Analysis of American Christianity - Television

“Be ye holy therefore as I am holy.”

“Be ye perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect.”

“Woe unto them that call good evil and evil good.”

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

I was dropping my cousin off at his house and I walked inside and sat down, they were watching TV. What I saw terrified me. There was a divorced couple lying on a hospital bed together stuck in the act of intercourse and unable to separate themselves. The doctors were instructing them to gyrate in a certain manner in order to separate themselves, and the man appeared to be at the point of orgasm. At this point I had seen enough and had to get up and leave. The only reason I mention this is because this occurred on what could be the most popular show on television right now, ‘Gray’s Anatomy’. This was my first encounter with this show, but I imagine that this is fairly normal, and it will hopefully be my last encounter with it.

This does not make me all that angry, but it breaks my heart into a million pieces. So many of us in the Church do not live in the fullness of Christ because we are not strangers in this land, we are not pilgrims heading to a heavenly country. We have full citizenship here on earth, and we only hope to transfer that citizenship at death. Let this no longer be, let our citizenship be in heaven, and let us find no pleasure in the things of this world.

The ‘church’ in America today is so blind to holiness and the righteousness of God that even shows like ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ are consumed by her without thought. Even worse than the fact the church can watch this, is the fact that I am sure that some publisher is most likely developing some sort of Sunday school curriculum that is based off of this show. Come on, the only attraction to these shows is the immorality which they contain. I have heard so many professing Christians discussing Gray’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and every other vile show, when I think the show that most suits them might very well be ‘Lost’ (note sarcasm). Have we no concept of the righteousness of God? Do we even know Him? If the Holy Spirit actually dwelt in us would we not be grieved by these shows, would we not be convicted by the Spirit and have our consciences smitten when we watched them?

We the church take a different approach, instead of saying ‘touch not the unclean thing’, we consume iniquity like it is water and then turn around and say ‘We are engaging the culture’. I think if we actually obeyed Christ we would be ‘enraging the culture’. Note the fate of all but one of the first apostles.

We are so hypocritical, all of us, I certainly am not exempt. We say things like ‘We need the Ten Commandments back in government and the schools.” We do not even have them in our own house. We say keep the commandments, and then we watch ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ and take pleasure in adultery. We watch sports and participate in idol worship. We watch CSI and take pleasure in Murder. We watch MTV and take pleasure in the dishonoring of parents, we take pleasure in the NFL’s Sabbath breaking, come on! We break every commandment just with our television, let alone the rest of our lives.

I hear a lot of arguments saying that TV is just recreation and diversion. Why would we want to have a diversion from Holiness, from Christ? I do not understand, diversion is what we are striving to eliminate in our lives… right?

We have a God that is love; we should turn our TVs off and revel in His amazing love. We are polluting our souls with filth, and we do not even know it! Sports, TV, Radio, all these things are killing us, and putting spots on the bride.

I will stop for now. We must be broken over this, let us pray for revival, our God is so ready to grant righteousness unto us, let us long for that and not bask in the iniquity the world is feeding us through our television set.


Analysis of American Christianity Intro

The next twelve posts will be a criticism of modern American Christendom. This is born out of prayer and out of genuine concern which was born out of that prayer and will be presented, Lord willing, in a very matter of fact way. This should come as a warning, an encouragement, a wake up call, and a humbling acknowledgement of the truth about the professing church today. What these posts will not be is some angry tirade or rant born out of the flesh; instead it will be an honest and open evaluation of where we are at as the church in America. I will warn this; I do not think there will be that many good things to say about professing Christendom as a whole, if you are browsing for something fuzzy to make you feel good you may not want to continue on. On the other hand there are certainly many individuals, and congregations that are healthy and are abiding in Christ, these posts are not intending to say that everything is amiss. The individual can discern whether or not these posts are talk about them and their church. My only request is that everyone, including myself, be honest and introspective about this, before they jump on the ‘your right modern Christendom is so wrong’ bandwagon. I say this; each one of us in someway or another represents some part of the problem, and we must not exclude ourselves from the criticism that will be made here.

Hopefully the Lord will be pleased and we will be blessed by these posts over the next few months.

I hope to finish this before the year is out, but it is tough to tell whether or not that will happen.


Repentance Series (9 of 9) Concluding Remarks

Repentance is nearly lost in the professing church today, there are certain pockets of repentant believers who are the true Church, but by and large we live in a pagan America that has labeled herself Christian. Our churches are full of social ‘Christians’ who have no desire for repentance, no desire to die to themselves and rise with Christ, and no passion for our Lord. We have gotten to the point where patriotism is considered synonymous with Christianity and faith is defined by one’s stand on certain social issues. We live with a ‘church’ that has no definition of the term ‘Christian’ or ‘unity’, yet we preach nothing but ‘Christian unity’. The problem is not the ‘liberals’, it is not the ‘fundamentalists’, the problem is neither Calvinism nor Arminianism, the problem is you and me. We have had countless opportunities to call people to repentance, to plead with them to divorce the world and be married to Christ, yet we have let innumerable opportunities pass. We have desired to move up in the ‘church’ world, when our message of repentance would make us outcasts in Christendom. We, yes even we, fundamentalists who know God have gotten drunk on numbers, and have let pragmatism creep into our conscience. I personally have sat back after a youth event and believed it was successful based on the turnout; yet in hindsight realize that it was likely void of God’s power. I have been discouraged by meetings of various groups that were smaller than expected even though God moved powerfully in them. This type of attitude is pragmatism, and needs to be repented of, and despised by us.

We must never find satisfaction in ‘playing church’!!! We must find no solace in numbers. We must find no pleasure in public perception. We must only find peace in our Triune God, and His work alone. We can have no satisfaction until He has worked repentance in us, and is working repentance in those around us.

Without repentance the professing church is dead! It is nothing more than another sect of people marching to eternal destruction. Oh, that we would just be the salt of the earth, that we would not lose our savor. That we would be Holy and all together different from the world around us, that we would be a strange group of people that others look onto with wonder. Repent! Repent! Repent! Come on! Let us be wholly dissatisfied with the state of the professing church today, let us first ourselves repent, and then let us care for the professing church, let us urge and prod and plead repentance, let us preach His words that Christendom may be cleansed, and that the bride may be spotless. REPENT!!!


