Monday, January 29, 2007

The story of the dying man who was helped to get his dying wish of losing his virginity with the assitance of a church-run hospice has gotten plenty of press.

Wallis had hoped to form a relationship through which to experience sex, but it
just never happened. "I had hoped to form a relationship when I went to
university, but it didn't happen. I had to recognize that if was to experience
sex I would have to pay for it out of my savings. My mind was made up before I
discussed it with anyone else," Wallis said. "I found an advert from a sex
worker in a magazine for the disabled," Wallis said. "The initial contact was by
email and then by phone."

First, he hoped to develop a relationship though which to experience sex. Perhaps like a marriage? Or just an intro, handshake and exchange of names?

So he paid for a prostitute to fulfill his dying wish and this was OK with the hospice people? Good thing he didn't have child molestation or killing another person as his dying wish....
To Protect and Serve?

The Hill, the main news source of all things congressional, reports that anti-war protestors were allowed to spray paint graffiti on the steps of the Capitol Building. From the way it is written, the police commanders were concerned that confronting them would cause a ruckus, which is exactly what the anarchists wanted. So now we don't stop criminals because doing so might cause a disturbance? Cops on the scene were "livid" as reported by the Hill....

Anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint on part of the west front
steps of the United States Capitol building after police wereordered to break
their security line by their leadership, two sources toldThe Hill.

According to the sources, police officers were livid when theywere told
to fall back by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Phillip Morse andDeputy Chief
Daniel Nichols. "They were the commanders on the scene," one source
said,who requested anonymity. "It was disgusting."

Nice job by the police commanders. Whatever their real or imagined beef, the Capitol Building belongs to all America cititizens and is not a billboard for anarchists. Maybe they can get haircuts and jobs so they can really understand what is going on in America.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

incrediblog!: Debate Help for Blogosphere Arminians

incrediblog!: Debate Help for Blogosphere Arminians

This was funny stuff. I wonder is Jon Modene got some of his material from this list? I especially like this one...

19. "Calvinists don't want to preach the Gospel too much, for fear that some people who are destined to go to hell might actually believe and wind up in heaven."

The really sad thing is that many of these "arguments" against Calvinism show up all the time, and pass for rational debate.

Reformation Truth: The Worst Anti Calvinist Sermon Ever Preached

Reformation Truth: The Worst Anti Calvinist Sermon Ever Preached

Pastor Modene has responded to a letter from Stephen Atkins on the Reformation Truth blog. He has also posted a reply of his own, as have I on his page. I certainly hope that Pastor Modene will stick around and try to defend his positions, and explain his indefensible attacks on fellow Christians from a pulpit. As a pastor, I have been entrusted with a flock to tend and feed, and being a responsible shepherd does not entail using the pulpit to carry out a personal vendetta against those who disagree with me.

Monday, January 22, 2007

In light of John Modene's sermon, I emailed the Sermon Audio link to Jim Bublitz of Old Truth. He just sent me back an article titled Were the Anabaptists Persecuted For Their Faith? It is kind of an article of faith among Arminian Baptist to claim that they are descendents of the Anabaptists and that much of their hatred of Calvinism stems from the alleged persecution of Anabaptists by Magisterial Reformers. This article shows that the truth of that may not be what we have heard so below...

...But these few examples should be sufficient to explain why Anabaptists
were opposed. It was not that they were being persecuted for taking the
Scriptures seriously, but because they were violent revolutionaries subverting
the entire social order and guilty of the deaths of many thousands of innocent

Those who would claim that the Anabaptists have changed dramatically
since that time, should recognise that it is for that very reason therefore
unfair to portray the Reformers as supporting the persecution of poor innocent
Anabaptists, as that is plainly not the case. Yes, the Anabaptists have changed
since. So we should not continue to propagate the false accusation that
Reformers were persecuting pacifist Anabaptists who were seeking to mind their
own business. The Anabaptists that were opposed by the Reformers in the 1520's
and 1530's were violent revolutionaries guilty of abominable atrocities and

Pretty thought provoking stuff.
Whilst wandering the weird, wide-eyed world of Arminians (starting at Ergun Caner's web page/monument to self-absorption. Need a few more pics of yourself looking thoughtful Dr. Caner?) I came across the faith & beliefs statement of the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists. I can't imagine this is a huge organization, but a few things are telling in their belief statement...

