Mark Driscoll

BREAKING: Janet Mefferd Removes Tweets and Blog Material Regarding Mark Driscoll and Alleged Plagiarism

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BREAKING:  Janet Mefferd Removes Tweets and Blog Material Regarding Mark Driscoll and Alleged Plagiarism

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Ok, I just got home and something is going down with Mefferd regarding the allegations of Mark  plagiarism by Mark Driscoll in several books.  Dee of Wartburg Watch tagged me in a tweet that Mefferd removed all of her tweets and blog material related to the Driscoll/plagiarism situation.  I also received an e-mail that Mefferd was going to be saying something about this on her show today.

I found the following tweets.  The top tweet is the most recent.  As I find more information, I will update.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.15.13 PM

My gut response is that someone is forcing her to do this and that is not sitting right with me at all.

You can follow along with the latest here:   Janet Mefferd Removes Blog Posts and Tweets Related to Mark Driscoll’s Alleged Plagiarism.  *     *     *

310 thoughts on “BREAKING: Janet Mefferd Removes Tweets and Blog Material Regarding Mark Driscoll and Alleged Plagiarism”

  1. WFTT2 –

    So sorry about Kaiser. Praying that the Holy Spirit will guide and lead you in ministering to your neighbor, as well as comforting her and you at this time.

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  2. For those who haven’t seen these links, they may be hugely helpful in getting more understanding about the topic issue.

    1. Here is the Archive Material Screenshots of Mefferd’s Research:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20131205165913/https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/12/04/breaking-janet-mefferd-removes-tweets-and-blog-material-regarding-mark-driscoll-and-alleged-plagiarism/

    2. Here is an article from someone who knows Tyndale:
    http://unsettledchristianity.com/2013/12/an-open-letter-to-tyndalehouse-regarding-known-liar-and-plagiarist-pastormark/

    3. Here is one more article by a professor for consideration:
    http://www.pajamapages.com/on-

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  3. WFTT2,

    My advice is to “LIVE” the gospel to her…help her and guide her…even if you are just as clueless about her internal family affairs as she is. Do whatever she asks of you, to a point of course, and just show your love. Actions speak louder than words, and that is the good works to be seen of men (mankind). Anything to help ease her suffering. We grieve when others grieve, etc.

    Ed

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  4. WFT2, Muslim or Christian Patriarchy, it’s hard to tell the difference. If practiced as preached, women in both are dependent & vulnerable. And easy prey. I pray this lady will be supported & empowered to care & love herself. Thank you for sitting with her, helping her & caring about her plight.

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  5. Thanks, A Mom, my heart breaks for her. I only hope his son and the rest of his family will embrace her and help her.

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  6. http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/12/09/mars-hill-church-plagiarism-controversy-citation-errors/
    “Mars Hill issued a statement stating that it admits to citation errors and blames it on the research group.” WFT2, that’s interesting.

    I wonder how much of Mark Driscoll’s books are written by the “research assistant(s)” who may now be under Mark’s bus or on top of the bodies behind his bus? 25%? 50%? 60%? Does anyone know?

    Is Mark Driscoll’s research assistant really Mark’s ghost writer to a certain extent?

    I mentioned ghost writing in one of my earlier comments. Randy Alcorn (well known reformed author) wrote this scathing article on the ethics of ghostwriting. Randy said, “I believe Christian ghostwriting is a scandal waiting to explode.” Hmmm. Here is some of his article:

    http://www.epm.org/resources/2002/Jan/01/scandal-evangelical-dishonesty/

    “The Ethics of Ghostwriting

    Ghostwriting is when someone else writes a book that is credited to a celebrity as if he or she wrote it. The rationale is that because the real writer’s name isn’t well-known and marketable, the book won’t sell well unless it’s released under the celebrity’s name.

    This is so commonly practiced that many Christian publishers, authors, and celebrities see no ethical problem with it. Some of these people are sincere in their beliefs—I know because I’ve talked with them. I have great respect for my publishers, and many others too, but all of us, including me, naturally become desensitized. Sometimes those of us who are on the inside of publishing—including authors, agents, and publishers—fail to see what those on the outside immediately recognize as unethical.

    I’m not talking about the legitimate process of coauthoring, in which authors invest varying levels of work and expertise into the writing. Nor am I talking about books that, after being written, need substantial editing provided by the publisher. By ghostwriting, I’m talking about when the actual writer’s name is not on the cover, or when a person’s name is on the cover (even as a coauthor with the real writer) who did little or nothing to write the book….

    If we teach them it’s okay to lie by taking credit for a book they didn’t write, why should we be shocked if we discover they lied when they claim to have graduated from a college they didn’t, or to have fought in a war they didn’t, or to have done a job they didn’t? Isn’t it ironic that Christian publishers would consider it an ethical breach if they discovered an “author” gave them a resume containing false information, when the same publisher has knowingly led the public to believe this person wrote a book he or she really didn’t write? Which is the bigger lie?…

    Publishers sometimes approach prominent pastors and Christian leaders whose greatest temptations are toward pride and pretense and then help them pretend they wrote a book, taking pride in something they didn’t do!

    Putting musicians, writers, speakers, and others on pedestals goes way beyond healthy respect for role models. It borders on idolatry. It’s not good for anyone, but certainly it’s not good for the young, the immature, and those already struggling with pride, pretense, money-loving, and other temptations that are fed by “I wrote a book” celebrity status.

    Ask the average person what it means when a name is on a book cover, and they’ll tell you it means the person actually wrote it. That’s what book buyers believe. Hence, the book is sold to them under false pretenses. I’ve been told “the ghostwriter knows what he’s agreeing to, and if he doesn’t need to see his name on the book, that’s up to him.” But the question isn’t what the ghostwriter or celebrity believes, it’s what the potential book-buyer believes. Ghostwriters may receive far greater royalties than if they were known as the book’s true author. They may have a vested interest in the falsehood just like everyone else involved.
    Some of my editor friends are excellent writers. They are sometimes paid their normal salaries by publishers to do the actual writing—not just editing—of books where 100% of the royalties go to celebrities who did no writing.

    It’s ironic that Christians would stoop to ethics that even most non-Christians, who don’t believe what the Bible says about truth, immediately recognize as wrong.
    Isn’t it reasonable for both Christians and non-Christians to be able to buy a Christian book with the confidence that the person identified on the book and publicized as the author actually wrote it?

    “But ghostwriting is a well-established practice.” Many things are well-established practices, but that doesn’t make them right. I’ve seen people heartsick, disillusioned, and angry when they discover that various popular Christian books weren’t written by the person whose name is on the cover. We who supposedly esteem the truth so highly should be the last ones to participate in such deceit.

    Every argument I hear for ghostwriting is pragmatic. Of course people make money by ghostwriting. People also make money from prostitution, theft, and drug dealing. The real question is not whether ghostwriting is profitable but whether it is moral. I never hear people offer biblical and ethical justifications for it, only practical ones. Why? Perhaps because there simply is no moral justification.

    There’s sometimes a fine line between ghostwriting and celebrity books written “with” others. Writing a book about people, with their cooperation, is certainly fine, as long as there’s no pretense or false impression about who did the writing. But when the cover puts the celebrity’s name first, followed by “and” or “with” the true writer, the implication is that the celebrity did most or much of the writing. If, in fact, the celebrity did nothing more than grant interviews, answer questions, pass on a few pages of a journal, or tell a couple of stories, then he or she isn’t the author and shouldn’t be promoted as such.

