Guest Post: A Call for Reasoned Discernment Before Judgment Is Made Upon Others

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Ok, you really have to hear the background of this next post.  The other day I was tweeting with a guy whose Twitter handle is @fivesolasguy, (Brian Thornton.)  He responded to a couple of tweets of mine and I have to be honest with you, his words felt very familiar to me.   The following is a good sampling of our conversation.

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Eventually, I got tired of the same runaround and so I said “gotta run” or something similar a couple of times.  I continued to get more tweets after saying I had to go (notifications come to my smart phone) and I didn’t want to have to keep picking up my phone for the same guy tweeting the same ol’ stuff and so I blocked him.  I think I have only one other person blocked in my 1+ yrs of tweeting.

Well, yesterday, I noticed Mr. Thornton came here to the blog and posted a couple of comments.  He questioned why I blocked him on Twitter.   So, I went back to Twitter to see what was going on.  Apparently, he had tweeted and tagged me quite a bit. I found the evidence on Aug. 9 in which he spouted off publicly about me for blocking him.   JA did something she doesn’t allow her kids to do – she rolled her eyes.

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Wow – those are 6 tweets in a row.  There were more, too.  I couldn’t tell if the tweeting occurred all at once or throughout the day.    I realized that this guy was obviously trying to get some message across to me and not satisfied with my earlier responses and so I gave him an offer to say whatever he’s trying to say in a paragraph or two and I’d post it here on the blog.  (You might consider clicking on that link.  The exchange is pretty funny – - one of our regular readers, Eric Fry, saw what was going on and put his TX cowboy boots on.  Yea, he cut to the chase.)  I figured why not –  we could try to discuss it here with complete sentences and paragraphs without the Twitter character limitations and just be done with it already.

Hey, what do you know, he took me up on it.  You can tell from the tweets above that we both were getting frustrated.  Twitter can be very effective or it can be very ineffective.  Our conversation was not getting anywhere.

But check out what he wrote.  I can’t believe it’s the same guy.  It definitely gives more insight into his tweets.  The only edit I made was to break up a long paragraph, otherwise, this is exactly Mr. Thornton’s content.  I’m looking forward to the discussion.

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A Call for Reasoned Discernment Before Judgment Is Made Upon Others

My wife and I have experienced what is known as spiritual abuse at the hands of a pastor who went to great lengths to “lord it over” his flock. He would arrive at your doorstep unannounced to rebuke you for not attending a service, have others call you out and rebuke you for some comments you made at a small group gathering, and would even verbally chastise you and threaten to remove you from membership if you did not repent of a particular sin he was convinced you had.

When I finally concluded that this guy was beyond the possibility of being reasoned with, I removed my wife and family from his spiritually oppressive influence. This guy was off the chain, so to speak, and I would not allow him to exert his unbiblical and sinful attempts to control us any longer.

My experience had made me a prime candidate to resist any future submission to a pastor/elder/shepherd (it did, in fact, result in me being hyper-critical for several years following that experience). But, in spite of what we went through, I remain convinced of the Bible’s teaching concerning the submission of Christians to their church leaders. Sadly, though, I fear that there are many who experience similar things that we did who become overly cynical, distrusting, and critical of anyone who teaches the biblical truth concerning the authority of church leaders over their congregations. Simply put, bad experiences do not negate the truth of God’s Word. And they don’t give us unfettered license to rail against anyone we believe is abusing their authority.

One of the main mistakes we can make (especially those of us who have experienced abusive practices firsthand from church leaders) is that, going forward, we fail to give others the benefit of the doubt. Paul said that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”, and I believe part of what Paul is saying there is that our love for one another inside the church will include an attitude and heart of trust, rather than distrust. Our love for one another, rooted in the common bond we have IN Christ, will (should) translate into carefully researched conclusions and comments regarding another’s supposed position on church authority, for example. That love will result in, not publicly expressed suspicion the moment we see a red flag or questionable information, but will instead lead us to make sure that we are counting others as more important than ourselves, which will hopefully result in us reserving judgment until we are sure of the truth. I have been guilty of this more times than I can count.

Another common mistake we tend to make is that we will attack and judge and critique something based upon what someone has written rather than how what has been written actually gets fleshed out in real life. For example, someone reads on a web site article about someone’s position on the church’s authority over a Christian, and they draw all sorts of conclusions and preconceived opinions, not based upon what actually occurs in real life, but rather based upon what was written. I have been guilty of this quite recently. I strongly disagreed with a particular “method” for doing something as it was written and explained on paper, and I began to passionately attack that method with much vigor and emotion. However, when I took a step back and decided to see how that method was actually being fleshed out in real life, my conclusions were completely opposite from my initial judgments. We can erect all manor [sic] of straw men that we can easily knock down (or burn in effigy), when the truth is all we’ve done is malign another member of the body of Christ for no good reason. Make no mistake, there are those who take advantage of others and abuse their authority in the church. And they must be exposed and stopped. But, every red flag is not a cause for misinformed declarations against others who profess Christ. When we do that, we very well may be bringing down someone who is truly on our side. And for what reason? Because we didn’t give the benefit of the doubt, or we didn’t do our homework, or we attacked some words in an article rather than examined real life actions. When that happens, we have acted no differently and no better than those we are accusing of wrong-doing.

I pray we would all grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior as we bear, believe, hope, and endure all things for the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we seek to be well-informed, truly discerning members of the church.

Brian Thornton

879 comments on “Guest Post: A Call for Reasoned Discernment Before Judgment Is Made Upon Others

  1. Lydia, my blood has been boiling since I read that these SB’s (Southern Baptists) stole your father’s retirement.

    Brian, if you will condescend to answer, why should I not think the theft of a 60 year old man’s retirement an unmitigated act of evil?

    I must leave, else I could/would go on.

  2. So in a very real sense, religion is not only like a business, it is a business, when it can hire and fire people “at will”. And we pay for their salaries, and retirement, and yet, we have no say in the matter.

    I wonder how that concept would work with the shareholders on Wall Street. Who would buy shares in that kind of a company?

    Tithes is 10%, and if everyone gave 10%, then we have an equal say in the business. Especially since the tithes were, by the law of Moses, set up for the priests, and now we are the priests. That money belongs to us. Some may argue that it belongs to God. Well, if God lives in us, then it is for us, equally, as we have need.

    Ed

  3. lydiasellerofpurple wrote~

    “Nothing was more important than his attending T4G. Not his wife or his daughter’s financial well being.”

    I can hardly believe that. Is it because that’s where he will hear “the real” gospel and he just had to go? Sad thing is I think he would be lauded by the T4G “types” for his love for God by sacrificing all to attend…as if God makes a special visit to T4G conferences. Listening online is just not enough. You must BE THERE. That makes me sick. Get real…read your bible and save your money.

  4. Ed, one of the dirty little secrets is that churches do not have to follow labor laws. They don’t, for the most part, participate in unemployment, either. Para church orgs might have different laws they have to follow but it is still “at will” employment.

    You put yourself at great risk going to work for one. Everyone needs to be warned about this. So many people have trusted Christian leaders and think they are going to work with Christians when it has been WORSE than any secular organization they have ever worked in because it is done in the Name of Jesus. And it is one reason why so many look the other way when evil is being perpetuated. They have a mortgage and they know what will happen if they dare stand up for right. These systems end up turning decent people into sustaining and perpetuating evil. I saw it for years in the mega seeker world. It is almost as if you have to sell your soul to go to work in one.

  5. Diane, I am convinced T4G has serious cult tendencies. Can you tell me why it has any followers left since all the things have come out about Mahaney’s methods/behavior/teaching at PDI/ SGM? He is one of the 4 MAIN faces of T4G.

    Why aren’t these young men totally questioning everything they were taught and believed from these men? How could their leaders have been so undiscerning and unwise? How could they be so cold hearted concerning children?

    They won’t question such things because they have been taught to submit to authorities as being the most important thing. To question them is a sin of sorts. So they defend and make excuses for what is pure evil.

  6. lydiasellerofpurple,

    When I was a kid, I went to a church down the street from me. The pastor had a full time job as an electrician, and he lived in a parsonage with his family (wife and 2 kids), which was located 10 feet from the side of the church. This was back in the 70′s. I don’t live in that part of the state anymore, but it seems that small town churches are more intimate, and more compassionate, and more, well, more everything.

    I also remember as a kid, at that same church, that us kids participated in tearing down a wall in the church’s Sunday school class to make two rooms into one big room. There was no expensive contractor called in, etc. It was all church people, chipping in their time, and we kids had fun destroying a wall.

    Oh, to go back to those days of simplicity.

    Ed

  7. Diane,

    Sometimes I look at the website’s advertising these “conferences”. It seems to be a money making scheme. Most of them all have the phrase, “And the bookstore will be open”.

    How rich are these folks, selling their books? I say to get rid of all them books, all of them, and give the Bible away for free. The only book that needs to be sold is the Bible only, and the cost will be FREE. No debit or credit card accepted, no cash accepted. No reservations needed. Special speakers need not be there, unless they can pay for their own trip, lodging, food, etc., and the audience is local, not international, where admission is free.

    As the Apostle Paul stated, he robbed other churches to be there.

    2 Corinthians 11:8
    I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

    Ed

  8. “So in a very real sense, religion is not only like a business, it is a business, when it can hire and fire people “at will”. And we pay for their salaries, and retirement, and yet, we have no say in the matter.”

    Christianity is big business. Yes…we pay them so they (some, not all) can tell us what to do and how to live. (At least in the real world, we get paid for being bossed.) A good example is Voddie Baucham. You pretty much have to step in line if you wish to attend his church.

    Brian– I noticed on your blog you link to Baucham. I have long since given up the hope that you will answer my question to you regarding just what exactly it was that made you a “huge supporter” of SGM, so I will move on to Baucham.

    What is it exactly that compels you to link to Baucham? Is it his preaching style? His lifestyle? His patriarchy? The way he runs his church? His parenting style? His humility? His hatred of government schools? His sense of humor? Does it concern you if people find him on your blog, click the link and start listening, that they will be exposed to his extreme views in his sermons? If it’s his sense of humor that compels you to link to him, here’s a short video where he displays his comedic skills at the expense of those who do not homeschool and do not think the government schools, as he words it, will ruin our children. I personally find it shameful that a pastor would get up on a stage and belittle and mock fellow brothers and sisters in Christ merely because they would not agree to a method of schooling-but that is what you get when you link to Baucham:

    I agree….best not to answer about SGM. How about it? What is it about Baucham?

  9. @ lydia~

    “Diane, I am convinced T4G has serious cult tendencies. Can you tell me why it has any followers left since all the things have come out about Mahaney’s methods/behavior/teaching at PDI/ SGM? He is one of the 4 MAIN faces of T4G.”

    Indeed. Seems the Mahaney followers are NOT connecting the dots between what a professing Christian says and what his behavior reveals. And they are either deceived, or willfully looking the other way.

  10. “How rich are these folks, selling their books?’

    I really cannot comment as I don’t have facts….but some appear to be very well to do. Remember the you tube videos of the libraries of JMacArthur, Dever, Mahaney, can’t remember who else. These are church offices…nicer than many people’s living rooms and people are giving money to that?

  11. I’ve also noticed that Brian does not answer direct questions. I told him that most C’s leave out Romans 5:13. I guess he misunderstood me, because he quoted Romans 5 verbatim, but in his synopsis below it, he never explained Romans 5:13. So, while he said that he would not skip it, he did skip it, even tho he quoted it.

    I also asked him other direct questions, but he ignores them.

    And JoeJoe, he has opinions, such as “I don’t believe that babies go to hell if they die”, but he can’t back it up with scripture, so it is only opinion.

    He disagrees with me in “doctrines”, when I give my “opinion”, but I can back my opinion up with scripture.

    I find it very disheartening that Brian’s “hermeneutics” are based on what someone else already decided for him.

    While he states that he made his decisions on scripture long before he ever knew what C’s believed, his reference of Romans 5, for example, for his beliefs are straight from the C camp, and certainly not from his own independent study without outside influence. That is way too easy for me to discern. Before he knew what C was, I am quite positive that when he got to Romans 5, that he DID NOT say to himself, “Well, there ya have it, total depravity.”, and then proceed to find a church with like beliefs. No…someone influenced him in that belief.

    Me, on the other hand, I do independent study…for the fun of it. It’s a hobby, not an income. And it’s even more fun when I seek out the controversies. I want to find out why people believe in what they believe. And then do everything that I can do to debunk that belief with scripture. These things take a lot of time, pens, college-ruled paper, and coffee. Not just a one quick look over of Romans 5. I go from Genesis 1:1 to the end of Revelation when I study a topic, any topic. And, I look at the spiritual, as well as the carnal.

    I’ve got to the point that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not even want to talk to me anymore. And what’s more, I keep getting blocked on all sorts of C’s blogs as well. I consider that to be a badge of honor.

    Ed

  12. “I really cannot comment as I don’t have facts….but some appear to be very well to do. Remember the you tube videos of the libraries of JMacArthur, Dever, Mahaney, can’t remember who else. These are church offices…nicer than many people’s living rooms and people are giving money to that?”

    They can do quite well because with it comes with speaking gigs. I do know at seeker megas they had a captive audience to kick off the book sales. That puts it in another category for more sales promotion. That is one reason the T4G guys do so well with books. They can sell 10,000 right off the bat to their groupies and get lots of good reviews from well known names. That is another reason they circle the wagons. Kind of embarrassing to have blurbed the book on the cover and then speak out against some sort of bad behavior later. The cycle continues with more conference speaking gigs (yes paid well) where they promote each others books.

    I know some mega church pastors whose parachurch incomes including speaking gigs/books/travel, etc reached up to an extra 150,000 thou a year.

  13. Weird, I posted a comment from my phone which evidently did not post – - it was about cutting Brian some slack if he is not responding in a timely fashion because he may have home obligations.

    Someone just sent me an e-mail telling me they noticed a recent tweet that he’s on a long road trip. So it may be a while before we hear from Brian.

    Other weird happenings: I know Brian and I were following each other on Twitter – - I followed him right around the time of this guest article and he also followed me. I checked today and saw that we weren’t following each other. Weird. I didn’t unfollow. Maybe a Twitter glitch? So, I hit “follow” again. :)

  14. Ok, I was just snooping at T4G site – - look at this lovebombing going on by CJ. When you’ve been built up time and again publicly by the Ceej, it must be so painfully difficult to diss on your friend: http://t4g.org/2006/05/mahaney-as-grateful/

    Whenever he speaks at a conference, this is his MO, he puffs up his buddies with endless praise. In fact, each time I have heard him do this, I feel uncomfortable inside.

  15. Ed,

    Let’s see what the “C camp” has to say about Romans 5:13…

    Hang on a minute while I pull out all my “how to indoctrinate the unsuspecting to Calvinism” books…

  16. Thanks, Brian, for checking in. I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

    Sarcasm is a tough one on the internet where we can’t see facial expressions and hear the tone. I think my regular readers can tell when I’m using it. Sometimes it does cause confusion and I have to straighten things out.

  17. Ok…let’s see…Romans 5:13…

    “for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.”

    Well, we know that sin was around before the law was given because we know that Adam disobeyed God and died, and that was before God gave the law through Moses. And then Paul basically says, “But how could that be since knowledge of sin comes through the law?”(Romans 3:20). And then he continues in verse 14 with his declaration that sin entered through one man and infected the entire creation, including all of humanity, by saying, “and even still, death reigned from Adam to Moses”.

    And this is a great explanation of it from the ESV Study Bible:

    “Sin was in the world before the Mosaic law was instituted, but it was not technically reckoned as sin before the time of the law. Paul does not mean that people were guiltless without the law, for he has already said in 2:12 that those without the written law are still judged by God (e.g., those who perished in the flood [Genesis 6–9] and those who were judged at the tower of Babel [Gen. 11:1–9]). Since people still died, this shows that they were guilty—as a consequence of Adam’s sin but possibly also as a consequence of having transgressed the universal moral law in their consciences before the written Mosaic law was given.”

  18. There WAS law before Moses. There was “Don’t eat from this tree” among other things from God’s own mouth when interacting with the humans after the fall.

    Disobeying separated all of us from God because we now have “knowledge” of good AND evil. We are not guilty for Adams sin. That would make God an immoral tyrant.

    The “sin goo passed through sperm” thinking came from Augustine. The Reformers just tweeked it a bit. That thinking is another place where Mary worship comes from. And it makes no sense whatsoever that the guilt is passed on. Because how can a Holy God swim around in sin goo for 9 months? Mary obviously had it passed on to her. Did God remove the sin goo from her for 9 months and make her not guilty so our Holy Savior could be in there? Was the “imputed guilt” taken out of her for 9 months?

  19. If Adam’s sin wasn’t passed on to everyone, then why does Scripture say that Adam’s one sin resulted in condemnation for ALL people? And why does it say that by Adam’s disobedience everyone was MADE a sinner because of it?

  20. It doesn’t actually mean what you think it means. That is the interpretation from Augustine to Calvin read into it. Adam’s sin brought us all a consequence.

    Not sure why folks cannot see that the wages of the sin at the fall was death as in. separation from God. Sin entered because of Adam (Eve sinned too it is just that she ADMITTED IT and Adam blamed God and Eve) and now we have knowledge of Good and Evil. Everything is corrupted including our bodies and the world. Not evil but corrupted. The sins you commit make you a sinner.

    If you are born “sinning” from day one then your very existence is a sin. A baby’s very existence is nothing but evil sin. A baby crying for a bottle is sin. A baby crying to be changed is sin. A baby trying to grad your shiny watch is a sin. A baby;s cut little toe is evil. A baby’s cute little hands are evil. And believe me, many C’s teach this.

    You believe in Plato’s and Mani’s dualism. It entered into Christianity through Augustine and has permeated translations and commentaries ever since. You follow Greek gnostic philosophy.

  21. So Brian, what do you do with a Holy God swimming around in guilty sin goo for 9 months. Mary carried that imputed guilt you claim we all have for Adams sin. Was there some way the guilt was taken out? Or perhaps you believe Jesus was a lesser god (as with EFS/ESS) so it would not affect Him?

  22. Scripture is clear: Adam’s sin resulted in a “sentence of damnation” (‘katarima’ Strong’s 2631) for all people. – Romans 5:18

    Scripture is clear: By Adam’s sin we were all made sinners (‘Kathistemi Hamartolos’ – made sinners) – Romans 5:19

  23. You believe in Plato’s and Mani’s dualism. It entered into Christianity through Augustine and has permeated translations and commentaries ever since. You follow Greek gnostic philosophy.

    Bingo, Lydia. They make a claim about the BIble that the BIble doesn’t make about itself, and then pore over countless words of other people who have done the same thing, all in search of nothing more than knowing “the perfect truth” with absolute certainty. In the midst of this desperate and futile search for certaintypeople pick and choose what scripture and supporting facts they will give more weight to; they’re just cherry-picking the things that support the conclusion they wish to reach.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the people who haven’t abandoned common sense know that this “perfect correct knowledge of God” doesn’t pass the smell test. Calvinist, Arminian, or whatever, whenever certitude and security in doctrine take the forefront, then it’s a logical and honest question to ask whether someone is actually worshiping God or just their own certitude.

    Just think of what the world might be like if all the energy that’s been put into being “right” were put into actually loving other people.

  24. Brian,
    I am just getting online, and am just beginning to start to read. I have to say, so far, based on your post of 12:34 PM, that the ESV version “Great explanation” was in actuality a terrible explanation.

    Part of what you quote:
    “Paul does not mean that people were guiltless without the law, for he has already said in 2:12 that those without the written law are still judged by God (e.g., those who perished in the flood [Genesis 6–9] and those who were judged at the tower of Babel [Gen. 11:1–9]). ”

    I could run circles with you on that alone. Judgement of sin is AFTER YOU DIE, PHYSICALLY.

