Paul's Passing Thoughts

Motivational Quote for Protestants Still in the Institutional Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 30, 2017

dont-cling-to-mistake

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John Piper Proclaims “Christians” Condemned and in Need of Continued Salvation

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 24, 2017

JohnPiperOriginally Published September 30, 2015

One of the major truths that will be emphasized in the present TANC book project is that the Protestant Reformation was NOT based on the Bible. The Protestant kerfuffle with Rome concerned differences in world philosophy—not theology. Sola scriptura is a blatant falsehood. Martin Luther concocted a contending worldview in opposition to an increased influence of Thomism in the Catholic Church. Luther then dressed up his philosophy in Bible verses. Actually, to be more specific, he dressed up Neo-Platonism in biblical garb. This is hardly some deep, dark secret; a cursory observation of church history reveals this, unless you get your church history from a Protestant seminary.

Since the Protestant Reformation was really based on Plato’s Republic, the necessary theological fit was/is progressive justification for those who are preselected and the last to know if they are really selected or not. They get the news at the final judgment. Until then, EVERYBODY is presently under condemnation and in need of continued justification because we have “present sin.” In order to be perpetually rejustified, we must “preach the gospel to ourselves every day,” obey the pastors, and be a faithful church member.

Due to the fact that sola scriptura is a farce, the present-day expression of authentic Protestantism via New Calvinists routinely contradicts the plain sense of Scripture in insane fashion, and nobody blinks an eye. Moreover, cowardly pastors who know better even as confused Protestants allow the New Calvinists to be named and quoted among their sheep.

Let’s talk about one example, the one that prompted this post. On August 22, 2015, John Piper prayed at a Christian anti-abortion rally at a Planned Parenthood location in St. Paul, Minnesota. In that prayer, he stated:

“And we acknowledge in the face of your holiness and power that we are sinners. Everyone standing here in this gathering is a sinner in desperate need of salvation that you offer in Jesus Christ. We know that our conscience condemns us, and if our own consciences do, how much more your holy law. So we have not lived up even to our own standards, let alone to your standards. And we confess our sins corporately before you as individuals.”

In direct conflict to the Bible’s clear definition of a believer, Piper proclaimed everyone at the gathering as condemned under the law; this is the Bible’s succinct definition of a lost person. In addition, Piper clearly proclaimed in the prayer that Christians are still in need of salvation.

How does he get away with this and stand as one of the most beloved evangelicals of our day? Because he supposedly has authority, and we the believers have no real ability to perceive truth. Clearly, if it comes down to what we understand our Bibles to say versus what John Piper says, he will win the day every time.

So then, for all practical purposes, he speaks for God.

paul

Rapture Fever – Guest Writer, John Immel

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on August 24, 2017

I was 17, (I think) at Fishnet, a Christian Woodstock, when I had my first serious conversation about end-time theology. I had that conversation with Hal Lindsey, a preacher who has made his living packaging and repackaging all things Second Coming. If memory serves I disagreed with his reading of a passage in Daniel. He was less than amused; he was the authority and I . . . wasn’t. My peon public objection was a threat to his livelihood. Preachers can never tolerate such things.

Back then I was under the delusion that preachers wanted to talk about the truth, about the ideas that shaped doctrine. It took me a long time to figure out preachers never have that motive. Certainly, had I understood this truth, Hal’s reaction to my question wouldn’t have surprised me.

Since I’m a hard-headed soul the interaction at Fishnet wasn’t the last unwelcome doctrinal conversation I would have with preachers and certainly not the last discussion about “biblical” eschatology.

(Eschatology, for those of you who don’t know, is the formal term for the Rapture, or End Time things.)

Anyway, the next notable time I entered this Rapture fray was during college: 1988 to be exact. A guy by the name of Edgar C. Whisenant, published a book titled: 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.