    If this isn’t a book by Celebrity X but about Celebrity X, that’s fine—but shouldn’t this distinction be made clear by listing the real author’s name exclusively on the cover? The celebrity can still be emphasized as the subject of the book, but not as the author. The writer shouldn’t pretend to be a world-class athlete or movie star, and the celebrity shouldn’t pretend to be a writer. Sometimes the “name” person is a celebrity author who can write but didn’t write this book. If the celebrity didn’t write it but just supplied some suggestions or advice, he or she belongs on the acknowledgments page, not the cover. Ask yourself, “Given the amount of work the celebrity actually contributed to writing the book, if the name wasn’t well-known, would it be on the cover?” If the answer is no, then the ethics are clear—the celebrity’s name shouldn’t be on the cover as author.

    I believe Christian ghostwriting is a scandal waiting to explode. If we in the Christian community don’t clean up our act soon, we’re going to face widespread loss of credibility. What a tragedy if 60 Minutes were to expose this practice we should never have tolerated. Can’t you see Steve Kroft or Ed Bradley holding up a book and asking well-known Christian authors, “Did you really write this book?” Envision the neatly edited scenes of embarrassment, head-hanging, evasions, rationalizations, and reports that “so-and-so author and publisher wouldn’t return our calls.”

    This could be a major setback for Christian publishers and authors at the very time Christian books have made unprecedented inroads into the mainstream culture. We need to confess, repent of, and change our policies—and stop being driven by money-love and ego building.

    If we’re not telling the truth about who wrote the book—on the cover, in large print—why should people believe what we say inside the book, in small print?”

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  7. Randy Alcorn’s article is really good. If you can, click the link & read the whole thing.

    I really like this statement of his in particular:

    “It’s ironic that Christians would stoop to ethics that even most non-Christians, who don’t believe what the Bible says about truth, immediately recognize as wrong.”

    I think what causes Christians (myself once deluded, but no longer, just follower of Jesus now… hi A Amos Love!) to be so upside down is the teaching of total depravity. That no one can know or do anything good. If they did do something good, it wasn’t them or their brain, God did it, so it is said.

    Anyone who is totally depraved can’t know truth. So you need someone with authority to tell you what’s right & wrong, because you don’t know it for yourself! Think about it. We have bus drivers telling people what’s right & kicking them off the bus with “Godly grace” approval if they even question it. After that, the goal is to run them over & leave the bodies in a pile behind the bus.

    Total depravity & inability REQUIRES, NEEDS, DEMANDS one bus driver & many passengers who will do what the bus drivers says or else.

    So you have Christians who are more concerned with doing what the bus driver says than they are with right & wrong. This is how we got to where we are, folks.

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  8. If we believe in total depravity, that good is filthy rags, that we are evil, then we will be dependent & vulnerable. Easy prey for predators.

    The world is worse than “christians” who believe they themselves are evil? The world is more evil than people who believe they are evil for religious reasons? The world is more evil than people who are taught religiously that they themselves are evil? Nope. And it doesn’t seem like Randy Alcorn buys it either.

    I’m more concerned about other self-professed “can’t do no good depraved” Christians, than I am about the “world”. If you believe with all your heart that you are depraved, no good, evil & like to spread that “good” news around, then I probably won’t be comfortable around you. Hide the kids & wallets from you & your religion, I say.

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  9. Jesus said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10, ESV)

    Is Tyndale still defending Driscoll? If so, can Tyndale be trusted in anything?

    The translation from which I quote in this comment is skewed, for example, in favor a presupposed hierarchy of roles and authority in Christian life–or so it appears to me based on what I would describe as a beginning to intermediate level of understanding of New Testament Greek. If I cannot fully trust their Bible, how can I trust anything Crossway publishes? Jesus says I shouldn’t.

    We can be grateful for the occasional voice crying out in the wilderness, but if the Evangelical propaganda machine, er, I mean publishers, remain silent and even circle the wagons in the face of serious misconduct of every sort (plagiarism, ministerial sexual misconduct, coverups, etc.), how can we trust anything they publish?

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  10. Correct me if I am mistaken, and I frankly haven’t had time to read each and every comment on this thread, but it appears Alex Guggenheim has not answered the questions I put to him the better part of three days ago? Let me repeat them:

    Alex: What positions and titles do you hold? Do you happen to be a pastor? Are you in any way associated with one or more publishing or other media organizations? If so, which ones? Are you or anybody close to you in any way associated with Mark Driscoll? If so, how?

    Alex, let me ask another question. Why should we not conclude from your silence that you are simply a shill for the increasingly discredited profiteers of the evangelical propaganda machine? And yes, it is appropriate for us to draw conclusions from your silence. The rights to remain silent and to be protected from inferences that might be drawn from such silence apply only in the context of criminal prosecutions.

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  11. A mom,

    I don’t see total depravity how you are defining it. TD is not saying no one does good in the eyes of man. Sure, we see non Christians doing what appears to be good all the time. However, because they aren’t regenerated, and don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside them, they are incapable of doing anything that pleases God. The fruit of the Spirit is not available to them. So any “good” the bus driver does is with wrong motives (ie, selfish reasons).

    TD isn’t also saying that unbelievers always do evil at all times to the nth degree. God restrains this from happening.

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  12. Mattjer22,
    I totally disagree with your statement, re: “So any “good” the bus driver does is with wrong motives (i.e., selfish reasons). What is the motive, as you see it? Which would be the right motive as you see it? What was selfish? What would be selfless?

    Where do you get off saying that what the bus driver does is for selfish reasons? What does he get out of it? There are many selfless people that are unbelievers.

    What is an unbeliever to you? A person that does not subscribe to Calvinism, or one who does not subscribe to God?

    All this talk about “regeneration” is nonsense.

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  13. mattjer22 said, “A mom, I don’t see total depravity how you are defining it. TD is not saying no one does good in the eyes of man. Sure, we see non Christians doing what appears to be good all the time. However, because they aren’t regenerated, and don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside them, they are incapable of doing anything that pleases God. The fruit of the Spirit is not available to them. So any “good” the bus driver does is with wrong motives (ie, selfish reasons).
    TD isn’t also saying that unbelievers always do evil at all times to the nth degree. God restrains this from happening.”

    You say God restrains some of the worst nth degree evil an unbeliever does, that’s how wickedly evil unbelievers are. So they are condemned as evil without evil action by you and your god. Sounds like the Salem witch trials – guilt without evidence. How awful! This is wrong. I know unbelievers who live a good life doing good things. And I know professing believers who make a habit of doing wrong. This is what your God does & wants? Since your god controls & sanctions evil, your god is very evil.

    I believe God lets individuals decide what to do, right or wrong, & whether to love God back or not. Love can’t be forced out of anyone. It seems the gospel has been twisted into: You must be evil in order to become a christian. The more horrible a person before becoming a christian, the better. I think not!

    You say we don’t have the ability to know right & wrong. You say we see what “appears” to be good, but it really isn’t good according to God, the ultimate authority on what’s right & wrong. Under your own belief system, which says we can’t know right from wrong, how are you able to define what wrong is, let alone nth degree level wrongs? Based on your own statement, how do YOU know right from wrong then, since you’re not God?

    As for motives, I don’t know or discuss anyone’s motives or heart. I look at their actions. So does a court of law.

    Regarding your bus driver statement, are you saying that Mark Driscoll does good but with wrong motives? And does that give him a pass, in your opinion?

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  14. mattjer22,

    Repent, and be baptized, Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, not by God’s doing, but by your own doing. And, in case you were wondering, our giving faith to God is NOT considered a works based salvation.

    FOR OUT OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKS. And with that comes your works…faith without works is dead. Good works. What is good works? LOVE.

    What does LOVE LOOK LIKE to you? Mark Driscoll? He’s a laughing stock to the whole world. He wants people to look at him, instead to look to Christ.

    You can tell a tree by his fruits. A good tree does not give bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t give good fruit. Mark is a bad tree…he is NOT a Christian no matter how much that he professes Christ. There are wheat and tares in the church.

    Mark Driscoll has no faith in Jesus. Mark Driscoll is not about the FREEDOM that Jesus Christ offers. And neither does your religion. Mark Driscoll is a dictator.

