"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Devilish Origin of Questioning Another Believer's Salvation

When the proprietor of the Oklahoma Station on the Sante Fe railroad stop in Indian Territory, a man named William Couch, went to bed on Sunday night, April 21, 1889, he could not have dreamed of the changes that would be coming the very next day. The United States government had determined to open up the Unassigned Territories of I.T. (Indian Territory)--the land surrounding the Oklahoma Station Santa Fe Depot--to white settlement. The government called this land "unassigned" because no Indian tribe had been assigned it since the U.S. had taken it away from the Seminole and Kickappoo tribes in retaliation for siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War. At 12:00 noon on Monday, April 22, 1889, tens of thousands of white people responded to the synchonrized shotgun blasts and raced to stake a claim on the choicest lots of these Unassigned Territories. Overnight, the tent city called Oklahoma City was born, with over 10,000 people camping around William Couch and the Sante Fe Depot. The sketch (above left) is the first one ever to be made of Oklahoma City, drawn just ten months after the Land Run.

The 89'er Land Run drew some unsavory characters. Criminals who wished to sneak into the Unassigned Territories ahead of time to get a headstart on obtaining the best land (the Sooners) would be challenged in their land claims by those fast-riding, law abiding citizens (the Boomers) who knew nobody could have beaten them in a race. The beginning of Oklahoma City is filled with colorful stories of people with questionable character fighting to position themselves as legitimate landholders in the real wild west.

No individual, though, had more questionable character in the early days of Oklahoma City than a tall, African-American woman named Martha Fleming. Martha, a native of Virginia, was one of the early Sooners. She promptly established a brothel immediately north of the Santa Fe Depot and her wickedly sinful influence spread throughout the east fringes of the new OKC, the area we now call Bricktown. She headquartered at corner of the north/south Front Street (now E.K. Gaylord) and the east/west Grand Street (now Sheridan), at what is of the main western entrances into Bricktown. "Old Zulu," as Martha came to be known, was arrested more than any other person in Oklahoma City during the sixteen years from the Land Run to statehood (1907). Her crimes included assualt and battery, robbery, prostitution, public drunkenness, and a great many more. She spent so many nights in jail, that Old Zulu eventually was sent by officials to Leavenworth Federal Prison in Kansas to finish serving her sentence. Oklahoma City's governing law enforcement at the time was the federal U.S. Marshalls service since Oklahoma was still a territory of the United States and not yet a state. Just before statehood, Old Zulu and others criminals from I.T., were pardoned by the Territorial Governor. She was released from federal prison in early 1907 and made her way back to Oklahoma City where she promptly picked up her trade as a madam in charge of a brothel.

But an amazing thing happened to "Old Zulu" on Friday night, November 15, 1907, the night before Oklahoma became a state. There was revival sweeping through what the locals called "dark-town," and dozens of people were had gathered and inside the once-notorious Blue Front Saloon Building, just across from where Old Zulu plied her trade. A banner hung across the broad windows of the saloon, whose blinds were now pulled tight, that read: "The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God." Old Zulu must have been struck by the words, for she entered the revival service, heard the gospel of Jesus Christ that night, and gave her life to Christ. It is obvious she believed on Christ's work at Calvary for the forgiveness of her sins and an eternal home in heaven because of what happened that night. Amateur historian Albert McRill, who himself once served as Oklahoma City's City Manager, writes of Old Zulu's conversion:

The night before statehood, "Old Zulu" wandered into the meeting and "found salvation." Her antics that night were said to surpass anything she had displayed during all her long walk with the devil. "Heben iz mah home," she bellowed, rolling over the floor of the old saloon. "Dis city am on de road tuh hell, and ah iz jez' stoppin' heah.'

McRill goes on in his book, And Satan Came Also to question Old Zulu's conversion. McRill falsely states Old Zulu was baptized in the "freezing" waters of the North Canadian the next day, November 16th, 1907--the day of Oklahoma statehood. In reality, Old Zulu and a number of others converted during the 1907 'OKC Awakening' were baptized in a "baptismal service" in the North Canadian River seven months later, July 4, 1908. Author Albert McRill (1880-1956), the former OKC attorney and leader in the Methodist Church, implies Zulu was not truly converted. Though she shut down the brothel, McRill writes of a confrontation Old Zulu had with OKC police years later, shortly before her death--the details for the reasons of this last arrest are not given by McRill. Nor was I able to find any information about it in the archives of The Daily Oklahoman. There has always been a question in the back of my mind as to why McRill would question Old Zulu's salvation.

The title of Albert McRill's very rare book where Old Zulu's conversion is given a chapter is And Satan Came Also. The title comes from Job 1:6 where the Bible states, "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also with them" . Ironically, the reason the devil came before the Lord in Job 1:6 was to question Job's righteousness. "Is Job really yours?" asks Satan. "Take your protective hand off Job's possessions and he will curse you to your face." So, the reason "the devil came also" was to question the redemption of Job's soul.

In over four years of blogging about religious issues within evangelicalism as a whole, one of the common traits I see among Christians is the tendency to question the salvation of other people. I think there is biblical warrant for each of us to "examine ourselves" to see whether we be in the faith, but nowhere do I see that it is our duty to question the salvation of a fellow believer. In fact, I would propose that the origin of questioning another believer's salvation is devilish. I will give four reasons for this belief.

(1). Salvation of a sinner is solely and completely the work of Christ. The Puritans would often look "within" themselves for evidence of Christ's deliverance, but evangelicals have taken the works of the Puritans and twisted them--we look for evidence within others. Only God and I know my heart--you don't. Only God and you know your heart--I don't. Regeneration is a matter of the heart, but atonement is an objective work of Christ. Who am I to question the salvation and deliverance of a believing sinner, no matter how vile, by the work of Christ's atonement? He chooses to save sinners by His work on their behalf, and I cannot thwart or question His sovereign work. I will only question the evidence of His regeneration in my own heart.

(2). Jesus tells us that if a sinner simply says "I repent" (Luke 17:4), we are to trust the sinner's word and forgive. What's weird is that Jesus has just said that that particular sinner has already come against you seven times in a day and has sinned in the same manner against you seven times, but each time after the transgression he says "I repent." Most of us want "evidence" that the sinner repents. What does he do from then on? Is he living the kind of life that shows it? Jesus says we are to trust what the believing sinner "says"! That's grace. That's trusting Christ to accomplish His work in the sinner's life. Having the sinner prove it is a performance oriented religion. We Southern Baptists want peformances from others like ticket seekers on Broadway. Too bad. We miss the glory of grace.

(3). To question the conversion of a believing sinner is to question the ability of Christ. If we truly believe, like Jonah, that "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9), then we will not place our faith in what we see, but in what we cannot see--the Invisible, Eternal, Omnipotent, Sovereign One who redeems sinners by His grace and for His glory.

(4). If you object and say, "By their fruits they shall be known" (Matthew 7:16), I ask a simple question. What is that 'fruit'? Most evangelicals say, "Works!" What it is the believing sinner does confirms his salvation! The text, however, denies this conclusion. Jesus goes on to describe the Pharisees "who cast out demons and do many wonderful works." But Jesus says to these wonder workers "Depart from me, I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23). It seems to me "the fruit" is NOT what a person DOES, but who a person IS. A "believing" sinner never fully conquers sin, but trusts the One who died for Him and never hesitates to acknowledge his sin and his faith in Christ's work. In other words, the fruit is an inner work that no man can judge but God. This is why Jesus said in the beginning of Matthew 7--"Do not judge anyone" (v. 1). He is not speaking of a human judge in the courts of law, nor is He speaking of a wise person who makes judgments regarding his own behavior; Jesus is telling His disciples to refrain from JUDGING THE HEARTS OF OTHERS--particularly, whether or not Christ is at work in the lives of others. Take the word of a believing sinner at face value and trust Christ.

My commitment in 2010 is to not question the salvation of a sinner who believes on Christ. In my opinion, that kind of activity has devilish origins.

In his Grace,

Wade Burleson

134 comments:

Ken Coffee said...

You speak the truth, Bro. Wade.

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

This post is very timely for me. This truth was being revealed to me in my personal walk for the past two weeks.

It seems to me "the fruit" is NOT what a person DOES, but who a person IS.

For me who a person IS, is a person looking to the Lord. That is where we draw strength and sustenance from. The picture I have in mind is of Peter walking on the water.

Now how does this apply for sinning people in the Church? How does this apply to Ted Haggard, Darrel Gilyard and others? I am afraid they have forfeited their ability to pastor again. I understand for lot of people this is very difficult to relate their own personal sins to what these people have done. But Scripture asks us not to allow these people back in church leadership. But then I look at Paul (Saul) and what he did before he was converted. This requires more thought.

V Domus said...

Does this broad attitude include everyone, say Catholic Christians?

Philip Miller said...

I find your post startling, since I have just finished reading 1 Corinthians chapter 5. There the Apostle to the Gentiles makes it very clear that we are NOT to judge those on the outside (unbelievers) but that we ARE INDEED to judge those who call themselves Christians. It seems to me that the Apostle Paul is doing exactly what you suggest comes from the devil. Does he not question the salvation of those he designates as "so called brothers" in verse 11? Do you not know your Bible? Or did Paul just get it wrong here. How else could someone interpret Paul's teachings on removing the "leaven" from among us? I wonder what the Apostle would have to say if he were to write an epistle to the "boastings" of the evangelical church in America?

