Have you ever talked with someone who openly mocks Christ, and your faith in Him?

Christians To The Lions Stock Photos & Christians To The Lions Stock Images - Alamy

I have a few acquaintances, who for some personal reasons, think that it is a good, fun, time to mock Christ, and my faith in Him, as well as the faith of all Christians. They say things like, “Christ is a mythological character, God does not exist, all Christians are crooks, all Christians are homosexuals and touch little boys, Christians are the ones bringing all of the illegal immigrants in, If there is a God Christians are just trying to make themselves feel better by making up Christ who they dump all their sins on and God is really going to grind them to powder because there is nobody to atone for their sins, Christians are the worst people, the Bible is made up, religion is just used by the elite to control the masses, (“religion is the opiate of the masses.” ala Karl Marx, oh by the way he is dead, but Jesus is alive!) I am God worship me, I’d never worship a god who would allow people like you into heaven, Roman Catholicism, Easter Orthodoxy, Russian Orthodoxy, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnessism, Seventh Day Adventism, Judaism, Islam, (insert blasphemous heretical cult/religion here) are all the same.

Now we know these are ignorant, and hateful statements, that are the product of a heart and mind set against God, but it doesn’t cause us to be any less hurt when someone says them regardless of their professed reasons for saying them.

1 John 5:19, “19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

Romans 1:18-23, “ 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”

Romans 8:6-8, “6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

It is even more upsetting when friends, or family say these things purposefully to get under our skin. Why does it hurt? Because our identity is wrapped up in Christ, if we are in Christ. Someone is mocking the one who you love, gave you new life, took the punishment you deserve, the one who died for you, and changed your heart. Of course, it should hurt.

Take heart, God is our fortress. He is our defense. God will not be mocked.

Psalms 62:5-8 “5My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.

6He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

7On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

8Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.”

Galatians 6:7-8, “7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

Psalms 1:1-6, “1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

3He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

4The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.”

We know that they only mock us, and God, because they hate God. One day, if they don’t come to be in Christ, they will be judged outside of Him. They will be judged in their sins.

Matthew 5:11-12, “ 11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Romans 8:1-5, “1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”

What should our response be when people treat us badly because of Christ? I encourage you to follow the link and read the article. How many of us could do like Christ, and stand silently while being accused falsely, insulted, and assaulted without a plea or defense? How many of us could pray for God to not hold this against them? How many of us could look forward to the treasures in Heaven, while allowing someone to destroy our earthly pleasure? As Christians, we need to think about these questions, and respond as Stephen, and the other Apostles who were martyred, and all the martyrs thereafter, even today being martyred for Christ. God is good, and we must praise Him, and tell of Him to all the world, even if they persecute us, and kill us.

 

We need Church.

One of the many reasons we,as hypocritical sinners, should attend Church, is so we can obey Christ, in being sanctified through learning to humbly love other hypocritical sinners. Remember, if you find the perfect Church, run because you will ruin it by joining. There is no such thing as a, “perfect Church” All local bodies are made up of wretched worms, who have gathered to worship the only true and living, good and merciful, God who saves.  If your excuse is that the Church is full of hypocrites, then it is invalid.  You yourself are also guilty of hypocritically judging.  Please take a look, and a listen to these resources available at Wretched.org

 

 

Now it seems it is time to persevere.

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Keep in mind, what I am going to be writing about is not a prophecy, nor did I get a, “word from God.”  This is just my own personal observations, and thoughts.  I have been thinking lately, that we have had an unusual time of learning, and growing for the last decade or so.  There have been good teachers, and plentiful resources.  Even though there has been persecution around the world, and oppression in other parts of the world, we have been pretty safe here in the USA.  We have had a lack of tribulation.  We have had plenty of time to mature in Christ.  We have been sitting in relative comfort.

