Friday, May 23, 2008

Jesus Never Said?

I have read such opinions before like this one over at GCMWatch, so many times. Frankly, it is often used as just an excuse to try and get around an issue of sinful sexual deviancy that people just don't want to face.

My previous post was about protecting children from porn in libraries. In the comment section at GCMWatch, one commenter acknowledged that porn addiction has had a stronghold upon his life for 25 years. IMHO, the commenter made some good points, but at the same time, was trying to show that tolerance and compassion alone trumps confession and repentance. I would ask, "Do you think that establishing a church that affirms your addiction would be a good thing?"

Where is the accountability? Scripture is filled with the need for Christians to be accountable to the church as a whole and individual Christians, in particular.

Yet, this is exactly what the gay "christian" churches are NOT doing. They teach the "love, grace, mercy and forgiveness" of Christ without acknowledgement of the sacrificial cross of confession, repentance (which means willfully turning away from sin - not celebrating it or trying to whitewash it through man's reprobate ideology) or recognizing the sanctification process that is to occur once born again in Jesus Christ.

Where's the accountability in that?

I'm not saying to "throw people out of the church." What I'm saying is that some church leaders are deliberately keeping people in the bondage of homosexual sin through their reprobate theology. This is the same error as The Doctrine of the Nicolatians.

The idea that "Jesus never said anything against homosexuality" just shows the ignorance of people who don't know Christ and haven't read and studied the Bible. If they had, then they would realize how ridiculous that statement truly is.

Unfortunately, their logic is terribly flawed. Since such people believe (and teach others) that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality - that must mean that it is okay, right?


Mission America (quote below) has provided excellent talking points that specifically address this very issue. However, I would ask readers to also keep in mind that other sexual sins are involved in the warnings within Scripture to "flee sexual immorality."

1Cr 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.


1Cr 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.


1Cr 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.


1Cr 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.


1Cr 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?


1Cr 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.


1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.


1Ti 6:11 ¶ But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.


1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2Ti 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.


2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.


2Ti 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.


2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.


2Ti 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.


2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,


2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;


2Ti 2:26 And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

1Cr 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.



Consider these facts from Mission America:

He (Jesus) also never said anything about rape, incest or domestic violence. Are those things okay, too?


There are many teachings and deeds of Christ that are not included in the Gospel accounts, as John writes in John 21:25.


Christ did say that God created people “in the beginning” as male and female, and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman joined together as “one flesh.” (Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9) Nothing is said about any other type of union.


When He discussed sexual morality, Christ had a very high standard, clearly affirming long-standing Jewish law. He told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) He warned people not only that the act of adultery was wrong, but even adulterous thoughts. (Matthew 5:28) And he shamed the woman at the well (John 4:18) by pointing out to her that he knew she was living with a man who was not her husband.


Christ used the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah*as an example of God’s wrath ( Matthew 10:15, Mark 6:11,Luke 10:12, and Luke 17:29). Throughout the Old Testament, prophets clearly described these cities as being notorious for the practice of homosexuality. (Genesis 18:20, Genesis 19:4-5, Isaiah 3:9, Jeremiah 23:14, Ezekiel 16:46-59). Jesus certainly knew that this was how the comparison would be understood.


Christ was God incarnate (in the flesh) here on earth. He was the long-expected Messiah, which was revealed in Matthew 16:13- 20, Matthew 17:5-9, Mark 8:27-30, Luke 4:16-30, Luke 9: 18-21,John 4:25-26, John 8:57-59 and elsewhere. As one with God, He was present from the beginning (John 1: 1-13; Colossians 1:15-17; Ephesians 3:9 and elsewhere).

So, Jesus was part of the Godhead as the laws were handed down through Moses to Israel and eventually to the whole world. This Old Testament law clearly prohibited homosexuality (Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:18 and elsewhere). The apostles understood this also, as shown by Paul’s writing in Romans 1:24-27, Peter’s in 2 Peter 2:4-22, and John’s in Revelation 22:15.

So--the apostles, who were taught by Christ, clearly understood that homosexuality was a sin as it has always been. When people say, “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality,” they reveal that they really haven’t understood Scripture, or Who Christ is. Maybe some of these points can help them toward a clearer understanding.


Two comments at my message board regarding the above quote:

"This was an excellent reply based upon the truth of the Bible. Christ is God, the Holy Spirit (God also) inspired the Bible's writing, So when God declared homosexuality an abomination in the Old Testament, it was in fact Christ (God) who was the one declaring that. So, Christ did say a lot about homosexuality...everytime God says it in the Bible, Christ (part of the Godhead) is dittoing it."


"Excellent indeed! ... John 1 explains that Christ was GOD in the flesh and was the Creator who made everything, including every word written by man to be included in the Bible."


* Jesus also said that the signs of the end times would be "as in the Days of Noah" and "the "Days of Lot."



Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.

Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.


Why do you think that Jesus made reference to both "the Days of Noah" and "the Days of Lot?" That link to a fellow Christian brother's essay clearly lays it out. We also see why when we look at additional Scripture:



Gen 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.


Gen 7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.

Job 22:15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?


Job 22:16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:


Job 22:17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.


Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.


Hbr 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.


1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.


1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

2Pe 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.



Note how warnings went unheeded.

Note how few people followed the Word of God.

