Wednesday, February 28, 2007

John MacArthur has a simply excellent post on Pulpit Magazine titled God's Gracious Choice: Election. In this very short post, Dr. MacArthur lays out the basics of the doctrine of unconditional election.

Despite the clarity and rock solid Biblical foundation that Dr. MacArthur presents, as invariably is the case, someone comes out and attacks calvinism. The individual in question, one J.M. Gilbert, Jr. makes the following claim...

Mr. MacArthur,
I have enjoyed your teachings on many subjects for some time now, but cannot agree with your calvinistic views…God ordained the plan, not the individual (Eph. 3:10-11). God’s plan is simple…based upon hearing the gospel, faith in Christ is produced in the heart of the sinner. Paul wrote, “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). This true faith leads to repentance, confession and baptism for the remission of all past sins (Acts 2:38). At the point of baptism, sin is forgiven and the Lord adds the baptized believer to His church (Acts 2:47). The blood of Christ is contacted in baptism, not by faith alone). It then becomes our task to build up the Lord’s body (church).
This is the plan by which God saves mankind.
Keep warning of the dangers of liberalism, but it is my prayer that you leave calvinism.

J.M. Gilbert, Jr.

No thought is given as to why some respond in faith to the Gospel call and others do not. Baptismal regeneration is suggested. A distortion of the Biblical doctrine of election as being merely a foreordained plan, meaning that God had a plan for redemption but apparently none were actually saved by the cross, really only the possibility of salvation was made indiscriminately available, meaning that potentially everyone could be saved or no one could be saved. This is synergism at it's worst, man acting as a partner in his own salvation.

The doctrine of election is a hard one to grasp and swallow, but that does not make it less true.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Drinking the Mitt Romney Kool-Aid

The editors of National Review, normally a sane and sober bunch, have jumped on the Mitt Romney bandwagon with an article titled Romney on the Right.

Here is the problem with Romney...

- He is a RINO, and worse reminds me of Clinton (Bill) with his winning smile, endearing personality and ability to change his heartfelt convictions at the drop of a hat. The editors wrote the following:

Conservatives should hope Romney’s campaign does not fizzle. For three decades, candidates who have moved to the right in Republican presidential primaries have been rewarded rather than punished. Conservative openness to converts has made it possible for moderate Republicans who found themselves moving rightward to prosper, and given ideologically malleable Republicans an incentive to adopt conservative positions. In both cases, the effect was to facilitate the country’s rightward move.

I guess my problem with that is this, do we want another guy in the White House who changes his positions whenever expedient? The problem with converts to Conservatism is that they rarely stay that way in office. NR points out that Bush moved to the Right in the primaries, but as almost any honest conservative will say, we are disappointed in his spending habits which more resemble a Democrat.

- The second issue is that he is a mormon, and that will alienate the more serious Christian voters and while we certainly won't vote for Hillary or Obama, we may just stay home in disgust or worse apathy. I hate to think of the turnout in the election that features a battle between a hard-core liberal and a limp-wristed Republican.

What we need is not to settle for a non-Christian, uncredentialed conservative that we HOPE will do the right things (no pun intended) in office, but a legitimate Christian conservative who doesn't have to change his positions in the primary to appeal to conservative voters, because he is already there. The problem is I don't know who that is yet.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Pyromaniacs: Sectarianism and Separation

Pyromaniacs: Sectarianism and Separation

Good stuff on Pyromaniacs. As always the comments are more interesting than the post itself. Not that the post itself is boring, quite the contrary, but the comments always bring out a few people who go way far afield into topics that are only marginally related.

Unity is a big issue, one that cults and catholics beat us up on and very few people have much of a response to. My church is one of three Baptist churches on a stretch of US-31 in northern Michigan of about 6-7 miles. That may seem OK but when you realize how few people are along that stretch, it seems odd that we have so many Baptist churches per capita. Ours is a fairly traditional SBC church, one is a fundamental, KJV-only church and one used to be and now is kind of a modernistic Baptist church that de-emphasizes it's baptistic nature. It would be a lot easier and more efficient if we all just met together, but there is too much distance from one end to the other for that to happen. The real problem, in my humble opinion, is that we focus too much on the church building, organizations and denominations, and too little on the church itself. Virtually every church contains some mixture of believers and unbelievers. I think even the most conservative, orthodox reformed baptist, elder led, church discipline, all five points of Calvinism church still has unbelievers in their midst and many far left, women pastor, scripture denier high church, mainline protestant churches still have believers in their midst. The only church composed entirely of born agains believers is the invisible one.

