Monday, December 30, 2019

Adjective Love: Transactional or Unconditional

The addition of "social" to "justice" negates justice.  Justice is equal treatment of everyone.  Social justice chooses groups for unequal treatment.  Justice originates in scripture, almost as old as the earth.  Social justice arose in the 19th century.  I'm saying that according to a leftist viewpoint the addition of this adjective corrupts justice.  It's not justice anymore.

I turn your attention to love.  Love also doesn't need an adjective, but leftists also add to love, unconditional and now transactional.  Love is a stand alone.  It stands alone in the Bible.  It doesn't need an adjective to clarify or specify.

The word "love" as originated in the English language proceeded from the Bible.  People know the word "love" because of the Word of God.  Scripture defines love.  We can know what it is from the Bible and then just use it and understand it that way.

I've never been comfortable with "unconditional love," as if love is unconditional as a defining quality. I've found that the one most interested in "unconditional love" is the one who doesn't want any conditions himself.  I see conditions for love in scripture.  That's why the adjective doesn't work.  Consider Deuteronomy 7:6:
For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
That is self-explanatory.  We would not be loved by God if conditions were required for Him to love us.  We love Him because He first loved us.  However, despite his love arriving to us without conditions, much like we love an enemy, it doesn't mean that love itself is unconditional.  Consider John 16:27:
For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
"Because ye have loved me" is a condition.  Also consider Psalm 139:21-22:
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
A condition exists for God's hatred.  Neither is His love unconditional.  Jesus said in Luke 16:13:
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Based on conditions, someone is loved and someone is hated.  The explanation behind "transactional love" is that someone has applied a condition and that's bad.  If the recipient of the love doesn't behave, he should be treated the same as if he did behave.  This twists the biblical truth of love again.

A father chastens a child, because he loves the child, not because he doesn't.  Hebrews 12:6 says:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 
The child should be afraid of chastening.  That is a motivating factor for obedience.  A loving parent won't allow a disobedient child.  He will chasten.  Actual love is called "transactional."  It is a term intended to diminish biblical love as unloving, merely transactional.

I've read the adjective "narcissistic" applied to "transactional love."  A narcissist apparently sets terms, selfish ones, and expects the recipient to fulfill those to receive the desired treatment.  This transaction must be selfish, so it isn't loving.  This parent wants an obedient child, and the idea here is that he withholds his love in order to get that.  No.  The parent wants an obedient child, so he chastens, because he loves the child.  God wants obedience.  Success is obedience.  He is caring for his child by providing discipline.

Because of phony adjectives like unconditional and transactional, another adjective is now added, "tough."  A parent, a boss, a teacher, a pastor use "tough love."  Reach into your love tool box for whatever brand of love it is, and in this case, "tough" is the tool needed.  I get it, but it's still just love.

"Transactional"  is a negotiating ploy by a narcissist.  He wants to get away with sin, and actually keep receiving good treatment for sinning.  When he doesn't, he claims he isn't being loved.  Wrong.  He isn't loving.  He is using a manipulative, rebellious behavior to browbeat and coerce.  He's a hateful person, who wants good treatment in a transaction himself.  He provides actual bad behavior and wants acceptance and approval for it.  Some might call this coddling.  He's coddled, so he always feels like the victim when he's treated badly for bad behavior.

Love is resplendent.  Love shines through a prism into various colors and hues, a veritable kaleidoscope.  It is of God.  God is one.  Love is one.  Love.  No adjectives.

Saturday, December 28, 2019


Today people who do not like Christianity, actual Christianity, biblical Christianity, explain Christianity to actual Christians and in a condescending and patronizing way.  Like leftists invented and use the term "mansplaining," this is Christianitysplaining.  From my perspective, which is a biblical one, that takes a grammatical-historical interpretation of scripture, these are unbelievers explaining to Christians their own corrupted version of Christianity.  There are two very public examples of this in recent days, but I believe these represent something happening as a culture.

Of the two examples, one came in a tweet from Democrat presidential candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (former mayor of South Bend, IN):

Joseph and Mary were going to Bethlehem to pay taxes when Jesus was born.  They weren't fleeing anyone.  Jesus grew up in Nazareth, where both his parents were from.  Buttigieg wraps himself in the mantle of Christianity to pick off other Christianitysplainers.

