Paul's Passing Thoughts

There is NO Difference!

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on October 31, 2016

There is NO Difference!

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on July 28, 2016

A Reply to the Mommy-Saver Whitney Capps, and Her Open Letter Decrying Church Whiners

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 28, 2015

capps“I state all of this because it summarizes most of her post. Yes, let’s not focus so much on WHAT she wrote, but rather WHY she wrote it.”   

The bio for Whitney Capps on Faith-It .com reads as follows: “Whitney Capps is a national speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries, in-the-trenches Mom to four little boys and wife to her CEO. Fabulously flawed and happily transparent, Whitney offers hope to the too-tired Mom.”

Capps posted an article on Faith-It titled An Open Letter to All the People Writing (And Sharing) Open Letters About What’s Wrong with The Church. In my eight years of researching Protestantism, I have never read a more intellectually dishonest article, but it also neatly organizes the specific problems with the black heart of Neo-Reformed orthodoxy.

Capps is “fabulously flawed,” “happily transparent” about her sin, and “offers hope” to the “too-tired Mom” who offers, as stated by a well-known Neo-Reformed pastor, her “obedience-stained garments” as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God.

Like ALL of the Neo-Reformed, Capps offers the hope of focusing on our sin which enlightens our gratitude for our original salvation resulting in whatever obedience manifestations Christ chooses to sovereignly display. We must focus on our sin, sin, sin, sin, even the, according to the Neo-Reformed, “sin beneath the sin.” Like ALL highly paid Neo-Reformed mommy-savers, Capps offers the hope of John Calvin’s Sabbath sanctification rest. Instead of Paul’s exhortations to not become “weary in well-doing,” and his exhortations to obey “more and more,” Capps offers “too-tired” mommies the hope of rest.

And, happy transparency…about our sin. Isn’t that sort of the “rejoicing in evil” that Paul said was antithetical to love? No, not sort of, that’s exactly what it is.

Like all good orthodox authentic Protestants, Capps redefines biblical love as rest when the fact is Christ rested from His works so we can love. Christ died to end the law and put those to death through the Spirit who were under the law. After Christ was resurrected, He accepted the promise of the Spirit who resurrected Him from the grave and sat down at the right hand of the Father. Christ then bestowed the promise of the Spirit that He received, and His immense power on God’s people.

When the Spirit comes, he puts believers to death and resurrects them to new life in the way of the Spirit. He releases them from the law of condemnation because He put their former selves to death that was under that law, and resurrects them with Christ to a life that is now guided by the law in loving God and others. This is why obedience is love, and Capps, like all of the Neo-Reformed, rejoice in their own evil. She said, happy transparency, not me; those are her words. And unless she repents, her condemnation will be just.

I state all of this because it summarizes most of her post. Yes, let’s not focus so much on WHAT she wrote, but rather WHY she wrote it. What happens in “the church” is neither here nor there because we can’t do any good works anyway. Capps, like all of the Neo-Reformed, is decrying those who complain about things in the church that aren’t really any of our business. As Martin Luther stated in the Heidelberg Disputation, it is neither here nor there whether a Christian does a good work or not because it is not us doing it anyway, while bad behavior should be expected.

This is why Luther and Calvin both scoffed at the idea of justice among mortals; because such a concept assumes meritorious works on the part of mankind; i.e., you can’t have deserved punishment without deserved reward. Luther and Calvin both believed humanly perceived good works were only worthy of condemnation because even Christians cannot do a work that has any merit with God. Therefore, Luther and Calvin believed the concept of justice was an absurd anomaly.

Hence, in light of serious problems within “the church,” Capps addresses them in a classic Neo-Reformed cultic communication technique: classify ALL “problems” under a single category and prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution for that category. Then, use trivial examples to describe the category. No one has described it better than John Immel in Blight In The Vineyard: “It is a vague truism that all churches have their problems. But that doesn’t mean they should have problems or that all problems are morally equivalent. Just because some churches fuss over the color of the sanctuary carpet does not absolve the Catholic leadership of molesting little boys.”

