30 April 2010

Angels of light

by Phil Johnson



he gospel's most dangerous earthly adversaries are not raving atheists who stand outside the door shouting threats and insults. They are church leaders who cultivate a gentle, friendly, pious demeanor but hack away at the foundations of faith under the guise of keeping in step with a changing world.

No Christian should naively imagine that heresy is always conspicuous or that every purveyor of theological mischief will lay out his agenda in plain and honest terms. The enemy prefers to sow tares secretly for obvious reasons. Thus Scripture expressly warns us to be on guard against false teachers who creep into the church unnoticed (Jude 4); wolves who sneak into the flock wearing sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15); and servants of Satan who disguise themselves as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Theological liberalism is particularly dependent on the stealth offensive. A spiritually healthy church is simply not susceptible to the arrogant skepticism that underlies a liberal's rejection of biblical authority. A church that is sound in the faith won't abandon the gospel in order to embrace humanist values. Liberalism must therefore take root covertly and gain strength and influence gradually. The success or failure of the whole liberal agenda hinges on a patient public-relations campaign.

That is precisely how neo-liberals have managed to get a foothold in the contemporary evangelical movement.

Phil's signature

(Excerpted from an article published earlier this year in the 9Marks eJournal. Read the whole thing HERE.)

94 comments:

ajlin said...

For reasons mentioned in this post (and probably others as well), it seems like it's always a bad sign when Christian teachers won't answer direct questions about what they believe.

recreatedinchrist said...

Phil,

I read the whole article over at 9Marks; good points. The only thing I would like clarification on --- and you didn't make this that clear in the piece --- is who you believe the neo-Liberals to be?

I'm thinking I know who you are referencing --- the "Emergent guys" --- is that it? Because if so this problem runs much deeper than these "light weights" who are fizzling out, as you note. There is a huge movement of young "scholars" and "academics" within the ana-Baptist movement (in the theosphere, known as 'peace-bloggers') who have taken the chimes of Liberalism in a much more informed and dangerous way than the "Emergents" (who I think are only pseudo-Intellectualist). As you note, with the emergents, these kinds of youngsters are making in-roads at many (and probably most) "Evangelical" Bible Colleges and Seminaries (including my alma mater, Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary --- which has a rich heritage of being a Biblically driven place of learning).

Anyway, I agree with your general points; I just think it even runs deeper, amongst the "Evangelical ranks," than might be apparent (at least at the college age level).

Zaphon said...

"We must pay attention to the lessons of history and stand firm on the truth of Scripture—and we desperately need to be more aggressive than we have been so far in opposing these neo-liberal influences"

And how could independent, conservative-fundamental churches do that?

It seems to me, the mainstream churches, and leaders, some of whom partake of such efforts as T4G, or Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, are still TOO soft, too friendly to the smooth-talking compromisers of the neo-lib. variety.

I won't name one particular name b/c I know that it will turn the meta into a circus that will miss the point.

While I HATE to raise the example of my more fundamentalist brothers, frankly I see THEM as being more able to withstand the covert ops. of the Devil on this issue than the more mainstream guys.

I admire what leaders like John MacArthur are doing in continuing to preach the word, but how could we be "more aggressive" in handling this slithering snake?

Zaph

Jacob said...

Interesting timing, just read this other blog this morning: http://defendingcontending.com/2010/04/29/three-years-ago-today/

SteveFB said...

Zaphon, I agree with you. It's difficult for a lot of people with strong opinions about the faith to ascertain how best to beat back the tide of liberal religion. It's one thing to know the truth and vow to keep it out of your church or churches; it's another thing altogether to advance said Gospel over against the heresy of the unregenerate.

The key is aggressive Biblical evangelism. No more little pamphlets or acronym-based programs. No more "Way Of the Master" 5-minutes-in-the-Law questionnaires. I suggest, and am implementing in my area, street preaching (NOT street-yell-random-things-and-argue-with-hecklers) and inviting questioners to pre-arranged meetings where interaction can take place. There's more to it than this, of course, but for clarity's sake, that's the basic idea.

The ranters and ravers from the Internet (present pyro-company excluded) need to quit being such Elway-caliber armchair quarterbacks and actually PREACH to the lost and TEACH the saved, not attempt to lesson-ize the lost and assume the saved.

Robert said...

Grace and peace to you, Phil. Thank you so much for your article. Hopefully people will read this and take seriously the challenges that we face in the church today.

I see this as the biggest failure in churches in America. We have strayed from teaching people to read the Bible. We all need to be fed daily and know what the Bible says and make sure the Word of God is authoritative in our lives.

Whether in teaching or in conversing with fellow believers, I always emphasize that we NEED to be reading the Bible. And when I speak to unbelievers, I make sure to emphasize that the Bible is the only place that we can learn about Who God is. No philosophers, no great thinking...just trust in the Word of God. Then you can listen to sermons and make sure they line up with Scripture. Then you can read the commentaries and look at church history and see God's providential Hand.

We have to know the Bible first and foremost, though...that is where God talks to us and tells us Who He is, who we are, how He worked to save His elect, and how He wants us to live and let His love overflow from our hearts. May we all reflect His glory in our lives.

Your fellow slave to Christ,
robert

NoGood said...

Keep in mind also, you can know a false teacher by what they DON'T say...

Everyday Mommy© said...

Absolutely piercingly accurate. I'll be sharing the article link with my husband and the other leadership of our church.

Gabby said...

"The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal, spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great "brotherhood". It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to "the best that is within us". It aims to make this world such a congenial and comfortable habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again." -Arthur Pink, The Gospel of Satan

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

EXCELLENT article, Phil!!! Just superb!

I just posted this on another forum, and it ties in with your article, so I will not edit it any.

This will be my righteous anger for the day. Sorry!

I am speaking here to the gospel compromisers.

"As to all the winsome contributors (here, there and everywhere it seems now-a-days), why is it that you can explain what the gospel is, but you cannot say what the gospel isn’t? Isn’t this a contradiction of sorts?

Many false prophets, to garner the support of the general public and to draw people into their web of deceit, use the name of Jesus Christ as nothing more than a window dressing. Jesus is often an addendum to their sermons, and sadly tacked onto the closing as an after thought. “And, oh, by the way, receive Jesus into your heart and you will be saved.” REALLY! How informative!

I would ask anyone here, is the gospel message ALL ABOUT JESUS (His life, death, resurrection, substitutionary atonement, repentance, sin, obedience, and all the other not so winsome topics such as God’s wrath and eternal torment in hell), or is it, “Have Your Best Life Now?”

2 John 10-11: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”

I have a feeling the winsome crowd would burn Jonathan Edwards at the stake for preaching his sermon, “Sinners in The Hands of An Angry God.”

God gives us ***His BALANCE*** in Romans 11:22, which clearly prevents us from making an idol of Him, maybe we should listen with renewed hearts and minds.

“Behold therefore the GOODNESS and SEVERITY of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

Sven Pook said...

I once made a point that a good apologetic was not only useful with unbelievers, but could help within the church. My prof felt that Scripture should be enough and tried to talk me out of the paper. I showed, I believe, conclusively that presuppositional apologetics can help in rooting out non-Biblical ideas. At the time the Willow Creek "seeker sensitive" junk was getting a foothold and was one of the foci of the paper.