Note the sexual immorality that was rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now, think about today.

What would Jesus have us do in these days?




See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9


HT: GCMWatch

37 comments:

Gary Baker said...

My favorite scripture to quote when people say that Christ never addressed homosexuality is when the the teachers were questioning him about divorce. He went right back to the beginning:

Gen 2:24 - For this cause will a man go away from his father and his mother and be joined to his wife; and they will be one flesh.

"This" reason. The only time any other pairing arrangement is mentioned, it is to demonstrate that it is contrary to God's law.

mike rucker said...

christine, i can't tell from you picture - do you carry a few more pounds than you want to? do you crave chocolate, or eat ice cream at midnight (like i do), or munch on munchies more out of habit than needing substanance?

how about blogging - does everyone in your family see you as having that outlet as just another slice in the pie, or might you be spending too many hours there?

just asking.

maybe i'm wrong. perhaps you're just like mr. hankey - "kyle - y'all smell like flowers...".

my experience is that the people who point the finger at smoking - don't smoke.

and the people who point the finger at drinking - don't drink.

and the people who point the finger at what might be called 'deviant sexual practices' - have copies of penthouse forum hidden beneath the underwear in their dressers.

we're all in this together, christine - all less than perfect, all trying to find a saving hand from the things we would rather not do.

pointing out the flaws in others helps to turn the camera away from us, but in the end only serves to drive us apart.

just my thoughts. have a good weekend.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Stephen Bennett said...

It's amazing to me how those practicing the sin of homosexuality, have turned to what they believe is Christianity to "approve" their sin. Fact is, biblical Christianity would NEVER approve of such an abomination - exactly what the Bible calls it. So, homosexuals "playing the part" of Christians, have turned to a church, pretending to be Christian, both approving their deviant sexual sin.

It's clearly the blind leading the blind - and both will fall into the ditch.

Last year, I watched as a self-avowed lesbian "minister" dressed in a costume like a priest, who gave a stunning comment about her sin and her "god."

She said, "What more two beautiful things can we embrace in this world - than worshipping God and celebrating our sexuality? We have come together in one place [her "gay" so-called "Christian" church] where we celebrate the two most important things in life: God and sex!"

Sounds really cultish to me.

I spoke with a gentleman a week ago by phone who opened up and shared: "I accepted Christ when I was 13 and I was born again. I strayed away and now a 50, I'm in a 20 year relationship with a man 23 years older than me. I'm also HIV positive. Homosexuality has taken over every part of my being, like an octopus with tentacles. In my heart, I know my life is sin before God. I really need help, Stephen."

I got this call last week and this man heard me talking on the radio in the midwest. Please pray for him - the Lord knows who he is.

This man KNOWS that he could never go to a "gay" church. He KNOWS his homosexuality is a terrible sin before God (his words.)

Thanks Christine for your ministry in this area - you are touching many people with the Truth!

We (SBM) are getting ready to announce this year's ministry outreach to those deceived by homosexuality - next week, and I hope you can be part of it this year.

Love to you and your family.

Stephen

Christinewjc said...

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your comments! I have company this weekend so my time is very short on the computer. I will be back to blogging briefly on Monday, then again on Wednesday.

Just wanted to acknowledge your comments.

Gary - Good point about how Jesus addressed the question about divorce. Going "back to the beginning" is important when finding out God's purpose for sexual relationships in marriage. And, as you said, any other "pairing" arrangement IS contrary to God's law!

*******

Mike - I think that you do not understand what this post is really about. It has more to do with people who call themselves Christian, yet do not adhere to God's Holy Word, the Bible. Heresy is a thing to be avoided. The Bible is full of such warnings. See Jude! The verse that discusses "pulling some out of the fire" is a reference to helping the deceived to be rescued from such deception and saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus told us that the truth of the gospel message would drive people apart! More later...

*******

Stephen - Hi! It's been a while. I agree that the gay "christian" movement is cultish. They often get involved in some downright bizarre practices, too. Don't miss this one!. I could NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS READING!

It just goes to show how important it is for Christians to counter false, reprobate theology. If it is left alone, it develops into even more bizarre deception!

Wow - that guy that came to you for help has had his eyes and ears opened to the truth! Thank God! YOUR ministry is SO IMPORTANT! The blindness of this generation against the deception of the homosexual indoctrination strongholds and agenda is astounding. People often fall for the lie of corruption and just accept it as unchangeable and "normal." The fact that many have been released from such bondage through the power of Jesus Christ is proof that those who preach a reprobate theology are involved with terrible error!

God bless you and your family and keep up the great work!

Love in Christ,
Christine

*******

Everyone enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

The following is a reply that was posted at my message board. I thought it would be advantageous for all to read.

Sothenes wrote:


Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

What was the plan from the beginning. I heard one pastor on the radio say that whatever plan Satan had with the woman was ended right there in Genesis 3:14 but there seems to be a progression or rebellion and changing the order of God's design that ends with homosexuality in my opinion.

Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Christine,

I usually get an argument when I quote "All scripture (graphe) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"-II Timothy 3:16

It literally says,"all writings God-breathed".

The argument is that the New Testament cannot possibly be scripture and what Paul is referring to is the Old Testament. This is a wrong assumption because of I Timothy 5:18:

"For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."-I Timothy 5:18

Paul links scripture with Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7.