In Protestantism, absolvement isn’t demanded, but a recognition that bad behavior is the only thing that can be expected is demanded. “Why are you getting exercised? Are you any better? Don’t you understand what you have been forgiven of? If you don’t, maybe you don’t really understand grace. Your ‘righteous indignation’ is very disconcerting.”

What isn’t understood is that bad behavior isn’t love. Capps, like all of the Neo-Reformed, believes freedom is defined by rest in sanctification from the law. Her cause is to set the too-tired mommies free. That’s making obedient love in sanctification the same thing as condemnation apart from sanctification, and frankly, a denial of the new birth that makes love in sanctification possible. In her estimation, mommies must be free from the new way of the Spirit and rejoice in still being under the condemnation of the law. Focusing on our “fabulously flawed” lives reminds us that Jesus obeys the law for us, and as many among them say, “It’s not about what we do, but what Jesus has done.”

In contrast, Jesus did what He did so that we could do something; namely, love God and others apart from any condemnation. He finished His justification work so that we can work in sanctification, and sent the Spirit to help us. Jesus is a master that purchased us from the Sin master that used to use the law to provoke us and condemn us, and Jesus will return to see what we did with the talents given us for the purpose of loving.

Capps, like many others, leads the delegation who has hidden their talents in the ground and will give Jesus the exact same gospel that He gave us when He returns. Because they fear that they might “have a righteousness of their own” they have buried their talents in the ground and taken up John Calvin’s Sabbath sanctification rest. Christ will indeed call it what it is: “lazy…wicked[ness]” that fears condemnation from a harsh master and not free to love.

Again, we will focus on WHY Capps wrote what she did and not WHAT she wrote. This brings us to her constant reference to “the church” as the vessel used by Christ to secure our salvation. Throughout the article, Capps makes the institutional church synonymous with the body of Christ. Using her own marriage as an example, you live with the marriage or you are not married; no marriage is perfect and no church is perfect. Going public with complaints about “the church” according to Capps would be like going public about her husband’s flaws. See how silly you are thou church whiner?

Of course, the major problem with this is Saint Augustine’s “the church” as Bride of Christ, and that being just plain wrong. This theology goes hand in glove with the Reformed concept of perpetual re-salvation/re-forgiveness for sins committed in sanctification in order to remain justified. The big three of Reformation doctrine, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, believed that progressive forgiveness needed to remain saved can only be found in the institutional church and under the authority of pastors/bishops. Foundational to the Reformation was the idea that pastors have the authority to forgive sins and declare people saved. This same idea initiated the founding of “the church” circa 4th century. Before then, “the church,” NOT a biblical word or concept, did not exist. For 300 years the assembly of Christ or called-out ones were networks of non-authoritative home fellowships.

And Augustine’s posture towards those who didn’t support God’s ordained salvation institution, those who did not pay the temple tax, is well documented. Why am I bringing up all of this history? Because it’s Capps. What she is really defending in the post is the authority of the institutional church. The black heart of Reformation authority is plainly seen therein.

I will probably smile and pray for grace while imagining throat chopping you, in the name of Jesus of course.

There is only ONE thing separating Capps and all like her from only imaging that and actually doing it: the American Revolution. How many statements like this do we have to hear from the Reformed who’s who before we finally realize that something is behind it? Like all before her, those who would threaten God’s salvation institution and discourage souls from it are worthy of nothing less than death. But because they are merciful souls, they will often only chop you in the throat, run you over with a bus, or catapult you into the next county.

She was right about one thing in her post. She accused the church whiners, e.g., discernment bloggers as well, of wanting to save the institution. Amen to that my pseudo-sister. You are spot-on about that for certain. And you are also right in a wrong way about that, being very misguided—the institutional church has wreaked death, rape, persecution, false soteriology, sectarianism in every social strata, and extortion on humankind in the name of Christ since its grotesque 4th century birth.

In case you haven’t noticed, posts like this are very prevalent lately. Is the Neo-Reformed resurgence feeling the pinch? Perhaps, but the home fellowship movement should be encouraged. After 40 years, and ten of those years being complete domination of American evangelicalism by the Neo-Reformed, we have the “Dones,” the ‘Nones” and a whole bunch of blessed whiners.

