The Whole Earth Is Philled… With This Philth?

This is a photo of the last page in C3’s Presence Conference 2011 Booklet for next year.

I can’t believe how C3 Church Oxford Falls keeps sinking greater depths. They make Babylon look like New Jerusalem.

Presence… or mostly likely absent of God’s Presence.

For the glory of the Lord is risen… upon depraved and wicked minds…

More Philth spouted in Jesus name. See below to see how many times Pringle lies in the blurb.

More heresy. The ‘Open Heaven’ heresy.

The heretical list of speakers.

Quick! Get a list of all the names of the C3 Churches!

… At least they have given everyone a list to see where their whorehouse is spreading.  To know people pay tithes to get rot like this printed…

I think I feel more sorry for the trees!


306 thoughts on “The Whole Earth Is Philled… With This Philth?

  1. Of course there’s nothing wrong with it. Only C3 churches fill the earth with glory. One spirit, one mind and one love. Obviously!

  2. I’m hoping to add to this post. There’s another great photo I have taken in last year’s 2009 Vision Builders booklet. You may see a trend.

  3. Drawing an extreeeeemely long bow Specks! The Passage in full is Psalm 46:10 which reads “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”. By virtue of the fact that I am not desperately searching for any offence or ammunition to use against C3, when I look at the graphic I understand that what they are trying to say is this – because there are so many C3 churches around the world, they are literally exalting Him in all the earth, whereas, because you are so desperate to find any offence, no matter how small or insignificant, even if you have to make it up, you see the graphic as saying that C3 believes THEY will be exalted. As I said, loooong bow!

  4. Just guessing: is that suggesting that Hill$ong’s focus is on the earth, this life now, not the Kingdom of God and Heaven?
    I am curious – do Hill$ong and C3 churches teach postmillenialism?

  5. I think it well represents how the Earth cant contain both God’s Glory and mans ego, other than that it evidence that C3 churches are the main cause of climate change and we should dob them in….

  6. @ Joey – I never heard post-millenialism mentioned during our time at C3. The soon-returning Christ and the rapture of the church would get an occasional mention, with no accompanying teaching on the subjects.

    At Bible College years ago, any teaching is only an overview as none of the lecturers were “qualified’ to teach. (Did a year long counselling course where a visiting pyschologist lectured once.)

    @ 5Point – bet they all had a look to see if their church got a mention in the picture! 🙂

  7. @5PS

    “evidence that C3 churches are the main cause of climate change and we should dob them in”

    I knew there was another explanation besides cow farts and dirty coal!

  8. TVD, “Drawing an extreeeeemely long bow Specks! The Passage in full is Psalm 46:10 which reads “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”.”

    Really? Let me tell you what the image is clearly saying with the scripture you quoted.

    Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; C3 Church will be exalted among the nations, C3 will be exalted in the earth!”

    Even Pringle himself believes and has said that C3 will take over the world. I have laughed whenever he has said this. But after seeing this image – I think he has deluded himself to believing it to be true.

    The image stinks of pride TVD. Especially since this brochure talks about glory, has a motif of star constellations and grand photo-shots of the works of man.

  9. It might be just me but when I look into the eyes of the NAR Pope Bill Johnson, I could swear that he is not alone in there…..he is a creepy individual….

    Not uncharacteristic of an enemy of the Cross of Christ and His Gospel I guess….false teachers ARE Gods Judgement on people

  10. How can Pringle say that he knows Jesus when he denies that the heavens are already opened because of what Christ and the Spirit have already done?

    You don’t need to go to this Mecha-Conference to experience or encounter God. Christ is enough. God is God. He meets us and teaches us where we are.

  11. @Specks, that is exactly what I was saying you’d read into that graphic! As I said, because I am not searching for offence, I don’t see any, because you are searching for an offence you do. Any reasonable viewing of the graphic by anyone without an agenda would draw the same conclusion as I did. It’s only because of your prejudice against them that you see the worst.

  12. @Specks

    “You don’t need to go to this Mecha-Conference to experience or encounter God. Christ is enough. God is God. He meets us and teaches us where we are.”

    I agree. So many people go from conference to conference seeking God, not realizing that they can achieve the same relationship in their own loungeroom!

  13. The lies Pringle has already spouted is abysmal!

    He says Jesus will be on the lips and the hearts of all people. But he says about this conference:

    (What I placed in brackets are my comments. Read below to see the lies that I want to address in this blurb alone.)

    Presence is a time for fresh anointing [heresy], enlarged vision [his cult-propaganda-vision], amazing empowerment [bewitchment by false teachers], and a time we can take time and space to wait on God [because your time with God doesn’t have an entertaining rock band]. We believe as we gather together at Presence, the heavens will be opened over your life [because Jesus didn’t open them over your life but C3 Presence will] and you will experience a greater outpouring of His anointing[*1], blessing[*2], vision[*3] and miracles[*4]. What a privilege it is to come together over 4 days and unite in a time of phenomenal worship, incredible teaching[*5] and powerful ministry[*6]. We look forward to joining you in our beautiful Darling Harbour at Presence 2011!” – Phil and Chris Pringle

    Lie 1. The only Anointing Christian’s have received is the ordination and conversion of the Holy Spirit. Any other ‘anointing’, I believe, is not of God. And that was revealed at this years Presence Conference. Gordon Moore, president of the C3Global movement started imparting the ‘financial anointing’ he received at this years Presence Conference 2010. This is what Steve Warren was talking about in his sermon here: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/wolf-steve-warren-fleeces-c3-denmark/

    “This stuff is impartational. I may not be able to give you your miracle, but I know when I went down to Presence in Sydney this year, I was telling Pastor Phil some of the things we’ve been seeing happening. And he said, “That got on you when you were in Sydney – it’s transferable”. No one laid hands on me. I had four days (raise hands near his shoulders), in a miracle (does magic fingers) environment. And ever since then I felt like miracles have been (clicks fingers twice) easy. It’s just… There’s miracles hanging in the air at church right now, ready to happen. All we have to do is set in our hearts a decision to engage with that. Amen?” – Steve Warren

    Any other anointing is demonic and is not of God. We can start a thread on this if you disagree.

    Lie 2. Not only is this blessing not free, you have got to put money into the Presence Conference Miracle Offering Roulette to be blessed spiritually or materially. So why would God want your money to leave your wallet to have an encounter with Him?

    This type of ‘blessing’ goes against scripture:
    Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

    The blessings of God are free and are not limited. This blessing that Pringle says is of God is not.

    Lie 3. The ‘vision’ that Pringle says is of God will only be Pringles ‘god-given’ 2020 vision. We’ve already seen it is a lie. It keeps changing whenever it is spoken. He equates branding churches with planting churches. That is a lie. Therefore the vision is a lie. He keeps saying that he is unapologetic in imparting his vision so that the church runs with it.

    However, if individuals receive ‘visions’ from God – they could be either genuine or false (due to the atmosphere created). In hyped up feel good and ideal driven atmosperes, ‘visions’ can easily be exaggerated and vain imaginings. The Apostle Paul speaks against these types of visions.

    Lie 4. These miracles would be in regard to the miracle offering. I stress that God NEVER gave a miracle in exchange for money. If he does a miracle in someone’s life – it is because he is Jehovah Jireh (provider) and NOT because we bought a miracle. If Pringle is saying God will do miracles at his Conference – then either Pringle is lying or he is telling the truth and relying on a different spirit to do the healing in exchange for money. God will never bow down to such a pathetic level as that.

    However, in His mercy He can do what He wants. He might really help the unfortunate out if He does not wish to see them starve simply because they put everything into these offerings.

    But the essential lie is that God will do miracles if you give money. That is what is stressed and people are told to look forward to the miracle offering.

    Lie 5. Incredible teaching from who? Phil Pringle? Chris Pringle? Bill Johnson? Marcos Witt?

    They all come from the scamming and damning prosperity movement! The teachings from such movements are shameful and fraudulent. A flat out lie from Pringle their.

    Lie 6. Finally – you can’t call this event a ‘powerful ministry’ if those on stage are lying frauds and false teachers. God might choose to do something or not.

    Finally. After saying ‘Jesus will be on the lips and the hearts of all people’, he does not mention Jesus ONCE! That’s how much this conference is about Jesus. Phil Pringle called his conference Presence because of the following scripture:

    1 Kings 8:10-11 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

    He wants that cloud. He wants the Presence to come like it did with the Old Covenant. But that worm of a man has gone to the extent to defile whatever ‘Godly Presence’ may be at the Conference in God’s people. He has stripped the cross of it’s message and saving power, has made Jesus’ name a joke and only adds insult to God’s global church with the filth that comes from his lips. Phil Pringle is a disgrace and needs to be rejected by the church until he stops lying, blaspheming God and defiling God’s church for his own name.

    His arrogance and pigheadedness is just disgusting. I’m trying to figure out when he sold his soul to the god of this age.

  14. @Specks

    “Any other anointing is demonic and is not of God. We can start a thread on this if you disagree.”

    Yes please, because I do disagree

  15. @Specks, you really should rephrase your language when talking about PP and C3. The thing is much of what you say regarding this teaching is valid, but your wild accusations about their motives isn’t. You are not Phil Pringle, or Gordon Moore or Steve Warren. You speak as if you know with complete certainty their motives are disingenuous. Are you God? Because only He knows the intentions of our hearts.

  16. Hey TVD

    After your unfortunate flacid appendage-like response in conclusion to our last encounter (I think we can say “ahhh stuff’n’nonsense” is a not very meaningful unqualified argument in a debate) I got to thinking how completely controlling and powerful the religious affections really are (as Johnathan Edwards wrote).

    I think a religious paradigm shift occasioned by subjecting your strongly held religious beliefs to crtical analysis – for you would be akin to intellectual suicide (like GK Chesterton wrote of atheistic worldview) – the way you cannot adequately deal with logical aguments and propositions, you remind me of the nutty “5 minute abs” hitchhikker guy that Ben Stiller picks up in the movie “Theres Something About Mary” – who needs to hold on to his 5 minutes abs idea at all costs!!!

    By way of another example you just dont have wherewithal to handle something as simple and theologically meaningless (in the big scheme of things) as contemplating that you might be wrong with regard to the gift of tongues being some etherial unintelligble spirit-language by which the believer “edifies himself” in some exestential spiritual “high” – rather it being taught in scripture as a supernatursal gift of un-learned INTELLIGBLE languages which were a sign to the unbeliever of the authenticity of the Apostolic Gospel and the supenatural means by which it spread like wild fire in the Apostolic age…..

    What also got me thinking is the absolute ignorance typical of 99% of hyper-charasmatic believers who dont know the first thing of the origins of their movement or the key players (nor do they want to know for fear of spiritual and intellectual meltdown) – have you ever considered the etymology of the word enthusiast or enthusiaism – Its actially a perjorative word from the reformation era in the 1560s, “one who believes himself possessed of divine revelations or special communication from God,” from Gk. enthousiastes “a person inspired,” from enthousiazein.

    like modern hyper-charasmaniac fanatics, they advocated throwing off all of historic Christianity & starting over – often claiming they want to rebuild Christianity on the Bible alone (as if it has not been so for in excess of 1500 years).

  17. @5PS

    Sorry, I stopped reading at “flaccid appendage” – I’m not really interested in wasting my time reading your “flaccid” arguments! I’d prefer reading real opinions from real people rather than copy and pasted rubbish from some other apologetics site.

  18. @ TVD – what a cop out! Deal with the comment – hey, I have to read through carefully too, and I do understand what he’s saying, he just uses big words very cleverly 🙂 :). We all cut and paste at times, you do with Matthew Henry and I seriously do NOT believe the above is “cut and paste”, it’s pure gold 5Point!!

    I refuse to watch “Something About Mary” though, (as much as I like Ben Stiller)

  19. God told me only to watch this little bit as I would need it for a later illustration…….

  20. @teddy

    Not a cop out, I am just not interested in going around in circles again and again and pulling apart 5PS’s arguments point by point. He can grandstand all he wants. We get it 5point – you are the smartest kid in the class because you can use big words and bamboozle us with quotes from some long-dead theologian or from another bitter church-hater with delusions of spiritual superiority.

    Whenever I read 5point’s rubbish I am so reminded of the filth that comes out of Richard Dawkin’s mouth – the same self-righteousness, the same pride and the same feeling of intellectual-superiority. I really cannot be bothered teddy. I really can’t!

  21. well I though I was being very relevant and hip by using a modern movie illustration!!

    TVdesparado – I dont have any sympathy for you, you come along misrepresenting what I believe, slamming the protestant movement – which you clearly dont understand (nor Roman Catholicism), you ignorantly flap your gums about the Reformation and individuals at that time, what do you expect….you exhibit more pride than anyone I know – you even presume to be a pastor/teacher – now youve really got some hyde claiming to be that when you are clearly not. It took me many years to qualify for my earthly profession – I didnt run around pretending I was qualified until I actually qualified and could demonstrate some competency

    have you done like any formal theological study – honestly…. you clearly cannot interact with theologiacal arguments requiring the use of Greek grammar and syntax – you dont seem to even undertand the importance of a basic knowledge the original languages, you dont appear to know how to cite sources….you didnt use shcolarly references in our previous interactions – you simply cut and pasted the Matthew Henry commentry on Hebrews 6:11 and said “there, are you happy” (its on the record) – you did not show how that commentary would tend to support your position. You cant properly use a Greek Interlinear…..

    You dont even understand the major themes in the bible

  22. @5Point, think what you want. I really don’t care. I don’t need to brag about my qualifications or experience. I don’t need to explain myself to you. You’re an angry little man with some knowledge of scripture and hermeneutics and absolutely no knowledge of how to relate to human beings. I am not beholden to you or your kooky beliefs. The couple of hundred people in my church appreciate my teaching and leadership. That’s what’s important to me. Not you.

  23. @ TVD – kooky beliefs? I should play Monty Python’s Black Knight clip here (yet again!)

    Yes, YOU are the Black Knight. 🙂

  24. By the way, I just noticed Kristian (musician and cancer sufferer from C3) and Rachel Anderson were the recipients of a $250000 gift from Oprah. Watching to see how much mileage PP tries to make out of this for the C3 “vision”

  25. @TVD
    Seriously – I have no idea why you are assuming its a “church” as opposed to a loosly incorporated body of people with eclectic beliefs and a dislocated organisational structure with no real idea about what it believes and why – and that is almost totally cut off from anything that can be described as either biblical or historic Christianity and indeed REJECTS AND HATES WITH A PASSION anything that can be described as either biblical or historic Christianity….I know mate, I have the advantage over you by having been there, done that, and bought the Joseph Prince book, so has Teddy & Specks…..

  26. Its good having the old TVstooge back though, things were getting too quiet around here – I wonder how he-who-should-not-be-named is doing over in the silverlined clouds of the “reflectionroom” (I always just think of tunes on the panflute whenever I think of it!!)

  27. @5point

    “Its good having the old TVstooge back though, things were getting too quiet around here ”

    It’s quiet here because everyone else is sick to death of you lot! That’s why people are commenting and getting along on Reflection room, because you and teddy are not there spreading the hate.

  28. I always loved the panpipes. (Smirk.) Mainly because they remind me of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.

    Here’s a link to the original (including panflutes):

    And here is the New Improved Version:

    (Worth a look)

    Zoolander is one of my favourite movies – Ben Stiller is hilarious. So was ‘Something About Mary’.

  29. I always loved the panpipes. (Smirk.) Mainly because they remind me of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.

    Here’s a link to the original (including panflutes):

  30. And here is a link to the New Improved Version:

    Zoolander is one of my favourite movies – Ben Stiller is hilarious. So was ‘Something About Mary’.

  31. They are making a sequel to Zoolander, something to look forward too.

    Panpipes are really good when you get those South Americans guys in shopping malls busking and selling CD’s on the side. 🙂

  32. Thank goodness you guys lightened this piece of suppuration up! Your humorous detour shows signs of kindness amidst the furore of beating up on C3 folk. Well done!

    @5PS:

    I’m sorry, but to be brutally honest, you really do demonstrate your lack of understanding of the things of the Spirit, You said the following, rather crudely, to TVD, since he didn’t even bring this up…

    ‘you just don’t have wherewithal to handle something as simple and theologically meaningless (in the big scheme of things) as contemplating that you might be wrong with regard to the gift of tongues being some etherial unintelligble spirit-language by which the believer “edifies himself” in some exestential spiritual “high” – rather it being taught in scripture as a supernatursal gift of un-learned INTELLIGBLE languages which were a sign to the unbeliever of the authenticity of the Apostolic Gospel and the supenatural means by which it spread like wild fire in the Apostolic age…..’

    Well, first of all, ‘ethereal’ means, basically, ‘heavenly or spiritual’, so I’m not sure where you’re going with that. I always thought speaking in tongues, according to New Testament practice, was an utterance given by the Holy Spirit, who is definitely heavenly and spiritual.

    Regardless, since when is speaking in tongues simple? Have you ever spoken in Biblical, NT tongues? If you have, did it come from you or from the Spirit? Who gave the utterance? If you have not, why not, if it is simple? Do you think an unsaved, unauthorised, unfilled person could speak in tongues by the leading of the Spirit, just by making it up? Is there Biblical evidence of this?

    And theologically meaningless? Really? Says who? Jesus? I think not. He said it was a sign following believers. Paul? Never. He says he preferred that we all spoke in tongues, and that it was sign to the unbeliever, and that we should forbid not to speak in tongues, and that he spoke in more tongues than anyone, or in tongues more than anyone, depending how you see it, but either way he was prolific in tongues

    He also said that the motive for tongues was love, and tongues in the church setting should be accompanied by interpretation, and that we should sing in tongues and speak in tongues as well as with the understanding, and we could ask God for an interpretation of tongues, which rather implies that tongues are not understood, after all, or why would we need an interpretation? Sela!

    He also stated that tongues was speaking to God and not to men, and a considerable list of other relevant things pertinent to the gift, as a prayer language, a worship language, and in the church setting as a gift akin to prophecy when accompanied by interpretation.

    Paul did indeed say that tongues edifies the speaker. This in itself is an important element of the gift. Some claim they don’t need to be edified. Which is nonsense, if you rally give it some thought. If God has given a gift which edifies, then we should enter into his wisdom for us, should we not? Knowing it is the Spirit who gives the utterance, surely we should engage with him in this gift, especially since it builds us up on our most holy faith.

    You claim that tongues can only be intelligible languages understood by the hearer.

    However Paul says, ‘he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HIM; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries’. No one understands him! Interesting truth there.

    Now I know that on the Day of Pentecost, people did understand their languages, but not all understood every language, only some, and it was a sign to them, but clearly that is not always the case or Paul would not have said ‘no one understands him’.

    You say tongues are, or rather, were, ‘a sign to the unbeliever of the authenticity of the Apostolic Gospel and the supernatural means by which it spread like wild fire in the Apostolic age’.

    Book, scripture, verse?

    Can’t find a reference to an ‘Apostolic Age’, or not in terms of the kind of termination you are implying here, unless you mean the current Age which began at Pentecost and continues to today, having not yet been completed, being the age designated until Jesus comes for the Church. I see no scripture which ends an ‘Apostolic Age’, either written or implied. I see the Age of the Gentiles, which is incomplete, and what you could term the Age of Grace, which continues, but the Age of the Apostles? Ended? When? Where? How?

    So, far from being agnostic on this, as you rather unsophisticatedly and inconclusively claim, you show clear signs of being cessationist.

    The ‘spiritual high’ inference, and ‘enthusiasm’ reference are just old wives tales spread by opponents of the gifts, just as ‘Methodism’ was a tag given to Wesley’s adherents by those who thought he was up the creek whilst saving England, in the name of God, from the same fate as the French during their violent and bloody Revolution. BUt ‘spiritual high’ and enthusiasm’ do not meet the need for required descriptors by the vague at all.

    The problem with these tags is that they are generally added by people with little or no understanding of the supernatural, or the things of the Spirit. You have definitely entered that club, and it shows, which is a waste o your self-procalied investigative and study claims.

    Now that is not a problem, none of us knows it all, so it’s reasonable to not know how some aspects of our faith operate, as long as you are seeking the truth on these things, but when you are being critical and clearly ignorant at the same time, for a person of your self-percieved ability, it is inexcusable.

    But, the fact that you challenged TVD with this clearly shows that you are giving it some thought, which is worth a fool’s time coming on here to encourage you to keep looking until you find the truth. It’s all there, but you have to dig.

    Happy hunting!

  33. @5PS, teddy and RP – stop it! Pan flutes absolutely suck! They are the devil’s instrument and anyone who plays them should be liberally dunked into large vats of Holy water!

    Darn, I can’t get the pan-pipe version of Amazing Grace out of my head now – thanks a lot 5point

  34. Pringle tweets:

  35. And speak of the devil, more Philth:

    How many Christian’s does he want to turn into spiritual fruitcakes like himself? The pages of his books aren’t even good for toilet paper. Even backsides complain they are mistreated by Pringle’s words on the scrunched up pages.

  36. I’m not even going to bother to answer a pointless and pathetic question like that TVD.

    I don’t think you realise how much kindergarten dribble is in his books.

  37. @Bird

    You said I demonstrate lack of “understanding of the things of the Spirit”

    Just so we have a foundation for the discussion, where do we derive our understanding of the “Things of the Spirit”?

  38. @specks

    “I don’t think you realise how much kindergarten dribble is in his books.”

    I’ve read his books. Not one of my favourite authors I’ll definitely state. My point however is that it is so easy to criticise when we haven’t actually done the hard yards ourselves. I see so many “expert” opinions on how church/pastors/ authors should do things from people on this site who do nothing, and I mean nothing, for the kingdom except whinge and criticise.

  39. @ TVD – we may comment here and have opinions but that doesn’t mean we are not doing anything – maybe we just don’t blog/tweet/boast about it?

  40. @teddy

    “we may comment here and have opinions but that doesn’t mean we are not doing anything – maybe we just don’t blog/tweet/boast about it”

    Nothing wrong with opinions (unless of course other people’s opinions don’t line up with yours and 5points, in which case the knives then come out). But, by virtue of the fact that many of the comments and opinions from you and 5point are so hateful and hurtful, I doubt very much that either of you two would have any positive influence over anyone, unless you count turning people into bitter, twisted pente haters as “positive”.

  41. @Teddy & Speks

    Suppose we grant TVstooge’s premise that “we” have done nothing for the kingdom – I am far more comfortable with that than having any association with the things that apostate movements like C3 have done to hinder it……what about you?