"Jesus says that He cannot do anything apart from the Father (John 5:19). Here Jesus does not say that He chooses not to do anything apart from the Father, BUT He cannot (ou dunamai, lit., *no ability*). He does not have the ability for He is God, He can only do things that God can do."

Therefore Jesus has no ability to make another judgment that would contradict what God wrote through the inspiration of scripture.

The scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35) and was the word eternal (scripture) or made?

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jesus says those who keep his sayings is like a wise man who built upon the rock (Matthew 7:24) and the Bible also says there is a way that seems right to a man but the ways are of death (Proverbs 14:12).

1 Cor. 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

I'm missing a verse to put the emphasis or conclusion here.

mike rucker said...

christine - i'm well aware of what the post is about.

as i said to stevej on another post here, jesus was full of grace and truth.

you seem to think your role as his modern-day disciple is to only scream truth at everyone.

just trying to get you to put a little grace in the recipe occasionally...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Christinewjc said...

Mike,

The day you find a perfect blogger who is "full of grace and truth," please let me know.

Meanwhile...there is no crying in blogging!

Oftentimes, the truth hurts - it hurts the conscience of those who do not believe or follow God's absolute truth as found in the Bible!

Besides, God is the one who gives the grace; not his followers.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

mike rucker said...

Besides, God is the one who gives the grace; not his followers.

ha! that's about the lamest excuse you've used yet!

where does it say his followers have to stick to sharing only truth?

my wife always tells me i'll catch more flies with honey...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Sosthenes said...

Mike,

Every man has received the gift of grace (1 Peter 4:10-11) but "If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth" which is how we already speak because it is the oracles (logion) or "words or utterances" of God which is basically what God already said in the Bible and if we communicate what God said then how can God be not full of grace and truth?

Sosthenes

Gary Baker said...

It is a very true statement that Christ was full of grace and truth. What many people overlook is that he offered the grace to people who came showing confession and sorrow for their sins. For the people who came thinking that they were already righteous, they pretty much got their spiritual heads handed to them. We do no one any favors by stating or implying that a sinful life style is fine with God. He sacrificed so much to give us a means to rise above, not so that we can happily remain the same.

Christinewjc said...

Chris: Besides, God is the one who gives the grace; not his followers.

Mike: "ha! that's about the lamest excuse you've used yet!

where does it say his followers have to stick to sharing only truth?

my wife always tells me i'll catch more flies with honey..."


Perhaps you are confusing the word "compassion" with "grace." We ARE to have compassion for the lost. Perhaps I do not mention that fact often enough.

The truth is, postmodern Christianity is going in the wrong direction. I have been reading a great book that discusses all aspects of Apologetics. In one chapter, the stark difference between the Brian McLaren types who believe that Christianity needs to change; and the traditional Christian faith is what the truth war currently going on is all about. This is slightly different from evangelizing non-believers. We are dealing with those who either think they are genuine Christians, or are genuine Christians. It depends on which "truth" claims one follows.

It comes down to this: either God's Word is sufficient, or man's word attempts to replace what God has already said through His written Word and His Living Word, Jesus Christ.

Hopefully I will get to my next post today. Perhaps I should just include it in the comments here. The information I will share from the book is definitely related to my original post. In fact, it clarifies it quite well.

Christinewjc said...

Sosthenes! Are you the same "Sothenes" from my Talk Wisdom message board? Welcome to blogging!

Great additional point! Scripture clarifies so much of what man attempts to skew away from the truth!

Christinewjc said...

Gary: "It is a very true statement that Christ was full of grace and truth. What many people overlook is that he offered the grace to people who came showing confession and sorrow for their sins. For the people who came thinking that they were already righteous, they pretty much got their spiritual heads handed to them. We do no one any favors by stating or implying that a sinful life style is fine with God. He sacrificed so much to give us a means to rise above, not so that we can happily remain the same."

WOW! Your comment was so good it deserves repeating!

A hearty AMEN to that!

mike rucker said...

Gary: "What many people overlook is that he offered the grace to people who came showing confession and sorrow for their sins.

i agree with christine that this is a good comment.

so good, in fact, that i almost was able to overlook how wrong it is...

did the woman at the well come confessing sins? no, she was just drawing water.

i don't think we had any utterances of confession from the woman caught in adultery.

Jesus called Zachaeus out of the tree, and had lunch with him. that act of showing attention to someone normally reviled by the Jews was what changed Zachaeus' heart.

Paul even says the law kept us in death, and could never save. why can you not see that?

every religion has plenty of truths to share and put upon people. what separates our faith is the grace we have to offer.

so - which one of my paragrahs are you going to pull out and highlight?

thought so...

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Sosthenes said...

Christine,

Yes.

And when error is more attractive than grace and when grace can be no more grace because the truth can't be "attractive" then we're basically calling evil good and good evil and when that has happened then they have successfully re-written Christianity and exchanged the truth (Rom. 1:25) for a lie.

Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Sosthenes

Gary Baker said...

Mike,

I’m afraid that our definitions of “wrong” differ quite a bit. To me, “wrong” implies a factual error in the statement. There was none. Indeed, the “examples” you brought up exemplify my point far better than yours.

Zachaeus – He went looking for Christ, but not to declare himself righteous. In fact, the statements that he made after their initial meeting showed that he knew how far from the kingdom of God he was. His response? Repentance!

