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

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Bought a Dead Christmas Tree

(James 2:17-20)
I ventured into Lowes home improvement store Saturday and saw lots of Christmas trees. As I looked around, I noted that there are about three options for the Christmas tree:

1. Lowes had small living potted evergreen trees, about 3.5 feet high. I think this is a good idea… in a way. You wouldn’t be able to hang a lot of ornaments on it and it would probably look a bit like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree sitting in your living room… but at least you could plant it in the yard when spring comes and have something to show for your money.

We love evergreens. Here is a picture of my husband John in our front yard. Perhaps you can see the three spruce trees there. We planted all of them the year we moved in – they were each about 24 inches high. What a wonder to watch them grow. We realize that eventually we will have to remove two of them because of space considerations in lieu of their future massive size .

What we see is fed by what we don’t see, the root system of the tree. I read once that the height of the tree is matched by the depth of the roots. IOW, as high as the tree is above the ground, it is just as deep as that below the ground with its root system. The roots aren’t seen, but they are the lifeline of the tree. A tree can’t live for long once it is cut off from the roots and the soil can no longer feed it.

2. Lowe’s doesn’t sell “fresh-cut” Christmas trees.

3. They also sell dead Christmas trees in boxes. These trees are made of plastic and metal and you put them together like some sort of paint-by-numbers puzzle. They last for years! They never need to be watered and they don’t lose their needles. What an invention! I can certainly see an advantage to them. I even bought one for our home, but I must admit, there are some definite drawbacks to the dead Christmas tree. They require a larger initial investment than the first two options. You don’t have the tradition of going out to the farm and cutting the tree in the night air under the moonlight with your family. Most unfortunately, they don’t have the nice aroma of the fresh-cut trees that we had in our home when I grew up. I suppose it’s because… they’re dead Christmas trees.

Alright, you’re probably seeing through my chatter. These trees really aren’t dead. They’re FAKE!

Dead trees are altogether different animals than fake trees.

Let's think about how a tree gets to this state of being a dead Christmas tree. A “fresh-cut” tree is always on its way to becoming a dead Christmas tree. A “fresh-cut” tree has no way of receiving the necessary nutrients and so it withers and dies in relatively short period of time. A fake Christmas tree, however, really isn’t a tree at all, so to call it dead is putting it in the wrong category altogether. Wasn’t that silly for me to say I bought a dead Christmas tree in a box? Of course it was.

On the flip side (and more to the point of my underlying thoughts this weekend), to call a dead tree a fake tree would be a terrible misnomer as well. A dead tree really is a tree. It was once living but as it continues in its cut-off or diseased or starved or thirsty state, it becomes unrecognizable as a tree. But it was a real, living tree... because that is the only way it could find its way to being a real, dead tree! It was alive and then it ceased to be lively. It was never a fake tree! It really and truly is a tree, but sadly, it’s a dead tree.

Fake and dead are not the same at all.

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58 Comments:

  • Excellent theological point.

    My family have always used a fake tree.

    Did you know in the late 18th century in Britain, there was a fad for planting dead trees in gardens? Some people got a bit obsessed with the bleak gothic look.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 11/17/2008 9:57 AM  

  • OKay... Which one is your husband, John? The one in front of the windows or the obsessive-compulsive workaholic washing out the garbage can?

    Hi Matthew,
    Congratulations on your new job!

    In His abundance,
    John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 11/17/2008 10:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Great analogy!
    If my faith is dead then it was alive at one time. If my faith is fake then it was always fake.

    Is James trying to convince the fakes to be better fakes?

    And if a dead tree withers away and a fake tree keeps looking the same (a wolf in sheeps clothing) then could that explain why Jesus told those who did many things in His name in Matthew 7 to depart from Him He never knew them? They still looked like sheep, like a fake tree looks like a tree.

    By Blogger Kris, at 11/17/2008 2:35 PM  

  • Rose, I know it sounds incredible, but I've been thinking about real trees, fake trees, and dead trees all weekend! I really enjoy your articles. Always so timely too! You are a blessing.

    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at 11/17/2008 2:44 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/17/2008 7:40 PM  

  • faith without works is still faith

    as

    a bicycle without a rider is still a bicycle

    and

    a car without gas is still a car

    Works are the animating factor of faith. They are what give faith vibrance. They make faith go!

    A bicycle without a rider is still a bicycle: it just ain't going anywhere. It is useless without a rider.

    A car without gas is still a car: it just ain't going anywhere. It is useless without gas.

    Faith without works is still faith: it just ain't going anywhere. It is useless without works.

    Faith without works is as useless as telling a hungry person, "Be fed" and a naked person, "Be clothed".

    A car without gas, a bicycle without a rider, and faith without works is profitless. They of zero practical worth and value.

    One may have faith that a proper diet and reasonable exercise may prevent the death dealing consequences of heart disease. But until one adds works to that faith, one is not protected against the death dealing consequences of heart disease.

    One may have faith in essential Christian doctrine, the main tenets of the gospel, and the saving message. But until one adds works to that faith, one is not protected against the death dealing consequences of sin and the needy are not benefitted.

    A faith that works temporally saves both the worker (from the deadly consequences of sin -- see James 1:15) and the recipient of the worker's actions.

    Enjoyed your post, Rose. Clever analogy.

    Your fg friend,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/17/2008 7:41 PM  

  • Rose, what a GREAT illustration. I loved it!!!

    You sure live in a beautiful neighborhood. Your trees are something to behold and enjoy!!!

