As demonstrated by my recent exchanges with a couple of LDS representatives, it seems that the Mormon faithful are so steeped in polytheistic idolatry that they can't even see that the Bible, Christianity, and Judaism are unwaveringly monotheistic in their teachings.
If one manages to somehow miss the little matter of there only being ONE INFINITE CREATOR GOD, then the rest comes unraveled pretty quickly. I'm amazed and saddened that people can claim to "believe the Bible" (albeit the Mormons add the caveat "insofar as it's translated correctly") and appeal to the authority Holy Bible (when it's convenient and they can twist prooftexts and redefine the Bible's meanings to further their deceitful goals) and nevertheless be so blind to the truth. Yet this is clearly the case with those who are firmly ensconced within the Kingdom of the Cults.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
As demonstrated by my recent exchanges with a couple of LDS representatives, it seems that the Mormon faithful are so steeped in polytheistic idolatry that they can't even see that the Bible, Christianity, and Judaism are unwaveringly monotheistic in their teachings.
Posted by Coram Deo at 1:03 PM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I had a brief exchange with Frank Turk, a regular contributor to Pyromaniacs the other day regarding what I perceived to be a bizarre demand that so-called bad apologists (his terminology, not mine) "join a church" and "get accountable". Now if you've read my blog with any regularity you'll know that I'm fairly convinced that the professing church is basically apostate and mostly fallen away from its first love, Jesus Christ. I believe we're witnessing the rise of the last days Laodicean church and that there is a quiet revival taking place wherein God is calling His people out of the compromised harlot church.
Sadly, today's compromised church is more interested in being relevant, purpose driven, emergent, seeker sensitive, fun, popular, best selling, growth oriented, and let's face it - worldly - than it is in being faithful to the Holy Writ and adhering to the whole counsel of our King.
I'm not going to pretend that I have any special wisdom or ability to tell the sheep from the goats or the wheat from the tares - mostly because I don't - but the Bible expressly states that in the last days there will come a great falling away - an apostasy - wherein men will gather themselves to false teachers in order to have their ears tickled. (2 Timothy 4:2-4) In my view these false teachers and their congregants who will not endure sound doctrine are clearly professing Christians. They are representatives of the professing church. The mystery of the invisible church is that it resides hidden within the professing church. The professing church by design must admit all who at least verbally claim Christ and who apparently subscribe to orthodox Biblical Christianity whether they are truly regenerate or not. Yet the Pearl of Great Price, Christ's true church - the invisible church - is known only to God Almighty. No mortal man knows who belongs to that number. CIC Ministries well said:
We cannot be certain who make up the invisible church but the Lord knows: “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness’” (2 Timothy 2:19). This passage shows the idea of the visible and invisible church. Those who make up the visible church (who name the name of the Lord) are instructed to abstain from wickedness. Not everyone who “names the name of the Lord” is truly regenerate. Some will say, “Lord, Lord” and He will answer, “I never knew you” (see Matthew 7:22, 23). We cannot have absolute knowledge of who truly knows the Lord, but God does. No matter how strict a local church’s membership requirements may be, there is no certainty that someone who has all the external evidences of being a Christian may join who may not truly know the Lord. Thus the invisible church is hidden in the visible one. John says this: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us” (1John 2:19). Before they went out, they were part of the church and it was not clear then that they were not truly Christian.
Certainly the church has more than its fair share of fruit pickers whose sole purpose it seems is to weigh others in their haughty scales of good and evil works. Yet even these tireless busybodies along with their voluminous "naughty and nice lists" gleaned through their networks of backbiting and gossip - or perhaps we should say through their "prayer chains" - don't truly know the measure of a man. This basic truth is why Christians are to show love and respect to all and witness in a spirit of bold humility that some might come to repentance and salvation via the drawing of the Holy Spirit and the shed blood of Christ Jesus to the end that the unregenerate might be miraculously born-again and reconciled with their Creator and Judge.
At any rate, let us now turn our attention back to Mr. Turk's post. I think it's irresponsible and certainly lacking in discernment to simply wave one's hands about and make blanket demands that invisible church Christians simply "join a church" and "get accountable". Mr. Turk's enormous logical failing here is to assume that professing churches are actually good for invisible church Christians and vice versa. I pointed out this glaring defect and received the type of stern rebuke that I've come to expect from those who are steeped in the "vain traditions of men" mindset that is so deeply entrenched within today's compromised professing church culture.
I'm presenting the exchange below in its entirety and will leave the reader to his own conclusions:
Coram Deo said...
After reviewing the second installment of this apologetics discourse I'm still scratching my head and thinking there's a whole lot missing from this discussion. The false assumption - in my view - that's been made in both installments thus far centers upon the advancement of a fallacious reasoning which assumes that - generally speaking - professing churches and their pastors are genuinely good for true "invisible church" Christians.
Considering the indisputable and heart wrenching overabundance of seeker sensitive, church growth, emergent, mainline liberal, apostate leadership within the professing church I sincerely wonder if it's wise to simply jump up and down and wave our hands and demand that these folks (apologists, et al) simply "join a church" and "get accountable" and then walk away patting ourselves on the back. I think not.
I blogged on the first installment of this series and today's subject expansion still doesn't quite address what I perceive as the core problem, which is namely the preponderance of bad churches and bad leadership which are bad for their local flock.
Maybe the actual argument being advanced here is that the unchurched autodidactic folks (apologists, et al) need to join themselves with faithful churches under the spiritual authority of godly and able church leadership, in which case the argument bears at least some merit. Yet even the most faithful brick and mortar churches and the most able leadership is currently shoehorned within the unscriptural Nicolaitane construct of the modern professing church which is structurally a virtual clone of Rome - minus those evil Bishops and the Vicar of Christ of course!
Methinks the cart has come before the horse on this issue. The professing church is toxic. You can have the cleanest fish tank in the the world. You can have the most interesting plants and coral, the finest gravel and filtration, and feed the fish the finest food pellets, but if the water is toxic you're going to have toxic fish. Simply dropping more fish into the tank isn't going to purify the toxic water. The "tank" of the professing church is toxic.
I know these are strident comments, but there is a quiet revival currently underway and God's own are being separated from the last days Laodicean church. May it continue to the glory of the Lord.
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?Matthew 21:42
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God
(1 Peter 4:17)
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
11:10 AM, April 18, 2007
You may blog as you see fit and write off the call to stay faithful to a local church as you see fit.