Wade Burleson said...

Philip,

Paul writes in Romans 14:4 "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand."

The context is other believers. Some eat meat. Some do not. Do not judge the spirtual condition of those who do differently than you.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

And, yes, I do read and know my Bible.

:) smile.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, in your I Corinthians 5 passage you do not have any of the fornicators, adulterers, etc... saying "I repent." They have no inner conviction that leads to a verbal confession. Of course we would treat that person as one without grace.

But the question is: What happens if the adulterer says he repents? And then does it again? And says he repents and trusts Christ.

What then?

:)

CB Scott said...

"What happens if the adulterer says he repents? And then does it again? And says he repents and trusts Christ."

Call him a "Simi-Antinomian" :-)

Gene Prescott said...

Recently, the thought came to me:

"The purer the love, the fewer the question."

Bob Cleveland said...

If we want to use someone else's works as a measure of their salvation, there's only one standard we could possibly use, and it's certainly not our behavior.

It's Jesus.

Judging someone else's salvation seems, to me, to be the ultimate speck/mote in the eye deal. I don't want any part of that.

Besides, Romans 14:4 pretty well tells us not to judge another man's servant, and last I checked, I didn't have any servants of my own to judge.

Good post.

Bob Cleveland said...

Oh yeah .. 1 Corinthians 5, it seems to me, deals with the church's responsibility to discipline members, not my personal duty to question the salvation of others.

Lydia said...

"But the question is: What happens if the adulterer says he repents? And then does it again? And says he repents and trusts Christ.

What then?
"

We tell them about Hebrews 10: 26-31

Lydia said...

I am trying to figure out why discipline is not a judgement.

Lydia said...

1 John 3

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning;(Q) no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7Little children,(R) let no one deceive you.(S) Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8(T) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was(U) to destroy the works of the devil. 9(V) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s[b] seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God,(W) nor is the one who(X) does not love his brother.


Here is the dichonomy of 1 John. All are sinners-- if we say we are not, we are liars. We are born in corrupted bodies and our very thoughts are sinful.

But when we make a "practice" of sin God does not dwell in us. We make that obvious whether we say the words: I repent or not.

If God does not dwell in us, how can we be saved?

Wade Burleson said...

What happens to the man who treats others in an uncivil and unloving fashion, and then repents, and then again treats people in an unloving and uncivil action, and then repents, and then again treats people in an unloving and uncivil and then repents ...."

Semi-antimonians? Lost?

How about a brother in Christ who struggles with anger, but the Lord is at work in Him.

It's amazing how we categorize sin.

Bob Cleveland said...

Lydia:

1 Corinthians 5:12 & 13 say (emphasis mine):

"12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

1 Corinthians 5 is instruction for the church, as to what it should do, and does not seem to involve determining anyone's salvation. The church cannot hide behind "judge not" in order to escape that responsibility.

Wade Burleson said...

"I am trying to figure out why discipline is not a judgement."

Lydia,

Discipline, as you know, has as its root "disciple."

We always disciple people, talk with them about their sins, urge them to turn from them, etc..., but we refrain from making judgments about their salvation. We have discipled believers in our church who have struggled with specific sins for years without ever declaring they are lost. Each and every time these believers been lovingly discipled in the specific area of their sin, they have exhibited a sense of brokenness and a desire to repent. But that doesn't mean they've stopped. It just means we continue working with them, each and every time they struggle -- we don't ignore the sin, we don't cover the sin, we help them overcome it.

There have been nine occasions in the last 18 years that members of our 4,000 member church said "Leave me alone. I know what I'm doing is wrong, but I don't want help from you to quit."

We say, "OK." We then remove them from our roll, but even then, we don't declare them lost. Of those nine, at least two have returned to our fellowship, after being broken of their sins, and have made public their brokenness and repentance.

To a person, they all appreciated the fact we loved them in the midst of their sin.

Wade

CB Scott said...

Wade,

The "Simi-Antinomian" thing was a joke.

Go back and look at it again.

Besides, there is no such thing as a "SimI-Antinomian" and I thought you would know that.

Put your rocks back in your pocket. Save them for a real conflict.

Have a left over turkey sandwich and be glad the Sooners caught Stanford on a bad day. :-)

That was a joke also.

cb

Bob Cleveland said...

"Simi-antinomian" sounds like an unruly ape.

:)

Darby Livingston said...

I think what Wade is saying makes perfect sense. Why would our goal ever be to declare someone isn't right with God? Our goal is the same for those who don't know God, those who claim to know God but show no fruit, and those who whole-heartedly believe with evidences in behavior: repent of your sins and believe the gospel. This is our perpetual message until this age comes to an end and it's the only message we need. And people's response will be like the philosophers at Athens: some mocked, some believed, and some said come back later.

While challenging sin, Paul always brought it back to the gospel, even with those whose God is their bellies. They needed to turn from their idols to the true God. How do they do that? The gospel. Why do we need more than this?

St. Steven of St. Paul, MN said...

Thank you for this interesting and grace based blog. If you would have left out the reference to "SBC" in pt. 2 I believe it would be less pointed and even more gracious. Trust one another to acknowledge the sinfulness of their own heart...right?
New Year blessings to you.

CB Scott said...

No Bob,

An unruly ape is a Simi-Pelagian. :-)

That was a joke also.

cb

John said...

Good throughts, but I must admit you have given me another reason not to pull for your beloved Sooners! :)

WatchingHISstory said...

The common thread that runs thru the free will and free offer people is that the person talked to is lost. They are lost because the person has not accepted the "witness" of the presenter. They believe that God uses means of men to regenerate the lost. This common thread is woven thru the Bible according to their belief. No one is regenerated until they hear the gospel presentation.

The Calvinist beleves that conversion (that which men are involved in)is subsequent to the new birth. It is seeing the reality of the Kingdom of God. The Calvinist assumes that the person is born again already and therefore therE is no question of their eternal destiny. The non Calvinist will assume the possibility of the lostness of his opponent because he has not agreed with his proposition, it is a default.

When a Calvinist is debating theology with any one he never assumes the person is bound for hell ie. eternal damnation. He doesn't know this and has no reason to think so.

Now MacArthur will disagree with this because of his hard believism. But this is the result of moderating Calvinism and obscuring limited atonement. He is a four point Calvinist. Threw that last sentence free of charge.

Benji Ramsaur said...

1 John 3:7-10

7Little children, let no man deceive you [believers are not to have the wool pulled over their eyes concerning what follows]: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8He that committeth sin [habitually controlled by an unregenerate nature] is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin [a statement of "inability" concerning living in habitual sin arising from an unregenerate nature], because he is born of God.

10In this the children of God are manifest [this is what believers are not to be deceived about. If believers are not to have some idea as to who is a child of God and who is not, then the teaching to not be deceived above would be meaningless], and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Lydia said...

Bob, I am not trying to be contentious because I think this issue is wrapped up in what Paul called the FULL counsel (Acts 20) of God and has been horribly misunderstood and taught. (So there will be no blood on our heads)

No one determines salvation. That is a misnomer. And we never know until the final day who will be saved. (Matthew 7 is a chilling reminder of that)

But we cannot ignore that Paul said JUDGE those inside while other verses say Judge not. What is going on? That is where we have to dig deep to understand.

This all goes back to what happens when one is truly saved. It would take too long of a comment to go through all of it but it is a supernatural act where our hearts are transformed and we hate the sin we once loved. Do we still do it? yes but we are always convicted of it if we are saved and we hate it and are broken. We aren't working in back rooms trying to figure out how we can sin and deceive others. And we aren't deciding what is sin and what isn't because the Holy Spirit decides and convicts. Not us. It is now written on our hearts.

We cannot continually practice sin with no godly sorrow knowing the truth and expect to be saved. Because we have taught the opposite, our churches are filled with unsaved people and that includes the pulpit in many cases.

We have played sin down as not that big of a deal since everyone who professes Christ does it-- it is normal.

That is why we are seeing so much sexual perversion in our churches by staff and everyone running to forgive and telling the victim they are bitter if they don't offer up forgivness right away. Even showing up in court to beg the judge not to be too harsh in sentencing. They say, I made a mistake and everyone gushes.

Question: Can a minister who has claimed Christ as Lord for many years have the indwelling Holy Spirit while molesting a kid? Did the Holy Spirit leave for a while and then come back? How does that work? Wouldn't they at some point become so broken over it they would confess. (before getting caught and then confessing and repenting)

I simply do not understand why some think it is a sin to say to the minister: It is most likely you were never really saved based on your practice of sin.

Reading Jonathan Edwards, I was struck how he did not accept the claim of conversion at face value. He waited (a long time) to test the fruit.

I thought I was saved for a long time because I knew ABOUT Jesus. But I did not KNOW Him.

Darby Livingston said...

Benji,

I think your quote of 1 John will become crystal clear if we remember: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).

"That YOU may know that YOU have eternal life." It's a test for the individual to pass for himself and the text you quoted is for an individual to use on himself.

Benji Ramsaur said...

More thoughts on 1 John 3:10:

Notice that John talks about doing and loving, not mere being. As long as one does not show me what is on the inside, I can't know what kind of person one is.

It is in the actual "manifesting" of one's nature that it is manifest [to use John's language] as to whether one is a child of God or not.

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

Have you read "Religious Affections" by Edwards?

cb

Benji Ramsaur said...

