Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Lord's Supper

Tonight at church we took of the Lord's Supper but before that our pastor Jonathan Sims brought forth a very powerful message that pertains to the Lord's Supper and I don't think I have ever heard such a clearer message on the Lord's Supper and the importance of this command from our Lord for the church. You can Download it Here or visit the church website to listen to it.

Peculiar Symptoms

"Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their "earnestness" makes many think they must be right. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly, and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself "as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). There is a wide-spread "gullibility" among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be carried away!"" —J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "All Kinds of Strange Teachings" by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Master Choice

A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)"God has made us in His likeness, and one mark of that likeness is our free will. We hear God say, "Whosoever will, let him come." We know by bitter experience the woe of an unsurrendered will and the blessedness or terror which may hang upon our human choice. But back of all this and preceding it is the sovereign right of God to call saints and determine human destinies. The master choice is His, the secondary choice is ours. Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest of the Most High God. Our "accepting" and "willing" are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God.

God has indeed lent to every man the power to lock his heart and stalk away darkly into his self-chosen night, as He has lent to every man the ability to respond to His overtures of grace, but while the "no" choice may be ours, the "yes" choice is always God's. He is the Author of our faith as He must be its finisher. Only by grace can we continue to believe; we can persist in willing God's will only as we are seized upon by a benign power that will overcome our natural bent to unbelief." —A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Excerpt taken from "God's Pursuit of Man" by A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Second WingSpread Publishers Edition 2007 p39-40

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Think My Wife's a Calvinist


C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)"We have men who in the morning hear a Calvinistic preacher, and say, "Oh, it is delightful;" in the evening they hear an Arminian, and they say, "Oh, it is just as good; and no doubt they are both true, though one contradicts the other!" The glorious charity of the present day is such, that it believes lies to be as good as truth; and lies and truth have met together and kissed each other; and he that telleth truth is called a bigot, and truth has ceased to be honourable in the world! Ah! beloved, we know better than to profess such unlimited, but false charity; the truth is, we know how to "hold fast the form of sounds words," which has been given to us, because in this way we grow. Changeable people cannot grow much. If you have a tree in your garden plant it in one place to-day, and tomorrow place it somehwere else, how much bigger will it be in six months? It will be dead very likely; or if it does not die, it will not be very much grown; it will be marvellously stunted. So it is with some of you: you plant yourselves there; then you are persuaded that you are not quite right, and you go and plant yourself somewhere else. Why, there are men who are anythingarians; who go dodging about from one denomination to another, and cannot tell what they are; our opinion is, of these people, that they believe nothing, and are good for nothing, and anybody may have them that likes; we do not consider men to be worth much, unless they have settle principles, and "hold fast the form of sound words." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "The Form of Sound Words" delivered on Lord's-Day Morning, May 11th, 1856, by C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chameleon Theology?

One of my favorite preachers is brother David Miller and I recently learned that he was in attendance at the recent John 3:16 conference where Calvinism was openly attacked from some bretheren within the SBC. I was also told that Brother Miller wrote a letter to Dr. Jerry Vines concerning the doctrinal issues presented at the conference. So in my search I came across the following at Peter Lumpkins blog who says that this is an open letter from David Miller to Dr. Jerry Vines but I can't say for sure this is the actual letter by Brother Miller but it sure sounds like him so take it for what it's worth.

Dear brother Jerry,

I attended your conference on Calvinism on November the 6th and 7th and it has inspired me to write a book. The title of which shall be: "How Many Inconsistencies and Contradictions Can One Hear in Only Five Sermons". The brethren (presenters) not only contradicted each other but themselves as well. We were repeatedly told not to build a systematic theology first and then make the Scripture fit our system, rather, we were to exegete the Scriptures and build a Biblical theology.

Yet only one of your presenters proceeded to follow this advice, namely, Page Patterson.. The other 4 presenters who addressed the TULIP, proceeded to build straw men and knock them down with Scripture verses taken out of context, and they did so with measured sarcasm and no small dose of arrogance.