    Hebrews 9:27, for it is appointed unto men once to die, AND THEN THE JUDGMENT. NOT BEFORE.

    Besides, those people who perished in the flood was discussed in an epistle of Peter.

    Judgments that take place BEFORE death, have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    I invite you to see my explanation at 4:59 PM August 16, 2013.

    But, so far, I haven’t seen you dissect it out very well, because while you state that death reigned from Adam to Moses, which is exactly what is written, you haven’t said a thing about LIFE reigning from Jesus onward. Death does not reign with Jesus.

    But, I will continue reading…

    Ed

  25. Brian said:
    “There WAS law before Moses. There was “Don’t eat from this tree” among other things from God’s own mouth when interacting with the humans after the fall. ”

    That law was not the KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil. It was only directed at ONE PERSON, Adam…then Eve was told by Adam about what God said.

    My point…law was 1 commandment, and it was not directed at all of humanity.

    Adam was gonna die a natural death anyway.

    If Adam would have eaten of the TREE OF LIFE, then he would have had eternal life, and then his offspring would have had it as well…including you.

    But since he did not eat of the TREE OF LIFE, he dies, just as everyone does.

    There is only two things that is “IMPUTED” TO YOU. Or, as you have noted from your ESV “counted”.

    1. Sin
    2. Righteousness.

    And since sin is NOT IMPUTED to those who have no knowledge of good and evil, the only thing left is Righteousness.

    You cannot be convicted of a crime that you know nothing about with God. You must first have knowledge of it. Ignorance of the law is the excuse here.

    No knowledge, know transgression, no sin, innocent.

    Ed

  26. Brian said:
    “If Adam’s sin wasn’t passed on to everyone, then why does Scripture say that Adam’s one sin resulted in condemnation for ALL people? And why does it say that by Adam’s disobedience everyone was MADE a sinner because of it?”

    All die a NATURAL DEATH…that was the condemnation. But, like I said before, Adam was gonna die a natural death anyway. He didn’t OBTAIN eternal life.

    He had to have eaten of THE TREE OF LIFE to have obtained it.

    See, SO MUCH FOCUS is about the tree of death, that the tree of life topic seems to be missed.

    Our condemnation was death of the body. NO BIG DEAL, AS ADAM WAS GONNA DIE ANYWAY.

    Ed

  27. Whenever someone says, “scripture is clear” it just becomes circular and no point in continuing. Brian won’t respond to the problem of a Holy God swimming around in Mary’s sin goo of imputed guilt for 9 months. He has ignored the logical conclusion of his doctrine that babies are evil. That the very fact he exists is sin.

    The other part is that most who embrace this doctrine seem to forget that they are affirming…that they themselves have no volition. They are incapable of making decisions or having wisdom at all. So all of their words/actions can only come from one of two places: God or Satan. As they have nothing to do with it. They are not capable of free thought and have no free will in reality. (Except for the contradiction taught that man is free to sin only) That, in and of itself, should be a good reason not to pay attention to their teaching.

  28. lydiasellerofpurple,
    Hey, I was just gettting ready to respond to your earlier post. I say I agree 100% in regards to your earlier post in regards to “for the wages of sin is death” equating to SPIRITUAL death, which is separation from God.

    In Romans 5 we see the word death a few times, and so it must be discerned properly each time that we see that word. One is pertaining to death of the body, while the other is pertaining to spiritual death, separation from God.

    And also, that was the whole point of Abraham’s Bosom. The people in Abraham’s bosom could NOT BE RELEASED from that place until sin was paid for by Jesus. No one could be in the presense of God until then. It was still a place of separation from God, for the RIGHTEOUS.

    There is much much that Brian needs to learn, independently, away from the C influences. But he must be deprogrammed first.

    Ed

  29. Brian said:
    “Scripture is clear: Adam’s sin resulted in a “sentence of damnation” (‘katarima’ Strong’s 2631) for all people. – Romans 5:18

    Scripture is clear: By Adam’s sin we were all made sinners (‘Kathistemi Hamartolos’ – made sinners) – Romans 5:19

    So what is your point. Scripture is clear that sin is not imputed whether sinners or not where no law is, there is no transgression…SCRIPTURE IS CLEAR.

    The ole “the scripture is clear” mantra. Nice.

    Ed

  30. My point is that Paul’s statement in Romans 5:18 says that a sentence of damnation for all people resulted from Adam’s sin. Damnation is not death of the body. And to try and say it is shows a severe twisting of what Paul wrote.

    Can you address that?

  31. Diane: I watched most of the Baucham video and heard enough. I have a hunch that he would not talk like that in his congregation.

    This week, I got a package in the mail from Voddie. He had told me he would send me his book a while back after he saw this post: Voddie Baucham: Prescription for Spanking and the Shy Child

    We e-mailed back and forth privately trying to get to some understanding on key issues. We did not get to any sort of common understanding on the issues we were discussing and then I had to go out of town and the conversation stopped. I just sent him a thank you e-mail, telling him that I’d like to read the book before continuing any conversation with him so that I have a better understanding of where he is coming from.

    The book he sent is, Family Shepherds, with the subtitle, “Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes.” You’ll easily see why I am quoting the titles. I quickly skimmed two chapters. The first was Chapter 10, Remembering the Fall. This is in Part Four of the book, “The Training and Discipline of Children – Equipping Men to Raise Kingdom-Minded Warriors.”

    The 2nd chapter I skimmed is in Part 5 – Lifestyle Evaluation – Equipping Men to Count the Cost of Family Discipleship. Chapter 13 is entitled, Church Membership.

    My quick skim showed very few Bible verses, however, there were quite a few quotes from other popular religious names, some dead, some still alive. I would say that easily 1/3 of the Church Membership chapter is quotes; around 1/4th of the chapter on Remembering the Fall on the topic of discipline of children was quoted material.

    Here is the first quote in Chapter 9 in which he starts the topic of child discipline:

    “It is with our sins,” declared the nineteenth-century Scottish author and pastor Horatius Bonar, “that we go to God, for we have nothing else to go with that we can call our own. This is one of the lessons that we are so slow to learn; yet without learning this we cannot take one right step in that which we call a religious life.”

  32. Lydia said, “That, in and of itself, should be a good reason not to pay attention to their teaching.”

    And the use of phrases like “Mary’s sin goo” is a good reason not to pay attention to your teaching.

  33. Ed,

    “Our condemnation was death of the body. NO BIG DEAL, AS ADAM WAS GONNA DIE ANYWAY.”

    This makes no sense in light of how much time Paul spends laying out this “no big deal” condemnation that spread from Adam to all people. And the Greek word for ‘condemnation’ means a sentence of damnation. Damnation is spiritual punishment language, not physical (though I would say not ONLY physical, all humanity was also condemned physically by Adam’s sin).

  34. “Mary’s sin goo”…sounds kinda icky, doesn’t it.

    Regardless of the creative and spiffy descriptor, the truth remains that Jesus is both FULLY God and FULLY man. Yes, he was born of a human (a virgin), but he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and had no sin nature.

  35. Brian at 1:57 PM: Scripture is clear: Adam’s sin resulted in a “sentence of damnation” (‘katarima’ (sic) Strong’s 2631) for all people. – Romans 5:18

    Gary, at c. 6:29: Scripture is clear: “[O]ne act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” (Romans 5:18b, ESV). And that’s an actual quote from the Grudem and (no doubt) Piper official version of Holy Writ.

    Still haven’t found anybody in Brian’s camp who can actually explain away Rom 5:18b, although I have drawn the occasional intellectually dishonest “thought stopper” as HUG has now taught us to call their Moonie inspired tactics. O.K., O.K. Probably it was the Moonies who were inspired by the C-camp.

  36. Brian,
    You had said:
    “My point is that Paul’s statement in Romans 5:18 says that a sentence of damnation for all people resulted from Adam’s sin. Damnation is not death of the body. And to try and say it is shows a severe twisting of what Paul wrote.

    Can you address that?”

    Yes.

    Romans 5:18
    Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

    Romans 5:18 is NOT NOT NOT discussing the death of the body. Can I re-emphasize that any clearer? That statement is NOT NOT NOT discussing condemnation to HELL FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, either.

    It is discussing SPIRITUAL DEATH, which is the SEPARATION from God.

    There was a PLACE of separation from God for the RIGHTEOUS called Abraham’s Bosom.

    NO ONE could be in the presence of God until Jesus paid the PENALTY for sin. It is appointed unto man once to die, and THEN the judgment…NOT BEFORE. Jesus died, and THEN he was judged for our sins. After that HE LED CAPTIVITY (THOSE IN ABRAHAM’S BOSOM) CAPTIVE, to be with him in heaven, in the presence of God…THE GIFT.

    There was ALSO a PLACE of separation from God for the UNRIGHTEOUS, called SHEOL, or HADES.

    You also said:
    “And according to Scripture death entered creation because of Adam’s sin, so there is support in Scripture that he was going to die whether he sinned or not.”

    Dissect 1 Cor 15:36-50. Get out some college ruled paper, and a pen…and a cup of coffee.

    Make two columns. Column 1, title it Natural Body. Column 2, title it Spiritual Body.

    Then tell me again what you come up with.

    In all study, ALONE, buy a ream of college ruled paper, and a bunch of pens, and a bunch of coffee. Read the bible completely thru 5 times…no less than 5 times. Then study out TOPICS, and NOTE spiritual words and phrases and descriptions…some substitute the word spiritual for “poetry”.

    Do that ALONE, for several months, sometimes until 4 in the morning, even if you have to work the next day. DO NOT listen to outside influences. Listen ONLY to the HOLY SPIRIT, as you need not that any man teach you. Write down verses…don’t use a computer…but use the pen and paper. Make sure the coffee is always fresh.

    I am tellin ya, do that and you will write your own commentary, and you will be having people say that you are a heretic…but you will know otherwise. Then you will see things the way that most of us on this blog see things. To us, it isn’t a guessing game. We know. And we know that what you are following and espousing is wrong.

    Ed

  37. @ Julie Anne~

    “It is with our sins,” declared the nineteenth-century Scottish author and pastor Horatius Bonar, “that we go to God, for we have nothing else to go with that we can call our own. This is one of the lessons that we are so slow to learn; yet without learning this we cannot take one right step in that which we call a religious life.”

    It’s after reading junk like that that I remember Ephesians 1 and all it says a believer is: adopted, blessed, chosen, redeemed, favored and forgiven, joint heirs with Jesus and adopted sons and daughters.

  38. Brian,
    You say that Jesus had no sin nature.

    That is false.

    Jesus was sinless, yes, but he had the capability to sin.

    Romans 8:3
    For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    Hebrews 4:15
    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    Ed

  39. Wait! Wait! Brian says Jesus is FULLY man. Well, if part of being human is the sin nature, and if Jesus didn’t have the sin nature, how can Jesus be said to be fully man? Was he born advantaged with a handicap (in the golfing sense)? If so, he wasn’t truly qualified to die a substitutionary death, whether penal, identificational or otherwise. My own thought is that there is a problem with the doctrine concerning the supposed sin nature. Flesh or sarx (σάρξ), yes. That’s in the Bible. “Sin nature” is nowhere to be found, at least in the ESV, which Brian appears to be using.

    Well, O.K., I suppose Brian may again come back with the old canard about certain words like “Bible” and “Trinity” not being in the Bible. But again wait, wait! The word bible, at least, DOES appear in the Bible, or at least it does so in the Greek. In Revelation alone it appears about a baker’s dozen times. The word is βιβλίον, biblion. ESV translates it as “scroll.”

  40. Ya, there is something about that ESV version that I just don’t like. It seems to be a POPULAR choice amongst the Calvinists. It uses words that, to me, I am not familiar with.

  41. Maybe this is a minor point, but Brian keeps saying that Rom 5:18 references a “sentence of damnation.” A half dozen translations I just looked at, including Brian’s ESV, all use the word “condemnation” to translate κατάκριμα, katakrima. The word damnation is nowhere in sight in any English translation to which I have referred.

    Brian, can you point me to a translation that uses the word damnation in Rom 5:18? If not, I would recommend a little more intellectual rigor. No doubt using the word damnation serves the point you are trying to make, but the embellishment costs you credibility. Among other things, it makes it appear you are attempting to gain an unfair(and not quite honest) advantage in arguing against the distinctions Ed makes between physical death, spiritual death, and consignment to hell.

    I will give you credit for obliquely referencing Strongs 2631, my electronic version of which has “damnatory sentence” as an alternative meaning. However you are referencing Strongs in a manner that does not make clear you are arguing for an alternative translation.

    Please, be a little more straightforward with us.

  42. Romans 5:18 – “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”

    One trespass=Adam’s sin resulting in a damnatory sentence (a declaration/judgment of damnation) against all people.

    One act of righteousness=Christ’s atoning sacrifice resulting in act of God declaring men righteous and free from guilt and acceptable to him.

    Those who fall into the second group (those being declared righteous by God) are determined by verse 17: they are, “those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”

  43. Gary,

    The intellectual rigor, as you put it, that I used was to go back to the Greek. The word translated ‘condemnation’ literally means ‘a sentence of damnation”. Check it out for yourself.

  44. Brian, you are totally misreading that.

    That is saying that under Jesus, death does not reign, because Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Moses meaning all who fall under the law of Moses).

    My bible in verse 18 states the word “Judgment”, as in “judgment came upon all men to condemnation”

    And it might surprise you, But I use a KJV. In the KJV the word “judgment” is Italicized.

    Do you know what that means?

    It means that the translators INSERTED that word, that the word “judgment” is NOT IN THE ORIGINAL WRITING OF SCRIPTURE.

    Anything with an Italicized word is an insert.

    Ed

  45. Based on the Strong’s Concordance, the word “condemnation” is Greek Ref #2631 katakrima and it is defined as “an adverse sentence”.

    NOT DAMNATION.

    Ed

  46. Ed,

    I do happen to like the way ESV reads, although I use it with great caution. There are just certain issues (e.g. ecclesiastical authority, gender roles) where they have inserted their doctrine into the “translation.” It’s doctrine driving translation rather than the other way around.

    What I really enjoy though, is being able to use their own preferred translation/interpretation to confound all these C’ista types. How do I know they are confounded? I know it by their silence. It is appearing that Brian is a lot like B4B. They quick to want to be heard, but when they get caught, they simply fall silent.

    So, Brian,

    Here’s your chance. Show us you’re up to the challenge. How do you explain away the plain and literal meaning of Rom 5:18b? It’s in the Bible, you know. You cannot credibly just ignore it. I would say Rom 5:18b either means what it says, or else you must admit that Scripture contains error after all.

  47. Romans 5:18:

    KJV- Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation

    ESV – Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men

    The word ‘judgment’ in the KJV does not change or alter the meaning, as can be seen by looking at the ESV, for example. The existence of condemnation implies judgment.

  48. Brian, I don’t disagree in regards to the ESV in that regard.

    However, my alternative version is the NIVr.

    But, other than that, I stick with the KJV pretty exclusively, altho I don’t mind comparisons.

    Ed

  49. Brian,

    Good for you! You attempted to respond to my challenge while I was still typing it. But you fall short. In ESV Rom 5:17 reads, “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Well and good. Trouble is, v. 17 doesn’t say who it is that “receive” the abundance of grace, etc. This is specified in v. 18b, which very specifically and unambiguously identifies “all men.” Either Scripture means what it says, or it contains error.

    Your move.

  50. Ed,

    2631 katákrima (from 2596 /katá, “down, according to,” intensifying 2917 /kríma, “the results of judgment”) – properly, the exact sentence of condemnation handed down after due process (establishing guilt).

  51. Gary W,
    You said:
    ” It’s doctrine driving translation rather than the other way around.”

    That’s what I thought. Many different denominations have their pet favorites, due to that reason alone.

    My first introduction was with the Jehovah’s Witnesses which uses the translation influence of WESCOTT AND HORT.

    And if you really dig in to ANY Wescott and Hort translation, the deity of Jesus is extremely minimized.

    Ed

  52. Brian, I stick with the Strong’s Concordance definitions. It is more reliable, and WIDELY used throughout Christendom. It has a great reputation for being accurate.

    Ed

  53. So Gary,

    You must be a universalist, then? If you believe ALL people receive the grace mentioned in verse 17, the only conclusion then is that all are saved. Is that what you believe?

  54. Brian,

    You say, “The intellectual rigor, as you put it, that I used was to go back to the Greek. The word translated ‘condemnation’ literally means ‘a sentence of damnation”. Check it out for yourself.” O.K., will the following do?

    2890 κατάκριμα (katakrima), ατος (atos), τό (to): n.neu.; ≡ Str 2631; TDNT 3.951—LN 56.31 condemnation (Ro 5:16, 18; 8:1+). Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

    2631. κατάκριμα katakrima; from 2632; penalty:—condemnation(3). Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

    2631 κατάκριμα [katakrima /kat·ak·ree·mah/] n n. From 2632; TDNT 3:951; TDNTA 469; GK 2890; Three occurrences; AV translates as “condemnation” three times. 1 damnatory sentence, condemnation. Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

    2631. κατάκριμα katakrima, kat-ak´-ree-mah; from 2632; an adverse sentence (the verdict):—condemnation. Strong, J. (2009). Vol. 1: A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (40). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

    On balance, you need to just stick with “condemnation,” or at least make it plain that you are arguing for logical inferences to be drawn (in your favor) that go beyond what the Text actually says.

    Back to you.

  55. Brian, altho there is a FROM in the definitions, it isn’t the definition. There is a root, yes, but again, the root isn’t added to the definition. There is a distinct definition.

  56. In no way have I gone beyond what the text actually says. Quite the opposite. By using a thorough definition of the word, I showed more fully its meaning as it used in Scripture.

  57. Brian, but how can I feel free when God already ordained it from the foundation of the earth? LOL.

    Why reinvent the wheel? I’d rather have my head in the sand.

    I am narrow minded. That means that I am a Christian, especially to the atheists.

  58. Brian, well since you are all for getting to the root of a word, just remember, the next time that you go to get a prescription filled at the PHARMACY, that you are guilty of WITCHCRAFT.

    Ed

  59. Condemnation is a legal declarative term of eternal consequence by God against all those who follow Adam. This condemnation results from Adam’s sin, and can only be negated (or reversed) by the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

  60. Brian,

    Now you’re trying to discredit me by labeling me. What I attempt to do is take Scripture at face value, recognizing that one must first navigate their way through what is spoken figuratively, poetically, and so on. I believe in judgment following death, I believe in Sheol, Hades, Gehenna (which is not the same as the popular concept derived from Dante’s Inferno or Milton’s Hell), Abaddon/Apollyon, the burning lake of sulfur, and at least one more Biblical term that is not coming to mind.

    I also believe that Rom 5:18b must be taken at face value, or else one must admit that the Bible contains error.

    So now, without resorting to attempts at such “thought stopping” strategies as putting labels on me, how do you explain away the plain and unambiguous assertion of Rom 5:18b?

    And seriously, would you mind answering the questions I put to you today at 6:13 AM?

  61. Brian,
    You said:
    “Condemnation is a legal declarative term of eternal consequence by God against all those who follow Adam. This condemnation results from Adam’s sin, and can only be negated (or reversed) by the second Adam, Jesus Christ.”

    Then there is no such thing as “eternal consequence”

    AGAIN, I PRESENT YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING:

    Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Moses meaning all who fall under the law of Moses)

    DEATH DOES NOT REIGN FROM JESUS ONWARD.

    That death being discussed is SPIRITUAL DEATH, meaning SEPARATION FROM GOD.

    Abraham’s bosom was for that purpose for the RIGHTEOUS.

    After Jesus paid for sin, Abraham’s Bosom was emptied, as Jesus led captivity captive. There is no more DEATH (SEPARATION FROM GOD) EVEN FOR THOSE RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE FROM ADAM TO MOSES. THEY ARE FREE.