Darby,

Thank you for the text you cited. However, I think we also have to keep in mind that there had been false teachers [Gnostics?] who had left the church[es]. And John wants to make sure that the church members knew that those who had left did not belong to them in the first place [which implies that they were lost]. And again, there is this idea of something being "manifested". John does not want them to stick their heads in the sand, but see what is manifest.

1 John 2:19

19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (bold mine)

Darby Livingston said...

Benji,

True brother, but notice the manifestation came after the offenders' willful departure from the church. It was only the fact they left the church that made their status manifest. I think that is follows Wade's point: We don't have to proclaim them anything, they'll proclaim it themselves.

Lydia said...

CB, No but I found parts of it online and plan to read it:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/works1.vii.i.html

This whole discussion negates the fact that "He Who begins a good work in us finishes it". If we belong to Him, He WILL discipline us, refine us and we WILL grow in Holiness. He WILL replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. This is a promise from way back in Ezekial. It is supernatural.

This stuff is good to discuss. It is convicting for me and I hope for others, as well.

WatchingHISstory said...

Lydia, I believe Paul Williams is saved, has experienced regeneration, but his conversion was faulty. He was surrounded by people who enabled him in this. His own son bore the consequencies of this enablement. Paul will not IMO be forgiven in this life but he along with the enablers have to give an account.

Lydia said...

WS, I cannot tell you how far that episode was from my mind. There are hundreds like him in ministry. All you have to do is read the papers or talk to the judges who will give you an earful about the Christians who come to beg leniency for a pervert minister but then jam the courts demanding porn places be shut down. They cannot figure out why we don't clean up our own camp first.

CB Scott said...

Lydia,

I asked that because you mention an idea presented by Edwards in that book. Actually, you say things often that reminds me of parts of Religious Affections.

I believe that book to be one of the great works of Christian writers.

I think it should be required reading in every Bible college and seminary.

BTW, it is my opinion that you and Benji are making strong and credible arguments here.

And I was just joking in the Simi-Antinomian statement.

cb

Benji Ramsaur said...

Darby,

I suppose one of my concerns of "never" questioning another's salvation has to do with allowing one to go on having a "false" assurance of their salvation.

The Apostle John did not mind declaring others to be lost. However, I anticipate others responding to me by saying "Yes, but he was an apostle, you're not".

I agree with that. However, it seems to me that if:

A. I am to have some idea as to who is a child of God and who is not [according to 1 John].
B. I am in discourse with someone who is not a believer [according to what 1 John says concerning evidence], but who thinks he is.

Then:

C. It would not be unloving to tell him the truth if my heart was moved by the Spirit to love him [even though it might cost me his displeasure towards me].

Darby Livingston said...

Benji,

In response, I'll refer you to my comment at Sat Jan 02, 01:31:00 PM 2010.

Darby Livingston said...

And add this: I never allow folks to have a false assurance of faith because I perpetually preach the gospel to those who say they are saved as well as those who don't profess faith in Christ and then leave it up to the Spirit to do his work. God's Word won't return void.

approvedworkman said...

Matthew 7:15-23 and Galatians 5:19-23 are not dealing with the same issues re:fruit. I know of no one who has exhibited all of the fruit of the Spirit Paul lists in Galatians all of the time. He is saying that such fruit when exhibited is the Spirit's work in the true saints. When we act otherwise it is the fruit of the flesh which we struggle with daily. Romans 7.

Matthew 7 is speaking of those who are not His and were never His, and points to fruit of ministry i.e. prophecy,healings, etc etc. We are to recognize those who do not abide in Christ and indeed never have.We recognize them now, not later.They are cut down as they are their own tree and have never abided in the true vine. They are not the same as John 15, as the non-abiding branches produce no fruit at all, yet even they are still His. (John 15:2 also Romans 11:22-24)

Btw, God brought Job up first in His conversation with Satan.

http://approvedworkmanonterrafirma.blogspot.com/

WatchingHISstory said...

Reading Jonathan Edwards, I was struck how he did not accept the claim of conversion at face value. He waited (a long time) to test the fruit.

If JE was a true Calvinist then he would have believed that regeneration preceeds faith and conversion. I personally believe this is his theology and that moderates want to twist his beliefs today in order to support their Amyraldianism.

So he was not questioning the reliability og their regeneration but the genuiness of their subsequent conversion.

He was not questioning their salvation but the conversion. That is why Paul said "thank goodness I did not baptize most of you" It is not a question of their new birth.

WatchingHISstory said...

Lydia, do you believe that PW is regenerate or not. I say he is. Yet I know that no one can say apart fron hearing directly from God himself.

Can a regenerate Christian molest his own son?

Lydia said...

WS, I would really rather not engage you more based on past history of your comments.

Now, if you believe a regenerated transformed heart could molest a kid and claim the indwelling Holy Spirit at the same time, then perhaps it is best we not take our kids to church. Such beliefs mean it is not a safe place.

I thought of this passage and all of Jude 1:

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lydia said...

"I asked that because you mention an idea presented by Edwards in that book. Actually, you say things often that reminds me of parts of Religious Affections.
"

I am glad you mentioned it. Here is a link where folks can print it all out for free:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/affections.html

I am looking forward to reading it.

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

You may never be the same after reading that book. For a modern adaptation/ interpretation of it, I'd highly recommend "Signs of the Spirit" by Sam Storms.

Darby Livingston said...

Of course, one would likely have to pay for that book. :)

WatchingHISstory said...

Does anyone think that a born again believer can turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ?

I believe so and futher this can explain a lot of the godless mess that goes on in our churches.

The idea that lewd men and deniers of the Lord Jesus Christ have never experienced the new birth and so act the way they do just don't hold water.

Assuming that a great number of our churches are full of people like this how in all honesty can we even consider the church a church. If that many people have us that fooled then what other chicanery has seduced us.

I think the Corinthians, who MaArthur often takes generous backhand swipes at are the model for us as believers to stop assessing the quality of everyones rebirth and move in the direction of proper subsquent conversion.

You do damage to the process in lives when you treat them as not truly born again. This is a free offer problem!

WatchingHISstory said...

Lydia, I fear for the safty of my grandchildren in Church. There are far safer places than our churches!!!

Wade Burleson said...

Guys,

I am guilty of the very thing I posted about today. Six months ago I posted an article about the late comedian Bill Hicks entitled "When the Laughter Ends, Then What?" where I, in essence, claimed he was not a Christian. His 80 year old mother (a Southern Baptist preacher's wife), who had just appeared on Letterman to talk about her son the week before my post, wrote me and chewed me out for judging the heart of her son--saying he was a believer in Jesus Christ and how dare I question his salvation. Duly (and appropriately chastised), I removed the post.

I learn from my own mistakes.

In His Grace,

Wade

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

It's good to learn from our mistakes, but I think we need to be careful in concluding that we make a mistake based on upsetting people.

In what you just said I don't see a justifiable "basis" for saying you made a mistake in the first place.

If he "repented" on his death bed, then I could see that as a basis for being a mistake. But there was no menntion of this.

I see that you upset his mother. I guess it might have been better to not have mentioned her son in a post since she obviously still has strong feelings for him. I think if you made a mistake it was in the area of tactfulness [though unintentional on your part I'm sure] and not something in relation to the subject of your post.

1 John applies to "all" people created by God I think.

In Christ,

Benji

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Thank you for an excellent article!

Having taught Scripture for 50 years, I'm so thankful I don't have to look at my works, performance of duties, or perfect obedience to laws.

I am thankful that my Lord, Jesus Christ, did ALL of that on my behalf,sealing it with His blood, otherwise I would not have enough time left to calculate my, only too apparent, sin, or failures, much less to judge those of anyone else.

Lydia said...

"who had just appeared on Letterman to talk about her son the week before my post, wrote me and chewed me out for judging the heart of her son--saying he was a believer in Jesus Christ and how dare I question his salvation"


If we should not question salvation of someone like Hicks, neither should we go along in declaring it.


We see this happen all the time at funerals of someone who made a profession of faith as a kid and showed no fruit of salvation all through their life. But that profession was enough to declare them saved. When is this stuff not malpractice?

Bob Cleveland said...

If we question someone's salvation, not to them, but to someone else about them, how is that different from gossip?

Certainly if someone claims to be a believer and is teaching falsehoods, or acting in a manner to mislead people, then those things should be dealt with. But questioning their salvation?

I don't think so.

Christiane said...

"God shows his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us."


"As I have loved you, so you must love one another"

Wade spoke of repentent Church members:
"To a person, they all appreciated the fact we loved them in the midst of their sin."

The question is this:
Did they repent and then become grateful for the unconditional love of the Church, in the midst of their weakness ?

OR

Did the unconditional love of the Church, which so mirrors the love of God for fallen mankind,
help to focus them on Christ Himself who heals all wounds?

There are some who believe that the 'community of believers', who surround and protect and nurture a weakened member,
are actually instrumental in revealing Christ's loving forgiveness to that hurting person.

'Community', 'communion', 'the Body of Christ', the 'ekklesia', or we may call it 'the Church'
'The Church' may actually be able to share in the healing of its wounded, by living 'in imitation of Christ'.

Think of the possibilities. :)
All things are possible in Him.

Lydia said...

"Certainly if someone claims to be a believer and is teaching falsehoods, or acting in a manner to mislead people, then those things should be dealt with. But questioning their salvation?"