The next example, days before the Buttigieg tweet, was the editorial in Christianity Today, where the editor, Mark Galli, took a shot at evangelical Trump voters by informing them that "Trump Should Be Removed From Office."  In his first sentence, he Christianitysplains:
In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith.
Apparently the call to the new Ukrainian president was a tipping point for Galli, and then also a sentence in the last paragraph:  "Some have criticized us for our reserve."  I'm open to scriptural explanations.  Galli says that you're not being Christian if you oppose impeachment.  This is akin, according to him, to brushing off the president's immoral behavior.  A constitutional scholar, Galli is not (since the original writing of this post, Wayne Grudem has published an excellent rebuttal of the Galli editorial, worth a read).

Since those two, Buttigieg and Galli, Christianitysplained, a tidal wave of media followed with further Christianitysplaining.  The world knows the Christianity it wants and it expects Christians to live it.  It's a kind of feeding frenzy because of what the world sees in the Southern Baptist Convention with its pandering to a new, woke generation of Conventioneers.  They smell blood in the water.

The Atlantic Christianitysplains with its article, "Leith Anderson and the Silent Majority," attempting to shame who they think is an influential evangelical leader.   Several dozen articles pummeling evangelicals have followed.  I believe the leftist media rightly assess weakness in professing Christianity, especially among millennials.  This is the most telling culture change.  Very few millennials agree with the preceding generation.

Millennial evangelicals and now fundamentalists, which aren't even mostly faithful to church, sympathize with all things relevant in the culture.  They're friends with same sex married, who seem just like normal people to them -- and who are we to question "love"?  They like the idea of admitting to white privilege, the feel of a pseudo-humility that pays personal dividends.  They're cleared of racism.  They support egalitarian marriages after years of girl and boy friends.   They like suggestive, very emotive music in touch with their feelings, which they interpret as spiritual.  Their art is gritty, urban, modern or postmodern, and apocalyptic, what they think is authentic.  Most of them have trouble with their parents, several of which like Trump, which embarrasses them. Mothers of millennials often Christianitysplain to the fathers of millennials, hoping dad takes it easy on junior.  This is all very fertile ground for the seeds of a woke journalist.

Millennials and their fawning servant leaders have entered a kind of negotiated surrender.  Leaders should serve, no doubt, and Jesus served, but this isn't what "servant leadership" is or at least has become.  I believe Douglas Wilson represents it correctly when he writes:
The emphasis placed on servant leadership in recent decades has produced a soft complementarianism, one which adopts egalitarian assumptions for most of human existence, but which tolerates a modified pretend hierarchy in the two places where our trained exegetes have not yet hammered out a plausible workaround for us. In this pretend hierarchy, the leaders are allowed to be leaders so long as they do exactly what they’re told.
Bnonn Tennant writes:
Servant leadership is a dirty little phrase that has slipped into evangelical culture like a silk pillow over the face. 
It tastes sweet in the mouth, like honey, because who doesn’t agree that men should imitate the Lord Jesus, who came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28)?  But it is bitter in the stomach, because it makes men subservient to those they are supposed to be leading.
These millennials Christianitysplain to their elders on a regular basis, telling them how it should be done, in addition to saying, you've got a flawed gospel.  What do you mean?  I want to know.  They Christianitysplain something about freedom.  It's not really new.  It is antinomianism, that is very old and described in 2 Peter and Jude among other places, turning the grace of God into lascisviousness.

Christianitysplainers want to splain.  They know, they splain, and somehow their Christianity looks less like biblical Christianity and more like the spirit of the age.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Who was Muhammad? David Wood debates Ali Ataie

Since I recently posted my debate with Shabir Ally over the topic "The New Testament Picture of Jesus: Is it Accurate?" (watch the debate here) I thought it would be worthwhile mentioning another debate that is well worth seeing for those who wish to evangelize the over 1,000,000,000 Muslims in the world, namely, David Wood's debate with Ali Ataie over the topic "Who was Muhammad?"  Few Muslims are willing to debate what Muhammad was like, and Dr. Wood does a great job exposing the truth on this matter.  Dr. Ataie, who teaches in Berkeley, California, is an intelligent man, but he has his hands full defending the indefensible.  While Dr. Wood is not a Baptist separatist and I do not endorse all his theological positions, the discussion between the two is still very valuable to watch.

I would encourage Muslims reading this post to read The Testimony of the Quran to the Bible here and also consider Dr. Wood's tract "Has the Quran Been Perfectly Preserved?"  Dr. Wood's tract would be worthy additions to a Biblical church's tract rack.

Part 1 of the Wood-Ataie debate, "Who Was Muhammad?" (Dr. Wood's opening remarks)--very powerful.