Blessed are the whiners—they just want answers, and white is the harvest thanks to the Neo-Reformed movement. And unfortunately for them, we’re in the Information Age.

paul

Predestination and Fatalism: “How Much?” is the Question that Only Leaves Two Choices

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 26, 2015

HF Potters House (2)

Originally published May 30, 2014

“This speaks to conditional and unconditional promises by God, cause and effect, and hope. What is at stake is our very understanding of reality itself.”

“What am I saying? A am saying that predeterminism is not a paradox in and of itself, I am suggesting that we consider the idea in our study that predeterminism is a slippery slope to making all of life a paradox. In other words, it makes objective truth unknowable.”        

This is part 6 of our series on predestination. We are in the process of evaluating predestination from the viewpoint of love, promises, judgment, cause and effect, hope, commandments, obedience, fear, foreknowledge, freewill, choice, ability, total depravity, evangelism, the gospel, Bible doctrine, paradox, and salvation. In most cases, determinism creates a strained understanding of what some of these words mean to us in real life.

For instance, if God loves the world and man does not have the ability to choose, why does God choose some and not others? He is impartial, no? Why will God judge those who never had a chance to escape judgment? Would God really command us to do things that He knows we are not able to do? How is God’s love really defined? Paradox is a reality, but to what extent do we except paradox as a replacement for the common understanding of life concepts and the words that describe them? Are the simple concepts of commands, love, and choice really a paradox in spiritual matters but necessarily taken literally in the milieu of life? Does whosoever will really mean whosoever has been chosen? And if it does, why doesn’t God simply state that accordingly?

In part one, we established an important starting point: the doctrine of predestination has always been primarily framed and assimilated by Reformed theologians. That’s a problem because they had/have the gospel wrong. This is a matter of simple theological math; they were on the wrong side of the law and gospel. Therefore, the doctrine must be reexamined.

In part 2, we examined God’s will in regard to the lost and the relationship of evangelism and paradox. Evangelism is another word that becomes paradoxical in light of predestination. Obedience is a paradox, love is a paradox, judgment is a paradox, and evangelism as well because the legitimacy of the offer of salvation is called into question. Whosoever will becomes whosoever has been elected. If election is a paradox, all of the concepts connected to it are paradoxical as well.

In part 2, we established that God does not desire that any person perish. He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Which brings up another paradox: does God plead and exhort man to be saved while knowing that he is unable to respond? When God states, “come, let us reason together,” is he saying that while knowing that man is unable to reason?

At any rate, we concluded in part 2 that God does not desire the death of the wicked—He desires that all would be saved.

In part 3, we established that predestination was not unique with the Reformers. In fact, determinism is an ancient concept that has dominated human history. We also examined the historical bad fruit produced by its ideology, and biblical contradictions as well.

In part 4, we looked at the means by which God seeks man. Man is created with intuitive knowledge of God, man begins life in the book of life and must be blotted out if he/she perishes, and Christ died for all men, not just the elect. Though not in the study, the fact that all sins are imputed to the Old Covenant, and belief in Christ eradicates the Old Covenant and all of the sin imputed to it, it implies a readiness and desire of God to vanquish one’s sin. The imputation of all sin to a covenant is sort of the opposite of starting life in the Book of Life; God wants to keep you in the one book and get rid of the other one.

Moreover, God sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and the judgment to come while the works of God’s law are already written on the heart of every person. On the one hand, God has set up a gargantuan infrastructural reality to facilitate the salvation of man, but in all of this, who enters in is ultimately predetermined by Him. Why all the drama? Why all of the paradox? Why all of the confusion? Yet, another paradox that could be added is the Holy Spirit’s warning in regard to judgment along with all of God’s prophets; why offer this incentive to escape judgment to those who are unable to respond? This speaks to conditional and unconditional promises by God, cause and effect, and hope. What is at stake is our very understanding of reality itself.

