December 26, 2015
It’s all yours today…
February 24, 2018
December 26, 2015
June 3, 2010
As today is the 2nd day of Christmas (the day my tree comes down, and I must hurry so my daughter does not beat me getting her tree down) I would like to offer this up from Daniel Emery Price – who can be found here;
“Christmas is where bad boys and girls get everything they don’t deserve.”
MLD, What is the title of the article you’re referring to?
It was just a quote on his Facebook page
a man/husband who takes down the Christmas ornaments? i shoulda been a Lute
Em, well I didn’t mean I stripped the tree – I made Mrs MLD rush to get it done so I could carry it outside, cut it in half and snap the picture. First one with a picture posted on Facebook wins.
Which I did. 🙂
MLD, Mrs. MLD must love you a lot to do that for you 🙂
She wants to win too! 😉
Something I read this week that struck me as profound:
“One doesn’t preach merely to give people a choice. One preaches until people at last might say, ‘I have no choice. I am completely taken.’ For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. As Col 3:3 has it, ‘For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ There is new life from death.”
– Gerhard O. Forde, Justification by Faith: A Matter of Death and Life
Looking in the New Testament today to see why people leave churches (or Jesus); then looking on the internets….
Reflecting on my experiences in local church was….
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
at the risk of sounding like a ‘church lady.’ it is hard to enjoy the trappings of celebrating the Christmas season with folks on the other side of the country having their homes literally blown away – praying
folks who don’t know Christ, whose ancestors walked the same ground as He did; folks who now are in terrible confusion – stresses and griefs … praying for their eyes to open to what they’ve resisted for centuries, the Savior who walked among their forefathers
in my part of the world it is cold, too cold (single digits), and grey and very still, seems to reflect these anesthetized times- feels like death out there and reminds one to be so grateful to know experientially and mentally that real life is in Christ
people leave churches because they are looking for Christ, perhaps and others leave other churches because they were looking for a nice, stable social life and instead they encountered Christ? 🙂
Genesis 2:17 … disobey God and die … Col 3:3 … hmmm so we die or do we escape death? a dying body and a dead soul becomes a dying body and a spirit born, living soul? not a leading question… just a ponder
those of us who were dead and at some point in time volitionally received Christ know experientially the difference between life and death … but just a ponder
Hmmmm, since it is open-blogging—-
Thanks, Julie Anne
Jtk – From a biblical point of view, I think that the parable of the sower pretty well explains what is going on
From my own perspective I think most who leave are lazy and selfish – but take heed, I said most not all.
I have been focusing my studies recently on the dying and being made alive passages in the Bible, because I find them being neglected in contemporary preaching and teaching. Specifically, what do these passages mean for the Christian life? As you can imagine, this is tied to the cross and baptism. Lutherans talk a lot about this, but outside of Lutheranism, there’s not a lot of emphasis.
Folks are not especially shy about talking about “being born again”, but then don’t explain what that means in terms of the present vs. the future. However, what is almost never talked about is the death that must precede the new birth. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies….”
In direct response to your #11, the “already” dimension of being crucified with Christ is dying to self. As Paul teaches:
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV
From what I have observed in the last 7 years, church is not synonymous with Jesus.
So, it has more to do with leaving what is supposed to be a healthy and safe environment, but have proved to be otherwise. Not leaving the faith, which is not the “church.”
Far from being lazy and selfish, it has more to do with wanting to congregate or assemble together, but have found that to be able to live out one’s faith, it is far better to leave, then to continue to be expose to corruption and abuse that is enabled, if nothing else due to ignorance and poor dysfunctional leadership.
One who leaves usually don’t do so until all steps have been taken to remedy such issues. This is not so easy to do, nor such efforts ought to be treated so glibly as if this is what has occurred, thus bringing a shadow of shame upon the person who may or have experienced these things. It is due to their faith, love, and conscious that they decide to leave—-not because they are selfish, but coming to realize that by staying, they are then, participating in their own victimization. What more, will not be complicit in what may be, being perpetrated. And in this, I believe each will be asked by our Lord, what and how did we speak out or up regarding that which was permitted or brought into those places that was to be a house of worship, prayer, and community among us.
Uriah – that would be why one leaves a congregation. There are thousands of others in the local community to join up with again. Those who don’t, have either left the faith, are lazy and or selfish
Lazy because it takes effort to be active in any organization. Add to that church usually starts early on a Sunday morning – many like to sleep in.
Selfish – this one is not hard. Many will say “I wasn’t getting anything out of the church – while ignoring that their role was to provide stuff and self for others.
And then there is that passage in the parable where life interferes, or they let the devil snatch it away from them.
Abuse has very little to do with it. I think Jtk is asking about the 50 – 75% of our youth we leave home to go to college and lose their faith, give up their faith (which ever you want to call it ) and do not return. In those cases it is because the church has fail to toughen up the kids to be prepared for the tough challenges.
Most people leave and lose the desire to go to church anymore. I believe is because of the lack of the Holy Spirits power and manifested presence as seen throughout scripture and moves of God in years past. But todays churchgoer instead gets fed boring sermons, motivational speeches, programs, coffee & donuts. If there is someone to blame look no further to the pastor of these churches. They dont want to give there cushy jobs but keep the status quo because they wouldnt be able to make it out in the real world, where people have to work and in some cases struggle to make ends meet.
“lack of the Holy Spirit’s power and manifested presence”
Yes, the Holy Spirit has been grieved, God’s Word watered down, and corporate structuring has replaced that which used to be the whole body of Christ.
When a person is not able to be a vital part of the body, exercising their gift and talents, and are told that only those ‘specially anointed” are far better able discern God’s Word, then a person being born again will eventually become restless to continue growing and maturing in Christ. When treated as if they are an extension and not part and parcel, as much as any other, including those who teach and or pastors, then quite naturally, they may become disillusioned or worse mindless, without discernment and given to accepting just about anything regardless of what Scripture teaches.
this isn’t a topic for an uneducated person such as i am to debate with those who hold that one can lose or return the gift of eternal life…. is it eternal? well not to those who think one can “give it back” and go on one’s merry way to hell, i guess
since i start from the premise that we humans have a dying body and an eternal soul as an inheritance from our parents, the new birth is, like our first birth, an unearned gift – a spiritual one – from our Father in heaven … NEW life IN Christ …
can one taste life in Christ and then reject it, hanging out on the fringe to see if it fits or, perhaps, grasping at self-fulfillment? i think so… rocky, shallow ground? …but that is not the new birth… word pictures of seed grains and rooting and fruit – perhaps others that i don’t know – touch on various aspects IMV … there is an unseen dynamic at work – The Holy Spirit + good soil + light = LIFE that doesn’t die
this is an alien, cursed planet and redeemed or, not redeemed, souls don’t get to live their mortal lives in a bubble – well some do … maybe … dunno
God keep all close and growing toward the light 🙂
And once being filled with the Holy Spirit, thus being born again, many do leave the organized structure, called the “church” pressing on towards that light, for they hunger and thirst to do the will of the Father and to press towards the mark, running the race of endurance, while overcoming that which is in the world.
