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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Biblical Discernment Ministries

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iansmith
Member



Joined: 2006/3/22
Posts: 963
Wheaton, IL

 Re:

Isaiah, I meant to put [sarcasm] and [/sarcasm] but forgot.


_________________
Ian Smith

 2007/4/30 16:25Profile
Isaiah64
Member



Joined: 2006/9/27
Posts: 85


 Re:

;-)

 2007/4/30 17:06Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re: Biblical Discernment Ministries

As I briefly scanned this site, I sensed a weariness in my spirit....perhaps it just goes to show that at the very least one needs to be grounded on the WORD and not let man divert your beliefs/convictions and its clear teachings away from it. There are too many smooth-talking people who will do such a thing.

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/5/2 9:25Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re: Biblical Discernment Ministries

Quote:

Nile wrote:
[url=http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/notebook.html]Biblical Discernment Ministries[/url]

I want to throw this out there as an all-around awesome resource site. I discovered it a couple weeks ago and it has been of tremendous help to me. (As with anything, I do not 100% endorse this site.)

Here are some of the articles I have found most useful/enlightening:



Stumbled across this last week:

[b]Authors[/b]

Norman P. Grubb

You see I take, and have done so for years, a contrary attitude toward authors. I look for the positive and greedily feed on what feeds me. I do not attempt to assess them on what might be regarded by me or others as negative aspects of them – indeed that is how I seek to see and align myself with all brethren in Christ. I cannot bear to see you digging out all you can find to prove what is error to you, with hardly a word on the glory. To me all of us have areas about us which can look like clay feet, but God has taught me to jump clear into the solid gold about them. The evangelical world threw CT Studd and Rees Howells right out, but God held me to that pure pure gold in them, and by passing what I could have pointed out as “clay feet” kind of thing in either, just as any can easily find in me. And how glad I am that I did. The same with great authors such as Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, the Catholic Mystics etc. And now my Lanyon is being stretched on the rack of criticism. Yet if I was to waste my time in defense couldn’t I shew passage after passage confirming him. Doesn’t he write of the Virgin Birth in his “Conception” chapter, and a few pages later quotes us as “hid with Christ in God” and always used the capital of Jesus.


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2007/5/2 10:43Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re:

Quote:
You see I take, and have done so for years, a contrary attitude toward authors. I look for the positive and greedily feed on what feeds me. I do not attempt to assess them on what might be regarded by me or others as negative aspects of them – indeed that is how I seek to see and align myself with all brethren in Christ.



I think this is a very unwise and unbiblical principle.

If for instance, a man does not believe in the Deity of Christ, I will not pay heed to this man - why should I, he is a non-believer? He does not have the Holy Spirit, therefore non of his teaching is Spirit inspired. I would never recommend such a teacher nor any of his writings. Any teaching that man has to give is of no value to me, except to see what the false-brethren are teaching and believing. Might he have some truth in his teaching? He might. But why would I bother to look for it? Do we search the writings of the Muslims looking for pieces of truth? No. That is ludicrous. We should not go to the wolves and expect to be fed good food - all we will likely get is poison.

Quote:
I cannot bear to see you digging out all you can find to prove what is error to you, with hardly a word on the glory.



It is not a matter of "proving error", it is a matter of seeking to know the truth and who teaches it. I want to know about a author before I read his writings. This is wise. It makes a vast difference to me when a reading a book if I KNOW, by the authors own words, the he believes in evolution, he believes "Christianity is the fulfillment of paganism", he believes some of the Psalms to be "devilish" "petty" "vulgar" "diabolical" "terrible" "contemptible" and "hard to endure", he cussed, told lewd jokes, committed adultery (and never repented), frequently got drunk, never had a conversion experience, denied Christ is the only way to heaven, believed people of all religions go to heaven, denied a literal hell, and had an ungodly fascination with the occult and pagan mythology.

Now tell me, would you endorse such a man?
Would you not be leery of reading anything written by such a man?

For those who don't know, I was referring to C. S. Lewis.

Nile


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Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/5/2 11:10Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
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Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

Nile wrote:
Now tell me, would you endorse such a man?
Would you not be leery of reading anything written by such a man?