Bob, the ACT of dealing with such things IS, in fact, questioning their salvation. Just like 1 Corinthians 5. Paul said, kick him out so he COULD BE SAVED.

This conversation goes back to the post on Jimmy Carter when so many said we should not say Mormons are not Christians.

Seriously, where do we draw the line?

Lydia said...

"If we question someone's salvation, not to them, but to someone else about them, how is that different from gossip?"

I am not sure what you are referring to. I assume it is about Bill Hicks? Hicks was a public person with a certain lifestyle who sought celebrity.

Bob Cleveland said...

Lydia,

I disagree. And I firmly believe that if you and I are discussing someone else's behavior, and casting doubt on their salvation, there we're gossiping.

If we happen to be formally about the business of church discipline, that is another matter. But you and I aren't.

I've been involved in cases of church discipline. In every case where I knew the outcome, it ended gloriously. But it was never discussed outside meetings held for that purpose, and never was the salvation of the party questioned as a result of their offenses.

Lydia said...

I disagree. And I firmly believe that if you and I are discussing someone else's behavior, and casting doubt on their salvation, there we're gossiping.

If we happen to be formally about the business of church discipline, that is another matter. But you and I aren't.

I've been involved in cases of church discipline. In every case where I knew the outcome, it ended gloriously. But it was never discussed outside meetings held for that purpose, and never was the salvation of the party questioned as a result of their offenses.

Sat Jan 02, 07:32:00 PM 2010

Bob, I still do not know specifically what you are referring to? Is it Hicks?

Bob Cleveland said...

Lydia,

Why do I have to be referring to anyone in particular? Wade's post is about questioning the salvation of another. If that's something that should not be done, then the other person's fame or position is irrelevant.

Thy Peace said...

Wiki > Adolf Hitler.

Hitler became a Christian at age 15. He was confirmed on Whitsunday, 22 May 1904 at the Linz Cathedral.[15] His sponsor was Emanuel Lugert, a friend of his late father[16].

Lydia said...

Why do I have to be referring to anyone in particular? Wade's post is about questioning the salvation of another. If that's something that should not be done, then the other person's fame or position is irrelevant.

Sat Jan 02, 07:40:00 PM 2010

Because you jumped to a conclusion in your previous post. My point to you is that the ACT of disciplining by the church is questioning salvation. Even if it is never mentioned.

I do not see Paul mentioning the guys name in 1 Corin 5 but since the letter was addressed to the whole church it was not some back room deal that was confidential. It mentions nothing about only elders or leaders dealing with the situation.

There was no need to gossip. It was obvious and the entire church was counseled to kick him out so he could be saved in the day of our Lord.

Thy Peace said...

BTW Pastor Mac Brunson publicly questioned if Watchdog (FBC Jax Watchdog) is saved. They are in his sermons.

WatchingHISstory said...

Thy Peace: If Hitler was a Christian and by Calvinist theology he may have been and will be waiting on us in heaven. LORD HAVE MERCY our God is far greater than we have ever realized.

CB Scott said...

Are we to assume that Adolph Hitler repented of sin and believed the biblical gospel?

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

I can see how St. Paul shakes up people who read his epistles from the distance of two millenia.

He makes some statements in 1 Cor. 5 and then later, he turns around and 'tempers' his teaching in the following excerpt from 2 Cor. 2:5-11

5
If anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure (not to exaggerate) to all of you.
6
This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person,
7
so that on the contrary you should forgive and encourage him instead, or else the person may be overwhelmed by excessive pain.
8
Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.
9
For this is why I wrote, to know your proven character, whether you were obedient in everything.
10
Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for you in the presence of Christ,
11
so that we might not be taken advantage of by Satan, for we are not unaware of his purposes."

You are very right about taking the whole of Scripture into account and not isolating a few verses.

Peace in Christ,
L's

Lydia said...

L's, He does not 'temper' his teaching. That is like saying Paul did not really mean what he first said. That is not true because it is Inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Some think he is referring to the same person who did repent and now he needs to be fully restored. I agree with that interpretation.

Christiane said...

Perhaps 'expanding' on his teaching might be a more appropriate word.

'developing' ?
'moderating' ?
'clarifying' ?
'putting in context' ?

Apparently, he did feel the need to write more on the subject, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As to what purpose, I do not question.
I'm not looking at these Scriptures from a distance of two millenia. Our commentaries inter-connect the two teachings as the latter casting light on the former.

I appreciate your interpretation and your response. L's

WatchingHISstory said...

CB, He may have been regenerate in his childhood and then received the call to repent and his sponsor acknowledged his conversion.

WatchingHISstory said...

CB,
"Are we to assume that Adolph Hitler repented of sin and believed the biblical gospel?"

I would never make that assumption mainly because I am not an Arminian or Wesleyan.

I am a good old fashion Baptist who believes firmly in eternal security.

Pascal and Amy Stowell said...

This hit me really HARD!!!!
I will be thinking about it for a while! Gene Scott wrote, "The purer the love, the fewer the question" This year I want a purer love in Jesus Christ, so that my life will show who Jesus Christ really is. Thanks!

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade, would it be devilish to question Hitler's early years baptism?

Or do we have to construct a twist to say he was not ever saved. And what would I say for my wife's step mother who to her dying days believed her dear strayed son was saved as a child. He had been baptized.

Do you really believe in eternal security or eternally insecure.

Gene S said...

Martha Flemming of Virginia was the main character of the history.

I wonder if she got some training at Magnolia Hill in Wake County, NC on the way down toward Oklahama???

While we have waxed theological mostly in the comments, it speaks to me along the lines of how much pretense and hidden sneaking was done "too soon" before the cannon officially went off to start the race for land.

Were any of those sooners Baptist preachers trying to get the best land for a new Baptist church?

The Indians got run over by the white folks after already being deprived of Seminole land in Florida. There has to be some lack of ethics involved there!

Most important is the commentary that so many reprobates immediately left civilized society to try and hide out in Oklahoma.

It just seems the whole story of Oklahoma settlement is about somewhat corrupt people gathering in droves and the revival trying to lead them to conversion--some of it was real, while others were just pretending in order to become more socially acceptable.

There has to be some group psychology / sociology in here beneath and before all the religious stuff leads us to pontificate and Bible quote!

CB Scott said...

Based upon Hitler's own confessions and that which is recorded of him speaking of the biblical gospel specifically and Christianity in general there seems to be no great preponderance of evidence that he knew the free pardon of sin as granted in the atonement to those who would recognize themselves as sinners before a just and righteous God and repent and believe the biblical gospel prior to his entering the "bunker" for the last and final time no matter what is said he did at 15 or testified to by his "sponsor." After he entered the bunker only God knows.

Now, if he did truly repent and believe the biblical gospel after that (entering the bunker), we who have repented and believed the biblical gospel will see him in heaven.

If he did not do so, those of us who have not repented of sin after realizing (due to the Spirit's revelation) we are sinners before a just and righteous God and have not believed the biblical gospel will see him in the Lake of Fire.

WatchingHISstory said...

CB, doesn't your construction scare you? It does me and I am a Calvinist! If your construction is correct and Hitler, far off on the sprectrum, where does that leave me? Will a last moment failure on my part render me unsaved at the critical 'atomos' of time. I don't think so. I was regenerated at a young age and have floundered around up and down and am not that much different than Hitler, in God's righteous sight. Darn if his baptism is nullified by us who don't really know him what will you say of me when I die?

Liam Madden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liam Madden said...

Wade,

It is interesting that the person chosen as your example here was a person of color. Do you think it's possible that either racial or cultural differences or both can cause people to more quickly question the salvation of another?

In an earlier post, I expressed concern that so many Southern Baptists were quick to question the Christian faith of our sitting president, Barack Obama.I stated:

"Of all of the different types of criticism that are lobbed at him, though, the one that I find the most offensive is the notion that he's not a Christian. I think arguments of that sort are really based in a distortion of what it means to be a Christian, a kind of branding of Christianity for political purposes that we've become so accustomed to that many have begun to think that that is what Christianity is. We've gotten too used to having Presidents who talk about Jesus too casually and manipulate religious sentiment in order to get votes.

Just because Obama is a Christian that doesn't look like "us" or walk the walk quite like "us" or talk the talk quite like "us" doesn't mean that there is not an active or even vibrant Christian faith there. And the fact that he doesn't actively bend over to please the old guard of American's self-appointed evangelical watchdogs and "leaders" may not be such a bad thing."

Does your exhortation to fellow Baptists not to be too quick to question the salvation of other apply to President Obama as well?

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Charles,

Not to worry: the holy waters of Baptism have washed away our sins of old,
and it is said, that in the Presence of Our Lord, the waters of our baptism are recalled and renewed, each time we are bathed in the tears of our repentence.

We are able to repent, and then be peaceful in His forgiveness.

WatchingHISstory said...

Wow!! first Hitler is not saved and now Obama is not saved!!! Will the domino effect reach me late tonight? The devilish origins are showing LOL

Wade said...

Liam,

It was your comment that spurred my post. Whether or not we question more those who are from other cultures is debatable, but there's no doubt the same principle that forms the basis of this post is applied to the President.

Liam Madden said...

Wade,

I think in my postings of previous weeks, I forgot to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks also for your quick and clear response to my question.

Best,

LM

Wade said...