In part, I agree with you, MLD.
But this a small part of the whole who have attended church for years and then make the decision to leave, particularly in more recent times.
“There are thousands of others in the local community to join up with again.”
If one is part of the body of Christ—or the bride, it has nothing whatsoever to do with that person having to “join” with a organization called “church.” They are counted among the saints and nothing and no one can take that away from them. No matter what rules, traditions, or hoops said organization has put forth.
The communion of the saints are to be: serving and loving one another, then going out beyond and do likewise to minister to others beyond just preaching the gospel. When a person is serving within the walls of this body, this is good, but when the leadership fail to provide an example of that which they expect others to be and to do—then it is no longer a community. It is cheap labor and very poor stewardship of what God has equipped the church as a whole to do for one another and to the glory of His Name.
I’ve probably talked to more people that have left active fellowship than anyone here times 100.
The root issue is broken trust, both in the institution and in the office of pastor.
“They dont want to give there cushy jobs but keep the status quo because they wouldnt be able to make it out in the real world, where people have to work and in some cases struggle to make ends meet.”
Most of the guys I know personally will outwork everyone here any day of the week and make less money than most doing so.
The guys with “cushy” jobs are a minority.
“When a person is not able to be a vital part of the body, exercising their gift and talents, and are told that only those ‘specially anointed” are far better able discern God’s Word, then a person being born again will eventually become restless to continue growing and maturing in Christ.”
No one can stop you from exercising your gifts.
The idea that everyone is equally qualified to teach is pure insanity.
I’d have no problem with you exercising whatever gifts you have, but I’ll burn the place down before I’d let some of the hillbilly theology written here come out of a pulpit I was entrusted with.
Well this is the first time that I heard the reason some folks leave the church because they are served donuts and coffee.
These guys who don’t get to use their teaching gifts and complain about it need to first spend a couple of years teaching 3rd graders.
Lutherans don-t have these issues. We know who teaches in the church.
The last thing I want is these law abiders teaching third graders how they’ll split hell wide open if they don’t behave…
“Lutherans….. know who teaches in the church.” MLD
You say it right as you would only know. Teachers who promote that there franchise (denomination) way of things instead of Christ. That’s my cynical view but honest view anyways.
“Teachers who promote that there franchise (denomination) way of things instead of Christ.”
Christ is in many, many denominations.
I don’t think MLD gets a bonus for advertising here….
Josh the other. As Lutherans we know what we believe teach and confess and we walk in concord on those teachings.
We do not teach the latest fad or what I woke up’feeling” this morning.
Michael, I know last week’s Week end word was outstanding but no need to run it 2 weeks in a row 🙂
I thought it was familiar… my mind is gone until the 2nd. 🙂
The Lutherans along with a few others here in America reminds me a whole of the post Christian church in Europe which I know and have visited. Lifeless, cold in spirit, unable to reach the loss for the simple fact there is no candle stick that burns bright but a smoldering flask.
I hate to bust your Lutheran scorning bubble, but over the last 13 years we’ve had more readers convert to Lutheranism than any other Christian sect.
To a person they are as vibrant and faithful as any saints I’ve never known.
I’m A Calvinist…and Calvinists and Lutherans don’t play well together… but I love having MLD and our other Lutheran brethren on board.
So these readers transferred from one franchise to another. How is that beneficial to the kingdom?
If im evangelical Christian who attends a CC then decide to attend a Lutheran church and become a member. I was born again before I arrived on there steps.
So… I take it you must belong to the one true church as you have no use for any other expression of God.
Just curious, what is that church called?
“We do not teach the latest fad or what I woke up “feeling” this morning.”
That is an interesting distinction from mainstream modern Christianity. Based on the track record of many celebrity pastors of today, I would much rather place my confidence in what the reformers or early fathers said than the latest line of tripe from today’s mega-church pastor.
Josh, the only reason you think Lutheran churches are dead is you have been brainwashed to think a dynamic speaker and a rock band equate to Christianity.
Think Joel Osteen.
Followed with drivel.
In all sincerity, I don’t promote my church denomination. I actually cringe at the thought. However,the people that I have personally led to Jesus. I tell them to go to a good bible believing church. And in conversation will ask them what the have in an area. And will often suggest a few for them to pray about and attend.
You can’t come on here and blast other denominations then defer when asked about yours.
What is a “good, Bible believing church” and why in the world can’t it be Lutheran?
The subject of why people leave a local fellowship is complex. There are foundational problems with all of the institutions that contribute to this, There is not one single easy answer. I found a five part series here to be interesting. For anyone who is not so conceited that you think you already know all of the answers (I do not) read through the six part series on this blog then come back and discuss: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theologyintheraw/2015/09/why-are-millennials-leaving-the-church-in-droves-part-1/
Well my church is centered on Jesus Christ and not the Bible. I would prefer you send your peeps to a Christ worshipping churc vs a Bible worshiping church.
Btw – it is the ultimate self worship that you think you personally lead people to Christ. How do you do that? Do you say “stand back Holy Spirit, I have this covered.
Its not bull spit. When im out and about and if there in an opportunity to witness. I do not promote my denomination. I normally suggest a CC, AG, Vineyard, or some small local bible believing church. But I don’t attend a CC, AG etc though ive attended some for a season.
I left CC and the AoG because they don’t “believe the Bible” any more than anyone else and interpret it poorly in my opinion.
The Vineyard is as nutty as the fruitcake I tossed yesterday .
What you recommend are the churches that agree with your interpretation of the Bible, then rudely declare that other interpretations are “dead”.
Well…Paul calls says you have many teachers but very few fathers in Christ. So to be a father seems perfectly fine for Paul. Maybe in your older generation such a saying could be true. But in todays modern Christianese, to say you lead someone to Christ doesn’t mean self worship at all. Your straining at a gnat on that one.
Going back to my original question. What benefit is it to the Kingdom for a person who converts to Lutheranism when they where already born again? To me its like saying, im no longer going to eat at McDonalds anymore but ill be going to Burger King. Just saying.
Now if a person gets born again while going to a Lutheran Church. Then that’s totally different.
That’s a ridiculous assertion and the question isn’t much better.
What it says about the person is that wherever they were before did not satisfy their spiritual needs or doctrinal growth.
Thus, they went somewhere where both could be nourished.
Healthy saints are a benefit to the kingdom.
Josh, if you are the spiritual father why do you Farm them out to other churches? Aren’t your types suppose to be making disciples? Aren’t you suppose to be baptizing them and teaching them? But you Farm them out.
I think they are just notches on your Bible – bragging rights.
I was born into the Nazarene/ AoG type of churches.
