Sunday, August 20, 2006

Spurgeon's Insight to Present Day Matters

Each week Phil Johnson at the Pyromaniacs blog puts up an excerpt from C.H Spurgeon that speaks with amazing relevance to present day matters. Considering the talk of emergent conversations and even the new perspective I found last weeks post to be very insightful.

The PyroManiacs devote space at the beginning of each week to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive.The following excerpt is from "Progressive Theology," an article appearing in the April 1888 issue of The Sword and the Trowel. The article echoes some of the Spurgeon material we have posted before, where Spurgeon seems to speak directly to the postmodern spirit.In fact, we've pointed out such comments from Spurgeon many times. We think they offer convincing proof that "evangelical postmodernism" is really little more than Victorian-style modernism decked out in tattoos and punk clothing. See especially here and here. (Phil Johnson)

"Do men really believe that there is a gospel for each century? Or a religion for each fifty years? Will there be in heaven saints saved according to a score sorts of gospel? Will these agree together to sing the same song? And what will the song be? Saved on different footings, and believing different doctrines, will they enjoy eternal concord, or will heaven itself be only a new arena for disputation between varieties of faiths?

We shall, on the supposition of an ever-developing theology, owe a great deal to the wisdom of men. God may provide the marble; but it is man who will carve the statue. It will no longer be true that God has hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes; but the babes will be lost in hopeless bewilderment, and carnal wisdom will have fine times for glorying.

Scientific men will be the true prophets of our Israel, even though they deny Israel's God; and instead of the Holy Spirit guiding the humble in heart, we shall see the enthronement of "the spirit of the age," whatever that may mean. "The world by wisdom knew not God," so says the apostle of the ages past; but the contrary is to be our experience nowadays.

New editions of the gospel are to be excogitated by the wisdom of men, and we are to follow in the wake of "thoughtful preachers," whose thoughts are not as God's thoughts. Verily this is the deification of man! . . .It is thought to be mere bigotry to protest against the mad spirit which is now loose among us. Pan-indifferentism is rising like the tide; who can hinder it? We are all to be as one, even though we agree in next to nothing. It is a breach of brotherly love to denounce error.

Hail, holy charity! Black is white; and white is black. The false is true; the true is false; the true and the false are one. Let us join hands, and never again mention those barbarous, old-fashioned doctrines about which we are sure to differ. Let the good and sound men for liberty's sake shield their "advanced brethren"; or, at least, gently blame them in a tone which means approval.

After all, there is no difference, except in the point of view from which we look at things: it is all in the eye, or, as the vulgar say, "it is all my eye"! In order to maintain an open union, let us fight as for dear life against any form of sound words, since it might restrain our liberty to deny the doctrines of the Word of God!But what if earnest protests accomplish nothing, because of the invincible resolve of the infatuated to abide in fellowship with the inventors of false doctrine?Well, we shall at least have done our duty. We are not responsible for success. If the plague cannot be stayed, we can at least die in the attempt to remove it.

Every voice that is lifted up against Anythingarianism is at least a little hindrance to its universal prevalence. It may be that in some one instance a true witness is strengthened by our word, or a waverer is kept from falling; and this is no mean reward.It is true that our testimony may be held up to contempt; and may, indeed, in itself be feeble enough to be open to ridicule; but yet the Lord, by the weak things of the world, has overcome the mighty in former times, and he will do so again.

We cannot despair for the church or for the truth, while the Lord lives and reigns; but, assuredly, the conflict to which the faithful are now summoned is not less arduous than that in which the Reformers were engaged. So much of subtlety is mixed up with the whole business, that the sword seems to fall upon a sack of wool, or to miss its mark. However, plain truth will cut its way in the end, and policy will ring its own death-knell.

-CH Spurgeon

26 comments:

Tim said...

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it appears to me that he is ranting more against the Universialism/Unitarianism effect of modernism than just the cultural shift of modernism itself.

And while the cultural shift into postmodernism certainly isn't influenced by Jesus Christ or His gospel, it doesn't mean that followers of Jesus are swayed by such universalism. "The gospel for each century" is quite the opposite of what I hear from ministries and emergents trying to reach the postmodern. It's actually the stripping off of the religious obligations, rhetoric, and restrictions so that the postmodern, the unchurched, etc can access the gospel that Jesus saves! It's a movement to remove the stigma that the religion and the Church can save you.

And while I agree that there is not a different gospel for different people (a very modern thought of relativity), there are certainly different ways that Jesus reveals Himself to the unsaved, just as He revealed Himself differently to different people in the gospels. This is very good! Just as God is infinite in His characteristics, Jesus shares those same characteristics in seeking out lost souls to heal and call to follow Him.

natamllc said...

Tim,

greetings

You make some unsound and unfounded judgments here.

First off, it's only true in the "world" that there is a postmodernism; not with God and His Word and Work.

There is no pre, mid or post anything with God, who we learn from the Holy Ghost, God, is the "same" YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.

Second, you say: "THERE ARE CERTAINLY DIFFERENT WAYS THAT JESUS REVEALS HIMSELF TO THE UNSAVED, JUST AS HE REVEALED HIMSELF DIFFERENTLY TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN THE GOSPELS"...

Well I would profoundly disagree with that assertion.

Colossians speaks correctly:

1 ¶ PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2 To those who are at Colosse, holy brethren and believers in Jesus Christ: Peace be with you, and grace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 ¶ Always we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and always we pray for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Jesus Christ and of your love for all the saints,
5 For the hope which is preserved for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the true word of the gospel,
6 Which has been preached to you, just as it has been preached throughout the world, growing and bringing forth fruits, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it and knew the grace of God in truth,
7 Just as you have learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is for your sakes a faithful minister of Christ,
8 And who has made known to us your love for spiritual things.

We have a saying around my parts that: "THE GOSPEL BEARS IT'S OWN FRUITS".

1 Corinthians 15: speaks correctly:

1 ¶ MOREOVER, my brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you and which you have accepted and for which you have stood firm,
2 By which also you are saved if you keep in remembrance that very word which I have preached to you, and if your conversion has not been in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I had also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the scriptures;

Romans speaks correctly:

17 For if by one man’s offence, death reigned, how much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Now, if you mean to say that by one man we all suffer DEATH, whether we are red, yellow, black or white?? then you can see that the transgression of Adam doomed us all.

Now, if you mean to say that by one man we all can receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance from God, whether we are red, yellow, black or white?? then you can see that the obedience of one Man, Christ, secures salvation for us all.


Galatians speaks it best for now:

6 ¶ I am surprised how soon you have turned to another gospel, away from Christ who has called you by his grace,
7 A gospel which does not even exist; howbeit, there are men who have stirred you up and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As I have said before, so say I now again, If any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
10 ¶ Do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I tried to please men, I should not be a servant of Christ.

Now I am sure you don't mean to curse yourself?

Michael Burke
Servant of Christ

Bob said...

Hey Tim, you said:

[quoting Spurgeon]"The gospel for each century" is quite the opposite of what I hear from ministries and emergents trying to reach the postmodern. It's actually the stripping off of the religious obligations, rhetoric, and restrictions so that the postmodern, the unchurched, etc can access the gospel that Jesus saves! It's a movement to remove the stigma that the religion and the Church can save you."

I think that's exactly the problem. We think that the gospel needs to be altered in order to make an impact. My hang up with the emergent movement isn't so much stylistic issues but doctrinal issues. I said it before but what Spurgeon is reacting against is the shifts in his "modern" period to liberalism, its odd that what he says seems as though it could be addressing emergents in our post-modern period. I think because the movements really have the same sort of ideologies. We think that it is our job to revamp the gopsel message to get people to accept it..."Post-moderns won't accept the classic presentation!" is the cry... well I was raised on post-modern culture and here I am a bible believing Christian not because I wised up, or had some "hip" emergents preach to me, but because the grace of God opened my eyes.

The "stripping off" is my main hang up again, I am not so much hung up on style. Rather my hang up is in this "stripping off" what is it based on? Is it a return to sola scriptura? Why do post-moderns need a new "gospel" (so to speak) so that they can "understand"? I just think that a simple message of a) man is fallen and sinful b) God will punish sin because it is rebellion c) Through Christ we can be reconciled through faith in His work (cross). What is so difficult to understand? I got it when the Spirit opened my eyes. It seems almost disingenously pragamatic, to revampt the gospel and "strip off" stuff that POMO's dont groove with.

As I noted before Brian McLaren has "stripped off" the reality of hell...he is also (contrary to what you are saying) in support of a sort of universalism. But hey that's the sort of stuff POMO's want to hear right? Gotta reach em! Well I think we need to reach people and perhaps we can revamp the presentation style wise, however, not at the expense of truth. So I have big issues with "rethinking" orthodoxy, and changing the message to appeal to rebelious fallen men. I wasn't saved because of some slick POMO presentation of the gospel (nor do I think anybody genuinely is), but because God drew me to Christ. In some ways I think that this sort of pragmatism is really unbelief in the power of God and the gospel to save.

"there are certainly different ways that Jesus reveals Himself to the unsaved, just as He revealed Himself differently to different people in the gospels."

I just hope that the common denominator will be a revealing that He is the only hope for men to be saved. I can't see the emergent movement as being anything but a "gopspel for this century", I mean that's the point right? We have to change the message to reach POMO's right?

natamllc said...

Bobby

POMO's?

POMO?

what do you mean?

Is it PostModern=POMO?

michael

Bob said...

Michael-
Good post you said what I was trying to say as well (I read your post after I responded to Tim) you said:

"We have a saying around my parts that: "THE GOSPEL BEARS IT'S OWN FRUITS".

That's it. God really doesn't need us to make the gospel palatable to fallen man...the mere fact that modern man doesn't like aspects of the message is a testimony of their rebellion against God...we are not to coddle that rebelion by catering to it through altering the message.

