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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EV News :: Statement from Church Society regarding Bishop of Salisbury

The appointment of the Revd Nicholas Holtam as the next Bishop of Salisbury is a regrettable and retrograde step. In his public ministry Mr Holtam has actively promoted erroneous teaching on the issue of human sexuality, which puts him at odds with the declared mind of the House of Bishops, the General Synod of the Church of England and the 1998 Lambeth Conference, makes him unfit for ministry in the Church of England let alone as a Bishop. In particular, like many in the Church, he has been unwilling to accept the clear teaching of Scripture on the proper place of sexual union.
To read the rest of the article click here: EV News :: Statement from Church Society regarding Bishop of Salisbury


Anonymous said...

I love the comment "clear teaching of Scripture" in the attached article. Obviously it can't be that "clear" otherwise one can only assume the man is a fool or deliberately going against God. I'm fairly certain that neither of these assumptions is true about Revd Holtham.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Scripture is only "unclear" to those who wish to read it in bits and pieces or those who know what it says but decide that the Bible is in error.

Only someone without the ability to read the plain meaning of the text could disregard these verses:

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 ESV)

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13 ESV)

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:20-27 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:15-16 ESV)

Anonymous said...

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13 ESV)

So "clearly" you support the death penalty for anyone who commits a homosexual act?

Anonymous said...

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?"

So, to be "clear", is that the unrighteous in the present continuous sense, or just account for any single unrighteous action at any point in time? I fear that I have been unrighteous from time to time and may therefore not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Charlie J. Ray said...

So "clearly" you do not understand that the death penalty for homosexual acts was the criminal law code for the Old Testament. The moral law "clearly" condemns homosexuality, which you denied. It does not follow, however, that today's criminal law should make homosexuality a capital crime. If you had read the Reformed statements of faith or "confessions" of faith you would know that modern nations are free to modify criminal law but not God's moral law.

Homosexual acts can be made illegal--as they were in the past--but it is a non sequitur to say that I or any other Evangelical and Calvinist necessarily support the death penalty for homosexual acts.


Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it.1

1 Gen. 1:26,27; Gen. 2:17; Rom. 2:14,15; Rom. 10:5,12,19; Gal. 3:10,12; Eccl. 7:29; Job 28:28.

2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables;1 the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.2

1 James 1:25; James 2:8,10,11,12; Rom. 13:8,9; Deut. 5:32; Deut. 10:4; Exod. 24:1.

2 Matt. 22:37-40.

3. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances; partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;1 and partly of divers instructions of moral duties.2 All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the new testament.3

1 Heb. 9; Heb. 10:1; Gal. 4:1,2,3; Col. 2:17.

2 1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 6:17; Jude 1:23.

3 Col. 2:14,16,17; Dan. 9:27; Eph. 2:15,16.

4. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.1

1 Exod. 21; Exod. 22:1-29; Gen. 49:10; 1 Pet. 2:13,14; Matt. 5:17,38,39; 1 Cor. 9:8-10.

Charlie J. Ray said...

So clearly you deserve hell for even ONE sin. So tell me why should God forgive you for any sin whatsoever?

Charlie J. Ray said...

You fear rightly. If you sin at all--whether continuously and ongoing or punctiliarly at given points in time-- you DESERVE HELL. Do you really want justice?

Charlie J. Ray said...

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Article VII
Of the Old Testament
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.

Article VII

Anonymous said...

"So tell me why should God forgive you for any sin whatsoever?"

I'm interested to hear your view on this question...

I'm just a guy with a low IQ struggling to meander my way to the truth by reading, listening and praying. I trust those with a good theological education might help me. Will you?

Anonymous said...

So why did you quote the second part of Lev 20:13?

Gordon Simm said...

What worldly penalty do you think individuals should face for committing homosexual acts?

Pesky Brit said...

Sorry to come back to you, Charlie, but now I've read http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/07/ligon-duncans-did-the-fathers-know-the-gospel/ I understand that you think you've got some special gift. However, if you think it's all predestined, to what end are you even trying to convince anyone of anything?

Btw, you need to revisit Logic 101 to learn about non sequiturs! :-)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Hey, Brit... I'm not the one who doesn't understand basic logic. First of all, simply because you can spout off endless straw man fallacies does not mean you have made a valid point against the Scriptural teaching on predestination.

Secondly, I would never to presume to be God. Since God only knows who is elect and who is reprobate my job is to preach the Gospel and tell the truth. Those who are elect will respond to the Gospel since it is the instrument which God has appointed to bring the elect to saving faith. God does this through regeneration and giving them the gift of faith and repentance.