Reformed Baptist Thinker: Beating Up on the Mormons

Reformed Baptist Thinker: Beating Up on the Mormons

There is an interesting piece on Meridian Magazine, an online journal for mormons. The cries of persecution have started in earnest, as how dare anyone question mormon beliefs?

I found this quote from James Talmadge interesting...

At the beginning of the afternoon session, someone made a motion that Dr. Talmage be granted another five minutes. He quoted from the Articles of Faith to show that he was a Christian in the strict sense of the word. (He had published his monumental work Jesus the Christ just four years previously.) “Again came a torrent of hisses and scorn,” he said. “As I passed along the aisle, men and women shrank away lest they be contaminated by propinquity to a Mormon.”

What is so ironic is that the 13 Articles of Faith contain virtually none of the distinctives of mormon theology. See below...

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon this the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Note what is missing here is reference to the ultimate goal of mormonism, exaltation, i.e. becoming a god. The mormon spin machine is on full blast. What is pertinent is this: if you wouldn't vote for an muslim under any circumstances, the same could hold true for mormons. In fact depsite the blasphemous use of our Lord's name in the title of their church, mormons with their polytheistic faith have less in common with orthodox Christians than muslims do.

(HT: Reformed Baptist Thinker)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

James White debating Spong on Homosexuality and the Bible

This is funny stuff! This is what happens when people, like my anonyous friend in the previous post, try to argue about the Bible when you don't read the Word.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Contend Earnestly: Refutation of Dr. John Goetsch against Calvinism - Intro

A Refutation of Dr. John Goetsch against Calvinism - Intro

Seth McBee has started a series refuting the absolutely atrocious editorial by John Goetsch of West Coast Baptist College. I was hoping someone would call this guy out on his disingenuous attacks on Christians, especially since he is either woefully uniformed or blatantly ignoring the truth. Either way, it is pretty unbecoming of a man that is a Vice-President of a Christian college...
More on the topic of homosexuality and Christianity...

Dr. Albert Mohler comments here on an article in the Guardian of London. A guy named Theo Hobsob makes the claim in his editorial A Pink Reformation that the Christian stance against homosexuality is destroying the church

So the issue of homosexuality has the strange power to turn the moral tables. The traditional moralist is subject to accusations of immorality. And this inversion is doing terrible damage to the Christian churches.

This of course ignores the Biblical promise that Christ's church will always stand, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, or the wrath of the sodomites for that matter.

Dr. Mohler makes this sobering statement...

The church may well lose this debate within the culture, and thus find itself suffering what the world sees as a credibility crisis, but it cannot abandon the Scriptures or deny its Lord. Scriptural credibility is infinitely more important than cultural credibility.

Too many in the church find cultural acceptance more important than Biblical fidelity. Better to lose battles in the culture war than losing the culture war because we surrendered. Christianity cannot become a Vichy France in this war.
See, I was right!

Research links vasectomy with higher dementia risk

This vindicates what I keep telling my wife!

Monday, February 12, 2007

CAMPONTHIS: "Mother Nature's" Got a Father

CAMPONTHIS: "Mother Nature's" Got a Father

In light of the comments below, I though that this piece from Steve Camp was appropriate. God is the Sovereign over the universe and mankind's feeble attempts to control nature are laughable. The very idea that God could create the world but man could destroy it flies in the face of Scripture.

By the way, where are all the global warming pundits the last few weeks, now that it is really cold? I suppose they are in upstate New York explaining how it is President Bush's fault that they god twelve feet of snow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This "editorial" is a prime example of what happens when sports writers try to pontificate on social issues (as evidenced by Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy, whenever he writes about politics). The writer, Jeff Pearlman, throws this out there:

In many ways, it'd be overly simplistic to merely blame the athletes
without searching a bit deeper. For many African-Americans, a disapproval of
homosexuality comes with the racial territory. Being gay is looked upon as
something ... weird. Something ... just not right. It stems from grandpa. And
grandpa's grandpa. As rapper Kanye West noted last year, it's hypocritical for
African-Americans to complain about bigotry when they apply their own form to
others. From a young age, West noted, you're taught that gays aren't normal.
Aren't righteous. It's not an easy cycle to snap.