Luk 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold.

The woman at the well – Far from claiming any type of righteousness, but she did try to soft-peddle her sin, avoid the issue. Christ would not let her.

Joh 4:17 The woman answered and said unto him, I have no husband. Jesus saith unto her, Thou saidst well, I have no husband:
Joh 4:18 for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: this hast thou said truly.

The woman caught in adultery made no claims about herself at all. She simply waited in silence as her accusers disappeared. Christ’s parting shot to her: “Go and sin no more.”

On the other hand, take a look at those who came claiming themselves righteous. The rich young ruler was loved by Jesus and claimed that he had kept the law from his youth, but Christ still perceived that he had a problem with greed. Instead of being justified, he went away sadly. The Pharisees consider themselves the pinnacle of righteousness, and I think we know how Christ responded to them: “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you will never see the kingdom of heaven.”


I notice in some writings that you have on your website, you seem a big fan of compromise. I don’t know how you can compromise on the word of God.

Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

I certainly believe that Christians should be gracious to one another. We should bear with each other, support each other, but in such a way that turns each of us more toward God. I see nothing about calling sin righteousness that would do that. In fact, I can think of nothing that would be as effective at blocking repentance. God can offer saving grace. The best that we can offer is Christ. It is He, not grace, that separates Christianity from all other religions. Your reasoning seems unsound to me. I think that perhaps you might consider a more traditional definition when you proclaim someone as “wrong.”

Sosthenes said...

Mike,

Jesus still made reference to the woman's sin and the fact Jesus was revealing something that no ordinary person could know would have been enough to put her in check but had she had been like the Pharisees in Matthew 23 then we might have seen harder language. The fact that we are having this discussion shows this one topic on a particular sin is not in check. The one thing admirable about the woman is that she knew the scriptures and she was willing to come to the light (John 3:21).

Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither [any thing] hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

Sosthenes

mike rucker said...

we seem to be talking past one another. i don't believe any of my comments said truth shouldn't be shared. i step in here occasionally because the tone of this blog can be quite angry sounding and judgmental. that's why i asked christine to aoccasionaly 'add a little grace into the recipe.'

and the comment above was wrong - Jesus approached each person in a manner that would not have been common in the day - a Samaritan woman, a tax collector, a lawbreaker deserving stoning. yes, he still spoke truth, but not in his initial approach and certainly not without compassion.

it's like joseph of arimithea said: those who will love the most are the ones who have been forgiven the most. i have been forgiven of a lot, and i hope it comes across when i speak truth with anyone. you all can go ahead throwing The Book (literally) at everyone; know full well though that most of the non-churched people in the USA consider Christians hypocrites because of our tendency to offer a lot of do-as-i-say-and-not-as-i-do, or pointing out the log in someone else's eye instead of the one in our own.

i suppose our comments here show that it takes all types to make it work. that's my desire: to stand in the gap and pull people back from extremes.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Gary Baker said...

My comment was that people who came asking for grace received grace and those coming believing they were already righteous were shown the error of their ways. Like most liberal theological types, when you cannot counter the statement, you mischaracterize it (somewhat reminiscent of Satan recharacterizing God's word in the garden?)

By the way, Joseph did not state what you attribute to him above. Christ gave him a parable and asked him to discern who would love most. Christ then mentioned that those who are forgiven little love little.

I am glad that God forgives people much. He certainly forgave me much, and continues to do so. But I fail to see why people seem to think that a pull toward "moderating" the word or "compromising" on the gospel is a Godly thing. Christ's message was extreme. He could easily have compromised, and been rich and famous. That however would have defeated God's purpose. God's word is extreme.

Look at the Old Testament references. They were admonished to consider it constantly, when they got up and when they lay down, talking about it along the road, because the Word was their life. Consoling someone and telling them their life of sin is not bad is like spreading perfume on gangrene. It may cover the smell, but the flesh is still being devoured.

Tell me, how many people seek to repent from that which they are told is "alright"? And where are your examples of Christ telling people that compromising the scriptures was okay?

Christinewjc said...

Mike -

There is a difference between being judgmental and warning of the coming judgment. I think that the problem might be related to which type of Christianity you are currently following. In the book To Everyone An Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview, contributing author Douglas Groothuis mentions that one prospective student to the Denver Seminary objected to the webpage that declared, "the seminary's mission is to defend 'absolute truth'." Apparently, the student surmised that "those who believe in absolute truth think they have all the answers and are not receptive to dialogue with others with whom they disagree."

Sounds similar to your objections...no?

Groothuis writes:

He [the student] and been influenced in his thinking by Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christian. This is not surprising, because McLaren's book is an apologetic for importing postmodernism into evangelical Christianity. A hearty emphasis on objective truth and traditional apologetic engagement are two of the book's main targets.

I see your objections to me and others here posting at this blog as similar to that student's objections. Perhaps this is why you see us "talking past one another." When a person cannot accept that absolute truth exists and the traditional methods of apologetics are followed; then there is no doubt that we are destined to butt heads within our discussions!