Some good things happened there.
I was in CC for a season.
Not so good.
They are all sincere in their beliefs and I count them as family.
Over the years I’ve come to reject many of their doctrines.
Why in the world would I stay where I don’t think the Bible is being taught properly and I’m at odds with the doctrine?
Personally, I prefer to look at some kind of data concerning what is going on in church today. I have found that Barna gives me something to consider and think about outside of my own personal biases and extremely limited experience. Also, I am not sure that calling The Vineyard crazy is constructive or fair. I have seen serious problems with every denomination I have been a part of. Vineyard, AoG and CC are just three of those. But I would not call any of them crazy, nor their followers. That does not sound like Christ to me. Check out the following Barna research:
I was offered credentials with the Vineyard at one time.
I spent much time visiting and dialoging with the group.
“Crazy” is more polite than what I could have written.
None of the churches I engaged with in the area exist anymore as they collapsed under the weight of many issues.
They may have righted the ship since then, but it was quite a ride for a while.
***What benefit is it to the Kingdom for a person who converts to Lutheranism when they where already born again? To me its like saying, im no longer going to eat at McDonalds anymore but ill be going to Burger King. Just saying.***
If I had remained in the evangelical church, I would no longer be attending church at all and could possibly not even be a christian. Instead, I now go to a mainlined church with a formal liturgy and the people are at least vaguely nice and because of that I am able to go to church every week and have a religious life. My dad preaches periodically at his evangelical church and I can’t even bring myself to visit and support him on those days because the music and the service are too grating and I panic a little because it throws me back into my CC/christian school days–and his church is a good church. “Converting” people to different branches of christianity may not seem worthwhile to you, but if someone hadn’t suggested that I should check out the local episcopal church my spiritual life would be much less of a life right now.
True no one can stop a spirit filled person from using their gift. They can only be the cause for having them leave.
If teachers and or pastors are truly teaching others then those who are learning will take these things out beyond and teach others the gospel.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Back in 2000, doing a dissertation, 50 pages in length that included some stats on the percentage of people who read and studied the Bible, the results was as follow:
1 percent read the Bible with mosy reporting, this was during church servi rs.
1 percent of the above 1 percent spent time on their own to read the Bible.
1 percent of the former percent studied the Bible, using other sources, such as commentaries, concordances, and historical resources.
Correction , 500 pages in length.
1% of what group?
Active church members?
Those who reported as attending churces of varied denomination, incloding the non_denominations.
I simply don’t believe that at all.
Hmmm, interesting seeing how it is a well known fact that most do not even take their Bible to church with the them.
And why should they when they can just sit at the feet of those “teaching” what they need to know.
Some, fortunately are Bereans and this is the beginnings of trouble when questions concerning those in leadership arise. Hmmmm.
A well known fact by who?
I’ve been involved with four churches in my life and 90% of the people brought Bibles to church…and if they forgot there were pew bibles available.
I don’t believe that 1% number at all.
The 1% of the 1% stat is a joke.
Michael @ 25 stated…. “The last thing I want is these law abiders teaching third graders how they’ll split hell wide open if they don’t behave”…
Is it safe to assume that you aren’t interested in the opposite scenario either? That being a bunch of law breakers teaching third graders that their bad behavior doesn’t matter and that disregard for God’s law is just fine.
Personally, I have visitef hundreds of churches traveling across the USA, moving from one place to another, having a change in scheduling, or just out of curiosity. Even as being invited as a guest by friend.
Oh, the Bibles were in the racks__and they stayed there. Few had them on their lap.
The stats reflected what I witnessed.
Uriah, why do you need to bring your Bible to church? Is your personal bible better than the bibles in the pew?
I think people who bring their own bibles to church use them like carrying their own personal ark of the covenant. An object of worship.
I actually taught my own kids that we’re all lawbreakers and in need of the grace of God.
We believe in teaching about Jesus, not how to handle the law.
I don’t have a Bible on my lap or open during the preaching. God says faith comes by hearing.
Should be “friends” from a multitude of denominations.
“The stats reflected what I witnessed.”
That’s what I suspected.
This was not scientific, but based on your perceptions.
That’s not a dissertation, it’s an op-ed piece.
So when a person reads, they are not also hearing?
So did you teach your kids not to worry about obedience to God’s laws once they were saved or did you teach your kids to continue to obey God’s laws once they were saved?
Not hardly, Michael.
My personal observatiom was not a part of the stats, nor were they in any part of the research. Nor were did it have anything to do with the dissertation.
Funny, you base your opinion on the 4 churches you attended.
I taught them how to cuss and how to choose a good whiskey for a good price.
I also taught them to avoid any religious people that always want to talk about the law and odedience.
I know of no studies that have been done on the matter.
Such studies if they exist will use a legitimate scientific method and a defined sample size over a number of geographic regions.
This sounds to me like more of your “holier than everyone especially pastors” theology.
I take my Bible with me wherever I go, as I am constantly referencing it or being drawn to do as I go throughout the day. As I do so, I am able to make a notation in the margins.
Have been doing this since 1978.
So…is packing a Bible now a measure of sanctification and spirituality?
New law that nobody told me about?
I use an ESV Study Bible…I’d have to carry a hand truck with me at all times because that thing is huge…
In all seriousness what I’ve taught the kids and teach my church is that Jesus said that love of God and neighbor is the fulfillment of the law.
If they do that, the rest is gravy…
The dissertation took nearly four years to complete. Part of the process involves the approval of the dissertation board to validate the proposed project in order to proceed with it and then again to sign off on it as being legitimate.
That is funny. Come on, you can do better than that though.
If someone in your church asked you the following question tonight, how would you answer them so as to help their family?
Should I teach my kids not to worry about obedience to God’s laws once they are saved or should I teach them to continue to obey God’s laws once they are saved?
If you want to believe that only 1% of Christendom ever reads the Bible and 1% of 1% ever use a study resource then I’ll leave you to your delusion.
It fits in perfectly with your study of church history.
You must think yourself very special.
We teach that fulfillment of the law is loving God and neighbor.
We teach that Jesus fulfilled the law for us.
We focus on the Gospel narrative, not parsing out behavior.
Strangely enough, the behavior follows naturally when one believes the Gospel.
You gotta watch that law observance…the Bible says that if you break any part, you break the whole thing.
You have to be especially careful of people that doesn’t humble…
You can do better than this as a fellow heir in Christ.
Just saved, born again, having the Holy Spirit, on fire, and in love with my Lord.
Or would you rather to continue to mock and throw darts.
So Jesus Goose, since you are opposed to law breakers teaching, do you excuse yourself from such duties.
I don’t doubt your salvation.
However, if anyone…and I mean anyone…came on here saying the stuff you do I would be even more fierce.
I simply can’t allow such stuff to be posted on my platform without answer.
I have banned people for less.