I remember Jeffrey Dahmer, the cannibal murderer, who came to faith in Christ in prison but was murdered in prison by his fellow prisoners. Hard to think of a murderer like him being in heaven, but Christ atoned for his sins, as seems evident by Dahmer's faith in Christ and his repentance over his sins.

But Hitler, committing suicide in the basement of his home with his mistress, after years of sending Jews to their deaths, causes me to doubt that Christ atoned for His sins.

I am not arguing for universalism.

I am arguing that people who say they believe on Christ and say they repent of their sins should be trusted, no matter their past, their continued present struggles, etc... What saves is Christ's atonement, and faith and repentance are gifts of grace given to those for whom He atoned.

I'm not sure we have any evidence of either a confession of faith in Christ by Hitler nor a public expression of his repentance. Baptism as a child is not the same as faith in Christ and repentance of sins.

CB Scott said...

"'m not sure we have any evidence of either a confession of faith in Christ by Hitler nor a public expression of his repentance. Baptism as a child is not the same as faith in Christ and repentance of sins."

Well said.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wow, too bad I was not around for this one. What an excellent post. I agree with Pastor Wade 100% on this one. I am deeply saddened however by the prootexting and verse slinging from passages like Hebrews and 1 John. This is where not only a scholarly approach to the text could help, but an understanding of REAL LIFE and sin nature might prove useful as well. We can read the reformers like Jonathan Edwards and John Owen and get a pretty good understanding of what happens to unrepentant sinners. We can understand the righteousness of God and obligation to be pure, holy and righteous in His sight. And we get that. We understand some 200-400 years later holiness and piety are great gift and blessings from the Lord. But we also know that even in the most holy and pious that sin still remains. What is sin? Bad actions? Evil actions? Bad thoughts? Evil thoughts? Yielding to common temptations? Yielding to perverse temptations? Struggling over and over again with the same sin you know is offensive to a Righteous and Holy God? Then after confession and repentance, "slip up" again? Then beg to swim in the deep waters of the Father's Love?

But how long is too long to remain in a sin willfully? A year? 5, 10, 20? How long too must a believer sin before the Body comes to the sinner's rescue? Or do we stand back and compound their trials by calling them lost?

Lydia, I know you love the Lord and His Word, but can you reconcile your verses with Romans 8:1? I would ask you to try.

We cannot draw the same line in the sand for every situation and person. God works with each of us differently. Satan is allowed to temp each of us in different and in more or less powerful ways.

Where is the mercy from the Body?

70 times 7 does not apply to us? We are to forgive infinitely.

Sin is still sin. We must preach the nature of sin, and the effect sin has on the sinner both now and for eternity.

Today I went to St. Louis to help a friend ( who does not confess Christ as Lord) remodel his bathroom. During a conversation he started that all "church people" are just hypocrites. I told him "in one way or another, everyone is a hypocrite. It is the nature of humanity. It is our sin nature."

I'll follow up on that next Saturday as I go back to finish the remodel job. Now many of you already know that is just my friend's way of justifying his own sin. My job is not to get him to stop sinning. My job is not to even tell him he is sinning, nor that he is lost. My job is to tell him of my Jesus who loved me and saved me, and still loves me and still saves me, even when I do things I know offend Him. Even when I look and act ugly on the outside, or think ugly on the inside, He still loves me and saves me. Then I can pray for Him. The Romans Road is of no effect here. He will not look to the Bible until he sees a glimpse of the "hope that is within me." Then the power of the Gospel can begin to become more real to him.

If I may close with this: We need to remember that "the lost" are those who WILL be found. Just while it is wrong to "confirm" a salvation, so too is it wrong to proclaim "lostness."

Those whom the Lord has called will indeed confess Him as Lord. They just may not all do it in the same way, nor take the same steps.

Let us be patient with the ALL the sheep of the House of Israel--The Israel of God.

This is why both the world AND the church need the Gospel. Salvation is not complete until death and glorification. Your sinner’s prayer will not take you there—Jesus will.


K

Gene S said...

It appears much of the recent discussion is about some of the world's worst humans and whether they were saved or not.

I remind you that matter is totally--and I mean totally--in the hands of God! He knows the heart of each of us and the Bible says he is clearly the righteous judge with no one worthy of passing that judgment without the saving grace of Jesus, the Christ.

How about we turn this discussion to the point it involves us?

QUESTION: What is God going to do with the people of CR who willfullly distorted truth in order to gain political control of the SBC???

QUESTION: Is JEffrey Domler eating flesh any more evil than Patterson / Pressler, et.al eating reputations and careers off the bones of so called Moderate/Liberal Southern Baptists???

QUESTION: (Liam is a member of Decatur FBC where I belonged and was ordained) Is the action of the GBC to kick them out for having a female pastor a "SINFUL" act???
(the Bible defines sin as a state of separation and DFBC was separated without their consent)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

Why do you in one thread demand Joe give his testimony, and demand others stop meaningingless pedantic banter, and now seek to be mean spirited and tear down the body? Must we always stear the comment stream to what is on your mind? Or could we continue discussing the theme of the OP?

Talk about a "straw dog."


K

Gene S said...

Kevin--

I just asked some important questions. If you are scared to go there, it's up to you.

I think we are dancing around the real issues which Wade normally addresses and has with the initial historical story.

Are you the man or not????

Gene S said...

AND---what does OP mean???

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Are you the man or not????"

I don't know what that means but I'll just say 'not,' for your questions are not germane to the OP (Original Post).

K

Gene S said...

Ah--Original Post--thanks!

Was Jesus' parable about Dives and Lazarus appropriate for how the rich were walking over the poor?

Was the Good Samaritan about racial prejudice and religious arrogance?

Was Wade's story just about Oklahoma City / a black prostitute who got religion / a bunch of possible Baptist Preachers being "sooners" to get a bigger and better piece of land so they could become President or CEO of SBC Agencies and Institutions?

I see a parable. You see a chance to deal with theological issues so we don't have to look at dirty politics / lies / corruption among those pretending to be righteous.

Was Matthew 23 yet paraphrased by you so we could see how you bring 2000 year old scripture into 2010?

Liam Madden said...

Is anyone besides Wade in church this morning, lol?! Gene, I'm headed over to Madison Co. GA to celebrate my dad's b'day and watch my kids ride the new bikes he got them for Christmas. Gene, didn't you say you had some roots over there? Don't feel bad Kevin, Gene's not picking on you. He's just trying to prune you a little bit. It's the tree surgeon in him.

Lydia said...

"Lydia, I know you love the Lord and His Word, but can you reconcile your verses with Romans 8:1? I would ask you to try.
"
Kev,

I think Paul answered that before he said the above.... in Romans 5:

"1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."

What does that say to you? Perhaps we interpret it differently. If we died to sin then how can we continue to live in it? (I view this as 'practicing' sin as we see in 1 John)

Kevin, The examples are numerous but for just one: A minister of the Gospel who molests kids. Would you tell him he should think he is not under condemnation because he is saved?

Is there really no expectation out there of a new life? A New Creature? Being transformed? Not perfect but pure in heart? Growing in Holiness? Hating the sin we once loved? Where is the Holy Spirit in all this?

To be truthful, Kevin, I wish folks would have preached this to me for the last 20 years but it does not grow churches. It empties pews. Instead we have gone either seeker oriented (sins are mistakes) and/or legalism with roles and rules. That is what grows churches.

We cannot understand the Cross if we do not understand sin. That cup was filled with His Wrath. And He took it for us. This is HUGE. I get chills when I think of it. So, I can no longer think of practicing sin as no big deal. The Good News means little unless we really understand the Bad News.

I can promise you I am a bigger sinner than you. I love much because I have been forgiven much. But I can no longer hold to the doctrine that Grace is a license to sin. That doctrine is everywhere..subtle in most cases... but there,non the less. And it is sending folks to hell. It was sending me to hell.

Let us all work out our salvation with fear and trembling. And lets stop misleading people. Salvation is a supernatural act of transformation. If we are never transformed..even over much time...we might not be saved. It is not hateful to tell folks that. It is loving. And this is why real testimony's that tell of the power of the Holy Spirit are so very powerful.

Off to church.....it is 11 degrees...brrrrrr...

Gene S said...

Liam--

Hope it's not as cold there as in Bath, the oldest town in NC, where I am shivering by the Pamlico. At least the dogs are fed, frozen water replaced to freeze again, and planning to hit the road soon for Rocky Mount.

I'm visiting the FBC New Bern this morning via TV.

My Scarborough clan is in the Moons Grove community. All are gone to the "land above" now and we cemented over the family grave by the church where my daddy felt his call to ministry.

It is still somewhat remote, but it is lovely. We may just be kin some way. My Grandaddy was Charles Newton, his father was Redden, and my Grandmother was a Graham--supposed to be remote kin to Billy and clan up there outside Charlotte, NC.

Most of us with good sense come from a rural background and enough good sense not to want the hot fields and hoeing again--ever.

Have a great trip and see me at babyboomlearner.com where I'm not having to prune as much!

In Kevin's case, I am sometimes called on to deal with major rot areas in the trunk of a tree. To do this I use my saw like a dental drill to get rid of dead wood. Then I pour in some gasoline and light it off to kill bugs and remove wood the saw could not. Finally I use a substance to fill the hole and make sure drains are at the bottom in case water gets in again.