Repentance Series (8 of 9) Preaching Repentance

Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The command of Christ is repent! In the book of revelation He tells His Church to repent! (Notice that His final words are not go make disciples!) We are to go make disciples, but before we will ever accomplish anything for the kingdom we must repent. Moreover before we can expect anyone else to accomplish something for the kingdom they must repent. All great revival preaching has always centered around repentance! Repentance is one of those words that we are afraid to use around the “un-churched” (I despise that word), however no matter how you cut it, repentance is the first thing we are called to preach to them. We have come to a point in modern Christendom where people are saying that everyone is somewhere along some spiritual journey and maybe someday they will mature unto repentance. Nonsense! If there is no repentance then what they are on is an unspiritual journey into eternal death yet they will go there pretending to be Christians. Come on, do we not know that we are the bride of Christ! That we have our backs to the world! Or are we united to the world in some social club we call Christendom?

We must preach repentance. If we do not our congregations will continue to look more and more like the world around them. Look at the ‘Purpose Driven Life’ gospel, notice that all the churches that have used it ‘successfully’ look more like the world then when they started. They now have huge buildings packed with all the latest amenities from flat panel TVs, to coffee bars, even hair salons. What is going on? Is this bad or good? Well the logic is to make ‘church’ appealing to the world, and preaching repentance certainly does not fit that goal. Have you noticed how corporations have used ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ everyone uses it, tons of people have read it, or are reading it, and you never hear anything bad about it. The world loves it!! Do you know why? It is because never once in its whole explanation of Christianity, and its whole model for Christian community does it ever mention repentance. So long as you leave repentance out of the picture the worldly ‘church’ will thrive. Yet include in every message for one year at least something about repentance and most churches built on these new models would be about half the size or less than they are now. On the bright side there would be more Christians in them. We have tied our hands, our congregations are going through what is about the same as the dot-com craze on the stock market, the congregation has become much larger than the Church. None of these modern congregations have the unction to begin to preach hard on repentance because the numbers would certainly drop and this would be considered failure. In truth we keep inflating our churches with worldly business models that produce apparent numerical success, while the Church of Jesus Christ dwindles away. Eventually God will burst this bubble and those who are His will recognize it as revival, and the rest will bemoan the dwindling sizes of their congregations.

Jesus preached Repent, Peter preached repent, John the Baptist preached repent, all the great preachers of our past, Edwards, Wesley, Spurgeon, Brainerd, Whitfield, and so on all preached repent. We preach make disciples to people who have never embraced the cost of discipleship, which is repentance.

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The world does not need a new definition of Christianity, it needs a new demonstration of Christianity.”

Well that was a rant, more than an explanation or teaching, and I apologize for not really developing any points. Pages and pages could be written on this but I will stop here. I already have my next series in mind so hopefully tomorrow I will conclude this one.


Repentance Series (7 of 9) God's Pleasure in Repentance

God’s Pleasure in Repentance (7 of 9)

Galatians 1:10 -- For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

In repentance we please God, and ultimately this is the objective of the Christian’s life. I have been saying over and over that we serve God for Him and not for us, we repent for Him not us, we are even saved for Him and not us, and ultimately our highest point of joy and satisfaction is to know that we are pleasing to Him. This post excites me more than any of the prior because it forces me into thinking about God’s pleasure in me.

Through continual repentance God sanctifies a believer and sets them apart, He makes them altogether different than the rest of the world. The repentant believer has been marked by God, and God looks at His believer with joy. The Father made it very clear at Jesus’ baptism and at the transfiguration that He was well pleased with His only begotten Son. The Son pleased the father more than anything else, and it is to the Son that we look in hopes of bringing that same pleasure to God. It is only by repentance that we become like the Son, and thus please God. When we turn away from our own way and towards the way of the Son God is well pleased. Does that bring you joy? Do you revel in that fact that little sinful you by repentance can bring pleasure to The Almighty? If the fact that you can bring God joy does not thrill you then you need to seek Him, and plead for Him to give you the desire to please Him. It is the ultimate satisfaction to know that you are pleasing to God. Repentance is all about God’s pleasure. Forget for a moment about pleasing your pastor, teacher, friends, and even your spouse, and ask yourself what you can do to please God. You will find that repentance from your ways unto His ways is all you can do. Pleasing your spouse, parents, etc… in a Godly manner certainly would be repentance for most of us, and we should do that, but ultimately to please God.

Seek to repent and to give God pleasure, even right now.

This post has left me feeling inclined to remark briefly again about God’s sovereignty. God is sovereign. Most people would be horrified if they realized how sovereign God really is. We must, however, never let this thought of sovereignty over shadow the pleasure and displeasure which we may bring to God. If pondering the doctrine of God’s sovereignty does not drive you into closer fellowship with Him and a greater desire to serve Him, but instead makes you feel more like a helpless pawn simply being manipulated by the will of God, then you have a very wrong idea of God’s sovereignty. Again, God is not callous, and we do bring Him pleasure, and displeasure.


Repentance Series (6 of 9) The Rewards of Repentance

The Rewards of Repentance (6 of 9)

God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. I do not want to make this post because I fear I will give the wrong idea of who God is, and why we serve Him. Nonetheless Jesus spoke much about reward, and we too must speak of it as well, especially concerning repentance. If you have not yet read the first 5 posts of this repentance series please do so before continuing on.Remember that repentance is for God, not for your reward, the purpose of this post is to speak of the wonderful rewards of repentance, not to convince you to repent for the rewards. In other words repent because God is worthy, not because of what you will receive.

The greatest reward that anyone could receive is God Himself, and that should be the only sought after reward of repentance. It goes back to the question we asked before, ‘Why must we repent’, and the simple answer was to please God. This is the reward we desire: to hear God say ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.’ Will we receive bigger dwelling places and more luxury in glory if we live a repentant life? I suppose you could make that case fairly convincingly, but my hope is not that I dwell in a big mansion with many treasures but that the place I dwell in is in the very near vicinity of the throne. The reason heaven is heaven is because God the father dwells there with Jesus His Son. That is our reward.

I must also speak of the earthly rewards of repentance. First let me make this very clear, biblical repentance is more likely to make you poor than rich. I do not care what Mr. Osteen tells you, or any of the other fools on TV may say, or even a Jabez prayer. These schemes all play on your selfishness, and all of Christendom seems obsessed with them. The earthy rewards of repentance are the blessings that result from a life turned away from sin: A clean conscience, communion with God, joy in the inner man, fruitful relationships, the warm burning for God that only the Spirit can bring, and purpose. Christ will drive the repentant person to purpose, and to have a purpose from God is certainly a reward. A ‘purpose driven life’ will not lead you to the Lord, but a Christ driven, spirit led, repentant life will certainly lead you to purpose. (I could easily get sidetracked here.)

