Read this story by Jeff Brumley in the Florida Times Union 11/18/09 about a Catholic and a Baptist who became good friends and actually prayed and studied the Bible together for years - and helped each man understand and appreciate each other's faith.
Not only that, but the two men shared a desire to minister to prisoners, and they served together in a prison ministry which was started in 1989 shortly after the men became friends.
Some interesting quotes from the article:
"One was a devout Catholic, loyal to his bishop and pope. The other's an Independent Baptist, bent on winning souls for Jesus and viewing Scripture and Christ as humanity's sole spiritual authority."
"But rather than trying to convert each other, during their weekly meetings they stuck to the outline of a Kairos prayer card that covered personal needs, sharing moments of closeness with Christ and insights from personal devotionals."
The story explains how each man's faith helped complete the other: the Baptist learning to be more concerned about social needs, while the Catholic seeing the importance of proselytizing.
The Catholic man, Ray Walker, died recently, and his friend, Ken Cooper, the Independent Baptist, delivered Walker's eulogy - inside St. Patrick's Catholic church where Walker worshipped.
Its great to see such a positive story in Jacksonville, of how two Christians with theological differences didn't let these be a barrier to their relationship - in fact to the contrary, each of their faiths complemented and completed the other's - and helped also to make more complete their respective Christian ministries.
The article contained a sidebar about how Walker's daughter says her dad's relationship with Cooper helped him be more accepting of her non-Catholic husband whom she married in 1986. "It made my dad look outside the Catholic religion and at other Christians without prejudice," his daughter said. "It helped him realize there were good men in every faith."
We need to see more of this in Jacksonville. Many preachers, on both sides, preach that they must convert the other Christian into their faith with no tolerance for doctrinal differences. As I posted on this blog just a few months ago, an example of this intolerant viewpoint was preached from Jacksonville's largest church, FBC Jacksonville. Dr. Jim Smyrl, preacher at FBC Jax, last December called the Catholic church a cult in his blog on the church website, then followed that up with a sermon in which he called for members of FBC Jax to confront their Catholic friends that they are "living a lie" and that they need to convert to the Baptists' beliefs and practices. Smyrl even went so far as to refer to a Catholic priest as a "cult leader" in one of his articles appearing on the church website last November.
Isn't it wonderful that Cooper wasn't listening to a Jim Smryl in the 1980's when he met his friend Ray Walker?
In the article, Brumley quotes the Rev. Robert J. McDermott, former pastor at Walker's Catholic parish: "Nowadays, people are a little closed-minded. They believe there's no salvation outside of their own religions, and Ray and Ken show that's not true."
Yes, I think McDermott is right on the money, and Smyrl is out in left field.
Cooper said: "There were doctrinal differences that would have separated us forever. God gave us the grace to overcome them."
Kudos to Jeff Brumley for sharing this positive story with the people of Jacksonville.
Mcdermott statement can be dangerous depending on he defines religions. Does he keep that in the scope of those who believe Jesus is the only way to salvation? I will have to see if he has anythng posted about him and his belief in that, but you right that we can stand for doctrinal beliefs but we do not have to beat each other up over them.
I can tell you from personal experience, after serving in a Baptist church for many years, if you get on the wrong side of someone or (others) "important" you can find out quickly that Baptist "eat their own" as well.
WD: If you will indulge me one post script on the tithing issue, I will appreciate it, as we have gone on to another subject. I want to bring this comment to this thread as some don't read the old threads as much. I think this is important. My comment is: I think it would be pleasing to the Lord, if we would put as much importance into preaching the Gospel, witnessing, trying to lead people to Jesus, than arguing over tithing .
I see a much more spirited defense of tithing than I do in trying to lead people to Jesus. It seems that many want to "follow the money", more than they are interested in following salvation, and what Jesus did for us on the Cross. When any one is more passionate about money, whether in the pulpit or not, than they are about what Christ did on the Cross, I would say that's a real problem.
I agree anon.
And I'm not leaving the tithing issue. Still have quite a bit more to cover on this. We'll look at the Kostenburger and Croteau paper in depth, discuss of all the voices out there telling us about the tithe (mega pastors, long-time tithers, anonymous bloggers, or PhD seminary professors) who MIGHT be the most credible?? And what conclusions should the lay person draw regarding "tithing" specifically, and giving to their church and other Christian and secular charitiable organizations.
By calling other believers "cult members" simply for emphasizing different tenets of Christian faith, you do a couple of different things. First, you cut yourself off from other brothers and sisters in Christ over non-essentials. Second, you are more apt to ignore true "cult-like" practices in your own church should they arise.
There was a time Christians thought they could identify a cult solely by doctrinal tests. But thanks to writers like Ron Enroth, Jeff Van Vonderen and David Johnson who identified cult-like behavior in Bible-preaching churches and explored the practice of spiritual abuse, we can no longer do that.
Authoritarianism, elitism, paranoid and black-and-white thinking, manipulation and other traits are now exposed for what they are: cult-like practices. Yes, departure from orthodox doctrine is one sign of a cult or an abusive group. But there are many other signs as well. You can be in a cultish Bible believing church.
Calling legitimate believers cult-members makes identifying true spiritual abuse more difficult because people will be used to dismissing such claims routinely when the term "cult" is routinely misused.