The holy spirit must have injected Jesus into my last post. Goose that makes it holy so pay heed.
Back to the original question of why people leave the church – simple – the same type of preaching that is coming from Uriah and Goose. I have never Gerard of anyone leaving because God’s Greece and forgiveness was offered too much or too often.
I don’t know what you’re typing on, but it’s a hoot… 🙂
Gerhard = heard
Greece = grace
I’m teaching tonight on the hearings Jesus performed in Matt 8.
He broke the law with each one.
I actually did leave a church because of too much “Greece.”
Michael @ 89 stated….
“I’m teaching tonight on the hearings Jesus performed in Matt 8.
He broke the law with each one.”
Michael, what law did Jesus break by healing the leper in verses 1 thru 4 of Matthew 8?
““If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity; or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean wild animal or a carcass of unclean livestock or a carcass of unclean swarming things, and it is hidden from him and he has become unclean, and he realizes his guilt; or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and realizes his guilt; or if anyone utters with his lips a rash oath to do evil or to do good, any sort of rash oath that people swear, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and he realizes his guilt in any of these; when he realizes his guilt in any of these and confesses the sin he has committed, he shall bring to the LORD as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.”
(Leviticus 5:1–6 ESV)
well, i hate to break the theology thread going on here, but…
we have deer all over the place- the fires this year have brought us more deer – i just came from the kitchen window where i’ve been watching a touching scenario – one lone young, timid, kind of an outcast deer spotted a large pile of hay/alfalfa that my daughter had dropped on her way to feed the ponies… i couldn’t see a sign of the herd, this deer was all alone and it couldn’t believe its eyes it took several minutes, one halting step at a time to advance to the treasure, looked around and timidly took a bite, then another; still looking around ready to bolt … it wasn’t afraid of people, but the big 6 point buck that frequents the yard… sure enough, after a couple bites the little runt deer bolted away as imperiously advancing to claim the blessing came the big buck
there’s a story there, if only i was Michael…
Michael, I don’t think the uncleanness mentioned in your verses above are the same as the uncleanness of leprosy just 8 chapters later, if that is your angle.
More importantly, if you actually believe that Jesus broke the law, as you suggested in 89 above, then aren’t you worshiping an imperfect Savior? Wouldn’t this have also rendered his death as ineffectual?
That was good. 🙂
Today I had to stop numerous times on the way to Treys for deer and twice for turkeys.
Another story in the making…
Touching a leper made you unclean.
What it means is that in Jesus the greatest law is the law of love…
there were warnings and rules to follow if one touched a leper, if you look a little harder… Jesus was not bound by the laws that were intended to produce an orderly society (not bound, he could obey them or not as he saw fit)
the laws that condemn us in the sight of a holy God are not traffic signs and hand washings – there are folk here who can define all of these laws better than i – Jesus never broke one of these laws… besides He wrote them – all of them, in Eternity Past
Michael, those deer have begun to look like a large supply of dog food to me, i wish that all those guys who like to shoot things would go out and take down the oversupply and donate the meat to the animal shelters … i have seen what happens to these large herds when the winter is hard and the supply of food isn’t there… they stand beside the road, waiting to die, too weak to forage for what isn’t there – it is heartbreaking … folk who don’t want to kill Bambi’s family, don’t live in the real world … IMHO
We are overwhelmed with them here.
They are attacking people in Ashland and the tree huggers still can’t get past bad memories of watching Bambi…
Based on the comments about bringing your bible to church….I don’t bring my old war horse with me anymore.I have a smart phone with a bible app.I’m just an over the hill 56 year old who decided to enter the 21st century.
Have a good week.
I bring a couple dozen with me on my iPad.
I am very, very, holy. 🙂
At my church the Scripture readings are printed on the back of the bulletin. I like to read along and listen.
At my church, we believe in the 3-fold Word of God:
1) Jesus the incarnate Word;
2) The Word in Scripture; and
3) The Word in the church’s proclamation
It has been a tremendous blessing to have found a church where Jesus is the center of attention.
At church, Jesus forgives our sins; he teaches us; and he feeds us his body and blood to strengthen our faith and give us life. That’s a pretty great reason to go to church, isn’t it?
The other day in a Facebook group, someone asked the familiar question: “can someone lose their salvation?” I answered, “no one loses their salvation.” Salvation doesn’t work like your car keys. “I had it; where did it go?” or “I had it; did someone take it?” No, salvation is never lost. Jesus has told us exactly where it is delivered freely. In his Church.
So, to those broken by the church, don’t give up on the Body of Christ because there are wolves out there clothed like shepherds. Find a different church that preaches and teaches nothing but Christ crucified for the forgiveness of your sins, because that is where Christ freely and graciously saves sinners.
I used to be AoG myself and left after concluding there’s no scripturally defensible case for the second blessing approach to pneumatology (even Gordon Fee laid it out on textual and exegetical grounds and last I checked he’s Pentecostal). There’s also precious little to indicate that the way tongues is practiced in Pentecostalism lines up with the range of exegetical approaches we can take to the biblical texts. I don’t say Pentecostals are heretics the way some cessationists would, but there is a difference between old school Pentecostals from movements that started a century ago and charismatic/Third Wave stuff in my understanding of the history. By the time an AoG church I used to like embraced Latter Rain stuff I was pretty much done with AoG. Latter Rain was stuff that the old school AoG was against and now it seems too many people think that is the “normal” for charismatic Pentecostal thought. 🙁
Michael, the deer stuff, man, does that ever sound like Oregon!
the Spirit moves where it will – like the wind, unseen but felt…
i can remember a time when there wasn’t a non-mainline, evangelical church (Pentecostals, Independents, Baptists and others) that was not Christ-centered and folk began to move in that direction because, taken as a group, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Roman Catholics, the Episcopalians the Lutherans etc. the historic denominations of other centuries (19th and back) had become dry, a bit incestuous and with no desire to save souls outside their own…
then, after a time, along came “seeker friendly” – not a bad idea, except that the move morphed into a celebrity driven hustle, led by dominant personalities irregardless of the depth of their commitment to and knowledge of Christ…
now i read Xenia and MLD and Jean and others recommending what they have found in historic churches that are “centered in Christ” – keepers of the “true” Faith
the Spirit moves where it will … not dependent upon any organization … at least that’s what i see goin’ on … these last 80 years – ‘course 80 years doesn’t even give God time to blink, does it?
Michael @ 96…
What it means is that He never broke the law and, respectfully, you shouldn’t be suggesting or teaching otherwise.
Em @ 97 stated…
“Jesus was not bound by the laws that were intended to produce an orderly society (not bound, he could obey them or not as he saw fit)”
Respectfully Em, this just isn’t true. If Jesus was and is the Messiah and was and is the perfect sacrifice then He had to obey all of the Torah. Anything less would render His death and resurrection ineffectual.
I cited the Scripture for you.