Part 2 of the Wood-Ataie debate, "Who Was Muhammad?" (Dr. Atai's opening remarks)--he kept going off topic and making ridiculous misrepresentations of the Bible, but he had a very difficult job.

Part 3 of the Wood-Ataie debate, "Who Was Muhammad"?  In the cross-examination it becomes even more apparent how indefensible Dr. Atai's position is.

Part 4 of the Wood-Ataie debate, "Who Was Muhammad?" Overall, a clear victory for Dr. Wood and for God's truth.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Isaiah 53 and the False Definition of Freedom as Individual

This is actually part six as well of a series I've been doing on Ghosting:  part one   part two   part three   part four   part five

Isaiah 53 prophesies the future conversion of the nation Israel and chronicles the account of her future repentance.  I want to focus on the middle triad of this confession, the apex of the five triads (52:13-15, 53:1-3, 53:4-6, 53:7-9, 53:10-12), in verses four through six and give a miniature exposition before getting to the point of the post, which proceeds from the truth of the last verse of that majestic text.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Some Exposition of Isaiah 53:4-6, the Apex of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the Middle Triad

When Israel is saved, those to be saved will confess in lament that the servant of Jehovah (52:13), their Messiah, bore their griefs and carried their sorrows.  He was bearing theirs, not His own.  He had none.  They confess that they esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, that He was being punished for His own sins.  This was the very wrong estimation of what was occurring.  What a woeful assessment!  No, not so!  He was wounded for their transgressions, and so forth in verse 5.  He wasn't paying for His own sinning.  He was righteous.  Just the opposite, He was paying for theirs.

Their repentance includes confession of their attitude (v. 4), the wrong disposition about their Messiah, their deeds (v. 5) -- transgressions, iniquities, etc. -- and their nature (v. 6).  They will confess that they are sinners by attitude, deed, and by nature.  Sheep by nature go astray.  They were doing what was in their nature to do.

Going astray is wandering.  The wandering that is going astray is communicated by the following Christmas hymn:
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus my Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky 
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
That Jesus my Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
Sheep wander, like "poor on'ry people like you and like I."  Consider these two lines from "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman":
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
Instead of staying with the shepherd and with the rest of the flock, sheep wander out and away.  This is how sheep are.  They are helpless and weak, but they are also stupid, so they get away from the shepherd and the rest of the sheep, following their own curiosity.  They want to go astray.  Instead of going the way, the Lord's way, with the rest of the flock, they go their own way.

The Hebrew word for "iniquity" in verse 6 is a word that can be translated "punishment." It is part of the lexiconal listing and has this in its definition.  When the sheep goes astray, punishment comes.  Instead of the sheep facing the rod that Jehovah lays, that punishment fell upon the Servant of the Lord.  The sheep would die if it received the punishment it deserved.  It could not survive the blow of the Shepherd.

The Shepherd watches over a flock of sheep, which are together in His way, not their own. A sheep wanders from His way, a place of unity among the sheep.  The sheep doesn't find the way on His own, but by following the Shepherd.  The sheep doesn't receive protection outside of the fold.  That is going astray.  That is going a different way than the Shepherd.

The Lord Jesus Christ didn't die so that the sheep could go their way.  He died because they went their way.  They should have been punished for going their way, but instead the Lord Jesus Christ took that punishment.  The freedom that comes from the deliverance of Jesus isn't the freedom of the sheep to wander on his own, but the freedom that is the ability to continue in the flock and enjoy the protection and feeding and leading of the Shepherd.

"Going your own way," outside the fold, and away from authority is individual.  This was Rousseau's idea of freedom (see this post).

The Parallel or Contrast to a False Definition of Freedom as Individual

Going astray sounds bad.  What was that though?  It was leaving the confines and safety of the flock with the presence of the Shepherd.  It was wandering.  It was being a free agent instead of under authority.  The authority seems confining, conflicting with freedom.  The sheep that could not wander away from the flock doesn't have freedom.

Wandering doesn't sound bad.  It sounds like someone curious, who wants to venture out further on his own without the restriction of a boundary.  To give it a noble significance, it's like those in the original colonies pushing out into the frontier.  This is a trailblazer.  But no, it's a wandering sheep that seizes or snatches individual sovereignty for himself.  He doesn't even have to give an explanation, except that he wants his own freedom to explore.  He might also elevate his wandering, which is actually going astray, to "developing his own conviction," with an emphasis on "his own."  Without the ability to wander and leave the fold, he argues, he doesn't have the freedom to have his own beliefs.

