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Friday, February 12, 2010 | Comments (160)

First, listen to this 10-minute clip:

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Here's the topic for today's discussion:

Discuss the implications of the failure of discernment in evangelicalism today, particularly with regard to who is and who isn’t a Christian.


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#1  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Friday, February 12, 2010at 9:39 PM

The failure of discernment in the church has resulted in the damnation of countless souls who have been lied to about what it is to be saved. They have been given a false peace that as George Whitefield would say is a peace of the devil’s making. No! “You must be born again”. The new birth has absolutely nothing to do with making a decision for Christ! You have been lied to! No! “You must be born again.” You must be born not of blood, not of the will of the flesh, not of the will of man, but of God! God must take away your heart of stone. He alone can do that! God must give you a heart of flesh. He alone can do that! He must write His laws upon your minds and upon your hearts! He alone can do that! If He has done this in you then you will walk in His statutes and observe them and He will be your God and you will be His people. If this is not the case with you then you dare not speak peace to your souls, you are yet in your sins.

You say you came to Christ. Were you weary and heavy laden over the weight of your sins? Is that what caused you to flee to Him for mercy? You have reason to speak peace to your souls. If not then you dare not speak peace to your souls! Did you come to Him thirsting after righteousness because you were made to see that the only righteousness you had were as a woman’s menstrual cloth in the eyes of the thrice Holy God?

You have reason to speak peace to your souls. If not then you dare not speak peace to your souls! The only two groups of people Jesus invited to come to Himself were these two groups (see Matt. 11:28 and John 7:37). To the great multitudes who were following Him He said “If anyone wish to come after Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke14:26, 27) -His Unworthy Slave

#2  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 4:33 AM

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#3  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 4:47 AM

Hey Douglass,

I am not sure that the failure of discernment in the church has resulted in the damnation of countless souls. Jesus said that he would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Whom God has predestined will be saved but I do believe that even the elect are under the wrath of God until they receive a redemptive revelation.

#4  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 6:58 AM

Some time ago I was invited to participate in a forum to discuss an issue that went like this “a recent study shows that today’s Chrisians read the Bible less and less, that they would rather go to Sunday school and listen to someone speak about the bible.” The question to the issue was what do I think is the cause for this trend why Christians do not read the Bible?

Some answered because of business of life, another answered because of new technology, and others because of whatever reasons. I replied that one must question the study itself. What is a Christian, how do you define a Christian? In part my answer was that once you have come to Jesus with a repented heart and found out how dirty you are in His presence; then, a desire to know Him more and more awakens in you. Therefore there is no other way to know Jesus than through the Bible, and if a person does not read the Bible, and as he/she reads it, and if a prayer for discernment does not take place, one can argue if the person really is a Christian, therefore “saved.”

This ties up very well with this topic, when John MacArthur continues to speak about other churches. Biblically speaking there is only one church, Jesus’. What a person must consider is that where he/she is going to worship, does the Scripture take center stage or is it the Piano, Drums, Singers, and like most Hispanic churches, the dancers. Then, one must ask the question is this the ecclesia or the called out ones gathering where I am being fed with the Word of God? Or is this a place where I go to make myself feel good or bad?

No doubt in my mind that the Lord is going to bring up faithful servants out these places that self- nominate as churches. This is, I assume what John Kelsie is bringing up with his statement, but certainly it is what the Bible talks about God’s sovereign election. One must ask the question, are these other organizations the Church? I say no, but by the grace of God, and God’s foreknowledge, some people will be called out from there for salvation, just like it happened to me and many others. I thank God for GTY and John MacArthur for bringing the Word with such clarity.

#5  Posted by Steven Banas  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 7:15 AM

It is true that countless people are running around thinking they are going to heaven because they have swallowed the pill of easy-believeism preached in many of today's pulpits. Even the devil believes and trembles! So many profess to be a believer in Christ, but so few are true disciples. So many claim Christ as Savior, but do not bow to His Lordship. So many flock to the seeker sensitive churches where the message won't offend them, but so few submit to the Truth that sanctifies. Unless one is born again he will not see the kingdom of God. A true Christian is one who is delivered from the wrath of God and eternal punishment. A true Christian is one who is in Christ, clothed in His righteousness, has true evidence of genuine repentance, and loves the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength... and loves his neighbor... unconditionally.

Amen and thanks, Dr. MacArthur. God bless you!!!

#6  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 8:59 AM

Hi Orlando

Can you clarify what you mean by "there is no other way to know Jesus than through the Bible"? The Council of Rome, 382, was the forum which prompted Pope Damasus' Decree that listed the books of today's canon. I hope you would agree that people could know Jesus and be Christisns between AD 30 and 382.

Jeremiah 31:33 says after that time," declares the LORD "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.". You may have heard or read missionaries tell of places where people do not have the Bible. A missionary had visited a village in remote China and told them the essentials of salvation but the people had no Bible. The people prayed and God put his law in ther minds and on their hearts. How do we know? A later missionary would visit and the locals were full of theological questions. As the missionary answered the the people asking responded with joy over the confirmation because it agreed with what God had revealed to them.

#7  Posted by Carl Frederick  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 9:47 AM

I have found that most people who leave the church are those who has been misled, and taught wrong. I just met a person who left the church based on what he was told a about predestination. I left briefly because i was misinformed about a varioty of charismatic isssues such as tonuges, healing, and new revelation. But thanks to teaching like this I am re-energized and ready to get back in the game.

#8  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:11 AM

I praise God for John MacArthur & GTY - primarily through this ministry the Word of God was preached to me and the God of all graces wakened this dead life into everlasting life!

I agree with John's assessment of the current "church" and "Christendom". What constitutes true Christianity and what doesn't is a huge issue. However - a question that may arise from those who hear this from John and don't know him and his love for the truth - "What makes you think that how you interpret the Scriptures is the proper interpretation? - Does the truth only come from those who interpret the Scriptures as John does? What are the essential truths that have to be believed for a person to be assured he/she is a Christian?" I have many Catholics in my family who have a real distain for John (and me). They believe they are part of the "True Church". How do you answer them on the above questions?

Thanks again John and GTY - I have especially enjoyed being able to listen to any of John's messages these last couple of years at the push of a computer button!

#9  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:12 AM

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#10  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:14 AM

Brad Pape,

Forgive me it took me so long. For clarity’s sake, I am speaking in more contemporary terms, where people use Singing, Dancing, Mimics, etc as their main evangelistic tools in order to proclaim the Gospel. Places or organizations that use more “subjective ways to experience” Jesus (i.e. crying, “Speaking in tongues”). My Point is, why else did God give the book? Think about it, the Bible tells you how everything started as it refer to us humans, at the end it tells you how everything is going to end for us humans, and it even speaks of names that were written before the foundation of the world. In the middle, it tells you how it is going to take you to the end by God’s very own sovereignty, grace, mercy on He pleases to have mercy.

You bring a good point, as to when the cannon was finally accepted. But the topic in question is the bombardment with lies on the Church, and the Word of God in a more contemporary terms and how the lack of discernment is even confusing those elected by God. Forgive me for my lack of clarity; also I want to submit that one must be careful to what we call “church” and not knowing what it encompasses. God bless!

#11  Posted by Douglas Mollett  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:15 AM

I'm as guilty as anyone concerning discernment, but this one thing i can say boldly, i have placed my faith and trust in Jesus Christ and Him alone for my salvation, and if that dont make me saved, i dont know what does. He declared "I AM the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me"(john 14:6). And then He states in that same chapter, that He and the Father are united, when He stated that he who has seen me has seen the Father (john 14:8-11). You can't bypass Jesus to get to heaven, Jesus himself said in John 8:23, ''Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.

in Pastor Macarthur's study bible, he states that..."He is not part of the original statement. Jesus' words were not not construted normally but were influenced by OT Heb. usage. It is an absolute usage meaning "I AM" and has immense theological significance. The reference may be to both Ex 3:14 where the Lord declared His name as "'I AM"' and to Is. 40-55 where the phrase "'I AM"' occurs repeatedly(especially 43:10. 13, 25; 46:4; 48:12. In this, Jesus referred to Himself as the God YAHWEH, the LORD) of the OT, and directly claimed full deity for Himself, prompting the jews question of v.25"

So for anyone out there who thinks they can get to heaven other than Jesus, i say that you are rejecting God Himself, and for me, i begin to truly understand the significance of Jesus words when He states that "Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it"(Matt 7:13,14 Emphasis mine). Whats that mean? To put it in the words of my former Pastor back in my home state of Ohio, there is a broad super information highway many lanes wide that is leading to destruction, and a little bitty dirt path over to the side where there are few who actually travel that leads to eternal life. One way to heaven: JESUS CHRIST and HIM alone.

I have placed my faith and trust in Him who lived a sinless life, paid the penalty of my sins on the cross, i confessed to Him i am utterly unable to save myself, and in the words of the apostle Paul, the Lord credited righteousness to my account. if that dont make me a christian, i dont know what does. Peace be with you all.

#12  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:21 AM

Daniel,

The way I know is through reading the Bible, by making notes, by listening to proven men of God like John MacArthur. I used to cross check, verify everything John uses as his references to support his points, and everything checks correctly. Your question is more epistemological than anything else. One last thing but by no means the least of them is prayer, and the asking for discernment.

Hope I helped you, God Bless!

#13  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:23 AM

Amen Douglas!

#14  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 12:10 PM

Hi Daniel

You asked about what to share with Catholics in your family. First, use the Catechism of the Catholic Church to show them that they should not have disdain for you or other Protestants. CCCC 818 says All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church. Second encourage them to read the Bible themselves even though they hear it read every week at mass; this is encouraged by CCCC 19, which says Catholics should refer to the Scriptural texts themselves. Such Biblical references are a valuable working-tool in catechesis. Third, ask them to read Making Converts of Cradle Catholics. This would take about 15 minutes. This will stimulate them to think and pray about things they have know for a long time but have perhaps never really understood (at least not as an adult) . The text is at http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0502fea1.asp so they should trust the source. Also, if they do not believe you about the Catechism they can read that at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM. Last pray Romans 15:5 and Ephesians 4:3 for them before and after you present this. I will pray too.

#15  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 12:27 PM

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#16  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 1:16 PM

I have trouble in this area, as well. I do not understand how born again, Spirit-filled believers can support the Roman Catholic faith. I know I was in shock at some of the men’s names that were associated with the Manhattan Declaration. Total shock! Many of these Protestant men, who signed this document, I personally feel were lacking in proper Biblical discernment. I can understand some lay people, who are new to the faith, not having a firm grasp on justification by faith alone (I have had my run-ins with many of that ilk), but what excuse is there for those that have seminary degrees to unabashedly support a religion which is clearly spelled out in Scripture as being “a different or another gospel?”

It is no wonder that the church is in such a crisis. If one cannot discern the most critical doctrine of all, one that Martin Luther himself said the church either stands or falls on, then is it any small wonder why the church is in such quandary, even over other, lesser doctrines?

What really frustrates me, is that often more than not, when people are discussing the essential matters of Scripture, justified by faith alone is totally glossed over, sadly left behind, but JBFA asks the very critical, all important question, “How am I as a sinner made right before a just and holy God?” Answer this question, by faith alone, in Christ alone, and you have the true doctrine once delivered to the saints. Miss this, and you fail miserably.

But it is not surprising in this day and age, when people look to teachers such as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Beth Moore, T.D Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and many others of that particular persuasion to give them their daily bread, that confusion is the norm. We need a reformation in this country, one where people will devote themselves to understanding Scripture as the inspired, inerrant word of God, and pay close attention to many godly men of the past and present reformed faith, who understood that faith alone, in Christ alone, is what makes a man right before God.

Keep up the good work Dr. MacArthur; we need more godly men like you. I know you have blessed me and countless, countless others, in your deep study of Scripture and stand for the truth.

#17  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 1:51 PM

The failure of discernment in evangelicalism today has resulted in the widespread promotion and use of unbiblical forms of evangelism, which can only produce false conversions i.e. unregenerate sinners on whom the wrath of God yet abides. The question of whether or not those who use these methods have themselves ever been born again begs to be asked. The process of the new birth is indeed a dreadful process. The word of God being brought to bear upon our conscience (see 1 peter 1:23) causing us to see ourselves as being hopelessly in debt to a Thrice Holy God who demands a complete and perfect payment (see Matt. 5:3,4) is a terrifying experience. Indeed, God’s taking away of our heart of stone (see Ezekiel 11:19) is not a process that one can easily forget. The process of breaking a wild horse and making it meek (see Matt. 5:5) is no pleasant process either but there are no other ways of entering the kingdom of God. None of God’s children are born by a cesarean section, no, the way is narrow indeed (see Matt. 7:14).

Jesus said “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (Matt. 1:17). We must study to know what it is to follow Jesus. We must study to follow His example in the way He fished for men (His ministry only lasted three years before they crucified Him). Our Master taught His disciples how to fish for men. How did they fish for men? Let us study to follow their example. Note the example of Steven and observe the manner in which he fished for men (see Acts 7:2-60). How long did his ministry last? But then again what was the outcome (see 2 Peter 3:15)?

It has been my observation that Biblical evangelism cannot co-exist with unbiblical evangelism. Unbiblical evangelism requires much more in the way of finances and more importantly, it cannot exist in an environment where there is conflict or persecution. If we look at the example of Jesus and the apostles there was much conflict and persecution and yet the word went forth. Biblical evangelism requires faithful and courageous witnesses but not a whole lot in the way of finances (see Philippians 4:15, 16). Do not be surprised my brethren, if when you are faithful to evangelize in a Biblical fashion, those who promote unbiblical evangelism are forced to find some way of removing you from their “fellowship”. To God be the glory both now and forevermore. –His Unworthy Slave

#18  Posted by Regis Cordeiro  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 2:19 PM

I was born in a catholic family and believed I would find God in the catholic church. Very early in my teen years, I realized that if God would reveal Himself on this earth, it would not be in the catholic church, too many wrong things even for the world, you just need to read the news. Thankfully God had another plan to me and converted me from my sins.

The vast majority of my family are catholic and I pray for them every day in the hope that God chose them. The one thing I ask my mother, who is finally listening more, is to read her Bible. Being a Christian is, according to Christ, the ones who do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21, James 2:14-26), and this will is described in the Bible. Accepting Christ is everything that one needs, but each one personally has to measure the fruits that are showing in their own lives. If you really accept Jesus you will follow Him too, following Jesus is the only thing that brings real pleasure, the fruits will be there. The people who call themselves christians but don't do God's will, are not.

I love my family, but is not love to mislead them, love is telling the truth, not mine, but God's in the Bible. I accept them the way they are, but I don't change the Truth because of them or be silent, I love them, so I have to speak to them.

We are having a very hard time finding a church that has God's Glory and His will as the reason to be there, but are just finding social clubs, focus mainly in entertainment and self-indulgence. In reality, the real pleasure and meaning of our existence can only be found in giving up what you think or want and following God's will. The only way to achieve this is DO what God tells and then you will see, not the other way around. (John 8:31-32)

All the glory to our Lord.

#19  Posted by Clayton Williams  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 2:37 PM

Love .. there is no other greater commandment .. love each other, love the saints, love the lost, love the church, love Jesus, love the Word .. Let the Love of Jesus Christ fill the bottomless depths of our souls and light a fire that spreads like blood in water. Then, Go, share that love that Christ has placed in you. Let it fill you with so much joy that it bursts from your lips, "Jesus wants to love you!"

#20  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 3:01 PM

Mary Elizabeth Tyler,

I confess. At the moment when the Manhattan Declaration came out, at first I thought it was the right thing to do. I did pray for it because of urgency in the matter politicians want to take this country of ours. Little did I know, I was letting my political views overshadow the discernment God had given me. I did get caught up in this citizen duty and our right to vote, etc, and signed the declaration. Immediately, I felt the guilt, and got myself on my knees asking for forgiveness. This has become a mayor lessons learned in my faith, I have tried to remove my name off of it but do not know how.

Everyone of us repented, born again in the Spirit of God are a work in progress, and that same Spirit that opened my eyes is still working on me taking me to the truth of the Word. Will I do something silly again , you bet. But is that spirit that convicts me over and over again. Thanks and God bless you all.

#21  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 4:37 PM

Dear Orlando:

Do not be so hard on yourself, we all make mistakes. :) At one time I had an Internet link as to where to go to take your signature of the MD, but I have just spent an hour searching my sources and can come up with nothing. If I find it I will be sure to pass it along in one of these threads.

Nice to meet you. :) Don't you just love Dr. MacArthur's teachings? And I am so thankful for this place to blog.