Bob said...

Oh yeah POMO=Postmodern
and POMO's=Postmoderners.

Tim said...

Greetings to you, Michael.

I appreciate your comments, though I fear that your view of my short comments to Bob's post lacked the foundation of my previous comments both here and on my blog that Bob is aware of.

I completely agree that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. There's a nice worship song that's been on my iPod that I appreciate which has that for a title.

I also agree that there is no pre- mid- or post- anything with God and the Bible and that postmodernism is a world and cultural identity. However, my most recent post can shed some light on how God can use the Church to "steal" ideas from postmodernism in order to be a catalyst to tear the Church away from modernity and back to where it belongs, as the body of Christ, not just a system of truth or ideas.

But I would ask that you be careful about taking my words out of context, as well as the context of Paul's letters. I did not say that there are many gospels or ways to salvation.

But what I did say is that Jesus reveals Himself, or as you quoted Galations called (us) by his grace, in different ways. I haven't counted, but there are many different ways Jesus called people to follow Him in the gospels. Nicodemus, the rich young man, the prostitues, the lepers, the disciplines specifically were different ways, Zaccheus, etc, etc, etc. It's still Jesus saving them, just as Jesus is our only salvation.

The context of Paul's writings indicate that he, too, present the gospel differently based on the people to whom he was evangelizing. To the Greeks, he used their philosophies and gods to show them salvation through Jesus. To the Corinthians, Ephesians, Philipians, Galations, etc, he found a path from their sin to show them the grace and mercy of Jesus. But each had a different context.

James wrote to advocate that faith had to be backed-up actively and in community. John's epistles challenged the gnostics, focusing also on community and love to show Jesus' salvation to others. The author of Hebrews tapped deep into the the Jewish to formulate the salvation of Jesus.

Even the gospel books share the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in different contexts. Mark focused on Jesus's miracles and interactions based on those. He presented nothing (!) after discovering the empty tomb. Matthew and Luke spent more time on the sermons of Jesus. Luke was probably influenced greatly by Peter's recount. And John challenged the Jewish community with his presentation of the salvation through Jesus, trying to prove to them that Jesus was indeed the prophecied Messiah.

All of these examples are presentation of the same gospel message, that Jesus is our salvation, but each of them present it from a different context, angle, and point of view. Differently, to different people.

I hope that helps ease your concerns of me cursing myself. :)

Tim said...

Bob, you said:

I just think that a simple message of a) man is fallen and sinful b) God will punish sin because it is rebellion c) Through Christ we can be reconciled through faith in His work (cross). What is so difficult to understand?

The issue I have with this is that you just gave me a modern-based, three-point scientific approach to a salvation decision that has assumptions that (for argument sake in general) a.) people will acknowledge there is sin, b.) people will recognize there is a God and c.) people will acknowledge that 1.) Jesus existed (and lives) and 2.) believe in something called a resurrection.

Now, while I absolutely acknowledge that these are essential elements to salvation, there has to be a context in which a.) you exhibit this salvation in your life (namely "for the joy set before us by Christ") and b.) you recognize a context in which the unsaved can come to knowledge and experience of that very love of Jesus you live out in your life.

Modernism suggests we preach it scientifically and intellectually for the individual. Postmodernism requires that we live it out, and if I am going to be true to the calling of Jesus to me to bear witness to His salvation, then I better know who I am witnessing to and where they are coming from.

natamllc said...

Tim

do I know you? Are you the "Tim" I met at the flat in San Francisco?

Quoting you:

Modernism suggests we preach it scientifically and intellectually for the individual. Postmodernism requires that we live it out, and if I am going to be true to the calling of Jesus to me to bear witness to His salvation, then I better know who I am witnessing to and where they are coming from.

Do you mean to imply that God is requiring you to be true to the calling of Jesus, to bear witness to His salvation?

michael

Bob said...

Tim,
Of course I would join you in rejecting the mere intelectual assent to facts and calling that "faith". However, there are facts in the bible, God has revealed these facts to us like I laid out in a systematic approach. This is just a condensed way of presenting man's dilemma and need of Christ's salvation. Conversion is altogether different. Where true conversion occurs it will result in affections and a treasuring of Christ not a mere factual assent. What I think you are doing is making a false dichotomy nixing the one in favor of the other when really both are part of true Christianity.

If God did not want us to speak in propositions why does He speak in factual propositions in His word? Peter's whole sermon in Acts (which converted thousands) was by and large what you are labeling "scientific". My point is that the proclamation of the gospel will be propositional in nature (scientific) if we reject this I think we will be led to a doctrinally bereft Christianity that is reduced to a sort of subjective mysticism where all we do is "experience" Christ. Yet without propositions and doctrinal outlines how do we know it's the Christ of the bible we are experiencing?

C.S. Lewis gave a good analogy giving the proper relation of the two. He described doctrine like a map, and experience as the sea, a map is useless unless you go out to sea with it, and likewise if you go out to sea without a map you are in grave peril of being lost. We need both.

