Friday, December 7, 2012

Print Page Where Fundamentalism Is Going

Rarely will I dedicate a post to someone's article but I believe this article is important for everyone to read. There is a strong push from certain Independent Fundamental Baptist churches and schools to move away from biblical separation and towards an unbiblical "gospel only" separation. If you hold to biblical separation you are mocked and made to look ignorant. Ironically this is the same tactic used by evolutionists/liberals towards Christians. I obviously side with Dr. Lance Ketchum and Dr. Kent Brandenburg. You can find the article here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Print Page Genesis 3:15 - Bruise His Head

The very first prophecy of scripture is found in Genesis 3:15. This prophecy also goes along with the one found in Isaiah 53:5. Shortly after the fall of Adam and Eve God spoke to Satan (Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2) telling him that the seed of the woman would bruise his head. This prophecy was partially fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross (John 19:30). As Romans 16:20 states "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly". After the 7 year tribulation Jesus will setup his kingdom here on Earth for a 1000 years (Revelation 20) and Satan will no longer be the god of this World (2 Corinthians 4:4 and John 12:31). Even though Satan was able to bruise the ankle, kill Christ, ultimately Jesus will reign and will completely conquer Satan.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Print Page Slaves to Sin

Gay marriage won approval from voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state marking the first time same-sex unions were approved at the ballot box in the United States. Referendums passed legalizing recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington state. What is going on? Can politics save us? Why would people want to take the country this direction? These are the questions we'll aim to answer  from a Biblical perspective.

It is a common misconception that all humans are sons of God. The Bible makes it clear that this isn't the case. In John 8:44 Jesus told the unbelieving Jews that the devil was their father. Not only are unbelieving Jews the son of the devil but so are all unbelievers. Matthew 13:37-39 records Jesus explaining the parable of the Tares to his disciples. The tares represent all unbelievers and are children of the devil according to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 4:4 informs us that not only are unbelievers the sons of the devil but that the devil is the king of this world and the he blinds the minds of unbelievers so that they will not believe. As unbelievers not only is the devil our father but we are slaves to our sinful flesh. As Jesus said in John 8:34 "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin". Paul, in Romans 6:20, tells us that we were all once servants of sin.

That is a lot of bad news but the good news is even better. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that when we are saved we become a new creation. Old things are passed away and all things become new. Once we place our faith in Jesus Christ we become sons of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:14). What a miraculous change that is available to all of us!

Because of man's fallen state we are better off putting our trust in the Lord than putting it in man (Psalms 118:8-9). Government will not save us, only Jesus Christ can do that (John 14:6). If we want things to change we need to share the gospel with the lost and make disciples as God has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).  We should not be conformed to this world but to the will of God (Romans 12:2). The world will hate us if we are faithful to God (John 15:18-21, 1 John 3:13). Like Paul though we should embrace our persecutions (2 Corinthians 12:10)  and rejoice in the victory we have in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57)!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Print Page Micah 5:2 - Bethlehem Ephratah

One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is true is it's countless prophecies. Many of these prophecies have been fulfilled many years after they were given. They are extremely accurate unlike the prophecies of people such as Nostradamus. The prophecy we'll talk about in this article is the prophecy of Jesus being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Luke 2:4-7), a prophecy given more than 500 years before it was fulfilled.

We know this prophecy is about Jesus because that is what Matthew 2:5-6 states. There were 2 villages with the name of Bethlehem which means house of bread. This Bethlehem is located about 8 miles outside of Jerusalem. The other Bethlehem was in Zebulun. Bethlehem Ephratah was a small village at the time. It was also the birth place of King David (1 Samuel 17:12). The reason Joseph and Mary were there was because of a decree from  Caesar Augustus which called for everyone to be taxed (Luke 2:1-3).

What a wonderful God we have. He has given us his perfect Word that is without error. The evidence is overwhelming that is Word is true but fallen men will continue to reject it. Never take the Bible for granted and cherish it daily.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Print Page Are New Bible Versions Catholic?

There are many good reasons to consider modern Bible versions Roman Catholic in origin. They are highly influenced by 2 manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Codex Vaticanus has been housed in the Vatican library for as long as anyone knows. Codex Sinaiticus was found in a Greek Orthodox monastery (similar to Roman Catholic in doctrine) in a trash bin and was going to be used for burning in the furnace. There is good reason that is was going to be burned. There are estimated to be about 23,000 "corrections" that have been made to the manuscript from various people.

The Douay-Rheims Bible is the first English Bible by the Roman Catholics. The New and Old Testament were completed in 1609 and was based off the Latin Vulgate instead of the Greek and Hebrew. The Latin Vulgate and both the Code Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus go hand in hand. Bibles such as the ESV, NASB and NIV use similar readings to that of the Douay-Rheims as well as more modern Roman Catholic Bibles such as the New Jerusalem Bible, RSV and NRSV. The reason for the similar readings is because the Greek texts come from Roman Catholic sources.

The Greek text used for the King James Bible is the Textus Receptus. It was put together by Erasmus. Because he was considered a Catholic some claim that makes the Textus Receptus Catholic and therefore the KJB a Catholic Bible. That is far from the truth. Even before the KJB was written Pope Paul IV condemned everything Erasmus had written in 1559 and called Erasmus the leader of all heretics. In 1546 the Council of Trent condemned Erasmus' New Testament. The text of Erasmus is what the reformers used for translations such at the Luther Bible, Geneva Bible and the Tyndale Bible.

In summary it was the text of the King James Bible the Roman Catholic leaders condemned. The text used by modern versions is what has always been used and still currently is used by Roman Catholics. The Textus Receptus is what was used by those opposing Rome and is the source for the unchanging King James Bible.

For more information I recommend these following articles:

Undeniable Proof - Part 1
Undeniable Proof - Part 2
What About Erasmus?



Monday, October 1, 2012

Print Page Separation in the Bible

The Bible has a lot to say about separation. Separation is important for our churches to remain pure (James 1:27) and for us to live Godly lives (1 Peter 1:15-16). It only takes a little leaven to leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).

Separation needs to take place at both the church level and at a personal level. If a church doesn't practice separation is can become like the Laodiceans being spirituality lukewarm to the point where God wants to spue them out of his mouth (Revelation 3:14-16). Another danger for a church is they could become like the church in Pergamos who allowed false doctrine to come into their church (Revelation 2:14). As Jude wrote men can creep into a church and spread their false doctrine (Jude 1:4). If we are not careful our church can become like the Corinthian church where there is sinful behavior by one of it's members and instead of practicing church discipline they were puffed up and did nothing (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). Many churches no longer practice church disciple. This hurts the person that should be disciplined and the church that should be executing the discipline.