It was sin to touch a leper.
It was also sinful for the leper to come through the crowd as he did.
Yet, Jesus didn’t rebuke him, He healed him.
We’re overrun with deer, geese, and turkeys.
It’s like Wild Kingdom here…
Understand that I’m not saying the Jesus sinned.
That would be heresy.
I’m saying Jesus is both the writer and the fulfillment of the law.
I also love tweaking legalists more than I should.
Back at 89 you stated that Jesus broke the law with all of the healings in Matt 8. Now you are saying he didn’t sin.
Which is it?
You tell me.
Touching a leper was sin.
Jesus touched a leper.
Did He break the law or not?
I think what you guys are struggling with is the progressive revelation in Scripture. We discussed it at some length last week.
I’m not struggling, I’m tweeking. 🙂
Very good call on the hermeneutic..
I’m off to church.
Touching a leper may have made one ceremonially unclean but I do not believe it was a sin.
Again, the human uncleanness being spoken of in Lev 5 is not the same uncleanness as leprosy in Lev 13 & 14, if memory serves.
More importantly, any interpretation of the verses you provided in Lev 5 has to be filtered through the lens that Jesus was sinless. This in and of itself renders your interpretation invalid.
Michael is on the right track – Goose on the other hand is cooked 😉
This time of year, Christmas, should put all this law stuff to rest. Jesus fulfilled the law at his birth – just him being is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus can do what he wants with the law … and he did.
respectfully… the law, the commandments were written by God and as MLD has pointed out were fulfilled at Jesus’ birth … perhaps examining his conduct recorded in Scripture would help all of us to better understand the purpose of the Law – among many other things ….
BTW – was either law or commandment mentioned in any books of the N.T?
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Also, Jesus told us that: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
“All” is not only speaking of His blood being poured out to pay the debts of sin, but also includes those things to come such as have been prophesied concerning His return.
Christ referred to such humanly-devised ordinances in Mark Chapter 7:6-9, when He stated, “Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do…Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.” In verse 13, He stated, “Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things do you.”
Jesus also told us that all the laws could be summed up into 2 commandments, as well as, telling us to love God with all of our hearts, mind, body, and souls.
Paul told us:
And then later told us that “if” we do sin:
First John Chapter 2:1 (KJV)
2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Paul and Jesus spoke against those who was misusing the law, however, neither ever told us that the law was to be done away with. Only that upon repentance, that the blood sacrifice of animals would no longer be needed due to the final sacrifice made by Jesus. Doesn’t let us off the hook in striving to live a holy life — and if we do sin, we can repent and ask for forgiveness.
It would seem that MLD and Michael might kick against the prick on this, however. At least that is what it seem that each is espousing. And take great offense when they read otherwise.
Below the surface of why the laws were given is what Jesus constantly addressed. It has to do with the heart and how it needed to be changed and that this was only possible if we were willing to surrender our hearts, our minds, and our will, first to believe that He is who He claimed to be and then to accept that great gift given to us through the shedding of His blood for the sins we had committed and then those that would be committed until He returned to us. Jesus told us that we must be born again of the Holy Spirit, so that our hearts would be changed and so that we would be abled, equipped, and empowered to walk in obedience. Obedience to what? The laws that has been set forth—not as a check off list, but because they are now imprinted upon our hearts to do the will of the Father, and as we do, we become more and more like Him, for we no longer are living as a slave to sin, bounded by the old nature, but now have been set free as a new creation in Him. Praise God!
Uriah, it’s amazing that you can read right past the passage that defeats your point.
Mark 7 Jesus cancels out all kosher laws and everything attached to it.
Have you blacked out all grace passages from your Bible?
“It has to do with the heart and how it needed to be changed and that this was only possible if we were willing to surrender our hearts, our minds, and our will, first to believe that He is who He claimed to be and then to accept that great gift given to us through the shedding of His blood for the sins we had committed and then those that would be committed until He returned to us.”
The cross teaches us that we’re not willing. No one is willing to surrender. Uriah, the more you insist that we have the free will to surrender our hearts, minds and will to God, the more I feel sorry for you. That’s not what either the Bible or experience teaches. The result of your teaching is that you either are miserable or a hypocrite.
when one speaks of “surrendering” one’s heart, mind will, does that define something different that submission?
i’m thinking of two different dog breeds that i have lived with… the shepherd who most definitely surrendered, in the sense of what the family wanted was what he wanted and the terrier who submits, but on the inside she has never surrendered, so if you’re not looking… 🙂 are we Christians all terriers by nature?
Have you blacked out all grace passages from your Bible?——‘—- did you?
“Choose who you will serve.”
It you, Jean that have bought into something (so many bad teachings) that Scripture never set forth. Luther may have, but not Scripture.
I am neither miserable, nor a hypocrite. There is one other possibility. That is, to take much joy in the fact, that as a human being, I am able to choose who I will abide in and who I will believe upon. God’s Word first, and all others opinions come second, if at all.
But being a Lutheran, I understand more than you think I do.
Read the Bible, apart from Luther and apart from the Lutheran Catechism for 6 months, then get back to me on this. I think you will find that you had been following Luther first, as well as, seeing things from his perspective.
Watching this broke my heart and gave me hope. It’s worth the watch.
A dissertation? Was it successfully defended and if so at what school? Not every dissertation put together in the history of academics gets successfully defended.
You missed the entire point of what Jesus was saying to them.
He wasn’t saying that they should wash their hands, but rather using this as an example of going through a ritualistic exercise, when in fact their hearts were not right, because in truth, it was a mere exercise done by them—that is, although they praise him with their lips, their hearts was far from him. In there hearts, they were practicing lawlessness, even though outwardly they practiced these ritual of cleanliness.
There hearts needed to be made clean. So, if they were just going through the motions, checking off things while worshipping the Lord, Jesus called them many things, hypocrites, liars, sons of the devil, not of Him, empty sepulchers.
Our behaviors manifests what is in the heart. Jesus was telling them that although their behaviors appeared to be doing the law (will of the Father), within them, they were like white sepulcher (another verse, elsewhere), that is, being dead inside because of a darkened heart, while giving an appearance of godliness. That they needed to repent and that unless they did, they would not know the Father. Not that the law was bad, but because they were misusing it and making it of no affect, given the condition of their unrepentant and rebellious, disobedient hearts.
“Surrendering and Submission.” I would add another: Commitment.
I think they overlapped and can be fluid, yet also is stable or ongoing. Moment by moment, as the situation presents, or as a foundation to seat one’s convictions, actions, and behavior upon While always, but always nurturing and protecting the heart from outside interference to cause one to stumble and fall, or to be compromised.
Uriah, you totally mishandle scripture. The passage clearly says that Jesus declared all foods a clean. Hence the end of the kosher laws.
The question now becomes – why do you choose to play the deceiver?