#22  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 4:54 PM

Dear Regis:

You are so right when you said: "Love is telling the truth." Many people will even call us unloving to hopefully suppress the truth. But what is more loving then caring about someone's soul enough to lead them to Christ's truth, and warn them when we see them embrace falsehoods?

Mary

#23  Posted by Brett Clements  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 5:28 PM

Brad,

I think your example and thought process caries us directly back to the Bible. Though the nationals in China had no Bible there was nothing that took place seperate from what the Bible teaches. Also, the missionaries who ministered to them ministered the Word. The Spirit was drawing, the Word was taught and repentant sinners are saved. Exactly how the Bible says it happens. Though they have no Bible they do have the Word of God. I like your reference to Jeremiah. Many have no Bibles but servants of God take the Word to them.

#24  Posted by Stefan Liebel  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 5:46 PM

I see clearly that the church has seemingly been willing and content to abandon sound doctrine. We need to return to the exposition of scripture because thats what glorifies God. Luther said all divine truth is contained in the book. Let us return to it. God bless you John Macarthur and Grace to you.

#25  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 9:14 PM

Un-signning the MD:

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/01/un-signing-manhattan-declaration-psa.html

God bless,

E.

#26  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 9:23 PM

As to the topic in hand. I was shocked when a member of my church gave a brief testmony of her trip to South Africa and the many abortions that goes on over there. At the end of her brief speech, as an example of true and selfless love, she quotes mother Theresa. I went to speak with her at the end of service and told her I was surprise that with 30+ books in the NT she couldn't find one single example of selfless and true love and had to quote mother Theresa? She didn't say a word. Later I spoke with one of the church's leader and he told me that he expects to see mother Theresa in heaven, I asked why and he told me that she must had been a real Christian considering all the work that she did.

I really don't want to discuss whether or not mother Theresa made it to heaven. What bothers me is giving the glory of true and perfect love to some person instead of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, people lack a LOT of discernment.

#27  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:30 PM

Amen, Elaine! Also, thank you for passing along the link so those who signed the MD can take their signatures off.

Mary

#28  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 13, 2010at 11:46 PM

Mary and Regis

The Catholics, like Protestants, teach salvation by faith. CCCC 161 says Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end. CCCC162 says Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man.To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be "working through charity," abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church. Cathlics also teach that once salvation is received that works will follow because what a person does is evidence of their faith (James 2:24).

For the entire section on salvation by faith start reading at 153 at http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a1.htm#II.

#29  Posted by Melanie Owen  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 4:17 AM

Carl,

Not everyone that leaves the church has been misled. On the contrary, I stopped attending a local church because I have discernment about the truth and lies. I cannot sit in a pugh week after week listening to compromised teachings. This is the reason I am thankful to God for someone like John Macarthur.

#30  Posted by Brian Culver  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 5:14 AM

Discernment is lacking in our churches today. Especially the church I attend. We had a pastor come in who was candidating for the senior pastor position. He had his wife play the piano, soft music in the background as I spoke (notice, I did not say he exposited God's Word) and he cried as if on cue as his wife would intermittently sing a solo. He spoke about all that "he" has done and how "he" saved this person and that person. He never once talked about sin and the need to repent. He just used the Four Spiritual Laws and proclaimed people were saved when they said the sinners prayer. And our church is drooling over how sincere this man was. My blog time2changechurches deals with this kind of lack of discernment and I thank God for pastor's like John MacArthur and his faithfulness to proclaim the whole gospel message without fail. Thank you John!

#31  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 5:49 AM

This is a question on item #28.

Brad,

I am troubled with your statement “The Catholics, like Protestants, teach salvation by faith.” Not so much for what you say but the implications behind it. Roman Catholics do teach a lot of things, plenty of things. They also preach a different Gospel message just on their Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper) alone. Would you mine expanding what is your teaching point just for the sake of the group?

God bless…

#32  Posted by Rick White  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 6:06 AM

Brad,

You are correct in saying that Catholics teach salvation by faith.The difference is that they don't teach salvation by faith alone.They attach all kinds of requirements to be saved and to keep ones salvation.For example they teach baptism is required for salvation as well as penance and subjection to the Roman Bishop(The Pope).Read through the anathemas placed on Protestants at the first council of Trent.None of those curses have been removed since then.The Roman Catholic Church surely teaches "another gospel".

You also mention that the canon of scripture was established in 382.Please don't lose sight of the fact that scripture became scripture when they were breathed out by God and recorded by the various authors,not when some council declared them to be.The various books of the Bible were copied and distributed throughout the various churches and were used to teach long before the council you refered to.

#33  Posted by Jim Hicks  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 6:15 AM

To whom much is given, much is required. 2010 in America we for the most part haven't any excuses to follow false doctrine. We have Gods word, it not just spoken to us by pastors and priest. To those who little is given little is required. Now these people and in early church people didn't have access to the complete word of God note Acts 15 . But as time goes on there is more of God revieled. So people in far out places got the spoken word and no bible and are required to obey what they have . I have to go I'll finish this later.

#34  Posted by Landon Webb  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 7:29 AM

Have any of you been exposed to teaching in fundamental independent Baptist churches whereby salvation and discipleship are divided doctrinally into 2 separate entities? Meaning, first someone is saved then they make a commitment to "be a disciple of Christ." Basically, the belief is carried so far as to say someone can be saved, live selfishly in disobedience to the Word's commands, fail to follow Christ and yet still be considered saved. It's carried even further to interpret all the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" passages in the Gospels as somehow related to believers' punishment for their failure to follow Christ during the millenium. IO've even heard it preached from the pulpit that the disobedient believer will experience "outter darkness" as separation from Christ during the Millenium. Are any of you finding this out there? I think it relates heavilly at failure of discernment in the "Church" today.

#35  Posted by Regis Cordeiro  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 10:11 AM

Dear Brad,

In the catholic church, the Bible has less value than several other things, like the pope, tradition, the Vatican meetings, and many other things. These things are followed and not the Bible.

The papacy, priesthood, sacrifice-the catholic church follows the old testament as Jesus was never here. Every comunion is a sacrifice done again, that’s why instead of a pulpit, the catholic church has an altar (a place where the sacrifice is made). There are “saints/images“ – I see God upset throughout the whole old testament with the people having images – even just making them, even if you think there is no real meaning, to God it has meaning and it is a bad one – you are workshiping demons.

I can go on and on but I think the point here is not about the catholic church, which is not even close to what the Bible teaches. The catholic church follows a lot of old testament “shadows“ that Jesus brought to light, like the ultimate sacrifice, His own, move the focus from cerimonies to the inside of our selves, our motivations. If you go to central american countries you will see a different catholic church mixed and accepting even voodoo rituals inside the church.

The big concern is with traditional reformed churches that are moving away from the real Gospel and accepting a new, fake one, a prosperity gospel, a gospel focused more in the human well-being and less on God.

Whatever denomination we are in, we have to examine every day what our motivations are and what the results of them are. Are we looking for what we want or looking to know the person of God, and as a result of knowing Him, glorify Him? We can only find real joy in the later.

God bless.

#36  Posted by Douglas Mollett  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 10:40 AM

Dear Landon,

Thank you for your questions, this is something i study often, concerning Eternal Security, because there are many misconceptions concerning it, and ive heard people ask me some questions about it, such as, "Do Baptists really believe you can say a simple prayer, then go and live your life any way you want to, and still go to heaven?"

I cannot speak for all baptists, but i can speak for myself, and i believe if you have a true salvation experience, you cannot lose your salvation, but the question really is, will true christians continue to live a lifestyle of sin when the Holy Spirit takes residence in the heart of a believer?

The apostle John addressed this issue in 1 John beginning in verse 5, "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.''

He goes on to say, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.''(verse 9). True salvation is a relationship experience, and unconfessed sin in our lives will result in hinderances in our walk with the LORD, John puts it as "fellowship". John then says in 1 john 2:3 , " Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ''I know Him,'' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." By these verses one can see that those who are truly saved, will endeavor to walk in obedience to the LORD Jesus Christ, as HE Himself puts it, "Why call me LORD, LORD, and do not do the things which I say?''

True christians mess up all the time, our souls are saved but our flesh isnt. But true christians will confess their sins and fellowship is restored. There are verses in Hebrews that talk about its not a good idea to grieve the Holy Spirit such as chapters 3 and 4, and chapter 12 deals with the LORD taking us to the woodshed sort to speak, because "For whom the LORD loves HE chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.''

So I state that true christians will not just say a simple prayer and then live life like nothing happened. We must be drawn to the LORD by the Father Himself (John 6:44), be convicted of our sins by the Holy Spirit, come to realize we are hopelessly lost and utterly unable to save ourselves, and throw ourselves at the mercy of God's court, and accept Jesus Christ as our LORD and savior. He then gives us the Holy Spirit, as a guarantee of our salvation (eph 1:11-14).

Peace be with you brother. Amen.

#37  Posted by Regis Cordeiro  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 11:10 AM

Addressing what Pastor MacArthur said, I completely agree with him.

Suppose that a man purchases a NASA space suit. He reads all he can about space. He dons his space suit and goes to a NASA conference.

At the conference there are both true astronauts and others, like himself, who are just wearing the suit, but are not astronauts.

As long has he converses with the other pretend astronauts, he is able to use things he has read to pass himself off as a true astronaut-because the others are also not real, and, like him, have never experienced the things they are talking about.

However, once this man gets into a conversation with a real astronaut, who has been in space, it is quite easy for this true astronaut to see that the man, who is just wearing the suit, is not a real astronaut.

The same way a man dressing like an astronaut doesn't make him one, calling oneself and "acting" like a Christian doesn't make a person one. This is not my truth is Jesus truth, so don't be upset with me :) Read Matthew 7:21.

This is way more than a philosophical or intellectual issue, or a question of who is right or wrong, it is an eternal judgment matter and as so must be addressed with all urgency and care.

When I read this text in Matthew for the first time, it struck me as "I don't want to be one of these who thinks they are saved but are not". If a person thinks there is not such a possibility, of having people who think they are saved but are not, this person is calling Jesus a liar. It is better to think again carefully rather then to be surprised when you face God in judgment. Now is a good time :)

God bless.

#38  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 11:18 AM

Hi Elaine

You say "What bothers me is giving the glory of true and perfect love to some person (Mother Teresa) instead of our Lord Jesus Christ." because somebody used Mother Teresa as an example of true and selfless love. I think I understand your concern but also think we can give appropriate recognition to humans without taking glory away from God. The same God who said to worship only him said to honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12, Mark 10:19, and Ephesians 6:2). If you read this thread above you will see all of the following:

I thank God for GTY and John MacArthur for bringing the Word with such clarity. Amen and thanks, Dr. MacArthur. I praise God for John MacArthur. proven men of God like John MacArthur. Keep up the good work Dr. MacArthur; we need more godly men like you. Don't you just love Dr. MacArthur's teachings? I am thankful to God for someone like John Macarthur. I thank God for pastor's like John MacArthur and his faithfulness to proclaim the whole gospel message without fail. Thank you John! You have not rebuked any of them for giving glory to John MacArthur instead of God (I do not think you should because I believe that all of those posts are appropriate honor). I just wonder why one person giving recognition (but not worship) to Mother Teresa would bother you but giving recognition (but not worship) John MacArthur (evidently) does not bother you.
#39  Posted by Jennifer Cordeiro  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 11:18 AM

Dear Landon,

I believe that Pastor MacArthur has addressed this issue in what he terms the "lordship salvation debate". If you search on this site (gty.org) for "lordship salvation debate", you will find many resources which address at least the first part of your question.

Because He lives!

Jennifer

#40  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 12:21 PM

This is a response to post 31.

Hey Orlando, thanks for allowing me to expand. In short, my teaching point is that (on central issues of the Gospel that) Protestant doctrine is the same as Catholic doctrine.

This will start with a bit of history to put it in context. I knew little about the Catholic church when I became a Christian in 1979. Yet, even before I had become a Christian I had heard about Martin Luther nailing 95 theses to the (Castle) church door (in Wittenberg). This story was referrd to often in Sunday School or sermons but notbody ever said what these 95 theses said. Therefore, one day I determined to find out, expecting to increase my resolve to what I already believed about Catholics and find the roots of my Protestant Christianity. Instead, I was amazed at how Catholic they sounded. You can read them at http://www.luther.de/en/95thesen.html. Note items 26 as 38 as two examples that sound very Catholic. Things I expected to see, like item 27 (They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.) are no longer taught or used by the Catholic church. At least a portion of the reforms Luther wanted were adopted but only later after he had been kicked out. At this point I realized that nearly all of my "knowledge" about the Catholic church and its doctrine had been taught to me be non-Catholics. That suddenly did not seem right. For example, on this thread above, people have posted about things they have seen in Protestant churches that are not right. I would not want a Catholic (or a non Christian) to visit one of those (bad examples of) Protestant churches and form an opinion about all Protestant churches. I decided that the rational thing to do was learn Catholic doctrine from a Catholic source. I bought the Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic church and read it all. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar their teaching is to ours on most subjects. On several areas I dug further by reading the full text of the Catechism at http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a1.htm#II. I think that you would agree with what is written about salvation by faith.

You also asked about Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper). I assume this is a reference to the Catholic teaching that the consecration of the bread changes it to the body of Christ while many Protestants teach that the bread only represents the body of Christ. First, we belive the Bible. Right? What does the Bible say? Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, and 1 Corinthians 11:24 all say "This is my body" and no Scripture says "This represents my body". Paul says (1 Corinthians 11:29) For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. Paul goes on to say (1 Corinthians 11:30) That is why many among you are weak and sick. Based on the Bible, I think this is one point where the Cathloics have better doctrine.

Brad

#41  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 1:29 PM

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#42  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 1:33 PM

Hi Rick, this is a response to post 32. Below is post 41 without typos. :)

I agree with you that Scripture was Scripture when it was written; Peter refers to Paul's letters as Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). My primary point was that people could be Christians before they had what we call the New Testament. I also agree with Jim Hicks on Post 33 that much is required when much is given (1 Corinthians 4:2). Everybody on posting here probably has multiple translations of the Bible in their home. Yet, going back to Peter, note that he says Paul's writing is hard to understand. I believe we need to give people grace when they understand minor points of doctrine differently. If we agree that salvation is a gift from God then we are also saying that getting salvation does not require us to know everything that can possibly be known about God. I use that because a Jehovah's Witness made that claim to me once. I told him that was an extraordinary boast and I would never presume that of myself. I take seriously the warning in Jude 9 and Jude 10: But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand. While Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are preaching a different gospel, I would not say that Roman Catholics are preaching a different gospel. Accepting Catholics became much easier knowing that they accept us. I will make no attempt to defend the history of the Catholic church because we all agree that there are big errors a few hundred years ago. If you know the post reformation history of England then you also know that (professing) Protestants made big errors too.

Brad

#43  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 2:50 PM

God bless you too Regis

I am a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church (http://www.covchurch.org/affirmations). You have probably not heard of it. We have only six essential beliefs; after that we seek unity with all Christians.

I really encourage you to read http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__PL.HTM to understand the relationship between the Bible and tradition. CCCC 81 says "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.". CCCC 104 says In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God". "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.".

Every Sunday mass has four Scripture readings (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament letter, and the Gospel. I share your concern but but would extend it toall Christian churches that are moving (or have moved) away from the real Gospel and accepting a new fake one, focused on any thing other than God. You should not say that the Catholics hold the Bible in lower esteem than other sources.

Brad

#44  Posted by Regis Cordeiro  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 5:07 PM

Dear Brad,

I take the following excerpt from the vatican website. It is from the vatican ii council. “Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.(6)” http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html

The catholic church claims that “sacred tradition” and “Sacred Scripture” are on the same level and worthy of the same “veneration”. However, when catholic “sacred traditions” stand in conflict to the Word of God, the “sacred tradition” trumps the Word-as we can see in almost every aspect of church practice.

The text excerpt above is a perfect example of this. The idea of venerating and revering traditions as equal to the Word of God demonstrates a total disregard for the claims that God Himself makes about His Word, in His Word.

I can assure you that I am a person with NO earthly reason to take issue with catholic doctrine. With two or three exceptions, my entire family, and extended family are catholics. My father attended catholic seminary. I am from a city in Brazil, which has the world’s second largest pilgrimage for saint Francis de Assisi. And at one time I even wanted to become a marist brother.

Thankfully, God had other plans for me!

We can argue about who is right or wrong-the Protestants or catholics. But there is no question that they believe in different things.

Unity by acceptance of all “Christian” doctrinal positions may seem right and loving from the world’s perspective, but it is not what God teaches in the Bible. (Romans 12:1,2; II Corinthians 6:14-18; I John 2:15-17; II John 1:9-11) In the Bible, God tells one thing, if there are two contrasting interpretations either one is wrong, or both are wrong-but they cannot be both right.

God bless,

Regis

#45  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 5:25 PM

Re Post #43 & #44:

"The Holy Spirit delights to abide with a people that is obedient to his teaching, but there are churches that will not learn: they refuse to carry out the Master’s will, or to accept the Master’s Word. They have some other standard, some human book, and in the excellencies of the human composition they forget the glories of the divine. Now I believe that where any book, whatever it may be, is put above the Bible, or even set by the side of it, or where any creed or catechism, however excellent, is made to stand at all on an equality with that perfect Word of God, any church that does this, in fact, say, "Depart from us, O Lord," ..." C. Spurgeon (sermon 06/10/1869)

#46  Posted by Jim Hicks  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 5:40 PM

I'm back...in Acts 15 they didn't have much to be followed.It was simple, there was a letter written to ease there hearts and minds. But in (for example) Colossians 3:1-3:15 we have more of what is expected to happen and change in our lives. From what I can find out ,to my surprise allot of the early church's 90-100 a.d had most of the New Testament . Now just another example Martian Luther didn't believe all the books in the NT where supposed to be there. But Luther understood salvation completely . As a matter of fact it's having read some of his work explaining Romans that I really understood it , how God sees me. I heard RC say that even Calvin said the BEST theologian is 20% wrong. I don't mean to make exusses for some of the church's that preach doctrines of demons but some others that just don't see eye to eye on everything. Please forgive me on my rough typing and it's difficult putting it down on the blog, I don't do this normally,I'm just a truck driver.

#47  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 7:20 PM

Brad and other Catholic sympathizers –

Having spent over 45 years of my life in the Catholic system it is apparent to me it is a false religion that has deceived and continues to deceive many – Brad being a good example. Brad – you sound like a nice enough fellow but “niceness” isn’t the issue. The primary reason for MacArthur’s disdain for Rome is the same as Christ’s disdain for the Pharisee’s and lawyers of His day. Jesus heaped on woes and condemnation on the Pharisees continually. I was listening to Mac’s message from Luke 11:37-44 entitled “How to Evangelize Religious People” – it gets right to the heart of the matter. Here’s a brief quote from his sermon:

“Religious hypocrites with unchanged hearts cut off from God are left to do nothing but be hypocrites. And we're very familiar with it, whether you're talking about the Roman Catholic Church, for example, the Greek Orthodox movement, Anglo-Catholicism, Hindus, Muslims, whatever you're talking about. It's the same kind of thing, it's all for show, and absent of any reality.

Their religion was purely external. And what happens is this, in order to live out your religion and put on a convincing show, you elaborate the external so you expand the emblems, you expand the functions, you expand the ceremonies, you expand the rituals, you proliferate the prescriptions. That's exactly what the Jews had done, way beyond the Old Testament. That's what the Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox have done, way beyond what the New Testament teaches...adding almost endless rituals, routines, ceremonies, regulations because there's nothing on the inside but you can create a bigger illusion that way.

Now the Pharisees lived for these rites and rituals and ceremonies.

You know, I mean I ask that question, I watch the Roman Catholic Church and the horrific scandal that's going on, it's just absolutely beyond imagination. And notice how the system manages to perpetuate itself over against these scandalous, outrageous, horrific cases of pedophilia going on all over the place, not just in America but other parts of the world, and having gone on for centuries. And the question I ask in my mind is how does a priest go do all of his little symbolic deals and then go molest children and somehow compartmentalize his life without going mad? It's because the whole thing is a game. The whole thing is a sham. And then they become very adept at it. It is the nature of that religion. It is the nature of every false religion to play that game. They love symbols, they love sin, and they love symbolism. They don't want to think deeply about the implications of the inside.”

Now Brad – does this sound like a religion that has much in common with true Christianity?

#48  Posted by Regis Cordeiro  |  Sunday, February 14, 2010at 7:52 PM

I agree with Daniel, it is not a difference in a minor topic, it is another gospel. Just because somebody quotes the Bible - God's Word, doesn't means they believe and follow. In the two instances satan appears in the Bible having a conversation with Eve and then Jesus, it didn't mentioned its own thoughts, it mentioned God's Word: "God said...". What it did was twist the meaning of what God was saying. This is a practice that it uses today too.

I hope is clear in my previous post that I DON'T believe catholics believe the same same we do as reformed protestants. It is completely different. I think if you believe catholics are christians, either you don't know what it means to be a catholic or you don't know what it means to be a christian.

#49  Posted by Chuck Tuthill  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 4:41 AM

Melanie #29,

You are the church. If your discernment has led to you not being part of a local body of believers at all you need to rethink this stance. Search tirelessly and pray fervently for a local church that proclaims and desires to live the truth of God's word. They are out there and they would love to have you as a part of His local body.

#50  Posted by Landon Webb  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:32 AM

Douglas/Jennifer,

Thank you fore your replies. I couldn't agree with you more that indeed when someone is truly saved, he/she WILL have fruits as evidence of that conversion and cannot remain in the state he/she previously was. Also, Pastor MacArthur deals perfectly with the "lorsdhip" controversy in "Gospel According to Jesus" which I have read and reference many times. I'm just saddened after attending the independent fundamental Baptist church for 2 years now to discover my pastor doesn't really beleive any of that. He beleives and teaches regularly what I posted above, and so do most of the voting members!! This is my first expereince in a Baptist church so I am still learning a lot about the history of these churches. I suppose it's like any church, there are good and there are not-so-good. Fortunately, my pastor seems to be godly and humble enough to continue to engage the conversation with me and we can lovingly exchange our ideas and contrary beliefs on this matter. It's like Pastor John says in "Gospel According to Jesus," "If we get the Gospel wrong, then we get everything wrong."

By the way, and interesting footnote. My pastor attended Pensacola Christian College Seminary. I wonder if this is a common belief they perpetuate among their seminarians?

Interestingly, my pastor is very much against church-growth strategies/doctrines and I plan to point out to him that the beleif he holds about not having to "follow Christ as a disciple" has no bearing on salvation parallels their doctrine and Rick Warren's writing in "Purpose Driven Life" of "simply pray this prayer and mean it with all your heart, and congratulations you're now a child of God."

Blessings and thanks again!

#51  Posted by Ed Rudd  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:57 AM

I'm coming into the discussion kind-of late, but, this topic really comes close to home. The question of what it means to be a Christian is one that echos in my ears almost every day. I'm from the south east US, living among people who all seem to have some kind religious experience. Tradition seems to play a genuine role in their thinking much of the time. More than once at work, I have waited and listened to people while looking for an opportunity to witness to them. After hearing "incriminating" evidence as to their need for a Savior, I was stunned to hear them say-" Why! I'm already saved- in fact I'm a pastor!" About a week after telling co-workers of his calling to preach, I heard one guy say that he thought God had a hand in his wife being involved in an accident because he was going to sue and God knew he needed the money.

Right now, I am visiting two people -one sent home to die and another close to death with infection issues after 9 surgeries. Both claim salvation but have no fruit. I'm not saying they are evil people, they fit quite well into the landscape of the rest of the people here. But, when I question their claim, their friends or relatives are quick to villainize me. I'm reminded of the pharisees in their claim to Abrahamic ancestry for their salvation security. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to them that they are going to hell, but just asking questions as to what they base their claim to salvation on, or asking them to tell me about the day they got saved. I'm not necessarily separating wheat and tares, these guys don't attend church at all. But, even though they both are close to death, they still stand on their claims.

We must remember that this isn't just yours or my "opinion" when it's the Bible that defines the difference between those on the wide road and those on the narrow . It's God's plan to make the narrow gate so narrow in the first place - not ours! Salvation comes only when we are willing to do God's will, and not our sin.

When we enter into these kind of situations, we must be #1- motivated by love, and #2- reliant on the truth, and #3- always remember that salvation is of the Lord. We're just to preach the Gospel. God does the saving. We can't enter into these situations with only opinion and half-truths. We must understand what the Bible says about what it takes to truly be saved. And once having that understanding, stand on it with no compromise. Souls are at stake.

#52  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 6:04 AM

Hi Brad,

I am behind, too much work did not and do not have time to entertain your comments. Must admit, you almost get an “Ave Maria” out of me (kidding). After reading your other comments, I really do not have anything to add. It seems that your belief is more like a universal Christ versus the exclusive one. I hope you believe there is only one way (narrow one) to God and that is through Jesus.

Again I wish I had the time to research and entertain your thoughts, but work would not let me. God bless.

#53  Posted by Landon Webb  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 9:10 AM

Ed,

Amen, amen and amen!!

God bless you for being willing to ask those hard questions. In the case of my church, and what sounds like is pervasive in the SE, they won't look hard at what Christ calls us to in salvation. Specifically faith AND obedience (i.e. a transformed life).

One example recently. A church member traveled back to visit her dying alcoholic un-saved brother. He claimed to her during witnessing, "I can't give up my drinking and God doesn't want me with my sin." He actually had a true understanding of salvation. She called home and asked a deacon in the church how to deal with this barrier to the brother's acceptance of Christ. She was told, "You have to separate the physical from the spiritual. He may need this to cope in his final hours/days but if he confesses Christ and need for forgiveness, then he is saved no matter what his life looks like afterwards." There was no suggestion from this deacon that a saved person has a radically different view of their life and sin in a cohesive unit with his/her body and spirit. So sad indeed. Even the unsaved brother knew God would radically alter his life if he were to come in faith. So sad that this un-doctrinally founded believing woman is led astray by a leader in a church perpetuating the false doctrine that a physical following of commitment to leave sin behind is not necessary to the saving of the soul.

God help the church today!!

#54  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 9:33 AM

@ 18 Regis,

I too am Brazilian (living abroad for almost 20 years though). I too come from a (mostly) Catholic family. I am (as far as I am aware) the only Christian (born-again) in the family.

Although I came to know the Lord in Canada (where I live), I got to know the Brazilian evangelical churches when I visited. Someone here posted about some Baptist churches where the "Christians" believe the only thing they have to do to be saved is to pray a prayer, they can then go and keep living in darkness. The moment I read that I was reminded of some churches in Brazil. There are also a lot of Assemblies of God in Brazil, who give the Spirit "experiences" greater value than the word of God. They also depened a lot on so-called "prophets" for their daily lives. They are also faithful to pastors and leaders, no matter what the false teachers says they believe.

Interesting to me was when on one of my visits (this was 10+ years ago) I saw a "charismatic" branch to emerge from the Catholic church. They were still Catholics, in Catholic churches, but they behave in the same way as the many Assemblies of God - all the experiences and tongues.

So yes, I understand why you can't find a true and faithful-to-the Scriptures church in Brazil. My prayer to you is that you find that church, that your mother will read more and more the Bible and have discernment, and that you keep growing in the Lord.

#55  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 9:36 AM

#38 - Brad. You fail when you compare mother Theresa to Pastor MacArthur. =)

And I don't think you can understand my zeal for giving ALL glory to God, in the place where we come to worship HIM.

#56  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 9:44 AM

Landon #50, in Acts 11:26 God points out in His word that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. The biblical term Christian and disciple are virtually one and the same. Our Master has made it quite clear what the qualifications of being a disciple are, namely; “If anyone wish to come after Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke14:26, 27). I deeply regret that I did not point this out at the conclusion of my post #1. As one Puritan wrote “We must go with the stick of divine truth and beat every bush behind which a sinner hides, until like Adam who hid, he stands before God in his nakedness.” (Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5). I point out; however, they did not beat the sinner. They were quite aware that the wrath of God remained on them. “Is not My word like fire? Declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock” (Jeremiah 23:29)? -His Unworthy Slave

#57  Posted by Landon Webb  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 10:04 AM

Douglas,

You are correct. Those that believe otherwise, like my pastor, over-interpret the passages and make this fine-line distinction between believe(r)-pist-yoo-o which is to faith into and believe in Christ and disciple-math-ay-tes which is to follow and learn. I am in a quandry as to how this can be done logically, but nonetheless it's how they come up with this interpretation. Thanks for your comments.

#58  Posted by Regis Cordeiro  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 1:08 PM

#55

Hi Elaine,

I agree with you said about finding a good church in Brazil, but we actually live in the US - Pacific Northwest. When we moved here 6 years ago we thought would be easy to find a church with good, sound doctrine. We were wrong. We are considering moving back to Brazil to work in our small church there (they are starting to send missionaries to Africa and it is very exciting) or even move to LA to congregate and serve at Grace Community Church or even applying to the Master's Seminary and be able to start a church in the area we live. It is very hard to serve in a church that is spreading the wrong doctrines and we know that is not good to not be in a church. God will decide our future, wherever He take us we go happy. What Pastor MacArthur is warning in this blog entry is very clear in the area we live.

God bless,

Regis

#59  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:08 PM

Dear Regis, this is a reply to post 44.

You said The idea of venerating and revering traditions as equal to the Word of God demonstrates a total disregard for the claims that God Himself makes about His Word, in His Word.

The written word of God says not to follow only the written word of God. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 says So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (NIV) or Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. (NKJV)

#60  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:30 PM

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#61  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:38 PM

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#62  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:45 PM

Landon #57,

Once we recognize that these people have never actually experienced the new birth themselves it makes perfect sense. In the first paragraph of my original post #1 I quoted from Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Ezekiel 11:19, 20 (see also Ezekiel 36:25-27) which spoke of the new covenant which was to come and now is. A word search of “peace, peace” or “peace” in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel will reveal frightening similarities to what is happening in our own day. They were false prophets then and they are false prophets now. What a privilege it would be to snatch such a one out of the flames (see Jude 22, 23).

John MacArthur”s book “Ashamed of the Gospel” is an absolute masterpiece that exposes some of the individuals and errors that brought about this time of apostasy in which we now live. Some time after reading that book I concluded that the book could perhaps be summarized in the proper understanding of one Greek compound word (#3670 in the Strongs); confess, to say the same thing. Finney apparently understood the word to merely mean to say or confess publicly that Jesus is Lord.

If God puts His Laws within us and writes them upon our hearts as is evidenced by Jeremiah 31:33 then surely we cannot help but to say the same thing that God says for it is written “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil [treasure] brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.” Luke 6:45

Consider also; if we say the same thing to our present day evil and adulterous generation that Jesus said to His evil and adulterous generation, what will happen? It doesn’t take a prophet to figure that one out does it. Notice that in Romans 8:17 our being glorified with Christ is conditioned upon our suffering with Him. If Romans 8:29, 30 is true (and it is) then if there is no glorification there never was any…you get the message. To Him be the glory both now and forevermore. –His Unworthy Slave

#63  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:46 PM

Hi Orlando, this is a reply to post 52.

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I am a John 14:6 Christian and believe the narrow path is wide enough for those who believe http://reformed.org/documents/nicene.html (the Nicene Creed).

#64  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 5:59 PM

Hi Daniel, this is a reply to post 47.

Obviously I cannot (and will not) defend pedophilia. I wish they would clean thier house of these. A church with pedophilia does not sound like a religion that has much in common with true Christianity. I still see these people as the exception and not the rule.

I agree that there are many rituals in the Catholic churhc and enjoy the freedom in my church. Yet, based on the God given rituals of the Old Covenant, I do not think rituals are bad. Ritual allows you to have a form of Godliness but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5); yet it can also provide a beautiful framework for true worship.

Thanks for calling me nice; I believe the people posting here are seeking God. Those are the people I enjoy spending the most time with.

#65  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 6:42 PM

Hi Ed, this is a reply to post 51

Thanks for posting the profound

When we enter into comment of these kind of situations, we must be 1- motivated by love, and 2- reliant on the truth, and 3- always remember that salvation is of the Lord. We're just to preach the Gospel. God does the saving. We can't enter into these situations with only opinion and half-truths. We must understand what the Bible says about what it takes to truly be saved. And once having that understanding, stand on it with no compromise. Souls are at stake.

If you can, motivated by love and reliant on truth, pray for the two you are visiting. Remember Matthew 10:7-8 and Matthew 28:19-20. God bless.

#66  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 6:43 PM

Brad #63,

You fail to recognize what is means to believe. I direct you to James 2:14-26. Many people like Mother Theresa read James 2:15, 16 and conclude that James is promoting a social gospel. In the end it will become visible for everyone to see that they rejected the righteousness of God which is by faith alone even faith in Christ alone. They wanted to add the filthy menstrual cloth rags of their own righteous to that glorious perfect and all sufficient righteousness of that One in whom all glory and honor and power and riches and wisdom and might and blessing are due even that Lamb of God who is even now standing at the right hand of God! Amen and Amen!

If you will follow along in those verses to James 2:21 as James uses the example of how Abraham’s offering up Isaac was an example of how obedience to God justifies a believers faith as a faith which saves. Are we to pervert the words of James by promoting “another gospel” that says we are to offer up our children on alters as a means of justifying ourselves before God? That would be just as insane as the error of the social gospel. Faith without obedience to the living and abiding word of God reveals an unbiblical faith which cannot save. It is useless. To Him alone be the glory. His Unworthy Slave

#67  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 7:03 PM

Brad –

Looking at your posts on this latest blog called “The Vulnerable Church” either you and your church have “sold out” and went “home to Rome” or you are one of those clever internet Catholic apologists trying to subtly get Catholic false teachings into the group discussion with the end goal of having us accept Rome and their apostasy as representing true Christianity. Sorry – but I won’t buy into it. I have had a large number of discussions with Catholic relatives and they all go back to the same canned responses – responses they mainly get from Catholic internet apologists – usually men who have left “Protestantism” and went “home to Rome”.

Here is another comment from John MacArthur on Roman Catholicism taken from his excellent message entitled “The Pope and the Papacy”:

“In the long war on the truth, the most formidable, relentless and deceptive enemy has been Roman Catholicism. It is an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false Christianity. It is a front for the kingdom of Satan. The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always understood this. And even through the Dark Ages from 400 to 1500, prior to the Reformation, genuine Christian believers set themselves apart from that system, and were brutally punished and executed for their rejection of that system.”

Brad - sorry if I misread you – but to the rest of you – beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing…

#68  Posted by Rick White  |  Monday, February 15, 2010at 7:43 PM

Brad,

I think you're making the same mistake the Roman Catholics make in assuming the written word was somehow different from the oral tradition.If that is true then what do we use as a standard to measure right from wrong since there is no record of the oral tradition?The Roman Catholics can't even define what the traditions are that were passed down by the apostles.The Roman Catholic can only respond that it is whatever the "Church" teaches.I prefer to use the standard of the reformers,sola scriptura.I know I can trust that.I believe that is what Paul is saying in 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

#69  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 12:48 AM

Hi Jim Hicks, this is a reply to post 46.

I thought your post was well written and made sense. My only "complaint" is you said that you are "just" a truck driver. I believe you are a Christian who drivers a truck to earn a living. As a Christian you are an adopted son of Abraham (Romans 11:17) and Abraham was God's friend (2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, and James 2:23). Proverbs 23:7 says For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Think of yourself as God's friend (who drives a truck).

You increased my respect for Calvin. I think the 20% wrong is too high but certainly agree with the concept: none of us should presume to be 100% accurate in our theology. So how good is good enough? (see post 63 abouth the Nicene creed). Other than that I believe we need to give people grace.

#70  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 12:59 AM

Hi Daniel, this is a reply to post 67.

I am still a Protestant and a member of a Protestant church. The primary purpose of my posting is to encourage other to present truth without slandering Catholics. I base that caution on 2 Peter 2:11 and Jude 1:9.

#71  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 4:05 AM

Brad,

This is in response to your post #40.You try to justify transubstantiation by quoting several scriptures where Jesus says "this is my body".Jesus is obviously using a simile in those references.He couldn't possibly be talking about his actual body and blood.His actual body was standing right there holding the bread and the wine.Jesus used similes on many occasions.See John 15:1-8 where Jesus calls Himself the Vine,the Father the Vinedresser,and believers the branches.See also the parable of the soils in Matthew 13:1-8 and Mark 4:1-8.

In response to post #70

Obviously there is no prohibition to expose false teachings and reveal who the false teachers are because Paul does exactly that in 2 Timothy 2:17.We are also commanded to "stand firm in the faith" in 1 Corinthians 16:13.How can we do that unless we discern between truth and error and expose those who are teaching error?The two verses you reference in your last post have to do with making a blasphemous or slanderous accusation.That would require making a false or evil accusation,which is wrong to do about anyone.

#72  Posted by Karl Heitman  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 11:28 AM

Brother Daniel Flaherty (posts 47 &67),

Thank you for your contribution. Your wisdom and experience is needed in this discussion because only a former Catholic (myself included the first 22 years of my 25) can comprehend the vast and unfathomable lies being taught by the Roman Catholic church and how people are deceived into thinking they are saved. Oh, the hatred I have developed in my heart towards false teachings that ensnare sinners! I am comforted in knowing that our God is a sovereign God!

Brothers and sisters, if you think for one second that Roman Catholics are fellow saints, do not be deceived! They are to be seriously viewed as a mission field, not a people to fellowship with. I strongly urge you to hear MacArthur's series on the Roman Catholic church and the papacy. You will be shocked and enlightened. The most shocking thing is that while I was a Roman Catholic, I didn't even realize that I was an idolater and enslaved to a works based salvation and was not ever told about regeneration.

#73  Posted by Charles Shanks  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 11:50 AM

God Bless you pastor John MacArthur I Believe wholeheartedly in your audio.The Church does want to "just get along" above "fight the good fight" The leadership on national media is sooo often non Bibilical unqualified and people do not know or care. I just read of one famious pastor in texas that was suppossedly Divorced and then chaged churches. Then denys Jesus ever said He was the Messiah (SEE John 4) so many women pastors divorced,also testifing sexual abuse?

THE CHURCH NEEDS DISCERNMENT

http://www.blog.joelx.com/pastor-john-hagee-cornerstone-church-ministry-heresy-divorce-dirty-deeds/910/

IS THIS TRUE?

#74  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 6:43 PM

Hi Rick, this is a reply to post 68 and 71.

Sola scriptura indicates that communion is the body of Christ. We have one reference before communion was given (in John), three references when communion is given (Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19), and one reference later explained by Paul (1 Corinthians 11:24).

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

John 6:52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

John 6:53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:55-56 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

I realize this is a hard teaching (John 6:60) because after this many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Can you use sola scriptura to explain that communion is not the body of Chirst?

#75  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 8:50 PM

Brad,

Using your line of reasoning and not seeing that Jesus is using simile to illustrate a teaching you are missing the whole point of the scripture.If you just look several verses before your reference you will see the simile that Jesus is the true bread from heaven.John 6:32-35.Are you saying that Jesus is literal bread?Can you not see how he is using a figure of speech to illustrate a spiritual reality?Jesus used these kinds of illustrations all the time.I've even shown you several examples.You also have not explained how Jesus could be talking about His literal body when His literal body is standing there holding the bread and wine.If you are so willing to accept the Roman Catholic teaching on this do you also believe the eucharist is to be worshipped?According to the Council of Trent you are.And if you don't you are anathema (accursed).If you don't believe the eucharist is to be worshipped,why not?If it is actually the very body and blood of Jesus,shouldn't it be worshipped?This teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is nothing but pure idolatry.Before you start accepting these teachings of the Roman Catholic Church you really should do an extensive study on them and not just from a Roman Catholic perspective.Read what the reformers said about all of these issues.You claim to be a member of a reformed church so you should start from a reformed perspective.All of these teachings you keep defending have been dealt with thoroughly by the reformers.And yes they use sola scriptura to do so.

#76  Posted by Carl Frederick  |  Tuesday, February 16, 2010at 11:48 PM

Melanie

I am not saying that everyone who leaves is mislead! I stop attending church in general because when i was going through a tough time in my life i had no one to turn to who was truly conected to God. I was surrounde by Charismatics and biblical ignorent people who couldn't minister to me. Now I was a seminary student, a faithful church attendant, and an associate minister. But that charismatic enviroment just made me reject the one thing I bleed for, the Church. I also took a moral decline not just because out of the encouragement of fellow believers but because I couldn't turn the T. V. on without hearing "Name it and claim it" or "Send me a gift for your free prophecy." I was goin to church every sunday hearing the some thing as i watch sunday after sunday people run up to the Pulpit throwing money on the stairs and on the lectern hoping to buy deliverence. But through prayer and me realing having a prodical son moment I fought my way back, using gty as my new connection with God and His Word.

#77  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, February 17, 2010at 7:26 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#78  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, February 17, 2010at 7:27 AM

Brad,

Before anyone says I am not as nice as Brad - fine. I'm generally not one to mince words anyway, and that doesn't make me mean. I prefer discerning - and much of it is needed in this perilous time (spiritually). I checked out your church - Self described as Apostolic, Catholic, Reformation, Pietism and Evangelical. NOW that's a mouthful (and yes I saw how they defined Catholic in the online quickie version - I downloaded though for a more meaningful read) Women Pastors too, eh? By the way - your site is like trying to pin down an emergent church - nailing jello to a tree would be simpler - and less slippery (sssss!). Basically if you believe in Jesus Christ then anything else you also believe in is of no consequence. But they really seem to have a good social gospel in place as well. I hope this isn't reminiscent of the three legged stool social gospel plan. Your church states that they focus on the commonalities ONLY in order to fellowship with more people. That is a very wide path indeed. The Old Testament has a lot to say about Gods people who mingled worship with Him in with their "other gods"........God will not share His glory. And likewise, we do not fellowiship with those who worship Him with their mouth only yet worship in practice with false Gods (Like the Queen of Heaven RCC espouses, for instance). And as for the word common....that creeps up all over the place in apostate Christianity (common purpose, common unity, common, common, common) and there is NOTHING common about the gospel - it is exclusive...... Quite frankly sir, the things that divide are central to the gospel message. There is nothing new under the sun - so we have all heard of churches like yours.....why, isn't the lack of discernment what we are even discussing?????????? Poison is mostly protein - but the tiny percent of the rest of it is what kills you. There are many undiscerning people who call themselves Christians, yet cavort about with wolves trying to tell us the wolves are really fluffy white sheep like themselves - only the blind will believe it!

John 10:3-5

3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Shauna Bryant

#79  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Wednesday, February 17, 2010at 8:35 AM

From Covenant the site :

The Covenant prides itself on its distinctiveness as traditional, but not rigid; biblical, but not doctrinaire; and evangelical, but not exclusive. How does our church’s policy and practice reflect and live into this distinctiveness?

Enough said.

sb

#80  Posted by Suzanne Shirley  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 3:57 AM

From what sermon is this clip?? I would LOVE to hear the entire message!

#81  Posted by Diana Yochem  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 5:18 AM

As a former catholic, I have to first express my heartfelt gratitude to John MacArthur for doing what he does. His teaching of the bible has been pivotal in my learning the truth. I was born and raised catholic for 45 years before God actually came into my life ansd saved me. I followed all the traditions and rituals, but never knew the truth as it is stated in the Bible. And it is a battle for me to this day, because Satan knows where to send his arrows. This religion, like so many others, is very misguided, and should be considered a mission field, not a brother or an equal. Preaching a different gospel is what we were warned to watch for, no matter how subtle that difference may appear. It hurts my heart deeply, as so many of my family members are catholic. They won't hear the truth, and think I am in a cult. So sad.

Preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! God knows who His elect are, and the truth will set them free-that's all we as people can do. Softening the message, making them comfortable in church, is doing them such a disservice. And God will one day hold us accountable for that.

Suzanne, the sermon is Deliverance: The Lost Doctrine.

#82  Posted by Richard Carter  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 5:18 AM

I am pondering the significance of this entire discussion board, and wonder how it brings glory to God. If one engages in the exercise personally, with intent to know Him who alone saves, it is a worthy process. However, if one enters it with comments that causes doubt to come upon a "bruised reed, " then I am not so sure. I once heard it said that two preachers came in view of a call (old timey way of saying they were preaching trial sermons in front of a church that might ask them to be their pastor), and both selected exactly the same scripture, preached exactly the same three points, and took about the same exact amount of time to deliver their messages. However, one stood out. He preached with the love of the Father, with entreaty to the saints, with deep concern for the lost, and earnestly pleaded for them to turn to Christ. In other words he preached mercy. The other preached with a harshness that reflected the judgment to come that awaits those who don't believe. Who CAN'T believe unless the Father draws them. Now, I believe sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia. There is no wavering whatsoever in my mind to who God is, how He revealed Himself to me through His Son. I do wonder, however, and am concerned when we chastise in general people who are, as Jesus said, like lost sheep needing a Shepherd. When our Savior used harsh words, it was toward those who led "little children" away from the Truth. I don't recall Him chiding and being harsh toward those whom He loved. The Tale of Two Sons reveals that vividly. I am a bit concerned, but reflective of this kind of discussion, when the harshness is directed toward those who can't come to Christ unless and until they are drawn by the Father. So, how is it profitable to let our scorn, our contempt, our arrogance take a front seat, when the lost are unable to repent unless the Father grants it to them? Why would we in a common posting such as this take a stance that doesn't edify the saints, but rather beat them up for something we KNOW they can do nothing about until God the Father comes into the garden and asks, "Adam, where are you?" Preach the GOSPEL, the Good News of Christ. God Himself will do the convicting. It's not our job.

#83  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 11:34 AM

#82 Mr. Carter, Please accept my apology if in your post you were referring to me as one being arrogant and harsh. That is not my intent and yet it is hard to get across appropriately on a post how you are saying things, because many people insert their own 'emotions' in when reading. I am not yelling or being mean. I noticed I had some sarcastic comments in there (and I use the ssssss often to represent the slippery, slithering movements of Satan) - for which I also apologize. That being said, I do mean everything I wrote (just maybe not the way it comes across).

You're right, God does do the convicting. What to do then with those wolves preaching a false ecumenical gospel attempting to slaughter the flock and lead babes in Christ astray? Just ignore it and give the gospel? There is no reason we cannot use the Bible to do both - give the Gospel and refute their false premise. Gods Word has in it - the silencing of every false premise and religion out there. We are to earnestly contend for the faith. I consider myself to be grieved about the falsehoods being presented.....only because I love, do I even speak up....If I ever hear a false claim made regarding Gods word - I do speak up and give the gospel and refute the false claims. Some on this board claim the gospel, claim they are Christians, yet have a false, damning message that new babes in Christ might read and be confused about. Many are. It's like when you give the Gospel and the person says "Oh, yes, I believe that, BUT ALSO......" Much love is on this whole discussion board - and TRUTH is love, even if some don't like it. We are to be uncompromising in our defense of Gods Word. The covenant church mentioned, promotes teh global social gospel, female pastors with the reasoning that In Christ there is no male and no female so they argue that we are all equal in every way (androgenous basically) and to top it off, they are very slick about homosexuality and in their long national debate about what to do for now (which is cryptic) and they begin with the very same argument about male/female and end up using pop psychology and liberalism regarding the changing culture and what people knew back in Bible days and what we know now....those dots aren't hard to connect. People might also be interested that this organization claims the RCC is the first true church and that we are all merely "branches" of her. They also show Jesus just being a part of Judiasm, instead of Jesus Christ being the ROOT OF ALL THINGS. And they even have visuals of a tree to show all this. Their mission is also stated as ecumenism, which is has been an effective tool of satan. Interestingly enough, the Bible says, in Acts there is the first church mentioned and it's at Jerusalem and it wasn't Roman Catholic! Catholic means "universal". Roman Catholic however does NOT mean the Universal church. The Biblical Universal church is the body of believers no matter what generation or where they are in the world. The Roman Catholic Churches are those who universally - or ecumenically - bow down to ROME. One church is on the narrow road to eternal life in Jesus Christ - The RCC is on the wide road which leads to destruction. We all come from different backgrounds, and someone from a New Age background may be particularly sensitive to that creeping in, or another an ex catholic, another an ex atheist. God uses it all for His Glory. Coming from a family with a Catholic background I am particularly sensitive to that. The RCC road leads straight to Hell and there is no pleasant way to say that. To pretend to Catholics that we have a shared faith, just different approaches, is a LIE and is in fact, the opposite of love. My own sister tells me that what I show her in the Bible is not how all Christians "interpret" it because MANY Christians (so called) have told her that she is a Christian by being a Roman Catholic and that those, like me - (who stick to Gods Word) are being "divisive", "intolerant" and "unloving". John MacArthur has a very good sermon (well,excellent actually, like all of his sermons) on this very thing - where the Christians were persecuted for basically not saying "A God and A Way" but "The God and The Way", the true Christians were seen as being too "divisive" and "unloving" and "intolerant". (I will look for it and post it) And you know what - history shows that the true church has been violently persecuted by those claiming to be Gods people. The plain truth in Christ is what we are to give. I am grieved that she (my sister) is being led even further astray by those who "in love" don't tell her the plain truth and in the spirit of ecumenism tell her she is saved and being a RC is not an issue and even affirm the lie that the RCC was the first church. The gentleman on this board was met oft with plenty of love regarding his defense of Roman Catholicism...and what a platform he was able to have over and over again - even chastising Christians that we shouldn't "slander" (which he used since there was plenty of disagrement) the Catholic Church (and notice I say Church and not individual people in that system). That is the equivalent of saying we can't say Satan is Satan. People really need to understand the MANY in roads through various means (covenant churches, emergent churches, etc) that the RCC is employing to lead people astray. Almost all roads are indeed leading back to Rome and we better wake up and stop pretending that this is not a spiritual battle. This battle has eternal consequences-and that is no small thing! Therefore this is not a "covnversation on our commonalities". We must also remember that a battle - is part of a war....and if we don't agree on the gospel, then it really doesn't matter what else we might agree upon.

Matthew 7:14-16

14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Matthew 10:16-17a

16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17"Be on your guard against men;

Acts 20:29

29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

I note that I am so busy sometimes being shrewd as a snake that I neglect the 'innocent as doves' part - I will pray that the Spirit shows me how to be more effective in a balanced way.

Shauna Bryant

#84  Posted by Holly Schrader  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 11:35 AM

To Mr. Carter-

Very insightful observations, which were very convicting to me. Thanks, I needed that!

God bless you and may He continue to use you, as we help each other in love, for the purpose of glorifying our Lord and bringing the lost to Him.

#85  Posted by Holly Schrader  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 1:27 PM

To Mr. Bryant-

I support your comments, as well. Albeit I am guilty of perhaps being too confrontational with those who spew false doctrines or dilute the Truth. But we must confront error! I agree, it raises the ire, of those of us, who love our Lord and His Word, to hear or see God's Truth hidden, trampled upon, or twisted into a pretzel. I identify more closely to the Apostle Peter and think perhaps I would also have impulsively swung the sword to protect my Lord in the garden, from the approaching evil threat. But then, I, too, would have been thrawting the will of God.

Mr. Carter's points have validity, as well. Jesus told Peter to lay down the physical sword. Wielding the spiritual one, God's inerrant Word, does more damage to the core of the offender and is our best defense. It is sharper and more powerful than any human weapon. Through the Holy Spirit we learn the Word (must read and study), understand it (John MacArthur's ministry useful) and apply it (utilizing wisdom and discernment in our lives). Through God's Word we can arrive at a fuller understanding of Him and inevitably crush our foes and help bring the sheep into His fold. And as Mr. Carter rightly points out, by submission to His will and His Spirit, we can be an instrument for our Lord with a firm, unyielding stance, based on Truth, that has the strength and depth of love behind it so oft demonstated by our Lord in His dealings with Israel.

God is perfectly capable of defending Himself and achieving His will in the lives of unbelievers without our involvement. If we keep in remembrance the fact that we are all zeros and He is the only real number, (the Infinite, Eternal One), in the equation of life, then perhaps He will position each of us to where we will do the most for the harvest. We have no value, or power, except that which derives from God. If we remember that, especially when dealing with people, then we may truly be able to keep ourselves out of the way and God's purposes at the forefront.

I am ever thankful for the knowlege of our wonderful Savior God and for you, my fellow believers! May we encourage one another..... Onward Christian soldiers, for the glory of our God! Let us place our left hand upon our hearts and grasp the sword of Truth in our right, and march on through the battle, in the footsteps of our Great and Holy King!

#86  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 2:12 PM

Just wanted to clarify that my husband, John Bryant, hasn't made any comments here - I do sign my own name, but we use the same login. I just don't want him to be unnecessarily weighted with my tongue (or type as it were!).

This is a great Sermon by John MacArthur about contending for the faith (pt 1)

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-259_The-Battle-for-the-Truth-Part-1?q=contend+for+the+faith

As always, enjoy and be edified In Christ through teh preaching of His Word!

Shauna

#87  Posted by Richard Carter  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 2:14 PM

Mr. Bryant,

No apology is needed. I wasn't specifically referring to your post or comments. In fact, I thought you made some very good points. I want to thank you for a very thoughtful response, and I note a passion for our Lord that only comes from Him. God bless you!

I think many would agree with what i will say next, and it refers to my comment about why and how this thread proves valuable to all who engage to "work out their salvation with fear and trembing."

When I respond, I meditate upon His Word. I don't want to misrepresent it, misinterpret it, or malign it, for that is tantamount to offending Him as John 1:1 makes clear.

So, there are a couple of things I want to be very clear about. One -- I am speaking to myself as much as anyone because I fall short. Two -- that God's Word tells us that those who spiritual are to lift up those who are at a different point in their pilgrimage or who are in error Gal. 6:1. (Isn't it awesome that along with this instruction, His Word also tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought Rom. 12:3, and in humility count others more significantly than yourselves? Phil. 2:3)

I try to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in me, with gentleness and respect. To do that requires obedience because some people are hard to endure. (Even me. :-)

Solomon wrote from the wisdom God gave him that there is a time for everything. There is a time for righteous anger to throw out the moneychangers who are desecrating the temple. These are wolves in sheep's clothing that are doing the enemy's work. I have no problem with that. The discernment of when to act must come from the Lord and not as a result of presumptive efforts on our parts.

Where I want to be particularly tender is with those who have come to the Fount of every blessing, have received His forgiveness, who are desiring to walk with Him, who have stumbled and are sinking into the water because they took their eyes off of our Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, and they cry out, "Lord save me." Jesus IMMEDIATELY reached out and took Peter's hand.

To those I don't want to discourage with doctrine that is heavy handed, pious, or self righteous. They need compassion and restoration. Only those who are without sin should cast stones at someone in that position. I believe there are many who read these posts who are desperately seeking that restoration and assurance.

Let us preach the GOSPEL. The grace of a loving and compassionate God who while we were yet sinners died for me, you, and all. And, yes, that includes the WHOLE GOSPEL, that we are all sinners, condemned already, but the GOOD NEWS is there is redemption and salvation in His name and by His shed blood.

Let's be very careful to consider how and why we say what we say, and whether it is truly in love for the lost, or just wanting to win an argument.

#88  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 3:24 PM

Mr. Carter,

Could you help by clarifying exactly what you are responding to? Are you responding to the blog post or to subsequent comments?

#89  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 4:28 PM

Hi Richard, this is a reply to post 82

My purpose, and I hope other's too, is to sharpen one another as described in Proverbs 27:17.

Like John I will say Please accept my apology if in your post you were referring to me as one being arrogant and harsh. That is not my intent.

I appreciate the tone and concern of your post.

#90  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 5:40 PM

Gal 6:1/Rom 12:3/Phil 2:3 are all verses for believers about believers. "I" (such as one who would say 'I want to win in and of itself') was first used by a man in Gen 3. Immediately after the fall Adam said "I heard....", "I was afraid...", "I was naked....", "I hid myself...." The "I" by man is his first time beig separated from God. The Spirit had Moses write Genesis 2 without having Adam use the word "I". That is very significant. There is no more I when In Christ. Only In Christ can we and do we win. Not our will but His will be done.

Remember, By PEACE will the deceiver destroy many.

And we can see it - I used to attend one of those feel good gospel churches as a young adult. And as a small child my family was Catholic (and many still are). I thought I was saved and going to heaven - I truly did. Then I read the Biblical Gospel according to Gods word and I couldn't stop reading. And while I was glad I was finally saved.........I was not happy about those pastors and churches that had lied about the gospel. These people didn't 'misrepresent' Gods word - they knew it....they just didn't believe it. And that started in the garden. Oh how I wish someone would have loved me, a lost sinner, enough all those lost years to risk offending me with the truth. I was arrogant and infused with my own wisdom and only the harsh reality of truth was enough to wake me from my slumber. Like cold water in the face. When the real Gospel was shared with me - when I was told I was believing in a false, easy believe-ism gospel and probably not saved.....I was mad, of course. Very mad. Indignant even. But I sat with my Bible and looked for a way to rebuke what I had been told. Thank the LORD, I was rebuked by His Word!

In that vein, anyone promulgating a false message and a false ecumenism - please immerse your self in Gods Word so you can let go of your false beliefs and concentrate on Jesus Christ in the unadulterated truth. Then, and only then, will you also be truly free In Christ.

Prayerfully In Christ,

Shauna

#91  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 5:43 PM

Hi Rick, this is a reply to post 75

I apologize for not responding to your question about Jesus standing there when he said "this is my body". My view is simply that when the pastor or priest says "body of Christ" over the bread that is given to you that it means the same thing as when Jesus said it. I do not believe you are cursed because you do not worship the bread. I do not accept all Catholic teaching. Why do I defend Catholics? I believe sincere Catholics are Christians even though they are wrong on a few points. Again why? Matthew 7:2 says "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.". I do not want to be judged with the measure that says "anything short of 100% perfect theology is not good enough.". Yet, there is a line between 100% perfect theology and all roads lead to Rome. The absolute minimum is John 3:16 and Romans 10:9. Also, as stated above, the Nicene Creed does a good job of explaining the minimum.

Romans 14:1 says not to pass judgment on disputable matters. Of course that begs the question "what is a disputable matter?". Obviously food is one. Romans 14:13 says "stop passing judgment on one another." so I have. Just as an aside, Romans 14:5 is good to share with a Jehovah's Witness who says that you should not celebrate Christmas. Before you ask the question, let me say for the record that Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christians like us (they reject the deity of Jesus and the bodily resurrection). Every one including and between Roman Catholic and Baptist can be Christians, while the best counterfeits are Mormons (polytheistic) and Jehovah's Witnesses.

with love and blessing from Brad

#92  Posted by Warren Hewko  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 8:42 PM

i just went through all the postings ,wow whata goodtopic pastor john and thanks you for your faith fulness on teaching and praching the truth,we all are very blessed that God Spirit upon you and being in the church God gave you and for us co-shepherding all,and as you said in one of your books that i read and again besde tha most important book of all(Gods Word),that as u described a cook and a waiter you are not the cook but the waiter and to all who dont understand ,is the food is alreaddy prepared(the Word) and pastors who are truley genuine being call ed to thepulpit are tobe the waiters and deliver the food(Gods Word in Spirit and Truth).my self also are and x roman catholic who always believed in God but really did not know the true God and Father ,till some one told me about Jesus even though growing up in a RCC herd the name Jesus ,but no real teaching was ever taught,i to thank my God and Father through His Son for my salvation,transformation sanctifaction and reconizing that i could not safe my self and need to be BornAgain and turn from my sins and be filled with the Sprirt.Iagree we need to stand for the truth and defend the true gospel message to false gospels there are many who teach a different gospel ,but we need to pray and call on God for a descerning spirit.as we confront people with the truth we need to be steadfast and loving but never weaver the truth as we all know the bible is the only dependable message to show us what happens after we die a serious warnig for the truth and as mr.Carter pointed out God the Father will draw the one to the Son,but at the same time we need to get true message clear from what God revealed to all who will believe,by his grace that we are still here as true genuine believers as john in one of his sermons keep waiting,watching and doing His workGods.none of us do not want jesus to say in matthew 7:21 but we want to here well done good and faithfull servant.please all true brother and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ keep pray for my lost family who are decieved in the RCC and my work mates at work in our community thank you all .Slave of Christ warren

#93  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 9:13 PM

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#94  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, February 18, 2010at 9:18 PM

Warren #92 - Praise the Lord for your salvation and I will pray for your family along with mine! Shauna

Ok - see the problem in #91?

Religious systems, be they Roman Catholic (Brad, you cannot make the RCC Christian no matter how many times you say it, unless you are redefining Christianity - which sadly many do), Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Word of Faith - not Christian at all..., though people in them may come to Christ and leave their old system. People trying to claim that Roman Catholics are Christian and saying that just because they don't 100% agree with Gods Word, and in fact in many cases twist it beyond all recognition, thats not so bad-when they have the gospel itself wrong...well that sentiment is from the deceiver. Just like with any other "system" (Catholic, Wayward Protestant denominations, Mormon, Buddhist, Islam, Hinduism, New Age....). Christianity is The Way (and was actually called that before the use of the term Christian...it's all over the OT as well) not a system. Huge difference.

The Way In Christ free's us...systems enslave us with our own selves!!!

Some are now reducing faith to a "minimum requirement"...how incredibly sad. If anyone ever says to you "Well, Ok, but what's the minimum I have to believe/do" then keep giving the gospel - for our very life, heart body and soul is what is required!

I see more of not giving opinions, which we can freely have, but rather major doctrinal errors and trying to pass them off as mere opinions. That's a very slippery slope. Did God really say you have to believe the Gospel 100%-isn't 95 % good enough? Did God really say women can't preach to men? Did God really say that we should be united no matter what? Did God really say doctrine was a sticking point? Did God really say obedience is commanded? Did God really say idolatry is so harmful? This is exactly what the serpent did in the garden. The Bible says (when Satan was attempting to tempt Jesus) that Jesus said "It is written...." so we go to His Word for the answers. You must believe the whole Gospel to be saved. Women are not to preach to men. If we don't have the gospel in common, then we don't have fellowship. Doctrine matters. Obedience is commanded. Idolatry is always wrong. There is no equivocating in Gods Word about these issues.

John MacArthur has many good teachings on the Gospel and what it means to be a Christian. And he explains maximum saving faith (not an easy believism!). He also has discernment and contending for the faith sermons that will explain the false use of "judging" by those who don't stand by biblical doctrine. Because see, the Bible does distinguish between judging regarding doctrine (which we are to do) and freedom in opinion (which we do not dispute over)..............I cannot recommend the many teachings on this website more heartily! If we actually listend to them and read the Word, then half our posts would be **poof**unnecessary!

In Sincere Contention for Gods Holy Word and the Salvation found in Jesus Christ alone,

Shauna

#95  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 1:48 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#96  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 1:59 AM

Hi Shauna Bryant, this is a reply to post 78

Thanks for taking time to read about my denomination. Your summay posted here is accurate. All denominations have some point that brings us together. Ours is Romans 15:5 and Ephesians 4:3. Catholics notice that there are so many different Protestant churches ans use that to show that we as a group are confused about what the truth is. The best thing we could do to be a better alternative to the Catholic church is to have one Protestant church. Most are too afraid of contamination that we continue to separate.

#97  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 4:08 AM

Hi Warren, this is a reply to post 92

The discussion shows that people are thinking and that is good. Any Mormn or Jehovah's Witness will tell you the exact same thing because they only repeat what they have been taught. Mark Gabriel was born and raised in Egypt as a Muslim. More than just a practicing Muslim, he was a scholar from his youth. He asked questions and was punished. Long story short, he is a Christian now.

#98  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 4:20 AM

Hi Shauna Bryant, this is a reply to post 94

You say "Women are not to preach to men." yet you are posting on this message board. Furthermore, by using your husband's name to post, you deceive people into thinking they are reading a post made by a man. By your own standard you should delete all of your posts, repent, vow to never preach again, and if you have questions about the faith then you should ask your husband at home. By my standard you are a wonderful lovable Christian who should have all of the benefits of salvation. I declare that you are like Mary and have choosen what is better: Luke 10:41.

#99  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 5:32 AM

#98 Brad

I suppose when one sees that their own arguments are digging them a deeper pit then they must resort to lies and the manipulation of the truth.

I have not made one post where I did not disclose my name - in fact I made a post all by itself reiterating that my husband had not posted one word. So your claim that I am deceiving people is a lie. We use the same login - I noticed the same thing with some other women. My husband and I don't keep separate accounts by the way.

As for preaching to men - pray tell, how am I preaching by defending Gods word on a message board? Are you saying that women should not post on the internet since men are on the internet? Should we not have any discussions with men because they may be deluded and think we are somehow on a virtual pulpit preparing and giving sermons and attempting to be a prime leader of the flock? No - even in the Bible women were used in ministry (but not to preach to men) and we are to tell people about the gospel and though I am a keeper at home, that does not mean that I am not also a defender of the faith. You are trying to accuse me of the sin of preaching because of a post - yet I see you don't level this claim at all women....but we are still not to preach and you cannot possibly defend the notion that posting on a message board is preaching! Your claim is further made nonsense by the fact that your own church ordains women to preach - something I already pointed out and mentioned that it is not Biblical. No matter how you twist scripture - because all the benefits of salvation does not mean to twist Gods word into saying that women should be preacher/leaders of a church. Being a pracher entails much more than sermons on Sunday (or any other day the church meets) - it involves caring for and sheperding the flock, giving personal counsel regarding marriage or any life issues.......so how again does posting on a message board equal being a preacher? Please also not that as for Doctrinal Teaching I directed people to John MacArthur - a man!

Maybe you haven't noticed - but I haven't posted a question about the faith - when I do have them I read my Bible, talk to my husband and ask counsel of the elders and our pastor just like I should.

I am careful to get my facts right (and when I am wrong I say it) which is why I bothered to read up on your denomination (though I have already had experience with it here in our state. It has sadly led some good friends away and they now also spend their time defending Roman Catholicism). So in your future posts, take care to do the same. Getting facts right that is instead of trying to portray me as the deceiver.

Shauna

#100  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 6:14 AM

# 96 - Brad.

I quote: "All denominations have some point that brings us together."

You are so wrong! You are a perfect example of the blind and deceived! Not that we have to search too long to find those anyway.

Can you see Jesus seating down with the pharisees and scribes and saying "Ya know guys, you worship my Father, so ultimately we all have the same God, let that be the commom point that bring us together"

Can you see Paul doing the same thing? Can you see John? Peter and many others?

Sadly, I really believe you can see that happening.

There's not to be any association and light and darkness whatsoever. For myself, I choose to stand beside Jesus and echo his words: woe to you!

------------------

A lot of people have truly "good intentions" and they don't want to offend anyone and preach this "let's preach the Gospel, the whole Gospel, without judging anyone". The whole Gospel, the true Gospel, it's in one hand salvation for those who accept it, and condemnation for those who don't. Discernment is needed to preach the Gospel to those who are not saved, and to rebuke those who "seem" to be saved.

As for Peter and the sword - yes, we are not to use human, natural powers to fight the good fight. I agree with you. But there's a sword, the Word of God, which IS to be used.

------------

Shauna, I wish you lived closer to me. =)

#101  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 6:38 AM

Dear Shauna:

I agree with you that women SHOULD NOT be in a leadership role in the church, and also agree with you that having an opinion on a message board, or even quoting Scripture and defending the faith, is a far cry from leading a flock or teaching men.

In all four gospels, Mary Magdalene is first witness to the Resurrection. John 20:16 and Mark 16:9 both straightforwardly say that Jesus' first post-resurrection appearance was to Mary Magdalene alone. Are women credible wittness’ for Christ? Jesus seemed to think so, “But go to my brethren, and say unto them…(John 20:17).”

“Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and [that] he had spoken these things unto her (John 20:16-18).”

I LOVE your posts, btw.

Mary

#102  Posted by Rick White  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 6:53 AM

Brad,

You've given me several things to respond to in post #95.First you say tradition and experience can shape our theology.Are you saying it should shape our theology?I'm not sure what your point is.You also quote someone from a seminar that said "don't you dare lower your understanding of God's word based on your experience." And then you say or in other words:sola scriptura.Again,I don't understand your point since "sola scriptura" is not an experience it is a doctrine taught in 2 Timothy 3:15-17.Maybe you don't understand what "sola scriptura"means.It does not say that we can't have any traditions,it just means when it comes to dogmatic teachings they must be backed by the word of God.The RCC has many dogmatic teachings that are not only not backed by scripture they are in violation of them.And they are not minor issues,they go to the very heart of the gospel.

You also refer to Matthew 10:8 and then link it to Matthew 28:19,20 implying that everything Jesus instructed the desciples to do at specific times for specific purposes are to be taught and done by all Christians.This is obviously not the case unless you believe that Jesus wants us all to prepare the Passover,Luke 22:8 or we should all sell our coats and buy a sword,Luke 22:36.Obviously Jesus commanded His desciples to do specific things at specific times for specific purposes that He did not intend to be taught and done by all Christians for all times.

Next you attempt to link Psalm 1:1-3 to Ezekiel 47:12,Revelation 22:2 and Isaiah 55:12 in a way that borders on the absurd.Maybe that is your intent,I'm not sure.Either way it's one of the worst cases of eisegesis I've ever seen.You can't just read your own personal interpretation into any scripture,2 Peter 1:20.To understand scripture requires that we try to find out the author's original meaning and intent.

Obviously David didn't mean that God would heal every disease of every believer,because that hasn't happened.I have known many true believers that have died of many different diseases.We will all die of something someday unless we live until the return of Christ.So I'm not sure of your purpose for quoting Psalm 103:3.

In response to post #91 you still haven't answered how Jesus' body can be in several places at once.It is Jesus' Spirit that is omnipresent,not His body.So when Jesus said "this is my body" His literal body was standing there when He said it.It was not literally in the bread.You also quote Matthew 7:2 to say we are not to judge anyone.If you read Matthew 7:1-13 you will see Jesus is talking about hypocritical judgement.So yes,if I'm judging a brother on something that I'm doing that would be wrong.If you go to John 7:24 you'll see we are commanded to judge righteously.We do that by judging by God's standards,His word.You make the comment that John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 as a minimum for a believer.I suggest you do a study on the greek word for believe (pisteuo in the Greek) you will find it means to entrust.In other words we're to trust only in Jesus sacrifice for our sins and in nothing else for our salvation,Ephesians 2:8,9.You then also quote Romans 14:1.If you read Romans 14:1-13 you will see it is talking about passing judgement on an individual that is "weak in the faith".In other words he doesn't understand fully his freedom in Christ,Galatians 5:1-13,18.You also refer to Romans 10:9 but ignore Romans 10:4.The person that truly believes in Jesus will not trust in "the Law" at all for his salvation.The RCC teaches that many parts of "the New Law" are necessary for salvation in violation of the clear teachings of scripture.So,anyone that accepts the theology of the RCC can't be a true believer.There may be true believers in the RCC but it is in spite of the theology taught there,not because of it.

#103  Posted by Richard Carter  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 7:31 AM

Shauna,

I really enjoyed and was blessed by your post regarding how you were deceived and led astray into believing you were saved in the RCC, and how angry that made you. I share a similar experience, only mine was in a Presbyterian church. To those who know yet don't believe, and choose to ignore Truth and salvation as is CLEARLY explained in God's Word, their condemnation is already a reality. I also believe we must confront error.

However, what I am trying to express is that "vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." I was so angry I wanted all these people to know that. After 40+ years I have seen how that anger needs to be redirected into a passion for making disciples and presenting the Gospel to those who are the called. I am amazed at the vehemence contained in some of the posts directed toward those who are in error, and, while being conformed to His image, are trying very hard to grow in the faith.

You have responded with wisdom and with the Word. I commend you for that, as this is from the Lord, and I praise God that He chose to reveal Himself to you. He commanded His angels to rejoice with Him the day you believed! Halellujah!

To those who ask which post I am responding to, it is to all comments that make assumptions and jump to conclusions about where a person is in their walk.

Clanging symbols aren't profitable. Tell the Truth in love, with gentleness and respect. Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you believe sola scriptura, be obedient to Him and all of what He says. Strive to be like Him, holy as He is holy.

If you believe someone reading these posts is lost, how will your anger and impatience towards them as reflected in verbal assault help them understand? Wouldn't you rather be patiently and respectfully shown how your error is addressed in scripture with the same gentleness and respect you desire?

It is the Holy Spirit's work to convict and lead into all Truth. Let's let Him do His work. We need to work at being faithful and obedient without usurping what belongs to Him. That is the judgment that comes from human pride.

Shauna, Be ye angry, and sin not. I think you are trying very hard to do that. Blessings!

#104  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 8:09 AM

Simply put, Rome replaces Christ with man at every juncture. It is a rival sacrificial system of sacraments, replacing Christ with a rival priesthood. The Virgin Mary becomes the co-redeemtrix (the queen of heaven), the pope becomes the Vicar of Christ (the head of the church), the priests become the mediator between man and God, dead saints (who we have no idea are even in heaven) become intercessors, and the list is endless in this miscreant theology. That is why, when refuting their so-called traditions of men and their other false doctrines, it is best to focus the issue on justification by faith alone (they simply can not win here) otherwise you will find they have you running down endless rabbit trails; one ridiculous teaching after another. I call Catholicism Replacement Theology; it simply replaces Christ with man.

Dr. John MacArthur has a series of nine videos on the RCC, check it out on You Tube, plus numerous articles.

#105  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 8:15 AM

Mary, I didn't know about the videos, but here's the sermon series, very interesting:

Explaining the Heresy of Catholicism

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermon+Series/296

#106  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 8:32 AM

Thanks, Elaine. :) The videos are called. "The Pope and the Papacy." Really awesome! I like your posts, also.

God bless,

Mary

#107  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 9:56 AM

Mary, that video is part of one of the sermons in the sermons series I posted. =)

God bless you,

E.

#108  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 10:46 AM

Dear Richard Carter,

I hope you understand that I believe there to be a difference between a brother or sister In Christ who is in error and a person who is a deceiver. All believers, as you wisely mentioned, are in differnt places on the path In Christ. Yet some are on another path altogether and those people I do not consider a brother or sister In Christ. I believe I have made discerning and informed (I did do the research and was told that my research was correct by the person in question) judgements about some posts - based on deceitfully calling a Christian a liar when proof was evident in writing that the truth was disclosed, additional lies propogated, the deceitful use of scripture, false ecumenism, the biblical disobedience to Gods unchanging word, and deceitful flatteries used - and all by one person! In other words, I observed the fruit. I take it we disagree on this particular instance, and I appreciate your admonition and will certainly keep it in mind always and under consideration in the current case, should I see edible fruit sprout in the place of what is currently on display. Please also note that since I do not believe a deceiver to be In Christ, that I also, lovingly, pointed towards John MacArthurs Gospel messages and doctrinal stances freely available to all on this site.

In Christ,

Shauna

#109  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 11:17 AM

#100

Elaine,

you wrote:

A lot of people have truly "good intentions" and they don't want to offend anyone and preach this "let's preach the Gospel, the whole Gospel, without judging anyone". The whole Gospel, the true Gospel, it's in one hand salvation for those who accept it, and condemnation for those who don't. Discernment is needed to preach the Gospel to those who are not saved, and to rebuke those who "seem" to be saved.

As for Peter and the sword - yes, we are not to use human, natural powers to fight the good fight. I agree with you. But there's a sword, the Word of God, which IS to be used.***********

Excellent point! (wish I'd thought of it - but don't worry I'm not coveting your thoughts - haha!)

Well, we live on the east coast now (born in Calif. though)

I don't know where you live, but I must say that being born in CA (in the valley), and then living in the midwest and then moving to the east coast has been an eye opener. Many of the great revivals started here - out east - and so I suppose it is sadly fitting that some of the most apostate people live here too. And we all know what a whacko place San Fran is.....but out here there are so many that espouse a faith In Christ, yet have it all mixed up with...well, everything else you can think of so that you'd have to be a microscope just to see any 'kinda, sort of' resemblance to traditional Christianity.

In fact, I'd say this whole section of the country is a prime example of Dr. MacArthurs teachings about the vulnerable church and what it wil look like once decimated from not standing firm to Gods Word.

During one of our travels we drove by a street sign that said "John Edwards Drive" and knowing the history from that area, I exclaimed "Yeah - some vestiges of truth - even in a street sign remain!" My acquaintance (we were driving together with a large group on a history tour for the kids) said "Oh I know! Don't you just love he and his wife. Sad that she has cancer though - but he is so handsome. And an attorney - I do so hope he becomes the next President!" I try and keep up on current events, but it still took me a few minutes to figure out she meant John Edwards the Liberal-Lawyer-Politician! I had naturally meant (as did the sign), John Edwards - the theologian!!! That has pretty much summed up my experience here thus far. with most people. On the other hand, I love the many opportunities we have to share the true gospel and we have been especially blessed to have found a wonderful expositional preaching church who holds fiercly and lovingly to the truth! The other thing it has taught me is that Jesus Christ sustains us in all things and keeps us safe even when surrounded by apathy and evil.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler - I have a cousin with that name in Calif.!

So if you have an "Aunt Betty" then............hmmmm!

Shauna

#110  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 11:55 AM

Brad-regarding post #96,

You used these two scriptures:

Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus

and

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

In an effort to try and convince people that ecumenical unity is biblical. These verses are clearly commanding about unity regarding the body of Christ - which is made up of individuals, not "churches" of any denomination or belief. The unity in both passages is for those In Christ - we are not to be in unity with worldly or apostate people or churches or denominations. Revelation (and Dr. MacArthur has many teachings on it) has quite a lot to say about "The churches"....and most of it isn't pretty. Some of it ought to shock people right out of their shoes!

This issue of unity kind of reminded me of a very prominent author (initals ML) who, as a member of and speaker during Promise Keepers claimed that ecumenical unity IS the definition of biblical Truth.

No. Truth is Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Let none of us be deceived by 'another truth'.

#111  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 12:47 PM

# 109 - Shauna,

I live very far, in Canada (Toronto area). I haven't found an expositional preaching church. We actually found a good church back in September, the Pastor is open to listen to my arguments anytime, so that's good. I see some of the culture being allowed in the church, and I am openly (to the pastor that is) against that. I just wish I had more knowledge, and that I could handle the English language (it's my second language) better. Sometimes I fail to express myself. You, on the other hand, do that very well.

God bless you!

E.

#112  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 2:04 PM

Elaine,

Thank you for your kind words. You must be cold way up there! Do you enjoy the Olympics? English is my first language - but I bet I'd stumble all over myself trying to express my thoughts in say...French or Spanish! At least you found a good church - we have friends in Canada and the things they relate to us regarding Christianity and these local fairness type "councils" they have to suppress Christianity (that's what they are being used for anyway) is terrible (not that our media talks about any of that!) Have you heard of that in your area? Just curious. I cannot remember right now what the councils are specifically called in Canada.

God has given each of us gifts. Mine probably is being comfortable in speaking. And being bold In Christ. Boldness, for us all, comes after much study and practice. I have debated and given presentations to financial boards in my previous - unsaved - life. I probably 'sound' like it too online - because in debate you go point by point and in "the ether net" the dialogue is not one line at a time, like a more natural conversation, but rather a barrage of thought, then a barrage of response!

You have the indwelt Spirit, the Bible and even Preaching to help you with the knowledge part Elaine! We could all study for hours a day for years on end and barely scrath the surface of the richness of Gods Word. So happy reading and happy listening.

God Bless You,

Shauna

#113  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 2:49 PM

Shauna, I haven't heard about any of those councils. Now I am curious too. =)

E.

#114  Posted by Richard Carter  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 3:11 PM

Shauna,

Thank you for your reply. I don't think we disagree AT ALL! My comments were for all of us to be as discerning as you made sure you were. The danger is when we don't do the homework you did, and judge those less advanced in their journey with criticism that doesn't edify. The enemy is seeking whom he may devour, constantly attacking the elect. We must be very careful to make the distinction you did, and not just jump on a bandwagon of condescension.

Sorry if I led you to believe I was being anything other than supportive and encouraging. Fight the good fight my sister!

RC

#115  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 5:28 PM

#113 Elaine,

Try this site to listen to an interview with a Canadian Ministry that went through one of Canada's local "tribunals" for hate speech. Chilling. These tribunals are worrisome because a lot of the charges (and they do not have to be substantiated and the Canadian Gov't..umm taxpayer....gets to foot the legal bills for the one bringing the charge, but the accused - of hate speech (which seems to boil down to any claim that Christianity is the ONLY Way. Which, it is, of course) - must, even against repeated spurious charges, pay for their own counsel, thereby bringing many ministries down from legal bills alone. I also believe it was Mark Steyn who was also subject to one and has written on them, I will have to double check and get back to you on that one.

Here's the link for the radio interview:

Just scroll down to the 6th one - It is from April 19, 2008 and is Hour 2

If, for whatever reason, that doesn't work, then just put Lori MacGregor in the search under radio archives (right side) on the olive tree site and it will bring it up that way.

The sad thing is that these kinds of things are happening at all and also that the left in our own country would salivate at the opportunity to have that here! And unfortunately, we can see already they would have many CINO's willing to claim what we say about Christ - as it is in Gods Word - is indeed hateful and "unloving, intolerant and judgemental" and not the only way.

Anyway, let me know what you think. In Christ, Shauna

You know John MacArthur had a sermon where he mentioned this very thing - about Christians being persecuted in the first century church because they wouldn't say Christ was A Way or A god, but rather stood by The Way and Jesus as The God. I think I mentioned that on a previous post - but the tribunal in Canada is a good example of that because the main problem (and let me clarify this is for charitable ministries only) is that Christian org's are saying that Biblical Christianity is superior to any other belief system. As of 2008 about 2,500 ministries had been effected in Canada. I do not have more current numbers.

#116  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 5:33 PM

Sorry Elaine the link didn't even show up! See if you can copy this http://www.olivetreeviews.org/radio/mp3/index.php?page=26&rpp=16&so=Most%20Recent

#117  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 5:43 PM

Richard Carter,

Then I did misread your posts. But even if I hadn't, I meant what I said about taking your council to heart. I know I am not always correct in my handling of matters. I have discerned that you have a much more equalizing temperment than do I (and you wouldn't believe how I work on it!!!! But my husband can vouch for me - that and that I still have more work to do!). Thank you. In Christ, Shauna

#118  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 6:46 PM

Hi Shauna

You say (in bold) in post 99 "I have not made one post where I did not disclose my name". That was probably true until post 116. Yes, in context, we all know it was you. I point this out only as a caution that when we boast or vow that we can open a door that we should not open.

I noticed you did presentations to financial boards and debate. This does not surprise me because I too am a financial person (I have had a CPA licence since 1991). Seeing things in black and white comes easy for us.

I too love John 14:6 and for most of my Christian life I too would put the emphasis on the middle of the three things that Jesus is (you put truth in bold). We certainly also agree that Jesus is the way so I will skip discussion there. In the last year Jesus has brought me life. From 1979 until 2004 I was concerned about the facts and figures related to theology. One my favorite verses was 2 Thessalonians 2:10. Now I like Romans 14:17, whihc says the Kingdom of God is righteous, peace, and joy. Look also at Galatians 5:22 and note gentleness. Last is Ephesians 4:15, which has truth and love together. If we can master that one then we will be most effective. I thank Richard Carter for post 103 because he gets Ephesians 4:15.

#119  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 6:55 PM

Matthew 17:27 "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

Jesus paid an admission fee that he did not owe so that he would not offend the ticket takers. I apologize to all that I have offended here. All of you are making me a better Christian.

#120  Posted by Warren Hewko  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 9:07 PM

hey brad i believe in my heart as an x RCC like some other here they are explaining here in a righteous arguement on what scripture is teaching mhave you heard of mike gendron his ministry is called( Proclaiming the Gospel),we have used some of his resources for our out reach, mike and his wife were RC for 34 years and one time some on invited him to a conference the person name cant remmember his first name but last was mcdowel,and the true gospel was given to mike and his wife,and that started there spiritual journry to firist do an indepth on as far back on the RCC,plusMike really never read the bible through at all ,so Mike did for the first time in 34 years then mike started to see the doctrines of the Rcc did not line up with Scripture,and with the mike and his wfe converting to and with the work fo the Holy Sprirt from God He seen the truth, and now with alot of his family and freiends,.God is using mike and his wife to reach the losy RCC with the truth of the Gospel His testimony is on his web page mi encorage you to go there and listen to him and pray that the Lord will open up your hard heart and ignorance ,as we were at one time the same way in our ignorance and pride ,and not to forfet youe soul to man made false deception ,we are all going to die ,it is by Gods grace that we are still here ,brad you will not embrace the truth once you die,it is here and know ,let God in to your stuborn heart like mine and ask Gods Sprirt to show you the truth.Jesus did not have a cutsey conversation with the pharisee and sadduces when scripture was twisted jesus did not pull them aside or try to lighten the conversation jesus did condem al the elite who taught a works man made religion,even the sermom on the mount was to show the pharisees and elit group there total hyprocersy rituals and extra biblical works ,it is no diferent with the RCC.a quote from mike as a radio show host asked that RC says we all are bash them ,but mike say he has a compassion for the lost RC and thru the work of his explaing and Gods providence and grace many of the lost Rc have converted ans seen the truth of scripture not saying that there are not any born again believers there it when they starte praying and in a serious study of Gods wordshould they seek a nd finda true bible believing expository church. brad my mom is kind of the same as you in here false believe ,will keep u in ccontinued prayer for the Spirit of truth to set you free, brad will keep u in prayer for the truth 2timothy 2:14 22 (a workman approved by God);Galation:1:, 6-10 ,brad what paul was writing to the galations and warn them back then we here are doing the same to show u and others ,some of us was those others ,as mr carter did say on the father draws tothe Son.and closing if you think we are bashing ,we will let Rcc ignorance and there pride march straight in to thedepth of Hell,and re member alot of us still have lots of family that are on that march ,but we are in serious prayer that the y will be revealed the truth and not perish ,may God Bless there souls for the truth,Slaveof Christ Warren

#121  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 9:12 PM

Regarding post #118 You know what Brad - you are being really very petty. I made that comment in post #99, which means it applies to every post previous to that unless you somehow think I was forecasting the words of future posts? That would not be biblical for me to "prophesy" regarding future posts. See how ridiculous that is. Also, I was directly refuting your claim that I was a liar and a deceiver misrepresenting myself.....so again, post 116 has nothing to do with that either. Obviously post 116 was a continuation of post 115 and not an attempt to deceive anyone at all and was not even to you so your problem is what exactly? Or do you also somehow think anyone reading those 2 back to back posts, with the 2nd referencing the 1st, would not realize they were both from me and would see any form of deceit towards Elaine in them? Do you really think people are that inept? Because I certainly don't.

And please show me where I have "vowed and boasted" about this hypothetical door I should not be opening. You have been the one claiming false things available to women and I resoundly shut that door! Sir, with all due respect, do not compare or lump us together after everything you have posted here and on the other blog. You are not only following false teachings but you are tying to get women to consider them as well (just like the serpent attacked the weakest link), it has been pointed out biblically here and on the other blog (which has been an interesting read....) to you and yet you still agree with the teachings - so I see no repentance regarding your false doctrines or even a willingness to believe Gods word regarding those issues. You have, in the face of facts, called me a deceitful person misrepresenting myself (post 98) and you are unrepentant about your false theology.

Yes, Jesus Christ is the Way......but I must confess, after reading all your posts on both blogs - I do wonder which Jesus it is you follow.

Look at it from my view point. You have espoused a particular penchant for the vile RC doctrines, you claim ecumenism, you believe women can be preachers leading men by twisting scripture-instead of looking at the whole council of God, you cherry pick single verses to say what you want them to and you have called me a deceitful person misrepresenting myself. That picture is pretty clear to me......I see no gray there.

I do not wish to have any further discourse with you as you attempt to lead me into sin in my responses by constantly provoking me with personal lies and false teachings in general. I repent from even having these posts with you and ask The LORD for forgiveness.

Shauna

#122  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Friday, February 19, 2010at 9:33 PM

Dear Warren Post #120

From Shauna Bryant

I like Mike Gendron too - his website is http://pro-gospel.org/x2/ and he has a lot of good resources to reach Roman Catholics. As you said - since he was also once enslaved in that system, he has a particular heart to minister to them and in warning the true church regarding how the RCC is working in evangelical circles.

There is an excellent tract available (more like a very detailed fold out) entitled Roman Catholicism: What You Need To Know. It is written by James G McCarthy and published by Harvest House Publishers. What makes it such a valuable resource is that it does a side by side comparison of what the Catechism(with references) of the Catholic Church teaches and then the corresponding Bible verse to show what the Bible REALLY says. This side by side comaprison goes through Salvation/The Mass/Mary/Authority/Justification and a very telling diagram that clearly show the Gospel according to Rome. It shows just the 62 Primary Errors of teh RC teachings. It is in no way disparaging, yet clearly shows the many false teachings by the RCC, using Gods Word ALONE. They are though about $4 each, so I use them for specific people I have in mind. They are also useful for a quick study as well. You can find them here http://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/books_nonfictionbook.cfm?productID=5074297

Prayerfully, Shauna

#123  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 2:39 AM

Hi Warren

I have not heard of Mike Gendron. I have not counted but you may the fourth person on this thread who is an xCatholic. I was raised in a Presbyterian church and then became a Christian at age 18. I was really angry at the Presbyterian church. I share this to let you know that I do have an understanding of your feeling toward Catholics. Now I forgive them Matthew 18:35.

#124  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 3:00 AM

Shauna

You do not accept me as a brother so let's assume I am your enemy. The Bible says to love your enemy. I posted the link to my denomination's website so that you could know my world view. I do not want to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. You still think I am a wolf but I still think I am a sheep. I was directed to this website (the continuationalist thread) from another messge board where the topic was miracles.

#125  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 3:11 AM

My own view on woman pastors is different from my denomination. I would not want to be in a church with a woman lead pastor. Our local church has four pastors and one is a woman. Before this lady was hired we had a director of women's ministries as a part time job. Her husband started a job in another state. While we had the opening our male senior pastor decided to expand the job a bit and make it full time. He also changed the title to Discipleship Pastor. After we hired a woman a couple families left the church because they did not want a woman pastor. I thought that was sad.

#126  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 3:26 AM

I just went back and read the topic of this thread: Discuss the implications of the failure of discernment in evangelicalism today, particularly with regard to who is and who isn’t a Christian.

Forgive me for boasting but my posts here have given you an opportunity to discern who is and who is not a Christian. My opinion is that anybody who honestly believes the Nicene Creed is a Christian. That can include Roman Catholics. It certainly does not includes all who identify themselves as a Roman Catholic. I hope it includes all who are posting here.

#127  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 7:32 AM

People should beware of false teachings, such as how the Catholic Chruch defines certain words in the Nicene Creed to make them incompatible with Gods Word.

A good example of this would be if someone says I believe we should follow the Constitution of The United States of America (here you can place Gods revealed Word for the example). At first glance, I agree with this statement. But then I begin to read the Constitution (Gods revealed Word). Original document - excellent. Oh how I wish we would have just stayed right there. But our story is just getting started. We are then told we must 'hire' (with gift money, not exactly coersion-well I personally think buying your get out of purgatory slip to have been coersion, but I digress) a lawyer (a Catholic priest) to sift through this complicated information and tell us what it means because we mustn't do it ourselves (ie don't believe God when he says the Spirit will lead you in all truth and understanding through His Word) Therefore, we take the Constitution (Gods revealed Word) and put it away (in a glass case) where you can see it - but not too closely (chain the Bible to a pulpit where people can see it but not read it). But now we see that people have been sneaking in to try and read what the Constitution (Gods Word) says so we must write it only in a language (lawyer ease) that most people don't know (Latin) since they are not educated. But those pesky people - they find out what it REALLY says and dissent begins......QUICK! So they don't comprehend (pretend disclosure and cooperation, heck even print the Constitution (portions of the Bible) in school books (Catechisms and prayer books), with the definitions and explanations you want them to have....stamp out the rebellion, (burn their Bibles like the RCC did) and begin anew. All is calm once again. I'm tired from all the unrest yet I see I have more reading to do because politicians/lawyers (popes) have added so many articles (vain traditions) and ammendments (redefining of original statements) to those original articles/declarations (Revealed Word of God) while we slumbered, and those reference even more ammendments (extra biblical sources) we must adhere to that have to now also be read, and then those Articles and ammendments have been "clarified" with other ammendments (new "papal commands" from their god) to which I must also go and read, and now I find that even more has been done, because, it is claimed, society has "evolved" to a point where we must redefine what the original authors meant because we can no longer believe they meant what they wrote. Now I am so bleary eyed from following all the rabbit trails that I fall asleep from sheer exhaustion.......then I awake and look at my stack - IT HAS GROWN yet again whilst I slumbered. But I persevere and finally get through it all. I sadly realize.....that it would have been much simpler if I had just understood earlier what they had done - which was to take Our Constitution (Gods revealed Word) and written "Believe Exactly the Opposite" on the document (cover of Gods Word). Then when asked should we follow this I would have screamed NO! You have corrupted all that is good and all that is holy by your trickery! Sola Scriptura!

Shauna

#128  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 7:55 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#129  Posted by Rick White  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 7:59 AM

Brad,

I may disagree with you about several things pertaining to the RCC but I've appreciated the debate.I think everyone posting here is passionate for the truth and it gets emotional at times because of that.I don't think that is a bad thing.If the discussion here makes us dig deeper into the word of God,I think that is a great thing.I hope you'll continue to come back and be instructed by John MacArthur.There are some excellent teaching materials on this website as well as others like aomin.org and christiantruth.com where you can learn what the issues are between the RCC and Protestants and why we are so passionate about them.The issues are not trivial at all. They go to the very heart of the gospel.Looking forward to future discussion.

Rick

#130  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 8:53 AM

I had to delete comment#128 because I neglected to sign my name.

To anyone who doesn't understand by how we are saved, and by which right we have the ability to be called Christians:

To believe in a creed, written by men means nothing. We believe what Gods Word command us, given by the Holy Spirit to men for us. I know people who believe the Nicene creed - and they believe also that all paths lead to God and that all people, no matter what they believe, do or say, are going to heaven, eventually. But you ask these same people if they believe in Gods inerrant word.......and they sadly, may initially say yes, but when you ask them further questions they must say no. So they believe in a man made creed - but not Gods Word. John MacArthur has an enourmous amount of sermons on this site - free - whereby you can know what it means to be saved according to Gods Word. I implore all those unsure, or deceived, please. Listen. Read. Let the Spirit convict you, follow not false doctrines and teachings.

Once you are truly saved you shouldn't be thrown about by every wind of doctrine. And Gods Word tells us that His people will not follow another. Calling oneself a Christian has a specific meaning - we better know just exactly what that means, becasue that term has become so misused.....that while I still call myself a Christian I find I must qualify it because I am so ashamed of many Christians "so called"!

Does anyone remember Todd Bentley and his "Lakeland Revival"? Some people I knew were talking about him and I hadn't heard what was said but as I sat down one person asked me what I thought of him and if I believed in his miracles and healings. I just said, "Well, I believe him to be a man of god - the god of this world". Needless to say a discussion ensued (I could have worded it better but anyone who has seen this joker knows what I mean). In the end I was told that I couldn't be a Christian because I couldn't recognize a prophet of Gods like Todd Bentley and like the Israel of old all I wanted to do was ignore and kill (and I never said any such thing - I just said he was not a man of God period) the man of God. That is how undiscerning the church is because every single person there went to a church and professed to be a Christian. And only two of us could prove, from scripture, that it was impossible for this man to be legitimate. And, of course, we two were considered to be the unknowledgeable ones. And, by the way, Mr. Bentley is in the process of 'restoration' so he can begin his ministry anew. Even if, by some strange chance, he was a Christian.....then it would still be unbiblical for him to have any part in ministry since he has so debased the name of God and has had a testimony that is completely reproachable. Anyone associated with bringing this man back in ministry should be resoundly put out of the church until and unless they repent. Well, since it is doubtful in the extreme they are in the real church - the real church should not allow itself in any way to be associated with any of this since this organization qualifies as a Christian ministry for many people -worldwide. It's people and organizations like that which make me feel like i have to qualify "Christian".

What do we do when our Christian language has been hijacked?

Fruit inspectors. And truth tellers. Gods Word/His Spirit separates us from the darkness, so we are supposed to be the light.

Shauna

#131  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 8:59 AM

Thank you for post 128 Shauna I agree with you that being a Christian is more than believing the Nicene Creed. I also agree that if somebody defines the words differently than their normal understanding then they may not be a Christian. I like the Nicene creed because the deity of Christ Jesus is really emphasized. Nearly every religion and many secular philosophies will say something about Jesus. He is too important to be ignored. Usually their statements are positive. If they are not Christians they will deny the deity of Christ. The other thing the creed does is provide a short writing that you can review with somebody point by point in a short period of time. I once asked a Jehovah's Witnesses to show me his doctrine (expecting a creed or maybe one page "we believe" or statement of faith. Instead he said "we just believe the Bible" and faulted me for using a creed because those were man's words. I believe putting a few highlights (the essentials) into man's words gives is a reference point. Most Christian websites have a "we believe" page; I do not see one on the menu of this site. Please post the link if there is one that explains what John MacArthur believes.
#132  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 9:57 AM

For Post #131

http://www.gracechurch.org/distinctives/

#133  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 10:00 AM

Thank you for post 129 Rick,

I appreciate you too and really believe that irons sharpen iron.

You may have thought I was yanking your chain with the application of Sola Scriptura to Matthew 10:8. Randy Clark taught that at a seminar I attended in January. He says he did not like that verse. He said there was a time when we were hoping to get headache cured and God's word was telling us to raise the dead.

The title of this site is Grace to you. Grace is the "freely given, unmerited favor, and love of God" or "influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.". At the Randy Clark seminar mentioned above there were imperfect Christians in front of me on day 2 that were distracting me. I was offended and was trying to think of the most hurtful thing I could say to them to let them know how much their behaviour was wrong. Before saying anything I said a quick prayer and asked God "what do you see?". A word came quickly. During the break I spoke kindly to them about where they were from (without any hint of what was going on in the seminar). There was a prayer time during the next session and I sincerely prayed for the people in front of me. One of the leaders was walking around. There were too many for each person attending to receive personal prayer. This lead walked up to me and prayed; then he said "there is grace all over you". Now back at home I try to keep the grace flowing but at times bring the old harsh man to life. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Romans say many times that the old nature should have died. I hope to multiply the grace here.

As for my defense of the Roman Catholic Church: does the fact that I am not Catholic carry any weight? They have teaching that I do not agree with and will not defend. In fact, IMHO, if all Christians stood in a triangle arranged by doctrine then the three corners would be John MacArthur, Randy Clark, and Pope Benedict.