But then if you actually understood what you claim to be refuting you would have known this.

I have no power to raise the dead. Since only God can raise someone from spiritual death and give them eternal life and saving faith your question is a non sequitur and a straw man.

Predestination does not remove human responsibility. As Augustine put it, God commands dead sinners to do what they are unable to do: REPENT!

12. What are the decrees of God?

Answer: God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will,1 whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time,2 especially concerning angels and men.

See also: WCF 3.1 | WSC 7


1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Rom. 9:14,15,18.

2 Eph. 1:4,11; Rom. 9:22,23; Ps. 33:11.

13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?

Answer: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory;1 and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof:2 and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, [whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favour as he pleaseth,] hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonour and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.3

See also: WCF 3.3-4


1 1 Tim. 5:21

2 Eph. 1:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:13,14.

3 Rom. 9:17,18,21,22; Matt. 11:25,26; 2 Tim. 2:20; Jude 4; 1 Pet 2:8.

14. How doth God execute his decrees?

Answer: God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.1

See also: WSC 8


1 Eph. 1:11

Charlie J. Ray said...

It seems obvious to me that you cannot stick to one subject since you jump around from one place to another without reason. It's a fallacy known as "endless questions." And you claim to understand "logic"?

The Calvinist or Reformed reading and understanding of Scripture is the most logically consistent and congruent with the total teaching of the Bible. It does not leave out the parts with which men disagree.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Gordon, what "I" think the criminal penalty for homosexual acts should be is irrelevant to this discussion. What is relevant is that the Bible unequivocally states that it is an abomination and that it is against God's moral law. Thus, it is immoral for any society to seek to give homosexuals special rights that it does not grant to pedophiles, rapists, those who commit incest, bestiality, and other perversions of God's created order.

For societies to cave into ungodly political lobbies like the gay rights movement is to essentially sell out those societies to demonic influence and to condemn those same societies to God's judgment.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Anonymous, I'm not obligated to post anonymous comments here. You had best identify yourself and stand behind your own words.

Why did I quote an entire verse in context? Leviticus 20:13? Because it proves that Scripture plainly does not endorse homosexual acts. It also proves that there is nothing inconsistent in God's mind with capital punishment as the penalty for homosexual acts. It shows that God can justly damn reprobate persons both in this life and in the life to come. Just one sin would make anyone worthy of an eternity in hell since God is absolutely holy and cannot tolerate evil without being evil Himself.

The verse proves that ancient Israel did punish homosexual acts with the death penalty. Do you disagree that this is what the verse teaches? If so, you'd have a hard case to prove.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The quoted question and answer is from the Westminster Larger Catechism.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Article 17 of the 39 Articles of Religion (Church of England) shows that the purpose of the doctrine of predestination is to give godly comfort to believers who are sinners and deserve hell.

Article 17

Article XVII
Of Predestination and Election
Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, He hath constantly decreed by His counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation as vessels made to honour. Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God's purpose by His Spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works; and at length by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity.

As the godly consideration of Predestination and our Election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: so for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation or into wretchlessness of most unclean living no less perilous than desperation.

Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth in Holy Scripture; and in our doings that will of God is to be followed which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.

As for election being a "special" gift? I have no idea why God elects some and reprobates others. But I do know that God is free to choose whomever He wills. All of us deserve hell yet some receive mercy. If you choose to reject God, why should He grant you mercy???

As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9:13-18 ESV)

Pesky Brit said...

What I am I refuting? I'm trying to seek truth. Surely as one of the elected, you have a special gift and a mission to help others?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Don't be stupid, Brit. Only God can raise you from spiritual death. If you do not accept the Gospel or God's Word, there is nothing I could possibly do to open your eyes.

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:3 ESV)
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. (John 6:37-39 ESV)
Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8 ESV)

As for your straw man attack and your ad hominem, I'm not specially gifted. That's your perversion of biblical teaching. Scripture says that God could damn even the elect and He would be totally just in doing so. Who are you to question God's decision to have mercy or give justice to the wicked by sending them to hell?

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (Romans 9:18-21 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, "That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged." 5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?--as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. (Romans 3:3-8 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

If you wish to have a serious conversation, so be it. If not, then do not expect me to keep posting your silly straw man mischaracterizations. Go and read the Bible and the Westminster Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms and get back to me. I would be more than happy to explain to you what the "actual" teaching of Scripture and the Confession is--if you're interested. If not, stop wasting my time and yours.

I've better things to do than argue with rebels.


