Humility rather than confidence is the apparel of security.
In the security of lives going well, we can often envisage ourselves acting supremely in future difficulties or suffering the present peril of others.
We should learn from Peter. Christ told Peter of his future denial of Him, and Peter argued that he would not fail Christ in His hour of need. When Peter was with Jesus (life going well), he was confident of his ability to handle the future.
What Jesus knew, and Peter failed to see, was that the future challenges to Peter’s faith would not happen in the security of the present. Peter’s faith would be challenged when Jesus was forcibly taken from Peter’s side, leaving Peter ever so alone. Also, Peter would be encircled by Christ haters, and the sun would have given way to the darkness of night. In that crucible of temptation, Peter would fail and weep over his pride.
Humility and trust are always more suitable than confident predictions.
“And again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’…And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:72, 75).
This is the title of a document that was produced in the spring of 2012 by Pastor Eric Hankins. It sets forth the beliefs of many Southern Baptists regarding critical points of God’s salvation plan. The signers of this document and many likeminded others reject Calvinism along with the label non-Calvinist; preferring to describe themselves as Traditionalists. The document caused quite a response among Calvinists.
The most recent issue of The Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry is comprised of a group of essays by supporters of the Traditional Statement. These essays explain the articles of the Traditional Statement more fully. I encourage you to read the essays. They will help you understand some serious problems with Calvinism and become familiar with a more biblical understanding of God’s plan of salvation.
I contributed the commentary on article five entitled The Regeneration of the Sinner.
Here is the link, http://www.baptistcenter.net/
Without love, we shall all hang.
Wrong is wrong and sin is sin. Neither love nor anything else can make a wrong right or a sin sinless, but love can hide sins. This Christian love is not blind to the sins and frailty of others, but neither does it require others to measure up before Christians are willing to accept them and sacrifice for their good.
Marriage can be a wonderful example of love’s ability to cover sins. We know our mate’s weaknesses better than anyone, and yet we love them, sacrifice for them, enjoy their companionship, and will quickly come to their defense if others attack their weaknesses.
Without the covering of love, relationships vanish and humans die of loneliness.
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Francis Schaeffer (1912 – 1984) was a Christian pastor and apologist. He is responsible for helping countless pastors and Christian leaders to think more broadly and deeply about God and our world. He considered himself an evangelist. The following is a timely quote by him from almost thirty years ago.
“Make no mistake. We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ . . . It is a conflict on the level of ideas between two fundamentally opposed views of truth and reality. It is a conflict on the level of actions between a complete moral perversion and chaos and God’s absolutes. But do we really believe that the part we play in the battle has consequences for whether or not men and women will spend eternity in hell? Or whether or not in this life people will live with meaning or meaninglessness? Or whether or not those who do live will live in a climate of moral perversion and degradation? Sadly, we must say that few in the evangelical world have acted as if these things are true. Rather than trumpet our accomplishments and revel in our growing numbers, it would be closer to the truth to admit that our response has been a disaster.”
 Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984), 31-32.
“Wall of separation” is the exact phrase used by Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, whereas “separation church and state” is the popular phraseology. My use of these phrases in this article should not be construed in any way as an endorsement of either agreeing with them or using them. I actually argue for Christians to disabuse ourselves from using them as a gloss of the First Amendment. For when it is so used, it is at best a tawdry and misleading replacement of the amendment’s beautiful words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I use it only because the article necessitates that I do.
In the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education case (1947 – 330 U.S.1), the Supreme Court applied the establishment clause to the states. It also imbued this guarantee with a firm Separationist reading. Justice Hugo Black’s words for the Everson majority proved a prophetic distillation of the establishment cases for the next four decades: “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another….In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and state.” (italics added) Read the rest of this entry »
God forgives sinners based upon the finished work of Christ when sinners repent and ask God to forgive them.
Can Christians do any less regardless how egregiously they believe they have been wronged?
One might seek to escape granting such forgiveness by saying, “Well, I am not God.” While it is certainly and eternally true that Christians are not God, we are to think and act like God (be godly).
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1).
If someone rejects the normalcy of homosexuality, he is summarily labeled as a homophobe. If a crime is committed against a homosexual, it is quickly attributed to homophobia. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, Chris Haynes presented a very helpful paper in the Round Table in Ethics that dealt with infanticide and euthanasia. A clear understanding of the sanctity of life is something every Christian needs to know in order to strengthen his own faith and be equipped to help others see God in the world and society. Chris’s paper is a great resource to that end.
Today longstanding shared presuppositions about reality continue to evanesce. We not only think about different things, but we think differently. The scientistic worldview that continues to expand legitimate science beyond its legitimate domain normalizes relativism. This relativism is not arrived at through philosophical reasoning, but rather by viewing life as either only understood or best understood by what science can tell us. Thus, each aspect of life, marriage, morals, child rearing, etc., are merely experiments, and as experiments, they are neither right nor wrong, but rather they either work or do not.
Christian apologist and evangelist Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) wrote similarly about the importance of this shift, “So this change in the concept of the way we come to knowledge and truth is the most crucial problem, as I understand it, facing Christianity today.”
 The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy, Book One: The God Who Is There, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990), 6.
This is the sixth and last part of a series of responses by Calvinists’ to my article on SBCToday (September 2013).1 The full title of the article is “Can Man Endowed with Libertarian Free Will Live Righteously Forever in Heaven?” You may also search this site for the article. The blogger’s comments are emboldened, followed by my response. Read the rest of this entry »