    It’s all about him.

    Ed

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  15. mattjer22, It seems you skipped over my questions. Would you kindly answer my questions first? I hope you aren’t going to ignore them. 😉

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  16. Matt,

    I think I said that the first step is to REPENT.

    What must one KNOW in order to repent? They MUST know what sin is. Someone must PREACH to you the LAW OF MOSES.

    Then you know what sin is, and then you are aware of what sin that you sinned against God.

    Then, and only then, can Jesus be preached to you. Jesus must be preached for the REMISSION OF SINS.

    Now, if you BELIEVE all that…BOOM…Jesus baptizes you by FIRE…not by water.

    Yes, baptism is a requirement. But, WHAT IS BAPTISM? Baptism is defined as “Immersion”. What are we immersed in? The HOLY SPIRIT.

    The water in and of itself is not magical. It is a visual show of faith. The spiritual baptism is what Jesus does to us, not what MAN does to us by dunking our body in water, and by saying a PHRASE, “I BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”. That phrase means nothing. The Apostles did not use a phrase. The apostles used a name…ONLY ONE NAME. What name? JESUS.

    NOTICE the word “BUT” in the following.

    Acts 11:16
    Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

    So…I say all that to ask, what’s your freaking point, dude?

    You missed everything else that I said. What does love look like to you? Mark Driscoll? You went off on a tangent asking about how one gets to heaven. What’s that all about?

    Ed

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  17. Seems like some people think the point of becoming a Christian is to go to a place called heaven when we die. I don’t think so.

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  18. I agree that that is not the point, but it beats the heck out of hell at the end of life. The real point is to serve and worship God by serving the least among us. Which is why I only make a slim living as an attorney — I help a lot of poor people who are being pursued by others in civil court to take away the little they have, and sometimes that means their children are at risk, or their freedom if they fail to pay.

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  19. An Attorney and Gary

    Well, eternal life is what was promised. That is what OUR faith is based on. And where is the place of eternal life? Heaven.

    I do not believe that the REAL point is to serve and worship God. That is a given already. If we do not believe God, in regards to eternal life (Which is what our faith is based on), then we are not going to worship or serve. Hence 1 Cor 15, that some wanted to become Christians that did not believe in the after life. Since they did not believe in the afterlife, then Jesus did not rise from the dead, and if Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain.

    If we believe God, in regards to the promise of eternal life (Which is what our faith is based on), we are going to worship God, we are going to serve God. That is in our GOOD WORKS, in which Christians do that shows our faith that we already know that we know that we know that we know that we are going to heaven. If we didn’t already know that we are going to heaven, then we would have Good Works without Faith.

    Anyone can have good works without faith, but we can’t have faith without good works. Faith without works is dead. They go hand in hand.

    Ed

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  20. Matt,

    Your religion believes in a term called saving faith, that in order to come to Christ, God must first give you faith in order for you to respond to God.

    But the Bible states that we come to Christ based on the Law, which is our school master.

    Just by the phrase “School Master”, this shows a TEACHING. We are taught to that there is a God, and that this God promises eternal life to those who believe. Belief is your own, not some magical phenomena imputed to you. You are not totally depraved.

    Take for example in Genesis after God “sacrificed an animal” to “cover” the “SHAME (sin) of Adam and Eve. That sacrifice “reinstated” the relationship between Adam and Eve, and God.

    From that moment on, each time that Adam sinned, another separation occurred. Adam, by his own free will, said to himself, “Self, God gave the example, that if I want to continue a relationship with him after I sinned, all I gotta do is to kill an animal.” So, Adam continued in the sacrificing of animals every time he sinned.

    There is NO depravity in that. Then, years later, Jesus comes along saying, “Hey guys, I am the last sacrifice ever needed.”

    Believe that, and BOOM…saved. It is garbage to say that the average Joe cannot respond to God on his own free will. There is no such thing as total depravity of man. But, Calvinists are totally depraved, because some man told them that they are.

    Galatians 3:24
    Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    Galatians 3:25
    But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    Ed

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  21. I posted this on another thread but want to share it here as well, especially for the San Antonio area bunch, who may not read other places:
    Posted elsewhere but here for those who don’t read other threads:

    It is a characteristic of human nature that some people want to have rules to live by, to simplify their thinking and not have to ponder the right and wrong of a situation. And it is also a characteristic of human nature that many people who end up in leadership want to make rules for everyone else, and then multiply them. The reason that rules multiply is that in application, every rule bumps into reality in ways that subvert the original intent, so a rule becomes more and more elaborate (this is regulatory theory which I have taught at the graduate level) in order to deal with the situations that don’t fit well with the original rule. And the leaders have to justify every rule they make, and the best justification is “God made the rule” even if it isn’t quite true, but a fairly distant extrapolation from scripture. Then you get systems to enforce the rule, including “church discipline”.

    Jesus gave us a different system. He took all of the rules of the OT and made them into two very simple rules. Love God with all your being. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. And live accordingly. Simple, not elaborate, not easy, and perhaps in application different folks will see things differently. But no straight-jacket constraints to be enforced by some self-anointed dictator demanding you pay him for running your life.

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  22. “What is an unbeliever to you? A person that does not subscribe to Calvinism, or one who does not subscribe to God? ”

    Ed, Bingo.

    And not only that but there are way too many now in that movement who do not think one can be a believer unless they subscribe to penal substitutionary atonement. That is part of the problem with the whole “motives” thing matt is selling. That is partly where that thinkiing comes from. You can do good but if you are an unbeliever then your motives for doing good are bad so it does not count to God. Even though that person you did good to sure was grateful. But you can do all sort of wrong/evil as a “believer” to others but it does not count against you because you are chosen!!! What a deal! Be a believer and do evil all you want. Or, be an unbeiever and do good but your motives are evil. What a “rational” religion. (rolling eyes)

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  23. Hannah,
    In that video, a person states, “My name is Bishop” such and such. It reminds me of when I was shore duty in the USN. My Officer in Charge (OIC) used to say that we are all on a first name basis, and noted that his first name is Lieutenant, and that our first name was Petty (short for Petty Officer).

    I think that show is on this season. I haven’t watched it yet. I hear it’s controversial. And, based on the video…I believe that!!! Prosperity gospel, living for self, innuendos of fornication with baby mama. IDK. Is this proper?

    Ed

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  24. Ed, While I do not agree with every jot and tittle you write concerning doctrine, the overall themes are there.

    “Anyone can have good works without faith, but we can’t have faith without good works. Faith without works is dead. They go hand in hand.”

    Absolutely. Cals do not really subscribe to “God with us”. They rarely mention the Holy Spirit except to declare what is and isn’t the HS for us. They cannot abide by the independence “God with us” brings for a believer.

    Luther wanted to take the book of James out of the Canon. And it was because he thought it taught works salvation. False Faith without works is the end result of Calvinism in a nutshel (without the state church where they just burn or banish you). It is doctrine over people because people don’t really matter except as a resource for the leaders.

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  25. Ed observes: “Well, eternal life is what was promised. That is what OUR faith is based on. And where is the place of eternal life? Heaven. ”

    I’m taking us off topic, but I contend that eternal life begins in the here and now. On death we may go to a place called heaven, although Jesus called it paradise when addressing the rebel with whom He was crucified. John 3:13 may or may not apply since the Resurrection: “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man” (ESV), but it is proof positive that the beggar in the bosom of Abraham was not in heaven when Lazarus made his appeal from hades (and not from hell). Our ultimate destiny, it appears, will not be lived out in a place called heaven. It will be lived out on a place call the New Earth.

    But the point I am making is that going to Heaven ought not to be presented as the primary incentive of receiving Jesus. Being with and in Jesus, with Jesus with and in us, beginning now, while still in these bodies, should be presented as the primary incentive for receiving Jesus.

