This article is published in response to the following comment on a previous post from “Susan”.
“Do you have a ten point counter comparison somewhere? I am thinking a side-by-side chart of: This is the false Protestant gospel and this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I might (in my spare time) make something up like that to better see truth and error side by side. Just a thought.”
As you requested, Susan!
|1. Justification as a “forensic declaration” is a righteousness defined BY the law||Justification is righteousness APART from the law.|
|2. Justification is only a declaration.||Justification is a state of being that results from being the born again offspring of the Father.|
|3. The Protestant goal of magnifying grace in the Christian life demands more sin so that grace may abound.||“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” ~ Romans 6:1-2
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” ~ Romans 6:15
|4. The promise of joy resulting in magnifying ongoing grace (salvation) as a result of “deep repentance” is a rejoicing in evil.||“Love…thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:5,6|
|5. Fulfillment of the law by Christ which is then imputed to the “believer” makes the law a co-life-giver with God, but “God is one.”||The fulfillment of the law does not make believers righteous. Believers are righteous FIRST through the New Birth. The law is then fulfilled in believers because a single act of love fulfills the whole law. (Romans 8:4, 13:8, Galatians 5:14, 6:2, James 2:8)|
|6. A law that can only condemn and lead one back to the cross cannot be utilized to love. Hence, the “believer’s” ability to love is circumvented.||A believer has a new relationship to the law which allows him to aggressively pursue obedience and show love to God and others without fear of condemnation.|
|7. It makes salvation a reward for perpetually returning to the cross rather than a gift.||There is a distinction between the gift of salvation and rewards, the wages paid to believers (distributed at the Bema Judgment) for good works done in this life. (1 Corinthians 3:8, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 11:6)|
|8. The so-called “believer” necessarily remains a slave to unrighteousness in order to magnify the cross.||Believers are no longer enslaved to the Sin-master because the old man has died. The new man is a bond-slave to righteousness (his new nature) but, because of the weakness of the flesh, might fail to show love through obedience (still without being condemned).|
|9. The “believer” is unable to obey the biblical command to put sin to death; that would circumvent a “greater sense of one’s sin” which supposedly magnifies grace.||Sin only has power over someone when there is a law to empower it. The believer is freed from the power of sin (and to obey its lusts) because the law’s power to condemn has been ended. The believer co-operates with the Holy Spirit in sanctification to “mortify” the members of his body to use them for holy purposes.|
|10. Sanctification is the “growing” part of salvation that must also be lived by “faith alone” in order to maintain justification. Believers do not perform works of love but only subjectively “experience” Jesus doing works of love through them.||The biblical goal of sanctification is to utilize one’s body for making holy sacrifices of love to God and others.|
One: Justification as a “forensic declaration” is not righteousness apart from the law because it is a legal declaration.
Two: Justification is only a declaration and not a new state of being.
Three: The Protestant goal of magnifying grace in the Christian life demands more sin so that grace may abound.
Four: The promise of joy resulting in magnifying ongoing grace (salvation) as a result of “deep repentance” is a rejoicing in evil.
Five: Fulfillment of the law by Christ which is then imputed to the “believer” makes the law a co-life-giver with God, but “God is one.”
Six: A law that can only condemn and lead one back to the cross cannot be utilized to love. Hence, the “believer’s” ability to love is circumvented.
Seven: It makes salvation a reward for perpetually returning to the cross rather than a gift.
Eight: The so-called “believer” necessarily remains a slave to unrighteousness in order to magnify the cross.
Nine: The “believer” is unable to obey the biblical command to put sin to death; that would circumvent a “greater sense of one’s sin” which supposedly magnifies grace.
Ten: The biblical goal of sanctification, to utilize one’s body for making holy sacrifices of love to God and others is clearly circumvented.