    If you think that Adam is not righteous, then you have another thing coming. He sacrificed to God to keep the relationship going.

    In the law of Moses, Sacrifices were done to keep the relationship going.

    Even tho death reigned for them, meaning that when they died, they went to Abraham’s Bosom, LIFE reigns for them NOW. YES, EVEN THEM.

    Ed

  62. “Condemnation is a legal declarative term of eternal consequence by God against all those who follow Adam. This condemnation results from Adam’s sin, and can only be negated (or reversed) by the second Adam, Jesus Christ.”

    Come on, Brian. You are asking us to accept your assertions about what the Bible means as thought the assertions were made in the Bible itself. You asked me for rigor with respect to the meaning of the Greek word for condemnation. I have given you definitions from four different lexicons. From these authorities (there’s a word you should be able to relate to) I’m sorry, but condemnation means condemnation. You can argue for a theological understand of the significance of the word, but you are then trafficking in the realm of speculation and conjecture. Unless, of course, I am overlooking some verse that specifically and unambiguously tells us that κατάκριμα (katakrima) means “a legal declarative term of eternal consequence by God against all those who follow Adam. This condemnation results from Adam’s sin, and can only be negated (or reversed) by the second Adam, Jesus Christ.”

  63. “aybe this is a minor point, but Brian keeps saying that Rom 5:18 references a “sentence of damnation.” A half dozen translations I just looked at, including Brian’s ESV, all use the word “condemnation” to translate κατάκριμα, katakrima. The word damnation is nowhere in sight in any English translation to which I have referred.”

    It is NOT a minor point. A few years back Piper and Mahaney did a series of sermons called the “Scream the Damned”. They are referring to Jesus Christ on the Cross and His crying out. I was absolutely stunned that they were not called out on this by supposed theologians. Instead it was accepted and even affirmed by other big names. So now, Jesus was “damned” on the Cross?

    See, words do mean things and all this redefining and inserting words where they are not is causing huge confusion. That whole movement makes me ill. The simple truths are not enough. They have to make them into shock jock sermons.

  64. Brian, If we are born sinners and Adams guilt is “imputed” to us how does that work except we have some sort of sin substance inside us that makes us entirely evil upon birth. Mary had to have it. And Mary carried God in the Flesh in her womb for at least 9 months. An evil totally depraved vessel carried the Holy God.

    The problem is not with my sin goo (after all that is interpreting Augustine who is your doctrinal father), the problem is with the entire doctrine of imputed guilt. It makes God into an tyrant and is completely without any reason or basic logic which is not a sin because God created it! It is time for us to put 5th Century and 16th Century thinking behind us.

    The problem with the false concepts of this determinist God and dualism is they have not gotten a real public hearing among the peasants until now with the internet. . Don’t be indoctrinated. Think. We are allowed to use these glorious brains God created. And He is Sovereign enough to create beings who can say no to Him. He is not a narcissistic insecure God who is only seeking His own Glory as Piper describes constantly. He loves His creation and wants us to have relationship with Him.

  65. OK Brian,

    Let’s get back to Romans 5:13. You have been successful at REDIRECTING the conversation, so I am bringing it back to your MANTRA.

    Scripture is clear….

    Before the law, sin was in the world but sin is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT imputed where there is no law.

    There is ONLY TWO THINGS that can be imputed.

    1. Righteousness or
    2. Sin (NOT IMPUTE

    Who is righteous? According to you, since you love Romans so much, There is NO ONE righteous, no not one. But let’s see what Jesus said:

    Matthew 13:17
    For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and RIGHTEOUS men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

    Matthew 23:35
    That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of RIGHTEOUS Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

    Luke 1:6
    And they were both RIGHTEOUS before God, walking in ALL the commandments and ordinances of the Lord BLAMELESS.

    And that is words of Jesus from the Gospels.

    That tells me that Paul’s statement that there is no one righteous has a different context than the one that Calvinists espouse.

    So, let’s bring this back from your re-direct. It was a good deflection, for a minute.

    Ed

  66. Ed,

    I’m not sure what else you want me to say about verse 13. Regarding the result of Adam’s sin spreading to all humanity, Paul states it no less than six times:

    sin came into the world through one man – v.12
    many died through one man’s trespass – v.15
    the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation – v.16
    because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man – v.17
    one trespass led to condemnation for all men – v.18
    as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners – v.19

    You have gotten hung up on verse 13, so here is what I believe about it:

    For until the law, sin was in the world
    This is a proof of sin’s having entered into the world, by one man’s transgression of the positive law of God, which forbid him the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; since it was in the world before the law of Moses was given: the sin of Adam and the guilt of that were in the world before, and came upon all men to condemnation; the general corruption of nature appeared before; and actual sins, and transgressions of all sorts were committed before; as by the immediate posterity of Adam, by the men of the old world, by the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, by the patriarchs and their posterity, by the Egyptians, Canaanites, and others. They were all guilty of sin, corrupted by it, and under the dominion of it, except such as were released from it by the grace of God: now when sin is said to be until this time, the meaning is not that it existed and continued until the law of Moses took place, and then ceased; for that law did not, and could not take away sin, it rather increased it, at least it became more known by it; but that it was in being before it, and had influence and power over the sons of men, so as to subject them to death:

    but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    This looks like an objection, that if there was no law before Moses’s time, then there was no sin, nor could any action of man be known or accounted by them as sinful, or be imputed to them to condemnation; or rather it is a concession, allowing that where there is no law, sin is not imputed; but there was a law before that law of Moses, which law was transgressed, and the sin or transgression of it was imputed to men to condemnation and death, as appears from what follows.

    What follows is verse 14:

    Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses
    Though the law of Moses was not yet given, death exerted itself, and extended its dominion over all the sons and daughters of Adam, during the interval between Adam and Moses; which clearly shows that sin was in the world, and that there must be a law in being

    This is what I believe about it. Period. Sin passed to ALL people because of Adam and ALL people were MADE sinners because of Adam’s sin.

  67. Lydia,

    Yes, you are right. To twist the word “condemned” into “sentence of damnation” is a much more egregious deceit than I had originally perceived. It reminds me of the way “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb 9:27) gets trotted out to supposedly prove the doctrine of eternal conscious punishment. There is this intellectual sleight of hand where judgment gets conflated with sentence.

    Even the preachers who preach that God’s judgment always and without exception translates into eternal conscious punishment would complain were they to receive life in prison following a judgment of guilty for driving 1 MPH over the speed limit. Call me a heretic, but I simply do not believe that a just God, Who is love, will impose a sentence of eternal conscious punishment on a child who reaches the age of accountability one day, wrongfully and knowingly samples a grape at the grocery store that same day, and is run down by a Mack truck on the way home.

    The C’ista-approved ESV says “He will render to each one according to his works,”(Romans 2:6), and “I will give to each of you according to your works.” (Revelation 2:23). I take this to mean that the punishment will fit the crime.

    I will read Rom 5:18 as indicating that all are condemned, as in being judged guilty, but the sentence, following “one act of righteousness” is justification and life. I will not, however, claim that my understanding is to be received as carrying the authority of Scripture itself. That, it would seem, would be to share in Brian’s error.

  68. Gary,

    “egregious deceit”…Really?

    What I did was egregious deceit?

    Wow. The insinuations about me and my motives and tactics are getting stronger and stronger. I wonder how long it will be before I am banned from this blog for my “egregious deceit”.

    Julie Anne,

    I ask you again to take note at who is slinging the accusations and who is not. There’s a discernable pattern here among many of the commenters. And that pattern is to not only disagree with someone, but to demean, discredit, and engage in ad-hominem in the process.

    I would hope we could discuss without all the derogatory inuendo. Is that possible, Julie Anne?

  69. Brian,

    I notice that your response to Ed at 6:00 AM tap dances all the way around Rom 5:18b. Well, let me indict you for probably also ignoring Rom 3:24.

    [F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Romans 3:23-24, ESV)

    Note that those who are justified are the same as the “all” who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Care to explain this Scripture away? Remember, no labeling or other Moonie-like “thought stopping” tactics allowed.

  70. Hi Brian! :)
    Did you see my 8/16 @ 8:19AM reply back to you? I tell the truth, I ran into hissop at Lowe’s yesterday, didn’t buy it but giggled & thought of you! Knew it wouldn’t purge my sin. I did buy a rose of sharon instead, it’s true. It’s one of my fav blooming shrubs. Anyhoo, you’ve remained silent on my reply refuting your assertion that God has determined babies are sinful at birth based on Psalms 51.

    My reply should have rocked your total depravity, original sin boat. David, a modern day “drama king”, was bemoaning his adultery with Bathsheba. He was not declaring all mankind is born having sinned in the womb. Pls read my comment if you haven’t. Pls answer. Do you still think babies are vipers in diapers based on Psalms 51? Is it in one ear & out the other because I’m a woman? If so, why did you engage me specifically, then? Why have you gone MIA on Psalms 51? Trying to get your sea legs back?

    Well, now I see you’ve moved on to Romans 5:18. Frankly, I am disappointed. Me thinks you are not critically thinking or studying, but regurgitating what you’ve been sitting under again. The last thing any true, honest, Berean scholar of the Bible wants to do is take a few random verses & make a theology out of it. Don’t you want to believe the whole counsel of God, the whole counsel of the Bible? Using all faculties, wisdom, common sense, conscience with help from the Holy Spirit? I pray you will.

    And I would have thought you would have wisely tread lightly & kindly with us after your faux pas regarding Psalms 51. Instead you careen full on to Romans 5:18 as if you were Captain Hook, using it to prop up the very same wrong theology of total depravity, original sin. Oh well. You are taking on water fast as you will see. I’ll comment on that soon. I hear the ticking of the croc’s clock getting closer. ;)

  71. I ask you again to take note at who is slinging the accusations and who is not. There’s a discernable pattern here among many of the commenters. And that pattern is to not only disagree with someone, but to demean, discredit, and engage in ad-hominem in the process.

    I would hope we could discuss without all the derogatory inuendo. Is that possible, Julie Anne?

    I agree that it is getting out of hand, Brian. However, you’ve given as good as you’ve gotten in this thread, so keep that in mind when I ask everyone to try and make the tone more civil and befitting of Christians, especially on the day that we gather to worship and thank Jesus for the free gift of salvation.

    I also hope that the tone can change to one of trying to understand our differences instead of trying to prove someone else wrong. Christ calls us to be unified; walls of doctrine make that very difficult. These are good topics to debate, but the first rule of Christian debate should be to accept that your opponent may be correct. I don’t seem to remember “Blessed are the debate winners…” in the Beatitudes.

    I hope you all have a great day. Please share the crayons and try not to run with scissors while I’m at church.

  72. “I would hope we could discuss without all the derogatory inuendo. Is that possible, Julie Anne?”

    Brian, I respectfully suggest you go back and read your tweets in the post. You started and intensified a tone of superiority demanding Julie Anne answer to you. I think she has been more than fair, open and loving toward you. But your response to Gary’s comment is usually how I have seen discussions happen with guys in that movement, they attack first and then look for any offense in responses to them to point out. It is very immature.

    In fact, I happen to know a leader in your movement was trying to backchannel some more well known bloggers to get the young men in the movement to tone it down because it was becoming embarrassing and even more so after the scandals and other divisions being caused in churches and para church organizations by the movement. There seems to be a “chip on the shoulder” mentality when people don’t automatically believe the interpretations you have been taught. It becomes difficult when young men are told over and over only they have the real Gospel and others do not. They do not have the wisdom and seasoning to have as much influence as they were influenced themselves so easily so they beat their truths with “their” bible interpretation clubs. Instead of sharing them with love.

    I have always maintained this movement needs coercion and censoring in order to maintain itself. And we are seeing it with over the top church discipline, censoring (speaking of child molestations is gossip, no negative truths about the leaders, membership covenants) and on and on.

    It IS egregious deceit to change word definitions and it is has been going on for centuries. That is why it is so dangerous to follow mere men instead of Jesus Christ. It was egregious deceit for Piper/Mahaney to teach that Jesus was “damned” on the cross. Do they really not know better? What is even more sad is that pastors/theologians did not call them out on it. The types you claim we are to submit to and obey. So the problem is even bigger than folks might realize.

    As to Romans, it is a mistake to read it an individual salvation process filter. The historical context is crucial to understanding. The historical context tells us that Jews were coming back into Rome after being banished. Some of them were Christians so how would Gentile Christians understand why the Jewish Christians think they are the real thing because of their history? You can imagine the confusion when they come together. Chapter 1 read in that historical context makes it a bit more clear where this culminating narrative is going. It is too much to go into here on Romans but another HUGE problem I have with Reformed thinking is that it pretty much ignores Jewish thinking or Europeanized it. It is as if Jesus Christ were a European and Christianity started in the 16th century for real. I even cringe when I hear them say that every single verse in the OT points to Christ as if Jesus Christ is not really of the One True God of Abraham. But then in their paradigm, Jesus Christ is also a sort of lesser god in the Godhead.

  73. Yes, my comment to Brian was tongue-in-cheek. And poking a little fun at his expense. We’ll see if he has a sense of humor. And he is welcome to tease back as well, I can take it & I like a good laugh at my own expense once in a while. He certainly uses sarcasm, as we see have seen & he has explained. But I don’t think that creative critical thinking muscle is getting much use. Too much sitting under? ;) I hope he starts a workout regimen soon to get that muscle in shape. Who knows? He might get me to laugh at things other than the hyssop plant’s magic powers at purging sin & bones magically rejoicing. Still waiting for that youtube video. ;)

  74. Brian,

    It’s quite obvious to me that you really don’t have the heart to really study this thing out.

    In Romans 4, it states
    BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN.

    Not only that, it is quite obvious that you have yet to dissect ANYTHING that I noted in regards to Romans 7, and Deuteronomy.

    It is obvious, that you just don’t care.

    But, I again, reiterate:

    Scripture is clear!!!!

    Ed

  75. @Lydia~

    “I have always maintained this movement needs coercion and censoring in order to maintain itself. And we are seeing it with over the top church discipline, censoring (speaking of child molestations is gossip, no negative truths about the leaders, membership covenants) and on and on.”

    Like this part in a recent statement from SGM?

    Council of Elders Statement
    August 5, 2013 by SGM Staff

    “Consequently, we urge our brothers and sisters in Christ to avoid giving audience to Brent Detwiler’s unbiblical speech until such a time that he repents of this ungodly pattern. Such harmful speech is ruinous to the church of God.”

    Unbiblical speech, avoid giving audience, ungodly pattern, ruinous to the church of God. How does anyone keep a straight face reading that? You wouldn’t if you have educated yourself about SGM.

  76. There’s another one of them “C” buzz words again: ad-hominem.

    If it isn’t strawman, it’s ad-hominem.

    I don’t find those buzz words amongst any other religious debates that I have ever had, except with the C’s, and I have been debating for quite some time.

    Ed

  77. Diane said, “Like this part in a recent statement from SGM? Consequently, we urge our brothers and sisters in Christ to avoid giving audience to Brent Detwiler’s unbiblical speech until such a time that he repents of this ungodly pattern. Such harmful speech is ruinous to the church of God.”

    Translation: the organization / group is more important that the people. Is this what Jesus cared about? Did he spend much time in the temple (church) or mostly among everyday people? Where, of all places, did Jesus get angry? At the “church” temple.

    It may be ruinous to certain church organizations, but not to the people of God.

  78. chapmaned24 said, “There’s another one of them “C” buzz words again: ad-hominem. If it isn’t strawman, it’s ad-hominem.”

    Ditto. It’s weird. I think those words are used to prove some sort of intellectual high-ground. But I don’t think they realize it just makes them sound strange. Strawman makes me think “Wizard of Oz”. And ad-hominem? Well…..

    Brian, I dare you to say ad-hominem 10 times fast. ;)

  79. lydiasellerofpurple,

    You bring up an EXCELLENT point, about historical context and the Jews in Rome, because the following verse is widely misused:

    Romans 3:10
    As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

    So, even that had a context, because there were indeed righteous people, yes, more than one.

    Matthew 13:17 (many)
    For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

    Matthew 23:35 (Abel)
    That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

    Luke 1:6 (The Parents of John the Baptist)
    And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

    So, there is no one righteous, no not one, huh? Context of Jews in Rome, not in an overall generality.

    Ed

  80. A Mom,
    ” Strawman makes me think “Wizard of Oz”. And ad-hominem? Well…..”

    I think the same with the Wizard of Oz. The ad-hominem, I think of that as an ad in the newspaper about a sale for HOMINY GRITS.

    Yes, I really do believe that they use those words to prove superiority, a higher education, etc. But, NORMAL people don’t use those words.

    I guess us normal people are the “little people”, as Leona Helmsley would call those “beneath” her, the peasants.

    Ed

  81. Diane,
    “Consequently, we urge our brothers and sisters in Christ to avoid giving audience to Brent Detwiler’s unbiblical speech until such a time that he repents of this ungodly pattern. Such harmful speech is ruinous to the church of God”

    Almost sounds like Chuck with Julie Anne

    Ed

  82. Brian,
    You said to Gary,
    “The context for “all” is found in the previous verse, where Paul references “all who believe”. That is the proper context.”

    Let’s get much much deeper into that context, because you have a PREREQUISITE for the people that believe, in that ONLY GOD WILL CHOOSE WHO WILL BELIEVE, by giving them “saving faith”, for until God gives them “saving faith”, they are incapable of believing.

    That is truly your context.

    Ed

  83. @ A Mom~

    “Brian, I dare you to say ad-hominem 10 times fast”

    lol…try “unbiblical speech” 10 times real fast.

  84. Brian,

    Egregious deceit? Well, yes, that is what I consider any assertion that Scripture says one thing when it does not in fact do so. I thought the same thing when I attended an AofG service 2 or 3 years ago and the District Superintendent, who was preaching, made the statement that “the bible says Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us.”

    But is it argumentum ad hominem to assert that either you or this District Superintendent have made statements that are egregiously deceptive? No, not really–unless it is an ad hominem to accuse somebody of engaging in . . . . ad hominem attacks. :) Please note that my previous sentence was typed in a spirit of good humored repartee, and with a cheerful and friendly smile on my face. To disagree with you is not to attack you. Even to attack your argument is not to attack you personally.

    So, please allow me to gently prod you. When you respond to my arguments by accusing me of bad conduct, I really do perceive that this is just another “thought stopping” strategy. Quite a number of questions, put to you by others as well as myself, remain unanswered. You would serve yourself well by making some attempt to answer these questions. Otherwise, the natural interpretation is that you do not have answers.

  85. “You bring up an EXCELLENT point, about historical context and the Jews in Rome, because the following verse is widely misused:

    Romans 3:10
    As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

    So, even that had a context, because there were indeed righteous people, yes, more than one.

    Yes and the Jewish Christians hearing that read from the letter Phoebe brought would have understood it perfectly as the lament it was in Psalms because they would have been familiar with it…… and after hearing the entire letter, the Gentiles would understand where they fit in. And the Jews would have known about the righteous people mentioned in the OT.

    One thing that rarely gets discussed is how the Gentile believers viewed the Law of Moses in the 1st Century. Could it be because what was of importance was the Holy Spirit and “right living” in Christ? The focus was completely different than it is today to our shame. Now people are taught they CANNOT live righteously in Christ. They have no “ability” to do so. (makes one want to hide the silver and lock up the children!)

    It is dangerous stuff when people take metaphor, hyperbole, poetry and idioms literal and apply them to everyday life to practice. Instead of seeing the larger theme. Shall we practice not being righteous? That is essentially what the determinist God paradigm teaches in the C world. . That is NOT what Paul is referring to in Romans.

  86. ” I thought the same thing when I attended an AofG service 2 or 3 years ago and the District Superintendent, who was preaching, made the statement that “the bible says Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us.”

