December 31, 2007

Instead of Fishing Boats, we now have Cruise Ships

(Please note that my comments here about "the church" are not directed to any particular church or body of believers, but that I am speaking in generalities of the Modern Day Church as a whole. Please realize there are some good churches out there, but it is my opinion they are fewer in number than the Modern Day Church (MDC) mentioned in this post)

In recent months several of my fellow Christian bloggers have written about the issue of being overly "busy" in their various roles within their respective churches. Blogger Dean Lusk has written several good posts on his site about this subject matter over the past couple of months. Over the Christmas Season I had a chance to reflect a little further about this subject matter (as this is the season of being busy).

As I was pondering this whole issue last week when something struck me. It was one of those moments of irony (it reminds me of that 90's song "Things that make you go Hmmmm"! So here it goes: The "thing" that is supposed to draw people closer to God (ie. the church), is turning out to be the the very thing that is causing people to be separated from Him! Here's what I mean. Most people come to church with the idea that they are going to obtain knowledge and understanding of God and the church body is there to oversee peoples spiritual growth and maturity (at least thats the general concept). Instead, they become "saved" and the next thing they know their being shuffled off to Nursery duty or being asked to teach Sunday School. Next thing they know, its years later they are no better off spiritually than when the first came to know the Lord. Why does this happen? Because the very entity or body that was supposed to assist them in growing spiritually, has instead hampered them from growing by keeping them "busy".

Recently I have been reading Leonard Ravenhill's "Why Revival Tarries". In his book he writes about the "Present Day Church" where he sites the following:

"What a fever of church building there is just now, yet without unctionized preachers these altars will never see anxious penitents. Suppose that we saw fishing boats with the latest in radar equipment and fishing gear launched month after month and put out to sea only to return without a catch - what excuse would we take for this barrenness? Yet thousands of churches see empty altars week after week and year after year and cover this sterile situation by misapplying the Scripture. "My word . . . shall not return unto me void." I

For one, I think Leonard's comments really applies to the whole issue of busyness and our churches. Instead of seeing empty pews or alters these days, we see all sorts of activities going on, plenty of to and fro, but yet yielding no true harvest if you will..... Today our "ships" are large and full of people and we have plenty of activities. But instead of fishing, we are now nothing more than cruise ships, party barges if you will. Churches today have become nothing more than a religious community center where one can learn to have "financial peace", be entertained and see a floor show on the veranda deck! We have taken our fishing vessels and transformed them into ships of busyness. All the while countless souls are perishing into Hell and the Modern Day Church is not sitting idle. Oh no! instead it has lulled itself into a false sense of accomplishment. Along the lines of Ravenhill's comments - our ships return to the harbor with no yield in its hull! The boat is speeding in and out to sea, but yet it yields no fish! My point here is if we were to know of such a vessel, would we not inform the ships captain that their operation would soon be bankrupt or even worse shipwrecked?

So maybe the real issue here is not busyness in of itself, but that the church has lost its real purpose. Instead of the church being a place of spiritual growth and knowledge, it has preoccupied itself with being a Cruise Ship and not a fisher of men as Christ instructed his disciples.

Joel Osteen needs to read Galatians 1:8-10

It would seem Joel Osteen has once again forgot to "prep" before his recent interview on Fox News. When asked about the authenticity of Mormons being a part of the Christian faith, Joel in true "Seeker Friendly" fashion answers with a resounding YES! The apostasy that exist in the Modern Day Church is just overwhelming and is a sign of the times we are living in. Watch the clip below and see how Joel addresses the whole "golden plates" and Joseph Smith issue. It would seem Chris Wallace knows more about the Christian faith than Joel does.

Galatians 1:8-10 states: But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. 9 As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema. 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.

December 20, 2007

Great Now I have to become a Monk! (Another excuse NOT to preach the Gospel!)

Well its hard to believe but we seem to be headed back to the Dark Ages once again. The geniuses at Willow Creek (yes that same Mega-Church who just weeks ago announced they have wasted millions of dollars & time on a message that's not working) have decided that monasticism is what's missing from the church these days and this is what will set us back on the right path to God. Below is a video from a recent "Ancient Future Conference" held at Willow Creek Church, whereby this is another sign of the Emergent Church going more mainstream at your local corner Mega-Church.

For those who are unaware of what "Ancient Future" means, this is a term coined by the Emergent Church movement whereby they feel what's really lacking from the church today is ancient liturgy, rituals, traditions such as iconic prayer, infant baptism, that was done during the "ancient" years of the church. In the video Mark Van Steenwyk a speaker at the Willow Creek Conference describes their idea of monastic living. Mr. Steenwyk is the founding member of Missio Dei. Described as a neo-monastic community on the West Bank of Minneapolis. Missio Dei lives to embody Jesus' presence on the West Bank (a diverse neighborhood of East African immigrants, punks, artists, homeless people and students). NOTE: This is not to be confused with being a missionary - this is more on line with your communes of the 60-70's.

So what we all really need to do is withdraw ourselves and live in a commune or monastery AND that will cause revival in our land!?? How about this Willow Creek here is some advice - PREACH THE GOSPEL!! It's amazing, when we see the gospel truth really preached - we don't need gimmicks. Instead we see lives truly transformed from the pain and sickness of sin. Instead all I am seeing is churches like Willow Creek and Saddleback do everything BUT preach the gospel. Again, over and over we see they try and reinvent the wheel (or the gospel) every six months or so.

December 19, 2007

Enough's Enough! We Have Officially Taken This "Seeker Friendly" Thing Way Too Far!

Need I say more!

clipped from
Beginning Thursday, Destin United Methodist Church will offer "Hot Wings Bible Study" at the Hooter's Restaurant in Destin, an establishment known across the country for its scantily clad waitresses and hot wings.

