Saturday, March 29, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see.
When I have been there for ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the Sun,
I will have no less days to sing of Your praise,
Then when I first begun.
I will praise God whom all blessing flow,
Praise Him all you creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost.
And be thou my vision O Lord of my life
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation purchase of God
Born of His spirit, washed in his blood
This is my story this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song,
Praising my savior all the day long.
1. I do not believe in Total Depravity in which a person does not have the ability to reach out to God. Total Depravity teaches that man is dead in his sins just like a person who is a tomb; they are dead and can do nothing. Therefore a person who is dead in their sins cannot choose God because they do not have the ability. That is incorrect, the Bible continually speaks of people reaching out to God in which they have not been "regenerated by the Holy Spirit" and there are plenty of Scriptures that indicate that man was "unwilling to receive the message of the Lord."
2. I do not believe in Unconditional Election to where God has only given the ability for "some" to be saved and the rest were called to eternal damnation. The Bible teaches clearly that God loves the whole world and gave His Son that "whosoever believes" will have eternal life.
3. I do not believe in Limited Atonement to where Christ Jesus only died for some, that being those whom God determined on His own will to be saved before they were even born. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is for all mankind, Jesus shed blood is for all who will reach out to receive the gift of eternal life.
4. I do not believe in Irresistible Grace where those who hold to this doctrine believe those whom God has chosen to be saved before the foundation of the world would receive the message of Christ Jesus based upon the will of God, not their own. Those whom God has called will not turn away from God calling them is the view of Irresistible Grace, but the Bible teaches that there are those with whom God has been made known and "they were unwilling" to receive the truth. God did not create robots in this world in which we are puppets, God has given us all a will of our own to either receive Him or to reject Him.
5. The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints is a Biblical doctrine in which those who are truly born again and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they are saved not based upon their works or efforts, but based upon the promise of God keeping them safely in His care.
If any of you need scripture to back all of this up, I can get it for you. Its super easy to find, just open any where and start reading without the mindset that Calvinism is right and it will be obvious.
First look at John 3:16 'For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His one and only Son that WHOEVER (not just the 'elect') believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life'
Then...2 Peter 3:9 'God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.'
I am trying to be optimistic about this, but right now its got me just wrapped up in knot that so many people are dividing the body of Christ by believing in this lie and calling it harmless. It brings about arrogance and a certain amount of care-freeness as we are responsible for nothing, no free will, drones just out to do everything that was predestined for us. God knows what we will do, but that doesn't mean that was His perfect plan.
Look at this: in Jeremiah 19:5, God said, "They have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into my mind," He made it plain that it was not His will they were doing, whether decretive or preceptive. In other words, it was not the mind (will) of God that they should do such a thing. Nevertheless, the Lord permitted His people to exercise their free wills and do those things clearly contrary to His counsel (will). Things such as this are within the "will of God" only in the sense that He permits them to happen.
I would love to see this go out of style but hey, it says in the word that in the last days lies will divide the body, and that false teachers with false doctrines will rise up. And check it out, the body seems to be welcoming them with open arms.
Pray for me, I don't want to become bitter. If you could hear my tone you would see that this is more grievous to me than anything else.
So yeah, thats 'How I really feel about Calvinism'.
Well part of it anyways...I started chapter 2 but didn't get very far yet. Hopefully I will have time someday to be creative.
Law: Mr. Mostly you say that you did not realize you would be condemned for not…how should be put it…upholding the standards of the Bible. Do you feel as though you are being condemned?
Mostly: Yes I do.
Law: Why is that?
Mostly: Because I tried to be a good person. I tried to do the right stuff and now I’m here and I don’t understand why there is all this confusion, I remember..
Law: Can you please tell the court for the record the story of your conversion to Christianity, with a slight background of what you were before?
Mostly: (Timidly at first) Well I was never really a bad guy. I tried a few of the scene things, but I didn’t really think it was fun. I had a better time just hanging out and watching movies and stuff. I mean, drugs are stupid and so is drinking its like a waste of time and money.
I used to really like going to church on Saturday nights too. The church I went to had a coffee shop and it was open on Saturday’s and we would all go play like ping pong and hacky sack and stuff. It was a lot of fun, and its always better to be at a church instead of out like drinking or something.
