Things I Think

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466 Responses

  1. PP Vet says:

    “2. We err grievously when we fail to distinguish between the beliefs and doctrines necessary to be part of our particular tradition or sect and those necessary for participation in the kingdom of God.”

    Uh … seriously … in all fairness, aren’t you a frequent offender in this area?

  2. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    We have people from almost every tradition here that I call family.
    I may strongly disagree with some of their doctrines, and they with mine…but they’re still family.
    The people you are probably referring to are the Todd Bentleys of the word, who I believe are not just wrong doctrinally but utterly, morally bankrupt.
    That is the basis for their exclusion in my book.

  3. Gary says:

    #2 Thank you. I often feel left out.

    #4 I don’t want to bury the guy, I just want protection for the sheep -er- I mean the flock.

    #7 Paul told the church to turn the guy over to the devil for the destruction of his flesh so that his soul would be saved. Then after the guy repented Paul told the church to welcome him back. But not as a leader of course.

    #10 “YAY!”

  4. Andrew says:

    7. I find it baffling that there is no real example of how to deal with a fallen elder in the N.T…
    __________________________________________________________________

    When an elder is defined in terms of being anointed like a King and prophet and governing like Moses and entertaining like a comedian with business savvy as a CEO with a mega church to boot and multiple sites all under their authority, no wonder it seems baffling.

  5. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    There is none, period.

  6. Andrew says:

    Michael, I agree there is no such thing as an elder like I mentioned above but that seems to be a common misunderstanding of what one is in our culture.

  7. Alan Hawkins says:

    #3 Is the one that I favor completely.

    In teaching Romans Paul spends 11 chapters defending the rights of the Gentile believers to be free from Torah. He then makes it plain that he himself feels no obligation to food laws and observance of days. He completely makes the case for the non-practice of Torah but just when he has the opportunity to smash the opposition by the force of his arguments we come to chapter 14 where he totally lays down the sword and forbids it to be wielded by those to whom he has given it.

    He maintains that to assert your rights is no way to be a member of the family. He refuses to eat or drink anything that harms the faith of his brethren in Christ. He places the family unity above all. This unity is NOT a unity of conviction it is a unity of familial heart and soul.

  8. erunner says:

    2. This concerns me a lot and here is a perfect example. We spend much time dealing with non essentials while cults continue their steady growth.

    http://easter.mormon.org/?cid=77010219&ef_id=UyWtIAAABFu86LhH:20140418161804:d

  9. Alan Hawkins says:

    When someone comes under the discipline of the church they should simultaneously come under the protection of that church unless they refuse to cooperate.

  10. Michael says:

    The people have the rulers they desire…

  11. Michael says:

    Alan,

    Well said on #7 and #10

  12. Andrew says:

    When someone comes under the discipline of the church they should simultaneously come under the protection of that church unless they refuse to cooperate.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    The best protection is the Lord’s protection. Ultimately, I would rather have Jesus’ protection than the mobs.

  13. Nonnie says:

    Alan Hawkins said, ”

    When someone comes under the discipline of the church they should simultaneously come under the protection of that church unless they refuse to cooperate.”

    That is gold!

  14. Alan Hawkins says:

    I can say what I have because I have practiced it.

  15. Please Note says:

    Andrew….that’s the old Reductio ad absurdum….

    Of course we all desire and need the Lord’s protection, but by what means do you think he delivers that protection? People. Hands and feet, remember?

    That’s like saying you won’t call the police when needed because the Lord will protect you, or a doctor, because the Lord will heal you.

    Sometimes, He does; and sometimes He uses others.

    Both are Biblical.

  16. Please Note says:

    Not that Hawk needs MY help 🙂

  17. Alan Hawkins says:

    I need all the help I can get

  18. Andrew says:

    Please Note said:
    “Andrew….that’s the old Reductio ad absurdum….

    Of course we all desire and need the Lord’s protection, but by what means do you think he delivers that protection? People. Hands and feet, remember?”

    I am not disagreeing with you. My point is that sometimes the powers in play are corrupt. Sometimes the church is corrupt. Sometimes the police are corrupt. Cooperating should be measured from a biblical standard and not from a subjective personal preference. If its a matter of protecting one’s cronies and the good ole boys club and their crimes, I want no part of it. That is the mob mentality.

  19. Alan Hawkins says:

    I am with Michael about the lack of examples of fallen elders in the NT… It gives us pause in many directions. But the principles are all there and the edicts about receiving accusations against elders assume that indeed elders fall.

    The battle over what to do with them is ongoing. I agree with all who contend that elders lose their qualifications by their actions. I disagree that elders cannot recover those qualifications.

  20. filbertz says:

    I’m not baffled by the absence of an example of restoration of a fallen elder in NT. The Bible is not a handbook on dealing with every issue that will arise in life, even spiritual life. It is my opinion that we’ve imposed that expectation on scripture, especially in the past fifty years and it has resulted in lots of twisted ‘interpretations’ and opinions–each claiming to be ‘biblical.’ Scripture includes enough broad & specific principles and ideals which allow believers to construct a plan to deal with things. Plus, we have prayer and the indwelling Spirit to lead us into wisdom in areas not specifically addressed by biblical example.

  21. Andrew says:

    Why should an elder be treated differently in regards to church discipline? We have examples of church discipline in the NT so why would we think it different for an elder? For this reason alone it doesn’t baffle me one bit.

  22. filbertz says:

    How can the conversation shift from ‘restoration’ to ‘prevention?’

  23. Bryan Stupar says:

    #1 and #2 are so good.

  24. Andrew says:

    An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. Pride comes before a fall. For me personally, If I don’t see humility in a leader, I high tale out of that church. Disaster is right around the corner.

  25. Steve Wright says:

    The NT is written at a time when there was no money in the Church. I mean REAL, life-changing money. I am sure that is a huge reason we have no restoration of elders passages or examples. Financial support was for the basic needs of life, and 1st century needs were likewise far different than “needs” (quotes deliberate) today.

    All the restoration I see has to do with guys continuing to need to make their money off the gospel…or churches (and staff) that want the money in offerings that a celebrity might bring in.

    Maybe I am as hardcore on this because I served in a variety of ministries for 15 years without receiving one single dime (and when I did get a love gift in appreciation I gave it back to the church I had just ministered to).

    That is not a boast – just a point to say I’ve worked for a living and am more than able to do so again.

    Maybe restoration should be tied to that? Have a guy get a job for a few years and then maybe we will let him teach a midweek service once a month as a layman? I think anyone really broken and yet wanting desperately to teach again would take that deal in a hearbeat

  26. Family??? So how is that to play out? There are several members of my family who;
    1.) will always be members of my family
    2.) carry on the family name
    3.) bear the family image
    4.) and still are not allowed to participate in family events.

  27. One question about restoration (and I always thought this was a fault in the whole David Hocking situation.)
    1.) Is Bob Coy under discipline of the CHURCH?
    2.) Is Boy Coy under discipline of CCA?
    3.) Is Bob Coy under discipline of CCFtL?

    Who can restore BC to (1) fellowship or (2) to the pastorate.

    This was the problem in the Hocking situation – he refused discipline from his home church in Santa Ana and went elsewhere.

  28. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    #9- What I love about Bud Grant is that losing wasn’t the end of the world to him. When asked if he thought it was unfair that his Vikings were labeled as losers because they lost 4 Superbowls he said something to the effect that America loves winners and it is totally fair the way his Vikings are looked at as Losers. What a great attitude and a far cry from the whiners of today’s culture that feel entitled when they haven’t earned it.

  29. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    As far as Bob Coy goes, it appears more and more that he was a “Wolf in Sheeps clothing” that fleeeced the flock of God and devoured Widow’s house so that him and his family could live a life that they didn’t deserve Uncleanliness=Soft and Luxurious living which is not allowed for us in the Lord. What raies my eyebrow is also how the Wives of these wolves can stand by and enjoy the benefits of their Husbands robbing God’s people. Was Bob’s Wife complaining when she was enjoying the lavish lifestyle from her Husbands robberies? These wives of Mega Church Pseudo Pastor’s are like Mafia wives they don’t want to nkow how their Husbands are getting rich-willful ignorance. They don’t speak up and reveal their Husband’s wickedness. Even if it is out of Fear then that means they are cowards and the Bible doesn’t hold Cowards in high esteem.

  30. Gary says:

    MLD,
    Regarding Coy: That would be step #2 (or #3…) Bob must first answer to his church. The whole congregation. You can’t answer a question until you know the exact question. If the answer is 42, what exactly is the question? They need to know the extent of his corruption before they could consider the extent of restoration. They need to know the degree and sincerity of his repentance before they can go to the next step.

    With Hocking the point is moot because he never went back to his church. His current radio program is a wee percentage of the Biola (half) Hour.

  31. Andrew says:

    This was the problem in the Hocking situation – he refused discipline from his home church in Santa Ana and went elsewhere.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    MLD, I didn’t think this was so much Hocking refusing discipline as it was Chuck Smith willingly inviting him to come on staff at Costa Mesa while he was still under discipline in his previous church. This says at least as much and possibly more about Chuck than it does about Hocking.

  32. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    The Bibile says Cowards will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And yes these wives may suffer from exposing their wicked Husbands and be hated and persecuted but then isn’t that what Jesus promised to us who desire to live Godly? Are they exempt from picking up their Cross? in the book of Martyrs there are women who willingly went to their death because they refused to recant even where their Husbands tried to get them to recant. Those are the Women of God to be admired not these Mega Church Pastor’s wives!

  33. Andrew – that is so not true. Hocking could have said / should have said “Chuck, thanks for the invitation, but I am under discipline of my church and I must sit it out for a while.”

  34. Gary,
    I did not understand your reply. My answer (to my own question) is that only CCFtL can restore BC in anyway. if they refuse, I don’t think some greater body can intervene.

  35. Andrew says:

    Andrew – that is so not true. Hocking could have said / should have said “Chuck, thanks for the invitation, but I am under discipline of my church and I must sit it out for a while.”
    ___________________________________________________________________

    True, he should have. It was wrong of Hocking and even more wrong for Chuck to hire him full well knowing he was under discipline in another church. Chuck doesn’t get off on this one no matter how you look at it.

  36. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Who gave these 501 C 3 Non Profits the authority anyways to decide who is under church discipline and who is not? If a guy truly repents that should be good enough. Just like arrogant Men to think they should usurp the Word of God. Amercian Christian Culture is the most whitewashed sub culture there is. Lets make everything look good on the outside but not worry about the inward parts.

  37. SolRod,
    ” If a guy truly repents that should be good enough.” Who determines if the repentance is true and complete, unless someone is watching and evaluating?

    “Just like arrogant Men to think they should usurp the Word of God.” Some of us do believe that certain men were giving a special office to be the ones carrying out the word of God. The Office of the Keys is real.

  38. J.U. says:

    I often ponder what is the minimum to be a Christian. I don’t mean the least that one must do, but rather in terms of doctrine. What are the minimum beliefs of a denomination for me to consider them brides of Christ with me? I agree with #2 that often our arguments about differences and doctrine are just majoring on minors or philosophizing about angels and pin heads. Which church or doctrine is “in” and which church or doctrine is “out.”

    What are the key concepts my fellow believer must agree with for me to take them as fellow Christians? (Notice how I assume that I’m right and they must agree with me, at least to some extent.) They don’t have to go to my church. Just that we agree on the essentials. It’s like a game show. Who is damned and who is saved. Always dangerous when mortal men and women play that game.

    The EFCA statement of faith on “Church” states:

    7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.

    But that’s a lot of fancy talk and I am always looking for something simpler as I try very hard to be a simple man. (Some would tell you I accomplish that goal admirably. 🙂 )

    After yesterday I’m thinking it only takes one thing. A belief in the resurrection. I’m not certain just how to say this. I think I’m referring to a heart condition, rather than a rational thought. If you truly believe that Christ has risen, then I would accept you as a brother or sister in Christ. I don’t think I need any other test.

    On a related note and prompted by some discussion here last week I will add this. As a learned friend told me when he was asked for input on a scheme of the final days, when this would happen and when that would happen and what would happen to God’s people — you know, the thousand day reign, the tribulation, etc., etc. — that stuff we love to argue — he declined to comment.

    He told those that asked him that he’s still working on “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and didn’t really have an opinion on the rest of it. Those would be wise words in my simple opinion. (I know their must be an abbreviation for that.)

  39. #10. The Christian life is one in which we are daily either celebrating or anticipating Easter.

    One of my granddaughters asked my yesterday “Pop Pop, what did you get for Easter?” and I told her “Jenna, I got Jesus in my ear and in my mouth.” As she walked away confused, I realized, I get that every Sunday.

  40. Dusty says:

    Good morning family! 😉

  41. Michael says:

    Good morning, Dusty!

  42. Steve Wright says:

    This is why I said what I said about going on staff. It is possible for a church, in the name of “discipline” to be far too severe, and in such a case I have no problem with someone telling such a controlling church to pound sand. However, it is a lot easier to tell the church to pound sand when someone is waiting in the wings to pay your mortgage and car payment.

  43. a pastor says:

    Steve:

    “That is not a boast – just a point to say I’ve worked for a living and am more than able to do so again.”

    Actually, that is a boast, and one of the few worthy of boasting. 1 Corinthians 9:14,15

    All, perhaps no firm and fast rule for reconciliation to ministry isn’t on the Bible because it’s not supposed to be a firm and fast rule. Perhaps it is supposed to be a case by case basis, with decisions based on existing scriptural principles, and earnest seeking of the Lord’s will.

  44. Michael says:

    MLD,

    My understanding is that Coy is under the discipline of the local church.
    The CCA is almost completely irrelevant in every way, but that’s another story for another time.

  45. Michael says:

    J.U.,

    At my most reductionist I think that if one believes in the “kerygma” as preached in the early church and 1 Cor 15…you’re in.

    The virgin birth
    The death for our sins
    The resurrection
    The ascension
    The return to judge the quick and the dead

  46. James says:

    So that would include Mormans?

  47. Steve Wright says:

    Michael @45 – those 5 points, plus the deity, were my Easter message yesterday. Although I did not get into the judging aspect to the return.

    I also added that the Bible is the word of God. And spoke of the Holy Spirit Who indwells a believer.

    It was like Christianity 101 class… 🙂

  48. Michael,
    Your list brings up an interesting point – no one could possible be saved at a Billy Graham or Harvest Crusade. Not all topics are covered in a single session.

  49. Michael says:

    James,

    The Mormons believe that Jesus is a created being and not God incarnate.
    Thus, they don’t make the cut.

  50. Michael says:

    MLD,

    In my tradition salvation comes from a sovereign act of God in regenerating the heart.
    That process begins most often by hearing and hearing the Word of God.
    So, people could very well get saved at a Harvest Crusade.

  51. a pastor says:

    James:

    Paul stated that adherence to the gospel of grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is a deciding factor to who is in the faith. The Mormons would definitely be out. They would also be out due to their belief in a plurality of gods (Yahweh being merely one among many, and the belief that Mormons can earn godhood). Their heretical view of the person of Christ (spirit-brother to Lucifer) would also be an issue against including them in the faith.

  52. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I would have liked that message. 🙂

  53. erunner says:

    J.U. I copied the Nicene Creed which I think is excellent. It makes the critical distinction that Jesus is God as well as the Holy Spirit. I believe the belief that Jesus is God, second person of the Trinity is what sets apart every cult and false religion from Christianity. None of them will say that Jesus is God. They all lower His station to something not Biblical. That is why JW’s and Mormons are not Christians. If you watched the link I provided you can see how an uninformed person would we tricked into thinking Mormons have the truth when in fact they do not.

  54. erunner says:

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, light from light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father;
    through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven,
    was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
    and became truly human.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
    who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
    who has spoken through the prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  55. Bob Sweat says:

    Michael, do you believe that the CCA should have made some type of statement in light of the events of the past 2 weeks?

  56. J.U. says:

    Michael, your #45, reminds me of something I used to recite at the Lutheran church. Right MLD?

  57. erunner says:

    a pastor, when I speak with mormons I always steer the conversation to the person of Jesus because if you have who He is wrong all else falls by the wayside. So I typically don’t speak towards baptizing for the dead, blood oaths, lucifer and Jesus, etc. Do you see that as a sound approach on my part??

  58. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I honestly don’t think the CCA is capable of making a coherent statement at this point.
    For them to make a statement would mean that the remaining members of the council could agree on something to say.
    Good luck with that. 🙂

  59. J.U. says:

    Yes erunner, that’s it. Something you hear all the time at most Liturgical churches. It is good when it is heard at an Evangelical Church. Thanks Steve.

  60. Steve Wright says:

    no one could possible be saved at a Billy Graham or Harvest Crusade…. Not all topics are covered in a single session.
    ———————————————
    We’ve had this discussion before. The issue with something like the virgin birth has to do with its denial as indication of a lack of regeneration, versus the need to hear and believe it before the possibility of regeneration.

    The gospel that saves is the death and resurrection, for our sins, according to the Scriptures. If one is saved, indwelt by the Spirit at that moment, then there will be an affirmation to the virgin birth and 2nd Coming when exposed to those teachings down the road…

    I just knew yesterday I had a lot of visitors and I wanted to get all of it on the table at once. 🙂

  61. a pastor says:

    erunner:

    “a pastor, when I speak with mormons I always steer the conversation to the person of Jesus because if you have who He is wrong all else falls by the wayside. So I typically don’t speak towards baptizing for the dead, blood oaths, lucifer and Jesus, etc. Do you see that as a sound approach on my part??”

    You can never go wrong with that. That was Paul’s tactic with Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:2) All of scripture holds Christ as the key.

    Whether to Mormons, atheists, or our congregation every Sunday, if a conversation passes without pointing to Jesus Christ, it was in vain.

    Keep it up. 🙂

  62. PP Vet says:

    Oh please.

    You have called the entire renewal heretics, called me a heretic more than once I believe.

    Where is RickJoyner on your list now? You once scoured heaven and earth to find something to pillory him with, and called him a heretic.

    So what is your standard for inclusion? JoelOsteen? TDJakes? Cindy Jacobs? CrefloDollar? Is SkipHeitzig in the faith? BillJohnson? JesseDuPlantis?

    You have been throwing around mud for many years, MN. It is about calling people heretics, not about standing against moral error.

    So Todd B is now an unbeliever?

    You cannot just walk away from that history without comment.

    Do you really want to regain your credibility and make it clear how you have changed?

    If you are now harping on us to have a clear standard for inclusion, then pray tell, what is yours and how has it evolved, and whom have you excommunicated in the past that you now will graciously let back in?

  63. Steve,
    That was my point – if you have a list of what you must believe to be saved, then no one could be saved in a “one shot” night like a Harvest Crusade.And I do evaluate people more on what they deny vs what they confess.

    I think the only thing one “needs” to know is that Jesus died for YOUR sin. I don’t know that you need to know about the resurrection in that was just proof of the saving work … but not the saving work itself.

    But I think the “your” is quite important.

    Now that is just speaking to what you “need to know” … which is just a small portion of what saves you. 🙂

  64. erunner says:

    J.U. There’s a push for inclusiveness from everywhere to make it possible for non believers to go to Heaven. The lines have become so blurred for some that they don’t see differences between Christians and others such as Mormons who are so polished in their presentation. The cults and false religions are growing by leaps and bounds. Eternal souls are at stake. When these differences are not seen by the church I think it should serve as a wake up call.

