Problemism in Pentecostalism

You may have observed I have put a link to Christian Witness Ministries on the side bar. It’s a fantastic resource.

I can’t copy and paste snippets from this resource. But I encourage you to save and read this link:

http://christian-witness.org/pdf/TheUK%20Assembliesof%20God-ADifferentMovementwiththeSameName.pdf

From: http://www.christian-witness.org/blog/?p=15

Pentecostalism is it biblical or just part of the Con?

July 5, 2008 – 1:39 am

The initial correspondence below arose from a reading of Philip Powell’s article which is also available as an hyperlinked Word Document on request from CWM.

Statement by Philip L. POWELL:

I have met a number of former Pentecostals who have turned away from the faith of their fathers or of their own youth and have renounced everything associated in any way with Pentecostal teaching and practice on account of the extremes of our time. The movements known as the “Toronto Blessing” and/or the “Pensacola Outpouring” with the outlandish manifestations plus the TV “con artists” such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others like them, have made major contributions to this state of affairs. We at Christian Witness Ministries (CWM) sympathise with the sentiments of those who have rejected everything associated with “Pentecost” so why then do we still hold fast to Pentecostal tenets of faith?

The following is an email which was mailed to our CWM site in late June 30, 2008 followed by responses. The author agreed to these being published in the hope that the paper trail would help other people in these confusing and faith denying days.

Response to A Different Movement with the Same Name

I read your article entitled The UK Assemblies of God – A Different Movement with the Same Name. I appreciated your honesty. In many ways I related to your frustration at the blindness of fellow Pentecostals. But I have taken my own journey one step beyond…I have renounced…

I was born and raised Pentecostal…I read every Word Faith book I could get my hands on, every new book about visions, people taking trips to heaven, every healing ministry and anything else in the supernatural realm. I could never quite reconcile many of these stories with the Bible, which I read very regularly.

And then one day a false prophet came to town. When he took my hand and prophesied over me, I felt ecstasy for about 2 hours… and then reason returned.

I started analysing the prophecies and realized that the man was totally blasphemous, and he was twisting and manipulating the Word to flatter everyone…oh and he charged for his prophecies…$5 per person, I believe, although someone else paid the bill.

Anyhow, I was astonished that the church elders were immovable in their acceptance of this man…their criteria? One of the elders said that he had told him something that not even his wife knew and that since only God can know our thoughts, he had to be of God. So in the end, humiliated, I left the church. But not Christ…

My life as I had known it went up in smoke. And after the smoke settled…there was only the Word of God which I could trust…still standing strong in the midst of it all.

I have put 10 years distance between me and that experience, and ten years of unlearning so many erroneous teachings. I have decided that I was just a product of what the Pentecostal Assemblies taught me…very little Word and very much mysticism. I didn’t even really understand mysticism until I got away from it.

And one mystical experience is no different from another. I had to face the hard fact that I had to give up ALL that false teaching because we now have a more sure word of prophecy…in Christ…I determined to know nothing but Christ crucified… No more tongues, prophecies, visions, dreams, 5 fold ministries, Word Faith nonsense, Morning Star occult practices, falling under the power and you name it, I read it, I’ve done it…stuff…and yes I have also read all the Azusa Street beginnings and followed Oral Roberts, Morris Cerullo, William Branham and a hundred others. I am not a young chick…but much wiser now.

My point? In my book, Pentecostalism is as much a cult as Todd Bentley’s charismatic movement… and yes there are Christians among us…but God is not in these movements…he is in his Word.

Whatever we discern, we discern by the Holy Spirit speaking through His Word and that gives a stability and confidence that no vision or supernatural experience could ever give. For what it’s worth…I give you my conclusions.

Sincerely, CG – USA.


91 thoughts on “Problemism in Pentecostalism

  1. Do the research folks, people are leaving the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement in huge numbers world-wide. They are either so discouraged and leave church altogether or they find themselves drawn to the Reformed/Sovereign Grace churches. With thanks to John Macarthur for writing and teaching about “Charismatic Chaos” and also “The Truth War”, and other faithful expositors of the Word, John Piper, R C Sproul, Mark Dever C.J.Mahaney etc, the church world is waking up from their slumber and recognizing their need for sheep food.

  2. As much as the seeker-sensitive churches like to boast of numbers as a sign of success (unbiblical) their exit numbers are exceeding their claims of growth, if they really want to be honest about it. We remember Phil Pringle exaggerating the numbers given to him by the deacon doing head count during services – unashamedly joking about it. Adding 100’s to the actual numbers.

  3. Coming from a Roman Catholic background the thing that struck me was how different the atmosphere was in Assembly of God churches, how the people seemed to be genuinely worshipping God. That is the problem – seemed to be. I know then I didn’t have enough christian theological and scriptural knowledge to tell spiritual fervour from spiritual truth apart.

  4. @ Joey – my apologies for the nonsense that comes up on this blog.

    As a listener to Fighting For The Faith, have you had a chance to listen to Dr. Rod Rosenbladt by any chance? Particularly “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church”?

    Also do you recall listening to Chris’ former pastor Ps`William Cwirla sermons when Chris posts them? Very good.

    http://blog.higherthings.org/wcwirla/

  5. @joey, don’t get taken in by teddy and 5PS’s theology. It’s dangerous and divisive. I suggest also that you spend as little time as possible perusing this site.