I think this time is coming to a close.  I think many Pastors, and teachers are headed for a fall.  The world system, and the enemy are going to be putting Christians, their faith, and knowledge of Christ to the test.  Our sins will seem to come at us with a vengeance, and destructive force that we are not accustomed to.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Will we buckle under the temptation?  Will we resort to being greedy, selfish, unkind, mean, arrogant, prideful, lustful, adulterous, covetous, abusive, addicted, or fill in the black with whatever sin has been eating at your assurance over the past years, some besetting sin, that you’ve as of yet not had victory over?(1 Peter 1:7, Heb 10:32-36)

We’ve already seen some Pastors/Preaching Elders fall into heterodoxy, or outright apostasy.  We have seen marriages end, and abuses happen.  I think these are just the beginning of what is to come.  We’ve had time to prepare, grow, and learn to fight sin.  I think the time has come, and God is going to put us through trials, and tribulations.  I’m not talking eschatologically here.  It seems the season is here for our good, the Churches good, and sanctification.  Those who are left standing after the fire, will be the ones who have persevered.  We need workmen who have shown them selves approved. (2 Tim 2:15, 1 Cor 9:24-27, James 1:2-4)

Don’t fret or worry.  Rest assured in the God who saves, and sanctifies.  He will also glorify.  When you fall to sin, repent immediately.  Accept Church discipline.  It is for your good, and the Churches good.  Don’t resist out of pride.  Don’t go to another Church, or movement.  Don’t utilize a loophole like that to escape what will bring you back to spiritual health in Christ.  It is the means He has ordained. (Rom 5:3-4)

Let’s do our due diligence, and submit to our Savior fully, and with all the zeal due Him.  Study His word, apply it, discipline your mind and body, make war against sin!  Rest in His righteousness, and utilize the weapons, and protections He has given us. (Eph 6:10-18, Heb 12:1-3)

Biblical Church Growth

Spurgeonevangelism
Q. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

There are four means that God has ordained to grow His Church. They are, Evangelism (sharing the gospel), Discipleship (training and teaching the new believer) Service, (Helping the hurting and dying world) and persecution. People only become converted from hearing and responding to the gospel. They grow closer to God, and get to know Him by reading His word, and learning His truth. The new heart and nature of a convert is on display in the world humbly serving the lost and dying, displaying the glory of God. Persecution weeds out the false converts, and demonstrates another truth, the world hated Christ, and they will hate you also for His namesake. The exclusivity of the cross is offensive to the world. Remember persecution comes from outside the Church.

Who goes to Church, and why? This is important to figure out, if you are concerned that your congregation is dying. One category of people is false converts. Some of them know they are not Christian, some believe they are Christians. Lost people have a few reasons why they go to Church. Of those reasons, none of them are the right ones. They go to Church to get a pep talk, a self-help speech, they go for professional and social networking, they go to feel good about themselves, (self-righteousness) they go to be entertained by a slick, “praise/worship band. We can agree that these are not the right reasons to go to Church. So what are?

If you are a true convert, you know your purpose in life is to bring glory to the Lord of salvation. You’ve been brought to new life by grace, through faith. You were dead in your trespasses and sins. You know you were purchased at a price, and the Lord of Creation suffered humiliation and death on a cross, in your place because of your sins. Christ became sin for you. You come to Church because it is God’s will. From your new nature you want to do God’s will. After all, He is changing your desires and affections by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the reading of His word. Our minds are being renewed so we can prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. You come to be with brothers and sisters in Christ, to hear the word of God expositorily preached, to sing praises to God, to worship Him in prayer, and song, to be baptized, and have communion, and to be sanctified by God in learning to live in community with other sinners, and by granting them grace, to live out the gospel for the glory of the Lord.

Who is church for, the goats or the sheep? Church is ultimately for the glory of God, and that glory is for our good. God says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Church is for the sheep. They are the ones who really want to go for the right reasons. When God says in Matthew 16, “…I will build my Church…” we also see the means He has ordained for the growth. He is going to use us to preach the gospel to the lost and dying world, because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

Salvation is of the Lord. It originates with Him. It is provided by Him. Jonathan Edwards once said, “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” Even persecution is given for the growth of the Church. If there are false converts in the local body, when persecution comes, they will flee, and deny Christ. The truly converted will stay, and proclaim the gospel, and make disciples even during persecution.

