Anti-Christian Sermons and Calvin

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I was referred to examine Pastor Shawn Mathis’ blog ‘Did Calvin preach anti-ChristIan sermons?’.

http://pastormathis.com/index.php/2016/11/28/did-calvin-preach-anti-christian-sermons-a-response-to-covenant-preaching/

My response is ‘no’ if you truly understand the Gospel. Many in the Reformed Camp and outside of it have a very narrow understanding of the Gospel. I also believe their views truncate and actually misdefine the good news. They do that by making justification the sole issue of the Gospel. But the Gospel of reconciliation to God is so much more. It is also about us being made new creatures in Christ. It is about being regenerate (born again) and having a renewed spirit. It is about our daily sanctification and salvation. The Gospel is about our whole life before God.

I posted the following response in the comment section on Facebook where Pastor Mathis posted the blog. Someoone referenced Warfield saying that the passage concerning the Prodgal Son had no Gospel in it because there was no reference to the atonement.  In general I also am confronted by attacks on self examination and how we should view our obedience by those who truncate the gospel.  They have a few good points but you can’t throw the truth out because some misapply or misunderstand the truth.

My response…
“I will say this, there are different layers of the Gospel. All of our reconciliation to God totally depends on the person and work of Christ. But there are themes of the Gospel message that may be presented without specific acknowledgement of the cross. Repentance from sin and seeking reconciliation is a call to the covenant community. How to live before God and please Him is a part of the Gospel. As Bavinck noted, the Gospel restores the Law to its proper place in the life of the redeemed. The Gospel is more than the teaching of Justification. That is something many don’t understand now days.

Philippians 2:12-13
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Galatians 6:1-10
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

1 John 3:18-24
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

I have another example of the problem presented to us in a gospel that is truncated by being focused solely on justification.

Let’s examine the examples of Abraham’s faith. His faith is referenced two specific times in the New Testament. A lot of people make categorical mistakes when they try reconciling the writings of Paul and James concerning justification by faith. Paul is speaking about Abraham’s response of faith concerning the future promise of his seed. He is declared righteous without works. Genesis 15:1-7 , Romans 4:1-8 James presents a totally different situation as does Genesis 22.

A lot of people in their zeal for the doctrine of justification by faith alone in the Gospel make a categorical error when they present Genesis 22:1-14 in a typological way concerning the person and work of Christ. Abraham and Isaac are not typological of God and Christ here. This passage is about God testing Abraham’s faith. It is not about justification by faith alone.  It is about covenant obedience and blessing. If anything, and I am assuming here, the Lamb provided is typological and indicates that even our obedience needs to be viewed as imperfect and covered as it can only be accepted in Christ. James is presenting Abraham in a totally different context than Paul is in Romans and it is still Gospel.”

I am looking forward to Pastor Shawn Mathis’ follow up blog. He is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Concerning the Election

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Concerning the recent Election everyone is calling for healing and unity.  I want healing and unity but I know there are road blocks to it. As the scripture states, “How can two walk together unless they agree?” I want things to heal but that doesn’t mean we should soften and become lax on Moral issues or lax proclaiming man’s responsibility to call upon the Lord. We shouldn’t give in to compassion without reality. It doesn’t mean we take from those who have and make them support those who don’t. It does mean we care and volunteer to give responsibly to the needs of our friends. It means The Church steps up and accountability is restored in giving. It means we don’t give to sink holes who destructively tear down on a consistent basis. It means we become reasonable and responsible. Indiana Democrats are not in line with this. The Nation is not either. We need to get back to the Wisdom God gives.

As an opponent of Trump and supporter of Pence, I still believe Trump has major problems that we must acknowledge. And I believe we need to repeatedly remember to call him as well as ourselves to repent and to obey God often.

I only know a few guys who loved Trump. Most of the people I know voted for his ticket because of Obama Care (the supposed Affordable Care Act) and the fact that the SCOTUS has a few seats to fill. They were also frustrated with the ineffectiveness of supposed conservatives to act on the moral and economic issues they were sent to Washington to deal with.  They also voted against Hillary Clinton because she seemingly has no moral compass and the corruption she represented has worn us out.  So has the ineffectiveness of our system.  The status quo has done very little in addressing the cares and destructiveness of bad policy and bad law.  They promised to address those things when they were voted in and actually stood by and allowed the last President to do things that shouldn’t have been done.  People voted against things and for change.  It is uncertain what that change will be.  Trump seemed to represent an outsider who understood these concerns.  It seems he wanted to address and fix these problems as someone who was not aligned with the status quo of ineffectiveness.