If you have been in the U. S. Military you realize that your fellow soldier, usually, regardless of "race" or "creed", has your best interest at heart. They will do their best to cover your back in a foxhole or out of one. We could all learn from them that "religion" is not a substitute for being an American. Nor is being an American a substitute for being saved. During these troubling times we all need each other. Giving to needy people by a church congregation is a genuine means of exercising true Christianity. The larger churches just don't exercise this practice effectively, particularly to those in need!!! The larger churches, with more money available, should be the ones doing the most for hurting people. Out of many millions, most large churches give just a fraction to those in real need. I know some that budget less than 0.4% and have offerings over $15 million. That means that 99.6% goes for other things, most of which are not important. The early church fathers made sure that all members had things in common. In the Epistles, the Apostles took up money from the wealthier churches, to help the poorer churches. The present church (most of them) have forgotten our roots. Even some churches pay visiting musicians, singers, and actors, (for plays) more for entertainment, than the total given to those in real need. How strange, but isn't that what most "business's" do? I am afraid that expressed sympathies by churches today, is just so much "lip service".
I am horrified at the stuff that Robert Jeffress our new pastor at First Dallas says about other faiths. No hurting that they truly may be lost just a glib "they are going to hell". Really, where in the NT did Jesus ever tell someone they were going to hell? I think the SBC sounds so much like the Pharisees with laws and rules and totally unlike Jesus. Last I checked the bible says "Whoever believes in Him shall no perish, but have eternal life." Does that not include lots of people who may have mixed up theology(like the Baptists) but truly believe? "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him". I guess God didn't need to send Jesus to condemn or judge the world when he had more than enough SBC pastors to do that for Him.
I think that it is always noble to unite with others in doing good to people. But ecumenical union for humanitarian causes is a different story altogether than trying to harmonize beliefs.
Traditional Catholic beliefs are worlds apart from traditional Baptists beliefs.
1) in the infallability and sinlessness of the Pope.
2) that works can save you...do more good than bad to go to heaven.
3) that baptism of babies saves them.
4) that Mass is the re-sacrificing of the body of Christ. The cup and bread actually become body and blood of Christ(transubstantiation)
5) in purgatory, where sins can be purged by fire, even after physical death.
6) believe in offering prayers to Mary and to the saints.
7) that priests are the mediator between God and man.
So tell me which of those 7 things, that came off the top of my head, sounds like a biblically-based evangelical belief system.
Those are my reasons for being cautious in uniting with the Universal Catholic church...I am not sure we preach the same gospel or follow the same Word!
Jon - as usual you seem to miss the point.
The point is yes, there ARE doctrinal differences.
But that doesn't mean we can't cooperate at some level with other denominations.
And it doesn't mean a pastor is called by God to stand in his pulpit and use words like "cult" and "cult leader" to defame another Christian faith.
As Provender correctly says, "cults" are not only defined by strange doctrines, but by how leaders in Baptist churches worship their pastors, and how pastors and ministers mistreat their congregants.
I never called Catholics a "cult" nor did I demean cooperation on a humanitarian level.
But would you feel the same about the Baptist preacher and a LDS Clergy? Would you feel the same about a Baptist preacher and an Imam?
I personally think there is more than just "doctrinal issues" between evangelicals and Catholics as you stated.
Of my list of seven, which ones will prevent entrance into heaven and which ones would you consider heresy? Any? None? All?
Thanks, and I don't think I missed your point at all. At what point does cooperation convey agreement? That is my question, that I personally thought was worthy pondering.
Jon - sorry, I don't want to engage you in this discussion. I've said so much on this back in the Smyrl "Catholics are a Cult" articles. Go back and read what I've written there in the posts, and in the comments section.
But feel free to post here about how terrible the Catholic faith is, list all of the doctrinal differences. Go for it!!
I simply wanted to share a positive story, that shows a Baptist and a Catholic can be friends, they can pray with and for one another, they can even, egads, do ministry together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (note: "ministry" in the sense of actually helping meet the needs of people, and not simply trying to get someone to quickly recite a prayer to accept Jesus). They can have a Christian friendship that benefits each one and the lost, and they do NOT need to convert each other to their doctrinal viewpoints.
You ask about the LDS...yes, Mormons and JWs are universally seen by evangelicals as "cults" and I would use that term to describe them...but, unfortunately, Smyrl preaches that Catholics are in the SAME category as the Mormons, the JWs, even the Muslims and Hindus, etc.
Wow! Backing down from a topic? Don't want to engage? You brought it up!
I haven't said that Catholics are cults - it does go against the pure definition of cults.
But, at least entertain me the answer to my question. Is it a few doctrinal issues, or is it another gospel?
Can you enter into the Kingdom of God by works? Can you enter the Kingdom of God by having your sins purged in Purgatory? Come on, engage me on this one!!
and for intellectual honesty, I would say that Christians, LDS, Islams, and Catholics can work together to save lives (poverty, hunger, famine, war)...but ONLY to the ends of sharing the true story of Christ that comes through grace alone with the people who are saved by the united humanitarian aid.
I've already said what I wanted to say about the Catholics in my previoius posts. Go back and read them there, Jon.
But feel free to come here and post all you want on the Catholics.
I am a pastor, and it sounds to me like you want to preach as though what I preach is my opinion. The fact is that Smyrl is right about Catholocism. - There is no truth in it.
We are not to be accepting of "every faith". Truth is, and everything else is a lie.
That doesn't mean that Baptist people can't be wrong. That does mean that Bible doctrine is set, clear, and unbending, and whosoever does not hold to is in the wrong.
I'm not for beating up the errant, but I am equally opposed to tolerating error.
I would also add that it is dangerous to call anyone a Christian, who does not hold the doctrine of Christ. Grace Alone, Faith Alone, in Christ Alone.
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:"
2 John 9-10
I do not point this out mean spirited, but with great grief.
How surprised we're all going to be when we get to heaven, to discover how many of the folk we were sure wouldn't be admitted are there to greet us!
Off topic: Glad to see Matt comment again. Where is Bro. Rod H., and where is Thy Peace. These fellow believers all have good insights/experience into what's going on and most of all are seasoned Bible students. Miss you guys. Thanks.
To Anon. 4:13 PM,
Thank you so much for your excellent post. I wish I knew you when I was at First Dallas but I left that place because I couldn't take their garbage anymore. You are right about your pastor, too.
