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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we bessech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, May 24, 2010

Zwingli: Baptism of Infants is Commanded in the Law of Christ



Few ceremonies have been left us by Christ—two or three, baptism, the eucharist and the laying on of hands. The first belongs in general to all who are of Christ's church. The second to those only who can interrogate themselves upon their certitude of faith. For the apostle says: Let a man prove himself. The third only to a few, those who superintend the ministry of the word. Now since these ceremonies have clear methods of performance they are improperly said to be done of love when they are done of precept, even though whatever God commands is most pleasing to you because of your piety. So when it is said: Go and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there is here the form of law as much as in "Let every male be circumcised." What the law orders cannot be ascribed to indulgence, but that is done of indulgence when at the celebration of the eucharist certain weak ones are spared, and would be so done if the habit of baptizing infants were being restored and certain weak ones were spared from being compelled to baptize infants after the custom and rite. This, I say, would be done of love. The eucharist therefore is not celebrated from love in this way, but it is stopped out of love by many. So it would be with baptism. I warn you here, dearest brethren, to weigh again and again my opinion, for some seem to wish to cover up with their astuteness of words the mouth of your simplicity.


The second necessary inference of the second pair. Whether the Catabaptists or others receive or not my opinion on election, predestination, calling and faith—which assuredly is not mine, but the apostle Paul’s, nay, that of God himself, if you estimate carefully the providence of God—still baptism is not at all to be denied infants on account of God’s election or reprobation, for neither to Esau or any other who was rejected was circumcision denied. So I regard the whole Catabaptist argument as now overturned, and it is demonstrated that election is above baptism, circumcision, faith and preaching.

From:   Zwingli on Election.



  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.



Zwingli on Eternal Election as the Source of Our Salvation

The following is from the Selected Works of Zwingli.  Everything in bold is my emphasis:

I am now compelled to treat of election or else forego my promise, but not so fully as the subject demands. For this is beyond my power and purpose. But I shall show election to be sure, i. e., free and not at all bound, and above baptism and circumcision; nay, above faith and preaching. But this briefly. When most of us read Paul's epistle to the Romans we ponder a little carelessly upon the cause of his mentioning election and the following predestination. He had shown that salvation rests on faith, and faith is not a matter of human power, but of divine spirit; who therefore has faith has at the same time the divine spirit. They who have this are sons of God, walk not after the flesh, but whatever they do is a help to them for good. Now arises the query, why then are they accursed or condemned who do not believe? Since he has fallen on this subject, willingly or not, he treats it worthily about in this order and manner: We are saved by faith, not by works. Faith is not by human power, but God's. He therefore gives it to those whom he has called, but he has called those whom he has destined for salvation, and he has destined this for those whom he has elected, but he has elected whom he willed, for this is free to him and open, as it is for a potter to make diverse vessels from the same lump. This briefly is the argument and sum of election as treated by Paul. He says therefore, Rom. viii. 28: We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Now lest you should say: Who therefore love God, or to whom are all things for good? he anticipates and replies: To those who according to purpose are of the called. Do not understand this of a human purpose, but of God's, so that the sense is: Who are sanctified of God's purpose, for to be called is here for to be truly sanctified. As when it is said: He shall be called the Son of the Most High. Here shall be called is Hebrew idiom for shall truly be. I return to the argument. Purpose is for Paul that freest deliberation by which God is girded for electing, as in ix. 11 we see when he says: That the purpose of God according to election may stand. His purpose is therefore above election, i. e., first by nature. It may happen among men that something is elected, but there is a reason for its election, e. g., it is elected because it seems useful or right. This purpose or deliberation is not free, but depends on that which is elected. Since Paul wishes to show that God's election is born of his free purpose, and not from those whom he is about to elect, he says that the free purpose is the cause why all things work for good to those who love God. Nothing is ascribed to man's merit. For he adds: For whom he foreknew (pronunciavit) he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son, etc. I have translated προέγνω by "pronunciavit," which word has the same force as if you should say predetermined or foreordained. This is then the apostle's meaning: I said that all will result in good for those who according to God's purpose are of the called. This I would have understood thus: God freely with himself settles upon, prejudges and foreordains (for by this word the word for "purposing" is expounded) whom he will, even before they are born. Whom he thus foreordains he marks out beforehand, i. e., destines them to be conformed to the image of his Son. As if he should say: No one can be conformed to Christ unless he has been destined for this. Paul proceeds: Whom he predestined he also called Here before calling we have predestination or marking out. Whom he called he also justified. But are we not justified by faith? Yes, but calling precedes faith. For Christ warns also that no one can come to him unless the Father have drawn him. To draw and to call are here equivalents. But whom he justified he also glorified, for they who believe are eternally honored with him in whom they have believed. Here then is the knot—How does faith bless or how justify? We see that the first thing is God's deliberation or purpose or election, second his predestination or marking out, third his calling, fourth justification. Since then all these are of God, and faith hardly holds the fourth place, how is it that we say that salvation comes of faith, since wherever faith is there also is justification, or rather, each person's salvation has before been so determined and foreordained with God that it is impossible that one so elected can be condemned? But by a light blow of synecdoche* what seems insoluble dissolves. For faith is used for the election of God, the predestination or calling, which all precede faith, but in the same order. So if you say: God's election, predestination or marking out, calling, beatifies, you will ever say right. Why? Because the harmonious order and connections of these are such that you may use one of these without the other and yet not exclude the others; especially is this the case when you take faith, which is inferior and posterior to election, predestination or calling. Since then the justification which is of faith closely follows calling, we see with no trouble that salvation is attributed to faith because they who have faith are called, elected and foreordained.