  42. I dont hate pente’s quite a few family members who unfortunately are pentes – I regard them as brothers & sisters because what we differ on i.e. the excesses of charasmania are secondary issues that we can differ on and still have fellowship – Greg the Explorer however is unfortunately simply an apostate and an enemy of the cross – you, Im not so sure about, your certainly a nut and a doofus but I confess I dont know your doctrinal beliefs well enough to confirm whether you have apostatised from the faith on the authority of the Written Logos..

  43. @5point

    “I dont know your doctrinal beliefs well enough to confirm whether you have apostatised from the faith”

    You’ve never asked. All you’ve done is incorrectly assumed.

    “Greg the Explorer however is unfortunately simply an apostate and an enemy of the cross”

    I must admit I haven’t read much of what Greg has written. Why is he an apostate?

    “the excesses of charasmania”

    In all of your rants and raves you’ve never picked up on the fact that you and I share many of the same concerns.

  44. @ TVD – for a start, Greg does not believe Jesus was born of a virgin, that Mary did not need to be one etc….

    He does not affirm penal substitution, that Christ took our sins upon himself when He died on the cross etc….

    I said ages ago, on that basis, I could not call him a Christian brother. It’s not from a place of ignorance that he makes those statements.
    By the way, please understand 5Point and I stand with millions of Christians that hold to the same beliefs in doctrine we do.

    Now, back to Xmas gift making for special little ones.

  45. @teddy

    Thanks, I can see what 5point is saying about Greg.

    I should say that consensus doesn’t equate to right by the way. Billions believe that Mohammed is the way to salvation. Billions believe that the spirits of our ancestors must be worshiped. Millions of Catholics believe that Mary is our conduit to Jesus. Just because millions hold to Calvinism doesn’t mean that it is the only correct theological take on Christianity.

  46. This is interesting. I would prefer to eat out with someone like Greg – and defend him more than I would Pringle.

    I’m going to do a bit of soul searching on this.

  47. I actually think Greg is quite character, super intelligent and a genuinely nice fella – nicer than me (which is not hard) but just like John dominic Crossan – the main man of the Jesus Seminar – he is the loviest heretic you will ever meet. We dont mean to be nasty by calling people heretics, and we need to be careful in doing so. Sometimes I do it too hastily….(Im sure no-one will disagree with that!)

    None of us infallably know who is or will be saved so we must take peoples profession of Christ on face value and treat them accordingly. But in some instances, like Greg, we find that people “out” themselves. For their own good and the good of other believers we cannot just passively accept such error….

    Greg is heretical on numerous levels – hes Pelagian – he denies original sin and not only that he doe not believe in the literal creation narrative in Genesis. He denies the inspiration of scripture totally. Hes a universallist, he denies eternal punishment. He doesnt just reject substiutionary/penal atonement – he hates it…. …an on and on….but worst of all Greg will not be corrected.

    Greg has preached at C3 – that should not be happening, its as simple as that. And that weak guttedness is just charateristic of that movement, it makes me very angry as it should all Christians. Whether people like it or not, souls are on the line and blatant acquiescence to heresy and false teaching is no different to preaching it yourself -just as culpable…

  48. Are you sure you’re not getting your Greg’s mixed up? Has the Explorer really ministered at C3?

    @5PS:
    ‘Just so we have a foundation for the discussion, where do we derive our understanding of the “Things of the Spirit”?’

    As I said above:
    ‘Book, scripture, verse?’

  49. Hang in there Birdshit – Im at work, will respond soon! I know this religious activity is a sacred cow for you and I am really enjoying watching the devotion and the effort you are expending making new IP’s and quirky tags – the pagan god of estatic utterances will be most pleased and may bless you with a BMW if your congregation doesnt for Christmass….

  50. @One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest –
    BTW Sermon Review by Chris Rosebrough – “Wonderful Counselor” by Byron Bledsoe, C3, Orlando, FL on Fighting for the Faith

  51. 5PS:
    Wrong C3! There’s a US movement called C3, not connected. Rosebrough seems to have a thing about them.

    Whilst you’re searching for an explanation on the end of the Age of the Apostles, and how tongues must always be understood, and is ‘theologically meaningless’, can you give us chapter and verse for your mate Rosebrough’s teaching that we have to preach the Law of Moses to get people to repent BEFORE they can accept Christ. Do you agree with this? Seems to be a central thought of his.

    I thought I was hearing things, but then he repeated the idea later, clear as a bell, and he was very animated about it.

    What happened to preaching the good news, and allowing the Holy Spirit convince people of sin, righteousness and judgement?

  52. I think the old testament is a crucial part of the whole picture, from Adam to Jesus. It all fits together, and explains why Christ came. Otherwise, to me it is only part of the puzzle. How do you explain why Christ became the sacrificial lamb? Understating the covenant ,culture etc explains this and why it was necessary. Otherwise it is too experiential, and were not using our god given intelligence. Just my view … Ps never listened to chris r.

  53. 5P: “None of us infallably know who is or will be saved so we must take peoples profession of Christ on face value and treat them accordingly.”

    Simply ‘mazing.

    Exit: stage left

  54. You’re right, Glittergirl, when we teach disciples what Christ has done for us, and the significance of law and grace.

    But that is not what Rosebrough is saying. He’s talking about essential pre-salvation gospel presentation, and is basing it on the key element of the preaching of Mosaic Law preceding grace. I don’t see this in Peter’s presentation of the gospel to Cornelius’ household.

    Acts 10
    34* Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
    35* “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
    36* “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–
    37* “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
    38* “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
    39* “And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree.
    40* “Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly,
    41* “not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
    42* “And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.
    43* “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
    44* While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
    45* And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
    46* For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,
    47* “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
    48* And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

    Interesting, also, that speaking in tongues was considered a confirmation of salvation!

  55. @Birdbrain

    “can you give us chapter and verse for your mate Rosebrough’s teaching that we have to preach the Law of Moses to get people to repent BEFORE they can accept Christ.”

    Sure!!! – perhaps we might start with the quaint notion that we have to “accept christ” as opposed to Him accepting us – and even worse, “offering” Christ to man for his acceptance without pressing upon them the imperative necessity of repentance from indwelling sin. “One might as well offer food to a corpse, for Eph. 2:1,2 tells us that sinners are “dead in trespasses and sins”, and certainly a “dead” man cannot “accept Christ” or cooperate with the Spirit of God.” (I.C.Herendeen)

    eVEN BETTER!!! while we are on the subject of “salvific forumlae” you first enlighten me with the specific scripture reference – book, chapter and verse pointing to a novel little superstitious evangelical rite of religious practice known as the “sinners prayer” – How did the process of rebirth, which Jesus spoke of in John 3, evolve into “asking him into one’s heart?” – I mean I just dont recall Jesus rolling up the scroll, giving it back to the attendant, the eyes of every man in the synagogue fastened on him – then him saying “Now, who would like to ask me to come into their heart?? I see that hand…”????

    C.S. Lewis used the term “a great cataract of nonsense” to describe how people use a modern idea to construe Bible theology. This what happens when we looks retrospectively at the Bible through the lense of our present cultural norms – its called “anachronism”.

    Ill give you a little clue about where Rosebrough was going with the relationship of the (Moral) Law – our view of the Law directly impacts our view of the Gospel.

    BTW if speaking in tongues is the generic means of “confirmation” of salvation that kinda leaves those who did/do not possess the gift in a curious position – doesn’t it?? (Paul expressly states in I Corinthians 12:29-30 that not all speak in tongues)

  56. I see the “elect” of the recent SP02 Exodus and revolution of righteous indignation are slowly making their way back to Egypt…. the forbidden waters of SP02 are too sweet and tempting!!!!

  57. TVD, “My point however is that it is so easy to criticise when we haven’t actually done the hard yards ourselves.”

    Hard yards? Pringle is in love with his words!
    I’m guessing he prepares his sermons and then assembles them into one big mess. Then he gives it to desperate people who hold to his every word who then edit and proofread his stuff for free!

    The same Philth from his mouth is now on pages and actually sold. Trees should be screaming injustice in how they are being used by Pringle.

    Even students clean his art studio for free! Oh the hard life of a writer and painter! Pff! Pringle lives off the back of hard-working people in his pyramid scheme.

    Hard yard? Think again.

  58. @ 5PS.

    I think it is great you have come to SP02. I’ve learnt some interesting things from you. But I hope you have seen what you have caused here – devastation. Maybe God destined it to be this way but I would really appreciate other people more. People like MN, Churchman, RP, Greg the Explorer, Wazza and so on.

    I call them friends, including TVD. I believe as friends we can grow together when they go through difficult circumstances, which is why there is a deeply knitted crew here on SP02. And as friends we can have serious disagreements but put up with each-others faults. Chris Rosebrough and Dan Kimball are friends but have strong and serious theological differences. May we endure like that.

    I sincerely hope that even if people question others salvation by the comments they make on this blog, friendship is placed first then being right. Bring your rants and honesty to Signposts02, but don’t abuse your freedoms at the expense of others.

    We are seen as a community, lets keep it that way. If you want to throw stones – keep throwing them at PinyataFace who keeps coming back in to burn the community to hell with his forked tongue.

  59. The only comment I would make on this particular topic would be that every single church has a terrible temptation to exalt it’s Pastor beyond the truth.

    What I mean is, we put out pastors on a pedestal. None of us have it all correct but what happens to Pastors on pedestals is that they are seen to be perfect, which means they cannot be criticised for dodgy theology and their supporters rush to their defense when they are.

    Then they start to believe their own hype. I know that C3 is keen to sell it’s merchandise. PP is the figurehead so he’ll get his face on everything too. However, I don’t believe this is helpful to anyone.

    Critics on one side think about a cult-like guru imposing his ideas etc, while supporters gather round the ‘leader’ and trust him even more, instead of focusing their eyes on Jesus.

    Danger for the Pastor, his flock and the wider church. Instead of dealing with doctrinal mistakes and being able to have a constructive dialogue, any dissent is seen as being negative and destructive. At which point dialogue breaks down, rival camps are set up and we start burning one another.

    Unfortunately, PP started this particular round of flame-wars by becoming an untouchable guru figure. Hilsong and C3i are very much competing with one another in the marketplace, so he sells himself as an apostle along the same authoritarian lines as Yonggi Cho or Peter Wagner, while Hillsong is making so much money that they are weathering the financial crisis much better and don’t have to go quite so extreme to promote their guru Brian.

    The question for many sub-pastors who have their own c3 fellowships is could they survive without c3?

    I don’t want any to answer that question to me. I don’t really care to know. Some may wish to respond and say they survive with the Holy Spirit and not PP. Great. However, does PP expect them to submit to c3 authority? (I don’t want to know the answer. This is just for them to think about. It’s their church and surely they have a vested interest in bringing it closer to the kind of church that Jesus wants them to have.)

    I presume that all those who blog on this site want to see a better church. I presume that we all want to serve King Jesus as effectively as possible. That we want to extend the Kingdom at all costs.

    The ultimate question I have to ask is this.
    Is God winning, not in your Church but in your community? Is your church making converts and disciples from your neighbors, or are you growing your fellowship from transfers from other churches in your locality?

    I make no attempt to sound like I know anything here. I am a bigger failure than most when it comes to sharing my faith and impacting my church and community.

    I only want to bang heads together and say that slamming people will get us nowhere. (I know, pot/kettle but I am trying to reach out to all here. The time is short. Look whats happening in Nuclear Armed North Korea … Jesus may not come back before many people die in a horrible nuclear war.)

    What really matters?

    Shalom

  60. @ Flew – Chris Rosebrough is most definately NOT a cessationist. He talked extensively on the subject recently.

    @ everyone – There are several different C3 church groups in the States. It’s just coincidence, one of the pastor’s reviewed is from Cleveland Community Church, another is C3 Exchange an apostate (literally) church with a pastor from NZ who “preaches” an all inclusive chat to whosoever.
    The sermon review is very interesting…..:(

    http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2010/06/evolutionize-your-life.html

    Maybe what I’m pointing out here is that PP was not very original when he changed the “brand name”. 🙂

  61. @ Bull – I’m always encouraged by the words in John 6

    “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. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 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. 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.”

    He will lose NONE that the Father has given Him. (And He has elected/chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world).

  62. @Specks

    I didnt intend to cause devastation, things get out of control sometimes and very heated when we confront things head on. Its a very rare thing to be able to have cordiality as well as meaningful debate on issues that occasioned the Reformation (free will, election, justifiaction by faith alone, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Christus…) – thats why such issues occasoned the Reformation!!!! Its 500 years down the track and these issues are arguably more relvant in todays relativistic, post-modern society today then back then and then we have the apostate church that is pretending to “enagage” it by being like it.

    I go overboard at times, but whilst I will continue to work on that a bit on my part, I take as much as I give…but apart from that I answer what you said as follows (it may sound familiar):

    “I will quite happily leave those practicing idolatry to their sins. It’s those that are innocently caught up in these spiritual whorehouses I’m hoping to lead out and show them the true Spirit of God and the amazing truths revealed in His Word.

    People accuse me of being divisive. So be it! Now I know what Jesus means when he said:

    Matt:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    As long as I am accused for doing the right things like leading people to study the scriptures themselves and relying on God to help them understand, then I will quite happily smile at those who condemn me…..”

    With respect – it kinda sounds to me you want your cake and to eat it too….

  63. @ Newtaste – “your best life is waiting”. But if you want to take up your cross and follow Christ, where do they go? A little bit of “bait and switch”? Why not mention Jesus’ name, are they concerned that will put people off? Seeker-friendly C3 is the new “Crystal Cathedral”?

  64. Bull: “that every single church has a terrible temptation to exalt it’s Pastor beyond the truth.”

    Good point! I need to keep up to be relevant.
    Everyone! I am your pastor. Exalt me! 😀

  65. I try and keep myself in check if I go too extreme. As you know Teddy and RP are my extrem-o-meter.

    If I go too far I do my best to hear what people say and clean up the damage and either clarify or repent from my extremities.

    For example – I heard what TVD said here:

    “@Specks, you really should rephrase your language when talking about PP and C3. The thing is much of what you say regarding this teaching is valid, but your wild accusations about their motives isn’t. You are not Phil Pringle, or Gordon Moore or Steve Warren. You speak as if you know with complete certainty their motives are disingenuous. Are you God? Because only He knows the intentions of our hearts.”

    I’m still considering removing my strong remarks. TVD’s point is valid. I encourage you to apologise if you hurt people. This is not compromising what you believe, just the behaviour. That tends to be the issue with me and people on Signposts02. We both walk a fine line. Heard a lame phrase once:

    “If you don’t watch your tone, they’ll leave you alone.”

    There is wisdom in that. You’re a smart guy. It would be great if people were attracted to your comments because of the wisdom you offer is wrapped in goodness. It’s up to you if you want to take this advice.
    I love the gems you offer Signposts02.

  66. Boy a lot goes on while I’m in transit! I thought SA would be warmer than VIC!
    Can you tell me/us whenever sermons are C3 (or friends of C3) on Fighting for the Faith for future reference teddy? Unfortunately with family around all school holidays I won’t be able to listen for a while. 😦

  67. @ Joey – Bill Johnson, keynote speaker at Presence 2011, and an IHOP sermon are critiqued on the December 15 episode of Fighting For The Faith.

  68. TVD I have a question: if a C3 church found out that a person was never going to improve in health, career, abilities, relationships, circumstances (therefore evangelism using personal testimony alone to non-christians or encourage struggling christians would not be possible at all), or would ever be able to tithe at all- would that person be welcome in a C3 church?

  69. While working today I got the most damning revelation on Arminianism. It came from nowhere.

    I am usually 50/50 on the issue of arminianism and calvinism. I usually see both sides.

    But I realised how much abusive and successful pastors rely on it. If a pastor preaches an arminian gospel – people become dependent on the pastor. The pastor gains.

    BUT

    If a pastor preaches a calvinist gospel- people become more dependent in God. C3 can NEVER embrace Calvinism. If they taught people the sovereign grace of God…

    1. No one would go to C3 conferences
    2. No one would by Pringle’s books.
    3. No one would swallow false gospel or doctrine therefore…
    4. No one would be duped into giving money. Which means…
    5. No one would be depending on a movement to further God’s kingdom because…

    God’s grace is sovereign and therefore in control.

    On a spiritual side in my walk with Christ, I have found that when I have been spiritually or demonically attacked the arminian side manifests in a believer. In these attacks I have found that:

    1. You forget God is sovereign.
    2. You rely on your own strength.
    3. You use methods believing God is behind your actions.
    4. You pray strategic pointless prayers while a devil dances around you.
    5. You’re caught up in this kind of warfare where it’s just a game of chess, with the enemy winning and you thinking of the next move.
    6. When you think you’ve overcome, you’re not relying on sovereign grace but thinking how you need to tell everyone your answers so that you are furthering the works and kingdom of God. (And I now am starting to find that blasphemy!)

    Both the dead man and the devil want us to rely on self and not believe in the sovereign grace of God. Only the Calvinist approach seems to combat that.

    The NAR and the Prosperity Movement would be nothing if they embraced Calvinism. Arminianism on the other hand only builds fallen empires and keeps people dependent slaves on the words of these pharaohs.

    I’m now starting to see the serious manifestations of these different beliefs and the consequences they have on believers.

  70. Joey: “if a C3 church found out that a person was never going to improve in health, career, abilities, relationships, circumstances (therefore evangelism using personal testimony alone to non-christians or encourage struggling christians would not be possible at all), or would ever be able to tithe at all- would that person be welcome in a C3 church?”

    I can answer that too since I’ve often said I go to a C3 church.

    The answer:
    They’d be welcomed. But they won’t be in any serious leadership position. They do keep tabs on you.
    BUT…
    If they believe you have potential as a great leader they will correct you or disciple you so that you are groomed for that position.

  71. My only comment on that Specks is that both are true, but if Arminians forget all those proof texts that strict Calvinists hold dear then you are correct to say that their Gospel stops being God centered and becomes man-centered.

    Books like:
    “You need more money”
    “You the leader”
    and so on …

    I prefer to think of myself as “Me the broken vessel that GOD puts back together”

    or “Me the weak and GOD the strong.”

    I think of myself as a reformed ‘arminian-calvinist’.

    Shalom

  72. @Specks – looks like you are beginning to get the big picture. The error of Arminianism is a perpetuation of its earlier heretical relative, Pelagianism (which was condemned at more Church councils in history than any other heresy). At the heart of these 2 systems is sovereignty of man – TVD is the most radical example of type theological decay resulting from dethroning God (its on the record that he said God is not Sovereign) and exulting man. You are right, C3 and other aberrent movements derive their strength from promoting this pelagian idolatry of the all powerful sovereignty of man.

    thought you might like this at this juncture:

  73. Did Calvin die on the cross? Was Arminius the substitute for our sins? No. Both are earthly men who interpret scripture based upon their own world-view of God and His character. I am not a Calvinist, or an Arminian. I am a born-again believer in Christ. It’s about time people stopped hitching their wagon to the fallible doctrines of men and began following the teachings of Christ.

    And that’s all I am going to say on this subject!

  74. @5PS

    “TVD is the most radical example of type theological decay resulting from dethroning God (its on the record that he said God is not Sovereign) ”

    Ha ha ha. It’s so funny to watch the prideful posturing of spiritual-superiority that you clothe yourself in mate.

    By the way, I’ll say it on the record again just in case no one got it the first time – GOD IS NOT SOVEREIGN!!!

  75. @TVD – of course its always helpful to know the position you are attempting to refute – shallow arguments like “Did Calvin die on the cross? Was Arminius the substitute for our sins?” simply perpetuate ignorance on vitally important issues that have confronted the Church for 1.9 millenia.

    At least you are being consistent when you say that you are not Arminian – Arminianism, as serious an error as it is, is still representative of Christianity. You are one of the most extreme hyper-arminians who teaches about a god totally stripped of sovereignty. You are ripe pickings for the radical heretical open theists….good luck with that

  76. TVD: “By the way, I’ll say it on the record again just in case no one got it the first time – GOD IS NOT SOVEREIGN!!!”

    So Jesus is not Lord?
    I wonder if you’d say the same thing before God on judgment day.

  77. If God is not sovereign TVD, what makes you think you are saved at all? Even in my worst of sins, I’ve believed God to be there to help me out of my problems.

    Does your God go, “Oh no! Come back to me TVD! Coooome baaaack! My grace can’t cover you when you sin like that! I’m powerless over your sin!”

    I’ve never heard a Christian say, ‘God is not sovereign’ before. You seem to disagree with Satan and his devils when they acknowledged Jesus as Lord.

    These next questions are not meant to be attacking. I am amazed and intrigued to know how a God not sovereign is effective in your life.

    Are you convinced God is not sovereign?
    If so, how do you evangelise to people?
    What hope do you believe you offer people?
    What absolute assurance do you preach from?

    If you don’t want to answer the questions, can you at least give us some insight? I want to hear what you have to say.

  78. @specks

    “So Jesus is not Lord”

    I didn’t say that. Jesus IS my Lord, and my Saviour. He is, however, not a baby-killer, which a “Sovereign” God is.

  79. @teddy

    “2 Cor 4:4 gives us the identity of the “god” who is not sovereign.”

    Your point being? Of course satan isn’t sovereign. It doesn’t prove in any way that God IS sovereign though, does it?

  80. Denying God’s sovereignty puts you in the realm of being blinded by the “god of this world”. Calvin, Luther, Arminius, Pelagius etc don’t determine my theology. A simple reading of God’s Word clearly reveals it.

  81. @TVD – Walking through the “bookstore” in your church would be interesting. I wonder whose product is most highlighted/promoted. Any study bibles? Commentaries? Message Bible as a valid interpretation promoted or used from the pulpit? Is a “pastrix” the primary teacher? Just curious. Beause a lot of what you say I’ve heard from women who think they have special revelation apart from the Word.

  82. @specks

    Sorry, I missed your last post. I’ll answer your questions, because you asked civilly, and not in the pompous “bow-before-my-intellect” way that 5point is so want to do. This is a short summary specks by the way. Got some bored kids wanting to play with me 🙂

    “If God is not sovereign TVD, what makes you think you are saved at all? Even in my worst of sins, I’ve believed God to be there to help me out of my problems.”