    I know, this stuff is everywhere and we are a bit unfair to the C’s not to admit it is even in the traditionally free will sorts of places, too. Just not to the same degree of coercion and censoring of thought. The “thought reform” tactics are not really there with it as they are in C world where man has NO volition at all. I am not sure we are aware of how much the thinking of Augustine and the Reformers infiltrated Christianity in the West as it spread.

    I saw this thinking that “Christs righteousness is imputed to us” in the free will seeker mega world played out much differently though in my experience. It became a sort of cheap grace. You were expected to continue sinning because sinners, sin– but that was ok because Christ imputed his righteousness to you. You don’t need to seek Holiness and righteous living.

    That is why we often see Christians (especially leaders) behavior become so bad. They have a ready made alibi why it is ok. Makes the sacrifice they claim to believe in sorta cheap.

  87. Ed

    Sorry for the delay in answering – Been busy…
    And you guys rock – Another great comment thread…
    Just browsed thru the last 150 or so comments this morning… Love it…

    Ed – Here is your comment to me…

    ————–

    chapmaned24 – @ AUGUST 15, 2013 @ 12:15 PM….

    A Amos said to me:

    “You write…
    “There are church pastors, so I am not getting what you are saying.”

    Name one… In the Bible…

    Name one… Today…”

    My response:

    What are you talking about, “Name one”? What is that supposed to mean? Who cares what their name was? Fact, the word Pastor is in the Bible.

    NAME WHERE.

    You keep denying that certain words are not found in the Bible, when in fact they are.

    Ed

    ————–

    Ed, I’m “clearly” NOT explaining myself properly to you.
    I agree with you – **the word pastors** “IS in the Bible.”
    In the NT it is found ONCE – in Eph 4:11 and it is plural – pastors…
    It is the Gr – Poimen = Which means shepherd. Poimen 18 times in the NT.
    Only Two times as a “Title” – Both “Titles” Shepherd – refer to Jesus.
    And Jesus said there is – “ONE” Fold and “ONE” Shepherd – Jesus…

    IMO – Pastor/Leader/Reverends – We see “today” are NOT in the Bible.
    And most of what they do “today” is NOT in the Bible.

    That’s why I asked you to…

    Name one… In the Bible…
    Name one… Today…

    Because – In the Bible, I could NOT name one “Pastor” – as hard as I looked.

    Best I can figure is – Those who were shepherding, tending, feeding, careing for, God’s Sheep, took their example from Jesus, as man. Jesus, who humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation, and took on the form of a “Servant.” Phil 2:7-8. The “Title” pastor and shepherd is NOT used by His Disciples, “Mere Fallible Humans,” in the Bible. That “Title” is reserved for the “ONE” Shepherd – Jesus.

    But – Today – That “Title” is every place. And many additional ones.
    Today – That “Title” – Comes with – Power – Profit – Prestige.
    ALL the things Jesus spoke against…

    Job 32:21-22 KJV
    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give *flattering titles* unto man.
    For I know not to give *flattering titles;*
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

  88. All

    Here are some “Titles – we find Today in – Christian-dumb…
    BUT – are NOT Found in the Bible.

    1 -Pastor/Leader/Reverend. 2 – Under Shepherd. 3 – Senior Pastor. 4 – Lead Pastor. 5 – Teaching Pastor. 6 – Executive Pastor. 6 – Youth Pastor. 7 – Singles Pastor. 8 – Worship Pastor. 9 – Reverend. 10 – Holy Reverend. 11 – Most Holy Right Reverend. 12 – ArchDeacon. 13 – Canon. 14 – Prelate. 15 – Rector. 16 – Cardinal. 17 – Pope. 18 – Doctor. 19 – M.Div. 20 – Paid Professional Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews.

    21 – His Holiness, The Most Holy Right Reverend Father Amos – Yup – That’s me – That’s the “Title” My Polish Uncle Gave Me – He was a Polish Pastor of the first Church of the Pleasant Parables of the Presence of God. He believed Proper, Preperation, Precedes, Powerful, Performance – so he Prayed a lot. After being the Prevailing, Parsing, Pastor for a period and enjoying the Power – Profit – Prestige – He started his own Denomination and made me, his wondeful nephew, second in command, and gave me this Powerful , Profitable, Prestigious “Title” – NOT in the Bible – His Holiness, The Most Holy Right Reverend Father Amos. ;-)

  89. Diane, You are supposed to submit to the elders who wrote that. :o)

    But the problem is that Dever, Mohler, Piper, Bridgers, etc, etc, are well aware of these things and continued in their support and promotion of Mahaney even quite recently. What are we to do with that? Submit to them as “elders”? I think not. They have no wisdom or discernment and instead agree with such censoring and coercion by elders even when it comes to hiding EVIL.

  90. chapmaned24 said, “A Mom, I think the same with the Wizard of Oz. The ad-hominem, I think of that as an ad in the newspaper about a sale for HOMINY GRITS.”

    I know, right? I don’t use the “strawman” card. I try to use sound reasoning & everyone can read & decide for themselves. But when I hear someone else use the strawman card I can’t help giggling. I can’t help thinking of the Wizard of Oz & the one who wished he had a brain. Oh the irony. ;)

    And the laughs on me as well, because I used to think the same thing, wait, strike that. I WAS NOT thinking, that was the problem. Glad I’m back to using my brain! And it feels real good. :)

  91. A Amos Love,

    You said:
    “Because – In the Bible, I could NOT name one “Pastor” – as hard as I looked. ”

    Why is it necessary to find a name of a pastor?

    But, in every instance where we see Paul introducing himself, it is stated:

    “Paul, an apostle”

    Let’s do a substitution, just for example purposes:

    “Paul, a pastor”

    We, and I do mean EVERYONE who is a Christian, state: “Apostle Paul”, as a title, but the Bible just simply states, “Paul, an Apostle”.

    So, we are all guilty of the title thing in regards to Paul.

    My bottom line, I don’t find it wrong for the use of the word pastor as a title.

    Ed

  92. Brian,

    Referring to my challenge regarding Rom 3:23 you say, “The context for “all” is found in the previous verse, where Paul references “all who believe”. That is the proper context.” Not a bad response, and you no doubt find reassurance in it, but your response is not exactly determinative. The immediate, same-sentence referent of those who “are justified by his grace as a gift” is the same “all” who are said to “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Yes, it is those who believe in Jesus who are justified, but the question is, who is it exactly that believe? Because v. 18b is plain on its face, it is 18b that must be seen as being the determinative context of v. 17–not the other way around. At least one must so conclude from the plain, un-theologized reading of Scripture.

    Now, I don’t expect you to be persuaded by any of this–at least if the theological traditions and ideological agendas of men have as powerful a stronghold on your thinking as appears to be the case. Still, perhaps you have the ability to at least understand the point I am making. If so, you will be all the more able to “test all things,” as we are admonished to do. 1 Thes 5:21.

    In case it may be of some consolation to you, I would be able to to present a better refutation of my own position than what you have presented. However, it would require that I delve into the Greek, and it is not clear that you have the ability to go there with me.

    And speaking of the Greek, you previously referred me to the Greek in an attempt to counter my challenge to your redefinition of the word condemned. One reason I would like to know whether you were home schooled is that I once had a discussion–O.K., it was a debate–with a home schooled young adult who attempted to counter my reference to Scripture by saying that, well, he would want to refer to the Greek to see what was really meant. The subject changed in a hurry when I proceeded to pull a Greek New Testament out of my pocket. It turns out the my debating opponent didn’t know Greek at all. I begin to suspect that anybody who presents as having greater debating skills than understanding has been home schooled under the influence of Vision Forum style agendas. I am especially suspicious when there is a commonality of ploys, such as attempting to refer to the Greek as some sort of a discussion stopper. Please note, however, that I accuse you of nothing. I simply note certain parallels with the known home schooler I encountered, and it makes me curious and, yes, just a bit suspicious.

    So, whether or not your were home schooled under the influence of a Vision Forum style agenda, here is what I suspect you of: I believe that you may have been attempting to seek refuge in the Greek as some sort of a discussion stopping, “thought stopping” ploy. I do not say this to insult you. In fact I sincerely hope that you are a Greek scholar and that my suspicions are all ill-founded. Rather, just in case my suspicions have some small modicum of validity, I am hoping to help you see that it is dangerous to attempt to win your point with debating tactics as opposed to substance.

  93. Lydiasellerofpurple,
    “It became a sort of cheap grace. You were expected to continue sinning because sinners, sin”

    Part of that thinking, I think, came from Luther, when he said “SIN BOLDLY”. The reason that he said that was to show that Grace has real meaning, much like what Jesus said about those who has many sins forgiven will love God more, but the ones who has few sins will love God less.

    The Catholics HATE Luther for that statement, “SIN BOLDLY”. But I can tell you that he did not mean it in the same way that it is taken by some groups today, in order to show that we can do anything we want, all because we are covered by grace. That is cheap grace.

    While I do not espouse to Luther or Calvin or the Catholics, Luther gets a bad rap for saying that, although I can understand why he said it. He said it because the Catholics believe in GOOD WORKS as a prerequisite to salvation, and they have all a strange view of grace, and strange view of sin, i.e. mortal sin vs. venial sin. I always thought sin was sin, no matter how ya sliced it.

    Ed

  94. Diane,
    “Consequently, we urge our brothers and sisters in Christ to avoid giving audience to Brent Detwiler’s unbiblical speech until such a time that he repents of this ungodly pattern. Such harmful speech is ruinous to the church of God”

    Almost sounds like Chuck with Julie Anne

    Ed

    Exactly, Ed. Thee are so many to choose from here’s one:

  95. Ed said,

    “Let’s get much much deeper into that context, because you have a PREREQUISITE for the people that believe, in that ONLY GOD WILL CHOOSE WHO WILL BELIEVE, by giving them “saving faith”, for until God gives them “saving faith”, they are incapable of believing.

    That is truly your context.”

    Very true, very true. Both faith and repentance are gifts from God.

  96. Brian said:
    “Very true, very true. Both faith and repentance are gifts from God.”

    That is NOT TRUE. Click on my name and it will bring you to my blog. I have it all laid out.

    Faith is NOT A GIFT, neither is repentance.

    Ed

  97. Ed,

    I know where you are coming from but Luther was such a mass of contradictions where do we start? We can start at the very beginning. he wanted to “REFORM” the Catholic church. His Theses were all about indulgences.

    His “grace alone” while correct for Justification was still a bait and switch because he has no real belief in sanctification. That is why “sin boldy” resonated with so many people. Your sinning boldy is covered by grace EVEN after you are “chosen” for salvation.

    The man was a drunken thug. Ever read his writings on the Jews–we should burn down their homes? Women? (Women were either good for having babies or being prostitutes). Oh my favorite is “Reason is a whore”. And I don’t buy the “man of his time” arguments at all. Luther was more POLITICAL than spiritual. I long for people to see this. The Reformation was POLITICAL using religion as the catalyst.

    Why should good Germans buy indulgences to build vast buildings in Rome? A lot of money was leaving their economy when Tetzel had his was selling get out of purgatory cards like hotcakes.. How was Luther really that different when he agreed to a NEW state church which was mandatory. Where tithing was mandatory? Where state church membership got you into the kingdom? It is not as obvious, I grant you but really, how is it different in principle?

  98. “Both faith and repentance are gifts from God.” As are arms and legs. Whether we crawl out of bed and actually use them on a given day is a choice we make.

  99. Faith is a gift:

    “By grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

    “loooking to Jesus, the author and perfector/finisher of faith”

    Repentance is a gift:

    “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. “

  100. “That is NOT TRUE. Click on my name and it will bring you to my blog. I have it all laid out.

    Faith is NOT A GIFT, neither is repentance.”

    The teaching that “faith” is a gift that must be bestowed upon you because YOU cannot have faith is the teaching that is turning many young neo Cals (who are not into ministry) into atheists. They have been waiting around for God to give them the faith they need and agonizingly navel gazing the Gospel, their sin, etc for this until they are worn out and turn against this cruel God for not “giving it to them” because they keep being told “they” cannot have faith but it is only a gift from God to “chosen” people. So they agonize, pray, cry, go nuts begging God to give them “faith”. (Because doubt is considered sin. Wrestling with God is considered sin)

    It is insidious and a horrible interpretation. It takes man totally out of the picture until you are a marionette doll with strings being pulled by an arbitrary capricious god. It sounds more like Allah than the One True God of Abraham and His HESED.

  101. Ed,

    Is it possible we just managed to make the same point by disagreeing with one another? I love paradox.

  102. Brian,
    It is grace that is the gift, not faith.

    Our faith God’s grace.

    We give God faith, God gives us grace. It is thru OUR OWN faith that God gives us HIS Grace.

    Faith originates in us, not the other way around.

    Ed

  103. Brian,
    Our faith is based on believing something.

    Our faith is increased based on learning more.

    That is what it is meant by Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith.

    He teaches, we listen, we believe.

    Ed

  104. Those who are not saved are in the flesh. It is impossible for those who are in the flesh to please God. Those who are in the flesh are at emnity with God. Those who are in the flesh are spiritual dead. In that natural dead state, a person cannot, of their own accord, cause themselves to become born again. Being born again literally means to be born from above. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Just as a person cannot and does not cause themself to born physically, a person also cannot and does not cause themself to be born spiritually. They have to be born from above before they can repent and believe.

  105. Brian,
    You had said:
    “loooking to Jesus, the author and perfector/finisher of faith”

    I noticed one word missing:

    Hebrews 12:2
    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith

    The word “OUR” is missing.

    We own it. It is ours. It wasn’t given to us, it originates in us BASED ON teaching (author), and what we trust altogether (Finisher) of OUR (WE OWN IT) faith.

    Ed

  106. Faith originates in us, not the other way around.

    This concept was the first one that I learned that was attributed to Calvinism. I.had.no.clue. before this.

  107. “By grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

    I have seen people go around all day on the grammar on this one. the “Grace” is the gift. We must practice faith. Or else, we are not really needed in the salvic equation at all. We would be automons.

  108. Brian,

    Oh, how I love when you twist scripture with that in your 10:01 post.

    Paul was talking to the Corinthians.

    Paul could only feed them MILK because they were not MATURE enough for the meat.

    THEY were the ones living in the flesh, and not the spirit.

    They were still Christians, none the less.

    But, as Paul said of even himself, he dies daily, meaning that even he, himself lives in the flesh from time to time, but that he must kill the flesh in order to live in the spirit.

    The “C’s” make that out to be that of what you espouse, that all men are totally depraved.

    NOT TRUE.

    Ed

  109. Jesus’ first teaching was “Repent and believe”. Why on earth would He tell masses of people to do something THEY cannot do or He knew would never be “chosen” to do? Seems cruel and a bit of a bait and switch.

  110. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
    (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)

    For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    (Romans 8:7; Romans 8:8 ESV)

  111. Lord, command whatever you will, and grant whatever you command.

    God commanding something we cannot do is not cruel or a bait and switch.

    Man-made laws command us to drive on a particular side of the road and to keep our car betwen certain lines. One who is drunk, however, is not able to do this, but he is still held responsible for doing it.

  112. Brian the verses you are quoting do not prove determinism required for the C paradigm. Are you sure you understand “flesh”? From your comments it is obvious you are interjecting the philosophy of dualism into these verses. Perhaps unknowingly?

  113. “God commanding something we cannot do is not cruel or a bait and switch.

    Man-made laws command us to drive on a particular side of the road and to keep our car betwen certain lines. One who is drunk, however, is not able to do this, but he is still held responsible for doing it.

    For your metaphor to work we all have to be equally blinding drunk from birth onward. But we aren’t.

    Commanding us to do something we cannot do is very cruel.

    Try it on your own children.

  114. I point out to my children often how they are not able to do everything I tell them to do (and how mom and dad also can’t do what God requires of us), and that that is why we all need Christ. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves.

  115. Brian,
    I stand by what I said. You examples of your 10:23 comment is not related to the topic at hand.

    What is living in the flesh? vs. living in the spirit?

    We have a body, we have a spirit.

    Flesh=Body

    IN THE BODY IS A SINFUL NATURE. When we die, we are without a body…we are just spirit after that. Spirit is not subjected to law, the flesh is.

    I die daily.

    You gotta go MUCH MUCH deeper spiritually to discern these things, than what you are doing.

    In the very real “essence”, you are living in the flesh, not discerning spiritual matters.

    Ed

  116. No Brian, You are to “command” them to do things YOU KNOW they cannot do. You are already watering down what you claimed earlier.

    Not only that but you are preparing them to believe God’s commands (and yours) are capricious and meaningless.

  117. Brian, You are also preparing them to be antinomians.

    3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2

  118. Ed

    You write…
    “My bottom line,
    I don’t find it wrong for the use of the word pastor as a title.”

    Here is where I’m at these days – I do reserve the right to be wrong… ;-)

    In the Bible, Did any of His Disciples, “use of the word pastor as a title.”?

    And, Jesus, taught His Disciples to teach what He commanded them – Yes?

    Mat 19-20 KJV
    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…
    Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…

    And, I can NOT find Jesus commanding His Disciples to call themselves…
    Or, to take the “Title” shepherd, or pastor. Or call anyone pastor.

    Seems, Jesus taught His Disciples there is “ONE” Shepherd – Jesus…
    And – “ONE” Teacher – And “ONE” Leader… Jesus… Mat 23:8-10 NASB

    Why isn’t what Jesus said important? ;-)
    Isn’t that what “WE” His Disciples are to teach others?
    There is “ONE” Shepherd – “ONE” Teacher – “One” Leader – Jesus???

    Even the scriptures, God, have some tough things to say
    about human pastor/shepherds that you’ll never hear from the pulpit. ;-)

    Jer 2:8 …*the pastors* also transgressed against me…

    Jer 10:21 For *the pastors* are become brutish…( beastly, carnal )
    …they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
    (Sounds like what is going on today – yes?)

    Jer 12:10 *Many pastors* have destroyed my vineyard…

    Jer 22:22 The **wind shall eat up all thy pastors… (**Wind = rauch – Spirit)

    Jer 23:1 Woe be unto *the pastors* that destroy and scatter the sheep…

    Jere 23:2 …thus saith the LORD God of Israel against *the pastors*
    that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away,
    and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you
    the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **their shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  119. Ed

    I tried them human – pastor/leader/teachers – and found them wanting. :-)
    Seems to me, Jesus wants to be our Shepherd/Leader/Teacher. :-)

    John 10:27
    My sheep hear MY voice, and I know them, and -They Follow Me:

    As one of His sheep – Do I want to follow Jesus?
    Or follow a “Mere Fallible Human?” Who calls themself pastor/shepherd?

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    Jesus, “The Word of God,” taught “His Disciples”
    1 – NOT to be called teacher for you have “ONE” teacher, Christ. Mt 23:8
    2 – NOT to be called leader for you have “ONE” leader, Christ, Mt 23:10
    3 – ALL shall be taught of God. Jn 6:45
    4 – ALL things, shall be taught you by the Holy Spirit, God. Jn 14:26
    5 – ALL truth, will come as the Spirit of truth guides and leads. Jn 16:13
    6 – Jesus, as man, does nothing of himself, and is taught of God. Jn 8:28
    7 – Peter, knowing Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God,
    received *the revelation* from Father *God,* and NOT from man. Mt 16:17
    NOT from Jesus as man. Jesus gave “All” the glory, all the credit to God.

    Jesus taught *The ”ONE” Teacher* is – Christ – Holy Spirit – Father – God.

    It does take a step of faith to believe and trust only Jesus…
    And that Jesus “can speak to you” and **teach you** “ALL” truth.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  120. Brian,

    You say “I point out to my children often how they are not able to do everything I tell them to do.” Is that really true? To my mind, if you knowingly tell your children to do something they cannot do, it is child abuse. I do not believe you are a child abuser. Neither do I believe God abuses his creatures, including ANY human.