Guess my instructor was convinced, the paper got an A-

This stuff, which will take on different and varying forms from now until the end of time, must be rooted out. The health of the church depends on it.

Phil (the Doulos) said...

Sven, good point re: apologetics in the church. I recently taught a basic apologetics class in our church and discovered that the majority of the people in the class needed first to understand the basic essential truths of Biblical Christianity. They weren't equipped to defend the faith because they lacked a foundation of Biblical knowledge of the faith. This really struck home to me as I was also teaching a study of Jude at the time.

We cannot and will not contend for that which we do not adequately understand or sufficiently treasure.

Cathy M. said...

Thanks for this article. I'll have to read it a few times and chew on it a bit.

The thing we've found most perplexing is inconsistency. On one hand, a reformed church planter tells us about his love of expository preaching, then in the next breath he relates something "God told" his wife. Or there was the case a few days later when a brother was telling us about his street evangelism, but then launched into a speech praising the _The Shack_.

My husband and I often feel as if we're on an island.

Chris said...

I would confidently suggest a number of about 90% (perhaps even 95%) of faculty and general leadership at so-called "Christian" colleges today are precisely those wolves whom you describe in this spot-on post! How sad it is that so many of these institutions, places that once waged war against the powers of darkness with such victory in the truth of Christ, are now among the most vile of Satan's workshops in undermining that truth they once embraced!

Chris said...

I'd add that these institutions do far more damage to the gospel than secular schools, who simply make their atheistic beliefs known openly.

Zaphon said...

SteveFB:

I used to belong to an IFB church, that was Calvinistic.

It had a strong street preaching ministry, which I was involved in, and I tell you it was a blessing to be reviled by the world for the Gospel's sake. Not all street preachers are ranters, and extremists. We did a sound, much needed work, that brought God glory, no matter what happened.

Now a friend of mine and I were reminiscing about those guys I used to fellowship with, and some of the problems that come along with ultra separationist Baptists. But, I think he went too far when he said that even that kind of method, proclamation of the Evangel in the street, is outdated because our society is Post-Modern, Post-Christian.

He was implying that somehow we needed to adopt our method to the liberalism of our day. Perhaps to tone it down, and have a more "dialogue" approach. But, I disagree with that.

If the dialogue is biblical, like Paul in the Synagogue or the among the philosophers, then it's fine.Paul reasoned out of the Scriptures with God's wisdom, without compromise. If on the other hand it's a deconstruction-type change-meaning-of-words Emergent style dialogue then I say send it back to the Hell from when it came.

I think we need to confront the current times with MORE public, outloud, proclamation. A man with a bible in hand, who raises his voice in the streets is the way to go! And yes, don't be like some of the guys I know, who go out but keep their Bibles hidden so as not to "offend" anyone.

We need more lions in the pulpit, and more bold but wise Christians to hold forth the Word eveywhere, not to hide, cower, or compromise.

It's the late hour, and the spirit of antichrist is in the world. I don't believe that the evanglical movement per se will get better, but nor will the spirit of the age. Paul told us that the deceievers will get worse, and I believe we are now living in the times that he described when the masses will have "Itching-Ear Syndrome" and heap to themselves fine-sounding, man-pleasing superstars who will give them what they want.

In the end, Phil Johnson laid out some good basic trends and characteristics of the modus operandi of the neo-libs. The best we can do is to be faithful in our churches each, to have ear to hear, and for the preachers to Preach the Word with all-season radials( 2 Timothy 4) and to STAND, FIGHT, and KEEP THE FAITH & keep making disciples,and in this way the Gates of Hades will not overcome...I repeat...The Gates of Hades WILL NOT overcome the building of Christ's holy church.

Movements, coalitians, signed statements,etc. have SOME restraining value in fighting the neo-libs. but given the motley nature of many evangleicals in the braod spectrum of the movement, we all can't agree to get along all of the time. If we evanglicals could show real strong unity we could spiritually fight the arrows of Satan's cohorts like Leonidus in that 300 Movie, when the arrows showered on his troops and blocked the sun, but cracks in the evangleical phalanx will cause much harm eventually.

Again we see a micro example of this in a nameless well known evanglical who will allow a chameleonic other neo-evanglical who will say anything(hey, I'm just sayin') ,to speak at his conference...but I don't want to get off topic here.

Anyway, keep standing strong.
Zaph

Chris said...

In all fairness to those blessed few remaining schools that are faithful to Christ, like the Master's College, my guess is that such exceptions are only 5-10% of all schools.

John said...

Zaph:
I came out of an IFB church that was thoroughly Pelegian. They raged endlessly against "liberals", but by that they meant a sort of nebulous "culturally liberal" liberalness. Their theology was toast. The point being that Phil's article is dead on: these very fundys that think they are God's alst best hope are actually spewing heresy in every sermon.

Chris said...

While I make no claims to be a mathematician nor a statistician, I have had a personal experience with one very well known "Christian" school and observed more than enough apostasy in that experience to last a lifetime trying to understand. I've read enough about countless other so-called "christian" schools that precisely resemble the place in which I was involved and are just as heretical--schools that sadly also have seminaries attached to them and thus prepare many for ministry. So, in all, my personal estimation is that 90% of faculty members/leadership at all "christian" schools are apostate, and 90-95% of schools themselves are apostate. What do you think?

Zaphon said...

John...agreed. My IFB type church was a Calvinistic Baptist church. They would hold to the theology of John Gill, Spurgeon, and A.W. Pink insofar as the Doctrines of Grace are concerned.

However, they held to the more troublesome aspects of the fundamentalist movement. While they eschew David Cloud's Arminianism, they welcome some of his King James Onlyism, and seprationist prinicples.

I left becuase ultimately, I felt it was too angry and in some cases a little extreme in certain things. Militancy can go too far.

I'm not saying fundamentlaism per se is the great white hope of confronting liberalism. But, even those in the more conservative churches trying to resist the liberals, I think, need to be more aggressive in reproving their works. Originally, I asked, how can evanglicals DO that, with the implication that I don't think we need to become (nor should we ever become)Jack Hyles or David Cloud.

The neo-evangelicals/neo-libs. are marshalling the discontent of the "itching-ear" masses. Now, I think it is partly due (this discontent) to anemic, man-centered,'not-really-preaching 'that we get in most modern day churches. It's not liberalism, it's just not very good, strong preaching. And people aren't getting nourished in good doctrine. So they go looking.

And our sound-bite temperments are ready to fetch the latest scoop on how to be a better you, cuz ..." I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me"...well you get my meaning.

Phil's article did mention about spiritually healthy churches not getting bamboozled by the con-artist spirituality of the age. I agree, we need to build our churches on sound doctrine, and not be side tracked whether by liberals or fundamentalists.

Zaph

Stefan said...

* Spot-on article
* Insightful comments
* Excellent analysis

Verification word:
"yarpticl"
Makes me think of 2 Tim 4:3.

Chris said...

Gabby,

Thank you for that excellent quote from Pink--such a perfect accompaniment to this post!!!

Blue Collar Todd said...