There was a reason for the split from the Catholic church during the reformation.
And that reason was over "DOCTRINE"(TEACHINGS;BELIEFS)!!!
As conservative talk show host Dennis Prager would say,"I desire clarity over agreemant".
So therefore let me make this as clear as possible!
The teachings on whether one is saved by faith alone in Christ alone or Christ plus Mary,the sacraments,the teachings of the Catholic church,etc,etc is very-very serious!!!
One cannot escape in their mind what one believes benefits them...
If I believe that Mary is co-redemptrice with Christ,or that I can't go to Christ unless thru Mary,we now have an extremely serious doctrinal problem!!!
We as true believers in Christ can "NEVER" capitulate on the doctrinal truth of how a person is saved!!!
The Apostle Paul in Acts 16:14-18 would not allow a woman possess by a demon of divination to accompany he and Silas although what the woman was saying abut them being "the servants of the most high God" was correct!
There could be no unity of association/endeaver with her because it would give her and her profession credibility!
Christ would never allow demons to confess the message that He was the Son of God inspite of the fact that some of what they were saying was correct!!!
Christ would not and could not give any validation to that which is evil or error!
The Apostle Paul commands that we not be unequally yoke.
Though evagelicals and Catholics may agree on some moral or humanitarian issues and the need to confront these problems;
And though I have no hate or personal dislike for Catholics,some are good friends;
But beacause of the irreconcilable doctrinal errors that the Catholic church teaches contrary to Biblical truth there can be not even a hint of religious unity!!!
Bro. Rod: You are correct. I have a good friend that is "extremely" Catholic. We agree to talk about the love of Jesus and His power in our lives. We stay off most everything else, as I am very strong in my understanding of my KJB. But I think this person is saved because of the testimony given to me about the belief in Jesus on the Cross. What else this person believes, I don't get into. But I will say I have been better treated by this person, than in my past church family. I am being vague delibertly. False doctrine, as we see, has led many persons to unbelief and probably to hell, if they did not accept Jesus as Savior and the ONLY way to be saved. I am finding more and more that the LEADERS in the churches, pastors, preachers, priests, deacons, teachers, whomever, are the problem and many need to be SAVED. Just because leaders hold "positions" in the church, doesn't mean a thing. Certainly not to our Lord. As a matter of fact a greater burden is on them to lead others to Saving Grace. Good to hear from you again.
I think what the WD is trying to point out is that Jim Smyrl is offensive and arrogant and can't back up what he says in the public arena of discourse. His blog entries were taken down by the church and we have not heard a peep from him regarding Catholics since his self serving sermon when he filled in for the absent millionaire mac.
One place where I worked, I was in a prayer group of the only Christians I could identify in my section.
One was a Catholic who attended a charismatic Catholic church and would talk about the day when he became alive to the person of the risen Christ and how it had changed his life to trust in the grace gift of the atonement. I considered that a conversion experience. Why is doctrine more important than the testimony of trust, belief and conversion?
The other fellow was a Lutheran who talked about the day he became turned on to becoming and living as a disciple of Jesus, because the crucifixion and resurection meant that he could be saved and serve. I also considered that a conversion experience as well.
Proper doctrine will not get you to heaven. A life transforming belief in the atonement and resurrection of Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God will.
"Proper doctrine will not get you to heaven. A life transforming belief in the atonement and resurrection of Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God will."
November 23, 2009 1:01 PM
Clarity over agreement Acre.
Jesus told the Saducees that they were in "ERROR" not knowing "SCRIPTURES"!!!
Every New Test.book with possibly the exception of Philemon deal with false teachings or misunderstandings of some sort.
Again Jesus told the Pharisee's that they would perish in their sins if they would not believe that he was the Christ!
Why did Jesus make this statement?
Because the religious leaders doctrine on salvation was erroneous!
Acre without proper doctrine you would have no idea how to be saved or what is right and what is wrong?
"Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will never pass away" Jesus said!
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the last days people will not listen to "SOUND" doctrine which by the very nature of Paul's admonishtion implies that their is unsound doctrine!!!
The Apostle John in Revelation 13 writes about a beast(man)who looks like a lamb,but "SPEAKS" like a dragon(the Devil).
How would I or you know if his speech(dragon)belies his appearance(a lamb)?
It could only be determined by what he "SAYS" compared to some known foundational "TRUTH"(The Bible)!!!
Acre you wrote "A life transforming belief in the atonement and resurrection of Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God will."
Where does this "TRUTH" you mentioned above come from and how do you know that this doctrine you espouse is correct?
Answer::A correct contextual understanding of a known inerrant source of truth!!!
Finally if as you say proper doctrine does not matter,then why did God judge Adam and Eve for following the Devils lie instead of His(God's)truth???
Sorry my brother I have to strongly and lovingly disagree with you.
Without clear doctrine;;;
No one would know what is right and proper and what is erroneous and wrong!!!
OT but of prior interest:
"4) An open, public forum creates an open space in which, as a starting point, we can explore the bounds as a group. This creates something akin to a wiki process or a Delphi process to group think truth. By being anonymous and not ego constrained we avoid group think. If the Post, on which resources we are all guests, is interested, we can keep the discussion going here
5) recognition is too ego satisfying to be comfortable
6) in the past, societies for this or that were formed. Some were created to preserve a knowledge that oppressive groups wanted to destroy (coptics), some were created to enhance the power of the practitioners (RCC, Al Qaida). The power of the web is that knowledge digitized is extremely hard to destroy. Power of anonymity and egoless presence on the web is that an individual's power is not enhanced. This is a good time to have open discussions"
Calling legitimate believers cult-members makes identifying true spiritual abuse more difficult because people will be used to dismissing such claims routinely when the term "cult" is routinely misused.