    How sobering is it to consider that Jesus, even now, is in a very real and tangible sense incarnate in us?

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  26. Lydia,

    Right On!!

    That’s one of the reasons that I stated that a person can have good works without faith. There are many who have good works without faith, meaning that they are unbelievers in God, but do selfless works of charity.

    Jesus gave an example of this with these verses:

    Matthew 5:46-47
    For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    and

    Matthew 7:11
    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    Luke 11:13
    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

    Matt states:
    “Sure, we see non Christians doing what appears to be good all the time. However, because they aren’t regenerated, and don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside them, they are incapable of doing anything that pleases God. The fruit of the Spirit is not available to them. So any “good” the bus driver does is with wrong motives (ie, selfish reasons).

    My response to that:
    Not according to the verses that I showed above. Even when unbelievers love, that pleases God. There is NO wrong motives or selfish reasons for evil people giving their children good gifts.

    There is some serious deficiencies in matt’s thinking in regards to selfish vs. selfless.

    Ed

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  27. Ed

    There’s lots of reality shows on now that mock “the church”. Another is preacher’s daughters which I haven’t seen.
    We are a joke to the world and I would be curious how many here attend church.
    The churches I have been visiting are all about the mighty buck.

    Ed:” Is this proper?”
    Duh…. 😉

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  28. Ed

    I don’t think you will ever convince a unregenerate “good person” they are not good. The enemy does a good job in keeping them bound up in their works so as not to see their sin. The same applies to a believer.

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  29. Gary states:
    “I contend that eternal life begins in the here and now. On death we may go to a place called heaven, although Jesus called it paradise when addressing the rebel with whom He was crucified. John 3:13 may or may not apply since the Resurrection: “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man” (ESV), but it is proof positive that the beggar in the bosom of Abraham was not in heaven when Lazarus made his appeal from hades (and not from hell). Our ultimate destiny, it appears, will not be lived out in a place called heaven. It will be lived out on a place call the New Earth.”

    My response:
    Eternal life only begins when one becomes a Christian, and that begins in the here and now, so I agree with you as long as you believe that no one has eternal life up to that point of becoming a Christian.

    Next, in regards to the statement that Jesus said that no one has ascended up to heaven but he himself, that is true. That requires a body. And, that shows that Jesus has descended here to the earth long before he was born of the flesh, otherwise, he could not have said that no one has ascended but he that descended. Jesus is the ONLY one who has ascended into heaven in a body. However, after a person dies, he goes straight to heaven, if he is a believer. That is NOT THE SAME as no one has ascended. Yes, I know, King David is dead and buried. His body did not ascend, but his spirit did, after King David was released from Abraham’s Bosom.

    In regards to the beggar that was in Abraham’s bosom, the beggar is no longer in Abraham’s bosom, and hasn’t been since Jesus set the captives free after he (Jesus) resurrected from the dead. Sin is the separation from God, and that place of separation was Abraham’s bosom for the righteous. No one could be released from that place until Jesus paid the price for their sins. He then set the captives free.

    Next, the Bible states, three times that heaven is God’s Throne. God will always be on the throne. He never leaves his throne. Therefore, no matter where God is, heaven is his throne. In the prophets, it is stated that God will put his throne with man. The New Earth will be heaven, after all, heaven is God’s Throne.

    Ed

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  30. “I’m taking us off topic, but I contend that eternal life begins in the here and now.”

    I totally agree with this. You know who makes a very good case for this as being scriptural and historical (before the Greek philosophy took over Christianity) is NT Wright. We MUST be the kingdom NOW. We must live it NOW. Most teach that living the kingdom now is not possible because they focus on TD as the norm and believe any thoughts like that mean you believe in sinless perfection. It is a cop out and a wrong focus. We are not going to be sitting around on clouds in eternity. We will eventually be living on a redeemed earth, if saved.

    Like

  31. Hannah,

    I am not a fan of the overuse of the word unregenerate. I think that the word is being misused, and misapplied.

    It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin, thereby changing us from the person that we used to be to the person that God wants us to be, conforming to the image of His Son (Jesus).

    That is the work of God (Holy Spirit). Not our own works (of righteousness). That process is otherwise known as a sanctification process. It’s a never ending process until we die.

    The word unregenerate really gets a bad rap in the religious world.

    The only place that this word is used is here:

    Titus 3:5
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    However, the “unregenerate” person IS indeed a good person…to people, whether they are believers or not. I showed that above, in a previous post, that evil people do good.

    We, as Christians, are not supposed to go around pointing fingers at unbelievers, telling unbelievers how evil that they are. The Apostle Paul did not win anyone with that kind of an attitude. He admonished the believers, not the unbelievers.

    Ed

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  32. LydiaSellerofPurple
    I would be happy to discuss doctrine with you at any time. I can discuss why I believe what I believe, based on my “jot’s and tittle’s”.

    Ed

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  33. Ed

    I purposely keep my comments short.
    I figured you knew what I meant by regenerate.
    I also think you may read into one sentence and draw conclusions without questioning full intent.
    And look for arguments where they are not necessary.

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  34. Hannah,

    I noticed a pattern, which is the reason that I made the comment the way that I did, and it began with Matt, the main point is in that the so-called unregenerate people cannot do any good, that they are selfish, evil, etc. I just so happen to disagree with that blanket statement. I believe that is an incorrect assessment of unbelievers.

    My roommate, for example, is a wiccan. He does more for me than most Christians would even consider. I try to talk to him about Jesus, and he doesn’t want to hear it. But that does not mean that he isn’t a good person to me. He is. And, he isn’t selfish about it either. There is no evil intent. There is no evil motives.

    Ed

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  35. Ed,

    What about when Jesus was asked “Good Teacher” and He says no one is “good”.
    That was the point.
    You have to give some of us the benefit of the doubt when we don’t post 5 paragraphs.
    We Do good things, but we are not “good”.
    I’m sure you don’t need any examples.
    I know you get it.
    I just don’t think you think anyone else does.

    I am the first to agree that since I have been out of “church” I have seen more acts of kindness from non-believers than I have from believers. But I am sure you will agree that outward acts of kindness is no indication of the heart. Wouldn’t you agree?
    Those same “do-gooders can be beating up their kids and wives at home, or having an affair, etc etc.

    We don’t know the heart of anyone. Or what they do when no one is watching.

    Like

  36. PS. Scott Peterson…. Psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths, etc. Some of the kindest, most well respected “good” people out there .

    Like

  37. Hannah,

    Luke 23:50
    And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:

    I am a little confused as to where your heart is, to be honest. People are quick to think the worst of people, and to be more suspicious of the motives of people’s kindness. It’s like you and others are teaching you how to be paranoid of people’s intentions, that the world out there is oh, so evil. My goodness, this nonsense has to stop.

    Who is teaching you that we aren’t good? Jesus?

    Good “TEACHER” was what I see, not “GOOD”, period. That goes with call NO MAN on the earth your father, for ONE is your Father in heaven.

    So, what do you call your dad? When you fill out an official form that states, “Name of Father”, do you put the word, “Yahweh”?

    It also goes with no one is righteous, no not one, and yet I can show you many righteous.

    Psalm 37:23
    The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

    Proverbs 12:2
    A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

    I’m sorry, Hannah, but I sure don’t see the Bible in the same manner as you do. Wow, it amazes me the things that some are taught.

    Acts 11:24
    For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

    Ed

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  38. “People are quick to think the worst of people, and to be more suspicious of the motives of people’s kindness… that the world out there is oh, so evil. My goodness, this nonsense has to stop.”

    Amen! It is ivory tower holier than thou thinking from self-professed totally depraved people. How ironic.