In part 5, we begin to answer the question, “How much?” Let’s say that man is unable to choose God initially, but what about post new birth? Is man then able to make choices? Curiously, the Reformers say, “no.” We looked at the Reformed redemptive-historical hermeneutic that interprets all reality as a gospel metaphysical narrative. We simply put ourselves in the narrative by believing everything in life points to a truth about Christ and is predetermined. We called this plenary determinism. Also, while discussing this, we introduced the possibility that certain things are predetermined by God, while other things are not. We used the following chart to illustrate this:

Election Final Draft

Granted, we want some things to be predetermined by God. We want a happy ending. We want justice. We want the good guys to win. We want everyone to live happily ever after. In times of danger, we want our fears tempered by knowing that God is control. In the book of Revelation, for certain, the opening of the six seals will make it seem like the earth is in complete chaos and spinning out of control, but the fact will be that God is in control of every bit of that. Will that temper the fear of those who know that at the time? Sure it will.

But is everything predetermined? Does man have any role in reality at all? The main source for predestination doctrine has always been the Reformers, at least in Western culture, and they disavow choice in both the saved and unsaved state. Consequently, from an eschatological view, there is only one judgment in which both believers and unbelievers stand in to determine one’s eternal fate. Opposing eschatological views posit a separate judgment for believers and unbelievers, one for reward (believers), and one that condemns (unbelievers).

Obviously, the idea of reward strongly suggests that the reward is for something earned by making a right choice. In Reformed circles, rewards spoken of in the Bible are attributed to salvation (the reward[s] is salvation), but now we have yet another paradox because it is not really a reward that we get for something that we did! What am I saying? I am saying that predeterminism is not a paradox in and of itself, I am suggesting that we consider the idea in our study that predeterminism is a slippery slope to making all of life a paradox. In other words, it makes objective truth unknowable.

However, the Reformers state that truth can be known, and that there is no paradox at all: Man and history were created to glorify God. Everything that happens is predetermined by God (cause), and everything that happens is for God’s glory, and in fact, does glorify Him (effect). Hence, man has no ability to choose in being the cause for anything that happens. Judgment reflects God’s glory alone in simply revealing what God has preordained via good or evil. If this is not true, then how much choice does man have? That must be determined. If true, then how much choice does man not have? This must be determined as well.

At the T4G 2008 conference, John MacArthur stated the following:

The sum is that man is evil and selfish, unwilling and unable because he is dead. He loves his sin. He loves the darkness. He thrives on selfish lust. He’s happy to make a god of his own, manufacturing and convinced himself that he is good enough to satisfy that god. He may see his sin in his sin, but he does not see his sin in his goodness, and he does not see his sin in his religion, and it is his sin in his goodness that is most despicable for there is the deception and it is his sin in his religion that is most blasphemous because there it is that he worships a false god…

The contemporary idea today is that there’s some residual good left in the sinner. As this progression came from Pelagianism to Semipelagianism and then came down to sort of contemporary Arminianism and maybe got defined a little more carefully by Wesley who was a sort of a messed up Calvinist because Wesley wanted to give all the glory to God, as you well know, but he wanted to find in men some place where men could initiate salvation on his own will. That system has literally taken over and been the dominant system in evangelical Christianity. It is behind most revivalism. It is behind most evangelism. That there’s something in the sinner that can respond.

Notice how MacArthur combines ability with goodness. Ability is made to be a moral issue. Why does an ability to choose something, or make a wise choice, or desire to have something that is rooted in anthropology, have to be an issue of inherent goodness? If unregenerate man can make wise choices, or at least correct choices, and certainly he can, why couldn’t one of those wise choices be that of salvation? Yes, certainly the Bible teaches that man’s inclination is away from God, but once God seeks him out and confronts him, does he have the ability to be persuaded? Why is man able to choose to stop at a red light (cause) to prevent an accident (effect), but unable to choose God?

Throughout the same message, MacArthur asserts the following like points:

Wesley wanted to give all the glory to God, as you well know, but he wanted to find in men some place where men could initiate salvation on his own will.