“He wasn’t saying that they should not wash their hands”
Uriah is the finest Roman Catholic apologist we’ve ever had on the blog.
She just doesn’t know it…
Even today, we know that unless we wash the dishes, pots, and pan, along with maintaining good hygiene, including washing our hearts, we may suffer physical pain and suffering due to contaminants.
You really need to stop projecting yourself upon me and others, just because we don’t buy into your brand.
This passage has nothing to do with Kosher laws, although I would agree that we are able to eat whatever, unless we have an allergy or some other type of negative reaction to certain foods or nutrients.
We also know that it is not what goes into the body that offends, but out of the heart comes so much worse—not because it needs to be so, but because one’s heart is darkened and loves to hurt and to offend others, thinking they are so much more than what they are, knowing they are so much less but too blind to see or to hear the truth, fearing they would lose what little they have if they had to repent and turn away from that which they use to control others, instead of being self controlled and right in their heart towards others and God. To take responsibility for one’s wrong doing is likened to that of a person who have repented and have had a changed heart, out of the darkness and into the Light.
We do not wash our hearts. Or I should at least say Christians don’t. God wages us.
God washes us.
Just finished watching a good Tim McGraw concert. I’m all cowboy’d up now.:-)
Simply amazing—no that’s not quite what it is when being censored, thus leading others to believe that MLD’s last three comments (made after mine, #59) were valid in response to what he was referencing in Mark 7.
I’m done with this blog site. My time here is over. May those who have heart and ears to hear what I have come to share. May each repent accordingly. And may each think carefully about following after anyone other than what the Scripture has written. The Bible is really not that difficult to understand when you give due diligence to all of Scripture.
Yes, Michael—you certainly are ecumenical.
At the same time, this blog has been instrumental in exposing corruption and sin in the church and behind the pulpit.
Funny, how this works seeing how there is such an offense taken when talking about leading a holy life which means you do need to walk the talk, not just talk about it then dismissed sin so easily using the grace ticket.
Jesus said, repent and be saved.
John said, that he baptized with water and that people needed to make their path straight for one greater than he was coming soon and that He would be baptizing with the spirit and with fire.
The rest of what I have to say can be found in the comments that were censored.
Shalom, in Jesus
Uriah is alive and well.
Considering the enormous evidence as seen through the many postings .Im some convinced this is what MLD sees when he reads scripture.
Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the Martin Luther, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
And then shall they see the Son of man w/ Martin Luther coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
1 Corinth 1:12
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Martin Luther”; another, “I follow Martin Luther”; another, “I follow Martin Luther”; still another, “I follow Martin Luther.”
Is Christ divided? Was Martin Luther crucified for you? Well yea…
I have censored nothing. That is a lie .
I have censored nothing, nor is their anything stuck in moderation.
The holier than thou is bearing false witness.
RCC, as Alex would say this, my arse.
Lutherans are far closer to RCC than you realize.
A heart changed, filled with the Holy Spirit will seek after the things of the Lord as well as making choices in their life to walk in such a way that evidence this. It will not be laborious, nor will it be done as an effort to earn brownie points or one’s way to heaven, but rather with a changed heart that natural bent will be of a new creation, one in Christ, and one bound and in love with the Lord.
You have lied about me “censoring” you.
You can repent or I can permanently ban you.
Yes, I’m ecumenical… and very blessed that God has opened my heart to be so.
Oh by the way, it was only after hitting the submit button that the comments that appeared to have been censored came up on my screen.
Nevertheless, it is time for me to leave this blog.
Will not stay where I am not able to share without being treated so poorly. No need to defend yourself or others. Bullying, mocking, sarcasm, and asinine remarks to use as put-downs, or to discredit, discount, or to negate the opinion or witness of another is not acceptable and are forms of abuse. What more, using one’s anger that are more often a knew jerk reaction to having been challenged or questioned is another form of abuse and an effort to cancel out or to discredit a person. I won’t be a party to this, nor will I continue to be a recipient of such.
But I will continue to pray as I drop in from time to time to keep up to date on those things of the churched population that concerns me and the Christians whom I am and will remain a part.
Can you suggest a youtube video that has a middle of the road Lutheran service w/ all the trimmings of the Lutheran liturgy that one can expect if he/she attends.
No apology for the lie?
I have made no secret of the fact that I will always discredit your nonsense.
It’s horrible, bondage creating, bad theology.
If that’s abusive (which is a horrible charge) then you really need to go.
see comment 145, first sentence.
Stay well. Take care of yourself.
I’m not a Lutheran.
I’m a Calvinist.
My guess is that you can Google as well as I can.
Please stop twisting my words—and then making me out to be the bad guy.
That’s not an apology, it’s an explanation.
I thought you were all about clear repentance…except when you are the sinner, evidently.
Uriah is a she? Im impressed 🙂
Michael no need to pull out the ban threat. Come on, you can do better than that and want to do better than that. Lets just all call it a night and get some fellowship with the Holy Spirit before we turn off the lamp.
Time for me to thin the herd…not going to deal with nonsense in the New Year.
God bless, Uriah. Be safe.
I’m finally tackling the “Brothers Karamazov” this week…
How can living a holy life unto the Lord, being filled with the Holy Spirit possibly be bondage.
Scripture tells us that living in sin, a life of sin, and to do so intentionally until we are no longer able to hear or see or grasp the Word of God leads us to become reprobates, no longer being able to repent, even if we wanted to do so.
Sin makes us a slave to the flesh, to the world, and to the devil. It does not happen in a vacuum but if left unrestrained and to its own devices, it spirals out of control taking over every avenue of escape, as well as, a desire to do otherwise. It is addictive and ever so destructive to you, others, and the world about us.
If this wasn’t so, you wouldn’t be spending the time that you do in exposing such people as K.P. Yohannan and Mark Driscoll. You wouldn’t have the compassion that you have exhibited towards those harmed by these guys and you wouldn’t have made the statements regarding their salvation.
On the other hand, you wouldn’t have stood for MLD saying that adulterers who claim to be Christians will go to heaven.
Is adultery the unforgivable sin?
Are Christians immune from gross sin?
The answer to both is no.
I believe God disciplines His children and preserves us through the grace of discipline so we are not lost when we fail.
I have to get some rest…
It seems to me that you are not a true Calvinist, but rather a mixture of things, given the time of day and the issue on the table, or perhaps how you are feeling, what you have eaten, or even may be drinking or if you are sharing a cup of coffee. In other words, although you have attempted to pigeon-holed me, you have been most remissive in your attempts merely due to the assumptions made about me without really asking or spending the time to find out.
I said that it is time for me to leave—and then continued to make comments to respond to those directed to me.
It is time for me to go—–regardless of what might now follow.
Josh the other says; “Considering the enormous evidence as seen through the many postings .Im some convinced this is what MLD sees when he reads scripture.”