November 22, 2009 2:28 PM
You are exactly right. In fact, it only serves to help cultic behavior.
I recommend all of Jeff VanVonderhoven's books.
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse
"When God's People Let You Down"
Be prepared. He teaches that we have to take accoutability for who we follow and why we followed them.
Many Catholics, like Baptist, are taught from childhood that they are sinners, that Christ died for their sins, and that they can be saved from hell. They are taught to love Jesus. They accept that teaching since they learned it from their parents or grandparents, the preacher or priest, and they are taught to love the "church" because Jesus set it up. Both are told the guy speaking up front is "God's man", that he speaks for God, that we must show him all respect and never question him, that we have "obligations" toward the "church" if we truly love Jesus. The Baptist child and the Catholic child, out of love and child like faith, will accept ALL of this. And as we all know, it is well documented that these children get abused by "God's man" in both the Catholic church and the Baptist church.
Both believe the other is going to hell because of the additional beliefs. One has been around for many centuries and performed great atrocities in God's name. Controlling and manipulating not just converts, but goverments. The other has only recently been on the scene, and already are pushing OT discipline, obligations to the church, covering for "God's man" and harboring pedophiles, taking money under false teaching, etc. I say give the Baptist another 1500 years, and if they are still around, imagine the abuse they will be doling out to those that accept forgiveness and love from Christ Jesus.
In the meantime, I will say that I do see cultic behavior from some Catholics, but not as much as I see from Baptists. Smyrl and Brunson have more kool-aid drinkers than Jim Jones ever had.
And why not have Jim go on to Sean Hannity's show, or Bill O'Reilly's show, or talk with Alan Keyes or Bill Bennett, and let's just see how much they can defend regarding these men living a lie and their priests being cult leaders.
No, I think Jimmy better stay safe and sound in the midst of his Baptist brethren who amen his name calling.
I heard Mac's sermon on slander last week and just wondered if he practiced what he preached and called the WD to apologize to him for calling him a mentally unstable sociopath to a Times-Union reporter and his words ended up on the front page of the newspaper for all of WD's friends, family, and co-workers to read what his former pastor said about him.
Please let us know WD, if Mac Brunson practices what he preaches. Thanks.
Of course, we know he also "preaches" in his guidebook not to accept large gifts or live in executive homes.
Is he the most brazen hypocrite Baptists have ever seen or what? Just wonderin?
OFF TOPIC - Anybody have an update on the ongoing lawsuits against Tom Messer and Trinity Baptist church for their harboring a pedophile, sending him to Germany as a missionary after they found out what he was doing, and then covering up what he did for years until victims went to the press? I believe the church and Messer were being sued for their handling of the situation that exposed more innocent children to the monster that was Bob Gray. Some of the suits were dismissed, but others are moving forward.
Any Trinity members monitoring this situation to see whether justice will be done?
Brother Rod - "whosoever shall have proper doctrine, shall be saved."
"For God so loved the world, that whosoever had proper doctrine, shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
Praise Jesus we have Jim Smyrl to tell us what that proper doctrine is.
"Good news" = "intellectual assent to proper doctrine."
Home run Bro. Rod!!!(1:40PM)
You know, we could learn from the Catholics. They tried the mega church route centuries ago..
We are only emulating Catholics but we refuse to see it. Here are some of the similarities:
Big churches with the same intent as the old Cathedrals of Europe that now stand empty.
Infant Baptism (Baptists are leading the way in baptizing 5 year olds)
Pope- Our authoritarian celebrity pastors have learned from the Pope to be in charge and be considered the one who hears from God for others.
Idolatry-We can beat Mary with our huge buildings and worship of our celebrity pastors.
Chain of command structure-congregational polity has gone the way of 8 tracks.
No Priesthood of believer anymore
Closed communion-Many Baptists such as Paige Patterson are promoting closed communion just like Catholics. So, some man is deciding if you are qualified to take communion.
Baptism-You must be baptized in a baptist church to be a member. (Also promoted by the leaders of our convention)
Really, we are not that different and should not be critisizing them until we go back to the basics of being a Baptist and why our forefathers and mothers were hiding in caves during the Reformation..
You are correct brother. It really is a different gospel. Salvation through works, purging of sins after death (purgatory), inerrancy of the Pope and papal edict - all of these are so counter to biblical Christianity and the only way to salvation through the grace of Christ.
There will be people in heaven with bad doctrinal beliefs, but there will be no one in heaven who tried to get there by doing good works, hoping for a second chance after death, and putting their trust in a sinless Pope.
I will give all of you the fact that many Southern Baptist will be in hell because they believed tradition, church attendance, and good behavior would gain them entrance.
Catholics and Baptists teaming up to feed the hungry, helping hurricane victims and protecting the unborn is all very commendable and appropriate...but when salvation through grace becomes diluted through ecumenical dialogue, people's souls are in peril.
Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...
November 23, 2009 1:40 PM
"Clarity over agreement Acre."
"Because the religious leaders doctrine on salvation was erroneous!"
I think that it was because they did not believe in the grace gift of the Christ, his death and resurrection, for the forgiveness of their sins. That is not a lot of doctrine!
"Acre without proper doctrine you would have no idea how to be saved or what is right and what is wrong?"
Most people come to believe because they recognize the love inherent in the atonement of Jesus and his resurrection as a gift that promises salvation if they accept it. That is not doctrine, it is the gospel.
"Where does this "TRUTH" you mentioned above come from and how do you know that this doctrine you espouse is correct?
Answer::A correct contextual understanding of a known inerrant source of truth!!!"
NO, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the joy that comes from accepting the grace gift through belief in Jesus as the Son of God incarnate who died for my sins and lives again to redeem me. The Bible had little to do with it and I was not mature enough to understand doctrine, but I did know what love is.