The rewards of repentance are so real, and bring so much joy, yet they are not the rewards the world desires. (I will leave it at that.) I recognize that these last couple of posts did not have scripture references in them. Feel free to click the e-mail link if you have any questions where I have derived my points from and I will point you to the scriptures that affirm the things I have been saying. I will comeback and append to the bottom of both of these posts list of the scriptures used to develop these posts later this evening (Lord willing). 

(--below was added 9/23/2006--)
Acts 3:19
Acts 11:18
Romans 2:4


Repentance Series (5 of 9) Continuing in Repentance

Continuing in Repentance (5 of 9)

Sanctification occurs in every true believer, and sanctification is only brought about by continual repentance. It is true that there is a point at which the unbeliever initially repents from his or her unbelief and becomes a real Christian, we cannot deny that. That is repentance unto salvation, and that repentance and salvation will never be lost. However, we must realize that true repentance continues indefinitely in a Christian’s life, else there never was repentance initially. Continual repentance is the only evidence that the initial repentance was a real act of God’s grace and not the personal act of someone selfishly seeking heaven. Repentance is more than a series of actions; it is a state of being which all believers are in.

Modern “Christianity” is very quick to embrace this ‘repent once and it and it last forever’ doctrine, yet there is a failure to validate this initial repentance with its continuation. In other words when there is apparent conversion it is almost always just accepted regardless of whether or not the supposed convert has continued in repentance. The reason most people do not have the expectation of continual repentance is because they simply feel better about themselves and their ministries if they can claim that they have seen many conversions, or even worse that they have brought about many conversions. When their supposed convert lives a life that is not marked by some sort of continual repentance they will still call them a believer, but claim they merely backslidden and never question their conversion. To increase the number of alleged converts they simply attempt lower the standard of salvation.

The lack of understanding of continual repentance has lead to a myriad of heresy in the fundamentalist church, and it is sickening. For instance the sinner’s prayer has become the climax of many church services. Everything in the service is planned with the intent getting people to say this prayer, and the very gospel itself is tossed to the side in favor of a psychological ploy. We have altar calls after moments of high emotion in order to cause some sort of response to an experience the worship planners manufactured. If we understood continual repentance we would put no stock in these methods. We would preach the clear gospel and let God bring them to repentance. If they desire counsel we must make it available to them; however our goal is to drive the gospel home so that they will approach our Lord and not our Roman road, spiritual laws, or sinner’s prayer. When God converts a person with His gospel it will take no gimmicks, He will grant repentance and it will continue unto life everlasting.

You need to ask yourself “Was my salvation a result of some emotionally manufactured experience that has led to no power over sin, or was it the power of God that drove me to a continual repentance and victory over sin?” Please do not mistake what I am saying; salvation can be a very emotional experience, yet that emotion must be generated from salvation, not to bring you to salvation.

We will talk later about preaching repentance, and it should certainly be preached with emotion, however our emotion in preaching anything must come from the subject whom we preach about not for the intent of manipulating an audience.

(--below was added 9/23/2006--)
Scripture references
Matthew 3:8
Mark 1:4
Luke 3:8
Acts 26:20


Repentance Series (4 of 9) Why Must We Repent

Matthew 3:2 Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Luk 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

I have taken far too long to make this post, and for anyone who may follow this blog I apologize. When I was initially planning this 9 part series I felt that this post would be the easiest of the bunch to write about, but I am finding the opposite to be true. My temptation is to say that we must repent because an eternity of hellfire awaits us if we do not. That is certainly true, but it is cheap. If you repented for the sole purpose of gaining eternal comfort you will certainly find that your supposed repentance has no staying power. This is because you are not repenting away from yourself and unto God, instead you are simply turning towards your own man powered morality for the sake of your own eternal benefit. It is quite the opposite denying yourself, in fact if you had nothing to benefit from this repentance you would leave it be. What I am saying is that repentance is for God and not you, period.

Why then must we repent? For the true Christian this a foolish question because repentance is the desire of the Christian. The believer is broken over their sin and only desires repentance, and will not be satisfied until it is obtained. Repentance is so much more a part of the Christians salvation than we realize. When we view salvation we can break it into three parts, ‘I have been saved’ (justification), ‘I am being saved’ (sanctification), and I will be saved (glorification), repentance is the near equivalent of sanctification, or salvation from sin in the present. This salvation from present tense sin, sanctification, and repentance are nearly one and the same and are what separates true belief from false. The real believer desires salvation in the present tense and desires to repent accordingly.

So why will a Christian repent? Matt 3:2 ‘…for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ We recognize that we are ever in the presence of an omnipresent God and we desire to be pleasing to Him, which we cannot do without repentance. Moreover “there is much joy in heaven when sinners repent”; I understand that Luke 15:10 is referring to conversion, but it no doubt brings God joy when we who are His repent as well (we will discuss this in the post “continuing in repentance”). We repent to please our Lord. He is our heavenly father, and just like as children we tried to please our dad, and to bring him joy, we now try to please our real heavenly father.

I know I did not adequately cover this topic, maybe I will never be able to. To summarize: We repent to please God, and because it is our natural desire. We are broken when we must struggle for repentance, but that brokenness is a mark of true belief. We must never reduce repentance to a scheme to avoid the pit, and if that is what it is to you please seek God openly and honestly until He regenerates you. Do not rest, or even dare to close your eyes until repentance is the desire of your heart. When it is your desire you will begin to see the foolishness of a question like “Why must we repent.”

As a final note, it certainly pleases God when a sinner repents, and it is displeasing to God when someone does not repent. I believe in a completely sovereign God, but to those who place God’s sovereignty as His supreme attribute and let the rest of His attributes kind of follow from there I want to say this: Our God is not callous, He is not too powerful to meet you personally, and not too sovereign to be pleased or displeased with the actions of His people.


Short Break

For those of you who frequent this blog, I apologize for the 3 week break in this repentance series. There are multiple reasons, vaction, study taking a different direction, time at the hospital with my grandfather, and so on. However the main reason this is taking so long is that the next post 'why repent' is a difficult one for me adequately write. I do not want to reduce it to the simple 'because you'll go to hell if you don't' statement. That is true, but it is so cheap, in fact you should repent regardless of where your eternal home will be simply because God deserves your repentance. We will save elaborating on this until I actually make the (4 of 9) post which I hope can be soon. Until then, I have come across some of the best preaching I have ever heard and I would like to provide web addresses to download the sermons I have found.

I hope you will listen to these, and that you would be prompted to examine yourself and to be drawn unto God.

Modern American Christianty - Paul Washer

Biblical Manhood - Paul Washer

Regeneration and Self Denial - Paul Washer

***(my personal favorite) Ten Shekels and a Shirt - Paris Reidhead

The Right Use of the Law - Paris Reidhead


Repentance Series (3 of 9) How to Repent

In the last post I tried to make it clear that repentance was first of all a 180-degree turn from sin towards God. Secondly, repentance is a gift from God. And finally that repentance is ultimately a denial of self.

Repentance is a result of brokenness, we cannot repent until we are broken and see our intense need of repentance. We will never turn to God, unless God shows us our need of Him, and we will never see our need of Him as long as we are strong in ourselves. In other words the very first step towards repentance is recognizing that we are sinful, and that in our flesh dwells no good thing. It sounds pretty elementary, and it should. The problem is that even we who believe rarely are broken enough to see the enormity of our sinfulness, and thus repentance is hindered. The unbeliever will see their sin, yet they remain oblivious to how rebellious their sin is toward God.

2 Corinthians 7:9 “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.”

When we are brought to the point of repentance it is painful, because we must come to the sorrowful realization that we cannot stop sinning, but when repentance is granted the freedom given is amazing.

After we see our sinfulness, how can we be granted repentance? This is a serious point for the unbeliever who never has been granted repentance, and also for the believer who has not yet been granted repentance over a certain sin. If we have been convicted of sin, and our heart detests our sinfulness and we are broken before God, the next step is almost too simple. Ask! Seek! Knock! You must understand that if you have been brought to the point where you abhor your sin, and your heart desires deliverance that means that the Lord has begun a work in you already, and that repentance is just a step away! If you desire repentance you will receive it of God if you simply ask for it. If you are asking for it and you are not receiving it, then stay on those knees until you have received it. It could take all night crying out to God, it could be 2 minutes. Ask! Ask! Ask! Plead with God, if you truly desire to repent you will be more than willing to plead to Him with a teary eye and a trembling lip until sleep overcomes you. Then you will awake again and plead some more until you have been granted that precious repentance.

On a more solemn note, if you do not see your sinfulness, or you need for repentance then you are lost, and you have no source or reason to have any hope. You will eventually die unrepentant and unregenerate, unless a change occurs. If you do not see your sinfulness, pick up a bible and read it honestly, and pray to God to show you your sinfulness, and to break your heart so that you may desire repentance. Start with desiring to see your sin, and then pray that God would give you a heart that detests sin.

We must see how wretched we are, then and only then we will be able to deny ourselves, seek God, and repent.


Repentance Series (2 of 9) What is Repentance

Most have heard that repentance is a ‘180-degree turn from sin towards God.’ This is a true statement, but it rolls so simply off of the tongue that we do not see the force of it. We all tend to do a 90-degree repentance; we will be convicted of sin and will dig down deep into ourselves with the intention of putting a halt to that sin. We will turn away from the sin towards ourselves for the strength to overcome the sin. We find the strength within ourselves to resist sin for a short while, but then somehow over the course of time we find ourselves back into the same sin, and usually worse off than we were in the first place. That is not repentance. If your repentance is based on your own personal attempts at piety then my friend you are unrepentant. Your efforts at repentance are proof that you are rebellious against God in that you believe you can overcome sin by your own strength. If you believe that then you are saying that Christ did not die for you, because you do not need Him. Sound harsh? It should, you see God has given us delivery from sin and death through Christ, if you are trying to deliver yourself then you deny the gift.

So the first thing we established is that repentance is a 180-degree turn. I have not quoted scripture because the word repent itself holds this meaning without any context need.

The second thing we must realize about repentance is that it is a gift. We miss this too often! Repentance is given by God, not worked out on our own. If we can grasp this we will truly begin to understand what repentance is. The following verses show that repentance is given from God.

Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

2 Timothy 2:25 “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

If we fail to recognize repentance as a gift from God that is to be sought after we will fail in every case to repent. Repentance is a purely human work if it is not given from God. If repentance is our work then we are enemies of God because we claim a righteousness of our own, and deny the need for a righteous savior. We also will fail to see the immense love that our Lord has for us. When we attempt to overcome sin on our own and fail over and over again we begin to doubt in the power of our Lord, yet when God gives you repentance unto life then His immense love becomes so evident.

Finally repentance is a turning away from yourself. I tried in this post to make it very clear that repentance is not a work that you muster up the will power to do. Repentance is very much the opposite of that, it is a complete turning away from yourself and your abilities and relying entirely on Him. The biggest hindrance to your repentance is not the temptation to continue sinning, but the insistence the in you is the power to overcome sin.

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

It is through the Spirit, not personal effort, that repentance occurs, and that the deeds of the body will be mortified.

I will summarize:

What is repentance?
1. A 180-degree turn from sin towards God.
2. A gift from God.
3. A turning away, or denial of self.

The next post will be on “How to Repent” will be more practical than this post, but going into that part of this series it is so important that we remember that repentance is a gift, it is turning away from self, and it is turning away from sin towards God.

As always feel free to comment, to do so you just click the title of the blog and then go down the screen to where it says add comment.


Repentance Series (1 of 9)

Luke 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Over the next 9 posts we will be looking into repentance. I have been burdened by the Lord with this simple word, REPENT, for the past week or so, and have come to realize that most of my life I have been taught a ‘gospel’ that excluded repentance. I now am coming to realize that a ‘gospel’ that does not include repentance is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has graciously granted me repentance and continues to do so to this day. It brings so much joy to be broken by our Lord unto repentance, and more importantly when we are living a repentant life it brings great pleasure to our Father in heaven. The posts that are to come in this series will prove to be difficult on all of us, whether we are a repentant believer who desires to share God’s truth, or even more difficult if we are unrepentant and making a profession of faith in Christ. The ensuing posts are not written to make the true believer doubt his belief, but rather to give greater understanding. These posts will be written to bring the false professor to question their faith and not to rest easy until they have sought the Lord and experienced truly His Love and the great joy that exists in the broken repentant life.

The new testament mentions repent, or repentance over 40 times, and over the course of the posts nearly all of them will be addressed. Following this introductory post will be 8 with the following subjects:

What is repentance?
How can we repent?
Why must we repent?
Continuing in repentance
The rewards of repentance
God’s Pleasure in repentance
Preaching repentance
Concluding remarks.

This may take a week, it may take months, each post may become 2 or more posts, or they may be short and simple. I am not sure what the Lord has in store. Let us pray that the Lord would bless this study and bring Him glory by it, let us humbly approach this with open hearts and receive the teaching He has for us.

Please feel free to leave comments throughout the study. That is all for now, expect the next post soon.


A Continuation of prior blog

I desire to continue along the same line as the last post, so if you have not yet read the prior post you may want to do so.

Many will say to me based on the prior blog that I am a legalist, or I am just too hard, or even that I am pronouncing condemnation on people when I have no right to do so. I am not being legalistic, look at the hard words of Christ concerning discipleship, and the narrow way. We cannot just look past the hard words of Christ and focus only on the comforting ones. The apostles certainly did not, nor should we. We need to evaluate ourselves, are we born of God? Are we regenerate? Do you have a new nature? Do you have a heart of flesh in the place of your heart of stone? Or are you suppressing your carnal will in an attempt to regenerate yourself unto God? Is sanctification your work, or the work of God? To often people think to themselves, ‘I must pray more’, ‘I must give more’, ‘I need to worship more’, ‘I need to witness more’, and so on acting if these things are chores. Friends if you are regenerated none of these things are chores, they are the desires of your new heart. If you do not desire the things of God in the depths of your heart then maybe you still have a heart of stone, and are in danger of an eternity outside of the magnificent love of our Lord. This is so critical, you may be doing so much for God out of obligation, or even coercion from your church’s pulpit but it the end our Lord will say ‘Depart from me, I never knew you.’

Are you born of God? We all still sin, this post is not to make a believer doubt their standing with God, instead it is to call out those who are simply saying ‘Lord, Lord’. If you are a believer who is afraid to witness, test your heart, if you really and honestly desire to share the love of Christ but the flesh promotes a fear in you, then friend you are born of God! I say this because your hearts desire is witnessing yet you are hindered by the flesh. If you truly desire to give more, yet you fear what will happen if you do, then you are lacking faith, but nonetheless your desire is that of a new heart. If you honestly desire to read your scriptures more, but fleshly laziness wells up in you, then friend you are born of God because your heart desires His word, you are disobedient in your laziness, but nonetheless born of God. If you do all the things I mention, but you do them out of obligation and not from the hearts desire then you need to get alone with God. You need to plead with Him for a new heart and do not even think to get off of your knees until he has given it to you.

I as much as anyone struggle with my flesh, but praise God that sin is only the desire of my flesh, and no longer the desire of my heart. Praise God that the flesh is at war with my new nature, and not a comrade with it as it was with the old nature. Sin is human nature, praise God that He has replaced that nature. Lets get away from all of our intellectualism, our ramblings about this and that, and lets just get at the heart of it. If you are born of God, praise Him for that! If not, what is holding you back from pleading earnestly to Him until he bestows upon you the salvation and new nature which you desire?


Eternal Security - Repentance = the pit

Eternal security is a precious doctrine, to know that once the Lord has redeemed you, that he will keep until the end is a wonderful bit of assurance for all who are called His. However I think this doctrine wrongly applied has sent many a sinner into the pit. The problem is that people will move on to clinging to this doctrine before they ever repent. How often do you see one who professes to be a Christian living a life of habitual sin? Jesus said very clearly that you can know a man by his fruit. If the fruit of a man is continually bad, you know that he is not regenerate. We all still sin, but if we are regenerate we live in a state of repentance where we are turning from sin, and moreover we have a holy hatred of sin. The doctrine of eternal security some have used to ease their conscience about their sinful lifestyle, where in truth if someone has a sinful lifestyle they are not regenerate at all, and are finding comfort in a doctrine that does not yet apply to them. If you can continually commit the same sinful acts which you know are sinful, and you do not despise those acts, or you make excuses or try to justify your sinfulness then you are not a child of God, and have not a single ounce of security. “Except ye repent ye too shall likewise perish.” It breaks my heart to think that I was given an opportunity to preach on a Wednesday night at our church a few months back and I preached a gospel that never mentioned repentance, and therefore was not the whole gospel. People loved the preaching, and I hope the Lord could still use it to His glory, but I failed.

We need to see that we are called out from the sinful life; we are given a new heart, and new life. If we have new life, God forbids we return to the old one, and he will not let us return to the old one, he holds us eternally secure. If we are living the old life, and there is no evidence of regeneration that we are not being held eternally secure and have never truly been given new life. If we are living the old sinful life it is proof that our profession is false.

I know these are rough words, but they are true. I am done watering down the word for my own ease, and for the ease of others.


Obedient Sin

Obedience for the sake of self is sin. Many Christians labor to be obedient for the sake of becoming better Christians. They seek obedience knowing that a life of complete obediece would certainly be more fulfilling than their current life of disobedience. They seek obedience out of a quest for a better life for themselves. People will apply scriptural precepts to their own lives for their own benefit. Some Christians will strive for obedience thinking it will give them assurance of life eternal. The problem with this type of obedience is that it is ultimately aimed at pleasing self. We are better off being disobedient in an effort to glorify the Lord, than we are being obedient for the sake of self. Our ultimate concern as Christians must be the glory of God... period. If we are going to be obedient in giving to the church we must be giving for the glory of God, not to ease our conscience, or to receive blessing in return. We resist temptation to bring glory to God, not for fear of punishment. It is all about focus. For too long we have been witnessing because we feel bad for people who are destined for the pits of hell, when we should be witnessing to people because God deserves to be glorified in their life. If we are obedient to the call to witnessing for the betterment of mankind then we are serving man, yet when we witness with the purpose of God being glorified then we are serving the most high. We can all think of our own struggles with disobedience, and if we cut through all the details we will see that the reason we are struggling is because we are seeking obedience in a particular area for our own benefit, if our focus was to glorify God, obedience will simply occur. If our hearts are turned toward the glorification of God, obedience will come naturally.

Well I have to leave, I may continue this later. I haven't proof read this at all so there are probably a million typos.


Women and Authority

God has raised up some women to lead His churches, and moreover to take authority roles over men. Let that thought sink in a minute.

In any writing, including this blog, the audience is always considered and the writing is suited to communicate the writers view to the particular audience. Scripture is no different, God inspired His word for His people, for all times. The reader of scripture today is as much God's intended audience as were the first readers of Paul's Epistles. Today's reader can read the scripture as if it were directly written to him or her. With that said it is clear that women are not intended to be the leaders of Christian churches. Still God is raising up women ministers, lay leaders, committee chairs and so on, and they are bearing fruit for the Gospel in their various circles of influence. Why is this?

It is a simple answer. Men have failed to answer the call of God to be the leaders He created them to be. Men have become so wrapped up in work, sports, and various recreational activity that God has put them under the authority of women. Attending worship on Father's Day was very disheartening. Church attendance was incredibly low, yet on mothers day there is not an empty place in the pews. Why? Mothers are bringing their children to worship, while fathers stay home. The reason women are taking the authoritative roles that they have taken is a result of the slothfulness of man, not the disobedience of women. Women should not be blamed for assuming high positions when there male counterparts are too busy golfing to be concerned with spiritual things. Next time you view a church that is being overrun by women in authority positions keep in mind, the Lord may be laying it on their hearts to do the leadership work that lazy men have neglected. Moreover many women who have labored for the gospel in leadership roles should be recognized for what they have done. God has raised up women in this way before, we see it occaisionally in scripture.