  65. erunner says:

    MLD, I’d like your response to the Mormon link I left at # 8. Thanks.

  66. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    If I’m not mistaken, Brother Hawkins is in the thick of the renewal movement.
    I’m not, never will be, and we have substantial theological and doctrinal differences.
    I also love him to death and call him a brother without reservation.

    I’m not harping on anyone to do anything…I’m writing about the things that I’m thinking about in hopes that they are interesting enough to promote sober conversation and group learning.

    Some of the people you name may well be saved, but their doctrines are unorthodox at best and heretical at worst.

    My job isn’t to judge their souls, though I have done so in the past.

    No, I don’t believe that Bentley is a believer…I don’t believe a true believer can take advantage of dying children and grieving mothers.

    I might be wrong.

  67. e,
    Mormons are great people and most run of the mill Mormons do not know what they believe or why they believe it more than most run of the mill Christians.

    Active Mormons however will lie right to your face what Mormonism teaches … and I am not even talking about the whacky stuff, like special underwear, gaining their own planet to rule, a heavenly harem of wives etc) but just the basics.

    If you ever want to make a Mormon swallow his tongue on your doorstep, ask him to tell you the difference between the Pope and their Apostle, as they both speak for God on occasions.

  68. erunner says:

    MLD, What’s a bit scary is that video doesn’t differ a whole lot from some of what you see from Christians as they appeal to unbelievers.

    I see a huge effort underway for Christians to expand the tent so to speak and the more we refuse to do so and stay with what’s true the more we will be opposed and singled out as being unloving, egotistical, etc.

    It saddens me to see so many becoming so inclusive in the name of love when souls are at stake. Thanks.

  69. Andrew says:

    We’ve had this discussion before. The issue with something like the virgin birth has to do with its denial as indication of a lack of regeneration, versus the need to hear and believe it before the possibility of regeneration.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Steve, I agree with you. I don’t say this to be controversial and I definitely believe in the virgin birth but I became a Christian and a believer long before I even understood what sex was and what a virgin was. I certainly didn’t deny it but I couldn’t affirm it either at such a young age before puberty.

  70. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Where is RickJoyner on your list now? You once scoured heaven and earth to find something to pillory him with, and called him a heretic.

    So what is your standard for inclusion? JoelOsteen? TDJakes? Cindy Jacobs? CrefloDollar? Is SkipHeitzig in the faith? BillJohnson? JesseDuPlantis?

    You have been throwing around mud for many years, MN. It is about calling people heretics, not about standing against moral error.

    So Todd B is now an unbeliever?”

    All wolves in the Sheep pen as far as I’m concerned

  71. Andy says:

    J.U. wrote: “What are the minimum beliefs of a denomination for me to consider them brides of Christ with me?”

    Funny you should say that.

    Because I decided, prayerfully, that I can receive someone as my brother/sister, if they describe the Gospel in the way that I believe the Gospel is defined. If they can’t do that, then they might be in a church and call themselves a Christian, but they’re not my brother/sister. If they add works to salvation before or after the conversion point, then they aren’t my brother/sister. That’s just one example.

    This deep yearning for “inclusiveness”, is just not in me. I don’t care about it, at all. I’d rather have the solid foundation of the definition of the Gospel as I believe it to be, and have that as the basis.

  72. Andrew says:

    Andy, I want to do good works not to get saved but because I am saved. Is that adding works to my salvation?

  73. Andy says:

    Andrew, you tell me. Are you unsaved if you don’t do the works after the fact? I know that I’m still saved, even if I do no works. That makes salvation truly a free gift. That is what I believe the Gospel is. And I don’t have to have anyone agree with me on that, in order to believe it.

  74. a pastor says:

    Andy:

    “This deep yearning for “inclusiveness”, is just not in me. I don’t care about it, at all.”

    Not only is it not in me, it’s not loving. It’s like telling people that poison is good for them just because it tastes good– and of course because I don’t want to seem contrary. What’s loving about that?

  75. Andy says:

    a pastor wrote: “Not only is it not in me, it’s not loving. It’s like telling people that poison is good for them just because it tastes good– and of course because I don’t want to seem contrary. What’s loving about that?”

    Glad to hear there’s at least a few voices that think this way. Which is, a Biblical way.

    It’s so funny, and it’s happened to me in a lot of places, I would show people what I believe the Gospel is, and they would contradict me over and over, arguing for HOURS about it. And then I’d say, well, we have two different Gospels, so one of us can’t be a Christian. OH NO, they can’t accept that, so they pull back and just run to, well, we both say “Jesus”, so all’s well supposedly.

  76. Andrew says:

    Andy, I believe there is a difference between “works” and “fruit”. The works of the flesh prove we are sinners. The fruit of the Spirit proves we are saved. The fruit can sometimes be hard to detect and maybe only God sees it but I believe every single believer will have fruit in their life time because its not a work, its a fruit. I believe this is a an undeniable fact in the Christian life.

  77. a pastor says:

    Andy:

    I believe there are several things in the faith that are non-negotiable. Many, many things aren’t. The gospel is one of them. Paul said so in Galatians. If even an angel from heaven brings a differing gospel…

  78. Andy says:

    Andrew, well, you feel the need to put these asterisk-type statements on the Gospel. I don’t feel any such need.

    I believe Romans 4:5, and the hundreds of verses like it, make it clear. Believe in Jesus, apart from works, go to heaven.

    I have a lot of fruit that the Lord produces through my life, but that has nothing to do with my eternal standing. If the fruit wasn’t there, then I’d still be saved, 100%. I believe in Jesus, and I believe His promise for eternal life.

  79. Andy says:

    a pastor, I agree with your 77.

    I have learned to avoid the trails of arguing the rapture and topics like that, until I hear the person’s view of the Gospel. If that person and myself are going to differ on the Gospel, what difference would it make to argue about the rapture…

  80. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    That’s a good distinction that many don’t get. Fruits come from abiding in the vine and being nourished by the living water.

  81. Andrew says:

    Part of being saved is having the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit will produce His fruit in your life. This is biblical.

    Andy, you talk about believing in God as a requirement to be saved yet you don’t include that as a “work”? Yet you talk about having “fruit” as being a work. I believe we are saved before we have the ability to even believe. Even believing is a fruit in my estimation.

  82. Andy says:

    Andrew, you have regeneration before faith, a position I reject 100%. I don’t accept it at all, I believe it to be contrary to Scripture. So continuing the discussion, is pointless. And I have no desire for it. I only said all of these things in the first place, to make the point that, usually people seek inclusiveness without enough common doctrine.

  83. Andy,
    So, do you have one of these T Shirts? I do – with Romans 4:5 on the back – Lutherans wear these proudly. 🙂

    http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com/2007/12/29/are-you-weak-on-sanctification-then-be-proud-and-wear-this/

  84. Andy says:

    MLD, I have no desire to discuss anything of that nature with you. Since you require water baptism for salvation, and we went on about that for much too long in the recent past. No need to rehash. We have a different understanding of the Gospel, you and I. I say that the Gospel can never include water baptism.

  85. Andrew says:

    Andy, sorry if I upset you. I only wanted to see if you considered me a brother or not. It doesn’t seem like you do though however. I would hate to leave on that note but its your call.

  86. Andy,
    “Since you require water baptism for salvation,”
    You can keep up the lie all you want (and we do know that those who lie are liars)

    ” I say that the Gospel can never include water baptism.”
    Only because you are a rank gnostic who does not believe that God uses means to save – let alone physical means.

    Actually that puts you outside the faith by your own words.

  87. Andy belongs to a religion called Andyism – you must believe in Andy’s gospel (surely not the gospel of Jesus) to be saved.

    Andy is the judge … by his own words above.

  88. Andy says:

    MLD, at least you admit that we believe two different things about the Gospel. At least you go that far, which is all I was looking for. You have to declare me outside the faith, based on what you believe. I can tolerate you saying that, better than a person saying, “well we must be brothers even though we believe nothing of the same things”>

  89. Andrew says:

    Andy, technically I don’t have regeneration before faith. I want to be clear that I believe regeneration is causal to faith but I do believe they happen simultaneously in the space time continuum otherwise faith would turn into a “work” for me.

  90. Andy says:

    Andrew, faith cannot be a work, otherwise, Romans 4:5 would make no sense. There is a simplicity to reading “works not but believes”. Faith can’t be a work. But again, the debate is pointless.

    Disagreeing with a person is okay. You only have to be sure that you are believing what Jesus wants you to believe. That’s all I care about for myself.

  91. Andrew says:

    Andy, John 6:29 seems clear to me that believing is a “work” that God requires of us.

  92. Andy, I fully agree that you have a different gospel. that’s why we protect the Lord’s Table from folks like you and don’t open it up like a Home Town Buffet.

  93. Andy says:

    Andrew, John 6:29 is Jesus speaking figuratively. They wanted literal work. Jesus gave them the so-called “work” of believing. And that understanding prevents you from contradicting the Romans Scripture that I keep giving you.

    Once again, I don’t agree with your position, at all. I believe it is against Scripture. So what shall I do with that? You see, that’s the conversation I was looking for. A conversation about the different interpretations, I’m just not interested. I’m not going to change your view. That’s clear to me. The conversation that is of interest to me is, what expectation is being put upon me to tolerate beliefs that I am very against. I’m not saying this for this website, but in the “Christian community” in general.

  94. Andy says:

    MLD, that is fine by me. I am in no need of your acceptance.

  95. Andrew says:

    Andy, you are a church of one. MLD is right, you do have a different gospel than anyone I have ever met. Just curious who do you consider has the gospel correct enough on this blog that you would consider fellowship with? Is there any?

  96. Andy,
    None given. 😉

  97. Andy says:

    Andrew, I am not in a church of one, there are tons of people around the world that think like me, and I attend a church of hundreds that all see things this way. But numbers don’t determine truth.

  98. Andrew says:

    But Andy, is there anyone on this blog that you agree with on the gospel?

  99. Andy’s statement above “I have a lot of fruit that the Lord produces through my life, but that has nothing to do with my eternal standing.”

    LOL – In Matt 25, the sheep, when their good works were listed were astonished because they didn’t think they had good works.

    However, the goats, when they found out that they had no good works were also astonished because they could list their good works,

    Andy is of the Church of the Goats. 🙂

  100. Andy says:

    Andrew, I’m not here all that often, so I only know a few names on here, of the few that talk with me. So I don’t know what anyone here asserts, except you and MLD and Michael to a degree. I come here because I believe it serves a good purpose in regards to my history in Calvary Chapel and whatnot, and as long as Michael puts up with me and doesn’t want me gone, I’ll appear here and there. What do you want exactly, Andrew? That I would abandon what I believe, so it fits the general mold?

  101. Andrew says:

    Andy, I’ll leave you alone. I was just curious why you were on this blog if you didn’t consider that anybody here had the correct gospel. That was my only curiosity of why you participate if you know everyone is wrong and all have the wrong gospel, etc… It just seemed bit perplexing to me that’s all.

  102. Andy says:

    Andrew, once again, I don’t know that “everyone’s wrong”, because I only know in detail what MLD believes, but beyond that, I haven’t really discussed it that deeply with anyone else.

    Once again, the one topic that you seem to want to avoid is, what expectation must be put upon me to tolerate beliefs that I find against Scripture, for the sake of “inclusion”?

  103. Andrew says:

    Andy I am not avoiding the topic at all. I don’t believe anyone should tolerate something against their conscious and against scripture for the sake of inclusion. I agree 100% with you on that.

  104. Andy says:

    Well, Andrew, then you will have a hard time of it, out there. It is good to stand for what you believe (and still be open to considering that maybe your position needs to be changed by the Lord, I do believe that obviously). But if you stand for what you believe, you won’t be very welcome in a lot of situations.

    When I ran into a lot of (non-doctrine-based) troubles in the CC that I was in, I was in Orange County at the time, and I thought, maybe I just should be a “Saddleback” guy, since they were the other “big” name there. I actually went to a study of the Purpose Driven Life, and they began to read about how Rick Warren asserted that Jesus was against people studying prophecy, and I calmly but firmly said that, Warren’s assertion is wrong. He’s wrong about that, so the PDL is wrong on that (and plenty more, but that’s another story). Well just stating that even the one assertion is wrong, caused me to be unwelcome.

    Apparently we all had to agree with everything being said, otherwise, we were made to be some kind of outcast. Which is fine, because it is something I want to be an outcast from anyway. So the price of inclusion would be my relationship with the Lord in that respect of that part of Scripture, and I wasn’t willing to pay that price.

  105. Andrew says:

    Andy, I believe its both difficult and easy if you are on God’s side. Its obviously psychologically hard to take an unpopular stance with a strong conviction. I understand that. However, Its also easy if its God’s side because if you are on God’s side, who really matters enough if they are against you? The real issue is that how do we determine if we are on God’s side or not. God doesn’t take sides. We have to take His and align ourselves with Him.

  106. London says:

    “if they describe the Gospel in the way that I believe the Gospel is defined. If they can’t do that, then they might be in a church and call themselves a Christian, but they’re not my brother/sister”

    😯

  107. Andy says:

    Andrew wrote: “However, Its also easy if its God’s side because if you are on God’s side, who really matters enough if they are against you?”

    One thing you learn quickly is, to not care about people’s opinions. Nobody in the Bible seemed to spend a lot of time emphasizing the caring about people’s opinions.

  108. Michael says:

    Andy,

    If I’m reading you right, the fact that I believe in a nuanced “Lordship salvation” position puts me outside the kingdom and damned.
    Is that correct?

  109. Andrew says:

    One thing you learn quickly is, to not care about people’s opinions. Nobody in the Bible seemed to spend a lot of time emphasizing the caring about people’s opinions.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Well I don’t take this too far. When I do my studying, I certainly will yield to the one that knows Greek and Hebrew inside out and has studied the Bible and taught the Bible consistently for years and lives an upright moral lifestyle. I value their opinion sometimes over my own but recognize it could be wrong.

  110. Andy says:

    Michael, if you can just read John 3:16 and say amen to it, then you’re my brother.

  111. Michael says:

    Andy,

    Forgive my ignorance, but I was unaware of any sect that didn’t affirm the Gospel of John..

  112. Andy says:

    Michael, to clarify, if someone says:

    Believe in Jesus, and commit to a deep enough lifestyle, and turn from sins enough, and endure to the end in such and such a way, and, and, and (and there are plenty of people that say this, the majority of Christendom does), then that is not affirming the simplicity of John 3:16. And I know that you know exactly what I mean.

  113. Steve Wright says:

    One thing you learn quickly is, to not care about people’s opinions. Nobody in the Bible seemed to spend a lot of time emphasizing the caring about people’s opinions.
    ———————————————————
    Point of observation. When this attitude is found in a pastor, accompanied with the “there is the door” mindset, it leads to a lot of complaints around here.

    Yet, the attitude is not exclusive to pastors as we see, and yet on occasion pastors have to deal with such people, and the outcome is not always amicable….which is why it is wise to hear both sides before just assuming that if there is conflict it must be the pastor’s fault for being controlling or unreasonable.

    If the person we are seeking to communicate with a) does not care about our opinion and b) thinks they have support in the Bible to not care, then it is hard to make much progress.

  114. Michael says:

    Andy,

    So what you’re saying is that I must hold to your interpretation of John 3:16 in exclusion of other relevant texts in order to be saved.
    I’ll be damned…

  115. Andy says:

    Michael, there is an understanding of Scripture that will fully separate justification from sanctification, and eternal life Scriptures from rewards Scriptures. You interpret them one way, and I interpret them another. So we arrive at different conclusions based on that, and again, I know that you understand fully what I mean by these things.

    And who said you had to hold to anything that I say?

  116. Michael says:

    “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
    (Hebrews 3:14 ESV)

  117. filbertz says:

    fortunately for the thief crucified next to Jesus, the Gospel was simple & simply put.

    It is difficult for folks who have been ‘saved’ for some length of time to separate what they ‘know’ or ‘understand’ now from what they ‘believed’ when they came to Christ. We systematize theology to the point that we squeeze the work of the Holy Spirit out of the equation, and we emphasize the ministry of man so much that we clutter the simplicity of the Gospel.

  118. Andy says:

    And here we go with putting up Scriptures… Okay, so Hebrews 3:14. The “share in Christ” is not heaven. It is rewards and kingdom position.

    But this is my point. If we don’t even have the same ballfield on which to play, why do you care what I think at all?

  119. Michael says:

    Andy,

    I don’t hold to much you say at all.
    That doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to heaven.
    It means you’re wrong and I’m going to stand next to you when Jesus straightens you out. 🙂

  120. Michael says:

    I have a new believer in my church.
    She’s frantic about what she has to believe.
    I went over the five points of the “kerygma” with her and she affirmed it all.
    I said “you’re done”.
    The rest is just for informational purposes…

  121. Andy says:

    Well, Michael, this isn’t on you. This is on the mess of Christendom, that has a thousand different “gospels”. I read things like Matthew 7:21-23, and I see there are many that said “Lord” and even did many wonderful works, and they were astonished that they were not in the mix. They all would have readily called themselves a part of the Lord’s fold in this life. I’m just not as easily convinced by a person saying, “Jesus!”, as perhaps the next guy is.

  122. Andy says:

    And my problem is, people adding works. That is my issue.

  123. Michael says:

    Andy,

    and my problem is people ignoring them…

  124. Andy says:

    Well, Michael, I also strongly encourage works, but never to be added as part of salvation. And yet, that is what inevitably happens.

    The Lord has brought to me (or perhaps you would say the devil has brought them to me, up to you), hundreds of people over the years with the same general thing:

    “I believe in Jesus, but I know I sin too much/don’t bear enough fruit/don’t really do works/on and on and on”

    And I find they were disciples of Paul Washer or some such guy that wants them to doubt continually. And so I find they add works to salvation because they don’t think Jesus is enough.

  125. This is pretty interesting. On Saturday I had someone say to me that they knew I knew Jesus but they wanted to know if I had saving faith.

    I looked at him and asked him if he knew that he was allowing satan to speak through him by asking me that question? I told him that satan uses that very question to make Christians take their eyes off Jesus and look inward at themselves. Salvation has nothing to do with what’s in me or what I know.

  126. Andrew says:

    Interestingly Paul Washer is one of the most outspoken proponents against decisional regeneration which to me is all about human works. This is where I find you Andy quite perplexing.

  127. Neo says:

    So being saved comes down to a system of beliefs alone? Nah. There is coming a day when those who worship the Father do so in spirit and truth. That includes every generation living on every continent. To whittle it down to those that have correct doctrine is not correct.

  128. Neo,
    “worship the Father do so in spirit and truth.”

    And how do you “believe” that is done? Is there a right way and a wrong way to “worship the Father do so in spirit and truth.”?

  129. Neo says:

    Michael, thanks for prayers. I’m feeling good. Which means feisty around these parts, haha. However, an illeostomy seems to be on the horizon, perhaps. Lord, if there be any other way…

  130. Neo says:

    MLD. There certainly is. I leave that up to God. :). In the meantime, I’m definitely on a journey to “get it right” because doing anything correctly always has it’s benefits.

