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Category Archives: Theology

There’s Plenty of Outrage to Go Around

There’s a lot of things messed up in America right now.  Racism, inequality, pay gaps, abusive medical doctors, abusive priests, abusive pastors, etc. all are justifiable objects of disgust and outrage.

But there’s more.  The way churches treat pastors is often extraordinarily inappropriate.  The way some church leaders treat others is also at times absolutely evil.

But there’s more.  There are kids who are bullied at school. There are workers who are tormented by power hungry bosses.  There are women whose husbands or ‘partners’ treat them like punching bags- both physically and verbally.

But there’s more.  Wives can be found who cheat on their husbands, beat their children, or even kill them.

But there’s more.  Government officials lie without regard to any semblance of decency.  The steal, cheat, and accept donations from the wealthy with the express purpose of doing the bidding of their donors.

But there’s more.  Greed and selfishness are found everywhere among institutions and individuals.

But there’s more.  (fill in the blank with your pet peeve  __________________________________________________________).

The one thing all of these outrageous acts have in common is that they are only outrageous to the people not doing them.  To racists, racism is perfectly fine.  To the greedy, greed is good.   To the bully, bullying is ok.  To the abusive priest, abuse is satisfaction.  In sum, we are never outraged by our own sins but we are always outraged by the sins of others.

Why is that?  Because we give ourselves permission to sin and since we enjoy our sins, we give ourselves openended permission to continue them.

Truth told, we’re not really all that outraged at evil and injustice.  We’re outraged when other people do them.  But if we want to fix society we need to be as outraged at our own wickedness as we are at everyone else’s.  But of course that will never happen.  Because – no matter how much we’re taught to deny it – we are all totally depraved.  We are all utterly unconcerned with really being good until the grace of God intervenes and we are exposed for the monsters we are.

Then redemption can happen.  Then things can change.

The effects of sin are all around us and within us.  And so they shall remain until we ourselves are different.

 
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Posted by on 19 Jul 2018 in Theology, Total Depravity

 

A New Theoblog

Here’s Randy Blacketer’s new site. I know… I didn’t even know he had an old one.  I’ve added it to the theoblogs.

 
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Posted by on 18 Jul 2018 in theoblog, Theology

 

Another Truth About the Church

The Church, so far as she takes outward form, also includes hypocrites and dead members, who do not belong to the community of the covenant of grace — Heinrich Heppe

 
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Posted by on 11 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

The Truth about the Church

This one, holy and universal Church has an imperishable continuance. Her existence rests, not on any chance but on God’s counsel and on the activity of the Holy Spirit. Therefore although particular parts of the visible Church may disappear, a congregation of elect and called will always be preserved on earth.  — Heinrich Heppe,

 
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Posted by on 11 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

Quote of the Day

In many cases we may, by the rules of the gospel, be obliged to give to others when we cannot do it without suffering ourselves; as if our neighbor’s difficulties and necessities are much greater than our own, and we see that he is not like to be otherwise relieved, we should be willing to suffer with him and to take part of his burden on ourselves. Else how is that rule of bearing one another’s burdens fulfilled? If we are never obliged to relieve others’ burdens but when we can do it without burdening ourselves, then how do we bear our neighbor’s burdens when we bear no burden at all?  — JONATHAN EDWARDS

 
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Posted by on 9 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

Hell as Everlasting Misery

Matthew Hafenreffer opines-

“They are the most exquisite pains of soul and body (for both had sinned), arising from the fear and sense of the most just wrath and vengeance of God against sins, the most sad consciousness of which they carry about with them, the baseness of which is manifest, and of which, likewise, no remission afterwards, and, therefore, no mitigation or end can be hoped for. Whence, in misery, they will execrate, with horrible lamentation and wailing, their former impiety, by which they carelessly neglected the admonitions of their brethren and all the means of attaining salvation; but in vain.

For in perpetual anguish, with dreadful trembling, in shame, confusion, and ignominy, in inextinguishable fire, in weeping and gnashing of teeth, amidst that which is eternal and terrible, torn away from the grace and favor of God, they must quake among devils, and will be tortured without end to eternity. These future torments of the damned far surpass all the penetration of the human mind, so that we are not sufficient to ever comprehend in thought their greatness; therefore, what they will be, or of what nature, cannot be at all expressed in words. Scripture, nevertheless, in order to show that these tortures are the greatest and most exquisite, likens them to those things by which, in this life, pain both of soul and body is accustomed to be excited.