But why is salvation attributed to faith above the others? Why does Paul use this link out of the chain? I reply, because that is best known to us. For each one questions and examines conscience according to Peter's word. If it rightly replies, i. e., if with full assurance he thinks correctly of God, he has now the surest seal of eternal salvation. For who has faith is called, who is called is predestined, who is predestined is elected, who is elected is foreordained. But God's election remains firm. Therefore they who have faith are justified. For this is justification, piety, religion and service of the Most High God. So that no condemnation awaits them, for they are not of those who say: Let us sin that the glory of God may be the brighter, but of those who as often as they sin through weakness return to God and pray: Forgive us our sins. They are not of those who, when they have sinned, are so far from returning to a correct state of mind that they fall into impiety and assert that there is no God, but of those who grieve not so much because they have offended every creature as that they have offended God alone, their own heart and soul and mind, and then say: Against thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight. This, I say, is the justification of faith; to these all things are for good, but the contrary to the impious. Adultery and murder were for good to David, for he was righteous through faith. For he repented his deed and did not fall from hope. It was evil to him who was not as other men, because he had not faith, therefore he was not called or predestined or elected.

I think these arguments are brief, as I promised, but clear and sure. But for what purpose? That I may reply to the Catabaptists. For they argue against me in the tract in which they suppose they have refuted me: "How are the Hebrews' infants of the people, sons, and church of God? We believe the elect are of the people of God, like Jacob, by no means those thrust out or repudiated. For, according to Rom. ix. 11-13, when they were yet in their parents' womb and had done neither good nor evil, God said: Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated. How then could Esau be of God's people? It is then false what Zwingli asserts, that the Hebrews' infants were of the people and church of God." To which I think I may now the more advantageously answer, inasmuch as I have said these few things about election and predestination, in about the following manner: It is sure that with God no one is of his people or of his sons except he whom he has elected, and it is also sure that every one is his whom he has elected. But in this way, O Catabaptists, all your foundation has fallen away. For not only believers (as you would understand "believers" in actuality) are the sons of God, but those who are elect are sons even before they believe, just as you yourselves prove by the example of Jacob.

What then shall we do with the saying: Who believeth not shall be condemned? For infants do not believe, they will then be condemned. Again, the elect were chosen before they were conceived; they are at once then sons of God, even if they die before they believe or are called to faith. You see the chain and order! Faith is in that order the last thing beyond glorification, therefore what precedes it is no less certain than faith itself. For as it is true "he believes, therefore is saved," so it is not less true that "he is called, therefore is saved." (I am not speaking here of that calling of which Christ said: Many are called but few chosen. For there he means the external calling, by which many are invited by the preaching of the word. Now I mean that internal calling which Christ calls "drawing.") It is equally true: He is predestined, therefore saved, and he is elect, therefore saved. Do you not see that whatever is in this chain and precedes faith is equally with faith followed by salvation? For "Who is elect shall be saved" is as true as "Who hath believed shall be saved." On the other hand, equal inferences cannot be drawn by arguing from the prior matters to faith unless we accept faith otherwise than for that fact and certitude of mind which regards the invisible things, about which later. For it does not follow "He is elect, therefore believes." For Jacob was elect when he had not yet believed. Nor does this follow, "He does not believe, therefore is not elect." For the elect are ever elect, even before they believe. When therefore it is said: "Who believeth not shall be condemned," it must be that faith is used for that chain already spoken of, so that the meaning is: "Who is not elect shall not be saved." Or else for this, that it means "to be within the faithful people," or (as best approves itself to my reason) that it is said synecdochically of those alone who have reached that point that they can understand language—Who believeth not shall be condemned. For faith is not of all the elect, as now is clear of elect infants, but it is the fruit of election, predestination and calling, which is given in its fit time. Therefore as that saying: Who believeth shall be saved, does not exclude those who are elect, and who before they arrive at maturity of faith join the band of them that are elect, to damn them the more, so that saying: Who believeth not is condemned, does not include those who are elect but do not reach to maturity of faith, to save them the less. By the words, Who hath believed and Who hath not believed, it may therefore be inferred they are not included who by reason of age are not able to hear, nor those to whom the knowledge of the gospel has not come. It may also be inferred that those sayings, Who hath believed, etc., and Who hath not believed, have not the sense of precedence, as though faith necessarily preceded all, i. e., election, predestination and calling. For if this is true, then that antecedent determination or purpose or predestination of God would not be free, but election would follow then finally, when faith had rendered the man suitable for election. For only those could be elected who already believed, the contrary of which is clear. But the words have the "sense of consequence:" Be assured that he who believes has been elected by the Father and predestined and called. He believes therefore because he has been elected and predestined to eternal salvation, and he who believeth not has been repudiated by the free election of God. And here is disclosed to us the power of the keys, so far as they were given to the apostles. When one says that he believes, the apostle promises him: If thou believest from thy heart, be it sure to thee that thou art called, predestined and elected to eternal salvation. Therefore this man of ours is absolved and justified, about which we have spoken above. But when the apostle sees that there is no faith in those that hear, he is sure that they are rejected. They are then ordered to shake off the dust from their feet, that is, to go quickly from such, not as though now first these deserve to be shunned, but because the apostles are now first made sure of their rejection by their aversion to faith; on the other hand, when they see the faith they are sure of their election. So therefore such words were said as: By their fruits ye shall know them. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor an evil tree good fruit. Who believeth shall doubtless be saved, for faith is the fruit of election, so that, ye apostles, ye may have an indication of success. But who does not believe after arriving at years of maturity for receiving your teaching is not elect; he is an evil tree, so you may know among whom your labor is fruitless.