After the treatment (aren't you glad I'm not your dentist) the outside live part of the tree can actually grown over the rotted area and, once again, be complete and able to support the weight of that mighty oak. If you remove internal suckers so wind will blow through instead of against that beautiful tree, it can have another 100-200 years of life--as long as continued treatments and pruning are done at least every 10 years.

Consider my work here, as you wisely noted, some appropriate work on the great Oak of the SBC in hopes the rotted mess of the last 30 years might, somehow, be brought under control!

By the ways, how is your new lady Pastor coming along with the criticism and FBC's expulsion. She has class. I am glad she now leads the largest Baptist church yet pastored by a female. The New Bern FBC has its fine famale staff member preaching on the air today. She is bringing a great sermon and her Senior Minister sees nothing wrong with sharing his pulpit with all the staff members--even if one is a Preacher's daughter with an earned Doctorate. Sadly, it's not from an SBC Seminary!

Give me an email at my blog and I will send you some pictures of Moon's Grove: babyboomlearner.com

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Liam,

My time stamps are apparently off. I posted 2 comments this morning around 8:30, was in my Sunday School Class by 9:30 and morning worship at 10:45.

Gene, As to your rotten tree stump remedy, I should think Patterson/Pressler/Mohler/Rogers/et al believed they were doing exactly that in the CR. And we infact see healing and ministry growth and world-wide ministry partnerships rebounding to God-glorifying heights.

The Conservatives left he convention in the 30's through the 70's because of separatist tendencies. Today (80's through today)the liberals and moderates have done the same. Will the circle be unbroken?

K

RRR said...

Jesus said, "Watch out for those who come among you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. /You will know them by their fruits./In that day many will come to me saying Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy IN YOUR NAME and in YOUR NAME cast out demons, heal the sick?!" But HE will say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you wicked generation.”

Scripture charges the church to be on guard and assess the sincerity and credibility of someone’s profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Not to do so risks compromising the integrity of the church and its leadership.

If someone professes to be a Christian yet proclaims that there are other ways to have a relationship with God other than through faith in Christ, we must be suspect of the genuine nature of that person’s faith and the understanding upon which it is based.

If someone professes to be a Christian yet affirms that Mormons should be considered as mainstream Christians, we are charged to be wary of that person having a correct understanding of the identity and redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

Some of my Buddhist friends profess to be “Christians” but accept Jesus as just another way to cover their bases and continue to exercise their faith in animistic and Buddhist teachings. Same with some animists we knew in Zambia. They professed to be Christians but never forsook their faith in witchdoctors and their spiritual charms. Jesus was "lord" when it was convenient.

I wonder if our having a difference of opinion on this issue could be an example of our having either a Calvinist filter or non-Calvinist filter?

Wade says, “…people who say they believe on Christ and say they repent of their sins should be trusted, no matter their past, their continued present struggles, etc... What saves is Christ's atonement, and faith and repentance are gifts of grace given to those for whom He atoned."

It seems apparent to me that Wade’s position is filtered through Calvinist eyes. He seems to slant toward thinking that no matter what, if God has decided that this person is to be saved then it is settled.

A position based upon these premises would say that even if that person’s profession of faith projects that they don’t have an understanding of who Jesus actually is they should still be accepted as being a Christian because God has decided that the blood of the cross is applied to them.

That position seems to remove a person’s responsibility for first understanding who Jesus is, trusting in Him based upon that understanding, and only then receiving the gift of grace.

In my non-Calvinist eyes, repentance is not a gift, it is a decision exercised by a sinner who is convicted of their sin, correctly understands Jesus as God and God’s only way to redemption and then decides to submit to Him as Lord. Only then is the gift of salvation through grace applied.

If they demonstrate they don’t know who Jesus is, then they can’t trust in Him based upon His correct identity, thus there is no true repentance or subsequent gift of grace.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Repentance not a gift? The whole of salvation is a gift. The books of Romans, Galatians and Ephesians to name a few bears this out clearly.

I think the problem is we relish telling people they are not Christians, we relish getting angry in the name of God, then we thoughtlessly crush the message of the Bible by saying that the above is love. There is a Greek word for that.

The message of the Bible is that we can't do it on our own. None of us is righteous not one according to Paul. Some people who are with Christ grow differently, have different struggles, and there is not such thing as little sins, big sins to God. We all sin, we all have struggles, and as Christians we are to encourage, help, pray for, be there, through those struggles, not kick a man or woman at their weakest point.

RRR said...

Right on, Debbie! Thanks for your words. I agree with just about everything you say.

However, I think that our interpretation of "repentance" is somewhat different. I see "repentance" as being a decision to transfer our allegiance from other gods to Jesus.

I don't see repentance (a decision) as being a "gift" in the sense that God distributes certain people with the ability to make a decision to repent and restricts others with the inability to make that decision.

If you “decide” to receive a gift from someone then I wouldn’t say that your “decision” was a gift but that you received the gift as a result of your decision (repentance).

I do agree that we certainly can’t receive a gift from someone else “on our own”.

I totally agree with you in that "repentance" is all that God requires for us to be saved, so in the sense of it being God's plan I agree that it is a gift too.

I agree with you that we all grow at varying paces, that we must pray and encourage our brothers and sisters and be compassionate in accepting that none of us understand everything about God.

Christiane said...

Sabbath Reflections

penance is from a word meaning 'the desire to be forgiven'

The Holy Spirit plays a role in convicting our consciences of our wrong-doing.

That 'twinge' of guilt is a gift, a 'red light' that tells us we will be going to , are in the midst of, or have already parted from the Way of the Lord.

The controversy may be here: do we wish to receive God's forgiveness (to repent) because HE MAKES US FEEL THIS WAY ?
Or do we freely choose to repent, as we freely chose to depart from 'the Way' ?

So, in the process of repentance, there is forgiveness in the Presence of the Lord. Of course, this is the gift of God.
It brings peace: the certain knowledge that we have been forgiven IS a gift of the Holy Spirit: the 'Comforter'.

Apparently, the Calvinist theory raises the question of how much free will is operating in our cooperation with God in this process. Therein lies the differing interpretations.
But isn't it wonderful that the end result of repentance and Christ's merciful forgiveness is that peace 'that surpasses all understanding'?

Bob Cleveland said...

"Repentance" is commonly stated to mean "turn around" or "change one's ways". As I read Strong's Concordance, however, it means to "Think differently or afterwards; morally, to feel compunction". Thayer's says to change one's mind.

I fear that too many times, folks have to agreed to stop doing a thing .. change their actions .. while remaining unchanged in their opinion of the sin. That's no way to separate one's self from the sin that dogs us, and will continue to unless we change our thinking.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Off Topic: Help Wanted!

My church began Live Streaming our services today on a site called

www.lifestream.com

I found this afternoon however that the site is blocked by Hedgebuilders, a Christian Internet Filter I pay for. i was told by our video person that "this is the nature of the beast." The beast being "free Internet Streaming and hosting." Does anyone have any Christian Live Streaming Sites that can be used for free or low cost to churches? Wade, is the solution your church uses 316 something or other really pricy?

I have complained about this and might have had alternative solutions in mind as to not offend those involved.

Would appreciate any help. When I clock on the site, Hedgebuilders says block for: "pornography and recreational nudity." I emailed Hedgebuilders this afternoon and got a person response back witin 10 minutes saying they do not suggest unlocking the site due to "some channels that include risqué and adult oriented material."


K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

sorry, that is www.livestream.com

Not that I am telling you to go there, just for informational purposes.

Liam Madden said...

Gene,

I thought that Moon's Grove rang a bell when I read your post, and my wife reminded me over lunch today that we had attended a wedding of one of her girlfriends at Moon's Grove Baptist Church a few years ago, so we tipped our hat in that direction for you as we went by there today.

Kevin is such a young (and basically good-hearted) tree, maybe he doesn't need all of the extreme measures that you described. Maybe the old SBC didn't either since I was some of the wood that got cut out, lol.

Looking back on the SBC in the 70's and 80's, I think the fine point that sometimes gets overlooked is reflected in my sense that something un-Baptist was taking place, which ultimately led to my decision to more or less exit the SBC, though not Baptist life itself.

As I have recounted on this blog (in posts a couple of years ago), in my younger years, I considered myself a good conservative Baptist, even a fundamentalist, if by that one means believing the fundamentals, high view of scripture, high Christology, substitutionary atonement, etc.

But when I applied to the IMB as a journeyman (2 year volunteer missionary) in 1989, I found that my application got stalled because I happened to be a member of a church that was perceived as too moderate by some CR loyalists that had gotten themselves appointed to the mission board.

In the process of defending my application to be a missionary, I got pulled into some conversations with the CR loyalists in which I began to see that loyalty to Christ alone and adherence to a certain set of theological principles was not enough for those folks; it became clear that it would also be an unwritten but nevertheless real condition of my participation (i.e. my ability to be appointed or to advance) that I give my loyalty to CR leaders, their ideas, and their program. They said they were defending Jesus and the Bible, but in doing so, I felt in my spirit that they were actually getting between me and the Bible, expecting me to give a complete and unquestioning loyalty to men and not to God.

When they perceived that loyalty to the personalities of the CR leaders was not the highest priority for me, one of the CR loyalists at the IMB then proceeded to disparage me and falsely accuse me of unrepentant sin based on secondhand testimony from another CR loyalist who was a member of my church and also a lower-level employee of the IMB.