  6. Hi TVD, because I only found this website last week I am not sure on every individual’s position on things. Is there any common ground between you all?

  7. @ Joey – I’ve tried twice to comment, hope this works. FL and TVD are the type of gentlemen Chris Rosebrough would put in the “Fractured Fairy Tale” category.

    The common ground is certainly faith in Christ, though the fruit is sometimes quite sour. 🙂

  8. @ Everyone – “Fractured Fairy Tales” is an in-house reference known and loved by those regular listeners of “Fighting For The Faith”. 🙂 🙂

  9. What is everyone’s position on whether God still speaks to us personally today in addition to the scripture e.g. prophecy, new teachings?

  10. I hold to the Doctrines of Grace, best said here…

    *Men are fallen creatures, depraved in mind and heart, incapable of saving themselves or performing meritorious works that would warrant God’s attention.

    *God has, for His own purposes, unconditionally determined the salvation of some sinners, as an act of grace and loving kindness.

    *The death of Christ satisfied God’s righteous judgment against those elected sinners, removing their guilt and condemnation.

    *Those individuals for whom Christ suffered will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, turning them from themselves and drawing them irresistibly to God.

    *Having been chosen from the foundation of the world, bought with the price of Christ’s blood, and indwelt by the Spirit of God, those elect saints will most certainly and assuredly persevere in the faith until their ultimate salvation and glorification.”

    Believing in a sovereign “He can do what He likes” God allows me to not hold to cessationism, though most of what we see today is unbiblical i.e. tongues (done without interpretation),
    claims of healing (unsubstantiated, though we will always pray that God will heal, if it is His will – contraversial I know but He doesn’t heal everyone does He?)etc etc

    This is where we stand – we have seen the Lord do wonderful things in the last 25 years. But mostly we see it outworking providentially.

    We believe the Canon is closed and that the Lord has given us all we need for faith and teaching.

  11. @ Joey – you may have heard Chris Rosebrough mention Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace To You, and elder at John Macarthur’s Grace Community Church…

    He gave a brilliant lecture “Exposing The Flaws Of A Fad-Driven Church” at the 2002 Shepherds Conference, transcribed here, very interesting…

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/SC05-1013.htm

  12. I certainly have been called one! We were dragged kicking and screaming out of Pentecostalism initially – wouldn’t have even known about limited atonement. Unknowingly Arminian as Pentecostals. Do I like limited atonement? No. I hate that anyone may be lost, but my reading of the bible seems to point to that very doctrine. Is it a salvific issue? No. Has it caused intense debate here? Yes, a debate that’s been going on in the church for centuries (not just here 🙂 )

    You may notice that “Calvinist” is thrown around here like a dirty word. Seriously, it’s not worth the angst – we should all be more knowledgeable about doctrine anyway, certainly not high on the agenda of seeker-sensitive churches.

  13. I blame the internet for learning about Calvinism versus Arminianism. 🙂 Both sides can be pretty convincing.
    I hadn’t those terms being used until I heard one Australian pastor on the ACC channel classify himself as a semi-arminian. Of course I had to find out what on earth he was talking about, the curious creature that I am….

  14. I was just reading some comments on FB and someone made the comment about Spurgeon, that he’s first a Christian, second a Calvinist and third a Baptist….

    I like my favourite teaching pastor Jim McClarty who came up with “plank of wood”……as he says here

    “A couple of years ago I was saying that I needed to find a new phrase that had never been used before to identify our theological position. I came up with “A Plank of Wood.” It was simple, had never been used, and was open for definition. During that period in GCA’s history people began threatening to make T-Shirts with slogans like “Plank of Wood Rocks.” It was our “inside joke,” but it made a point. We, the church-world, are so attracted to systems that we can easily lose the meaning and point of the words on the page as we bend them to fit our preconceived notions of what they must say to fit the system. I am more comfortable letting the words of Holy Writ say what they actually say and adjusting my thinking to let them all fit into one God-breathed package. If that means I am not this or that, so be it. If it means I sound like I hold to this or that, fair enough. But, in the end, I’m going to try and be true and consistent with what the Bible says and let the systems fall where they will.”

  15. “Do I like limited atonement? No. I hate that anyone may be lost, but my reading of the bible seems to point to that very doctrine.”

    That line says a lot.

  16. @churchman

    ““Do I like limited atonement? No. I hate that anyone may be lost, but my reading of the bible seems to point to that very doctrine.”

    That line says a lot.”

    It sure does. It shows that teddy doesn’t know how to read the bible properly!

  17. @ churchman – as has come up in a previous question you asked, you know my heart when it comes to prayer, particularly that the Lord save someone near and dear.

    @ TVD – if you want to start an ad hominem attack, stop blogging here. You and FL keep sledging when a normal thoughtful discussion on different points of view come up so as to try and shut down the blog.

    If you can’t engage with the substance of the argument, don’t say anything.

  18. @TVD – so you believe that man has total free will where it comes to personal faith and the decision to follow Christ?