For this reason they are compared now to the gnashing of teeth, now to worms, now to the most sorrowful darkness, and whatever other matters of sadness and of the most complete pain can be mentioned, Is. 66:24; Matt. 5:22; 8:12; Rev. 19:20.”*

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*Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Verified from the Original Sources (trans. Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs; Second English Edition, Revised according to the Sixth German Edition.; Philadelphia, PA: Lutheran Publication Society, 1889), 659–660.

 
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Posted by on 8 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

Calvin: On Ridding the Church of Wicked Pastors

This is becoming more and more important.  Churches should pay attention and act accordingly:

We recognize no other pastors in the Church than faithful pastors of the Word of God, feeding the sheep of Jesus Christ on the one hand with instruction, admonition, consolation, exhortation, deprecation; and on the other resisting all false doctrines and deceptions of the devil, without mixing with the pure doctrine of the Scriptures their dreams or their foolish imaginings.

To these we accord no other power or authority but to conduct, rule, and govern the people of God committed to them by the same Word, in which they have power to command, defend, promise, and warn, and without which they neither can nor ought to attempt anything.

As we receive the true ministers of the Word of God as messengers and ambassadors of God, it is necessary to listen to them as to him himself, and we hold their ministry to be a commission from God necessary in the Church.

On the other hand we hold that all seductive and false prophets, who abandon the purity of the Gospel and deviate to their own inventions, ought not at all to be suffered or maintained, who are not the pastors they pretend, but rather, like ravening wolves, ought to be hunted and ejected from the people of God.*

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*Calvin: Theological Treatises (p. 32).

 
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Posted by on 7 Jul 2018 in Calvin, Church History, Theology

 

Do People Have Guardian Angels?

In a word, no.

The view that there are special guardian angels for individual persons, places or callings is contested almost by all dogmaticians (after Calvin’s precedent) as a Popish heresy.

Calvin says (I, xiv, 7): “Whether separate angels are posted to individual believers for their protection I should not dare to affirm as a certainty.—What is certain is that not merely is each of us in the care of one angel, but that the whole body of them with one accord watch over our salvation. It is said of all the angels together, that they rejoice more over one sinner turned to repentance, than over ninety and nine righteous persons who persist in their righteousness, Lk. 15:7. It is also said of many angels, that they bore the soul of Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom, Lk. 16:22.”

—Accordingly Riissen (VII, 34) gives to the question: “Whether any man has his own particular guardian angel, or even one good, another bad” the answer that “it is denied against the Papists”.

Of course individual doctors represented the opposite view, e.g. Bucan (VI, 28) who teaches: “That as a rule to each elect person a certain particular good angel is appointed by God to guard him, may be gathered from Christ’s words, Mt. 18:10, where it is said ‘Their angels do continually behold the face of my Father.’ Also from Ac. 12:15 where the believers who had assembled in Mark’s house said of Peter knocking at the door, ‘It is his angel.’ These believers were speaking according to the opinion received among the people of God.”

—But it was only now and again that belief in guardian angels was represented in the Reformed Church. This is Voetius’ account (I, 900): “There are some of ours who putting their co-religionists in the second place admit as a probable opinion that a good angel guards individual men, or is at least assigned to believers, among whom Zanchius De oper. creat. lib. 3 c.13. And recently the view has been specifically defended by Alsted in the supplement to Chamier’s De eccles. lib. 5 c. 7. Most recently also Vossius pretty plainly indicates his inclination towards this view, lib. 1. De idolol. c. 7. In his notes on Matt. 18:10 (see that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven) Grotius seems to stand for this opinion: ultimately however, he put it aside or left it undecided. Both of them seem to be moved to some extent by patristic authority.

We, however, embrace the view of Calvin (in Instit. lib. I cap. 14, 7 and comm. in Ps. 91 and in Mt. 18) and of other Reformed, who reject the view in question as vain and curious, and we think that something has stuck here to the early Fathers from the Platonic philosophy and the mythological theology of the Gentiles.”

—Mastricht (III, vii, 31) gives an account of the view later prevalent in the Church: “The Reformed believe that the angels as a whole minister to the salvation of the elect, because Scripture attests this, Heb. 1:14 (Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?), Ps. 34:7 (The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him), Ps. 91:11 (He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways) compared with Mt. 4:6, Lk. 15:10 (joy over one sinner that repenteth) 16:22 (angels took Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom).