After a lengthy battle in committee, I was able to defend my character and was finally appointed to the IMB as a volunteer missionary, but I'd already begun to feel differently about the SBC. I'd never expected to be attacked in such a malicious and personal way by fellow Baptist believers. It was an eye-opener for sure.

Even so, I can still see the good, honest, and earnest desire to serve Christ of many people within the SBC. As for my experience, after all, there was a great benefit, which was learning to get comfortable in the truth that as nice as individual churches and denominations are, in the end, only God is our home and place of rest.

Christiane said...

Liam, do you know who it was who appointed that CR loyalist to the IMB ? I mean the 'loyalist' who persecuted you?
I have wondered if the persecution goes back to one leader, or if the persecution was something so inherently acceptable in the CR philosophy, that apparently it was given open expression when 'control' was taken over the SBC. In short, how widespread was that open persecution in the CR?

You know, people agree on what 'evil' is.
They just don't agree on 'when' evil is 'allowed' to be used.

Some say 'never' in the Name of Christ. They observe God's laws.

Others embrace evil as a means to an end, in spite of God's moral law and Christ's law of charity.
Your persecutor might have been such a person.

Liam Madden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liam Madden said...

Christiane,

I could name the Area Director who engaged in the strong (and baseless)personal attack on me, and I could name the CR leader to whom he gave the most lip service, but out of courtesy of course, I won't, although I don't mind saying that the latter was a then prominent Texas Baptist preacher.
Most area directors started out and worked as field missionaries until they were promoted to administrative duties, and that was also true in the case of the area director who attacked me.

The level of authority exercised by the person who attacked me shows that Dr. Keith Parks and other senior administrators of the IMB were, in fact, willing to promote the most conservative Baptists to positions of authority rather than shutting them out as today's defenders of the CR like to claim. In other words, in fairness to the conservatives, Dr. Parks tried to make sure that there was a broad representation of Baptist views at the IMB with conservatives serving alongside moderate Baptists in the administration. Once in those positions, though, the CR folks went on the attack. Co-existence wasn't enough for them; they wanted total control.

Years afterward, Dr. Parks told me how CR-influenced trustees of the IMB nitpicked other missionary applicants' applications just as they had done mine, wasting many valuable hours of his time in committee. Once, in frustration, he told the hostile trustees: "You know that the things that you are picking over in these applications are baseless. What do I have to do to put a stop to this?" And they said: "It's simple: support the CR."

Fortunately for me, Dr. Parks still had enough strength of will and enough free-thinking Baptists under him at the IMB to help push my application through before he was finally forced out. I'm grateful for that because serving in Thailand as a journeyman was probably the high point of my life thus far and very transformative for me in terms of my Christian walk and discipleship.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade:

On Emmanuel Website, for the 3rd sermon : Without Love I Am Nothing for Love Never Fails, the MP3 of the sermon is missing.

Thanks.

B Nettles said...

Kevin,
Why is live streaming important? To me, it's better to be able to pause the audio to take better notes, wake up, etc. Live streaming also locks one in to a specific time. That's not necessary, unless you want to make sure people are listening only to you at "church time." Ha!

Or are you looking for a site that supports MP3 download/streaming? I guess it all depends on what you mean by "live." As a mostly premillenialist, I think "live streaming" means you're listening as the sermon is being preached. As an amillenialist, you may think "live" doesn't really mean "live." I can live with that because of grace.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dr. Nettles,

I suppose in this case live pretty much means all the above.

But now that I have made some folks mad complaining about it, I might be willing to pray for a rapture sooner than later. :)

K

Rex Ray said...

Liam,
My son was running a ‘boys camp’ and some men asked him if he would like to run the ‘Southern Baptists Baptist Village’; about 40(?) miles from Jerusalem. (He eventually had three sons born there.)

I believe he was interview by the same hostile trustees you encountered.

He wanted the job very much but for a while he was in trouble because he didn’t know what ‘inerrancy’ meant.

He finally told them he believed if you prayed about a matter, you could open the Bible and put your finger on a sentence and that was God talking to you.

These guys just about did back flips they were so overjoyed. They called him ‘The Real Deal’.

My son had repeated what my father told him. I believe my father believed that from a book where two friends loved the same girl.

She married one that was lost at sea. After five years she opened the Bible and read, “He sleeps beneath the palms.” She said, “That means nothing to me” and married his friend. Later the sailor returned broke and broken. He had a person swear not to reveal his identity until he died. The book ended: “The town never saw a more costly funeral.”

And if the book hadn’t been written…who says God doesn’t work in mysterious ways? :)

Liam, you mentioned Keith Parks. I’ve never met his wife, but she asked my cousin if he was related to Rex Ray the blogger. Told him, “I believe ever word he writes.” Ha, how’s that for tooting your own horn or does that put a bull’s eye on me from guys like Joe?

Enjoyed your comments even if they are sad. My father always said, “Truth needs no defense…it only needs to be heard.”

Liam Madden said...

Rex,

Thank you for your post and your story. I've enjoyed reading your posts here over the last several years. Funny you mention Dr. Parks' wife. At the time I began my application to the IMB (1989), I was a new member of First Baptist Church, Richmond VA and Helen Jean Parks taught the college-age Sunday school class that I ended up in. It was a large class and I thought she took little notice of me. One Sunday in an evening service, I happened to be seated in the pew behind the Parks and after we all finished singing a hymn, she turned and complimented me on my bass singing voice. She had a strong presence and knowing who she was, I had been somewhat intimidated by her, but after her gracious remark, I thought she was a sweetie. That's also probably the only time Dr. Parks took any notice of me before my missionary application became an issue at the IMB. It brings back memories. I was a Georgia boy a long way from home and glad to have found a church home in FBC Richmond VA. Little did I know that my future wife was also visiting there as a college student. Later, we were married in FBC Richmond on April 23rd, William Shakespeare's b'day, a good day for two grad students majoring in English to wed.

Spiritual Samurai said...

Dear Wade,

I cannot count the times other "brothers" have questioned my salvation.

Praise be to my Lord Jesus that I do not.

Joe Blackmon said...

one of the CR loyalists at the IMB then proceeded to disparage me and falsely accuse me of unrepentant sin based on secondhand testimony from another CR loyalist who was a member of my church and also a lower-level employee of the IMB.

Falsely accuse, eh? This coming from someone of a theological stripe that no doubt opposed the disfellowshipping of Broadway. I have no doubt whatsoever that you have problem with them having members living as couples with members of their own gender. Therefore, your definition of "baseless accusations of unrepentant sin" are, how you say, questionable.

Liam Madden said...

Joe,

You're not the first to make the argument that I must have deserved to receive the treatment that I did at the IMB. I guess its easier to believe that than to face the truth of what really happened there to me and to others.

At the time that I applied to the IMB, I had been the #1 student at my college academically, president of student government, vice-president of the Baptist Student Union, and chaplain of my college fraternity. (I do not say these things to boast; I had prayed to the Lord for him to bless me with excellence, so that I could be a witness for him. Whatever I achieved, I had promised to give Him the glory, and I did). People who knew me, also knew this. But the CR types at the IMB didn't know me, and didn't care who they were trying to ruin when they attacked me. I'm glad that the Lord let me beat them and I got appointed anyway.
It's important for you to remember that their accusations against me were proven false, or I never would have been appointed. Is everything just politics with you, Joe? Or do you not also have some regard for the truth?

In addition to my service listed above, I had already been on one mission trip to Africa and afterward visited seven churches in three different states, traveling at my own expense to speak in support of Southern Baptist missions. It was a time in my life when I was on fire for the Lord. I was sold out for Jesus and very loyal to the SBC and its causes. That changed when I saw that we were shifting to system where loyalty to men was more important than loyalty to God.

I think you really need to look in the mirror and check yourself. The ugliness of your words and the readiness of your attacking spirit don't mesh with my understanding of Christian brotherly love. Remember the words from I John, that you can't say that you love God on one hand and then turn and hate your brother on the other. Similarly, James tells us that you can't have blessing coming out of one side of your mouth and cursing out of the other side. Why don't you consider apologizing to me? That would be the Christian thing to do.

Wade Burleson said...

Liam Madden,

Blessings to you, and a hearty Amen to both your testimony and your admonishment of our brother in Christ.

Joe Blackmon said...

Liam

Well, I'll answer your request for an apology with a question. I mean, I already know the answer but anyway, are the homosexual couples who are members of Broadway living in unrepentant sin?

Liam Madden said...

Dear Joe,

I don't mind answering your question unequivocally. I do not believe that the Bible supports or approves of the homosexual lifestyle, and neither do I.

But at the same time, I find your question and its preface a bit odd. You said:

"I mean, I already know the answer but..."

It will take some humility to admit that you've been unnecessarily rude to me.

To his credit, the CR loyalist who attacked me at the IMB did later phone me to apologize and admit his error. Will you do the same? If not, it's not necessary. I forgive you anyway.

Joe Blackmon said...

I have to admit, I sure didn't expect that response. I was wrong. I also have to admit that your description of unfounded accusations of unrepentant sin are not questionable since, of course, I don't know you from Adam's housecat, I don't know what you were accused of, and don't know if it was true or not. If you say it was proven false, it must have been proven false.

Liam Madden said...

Joe,

Thank you. I appreciate that you are a defender of the Bible and Biblical values.

I won't be blogging here as much in the coming weeks because the new semester is starting, and it's back to work for me.