    Like

  39. Yep, that’s why I can never ever ever buy into this total depravity of man routine.

    Luke 23:50
    And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just

    Here we have an unregenerate man. By the word “unregenerate”, it means that the person does not have the Holy Spirit. Is that a correct statement, Hannah, or anyone who buys off on Calvinism, that those who do not have the Holy Spirit are unregenerate?

    Pentecost had not taken place yet. So there is no way that Joseph, a counsellor, had the Holy Spirit yet. This was the day of the crucifixion of Jesus.

    So, here we have an unregenerate GOOD PERSON, who does good. Imagine that!!

    But, there are people here that want to say that no one is good, no one seeks God, no one is righteous…NOPE NOT ONE.

    Total depravity, huh?

    Ed

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  40. Julie Anne,

    It’s amazing how BGBC, and other church’s conveniently leaves out verses of the Bible that shows the rest of the story, and then tells people to study their bible, with Bible verses that are pre-selected, pre-vetted by the church, so as to miss those other verses.

    Ed

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  41. I should be all excited about these finds, Ed, but instead I get angry – – – angry that these men used their “authority” to preach only the verses that matched up with their man-made doctrines.

    Like

  42. Ed,

    Joseph in Luke 23 was a disciple of Christ (believer – Matt. 27:57; Jn. 19:38), not an unsaved man. Yes, the HS hadn’t permanently indwelt believers prior to Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. But they were still believers, just like David was; just like John the Baptist was. They believed in a coming Messiah, just like we believe (place our trust) in a Messiah who came. The object of our faith remains the same…Christ.
    So, knowing this, yes, Joseph was a “good” AND “righteous” man BECAUSE he was a believer in Christ not in spite of his belief in his Savior.

    Regarding your other passages used to show God being pleased with non-believers (Matt. 5, 7, and Lk 11), I think a closer look at these passages would show this not to be the case. For example. in Mt. 5, Jesus was comparing loving your enemies vs loving those who love you and how easy it is to do the latter. For even the tax collectors (publicans) do that. No where in that passage (or the other two) is it showing that God was pleased with the publicans who loved those who loved them. That would be reading in to the text something that isn’t there. If anything, He is showing them a higher ethic, one they weren’t accustomed to (5:43), and that simply loving those who already love you was…well, not enough. Far cry from Him being pleased about it…

    Heb. 11:6 “And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

    Does the non-believer have “faith”??

    I’m sure I missed other questions from you and others. Feel free to ask again anything you want to hear. Internet went down right after my last post to you guys, and now it’s back up.

    Lastly, not a Driscoll fan…at all…

    Like

  43. But, Matt, I will ask you this:

    When Jesus was discussing the things that you mention, which I mentioned as well, he kept saying, “You have heard it said….”

    Where did he get those “You have heard it said” from?

    Matthew 5:43
    Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    Where did they hear that from?

    The Gentiles were the enemy. Peter was reluctant in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles, because the Gentiles were known to be unclean. They were not to keep company of unclean people…the Gentiles.

    They were taught to hate the Gentiles…the enemy…not to love them.

    But Jesus comes along and states TO THE JEWS to love your enemy…in other words, LOVE THE GENTILES.

    That goes against the law of Moses.

    I have MUCH to say, but as long as you are steeped into the doctrine of the depravity of man, you are not going to advance in knowledge.

    Adam did not have depravity, either. He sacrificed animals to God. WHY did he do that if he was totally depraved? Why would he do that if he wasn’t seeking God?

    Do you ever ask the why questions and seek the answers in the BIBLE ALONE? Or do you rely on answers from the pulpit only?

    Ed

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  44. Matt,

    I am glad that you have a sense of humor in my sarcasm, so I will oblige…I am being funny, of course:

    Jeremiah 8:17
    For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord.

    Ed

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  45. Matt,

    I wouldn’t say clarify…I would say modify. You modified, not clarified.

    An unregenerate person is one who does not have the Holy Spirit. That is by YOUR religions definition. It doesn’t matter if they were disciples of Jesus or not. And it’s all because of that word “unregenerate”.

    Ed

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  46. ok, either it’s late or I clearly AM lacking knowledge you possess here. For I’m having trouble making the connection between your examples of Jews hating Gentiles by (improperly – Deut 23:7) interpreting the OT and your rejection of TD. Help me out here at least before you sick the cockatrices on me!!

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  47. mattjer22, If you believe God is the only being who has the ability to know right from wrong, and that no one has the ability to know right from wrong unless they are Christian then how can they be expected to follow any rule/law, be punished for their action or be held accountable even once? Your belief is the opposite of justice & fairness. Wait, are you now going to tell me no one knows what’s just & fair, except Christians?

    If you really believed all this then you would:

    Never allow a non-Christian to assist you. After all, it’s only bad that they can offer.

    Or will you admit to the real truth that you do benefit on a regular basis in all sorts of ways from non-Christians? You know, the ones who deliver gas to the station, drs who help you recover from illness, the cashier at the store, the ones who create life-saving medications, Ben Franklin as well.

    “After Franklin invented the lightning rod, many of the Puritans effectively accused him of sorcery. Reverend Thomas Prince, a prominent Congregationalist Puritan pastor of Boston’s Old South Church and a graduate of Harvard, led the the charge. Franklin, Prince decreed, had defied the will of God, the “Prince of the Power of the Air,” by interfering with His heavenly manifestation. Prince also asserted that Franklin’s rods had caused God to strike Boston with the earthquake of 1755. Franklin used his pithy wit to defang the campaign against his invention. Surely, Franklin observed, if interference with lightening was prohibited, roofs also defied God’s will by allowing people to stay dry in the face of His rain. Resistance to Franklin’s lightening rod subsided when it was discovered that his innovation prevented many churches from burning to the ground.”
    http://paulspassingthoughts.com/2013/11/05/colonial-puritanism-was-commonly-known-as-platonic-christianity/

    There’s no real, practical way anyone can live out this inability belief system with a straight face.

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  48. Matt,

    Acts 10:28
    And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

    UNLAWFUL.

    The word “nation” is another word for GENTILE.

    Peter is talking in Acts 10:28.

    Ed

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  49. A Mom,

    I just had a funny thought. In the movie, “Waterboy”, the waterboy’s mama used to teach him the Ben Franklin was of the devil. But then again, she also taught that Dick Clark of American Bandstand was of the Devil, too. She must have been a Calvinist in the movie? IDK.

    Ed

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  50. Ben Franklin went to Philly to escape Puritanical Boston that looked upon progress as evil. Like alleviating pain in childbirth. Ironically, the Quakers were much more tolerant and loving. But then, the Puritans had been known for burning Quakers at the stake or banishing them years before.

    “There’s no real, practical way anyone can live out this inability belief system with a straight face.”

    Isn’t that the truth! I thank God often for those “Deists” who believed in individual rights. But then, I beleive they had guys like Cromwell, Calvin and Luther in mind too when some of them insisted on a Bill of Rights.

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  51. “So, knowing this, yes, Joseph was a “good” AND “righteous” man BECAUSE he was a believer in Christ not in spite of his belief in his Savior.

    But that cannot be true!!! What about Romans 3? (wink)

    Like

  52. “PS. Scott Peterson…. Psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths, etc. Some of the kindest, most well respected “good” people out there .”

    Hannah, a dirty secret is that many narcissist and sociopaths are attracted to ministry for obvious reasons. It is the fastest way to being admired and controlling people. Many are celebrities being followed by thousands right now. The problem is they don’t match words with deeds and totally miss what is going on. That is because they have made spouting what they think is correct doctrine the standard. Not behavior/actions.

    I think if people knew what it took to become a celebrity Christian, mega church pastor, etc, they would have serious reservations about even listening to them. You don’t get there by being a humble servant. Trust me on this. I worked in taht world for years and behind the scenes is a totally different story. But they are “doing it for Jesus’ so the ends justify the means.