Brad

#134  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 10:20 AM

Does anyone believe the Pope is a Christian? (Not that he can never be one - but that he currently is)

Does anyone believe in the Word of Faith, Toronto blessings False Teacher Randy Clark is a Christian?

I would not place Dr. John MacArthur - on a level footing with either of these 2 men. What do these two blasphemers have in common with JM? Nothing.

Brad, I apologize. Sincerely. Because I thought you were trying to deceive...now I just believe that you are the deceived. Please, study Gods Word and believe the truth. I beg of you to listen to John MacArthurs sermons on true Salvation, on false teaching - it will take ahwile, but if you have a heart for the things of the LORD and you call upon Him then He alone has the power to lead you out of darkness.

In prayer for your soul,

Shauna

#135  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 10:38 AM

Thanks to John Kelsie for post 132.

Reading that took me half an hour. He had an answer to this topic that I can accept: Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation.

#136  Posted by Daniel Flaherty  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 1:17 PM

Brad and other Catholic apologists –

What do you think of this quote from John MacArthur? “Truth gains nothing by dialoguing with error.” Brad – in your posts that’s what you are asking us to do. I find it revolting that you would put MacArthur on the same level of theology as Randy Clark and the Pope in some kind of ecumenical triangle. MacArthur stands out with other heroes of the faith not because of who he is but because of what he proclaims – the precious Word of God. These other men are savage wolves who butcher the Word by misinterpreting it and adding to it. How do you think John should address the Pope in this little unity triangle you talk about – “His Holiness”? How about “Vicar of Christ”? Maybe - “Holy Father”? Here’s some other official titles used to address the Pope: “Successor of the Chief of the Apostles”, “Sovereign of the Vatican State” (he is considered the king of his country), or my favorite – “Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church”. Talk about Pharisee type pride. I am not sure how he should address Randy other than “False Prophet”.

On some other posts someone mentioned Mike Gendron’s name. I really enjoy Mike and the Proclaiming the Gospel web site he has. I have listened to many of his messages. As a former Catholic like Mike I can really respect his boldness in proclaiming the truth – especially to those still trapped in the false RC system. One of his messages had a recipe for “Ecumenical Stew”. Here it is:

- Chop up the Gospel thoroughly and add water to dilute its effect.

- Mix in some tolerance to suppress the unpopular taste of doctrine.

- Add enough self-esteem to neutralize the bitterness of sin.

- Heat mixture until it becomes lukewarm and in need of nothing else.

- Serve it with Eucharistic Wafers but avoid feeding it to those who live on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

#137  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 2:24 PM

# 122 - Shauna,

thank you for posting that link! I will certainly be ordering some for my own study and to give to others. I see they have on Islam and other religions as well.

thanks again!

Grace and Peace,

E.

#138  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 3:04 PM

# 131 - Brad

you say: "If they are not Christians they will deny the deity of Christ."

that's not enough. One example (and I am sure we'd be able to find several in a short time) is Joyce Meyers. She won't deny the deity of Christ.

I am again listening to the series on 1 John (one of my favourite books). So-called Christians: test them first on their view of Christ (and the deity is just one point), and their view on sin, then their conduct.

Here's the link for 1 John study:

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Bible+Book+Studies/62V1_1-John-Vol-01

One of my favourite passages in the epistles is 2 Peter 2:1-3 (I'll only quote verse 1), the word "secretly" always jumps out when I read it:

"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction"

-----------

I really enjoy the discussions here, but there's no need to bring it down to a personal level, and yes Brad, that's for you.

I am reminded of what Pastor MacArthur says in The Battle for the Truth. He met with some leaders of the Mormom church and said to them: "You know, I only do this for one reason and that one reason is in the hope that you will see the horrible error of your ways and come to the knowledge of the truth." And I have to tell you that's the only reason I do this. Listen; let me tell you something very simple, truth gains nothing from dialogue with error. That is pointless."

In Christ,

E.

#139  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 3:14 PM

Toronto blessings?! oh my!

I live in the greater Toronto area. Back when that started we did go check it out. Let me tell you, that was many many years ago, I had no biblical discernment, no biblical foundation back then, and I could easily tell that wasn't of God!

You see, I am originally from Brazil. In Brazil the people are all "officially" Catholics (that's the official religion). However, there's lots of heresies, cults, and a lot of satanic groups there, all strong and accepted. There are a lot of... hmmm... how can I say this... a lot of spiritualism too, you know, those with mediums and some spirits get into other people's bodies, etc. You see them especially in the beaches during New Year's Eve where they go to throw flowers to some of their saints. What I saw on the so called Toronto "blessing" was nothing different from what those people do during their sessions of black magic.

E.

#140  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 4:13 PM

Hi Shauna, this is a reply to post 134

I forgive you for thinking I was trying to deceive.

Please allow me to make one correction. This may not matter to you yet, we both agree that truth matters so we should be accurate and agree when possible. Randy Clark is associated with the Toronto Blessing (http://www.tacf.org). The Toronto Blessing grew out of the Vineyard, which was led by John Wimber. Its roots go back to the Azuza Street revivial of 1906-1909.

The Word of Faith movement started with E W Kenyon. Others who followed are Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagen, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Yonggie Cho, John Hagee, and Fred Price.

Randy Clark stated that the Toronto Blessing and the Word of Faith movement are separate streams of the same river. He spent 2/12 sessions on church history.

#141  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 4:48 PM

This is regarding something a few comments back. You cannot use any ancient creed as a base line for judging whether someone or group is truly Christian. Why? The Apostles Creed was written before most of the major heresies came into being. A lot of bonified heretics through the centuries could assent to it. As time went on the creeds were made to affirm what the heretics were denying. This is why the Nicene Creed focuses on the deity of Christ (guess what was being denied at the time).

However none of the creeds speaks of justification by faith because that didn't become a problem until much later. Since the RCC rejects true biblical justification (the heart of the gospel), one cannot be a consistent Catholic and a true Christian. If there are true believers in the RCC, they cannot affirm core RCC doctrine. Therefore a Christian Catholic is a Catholic by association, not by definition.

#142  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 5:26 PM

Daniel, This is a reply to what do I think about "Truth gains nothing by dialoguing with error". First, I think it is a bit of a riddle. Other than Jesus (who said "I am the truth"), the truth is inanimate and cannot dialog. My final answer will be "I agree" because truth has nothing to gain from anything. This website is under John MacArthur's control. He could publish only his messages or messages that he has approved. Instead he allows a public blog and his instruction on this thread begins with the word "Discuss". Do you think he expects that everybody will agree with everything that is posted? I do not. I think he believes Proverbs 27:17 and wants to provide a place where we can be sharpened. What does a person who knows truth gain by dialoging with a person in error? Matthew 18:15
#143  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 5:47 PM

http://www.gracechurch.org/distinctives says "Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation". I agree and call myself a Christian. Some of you think I am deceived or in error on certain points. Ok, let's say I am. Romans 14:1 says Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. I confess to you all that my faith is weak. My faith is so weak and I am so insecure in my beliefs that I refuse to condemn all Catholics because I need to believe that God will forgive those who have less than 100% perfect understanding of theology in order to have hope for my own salvation. Perhaps if I had faith as strong as some of you then I would feel at liberty to judge and condemn all Catholics. For now, I cannot cross that bridge because of Matthew 7:1-3, Luke 6:37, and Romans 2:1-4. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
#144  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 6:10 PM

Brad, since you brought up Matthew 7, how do you understand 7:15-20? How do you reconcile those two passages? What about 2 Timothy 2:24-9 and Titus 1:9?

As believers God calls us to discriminate doctrine and those who teach it.

You also said, "What does a person who knows truth gain by dialoging with a person in error? Matthew 18:15." Please read the context of that verse. It is not speaking about serious doctrinal error; it is talking about a believer who has sinned in some way, and more specifically a believer that has sinned against you.

#145  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 6:52 PM

Brad, I am not (and I don't think others are neither) condemning or judging Catholics. The point is not that. You see, once you consider Catholics true Christians, you accept them the way they are, and that's not what we are supposed to do. We have to contend for the faith. The true faith. Why? Because we believe that Catholics need to be saved! That's the entire point of it! They are lost, believing in terrible error, and need salvation! Who love the Catholics more than the person who will come up to them and preach the Gospel of truth, confronting with the error, or the person who believes they are all saved and will go to heaven?

E.

#146  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 6:57 PM

Elaine et al this is a reply to post 139.

Nobody counterfeits a $7 bill. The evil one counterfeits what God is doing. You saw the activities in Brasil first, but the real ones happened in Israel first. I have seen Muslims pray many times. No Christian would say we need to stop praying because that looks like what they saw Muslims do.

#147  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 7:06 PM

Brad, so you are saying that what happened in the Toronto-blessing was the work of God? is that what you are saying?

#148  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, February 20, 2010at 8:18 PM

Re Post #140

You are mistaken, because I am not wrong concerning these group and their "affiliations". Sir, you are terribly deceived by these organizations. And you yourself acknowledged this in your own post yet you seem to not understand the truth of what you said - and here is your direct quote: the Toronto Blessing and the Word of Faith movement are separate streams of the same river. Do you see that? Separate streams OF THE SAME RIVER - and that is a river of damnation! E.W Kenyon, yes did start WOF. What you apparently don't understand is that Rodney Howard Brown (A Rhema Pastor) was also a devout follower of E.W. Kenyon and RHB "annointed" Randy Clark in this vein. Randy Clark PUBLICLY repented of his criticism of WOF at the WOF center, Rhema Bible Institute, and so Randy Clark was "renewed" there. A WOF leader convinced him that he was a "sectarian sinner" who needed renewal. Toronto Craze emanated from TCAF (formerly T. Airport Vineyard Church). Randy Clark also repented of his "denomination-sectarian sin" and became ecumenical. The reason for this is that these 4 MAIN (I say main because there are many offshoots) groups promoting similar heresies all stem from the same teachings, in different forms, and they are 1.) WOF 2.)Kingdom Now (which Randy Clark believes in since he claims to be part of "Joel's Army") 3.)Toronto Craze and 4.)Promise Keepers. These are ALL ecumenical minded, Catholic doctrine friendly (more than friendly) groups. Certainly #1 & 2 are considered to be the "OVERT" forms for the hyper-people and #'s 3 & 4 are considered to be 'acceptable alternatives" for the more subtle-minded types. WOF also, though they at one time repented of the abusive Shepherding Movement stemming from the Charismatics, through the back door brought it all back in. These groups may appear different to some, but they all stem from the very same lie (and almost all the same people!). These groups all exist for the same purpose - to lead people astray in various forms of the exact same theology - or river as you put it. A "stream" in a River is guess what - PART AND PARCEL OF THE RIVER.

You are following doctrines of demons and their works are ALL SATANIC. You simply cannot sit at a table with devils and drink from the Lords cup. Your continued association with all this is damning - eternally.

Brad, you claim to be a very weak sheep - the reason you seem like a wolf is because you are carrying so many wolves on your back we can't see a sheep! In other words what you show true Christians is only wolf and that is the entire reason for us speaking out against what you claim. And wolves are super nice-they must be, so as to get you close enough to totally devour their prey. You seriously need to shed the wolves and learn about God through His Word....before you become what you carry on your back.

And 2 things real quick - 1.) We are speaking out about the RCC as an organization, that it does not teach the biblical gospel. There may be people in it saved, but as one poster said, that is in spite of-not because of-the RCC. Everyone I know who was a RC and then became saved LEFT the RCC (which is the biblical thing to do - cease associations with falsehood, which is what the members of your church did when your church hired a woman pastor. You thought, as you said - that them leaving- what is Biblically commanded- was sad.) and 2.) Satan counterfeited Gods Word LONG before Israel. It's in the Bible. And that beast has been devouring people through various "priesthoods" since then. And it is a FAT BEAST. Brad, do you even discern the import of what you said (in post #126): Forgive me for boasting but my posts here have given you an opportunity to discern who is and who is not a Christian. ???

Shauna

#149  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Sunday, February 21, 2010at 7:01 AM

"Nobody counterfeits a $7 bill. The evil one counterfeits what God is doing."

You can't counterfeit what doesn't exist, but you can create something and try to convince people it's legit. Satan has done this with every false religion (Islam, Budhism, Hinduism, etc.). Yes there are many Christian cults that we consider "counterfeits", but it is interesting how little Christian there is about them. A counterfeit bill looks almost exactly like a real bill. A counterfeit cult looks very different from true Christiantiy.

"I have seen Muslims pray many times. No Christian would say we need to stop praying because that looks like what they saw Muslims do."

Muslims prayers have no correspondance to Christian prayers. It's like saying just because Catholics say Hail Mary's Christians shouldn't stop praying. There is just no correspondance.

#150  Posted by Russell Carroll  |  Sunday, February 21, 2010at 4:08 PM

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#151  Posted by Russell Carroll  |  Sunday, February 21, 2010at 4:11 PM

I think this blog, and maybe even this ministry, has deteriorated into one at war with Galatians 5:15-21 "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

I hope it is not intentional, but it is clearly a greater violation of scripture than honest non-doctrinal mistakes. God says you can't get into heaven slamming guys like Rick Warren.

#152  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Sunday, February 21, 2010at 6:47 PM

Doctrinal errors are, in fact, what we are addressing here. People need to stop following a man and/or a mans system....and follow the God man Jesus Christ! I thank God that John MacArthur (and even my own Pastor) is one who preaches the Word of God......uncompromisingly, something that unfortunately we don't have enough of in this day and age. Compromise, Ecumenism-Globalism(reminiscent of the tower of babel, eh), and Easy Believe-ism are the "buzz words" of our day. "Babel" is indeed rising again. Shauna

#153  Posted by Rick White  |  Sunday, February 21, 2010at 11:52 PM

Russell,

I must be outside the loop here.Who was "slamming guys like Rick Warren?And what was he being slammed for?And what "non-doctrinal mistakes" are you referring to?Please be specific so we know how to respond.It sounds like you're just taking a cheapshot at "this ministry" without explaining yourself.

#154  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Sunday, February 21, 2010at 11:56 PM

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#155  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Monday, February 22, 2010at 7:42 AM

I think we have all, sadly, seen in this blog post alone the terribly sad signs of last days apostasy and the running after "signs and wonders" people who are the deceived. It's sobering really, to see people cling so resolutely to a damnable lie. We have further seen on this blog post examples of how sincerely deceived these people are.

Matthew 7:13-23

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We can all see how blinded some people are. Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Brad, you should take heed here, because you are blind and you are being led about - by the bit as it were-by the blind leaders.

Shauna

#156  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, February 22, 2010at 8:13 AM

Brad, I skipped to the end where people were giving testimonies. I find it odd that the best they could say is, "it's 90% healed," or "I can see a little bit better." That is a far cry from healing. What was the correspondance between Acts 2 and the Toronto Blessing? Just that people thought they were drunk? That's easy to replicate. Was it that the leaders spoke and people of various languages understood them in their own native language?

#157  Posted by Brad Pape  |  Monday, February 22, 2010at 9:20 AM

Gabriel

Is your standard that anything < 100% means the healing is not from God?

Mark 8:24 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."

Randy Clark does not have (and does not claim to have) the same batting average as Jesus.

Brad

#158  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Monday, February 22, 2010at 10:54 AM

As for signs.....Oh yes, they were given and the reason they were given was to fulfill prophecy - and the generations of this are evil. We are to believe by Faith through Gods Grace alone. Everyone should beware of signs and wonders-what and to whom they are for and search the scriptures......EVERYTHING Brad has espoused about those false prophet wolves he follows is SATANIC. PURELY SATANIC.

Matt 12:38-39aThen certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.Matthew 24:2424For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Revelation 13:14-15

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.***

The elect of God will not be deceived.

Awaiting, patiently, for the return of Jesus Christ for His own,

Shauna

#159  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, February 22, 2010at 12:21 PM

Brad,

Is your standard that anything < 100% means the healing is not from God?

First of all, your question assumes what remains to be proven. The question is not "is the healing from God?" The question is, "is it a healing at all?"

If I go to the doctor with a severe migraine and he is able to lower the pain to a normal headache I don't consider that healed. Improved, yes, but not healed. The problem is that even the improvement is severely subjective and unverifiable.

A true healing is a 100% reverse in the condition. Other than the unique situation where Jesus healed the one blind man "twice" (first time he saw trees), Jesus and the disciples always people 100%.

The guy in the video with eye problems had a hard time determining if his sight was getting better. His described change in vision was vague and didn't make it clear that he could actually see better. Sometimes when we concentrate we think we can see better when really we're just concentrating better. I saw nothing in that video that indicated anyone was truly healed.

#160  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Monday, February 22, 2010at 1:06 PM

I have