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Category Archives: sanctification

Some Honest Questions for Joseph Prince

Dr Michael Brown is one of the most theologically astute polemicist in the charismatic community. He speaks with clarity and charity when thexposing the “hyper-grace” heresy. In doing so, he fulfills Jesus inspired imperative in the letter of Jude.

 “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain ungodly men… have crept into the church, perverting the grace of god by sanctioning unrestrained-unrepentant behavior which flagrantly denies the credibility of one’s confession in the Lordship of Jesus Christ”   [rghanner paraphrase]

Dr Brown is at his anointed best in his recent open letter which poses eleven penetrating questions to Joseph Prince, one of the chief proponents of the “hyper-grace “heresy. I’ve extracted a sampling so as to evoke further reading of the entire article.

>If God has pronounced your future sins forgiven in the same way He has pronounced your past sins forgiven, why do Paul and other New Testament writers address these very sins in their letters, and why does Jesus address them in Revelation 2-3? We know that God doesn’t bring our past sins up to us, since He has forgiven and “forgotten” them. Why then does He bring our present sins up to us in the New Testament, even warning us about the dangers of walking in those sins, if they have also been forgiven and forgotten in advance?

>A leading hyper-grace teacher claims that the doctrine of progressive sanctification is a “spiritually murderous lie.” Does that mean that grace preachers like Charles Spurgeon, who believed in progressive sanctification, taught this alleged lie? And if “progressive sanctification” simply means to walk out our holiness with the help of the Spirit, what is so dangerous about this teaching? Put another way, do you reject the concept that the one who made us holy now calls us to live holy lives in thought, word and deed, thereby “completing our sanctification in the fear of God” (2 Cor 7:1)? Doesn’t Paul say we are called saints (that is who we are) and called to be saints (that is how we live)? (See 1 Cor. 1:2.)

>Since you believe we are not to judge our salvation by our conduct, how can we avoid self-deception? I know that you are against certain types of self-examination lest you become “sin conscious” and take your eyes off the finished work of the cross, but what do you make of verses that state that we know we have passed from death to life only if we live a certain way (like 1 John 3:14)? If I understand you correctly, you would question the salvation of someone who demonstrated no change of life and continued to walk in unrepentant sin. But doesn’t this mean that, on some level, you are looking at your “performance” to verify your salvation?Do you see any possible danger in emphasizing that it is impossible for a believer to lose his or her salvation? Of course, we could debate whether the Bible teaches this at all, but simply as a matter of experience, many of us have encountered very lost people—drunkards, fornicators, without the slightest interest in God (see 1 Cor. 6:9-10)—who have then assured us that they were saved because it was impossible for them to lose their salvation. So on a practical level, do you feel it’s important to add any scriptural caveats to your teaching of eternal security and, if so, how can you do this without putting an emphasis on “performance”?

 

 

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Drunken Worship Leaders

It’s a sad day in the Kingdom!

Antinomian “worship leaders” using their so-called liberty as occasion for drunkenness and  vile vulgarities has now become all to common. Little wonder, local churches reject biblical standards  and flagrantly refuse to administer anything akin to restorative discipline. If you do, you are labeled a cult. If you don’t, you are called a “grace” church.

The Reformers called these libertine types “false churches”. I beer_keg_manstand with the Reformers!

rgh

“…it is increasingly common to hear about worship leaders getting drunk after church services and dropping f-bombs while they boast about their “liberty” in the Lord.”

“One of my closest ministry colleagues posted this on his Facebook page last year: “There was a knot in the pit of my stomach this afternoon after I hung up the phone with a friend of mine who pastors a growing church in our city. He relayed to me an anguishing story of how some members from his worship team were hanging out with other worship leaders in a key local church. He reported to me that his team came back from that hang-out experience quite perplexed as the f-bombs were flying from the openly and unashamedly drunk worship leaders.”

Another pastor told me that he sent a number of young people from his congregation to train in a ministry school known for its worship. All of them came back to his church with a drinking problem, the result of hanging out with other “worshipers” in the ministry school. And on and on it goes.”

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/38195-drunken-worship-leaders-and-mercenary-musicians

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in antinomian, character, Church Discipline, GOOOFY, sanctification

 

Mark Driscoll Compares Twilight Saga To Porn

A serious reading of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians will show that the Corinthian believers pushed back against the Apostle when he informed them  that attending temple restaurants of their day to eat idol food was in fact an act of fellowship with demons.

Why would the Corinthians reject Paul’s imperative to stop attending these idolatrous feasts? Because it meant refraining from a popular and culturally sanctioned activity.

