe the fact that other Christians might just be genuine Christians after all, God bless him. If that is “ecumenism,” let’s have more of it.”

    After living my life in or around the church and being a pastor for over two decades, I still learn something new about the faith on a continual basis.
    I still get thrilled when I find a book that gives me a different perspective on how to think about Jesus and the faith once delivered.
    I, in no way, think I have it all down…everything but the early creeds and confessions is written in pencil.
    My attraction to Anglicanism is not just the history of the group, but the freedom to think broadly and deeply and maybe even contrarily to others in the group and still be part of the same historic sect.
    I’ve learned from almost everyone here.
    I’ve put Lutherans in high profile here, not because I’m a Lutheran, but because they are laser centered on Christ and the Gospel.
    The good things they bring in abundance are more important to me than our differences.
    Such is the case with my outlook with most here.
    I believe there are “genuine” Christians in all orthodox sects and I rejoice that they know Christ.

  145. Josh the Baptist says:

    Any philosophical way you want to twist, Jean called it “biblical baptism”. No biblical examples of babies baptized. Sorry.

  146. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh,
    “Also, not sprinkle you and then hope that one day you repent.”

    So since your baptism you no longer repent? So what makes you different from the infant who is baptized and continually repents afterwards.

    Look, you are a free willer – so you hold that anyone can just repent – that it does not require that God first turns you (repents you). In SBC the person is the actor in salvation – the person drives the verbs.

    In Lutheranism, and I will take the hit that we are different than others – God is the sole actor.in salvation – God repents us, God justifies us, God sanctifies us and God glorifies us. We Lutherans are a weird bunch to believe that stuff.

  147. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Look, you are a free willer – so you hold that anyone can just repent – that it does not require that God first turns you (repents you). In SBC the person is the actor in salvation – the person drives the verbs.”

    Incorrect.

    But I was just pointing out that Jean’s “Biblical baptism” is not actually from the bible, but from tradition.

  148. Jean says:

    Josh,

    You wrote:

    “’Can anyone here honestly say they’ve done all of this?’
    Yes, 100% absolutely.”

    I will confess that when I review the Sermon on the Mount I find personally that I fail miserably every day at surrendering control of my life to Jesus.

  149. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Which part of “for all your household (infants are a part of households) and go and baptize all nations (infants are part of all nations).

    Without God’s intervention, how can an adult possibly believe? What ever change God enacts in an adult, why do you say he does enact the same in an infant?

  150. Jean says:

    “But I was just pointing out that Jean’s “Biblical baptism” is not actually from the bible, but from tradition.”

    Does Matthew 28:19 place any age restrictions on making disciples?

  151. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Which part of “for all your household (infants are a part of households) and go and baptize all nations (infants are part of all nations).”

    Meant to say Which part of “for all your household (infants are a part of households) and go and baptize all nations (infants are part of all nations) don’t you understand – or refuse to believe?

  152. Michael says:

    Now, as to Jerod…

    Historically, I do not interact well with people who have his particular ecclesiastical and theological outlook.
    My gut reaction is to mock and ridicule them and thus fall into sin myself.
    I’m not good, but thankfully, I’m redeemed.
    Anyway, I’m not going to engage him any farther until I can treat him with the same respect I try to give to those whose views I respect.
    It could be a while…

  153. Duane Arnold says:

    Well, shall we toss Augustine into the mix… “It is not the lack of baptism but the contempt for it that damns.”

    Yes, God is the prime motivator in all the actions of faith and the sacraments are not only “signs” of grace, but “means” of grace as well. That being said, God is God and he brings his grace to us in ways we will never fully comprehend…

  154. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh –
    “Incorrect.”

    So did you repent or did God repent you?

  155. Michael says:

    Duane,

    #153…well said…

  156. Jean says:

    Duane,

    Thank you for citing the Fathers as well as various traditions. You are really enriching the conversations here. 🙂

  157. Em ... again says:

    random thoughts as i’ve read the thread this morning…
    – when one accuses an anonymous person of anything, all one has done is to expose one’s own opinions/bias – good or bad
    – to denigrate all altar calls is to demonstrate ignorance… was erunner saved “before his butt left the seat?” might have been the beginning, but he was born again when he publicly declared himself a sinner in need of a savior … response to an altar call isn’t the only path to be born into the Kingdom, but it is a glorious way to do so
    – if one must repent and be baptized, then it does take some theological calisthenics to baptize one’s infant into eternal salvation and because i do know a Christian or two who were only subjected to and rely on an infant baptism, i must question the absolute requirement to BE baptized to be saved … all rationales aside
    – do those who denigrate the evangelical really realize that they are called their salvation and relationship with God into question? the brain is an interesting processor, but i don’t think we are delusional in our Faith

  158. Xenia says:

    Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you…”

    I am always ready to accept eternal life. Ready, willing but not entirely able.