Bob said...

Oh no this is a different Tim.

Tim said...

Michael,

Bob is correct that I am not the same Tim. Though I'd like to visit San Fran someday, at the very least to ride a trolley. :)

I hope that I'm not reading into your question or taking it more simply than you mean, but I believe that Jesus commanded us to love God with our whole self, and our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus also spoke over and over, and walked his talked everyday and through the cross, of laying our lives down for others because he called us to follow Him with our crosses in tow.

So in that, I pray that my life of loving God and others bears witness that I do so because I am following Jesus, my Savior.

Does that answer your question?

Tim said...

Bob, I might get in hot water with you on this one, but I would challenge you that we don't have "facts", we have witness accounts (testimony), stories, narratives, and commentary, passed down. Facts, again, takes a scientific view of writings of a non-scientific world.

That is why faith is so crucial. Facts need to be substantiated and proven in a scientific world. God requires us to use faith.

Here are some examples of why it's dangerous to call them facts:

What day of the week was Jesus cruficied? Matthew, Mark, and Luke present it on one day, but John presents it on another. This is because John is writing his account to show that Jesus was indeed the Lamb of God in connection with Passover.

In the story of Joseph being sold to slaves by his brothers in Genesis, you will see two different brothers who decide that he should not be killed. This is because two different oral traditions of the stories were combined: one from Judah and one from Israel.

Why does God require Aaron to give both a goat to Him and one to Azazel on the day of Atonement? It appears that God is recognizing the authority of another spiritual being besides Himself in the offering of Atonement of the sins of Israel.

Maybe we are dealing with symantics, but our salvation is not driven by facts. It is driven by faith in a God who is infinite in His grace and mercy by doing the most unfathomable thing of giving His Son to be our atonement. As a soon-to-be father, I still can't wrap my mind or heart around that. There are no facts that make it any more believable. So I must live by faith and experience His grace and mercy through my community, the body of Christ, and love others as Jesus loves me.

As for the doctrine element, I'm confident in the map of the Bible and the community (past and present) that surrounds me. It doesn't have to be the 12-point statements of faith we've made it out to be. The map doctrine of the great commandment supported by the salvation provided by Jesus will guide us well.

natamllc said...

Tim, the Tim who is not apart of the "Project Mission", the flat at the Haight Asbury district in San Fran. I don't believe they have that flat anyway Tim, so book a hotel if you are coming or just contact me and I will arrange a place for you to stay to ride the trolly,:)

Please be Faithful, Immovable, and Abound in this place here, Bobby's blog, as I again profoundly disagree with you on the "merits" of WHAT GOD IS CALLING YOU TO DO for Him or me, now that Jesus Christ clearly has come, an irrefutable Historical Person, who suffered the most unimaginable sufferings One Person of the Self Existent Eternal Holy Trinity could suffer and for us mind you, then promptly gathered up lifeless, wrapped in death cloths and put in another man's tomb, then powerfully of His Power rose up to bodily form then came to the Welcome of Heaven's Glory to take a Front Row Seat watching over the affairs of history and waiting for to HEAR the imfamous WORDS, RETURN SON AND GATHER TO GLORY YOUR OWN and some....

I too fell victim to this Theology of Glory, justifying my every deed as Holy now that I am "born again". After all I am now a Saint!

From your latest post to me directly I quote:

[but I believe that Jesus commanded us to love God with our whole self, and our neighbors as ourselves.]

Here is the Great DIVIDE as Jesus tells it and I cut and paste from Luke's Gospel accounting of it, chapter 12,

Luk 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
Luk 12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.


First to be noted herein is Jesus says we should NOT TAKE THOUGHT FOR OUR LIVES. But when you analyze it, THAT'S ABOUT ALL THE WORLD DOES, both believers and non believers alike. We can't help it.
It's our Adamic sinful nature that does that.

He then makes what I believe should make every PITA member glad, a comparison to birds and flowers and mankind.

WHAT, HOW DARE JESUS CHRIST COMPARE ME WITH A RAVEN OR A FLOWER! Doesn't He realize who I am?

Luk 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

When is the last time you saw RAVENS picket and demonstrate when their civil rights were violated?
Hey, you might be stewing right now as you read my post? hmmmmm

What do flowers do to be shiney and colorful?

Then Jesus goes even farther:

Luk 12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
Luk 12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?


Then He comes out with the most puzzling of all assertions that He made and are recorded in Scripture, seeing He came to give Life to the World lost and separated from His Present Life:

Luk 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Luk 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Luk 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
Luk 12:52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
Luk 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.


The Great divide is upon us now Tim, seeing I profoundly disagree with your presuppositions and erroneous conclusions about the Gospel of the Kingdom and what you are required to do now that Christ is the Head and He has called you too to be a part of His Eternal Glory. hmmmmmm?

Does that trouble you?

Do you want to debate it?

I will not strive with you seeing I claim to be a Servant of Christ!

But I will be happy to talk through all this if you would like too and Bobby consents seeing this is his blog realm?

natamllc said...