    Our salvation and God helping us in our problems when we ask of Him has nothing to do with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty Specks, and your linking the two shows me that perhaps you may have the wrong idea of what the doctrine of God’s sovereignty really is. Firstly, God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit is certainly with us always. He hasn’t left us completely to our own devices to live in a world without Him. Secondly, I am saved because I made the decision to accept His salvation after hearing the gospel preached. I discovered that I was a sinner headed for destruction, and that the only way I could become reconciled with God was by coming into relationship with Him through His Son. God didn’t force me to believe in Him, as a sovereign God might. It was a decision I had to make.

    Does your God go, “Oh no! Come back to me TVD! Coooome baaaack! My grace can’t cover you when you sin like that! I’m powerless over your sin!””

    Of course not! God’s grace has removed my sin for all time, even though I don’t deserve it. That’s why it’s called grace.

    “I’ve never heard a Christian say, ‘God is not sovereign’ before.”

    You’ve probably never heard another Christian say that before because perhaps you only hang around Calvinists? Certainly here on SP02 the place is chock full of them! But, trust me, there are millions of Christians around the world that do not subscribe to the “God is Sovereign” doctrine. Google should send you in the right direction.

    “You seem to disagree with Satan and his devils when they acknowledged Jesus as Lord.”

    Once again you are confusing the two. Jesus is the Lord of my life. He is my master, my teacher, my guide and my King. But, I can choose to walk away from Him at any time. Choice, something which a Sovereign God doesn’t allow for.

    “Are you convinced God is not sovereign?”

    Absolutely. Purely from a logical point of view, the idea that God kills babies, allows suffering for His children so that they can learn some lesson or come back to church, and withholds His healing power on a whim is perverse. It simply does not stack up to scripture. What about the old arguments that if God is sovereign why do anything? Why preach the gospel, pray, read the Word? Why did Jesus tell His disciples to go out into all the earth to preach the good news? If God was sovereign we wouldn’t need to do any of that. God would simply choose who He chooses and leave the rest of the world to His judgement. It simply doesn’t make any sense. Then there is scripture. Many many passages supporting the “God is not sovereign” position.

    “If so, how do you evangelise to people?”

    See above – you cannot evengelise if God IS sovereign. It’s pointless. But a God who leaves the decision up to us means that it is imperative for us believers to preach His salvation.

    “What hope do you believe you offer people?”

    The hope I offer is the hope of salvation, the assurance that if God is for you, who can be against you, that He loves His children and that He wants the best for us, as any father would, and that through relationship with Him we can be assured of our eternal salvation.

    “What absolute assurance do you preach from?”

    I preach from the Word of God, in which I can be eternally assured.

    Hope this helps. If you want me to, I can certainly offer you a much more detailed answer with scriptures to prove my point

  83. @teddy

    “I’ve heard from women who think they have special revelation apart from the Word.”

    If you hear anyone say that run for the hills! The word is always our final authority.

  84. @teddy

    “A simple reading of God’s Word clearly reveals it.”

    And therein lies the problem. A “simple” reading of the Word can lead to all sorts of strange theologies and beliefs. We are exhorted to “rightly divide the word of truth”. This means we must study it diligently, paying attention to context, both literal and historical, making sure that what we are reading agrees with scripture as a whole. A knowledge of Jewish history and world-view is essential, as is an understanding of figures of speech. Unfortunately, the majority of opinions I see expressed here are based upon a “simple” reading, which is why so much of it is incorrect theology.

  85. @ TVD – your theology makes as much sense as ” blue sleeps faster than Tuesday”. You are the one putting yourself above scripture and only believing your “interpretation” rather than a clear reading of the text, in context etc etc.

    What IS in your “bookstore”?

  86. TVD says “….He [God] is, however, not a baby-killer, which a “Sovereign” God is.”

    Well there it is! – ladies and gentlemen we have ourselves an open theist here (I dont know whether or TVD will admit it though) – so nobody can ascribe “baby killings” to God, we simply limit his omniscience – am I right TVD? are you an open theist?

  87. @Specks – since TVD said he wants to prove his Non-Sovereignity position from scripture and seeing he likes you so much because of you non-pompus disposition – would you ask him to deal with the following verses in his response:

    God is sovereign over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
    God is sovereign over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
    God is sovereign over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
    God is sovereign over nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35
    God is sovereign over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
    God is sovereign over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
    God is sovereign over “accidents”: Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29
    God is sovereign over free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27
    God is sovereign over sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; Gen 45:5; 50:20

  88. @5Point

    “we have ourselves an open theist here ”

    Nope, wrong again.

    “so nobody can ascribe “baby killings” to God, we simply limit his omniscience”

    According to teddy, some friends of hers lost their baby recently, but through it the father came back to church. What she is in effect saying is that God killed the baby so that the father would get his life right with God again. I hear this kind of sick doctrine all the time. “God made gave me cancer so I could slow down and spend more time with Him”, or “Maybe God didn’t heal your mother because He didn’t want her to suffer any more on this earth”. In short, God is a killer. You will no doubt throw at me some old testament passage taken out of context or interpreted incorrectly in support of a killer God 5point. Go right ahead. As I have said in the past, you can have your baby-killer God. Enjoy living in fear that He can take you out at any time. Go for it! I won’t stop you!

    By the way, I never mentioned anywhere that God is not omniscient. He absolutely positively is omniscient. This is just another untruth propagated by those who want to believe in a puppet-master God.

  89. @5point

    I will attempt to answer your challenge with each of those scriptures. I’m heading out for a while, but here’s a start.

    Ps 103:19 – The Lord has established His throne in heaven,And His kingdom rules over all.

    The definition of the word “all” in this passage is properly defined as “complete”. What this passage is therefore saying is that His kingdom has been established in the heavens and it is complete.

    Rom 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

    The word “called” in this passage is correctly defined as “invited”, which basically blows the sovereignty idea out of the water from this scripture

    More coming. Stay tuned!

  90. thanks TVD.

    But I am sorry. I’m trying to see logically what you’re saying. I couldn’t.

    “If you want me to, I can certainly offer you a much more detailed answer with scriptures to prove my point.”

    That might not be a good idea here. If you can email them to me at specks_and_planks@hotmail.com that would be great. People might pull them apart here.

    I must admit TVD. You sound a lot like me at the start of this year. I guess I am leaning towards more the Calvinistic side. In reading Ecclesiastes Solomon observes that it is better for a baby to be unborn then go through hells and trials.

    If the Spirit inspired him to write that, then surely God knows that death is also a gift which we fail to understand as human beings as well. I have often found that death and life work as partners together. If we remove ourselves from death – then we lose any sense of adventure, time and value that life can offer us. Death is also an amazing teacher.

    But it’s easy for me to say this and not live in a third world country. I am trying to see how God sees death from his perspective so I can understand his ways. Another question:

    I tend to see that the God that lines up to scripture is in line with Calvinism. Would you say it is naive to say that Calvinism portrays God as a Cruel and Heartless, Winner and Arminianism as tender but pathetic loser?

    How should we try to see the God of arminianism?

    And for Teddy and Mosco, how should we try to see the God of calvinism?

    It would be good if we all did a list of the pro’s and cons of each doctrine of God:

    eg

    GOD OF CALVINISM
    Strength: Sovereign
    Strength: All Knowing
    Weakness: Cruel
    Weakness: Unjust
    Weakness: Tolerates Evil
    Weakness: No free will

    GOD OF ARMINIANISM
    Strength: Respectful
    Weakness: Weak

  91. @5PS:
    You can see that it is hard to discuss this issue with you, much as I’d like to, because my name is shockingly abused, and my words scrambled, which is quite extraordinary. I am considering a dedicated blog to discuss this issue if I am further abused. But to the question at hand:

    There is no doubt that God is sovereign – Supreme Ruler, possessing ultimate power and authority, literally ‘super-above’. I do not understand how anyone can miss that truth.

    However, I think there is an overemphasis, according to some theology, in the way in which his sovereignty is used as the overriding answer for every unexplainable or difficult doctrine, or, by implying that he arranges every little detail of everything that takes place, good or evil, as if the adversary doesn’t exist, or, in fact, God is manipulating evil to his own ends, including the predetermined use of the devil. That is a view of sovereignty which is more human than divine.

    Someone (Beza) has even said words to the effect that the folk who were predetermined by God to burn in hell, should, once there, be thankful to God, because he has used their eternal damnation and torment for his glory in some way!

    God’s sovereignty speaks all into being, sustains all and governs all, but in his sovereignty, he also ceases to work, and expects the creation to operate according to design and influence by the uninterrupted, generational work and power of his word, externally to any need for intervention in every detail, e.i., the seed produces fruit, and the fruit produces seed, generation to generation, unless he so determines to interfere in the natural scheme of things, which he has the divine right to do at will, and which he has done at various junctures in history, particularly in connection with Israel, his chosen vessel for ushering in the Seed, who is Messiah, or Saviour, into the world.

    In regard to his sovereign will over souls, and over wills of people, he has clearly said that he placed a stumbling block before Israel, and this stumbling block was faith. Had they exercised obedience through faith their destiny would have complied to his will and purpose for them. As it was, they disobeyed, and faith was lacking in them, hence their inability to enter his rest. They heard the gospel, but did not mix the word wit faith. This is a clear indicator of the role of the human will in receiving and believing the Word preached.

    What has to be determined is how faith works in man. Is it a divine intervention, or is it a seed, or Word, sown into the heart of man when the Word is preached by those who have already received Christ, in preaching the gospel, which has the power to regenerate the spirit of man through the interaction of the Spirit and the Word of Christ in the heart of man through hearing the Word preached.

    As it was, still under the Law of Moses, Israel chose law over grace and continued to fall because the law cannot save, only condemn. Only God’s grace through the receiving of faith can save. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Accordingly they all fell, and none was righteous. All were sinners.

    In their fallen state he had the choice of mercy or the hardening of their hearts. Through sin their lives were forfeit. They were subject to the wages of sin, which is death. In giving the option of salvation through faith, he demonstrates mercy. In choosing some for an example, he demonstrates judgment. They became instruments in his hands of mercy or judgment, as did all after Adam.

    Whilst sovereignty is implied throughout scripture, yet the word it is never mentioned. Only the NIV uses ‘sovereign’, as an interpretation of ‘adonai’ and ‘kurios’. All other versions use ‘Lord’. So you will not find the word ‘sovereign’ in any concordance of the Bible, unless you have an NIV.

    However, God is called love, not just as an attribute of his nature, but as a descriptor of who he is; ‘God is love’. Some interpretations of ‘sovereignty’ leave us far short of who God is when he is called love’. As someone has said, we should not preach God’s sovereignty to the exclusion of God’s love.

    Which do you think is higher? The God who is Love? Or the God who is Sovereign? I see a place for both, but which is the governing attribute?
    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    In hope of better treatment from the supreme master of this blog, I watch and pray. If you must moderate, let be by request for better attitude rather than manipulation of my sobriquet.

  92. “You can see that it is hard to discuss this issue with you, much as I’d like to, because my name is shockingly abused, and my words scrambled, which is quite extraordinary.”

    Some idiots just don’t get it. Thinking more about it, you’re worse than an idiot.

    Actually why I am I even calling you an idiot? Idiot’s would accuse me of slandering them to have you associated with them.

    Get a bloody clue you cyber-worm.
    Go slither back to the pit.

  93. @Specks

    I understand that FL has done some stuff in the past that wasn’t great. he’s apologised numerous times. He’s been contributing some good stuff over the last few months. Why not just let him stay? After all, what does the word say about forgiveness?

  94. @TVD –

    True story – Bertrand Russell the great British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian and renowned atheist once relayed that apparently, the Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants and then immediately dash their brains out: by this means they secured these infants place in Heaven.

    Did God have foreknowledge of these future free-will murderous actions of these men/women?

  95. Yes, we “Sydney Anglicans”, along with billions of other Christians, throughout history, do believe Jesus was born of a virgin. Do hold to the substitutionary atonement. But what would we know, apart from what has been revealed in scripture? I like the “club” I find myself in – that heritage of a “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 12:1.

  96. Even when we in the Pentecostal movement, we never heard anything unorthodox about Christ’ s immaculate conception and His substitutionary atonement. That’s a pretty exclusive “club” you are in, Greg.

  97. Its quite possible that the virgin birth was added based on a mis-translation of Isaiah 7:14. The word translated as “virgin” almah, actually means “young woman”. This translation was disputed very early on by Jews.

    Whether Jesus was born of a virgin or not, makes no difference to His life or His work.

  98. TVD says

    Ps 103:19 – The Lord has established His throne in heaven,And His kingdom rules over all.

    “The definition of the word “all” in this passage is properly defined as “complete”. What this passage is therefore saying is that His kingdom has been established in the heavens and it is complete.”

    Umm….ok…cite your sources, are you using a Hebrew Lexicon or interlinear?

    I cite Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon (a standard reference for Biblical Hebrew) which defines the word “all” in Pslam 103:19 as the masculine noun kôl (pronounced kole) meaning:

    1) all, the whole
    2) all, the whole of
    3) any, each, every, anything
    4) totality, everything

    The masuline noun “all” is used 5406 times in the OT. Here a just a few statring with Genesis:

    1) Genesis 1:21: “the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God”

    2) Genesis 1:21: “great whales, AND EVERY living creature that moveth, which”

    3)Genesis 1:25: “and cattle after their kind, AND EVERY THING that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God”

    4) Genesis 1:26: “and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, AND OVER ALL the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth”

    (emphasis is Brown-Driver-Briggs’)

    So, yet again TVD you are wrong about the meaning of the Hebrew “all” – BTW are you just making this stuff up?

    Now, turning to Rom 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

    TVD says:
    “The word “called” in this passage is correctly defined as “invited”, which basically blows the sovereignty idea out of the water from this scripture”

    This is complete nonsense. I cite Thayer’s Greek Lexicon the called in this epistle is the verbal adjective/participle klētos meaning:

    called, invited (to a banquet), invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ, called to (the discharge of) some office, divinely selected and appointed.

    Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology:

    call,calling

    “This prominent biblical term is used with particular theological significance in three ways: in connection with worship, with election, and with vocation.”

    “”Call” is one of the biblical words associated with the theme of election”

    “This is not a “call” that can be ignored: It comes from one who “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Rom 4:17).

    These are just some exerps from different scholars from commentary on Romans 8:28 (http://www.preceptaustin.org/romans_828-39.htm)

    (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos)
    Vinesays the epistles the participle kletos is always and without exception described as an effectual call to salvation

    William Newell exults in the truth in this section writing…

    We come now up on the high, celestial mountains of Divine Sovereign election, and find those who love God are further defined as those that are “called” (not “invited,” but given a Divine elective calling) according to His Purpose. Meditation upon the purpose of the eternal God greatens every soul thus occupied. God is infinite; man, a bit of dust. If God had a purpose, a fixed intention, it will come to pass, for He has limitless resources,—as David says, “All things are Thy servants.” We have been dealing in the first part of the chapter with the human will and its consent to walk by the Spirit. Not so from the 28th verse to the chapter’s end. It will be all God from now on! (Romans 8) (Bolding added)

    Newell qualifies “the called” writing that…

    Called here (in Romans 8:28) DOES NOT MEAN INVITED,—as in Proverbs, for instance. “Unto you, O men, I call”; for this would be an appeal to man’s will instead of a description of those who are the objects of God’s will, His purpose. “Called,” in the sense of Romans 8:28, is illustrated in 1Corinthians 1:24: where “Christ crucified” is declared to be a “stumbling-block” to Jews (to people whose thought was religion) and “foolishness” to Greeks (to those whose life lay in philosophy): but to ‘the called themselves” (Gr. margin) “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Here “the called” are seen to be a. company whose mark is neither religious response nor intellectual apprehending; but the electing grace of God which has so marked out the sphere of their being, that they are named “the called.” They are called according to His (God’s) purpose! (Romans 8) (Bolding added)

    Dr J Vernon McGee:
    “In short, Paul assures the Roman Christians that they are called. In the writings of both Paul and Peter when they mention “called” (“call”, “calling”, etc), the reference is to what has been referred to by theologians as an “effectual” call, that is a call which is answered. Therefore “the called” equate essentially with the “chosen” or the “elect” (Click word study of eklektos). The people who were called according to God’s purpose are, therefore, those who were effectively called. They are those whose hearts and minds were so thoroughly influenced by the Holy Spirit that they became aware of their sinfulness, began to understand their need of Christ, and embraced him as their Lord and Savior.

    Bibletools online commentary (forerunner) on “called” in Romans 8:28:

    “Second, we must be one of “the called according to His purpose,” one of the elect. This does not apply to those who have merely received an invitation from God, because that summons goes out to many more than actually respond to it. Just as in advertising, the call, the invitation, may go out over radio, television, or through the newspaper to millions of people, but few respond as compared to the mass of invitees. The calling of God is similar: The invitation goes out to many, but few become part of the elect (Matthew 22:14).

    TVD do you have any commentary whatsoever to support your assertions about Romans 8:28??

  99. @Greg, re John Dominic Crossan – while your at it, get his debates with James White on the issue of biblical inerrancy.

    You said some weeks ago on this blog that you spoke at a C3 church, you wouldn’t tell us which one (will you now?)…when someone says they “spoke” at a church its not folly to infer that they “preached”. You should not have been allowed to “speak” about anything – unfortunately Greg, you are apostate.

    A Christian may be genuinely and innocently mistaken about many things…thats where training, catechesis, correction come in…you literally attack and undermime Holy Scripture, its integrity and its inerrancy – there really is no greater form of rebellion than that or wickedness in terms of unbelief and laying a charge of deceit against God who has spoken to us through His word.

  100. @Wazza

    The problem with what you are saying is that Isa. 7:14 was not interpreted in the first century as referring to a virginal conception. Most insisted that the Hebrew word almah simply referred to a “young woman” who may or may not be a virgin.

    “The bottom line is this: the story of the virgin birth of Jesus gave rise to the messianic interpretation of Isa. 7:14, not the reverse.” (Sam Storms)

  101. You can be a Christian and not hold to the inerrancy of scripture. No one ever said it was inerrant, it is an assumption made by people casting about for an authority after they rejected Rome.

    You’ve put the Bible into the Godhead because you can see it, you can argue about it, you can use it to reject or denounce others. The other three members are too nicey-nicey for you – you used to like the Father before he started to wimp out, but now they are all about love and other things you dont want to think about.

    You can build up a huge systematic theology, climb on the shoulders of theological giants, and when you get to the top – you will be very lonely. You’ll have to come down and try to revive the people that you stepped on.

  102. @Wazza – BTW if we were to grant the premise that the concept of the virgin birth arose from the church’s interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 and knowing about this prediction of a future virgin birth, the church then shoehorned the gospel accounts to fulfill the prophecy.

    Based on this premise don’t you think this would leave the doctrine of inerrancy in a curious position….dont you think that the claim that Jesus was born of a virgin was a fraud imposed on the text of scripture, overpowering and circumventing the providence of God in preserving the truth for us, may give us reason to also doubt the accounts of his claim to deity and the miracles, particularly the resurrection from the dead, that confirm this? do you think this might just affect how we affirm His life or His work?

  103. Well that would be frightening, but no reason not to enquire on the truth of this matter. We must look at the evidence and let it take us where it may, not choose to curtail enquiry because it might lead down some dangerous paths.

    So you seem to agree that Isa 7:14 properly translated does not refer to a “virgin”. But it seems that Matthew was under the impression that it did.

    Matt 1:22 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”). “

    Surely he is refering to the Isaiah passage. So which is it virgin or young woman? And if Isaiah really meant a virgin, why didnt he use the correct term?

  104. @ wazza2 – please excuse my “cut and paste” 🙂

    Question: “Is ‘virgin’ or ‘young woman’ the correct translation of Isaiah 7:14?”

    Answer: Isaiah 7:14 reads, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Quoting Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23 reads, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, ‘God with us.'” Christians point to this “virgin birth” as evidence of Messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. Is this a valid example of fulfilled prophecy? Is Isaiah 7:14 predicting the virgin birth of Jesus? Is “virgin” even the proper translation of the Hebrew word used in Isaiah 7:14?

    The Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 is “almah,” and its inherent meaning is “young woman.” “Almah” can mean “virgin,” as young unmarried women in ancient Hebrew culture were assumed to be virgins. Again, though, the word does not necessarily imply virginity. “Almah” occurs seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 24:43; Exodus 2:8; Psalm 68:25; Proverbs 30:19; Song of Solomon 1:3; 6:8; Isaiah 7:14). None of these instances demands the meaning “virgin,” but neither do they deny the possible meaning of “virgin.” There is no conclusive argument for “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 being either “young woman” or “virgin.” However, it is interesting to note, that in the 3rd century B.C., when a panel of Hebrew scholars and Jewish rabbis began the process of translating the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, they used the specific Greek word for virgin, “parthenos,” not the more generic Greek word for “young woman.” The Septuagint translators, 200+ years before the birth of Christ, and with no inherent belief in a “virgin birth,” translated “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 as “virgin,” not “young woman.” This gives evidence that “virgin” is a possible, even likely, meaning of the term.

    With all that said, even if the meaning “virgin” is ascribed to “almah” in Isaiah 7:14, does that make Isaiah 7:14 a Messianic prophecy about Jesus, as Matthew 1:23 claims? In the context of Isaiah chapter 7, the Aramites and Israelites were seeking to conquer Jerusalem, and King Ahaz was fearful. The Prophet Isaiah approaches King Ahaz and declares that Aram and Israel would not be successful in conquering Jerusalem (verses 7-9). The Lord offers Ahaz the opportunity to receive a sign (verse 10), but Ahaz refuses to put God to the test (verse 11). God responds by giving the sign Ahaz should look for, “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son…but before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.” In this prophecy, God is essentially saying that within a few years’ time, Israel and Aram will be destroyed. At first glace, Isaiah 7:14 has no connection with a promised virgin birth of the Messiah. However, the Apostle Matthew, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, connects the virgin birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:23) with the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. Therefore, Isaiah 7:14 should be understood as being a “double prophecy,” referring primarily to the situation King Ahaz was facing, but secondarily to the coming Messiah who would be the ultimate deliverer.

  105. To not believe in the inerrancy of the original documents of the Old and New Testament yet to affirm that Jesus Christ is God in flesh, something the New Testament clearly teaches is, I believe, gross inconsistency. To believe in such a miraculous and fantastic thing based upon a document that is, basically, untrustworthy – it makes no sense.