  121. A Amos Love,

    You said:
    “In the Bible, Did any of His Disciples, “use of the word pastor as a title.”?”

    I don’t really think it matters. The fact still remains that the apostles are called teachers, etc.

    And, I defer that we all call Paul, “Apostle Paul”. It’s not a big deal to me if we say, “Pastor Julie Anne Smith”, or we can say, Julie Anne Smith, a pastor.

    You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me Johnson, or you can call me Jr., butcha doesn’t have to call me Raymond J. Johnson Jr.

    Remember that one?

    Where in the Bible do we find anyone with a first name, a middle name and a last name or a Jr.?

    I don’t really think it matters to God in this regard about titles. Otherwise, we all have some repenting to do in regards to Apostle Paul.

    Ed

  122. A Amos Love,

    One last thing before I gotta go for a few hours.

    We Christians have the Holy Spirit in us.

    We as an individual Christian, when we teach another, we are trusting that it isn’t us teaching them, but that it is God teaching them. Therefore, it is God doing the teaching, and not us.

    That goes with those with the title of Pastor, as well. It is there job to feed us, and we are trusting that it is not the pastor himself, but God that dwells in him, and that the pastor is only a mouthpiece.

    But that is where it gets tricky. How do we discern the difference between God and man in this case?

    We check up on them by being a Berean.

    Ed

  123. Ed
    What if “Todays” – pastor/leader/reverends…
    Are taking God’s Name in Vain? – Shouldn’t we warn them?

    Ex 20:7
    Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
    for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    I used to think – “Taking His Name in Vain” – meant saying – “G… D…. it,” or some such thing. Using God’s Name as a curse word. But – Today – I think it has to do with someone “Wanting to be like God.” Or, at least God Like. And taking for themselves – the names and “Titles” of God — In Vain.

    One day, I do a little word study for – Name – and – Vain. ;-)
    I check out Strongs Concordance and the Dictionary.

    Name – In Strongs – #8034 = shem –
    1 – a definite and *conspicuous position… – (standing out, clearly visible)
    2 – an *appellation… (a name or “Title”)
    3 – by implication honor, authority, character.

    Vain – In Strongs = #7723 = shav’ –
    1 – in the sense of *desolating; – (desolate = bleak and dismal emptiness)
    2 – evil (as *destructive), – (*causing great and irreparable harm)
    3 – figuratively *idolatry – ( *worship, admiration, reverence for something)
    4 – idolatry (as deceptive,)
    5 – *vain – ( *having an excessively high opinion of one’s, abilities, or worth)
    6 – *vanity – (*pride in or admiration of one’s own achievements)

    Ex 20:7
    Thou shalt not take the *name ( *position, title, honor, authority.)
    of the LORD thy God in *vain; (* idolatry, evil, as destructive.)

    And here are 3 – “Names” – “Titles” – of God, you can find in the Bible…

    Shepherd – Leader – Reverend -Aren’t these “Titles” of the LORD thy God?

    1 – Shepherd – God/Jesus is called – Shepherd
    The Lord is my *shepherd.* Psalm 23:1.
    …returned unto the *Shepherd* and Bishop of your souls. 1 Pet 2:25.
    …they shall Hear MY Voice – there shall be – “ONE” *shepherd.* John 10:27

    2 – Leader – God/Jesus is called – Leader
    And do NOT be called *leaders;* for “ONE” is your *Leader,* that is, Christ.
    Mat 23:10 NASB.
    God exalted him at his right hand as *Leader* and Savior…
    Acts 5:31 ESV

    3 – Reverend – God/Jesus is called – Reverend
    …holy and **reverend** is his *name. Psalm 111:9 KJV — (*name. = shem)

    Hmmm? What about – Todays – Shepherds – Leaders – Reverends – ?
    Aren’t these *Names* “Titles” of the LORD thy God?

    What if “Todays” – pastor/leader/reverends…
    Are taking God’s Name in Vain? – Shouldn’t we warn them?

    Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough,
    and **they are shepherds that cannot understand:**
    they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain, from his quarter.
    Isaiah 56:11

  124. Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe:

    “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”

    Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:

    “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”

  125. Ed,

    At 9:41 AM you said, “Faith is NOT A GIFT, neither is repentance.” At 9:46 I agreed with Brian that “Both faith and repentance are gifts from God.” I think you meant that Faith and repentance are not gifts because we all have the ability to exercise them. I meant that they are gifts, albeit they are gifts possessed by all of us. Either way, I think maybe we were both making the point that we all have the capacity to exercise faith and repentance. So, if I understand where you are coming from, we managed to make the same point by ON THE SURFACE disagreeing with each other. Nothing of any significance here (so far as I can tell). I’m just embracing amusement where I can find it.

  126. Brian,

    At 11:44 AM, you are limiting God’s mercy and love, not to mention the efficacy of the Cross. I encourage you to fully embrace and take the following verse at face value:

    . . . we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10b, ESV)

    Now, I readily acknowledge that this verse contains the word “especially,” but this word is only a qualitative, not a quantitative, limitation. If you are going to accept the clear teaching of Scripture, you must do so with regard to this verse also. Otherwise, you must admit that Scripture contains error, or so I submit.

  127. Brian, for as many proof texts you can quote implying people cannot repent and believe, we can quote showing they are told to do exactly that. I would suggest you read them all in an interlinear and understand you are reading Hebrew thinkers writing in Greek!

    Another misnomer is that Calvinist automatically think we do not believe the One True God has any input into the process. That is false. I believe it is synergistic or else we are talking about Allah and not the One True God. I believe we must repent and believe.

    Here is one for you read through the Calvinist filter:

    Mark 10. How could Jesus LOOK AT HIM AND LOVE HIM and not appoint him to eternal life? Was He “loving” him while consigning him to hell because he had no volition to choose God? In your Calvinist ST, there is no room for the rich young ruler to have any choice. God has to choose him. Yet, God in the flesh, looked at him and LOVED him and did not appoint him to be one of the chosen. In your construct there is no way out of this dilemma that this rich young ruler was not granted ‘faith’ and “repentance” in order to be saved.

  128. The statement that God is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe could seem to teach universalism, that every person will eventually go to heaven. However, the rest of Scripture clearly denies this idea (see note on 1 Tim. 2:4). There are several other possible explanations for this phrase: (1) It means that Christ died for all people, but only those who believe in him are saved. (2) It means he is offered to all people, though not all receive him. (3) It means “the Savior of all people, namely, those who believe” (a different translation of Gk. malista, based on extrabiblical examples). (4) It means “the helper of all people,” taking Greek Sōtēr, “Savior,” to refer not to forgiveness of sins but to God’s common grace by which God helps and protects people in need. (5) It means “the Savior of all kinds of people, not Jews only but both Jews and Greeks.” In any case, the emphasis is on God’s care for the unsaved world, and in the flow of the letter Paul is stressing once more (cf. 2:3–5) that God’s will that people would be saved is the basis of the universal mission (cf. Matt. 28:19–20). Update: Taken from ESV Study Bible

    Mod ed: Added copyright source p/request.

  129. Lydia,

    I believe the rich young ruler WAS saved. We don’t know one war or the other definitively, but immedately following this discourse with the ruler, Jesus makes the statement about how difficult it is for rich people to enter the kingdom. The disciples respond by saying, “Then how will ANYONE be saved?”, to which Jesus replies, “With man this (salvation) is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I believe Jesus was hinting that the rich young ruler eventually would be saved because it would be God who would do the saving.

  130. Brian, I got in trouble with you for arguing from silence earlier in the thread. The problem is that Jesus says, “all things are “possible” with God. But do you not see the bait and switch cruel game played if the RYR was “chosen” later instead of being an example of his forced grace right then? If the RYR has NO choice in the matter then we have a bigger problem with this determinist god you guys want us to believe in.

  131. Well, since I keep seeing all the “negative” references to Calvinism, I figured I’d go ahead and make it official:

    “The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon

  132. “So, are you denying that Jesus states in this passage that entering the kingdom is impossible with man?”

    Not at all. I said earlier I believe salvation is synergistic. What we do know is that Calvin teaches that God chooses us before the foundation of the world and man has no input at all. He also teaches we are guilty FOR Adam’s sin.

    When one reads the rich young ruler passage with that paradigm, we have a problem with your description of god being more Allah than the One True God of Abraham. Jesus “looked at him and loved him” YET CHOSE NOT TO SAVE HIM right in front of everyone. So what was the “love” about?

  133. The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon”

    Oh dear. Calvin and Knox have something in common. Both premeditated murder “In the Name of God”. I would not want to be either of them. Both wrote defenses for it. Knox in the form of a sermon. Calvin in his “Defensio”. (Calvin wrote to his friend that if Servetus ever came to Geneva, he would not leave alive and later he made that come true when Servetus came to hear him preach and Calvin had him arrested. He could have let him leave Geneva, but no. Servetus had to be punished for daring to mark up the Institutes and send them to Calvin disagreeing with him years earlier. Calvin had ego issues)

    Nice guys you learn from, Brian.

  134. Brian quoted:

    “The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon

    Looks like hero and doctrine worship to me. Only one reference to God.

  135. “Where does it say that God chose not to save him? We don’t know what ultimately became of the ruler.”

    Exactly. What we DO know is that God in the Flesh chose not to “choose” him right then and there since He does the “choosing” and we have no input.

  136. Brian,

    At 12:52 PM you attempt to explain away the assertion in 1 Tim 4:10 that “we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people.” (ESV). You offer five suggestions as to how this passage could MEAN something other than what it SAYS. Notwithstanding I ordinarily insist on dealing with what Scripture SAYS, as opposed to what somebody says it MEANS, I would like to compliment you as being extraordinarily accomplished in the sport of mental gymnastics, as well as in the art of intellectual contortionism.

    Unfortunately, there is a reason I cannot compliment you. The compliment would be misdirected. You see, in my opinion, you have been caught in an act of intellectual theft. Your comment of 12:52 PM appears to be an unattributed, verbatim, plagiarism of the ESV Study Bible commentary on 1 Tim 4:10.

  137. Brian said on 8/17 @ 7:17PM,
    “Romans 5:18 –
    Therefore, as ONE trespass led to condemnation for ALL men,
    so ONE act of righteousness leads to justification and life for ALL men.
    ONE trespass=Adam’s sin resulting in a damnatory sentence (a declaration/judgment of damnation) against ALL people.
    ONE act of righteousness=Christ’s atoning sacrifice resulting in act of God declaring MEN righteous and free from guilt and acceptable to him.
    Those who fall into the second group (those being declared righteous by God) are determined by verse 17: they are, “THOSE who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE man Jesus Christ.””

    NOTE: I capitalized the words ONE & ALL &MEN & THOSE in his comment. I made no other changes.

    Brian does four things in an attempt to prove his claim/theology of total depravity, original sin.

    1.ALL: His argument changes the meaning of all. The word ALL means ALL, always, all the time! ALL does not mean all sometimes but then means some sometimes. The Greek word PANTAS was used each time for all. Pantas means all, every.
    2.ALL is taken out: Brian does a switcheroo on the word all. Now you see it, now you don’t. He actually leaves the word ALL out in defending his claim. He omits it. Yikes! Take a close look:

    1 & 2. I hope everyone see’s what Brian did. He used ONE & ALL as the ESV Bible reads in the first part:
    ONE trespass (Adam) = ALL condemned
    But then he does a switcheroo. He uses ONE again but then changes ALL men to men (he implies some):
    ONE act (by Christ) = SOME MEN are righteous

    3.Omisson: He uses verse 17 to define ALL, yet he doesn’t include the whole verse. He leaves out the first part! Hmmm. Maybe because the whole verse says, “For it, because of ONE man’s trespass, death reigned through that ONE man, much more will THOSE who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE man Jesus Christ.”

    4.Brian cherry picks within verse 17! He choses the last half of verse 17, because it bolsters his claim. But he leaves the first half of verse 17 out, because it REFUTES his claim! This is a repeat of his Psalms 51 debacle, but it’s worse because he cut out part of the verse that doesn’t agree with him. If this were a baseball game, he’d be called for pitching a spitball & suspended! Play fair, Brian! Stop spitting, cutting & pasting.

    So verse 17, ONE trespass = ONE man’s death BRIAN LEAVES IT OUT!!!
    This is counter to the very next verse, verse 18, ONE trespass=condemnation against ALL.
    Brian says verse 17 THOSE who receive grace replaces verse 18′s ALL to SOME who are justified. If that’s true, then verse 17: ONE death replaces verse 18′s ALL to just ONE condemned (Adam).

    I don’t think this is an honest, forthright way to go about convincing anyone, but ya’ll will can come to your own conclusions.

    My thoughts on these verses:
    Because Adam sinned, sin entered the world, not men. The world was pure & innocent before. There was no sin in the world before. Adam’s (& Eves) sin caused Spiritual death. Physical death was caused by leaving the garden of Eden. They could no longer eat of the tree of life. This is why many throughout history try to find Eden, to find the tree of life, eat & live forever.
    All men sin. Not all babies, toddlers, children. The word men in these verses implies age of adulthood, age of accountability. There was sin in world before Moses law (the written law).

    ** In Romans 5:18 we need to look closely at the words LED, LEAD = both are Eis in Greek which means toward, into. The question is does this word, Eis, mean forced to sin? Or does it mean influenced, tempted, toward, into sin? I say the latter. Now the world is sinful, & there are all sorts of temptations, the devil tempts & there is great influence to sin. In the garden of Eden, they had one temptation, not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. See the difference?

    So let’s also think about these verses as part of the whole counsel of the Bible, beginning to end. Using wisdom, reason, what we know about right & wrong, & with the loving help of the Holy Spirit.

    Do we believe God forces people to sin because one man, Adam, chose to disobey God? Why do we punish anyone for forcing someone else, if that’s the case? They are following Jesus, right? NOT. That right there is a red flag, since Jesus never forced anyone.

    ** If we believe God forces people to sin, then we must be consistent with that word LEAD in verse 18 in the rest of the sentence:
    so ONE act of righteousness LEADS to justification and life for ALL men. LEADS there must mean God forces people to be justified. Humans are robots, then. And robots are never ever responsible for their own actions. Tell the kids they’re robots. Why punish them or even ask them to do right? It’s futile. NOT. NOT. NOT.

    And we need to ask ourselves why we would get upset if we were found guilty & punished for eternity for something that someone else did? In this case, Adam? Would Brian be okay with his child being sentenced to life in prison for something the neighbor’s kid did? Doesn’t God say He’s a better parent than we are (Matthew 7)?

    Ezekiel 18 God says there are no generational curses. The son, if he is righteous, will not be responsible for his fathers iniquity. The son does not bear the guilt of the father.

    Exodus 20:4-5 generational sin, you say? Physical, earthly consequences, not eternal damnation. Example, father’s sin does harm children if father neglects them, abuses them, fails to teach them, etc. That does not mean children are accountable for their father’s sin. Yikes!

    Brian, Do you believe this because you’ve thought, read up on both sides, prayed? Or do you sit under & are dazzled by people you admire & that you feel you owe your growing faith to? I understand being thankful. But you don’t have to stop thinking in order to defend them or feel obligated to them. Especially when they’re wrong.

    Brian, your boat is sinkin’. Might be time for you to jump ship & climb aboard! :)

  138. @ Brian,

    Your August 18, 2013 @ 6:00 AM comment was from John Gill.

    It’s just honest/transparent to state whose words you are using. Otherwise, people might think those are your own words. It really goes without explaining.

  139. A Mom,

    “The word ALL means ALL, always, all the time!”

    Really? You sure about that?

    “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” – Was Jesus telling the disciples that every human being would hate them? All means all, always, all the time, right?

    And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” – Did John the Baptist’s disciples mean that EVERY single person as going to Jesus? EVERY one? Had they gone to Jesus yet? All means all, always, all the time, right?

    “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” – Did the woman at the well really man that Jesus told her EVERY SINGLE THING SHE HAD EVE DONE? Every one, from birth until that point? All mean all, always, allthe time, right?

    Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. – Did every single person alive come to him? All mean all, always, everytime, right?

    But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. – Was Jesus telling the disciples that the Holy Spirit would actually teach them ALL THINGS THAT COULD BE KNOWN? He said all things, and all mean all, always, all the time, right?

    There are perhaps hunderds of examples like this to show that ‘all’ does not necessarily mean all, always, all the time. Context determines what ‘all’ means.

  140. Ok Gary, let’s let Scripture just say what is SAYS. Here is what God SAYS in Scripture:

    I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord who does all these things. – Is.45:7

    Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it? – Amos 3:6

    Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? – Lam.3:38

  141. Re: Brian’s claim that it is not plagiarism to reproduce copyrighted material without attribution, so long as you don’t make the claim that what you have reproduced is your own:

    Dictionary.com defines plagiarism as “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, AS BY NOT CREDITING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR. (Emphasis added) See http://tinyurl.com/9f8k4mb

    At Wikipedia.com we learn that “cases of plagiarism can constitute copyright infringement.” Well, duh! See http://tinyurl.com/n3trjhz

    Brian, if you can’t figure this stuff out for yourself, you need to consult with a lawyer who has some expertise in intellectual property law. You could get yourself in big trouble.

  142. Gary,

    You had said:
    ” I think you meant that Faith and repentance are not gifts because we all have the ability to exercise them”

    No, I meant what I said, that faith is not a gift, and neither is repentance. I did not qualify it with anything. God did not give us faith. He gave us a promise and we believe that promise. That belief is our faith. The belief was not given to us.

    Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Dissect that using the Strong’s Concordance.

    Substance is assurance.

    Assurance is a pledge or promise (WHAT WAS PROMISED?)

    Hope is expectation.

    Expectation is anticipating something to take place, i.e. waiting for it.

    The Bus is coming at 2. I have faith that it will be here.

    What does that mean. It means that I know that the bus will be here at 2, I am just waiting at the bus stop for it to come.

    Faith isn’t that complicated to understand. So, no, I don’t mean it the same way that you do.

    Ed

  143. Brian said:
    “Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe:

    “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”

    Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:

    “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”

    My response:

    More specifically your statement:
    “Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe”
    and
    “Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:”

    The references that you provide to attempt to prove your point does not state what you stated.

    You gotta dig much deeper than that.

    I covered this once with the J.W’s years ago, as they believe that only 144,000 are chosen of God to reign in heaven, and all the other J.W’s will be on earth with Jesus.

    Also, they don’t believe that Jesus is God to begin with, and that adds fuel to my fire.

    I need to dig that out and so that I can fight fire with fire with your references. Trust me. I can do it. I used to fight fires in the Navy.

    Ed

  144. Brian, Our Bibles are translations. English is not the language in which the Jews or Greeks wrote. Are you looking at the Greek word?

    Also, you don’t proof text a Greek word for meaning in a particular verse by trying to find the English word throughout the whole Bible. Many different words are translated by using the same English word. I’m not sure you get that.

    The “ALL” word you use is a different Greek word in at least one of your other examples.

    Disappointed you ignored my Psalms 51 comment. Seems like you cherry-pick a lot. Is that what you want the readers of this blog to come away with? You ignore, yet continue to regurgitate. Time to self-examine, Brian. Not a good strategy. Nor is it fair play. Please response about your position on the meaning of Psalms 51.

  145. Brian said at 12:52 pm
    “The statement that God is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe could seem to teach universalism”

    My response:
    No one here is teaching universalism. What we are saying is that Jesus provided for all, he took everyone’s punishment, and it is up to the individual to either believe, or reject.

    NO ONE can either believe, or reject until they are given the facts of the case.

    Then, and only then, they make a decision from their own minds, their own free will.

    THOSE WHO HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD OR JESUS ARE SAVED BASED ON ROMANS 2:14-16…CONSCIENCE.

