Saturday, November 30, 2019

More On Ghosting

Part One      Part Two

The Irish Independent is the most prominent newspaper in Ireland, and yesterday, November 29, 2019, in that paper, Larissa Nolan writes about ghosting in an article entitled, "Into thin air: How 'ghosting' became the new normal":
We've all heard about ghosting: the spineless trend of severing a relationship by disappearing from contact. No calls, no texts, no emails - and no warning, explanation or chance to discuss. It's a particular kind of narcissism, a form of emotional cruelty, according to psychology. It's a mixture of cowardice, immaturity and modern technology.
I think anyone with an ounce of common sense would recognize this as the truth about this odious, heinous practice, primarily by young people, who very often justify it as a means to "wellness."  Dropping out, they justify, preserves themselves, keeps them well or improves them.  In my last post, I spoke about how that psychiatry is notoriously untrustworthy and a pseudo-science.  Nevertheless, a major mark psychiatrists give the narcissist is "the silent treatment":
The silent treatment is probably one of the most common forms of emotional abuse used by narcissists . . . .   Narcissists use the silent treatment as a form of punishment for not acquiescing to their point of view or as the way to gain the upper hand and control in their relationships. It’s also a way to avoid discussing important issues in the relationship and avoid taking accountability for their wrong-doings. When a narcissist uses the silent treatment, they will do it in a way that is so out of proportion to the situation. Narcissists will also tend to demand a perfectly delivered apology. If the apology is not said correctly or in the right way, the narcissists will extend the length of the silent treatment. By demanding a perfectly delivered apology, narcissists confirm their dominance and support their exaggerated importance.
If someone reads the entire above article from which this paragraph comes, to possess narcissistic personality disorder, one must check off several markers.  Even if ghosting or the silent treatment are narcissistic, this isn't a biblical means of analysis of human problems.  It's way too subjective and seems as though it is invented to weaponize against a chosen target. The truth about someone is not a matter of an arbitrary culling from studies or articles to conform to an already settled conclusion.  This isn't how the Lord Jesus Christ or any of God's men in scripture function in service to God and men.

The Bible is sufficient as it speaks to behavior, and ghosting is in no way scriptural.  It is a form of extreme separation, but not biblical separation.  Separation in and of itself is fine, required even by God in His Word.  However, certain forms of separation are evil.

Evangelicals do not practice biblical separation, but I have observed they still practice separation, and an unbiblical version more like ghosting.  They are not attempting reconciliation, which is a requirement in biblical separation.  Real reconciliation centers on the truth, the basis of reconciliation, bringing two entities back together.  The point on which they come together is the truth, aligning with the historic, biblical teaching of the church.

Ghosting is not about reconciliation.  It's many different variations of selfishness.  At it's best, if even possible, someone who desires to avoid the pollution of sin separates in an extreme manner to preserve personal purity.  Out of sheer desperation about sinning, a person turns monastic without any warning to those around him.  I've never seen it.  People truly concerned for sin want to help sinners.  They know the truth and want others to know it too, because they care.

Someone really can judge belief and behavior based upon scripture.  The goal is to get to the right position and practice for God.  A person can know that.  Some people don't want that.  They want what they want and they don't want to be challenged -- at all.  This is the new generation Z and millennials. They have picked upon this new standard of human relations, even with the encouragement of evangelical leaders.

A kind of ghosting behavior actually is not new.  It is an extreme form of self-centeredness.  I understand it, because I've done it.  I can't imagine that any human being hasn't at least given the "silent treatment" to someone at some point.  I remember two instances.  It's a form of throwing a fit, a childish type of tantrum behavior.  Instead of reconciling along the lines of Matthew 5:21-26, someone sulks, ignores those around him, and goes silent.

An antidote for ghosting or the silent treatment for a true believer is Ephesians 4:26, let not the sun go down upon thy wrath.  It's a command.  It's not, let not a week, a month, or a year go down upon thy wrath, but the sun.  A dispute or division has got to be settled between believers out of love.  It's not right to hold a grudge, hold onto resentment, none of that.  It's self-destructive and dishonoring to God.  Much of this goes on between children and their parents today, but also between siblings, and childhood friends. It's not acceptable, but it is still happening and at an alarmingly increasing rate.

Again, scripture requires initiation of reconciliation, including possible mediation.  At the foundation is the love of the neighbor, the love of the brethren, according to the Word and will of God and as fruit of the Spirit.  It is also endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit.  Ghosting and the silent treatment don't please God and sin against God in their hateful treatment of others.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Miracle Moss Cures Cancer--watch the video!

The cure for cancer has been discovered--on YouTube!  Watch the short video below to find out about the miracle moss that cures cancer, although the cure has been suppressed by Big Pharma. (Note: I am not endorsing the music on the video.)

Learn about Dr. Johan R. Tarjany, who discovered the Miracle Moss in the 1800s, and how in the early 1800s he found out that the moss could alter the double helix structure of DNA.  He added the moss to his diet and he never developed cancer!  After watching the video, I have done what it suggested and I also have never developed cancer!!! The active ingredient in the moss has been banned by the FDA, but you can find it online--buy now!

Comments are welcome below, but please only comment after watching the entire (two minute) video.

If you wish to buy the moss from me, please note that I also do real estate deals.  The bridge below is one that has a huge amount of traffic in the San Francisco area, and I can sell it you for a very low price.  I can sell it because, as you can see below, I have a picture with the bridge in it:

Both for the moss and the bridge, just so you know, I do not take credit or debit cards, only prepaid gift cards, money orders, and cash wrapped in plain brown wrappers mailed to my international address.

May the video above encourage us to obey Isaiah 1:18's command to "reason."


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Hearing or Listening the First Rightful Response as Thanksgiving

Deuteronomy 5:7 begins the ten commandments in Deuteronomy:  "Thou shalt have none other gods before me."  There are at least two and maybe three stages before one arrives at that first command from God.  One, God does a lot of good stuff for people.  That first one could be divided into more than that one stage.  He gave them mercy, He delivered them, and He blessed them physically in numerous ways.  These are seen in the first four chapters of Deuteronomy, and in several other places in the Bible.  A representation of these are seen, in essence a summation, in chapter 5 and verses 2 to 6:
2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. 4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, 5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying, 6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Reading those there, one can see at least:
  1. Our God -- He possesses them and they Him.
  2. God made a covenant -- He made promises to them that He always kept and would keep.
  3. With us, even us -- He chose them out among many other people, and it could have been other people but it wasn't.
  4. Alive this day -- The very fact that they were alive was a testimony of multiple deliverances by God.
  5. The LORD talked with you face to face -- God kept it personal with the people.
  6. I am the LORD thy God -- He is the LORD their God; enough said.
  7. Brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage -- He saved them from a very difficult situation, Egypt and bondage.
As an example of the repetition of these terms, read all of Psalm 136, and especially these verses (vv. 10-16):
10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: 11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever: 12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. 13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: 14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever: 15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. 16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
This is a review of a lot of good stuff from God for the same people.  The assumption here is thanksgiving.  Someone recognizes and acknowledges, has affection for, who God is and what He has done in comparison to as bad as it could have been.  The reason these things keep getting mentioned in other places like Psalm 136 is spoken in the first few verses of Psalm 136:
1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Thanksgiving could be stage two, if we wanted to give it a separate stage to make three stages.  Some don't get to thanksgiving after all that God has done.  Unbelievers don't (Romans 1:21).

Stage two is Hear or listen, which is in the first verse of chapter 5:
And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day.
Last, I'm saying is obeying God's commands, which is the second half of verse one:  "that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them."  Other stages, important ones, could be inserted, namely learn and keep.  I don't want to devalue learning, but to keep it simple, the end is obey.  However, for the purpose of this post, I'm parking on stage two, hear or listen, saying that stage one is thanksgiving for God's provision.