A good example of a church that lacked separation is the late Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Around 2002 they adopted CCM music. Now in 2012 they have removed Baptist from their name and are called Church of the Highlands.

Separation From Sin

1 Peter 2:11 tells us to avoid fleshly lusts. In 1 Peter 1:14-16 we are told to be holy and to not fashion ourselves after our former lusts. As Christians we must avoid the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). The wicked should be avoided (Proverbs 4:14-15). We are told to even avoid the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) and evil communication (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Separation From False Doctrine

Next there is Doctrinal Separation. Paul in Romans 16:17 tells us to avoid those causing divisions and offenses contrary to scripture (false doctrine). John told us in 2 John 7-11 to avoid those who deny Jesus came in the flesh. Paul tells us to keep all ordinances (1 Corinthians 11:2). 1 Timothy 1:3 warns against people teaching false doctrine. Not teaching Biblical doctrine is just as bad as teaching false doctrine (Matthew 28:20).

Separation From the World

The Bible makes it clear that as Christians we are in the world but not to be a part of it (Romans 12:2). The world is wicked (1 John 5:19). We are told not to love the world (1 John 2:15-17) or follow it's ways (1 Peter 4:1-4). We are to not even be friends with the world (James 4:4).Instead we are to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14). One sign that we are not part of the world is when the world rejects us (John 15:18-20). We are not to yoke with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). We must deny worldly lusts (Titus 2:12). There is even list of people to avoid in this world 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

Separation From Other Christians

As mentioned earlier a church is to disciple an unrepentant member and is to separate from him until he repents (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 gives us a list of people we should not even eat with. Romans 16:17 would apply to Christians that are teaching false doctrine.

Naming Names

Not only are we to separate from others and rebuke others sharply (Titus 1:13) but we are also to name names.Without the naming of names how are others to know who to avoid? There are a couple examples in the Bible of people being named. The first is where John rebukes Diotrephes and his self-centered attitude (3 John 9). Another place is where Paul rebukes Peter for his unwillingness to eat with Gentile Christians at the dinner table.(Galatians 2:11-21).

Conclusion

As we can see the Bible supports separation from from sin, false doctrine and the world. This separation should be done individually and at a church level. This should always be done in love (John 13:35 and Matthew 5:44) . Everyone practices some form of separation. It is who the separation is directed at that differs. In closing I would like to quote Charles Woodbridge.
New Evangelicalism advocates TOLERATION of error. It is following the downward path of ACCOMMODATION to error, COOPERATION with error, CONTAMINATION by error, and ultimate CAPITULATION to error!” (Charles Woodbridge, The New Evangelicalism, 1969).


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Print Page What Is Biblical Separation?

One of the major things lacking in fundamental circles is the practice of separation. Without the practice of separation a church or school will eventually become New Evangelicals. New or "neo-evangelicalism" was termed by Harold Ockenga in 1948 and is defined as "a rejection of separatism".

As an example I will use Northland International University (formerly Northland Baptist Bible College) in Dunbar, Wisconsin as an example. The school is popular in fundamental circles in the north central part of the country. Many fundamental churches send their people to the school. The school use to take fundamental stances on things such as music and separation. For example when it comes to music their stance use to be:
We avoid music classified as ‘Contemporary Christian Music’- sacred music which is written or performed in a popular or worldly style. These styles include rock, Blues, Jazz, “big band,” rap, New Age, and other styles normally associated with worldly entertainment or dancing. We also avoid “pop” or rock arrangements. Some styles of secular music, such as classical music, marching band music, fun songs, or traditional folk songs may be appropriate for certain occasions. However, some styles, such as jazz, rock, rap, punk, dance band, or New Age are never considered appropriate.”  
Even now the school claims a fundamentalist stance when it comes to separation and the Charismatic Movement:
The university’s position is not to cooperate with any organization or movement that is connected with apostasy or that places less than primary emphasis on the authority of the Word of God. Northland International University does not accept the philosophy, position, or practice of the National Council of Churches in America or the World Council of Churches. Furthermore, Northland is opposed to Liberalism, Neo-Orthodoxy, New Evangelicalism, Hyper-Calvinism, and the Charismatic Movement.” (Ecclesiastical Separation, p.9.)  
“We believe God has given spiritual gifts to Christians to serve in and through the local church. Every believer has at least one gift, and the use of the gifts is always for the ultimate purpose of bringing glory to God. Among the gifts listed in the Bible, we believe that sign gifts (miracles, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy) were temporary in nature and given to the church in its infant state before the completion of the canon of Scripture. Therefore, we reject the modern Charismatic Movement and the confusion it has brought. (Romans 12:6–8; I Corinthians 12:1–11, 13:8;Ephesians 4:11–12)” (Articles of Faith, p. 12.)  
“Thus we cannot accept the position reflected in the Ecumenical Movement, Neo-Orthodoxy, New Evangelicalism, or the various branches of the Charismatic Movement. We believe cooperation should be limited to those of like precious faith. (Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:14-17; I Thessalonians 5:22; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; I John 2:15, 17; II John 9, 10.) (Articles of Faith, p. 12.) 
Things have quickly changed when the latest president, Matt Olsen, came aboard in 2002. Their music stance has now been weakened to this:
"You will find Northland to be a very musical campus! God not only created music, but He also created us, His image bearers, to be musical. Therefore, we believe that music should honor the character of God, and be used in ways that help you and those around you grow in your walk with Christ. We encourage our students to listen to and promote such music, to understand what the Bible says about it, and to learn to make appropriate musical choices based on biblical principles for God’s glory and others’ good.  
Northland’s music policy is simply this: we trust that many of the students God has sent us desire to honor Him with their lives. We also know that God’s Spirit is constantly at work, sanctifying each of His children. When it comes to music, two people equally dedicated to the Lord may not have the same musical preferences. All we ask is that your music not be in direct conflict with God’s character, that you submit to God’s Spirit and to your God-ordained authorities (parents, pastor, etc.), and that the law of love will trump the law of liberty in your public listening and playing. If you have particular questions about music or our music philosophy, policies, or procedures, you can talk with us upon arrival or give us a call. We would love to explain the biblical principles involved so you can think through your music tastes and standards. Even though in the long run your boundaries may not align exactly with ours as an institution, we believe that your time at Northland will greatly aid you in developing a biblical philosophy of music that transcends time and culture."
Notice how things like rock, rap and jazz are no longer mentioned? Dr. Les Ollila who is chancellor of Northland stated this in response to concerns about the changes at Northland:
“As we have attempted to responsibly adjust the way the vision and philosophy is applied in certain settings at our institution, the foundational principles and historic theological positions to which we have always been committed remain unchanged.” (Is Northland Changing? A Chancellor’s Perspective from Dr. Les Ollila, Dec. 2010.)
This is a good time to bring up Ernest Pickering. Ernest Pickering pastored such churches as Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis Minnesota, Woodcrest Baptist Church in Fridley Minnesota, Maranatha Bible Church in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio, Bible Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana. He wrote two books on separation called The Tragedy of Compromise and Biblical Separation which are still used by fundamental schools for teaching separation. He also served as President of Northwest Baptist Seminary in Tacoma, Washington, Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania and Central Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On page 163 in The Tragedy of Compromise Pickering wrote:
Leaders of church organizations find it difficult to admit that there is anything amiss. To do so would be to reflect upon their leadership and suggest that they have been less than watchful. Leaders, therefore, will emphatically deny that there has been any change. “We stand just where we have always stood” will be the reassuring litany. While any objective observer can plainly see that the stance of the organization has changed, those intent on protecting the image of the group will steadfastly deny that fact.
This is exactly what Dr. Ollila is doing! People like Ollila and Olsen are well aware of Pickering and his writings so they are without excuse. To show you how far Northland has gone they watch the video where students and staff perform music and dance to the Broadway play Wicked.