    Thanks for the great post!!!

    Your friend because of Jesus,
    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at 11/17/2008 9:18 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Very good example!!!

    I liked the last message I heard by Zane on James showing that the Justification by works there had to do with specific works Abraham and Rahab had done before men, in fact it lists them.. He went on to explain James is not talking about life style which most L/S read into James. And faith even though it is in the heart in order for it to be justification before men the works must be visible. It would be easy to see the works in Abraham’s life but we know very little about Rahab except for the fact she was justified by her works on that one occasion.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/17/2008 10:39 PM  

  • Matthew, did I make a theological point? I thought I was just talking about fake and dead trees. ;~)

    Those gardens sound dreadful!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:11 AM  

  • John,
    I read your comment and I was not sure what other person was in the picture. I imagined that one of the kids was standing in the window or soemthing. Then I looked and hahahaha! I forgot about my scarecrow!

    You a fuunny man.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:12 AM  

  • Hi Kris,
    Welcome back. I hope you are doing well.

    Your question really puts the kabosh on the popular understanding of this verse. Your question is brillaint!

    Is James trying to convince the fakes to be better fakes?


    yes yes yes! Works make unbelievers look like the real Christian in many cases. If you don't know someone weel and watch them do these "Christian deeds of faith" you can imagine that they are a believer very easily. You here testimonies like this from time to time. James is telling the real thingers to start looking like it. How else will anyone know you have faith unless they see you working it out?

    Good comment. thanks

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:16 AM  

  • Gary,
    Thanks. That is interesting that you would be thinking about these things too.

    I am glad you enjoy the blog.

    I wish Mark would come on over and read this post.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:17 AM  

  • Antonio!
    Thanks for the visit. Your list of comparables is very helpful as well. I think of all the things you have written on the internet, your James series was the best. I think some day you should ocntinue it! IMHO!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:19 AM  

  • Hi Diane :~)
    Thank you for coming over. We do love our place. We are the last house on a dead end so our children enjoy playing in the street. :~)
    The leaves kill us though. The raking is very tiring and time consuming. The back yard is full of tall trees. We are finally done with them for the year though. Thankfully.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:21 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,
    I did get ZH commentary on James and it is in my pile of books I want to read. :~)

    Thanks for visiting :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 11:22 AM  

  • That was very good Rose! You nailed it right on the head.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/18/2008 12:07 PM  

  • Thank you, my "anonymous" friend. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 12:16 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    It is interesting that we would take a tree, severe it from it's life source and then prop it up in a room in our house, pretending like it's still alive. We adorn it. We praise it. We even open up the curtains and put it by the window so others can see it and praise it too. If people didn't know better, they would think it was alive, or had every hope that tree that is alive has.

    But yet it has no hope of growing and thriving and accomplishing it's purpose, bearing fruit. And eventually it is not only unrecognizable as a tree, it is removed from the house in which it was adored, and ground into mulch. And what was once called beautiful by many is now trampled underfoot. An inevitable result of it's death.

    Ahhhh, the sad life...or rather death of a Christmas tree.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 12:21 PM  

  • This is just for the email follow-up. Forgot to click it.

    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 12:22 PM  

  • It is an odd tradition isn't it?
    ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 12:23 PM  

  • Now remember I am not comparing the tree to a saint, only to faith. It is a dead tree, but it is a tree.

    Dead faith is still faith. It just isn't doing anything, which is what makes it worthy of being called "dead" by James. Actually I find it interesting that James said that FAITH being ALONE is what makes FAITH dead - reminds me of the reformed banner "sola fide."

    James says:

    Sola fide = dead fide

    The way I have heard this popularly discussed, it would seems that James said "Faith without works is fake, being alone." But he didn't say that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 12:28 PM  

  • Rose,

    It could be argued that the fake tree is a tree as well because that is what we call it. I guess to pursue that line of reasoning, we would have to define what makes a tree a tree.

    What's common to both, though, is that neither has life. Neither one can produce fruit or propagate. Neither one has the hope of growing.

    Now if we relate this analogy to the spiritual realm, what happens to the righteousness, the justification, the cleansing from sins, the promise of eternal life, when all those things are "by faith" and our faith is dead.

    I don't know about you, but I don't have my Christmas tree from last year anymore. It's dead, it's deceased, and for all practical purposes, it no longer exists, or it at least no longer exists as a tree.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 1:13 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    It's hard to give up works when that is what your looking too for PROOF your one of the elect. Not realizing your works nulify the "Unconditional Gift of God."

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/18/2008 1:16 PM  

  • Alvin,

    Maybe you'd like to answer the question of what happens to those things that are "by faith" when that faith is dead.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 1:21 PM  

  • Saving faith happens in a moment in time one passes from death to life by believing Jesus simple childlike promise of eternal life. It's the "Unconditional Gift of God" that can be taken freely!!!

    Your trying to connect the walk of faith to that which has NO guarantee in the Bible of being seen by man. The faith that James is talking about IS NOT saving faith but a faith that MUST be seen by man to result in justification by works before man.

    You don't seem to understand ONE if FREE and ONE cost you something!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/18/2008 1:40 PM  

  • OK Alvin,

    So is there two different kinds of faith or two different aspects to the same faith?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 1:49 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Saving faith can be weak, it's the object that saves "the Christ." Strong faith in a leaky boat won't save but weak faith in a sound boat will save. So it's the object of your faith that saves you. A person who hears the gospel message who has weak faith can pass from death to life sitting in the pew. One who has strong enough faith to walk the isle so as to show that faith before man, it was the ONE act of faith that saved both of them but one acted on it the other sat in his pew but none the less they were both born again the moment they believed and were justified before God, but only the one who walked the isle was justified before man!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/18/2008 2:11 PM  

  • A great comment, Alvin!
    I wish I would have said it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 2:14 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    I think this needs to be said. These analgies can only go so far in aiding our understanding.