Best wishes to you, pastor Wade, and all here for a blessed and prosperous 2010.

To all readers, I invite you to visit my blog of my Asian travels and studies:

http://www.postcardsfromasia.blogspot.com

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...

Wade,

V Domus asked:

Does this broad attitude include everyone, say Catholic Christians?

Would it be putting words into your mouth to say that you acknowledge believers from every Christian tradition as believers based on their profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? Isn't that the essential point of your post? And that includes a large number, perhaps even most, professing Catholic Christians?

After all, it is one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism. The differences are matters of tradition, not faith, aren't they, at least according to the Holy Spirit as expressed through Paul in Ephesians 4?

Greg Harvey

john said...

Wow, can't believe no one has an argument about the revival being in the saloon....

Also, I have great friends who are Catholic, wonderful Christians, saved by grace, going to heaven with me. Good to see support there too today.

Wade, Maybe you ARE rubbing off on people!!!! There seems to be more grace here than judgment… and I had my doubts that you could change minds, I stand corrected.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg Harvey,

That is precisely what I am saying.

:)

Lydia said...

"I think the problem is we relish telling people they are not Christians, we relish getting angry in the name of God, then we thoughtlessly crush the message of the Bible by saying that the above is love. There is a Greek word for that.
"

Debbie, I figured some would see it that way. To me, that is interpreting the text through our institutional filter.

But if we look at the NT Body, they were small in number, knew each other and were much less authoritarian with titles, offices, etc. What to do with a professing believer in their midst who is flaunting his sin?

If we look at 1 Corin 5 through that filter, it is totally different than what takes place today. For example, who was the pastor of that church? The elders? We don't know and it does not matter to the situation.

I think our institutional filter makes it hard for us to see a small group of people who love someone so much they are willing to do something drastic,like asking him to leave,in order to save his eternal life.

Gene S said...

Liam, et.al--

I am away from my computer more than near it right now. My daughter is dealing with a life-threating tragedy after 15 years of marriage to an abusive man who is both suicidal and homocidal. I need not describe more.

You can got to babyboomlearner.com to find detils.

I found since 1979 exactly what you reflect. It is so political that to describe it as theological would be a lie. Wade's blog, some weeks ago, clearly shows what was argued then about Inerrancy is now being admitted to be EXACTLY what the Moderates were trying to say--just a smoke screen when any good and intelligent theological and biblical student should have known otherwise.

Now, I'm going to try and give our conservative brothers, especially Rev. Blackmon, another chance to get off the theological peripherals of whether Hitler was "saved" and just stop to share a personal testimony as I already have.

In this, we just might find more in common among all of us who love the Lord and His Inspired Word.

Please, at least, some of my fellow blogers, GIVE PEACE A CHANCE as we start a New Year together.

We have so many national and international issues right now, we had best get to praying and witnessing rather than fussing and fighting! President Obama is with us for the next 3 years AND so will be this war. It would be a shame if we went back to the caves with a nuclear holocaust while Baptist were killing each other over religion as well.

It could really happen--not joke!!!

Joe Blackmon said...

Gene,

Just who are you to determine the direction of a comment thread on someone else's blog? Who are you to demand anyone post anything just because YOU said do it?

Of course, pride goes before destruction so, for my part, I hope you keep it up.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Lydia: I agree with you that in some cases that may be necessary. As Wade has shared, it has had to be done a few, very few times.I must say though that it has nothing to do with any "institutional" thinking nor do I really understand your use of such a word. I do see it as Biblical teaching. We don't just kick people to the curb because of sin. If that were the case, we should all be kicked to the curb.

It is a last resort not a first or even a second,if you read the whole of scripture, and it is still done with love, not anger, and when it has to be done it is always to be done with the door of restoration always open.

It doesn't go against what I have said at all.

Christiane said...

There is another way to look at this:

the early Church had a plan for the preparation of 'catechumens' who were being prepared for their Baptism.
They were not allowed to partake of 'the Thanksgiving' (Lord's Supper) until their Baptism at Easter.

Soooo . . . the service was divided into two parts:
first, the Service of the Word
second, the service of the 'Thanksgiving' or the 'Eucharist'.

The catechumens had to leave after the first part.

What does this have to do with 'Church Discipline'?
Well, ALL baptised members who regularly received communion during the Service of the Eucharist WERE ASKED to repent and confess their sins BEFORE receiving communion, so that it would not be taken 'unworthily'.
Part of this, also, was the request to make peace with one another and to right injustices if one had hurt someone, before coming to the Table of the Lord.

'Ex-communication' is based on being able to attend the Service of the Word'
but being asked NOT to partake of the Service of the Eucharist until repentance has sincerely been reached and confession made.

As far as 'retaining' and 'remitting', that was a matter for the Church leaders.

This is complicated, I know.
But there may be something in the history of the early Church that can provide insight into what is being done today.
I'm not sure how this works in a non-liturgical Church, so this info may not apply.

In short, 'casting out' may simply mean 'don't come to the Table of the Lord' UNTIL you are sincerely repentant of the harm you are doing to yourself and others, and seek forgiveness from the Lord.

Louis said...

"Of course, pride goes before destruction so, for my part, I hope you keep it up."

Joe, just for clarity's sake: Are you saying that you hope that our brother Gene will be destroyed?

Joe Blackmon said...

Nah, more like disiplined and made to see the error of his mainstream/moderate theology. Kinda like I Timothy 1:20-that sort of thing.

Gene S said...

Joe--

An image comes to me from SEBTS days in 1967-70. It happened in intermural sports whether it was football, baseball, or basketball:

The guys who were the most dedicated conservatives were also the ones who "played mean." They would kick, bite, clip, elbos, etc. just to win and didn't care who got hurt.

A fellow who looks much like Joe came charging down on me at kickoff in the football game. I let him come and took my time. At about 3' from me, I simply lowered my shoulder and hit him in the kneecaps!

Did he ever roll over my shoulder and splat on the dead burmuda grass turf and scapped about 4" of skin off the side of his face! I hope he had to preach that Wednesday evening and explain it to his church!!!

Beware the smiling "liberal" who does notice how mean and foul tempered a "conservative" can be!!!!!!!

Gene S said...

Since we are trying to start the New Year with a smile, I thought I would share this in our word environment:'

Food for Thought

- If you take an Oriental person and spin him around
several times, does he become disoriented?

- If people from Poland are called "Poles," why aren't
people from Holland called, "Holes"?

- If you mixed vodka with orange juice and milk of magnesia,
would you get a Phillip's Screwdriver?

- If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

- If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

- When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts,"
and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other
penny?

- Why is the man who invests all your money called a
broker?

- Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just
stale bread to begin with.

- Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist,
but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

- Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

- Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

- If horrific means to make horrible, doesn't terrific
mean to make terrible?

- Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

- "I am." is reportedly the shortest sentence in the
English language. Could it be that "I Do." is the longest
sentence?

- Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4's"?

- Why is it that if someone tells you that there are
1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them,
but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will
have to touch it to be sure?

Lydia said...

"e don't just kick people to the curb because of sin. If that were the case, we should all be kicked to the curb.

It is a last resort not a first or even a second,if you read the whole of scripture, and it is still done with love, not anger, and when it has to be done it is always to be done with the door of restoration always open.

It doesn't go against what I have said at all.

Wed Jan 06, 02:37:00 AM 2010

Debbie, once again, we are back to full circle. You are actually agreeing with me.

What you have been trying to do is set up some sort of strawman making it look like I was saying that all sin should be treated as re 1 Corin 5.

If one reads the whole thread it seems to me one would have to see that you and others have made it sound like there should be NO discipline at all for those who practice sin in the Body. After all, we are all sinners.

You have missed the most glaring point of 1 Corin 5, SINNERS are counseled to kick out A SINNNER.

HOw do you square that one?

But Paul even gives us a list of sins in 1 Corin 5.Ever notice that? It is similar to a list in Galatians and Revelations. These are indicators that if we are practicing such sins while confessing Christ we should know that we will not enter the kingdom.

You want to make such declarations that are in scripture to sound mean and hateful. They aren't or they would not be there as warnings.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Lydia: IT is where your emphasis is that I am having a hard time with. There is more to scripture than just warnings. There is much more. As Christian to Christian our business is restoration not destroying someone.

Joe: I always have a problem with your type of "biblical justice." What if you are the one who is wrong, should the same thing you are cursing on Gene come to pass on you? Think about that. Also think about what Christ died for.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Lydia: I also have a difficult time with the glee that is felt by some when pointing out these warnings. Is that sin? The glee? Is it sin? I believe it is.

Christiane said...

Ideas for helping someone in trouble:

Let them know that they are more important to you than their offenses. We are told that God loved us and sent His Son while we were still in sin.

Be someone who listens to them, without judgment. Just listen. People in trouble need so much for someone to listen. Does the Lord not listen to us when we need to talk with Him in our trouble?

Ask if you can help them in some way to overcome their trouble, as a Christian friend. Tell them you will tuck them 'in your sleeve' and keep them before God in prayer, until help comes to them.

Be there.
Just BE THERE with them. As a mother would care for a child who had done something very wrong, they cannot understand yet, maybe.
In the Lord's time, He will help them. He will not abandon them.
You mustn't either.

These are what we can do for someone who is in trouble. Our care for them will help turn their faces towards the Lord again. We must be patient and loving, in the midst of their brokeness.