Gordon Simm said...

Hi Charlie.

Why do you think your views on the criminal penalty for homosexual acts should is irrelevant to this discussion? How can we lobby for criminalization without being prepared to discuss a potential penalty? Surely we don't want to leave that to the politicians?


Anonymous said...

Why is your view on homosexuality so different to your view on pot?


Charlie J. Ray said...

Choosing Not to Smoke Pot Could Actually Be a Sin

That one is easy. The Bible nowhere says that smoking is a sin. It can be logically inferred from Scripture since smoking can be detrimental to one's health but there are no direct prohibitions against smoking pot in Scripture other than obeying the civil and criminal laws of the nation in which the Christian resides (see Romans 13). The does, however, clearly say that God's moral law is forever binding:

Article 36

The Magistrates

We believe that our gracious God, because of the depravity of mankind, hath appointed kings, princes, and magistrates,1 willing that the world should be governed by certain laws and policies; to the end that the dissoluteness of men might be restrained, and all things carried on among them with good order and decency. For this purpose He hath invested the magistracy with the sword, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. And their office is, not only to have regard unto and watch for the welfare of the civil state, but also that they protect the sacred ministry, and thus may remove and prevent all idolatry and false worship;2 that the kingdom of antichrist may be thus destroyed, and the kingdom of Christ promoted. They must, therefore, countenance the preaching of the word of the gospel everywhere, that God may be honored and worshipped by every one, as He commands in His Word.
Moreover, it is the bounden duty of every one, of what state, quality, or condition soever he may be, to subject himself to the magistrates;3 to pay tribute,4 to show due honor and respect to them, and to obey them in all things which are not repugnant to the Word of God;5 to supplicate for them in their prayers, that God may rule and guide them in all their ways, and that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.6

Wherefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists and other seditious people, and in general all those who reject the higher powers and magistrates, and would subvert justice,7 introduce a community of goods, and confound that decency and good order which God hath established among men.8


1 Ex. 18:20, etc.; Rom. 13:1; Prov. 8:15; Jer. 21:12; 22:2-3; Ps. 82:1,6; 101:2; Deut. 1:15-16; 16:18; 17:15; Dan. 2:21,37; 5:18

2 Isa. 49:23,25; 1 Kings 15:12; 2 Kings 23:2-4

3 Tit. 3:1; Rom. 13:1

4 Mark 12:17; Matt. 17:24

5 Acts 4:17-19; 5:29; Hos. 5:11

6 Jer. 29:7; 1 Tim. 2:1-2

7 2 Pet. 2:10

8 Jude 1:8, 10

Belgic Confession of Faith

Charlie J. Ray said...

It is enough to say that I believe homosexuality is evil, perverted, and a distortion of God's created order. Therefore it should be illegal and not promoted by society. Promoting homosexual rights makes about as much sense as promoting pedophilia. Both are equally perverse.

Pesky Brit said...

Now i understand your unwillingness discuss anything in a reasonable manner... http://www.freewill-predestination.com/freewill.html

Charlie J. Ray said...

The link you supplied, Brit, is a classic example of an extended straw man argument against Calvinism since the author is stating not the Calvinist position itself but what he "thinks" it implies, which are two completely different things altogether.

I might also point at that since your alter ego Grammar Hound is unable to understand that "quote" is both a verb and a noun according to all the dictionaries it is highly unlikely that you understand anything whatsoever. If you cannot understand that certain words are both nouns and verbs in common usage how would you understand the difference between the true position of Calvinism and a gross mischaracterization of it?

Silly Brit. How old are you? 13? 15?

Pesky Brit said...

14 actually. You missed again! :-)

I wasn't really trying to catch you out about your usage of "quote". But your response has rather delightfully illustrated you for what you are, a legalistic who refuses to show any personal judgement using your God-given mind.

I came to you Blog to genuinely seek a greater understanding of Reformed Theology, but I leave with silly prejudices stuck in my mind because of your consistently arrogant, patronising, unhelpful and, sadly, hard-hearted writing.

I'm left thinking that Reformed Theology is an unbalanced view that seems throw the baby out with the bath water. I'm left thinking that Reformed Theologians have this rather haughty view that they have certainty on God's will, even if it is only on a subset of our existence: homosexuality, yes, drug use, no.

I hope we will meet in heaven and have a good old laugh about what flawed individuals we were on Earth. I certainly know that I am. I pretty sure your esteemed Cranmer will be there too, despite his hand in the dodgiest divorce in Christendom. You, me, Tommy, David - all have fallen short of the glory of God, but all have repented, I hope.

