I am told that, years ago above the Falls of Niagra, a boat was upset, and two men were being carried down by the current. Persons on the shore managed to float a rope out to the men, who both seized the rope. One of them held fast to it and was safely drawn to the bank. But the other, seeing a great log come floating by, unwisely let go of the rope and clung to the great piece of timber, for it was the bigger thing of the two and apparently better to cling to. Alas, the timber with the man on it went right over the vast abyss, because there was no union between the wood and the shore. The size of the log was no benefit to him who grasped it. It needed a connection with the shore to produce safety. So, when a man trusts his works, his prayers, alms giving, sacraments, or anything of the sort, he will not be saved, because there is no connection between him and God through Christ Jesus. But faith, though it may seem to be a slender cord, is in the hand of the great God on the shore.
– Charles Spurgeon
1834 – 1892
Your sermon of the week is a fine message by Thabiti Anyabwile entitled Fine Sounding Arguments. The subtitle of this message is How Wrongly ‘Engaging the Culture’ Adjusts the Gospel.
Anyabwile deals with the propensity of so many Christians to “engage the culture” in ways that are not biblical, and he examines not only what “engaging the culture” should be, but he shows how current culture-engaging methods may actually be counter-productive to the message of the cross.
A very well formulated and delivered sermon; it will make you rethink what you’ve been conditioned to believe about our role as believers in relation to how we are to engage the culture.
Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Matthew 24:11
Reflections from Nauvoo by Pastor Jay
I have always found two things in life to be true: God plants good people in every race or religion, and I’ve never met a Mormon I didn’t like. I found both of these convictions confirmed in my experience with the Red Carpet trip, with First Pres and LDS Wheaton Ward, to Nauvoo last May 22nd-23rd.
A joint group of over 80 participants from each community boarded a bus and headed South/West to the historic town of Mormon Nauvoo. We were given the hospitality of the LDS and Church of Christ churches as we learned more about one of the fastest growing religions in the world and the largest religion born on post-pilgrim American soil. People are more than intellectual dogmas and beliefs … these beliefs are lived and embodied in our families and communities; it is imperative that we enter into each other’s sacred spaces and places, into each other’s tragedies and joys, if we truly seek to know each other as we seek to be known: that is as children of God.
Nauvoo is a symbol for the intersection of both of these occurrences in a community’s life; joy and tragedy. I was especially moved by being invited to preach at the place (70’s Hall) and pulpit that Joseph Smith occupied so long ago. The fact that a community who experienced so much pain and estrangement from mine, both historically and theologically, would extend such grace to me was an experience of reconciliation and love that I will never forget and will continue to grow into.
As Joseph Smith left the common road of his day, he was plagued by a question that is as relevant now as it was 150 years ago: “What church is the right one?” From this trip a powerful reply could be formulated: the one that loves the other as themselves.
Also check out the pictures of this church’s “interfaith fellowship trip” on the church’s website here, which includes: posing in front of an LDS temple, a photo of the statue of Moroni, and an interfaith worship service described as follows:
. . . everyone attended an interfaith worshop [sic] service together on Sunday morning, May 23, 2010, with both Dr. Jay Moses from First Presbyterian . . . and LDS Bishop Reed Nuttal . . . preaching.
This event was even featured in a recent Mormon Times article (found here).
The problem isn’t so much that Jay Moses wants to compromise with the cult of Mormonism (he’s entitled to shipwreck his own soul if he wants to). The problem is that he’s leading his congregation (including children) down that broad path with him. I wonder, was there anyone–even one–in that church that stood up and protested?
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30
This level of error, compromise, and downright apostasy is nothing new in the church; even the disciples in the first century dealt with those who crept in unnoticed with the goal of harming the sheep (see all the epistles).
What is ironic, however, is that the LDS organization is willing to compromise with Christians (even if the Christians are in name only). The current Mormon hierarchy has been relentless in their insatiable quest to appear more like Christians. And what makes this so intriguing is that Mormonism’s founders were rabidly anti-Christian. See some of the lovely things that founding Mormon leaders taught and believed about Christians and Christianity here.
Truth is, if Mormonism’s founders knew what has become of Mormonism, they’d be rolling in their graves.
It’s apparent why modern day Mormonism is trying to assimilate in its endeavor to appear Christian, but it’s not so clear why a man, charged with the shepherding of his flock in a little Presbyterian church, would deliberately lead those in his congregation into the arms of a cult rife with damnable doctrines of demons.
It’s also very sad that so many in his church followed him in this seduction when anyone with even a shred of discernment knows Mormonism worships a different god than the God who has reveled Himself in Scripture. Even Mormonism’s late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley conceded that Mormons and Christians don’t believe in the same Jesus when he said in June of 1998 in LDS Church News:
In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ “No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.”
This axiom renders the very idea of Christians (monotheists) and Mormons (polytheists) worshiping together as impossible.
