August 9, 2015
APSit190 vs. the Gospel
The verses I posted last week were immediately taken from biblesupport.com, but a user with the handle “APSit190” responded. He never addressed the verses, of course, just complained about how divisive I was being. Here is my response to him:
“Hi to all and sundry,
I’m one of those crazy Christians which asks the “What’s the point” kind of questions, and one of those that does not go along with doctrines which cause disagreements, controversy, and arguments. I realize that there are heaps of them around, and that one can’t really totally avoid them. However, I seriously don’t see the point of them if they actually cause division among us.”
If the doctrines you are talking about are doctrines of the Gospel, then they SHOULD cause divisions:
Mat 10: (34) Do not think that I came to send peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. (35) I came to divide a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. (36) “Ones hostile to the man shall be those of the house of him.”
1Co 11: (19) For also factions need to be among you, so that the approved ones may become revealed among you.
Gal 2: (14) But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before all, If you being a Jew, live heathen-like and not Jewishly, why do you compel the nations to Judaize?
Rev 18: (4) And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, My people, come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues;
When it comes to the Gospel, disagreements are not disagreements over irrelevant issues, but over the ONLY important issue.
As a example, perhaps one of the most stupid arguments I’ve heard and come across, which caused one of the largest schisms in the church, was by two brothers, and that was over the gift of tongues. These two guys were (past tense because they are dead) Pentecostal, and so believed that the Gift of Tongues is still for today. So that in itself was not the issue between them. What the issue they were arguing over was that the gift of tongues was mandatory for the outward sign of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. One argued it wasn’t and the other argued that it was.
Now, I realize and am acutely aware there are non-Pentecostals here, and that there are those who actually believe that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as seen in 1Co 12, are over, done and dusted deal, and I have no issues with them if that is what they want to believe. That said, this is not what I am presenting a case on this thing.
Getting back on track.
And it was that argument which caused a major split in the Pentecostal movement at that time. One brother went over to the US and started up the AOG (the Assemblies of God), while the other brother remained in England and started the Elim movement.
Again, whether you agree or disagree that tongues is still for today, I really don’t care, as that is not the point I’m trying to make even though it can be one of those controversies.
Controversies and arguments over free will, the millennium, predestination, or whether or not there is such a thing as a personal relationship God, and heaps of other stuff which can be thrown in the circle we argue over.
And this is where you are wrong. You have taken certain doctrines that are irrelevant to the Gospel like (“the millennium” etc.) and thrown them in with doctrines that are FOUNDATIONAL to the Gospel, such as free will and predestination.
Those who believe in free will deny that God is in absolute control of everything, even the human will. They believe that Jesus desperately wanted to save everyone in the world but FAILED. They believe that salvation is of man, not of the Lord. They have a false god, a false christ, and a false gospel. THAT is why I say that separating from such people is a good thing.
I subscribe to the Christian Confession of Faith, and here is some of what it has to say about those doctrines you consider not worth separating over:
The truth of total depravity does not mean that all men are as outwardly immoral as they possibly could be. It means that every faculty of the soul of every natural (that is, unregenerate) descendant of Adam is completely polluted with hatred of the true and living God, and all of the natural man’s thoughts, words, and deeds (even his kindness, morality, and religion) are dead works, evil deeds, and fruit unto death. It means that every natural descendent of Adam owes a debt to God’s law and justice that he cannot pay. It means that every natural descendent of Adam is spiritually dead, having no spiritual understanding, a lover of darkness rather than light, a slave of sin, unable and unwilling to obey God and come to Jesus Christ for salvation. This truth is contrary to the damnable poison known as “free will,” which seeks to make the creature independent of the Creator and seeks to make the Potter depend on the clay, according to the devil’s lie, “You shall be as God.” [Gen 3:5; Psa 14:2-3; Pro 12:10; Pro 15:8; Isa 45:20; Isa 64:6; Jer 13:23; Jer 17:9; Mat 7:18; Joh 3:19-20; Joh 6:44-45; Rom 1:20-23; Rom 3:9-12; Rom 3:20; Rom 5:12; Rom 6:16-23; Rom 7:5; Rom 8:5-8; Rom 10:2-3; 1Co 2:14; 2Co 4:3-4; Eph 2:5; Eph 4:18; Col 1:21; Col 2:13; Heb 9:14; Heb 11:6] (Christian Confession of Faith, III.B.3)