"It's a study for people who haven't studied the Bible a whole lot. It will be beginner's style," said Sharron, the assistant pastor at the Methodist church one of bringing the gospel Destin's largest, to the marketplace.
blog it

December 17, 2007

Forgiveness Gone Bad

In light of the recent tragedies in Arvada & Colorado Springs Colorado churches there have begun the healing process and begin moving forward with their churches and their lives. However, in a recent article in the Christian Post I found a somewhat disturbing comment made by both leaders there:

Now most Christians would agree that we should forgive others as one of the fundamental points of Christianity. Some of the key verses that most people will quote is Matt 6:14-15

"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions".
For years I have heard people say if someone wrongs you must forgive them, regardless if they seek forgiveness. But the more I read God's Word the more I see this is in fact not found in the scriptures. Clearly Matt Chapt 18 is a key parable on the concept of Christian or biblical forgiveness. First, let me say that we are to forgive others just as our Father forgives us. Most don't care to really think about what all this entails. The first order of business before God ever forgives us is what?? Repentance! Does God just freely forgive sinners, does God go around in His kingdom throwing pardons to the wind and say all has been forgiven? Clearly not. God in his wisdom knows that prior to forgiving someone the guilty party must first have a repentful & broken heart over their actions and seek forgiveness or provide restitution to the victim.

As we look at Matthew 18:21-35 we begin to see a clear idea of how forgiveness is to be extended and under what conditions. The first thing we see is we have a servant who owes a tremendous debt to the king. Note that the king has not made some broad proclamation of forgiveness, but rather is now seeking to reclaim that which is rightfully his from his debtors. Next we see the servant coming before the king and is pleading and broken over his debt and seeks mercy from the king. Friends, this is an example of repentance - a broken condition whereby we fall before the Lord and seek mercy and forgiveness of our moral debt we have incurred against our good king. The king being good and merciful forgives the servant of his debt. No where do we see in this parable that the king was going to forgive the servant prior to him coming before his court, instead the verses states,

"........the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slavesWhen he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25"But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made"

Clearly the king was going to rightly administer justice against this servant in order to settle the debt that had been incurred. In todays' church we have such a distortion of forgiveness. As in the case of the Arvada YWAM and New Life Church murders, this is by no means a situation that warrants a blanket of forgiveness to be extended to the murderer who took four innocent lives. First, we see this man was by no means repentant of his actions - as a matter of fact he was very rebellious and sinister. Secondly, would it be right for this murderer to stand before God on judgment day and God say "OK all is forgiven, you can enter in well done good and faithful servant? " Of course not! God's character would instantly be under suspicion for forgiving such a criminal into his kingdom. We see further in the parable that once the servant had been forgiven and he had failed to show mercy just as the king had shown him, his debt was placed back in full upon him and he was forced to repay all that he had owed the king.

When Christ says that we should forgive someone, this is in reference to the other person coming before us and asking for our hand of forgiveness. If we as believers fail to forgive someone once they have come before us and asked us to forgive them, then this is when we are in jeopardy of sinning ourselves. Luke
17:2-4 is a good example of this whereby Jesus says:

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

In the case of this murderer in Colorado, the church first can not speak on behalf of the victims and extend forgiveness on their behalf. Secondly, it would be unjust if we would extend forgiveness to this unrepentant murderer as clearly he was neither filled with regret or repentance for his actions. As Christians, let us be on guard how we portray biblical or Christ-like forgiveness. Clearly, before we were forgiven by God we must exhibit true and genuine sorrow for what we have done to the heart of God.

Absolute Contingency

For years arguments have been waged between Arminianist and Calvinists about coexistence of man's will and God's absolute foreknowledge. The Arminianist position has been that man's freewill and God's Foreknowledge (Sovereignty) can perfectly coexist without somehow impugning God's character nor showing God having causation on the part of mankind's will. The Calvinist contend that due to God's absolute and "perfect' foreknowledge, he had to foreknow from eternity past every person's destiny and therefore every person is either damned to hell or destined to enter into heaven. This is what is defined by Calvinist as Predestination or "Election". I think the Calvinist position is best described by prominent Calvinist author and writer Loraine Boettner in his work the "The Foreknowledge of God" whereby he states: "Since God's foreknowledge is complete, He knows the destiny of every person, not merely before the person has made his choice in this life, but from eternity. And since He knows their destiny before they are created, and then proceeds to create, it is plain that the saved and the lost alike fulfill His plan for them; for if He did not plan that any particular ones should be lost, He could at least refrain from creating them.......We conclude, then, that the Christian doctrine of the Foreknowledge of God proves also His Predestination". I personally think this is a very logical conclusion on the part of the Calvinist, however as logical as it may sound, it does brings to mind many character assinations against the personality and character of a benevolent God.

On the other hand Arminians, argue that they can have their cake and eat it too if you will. Most Arminianist would argue that there is a logical distinction between necessity and certainty. They would argue that God foreknows that choice X is going to freely be made means only that X is certain to occur; it does not mean that God's foreknowledge, or any other cause made X necessary. However, there are several logically inconsistencies we have with this argument. For one, and as any good Calvinist or Open Theist would point out this definition violates the Law of Non-Contradiction. In other words, this is like saying that something can be True and False at the same time. Contingency and foreknowledge are truly contradictory assertions because a contingent event, being unnecessitated, can not be known until it actually occurs. As an Open Theist, I would argue that when it comes to the issue of man truly making a contingent choice (freewill), this means that there is a real or actual contingency involved. How could something be contingent if the events involved were already known by God from all eternity past? However, as Boettner points out, if God's absolute foreknowledge is indeed true, then no real contingency can occur in the mind of God and mankind then is not truly free. In other words, future events (both good and evil) would have been preordained by God on the basis of His foreknowledge. As the Calvinist point out, what God foreknows must, in the very nature of the case, be as fixed and certain as what is foreordained, foreordination therefore renders the events certain, while foreknowledge presupposes that they are certain.