video


On July 2, 2012 from his personal blog Dr. Olson wrote,
“I have great confidence in this next generation. They get what matters most. This was evidenced in my visit Sunday to Grace Bible Church in Philadelphia, where Ian McConnell serves as the pastor for preaching and vision. It was great to connect with some Northland alumni at Grace as well. Danny Adams (and his wife Becky [Dillabaugh]) serves as the pastor for children’s ministries. Jesse Trach is currently an elder in training and being evaluated for pastoral ministry and Nathan Branine is attending Grace while making much of Jesus in the Philadelphia school systems. Come the beginning of September Greg Dietrich and his wife will be relocating to Philadelphia to attend Grace and work remotely for us at Northland.”  
The problem is that the beliefs of this church states: "Beliefs: We are evangelical, Reformed, and continuationist." This goes against the school's policy of separation with charismatics! Olsen went even further and said in his blog on September 3, 2012:
"The mode of baptism, timing of the rapture, cessationist or non-cessationist positions, dispensational or covenant positions, church polity, style of music, philosophy of ministry—are NOT fundamentals of the faith. They never have been. When we get to heaven I think there are going to be a lot of people feeling ashamed about how they fought over these things and neglected what matters most." 
This is no different that when pastors and leaders say such things as “in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty”, "it's all about the gospel" and "major in the minors minor in the majors". Again Olsen is going against the policy of the school. Either the policy needs to change or the president of Northland needs to change. Olsen is clearly a New Evangelical and he's making sure Northland is the same way. Look as Olsen's views and read what Pickering eloquently put in on page 129 of The Tragedy of Compromise:
New Evangelicals historically have boasted of the great diversity that exists within the general pale of what is called “evangelicism.” They have erected a large umbrella under which persons and churches with many varying convictions can find shelter. This same outlook is found in the church marketing movement. Its spokesmen advise their followers to downplay what they call “denominational disctincitives” by which they mean such things as the mode of baptism, church organization, the doctrine of eternal security, and views of spiritual gifts. There is a call for an emphasis upon more general evangelical truth that is not “divisive.”
Truly the aisle leading to the salad- bar sanctuaries comes from the camp of New Evanglicalism. Compromise, a hallmark of New Evangelicism, is a guiding principle of church marketing. 
And on page 74:
Doctrine has fallen on evil times. Few wish to battle for what they call “peripheral” doctrines. They wish to emphasize instead our unity in Christ and the blessings they see flowing from that. 
And page 21:
One of the chief differences between New Evangelicals and fundamentalists concerns the views of each regarding what we call “ecclesiastical separation.” Fundamental separatists believe that there should be a complete separation from all churches and fellowships of churches that tolerate unbelief or compromise with error. In contrasting fundamentalism and evangelicalism, Peterson observed, “The spirit of evangelicalism… is more amiable. We consider it important to maintain fellowship with other Christians, even if they are mistaken on certain issues, especially if they can join us in advancing the gospel.” This observation is quit typical of the general attitude of New Evangelicals – “let us compromise doctrinal matters for the sake of evangelicalism.
David Cloud who has written much on separation put it this way:
"This does not mean that we consider all doctrine of equal importance. There are damnable heresies, which only the unregenerate hold, and lesser heresies, which even born again believers hold. But every clearly-taught doctrine of the New Testament faith should be honored and none despised. And we should be willing to defend whatever teaching happens to be under attack at any given time.David Cloud (2011-09-28 00:00:00-06:00). Biblical Separatism and its Collapse (Kindle Locations 1986-1989). Way of Life Literature. Kindle Edition.
For those that don't think Charismatics should be separated from they need to  heed the words of Pickering:
So also is it with charismatics who insist that sign-gifts are still operable today. Paul did not mince words about false doctrines when he wrote, “Now the Spirit Speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1). The great apostle of love, John, was not only concerned about the manifestation of love but also about the repudiation of error. He did not advocate a naïve gullibility concerning doctrine. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). In pursuing that theme he said that we should be able to differentiate between the “spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). Spiritual discernment is important and must be exercised. There is a vast difference between truth and error and this difference out not to be ignored or glossed over. The Tragedy of Compromise Pg. 73, Ernest Pickering
and
The “willingness to re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit” opened up the way of the flood tide of charismatic teaching with which the church has been inundated in recent years. The formation of such groups as the NAE gave Pentecostalism and the new charismatic movement a “place in the sun” that they had not enjoyed previously. Even though many New Evangelical scholars did not espouse these views, the fact that they would tolerate them without rebuke gave such views a springboard within the evangelical communityThe Tragedy of Compromise Pg. 15, Ernest Pickering
Another area which Olsen any others are compromising is on Eschatology.  Amillennialism  is common in Calvinist circles and Calvinism has made a push in fundamental churches and schools. Tied closely to Amillennialism is the rejection of dispensationalism. They say the universal church has replaced Israel. Pickering mentions that these two things are principles of New Evangelicals. Quoting Christian Life, March 1956 he lists:
3. “a more tolerant attitude toward varying views on eschatology”
4. “a shift away from so-called extreme dispensationalism”
The Tragedy of Compromise Pg. 14, Ernest Pickering  
Many in fundamental circles don't believe affiliations matter but orthodoxy (correct belief) without orthopraxy (correct practice) is useless.
 “Separation, however, does involve affiliations. This goes to the very heart of the matter. You cannot be a consistent separatist while retaining un-Biblical affiliations. This was one of the basic problems which hounded the Conservative Baptist movement throughout its days of internal struggle. Some wanted to be separatists on paper but not in actions. Separation requires severance from which is wrong.  Biblical Separation Pg 106, Ernest Pickering
Often in fundamental schools and fundamental scholarly circles not taking a stance on issues on things such as eschatology is looked upon as the higher ground when really it is the postmodern view that is infiltrated our circles. Pickering gives a real life account of such thinking:
The tolerance of various eschatological views is also mentioned as a hallmark of the New Evangelical position. Until the 1950s the majority of fundamentalists have been premillenialists, and a large number dispensationalists (although there were fundamentalists that were neither, such as T.T. Shields) . Now more openness was hailed as a sign of growing maturity. Years ago this writer was invited to lecture at a New Evangelical seminary on the subject “Why I Am a Fundamentalist.” Following the lecture and a question-and-answer session, I was invited to coffee with the faculty. While chitchatting in the faculty lounge, I asked
the professor of theology what scheme of eschatology was espoused by the seminary and taught in the classroom. He laughed and replied “I teach them all. And when we get to the end of the course, the students don’t even know what I believe.” He viewed this as masterful instruction. One, however, is reminded of the pedagogy of our Lord, of whom it was said, “He taught them as one having authority, and not as scribes” (Matt. 7:29). In answering biblical questions the scribes were wont to use circuitous reasoning, quoting many scholars, and avoiding dogmatism on disputed points. Christ, on the other hand, spoke plainly and with authority.  The Tragedy of Compromise Pg. 15, Ernest Pickering 
We must pray for our pastors and laymen need to guard themselves from outside influences if we are to keep our churches from error. Pickering has years of experience as a pastor and told us this:
Many pastors find themselves under considerable pressure from members of their church. Some of these members have perhaps moved into the church from other churches that were of New Evangelical persuasion. Others have been influenced by the writings of current New Evangelicals. Still others have friends who have New Evangelicals leanings. Man are also influenced by local Christian radio stations that feature an abundance of New Evangelical teaching and music. The separatist pastor often feels himself besieged by alien forces as he tries to lead his people in the right direction. Many pastors have felt obligated to resign because they felt they did not have the church leadership with them as they struggled against the New Evangelical philosophy.  The Tragedy of Compromise Pg. 167-168, Ernest Pickering 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Print Page John Piper