"Hear" or "listen" is found at least 34 times in Deuteronomy.  It's a vital component of the overall message of the book.  Proverbs 1:5 says, "A wise man will hear."  Then in Proverbs 1:8, "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother."  Children, and in particular sons, hear the instruction of their father.

There is a relationship between hearing or listening and thanksgiving.  Those saved on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 gladly received the Word of God.  A justification for church attendance, besides praise and prayer, is listening to the preaching of the Word of God out of thanksgiving to God.

If children are thankful for their parents, they will listen to them.  If they don't listen, they aren't thankful for them.  The term, ingrate, comes to mind.  Most likely they felt entitled for all the things they were given, a pride that leads to another pride of a stubborn refusal to listen to wisdom.

A humble Israel would with thanksgiving listen to the commands of God with the disposition to do them.  The same God that gave them all these things had blessing embedded in the obedience to the commands.  They were a better life with blessing built in and cursing with the disobedience.  The same comes with godly parents who give and give and give to their children and then beg them to listen to and then obey godly instruction. In the obedience to that instruction is blessing, as a microcosm of the giving and giving and giving of God that deserves thanksgiving, hearing, and then obedience.

Those thankful to God listen to God.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Faithless Music? The Belief in a Transcendent God Requires Objective Beauty

Part One

A material universe exists.  Modern science shows that it is not eternal.  It had a beginning a finite time ago out of nothing.   It is absurd to to say that the universe just popped into existence out of nothing.  The existence of the universe requires a transcendent cause that must be spiritual, because it can't already be a part of the material universe.  That cause also must be a lot of other qualities that fit a description of God.  Based on the complexity of the universe, the cause must have been the personal choice of an intelligent designer.   Vast evidence shows the existence of the universe requires elaborate initial conditions to sustain intelligent life.  This has been called the fine-tuning of the universe.

In this complex, personal, and intelligent universe, there are also values.  Like the natural laws bind the universe, so do the values, indicating that they too proceed from God.  Everyone for instance knows that certain objective, moral laws exist that are wrong to break.  The same cause of the universe is the cause of the moral values -- God.

The process I'm traversing here fits what Psalm 19 says in the Old Testament and Romans 1 in the New.  Psalm 19:1 says:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Romans 1:19-20 say:
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Nature reveals not only the existence of God but also various attributes of God.  Sir Isaac Newton at the end of his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy wrote:
[T]hough these bodies may, indeed, continue in their orbits by the mere laws of gravity, yet they could by no means have at first derived the regular position of the orbits themselves from those laws. . . .  This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.
The founders of science called science "the wisdom of God."  The Royal Society began in 1660 and in 1667 John Ray became a fellow of the society, writing The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation.  David said "their words," the words of the handiwork of God through His creation, go out "to the end of the world" (Psalm 19:2-3).

The words of creation, providence, and conscience match the Words of God in scripture.  Values are transcendent and the scripture, which reflects natural law, manifests those in categories of truth, goodness, and beauty.  Since God originated everything, so truth, goodness, and beauty spring from and, therefore, mirror Him.  Believing in the existence of God is believing in objective beauty.  Rather than state that argument myself, I use the statement of Augustine in his City of God:
Beauty. . . can be appreciated only by the mind. This would be impossible, if this `idea' of beauty were not found in the mind in a more perfect form. . . But even here, if this `idea' of beauty were not subject to change, one person would not be a better judge of sensible beauty than another. . . nor the experienced and skilled than the novice and the untrained; and the same person could not make progress towards better judgement than before. And it is obvious that anything which admits of increase or decrease is changeable. 
This consideration has readily persuaded men of ability and learning. . . that the original `idea' is not to be found in this sphere, where it is shown to be subject to change. . . And so they saw that there must be some being in which the original form resides, unchangeable, and therefore incomparable. And they rightly believed that it is there that the origin of things is to be found, in the uncreated, which is the source of all creation.
Furthermore, Augustine writes in his Confessions:
[M]y sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in him but in myself and his other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error.
If something can be beautiful, then something can be ugly.  Scripture backs up the logic, the natural law of which I and many others through history speak.  I provide three verses, two from the Old and one from the New, first 1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 27:4:
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
From the New Testament, I quote Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Paul commanded, "[T]hink on. . . whatsoever things are lovely."  God defines the lovely.  There is ugly music and it is music that does not reflect the nature of God.  It cannot be lustful, sexy, and many other negative traits that can be communicated by the language of music, including and even without the words.  I'm talking about music.  People listening to this music are not thinking on the lovely and they are moving away from the nature of God.  It's worse than that, but it's at least that bad.  I'm saying that it is faithless, because someone cannot both believe in God and not believe in objective beauty.  The latter follows the former.  It isn't in the eye of the beholder or a person's taste.  That is subjective or relativistic.

The church above all needs to talk and show the lovely, the beauty of God.  "Holiness" is in accordance with the attributes of God, separated unto His characteristics. Someone will not change into His image, be holy as He is holy, when they are channeling or guzzling godless music.  In the spirit of this Thanksgiving season, this isn't thankful.  This is not thanking God.  It is not wanting God.  It is feeding the flesh and wanting what self wants.

I apply this truth about God and beauty to you professing pastor, who has his play list filled with vile music.  I apply this to you professing Christian, listening to your worldly tunes on your road trip or on your way into work in your car or when you work out.  I write this to you, who when you hear the ugly, do not turn it off, when you can.

Believing in God is also believing in objective truth, objective goodness, and objective beauty.  I've focused on the last of these.  One isn't believing in God and turning beauty relative or subjective, shaping it according to his own lust.  Beauty proceeds from God, what characterizes Him.  That's what He wants us to value and we should value highest.  Someone is not seeking the kingdom of God and is not setting his affections on things above, when he subjects his passions to what is incongruent with either.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Continuous Practice of Sin in Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism with Its Music

In the preface to Geistliches Gesangbuchlein, Martin Luther wrote (16th century):
Young people. . .  should and must receive an education in music as well as in the other arts if we are to wean them away from carnal and lascivious songs and interest them in what is good and wholesome.
In particular, I point to "carnal and lascivious songs," as opposed to "what is good and wholesome."  Things have gotten much, much worse with music.  Greater warning is needed, but far less is provided.

I assert that music possesses self-evident meaning as expressed in a consistent, regular way through history by men as to its moral significance, influence on character, and then shaping of morality.  The internet is filled with references to "lustful music" (57,000 results), "erotic music" (490,000 results), "sexy music" (2,610,000 results), and "lust music" (36,800 results) among many other similar type references.  People recognize the qualities of something lustful in music without the component of words.

Many know the story of Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" to John F. Kennedy in a lustful manner, not related to the enigmatic lyrics of the song.  Music conveys lust minus words.  Without any context, someone understand the language by which music communicates its message.  Music not only expresses meaning, but it also arouses or influences other impressions upon its listener.  Everyone knows this.  Those who deny it do so for dubious, pernicious reasons or because of dark deception, the kind usually characteristic of an unbeliever.

Scripture warns against lust.  It is forbidden for the believer, the true Christian.  I'm including this long list as a reference.  You don't need to read every verse right at this moment, but at some point do that, and I ask you to think about how that the verse applies to music.  I'm going to apply some of them myself in manifesting the point of this post.  Don't give up.
Mark 4:19, "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."
Romans 1:24, "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves."
Romans 6:12, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
Romans 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."
Galatians 5:16, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
Galatians 5:24, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
Ephesians 2:3, "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
Ephesians 4:22, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts."
1 Timothy 6:9, "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."
2 Timothy 2:22, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity,, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
2 Timothy 3:6, "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts."
2 Timothy 4:3, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears."
Titus 2:12, "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."
Titus 3:3, "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another."
1 Thessalonians 4:5, "Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God."
James 1:14-15, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
James 4:1-3, "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
1 Peter 1:14, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance."
1 Peter 2:11, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,, abstain from fleshly lusts,, which war against the soul."
1 Peter 4:2-3, "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries."
2 Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
2 Peter 2:10, "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities."
2 Peter 2:18, "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."
2 Peter 3:3, "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts."
1 John 2:16-17, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
Jude 1:16-18, "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts."
I want to focus in particular on verses that make commands to a Christian.  Romans 13:14, you can see above, commands, "[M]ake not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."  Professing Christians who listen to pop music -- rock, rap, country, hip-hop, etc. -- disobey this command.  As they continue listening to this music, they live in continual disobedience to it.  The music makes provision for the flesh.  As a result, the command of 2 Timothy 2:22 is disobeyed, "Flee youthful lusts," and that of 1 Peter 2:11, "[A]bstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."  With lustful music playing, the professing Christian isn't fleeing youthful lust and isn't abstaining from fleshly lust.  This wars against the soul.