From all this we make two necessary inferences. First, that we are sure of the salvation of those who show faith when they reach that maturity that ought to show the fruit of election; if they do not show this we are contrariwise sure of their rejection. Behold how we recognize salvation or shipwreck by the faith alone of the elect or rejected who have reached that maturity when we may expect faith, the fruit of election. So that infants born to those who are in the covenant and people of God we may not measure by the norm and touch-stone of faith. Second, since those alone who have heard and afterward either believe or remain in their unfaith are subject to our judgment, we err gravely in judging the infant children both of the Gentiles and of Christians. Of the Gentiles, for no law condemns them, they do not fall under that saying: Who believeth not, etc. Then since the election of God is unrestrained, it is impious for us to exclude from that those of whom we cannot judge from the signs of faith and unfaith whether they are included or not. Of Christians, because we not only assail rashly the election of God, but we do not even believe his word, yet he by it has shown us their election. For when he includes us under Abraham's covenant this word makes us no less certain of their election than of the old Hebrews'. For the statement that they are in the covenant, testament and people of God assures us of their election until the Lord announces something different of some one. Therefore also that objection is stricken out: How then were we sure of Esau's election when the Lord says: Esau have I hated? For we follow the law throughout. But if the Lord does something out of the ordinary the law is not thereby abrogated. For privileges do not make the law common. Though indeed it is my opinion that all infants who are under the testament are doubtless of the elect by the laws of the testament. And when it is said: Where then do you put the infant Esau? Under the testament? But he was rejected. I respond two ways: (1) All judgment of ours about others is uncertain so far as we are concerned, but certain as regards God and his law. E. g., when it is said to an apostle: I believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, the apostle thinks him who says this of the elect because of the certitude of the word. But they sometimes deceive who thus confess, as did Simon Magus and the false brethren who came in secretly to betray the liberty of the gospel. But God himself is not deceived, nor does the law deceive, for God knows the hearts and reins, i. e., the inmost parts, and the law, if all is just and right, does also not deceive, but is eternal. Therefore we ever judge according to the law, as has been said, and the law for the sake of one or many may not be considered the less universal. (2) The other reason is such as all may not receive, but to me it is sure. All of those infants who are within the elect, who die, are elect. And this is my reason, because when I find no unfaith in any one I have no reason to condemn him; contrariwise, since I have the indubitable word of promise: They shall come and sit down with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I shall be impious if I eject them from the company of the people of God. What then of Esau if he had died as an infant? Would your judgment place him among the elect? Yes. Then does election remain sure? It does. And rejection remains also. But listen. If Esau had died an infant he would doubtless have been of the elect. For if he had died then there would have been the seal of election, for the Lord would not have rejected him eternally. But since he lived and was of the non-elect, he so lived that we see in the fruit of his unfaith that he was rejected by the Lord. All our error arises from this, that while we hardly learn all even from the sequel we break in also upon providence. This disposes all, so that not only Esau, but not even a root in the sea, not a weed in the garden or a gnat in the air, lives or dies without it. But what kind of a vessel Esau was or why a gnat has so sharp a sting* we can hardly learn from what is done by them. Since then we learn from the dead mind of Esau that he was rejected of God, in vain do we say: Would that he had died an infant! He could not die whom divine Providence had created that he might live, and live wickedly. You see then, O man, that almost all our ignorance of Scripture arises from our ignorance of Providence. But I return to my subject. Manifest then from all that precedes are those two inferences. That those two sayings: Who believeth, etc., and Who believeth not, etc., are not a touch-stone by which we may measure the salvation of infants, and that we condemn impiously not only the true children of Christians, but those of Gentiles. They alone are subject to our judgment of whom we have the word according to which we can judge. I think I have also satisfied those who say: If by election we come to God Christ is in vain. For this is election, that whom the Lord has destined to eternal salvation before the world was, he equally predestinated, before the world was, to be saved through his Son, as Paul teaches in Eph. i. 4.

A second pair of inferences also follows. First, they teach incautiously who say that the baptism of infants can be tolerated through love, unless they mean that by love all things are done among Christians, and not by command and by force of law, just as Paul says: Owe no one aught, but to love one another. But if they receive love in the place of complaisance and indulgence, as when Paul through love sheared his hair and undertook a vow (for he did this by indulgence in which he spared the weak), now I think they err seriously who say that through love infants should be baptized. For what do they mean by this other than that now one may not omit for the sake of public peace what some time must be omitted when it is permitted? Let them therefore receive my opinion after considering the distinction of love which I premise. Few ceremonies have been left us by Christ—two or three, baptism, the eucharist and the laying on of hands. The first belongs in general to all who are of Christ's church. The second to those only who can interrogate themselves upon their certitude of faith. For the apostle says: Let a man prove himself. The third only to a few, those who superintend the ministry of the word. Now since these ceremonies have clear methods of performance they are improperly said to be done of love when they are done of precept, even though whatever God commands is most pleasing to you because of your piety. So when it is said: Go and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there is here the form of law as much as in "Let every male be circumcised." What the law orders cannot be ascribed to indulgence, but that is done of indulgence when at the celebration of the eucharist certain weak ones are spared, and would be so done if the habit of baptizing infants were being restored and certain weak ones were spared from being compelled to baptize infants after the custom and rite. This, I say, would be done of love. The eucharist therefore is not celebrated from love in this way, but it is stopped out of love by many. So it would be with baptism. I warn you here, dearest brethren, to weigh again and again my opinion, for some seem to wish to cover up with their astuteness of words the mouth of your simplicity.

The second necessary inference of the second pair. Whether the Catabaptists or others receive or not my opinion on election, predestination, calling and faith—which assuredly is not mine, but the apostle Paul's, nay, that of God himself, if you estimate carefully the providence of God—still baptism is not at all to be denied infants on account of God's election or reprobation, for neither to Esau or any other who was rejected was circumcision denied. So I regard the whole Catabaptist argument as now overturned, and it is demonstrated that election is above baptism, circumcision, faith and preaching.

[* ]This rhetorical figure wherein the part is put for the whole, or a whole for a part, is considered by Zwingli an unanswerable argument. Instances of it are frequent. E. g., the Athenians are often spoken of as if they comprised all the Greeks, and what they did the Greeks are said to have done.

[* ]"Tuba" means "trumpet;" can he mean the mosquito?

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

Proof of the Apostasy of the Episcopal Church: Consecration Video of Mary Glaspool

Downplaying Justification by Faith Alone?

"We must counter the dismissal--or at least downplaying--of justification by faith among many so-called evangelicals with a clear preaching of a reformational understanding of such doctrines as sin, justification, imputation, and sanctification."
 