I must say this is the one time in my life I actually agree with a Calvinist! Essentially Calvinist are saying to have both contingency (freewill) and God having absolute foreknowledge is logically inconsistent and therefore impossible. Personally, this is why I am Open Theist. Open Theism is truly the only way one can logically and rationally explain the existence of man's freewill and God's omniscience. I too must agree with the Calvinist here that the Arminianist view is logically inconsistent and therefore can not be true. As Boettner states in "The Foreknowledge of God" regarding the Arminians position, he states: "When the Arminian is confronted with the argument from the foreknowledge of God, he has to admit the certainty or fixity of future events. Yet when dealing with the problem of free agency he wishes to maintain that the acts of free agents are uncertain and ultimately dependent on the choice of the person,---which is plainly an inconsistent position. A view which holds that the free acts of men are uncertain, sacrifices the sovereignty of God in order to preserve the freedom of men." For the Open Theist however, this is truly solved in the position that God can only know that which is knowable. In other words, God being fully benevolent and fully all-powerful is not afraid or intimidated in allowing man to have a free will, but maintains that the possibility of man choosing good over evil is indeed of the highest order in the universe (love must be freely chosen). On the other hand, we have Calvinism, although it might be logically consistent it horrifically impugns the character of God and takes away all human freedom. We can no longer define God as being truly benevolent, as we now are confronted with a God who has preordained all of the horrific sins and atrocities throughout all of mankind and yet gets none of the blame for doing so. He is now responsible for the intentional creation of Satan and his minions and all the havoc they bring to our planet. But the main reason I reject Calvinism is that its views are so inconsistent with the complete Biblical text. We have numerous verses whereby we see God questioning or not knowing the decisions to be made by man. We see a God who is grieved by the sinful actions of his creation - is this not a strange or alien like response from a God who supposedly should have known his creation would have acted in its preordained state? Verse after verse we see a God who has no problem allowing is creation to make contingent choices and yet his plan of salvation will ultimately come to fruition.

December 13, 2007

Art vs God?

I was reading an editorial this morning by Camille LaPaglia of that really caught my attention. By the way, is what I would consider a fairly liberal online mag and spews forth the typical human secularist diatribe you would come to expect from such a media outlet. So why do I read it? From time to time I read liberal editorials just to see what the "other side" is thinking and writing about. As a Christian I think it is always valuable to see what tactic's the world is using to attack God. I read it because it allows me to become more aware of my talking points with unbelievers and to understand what is the latest social and philosophical influences of our culture. Taking this approach we can begin to rationally show people God is not an absurdity, but just the opposite, God is real and he can be known if we just use the very faculties God has endowed us with. I also think as Christians we have lost our ability to "think" logically and rationally and therefore we have become unable to rationally explain our theology or why we believe what we believe. Instead what I witness is more of a "parrotting" if you will of "Well My Pastor said______________".

So back to the article I was reading. What caught my eye was a statement LaPaglia made and it is a interesting one. She is writing about the Presidential Primaries and how religion has become such a focus for the candidates. In her editorial she writes:

"But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe."

blog it

The amazing thing is she see's that the human secularist & Atheist are only accelerating the further downfall of our culture. Her comments regarding Atheist is an interesting one, but yet the most alarming phrase is the what LaPaglia suggest we substitute God for - "Art and nature for God - the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe". LaPaglia in two sentences has managed to completely contradicted herself. On one hand she see's that human secularist and Atheist are going no where, but yet she is imbibing the very essence of what they believe!

Christian philosopher, Francis Schaeffer writes in his book "How Should We Then Live?" that one can tell a tremendous amount about a culture in its art, music and writings. When man is inspired by his deepest interests in life, these will be reflected in the arts of the culture of that period. An example would be the Roman or Greek Empires, whereby we see the exquisite detail and emphasis on the human form - the Roman Greco man where it exemplifies strength, beauty and power. However, Schaeffer writes that over the centuries we have seen the further moral & philosophical decay of mankind reflected in the arts as a direct testimony of our ever increasing desire to worship ourselves. In centuries past we have often seen how God and religion was in large part, central themes of inspiration for artist and creative types alike.

However, the comment made by LaPaglia seems to suggest that instead of allowing art to become an outlet of expression, we must now worship art & nature in of itself - or as she put it "the grandeur of man and the mystery of the universe". Instead, we are now worshipping the created and not the Creator. Paul in his letter to Rome points out that in his day this very thing was occuring with the Romans:

Rom 1:21-23 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him. Instead, their thoughts turned to worthless things, and their ignorant hearts were darkened. (22) Though claiming to be wise, they became fools (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that looked like mortal human beings, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.

If what LaPaglia is saying is indeed to occur, then we are beginning to witness serious pagan-like behavior from within our culture. For as Paul says, their hearts have indeed become ignorant and darkened. No longer do we worship God the Creator, but we now worship the created and the created will worship itself. These are indeed sad and dark days when we as a culture begin to beleive in such non-sense. That we are somehow as gods and we need to seek devine inspiration from art and nature. What lunacy! As I had stated in my previous posting, how can one even look at somehting as complex as DNA, or Photosynthesis, or the human form and not see the handiwork of our creator. Sadly, the modern day church continues to parrot old sayings and slogans and lazily refuses to address today's culture in debate or as Paul would say "come and reason together".

December 10, 2007

A Wonderful Comparison

Yesterday I mentioned a Podcast by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias that I had been listening to last week. In this Podcast Ravi mentions Dr. Francis Collins who is one of two doctors responsible for mapping the human genome. Dr. Francis gives lectures whereby he shows the above picture showing an amazing comparison and shares his faith in God. On the right hand side is a photo of a strand of human DNA along its axis (double helix). On the left hand side is a photo of the Rose Window at York Minster Cathedral.

Both have beautiful detailed design. Both have complex mathematical and geometrical design. Clearly someone would never look at the photo of the window and assume this occurred by randomness. Because of the amazing design of this window and vast selection of colors and shapes, one would come to the logical conclusion that this was made by human hands. It was made with a design in mind and calculated intelligence. But yet when we look at something a thousand times more complex as the Double Helix of human DNA, most people would say this happened as a result of chance, it happen by accident or it evolved. Clearly, when we see both images side-by-side we see two items that have been clearly made by intelligence designers. When I read of what goes into making up the sequenced data within a single strand DNA, I think to myself how can anyone come to the logical assumption that this all happened by random chance? We would never make the assumption that the window just evolved or fell into place by chance - what an absurdity!

When I see the creativity that God possesses and the depths He has gone to show every person his existence is overwhelming. I am so thankful we do not have a God who is shrouding himself in mystery as many people would claim. When I see something like this picture of DNA I think what depths God has gone to show us who he truly is! God truly is reaching out to man and saying Here am I! Know me and Love me for who I am - not what I am. I love God for his creativity and for allowing us to see his wonderful and amazing creation before us. He is a God who says "use the very logic and reason I have given you and you will plainly see I am here and I am real and alive". When we think God is somehow mysterious and can not be known, then what are we really saying about God? I think of the depths God has gone to by sending his son Jesus to show all of humanity just who He is and openly displaying for all of man to see his character. Jesus said "If you see me you also see the Father". Was Jesus ever mysterious? Was Jesus ever being coy with those around him so they would be unable to truly know him? Not at all! Just as God has displayed his intelligence and creativity in the things of this world, he also has shown us his character through his Son Jesus Christ. God has made it possible for you to know him and have a relationship with him. Have you met the Savior this day? If not, I would urge you to seek after him and to know him. For He is a loving and merciful and a creative God!

