October 18, 2008

Promoting Lawlessness?

The following video clip is from three renowned Calvinists John Piper, Tim Keller, and D.A. Carson. This video is from their Gospel Coalition website.

I want to share this as another example of what's wrong with Calvinism. Keller and company are essentially discussing what they have coined as "Christ-centered" theology. Now on the outset this sounds really good. But the deception here is what they are truly promoting is "Lawlessness"!

Pay particular attention to what Tim Keller says at about 2:00 min. into the video. This statement is just unbelievable. Keller is explaining that he can continue to sin, that "no matter what he does" this will of course have no impact on his eternal security. He coins this as "costly grace". What exactly is "costly grace"? According to Keller, this is the grace that God supposedly has given the elect or Christ paid for on behalf of the elect, whereby God no longer see's or takes into account all of their future sins because they have been already paid for - so therefore how can God already punish them for those sins that Jesus had supposedly already been punished for on the cross. The deception here is there is NO WHERE in the bible that says all our future sins have been paid for - No where! Look it up! This is purely a product of Calvinism. It is only the past sins we have committed that have been covered on the cross - not your future sins! God still requires that if a Christians stumbles and sins they must repent over those sins and if they don't then they will find themselves once again in rebellion towards God.

Notice at about 2:30 into the video you will hear Tim Keller explain that Calvinism is neither "cheap grace" or "moralism" or "relativism" or "legalism", but someone in the "middle" - in other words Calvisnism it is at neither end of the doctrinal spectrum but somewhere in the middle. This all sounds really good, but what these gents are really promoting is "lawlessness" disguised as "grace". The underlining deception is that they are promoting a belief that the moral laws of God are either too difficult to keep or that man lacks the capacity or the ability in keeping God's Moral Law. This of course is a result of their adherence to Original Sin/Total Depravity.

John Piper goes onto to say what this "Gospel Coalition" is really about promoting a form of "Gospel-centered" living. Sounds good. But the deception is they have labeled their terms to sound good, but one has to dig a little beyond the surface into how they truly define these terms.

So what does this "Gospel-centered" living really entail. Well at about 4:19 of the video Piper makes an astonishing and unbelievable statement - He says:

"Jesus said your to gouge out your eye or your going to hell and and that's one kind of motivation and not a bad one, and it raises the stakes to eternity. But were saying success in that part this life better have been fought significantly with a centering on you being justified".

Jesus is clear in this teaching that if something is a source of sin, it is better that you stop or cut off your own hand or gouge out you own eye than go to hell for all eternity (Matt 5:29) . Jesus is saying that it is up to man stop his or her sinful behavior - even if it means entering into eternity lame or blind. Notice Jesus didn't say anything about a persons inability not to sin, but clearly and plainly tells us turning from sin is well within our means.

But yet pay close attention how Piper denies the very words of Christ by essentially saying all that really doesn't matter, he sidelines Christ teaching by subtly replacing it with one of his own. According to Piper all you really need to do is not stop sinning, but simply force your mind on the fact that you have been "justified". As a result, your sinful actions no longer matter to God, nor should it matter to you. But how do they come to this conclusion? The theology of Justification. Justification in the Calvinist sense really boils down to a theology that all your past present and future sins have already been paid for and as a result - no matter what you do your still saved or "eternally secured".

Another interesting claim Keller makes here is that he claims that most teens and young people have been "turned" off by churches that preach so called "legalism". I would venture to say that Keller once again has this all wrong. Most churches I see today aren't preaching legalism (Keller also openly admits this on the video), but I would venture to say that most churches preach an easy-believism or "greasy-grace" type theology. Young people are not being repulsed by a non-existent doctrine of legalism, but what they truly lack is conviction and repentance! Teens and young adults see no need for church because of the hypocrisy they see. It's all those people like Tim Keller, who say they can continue to sin and still be called a child of God! What young people can't stomach is the hypocrisy they see out of most churches today - not legalism! Most churches lacks substance, lacks the power to change peoples hearts. So why would they ever want to waste their time in such a theological system?