    My tree idea really loses traction when considering that it is a physical thing governed by the laws of nature, and faith is a more nebulous concept.

    The word "dead" also is one of those words in the new testment that has limits. Think about this passage. Is James saying that there is no hope for their faith (as in a dead tree that cannot be revived)? Surely he doesn't mean "dead" as in "beyond all hope"? This "faith without works" can certainly be salvaged, wouldn't you say?

    What do you think the solution is that James is offering? Bury this dead faith and come to REAL faith in Christ? Would you say that is the intent of James' excoriation here?

    Let's think about James. He is telling his readers that faith without works is dead. He is telling them to do right and straighten up. They weren't treating people right! They were mistreating the poor and respecting persons.

    What do you think the intent of his letter is?

    Is it to tell them they have a false faith? He is telling them to get with it! To start acting out the truth for all to see and to be profitable for the Lord's kingdom.

    Surely it is obvious that this was his intent?

    So he is telling them to animate their faith... I can't see that he is telling them to question their faith or to reject this "false faith" they had, this "dead faith" and turn to Christ in "real faith." He is not evangelizing these "unbelievers" who did not have the works that he was speaking of... He was not telling them their faith was false.. or that they had no faith... he was telling these *believers* that their faith was becoming useless!

    They have to live it out for all to see if it is to be profitable.

    This is so plain to me.

    What do you think, brother Ten Cent? Do you see anything in my thoughts worthy of consideration? It really does seem so clear to me.

    It makes the book of James much more relevant to me as a believer!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/18/2008 2:34 PM  

  • Alvin,

    I'm trying to figure out if I disagree with your comment. And I don't see anything in it that I disagree with.

    It's a good comment and I'm still chewing on it.

    Thanks,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 2:35 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    "I think this needs to be said. These analgies can only go so far in aiding our understanding."

    Exactly, which is why I offered up my comments, pushing the boundaries of your analogy. I like to see how far you will run with it and it reveals what you really view as the issues you see with a particular doctrine or passage.

    I know you may not believe this, but I do think that in a lot of ways our views of this passage are the same. I, as you, do not run to my works for assurance that I am saved. I, as you, do not look at others and condemn or commend them on the basis of their works (or at least I try not to). And I, as you, do not believe that we are justified by works.

    And, I think, that underneath it all, you might even admit that good works are an inevitable outcome of receiving eternal life. But they are not a necessary outcome.

    I will admit that Alvin has said something profound, a great truth. It's the object of our salvation that saves, Jesus Christ, the well spring of life. No matter how hard we try to hide the light, it still finds a crack and shines through.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/18/2008 2:52 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    You all have a GREAT day in the Lord!

    He is always so GOOD!!!!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/18/2008 3:04 PM  

  • It is sort of hard arguing that James is talking about saving faith versus non-saving faith in this passage. These believers were guilty of showing partiality and yet they were addressed as believers from beginning to the end. Somehow people see the word "save him" and immediately it must be a saving faith when salvation is not even in the context. The "him" is the poor man as the following verse shows.

    Who is in the context? The poor are they not? Let's make the poor singular and call him Jim. Let's read that passage again:

    "14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him (him??? the man without works or the poor man? Look at the next verse)?

    15 If Jim be naked, and destitute of daily food,

    16 And one of you say unto Jim, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give Jim not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead (inactive and useless and not non-saving), being alone."

    People see the word "save" and immediately assume salvation from sins must be implied when this is not a gospel message nor are people being told to see if they ever were truly saved or that they are in need of saving.

    Does the word "save" mean salvation from sin when Jesus prayed, "Save me from the hour"? Can a woman be saved from sin in childbearing according to Scripture? The context determines what was meant and clearly James is not talking about salvation from sin here but the poor man.

    Will your faith without works save (deliver) him when you tell him to be filled, clothed and so on but do not lift a finger to help him? Such a faith is useless and dead.

    People try using verse 19 as proof that faith alone in salvation is not sufficient by itself to be saved:

    "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

    I never knew that a simple belief in a monotheistic God was now somehow the gospel. 2nd, devils were never part of the redemption plan so they make a sad example if James is speaking about the gospel where if faith has no works then it is a non-saving faith. It wouldn't matter if demons had all the faith in the world and all the works in the world simply because they are hopelessly damned for eternity.

    These works here are what men can see. God is not here in the context where he must see works but man. Grace and works would be like water and oil as the two do not mix. The works here are before man and not before God. Paul said in Romans 4:2:

    "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; BUT NOT BEFORE GOD."

    It should be clear that the verses to follow are men that are said to be justified by works but it should be clear according to Romans 4:2 that it is NOT BEFORE GOD. Our faith was to be witnessed before the poor folks in the church and our works should be testified before the world as well.

    Our faith is useless if it does nothing. The context here is the poor man and what good would our faith be to him and his needs if we merely tell him to be filled without lifting a finger to help him?

    Again, Rose gave an excellent point that a dead tree is still a tree and not a fake. A dead tree is useless but it is still a tree. It clearly is called faith and not a non-saving faith as many read that into the passage and clearly believers are being addressed. I can call the tree here in front of my window as a tree without leaves but still a tree. I clearly have a tree in my office that is a fake and can never call it real.