What is the gospel? Simply put, “Repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” We have to unpack that for sure. It shouldn’t be a daunting task for us. It should be something that overflows from the heart of a believer, as they have experienced the love and grace of Jesus. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Most people don’t share it, because they are woefully ignorant of what it is.

Here is a simple analogy. Imagine you are a telling a class full of students who want to become mechanics that you are a mechanic, but you leave out the fact that you don’t understand how an engine works. Then when the students ask you how the engine works you mumble and string together things you’ve heard mechanics say. You wouldn’t feel very comfortable or sure of yourself would you?

Believers should feel confident and comfortable sharing the gospel. It is imperative that they learn how to do so, and that they do it. People are entering eternity without Christ. They will rise to eternal torment and burning, having the very wrath of God poured out on them. How can we say we have love, if we refuse to give them the gospel?

Ask some of your congregation “imagine I just was stabbed, and only have moments to live. I am afraid of dying and going to Hell, and I say, “What must I do to be saved?” You can’t tell them to be a good person, they are dying. You can’t tell them it is by baptism, they only have moments to live. What can you tell them? You can preach the gospel to them. You can say, “You are afraid of hell, and rightfully so. You are a sinner. Just like me, you have broken God’s laws, and deserve His just wrath, but being rich in mercy, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect, sinless, life that we couldn’t live. Jesus was and is righteous. He humbly offered Himself up on the cross, He submitted to death on the cross according to the will of the Father, where the wrath of God was poured out on Him in our place, so that the justice of God could be satisfied. When He was finished atoning for our sin, He said, “It is finished.” He died, was buried and resurrected on the third day. If you’ll repent, or turn from your sins, forsake them, hate them, and ask God to forgive you based on the work of Jesus, He will save you from your sins, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Will you confess your sins to God and trust in Jesus?”

Friendship evangelism is impractical. The Christian should have a fervent urgency to share the gospel with the lost so they can be saved. Friendship evangelism is slow, and you can only befriend so many people at a time. The need is great, and the workers are few. The command is not to preach to a few, but to all, and we need to get busy.

Remember the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. It is offensive because they are confronted with the righteousness, and exclusivity of Christ. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 15:18-25 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’”

Don’t compromise on the gospel. If we soften the gospel to make it more appealing to the lost, we rob it of its effectiveness. If it were readily acceptable to the reprobate sinner, it is because it doesn’t require rebirth for him to believe it. The only way to grow the true church is by the means that God has ordained evangelism, discipleship, service, and persecution.

What needs to happen so we can do this? Free up Elders who are gifted and able to preach and teach the gospel to the laymen, and to teach them how to evangelize. Organize them, to go out and evangelize. When people are converted they will look for a Church. It doesn’t matter if you put more people in the seats at your Church. We don’t do this to grow our kingdoms, but rather the kingdom of God. New converts will come in. When they do, be ready to teach them from God’s word. Don’t feed them cotton candy theology, sermonettes, or topical sermons that are more self-help than the word of God. Take your position in the pulpit seriously. Get them grounded in God’s word because when persecution comes they will need to know the hows and whys of it. Get them out there serving the lost and dying world out of the new love they have in their hearts.  Equip them to go out and share the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ever Wanted to Ask a Lutheran Some Questions? Now’s Your Chance.

Daniel Landin

Hello everyone, I’d like to introduce you all to Daniel Landin. He is a Pastor of a Lutheran Church. I’ve asked him to participate in some question and answer format interactions for the purpose of learning more about each other’s respective Churches, and theological positions, as well as for his insight into some particularly Lutheran things. Feel free to send me your questions.  I will select a some to ask Daniel in a future article.  Before we get started, Daniel could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up on a small family farm in the awesome little town of Sugar Grove, PA, right on the NY-PA border.