The book was garbage but it still took the country by storm. (If Wikipedia is to be believed, it sold 4.5 million copies.) True story. I visited a friend of mine from college in Virginia and when her mother (we’ll, call her Mrs. H) heard me reject Whisenant’s book she cried for two days. Mrs. H. started praying and fasting to save my soul and read from 88 Reasons Why . . . every couple of hours to persuade me. When that didn’t work Mrs. H. gave me a Pre-Millennial systematic theology book by Dwight L. Pentecost. I pulled out of the driveway with Mr. H begging me to recant lest I be left behind.

So, you can imagine that if the country at large had this kind of emotional investment, the veritable belt buckle of the Bible Belt in Tulsa Oklahoma at ORU, my university of choice, was sweat soaked infestation: Rapture Fever burned across the quad in South Tulsa, like Pentecostal wild fire.

As a budding Theology student, and as an eager member of the ORU School of Theology, I joined the general academic outcry against the madness. A great college friend Bret Nicolson, now a pastor in Evansville Indiana, and I spent HOURS, in our ORU dorm rooms, arguing the merits and doctrines of the Rapture madness. Those many musings eventually culminated in me doing my Senior thesis on the subject. I titled the paper: “Are We Getting Out of This Place or Not.” Dr. Autry was not amused. The upside was, the Dwight L. Pentecost book was a primary source for my rebuttal. Mrs. H. if you are reading this, thanks. And oh, . . . told you so.

>snicker<

Anyway, in 1988 the furor over the Rapture was new to me, but now I’m older and a LOT wiser. Rapture Fever infects the masses about every decade or so. Resurfacing again in my life time in 1995 when the world was treated to the Tim LaHay, Left Behind series. Just for the record, the only thing that got left behind in the books and movies was any respectable biblical exegesis and acting. But hey, he sold a LOT of books: 65 Million copies.

(Evidently the Rapture is a growth business.)

And the next one that comes to mind was Herold Camping who said that May 24th 2011 was the day that big J was gonna whisk everyone away.

(Do you like how I did all that alliteration. That was kinda fun)

And then in 2017 there was an eclipse and Jesus is supposed to be coming back . . . again.

And of course, He didn’t. He hasn’t and he’s not this year, not next, or the one after that or the one after that. (Mark my words. If not I’ll be glad to say I told you so). But that won’t stop LOTS of people from making really, really bad life choices even in the face of insurmountable evidence that whomever is making the prediction the day or hour or year will be WRONG.

So how can this be? How can ostensibly, intelligent, 21st century people, with a full grasp of reality in 95% of their life get so screwed up in the other 5%.

Where does this Rapture Fever come from? And why does it cycle with such consistency?

I’ll tell you but, like Hal Lindsey and Mrs. H. and a host of other people I’ve encountered when talking about this subject, you won’t like the answer.

Spoiler alert. I’m gonna rip off the band aid.

The rise of Rapture doctrine is inversely proportional to social/political chaos.

Or said another way, the more people feel uncertain about the future the more helpless they feel in dealing with reality, the more they abandon reality and look for a way to escape.

Or said another way, the feebler people feel, the more they yearn for someone to erase reality.

Or said another way, the Rapture, the longing for the return of Jesus, is an existential punt.

I told you, you wouldn’t like it.

And we have seen this existential punt, drawn through history like a standing wave, cycling above and below the line as cultures and nations ebb and flow through civil stability and unrest.

And do you want to hear the real punchline to the joke: The cycle is exacerbated by historic Christian doctrines. The roots of Christian doctrine come from St. Augustine merging 2nd century Christianity with 3rd century Platonism. 90% of what you hear in church today, in the 21st century, is Augustine, which really means you’re listening to Plato.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. You can find this stuff out yourself in about 2 hours with that cool answer box called Google. Just think, I spent a LOT of money 20 years ago, to learn this stuff. You can get it for free.