  19. @teddy

    “if you want to start an ad hominem attack, stop blogging here”

    Why do you and 5PS have carte blanche to abuse, slander and name-call, yet get upset when you are criticised? Grow up teddy. The fact is, you don’t know how to read the bible properly. If you did know how you would see how wrong the theology of limited atonement is. And don’t throw that tired old “John 3:16 doesn’t really say what everyone thinks it says” argument. You and your “saviour” Macarthur have grossly misinterpreted the meaning of the word “whosever” to fit into your twisted “I-am-special-because-God-chose-me-and-if-he-didn’t-choose-you-you’re-not” bunkum.

    @joey

    I absolutely believe that man has total free will in every area of our lives. We are not puppets thrown into all sorts of situations and sufferings at the whim of a twisted puppet master as some here would have you believe.

  20. @ Joey – in an attempt to keep this discussion civil, there are various views, as you know, that are supported by well-respected theologians on both sides, (even three views for that matter). There’s the Reformed position, the Arminian position and the Lutheran postion can different again.

    The Lutheran would cite John 1:12-13 as election NOT being the decision of the sinner.

    The Calvinist would cite Romans 9:10-13 as election NOT being the decision of the sinner.

    The Arminian would cite Revelation 22:17 as considering election is the decision of the sinner.

    To both Lutherans and Calvinists, regeneration is monergistic.

    To the Arminian, regeneration is considered synergistic.

  21. And to Jesus, who is the only theologian we should trust, His sacrifice was for all for all time. All we have to do is make the decision. Joey, Christ is your source, not Luther, Calvin, Arminian, Macarthur, Jakes, Pringle or Housten.

  22. An additional link on monergism vs synergism….

    http://www.reformationtheology.com/2006/04/monergism_v_synergism_quote_by.php

    @ Joey – we enjoy listening to Chris Rosebrough because he has been an integral part of our journey out of “charismania” (we lay the blame for that at our own feet, by the way, for not being more “berean”), encouraging us to be more discerning and “to compare what people are saying in the name of God about the word of God”. 🙂

    Having a great minister who teaches/preaches faithfully and contextually is another great blessing.

    Having great friends who have demonstrated by example, the fruit of the Spirit into our world.

    Having been blessed with adult children who have made the Christian walk the priority not just in their own lives but in the lives of their children.

    All these things have come to the forefront in the last 5 years since we stepped away from a 22 year spiritual slumber.

  23. @ TVD – so if we follow your general train of thought to its conclusion, we would have to ignore the gift of teaching given as one of the spiritual gifts to the Body of Christ.

    There are many gifted men in the world today, wonderfully gifted to teach and instruct the sheep how to rightfully exegete the scriptures, so woefully ignored by the seeker-sensitive churches.

    Sorry TVD, you have to come up with a better disclaimer.

  24. @teddy

    “There are many gifted men in the world today, wonderfully gifted to teach and instruct the sheep how to rightfully exegete the scriptures”

    Absolutely there are wonderfully gifted teachers. The problem is most of the ones you mention do not fall under this category. Even a cursory reading of their core beliefs shows that their interpretations contradict what the WHOLE Word of God says. Those teachers that you fawn over all break the golden rule of proper exegesis – scripture interpreting scripture. Entire theologies are being built on one passage or one interpretation of the meaning of a Hebrew or Greek word while completely ignoring the context of the passage, chapter, book or in fact the entire bible.

  25. “And to Jesus, who is the only theologian we should trust…”
    Amen TVD. Jesus’s word (and the writings of apostles who contributed to the New Testament) automatically outranks all teachings from other christian writers no matter how eloquent or logical they seem.

    We need to compare what all christians say with the Word of God. Some clarify some difficult passages very well. Others take some verses and create their own theories and can even form heresies as a result. That is why so much discernment is needed.

    I get the impression on this blog one side accuses the other of hypercalvinism and the other side accuses them of hyperarminianism.
    Here are a couple of interesting articles for you both.
    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3197

    http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/osas2.html

  26. Come on, you can do it teddy. Be a big girl! You don’t need 5Point to help you come up with some unscriptural garbage to justify yourself. You’ve been doing enough of it throughout this blog over the years. Why give up now?

  27. To Mosco – I got your email. I went through and banned another 50 alias’ and IP’s of ‘he-who-should-not-be-named’. I think I accidentally banned you. I thought I might actually ban someone by accident one day.

    Please e-amil me your IP address so I can easily find yours in the list of hundreds so I can un-ban you. My apologies!

    Edit: Fixed Mosco.

  28. “I get the impression on this blog one side accuses the other of hypercalvinism and the other side accuses them of hyperarminianism.
    Here are a couple of interesting articles for you both.”

    Not me. I’ve only accused one of being a compulsive liar, deceiver and divisionist. I don’t mind there being an oddball of believers who disagree with each other.

    I’ve exchanged fiery comments with TVD but I wont kick him off unless he starts going down the trail of the serpent like the ‘other guy’.

    I actually wish we would move on from this issue. I think we too often narrow the problem to these extremities because we are passionate to see change on the other side and believe this is the core issue to the problems in the church today.

    I am more concerned with other issues in the church than the extreme hyper-calvin/arminian arguments.

    They have there place. But if Signposts wants to make it through another day, I think we need to put this issue to the side for a season and focus on other things. We can return to it when we’re ready and have more people who want to discuss the topic again.