Can you name the time that you personally read here at this site a time I quoted Martin Luther or to even lower the bar for you where I said ‘Luther said…”?
I wait for the answer.
Uriah says “On the other hand, you wouldn’t have stood for MLD saying that adulterers who claim to be Christians will go to heaven.”
Let’s put it to the test – I think adulterers who claim to be Christians go to heaven.”
Uriah, I am so grace filled I believe that Jesus died for all the sin that humanity has committed or will commit – even that very first one you might commit someday.
A person that is not repentant and continues to live in adultery will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
I did not say this—-Scripture tells us this, over and over and over. Do not be deceived, is what Paul stated.
He also reminded that such as some of you: meaning at one time these were caught in their trespasses of sexual immorality, but now set free by Christ to longer live such a life perpetrating such sins.
caught up in their debauchery of sexual immorality.
Michael, you know as well as I that there are many who are practicing adultery within the church and in the pulpit and will continue to do so until they die, not having been chastised one bit or having suffer the consequences of the harm done to others in the process of their betrayal not just to their wife and children, but friends , neighbors, and the church body at large.
Well, it just goes to show that in your non Christian religion all a person has to do is be good and off to fairy heaven they go. Why would anyone need Jesus for that?
So let’s begin at the beginning in the Christian religion – God saves.
MLD, does your Rabbi Martin Luther support your claim “I think adulterers who claim to be Christians go to heaven.”?
I really need to be done with this.
If someone sins with impunity without experiencing the discipline of God then they are most likely bastards…illegitimate children.
Discipline is a mark of election.
“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
(Hebrews 12:5–11 ESV)
Now, I will go and pray that you are not disciplined for bearing false witness against me without repentance so you are not consumed in the lake of fire.
I will also try to find my “true Calvinist” card.
I think they gave me one in Geneva…
Josh, I already said I don’t quote Luther – so, who is your earthly teacher and what does he say on the topic?
Josh, so is adultery the cut off for heaven? Are you getting into heaven with your sin?
“Uriah, I am so grace filled I believe that Jesus died for all the sin that humanity has committed or will commit – even that very first one you might commit someday.”
See how you twist God’s word. By leaving off the most important qualifier. That is, not all are saved though, are they. Some are saved. Meaning most will not be. Why, MLD. Because they worshipped Him with their lips, but their hearts was far from Him. Calling evil good and good evil. Or covered by grace. Cheap grace, that is—what a mockery to the cross and to the Father who gave His only son to die and pay the penalties for those who would receive, believe, and repent.
MLD, by your continual mocking of me regarding if I sin or if I don’t sin is not of the Lord. Stop this and repent for you have treaded upon a true child of the living Lord. Warning: I never have said that I have not or do not sin. So when you make statement likes this, it is to ridicule those things and persons that are held most precious to the Lord.
He knows each of our hearts, MLD. Make no mistake, my heart is right with the Lord and when and if I do sin, I know He is there to pick me up, dust me up, and help me to correct my way, as I seek His face and to ask for forgiveness while I make amends if need be. Seldom, do I repeat a sin anymore. Do I still need Him—certainly. Why in the world wouldn’t I continue to want, to desire, and to need Him. Geesh!!!!
We need a list of the post salvation sins that will damn you.
So far, we have adultery.
I hope gluttony is not on the list because I just had another turkey sandwich with gravy.
I’m probably getting close to the line…
You admit to be ecumenical and at the same time hold a true Calvinist card from Geneva.
I’m done. Bye
Uriah – nope. I have never said all are save. What I have always said is that sin is no longer the issue. Jesus died for all sin. Belief / unbelief is the issue.
So the qualifier was the person who commits adultery who is a Christian.
My personal convictions are Calvinist.
I can still love and respect other traditions without compromising my own beliefs.
There is nothing more dissimilar than my Calvinism and Xenia’s Orthodoxy.
I find it very easy to affirm her faith and election and even learn from her to enrich my own walk.
Lutherans and Calvinists fight like cats and dogs…and we’ve seen more people join the Lutheran church than any other sect.
It’s really not that difficult of a concept…
1 corinth 16:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be “deceived: nor adulterers …..will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The supporting scripture is as “such where some of you”
So the idea is a practicing adulterer.
So im a Lutheran who attends your church, im an Usher, I tithes 10%.
Im on my way to see my to see my mistress right after Church service, who btw I bought a condo at the edge of town. I get into a head on and die instantly. MLD as a Lutheran, and your usher over the last 5 years, will I be in heaven?
Josh, so tomorrow when you are driving to work and you pass the homeless guy and do not stop to help him – then you have forfeited you place in heaven – by the standard you hold – right?
I do believe that would make you one of those wrong doers.
High school debating 101 when you don’t know the answer or don’t want to answer a question. Answer the question with a question.
So why don’t you answer my question?
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Those who believe this will make no compromises or apologies.
You are twisting God’s law, by your hypothetical: “So the idea is a practicing adulterer.” Jesus said that if a man lusts after a woman, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Why are you trying to water down God’s law?
When Christ forgives my sins, the only thing I contribute or add of my own is my “amen.” Then, He grants me to depart in peace.
Josh – I answered the question way back when I answered Uriah. I do not advocate for sin and the fact that you use a verse out of context and can’t even get the address correct will not change my view of Jesus as our sin bearer.
The fact that you continually advocate that we are responsible for self salvation just is not something I can keep debating.
You should post the Donovan Riley sermon I saw yesterday. I think some hear have never heard a true gospel message.
I invite everyone to set aside 10 minutes to listen to the gospel preached for you. The manuscript is included, but please just listen.
” Belief / unbelief is the issue” … that statement, while true, does need some explaining – the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the proof of the belief is in the living?
James 2:19-26 helps, perhaps?
Em, it makes for a very fine goal, but what your pudding would be saying is that you are unsaved every time you sin.
read the #180 link and it skirts the one thing that is critical – if you have negative volition towards what you hear regarding your Creator and His work, the work won’t work … on the other hand if you are positive (confessional perhaps?) towards God’s provision for your Redemption … He’s got you and you’ve got Him – to paraphrase an old song 🙂
sometimes, dear MLD, you make absolutely no sense … what you are moving into at #182 is the subject of grace … hmmm … or are you contending that every time you take communion you are getting re-saved?
i bow out now … going to get another cup of coffee … God keep
Again em, communion is for the saved only – so there is no getting re saved. It is a provision of Jesus to keep you nourished in the faith.
Also, I am not moving into grace, I am flat out right in the middle of it.
The speaker Jean posted is speaking to believers – when you as a believer look back, you see you did absolutely nothing to get saved and continuing forward you are doing absolutely nothing to maintain your salvation … or even affecting what God thinks of you.
Jesus did the loving and Jesus does the washing — which is contrary to what Uriah was saying last night when she suggested we, no she probably just meant me – needs to wash my own heart.