Problematically, the local church will never improve -- has no chance of ever improving -- if someplace faith does not get engaged in all the ways, and in the correct priority of ways, the Bible guides us to.
Let's assume for a second that I agree with you that the biggest problem, really, is that 98% of all churches (my statistic, not yours) are really not even substandard -- they are, as it is said, "not even wrong".
Great. So the solution to that, if I read you correctly, is to go out and do what? Certainly not join these pathetically-broken institutions, right? We should then likely start our own without any regard for a plethora of things, including the admonition to be joined with fellow believers and solve our disputes among ourselves (cf. 1 Cor 1-6), yes?
So we start with a broken, anabaptist (or worse) view of being part of the church, and then what do we do? We start up the apologetics first, yes? Because the people we will attract don't have any meat on the bone, they don't have any theological rigor. So what we start with is the Bible someplace -- maybe the book of John, where all great apologetics really takes root, followed by the book of Romans. To do them justice, it takes us 4 years meeting twice weekly to read just those books.
In the meantime, we have started our apologetics ministry for Catholicism -- because that is high on our list of reasons to join a church. Nevermind, for example, that the only Catholic church within 50 miles of our church is a small congregation of about 200 with a nun as the full-time staff member and a priest who travels in for one saturday night service and one sunday morning service (early, so he can get back to his home parish for the 11 AM service). We have to start condemning the blasphemy of the mass right now -- today. We can't have people doing penance if we are going to call ourselves ambassadors of Christ!
We find out that sending under-discipled baby Christians into a Catholic parish results in parity, meaning that for every person we can convince of the reformational case, we have one fall away because, well, Rome looks pretty good to some people who have only read the books of Romans and John -- and those incompletely.
Should I go on?
Listen: your stultified view of what happens today is itself part of the problem you claim to believe is apparent. It's the view of knuckleheads like George Barna -- you can read his book Revolution if you think I'm overstating this case. What has to happen is that first, we must understand the theology of church -- the ecclesiology of the Bible. Then we must conform ourselves to that.
Let me suggest something: if every church in America had one faithful family in it that was active in service, faithful to a 1 Cor 9:19-23 view of delivering the truth of God's word, adamant about honoring their pastor who is tasked with rightly handling God's word ("tasked" doesn't mean "he's got no gaps"), praying for their church and their elder(s), and then give their own "apologia" with gentleness and reverence, I'd be willing to wager that the local church would pretty quickly have more than one faithful family in it -- and it would cause Godly changes in that local church.
The half-American Standard Version reading of NT ecclesiology you provide in your proof texts has far more to do with the real causes of problems in American Evangelicalism than it does with providing a corrective to the problems evident. It is far more common for mutterers like yourself to splinter local churches over less than nothing than it is for local churches to really wander into apostasy and heresy as if it was nothing.
You have taken a Campingite view of dealing with weak doctrine and weak eldership, and I find it far more objectionable than pastors who simply have been driven by their denominations and the Christian media to be weak-tongued, weak-hearted, weak-faithed cheerleaders. At least these men are trying to minister to the people they have -- your view, and your approach, doesn't even provide first aid to the injured.
However, I will offer you an olive branch: if you can demonstrate to me that a doctrinally-perfect church ever existed on this earth, or that a church with a completely-godly set of ruling elders who never err'd ever existed, I'll concede the whole discussion. Your demands are cultic and unbiblical, and you have my clear objections to them.
1:25 PM, April 18, 2007
Coram Deo said...
I thought my examples of worldly professing churches in this thread were fairly self-explanatory, but perhaps Mr. Turk and Mr. Doulous didn't read my blog post which spoke to the matter in a bit more detail. If there is a "perfect church" I'm unaware of its existence at any time in human history.
My point is that we've inherited the corrupted harlot half-sister of Rome from our Reformation forbears and all of the vain traditions of men accoutrements that accompany it. This isn't an unsubstantiated indictment, rather it's just the way it is.
As I mentioned over at my place, while I lament the condition of the current professing church, it's what we've got and we should be obedient to the scriptural admonitions regarding our participation therein. This being said, there is certainly occasion and scriptural support for true believers to abandon those churches who espouse false doctrine and are led by wolves in sheep's clothing. Surely it's not being suggested here, for example, that congregants of Joyce Meyer stay put, roll up their sleeves, and just try to make a difference in her church! If this were the case then there's little room for a reasonable argument for saved Catholics to abandon their diocese! They should just stay put in within the false Romish system of works and idolatry and try to make a difference. The argument is absurd on its face.
Furthermore it's a laughable assertion to claim that I'm suggesting anything cultish, or that by taking a strict Biblical view of the church I'm somehow a schismatic, though these charges are eerily similar to the rhetoric employed by Rome. I'd say this is no coincidence. I for one am certainly glad the Reformers didn't put a temporal ecclesiastic false unity and submission to Papal authority above their love and obedience to God Almighty and His Word.
It's no surprise that much of the leadership - so called - bred by this system (the "denominational pipeline" if you will) work vigorously to defend their corrupted system. Whether this is what I've just witnessed in Mr. Turk's stern reply I don't care to guess.
Friends, the American evangelical church is very sick and I don't think it's a stretch to claim the patient is dying. The believer's admonition isn't to blindly follow the leaders of the blind, but to reprove the deeds of darkness and have no fellowship with them. When a system is worldly and of the world we (Christians) are to be separate from it. This isn't merely an inference, it's a basic command of scripture. But this task is difficult - if not impossible - without spiritual discernment which is probably the most desperately needed gift in the church today.
In closing I didn't come here today to pick a fight, but the truth of the matter is plain for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, and simply stamping our feet and screaming "It ain't so!" is unimpressive, unhelpful, and untrue.
So feel free to denigrate my proof texts, assign to me diabolical motivations, and engage in ad hominem to your heart's content, because it doesn't change the facts in the least. And the fact is that far too many are leaving churches each Sunday singing of a heaven that they're never going to see and the responsibility for this tragedy lies directly at the feet of the weak-kneed, effeminate, impotent men-in-skirts that pass for leadership in the modern professing church.
Someday - hopefully soon - the Ancient of Days will vomit this wretched construct from His mouth. Until then let us faithfully and obediently serve the King.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
4:01 PM, April 18, 2007
My favorite reply from someone espousing bad ideas is, "we obey God and not men." It's my favorite because it is, in essence, the determination that the conversation is over.
No sense arguing with you, CD. You follow God and not men. I guess we should follow you.