Many more can be applied above.  They are very serious.  The popular music hurts the Christian and displeases God.  Those who "walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, . . . despise government."  I've never seen more anger than that from those who wish to keep their lustful music.  It is feeding their flesh, and they don't want to or can't give it up.  It becomes more important than God and usually godly parents.  Young people take the music over their parents at the same time savaging the parents with scoffing.  I've watched this again and again.  It almost always goes along with immodest clothing as well.

The popular music of the world does not deny "worldly lust," and so conforms to this present world, the lust of the flesh, rather than proving what is the good and acceptable will of God (Titus 2:11-12, 1 John 2:15-17, Romans 12:1-2).   Evangelicalism and fundamentalism is filled with those who disobey these passages in a continuous manner.  It leads to a hunger and fascination with many other worldly interests and behaviors.  Rather than deny worldly lust, they deny true fellowship with God.

I am not writing here about what is even used in churches today for worship.  I'm talking about what Christians do in their lives on an almost every day basis.  They not only listen to this music, but they promote it all the time in how they use it in their cars and podcasts.  All of this shapes a different view of God than a scriptural one.  They might have "God" in their doctrinal statements, but this forms God into the image of their own lust.  They subject God to their lust and invent a different, heretical view of the grace of God.  Rather than their lives being transformed by the renewing of their minds, they conform God to their lust.  It affects everything they do, how they make decisions, what they do and how they live, much more than the continuous practice of sin in disobedience to passages against lust.  What I'm explaining, Jonathan Edwards already described in his Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections:
The affections and passions are frequently spoken of as the same; and yet, in the more common use of speech, there is in some respect a difference. Affection is a word that, in its ordinary signification, seems to be something more extensive than passion, being used for all vigorous lively actings of the will or inclination; but passion for those that are more sudden, and whose effects on the animal spirits are more violent, and the mind more overpowered, and less in its own command.
David Wells in No Place for Truth writes:
It is this God, majestic and holy in his being, this God whose love knows no bounds because his holiness knows no limits, who has disappeared from the modern evangelical world.
God hasn't actually disappeared.  He is Omnipresent.  He sustains the universe.  He is missing from the imaginations of evangelicalism and fundamentalism, replaced by a god shaped by their passions, fed by their lust.  Edwards warned of this in his Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections.  A different god is shaped in the imaginations formed by lust or passion.  Someone chooses his music according to either passion or affection, or his music fashions the passions that lead to a different god in his imagination.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding and Loosing (part 15 of 22)

The content of this post is now available in the study of:

1.) Evan Roberts

2.) The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

3.) Jessie Penn-Lewis

on the website. Please click on the people above to view the study.  On the FaithSaves website the PDF files may be easiest to read.


You are also encouraged to learn more about Keswick theology and its errors, as well as the Biblical doctrine of salvation, at the soteriology page at Faithsaves.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

'I Disobey and Dishonor My Parents Because Jesus Saved Me': More on Virtual Christianity

In Romans 14:10 Paul says, "[F]or we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."  In 2 Corinthians 5:10, he says the similar:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
This is for Christians.  Christians will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged for what they've done.  I thought they already received approval in Christ?  After justification, doesn't it continue to be faith alone?   As I had quoted in part two, Paul also wrote Colossians 3:20:
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
The word "children" is teknon, which means offspring or descendants without regard to age.  There are Greek words that mean "infant" or "little ones":  paidion, mikros, and napiosTeknon stands out even from a closely related word, teknion, which is translated, "little children" in 1 John 2:1.  You could look in the best lexicon and see that teknon is not teknion.  A number of different words could be used to describe this particular audience, but the word used is the one that means offspring without regard of age.  In other words, the command never stops being applicable, because it isn't an age related word, but one related to descendants.

The command is simple.  "Obey your parents in all things."  Would God through the Apostle make a command that was not to be obeyed?  A command is to be obeyed, and a command to obey especially should be obeyed.  Should the audience, the believing offspring, assume that no command exists, because sanctification doesn't come by works?  Christians don't have to obey, because justification is by faith alone?  Christians are commanded to obey, because they are required to obey.  Saving faith obeys and wants to obey.  Obedience is conforming, like Romans 8:29 says will occur with the true believer in sanctification, conforming to the image of the Son.  The Son did everything His Father wanted Him to do, and that is the model for the Father-Son relationship.

The fulfillment of the command to Christian offspring to obey their parents in all things "is well pleasing unto the Lord."  "Well-pleasing" is also translated "acceptable" twice in Romans 12:1, 2, then also in Romans 14:18, 2 Corinthians 5:9, and Ephesians 5:10.  A few other times it's translated "pleasing" or "well-pleasing."  The motivating factor of the command in Colossians 3:20 is to please the Lord.

The new, false, heretical view of sanctification says, "I can't please God by works."  No, a believer can please God with his works.  A believer can yield his members as instruments of righteousness and can glorify God in his body, which is God's (Rom 6:13, 1 Cor 6:19-20).  An offspring can please God by obeying his parents in all things.  God expects it.  He commands it.

The false teaching on sanctification says, I'm not looking for approval from God; I've already got it.  Every believer gets approval through justification by faith, but that isn't the only approval he seeks, even as seen in a multitude of verses, essentially the entire New Testament.  He wants to please the Lord.  He wants the Lord to accept His behavior.  He not only wants it, but he will live it as a lifestyle.

With the new false position on sanctification, an offspring says, "I don't want to obey in all things, but I still want acceptance or approval."  When obedience doesn't occur, is God still well-pleased?  No.  A saved person is approved in Christ as a consequence of his justification.  If he is approved positionally, he will strive for approval practically.  This is the true, right view of sanctification.  This is a professing believer who just doesn't want to obey.  Is that a Christian?  John says, "No."  1 John 2:3-4:
And hereby we do know that we know him,, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
How does all this relate to Galatians 5:1-6?  I quote Galatians 5:1-6 almost every week to an unbeliever.  Galatians 5 is dealing with justification by faith.  It isn't dealing with sanctification.  Judaizers were saying that you had to be circumicised in addition to faith in order to be saved.  It isn't applying to sanctification.  Paul is very clear about this if someone keeps reading down to verse 13:
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Love is fruit of the Spirit.  Liberty is not a base of operations for the flesh.  It is not a "get-out-of-jail-free card."  Grace cleans up a life, like Paul explained to Titus in Titus 2:11-12:
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
This is not a difficult issue.  It becomes difficult when someone wants to justify his disobedience with false doctrine.  He wants credit for being pleasing to God, when he is not obeying God's words, sayings, and commands.

Monday, November 18, 2019

You Don't Care About God's Standard or God's Approval: More on Virtual Christianity

Justification by faith brings the "in Christ" position for the believer.  "In Christ" the believer is approved before God.  That's how someone is saved by faith.  In that way, justification by faith brings approval in Christ.  Christ did everything the Father wanted Him to do.  He wanted to do it and He did it.  In a positional way, the believer receives the imputed righteousness of Christ, the righteousness that Christ lived, and, therefore, is approved in Christ.  He doesn't get this approval by works, but by grace through faith.