It seems some Christians parents today may have the same Corinthian attitude when serious ministers warn of  attending the seductively popular but demonically  dangerous Twilight series.

Mark Driscoll is one of the more prominent voices and  the following extracts are from a CharismaNews write-up regarding a recent Driscoll blog post.

rgh

“Millions of fans lined up to see the final installment, Breaking Dawn Part 2, which brought in $141.3 million dollars in its debut weekend, scoring the eighth biggest opening weekend of all time.

In a blog entry titled “A Father’s Fright of Twilight,” Driscoll writes, “Twilight is for teenage girls what porn is to teenage boys: sick, twisted, evil, dangerous, But these moviegoers did not just consist of teenage girls.

As Driscoll said, “Tragically, many will be driven by their parents, including some cougar moms encouraging and joining their daughters’ obsession with handsome young males.”

“He explained that he is particularly concerned for Christian parents “who are naively allowing this filth into their children’s lives, buying these books and driving kids to see these movies.”

“He ended the article stating, “To such parents, ‘It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God’ (Phil. 1:9–11).”

http://www.charismanews.com/culture/34646-mark-driscoll-compares-twilight-saga-to-porn

 

John Piper: Sexual Sin In Ministry

 Wisdom from the heart of a true father!

rgh

“For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries.

I wish our experience was unique.

Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every student is struggling. The question we ask: ‘How serious is the struggle?’”

One missions agency told me that 80% of their applicants voluntarily indicate a struggle with pornography, resulting in staff shortages on the field.

Pornography is just one level of sin, a form of visual sex, or heart adultery. Physical adultery includes an affair, multiple affairs, prostitution, and homosexuality. Other sexual behaviors within the ministry are such heinous “unfruitful works of darkness . . . it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (Ephesians 5:11–12).

To face the crisis we must correctly understand the nature of the problem, ask God to search our own hearts, and be committed to restore each one caught in sexual sin “in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).”

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/sexual-sin-in-the-ministry

 
 

How Does Aging Affect The Sanctification Process?

John Piper gives a very candid answer to a probing question. His response is fabulous. I personally enjoyed hearing him say that he would like to become a kinder and gentler person by the time he reaches 70. So far, he hasn’t…. that’s Priceless!

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in sanctification

 

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When The Minister Makes It Personal

 

The Pharisees Question Jesus

The Pharisees Question Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A most troubling experience it is. Your congregants share how much they thoroughly enjoy the  ministry of  the word and affirmingly posture themselves as “happily fed campers” in the house. 

You instruct on the importance of “rebuke” as a means of grace to produce a mature faith.  lovingly but forthrightly you unpack  Matthew 18 to redemptively address times of relational conflict that lead to an offense and show them how to righteously walk it out in a Christ honoring way. 

As their minister, you feel some sense of fulfillment knowing that word-based equipping is common place with the saints you serve. But then it happens. One of the affirming congregants journeys into the realm of serious sin and now integrity calls you to make personal application of the truth that has gone forth.

It’s time to move from public pulpiteer to pastoral practitioner. As the shepherd,you insert yourself into their life and press for authentic repentance from sin. And the unthinkable happens!

                                                                                                        Ezekiel 32:33

“To them you are nothing more than a singer with a beautiful voice who sings love songs or a musician who plays an instrument. They listen to your words, but  have no intention of doing them.”
 

Ezekiel’s words become your reality as  “the luv” quickly turns into defiant resistance and you begin to endure relational rejection, and slanderous allegations.  What was once hailed  as a “good word”  is now accused of being abusive,legalistic, or even cultish.  The family leaves the church. How can this be?

Give  Spurgeon a read as he explains the cause for  such uncharactered things to happen.

 rgh

n religion men love far rather to believe abstract doctrines, and to talk of general truths, than the searching inquiries which examine their own personal interest in it. You will hear many men admire the preacher who deals in generalities, but when he comes to press home searching questions, by-and-by they are offended.

If we stand and declare general facts, such as the universal sinnership of mankind, or the need of a Saviour, they will give an assent to our doctrine, and possibly they may retire greatly delighted with the discourse, because it has not affected them; but how often will our audience gnash their teeth, and go away in a rage, because, like the Pharisees with Jesus, they perceive, concerning a faithful minister, that he spoke of them.

http://www.teampyro.org/2012/05/when-preacher-gets-personal.html

 

Grace and Mercy In Divine Disquise?

Heard this song for the first time this evening. Could it be that it has taken all these years of Kingdom  journey for me to finally glimpse the mystery of grace and mercy in divine disguise?  

I am afraid that as it is so often with angels, the answers to my supplication  have come to me as strangers and I entertained them unaware.

Oh Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!

What a savior!

rgh

 

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