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:06 PM
Friday, April 27, 2007
From Team Pyro:
Too many Christians think of divine forgiveness as something that utterly overturns justice and sets it aside—as if God's mercy nullified His justice—as if God's love defeated and revoked His hatred of sin. That's not how forgiveness works.
Continue reading this important and concise teaching here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:21 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
by James White
Our modern world is decidedly confused. On the one hand, the rationalistic, humanistic viewpoint dominates within our public education system. We are now taught to question the validity of anything that can be called "supernatural." The very idea that someone might believe in miracles, revelation, etc., is opened up to direct ridicule. At the same time, in a direct reaction against this kind of dry humanism, many people are fleeing for refuge into every kind of spiritistic group imaginable. "Channeling" (a fancy way of saying a spirit medium) is very popular, and the Eastern ideas of reincarnation and mysticism are drawing converts from every walk of life.
In the midst of all of this confusion we find the Bible, continuing to proclaim the timeless message of Jesus Christ. Yet even the Lord Jesus has come in for modern "updating" in many men's writings. After a century of "searching for the historical Jesus" men (hopefully) have discovered that outside of the inspired writings of the apostles in the New Testament, we will not find much information on who Jesus was. Indeed, unless we see that it is illogical and irrational to reject the Scriptures for what they claim to be(1) we will never have much to say to our world.
Today it is normal for "Christian" theologians to de-emphasize the doctrinal aspects of the Person of Jesus Christ. Since rationalism and naturalism are the modes of the day, it is unpopular to deal with the clear Biblical teaching of the deity of the Lord Jesus and his pre-existence. The person who looks to the Bible, however, has little choice in the matter - the doctrine is clearly stated both in the Gospels as well as the epistles, and indeed it is implicit in most of the New Testament.
Continue reading "The Pre-existence of Christ" here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:45 PM
Does The Christian Church Need To Be Evangelized?
The visible Christian church is no longer a sanctuary for the people of God. Instead, it has become a huge mission field that needs to be evangelized. Churches are now filled with professing Christians who say they have faith but have never been born of God. This should not surprise us because of the parable Jesus gave describing the last days in Matthew 13:25-43. He spoke of a landowner who sowed good seed [sons of the kingdom] in his field, but while his men were sleeping, the enemy came and sowed tares [sons of the devil]. Jesus said the landowner is the Son of Man and the enemy is the devil.
Continue reading "Does The Christian Church Need To Be Evangelized?" here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:39 PM
By Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon
Does Christ Make Statements Only God Would Make?
The following Scriptures, given the character of Jesus Christ, are only logically explained on the basis of His deity:
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38)
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the
world began. (John 17:5)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24; see John 10:27, 28; 11:25)
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me.” (John 14:6)
When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. (John 12:45; see John 14:7-11;17:5)
All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. (John 16:15)
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world, (John 9:5)
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very
word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. (John 12:48)
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:36)
[The Father has entrusted all judgments to the Son] that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. (John 5:23)
When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.(John 12:44)
Can we imagine the president of the United States appearing on national TV and making such claims for himself? Can we imagine even the most exalted angel doing so? The magnitude of these claims are such that if they are not true, Jesus cannot be considered a sane or a good man. He would have to be considered as the founder of the greatest system of idolatry the world has ever seen.
Continue reading The Deity of Jesus Christ here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:34 PM
From Lamb & Lion Ministries:
The divinity of Jesus is the central truth of the Bible. It is so fundamental that Christianity stands or falls on it. If Jesus was not God in the flesh, then His sacrifice for our sins was meaningless, and we have no hope.
Satan is determined to convince Mankind that Jesus was someone other than God in the flesh. In Jesus’ own time, Satan created doubt as to His true identity. A few recognized Him as "the Prophet" or the Messiah who had been prophesied by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-18 and John 6:14). Most were ambivalent about His identity. Some believed He was simply a "good man" (John 7:12). Most believed He was a reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or "one of the prophets" (Matthew 16:14). Others claimed He was an illegitimate child "born of fornication" (John 8:41). Some wrote Him off as "a Samaritan with a demon" (John 8:48).
Continue reading here
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:27 PM
by Dan Corner
PO Box 265, Washington, PA 15301
Sooner or later, every person will encounter a Jehovah's Witness, since their door-to-door and street evangelism is so thorough. They usually make an issue about knowing God's name, even to the point of calling themselves a Jehovah's Witness. This article will help the Christian answer them. It would also be a good idea to run off copies of this article and pass it on to any Jehovah's Witness you may know. May God be pleased to use it to bring many to true salvation.
Continue reading here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:16 PM
From World Net Daily:
I've already told you about how H.R. 1592 will destroy equal justice (setting up a victim hierarchy), set up a Gay Gestapo with unlimited funds and send grandma to jail for sharing her faith on the public sidewalk, as happened in Philadelphia. But what you may not know is how this bill scheduled for a vote in the House this week will come after pastors and all those who disagree with the homosexual agenda out loud. H.R. 1592 the so-called "hate crimes" bill isn't about hate. It isn't about "crimes" (there are already stiff penalties against crimes); it's about speech.
Continue reading here
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:11 PM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I had a visit at my front door from the Witnesses this morning. I simply relayed the Biblical teachings for who Christ really is and the fact that He is, was, and always has been co-equal with the Father (and the Holy Spirit) and referenced scripture to refute their false teachings.
Of course I tried to maintain a humble manner and remember that it isn't those people who are the enemy, rather it's the Satanic deception they are under that is the true enemy of the Gospel. I've found when dealing with cultists that attacking the messenger (whether it be the person in your face or one of their "prophets") causes withdrawal and disengagement from the discussion. It's much better to stay within the context of their (false) ideas and the truth of scripture to lovingly refute them with the Bible.
I pray that God was able to use me to plant a seed within their hearts and minds about the truth of the Gospel and the eternal importance of getting it right when it comes to the question; "Who is Jesus Christ?"
Just moments after my encounter with the Witnesses I checked my blog and discovered that a Mormon had been busily at work in the comments section of one of my threads wherein he vehemently laid out proof texts for Mormon polytheism. I guess I'll be working up a scriptural apologetic reply today.
Lord help me to be a faithful steward with your Word and help me to speak Your truth and light in my dealings with every person you send into my life. Amen.
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:09 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Ingrid Schlueter nails it again!
"…When it was all over, Cho was responsible not only for the worst-ever school shooting in the United States but the deadliest massacre of any kind on American soil in modern history."