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  53. I just had a funny thought. In the movie, “Waterboy”, the waterboy’s mama used to teach him the Ben Franklin was of the devil. But then again, she also taught that Dick Clark of American Bandstand was of the Devil, too. She must have been a Calvinist in the movie? IDK.

    That’s funny! Maybe so. 😉

    It is fragmented thinking at it’s best, bar none. It can be quite entertaining, but has a very dark side. Innocent blood has been shed throughout the ages because of it.

    Yet I don’t know any Calvinist who rejects the innovation, comforts & pleasures which the God-given human minds, put into actions, have produced.

    So many ironies with this train of thought.

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  54. “I think if people knew what it took to become a celebrity Christian, mega church pastor, etc, they would have serious reservations about even listening to them. You don’t get there by being a humble servant.”

    I second that. I volunteered many years behind the scenes in a mega church & some in other churches. It was disorganized & crisis managed. We downsized several times thinking size was the problem. Nope. There are celebrity-wannabe pastors in churches of all sizes. We also moved toward more authoritarian, Calvinistic churches, thinking a lack of systematic theology & structure was also the problem. And these pastors were revered celebrities within their area of influence, even the small rural church.

    Idol worship is alive & well in many churches large & small. Isn’t that what spiritual authority of men begets anyway?

    Watch carefully, with eyes wide open. Listen closely, with ears tuned in. Observe.

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  55. Lydia,

    I hear you on the celebrity Pastor.
    It’s unfortunate people don’t know each other here in re: to their backgrounds.
    I was one who was enamored by my celebrity Pastor (one of the largest churches in the U.S.)
    The book “The subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” helped me to understand what I endured.
    I don’t remember one sermon (and I barely missed any in the 7 yrs I attended) where the Pastor once said he struggled with anything. He boasted about being debt free and broadcasted “Commercials” for all the services he used from the pulpit (ex: the car dealership that probably gave him a free car, the jeweler who probably gave him a new “upgrade” diamond for his wife; his dentist who probably gave him his enamels , etc. etc. I won’t go any further.
    It’s very hard for me to trust any Pastor/church now. Every place I visit it is always about the $. I am fed up with even trying to find a God honoring church. In this town, all the Pastors take their cue from this mega-Pastor and use the same tactics he does. And the town is like a monopoly board–he keeps acquiring dying churches and does satellite churches all over. Like a McDonalds franchise.

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  56. Hannah says, “It’s very hard for me to trust any Pastor/church now. Every place I visit it is always about the $.”

    In how many ways can I identify with this! As A. Amos Love puts it, the expectation imposed on anybody and everybody without a (totally un-Scriptural) position, title or office is to pay, pray, stay and obey. And really, it wouldn’t be noticed if nobody prayed.

    It probably isn’t for everyone, but my solution for the last couple of years has been to simply avoid organized Christianity. Our Lord provides friendships and fellowship wholly apart from organized church activities, there seems to be more opportunities to serve according to my gifts, talents, training and experience, and since I’m not expected to support an organization, there is more money for ministries that feed the poor, clothe the naked, empower the oppressed, &c.

    There is just one problem. Having abandoned the crutch of organized religion, I am wholly dependent upon Jesus! Eh, what a concept.

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  57. Gary W

    The concept of “no Church” is hard for others to fathom.
    I have not met any other believers who are in the same predicament we are in.
    Mostly I will meet people who attend one of the satellite churches of the one I attended or another that is going the same route in this town.

    When I have met other believers and attempted to share my experience, I am always told “There is no perfect church”, and that unless I am in church Satan will get me. It’s almost like pronouncing a curse. My heart aches for true fellowship. That’s probably why I read and participate in these blogs. It’s really my only connection with other believers and I don’t feel so alone.

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  58. GaryW “There is just one problem. Having abandoned the crutch of organized religion, I am wholly dependent upon Jesus! Eh, what a concept.”

    Yes, when there is no one but Jesus it sure changes the direction of the journey.

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  59. GaryW

    The last church we attended..I thought OK the Lord found a place for us.
    My husband gave generously and we attended mid week Bible study and Sunday services. It was little more than an extended family.

    When after 4 months of attending I asked the Pastor what they are doing as far as outreach, he said they already went through the neighborhood and no one has come. Really? You knocked on EVERY door in the area?
    We realized then that we were at a dead end there. The Asst. Pastor was building a home in an island he was from and traveled there for over a month over the summer. We don’t get to take month long vacations
    I began to believe we were just supporting him as he called himself a missionary.
    Maybe that is the wrong attitude but if they already were defeated in evangelism, and reaching the lost in our town, it didn’t feel right to stay there.

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  60. Hannah,

    Have you shared your story someplace on this blog? If so, are you able to tell me the date of the thread where I could find it?

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  61. Hannah,

    Your expression of frustration over lack of outreach by the church you were attending sent me searching. It does not surprise me that I was able to confirm that it was you who described sharing with the 95 year old Jewish man, the young F-bombing man, and so on. You are in the good company of the woman at the well, who was also an evangelist.

    Except that your gift was squelched in the church you were attending. The leadership apparently did not recognize your gift and/or was not interested. Had you stayed in that church, it seems your gift would have been trampled underfoot.

    I don’t recall if you have said whether you are in an organized church setting now, although it seems maybe you are not. Regardless, do you have any thoughts on how your ability to evangelize is or might be impacted, for good or ill, if you are not participating in a traditional organized church fellowship?

    I defiantly am not an evangelist. Nevertheless, I find that it actually opens doors to talk about Jesus when I share how the local Baptist preacher asked me to stop visiting his “church.”

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  62. “I defiantly am not an evangelist”…hmmm..defiant…Sooner or later, God is gonna get ya!

    No, I haven’t shared here, but on another blog.
    My old Pastor of my megachurch called me an evangelist, and yes they did trample on me!

    I don’t believe my evangelistic efforts need the backing of a church building, although it does help to have the spiritual support (prayer, etc) since the enemy attacks me maybe more than others. And it is a lonely journey without fellowship with other believers.

    Right now I have an old friend from childhood that I have been back in touch with for 3 years through FB. We were best friends in our late teens/early 20’s/

    She is not a believer and it has been the Lord’s will that I befriend her in her most unfortunate circumstances-she is at the breaking point and I would appreciate prayer for her and for me. It is an impossible mission but God has given me the fortitude through His Spirit to persevere with her through some really tough times. She is Jewish and is adamant about receiving Jesus. I know His Spirit needs to reach her in ways I can’t. God knows her name. Thanks!

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  63. PS GaryW “Nevertheless, I find that it actually opens doors to talk about Jesus when I share how the local Baptist preacher asked me to stop visiting his “church.”

    Interesting…yes,…how ironic.
    I have found that since leaving church, it is easier to talk with those unbelievers who have had some sort of negative church experience. When I was gung ho–rah rah and trapped in the “cult” mentality of my former church, I definitely was in a world of my own and could not even relate to the unbelievers except to try and convert them.
    In that respect I thank God even through all the pain endured in persecution there.

    It really now is about KNOWING God not within the confines of an institution, but in separateness. In suffering, in pain.

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  64. Hannah, (and anybody who is following),

    “It really now is about KNOWING God not within the confines of an institution, but in separateness. In suffering, in pain.”

    You do not need me to point this out, but it appears that part of KNOWING God is to share in Jesus suffering. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of KNOWING Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have SUFFERED the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may KNOW him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his SUFFERINGS, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8-11, ESV, emphasis added)

    Part of our Lord’s suffering was to be rejected by those who belonged to the then-equivalent of what we now call organized church. To the extent we suffer the pain of rejection in loneliness, the more nearly can we identify with, i.e. KNOW, our Lord. I am referring to Gethsemane. I fear that to observe these things is but cold comfort. Yet Paul gives us this hope: “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:5, ESV). I am hard pressed to say how this works, yet the Bible says what it says.