  29. @TVD – Regarding Limited Atonement which you say you dont accept and hate so much – Are you saying that your view of the atonement doesnt limit it [the atonement]?

    Are you a universalist(all will be saved, none are lost)?

  30. @specksandplanks – like you I think there are more immediate important things to worry about.

    I think your blog definitely has the potential to continue on well because:
    1. all contributors I have read so far sound like they really care about their faith.
    2. all contributors seem to have thought deeply about their faith. That is so refreshing to see after reading many other superficial “debate” forums.

    I have skimmed through some ancient theologians’ works which addressed major heresies in the first couple of centuries. The thing that has struck me the most is however blunt they were, they focused their attack on the false teachings not the teachers. That is why they successfully defended the faith.

  31. @ TVD, it’s amazing how you have all the answers and all the others are wrong. I’m yet to be convinced, who are those teachers you would approve of?

    @ Joey – I’m sorry that’s how you see us. I’m happy to be called the “plank of wood” that Jim McClarty described….

    “I am more comfortable letting the words of Holy Writ say what they actually say and adjusting my thinking to let them all fit into one God-breathed package. If that means I am not this or that, so be it. If it means I sound like I hold to this or that, fair enough. But, in the end, I’m going to try and be true and consistent with what the Bible says and let the systems fall where they will.”

    As I said to TVD, the Lord has gifted teachers to the Church, just not sure who he thinks falls into that category and are their repuations and scholastic abilities open to fair scrutiny?

  32. Yep! dont you find it hilarious that a hybrid mongerel lunatic fringe charismaniac/pentecostal who has proved consistently that he cant support ANY of his scriptual/doctrinal assertions with ANY extrinsic scholarly material(and I mean not ONE source) or sound exegesis (because a really good way to support your exegetical assertions is to cite credible scholarship that would lend support to your exegesis) is presuming to lecture us about “proper exegesis” and scripture interpreting scripture – as if it was his apostate section of christendom that first recognised such concepts….!!!

    Another question then TVD if the proper Greek rendering of “pas ha pisteuon” in John 3:16 is literally “everyone who is the believing one” and not “whosoever”. The text says nothing concerning who has the ability to believe or how belief happens; only that those who believe “have eternal life” or “have life everlasting/unending” (εχη ζωην αιωνιον). It is very simple.

    SO TVD – prove my assertions wrong……lets see if you can actually do it and not bugger off like the last time you stuck your neck out on the issue of the covenants in the Bible and ended up looking rather foolish….

    By the way there is reformation era theologian called “Arminian” – the was a guy called Jacobus (or Jacob) ArminiUS – you should know that because you are an “Arminian”

    Like I said to FaceLoser – your pathetic movement’s theology is basically an inch deep, which is why it suits retards like the both of you..you dont have to work hard at it to get a decent understanding (I reckon thats why people like you two go into ministry – because you couldnt work in an iron lung).

    So if you really wish to try and critically interact with the reformed position, you had better set some time aside for some serious study, like some of us have had to sacrifice our time to do….

  33. I’m trying to find a Youtube clip R.C.Sproul did a few years ago – it was a lecture on famous Arminians and famous Calvinists. It’s really interesting to see the chart laid out. The subject was treatly fairly and intellectually with great respect attributed to both sides……I’ll keep looking!

  34. @Teddy and Joey – what these idiots TVD and FL dont get is that while they are breathing fire about the reformed, many reformed people (including myself) love the writings of Wesley, Tozer,the ministry of Leonnard Ravenhill etc… I listen to a few contemporary Arminian preachers too (not many because most are bad) one being my ex-pastor at Calvary Chapel.

  35. @ 5 Point – It has to be ignorance, in the sense that we knew nothing of sovereign grace, reformed theology etc, until we left the pentecostal movement (kicking and screaming initially and hating the Truth that John Macarthur was showing us in reading “Charismatic Chaos”). We were on the same cruise ship as FL and DVD are still on. 🙂

    In the meantime as I search Youtube…….

  36. The difference is, my cruise ship “MV Pentecost” stayed well away from arguing the merits or lack thereof of the Reformed Position, Lutheran, and even Roman Catholicism until I had a basic idea of what each position held to and why….these ignoramuses just can seem to bring themselves to understand the need to do that.

    I am actually attempting to try to understand Islam a whole lot better so I can start to interact with people in that regard – it seems to get misrepresented all the time by both muslims and non-muslims…

  37. @teddy – don’t get me wrong! I love reading christians actually typing their opinions so clearly and with passion! That’s the wog coming out in me.
    🙂
    I think that I started moving towards the reformed faith position the more I read and listened to christian commentaries and sermons that keep everything in context.

  38. Small world! I’ve visited that blog before, will have a read – good links there too, Pyromaniacs, Kevin De Young, Triablogue, have them in my favourites file for regular perusal.

  39. Look, I am actually prepared to leave you to it knowing that you’ve effectivelly become fully encapsulated in the mists of the Reformed perspective.

    However, as you’d expect if you gave it any real consideration, aiming insulting remarks are a reasonable trigger for any person on the receiving end to return, since it is obvious that a false claim made is an invitation to a response.