Uh, no, I think that perhaps the deaths of over 40 million babies in the womb would qualify as the deadliest massacre in American history. As horrific as the murders were at Virginia Tech, we delude ourselves. The blood of these millions of babies soaks American soil and so few seem to care. Over 4,400 have died in the last 24 hours, slaughtered innocents. Who will mourn them?
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Posted by Coram Deo at 4:52 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
Ingrid Schlueter has posted a hard-hitting and sadly accurate article which serves to underscore the obvious fact that the professing church is virtually indistinguishable from the world.
Ingrid's last paragraph sums it up well:
"We are to run from what is offensive to God, out of love for Him and obedience His Word. When we are new creatures in Christ, these things of the world should repulse us, not attract us. Christians have no business feeding at the world's entertainment trough of pig swill. We should be feasting on the Word of God which alone can make us strong. May God purify His church and help us to be a true city on a hill instead of contributors to the darkness of our times."
Read her entire article here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:15 PM
UPDATE: I found this "pastor's" website and it looks like he fancies himself as another Benny Hinn. No wonder he's about pimping his son-in-law's music career instead of being about the Father's business!
One word comes to mine: PATHETIC! This word is quickly followed by another: JUDGMENT.
Welcome to Laodicea!
From Ingrid Schlueter of Christian Research Net:
Christian Singer Wants to Be an Idol
The pastor/father-in-law of an American Idol contestant sent out this email to Christian media. I received this letter this afternoon:
I am Phil Stacey’s father-in-law. Phil is a Top 7 finalist on American Idol. He is a devout Christian, family man, Navy vocalist, Christian songwriter, and a worship leader in his local church. We are asking all the Christian radio stations we can, to help air some of Phil’s music and encourage their listeners to support Phil. He has a great heart for God. Howard Stern, infamous “shock jock” has publicly vowed to use his program’s influence to get Phil off of American Idol. We need your help for Phil to continue to move up in the rankings, where he can have a great influence for the cause of Christ in the entertainment world. Hundreds of Christian stations began playing this high quality song of Phil’s last week, and encouraging viewers to support him on American Idol. More stations are joining in each day! I also have other Christian songs of Phil’s available for air play if you are interested in looking at them. Many of your listeners will truly enjoy hearing some of Phil’s Christian music on your stations. Thanks for your consideration and help!
Pastor Mark McIntosh
Evangelistic Center Church
Question, Pastor Mark:
What’s a “devout Christian” doing attempting to become an “American idol?” Is this what Jesus did when he came 2000 years ago? Was he interested in winning a popularity contest by the world, or was He going about His Father’s business here on earth? Only in America do Christians believe they can have the applause of the world while still obtaining the blessing of God. Christians in North Korea and China and other nations around the world know that following Jesus will cost them everything. Not so, in America. Our American idol (the god of evangelicalism) calls us to be personally successful, popular and all that we can be. The true Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him. When you do that, you will lose the applause of the world, period. This hymnwriter had a whole different view than you, pastor.
What is the world to me,
With all its vaunted pleasure
When Thou, and Thou alone,
Lord Jesus, art my Treasure!
Thou only, dearest Lord,
My soul’s Delight shalt be;
Thou art my Peace, my Rest—
What is the world to me?
The world is like a cloud
And like a vapor fleeting,
A shadow that declines,
Swift to its end retreating.
My Jesus doth abide,
Though all things fade and flee;
My everlasting Rock—
What is the world to me?
The world seeks to be praised
And honored by the mighty,
Yet never once reflects
That they are frail and flighty.
But what I truly prize
Above all things is He,
My Jesus, He alone—
What is the world to me?
The world seeks after wealth
And all that Mammon offers,
Yet never is content
Though gold should fill it coffers.
I have a higher good,
Content with it I’ll be:
My Jesus is my Wealth—
What is the world to me?
The world is sorely grieved
Whenever it is slighted
Or when its hollow fame
And honor have been blighted.
Christ, Thy reproach I bear
Long as it pleaseth Thee;
I’m honored by my Lord—
What is the world to me?
The world with wanton pride
Exalts its sinful pleasures
And for them foolishly
Gives up the heavenly treasures.
Let others love the world
With all its vanity;
I love the Lord, my God—
What is the world to me?
The world abideth not;
Lo, like a flash ’twill vanish;
With all it gorgeous pomp
Pale death it cannot banish;
Its riches pass away,
And all its joys must flee;
But Jesus doth abide—
What is the world to me?
What is the world to me?
My Jesus is my Treasure,
My Life, my Health, my Wealth,
My Friend, my Love, my Pleasure,
My Joy, my Crown, my All,
My Bliss eternally.
Once more, then, I declare—
What is the world to me?
Hymn #430 from The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: I John 2:15-17
Author Georg M. Pfefferkorn, 1667
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:05 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Tritheism is the teaching that the Godhead is really three separate beings forming three separate gods. This erring view is often misplaced by the cults for the doctrine of the Trinity which states that there is but one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the trinity is, by definition, monothestic. That is, it is a doctrine that affirms that there is only one God in all the universe.
Tritheism has taken different forms throughout the centuries. In the early church the Christians were accused of being tritheists by those who either refused to understand or could not understand the doctrine of the Trinity. In the late 11th century a Catholic monk of Compiègne in France, Roscelin considered the three Divine Persons as three independent beings and that it could be said they were three gods. He maintained that God the Father and God the Holy Ghost would have become incarnate with God the Son unless there were three gods.
Present day Mormonism is tritheistic -- but with a twist. Mormonism teaches that there are many God's in the universe but they serve and worship only one of them. The godhead for earth is to them really three separate gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father used to be a man on another world who brought one of his wives with him to this world - they both have bodies of flesh and bones. The son is a second god who was literally begotten between god the father and his goddess wife. The holy ghost is a third god. Therefore, in reality, Mormonism is polytheistic with a tritheistic emphasis.
Of course, tritheism clearly contradicts the teaching of the Bible regarding monotheism:
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me," (Isaiah 43:10).
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me," (Isaiah 44:6).
“Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none,” (Isaiah 44:8).
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:52 PM
I found this concise and excellent post entitled Church Leadership over at The Institute for Creation Research. Read it and be blessed!
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed" (1 Peter 5:1).
The leaders of the early churches were critical not only to the ministry of each church, but also to its survival. Correspondingly, numerous New Testament passages deal with their qualifications and function. In our text, Peter exhorts these men to proper leadership through service and informs them of a reward waiting for them.
First, we notice that Peter addresses a group of elders, not a single individual in sole authority. No example is given in the New Testament of any church which has grown past infancy which has not incorporated the wisdom of a group of spiritually mature men into its leadership, although there may need to be one who presides among this group.