    Perhaps not being properly cognisant with the doctrine of inerrancy is not a basis for condemning someone to the flames of perdition, but that is a far cry from wantonly attacking the integrity, accuracy, perspicuity and reliability of the text of scripture. Greg is a errantist who wears it as a badge of honour and he denies other vital doctrines suich as substitutionary atonement, original sin on the basis of a document from antiquity that has no authority or reliability – it gets him off the hook and gives him an “out” – ….the reality is quite contrary though

  106. I think if a blogger did today what Matthew did in his Gospel .. ie. take a verse out of context, mistranslate a key word, and apply it to a new situation they would be flamed off the blog-o-sphere.

    Because he did it in scripture, however, we just harmonise the two contexts and explain it away.

  107. @Greg

    Can a person come to God on his own, without the special intervention of the Gracious Holy Spirit?

    Can one live perfectly according to the laws of God without the change of heart brought about by the new birth?

    Is it possible for a man to be justified before God apart from the sacrifice of Christ?

  108. @Wazza

    what evidence do you have that the interpretation of Isa. 7:14 gave rise to the story of the virgin birth of Jesus?

    How do you know it was not the reverse i.e. the story of the virgin birth of Jesus gave rise to the messianic interpretation of Isa. 7:14?

  109. Whichever way it was, you must agree that Matthew has used a very liberal interpretation here.

    He hasnt used good exegesis, hasn’t translated the Hebrew correctly and hasnt taken into account the context of the scripture. He’s taken events of his present day, and used them to interpret ancient scripture.

  110. Take it easy, specks. You’re addressing a believer and a son of God, whatever you may think of me. I’m letting some of the things you say go through to the Keeper, but remember we are brethren, and the sign of a disciple is to love one another. How you work that out is defined just as much here as anywhere.
    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    @5PS:

    In reference to your piece on kletos, ‘invitation and calling’; Adam Clarke, quoting Taylor, would disagree with Newell:

    ‘To them who are the called according to his purpose.] Dr. Taylor translates toiv klhtoiv, the invited; and observes that it is a metaphor taken from inviting guests, or making them welcome to a feast. As if he had said: Certainly all things work together for their good; for this reason, because they are called, invited, or made welcome to the blessings of the covenant, (which is ratified in eating of the covenant sacrifice,) according to God’s original purpose first declared to Abraham, #Ge 17:4|: Thou shalt be a father of many nations-and all the nations of the
    earth shall be blessed in him, #Ge 18:18|.

    Thus this clause is to be understood; and thus it is an argument to prove that all
    things, how afflictive soever, shall work for our good while we continue to love God.

    Our being called or invited, according to God’s purpose, proves that all things work for our good, on the supposition that we love God, and not otherwise. For our loving God, or making a due improvement of our calling, is evidently inserted by the apostle to make good his argument. He does not pretend to prove that all things shall concur to the everlasting happiness of all that are called; but only to those of the called who love God.

    Our calling, thus qualified is the ground of his argument, which he prosecutes and completes in the two next verses. Our calling he takes for granted, as a thing evident and unquestionable among all Christians.

    But you will say: How is it evident and unquestionable that we are called? I answer: From our being in the visible Church, and professing the faith of the Gospel. For always, in the apostolic writings, all that are in the visible Church, and profess the faith of the Gospel, are numbered among the called or invited; i.e. among the persons who are invited to feast on the covenant sacrifice, and who thus, in
    reference to themselves, confirm and ratify the covenant.

    As for what is termed effectual calling, as distinguished from the general invitations of the Gospel, it is a distinction which divines have invented without any warrant from the sacred writings. Our calling, therefore, is considered by the apostle in the nature of a self-evident proposition, which nobody doubts or denies; or which, indeed, no Christian ought to doubt, or can call in question, Taylor’s notes.’

    And Strong would also disagree:
    2822 kletov kletos {klay-tos’}

    1) called, invited (to a banquet)
    1a) invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to
    obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ
    1b) called to (the discharge of) some office
    1b1) divinely selected and appointed

    And finally, for a third witness, Vines, whom you quoted, would disagree, because he also gives klesis the meaning ‘invitation’:

    ‘&ltB-1,Noun,2821,klesis>
    “a calling” (akin to A, No. 1), is always used in the NT of that “calling” the origin, nature and destiny of which are heavenly (the idea of INVITATION being implied); it is used especially of God’s invitation to man to accept the benefits of salvation, Rom. 11:29; 1 Cor. 1:26; 7:20 (said there of the condition in which the “calling” finds one); Eph. 1:18, “His calling;” Phil. 3:14, the “high calling;” 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Pet. 1:10, “your calling;” 2 Tim. 1:9, a “holy calling;” Heb. 3:1, a “heavenly calling;” Eph. 4:1, “the calling wherewith ye were called;” 4:4, “in one hope of your calling.” See VOCATION.

    &ltC-1,Adjective,2822,kletos>
    “called, invited,” is used, (a) “of the call of the Gospel,” Matt. 20:16; 22:14, not there “an effectual call,” as in the Epistles, Rom. 1:1,6,7; 8:28; 1 Cor. 1:2,24; Jude 1:1; Rev. 17:14; in Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2 the meaning is “saints by calling;” (b) of “an appointment to apostleship,” Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1.’

    [my emphasis at INVITATION]
    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    •@specks: if you’re serious about truth, equity and clarity of scripture, you’ll allow this to be aired without interference.

  111. @Wazza

    A good observation in the biblegateway commentary:

    “…Yet Matthew knows the context. In context, the child of Isaiah 7:14 was an urgent sign to Ahaz and would still be young when the kings oppressing Ahaz were carried into captivity (Is 7:7-25); Isaiah probably thus referred to his own son “Quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil” (Is 8:1, 3 mg), who would perform exactly the same function as Immanuel (8:1-4). But because Isaiah’s children were for “signs” (8:18), Matthew was right to recognize in Immanuel (compare Is 8:8) a sign pointing to the ultimate presence of God and triumph for Judah in the Davidic Messiah who would be born to Israel (Is 9:1-7; Blomberg 1992:60; Keener 1993:48). Matthew recognizes that Scripture reveals the divine plan, and those who trust its authority need doubt no miracle it promises.”

  112. @FL

    Does God limit his own foreknowledge? Adam Clarke was a major proponent of this radical view which is even far removed from Arminius himself and most of the Remonstrants. Funnily enough, the heretic open thiest John Sanders uses Clarke as scholarly support for the proposition that open theism has been endorsed in earlier theological tradition. Clarke also denied plenary verbal inspiration of scripture.

    Are you an open theist? do you believe absurdity that God chooses not to foreknow certain things – unequivocally meaning God is not truly omniscient?

    Furthermore Clarke was instrumental in the development of the aberrent and tragic doctrine of entire sanctification (or “Christian perfection”) of the holiness movement . You can clearly see that in his quid pro quo treatment of the text saying “and thus it is an argument to prove that all things, how afflictive soever, shall work for our good WHILE we continue to love God. You do X and God will do Y – how do we know we are “loving God” enough – that is a fundamental mistake in conflating categories of law and Gospel because the reality is none of us love God as we ought….(and yet the grace of God still abounds to us…amazing)

    Thank God the reality is a whole lot better than that in that we have a wonderful and beautiful unilateral promise from the Father that Christians will persevere in their deepest trials, because nothing CAN separate us from the love of God. Now thats Gospel and its also utilising the plain language of the text and letting it speak for itself.

    Anyway, I was attempting just to address TVD’s proposition that God is not at all Sovereign but seeing we are in Rom 8:28 and The Golden Chain of Redemption (Rom. 8:29-30) sometimes called The Order of Salvation (Ordo Salutis) is one of the most lucid passages in the Bible on the sovereignty of God in salvation. It is interesting to see how clarke treates Gods foreknowledge here…

    verse 28, it contains a promise (all things work together for good) and two descriptions of the beneficiaries of the promise (those who love God . . . and those who are called according to his purpose). In describing the beneficiaries of the promise, Paul gives us a little summary preview of the deep foundation of the promise which he will delve into in verses 29 and 30.

    Specifically when he says that the beneficiaries are those who are “called according to God’s purpose,” he points ahead to verses 29 and 30. Verse 29 is an unfolding of “God’s purpose” (“Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren”). And verse 30 unfolds the implications of the “calling” in verse 28 (“And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified”).

    For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified (Romans 8:29-30).

    The calling or “invitation” we see here in Romans 8:29 is based upon God’s foreknowledge of the individual. Accordingly The first thing that must be determined is what is meant by the word “foreknew.” It is not WHAT He did foreknow, but WHOM He did. Foreknowlege is a verb – aorist active indicative – third person singular – meaning that it cant possibly be limited to passive knowledge of future events. That is a settled grammatical and syntactical fact. Of course Clarke does not espose the typical arminian foreknowledge view because he was practically an open theist.

    2. Why does Strongs disagree with what I said when it says precisely the same thing my source said – verbatim??? have another look shall we?

    I said:
    “I cite Thayer’s Greek Lexicon the called in this epistle is the verbal adjective/participle klētos meaning:

    called, invited (to a banquet), invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ, called to (the discharge of) some office, divinely selected and appointed.”

    You said:

    “And Strong would also disagree:
    2822 kletov kletos {klay-tos’}

    1) called, invited (to a banquet)
    1a) invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to
    obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ
    1b) called to (the discharge of) some office
    1b1) divinely selected and appointed

    Go figure?

    Most literally yes, kletos means an invitation to a banquet – thats because it can mean an invitation to a real banquet with food and drink and neil diamond playing in the background. but even clarke refered to it metaphoric use in the epistle – note that strongs gives a concurrent definition kletos – invitation to a banquet “divinely selected and appointed” – why is that?

    Matthew use the term “called” (kletos) slightly differently than it is used in the epistles. In a parable Jesus said many were “called” to the “wedding feast” but few were “chosen” (Mt 22:1-13,14). Here the term “call” is not synonymous with an “effectual call” to salvation, but refers to the gospel’s external call to all men to believe in Him. In the history of the church nothing is more obvious than the fact that many, perhaps most, people who receive this call do not accept it. But in the epistles, the called refers to the sovereign, regenerating work of God in a believer’s heart that brings one to new life in Christ.

    Vine confirms this
    “The two descriptions, “them that are called” and “them that love God,” are to one another as cause and effect. Those who love God are necessarily those who are called. The call (ALWAYS in the Epistles an effectual call) produces the response of love to Him who calls. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos)

    I dont know where you were going with Vine but YOU EVEN QUOTED VINE YOURSELF distinguishing between passive invitation and effectual calling as he says it is ALWAYS used as in the epistles!!! – below is YOUR quote:

    “called, invited,” is used, (a) “of the call of the Gospel,” Matt. 20:16; 22:14, not there “an effectual call,” as in the Epistles, Rom. 1:1,6,7; 8:28; 1 Cor. 1:2,24; Jude 1:1; Rev. 17:14; in Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2 the meaning is “saints by calling;”

    Three witnesses LOL….

  113. @5PS:
    I basically agree with you that God is sovereign, but with different implications. However the point I was making was to clarify the meaning of kletos.

    Of course, the Clarke passage I gave was quoting Taylor, so denigrating Clarke’s character is futile, but that is by the by. YOu have to agree that kletos can be interpreted as an invitation, depending, as you point out, on context.

    The implication of your earlier quotation was that kletos referred to a specific call and not an invitation, which I demonstrated, and you agree, is not necessarily the case, since it can be a specified, individual call or a general invitation. The rest is a matter of conjecture or interpretation, depending on how you approach the scripture.

    The difference is between a call which is a COOEEE, as in Aussies randomly calling all Aussies to action, ie a general call, and a written, specific invitation, as to a Gala Ball or Official Opening to a limited, defined list of guests.

    That we will argue on. Clarity on the meaning of the word was my quest.

  114. “Even when we in the Pentecostal movement, we never heard anything unorthodox about Christ’ s immaculate conception and His substitutionary atonement. That’s a pretty exclusive “club” you are in, Greg.” – Teddy

    Actually, it shows what a narrow world C3 was. I didn’t hear anything unorthodox re those things either. There was not much more than the basics, and nothing about other points of view.

    The Anglican church in Sydney can be narrow too, though it may expose you to other points of view in order to refute them.

    Learning a bunch of apologetics in order to refute other points of view does not lend itself to really understanding those points of view at times.

    The CARM website is a good example of this. A multiple choice test about Christian doctrine, with right and wrong answers, where if you don’t agree with their orthodox answer, you are defined to believe in one of the alternatives they set.

    In this kind of context other points of view are narrowly and conveniently defined, with their complexity eliminated.

    Not much is achieved, except that people begin to think they know stuff, including stuff about others. Yet really, they may know very little, and only succeed in misrepresenting those they want to refute.

    That diminishes the power of apologetics, because the dumbing down is obvious as soon as anyone who has a broader or more in depth exposure to something stumbles across it.

  115. @FL

    I was addressing TVD on Romans 8:28 and sovereignty, I was under the impression you joined the conversation wanting to talk about the texts implications or the word kletos implication for arminianism/calvanism and the doctrine of election.

    Of course I agree that kletos can be interpreted as literally an invitation or more specifically an invitiation to a banquet. But as you can now see Stongs, Thayers, and Websters lexicon also specifically state it can mean “divinely selected and appointed” and I orginally said that this prominent biblical term is used with particular theological significance in three ways: in connection with worship, with election, and with vocation.

    The fact is kletos rendered as “Called” is one of the biblical words associated with the theme of election. This of course does hinge upon CONTEXT. Having said that, am I crazy or does Romans 8:28 immediately precede the ordo salutis/golden chain of redemption beginning Romans 8:29 which specifically talks about God’s foreknowledge and salvation…????? thats WHY I went to Romans 8:29!!!

    I wasnt denegrating Clarke, but if you want to start talking about election thats then it is necessary to take Romans 8:28 and join it with Romans 8:29. It is interesting then at that point how Clarkes radical view of limited foreknowledge departs from even the classical Arminian view…..

    Futhermore notwithstanding TVD’s nonsense, the argument is whether called in 8:28 is a open ended invitation as opposed unilateral devine appointment to salvation. AGAIN YOU CANNOT just take Romans 8:28 as if it exists in vaccuum, it forms the integral part of the flow of 8:29-31 the ordo salutis.

    Lets look at the whole section:

    28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 FOR those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

    You wanted to talk election – tell us about the nature of Gods foreknowledge here

  116. @5PS:
    let it be known that the moderator, for whatever reason, is striking out the first paragraph of everything I write, and is behaving like… well you come to your own conclusions at this point, because I’m determined to let things go through to the Keeper, so that this discussion can have a some air and not be sidetracked. He is also altering my pseudonym to suit his own world-view, when I am in fact not what he claims. He shows a lack of maturity every time he manually changes my pseudonym. I do however thank him for helping me develop in longsuffering and patience.

    5PS,
    I have to say that the arguements raised in regard to Romans 8 and 9 taken together are compelling evidence of a preordained divine purpose which points to an elect class, separate from a rejected class. Taken alone, and in a vacuum, as you suggest, these chapters would present an excellent case for the Calvinistic view of predestination, and that is one of the reasons so many people hold to this doctrine. I can perfectly well see the case, and it is strong. I see other ways of viewing what Paul is saying, but if one had a closed mind, it would be easy to be dismissive of all other thought on the matter.

    I also see where Wesley struggles with it, though, and why the Arminian approach has a far stronger resonance with many people, who cannot hold with a God who determines before the creation that a list of millions of people will, by his own hand and will, spend eternity in torment. It is not reflective of his nature of love that he would come up with such a weak set of values.

    The idea of a limited atonement, or rather, as it should be addressed, propitiation, is also weak. And the argument that ‘God is Sovereign’ and does what he wills doesn’t match up with his clear desire to reveal truth to us through the Word, so that we are not in the dark. Clearly the mirror is still dim to most of us and we do not have the whole counsel, even though it is surely staring us in the face, as it did for Luther when he connected with being saved by grace through faith for the first time.

    Personally, I think the truth comes somewhere between these seemingly opposing views, but we do not have anyone, yet, who has convincingly seen it or argued it, that I know of anyway. There are fundamental weaknesses in both arguements, which have been pointed out countless times by better minds than ours. We are still in the battle stage, and not illuminated as to the obvious answer.

    We need a new Calvin or Arminius to navigate us out of this becalming influence of polarisation, which has not only been a hindrance to the spread of the gospel, but is also caused wars, death and mayhem, and even now, on these pages, a division which could not be of God. It could be that Arminius was as much a counterfoil to Beza as anything.

    That may be too agnostic a view for you, but, until I can be convinced otherwise will lean more to the love and grace of God towards all men and women, than towards a totally insensitive, judgmental, vengeful God who eliminates half the human race before they are even born. That is not compelling enough an argument to draw me into a Reformed camp which shows itself, too often, to be unswervingly loyal to the parts of their doctrine which are as clearly flawed as some of the Arminian errors they point out.

  117. Darlene leaves Hillsong, with Brian Houston’s blessing, to run her own Church on the Central Coast … but now she is fraternising with C3.

    “SO grateful to @philpringle and @chrispringle for an amazing night. The UNDIVIDED worship album from C3 is stunning… All glory to God..”

  118. I use to consider Zschech above C3 and Houston. After a comment like that from her, PRAISING the filth off that new album, she has shown to be just as dirty and brain-dead as C3. Why did she have to join them in their tombs?

    This is tragic! You couldn’t get a more pathetic and worthless, driveling album from C3.

  119. You are a liar.
    You are a bully.
    You are divisive.
    You are deceitful.
    You are misleading.
    You are manipulative.

    You need help.

    Go away FilthLips!

  120. @Specks

    “You are a liar.
    You are a bully.
    You are divisive.
    You are deceitful.
    You are misleading.
    You are manipulative.

    You need help

    Go away FilthLips!”

    I thought you were talking about 5point until I got to the end!

    Why not give FL another chance? As I keep saying, the excrement coming from 5point is far worse than anything I’ve ever seen come from FL, yet 5point is given free reign whilst you beat your chest about FL. Seems strange Specks.

    By the way, remember this?

    “For example – I heard what TVD said here:

    “@Specks, you really should rephrase your language when talking about PP and C3. …..

    I’m still considering removing my strong remarks. TVD’s point is valid. I encourage you to apologise if you hurt people.”

    So why this?

    “After a comment like that from her, PRAISING the filth off that new album, she has shown to be just as dirty and brain-dead as C3. Why did she have to join them in their tombs? This is tragic! You couldn’t get a more pathetic and worthless, driveling album from C3.”

  121. @TVD – is this what we were “stay tuned” for?…well done TVD! you have put a really compelling case for your beliefs so far ……

    This was your original comment that I found quite interesting:

    “….He is, however, not a baby-killer, which “Sovereign” God is.”

    That is specifically and precisely the mindset open theism comes out of – BUT You deny that you are an open theist!

    So you do believe that God is omniscient:

    “By the way, I never mentioned anywhere that God is not omniscient. He absolutely positively is omniscient.”

    Apparently, the Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants and then immediately dash their brains out: by this means they secured these infants place in Heaven.

    Did God have foreknowledge of these future free-will murderous actions of these men/women?

    According to TVD “He absolutely positively” did – you kind of now have a problem dont you TVD?

  122. @5point

    “Did God have foreknowledge of these future free-will murderous actions of these men/women?”

    Yes. Did he stop them? No. A sovereign God would though.

    “is this what we were “stay tuned” for?”

    No, haven’t had time to spend the last few days. School holidays. I have much better things to do at the moment. When I get the chance though I will relish the opportunity to provide you with my side of the argument.

    By the way, if I don’t get the chance over the next few days, I wish everyone here a very blessed and awesome Christmas!

  123. @5point

    John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

  124. @TVD

    If He had foreknowledge of these future free-will actions (omniscience), then why did he not stop them if it was not for the reason that he couldn’t if he wanted to by virtue of being all powerful?

  125. @5point

    “If He had foreknowledge of these future free-will actions (omniscience), then why did he not stop them if it was not for the reason that he couldn’t if he wanted to by virtue of being all powerful?”

    Aren’t you, by asking this question, admitting that God is not sovereign? If He is sovereign, surely He’d intervene to stop the murder of babies in His name. Or are you saying that because He is sovereign He “allowed” it to happen? If so, aren’t you therefore saying that He is a baby-killer?

  126. 1. “Aren’t you, by asking this question, admitting that God is not sovereign? If He is sovereign, surely He’d intervene to stop the murder of babies in His name.”

    Why? he might just as well not and still be completely sovereign…whether he intervines or not is His perogative. Thats the whole idea of sovereignty, He does does everything in accordance with counsel His own will.

    2. Or are you saying that because He is sovereign He “allowed” it to happen? If so, aren’t you therefore saying that He is a baby-killer?

    TVD you know full well what my position is – after all I orginally put it to you some weeks ago when I said that clearly that in the Old Testament God is on record as having killed/sanctioned the killing of men women and children….. sound theology does not necessitate us to manufacture a moral apologetic and polemic for God, what he chooses to do, and why he chooses to do it.

    In fact to presume to do so in the face of what he has revealed of Himself in Scripture is Blasphemy… I dont mind going deeper into the moral implication of this position later, for now, I would really like to know where you stand on the Sovereignty issue…

    just be honest and stop evading the question:

    You have admitted He is omniscient – including the
    “absolute and positive” knowledge of future events, you have admitted that he is all powerful (omnipotent), so it is not a matter of Him not possessing the capacity to intervene – this is starting to sound alot like a sovereign God – why did he not intervene?

  127. @5point

    “Thats the whole idea of sovereignty, He does does everything in accordance with counsel His own will.”

    And that’s the crux of the matter, and is exactly where you have the whole “God’s sovereignty” thing all wrong. What is God’s will? Is His will to harm us? Is His will to kill us? Is His will to ignore our misfortune? NO! His will is His Word. And what does His word say? It says that He knows the plans He has for us, plans NOT to harm us, but to give us a hope and a future. His word says that He is our fortress and our strength, our very present help in the time of trouble. His Word says He makes me to lie down in green pastures. His Word says that, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for He is with me, His rod and staff comfort me. In short, His will is not for us to be helpless puppets only to be helped or ignored based upon the sick whim of the heavenly puppet-master.

    “after all I orginally put it to you some weeks ago when I said that clearly that in the Old Testament God is on record as having killed/sanctioned the killing of men women and children….. ”

    So you admit then that you follow a baby killer? Nice.