I even got to go on missions trips and stuff. I helped build houses, and did skits for the kids. It seemed like all the people in the church really liked me too. They were always asking me to pray for them and stuff. The only thing I can think of that I didn’t really do well was like worship and the actual teaching. I never really got into worship, I thought it was kind of boring, just like singing. It didn’t seem to have a point. And I always thought the teaching was so boring, I would like check the clock every like 30 seconds to see when we would finally be done.
Other than that I tried not to swear, I tried to have good thoughts, and I basically did well I think. Or at least I thought before I came here… (Grace cuts him off)
Law: Did you ever read the bible?
Mostly: Well not every day but like every once in awhile if things started to go down hill I would pick it up and read something. Usually I would turn to Proverbs and see all the things I should do or to the stories in the beginning of the bible cause they were really interesting.
Law: Why is it do you think that you found worship boring? And the teaching boring?
Law: Well there must be a reason. Do you really think that everyone would keep going to church if they found it as dull as you did?
Mr. Grace: Objection Your Honor this whole sequence is argumentative.
Pentateuch: Mr. Grace not everything pointed at the witness is argumentative. I am finding this information useful as I think the jury is as well, however Ms. Law please keep the personal remarks and observations to yourself.
Law: Yes Your Honor. Mr. Mostly what I am getting at is that there is an obvious lack of interest in anything actually encouraging a Christian lifestyle. I myself know plenty of people who hang out every week and don’t drink or sleep around. That basically sounds like you, church was a social function for you.
Monday, March 10, 2008
The Court Room:
Setting: Court room, there are two defendants, Mr. Christian Mostly and Mr. Jacob (deceiver) Living, a prosecutor (Law), a defense attorney (Grace), a bailiff (Prophet), jury and the Judge.
In the opening scene everyone is in place except for the judge, who walks in first thing.
Bailiff: Will the court please rise, the Honorable Pentateuch presiding.-(wait until Judge Pentateuch is seated)
You may be seated.
[Everyone is seated and the Judge looks over at the prosecuting attorney]
Pentateuch: Will the prosecution please give an opening statement.
Law: Certainly You Honor. (Prosecutor walks out and faces the jury, very animated throughout the speech) Good day to all you the ladies and gentlemen of the jury. You have been called here today to partake in the noble business of upholding justice. I am here today also to uphold justice, I am here to try to show you that the Law will not be bent, broken, or forgotten. The defense will stand here in a few minutes and try to tell you that the defendant’s do not deserve just punishment. They will try to convince you that the law can be broken as it is able to be forgiven. They will try to escape the law that they love when it works for them, but when it condemns they hide; but I say no! (Pounds fist down on table when they say this)
(Points at defendant) These men are guilty! They have transgressed even the fine points of the law! They are murderers, liars, adulturers, thieves and so much more! They have no way to justify these actions and scant evidence to support them in their so called ‘innocence’.
I am asking you to try to uphold the law, and nothing more. You will presented with many facts, but you must see through stories and lies an find the truth. Thank you. (Law is seated)
Pentateuch: Will the defense please give their opening statement.
Grace: Thank you Your Honor. (scratches head and looks down for a second before beginning) Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you, as Ms.Law stated already for partaking in the event of upholding the law. I would like to say first of all that everything stated Ms.Law’s opening was completely true. My clients are murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, and so much more by our own admission. But I am here simply to show that there is a way that these can be expunged from their record through one thing, one simple act they committed years ago can void these treacherous, barbaric acts.
I ask you only to listen and deal accordingly. Thank you.
Pentateuch: Thank you. Would the prosecution please call their first witness?
Law: Thank you Your Honor. The prosecution calls Mr. Christian Mostly to the stand.
Bailiff: Mr. Mostly right this way (shows him how to get into the witnesses seat) thank you. Will you raise your right hand and put your left hand on the Bible please. Now repeat after me. (Defendant nods and repeats what he says) Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God? (Nods again) Alright you may have a seat.
[Bailiff walks down to the side of the room, defendant sits rather nervously in the seat]
Law: Mr. Mostly, are you aware of why you are in court today?
Christian: Yes ma’am. I am on trial for being a Christian.
