Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Group Blog Post

How Do You Spell Repentance?

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Serious Misnomer

In all of the discussion lately swirling around about the content of saving faith, I have noticed a phrase that keeps popping up: “disobedient brethren.” Now, just in case you may not be aware, let me brief you: Lou Martuneac uses this phrase in referring to some folks who hold a different understanding than he does as to the content of saving faith. He has a list of names of these disobedient brethren: Hodges, Wilkin, da Rosa (I don’t think he includes Myers anymore), Matthew. (I don’t think he knows Matthew’s surname.) The list seems very slightly fluid, (sometimes a name appearing one week and gone the next) but there is a firm core.

Both Lou and the group he opposes would probably both say that saving faith is “believing in Christ.” However, Antonio and Matthew allow for a very skeletal “requirement” of understanding who Christ is. Personally, I am not comfortable with how skeletal an understanding they think a convert may have of Jesus. I have discussed this at length with these brethren. I don’t see it their way. Yet, I don’t feel they are “disobedient.” In fact, I would say that there are being obedient to what they are convinced about and they have found their persuasion in the Bible. They argue for their position from the Bible.

There are certain views on Biblical concepts that I am convinced about. If someone else holds fast to his way of seeing these, who is to decide who is the disobedient one? This is a dilemna. Now, let me be clear, we are talking about brethren. So I am referring in this post to people that I am convinced are believers. To be sure of this, I do have certain truths that I must be sure the person is committed to or I would not count him a brother.

I am thinking right now of a wonderful man who just left our church because he could not go along with our dispensational statement of faith any longer, having been convinced of Covenant theology. I would never call him a disobedient brother! He has to be true to his convictions. I respect him. Something was spelled out in our doctrinal statement and he could not agree with it. This is a good indication that one may need to find a different congregation that one agrees with.

On the other hand, there has to be room for acceptable Christian disagreement, especially when we get into views about theory and scenario.

For example, in our church, there is no clear statement on the Calvinist thingy. Calvinists and non-Calvinists can both agree to the statement of faith, the way it is worded. I have been in discussions with my former pastor about predestination and the like. I have been very adamant that I do not view the Scriptures (that he sees as clearly teaching Calvinim) in the same way he does. He had given me leeway to be faithful to that which I hold. Wouldn’t it be awful if a pastor were to brand me a “disobedient sister” because I do not see what he sees about this "doctrinal nuance" ...about this disputable matter?? This would be quite ironic. While being faithful to what I think the Bible teaches, I would be branded “disobedient” for that.

In our personal friendships which are not in a church setting, I think the room for these disagreements can be a lot larger. But again, who is to decide who is disobedient and who is not?

I do realize that I could be accused of being irresolute for saying all of this, but I think if someone is able to defend their view from the Bible, and they are fully convinced that the Bible teaches what they are saying, having studied the Bible, then calling them disobedient is a serious misnomer. A contraire, they would be disobedient to the Scriptures if they were to just give in to Christian peer pressure to abandon what they see the Bible teaching… in favor of going along with what the rest of the brethren that are opposing them hold to.

Anyways, I did a search on the word disobedient and disobedience and it seems to me that it is always used in connection with someone who is a rebel against Christ, (an unbeliever) or a Christian living in blatant, bold and unapologetic sin or a Christian teaching others to live in blatant, bold and unapologetic sin. I don’t think Matthew or Antonio are disobedient brethren.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Interesting Lyrics

We sang this song in church Sunday to the tune of "There is a Fountain."
I thought it was really interesting. I imagine, knowing some of the background of Mr. Watts' theology might shed some skepticism on my love of a phrase or two in this song... because of what exactly Watts may mean by them. However, if I look at them as I see them biblically defined, it is a great song to me. It certainly is more engaging than some of the repetitious choruses that churches sometimes use. I really like hymns so much better.

O Help My Unbelief
by Isaac Watts

How sad our state by nature is!
Our sin, how deep it stains!
And Satan binds our captive minds
Fast in his slavish chains
But there's a voice of sov'reign grace,
Sounds from the sacred word:
"O, ye despairing sinners come,
And trust upon the Lord."

My soul obeys th' almighty call,
And runs to this relief
I would believe thy promise, Lord;
O help my unbelief!
To the dear fountain of thy blood,
Incarnate God, I fly;
Here let me wash my spotted soul,
From crimes of deepest dye.

Stretch out Thine arm, victorious King,
My reigning sins subdue;
Drive the old dragon from his seat,
With all his hellish crew.
A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On thy kind arms I fall;
Be thou my strength and righteousness,
My Jesus, and my all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another gem from the Liver and Onions blog

I saved this from the comment ssection of that blog a while ago.

First there was a quote from John MacArthur Jr.....

“Who qualifies then, in our discussion, as an infant or a child who, dying, is saved--who dying, instantly goes to heaven? Who are we talking about? Answer: those who have not reached sufficient, mature understanding in order to comprehend convincingly the issues of law and grace, sin and salvation....... It's not an age; it is a condition. From child to child, it varies, and, as I said, you have to include in this those who grow up mentally disadvantaged, mentally disabled, mentally retarded so as never to be able to have a sufficient, mature understanding and a convincingly comprehensive grasp of law and grace and sin and salvation. This is not an age; this is a condition. That's who we're talking about: people in that condition where they cannot, in a mature way, understand and comprehend convincingly these issues.”
Then a comment from someone going by the handle "wingfooted." I just love this comment:

Strangely enough, I agree with the above. But those mentioned above are not saved because God is “sovereign” or because they are “the elect”, but because God is perfectly “just”. Also, we serve a loving God. However, MacArthur says these little ones are saved by grace because of their “condition”. Now how does that line up with “unconditional election”? And the WCF, which also noted, states..“Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.”
I find it odd that God sovereignly elects to save those who are “INCAPABLE of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word” because of one condition, but chooses to “pass by” and “reprobate” millions upon millions of people, who due to their total depravity, (another condition) are INCAPABLE of believing the gospel. Why does one person who can’t believe get saved and another who can’t believe gets “passed by” and “reprobated”?

I say: Really!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Land of Reason

Rachel's Blog
Since I closed the comments section of the blogspot of Liver and Onions entitled "Crossless Call," a couple of posts below this, I told Rachel I would link to her blog. She wanted to continue on with the conversation that had been going on in those 350 comments.
SO - if you were engaged in the conversation in those comments, click over to Rachel's new place and continue.
(I do like the title of her new blog. Let's all hope we can be reasonable.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Not-so-super Wednesday

Wow, does anyone else feel a little down after seeing who the Republican nominee is going to be? I can almost see myself voting for Obama instead of John McCain. Then again, at least John McCain says he is pro-life, so probably not.

I just don't ever remember myself being so dissapointed about the candidate that I am going to vote for. I feel very "unexcited" - to put it mildly.

How did this happen?!?


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