    You take such immense pride in your ability to “discern” what the Word says, yet you get it so wrong so often! You crow about “context” and yet conveniently ignore it when it suits your purpose. If you knew ANYTHING about the Hebrew mind-set and ANYTHING about the meaning of Hebrew words and their context regarding the known character of God, you would realise how foolish you have been. In every instance in the Old Testament where God supposedly “killed” people or “allowed” them to be killed it is either an idiom of permission (whereby the fact that the devil has dominion over the earth means that he is free to wreak havoc, having gained “permission” by virtue of Adam’s sin 1 Pet5:8, John 10:10), or was written out of ignorance of the author regarding the character of God and the existence of the adversary.

    “In fact to presume to do so in the face of what he has revealed of Himself in Scripture is Blasphemy… I dont mind going deeper into the moral implication of this position later, for now, I would really like to know where you stand on the Sovereignty issue…”

    As I said, His world reveals His character – it is as plain as the nose on your face – He is ONLY Good. There is no evil in Him. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. He loves us. There is no blasphemy in what I write or believe, so get off your stupid high-horse and spend some time searching God’s Word for yourself without the mindset that God is out to get us. You will be amazed with what you will discover about God’s character.

    “just be honest and stop evading the question:”

    I have told you several times my position on God’s sovereignty. I have not at any point evaded the question. It’s just that you don’t like my answers. And, for some strange reason you are obsessed with trying to label me, either as arminian, or as an open theist or some other type of man-made doctrine. Give it up mate. I follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Him alone. These man-made doctrines are for Pharisees like yourself to argue over every jot and tittle.

  128. @5point

    ” why did he not intervene?”

    Because He’s not sovereign!! I can’t believe you can’t see it!!!! Unbelievable!!!!

  129. @Teddy – how do you get these stupid Youtube videos to embed – I think its time to break the old monte python black knight…..

  130. I just cut and paste from the top of the Youtube link, it generally comes up.

    I’m wondering how/why TVD prays (in light of God’s “lack of sovereignty)?

  131. @teddy

    “I have a brick wall if you want to hit your head?”

    Not a bad idea. Might knock some sense into him.

    Here’s one for you two:

  132. @5point

    “I’m wondering how/why TVD prays (in light of God’s “lack of sovereignty)?”

    I can ask you the same question. If God is sovereign, He’s gonna do what He’s gonna do. Why pray?

  133. @Teddy – whats rather amusing is that he thinks his use of circular reasoning is quite clever!

  134. @5point

    By the way, when I pray, I don’t ask, beg, plead or grovel. I simply spend time in relationship with Him, because I already have everything I need, in all sufficiency, in this lifetime, because God supplies all of my needs according to His glory in Christ Jesus. Amen

  135. @5point

    “whats rather amusing is that he thinks his use of circular reasoning is quite clever!”

    Pot. Kettle. Black

  136. just reading the last few comments … playing catch up.

    God is Sovereign. We all deserve to die. The only reason we haven’t been completely exterminated is God’s Grace and Mercy. End of story. I deserve a violent and premature death. Jesus suffered it for me. I have been reckoned as righteous while He was reckoned as Sin. The double substitution.

    The substitutionary atonement.

    So far so good. Why should we pray to a sovereign God? Because we can change His mind. It says we can in the Bible. It’s not a guarantee … but there is always a possibility. Indeed, Abraham had to argue for Lot when God planned to destroy Sodom.

    If God is not sovereign, then He can do nothing for anyone.

    I will now go and read the rest of this thread to see how you all managed to get to this point.

    Shalom.

  137. @specks: You haven’t said anything about me you haven’t already said about some really excellent ministers of God. I can’t see why people could possibly take you seriously with what you are doing. It’s just crossed the line into persecution, frankly. And, a little brotherly advice – 5PS has done far more damage to your site in a few short months than I could ever have done in three years. My interest has always been in making this a fruitful site wit more than one perspective, and I have put considerable effort into it over time, despite your claims.

    @TVD,
    I’ve noticed that 5PS actually avoids any questions which he can’t handle. I have a list of them just on this thread he’s failed to address with anything but a snide one-liner which was off the wall, even though I’ve treated him civilly. It’s been a very telling exercise, really.

    He does answer questions, but either with another question to deflect his lack of ability to answer the original, or takes the lead back with something like, ‘if you answer this first, I’ll answer you’, and even then he doesn’t answer, or he’ll be selective about the things he will respond to so that he is never caught out. Then, when he thinks he’s overcome someone with a brilliant come back, he’ll punctuate it with an insult or two. It’s hard to be open and transparent with a person like this.

    There is a comparison you can make with this technique and the JW’s who have it drummed into them to hold the initiative, so they use a small portion of scripture which they memorise and quote by rote, to sound as if they know a whole lot about the everything. It’s all slight of hand, of course, and quite mesmerising for some people.

    In fact, if you get JW’s on subjects they know nothing about, they’ll switch quickly to another subject so they can regain the assentive, and so they circumnavigate around their own small world of expertise, which is all driven by the Watchtower and their little black book of arguments anyway. In 5PS’ case it’s the classics of reformed theology, but he’s very good at what he knows, but awful at what he doesn’t. The difference is that JW’s are trained to be polite as they argue their selective points.

    I tend to agree with you that the answer is in the Word of God not in the word of men, be they Calvin or Arminius. Neither do I see anywhere where a minister of God has to know everything to be effective. They need to be diligent to study and show themselves workmen approved of God. That’s all! I wonder what Peter, James and John would have done with either Calvin or Arminius! How come Jesus released them into ministry without more than three years at his feet, and not a single degree amongst them?

  138. Hi guys. Love those Monty Python videos!
    You guys are slugging it out with the sovereignty thing, but I think that for many Christians for all ages, experience, and denomination, it’s the ultimate question – God’s will and prayer, and how confident we can be when we come with petitions.

    On an aside, I think it’s possible to debate with mutual respect. I was listening to a debate between RC Sproul and John Macarthur (both reformed preachers of renown in the US) on the issue of infant baptism. They have totally opposite opinions (which to me is perplexing) but could present their cases without insults. It’s actually encouraging to see two men with such different opinions on a very real and important practical issue, show such profound respect and courtesy to each other.

    Maybe, it’s an Aussie thing?

    Anyway, I’m enjoying reading both of your comments with an open mind (and bible).

    PS I should give some biographical info which might explain what might seems like a wishy washy man pleaser attitude. I have spent years in a mission situation. So, I know many people with very different theologies. But they all left the comfort of their home countries, language etc to preach Christ overseas and in the end face the same challenges – which only those who have crossed the waves can fully understand. It changes the way you see people.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to learning more as I watch you guys from the sidelines.

  139. Hey, Bull, just need to mention, that I’ve really been impressed with the posts of yours that I have read on different topics recently.

  140. @FL ask me any question you want and I will try to answer it the best I can…

    Let the record reflect that when pushed to the wall, TVD had to finally commit the logical fallacy of circular reasoning or begging the question in which the proposition to be proven is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise.

    FL says I was the one avoiding questions, so I will put the conversation in one thread and let the readers judge:

    Round 1.

    I originally said to specks:

    “…..TVD is the most radical example of type theological decay resulting from dethroning God (its on the record that he said God is not Sovereign) and exulting man. You are right, C3 and other aberrent movements derive their strength from promoting this pelagian idolatry of the all powerful sovereignty of man.”

    TVD said:

    “Ha ha ha. It’s so funny to watch the prideful posturing of spiritual-superiority that you clothe yourself in mate.

    By the way, I’ll say it on the record again just in case no one got it the first time – GOD IS NOT SOVEREIGN!!!”

    ROUND 2

    I said:

    “@TVD – of course its always helpful to know the position you are attempting to refute – shallow arguments like “Did Calvin die on the cross? Was Arminius the substitute for our sins?” simply perpetuate ignorance on vitally important issues that have confronted the Church for 1.9 millenia.

    At least you are being consistent when you say that you are not Arminian – Arminianism, as serious an error as it is, is still representative of Christianity. You are one of the most extreme hyper-arminians who teaches about a god totally stripped of sovereignty. You are ripe pickings for the radical heretical open theists….good luck with that”

    TVD said (replying to something Specks said)

    “….Jesus IS my Lord, and my Saviour. He is, however, not a baby-killer, which a “Sovereign” God is.”

    ROUND 3

    I said:

    “Well there it is! – ladies and gentlemen we have ourselves an open theist here (I dont know whether or TVD will admit it though) – so nobody can ascribe “baby killings” to God, we simply limit his omniscience – am I right TVD? are you an open theist?”

    I then said to Specks:

    “@Specks – since TVD said he wants to prove his Non-Sovereignity position from scripture and seeing he likes you so much because of you non-pompus disposition – would you ask him to deal with the following verses in his response:

    God is sovereign over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
    God is sovereign over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
    God is sovereign over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
    God is sovereign over nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35
    God is sovereign over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
    God is sovereign over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
    God is sovereign over “accidents”: Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29
    God is sovereign over free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27
    God is sovereign over sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; Gen 45:5; 50:20”

    TVD said:

    [“Well there it is! – ladies and gentlemen we have ourselves an open theist here”] [my comment]

    “Nope, wrong again.”

    [“so nobody can ascribe “baby killings” to God, we simply limit his omniscience”] [my comment]

    “According to teddy, some friends of hers lost their baby recently, but through it the father came back to church. What she is in effect saying is that God killed the baby so that the father would get his life right with God again. I hear this kind of sick doctrine all the time. “God made gave me cancer so I could slow down and spend more time with Him”, or “Maybe God didn’t heal your mother because He didn’t want her to suffer any more on this earth”. In short, God is a killer. You will no doubt throw at me some old testament passage taken out of context or interpreted incorrectly in support of a killer God 5point. Go right ahead. As I have said in the past, you can have your baby-killer God. Enjoy living in fear that He can take you out at any time. Go for it! I won’t stop you!

    By the way, I never mentioned anywhere that God is not omniscient. He absolutely positively is omniscient. This is just another untruth propagated by those who want to believe in a puppet-master God.”

    ROUND 4

    I Said:

    “@TVD – True story – Bertrand Russell the great British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian and renowned atheist once relayed that apparently, the Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants and then immediately dash their brains out: by this means they secured these infants place in Heaven.

    Did God have foreknowledge of these future free-will murderous actions of these men/women?”

    TVD said:

    “@5point

    [“Did God have foreknowledge of these future free-will murderous actions of these men/women?”]

    “Yes. Did he stop them? No. A sovereign God would though.”

    ROUND 5 – and TVD’s answers start getting very short

    I said:

    “@TVD – so what you are saying is that God is not omnipotent?”

    TVD said:

    “Nope.”

    ROUND 6

    I said:

    “If He had foreknowledge of these future free-will actions (omniscience), then why did he not stop them if it was not for the reason that he couldn’t if he wanted to by virtue of being all powerful?”

    TVD said:

    “Aren’t you, by asking this question, admitting that God is not sovereign? If He is sovereign, surely He’d intervene to stop the murder of babies in His name. Or are you saying that because He is sovereign He “allowed” it to happen? If so, aren’t you therefore saying that He is a baby-killer?”

    Round 7

    I said:

    [1. “Aren’t you, by asking this question, admitting that God is not sovereign? If He is sovereign, surely He’d intervene to stop the murder of babies in His name.”] [TVD’s comment]

    “Why? he might just as well not and still be completely sovereign…whether he intervines or not is His perogative. Thats the whole idea of sovereignty, He does does everything in accordance with counsel His own will.”

    [2. Or are you saying that because He is sovereign He “allowed” it to happen? If so, aren’t you therefore saying that He is a baby-killer?] [TVD’s comment]

    “TVD you know full well what my position is – after all I orginally put it to you some weeks ago when I said that clearly that in the Old Testament God is on record as having killed/sanctioned the killing of men women and children….. sound theology does not necessitate us to manufacture a moral apologetic and polemic for God, what he chooses to do, and why he chooses to do it.

    In fact to presume to do so in the face of what he has revealed of Himself in Scripture is Blasphemy… I dont mind going deeper into the moral implication of this position later, for now, I would really like to know where you stand on the Sovereignty issue…

    just be honest and stop evading the question:

    You have admitted He is omniscient – including the
    “absolute and positive” knowledge of future events, you have admitted that he is all powerful (omnipotent), so it is not a matter of Him not possessing the capacity to intervene – this is starting to sound alot like a sovereign God – why did he not intervene?”

    TVD said:

    Because He’s not sovereign!! I can’t believe you can’t see it!!!! Unbelievable!!!!

    [TVD hits the canvas in the 7th by his own circular reasoning uppercut]

    Teddy said: @ 5Point – I have a brick wall if you want to hit your head?

  141. Well, notwithstanding, 5PS, you have done exactly what I said you did. You avoided the following questions at east twice, and every time I press for your response, I am abused by the moderator, so it ain’t easy being this importune, bro! Perhaps you were too busy with juggling your criticisms of TVD and Greg to answer the following some days ago:

    ‘You claim that tongues can only be intelligible languages understood by the hearer.

    However Paul says, ‘he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HIM; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries’. No one understands him! Interesting truth there. (How do you respond?)

    Now I know that on the Day of Pentecost, people did understand their languages, but not all understood every language, only some, and it was a sign to them, but clearly that is not always the case or Paul would not have said ‘no one understands him’.

    You say tongues are, or rather, were, ‘a sign to the unbeliever of the authenticity of the Apostolic Gospel and the supernatural means by which it spread like wild fire in the Apostolic age’.

    Book, scripture, verse?

    Can’t find a reference to an ‘Apostolic Age’, or not in terms of the kind of termination you are implying here, unless you mean the current Age which began at Pentecost and continues to today, having not yet been completed, being the age designated until Jesus comes for the Church. I see no scripture which ends an ‘Apostolic Age’, either written or implied. I see the Age of the Gentiles, which is incomplete, and what you could term the Age of Grace, which continues, but the Age of the Apostles? Ended? When? Where? How?’

    There were other questions, but they’ll suffice.

    Or they would, because, much as I’d enjoy the discussion, the moment has probably gone, and I can’t stand the moderator being so distracted with his obsession with saying bad things about good people, that I have to let him get over it sooner or later. Mercy!

  142. @5point

    Hahaha! frustrated? Good!

    I’ve told you several times, you’re not worth the time mate. I could spend hours answering your juvenile and circular arguments, but I’d rather spend that time on worthwhile pursuits than justifying myself to a brain-dead jerk.

  143. @TVD – your theology will hurt so many people including yourself. It is NOT God-honouring, it is man-centred and man focused. The very fact that you say 5Point is not worth the time simply highlights your lack of care for God’s sheep (i.e. if your theology is true).

    Brain dead? He may not come across in a loving way towards you, but his thoughtful study of scripture and his passion for rightly dividing God’s Word(even if you don’t agree) shows far intelligent study that you have provided to date.

    Have a question – is your salvation secure if God is not sovereign?

    “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)”.

    “This is one of the most basic truths of Christianity. Salvation is not a work the sinner does for God, it is a work God does for the sinner.

    Ephesians 2:10: “We are his workmanship.”

    Even the good works we do as Christians are the result of God’s work in us. Those good works are not accomplished by our own willpower or initiative. Ephesians 2:10 continues “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

    If God foreordained even the good works we do, and since He is the one who empowers us both to will and to do them (Philippians 2:13), then salvation is truly all God’s work.

    And He always finishes what He starts.”

    Now that’s a sovereign God. What good works have YOU decided to do if He is not sovereign, TVD? As I said, man-centred, man-focused.

  144. @teddy

    Firstly, forgive me for the brevity of this reply, heading out in about 20 minutes for a weeks break, so don’t have time for a complete study.

    “The very fact that you say 5Point is not worth the time simply highlights your lack of care for God’s sheep”

    5point is not one of my sheep. He’s a petulant little child filled with delusions of grandeur and self-importance. I love him in the Lord, but I do not like him one bit!

    “Have a question – is your salvation secure if God is not sovereign?

    “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)”.

    “This is one of the most basic truths of Christianity. Salvation is not a work the sinner does for God, it is a work God does for the sinner.

    Ephesians 2:10: “We are his workmanship.”

    Even the good works we do as Christians are the result of God’s work in us. Those good works are not accomplished by our own willpower or initiative. Ephesians 2:10 continues “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

    If God foreordained even the good works we do, and since He is the one who empowers us both to will and to do them (Philippians 2:13), then salvation is truly all God’s work.

    And He always finishes what He starts.”

    None of this relates to God’s sovereignty teddy. The work that God has ALREADY done in us is complete. Even Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the father. His work was accomplished on the cross. He has given us everything we need to do good works and to preach the gospel. God doesn’t need to have a hand in everything we do because He has ALREADY equipped us.

    “As I said, man-centred, man-focused.”

    Read your bible teddy. Why are we exhorted to “put on the full armour of God”? Why are we told to “fear not”, and many, many other instances where WE need to act if God was in control? They are thing “man” needs to do.

    @Bird Flew

    Notice how 5point is cherry-picking quotes from my posts? Notice he hasn’t answered any of my questions to him as well? 🙂

  145. @ TVD – I said God’s sheep, not yours. Just as none of those in your church are yours. Nothing you say makes sense, in light of the full context of scripture Genesis to Revelation, that’s the problem.

    5Point, in a “strange” sort of way, is demonstrating love to you, by pointing out error. 🙂

  146. God is sovereign in the He can do what he wants. He can take my life away from me in the next five minutes if He wants. He can raise up and take down a President or a nation tomorrow if He wants. I read all the scriptures you posted 5P. My understand is this, based on the texts, you gave, other texts, and human observation and experience.
    The bible says that God sends rain and clouds and wind etc. But I don’t believe the weather is actively determined by God minute by minute.
    God can move the heart of Kings, but I don’t believe that every whim, desire, and action of a King or political ruler starts in the heart and will of God.
    God can take my life tomorrow, but on average humans life expectancy will change according to diet, lifestyle etc.

    In other words, God can do what he wants, and can intervene when he wants, but is intervening less than what most Christians believe.
    So, UNLESS God intervenes and has an alternate plan, I can decide and plan on where I live, who I marry, whether I live in health or prosperity, whether I comment on signposts or not.
    As a famous reformed preacher and believer in God’s sovereignty said “Things happen when we pray which wouldn’t happen if we didn’t”. – John Piper.

    Whether Ali won a fight, or Melbourne Storm wins or loses the next premiership, or more people buy androids than iphones can all be explained by human effort. God can intervene, but I don’t believe He is controlling everything. And I certainly don’t believe that God is causing accidents, sickness and death on a daily basis so that people learn something or give Him more glory.

    Most accidents I hear about could have been avoided. And there are less accidents in different countries because of the application of wisdom. Sickness and early deaths also vary across countries, and within countries based on human’s choices. If that makes me a heretic, than all I can say is that unless God shows me otherwise, that’s the way I see the world.

    A King can be a King and do what he likes with his subjects, but Kings can also decide on how much freedom people have in their daily lives.

    More later (sorry this was hurried, and no doubt can be picked apart by both sides).

  147. Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” ESv

    @ churchman – my husband has a saying that really annoys me “I hear what you say”, in other words he disagrees! 🙂

    I hear what you say but maybe disagree, but I have to out Xmas whatever with many grandchildren so will get back later.

  148. Churchman – I hear what you say and agree – it is certainly a point of view that can be elaborated upon in more detail, and I’m not going to get into it again here, mainly because the argie bargie will be too much for me right now! (I shouldn’t be commenting here or anywhere at all, with so much to do leading up to Christmas.)

    Still, having gone over all this on this site before, some months ago (on some very lengthy threads), I am quite comfortable with what you say, and have no doubts regarding God’s sovereignty, nor about His sovereign decision to allow our actions to take their course at times, revealing our hearts and minds, and the consequences of sin. While at the same time, I also believe that He is fundamentally merciful because He didn’t abandon us to our sin – He sent Christ.

    I very much agree with your Piper quote:

    As a famous reformed preacher and believer in God’s sovereignty said “Things happen when we pray which wouldn’t happen if we didn’t”. – John Piper.

    Yes, very much so.

  149. Cheers to you Teddy – whether we agree entirely on this matter or not, I think our views aren’t that different; it may just be a matter of detail. Our discussion might be more about how God chooses to exercise his sovereignty than whether or not He is sovereign. And that’s always going to touch some pretty big issues.

    Anyway, good luck with all your Christmas preparations. I’d better get moving too.

  150. RP: “Our discussion might be more about how God chooses to exercise his sovereignty than whether or not He is sovereign.”

    Ain’t that the truth!

  151. Has anyone here written out a whole post and thought you clicked Post Comment but then had it disappear? Makes you wonder if it was God’s will or not…!

    Try again.
    Okay
    1. 5P and Teddy, I have no problem with you taking what I write to pieces. In fact, I welcome it. To me it’s a good way of learning, and testing my thought. And I actually don’t even have a problem with being insulted in the process if you think it’s warranted. (Thick Aussie male skin here) I’m also smart enough to know I’m not very smart so I am open to being disagreed with, and also reversing my position (and even whole theological outlook). Better to change now than in 40 years.
    2. Teddy, Ps 139:16? Great verse and rebuttal. Verses like are problematic for me – which I admit is not good. I’ll restudy and pray and get back to you. Same with 5P’s falling sparrow verse.
    3. Rp “how God exercises his sovereignty”. Once again you encapsulated the million dollar question succinctly.
    4. TVD and FL. THose in ministry should be able to take a lot without giving it back if they are really as mature as they think.

  152. @Churchman

    “God is sovereign in the He can do what he wants. He can take my life away from me in the next five minutes if He wants. ”

    Really? And you love and follow a God that can do that? A God that will kill you, or your family on a whim? A God who will withhold the healing power of Jesus for the “hell” of it? Ummm….ok. Go for it!

    “TVD and FL. THose in ministry should be able to take a lot without giving it back if they are really as mature as they think.”

    I understand your sentiment churchman, and in any other situation I agree. I cop a lot as a pastor in the real world. But by virtue of the fact that you haven’t endured the same constant personal attacks on your ministry, church, teaching and beliefs on this particular site, it is very easy for you to sit back and pass judgement. Once you’ve endured what FL and I have I’ll ask you what your opinion is then.

    @teddy

    ” I said God’s sheep, not yours. Just as none of those in your church are yours. ”

    My apologies. As I said, I was racing out the door as I wrote my last post (I have now arrived at my destination to find, with some delight, that I have broadband!) and I realised that I misread what you said. I agree, neither 5point, or any people in my church are my sheep. Jesus is the shepherd, not me. Having said that, I do not like 5point one bit, and I am well within my right as both a believer and a pastor to say so.

