I don't care if you want to translate it save or deliver or what, I'm too stupid to study greek and hebrew. But I know this that I am free from sin, and alive unto righteousness. I have been commanded by Christ like the woman caught in the act of adultry "GO, AND SIN NO MORE". I cannot fulfill that myself and that is why I am abiding in Christ.
Praise Him, Praise God, Glory!
| 2006/7/2 15:13||Profile|
I absolutely refuse to let you call yourself stupid when you are not !! :)
In the past, I tried to learn Dispensationalism and Calvinism, they both helped me a great deal in many areas of interpretation, and they both confused me a lot as well. I now see them only as humanistic tools for textual comprehension, rather than spiritual assistance in learning Christ through the inspired Text.
Francis Schaeffer, a theologian himself, once said that there are no games more gratifying to a man's ego than theological games. He also mentioned that we are living in a world of hyper-intelligensia. We have degreed preachers and teachers throwing Greek and Hebrew at us, some of them actually cause us to doubt our ability in learning Scriptures due to a lack of language skills.
Some seminarians also try to give us the [i]impression[/i] that they can fully understand, as well as to fully interpret Scriptures in Hebrew or Greek after taking only 4 semesters'of Greek or Hebrew studies in seminary!! That's unbelievable ! With Chinese as my mother-tongue, after speaking it for over 50 years, I still have trouble grasping 100% of it.
Truly The Holy Spirit alone can teach us whenever we are sincerely wanting to learn, despite the lack of linguistics skills, educational or theological training. I heard one seminary graduate once telling the bible study group, " God, without theology is dead" !!!
Mike was correct when he warned us earlier on that there's no perfect theological system.
As a Calvinist would say, Sola Scriptura,Sola Gratia,Solo Cristo, Sola Fide, Soli Deo Gloria, isn't this impressive? It's Latin?? Ha ha!
May God bless you all,
| 2006/7/2 20:25||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Francis Schaeffer, a theologian himself, once said that there's no games more gratifying to a man's ego than theological games. He also mentioned that we are living in a world of hyper-intelligensia,as we have degreed preachers and teachers throwing Greek and Hebrew at us, some of them actually cause us to doubt our ability in learning Scriptures due to a lack of language skills.
Some great thought here brother*
*Edit ~ [i]Correction-[/i] Sister
| 2006/7/2 21:48||Profile|
I am just atempting to show the path that this doctrin will lead some people.
According to Paul, the misuse of the Doctrine of Justification by faith will lead some to conclude. "Let us continue in sin that Grace may abound" and "Let us do evil that good may come".
But His answer to this was not to go back and restate his doctrine or to lessen it's meaning to keep some from "banking on grace to do evil". But rather the Apostle's answer to this seeming delimna was to take it to the next level. To say, "may it never be, for how shall we who died to sin live any longer therein? Or do you not know...
What is missing in the conserns of those who dare not preach free grace or eternal security of believers is on the one hand, a lack of a genuine realization of the true nature of salvation, regeneration and the new birth, and on the other, a failure to believe in Christ's own ability to work in those who are His. Rather they must keep their congegration in fear of damnation to keep them in line. As though Love of Christ is not produced in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and His work is not sufficient to transform us and to form Christ in us.
That is, Paul's answer is to show not only have we been freed from sin's condemnation and wrath through the death of His Son, but we also have been united to Him in an organic union, partake of His death to sin and His resurrection Life and are now "one spirit with the Lord".
This union brings the Life of God into us, makes us new creatures, and as a result, both judicially and organically, we are now free from sin, from wrath, and from the power of sin and have a new LIfe, a new Law of the Spirit of Life working within us and this Law is effective. It works. The Spirit within us does not leave us to ourselves but works the rightousness and holiness of Christ into us.
It is a lack of this view which keeps preachers in fear that if they actually expound the scriptures as written, people will behave improperly. They will consider redemption as liscence to sin with no regard to the organic and vital nature of regeneratin and the New Birth.
It never dawns on them that one in whom the Living Christ dwells, has a love for Christ and a desire to know HIm, be filled with Him and thereby be fruitful and pleasing to God.
To them, the goal of preaching is to produce well behaved "boy scout" Christians who do the right thing. But they are void of the vision of God's goal which is to form Christ in them and to bring "many sons to Glory".
NO doubt some will misues the truth as they did in Paul's day. Some will bank on grace to do evil. But keeping them under law and fear of wrath will not produce what God is after. But when the Truth, when Christ is unveiled and preached in the power of the Spirit, He translates and regenerates and transfomrs. And God gets what He is after, many sons with His Life, growing up in all things into Christ who is the head and manifesting Him and expressing Him as their Life.
| 2006/7/4 13:13||Profile|
| 2006/7/4 14:04||Profile|
Will we ever return to the days of living with Scripture alone? Christ alone? and God's glory alone? Will we ever stop writing to magnify ourselves?