Bobby

wow, way to go! Both Lisa and me are proud of that comment to Tim.

You wrote this reply to Tim's post:

What I think you are doing is making a false dichotomy nixing the one in favor of the other when really both are part of true Christianity.

I honest can say I have not read anything as powerful as that insight ever! And you have been to my house and seen all the books!

michael

Lisa said...

Tim,
"but our salvation is not driven by facts. It is driven by faith in a God who is infinite in His grace and mercy by doing the most unfathomable thing of giving His Son to be our atonement."

Aren't these facts about God? It is in the Bible that we see the facts of God's grace, mercy, soverignty and omnipotence. How do we know this statement that you made is factual? We can't escape this fact-business.

I don't think faith is believing things we don't understand or are uncertain. I don't think faith is defined by the blind leap that I make but rather it is a confidence in God, a trust that He is who He says He is and He will do what He promises. I don't think we can separate faith and "facts" because how can we be expected to have faith in something that is not true/factual. As you said, perhaps we are dealing with some symantics issues here but why can't we have facts in a non-scientific world?

Hope you are still enjoying this discussion. Although you did willingly jump in the "hot water!"

Bob said...

Tim-
Lisa really said what I thought when I read your comment. You want to abandon presenting the message in a "fact" manner yet to justify your position you must rely on "facts". Where did you get the idea that God sent His Son into the world? I wont dwell on this long because I think it is obvious your point about abandoning the notion of facts is self refuting.

You however, brought up a bunch of alledged discrepences of the bible, to say the bible is not "fact". Again I think you shoot yourself in the foot here. I could deal with these one by one and show that they really aren't problematic or contradictory but that isn't really the main point you are getting at. You said:

"So I must live by faith and experience His grace and mercy through my community, the body of Christ, and love others as Jesus loves me."

This of course presuposses there is in fact grace to be experienced. What the real issue is in you abandonement of sola scriptura is the notion that we must live a sort of irrational "faith" experience. Now this begs the question of why do you think faith is irrational and not founded upon facts? Like I said to Rob on his page as he denies innerancy of the bible, and subtly sola scriptura, "faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God."

So as Lisa stated faith is founded upon something, the word of God. The word of God contains promises which we are to trust. For instance God makes a promise to Joshua saying "I will never leave you or forsake you." this promise not only is to be believed but actually causes belief. I have put up an article by Francis Schaeffer on Faith versus "Faith" the one is irrational blind kind mystical experiential leap, the other is based upon promises (facts) from the word of God.

Also, this statement raises questions:

"As for the doctrine element, I'm confident in the map of the Bible and the community (past and present) that surrounds me. It doesn't have to be the 12-point statements of faith we've made it out to be. The map doctrine of the great commandment supported by the salvation provided by Jesus will guide us well."

This sounds like the Catholic church sees scripture and tradition as authoratative as rules of faith. Sounds like a denial of sola scriptura to me. And the "great commandment" is the map? Gosh it just sounds like your commiting all the errors of 20th century liberalism in a POMO form.
Sounds like a reduction to a social gospel, just love God and love others, that's all Christianity is.

natamllc said...

Bobby

for these reasons, Sola Scriptura parsed and posted on this blog, I send this to the blog to edify and offer help to Tim???:

Hebrews 3:12-15 from the Aramaic Translation

12 Take heed therefore, my brethren, lest perhaps there is a man among you who has an evil heart and is not a believer, and you will be cut off from the living God.
13 But search your hearts daily, until the day which is called The day, to the end that no man among you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if from the beginning to the very end we hold steadfast to this true covenant,
15 As it is said, Today, if you hear even the echoes of his voice, do not harden your hearts to anger him.

and from the KJV Galatians 6:1-5

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

and your comment to Tim yesterday:

["What I think you are doing is making a false dichotomy nixing the one in favor of the other when really both are part of true Christianity."]

As we are ALL coming to understand True Christianity by His Grace and His Mercy for the Peace of God to pass all understanding and keep us: there are four kingdoms and four realms where the two kings apply their "directions" "orders" into the two realities, the two false kingdoms of one false king divide from the two True Kingdom realities where Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rules with Power and Great Humility to His credit and glory, seeing that He has received a Name above every name at Whose Name every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord to the Glory of God the Father, Eternal, Self-existent, the Son, Eternal, Self-existent and the Holy Ghost, Eternal and Self-existent.

The four/two kingdoms:

as is indicated from Hebrews 3, there is this warning about "the deceitfulness of sins".

as is indicated from Galatians 6, there are "two" burdens to bear.

It is this that we must contend earnestly for, the Faith once delivered to the Saints; it is this Faith that plants in right TWO KINGDOMS.

There is also this other matter that I touched on yesterday about worry and anxiety that we all fall prey too in this creation. Here is the other clear distinction, the deceitfulness of RICHES.

Your comment encompasses both deceits seeing there are two kingdoms, the civil or left hand kingdom and the spiritual or right hand kingdom.