Anyway, Augustinian dogmas turned the world into an insurmountably evil place, inhabited by a metaphysical aberration called Man and dubbed the cosmos malevolent.  The height of this worldview is in the Dark Ages: the Dark Ages were dark in principle because people during that time took Augustine seriously and the result was a nightmare come to life. Thankfully, the world was pulled out of the madness by Thomas Aquinas: he reintroduced Aristotle to the world, and within 400 years the Enlightenment sparked the Age of Reason, that culminated in the American Constitution. Political freedom released the human mind to thrive and soon the world was filled with light: the cosmos was intelligible, knowable and benevolent. And for a while, it seemed that Augustinian doctrines would slide into the primordial ooze like so many disastrous ideologies that came before.

“John, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane! I don’t listen to Augustine, I listen to my preacher and he reads the BIBLE! He’s always telling me about the good that God does.”

Hold on there, Festus. I get it. I’m Dorothy pulling the curtain back revealing the man pulling the very real, very tangible levers. I’m that punk in 4th grade who told you that Santa Clause wasn’t real and it was mom and dad that put the presents under the tree. You might not like it but that doesn’t change the truth.

The intellectual pedigree goes like this (assuming you are a Protestant) Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Reformed Theology—a bunch of 17th century thinkers—the 20th century resurgence of Calvinism, your pastor. There isn’t any preacher in America that hasn’t been affected by the resurgence of these doctrines. And I’d bet money that for every time that preacher tells you about the “good” he hedges and fudges with three times the reiteration of your sin, and depravity and guilt, and weakness.

And so here we are in the 21st century, being fed a steady diet of metaphysical gloom and doom and the name of Christian righteousness. The more Augustinian doctrines of self-doubt and human impotence overtake a cultural mind the more people pine for a world that is not this world.

So, there you have it. Go to church on Sunday and hear how wretched you are, how bad the world is, how evil life is. Watch the news. Watch America—the single most amazing political achievement in human history—tearing itself apart; watch people do evil and call it good, do crazy things and call it sane. It is enough to make grown people turn to alcohol or religion. Any religion. Any mysticism that can show them how to get away from reality.

You think I’m being cynical?

Nope. Just making an observation.

The problem is that the very doctrines people turn to for comfort and hope are the same doctrines that affirm reality is an evil chaotic place that no man can tame or grasp.

Now you can follow the progression to Rapture Fever:

  • As the cycle of social unrest increases social instability, the more people go to mystical sources to find “answers.”
  • Preachers tell everyone that this world is evil and everyone is sinfully incompetent.
  • Psychological impotence grows in its own echo chamber of despair.
  • Eventually people accept the premise and punt.

Alakazam Poof! The Edgar C. Whisenant’s and the Tim LaHay’s and the Harold Camping’s of the world seem like the clarion call of sanity. Their voices affirm people’s greatest fears and satisfy their greatest hopes. Men will sell their souls for a glimpse of stability so if someone claims a special ability to reveal a new reality, they will lobotomize themselves to wipe out what they feel they have no power to master.

My greatest objection to Rapture doctrine has little to do with when it will or won’t happen. My objection has always been against the underlying attitude: the wholesale abdication of civil responsibility. It is much easier to breathe portents of divine retribution and pretend you will be somewhere else when the bad #$%@ happens.

It sounds Churchy for preachers to thump their Plexiglass podiums while reading the book of the Revelation and ranting about God pouring out Fire and Fury against whomever violates their moral sensibilities. But in the end it is all posturing. People infected with Rapture Fever have no intention of taking any action, responsibility, or initiative. “I’m getting out of here so I don’t care what happens next,” is their battle cry. They capitulate, pretending that the course of human events is beneath them. They abandon the responsibilities of self-government and flee the obligations of a representative republic without so much as a fair thee well. The result: they contribute to societal decline by sitting idly, waiting for a bus that never comes and then complain their world is turning to #$%@.

And it is for this abdication that those infested with Rapture Fever should be called to account by the doers, the able, the rational, the responsible, and the motivated.

Get in the game!