But they cannot believe with divine faith in single angels appointed to single tasks, spheres, men, because (1) Scripture nowhere says so, nor can it be made known to us from any other source; in fact (2) it rather says the opposite, when it at times assigns several angels to one as well as one angel to several, Gen. 28:12 (Jacob’s ladder) 32:12 (angels who met Jacob at Mahanaim) Ps. 34:7 (The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them) 2 K. 6:16–17 (the chariots and the horsemen of Elisha) Lk. 16:22 (Lazarus); because (3) it paves the way for ἀγγελοθρησκεία; because (4) it means collusion with Gentiles, Moslems, Jews.”

– Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics.

 
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Posted by on 5 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

The Union Seminary Statement on Christian Nationalism

Though this sinful confluence is particularly pronounced today, the truth is that broad swathes of American Christianity have united worship of God and empire. While extreme patriotism is already idolotrous, many Christians take spiritual allegiance even further. This is quite vivid in churches that proudly display the American flag in their sanctuary, flying high over Bibles and baptismal fonts. Some even recite the pledge of allegiance during worship, swearing fealty to country in a place that ought to be reserved for the divine. However, Christian nationalism runs far deeper than just these overt displays of patriotic fervor. It’s found in theology that declares the United States uniquely blessed by God, in the invocation of Romans 13 to sanctify state crimes, or talk of our “Christian nation.”

All of this isn’t just empty theology, it’s a fundamental perversion of the faith started by a man executed by the state for condemning its abuses, and for decrying the complicity of religious authorities who allied themselves to political power instead of God’s justice. Indeed, Jesus would have much to say watching white evangelical leaders praying over a President who tears immigrant children from their parents, and it would not words of praise and accolade. When Christians declare fealty to empire, we forget that our first and only calling is to be faithful to God. Then, when empire abuses people on the margins—the community Jesus was born into and people who Jesus loved—the costs of this devilish discipleship become clear.

Jesus promises we will know false prophets by their fruits and, in the case of Christian nationalism, the fruits are all-too-painfully apparent. Perhaps the darkest chapter in Christian nationalism is the shameful capitulation of most of the Church in Nazi Germany, but history is rife with examples of invoking God to justify atrocity. Slavery, apartheid, eugenics, segregation, and countless wars have all been defended in God’s name by Christians so blindly loyal to their nation that they spat upon God’s commandments.

Today, Christian nationalists have become some of the staunchest defenders of our President’s patently un-Christian oppression—abusing and dehumanizing immigrants, demonizing Muslims, and openly supporting white supremacist policy. It’s time for all Christians who still worship God, not country, to stand up and decry these crimes in God’s own name—to call out those who pervert Jesus’ ministry by using him to bless a regime that desecrates everything Christ stands for.

I concur.  Via Union Seminary’s twitter @unionseminary

 
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Posted by on 5 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

Zwingli’s Understanding of Predestination

 
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Posted by on 5 Jul 2018 in Theology, Zwingli

 

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If Your Church Has Mid Week Bible Study / Prayer Meeting…

And you canceled today, then by rights you should go ahead and cancel your Sunday Morning and Evening services too whenever they fall on a holiday, because God is less important to you than civic celebrations.

Spin it any way you wish- the fact remains, civic celebrations take precedence over worship, fellowship, and formation in faith at your Church.

 
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Posted by on 4 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

John Flavel’s “Warning to an Ungodly Nation”

Worth repeating fully– (with the ht here)

WARNINGS TO AN UNGODLY NATION

From John Flavel (1628 – 1691)

_____________________________

John Flavel

John Flavel

As Paul had many clear premonitions and fore-notices of the sufferings that should befall him at Jerusalem, that he might not be surprised by them when they came, so it is usual with God (though not in such an immediate and extraordinary a manner) to admonish the world, and especially His own people of great trials and sufferings before hand (Amos 3:7). “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants the prophets.”

Thus, when He was about to bring the flood upon the world, He gave one hundred and twenty years warning of it before it came (Gen. 6:3), and when He was to destroy Sodom, He saith (Gen. 18:17), “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” And the like discovery He made about the same judgment to Lot (Gen. 19:12–14). So when the captivity of the Jews was nigh at hand, the people had many forewarnings of it; God forewarned them by the prophets (Ezek. 3:17), “Hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.” And when the time drew nigh to execute the judgment determined upon Jerusalem and the temple, how plainly did Christ foretell them of it! (Luke 19:43, 44)! “Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee.”