Q. Were you raised in a Christian home?

A. Yes. God has blessed me beyond belief to have been born into a family with a rich Christian heritage. My family on my father’s side immigrated from Sweden in the 1870s and brought with them their huge family Bible which resides in my parents’ dining room to this day. Faith in Jesus Christ has played a huge role in my family’s life and continues to do so.

Q. Could you share your testimony with us?

A. I truly cannot remember a time when I did not have faith in and a love for Jesus Christ. As I stated in the previous answer, I was born into a Christian home and was blessed to be raised by two loving Christian parents. I did pray many various “prayers of salvation” during my childhood and adolescent years, so I won’t pinpoint a specific day of conversion on any of those. I believe that I have had faith in Christ from before the time that I have any memories of something different.

I’ve always had a strong interest in the Bible and learning more and more about who God is and how God has interacted with people from the very beginning. My grandfather and great uncle were both the same way and loved discussing various doctrines, theologies, and passages from scripture and I would try my best to interject and converse with them, even when I was around eight or nine years old. I’ve also always had a strong interest in history, so that interest coupled with a love for Christ and the Bible drew me into many times of deep study. My love for Christ and his Word led me to get my college degree in biblical studies and I was blessed to also be able to go through seminary as well.

I did go through a rough time during high school meeting many crises of faith including the death of my grandmother from lung cancer and my own fall into sexual sin with my girlfriend at the time. I dealt with some serious depression because of all the negatives from that year and because I bought into Satan’s lie that, since I had fallen into that specific sin, I had ruined all chances of ever being married to a Godly Christian woman. Due to my depression, which I hid from everyone I knew, I contemplated suicide many times until the day I held a revolver in my hand. By the grace of God, I felt a rush of God’s love at that moment and, whether it was audible or only in my spirit, I heard God saying, “Stop! I love you. You have so much more to live for. Trust in me!” From that point on, I thank God for not only saving me from death and hell, but also saving my life at that point.

There have been many people who have been influential in my life and in my walk of faith. Most important over the past thirteen years has been my wife Stephanie. Her own faith and her love and encouragement have had a large impact on me. A large part of that was experienced the day I confessed my past transgressions and she immediately said, “I forgive you, because Jesus has already forgiven you!” That was an amazing moment for the two of us, but especially for me to experience the love of Christ through her selfless forgiveness. It has been a special thing to live this life of faith with her.

Q. How did you meet your Wife?

A. We met in high school choir of all places! I was a senior and she was a sophomore. We started dating that year and maintained a long-distance relationship during the next three years while she finished high school and did a year of community college before joining me at Roberts Wesleyan College.

Q. How long have you been married?

A. We got married the summer after I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2009 and we just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this week on August 1st. We have been blessed with three boys aged 4, 2, and 1 and we have a fourth waiting for us in heaven.

Q. What changes have you undergone in your faith since your conversion?

A. Quite a few I would say! I grew up in the Evangelical Covenant Church, the denomination my family has been a part of for over a hundred years. One of the main emphases of that denomination is on the supremacy of scripture. We were taught that the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct and to ask the question, “Where is it written?” while working through various issues in life and faith. I went to a Free Methodist college and met people from many different faith traditions and that opened up my view of the church quite a bit. There were many issues I saw as closed issues, but as I read and studied throughout my college and seminary years, I have shifted on some theological issues which now separate me from the church of my childhood and youth. Some of the issues, without delving into the changes at the moment, were on creation, the sacraments, and eschatology. One thing that has never changed, though, is my dependence on Jesus Christ in all things. I’ve clung to Proverbs 3:5-6 from that depressing phase of life in high school even up to this day. My hope is in Jesus Christ!

Q. How long have you been a Pastor?

A. I have been a pastor now for over five years. My first call into pastoral ministry was in the United Methodist Church. I served there for just a few days short of three and a half years and now serve in a Lutheran Church. Looking back on my life and my journey of becoming a pastor, I can say that I would have never chosen the path that God has led me on. I knew that God was calling me to be a pastor from a very young age and had plans to be a pastor in the denomination that I grew up in, but that was not what God had planned for me. I am thankful to be where I am and to know that it is right where the Holy Spirit desires for me to be!