Here, MacArthur makes an ability to choose equal with initiating the means of salvation and initially seeking God. Our previous lessons assert that man doesn’t initially seek God, but once God seeks him by various means, man has the ability to choose. Man has many abilities that are morally neutral, even in his weakness, why can’t the ability to choose be one of them when he/she is aided by God and convicted by the Holy Spirit? In Scripture, we have instances of men being nearly persuaded (Mark 12;34, Acts 26:25-32); what are we to surmise from this, that man has the ability to be partially persuaded, but not the ability to be fully persuaded? James suggested that some men can believe in God, but fall short of believing in a saving way (2:19). This means man has an ability to believe in God intellectually, but is unable to understand saving truth about God and make his own choice? Why would man then have the ability to believe in God at all?

According to MacArthur,

A new wave followed as people struggled to hang on to human freedom which said that Adam’s sin had “in some measure” affected and disabled all men, but sinners were left with just enough freedom of the will to make the first move of faith toward God. And then God’s grace kicked in. But sinners made the first move, and that’s what became known as semi-Pelagianism. Some would call it prevenient grace. There’s a component of grace in all human beings that gives them in the freedom of their own will the ability to initiate salvation. The idea is that depravity is real, but it is not total. Saving grace from God then becomes a divine response rather than the efficient cause of our salvation. This view is denounced, as you know, by several councils starting around 529.

How does an ability to choose equal the initiation of salvation? How does an ability to choose, or the freedom of the will to choose equal us making the first move? We by no means made the first move! Clearly, God made the first move by supplying the means of salvation, and the second move by calling all men unto salvation. After this, how does our abilty to choose constitute the “first move”? It’s not the first move, it’s a response to God’s love. And in regard to the point of our first lesson, throughout his message, MacArthur validates his points by citing St. Augustine; that is very problematic in and of itself. MacArthur then moves on in the same message to make the new birth synonymous with our ability to choose. If we have an ability to be persuaded, that is supposedly like giving birth to ourselves:

When the Bible speaks about the condition of the sinner, with what words does it speak? Well, when the Bible speaks of the sinner’s condition, it is usually in the language of death, sometimes darkness, sometimes blindness, hardness, slavery, incurable sickness, alienation, and the Bible is clear that this is a condition that affects the body, the mind, the emotion, the desire, the motive, the will, the behavior. And it is a condition that is so powerful no sinner unaided by God can ever overcome it… John 3, you are very familiar with it, Nicodemus, and no one is going to be able to see the kingdom of God unless he’s born again, Jesus said in verse 3, very interesting. Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” He is not stupid. He’s a teacher in Israel. He’s speaking metaphorically. He’s picking up on Jesus’ born again metaphor and asking the question, how does that happen? How does it happen? You can’t do it on your own. You can’t birth yourself. That’s his point. He gets it. He understands that man has no capability to bring birth to himself. Jesus follows up by saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit,”

First, MacArthur’s concession, perhaps unwittingly, that “it is a condition that is so powerful no sinner unaided by God can ever overcome it” is exactly what we are saying, and not by any means that man can choose God solo. God supplies the means of salvation and seeks after man with the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. But in the end, man is able to neglect this great salvation, and to his own eternal detriment. Also, the new birth is part of the means of salvation totally out of man’s control; the new birth is a promise to those who believe, and obviously not man giving birth to himself.

When you start thinking about these things apart from Reformed orthodoxy, some observations become interesting. MacArthur used the following proof texts to make one of his points:

But let me just work you through John for a minute, John 1:12-13. “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God even to those who believed in his name who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of men, but of God.” That is unmistakable. Unmistakable. Salvation being the work of God.

First, notice that man’s role is simply to receive, and then man is “given” the “right” to become the children of God. Then MacArthur bemoans the following:

It is behind most revivalism. It is behind most evangelism. That there’s something in the sinner that can respond. And this is sort of like the right in a free country. You have to have this right. This wouldn’t be fair if God didn’t give the sinner the right to make his own decision so that the sinner unaided by the Holy Spirit must make the first move. That’s essentially Arminian theology. The sinner unaided must make the first move. And God then will respond when the sinner makes the first move.