(A side note: Isn't funny that Keller speaks of these young people as if it is what they "hear" that helps influence or determine whether they will choose Christianity??? Again, this one of the inconsistencies we see with Calvinism. On one hand we see Keller speaking about doctrine and religion as if these terms are meaningful in drawing people to Christ, but yet on the other they will deny the very same statement they just made and lay the claim of mongerism)

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about this video as I find it very interesting insights into the contradictions within Calvinism and the Gospel.


video

Defining Sin

Since it appears defining sin with my friend "Anonymous" is a point of contention. I thought I would present what I feel is a sound biblical definition of what exactly is SIN. This was written by evangelist Winkie Pratney.

SIN is essentially SELFISHNESS:
Basis of Responsibility:
Wrong choices vs sinful “substance” or inherited determinative wrong:
Ez. 18:1-25: Not blamed by God for anothers wrong
Matt. 16:24-25 “If any come .. let him DENY HIMSELF"

If we are not responsible for our wrong, we cannot acknowledge true guilt.
• No-one ever felt guilty for someone elses wrong unless first taught it.
• Sin is neither solid, liquid or gas, metaphysical or spiritual. It is moral.
• Every word for sin in bothTestaments underlines personal action.
• Sin is rooted in the gift of creative choice turned against God and His law.

SIN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Our understanding of God's will is tied to how seriously we see sin. Hebrew words describing sin overwhelmingly show that people are willful in doing wrong and thus genuinely guilty before God. Every type of word used shows sin as both voluntary and vicious: A sinner according to Scripture will:

1. Miss or err from the mark, wander from the path of right planned for man: Ex.20:20; Eze.18:4,20; Dan. 9:5, 15. Note: “to miss the mark” doesn’t mean the mark is too high; but that we aim too low! This is not just ignorance or stupidity but stubbornness.
2. Act perversely, or twist and distort moral character, usually rendered "Iniquity:" Ex. 34:7, 9; Ps. 32:2, 5; Is. 53:6; Ezek. 18:20; Dan. 9:5.
3. Transgress or break away from just authority, be contrary: Le. 16:15-16, 21; Is. 1:2; Eze. 18:30-31.
Involves violating safeguards and boundaries of protection. Gods’ sanctions are wholly sensible.
4. Refuse to obey or hearken, a negative prefix to a verb basically meaning to (not) listen or attend to: De. 28:45; Ne.9:16-17; Dan. 9:10.
5. Refuse to serve God, a negative to a verb meaning to labor, to work, work for another, thus to not worship and serve our rightful Ruler: Deut. 30:17; Josh. 24:14-15; Neh. 9:35.
6. Act treacherously or deceitfully, usually as "trespass." Le. 5:15; 6:2; Josh. 7:1; Neh. 1:8.
7. Be rebellious (to make or tend to make God bitter): I Sam. 12:13-15; Is. 1:20; Neh. 9:17.
8. Be stubbornly disobedient, also rendered to rebel: Num. 14:9; Neh. 9:26; Eze. 2:3; Dan. 9:5.
9. Be wicked or impious (with an idea of strong excitement): I Kgs. 8:47; Is. 57:20; Dan. 9:5, 15.
10. Live worthlessly or without worthy purpose (idea of emptiness or vanity), often rendered "iniquity:" Micah 2:1; ("unrighteous man") Is. 55:7; ("wicked thoughts") Jer. 4:14. (Life minus God = NOTHING.)
11. Spoil or dash to pieces the moral worth God intended): Be outrageously disappointingly in evil Gen. 6:5; Ps. 7:9; 51:4; Is. 1:16; Jer. 4:14