[b]3[/b] For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
[b]4[/b] God forbid: yea, [b]let God be true, but every man a liar[/b]; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
[b]Rom 3:3-4[/b]

I object to the whole issue of endorsement per se. It seems to imply that there are some who have a handle on truth. In sorry, but no mortal does. I'm not going to speak about Lewis, because quite frankly I know not enough about him to comment. However, I can for Grubb, that he maintained a awareness of the faults in errors of the authors that he read. To isolate yourself from all but have the "pure doctrine" [[i]sic[/i]], is to open yourself up to being blindsided by subtle errors. However, to maintain a healthy suspicion to all statements that are [b]not raw Scripture[/b], is to protect oneself.

I cannot say that I agree wholeheartedly with any man of God (closest would be Paris Reidhead;-)). Some are to be avoided in the interest of avoiding getting caught up in blatant error. To be honest, I avoid dogmatism more than anything. It is one thing to say that you [b]know[/b] something. It is quite another to claim to have established [b]every point of doctrine[/b] not being undecided on anything. There are those of God's servants who are capable of giving equal time to differing views, that are not [b]unbiblical per se[/b], but are simply dubious, in nature. These are wise enough to consider that they may be wrong, in spite of having a contrary opinion.

Regarding what you put as Lewis' view of the Psalms, being '"devilish" "petty" "vulgar" "diabolical" "terrible" "contemptible" and "hard to endure"', there is nothing wrong with feeling this way, as long as you realise that you are wrong and God is right. In fact it is refreshingly honest to admit feeling such. God wasn't afraid of making His Scripture look ugly. It is rough, uncensored, and even "hard to endure". Have you ever considered that submission isn't truly possible unless you agree with the one who is over you? The question is, what will you do with this disagreement?


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Aaron Ireland

 2007/5/4 22:50Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Brethren, we all know very well that doctrine is important. Indeed, it can be a strong bond between us. But... something is terribly missing in our hearts if doctrine is our only bond with one another.

For me, the chief difficulty I have with discernment ministries (so-called)is that they treat doctrine as the only bond that matters. To make matters worse, they are too quick to not only paint, but also frame, other brothers with thin antedotal evidence. As Ian has said in this thread, discerment ministries often risk bearing false witness as they build their case upon one or two qutations from a brother to bring not merely cautious indictments, but heated condemnations overstated in hyperbole. Even the most sensible discernment ministries "findings" seem to be a mixed bag of the bona fide and the ballyhoo.

I believe these discerment ministries need a more balanced scorecard in appraising others. Perhaps they do not realize that demons, being quite expert theologians, would be all too happy to assist them in their doctrinal tribunal. James has warned us of this pitfall. His scorecard included actions that we would devalue as a "social gospel." So perhaps, instead of applying the perfect bond of love, (which is not quick to denounce,) a discerment ministry may actually be applying the solvent of mistrust that corrodes. If so, I wonder if these professional discerners could discern the spirits that will applaud them and throw roses at their feet, for their theological virtuosity?

Where we are called to feed each other spiritual nourishment, I think discernment ministries offer only vacumous hunger pangs to the church. If we would try them in like fashion in our own kangaroo courts, they too would fall short of pleasing the judge. As a result they invariably recieve mistrust from the larger body, perhaps at the expense of the actual good they might be able to accomplish if they didn't isolate themselves. They have only themselves to blame when people keep their distance from them.

Afterall, those who live by the sword die by the sword.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2007/5/5 1:13Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re:

Brothers, I understand your concerns and warnings, but I believe they are off the mark.

Firstly, I personally am greatly encouraged by such ministries because they show me that there are others who believe as I do and they affirm to me that I'm not crazy thinking the things I do. They also give me hope that there are still people who are concerned with the truth and rightly dividing the word of God. I also am encouraged because I do in fact learn things and am edified, because although they tear down false ideas they usually give the correct truth in it's stead (albeit what they believe to be right).

Secondly...take for instance the article of Luther. By reading it, I learned that Luther believed in baptismal regeneration. I'm really not sure what you are suggesting...should I have not read this? Was it wrong to find out what Luther believed? Where did the site denounce everything Luther said as false? Where did I denounce everything Luther ever wrote as blasphemous? I simply said that I learned some interesting things about him and thought others might as well. I see no harm in this.