This was evidenced in that 3 out of the 5 were so full of themselves that they could not conclude their sermon within the allotted time of 50 minutes. This did however, provide a high level of entertainment as I watched Richard Land fall asleep on at least 3 occasions during Dr. Lemke's sermon in which he departed from his assigned subject and drudged on and on as the congregation got quieter and quieter.

I did at this point feel some compassion for yourself as I saw your rear-end at least 3 inches off the pew giving Lemke physical signs of your discontent. I know it, you know it, and the Lord knows it! You were sitting there wishing that he would sit down and hush. Tell the truth!

Regarding your own sermon on John 3:16: you had a wonderful text and a wonderful opportunity to preach a gospel sermon to the choir. Instead you chose to give a Greek grammar lesson which was as boring as a 5 hour long WMU meeting! Why was this?

By the way, you said nothing in your sermon that I could not say amen to, as a 5 point Calvinist. Your sermon did inspire me to write new lyrics to an old song.

"Old Jerry Vines had him a conference E-I-E-I O , and at the conference he had a "pas" E-I-E-I-O, with a pas, pas,here and a pas, pas, there; here a pas, there a pas, everywhere a pas, pas, old Jerry Vines had him a conference E-I-E-I-O."

The most rousing response at the conference came regarding vitriolic statements condemning men who don't give a public invitation the same as you. In a convoluted argument favoring public invitations Dr. Allen pointed out that as "far back" as 1750 certain Baptists were giving alter calls. He said this as though his audience would be so stupid they wouldn't figure out from his own statement that the church existed for 1750 years without public invitation system! This was classic Clintonian rhetoric.

For whatever its worth I personally believe a public invitation can be extended and practice such in my own preaching. This however, is an accommodation not a biblical principle.

Your conference has inspired me further. I shall no longer keep silent. Men like yourself, denigrate the doctrines of grace which I treasure. I am now prepared to take you on. I will no longer be silent as you, Johnny Hunt, Junior Hill and others whom I have loved and respected, proceed to blame Calvinists for the decline of evangelism in the SBC.

While your speakers correctly rebuke the Presbyterians for infant baptism I might remind you that the only area where southern Baptists have had an increase in baptisms is among 4 and 5 year olds! This is happening in "your kind" of churches.

It is not the Calvinists who have built a convention of 16 million members, 4 million of which could not be found if your life depended on it. You have done this! This has happened on your watch! It is your fault! You have been in charge! "Your kind" of evangelism and methodology has produced this colossal number of unregenerate church members.

In your church in Jacksonville and Johnny's church in Woodstock, less than half of your members come to church on Sundays. Why don't you stop blaming the Calvinists and take responsibility for your own actions! Your church is doing no better than the average church in the convention in this area. My guess is, your church has spent more money on interest on debt service in the past 15 years than it has on foreign missions.

Don't blame the Calvinists for your lack of compassion for the lost and your unwillingness to sacrifice to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. I for one am sick of your duplicity and hypocrisy.

Furthermore, don't blame the Calvinists for all the church splits. Was it the Calvinists that split Bellevue after Adrian died? Hardly! Is there any empirical evidence that there is a higher percentage of church splits caused by Calvinists than the other brethren? Not on your life! There is enough stupidity to go around. Calvinists do not have a monopoly on pastoral stupidity.

Why do you brethren seem hell bent on dividing the Convention over this? Is your rear-end gaulded to such an extent because Southern Seminary, led by a Calvinist, has now become the largest seminary in the convention. Do you brethren fear Al Mohler this much? Are your insecurities so pronounced that every time you get up to speak at a conference you feel morally obligated to take a jab at the Calvinists?

Look at you, you had Southwestern, New Orleans, Mid-Western, Liberty and Luther Rice Seminaries along with Woodstock church and Jerry Vine ministries jointly sponsoring your conference and you could not muster more than 600-800 people in attendance, and many of those were Calvinists who came out of curiosity. I find it passing strange, that when I was a trustee at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of your presenters was on the short list to be considered President of the Seminary.