Those who deny the effectual work of Jesus Christ, claiming instead that the blood of Jesus Christ atoned for everyone without exception (including those in hell), deny the very heart of the gospel. They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, these self-righteous boasters believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. These blasphemers deny that Jesus Christ made full satisfaction for sins and that Jesus Christ accomplished and ensured salvation for all whom He represented. They trample underfoot the precious blood of Jesus Christ, treating it as something of no value. They glory and boast in themselves, for whatever one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is what one glories and boasts in. There is not a single one of these blasphemers who is a child of God. [Psa 25:14; Psa 74:18; Psa 94:4; Psa 139:20; Pro 30:12-13; Isa 28:14-18; Isa 42:8; Isa 48:11; Joh 16:8-14; Rom 3:27-28; Rom 4:2; Rom 10:3; Rom 16:17-18; 1Co 2:12; 2Co 10:3-6; Gal 1:8-9; Gal 6:14; Eph 2:8-9; Phi 3:18-19; 1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 3:2-5; 2Ti 4:3-4; Heb 10:29; 1Jo 2:22-23; 1Jo 4:6; 2Jo 1:9] (Christian Confession of Faith, IV.C.6)
And with that we have schisms, bust ups, divisions and a lot of bitterness and hate in the Body of Christ. And when I look at this, it seriously makes me wonder of what is the point considering that is the end result of them. And it comes to this question, What is it really with us that we are like this?
The fact that you think doctrines that are foundational to the Gospel are matters that Christians should not separate over tells me a lot about you.
Furthermore, there is no division within the body of Christ, since those who believe in free will are not regenerate, and thus not in the body.
My best guess is that we have a lot of time on our hands and have nothing better to do than to argue, or that we are just so stuck in the mud that we just don’t know how to simply get on with it as God’s most cherished people that he sent Jesus to die for.
It’s not a matter of free time, it’s a desire to proclaim the Gospel to those who are LOST, even though they go to church every week, sing “Nothin’ but the blood of Jesus”, do outwardly good works, give to their church, pray for the lost, and generally think that they are “God’s most cherished people that he sent Jesus to die for”. But if the Lord came back, they would slide off of their church pews, and right into hell.
Mat 7: (22) Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power? (23) And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; “depart from Me, the ones working lawlessness!”
It is also a desire on my part that they be saved; but first they must realize that they are actually lost.
What got me going on this was when Dsaw put up a post of how he was doing an “in-depth” study of Free Will, and then wrote his thoughts, chiswadama [sic] comes along and puts in a huge refutation of Dsaw’s post that its God that’s in control and not man. So, when I saw that, I genuinely thought, “you gotta be kidding.” Are we so seriously stuck in the mud in the way we believe, that when it comes to interpreting Scripture we leave out the “what its really all about” bit, and that we can’t see the forest for the trees kind of thing?
Actually what I put up was verses that refuted the existence of free will. And note that it was about 80 verses. If the topic is so important that God would address it that often, what does that tell you about its relative importance to God? It says that God places great significance on a doctrine that you consider unessential in the grand scheme of things.
I note that the whole post was simply taken down, rather than anyone showing me from Scripture why I was wrong about those verses. Instead they just resort to whining about how divisive I am. Pretty ironic for a site called “biblesupport.com”
Now I got that out of my system, I’d like to leave you with this thought: Whatever doctrine we hold onto, and whatever belief we have come to regarding these doctrines, they are there, or should be there for one reason, and one reason only, and that is Jesus Christ. And if that is not what they are about, and they don’t point to Jesus in where they magnify him and exalt him, then they are pretty much as useful as a hip-pocket on a t-shirt. And here is something that is really worthwhile remembering, its not about you, its not about me, its all about Jesus.
Feeling better? Good. Then maybe you can tell me which Jesus you mean: the one who tries to save his people but fails; or the true Jesus of the Bible, who succeeds in saving ALL for whom he died?
Or would you just prefer to tell me why that’s a meaningless distinction that Christians can disagree over?