"Finally if as you say proper doctrine does not matter,then why did God judge Adam and Eve for following the Devils lie instead of His(God's)truth???"
Because they disobeyed a direct command from God, replacing Him as the authority for their lives and wanting to be as gods themselves.
"Sorry my brother I have to strongly and lovingly disagree with you. Without clear doctrine;;;
No one would know what is right and proper and what is erroneous and wrong!!!"
I disagree and you do have the right to be wrong in focusing on doctrine. Doctrine will not save anyone. Belief in and acceptance of the gift of grace will.
...And we all sing coom by ya.
"Belief in and acceptance of the gift of grace will."
November 23, 2009 10:24 PM
Acre you continually use the word belief.
Belief in what?
And secondly what is the source of this belief?
Belief in something has to have a foundation or a source for that belief does'nt it?
Acre what purpose does the Bible serve?
If doctrine is so unimportant,why do we need or have a Bible?
The Apostle Paul stated that the Bible was inspired by God!
The Apostle Peter stated that men did not devise Scripture on their own;But God the Holy Spirit moved men to record these great Truths!!!
Therefore if God inspired men to write Scripture,then the Bible is God's given source of "Doctrine" and authority to all men!!!
Yet The Apostle Peter in 2:Peter 2:1-3 states that false teachers would plague the Church with false,damnable "doctrines"(teachings)that condemn people to destruction.
Peter goes on to say that many would follow their false "doctrines" and utterly perish!
Why Acre will the many perish?
Because they followed decptive men/people with corrupt "Doctrines" that misled them to perdition and eternal destruction!
In 2Cor:11:3 Paul was extremely concerned for the Corinthians that somehow their minds would be lead astray from the Truth of Christ by Satan.
How you ask?
By deceptive ministers of Satan disguised as being righteous and using false "doctrine" to corrupt the minds of people[2Cor.11:13-15]!!
I could go on and on with example after example of how extremely important Biblical truth is and how extremely important it is to correctly interpret it,"TO GET IT RIGHT"!!!
But suffice it to say that the Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy commanded him to "Study to show himself approved to God,"rightly"(correctly,accurately)dividing the Word of "TRUTH"[1Tim.2:15]!!!
This command to Timothy also implies that the Word of God(Bible)can and will be "INCORRECTLY" divided by ignorant and/or deceptive people!!!
Acre there's "NO WAY" to escape the extreme importance of Biblical "DOCTRINE" and the extreme importance of getting it "RIGHT"!!!
Every persons soul will depend upon getting it right and then having "FAITH AND BELIEF" in what is "BIBLICALLY TRUE"!!!
"Brother Rod - "whosoever shall have proper doctrine, shall be saved."
"For God so loved the world, that whosoever had proper doctrine, shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
November 23, 2009 4:18 PM
You mock Biblical Truth by mis-quoting Biblical Truth!!!
If it were not for God giving us the Bible(Doctrine)and John 3:16 and Scriptual Truths concerning the "DOCTRINE" of God's Grace thru faith in Jesus Christ "alone";
Then you would'nt and could"nt know that we are saved by God's Grace and Devine Accomplisment and not by man's effort's(works),or human achievement!!!
"But suffice it to say that the Apostle Paul in writing to Timothy commanded him to "Study to show himself approved to God,"rightly"(correctly,accurately)dividing the Word of "TRUTH"[1Tim.2:15]!!!
This command to Timothy also implies that the Word of God(Bible)can and will be "INCORRECTLY" divided by ignorant and/or deceptive people!!!"
Correction Acre that's 2:Tim.2:15!!!
Bro. Rod....EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, nothing beats the truth! God gave us TRUTH on the Cross and in His (real) Word, a (real) Bible not one of these twisted translations.
Thank you Anon November 23, 2009 4:07 PM for your post. Thank you for your level-headedness, too.
OK 7:17 Anonymous, I'll bite - what are twisted translations in your opinion?
Pastor Rod, I think I agree with you...but I do want to say that from the thief on the cross to the illiterate in African tribes there are many saved people who don't know nor understand doctrine, but the have a simple belief in a God who sent His Son and that through that Son's grace alone they have been offered everlasting life. Their doctrine might be minimal, but the grace received has been maximum.
20% of each translation must be CHANGED in order to meet Copyright Laws. Each translation published is copyrighted in order to make money for the editor/publisher. EXCEPT the KJV, which is not copyrighted. See the problem? To meet the law you must CHANGE 20% of the text. Re-wording DOES not always come out to the same original meaning we have known as truth since 1611. So much has been changed to meet this requirement much of Gods word has been changed. Especially doctrines. I don't wish to start a "translation" argument with you as you, sound young and probably are already indoctrinated with "any Bible is Gods Word", no matter the content. So understand that many of us who have studied and taught Bible for many years, know "something" about Bibles and translations also. On to another argument please, many are narrow minded on this issue.
I'm in my 50's...but I'll take the compliment of being youthful.
You are off base in your statements though. The KJV and Darby Bible, HNV, Young's, Vulgate, and TR are all public domain without copyright laws.
And some translation require 25% changes and other 50% changes -20% change does not meet copyright laws, you are actually low on that.
But here is the "flip side" if you will. Many manuscripts, Hebraic and Greek nuances, and even archeology have brought new light and even better translation accuracy to NAS '77, NAS '95, NKJV and now especially the Net Bible than the 1611 KJV that still belongs to the Crown of England.
I thought you might believe that only the KJV was the accurate one - and it turns out it's not! How about that?
"Pastor Rod, I think I agree with you...but I do want to say that from the thief on the cross to the illiterate in African tribes there are many saved people who don't know nor understand doctrine, but the have a simple belief in a God who sent His Son and that through that Son's grace alone they have been offered everlasting life. Their doctrine might be minimal, but the grace received has been maximum.