SIN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

New Testament Greek carries on the same idea of sin shown in the Old Testament as wicked and inexcusable, again using many words with different shades of meaning. "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools" (Ro.1:21-22). Sin is to:
1. Miss or err from the mark, to wander from the path of uprightness and honor planned for man, not a mistake but deliberate misdirection of our faculties: Lk.15:21; 18:13; Jn.16:8-9; Ro. 2:12; 3:23; I Jn. 3:4-5.
2. Trespass, fall beside or deviate from the right path of life, stumble: Mt. 6:14-15; Ro. 4:25; Ep.1:7; 2:1.
3. Transgress or step by the side of the prescribed path, overstep or depart from the way of truth: Mt. 15:2-3; Acts 1:25; Ga. 3:19; He. 2:2. (Jay-walk)
4. Be lawless, or refuse to conform to Divine law revealed to increase man's understanding of the right way: Mt. 7:23; II Co. 6:14; Tit. 2:14; I John 3:4.
5. Disobey or be disobedient, disbelieve or refuse belief (willfully or perversely),from a verb to be persuaded, with a negative prefix: so to refuse to be persuaded or comply; be obstinate Jn. 3:36; Ro. 2:8; 10:21; Eph. 2:2; 5:6; Tit. 1:16; 3:3; He. 3:18; 4:6; I Pet. 2:7 -8; 4:17.
6. Do wrong, be unjust or unrighteous: refuse to do right: Ro.1:18; 2:8; ICo.6:9; Col.3:25; IJn.1:9; Rev 22:11.
7. Be ungodly act impiously, without reverential awe toward God: Ro. 1:18; I Tim. 1:9; Tit. 2:12; I Pet. 4:18; Jude 15, 18.
8. Be evil, wicked, or depraved in mind and heart: Mt.12:34-35; 15:19; Ep.6:12; Col.1:21; He.3:12

Sin is not a state, a substance or a spirit. Sin is a violation of revealed moral light, a stupid, selfish and often stubborn refusal to conform to what we know and perceive as God's truth. It brings guilt, shame and blame. While occasionally objectified and personalized, Scripture shows the active nature of sin so many ways no-one can claim it as a mistake or a misunderstanding. The Bible shows a sinner as a rebel against a loving God, not just some subject of pity who cannot help who they are. There is always the idea of voluntary activity in sin, not some static, genetic or demonic causation that makes us helplessly bad. Sin has deeply hurt God as well as ourselves and others. We will never stand before God and be able to blame our genetic descent, our Dad or the Devil for what we did to Him. Everyone is personally held accountable for their own wrong. No definition of sin that tends to remove responsibility from a sinning individual honors God.

INSTANCES OF BLAME-SHIFTING

We are inveterate blame-shifters: This is not new; here are some of many Scripture instances:

Adam; .. The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Genesis 3:12
Abram: Say, I pray, you are my sister: that it may be well with me for your sake; and my soul shall live because of you. Gen 12:13.
Aaron: And I said unto them, Whosoever has any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. Exodus 32:24
Jacob: And your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. Genesis 31:7
Saul: Therefore said I, The Philistines will come, so I forced myself … I Samuel 13:12 (Samuel: “So what means this bleating of sheep I hear in my ears?”) “I spared the best for an offering to the Lord “ (the religious excuse)
Anannias & Sapphira: “After it was sold, was it not in your own power? why have you conceived this thing in your heart? you have not lied to men, but to God”. (When revival comes people sometimes die in church) Acts 5:4
Antinomians to Paul: And not (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. Romans 3:8
False Prophets: If a man walking in the spirit of falsehood lies. saying, I will prophesy to you of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people. Mic 2:11
Old Prophet: He said ..I am a prophet also as you; and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with you into your house, that he may eat bread and drink water. [But] he lied to him. I K 13:18
Humanity: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Romans 1:25 Pharisees: You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44 Babylon: The light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries were all nations deceived. Rev 18:23

GENUINE HONESTY IS EXPECTED OF ALL REAL BELIEVERS

For He said, Surely they are My people, children that will not lie: so He was their Savior. Isaiah 63:8

You shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Leviticus 19:11 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has He spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23:19

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
Proverbs 14:5

Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; Colossians 3:9

I have not written to you because you know not the truth, but because you do know it, and no lie is of the truth. I John 2:21

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: I John 1:6

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. II Timothy 3:13

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: II Thessalonians 2: 11

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: Revelation 21:27

THE FIRST VITAL STEP IN RETURNING TO GOD IS CONFESSION: TOTAL HONESTY

Why does God ask us to confess our sins? It is surely not because He didn’t see us doing what was wrong! Confession of sin is not primarily for Him, but for us. As long as we live a life outside of friendship with God, we will not only stay selfish, but grow more stupid. And last of all, we will become unreal. Moral darkness is a state of attempting to conceal our real wrong or representing it to ourselves as well as others as right. God’s laws are descriptions of reality and He never tells a lie. God is utterly real, the foundation of all truth. The consequence of running away from God’s law and voice will not only be guilt and shame; it will be growing unreality.