The American Protestant church is, and always has been a duck out of water. Protestant orthodoxy was formed under a church-state and was formulated for a church-state. Protestantism without the state to enforce its orthodoxy is half-pregnant Protestantism. When you see a duck waddling down the side of a road, you know where the duck is going—to a body of water. Likewise, Protestantism, wherever it is found, is always headed towards what fully defines it as a church-state. Protestantism without state authority is Protestant Light or better stated as a Protestant anomaly.
Regardless of all appearances and claims, the Protestant church has always been vying for a marriage with state authority because as the GEICO commercial states, “It’s what it does.” Ducks go to water because that’s what they do; Protestantism seeks state authority to enforce its orthodoxy because it always has been a church-state and always will be.
This necessarily requires the church to be an institution driven by authority and ownership of truth. It will claim that it presently represents God’s kingdom on earth and will be politically active in a major way. It will claim a mandate from God to take over every culture in every country with a “Christian worldview” and in case you have been on vacation from reality, this endeavor by the church is plainly evident.
However, the folly of this notion is also evident. Supposedly, God’s kingdom is presently on earth competing with all other kingdoms for world dominance rightly belonging to God. Really? While defining God as “sovereign” and “omnipotent,” supposedly, God has relegated His kingdom operation to halfwit reprobates functioning on cognitive dissonance. In contrast, the Bible makes it clear what happens when God brings His kingdom to earth; it’s game over because God is, in fact, sovereign and omnipotent. Hence, this present time is not about God’s kingdom being presently on earth, but a warning to people everywhere that God’s kingdom is coming and what they should be doing to prepare for it.
I have said it in many posts written previously: watch for it; the vying for state enforcement of Protestantism is coming because that’s what Protestantism is and what it does. In Alabama, the well-known Briarwood Presbyterian Church is seeking state approval of its own police agency accountable only to the Presbyterian Session. And incredibly, the request is making its way successfully through the legislative process.
The implications are profound. Right now, churches are being laughed out of court when they argue that secular courts have no authority over church in-house criminal activity. Churchians claim it to be a separation of church and state issue. However, Briarwood is asserting openly that this would, in fact, be the case: what happens in the church stays in the church and is not the business of secular law enforcement. All investigations would be under the authority of the Session and no one else. If Briarwood’s legislative project continues to be successful, for all practical purposes, huge megachurch campus networks that presently pepper the United Sates would become virtual city-states.
I contend that this is history repeating itself. As the religious landscape returns to the true 1st century picture, you will see an increased contention between the growing home fellowship movement and the institutional church—a contention that dominated the historical landscape between 70 AD and 350 AD. This will be the authoritative church institution versus the organized “household of faith.” It will be a unified body unleashing the potential of a collective priesthood of believers against the Protestant super-cult. Remember, ANY combination of faith and authority is by definition a cult. When Protestant elders claim authority and ownership of truth by proxy, they also proclaim themselves to be despots. Despite their claims of “leadership,” authority has no need to persuade anyone; if you don’t obey them, you will be arrested by the church police. As it is now, the “security personnel” at John MacArthur’s church in California will escort you to your car if you ask too many questions in Sunday school.
Obviously, it begs the question; if Briarwood succeeds, where will those indicted by the church police be held? As far as a court system, Presbyterianism already has that in place, it only lacks police enforcement. With its own traditional court system in place, and a police agency accountable only to the Session, how could state prisons be used legally to incarcerate those convicted by the church? A church prison system would have to follow.
For those of you who think this is all far-fetched, let’s discuss a little bit of metaphysical math 101. The founder of the Presbyterian church was who? Right, “John Calvin”…very good class. And during his rule over Geneva, Calvin had a what? Right, “police force”…very good class. Now, how often have we heard in the past that Calvin was a man of his time and the modern church would not necessarily invoke all his ideas? Well, all that’s left now is the building of the church prison system. And remember, the Calvin Institutes were written to a king which may be something to think about as well.
This is why I am focusing heavily this year on defining home fellowships; I have to believe there are many who will flee the church posthaste as things like this continue to unfold and they will need a place to go.
If you think there is tyranny in the church now, just wait till they get their own police force and penal system.