    Nothing more needs to be stated. Those of the LS persuasion will see it no other way and neither will I. I simply prefer to let the passage speak for itself and not read words not found in the passage into the verses.

    The poor man is in the context and believers WERE showing partiality. It was believers that WERE displaying a dead faith before them by not giving them the things they need, but they WERE still addressed as believers.

    What would the apostle John say to such a believer that does not give his/her brother or sister what they need? 1st John 3:17 says:

    "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/19/2008 11:05 AM  

  • I didn't correctly word verse 14. I should have inserted Jim into that verse. The verse should have read:

    "14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save Jim (the poor man and not the one with the faith. Can faith alone help Jim? Look at the next verse)?...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/19/2008 11:10 AM  

  • Someone talking about me here? :)

    Rose, this is a great discussion. Ten cent has actually agreed with you here.

    "And, I think, that underneath it all, you might even admit that good works are an inevitable outcome of receiving eternal life. But they are not a necessary outcome."

    Is this not the case? Faith should produce good works. That is the natural outcome; but it is not guaranteed.

    By Blogger Jim, at 11/19/2008 12:51 PM  

  • "I am too intolerant for the doctrine dissers and too lovey-dovey for the ultra-separatist pugnacious types."

    Just noticed that on your blog.

    lolz

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/19/2008 9:20 PM  

  • Hi Ten Cent,
    I am glad that you say you don't look at your works for assurance of salvation. Praise the Lord. As Alvin has pointed out, it is the soundness of the boat that should give us confidence.

    BTW, I never pictured you as someone who would point fingers at people and condemn or commend.

    What is the difference between an "inevitable outcome" and a "necessary outcome" in your view regarding this? If you say A will inevitably bring about B (the word "inevitably is pretty strong) and then B doesn't happen ... and so one concludes that A never happened... then doesn't B become A necessary to prove A?

    Maybe you want to reconsider that word "inevitable"?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 11:20 AM  

  • Hi Jim,

    Thanks for visiting!

    Is this not the case? Faith should produce good works. That is the natural outcome; but it is not guaranteed.

    I would agree with the way you said it without reservation, but I do have a reservation with the word "inevitable", hair-splitter that I am today. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 11:22 AM  

  • Antonio!
    Hello brother. I changed that back in August I believe.

    What can I say? I haven't run into many "doctrine-dissers" on the internet yet. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 11:24 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent said:

    "And, I think, that underneath it all, you might even admit that good works are an inevitable outcome of receiving eternal life. But they are not a necessary outcome."

    Jim said:

    Is this not the case? Faith should produce good works. That is the natural outcome; but it is not guaranteed.

    This was my Scripture reading for me today, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Proverbs 12:12b But the root of the righteous yields fruit

    Matt 13:5 “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
    “But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.


    Psalm 44: Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long;
    We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

    And I liked yesterdays reading also:
    Psalm 43
    Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
    Alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/20/2008 10:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    "What is the difference between an "inevitable outcome" and a "necessary outcome" in your view regarding this? If you say A will inevitably bring about B (the word "inevitably is pretty strong) and then B doesn't happen ... and so one concludes that A never happened... then doesn't B become A necessary to prove A?

    You're assuming that B won't happen. If A happened, then B will happen because of A. A doesn't happen because of B.

    We don't receive eternal life because we do works, we do good works because we received eternal life.

    That's the difference between necessary and inevitable. Necessary says that we have to do good works in order to have eternal life. Inevitable says we do good works as a result of having eternal life.

    "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Cor. 5:17)

    Change will happen...does happen when one comes to Christ. We were one thing before we believed, and now we are a new creature.

    So what if someone who claims faith in Christ doesn't show good works? Then we need to point that one Christ, remind Him of the one Who died for him. And remind Him of why He died--so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. And do all that we can to help him.

    So does he have to have fruit in order to be saved? No, but he will have fruit because he's saved, whether we see it or not.

    "Inevitable" is a good word, you should try it some time :)

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/21/2008 1:14 PM  

  • Question for you Ten Cent, Can a believer grow just by being saved and not by walking in the Spirit? Paul commanded believers to walk in the Spirit so that they will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Walking in the Spirit is not the same as being saved as a believer is now commanded to do it and it is clearly a choice.

    Can a believer grow that doesn't abide? 1st John 2:28 makes abiding conditional where a believer has to make such a choice:

    "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."

    How about Colossians 2:6 that says,

    "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him"??

    What else can a believer do according to Romans 13:

    "12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

    13Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

    14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

    How does one stop fulfilling the lusts of the flesh? How does one walk in Him?"???

    If works are automatic then why did the Corinthians stay in spiritual infancy for 5 years?

    I agree that logically a person will bear some kind of fruit but how do we define fruit and how much? Faith is called a fruit. Praise too is also called a fruit.

    You said:

    "So what if someone who claims faith in Christ doesn't show good works? Then we need to point that one Christ, remind Him of the one Who died for him."

    Really? Where do we have a Scripture stating that? Can you provide a verse that clearly states that if you are saved then you will definitely bear fruit or otherwise you were never saved to begin with? I'm assuming by your wording in that paragraph that you are considering such a person as not saved because you said, "And remind Him of why He died--so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" and clearly that is a message to the lost. I said I would like an actual verse if that is what you meant and not a bunch of hodgepodge verses all combined together and a lengthy exposition on what you feel from your LS approach to Scripture believes the verses to "imply."