I would be curious to get thoughts about how this plays out in terms of fruit, because Jesus said we would know them by their fruits. It seems that Liberalism's fruit is birthed in clear ways, but for some reason it is tolerated, thus Liberal Theology is tolerated in the name of unity. Why is that the fruit of Liberal Theology is tolerated in such a way? I am thinking in terms of Christians who are pro-choice and support gay rights. These two issues touch such key doctrines that if Christians support them, they are actually helping to bring about the persecution of other Christians, even Jesus Himself.

Sven Pook said...

Thanks Phil;
My wife and I have found a dearth of God centered teaching in our area. I moved from my ministry position in an attempt to create a ministry which helps provide medical missionaries with the supplies they need. Lord willing, we'll get there :-)

We moved to an area where she has family and were dismayed at the church her family attends. The preaching is so anthropocentric that we have been appalled. It surprises us that no one picks up a Bible to challenge the teaching, which we attempted to do. After our attempts at admonishment, we were "corrected" with deist arguments similar to "the clockmaker." Kind of like this, "No, no, no, you have it all wrong, this is the proper way to look at things . . ." We're just the crazy couple that believe that God is in control. Sad.

I have found that God centered preaching seems to give people desire to find more about God and actually pick up their Bible and that this man centered stuff just makes people think that they have it together and don't need their Bibles.

stratagem said...

Tremendously insightful opening paragraph. I've expereinced this myself firsthand... wish I had known what this one paragraph said at that time!

I also think the first comment on this meta (by "ajlin") is tremendously useful for people to keep in mind.

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stefan said...

The pattern is always the same, from 3500 years ago at the foot of Mount Sinai until today. To sum it up in 21 syllables for the 21st century:

Put man before God
And forsake the Cross
At the infinite price
Of eternal loss.

Rick Potter said...

Phil,
On reading this article I was reminded of a quote from Viktor E. Frankl's book "Mans Search For Meaning". Took me awhile to find it but here it is:

"The Existensial Vacuum which is the mass neurosis of the present time can be described as a private and personal form of nihilism; for nihilism can be defined as the contention that being has no meaning. As for psychotherapy, however, it will never be able to cope with this state of affairs on a mass scale if it does not keep itself free from the impact and influence of the contemporary trends of a nihilistic philosophy."

I know this doesn't speak directly to the crux of the article. But, it is, at least, one of the very dangerous symptoms.

Rick Potter said...

To Cathy M:
I know exactly how you feel!

Mike Erich the Mad Theologian said...

When true teaching dies in the hearts of God's people no doctrinal statement can preserve it. I think the our biggest problem is we fail to really understand and teach God's truth so it is not just a statement we hold to but something we understand and live. The individual who truly understands God's truth is not likely to be slowly led away by subtle error. The one who only knows statements and catch phrases can be turned aside by those who use clever language to mislead people.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Does a false teacher accuse a Paul of being a false teacher?

...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Stefan said...

I offer the following up as a Friday afternoon antidote to the somber discussion.

I was perusing one of the local weekly community papers the other day, and happened upon the section with ads for churches in the community.

There were the usual ads for various Baptist, Pentecostal, and seeker-sensitive churches, but my eye was caught by one church I went to a few times as a non-believer, when I didn't know a whole lot about historic Christianity.

It's an evangelical church in the largest, most liberal mainline Canadian denomination, and the ad pointedly notes that the church is "an evangelical congregation."

My curiosity piqued, I checked out the church's website. It turns out that it belongs to an association of churches within the congregation that had the audacity (as it were) to covenant together to actually honour the denomination's original 1925 statement of faith.

So I checked out the 1925 statement of faith—and it's rock solid orthodox, from the authority of Scripture, right down to the details of the ordo salutis. And so of course, it has long since been abandoned by the bulk of the denomination.

But this is one interesting counter-trend that one sees in various denominations, seminaries, etc.: that certain churches, pastors, or school heads will say "enough is enough," and have the temerity to actually stand on what their denomination professes (or once professed) to believe.

We can all probably think of a few well-known examples and I could offer up a few more of my own, but you get the idea.

To God alone be the glory for all the pastors, elders, seminarians, and believers (especially the ones in small churches) who labour to remain faithful to the Word of God.

Stefan said...

5th paragraph should read "churches within the denomination," not "within the congregation."

donsands said...

"Thus Scripture expressly warns us to be on guard against false teachers who creep into the church unnoticed.."

I heard Scott Hafeman of Gordon Conwell Seminary say in a teaching:

"False teachers don't get up in the pulpit and say, "I hate Jesus. They say, "I love Jesus."

He was teaching on Jude.

here's a link to the same sermon that came to mind: http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/jollyblogger/2005/07/jonathan_edward_1.html

He must have attended the same JEI conference i did.

Excellent post. Vividly said, and so clear. And yet, the deception will never cease, will it.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

How can we know who is a false teacher?

Jacob said...

Disciple of Jesus Christ: Does their teaching line up with Scripture, or do they preach another gospel?
Galatians chapter 1 and 1 Corinthians chapter 15 are a good place to start.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Disciple of Jesus Christ:

Another good way to know who is a false teacher, is to examine yourself by Scripture. Examine what it is to have a true and saving faith, this way you will know what is false. This was/is one of the most important things I have ever undertaken.

John Mac and John Piper have some good articles on this. Also, read Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards. You can read it on line for free. It is sooooo worth it.

God bless you.

one busy mom said...

Your article was right on target. But, as others mentioned, I think the problem is very wide spread even in "Bible believing" churches.

We're currently searching for a new church...and I'm already shellshocked. It would seem that a high regard for Scripture, and a commitment to a natural, literal interpretation (aka: John MacArthur) was the rarest ingredient on this planet.

It's very frustrating!

If it wasn't for the internet, radio, tapes, and books - a whole lot of us wouldn't be getting much of any biblical teaching at all. I truly thank God for all those outlets and for blogs like this...but, honestly, you can't really ask many questions to a book or a tape.

At some point the local church needs real teachers - teachers who are willing and able to stand for the truth of the Gospel without compromise. I know the team pyro members and many of the commenters here are pastors who do just that-preach the Word clearly, carefully, with no wimping out. I truly hope your congregations know how fortunate and blessed they are to have men such as you preaching!..... There's a whole lot of us out there just praying to even find a doctrinally sound church with solid teaching.

olan strickland said...

Disciple of Jesus Christ: Does a false teacher accuse a Paul of being a false teacher?

Absolutely! This has always been the devil's tactic. Jesus was called the devil and He categorically stated that His disciples would be called the same thing (see Matthew 10:24-25).

Also as you read Paul's letters you see where his ministry was constantly being undermined by the false apostles and all the negative but untrue things they said about him. On one occasion Paul stated that he was regarded as a deceiver by some (false prophets and their followers) and yet as true by others (true prophets and the children of God) - see 2 Corinthians 6:7-8.

How can we know who is a false teacher?

Look closely at Matthew 7 for starters and see if the Lord made a distinction between who is interested in quantity and who is interested in quality.

1 John 4:1-6 is another place to look. Especially look at how the false prophets speak. "They are from the world and therefore they speak as from the world" (v.5).

Compare that to this quote: "If you want to market your church to the unchurched, you must learn to speak like they do and think like they do."

So what would you say according to the Word of God about the person that said this?