Q. How long have you been a Lutheran Pastor?

A. I have been a Lutheran Pastor for a year and seven months so far!

Hollywood is Programming your Boys to be Weaklings and Perverts.

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Hollywood is acting as a tool of satan.  We need to be like Elijah against the false prophets, the servants of baal.

Modern TV shows, commercials, and movies are programming young boys and girls to be confused about their gender roles. There are no masculine role models for boys. The only heroes in the movies are comic book superheroes. If they happen to be a moral hero, they are often portrayed as being weak due to their, “goody two shoes” ideals. Male characters in shows are now portrayed as cowering in fear as the 90 pound girl comes in to save him. Interesting to note, the male actors chosen, are small pretty boys.

There’s no more John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, or Stallone types. Oh no, we can’t have that! Men that look like the everyday man, men who don’t look like a pretty little girl, men who go out and do things men are supposed to do, like defend women and children, protect the innocent, seek justice, provide for the needy and so on.

Nope, the modern movie man is a simpering idiot, a slave to his infantile fleshly desires. All he is good for is smoking pot, making excrement jokes, eating cheetos, and seeking to fornicate with whoever he can be they male or female. That is the role model hollyweird wants your boys to be raised on.

They want to raise generations of degeneration, slaves to their lusts. I remember when they first started putting girls kissing girls on TV and tried to make everyone think it was, “hot.” I told my friends and coworkers, “Don’t be fooled! First this, then men with men, then a free for all. All kinds of perversion will follow. You are encouraging homosexuality by watching girls kissing girls!” They all laughed at me. Well now look where we are! Don’t for a minute think it is going to stop there.

I feel sorry for young men growing up in this. We have to be their role models. We have to turn the programming off! We have to stand up and show them how godly men are to handle temptation, adversity, pain, emotional distress, prolonged suffering, toil filled work and labor, strength in submission to God ordained authority, how, why, and when to fight physically against others, dogged determination, independence, reliance on God, and what He has gifted you with. If you are an older man, stop telling war stories or tall tales. Tell these young men about real situations and how you handled them, how you should have handled them, and perhaps show them the next time you are in a tough situation. Don’t take the easy way out. They are watching us. Point them to God.

Godly women, I am asking you to adorn yourselves inwardly with a gentle spirit. I implore you to not go along with Hollyweird in allowing them to portray girls as naked play things, and claim that is liberation. The eyes that are closed to the gospel of Jesus only see the outward allure of an ever increasing nakedness. The desire is to deny what shame we should properly feel for being naked. When Adam and Eve sinned against God by breaking the one and only command He gave them, God cursed all creation. When they ate of the fruit of knowledge between good and evil, they knew they were naked, and tried to cover themselves. God took away their bad attempt to cover themselves and their sin with leaves, and made for them a better covering, one that required death, and the blood of a sacrifice. The hides that he covered them with, and subsequently our clothing is to remind us of the shame of our sins, and the sacrifice of Christ to atone for them.

People from the beginning looked forward to His coming. We look backward to His crucifixion and forward to His return. Don’t sell yourselves, don’t buy the lies. Liberation is not sexual liberty! Liberation is freedom from sin in Christ Jesus! Older women, be the women of virtue for the younger women to emulate and learn from. You can be a Proverbs 31 woman today in this day and age, even despite and against the lie of neo-feminism. The Proverbs 31 women did all kinds of things the neo-feminist says women are being stopped from doing by the Christian religion.

They say the patriarchy is bad. Well, i got news for theme, God set it up and said it was good. He is our Father in Heaven, Christ is His Son, and the Holy Spirit is referred to as a male. If Jesus can submit to death on a cross, to condescend to save vile, sinful, creatures, you can submit to your husbands and demonstrate the kind of sacrificial, non-self-seeking, gentle, merciful, grace-full, love that Jesus displayed.

There is no such thing as a perfect husband, except the Bridegroom of the Church, Christ Jesus. So let’s all pray that Hollyweird would go on strike. Let’s pray that they all are replaced with Christian writers, and actors. Let’s pray for the ones who stay to be saved by God. Turn off the programming. If anyone should be programming the kids it should be the God, His word, and His Church.

Traditionalists of the Southern Baptist Convention, (SBC and their Attacks on Calvinism.


As of late, you may have noticed some personal attacks on Calvinists, and on Calvinism in general coming from men within the SBC.  These men are calling themselves, “Traditionalists.”  I wonder whose traditions they are identifying with?  I wonder if they know the real history of the SBC?  I wonder if they understand that their roots are in Calvinism?  I wonder, when they accuse us of following traditions of men, if they ever look at themselves and their own traditions?  The following two sections of scripture are about the Pharisees and their hypocritical keeping of traditions.  It is identified as wrong, and not to be emulated.

Colossians 2:8 (NASB) 8  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Mark 7:8-9 (NASB) 8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.

This section of scripture is about imitating Paul as he imitates Christ.  This tradition is good, and to be kept.

1 Corinthians 11:1-2 (NASB) 1  Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

So call yourself a traditionalist if you like.  I don’t care.  Hate the doctrines of grace, if that is how you think.  Chase all of us evil Calvinists out of the SBC, but I’ve got news for you, we’ve been the theologically conservative salt in your denomination.  When we leave, you will fly headlong down the road to liberalism and eventual irrelevance.

Do You Want to be a Happy Old Married Couple?

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I often overhear people say things like, “Oh what a cute old couple.” or “I want to be like them when we get old. They look so happy.” They say these things when they see a happy old couple. I don’t know if they think about what it takes to get there. First, you have to be a married couple. You can’t do it if you are just shacking up, or getting married and divorced every few years. You also have to be happy. Not just momentary happiness, but the kind of contentment, and joy, that can still smile, and talk with a young person even when their arthritis is causing them so much pain it would put most people in tears. So a long lasting marriage gives the two time to get to really, and truly know each other. It gives them time to put that knowledge into expressing love to them as they would love themselves. This knowledge doesn’t come easy most times. When you put two sinners together in a marriage, sin is going to happen. It is an opportunity for the one who is sinned against to demonstrate the gospel by giving grace to the other. Remember, grace is unmerited favor.  While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  Not only that, He bore our sins, and the punishment for those sins.  While your spouse is wrong, and may have hurt your feelings, die to yourself and submit to Christ the way He submitted to the cross.  This long lasting marriage is ordained by God. It is a covenant between Him, and the Husband, and Wife. This should not be taken lightly. If you truly want to be a happy old married couple, trust and obey God. Read His word and pray together. Be humbled together and convicted together. When the kids are grown and you are alone with each other, you will be forced to confront the successes and failures you’ve made over the years. Accept and appreciate God’s sanctifying work in your marriage for your own personal growth and use it to love others well.

The Differences Between Sins, and Mistakes.


Recently, I had a conversation with a person on social media about sins, and mistakes. Their first assertion was that, sins are the willful transgression of the known will of God. The second assertion was that people are not culpable to God for mistakes that they make. Lastly, they failed to define what mistakes are, even when asked several times. I quickly identified this as a Nazarene Church member, because I had been a member for approximately 19 years give or take. I decided since they came to my page to discuss this issue that it was a proper opening to engage them. I typically don’t go to other people’s pages and comment on things I don’t agree with. I see it as bad etiquette, but if they come to me, so be it. Listed below is the section 5.3 Sin, Original and Personal from the Nazarene Church’s Preamble and Articles of Faith;

5.3. We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary violation of a known law of God by a morally responsible person. It is therefore not to be confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct that are the residual effects of the Fall. However, such innocent effects do not include attitudes or responses contrary to the spirit of Christ, which may properly be called sins of the spirit. We believe that personal sin is primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love; and that in relation to Christ sin may be defined as unbelief.