Personally, I have a much harder time grasping the locker-room Bible
thumpers; those myriad competitors who attend daily chapel, speak of love and
outreach and togetherness – then damn gays to an eternity of hell. I've rarely
heard a born-again Christian athlete openly complain about a teammate's vulgar
language, or a teammate's blowing off autograph seekers, or a teammate's
cheating by taking steroids. Factually, never has a born-again ballplayer
refused to play with someone because he committed infidelity. But I promise you
– in the spirit of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese – that when the first
active athlete does come out, there will be trade demands from devout

Using Kanye West as your moral baromter? I love that he throws in a Jackie Robinson reference there. I wonder what Mr. Robinson would say to the idea that his struggle to overcome racism in Major League baseball is analogous to homosexual "rights"? Not only is Mr. Pearlman guilty of making huge leaps to link two disparate issues, he is clearly ignorant of even the most basic of Biblical knowledge. Hint, Christian atheletes don't condemn anyone to hell, our own sinful nature does unless atoned for by Christ.

Perhaps the reason that homosexuality has always been looked at as an aberration is that it is just that, an unnatural and disordered activity. Perhaps it makes people uncomfortable because it is something that SHOULD make people uncomfortable. Western civilization has recognized the inherent disordered nature of homosexuality for thousands of years. It is not a sign that we have progressed by our slow embrace of homosexuality, it is a sign of moral laxness and intellectual laziness.

Mr. Pearlman is correct that more devout Christians need to speak out against other forms of immoral behavior in sports, but that shortcoming does not mean that their criticism of homosexuality is wrong, just incomplete. I imagine that he has never taken the time to sit and seriously discuss just what the root of Biblical condemnation of homosexuality stems from, otherwise he would recognize that it is not something spoken of in “obscure” passages but a theme that runs throughout the Bible.

It is nice to see that Mr. Pearlman feels free to indulge himself in the only acceptable form of bigotry in America, at least among the pseudo-intellectual elites, unreasonable disdain and outright hatred of Christian in particular, and anyone who holds strongly to a faith system in general. Whenever an writer strays from writing about sports and gets into political or social commentary, they invariably come across like little kids trying to act like grown-ups. Stick to sports Mr. Pearlman and quit embarrassing yourself.
This is one of the most powerful sermons I have every heard, one that grabs hold of the text and holds on for dear life, and one of the most difficult texts to preach there is, Leviticus 10, the death of the sons of Aaron. It is preached by R.C. Sproul as part of a series of talks given at Piper's Pastor's Conference. If this is typical of the talks given, I can't wait to hear the rest! I wonder how many preachers would find this to be a good sermon? It is a sermon that focuses on the Holiness and Justice of God Almighty. It is not full of cutesy stories and anecdotes, not full of emotional driven appeals to get people to "make a decision". It is a sermon that sets out the Holiness of God and lays bare of sinfulness before Him. There is far to little of that coming from pulpits today, a condemnation on many a preacher who is too timid to preach that sort of message and on many a Christian whose ears seek tickling and wants to hear nothing about God except how much He loves them. God bring us repentance, revive our spirits, change our hearts. Remind your people of your wrath, so that they may understand just how gracious the sacrifice of your Son truly was.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The newest spin from homosexual activists is that school kids must be "educated" about homosexuality to prevent bullying. The insufferable Bill O'Reilly ran a segment about a gay-themed vieo being shown to 3rd grade elementary aged kids, the better to start the indoctrination that an inherently disordered lifestyle is no different than a normal heterosexual lifestyle. Now, a recent Snickers Super Bowl ad showing two burly manly men accidently kissing and the two men being revolted by it is deemed "homophobic" and, you guessed it, leading directly to bullying on schoolyards...

"This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men
kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and
lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country," Human Rights
Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

Of course the Masterfoods company, as reported on Yahoo! News, immediately capitulated and pulled the ad. From what I heard from those who watched the Super Bowl was that it was one of the few decent ads. But we dare not offend that important candy bar eating demographic of homosexuals!