December 9, 2007

What are we worth?

This week I have been listening to a tremendous and touching podcast by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias entitled "The Christian Privilege". I must say this has to be one of the most moving speeches on explaining the heart of God and the human condition. Do you think your life is random, or do you believe that you are unique, having been designed by a loving God? I would implore everyone to listen to this short speech by Ravi. It really does a fine job of explaining the purpose of mankind and our relationship with God. This is Part 2 of a 5 part series. If your interested in hearing all 5 podcast you can find them here.

Click the following link to hear RZIM Podcast "The Christian Privilege".

A PSA for the Emergent Church Movement

Below is a very humorous podcast from a blog called Fighting for Faith . The point of this podcast is to show just how illogical the Emergent Church movement really is. Can we really trust the Emergent Church? After listening to this I think you'll understand my point.

Imputed Righteousness: Whose Righteousness Anyway? Part 5 of 5

Here is the final part 5 of the Sermon series from Pastor Dean Harvey regarding the doctrine of Imputed Righteousness.

Whose Righteousness Anyway?, By Pastor Dean Harvey – A Transcript from his daily radio show

In conclusion, we must ask the question, "Do we have any excuse for sin?" Unfortunately, the doctrine of imputed righteousness has become an excuse for sin, or at the very least, permitted Christians to become less vigilant about sin in their lives. Yes, we are to live righteously as the Bible instructs. No, Jesus cannot live righteously for us. And no, God does not see the sinful person through the righteousness of Christ, thereby making the sinner righteous in the sight of God. This is what is called a "theological fiction." It is a fiction, a make-believe, a lie, to somehow think that God sees us as righteous when we are living a life of sin. I am very sad to think that many who expect to go to heaven when they die, will hear Jesus say, "I never knew you." Matt. 7:23. In 1 Cor. 1:30, Paul says that Christ has become to us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. This means that He is our Savior from sin, without Him, we would be lost in our sins, and could not be saved. Can we save ourselves? No. Is it works to say that we must personally live righteously after we become Christians? No. It is not works, it is the obedience of faith. It is the fruit of our transformation of heart. It is the fruit of the great mercy of God. It is the fruit of the patience of God. It is the only thing we can give back to God for this great salvation. Let us stop making excuses for sin. Let us stop looking for loopholes in the law of God. That is what the Pharisees did, and Jesus rightly condemned them. We say with Paul, "What, shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?"

December 7, 2007

Back to the Future!

This video was produced back in the mid-1960' and this is what people thought technology might look like in 1999. I realize this has nothing to do with theology or with God, but as you will see almost everything in this video has transpired within our technology of today. It is amazing what wonderful minds God has given us! The probleim is I am still waiting for my flying car from the Jetson's!

Imputed Righteousness: Whose Righteousness Anyway? Part 4 of 5

Here is Part 4 of the Sermon series from Pastor Dean Harvey regarding the doctrine of Imputed Righteousness.
Whose Righteousness Anyway?, By Pastor Dean Harvey – A Transcript from his daily radio show

The second question we asked was, "Can God be righteous for us?" Before answering the question, we must ask, "Why would He want to do that?" What benefit would that be to either God or me, for God to be righteous for me? Would we want to obey for our children? With much time and effort, we teach our children to obey, and it pleases us when they choose to obey, especially for the right reasons. In the same way, it pleases God when we choose, for the right reasons, to obey Him. When we do that, we are living righteously. A friend complimented a lady recently for the good behavior of her children. Her response was, "It is not me, it is all of God." She talked as if she had nothing to do with her children’s behavior, but my friend knew that she was a very good mother, and her training was being revealed through her children. Is God a good Father?

Both Old and New Testaments tell us that we should live by faith. Some have used Eph. 2:8-9 to say that God gives us faith. If so, why doesn’t God give everyone faith. Is it really because of predestination, or election? I think not. If indeed we could receive faith from Christ, it could not rightly be called faith. Neither would it please God. God does not give anyone faith to believe. What He does give is the capacity to have faith (that is how He created us), the opportunity to have faith, and every reason to have faith (The heavens declare the glory of God.). But He cannot believe for us. If He could believe for us, then He would have the responsibility to believe for everyone. In the process, love would evaporate and mankind would essentially become robots.

The main purpose which God had in creating man in His own image was to share His love in a special relationship with creatures like Himself, creatures who can think and reason, creatures who can appreciate and respond to God’s goodness and love, creatures who have freedom of will to voluntarily choose to love Him, or to choose not to love Him. God cannot stop us from sinning unless He removes our free will, and it is our free will which is the primary ingredient in the "image of God." In the same way, God cannot be righteous for us without removing our free will, which would go against the very reason for our creation. The fact is that we are free to live righteously by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or to live sinfully in rebellion against God. And sadly, many call themselves Christians, who are still living sinfully in rebellion against God.

December 6, 2007

Imputed Righteousness: Whose Righteousness Anyway? Part 3 of 5

Here is Part 3 of the Sermon series from Pastor Dean Harvey regarding the doctrine of Imputed Righteousness. Today we will look at the matter of does God expect Christians to be righteous and holy. Can we be righteous in the eyes of God?

Whose Righteousness Anyway?, By Pastor Dean Harvey – A Transcript from his daily radio show

Some say, "our own righteousness is not important." But God repeatedly says in His Love Letter that our personal righteousness is important. Many believe that we cannot live righteously. But the Bible says that God’s purpose is to get us to live righteously as He does. To say that God gave us laws that we cannot keep is to charge God with injustice. And then, to say that God will punish us for not keeping the laws (which cannot be kept) is to make God the worst of tyrants. I have a book in my library which says that God gave us laws which He knew we could not keep, just to make us guilty. Then he says something like this, "I have found it hard to explain to people just how God can give us laws we cannot keep, and then send us to hell for not keeping them." What blasphemy against a great God.