  131. e,
    Your #8 concerned me yesterday.
    I went on Youtube ’cause the family wanted to watch some “Are You Being Served” and I was going to cast it to Chromecast on the TV.
    Well, the ad at the front of Youtube looked good at first…oh look its the empty tomb and then “Doh!”….that’s right “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” at the end.
    They were advertising hard yesterday and it just makes me wonder how many took the bait.

  132. Neo,
    I need to find the right way. I will admit I have no idea what it means to worship in spirit and truth. As a physical being, it must be something my spirit does without my knowledge or input.

  133. Neo says:

    MLD. Anyone who “needs to find the right way”….will.

  134. Dusty says:

    Derek, LDS has many main stream movies out….that give the impression of being Christian at the onset….

  135. Dusty says:

    Michael said, ‘and my problem is people ignoring them…(works)

    Amen!

  136. erunner says:

    Derek, I’m a bit tired of seeing every believer under the sun being exposed for one thing or another. I understand there is a huge need for discernment as we live in what can be a confusing time for many.

    What we do know for sure is there are belief systems that lead its adherents straight to eternal separation from God/Hell.

    The Mormons are busy selling themselves as a Christian denomination and rapidly adding to their numbers. What’s not to like? They present themselves very well and are trained in how and what to share with possible converts. If what you saw was anything like my link you can see how people get sucked in and why some Christians are joining arms with them.

    You saw on FB how two men became unglued in that I brought up in something I shared that Mormons are not Christians. They couldn’t believe I would share something so vile. That’s the fruit of Mormonism.

    Galatians didn’t state satan comes like an angel of light at times for nothing. I believe it’s through these means that he takes most of his victims captive.

    I would rather the church be more about providing answers to various groups than exposing Rick Warren, etc. any time. I believe one can has the ability to fill us with pride while the other gives us a passion for the lost.

  137. erunner says:

    oops

    “What we do know for sure is there are belief systems that lead its adherents straight to eternal separation from God/Hell. ” should read “from God which is hell.”

  138. Neo says:

    Eruns. In fairness to Derek, the Mormons can be a bit sneaky in regards to what they really believe. As they often say these days about being up front, “Put your name on it!”.

  139. erunner says:

    Neo, I hope that is what I communicated as I agree with Derek 100%.

  140. erunner says:

    Neo, I wish I typed slower than I think as I really could have presented myself better in response to Derek. The first few paragraphs were me talking to myself evidently…. as a matter of fact I messed it up totally. Sorry Derek.

  141. Jean says:

    All, I knew the minute the topic came up regarding what is the minimum to be a Christian that a huge debate would begin, because (1) there’s an amazing desire on this blog to be “right” and (2) there’s a huge pharisaical tendency disposition of so many on this blog. I realize that I’ve probably offended most of you and am prepared to endure your wrath.

    What did Paul say: “because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Rom 10:9 NET).

    Now, we can have a discussion about what it means to “confess”, what is means that Jesus is “Lord”, and what it means to “believe.” However, let me caution on a few points: (1) We are not the judge of someone’s salvation, so we should be humble about judging how Christ will judge any person’s heart. (2) the Bible does not support the notion that a person has to have a full blown theology and Christology to be saved (e.g., one of the thieves on the Cross). And (3), Christology, soteriology and the creeds developed over a period of decades after Christ’s resurrection, so we should not impose upon new believers today some sort of perfect theology that would not have been in existence in the 30s AD, when there were plenty of Christians.

    Just my opinion. I would appreciate any counter arguments to be civil. 🙂

  142. Neo, no prob. I didn’t see e as upset at me. I think the whole FB thing just got him thinking about how to handle those situations better.
    Part of the problem on that was started by a comment I had.

    I understand you e.
    We do need answers when talking to Mormons.
    Sometimes though, they aren’t going to want to hear the answers.
    Instead, they will just get offended.

    I am not the best at knowing exactly what to say in those situations.
    It is far easier to tell someone who has no clue about Jesus Christ the gospel than it is to try to tell someone who has been taught so many wrong things.

    I read this book a few years ago and it seemed to have better ways of interacting with Mormons than just telling them how wrong they are. Maybe it could help you.

    http://www.amazon.com/Love-Mormons-Christ-Latter-day-Saints-ebook/dp/B00B8584AY/ref=la_B001JS6F06_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398127021&sr=1-1

  143. In fact, I think I will reread that in a little.

  144. erunner says:

    Thanks Derek, you were not an issue on FB at all. That was a no win situation and I contacted my cousin via message and we are good. Hopefully we can communicate further.

    That episode crystallized for me the inroads Mormonism is making and how some see it as the same as Christianity while others work at hiding their beliefs while stating they are Christians.

    The book you suggested looks excellent and I like the approach the author has taken to the topic.

    The video I shared above and the one you saw demonstrate how the undiscerning can easily get sucked into a cult as the videos seems so nice how could one go wrong?

    I have a few books on Mormonism that are probably thirty years old or more with one of them written by Walter Martin. Thanks again.

  145. Gary says:

    Ethiopian eunuch to Philip; “See, here is water. What is preventing me from being baptized?”
    “If you believe in the 5 points of the kerygma you may.”

    Philippian jailer to Paul; “What must I do to be saved?”
    “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the 5 kerygma and you will be saved.”

    The idea that someone would be frantic about what they just signed onto is scary. No wonder they were frantic. You’re scaring me, Michael.

  146. Michael says:

    Gary,

    Really?
    It’s scary to instruct someone in a very basic Gospel?
    Really?
    Is there no content in what we believe about who Jesus is?

    That was one of your more ridiculous statements.

  147. Michael says:

    Gary,

    The kerygma is the Gospel of 1 Cor 15.
    If you examine the sermons in Acts, they follow the same pattern, same content.

    Terrifying.

  148. Gary,
    In fact Phillip preached baptism to the Ethiopian. I think that was why Phillip was kept around until the act was complete.

  149. I said much earlier in the day – what you know or what you believe plays very little into what saves you.

  150. Michael says:

    Gary,

    When you read a passage in context amazing things are discovered.

    The eunuch was reading Messianic passages in Isaiah.
    Then he got a personal lesson on Christ from Phillip.
    Then, after all that information came the simple question and answer.
    There was background and content in what the eunuch was called to believe.

    “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worshipand was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
    And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.”
    (Acts 8:26–39 ESV)

  151. Michael says:

    MLD,

    That’s some pretty selective reading to drag Phillip preached baptism out of that text.

  152. Michael,
    May I ask where you think that the Ethiopian got the idea that baptism was a part of this process? Lucky guess or do you think perhaps Phillip mentioned it?
    If Phillips work was done with his work after his lesson, why didn’t the spirit take him away then?

    All of the other apostles mention baptism as part of their lecture or experience … why do you deny that Phillip would do the same?

  153. Michael,
    “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.”

    You don’t find it odd at all that the Ethiopians only recorded reaction to Phillip’s message was the need for baptism?

  154. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Nobody denies that baptism is part of the Christian experience.
    The text says he exegetes the passage in Isaiah for the eunuch and taught him of Christ.
    The emphasis on baptism is a strictly Lutheran proposal.

  155. I will wait for you to read my #153 so you are caught up. His only reaction to Phillips message was the importance of baptism. This was not created out of a vacuum.

  156. Jean says:

    Would it be fair to say that baptism is a sign of a person’s initiation into the people of God? I am concerned that if we view baptism as a saving ritual, then our salvation is due to something we do. Does anyone see a problem with that view?

  157. “The emphasis on baptism is a strictly Lutheran proposal.” I do agree 🙂

    People who deny baptism as gift being received and see it only as outward outward obedience will not see it.

    But baptism is how we get the Holy Spirit
    Baptism is how you are buried and raised with Jesus
    Baptism is how you are clothed with Jesus.

    What do you call a person with no Holy Spirit, who has not been buried and raised or clothed with Christ?

    Here is the point I always try to make – it is NOTwhat you have to do to be saved or to be a Christian. The question is, what does God DO to save you and make you a Christian?

    I am looking for alternatives … loopholes as WC Fields used to say. Is there another way to be buried and raised with Jesus? Is there another way to be clothed in Christ. Point my there and I will drain the font.

  158. Steve Wright says:

    But baptism is how we get the Holy Spirit
    ———————————————
    Unless you were the first Gentile….

  159. erunner says:

    I guess I broke all the rules when I came to Christ.

    1. It was at CCCM

    2. There was music before the message.

    3. The music sounded like stuff I had listened to throughout my life but with different lyrics.

    4. The message was from a guy wearing Levis and he had a beard.

    5. He preached out of Revelation without mentioning the rapture.

    6. When he finished he asked us to bow our heads and pray if we wanted to accept Christ.

    7. My heart was pounding from conviction. I thought I was a Christian and had just learned there was more to being a Christian than simply believing God exists. My pride was telling me I didn’t need to respond but God’s Spirit wouldn’t let me off the hook.

    8. After I prayed I was probably the last person to go forward as the battle within me was intense.

    9. I recited the sinners prayer and a peace and joy came over me. I thought I had made a choice to follow Christ though.

    10. I didn’t cry which in one evangelist’s eyes meant real repentance hadn’t taken place.

    11. Afterwards I went into a prayer room where questions were answered and we were prayed for. I was either given or mailed a Halley’s Bible Handbook and a correspondence Bible study with memory verses from the KJV of the Bible.

    12. After 38 years I’m still here confessing my faith. If I had listened to all of the voices out there sharing what was wrong about my conversion I’d probably have given up.

  160. Jean,
    “I am concerned that if we view baptism as a saving ritual,”

    Why look at it as a ritual? Why not look at it as a work of God?

  161. erunner says:

    Oh yeah… I wasn’t water baptized in the ocean until maybe a month later.

  162. Michael says:

    MLD,

    After my sermon I spoke of the command to be baptized.
    I was preaching the Gospel, not baptism…baptism is the response to believing.

  163. Steve,
    I think the Ethiopian precedes the household of Cornelius. We have nothing that shows evidence of salvation from the Ethiopian until the point of baptism. He didn’t confess anything, he didn’t say the prayer, he didn’t do anything except recognize the need for salvation.

    I think it was the key to Phillips message.

  164. Jean says:

    In Acts Chapter 10 the family of Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized. Isn’t the receipt of the Holy Spirit the seal of our salvation?

  165. Michael,
    “baptism is the response to believing.”

    And why didn’t you baptize them?

  166. I have to go eat dinner – the wife is calling.

    I will ask this – are you a Christian if you have not been buried and raised with Jesus in baptism? Can you be a Christian if you have not been clothed in Christ.

    I will accept simple answers?

  167. Andrew says:

    It does seem that the Church of Christ has a slightly different view than the Lutherans in baptismal regeneration theology. I do feel the Church of Christ can sometimes be legalistic with their baptisms whereas I don’t feel that quite as much with the Lutherans. But I was reading some Lutheran stuff and it does appear they make some exceptions for those that may have not had chance to be baptized for instance the thief on the cross and children that die in the womb etc…But I will let MLD explain the differences here cause I do get a bit confused with it all.

  168. Gary says:

    Yes, I’m ridiculous. Thanks for reminding me. And don’t forget idiotic and worthless. On the other hand, you said she was frantic. Why in the world would a new believer be frantic? When I was a new believer, many moons ago, I was at peace with God. Still am. I just don’t get ‘frantic’. it was your 5 dollar word kerygma that struck me. And frantic. Put those 2 words in the hopper and see how often frantic comes out.

    Yeah, MLD is the resident pretzel maker but he is wrong. Philip said to him “If you believe you may.” If if if if. Believers are baptized. I didn’t become a believer because I got baptized. I got baptized because I was already believer. duh

    Paul to the jailer; “Hey, check out this kerygma. When you got it down we’ll talk.” and while yer at it go get baptized.

    I understand about context and I know Philip explained to the eunuch that he was reading about Jesus. Did you call the woman ridiculous? Maybe that’s why she was frantic. Or do you just reserve that for dolts like me who ask ridiculous questions. I think I take you too seriously.

  169. erunner says:

    And this is why we have denominations. We celebrate all that come to Christ, not to our specific church

  170. Michael says:

    Gary,

    This lady had been told by so many people from so many sects what their requirements were that it caused much confusion for her.
    I simply simplified the Gospel for her.
    That’s what you called scary.
    That’s ridiculous.
    You really need to read somewhere else.
    I’m sick of always getting a bunch of crap for calling you out when you took the first shot.

  171. Jean says:

    MLD, I respect your opinion and you read Romans Chapter 6 well. However, is it possible that Paul’s reference to baptism is a metaphor or symbol for our being crucified with Christ and raised with him (i.e., dying to sin and being raised to new life in Christ)?

  172. Gary says:

    Ok Thanks for the invitation. I really need to get a life. This blog is just a continuation of my upbringing. You know- raised in an argument.

  173. Michael says:

    Jean,

    It’s possible… 🙂

  174. Michael says:

    Gary,

    You insult me, then get upset when you get answered.
    Spare me.

  175. Steve Wright says:

    Yes, you have to be baptized to be saved….baptized by the Spirit of God into the body of Christ. It happens at the instant of salvation to every believer.

    I have asked MLD repeatedly about the Lutheran view of the baptism of the Spirit and he provides only silence….for the rest of us, we recognize the water ritual being the outward visible action on this earth of what has taken place, invisibly, in the spiritual kingdom.

  176. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Wow Steve! You really got water baptism wrong! You totally minmized the importance of it. Romans 6:3

  177. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “The water ritual”, is that why the Calvary’s only baptize once or twice a year at a BBQ?

    Your view on baptism is the same watered down view that I hear preached at every Calvary I have been to. Baptism is far more than an outward sign of an inward spiritual happening, that is the candyland easy version. Whats a trip is, when you properly explain baptism to possible converts they all of a sudden dont want to convert anymore. But if you play some hillsongs and work up the emotions and do an altar call ull get a bunch of converts.

  178. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    That’s why infant baptism is unbiblical because they cant possilby understand what it means Romans 6:3

  179. Steve Wright says:

    If you left the First Church of Solomon Rodriguez you would find that “my view” on baptism is hardly unique to Calvary Chapel.

  180. Steve Wright says:

    In fact, if you are talking just within Calvary circles, what i wrote @175 is distinctly the minority position…

  181. SolRod brings up a good point that I have often made – baptism should only happen when the water at Pirates Cove or Lake Perris warms up enough.

  182. erunner says:

    I guess people are most comfortable when arguing. Good night……

  183. Andrew says:

    Steve W. wrote “I have asked MLD repeatedly about the Lutheran view of the baptism of the Spirit and he provides only silence..”

    I don’t want to answer for MLD but here is a popular Lutheran commentary on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire from Matt. 3. I thought its kind of interesting cause it is the exact contradiction and confusion that CC seems to have when they teach that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is separate and distinct from salvation.

    http://www.kretzmannproject.org/MAT/MAT_3.htm

  184. Look, here is where we differ – and it is not over baptism. It is about how you get saved. Today has been spent saying what one must believe, what one must do or not do.

    My view, and I will admit it is the narrow Lutheran view is that God does the saving and God delivers the salvation in the means that he has promised.We are not active participants.

    Jesus won our salvation on the cross. I was speaking to a guy today at work who is Indian (the kind from India) by his father and he mom is British. He is 41 and grew up with no religious training or view point that I could tell. The reason the conversation came up was he was joking that he might convert so he could sign up for the Christian Singles dating site (it was a commercial on our TV at work).

    I figured that’ as good of an opening I will ever get. So I told him how Jesus had died for his sins etc, and he said he did not need his sins forgiven – I said “too late.- it’s done.”

    Now from this point on God will give this guy his word, either more through me or through someone else … not to convince the guy to make a decision, but to allow the word to do it’s work in the guy as the Bible says “that “faith comes by hearing thing”- again all God. It’s all God

    God say I will do this for you, I will forgive your sin, I will baptize you into my death and resurrection, I will cloth you through my baptism, I will continually clease you and forgive you through the supper and will give absolution to you through confession.

    All of these are one way – God to us.

  185. You guys don’t get it – Jesus walked this earth doing one thing after another – setting things up exactly the way he wanted for the purpose he wanted.

    Look at the baptism of Jesus. Why did he get baptized, whey did he say that for him it was a must? Jesus, being Israel reduced to one (Steve W hates that concept) repented for the nation Israel, and the baptism itself was not symbolic to tell a story – it was the real John the B baptism of repentance and it served God as Israel’s actual repentance which they could not do themselves. Again this is God working through physical means to accomplish his purposes.

    Because of the baptism, the real getting wet baptism, God spoke and the Holy Spirit descended.

  186. SolRod,
    “That’s why infant baptism is unbiblical because they cant possibly understand what it means”

    SolRod, why is you God not capable of communicating clearly to infants? My God is fully capable. See John the B while he was still in the womb.

    SolRod, you need to find a God who can save who he wants – not just those of you who choose him.

  187. Please Note says:

    Steve W @ 179, “if you left the First Church of Solomon Rodiriguez…”

    Hilarious line!

    And so true….

  188. Steve,
    Paul says that there is one baptism. I have not been silent at all. Just because people in the bible use different terms, does not mean that there are a whole bunch of different baptisms.

    I said a couple of months ago – writers in the NT use different terms for Christ’s return- so instead of one return, you take each term and make it a different coming. What are you up to now 5 2nd comings? 😉

  189. Please Note says:

    Sorry for the typo

  190. Andrew says:

    What are you up to now 5 2nd comings? 😉
    __________________________________________________________________

    This is funny, cause I heard one CC guy preach in revelation and he had at least 7 different resurrections to make his theology work. I just don’t see it that complicated.

  191. Andrew, that was the other example – all the resurrections… even though the Bible speaks of only one.

    So there are not
    1.) water baptism
    2.) Holy Spirit baptism
    3.) baptism of fire
    4.) baptism…

  192. Andrew says:

    Baptism of fire is damnation. Not the same as baptism of the Holy Spirit. Read the Lutheran commentary I linked to.

  193. Andrew, see, they have so many baptisms I can’t keep up on he names.

    I will look at your link, but in the words of the Apostle paul “all lutherans are not lutherans.”

  194. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, I would listen to you more on baptism if you had any conviction behind what you state here….but as you have shown over the years, when push comes to shove and you are asked about the person who dies right before the chance to get wet (baby or adult), you refuse to say they are damned. Instead you speak of God’s love and mercy, indicating the baptism didn’t save at all.

    You really don’t believe any different than pretty much the rest of us do, you just talk about it more. 🙂

  195. Steve,
    You are not telling the story correctly. My stance is always that baptism saves – just like the scriptures say. You deny that baptism has any saving value at all. So right there we are not even close and you closing statement “.You really don’t believe any different than pretty much the rest of us do…” is 100% false.

    Now, the question is, is baptism necessary? And i have always been consistent in my answer – it is necessary but not absolutely necessary. Yes, God has made exceptions – but I do not make doctrine by the exceptions as some do. And the big one you always leave out, is that Lutherans say that God uses other means to deliver his salvation. The spoken word, the written word, the Lord’s Supper. – Just think, God uses physical means – voice box – paper, ink, bread, wine, water – all because it is his salvation to deliver to us.

    But whatever I think, it is all through the delivery of God. You hold none of the items to be needed for salvation – it’s an “in the air” thing.