~ John Immel

A Comprehensive Essay on the True Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on July 3, 2017

Man Does NOT Have a “Sin Problem”
That is a scandalous statement and one that contradicts everything you have probably heard in church your whole life.  It would seem to be a logical conclusion that the Bible teaches that man’s problem is sin, but let us reconsider two primary assumptions:

  1. Does man indeed have a problem?
  2. Is that problem sin?

The Bible teaches that there are only two kinds of people in this world; those who are “under law” and those who are “under grace”.  To be “under law” means to be subject to the Law’s condemnation, which is death, and ultimately the Lake of Fire.  Every person ever born into this word is “under law” and is therefore condemned because at some point in his life he has broken the Law in one way or another.

Even if a person has no knowledge of God’s Law from scripture, the Bible tells us that every man has the Law of God written on his heart, which is the conscience (Romans 2:14-15).  The conscience is what gives man knowledge of right and wrong.  One day, every person “under law” will be judged by God according to the Law, whether that be God’s law as recorded in scripture or by his own conscience.  So clearly, man does indeed have a problem.

 

What about Sin?
The Bible describes Sin as an entity which seeks to wield control over others. (Genesis 4:7)  Sin’s desire for control is manifest in man’s subsequent desire to wield control over others.  Ironically, Sin obtains its power of control over others through the Law (1 Corinthians 15:56).   Sin uses the Law to control others by provoking man through desires to break the Law.  Once there is a law that governs some behavior, Sin uses that same law to provoke a desire to rebel against what that law requires (Romans 7:7-8).

Without the Law, Sin has no power.  Therefore, where there is no Law, there is no Sin.  Any person who is “under law” is not only provoked by Sin to break the Law, but he is condemned if he does.

So the problem then is not with Sin, rather it is the reality that any man “under law” is under condemnation.  The solution then is that man needs a way to get out from under the Law’s condemnation.  Man needs a new relationship to the Law.

 

Man’s New Relationship to the Law
When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas how to be saved, their response was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…”  Belief means faith.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  A person is born again (literally “born from above”) when he hears about Jesus and believes what he hears.  Hearing implies a cognitive process of allowing oneself to be persuaded by a reasonable argument.  So we understand then that “faith” is more than just an assenting to the facts, but it has to do with being thoroughly convinced in your mind that something is true.  Furthermore, having been persuaded, there comes a point where one must make a conscious choice as to whether or not one wishes to accept the reality of the gift freely offered to him and the ramifications that come along with that decision.

God made it possible for man to get out from under the Law’s condemnation through the New Birth.  When a person believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “old man” who was “under law” dies.  Laws have no jurisdiction over dead people.  Dead people cannot be condemned.

When the “old man” dies, a new creature is reborn in his place.  This new creature is born of God.  He is the literal offspring of the Father.  This new creature is not born “under law”.  The Law has no jurisdiction over him.  This means the Law CANNOT condemn him.  And since there is no Law to condemn this born again new creature, there is no Sin.  The one who is born of God CANNOT sin!

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9

Notice, the apostle John does not say the believer “won’t sin” or “chooses not to sin”.  He says he CANNOT sin.  He is not ABLE to sin.  Why is the one who is born again not able sin?  Because sin has to do with Law.  You cannot condemn one of sin when there is no Law under which to accuse him.  Think about it; if there was no 55 mph speed limit on the highway, and you were driving 56, would a patrol officer be able to write you a citation for speeding?  Of course not.  Why not?  What law could he use of which to accuse you?  There would be none.  So it is with the one who is born again.  The believer is no longer “under law,” therefore there is no Law that can be used to condemn.  The believer has a new relationship to the Law.

Since the Law can no longer condemn, the Law’s original intent can now be realized: to show love to God and to others!

This is why believers strive to obey.  It is not a means to merit some right standing with God The believer is already righteous because he is God’s offspring.  The believer obeys because he wants to show love to God and love to others.  Love is the fulfillment of the Law.  In fact, the Bible teaches that those who love God have a natural love for the Law as well.