This is exactly what the proof text that MacArthur stated says, that those who receive Christ do in fact have the “right” to become part of God’s kingdom. Also, in stating his Reformed logic in another way, he suggested that hearing the gospel message and receiving it was the same thing as preaching ourselves:

What can remedy that? We do not preach ourselves, verse 5, we preach Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. We preach the gospel of Christ as lord and ourselves as slaves. And what happens? Verse 6, God who said light shall shine out of darkness, that’s taking you back to creation, God who created, who spoke light into existence is the one who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Aside from the fact that having the ability to be persuaded is not preaching ourselves rather than Christ, note that MacArthur equates creation with the gospel which insinuates that the fall was built into creation itself. This is part and parcel with the supralapsarianism that we discussed in previous lessons.

But the thrust of this lesson centers on the “how much” when it comes to any role at all for man in salvation and the logical end of it, and in the final analysis how God’s love is defined. This is a sobering consideration. In both the 2013 Shepherds’ Conference and T4G 2008, MacArthur presents the idea that John 3, regarding the new birth, is something that is done to the individual without any participation on the part of the believer. The clear message in both cases was that any decision or belief on the part of the believer was excluded also. It was very much like the following rendition of the same text:

When we consider the great teachings of Scripture, they are not there just to give us information and they are not to teach us what we can do in our own strength. In Musings 34 (http://www.godloveshimself.org/?p=2018) we looked at how believing that the doctrine of justification is true is not the same thing as being justified. The new birth was also mentioned at the end. In the passage above (John 3:3-5) Jesus speaks pointedly and with power in a way that reflects on the issue being mused on here. Jesus did not tell Nicodemus that he must know the truth about the new birth in order to enter the kingdom. Jesus also did not tell Nicodemus that he must believe the truth about the new birth in order to enter the kingdom. Instead of that, Jesus told Nicodemus that he must actually be born again in order to enter the kingdom. There is a huge difference between believing what is true and what is true actually happening to you.

If we take this as a picture or even as an example of the teachings of Scripture, we can view what it means to believe something with different eyes or with a different perspective. Neither Jesus or Paul declared that a person must believe the facts about justification in order to be justified, but simply that a person must be justified (God Loves Himself .wordpress .com: Musing 35; February 10, 2014).

So, if reality is a prewritten metaphysical narrative for the sole purpose of glorifying God in all that happens in the narrative, it only stands to reason that God is motivated by self-glorification and self-love as the highest purpose for all that he does:

Perhaps this concept that Edwards gives just above cannot be stated too strongly or emphasized too much since all true Christianity depends on the truth of it. If God is not centered upon Himself and He does not do all for His own glory, then God Himself is not holy and acts against the perfection of His own nature, wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not keep the same standard that He commands all others to do. If God does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself, then the both the great Commandments and the Ten Commandments are not a transcript of the character of God. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not do what He requires of others in the first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not do all in His own name as He requires others to do so. If God Himself does not love Himself and do all He does out of love for Himself (as triune), then He does not do all for His own glory which He requires others to do (God Loves Himself .wordpress .com: Edwards on the God Centeredness of God; 11 December 7, 2013).

Add yet another paradox in regard to love. God didn’t send His Son to the cross because he loves mankind, he sent His Son to the cross because He loves Himself. The list of commonly understood words in a grammatical reality that have been redefined by the doctrine of determinism is now very lengthy. Why indeed did God even bother to write the Bible in a grammatical format? No wonder that Rick Holland, a former associate of John MacArthur has stated that good grammar makes bad theology. No kidding? Add yet another paradox: the idea that God is not a God of confusion. Of course, the Reformed would say that there is no confusion at all—ALL things are predetermined for God’s glory and completely out of our control—end of story.

Let’s pad this point a little more with some quotes from John Piper:

I would like to try to persuade you that the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever. Or to put it another way: the chief end of God is to enjoy glorifying himself.

The reason this may sound strange is that we tend to be more familiar with our duties than with God’s designs. We know why we exist – to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But why does God exist? What should he love with all his heart and soul and mind and strength? Whom should he worship? Or will we deny him that highest of pleasures? It matters a lot what God’s ultimate allegiance is to! (Desiring God .org: Is God for Us or for Himself?; October 23, 1984).