It is obviously Gods will that we, as individual persons, live righteously. The idea that we are humble by saying that we are just sinners actually takes away from the grace of God. In my 54 plus years as a Christian, I have watched several instances of pastors and churches which preach that we are just sinners, and emphasize that, instead of emphasizing that we are saved from sin. What happens when the pastor commits adultery? Very seldom is he excused, and he should never be excused. I have come to the conclusion that what people mean when they say that we sin all the time, is that they are making room for little sins, but big sins like adultery are automatically excluded, because the law of God is written on our heart, and there are some .

It is obviously Gods will that we, as individual persons, live righteously. God has instructed us on how to live righteously and has given us every resource to do so, including the power of the cross, His resurrection, and the Holy Spirit. Yes, we have all sinned. God’s command to repent and to live righteously presumes not only that we are guilty of the sins already committed, but also that we are capable of changing our mind and our ways. Therefore, we must refuse any excuses for our own sin and must reject any theological idea that would lessen or remove the responsibility we have to personally live righteously. In order to be saved, one must take full responsibility for one’s own sin. Oh, as we pray for revival, let’s pray for a revival of personal responsibility.

December 5, 2007

Imputed Righteousness: Whose Righteousness Anyway? Part 2 of 5

Here is Part 2 of the Sermon series from Pastor Dean Harvey regarding the doctrine of Imputed Righteousness. Today we will look at the matter of does God expect Christians to be righteous and holy. Can we be righteous in the eyes of God?

Whose Righteousness Anyway?, By Pastor Dean Harvey – A Transcript from his daily radio show

We asked a question. Does God expect us to be personally righteous? The Bible answers with a resounding "Yes." It is absurd to think that God does not want us to be personally righteous. If sin is the problem that brought Jesus from heaven to earth, and then to the cross, how can the sin problem be solved if sin continues in the life of the one who becomes a Christian? If we are unrighteous, does that bring glory to God? No, it takes glory away from Him. Consider the most common excuse why sinners do not attend church, or consider that there is any reality in Christianity. Isn’t it that there are too many hypocrites in the church? The world knows that unrighteousness (sin) does not square with the testimony of a Christian, and if we will be honest, so do we.

The Bible clearly teaches that we should live righteous, godly, and holy lives. It clearly teaches us to avoid sin, to turn from sin and repent. We are moral beings created in God’s image, and He fully expects us to live godly as He does. Consider 1 Peter 1:16, where God is quoted as saying, "BE YE HOLY, AS I AM HOLY." This simple command refutes the common understanding that many people have. Most of the Christians I have known have believed two things which are wrong, that God could not sin, and that men cannot help sinning. However, this simple phrase tells us that we are to be holy (righteous) just like God is, and the idea is that God is holy in the same way that He expects us to be holy, by choice. We are moral beings in the image of God, and we can make the wrong choices. God exhorts us not to make the wrong (sinful) choices.

The Bible teaches that we keep His commandments. Deut. 5:10-" those who love Me and keep my commandments." John 5:14, "You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you." The Bible gives a clear definition of sin in 1 John 3:4, "Sin is the transgression of the law (God’s commandments). And by contrast, those who have come to know Him "keep His commandments," 1 John 2:1-6. Additionally, 1 John 5:3 emphasizes that His commandments "are not burdensome." Not only are we to keep His commandments, we are to do His will. Matt. 7:21, "Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father..." And John 2:17, "he that doeth the will of God abideth (lives) forever."

The Bible teaches that we should turn from sin, stop sinning, and "sin not." Jer.26:3, "perhaps...everyone will turn from his evil way." Prov. 28:13, "...he who confesses and forsakes them (his sins) will find mercy." Isa. 1:16-17, "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean, remove the evil of your deeds from My (God’s) sight, cease to do evil, learn to do good." In John 5:14 and 8:11, Jesus said to two different people, "Go and sin no more." In 1 Cor. 15:34, Paul says, "Become sober-minded as you ought, and do not sin, for some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame." The implication of this verse is that we need to live righteous lives in order to have any positive effect in leading sinners to the knowledge of God.

Does the Bible state that we are unable to do the things the Lord requires of us? Does the Bible imply, or state, that God, or Christ, is going to do these things for us? As God expected Cain to do the right thing and overcome sin, so He expects us to do so. He expects us to keep His commandments. Passages like Micah 6:8 express the reasonableness of God’s requirements. 1 John 5:3 says that His commandments "are not burdensome." And Jesus assures us that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Contrast that with the Old Testament passage which says that the "way of the transgressor is hard." I know from experience that since I have been obeying God, I have a clear conscience, and the burdens of guilt which used to plague me as a young man are gone. How wonderful is the Christian life!

December 4, 2007

The Survey says..........!

George Barna's annual survey of American Churches came out today and the news it not so good. From this report I feel we are truly beginning to see the long downward spiral of the modern day church (MDC). We are beginning to see such an infiltration of bad and irreverent theology taking over churches and no one is either capable to defend the gospel or they have already left. Why? Because for so many years now we have been focused on rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We are more interested in being entertained, than growing in biblical knowledge of the Truth. We are more interested in being "busy" than believing or developing faith. We are more interested in personal relationships with others than a personal relationship with our God and Savior. We are overly consumed with celebration than real genuine worship. We want a theology that allows us to continues in our sins, but yet still be "righteous". We want religion over relationship with God - truly searching for the deep things of God as the Holy Spirit does. We're more focused on attracting the world (Seeker Sensitive), than attracting the Holy Spirit. We want a "venue" rather than a sanctuary. We want "priests of popularity" rather than being a priest unto ourselves. We want convenience rather than persecution. We want self rather than God!

The more and more I see what the church has become the more it grieves my heart for my Lord. I am truly at a point where I think the modern day church IS the problem!

Excerpts from Barnas Report:

They are also reformulating the popular notion of what the Christian life means. Traditional activity such as integrating discipline and regimen in personal faith development is becoming less popular; repeating the same weekly routines in religious events is increasingly deemed anachronistic, stifling and irrelevant; and rigidity of belief, including the notion that there are absolute moral and spiritual truths, is perceived by many young people as evidence of closed-mindedness.

"They lack a consistent and holistic understanding of their faith," he said.