    And, there is this hope: The reward of our Lord’s suffering was His resurrection.

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  65. Hannah,

    Please allow me to go out on a hugely treacherously limb. You mention how you have been brought into contact with at least two of our Jewish Brothers and sisters. I suspect that trinitarian doctrine may be one of the greatest impediments separating Jews from their/our Messiah. Indeed, how could we not recognize the validity of the charge that trinitarian doctrine, on its face, contradicts what I understand to be the central precept of Jewish faith, the Shema, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, ESV)

    This takes courage to even consider, but my own belief is that our understanding of trinitarian doctrine must be informed, and probably reformed, by the Shema, i.e. by Scripture, rather than the other way ’round. It may be that we gentile followers of Jesus may be called upon to admit to our Jewish brothers and sisters that we may be wrong about the trinity.

    Radical? Absolutely. Yet there is evidence that even John Calvin did not accept traditional formulations of trinitarian doctrine. I understand that he was at one point put on trial for failing to embrace trinitarian doctrine. I understand that, though his prosecutors abandoned the trial, they did so without any kind of recantation by Calvin.

    It is not my intent to push anything off on you. Yet, if you regularly find yourself entrusted with the honor of evangelizing our Jewish brothers and sisters, I suspect you will not be able to avoid the issue. I may be mistaken.

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  66. Gary

    You are absolutely right about the Trinity and Judaism.

    Gary:
    “Radical? Absolutely. Yet there is evidence that even John Calvin did not accept traditional formulations of trinitarian doctrine. I understand that he was at one point put on trial for failing to embrace trinitarian doctrine. I understand that, though his prosecutors abandoned the trial, they did so without any kind of recantation by Calvin.

    I don’t l know anything about this.
    I don’t want to take away from the topic on hand though.

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  67. Regarding church attendance, there is a major disconnect between the “professionals” and the sheep. I really like Kevin but the post linked below demonstrates how a celebrity pastor can use poor hermeneutics to lay guilt on hard-working believers who truly love the Lord and want to please him. As someone who was once on the inside of a large church my belief is that church attendance is of major importance for one reason. The offering. It’s a business and a business needs revenue. I’m not saying that a host of other good things don’t take place during the gathering but at the end of the day it’s the money that gets counted. Steve

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2013/12/13/the-scandal-of-the-semi-churched/

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  68. Troy56

    The issue you brought up is an important one.
    Another aspect is this:
    Some Pastors (one I know in particular) plays golf several times a week, goes to the gym, and his work is giving a Wed. service, and a sermon on Sunday morning.
    He once criticized the congregation for not retuning Sunday night (Baptist)
    My husband works on average a 50 hour week.
    So on his only time off for 48 hours on the weekend, when he needs to unwind from the week and spend time with his family, he needs a guilt trip from a man who really only works 5 hours a week? (I know study requires time, but I’m not so sure many pastors really put the time in)
    I know Rick Warren sells sermons on his website. And now with the internet you can really mix a few sermons from various Pastors and no one will know the difference.
    I have listened to so many sermons from so many well known Pastors that I find myself hearing many of the same stories again and again.

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  69. Gary,

    I don’t believe in the trinity at all. Nope, not at all.

    I do believe that the Father is God
    I do believe that the Son is God
    I do believe that the Holy Spirit is God

    But I do not believe that three people play the role of one God.

    I believe in ONE PERSON playing the role of ONE God.

    I’ve presented my case on this before, too.

    If I am not mistaken, the Jews believe that the Holy Spirit is God, and yet, they don’t recognize “HIM” as the second person of God. Neither do I.

    To simplify

    1. Father = Spirit (John 4:24)
    2. Son = Body of Father (James 2:26, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (Spirit “and” Soul “and” body).
    3. And…we have the “MIND” of Christ (Holy Spirit=SOUL)

    You say God is a trinity…and yet, you are created in the image and likeness of God.

    How are you a trinity?

    Ed

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  70. You…your spirit…is an intellect, separate from your soul.

    You…your soul…is an intellect, separate from your spirit.

    You…your body…is just a house that you…soul…and…you…spirit…reside in.

    But, again, spirit and soul is 2 different intellects. YOU…spirit…prays. Paul states that in the topic of speaking in tongues. But you…mind…is not in sync of what you…spirit, is praying.

    Ed

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  71. The concept of the trinity is poorly understood by most people and I have heard theologians struggle with how to explain the idea. The trinity concept starts with the idea of One God that we encounter in three different ways, which are usually identified as three persons (or personalities). And there is no good language to explain the concept. My concept is One God with three names or three ways of thinking about how I relate to the one God. If anyone is uncomfortable with the trinitarian understanding, I have no complaint as long as they accept that Jesus was God in human flesh, that the Holy Spirit is God dwelling in us, and that even though Jesus was died and buried before the resurrection, there was still God on his throne, the one we call God the Father during Jesus absence.

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  72. Hannah,
    You are absolutely right. Never let a pastor guilt you about anything but especially church attendance. I never understood why we got Fridays off during my two years on a church staff. I was told it was because we worked on Sunday. Many of the “lay”people worked harder than the church staff on Sundays. There simply isn’t a more “pie” job than being on a church staff. Don’t listen to them talk about how hard their work is. That’s a smokescreen. I see patients 40 hours/week and am too exhausted to “go to church” (this, btw, is a ridiculous phrase) some Sundays. I go to the coffee shop with my wife and don’t feel guilty about it in the least. Actually, I am “blessed” more in doing this and believe the Lord doesn’t hold it against me. It is my conviction that the vast majority of megachurch pastors are not Christians anyway. So don’t let them guilt you or manipulate you on anything. Blessings to you, Steve.

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  73. God in human flesh is exactly right. Again, John 4:24 states that God is a spirit. Where does our spirit reside? In a body (FLESH). God the Father, IN the flesh (BODY) of a man, and that name was Emanuel, the Son (BODY) of God.

    Me, personally, I think that when the trinity was being planted in 325 AD, that THEY did not understand Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and they came up with a concept, and that’s the story that they are sticking to…summarizing it as a mystery. I, myself, love to solve mysteries…not to just settle it as a mystery.

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  74. Steve- It is legalistic to “have” to go to church.
    I can’t believe what I put my family through with having to go to church.
    I remember what it took to get my kids there on Wed nights when they were young (my husband always worked late that day)..how late we would get home-how I tried to get their homework done..it was always stress and most of the kids on Wed nights were exhausted from school and were unruly anyway. My son at one point said the teachers spent the whole time disciplining the unruly kids, and they would go through the desks of the kids that attended Christian school by day and take things, etc.
    It was a fiasco.
    I think we missed out so much in life with the whole church attendance issue.
    Time better spent sleeping late and going to the park for a picnic instead of fighting the crowds to get a seat for a Sunday morning service.

    Oh, how I would redo so much in life…

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  75. Hi Ed and Gary W…

    Wow – Me too – I NO longer use the word “Trinity.” 😉
    Or “Trinitarian” or “Three distinct persons” to describe God.

    None of that stuff is in the Bible.

    I do believe that the Father is God
    I do believe that the Son is God
    I do believe that the Holy Spirit is God

    Because I can find verses, in the bible, that say that.

    After that I gotts lots, and lots, of questions. 😉

    And calling God, three distinct persons, makes God sound so, aaahhh?
    eeerrrr? ummm? – Human… 😉

    I can find verses that say – God is Light – God is Love – God is Spirit.

    But NOT – God is “Three distinct Persons.”

    These “Trinitarians” just make stuff up – 🙂

    Are they allowed to do that? 😉

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  76. Steve

    Thanks for the link to Kevin DeYoung.

    Wow – A new term – Semi-Churched.
    Believers who do NOT show up all the time.
    These guys just keep makin stuff up.