WE CANNOT BLAME OTHERS FOR WHAT WE DID WRONG: God does not judge us for another’s sins:

Then hear in heaven, and do, and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness. I Kings 8:32

Ezekiel 18 - Yet you say, Why? does not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son has done that which is lawful and right, has kept all my statutes, and done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions he has committed, shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness he has done, he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live? Ezek. 18:19-23

But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die. 25 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not My way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies in them; for his iniquity that he has done shall he die. Again, when the wicked [man] turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 18:27-29 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn [yourselves], and live. Ezekiel 18:30-32

October 17, 2008

Moral Perfection: Possible? or Impossible?

This morning I came across a verse that I think will dovetail very well with my discussion with "Anonymous" yesterday. Its Colossians 1:9-12. This verse provides a very concise explanation of what is moral perfection. Paul provides a wonderful summary of how one is transformed from sin (selfishness) to benevolence and love.

9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Let me now break down this passage a little further. First, take v9. It states that Paul is asking God to provide the Colossians with "knowledge" . But what type of knowledge? The bible is explicit in that knowledge of God and his will for mankind is what Paul calls "Real Knowledge" or also known as the "truth", the "gospel". Paul goes onto to say in v10 that as a result of this "knowledge" this will allow someone to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. What "manner" would be pleasing unto the Lord? A life of sin? A life of constant stumbling? Paul goes on in V10 to say

"fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God"

Note that Paul emphasizes EVERY GOOD WORK and FULLY PLEASING the Lord. Folks, this is not partial obedience, this is not partial surrender - but this is total surrender of OUR will and desires and taking up the will of God in our own lives. Paul goes onto to say that we will also increase in this knowledge and by doing so we will be strengthened in attaining a steadfastness (a stability in our moral perfection) that will yield patience and joy!

V12 is also a key verse whereby it states that now as a result of this transforming knowledge we are now qualified to share in the inheritance (status) of fellow saints who have also lived a life free from sin.

Let me also add another verse in Colossians that Paul furthers this point with:

21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

Notice that its not our flesh that is the problem - but our minds! Our minds is where the desires to fulfill our flesh reside or originate. For example, if someone is going to shoot up heroine, they don't just wake up one day and find themselves taking a needle and shooting into their vein. No! Instead that person made decisions with their mind to fulfill or satisfy themselves (flesh) with drugs. That person made a conscious decision to go against their own conscience to do drugs. It wasn't their "flesh" that caused them to sin, but rather it was their heart that decided to violate the knowledge of their own conscience and fulfill or satiate their desires of their body.

Another similar verse to the one in Colossians is Philippians 1:9-10:

9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Again, it is through the love and the knowledge of God's Truth that will equip us so that we may be blameless (Same as sinless) until the return of Christ. Note that it didn't say we would be blameless after we receive our new resurrection bodies - but that we should be blameless today!

One other verse I think shows how it is through the transforming of our hearts and minds that allows one to over come sin. 1 Corinthians 15:34 states

34Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God I speak this to your shame.

Note that it doesn't say "try to stop sinning" or "you can't stop sinning" it says very plain and clear to "STOP SINNING". Paul eludes as to why those who continue to sin do so - its because they have no knowledge of the Truth or of the Will of God!

Finally let me say this. As Christians we all know that it is God's desire that we turn away from sin. Now let me ask you this. If ceasing to sin is an impossibility why then do we even try? The reason is we all know in our heart of hearts that it is well within our ability to stop sinning. The mind will not do things it knows is humanly impossible. If I were to ask you if you could jump to the moon would you even try to do it?? Of course not! However, why is it that every true Christian I know of attempts to live everyday free from sin? Its because we all know that stopping sin within our own lives is within our ability and it is good and right that we do so.