Thirdly, I believe the case of Lewis is far different. It is not a matter of agreeing with "every point of doctrine" it is a matter of basic Christian truths!!! This man is not a Christian any more than Gandhi was!!! If you're reading Lewis, you might as well read the Koran or the Book of Mormon. They've got truth just like Lewis does, if not more in the case of the Book of Mormon, because it quotes quote a lot of scripture. Likewise, if your going to quote Lewis the might as well quote Gandhi. I'm not trying to turn this into a Lewis debate. I'm just trying to say that this is not a matter of agreeing with someone 100%! It is a matter of learning from brethren or learning from obviously false brethren! Also, when I said endorse Lewis, I didn't mean that you agree with him 100%, but that you would give him your approval as a teacher (i.e. he is a good teacher - that doesn't mean he is perfect).

Fourthly (and this goes along with the Thirdly), love does not override truth in this case. I know that's not exactly what you said, but when applied to the topic at hand, that's what it amounts to. Introducing my friend: Elder Jones. He calls himself a Mormon. Guess what? He's a Christian! Yeah, you didn't know? Just look at the title of his church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! He also reads the Bible regularly and prays too! He worships Jesus and talks often about the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made. I talked to one of his friends recently and they told me how much they loved Jesus and how He was more important than anything. Doctrinal problems you say? Cult you say?!!?!?! Non of that now! Don't criticize these brethren, even though they may be wrong in a few points of doctrine!! After all, love is the perfect bond of unity - just be loving and ignore the few points where you disagree! The Book of Mormon is heretical you say? Don't be so negative! Chew on the meat and spit out the bones! You recommend a website on the problems with Mormonism??? Who would make such an unloving and unedifying website!!! The authors do nothing but tear down and denounce brethren whom they don't fully agree with. How will such a ministry spiritually nourish anyone?

:-(


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Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/5/5 8:19Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re:

Also, if you go [url=http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Introduction/]-here-[/url], they have responses to many of the objections/criticisms raised.


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/5/5 8:23Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Nile,

I just wanted to post a quick follow up to affirm your commitment to upholding sound doctrine brother. Please do not let what I said be read as a "trade-off" between truth and getting along with people or something like that...

Much of what I said is in the interest of 'checks and balances.' For instance I have developed some severe misgivings about Dietric Bonhoeffer...enough that I would rather see him not extolled in any church I am attending... but I feel we go too far in calling him a rank athiest. That is just one example of going too far...the one website Ian linked to shows the problem with developing a habit or even a full-time "ministry" of critiquing others by name. Everyone from Finney to Spurgeon is on the criminal list.

Recently I was with a brother when he started sharing with a stranger about the Lord. He told the man how Jesus filled the emptiness and lonliness in his heart. Now I fear that half of the people that read this may feel tempted to wince at this modern gospel presentation. (I'll be the first to admit I did...) Yet the conversation opened up into a real landmark for this person as well as a continual open door in that person's life. And besides, my brother told the truth... though in continuing conversation there is much more to share. Yet, if one of those discernment websites ever got ahold of my brother they might very well denounce him...perhaps accusing him of 'preaching a man-centered Gospel' or for not 'starting with the law first.' Grrrr.

I was looking through my high school yearbook, and came across an embarrasing picture of me from a basketball game. The picture was of me dribbling the ball up court, but instead of the fond memories I had of myself running point at the top of the key, the photographer flashed a picture of me in a moment when I looked off balance, my gangly arms were flailing, my tongue was hanging out, and my eyes looked like a wild man. And so, recorded forever in that awkward split-second, my 'legacy' (poor example I know) is not of a decent player, but of some crazy out of control kid.

This silly example is akin to some of the unhelpful damage that can happen when people are intent on editing a man's entire life down into a few of his worst snap shots. It is easy to judge someone by their worst...but we should also judge them by the best of their efforts. Otherwise we might as well give up on our hopes of revival, because no matter what man you put in front of me, I'll be able to find a flaw in him...either in character or conduct...even if the flaw is just my opinion.

Still, I don't want to dissuade anyone from being concerned about right thinking or reading of scripture at all. In fact I think discussing sound doctrine, including a critique of bad doctrine (seeing a truth more clearly through it's 'via negative')is all a part of attending to the Word. I suppose my only difficulty is setting up an entire ministry dedicated to critiquing others. There is more to upholding sound doctrine then being critical of defects. I would rather see the borders of the church protected by legitimate church ministries and not become the jurisdiction of a few self-appointed citizen-border gaurds. Maybe the situation has degraded too far for that though...

As you know, sometimes you can be right and still be wrong. ;-) I certainly am familiar with that condition.

Bless you dearly brother,

MC


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Mike Compton

 2007/5/6 11:24Profile





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