The idea of justification by faith isn't that someone, who isn't interested in pleasing God the Father or living in a way that God the Father approves, still receives approval in Christ.  What's the problem here?  He doesn't know God.  He doesn't believe.  Trusting the Father also means that the Father will help or aid in the pleasing of Him.  That's saving grace.  He helps the one who wants to do it.  Wanting to do it is part of the belief that saves.  What I'm saying is that this falling short of saving faith, and yet something less than saving faith is being accepted as sufficient.  The "faith" itself falls short of the biblical and then historical Christian components, what have been termed notitia, assensus, and fiducia.

Notitia falls short, which is knowledge.  Jesus Himself is short shrifted of many qualities that are offensive to the one who isn't seeking practical approval from Jesus.  Saving faith requires assensus, the conviction that the content of the notitia is truth.  Sometimes a childhood profession wasn't saving faith and this is laid bare by the lack of conviction toward obedience to the Lordship that someone professes to know.  It's only a profession.  Fiducia requires commitment.  This person lacks in commitment.  Jesus said someone needed to count the cost.  Saving grace isn't about what grace allows, but what it enables.  Wanting something allowed that offends Jesus is lacking commitment.

This is what happens.  Someone doesn't want to please God.  He wants God's approval, but he doesn't care about living in an approved manner to God.  He just wants the approval.  He especially wants to feel approval -- from himself and others all around.  Don't criticize this person.  He loves himself and the world.  He wants approval despite his superior love for himself and the world.  He doesn't love God.  He says he does, most likely because of a feeling, which isn't love, or at the least something short of love.  He loves himself and the world.  With the love of God, he could live to be approved unto God.  He doesn't want to.  He "wants" to in the sense that he wishes he had the affection and will.  That he has for himself and the world.

A corrupt view of both justification and sanctification arises.  I say justification, because this false view of sanctification can't be accompanied by a true  or right view of justification.  Justification comes by saving faith, not a dead or demon faith or mere intellectual assent, and a right or faithful view of Jesus Christ.  This isn't a doctrinal malfunction, but a practical one, that is really laid out in 2 Peter 2.

A person attempts to fit Jesus, the Bible, and his understanding of faith into own own lust.  He tries to accommodate his love for himself and the world, the allure of those, into a version of Christianity provided by false teachers, who make it credible with their officiality.  "Teachers" are affirming this corruption.  It's a lie.  The leaders of these churches use this false doctrine, an unbiblical and even heretical one, to make merchandise of their adherents.

Jesus sanctified Himself by the truth (John 17:19), which is that He did everything the Father told Him to do.  Believers are not sanctified by a lesser standard than Jesus.  They too are sanctified by everything God says -- all of His words, sayings, or commandments.  That's what God approves.  That goal doesn't change, just because a person might sin and not fulfill it perfectly.

The Apostle Paul labored that he might please God.  This is fundamental to sanctification.  It repeats itself in several places in the New Testament, even a familiar text like Colossians 3:20:
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
The Lord is well-pleased by children obeying their parents in all things.  In all things.  This is the sanctification God is working in the believer, which the believer works out (Philip 2:12-13).  Hebrews 13:21 explains it very well:
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.
In sanctification, God wants to "make you perfect in every good work to do his will."  This is what is well-pleasing in His sight, not preaching the gospel fluently to yourself or to just keep doing the work of believing you're already all done with approval when you were justified.  That isn't even justification, let alone sanctification.

The purveyors of the false view of sanctification about which I am writing do not care about God's standard or His approval.  They care...about themselves.  They nourish and cherish their own flesh.  Like Peter writes, they deny the Lord that bought them (2 Peter 2:1).  They don't like having a boss, and they get around it with what Peter writes in the next chapter, by wresting scriptures unto their own destruction (2 Pet 3:16).

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Christians Who Weaponize Secular Psychiatry: Ghosting Again and then Narcissism

What anyone who claims to be a Christian should know by now is that modern psychiatry isn't science.  It can't be trusted as an assessment of human behavior.  It's essentially a product of modernism, which denies the supernatural or divine intervention.  It prefers a human interpretation of everything.  Romans 1 calls this suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

Mechanistic naturalism moves someone into explanations or evaluations of people's conduct in accordance with secular views of man's origins. Rather than turning to scripture as sufficient, and with the wisdom of God, the Creator and Sustainer of mankind, he chooses subjective speculation in whatever way he feels it works best for him. Instead of quoting the Bible, he quotes a psychotherapist.  A large percentage of the "studies" or "research" are debunked as utter falsehood.  It isn't science, but it is the illusion he embraces over the truth.

Today professing Christians weaponize secular psychiatry, even though it's false, to excuse bad behavior or justify their own allure for the world.  Last week I wrote about generation Z and millennials and their "ghosting."  After I wrote that piece, someone interacted with me:
Yes,"ghosting" is hateful in the extreme. Often it is preceded by thinking or statements like, "You are a toxic personality or a narcissist, so I need to completely cut you out of my life so I can take care of myself, my well-being..." Obviously, there is a lot of "judging" going on by the one doing the ghosting; usually very ironically since the "ghosters" are typically very concerned that they are being judged.
Later I was sent:
It is something that I have just observed  has been wildly popular in the culture the last few years. I have seen it all over Facebook and Twitter. There are tons of YouTube videos on it.  
I noticed that a lot of the younger crowd is sold out on the idea of "positive only" and that translates into cutting off anyone they deem is bad for them.  
They obsess on their "wellness," and anyone or anything that gets in the way of that is bad. Of course, they really don't get rid of stuff that actually is bad for them but it is more about just having what they lust for and getting rid of anything that gets in the way of their lusts. 
There is a constant consideration of what is good for their body and mind but not really what is truly good for either one. -- "whose God is their belly…"
All of this was familiar to me, because I had read similar or the same.  The authors of secular psychiatric works do not look to the Bible as an authority -- very little to no scripture in their writings.  Those reading them do so without discernment and with little to no Bible knowledge themselves.  They aren't looking for a hearing from God.  They tolerate only an echo of their own feelings.  They have almost nothing to combat the deception and lies.  I don't think they care, because they want something that isn't in the Bible, and this faux authority suits them like it did with the Pharisees in Jesus' day.  They didn't depend on God's Word, but on human philosophy.  It is of which Paul warns when he writes in Colossians 2:8:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Furthermore, younger people want acceptance or approval, even if they're disobedient to scripture or disrespectful of authority.   In the tradition of criminalizing hate speech, anything disapproving or critical, they categorize like criminal assault, words causing psychological harm akin to physical injury.  "Ghosting" is finding a safe space from a "narcissist."

Those who don't give approval are now, yes, narcissists.  From what I've read, they've also got narcissistic personality disorder, maybe.  They don't, but it works to explain the disapproval.  The ghosters haven't done anything wrong.  Their critics are narcissists.  Who has narcissistic personality disorder?  Whoever disapproves of a generation Z or millennial.  This disorder has caused one of these young ones psychological harm, based on what?  Their own opinion.

Yet, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists call "ghosting" "narcissistic."  The ghosts are narcissists, they say.  They say it's a kind of psychological manipulation, like "bullying."  The ghosts want to show that they devalue you.  They want to leave you feeling responsible and terrified that they'll never return.  They lack the character or the principles that define what once was called "adulthood," but it is actual Christian character that desires reconciliation out of the love of Christ.

Ghosting is the equivalent of what I call "clearing or tossing the game board."  If you don't approve of them, they'll toss the game board.  "Wanna play?"  "Nope."  Dipping from the reservoir of psychoanalysis, someone wrote:
If someone behaves poorly in a healthy relationship, upon reconciliation, there is generally an admission of wrong-doing, atonement, and a change in behavior. In a relationship with a Narcissist there is never a desire to have an open dialogue about the ‘problem,’ there is never an admission of wrong-doing and the behavior goes on as it always has. Astonishingly, they act like nothing ever happened. If you bring it up or try to talk about it you will be ghosted again until you learn not to talk about it and you will learn too, because you will remember the agony you were left in. 
Anyone can find anything in the field of psychiatry to support his position, if he wants.  It's highly subjective.