  153. TVD, I am saying that God has that ability. If he doesn’t then … he wouldn’t be God. And if God is God, then in the end it doesn’t really matter whether I like different aspects of Him. We have to align ourselves with God, not Him to us. That’s where the reformed have it right in my opinion. God, is not just the local Pastor or a TV preacher who you can turn off according to your ideas. He is …well …God.

    And sorry I wasn’t meaning to judge you. I admit I don’t appreciate the severity of the constant attacks on you and your church. But, no blood spilled probably. In the end you are talking about a couple of Calvinists on a website that you don’t even have to access? Come on, they’re pussy cats!

    I wasn’t judging you, just giving some advice. I think it’s a great testimony to be able to not let people get to you. Trying of your faith worketh patience!

    P.S “I love him in the Lord, but I do not like him one bit!” Cool!
    How do you counsel a man who says he loves his wife but doesn’t like her.

    I wish I had a tithe for every time I heard someone say they love someone in the Lord but don’t like them – with a look of hate in their eyes. Christians are too funny!

    Peace Brothers! and sisters.

  154. Well this is all very interesting but unfortunately, I think TVD has a slight point.

    God is very much a killer. What exactly was the crucifixion? Wasn’t it the Father putting His own Son to death at pretty much the same spot that Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac?

    Why is it possible the people die? Because we are all sinners who deserve death.

    What exactly is a miracle? It is an unnatural event caused by an external power. If God is not sovereign then miracles are impossible. I can’t turn water into wine. I can’t raise the dead. I can’t heal leprosy.

    Jesus did.

    He did these things through the power of the Holy Spirit. A Sovereign God.

    God is a killer. Jesus will come back to Earth and will wade in the blood of His enemies. In Revelation, Jesus comes back, wearing the robes of a Roman Judge. His robes are drenched in blood but it is not His blood. He kills the armies arrayed against Him with a word.

    Paul did not preach a Gospel of Love. He preached a Gospel of Righteousness.

    “I am not ashamed of the Gospel … for in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed.”

    God is a killer, but above all else God is Righteous.

    TVD has found a truth which he can’t accept.

    God created me. He can do whatever he likes with me. I have broken His laws, I have offended Him, I have made him very very angry with me and I deserve whatever punishment comes my way. The only reason I haven’t been crushed like a bug is because of unmerited favour. God’s grace.

    Since we have all made Him angry and His wrath is going to be poured out on the human race at some point, why does He wait?

    Because He still loves us. He already had One Son He loves more than anything and wanted a bigger family from every tribe and tongue. He wants His house to be full!

    He has also made many promises to Israel that haven’t been fulfilled yet, and God always keeps His promises.

    I would also point out that there was a previous time when God destroyed the Human Race. Enoch was told and so he named a little boy “when he dies it’ll happen”.

    Methuselah lived long enough that when he died it started to rain, but his grandson Noah had already built a boat.

    Wrath and mercy.

    God doesn’t operate on a whim. He operates according to a plan he laid out before the foundation of the world. Jesus knew what He would have to do before creation began!

    That’s all I have to say. (Thank you Churchman for your encouragement! )

    I don’t want to score points. I don’t even want to win a trivial argument. Everyone needs to look very carefully at their doctrine, for the time is short and what we teach others could mean the difference between eternal life with God or eternal damnation.

    Shalom.

    (and now I am going to the gym … my wife has started calling me Conan! but I have lost 22lbs)

  155. ShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahhhShooodabooodahondaahh

  156. @FL – that was my response to your question but I thought it might be more edifying if it was interpreted. Will go there in a minute.

    Had to have a little chuckle at your dialogue with Wazza over at the RR – as soon as he correctly pointed out your logical inconsistency you came straight out with the “nasty pasty” card lol….

    The reality is, what you said re your tithing experiment is completely and utterly contradictory – you gave this with your left hand:

    “my family have always tithed, apart from a recent short period, which I will outline shortly, through good times and through difficult times. God has never let us down. It is not tithing by works, or by law, or by necessity or compulsion, but as a faith giving sacrifice to show appreciation and honour to a great God who loves us and keeps us.”

    and then you took it away with your right!!

    “I have to confess, I stopped tithing recently, just to see how it would go, since I was in discussions with people on these sites who claimed it was, in effect, to them, a bad practice, and unnecessary. Oh, how I regret that folly, and repented with tears!

    I have to say it was a major financial disaster, which led to a really bad and frightening state of affairs, and after two months I returned to the vows I made to God, despite the way it looked, and it was bad, and, you can call it coincidence or whatever you want, but there has been a huge reversal in financial blessing, and instantly.”

    That, my friend, is a contractual arrangement that we call in the 21st century an insurance policy…..in fact its less than an insurance policy because I dont think you can get insured against a risk of 7 years bad luck for breaking a mirror or a black cat walking in front of your path….honestly, its just complete dopey superstitiousness – my father in law blamed his washing machine breaking down because he didnt tithe for a fortnight…..

    Its also incredibly sad because its 100% unadulterated, quid pro quo, LAW…..you do x and God will do y…..your acceptability before God (or the congregation of the saints for that matter) is contingent upon nothing less then the PERFECT sacrifice of Christ, whether he blesses you materially or not in the future – the reality is financial distaters are managed much better by good stewarship, hard work, savings and YES – a good insurance policy (oh ye of little faith)….

    Now I have been a bit busy but I have set aside time to join the frayed ends of the faith where babbbling tongues define orthodoxy but the Trinity doesn’t seem to rate a mention – regarding your question:

    [“You claim that tongues can only be intelligible languages understood by the hearer. However Paul says, ‘he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HIM; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries’. No one understands him! Interesting truth there. (How do you respond?)”

    Yes I believe the gift of tonges were/are intelligible coherent forms of communication – just like ADAM CLARKE!!!(you do remember him don’t you?) “[the tounge speaker] Speaketh not unto men, but unto God – None present understanding the language, God alone knowing the truth and import of what he says” – thats my position!

    Careful examination of the text of 1 Corinthians 14 reveals that Paul never explicitly states whether or not the language-speaker knew or understood the language that he was using. In fact, Paul’s emphasis throughout the chapter is, as Antoinette C. Wire observes, on the “HEARER of the problem languages, not the speakers”. Accordingly, No one is edified when no one understands because the edification gleaned by the HEARER is actually linked intrinsically to understanding the utterance.

    Indeed the Apostle makes this very point in the verse that precedes 1 Cor 14:2 namely, 1 Cor 14:1 (the ideas of both passages are linked by the word “FOR” (or “gar”) a particle of affirmation and conclusion denoting truly, therefore, verily, as the case stands) that its far better desire the spiritual gift of prophesy (which Mr Clarke rightly says “that ye may be able to teach and instruct others in the things of their salvation”) FOR truly, therefore, verily, as the case stands he that speaks in a tongue that no one understands (which Corinth in that time because of its geographical location and commercial prosperity was a highly multilingual environment and as a church tends to reflect its environment we would expect to see this reflected in the church) that speaker speaks to God (alone knowing the truth and import of what he says)… As Dr. O Palmer Robertson says “But an audience is not edified one whit, no matter how zealous the speaker may be, if the message is unintelligible. Paul makes this very point. No one is edified when no one understands (1 Cor 14:2).”

    Its like someone praying in some random Elamite dialect aloud during the service in this greek-speaking Corinth church, he would be edified through his own prayer (1Co 14:4), but since the mob cannot understand him, he would only speak to God (1Co 14:2) and himself(1Co 14:28); the others would not be edified (1Co 14:17), he would be stupid to do so (1Co 14:14-15,19.) – save to say its not cosmic martian languages…..

    “Ecstatic utterances” is a misnomer for these utterances in 1 Cor 14 ‘ecstatic utterance’ describes the psychological state of the speaker, the Greek word ekstatikos does not appear anywhere in the Greek text of 1 Corinthians 14 plus the regulations Paul lays down in 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 presuppose that the tongue-speaker is completely in control of himself and his utterances.

    1 Corinthians 12:10 Paul says some have ability in “kinds of tongues.” If jibberish tongues are not languages of any kind and have no cognitive structure, how can they be differentiated into “kinds” or “classes”? Differentiation into individual, particular tongues seems to imply languages of some kind.

  157. Very intriguing everyone.

    I am aware of my own hypocrisy at the moment. Forgive me. I’m going through an odd phase. Sorry.

    I am still waiting for the list.

    I have trouble understanding TVD’s argument. It does sound the least logical (sorry). But to swing to a pure Calvinist side does seem to portray God as a cruel God. But I don’t want God to challenge me the way Job challenged God. But who am I to question God’s sovereignty?

    Bless you all. I’m hoping to rest my head from Signposts02 this holiday season. I’ll just be posting up articles odd articles here and there – but may pull back from conversations.

    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Have a good new years celebration! 🙂

  158. I am not sure if it’s right to put FL and TVD together theologically. So, sorry if that’s a bad assumption.
    But if they are, there is something interesting here. TVD doesn’t want to worship a God who would let someone get sick etc, while FL is saying that when he has learned that when he doesn’t put 10% of his wages in the offering bag for a couple of months even after faithfully doing so for years, God allowed him “a major financial disaster, which led to a really bad and frightening state of affairs”. I’ll take TVD’s words and ask who wants to serve a God like that??

    Where does the good news fit in there to a tither. I know lots of really wealthy prospering non-Christians, who have never given even 1% on a regular basis to God. Does the tithing believer tell them to accept Christ and have abundant, best life now ….but also show them the fine print in the tract that upon becoming a Christian, they will have to give 10% of their income or else risk disaster and frightening financial conditions?

    It’s always dangerous knowing who or what to blame for financial difficulties, broken down washing machines etc. In fact it gets spooky and ridiculous. My first thought is that a years worth of tithing alone could buy more than one nice washing machine – and maybe pay for a servant to put the clothes in.

    And maybe FL’s financial troubles aren’t because of tithing but because he has been cursing God’s anointed ones- (5P and Teddy!)

    See, it gets crazy doesn’t it. I have a friend who gets a flat tire and catches a cold and then wonders what’s going on, what God is trying to say to him and where he has possibly gone wrong.

    In the meantime the atheists just fix their washing machines, and get over their financial difficulties like most people do and have done throughout history.

    Pentecostal churches can bind people in the same superstitious ways that witch doctors and astrologers can.

    Just as well there are great “debt cancellation” ministries out there who can help people like FL.
    (I’ll admit the sarcasm may have gone too far there, but just trying to make a point).

    I don’t think anyone here who feels that tithing isn’t necessary is saying it’s wrong by the way. I think it’s great for people to give willingly even if it’s 60%, but I just can’t see biblically that we are commanded to tithe now and that we will be devoured if we don’t.

  159. Specks, merry Christmas. For what it’s worth, I don’t really know many people who aren’t hypocrites in some form. But I rarely find anyone admitting to it.

  160. Teddy, I don’t think Psalm 139 means that God has predetermined how many days I will live and what I will do on them.

  161. One clear distinction between FL and TVDude in this thread, is that FL does not doubt the sovereignty of God, where as TVDude says God is not sovereign. FL has questioned previously whether TVDude means the same thing that others do by God being sovereign, which is a good question.

    FL is eloquently expressing his views on tithing and its consequences on my new blog.

    Your points relating to that are excellent, churchman:

    “Where does the good news fit in there to a tither. I know lots of really wealthy prospering non-Christians, who have never given even 1% on a regular basis to God. Does the tithing believer tell them to accept Christ and have abundant, best life now ….but also show them the fine print in the tract that upon becoming a Christian, they will have to give 10% of their income or else risk disaster and frightening financial conditions?”

    and

    “And maybe FL’s financial troubles aren’t because of tithing but because he has been cursing God’s anointed ones- (5P and Teddy!)”

    Very funny!!

  162. @TVD is there a wholesale biblical prohibition against killing a human being in the bible, if so, where?

  163. re tithing. Here is a crazy idea I’d like to throw out and get opinions on.

    My conclusion is this. The reason for the huge emphasis on tithing and offerings for building funds is basically due to one reason. That lots of ministers want to run their own shows.

    Think about it. If ministers didn’t all want their own separate churches with different names on the doors, and their own salaries, how much money would people have to give anyway? We have so many churches and ministers in our Christian countries. All having to get their people to support them and build God’s “house”.

    Let’s assume that it IS great to give to build the “house of God”. The problem is the verses everyone quotes were for the ONE HOUSE. There was only one tabernacle, or temple. But now, Pringle has a “house”, Houston has a “house” and so do hundreds of other people that everyone has to give to.

    Let’s take a completely unrealistic, hypothetical situation. Pretend if you will that there are no denominations or separate churches in Sydney. Just Christians who all see every other Christian in the city as being their brother, sister, – the same family, team, the same “house”. They all meet and fellowship and meet from house to house. How many full-time ministers would you really need anyway? You don’t need a four year bible degree and a work free week to have a gathering in your house etc.

    Then let’s say that we decide that we want one big place to have our celebrations in – it’s obviously not really necessary, but let’s assume we all as one body want to get together on Sundays – have our place where we Christians can all gather.

    Even without tithing, if the 300,000 people gave an average of 500 bucks, that’s 150 million with which to build the mother of all beautiful humongous churches. And 500 bucks even in one year is much less than the tithe AND building fund AND etc etc that ministers expect people to give.

    (Don’t know if there are 300,000 Christians in Sydney, but if everyone who claimed to be a Christian were counted it might be).

    So even if Pringle and Houston were the Apostles (yeah I know!! – this is for argument’s sake), how much appealing for offerings would really be needed.

    But what happens, not only are there church buildings of every denomination everywhere, but a guy gets popular in his local Charismatic church, has a fight with the senior pastor, then knows that if he has 10 tithing families who leave with him …he don’t need no job anymore! But then eventually, they get some more people, then they want a building, then the next thing you know there is yet another “anointed man of God” talking about not only tithing but how they have to rise up and build the Kingdom by building a “house”….. and there my friends is why and how so much Christian money is raised and where it goes.

    I hereby submit to you guys on the basis of all that I have read and experiencedin church life with ministers, church splits and “moves of God” etc, that the biggest cause of disunity, and waster of money in the world today, is Pastors wanting to run their own shows and then of course be supported in the manner in which they want to be accustomed to!

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    If I wanted to be sexist – I’d go further and say that it can even come down to something as silly as male ego. But, that couldn’t be right!

    Just talking to a Pastor the other day who is devastated that a guy left and took some people with him. He admits that he doesn’t think much of the guy who left and the people he took and now doesn’t really like them (he does though “love them in the Lord”), but being a small church his obvious biggest concern is that the income of the church has just been severely dented and if he doesn’t replace those….

    So, in my own way, I have no problem with mega churches. Imagine what a city would look like with just one mega church. Sad that we can’t even conceive of such a situation. And I know full well that it won’t happen. But now imagine if all that Christian money was spent on missions, the poor, or even God forbid, people saved it and used it to buy houses and for their kids and grandkids, while still faithfully serving God and doing all the “one anothers” that we see in the epistles.

    Crazy thought I know.

    But here’s one more. If there are so many “CEO” type Pastors in a city, who deserve CEO type salaries because they are so good at leadership and business, why don’t most of them start great thriving businesses which employ people gainfully, help the economy, can provide finances for the one church – instead of making another church business that just takes more money from Christians. There’s usually only one guy who preaches on Sunday anyway.

    The simplest reason is of course that it’s a lot easier to be a “CEO” of a group of people who believe it’s their duty to tithe (or else!) and give to building funds, than it is to be a real CEO in the big bad world out there.

    Nothing wrong in dreaming I suppose.

  164. @Churchman

    “I’ll take TVD’s words and ask who wants to serve a God like that??”

    I don’t. God blesses us, regardless of how much money we give Him, or don’t give Him. If FL went through financial issues when he stopped tithing I would say it was purely coincidence. The tithe is an Old Testament Jewish precept that is not relevant or a requirement for New Testament Gentile believers.

    @RP

    “FL has questioned previously whether TVDude means the same thing that others do by God being sovereign, which is a good question.”

    I’ve been thinking the same thing.

    “Sovereign”, according to the Cambridge dictionary means: ruler, a king or queen, or the person with the highest power in a country. So, according to this definition, God is in fact sovereign. He is our king, our ruler and the highest power. But I believe that the word “sovereign” in the context of what we are referring to here on this blog is actually referring to “God’s sovereign acts”, or what things God does as a sovereign ruler in this world.

    Let me ask you guys a hypothetical question – if you were the citizen of a sovereign nation with a king or queen as ruler, and that monarch was cruel and tyrannical, and would kill their subjects on a whim, would you love that king or queen? Would you gladly follow them, and offer them your unconditional allegiance and reverence? I don’t think so. Sure, out of fear for your life you would put on a veneer of reverence and respect, but inside you would hate and loath the ruler and secretly wish for their death or deposition. If God, as supreme ruler, can, according to the “logic” of the “God’s Sovereignty” doctrine, kill, maim and make His subjects sick on a whim, would you expect to love Him for that? Of course not! You’d run the other direction as fast as you could! But, from what I can gather, this is exactly what you guys believe that God is doing to His children. And that is exactly the opposite of what His word says about His character.

    Let me ask you, if God is causing His children to suffer or will kill them without warning, what is the devil doing? You know, the god of this world? The thief who wanders to and fro like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour?

    @bull

    “God is very much a killer. What exactly was the crucifixion? Wasn’t it the Father putting His own Son to death at pretty much the same spot that Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac?”

    Was it God who scourged our Lord’s back? Was it God who held the hammer that drove the nails into His hands and feet? Was it God who thrust the spear into Jesus’ side?

    And why did Jesus say “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay his life down for a friend”? Doesn’t this scripture implicitly state that Jesus CHOSE to lay down His life? And aren’t Jesus and His Father one? Doesn’t that mean then that God chose to sacrifice Himself for all mankind? Does that sound like a killer God to you, or a loving God?

  165. @Churchman – totally agree about your point on the power of religious superstition. I have said it before, but I think the greatest example of this is the Roman Catholic majesterium/papacy arresting entire countries/kingdoms by simply witholding the sacrements (particularly communion).

  166. @5point

    “is there a wholesale biblical prohibition against killing a human being in the bible, if so, where?”

    That’s a stupid question, even for you, because the answer is obvious, but I’ll answer anyway.

    Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”

    1 John 3:15 “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

    Is that enough, or do you want me to find 47 different references from various concordances and theological scholars?

  167. @FL – regarding your comment about me over at the infection room:

    “I admit to feeling surprised by the way 5PS went about this, knowing I have no way of responding, and not addressing it here where I could. At least I have been able to respond to wazza2, who did show some manners in addressing me here. And I thank him for pressing me on this, even though he doesn’t make it comfortable, but at least it was to my face. I respect that.”

    How am I going to respond to you over there when I am banned you doofus?

  168. @ TVD – we have found a place of agreement!! My thoughts about FL’s non-tithing experience was that it’s purely coincidence too. Just cannot see one person having to tithe if others do not. A gift of giving, a resounding YES!

    Over the years at C3, we met many who “tithed” faithfully and never saw a financial benefit. They had problems meeting their debts but were so convinced that things would be so much worse if they stopped tithing. There is a high-profile couple there who never tithe but as they feel led by the Lord, at different times, they bless others or a ministry, with great generosity and no fanfare.

  169. Correct! – the command is “Thou shalt not MURDER”

    no need for commentaries this time just the common sense realisation that there is a difference between “murder” and “killing” – every legal system on the face of the earth knows it, the adversarial westminster system, the inquisitorial european system, even Islamic jurisprudence…..

    all of these systems allow the use of lethal force if it is JUSTIFIED (i.e. s.244 Criminal Code (WA) – defence against home invasion) – if a man broke into my home a 3am and was attacking my children in their beds there would be one thing for certain – that man would be leaving my home with a toe tag inside a black zip up bag and I wouldnt lose a nights sleep over it….

    Definition of Killing s.26 Criminal Code (WA) “It is unlawful to kill any person unless such killing is authorised or justified or excused by law.”

    Definition of Murder (s.277) – Any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of a crime which, according to the circumstances of the case, may be murder or manslaughter.

    Murder is the intentional and legally unjustifiable killing of a person.

    Murder is entirely different – the bible does not sanction murder

  170. That comment is not addressed to FL, just C3OF. Perhaps that obligatory tithe for pastors is in place at other churches too?

  171. Churchman, I enjoyed your rant about church institutions. I think there’s some truths in there. Empire building. What a long history that has. Always very highly justified, too, by whoever is in charge. Doctrines usually follow, to support the edifices.

    Sometimes it may make economic sense to build a church building. Other times, it might be ambition and an need for status/to look successful. Historically, it has often been a way to impress the masses with the greatness of the church/God, next to their own insignificance. Looking at religious buildings over time, who would ever have imagined that Christ would have come as a baby in an ordinary peasant’s home?

    A good thing to think about over Christmas.

  172. “…a way to impress the masses with the greatness of the church/God, next to their own insignificance. ” – me above.

    This of course reinforces their need to attend the edifice in order to access the power of whatever impressive being they worship.

  173. @5point

    “Correct! – the command is “Thou shalt not MURDER””

    Ahhh, I knew there was some inane reason for asking such a dopey question. I saw it coming, but for some strange reason I didn’t think you’d go there. But you did.

    Let’s examine instances then where it is legal to kill.

    1. War
    2. Self defence
    3. The execution of a criminal after fair trial

    So, how many of these instances apply to God?

    Is God engaged in a war against His children? No! Does God need to defend Himself against attack of some kind? No! Only the third instance could be remotely ascribed to something God might do. But, does He execute a judgement of death on His children who transgress? No!

    What does Jesus say?

    John 12:47 “If anyone hears My teachings and fails to observe them [does not keep them, but disregards them], it is not I who judges him. For I have not come to judge and to condemn and to pass sentence and to inflict penalty on the world, but to save the world.”

    and

    John 10:30 “I and the Father are One.”

    and

    John 14:9 “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; “

  174. W5point

    Doh! Had a whole bunch of stuff but accidentally hit send prematurely. I couldn’t face having to re-write it at this late hour, but needless to say, it was good stuff!

    Maybe tomorrow if you want me to continue. Hopefully you get my drift though.

  175. @TVD – thats all very interesting, but to normal rational beings whom words still mean something it is unequivocally clear from the Biblical text that the Triune God has killed people directly (the most prominent example being the flood) and indirectly (ordered peoples to be killed).

    Now we have dealt with 2 different categories called killing and murder (which you clearly DID treat without distinction) If God ordered or participated in the killing of “innocent” people, then He would be guilty of murder.