We all make the mistake as we are honing our skills to be apologists for Him, which we all well should hone to be, by speaking from both sides of our mouth or reaching in with both hands correctly.

How can we be delivered?

How can we meet together unless we set an appointment?

Well, now it is historically clear, an appointment has been set!

Against my will mind you! I want to live forever in a dream like self-existent state of eternal being and I want to be like my father the Devil, SELF-EXISTENT. hmmmmmmm

It was truly the RIGHT REBUKE Jesus lovingly and carefully made to Peter, GET BEHIND ME SATAN, YOU ARE AN OFFENSE TO ME.

I don't believe we truly Live in His Life, "Light" until we can confess we are of the devil and his kingdom, sinners in need of death daily until the appointed time when we too will taste death.

We all have been appointed once to die and then the judgment.

I was just in Fort Worth, Texas and it became clear to me that not until we realize by His Helper, by His Grace, Mercy and Peace that there will be "Kingdom" service after we die the appointed death that we will ever come to and enter into our daily Cross bearing death to self so we can be Servant Leaders of the Two True Kingdoms now while we are yet alive on earth.

Why else would we cast off restraints?

Why else would we prefer one another as more important than our own selves denying our self-life, this total welfare depend spiritual, soulish, body life in the flesh to serve someone living unrestrained in their flesh life?

Jesus did!
He wept!
He died!
He was buried!
He rose again!
He is alive NOW!!

We are sinners living daily lives as four, spirit/pnuema, soul/psuche, body/soma, flesh/sarx.

Not until Christ is King Lord of these four realms will we be able to help others out of their spiritual, soulish, body and flesh transgressions; captivity.

Jesus, when they brought the woman caught in adultery, stooped down and wrote on the dirt and then said, YOU WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE.

I read one scholar summize that what Jesus was writing on the dirt was the TEN COMMANDMENTS and in big bold Aramaic for all those judges to see.

I like Jesus!
you?
michael

Tim said...

Wow - so much to respond to, but I fear my words will fail me yet again. Let's see if I can be concise to each of the three responses.

Michael - I am not troubled by your reply at all. My salvation is secured by Jesus' death and resurrection, and my devotion and faith in Him causes me to love others with the blessings God give me in my live. Just as the birds build nests and share food with their kind from what God has given them to live. If I used the word requirement it was the wrong choice of word. But there are certainly commands and commissions Jesus has given us as part of following Him. The first is believing in Him in the first place. But of all that I do, should it not be motivated by my love of Jesus and the wonders of his salvation to share with others?

Lisa - I do indeed think we can escape the fact business, in a manner of speaking. In using only my words here, because you are unable to witness my entire life, I don't expect anyone reading to necessarily know that the statement you quoted is factual. I gave you a testimony/statement of my faith, not a fact. I would pray and hope that if you and I were in community, the evidence of God's grace, mercy, and love in me combined with God moving in you would help you to know.

I think faith is a combination of believing in things we do and don't understand. I don't understand the Trinity, the vast descriptions and actions of God, what heaven really is like, etc. But I do understand that by the grace and mercy of God through Jesus we are saved. There is evidence of this all around me in the community of believers. I do not understand how the creation of world happened, but I see the beauty and function of that creation.

Lastly (and this can be my response to Bob's comment, too), and probably more hot water, while facts might be true, truth does not have to be dependent on facts. Truth is not limited to be proven by facts. So in that, I can say without a doubt that I believe the Bible is true. I agree in the inerrancy of the Bible. The truth of God is and is declared through the Bible. And I also can agree with sola scriptura, because the Word is living in the communities of believers everywhere!

More specifically, I don't at all think that the examples I gave to Bob are discrepancies. They are elements of the stories as revealed to the authors by God. God sustained the kingdoms of Judah and Israel and it makes sense that God would desire His story to continue through each of them. They are, still, the same story of the truth of God.

A religions study professor wrote articles in a book for a Christianity class that I took entitled "Who Really Killed Goliath?" which is based on two Goliath stories, one in Samuel and one in Chronicles. His point wasn't that there is an error in the Bible, but rather that the truth of God is not based on scientific or courtroom facts as we think of them today. So what if David wasn't the actual person to kill Goliath? So what if it was a moral tale similar to George Washington chopping down the cherry tree as a child? The truth is that God chose David to be a leader for Israel, that God saw that David heart was close to God's and God raised this man to be the leader of His people. (NOTE: this is my summary of his teaching)

Do I believe David really killed Goliath? Yes, but if he didn't, I wouldn't believe the truth of God any less.

As far as the reduction element, do you really not believe that a follower of Jesus should love God and love others? Is not the love of God due to His salvation of us through Jesus? And is not that love and mercy to be shared with others so that they may also be saved?

Thank you, all, for keeping me on my toes!

Bob said...