  196. Xenia says:

    We believe that baptism saves. However, if baptism is impossible, God can save a person anyway, because it is God Who is doing the saving. Often when you read the Lives of the Saints you will find stories about martyrs whose witness for Christ was so profound that pagan bystanders would shout out “I too am a Christian!” and get tossed to the lions before they could be baptized. You could say they were baptized in their own blood. But ordinarily, a person must be baptized in the normal way because that’s how the Lord ordained things. But again, since He is the One doing the saving, He can save whoever He wants however He wants.

  197. Rick Bob says:

    You guys have been having the same discussion for over 5 years now…and I get accused of beating a dead horse LOL.

  198. Rick Bob says:

    “But again, since He is the One doing the saving, He can save whoever He wants however He wants.”

    Yep, he sure can…even in the next. Universal Reconciliation…eventually.

  199. Ps40 says:

    #29,#32 @SolRod–this is late but I need to chime in.
    Re: your general wide sweeping blast of mega church wives.
    Having been one…Yes, God convicted me of many greivous sins when He rescued me from that whole scene, and yes…repentance was required of me. It was public, terrifying and unrelenting. But comments like the ones you made up there nearly caused me to throw my hands up and stop participating in my restorative process all together.
    Most of that grueling season I was hanging on by a thread.
    Why? I did not need the pointing finger–I needed a labor of love from the Body. Because along with all of my errors (“sins” if you must abuse the Biblical language by using it to clobber yet another potential survivor) I was victimized by an abusive patriarchal “christian” culture in the name of God. And if you think it is as simple as taking a martyrs stand—then I am convinced it is because you are completely unfamiliar with the complexities of spiritual abuse–and abuse in general inflicted upon marginalized persons (especially women and children). After surviving the abuse of the system, and my so called “husband”, I then had to survive the injurious language of the church (much like yours of #29,#32) who tried to make everything about my situation a “black and white” matter. They did this , I admittedly assume, because it would have been too much work to get to know me–my story. It is so much easier to judge–slap the verse on it–and walk away feeling good about our own illusions of “dong good/being good”.
    I thank God for the loving believers who availed themselves to me–withholding judgment–humbly coming alongside–and led me through a terrifying restorative process. The “work” required of them during those hard years saved my life. They were Jesus to me.
    I guess what I find offensive is the over-simplification of your statements. I could give you a thousand reasons why a wife would struggle to “uncover” the sins of her husband—none of which I would expect a man in a patriarchal system to grasp. But I won’t give your comments a free pass when they are made of the very stuff that nearly did me in–those comments require little thought–and little work.
    And Yes! I was a coward for way too long and suffer regret for that daily—but the day did finally come that I chose to take up my cross and lose all to follow in obedience. And while it may not have come quick enough for many…..that day did come. Have you ever walked into nothingness? Penniless, homeless, churchless to follow after obedience to Christ?
    This coward did—and still cries to God for the mercy she needs to enter the kingdom of God every day. I pray the same mercy for you SolRod. I do hope you consider the intent of this response to #29-#32 God’s love is a work of sorts and requires much more from us–it is not merely an easy answer via verses?
    If men are the ones to “take responsibility” as our “spiritual heads”–then leave the judgement of the women to God cause I’m betting you do not know a fraction of the/her story. Being patriarchal is almost respectable when followed with a modicum of consistency–but I have no patience for men who so easily attack those who are called to quietly submit to that hideous misrepresentation of God’s “order” when times get dicey????.

  200. Steve Wright says:

    And i have always been consistent in my answer – it is necessary but not absolutely necessary.
    ————————————————-
    You need to buy a dictionary. 🙂

    But I can ‘amen’ that, based on what I know you are saying. I don’t think baptism is “optional” you know…

    Everyone professing Christ needs to get baptized. If someone refuses to be baptized, I would have some serious reservations about their salvation. If they just “hadn’t gotten around to it” it would be a teachable moment, but the lesson certainly would not be “Well, you aren’t saved until you do”

    It would also be a teachable moment when someone living in sin and rebellion to God tried to assure me of his Christianity by solely pointing to his parents having baptized him as a baby.

    And as an aside, what you call an “in the air” thing as to salvation, most of the Church calls “faith” – a word noticeably absent from your post 195 …but hardly absent in the Biblical teaching about salvation.

  201. Because faith is not an “air” thing – faith is what we are given by God so that we can grasp onto the free gift of grace he gives to us. Faith to a Lutheran is not something that comes from inside us.

    If I can say it this way – to a Lutheran, salvation is all outside of us.

    You said, “It would also be a teachable moment when someone living in sin and rebellion to God tried to assure me of his Christianity by solely pointing to his parents having baptized him as a baby. ”
    question #1 – are you denying that God can save who he wants?
    question #2 – this same guy “living in sin and rebellion to God” would he be more right with God if he said he had made a commitment to Christ when he was 25 and baptized shortly after in a swimming pool? (since you believe once saved always saved)

    No matter which, he is still living in sin to his baptism.

  202. But I will still rest on, this is not a baptism thing – but a “how you are saved thing.”

    My point way up at #148 when Gary and Michael were going around about what is the gospel – my point was that Phillip preached the Gospel to the Ethiopian and what the Ethiopian got out f it – as I noted, his only recorded reaction was he knew he needed to get baptized.It was important enough for Phillip to mention in his first message. How many pastors use Phillips example of the need for baptism when preaching to seekers or newbies on day one?

    Baptism is the physical gospel.

  203. erunner says:

    Ps.40……. I’m sorry for what you have been through.

  204. Ps40 says:

    Thank you erunner. Sincerely.

  205. erunner says:

    “then leave the judgement of the women to God cause I’m betting you do not know a fraction of the/her story.”

    Ps.40… When I hear and read things I will at times nod in agreement because it seems to make sense. I’ve been wronged before but never like what you must have gone through and I know even now how much I am saddened to think some may have believed what they were told without checking with me to hear my side. I’ve been guilty too often of forming opinions based on non or partial truths and your comment reminded me of that. I should know better.

  206. Steve Wright says:

    , his only recorded reaction was he knew he needed to get baptized
    ————————————————————–
    MLD – it is generally poor form, and certainly a weak argument to use a debated text as if it were the final word on a topic.

    You certainly can join with many others in agreeing that verse 37 of Acts 8 was not in the original, but there are many scholars who think it does belong and many church fathers referenced it as Scripture. Irenaeus included is (and he sure was closer to the originals than Sinaiticus or Vaticanus).

    8. But again: Whom did Philip preach to the eunuch of the queen of the Ethiopians, returning from Jerusalem, and reading Esaias the prophet, when he and this man were alone together? Was it not He of whom the prophet spoke: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before the shearer, so He opened not the mouth?” “But who shall declare His nativity? for His life shall be taken away from the earth.”3501 [Philip declared] that this was Jesus, and that the Scripture was fulfilled in Him; as did also the believing eunuch himself: and, immediately requesting to be baptized, he said, “I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. (Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:12)

    Cyprian as well:
    “In the Acts of the Apostles: “Lo, here is water; what is there which hinders me from being baptized? Then said Philip, If you believe with all your heart, you may.” (Treatises of Cyprian 12:3:43)

  207. Nonnie says:

    Ps. 40, God bless you. I am so moved by your story….just have no words. Hugs and prayers.

  208. Steve,
    Go back and read my #202 for the context of my statements – that Phillip preached a gospel message that included baptism – unheard of today in your circles. But very much alive and well in mine.

    This (v37) is an obvious scribal entry in the manner of 1 John 5:7.

  209. Andy says:

    The development here since I last checked in, is quite hilarious. And it confirms what I said at that start, which caused such anger. The reason it caused anger, was because it is true.

    There are a hundred “gospels” out there, and just in this discussion we have “necessary but not necessary”, or “a required result of salvation experience”, or “the kerygma”, and several others thrown in the mix. All of them posing as “the gospel”. Yet they all contradict each other.

    Yet the Bible says there is only one Gospel that gets a person to heaven. 🙂

  210. Andy,
    I don’t know what you are talking about, and I don’t think you know what the gospel is. The gospel message I preach is that salvation has been secured for ALL people.I tell people “God IS reconciled to you because Jesus HAS died for your sins.” Isn’t that good news?

    Present tense reward for a past action – all God, no participation by the person.

  211. a pastor says:

    I find it interesting that MLD considers baptism (a) a literal thing that saves, and (b) a completely external act, when his earlier proof text contradicts both points. 1 Peter 3:20-22 says that the water is:

    (a) a symbol, type, picture, correspondence…
    (b) as an appeal to God for a good conscience… (i.e. that which issues forth from within!)

    Are we saved through baptism? Sure. If we view baptism as a *cry of repentance* from our sins and an expression of *belief* that the Risen Christ can save us.

    If we recognize these specifics, we can unify the teachings of the gospel. Jesus said that whoever believes will be saved, thus baptism as an expression of belief may be viewed as a mode of receiving salvation. But other valid expressions of belief may be modes of receiving salvation, such as crying out to him in a darkened kitchen, receiving Him while sitting in a church service, accepting Him through belief formed from a Gospel of John while sitting in a prison cell, or a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp accepting Him through the ministry of Bonhoeffer. (I wonder, as a good Lutheran, did he withhold salvation if the Jew wasn’t baptized?)

    Baptism can save, if it’s considered as an expression of acceptance of the gospel through faith. It is one of many valid ways to accept the free gift of grace through faith.

    Good day all… (MLD, not trying to call you out or put words in your mouth.)

  212. a pastor,
    You probable had not had a chance to read my post right above yours – you were probably typing at the same time.

    Lutherans believe in universal Justification … now isn’t that odd. 🙂

    So I doubt anyone withholds salvation from anyone. 🙂

  213. Andy says:

    MLD, if we all were in agreement, then this conversation isn’t happening. There is obviously no agreement. I can only find really two people on this thread that agree with each other. And this is about the Gospel!

  214. Well, let’s see if you agree with me.
    1.) Christ has died for the salvation of all people.
    2.) God has reconciled himself to all mankind because of this one act by Jesus.
    3.) End of story.

    Which part do you not agree with?

  215. Andy says:

    MLD, I don’t agree with, “end of story”. In place of your number 3, I would put, “now the person must only believe in Jesus Christ alone for entrance to heaven, not adding any works”.

  216. Andrew says:

    Baptism can save, if it’s considered as an expression of acceptance of the gospel through faith. It is one of many valid ways to accept the free gift of grace through faith.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    a pastor, The problem I have with this is that those of us who have been baptized as infants before we received Christ are told to get re-baptized when there is really no need. If there really is only one baptism, why get baptized multiple times? Baptizing I believe is something God does and not as much something we do to ourselves as in “decisional regeneration”. And, I think Jean is on to something when she says “baptism is a metaphor or symbol for our being crucified with Christ and raised with him”. But I am not denying the physical reality of water baptism, but rather saying the “sign” of baptism can happen either before or after conversion. I don’t think God is confined to our concept of time imho.

  217. Bob says:

    RB per your 197 comment, you are correct, but I think it’s been longer than 5 years.

    It seems to me many threads devolve into a baptism and communion fight, of course this isn’t the first generation to do so.

    Now do I believe in universal salvation in the sense all will go to heaven? Not at all, but I do believe Jesus’ death and resurrection is universal and for all. So why would God save some and not others, what makes them so special? Tough question, but I know this one thing, why would someone who hates God be forced to go to heaven against his will?

    I keep it simple faith is a word which describes the trust a child has in his or her parents to feed and nurture them and Jesus reaffirmed this description in his ministry.

  218. Andy says:

    Bob wrote: “So why would God save some and not others, what makes them so special?”

    God will save everybody that believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Not by works. By faith in Jesus. The door is open to everybody.

  219. Andy,
    “I would put, “now the person must only believe in Jesus Christ alone for entrance to heaven, not adding any works”.

    So you add to the gospel – in your gospel the work is not just done by God 100%, but now the potential believer (in your world you probably call him ‘an applicant’) must now study hard, perhaps seminary to make sure that he has the right Jesus, etc …)

    That in itself seems as though you have added works. Besides, your counts on the person’s own reason instead of just faith given as a gift from God.

    I like mind better. 🙂

  220. Andy says:

    MLD, believing is not a work. But here again, back to my point. There is no agreement. And this is the Gopsel, no less.

  221. Bob,
    “It seems to me many threads devolve into a baptism and communion fight, of course this isn’t the first generation to do so.”

    It’s not a fight – it’s a discussion. I think we all pretty much believe the same thing (except Andy who spent yesterday saying he alone has it right).

    It’s the salvation question – my pieces on baptism and communion are answering the “how” question – not the “what” question.

  222. Andrew says:

    MLD said “Lutherans believe in universal Justification … now isn’t that odd”

    ________________________________________________________________

    Does this mean all will go to heaven and all saved if everyone is universally justified even if they deny Jesus? I find that a bit hard to reconcile with other scripture but I await your reply.

  223. Andy says:

    MLD wrote: “I think we all pretty much believe the same thing”

    LOL! That’s why MLD has contradictions above with Steve, Michael, a pastor, and others.

  224. Andy,
    “MLD, believing is not a work.” – – – Baptism is not a work either … well, I take that back – it is a work that God does, does that count? 😉

  225. Andy says:

    Well, MLD, baptism is a work. Paul was sent not to baptize, but to preach (1 Corinthians 1:17).

  226. Andy says:

    And 1 Corinthians 1:17 makes it clear that baptism is not part of the Gospel. Since Paul came not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.

  227. Andy,
    How can I have contradictions with themm – they all agree I am wrong – sounds like I am the consistent one. I may have issues with them, but not contradictions.

    I am going out jogging and telling people as I pass them – that “Jesus died for their sins” .. end of story.

  228. Andy, what a childish example – I will bet everyone Paul spoke with in Corinth got baptized? Is it really your belief that Paul left behind cities full of unbaptized people?

  229. Andy says:

    MLD, they most likely were baptized, but Paul clearly there REJECTS having baptism as part of the Gospel that saves. The baptism is an outward testimony, and cannot be added to salvation.

  230. Andrew says:

    Andy, You can not deny Matt 3:
    “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

    It appears this Jesus baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation and its something Jesus does not something we do.

  231. Andy says:

    Andrew, about your 230… baptism in the SPIRIT (internally and invisibly) is not the same as baptism in physical water. One of the CC pastors above already covered this very clearly.

  232. Andy says:

    And that baptism in the SPIRIT is by believing in Jesus.

  233. Andrew says:

    Andy, The CC pastor hasn’t responded to my question whether someone baptized as an infant should get re-baptized as an adult.

  234. Andy says:

    Andrew, well I won’t speak for CC or for them. But infant baptism is not Biblical (here comes more debate on that), so the person can only be baptized once they have stated that they believe in Jesus, as the Ethiopian eunuch stated to Philip, and only then did Philip baptize him (you need the KJV to see that truth). In other words, you need to be saved before you can display the testimony of being baptized.

  235. Andrew says:

    Andy, With all your talk about adding works to salvation, you do certainly have your own very rigid understanding of what is acceptable in Christianity regarding baptism. What difference does it really make if baptism is not important to you?

  236. Andy says:

    Andrew, baptism is important to me. But infinitely more important is the Gospel.

  237. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    ““I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.””

    The form of the text clearly indicates a difference between water baptism and Jesus’ baptism. Do you perhaps think this is why the gospel of John is careful to make explicit that Jesus never baptized in water? Perhaps it was important that the baptism of repentance is different than His baptism of the Spirit and fire?

    The text you listed explicitly states it is a baptism of repentance– i.e. that it is an outward expression of an inner thing. Again, baptism is an outward expression of faith/repentance. You are saved by grace through faith.

  238. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “The CC pastor hasn’t responded to my question whether someone baptized as an infant should get re-baptized as an adult.”

    I won’t say yes or no on that one. Let God direct you since it is not a matter made explicit in scripture. I consider it a matter of conscience, and you should do what you believe in your heart is right.

    I consider Baptism an important thing. I always see it as a conscious act in scripture. It is described multiple times in scripture as an outward expression of an inner faith/repentance. Described as such, I see Christians commanded to do it.

    So, if I had been baptized as an infant, as someone else’s conscious expression for me, I would be baptized as my expression after getting saved.

  239. sisterchristian says:

    Chiming in with Dusty( good to see you posting:) ) to say
    “Hi family!”
    It’s been quite some time…

  240. Andrew says:

    a pastor,

    The baptism of repentance I believe was specifically referring to John the Baptists baptisms and was not Christian baptism at all but was part of the old covenant. The bible says the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John.

  241. Andy says:

    Andrew, once again, 1 Corinthians 1:17 makes it clear that water baptism cannot be part of the Gospel that saves a person. The Gospel that saves a person is believing alone in Jesus Christ alone apart from works, because Jesus did all the works by dying for our sins and rising again.

  242. sarahkwolfe says:

    Hi Sister 🙂

  243. Andrew says:

    So, if I had been baptized as an infant, as someone else’s conscious expression for me, I would be baptized as my expression after getting saved
    __________________________________________________________________

    I was baptized as an infant 11 years before my salvation and baptized as an adult 11 years after my salvation. Double baptized and to be quite frank I think the first one was good enough looking back on it. 🙂

  244. Andrew says:

    Andy, I am making a distinction between John’s old testament baptism and Jesus’ new testament baptism. Water vs. Spirit baptism is a different topic altogether.

  245. Andy says:

    Andrew, John’s baptism is obsolete, as Acts 19 shows. The water baptism for believers, is only due to already being saved, and it is not required for salvation. But we should do it for the sake of obedience.

  246. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “John the Baptists baptisms and was not Christian baptism at all but was part of the old covenant”

    Could you give scriptural support for water baptism as a part of the old covenant? Could you give scriptural support that ties JtB’s baptism to the Old Covenant? I see just the opposite.

    I see water baptism as a baptism of repentance, just as other NT references describe water baptism for the church.

    I see JtB describing his own ministry of baptism as one that made way for Jesus, and proclaimed His work. JtB specifically defined his ministry as looking forward, not behind. So when JtB said that his baptism was pointed at Jesus, please give me the scriptural support for an assertion that JtB’s baptism was’t a Christian baptism, and was looking back instead to the OC.

    Thanks…

  247. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “The baptism of repentance I believe was specifically referring to John the Baptists…”

    Not when Peter talked about Christian baptism in 1 Peter 3:20-22.

    He said it is a cry to God for a cleansed conscience… That sounds like repentance to me. Peter spoke of a baptism of repentance that proclaimed Jesus. JtB brought a baptism of repentance that proclaimed Jesus. Are you sure they are so different?

  248. Antonio says:

    I was baptized as a baby, at least that’s what they tell me, but I have no recollection of it, I really had no conscious participation in it, and more importantly it wasn’t something I did of my own volition after experiencing salvation, as we are shown in scripture, so of course I did again after getting saved, because the first one was as if I had never done it.

  249. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    As a matter of fact, the gospel of John takes occasion to point out that JtB’s ministry began to suffer because Jesus’ disciples were baptizing (apparently with the same baptism). Was Jesus having his disciples baptize under the Old Covenant? Would these same disciples later teach the importance of baptism as an OC thing?