The primary function of such godly leaders is to "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof" (v.2). Note especially that the flock they shepherd is God's flock among them, not their own flock. A true flock leader takes strong and careful "oversight" but does not usurp ownership.
These leaders are to serve "willingly," not under "constraint." Their motive should be "of a ready mind" and "not for filthy lucre," or financial gain (v.2). Moreover, these leaders must not be "lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock" (v.3). They should lead by serving, thereby establishing a mindset of service in the rest.
Finally, Peter reminds the leaders that faithful, sacrificial service will be rewarded, for "when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (v.4).
May God continue to grant willing, faithful, sacrificial servants to lead each local flock.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:22 PM
Ravi Zacharias Ministries Points to Nouwen, Merton, and Foster
Source: From the Lighthouse
The headline is sadly accurate - Ravi Zacharias International Ministry website is carrying numerous articles which speak favorably of Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen, Catholic monk and mystic, Thomas Merton, and contemplative Richard Foster. The articles are under a section called A Slice of Infinity.
A summary statement on the website says they are "aimed at reaching into the culture with words of challenge, words of truth, and words of hope." Unfortunately, by pointing people to Nouwen, Merton, and Foster, the message of truth and hope will be tainted with mysticism and spiritual danger.
I guess A Slice of Infinity is one name for it, but I can think of another; A Slice of Laodicea. Continue reading this sad indictment that should probably be filed away under the heading "Another One Bites the Dust" here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:13 PM
For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)
The professing church has forgotten her first love. Caught between the foes without and the ravening wolves within Christ's little flock today finds itself in the midst of a raging spiritual battle of eternal significance. With the dawning of each new day we find ourselves one day closer to the glorious return of the King of Glory and His day of terrible vengeance upon the wicked oppressors of those He calls His own.
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:7-9)
The Holy Writ has many things to say to us in the context of the scripture shown above, but notice the precision of language and the order in which this chain of events is shown. First we are assured that God shall avenge his own elect. As we read in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The Almighty's patience, His restraint, is in order to bring Himself much glory and to honor His Word. Secondly the Lord asks a very important and challenging question; when He comes will he find faith on the earth? Oh how this insightful and devastating question strikes at our very hearts! For the heart is where our sinful pride lies secretly hidden away! It's from our hearts that we say within ourselves that we are better than other men, and our faith is our own! May it be far from us! May we always be mindful that our faith is of the Lord, it is His gift to us, not our gift to Him! Lord help us to be humble and broken before You! Let our boast be only in You and not of ourselves!
We know that the Lord Jesus Christ never uttered a prayer that wasn't in line with the perfect will of the Father and we have full assurance that Christ's prayers were, are, and will be answered. It is because of this blessed assurance that we can understand and come to terms with the often overwhelming apostasy, heresy and wickedness that seem to abound both inside and outside the church. God Almighty is absolutely sovereign and is unfolding the scroll of history in accordance with His will and His Word. There can be no doubt that God can and does use the evil designs of corrupted men to bring glory to Himself. Furthermore we know that God has chosen the time at which the current age should transition to a period of Great Tribulation, yet no man knows the timing of this calamitous event.
Those who are called by the name of the Lord need not be shaken by the events transpiring around us. We are His own. But what did Jesus have to say about His own? What did He ask of the Father for those to whom He was sent? John 17 & 18 tell us plainly:
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:12)
That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. (John 18:9)
Jesus cannot fail in His commission to save those for which He was sent, and let us be ever thankful that we fully meet the critera to qualify to be numbered among those whom the Lord of Glory came to earth to redeem!
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)
Are you a sinner? Do you qualify for the grace offered by the shed blood of the Lamb of God? I can tell you with a bold certainty that the holy scriptures answer this query with a resounding "YES!"
Get up, look up, and pray up for His coming is nigh, even at the door! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:40 AM
Friday, April 13, 2007
I posted the following comments this evening over on Team Pyro's thread entitled You say you want to be a teacher? Oy!.
"an historical perspective grants one is the knowledge that the history of church fairly bristles with men (and women) who have couched deadly, damning error in fine and lovely words. Central, essential doctrines have been and are being denied and perverted by the nicest folks, in the sweetest words."
In my view the point made above easily ranks among the greatest problems and weaknesses within the modern professing church; namely that there's little or no understanding of church history.
Furthermore there's little or no understanding of basic doctrines or of the basic tenets of the Christian faith itself.
In fact the professing church has been generationally dumbed down so far and for so long by ungodly, compromised, church-growth apostate leadership that their hapless sheep have no scriptural or historical depth of root in themselves and are therefore highly susceptible to the doctrines of demons.
When a shepherd fails to properly feed his flock and fails to provide them with adequate protection you can be certain that those sheep will be consumed with disease and rent by ravening wolves.
Yet sadly too many within the professing church, even - and sometimes especially! - within its leadership are quick to "pooh-pooh" this type of complaint away and dismiss it as hyperbole or perhaps as unfounded generalizations but the truth of the matter is inescapable and plain for those with eyes to see.
It's a well worn cliché, but those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. The enemy's bag of tricks and the hearts of men are no different today than they were in the garden and whether we fancy our world as modern, post-modern, Christian or post-Christian it's still God's footstool and the fullness thereof is His.
Let's never lose sight of our eternal hope of glory in the midst of our temporal struggles, nor let us forget the simple fact that unregenerate man is a corrupted and twisted image bearer who is in desperate need of a Savior, the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
10:16 PM, April 13, 2007
"In simple English words not using Latin words from Reformed terminology - yes, I believe we are born sinners, we need a redeemer to rescue and redeem us from condemnation, we repent and put faith in the Redeemer Jesus, who is our substitionary atonement for sin, we are then justified by faith and made righteous in His sight through Jesus and are sanctified by the Spirit. Is this what you are asking me what I believe?"
My sacred-underwear tailored Mormon neighbor would wholeheartedly agree with the statement above.
Unfortunately he's changed all the meanings of those words to fit within his false theological construct. I wonder if the emergents consider the LDS and JW's to be Christ followers? Has anyone publicly come out one way or the other on this subject from the emergent camp? It seems to me that many, if not most, of the emergent types are so phobic of absolutes that I wonder if they'd have the stomach to tell a Mormon Missionary or a Jehovah's Witness that they're just plain wrong and that their "truth" - so called - is actually a lie from the pit of hell?