John Piper is well known in Fundamental circles. He pastors the large Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Piper also founded and is Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is also the author of over 50 books. I don't doubt Piper is a sincere and saved Christian. He's been praised by fundamental leaders and presidents of fundamental seminaries. Calvinists especially take a liking to him, but here are 5 reasons why John Piper should be avoided.

7 Point Calvinist

Piper says he is a 7 point Calvinist. The normal 5 points are total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints which make up the famous acronym T.U.L.I.P.. None of those are totally Biblical (1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:16 and 2 Corinthians 5:15). Five points are not enough for Piper so he adds two more:
"The "sixth" point, double predestination, is simply the flip side of unconditional election. Just as God chooses whom He will save without regard to any distinctives in the person (Ephesians 1:5-6; Acts 13:48; Revelation 17:8), so also he decides whom He will not save without regard to any distinctives in the individual (John 10:26; 12:37-40; Romans 9:11-18;1 Peter 2:7-8)." 
"The "seventh" point, the best-of-all-possible worlds, means that God governs the course of history so that, in the long run, His glory will be more fully displayed and His people more fully satisfied than would have been the case in any other world. If we look only at the way things are now in the present era of this fallen world, this is not the best-of-all-possible worlds. But if we look at the whole course of history, from creation to redemption to eternity and beyond, and see the entirety of God's plan, it is the best-of-all-possible plans and leads to the best-of-all-possible eternities. And therefore this universe (and the events that happen in it from creation into eternity, taken as a whole) is the best-of-all-possible-worlds."

What does Piper mean when he says he's a seven-point Calvinist?, January 23, 2006, Matt Perman
Charasmatic

Piper holds a charismatic theology. In a sermon on March 8, 1981 entitled Be Filled with the Spirit he preached the following:
"I want to stress here though, that I do not reject the validity of the gift of tongues for our own day. It is wrong to insist that they are a necessary part of the baptism of the Spirit; it is not wrong to insist that they are a possible part of that experience today." 
"And now after 20 years of Bible study and friendships with charismatic believers I will say with even more assurance: Let us not reject or despise any of God's gifts, including tongues."
In a  4/20/10 video post he said the following:
Question: "To turn to the miraculous gifts - tongues, healing, prophecy - where would you say the place for those gifts would be in the life of the church today?" 
Answer (John Piper): "What I think, whether it's the right thing to say - I'm not gonna die on this hill - they are most effectively and appropriately used in smaller groups, rather than Sunday morning. Sunday morning meaning, the large gathered body with lots of people, and lots of strangers, and the need for some kind of movement in the service, rather than the whole thing being devoted over to individual expressions. And so when I think of trying to do whatever elements of 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 are appropriate to do today, I would want my people to know I believe in those things, I want them to flourish in those things, and I would think spontaneously and in relationships, and especially in small groups, they would take the time and ask people, "Did you bring anything from the Lord tonight that you think we need to hear? You can use whatever language you want. You can say 'Have you got a word of knowledge for us?' or 'Got a word of prophecy?' And if you're scared of that kind of language you can say 'Has God impressed upon you in some way something that you think somebody in this room, or all of us, need to hear, from your walk with God?' And open yourself up to that, they may say something that just penetrates right through to the very core of somebody.... "
Rick Warren

As can be read in this article Rick Warren is someone to be avoided. That said, Piper invited Warren to the Desiring God 2010 National Conference.When talking about his inventation to Warren in a video he states:
"I do think he's deeply theological. He's a brilliant man. He wouldn't have the church he does or the Peace Plan, or all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven life is the first one isn't it? It's not about you, it's about God. The Glory of God. So I don't think he's emergent. At root I think he is theological and doctrinal and sound." 
“I believe Rick’s is a faithful heart. Listen to the clarity of his doctrinal commitments and hear the heartbeat of his love for Christ and those perishing without him” (DesiringGod.org, May 27, 2011)  
How can Piper speak so highly of someone who is theologically shallow and wishy-washy with his doctrine? Warren is brilliant when it comes to marketing his books and movements but that is not something we should desire. Piper is only hurting himself and his church by inviting such a man to speak at his church.

Infant Baptism

Even though Piper's church name contains the word Baptist he and his board of elders proposed in 2002 that the church constitution be amended to allow a candidate to reject believer’s baptism by immersion if he “sincerely and humbly believes that it would be contrary to Scripture and conscience--and not just contrary to family tradition or desires--to be baptized by immersion and thus to count his infant baptism or his adult sprinkling as improper or invalid.” This shows Piper's lack of conviction on believer's Baptism by immersion. Even though the change didn't take place it shows that Piper is not willing to take a stand on clear teachings of scripture.