“O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” ~ Psalms 119:97

“I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.” ~ Psalms 119:113

“I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.” ~ Psalms 119:163

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” ~ Psalms 119:165

Even if there was no speed limit on the highway, would you still drive as fast as you possibly wanted?  Hopefully not, because you would recognize the inherent danger, not only to yourself by driving recklessly, but also to the other drivers on the road.  You would drive in such a way as to preserve your own life and the lives of others.  You would be functioning according to the Law of Love.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:2

This new relationship to the Law through the New Birth is offered as a free gift to any who believe on Jesus’ death on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins.

 

How does Jesus’ death on the cross forgive sin?
In Old Testament times, when God codified the Law for Israel with Moses, the Law took Old Testament saints into protective custody.  During this time, believers were preserved from condemnation upon their death because sin was imputed to the Law.  This was the “covering” aspect of the Law, and the ceremonial observation of the “Day of Atonement” was a recognition of Israel being under the Law’s protective custody. (Galatians 3:22-24)

This protective custody was in effect up until the time of Jesus’ death on the cross.  Jesus’ death was the fulfillment of a promise made to Abraham.  When Jesus died, He ended the need for the Law’s protective custody.  When the Law ended, all sins that had been imputed to the Law were taken away with it.

The picture of the “scapegoat” in Leviticus 16:21-22 describes what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplishes.  The priest would lay his hands upon a live goat, a symbol of sins being imputed to the Law.  That goat would then be delivered into the hands of a strong man who take that goat into the wilderness and release it.   Jesus is that “strong man” who took away the sins imputed to the “scapegoat” of the Law.

“…Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” ~ John 1:29

In essence, Jesus is both the “Lamb” and the “strong man”.  He is the Testator of the Old Covenant, the One of whom the Law speaks, the One to whom sin is imputed.  The death of the Testator brings an end (fulfillment) to that covenant, thereby taking with Him all sins which had been imputed to Him. (Hebrews 9:15-17)

Since the Promise of Christ has come, there is no longer a need for a guardian.  The “covering” aspect of the Law is no longer needed. (Galatians 3:25-26)  This is true for every person who believes in Jesus Christ for salvation.  The New Birth puts the old man to death.  All those past sins are forgiven.  They were taken away when the Law was ended for him upon his New Birth.  There is no ongoing need of forgiveness for “present” or “future” sins because the believer CANNOT sin.  There is no Law to condemn him, therefore there is no sin.

 

Why do Christians still “sin”?
Man is and always will be a free-will agent.  His behaviors are governed by choices that are the logical conclusions of assumptions.  Man was created by God to be a rational, thinking, creature.  It is how man is made is God’s image.  In this way, man is good.  To say that man is “good” means to be good existentially, or that which is intrinsic to the nature of his existence.  It means man has the capacity to act in accordance to the purpose for which he was created; to think, to reason, to live, to BE.

Because a man may make a choice to do evil does not mean that he IS evil.  Conversely, that man may make a choice to good is not what MAKES him good.  Man’s ability to even make a choice is what makes him “good”.  He is functioning according to how God designed him to be.   Do not misunderstand – “goodness” should not be conflated with “righteousness”.

It is not man’s choosing to do evil deeds (or lack of good deeds) which condemns him, no more than it is a believer’s choosing to do good deeds (or lack of evil deeds) which saves him.  Unregenerate man is condemned because he is “under law”.  A believer is saved because he is born again and NOT “under law”.  Therefore, because one who is born again is not “under law”, there is no such thing as “sin” for the believer.

Nevertheless, this does not preclude the fact that a believer can still choose to not obey the Law.  At the same time, this does not give a believer license to ignore the Law.  While failure to obey the Law no longer condemns the believer, it is still a failure to show love.  One who is the offspring of the Heavenly Father ought to behave in a manner that is consistent with his righteous state of being.

The Bible says the flesh is “weak”.  Weakness does not mean evil.  The apostle Paul said that the treasure of our righteous new creature-hood is contained in “clay pots”.  So even though a believer is righteous, Sin still seeks to control him through the weakness of his flesh.  And because man is a moral agent capable of free-will decisions, a believer can still choose to give in to fleshly desires provoked by Sin.  But it is important to understand the distinction; such an action does not condemn!  It is a failure to show love.