Unfortunately many feminists have entered leadership roles to labor for feminism as opposed to the gospel. They have used the church as place to advance their agenda and not the gospel. Even in this case it is still the fault of lazy men that this occurs. There is a 'God fearing male' leadership vacuum in the church and so it is relatively easy for anyone to assume leadership with whatever agenda they please. Why do gays get leadership roles? Because of the lack of God fearing male leaders.

We should praise God for the women who have been raised up in the stead of slothful men to defend the gospel, and moreover we males need to answer our call to be leaders and to lead with zeal and fervor so that faithful women do not have to labor performing the tasks of leadership that were intended for us.

Well, that was a rant. It was in response to an awesome gospel presentation at our church by a female pastor this past Sunday. She was in the pulpit because our departing minister was too busy to preach.


Altar Calls? Continued

Continued from previous entry..

Many hard-line fundamentalists will take a firm stance against modern and post-modern church growth strategies, i.e. ‘The Purpose Driven Church’, or strategies used by Crystal Cathedral, Joel Osteen, and Willow Creek. I think that Christians are right in the rejection of these strategies because of their focus. That focus is on psychology, creating a feeling. These strategies utilize the scriptures as man’s tool for converting souls. This is crazy when you think about it. The scripture is God’s revelation to man, it is not a tool, it is truth. The scriptures are not something we use for a purpose; they are something we present as a truth. (Churches that focus heavily on social reform and lightly on evangelism typically view scripture as a tool to bring about reform, on the other hand churches that are focused heavily on evangelism often view the scripture as the believers tool to win souls.) Once again the scripture is not to be used as a tool by man period. It is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation, it is God’s tool, He is the one, the only one who has the authority to use it. We will submit to it, we will present it, we will preach it, and teach it, and sing it, but it is only God who will empower it, and use it for His purpose. Often times the fundamentalist, altar-calling church is so quick to criticize the post-modern church or mega church that it doesn’t even take notice that what they are criticizing they are also practicing. The mega church generates emotion to get the guard of the sinner down and then slips in the gospel. The altar call is no different, the preacher will pick and choose the verses to use as a psychological tool to break down the sinner and when the sinner is in an emotionally defeated state the preacher presents the gospel, opens the altar for all to come forward. In both situations tools are used by man to generate response, and by pragmatic reasoning both methods are excellent because they net large results. However, the results are rarely permanent and life changing. The net result is often a non Christian who feels unjustifiably right with God because they came to the altar at one point during an emotional experience.

Why must we use the scriptures as a tool to generate a response at the altar? Are we to use the scriptures as a tool so that we may condemn the world of sin? Or, are we simply to present the scriptures as the truth that they are, and let the Lord cause the Word to collide with the law written on the hearts of mankind so that he can bring his glorious redemption. The altar call is unnecessary, that is unless you need to see results to trust that the preaching was ‘good’. The Lord will work a mighty work in a man or woman when the word is preached and truth gets a hold of their conscience and heart. Whether the Lord blesses the preaching to the sinner’s heart at the church, or at the sinners home, or in the sinners car or anywhere else is up to the Lord, yet in our quest for seeing the response we have created the altar call. The altar call focuses more on the decision than on the work of God unto salvation. When we see an altar call take place we get nervous at first that nobody is going up, and then we start to get excited when people start walking forward, and then when that prayer is prayed we are overcome with joy, what a mighty work of God we think. Yet we all know too well that many of these professions at the altar prove to be false and therefore we have rejoiced not at the work of God, but at the decision of a man to come forward in an emotionally altered state. I remember all to well when a friend of mine came at an altar call and I remember the tears shed and the joy felt and yet to this day 7 years later this friend has not shown an ounce of regeneration. It felt real at the time, but only because it was a carefully crafted moment in time used to generate an emotional response out of an unsuspecting unbeliever.

So what should we do? Should we refrain from emotional preaching? Absolutely not, the word is filled with emotion and to preach unemotionally would be to leave out some of the full counsel. What we cannot do is try to manufacture emotion by carefully crafting our messages to elicit a response. We need to trust that God will use the plain preaching of His word to redeem His chosen people. Often times we feel a person must know their exact moment of conversion and thus the altar call provides a means of ‘knowing’ that exact time. This is not necessary, it never has been. Personally I can remember a time when I was not saved, and I can remember time past after being saved, yet the in-between time when God did a powerful work and turned my heart is all a blur that kind of runs together, and frankly I am ok with that. I personally do not need an exact moment in time to verify in my heart that God performed a mighty work in me to turn me away from sin and death and toward Him.

Finally the altar call often serves as a distraction from the preaching of God’s word itself. How many times have you left a meeting and the altar call experience is what you remember the most. The preaching may have been excellent and God honoring, yet that all too often fades into the background after experiencing the emotionally filled altar call. The Lord will use good preaching to bring many sinners to the cross right in their pew, the trip to the altar is merely added pageantry. I would contend that those who did respond to the altar and were saved the Lord had begun changing them during the preaching and would have done the work just fine without the altar, and those who go to the altar without being saved are the ones who looked to the emotional altar call for their salvation.

Well that is enough of a rant for this topic.


Altar Calls?

The altar call was born out of pragmatism.

Pragmatism: A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences. (from dictionary.com)

In other words the cause is defined by the effect. Pragmatic thinking basically says the meaning of a cause can be defined by its effect. Now for the altar call. Pragmatic reasoning would say the fact that during an altar call people move forward and make a decision to follow Christ, means that the altar call itself is a means of converting people to Christ. The altar call is defined by the decisions made at the altar.

So what is wrong with all of this? We would say that people making decisions for Christ is a good thing right?

You certainly do not hear of altar calls, or anything remotely similar in scripture. Yet the altar call has become the hallmark of many evangelical churches. Many churches will view a high number of people at an altar call as evidence of sucessful preaching and a low number as evidence of poor preaching. (Notice the pragmatic reasoning.) The pressure of getting a large number of people to the altar as driven preachers to change their message. Preachers will preach in a way that manipulates the congregation using psycology and brings them to a point where they are emotionally wrapped into their message and their guard is down at that point they bring in the gospel and the gospel makes sense and the people stream down the aisles to the altar to make a decision. The issue is that for many if not most of these people the altar call was an emotional experience that was not spirtual rebirth. What complicates this even more is when the preacher assures them of their eternal security based on the prayer they made at the altar. This whole altar call salvation is based on an unbeliever making a decision, and praying a prayer and is often done in an emotionally altered state. It is the works of a man, coming forward and praying the prayer that brings them supposed salvation.