    I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior…”

    Amen to that one.

    I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead

    Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!

    I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God…

    Yes, but…

    … this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

    Even when I used to sing “I Surrender All” I used to cringe with the knowledge that I didn’t *really* mean it, although I wanted to. Most of the time I don’t even want to “surrender all” to Jesus because if I did, my life would have different priorities.

    I receive Jesus as my Savior forever

    Jesus is the Savior forever, no doubt about that, but I can fall away and then, while He is still the Savior of the world, I have rejected Him as my Savior. Lord, have mercy!

  159. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael and Jean

    Many thanks. As I’ve said, I’m just that drawer in the kitchen with all that stuff we don’t know what we should do with it or why we’re keeping it…

  160. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane So, is it also – “It is not the lack of REPENTANCE but the contempt for it that damns.”?

  161. Xenia says:

    Well, shall we toss Augustine into the mix… “It is not the lack of baptism but the contempt for it that damns.”<<<

    I am going to have to remember this quote. Often in conversations like this someone will say "What if a candidate for baptism is hit by a truck and killed on his way to the church?"

    The Orthodox might say, "His was a baptism of blood." But the fact that he did not hold baptism in contempt that counts.

  162. Duane Arnold says:

    #160

    I’ve not seen that in the Fathers, but it is an interesting approach and might also speak to pastoral practice – the person, who like all of us, tries and fails, tries and fails. If they die during a time of failure are they damned? I think not. We are simul justus et peccator. Then, however, there is the person who, to our eyes, has contempt for the whole idea of repentance… I think then such judgements are best left to God. I have a hard enough time knowing my own heart, much less that of someone else…

  163. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The argument is not do you need to be baptized to be saved – it is does baptism save?

  164. Josh the Baptist says:

    I will also say, that the list Jean posted is not “official” SBC doctrine. I did not object because you very well may hear that at an SBC or posted on an SBC website, and I do agree with all of it.

    However, the only official statement on salvation from the SBC is found in the Baptist Faith and Message.

  165. Duane Arnold says:

    #163

    I’ll leave a definitive answer in the hands of God… Hitler was baptized, Stalin was baptized…
    I could go on…

    I once had a professor who said that orthodoxy taken to an absolute logical extreme usually ends in heresy. So here, I’ll simply look through the glass darkly.

  166. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wow – even Duane brought Hitler into the conversation. Isn’t that some new fallacy on the list?

  167. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    There actually is one – Reductio as Hitlerum

    https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/152/Reductio-ad-Hitlerum

  168. Duane Arnold says:

    OK… replace him with “Vlad the Impaler was baptized…”

  169. John 20:29 says:

    regarding baptism – for the record, having been sprinkled (after receiving instruction in Presbyterian doctrine) and immersed (that took some soul searching and much prayer), my take on the subject is that it is an act of obedience and submission to the God, Who has provided salvation in the first place…
    was i more or finally completely saved when i got soaking wet head to toe and was told i looked like an angel? 🙂 i have no idea, but i suspect not… experientially i did see that my prayer life improved from the standpoint of answers…
    i suspect, since i thought the immersion thing was a bit theatric and overdone, that the secret is in the matter of pride… we way underestimate – IMHO – how much of our walk is colored by pride – colored and hampered
    should we be baptized? of course we should, scripture is crystal clear on that… or is it? well, i’d advise being humble enough to submit to the waters, however, much is used… but infants? that just makes no sense from where i sit/stand
    God keep

  170. Xenia says:

    Dracula (V. the P.) and Stalin were probably both baptized Orthodox.

  171. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em,
    1.) Jesus being born of a virgin makes absolutely no sense whatsoever from where I stand.
    2.) One man dying for the sins of every human being ever makes absolutely no sense whatsoever from where I stand.
    3.) Jesus being dead and becoming alive again makes absolutely no sense whatsoever from where I stand.

    It’s a good thing that I do not depend on what makes sense to me.

  172. Josh the Baptist says:

    Dracula is Vlad the Impaler?

    Hmm. I gotta wikipedia that.

  173. Duane Arnold says:

    #170 And, Stalin was a seminary student… makes one pause…

  174. John 20:29 says:

    well, MLD, gotta say – again 🙂

    Jesus being born of a virgin makes all the sense in the world from where i now stand
    Jesus, the Immanuel, the only begotten son of God, dying for the sins of the world makes all the sense in the world to me from where i now stand
    Jesus’ resurrected, ascended and returning King – ditto

    Mary, however, having the poise to accept herself as impregnated and submitting to God in such a beautiful way… that is hard to process and she is truly blessed
    Jesus asking God to forgive those crucifying him… that, too, is hard to process… the whole crucifixion story (that body and blood thing) is amazing – stupifying even
    without the resurrection, none of the Bible would make any pertinent sense – from where i sit

  175. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Judas was a disciple.