    And there are many push-backs – Lots of folks telin it like it is.

    Jim
    ““pastor” deyoung seems to have no more clue what the “church” is than the pope does. To him, the Biblical church is just blah, blah, blah, while the roman catholic like institution he is a leader in is very important to attend every week.”

    ——–

    Semi-churched
    “Since you’ve condemned people to hell in your senseless post maybe you could include a Bible verse or two where Jesus commands people to go to church every Sunday morning and evening.”

    ——–

    Nate
    “What a waste of time. Those who agree with this article already attend church religiously. Those who don’t do so because of people who write articles like this.”

    ——–

    And Steve – Is this Steve you? Great comment.

    ——–

    Steve
    “Kevin,
    You were the “guest preacher” at my church in the not too distant past. We have an entire staff of competent preachers. It certainly was not a necessity that you be there….”

    “…I truly believe that if you believed your own post you would have *stayed home* instead of being the visiting celebrity preacher at my church. Respectfully yours, Steve.”

    ——-

    Lots of great coments…

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  77. Manipulation…control…guilt, condemnation…
    More instide the 4 walls than outside.
    Who would have thought?

    So glad to see other likeminded believers.
    We may not all understand the 3 “aspects” of God, but we understand the freedom in God. And much to our pain and suffering.

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  78. Reminds me. Someone on another blog practically chased me down called me a Jehovah’s Witness because my description of what I understood the “Trinity” to be did not line up with his.
    That’s what we have to go through with other believers.
    Sometimes doctrine just isn’t as important as how we treat one another.
    The “church” for so many of us, inside and out is a battlefield. It’s sad.

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  79. Hannah

    Yup – “but we understand the freedom in God.”

    2 Cor 3:17
    Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

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  80. Hannah

    I have NOT found much “Liberty” in “Today’s Abusive Religious System.”

    The 501 (c)3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation.
    That the IRS calls church.

    To question – To search – To dis-agree…

    Nope – Warning – Warning…

    Questioning the Religious $ Corporation will be damaging

    to your Spiritual Health – 😉

    And – Should His Disciples call a Religious $ Corporation
    The Church of God? AAARRRGGGHHH!!! 😉

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  81. A. Amos Love,
    Yep, same Steve. I guess Kevin writes the post but doesn’t get involved in responding to comments. I could actually write a post on that. You’re also right on target with the 501c3 comment. That, too, is a whole other topic.

    Hannah,
    Don’t you look back…. don’t you ever look back. You did the best you could for your family at the current time given the information you had at the time. That’s all we can do; any of us. Everyone would like some do-overs. We don’t get them; we just keep pressing on.

    Peace,
    Steve

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  82. Mefferd gave a Driscoll / Tyndale House update on her show a few of days ago.

    Several news sources mischaracterized her earlier comments. Mefferd clarified things to say she does NOT apologize for saying Drsicoll stole material, because he did in fact steal.

    She says she only apologizes for her “tone” and “approach.”

    Mefferd still thinks Driscoll stole from other authors, and that his comments indicate he must use ghostwriters (to paraphrase her, that seemed to be what she was hinting).

    Mefferd thinks Driscoll took his sweet time getting around to publicly addressing all this stuff.

    I hope this is the right link. It was in a show she released in the last 4 or 5 days. I remember she spent the first few minutes talking about something else, then she got to the Driscoll stuff.

    Janet Mefferd Show – 12/19/2013 (Mefferd comments again on Driscoll / Tyndale Controversy

    She seems to think Tyndale and Driscoll gave lame responses to all this.

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  83. “Radical? Absolutely. Yet there is evidence that even John Calvin did not accept traditional formulations of trinitarian doctrine. I understand that he was at one point put on trial for failing to embrace trinitarian doctrine. I understand that, though his prosecutors abandoned the trial, they did so without any kind of recantation by Calvin.”

    Hannah, would love the source material on that. The irony is striking if true because he put Servetus on trial for that very thing and burned him at the stake. And yes, Cal is guilty as he was the go to authority in Geneva. There was a backlash to the burning that he lamented about later in a letter to a friend. Poor Cal. More and more people in Geneva were starting to see him as a cruel tyrant.

    He could have let Servetus go as he was just passing through and came to hear him preach. Servetus was not a citizen of Geneva. Years earlier Calvin had written in a letter to a friend if Servetus ever came to Geneva he would not leave alive. It was premeditated and involved Servetus’ writings concerning the Trinity and his refusal to accept it.

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  84. Lydia,

    Regarding Calvin’s trial for anti-trinitarianism, Stanford Rives writes:

    “In a heresy hearing of 1537 dominated by Lutherans, Calvin was himself accused of being a follower of Servetus. . . . That trial ended without Calvin having to affirm belief in a trinity or the persons formula to describe the Godhead, or having to affirm the Nicene or Athanasian Creed. The objective of Pastor Pierre Caroli in bringing the accusation of Servetus-ism was to obtain all those confessions from Calvin. However, at the end, for sake of unity of the Protestant cause, at the urging of the pastors hearing the matter, Pastor Caroli backed down and agreed to sign a pact of reconciliation with Calvin on no conditions at all.”

    Rives, Stanford (2011-11-08). Did Calvin Murder Servetus? (Kindle Locations 3143-3149). . Kindle Edition. (From Ch. 14, titled “Luther And Calvin Were Impacted Positively By Servetus”)

    In addition to the above-quoted material from Rives’ book, see Ch 32, titled “Proofs of Murder Summarized.”

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  85. Ah, Calvin. I really didn’t fully understand all of the issues with Calvin and his crimes until I got so sick and tired of VF (especially DP and GB) and ATI-types talking about Calvin and his Institutes as if he was the end all, be all and Geneva as if it was near Utopia, that I decided to do some serious first-hand study on Calvin. And it is not a pretty picture. Most Calvinist totally give this guy a pass without ever studying him closely.

    The best book — bar none — on the total picture of Calvin and Calvinism is “The Other Side of Calvinism” by Laurence M. Vance. It is a scholarly tome of 788 pages, but it is meticulously researched and end-noted and is by far the most comprehensive research I’ve come across.

    Here’s a few tidbits on Calvin from Vance’s painstaking research and it will give you a view into what DP and GB and other Theonomists would hope to create in a New Geneva setting:
    * Calvin was known as the “Genevese dictator” and his many rules left no area of life untouched
    * There were laws against: dancing, profanity, gambling, immodesty, and the number of dishes you could eat at a meal (to regulate gluttony, naturally)
    * Church attendance was mandatory and watchmen stood guard on the streets to haul you into a church
    * The Press was censored
    * Books were banned that did not align with Calvin’s approval
    * The naming of children was regulated (you got prison time if you named a child the same as a Catholic saint)
    * 20 people were burned at the stake as witches that were prosecuted by Calvin’s church court after he suspected them of causing the 1545 plague in Geneva
    * From 1542 to 1546 Calvin had another 58 people executed and 76 exiled because of disagreements with his theology
    * Torture was frequently employed by Calvin to extract confessions
    * Calvin instituted the death penalty for adultery (oops, sorry DP, I know you LOVE Calvin, and even had a huge birthday bash in his honor, but he would have had you killed for your nanny affair). Of course Calvin went a little easier on his step-daughter and sister-in-law when they were caught in adultery.
    * One prime example is that he had a hairdresser thrown in prison because he felt that the hairstyle she had done for a bride made the bride look too much like a harlot.

    Servetus was merely one example, but imagine the worst and Calvin did it. Calvin was especially hard on his critics like Servetus that merely questioned Calvin on some of his theology. Servetus came to Geneva to have a face-to-face discussion and was killed because Calvin wouldn’t allow the criticism. Many others met similar fates. Questioning anything in Calvin’s Institutes was on the same level as questioning scripture.

    Sort of like BCA under DP.

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