    But the charge that God indiscriminately murdered people does not hold to the most basic level of critical evaluation any more that the argument that the Judicial officer of the court who imposed a death sentence on the properly convicted criminal was a murderer.

    In an exchange with Abraham, God indicated that He would even SPARE the wicked to save the righteous. He demonstrated this principle by saving righteous people from Sodom and Gomorrorah prior to their destruction. They were very large cities with 0% of poupulation being innocent and %100 being transgressors (much like any city on the face of the earth)

    How many righteous were saved as opposed to those “children” who were judicially killed as a result of their transgressions?

  176. @5point

    I draw your attention to exhibit “A”, from a previous post of mine answering the exact same question:

    “You take such immense pride in your ability to “discern” what the Word says, yet you get it so wrong so often! You crow about “context” and yet conveniently ignore it when it suits your purpose. If you knew ANYTHING about the Hebrew mind-set and ANYTHING about the meaning of Hebrew words and their context regarding the known character of God, you would realise how foolish you have been. In every instance in the Old Testament where God supposedly “killed” people or “allowed” them to be killed it is either an idiom of permission (whereby the fact that the devil has dominion over the earth means that he is free to wreak havoc, having gained “permission” by virtue of Adam’s sin 1 Pet5:8, John 10:10), or was written out of ignorance of the author regarding the character of God and the existence of the adversary.”

    You know, it beggars belief that someone could be so absolutely DESPERATE to prove that his god is a KILLER, even in the face of credible evidence that shows that He isn’t! It’s mind-boggling!

  177. @TVD says – “or was written out of ignorance of the author regarding the character of God and the existence of the adversary.”

    Could you give an example in the OT where the text would indicate that God apparently/allegedly “killed” people or “allowed” them to be killed where it was “written out of ignorance of the author regarding the character of God and the existence of the adversary”

    Could you also cite your sources

  178. @ TVD – Who killed Ananias and Saphira?

    Acts:5:1-11 “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
    And Peter said to her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much? And she said, Yes, for so much. Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried your husband are at the door, and shall carry you out. Then she fell down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her out, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”

    “Yes, God killed Ananias and Sapphira as a judgment. In lying to Peter and the apostles, they were lying to God. They were never forced to sell their lands or possessions, but they chose to do it. In their covetousness, they sinned against God. Their sin was especially sinful because daily the church was receiving evidences of God’s love and care, and in the face of this they tried to deceive God himself.This judgment also guarded the young church,which daily was adding to its numbers new believers, from those who would join the church,claiming to love God,but instead loved the wages of evil( in other words hypocrites).”

  179. The killing of Ananias and Sapphira is a good example of God’s wrath, and how it shows love. God loves his church, and his wrath protected the church from the consequences of allowing Ananias and Sapphira to lie with impunity at such an early stage of its foundation. So His wrath in no way contradicts His love. Understanding that God’s wrath protects those He loves from worse things, resolves much of the tension regarding God being love and also being wrathful.

    We can also be sure that his eternal justice concerning Ananias and Sapphira is perfect, and their deaths are not an indication necessarily of God’s final judgement upon them, which we have no information about.

    If children are not disciplined, they grow up to think that their parents don’t care about them. God’s wrath shows that He cares deeply, and it’s exercise consistently rescues, preserves or works in some other way for good.

  180. @5point and RP

    Show me where the words “God killed Ananias and Sapphira” appear in the biblical text. It doesn’t. In fact, it blames no one. It just says they died. Was it fear that killed them? Did they die from heart attacks? Who knows. What I do know with absolute certainty is that God didn’t kill them, because nowhere in the text does it blame God.

    5point, you take such pride in picking apart every word and sentence that I submit, yet you so ignorantly come up with baseless, and frankly, stupid arguments to support your desperate belief that God is a killer.

    @RP

    “The killing of Ananias and Sapphira is a good example of God’s wrath, and how it shows love.”

    Sorry, RP but this is simply religious rubbish. “God kills people out of love”! How obscene to even suggest that God is like that!!

  181. @TVD
    “….yet you so ignorantly come up with baseless, and frankly, stupid arguments to support your desperate belief that God is a killer.”

    Ummmm….ok….well, thanks for that TVD…

    pretty please with little dancing heretical theologians on top, could we now have an example in the OT where the text would indicate that God apparently/allegedly “killed” people or “allowed” them to be killed where it was “written out of ignorance of the author regarding the character of God and the existence of the adversary”

    Could you also cite your sources

  182. “Sorry, RP but this is simply religious rubbish. “God kills people out of love”! How obscene to even suggest that God is like that!!”

    No, not obscene. We can’t avoid the passages throughout the bible where God has caused or permitted the death of people.

    To say that people should always continue to live, when clearly at times God chose to end their lives – look at the flood, for example – is to put our will and understanding above God’s will and understanding.

    God is love and yet God exercises His wrath. To reconcile the two, we can see God acting wrathfully in ways that preserve humanity. What would the consequences for humanity have been, if the flood had not occurred? Maybe they would have had no hope at all of a future relationship with the One we are created to know, and the entire human race from then be doomed to eternal separation from Him – a fate more enduring than a physical life whatever its length. And what would the world have become like with NO people in it who knew God at all?

    A loving father will sometimes have to do things in the interest of his family that will cause some of his family to misunderstand Him or even hate Him. He can see the bigger picture that the children cannot.

    Jesus came partly to show us the nature of God, and illuminate the way we see Him. We have seen our Father when we have seen Christ. Before Christ’s arrival, we had not. Before Christ we had a start – law and fear – but now we have life and love in Him, as He has revealed himself to us and perfect love drives out all fear.

    So the nature of Christ is the same as the nature of God in the Old Testament – they must not contradict one another. Any conflict must be a matter of our understanding. What I am suggesting is that there is a way to view God’s wrath that is consistent with the statement that ‘God is love’. God’s’ exercise of His wrath must also be an exercise of His love.

  183. @5point

    “Could you give an example in the OT where the text would indicate that God apparently/allegedly “killed” people or “allowed” them to be killed where it was “written out of ignorance of the author regarding the character of God and the existence of the adversary””

    With pleasure. Here’s one (which I have already posted in another thread):

    Exodus 12:12 “‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. ”

    Compared to:

    Hebrews 11:28 “By faith he celebrated the passover and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.”

    So, who is the “destroyer” as mentioned in this passage? Satan, the god of this world, the god of this age, the father of lies, the MURDERER.

    Why then would the author of Exodus state that it was God who killed the firstborn only for it to be contradicted in Hebrews? Because, as a pre-Jesus Jew he was unaware of the true character of God, who was to him simply “the man upstairs”, or an impersonal God who caused both good and bad, and he was unaware of the existence of the devil as murderer and accuser. They only knew him as a hinderer sent by God to make life difficult for them. They had no idea of his true character.

    Source: The Holy Bible, A Mechanical Translation of the Book of Exodus

  184. @RP

    “We can’t avoid the passages throughout the bible where God has caused or permitted the death of people.”

    We can’t ignore them, but we must certainly make sure we interpret them according to the rest of scripture and not out of misinterpretation or assumption, as you are doing. Tell me RP, how do you reconcile the “killer” God of the Old Testament with the God of Love of the New Testament. You can’t. Therefore there can really only be two explanations – either God is a liar and a schizophrenic, or we get it wrong.

    God Himself tells us that He cannot change and is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He is only good now and loves us unconditionally, He was good then and loved His people unconditionally. If He doesn’t kill people now, then He didn’t kill people then.

    Again I ask you, how can you possibly follow a god and love him if he’ll take you or the people you love out at any time for no reason?

    RP and 5point, if God is doing all of this killing, what is satan doing? I’ve asked that question several times and received no answer. I’d like one now please. And please cite your sources.

  185. “Tell me RP, how do you reconcile the “killer” God of the Old Testament with the God of Love of the New Testament. ”

    I thought I just did, whether or not I am right – there could be other explanations. The reconciliation is that God is a God of love, and therefore His wrath must also be an act of love, even if we can’t at first see it that way. Think of a mother protecting her kids from something that attacks them – she would kill or destroy the thing that would harm them if she could, even if it hurts herself, and it would be an act driven by love, not driven by a desire to kill for the sake of it. If she did not intervene, her children may die or not recover from their injuries. This is an example where wrath against the thing that causes injury is an act of love.

    There is certainly no suggestion that God does things for no reason, either.

    Personally, I also believe that God lets us suffer the consequences of our sin, and the sin of others at times too, and we live in a world broken by sin, affected by the consequences of the first sin. God allowing this must also be an act of love. There is something worse that would result if He did not. Perhaps our total annihilation. Perhaps our never knowing or understanding Him as we are meant to.

    The parable of the prodigal son shows the father allowing his younger son to suffer the results of his own bad decisions. As a result, the younger son returns eventually, and has his entire view of his father turned upside down. It is only then that he truly begins to understand his father’s love for him. From that point, he can enter a new relationship with his father, loving him back in greater depth, especially compared to his original attitude.

    The older son still does not, at the end of the parable. Both are allowed to suffer the consequences of their misunderstandings, but this brings revelation in the long run to the younger. We don’t know what happens to the older son. He is like the Pharisees and cannot understand at that time.

    It is not an act of cruelty by the father to let the younger son go and suffer. It is an act of love that costs the father cruelly as he suffers while the younger one suffers – the extent of the father’s joy at his return also shows the depth of sadness he must have felt prior to that return.

  186. Still going!

    I’m taking a break from all this talk. I’m a bit over this type of discussion.

    I’ll only post up articles that I think are interesting for a while.

  187. @RP

    Wrath=love. Really? Show me, as 5point always demands, book, chapter and verse to prove this strange doctrine. You can’t. However:

    greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for a friend,

    And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance. Ephesians 5: 2

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life John 3:16.

    But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved Ephesians 2:4-5.

    How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 36:7).

    Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love (Psalm 48:9).

    But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever (Psalm 52:8).

    But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15).

    Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:26).

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

    The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

    The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends John 15:13).

    As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love (John 15:9).

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

    But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

    Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2).

    But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5).

    This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).

    Anything in their about God showing His love for us by killing us? Nope.

    “The parable of the prodigal son shows the father allowing his younger son to suffer the results of his own bad decisions. ”

    That particular parable does not show the father allowing his son to suffer at all. The father gave the inheritance to his son without any foreknowledge of his son’s subsequent actions. The parable is actually all about the father’s unconditional love and acceptance of his son even when his son didn’t deserve it. The parable has nothing to do with the son and everything to do with the father.

  188. You too everyone! May you all grow more rich in the Wisdom’s of Christ and embrace the challenges of next year whole-heartedly with maturity and good taste!

    I love you all very much.

  189. @TVD

    Is that passage of scripture in Exodus 12:12 – or indeed, even more generally, the book of Exodus itself theopneustos – “Given by inspiration of God” or “Inspired of God” as asserted by 2 Tim 3:16 or is it merely a human product of its fallible author, Moses?

  190. @specks

    “I’m a bit over this type of discussion.”

    Yes, it’s getting a bit long. Might be time to wrap. The issue will never be solved here. It’s been fun trying though!

  191. I think the parable of the prodigal son is a good example of God giving us over to what we want. Which is usually something selfish, ie: sin, with all its results. There are plenty of examples of God giving people over to what they want, with not so good results for the people. When He responds to these outcomes, God is responding to sin, fixing the problem or minimising the damage – as harsh as it may look, the outcome had God not acted would have been worse. Our way of looking at things is typically more finite than Father’s perspective. Our physical lives are so short, and our eternal salvation far more important, and this is our hope in Him, which his wrath preserves.

    Re the wrath/love thing – to me, the logic is that God is love – so everything that proceeds from Him must be an expression of love. Undoubtedly God has also exercised his wrath. So that expression must come forth as a result of love. I’ve given some examples of how parents (God is our Father) exercise wrath as an act of love; I don’t see anything unscriptural about this. Nonetheless, you do not have to see it this way though the bible does talk about God and parents disciplining their children for their own good.

    For me this answers the apparent conflict between God being love and also acting in wrath at times, which we cannot deny he does. It is quite possible that this doesn’t capture completely the complexity of our Father, but it does hold with scripture as far as I can see, right from the very start in the garden with Adam and Eve.

  192. TVdesign’a’god hits the canvas once again but this time he wasnt knocked out – he just fainted!!

    Is hard to be consistent and in serious doctrinal error isnt it!!!

  193. We make sure a doctor is qualified to practice medicine, but an theologically unqualified man can be a pastor with the spiritual oversight of 200+ people? Troubling.

  194. @5point

    “TVdesign’a’god hits the canvas once again but this time he wasnt knocked out – he just fainted!!”

    Ummm, how exactly? So far you haven’t answered any of my questions. How is it that I am knocked out then?

  195. @RP

    “I think the parable of the prodigal son is a good example of God giving us over to what we want. Which is usually something selfish, ie: sin, with all its results. ”

    Absolutely. It’s called free will, which once again blows the God’s Sovereignty doctrine out of the water. After all, if God was sovereign he’d stop us from ruining our lives wouldn’t He?

  196. @teddy

    “We make sure a doctor is qualified to practice medicine, but an theologically unqualified man can be a pastor with the spiritual oversight of 200+ people? Troubling.”

    You know nothing of my qualifications teddy. And I know nothing of yours. Judging by your contributions here on signposts, however, I can quite confidently say that I probably have more qualifications in my left toe than you do. You sit in your loungeroom or wherever, hunched over your computer searching desperately for offence and proudly pronouncing judgement on anyone and everyone who doesn’t fit into your Calvanist doctrinal model, while I, and FL for that matter, are doing the real work of the gospel. So, enjoy your bitter little existence, you and 5point, while we ministers of the gospel see lives changed, people saved, bodies healed, families reconciled, and people set free from the religious refuse that you hold onto so dearly.

  197. Well TVD…..

    Is that passage of scripture in Exodus 12:12 – or indeed, even more generally, the book of Exodus itself theopneustos – “Given by inspiration of God” or “Inspired of God” as asserted by 2 Tim 3:16 or is it merely a human product of its fallible author, Moses?

  198. Actually after having just spent a wonderful day sharing my faith with a friend, preparing quite a few delicious dishes for our family Xmas Eve (30 beautiful Christians who love the Lord as much as we do), and putting the finishing touches to the dolls I’ve made for 3 of our grandaughters I’m relaxing with my Ipad (and a glass of champagne) answering your rather dramatic comment. See, I can boast too!

  199. @ TVD – I have to laugh at your comment “my bitter little existence”! Blessed beyond measure with a wonderful husband, 5 beautiful children and 16 (so far) gorgeous grandchildren – see what a glorious sovereign Lord ordained, before the foundation of the world, to do in my life? All honour and glory to Him.

  200. @teddy

    “See, I can boast too!”

    You can, and for a one-off that’s wonderful. What do you do with the rest of your life?

  201. @teddy

    “Blessed beyond measure with a wonderful husband, 5 beautiful children and 16 (so far) gorgeous grandchildren – see what a glorious sovereign Lord ordained, before the foundation of the world, to do in my life? All honour and glory to Him.”

    That’s great! And this makes you qualified to criticise and question my qualifications because…..

    @5point

    “Is that passage of scripture in Exodus 12:12 – or indeed, even more generally, the book of Exodus itself theopneustos – “Given by inspiration of God” or “Inspired of God” as asserted by 2 Tim 3:16 or is it merely a human product of its fallible author, Moses?”

    This passage was indeed inspired by God, but inspiration does not equate to infallibility. Whilst God may inspire a man to write, what he writes is coloured by his own beliefs and world-views. Because Moses believed that God was a wrathful, vengeful God and that everything good and bad came from Him, he wrote about Him accordingly.

    We know that Jesus Himself said in John 6:46 “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father”, and in John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God; the only Son who is in the bosom of the Father has made him known”. Jesus revealed the true nature and character of God, because those before Him hadn’t seen Him and didn’t know the true nature and character of the Father.

  202. So now God ‘s Word (all scripture is God- breathed) is not infallible? Are you rolling your own theology and smoking it?

  203. @teddy

    “So now God ‘s Word (all scripture is God- breathed) is not infallible? Are you rolling your own theology and smoking it?”

    Look up the meaning of the word “theopneustos” – it means divinely breathed in:—given by inspiration of God – not “dictated to verbatim”. Every scripture in the bible has the unmistakable mark of the author, both in literary style, but also in their world-view. Make no mistake, I hold God’s Word sacred, and everything in it IS profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. But not everything in it is to be taken as literal doctrine.

  204. @TVD – 2 questions

    1. so you are saying that the Bible is NEITHER accurate and totally free of error or infallible;

    2. for contrast and distinction, you juxtaposed Exodus 12:12 with Hebrews 11:28 saying that Hebrews 11:28 rightly ascribed the passover killings to the “destroyer” or satan BUT according to you “inspiration does not equate to infallibility. Whilst God may inspire a man to write, what he writes is coloured by his own beliefs and world-views.”

    How do you therefore know based on your OWN reasoning that the author of Hebrews take on the passover killings was free from being “coloured by his own beliefs”????

    (p.s. dont think for a minute that I am granting your premise about inspiration – Im not)

  205. Nothing you have said on this blog leads me to believe you are qualified to pastor a church. It truly is disturbing.

    Answer Heretic’s question?

  206. What a day’s worth of comments that was!
    This has no relevance for the debate but I just had to say that the lines –

    “thats all very interesting, but to normal rational beings to whom words still mean something …”

    and “pretty please with little dancing heretical theologians on top”, made my day. 5 point, where do you get that stuff from??

    TVD, I understand that you get hurt by the attacks – esp when they are at the heart of your ministry, but if you are a Pastor who ministers to not just people doing ministry but also mothers and grandmothers, you might like to think about your comment “… for a one-off that’s wonderful. What do you do with the rest of your life?” Teddy’s dig at your being qualified to pastor in my book was nasty, but you gave back just as hard or harder. Remember, you are the Pastor and as such isn’t more expected (or required of you?

    Anyway, Calvinist, Word of Faith whatever – being a devoted wife, raising five kids and showing love to grandkids is pretty amazing in my book. In the end you might find that that counts for much more in this life and the next than a lot of people doing supposed “ministry”. If there were more women like that, a lot of the “ministry” being done, may not even be needed.

    If I don’t get back, Merry Christmas to all. This site is truly bizarre, fascinating, heavy, and maybe needs some kind of rating – adults only, or mature Christians only etc!! .e.g “Warning – some of the things you are about to see may be upsetting….” : )

    But interacting with people here was a big part in my being revived spiritually this year. (That may not be evident by the content of my posts, but it’s true.)

    I think that Christians being able to thrash things out and think aloud anonymously is a great idea.

    TVD, hang in there. If you don’t end up changing your theology, you will come out stronger and more articulate.

    You are a great bunch of passionate people. Have a good time with the people you need to be with.

  207. @Churchman – “5 point, where do you get that stuff from”

    strictly improvised (like TVD’s theology)

  208. @churchman

    Thanks for your comments.

    The comment I made to teddy was not actually intended to be nasty or offend. I actually really meant it when I said it was awesome. It is a great thing to be a parent and a grandparent. My next statement, “What do you do with the rest of your life” was, however, the point of my question. Teddy criticises not just my ministry, not just FL’s, but Phil Pringle’s, Brian Houston’s, and many other leaders and pastors around the world. I asked her, what difference does she make in the lives of other believers? Does she answer the phone at three in the morning and pray with the young mother who’s losing her unborn baby? Does she go to the hospital and hold a dying girl’s hand and try to reassure her grieving unsaved family that she’s going to a better place? Does she leave her family in the middle of dinner to persuade a depressed single mother not to commit suicide? Does she give up her Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights and every Sunday to serve others? Is she the first one there on a Sunday and the last one to leave? I can guarantee you that she does non of these things. Well, you know what? I do. So does FL. So does every other pastor on the planet. So she has no right to judge me, FL, Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, or any other pastor or leader whose doctrine she happens to disagree with. She may be a great mother and grandmother, but she is not a great Christian.

  209. @TVD I am seriously questioning as a Christian pastor what comfort can you offer anyone who is suffering when you dont have a biblical view of suffering – havent you expressly said that Christians ought not suffer in this life?

  210. @ Churchman – at the heart of my comments to TVD is a concern for the 200+ people he says he pastors. Over the last 4-5 years on the various SP’S, I have never come across such bizarre theology. And theology counts wehen it comes to an eternal perspective. Our view of God, His Holiness, our sinfulness.

    This is not about Calvinism vs Arminianism, first and foremost I am a sovereign grace believer – TVD pits FL and himself against 5 Point and me.

    Funnily enough, TVD doesn’t come anywhere near FL’s theological capabilities! 🙂

    Does TVD know whether any of us sit with dying children or spend sleepless nights praying and dealing with other very serios issues?

    Is he the only one to be the first at church and the last to leave? The only one to be on call 24/7, (especially with 28 family members just for starters!)?

    We are all called to minister and love one another and if letting TVD know his “theology” goes way beyond the bounds of acceptability is not “tough” love then I don’t know what is. Do we want people to wake up one day and realise they have been fed “goat food”? Who will they hold accountable, if and when God in His loving kindness, leads them to the Truth. TVD?

    There are literally 1000’s of people worldwide waking up to the strange church theologies that have flown under the radar for far too long.

    TVD can attack my so-called Calvinism which is really sovereign grace. That’s because he cannot accept a sovereign God – if I’m “nasty” for having concerns about his pastoring ability, then “Houston we really do have a problem”.

  211. To clarify, having a kind heart to pastor is one thing, having a gift to teach sound theology in a pulpit is another.

  212. I just re-read TVD’s comment

    “Is she the first one there on a Sunday and the last one to leave? I can guarantee you that she does non of these things. Well, you know what? I do. So does FL. So does every other pastor on the planet. So she has no right to judge me, FL, Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, or any other pastor or leader whose doctrine she happens to disagree with. She may be a great mother and grandmother, but she is not a great Christian.”

    No, I’m not a great Christian. I’m a sinner in need of a Saviour daily, who makes inerecession for me.
    “Simul iustus et peccator”( righteous and at the same time a sinner) Martin Luther.

    So you have attained sinlessness in this life, TVD?

  213. TVDude’s approach to ‘ministry’ versus everyday life of others is a traditional secular/sacred divide, that devalues the activities of 99% of the population compared to the 1% or less in something defined as active Christian ministry.