Christian Hedonism

A final concern with Piper I will mention is his promotion of Christian Hedonism and those that have influenced him in this area. I won't get into much detail at this time but you can read a great free book David Cloud wrote on the topic. Essentially Christian Hedonism is man pursuing his own happiness  by pursuing God. His influences were men such as the Catholic Blaise Pascal and C.S. Lewis who denied biblical inerrant and believed in purgatory and baptismal regeneration.

Conclusion

I have only mentioned a few concerns I have with Piper. There are others as well. With so many good teachers out there we should separate ourselves from the bad doctrines and fellowships that corrupt. We can still love Piper and we should pray for him. We just need to avoid his false teachings.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Print Page Albert Mohler Jr.

Albert Mohler Jr. is a well known Southern Baptist. He is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and had hosted a national radio program for several years. He is also adored by several in Fundamental circles. That being said is Mohler someone Biblical Baptists should be looking up to?

Mohler and Graham

Mohler has a history with with Billy Graham and his crusades. In 2001 he was chairman for the crusade in Louisville Kentucky which included nearly 600 churches and 53 denominations. The crusade included Christian rock and rap music. As mentioned in this previous post Graham's crusades are well known to yoke with Roman Catholics. In an article on May 3, 2001 in the Baptist Press Mohler said “Nothing else has brought together the kind of ethnic and racial and denominational inclusivity as is represented in this crusade; nothing in my experience and nothing in the recent history of Louisville has brought together such a group of committed Christians for one purpose”.

Mohler and Colson

In The Briefing 4-23-12 Albert Mohler praised Chuck Colson. Why is that a problem? Colson promoted unity with Catholicism even more than Billy Graham. This can be seen in many quotes coming from Colson. Colson wrote a forward to a Catholic book entitled Evangelical Catholics by Keith Fournier. He states "it’s time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions.". In his book The Body he said “The body of Christ, in all its diversity, is created with Baptist feet, Charismatic hands, and Catholic ears--all with their eyes on Jesus.”

Mohler and Catholics

Mohler has yoked himself with Catholics and Eastern Orthodox by signing the Manhattan Declaration. The declaration is a uniting of groups expecially to battle abortion and homosexuality. This may sound good except the declaration also claims they have the same gospel which they don't. Here are portions of the Declaration.
"Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace"

"It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season."

"Christians have refused to compromise their proclamation of the gospel."
Refuse to compromise their proclamation of the gospel? That is exactly what Mohler and others are doing by signing the declaration! Other leaders that have compromised are people such as James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, Leith Anderson, Tony Perkins and Ligon Duncan.

Conclusion

Mohler has yoked himself with Catholics and others that yoke themselves with Catholics. He has compromised the gospel and has rejected God's command to separate from those that teach another gospel (Romans 6:17, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). Mohler should be avoided and we shouldn't be afraid to rebuke leaders in love when they comprise (2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15). God would expect nothing less.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Print Page Did Jesus Really Exist?

There are some out there that doubt that the Jesus of the Bible really existed. Most people, including atheists, wouldn't deny the existence of Jesus. They would only deny his deity and miracles. The reason for this is that there is a large amount of evidence for his existence, both Christian and secular. In this article I will show extra biblical accounts for Jesus to show that he existed beyond a shadow of a doubt. It doesn’t prove that Jesus is God but it does show that at least the man really existed.


Extra Biblical Accounts of Jesus


Cornelius Tacitus

Cornelius Tacitus was a 1st century Roman historian. In his famous work Annals he makes mention of an executed Jesus who has followers called Christians.

Annals 15:44

"Nero created scapegoats and subjected to the most refined tortures those whom the common people called 'Christians'....Their name comes from Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate"


Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger, also known as Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, was an author, lawyer and natural philosopher of Rome in the 1st century. In one of his letters to the Emperor Trajan he talks extensively about Christians and their worship to Christ.
Letters 10.96-97

It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.


Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was a well known Roman historian in the 1st century. Short after the time of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion he wrote the following which is in the Lives of the Caesars.

Lives of the Caesars

“Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (Jesus Christ), he expelled them from Rome. . .”


Claudius Galenus of Pergamum

Claudius Galenus of Pergamum was a well known Roman physician in the 2nd century. He made several references to Christ in De pulsuum differentiis.

De pulsuum differentiis iii.3 and ii. 4

"One might more easily teach novelties to the followers of Moses and Christ than to the physicians and philosophers who cling fast to their schools."

"...in order that one should not at the very beginning, as if one had come into the school of Moses and Christ, hear talk of undemonstrated laws, and that where it is least appropriate."



Lucian of Samosata

Lucian of Samosata was a famous 2nd century Roman rhetorician and satirist. In his work The Death of Peregrine he wrote about the Christians who thought the man (Jesus) crucified was God.

The Death of Peregrine, 11-13

“It was now that he came across the priests and scribes of the Christians, in Palestine, and picked up their queer creed. I can tell you, he pretty soon convinced them of his superiority; prophet, elder, ruler of the Synagogue--he was everything at once; expounded their books, commented on them, wrote books himself. They took him for a God, accepted his laws, and declared him their president. The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day,--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.”


Celsus

Celsus was a 2nd century Greek philosopher who was hostile to Christianity. Being hostile gives his writings even more weight for the existence of Jesus. The writings about Christians and Jesus are too numerous to post in this article but here is just one quote from Celsus.

Contra Celsum 1.28

Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.


Mara Bar-Serapion

Mara Bar-Serapion was a prisoner in Syria sometime between the 1st and 3rd century. He makes casual remarks that look to point to Jesus Christ.

Mara Bar-Serapion: Letter from a Near Eastern Jail

What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King? It was just after that their Kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; He lived on in the teaching which He had given

Josephus

Josephus was a well known 1st century Jewish historian.

Book 20, Chapter 9, Part 1

And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest

Book 18, Chapter 3, Part 3 *

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

*Some claim that this part of Josephus’s book was altered to give evidence for Jesus. There is evidence against this though. Eusebius of Caesarea, quoted this section in the early 4 century in Ecclesiastical History, 1:XI. So this is very close to the original time of writing giving little chance for the text to be corrupted. Scholars such as F.F. Bruce and Daniel Rops have also show that this part of the text is written in the same style as the rest. Finally an Arabic edition of Josephus works which would have been around the time of the original show this texts concerning Jesus but don’t show Jesus being the Messiah. In 1972 Professor Schlomo Pines was quote by times reading the Arabic version. "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders".


Talmud

The Talmud is a Jewish holy book written between 70 A.D. – 200 A.D. In Sanhedrin 43a these non Christians give a stunning account of history that backs up what the Bible has to say about the times of Jesus.