I have read one book (unChristian) and am in the process of reading a second (Jesus for President) that espouse the postmodern approach to Christianity. Not every idea in these books is wrong or bad, but what Groothuis writes in this next paragraph demonstrates what they have in common:

There is little recognition of the profoundly unbiblical and irrational nature of postmodernism and the threat it poses to the articulation and defense of Christian truth. Nevertheless, many writers are claiming that since our society is postmodern (more pluralistic, less idealistic and less tolerant of absolute truth claims), the church and apologetics must bend in this direction as well.

The gay "christian" movement under discussion in the original post is but one example of postmodernism challenging biblical Christianity. They obviously have a different views than the traditional, biblical Christian Worldview. Groothuis' essay points out three categories of differences. He mentions different views of truth, rationality and language. The chapter cannot possibly cover all of the multifaceted and often convoluted varieties of postmodern theories. However, the following paragraph helps differentiate between the broader issue of postmodernism vs. the traditional, biblical Christian worldview.

Historically, defenders of the Christian worldview have argued that the biblical worldview is both objectively true and rational (Is 1:18; 1 Pet 3:15; Jude 3). It is derived from the Bible, which contains a true and rational revelation in linguistic form (2 Tim 3:16-17). That is, apologetics endeavors to show that biblical truth can be known to be true and that it can survive and thrive even when under intellectual attack (2 Cor 10:3-5). Apologetics is a command given to the church and cannot be ignored by faithful followers of Christ. While many attempts to undermine Christianity argue that it is false or irrational, the postmodernists criticize Christianity for even claiming to be true, rational and knowable in a linguistic form. This is because postmodernism rejects notions of absolute truth and binding rationality as well as the notion that language can unambiguously communicate matters of ultimate meaning. These claims need to be assessed and evaluated for the sake of Christian apologetics today.

I can attest to the differentiation included in that above paragraph! The two books mentioned above in this comment have this in common:

...the postmodernists criticize Christianity for even claiming to be true, rational and knowable in a linguistic form. This is because postmodernism rejects notions of absolute truth and binding rationality as well as the notion that language can unambiguously communicate matters of ultimate meaning.

Groothuis mentions "language games." He mentions that "truth is a matter of perspective only." ...therefore, objective truth is ruled out." This "perspective truth" is something that individuals and groups construct primarily through language. If such a postmodernist view is accepted, objective truth is ruled out in principle. "Truth dissolves into communities, ethnic groups, genders, power relationships and other contingent factors."

This final part is crucial. Remember now, we are not only talking about postmodernists...we are discussing Christians who embrace the postmodernist views within their faith:

"No one metanarrative (or worldview) can rightly claim to be true and rational account of reality. That would be arrogant and impossible. We are left wtih only "micronarratives" and "local knowledge." The idea of finding absolute, objective and universal truth is taken to be part of the failed "Enlightenment project," which was initiated by Rene' Descartes and brought to an end by Friedrich Nietzsche's attack on its rationalistic pretenses."

Because certain Christians embrace the postmodernist worldview [with either some, or all of its components], it is only natural that it would conflict with the historic and traditional, biblical Christian worldview.

There is so much more to discuss about this subject. I have just mentioned parts that I thought might help sum up why, as Mike wrote, we are "talking past each other."

Christinewjc said...

Hello peoples -

Had a long day away from home. Will be back with a new post tomorrow!

Tonight, I was thinking about the terms "mercy" and "compassion" and was reminded of these verses in Jude:


Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:


Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.



What do you think is the precise message being conveyed by the author in these verses?

Notice verse 22 says, "and on some have compassion, making a difference."

Why doesn't it say on all have compassion?

Here's a hint. The qualifier is found in the next verse!

What is Jude saying here?

Gary Baker said...

I believe that as followers of Christ, we should give both mercy and compassion to others liberally (which is just about the only context that I use that word in). Having said that, I don't believe that what Mike is referring to is either mercy or compassion.

Mercy implies some kindness or relief to an offender. Unless I'm mistaken, and he can certainly correct me, he doesn't consider homosexual activity an offense. I know that a great many liberal theology types do not. That being the case, they certainly are not asking for forgiveness for an offense. I also believe that it is anything but kindness to tell someone leading a doctrinally sinful life that they are living in God's will. That will perpetuate the situation, resulting in wrong teaching of others and more consequences for all involved. If we come across someone who is a thief or a liar, we don't say "Just tell them it's alright as an act of mercy." The compassionate thing is correction.

Based on Mike's writing, and again I fully invite correction, what he seems to be asking is that people stop saying things that offend people whether they are scripturally sound or not. Christ was warned about offending people. So was Peter. So was Paul. If they had heeded that advice, I doubt that we would have ever heard of them.

mike rucker said...

gary said,
"Like most liberal theological types, when you cannot counter the statement, you mischaracterize it (somewhat reminiscent of Satan recharacterizing God's word in the garden?)"

physician, heal thyself.

how funny (but completely expected) how you put a bunch of words in my mouth in your previous post, and then had the nerve to say i mischaracterize.

i think i remember someone in a previous comment saying people are tired of do-as-i-say-not-as-i-do Christians.

perhaps you should have read it.

i think i've said enough here. i'll let you all go on slapping each others' backs.

and the faces of those who are obviously less deserving of grace - including a gracious spirit - than you were.

adios, christine.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

Christinewjc said...

Mike,

Gary left the door open for you (or anyone else) to correct his last comment. Why are you just going to run away?

I haven't seen you address anything in my last two comments.