    Also, if that is what you meant then how do you reconcile that to your last paragraph that said:

    "No, but he will have fruit because he's saved, whether we see it or not"???

    If lack of works will cause you to present someone with the message of Christ death so that they can become the righteousness of God in Him then why would you when you said that you might not even see fruit?? If a person can bear fruit that is not seen and yet be saved then what were you talking about?

    I do believe that a person that walks in the Spirit will bear fruit. But show me where this is automatic and they will do it the moment they believe?? Show me verses that use the words "Will" or "must" when I see Paul saying the words, "ought" and "should" and "might" when it comes to works.

    You quote that we are new creatures in Christ and that is true. We are also said to be perfect and justified in Christ. These are positional truths and you have forced the one positional truth as somehow meaning that our state has changed. Being a new creation does not mean we have a new state but a new standing before God. How does one enjoy that new life? By walking by faith, by abiding, by walking in the Spirit, by renewing the mind and so on and that affects the state. We are not righteous as the word is describing there as nobody is as righteous as Jesus Christ. I do not understand why you have forced a positional truth as a proof text that it must mean a change in state. Look at what Paul said in Ephesians 5:8:

    "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light."

    The first half of that verse is clearly a positional truth but the second half points to our state. We are to make our state match our standing is what Paul is saying. If I were to argue that verse the way you did 2nd Cor. 5:17 then I can say that we are children of light and that means we will bear light automatically in our daily walk when clearly the verse does not say that.

    I would read 2nd Cor. 5:17 again and the surrounding verses as you read into the text. Some of the surrounding verses are appealing to live a life that is consistent to what we are. Please notice that Paul said "should not live unto themselves" a couple of verses back and not that it is automatic. It only makes sense to live consistently with who you are but God did not make us robots.

    Anyways, you have the last word as I already know your arguments as I was a former LS and 5 point Calvinist for some time before rejecting it.

    I'll see everyone else Monday as I am out of here! Have a great weekend!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/21/2008 3:42 PM  

  • p.s. If growth is automatic then what about Solomon???? He fell into apostasy and that is clear. No LS believer would EVER accept that a believer that died in his state was ever saved to begin with.

    What about Solomon??? Am I going to hear the typical John MacArthur argument? Be honest about Solomon. What fruit was he bearing in the end?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/21/2008 3:44 PM  

  • Anon,

    You said: "I agree that logically a person will bear some kind of fruit but how do we define fruit and how much?"

    and

    "But show me where this is automatic and they will do it the moment they believe?? Show me verses that use the words "Will" or "must" when I see Paul saying the words, "ought" and "should" and "might" when it comes to works."

    One of these statements is false. Either, logically, a person won't bear fruit or they "will". Would you like to choose one side or the other?

    You said: "Anyways, you have the last word as I already know your arguments as I was a former LS and 5 point Calvinist for some time before rejecting it."

    Thanks for letting me have the last word, but you appear to already know my argument before I even give it, so I'll let you have the last word.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/21/2008 4:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hey I’ll have the last word! Ha!Ha!

    Ten Cent I believe you came to the wrong conclusion!

    You said:
    So does he have to have fruit in order to be saved? No, but he will have fruit because he's saved, whether we see it or not.

    "Inevitable" is a good word, you should try it some time :)


    You have to believe that because of your theology. I believe a person could have all hay, wood, and stubble or something like that, anyway it all gets burned up but he is saved as by fire. I believe the example of the seed that sprang up but had no root is another evidence of an unfruitful believer. And I also believe that a person could get saved by listening to their car radio but then get into an accident and die before producing any fruit. And I believe people like that would still bring glory to God because they are a trophy of His grace, and unconditional love. The Calvinist has to have man bring forth fruit or they believe it makes God a failure. In their mind since God regenerated them, and then gave them the gift of faith He surely will work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure by bringing forth fruit. They can’t comprehend God really giving a free gift, which doesn’t bring forth results.
    The fatal flaw in both Calvinism and Armininsm is they are both dependant on perseverance as this syllogism shows:

    Major premise: Everyone who lives with God forever will have persevered in faith and good works until death.

    Minor premise: No one can know for sure they will preserve in faith and good works until the end of their life.

    Conclusion: No one can know they will live with God forever.

    The person who has believed Jesus promise of eternal life KNOWS they have eternal life based solely on Gods faithfulness to His promise. It’s impossible for the Calvinist and Arminian to KNOW because they MUST persevere in faith and good works until the end to PROVE they did not have a spurious faith, thus the fatal flaw! I believe both these theologies are man-made and that’s why they go by a mans name and MUST have man’s works!!!

    There is a way that seems right to a man,
    But its end is the way of death.
    Proverbs 12:14

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/21/2008 9:13 PM  

  • Ten Cent,

    You compared my two comments as a contradiction:

    "I agree that logically a person will bear some kind of fruit but how do we define fruit and how much?"

    and

    "But show me where this is automatic and they will do it the moment they believe?? Show me verses that use the words "Will" or "must" when I see Paul saying the words, "ought" and "should" and "might" when it comes to works."

    I argued that logically fruit should come but there is a huge world of difference than saying that one will automatically bear fruit.

    Here is an example of exactly what I am talking about:

    A man was diagnosed with lung cancer and the doctor said that if this man does not quit smoking then he will certainly die. Ten Cent, is it not logical that this man WILL stop smoking? Yes, but is it a guarantee that he will? No, and I do know of such people that just couldn't give up their cigarettes. Is either statement here false Ten Cent????