Looking at ghosting from a judicial standpoint, one of natural law, it doesn't give due process.  The ghoster takes the role of judge, jury, and executioner.  He wants justice for himself, but he doesn't give it to others.  Psychoanalysts would call this "lacking in empathy" (like a sociopath), but scripture says it is unloving.  He doesn't love his neighbor, and he can't and he won't, because he doesn't love God.  Love is fruit of the Spirit.

The desire to receive approval exceeds personal responsibility.  His (or her) concern is only for himself (or herself), and in particular, his own approval.  The Apostle Paul could write his epistle to Philemon, because he knew Philemon, like Paul wrote the Philippians, esteemed others better than himself.  He looked not on his own things, but in the case of Philemon, he looked on the things of Onesimus, his former slave, and now a brother beloved.  Paul could mediate between two brothers, who both would want reconciliation.  No ghosting for a true, biblical Christian.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Virtual Christian Living or Your Christian Brain in a Vat: The Avoidance or Corruption of Biblical Sanctification

Listen to my session from the 2019 Word of Truth Conference. As an addenda to that one, listen to this session from James Bronsveld and this one from Thomas Ross.

Imagine a Christian life you don't actually live.  Jesus lives it for you.  You can't please Him yourself.  Impossible.  Instead then, just access the life that Jesus lived by faith or by preaching the gospel fluently to yourself (part of the lingo).  This supposedly honors God and Jesus more because He's the one who does it.  It's virtual Christian living where you just click on the faith button, the equivalent of your Christian brain in a vat wired into a Christian matrix.

This false view of sanctification reminds me of the "think system" of Professor Harold Hill in the musical, the Music Man.  Why do the hard thing of learning an instrument and how to read music, when someone can just use the think system?  The music is as good as being played, even if it is not.  Parents all over America have no need to sacrifice for music lessons or to do the hard work at enforcing the practice of an instrument.  Even if the child doesn't want to play, he can just rely on Jesus to have played for him, and feel no guilt for not practicing or improving.

This avoidance or corruption of biblical and historical sanctification takes the doctrine of imputation to a new and different level.  It isn't just positional righteousness imputed to you, which is biblical, but your whole practical righteousness too, which isn't.  Instead of doing the hard thing, the struggle, the beating your body into subjection, pressing toward the mark, fighting the good fight, and mortifying the deeds of the flesh, you just contemplate the cross and imagine that life you couldn't live to be already lived.  Done.

What I'm describing is very convenient.  It really does take all the pressure off you to obey all those imperatives of the New Testament. No expectations.  No worries about judgment.  No need for approval.  That was already settled at justification and it remains settled.  You just tell yourself it's already done.

With the hypergrace view, I don't need to care for my elderly parents, my alzheimer's-ridden father.  I'm not bothered by any compunction for their needs.  Jesus settled that.  I don't have to feel judged by anyone in some form of guilt ridden anxiety as they waste away.  I can just enjoy my life.  I can reduce my work to the equivalent of clicking a like button and adding a few hearts or emojis under a social network posting.

There is no use feeling guilty about disobeying or dishonoring parents, ghosting them, a wife not submitting to her husband, or even for not practicing the Great Commission, because Jesus paid it all.  Satiate in that like a Christian brain in a vat.   You preach that to yourself and the guilt is gone.  Instead you can go binge watch a season of Handmaid's Tale, as if it were a virtuous activity.  Jesus was checked in, while you were checked out.  Apparently, this is true freedom, unchained from the expectations of good works for sanctification.

Biblical Sanctification

James in his epistle explains this dead or demon faith in the second chapter.  Rather than feeling the obligation of actual service to someone cold and needy, just say, be warmed and filled, and you have that base covered.  James though says, no.  No, faith without works is dead.  Works?  Yes, works.  You, that's you, have to do good works.  The good works of sanctification don't count through justification -- just the opposite.

The New Testament is filled with imperatives Christians are commanded to do, things to avoid, activities to abstain, qualities to be, such as "be patient," "be holy," "be merciful," and "be glad."  You can't just turn those over to Jesus to live and then jump in your car to catch a rock concert for you.  Paul said he had to struggle to do what he should and not do what he shouldn't.  That struggle isn't necessary with "let go and let God."

Young people today want approval without the actual fulfillment of acceptable behavior.  They want to experience fleshly lust and the allurements of the world and not be judged for lapping those up.  With this system, God always gives them approval, because they're in Christ and God always approves of His Son.  They didn't think this system up.  Peter says that false teachers 'through covetousness with feigned words have made merchandise of them.'

Jesus did everything the Father wanted Him to do, and in John 17, He prayed that believers would be sanctified in the same way that He was, sanctified by the truth.  That sanctification doesn't come by His doing everything He was supposed to do and then our just trusting in everything that He was supposed to do, getting credit for living the Christian life because He did it for us.  Nope.  The Bible doesn't teach anything like that.  That is a monumental lie.

Justification and Sanctification

Justification is by grace alone through faith alone through Christ alone and apart from works.  We don't do good works for justification.  We receive positional righteousness by faith.  We then stand before God as righteous.  We don't have to prove anything, earn anything, or owe anything.  The price was paid by Jesus on the cross, His righteousness was imputed to us, and our sins were forgiven, past/present/future.

Is sanctification also by faith alone?  No.  It isn't.  Human effort is required for sanctification.  Sanctification is by faith and good works.  Is that new?  No, it is the biblical and historic doctrine of sanctification.  It's worth looking at a few places, even though there are hundreds of them.  A major portion of the New Testament teaches sanctification by works.  Sure, we do these good works through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the Word of God, but they are our works.  We do them.  God is working through us, sure, but we are still doing the works.  There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament and for an actual reason, not a virtual one. Those justified by faith are to do and will do good works.  God is also judging believers as to whether they are doing good works.  They will give an account to Him at the judgment seat of Christ for whether they lived them.

There are many verses that teach our part in sanctification, but consider Romans 8:13
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Who mortifies, puts to death in a continuous sense, the deeds of the body?  "Ye do."  The believer is responsible for mortification.  This reminds me of the previous chapter, when Paul wrote in Romans 7:21:
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Paul would do good.  God is working in Him to do good (Philippians 2:12-13), but it is Paul doing good.  Faith is not alone for a Christian (read James).  A man may say he has faith, but that faith is dead if it is not accompanied by good works (James 2:14-21).  John said that a man may say he knows God, but without doing good works, keeping God's commandments, he is a liar (1 John 2:3-4).

This perversion of which I write eliminates biblical sanctification and stretches out justification all the way to glorification.  Someone isn't required to do anything in sanctification, except "speak the gospel fluently into his life."  The idea here is that you can't please God, that's impossible (this is a kind of voluntary humility, a humble brag), but Jesus does please the Father, so he can access it just by believing it.  Justification is moved into the sanctification slot.  With true sanctification, through the Spirit and the Word of God, the believer, who has a new nature, can and does do good works.  If he doesn't, that indicates he isn't a new person.

We are not sanctified by believing.  We are sanctified by working (and believing).  You won't work if you don't believe, but the sanctification comes by things like "mortification."  It's hard work.  It's a struggle.  You are doing this work, like Paul said, to be accepted of the Father (2 Corinthians 5:9).  We've already been accepted for justification.  That's settled.  We look for acceptance in our post justification works.  Someone can have greater fruit and receive greater rewards (1 Cor 3, 2 Cor 4-5). In Roman 12:1, we present our bodies a living sacrifice, and the consideration for us is that presentation, acceptable to God.  If so, it won't conform to this world (Romans 12:2).

"Gospel fluency," "contemplating the cross," or "let go and let God" do not represent biblical or historical sanctification.  They are another, modern iteration of turning the grace of God the lasciviousness, the apostasy of 2 Peter 2 and Jude.  They take away responsibility to obey the commands of the New Testament, fulfill the law of Christ, and turn it over to Jesus.  It just isn't true.  The New Testament doesn't teach it.