 
In a review of Carl Trueman's bookJohn Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man, Great Theologian (Aldershot, Hampshire, England, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007), Nathan A. Finn said:
 

Also like other Reformed Orthodox theologians Owen strongly defended the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Against Roman Catholics, Socinians, Arminians, and even some Amyraldians like Richard Baxter, Owen contended for the importance of Christ's active and passive obedience to God's law and the imputation of His righteousness to all those who are in union with Christ. Against the emerging High Calvinism of thinkers like Tobias Crisp, Owen argued against eternal justification by claiming that Christ's atonement for the elect is federal (representative) and covenantal, actualized at the moment of justification rather than at the time of Christ's death.

There is much contemporary evangelicals can learn from Owen's theology. Like Owen, in our doctrinal articulations we must cling tightly to sola scriptura and reformational hermeneutics without discounting the (fallible) insights of tradition, particularly the great creeds of the church. In our own preaching and polemics we must guard against modern versions of the same errors with which Owen contended. We must reject the crypto-Unitarianism of so many evangelicals and articulate a robust Trinitarian theology. We must repudiate the anthropocentric understandings of salvation associated with Arminianism, or more often, semi-Pelagianism masquerading as Arminianism or revivalism, and defend God's sovereign prerogatives in the salvation of sinners. We must counter the dismissal--or at least downplaying--of justification by faith among many so-called evangelicals with a clear preaching of a reformational understanding of such doctrines as sin, justification, imputation, and sanctification.

 
 
 
 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Renewing the Great Commission, by Dr. Michael Horton

Top Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer Pentecostal

10.  Much of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has adopted a form of Christian Science and New Thought cultic doctrines into their teachings on healing and prosperity via the Word of Faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar and others.  (See Issues, Etc., A Different Gospel, by D.R. McConnell.  See also,  A Different Gospel).


9.  Pentecostals are essentially Anabaptists and de-emphasize the doctrine of Scripture alone or "sola Scriptura".  Because of this they emphasize mysticism and ecstatic experience above Scripture as their source of doctrine.   (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).


8.  Pentecostals emphasize the gifts of the Spirit above doctrine as the source of unity with other denominations.  Because of this modern Pentecostals fellowship with Charismatic Catholics and others who deny the final and absolute authority of Scripture.  (Jude 1:1-4).


7.  Trinitarian Pentecostals now accept fellowship with Oneness  Pentecostals who deny the Tri-Unity of God as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7-8; 2 Peter 1:1; Titus 2:13; Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9).


6.  Pentecostals and Charismatics accept the false prophets and television evangelists who have been exposed over and over again as teaching false doctrines that contradict justification by faith alone, the sovereignty of God, and the priesthood of believers.  (See Benny Hinn and other false prophets who do not know much about doctrine and produce all sorts of false miracles).


5.  Pentecostals and Charismatics think they are spiritually superior to other Christians who do not agree with them.  (1 Corinthians 4:6-16).


4.  The theological roots of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement are in the Wesleyan holiness movement and the Keswick higher life movement, which emphasize sanctification and personal piety above justification by faith alone and are therefore semi-pelagian.  (See Donald Dayton, The Theological Roots of Pentecostalism).


3.  Scripture always points to the sovereignty of God in everything that happens, including election, effectual calling, and perseverance of the saints (Romans 9:6-18; Ephesians 1:4-12, 18).  (See Sovereignty of God).

2.  Miracles, signs, and wonders are not ends in and of themselves  (Exodus 7:3; Nehemiah 9:10, 16).  The false prophets and false religions also have miracle claims (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:9).  What sets Christianity apart from other religions is not subjective, ecstatic and mystical experiences but the Holy Scriptures and sound Christian doctrine  (Jude 1:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1).


1.  God grants us the grace to understand the Bible and to read the Reformed confessions of faith from the Protestant Reformation and God grants us the faith to trust in God and God alone through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



May the peace of God be with you,


Charlie




  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.




Former Secretary of State James Baker's Plan to Compromise with the Devil

1662 Book of Common Prayer: Catechism Part Four

 
Question.
WHAT dost thou chiefly learn by these Commandments?
    Answer. I learn two things: my duty towards God, and my duty towards my Neighbour.
    Question. What is thy duty towards God?
    Answer. My duty towards God, is to believe in him, to fear him, and to love him with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength; to worship him, to give him thanks, to put my whole trust in him, to call upon him, to honour his holy Name and his Word, and to serve him truly all the days of my life.
    Question. What is thy duty towards thy Neighbour?
    Answer. My duty towards my Neighbour, is to love him as myself, and to do to all men, as I would they should do unto me: To love, honour, and succour my father and mother: To honour and obey the Queen, and all that are put in authority under her: To submit myself to all my governors, teachers, spiritual pastors and masters: To order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters: To hurt no body by word nor deed: To be true and just in all my dealing: To bear no malice nor hatred in my heart: To keep my hands from picking and stealing, and my tongue from evilspeaking, lying, and slandering: To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity: Not to covet nor desire other men's goods; but to learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do my duty in that state of life, unto which it shall please God to call me.

Catechist
MY good Child, know this, that thou art not able to do these things of thyself, nor to walk in the Commandments of God, and to serve him, without his special grace; which thou must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer. Let me hear therefore, if thou canst say the Lord's Prayer.

Answer.
OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.

    Question. What desirest thou of God in this Prayer?
    Answer. I desire my Lord God our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all goodness, to send his grace unto me, and to all people: that we may worship him, serve him, and obey him, as we ought to do. And I pray unto God, that he will send us all things that be needful both for our souls and bodies; and that he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins; and that it will please him to save and defend us in all dangers ghostly and bodily; and that he will keep us from all sin and wickedness, and from our ghostly enemy, and from everlasting death. And this I trust he will do of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore I say, Amen, So be it.

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

Friday, May 21, 2010

John Bolt: Bavinck on Culture

"As a scholar Bavinck has of course become the hub of the wheel around which I work—my scholarly work has been Bavinck and more Bavinck. But that's only the formal part. More importantly, the content of Bavinck's thought and the method of his theology have also deeply shaped me. Bavinck had an deeply sensitive eye for the revelation of God in the created world and in the providential guidance of human history and cultures. He sees deeply how the human quest for forgiveness, for meaning, for reconciliation, and for truth are part of our being created in God's image and therefore perennially present in all the religious quests of human beings."  --John Bolt on the Logos Blog
Gee, and I thought since the fall all mankind was totally corrupt and in open rebellion against God?  And all this time there is a true religious quest in human beings of all religions?  Sounds like liberalism to me.  But then I'm often called one of those supralapsarian "hyper" Calvinists.  Perhaps John Calvin was a hyper-Calvinist by John Bolt's definition?