Law: Is that how this was explained to you? Well that not quite it sir, would you like to guess again? (shakes head no). You are on trial because you are a murder, a liar, a thief; would you like me to continue? (shakes head no again and looks ashamedly down) Do you understand the consequences if you are charged with these accusations? (Shakes head yes)
(Law takes a deep breath and walks back to her table and picks up a folder full of papers) I would like to admit to the court article A, a list of trespasses committed by the defendant and confessed on their own admissions.
Pentateuch: Please approach. (Judge reaches out for the paper and nods his head yeas while handing them back to Ms. Law.)
Law: Thank you Your Honor. (approaches witness stand) Mr. Mostly I hold in my hand some incriminating evidence against you. This is here in black and white stating all your sin. Is any of this true? (Flips open top page) You have quite a record here. Stealing, here it says you stole from your own mother?
Christian: I don’t recall…
Law: Are you saying these records are false? (Christian opens mouth to say something but is cut off) Let me rephrase. Mr. Mostly have you ever told a lie?
Christian: Well…Yes Ma’am I suppose I have.
Law: So by your own admission you are a…what do you call someone who lies?
Christian: A liar Ma’am.
Law: So you are a liar?
Christian: I suppose so Ma’am.
Law: You don’t know so?
Christian: Yes Ma’am I am a liar.
Law: So when you say you don’t recall having stolen from your own mother I should…believe you?
Grace: Objection Your Honor, argumentative.
Pentateuch: Sustained, Ms. Law what is your purpose in these questions?
Law: Your Honor I am simply trying to see if we can take what this man says in his own defense to be the truth. He has admitted he is a liar…
Pentateuch: The court now understands that the defendant is a liar; please move on.
Law: Thank you Your Honor. (Flips open papers again and pulls out one sheet) It says here that you are a Christian. Is that true?
Christian: Yes Ma’am.
Law: And how did you become a Christian?
Christian: Well, I prayed for Jesus to forgive my sins and let me into heaven.
Law: Is that all? It doesn’t show any change in your records from the day you prayed, which I understand to be on the 7th of August, 2001 is that correct (nods) good. It shows no change in lifestyle…wait it looks like you stopped golfing on Sunday mornings for a few month after conversion. Other than that the evidence supporting your ‘claim’ of being a Christian is all on this sheet of paper. (waves paper in the air)
The rest of the paper in this folder is a list of transgressions. What do you have to say about that?
Christian: Well Ma’am when I became a Christian I stopped swearing all the time.
Law: Unless you were really angry correct?
Christian: Well Ma’am I’m not a saint.
Grace: Objection Your Honor, the prosecutor is argumentative.
Law: What do you have to say about your apparent lack of change after your ‘conversion’?
Christian: Well, I changed, I didn’t drink anymore, I didn’t smoke anymore.
Law: Do you think you are on trial for drinking and smoking? (Christian has a blank look) Mr. Mostly you are not on trial for drinking and smoking. That is not something we care about in the Law.
We would like to see the record of improvement in your moral behavior.
Christian: Moral behavior? Like was I nice?
Pentateuch: Mr. Mostly you are on trial with your soul in the balance. I would suggest you take this more seriously.
Law: Thank you Your Honor. Mr. Mostly how many murders did you commit after your ‘conversion’?
Christian: I never murdered anybody!
Law: (Walks to her table and picks up a bible) One more time for the record, you said you are a Christian, correct?
Law: As a Christian do you believe that the words in this book are true?
Christian: Yes I do…but…
Law: Your Honor I would like it noted that the defendant recognizes this book as an authority.
Pentateuch: It is noted for the record.
Law: Thank you. It says in this book, in Matthew, that if you are angry with a person, you have already murdered them?
Christian: Come on, everyone get’s angry with people and they’re not here on trial for murder.
Law: Yes but not everyone claims to live by this book.
Christian: So I am guilty because I claim to live by that book? That’s not fair.
Law: Why should it be fair? You choose to become a Christian correct?
Christian: I didn’t realize that I would be condemned for it.
Law: You really don’t understand the purpose of the law do you? (Sighs deeply)
Mr. Grace: Your Honor I would like to ask for a brief recess if you will.
Pentateuch: That sounds like a good idea. Court will reconvene at 14 hundred hours (slams gavel) dismissed.