Well if you want to view the bible as all alegorical to eliminate talking in a literal factual sense I think you are imposing your post-modern precepts on the bible. There really is nothing to indicate that these events did not literally happen. The example of Judah and Rueben not wanting to kill Joseph did not come from some two kingdoms perspective of the story that is nonesense and imposing an interpretation on a book written hundreds of years prior to there being two seperate Jewish kingdoms. Both brothers were against the killing of Joseph, Rueben had him thrown into the pit and Judah had him sold to the Ishamelites so that he would not be killed, no problem. This literally happened.

I will just ask you this Tim and move on to a different topic:
What would you say to someone who asked you: 1)What is Christianity? 2) What must I do to be saved?

I don't think you can escape an answer that is not based upon some form of a factual presentation. Yoyu might not present it in a bullet 1...2...3 format but you will be presenting facts to answer these questions derived from reading and interpreting the bible or other men's writing about these issues. To not present things in a factual manner will render responses to questions superlous and impossible.

So this just brings me to challange your presupostions: Why should I avoid factual language? Why should I avoid a systematic presentation of the truths of scripture? Just because our culture is becoming pluralistic and relativistic and to speak in such a way is "arrogant" in POMO eyes?

No, I think I will strive to be counter cultural rather than mimic the culture.
I don't mean to keep going this was meant to be short but I gotta address these errors:

"Truth is not limited to be proven by facts."

Where are you getting your definition of truth from?

natamllc said...

Tim,

are you a glutton for punishment?

I see you are still hanging in there with us? With me?

Good!

To take another bite out of crime here is what you wrote back:

[" The first is believing in Him in the first place. But of all that I do, should it not be motivated by my love of Jesus and the wonders of his salvation to share with others?
"]

Tim, here's my question if you would like to answer it?:

WHO FIRST LOVED WHO? Did God first LOVE you or you did?


As for being really really GOOD:

Jesus answered the guy with a most unusual answer:

Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Mat 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mat 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Again, Tim,

can you tell me what Jesus answered the guy, Matthew 19:17?

What was Jesus saying here in verse 17?

Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

michael

Tim said...

Bob,

In short, I would answer that Christianity is a religion centered around the salvation of God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But I would also say that following Jesus does not have to be religious.

I would answer that salvation is responding to Jesus's love for us by accepting/believing that his life, death, and resurrection is our substitute of the consequences and reparation (sp?) of our severed relationship with God, our Creator, by our sin.

As far as the definition of truth issue, I'm not trying to mimic postmodernism; I'm trying to mimic 1st-century followers of believers. But I am trying to understand postmodernism so that I can better love the people are affected and influenced by postmodernism. If there happens to be elements of postmodernism that can be stolen to help us love people better, I'm open to that. Just as a missionary going abroad spends much time in preparation of learning the language and culture of the people to whom they are witnessing, I think it's important to do that same here in the US.

Tim said...

Hi Michael,

No, I'm not a glutton for punishment. I'm just trying to work through and understand the convictions and calls of action God is placing on my heart. And I'm happy to stick with you. :)

To answer your first question simply, God loves us first.

I'm confused where you are pulling the "as for being really really GOOD" part from? I'm not finding anywhere where I said anything about being really really good. Are you referring to our call to a life of love motivated by our faith in Jesus and his salvation?

As for the conversation of Jesus with rich young man, there is a glaring omission in Jesus's response of which commandments should be kept: Jesus only mentions the commandments that relate to a horizontal people-to-people; He leaves out the commandments of loving God. Ah, but those commands are summed up in Jesus's response to the young man's question of what he then lacks: Stop putting your riches ahead of God as a idol and follow me.

The rich young man is so close to recognizing Jesus as the Son of God. He calls Jesus "good" which is true, because Jesus is God. And Jesus doesn't deny it, but in fact acknowedges it through His calling the rich young man to back that statement up by actually setting aside the god of his possessions and depending on Jesus, who is good and God, with all that he has left - his life.

natamllc said...

Tim

well by now it should become clear that we are going to be parsing things out if we continue on like this.

That's ok, if we don't finish on this side of this called the sting of death, we have the rest of eternity to wonder what it was all about parsing it all out anyway if we even have a thought remotely like that then there.

I heard a brother, a Dr. J Sidlow Baxter say, WHEN I DIE, I want to die alone! paused his brief remarks on the subject of dying alone then followed with this to the assertion a reply, BECAUSE IF I AM ALIVE WHEN MY PRECIOUS LORD COMES BACK I WON'T HAVE ANY TIME TO HIM MYSELF!

Having rattled off there let's parse then, shall we?

You wrote, quoting you now:

[" No, I'm not a glutton for punishment. I'm just trying to work through and understand the convictions and calls of action God is placing on my heart. And I'm happy to stick with you. :)

To answer your first question simply, God loves us first.
"]

I asked you a simply question about Love, Who loved who first.

GOD LOVES US FIRST is the correct answer. Yes, yes He did.

But to the deeper matter, and question:

WHY?

Let's keep asking and answering questions here at Bobby's expense until he figures out we are just using this blog for our own edification and he figures out how to block us from freely spewing our wares upon one another!