One thing (among many) that concerns me about the overarching uncertainty principle espoused and embraced by the emergents lies in the stark contrast between their "Generous Orthodoxy" and the slam-dunk false-doctrinal adherence of groups like the Mormons and JW's. Unlike the emergent cult's "You're down with God? Sweet, bro!" approach, the LDS & JW cultists I've witnessed to are so well trained in their understanding of their cult's version of the scriptures and their false system of faith plus works that they'd turn the average professing Christian into a spiritual pretzel in about five minutes flat.
Please understand I'm not trying to hijack the thread, I'm just curious to know how the emergents with their dearth of doctrine are equipped to bear witness of the true Jesus Christ to the kingdom of the cults, or if they're even interested in trying.
10:45 PM, April 13, 2007
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:45 PM
Team Pyro has served up another heaping helping of badly needed truth in this hour of rampant deception in their article entitled You say you want to be a teacher? Oy!.
Upon reading this challenging and inspiring post I could think only of one of the simplest, yet most profound commands our Lord ever gave; "Follow Me". FOLLOW ME! It's so basic, so clear, so unmistakable; and it's a command He is still giving today in this very hour, even now in the very moments you are reading this post: "Follow Me", He said. "Follow Me", He still says. Oh how it wrenches my heart and pulls at my inner man, to the very core of my being! There can be no singularity, not even the immeasurable tug of the most intense galaxy-devouring black hole in the universe that can match the relentless power of the drawing of His Spirit!
It's encouraging to me to see men of God such as Team Pyro who are willing to take a firm stand upon the authority of the Holy Writ and steadfastly and unwaveringly point to Christ crucified; the truth of the ages and the hinge upon which all of history rests and turns. In my view there has perhaps never been another time in the history of the church when such a deluge of poisonous heresy and rank apostasy have swept like a torrent across the barren, desolate spiritual landscape of Christianity. Whereas the advance of the damnable heresies of old were subject to natural obstacles in human communication and were heavily dependent upon painstakingly crafted letters and inefficient couriers, today's brand of pop-apostate has book deals with Zondervan, prime time appearances on Fox News Channel, the power of the Internet, and a legion of gainsayers, soothsayers and spinmeisters at his beck and call. Let there be no doubt that today's breed of deceivers are having a devil of a good time with so many tools at their disposal.
And just as the spring rains bring forth a flash of colorful blossoms and lush, tender grasses in the desert places so do these petulant, pompous purveyors of poisonous spiritual-porno bring to the surface glorious appearing fields of false converts. These stony-ground hearers burst forth having an appearance of beauty and the form of godliness, but in truth their root is very shallow and when the sun shines in its strength they are soon withered away. These are traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. (2 Timothy 3:5)
Hear the Master's parable of the sower:
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away (Mark 4:3-6)
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. (Mark 3:16-17)
These false teachers, these blind leaders of the blind will often point to their flocks of goats and their fields of tares as evidence of the godliness of their teaching or the effectiveness of their witness. It's no marvel that these deceitful charlatans can fill stadiums and sell millions of books based on nothing more than the opinion-poll savvy of their multi-million dollar cult of personality marketing machines and their slickly packaged self-esteem, human-potential, self-help, 40-day, Your Best Life Now, "Gawd Luvs Yew!" bloodless Nerf theology!! Yet these things need not take the faithful by surprise for we know the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4). I for one am fully persuaded that the aforementioned time has come.
But oh how quickly their fawning media coverage would vaporize if they might only make mention of the necessity of the blood! Oh how suddenly would they find that their schedules were not quite so full of appearances before the powers and principalities of this sin sick and dying world if they would but preach to them the gospel of law, sin, hell, repentance, salvation, and a life set apart to sanctification before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Infinite Creator and Judge of the Universe! Oh how instantly would they find their legions of devoted followers melted away like wax if they but spoke of that narrow Way, Truth and Life that is in Christ alone; the sole mediator between men and God! Oh that they might speak the truth that neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, where by we must be saved (Acts 4:12) and that no man comes to the Father but by Him! (John 14:6)
May the Lord God Almighty be merciful to us for straying so far from His holy ordinances and the high calling of Jesus Christ Who is the same yesterday, today and forever; in Whom there is no shadow of turning!
Oh Lord may we fall on our faces before you in humility and brokenness! We have forgotten your great and mighty deeds oh Lord! We are altogether gone astray! We have forsaken our spiritual birthright and traded it for a worthless bowl of worldly porridge! We have exchanged Your truth for a lie and traded the precious blood of Your Son for a false temporal peace and utilitarian social agendas! May we who are called by Your Holy Name stand in the gap in prayer and repentance for the spiritual perversion and harlotry we permit to rage virtually unchecked and unchallenged among the professing church!
Change us oh Lord! Create in us a clean heart oh Lord and renew a right spirit within us! Help us to be obedient oh Lord that we might be able to call ourselves unprofitable servants for at least doing that which we were commanded! Raise up uncompromising godly leaders who will stand as flints against the raging flood of the enemy and hold high the banner of the Lord!
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mark 8:34)
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
What then shall we say to such a command from the Lord? What shall be our response? As for me...Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:8)
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:37 PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Frank Turk, a self-styled Pyro "zombie slayer" has posted an interesting and somewhat scathing morsel which upbraids self-styled apologists who are at least ostensibly members of the church invisible, yet don't participate within the professing visible church. Most of the post was very good, in fact it was mostly spot on accurate. Yet at some point (approximately 75% into the post) he careens wildly into an indignant demand for all of the "bad apologists" to join a local church. I actually went back and re-read this portion a couple of times to make sure I wasn't imagining things.
First let me state that I'm a member in good standing of a Biblically faithful visible church that is governed by elders and a pastor-teacher who is accountable to those elders, and I am accountable to my church's leadership. I also serve in various capacities within the church. However this is not to say that I find this system to be anything other than sub-optimal and not God's best, but now that my "vain traditions of men" credentials have been (almost embarrassingly) established I'd like to move on to my analysis of the post linked above.
To be fair Mr. Turk didn't delineate his precise definition of the visible church but given his background I'd say it's safe to assume he means a brick and mortar church with a steeple, full-time paid staff, instruments, pulpits, classrooms and the like; a "normal" church of the Protestant persuasion if you will.
For the life of me I can't understand why men who are clearly doctrinally sound and Biblically literate are simultaneously so beholden to the modern-day Nicolaitane church construct. For all the heresy and ignorance that is both espoused and embraced by the emergents they've gotten one thing right - there's something very wrong with the church (read "visible professing evangelical American church").