    In the last few comments I’ve been called sour fruit, an idiot, a fool, a mongrel, a compulsive liar, a deceiver, a divisionist, ignorant, and whatever springs your minds as a group insult, and you think I’d be some kind of terror to defend myself against those claims.

    Besides which, you sound like know-all gossipy women from a Monty Python sketch:

    By the way, teddy, whatever you say, the fruit here is very good, thanks to Jesus! I’ve just come from conducting a fabulous wedding with wonderful families from Nepal and Bhutan, who have recently joined our church, followed by a Christmas party for some fast growing Connect Groups, made up of people from all over Asia, a part of our thriving, joyful, and fruitful church, and we have the joy of entertaining leaders for our church on furlough from some church plants in previously unevangelised regions. God is so good! It’s His Church, and he will build it.

    Now! Kindly leave me out of it, so I can leave you to it!

    Love to you all, anyway, and Merry Christmas!

  40. @5PS, you’re a strange one indeed. I actually offered several scholarly sources way back when you demanded them in one of our earlier discussions, only they somehow didn’t seem to come up to your “standards” of correct scholarly sources. I actually have much better things to do with my time than to bow to the puerile demands of an angry little boy with delusions of spiritual grandeur. You’re not worth the time my friend. You’re really not.

    However, because I am feeling generous, allow me to offer my view of John 3:16. Copied and pasted direct from the Strongs, the word “whosoever” is defined as – (pas) Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:—all (manner of, means) alway (-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), X throughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever. And ho hē to simply means – The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom):—the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc. Therefore “whosever” in this passage does not in any way, shape or form say “everyone who is the believing one”. You and your Calvinist friends are wrong.

  41. @Flask O’Pee & Wind

    “sour fruit, an idiot, a fool, mongrel, compulsive liar, a deceiver, a divisionist, ignorant”

    I forgot to add – peanut flicker….

  42. 5 Point Spiritualist,

    From here on in, after this comment, I’m going to ignore you, just because you know you’ve never managed to really convince anyone, including yourself, that you could actually argue successfully against some of the apologetics which have overcome your failed logic on the understanding of the things of the Holy Spirit, and other issues, and you hate it.

    You hate it that you don’t actually know enough about true Pentecostalism to have a genuine argument to offer on most of the things of the Spirit, which bemuse you because you know heaps about a many religious things, but nothing about the outpouring and outworking of the Spirit.

    You hate it that you don’t really understand or grasp speaking in tongues for today, because it’s beyond your exegetic capabilities, being led of the Spirit, and being still current, despite the attempts of cessationists and people who don’t have a clue how it all happens to write it off.

    You hate it that you can’t explain away the manifestations and gifts of the Spirit in the Church today, because cessationist teaching has completely confused you and you have no idea of how it all works in the Spirit, yet you’re bright enough and you know enough that, Biblically, it has to be.

    But who is going to show you this in the Reformed set up? You grasp Greek, and you’ve read the classics, but you don’t know the Spirit!

    You hate it that healing can and must take place as evidence of the presence of Christ in our midst, since it is a sign of the Messiah, and the work of witnesses of Christ, according to scripture.

    You hate it that you know that prophecy can’t actually be preaching, as cessationists teach, because the Bible makes a clear distinction, yet you do not experience true prophecy where you are, and nor do you know how it happens. If you did you wouldn’t say some of the things you do. Your focus reveals your ignorance of these things.

    And many other things which you cannot explain with your current understanding, either for or against.

    You are amazingly articulate on having the form of godliness, but you have no clue to the power of the Spirit.

    But, this is my last word, out of a small residue of respect to teddy and Plankers for past, more friendly and inclusive, encounters!

    So, insult away, and brag away, but you cannot get past these things of the Spirit, for they are real, and now, and evident, and explained in scripture for all to see, if only they would believe!

    The good news is that if you apply yourself and remove the plank from your eye you can discover it all for yourself.

    Sorry Specks, but he needs to stop the slurs!

    So long!

  43. @TVD – you forgot copy this out of Strongs though didnt you – this is verbatim from the analysis of pas only:

    “Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words “world” and “all” areused in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means ALL PERSONS, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of ALL SORTS– some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentile … ”

    That last bit may also assist you when you come to the same problem in 2 Peter 3:9 “…not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance…”

    Arminians insist that in 2 Peter 3:9 the words “any” and “all” refer to all mankind without exception. Strongs interlinear doesnt as you can see there….

    Furthermore the problem with your assertion is that the text DOESNT JUST SAY “pas” (all), but “pas ho pisteuwn” therefore it’s “adjective, article, participle”. You cant just run off with the singular participle “pas” and forget what it is doing (modifying) in the sentence construction – ignoring or isolating the “ho pisteuwn”. Furthermore, there is no single Greek word for “whosoever” as rendered in english as you would have us believe…..

    So this is the sentence construction (which you did not even try to address!) – pas, or “all” (or “every” in this case since the participle is singular), MODIFIES the participle pisteuwn – tranlated “believer”. Ho is the definite article – so the most literal rendering is pas “every” ho “the” pisteuwn “believer” is obviously grammatically improper for an English rendering.