I think the sentiment here is good, but it is practically a little impractical. It is not right to suggest that those who write, preach, or teach are "magnifying themselves". God did not just give us a book to read as an "instruction book" but rather gave us the Spirit to indwell us, to lead us into an understanding of the truth of the bible and to minister Christ into us and through us to others.
God has chosen us, His redeemed believers to be the base and piller of the truth according to 1 Timothy and has given to the church the gifted ones to minister Christ to us and into us to equip us for the work of the ministry.
God is not interested in just having an expression on printed pages but rather a living testimony of Christ, His body, manifesting His life on the earth.
I would also have to say that the reason we have ministers such as Luther, Calvin, Darby, Nee, and Lee and all their multifarious books and messages are because of the degraded condition in the church and the need to bring the church back to the revelation in the Bible. IN the dark days of the church, God has always raised up a man or men to sound the trumpet, to expound the truth, the recover the truth and bring the believers back to the revealtion of the New Testament. This is the history of the church for 2000 years.
And one might add that Paul wrote most of the New Testament, but do we say, "why so many epistles?" Why must Paul write so much?
And again, without translations which are accurate and up to date, the "bible alone" is not accessable. We need them. God has ordered it and God has given us these for our benifit.
I would suggest that the reason so many books are necessary is not because the Bible is inadequite, But rather it is neglected, set aside, replaced by tradition, and it's revelation not understood by the intellegencia and so there must be a fresh infusion of Life, a fresh unveiling not of anything new, but of that truth which is buried and hidden in the swamp of Christiandom.
| 2006/7/4 15:36||Profile|
| 2006/7/4 16:23||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| More practical wisdom ~ Wesley|
[b]The Question, "What Is an Arminian?" Answered by a Lover of Free Grace[/b]
[i]By John Wesley[/i]
1. To say, "This man is an Arminian," has the same effect on many hearers, as to say, "This is a mad dog." It puts them into a fright at once: They run away from him with all speed and diligence; and will hardly stop, unless it be to throw a stone at the dreadful and mischievous animal.
2. The more unintelligible the word is, the better it answers the purpose. Those on whom it is fixed know not what to do: Not understanding what it means, they cannot tell what defence to make, or how to clear themselves from the charge. And it is not easy to remove the prejudice which others have imbibed, who know no more of it, than that it is "something very bad," if not "all that is bad!"
3. To clear the meaning, therefore, of this ambiguous term, may be of use to many: To those who so freely pin this name upon others, that they may not say what they do not understand; to those that hear them, that they may be no longer abused by men saying they know not what; and to those upon whom the name is fixed, that they may know how to answer for themselves.
4. It may be necessary to observe, First, that many confound Arminians with Arians. But this is entirely a different thing; the one has no resemblance to the other. An Arian is one who denies the Godhead of Christ; we scarce need say, the supreme, eternal Godhead; because there can be no God but the supreme, eternal God, unless we will make two Gods, a great God and a little one. Now, none have ever more firmly believed, or more strongly asserted, the Godhead of Christ, than many of the (so called) Arminians have done; yea, and do at this day. Arminianism therefore (whatever it be) is totally different from Arianism.
5. The rise of the word was this: JAMES HARMENS, in Latin, Jacobes Arminius, was first one of the Ministers of Amsterdam, and afterwards Professor of Divinity at Leyden. He was educated at Geneva; but in the year 1591 began to doubt of the principles which he had till then received. And being more and more convinced that they were wrong, when he was vested with the Professorship, he publicly taught what he believed the truth, till, in the year 1609, he died in peace. But a few years after his death, some zealous men with the Prince of Orange at their head, furiously assaulted all that held what were called his opinions; and having procured them to be solemnly condemned, in the famous Synod of Dort, (not so numerous or learned, but full as impartial, as the Council or Synod of Trent,) some were put to death, some banished, some imprisoned for life, all turned out of their employments, and made incapable of holding any office, either in Church or State.
6. The errors charged upon these (usually termed Arminians) by their opponents, are five: (1.) That they deny original sin; (2.) That they deny justification by faith; (3.) That they deny absolute predestination; (4.) That they deny the grace of God to be irresistible; and, (5.) That they affirm, a believer may fall from grace.