Charlie

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.



Deadly Doing

R. Scott Clark:1662 Book of Common Prayer and the Black Rubric: Creature/Creator Distinction

The “Black Rubric” was so-called because it was set in black print in the 1661–1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. It was first inserted into the Second Edwardian Prayer Book in 1552. It was intended to explain that when communicants received the elements of holy communion they were not by the act of kneeling adoring the elements. This was a concern because it had been many years prior that, when communicants knelt to receive the supper it was reckoned to be the transubstantiated (essentially transformed from bread into the body and blood of Christ) and therefore the proper object of veneration.

For the complete article by R. Scott Clark click on Black Rubric.

Destroying God's Creation is Sinful

For those who continually confuse political issues with theological issues, being theologically, morally and ethically conservative as an Evangelical Christian does not translate into giving covetous men and corporations like Exxon or BP the license to destroy our planet.  The motive for pure profit (Exodus 20:3, 17) in laissez faire economics and capitalism is a violation of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17).  We are not to make an idol of money and we cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16:13).  The Scriptures clearly say that we are to be good stewards of God's creation (Genesis 2:15).
 
I am calling for Evangelical and Reformed Christians to protest the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and for President Obama to give top priority to getting this massive oil spill stopped.  There is absolutely no excuse for this spill to continue to spew millions of gallons of crude oil into the ocean daily and there is no excuse for this to have gone on for over a month now.  This environmental catastrophe will affect the health of our planet for generations to come and it will affect the quality of life for our children and the quality of life for countless species of plants and animals in the marine environment.
 
While it is true that the primary concern of Scripture is the salvation of lost souls and those who are elect from the mass of fallen humanity, it is also true that God commands absolute obedience to His moral law.  Antinomianism in matters of the environment is an indication of someone who has not been converted.  Most people would not want to live in a dirty house so why do they believe it is acceptable to God or our neighbor to destroy the planet and the creatures God has uniquely created?  This creation is the only one God has given to us and we ought to take care of it to the best of our ability.
 
It seems to me that the United States government needs to regulate and oversee the offshore oil industry to insure that safety procedures are not bypassed.  More safety is needed, not less.  Trusting sinful men (Romans 3:10-12; 23) without supervision is an open invitation to abuse and the pollution of God's creation.
 
Peace,
 
Charlie
 
 
  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

1662 Catechism: Part Three



Question.
 

THE same which God spake in the twentieth Chapter of Exodus, saying, I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    I. Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
    II. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me, and keep my commandments.
    III. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his Name in vain.
    IV. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.
    V. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
    VI. Thou shalt do no murder.
    VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
    IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
    X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.


  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

1662 Catechism: Part Two

Catechist
Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief.
Answer.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of and earth:
    And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried, He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, And sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholick Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen.
    Question. What dost thou chiefly learn in these Articles of thy Belief?
    Answer. First, I learn to believe in God the Father, who hath made me, and all the world.
    Secondly, in God the Son, who hath redeemed me, and all mankind.
    Thirdly, in God the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me, and all the elect people of God.


  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Part One of the Catechism: 1662 Book of Common Prayer





A Catechism

That is to say, an Instruction to be Learned of Every Person, Before he be Brought to be Confirmed by the Bishop.


QUESTION. What is your Name?
    Answer. N. or M.
    Question. Who gave you this Name?
    Answer. My Godfathers and Godmothers in my Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.
    Question. What did your Godfathers and Godmothers then for you?
    Answer. They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith. And thirdly, that I should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of my life.
    Question. Dost thou not think that thou art bound to believe, and to do, as they have promised for thee?
    Answer. Yes verily: and by God's help so I will. And I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And I pray unto God to give me his grace, that I may continue in the same unto my life's end.


  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Rebuilding Anglicanism: A Way Forward

While I do not agree with using the "revised" services suggested in this article or using the sacraments as an evangelistic tool, the rest of this article is spot on.  I think baptizing or performing marriages for the unconverted leads them to the false conclusion that they are in right standing with God.  It needs to be made clear that a "Christian" baptism and a "Christian" marriage requires active membership in the local congregation and a study of God's Word.

Sydney Anglicans: Evangelical Anglicans Caught in the Matrix

I am not sure who wrote this article critiquing the Sydney Anglicans and their confused approach to church growth.  (Read Evangelical Anglicans Caught in the Matrix).  However, it is worth reading.  The author seems to confuse the term pietism with "puritanism".  Although there is an element of pietism in the puritans, pietism really owes itself to the Wesleyan holiness movement.   What I find particularly interesting about this article is that the author identifies several tendencies I had noticed myself but was unable to put my finger on.  The adherence to pragmatics above the Word and sound doctrine can be attributed to the influence of Phillip Jensen, in my opinion.

The over-emphasis on piety and personal holiness above all else seems to be due to the influence of David Broughton Knox, though there might be others of whom I am unaware.  A read of Knox's Selected Works is enough to confirm this.

As the author points out so clearly, the reason behind losing the youth is that they have never been catechized, discipled or churched.  We ship them out to children's church and we never teach them anything.


I found the following observation particularly enlightening:


i] Pietism

      We have moved, ever so slightly, from the notion that justification is achieved and sanctification progressed by the same mechanism, namely a gift of God's grace appropriated through the instrument of faith.