I call on anyone who has received or obtained or borrowed this false view of sanctification to repent.  Leave it behind.  Forsake it.  It is a cultic view formulated to allure its adherents as prey.  Sanctification is the second phase of ultimate salvation, the first justification, and the third glorification.  Your acceptance of an utterly corrupt, false view of sanctification does not bode well for your justification or your glorification.  If you don't like the kingdom of Jesus Christ now, living it out on earth in your sanctification, why would you think you would enjoy it in the future?  You love this present world, not the future one.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Question of the Christianity of Kanye West

In the kitchen of our church building today I watched a toddler girl stick her hand into the trash, pull out a piece of soggy food, and bite into it before her mother could stop her.  I'm sure there was something nutritional to that bite.  Maybe it was a decent leftover that had just hit the top of the heap.  Even though I laughed, I understood her mom's disapproval.  It's not acceptable to pick through the garbage for food.  That's also how it is to find something good in the Kanye West, Jesus Is King, album.  Whatever good nibbles are in there, and there are a few, are ruined by everything around them.  They do not testify to the heart and life of a saved person, which is reinforced by what Kanye said in interviews in the weeks around the release of the album.

Considering all the lyrics and their medium, they're common and profane.  They aren't worshipful, solemn, or reverent, requirements for biblical worship.  They are not holy or acceptable unto God.  They are conformed to this world.  They're not good either.  They are lustful, childish, silly, and inappropriate.  They are on the level of Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham, which isn't even right for children's literature, except as a joke.  They are not transcendent, substantial, or beautiful.  They are trite and trashy.

Kanye writes:
What have you been hearin' from the Christians?
They'll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody love me
They'll be the first one to judge me
Feelin' like nobody love me
Told people God was my mission
What have you been hearin' from the Christians?
They'll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody love me
I'm going to use the second person often through the rest of this piece.  We love you Kanye.  Paul wrote the church at Thessalonica, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."  Your album is not good.  That's what you be hearin' from this Christian.  If Christians do say your album is bad, and Brad Pitt, Katy Perry, and David Letterman say it is good, you should pay attention to the Christians.  Don't expect Christians to give approval to false worship and continued sin.

Leave the public eye like the Apostle did after he was converted on the road to Damascus, if you are really converted.  Follow the description of repentance in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 and the example of Zaccheus in Luke 19.  Spend time first getting distance from your former life.  Move off of the entire licentious, pornographic scene. Stop promoting yourself.  Learn your Bible and what it teaches first.  You don't know it.  Your theology is bad.  Much of what you say is unbiblical, but it's also disrespectful as a proclamation of worship.

Rap is more than just another genre, unlike your "pastor" told you.  You were much closer to the truth, when you told him, "Rap is of the devil."  It isn't fitting as worship of God.  God doesn't receive it.  It isn't lovely.  Stop saying things like the following in Jesus the King:
I've been tellin' y'all since '05
The greatest artist restin' or alive
That's on L.A. Reid, that's on Clive
That's no Jive, that's on God
Off the 350s He supplied
The IRS want they fifty plus our tithe
Man, that's over half of the pie
I felt dry, that's on God
That's why I charge the prices that I charge
I can't be out here dancin' with the stars
No, I cannot let my family starve
I go hard, that's on God
To start, who complains about the IRS in a worship song?  God has more power than the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.  More so, the "on God" concept of your lyrics, Kanye, is blasphemous.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:33-37 in His Sermon on the Mount:
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:  34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
This is a flippant use of God's name, that is, God's name in vain.  Not only are you not "the greatest artist restin' or alive," but it's proud to say it.  Just saying these things you do and enunciating the name of God along side of them is profane.  Consider the following verses of scripture:
1 Chronicles 16:25 says, "For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods."
Psalm 48:1, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness."
Psalm 145:3, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable."
Your music isn't great, Kanye.  It isn't appropriate for God.  It isn't holy.  It isn't sacred.  It isn't even gospel, like you and others claim, even though "gospel music" itself is not historic, biblical worship.  It arose in the late 19th century as a means of manipulation and pandering to a fleshly crowd under the guise of promoting the gospel.  The gospel is to be preached, not sung to an audience, like what you are doing.

Somebody who is saved has all the power of the universe within him.  Scripture doesn't teach like your choir sings:  "Sing till the power of the Lord comes down."  The believer yields to the Holy Spirit, Who, as God, has all power.  Singing won't bring the power of the Lord down.  This is a perversion of the power of God.  This is "second blessing" experience promoted by the same charismaticism that originated from the same source as "gospel music."  The way your choir Kanye swings its hips fits more into this ecstatic charismatic "worship," then true biblical worship, acceptable to God.

Watching a young man give Kanye an only positive review on youtube, he brought forth the idea espoused by Charlie Pride that there are "three basic ingredients in American music:  country, gospel, and the blues" -- which isn't true.  Country, gospel, and the blues are not sacred and sacred music exists in America, is truly the original music of the American people.  Perhaps someone could say those other three are the foundation of wicked, worldly pop music, but those are not the basis of sacred music, which isn't popular music.  Those three and all the genres proceeding from them are not sacred and not fitting of the nature of God.

The music of the Pilgrims wasn't country, gospel, or the blues.  It was sacred.  The churches of early America sang sacred music, hymns and psalms.  The very first book published in the entirety of British North America was the Bay Psalm Book, first printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The title page reads:
Whereunto is prefixed a discourse
declaring not only the lawfullness, but also
the necessity of the heavenly Ordinance
of singing Scripture Psalmes in
the Churches of God.
The churches of God in early America sang Psalms.  Someone filled with the Spirit will sing to God psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16-17).  Jesus the King does not fit that teaching.  It doesn't read like anything close to the music God's people have used to worship Him.

Something gospel is also not, as the Apostle Paul wrote, "greedy of filthy lucre," and as Peter taught, "making merchandise of you."  But as Rolling Stone reported:
At Coachella this year, you could buy $50 socks emblazoned with the phrase “Jesus Walks.” At four Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Experience events held in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, in honor of an album that missed two release dates, he sold Christian-inspired sweaters for $140. 
This isn't about -- "I can't let my family starve."  Laced through your lyrics and in your interviews is a prosperity theology in which you declare that being a Christian is a way to greater monetary gain, when Jesus called it, "Deny thyself, take thy cross, and follow me."  Nobody begrudges a Christian of earning a living.  He should earn a living, but no one should profit off of God.  God isn't a commodity.  The Apostle Paul said it confuses the gospel.

In the positive review of Kanye I referenced earlier, the deceived or rebellious young man said Kanye will bring unity to the country with his Jesus Is King.  Radio host Glenn Beck said with complete seriousness that he thinks that Jesus Is King might be the start of another Great Awakening.  No and no.

Unity and great awakening arise from the truth of scripture practiced in a biblical manner.  They will start with being poor in spirit, mourning over sin, and yielding to the control of the Lordship of Christ.  Unity includes biblical separation, because Jesus came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.  When God destroyed the earth with a flood, eight people only were in unity, and that was all the unity, the only unity God would accept.  He killed everyone else.  God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save them who believe.  That is the way to unity.  So much is lacking and mostly contradictory to biblical unity and spiritual life coming from Kanye West.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding Satan (part 14 of 22)

The content of this post is now available in the study of:

1.) Evan Roberts

2.) The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

3.) Jessie Penn-Lewis

on the website. Please click on the people above to view the study.  On the FaithSaves website the PDF files may be easiest to read.