Sanhedrin 43a

There is a tradition (in a Barraitha): They hanged Yeshu on the Sabbath of the Passover. But for forty days before that a herald went in front of him (crying), "Yeshu is to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and seduced Israel and lead them away from God. Anyone who can provide evidence on his behalf should come forward to defend him." When, however, nothing favorable about him was found, he was hanged on the Sabbath of the Passover.


The Bible

The Bible is often too quickly overlooked as a historical source to prove the existence of Jesus. We have some text from the New Testament that was written in the 1st century so we can be assured that what is written is accurate. The Bible not only tells us of the countless encounters Jesus had with people before his crucifixion but also the encounters hundreds of people had with him after he rose from the dead. Some of these peoplewere still alive and could testify to this fact.

1 Corinthians 15:4-6 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

Conclusion

So in conclusion we can see why even so many non-Christians believe that Jesus was a real person. The big question then becomes, who was/is he? Was he just another man or is he your living God and Saviour?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Print Page Christian Fundamentalism = Muslim Fundamentalist?

"Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other." (Philadelphia Inquirer, The purpose-driven pastor, Paul Nussbaum, Jan. 08, 2006)

That is a quote from Rick Warren. He, like many other liberal pastors and secular media, often group fundamental Christians and Muslims together. As will be shown there is no comparison between the two other than they both take their faith serious. I know of no fundamental Christian motivated by fear. Instead we are motivated by the Bible. The same probably goes for Muslim fundamentalists. They are not motivated by fear but by the words of the Koran.

We shouldn't be surprised when Muslims kill the "pagans". It is something they are commanded to do.
Surah 9:5 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Surah 2:190-193 Fight in the cause of God, those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out: For tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; But fight them not at the sacred Mosque unless they first fight you there; But if they fight you, Slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression."
Muslims are told not to be allies with Jews and Christians.
Surah 5:51 O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.
In contrast the Christian Fundamentalist looks to verses such as these:
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
So Christian Fundamentalists love their enemies and because they love their enemies they share the gospel with them in hopes to see them saved from the path to the lake of fire.

It is common to see the Muslims mistreat women. The have good reason for this, because they take the Koran seriously.
Surah 4:34 Men are overseers over women, by reason of that wherewith Allah hath made one of them excel over another, and by reason of that which they expend of their substance. Wherefore righteous women are obedient, and are watchers in husbands absence by the aid and protection of Allah. And those wives whose refractoriness ye fear, exhort them, and avoid them in beds, and beat them; but if they obey you, seek not a way against them; verily Allah is ever Lofty, Grand.
 The Bible does teach different roles for women and men but instead of beating our wives we are to love them as Christ loved the church.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

As shown there is a stark contrast between Muslim and Christian fundamentalism. Those that say the 2 are the same are either ignorant or are lying.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Print Page Are Baptists Protestants?

Are the Baptist Protestants? That is often the claim but that view wasn't so common a century ago. I hope to show you that Baptists are not Protestants. They have been around since the time Jesus started the first church when he called his first disciples. They didn't always go by the name of Baptist. In fact that name was given by our enemies. God made this promise:
Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
This isn't some cult like view started by Dr. J.M. Carroll in his talks recorded in The Trail of Blood in 1931. Charles Spurgeon at a public meeting at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on Tuesday April 2, 1861 said this:
We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were Reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it. We have an unbroken line up to the Apostles themselves! We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government! And we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.
Later, Charles Spurgeon in the Sword and the Trowel in August 1868 stated:
All who know much of the Baptist denomination must have regretted that so few are acquainted with its early history. We are not surprised that those who do not admit the scripturalness of our principles should be thus ignorant; nor can we be surprised that those who have superciliously looked upon our comparative feebleness should have put us down as of latter-day growth; but it remains a matter of great surprise that our own congregations should be, for the most part, uninstructed in the past doings of our body. We certainly can boast of godly defenders of the faith, of noble men persecuted and contemned, who have sacrificed position, wealth, and life, for the truth: we can tell of able preachers and learned divines, and we can rejoice in the spirit of enterprise and heroism which has existed among Baptists of all ages. Why therefore should there be so much ignorance abroad as to the ecclesiastical history of the denomination? Why should so few know anything, and so many care nothing for the early Baptists, when their history is beyond measure instructive and interesting?
Spurgeon couldn't be clearer where he stood on the issue. Spurgeon is often quoted in Baptists pulpits but you never hear about his view on Baptist perpetuity. The problem is with modern day historians that have twisted history along with people like Albert Mohler. They want to claim Baptists are Protestants even though it was the Protestants that persecuted the Baptists! The Southern Baptist theologians took a different stance years ago. Look at this quote from William Williams, D.D. Professor of Church History in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on September 5, 1876.

I now hasten to reply that it is not the teaching of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, through its Professor of History, that the origin of Baptists is to be traced to the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century. … The Baptist churches, in my opinion, are of divine origin, and originated in the first century under the preaching and founding of the Apostles of our Lord.

Many Baptist Historians from just a century ago held the same view as Spurgeon and Williams. Here is just a small number of the examples.

But the more I study the subject, the stronger are my convictions, that if all the facts in the case could be disclosed, a very good Succession could be made out. A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America and Other Parts of the World David Benedict 1849

A Concise History of Baptists From the Time of Christ Their Founder to the 18th Century G. H. Orchard 1855

All well-informed Baptists are agreed in the belief that we, as a people, have continued from the time of Christ until the present. Baptist Succession: Handbook of Baptist History D. B. Ray 1871

All that Baptists mean by church “Succession,” or Church Perpetuity, is: There has never been a day since the organization of the first New Testament church in which there was no genuine church of the New Testament existing on earth. Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894

I have no question in my own mind that there has been a historical succession of Baptists from the days of Christ to the present time. A History of the Baptists Volume 1 pg 5-6  John T. Christian 1922

You may wonder who these Baptists were before the Reformation. They went by various names, names given by their enemies. Often their works were burned and most of what we know is from their enemies. Because of these claims by their enemies need to be taken with a grain of salt. Here is just a brief list of some of the groups that may have been Baptist in doctrine and practice.

Montanists 150 AD

Location: Asia Minor

We have now found, by the glimmering and oftshaded lamp of history, relumed by Pedobaptist scholars, that, previous to Tertullian and the Montenses schism,

I. None but believers were baptized.

II. Baptism was immersion, and

III. Each Church was an independent little republic, knowing nothing of ecclesiastical conferences, synods, general assemblies, or authoritative councils, and, consequently,

IV. They were all Baptist Churches then.

For, if the baptism of none but professedly converted believers, and that by immersion, with independent and democratic church government, constitute Baptist churches, then the primitive churches were Baptist Churches. Origin of the Baptists S.H. Ford 1905
That the Montanist churches were Baptist churches is the only legitimate conclusion from their comparison with the facts in this chapter. Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894

Novations 150 AD

Locations: Armenia, Numedia, Spain, Phrygeia, Constantinople, Alexandria, Carthage and Rome

Without adding other testimonies, suffice it to conclude this chapter with J.M. Cramp, D.D., whom Dr. Armitage pronounces, “A sound theologian and thoroughly versed in ecclesiastical history.”