Just to get an understanding why Trump seems to have been elected allow me to share a good friend’s comments from my facebook page.

Patrick McGraw stated,
“People are tired of being called labels by elitists. People are tired of seeing corruption being paraded in front of there noses with no consequence knowing if they did the same thing they’d be in jail.. Tired of executive orders going around Congress like a king.
I don’t like Trump much either. But he’s got a shot to make things better where we’d know exactly where it would be with Hillary Clinton.
One thing I know. When this election is over there will be a day or two of people upset if Hillary wins. Some will say she stole the election. We’ll say yep we’ve elected a criminal whose made her family rich beyond belief while SOS. We’ll know exactly who she is. But after all is said and done we’ll take the result and gripe amongst ourselves and know what would’ve been if it had been anyone but Trump. But we’ll all take it like we always do. Not much Saul Alinsky in this party.

But if there is an upset tomorrow all those peaceful full of love Liberals will take to the streets like we’ve never seen before. Sorry but the politics of hate come from the left and you’ll see it full force if Trump wins.”

Did you see the protests that were being reported as the results were coming out last night?  Patrick apparently is correct.  It does seem some of the Liberal Force is full of hate.  Maybe there is hate on both sides and we all need to examine what level of hate we have and where it can be fixed and healed.

After the Election results came in a close friend of mine stated,  “I want the country unified again, I want a congress and Senate to be Congressmen and Senators with out the (R) or (D) and I want them to be there for the people who voted them into office.”  I understand his desire but we have to be realistic.  The (R) or (D) or whatever is inevitable. There will always be a destructive force this side unless men see Christ as King. There will always be poor people as Christ noted. But that doesn’t mean we have to live poorly and in conflict if we learn contentment and goodness towards each other. Natural / Moral Law teaches us to care and lift up. It teaches us to love, respect, and accept. Evil men hate this.  They have proven to be Covenant Breakers, Liars, and Riotous against truth.

If we want true healing we need to recognize the importance of caring for others and disciplining our desires that oppose what is moral and good.  BTW, I am including myself in the list of people who need to be humble and repent often as I am a man with like passions that opposes what is good.  I need the constant reconciling work of Christ on my behalf. I am grateful he has sealed my Eternal reconciliation with God but I also acknowledge that I need constant reeling in and repentance from sin that is ingrained in my being.

 

Last night the Associated Press gave Trump the Election around 2:30 am. Now let’s see if Obamacare and the crap we have endured like the homage to and giving  of our funds to enemies by Democrat fiat.  Let’s see if these things can be repaired. Let’s see what can be done about our boarders and our House of Representatives who act as though they have tenure. If the RINO’S (Republican In Name Only) want to be liberal let them go peddle their Socialism somewhere else. Let them run with Bernie Sanders.  Let’s also get back and acknowledge Moral / Natural Law. Without God we are at best a depraved people doing as we see fit without reference to say when crimes against nature or anyone are wrong.

I am grateful the Clinton’s and Obama are out of our hair for the time being.

May God grant us repentance and the grace to repent from our immoral lives.  May we not remain silent concerning perversity, sin, and crime.  May we move forward and approve good things and care for our neighbor as Jesus Christ told us to.  Life is good and we should remember where that goodness comes from and reflect that goodness.

Remember, I am not a Trump fan.  Hopefully he can come to a place of understanding his need for reconciliation to God and become humble.  I do believe the call God places upon all men to repent is a never ending call until He comes to restore all things.  God’s first call to men is to repent from Idolatry.  All men everywhere in every arena of life are called to repent and act accordingly.

Act 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
Act 17:22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
Act 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,
Act 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Act 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
Act 17:27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
Act 17:28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Act 17:29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Act 17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

For those of us who have been given grace to repent we shouldn’t be proud or haughty.  God is able to humble us and remove

(Rom 11:13) Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry

(Rom 11:14) in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.

(Rom 11:15) For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

(Rom 11:16) If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

(Rom 11:17) But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,

(Rom 11:18) do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

(Rom 11:19) Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

(Rom 11:20) That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.


May we also remember to do as St. Paul told us.

(1Ti 2:1) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

(1Ti 2:2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

(1Ti 2:3) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,

(1Ti 2:4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

(1Ti 2:5) For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

(1Ti 2:6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Be Encouraged, Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords.