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Archive for the ‘Social commentary’ Category

Charles Finney and the Heresy of American Pelagianism (White Horse Inn)

From Finney we can easily track the Church Growth movements in America that have been used in lieu of true evangelism.

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Ken Burns series is back on PBS tonight so this topic is fresh on my mind.

We have all heard the stories in the IFB about how one drink of demon alcohol will lead one down the path to distruction.  Many of us have heard the story of the broken home and one of the most poignant is the story of the little girl who goes to the saloon to plead with her father to come home and he ends up killing her.  Chick made a tract with basically the same story.

Ken Burns tracked down what I believe are the origins of the story.  You can read the book online here: “Ten Nights in a Barroom and what I saw there.” by T.S. Arthur

There was a propaganda film produced in 1909 by the same name and a remake in 1931.  Watch the 1931 version here. 

It’s interesting how the IFB has perpetuated the propaganda of the Temperance  and the Anti-Saloon movements for over 100 years.

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Christopher Peterman has been expelled today, just days before he was to graduate from BJU.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151561551900506#!/DoRightBJU

Watch his statement on video here:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151561551900506#!/photo.php?v=10151561551900506

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See the documentary here:  Jack Chick, God’s cartoonist

Jack is very prolific but also very wrong. Ultimately he leaves salvation in the hands of men.

 

John 6:35-51, 60-65

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;  whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that  the Father gives me will come to me, and  whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For  I have come down from heaven, not to do  my own will but  the will of him  who sent me. 39 And  this is the will of him who sent me,  that I should lose nothing of  all that he has given me, but  raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who  looks on the Son and  believes in him  should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said,  “Is not this Jesus,  the son of Joseph, whose father and mother  we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me  draws him. And  I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets,  ‘And they will all be  taught by God.’  Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except  he who is from God; he  has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you,  whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and  they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it  and not die. 51 I am the living bread  that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give  for the life of the world is  my flesh.”

 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus,  knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see  the Son of Man  ascending to  where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh is no help at all.  The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But  there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus  knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and  who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you  that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6&version=ESV

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You can see it in her eyes.  She understands that we are not commissioned to clean folks up and change them to our way of thinking… only God can make the necessary change in people, he must open blined eyes, he must melt the cold stoney heart.  We can do neither and we were never tasked to gain converts by threat of sword… It’s not the presenter, it’s the Gospel.  It’s not us, it’s Christ in and through us!

Like the song says:

 

People aren’t confused by the gospel
They’re confused by us
Jesus is the only way to God But we are not the only way to Jesus

This world doesn’t need my tie, my hoodie
My denomination or my translation of the Bible
They just need Jesus
We can be passionate about what we believe

But we can’t strap ourselves to the gospel
‘Cause we’re slowing it down

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Here is a page that needs to be posted far and wide in this silly political season.

http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/proptech.htm

This page is good for everything from revealing the truth in Commercials, exposing political rhetoric to seeing religious sermonizing for the propaganda it can truly be.  Wherever there is anyone who is seeking to persuade another that their views are the right view, these techniques need to be reviewed.

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Here is a video on the history of Eugenics, Social Darwinism, and Genetic Hygene.

Rationalized Mass Murder.

Pay close attention at 51:33 to the post birth abortion (euthanasia) that is promoted.

In the clip it says, ” I believe it is wrong to operate to prolong an absolutely useless life.” …the Doctor is going to let the baby lay there and die.
We are a people who have perfected the art of killing the innocent, the helpless and the undesirable… and we have rationalized it so it no longer disturbs our consciences, we have seared our consciences and soothed the burn with the salve of rationalism and propaganda.

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Book 1, Chapter 12: God distinguished from idols, that He may be the exclusive object of worship.

Section 1. Scripture, in teaching that there is but one God, does not make a dispute about words, but attributes all honour and religious worship to him alone. This proved, I. By the etymology of the term. II. By the testimony of God himself, when he declares that he is a jealous God, and will not allow himself to be confounded with any fictitious Deity.

Section 2. The Papists in opposing this pure doctrine, gain nothing by their distinction of julia and latria.

Section 3. Passages of Scripture subversive of the Papistical distinction and proving that religious worship is due to God alone. Perversions of Divine worship.

Section 1. Scripture, in teaching that there is but one God, does not make a dispute about words, but attributes all honour and religious worship to him alone. This proved, I. By the etymology of the term. II. By the testimony of God himself, when he declares that he is a jealous God, and will not allow himself to be confounded with any fictitious Deity.

We said at the commencement of our work, (1.2) that the knowledge of God consists not in frigid speculation, but carries worship along with it; and we touched by the way (1.5.6, 9, 10) on what will be more copiously treated in other places, (2.8) viz., how God is duly worshipped. Now I only briefly repeat, that whenever Scripture asserts the unity of God, it does not contend for a mere name, but also enjoins that nothing which belongs to Divinity be applied to any other; thus making it obvious in what respect pure religion differs from superstition. The Greek word “eusebeia” means “right worship;” for the Greeks, though groping in darkness, were always aware that a certain rule was to be observed, in order that God might not be worshipped absurdly. Cicero truly and shrewdly derives the name “religion” from “relego”, and yet the reason which he assigns is forced and farfetched, viz., that honest worshipers read and read again, and ponder what is true[1]. I rather think the name is used in opposition to vagrant license – the greater part of mankind rashly taking up whatever first comes in their way, whereas piety, that it may stand with a firm step, confines itself within due bounds. In the same way superstition seems to take its name from its not being contented with the measure which reason prescribes, but accumulating a superfluous mass of vanities. But to say nothing more of words, it has been universally admitted in all ages, that religion is vitiated and perverted whenever false opinions are introduced into it, and hence it is inferred, that whatever is allowed to be done from inconsiderate zeal, cannot be defended by any pretext with which the superstitious may choose to cloak it. But although this confession is in every man’s mouth, a shameful stupidity is forthwith manifested, inasmuch as men neither cleave to the one God, nor use any selection in their worship, as we have already observed.

But God, in vindicating his own right, first proclaims that he is a jealous God, and will be a stern avenger if he is confounded with any false god; and thereafter defines what due worship is, in order that the human race may be kept in obedience. Both of these he embraces in his Law when he first binds the faithful in allegiance to him as their only Lawgiver, and then prescribes a rule for worshipping him in accordance with his will. The Law, with its manifold uses and objects, I will consider in its own place; at present I only advert to this one, that it is designed as a bridle to curb men, and prevent them from turning aside to spurious worship. But it is necessary to attend to the observation with which I set out, viz., that unless everything peculiar to divinity is confined to God alone, he is robbed of his honour, and his worship is violated.

It may be proper here more particularly to attend to the subtleties which superstition employs. In revolting to strange gods, it avoids the appearance of abandoning the Supreme God, or reducing him to the same rank with others. It gives him the highest place, but at the same time surrounds him with a tribe of minor deities, among whom it portions out his peculiar offices. In this way, though in a dissembling and crafty manner, the glory of the Godhead is dissected, and not allowed to remain entire. In the same way the people of old, both Jews and Gentiles, placed an immense crowd in subordination to the father and ruler of the gods, and gave them, according to their rank, to share with the supreme God in the government of heaven and earth. In the same way, too, for some ages past, departed saints have been exalted to partnership with God, to be worshipped, invoked, and lauded in his stead. And yet we do not even think that the majesty of God is obscured by this abomination, whereas it is in a great measure suppressed and extinguished – all that we retain being a frigid opinion of his supreme power. At the same time, being deluded by these entanglements, we go astray after divers gods.

Section 2. The Papists in opposing this pure doctrine, gain nothing by their distinction of julia and latria.

The distinction of what is called dulia and latria was invented for the very purpose of permitting divine honours to be paid to angels and dead men with apparent impunity. For it is plain that the worship which Papists pay to saints differs in no respect from the worship of God: for this worship is paid without distinction; only when they are pressed they have recourse to the evasion, that what belongs to God is kept unimpaired, because they leave him latria. But since the question relates not to the word, but the thing, how can they be allowed to sport at will with a matter of the highest moment? But not to insist on this, the utmost they will obtain by their distinction is, that they give worship to God, and service to the others. For “latreia” in Greek has the same meaning as worship in Latin; whereas “douleia” properly means service, though the words are sometimes used in Scripture indiscriminately. But granting that the distinction is invariably preserved, the thing to be inquired into is the meaning of each. “Douleia” unquestionably means service, and “latreia” worship. But no man doubts that to serve is something higher than to worship. For it were often a hard thing to serve him whom you would not refuse to reverence. It is, therefore, an unjust division to assign the greater to the saints and leave the less to God. But several of the ancient fathers observed this distinction. What if they did, when all men see that it is not only improper, but utterly frivolous?

Section 3. Passages of Scripture subversive of the Papistical distinction and proving that religious worship is due to God alone. Perversions of Divine worship.

Laying aside subtleties, let us examine the thing. When Paul reminds the Galatians of what they were before they came to the knowledge of Gods he says that they “did service unto them which by nature are no gods,” (Gal 4: 8) Because he does not say latria, was their superstition excusable? This superstition, to which he gives the name of dulia, he condemns as much as if he had given it the name of latria. When Christ repels Satan’s insulting proposal with the words, “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve,” (Mat 4: 10) there was no question of latria. For all that Satan asked was “proskunesis”, (obeisance.) In like manners when John is rebuked by the angel for falling on his knees before him (Rev 19: 10; 22: 8, 9) we ought not to suppose that John had so far forgotten himself as to have intended to transfer the honour due to God alone to an angel. But because it was impossible that a worship connected with religion should not savour somewhat of divine worship, he could not “proskunein” (do obeisance to) the angel without derogating from the glory of God. True, we often read that men were worshipped; but that was, if I may so speak, civil honour. The case is different with religious honour, which, the moment it is conjoined with worship, carries profanation of the divine honour along with it. The same thing may be seen in the case of Cornelius, (Acts 10: 25) He had not made so little progress in piety as not to confine supreme worship to God alone. Therefore, when he prostrates himself before Peter, he certainly does it not with the intention of adoring him instead of God. Yet Peter sternly forbids him. And why, but just because men never distinguish so accurately between the worship of God and the creatures as not to transfer promiscuously to the creature that which belongs only to God. Therefore, if we would have one God, let us remember that we can never appropriate the minutest portion of his glory without retaining what is his due. Accordingly, when Zechariah discourses concerning the repairing of the Church, he distinctly says not only that there would be one God, but also that he would have only one name – the reason being, that he might have nothing in common with idols. The nature of the worship which God requires will be seen in its own place, (2.7 and 2.8.) He has been pleased to prescribe in his Law what is lawful and right, and thus restrict men to a certain rule, lest any should allow themselves to devise a worship of their own. But as it is inexpedient to burden the reader by mixing up a variety of topics, I do not now dwell on this one. Let it suffice to remember, that whatever offices of piety are bestowed anywhere else than on God alone, are of the nature of sacrilege. First, superstition attached divine honours to the sun and stars, or to idols: afterwards ambition followed – ambition which, decking man in the spoils of God, dared to profane all that was sacred. And though the principle of worshipping a supreme Deity continued to be held, still the practice was to sacrifice promiscuously to genii and minor gods, or departed heroes: so prone is the descent to this vice of communicating to a crowd that which God strictly claims as his own peculiar right!

[1] cic. De Nat. Deor. lib.ii.c.28. See also Lactant. Inst. Div. lib.iv.c.28.

http://www.vor.org/rbdisk/html/institutes/index.html

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Recenty I have been challenged on what constitues a Church-o-crite.  I found this article while examining the issue for myself and thought I would pass it along.