“We may safely infer that they abstained from compliance with the innovation, and that the Novatian churches were what are now called Baptist churches, adhering to the apostolic and primitive practice.” Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894
They were Baptists. The Minuteness, made up of Novatians and Donatists, and called Eucharites, Messalians, Melchedecians, Anabaptists, were the true churches of Jesus Christ, which have witnessed in every age against corruption, innovation, Jewish rites, and clerical rule. Origin of the Baptists S.H. Ford 1905

Donatists 305 AD

Location: North Africa

We may, therefore, having examined the only charges on which the Donatists are called in question as Baptists, conclude the examination as proving, beyond any reasonable doubt, that, in all essential respects, the Donatists were genuine Baptist churches. Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894
the Donatists were watched by the Shepherd of Israel, preserved by an unseen but almighty hand; and continued, like the bush amid the fires of persecution, unconsumed, undismayed, the true, independent, spiritual churches of Jesus Christ, composed of baptized believers. They were Baptists. Origin of the Baptists S.H. Ford 1905
They were Baptists. The Minuteness, made up of Novatians and Donatists, and called Eucharites, Messalians, Melchedecians, Anabaptists, were the true churches of Jesus Christ, which have witnessed in every age against corruption, innovation, Jewish rites, and clerical rule. Origin of the Baptists S.H. Ford 1905


Paulicians 650 AD

Location: Armenia 


I, therefore, conclude this examination of the Paulicians in the language of perhaps the highest authority on the subject — Brockett — “The Armenian Paulicianists were clearly Baptists.” Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894 
We have seen that the Paulicians were Baptists. Origin of the Baptists S.H. Ford 1905 


Albigenses 700 AD

Location: Eastern Europe
This was so much the case that the Romish church, not seeing any church in so simple an organization, thought they had no churches, and Prof. Schmidt has, thereby, been mislead into the same conclusion. In Chap. XI — noticing them as Paulicians — they are clearly proved to have been, in church government, Baptist. Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894

Waldenses 1120 AD

Locations: Italy, France, Germany and South America.

But I am willing to close this chapter with the statement, that the Waldenses were, certainly, as a whole, Baptists. Baptist Church Perpetuity W.A. Jarrel 1894
The main question at issue between our historians is, whether the Waldenses were Pedo-baptists or Baptists. The editors of Peyran and Perrin affirm that they baptized infants: this Mr. Jones denies, and maintains that they were Baptists. The History of the Christian Church Volumn 1 William Jones 1849


Waldenses Confession of 1120

1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles' creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.

2. We believe that there is one God - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)

4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.

5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.

6. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born - a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.

7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness - our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.

8. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.

9. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places - one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.

10. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.

11. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.

12 We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.

13. We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord's supper. 
14. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment.

Waldenses Confession of 1544

1. We believe that there is but one God, who is a Spirit - the Creator of all things - the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all; who is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth - upon whom we are continually dependent, and to whom we ascribe praise for our life, food, raiment, health, sickness, prosperity, and adversity. We love him as the source of all goodness; and reverence him as that sublime being, who searches the reins and trieth the hearts of the children of men.

2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son and image of the Father - that in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, and that by Him alone we know the Father. He is our Mediator and advocate; nor is there any other name given under heaven by which we can be saved. In His name alone we call upon the Father, using no other prayers than those contained in the Holy Scriptures, or such as are in substance agreeable thereunto.

3. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, proceeding from the Father, and from the Son; by whose inspiration we are taught to pray; being by Him renewed in the spirit of our minds; who creates us anew unto good works, and from whom we receive the knowledge of the truth.

4. We believe that there is one holy church, comprising the whole assembly of the elect and faithful, that have existed from the beginning of the world, or that shall be to the end thereof. Of this church the Lord Jesus Christ is the head - it is governed by His word and guided by the Holy Spirit. In the church it behooves all Christians to have fellowship. For her He [Christ] prays incessantly, and His prayer for it is most acceptable to God, without which indeed their could be no salvation.

5. We hold that the ministers of the church ought to be unblameable both in life and doctrine; and if found otherwise, that they ought to be deposed from their office, and others substituted in their stead; and that no person ought to presume to take that honour unto himself but he who is called of God as was Aaron - that the duties of such are to feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre's sake, or as having dominion over God's heritage, but as being examples to the flock, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, and in chastity.

6. We acknowledge, that kings, princes, and governors, are the appointed and established ministers of God, whom we are bound to obey [in all lawful and civil concerns]. For they bear the sword for the defence of the innocent, and the punishment of evil doers; for which reason we are bound to honour and pay them tribute. From this power and authority, no man can exempt himself as is manifest from the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who voluntarily paid tribute, not taking upon himself any jurisdiction of temporal power.

7. We believe that in the ordinance of baptism the water is the visible and external sign, which represents to as that which, by virtue of God's invisible operation, is within us - namely, the renovation of our minds, and the mortification of our members through [the faith of] Jesus Christ. And by this ordinance we are received into the holy congregation of God's people, previously professing and declaring our faith and change of life.

8. We hold that the Lord's supper is a commemoration of, and thanksgiving for, the benefits which we have received by His sufferings and death - and that it is to be received in faith and love - examining ourselves, that so we may eat of that bread and drink of that cup, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures.

9. We maintain that marriage was instituted of God. That it is holy and honourable, and ought to be forbidded to none, provided there be no obstacle from the divine word.

10. We contend, that all those in whom the fear of God dwells, will thereby be led to please him, and to abound in the good works [of the gospel] which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them - which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, sobriety, and the other good works enforced in the Holy Scriptures.

11. On the other hand, we confess that we consider it to be our duty to beware of false teachers, whose object is to divert the minds of men from the true worship of God, and to lead them to place their confidence in the creature, as well as to depart from the good works of the gospel, and to regard the inventions of men.

12. We take the Old and the New Testament for the rule of our life, and we agree with the general confession of faith contained in [what is usually termed] the apostles' creed.

I encourage you to read some of the Baptist historians quoted here. Most of the works are now public domain and available free on the internet. Baptists have always existed under various names. We never needed to protest any group. The Roman Catholics taught a false gospel for over a 1,000 years before the reformation. During that time there were still groups faithful to the Bible and the gospel. The gospel didn't have to be rediscovered as Albert Mohler has claimed on national radio. Believers Baptism has taken place from the time of Jesus to now. Rejoice in our Baptist heritage and educate yourself with our rich history.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Print Page Are Catholics Christians?