When I called him to find out his views regarding article 5 of the Abstract of Principles (on election), he assured me in unequivocal terms that he believed in unconditional election in the same manner in which James P. Boyce, Basil Manly, and John Broadus believed in unconditional election. Would this be referred to as chameleon theology, expediency, or just a lack of integrity?

Furthermore, Paige signed the abstract of principles while serving as president of Southeastern. Evidently during his tenure at Southeastern he believed both in total depravity and unconditional election or else he was guilty of doing the same things that we castigated the liberals for i.e. signing a confessional document while not subscribing to the theology expressed in the document! Are you sure you brethren want to pursue this further?

I regret very much that this breach in fellowship has occurred among conservatives within the convention. I stand willing and ready to do my part in trying to resolve the matter.

I would love nothing more than to have an opportunity to sit down with you and a small group of 12-15 other brothers from both sides in a non-threatening venue. Perhaps at my deer camp in Duck Hill, MS, at my expense, sitting around a campfire eating venison bacon wraps and sipping ice tea, we could discuss this matter before we have gone past the point of no return.

I remain your brother in Christ,

David Miller

Friday, December 12, 2008

Get The Question Right!

"Oh!" saith the Arminian, "men may be saved if they will." We reply, "My dear sir, we all believe that; but it is just the if they will that is the difficulty. We assert that no man will come to Christ unless he be drawn; nay, we do not assert it, but Christ himself declares it--"Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life;' and as long as that "ye will not come' stands on record in Holy Scripture, we shall not be brought to believe in any doctrine of the freedom of the human will." It is strange how people, when talking about free-will, talk of things which they do not at all understand. "Now," says one, "I believe men can be saved if they will." My dear sir, that is not the question at all. The question is, are men ever found naturally willing to submit to the humbling terms of the gospel of Christ? We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful. supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ. You reply, that men sometimes are willing, without the help of the Holy Spirit. I answer--Did you ever meet with any person who was?" —Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Most Dangerous Sadducee

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)"I consider the most dangerous champion of the Sadducee school is not the man who tells you openly that he wants you to lay aside any part of the truth, and to become a free-thinker and a skeptic. It is the man who begins with quietly insinuating doubts as to the position that we ought to take up about religion, doubts whether we ought to be so positive in saying "this is truth, and that falsehood," doubts whether we ought to think men wrong who differ from us on religious opinions, since they may after all be as much right as we are.

It is the man who tells us we ought not to condemn anybody's views, lest we err on the side of the lack of love. It is the man who always begins talking in a vague way about God being a God of love, and hints that we ought to believe perhaps that all men, whatever doctrine they profess, will be saved. It is the man who is ever reminding us that we ought to take care how we think lightly of men of powerful minds, and great intellects (though they are deists and skeptics), who do not think as we do, and that, after all, "great minds are all more or less, taught of God!"

It is the man who is ever harping on the difficulties of inspiration, and raising questions whether all men may not be found saved in the end, and whether all may not be right in the sight of God. It is the man who crowns this kind of talk by a few calm sneers against what he is pleased to call "old-fashioned views," and "narrow-minded theology," and "bigotry," and the "lack of liberality and love," in the present day. But when men begin to speak to us in this kind of way, then is the time to stand upon our guard. Then is the time to remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and "Be careful and be on your guard against the yeast."

Once more, why do I say this? I say it because there is no security against Sadduceeism, any more than against Phariseeism, unless we resist its principles in the bud. Beginning with a little vague talk about "love," you may end in the doctrine of universal salvation, fill heaven with a mixed multitude of wicked as well as good, and deny the existence of hell. Beginning with a few high-sounding phrases about intellect and the inner light in man, you may end with denying the work of the Holy Spirit, and maintaining that Homer and Shakespeare were as truly inspired as Paul, and thus practically casting aside the Bible. Beginning with some dreamy, misty idea about "all religions containing more or less truth," you may end with utterly denying the necessity of missions, and maintaining that the best plan is to leave everybody alone.