The purpose of Christians who are posting comments here is not to gang up on you, Mike. Our ultimate goal in all of this is to share the gospel and give people the reasons for the hope that is in us. We aren't "slapping each other's backs" as you have perceived it.

The truth is, we are ALL NOT DESERVING OF GRACE! INCLUDING ME! Having a gracious spirit is something that I, admittedly, need to work on. God is working on me moment by moment.

I glanced at your profile. It appears that you have deleted your blog again.

I think that my previous comment that discusses the differences between how you and I perceive Christian faith is evident in your "interests":

Mike's profile interests:

religion christianity ex-fundamentalist music songwriting emergent church progressive christianity liberal christianity theology hell

Obviously, we are on opposite sides of the Christian blogosphere landcape. You hate what I and other Christians in this thread share here. Have you ever asked yourself why?

Remember, too, that you have not always been gracious either.

That's why we ALL need to face one very important fact. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness through the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christinewjc said...

P.S. Just remembered that you moved your blog to wordpress.

I noticed that The Truman Show is one of your movie favorites. Just curious. What is it about that movie that you liked?

Gary Baker said...

Mike,

It's very easy to show offense and leave. If I have misstated your intent, correct me. I do not resent it. Get your views out there. I believe that I gave you very explicit reasons how what you wrote did not represent what I said. How about returning the courtesy?

I got into a disagreement once with a very liberal niece of my wife's. From then on, her standard reply was "you're not going to change my mind, and I'm not going to change yours." This struck me as both close minded and arrogant. My mind is very open to change, but you need to give me reasons. Have you got some?

mike rucker said...

ok, gary, here you go, if christine will allow me this uncharacteristicly verbose comment. $$$ to donuts these clear arguments won't change your mind - or christine's.

case 1: the woman at the well:
from John 4:
4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

what is grace? grace is unmerited favor. Jews did not talk with Samaritans. Jesus showed the woman favor...first, by going through her country, second, by speaking to her. Samaritans didn't deserve it; she didn't deserve it. His initial question: Can I have some water - nothing near judgment of her or Samaria.

this point is clearly in my favor - no argument valid from you at the least. Jesus may have seen her heart, and had intentions, but his approach was purely non-judgmental - the very fact that He was IN Samaria speaks to that. but you will ignore the obvious and try to swing things into a judgmental "you're a sinner" mindset, as will christine. your ears are closed; your eyes are blind.

case 2: zacchaeus
from Luke 19:
1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "

nothing from Zaccheus but "interest". yet Jesus invites himself to a tax collectors home - even though he expected disparaging comments about what Zaccheus has done as a tax collector - ie, accusations exactly like christine posted in this post, and you 2nd-ed. but here we have just a self-invitation to lunch, an act that drew gasps from the crowd.

again, unmerited favor.

case 3: woman caught in adultery.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

here's the key, something that you and christine have conveniently overlooked in your self-righteousness: "as though he heard them not."

unmerited favor, as clear as a bell.

i could quote you more, the most obvious being Jesus dying while we were yet sinners.

you will not hear a word of this. you will try to find arguments around it even before you've read to the end.

and so, again, i bid you adieu, to continue being 21st century Pharisees, whose only prayer is, "Lord, I thank you that I am not like him, a sinner."

these are not Jesus' judgments against sin; He knew what was to happen with that full well, and knew what the cross was to accomplish.

what it was was a separation of the sinner from the sin: this is something you and your Pharisee brothers (and sisters, as in christine) have never found the wisdom or the heart to do.

clear as mud, but you will try to pull some arguments out of your feelings of superiority, when you and i are just like everyone else, deserving grace, deserving the love of Jesus.

here - i'll go ahead and type your response for you: "Mike, you're exactly right, and I'm convicted in my judgmentality."

i doubt i'll see it.

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa
mikerucker.wordpress.com

mike rucker said...

on the truman show - was that directed to me?

the scene that cut me to the quick: truman reaching the end of the 'ocean', and touching the fake sky. everything he had believed he found to be a cruel hoax.

coming out of a conservative southern baptist background (i grew up in middle Georgia, after all), receiving with highest honors a master of divinity degree from a conservative baptist seminary, then seeing a God entirely of grace in my own life...

you draw your own conclusions.

(p.s. - i cried like a baby when he touched that 'sky' wall...don't tell anybody)

mike rucker

Christinewjc said...

I agree that the scene you mentioned was very powerful. However, the cruel hoax was done by a finite man.

This is exactly why God's Eternal Word trumps the words of any finite man.

I had a different take on that last scene. When Truman was given the choice to stay in a fake existence (almost robotic in nature) where he "would never be hurt," Truman chose living free (free will) and dealing with reality - even if it meant that he would experience pain, suffering and hurt over the course of his lifetime.

Jesus told us, "in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world."

The fake "god" - Cristos - in the movie tried to lord it over on Truman for his own personal, sick, gratification of fame, fortune and prestige.

Truman desired free will.

The true God of the universe gave us free will. And when we messed up, he humbled Himself unto death at the cross so that we could have our sins forgiven and life forever with Him in eternity when this brief life is over.

I don't see a "God entirely of grace." If He wasn't also a Righteous Judge, then he would be imperfect. Jesus will, one day, return to judge the living and the dead.