In my view an enormous failing of the Reformers was their inability or lack of will to cut clean the poisonous umbilical cord which even today leads back to Rome. The Reformers utterly failed to deconstruct the unscriptural barrier between the laity and the clergy once and for all. Sadly many if not most of today's Protestant visible churches are as hierarchical, political, corrupted and legalistic as the Romish whore from whence they were born. This is a fact to which any honest born-again believer can attest. The visible professing evangelical American church is a caricature and an abomination in contradistinction to the early church.
Friend, it's indisputable that many - if not most - of today's visible churches should have ICHABOD stenciled above the main entrance in large bold relief.
Needling still further Mr. Turk also managed to ham-handedly lump together the lone wolf professing Christian apologist who unscripturally presumes to be the sixth Sola - Only Me - and the countless myriads of heartbroken and faithful saints who have been cast out of their fellowships, sometimes after decades of serving the King, because they dared to take a stand against the implementation of Rick Warren's Devil Driven Madness. And yes, these myriads include apologists of all stripes.
The professing church's cup runneth over with false converts, wolves in sheep's clothing, and rank apostasy and it's probably the largest mission field in the world, so when I read thoughtless, careless, and cavalier posts such as Mr. Turk's I'm frankly - pun intended - astonished. I'd be remiss not to point this out, but to simply jump up and down and wave one's hands and demand that "bad apologists" join a church is a bizarre demand at best, especially considering the pervasive and brazenly heretical and corrupting influence of many - if not most - visible churches. Now he might rightly argue that the bad apologists should join his particular church and there may be a well reasoned defense of this position. But to simply say, "join a church" and then turn and walk away is...well...(there's just no way to say this delicately), ignorant and lazy. I guess when you're carrying a hammer everything looks like a nail.
In conclusion may every church that's not built upon the solid Rock of Christ Jesus crumble into the dustbin of history where it belongs and may its deceived captives find true fellowship among Christ's little flock, the genuine Body.
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:36 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
While reading a post over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog which discussed "The Promise of the Holy Spirit" I was struck by the starkly fake, plasticized nature of the modern professing church.
I posted the following comment in response to Mike's excellent article:
Your synopsis reminds me once again of the “pearl of great price”, the invisible church - Christ’s true body - that’s found within the larger generally apostate professing church. Sheep and goats, wheat and tares; all this only makes sense in light of revealed scripture and the scriptures only come alive to unregenerate man via the drawing and guidance of the Spirit.
I used to think that people just didn’t like to hear the truth, but I’ve come realize not only do they not want to hear the truth, they can’t want to hear the truth and apart from the working of the Spirit can’t understand the truth even when they do hear it with their natural ears.
Praise be unto the Lord that salvation is of God alone and not of the works of men with their silly sloppy agape and oh so clever, engaging, info-tainment, commercialized and slickly packaged “on-the-go” sermon bites.
How tragic and how terrible that so many hold so low a view of the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe. How sadly poetic that so much of Christianity is represented by a plastic fish and a plastic cross.
Plastic Christianity is the rule rather than the exception today. Ken and Barbie Benchwarmer are hyper focused on the lighting, the comfort of the chairs (no pews thank you very much!), the color coordinated “Praise and Worship” band (no choir than you very much!) and the catchy and rhythmic beats of electronic Novocain. But not unlike the plants in the breezeway they’re fake to the roots.
I take no joy in pointing to these truths, but it is what it is.
Oh Lord help us to be the men and women you've called us to be! Create in us clean hearts oh Lord and renew in us a right spirit! Amen.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:27 PM
Team Pyro has an interesting discussion going on contrasting evidentialism and presuppositionalism.
Well, at least I found it interesting!
Check it out here and don't forget to read the comments. Those are always the best part.
And to those scratching their heads right now (evidentialism vs. presuppositionalism, say what?) I recommend you start your reading with Greg Bahnsen's "Always Ready: Answers For Defending the Faith" and then progress to Bahsen's magnum opus, "Van Til's Apologetic".
I highly recommend reading Bahnsen FIRST before digging directly into Van Til.
Just my .02 worth.
Posted by Coram Deo at 4:45 PM
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Herescope just keeps serving up truth in the ongoing apostasy of the professing church.
Friends, let there be no doubt that we are witnessing in our day a massive falling away of the church. A post-modern seeker-sensitive, emerging, Devil Driven false gospel is spreading like a malignant cancer within the body and these blind leaders of the blind are being blown about by every wind and the doctrines of demons.
In my opinion the spiritual landscape of Christianity hasn't been this barren and desolate since the dark ages when the scriptures were withheld by the iron grip of the great and terrible Romish Whore. But what is our excuse today? We live in the information age when the Holy Bible is easily accessible, scriptural resources are plenteous at myriads of outlets including on the Internet, and churches are free to preach the gospel across the country.
I can only attribute the mass spiritual lethargy and rank heresy which abound today to a sovereign movement of God Almighty. God is not mocked and I believe He is sending a great delusion which is causing the goats and the tares who have mixed among His flock through the ages to believe the lie.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
(1 Timothy 4:1-2)
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (2 Peter 2:17-18)
However we who are called by His name have His promise that His own will hearken only unto His voice. I for one am fully persuaded that this is the last days falling away prophesied of in the Holy Writ. My only advice is to stand firm on the Rock of Christ Jesus, cling to His Word, the Holy Bible and, as the noble Bereans, use the scriptures as your "litmus test" and ultimate authority in all matters.
Be always ready.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:54 PM
Saturday, April 7, 2007
...For the state of the post-modern submergent Laodicean church.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Revelation 2:4-6)
EMERGENT CHURCH: DAN KIMBALL IS NOT THOROUGHLY ORTHODOX
DAN KIMBALL AND IMAGO DEI COMMUNITY
EMERGENT CHURCH: DAN KIMBALL AND LECTIO DIVINA
IS EMERGENT CHURCH PASTOR DAN KIMBALL REALLY A “CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL?”
LISTENING TO DAN KIMBALL'S BELIEFS OF EMERGING CHURCHES
DAN KIMBALL AND DOCTRINE
THE EMERGING CHURCH AND EMERGING WORSHIP
EMERGENT CHURCH: THE EMERGING CULT
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:17 PM
As time passes the true nature of the emergent church movement becomes clearer and clearer. Basically the emergent church is an ecumenical, supposedly "post-modern conversation" that seeks to make the Christ of the church "relevant" to the broader culture by taking on the customs, appearance and language of the culture.