    Ed

  146. Brian, You act like this is a firing range, shooting away. Have more respect. Treat this arena like a tennis match, we volley ideas back & forth. Question & answer, reply & respond. What you’re doing is not cool. And it makes you look like the bad guy.

  147. Brian,

    Is that a “cut and paste” that you did at 12:52? Because that sure doesn’t look like an explanation that came from your mind, but someone else’s mind.

    All of your talking points are direct from a Calvinist check list.

    When I used to study out the JW’s, they have a little brown book, called, “Reasoning from the Scriptures”.

    They carry around that book everywhere they knock on doors. It has answers to every question that anyone at a house would ask.

    There is a section, for example

    IF a Hindu asks you this, you will answer with this…
    If a Jew asks you this, then you will answer with this…
    If this question is asked, then you will respond with this…

    NONE of it came from their heart. It was all scripted.

    I feel as tho all of your responses are a modification of a script.

    Ed

  148. A Mom,

    I responded directly to your assertion that “all” means all, all the time, always. I showed it does not by citing several other references where “all” does not actually mean every person. Can you address my examples and either refute what I said or agree that ‘all’ does not always mean all.

    And, I’m not worried about “looking” like the bad guy. I’ve been viewed that way since the article was published.

  149. “Please response about your position on the meaning of Psalms 51.”

    Sure.

    “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    The psalmist is stating, not that his birth or conception was a sin, but that he inherited a sin nature, which existed ever since his conception.

  150. Brian,

    You stated:
    “The psalmist is stating, not that his birth or conception was a sin, but that he inherited a sin nature, which existed ever since his conception.”

    So, you agree that we are born “IN” sin, rather than “WITH” sin, right?

    Being born “IN” sin means that we are born into a world where sin exists, not that any sin was committed.

    But what about them bones rejoicing, as was asked a few times?

    Ed

  151. Brian,

    Let’s also get back to my original:

    I know that you completely ignored it, in your attempt to redirect. So, since you may have forgotten, here it is again. Notice that I do NOT limit the topic just to Romans 5:13. I go thru it thoroughly. This is a 3rd submission to you.

    Romans 5:13
    (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Romans 7:8
    …For without the law sin was dead.

    When sin is dead, it has no power. Sin only has power when sin is alive.

    If you are dead to sin, then you are alive to God. If you are alive in sin, then you are dead to God (dead in sin and trespasses).

    Romans 3:20
    …the law is the knowledge of sin.

    1 John 3:4
    …sin is the transgression of the law.

    Romans 5:13
    …sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Romans 4:15
    for where no law is, there is no transgression.

    Romans 4:8
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Romans 5:13
    sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    So, let’s see how this works in regards to Paul in Romans 7

    Romans 7:9
    For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

    That fourth word, “alive” is in regards to spiritually alive, which IS “not separated from God”. That last word , “died” is in regards to spiritual death, which IS separation from God.

    Paul was SPIRITUALLY alive before he had KNOWLEDGE of the law.

    Romans 3:20
    …for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 7:7
    I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    So, let’s put this in order:

    Romans 7:7-9
    7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

    9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

    Once you die spiritually, you must be born again spiritually. The word AGAIN has significance.

    When we are born of the flesh, we are also born of the spirit.

    Knowledge of good and evil is a prerequisite to spiritual death.

    Once we die that spiritual death, we must be born again…a spiritual resurrection from spiritual death.

    The age of accountability is WHEN YOU GET KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, regardless of age.

    Now, getting back to Romans 5:
    Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Moses, being everyone under the law of Moses). Verse 14

    Under Jesus, death does not reign.

    Verse 12 is the physical death of the body, whereas verse 14 is spiritual death.

    In regards to verse 12, however, if you dissect 1 Cor 15:36-50, you will see that Adam was formed in a NATURAL dying body anyway. So, he was going to die a natural death anyhow.

    There was a tree of life that he was to eat from in order to have OBTAINED eternal life. That was the WHOLE purpose of the Tree of Life in the garden.

    He could have gotten eternal life EVEN IN A FALLEN STATE, but Angels blocked access to the Tree of Life so that he wouldn’t and couldn’t.
    And due to the fact that he ate of the tree of death, he died a spiritual death IN THAT DAY.

    Then God told him that he would return to dust where he came from. That was his body, of course. The reason that God told him that was NOT BECAUSE he LOST eternal life, but because he never obtained it.

    What was the name of that tree in the Garden?

    Is the PROMISED LAND nothing more than a piece of real-estate for the Jews, or is it also a spiritual interpretation of heaven?

    Who got to go there, and why?

    1. Those who have faith
    a. Caleb,and
    b. Joshua

    2. Those who fall under Deuteronomy 1:39. NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

    Deuteronomy 1:39
    Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    Possess what? The Promised Land. What was the name of that tree in the Garden?

    Now go back to Adam and Eve in the Garden BEFORE the fall. They had no knowledge of good and evil. Once they got knowledge, they died, spiritually.

    That is the same with babies, just as it was for the Apostle Paul in Romans 7.

    That is everyone’s life cycle. Innocent, until knowledge.

    Ed

  152. “Being born “IN” sin means that we are born into a world where sin exists, not that any sin was committed.”

    By being born in sin, I would say means that, at conception, we inherit a sin nature that makes us sinners before we ever actually sin ourselves. That’s why I believe that we sin because we are sinners. In other words, before we ever sin we are sinners. Comitting a sin doesn’t make us a sinner. We were already sinners before ever sinning, thanks to Adam’s sin. That’s why Paul say that, due to Adam’s sin, all sinned. Since Adam represented the whole human race, when ha sinned, it was as if we all sinned too.

  153. Ed,

    I’ve already addressed Romans 5 numerous times. Just because I haven’t address it in the manny in which you specify doesn’t mean I have addressed it.

    And what in the world are the bones rejoicing statement about?

  154. Brian Thornton said, Sure. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The psalmist is stating, not that his birth or conception was a sin, but that he inherited a sin nature, which existed ever since his conception.

    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

    If it was easy as a, “sure I stand by my statement”, then you should have answered days ago.

    Wow. I actually don’t think you can be reasoned with. This isn’t a volley back & forth of ideas after all, is it? Reason is futile with you. That’s sad when one decides to be a parrot. There is no comfort in that, Brian.

    So clue us in. How much hissop do you use to purge your sins white as snow?

    Why don’t you believe that Jesus’ blood purges our sins white as snow instead?

  155. I’m sorry, I guess I’m just not bright enough to follow what point you are making about the hyssop. I do indeed believe that Jesus’ blood atones for the sin of all those the Father has given to him, his sheep.

  156. Brian said, “In other words, before we ever sin we are sinners. Comitting a sin doesn’t make us a sinner. We were already sinners before ever sinning, thanks to Adam’s sin.”

    That’s called getting the cart before the horse & then expecting to get a ride somewhere.

    Brian, this isn’t even logical.

    So a murderer never murders. A liar never lies. An adulterer never commits adultery. A thief never steals. A sinner never sins. You just eliminated Ray Comfort’s whole evangelism strategy, Brian.

  157. My apologies, A Mom.

    I am the only one on here in opposition to the views being put forth on here, and there are almost 800 comments. Believe it or not, I do have a life apart from this blog, and I am sure there are many questions aimed at me among these 790 comments that I never have gotten to.

  158. Why is so hard to accept the idea that we are considered sinners before ever sinning (thanks to Adam representing us and giving us his sin)?

    We certainly don’t have a problem being considered righteous when we actually are not (thanks to the second Adam, Jesus, representing us and giving us his righteousness).

  159. Brian Thornton said, “I’m sorry, I guess I’m just not bright enough to follow what point you are making about the hyssop. I do indeed believe that Jesus’ blood atones for the sin of all those the Father has given to him, his sheep.”

    You’re kidding me, right? Are you serious? I’m trying to wrap my brain around this.
    You are out of control with the cherry-picking! Put the cherry-picker down & step away slowly.

    Psalm 51:
    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

    So you see verse 5 as the only literal verse in chapter 51? Or are you saying there is only one verse in Psalm 51, and it’s verse # 5?

  160. I think Brian has an important point about being mindful that he is being asked to address a lot of questions and is in the hot seat so to speak. I appreciate that he has remained to wrestle these issues. These things take time and much thought.

    Let’s be careful with our words so we can get our message across clearly.

    Thanks, Brian, for the most commented post in SSB history :)

  161. Brian Thornton said, “My apologies, A Mom. I am the only one on here in opposition to the views being put forth on here, and there are almost 800 comments. Believe it or not, I do have a life apart from this blog, and I am sure there are many questions aimed at me among these 790 comments that I never have gotten to.”

    I get that. But you engaged me with 2 direct questions or statements (I don’t remember which it’s been days ago), not the other way around. I answered both timely.

    Why engage me & then ignore my responses? It’s like you chose direct targets & follow it up with random shotgun blast regurgitation, instead of following up on the direct responses to those who you’ve decided to engage. And of course you’ll get feedback on the shotgun blasts. Maybe you’re reaping what your sowing. If you can’t handle the responses, slow down & engage thoughtfully. Just sayin.

  162. A Mom,

    Let’s look at all of chapter 51 to see if I see verse 5 as the only literal verse in the chapter. I will put the words LITERAL or SYMBOLIC after each verse to show what I think:

    Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
    according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions. – LITERAL
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin! – SYMBOLIC
    For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me. – LITERAL
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment. – LITERAL
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me. – LITERAL
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. – LITERAL
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. – SYMBOLIC
    Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice. – SYMBOLIC
    Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities. – SYMBOLIC (God doesn’t have a face)
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me. – SYMBOLIC heart, LITERAL spirit
    Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me. – LITERAL
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. – LITERAL
    Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you. – LITERAL
    Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. – LITERAL
    O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise. – LITERAL
    For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. – LITERAL
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – LITERAL
    Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
    then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar. – SYMBOLIC

  163. A Mom,

    Some of the verses where I have indicated SYMBOLIC I have done so because they use symbolic words to represent something else, like ‘heart” or “wash”.

  164. Who decided what is symbolic and what is literal in this Hebrew poem of man talking to God? Can you give us a reference for those designations?

  165. Brian said,
    “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. – LITERAL
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. – LITERAL
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. – LITERAL
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. – SYMBOLIC
    Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. – SYMBOLIC heart, LITERAL spirit

    Against you, you only, have I sinned. You said literal. I disagree. David sinned against Bathsheba & her husband, Uriah.

    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. You said literal. I disagree. Babies in womb are not full of sin.

    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. You said literal. Yet below for Create in me a clean heart, you said symbolic because it heart. I think God teaches us wisdom, not sure about “secret” heart.

    Purge me with hyssop. You said symbolic. I agree.

  166. Brian,
    “By being born in sin, I would say means that, at conception, we inherit a sin nature that makes us sinners before we ever actually sin ourselves. That’s why I believe that we sin because we are sinners. In other words, before we ever sin we are sinners. Comitting a sin doesn’t make us a sinner. We were already sinners before ever sinning, thanks to Adam’s sin. That’s why Paul say that, due to Adam’s sin, all sinned. Since Adam represented the whole human race, when ha sinned, it was as if we all sinned too.”

    My response:

    The Strawman knows that you didn’t finish your religious dogma on the issue. Your religious dogma includes that Adams sin was imputed to all, meaning that not only do you receive a sin nature, but the sin of Adam comes as a GIFT from Adam, so that you have that sin of Adam, and therefore are guilty before God EVEN BEFORE BEING BORN.

    What I find interesting about Calvinism, is that anyone can agree when anyone speaks Christianese. The problem is, only half of the story is given at a time.

    For example, we all know that Jesus saves.

    That is Christianese. No one disagrees with that statement.

    But, if only half of the story is told, it is deception. Only later is it revealed that Jesus Saves…the people predestined from the foundation of the world.

    So, I perceive that your answer above is an incomplete answer. The Strawman speaketh.

    Ed

  167. Brian,
    You have not addressed it. You skirted the issue.

    I am NOT discussing JUST Romans 5. I am discussing Romans 5:13, and you are not discussing Romans 5:13.

    Moreover, you are not discussing Romans 5:13 AS IT RELATES TO ALL OF THE OTHER REFERENCES OUTSIDE OF CHAPTER 5.

    No, Brian, you have failed to address it. You mentioned it, but not addressed it. You are more focused on all the other verses, so as to diminish it, as in making it not that important of a topic, minimizing it.

    So, I ask again, address it.

    Ed

  168. I said LITERAL for David’s statement to God that against him and him alone did he sin because his sin against was not symbolic but literal. I agree that he also sinned against Uriah and Bathsheeba, but all sin is ultimately sin against God, which is what David is saying in this statement.

    Regarding my statement above about being born in sin, why can’t you just address what I’ve said and leave out all the speculative inuendos about the rest of my supposed evil dogma? Instead of addressing my statement, you chose instead to take yet another swipe at Calvinism. With respect to my statement, that, my Arminian friend, is a straw man. :-)

  169. Brian,
    Because it does not represent the whole story, therefore, it is not supposed, it is evil dogma.

    We are not Arminians. Those people existed many many many years ago.

    I am an American. I am a Washingtonian. I am a Seattlite. I am not Arminian.

    I do not believe in what they believed in.

    Why is the only two choices amongst the C camp either Calvinist, or Arminian?

    Very strange.

    Ed

  170. “Regarding my statement above about being born in sin, why can’t you just address what I’ve said and leave out all the speculative inuendos about the rest of my supposed evil dogma? Instead of addressing my statement, you chose instead to take yet another swipe at Calvinism. With respect to my statement, that, my Arminian friend, is a straw man. :-)

    Why not ask someone if they are Arminian first? And the answer to your question is that after talking with YRR/NC types for many years this is the progression. You end up after time watering down your own doctrine because when you hear it back it does not sound so good so you leave off those parts and look for parts of “agreement” so you can add them in later. The key is getting the person to agree first. That is the strawman and I have seen it probably hundreds of times since 2004 on blogs everywhere. . But since our definitions are different it can be a problem to even agree with something that sounds right. (There is a trust issue in talking with YRR/NC types)

    And I think I have figured out the reason this happens. C’s hang around with C’s. They attend church with C’s and listen to C’s preach. They love their C gurus and many times I can guess what guru after talking to them for a while. They tend to live in what I call C ghettos with TGC and T4G and more. (like thinking) And if they read lots of Calvin and Luther, they tend to approach doctrine in the same fashion. “Are you submitting to your elders”– they might feel free to ask someone they barely know and have no relationship with. This is normal in their world. I see it all the time around me.

    The same tactics used in that ghetto for disseminating their truths does not work in a larger context with people who have studied C and found it a problem. So this is a problem for one who has been taught only they have the true Gospel.

    Calvinism requires some unity of thought reform and conformity to survive and that ends up being censoring and coercion. That is why it tends to surge then die out or go liberal over time. The political history of Calvinism is fascinating to study.

  171. Lydia observes that “There is a trust issue in talking with YRR/NC types.” I have heard, and find validity in, the theory that people tend to sort themselves into different churches according to personalty types. I suggest that the individual congregations then tend to project their congregants’ personalities onto God. Therefore, you can tell what kind of personality will be predominant in a particular church by studying what they believe about God. Never, ever, get involved in a church where God is taught to be motivated primarily by a passion for His own glory, where he arbitrarily and capriciously “elects” who is in and who is out, where His power is emphasized to the near exclusion of His Love, where it is said that his Sovereignty is expressed in a deterministic control of, not just the weather, but of every human decision, and/or where it is said that he sees humans as being totally depraved. You will find yourself dealing with people who are very much like this god, which, again, they have created in their own image.

  172. Excellent advice and so true, Gary. I would love to finally find a church, or a house, or even a park – ANYWHERE! – to meet with other like-minded local Christians. But at the same time, the idea scares me to death. Because the cruel determinist god creeps into even the most unlikely of places, and anywhere he is taught and/or promoted, anywhere his followers gather, is not a safe place for many.

  173. Brian said, “I said LITERAL for David’s statement to God that against him and him alone did he sin because his sin against was not symbolic but literal. I agree that he also sinned against Uriah and Bathsheeba, but all sin is ultimately sin against God, which is what David is saying in this statement.
    Regarding my statement above about being born in sin, why can’t you just address what I’ve said and leave out all the speculative inuendos about the rest of my supposed evil dogma? ”

    Brian, you have been programmed, not by God (although you think we are robots), but by your religion. Ultimate is not the same as only. You super-impose your belief system onto the Bible. You say, “all sin is ultimately against God. So when David says he sinned only against God, that’s what he is really saying”.

    What I’ve seen you do regularly to prove your point, this time also, is this: You make a truth claim. You say God is ultimate. You say sin is real. Well, yes, I agree with you. But then you use those truth claims to force a passage to say something it doesn’t. Example, you said: Sin is real. Sin is ultimately against God. Then you use those claims to say David said those truths when he says he sinned only against God. This is faulty logic. No, David said what he said.

    It’s like me saying only the sun is hot. And then you would say well, the sun is real. Then you would say the sun is ultimately hot. Then you use those truth claims to confirm my statement is literally true. Nope, my sentence is still not literal. No, other things are hot (volcanoes, stoves, wives of C pastors I’ve been told are smokin’ hot). My statement that only the sun is hot IS NOT LITERALLY true. I said what I said. I am speaking tongue in cheek or describing how I feel. You can’t claim I’m telling the truth. Do you understand this?

    David said what David said. Scripture says what scripture says. You can’t make it say what you want it to say.

    BUT then you say for other verses, yes I agree with exactly what those verses say, because those are symbolic. This is called cherry-picking or twisting scripture.

    David said he sinned only against God. David said he sinned in the womb (an impossible feat). David said hissop cleans his sins white as snow. These statements are not true. I refuse to twist scripture to say what I want it to. He was a poet. He was waxing poetic to describe how he feels. He was in anguish. He spoke out of sorrow. He wasn’t calmly & methodically setting out to pass on to us a certain serious theology at that moment.

    Interesting then, that you say I need to stop the speculative innuendos. I think it’s the other way around. BTW, I’m not an Armenian. I don’t really know what they believe. But since you brought the C word up, I know I definitely don’t believe in Calvinism, the god of robots & computers. Is this Barbie doll relationship the same one God describes to desire & want with us? Nope. He longs for us to love him back & submit to him. Is that something any computer or action figure doll can do? Impossible. We are not dolls, robots, or computers. This is what your religion reduces us to. Please read the Bible yourself. God calls people stubborn, rebellious, pleads them to reason with him, he wants to teach them. That’s just a handful of chapters in Isaiah. Do robots love back? Can they?

  174. “You will find yourself dealing with people who are very much like this god, which, again, they have created in their own image.”

    Nice little sound bite, but completely false. Just the opposite in fact. I believe God is completely sovereign over all things. I, however, am NOT sovereign over all things. So, how in the world is this a God created in my own image?

    I still haven’t seen anyone interact with the passage I quote where God says he creates calamity and creates everything for its own purpose, even the wicked. Any takers?

  175. A Mom said,

    “David said he sinned in the womb (an impossible feat).”

    Please stop twisting Scripture. David did not say this. He said he was “conceived” in sin. He did not say he sinned in the womb. You are twisting Scripture to refute my position. Why can’t you just let God’s word speak for itself?

    David says the same thing twice, in two different satements:

    1. I was brought forth in iniquity
    2. In sin did my mother conceive me

    The subject is his conception, not him personally sinning in the womb. You are attacking something that cannot be inferred from the verse.

  176. Brian

    Isaiah 45:7
    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

    That is what the KJV states.

    The Hebrew word for EVIL is the same Hebrew word that you use for calamity. Calamity is the modern translation.

    God is light.

    I have heard people say that darkness is the absence of light.

    But with God, it is the exact opposite. Darkness had to be created. Darkness is a spiritual word that is used to describe evil.