Robert said...

@recreatedinchrist - I'm at Multnomah everyday, and believe me, there is now emergent or liberalism running amok or even subverting the orthodox, conservative theology.

You're obviously a name-dropper and a bomb-thrower. You seemed to turn out theologically trained well enough. Do you simply think that all went liberal when you left?

Seriously? Great job of distracting away from the authors words with accusations and defamation. Think about it before you go hurting 1000's of people like that. Maybe you just sound as cynical and "pseudo-intellectual" as those you rail against when you do that.

Robert said...

Regarding my last post: "Now" should have been "NO". As in: "There is NO liberal or emergent doctrine running around unchecked." It is simply not happening.

Sometimes kids are working out their faith and it gets misguided, but that's how it is until they can be shown the correct way.

I wish people would clean up their own yards and stop pointing accusatory fingers at their brothers and sisters.

Bobby Grow said...

Robert,

Calm down a bit. My experience at Multnomah was great, all in all. In fact I've served as adjunct there myself. I wasn't referencing the faculty, per se; instead the student body, and the "in-roads" that some of this "intellectualism" is gaining.

The key to what I said, though was "in-roads." I'm actually heading over to Multnomah's Library today, are you going to be there; I'd rather talk face to face.

Btw, I spent around 8 or 9 yrs on Multnomah's campus everyday as well (not too long ago). I know plenty of the faculty, and I know some who would readily agree with me (some who are no longer there, anyway).

What role are you in at Multnomah? A student, faculty, staff?

Anyway, please be more careful before you accuse me of trying to smear Multnomah, in general; engage carefully with what I said.

P.S. Multnomah has changed drastically in atmosphere since I first attended in 98 and left in 03 (as a student). After all it's no longer a Bible College, it's a University.

PPS. I know plenty of Multnomah alum who look nothing like Multnomah's doctrinal statement today.

Bobby Grow said...

Robert,

Btw, I know many of these guys, at Multnomah, by name --- which I won't "drop" --- who are indeed engaged with what Multnomah would consider "liberal" (theologically -- doctrinally). Like denying inerrancy, like accepting the claims of Biblical higher criticism, like holding to universalism (i.e. salvation). And I would venture to say that they could "out-articulate" many of their profs on these points; or at least hold their own --- they are well informed, and better read in these areas than many of the profs I had at Multnomah. Now this might just represent a "few," but that's all it takes.

And then I'm not even talking about the philosophy change (at a leadership level) that has apparently ocurred at Multnomah (that's a separate, but a related issue). As a Multnomah Alum, who lives close by, I have every right to critique what I think is going on at Multnomah (whether good or bad). All in all, I still think Multnomah is good; and would send my kids there someday. But give me a break, I have as much of a foot in Multnomah as anyone, friend. And I'm telling you what I personally know, from people I personally know who are currently at Multnomah!

Phil Johnson said...

recreatedinchrist: "The only thing I would like clarification on --- and you didn't make this that clear in the piece --- is who you believe the neo-Liberals to be?"

I would certainly include the Emergent Village celebrities like McLaren, Pagitt, Jones, etc. Also the cast of clowns at TheOoze, as well as Shane Claiborne. They're all pretty obvious. But in all honesty I was actually thinking mostly about the current editorial drift at Christianity Today when I wrote this.

I declined to name names because my friends at 9Marks asked me to write the article without naming names, so as to avoid deflecting their comment-threads away from the issues and into a discussion about personalities.

I originally had two oblique references to specific Emergent Village characters in my original draft. When someone at 9Marks recognized one, I 'fessed up to the other one, and they deleted them both.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Jacob said:
Disciple of Jesus Christ: Does their teaching line up with Scripture, or do they preach another gospel?
Galatians chapter 1 and 1 Corinthians chapter 15 are a good place to start.

___
___

Do you mean MY interpretation of Scripture?...

Grace be with you!
Jdisciple†

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Mary said:
Another good way to know who is a false teacher, is to examine yourself by Scripture.

___

Whose interpretation of Scripture, sister?

___
___

Mary said:
Examine what it is to have a true and saving faith, this way you will know what is false.

____

Do you mean no one had a saving faith before the Reformation?...

___
___

Mary said:
John Mac and John Piper have some good articles on this. Also, read Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards. You can read it on line for free. It is sooooo worth it.

God bless you.

___

Thank you, sister.

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

olan said:
Absolutely! This has always been the devil's tactic. Jesus was called the devil and He categorically stated that His disciples would be called the same thing (see Matthew 10:24-25).

___

Then who decides which side is the false teacher? Both accuse each other...

___
___

olan said:
Look closely at Matthew 7 for starters and see if the Lord made a distinction between who is interested in quantity and who is interested in quality.

___

And who decides which quality is good?

___
___

olan said:
1 John 4:1-6 is another place to look. Especially look at how the false prophets speak. "They are from the world and therefore they speak as from the world" (v.5).

___

Wow! A beautiful one! :)

But again a question, and excuse me if I am asking a lot, because I want to make everything clear: Who decides what is worldly and what is not?...

___
___

olan said:
Compare that to this quote: "If you want to market your church to the unchurched, you must learn to speak like they do and think like they do."

___

Many Sabbatarians do not want to market their church... Does this mean that Sabbatarian teachers are not false teachers?...

Note: I am noticing that America's biblical churches have some serious issues with what they call the "emergent movement"... so much that they forget that some teachers may be heretics even in the biblical churches...

Grace to you!
Jdisciple†

DJP said...

Ah brothers, sisters; listen to Admiral Ackbar.

Cathy M. said...

DJP: (snickering) I kinda figured that out from your last post. Its like having a chimney sweep nesting in your fireplace. You hate to kill it, but eventually you must. (Just a figure of speech)

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

I don't understand why this lack of love. Is this really a Christian blog?...

DJP, why do you like judging people without even knowing who they are and what they do?

I still didn't get any answer to my questions. I feel that a thirsty man comes here only to go back thirsty, as people here are busy with theological problems and do not have time for that wounded man besides the road... I hope a Samaritan will pass soon...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Zaphon said...

LOL...DJP, I blame you for making me laugh spontaneously in public.

VcdeChagn said...

I will make ONE comment (thus springing the trap so aptly noticed by our fish-eyed friend) and it is this:

Who decides what is worldly and what is not?...

God does. Read His word and you will know what He says about it.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

VcdeChagn, why do you all agree on judging me? What did you see in me that made you think I am setting a trap? Is it only because a leader told you that's the fact?...

Many of you should come here to Middle-East, and experience some persecution in order to begin to understand what it means to seek union with your brethren and to seek to evangelize the world...

You said:
Who decides what is worldly and what is not?...

God does. Read His word and you will know what He says about it.

___

Did I not already ask whose interpretation of God's Word I should believe? MY interpretation?

All those false teachers read the same Word and see that the other side is the false teacher. What do you think about this?

Again, the Word of God teaches us that even if we have all the knowledge and know who is setting a trap, and we do not have love, then we are NOTHING, "ZERO", as John MacArthur puts it...

And all what I have experienced till now here is a lack of love and a lack of hospitality and judgment. Nobody really cared to see what I need. Nobody washed my feet.