New faith practices that are now in vogue include pursuing spiritual diversity in conversations and relationships; embracing racial diversity and tolerance; valuing interpersonal connections above spiritual education; blending all forms of the arts and novel forms of instruction into religious events; and accepting divergent forms of spiritual community.

Imputed Righteousness: Whose Righteousness Anyway? Part 1 of 5

I thought over the next couple of days I would like to share a transcript of a sermonette that was given by Pastor Dean Harvey in Rockford, IL. A while back he presented a sermon series on his radio talk show entitled "Whose Righteousness Anyway?". This addresses the doctrine of Imputed Righteousness that is preached in many a churches these days. I think Dean Harvey does a great job of presenting this message in true biblical context. It is my hope this will help folks to see what God considers real righteousness to be and how He defines it.

By Pastor Dean Harvey - A Transcript from his daily radio show "A Voice in the Wilderness"

A young businessman friend, Lars Berntson, preached in our church recently, and had a series entitled Whose Righteousness Anyway?, which, with his permission, I am going to share over the next few weeks. A true Christian has the mind of Christ about sin. That is, with the Holy Spirit's illumination, he sees sin the same way as Christ sees it. Sin is the root of the problem Christ came to solve. His illumination helps us to see how ugly sin really is. But there is a sneaky little doctrine that often causes Christians to be less vigilant about sin-the doctrine of imputed righteousness. This doctrine usually holds that God imputes (accounts, or lays to our account) Christ's righteousness to us. The result is that, no matter the kind of life we are living, no matter what sins are present in our lives, God looks at us and only sees the righteousness of Christ. In other words, this doctrine often says that God does not see us as we are, but as Christ is.

Those who hold to this doctrine are quick to point out that "our righteousness is as filthy rags." This phrase is from Isa. 64:6, and is usually applied without distinction to all men, both Christians and non-Christians. If you read this verse in its context, you will find that it is talking about those who sinned, and continued in them a long time, and it is contrasted with those mentioned in the previous verse, "Thou (God) dost meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness..." So the phrase applies to those who are living in sin, it does not apply to those "who rejoice in doing righteousness," it did not apply to righteous Jews, and it does not apply to Christians who are living up to the light they have today. But many people quote the part of a verse, "all our righteousness are as filthy rags," and apply it broadly.

Is Christ's righteousness credited to our account, no matter how we are living? Can Christ be righteous for us? Can His righteousness be transferred to us? Have you ever heard that God sees saved people through the Righteous One-Jesus Christ? That He doesn't see our sinfulness, He sees Jesus' righteousness. Does God really see us through "Jesus-colored glasses?" Are we to be righteous, or can Jesus be righteous for us? Is Christ's righteousness imputed to us in this way?."

There are two important questions which need to be asked regarding the doctrine of imputed righteousness. 1. Does God want us to be personally righteous? And 2. Can Christ be righteous for us? But in order to answer those questions, we need to look at the word "impute." Impute is a King James word, which means to charge with, to reckon, or to account to. Impute is a bookkeeping term, which has the concept of a ledger entry. The doctrine of imputed righteousness would be seen as God making a ledger entry into our lives. We are actually sinful, but God imputes, or makes a ledger entry, into our lives, of Christ's righteousness. So the Christian who has been taught this doctrine will feel secure in his Christian experience, regardless of his own personal righteousness, because he believes that God sees him through Christ's righteousness. The word is used in 2 Cor 5:19 (KJV), "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them..." Since the word "impute" means to charge with, to reckon, or to account to, this verse teaches that those who have been reconciled to God will not be charged with sin. In the Bible, God imputes both sin and righteousness. In checking eight references for the word "impute," four of them like 2 Cor. 5:19, refer to God imputing sin. What does this mean? It means that God would charge those with sin who are sinners because they are guilty of sin, or, that God, in forgiving repentant sinners, would not charge them with sin, but rather count them righteous because they are no longer guilty, they have been forgiven. Hallelujah!

In Psalm 32:2, David says, "How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." Paul quotes this verse in Rom. 4:8. The definition of the word "impute" we often hear today is that God applies His righteousness to the account of the believer, even though they are not really righteous. This definition seems plausible, but if God will impute righteousness to the account of the believer, then how does He impute sin? Righteousness was imputed to Abraham, the father of the faithful. We learn about him in Romans 4 and James 2. Both passages should be read to shed light on the meaning of the word "impute." The reason God imputed (counted) Abraham righteous was because, having believed God for forgiveness and having begun a life of faith, he was righteous. In the same way, we too, when we recognize our need for forgiveness, forsake our sinful ways and sinful mindset, turn to the Savior for forgiveness on the basis of His shed blood on our behalf, and are justified; at that point God imputes righteousness to us. Who can be more righteous than the one who has just been forgiven of all his sins? God imputes righteousness to us because we have become righteous through our salvation experience. That is what Paul meant in 1 Cor. 1:30, "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." After He has canceled the decree against us, removed our sins.

Tomorrow Part 2........

November 30, 2007

A Case Study: Satan & The Problem of Evil

I have decided to post a summarization of a book I had read several years ago regarding Open Theism and the problem of evil. I decided to write new post in order to carry over a conversation I was having with fellow blogger "Chris". The original comments and post can be found here. The following is a summarization of Dr. Greg Boyd's 6 Principles of Free Will and can be obtained from his book "Satan and the Problem of Evil". Although my post here is not a thorough or complete explanation (as Dr Boyd does a much better job!), this does in my opinion provide a good overview of how the Open View explains Satan and the problem of Evil and subsequently free will of all moral agents (angels and mankind).

Several years ago renowned theologian and pastor, Dr. Greg Boyd, wrote the book Satan and the Problem of Evil. This book was written to help Christians understand the requirement by God to have or allow freewill to exist in the universe. These six principles are based upon sound Christian philosophy and show the love and benevolence of God our Creator.

1. Love must be freely chosen (Freedom to choose Love). – In order for a being to choose love, they must do so according to their capacity for freewill. For example, when God created Adam and Eve he desired to have a loving relationship with his new creation. However, in order for this love to be real and genuine, he had to allow them to make that choice freely and not coerced. This decision to choose love could not be pre-program or preordained, but it must be genuinely free. If God coerced or preordained this choice, then God is being controlling or manipulative, and thus impugn God’s character. Even though the subjects would not realize they had been programed to love God, God Himself would still know that this love was not at all genuine - but rather coerced.