      The shift involves a move toward a sanctification by obedience theology. Instead of seeing our sanctification as wholly a work of God's sovereign grace appropriated through faith, we move toward a reliance on effort, on doing rather than receiving. We tend toward the view that effort applied to the law (the moral law and the law of Christ), both confirms our standing in the sight of God and progresses our sanctification. So, whereas both our actual state (justification: just-if-I'd never sinned; standing perfect in the sight of God in Christ) and the process of becoming what we are (sanctification: the progressive realization of the person we are in Christ) are integrally linked by grace through faith, the pietist tends to shift the "process" from faith toward obedience, while limiting the "state" to conversion, or at best, an arbitrary holiness (eg. Wesley's "moment-by-moment non-transgression of the known will of God"). The apostle makes the exposure of the heresy of sanctification by obedience his central task in Galatians and Romans.  [From Evangelical Anglicans Caught in the Matrix]

Sadly, this emphasis on morality, ethics and personal holiness has moved the Sydney Anglicans in the direction of semi-pelagianism.  Many of them seem to have more in common with the Anglo-Catholics because of the emphasis on personal "transformation" than on the doctrines of grace and justification by faith alone.  Seeds of this move toward works righteousness can be found in the writings of David Broughton Knox.  Modern students of Knox's Amyraldianism have simply followed his teaching to its logical conclusion, namely a highly pragmatic and Arminian approach to evangelism and church growth that is similar to the pelagianism inherent in Charles Finney's theology during the Second Great Awakening here in the United States.

I have been accused of being too "American" in my critique of Sydney Anglicanism and that I do not understand the cultural situation in Sydney, etc.  However, the human nature is corrupt no matter what the culture or the geographical location.  The noetic effects of sin corrupt even the best theologians and lead ministers and congregations in the wrong direction.  This is precisely why we need a few prophets to call them back to the principle of sola Scriptura and the other four solas of the Protestant Reformation in general and the English Reformation in particular.

It seems to me that the author of this article confirms what I have suspected all along.  Sydney, like the United States has been led astray into a practical pelagianism inherent in the church growth movement's secular and sociological approach.  Not only this but the Amyraldian or four point Calvinism of the majority of Sydney Anglicans has contributed to this by taking what can only be called a pragmatic Arminian approach to evangelism.  In other words, Amyraldianism leads to Arminianism leads to pragmatism leads to pelagianism.  This explains why the Anglican Church League and the Sydney Anglicans can vote to accept the Anglican Church in North America into full communion rather than keeping a cautious distance.

For Sydney Anglicans the concern is no longer the preaching of the Scriptures and the pure Gospel of justification by faith alone and salvation by grace alone.  The only difference they have with the Anglo-Catholics is simply ritualism.  Take away that difference and there is no practical difference at all between the Anglo-Catholic theology of works as an infused righteousness and the theology of the majority of Sydney Anglicans in the tradition of D. B. Knox.

The sad part is that they do not see that pelagianism is a false gospel.  I pray that God will grant them the grace to see this before it is too late.


Peace,

Charlie

UK: Charges Dropped Against Christian Street Preacher Accused of Hate Crime

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Faith "in" Christ or the Faithfulness "of" Christ? Clement vs. The New Perspective on Paul

Click on the title to read an interesting rebuttal of the view that Galatians 3:22 and other passages are examples of the "subjective genitive" rather than the "objective gentive". Is Jesus Christ the object of our faith or is the "faithfulness of Christ" the proper translation? Clement, the church father, seems to have believed that Christ was the object of our faith.  See Clement vs. The New Perspective on Paul.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Wittenburg Door Interviews Dog the Bounty Hunter

While I do not endorse The Witteburg Door or Dog the Bounty Hunter, Duane "Dog" Chapman does have an interesting story.  It turns out that Dog has roots in the Assemblies of God.  Whodathunkit?  Dog's story proves how hard it is for sinners to be reinstated in society since he could not find work after being in prison.  A criminal record will follow you the rest of your life.  Dog beat the odds, though.  Pelagians do not get that they deserve an eternity in hell.  They think they are innocent and they are basically good people.  But Scripture says that all have sinned and all have broken God's Law.  Everyone is a convict.  (Romans 3:10-25).

To read the interview click on the title or click on Dog's interview.

Dr. Robert Godfrey Speaks on Psalm 95

Psalm 95 is read daily in the service for Morning Prayer in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. It is needful for God's people to better understand this particular psalm. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's reasons for using this psalm in daily prayers may be more clear after hearing this address by Dr. Godfrey. Visit Heidelblog, Bob Godfey on Psalm 95 to listen.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Well Meant Offer

Dr. R. Scott Clark comments on the well meant offer and the controversy over the three points of common grace here.  While I cannot comment on the article as a whole since I have not read it yet, I must say that the distinction made by Clark between the archetypal and ectypal source of theology is a bit of an oversimplification.  Hoeksema goes to great lengths in volume one of his Dogmatics to lay out the doctrine of God and his utter transcendence above His creatures.  Hoeksema most certainly would not insist that man may know God's mind in any exhaustive or omniscient sense.  Rather Hoeksema would insist that we know propositional truth because we are created in the image and likeness of God.  The distinction between general and special revelation also would not escape Hoeksema.

The problem with the ectypal emphasis is that it is essentially anthropocentric in its approach to theology.  Hoeksema does not use reason to dispute common grace and the three points derived from that doctrine.  Rather, Hoeksema and the other Protestant Reformed theologians appeal directly to Scripture to dispute the three points of common grace and the well meant offer.

If anything the proponents of common grace appeal to reason and to general revelation in order to justify their emphasis on ecumenical concerns, political concerns, and the humanities and sciences.  In fact, if one listens to the debate between Richard Mouw and David Engelsma it is Mouw who comes across as appealing to reason rather than revelation.


When Hoeksema said, “If we want to make separation between revelation and Himself, there is no knowledge of God,”  (Well Meant Offer) he meant that revelation in Holy Scripture conveys actual knowledge of God's mind and intentions.  If there is no knowledge about God revealed in special revelation, then Hoeksema's thesis stands.  Why read the Bible if we can know nothing of God's decrees or plans from the inspired Scriptures?

We must decide whether our approach to theology is going to be theocentric and christocentric or is it going to be anthropocentric?  If the latter then we should all become Arminians or liberals.  It is not simply a matter of distinguishing between what God knows and what we know but between what God has revealed and what we can justly conclude from a proper exegetical approach to the text. 