Perfection is not the issue here.  This is why it is so important to understand that righteousness has nothing to do with law-keeping.  There is a reason Paul and the other apostles bent over backwards to make this case throughout the New Testament.  Righteousness is apart from the Law. (Romans 3:21, 28)  Believers are righteous because they have been born again and are no longer “under law”.  Whether or not a believer obeys the law “perfectly” is irrelevant to his righteous state of being because there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1)

This reality is incredibly freeing, because now a believer can aggressively pursue love without fear!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:” ~ 1 John 4:18

A believer no longer has to worry about what laws he has kept or hasn’t kept because the threat of condemnation has been removed.  That possibility is no longer hanging over his head like some impending doom.  Now he is free to focus on just loving God and loving others, and the way he shows love is by striving to obey the Law.

“‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'” ~ Matthew 22:36-40

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” ~ Romans 13:8

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” ~ Galatians 5:14

 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” ~ John 14:15

A false gospel has only one perspective on the Law, which leads to a misunderstanding of the Law’s purpose.

 

A Misunderstanding of the Law
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Jewish religious leaders had come to believe that keeping the statutes in the Torah was what made a person righteous.  But because they made the assumption that man was metaphysically evil, this assumption meant that man was disqualified from being able to understand the Law’s requirements.  This is turn meant that if man could not understand the Law then man could not keep the Law.

The Jewish leaders believed it was necessary for some mediator to dictate to man the requirements necessary for righteousness.  To accomplish this, they crafted their own interpretation of the Torah for man to follow.  Since man could not understand the Law, he could only obtain righteousness by following the interpretations of the Jewish leaders.  This interpretation is what was known as their “traditions” or orthodoxy.

There are a number of problems with this, not the least of which is that the Bible teaches that righteousness is apart from the Law.  As already mentioned, the apostles went to great lengths to make this point clear.  For the Jewish religious leaders to hold this perspective, it was indicative of their egregious misunderstanding of the Law’s purpose.  The Law was never intended to be for the purpose of obtaining a righteous standing with God.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” ~ Galatians 2:21

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” ~ Galatians 3:21

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” ~ Romans 3:20

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” ~ Galatians 2:16

The Law is the means by which man shows love to God and others, but making the Law the standard for righteousness actually circumvents love.  How does this happen?

The Jewish religious leaders replaced the Law with their orthodoxy.  The people were taught that since they could not keep the Law, it was pointless to even try.  By replacing the Law with orthodoxy, the Jewish leaders effectively took away man’s only means of showing love to God and others.  Rather than striving to show love to God through obedience, they became preoccupied with adhering to Jewish orthodoxy.  Their lives were no longer characterized by love but fear.

When the standard for righteousness is perfect law-keeping, fear is always the result.  Fear is the result of condemnation.  Condemnation comes from being “under law”.  Any system that makes Law the standard for righteousness keeps man “under law”.  The Jewish system of perfect law-keeping by adherence to orthodoxy kept the people “under law” and took away their means of showing love.

This is exactly what Jesus accused the Pharisees of doing.

“… Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition [orthodoxy].” ~ Matthew 15:6

“And he said unto them, ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition [orthodoxy].’” ~ Mark 7:9

“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition [orthodoxy], which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” ~ Mark 7:13

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” ~ Matthew 24:12

The word translated “iniquity” in Matthew 24:12 is the Greek word ανομια (anomia).  It literally means “no law”.  This is the Biblical definition of antinomianism.  It means to take away the law.  Jesus said Himself that taking away the Law would result in love growing cold.  And why wouldn’t it?  If you take away the Law, you take away the only means man has to show love to God and others.

Jesus spoke these words as a prophesy, but the end result of this logical progression of thought is always the same: taking away the Law results in a lack of love and lives characterized by fear.  Be sure to understand the distinction.  The Jewish religious leaders misunderstood the Law’s purpose.  They thought it was for the purpose of meriting righteousness.  But righteousness is apart from the Law.  Righteousness comes through the New Birth.  The Law is used as a means to show love to God and others.