    The point is to emphasize that in every single case of the one believing, that one will not perish, but live everlastingly. “Whosoever” is simply a way to translate the pas+ho, the all+definite article. There is no such thing as a believing person who will not receive the promised benefit, hence, “whosoever.”

    Furthermore, this is a common form in John’s writings. For example, in his first epistle he uses it often. Just a few examples:

    If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices (Greek: pas ho poiwn) righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:29)

    One could translate the above phrase as “whoever” or “whosoever practices righteousness.” Likewise,

    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves (Greek: pas ho agapwn) is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)

    Likewise one could use “whoever” here as in “”whoever loves is born of God,” etc. And a final relevant example,

    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. (1 John 5:1)

    You didnt copy that all verbatim out of strongs either you lying sack of …. you simply copied the “pas” and the description of the word origin -“including all the forms of declension”

    As you would appreciate, the proper construction of the Greek phrase is no more a “Calvinist” issue that the the proper construction of the English phrase “consider yourself refuted muppet”….

  44. Flask ‘O Faeces

    I dont think you ever understood the fact that I am not a cessationist – I am agnostic on the issue…

  45. Teddy and TVD, My comment that “that line says a lot” wasn’t meant in any way to be sarcastic, negative or demeaning.

    In fact I was meaning that I was impressed with the integrity of someone coming to a theological position regardless or whether they “personally” wanted it to be true or not.

    So it was actually a compliment. Sorry for any confusion caused.

  46. @5PS, I’ll address some of your reply as I am preparing for church this morning (you know, doing the work of the gospel, something of which you would know nothing about). You suggest that

    “The words “world” and “all” areused in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means ALL PERSONS, taken individually. ”

    Let me ask you 5point, do you see the word “never” in that sentence? As in “The words “world” and “all” areused in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is NEVER taken individually.” I don’t think so. Simply because a word is rarely interpreted to mean something in scripture doesn’t mean it never means it. A basic rule of effective bible study is to not take a single verse in isolation and build a doctrine on it. IF there is any situation where a word can mean several things, that word must be interpreted by it’s context and by scripture as a whole. Firstly, the passage starts with God so loved the WORLD” – if He loved the world so much why then restrict salvation to a few? It makes no sense, so interpreting the word in the way you so vehemently wish it to be cannot be the correct interpretation. Secondly, two verses before Jesus says “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,”. We remember from the original passage in Numbers 21:8 that God said everyone (kôl meaning properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense):—(in) all (manner, [ye]), altogether, any (manner), enough, every (one, place, thing), howsoever, as many as, [no-] thing, ought, whatsoever, (the) whole, whoso (-ever)) who passed under or looked upon the Brazen Serpent would live. Other scriptures, such as 2 Cor 5:19, 1 Tim 2:5-6, Hebrews 2:9, 1 John 4:14, 1 John 2:2, completely trash the false doctrine of limited atonement, just to name a few. It is so obvious that the idea that atonement is limited isn’t supported in any way by scripture as a whole.

    Well that’s it for me at the moment. I’m off to do God’s work. Enjoy your ineffective and bitter day 5point.

  47. @ TVD – a few years ago Greg French (yes, a C3 pastor!) warned us of your kind of “theology” AND said not to allow such as “you” to lay hands on us.

    Wise words, may the Lord protect His sheep if they have found themselves unwittingly in your church.

  48. @ 5Point – is it worth “casting pearls before swine”?

    “Do not persist in offering what is sacred or of value to those who have no appreciation for it, because your gift will not only become contaminated and be despised, your generous efforts could also be rebuffed and perhaps even openly attacked.”

    It’s not worth getting angry with these gentlemen. If the Lord can lead us away from unsound doctrine, He can certainly do the same with them. They will kick and scream just as we did, and finally rest in His sovereign grace.

    Or are they the “ear-ticklers” given as judgement? The evidence of judgement and “a famine of the Word” the Lord talks of in Amos?

    Another thing I realise, is just how much their comments are about themselves, rather than Christ, what THEY do, their “good works” rather than what Christ has DONE.

    Personally the full-on attacks are time-wasting and inflammatory, you have lots of “good news” to offer, FL loves the opportunity to fight you and sadly none of this is really edifying anyone. If we are “right” we only need to offer the comfort of contextual scripture. Let them beat their heads against that rather than personal attack.

    Really appreciate having you here, makes one get into their bibles.

  49. 5pintslurper…I perfectly understand you are agnostic on the issue. You’ve said so before. That is my point.

    When you have recovered from your doubts and lack of clarity, and know how Pentecost works, then you have some right to say how it doesn’t!

    This is actually an encouragement to you to find out for yourself, and you may have to step outside of the Reformed crowd’s stock theology to do so.

    Happy hunting!

  50. Teddy and 5p are Welsh? That explains a lot…! : )

    5p, Calvary Chapel has an interesting history. And they’ve had to address Calvinism, emergents, purpose driven etc. Ironic because from all I remember Chuck Smith was one of the main proponents of the 40 yr generation after Israel becoming a nation idea. For those who are old enough, the late 80’s was rapture fever time!