No beliefs that anyone possesses are "his own."  They are God's, and there is only one set of beliefs that God gives, not various options.  There isn't a unique set of beliefs, free floating outside of the flock, that someone can reach out and grasp.  The church is the pillar and ground of the truth.  This is where someone gets the truth and the understanding of it.  Those moving outside of the flock are following after their own lusts, such as described in 1 John 2:19:
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
"Went out from us" and "they went out" parallel with "gone astray."  Is a sheep "free" that cannot wander?  Is someone not free unless he can go astray?  Or is this assumed or even arbitrary freedom really bondage?  The limitation of the flock protects the sheep.  It can live.  Going astray is death for the sheep.  The shepherd and sheep is used as an analogy, but the application itself is real.

Rousseau said that in man's original "state of nature" he was free, essentially wandering around alone outside of the confines of society.  Society is the source of evil.  Many like this idea of freedom.  The flock confines.

Ghosting is an extreme, unscriptural form of separation, which has been defined as "the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication."  One variety of the ghoster is a wandering sheep.  He walks away from his fold without announcement or explanation.  He disappears.  It doesn't mean he won't find another flock, just that the flock he joins functions according to his own way.

The free sheep in the portrayal of Isaiah 53 is the one still in the fold, not the wanderer, the ghoster.  This contradicts the conception of lost mankind.  He sees freedom outside the fold, where he finds his own way according to his own will.  Man's state of nature confined itself to male and female, husband and wife, dad and mom, and finally church, so within spheres of sovereignty.  The wandering is the bondage to one's own will, which is depraved.  This is the same state of nature as sheep, which by nature go astray.  This is against the best interest of the sheep, the blessing of the sheep, the thriving of the sheep.

Freedom is not individual.  I'm not saying there isn't individual freedom.  There is.  However, the individual freedom is preserved within spheres:  family, church, and even state -- institutions ordained by God.  Those seeking freedom outside of these folds are wanderers.  They are going astray.  They are candidates for punishment by God.  The Lord Jesus Christ bore their punishment, not so they would have the freedom to wander, but so that they would stay within the flock in unity with the one will of the Shepherd.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired "Truth" on Demon Possession (part 17 of 22)

With the Bible alone, one could never discover such truths as those that Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts proclaimed in War on the Saints as follows:

[E]vil spirits . . . bury themselves in the very structure of the human frame, some acting directly upon the organs or appetites of the body, others upon the mind or intellect, sensibilities, emotions and affections, and others more immediately upon the spirit. In the body they specially locate themselves in the spinal column, nervous system, and deepest nerve centers, through which they control the whole being; from the ganglionic nerve center located in the bowels, the emotional sensibilities, and all organs affected by them, to the cerebral nerve center in the head; the eyes, ears, neck, jaws, tongue, muscles of the face, the delicate nerve tissues of the brain. . . . Demons . . . are of various types, greater in diversity than human beings, and these demons always seek to possess a person congenial to them in some characteristic. The Bible tells us . . . of despotic demons, theological demons, screeching and yelling demons. There are demons that act more particularly on the body, or some organ or appetite of the body. There are others that act more directly upon the intellect, or the sensibilities, and emotions, and affections. There are others of a higher order that act directly on man’s spiritual nature, upon the conscience, or the spiritual perceptions. . . . Demons . . . seek out those whose make-up and temperament is most congenial to themselves and then seek to fasten themselves on to some part of the body, or brain, or some appetite, or some faculty of the mind, either the reason, or imagination, or perception; and when they get access, they bury themselves into the very structure of the person[.][1]

Furthermore, with only the Bible, one would never know that “evil spirits want the body, and . . . so persistently work to gain access and possession . . . [b]ecause in it they find ‘rest’ (Matt. 12:43), and seem to find some relief for themselves,”[2] for Matthew 12:43 actually states that unclean spirits seek rest, and find none, so one would need the inspired writings of Mrs. Penn-Lewis to know that, when they possess men, unclean spirits seek rest, and find some, the allegedly true, allegorical meaning of the text of Matthew, although one with no support whatever from the literal interpretation of the passage.[3]  Nor would one be able to discover the fact that there are degrees of demon possession,[4] so that demons can possess one’s left arm, or right ear canal, or facial muscles, or nerves, or divide up portions of one’s soul, or mind, or sensibilities, and possess some portion of them, or any other portion of the person whatever—an affirmation fundamental to the entire system of War on the Saints—from the Bible alone, as there is not a shred of evidence for it in the Word.