    You tried to make me contradict myself in those two paragraphs and it should be clear that I did not. It is logical that one that has been saved of so much will bear fruit but is it a guarantee? Again, I said "logically" and not "automatically."

    Alvin, your arguments and beliefs are wonderful. It is a good thing that you are not a female because I probably would have kissed you for that. Just kidding of course. It's great to see someone that truly knows what it means to be saved apart from works and doesn't seek a backdoor to somehow try to introduce works as a condition to being saved or knowing that they are saved.

    I forgot who argued this but a theology professor explained that God sealed Noah in the ark and did not place a peg hook on the side of the ark telling Noah to grab hold of it and if he endures to the end holding on then he shall be saved.

    We do all the believing and God does all the saving. Salvation is a gift to bad people and never a reward to good people. Salvation depends on God's faithfulness to us and rewards depends on our faithfulness to Him. Keep the faith Alvin!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/22/2008 6:52 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Anonymous

    Your case is sound!!!!

    I think what Ten Cent doesn’t understand is that if Christ is in you the body is dead because of sin, therefore we need resurrection life for our body in order to live the Christian life. So it’s NOT automatic!!! We MUST put on Christ and WALK by the Spirit. The power of sin is still REAL in our lives and we battle against it every moment. It’s ONLY as we renew our minds do we start having victory over our thoughts. We have God working in us to will and to do but we still can be called BABES in Christ because we have not advanced in the Christian life just like the Corinthians. Your example of the cigarette smoker is an excellent example. We see REAL people all through the bible dealing with REAL sin problems, and not always having victory over them. My Fathern-law was diagnosed with heart disease and told to give up smoking or he would die within a year. He said he would rather smoke for 3 months and die then live longer. We found him face first lying in a mud puddle. That’s the reality of how powerful sin can be. It’s ONLY as we REKON our position in Christ that we can have VICTORY over sin. To rekon is NOT automatic but is seeing oneself as having died with Christ and risen to NEW LIFE therefore having ALREADY overcome in Him. And it’s ONLY as we REKON these truth’s that we have the victory in our walk. I know I’m talking to the choir here but if were all honest we KNOW it’s not just automatic but a REAL battle every single day! It’s only as we work out what God is working in us to will and to do, do we have the VICTORY!!!
    They say three steps forward and one back!!! That’s so true!!! Don’t think you stand lest you fall!!!

    Scriptures pertaining: Romans 8:10; Eph 4:22-24; Gal 5:16; Eph 4:23; Phil 2:12-13; 1 Cor 3:1; Rom 6 (rekon-renew-take off-put on-present-work out your salvation-walk)

    Have a Great day IN the Lord, the VICTORY IS HIS!!!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/22/2008 7:58 AM  

  • Alvin,

    You should start a blog as you shared some great truths with us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/22/2008 8:23 AM  

  • Anon,

    You used the word "will", which by definition implies inevitability...something that is certain to happen.

    You said: "Ten Cent, is it not logical that this man WILL stop smoking? "

    You're logic is flawed. You're not saying that the man "will", you're saying that the man "might". And for you to say that the man "will" stop smoking would be deceitful. Because you know full well the reality, he's in slavery to the cigarettes. And for you to say that it is going to happen, knowing that it most likely will not, then you're being deceitful or at best, inaccurate.

    You and Alvin are starting from the premise that we are enslaved and it's our job to free ourselves from our sin. When Paul makes it very clear that we are free from sin (Romans 6).

    You said: "If works are automatic then why did the Corinthians stay in spiritual infancy for 5 years?"

    "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."(1 Cor. 1:4-8)

    Does Paul sound certain of what lies ahead for the Corinthians? Who will confirm them? Is it not Jesus Christ? Will there be any fingers pointing at them, accusing them in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ? No, Paul says they will be blameless.

    How can Paul have such certainty about the Corinthians when he knows that there's a lot of correcting to do?

    You said: "Really? Where do we have a Scripture stating that? Can you provide a verse that clearly states that if you are saved then you will definitely bear fruit or otherwise you were never saved to begin with? I'm assuming by your wording in that paragraph that you are considering such a person as not saved because you said, "And remind Him of why He died--so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" and clearly that is a message to the lost. I said I would like an actual verse if that is what you meant and not a bunch of hodgepodge verses all combined together and a lengthy exposition on what you feel from your LS approach to Scripture believes the verses to "imply."

    Also, if that is what you meant then how do you reconcile that to your last paragraph that said:

    "No, but he will have fruit because he's saved, whether we see it or not"???

    If lack of works will cause you to present someone with the message of Christ death so that they can become the righteousness of God in Him then why would you when you said that you might not even see fruit?? If a person can bear fruit that is not seen and yet be saved then what were you talking about?"


    This was in reference to reminding someone of Christ, the one Who died for him.

    First, I never said that I thought this person to be lost. I do not or try not to condemn or commend a person based on their works. You're the one that jumped to that conclusion. And you did so because you feel that the message of the cross is reserved for the unbeliever. And if that is the case, then why does Paul remind the Corinthians of Christ's death and plead with them to be reconciled to God, reminding them that God made "Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21)?

    The one who is not growing in Christ needs to be reminded why Christ died. "He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2 Cor. 5:15) And really, we all need that reminder, daily, no matter where we are in our spiritual walk.