True salvation comes from being born again from above.
(I have to stop right now, this post will be continued check back in for the conclusion shortly.)


The Last Two Beattitudes

There is a tendancy for the fundamentalist and liberal both to put a lot of emphasis on the last two beatitudes, maybe more than they should. I have found myself in this category a couple of times as well.

'Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake, rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets then went before.'

It is common for people to take these verses to justify themselves anytime someone disagrees with them. Lets take a doctrine like the foreknowledge of God, I avidly disagree with the stance of our staff, and the entire denomination as it pertains to election and God's foreknowledge. Yet when a pastor tells me in an e-mail dialog that I am wrong, is that persecution? Absolutely not, if anything it is rebuke or reproof, though not a wise reproof in my estimation, but nonetheless it is by no means persecution. The same can be said going the other way, if I tell someone that they are wrong when it comes to a doctrine like the total depravity of man, I am in no way persecuting them, I am simply offering reproof. Liberals in churches have become so sensative to disagreement that they always view it as division, disention, and persecution. They will water anything down to the point where everyone is happy. On the other hand many fundi's are out looking to get 'persecuted'. They will stir the kettle just to watch it boil without any desire to actually cook the meal. When it does boil over and they get burnt they say blessed are we because we have been persecuted.

Here is how it goes, the so called persecuted one takes a stand, someone disagrees, the disagreement is viewed as persecution. The so call called persecuted one then views this as a blessing because of the last two beatitudes. The 'persecuted' person can never be wrong, if someone disagrees with them they view it as a persecution blesssing, and if someone agrees they rejoice at the shared knowledge. I am not calling this a conservative or a liberal Christian issue, it is more of a fallen man issue that plagues all of Christendom. It is sad that we have turned real blessed persecution into a lame justification for the various stances we take.

What is the real blessed persecution? I think the key lies in the rest of the beatitudes. When the poor in spirit, mourning, meek, thirsting for righteousness, mericful, pure in heart, peacemaker is persecuted he may count it all joy and know that he or she is truely blessed. If we are abiding in Christ, and we are living the sweet blessed life charatarized by the beatitudes then there is no rational reason that we would ever be persecuted. Yet in living that life we certainly will be persecuted for righteousness sake, then and only then should we rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is the reward in heaven. Our battle is spiritual, and when we are pure in heart, humble, and gentle the spiritual forces of darkness will always lash out. On the other hand if we are presenting gospel truth in a spirit of bitterness, and seeking to simply watch the pot boil then our so called persecution is not blessed at all but well deserved, and we should be ashamed. Conversely if we are diluting gospel truth for the sake of unity and people rise against us that is not blessed persecution, but well deserved rebuke. If we would live out the first 7 beatitudes then we would truely understand last beatitudes' teaching concerning persecution.

That is all feel free to comment (click on the title then go to the bottom of the page, click add comment)


Why is there suffering?

A popular argument against Christianity is the existance of suffering. The notion is this, if God is all powerful, and God is love, then the existence of suffering disproves God. The argument is flawed severely in its logic, and yet as Christians we seem to really struggle with a defense to this claim against God.

I have heard Christians say that suffering exists because stuff exists. That one is a little beyond me, I guess what is meant by that is something like this: If a tree falls on a person and they break their leg and suffer, it is because the tree exists. Another example sounds kinda like this: The reason the tsunamis caused suffering was because the ocean exists, and earthquakes happen. I guess the theory would be, God created stuff, and stuff created suffering.

I think I understand why people hold to this theory, and I don't think it is the scripture. I think it is a need to maintain a God that is their definition of love. God is love, there can be no mistake made there. Yet if we apply the human standard of love the to The Almighty God then we are attempting to limit the infinite. I held to this position for years also, somehow believing that God is in the business of relieving suffering, and would never consider ordaining suffering, yet looking back I realize that there are some major flaws in that line of thinking.

Lets take a look--
How can we reconcile an all powerful and all loving God and a suffering world. The only reconciliation is that God has ordained suffering out of His infinite love, or else he is either not all powerful, or not all loving. You may say 'Jay you are calling God the author of suffering' I would respond with 'yes, that is what I am saying.' Then you may say well that is not the God I worship, or that is not a God of love, or I would never worship that God.

Let me ask this question:

What was the greastest act of love of all time.

Answer, when God sent His son to suffer for His people. Do you realize that if there were no suffering, God would have been incapable of showing perfect love. However God, being love had to institute suffering so as to be able to make His love manifest. Even before time began God knew full well that suffering would exist, it was His plan. The culmination of suffering which we all experience was the ultimate sacrafice which Christ made. We are called to pick up our cross and suffer with Christ, it is by suffering that we partake in the love of Christ, and can relate to the love He bestowed. With no suffering there would be no sacrafice, there would be no grace. Praise God for suffering! The apostles understood this, Christ understood this, the early church understood this, the Church at the reformation understood this, yet sadly more often than not, we do not understand it. Praise God for the thorns, for they created the crown that proved His love, praise God for the twisted mind that dreamed up the torture that is crucifixion. Praise God when suffering, and thank God for suffering. Why is there suffering? Because God loves His people enough to show them that He was willing to submit to suffering on their behalf. If there was no suffering, and then God came down and suffered it would have made no sense, and nobody would relate to what God was doing. Yet because we understand what it is like to suffer, it is absolutley staggering to think that God would submit to suffering by His own will, on our behalf.

So what about the tsunami's, or my tree example. Was not the tsunami a means of grace for many in that area? Did that not create an instant dispensation of love from God in the form of brethren from all over the world pouring in to a suffering people. If our leg is crushed by a tree can we not see even more that a God that would submit Himself to this world of pain is certainly a God of love. Suffering is a dispensation of love from God, and should not be viewed as simple circumstance. Our God is the author of love, and suffering is one of His main literary tools.

If you want to comment on this or any post, click the title at the top then go to the bottom and click add comment.


Are You Truely Free?

The question I pose in this post seems so simple, yet as Christians we tend to miss it. Christ freed us from slavery to sin an death. He told us that His burden was easy, His yoke was light, yet we still tend to live in bondage. We tend to think we must love more, work harder, volunteer more, and do more because we are in Christ. We have given up the old life, for a life that has even more toil, and less joy. This shouldn't be.