  250. Andrew says:

    a pastor, John the baptist was the Elijah that was to come. (Matt 11:14). Also those least in the Kingdom of Heaven are greater than John (Matt 11:11). Yes, John the Baptist was pointing towards Jesus just as all the Old Testament prophets were. But Jesus hadn’t even died or risen yet. Jesus didn’t even start his public ministry yet and Pentecost certainly didn’t even happen yet. The church hadn’t begun yet and there were no disciples yet chosen and no New Testament yet recorded and no apostle Paul commissioned. Where are you getting that John’s was a Christian baptism?

  251. Antonio says:

    I miss Walter Martin!

  252. sisterchristian says:

    So sorry to hear of the recent news regarding Bob Coy…
    Tragic indeed.
    Actually heard about it during a radio broadcast from the east coast several weeks back.

    Curious how the news makes me think of the Old Testament scene of Achans sin .. Joshua ch 7..

    I often wondered- while it was one man who took of accursed things., and thought he could secretly hide them from everyone in the camp… That judgement proclaimed by God seemed so incredibly harsh… Not only upon the man guilty., but also his immediate family and all his possessions …
    Vs 15 …
    ” then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire- he and all that he has because he has transgressed the covenant of The Lord , and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.”

    Stoned with stones and burned with fire… Covered with a great heap of stones…. ( vs 24-26)

    Always seemed extraordinarily harsh to me…
    Until I went through it…
    And lived the devastation.
    And saw how much Achans sin is a physical representation and portrayal of the spiritual and physical consequences that affects the entire immeadiate family and all his possessions and the body of Christ

    One mans secret sin… Unleashes terrible destruction….

    I’m greatly offended by Mr Rodriguez’s comment above
    Inferring directly or indirectly the woman’s blame and indictment of cowardice in her husbands improprieties.

    Women who have had to endure and face the loss of their marriage
    Break up of their family
    Loss of church family
    Loss of identity
    Scorn of leadership
    Having to pick up whatever remaining chards left of the shattered glass house to construct something completely new – with and through the great grace of God … Need our encouragement support and prayers …
    Not backhanded: second handed slams of cowardice from people in the back row

  253. sisterchristian says:

    Hi Sarah !

  254. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “Yes, John the Baptist was pointing towards Jesus just as all the Old Testament prophets were. But Jesus hadn’t even died or risen yet”

    Abraham believed God and it was attributed to Him as righteousness. Was He saved through Christ’s life, death and resurrection? You seem to constrain Jesus’ ministry to a very temporal constraint.
    ________________________________________

    “Jesus didn’t even start his public ministry yet and Pentecost certainly didn’t even happen yet.”

    This isn’t a problem if the baptism is a response of repentance that prepares them for Christ, and is not the baptism of the Spirit that Christ promised.

    JtB was losing baptizees to the same baptism that Jesus’ disciples were performing. Apparently, it was a PART of His ministry– not just preceding it.
    _________________________________________________

    “The church hadn’t begun yet and there were no disciples yet chosen and no New Testament yet recorded and no apostle Paul commissioned.”

    That would only be a problem if it were anything other than a response of repentance to the message that had been given so far.

    There were disciples chosen. They were performing the same baptism that JtB was losing people to.

    Jesus’ disciples performing the baptism is part of the NT record.

    Is Paul the object of the gospel? That’s disconcerting…
    ______________________________________

    “Where are you getting that John’s was a Christian baptism?”

    The fact that JtB pointed specifically at Jesus when He did it. If by “Christian”, you mean “church”, then I can understand your confusion. By Christian”, I mean “of Christ” and by His disciples…
    ________________________________________

    So, let me turn the question similarly to you, as I did before and you failed to respond.

    Where are you getting JtB’s baptism as part of the Old Covenant? You made a pretty specific claim and I asked for scriptural support.

    Blessings…

  255. Michael says:

    Good morning Sister Christian!
    Good to see you among us again!

  256. Nonnie says:

    Sistah!!! So good to see you here, again.

    Great comment:

    “Always seemed extraordinarily harsh to me…
    Until I went through it…
    And lived the devastation.
    And saw how much Achans sin is a physical representation and portrayal of the spiritual and physical consequences that affects the entire immediate family and all his possessions and the body of Christ”

    Powerful!

  257. sisterchristian says:

    Hi Michael!
    Hi Nonnie!!
    My how I have missed you all!!!

  258. Please Note says:

    A sisterchristian siting!

    Hi SC!

    Didn’t see Dusty’s post, (maybe another thread?)….but,

    Good Morning Dusters!

    It’s like old home week here (okay not calling you guys old, just, well, it’s just a saying)

  259. a pastor says:

    I want to clarify:

    I said:

    “The fact that JtB pointed specifically at Jesus when He did it. If by “Christian”, you mean “church”, then I can understand your confusion. By Christian”, I mean “of Christ” and by His disciples…”

    By Christian, I mean for the church, as well as Christ’s ministry before the church. I am making no distinction between the two. The church participates in what Christ performed before the church was founded by the Spirit on Pentecost.

  260. Please Note says:

    Wow, I type slowly….

  261. Rick Bob says:

    Bob said, “why would someone who hates God be forced to go to heaven against his will?”

    They won’t be. You assume they won’t quickly change their minds and “every knee shall bow and tongue confess”.

    Why would a “good” and “loving” God still nuke them in a mythical hell forever with no end, torturing them…if they finally got the memo? There is nothing redemptive about that, that’s only retribution.

  262. sisterchristian says:

    Hello Please Note!
    I think she actually posted yesterday…
    I’m just getting caught up on the thread.- somewhat anyways!

  263. Rick Bob says:

    “God” changed his mind often. Many times “God’s promises!” were broken. Many times “god’s laws!” changed.

    If God is truly “good” and truly “love” and truly a god who “forgives his enemies” like Jesus commands for us to do in the NT and then says “forgive your enemies, as your father in heaven who is perfect does”….then God’s Free Will will trump your flawed interpretation of a text.

  264. Rick Bob says:

    Please do not force me to back up my assertion with verse after verse and example after example by challenging me. I have it all mapped out. I will write an article about it later. Don’t even try. I can back up every claim in spades and all “from the bible!”

  265. a pastor says:

    I want to back Steve up here from one of his previous statements in this thread:

    Look at all the varying doctrinal positions.

    Baptism saves – doesn’t save…
    Hell – No Hell…
    Infant baptism – No infant baptism…
    Communion elements – literal vs symbolic…

    Sometimes, for a church to retain its doctrinal foundation and continuity of vision, people end up “voting with their feet”. It’s been my experience that these are the type of things that cause such to occur. Hopefully it doesn’t happen over little stuff like carpet color and the like…

  266. Howdy to Sister Christian – now we can dance like it’s 2006 again. 🙂

  267. You folks who are misreading Paul in 1 Cor 1:17 need to look a little deeper – Paul was the product of baptismal regeneration and spoke of it in his testimony.

    Acts 22 – “12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”

    So what do you do with that – washing away your sins is not repentance … it’s salvation.

  268. sisterchristian says:

    Well a great big howdy shout back to you Mld!

    Pleased to accept your kind offer-
    While I pray I’m not so whimpy like I used to be when you stepped on my toes!

  269. Antonio says:

    Salvation had already taken place for Paul on the road to Damascus when struck to the ground by that light and he answered to the light who are you Lord that I may serve you!
    “for if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and belive in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved”

  270. PP Vet says:

    MN, saying “I have a close friend in the renewal movement” does not compensate for calling renewalists heretics.

    In the old days, the analogous oft-mocked expression was “Some of my best friends are Jews.”

    Why not just tell the world where you stand?

  271. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    How much clearer can I be?

    Some of the renewalists are heretics, some are false prophets, some are just brethren I have profound doctrinal differences with.

    With those with whom I simply differ in doctrine, what we agree on is more important than what we don’t.

  272. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “So what do you do with that – washing away your sins is not repentance … it’s salvation.”

    You’re a walking bundle of contradictions brother. 🙂

    Your claims, as I understand them, is that Jesus’ blood saves everyone and everyone, everywhere, will be saved. Then you say specifically that everyone will be saved– i.e. a universal salvation. Then you say that you must be baptized, because it brings salvation by “washing away our sins”.

    So, everyone will be saved because of Jesus’ completed act, but only people who are baptized will be saved, because only these people will have their sins cleansed?

    Could it be that baptism is a response of repentance to God, asking for a cleansed conscience (as Peter stated), and that the “washing away of sins” is a reference to a cleansed conscience (as Peter stated), and that it is not, strictly a literal work of salvation?

    Perhaps Jesus was correct in saying that “those who believe” will be saved, and perhaps baptism is an expression of belief/faith/repentance? If this is the case, then we have a few valid, and non-contradictory truths:

    (1) Not everyone will be saved (those who do not believe).
    (2) Everyone who believes will be saved.
    (3) Not everyone who is baptized will be saved (those who are baptized, not as a profession of faith. i.e. baptized for financial gain, at the end of a sword, as someone else’s profession and not their own, etc…).
    (4) Some who are not baptized will be saved (The thief on the cross, etc… Those who made a profession of faith in a different manner than baptism).

    As always, it’s a pleasure…

  273. Andrew says:

    a pastor wrote “Abraham believed God and it was attributed to Him as righteousness. Was He saved through Christ’s life, death and resurrection? You seem to constrain Jesus’ ministry to a very temporal constraint.”

    Absolutely not!! This is why I am not a dispensationalist. All people are saved the same way in both the old and new. This is one big reason I don’t go to CC which confuses people in regards to salvation. With this said, I believe John’s baptism was really one confined to the nation of Israel of which Christ himself fullfilled.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    This isn’t a problem if the baptism is a response of repentance that prepares them for Christ, and is not the baptism of the Spirit that Christ promised.

    Well I am not an Israelite living before Christ died and was resurrected. Christian baptism recognizes the death and resurrection of Christ of which John’s was only a shadow.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Jesus’ disciples performing the baptism is part of the NT record.

    Again, if Jesus hadn’t died and risen yet and these were all Jewish believers than they are in a bit of a different category as me that is only a gentile that can look back at the finished work of Christ. If Christian baptism is defined as dieing to ourselves as Christ died on the cross and risen to fullness of life as Christ rose from the dead the kind of baptisms these early disciples were doing is hard for me to relate to knowing the fullness of the gospel looking backwards. That is just my humble opinion.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Is Paul the object of the gospel? That’s disconcerting…

    I never intended to make Paul the object of the gospel. But He was an apostle and Jesus’ chosen vessel to bring the gospel to the gentiles. I trust Jesus with Paul on that one.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Where are you getting JtB’s baptism as part of the Old Covenant? You made a pretty specific claim and I asked for scriptural support.

    I think we need to understand the Old Covenant first. I really don’t have time to get into all the details but I believe the Old covenant is specifically relating to Israel and God’s promises to that nation with foreshadows of things greater. The New covenant is about bringing the Gentiles into the fold. I can not relate to the Israel only covenant because I am not a Jew but thankfully God had a better covenant that was foreshadowed in the old that includes all believers. At least this is the way I see it in my opinion.

  274. a pastor,
    How could you be so wrong about what I said. Universal Justification does not equal Universal Salvation.

    But 2 Cor 5 does state that by the work of Jesus, God has reconciled himself to man. It goes on to say that God no longer holds man’s sin against him. The sin issue is over … would you not agree?

    So now the issue is believing that what has been promised you, your salvation is true and the delivery of this promise. God delivers on his promise through physical means. You would agree that I cannot go to the cross 10,000 mile away, 2,000 yrs ago to receive my salvation – so God delivers. One of those means is baptism – your salvation is delivered by God through.

    So, a pastor do you agree with me that the sin issue has been taken care of?

  275. Steve Wright says:

    This (v37) is an obvious scribal entry
    ————————————————
    That is just flat out arrogant. It sure was not obvious to Irenaeus or the other church fathers that quoted it as Scripture. Textual criticism requires humility…and a whole lot of study.

    There is a legitimate discussion, and while maybe it was an added scribal entry, maybe it wasn’t – and if it wasn’t your argument falls apart. So you might try to make your argument without using a disputed text.

    And if it was added, it was added VERY early – which also challenges your belief that this baptism discussion was unheard of in the early years of the church until much later groups brought it into view….

  276. a pastor,
    Reading back through your #272, I see that you still hold that baptism is a work of man to show God something. This is probably our biggest difference.

    Could you give me a short – “what you think baptism is and why you have your church folks do it?”

  277. PP Vet says:

    “Some renewalists are heretics” How is that clear? That says absolutely nothing.

    You have been using this site to call people heretics for years, and I have been rebuking you for it for years.

    Your “repentance” is vague to say the least.

  278. Steve,
    Perhaps it was Irenaeus who added it as a clarification for his students. You don’t know.

    Look even the NKJV carries only a part of the entry.

  279. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    I’m going to be out most of the day, but if you want me to address someone specifically, than tell me and I’ll address it when I can.

  280. Sister, did zi used to step on your toes?? I always considered you a worthy foil – that’s why to this day I wear steel tip shoes. 😉

    So I take it you are no longer living in France?

  281. Francisco says:

    Could we say that John the Baptist gave us a practical gospel account of how to carry out a last resort disciplining of an unrepentant sinning elder in the Church today? (1Tim 5:19-20) We can trust that John being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mothers womb, must have had several private conversations with Herod Antipas before resorting to the rebuking him publicly for his unrepentant sin. It cost John his head but sometimes this is the price the Lord’s prophets pay for speaking Truth. This pattern remains today.

    And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,[a] and for all the evils which Herod had done. Luke 3:18-19

  282. Andrew says:

    a pastor wrote “The fact that JtB pointed specifically at Jesus when He did it. If by “Christian”, you mean “church”, then I can understand your confusion. By Christian”, I mean “of Christ” and by His disciples…”

    I’m not confused. I think most on here when they say Christian they mean it in the context of those in the church of which has been around for some 2000 years. Was John the Baptist around during Pentecost when the church began? When I say old covenant, this doesn’t mean without Christ.

  283. sisterchristian says:

    Slightly.. 🙂 iron sharpens iron you know…
    seems perhaps i have since found metal tipped ones myself… So it’s all good there!

  284. sisterchristian says:

    My last comment above was for MLD

  285. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    I apologize for misstating you position. It was not my intention to do so.

    “So, a pastor do you agree with me that the sin issue has been taken care of?”

    I agree that all sin has been taken care of except for one sin, which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Due to how I understand the context of that statement and other scriptures, I believe that this sin basically equates to dying without believing in Jesus.

    “Could you give me a short – “what you think baptism is and why you have your church folks do it?””

    Sure. I’ll keep it very short. I believe Baptism is an outer proclamation of an inner change. I do not believe that it is a work that saves, but a symbolic profession of faith. I teach the church to do it because it was left as an important command to the church.

  286. Andrew says:

    a pastor,

    I assume you are referring to Matt 28:19 in Jesus’ great commission. With this in mind, do you think its important to baptize in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost as indicated in the text. Some CC pastor say no and just baptize in Jesus’ name only and if you ask them why they do that they get all defensive like it doesn’t matter and we are just trying to be divisive. Just curious what your take is and would you allow a pastor to baptize in Jesus name ONLY in your church?

  287. “I believe Baptism is an outer proclamation of an inner change.”

    Is that similar to putting a “My Dad’s a Jewish Carpenter” bumper sticker on your car? 🙂

    Although I joke, does it have any other value? It doesn’t DO anything? In Matthew 28 it is the primary thing in making a disciple (believer)

  288. sisterchristian says:

    Michael – I fully understand if you choose to remove this post.. ( at one time you expressed for me to share if so inclined… But I concede it may be sharing a bit more than expected )

    MLD .. With a very heavy heart, it is true., I’m no longer living there…

    I’m still picking up pieces of a shattered life, family and ministry… .by moving close to what little remaining family i have and very dear friends stateside …who have been so caring and precious to support and help me while i slowly heal….

    A spiritual tsunami of devastation hit me several years back … ( about 5+ yrs… now I believe) when I happened upon text messages that no wife should ever have to read… Those kind you see in movies.,flirty, aflame with passion… Words never shared with her… no.. no….Not for the wife… But for another.

    After being married close to twenty years…. That series of texts opened a Pandora’s box of one affair after another… And another….

    And tho this man was a missions pastor., elder., youth minister., home group leader., and tho our home hosted home bible studies consistently for far more than a decade,. Also hosting Bible college students , foreign exchange students …. Tho this man professed his love for me and our little family over and over… He was secretly,. and to my utter surprise and shock overtaken by a lust for power, position and women… That apparently spanned our entire marriage…the marriage he purposefully undermined and destroyed…

    My foundational ideas of marriage, family, church, church family, ministry
    All shattered,,.,

    What a fool and complete idiot I felt that I didn’t know…. for all those years!

    He confessed and professed that he had been living this secret life all along- using the church- and claiming to be a Christian as a front- (he knew the lingo- could preach- lead outreach
    .. Etc) a front for appearance sake…
    But he didn’t have the heart … Said to me tho he said a prayer years ago at CC Costa Mesa … He knew he was not truly saved….

    But then; he claimed… shortly after my discovery of his secret life … He had seen the light…. He repented with buckets of tears …. Claimed he was now truly a christian …Went fwd to get further seminary education…. Begged me to forgive him… Which I did …
    And submitted and committed to making our marriage work

    But lies kept surfacing., there were far more affairs than one would care to count…. I continued to live a nightmare of quagmire and filth that I couldn’t shake… And he kept lying about the most insignificant things….

    I kept hearing in my mind
    ” God hates divorce”
    But then realized the marriage covenant had been broken long ago
    While married according to a piece of paper… I had been morally and spiritually divorced in the very first week of our marriage…

    and I began to understand why God hates divorce… I hate divorce too
    It brings such brutal destruction….

    On a good note ,.
    Like Joseph I can attest;
    Through my affliction God has blessed me…

    I’m just now seeing signs of renewed hope … Perhaps even a little glimpse of beauty from the ashes… Tiny glimmers,,, like specks of sun in the trees after a tremendous ice storm or snow fall ….

    And just as the weather warms.,
    And the bitter cold retreats …
    The melting of the snow.,
    The return from the south of the geese and the singing of the birds
    The hope of new life promised with the arrival of spring
    Is hope filling my heart with the enduring promises of Gods
    Words…

    To all who have read the above:;
    I appreciate any and all of your passing momentary prayers for my children who still have much healing and that they would still be drawn close to walk with God inspire all that has transpired
    Thank you

  289. Andrew says:

    This is where I think its important to understand the distinction between a symbol and a sign. A symbol is like the bumper sticker example for our personal reflection. A sign is stronger in that it is the means ordained by God.

  290. a pastor says:

    MLD”

    “How could you be so wrong about what I said. Universal Justification does not equal Universal Salvation.”

    How do you distinguish between justification and salvation. If God sees everyone as ‘just’ before Him, then what damns them?
    _______________________________

    Andrew:

    “Absolutely not!! This is why I am not a dispensationalist. All people are saved the same way in both the old and new. This is one big reason I don’t go to CC which confuses people in regards to salvation..”

    Absolutely not, what? I asked a few questions and it’s not clear what you are taking issue with. “Absolutely not”, Abraham was not saved through the work of Christ? “Absolutely not”, Jesus’ salvation work is not constrained temporally, and Abraham was in fact saved through Christ? If you are making the affirmation that Jesus’ atonement went back to the OT, then we are in agreement. Why the rant against CC? Every CC I know of teaches Christ’s eternal atonement.