What is ironic is that Clark accuses Hoeksema of confusing the Creator/creature distinction but in fact it is the common grace position which does that.  Scripture plainly says that God does not will for all sinners to be saved.  Yet the common grace doctrine tries to soften the severity of a supralapsarian theology by appealing to our ignorance of God's election before creation.  Simply because we do not know who is elect and who is reprobate is no reason to read our sensibilities back into God.  That would be idolatry at worst and anthropomorphism at best.

Lastly, Dr. Clark fails to recognize that an anthropocentric approach to theology, including the "well meant offer", contributes to the modernist attack against the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture.  If theology is merely ectypal the implication is that there is no distinction between general and special revelation.  Scripture becomes simply another human book to be dissected and deconstructed rather than venerated as the very oracles of God.  No, it is the three points of common grace that fails to keep the focus on God and Christ as they are revealed in Holy Scripture, not the classical Calvinism preceding Kuyper and Bavinck.  Classical Calvinism begins with God and then proceeds to revelation.  It does not begin with man and proceed to God.

Charlie






Zwingli on Election

Ulrich Zwingli: What Can Nullify and Breakup a Marriage?

WHAT CAN NULLIFY AND BREAK UP A MARRIAGE.

It is proper for a pious married person, who has given no cause for such act, to put away from himself or herself the other who is caught in open adultery, indeed to leave him or her, and to provide himself or herself with another spouse.

This we call and consider open adultery, which is discovered and proved, with sufficient public notice, before the matrimonial court, as is proper, or is so plain and suspicious in fact that the deed cannot be denied with any kind of truth.

But in order that adultery may not be condoned, and that no one may seek a cause to secure a new marriage by means of adultery, it will be necessary that a severe punishment be placed upon adultery, for it was forbidden in the Old Testament on pain of stoning to death.

The preachers to whom the Word of God and superintendence (of morals) are commended shall ban and exclude such sinners from the Christian parish, but the corporal punishment and the matter of the property shall be referred to the civil authorities.

But that no one for this reason may fear marriage, and resort to prostitution, these sinners, too, as is now announced, shall be excluded.

Since, now, marriage was instituted by God to avoid unchastity, and since it often occurs that some, by nature or other shortcomings, are not fitted for the partners they have chosen, they shall nevertheless live together as friends for a year, to see if matters may not better themselves by the prayers of themselves and of other honest people. If it does not grow better in that time, they shall be separated and allowed to marry elsewhere.

Likewise, greater reasons than adultery, as destroying life, endangering life, being mad or crazy, offending by whorishness, or leaving one's spouse without permission, remaining abroad a long time, having leprosy, or other such reasons, of which no rule can be made on account of their dissimilarity—these cases the judges can investigate, and proceed as God and the character of the cases shall demand.

The ordinances shall be carefully and repeatedly announced by all clergymen, and their parishes warned against trespassing them.

Given at Zurich on Wednesday, the 10th of May, in the year 1525.

 

Selected Works:  Ulrich Zwingli

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Babies Hardwired for Moral Choices?

The Influential Nature of Eastern Orthodoxy Endangers Christians

Schaff On Zwingli's Theology

Zwingli does not shrink from the abyss of supralapsarian-ism. God, he teaches, is the supreme and only good, and the omnipotent cause of all things. He rules and administers the world by his perpetual and immutable providence, which leaves no room for accidents. Even the fall of Adam, with its consequences, is included in his eternal will as well as his eternal knowledge.  -- Phillip Schaff


(Note:  Schaff often reads his own views back into Zwingli, especially when he says that Zwingli left those who had not heard the Gospel as an open question.  This is self contradictory since Zwingli said salvation is not possible without Christ.  The only way to know Christ is through the preaching of the Gospel and the reading of God's Word, the Holy Bible.)

 
2. The doctrine of eternal election and providence. Zwingli gives prominence to God's sovereign election as the primary source of salvation. He developed his view in a Latin sermon, or theological discourse, on Divine Providence, at the Conference of Marburg, in October, 1529, and enlarged and published it afterwards at Zurich (Aug. 20, 1530), at the special request of Philip of Hesse.149 In Opera, vol. IV. 79-144. Leo Judae published a German translation in 1531. Luther heard the discourse, and had no objection to it, except that he disliked the Greek and Hebrew quotations, as being out of place in the pulpit. Calvin, in a familiar letter to Bullinger, justly called the essay paradoxical and immoderate. It is certainly more paradoxical than orthodox, and contains some unguarded expressions and questionable illustrations; yet it does not go beyond Luther's book on the "Slavery of the Human Will," and the first edition of Melanchthon's Loci, or Calvin's more mature and careful statements. All the Reformers were originally strong Augustinian predestinarians and denied the liberty of the human will. Augustine and Luther proceeded from anthropological premises, namely, the total depravity of man, and came to the doctrine of predestination as a logical consequence, but laid greater stress on sacramental grace. Zwingli, anticipating Calvin, started from the theological principle of the absolute sovereignty of God and the identity of foreknowledge and foreordination. His Scripture argument is chiefly drawn from the ninth chapter of Romans, which, indeed, strongly teaches the freedom of election,150 He refers especially to what Paul says about God hardening Pharaoh's heart, and hating Esau and loving Jacob before they were born. But this has reference to their position in history, and not to their eternal salvation or perdition. but should never be divorced from the tenth chapter, which teaches with equal clearness human responsibility, and from the eleventh chapter, which prophesies the future conversion of the Gentile nations and the people of Israel.


Zwingli does not shrink from the abyss of supralapsarian-ism. God, he teaches, is the supreme and only good, and the omnipotent cause of all things. He rules and administers the world by his perpetual and immutable providence, which leaves no room for accidents. Even the fall of Adam, with its consequences, is included in his eternal will as well as his eternal knowledge. So far sin is necessary, but only as a means to redemption. God's agency in respect to sin is free from sin, since he is not bound by law, and has no bad motive or affection.151 Zwingli defends this view by the illustration of the magistracy taking a man's life. So a soldier may kill an enemy in battle, without committing murder. Melanchthon traced (1521) the adultery and murder of David and the treason of Judas to the Divine impulse; but he abandoned afterwards (1535) this "Stoic figment of fatalism." Election is free and independent; it is not conditioned by faith, but includes faith.152 Salvation is possible without baptism, but not without Christ. We are elected in order that we may believe in Christ and bring forth the fruits of holiness. Only those who hear and reject the gospel in unbelief are foreordained to eternal punishment. All children of Christian parents who die in infancy are included among the elect, whether baptized or not, and their early death before they have committed any actual sin is a sure proof of their election.