I am not saying this because I want you to do it. I am saying this so that you may see the fruits and know them by... their fruits...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

As you should have noticed, I am the pyromaniac here, while those who say they are pyromaniacs are afraid to even approach the fire, and they shout: "It's a trap! Be careful! Get away!"

"I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!" (Luke 12:49)

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Mike Riccardi said...

Disciple,

I'll tell you the reason I think people aren't engaging you. You don't sound like you're coming to learn. You sound like you're trying to bait someone into an argument and then present a canned presentation of whatever doctrinal hangup you've got.

If you really have a question, put your cards on the table. What point are you trying to make by insisting that we don't know whose interpretation to trust?

The whole, "Whose interpretation" question is a [insert Latin name for phrase that means 'distracts from real point'] anyway. The Scripture is clear. Read it with childlike faith, a consecrated mind, and no agenda, and if the Spirit of God dwells in you He'll make it plain.

"But what about all the godly men who disagree on fine points of theology, Mike?"

Is that your problem? Is there a doctrinal issue that two of your heroes disagree on that you want help with? Then say so. Just be up front with people and you won't experience Admiral Ackbar warnings.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Mike,

Nobody should come to you to learn things. We all should go to Christ to learn. So we ALL are at the feet of the Lord to learn. We should meditate on His Word day and night, and that's what I am trying to make us all do. But it seems that America's churches have got to a place where they only want people to learn from them, as they all want to be teachers and leaders, instead of sitting with the humble at the feet of the Lord. In this process, they judge anyone who doesn't submit to this melting pot as a person who sets traps or as a heretic...

Please, be careful when you judge my doctrine, as you may be judging me before you hear me. It seems you didn't even try to see our blog to see that we are Bible-believing Christians like you...

What is the point that I want to make when I say that we can't know whose interpretation we can trust?
And where did I ever say that we can't know?? I am asking so that we may all learn from the Bible whose interpretation we should trust.

You said:
"But what about all the godly men who disagree on fine points of theology, Mike?"

Is that your problem? Is there a doctrinal issue that two of your heroes disagree on that you want help with? Then say so. Just be up front with people and you won't experience Admiral Ackbar warnings.

___

You all already have this problem. I am here to study with you why you have that problem, and why many who accuse others of being false angels of light are themselves those false angels.

___

And thus I set the pyromaniacs blog on fire, after it was cold like the snows of our mount Ararat. :)

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Mike Riccardi said...

Oh I get it. You're here on someone else's blog to teach us all that we shouldn't be teaching anybody.

Yeah. Back to Admiral Ackbar.

Chris said...

Thank You Mike!

I wanted to write almost the same message to this "Disciple" fellow myself. Oh, as for the insertion, that would be a "red herring" fallacy, and it's a keen observation!


Disciple: Mike asks you a good question. Why all the cryptic beating around the bush? I've even gone to your profile, web page, and all of the links to find out who you really are and where you are truly coming from with your comments and questions. However, I only found links to more links, but not concrete answers to these questions. Don't you think all the mystery and code surrounding you and your comments says something about your credibility??

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

You see, Mike? You are programmed to judge people. So whatever I say, you will judge me and put words in my mouth.

Where did I say that I am here to teach? On the contrary, I said I am here to make US ALL sit at the feet of the Teacher and learn. That's why I am asking questions to those who claim to be teachers. And no one is able to answer me. Thus I prove my point: There is no real Teacher but my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Only those who are humble and sit at His feet can be teachers in the Church that He bought by His blood.

Go, and be reconciled with those whom you wrongly accused of being heretics. And when you come back, you will see what was the trap: a trap to make you remember the Commandment of Jesus... What a trap!...

:) Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

"to this "Disciple" fellow"

What an expression of disdain!...

"Disciple: Mike asks you a good question. Why all the cryptic beating around the bush? I've even gone to your profile, web page, and all of the links to find out who you really are and where you are truly coming from with your comments and questions. However, I only found links to more links, but not concrete answers to these questions. Don't you think all the mystery and code surrounding you and your comments says something about your credibility??"

Friend, how do you know about the Apostles of Jesus? How do they have any credibility for you? Where did you read their CVs?

Answer me, and I will answer you. :)

Jdisciple†

Bobby Grow said...

Mike R said:

I'll tell you the reason I think people aren't engaging you. You don't sound like you're coming to learn. . . .

Is that what this medium is, a place to "learn?" To learn from who? I agree we learn together, but that comes from critically challenging eachother; it's a two-way street, not one-way. This is a blog, not a lectern; I don't know where "Disciple" is coming from, theologically, but there should be space here to disagree and have a genuine honest engagement take place (that typically doesn't happen here). Usually if people disagree here it quickly reduces to smart alek responses --- from the regulars --- or ignoring (which is better) --- but this is not a charitable place, in general.

I understand this is indeed, a blog; so the owners can do what they want with it, and treat it the way they will. But typically folks interact on blogs in order to engage in collegial dialogue; not to sit under tutors.

Phil,

Thank you for clarifying on the piece.

Bobby Grow said...

And surely there is a learning curve, we're all at different places in that regard; but if disagreement ocurrs with the consensus here, why is it that that person is immediately demonized to the point that they become an automatic "troll?" If someone brings a challenge, that you don't know how to respond to, just say so; don't jump back to a posture of defense.


Just some points, that I know plenty of lurkers here would like to make; but don't feel like jumping into the fray :-).

DJP said...

Mike Riccardi nailed it, as so often.

DOJC, from the ostentatious alias to the avatar to the comments I've deleted and those I've allowed, you give off a very definite "vibe." And it isn't a good one. One develops a sort of "spidey sense" in detecting alien agendas, and so far you've pretty much stuck to just exactly that script.

Regardless, here we are. You sniff that this site is a grave disappointment to you. Okey doke, taking you at your word, thanks for dropping by. Sorry we couldn't help you. See you.

Meanwhile, somehow, others bring questions and needs and abilities both to teach and be taught, and they manage to find profit. But that could mean we're all bad, hosts and commenters alike, and only you are getting it right. It is a possibility.

Yet nonetheless, as the experience has been such a deep disappointment to you, and since the leadership of this blog isn't about to start defining "love" as allowing disruption from drive-bys, I guess those who wish to will be seeing you in cyber space.

Or you'll use this to try to move the focus onto yourself in the name of moving it to Christ and the Word — which is where it was before you drove by, and where it will remain.

And you betcha, I take seriously my role in preventing these metas from being hijacked by drive-bys with agendas. I've often been thanked for doing so by participants. I'm also roundly hated by would-be hijackers, who to a man (and woman) depict themselves as honest, innocent victims and wounded martyrs.

Can I be mistaken? Absolutely.

Regardless, it's a judgment-call we're bound to make, and it won't change, either.

DJP said...

ZaphonLOL...DJP, I blame you for making me laugh spontaneously in public.

Fortunately, you're getting that in at the tail-end of "It's Dan's Fault Week," so your entry is admissible.

(c;

BTW, Al Mohler's and Frank's flight woes, and Phil's computer miseries? My bad. Sorry, try to do better next week.

Chris said...

"Disciple": do you actually compare yourself with the apostles and their unique calling?? If so, should we then simply refer to you as #14?