Anyway, Charlie, you have inspired me to read the 39 Articles. My hope for you is that you get on with the great commission. Perhaps a role as a missionary in the back streets of Belo Horizonte sharing God's good news?

Charlie J. Ray said...

When you end up in hell do you think the excuse will work? "Lord, Lord I would have been saved except for Charlie Ray."

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house-- 28 for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'" (Luke 16:22-31 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

I have no power to convince dead men of anything. If you refuse to read the Scriptures or reason consistently that is hardly "my" fault:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Look, kid... Simply because I'm a Christian does not make me your door mat. If you want to be a smart ass I can respond in kind. Frankly, it doesn't bother me a bit when you attempt to play the martyr:)

Fact is everyone deserves hell, including juvenile delinquents. What you should really do is read the Bible like everyone else. God is quite able to speak to you through His word. Try reading the Bible from cover to cover some time. You might be surprised at what you find there.

Pesky Brit said...

Hey Charlie,

I apologise if I've toshed with you too much in the past few days, but I'm genuinely trying to learn from someone who knows more than me. Isn't that why you invested time in going to Asbury, to learn more than you did before? They didn't just tell you to stay at home and read the scriptures did they? Was your time at Asbury just for your own benefit?

I have read the Bible from cover to cover (but only once), and I was very surprised by what I found. However, without the privilege of a theological education, I have not been able to thread together areas that, on first reading, seem confusing or even inconsistent. I want to know God's will where it is knowable.

This takes me right back to my original post: not everything in the Bible is totally clear to me. I'm amazed it is to anyone. Perhaps that's because I'm not elected? Perhaps it's because I've not yet been to theological college? Perhaps I've just not read the Bible and supporting texts enough times?

As for me treating YOU like as doormat, I'm aghast! Look back at this thread and see who has been verbaly abusing whom. However, I find your aggressive style diminishes the effectiveness of your argument (I'm sure that's yet another fallacy with a Latin name that you'll share with me!) I'm sure I can't be the first person to ever give you this feedback. You are scary! I hope there's a wonderful person hiding behind all of this vitriol. :-)

James, the Pesky Brit (and part-time martyr)

PS I'm not expecting you to post this - it's just for you!

Charlie J. Ray said...

James, first of all you should know that the Bible is self interpreting according to the Protestant Reformers. By this they mean that only the Bible is the infallible and unerring word of God. The Bible is the final authority and arbiter in all doctrinal disputes. The more plain passages of Scripture interpret the harder passages by comparing Scripture with Scripture.

That being said, formal "confessions" of faith or statements of faith summarize in systematic form what the churches of that tradition believe the Bible teaches. The Westminster Standards (Confession and Larger and Shorter Catechism) state what most Presbyterians believe. The Three Forms of Unity (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and Canons of Dort) express what the Dutch Reformed churches believe. The Anglican formularies (39 Articles of Religion, 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal) are the confession of faith for Reformed Anglicans. The Augsburg Confession and the Book of Concord are the official statements of faith of most Evangelical Lutherans. But none of these doctrines are equal in authority to the Bible.

If you really want to understand the Bible you will need to read the documents I just mentioned and look up the proof texts.

You might want to read the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed and the Definition of Chalcedon 451 as well. The ecumenical creeds summarize Christian doctrine for the vast majority of churches in the Protestant faith. Even Catholics accept these creeds, although Protestants only accept them as they agree with Scripture.

I would highly recommend The Institutes of the Christian Religion as well. And Luther's Bondage of the Will. Both are must read material for any Protestant Christian.

I might mention that I consider Asbury to be an apostate seminary as I no longer agree with Arminianism or the more liberal views advocated by that seminary.

I'm also no longer Pentecostal for the same reasons.

May the peace of God be yours,


Charlie J. Ray said...

I might add, James, that in debate I am aggressive because I believe the truth matters. If you met me in real life I'm a very happy person with a wonderful girlfriend:)

Coming from the deep south, however, I'm a redneck at heart. In case you haven't heard rednecks don't take much abuse from others without taking a stand. I might add that my ancestors were both Scottish and Puritan. What a combination.



Charlie J. Ray said...

Your apology is accepted and I apologize as well since you're much younger than me.



Charlie J. Ray said...

Anonymous, the Bible is so plain that even a child can read it and understand what it says (2 Tim 3:15). You don't need a theological education to read the Bible, the final authority. Nor do you need a theological education to read the Reformed Confessions of Faith, which are summaries of what we believe the Scriptures teach.

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