There is deep significance in answering that question. Why, why does God love us first?

In fact, if you can answer that question, you will be far closer to solving the Mysteries of God and man than most who have ever wondered about them.

There is an answer. The Mysteries of God are there for all to realize.

I am hoping we will discover some of them here on parsing questions and opinions.

Now to the GOOD MAN STORY.

Here is the most amazing thing.

Consider who is asking who questions.

Let me parse it forth.

A GOOD MAN WELL ESTEEMED IN HIS ACHIEVEMENTS, STATUS, WEALTH AND POWER, a creature Christ was sent to Save, comes to God, the Only Begotten Son of God, the Man Christ Jesus to the GOOD MAN'S appearance and asks Him a question,

[ Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? ]

tagging Him with a designed intent, not that He would answer him, but that He would praise him for how GOOD A MAN HE IS WORTHY TO SIT WITH ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB IN THE NEXT LIFE AWARDED FOR HIS GOODNESS AND ACHIEVEMENTS.

Are you following me here?

Say yes, or not?

With that said, what does GOD answer him?

God says, OH, YOU DO KNOW THAT GOD ONLY IS GOOD, YES?

[ Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. ]


Now we need to slow up here and realize what He, God, the man Christ Jesus just said.

Here's one for the record books,

Let me ask you, Has God put prohibitions on God?

Yes or not?

My answer, well yes, of course Michael, God the Father has reserved for Himself the sole RIGHT to reveal GOD, THE SON, to the hearts and minds of men, his creatures, sons of man, sons of Adam, sinners when conceived in their mothers' womb APPOINTED ONCE TO DIE AND THEN THE JUDGMENT.

That then brings me to THIS QUESTION, who was Jesus revealing to the GOOD MAN?

God? or someone else? or Both??

Well, again, I will answer that, well of course Michael, Jesus was revealing God to man, God the Father to this GOOD MAN who came with designs on Jesus, not needing anything from any man seeing he was very very wealthy, a man of power and wealth and influence. His only real need was to be praised and loved for who he is, A GOOD MAN!

This brings me to the next record for the record books.

Who reveals the Holy Ghost God to man?

AAAH, now there is a question.

You see, the Scripture shows us, the Scriptures, the Holy Ghost, get it? reveals as we Hear Him and He imparts Faith to our ears, eyes, heart and mind that God Our Heavenly Father reserves the right to reveal to mankind, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, Jesus Christ is the only way to Him, God the Father.

You see also we learn from the Holy Ghost, the Scriptures, that Jesus Christ is the only one who can reveal who God the Father is to mankind.

But Who reveals the Holy Ghost to mankind?

Man.

The Son of Man.

Now the Son of Man is the Second Person of the Holy Eternal Life Trinity, each equal in purpose, different in BEING.

He while before He came from Glory, during His short and violently ended death here among humans there, and now, hereafter, worlds without end, is the only one who, Man, who reveals the Holy Ghost to man.

Hmmmmm, you might be thinking. AAAH, that's GOOD, man!

Let me quote the Holy Ghost, the Scriptures keeping in mind, quoting the Holy Ghost, the Scriptures, Jesus said, THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE, THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING, THE WORDS I SPEAK TO YOU ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE:

Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mat 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.



Psa 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
Psa 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Psa 22:23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
Psa 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
Heb 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.


See who is revealing who to who?

Then consider this, another marvelous revelation for the record books,

GOD DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO LOVE HIM OR ME!

HE NEVER DID.
HE NEVER WILL REQUIRE SUCH A FOOLISH THING WHILE I AM ALIVE IN THIS EARTHLY CLAY POT, CORRUPT AND WORTHY OF GOING BACK TO DIRT.

Hmmmmm, you probably are gasping for breath. Go ahead, breathe then! It’s a gift from God. He alone is Self Existent. They have their part to do to sustain us.

We alone can receive or reject Them as God.

The devils believe and tremble. Do you?

All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one GOOD MAN.

natamllc said...

tim

We do not find ourselves, GOD FINDS US and then with Loving Hands holds us dear to His Heart continually Walking with us and Talking with us, never leaving us to ourselves seeing we are sinners in need of Salvation.

He alone provides us Salvation.
He alone can.
Satan never once has offered to die for me.

Why?

Because if he died, he knows God would never raise him up again to deceive another living dying soul!

He must be stopped.
He will.

Consider who is sent to prevail.

Consider why SALVATION, STRENGTH, THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE POWER OF HIS CHRIST are not fully manifested in the earth in our time and generation??

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

michael

Tim said...

Michael, I'm afraid that I am confused as to connections with some of your statements to me. It appears that you are trying to correct me in things you think I wrote which you may think I'm off base or not quite there with you. But I'm not finding where you are coming from or what you are trying to connect. Maybe you are reading into my words too much?

Please don't take this as I'm offended, because I am certainly not. But I am not sure I am following properly to continue the conversation. And I definitely think we should let Bob's blog be of Bob. Feel free to come over to my blog and post as you feel led.