(Original sin: Genesis 3; 6:5; Job 15:14; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:18-25; 5:12-14; 7:1-8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:7-8

Personal sin: Matthew 22:36-40 {with 1 John 3:4}; John 8:34-36; 16:8-9; Romans 3:23; 6:15-23; 8:18-24; 14:23; 1 John 1:9-2:4; 3:7-10)”

As you can see from their article, it is what has led some of them to their minimization of sin, thus diminishing the importance of the gospel, as well as creating a legalistic approach to righteousness. This last consequence is also a product of their doctrine of Entire Sanctification. Their doctrine of Entire Sanctification is also a product of their minimization of sin. This is what Article 10 says about Entire Sanctification;

X. Christian Holiness and Entire Sanctification


10. We believe that sanctification is the work of God which transforms believers into the likeness of Christ. It is wrought by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in initial sanctification, or regeneration (simultaneous with justification), entire sanctification, and the continued perfecting work of the Holy Spirit culminating in glorification. In glorification we are fully conformed to the image of the Son.

We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.

It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service. Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.

This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect love,” “heart purity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.””

Not that long ago the Nazarene Church made some changes to their Articles of Faith. What I linked to is their current one. They have clarified it to some degree, but you can’t lay all the blame on the average Church goer for their personal affirmation of false doctrines. After reading the Articles of Faith, I can see what they are trying to express, but it can confuse the layman. I think this is mostly due to their Ordo Salutis, and Semi-Pelagianism that is all part of the traditions of a portion of the people in the denomination. From what I understand they are slowly trying to move away from the errors of Semi-Pelagianism that were made in the past.

If you are old enough you’d remember a different looking CotN. The girls mostly wore dresses, and dancing was not allowed. They looked and acted like Pentecostal versions of the Mennonites almost. Some believed that a person could be entirely sinless in their life. That is what their personal understanding of their doctrine of Entire Sanctification looked like. If you read it now, you can see it is a bit more nuanced, but you can also see how it could lead someone to believe the other way. When you look at Wesley’s writings on the topic, if you have a good theological foundation, you can see where he is heading. The problem lies in the fact that so many people are very simple in their education and ability to reason, that they take his work to mean what it appears to mean at a superficial reading. I’m not saying I agree with his conclusions. I actually think he was poorly repaving a road that had been well paved, and traveled long before him, by men more learned and brilliant.

I see Wesley as more of an evangelist and less of a theologian.  I understand him to be attempting to make room for people who don’t know, or believe, everything rightly all the time to still be saved. All of us are wrong all the time about something whether we know it or not. That doesn’t ruin our justification. I used to think the Trinity was best expressed as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as all three parts of God. I had no idea that was the heresy of partialism. Once I was taught by more mature Christians from scripture that they are three persons, one God I was able to repent of my heresy. Was I not saved back then? I think I was, but I was a material heretic. I was not a formal heretic. If I’d persisted to death in a heresy, and rejected all correction, then I would have proven to be a false convert and formal heretic.

The person I was having the discussion with was of the old fashion persuasion. They didn’t read Wesley. They just took a superficial approach to their denomination’s doctrines and ran with it. So for them, sin was simply willfully transgressing a known law of God and it excludes mistakes, infirmities, failures, faults, emotions, (feelings) and thoughts. They also argued that a Christian will stop sinning completely, even though I showed them 1 John 1:8 and explained that John was addressing Christians. I was also told that if I sinned and then died immediately after, without repenting, that I would go to Hell. This is another one of their misguided beliefs. They believe that a genuine Christian can apostatize by willfully sinning. What I was dealing with was a Semi-Pelagian, not a Wesleyan. It is interesting because they make a categorical error by contrasting sins with mistakes. I don’t know if it ever occurred to them that a sin is always sinful, but a mistake can be sin or not sin. I mentioned this and got no answer. The same can be said for the other things listed that they say are not sin. We know that having a lustful thought pop into your head is a sin, and that we must take every thought captive so it doesn’t come to fruition in deed. We also know that to God we are guilty of that sin. It sure is a good thing that Christ justified me, and paid for all of my sin. I am exceedingly sinful, and exceedingly thankful for His righteousness that He imputed to me upon justification. I think this eludes the Semi-Pelagian. They are in a works righteousness faith where they must maintain their position of being righteous by works. This particular flavor of Semi-Pelagian makes this task less daunting by watering down sin and man’s responsibility. In so doing they rob God of the glory, as it were. So much the worse for them, as many of them are not truly saved, but still lost. Of course, I would not say that all of them are lost. Some may be material heretics, just waiting to be corrected and brought into repentance. Could you be the one to speak into their lives with the truth?