2. Freedom implies risk – In order for God to allow mankind the freedom to choose to either love him or sin against him, then there is an implied risk associated with this freedom. In other words, because God gave mankind the freedom of choice (freewill), then He also was aware there was an implied risk associated with this freedom. With any freedom there is an associated or inherent risk that beings could chose unwisely or wrongly. Another example is the US Constitution, although we have tremendous freedom and liberty in this country, we also have the risk of citizens making incorrect or wrong choices. This risk however is an acceptable one given the benefits of living in a democracy.

3. Risk entails responsibility – In the event a being should happen to chose erroneously, God would then act or respond responsibly. In the case of Adam and Eve, in the event they should fall (not that he had planned on them to do so) He was prepared to react responsibly by putting into effect his redemptive plan for mankind.

4. Moral Responsibility is proportionate to the potential to influence other. The easiest way to explain this principle is the greater amount of responsibility a person or being has, then that amount of responsibility is equal to or proportionate to their potential to influence others. For example, a king of a country has a tremendous amount of moral responsibility to his subjects. Because of his position of power and authority, so to is his ability to influence others. God therefore has the greatest position of moral responsibility and influence than any other being ever created. God knowing this has a responsibility to persuade or influence his creation to chose love or moral obedience over rebellion.

5. The Power to Influence is irrevocable – Once a being has the power to Influence others – whether it be for good or evil, this power is irrevocable.

6. Power of Influence is finite or limited – The best case example of this principle is God Himself. The God being a benevolent being, will never violate ones freewill because this would violate Principle No 1 – Love must require freedom. If God is all-controlling, He is not truly benevolent in his nature. Therefore, God’s ability to influence or persuade is limited because of his character. It is only limited to whom he is trying to influence or persuade. God will not influence someone to the point they can not freely choose to love or sin against him. Note: God does from time to time control or influence a persons decisions in order for his plans to be accomplished or fulfilled. These are in no way to control the persons love or hatred of God. When this does occur it is an exception and not the rule.

CASE STUDY: Lucifer and the Problem of Evil.

The following statement is made by Dr. Boyd to prove his 6 Principles when explaining the problem of the creation of Lucifer and his fall:

In short, these 6 Principles take us a long way in explaining Satan and the Problem of Evil, for Satan represents the paradigmatic case of free agent turned bad. God created Lucifer as a freewill being, for he created him with the potential to love (Principle 1). This meant that there was a risk involved in creating Lucifer (Principle 2), as there is in every free agent, for Satan’s potential to become evil and to harm others had to be proportionate to his potential to become loving and bless others (Principles 3& 4). Unfortunately, Lucifer choose an evil course that God must tolerate (Principle 5), until the power of Satan’s influence is spent (Principle 6). The incredible amount of destruction Satan has brought about in God’s creation is a testimony to the vast amount of love and benefit he could have brought had he chosen a different path. God could not have hoped for the former, however, unless he was willing to risk the latter (this is where we get the expression the good outweighs the bad).

The same principles apply to the fall of mankind. God did not predestine man to fall, but was aware of the risk in the event they did choose unwisely. In the event they did fall, he had a plan of salvation in place to rescue the human race and reconcile mankind back to the Father.

Side Note: This may also help explain why many Christian and Non-Christians alike ask the ever pressing question of “why doesn’t God just destroy Satan at the point he rebelled?” Again this would have violated the benevolence of God and would have possibly damaged God’s character with the other created beings in heaven (angels).

The war-torn nature of our cosmos reflects this tragic fall and ongoing war. Satan’s fall was catastrophic, which is ultimately why we experience catastrophic horrors in this world. Yet this fall was not altogether cataclysmic, for even in this worst case scenario God is still victorious. Though he must now operate in a terrible war zone, God’s goal of acquiring a bride cannot be thwarted. Satan and all who align themselves with him will ultimately be overthrown, and God and all who align themselves with Him will ultimately reign victorious.

No Light Can Come From The Darkness - Just ONE of the Reasons Why I Will Never be a Calvinist!

The Christian Post reported today that the Southern Baptist Convention announced it is witnessing an increase in Calvinism. As the clipping from the article states about a 20% increase is being seen from recent seminary graduates.

Nearly 30 percent of recent SBC seminary graduates now serving as church pastors indicate they are Calvinists, according to Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. Only around 10 percent of SBC pastors at large affirm the five points of Calvinism, or Reformed theology, noted Stetzer, comparing the latest results with an earlier 2006 survey conducted by LifeWay Research.

blog it

This greatly grieves my heart as for years now I have come to loathe this very doctrine. I realize for some this is very strong language, but over the past couple of years I have seen what Calvinism can & will do when its taken to its logical conclusions. I am puzzled why anyone would ever think Calvinism is at all a doctrine that shows God in a loving or just light. First, understand Calvinism is not the gospel. Calvinism is nothing more than a doctrine that was developed by a couple of men - these men by no means learned at the feet of Christ, but yet many to this day treat Calvin with more honor than Paul or any of the apostles. There have been times when one would think these men stepped out from heaven himself. But one needs to dig deep to truly see just what type of lives the Reformers truly lived.

So why do I have such a disdain for Calvinism? Well for many reasons. I won't mention how the doctrine greatly impugns God's character. But rather in this post I want to look at the character of John Calvin. Clearly, if such Godly wisdom came from such a great man of God, we should see the evidence of the Holy Spirit working throughout his life - yes?? Well, lets see what type of man John Calvin truly was.......