I have often thought of Romans 3 as a "mini-gospel." It contains the verse that I mentioned previously:

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

but it goes on to say:

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:


Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;


Rom 3:26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus

Notice that Rom 3:24 qualifies being "justified freely by his grace" with "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"

How was such redemption achieved? At great cost:

Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

And, only believers who confess their sin and repent - meaning, agreeing with God that they are sinful - will be justified through Christ Jesus.

That's not judgmental - it's the truth.

Rom 3:26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

It is not arrogant to tell people their need to repent. It's the truth.

Since you have been to Seminary you probably already know all of this. So...what's the problem? You don't believe in the need for repentance?

If not, then recall the attitudes of the two thieves on either side of Jesus at the cross. What did one do differently than the other?

mike rucker said...

interesting thoughts, christine - i almost see a heart in them - thanks for sharing. interesting how a silly movie like the truman show can reveal different sides to us.

mike r.

Christinewjc said...

Thanks Mike. I'm glad to read that you almost see a heart in my words.

I wrote the following essay back in 2004. I'd like to know what you think of it.

The more I think about this entire issue, the more I am convinced that what is really at stake is the choice between grace and pride.

Pride of self leads to all sin. Grace requires giving up that pride of self and releasing one's life to God through Jesus Christ and what he did for mankind on the cross.

We are all like the two thieves who were crucified next to Christ. One didn't fear God or acknowledge his Son as Savior and the other one did. The thief who believed in Jesus was told that he would be with Christ in his kingdom that day. What did the thief do for this gift? He accepted it. He was repentant. How do I know? Mark 15:32 reveals that at first both who were crucified with Him reviled Him. Then in Luke 23:40-42 one thief rebuked the other criminal who stated, "If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

That thief who rebuked his fellow criminal had a change of heart and realized that he was under condemnation for his sins. Verse 41 says, "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." That criminal turned believer called Jesus "Lord." Jesus became his Savior and Lord in the 11th hour of his life...even though he probably lived an entire life of sin.

What does this teach us?

True repentance recognizes our sinfulness, that we cannot save ourselves, pride of self must end before grace can be asked, accepted and bestowed upon us by God through Christ. There is no other way.

We cannot hold on to any sin...no matter what society would say, believe or do to dictate to us that any particular sin is "no longer a sin." It will always be sin in God's eyes and any amount of human rationalization will never change it. The only way out is to change from within...through the Holy Spirit's indwelling and leading. It is the battle between grace and pride that we all face and only one can win out in the end.


When we try to rationalize away any sin or ask for dignified recognition of "pride of self" in this life, it is like we are saying, "If you are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

Neither thief was saved from physical death that day, but one was saved from spiritual death. You could substitute any kind of person for the thieves on the two crosses surrounding Jesus. They could have been liars, adulterers, murderers, homosexual offenders, idolators etc. etc. and the list goes on. In each case, the one who confesses of their sin is saved...not the one who would condone their own sin.

mike rucker said...

'grace' vs 'pride'?

are you serious?

is that what you'd tell Jesus?

thanks for showing how screwed up your thinking is.

mike r.

Christinewjc said...

Perhaps it might help to read what I was reacting to at the time I wrote that piece:

Received the following email this morning and thought I would bring it into the discussion here. Even though the Catholic church's stand on teachings and doctrine are unambiguous towards homosexuality, there exists sub-groups that represent opposite views concerning the homosexual issue. I found this interesting because one of the two views must be wrong. Both cannot be correct! Such groups can make an individual person believe he can pick and choose which one he or she wants to believe...much the same as people posting in this thread have exhibited. But if there is such a thing as absolute truth...which the Bible declares...then one of these views cannot be truthful.

I will post some comments at the end of the article.

CULTURE & COSMOS

December 30, 2003 Volume 1, Number 21

Group helps homosexually inclined to live the teachings of the Church

Few practicing Catholics know such an group exists. Most Catholics
only hear about dissident homosexual groups. But Courage is an
organization working within the Church to assist homosexuals to remain
chaste and faithful to Church teachings on same-sex attraction. And it now
claims almost a hundred chapters worldwide and is continuing to grow.

Co-founded in 1980 Father John F. Harvey, OSFS, and backed by the
Holy See, Courage forms a "spiritual support system," for those trying to
be obedient to the Church's doctrine on homosexuality. According to Pat
Angelin of Courage and Encourage (the sister organization for families and
friends of those with same-sex attraction), it "is about striving to be
faithful to the fullness of the truth about the theology of the body."

For Catholics within the Church with same-sex attraction, there
had been little outreach until the organization was founded in New York
two decades ago. This had, according to Courage, forced such individuals
to "work out their path on their own .as a result, they found
themselves listening to and accepting the secular society's perspective
and opting to act on their same-sex desires."

Courage teaches that "homosexual inclinations do not make up our
true identity as rational or Christian persons. We are first and foremost
men and women created in the image of God.We can live a life of union with
Christ, through prayer, and we can know the peace of interior chastity."

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "tradition has
always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They
are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of
life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual
complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved." Courage
defends this teaching, saying that acting on same-sex attraction "can
never lead to a morally good sexual act." Today, the group encourages such
individuals to "gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the
Church's teachings," and "extends the Church's invitation to experience
the freedom of chaste living."