With regard to the two first of these charges, they plead, Not Guilty. They are entirely false. No man that ever lived, not John Calvin himself, ever asserted either original sin, or justification by faith, in more strong, more clear and express terms, than Arminius has done. These two points, therefore, are to be set out of the question: In these both parties agree. In this respect, there is not a hair's breadth difference between Mr. Wesley and Mr. Whitefield.
7. But there is an undeniable difference between the Calvinists and Arminians, with regard to the three other questions. Here they divide; the former believe absolute, the latter only conditional, predestination. The Calvinists hold, (1.) God has absolutely decreed, from all eternity, to save such and such persons, and no others; and that Christ died for these, and none else. The Arminians hold, God has decreed, from all eternity, touching all that have the written word, "He that believeth shall be saved: He that believeth not, shall be condemned:" And in order to this, "Christ died for all, all that were dead in trespasses and sins;" that is, for every child of Adam, since "in Adam all died."
8. The Calvinists hold, Secondly, that the saving grace of God is absolutely irresistible; that no man is any more able to resist it, than to resist the stroke of lightning. The Arminians hold, that although there may be some moments wherein the grace of God acts irresistibly, yet, in general, any man may resist, and that to his eternal ruin, the grace whereby it was the will of God he should have been eternally saved.
9. The Calvinists hold, Thirdly, that a true believer in Christ cannot possibly fall from grace. The Arminians hold, that a true believer may "make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience;" that he may fall, not only foully, but finally, so as to perish for ever.
10. Indeed, the two latter points, irresistible grace and infallible perseverance, are the natural consequence of the former, of the unconditional decree. For if God has eternally and absolutely decreed to save such and such persons, it follows, both that they cannot resist his saving grace, (else they might miss of salvation,) and that they cannot finally fall from that grace which they cannot resist. So that, in effect, the three questions come into one, "Is predestination absolute or conditional?" The Arminians believe, it is conditional; the Calvinists, that it is absolute.
11. Away, then, with all ambiguity! Away with all expressions which only puzzle the cause! Let honest men speak out, and not play with hard words which they do not understand. And how can any man know what Arminius held, who has never read one page of his writings? Let no man bawl against Arminians, till he knows what the term means; and then he will know that Arminians and Calvinists are just upon a level. And Arminians have as much right to be angry at Calvinists, as Calvinists have to be angry at Arminians. John Calvin was a pious, learned, sensible man; and so was James Harmens. Many Calvinists are pious, learned, sensible men; and so are many Arminians. Only the former hold absolute predestination; the latter, conditional.
12. One word more: Is it not the duty of every Arminian Preacher, First, never, in public or in private, to use the word Calvinist as a term of reproach; seeing it is neither better nor worse than calling names? -- a practice no more consistent with good sense or good manners, than it is with Christianity. Secondly. To do all that in him lies to prevent his hearers from doing it, by showing them the sin and folly of it? And is it not equally the duty of every Calvinist Preacher, First, never in public or in private, in preaching or in conversation, to use the word Arminian as a term of reproach? Secondly. To do all that in him lies to prevent his hearers from doing it, by showing them the sin and folly thereof; and that the more earnestly and diligently, if they have been accustomed so to do? perhaps encouraged therein by his own example!
From the Thomas Jackson edition of [i]The Works of John Wesley[/i], 1872.
| 2006/7/8 9:25||Profile|
| Re: More practical wisdom ~ Wesley|
Did the Lord tell you to write this to me? If not, He told me to read this ! :)
I went to sleep last night (this is not a co-incident) puzzling over all that 'stuff' I learned in Calvinism. For years, I held so dear to it, with this article, my eyes' been opened with a better understanding.
Indeed, Armenianism has been a derogatory word in my mind, because one gets 'brainwashed' after following a specific doctrine for so long.
Holding on to this doctrine for the past years, has led me to a very strange spiritual state of mind,although I knew there's something not quite right, praise God, I couldn't pinpoint it. I noticed my Calvinist friends carry a certain amount of pride over their election, and seem to be quite unconcern over sins, as if all sins too are predetermined in their lives. Very weird.
Thank you Mike, God clarifies my mind with this article.
I think I can let go of this 'ism' now, and you know, as I wrote in my previous deleted posts, I am not ever going to "follow" any man's doctrines, never again, no matter how bright and brilliant they are, should they be 99% sound, it will always be that 1% error that cause me to stumble.
No perfect man, no perfect 'ism'/ system.
Thanks a million!!
Praise Thee, LORD !!
| 2006/7/8 10:04||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Taken a seat ...|
Quite awhile back I sat down in the middle of these two constructs and ... never got up. :-D
| 2006/7/8 10:29||Profile|