    Is it offensive to you, Anon, to know that as a believer in Christ you have a master? You are not your own, you were bought with a price. What's the result of that transaction? Paul says, "therefore glorify God in your body." (1 Cor. 6:20)

    Paul used the message of the cross often to encourage, remind, exhort, correct, and teach believers and unbelievers alike of what it means to believe in Christ.

    Paul had no doubts that Christ would bring the Corinthians to the judgment seat, "blameless".

    And Peter had no doubts about those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifyig work of the SPirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood.

    "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." (1 Peter 5:10)

    And I have no doubts that God will accomplish His purpose in me and all those who believe in Him. No matter how hard you try to prove that it's all up to us.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/22/2008 1:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent said:

    You used the word "will", which by definition implies inevitability...something that is certain to happen.

    You said: "Ten Cent, is it not logical that this man WILL stop smoking? "

    You're logic is flawed. You're not saying that the man "will", you're saying that the man "might". And for you to say that the man "will" stop smoking would be deceitful. Because you know full well the reality, he's in slavery to the cigarettes. And for you to say that it is going to happen, knowing that it most likely will not, then you're being deceitful or at best, inaccurate.

    Come on Ten Cent you completely leave out the word “logical” which means he’s looking at it from a logical or reasonable view point.

    You and Alvin are starting from the premise that we are enslaved and it's our job to free ourselves from our sin. When Paul makes it very clear that we are free from sin (Romans 6).

    Romans 6 is looking from our position in Christ and how were to REKON ourselves dead to sin and present ourselves as slaves to God. And Romans 7:1-6 shows the law was not going to pass away as long as we are alive but we became dead to the law through the body of Christ. We go on to see Paul’s own struggle in verses 13-24 that not only could he not keep the law, but he saw a law working in his members keeping him from doing what the "inward man" delighted in. Paul finally sees a superior law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, so with his mind he serves the law of God but with his flesh the law of sin. Paul is speaking of two slaveries which are possible for the believer to fall into. The Galatians are a good example of ones that went back to the law of slavery by trying to keep the law they had fallen from grace. The law was impossible to keep because of the weakness of our flesh, it is only as we walk by the Spirit of grace do we have victory as sons of God. Ten Cent were not trying to take the lower road like you think, but we are clearly showing by Scripture that the higher road is NOT automatic but a choice we make moment by moment. The free gift of eternal life is given to whosoever desires to take of it freely, the higher road is as a slave to God and is clearly a choice each one makes. It’s ONLY as one presents themselves to God and REKONS themselves dead in the death of Christ do they have any chance in overcoming the law of sin that is in our members which is warring against the law of our minds (Rom 7:17-24). That is why the death burial and resurrection was so important to teach to believers that they might see how Jesus had delivered them from that old wretched man who was still warring against their minds.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/22/2008 7:06 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Ten Cent said:

    And you did so because you feel that the message of the cross is reserved for the unbeliever. And if that is the case, then why does Paul remind the Corinthians of Christ's death and plead with them to be reconciled to God, reminding them that God made "Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21)?

    Ten Cent you are taking 2 Cor 5:21 out of it’s context. Every believer has ALREADY been reconciled to God through the body of Christ once and for all. In fact the believer has been made alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together with Christ, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:5-6)
    These Corinthians needed ONLY to be REMINDED of their position ALREADY IN HEAVEN. The message of reconciliation was for those who had NOT yet believed. They needed to see that God was no longer holding their sin against them but had accomplished reconciliation through the blood of the Lamb for ALL the world, so now the lost sinner only needed to be reconciled to God by simple faith in Jesus Christ for His gift of eternal life.


    alvin
    1 Cor 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

    Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    Col 3:1-5 If then you were RAISED with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life IS HIDDEN WITH Christ IN GOD. When Christ who is our life appears, then YOU WILL ALSO APPEAR WITH HIM IN GLORY,
    Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/22/2008 7:47 PM  

  • Ten Cent,
    I hear you in your explanation about the difference between nesceessary and inevitable.

    You said:
    If A (faith) happened, then B (good works) will happen because of A (faith).

    We don't receive eternal life because we do works, we do good works because we received eternal life.


    I see what you're saying and I "get" the argument.

    Let me ask your thoughts on this:

    Does B (good works) become necessary to prove A? (faith)

    Is it NECESSARY in that sense?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/23/2008 12:30 PM  

  • Anonymous ;~)
    and Alvin, and Ten Cent:

    I do appreciate your thoughts and your interactions around this subject. You have been most polite. Godd going.

    I must say that the "A"s have my understanding of this much better, though. Ten Cent, it escapes me why you want to argue the points that you are arguing.

    When you said this:
    I know you may not believe this, but I do think that in a lot of ways our views of this passage are the same. I, as you, do not run to my works for assurance that I am saved. I, as you, do not look at others and condemn or commend them on the basis of their works (or at least I try not to). And I, as you, do not believe that we are justified by works.

    We certainly agree. Why is it that your view can not allow the possibility that a believer CAN fail? (Not that we WANT to fail or that we are saying 'go ahead, you can fail... God will allow it"... but that by definition grace CAN be abused or it isn't grace. I can't get the insistence by you and Mark and others that there are no failing Christians.

    Christ never fails, but where men are involved and are still mortal, there can be a lack of works etc...

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/23/2008 12:36 PM  

  • I meant to say "Good going" - I am typing too fast these days and not proofreading enough before I press "publish" - too much in a hurry all the time. my life.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/23/2008 12:38 PM  

  • Alvin,

    Great job again!! Positionally we have died to sin. Now one must walk in the Spirit to keep from fulfilling the sins of the flesh and this is a command to already believers. Please start a blog if you haven't already!!!