What do the evil spirits do when they locate themselves in the various portions of the body and possess them?  Perhaps their work when living in the ear canal may be illustrative:  “[E]vil spirits may take hold of the nerves of the ear, so that the person cannot hear what he should, yet is permitted to be alert enough in bearing[,] all [in order] that he should not hear.”[5]  Let all hear the great truths supplementing the Bible in War on the Saints—at least if demons are not possessing one’s ears and making one hard of hearing—in which case one had better read the book instead of listening to it read or expounded—although the “eyes” are also “liable to possession” so it may not be possible to see the book and read it, either—in which case one had better just cry out for help—unless one’s “tongue” has become subject “to possession,” along with the eyes and ears, in which case learning braille to read the book may be the only option—although since all “other parts of the body”[6] of the Christian may be possessed, even the hands may be unable read the book in braille, if they also have been possessed.  In that case it may be best to simply think about what to do—unless the Christian’s brain has been possessed.

The Bible never teaches that a “buzzing in the ears” is caused by an “evil spirit locating in the nerves of the ear,” or that “shortsightedness” so that “things look misty and blurred” should lead a man to fear that “evil spirits control the physical eyes,” or that “talkativeness” could well be because [e]vil spirits may ‘possess’ [people] . . . only in the organs of speech.”[7]  Much less would anyone ever conclude simply from the Bible that one needs to know what portion of the body, or soul, and so on, is possessed before exorcism is possible, but War on the Saints revealed what is truly necessary to escape from possession:  “When the believer is fighting free from possession, he . . . must know the place of the spirit, the soul, and the body, in the conflict, e.g., if evil spirits have a hold on the muscles of the bodily frame there must be effort, and use of the muscles to dislodge them, and so in every other part of the being.”[8]  None of the texts in the Bible that employ the verbs for demon possession or exorcism indicate that either possession or exorcism has degrees, nor is there the slightest evidence that one must find out that demons are, say, in one’s muscles and then wiggle those muscles to dislodge the demons.

Note the daimonidzomai texts (Matthew 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15–16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21; cf. the texts with “unclean” and “spirits”) and the texts with the verb “cast out” (ekballo) relevant for demon possession (Matthew 7:22; 8:16, 31; 9:32–34; 10:8; 12:22, 24, 26–28; 17:18–19; Mark 1:32, 34, 39; 3:15, 22–23; 6:13; 7:26; 9:38; 16:9, 17; Luke 9:49; 11:14–15, 18–20; 13:32).  In every case, neither the possession nor the deliverance from possession was a matter of degree.  While an unconverted person could have a greater or lesser number of demons within him, in no case was there a statement or even an implication that only certain portions of a person were possessed, or that when demons were cast out they were not actually cast out from all of the  person, but only from certain parts of him.  Indeed, in not a single one of the seventy-six instances where the verb cast out appears in the New Testament can demons or anything else be cast out and yet still be present within whatever they were cast out of in some lesser degree (Matthew 7:4–5, 22; 8:12, 16, 31; 9:25, 33–34, 38–10:1; 10:8; 12:20, 24, 26–28, 35; 13:52; 15:17; 17:19; 21:12, 39; 22:13; 25:30; Mark 1:12, 34, 39, 43; 3:15, 22–23; 5:40; 6:13; 7:26; 9:18, 28, 38, 47; 11:15; 12:8; 16:9, 17; Luke 4:29; 6:22, 42; 8:54; 9:40, 49; 10:2, 35; 11:14–15, 18–20; 13:28, 32; 19:45; 20:12, 15; John 2:15; 6:37; 9:34–35; 10:4; 12:31; Acts 7:58; 9:40; 13:50; 16:37; 27:38; Gal 4:30; James 2:25; 3 John 1:10; Revelation 11:2).  If sola Scriptura is true, and Mrs. Penn-Lewis’s writings are not inspired and an authority to set alongside of or above the Bible, then her doctrine of degrees of demon possession is another one of the Satanic lies, errors, and heresies that saturate her writings.