Bobby,

With all due respect, as the spirit in which you write appears to be that of a learner, not a lurker: if we be Christians--followers of Christ and His Truth who submit to His Lordship--should we then not all be learners who submit to the truth of God and learn from those whom he has foreordained as teachers of his glorious truth? Phil and Dan are gifted men who simply seek to esteem Christ, not themselves, and love to teach his truth because they love his truth; they assume anyone who identifies themselves as a brother or sister in Christ views the objective truth of God in the same way.

As for blogging norms, a genuinely Christian blog will not/should not resemble other blogs in some regards, just as anything that is truly Christian will be/should be distinct from the world in certain ways. Please notice that I did not say isolated from the world nor that Christians should not embrace this medium as a means to both understand and spread the gospel of Christ. Of course, the postmodern and pagan world around has written new "standards" for all discourse that everyone is expected to follow, whereby "tolerance" is esteemed as the chief of virtues and "open-mindedness" somehow translates into intelligence (even wisdom in some apostate, liberal circles of so-called Christians). Of course, they naturally think it arrogant and conceited to declare absolutes of any sort, and expecting people to operate in a spirit of submission to the objective, propositional truth of God declared in his word is absolutely unacceptable to their prideful hearts. This is because they have no fear of the the Lord and their foolish hearts are darkened. I'm assuming you know this and agree. So, because blogging is a clear manifestation of communication in a postmodern world, and such communication by postmodern society has developed certain characteristics, God's truth does not change nor adapt--and neither should followers of that truth in any venue--right?

Hence, if we believe the Lord has appointed teachers (as his word declares He has), who revere the truth of God and diligently study his word in order to be found worthy of their high calling, then our own pride ought to be set aside and replaced with a joy in learning such truth, which surpasses all of us individually. God's inerrant word is our only standard, not cultural norms of 2010. Most of evangelicalism misses this point today, and the worst culprits--in my opinion--are the so-called "Christian" colleges who are so far into the bowels of apostasy because of all the many layers of compromise they have allowed and embraced...all in their vain, proud, and utterly wicked desires to gain "academic respectability" from pagan academia.

Chris said...

So many of these present hotbeds of heresy were once solid Christian colleges that enjoyed God's blessing upon them as they faithfully proclaimed and defended his absolute truth. They made sure everyone involved with their entire ministry not only agreed to their detailed and solid doctrinal statements and said the right things, but also demonstrated the spirit of a true believer: characterized, among many things, by humble, joyful submission to the truth (as learners) in everything they did.

But, once they began to allow some of the corners to be rounded on the hard edges of key doctrines, accommodated and/or failed to discern enemies of the cross in the form of false teachers, refused to call false that which was false in the name of ecumenical "unity," embraced pragmatism, learned how to perfect "nuance" in their speech, refused to call sins what they are, embraced the skepticism and political correctness of their pagan colleagues in secular schools, and ultimately revealed just how far removed they are in their darkened thinking from anything we see in true believers throughout the history of orthodox Christianity. We now see so-called "Christian" schools embracing secular humanism, postmodernism, gnosticism, mysticism, feminism, environmentalism, antinomianism, etc.

In essence, they merely started taking the form of ancient heresies with or without their knowledge of such sad and striking parallels. They have broadened and morphed themselves in compromise so many times over that they couldn't possibly find their way back to the narrow road of truth they once knew, walked and ultimately abandoned for "Worldly Wisdom" and "Vanity Fair" (Pilgrim's Progress); now they reside in the "Swamps of Despair."

Francis Schaeffer described the modern downgrade in all areas of society as a sort of nihilistic resolution to live below what he called the "line of despair." If he were alive today, I'm sure he would describe the postmodern downgrade as a plunge even deeper below that line of despair!! This is where the evangelical church is today: drowning, weighed-down by many sins, and trying to reside comfortably in the depths of darkness! She is resolving to abandon even attempts to swim upward and reach the surface--that place of the truth upon which she was once safely afloat. Some are so far in the dark depths that they haven't a clue where the surface even is any longer!

(cont.)

To make matters worse, there are constantly bombarded by enemies of the cross who reside in and love the darkness (like eels), and who disguise themselves as angels of light. These spiritual predators of the deep talk much of ecumenical unity, judging not, discerning not, and telling wayward evangelicals to simply make themselves comfortable and relevant to their new surroundings.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zaphon said...

DJP...it's the price of genius big bro!-YOURS not mine. Yours NOT mine.

Zaph :-)

Bobby Grow said...

Chris

I respect Dan, Phil as teachers; but there are actually other teachers out there.

I'm a learner as are you, as are Dan and Phil. I disagree with the underlying theology presented by PHil and Dan and MacArthur (in re to their view on Classic Calvinism). I have my own "credentials" as a "teacher," but whatever, that's not the point --- and I suspect that's not what you were really getting at with that point either (nice rhetorical work though, Chris).

Nobody is above being challenged from Scripture. Paul thought it was a great thing that the Bereans challenged him. I don't sit under the Pyros as my "teachers", I respect them as brothers in Christ; and recognize that they are teachers in their own circles, but I don't place myself under their "authority," Chris (only insofar as they accurately represent the Gospel, and I think they fail in doing that relative to articulating the mechanics and secondary mechanisms of soteriology --- so I challenge that).

The Pyros may be your teachers, they are not mine (that's not to say I can't learn anything from them --- but like I said, this is a two-way street not a one-way).

Chris, it should be okay to disagree with other believers; even teachers (and in this re. they are my peers, as far as training and recognition from other leaders in the church and gifting). The problem is, is that folks can't distinguish the Gospel from theological frameworks; so when someone disagrees with the pyro guys or MacArthur they are not seen as disagreeing with "them," but the Gospel itself (and that simply is not the case).

I think you should take some time to reflect further on the history of ideas that have shaped "your teachers" perspective; and then we can talk meaningfully, Chris. I'm not disagreeing with the Gospel, I'm disagreeing (often) with the Pyros "theology" --- and not even in this thread (I think Phil's article is spot on, in the main).

Let's not throw out anymore red herrings on who's the teacher/learner --- I understand where you're going with that, and it is quaint; but really not substantial in re. to what we're supposed to be talking about (the "truth" --- which is "ageless" and w/o status, "it is").

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Thank you, Bobby. You clarified many things in a much better way than what I was able to do. That's exactly what I wanted to say: this is not a charitable place, and that's not a good fruit. No human can claim to teach people, especially on the internet. Our only Teacher is Jesus Christ, and we all are disciples. I understand that there are some pastor-teachers working on this blog, but it seems that they forget that they have no authority on those who are not from their parish.

And your comments about the Calvinist theology is in its place. As many of the orthodox Christians today are Calvinists, so it seems that some Calvinists have concluded that Calvinism = Christianity, and that all other groups are just non-Christians. I have read an article on this blog where the author compares the time when he was in a Methodist church with the time he "became a Christian"... As if no Methodist is a Christian. Methodists are clearly in error concerning the Election in Christ, but this doesn't mean none of them is a Christian. If anyone says none of them is a Christian, then this person should tell me whether there was any Christian before the Reformation, as I previously asked (and nobody could answer, of course...) Calvinists do not realize that they also are wrong concerning Election, just as the Methodists are. Only the Bible is right concerning Election.