    And if you are in agreement that Abraham’s act of faith was in fact faith in Christ, then your entire argument per baptism before death/resurrection vanishes in a puff of logic– if, in fact, baptism is a profession of faith.
    ___________________

    “With this said, I believe John’s baptism was really one confined to the nation of Israel of which Christ himself fullfilled”

    This ignores scripture. Go reread the gospel of John, specifically the first chapter.

    John 1:6-8 — John testified about the light of the world (Jesus Christ) that ALL might believe through him. It does not say “all Jews” might believe through him.

    If John’s ministry was about faith in Jesus (that all might believe), then what do you think his baptism was about? Perhaps repentance of sin as an expression of faith?
    _____________________

    “Well I am not an Israelite living before Christ died and was resurrected. Christian baptism recognizes the death and resurrection of Christ of which John’s was only a shadow.”

    Where was that shadow implemented in the Old Covenant? You keep saying this, but have thus far refused to provide scriptural reference for the claim. Is this a Biblically taught truth, or are you just seeking to sway me to man’s opinion?

    (I think) you’ve already agreed that Abraham’s faith was placed in Christ (even if he didn’t know the specifics at the time). Why would you demand a faith-based baptism that was specifically pointed at Jesus, while He was walking the earth, would not have been a faith in Jesus’ finished work? I mean, while John was baptizing, He pointed at Jesus and said, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Before that, He said, “Repent people! For I am making way for the Messiah!” He said: “My ministry is one of a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare the way for THE LORD! Make straight paths FOR HIM!” The writer John said JtB’s ministry was to promote faith in Jesus to all people.

    It seems to me that you have invented a tie from John’s baptism to the OC, when He was specifically ministering to the new.

    ___________________
    “I think we need to understand the Old Covenant first. I really don’t have time to get into all the details but I believe the Old covenant is specifically relating to Israel and God’s promises to that nation with foreshadows of things greater.”

    I have an general understanding of the covenants. I’ve taught every word of Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus. I’ve also taught Hebrews in its entirety. Not boasting, or making an appeal to authority– just establishing that I’ve done due diligence.

    Please explain where you see JtB’s baptism in the Old Covenant. I need your scriptural references to make such a claim.
    ____________________

    “The New covenant is about bringing the Gentiles into the fold.”

    Then why did the Old Covenant let gentiles in, and why did the author of Hebrews write to Jewish Christians reminding them not to return to the old covenant, because the new covenant is better? Why did the author of Hebrews tell these Jews that the sacrifices of the old system are worthless? I agree, the OC was written to Jews for a specific purpose. That specific purpose was to set apart a separate people to glorify God, to establish a law that would convict sinful hearts, to prove that we can’t approach God based on our righteousness, and to drive us headlong into a gospel of grace.

    But Jesus said He took the New Covenant to the Jews first. The early church was primarily Jewish. This distinction between Israel/gentiles is alarming, to be frank. And if, as scripture bears out, the New Covenant was taken first to the Jews, and JtB said his ministry was for the lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world (New Cov), then explain how his baptism was somehow not a NC ministry.

    Please explain where you see JtB’s baptism in the Old Covenant. I need your scriptural references to make such a claim.
    ____________________

    “I can not relate to the Israel only covenant because I am not a Jew…”

    You could have under that old covenant. And Jews can relate under the new covenant, obviously– thus the book of Hebrews. But what does this have to do with JtB’s baptism?

    Please explain where you see JtB’s baptism in the Old Covenant. I need your scriptural references to make such a claim.
    ___________________

    Good day. I’m not necessarily here in an effort to argue. It’s really not that important to me. We can drop it if you like…

  291. Sister – so sorry to hear all of that. Mo woman should have to go through that. i am sorry. I remember you used to hint around about the problem before leaving for France.

    I wish you the best.

  292. Steve Wright says:

    Bless you, Sister Christian

  293. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “In Matthew 28 it is the primary thing in making a disciple (believer)”

    Because it is the first thing listed in the command, it is the primary thing? It is part of a description of disciple making.

    Make disciples of all nations. Baptize them. Teach them to obey all of my commands.

    So, if you are relating that to salvation, do you also equate the other part of disciple making to salvation? You know:

    You’re not saved if you’re not baptized. You’re also not saved if you haven’t learned all the commands. You’re also not saved if you don’t obey all the commands.

    Will you be consistent? 🙂

  294. pstrmike says:

    wow…… heart breaking…. I can’t even imagine, sisterschristian. will be praying for God to heal and restore

  295. Michael says:

    Sister Christian,

    My hope is that in coming here…coming “home”…and speaking that it helps in the healing process in some way.
    You know you’re loved and respected here…always.
    You and your children are in our prayers.

  296. Nonnie says:

    Praying for continued healing for you and your family Sis C.

  297. a pastor says:

    Praying for you sister christian.

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

    SC,
    Wishing you an abiding sense of God’s presence, power and love as you navigate this difficult season.

    Glad you’re back.

  299. Andrew says:

    “If you are making the affirmation that Jesus’ atonement went back to the OT, then we are in agreement. Why the rant against CC? Every CC I know of teaches Christ’s eternal atonement.”

    Yes, we are in agreement that Jesus’ atonement goes back to the OT. The rant against CC is in the hyper-dispensational types such as Chuck Missler and others that seem to think modern day Jews have a different salvation program that they are on.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    “And if you are in agreement that Abraham’s act of faith was in fact faith in Christ, then your entire argument per baptism before death/resurrection vanishes in a puff of logic– if, in fact, baptism is a profession of faith”

    I am not making the argument that baptism is the same as a profession of faith. That is your argument, not mine. I was baptized as an infant and already said that I feel that that was sufficient for me even though I got baptized again as an adult after I became a Christian.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    “If John’s ministry was about faith in Jesus (that all might believe), then what do you think his baptism was about? Perhaps repentance of sin as an expression of faith?”

    I believe it was primarily for the nation of Israel to ultimately repent and the seering rebukes of Jesus to the pharisees bare that out. They didn’t repent hence, the new covenant was instituted for gentiles to be grafted in. We can certainly learn from John and his call to repentance but I don’t think that was what his baptism was about in the beginning. I can be wrong and I am open to correction.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    “Where was that shadow implemented in the Old Covenant? You keep saying this, but have thus far refused to provide scriptural reference for the claim. Is this a Biblically taught truth, or are you just seeking to sway me to man’s opinion?”

    I thought we agreed on this. Its all through out scripture. From the book of Genesis and the animal skins God provided as a covering for Adam and Eve, to Noah’s arc to God’s promises to Abraham and the list goes on and on……

    ___________________________________________________________________

    “And if, as scripture bears out, the New Covenant was taken first to the Jews, and JtB said his ministry was for the lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world (New Cov), then explain how his baptism was somehow not a NC ministry.”

    Simple because the scripture says that those least in the kingdom of Heaven are greater than John. Why would scripture say that? If John was acting purely in NC ministry why would scripture make such a bold claim? John’s baptism could not take away the sins of the word but Jesus’ can. This is the entire point. The distinction between John’s baptism and Jesus’ baptism is astounding. Jesus’ baptism is the Christian baptism of which Matt 3 makes that clear.

  300. erunner says:

    SC, Long time no see! 🙂 Having met you years ago I saw what a genuinely loving and wonderful woman you are. Remember me, you, and Dusty constantly moving from table to table as we shared to stay out of the sun!

    You gave so much and were unappreciated for the woman of God you are as well as the wonderful mother you were and are to your children. All I can say is I’m sorry and pray that God would do more and above what you could possibly hope as time moves on. God bless you.

  301. Rick Bob says:

    MLD must be bored to death with you guys. Can you spice it up or something and get him off my blog? 😆

  302. a pastor,
    “You’re not saved if you’re not baptized….”

    No, but I try to point out that baptism is all over the NT and in most cases given a pretty prominent position in the flow of things. But you guys relegate it to a position of no more value or effectiveness than a bumper sticker. (actually, a bumper sticker is more effective than baptism, because only a few saw your testimony in baptism, but potentially millions can see your testimony on the freeway.)

    That is my concern

  303. Antonio says:

    Doesn’t anybody work?

  304. Ps40 says:

    sisterchristian
    …..we are sisters indeed.
    I am lifting up prayers for you and your children now. Sadly–our families’ paths are parallel ones.
    And I am so glad to hear you speak of the coming spring–the “all things new” of regeneration, and the growth that God faithfully attends to in an entirely decimated life. As you are probably aware, not all safely arrive at this new place that you spoke of.
    sigh….
    I know God is for you, and with you…..
    I pray you and your children are surrounded with tender-hearted, patient and wise brothers and sisters.
    And if you are not…..know that you are not alone in this.

  305. Please Note says:

    Sisterchristian-

    So sorry to hear of the pain you’ve been through. Praying for you and the kids.

  306. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    “No, but I try to point out that baptism is all over the NT and in most cases given a pretty prominent position in the flow of things. But you guys relegate it to a position of no more value or effectiveness than a bumper sticker. (actually, a bumper sticker is more effective than baptism, because only a few saw your testimony in baptism, but potentially millions can see your testimony on the freeway.)

    That is my concern”

    I think this is an unfair criticism. We make baptism very important because it was left as very important. We just also make note that it doesn’t save. We make communion important, but note that it doesn’t save. We make sexual purity important, but note that it doesn’t save.

    You seem to make an argument suffering from the excluded middle. It is either the most important, or trivial.

    Good day, brother. Again, it’s always a pleasure.

  307. Rick Bob says:

    “Again, it’s always a pleasure.”

    Don’t lie to the guy LOL.

  308. a pastor,
    “How do you distinguish between justification and salvation. If God sees everyone as ‘just’ before Him, then what damns them?”

    Look at the scripture 2 Cor 5 “18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[a] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

    Again, our divide is in who we think is doing the work. In salvation it is all God, regardless of our actions. So, the passage says that by the work of Jesus, God has reconicles us to himself … hence we are reconciled.

    Then he goes on to say that God no longer holds our sin against us. So, we are reconciled to God, he no longer holds our sin against us.

    So why isn’t everyone saved even though they have been justified – because of unbelief.

    You probably don’t see it, and would probably be revolted over the thought, but hell will be populated with forgiven sinners.

  309. Andrew says:

    I think this is an unfair criticism. We make baptism very important because it was left as very important.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Than why isn’t baptism done at the Harvest crusades? There is so much time and energy put into those events and the emphasis is on either coming forward or making a decision or raising your hand all to make it a memorable public event. A tally is taken of how many conversions, etc.. are done at the end of night. I find this concept quite foreign to the new testament understanding of conversion.

  310. Andy says:

    Got a nice chance today to help in a food drive that brought food to homeless families, and all were given Gospel tracts and prayed with. All glory to the Lord.

    And Martin Luther and his disciple are still here on this thread, arguing out of two sides of the same mouth. 🙂

  311. a pastor says:

    MLD:

    Remember, I said this:

    ‘I agree that all sin has been taken care of except for one sin, which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Due to how I understand the context of that statement and other scriptures, I believe that this sin basically equates to dying without believing in Jesus.’

    We are probably closer on that theology than you think.

  312. a pastor,
    I thought, and I would have to look it up, but I am at work (typing between phone calls) that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was attributing the works of Jesus as being done in the spirit of the devil.

    Can someone commit that sin today as Jesus is not here performing miracles and doing the works that got him accused?

    Out of all the sins people can choose from today, I don’t think that is one of them.

    I definitely see no reason to say that it is just plain unbelief.

  313. Dusty says:

    you are a brave woman to share all that here sis christian. ((((love ya hugs))))

  314. Andrew says:

    a pastor wrote “Please explain where you see JtB’s baptism in the Old Covenant. I need your scriptural references to make such a claim.”

    Here is just a stab at what may be the reason for John baptizing Jesus. In other words why was Jesus baptized by John? Jesus certainly didn’t need to have his sins forgiven. This alone seems to make John’s baptism qualitatively different than what we know today as Christian baptism.

    According to the Old Testament, in order for a priest to be consecrated he had to be washed with water (Lev. 8:6; Exodus 29:4, Matt. 3:13-15) and anointed with oil (Lev. 8:12; Exodus 29:7; Matt. 3:16). Both of these were bestowed upon Jesus at His baptism.

  315. Steve Wright says:

    Some of us think baptism is VERY important. I’ve shared before that in India I heard the expression “ready for baptism” because that is the event that will lead to the Hindus burning your house or raping your daughter. The converts have counted the cost of following Jesus – but in no way would anyone (there) argue that somehow their salvation was incomplete until their baptism.

    As a side note, the average Indian is terrified of putting his head under water, especially backwards. That was one of the most interesting observations I made when I was given that honor…

  316. Steve Wright says:

    Here is how I teach the baptism of Jesus by John. Not looking to argue it, so take it or leave it as you choose.

    Baptism was used, by definition, in the means of “identification”

    Before John, Jews baptized God-fearing Gentiles seeking to identify with Moses and put themselves under the Law.

    John had a message – for the Jews. The message was that the kingdom was at hand, and the Lord was coming. The repentance aspect was in response to that basic message – because the kingdom is at hand and the Lord is coming, prepare your hearts and repent of your sins.

    Jesus could (and did) completely identify with that message. Of course He had no sins to repent of, but that was secondary to the primary message.

    This is why Jesus continued to oversee the baptisms shortly thereafter, though with the disciples doing the baptism and not Jesus Himself. Those disciples were not baptizing to identify with a future death and resurrection of Jesus, but were saying the same message. The kingdom is at hand, prepare your hearts.

    Christian baptism is still an identification – buried with Jesus in death (for our sins), raised in resurrection (for new life).

  317. Rick Bob says:

    Let me summarize and conclude this discussion for you with all certainty:

    “You don’t know for sure and neither do I and neither does anyone other than probably God”

  318. Rick Bob says:

    Here’s what I do know: I don’t have faith in you, your leaders, your gurus, your teachers, your doctrines, your apologetic or your churches.

    I have faith in “God” in whatever form and hope he is truly love and truly good and truly merciful and gracious to all of his creation.

  319. Rick Bob says:

    That may be offensive to many of you who require “God” to torture folks in hell forever and ever in a punitive and retributive and non-rehabilitative manner…but I believe in a God who is truly “Love” and truly “Grace” and a God who has Free Will and a God who “loves his enemies”…of which we are “all” his enemies.

  320. Steve,
    I like my view of Jesus’ baptism better. Surprised? 😉 From yesterday’s post #185

    “Look at the baptism of Jesus. Why did he get baptized, why did he say that for him it was a must? Jesus, being Israel reduced to one (Steve W hates that concept) repented for the nation Israel, and the baptism itself was not symbolic to tell a story – it was the real John the B baptism of repentance and it served God as Israel’s actual repentance which they could not do themselves. Again this is God working through physical means to accomplish his purposes.
    Because of the baptism, the real getting wet baptism, God spoke and the Holy Spirit descended.” End of yesterday’s statement.

    Jesus was fulfilling all the Israel stuff and God was fulfilling all the Israel stuff through Jesus.

  321. Andrew says:

    Christian baptism is still an identification – buried with Jesus in death (for our sins), raised in resurrection (for new life).

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Well said Steve. It seems the closest comparison in the OT is really circumcision. But since the new covenant is broader and better, baptism includes females as well as males and I propose includes even infants. Why would the new testament sign of identification be less inclusive than the old testament sign of identification? If anything it is more inclusive in my estimation not more restrictive. This isn’t to say baptism saves definitively but rather it is a sign of identification in the covenant community.

  322. Xenia says:

    PP vet’s post on the Renewal movement….

    This may surprise many of you, but if I were to give up Orthodoxy (will never happen, but for the sake of conversation) I would go to the Renewal / Pentecostal world because these Christians have an expectation that God will show up at their services. They believe in the power of prayer, they see miracles, and they have a life about them that I don’t see in too many other types of Christianity. Some of them believe in Entire Sanctification, which is not unlike the EO doctrine of Theosis. Sure, some of their leaders are whack-a-doodles, and I am not contemplating joining them (I am extremely content where I am) but these are the Christians outside my own EO world that I like the best.

  323. Tim says:

    SisC – So sorry to read what you endured. I am praying for you & your children.

  324. Tim says:

    Xenia –
    For what it’s worth, I think there are many churches outside of the Renewal camp that expect great things of God every time they gather together. Personally, I want our church family to come together expecting to hear from the Lord in worship & the word, and excited to be used by the Holy Spirit in ministry among one another.

    No doubt it would look FAR different than PP Vet’s church, or Dread’s – but it is an expectation, nonetheless.

  325. Ps40 says:

    #317,318,319…

    As much as I hate to let go of my deep abiding need to be “right” about some things in regards to my feeble theologies…..I must say, these three posts ring hauntingly true……

  326. Antonio says:

    Ribo, you’re right God is love and To understand the love and mercy and forbearance of God one need only look at the cross, where Jesus paid the penalty for us so that we wouldn’t have to burn in hell separated from God for eternity!

  327. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – My problem with your theory is that you say Israel could not repent on their own…despite all the Jews that did repent and come to be baptized by John.

    You say Jesus repented FOR Israel as a nation, despite the fact that Israel would be judged shortly for their lack of repentance as a nation.

    Personally, while I obviously hold to my view, I am at least sympathetic with those who interpret the baptism of Jesus as identifying with sinful man – even though He had no sins Himself. That He was identifying with us. I can appreciate that…

    Yours is something not one person in 1000 would dream up unless they read it outside the Bible first, from someone they felt was a denominational authority.

  328. Steve,
    “Yours is something not one person in 1000 would dream up unless they read it outside the Bible first, from someone they felt was a denominational authority.”

    That’s a bit of a cheap shot (which I can take 🙂 ) but it is no different than me saying that what you said above is from your years of repetitive listening to Chuck Smith tapes at SoM.and beyond.

    As I said, you hate the concept of Jesus being Israel reduced to one and working out God’s plan.

  329. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “Here is just a stab at what may be the reason for John baptizing Jesus. In other words why was Jesus baptized by John? Jesus certainly didn’t need to have his sins forgiven. This alone seems to make John’s baptism qualitatively different than what we know today as Christian baptism.”

    Jesus was baptized as an identification with sinful humanity that He was about to die for. You don’t see a connection between a baptism of repentance and the man on whom the sin of the world would be judged?

    “According to the Old Testament, in order for a priest to be consecrated he had to be washed with water (Lev. 8:6Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Exodus 29:4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), Matt. 3:13-15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)) and anointed with oil (Lev. 8:12Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Exodus 29:7Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Matt. 3:16Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). Both of these were bestowed upon Jesus at His baptism.”

    JtB was not consecrating priests or anointing anyone with oil. You are just looking for any OC reference to water and trying to connect it to John the Baptist.

  330. a pastor says:

    Andrew:

    “Well said Steve. It seems the closest comparison in the OT is really circumcision. ”

    Then you’re really in trouble. Paul said if anyone comes to you with a gospel of works, adding circumcision, then let them be forever accursed. It was so important, he repeated himself.

  331. Xenia says:

    The purpose of the Lord’s baptism was to make manifest the Holy Trinity.

    The hymn (troparion) for the Feast of Theophany, which commemorates His baptism:

    When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan
    The worship of the Trinity was made manifest
    For the voice of the Father bore witness to You
    And called You His beloved Son.
    And the Spirit, in the form of a dove,
    Confirmed the truthfulness of His word.
    O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself
    And have enlightened the world, glory to You!