  • The Sinfulness of Man: Man was created innocent, but by disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. His posterity, therefore inherit a fallen nature of such tendencies that all who come to years of accountability, sin and become guilty before God.
  • Election: God determines from the beginning to save all who would comply with the conditions of salvation. Hence by faith in Christ men become His elect. (i.e God loves us because we loved Him first!)
  • Freedom of the Will: The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Spirit, or to resist them and perish.

Note the reference to our "tendency" to sin. You can't say we are totally given over to sin, dead in our sin, because that negates the whole idea of being a "Free Will" Baptist. There is a conspicuous lack of Scripture proofs in this listing, not sure why that is!
One more thing from a "dirty, rotten, flaming, lying, hypocritical dog" of a Reformed Baptist on John Modene's "sermon". He claims that our use of the 1689 LBCF is leading us to Rome. Anyone want to bet that he has never read a word from the 1689 Confession? Otherwise, how could he reconcille that absolutely incredible claim with this?

2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real
sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a
memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for
all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So
that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable,
injurious to Christ's own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of
the elect. ( Hebrews 9:25, 26, 28; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:26, 27 )

The mass is a "popish abomination" Yeah, that is leading us back towards Rome! Where is the pope so I can kiss his ring!

This is an unfortunate sermon all around. Dr. James White flagged this on his webpage and I hope he will have the time to break this down, error by error. I know he has a lot of confused people to deal with, but this is so out of whack that it bears correcting. I would think he was trying to be funny if I had not heard the same guy preach the message that R.C. Sproul is a heretic.

Apparently Pastor John Modene has sole authority to declare who is or who is not an "authentic" Baptist. Here is a hint, his church is authentic and anyone who disagrees must not be. I guess Spurgeon is not an authentic Baptist. I guess Bunyan was not an authentic Baptist.

His historical view is goofy as can be. Apparently he thinks that the name Reformed Baptist is an indication of a "new gospel". He seems to think that these teachings are "new" to Baptist circles, when in fact they are the historic Baptist traditional teachings. The 1689 London Baptist Confession precedes Pastor Modene's church by about four hundred years, but I guess they were not authentic Baptists. He has apparently had a whole gallon of the Ergun Caner Kool-Aid. His sermon is all over the place, painting with the same broad brush both Reformed Baptist churches and seeker-friendly churches. How he can say that our creeds are all over the place when we hold to the same confessions that we have held since the 1600's. Now which one is it, are we heretics because we hold to 400 year old confessions or because we are are constantly changing? It can't be both. He thinks that Reformed Baptist are "moving towards Rome". Are you kidding me? He is just all over the place.

Which is more important, what the Bible says in the original languages or which version of the Bible we preach from? According to Pastor John Modene, if you don't use the same English translation every single time you preach, you are somehow heretical (he does know that Paul didn't speak Elizabethan English, right?)

I love how he talks about how great George Whitefield and B.B. Warfield are, perhaps not aware that they are both solid Calvinists. Their's was "a solid Gospel" but that same Gospel today is a "new" Gospel. He rails against the Westminster Confession on the one hand and yet his "solid" guy B.B. Warfield is described as thus in Wikipedia:

Underpinning much of Warfield's theology was his adherence to Calvinism as espoused by the Westminster Confession of Faith.

What I found funny was that while he was crowing about following the Bible (including the tired old claim "I ain't a Calvnist or Arminian, I am a Biblicist!"), he made no Biblical arguments against Reformed theology. Probably because he hasn't even the vaguest notion of what Reformed theology really says. He was so all over the place that it wasn't even remotely coherent. I guess that is because I am just a "rotten, dirty, lying hypocrite" according to John Modene.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

This is what happens when you selectively read your Bible (or at least pretend to). The article refers to Elijah and the prophets of Baal to urge us to interfaith evangelism. Read how they spin this...
>>>(How Does God Speak in a Pluralistic Society?)
The best answer that I can give is to say that God speaks to everyone through the voice of conscience. The image that comes immediately to my mind is of the Elijah, the Hebrew prophet of the most High God who, almost immediately after single handedly defeating 450 prophets of a lesser god in a contest to demonstrate the power to summon divine fire from the heavens, fled in terror from the wrath of Israelite Queen Jezebel and hid in a cave. While he was in the cave there came a mighty wind and an earthquake and a fire but the scriptures say the Lord was not in the wind or in the earthquake or in the fire, but rather the Lord spoke to him in the sound of a gentle blowing or as the King James Version of the Bible calls it, a still, small voice.<<<

God speaks to everyone through the voice of conscience? Silly me, I thought He spoke through His Word. Of course what they leave is out is key. After Elijah showed the prophets to be followers of a false god, i.e. not the God of the Bible, he didn't immediately flee. He first....

1Kings 18:39-40 39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces
and said, "The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God." 40 And Elijah said to
them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape." And they seized
them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them

Not quite the picture of ecumenism they painted is it? Elijah didn't try to understand the prophets of Baal, he slaughtered them. I am not advocating that (probably), but this is what happens when you only read the parts of the Bible you find palatable. I guess I shouldn't expect anything different from a webpage called the "Mainstream Baptist" (in other words, the Liberal Baptist. Why do they hide from that word I wonder?)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

S.D.G.: Rise, the Woman's Conquering Seed

S.D.G.: Rise, the Woman's Conquering Seed

What is this? A Baptist in rural, northern Wisconsin, who is a Calvinist and homeschools his eight kids? When we lived in West Bend, WI everyone I knew was either Roman Catholic or Lutheran. I didn't know they even allowed Baptists in the land of Cheese and Sausage! Seriously, it is nice to see someone else in a similar setting with similar beliefs. I feel kind of alone a lot, as most fellow pastors where we live are either moderately liberal "mainstream" denomination types or the "independent-fundamental-Bible believing-KJV only" type of fundamentalists.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Theological Meditations: God Begging?

Theological Meditations: God Begging?

I ran across this article while browsing the blog of a guy who wrote on the Pyromaniacs site. His blog is pretty informative, lots and lots of quotes from olde tyme calvinists. I guess I just didn't find his argument to be that compelling. This whole kerfuffle over the Pastor Chan video seems overwrought on all sides. Just because God takes no pleasure in the damnation of sinners, it does not immediately follow that He is begging us on bended knee to please, pretty please come to Him. The Pastor Chan video is generally OK, although a bit too cute for my tastes, but when he started getting into the "He is crazy about you" and "begging" stuff, he started to lose me. It seemed like on a number of occassions he got right up to the bare truth of the Gospel, and in the face of it he blinked. As far as the begging stuff, this is where I have a problem with that.

- God is sovereign.
- God has perfect foreknowledge because He has decreed that all things that will happen will come to pass.
- All of mankind is fallen, hopelessly lost in sin, and stands condemned.
- But as fallen as mankind is, God elected some to be saved.
- As part of that plan, He provided His Son to atone for the sins of His elect.
- None of His elect will fail to come to Him.
- None who are not of the elect will come to Him.
- If that all is true, why would God beg us to come to Him?

When God changed my heart of stone to a heart of flesh, and I saw myself as God sees me, as depraved, lost and worthy of hell, I realized what grace truly is. It is not a blanket offer to anyone who He can beg to accept His offer. It is a regeneration of a dead man, reborn, regenerated. It is God, in His mercy, saving an unworthy soul for His glory. He chose me, I did not choose Him, because until He regenrated me, I rejected Him. After He regenerated me, I begged Him for mercy, not the other way around. Making a beggar of God seeks to drag Him down. Anyway, I am rambling. I just don't see the Sovereign Lord of the Universe begging His poor creatures to accept the offer of salvation that He alone has made available.
Another interesting discussion on Old Truth, this one on why worry about poor preaching if the elect are going to be saved anyway? I like Jim B.'s explanation in this entry. Also of interest is the comment from "Sarah" arbitrarily discarding the centuries old doctrine of election in favor of a "loving God" and "biblical free will". Of course there is no biblical backing for this stance, but why quote Holy Writ when you can appeal to human sentimentality and emotion?

Monday, January 15, 2007

One of my new favorite blogs, Old Truth, has reprinted an article on 5 Puritan Evangelism Lessons for Today's Churches. I think I do a decent job following all five of these each Sunday in my morning sermon, probably not as well as I would like with my Sunday evening sermon. I am a firm believer that every sermon should at some point mention the Garden and the Cross. The Garden of Eden to demonstrate Mankind's fall and the Cross to demonstrate God's gracious redemption of His people. Without a reminder of the utterly fallen nature of man, the holiness of God and the eternal penalty for sin, the cross loses all of it's power and becomes a nice story about morality, rather than the life changing event it should be. I sometimes worry I sound repetitive in the pulpit, but then I read stuff like this and it reinforces those things that I think are important in preaching God's Word.

BTW, I felt rotten yesterday, tired and sore throat, etc and I think I gave a more powerful, God honoring sermon than normal. I think I preach better when I am sick, because I am so much more reliant of the Holy Spirit and so much less reliant on my own oratorical skills. If I could only remember that when I feel good!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

This is a great post on the reality of homeschool. People seem to assume that if you homeschool your kids, you just sit around all day, but it is a full-time job along with being a full-time mother and in my wife's case, being the pastor's wife. Believe it or not, just because you don't have a "job" doesn't mean you aren't busy!
I don't get stuff like this, I really don't. Being a recent transplant from Cincinnati, I still read the news from there. Last year Cinci set a new record for murders in one year, hardly something to celebrate. Then you read an article like this and it is ssadly too apparent why this happens. This guy, "Bonafide Hustla" is a thug and a murderer, a man who killed someone in an attempt to steal his car. The man is a career criminal and will spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars. But he is just misunderstood apparently...

Donna Batson, Webster’s aunt, was distressed as the Pursley family spoke.

“I think this is an unfair situation,” she said. “You have judged my nephew by the
tattoo on his head. Maybe it was the wrong choice to put that on his head, but
he is not an animal, he is not a monster.”

What is unfair is that the man he killed, Robby Pursely, was murdered in cold blood. I pray someone in prison will get the chance to declare the Gospel to this guy. If there was ever anyone in need of Christ, it is this guy. If there was anyone who could only be saved by the power of a Sovereign God, it is the Bonfide Hustla.
I cam across this blog entry on a page that should make you nervous from the name alone, . Silly me, but I wasn't aware that the church is supposed to be relevant, I thought it was supposed to be God honoring and Gospel proclaiming. Of the churches I recognize on the list, most are of the Rick Warren/Bill Hybels/T.D. Jakes types. Any church that is held up as "innovative" by a website promoting making the church relevant is likely one you should stay far, far away from. (HT: Old Truth)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Yahoo! news posted this article morning, entitled "Minimum-wage hike still not enough for families" What is enough? Is there any dumber issue, any bigger strawman than the minimum wage? I live in a pretty rural area, and I don't think you could get a minimum wage job if you wanted one.

More importantly than the economics of it, when did it become the resonsibility of the Federal government to ensure a particular wage for anyone? Why in the world is the government involved in this? This is another example of the fuzzy headed thinking that has led to the "War on Poverty" that has managed to impoverish so many Americans and ship so many jobs overseas.

Monday, January 01, 2007

If you wonder why I named my blog Tip O' The Mitt Calvinist....
We live at the northern end of Emmet County (the white county on the map of Michigan to the right). The area is often called the Tip of the Mitt because the Lower Penninsula of Michigan is sorta shaped like a mitten and we are right at the tip. As far as the Calvinst part goes, that should be self-explanatory.

The whole "Can evangelicals/will evangelicals support Mitt Romney for President" debate seems to be missing the point. There seems to be an awful lot of evangelicals who are willing to ignore differences between mormon and Christian doctrine. Most of the people I have read seem so afraid of a democrat as President that they will ignore the fact that a) mormons are NOT Christians and b) that members of their church tell Christians that they belong to a false religion and try to proselytize them into a cult. Mormons don't believe in the same god as Christians anymore than Muslims believe in the same god as evangelicals. At least muslims are monotheistic, whereas mormons are a polytheistic bunch. Would I vote for Mitt Romney? Not in a primary, but if it came down to Mitt versus Hillary or Obama I probably would. I just wish the co-belligerent evangelical types would quit barking whenever anyone brings up the topic of whether evangelicals can/should support a member of a non-Christian cult for President.

I guess my point is this: we should not gloss over serious issues in our zeal to keep the White House in Republican hands.