  51. Welsh diluted by a Swedish grandfather which explains all the blondes in our family (no jokes please!) My father’s Christian name was “Griffith Llewellyn”, how’s that for a good Welsh name – black hair, fair skin, a good looking man, as only a Welshmanp can be! 🙂

  52. s&P said:

    “I get the impression on this blog one side accuses the other of hypercalvinism and the other side accuses them of hyperarminianism.
    Here are a couple of interesting articles for you both.”

    Not me. I’ve only accused one of being a compulsive liar, deceiver and divisionist. I don’t mind there being an oddball of believers who disagree with each other.

    I’ve exchanged fiery comments with TVD but I wont kick him off unless he starts going down the trail of the serpent like the ‘other guy’.

    I actually wish we would move on from this issue. I think we too often narrow the problem to these extremities because we are passionate to see change on the other side and believe this is the core issue to the problems in the church today.

    I am more concerned with other issues in the church than the extreme hyper-calvin/arminian arguments.

    They have there place. But if Signposts wants to make it through another day, I think we need to put this issue to the side for a season and focus on other things. We can return to it when we’re ready and have more people who want to discuss the topic again.

    You must be banging your head on a brick wall by now!

  53. Well, how DO we get back on topic?

    From Specks’ article above – “One of the elders said that he had told him something that not even his wife knew and that since only God can know our thoughts, he had to be of God. So in the end, humiliated, I left the church. But not Christ…”

    Sounds more like a “physic” than a prophet. Met one of those at a dinner party, she freaked out one young couple with her “insight” to private information.

    If someone is aligned with satanic forces, their knowledge seems limited to events that have already occured, satan knows that and can impart that knowledge to them.

  54. TVdooshbag says –

    “You suggest that:

    “The words “world” and “all” areused in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means ALL PERSONS, taken individually.”

    I didnt suggest that at all – they are not my words, that statement ACTUALLY WAS copied verbatim out of Strongs Interlinear KJV version…..

    how do you cope with even a simple task like breathing, I mean seriously..you would have to be thickest individual to have ever visited this blog

  55. I have a question for those who believe miracles, tongues and prophecies still happen in churches today:
    1. Have those who have been prayed for in these services actually been healed LONG TERM of a major medical condition with medical proof and not a psychosomatic condition?
    By the way I still believe God can heal if according to his will – I knew an ex-nurse who knew she was having a heart attack and she prayed… later when she went to the hospital they mentioned her heart ECG showed she had had a heart attack she had recovered from in the past.
    2. Does anyone ever interpret these tongues being spoken as the apostle Paul says should be done in 1 Corinthians chapter 14?
    3. Do the self-proclaimed prophets ever make any specific prophecies for future events that actually come true, or are they general personal encouragements and/or ambiguous statements that can be easily explained away?

  56. @ Joey

    1. Not at services, but have seen it with a pregnant daughter, whose healing was a great witness to an unbelieving doctor.

    2. The only time (as a Pentecostal) was not at our former church but at Sydney Town Hall where a Salvation Army officer gave a tongue and waited upon the interpretation that followed, being a scripture from the Bible.

    3. Only ever general or ambiguous

  57. Mosco Please only aim your flaming comments only to the ‘Banned One’ and not to other people like TVD. Please tone it down with him if he wishes to comment here.

    Joey: I still hold to Pentecostal values. I still speak in tongues yet am unsure about it. I feel assured and comforted in God when I do. But this may be more of a Romans 8 implication of the Spirit groaning in me.

    I believing healing can happen in a service and have seen it happen. If it’s anything more serious or lif threatening – I believe it is not appropriate to make a show about it, but remove the person from the congregation and allow trustworthy people who move int gifts of deliverance, healing and prophecy to minister with individuals. I would allow witnesses to be present for legal and testimonial reasons.

    Prophecy can happen – but before anyone speaks, they MUST tell the people they are speaking over to test what they say according to scripture. At C3 I have learnt what not to do.

    And unlike the claims made against me here, I am very big hearing peoples hurts, praying for healing keeping people centered on Christ’s gospel of love.

    As a result – without me telling them my personal views of C3, those individuals eyes open, know God on a much more deeper level, love the bible and then eventually leave when they discover what they are apart of. Not ONCE do I say C3 is wrong or evil to them. I allow God to work in them to see what they are apart of. I avoid talking about C3’s doctrines or problems in case of exposure.

  58. RP: I am not whacking my head against the wall. It can be frustrating sometimes. I am used to the nature of Signposts02. I find things hard to bother me. My tolerance level has increased remarkably.

  59. TVD – I figure you should be finished preaching your 10 parts water to 1 part gospel message so I wondering if you might indulge us with a response to the original question put to you some time ago regarding Limited Atonement which you say you dont accept and hate so much – Are you saying that your view of the atonement doesnt limit it [the atonement]?

    Are you a universalist(all will be saved, none are lost)?

  60. @teddy

    “a few years ago Greg French (yes, a C3 pastor!) warned us of your kind of “theology” AND said not to allow such as “you” to lay hands on us.”

    By “your theology”, do you mean that I believe that God isn’t a baby killer, that He is a good God all of the time, and that His Son died for all mankind and not a select few? I can absolutely guarantee you that my good friend Greg French never preached against my “theology”, because that is what he believes too.

    @5PS

    “Are you saying that your view of the atonement doesnt limit it [the atonement]? Are you a universalist(all will be saved, none are lost)?”