  332. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I undertsand the anger at me for my comments however it wasn’t meant for all Pastors wives just those that stand idly by while their Husbands ROB people blind. What I don’t understand is how people after seeing the corruption of the Bob Coy’s of this world still put their Faith in the 501 C 3 church model and the unbiblical One Man pastor Show. And yes to one commentor above, I have been homeless in Mimai, homeless in NYC-Sleeping on subways, port authority, pizza parlor at covenant house, I was tortured because a situation that a loved one put me in, went to jail 4 times, one time in Dade County and three times in NYC.

  333. Andrew says:

    JtB was not consecrating priests or anointing anyone with oil. You are just looking for any OC reference to water and trying to connect it to John the Baptist.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Well, I am open to correction. Jesus was a priest. Jesus was certainly consecrated during his baptism that John presided over. If John didn’t do it, who did? If I recall the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove and the Father spoke spoke saying this was His Son that He was well pleased. You see God Himself does the consecrating but it seems that John the Baptist was part of that to fulfill the law. Don’t you find it significant that Jesus was fulfilling the entire law? Jesus was not just some gnostic Guru, he was a Jew and did everything required of a Jew. He was also a priest and a king and a prophet. He fulfilled all these roles and he fulfilled the entire law. No short cuts, etc…

  334. Andrew says:

    Then you’re really in trouble. Paul said if anyone comes to you with a gospel of works, adding circumcision, then let them be forever accursed. It was so important, he repeated himself.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    I am not adding any works to the gospel. Baptism is something God does. How many times do I have to say that?

  335. Andrew says:

    a pastor, circumcision doesn’t save. Christ saves. Let me be clear about that. You haven’t read carefully have you?

  336. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Ps40,

    “patriarchal “christian” culture ”

    That’s the issue right here ^^ There shouldn’t be patriarchal or matriarchal as there neither male nor female. I do believe that women are not to teach over Men and that only Men are to be elders. My issue with American Christianity is the need to put everyhting is this nice little box. Let’s label everything and put Men on pedastol’s to be our Kings and then lets all get suprised when they fall and cry for our next seemingly benevolent Leader and then idolize him until he falls and the beat goes on….

  337. Andrew says:

    Circumcision is circumcision of the heart. God does that. God does the baptism. Its all God. None of it is our work. This is what bothers me about the Harvest crusades and all the man made gimmicks to get people to come forward to be saved.

  338. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    See because I went thru a lot, I use my discernment to spot the Wolves and I can spot a Con Game a mile away. I know the BS when I hear such as when the Pancho Juarez’s of the World tell the Church publicly they are no longer going to travel but instead remain home to serve their flock. Guess what, did he keep his Word? No but he has traveled even more ever since that statement was made. I choose not to be a “Mark” and I just pray that others wake up to the BS of all these false Pastors parading themsleves around like they are God’s gift to the Church. Pastors have their examples to follow, it’s Paul’s. If the Pastor doesn’t follow that example then I really have no use for him. You can have all the seminary degree’s in the World, don’t mean crap if you ain’t livin it!

  339. SolRod,
    How long were you at Montebello?

  340. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    started going casually in 2004, then went consistently from 2007-2010

  341. Linnea says:

    Oh, Sister Christian…it’s SO good to see you here 🙂

  342. sisterchristian says:

    Dusty! -You are truly a gift from God …
    The best friend anyone could ask for!
    Hugs and prayers to you

    Andy- great to hear about the food ministry… Keep up the good work!

  343. Steve Wright says:

    but it is no different than me saying that what you said above is from your years of repetitive listening to Chuck Smith tapes at SoM.and beyond.
    —————————————————————————-
    LOL. I think my take is light years from anything Chuck taught on that topic…

  344. LOL, I think my take on the baptism of Jesus may be light years from what Lutheran’s teach.

  345. sisterchristian says:

    Linnea! Hi! So good to see you too!

  346. sisterchristian says:

    A Pastor, G, MLD, Nonnie., Please Note, Pstr Mike, S. Wright…

    Dear long time friends and new ones too! Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement and prayers …
    Truly you all are a blessing !

  347. sisterchristian says:

    E- runner!
    Yes I do vividly recall that very “moving” day! What a fabulous and treasured time to meet so many in the phxp family… Trusting all is well with you and your loved ones…
    It’s been so long., I fear I have missed much …

  348. Xenia says:

    Hello Sister Christian! Great to see you! 🙂

  349. sisterchristian says:

    Ps40..
    Hello, nice to meet your acquaintance! Have we formerly met in person?
    Sounds like we share quite a bit in a fellowship of suffering …
    As hard as it was – it has certainly given me a much greater empathy for others…
    As for my healing.,, I see glimmers of it here and there . Taken me over 5 years to begin to catch those glimpses and grab hold of that hope…
    I’m not there yet ., my life does not nearly resemble what it used to be, by far…

    For those who haven’t caught that glimpse, don’t despair., it takes significant time , Years of healing Some more than others…. I suspect the healing takes place over a life time., and it may be even when we are healed., we will still be left with the scars,… Even as Jesus was left with His….

    Those who have gone through what we have… We’re thrown into a fiery furnace,. Hands and arms bound tight … No protection from the flames…
    But as we trust our God – When we are in the midst of the flames- He walks with us… Promising never to leave or forsake us. And after we have passed through the fire, we are refined as pure gold … And like shadrach, meshach and abendigo
    Pass through that trial with the bondages that once held us are burned off

    We can rejoice that we are His beloved… And He will perfect those things which concern us… There is no quick and easy fix… Just a daily walk of trusting and waiting and walking with God ….,

  350. sisterchristian says:

    Tim-
    Thank you so very much for your prayers!

    Xenia!
    Good to see you too my friend!

  351. Ps40 says:

    SolRod,
    @# 336
    On this we “mostly” agree. We are a landscape of “faith” people who crave a king. Our American “christian” culture is arrogant, myopic, narrowly western to the exclusion of world history, self-centered and continually setting ourselves up for disallusioned disaster.

    also….a post script question: Was pre-fall Eden Patriarchal as well? By that I mean; was patriarchy the original design?

  352. sisterchristian says:

    Michael-

    Dear brother,

    Thank you for allowing me to share
    Thank you over the years for your listening ear, compassion and counsel,,. It’s been a rough turbulent tumultuous run… You and the family here… Several kind pastors, notably dead man walking and Oden, Mike g
    Have been a tremendous blessing in helping me sort through emotions and situations I was ill equipped to deal with…

    This family has been a true gift from The Lord in more ways than I ever could have asked for, dreamed or imagined possible.,,

    And tho we mostly all originally met in cyberspace… Upon personally meeting in fellowship and ministry ., so many people here,.. I can look back over the years and truly thank God for the special blessing that each of you are

    Thank you Michael

  353. Ps40 says:

    sisterchristian,
    I hope we could meet? I am an old friend of Paigemom’s so perhaps we have??? I suspect we share a lot in common…..especially since reading your #349. It’s hard to put actual words to our “furnaces”—but your words resonated and told me that you are one who “gets it”.
    Cannot wait to hear the details of how God is redeeming ALL in your life.
    I could fill a book with my redemption narratives:) Perhaps I will? 😉
    So glad to meet you hear.

  354. Dusty says:

    Sister Christian, you shared so much, and yet so much has gone unsaid….you shared just the right amount. Your words were quite delicate considering how horrid the situation has been and the pain you still carry..

  355. Dusty says:

    PS40, so sorry to hear you have traveled the same road as sis, and paigemom, and who knows how many others here who have yet to share. my payers are with you

  356. Ps40 says:

    Dusty—Thank you for those sweet words. But–strangely– I am not “entirely” sorry–because it led to my rebirth and delivery in so many ways!!! I may have even prayed prayers that led me to this result????? And YES! I suspect there are so many out there that share our story in some way or another. I am determined to be these sisters cheerleader–leading them to a better life in Christ:) One that gives them the value and honor their Heavenly Father has placed upon them unapologetically! God’s kingdom is redemptive that way. And it’s such a joy to be introduced to the likes of YOU! In odd places like this:) [i love your input at the PP…btw] I suspect you are fabulous:)

  357. sisterchristian says:

    Dusty,

    In learning to cast all my cares upon Christ… The pain is lessening day by day
    The more I learn to rest and trust
    The greater peace I have
    The biggest lesson I have learned
    And wished I had so long ago

    Is to heed the words of God who says
    Be still and know that I am God
    To wait upon The Lord

    As He continually shows me that He shall supply ally needs according to His riches…
    To delight in The Lord
    And He truly renews my strength

  358. Dusty says:

    You sound like paigemom! You and she both have survived your trial and I love how you put it that you will be their
    ‘cheerleader-leading them to a better life in Christ’

    thank you for your kind words. 😳

  359. sisterchristian says:

    Ps 40

    Your suspicions are correct!
    Dusty is fabulous!!!
    Please do keep her in prayer as she is going through a fire of a different nature… And in the process of healing as well…

    Paigemom has my email
    Feel free to inquire of her and we can have cyber tea and conversation as your available!

  360. Dusty says:

    Sis you are stronger now….you may not realize it but I have seen your growth from the start of this until now…and you are stronger,wiser, bolder…

  361. Michael says:

    Sis,

    No thanks necessary…you’ve given far more than you’ve gotten.
    We’re all just glad to see you again. 🙂

  362. sisterchristian says:

    S. Rodriguez

    I wasn’t angry at you
    Just offended at a seeming generalization you cast way earlier in the thread… I’m not certain how much influence a wife has in such situations
    Or how much information she is truly privy to.

    My experience has shown me- the board of elders bears far more responsibility if a pastor truly is robbing the church…

    And those who speak out are the first ones to be thrown out… Those who keep the status quo have much they don’t care to lose by speaking up , so they are content letting things slip through the cracks…. Slide by so to speak …

    I don’t mean to generalize here either
    Just what I saw in one particular group of leadership ,.. And not necessarily in regards to robbing the church … But questionable practices that weren’t entirely above board, that were condoned by the board whether they be unethical or immoral.

  363. Dusty says:

    Michael said,”
    2. We err grievously when we fail to distinguish between the beliefs and doctrines necessary to be part of our particular tradition or sect and those necessary for participation in the kingdom of God.”

    What if we try to understand them and fail?
    What if our beliefs lead us one way but the doctrines part does not line up- finding the balance between the two in confusing. What if we believe both sides of one point? or neither side in another point?

  364. Kevin H says:

    Just wanted to chime in to say it is so heartening to see moments like these on the blog. I know Michael suffers through a lot of grief in maintaining the blog and covering some of the subjects that he does. But I appreciate his efforts to keep this place going.

    Sister Christian, Dusty, Ps40, Paigemom and others, God bless you for all the struggles and hardships you have endured and your willingness to share here.

  365. sisterchristian says:

    Dusty ,
    Michael,
    You make me blush…

    It was great spending the day here
    (Trying to do this on my phone as I have limited Internet access was a bit challenging)
    So , sadly I won’t be able to participate as often as I would like
    But know you are fondly in my thoughts and prayers

    And as God wills may he make way for more opportunities in the future

    Praying Gods richest blessings upon all who participate here
    And blessings upon the diligence of those who have made this a place of family
    Ttfn

  366. Dusty says:

    KevinH, I am grateful for Michael and this blog as well. Some have no idea how much he goes though emotionally, physically and spiritually to keep things together. Not to mention what goes though off line….

  367. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    That’s a good question.
    My answer goes back to the simple Gospel I was speaking about yesterday.
    If you believe that Jesus came to us through the virgin birth, died for your sins, was resurrected, ascended, and will return again…then I believe that is sufficient along with the faith that is a gift from God and not of yourself.
    That means that you are free…free to think through all these other doctrines on your own schedule and according to their importance to you.
    You’re free to listen to all the different views here and test them.
    You’re free to grow, you’re free to change and best of all you’re free to be wrong.
    You’re also free to not worry one iota about any of it, because your eternity is already secured.

  368. Dusty says:

    Michael, WooHoo!!! Im free!! 😉 thanks for your quick answer. and easy to understand!

  369. sisterchristian says:

    Kevin H… Formerly known as capt Kevin?

    While signing out, saw your post
    Join you in your described appreciation for all michaels efforts in keeping this place alive

    And thank you for your kind words!

  370. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    It’s really a privilege for me…it’s been a big boost to me to see Dusty, Sis, PN, and others come back after long times gone.
    I appreciate every one that participates here…but some of these folks walked through hell with me and we’re all starting to come out the other side.

  371. Dusty says:

    Michael said, “…but some of these folks walked through hell with me’

    we would do it again and again big brother. don’t you get it yet – we love you!

  372. Kevin H says:

    Sister Christian, nah the Captain is still around and I’m not him. I came around this place 4-5 years ago, probably just after you were last active Herr.

  373. Kevin H says:

    *here, not Herr.

  374. Xenia says:

    Michael, I would add a belief in the Holy Trinity to your list of bare essentials.

    But I am not a fan of bare essentials.

    – Maximal Xenia

  375. filbertz says:

    SisChristian,
    I’ll add my voice to the chorus of those happy to see you here again, though tempered with a soberness for the journey you’ve endured. I’m humbled to see the deep work of Christ in those He loves.

  376. Rick Bob says:

    Michael said, “If you believe that Jesus came to us through the virgin birth, died for your sins, was resurrected, ascended, and will return again…then I believe that is sufficient along with the faith that is a gift from God and not of yourself.”

    How much do you have to “believe” it? Zero doubt? Just a little doubt? Or, can you believe it is possible and not claim it is absolutely not true and that is enough belief?

  377. Michael says:

    RB,

    Outside my pay scale.
    You’ve made your positions clear.
    I’m not interested in debating with you.

  378. Rick Bob says:

    It wasn’t a debate question. I was curious as to your personal take. I have doubt, but I also believe it is possible that those things are true, I just don’t have direct evidence that it is true. Can I be “saved”?

  379. Rick Bob says:

    Is “belief” the absence of doubt?

    Do you have to tell yourself you are convinced that all that is true to be “saved”? And, what is really the motivation to convince yourself? It is usually fear of going to hell, which is fear-based.

  380. Michael says:

    Again, that’s outside my pay scale.
    None of us have any evidence except the words of Scripture and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.
    That’s enough for me.

  381. Rick Bob says:

    Michael, do you have any doubt at all that it might not be true?

  382. Michael says:

    Our faith ebbs and flows in a fallen world.
    There are few things I’m more sure of.

  383. Rick Bob says:

    I think you sincerely want to be sure, but like you said there is no real evidence outside of the bible and pretty guarded and pretty dogmatized belief system.

    I think honest doubt is frightening to most Christians*

    I know it scared me to death for years b/c I thought to be honest about my doubt was to accept my place in hell.

  384. Michael says:

    I have faith.
    Faith that was given to me, not that I worked up on my own.
    Faith is inexplicable and unexplainable.
    There are mysteries and questions and dark nights of the soul, but the faith never dies.
    That’s the best I’ve got for you.
    I’m out for the night.

  385. Rick Bob says:

    I have faith too. I’m just open that those ‘mysteries’ could be completely different than you and many others state as so certain from your particular doctrinal/theological System.

  386. Muff Potter says:

    Rick Bob,
    I believe Jesus rose bodily from the dead and ate grilled fish with his friends. I have no iron-clad Euclidean proof for it. It’s what I choose to believe. I am like a man surviving a tsunami. If not for Our Lord, I’d have no air pocket and I’d be ground to carrion by the surrounding debris. I cling to Jesus’ very person and nothing more.

  387. filbertz says:

    Rick Bob,
    if I might interject, doubt is a constant companion to most of us, but it doesn’t necessarily discount or dispell faith. faith doesn’t dispell doubt either. they coexist in most believers all our lives, both waxing and waning. 1 Cor. 13:8-13 identifies the end of doubt, in my opinion.

  388. Ps40 says:

    @ filbertz, and Rick Bob–
    And what is faith–if doubt is not holding it in tension?

    I believe–Lord–please help my unbelief!

  389. Rick Bob says:

    Thanks guys.

  390. Nonnie says:

    I know you guys are going to bed, but I just got up and reading the last couple of hours of posts, there was some sweet ministry going on here. Praying for you all.
    And Rick Bob, I continue to pray for you and your brothers and your family.
    Peace be unto you.

  391. Dusty says:

    good morning Nonnie. Hope you have a wonderful day

  392. victorious says:

    A treasure to hear SC share her testimony. The perseverance of the saints while in process and even much pain is truly a substantial sign of victory. 🙂

  393. victorious says:

    And Dusty, you too. Btw SC gave me a number to call back in your day of despair. I called a few times but missed you. You were resting. So good to see you sharing and ministering in the rest of The Lord.

    My oldest daughter is getting married this weekend. I walk her down the aisle and get to officiate!

    Busy season. Our Easter dinner ended up as another project planning session for the wedding.

  394. Tim says:

    Love seeing Vic, SisC, Dusty, and other long-timers starting to pop back up. It almost makes me want to do less lurking, and more posting again. 😉

  395. Dusty says:

    come on Tim, you know you want to….(posting again)

  396. Dusty says:

    hi victorious. Congratulations on gaining a new son.

  397. Tim says:

    🙂

  398. sarahkwolfe says:

    Good morning’ all. It is a treat to see all these “old names” popping up.

    Sister…so sorry to hear the difficulties you have been facing. Praying for great healing and strength and encouragement for you in the days to come. For rest and and for a gathering together of all the good that has come from the trials, that it would be a great blessing in days to come.

    As always, wish I had more time to be online!!

  399. sisterchristian says:

    Sarah- Good morning! Your prayers are very warm and kind ..amen and Thank you

    I suspect that the very worst of it is behind now … And am looking forward to brighter days , new beginnings and wonderful adventures as God so leads in the days ahead…

  400. Very very late to the party but there is a lit of wisdom in your ” Things I Think” Michael

  401. Nonnie says:

    Steve Hopkins!!! Good to see you here, too!

  402. Michael says:

    Thank you, Steve…glad you stopped by. 🙂

  403. Paigemom says:

    Morning all…..gosh, I missed ‘the party’ here; the blessings of steady work.

    I just finished reading Romans and can begin to grasp the actions Luther took, long ago. I need to be reminded much more often that there ‘is a righteousness that is from God, by grace through faith”. Truly, my only hope.

    So thankful for the family of fellow travelers here. So good to see ‘old’ friends resurfacing both here and in emails. Praise God for His keeping power through many dangers, toils and snares.

    Back to work. God’s blessings upon you all.

  404. sisterchristian says:

    Please allow me to add;

    When I took – what dusty called brave- that step to share what has transpired in my life since restoring the little church in Europe… I wasn’t exactly sure what the resulting objective was. , other than to be very candid about the ordeal in light of thr recent Bob Coy news along with my deepest sympathies for other women who are silently and secretly suffering in the same way…

    What I realized after the interaction here yesterday and the generous outpouring of support and prayers… Was ( and I can hardly believe it has been so long …nearly 5 years of being away from regularly posting) the incredible fellowship that has formed with so many people here…

    Not merely incredibly blessed fellowship- but people here from all over the country/ world whom I have had the great priveledge to meet either in person or through email ., that have been very instrumental in supporting me through such a devastating time…

    To this wonderful Phoenix preacher family
    It is so true
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
    Nevertheless you have done well that you stood along side me in my distress.
    Phil 4 : 13-14

    I’m quite certain that I would not have pulled out of this as victoriously as I have without this forum Michael has invested in so diligently to put together and to hold together through hell and high water …
    Without the family here who have been so good to come along side me in my distress… To listen,. to pray to encourage and just sit together and befriend… Without ech one of you who has supported Michael in the background .. To hold this site together… I would not have had the tremendous care from the people able to gather and get to know one another here..