    The same with evil. Evil had to be created. Calamity isn’t the right word, although it is the same Hebrew word.

    Remember, Jesus had to command the wind to stop. It was already in natural mode when Jesus said for it to stop. The wind “obeyed” Jesus. And since Jesus is God, God INTERVENED to change things. It wasn’t scripted from the foundation of the earth.

    Sovereignty of God:
    I think we all believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe that the sovereignty of God is that he gave us free will. If he didn’t, then God would not have to INTERVENE to change things. And our prayers would be meaningless. It would all be scripted prayers from the foundation of the earth.

    It is demeaning to ever consider ourselves as robots or puppets of a play.

    Ed

  177. Brian,

    I stand corrected, as I do remember that there are THREE choices with the C Crowd.

    1. Calvinism
    2. Arminian
    3. Pelagian

    I stand corrected.

    So, I will ask again,

    Why are there ONLY Three choices with the C camp for those who are not Catholic?

    We are Christians. They were first called Christians in Antioch.

    There were not called Calvinists, Arminian, Pelagian, Lutheran, Epicapol, Catholic, Presbyterian, etc.

    As Paul said, divisions are when people classify themselves by a man, when he gave examples of:
    1. I am of Paul
    2. I am of Appolos

    Did they die on the cross for you?

    I am a Christist.

    Ed

  178. Brian,

    You said:
    “The subject is his conception, not him personally sinning in the womb. You are attacking something that cannot be inferred from the verse.”

    I don’t understand how and why you think that this is attacking anything here.

    I say that because, as usual, you leave out the other half of the story here.

    1. You believe that we have the sin of Adam, that we are guilty in the womb already.
    2. And, there was NO SIN in regards of the conception. His mother was not sinning by having sex with the father of David. The Father of David was not sinning by having sex with the mother of David. But you think that there was some sort of sin going on in regards to his conception. WHAT WAS THAT SIN? Be specific.

    Quoting scripture is one thing. Your explanations of the quote just don’t add up.

    Ed

  179. A Mom,

    Late last night I responded to Lydia’s observation that “There is a trust issue in talking with YRR/NC types.” Brian seems to have assumed my comment was pointed at him directly. Interesting.

    Whatever the significance of Brian’s thinking my comment was all about him, I fear you are wasting your time, effort, compassion and concern with him. Well, I’m sure you realized that long ago. I have been enjoying, and appreciating, how you and others have so successfully put the thinking of our current resident c’ista to rout.

    Still, I do hope Brian doesn’t end up suffering (more of?) the kind of abuse so many here have suffered at the hands of “pastors” who emulate the sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies they attribute to their god.

  180. Ed,

    I fear that you too are wasting your time and effort with Brian, except that it is so much fun. He’s such an easy target! I know, I know. Not nice of me.

  181. Gary W,
    Oh, I do have fun with this. My personality is sarcastic, so I hope he doesn’t take offense at my sarcasm. I get accused by the C camp as being arrogant. I say, yes, I am arrogant, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    God’s Word will not come back void.

    I think these debates are fun, and even in our heated disagreements with Brian, I think that we have all at least given him something to think about. He may reject it now, but one day, I think that he will know and understand the reasons why we have disagreements. When I debate, I study my opponent’s belief system before I even enter into a debate. That way, I already know their talking points before they even bring them up.

    All in all, Brian actually has been a really good sport in all of this. The one thing between Brian and most C’s is that they would have already cut us off. Brian has stuck in there. I don’t condemn Brian, just his dogma.

    Brian, I commend you for putting up with us, and I thank you for participating!!

    Ed

  182. Oasis,
    So true, so true. The creeping in thing is definitely going on in the SBC. It’s infiltrating church’s that never once believed in Calvinism before, too. My personal opinion is that I believe that this is very dangerous, and we are seeing the evidence of it’s danger before our eyes.

    What Luther did was a good thing, although not perfect. What Calvin did was not a good thing. Luther’s heart was in the right place, Calvin’s wasn’t. Luther wanted people to be free, Calvin wanted people submitting to bondage to him.

    I am not a Lutheran, but I side with him.

    Ed

  183. Brian

    You have earned my admiration also. – fwiw… ;-)

    Thanks for sticking this out – You get an A+ for persistence.

    Mal 3:16
    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before Him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

  184. Julie Anne

    You are also to be commended – Thank you for allowing this to continue.

    For me – This Post and Thread is a great example of…

    1Co 14:26
    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
    every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
    hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.
    Let all things be done unto edifying.

    And we sure have had lots of – doctrine – revelation – interpretation… ;-)

    You sure do NOT find this in the Sunday Morning get together…

    The Perfomance…

    This is much more real – And edifying…

    NO one saying – I’m the Boss – My way or the highway…

    And let us consider one another
    to provoke unto love and to good works:
    Heb 10:24

  185. Still, I do hope Brian doesn’t end up suffering (more of?) the kind of abuse so many here have suffered at the hands of “pastors” who emulate the sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies they attribute to their god.

    The attributes of God claimed by some people are often contradicted by the very verses they use to claim other points of theology. These contradictions are usually dismissed with the “God is far beyond our understanding” cliche, which is a contradiction in itself when people try to assign attributes to God.

    Still, many of these attributes seem to be excluded by each other and verses in the Bible.

    Let’s take ‘God is just’ and compare it to the Calvinist view of original sin. Adam sins, and God decrees that all men are sinners due to the sin of one man. This is an action that is considered unjust in our own court systems where each person is responsible for their own actions. That tight hold on a doctrine that shows God clearly to be unjust winds up showing itself in the psychology and actions of those who hold the doctrine, e.g., the way SGM makes a declaration of blamelessness and righteousness for CJ in the face of mounds of contrary evidence. This is the cognitive dissonance brought on by seeking theological justifications to map one’s own psychology on to God.

    Now let’s compare one very important attribute of God to others, in just a linguistic manner. In 1 John 4 the statement ‘God is love’ occurs twice. These are two nouns, ‘God’ and ‘love in English and ‘θεὸς’(Theos) and ‘ἀγάπη’ (agape) in Greek. Since the attribute claimed here is a noun, this is not a descriptor of some facet of God’s personality, it is a statement of God’s essence, of what He is and what is Him. All the rest of the things we attribute to God are adjectives describing qualities He posesses, rather than what is His essence. Wrathful, just, righteous, merciful, etc., these are all words that we use to describe God and His actions lad out in the Biblical texts. Where the problem occurs for us is that we give these adjectives equal weight as the noun, i.e., we equate and attribute with His essence.

    Instead of trying to see if these attributes fit logically with His essence, the quirks in our psychology try to explain and modify His essence of agape love to include and allow for these attributes. In doing so, we come up with contradictory doctrines and statements that serve to diminish His essence, and the only way we can maintain these contradictions is by maintaining our cognitive dissonance. How else could a preacher claim that ‘love’ consists of harassing women at abortion clinics or categorically denying abuse allegations?

    Of course, these dissonances and logical contradictions can be dealt with easily when pure literalism is abandoned for a more figurative and allegorical approach to scripture. That doesn’t mean that there are no verses which can be taken literally since that would put everything into pure relativism. But, we need wisdom and guidance, not from men, but from the Holy Spirit, to discern which verse should be taken literally, and which verses should be viewed figuratively or in a limited context. My position is that “God is love” is the ground for all literal statements about God, and any scripture that diminishes or negates that statement should be considered in more figurative senses.

    Besides, whatever attributes of God we focus upon more will show more in our behavior. When I forget to focus on love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, it shows in my words and actions; likewise when I focus on sin, anger, wrath, etc. it shows as well. That is a truth of human psychology and existence, no matter what other ‘truth’ we wish to claim. Our psychology determines our theology, but fortunately, we can change our thinking and behavior by shifting our focus to His essence instead of the things we attribute to Him.

  186. Eric Fry,

    You say “My position is that “God is love” is the ground for all literal statements about God, and any scripture that diminishes or negates that statement should be considered in more figurative senses.”

    Yes, yes! Stand up and cheer!!

    And, “Besides, whatever attributes of God we focus upon more will show more in our behavior. When I forget to focus on love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, it shows in my words and actions; likewise when I focus on sin, anger, wrath, etc. it shows as well. That is a truth of human psychology and existence, no matter what other ‘truth’ we wish to claim.

    Again yes! But, eh, guilty as charged. (I do hope that to confess is to be absolved.)

  187. Brian Thornton said, “A Mom said, “David said he sinned in the womb (an impossible feat).” Please stop twisting Scripture. David did not say this. He said he was “conceived” in sin. He did not say he sinned in the womb. You are twisting Scripture to refute my position. Why can’t you just let God’s word speak for itself?
    David says the same thing twice, in two different satements:
    1. I was brought forth in iniquity
    2. In sin did my mother conceive me
    The subject is his conception, not him personally sinning in the womb. You are attacking something that cannot be inferred from the verse.”

    Brian, Psalms 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” You said this is literally true. You keep using this verse to support your “sinful in womb” religion. I say that’s impossible, to sin in the womb.

    If David’s mother committed a sin when she conceived him, that does not make David, or any child for that matter, responsible for their parent’s sin or sinful. However, since this is poetry, we need to be careful. I would not assume she committed a sin based on this verse alone.

    He was a poet. He was waxing poetic to describe how he feels when he wrote the entire chapter. He was in anguish. He spoke out of sorrow. He wasn’t calmly & methodically setting out to pass on to us a certain serious theology at that moment. I think everyone should read the whole chapter & decide for themselves.

    Please read the rest of my comment. Do you understand what I’m saying about the logic you have been applying & why it is not helpful?

  188. Eric Fry, Now that’s teaching worthy of supporting! But it’s free, you asked no money for it. ;)

    What, hopefully is clear to the readers here, is that many will press a religious belief & keep claiming it. They read that religion into what they are reading. We need to be careful not to do that – keeping in mind at all times, especially when reading, that God is the very definition of love. And he is just.

    Ariel Castro, the man who kidnapped the 3 girls & held them against their will (for a decade?) is no different than the personality of a God who determines our actions, thoughts, decisions. That is a religion where we are robots. However, Ariel Castro’s control stops short. He can’t send those girls to hell.

    So how can anyone blame or hold to account anyone for anything, when they are just puppets & their actions are controlled by some good evil, yin yang, love hate God?

    I hope many will see & reject this false religion.

  189. A Mom,

    And this is where the C’s talk out of both sides of their mouth.

    1. God predetermined who is going to hell
    2. Don’t blame God because you are going to hell…it’s all your fault.

    Ed

  190. “They tend to live in what I call C ghettos with TGC and T4G and more.”

    So now I live in a ghetto. This is not inflamatory language at all.”

    The YRR/NC ghetto is a place where people are comfortable asking people whom they have NO relationship with at all whether or not they are submitting to their elders. It is their normal. It is an astonishing question to those who don’t live in the same ghetto.

    And btw: Ghetto is not a negative word used in it’s original historical meaning. See what I did? I used a word that has evolved over centuries and the meaning was different to you. That is not a good thing in communication, is it? Now, I have plausible deniability as to the meaning I was using. Makes communication frustrating.

  191. “Why is the only two choices amongst the C camp either Calvinist, or Arminian?”

    Oh, it’s not. This blog thread is loaded with Pelagian doctrine as well.

    Be very careful about this one. It might backfire. Al Mohler even hinted around that his seminary president colleagues who signed the Trad statement were Pelagians (or semi) which has been ingrained as heretic to most people.

    But this was thrown out so much as an accusation against non Cals in the SBC that the peasants have started to so some homework. And that is never a good thing for those who want to accuse censor and control others with such accusations.

    Seems some of our seminarians are not as well educated as some thought. More indoctrination. We can save the Pelagian argument for another blog post somewhere.

    In fact, I believe this shoving Calvinism down throats as the True Gospel has only driven people to take a look at history and coming away shaking their heads that a tyrant thug is now a spiritual icon for so many young men.

  192. Gary W, I hate to say it but it was never about Brian. It is for all those folks who are being intimidated by YRR/NC actually seeing people interact with them instead of being cowed by their typical methods of what they call communication. They are indoctrinated so they think they indoctrinate others. That is the method. If they can get most folks arguing about scripture they can have them so confused it is not funny. Some have tried “love” but their view of “love” is to beat correct doctrine into you. And this means people have to have boundaries with them even if they carry a Christianese title.

    It is easy to forget how you met them once you go around the mulberry bush with them as we have done here. We met Brian because he tweeted JA a question most of us find astonishing for someone who has no spiritual relationship with her. But it is his normal because of who he hangs with and who he listens to. We cannot forget that.

    Once it went on for a while, he started watering down his foundational premises. Happens all the time for those who are willing to stick it out. Which brings me to the fact that Calvinism is NOT something one can apply to their life. It has NO practical application as a belief system except for obeying your elders, making dates with Satan to go deep with your sin and preaching the gospel to yourself everyday. That is it. There is no real actionable sanctification. You are guilty of something you did not do. Your right living is imputed to you so there is nothing you can add except obeying elders. In the meantime babies are evil and guilty too, for something they did not do. Children are “broken” and we MUST tell them that all the time. But what frustration for them since there is nothing they can do to help fix their brokenness.

    Is it no wonder it is producing not backsliders but rabid athiests who were once rabid YRR who became frustrated in navel gazing for…..what? The end to come so they can find out if they really persevered or not?

  193. “Once it went on for a while, he started watering down his foundational premises.”

    I have watered down nothing.

    You guys continue to create a caricature that you then attribute to Calvinism, the YRR, etc. Rather than just addressing my comments, beliefs, positions, etc., the typical M.O. on here is to disagree and then continue on with something like, “This atrocious deceitful unloving bahavior is typical of Calvinists, they eat their young, kill innocent women, and beat the elderly, etc., etc…”

    Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me? Because, in all my years in this theogocical “camp” I have NEVER met any who hold to what you guys are espousing, or who do the things you claim they do.

  194. I mean seriously…I could tell you what I believe about something and how it works itself out in real action and living and you guys would say, “No, Brian, you are wrong…THIS is what you actually believe and THIS is how you actually live out that belief.”

    It would be a nice refreshing change for me to be able to make a comment and for you guys to take me at my word rather than to think the worst of me.

    Hey! That actually brings us back around to the actual point of this thread. One of the things we all tend to do is to label someone and then attack that label with vigor, instead of giving one another the benefit of the doubt.

  195. lydiasop wrote~ (hope you don’t mind the abbreviation lydiasop)

    “If they can get most folks arguing about scripture they can have them so confused it is not funny. ”

    I frequently see that on the 9Marks blog. I personally do not like to argue about scriptures. It gets ugly and people rarely change their views. But I do like to ask why people support/promote/link to various professing Christian pastors/leaders. Since actions speak louder than words, I want to know what actions/practices people are supporting/promoting when they link to various ones.

    For example, I have asked about Brian’s linking to Baucham and what is it he enjoys about him. He declines to answer. That makes me think either he does not really know why he links to Baucham… maybe linking to him is a cool thing to do in his circles…or he does not wish to tell us why. I would think he would jump at the chance to articulate why he links to those he does.

    It will not do for Brian to merely say…Baucham preaches the doctrines of grace- that’s why I link to him. So do a thousand others who are not as extreme in their views as Baucham is. I am left to surmise Brian likes Baucham’s actions.

  196. Lydia saiad:

    It is easy to forget how you met them once you go around the mulberry bush with them as we have done here. We met Brian because he tweeted JA a question most of us find astonishing for someone who has no spiritual relationship with her. But it is his normal because of who he hangs with and who he listens to. We cannot forget that.

    The tweet from which this current blog post originated was really a continuation from this earlier tweet: https://twitter.com/fivesolasguy/statuses/365188320067727360

    If you click on the date/time link, the whole conversation should pop up.

  197. “It would be a nice refreshing change for me to be able to make a comment and for you guys to take me at my word rather than to think the worst of me.”

    I have been waiting for you to do that…first what it was that made you a “huge supporter” of SGM and what it is that you find desirable about Baucham.

    Hey! That actually brings us back around to the actual point of this thread. One of the things we all tend to do is to label someone and then attack that label with vigor, instead of giving one another the benefit of the doubt.”

    I have waited for you to comment to my questions but you have appeared to ignore me or chose not to answer my honest inquiry.

  198. “Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me?”

    Brian,

    Meet John Calvin. Not the sanitized version you have been taught but the REAL historical person in word AND in behavior. I keep hoping the fact of the matter is that you guys have just not done proper research on him. And I hope and pray that if you ever do, you will see the bigger problem. If it makes you like him more, then that scares me to death.

    What I am hearing a lot of today is many YRR/NC are now saying they don’t follow Calvin because that has become a problem for them as the movement grew. In fact, they are following Calvin’s thinking and methods closer than the mainline Calvinists (frozen chosen) who are benign. I also know that many in that movement do not really understand that because they have never really questioned it or their gurus. they are smitten with Piper’s passion or Al Mohler’s “brilliance” or CJ Mahaney’s “humility”.

  199. “Since actions speak louder than words, I want to know what actions/practices people are supporting/promoting when they link to various ones. ”

    Diane, I totally agree. What we believe drives our behavior. What Dever believes drives him to go for control of people by twisting scripture. What Mahaney believes drove his group to protect molesters. What Jack Schaap believed drove him to adultery and child molestation. We really have to come to grips with this. And part if it is the errant belief that we cannot help but sin all the time because we are born sinners sinning. It is moral chaos. This thinking is everywhere. Not just NC/YRR except that it is inherent in their doctrine to a much larger degree.

    I will take a beating from an unbeliever but NOT from another who claims to be a long time believer but spiritually abuses people or bullies them. No way.

  200. Brian,
    You had said:
    “Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me”

    My response:
    I told you point blank what you believe, already knowing before hand what you believe, before you even said what you believe, which is Calvinist doctrine, and you said something like, “true, very true, yes”, or something like that. And I had said that based on your watered down theology in order to correct your theology.

    Ed

  201. “I have been waiting for you to do that…first what it was that made you a “huge supporter” of SGM and what it is that you find desirable about Baucham.”

    I really like SGM’s music.

    I really like Voddie’s promotion of adoption, most of his home school views, his teachings on the importance of family worship, and how he stands by his convictions.

  202. Brian, I suspected your doctrinal slant by your tweets and then affirmed it by linking to your blog. I live at ground zero so I have more of a head start. I cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a YRR arrogantly asking someone: “are you submitting to your elders?” Seriously, that thinking is ingrained in your tribe.

    Now, they are taking a page from Doug Wilson’s method and also demanding to know a person’s pastors name so they can call him for you to be disciplined if you dare disagree with them doctrinally.

    Good old Piper popularized Wilson. And in case you were not paying attention and did not do homework, you can find Wilson’s pro slavery treatise online. Black and Tan which was updated from Slavery As It Was when the the internet was born and scholars took him to task on it. He has his own pedophile protection issues. What is it with that movement and child molestations being no big deal? I don’t get it.

    Your tribe is on the road to serfdom my friend. You will be fine if you get a paying gig in ministry, though, and make sure you bow down to your elders.

    Diane, did you see Voddie Bauchmans teaching that men need daughters so they can get the attention they yearn for from a younger woman? The man is a creep.

  203. You guys do realize that those who hold to the tenets of Calvinism don’t necessarily support everything about John Calvin, right?

    You do realize that what became known as Calvinism developed AFTER John Calvin was dead and buried, right?

    In fact, a better term for the theological framework I hold to is what is known as the doctrines grace.

    Fire away…

  204. “I cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a YRR arrogantly asking someone: “are you submitting to your elders?” Seriously, that thinking is ingrained in your tribe.”

    What are you doing swinging dead cats around?

    Seriously, though, you really shouldn’t be swinging dead cats around…they carry all kinds of diseases.