Of course this is nothing new and the post-modernists are virtually indistinguishable from the garden variety modernists as Phil Johnson points out in his article over at Pyromaniacs entitled More on the dearth of conviction in the ECM.
Perhaps the saddest and most perplexing aspect of the emergents is their fevered high-noon fantasies about the "relevance" of the church in modern times and the mass hysteria which is apparently evoked within them when the absolutes of scripture are proclaimed.
Let me say this as clearly as possible, the relevance of the truth proclaiming gospel of Christ upon which the church was founded was not, is not, and never will be a question of relevance to the broader culture. This is because the cross of Christ was not, is not, and never will be anything other than an offence and a stumblingblock to the unregenerate, period.
The unregenerate don't want Jesus Christ.
The unregenerate don't desire the Word of God.
The unregenerate don't seek after salvation.
The church is not to be conformed to the world - "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."(Romans 12:2). Man must submit to and be conformed to God Almighty, not the other way around.
The emergent conversation is misguided and riddled with bad theology at best, and is a subversive ecumenical false-religion tool of the enemy at worst.
I hope you'll take the time to read Phil Johnson's post linked above and I'd ask you to pay particular attention to the comments thread where none other than emergent architect Dam Kimball takes up the gauntlet and exchanges comments with Phil.
Below are the two comments I posted over at Pyro on this thread:
Coram Deo said...
Thanks for this concise, thoughtful and devastating expose of the postmodern mindset of the emergent church.
Thanks also for boiling the "emergent conversation" down to its bare essence which is nothing less than holding a skeptical view of the veracity of the scriptures.
If there's one thing I've learned in my life it's that a low degree of trust in the scriptures results in a lofty view of man and a high degree of trust in the scriptures results in a lofty view of God.
3:27 PM, April 06, 2007
Coram Deo said...
To echo DJP's post, (the 2nd on the thread above) the slope upon which the emergents are treading is indeed slippery.
In fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would concur wholeheartedly with each point DJP made:
"and for our salvation, [Christ] came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried"
Does such an affirmation make a Mormon a true born-again orthodox Christian in any sense of the word? Of course it doesn't.
The Mormons have redefined the meanings of those affirming words to fit within their corrupted and false theology.
Since the emergents are self-proclaimed "seekers" and "Christ-followers" then what rationale could they possibly advance for not following the Christ of the LDS or the Christ of the Watchtower Society?
I have to be frank here (not Frank Turk) and note that this sort of Jell-O theology is quite reminiscent of the "gay rights" advocates and apologists who defend their type of morality in the public arena.
Interviewer: "So why should homosexual rights and protections be recognized and enshrined in hate crimes legislation?"
Homosexual advocate: "Well, because you know we're discriminated against all the time. We don't have the same rights as other citizens, we're a minority and need minority protections against the bigotry and prejudice we face every day. Consenting adults shouldn't be allowed to be discriminated against under the law. We should have equal protection."
Interviewer: "Let me ask you, should these same types of rights be granted for polygamists? Do they deserve legal protection for their consensual relationships?"
Homosexual advocate: "Oh no, we're not for that. I'm not for that either, that's not our aim."
So why don't the emergents embrace the Jesus of the LDS, the Jesus of the JW's, the Jesus of Arius, or the Jesus of Islam?
What's wrong with those other Jesus figures in their theology? Oops, maybe that's the problem! What is their theology?
9:37 AM, April 07, 2007
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:42 AM
10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
I found this troubling article over at World Net Daily which discusses a new state law currently under review in Oregon that would vasty change the legal landscape in that state. This type of "thought crime" legislation was once the stuff of frightening Orwellian science-fiction, but in truth they are today being passed in state after state.
Friend, the day is coming when the unholy trinity of politics, science and false religion will move together in unison with singleness of purpose and in that day no creature can be secure.
From World Net Daily:
A plan being shoved down a fast track in the Oregon Legislature would give homosexuals a vast range of new state laws they could use to impose their moral perspective on Christians across the state, according to opponents who fear for their speech and religious expression rights.
Senate Bill 2, on its face, is written to enshrine in state law special protections for homosexuals by classifying them as a protected civil rights group. But hundreds of pastors – whose churches include tens of thousands of evangelical Christians – are horrified by what they see advancing virtually without opposition.
Continue reading this article here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:26 AM
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Phil Johnson unloads both barrels into the emergent nonsense over at Pyromaniacs in his article entitled "Glad you asked".
I posted a couple of comments after reviewing his post and the subsequent discussion thread:
Coram Deo said...
In reviewing this post I had a truly frightening thought flash across my mind. Two words: "Emergin' Spurgeon"...
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein would have nothing on such a postmodern "Calvi-stein"!
8:32 PM, April 03, 2007
Coram Deo said...
Assuming you are employing it: is it working?
First allow me to apologize in advance, because this comment is going to come across as rather harsh, but what kind of question is this: "Is it working?" IS IT WORKING?!?
What Phil advocated in his post was simply a distilled "go unto the world" preparation and application.
I ask you, have we as Christians slipped so far upon the Great Downgrade as to ask ourselves if preaching the Gospel is "working"?!? Are we actually to believe that such an offensive and absurd question is worthy to be considered as a matter of serious reflection?!?
How long, oh Lord?
8:52 PM, April 03, 2007
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:53 PM
Sunday, April 1, 2007
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)
In the last days many shall be as “clouds without water, carried about of winds.” And this is one of the special perils of these “perilous times.” The winds are let loose, and are now performing their awful work of tossing hither and thither these empty clouds.
Hence the instability that prevails. Men are “carried about with every wind of doctrine.” They are not “rooted and grounded in love;” and having never “tasted that the Lord is gracious,” nor rested their weary souls upon Him, they go about seeking they know not what. They want something that will fill them, but not going to the Divine fulness of the incarnate Word for it, they wander on in sadness of spirit, vainly trying to soothe their uneasy souls with every new doctrine or device that meets them in the way! All in vain. For what can be a substitute for God and His free love?
Amid all this instability, let us “stand fast in the faith.” Let us be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Let us beware of novelties in religion. Let us guard against fickleness of opinion and hastiness of decision. Satan will let loose his blasts and call up his storms; let us only moor our vessel firmer, and keep faster hold of the anchor, which is sure and steadfast, “and which entereth into that which is within the veil.” Thus, in patience shall we possess our souls, for “he that believeth doth not make haste.”
-Taken from Words of Peace and Welcome, 1851.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:02 AM