What was true of first century Judaism is also true of every religion that ever existed or still exists today: it makes some form of law-keeping as the standard for righteousness.  Every religion begins with the same root assumption: that man is metaphysically evil, making him disqualified from being able to understand truth.  Since he cannot understand truth he must have truth interpreted for him.  Religious orthodoxy is nothing more than truth repackaged for mass consumption.  It is therefore adherence to this interpretation of truth that brings righteousness.

Protestantism is no different!  But Protestantism’s version of orthodoxy is obfuscated under the pretense of “faith alone”.  On the one hand, it will acknowledge that righteousness is apart from the Law; that man does not merit righteousness by keeping the Law.  Then on the other hand, it will insist that Jesus keeps the law for us.  In other words, since man cannot keep the Law, Jesus must do it instead.

How is it proposed that man is able to benefit from this so-called perfect law-keeping of Jesus?  By living by “faith alone”.   You see, if at any time you find that you are performing a work of obedience to the Law “in your own efforts”, you are attempting to rely on your own strength to merit salvation instead of “resting” in Christ to do the work for you.  (Notice that the assumed motivation is to merit salvation instead of showing love.)

It should be blatantly obvious that regardless WHO is keeping the law, even if it is Jesus keeping the Law in our stead, it is still a righteousness that is based on perfect law-keeping.  This is NOT a righteousness apart from the Law.   Moreover, to rely on Jesus doing the works of the Law for us so that His righteousness can be imputed to us is nothing more than works-based salvation.

For over 500 years, Protestantism has been perpetrating a fraud and a contradiction of epic proportions!  Like every other religion that has come down the pike since the beginning of time, Protestantism is based on a faulty assumption that results in a willful misunderstanding of the Law.  It is a religion of antinomianism that circumvents a believer’s ability to show love through obedience.  It makes obedience nothing more than a subjective experience that Christ supposedly performs through the believer.  It defies the believer’s natural inclination to love God’s Law.  It defines righteousness as perfect law-keeping.  This unwittingly puts the believer right back “under law”, the Biblical definition of an unsaved person.  Protestantism views believers no differently than the unregenerate.

Most importantly, the false gospel of Protestantism robs the believer of assurance.  The Christian life becomes one of constant introspection of whether one is living by “faith alone” or not.  Protestantism’s single perspective on the Law means the believer is in constant fear that he might come under condemnation.  He is not free to love others.  He is not free to love his Heavenly Father.  He can never know for sure if he really is saved.

Dear Christian brother, know this.  The Bible says that we CAN know for sure that we are saved.  When we understand that our righteousness comes by virtue of the fact that we are the literal offspring of the Father, everything becomes so simple.  It does not matter if we fail.  Perfection is not the point.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!  Believers are no longer “under law”.  Where there is no law there is no sin.  This is a wonderful reality!

This is the Gospel news that believers need to bring to a world that needs to be reconciled to God.

The world is full of unsaved people who do very good deeds.  Whether he realizes it or not, every time man shows love to another, he is fulfilling the Law.  It does not matter if the person is saved or not.  Unsaved man has the ability to show love to others just as much as one who is saved.  But it is not that expression of love that saves.  It is not a fulfilling of the Law that saves.  For even though an unsaved man might obey the Law of Love, he is still condemned because he is still “under law”.  That is the whole point.

Man does not have a “sin problem”.  He has a relationship to the Law problem.  This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.”  The exhortation to you, dear brother in Christ, is this: Go out this day and show forth your love to God and others.  You are God’s righteous child.  Pursue obedience and fulfill the Law of Love!

~ Andy

What God Does in Protestant Progressive Justification

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 31, 2017

Originally published May 31, 2015

There was a meme in my Facebook news feed that caught my eye this morning.  I felt compelled to make some corrections to it.  If you still don’t believe that Protestantism teaches progressive justification, think again.

Andy

what God does - corrected

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