Other organizations, most notably Dignity, work in direct
opposition to the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. Dignity
believes that those with same sex attraction "can express our sexuality
physically, in a unitive manner that is loving, life-giving, and
life-affirming." According to published statements, they openly advocate a
"change in the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality," and they work
for "the development of sexual theology leading to the reform of its
teachings and practices."

Dignity believes that "neither scripture nor tradition nor natural
law theory.convincingly supports official Catholic teaching" on
homosexuality and states that "after much soul-searching, many gay and
lesbian Catholics have formed consciences that are different from official
Church teaching," and condone the homosexual lifestyle.

In contrast to Dignity, Courage aids those with same-sex
attraction live in communion with the Church through chastity, through
which "one finds greater freedom, peace and grace to grow in Christian
maturity."

Copyright---Culture of Life Foundation.
Permission hereby given for unlimited use. Credit required.

Culture of Life Foundation
1413 K Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 289-2500 Fax: (202) 289-2502
E-mail: clf@culture-of-life.org
Website: http://www.culture-of-life.org

Gary Baker said...

Mike,

In your rush to "bash" me (as exemplified by the many judgmental comments you made directed toward me in your reply), you have missed the crux of my comment. Here is the original reprinted:

"What many people overlook is that he offered the grace to people who came showing confession and sorrow for their sins.For the people who came thinking that they were already righteous, they pretty much got their spiritual heads handed to them. We do no one any favors by stating or implying that a sinful life style is fine with God."

Restating this as two logical expressions:

1. If you come to Christ showing repentance, you will receive mercy.

2. If you come to Christ thinking you are already righteous, you will be shown that you are not righteous.

Not an exact translation, but a fair paraphrase I hope you will agree.

The problem with your examples is that they do not address the initial conditions. None of the people that you listed as examples came in contrite confession or claiming righteousness. Therefore, neither of the statements that I made applies directly to those situations. I never said that only the people that came bowing before Jesus before everyone received grace. In your eagerness to put me down, you read what you wanted to read and not what I wrote. I understand it is much easier to win an argument if you get to tell your opponent what they said, but it doesn't work that way.

You may feel that I'm trying to avoid guilt by a technicality. Wrong. I am standing by what I said. Sometimes I make mistakes certainly, but I do try very hard to write what I mean. I believe in this case I did. If you showed me incorrect, I would gladly admit it, because I am a seeker of knowledge of the Word. You didn't quite make it this time. Please try again.

Have you ever considered dealing with the comment as opposed to the commenter? For instance, take a look at one of your earliest comments:

"and the people who point the finger at what might be called 'deviant sexual practices' - have copies of penthouse forum hidden beneath the underwear in their dressers."

What you state is unquestionably true in some cases and unquestionably not true in some cases. From a data standpoint, it has no value, but what about the underlying point. Suppose that it was true 100% of the time. So what? Would that make the truth of God's word any less true? Suppose that Adolph Hitler (or pick any baddie you want) came up to you and said "Murder is immoral." The fact that a mass murderer said it has no impact on the statement. The true stands on its own merits. I could be the worst sinner in the world. That would certainly affect my relationship with God and my witness to others, but how does it change the truth of God's word? It doesn't.

Somewhere along the line, many people have developed the attitude that if you can sling enough mud at the messenger, you discredit the message. Logically, that's a load of wet brownies.

Now, would you care to correctly address the comments that I made, or will you just continue sniping? Frankly, from someone in a technical field, I expected better...

Sosthenes said...

Mike,

The fact that Jesus doesn't outwardly condemn everyone doesn't mean that they aren't already condemned (John 3:17).

You might want to ask which statements of Jesus are filled with grace:

Matthew 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Matthew 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be *more tolerable* for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

The root word for "woe" is an exclamation of grief but it may be a statement of denunciation but I haven't studied it further to make up my mind which it is but Jesus did say that it would be more tolerable for one than the other.

What did they deserve in that and how did it show grace when no one is deserving.

Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

Luke 19:24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give [it] to him that hath ten pounds.


Sosthenes

mike rucker said...

thank you, sosthenees, for proving what i said above. how does it feel to be so predictable?...

mr

Gary Baker said...

Nothing is so predictable as the inability of liberal theologians to retreat into personal comments because they cannot defend their positions on the merits.

Sosthenes said...

Mike,

When I started evangelism I copied the method of John and I wrote on a bulletin board "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand" and people wrote "Uh..Is this a joke?" The disciples used this method:

Matthew 3:1 ¶ In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Why did John use this method? Jesus taught:

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Why?

Because:

Luke 24:44 ¶ And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.

In order to turn to God, you have to turn from something:

1 Thess. 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

So if you believe in God, Mike then finish the process and draw closer to God because you don't want to be like those who say they preach and believe in God:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

The truth is that the original disciples wouldn't baptise anyone that wouldn't repent because John said in Matthew 3:8 that you have to bring forth the fruits
"meet" (having weight or worth) of repentance.

Baptism is not just identifying with Christ but it is also saying that you repent of your sins and that is the power of the gospel. People try to confuse the message by saying they work harder than Christians and that is the power of the gospel but if you try to justify yourself before men (Luke 16:5) then it is an abomination before God. You need to bring forth fruits that carry the weight of repentance to show me that you have come to God or else your works are dead (James 2:17) works.

Sosthenes