Can we not see that love not an action, it is a reflection, or maybe a distribution, but we are not its source, and no matter how hard we work we will never generate an ounce of love. Or works, are we called to works, burdening ourselves with saving the lost by some effort of our own? We are called to make disciples by preaching the simple gospel, not by working out some elaborate plan that is dependent on us for its execution. We too often voulenteer for things, or allow ourselves to be voulenteered for things, without ever seeking God's will and peace about what we are voulenteering for. We create jobs for ourselves which, had we first prayed, we may have realized we weren't even the person called to do the job. You and I are to be slaves to Christ, and He is such a wonderful master that even the hardest tasks He gives are accompanied by the peace that passes all understanding. We should never be all tied up in knots about what we should, or shouldn't do, we should be at peace, and completely and utterly free, under the complete control of Christ. The only freedom that exists is complete slavery to Christ.


The Second Deformation

At our church we are about to start ‘The Forty Days of Purpose’ and the congregation is certainly buzzing about it. Of course the buzz is entirely positive and I have not encountered one person with any reservations about it. Even my fundamental brethren seem to be embracing this upcoming forty days of purpose. I suppose I stand alone in opposition to it. The program is based on Rick Warren’s book ‘The Purpose Driven Life’, and it is spreading like wildfire through all of Christendom. I have heard it said that we are in the midst of a second reformation; the church is now engaging the culture, and providing a seeker sensitive experience. It is clearly working, purpose driven churches are experiencing massive surges in membership, people by the millions are making ‘decisions’ and becoming ‘Christians’, yet I stand firmly against this tidal wave and trust that when tested by fire the true nature of purpose driven Christianity will be seen clearly.

I would like to focus today on this notion that we are in the midst of a ‘second reformation’. Certainly anyone who has read Foxe’s Book of The Martyrs know that the first reformation was wrought with martyr blood, sweat, and tears. Brave men and women committed to righteousness stood firm against the established Roman Church and clung dearly to every last word of scripture, and the Roman Catholics slaughtered them for it. What we have today is certainly no reformation, it is more of a relaxation, or as my title states, the second deformation. I will for the rest of this post refer the purpose driven movement as the second deformation. What was the first deformation? The first deformation occurred when the Christian church accepted becoming part of Rome. When Constantine was ‘converted’ and Christians were no longer persecuted but instead were now part of a national religion. Of course Christianity had to be toned way down in order to please everyone. The Christian faith became subject to Rome and adapted itself for life under Roman control. Other gods became acceptable, worldly means of worship, works based salvation, and moral relativism and so on started creeping into the Church until eventually the Church was so steeped in traditions, lore, and false teaching that it did not even recognize the truth. Then came the reformers, over 1000 years after Constantine to clean up the mess that had been made.

Before we really dig too hard on the Christians at Constantine’s time lets take a good look at what we might have done in their shoes. Would we have contributed to ‘the first deformation’? When Christianity became common place I am certain the attendance skyrocketed. I am sure that conversions were happening right and left, and I am willing to bet that most Church leaders were ecstatic claiming that it was a powerful working of the Holy Ghost. Certainly it would have been an exciting time with discussions about Christ becoming common place, people from other religions becoming ‘Christian’ the intellectuals and idiots both embracing the ‘new’ Christianity, which in turn embraced them. It isn’t much different from what is going on now. Yet we look at the course of history as the Roman church matured it slaughtered people by the millions, enslaved its member spiritually, physically, and financially. Even today millions of people are trusting in the Roman system to save them yet remained unaware of the true Christ and untouched by His Holy Spirit. It all started with exciting times, and big numbers, which came as a result of uniting Christianity with the world.

Here we are today, in the midst of the exact same situation. We have taken the world and its gods and its idols and have carried them into our sanctuaries and set them up. Then we watch the worshippers of those gods and idols come into the sanctuary and worship the false gods and idols as they always have. We then proclaim “look at this wonderful thing God is doing!” “People are coming in by the thousands, we have found a formula that the world loves and we are seeing a great harvest.” Yet all that really is happening is that the world can find what it loves in the church. They can have their lust filled without their consciences being singed. We have gotten to a point where we design our worship around the ‘unchurched’ as opposed to God’s word. We have pagans driving our agenda, designing our worship, and shaping our God. We find as many bible translations as possible to fit a message that the unbeliever would like to hear. We preach messages that encourage and comfort sinners, yet rarely confront sinners. We have coffee, guitars, bagels, powerpoint… and so on (none of which are bad in and of themselves) and we use all of these things to appeal to the wicked. The Roman Church in the time of Constantine did whatever it took to convert everyone, it adapted other beliefs and overtime became so corrupt that it was beyond repair. That was the first deformation, what we see now is the second deformation. It hasn’t changed, mingle a lot of truth with a few deceptions and over the course of time it becomes a lot of deception with a little truth (i.e. Romanism).

Anyway back to PDL. I will be participating in our Churches Forty Days of Purpose so that I can get first hand experience of what it is about. Hopefully I will post on this blog my thoughts and reactions to the teachings of the book and the reactions of the class. That is all for tonight.


Eternal Security Part 3

It has been awhile, and with how things are going it will probably be awhile until the next post, but nonetheless I have a free moment and feel inclined to post.

Eternal security and total depravity placed side by side paint an awesome picture of what God's grace really is. I know that many people disagree with both of these doctrines, I am not sure I understand why. To denounce these doctrines is to say some pretty strange things. For instance to denounce total depravity is to say that there is righteousness outside of Christ, it could then be said that though it would be hard it still would be possible the live righteously. This would negate the necessity of Christ's sacrafice. Moreover to denounce eternal security is to say that the work of Christ on the cross for your redemption is still dependent on your own merits and therefore incomplete.

Lets look at total depravity juxtapose with eternal security and see the true blessing and meaning of God's grace. Do you realize that when God saved you that you went from being incapable of pleasing God and entering his presence, to being permanatly placed in his presence, incapable of angering him. That is awesome, and the fact that you did absolutely nothing to earn it. This grace was freely given to you by Him for His purposes. You say, 'whoa Jay' you are off of your rocker on this one, of course you can still anger God. My answer is this, if God sees your actions and your sin through the attoning blood then you have no hope. Surely you have committed a myriad of sin after your conversion and if God sees that sin certainly he will, he must cast you out of his presence forever. He cannot see your sin, certainly The Son may see it, yet he intercedes and the Father sees only the merits of Christ on our behalf. Yet if we are capable of angering God, then we must continually be recovering ourselves with the blood of Christ, and he must be continually sacraficed. Yet we know he was ressurected and intercedes on our behalf in heaven.

Think of that grace, think of what it really meant when you were born again. You went from uncapable of pleasing God, to forever fellowshipping with God. Praise God for His free grace.

That is all for now, I really would like to post sometime soon on the topic of total depravity, hopefully I will make the time.