I just call the admins on this blog to ask themselves: Would Jesus react to the posts of Disciple of Jesus Christ the same way they did...

Anyways, I already noticed that you can't have a healthy dialogue with them. So let's learn from the Word of God. They are posting good articles in general. So let's consider this place as a certain ministry's website, and let's forget that it's a blog where people can interact...

Thank you all!

Grace to you!
Jdisciple†

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Bobby:

I don't think that any of these Teampyro men feel they are your personal teacher. I personally follow this blog because they basically line up with how I perceive the gospel. And I have learned so much about the Old Testament (and New) by listening to Phil's sermons on Bible Bulletin Board.

Dan wrote a really good article, titled, and I forget the exact title, something about Paper Pastors, in which he talks about the importance of OUR OWN pastors, in the churches we attend, as needing our attention instead of the pastors who write all the best selling books, who we do not even know intimately.

I wish someone here would make a reference to that article??? It is really good.

What is your purpose of coming here if you have do not hold to their teachings?

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

DJP said:
DOJC, from the ostentatious alias to the avatar to the comments I've deleted and those I've allowed, you give off a very definite "vibe."

______

I am sorry that you couldn't understand that we are here in a place where Christians are persecuted and that we can't freely tell on the internet who we are. Asking us for details about our identity is like delivering us to Muslims in particular and others in general, just as Judas did with Jesus... So be careful.

Do you have any picture of the Apostle Paul? Do you have his CV? And yet you think he has a perfect credibility. Tell me why is this, and I will tell you how you can be sure about who I am without having my name and my picture...

Just have love and interact with me, or else you won't be able to have fellowship with Christians whom you don't know personally.

___
___

DJP said:
Regardless, here we are. You sniff that this site is a grave disappointment to you. Okey doke, taking you at your word, thanks for dropping by. Sorry we couldn't help you. See you.

______

Let everyone see your hospitality...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Chris said:
"Disciple": do you actually compare yourself with the apostles and their unique calling?? If so, should we then simply refer to you as #14?

_______

How did you know about the unique calling of the Apostles?

Let's leave the case of the Apostles... How do you know about John Calvin?

Answer, and you will get my answer about how you can know about me.

Jdisciple†

Mike Riccardi said...

Bobby, I'd just like to clarify what I meant by, "not coming to learn," as it seems to have caused some confusion.

I agree that the blogosphere is a place of interacting and mutual sharpening. Don't get me wrong on that. But in this particular case, DOJC was asking multiple questions and then complaining that nobody was quenching his "thirst," or giving him the "help" he needed as a "wounded man on the side of the road."

That is, he was playing like he really wanted someone to answer his questions as if it was going to aid him in some personal quandary he found himself in. He tried to guilt-trip people into feeling bad for not helping "a wounded man."

In my comment, I was merely bringing out that it was pretty plain that this "wounded man" was playing possum. (And I was right, by the way, as I should hope is plain to all by now.)

So I wasn't trying to set Phil, Dan, Frank, and especially not myself up as teachers of all the visitors that happen to drop by with a question. I was saying that in this case, this guy came in asking questions, claiming to want help (or, claiming to want to learn), and it came off that his questioning was just pedantic leveraging for attention.

That's all.

Mesa Mike said...

I, for one, think of the Pyros as my teachers. I've learned a lot from lurking about these parts.

Thank you, Phil, Dan and Frank.

...and many of you commentors as well.

Some of you commentors, though...
After having read all the comments, I think I can echo Dan's Admiral Ackbar sentiments. Except maybe it's more like this.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

"But in this particular case, DOJC was asking multiple questions and then complaining that nobody was quenching his "thirst," or giving him the "help" he needed as a "wounded man on the side of the road.""

This is just a misrepresentation of what I said. That was not about me, but about anyone who visits this blog, looking for water. I said we should all learn at the feet of the Lord, and not be teachers, or else those who come here to seek for answers and for the water will only find theologians who teach them theology.

I have already answered to a comment on our blog on the article which is related to one of this blog's articles. I have explained this point there.

____
____

"That is, he was playing like he really wanted someone to answer his questions as if it was going to aid him in some personal quandary he found himself in. He tried to guilt-trip people into feeling bad for not helping "a wounded man.""

This is the condition of these people: they refuse to understand that I am calling them to talk the language of common people and to interact NOT because I NEED their answers, but because I want people who visit this blog to receive the water they need.

They are still judging me, refusing to understand why I am here.

___
___

"I was saying that in this case, this guy came in asking questions, claiming to want help (or, claiming to want to learn),"

I won't say that you are lying, so that you won't get upset. I understand that you may be honestly misunderstanding what I am saying, therefore you are saying what you just said. But please note that I NEVER said that I am seeking to learn from this blog. I said we ALL should learn from the Lord at His feet.

I don't see why this should be so hard to understand.

Visitors of this blog should be pointed to Christ and not to Calvinism for example. Do you get this?

___
___

"and it came off that his questioning was just pedantic leveraging for attention.

That's all."

Thank you: I don't want attention, brother. Just please stop making a case of my comments, as if you were jealous that they are catching the attention of people who live in a place where they are not used to such a bold honesty in calling people to sit at the feet of the Lord instead of claiming to be teachers. America's Christianity is a leadership community... All are seeking to be leaders... We are receiving books from your side of the world, and we see what they are about: How to be a leader... How to lead... As if people forgot that we should call no one on earth our leader... They have watered down that powerful commandment of our Lord.

Anyways... Please, don't pay attention to me... But sorry, I can't be a conformist...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Chris said...

Bobby,

Bobby, the following is just an observation; I hope I'm conveying it in an encouraging spirit of loving rebuke:

I'm afraid you have missed my point entirely, as you seem to be blinded by pride on the subject at hand, unfortunately. Now, before you think I'm merely looking for a plank in your eye, I know the sin of pride all too well from all of my own encounters with it; none of us is immune, for we are wretched and undone before a holy God. While I have my own struggles with pride, I can also say that I'm not contending with it in these comments. We become prideful when we think/act subjectively, not objectively, which is the very point I'm making here.

Whenever someone seems so bent on identifying the order of authority (who has or does not have the right to be the 'boss' over them) reveals far more about the spirit in which they approach the whole subject of learning God's Truth than it clarifies which teacher is most appropriate for them--or whom they ought to teach for that matter. With that said, I absolutely believe in teachers having the authority to teach by their knowledge and depth of scripture, doctrine, and/or theology, whether or not such knowledge comes by way of an actual seminary. Actually, in light of the way most "Christian" schools teach anything but truth, it may become necessary at some point in the future to know who is or is not qualified to teach the word of God by their absence of seminary degree...or in knowing if their degree comes from an extremely short list...or on what date they received their seminary degree from a school that turned apostate.

The spirit I'm sensing in your reply may even be an issue of jealousy, which is merely an extension of pride. You really seem to miss the fact that a love for truth simply translates into a love toward those who teach and preach truth, thus ignoring man-centered and/or carnal debates about who is boss. The idea of recognizing objective truth as the standard by which we all need to adhere--in true unity, not ecumenical heresy--seems to be lost in the struggle to teach and not be taught.