Nor does the Bible indicate that manifestations of sin by believers are sometimes caused by demons, so that when a believer acts or thinks sinfully he may not really have sinned, because the devil made him do it.  However, in War on the Saints Mrs. Penn-Lewis not only discovered that the devil can make believers act sinfully—after all, there are “unclean demons . . . demons . . . of drunkenness, of gluttony, of idleness,”[9] and so on—but that believers should not confess their sins when the devil makes them sin.  If Christians confess the sins that the devil allegedly did through them, they will become demon possessed.  A believer who only had 1 John 1:9, Luke 11:4, and related passages would simply confess all his sins and trust that God had cleansed him from all unrighteousness, and with the Bible alone he would never know that drunkenness, idleness, overeating, and so on, could actually be sins from demons rather than sins from himself—but War on the Saints shows that, after engaging in various sins, one should first be neutral towards them, not ashamed of them, and then one needs to find out what percentage among sins committed were actually the responsibility of the devil, and be careful to avoid confessing those sins, for even one mistake in confessing a sin that the devil really did through the believer opens the believer up to demon possession.[10]  Furthermore, while the Bible teaches that the true God is sovereign, self-sufficient, and does not need anything (Acts 17:25), the deity of War on the Saints needs prayer or it is unable to do what it wants to,[11] and it is unable to overthrow and destroy sin and Satan without people helping out by binding the devil and utilizing the techniques in Roberts’s and Penn-Lewis’s work,[12] affirmations that call to mind both Word of Faith doctrine and the myths about how pagan gods became hungry if enough people did not offer them sacrifices.  Indeed, the deity of Mrs. Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts is even helpless to initiate the second coming of Christ until people bind Satan and his demons and so clear the air—only then can the Rapture, the partial Rapture of the Overcomers, take place.[13]  However, the deity of War on the Saints is not the only being that has needs that only people can meet—demons can also need people to get a drink.  “[F]acts gathered from experience [are] sufficient to prove that certain varieties of demons live on the juices in human blood.”[14]  How necessary War on the Saints truly must be—filled to the brim, as it is, with affirmations about demons and their wiles that are entirely absent from Scripture!  While critics[15] would affirm that the Satanic warfare doctrines in War on the Saints and The Overcomer are themselves occasions for awful spiritual delusion, and for evil spirits to gain power over people, those who recognize the inspiration of the writings of Roberts and Penn-Lewis need not trouble themselves about the bizarre, unscriptural, and idolatrous features that burst forth on page after page of their writings, nor about the great grief and quenching of the Holy Spirit that their unscriptural nonsense produces in a Christian soul, but can rest in confidence in their prophets in these last hours before the return of Christ in 1914.


The following are the parts of this series:

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick and Welsh Revivalist, Quaker and Freemason (part 1 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Conversion (?) and Higher Life (part 2 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Spirit-Baptized Woman Preacher (part 3 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick Faith Healer (part 4 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: the Christ-Life and Quietism (part 5 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Her Inspired Writings (part 6 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired Woman Preacher (part 7 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: her mystical false god (part 8 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Worldwide Keswick Impact  (part 9 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Welsh Revival and Pentecostal Preparation (part 10 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: War on the Saints (part 11 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Christians Demon Possessed (part 12 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Warfare Prayer and the 1914 partial Rapture (part 13 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding Satan (part 14 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding and Loosing (part 15 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: “My Demon Possession Key to My Keswick Teaching” (part 16 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired “Truth” on Demon Possession (part 17 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Throne Life / Power and the Higher Life (part 18 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Soul Force, Only the Human Spirit Regenerated, And Other Bizarre Foolishness (part 19)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, I (part 20 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, II (part 21 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, III (part 22 of 22)

