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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 beseech 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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fw: Heresy....

 

Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: Heresy....

Hi Bruce,
 
You might want to visit my blog, Reasonable Christian,  before you make assumptions about me.  I'm a Calvinist first of all.  I'm less concerned with sinners being offended by the message than with being faithful to the law and Gospel message itself.  God does the electing and saving.  I'm just the messenger.  In fact, God did quite well without me for thousands of years and I'm absolutely sure that He won't fall off the throne when I'm gone.
 
Also, it seems to me that you must be a charismatic.  Spirit-led?  Do you mean apart from Scripture?  I spent 10 years in the subjectivism of the pentecostal/charismatic movement and  graduated from a Pentecostal theological college.  I know their position well for that reason.  I also did a master of divinity at Asbury, an Arminian seminary.
 
Your appeal to experience and subjectivism seems to imply that you don't really believe Scripture is sufficient, perspicuous or able to lead anyone to saving faith, doctrine, and knowledge of God.  If there is another way to know God other than through Jesus Christ as He is revealed in Holy Scripture, then you have conceded your position to theological relativism, subjectivism, liberalism and modernism.  In short, your position is closer to the liberals in TEC than you realize.
 
While it is true that there is no absolutely objective understanding of Holy Scripture, the doctrine of sola Scriptura means that individual Christians have sufficient information in the Bible to be saved (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Timothy 2:15).  Furthermore, we have a right to private interpretation since every believer is a prophet, priest and king (1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10).
 
I post on AC-NA because I belong to a parish within the Central Florida Diocese of TEC.  I figure I have as much right to preach there as anyone else.  IF I am correct, then it is not prideful or sinful to sound the alarm.  God has elect persons yet to be converted even within apostate churches.  As long as I'm not banned I plan to continue to stand for the truth.
 
While I would not say that "all" pentecostal/charismatics are lost, there are a good many of them likewise who have a completely "pelagian" understanding of salvation and justification.  It is grace and grace alone that saves, not your subjectivist understanding of tolerance.  The law convicts us all as sinners.  Until people understand that they deserve hell and that God's law leaves them without excuse, they cannot be saved.
 
Saving faith is not simply a "relationship with Christ."  It is also a basic understanding of Scripture and scriptural doctrine.  Justification by faith alone is THE Gospel, period.  How do I know that?  Because Romans and Galatians and other places in the Scriptures say so: 
 

Galatians 1:6-9 (ESV)
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 2:14-16 (ESV)
14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?" 15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Romans 4:4-7 (ESV)
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;

 

Jesus says that we will be judged by His word:

 

John 12:47-48 (ESV)
47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

 

While it is true that God saves, it is NOT true that God will save anyone apart from the right preaching of the law and the Gospel and the right administration of His sacraments.

Since God Himself says that justification by faith alone IS the Gospel, then everyone is obligated to accept it.  It is non-negotiable.  You might want to re-read Articles 9-18 in the 39 Articles since this is the confession of faith of the English Church.

 

I would prefer that you do not call me "brother."  I do not know you or what you believe.  I'm not a "broad" evangelical since I believe salvation is very specific and the elect may only be saved if they have the right understanding of the Gospel.

Charlie

Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 8:42 PM
Subject: Re: Heresy....

Brother Charlie,
 
Thanks for respecting my existence and giving me some time.  You obviously are analytical and like to think through your point of view in some depth.  You also are opinionated (no question).  Me too.  Which means that we cannot agree on everything.

You wrote:
Justification by faith alone is the doctrine which will determine whether someone is saved or lost for eternity.  It is non-negotiable. 
 
I believe in this doctrine, but to split hairs, it not the doctrine itself that saves.  Jesus saves.  He alone will determine where I end up.  He knows my heart.  I trust His blood and and I trust His judgment.  We're good.
 
You wrote:
I do not have a "high view of Scripture."  My view is that Scripture is the only infallible and inerrant rule for faith and practice. 
 
I happen to define "the only infalliable and inerrant rule for faith and practice" as a "high view of Scripture."   So in my view, we are on the same page here.  The issue is one of authority (vs. church leaders and their interpretations, science, philosophies, one's own opinions, etc.). 
 
Some of us, however, think we personally have a corner on understanding scripture, which of course we don't.  Scripture itself tells us that we are to "lean not on our own understanding."   A bit of humility is always in order when we present our own views as the "right" interpretation of scripture or the "right" tradition.  Otherwise, we are saying that we are God.  I don't know about you, but I still have a lot to learn at the feet of my Lord. 
 
You wrote:
I care nothing for denominationalism, especially when denominations like the AC-NA are overtly Anglo-Catholic and therefore heretical.
 
Compromise on this issue has led to what you see taking place in TEC and the AC at large.  Even Evangelicals have forsaken this doctrine in favor of ecumenical relationships.  I have more in common with a local church teaching the doctrines of grace than with the vast majority of Evangelical or Anglican churches.
 
So I wonder why you post so much on VOL, when it obviously promotes AC-NA and seeks to reconcile Evangelical and Anglo-catholic streams within Anglicanism. 
 
I confess to knowing wonderful, Spirit-led, Christ-loving, Bible-believing people in both streams (no heretics in either place).  I confess to wanting to reconcile them and I believe that it is necessary in order for Anglicanism to be blessed and to succeed according to God's will.  Correct doctrine IS important, but there are a few things that are actually more important (like loving God and loving each other).
 
From your words, my guess is that you strongly disagree with the goal of reconcilation with Anglo-catholics (since you judge them heretical and headed for hell). 
 
You could express your views a bit more agreeably, however;  that would attract more to your point of view.  Or perhaps you just want to be right and to hell with the rest of us.
 
 
LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
 
AMEN!
 
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with ALL our hearts;  for as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy.   And because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts;  through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.   AMEN.  
(Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, Propers 18, 19)  


In Christ,

 

- Bruce

1 comment:

Charlie J. Ray said...

Apparently, Bruce Atkinson belongs to an Anglican Mission in America congregation in Douglas, Georgia.

Trinity Angican Church.

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