DOJC: You don't simply miss the point; rather, you are determined to undermine every point of embracing objective truth of God's word (regardless of who gets to wear the teacher hat) in every one of your comments. I can honestly say in all seriousness that your unteachable spirit is far more reminiscent of the scribes and pharisees than of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chris said...

DOJC:

Thank you for the last bit of your last comment...you've clarified things greatly by saying you cannot be a conformist. This is precisely at the heart of your heart problem: you refuse to conform (to the objective truth in the objective word of God). You desire to do things your way, think your way, and not submit to anyone...even the Lord himself whom you identify in your handle. You refuse to hear any teacher with humility, but are so hungry to teach others. Hmmm, that's what I call the mark of a cult leader.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

"Actually, in light of the way most "Christian" schools teach anything but truth, it may become necessary at some point in the future to know who is or is not qualified to teach the word of God by their absence of seminary degree..."

Another pope?...

___
___

"DOJC: You don't simply miss the point; rather, you are determined to undermine every point of embracing objective truth of God's word (regardless of who gets to wear the teacher hat) in every one of your comments."

Whose interpretation of God's Word?

___
___

"I can honestly say in all seriousness that your unteachable spirit is far more reminiscent of the scribes and pharisees than of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Thanks for the judgment.

We pass...

Be in Peace!

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

"DOJC:

Thank you for the last bit of your last comment...you've clarified things greatly by saying you cannot be a conformist. This is precisely at the heart of your heart problem: you refuse to conform (to the objective truth in the objective word of God)."

Still misrepresenting what I am saying. Where did I say that I don't want to be a conformist to the Word of God? Please, quote me saying that. I am waiting...

____
____

"You desire to do things your way, think your way, and not submit to anyone..."

I clearly said that I submit to my Teacher, Jesus Christ.

Stop misrepresenting me.

_____
_____

"even the Lord himself whom you identify in your handle. You refuse to hear any teacher with humility, but are so hungry to teach others. Hmmm, that's what I call the mark of a cult leader."

Hmmm... :)

Thanks for the judgment, brother.

Now, you can go sleep with a good conscience...

Be in Peace!

Mike Riccardi said...

I can honestly say in all seriousness that your unteachable spirit is far more reminiscent of the scribes and pharisees than of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now if that's not irony, I don't know what is. Not only is the guy who promises he's not trying to teach anyone accusing people of being unteachable, but my goodness, this is the blackest pot addressing kettles that I've seen in a long time.

How far from the topic of the original post are we? Does anyone even remember what it is?

Last week it was Don Johnson. This week it's this guy. The result is the same: the thread derailed and a forum constructed to air one's own hangups. DOJC, let me say it plainly: the place to do what you're doing is at your blog. If people are interested in you or what you have to say, they'll come to read your stuff there. There you can teach people all about how nobody's supposed to teach anybody anything. I mean if you really wanna comment at PyroManiacs, at the very least wait for a post that addresses the topic of leadership or something.

I gotta admit, I'm surprised to see the thread still open, given the length of this rabbit trail, if you even want to call it that.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

"Now if that's not irony, I don't know what is. Not only is the guy who promises he's not trying to teach anyone accusing people of being unteachable, but my goodness, this is the blackest pot addressing kettles that I've seen in a long time."

Dear Mike,

Thank you for finally admitting the irony in what Chris said about me. Just as you made understand, Chris was judging me with that paragraph. Thanks again for admitting that.

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___

"How far from the topic of the original post are we? Does anyone even remember what it is?"

I am still talking about false teachers, which is the topic of this post. While people here are concentrating on judging me...

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"DOJC, let me say it plainly: the place to do what you're doing is at your blog. If people are interested in you or what you have to say, they'll come to read your stuff there. There you can teach people all about how nobody's supposed to teach anybody anything. I mean if you really wanna comment at PyroManiacs, at the very least wait for a post that addresses the topic of leadership or something."

I was just replying to something addressed to me about leadership. Do I not have the right even to defend my position?...

Are you saying that I don't have the right to comment on other blogs as long as I have a blog?... :)

Be in Peace!

stratagem said...

If I may be allowed to skip over the gazillion off-topic posts by DOJC and those who fell into his trap, I had a thought that is somewhat on topic I believe:

Referring to Phil's last comment, what motivates the Emergent Village idiots and the Ooze clowns to derail people from the true Biblical Gospel, to the hollowed-out Social gospel? I did some thinking on this and although this is a vast oversimplification, I believe it is something to do with 2 Peter 3:3 where they have grown impatient waiting on the Lord and want to make "something" happen on their own timetable, even if it means taking the Kingdom by force.

Maybe I am giving them too much credit and perhaps it is simply rebellion in the raw that is driving the false teachings, but I wonder?

Mike Riccardi said...

Hah! You're right! I missed the quotes. The comment makes much more sense now.

My apologies to you, Chris. Goes to show we were thinking the same thing regarding DOJC's unteachableness.

I guess I fell into the trap, but I'm done now. Forgive me for my part in the derailment of the thread.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

It is also interesting to see what is tolerable to the neo-liberals. They need to hear from, need to learn from, need to sit a the table with virtually every kind of abomination, but there is a violent reaction once the biblical voice is heard. Very revealing.

DJP said...

I just deleted 2 comments, and here's why:

NOTHING on the commenters.

Let's not talk about a banned commenter, even if temporarily so, when that person can't respond.

I hope that makes sense, and no offense is intended.

Robert said...

DJP,

If that means that you have banned the source of the neverending cycle of banter that came about in this comment stream, THANK YOU! I just came to see what all new discussion had come about and have been fighting bouts of frustration and anger from reading all of this.

Which then kept me from saying that it has been nice going from this article to reading "He Is Not Silent" by Al Mohler. I feel strengthened and encouraged by y'all and by Dr. Mohler and wanted to take the opportunity to thank y'all for your dedication and work on this site and your other work to further the kingdom of God.

In Christ,
robert

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Now, DOJC, the expiration of your temporary ban is moved to 5/11/10, as explained in this thread.

Keep violating it, and it will be made permanent.

Chris said...

Dan,

No offense taken; makes good sense to me!

BTW: sometimes I make the mistake of typing 8's for 5's and vice-verse; any chance that's what happened when you set the date to lift the ban??

DJP said...

Math isn't my strong suit, but I can't figure out what mistake you think I made. "At least a week," I said. Then he violated the ban. I added a day. That takes us to a week from tomorrow, which is 5/11/10 - May 11, 2010. What do you think I'm missing, and then can I please get back to life that moves on from this spot?

Chris said...

Dan,

You needn't do anything; your ban and extension on the ban were entirely appropriate. My comment was intended to be funny--as in August rather than May to ban dojc (-;

(however, I do mix-up 5's and 8's, and I might have accidentally slipped had I initiated the ban.

So, on with life...

DJP said...

D'oh! Sorry. So many "mistakes" have been pointed out to me in the last week or so, I just thought it was yet another. Sorry.

Linda Kruschke said...

This is exactly what has happened in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America over the past 20 years, to the point that now those who believe the truth of Scripture as the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God have had to leave the ELCA. My own church split and a large group of us who want to stand firm on God's Word have started a new congregation. Those Angels of Light can wreak havoc in the church.