Many today believe Catholics are Christians. Billy Graham did a lot to yoke Christians with Catholics. Well known Baptist Albert Mohler has also done his part in yoking Christians with Catholics in many ways including signing the Manhattan Declaration.

We will take a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It reveals the official position of the Roman Catholic Church on many topics.

1. Salvation

The most import difference between Biblical Christianity and Catholithism is the doctrine of salvation. Any good Catholic will tell you that faith alone doesn't save. The Bible shows us that Baptism is meant to show us what the cleanings power of Jesus' blood has done in our lives.
2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity,we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.
To the Catholics though Baptism is what cleanses your sins.
1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature," member of Christ and coheir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit
Not only is it Baptism that cleanses our sins but observing the 10 Commandments is something that allows us to obtain salvation according to Catholic beliefs.
2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; The Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."

Catholics can never know for sure if they are saved. They can lose their salvation at anytime if they commit a mortal sin. They have to do works (penance) to get their salvation back.
980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church: Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers "a laborious kind of baptism." This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.
Even if you are one of the lucky ones to be saved there is a good chance you'll have to suffer in purgatory before you truly are saved.
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
This is contrary to many passages in the Bible. The Bibles tells us in 1 John 5:13 that we can KNOW we have eternal life. We don't have to live our lives in fear and doubt. The Bible tell us in Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:12, Ephesians 2:8-9 and other places that works do not play a part in our salvation. Once we die we are present with the Lord just as the thief on the cross was (2 Corinthians 5:8 and Luke 23:43). There is no such thing as purgatory. That was and still is just a way for the Roman Catholic church to bring in money.

2. Mary

Catholics elevate Mary to a level much higher than the Bible. As many are aware Catholics often pray to Mary, treating her as their mediator between them and God.
969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."
971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary. 
There is a major problem with this. The Bible in 1 Timothy 2:5 tells us there is ONLY ONE mediator, Jesus. Not only that but Mary doesn't hear anybody's prayers. She is not omniscient or omnipresent.

Another problem with the Catholic view of Mary is that they claim she was without sin and always remained a virgin.
966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.
The problem here is that it again goes against what the Bible tells us. As Luke 1:47 shows Mary needed a Savior just as everyone else does. Romans 3:23 tells us that ALL have sinned. Matthew 1:24-25 tells us that Joseph knew Mary AFTER Jesus was born. If Mary remained a virgin she would have been in sin by withholding from her husband as it says in 1 Corinthians 7:5. Luke 8:19-21 and Mark 6:3 also tells us that Jesus had both brothers and sisters.

3. Popes and Priests

Catholics claim that the pope is infallible when it comes to teaching faith and morals.
891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.
Romans 3:10 tells us no one is righteous. One only needs to look at the lives of corrupt popes such as John XII who slept around with women, including married ones. There was also Benedict IX who sold his papacy. This doesn't include the countless murders that took place due to the various popes throughout time.

 The final thing I'll mention is that the Catholics say that priests have the power to forgive sins.
1495 Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.
Mark 2:7 tells us that only God can forgive sins. We don't need to go to a priest and confess our sins to a fallen man to get our sins forgiven. As Baptists we ought to understand the priesthood of believers. When Jesus died on the cross the curtain of split show that we no longer needed to go through a priest to get to God. We have direct access to God through Jesus our mediator.

4. Islam

Catholics teachs that Muslims worship the same God and can be saved even though they are Muslims.
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
We know Muslims don't worship the same God because they reject the deity of Jesus. If they say Jesus is not God then their God is different.
Sura 4:171 O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.
In conclusion I would like to state that Catholics are not Christians. If a person in the Catholic church is saved it is despite what their church teaches. It is critical we place our trust in the work of Jesus and that alone. Baptists have no business yoking themselves with Catholics.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Print Page Rick Warren

Rick Warren is a Southern Baptist pastor that has had a vast influence in Baptist churches. His Saddleback Church averages over 20,000 people a week. His book The Purpose Drive Life has sold over more than 30 million copies. Even John Piper has praised his theology. Rick Warren is not a leader that Baptist churches should be following. In this post we'll just scratch the surface on the dangers of following Rick Warren.

Rick Warren has a great distaste for fundamentalists such as myself. Rick Warren says: 
“Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones.” (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Event Transcript, Myths of the Modern Mega-Church, Monday, May 23, 2005)
So if you follow the Five Fundamentals of the Faith you are legalistic and narrow minded. Warren also predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be "one of the big enemies of the 21st century." "Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other." (Philadelphia Inquirer, The purpose-driven pastor, Paul Nussbaum, Jan. 08, 2006)


So according to Rick Warren fundamentalists not only are legalistic and narrow minded but they are also one of the big enemies and are motivated by fear. They are no different than Muslim fundamentalists according to Warren. Just so we understand who Rick is talking about let us look at the Five Fundamentals of the Faith.
1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).

2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).

3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).

4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).

5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20).
I would say any born again believer would follow this entire list. So in essence Rick Warren is blasting born again believers which makes you wonder where he stands with God on a personal basis.

With Rick Warren's poor grasp of the gospel it is of no surprise that he would sign the Yale Center for Faith and Culture covenant A Common Word Between Us and You. The document states things such as "That this common ground consists in love of God and of neighbor gives hope that deep cooperation between us can be a hallmark of the relations between our two communities." Muslims don't worship the same God as Christians (John 14:6). To them Jesus was just another prophet and to consider Jesus as God is blaspheme (Surah 4:171 and Surah 5:731). Another thing the document states is "That so much common ground exists – common ground in some of the fundamentals of faith – gives hope that undeniable differences and even the very real external pressures that bear down upon us can not overshadow the common ground upon which we stand together." It is ironic that Warren blasts the true fundamentals of Christianity and instead signs on to something like this.

Rick Warren also is in the habit of letting wolves into his church (Matthew 7:15). In 2011 Warren brought in doctors like Mark Hymand and Mehmet Oz into church for his Daniel Plan. His Daniel Plan is to help with the health and wellness of people. If you look though at these doctors it certainly won't help with the spiritual health and wellness of people.

One of the doctors Warren brought into his church, Mehmet Oz, was voted as one of the 500 most influential Muslims. Oz supports what is called integrative medicine which is combining conventional medial treatments with things like hypnosis and energy healing. His wife is a master of Reiki which is a form of energy healing. Another doctor, Mark Hyman, isn't any better. He promotes new age medicine and false religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama.

As I said before this just scratches the surface of the dangers of following Rick Warren. We all need to prove all things and hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Like the Bereans we need to search the scriptures daily to see what we are being taught is true (Acts 17:11).