[1]           Pgs. 162-163, War On The Saints, & “How Demons Attack Advanced Believers.”  Italics in original.
[2]           Chapter 5, War on the Saints.
[3]           While Matthew 12:43 certainly does speak of spirits that are not currently possessing any individual, the fact that devils that are not possessing sinners have no rest does not mean that those who are possessing the lost do find rest, any more than the fact that there is no true spiritual rest to wicked men who are on the earth proves that wicked men in hell do find spiritual rest.  As devils are perpetually underneath the righteous judgments of God, they never have rest in any situation.
[4]           Mrs. Penn-Lewis’s pervasive terminology of “ground” given to demons is also absent from the Bible, although perhaps some of what she means by this concept may actually be expressed using other terms in the Bible.  However, by rejecting Biblical terminology and demonology for her own terminology, the spirits that inspired Mrs. Penn-Lewis to write War on the Saints can influence the saints away from Biblical truth about resisting the devil to unscriptural concepts by using Mrs. Penn-Lewis’s nonbiblical terms to transition from Biblically present to Biblically absent ideas through her imprecise language.
[5]           Chapter 5, War on the Saints.
[6]           Ibid.
[7]           Chapter 7, War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis.
[8]           Chapter 8, War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis.  Italics in original.
[9]           “How Demons Attack Advanced Believers,” in War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis.  Compare the Pentecostal idea of disease-causing demons:  “A demon might be in the flesh as in the case of a cancer” (pg. 2, The Apostolic Faith I:11 (Los Angeles, October-January 1908), reprinted on pg. 46, Like As of Fire:  Newspapers from the Azusa Street World Wide Revival:  A Reprint of “The Apostolic Faith” (1906-1908), coll. Fred T. Corum & Rachel A. Sizelove).
[10]         “Evil spirits can also counterfeit sin, by causing some apparent manifestation of the evil nature in the life, and matured believers should know whether such a manifestation really is sin from the old nature, or a manifestation from evil spirits. The purpose in the latter case is to get the believer to take what comes from them, as from himself, for whatever is accepted from evil spirits gives them entry and power. When a believer knows the Cross and his position of death to sin, and in will and practice rejects unflinchingly all known sin, and a ‘manifestation’ of ‘sin’ takes place, he should at once take a position of neutrality to it, until he knows the source, for if he calls it sin from himself when it is not, he believes a lie as much as in any other way; and if he ‘confesses’ as a sin what did not come from himself, he brings the power of the enemy upon him, to drive him into the sin which he has ‘confessed’ as his own. Many believers are thus held down . . . but . . . would find liberty if they attributed [their sins] to their right cause[,] [namely, the devil]. There is no danger of ‘minimizing sin’ in the recognition of these facts” (Chapter 6, War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis).
[11]         Compare the inability and weakness of Finney’s deity, passed down through the Oberlin theology into the Higher Life movement:  “But if God can not prevent sin, will He not be unhappy?  No; He is entirely satisfied to do the best He can, and accept the results” (pg. 222,  Sermons on Gospel Themes, Charles Grandison Finney.  New York, NY:  Fleming H. Revell, 1876).
[12]         “Prayer fulfills some law which enables God to work, and makes it possible for Him to accomplish His purposes. If such a law does not exist, and God has no need of the prayers of His children, then asking is a waste of time” (Chapter 11, War on the Saints).  “God needs the co-operation of His church to carry out the destruction of sin and Satan. . . . God needs the co-operation of His church to carry out the overthrow of sin and Satan, just as God needed the co-operation of Israel in His dealing with the Canaanites. Christ said, ‘First bind the strong man.’ This implies and involves praying against the strong man. How does the binding take place, and what is it that binds but PRAYER?” (“The Scriptural Basis for ‘Warfare’ Against the Powers of Darkness,” by Evan Roberts, in War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis).  Mrs. Penn-Lewis’s and Evan Roberts’s affirmations here are among the more loathsome of the regular Pelagianizing affirmations that fill their book.
[13]         “It dawned on me that if the hosts of evil are to be put into the abyss there will come a moment when the warfare will cease[.] . . . I prayed that the whole warfare . . . [with] the hosts of evil . . . should stop. . . . I can see now that there has been sufficient prayer to bring about that incarceration . . . the actual incarceration of the foe, [the end of] this warfare [which] would fulfill the DISPENSATIONAL PURPOSES of God . . . the translation is at hand. . . . Had not this warfare [with Satan] been carried out, then when our Lord came these hosts of evil angels would make war.  The translated rise into the air, and the dead arise, and all would be involved in warfare.  But God means that the warfare with the evil hosts shall finish before Christ comes . . . [when the] translation takes place, the spirit hosts of evil shall be bound up . . . if they were not bound before the translation they would also interfere with that.” (pgs. 186-188, “Be Ye Ready,” Evan Roberts.  The Overcomer, December 1913).
[14]         “How Demons Attack Advanced Believers,” in War on the Saints, Penn-Lewis.
[15]         E. g., The Red Letters, Miles J. Stanford.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Negative Critique of an Actual Good Statement by Paul Washer

I've never met Paul Washer or heard him in person.  He has become well known among conservative evangelicals.  He has preached at Grace Community Church, Masters College, and the G3 Conference.  Often, Todd Friel refers to him on his Wretched program.  He is the founder and director of Heart Cry Missionary Society.  He was a missionary to Peru for ten years.  I'm using him for this post because of good things I hear from and have heard from him.

Paul Washer entitles this presentation:  "Churches Using Carnal Means to Attract Carnal People."  I agree with a very large percentage of it. He starts out with this:
Because we have dumbed down the gospel, because we're not preaching the true gospel, and we are using carnal means to attract people.  If you use carnal means to attract men, you're going to attract carnal men.  And you're going to have to keep using greater carnal means to keep them in the church.
I'm right with him on that.  I agree that those could be the two biggest problems going, if not the first and third biggest problems with the second the corruption of the biblical doctrine of sanctification.  However, Washer is very concerned about that too, as seen in recent tweets by him (his last three):

Washer repudiates using carnal means in the church to attract men to church, because it will result in attracting carnal men.  I also agree that it will necessitate greater carnal means to keep those carnal men.  However, does Paul Washer fellowship with churches that use carnal means?  Conservative evangelicalism is full of them.  They still use plenty of carnal means in their youth groups (Washer mentions "youth groups"), including the rock music and rock concerts, which are carnal music.