November 24, 2009 8:31 AM
No Jon G.we are in total agreement.Romans 1:18-19 states "That God's wrath is against all ungodliness and unrigtheousness of men who supress God's truth by their ungodliness actions.
"But in verses 19-20 Paul asserts that "Because what can be known about God is plain to them,because God has made it plain to them.
For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people "are without excuse."
True Doctrine can be either spoken,written or even revealed to the hearts of men such as by the evidence of God's creation.
God is the Ultimate determiner of how He reveals His Truth to mankind!!!
Romans 2:2 states "But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth".
With that said God has chosen to present to most people His Truth in Written form.
And God requires that those whom He has given the Written Word of be held more accountable because they have more revealed Truth!!!
The Bible as you know states "That to whom much has been given,to them much will be required"!!!
How God relays His Truth to the hearts of everyone is beyond my understanding,but the greater evidence of revealed Scriptures tells us that "NO ONE" will have an excuse!!!
And Jon as I believe you know that whatever He reveals to the hearts of those without the Bible will match what is revealed to us with the Bible!!!
God has only One Truth to all people,whether given verbally,written or revealed to the heart...
And that is the central message that glorifies His Son the Lord Jesus Christ:::
"That God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,that whomever believes in Him,will not perish,but have eternal life"[John 3:16]!!!
Jesus said "IAM the Way,the Truth,and the Life.NO ONE comes to the Father except THRU HIM[John 14:6]!!!
Peter stated "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."[Acts 4:12]!!!
Paul wrote "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.[1Tim.2:5-6]!!!
John in the Book of the Revelation wrote that John wept because "NO ONE" he thought was worthy to approach the Father's throne and take the Scroll from the Father Hand.
Then a heavenly elder told John "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."[Rev.5:1-5]!!!
Eventually Jon I am more concerned about how and what I do with God's revealed Written Word the Bible and I'll let God deal with those who don't have the benefits of the His Recorded Truth!!!
But to belittle the importance of correct interpretation of Biblical true as Acre suggests is extremely dangerous to peoples eternal souls!!!
Then Pastor Rod, we are in agreement. I really like the way you expressed yourself there. Well written, I might need to quote you on that sometime. Well done.
Go away Jon. I told you I would not get into this Bible translation controversy with you. I made my statement in order to emphasize my position on the previous issue. Further comment to you and baiting me will go no further. And I don't want to trespass on WD graciousness in letting me comment, by tying up his blog. with bantering with you. I have studied this issue in depth for many years. Your smart aleck attitude is what I determined as "youth" without knowledge. So I must apologize to the "young" people reading this. It seems that a 50 yr. old is responsible for the "attitude". Jon you believe what you want, I will believe what I KNOW.
Just as information: Catholic Priests take an Oath of Poverty. Their salaries are far below that of Mega Baptist Pastors and most all of them live in homes provided by the Diocese. Their salaries are so low that the IRS does not tax them. Wouldn't it be something to see Mega Baptist Pastors take the same Oath? I'm not joking check it out on the Internet its there for anyone to read!!!
Agreed 1:51 PM
This PHONY know it all smart aleck, so called first name "Jon" really is annoying - don't know where he came from but I'm tired of reading his continuous debates. He needs to follow the advice his so called kid gave him and "CHILL OUT". He's worn out his welcome on this blog from my perspective.
Anon 1:51 and Anon 3:58,
I would imagine you are the same person. I thought blogging was for expression of thought and dialogue. I would imagine that no one is forcing you to read my blog entries. Just force yourself to skip over them.
I just starting blogging last week - you are already tired of me? Wow - thin skin.
Jon (aka the so-called Jon)
did you skip my last posting of bible translations and priests' tax liabilities?
thanks for your consistency and time!
Anon 1:51 and Anon 3:58,
I would imagine you are the same person. . . Wrong, have no clue who the 1:51 blogger is or any other for that matter . . .
Right,no one forces me to read what you blog,and for sure I have already skipped over your nonsense. . .
Wrong, my skin is as tough as an alligator and btw, I'm a female and member of FBC who supports the
opinions & expressions of WD.
You, Jon (aka the so-called Jon)are indeed a smart aleck who wants to have the last word.
Over & Out!
Jon G, I don't think so. Might need to send it again.
So, Jon and others, if I say some words that communicate that I "have been saved," according to a formula in the epistle to the Romans, I am good to go, spiritually. However, if I do not say the right words, but feed the hungry, visit folks in hospitals and jails, provide clothing for those needing clothes, and do a whole host of other things for people I don't even know, because I believe that is what Jesus wants me to do, my soul is in jeopardy. Hum...think I will just trust what Jesus said (Matthew 25:31-46). By the way, how do you account for the epistle of James, especially 2:18-26. Is it just an "epistle of straw," as Martin Luther claimed, or is it as inspired as say...Paul's writings? Just wondering.
1) A Catholic Diocesan Priest pays social security taxes, incom taxes, federal taxes, etc...A Professed Priest has to pay income taxes. So 3:02 Anon, your statement is not accurate. However, a Professed Priest might only make $12,000 a year, and I would certainly agree that is below a protestant pastor pay.
2) Anon 1:51, it sounds like I pushed a botton on your "KJV is the true translation" agenda. There are other translations more accurate! And why wouldn't there be? There has been 298 years to discover tools that would improve upon the Crown's version.
3) Jim, it doesn't matter what you "communicate" - it's a gift received by grace. "He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the son does not have life." Your Matthew 25 reference is off base, that is a post-2nd return passage - really nothing to do with salvation. James is a most excellent book that serves as a picture of proof that grace has been received. Not works for salvation, but works because of salvation.
4) Thanks Watch Dog
5) Anon 5:36, I think I remember you from the playground in 3rd grade. Were you the girl with pig tails who used to throw rocks at me?