You are also encouraged to learn more about Keswick theology and its errors, as well as the Biblical doctrine of salvation, at the soteriology page at Faithsaves.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

The Tragedy and Hatefulness of People Who Ghost

I'd never heard the word, ghost, until a few days ago. Well, no.  I heard "Holy Ghost" in the King James Version, and Casper the friendly ghost.  I've heard the term, ghost, used in varied other ways, and I wouldn't have made this up.  I went to RealClearPolitics, and read "The Conflict Avoidance Generation" by Noah Rothman at Commentary.  The subtitle is "Comfort First."  Here are the first three paragraphs:
My two young children adored their babysitter. For about eight months, she watched them when my wife and I couldn’t, and she was good at her job. A recently enrolled student in a local community college, her schedule didn’t always include time to work for us. But when it did, she was punctual and professional, and her services were well compensated. And then one day, she disappeared. 
It occurred to us only after several weeks of radio silence that falling off the face of the earth might have been her way of severing our professional relationship. In retrospect, this maneuver was, perhaps, in character. Her preferred method of declining the opportunity to sit for our children when her schedule did not permit it was just not to take our call. So, resolved to find a new sitter, my wife and I conducted a handful of interviews and settled on a replacement relatively quickly. We introduced the new sitter to our children and established a prospective starting date in about two weeks. That was the last we saw or heard from her. Once again, we were “ghosted.” 
Our experience appears increasingly typical for employers seeking talent among young professionals entering the workforce. “Ghosting,” in the popular vernacular, is the practice of closing off all communication without any forewarning or explanation. This discourteous practice was once exclusive to the dating world, but it is now being applied to all sorts of interpersonal relationships, including those that are entirely professional.
"Ghosting" is defined as "the practice of closing off all communication without any forewarning or explanation" (this article lays out what it is too very well).  As you continue to read, you'll see that "ghosting" has become a regular practice by a surprising high percentage of "Generation Z" (22 and below) -- 43% just vanish when they don't want the job anymore.  In addition, 25% of millennials (23-38) bail on their employers.  What is going on here?

Some have studied this new trend, and Rothman calls it "an ideological obsession with avoiding all forms of trauma and distress—even the emotional sort."  He further describes:
The path of least resistance is to avoid potentially conflictual interpersonal engagements. Compulsive conflict avoidance is, however, not only rude but unproductive and unhealthy. “Ghosting” isn’t just ignoring a problem in the hope that it will go away or changing the subject; it’s a complete cognitive and emotional shutdown.
Rothman references an article in The Atlantic that turned into a book of the same title:  "The Coddling of the American Mind," which has this sentence in the subheading:  "In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like."  The article is worth reading.  I give both articles a full disclaimer, but I have both seen and experienced "ghosting" numerous times.

"Ghosting" disobeys the frequent biblical command to "love thy neighbor as thyself."  No one wants someone with whom he relates to just "drop off the face of the earth" with almost no warning and with no opportunity at reconciliation or mediation.  If you do this to someone, you are wrong.  Jesus says this is as much as murdering someone (cf. Matt 5:21-26).

Social media provides the practice or pattern of ghosting.  Someone makes an even moderately negative comment, perhaps just unaccepting, and it is deleted immediately, the person blocked permanently.   A non-affirming relationship is rejected.  This is. not. Christian.  I see this as the norm in social networking and then it becomes a pattern for behavior in the real world.

Someone ghosting is practicing an unscriptural form of separation, separation in the worst, most harsh, hateful way.  It doesn't try to keep a relationship going.  It doesn't care about the person it ghosts.  I hear the generation Z and millennials talk about unity, especially since there is so much division in the country, but they do not understand unity.  Unity isn't the absence of conflict.  Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword, and no one brings unity more than Jesus.  They practice this nuclear form of separation that scorches the earth all around its object, like Rome with Carthage.

"Freedom" isn't the ability to say or do what you want without rejection.  Real freedom gives confidence to face adversity.  The truly free person can stand up to scrutiny.  It's even part of being an adult, which is one reason I see this being the behavior of young people.  It's also because they have been coddled, like the article says.

When a conflict arises in a relationship, scripture teaches reconciliation, and mediation if necessary.  Tough conversations must be had.  This is love.  Pushing the eject button isn't love.  It is selfishness.  Ghosting is "vindictive" a word used four times in the Atlantic article.  He calls it "vindictive protectiveness," followed by this sentence:  "It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse."

Don't get me wrong, generation Z and millennials don't think they've been coddled (overly protected). They think they've been abused.  They've "had life very hard" -- not.  This is the generation where dodge ball, the teeter totter, and the monkey bars went extinct.  Two words:  hand sanitizer.  Almost everyone in my generation of parents over served their children.  They gave them too much, protected them from too much. They had life too easy.  They don't think so.  They think they had it hard, but no generation of people had it as easy as those 35 and younger.  More coddling isn't the solution to their problem.  The future looks already very dim, but if this doesn't stop, that trajectory downward will be even worse.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Word of Truth Conference 2019: The Biblical Doctrine of Sanctification

November 6-10, Wednesday-Sunday
Sanctification (part one), Bethel Baptist Church, El Sobrante, CA

11/6, Wed, 7:00pm     1st Sermon     Chris Teale
11/6, Wed, 7:50pm     2nd Sermon     James Bronsveld
11/7, Thurs, 9:30am     Salvation and Sanctification     David Warner
11/7, Thurs, 10:35am     Evangelism and Sanctification     Kent Brandenburg
11/7, Thurs, 11:40am     The Means of Sanctification     Thomas Ross
11/7, Thurs, 7:00pm     1st Sermon     Dave Mallinak
11/7, Thurs, 7:50pm     2nd Sermon     James Bronsveld
11/8, Fri, 9:30am     Sanctification and the Work of the Holy Spirit     David Sutton
11/8, Fri, 10:35am     Scripture and Sanctification     Chris Teale
11/8, Fri, 11:40am     Good Works and Sanctification     Kent Brandenburg
11/8, Fri, 7:00pm     Sermon     Dave Mallinak
11/9, Sat, 9:30am     The Church and Sanctification      James Bronsveld
11/9, Sat, 10:35am     The Effects of Sanctification     Thomas Ross
11/9, Sat, 11:40am     Antinomianism     James Bronsveld
11/11, Sun, 9:45am     Revivalism     Thomas Ross
11/11, Sun, 11:00am     Sermon     Kent Brandenburg
11/11, Sun, 2:30pm   Panel Discussion    Brandenburg, Ross, Sutton, Warner

The audio for the meeting will be at

The video for the meeting will be at

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Having a Quote Used Out of Context: Normal from the Left, Illustrated in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America

Oxford reads and quotes Thou Shalt Keep Them, our book on the biblical theology of the perfect preservation of scripture.  Someone alerted me that The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America quoted me, and upon review in an unfavorable manner.  Our book appears in the bibliography and a chapter I wrote in particular is supposedly "quoted" -- exactly three words.  I'll get to those.

I am said to be quoted in a chapter by Jason A. Hentschel, the senior pastor of the Wyoming Baptist Church in Wyoming, OH.  As a little tip, if you go to the church website, the most recent sermon came from Dr. Emily Hill.  It is an American Baptist Church.  His chapter, however, is entitled, "The King James Only Movement."  The first page of the chapter starts with an illustration of a "Reverend Martin Luther Hux" lighting a Revised Standard Version on fire in the bed of his pick up truck in North Carolina.  Almost every possible advocate of the King James Version (KJV) is lumped in with the burning RSV.  Showing his absolute lack of a grasp of the issue, he traces blame to evangelical J. I. Packer.

Hentschel bemoans the underlying presupposition of certainty among the proponents of the KJV or the textus receptus Greek text behind the KJV New Testament.  He says these evangelicals, who support the KJV, must save it from history or escape from history to take their position.  A tell-tale sentence from Hentschel reads:
Of course, we must ask at this point why it is assumed we must have certainty of faith, why we must be certain that what we know to be true is really true.
Overall, whatever his problem with a KJV only position and even what that means to him (because he doesn't explain it), his real problem is with the idea that professing Christians are either certain of the Bible or they receive certainty from it.  His view of faith is one in which God retains a mystery unfettered by the bounds of a book.  The definition of faith itself depends on uncertainty, so that one's view of God transmogrifies amoeba-like just out of touch of anything concrete in the imagination.  This isn't the God of the Bible, which makes the Bible always a problem for one with God as comfortable abstraction.