  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Re: [Reasonable Christian] J. C. Ryle: Know Yourself

Bruce, you seem to forget that Bishop J. C. Ryle dedicated his entire ministry to preaching the Gospel and refuting the false gospel of the Tractarians and the Anglo-Catholics.  You seem to think that Anglo-Catholics may quote Ryle for their side.  The quotes from Ryle below are meant to contradict the teaching which confuses our objective justification in Christ with the subjective sanctification of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer.  The two are absolutely distinct and to confuse the two is not merely "semantics" but the very heart of the Gospel itself.  To deny the objective justification we receive by faith is to deny the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. 
 
Even the worst sinner can receive a pardon, forgiveness, and justification before God solely on the basis of Jesus' sinless life and His substitutionary death on the cross.  The believer is completely and absolutely justifified and saved from the moment he or she is regenerated by the Holy Spirit and effectually drawn to saving faith (John 6:39-44).
 
Yes and spiritual pride is the only thing that can explain how a Roman Catholic or an Anglo-Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox person could possibly believe that their good works contribute anything at all toward their justification--even regarding sins committed after baptism.  Semi-pelagianism is rooted in self-righteousness and the lie that following Jesus' example is what justifies the sinner before God.
 
Sorry, but the Bible clearly says that the ONLY justification we have before God is the active obedience of Jesus Christ, who NEVER sinned even ONCE (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5).
 
There can be no compromise with pelagians and semi-pelagians precisely because they preach a FALSE gospel of works righteousness.  Unless you forsake that doctrine you cannot be saved.  Those who wish to walk with Baal on one side and Jesus on the other are not Christians.  Choose you this day whom you will serve.   Making yourself into a "good" person will only earn yourself a deeper place in hell.  (Romans 6:23) There is none good enough to justify themselves by their own good works.  (Romans 3:10-12; Romans 3:23)  ONLY the good works of Christ can justify anyone and ONLY the passive obedience of Christ who went to the cross to bear in our place our sins can pay the penalty due to unworthy, miserable sinners.
 
The Pharisees thought they were "good" and "righteous" as well.  And what did Jesus call them?  A brood of vipers and hypocrites.
 
You are a hypocrite and a sinner, Bruce (1 John 1:8-10).  You can't have it both ways.  You cannot endorse two completely different gospels.  There is only ONE Gospel and it certainly is not the same gospel of works that the Anglo-Catholics, Pharisees, and the hypocrites teach.
 
Even the most pure Christian sins daily in thought, word and deed and falls short of the mark of absolute holiness and perfection.  God commands ABSOLUTE holiness and ABSOLUTE obedience (Matthew 5:17-20; 5:48).  If you fall short of that mark of perfection, then you're going to hell (Romans 10:1-4)--unless of course you accept the active obedience of Christ as your ONLY righteous standing before God (Philippians 3:9).  Choose.  Will it be YOUR righteousness you will plead before God on the judgment day?  Or will it be the righteousness of Christ?  (Romans 10:6-10).
 
 
Charlie
 

For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; (Romans 4:3-7 ESV)

 

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19-20 ESV)

"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32 ESV)

 

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 10:19 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: [Reasonable Christian] J. C. Ryle: Know Yourself

Excellent Ryle quote.

 

"Pride is the worst of sins, not only because it was Lucifer's original sin, but because it keeps human beings from repentance and faith.  Humility is simply honesty about our true state.  Spiritual pride is based on a lie, and when it enters into the life of a believer, it can be devastating.  Self-righteousness ("I know better than you") is a form of blindness that, at best, keeps us from growing and at worst can send us to hell."

 

-  Joe Heartland


On Wed, May 12, 2010 at 10:46 AM, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@hotmail.com> wrote:
 

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:59 AM
Subject: [Reasonable Christian] J. C. Ryle: Know Yourself

Be very sure that self–knowledge is the first step towards heaven. To know God's unspeakable perfection, and our own immense imperfection, to see our own unspeakable defectiveness and corruption, is the ABC in saving religion. The more real inward light we have, the more humble and lowly–minded we shall be, and the more we shall understand the value of that despised thing, the gospel of Christ. He that thinks worst of himself and his own doings is perhaps the best Christian before God. Well would it be for many if they would pray, night and day, this simple prayer: "Lord, show me myself."

~ J.C. Ryle

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

--
Posted By Charlie J. Ray to Reasonable Christian at 5/12/2010 07:59:00 AM

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

J. C. Ryle: Know Yourself

Be very sure that self–knowledge is the first step towards heaven. To know God's unspeakable perfection, and our own immense imperfection, to see our own unspeakable defectiveness and corruption, is the ABC in saving religion. The more real inward light we have, the more humble and lowly–minded we shall be, and the more we shall understand the value of that despised thing, the gospel of Christ. He that thinks worst of himself and his own doings is perhaps the best Christian before God. Well would it be for many if they would pray, night and day, this simple prayer: "Lord, show me myself."

~ J.C. Ryle

  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Robin Jordan: Limping Along Between Good Works and Salvation by Faith "Alone"

 

 
"Already the Anglican Church in North America is doubled-minded in regards to the essence of Gospel teaching. Like the people of Israel in the time of prophet Elijah it limps along between two opinions with one part of the church preaching sacraments and good works and another salvation by faith. As Elijah drew to the attention of the people of Israel, they could not bend a knee to Baal and kiss him and also serve the LORD. "If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, follow him" (1 Kings 18:21). Elijah then proposed a test."  Robin Jordan.  Anglicans Ablaze, "How Are They to Believe?"
 
 
 
  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
    Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
 
 

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