"So, Jon and others, if I say some words that communicate that I "have been saved," according to a formula in the epistle to the Romans, I am good to go, spiritually."
Jim the confusion lies in what is the relationship of faith and works?
The Apostle Paul and James actually compliment one another and the Epistle of James is by no means an "Epistle of straw!!!
First let's deal with spiritual salvation.
The Bible is absolutely clear that salvation is by "FAITH" in the finish work of Jesus Christ and He alone.
Paul wrote in Romans "Therefore by the deeds of Law no flesh will be justified in His(God)sight,for by the Law is the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN".
Verses 22-25 state "Even the righteousnees of God,thru "FAITH" in Jesus Christ,to all and on all who "BELIEVE".
For there is no difference;For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God,being "JUSTIFIED FREELY" by "HIS GRACE (unmerited,unearned)thru the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Further Paul writes "Therefore we "CONCLUDE" that a man is "JUSTIFIED"(TO BE DECLARED IN RIGHT STANDING WITH)by "FAITH" apart(seperate)from the deeds(works)of the Law"[Rom.3:28]!!!
In Galatians 2:16 Paul records "KNOWING" that a man/person is not justified(declare righteous)by the works of the Law but by "FAITH" in Jesus Christ,even we have "BELIEVED" in Christ Jesus,that we might be "JUSTIFIED"(Declared righteous)by "FAITH" in Christ and "NOT BY THE "WORKS" of the Law;for by the "WORKS OF THE LAW" no flesh will be "JUSTIFIED"!!!
So Jim the Bible first establishes that one is saved or declared in right standing with God by "FAITH" in Jesus Christ apart from the their deeds/works!!!
Now secondly James writes that true saving "FAITH" is always display or accompanied by deeds/works.
We are saved to work,not saved by works!!!
Works do not save one,but works indicates that one is saved!!!
The works/deeds are the visible a display to the world that ones has been born from above or born again!
Jesus stated that "you will know them by their fruits".
Again Paul writes "That if anyone is in Christ,he is a new creation,old things have pasted away,behold all things become new[2Cor.5:17]!!!
The Apostle John in his Epistle reminds us that those who say that they know Christ and live in habitual darkness(sinfulness);they are lying and are not telling the truth[1John 1:6]!!!
Later in 1John 3:7-10 John clearly states that those who live in habitual sin are children of the Devil;In contrast those who live by faith,live habitually righteous lives and are children of God, plain and simple!!!
So faith and works compliment rather than conflict with one another!!!
Conclusion Paul and James Epistle's compliment one another and there is no conflict!!!
Jon, Wow! You are so wise. Let me get this straight: the judgment mentioned in Matthew 25 has nothing to do with salvation. OK, now I'm more confused. I thought the only thing that could separate one from the ultimate presence of God was his/her salvation. The folks mentioned in Matthew 25:46a appear to be separated from God...,"post second return" authorship, or not. James, probably written before Matthew or Romans, is most assuredly about "salvation," but Grace is not a concept James employs. Rather, James challenged those who used all the words and ceremonies connected with salvation, but did not practice salvation. Sounds contemporarily familiar.
Matthew 25 is a passage after the 2nd-return, at this point the saved are secure and the lost are eternally condemned. The "hungry, naked, imprisoned" passage is a picture of the separation - eternal life and eternal separation has already been determined at this point.
You are right that James is one of the earliest NT books written, but still under the authorship of the Holy Spirit who also carried along Paul and the Gospel writers. All, the full council of the Word, speak to grace saving, and works naturally following.
I disagree with ML's assessment of it's "straw" nature.
Correct doctrine is KNOWING Jesus Christ and HE KNOWS YOU. An intimate relationship that transcends anything else in your life. The sheep KNOW My Voice and follow ME.
(Matthew 7 a big wake up call for those demanding correct doctrine... whatever they mean by that)
If one truly "knows" Jesus Christ (not 'about' Him) then they KNOW they are saved by Grace alone with faith alone. The saved illiterate peasant can tell you that.
Salvation is a supernatural act. Salvation is not from a few words you say when you go forward. Anyone can do that.
But once saved, there is a hunger the thrist to seek the Kingdom.
There is always going to be a false dicthonomy between faith and works.
The truly saved cannot help but do good works. It is the Holy Spirit working within that compels them.
But let's describe good works. We may be shocked at what people say. It would be interesting to hear what folks here think are 'good works'.
The unsaved can do good works, too. But they are meaningless when it comes to salvation. They are part of the common grace we live under. And nothing is sadder than a person who does good works who is not saved.
But those who claim they are saved and live like the world are in terrible danger. And many are in our churches. Some are in charge.
And Jim, I agree that Matthew 25 is very important. I would say that Matthew 5-25 gives us a clear contrast between what a truly saved person is like and what a false religious leader is like. We would do well to study that, meditate upon it. The salt elements of a follower of Christ are in Matthew 5.
You won't be saved by doing good works but you can't truly be saved if you are never compelled by the Holy Spirit to live that way. There are no "carnal" Christians.
Most of us have gone many years without ever encountering a truly Born Again, sold out to Jesus Christ, transformed person in our churches. So, we simply do not know what a real Christian is like consistently over a long period of time. It is shocking when you finally meet one. They look and act like what most think are losers. They are never puffed up with knowledge. He or she might be a cook or a maintanence man. Never went to seminary but they KNOW Jesus Christ. They look and act like Matthew 5.
Ministry is now a career, the function of elder has become a position of influence and many are proud instead of humble servants that love to tears. Instead they are eager to exert their power and practice church discipline on those who dare to question them.
How do I know this? A counterfeit can spot other counterfeits real fast.
"Matthew 25 is a passage after the 2nd-return, at this point the saved are secure and the lost are eternally condemned. The "hungry, naked, imprisoned" passage is a picture of the separation - eternal life and eternal separation has already been determined at this point."