 

Is the Church Full of Hypocrites?

by R.C. Sproul

About thirty years ago, my close friend and colleague, Archie Parrish, who at that time led the Evangelism Explosion (EE) program in Fort Lauderdale, came to me with a request. He indicated that on the thousands of evangelistic visits the EE teams made, they kept a record of responses people made to discussions of the gospel. They collated the most frequent questions and objections people raised about the Christian faith and grouped these inquiries or objections into the ten most frequently encountered. Dr. Parrish asked if I would write a book answering those objections for evangelists to use in their outreach. That effort resulted in my book Objections Answered, now called Reason to Believe. Among the top ten objections raised was the objection that the church is filled with hypocrites. At that point in time, Dr. D. James Kennedy responded to this objection by replying, “Well, there’s always room for one more.” He cautioned people that if they found a perfect church, they ought not to join it, since that would ruin it.

The term hypocrite came from the world of Greek drama. It was used to describe the masks that the players used to dramatize certain roles. Even today, the theatre is symbolized by the twin masks of comedy and tragedy. In antiquity, certain players played more than one role, and they indicated their role by holding a mask in front of their face. That’s the origin of the concept of hypocrisy.

But the charge that the church is full of hypocrites is manifestly false. Though no Christian achieves the full measure of sanctification in this life, that we all struggle with ongoing sin does not justly yield the verdict of hypocrisy. A hypocrite is someone who does things he claims he does not do. Outside observers of the Christian church see people who profess to be Christians and observe that they sin. Since they see sin in the lives of Christians, they rush to the judgment that therefore these people are hypocrites. If a person claims to be without sin and then demonstrates sin, surely that person is a hypocrite. But for a Christian simply to demonstrate that he is a sinner does not convict him of hypocrisy.

The inverted logic goes something like this: All hypocrites are sinners. John is a sinner; therefore, John is a hypocrite. Anyone who knows the laws of logic knows that this syllogism is not valid. If we would simply change the charge from “the church is full of hypocrites” to “the church is full of sinners,” we would be quick to plead guilty. The church is the only institution I know of that requires an admission of being a sinner in order to be a member. The church is filled with sinners because the church is the place where sinners who confess their sins come to find redemption from their sins. So in this sense, simply because the church is filled with sinners does not justify the conclusion that the church is filled with hypocrites. Again, all hypocrisy is sin, but not all sin is the sin of hypocrisy.

When we look at the problem of hypocrisy in the New Testament era, we see it most clearly displayed in the lives of those who claimed to be the most righteous. The Pharisees were a group of people who by definition saw themselves as separated from the normal sinfulness of the masses. They began well, seeking a life of devoted godliness and submission to the law of God. However, when their behavior failed to reach their ideals, they began to engage in pretense. They pretended they were more righteous than they were. They gave an outward facade of righteousness, which merely served to conceal a radical corruption in their lives.

Though the church is not filled with hypocrites, there is no denying that hypocrisy is a sin that is not limited or restricted to New Testament Pharisees. It is a sin with which Christians must grapple. A high standard of spiritual and righteous behavior has been set for the church. We often are embarrassed by our failures to reach these high goals and are inclined to pretend that we have reached a higher plateau of righteousness than we’ve actually attained. When we do that, we put on the mask of the hypocrite and come under the judgment of God for that particular sin. When we find ourselves enmeshed in this type of pretense, an alarm bell should go off in our brains that we need to rush back to the cross and to Christ and to understand where our true righteousness resides. We have to find in Christ, not a mask that conceals our face, but an entire wardrobe of clothing, which is His righteousness. Indeed, it is only under the guise of the righteousness of Christ, received by faith, that any of us can ever have a hope of standing before a holy God. To wear the garments of Christ in faith is not an act of hypocrisy. It is an act of redemption.

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