The "quote of me" comes within the following portion of a paragraph:
For these in the King James Only movement, to chase after ancient texts or to pretend that scholars can piece together lost autographs with any measure of certainty is a fool's errand, the unmistakable mark of an unbeliever.  As Edward Hills contends, if God has left his word so vulnerable, then the Christian faith and Christian orthodoxy "would always be wavering."  Or, as another follower put it, there would be nothing left but "despair and doubt."
Okay.  Hentschel says those last three words are a quote of me from Thou Shalt Keep Them, the chapter titled, "First Century Textual Attack."  Apparently, I get one less word than his quote of Edward Hills's, "would always be wavering."  First, "despair and doubt" are three words on page 150, which is not in my chapter on first century textual attack.  Nope.  It's in the following chapter by Thomas Corkish, titled "Pure Words of God."  I apologize to Dr. Corkish for no mention for writing those three words.  I'm sure most people are not going to check the accuracy of his endnotes.  I didn't write them though.

In the chapter written by Corkish, not by me, Hentschel is quoting from the last sentence of a section of the chapter:
All Christians must take hope in a preserved and infallible Word, or despair and doubt will fill their hearts.
This sentence ends a paragraph that references Psalm 12 and its promise to the poor and needy there.  The words are like a contract. God refers to the surety of His words like He does the surety of His promise to the poor and needy.  If the words are unsure, the contract is, and not anything on which to depend.  In the very passage, God makes the fulfillment of His promise dependent on the surety of the words.

If God's words cannot be trusted, how can God be trusted?  This is not to say that scripture is bigger than God.  Even if scripture is lesser than the greater, the actual fulfillment of God's promise, then despair and doubt do proceed from the untrustworthiness of scripture.  This point can be made from the text.  It's either true or it isn't.  If it isn't, isn't that attributable to God?  God Himself is saying that it is attributable to Him.  He is saying that if we cannot trust His Word, then we cannot trust Him.  Yet, we can trust Him and His Word.

Hentschel doesn't deal with the point of the quote in its context.  I've found this to be normal for all manner of the left, including the theological left.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Missionaries, Preachers and Everyone Else Who Travels: ATMs Free Worldwide and No Foreign Transaction Fees

If you travel within the United States, it is nice to be able to use an ATM without having to pay any fees.  If you travel internationally, being able to use any ATM you want without having to pay ATM fees or foreign transaction fees sounds almost too good to be true--for not only do you save a 3% foreign transaction fee and the fee from the ATM, but you also avoid the poor exchange rates that are offered at the airport (especially) and also at other places where money changing goes on--instead, you just pay the actual conversion rate into the foreign currency.  If one is frequently in foreign countries--whether as a missionary, a pastor who watches over those missionaries sent out of his church, or simply as a person who goes outside of the United States, the savings can definitely add up.  There are numbers of banks that I know of that give ATM refunds within the United States, but very few also do the same internationally.  There are two ways to get the above valuable benefits that I am aware of, and one of them is currently offering a very good deal, so I thought it would be a good time to write a blog post about this.

SoFi--Everything Free & Make $50 or $150 or More in

About 5 Minutes

SoFi Money has a brokerage account that offers the benefits above.  That is:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No direct deposit required
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide (they give you a Visa debit card for use with your account)
  • No foreign transaction fees worldwide
  • High interest rate
  • No hard pull on your credit report--no negative effects whatsoever on your credit score

Furthermore, right now they are offering you $50 for signing up for SoFi Money and depositing $100 (which you can take out again whenever you like).  You can possibly sign up in less time than it takes to read this post and get $50.  The bonus is posting very quickly as well--it shows up within a few days in my experience.  Furthermore, you can get a referral link from within their app and get $100 if you refer someone else, $200 if you refer two people, $300 for three people, and so on.  So if you sign up, then refer your spouse, you will get $50 (you sign up) + $100 (referral bonus for spouse) + $50 (spouse signs up) = $200 very easily.  If you have a lot of siblings you can get a lot of money for an account that is worth having.  You can leave $1 in there and then put money in the account whenever you travel, use the travel benefits, and then go back to leaving $1 in there, or you can actually use SoFi for the various things that they want you to use them for if you find their products attractive.  I signed up and then I referred my wife.

You can use my referral link by clicking here to get $50 and a worthwhile account.  You don't have to use my referral link, of course, but if you do I will also be benefited financially, and I would appreciate that because we just had to buy some expensive equipment to help with our online classes and video ministry, and we would rejoice if God provided for us while also helping others get a valuable account that can save them a lot when they travel.

I know that advertisements always tell you to "buy RIGHT NOW" and stuff like that, but this is a very good deal with people signing up all over the place, and I don't think they are going to keep offering it for a long time, so I would suggest signing up quickly before they end the promotion if you want to get the opening and referral bonus(es).

SoFi also makes loans, and you can find out more about them with my referral link about that by clicking here.  I have not looked into their loans much because I don't need a loan, but if you absolutely cannot avoid debt (it is far better to lend than to need a loan) you can get information about SoFi loans here.

There are advantages SoFi Money has over the Schwab account below--a higher interest rate and a very easy $50 or possibly $200 or more if you sign up now, and no hard pull on your credit report. There are also some advantages to Schwab; I will discuss those below.

Schwab Checking Account--similar benefits

Charles Schwab has a checking account that offers:
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No direct deposit required
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide (they give you a Visa debit card for use with your account)
  • No foreign transaction fees worldwide
I have had a Charles Schwab checking account for years and am very glad to have been able to avoid ATM fees and foreign transaction fees when we have travelled to Kenya, various parts of Europe, the Philippines, etc.  (When the ATM charges you a fee Schwab refunds it.) We don't use our Schwab checking account that much except if we are not local--then we transfer some money into the account (both with SoFi and with Charles Schwab it is very easy to link another bank account) and use the Schwab account while we are away from home.

The Schwab checking account does not have nearly as high an interest rate as SoFi Money, and getting one involves a hard pull on your credit report, just like opening a credit card or applying for a home mortgage, etc.  On the other hand, Schwab is a very well-known and reputable brokerage firm so you can invest with them as well as bank.  I have found their customer service over the years to be excellent.  Furthermore, you can sign up for God-honoring Christian-based mutual funds through Schwab, since they carry them along with many, many other types of investments.  I do not yet know whether that is possible with SoFi Money because my account with them is very new and I wanted to get this post out before the SoFi Money promo ended.  Also, with Schwab you can get paper bank statements; I am not sure if SoFi offers those or not.  Finally, Schwab's checking account is FDIC insured.  SoFi moves your money into FDIC insured bank accounts, utilizing six banks so it is FDIC insured up to $1.5 million, but if they were to go bust in the one day or two or whatever between when you deposited your money and when it got swept into an FDIC insured account, it might be a less than ideal situation for that particular deposit.  I have no concerns about depositing $100 in SoFi or even thousands of dollars in SoFi, but if I were a millionaire I would be more likely to keep my money with Schwab and I would do a lot more with their brokerage than with SoFi's brokerage.

If you sign up with this link, you should be able to get $100 from Schwab's refer-a-friend program.  I do not make anything from this program, but you get $100.  I am not sure if the link I just supplied for Schwab will work for more than the first person who tries it, unlike the SoFi money bonus which should work for as long as they offer the promo for as many people as click on it and sign up.  If you can deposit thousands and thousands of dollars, you can get more than $100 from Schwab--a certain level gives you $200 and if you deposit over $100,000 you get $500, but most people are probably not going to do that.

I have signed up for both SoFi Money and Schwab, and would suggest that you think about getting one or both of these accounts if you ever travel where your local bank does not give you ATM refunds, and especially if you ever leave the USA.