And when the storm was just ready to fall, their own historian (Josephus) tells us, a voice was heard in the temple, saying,Migremus hinc (Let us go hence). “Which voice Tacitus also mentions in his annals, affirming it to be more than a human voice, telling them God was departing, and that it was accompanied with a rushing noise, as of persons going out. These were extraordinary warnings.” The like signs have been given to divers other nations, by dreadful eclipses of the heavenly bodies, portentous comets, earthquakes, and other signs of judgment.

Now, though we have no ground to expect such extraordinary warnings, yet we have the most apparent and certain signs of approaching calamities; after which, if they surprise us, the fault must lie in our own inexcusable negligence; for we have a standing rule to govern ourselves in this matter, and that is this:

When the same sins are found in one nation, which have brought down the wrath of God upon another nation, it is an evident sign of judgment at the door; for God is unchangeable, just and holy, and will not favour that in one people which He hath punished in another, nor bless that in one age which He hath cursed in another.

Upon this very ground it was that the apostle warned the Corinthians by the example of the Israelites, whose sins had ruined them in the wilderness (I Cor. 10:6): “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust afer evil things, as they also lusted.” As if he should say, look upon those dead bodies which are, as it were, cast up upon the Scripture-shore for a warning to you. Follow not the same course, lest you meet with the same curse; if you tread the same paths, expect the same punishment. God is as righteous now as He was then: He hates and will punish sin in you as much as He did in them.

Let us therefore consider what those provocations were that hastened the wrath of God upon His own Israel, a people that were nigh and dear unto Him: a people upon whom He spent as much of the riches of His patience as upon any people in the world, that so we may reckon whereabouts we are at this day, and what is like to be the lot of this sinful and provoking generation; and we shall find, by the consent of all the prophets, that these sins were the immediate forerunners and proper causes of their overthrow.

  1. The great corruption of God’s worship among them kindled His wrath and hastened their ruin (Psa. 106: 39–42). “Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.” They that will not bear the golden yoke of Christ shall be galled with the iron yoke of men. Nothing more provokes the anger of God than the adulterating of His worship; a man will bear a thousand infirmities in the wife of his bosom, but unfaithfulness in the marriage-covenant breaks his heart. After the manner of men, so abused and grieved, the Lord expresseth Himself (Ezek. 6:9), “I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from Me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols.” Men cannot invent a surer and speedier way to their own ruin than to bring their own inventions into God’s worship.
  2. Incorrigible obstinacy and impenitency, under gentler strokes and lesser judgments, make way for utter ruin and desolation (Amos 4: 6-12). Scarcity, mildews, pestilence and sword had been tried upon them, but without effect; for the remnant that escaped those judgments (although plucked as so many brands out of the fire, in which their fellow sinners perished) were not reformed by those gentler and moderated judgments.
  3. Stupidity and senselessness of God’s hand, and the tokens of His anger, were provoking causes and forerunners of their national desolation; they neither saw the hand of God when it was lifted up, nor humbled themselves under it when it was laid on. The hand of God is then said to be lifted up when the providences of God prepare and posture themselves for our affliction; when the clouds of judgment gather over our heads, and grow blacker and blacker, as theirs did upon them, and do upon us at this day, but they took no notice of it (Isa. 26:11): “Lord, when Thy hand is lifted up, they will not see”; and (which is the height of stupidity) they all remained senseless and regardless, when the hand of God was laid upon them (Isa. 42:24, 25): “Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, neither were they obedient unto His law. Therefore He hath poured upon him (them) the fury of His anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.”O prodigious sottishness! It was not some small drops of God’s anger, but the fury of His anger; not some lighter skirmish of His judgments with them, but the strength of battle. It was not some particular stroke upon single persons or families, but it set him on fire round about, a general conflagration; yet all this would not awaken them.
  4. The persecution of God’s faithful ministers and people was another sin that procured, and a sign that foretold the destruction of their nation (2 Chron. 36:15,16); “And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling-place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” There were also a number of upright souls among them, who desired to worship God according to His own prescription; but a snare was laid for them in Mizpah, and a net spread for them upon Tabor (Hos. 5:1), and this hastened judgment towards them. Mizpah and Tabor were places lying in the way betwixt Samaria and Jerusalem, where the true worship of God was; and in those places spies were sent by the priests to observe and inform against them; so that it became very hazardous to attend the pure and incorrupt worship of God, which quickly hastened on their ruin.
  5. The removal of godly and useful men by death, in more than ordinary haste, was to them a sign of desolation at hand (Isa. 57:1); “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” In this case God acts towards His people as the husbandman in a gathering harvest doth by his corn; he hurries it with a shuffling haste into the barn when he sees a storm coming; or as a careful father with his sons that are abroad at school, who sends his horses to fetch them home speedily, when he hears the plague is begun in the place. Upon this ground the prophet Micah bewails himself (Micah 7:1); “Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer-fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage; there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the first-ripe fruit.” Alas! alas! What miserable days are at hand! What miseries must I expect to see! The pleasant clusters (i.e. the societies of the saints) are gathered away by the hand of death; there are but few that remain, here and there a single saint, like grapes after the vintage is done, two or three upon the utmost branches.
  6. The general decay of the life and power of godliness among them that were left foreboded destruction at the door: this is both a provoking sin, and a forerunning sign of national calamity (Hos. 4:18): “Their drink is sour” – a metaphor lively expressing the deadness and formality of the people in the worship of God. It was like sour or dead drink, which hath lost its spirit and relish, and is become flat. Such were their duties; no spiritual life, affection or savour in them. They heard as if they heard not, and prayed as if they prayed not; the ordinances of God were to them as the ordinances of men, of which the apostle saith, that they perish in the using.
  7. To conclude: Mutual animosities, jars and divisions were to them manifest symptoms of national calamities and desolations: for then Ephraim envied Judah, and Judah vexed Ephraim (Isa. 11:13, Hos. 9:7); “The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.”