    Ten Cent, great job breezing right by the word "logical" and focusing right in on the word "will" instead. I could understand what you were trying to say if I only said, "He will stop smoking." However, I used the word "logical" when it comes to this person that has been diagnosed with cancer that will kill him if he were to continue smoking. If that man were not to quit smoking that is the only logical thing you would expect then what can we conclude? It is illogical that he did not quit.

    So again Ten Cent, "logically will" does not mean "inevitable." Is it not logical to you that a man will stop smoking if he were given a possible death sentence??

    I still would like to hear about Solomon??????????????????????????

    Now you said that I did not understand you when you said:

    "So what if someone who claims faith in Christ doesn't show good works? Then we need to point that one Christ, remind Him of the one Who died for him. And remind Him of why He died--so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. And do all that we can to help him."

    Look at your sentence that uses the verse that says, "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." It sounds as though you are leading this man that has no works to a saving knowledge of Christ. I wouldn't readdress a saved man by telling him that he "might become the righteousness of God in Him" but if he is saved then he "is the righteousness of God in Him" and such a position ought to affect the walk as it is LOGICAL. It appears quite clearly that you view such a person as lost and you are trying to preach again the gospel of Christ to him.

    Compare that to your statement:

    "No, but he will have fruit because he's saved, whether we see it or not."

    It does appear that you judged this man that YOU seen no fruit as probably not saved and are presenting him afresh with the gospel.

    This still has not been clarified but that is OK I guess. I am not going to push it but only wanted you to see how you came across. I'm done with this talk.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/24/2008 7:01 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    You said: "Romans 6 is looking from our position in Christ and how were to REKON ourselves dead to sin and present ourselves as slaves to God."

    What good is our "position in Christ" if it is not actually true of us? Do we not consider ourselves dead to sin because that is the truth, we are dead to sin? Otherwise, Paul is saying that we should be dead to sin, so even if you're not, pretend like it so that it will be so.

    You said: "Ten Cent you are taking 2 Cor 5:21 out of it’s context. Every believer has ALREADY been reconciled to God through the body of Christ once and for all."

    "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:20,21)

    So did Paul consider the Corinthians to be unsaved? Why is Paul begging them to "be reconciled to God"?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/24/2008 11:04 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said: "Does B (good works) become necessary to prove A? (faith)

    Is it NECESSARY in that sense?"


    Some would say yes. I do not. People can have a show of good works, but they aren't believers in Christ. In fact, they could be quite the opposite. Which is one reason I say that I don't look at good works to prove anything. But I could look at a lack of good works either in my own heart or in a brother/sister in Christ and encourage them/myself to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Savior.

    You said: "Ten Cent, it escapes me why you want to argue the points that you are arguing."

    Because how do you help a someone who is young in the faith to grow in Christ? How do you evangelize?

    The good news doesn't stop with the hope of life after death. The good news starts with life. Life now and life in the future. And that life is life because of the One who gives life to those who believe in Him. So there are only two groups of people in this world, those who have death and those who have life. And through faith, one can pass from death and into life. And not just positionally, in reality.

    So the good news for one who is struggling with sin isn't that they need to try harder to overcome it. The good news is that Christ died for that sin. It's nailed to the cross. In Christ, that one has victory over that sin. He or she is not a slave to sin. So live accordingly. Live for their new Master.

    And there is no margin for error. It's Christ who died for us, redeems us, sanctifies us, glorifies us. The Christian cannot fail because Christ cannot fail.

    We can stumble and fall, but it is Christ who picks us up. We can even end our lives on a sour note, but Christ is faithful. And we can be...should be confident that He will present us blameless in the day of Jesus Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 11/24/2008 11:32 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Happy Turkey Day!!! And much to be thankful for, first and foremost our salvation!!!!!

    Hi Ten Cent

    I’m afraid because of your theology you are disregarding a big portion of Scripture. From the possibility of a fellow worker with Paul receiving the grace of God in vain (2Cor 6:1) to believers falling from grace (Gal 5:4). For Paul it was not just about being born again but Christ being formed in the believer (Gal 4:19) which directly was linked to their abiding in the truth. This does not take place while we are sleeping or on autopilot but as we make a choice to be in the word and applying what we read in the Scriptures.
    What was it that compelled Paul? It was the love of Christ (2 Cor 5:14), Paul knew he was unconditionally loved by God just as he knew the ones he was writing to in Corinth were. Lets look at those Scriptures now:
    Here is the crux of it: 2 Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge this: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
    Ten Cent who did Christ love and die for? I believe it’s here where you jump the tracks, right at the start!
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    God loves and died for everyone one that’s why in 2 Cor 5:19-20 the Corinthian who had already been reconciled by believing in Jesus for eternal life were given the ministry of reconciliation which is for the whole world who are yet to believe.
    Ten Cent what will give you a good clue is starting at 2 Cor 5:1 follow down through these verses the “we and you” also look at the “us and their.” Remember “you” is in italics in verses 20 and 2 Cor 6:1 because it’s not in the Greek.
    Notice it’s in verse 14 that the we and you become “us” because the motivating factor is the love of God.
    For if weare beside ourselves, it is for God, or if we are of sound mind, it is for you
    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died

    Ten Cent it's the "their" in verse 19 who are yet to be reconciled. God has already made the provison in Christ for the whole world ( 2 Cor 5:19) that is why Paul is telling the Corinthians "we" are ambassadors for Christ.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/27/2008 1:15 PM  

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