Oh, and that volition thing – check out how well that worked with Paul. 😉
“– so there is no getting re saved. ”
Not what you said during your Hebrews Study. You said people could be unsaved, and then saved again.
Christ only saves sinners. He calls a preacher and plops him down at a pulpit to preach the Good News to a room full of Christ’s enemies. Their volition is negative towards Christ. They crucified him once and would do so again if they had the chance. Christ’s enemies do not look for Christ; they do not want his message. They may and often do search for God, but not being found (because he only reveals himself in Christ), they create idols. There are even people who worship false christs, because they twist the written Word into something that it’s not.
One cannot and does not make a decision for Christ. Christ makes a decision for you.
Let me ask you this: If the Son of God invades your life and claims you as His inheritance, do you really think you have a decision in the matter?
Josh – I was speaking in the context of her question (how unusual here on this blog)
On the whole, I am inclined towards Uriah’s position.
to add to Jean at #188 – folks think they repent to get saved, when the truth is it is God has repented and chose to save you instead of destroy you.
How horrible. Lord have mercy.
I would have no issue with Uriahs position if she were Orthodox or Roman Catholic.
I would still differ, but I would understand.
What I have a problem with is the notion that the views espoused are even remotely Protestant.
I think she represents a type of protestant that is protesting the views of folks like MLD. I think it is very possible to be a protestant who rejects some of the distinctions of the reformation. They reject all things catholic but aren’t comfortable with some of the antinominianism they see in in certain strains of protestantism. Surely there is room for their views in the wide disparity of beliefs found in the protestant world. She thinks we should obey God. Good for her!
Xenia – everyone thinks we should obey God. Can you name someone who doesn’t? What I would object to is the reason she thinks we should obey God.
The irony is that I am probably the last person on this blog that Uriah would choose as her defender.
Uriahs views negate salvation by grace through faith alone.
When you do that you leave the Reformation reservation.
It doesn’t mean you are not a Christian, it means you’re not a Protestant.
The notion that Christ’s work on the cross only forgives sin up to the point of your salvation is pure heresy from a Reformation view.
The irony is that her view is actually a very low view of sin as she believes she does so rarely and is able to track and repent of all sins, both of omission and commission.
You would define a protestant as someone who affirms the 5 solas, then?
Uriah is neither Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant? She belongs to a 4th category?
I’ve never thought of it that way.
Perhaps there is a fourth category…
Do you have to agree with MLD’s 191 to be considered a protestant? If so, I was never a protestant in all my 50 years pre-conversion to Orthodoxy.
My guess is that #191 is a statement that God’s wrath was appeased at the cross, which is a historic belief predating the Reformation.
I do believe that we are called to repentance as well.
My point at 191 is people who think that our repentance actually does something – when in fact the active ingredient in my salvation is the repentance God performed.
We are obviously called to repent – Luther hung it right on the door. #1 of the 95
1.) When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
But whose repentance do you think carries the weight and is the most enduring.?
“Xenia – everyone thinks we should obey God. Can you name someone who doesn’t? What I would object to is the reason she thinks we should obey God.”
Let me clarify what MLD and I mean (and perhaps Michael and Xenia can add insights from their traditions).
The Christian life is not a “movement” along a plane from justified to sanctified or from complete reprobate to saint.
We see the Christian life in the language of baptism, as Paul describes it in RomVI, ICorVI and Col3. The “movement” if you can call it that is rather from death to new life. Here is how Luther’s Small Catechism summarizes it:
“[T]he Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to life before God in righteousness and purity forever.”
Critically important is our belief that just as Christ is fully man and fully God, the Christian is always fully sinner and fully righteous in Christ. Therefore, we remain totally dependent on Christ’s sacrifice for our justification. We never, ever, acquire any righteousness of our own in the sight of God, and therefore any type of measurement or progress is totally irrelevant (and actually attempting such is harmful). “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
However, the constant temptation of the Old Adam to justify himself/herself in the sight of God would divert our attention and faith from and in Christ back to ourselves and our “holiness”. This produces one of two conditions: despair or hypocrisy. This is how Jesus could warn us: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
#186 – don’t think you understand that “volition thing” … Paul’s volition was very positive to God, he just was practicing the wrong faith – God redirected him, would that we all could be dealt with with such a positive outcome … 🙂
There is more applied theology in The Brothers Karamazov than most modern evangelical Bible commentaries, particularly those application Bible commentaries written by your buddy.
It is from a distinctively Russian perspective, so it helps to understand a bit about Russian culture. They understand and are willing to embrace the necessity of suffering in this life. Not in a redemptive sense, but in the fellowship of His suffering.
The Brothers Karamazov is one of the most amazing novels in the history of world literature. Michael, it’s one of my favorite novels and if it helps you read through it, I’ll say this–film makes have tried to adapt Dostoevsky but not many have succeeded. I think the only director who successfully captured the spirit of themes and concerns from Dostoevsky’s novels on film was Christopher Nolan in his Batman trilogy. I’d spoil too much if I explained my analogy any further. Of course that’s just my opinion but I’m throwing it out there.
The Bros K is my number one favorite work of fiction.
When I read it in high school, I thought it was a good murder mystery.
When I read it few years later, I thought it was a good murder mystery with some interesting, but foreign, religious insights.
When I read it when I was Orthodox, I realized it was a book about Christianity hung upon the framework of a good murder mystery.
Are we tempted to fashion Jesus in our own image?
Anyone familiar with the position expounded in this book by a Methodist theologian?
“The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11” (
In the words of one of the Amazon reviews:
“Richard Hays argues that Paul is telling or appealing to a story in his argument with the Galatians–the story of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. There are many things of interest and value in this work. I will simply mention the provacative thesis that, many times, when our English Bibles translate “faith in Jesus Christ,” Hays argues that Paul is actually referring to “the faith of Jesus Christ.” Christ’s own trust in God and his faithful obedience to the point of death on the cross is the crux of our salvation from the curse.”
“But the scripture imprisoned everything and everyone under sin so that the promise could be given – because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ – to those who believe.”
Galatians 3:22 NET
If you go to the NET translation online. This verse has a lengthy translation note in support of this rendering. It is legit.
I would need to look at the passage, but in general Christian theology, and understand jesus’ active obedience and passive obedience you will know that our salvation is totally dependent on Jesus’ faithfulness to the Father.
Yeah, Jean, it’s certainly a position that would be looked on with approval by Lutherans and Calvinists.
Bob2, are you surprised that Calvinists and Lutherans agree that the active work of Jesus saves?
No, not a bit. That’s why I said Lutherans AND Calvinists. In my observation, they share a lot in common — not everything, but a lot of things.
I’m not aware of a doctrinal issue at stake in either interpretation. What are you seeing in the interpretation that gives it a Lutheran/Calvinist flavor vs. ???
Here is an 8 minute video of D.A. Carson’s exegesis of the issue as it arises in Romans 3:
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