When such symptoms of God’s indignation do appear upon any people, the Lord by them, as by so many glaring meteors and blazing comets, forewarns the world that His judgments are near, even at the door. These signs all men ought to observe and behold with trembling.

If you ask, Why doth God usually give such warnings of His indignation before it comes? The reasons are:

  1. To prevent the execution
  2. To make them more tolerable
  3. To leave the incorrigible inexcusable

First, Warning is given with design to prevent the execution of judgments (Amos 4:12): “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel”; i.e. Prepare thyself to meet Me in the way of My judgments by humiliation and intercession to prevent the execution. And what else was the design of God in sending Jonah to the great city Nineveh but to excite them to repentance for the prevention of their ruin. This Jonah knew to be the Lord’s meaning, how positive soever the words of his commission were; and therefore he declined the message to secure his credit, knowing that if upon warning given they repented, the gracious nature of God would soon melt into compassion over them, and free grace would make him appear as a liar; for so we must expound his words (Jonah 4:2); “Was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil.” Yea, Lord, I knew beforehand it would come to this. Thou sendest me positively to denounce Thy judgments to Nineveh, meantime desiring nothing more than the execution of them might be prevented by their repentance. And thus Thy mercy hath exposed my reputation, in saving them from destruction.

Secondly, God forewarns His people of judgments to make them more tolerable when they come. Expected evils are nothing so heavy as those that come by surprise; for look, as the expectation of a mercy makes it less sweet, our thoughts having anticipated and sucked out much of the sweetness beforehand, so the expectation of judgments before they befall us make them less bitter and burdensome than else they would be, the soul having inured and accustomed itself to them by frequent thoughts, and prepared and made ready itself to entertain them. To prevent the disciples’ surprise and offence at those days of persecution that were coming upon them, Christ foretold them, and gave the fair warning beforehand.

Thirdly, He forewarns His people of approaching dangers to leave the incorrigible wholly inexcusable, that those who have no sense of sin, nor care to prevent ruin, might have no cloak for their folly when judgments overtake them, “What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee?” (Jer. 13:21). As if He should say, “What plea or apology is left thee, after so many fair warnings and timely premonitions? Thou canst not say I have surprised thee, or that you wast ruined before thou was warned. Thy destruction therefore is of thyself.”

 
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Posted by on 4 Jul 2018 in Church History, Theology

 

When the Holy Spirit is Present, There a Believer Truly Is

The Holy Spirit doesn’t take up residence in a person and not leave a mark or make a change from selfish to selfless. The very nature and work of the Spirit is transformation. Where there is no transformation, there is no Spirit of God.