    As Teddy I think said earlier, all we do, we do as to the Lord. Whether we are a pastor, a doctor, a politician, a mother or a father, we all should see these things as things we do as to Him. We are not in a position to measure what we do as God would measure it. It is a human seeking for status and significance. This seeking can propel us down the wrong path if we think we need to take on a ‘Christian’ occupation to be significant or important to God or others in a Christian community, especially if that community is the one we personally most value. So people unsuited to pastoring may end up doing it because they seek the significance and status associated with it rather than because they are called to it. When this happens, even when they serve others, they serve themselves. Codependency etc.

    I can’t say whether this applies to anyone here, but it is a danger of the secular/sacred divide being used to see some work as more important than others.

    Status is derived from who has made the biggest sacrifice. Why is anything a sacrifice if it is an act of compassion that comes from the heart, serving God? Surely comparisons with others are only serving ourselves, and not God.

    I’m going to post on this on my blog.

  214. @5point

    “I am seriously questioning as a Christian pastor what comfort can you offer anyone who is suffering when you dont have a biblical view of suffering – havent you expressly said that Christians ought not suffer in this life?”

    I am seriously questioning whether you are an adult! I said to my wife after posting my above post “how long do you think 5point will take before he reads my post and brings up the suffering thing?” to which she replied, “I don’t think he will, will he? It would be a childish argument and surely he’s above that”. Well, as they say in the classics, “the proof of the pudding is under the crust”!

    @RP

    “TVDude’s approach to ‘ministry’ versus everyday life of others is a traditional secular/sacred divide, that devalues the activities of 99% of the population compared to the 1% or less in something defined as active Christian ministry”

    On the contrary, my role as pastor of my church is to equip those in my church to do the work of the gospel. I am making disciples for Christ, not dependants on me. Every Christian has a valuable role, and a pastor or leader is not above anyone. In fact, we are called to serve, not be served.

    I also agree with you RP re secular/sacred. This is not what I am talking about here. I am calling teddy on her supposed spiritual superiority, placing herself above pastors and leaders who don’t share her beliefs. It’s called pride, and if “that’s not “tough” love then I don’t know what is”.

    My whole point of bringing up what I do an a weekly basis was in response to teddy’s comment – “Nothing you have said on this blog leads me to believe you are qualified to pastor a church” and to challenge teddy’s pride in her “theology”. She grandstands like she’s God’s spiritual gatehouse, deciding which theology is true and which theology isn’t. Only, how can she be so sure when she isn’t out there doing the work of pastors and leaders. It’s a case of “those who can do, and those who can’t tell those who are doing it that they can do it better than them.”

    @teddy

    “We are all called to minister and love one another and if letting TVD know his “theology” goes way beyond the bounds of acceptability is not “tough” love then I don’t know what is”

    Way beyond the bounds of religion you mean. Keep your pharisaic rituals and beliefs. Meanwhile, those in my church are being set free from religion and bondage!

    “So you have attained sinlessness in this life, TVD?”

    Not worthy of comment (although I just did!)

  215. @ TVD – We have yet to see you answer a lot of very important questions clearly and biblically. Haven’t passed the “sniff” test yet.

    God’s Word alone determines what theology is true. His sovereignity has been acknowledged by orthodox bible-believing christianity for the last 2000 years. Your views were addressed by the early church fathers as heresy but the early church fathers just don’t figure in your exclusive theology.

    My “pride”? I repeat, I’m a sinner in need of a Saviour daily, who makes intercession for me.

    Interested in your answer to Heretic’s question and my early one about whose books are most prominent in your “bookshop”?

    And 5Point’s raised a very important issue about providing comfort in his comment at 12:36 – your answer, not your wife’s opinion. By the way, let’s not forget the whole “painless childbirth issue” that caused such a stir especially from the men posting here.

  216. TVD, Sounds like you really love and serve the people in your church. And while you think every Pastor on the planet does those things you mentioned, you might be underestimating the level of your devotion.

    I think it’s admirable that you defend what you hold dear here. And like I said, if you believe you are right, it will be only good for your faith and the way you articulate it. It’s good to have our ideas challenged and tested. If they are good, they will stand. If not, then we need to change.

    If you have a church of a few hundred, you and your wife are probably busier and more emotionally tested than the mega church Pastors mentioned here so often. So, just remember to have some good downtime away from your church and the front lines here!

    btw For everyone, there was a good interview on Fox very recently with the now 92 yr old Billy Graham. His regret is that he didn’t spend more time just praying and studying the Word.

    Good advice for us all.

  217. @teddy

    You said “God’s Word alone determines what theology is true.” and then “His sovereignity has been acknowledged by orthodox bible-believing christianity for the last 2000 years. Your views were addressed by the early church fathers as heresy but the early church fathers just don’t figure in your exclusive theology.” Don’t you realize the second part of your comment cancels the first? You say that scripture is the only authority, and then appeal to the authority of the church fathers. You can’t have it both ways. Remember, the early church fathers also believed that redemption came through buying indulgences, so we must be careful when we appeal to their “authority”. Sure, there are scriptures that appear to say that God is sovereign. But when we follow the correct biblical study standards, that is, scripture interpreting scripture, it becomes clear that God isn’t the puppet-master that the early church fathers believed him to be.

    “We have yet to see you answer a lot of very important questions clearly and biblically. Haven’t passed the “sniff” test yet.”

    I have answered as many questions as I could, and each one has been answered biblically. You just cannot handle my answers. I am reminded of the Pharisees tearing their clothes and beating their chests every time Jesus spoke when I read yours and 5point’s responses. You just don’t understand, because you are so full of religion to see the truth.

    “Interested in your answer to Heretic’s question and my early one about whose books are most prominent in your “bookshop”?”

    I am in the process of writing a response to heretic’s question. It is a great question and I am attacking it with relish! The problem is I am away for the week and don’t have any of my resources apart from the internet which can be helpful but doesn’t have everything I need.

    Your question about our bookshop was a ridiculous one, that’s why I didn’t answer it. But if it means that much to you, I will tell you – we don’t have one!

    “And 5Point’s raised a very important issue about providing comfort in his comment at 12:36”

    No he didn’t. He was having a dig. It’s what he does. He enjoys stirring up trouble, and I am not interested in playing his stupid games. But for your benefit, I will answer. I never, at any point, said Christians will never suffer. I made it quite clear on several occasions that we do, because we live in a fallen world, and the god of this world, satan, is in control. What I DID say, was that that suffering does NOT come from God, and isn’t given to us to test us or make us stronger. Every instance in the scriptures where it talks about believers suffering, each instance is referring to persecution for their faith. But, we all die, we all face misfortune, and we all face suffering. And this is what I said right at the beginning, only your religious spirits only allowed you to read what you wanted to read in my responses.

    “let’s not forget the whole “painless childbirth issue” that caused such a stir especially from the men posting here.”

    Yes. it was a strange response. Why DID the guys get all apoplectic about it? They’re not the ones giving birth after all. Maybe they WANT their wives to suffer pain? Well, you can’t argue in the face of a testimony can you? 15 women and counting that I know personally have had completely pain-free births. It’s there if you want it!

  218. @churchman

    “It’s good to have our ideas challenged and tested. If they are good, they will stand. If not, then we need to change.”

    I agree. Contrary to popular belief, I have learned a lot in my time here at SP02. Having been brought up in the pente church, I was never exposed to the kinds of beliefs we see here. Even when studying, we would hear about Calvanism and Arminism, but learning in a classroom and talking to adherents is an entirely different thing. Always having agreement whenever you preach obviously is a good thing, but to be faced with such open hostility was a new thing for me, and, strangely, it helped me to grow in my faith and made my beliefs even stronger. As a result, the people in my church are having their faith strengthened! So, as much as I cannot stand teddy and 5point, they have been a real help to me and those in my church!

  219. @TVD “Remember, the early church fathers also believed that redemption came through buying indulgences, so we must be careful when we appeal to their “authority”.”

    YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT – AS USUAL….

    Given that the doctrine of indulgences awaited the eleventh century for definition, could you please name one patristic father that taught on the treasury of merit and indulgences?

    Or perhaps you might try and find a patristic father that was still alive in the 11th century to teach on indulgences.

    When we talk about the Roman Catholic dogma of the treasury of merit and indulgences we are talking about an entire framework of beliefs that are inter-connected and held together by nothing more than Rome’s (so-called) dogmatic authority.

  220. @TVD –

    If I am so off the mark about your theology of suffering (or lack thereof) – you must recall your asenine comments about believers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks – had they listened to the “still small voice” they would not have perished.

    Is that your idea of comforting those who are left behind?

  221. @TVD
    Furthermore, apart from your assertion the Bible is NEITHER accurate and totally free of error or infallible (and therefore not the Word of God) – your attempted piecemeal justification of yor perverse and bizzare doctrine of inspiration is simply SELF CONTRADICTORY as follows:

    For contrast and distinction, you juxtaposed Exodus 12:12 with Hebrews 11:28 (and incorrectly pitted them against each other) saying that Hebrews 11:28 rightly ascribed the passover killings to the “destroyer” or satan BUT according to you “inspiration does not equate to infallibility. Whilst God may inspire a man to write, what he writes is coloured by his own beliefs and world-views.”

    Based simply on your OWN reasoning How do you therefore know that the author of Hebrews’ take on the passover killings was free from being “coloured by his own beliefs” and is the correct understanding understanding that we should adopt over and above Exodus 12:12

  222. TVD: “Why DID the guys get all apoplectic about it? They’re not the ones giving birth after all. Maybe they WANT their wives to suffer pain? Well, you can’t argue in the face of a testimony can you? 15 women and counting that I know personally have had completely pain-free births. It’s there if you want it!”

    No. It is not. I could probably find the same number of women who had pain free births. That does not void the curse. It simply says that within the broad range of human response some women get away with it while the vast majority don’t (just like some marriages survive adultery and some don’t, or in reverse there will always be survivors for what the rest of the population is a killing virus). My wife certainly didn’t and still suffers with the after effects today despite an unwavering faith throughout the years, as did they other believing women in her family. All you are doing is substituting your very limited human experience for God’s Word, and the broader experience of others in relation to that Word. You are not special – you are just like the rest of us.

    In effect what you say in this is an outright offense, and just plain stupid.

    To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

    Is 26: As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, LORD. We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life.”

    Jn 16: Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

    Rev 12: A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

    There is nothing in the bible that specifically speaks to a retraction or cessation of that curse in this life for believers.

    Birth from the fall in terms of pain or pain free is only characterised as with pain in the Bible.

    Lastly, you say: Contrary to popular belief, I have learned a lot in my time here at SP02…..it helped me to grow in my faith and made my beliefs even stronger.

    Doesn’t mean your beliefs are correct, and it definitely doesn’t mean you have allowed yourself to be open toward God to learn something that you may not have been in a place to before.

    In saying that I understand how confronting the cut and thrust can be here.

    As for the God killing discussion, I am going to do something but I don’t know if it will post here – have to speak to Specks if and when done.

  223. @Teddy – I feel you might have spoken too soon about FL’s theological capabilities – this recently from FL in the reflection room:

    “Yes, I think we’d have to really, consciously, and knowingly renounce Christ to lose salvation. I’m still having to give strong consideration to what happens to a person who is saved, but sins.”

    Notwithstanding the first part (which is just theologically incorrect and indefensible) but this is concerning – “I’m still having to give strong consideration to what happens to a person who is saved, but sins.”

    This is a complete misapprehension of the Gospel – again I will say that there are people on these forums SP02, GrpSects, RR that thaink they are pulling off some level of obedience to the law…I am amazed at how self decieved some people are

    and the result will be either driving his sheep to legalism or to abject despair

  224. @mn

    Not going to rehash the same arguments from before re pain-free childbirth. No point. I have given you my biblical proof. If you want to ignore it, that’s your prerogative. Interesting though that you play the “it’s just your experience” card, and then proceed to tell all about your wife’s experiences in her childbirth. Anyway, as I said, believe what you want. No skin off my nose.

    “Doesn’t mean your beliefs are correct, and it definitely doesn’t mean you have allowed yourself to be open toward God to learn something that you may not have been in a place to before.”

    You can say the exact same thing about everyone on here. The problem is that many of the commenters on here truly believe that they are the only arbiters of what is right, and that anyone who disagrees with them is wrong. Arrogance, pride, and self-granduer.

    @5point

    Calm down buddy! Don’t blow a gasket! Best you take a Disprin and have a lie down!

  225. Re pain free child birth: I don’t doubt there are those who claim to have had no pain. I know someone who says that now, but at the same time, had gas to cope with the level of pain they experienced. At the time, they said they experienced pain, but were happy that they coped with it well. Now, they almost say they did not have pain at all – it has been minimised in their testimony to fit in better with the possibility of pain free birth. Testimonies again. Their nuances seem to be somewhat adaptable.

    Anyway, to be honest, most women I know would say that actually raising the children, and especially coping with a new baby for the first few months after the birth, is far more challenging than childbirth itself, except in the worst cases.

    There are a variety of ways to cope with pain, for which we can all be grateful, whether it involves drugs, or methods involving distracting our brain.

    I had a friend who lost their cousin in childbirth. It was terrible; she died from blood loss and was allergic to whatever it was that could have helped her; they did not know, prior to the birth.

  226. @TVD I winced when you talked about the Church Fathers and indulgences and felt bad for you because I knew you were going to be walloped on that one! Don’t feel too bad, because Church History isn’t taught that much in certain circles

    Here is my advice. All of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and Church Fathers are available on the web. It’s good to know who they were and what they taught even if you don’t agree with all of them. Do some reading.

    It’s a shame that Pentecostals have no problem with quoting Finney or Wigglesworth but then think it strange if you read something written by someone only a generation or two removed from Paul.

    I don’t believe a with years in seminary is necessarily more qualified to lead a church than someone with less – BUT, I think guys who come out of Pentecostal training systems need to commit to a lifetime of personal study to fill I’n the gaps – and once you start studying you’ll realize just how wide those gaps are.
    (Yes, I realize that there are plenty of Tv ministers and mega church Pastors who don’t have that knowledge and still got to where they did – but you owe it to yourself, the people you teach, and certainly the people you choose to debate with). Hang in there Bro!

    Church history (starting from Acts) is more interesting and of value than it sounds. People forget that a lot happened between Acts and Azusa!!

  227. @5Point – re saying FL was more theological capable than TVD was more a reflection of how bad TVD’s theology is. I have said in the past that FL is the “old me” and if my views can change so dramatically, his may too.

  228. “I don’t believe a with years in seminary is necessarily more qualified to lead a church than someone with less – BUT, I think guys who come out of Pentecostal training systems need to commit to a lifetime of personal study to fill I’n the gaps – and once you start studying you’ll realize just how wide those gaps are.” – churchman

    That makes sense to me. Actually, I was fortunate enough to listen to a senior Pentecostal minister who was highly educated theologically for a number of years. It was pretty good. It didn’t matter if we didn’t agree with everything he taught – questions were OK; it was always interesting and worth thinking about. He also got on well with other ministers in other local churches nearby (didn’t accuse them of being ‘dead’), of different denominations, and didn’t blindly accept everything that happened in the Pentecostal world as being good for his congregation – even warned them to be careful regarding some things. (And if anyone ever spoke in tongues in the service – it was interpreted straight away. 😉 Just in case anyone wondered.)

  229. Forgot to say, churchman, that I agree regarding church history and the history of Christian thinking. I’m enjoying slowly filling some of those gaps myself, over time. It’s fascinating. Also a bit shocking once you realise how narrow your past church world has been. Plus so interesting to see how the same doctrines – including false ones – keep raising their heads over time, to suit the needs of the day.

  230. Back on topic, I just heard Phil Pringle hit the Hope 103.2 airwaves TRYING to give a gospel message.

    Compared to Paul Washer, it was miserable. It was very watered down. 103.2 should not have their name ruined by the C3 church gnostic cult.

  231. @churchman

    “Don’t feel too bad, because Church History isn’t taught that much in certain circles

    Here is my advice. All of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and Church Fathers are available on the web. It’s good to know who they were and what they taught even if you don’t agree with all of them. Do some reading.”

    Thanks for being so patronising.

    I am actually familiar with the history of the Church, and the early church fathers, thank you very much, having of course covered the subject nearly twenty years ago during my studies. Unfortunately, in trying to make my point about the fallibility of man, and the folly of placing complete trust in their theology, my example was made in haste. Oh well, it can happen to anyone, even Super-Christian 5point (although it is difficult to make mistakes when copying and pasting other people’s theological arguments, hey 5point!)

  232. @TVD

    “I am actually familiar with the history of the Church, and the early church fathers, thank you very much, having of course covered the subject nearly twenty years ago during my studies”

    Yeah…unfortunately TVD when we say “early Church Fathers” we dont mean Kenneth E Hagin and Oral Roberts and by “Church History” we mean a little bit futhrther back than Azusa Street.

    “Although it is difficult to make mistakes when copying and pasting other people’s theological arguments, hey 5point!)”

    firstly, I always reference direct quotes and as I keep saying, we stand on the shoulders of giants – why reinvent the wheel…secondly your an object lesson that those theological arguments work!!!!

  233. @TVD – oh and I forgot, thirdly, your also a very good object lesson that when it comes to essential doctrines of the faith, we should sincerely thank God if we never entertain an original thought…

  234. `Heretic, That video is classic.

    RP, Yeah, church history is fascinating, but it can also be pretty depressing.

    TVD, Really sorry about that. Wasn’t meant to be patronizing. I jumped to the wrong conclusion and I apologize.

    btw, If you are saying that you taught 15 women a theology of pain free birth, and ALL 15 women gave birth and had NO PAIN at all, you might be onto something! Write an ebook!

  235. https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/the-whole-earth-is-philled-with-this-pilth/#comment-16438

    TVD: “Did Calvin die on the cross? Was Arminius the substitute for our sins?”

    After much consideration, I came up with an answer to your rhetorical question.

    Q: Did Calvin die on the cross? Was Arminius the substitute for our sins?

    A: No. Paul the Apostle was and Paul the Apostle did.

    There’s more to that wrong answer that meets the eye.
    (Sorry for bringing this up again. I couldn’t stop thinking about it!)

  236. Churchman said “If you are saying that you taught 15 women a theology of pain free birth, and ALL 15 women gave birth and had NO PAIN at all, you might be onto something! Write an ebook!”

    Ties in with my question , which books are most prominent in your “bookstore”? (As if I didn’t know.) 🙂

  237. @ churchman

    “btw, If you are saying that you taught 15 women a theology of pain free birth, and ALL 15 women gave birth and had NO PAIN at all, you might be onto something! Write an ebook!”

    There’s a well known book called “Supernatural Cildbirth” by Jacky Mize that covers this area. Well worth the read for expectant mothers

  238. Teddy’s bookcase:

    “Calvanism is da bomb”
    “Ten steps to spiritual superiority”
    “Why Pentecostalism must be of the devil”
    “How to discipline your Children by killing them, using examples from the Old Testament”
    “Why Arminians must die”
    “Knowing The truth about God by ignoring the bible”
    “pride is the best sin of all!” by John Calvin

    Anyone think of any more?

  239. I’ll play:

    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
    6 volumes Matthew Henry
    The Works of Josephus (complete & unabridged)
    “Heaven” Randy Alcorn
    Billy Graham Biography
    “Amazing Grace” John Pollock
    “Who Moved The Stone” Frank Morison
    “Hard To Believe” / “Truth War” John Macarthur

    Various books by Francis Schaeffer (another favourite of mine.)
    “The God Who Is There”
    “Escape From Reason”
    “He Is There And He Is Not Silent”
    “Genesis In Space And Time”.

    Just to name a few – I tossed out dozens of books when I realised the WOF nonsense taking up shelf space.

    Many books on Ipad kindle including the complete Oscar Wilde collection(95 total – do love his work)

    AND….last but not least Logos Bible Software/4 base package on Ipad gives me access to 100’s of books/bibles on free download – original languages/ ancient texts/all bible translations etc etc. A feast!

  240. @TVD

    Do you believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God and are the ultimate authority for the Church?

  241. @5point

    “Do you believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God and are the ultimate authority for the Church?”

    Absolutely.

  242. For those that attend C3, please don’t waste your time replying to these stirrers. You have more importamt things to do. Firstly, get your wishlist together for the dreams service coming up in a few days… I can tell you… 2011 is going to be your year for a financial breakthrough… Xx

  243. “2011 is going to be your year for a financial breakthrough”

    Yeah so was 2010,09,08,07,06……02,01…

    Cant you charlatans get a new shtick??

  244. Would love to see where “dream services” are clearly taught in scripture.

    Perhaps Paul Washer could make a surprise visit with Ten Indictments?

  245. I would like to know where the Apostles exhorted us to hold “annointing services” as well – one of the many unanswered queries from our C3 pastor freind FL….

    BTW FL re your comment and the ensuing conversation over there at RR – “……..I’m still having to give strong consideration to what happens to a person who is saved, but sins.”

    got this from the Valliant for truth blog (http://wscal.edu/blog/entry/machen-on-christianity-and-liberalism)(Great Blog)

    J Gresham Machen in Christianity and Liberalism (written in the late 1920’s and was named one of the top 100 books of the millennium by World magazine and one of the top 100 books of the twentieth century by Christianity Today) was fighting against modern liberalism infiltrating the church – but the central idea is no different today with the pietistic pentecostal movement – a complete adulteration of the true Gospel of grace…

    “Machen once observed, “Here is found the most fundamental difference between liberalism and Christianity—liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative; liberalism appeals to man’s will, while Christianity announces first, a gracious act of God” (from Christianity and Liberalism, 47).
    The simple truth is either we save ourselves or God saves us.”

  246. Another thing to consider from the Gordian Knot…..

    “The cult of personality may be the most dangerous cult alive in the church today. If your pastor is preaching faithfully the law and the gospel, without compromise–thank him, encourage him! Praise the Lord, such a man is rare. As difficult as the messages may be, you are being brought to an end to yourself. But listen carefully to whom you are being pointed. The goal is to present Christ in all of his holiness, beauty, and saving power. In hearing him, you are receiving the most liberating, comforting, life-imparting message that could be given to weary sinners. If you are hearing self-help, moralistic, man-centered messages from a “personality”–flee to the mountains. There is only one name given by which sinners may be saved. May we all with earnest long then to hear the preaching of Christ and him crucified”

  247. Twitter keeps suggesting I follow Chris Pringle. I just can’t …

    “Cloudy Bay day! Don’t mind! Anchors away Captain Phil! See you all n 2 wks tweeters!”

  248. I don’t think Phil can resist not to tweet. I think he loves himself too much to refrain.

    Let’s see if I am wrong. 🙂

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