Not too many people are aware that John Calvin is responsible for the murder of a fellow reformer by the name of Michael Servetus. On Oct. 27, 1553. John Calvin, along with his good friend Guillaume (William) Farel took part in a heinous crime against an Italian Reformer, Michael Servetus. The rift between Calvin and Servetus started several years earlier when they had a dispute over the doctrine of the Trinity. Calvin and Servetis had many heated exchanges over the years. Calvin , man noted for his veracity in debating others was once quoted as saying of Servetus; "
If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight." STOP! Before we go any further let me ask you this, are these the words of a man who is a follower of Christ and filled with God's Holy Spirit? Calvin is basically saying that because someone does not agree with another persons doctrine or theology he hopes to put this man to death?! Is this an action of a Christian ever mentioned in the scriptures? What does God command when we have a theological difference with someone who is spreading false doctrine? Kill them? Imprison them? Take them before a court?
"He [the elder] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach -- and that for the sake of dishonest gain" (Titus 1:9-11).
Sadly, in August of 1553 Servetus journeyed through Geneva and was spotted and immediately arrested. Several months later Servetus was put on trial and then executed. Here is what was written about his execution. Please note the cruelty by which the Reformers murdered this man and note the comments made by Calvin's good friend William Farel during the execution:
"Farel walked beside the condemned man, and kept up a constant barrage of words, in complete insensitivity to what Servetus might be feeling. All he had in mind was to extort from the prisoner an acknowledgement [sic] of his theological error -- a shocking example of the soulless cure of souls. After some minutes of this, Servetus ceased making any reply and prayed quietly to himself. When they arrived at the place of execution, Farel announced to the watching crowd: 'Here you see what power Satan possesses when he has a man in his power. This man is a scholar of distinction, and he perhaps believed he was acting rightly. But now Satan possesses him completely, as he might possess you, should you fall into his traps.'

blog it

It gets even worse.......

When the executioner began his work, Servetus whispered with trembling voice: 'Oh God, Oh God!' The thwarted Farel snapped at him: 'Have you nothing else to say?' This time Servetus replied to him: 'What else might I do, but speak of God!' Thereupon he was lifted onto the pyre and chained to the stake. A wreath strewn with sulfur was placed on his head. When the faggots were ignited, a piercing cry of horror broke from him. 'Mercy, mercy!' he cried. For more than half an hour the horrible agony continued, for the pyre had been made of half-green wood, which burned slowly. 'Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me,' the tormented man cried from the midst of the flames ...."(11)

blog it

Some will say Calvin tried to lessen this man's suffering by recommending beheading, but this is like saying "I'll use a gun rather than a knife". During Servetus trail John Calvin is quoted as saying, "I hope that the verdict will call for the death penalty." I mean I have had some real theological battles in my day, but I would never hope for another persons death!

Two other famous episodes involvin Calvin concerned Jacques Gruet and Jerome Bolsec. Gruet, a Libertine and Atheist, had written letters critical of the Consistory and, more serious, petitioned the Catholic king of France to intervene in the political and religious affairs of Geneva. With Calvin's concurrence he was beheaded for treason. Bolsec publicly challenged Calvin's teaching on predestination, a doctrine Bolsec, with many others, found morally repugnant. Banished from the city in 1551, he revenged himself in 1577 by publishing a biography of Calvin that charged him with greed, financial misconduct, and sexual aberration."(The Age of Reformation 1250-1550, pp. 368,369)

Now many defenders of John Calvin will say "this was the spirit of the age" or this "this was the way things were done back then" or look at the legacy he left, look at all the great churches he gave us". As a matter of fact I recently came a cross a flowery account defending Calvin's action against Servetus:

clipped from

They were of the same age (Calvin & Servetus), equally precocious, equally bold and independent, and relied on purely intellectual and spiritual forces. The one, while a youth of twenty-seven, wrote one of the best systems of theology and vindications of the Christian faith; the other, when scarcely above the age of twenty, ventured on the attempt to uproot the fundamental doctrine of orthodox Christendom. Both died in the prime of manhood, the one a natural, the other a violent, death.

Calvin’s works are in every theological library; the books of Servetus are among the greatest rareties. Calvin left behind him flourishing churches, and his influence is felt to this day in the whole Protestant world; Servetus passed away like a meteor, without a sect, without a pupil; yet he still eloquently denounces from his funeral pile the crime and folly of religious persecution, and has recently been idealized by a Protestant divine as a prophetic forerunner of modern christo-centric theology.

blog it
Did you see how the author here tries to somehow justify the murder of Michale Servetus. It almost seems it was right for Calvin to murder Servetus because of how fabulous Calvin turned out in life! Servetus was merely like a burned out "meteor" compared to the greatness of John Calvin - clearly he deserved such a fiery death! Folks, this is nothing more than person trying desperately to justify the murderous actions of a darkened individual. God judges the heart of men, not their "legacy". I am sorry, one can only conclude from this evidence that John Calvin's heart was darkened, and not enlightened. Is this really the person we want to obtain spiritual truths from - not to mention an entire doctrinal system? Can such a man even hear from God? What does God's word say about murders:

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually
immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars --
their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in him" (1 Jn. 2:3,4).

"And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding [continuing] in him" (1 Jn. 3:15, NKJV).

Many will claim I am being overly judgmental or harsh in my assessment of Mr. Calvin. One could always say he could have repented before God. This is true, but sadly Calvin never felt any remorse for his actions. He is recorded as saying this about the death of Servetus:

clipped from
"Servetus suffered the penalty due to his heresies, but was it by my will? Certainly his arrogance destroyed him not less than his impiety. And what crime was it of mine if our Council, at my exhortation, indeed, but in conformity with the opinion of several Churches, took vengeance on his execrable blasphemies? Let Baudouin abuse me as long as he will, provided that, by the judgment of Melanchthon, posterity owes me a debt of gratitude for having purged the Church of so pernicious a monster."

blog it
We clearly see that Calvin was not at all repentant over the murder of Servetus, but its as if he was proud of this act. From this statement alone we see into the cold heart of a bitter and vicious man - clearly not the reflection of Christ.

This is just ONE of the reasons why I will never be a Calvinist and i will do everything in my power to see to it this doctrine is exposed for what it truly is - false! I could go on about the issues I have with the doctrine of Calvinism. I could also go on about the hatred Martin Luther had for the Jews, I could share with you the Reformers heartless persecution and murders of the Anabaptist and Waldensians. But God will judge what type of men the reformers truly were. Can truth come from such darkness? Could God's Spirit work with such darkened hearts? Personally speaking I hope many who will read this will begin to question the foundations of their doctrine and where they came from. The truths of God have existed long before John Calvin came along, and it is our responsibility to (not John Calvin's) for us to read and discern for OURSELVES the truths of God. Jesus asked if we could discern the weather from just looking at the clouds in the sky, if so then we could understand the truths of God. Then I would pray and ask that you begin to truly examine your beliefs and examine the scriptures without the presuppositions of John Calvin or Martin Luther - as we have seen there can be no Light from the darkness.....