Where there is selfishness, the Spirit is not present.  Where the Spirit is present, there is only selflessness.

 
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Posted by on 2 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

Quote of the Week

“If we consult the Holy Scriptures we can have no doubt that God promised his church here on earth a better state than this.”  — Philip Jacob Spener

 
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Posted by on 2 Jul 2018 in Theology

 

For All Those Who Seem to Have Forgotten…

You cannot legislate morality.  True love, kindness, respect, decency, and godliness arise from within and are never real if forced upon someone from without.

 
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Posted by on 29 Jun 2018 in Theology

 

No Matter How Much Things Change, They Remain the Same

Jeremiah:

You will be in the right, O Lord,
when I lay charges against you;
but let me put my case to you.
Why does the way of the guilty prosper?
Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
they grow and bring forth fruit;
you are near in their mouths
yet far from their hearts.

 But you, O Lord, know me;
You see me and test me—my heart is with you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
and set them apart for the day of slaughter.

 How long will the land mourn,
and the grass of every field wither?
For the wickedness of those who live in it
the animals and the birds are swept away,
and because people said, “He is blind to our ways.”

Yahweh:

If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
For even your kinsfolk and your own family,
even they have dealt treacherously with you;
they are in full cry after you;
do not believe them,
though they speak friendly words to you.  (Jeremiah 11)

 
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Posted by on 29 Jun 2018 in Bible, Theology

 

Alister McGrath on The Trinity

 
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Posted by on 28 Jun 2018 in Theology

 

Paul, The First Dialectical Theologian

Luther observes (in his lectures on Galatians)

Paul has a peculiar phraseology—not human, but divine and heavenly. The evangelists and the other apostles do not use it, except for John, who speaks this way from time to time. If Paul had not used this way of speaking first and prescribed it for us in explicit terms, no one even among the saints would have dared use it. It is unprecedented and insolent to say: “I live, I do not live; I am dead, I am not dead; I am a sinner, I am not a sinner; I have the Law, I do not have the Law.” But this phraseology is true in Christ and through Christ.

Dialectical theology in a sentence: “I live, I do not live; I am dead, I am not dead; I am a sinner, I am not a sinner; I have the Law, I do not have the Law.”

Well spotted, Martin.  Well spotted indeed.

 
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Posted by on 28 Jun 2018 in Luther, Theology

 

Hell Opens Wide Its Mouth For Another One

Open wide, Hell

An arrest warrant details the alleged actions of an East Texas woman who induced a child younger than 14-years-old to engage in sexual conduct.

On June 12, 2018, Carrie Songer (Sue) Kelly, 44, of Lone Oak, was arrested for sexual performance by child under the age of 14-years-old with the intention of employing, directing or promoting.

According to the warrant, on December 24, 2017, a police officer from the Wayne Police Department in Wayne, Nebraska, contacted the Longview Police Department in reference to a possible sex trafficking incident.

The Nebraska officer stated they spoke with a man, identified as Dustin Leiting, who had been communicating with Kelly on MeetMe and KIK. Kelly was using the name “CKelly74” to communicate with Leiting.

Leiting told officials Kelly said she wanted to bring him a child, who she said was 8-years-old, for sexual intercourse in exchange for money, specifically $100. Leiting said he continued communication with Kelly until he could file a report with law enforcement, according to the warrant.

Longview police notified Child Protective Services of the situation who confirmed Kelly had access to a female child, born in 2009. The information was obtained through a prior case and found Kelly also had ties to other children.

On December 28, 2017, Kelly agreed to meet the officer posing as Leiting in the 3400 block of Fourth Street in Longview. Kelly offered herself and the minor child for vaginal, oral and anal intercourse. However, Kelly did not show up to the agreed upon location.

Kelly continued to communicate with the undercover officer and stated she had obtained child pornography and had previously engaged in the sexual abuse of children.

Etc.

 
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Posted by on 23 Jun 2018 in Theology, Total Depravity

 

How You Can Tell “Evangelicals” Apart from Real Christians

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?  In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus you will know them by their fruits.  (Mt 7:15ff)

‘Evangelicals’ who despise immigrants, vote for pimps, and support adulterers are simply false Christians.  The fruit they produce proves it.  Their fate is hell.

 
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Posted by on 23 Jun 2018 in Theology