    Speaking of victorious..

    I also want to thank Victorious… ( I didn’t list him in a way above post) for being one of the pastors who partook in being very supportive during the worst of the ordeal… And continues to be … Thank you so much Vic

    Also want to thank;

    Concerned…
    went through unjustified scathing upon confronting leadership in former church for misconduct. concerns voiced concerns went unheeded… Was shunned…and eventually left that church… The misconduct apparently left unchecked ….and now years later it is part of what is now open public scandal….
    Thank you concerned for being the concerned individual you are and for being very hospitable kind and supportive to me personally throughout these years

    And to
    Scott ( is it H? Does he still post?)
    who generously donated a flight to the phxp family , whereby I was able to fly and first meet and join in ministry my Now BFF dusty!!!

    Now enough of my gushy sentiments!!! 🙂

    To those who are lurking and the family here:
    Don’t underestimate the power of this place
    The value and the fellowship that abounds here is a hidden treasure

    There are many parts in the body
    Some are more prominent than others that are hidden
    But each one is so important and valuable in the body of Christ…

    I also as prisoner of The Lord beseech you
    To walk worthy of the calling with which you were called
    With all lowlinesss and gentleness bearing with one another in love
    Endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace
    There is one body and one spirit
    Just as you were called in one hope of your calling
    One Lord
    One faith
    One baptism
    One God and Father of all who is above all and through all
    and in you all…
    … Joined and knit together by what every joint supplies
    By the effective working
    By which every ppart does its share
    Causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love..
    … Beloved let us love one another
    For love is of God
    And the world will know we are His disciples by our love

    That’s what happens here…

    And I’m not so sure that the world will come to know our God by our grand intellectual debates ( not that it’s impossible and it’s great when iron sharpens iron)
    But how can they deny Him and His working in and through our love one for another ?

    Blessings

  405. Michael says:

    Sister Christian,

    You have brought words…good words.
    More than that, you have brought the Spirit.
    Thank you so much.

  406. Bob says:

    RB

    Doubts is a good thing, kind of.

    I ask these questions of many who claim to confess Jesus:

    1. If there was no hell would you still confess Jesus as Lord?
    2. If there was no heaven would you still confess Jesus as Lord?
    3. If there was nothing at all, neither heaven or hell, after death would you still confess Jesus as Lord?
    3. If there was neither a heaven or a hell would you knowingly commit acts which bring personal fulfillment but yet harm others?
    4. If you confess Jesus as Lord, would you knowingly commit acts which bring personal fulfillment but yet harm others?

    I personally believe those whose main motivation is to either escape Hell, gain Heaven or do things with the sole purpose of self gratification have missed the mark and are approaching idol worship.

    I like what one woman said to me the other day, “God’s love language is obedience” (a reference to “The Five Love Languages,” by Dr. Chapman).

  407. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “also….a post script question: Was pre-fall Eden Patriarchal as well? By that I mean; was patriarchy the original design?”

    What I do believe is this:
    Patriarchy or Matriarchy is not the design for us today as Christians becasue both of those systems mandate that individuals place Loyalty to the Family first and foremost. We all know that when Jesus came to earth he changed quite a few things around and blew up some pre conceived ideas of how we as God’s Children are supposed to view things. The Amercian Institutional Church has put the “Family Unit” and “Marriage” as an Idol. See we get saved as Individuals, no one can ride their parents or spouses coattails into the Kingdom of God. Let’s see how Jesus looked at Family and how much emphasis he put on Family Loyalty.

  408. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Luke 14:26-“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

    Doesn’t sound too much family Loyalty there. Modern day Pulpit Preacher have watered this scripture down to mean “love less”. It also means to detest with utter hatred, to separate. Now of course we don’t hate our family’s precious souls but we hate their lives in this world and even our own lives. The part of their/are lives that keep them/us from serving God. Love of Money, fornication, adultery, Pride, Lying Lips etc. that is consistent with other passages where Jesus says that if you lose your life in this world you will gain it and vice versa.

  409. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Or how about this:
    Luke 9:59-62-Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

    Jesus is clear here that we must follow him when he calls and that even means putting Family aside even when it’s going to casue us to be hated by them. It’s easy to put Jesus first when there is no sacrifice but we must also put him first when there is a Big Price to pay.

  410. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Mark 10:28-30-Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

    Jesus words cannot be watred down, there will be those of us that have to leave our families for the Gospels sake and that includes spouse and children if need be. We are not to go down a sinking ship just because our families refuse to be obedient to God. Woman who refused to Recant

  411. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    ^^ contd: Woman who refused to Recant in book of Martys even though her Husband told her to so that she could go back with her family. Instead she obeyed God not some Patriarch and was imprisoned and put to death. Many a Amercian Christian would rail on her for not being a good Mon and go back to her Kids.

  412. SolRod – are you sure??? Jesus wants us to leave our Christian family?

  413. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Luke 8:19-21-Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

    Jesus said that those who do the will of God are our Family. Blood is not thicker than water. Our Spiritual family comes first. of course as a Husband/Father you have to provide for them or you are worse than an unbeliever.

  414. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    MLD

    “SolRod – are you sure??? Jesus wants us to leave our Christian family?”

    When the choice is to recant our belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and go back to our families or stay true and not deny the faith but die we must be willing to be faithful unto death.

    Revelation 2:10-“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

  415. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Yes I nkow that many of us don’t have to face these hard choices right now concerning immediate family but it will come soon unless of course your immediate family is born again and they stay true to our Lord. With extended family the choice is much easier, if they are wicked and mockers of your faith the Bible says to withdraw from them.

  416. Please Note says:

    SolRod….you are the king of proof-texting

  417. SolRod, you must have a weird family of wicked mockers.

    I think I would hang back and still try to witness to my family up until the end.

    Wait a second, I thought I get raptured out of here before the anti christ comes after me to make me choose between my wife and my Lord. 😉

  418. SolRod – all I can say is that is not the Christian message I know – I may be wrong, but the gospel is comfort and security … not fear and dread.

  419. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    PN,

    “SolRod….you are the king of proof-texting”

    Really? Don’t be so anal man! I don’t always have the time to do that. Blogs are for relaxed grammar

  420. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    MLD,

    Each situation is different but I choose to stay from those that are manipulators and deceivers. My step sister simply hated me because I shared the truth in love with her about her homosexaul lifestyle, she rallied other family members to take her side because of course they are so open minded. We never had a bad word between us and she even cried when we departed that day at starbucks but she doens’t wnat naything to do with me which is okay as that what Jesus promised us that he came to bring a sword not peace.

  421. Please Note says:

    Wow.

    Umm, maybe look that up before responding.

    Explains a lot about how little thought or research goes into your posts.

  422. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Matthew 10:34-39-“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. “For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; “and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.'”He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

  423. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “Wow.

    Umm, maybe look that up before responding.

    Explains a lot about how little thought or research goes into your posts.”

    Dude you are just a Hater. I’m just posting scripture and you come at me like this SMH!!

  424. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Revelation 3:17-18-“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the
    fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

    Gold refined in Fire that we may be Rich!

  425. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “SolRod – all I can say is that is not the Christian message I know – I may be wrong, but the gospel is comfort and security … not fear and dread.”

    This what our Lord considers Rich
    Revelation 2:9-11-“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’

  426. erunner says:

    SolRod, some might look at verses you share as permission to do or say anything and then say you were simply following the word. That can be counter productive.

    I have had to cut ties with my sister after things just got out of control after attempts to reconcile. At the same time I’ve been blasted by others in the family due to my convictions on homosexuality and Mormonism. Thankfully I’ve been able to keep the door open to relationship and possible further communication.

    I fear for those I love who reject the gospel and are headed for a christless eternity so I’ll do whatever I can to keep doors open. It’s crucial in not what we say but in how we say it. If people sense you truly care for them they are more likely to dialogue. I would think your desire is to see all of those you love come to Christ.

  427. Please Note says:

    Let’s see, you have an argument going on here every day, with multiple people, and I’m the hater. Okay. On this thread alone people are responding to your inquiry about whether they are mad at you…

    Way to avoid the issue of your pointless proof-texting by attacking me.

    And you’re not just posting scripture, you’re taking it out of context to try and prove some ill-informed position you hold.

    Normally, I wouldn’t care, but with your volume of posts, I wouldn’t want a new Christian to come on here and think you know what you’re talking about.

    As one pastor said the other day, you worship at The First Church of Soloman Rodriguez.

  428. Please Note says:

    Sorry…First Church of Solomon Rodriguez

  429. Jean says:

    A couple of thoughts on the latest 20 or so posts:

    1. Jesus may bring the sword, but he didn’t place it in our hands.
    2. It is not our job to judge those outside the body.
    3. We are to love our enemies. Isn’t that part of denying ourselves?
    4. We are not to go out of the world.
    5. We are to bring light and salt into the world (and no, I don’t believe that means telling nonbelievers they’re sinners destined for hell).

  430. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    erunner,

    you don’t know the details on this isue that arised between me and my step sister. How do you know I haven’t left the door open? One thing I won’t do is go to their BBQ’s and witness all of her friends engage in their homosexual affection. Also I am not going to keep on trying to contact her after she has rejected me due to my beliefs. You can only do so much. We are not to force ourselves on others. I can’t micro manage my relationship with her. I have three kids that i am raising on my own plus a position at work that carries alot of responsibility. I choose not to be around those who mock my faith. I have already given the precious words of Jesus, she in turn told my blood sister she no longer has a brother. Only so much I can do.

  431. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Jean;

    “5. We are to bring light and salt into the world (and no, I don’t believe that means telling nonbelievers they’re sinners destined for hell).”

    The reason why this came up is that my sister after coming out of the closet kept saying that “God was blessing her and that she lived a privleged life”. After two years of her coming out I finally told her the truth after making the above statement to me.

  432. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    PN,

    “And in MY OPINION you’re not just posting scripture, IN MY OPINION you’re taking it out of context to try and IN MY OPINION prove some ill-informed position you hold.”

    Fixed it for you Bro!

  433. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “As one pastor said the other day, you worship at The First Church of Soloman Rodriguez.”

    Sorry bro, I’m not as arrogant as You appear to be!

  434. Please Note says:

    Nice try, but your posts clearly indicate otherwise.

    Funny how you are quick to point out my opinion is my opinion, but state your biblical ‘interpretation’ as if it’s fact.

  435. Please Note says:

    I guess attack mode is a more natural response for you, rather than just looking up what proof texting is and thinking about whether you are doing that at times.

  436. erunner says:

    solrod, I wasn’t speaking towards you and your step sister. I brought up my sister is that I believe there are times when it’s best to withdraw.

    People mock our God not just verbally. Yet if the chance is there to keep doors open then I believe it is a worthy goal to maintain communication.

  437. Jean says:

    Solomon #431,

    I have never walked in your shoes and am the last one to criticize how you handled this unfortunate situation. I apologize if I offended you. I fall back on scripture where Jesus taught that God makes the sun shine and rain fall on the sinner as the righteous. God was able to bless and use David even though he was a man of blood, an adulterer and murderer.

    Is it possible that God is blessing your sister? In his own time, is it possible that by the loving witness of Christ’s body, the Holy Spirit may bring your sister to repentance of her sin? God’s ways are not our ways. Jesus stood more with the sinners than the righteous in his ministry. Should we do the same?

    We all sin and most of us, if we’re honest, haven’t surrendered totally to Christ in all areas of our sinful lives. Therefore, I try to give love the benefit of the doubt when faced with same sex sin. That being said, I am open to other points of view.

  438. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “People mock our God not just verbally. Yet if the chance is there to keep doors open then I believe it is a worthy goal to maintain communication.”

    I agree^^^

  439. Jean says:

    Our God is a great God who can handle the mocking. Didn’t he voluntarily submit to the ultimate mocking: insults, scourging, spitting, beating and crucifixion? And that was all of us! Body guard is not a spiritual gift 🙂

  440. Dusty says:

    Solomon Rodriguez, Please Note is far from arrogant

  441. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Jean,

    Situation is more layered than what I wrote, get what you are saying but I would need more time to explain. Put it this way, one day she called me about something and I wasa glad to hear from her and expressed such but she remained vanilla in her response as the call was more business in nature. I know that God convicted me as far as going to her parties/BBQ’s. Me and my kids don’t need to see them and their friends being affectionate with each other. For example, I am pretty close with my homosexual uncle. What’s the difference between him and my sister? My Uncle doesn’t hate me for my views, she does. He is open minded, she is not!

  442. Jean says:

    Solomon,

    I totally support you not subjecting either yourself or your kids to indecent sexuality, whether it be same sex or movies or whatever. Point taken.

  443. Dusty says:

    PN, are you picking on SR? 😉

  444. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    PN,

    I’m a Big Boy I can handle it. That’s why I put my real name on here. Whether he is arrogant or not doesn’t matter to me, I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me.

  445. Dusty says:

    it is often difficult to understand the intent of the words without the tone of voice to back it up. My daughter is a sign language interpreter and even the deaf language needs facial expression to get the real idea of what is being conveyed.

  446. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    ^^^^^^^so true

  447. covered says:

    Solomon is the guy we all knew in high school who would just walk in a room and pass gas just to see the reaction. We can always count on him to come in and relieve himself and do it in the name of Jesus.

  448. Dusty says:

    Covered!

  449. covered says:

    Hey Dusty, I have enjoyed watching you fellowship with old friends. Like you, I do love this place. Much to learn and wonderful people

  450. Dusty says:

    🙂 WooHoo! that’s good to hear.

  451. Dusty says:

    I sure can clear a room! lol y’ll chatn’ away ’til I get home then nutn’ 😉

  452. Ps40 says:

    Re: “Proof texting”

    Reading through the blog I cannot help but think of something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Christian culture might be repeating the mistakes of the pharisees by resorting to this technique (one I have regrettably used often in my annoying Christian adolescence stage).
    Let me explain….
    The pharisees often defended their scathing attacks on Jesus’ judgements/scandalous behavior– to Christ’s face–by proof-texting–and showing their expertise in the “Law”.

    [Honest question: was that what Yahweh intended their relationship to the Scriptures to be?]

    sigh…..

    I love how Jesus came back with a ,
    “You have heard it said…
    –>insert proof text here…Don’t do this…don’t do that…insert mind blowing concept of complete depravity and need of Him here….<–."

    In summary…..He effectively dismantled their skewed hermeneutical lenses, and used the "law" for a different purpose than theirs. It's as though He was trying to say, "Guys! You have missed my WHOLE point?"

    So I'm thinking the "church" is doing the same old thing that those old pharisees were doing……proof-texting, and missing His whole intended point? Spirit vs. Letter ???

    I am seriously evaluating my entire approach to Scripture because …..well…..there is a huge possibilty that I have been very wrong in my "interpretations", and could actually be doing more damage with God's Scriptures than good.

    But I am just a woman, and so forgive me… I digress…. 😉

  453. Ps40 says:

    WAIT! Insert, “But I say to you…insert mind blowing concept of complete depravity and need of Him here”
    sorry–did NOT mean to confuse you with my negligent editing!!!

  454. Jean says:

    Ps40, we all do that, because: (1) it’s so much easier to see the speck in another’s eye than the beam of wood in our own eye; and (2) we are fixated on how everything would be better off if other people would just believe rightly the way we do. What’s wrong with people?

  455. Ps40 says:

    Jean,
    So true.
    big sigh…..

  456. Concerned says:

    Sister Christian,

    It was so good to read your comments here yesterday and wonderful speaking with you!
    I miss that so much and remember a time when I looked forward to our daily e-mails. They ministered to me, even under the trying times we were living through.
    We share a sisterhood-that although miles away, you are always in my heart.
    I know that God will use ALL our suffering for his eternal purposes.
    We are being molded ever so gently by the hands of our Maker.

    Good to hear from you! Will be keeping you in prayer!
    Thank you for your friendship!

    Concerned aka Anonymous

  457. Jean says:

    Is our God a one of history or one of doctrine? Jesus asked Peter: Do you love me? … Then feed my sheep. I propose that Christians, including myself, get in the sheep feeding business. Many of you are. If any of you aren’t, then figure out what your gifts are and use them to build up the body and spread Christ’s kingdom.

  458. filbertz says:

    PS40,
    no dismissive, self-depreciating gender-related disclaimers allowed… 😉

  459. Ps40 says:

    filbertz.

    😉

  460. Jean says:

    This whole Coy fiasco is so annoying, because we just can’t stand a crucified Lord. Deep down inside we hate it (maybe him). What kind of god would put up with the kind of crap Jesus put up with? What kind of God would wash the feet of his betrayer? Would I? Surely Noah’s god wouldn’t. Shouldn’t God be a rock star? Masculine, a big draw, good looking, charismatic, and of course humble. And can’t we expect the people we share pews with to be bathed and properly dressed? After all, this is the Lord’s house.

  461. Please Note says:

    Covered 🙂

  462. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Wow! Covered and Please Note!

    You guys are pretty childish! Think what you want but I’ll stick to Gods word and not mans ways.

    PS40

    I honestly didn’t know what proof or pre text meant. I thought the guy was talking about my spelling. His response to me was very arrogant and pridefu instead of instructing as a brother would do. I dont think anyone on this blog would qualify as a rocket scientist so no one has room to boast in their intelligence.

  463. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    For example

    An extended family member got my daughter a cell phone after I told them not to and not only that but told my daughter to lue to me about it. When I confronted that family member they didnt apologize but pridefully blasted me. Do you think I am going to allow that person into my home when they dont respect my authority as a father to my kids and they are teaching my kids evil ways? Hell no! As the word says we are to be Wise as Serpents and harmless as Doves! Blood dont mean a thing in that situation. God doesnt want us to be fools, we are to set firm boundaries with people

  464. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Correction- lue should be lie

  465. Ps40 says:

    Sol Rod,

    I really wasn’t intending that comment to be directed at you—–it is directed at the entire church landscape that evangelical christendom influences. It’s endemic.
    I actually felt for you–your mistake–because it is the type of thing I do quite often. Did not mean to chime in on that narrative specifically. Sorry. I should have surmised you would take that to heart—I should have saved that comment for another time. God’s Spirit is ever reminding me that just because I think I “know” something–does NOT mean it needs to be said. :{

  466. Ps40 says:

    Sol Rod
    Another note: “God’s Word” is certainly not limited to the testimony of God’s intervention into humanity…..ie. The Bible?
    Or is it?
    Perhaps– If we listen more intently, and look in unsuspecting places—-we may have eyes to see, and ears to hear God’s voice in innumerable places?? Perhaps creation is still speaking to us now? Perhaps “God’s Word” is referencing more than a book–perhaps It’s a person? Or a reality we cannot comprehend with our finite senses?
    I’d hope believers do not limit the phrase “the word of God” to a single collection of writings–although they are frequently illuminated by the HS, and “inspired” IMO.

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