    No really, seriously now…I don’t know how your remarks above have anything at all to do with this discussion, unless you just want to create more caricatures and beat them up. And no, the word ‘caricature’ is not exclusive to the ‘C camp’, and neither is ‘straw man’ or ‘ad-hominem’, for that matter.

    I feel to that I need to define what a straw man is, as many of the comments here indicate a lack if understanding about what I mean. A straw man argument is one in which a person sets up a false premise that may be loosely based on what someone has said. Once the straw man is erected, it is easily kicked down by the person who built it in the first place. It’s just a figure if speech that means you are not really addressing what has been said, but rather are creating only a caricature of something and are attacking it instead.

  205. “Fire away…”

    No problem. Calvin, Luther, The Puritans, Edwards, etc. One starts reading them and one sees it all in vivid color upgraded for today in the YRR/NC movement. The same sorts of extra biblical focus, The bible as manual for the elders to beat with, hierarchical teaching, bad behavior (without the power of the state, though, thankfully)

    Of course, stuff like infant baptism which fit in with sacraments as another means of grace, state church magistrates (although they would love to have them) etc, were thrown out to fit certain denoms like Baptists.

    Have you ever read about the gruesome suicides that came out of Edwards personal discipling during his Great Awakening?

  206. “No really, seriously now…I don’t know how your remarks above have anything at all to do with this discussion, unless you just want to create more caricatures and beat them up. And no, the word ‘caricature’ is not exclusive to the ‘C camp’, and neither is ‘straw man’ or ‘ad-hominem’, for that matter.”

    Brian, it is called “observing a pattern of behavior”.

  207. Then there is no need to use the word straw man, since it can be easily kicked down…just kick it down…Speaking of “Kick it”, back in the 80′s, many people were kickin it. I always wondered what they were kicking. A straw man perhaps?

  208. Brian said:
    “You guys do realize that those who hold to the tenets of Calvinism don’t necessarily support everything about John Calvin”

    I always laugh so hard when I hear that. If that were really true, they would ditch the name altogether.

    I am a Christian, and I hold the tenets of Jesus thru and thru, and I support everything about Jesus.

    Therefore, I will never call myself by a man, not now, not ever.

    Why can’t you C’s do the same? Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t hold on to all of the tenets of Calvin. Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t support everything about John Calvin.

    That would eliminate much, and be a good first step in the right direction. Abandon John Calvin altogether. He is dead. Leave him in the grave. Same with Spurgeon, etc. All of them.

  209. Actually Ed, in their defense, their leaders have been trying like mad to get rid of the C word. Esp in the SBC. They need to in order to bring it in covertly. In chp 4 of a Quiet Revolution, Resiinger says to never use the C word to describe the doctrine you are teaching them. If you must describe it, use Doctrines of Grace. They have tried Reformed and even “Sovereign grace”, if you can believe it. But Mahaney stoled it when he went from being an Apostle of the People of Destiny to “Sovereign Grace”. I am not sure Mohler could hang around with an Apostle of the People of Destiny and keep his job.

    What is even more interesting is now they are trying to replace Calvinism with “conservative”. . That would help hide it even longer because SBC folks like that word. It brings back memories of inerrancy and the conservative resurgence. But some of us are on to them. I first noted this in a blog article from an SBC leader and it backfired on him.

    In other words, they would LOVE to get rid of the C word. But it is not going away easily.

  210. lydiasellerofpurple,

    I totally agree with what you said. When I say to ditch the name, what I am really conveying is this:
    “Forget everything that you were taught, and begin again”.

    The problem with that is, it’s hard to forget.

    Yes, the SBC covert takeover is an abomination. That is so deceitful that I know that it is the work of the Anti-Christ. If it were disclosed from the beginning of what they were doing, they would lose most of the money…er I mean congregation…no, I mean money.

    I would never had believed this had I not read the step by step process on how to turn a Southern Baptist church into a Calvinist belief system. Steps set up to purposefully deceive, as the steps were to be over a long period of time…in little snippet after another…slowly, so that no one would notice the change. I couldn’t believe the deception that I was reading.

    And then, a while back, we had a guy by the name of Mark that used to comment here. He kept talking about this, that he was at a Church that did this. It took him a while to recognize it, and he kept beating himself up about it, because he would say that he “should have known better”, as he was a mature Christian. He was blindsided, but then finally figured it out.

    Ed

  211. Hey-thanks for sharing, Brian. So many questions….no answers expected this time.

    “I really like SGM’s music.”

    Giggle. That’s what I would say if I realized that I had been a huge supporter of a shepherding cult and I had to think of something to say I liked. That’s all about SGM that you were a “huge supporter” of? OK, I will take you at your word.

    Yeah…that music. Some of it might be good. I have been reading a lot of negative comments about their latest cds. They’re just not as good, as in dark and depressing. (I blame it on the documents like SGM does with everything.) But when I think of SGM music, honestly, I can only think of the “worship CJ” song Bob Kauflin sang at the passing the baton Broadway-style musical extravaganza CLC put on for Mahaney. The “CJ…you led us to the cross” song. Did you catch that one? Then there were the “prophetic” songs Kauflin sang about women named Mary…. and bald men. Shudder. No thanks.

    “I really like Voddie’s promotion of adoption, most of his home school views, his teachings on the importance of family worship, and how he stands by his convictions.”

    Voddie promotes adoption…so do lots of less fringey-type patriarchy promoting pastors. Pastors that would not insist on first time every time obedience…or toddlers looking at them in the eyes and greeting them and being punished if failing. Honestly, when I heard he had adopted an infant boy last year, I was amazed that he, with his strong views on corporal punishment, would be granted an adoption. I felt sorry for the baby. But, ok, to each his own.

    I hope that “Baucham’s government schools are evil” is not included in your “most of his homeschool views.”

    How he stands by his convictions? I am confident you can find better examples of pastors who stand by their convictions without promoting the extreme, narrow, legalistic views he does….unless you like those. ? Doesn’t it bother you a teeny tiny bit that you may be leading people down the Voddie Baucham pathway by your link? Well, it would bother me, but to each his own.

    The importance of family worship. Careful there. Men at his church HAVE to lead according to how the elders teach….they must do this without fail. If you refuse to lead like they say, you will be asked to leave. However, you may get a visit (or ten) from an elder (with or without prior notification) and be placed under discipline for failing in this area before getting ousted.

    Are you a fan of this degree of legalism?

  212. Oh, I just thought of something funny. I know that Brian likes Tim Hawkins, the Christian comedian. He once said that if you say that the music is great, that means the preaching sucks. If the music is terrible, there’s great preaching.

  213. “Diane, did you see Voddie Bauchmans teaching that men need daughters so they can get the attention they yearn for from a younger woman? The man is a creep.”

    THAT would be one of the “fringey-type” things I am concerned with that might lead someone onto the Voddie Baucham path with Brian (or anyone’s) link to Baucham.
    It absolutely disturbs me that his daughter is almost 25, lives at home and takes care of her 6-7 brothers and sisters as a surrogate mother. The girl needs to live her life.

  214. @ JA~
    :-(

    When is enough enough? So, a new baby for Jasmine to train up. Jasmine seems to post a lot about homeschooling her brothers and sisters. I do not know about her mom…how much her mom is able help raise her own kids. I read at one point she was ill. I find this all very sad. I hope Jasmine is able to find her own life soon and get married, as she hints she wants that from her blog posts.

    Amos (last year’s adoption) came from Georgia, too. Baucham mentioned that at the “Men of God” conference at Bellefontaine, Ohio…remember THAT conference?

    I wonder why Baucham goes to Georgia for children? Does he have connections there? Are these children obtained through an adoption agency? Surely if they were the agency would be checking out Baucham’s practices and that should be causing them concern?

  215. “Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t support everything about John Calvin.”

    Ed, Calvinism and John Calvin are not synonymous, regardless of what you say.

    Holding to the tenets of what is commonly called Calvinism does NOT equate to agreeing with everything Calvin did or taught.

    I am curious…does anyone on here even know what they are talking about when they use the term “Calvinism”? I’d be interested to see some responses. What is Calvinism? You’ve all been railing against it, so I expect you can describe it without having to look it up. If you have to look it up, then why are you so against something about which you actually do not know the details?

  216. Brian – - – I’m going to make your comment into a new post. That way we can keep the other topics alive here and keep the Calvinist comments in its own thread.

    Hang on, peeps! It should be quick.

  217. “I wonder why Baucham goes to Georgia for children? Does he have connections there? Are these children obtained through an adoption agency? Surely if they were the agency would be checking out Baucham’s practices and that should be causing them concern?”

    Perhaps the adoption agency actually has some first hand knowledge of the Bauchams, and has direct contact and experience with them. Perhaps they know them just a wee little bit better than you.

  218. “Perhaps the adoption agency actually has some first hand knowledge of the Bauchams, and has direct contact and experience with them. Perhaps they know them just a wee little bit better than you.”

    Brian, that’s what scares me.

  219. Good point, Diane

    Did I mention in this thread I just got a copy of Voddie’s book in the mail he sent me? I’ve been skimming it and my spine has been quivering.

  220. So Diane, are you insinuating that you know the Bauchams better than those involved with them in the adoption process? Or are you demonstrating your inability to trust someone else’s judgment who might know them better than you?

  221. Apparently he goes through Covenant Care and it would appear Covenant Care seeks the Bauchams out with children to adopt. It appears they are well acquainted with each other.
    http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/338256

    This comment from a forum gives some info-

    “Koala wrote:
    I’d love to know which agency is behind this placement. I wonder if it is private adoptions through word of mouth.

    They currently adopt through “Covenant Care”, a Christian adoption agency in Georgia. Voddie has written/spoken about the agency before when his blog was hosted on another site.

    Personally, I feel that this agency’s license to place children should be revoked given that they have knowingly placed children with the type of people (Voddie in particular) who are prone to using physical discipline over meaningless character “flaws” like shyness. If anything, they should be investigated for their method of screening and accepting prospective candidates who would (and have) be(en) deemed unfit as foster/adoptive parents by other, state and public agencies. Voddie Baucham was denied several times before by public agencies (which is why he went the “Covenant Care” route) which speaks volumes. If Covenant Care was too foolish to take that fact into account, then they shouldn’t be in the business of placing children.”

  222. Brian – Fathers like that send alarm bells off in me. Case in point: Steve and Terri Maxwell have Sarah who is probably 30s and is not married. The Botkin girls, Anna-Sophia and Elizabeth are around 28 and 30 and are not married. Baucham’s daughter is not married. Tony Miano’s 3 adult daughters are not married. Something is wrong with this picture.

  223. Hey Brian…

    “So Diane, are you insinuating that you know the Bauchams better than those involved with them in the adoption process?

    I know what he teaches. Do you?
    Enlighten yourself with his sermons from the Men of God Conference 2012 Bellefontaine, Ohio. You know, that conference where the mess was made in the women’s restroom?

    “Or are you demonstrating your inability to trust someone else’s judgment who might know them better than you?”

    Here’s what I am demonstrating. Of course they know him better. And no- I don’t trust anyone who would approve of Baucham’s child rearing methods. I am saying ….here is his connection. Covenant Care has offered children to him. They must approve of first time / every time obedience. They must approve of spanking infants. They must approve of taking your kid to the church bathroom and “wearing him out.” They must approve of all that and more. They offer children to that environment. They promote him. That scares me. Sorry if it doesn’t concern you.

    “After the unprofessional, disrespectful, and frankly unkind manner in which we were treated earlier this year, Covenant Care was like a breath of fresh air. I preached at their banquet back in March, so I was very familiar with the agency. In fact, they had contacted us two years ago about another possible adoption when we were in the process of adopting Asher. From the initial contact to the placement ceremony, Covenant Care was everything an adoptive parent could ask for. They were professional, attentive, thorough, responsive, and above all they conducted themselves like true followers of Christ.”

    Wow—throwing kids at his feet.

    “While all of this was excruciating for my dear bride, it was still better than it could have been. Thank God we live in Houston where flights to Atlanta are plentiful. Also, thank God for frequent flyer miles, frequent renter miles, and frequent hotel stay miles that made our journey a lot less expensive than it would otherwise have been. Also, thank God for the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of a Child) process went through in record time (both Georgia and Texas approved us in a total of one day!). All-in-all, God was indeed merciful, and we rejoice in his providence.”

    http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/voddie-baucham-ministries/blog/welcome-home-micah-2009-09/

    Now I know why he adopts in Georgia. Mystery solved.

  224. Brian what he said about men having daughters to get the attention they need from a younger woman is sicko. Lots of what Voddie teaches about women/girls is sicko. This is the part of living in the ghetto that really concerns me. Once in there, these things seem normal. They aren’t.

  225. “Check out Voddie’s book, What He Must Be if He Wants to Marry My Daughter. Excellent book for those with daughters…and for those with sons.”

    Well Brian….Jasmine Baucham is pushing mid 20s now. Time’s a wasting if she is ever going to get her quiverful. What’s the problem? Can’t Baucham find a “What He Must Be” man in all of Texas with his connections? I find that hard to believe. Although he may say out of one side of his mouth that he has no intention of actually picking out her future husband, the other side of his mouth states that he will do the editing,

  226. Brian what he said about men having daughters to get the attention they need from a younger woman is sicko. — Lydia

    Craster’s Keep, in near The Wall in Northern Westeros, Game of Thrones

    Hey Brian~

    Do you think a toddler should be spanked repeatedly for shyness?

    Only if it’s possible to beat Fluttershy until she somehow turns into Rainbow Dash.

  227. Lydia said, “Gary W, I hate to say it but it was never about Brian. It is for all those folks who are being intimidated by YRR/NC actually seeing people interact with them instead of being cowed by their typical methods of what they call communication. They are indoctrinated so they think they indoctrinate others. That is the method. If they can get most folks arguing about scripture they can have them so confused it is not funny. Some have tried “love” but their view of “love” is to beat correct doctrine into you. And this means people have to have boundaries with them even if they carry a Christianese title.”

    Absolutely! Brian has been severely indoctrinated. His contributions so far have been very helpful. Brian is a window into how, what & why. Most critically thinking individuals reading carefully thru this thread will see that. They are the reason why I comment. I care about Brian. I don’t think he thinks ahead much, but more moment to moment. His kids may read him someday. I hope they don’t reject God or become cruel determinists.

    Julie Anne does a service by allowing this dialogue to take place, as difficult or frustrating or heartbreaking as it may have been. Opinions & beliefs can be presented & people can hopefully choose more wisely than if the dialogue hadn’t taken place.

  228. Brian said, the typical M.O. on here is to disagree and then continue on with something like, “This atrocious deceitful unloving bahavior is typical of Calvinists, they eat their young, kill innocent women, and beat the elderly, etc., etc…” Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me? Because, in all my years in this theogocical “camp” I have NEVER met any who hold to what you guys are espousing, or who do the things you claim they do.

    Brian, Even though you have never met a deceiver or evil-doer that does evil while quoting Biblical passages they say backs up a sovereign God (who is control of every action) as a basis for their evil actions, I have. It is heartbreaking & ugly. These people can’t be reasoned with. Many times they can’t be stopped without legal intervention. They will push to the very edge & go as far as they can with what they can get away with. It’s a cost/benefit analysis. Not a right/wrong analysis. I’ve seen Calvinism used to support evil or as a basis for an indifference to evil, more than you’d ever believe.

    I’ve also heard people who have “sat under” the teaching of total depravity say they aren’t able to choose God. That God will choose them. It is predetermined by God. So they continue on in their sinful ways. And if they are the elect, the predestined, that’s God’s choice & God will give them the ability to believe & save them. And if they’re not, God will send them to hell. It’s a done deal for them, it has nothing to do with them, & they live their life fully consistent with that. This is absolutely heartbreaking. And very damaging to themselves & others.

    I will never tell children, “Let’s pray that God will change our hearts or some person’s heart”. We are each responsible for our own behavior, NOT GOD. This teaching indoctrinates children into thinking they are helpless or off the hook for their own behavior.

    Brian, you MUST live in a somewhat insulated world. Or you only associate with people just like yourself. Or you are very naive. Or you don’t have real conversations with people. Or you don’t ever “touch” the unclean. While that sounds very sanitary, in reality it would be unloving behavior. You shouldn’t assume that because you haven’t experienced horrific behavior, that many others have not based on these fatalistic beliefs of “I’m sinful so I sin” or “I’m unable to please God” or “what I do doesn’t matter, I’ve got grace” or “God is responsible, not me”.

    This blog is here to help those who have been abused, due in part, to this exact theology. Did you miss that somehow?

  229. Brian,
    I think what’s upset many commenters here is your attitude, not just your beliefs. Your joke about Lydia swinging a dead cat went over like a lead balloon. When Lydia talks about swinging a dead cat, I totally understand. It grieves me. While I don’t live at ground zero, I live close enough. And I can walk to a mega church where sin abounds & so does cheap grace. And I could walk to churches where people “sit under” total depravity/inability teaching & then go practice that the rest of the week. Both are truly full of spiritually dead people. They could be born again & following Christ all their days instead. This is why I comment.

  230. Pingback: It’s Calvinism Free-For-All: Off the Top of Your Head | Spiritual Sounding Board

  231. Brian Thornton
    AUGUST 18, 2013 @ 11:44 AM
    Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe:

    “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”

    Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:

    “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”

    ———————————–

    This is contradicted (as are many things in “the bible”) by another passage here:

    2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

    The Greek is precisely: “having bought” or “having redeemed”…as in they were redeemed but then they were lost.

    James White and John Piper try to tap-dance around this one…and the arguments are not compelling.

    You are either forced to accept that these “False Prophets” are in fact Elect and are saved even though they are called “False Prophets” and introduce “Destructive Heresies”…or you are forced to accept that the Proof Text you proffered is not an Absolute as it is contradicted strongly by 2 Peter 2:1.

    This particular verse has ruined a good many former Calvinists and former OSAS guys. If one is intellectually honest…it’s Check Mate on that particular issue.

  232. Brian, another biggie is Judas Iscariot. He was “chosen” but assumed damned as the “son of perdition”….yet he was a chosen Apostle and he performed miracles and participated in the works of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.

    Now, the bible says this was to fulfill a prophecy, but it is an example of one who was chosen, exhibited the Holy Spirit’s miracles, etc….but was “lost”.

    What is more sinister about the Judas account is that it appears on the surface (through a more Calvinist hermeneutic) that Judas didn’t really have a choice in the matter. He was created to be betray and be damned and subsequently tormented in hell forever….which is essentially the underlying Calvinist position. Underneath the veneer of Soft-Calvinists is really a Double Predestination construct that says God creates a few Chosen/Elect to bestow mercy on…and then creates the vast majority of humanity throughout human history to be tortured in hell for eternity.

    This is contrasted strongly by Jesus’s “I give you a new law…love your enemies…as your father in heaven is perfect”.

    Hard to “love your enemies” by torturing them in hell forever.

  233. Alex,

    Speaking to the disciples, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”(Matthew 19:28, ESV)

    Does this not on its face include Judas? If so, so much for the son of perdition being subject to eternal conscious punishment. I don’t claim to have it all sorted out, but I’m confident the theologians don’t either.

  234. Hey Alex! Yes, this was a crazy thread. Interestingly, Brian sort of just disappeared and then I found out fairly recently that he also blocked me on Twitter. Go figure.

  235. Jezzy, yes, blocked/excommunicated…that’s the typical response from those types.

    Gary W said, “…but I’m confident the theologians don’t either.” Very much agreed. I think we all know very little and are mostly guessing on a variety of issues. I am always skeptical of a Doctrinarian or Theologian who says their Box is “the right way!” with such certainty. It usually doesn’t take long to poke holes in it and expose glaring blind spots. God doesn’t fit in a Box…and my faith in a good and loving God who we cannot know the nuance and mystery…is much greater than my faith in men who tell me “thus sayeth the Lord!” on all matters.

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