Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Today's Wisdom from Oswald

July 19th.


"Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." John 13:13

Our Lord never insists on having authority; He never says - Thou shalt. He leaves us perfectly free - so free that we can spit in His face, as men did; so free that we can put Him to death, as men did; and He will never say a word. But when His life has been created in me by His Redemption I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a moral domination - "Thou art worthy . . ." It is only the unworthy in me that refuses to bow down to the worthy. If when I meet a man who is more holy than myself, I do not recognize his worthiness and obey what comes through him, it is a revelation of the unworthy in me. God educates us by means of people who are a little better than we are, not intellectually but "holily," until we get under the domination of the Lord Himself, and then the whole attitude of the life is one of obedience to Him.

If Our Lord insisted upon obedience He would become a taskmaster, and He would cease to have any authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we do see Him we obey Him instantly, He is easily Lord, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The revelation of my growth in grace is the way in which I look upon obedience. We have to rescue the word "obedience" from the mire. Obedience is only possible between equals; it is the relationship between father and son, not between master and servant. "I and My Father are one." "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." The Son's obedience was as Redeemer, because He was Son, not in order to be Son.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The works of the Holy Spirit

I have been doing a very quick study on the Holy Spirit this morning using nothing more than my Bible and the to look up different versions of the same passages. Now, I know that this is will be very controversial...however, I think that we should take Calvinism with a grain of salt when comparing it directly with the scriptures. Here is what T.U.L.I.P. says about the Holy Spirit:

Irresistible Grace

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God.

Ok, now doing just a search on the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost / Comforter you find a very clear definition of what His job is:

Jobs of the Holy Spirit:

  • He is the Comforter: John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7
  • He is the Spirit of Truth who testifies of Christ (teacher): John 14:26; 15:26
  • He is the Sealer of our Salvation to the Day of Redemption: Ephesians 4:30

I just find it funny that we have this whole set of rules about how the Lord actually works in our lives. Do I think that the Holy Spirit can work the way that Calvinism says it can...of course. God is so much larger than our finite minds can even grasp. However, I think that the Bible is clear on the simple things that we should know. That our merciful God, upon our acceptance of His FREE gift gave us One that would replace the earthly presence of Jesus to teach us, to comfort us and to seal our very salvation until He calls us home one day. Amen, Amen and Amen.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Total Depravity and the Possessed Man of Gerasenes

Well, here we go again. I never thought I would get so caught up the the blogosphere...but this has been an exciting time for me as I am challenged daily in my faith. I frequent the blog, Founders Ministries is a ministry of teaching and encouragement promoting both doctrine and devotion expressed in the Doctrines of Grace and their experiential application to the local church, particularly in the areas of worship and witness. I often go and usually stir up trouble due to my own beliefs that are outside of what are taught by Reformed Soteriologists.

After HOURS, and I do mean HOURS, of reading thru blog posts trying to see if anyone had answered my questions, I decided to start posting the questions here, hopefully so we can stick to the questions and not go off on tangents that do not relate to the specific question. I encourage you to blog, whether you consider yourself a Calvinist, "leaky" Calvinist, Arminian, Pelagian, Neo or good 'ol "Whoesoever Will" Biblicist. So on to my first question:

QUESTION: Matthew 8, Mark 5 and Luke 8 are all accounts of a demon possessed man (one account of two men) where Jesus commanded the demon(s) to come out and go into the herd of pigs nearby. Mark 5 has the most interesting account. Verse 6 says that the man saw Jesus from a distance and came running to him:

Mark 5 (NIV)

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.

Mark 5 (KJV)

6But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

Mark 5 (NASB)

6Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him;

Mark 5 (AMP)

6And when from a distance he saw Jesus, he ran and fell on his knees before Him in homage,

Now, the question is this, if the combination of TOTAL DEPRAVITY and IRRESISTABLE GRACE means that in NO way can we make the decision to come to God because of our state - How then, did a man with "many" demons within him, who you would think would try to stay as far away from the son God as possible, and who is in the most depraved state that we could be in, come anyways to the son of God? As a matter of fact, it says he saw and he ran! He must have known he needed Jesus. Was the Holy Spirit doing a work in the man with many unclean spirits?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Welcome to the Church of the Painful Truth

You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you mad...that is, if you are a Calvinist.

Well, I thought I would post what I consider to be one of the best sermons I have ever heard on the subject of Calvinism. Mostly due to the delivery of Dr. Ergun Caner, President of the Liberty University Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA. He is known as the "pitbull" of the SBC due to his passion for the Word of God.

I am truly amazed at the buzz in the Calvinist community over Dr. Caner. I am sure it is his controversial approach to speaking the Word. Which is exactly why I like this guy. Falwell and Caner make the ultimate team of giving out the truth, whether you like it or not.

Without further ado, I give you the best quality version on the net of the sermon entitled, "Why I am Predestined NOT to be a Hypercalvinist". To steal another line (the first being my opening statement to this post) from one of my favorite talk radio hosts, Neal Boortz, "Welcome to the church of the painful Truth!"

Click Now for Video - Ergun Caner - "Why I am Predestined NOT to be a Hypercalvinist"


Friday, June 02, 2006

Educate Yourself - The Five Points of Calvinism

The most important part of any debate is being educated in what you believe. Here I am giving only posting the 5 points which all of Calvinism hangs on. I personally do not believe this...however, I don't totally believe the other side of the coin Arminianism, which is also mentioned in this article. Why do I not believe in either? Once you read the 5 points of Calvin, it will become clear that not EVERY point is right. As for Arminianism...I cannot except that our salvation can be lost.

The Five Points of Calvinism (taken from

There are two mains camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin. Calvin lived in France in the 1500's at the time of Martin Luther who sparked the Reformation.

The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples' sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

Basically, Calvinism is known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They simply represent some of its main points.

Total Depravity

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine."

Calvinism also maintains that because of our s fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

Unconditional Election

God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

Limited Atonement

Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

Irresistible Grace

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.

Perseverance of the Saints

You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I Corinthians 1 - Was Calvin, Spurgeon, Piper or MacArthur crucified for you?

1 Corinthians 1

1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


4I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Divisions in the Church

10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas[a]"; still another, "I follow Christ."

13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into[b] the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[c]

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."[d]

Monday, May 22, 2006

I love Calvinists -- the modern day Pharisee!

bring it on.

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