He continues:
We have these large churches fill with unconverted, carnal people.  But in those churches we have this small group of people that honestly want Christ, and they honestly want His Word and they honestly want to be transformed.  They don't need anything else.  All they need is true worship of the true God and scripture being preached to them and lived out before them.  That's what they want. 
Now I want to tell you the great sin of the American pastor.  And this has got me in a lot of trouble, but it's true.  This small group of converted people in that local church, all they want is Jesus and all they want to do is the right thing.  They want purity, they want truth, they want Christ, but the pastor, in order to keep this larger group of unconverted people, he caters to them.  So while he's feeding these carnal men and women with carnal things, he's letting the sheep of God starve to death and he's going to stand before God one day in judgment.
Then Washer gives an illustration to try to motivate people to do something about this, to stand for these people in these churches.  This was the essence of everything that he said.  You can listen to the rest of it, but I want to comment on the two paragraphs coming from him.

I agree that there are these large churches full of unconverted people.  Their pastors have told me themselves that they have mainly unconverted people attending their churches.  They know it.  They are doing exactly what Washer says.  There really are a smaller group of people in these churches in many cases, just like he described.  It's sad but true, what he's saying.  But what's missing?

Washer calls on people to do something about what he's describing as very bad, but I have found something else about these people in these churches.  These "good people" very often have a church to which they could join that isn't using carnal methods and is doing all the good things that he describes about a good church.  I've talked to them many times.  I've told them about the difference.  I've been doing this for over thirty years.  What do the "good people" do?  They stay in their carnal churches using carnal methods.

The "good people" in the churches according to Washer's description, I've met.  They don't want this church described.  They want, as I've seen it, some fictional church that is halfway between the carnal method church and the one Washer describes.  They also don't want to give up their carnality as much as he describes.  What would someone do who wanted it?  He would separate from the carnal church, which is a practice of biblical separation.

As well, what should anyone do to rescue these people?  Washer says the people who do nothing about it are as guilty as the people doing it.  What do they do though?  The small group needs to be taught by people like Washer to join another smaller group, one that isn't using carnal methods.  The small group that loves the Lord as Washer describes can leave in a biblical manner.  If a Roman Catholic is converted, truly so with a true gospel, he should leave the Catholic church.

I ask, can you worship God in your church?  We have a tract with that title.  A person who can't worship God in his church, because it uses carnal worship and doesn't preach a true gospel or have a true God, should leave that church and go to one that does.  Carnal churches are hard to leave.  They have friends, sometimes family, carnal music, carnal methods, and the size to provide certain comforts and conveniences.  The truth, separation from worldliness, and transformation aren't as important as these things to most of these "good people."

The kind of church that stays pure is a shock to the system of the person who has stayed for a long time at a "carnal church."  A church doesn't stay pure by accident.  It requires discipline.  It doesn't draw in the visitors like the carnal church.  It's easier to get people to come and feel that rush of success.  What might go along with the purity is a personal separation that the "good people" are not accustomed to.

To wrap this up, Washer doesn't mention separation.  Separation is all over the Bible and in nearly every New Testament book.  There is an actual section on separation in most of the epistles, and yet evangelicals rarely make a peep about separation, including the conservative ones.  Washer himself hobnobs with evangelicals.  Those are his people.  I don't see him with separatists.

On Washer's website, I saw him preaching to a large crowd of evangelicals filling up a gigantic cathedral in Paris.  How did they draw that big crowd in Paris?  To get a large group of people together, doctrinal or practical barriers are diminished or removed.  That alone is a method.  Is it a godly method to decide to devalue doctrine and practice for the purpose of a larger group, finding commonality by moving doctrines and practices into non-essential categories?

If the good people separated from carnal churches, those churches would get the message that they are losing their good people because of their ungodly beliefs and practices.  That's what they should do.  Then the smaller, godly, pure churches would get bigger.  This doesn't happen because these good people are not so good as Paul Washer thinks and says.  They are not walking by faith, but walking by sight.  They won't "go outside the camp" to identify and suffer with the people of God.  Paul Washer himself stays within the confines of the fellowship of that crowd.