The Second Coming has not happened yet so this passaeg is quite relevant to us today. It is teaching and warning us about something...what is it?
I do not think this is a metaphorical verse. It is real.
‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
And ironically, He is referring to our brothers and sisters in Christ. How we treat them is how we treat Jesus Christ.
The problem we have today is that many call themselves a Christian when they have no distinguishing salt elementst. So, we accept that moniker (false teaching on judging being the reason) and in the meantime, dumb down what it really means to be a believer.
Old Cyrus Scofield must be smiling in his grave. Dispensational theology is alive and well. However, it may come as a shock to Matt and Jon but not all Christians are Dispensationalists, pre-millennial or otherwise. So, let's agree to disagree and get back to Watchdog's discussion.
Correct doctrine is KNOWING Jesus Christ and HE KNOWS YOU. An intimate relationship that transcends anything else in your life. The sheep KNOW My Voice and follow ME.
(Matthew 7 a big wake up call for those demanding correct doctrine... whatever they mean by that)"
What tickles me is that people knock being precise in Biblical "DOCTRINE" and then quote a verse(s)from the Bible to prove their point???
How do you know that what your are quoting from the Scriptures is correct sense "DOCTRINE" does'nt appear to matter???
How would one know if whether Matt.7 or Matt.25 is correct or incorrect seeing that precision with Bibical "DOCTRINE" can't be trusted???
Then I guest we now must depend on everyone's subjective opinion as to what salvation is or is not!!!
From now on if Scriptural integrity does'nt matter to some of you:::
Then please use another source of authority you believe to be more dependable to make your point!!!
Is Matt back?? Heck Yeah Matt is back!!!!!!!!!!!!
"it may come as a shock to Matt and Jon but not all Christians are Dispensationalists, pre-millennial or otherwise."
I am not dipsy nor especially pre-mill. But I don't think it is a sin to be one unless you are out to make a big profit from it.
What is interesting is that most mega churches are dispensational and premill.
"What tickles me is that people knock being precise in Biblical "DOCTRINE" and then quote a verse(s)from the Bible to prove their point???"
How can the illiterates in Africa know the REAL Jesus? How can the illiterate Gypsies in Romania that I met know the REAL Jesus?
How could the illiterates in China be saved where Lottie Moon was preaching?
What they 'heard' was basic teaching. Truth. And the Holy Spirit convicted them of their sin and need for a Savior with that truth.
I should have made my point better. These folks cannot study the Word to know if what they are taught is correct doctrine. The Holy Spirit has to convict them of truth. It is a much more simple Faith and a very basic Faith than what we are used to.
It it were not that way, only the educated could be saved.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.
"It it were not that way, only the educated could be saved.
Sorry for the misunderstanding."
November 25, 2009 1:54 PM
Matt read my November 24, 2009 10:23 AM post.
I'm not saying that only the intellectual can be save.
Remember I for one have never attended seminary!!!
I do not consider myself to be some great theologian!!!
But I have a driving desire to know as much about God's Truth as I possibly can!!!
I constantly pray to know as much as a human can possibly know about God's Bible as James admonished in his Epistle[Jam.1:5]!!!
The point I was trying to make was if we don't get the Biblical messages from Scripture correct then we could'nt present it correctly to the learned or the unlearned such as you mentioned!!!
There appeared to me and I may be wrong a belittling on trying to be as precise as possible in interpreting God's Word!!!
It appears I mis-understood you;
Please accept my sincere apology;
Another "Baptist" and "Catholic" that "united" are Tim Tebow (member of church where Jim Smyrl is Executive Pastor) and Urban Meyer (a devout Catholic named after several Popes)
I wonder if any of the Tebow family have confronted Coach Meyer and told him that he is living a lie and that his priest is a cult leader?
Or maybe Smyrl was just arrogantly and embarrassingly wrong in his blog post and his sermon stating we need to confront Catholics?
Hi all, very interesting topic, but I was surprised that most comments sounded like we are talking about different religions?.
I've been raised Catholic like 99% people in my country (since we are mostly italian). I always loved the Lord Jesus, went to mass every Sunday, and followed some traditions since it was all I knew.I respected the priest and the Pope and prayed the Holy Mary prayer but in the bottom of my heart I used to say to myself, why am I going to pray to somebody else if I can pray to Jesus directly?? or Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest ( sometimes even lie to him) when I can talk to God and ask for forgiveness from Him?. My son was baptized, had communion, etc. but God moved me to seek him in a different direction. I thank the Lord because He put that in my heart so I started a Bible Study. That's when my life changed completely! The Word of God is the only truth,authority, and God's revelation to men. First thing I felt was to blame the Catholic Church because they never teach the Word of God, they don't teach people how to have a personal relationship with Jesus, they present a distant Jesus that sometimes you feel like you don't want to bother Him with the little problems in your life, and certainly the Catholic church doesn't teach you how to walk with God daily.
Catholic church is not a cult, but they got so caught in tradition that they remind me sometimes to the pharisees
and their Law.Today I do a Bible Study with 5 women. 3 of us are former Catholic, now baptist, and 2 of us still attend catholic churches. We read the Bible together, we study and meditate in the scriptures and by doing it the 2 women understood that they shouldn't be praying to the saints or to Mary, they took away the images they had in their houses, that salvation is only through faith in Christ, and they learnt to have a personal relationship with Jesus, even though they still attend the Mass on Sundays.
That's real Christianity, we are all Christian, We all accept Jesus as our Savior, and give Him the first place in our lives. I feel very sorry for Catholics, because the people don't know anything else and because they don't know how to read the Bible they just receive what it is given to them. Now I'm trying to explain the Bible to my sibblings and expose them to the Word of God which is the only source of wisdom and truth.
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