Men, Submit to God. Women, submit to God. He says, submit to your Husbands.

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So, you are a modern woman, and you have heard, perhaps even said, “I can do what I want!  You don’t own me!  I don’t need a man!”  Well, if you are Christian woman, you should eschew such ignorant, godless, rhetoric.  It is prideful and selfish.  Very unbecoming of a Christian man or woman.  I am so sick of how the world has been portraying husbands and wives.  Let’s not allow the culture to define us.  Let’s be defined by God’s word.

Imagine a man who claims to be Christian, and won’t submit to God’s word.  Instead of doing what God has commanded, he does what he wants.  Is that a man who is at war with his sinful flesh, or is that a man who is giving into his flesh?

Imagine a man who claims that nobody has ownership of him.  We know that is wrong.   God tells us in His word that our bodies do not belong to us.  A husband’s body belongs to his wife.  A wife’s body belongs also to her husband, but God owns them both.  They are His creatures.  The ones who die in rebellion, will burn forever in Hell.  He will pour out His righteous wrath on them for eternity.

Imagine now, an arrogant, prideful, man exclaiming that he doesn’t need a woman.  That man is calling God a liar.  Why, the very first book in God’s word explains why He made Eve.  It was because it was not good for man to be alone.  God made for him a helpmate.  Everyone knows that men need women.  If we are to be fruitful and multiply it is obvious.  So, to subdue the Earth, we must have wives and they must have husbands.

Modern notions of gender are so diabolically satanic.  They defile, degrade, and mock what God has made for our good and His glory.  The enemy loves it every time a feminist howls in rebellion, every time a man becomes a selfish boy.  We need to embrace our roles as God has defined and ordained them to be.  We should reject what culture says.  The cultural hermeneutic says, “The verses in the Bible that tell a woman to submit to her husband, the verses that say a woman should not teach or have authority over a man, the verses that tell men to support their families, to be the spiritual leaders of their homes and Churches, the word of God that tells us how to live as godly men and women should not be applied as God intended because modern culture’s consensus is superior.”  Well, last time I checked, we don’t ask culture to explain God to us, we read His words and hear straight from God Himself in the reading of it.  I don’t have to consult the latest social pundits.  God has spoken, and He has done so with the ultimate authority that entails.

Want to know why your marriage doesn’t work?  Want to know why you are miserable in your Church?  Want to know why your children run your home?  Simple, you have forsaken God’s will as expressed in His word.  Rebels and scoundrels, each and every one of us!  Repent and believe the word of God and live to please the Savior who has bled and suffered for you on the cross of His crucifixion.  Christ submitted to the will of the Father to cleanse for Himself a bride.  That bride is the Church.  It submits to Christ.  Submit yourselves to His headship as Lord and master of your lives.  This means even unto death.  We must love our wives as Christ loved the Church.  Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.  We did not deserve His love or sacrifice.  We were, by nature His enemies, and He died to save us.  Men, love your wives when they don’t deserve it.  Women love your husbands when they don’t deserve it.  Men, submit to Christ.  Women, submit to your husbands, not because he says to, but because the one, true, living God, almighty says to!

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
[Ephesians 5:22-33 KJV]

Husband, head, protector, provider.  Not what T.V. says, not what the movies show.