Beginning with dislike to "Evangelical religion," as old-fashioned, narrow, and exclusive, you may end by rejecting every leading doctrine of Christianity--the atonement, the need of grace, and the divinity of Christ." —J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "Warning to the Church: Pharisees and Sadducees" by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Far, Far Worse

"God's "way of salvation" is almost entirely unknown today, the nature of Christ's salvation is almost universally misunderstood, and the terms of His salvation misrepresented on every hand. The "Gospel" which is now being proclaimed is, in nine cases out of every ten, but a perversion of the Truth, and tens of thousands, assured they are bound for heaven, are now hastening to hell as fast as time can take them. Things are far, far worse in Christendom than even the "pessimist" and the "alarmist" suppose. We are not a prophet, nor shall we indulge in any speculation of what the Biblical prophecy forecasts. Wiser men than the writer have often made fools of themselves by so doing. We are frank to say that we know not what God is about to do. Religious conditions were much worse, even in England, one hundred and fifty years ago. But this we greatly fear: Unless God is pleased to grant a real revival, it will not be long ere "the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2), for the light of the true Gospel is rapidly disappearing. Modern "evangelism" constitutes, in our judgment, the most solemn of all the "signs of the times."

What must the people of God do in view of the existing situation? Eph. 5:11 supplies the divine answer: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them;" and everything opposed to the light of the Word is "darkness." It is the bounden duty of every Christian to have no dealings with the "evangelistic" monstrosity of the day, to withhold all moral and financial support of the same, to attend none of their meetings, to circulate none of their tracts. Those preachers who tell sinners that they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works, and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

HT (Old Truth)

Salvation needs a Sinner!

"Salvation needs a sinner as the raw material upon which to exercise its workmanship; the precious blood that cleanses needs a filthy sinner upon whom to show its power to purge; the atonement of Christ needs guilt upon which to exercise itself in the taking of it away; and it is absurd, it is ridiculous, it is unworthy of God, to suppose a scheme of salvation, a work so tremendous as the atonement of Christ, and an aim so splendid as the glorification of God, unless there be sinners to be the instruments of God's glory through being the partakers of God's grace. A moment's thought will be enough to convince us that the whole plan is made for sinners, and that "Jesus Christ died for the ungodly." Indeed, dear friends, it is only when we get this view very clearly before us that we see Jesus in his glory." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

True Reality

"If you talk of reality, it is in the things of religion, if you talk of true nobility, it is to be the child of God. If you talk of true riches, they are those that we carry to our death bed, those that we carry to heaven; those that comfort the soul; those that enrich the soul with grace, and comfort, and peace; that is true riches. If you talk of true beauty, it is to have the image of God stamped upon our souls, to be like Christ, to be new creatures. If we talk of true strength, it is to stand against temptations, to be able to serve God, and to go through the world without polluting our souls, to bear crosses as we should — that is, the true reality." —Richard Sibbs (1573-1635)

Excerpt taken from the "The Works of the Reverend Richard Sibbs" Volume III, p421, 1809

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Saving faith and Christian discipleship have been reduced to the cliché "a personal relationship with Jesus." It’s hard to imagine a more disastrous twisting of what it means to be a Christian. Many people (including Judas and Satan) had some kind of "personal relationship" with Jesus during His earthly ministry without submitting to Him as Lord." —John MacArthur

Classic Reinke

I have some blogs that I read every day and others that I just skim over, but The Shepherd's Scrapbook is one of my all time favorite's and Tony Reinke has wrote yet another classic post!

"Legalism is the lie that says God’s pleasure and joy in me is dependent upon my performance rather than the finished work of Christ." (Read Entire Post)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bonds of Love

"On the throne of grace sovereignty has placed itself under bonds of love.... God will do as he wills; but, on the mercy seat, he is under bonds—bonds of his own making, for he has entered into covenant with Christ, and so into covenant with his chosen. Though God is and ever must be a sovereign, he never will break his covenant, not alter the word that is gone out of his mouth. He cannot be false to a covenant of his own making. When I come to God in Christ, to God on the mercy seat, I need not imagine that by any act of sovereignty God will set aside his covenant. That cannot be: it is impossible." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "The Throne of Grace" delivered on Lord's-Day Morning, November 19th, 1871, by C. H. Spurgeon