October 15, 2008

A Response to Anonymous on "Perfection"

I decided to post a response to an “Anonymous” Blogger who left the following remarks regarding moral perfection. I will answer the majority of his/her response in a later post, but I would first like to address a few misconceptions they seem to have about sin and obedience. I think it’s important we define the terms here so we’re both working with the same definitions.

First, Anonymous stated:

“Deuteronomy 6:24-25 is a statement of this principle from the perspective that a person who keeps the law is righteous. Up until Jesus time, the bible tells us He is the only one who fulfilled the law. “

Indeed, Jesus is the only one who was able to keep or fulfill the law from cradle to grave. But this has nothing to do with man's moral ability. Jesus did not come so that you will now have the ability to keep God's Law. Man has always had within his ability to obey God. To say otherwise is just plain false and is unbiblical. First, Jesus was able to fully keep the law, not because he had the supernatural ability to do so, but out of His love for the Father, the Holy Spirit and mankind. It was through the committal of his will that he was able to overcome self, and love God supremely. Jesus was a living breathing example of how we all should live - and that is to walk as He walked, to love as He loved. So what is the missing component that we need in order to love as Jesus loved? It is not that we lack the ability, but that we lack the desire to do so, we lack the desire to change. We know from the bible that man changes once he or she receives knowledge of the Truth (“For it is the Truth that will set you free and "whatever you ask, ask for knowledge and it will be given unto you”). It is through the renewing of our minds by the truth of Jesus Christ that will transform our will from loving ourselves to loving God and others supremely. We lack not any capacity to obey, but we lack heart or motivation of the will. It is through the cross and the blood of Jesus that allows us to walk in humility and allows us to become morally perfect (I will address this further in a later post).

Let me first address a couple of points here. In regards to your comment about Deut 6:24-25 The bible is filled with “Saints” that clearly loved and obeyed God. A saint is not one who continually sins, or is still abiding in their selfishness, but lives according to the Moral Laws of God as a result of his/her's love for God. A saint is one who the bible defines as a person who is walking according to their present amount of moral knowledge and obeys the moral laws of God out of love. I especially like Luke 1:6 whereby it states:

Luk 1:5-6 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. (6) And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Hmmmmm……interesting that Luke mentions that Elizabeth and Zacharias WALKED IN ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD & ORDINANCES OF THE LORD BLAMELESS………I would be interested in hearing how you explain this verse in the context to your statement that no one has kept the Laws or Commandments of God. This verse clearly states that the two of them were very much able to keep the moral commandments of God and did so.

There many more examples of men and women who obeyed God and were found to be righteous in the eyes of God. I suggest you look these over more thoroughly:

Noah Gen_6:9; Gen_6:22; Gen_7:5; Heb_11:7. Abraham Gen_12:1-4; Gen_17:23; Gen_21:4; Gen_22:12; Neh_9:8; Act_7:3-8; Heb_11:8-17; Jam_2:21 Bethuel and Laban Gen_24:50 Jacob Gen_35:1; Gen_35:7 Moses Num_27:12-22; Heb_3:2-3 Moses and Aaron Exo_7:6; Exo_40:16; Exo_40:21; Exo_40:23; Exo_40:32 Israelites Exo_12:28; Exo_32:25-29; Exo_39:42-43; Num_9:20-21; Deu_33:9; Jdg_2:7; Psa_99:7 Under the preaching of Haggai Hag_1:12 Caleb Deu_1:36 Joshua Jos_10:40; Jos_11:15 Reubenites Jos_22:2-3 Gideon Jdg_6:25-28 David 1Sa_18:14; 1Sa_25:28; 1Ki_11:6; 1Ki_11:34; 1Ki_15:5; 2Ch_29:2; Act_13:22 Elisha 1Ki_19:19-21 Hezekiah 2Ki_18:6; 2Ch_31:20-21; Isa_38:3 Josiah 2Ki_22:2; 2Ki_23:24-25 Asa 2Ch_14:2 –Jehoshaphat 2Ch_17:3-6; 2Ch_20:32; 2Ch_22:9 Jehoiada 2Ch_24:16 Uzziah 2Ch_26:4-5 Jotham 2Ch_27:2 Levites 2Ch_29:34 Cyrus 2Ch_36:22-23; Ezr_1:1-4 Ezra Ezr_7:10 Hanani Neh_7:2 Job Job_1:8 Daniel Dan_6:10 Three Hebrews Dan 3 Jonah Jon_3:3 Ninevites Jon_3:5-10 Zacharias Luk_1:6 Simeon Luk_2:25 Joseph Mat_1:24; Mat_2:14 John the Baptist Mat_3:15 Nathanael Joh_1:47 The disciples Joh_17:6 Cornelius Act_10:2 Paul Act_23:1; Act_26:4-5; 2Ti_1:3.

Many others were called righteous, godly, holy, or sanctified, which is synonymous with “morally perfection”. However, these do differ from Christ in that He never sinned. They did sin, but when they did so they repented and persevered in obedient faith, they were once again compliant with their moral obligation and, hence, “morally perfect”. Contrary to popular beleif
everyone does not sin! “He that is born of God does not commit sin” (I Jn.3:9)! All true Christians have repented from their sins (quit sinning) and love God supremely and thus are morally perfect (I would be curious as to how you define biblical repentance?).

Another thing, sin is not a “cancer” or something that is passed along genetically or mysteriously to our offspring. Sin is not a “thing”, but is a moral choice. God does not hold mankind accountable for the sins of our mothers or fathers (or Adam for that matter), but for our own individual actions (Ezekiel 18). As for your use of the Jewish Encyclopedia you were not as forth coming as you could have been. Here is the part you left out:


“……..Jewish theologians are divided in regard to the cause of this so-called "original sin"; some teach that it was due to Adam's yielding to temptation in eating of the forbidden fruit and has been inherited by his descendants; the majority, however, do not hold Adam responsible for the sins of mankind.”

Most Jews I know do not believe in Original Sin (in the Calvinistic sense). Its primary roots are not Jewish, but can be traced back to the Gnostics who believed evil/sin was in the “flesh” of all human beings, rather than a moral choice. It wasn’t until the teachings of Augustine, who was heavily influenced by his previous religion the Manicheans, who incorporated the belief that sin was in the physical flesh (tissue or sperm) of human beings. Judaism has for the most part always adhered to the doctrine that man has a freewill choice and requires moral accountability.

You also stated:

“The difference between the Old Testament and New Testament is that now, sin is defined against the backdrop of Jesus as the standard for righteousness. His life is the example of perfection. If you can claim that you are living as Jesus, then you can claim that you are perfect and that you have stopped sinning.”

The fallacy here is there is no difference between the OT and NT when it comes to God’s definition of sin. Sin is the willful disobendience to God. The misconception you have is that God has somehow mysteriously changed when it comes to defining sin. Nothing about God has changed from the OT to the NT – his requirements remain the same and that is for all of mankind to keep His moral law. This is the same as today as it was 4,000 years ago! It seems you view man as someone who is either unable to keep God’s Moral Law or that God's laws are unattainable and can not be kept. God’s Laws are good and whenever they have been given to mankind, man has rightfully responded that they are indeed good and just laws (Exodus 24:3!). When God commands us to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37) and “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). The moral law of God, in essence, is the law of love, love being the total and complete fulfillment of the whole of the law (Rom. 13:8, 10; Gal. 5:14; Jas. 2:8). Are you telling me that you are unable to love God fully??? Is this not the fullness of salvation? That we love God and if we love God we will keep and obey that which he loves also?? How can one Love god and therefore continue in sin?? This is an impossibility. It is like saying a man can love his wife, but yet continue to have a mistress on the side. A person who says they love God and continues to sin is a hypocrite and hypocrites will find themselves in Hell.

God's Moral Law is good and we all know that in order for a Law to be good it must be within man's grasp to adhere to it. If not then God's Law is unjust. God does not command that we love Him with faculties that we do not possess, but rather that we love Him with all that we currently possess (keyword is “currently”). The commandments are directions to man as to how he is to use his ability. The commandments of God are not impossible, demanding that we love Him with a heart, soul, mind and strength that we do not have. Rather, it is possible to keep the law of God, which demands that we love Him with all of what we do have, with all that we are capable of, to the very highest of our ability, no more and no less. It is possible to keep the law because we are capable, and we are capable because it is possible to keep the law; our God-given commandments and our God-given ability directly correspond with each other.

As for Sin and Moral Accountability ponder this. All sin is voluntary and avoidable; therefore sin must be a choice and not something we are born with. If sin is something we are “born with” then it is not voluntary, but is involuntary and therefore is not justifiably punishable. This would be like saying babies who are born with blonde hair are condemnable to hell, because they are born this way. Only that which is unavoidable is excusable, but what is inexcusable must be avoidable. If sin is punishable then it must be voluntary (a choice), and what is voluntary must be avoidable. Therefore, sin is inexcusable and punishable because sin is voluntary and avoidable, and it is voluntary and avoidable because God has given man free will. The false doctrine you have is that sin is something we are born with. If God is sending people to hell for sins they can not over come or stop committing because they do not have the ability, then God would be unjust and a tyrant! Sinners will be sent to Hell because they clearly have the ability to stop sinning, but yet they chose to remain in their in selfishness.


I would also like to address here several accusations you seem to make against me in your response:

#7: Love your enemies AND pray for them, and it can’t be that lightening strikes them. Do you love Calvinists? (Matt 5:44)

I most certainly love Calvinist (and everyone else for that matter)! As a matter of fact I would hope that every Calvinist would awaken from their false doctrine and find truth. Indeed I have been very firm at times and have even openly rebuked Calvinist over their false doctrine. But it is also commanded by God that as beleivers we openly rebuke false teachers, to do otherwise would be unloving and harmful to themselves and possible bystanders.

#8: Contentiousness is sin (Romans 2:8). Check out your answer to the person before me?

How was my previous response “Contentiousness”?? I think you need to understand the context here and what Paul means by “Contentiousness”. The context here does not mean we as Christians are not to argue or to not vigorously defend our faith. How were my comments to the previous post “contentious”?? Look at my comments and I even placed a smiley face after my comment so that it would not be taken out of context. Or maybe your just trying to find fault with me here??

#9: Judging others is sin (Matt 7:1)

Really!!??? What exactly are you doing in your response back to me - judging??? Are you not judging me and my doctrine??? Besides, where does it exactly say that to judge others is a sin?? It is indeed a sin to judge others unrighteously (hypocritically), but no where in the bible does it say it is a sin to judge?. When Jesus said “Judge not lest ye be judged” this is a warning that when we judge others we too will be judged to the same standard, so that in the event we do judge we are to be certain we don’t have sin in our own lives. Jesus calls us to judge – but to judge rightly (Luke 12:56-57, Rom 2:1) Christ does not condemn judging in a judicial sense, nor does he condemn our “opinion” of the conduct of others, for it is impossible “not” to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil or deceptive (ie. false doctrine).

# 11: You have to tame your tongue, according to James no man can do it (James 3:8)

James is not saying taming the tongue is an impossibility. Here he is using hyperbole to get his point across. If you read further to James 4 he clearly give us the answer as to how man can tame his tongue:

Jas 4:7-10 Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. (8) Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. (10) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

12: The very act of claiming to be sinless is a sin in itself, as this Scripture so ably demonstrates. A person claiming not to have sin deceives himself or herself, and in effect calls Christ a liar. I John 1:10

Again, you have taken this verse out of context. John is addressing individuals (primarily the Jews) who made the claim that they didn;t need to be saved because they were without sin. They had not fully submitted to Christ, they were lying about their rebellious condition. This verse is not addressing Christians, but non-beleivers. If you read further on in 1 John 3 he states:


1Jn 3:8-10 The person who practices sin belongs to the evil one, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God was revealed was to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one who has been born from God practices sin, because God's seed abides in him. Indeed, he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born from God. (10) This is how God's children and the devil's children are distinguished. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God.


Again, I hope to address the remaining topic of "Perfection" in an upcoming post shortly. In the meantime I would like to say to Anonymous that I find it somewhat disturbing that a so called Christ Follower is defending Sinning more so than "holiness" or "righteousness", but then again its hard to defend holiness when you see man as being morally incapable or that God requires the impossible from mankind (the keeping of His laws) and that God will send mankind to hell for doing that which he is unable to do.