Actually, the Bible states that the chief end of man is to obey God, and that God takes more pleasure in obedience than sacrifice (Ecc 12:13,14 1Sam 15:22). I am not sure that the Bible ever states any “chief end” of God. Really? God’s life has a primary purpose that we can understand? And its narcissism?

Though there seems to be many Scriptures that bolster determinism, it requires the redefining of many commonly understood word meanings, and inevitably leads to an unavoidable illogical outcome. If the doctrine of predetermination in and of itself was the only paradox, that would be different, but the problem we see here is that it makes all of reality a paradox unless you accept the mythological Reformed metaphysical narrative.

Redefinitions

Christianity and Islam: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 9, 2015

DyerHanging

Originally posted March 10, 2014

Many relate to my personal testimony; despite my best efforts, I have been for the most part at odds with church. Julia Duin noted in her book Quitting Church that she has always sensed that something is fundamentally wrong with the Evangelical church.

I wonder if that mysterious fundamental reason has come to light. Note this statement by Al Mohler, arguably the most influential Evangelical of our day:

Niebuhr’s fifth model is where he seems to be pointing us, that is, to Christ the transformer of culture. These are the conversionists, and they are far more hopeful than the dualists. They understand the distinction between Christ and the culture, but they also understand that it is the mission of the church to transform the culture with the claims of Christ. We continually hear this kind of language: “Let’s go out and redeem the culture. Let’s go out and conquer the culture in the name of Christ. Let’s transform every dimension of the culture, whether the media and the arts, or business and finance, and let’s subdue them to the claims of Christ. Let’s have a more Christian military and a more Christian realm of arts.” This leads to a very progressive impulse, one which looks to a better world and a better condition if we will only do this. It promises transformation, hopes for cultural redemption, and leads to Christian activism. (Preaching the Cross: chapter 3, subheading; Niebuhr’s Treatment of Christ and Cutler, Niebuhr’s fifth model).

What a minute. Is this not the exact same vision as Islam? Moreover, do Muslims understand this better than most Christians? When Christian missionaries travel abroad, are they perceived this way whether they know it or not? When we hear of Christian missionaries being murdered or detained for “conspiracy to overthrow the state,” we immediately assume that’s a crock. Well, maybe not when you consider what the Crusades were all about coupled with this contemporary dominion mentality among leading Evangelicals.

Furthermore, Al Mohler is far from being the only one propagating these ideas. This same idea is the theses of Paul David Tripp’s book Broken-Down House. Many examples could be given, but I will not belabor the point past the following notation by blogger Joel Taylor:

While filming a promo in Dubai (UAE) for the new student missions conference, CROSS, John Piper (standing in front of the Burj Khalifa tower) makes this statement:

“And that tower and this city are coming down!”

Was that a wise thing to say while standing on United Arab Emirates soil? I wonder how the Arab people would understand his remark if they saw this?

It probably wouldn’t surprise them. The American church was founded on the Reformation, and many of its European stalwarts had their own standing armies. And ok, we have much spiritual tyranny and a divine right of kings mentality in the church today; ya think? If they muse about bringing down the Burj Khalifa tower what do you think they will do to you if you ask too many questions?

So this explains everything. It’s really not about the gospel. It’s not about making disciples, it’s about globalism. Making “disciples” is not the primary goal, it’s only a small part of a much larger vision. The whole idea that people can only find salvation in the “local church” is the ploy that funds the global vision while Christians believe it’s about the gospel. We are encouraged to bring people to church to get them saved for that very reason. It also brings to mind all of the hoopla about “lone rangers” who are not “under the authority” of a local church.

Do I think this clarifies the mission of home fellowships? Absolutely.  Do you want to make disciples? Or do you want to fund world dominion? Christ’s mandate to the assemblies was to make as many disciples as possible before Christ returns. Why? Because He is not calling on Christians to renovate the earth—He is going to come back and blow up the whole thing and start over.

This is a short post, but one that opens up a very wide avenue of considerations. “There is no perfect church”:  that’s not the issue; the issue is the fundamental mandate. That’s not merely a question of perfection, but the difference between eternal investment or a complete waste of time and money.

paul

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