  176. John 20:29 says:

    the thing about Hitler and Stalin that is hard to process is the fact that most in this nation don’t think mass murderer when they hear Stalin’s name… those graphic pictures of the concentration camps at the end of WW2 prove that a picture is worth a thousand words, i guess – lots to ponder on the wars and despots of the last century

  177. John 20:29 says:

    Judas was a disciple and isn’t it interesting how our Lord, knowing what he had in that man, treated him as if he was “one of them” … it ought to give everyone who claims to be a follower a bit of a pause, eh? am i only here for my chances at prosperity? or whatever it was that Judas thought he was in the “game” for… thinking, thinking… hmmm

  178. Jerod says:

    Jean,
    Thank you for interrupting the flush that that conversation was becoming. You are absolutely right. Homonyms. Sheesh.

    Is it so hard to see that once movements begin right, but then remove the monuments, they always shift toward liberalism?

    Michael, I love you. Thanks for the chat. God bless you. I have to sneeze…

    Xenia,
    I am not claiming to have cornered the market on doctrine. I do believe that when Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on the earth?” it was a rhetorical question. That’s why I am so grateful to
    Jean
    right now for obviating the truth of differing definitions. Her comment about Michael coming at “ecumenism” from an interpersonal perspective is right. If that is how Michael meant it I agree that we are not to shelter ourselves from unbelievers or differing believers 1 Corinthians 5. But there is a line there that Paul says we ought not to cross in interpersonal relationships. It is clear. It is not always simple to find, but God is clear.

    Steve Wright, To 1 Corinthians 1 I would also remind you that unity was described by Christ as in truth, sanctification was to be in truth. Something Paul expounds upon in 1 Cor. 5 discussing with whom the faithful are to keep away from, even interpersonally. Eucharist as flesh and blood sacrifice is idol worship.

    I would also say you take an awful lot of liberty when you imply I shelter myself from unbelievers, or my witness from unbelievers and enemies of Christ.Your statement makes me wonder if you realize who the enemy of Christ is. It isn’t unbelievers.
    Remember what Paul told the elders on the beach at Miletus:
    “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and FROM AMONG YOUR OWN SELVES men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

    Also 1 John 3:18,19
    Matthew 13:24-30

    “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19“For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

          20“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

    There is no unity without truth

    This is why ecumenism is dangerous. It ignores truth.

    In each expression of our faith there are truly saved individuals seeking after the kingdom of God. As God draws this age to a close He says he will call us out of her, that false religiosity within each expression.

    Thanks for a wonderful conversation, btw.

  179. Linnea says:

    Michael @63…exactly. I was saved in an evangelical church and spent most of my “growing up” years in Calvary Chapel. I was taught to sneer at more traditional forms of Christianity.

    Through this site, I learned that I shared the core of the Christian faith with Lutherans, Orthodox, Anglicans, and many others. I realized we may differ on non-essentials, but if we accept that we’re sinful and we confess our sins, believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that he rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where he makes intercession for us, than we are the Church universal. That is a comforting thought and it is one that builds bridges and cuts through a the drivel.

  180. Jerod says:

    MLD
    Christ as the Word creating the universe ex nihilo makes sense, but creating an infant body for his Son does not? What if I were to tell you he rose from the grave?

  181. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    That makes me very happy if we’ve been able to help convey what you wrote…

  182. Jerod says:

    MLD
    #167 Hitler happens @~

  183. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jerod – God saving through physical means makes perfect sense to me – why not you?

  184. Jerod says:

    Says the one who doesn’t believe God used Christ’s fulfilment of the Law to accomplish his purpose in freeing us from it.

    If Christ were born of Man he would have sinned. Genesis specifies it would be through the seed of the woman.

  185. Jerod says:

    MLD that came out harsher than it sounded in my head. Apologies.

  186. Jerod says:

    sanctification was to be in truth… should read “sanctification will be Truthful”

    enemy of Christ should read “enemies”

  187. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jerod you are still on the wrong track. The conversation was never what Jesus did to accomplish our salvation – it was and still is, how do you receive the benefits of that work that took place 2,000 years ago 9,000 miles away – you can’t tell someone to go to the cross – it’s not there.

    So how is it delivered to you. I say through the physical means Jesus himself set up and promised as a delivery system and I think you were somewhere in the pixie dust category. 😉

  188. Jerod says:

    MLD the issue here is whether or not you believe a core doctrine of the faith, the virgin birth of Christ Jesus. Communion matters nothing if the core doctrines are not there.

    If Christ were born of Man he would have sinned. Genesis specifies it would be through the seed of the woman. Isaiah specifies a virgin. What say you?

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