    I am saying that Jesus’ atonement is only limited by the fact that we make the decision to believe in Him or not. It is not however limited in the sense that only a select few are “chosen”.

    And, no, I certainly am not a universalist.

    By the way, what WAS the original topic? 🙂

  61. @TVD –
    So therefore, you limit the power and efficacy of the atonement. You limit the power of it by virtue of it rendering every human being “savable” – you limit its efficacy by virtue of it being “limited” only to those who appropriate it by means of a “decision”….

    I limit the scope of the atonement, while saying that its power and effect is unlimited – accordingly, it would appear that you actually believe in a more restrictive form of limited atonement than I do….In that regard:

    “Let there be no misunderstanding at this point. The Arminian limits the atonement as certainly as does the Calvinist…..The Calvinist limits it quantitatively, but not qualitatively; the Arminian limits it qualitatively, but not quantitatively. For the Calvinist it is like a narrow bridge that goes all the way across the stream; for the Arminian it is like a great wide bridge that goes only half-way across. As a matter of fact, the Arminian places more severe limitations on the work of Christ than does the Calvinist.” (Lorraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1932) p. 153.)

    By the way – Calvinist doctrine doesnt teach anywhere that only a “few” are elect…

    Facts are stubborn little things arent they?

  62. @TVD – with another grandchild soon to be delivered , I wonder if GF will be assuring the mum that God guarantees a “pain-free” delivery?

  63. @teddy

    “with another grandchild soon to be delivered , I wonder if GF will be assuring the mum that God guarantees a “pain-free” delivery?”

    Possibly.

    @5PS

    Semantics and gobbledee-gook.

  64. During the Iron Age and early medieval period, Wales was inhabited by the Celtic Britons. A distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the centuries after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations today. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was recognised as king of Wales in 1057. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd’s death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England’s conquest of Wales.

  65. @wazza2

    Thanks for the history lesson! Wales is definitely on top of my to-do list. I became interested in Welsh history after reading a series of fiction books by a Christian author called Stephen Lawhead who set all his books in ancient Wales.

  66. Thats great TVD. I would also like to go to Wales to see where my Grandparents were living during the war and where my Mum was born. It won’t be for quite sometime though, I think.

    I’ll look up Stephen Lawhead. Did he write fantasy novels, or historical fiction?

  67. Wazza2, they were fantasy novels. He’s got a whole bunch of different series, but his best ones were The Pendragon series, based upon the legend of King Arthur and set in ancient Wales, and the Song of Albion, once again based in ancient Wales and about two modern guys who find themselves as warriors in Wales. If you’re into the fantasy fiction genre you’ll enjoy these.

  68. Speaking of Wales, I’m interested in knowing more about Evan Roberts and the short “revival” there -and the Calvinist perspective… Fascinating stuff. I’d also like to know more about Evan Robert’s life after the revival.

    One thing is for sure, I don’t know why, but the Welsh and great singing seem to go hand in hand.

    I like the Welsh, it’s just the New South Welshmen I have problems with…

  69. Well, this is all very interesting … who’d have thought that we are all welsh? My wife is learning Welsh and making me feel very bad … cos I really can’t be bothered … but I have to pronounce everything properly for her.

    Anyway … the Welsh revival is an interesting topic of conversation. Let’s go there for a bit.

    It is no exaggeration to say that as a result of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, much like at the second significant Pentecost, Wales was almost transformed by it. (an aside: what was the first?)

    I say almost because it did have a massive impact in the Church … many many nominal Christians were born-again. Great.

    However, it didn’t last because 10 years later, Train Time-Tables prevented common sense and diplomacy from stopping World War 1. The churches were stripped of men and very few came back to them. The men had seen too much and couldn’t reconcile the idea of a loving Father God and the horror they had witnessed.

    20 years later the same thing happened and world war 2 smashed male church attendance even more.

    All we have left of the Welsh revival are songs, and a legacy of the impact that Welsh missionaries had in other parts of the world. Now we see that legacy bringing missionaries to Wales to help the church there. We’ve had Koreans come to our church while visiting South Wales. They were a real blessing to us.

    We have songs and nostalgia and that’s it. It’s very sad but the church in Wales has been doing far too much navel gazing and praying for a revival without confronting the main problem. That’s us. Me and you. (I’ll include everyone who looks at the post too, wherever you are.)

    Why does God withdraw His power and provision? Does He do it on a whim, or as a response to what He sees His people doing?

    Where is God active in the World today?

    He is active where people so trust in Him that they surrender to whatever will happen to them. They are prepared to lose everything, even their lives. That is where the Church is genuinely growing.

    Am I prepared to die for Jesus?

    Am I prepared to watch my children suffer for my devotion to Jesus?

    Am I willing to lose my Job? My home? My Children? My Wife? Am I willing to repent of every single one of my sins? Am I prepared to suffer ridicule, pain, suffering and death for Jesus sake?

    More than 250,000 believers die for Jesus every year. Where they are dying, the Gospel is being preached and the Church is growing faster than it ever has before.

    We should forget we ever heard the word REVIVAL until we are ready to literally die for Jesus.

    Are we?

    Shalom.

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