Bernard P. Brockbank said in the Mormon publication The Ensign in May 0f 1977 (page 26):
It is true that many Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshiped by the Mormons or The Church of Latter-day Saints.
Even a cursory perusal of Mormon doctrine corroborates the fact that the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of Mormonism are starkly different, and since the Jesus of Scripture said that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one gets to the Father except through Him (John 14:6), then those trusting in the Mormon “Jesus” have placed their hope and faith in a counterfeit Christ, and counterfeit Christ’s cannot save.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:6-9
HT: Mormon Outreach via facebook
And still, man, in the wickedness of his heart, is so depraved that he has the audacity to shake his fist at the sky and proclaim God doesn’t exist . . . or he goes to church and lives his life like God doesn’t exist.
Sin! That “abominable thing,” which the Lord hates (Jeremiah 44:4), is regarded so lightly by those who commit it. Sin! It caused our first parents to be banished from Eden and is responsible for all the woe in the world. Sin! It produces strife and bloodshed and has turned this “land of the living” into a mammoth cemetery. Sin! A hideous monster we so much dislike hearing about and which we are so ready to excuse. Sin! Satan employs all his subtle arts to render it attractive and sets it forth in the most appealing colors.
– A.W. Pink
1886 – 1952
Another DefCon exclusive:
What happens when a 19th century Mormon meets a 21st century Mormon? Find out in the first installment of the new series: “Old Mormon vs New Mormon.”
And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple; for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation.
Times & Seasons
Volume 6 Page 956
April 06, 1845
To be in readiness to move into Jackson county in two years from the eleventh of September next, which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.
History of the Church
Volume 2 Page 145
August 16, 1834
The day is near when a Temple shall be reared in the Center Stake of Zion, and the Lord has said his glory shall rest on that House in this generation, that is in the generation in which the revelation was given, which is upwards of thirty years ago.
George Q. Cannon
Journal of Discourses
Volume 10 Page 344
October 23, 1864
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–Romans (part 1)
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–Romans (part 2)
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–1st Corinthians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–2nd Corinthians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–Galatians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–Ephesians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–Philippians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–Colossians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–1st & 2nd Thessalonians
“Paul Never Quoted Jesus”–1st & 2nd Timothy, Titus
“Should not every Christian be expected by his ninth or tenth year to know all the holy Gospels, containing as they do his very name and life? A spinner or a seamstress teaches her daughter her trade while she is young, but now even the most learned prelates and bishops do not know the Gospel.
Oh, how badly we treat all these poor young people that are entrusted to us for discipline and instruction! and a heavy reckoning shall we have to give for it that we keep them from the word of God; their fate is that described by Jeremiah: “Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city. They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers’ bosom” (Lam. ii. 11, 12).
We do not perceive all this misery, how the young folk are being pitifully corrupted in the midst of Christendom, all for want of the Gospel, which we should always read and study with them.”
In this snippet, at what point would you walk out?
During the rock concert “worship,” the Christless, it’s–all-about-you pep talk, or the offering of a free week gym membership?
Or would you sit through it all believing that this is somehow the same Christianity that 2,000 years of martyrs have shed their blood for?
Study God in the creatures as well as in the Scriptures. The primary use of the creatures, is to acknowledge God in them; they were made to be witnesses of Himself and His goodness, and to be heralds of His glory, whose glory of God as Creator “shall endure forever” (Psalm 104:31). . . . Nature is not contrary to Scripture, nor Scripture to nature; unless we should think God contrary to Himself who is the Author of both.
– Stephen Charnock
1628 – 1680
Your sermon of the week is a great message on justification by Brian Borgman. This sermon also contains the Are You a Roman Catholic or Christian quiz that was featured on DefCon two days ago.
I recommend that before you download/stream this two-part sermon, that you take the quiz first. For those who took the quiz and had some questions about it, this sermon should help answer them.
Additionally, this sermon should bring clarity to the differences between the falsehoods of Roman Catholicism’s view of justification versus the truths of justification contained in holy Scripture.
Grab pen and paper and take the following ten-question quiz (formulated by Dr. J. Ronald Blue of Dallas Theological Seminary). How you do will determine whether you’re a Roman Catholic or a Christian.
Choose the position which is most true:
A). God gives a man right standing with Himself by mercifully accounting him righteous.
B). God gives a man right standing with Himself by actually making him into a righteous person.
A). God gives a man right standing with Himself by placing Christ’s goodness and virtue to his credit.
B). God gives a man right standing with Himself by putting Christ’s goodness and virtue into his heart.
A). God accepts the believer because of the moral excellence found in Christ.
B). God makes a believer acceptable by infusing Christ’s moral excellence into his life.
A). If a man becomes born again, he will achieve right standing with God.
B). If a sinner receives right standing with God, he will then experience a transformation of character and life.
A). We receive right standing with God through faith alone.
B). We receive right standing with God by faith and love.
A). We achieve right standing with God by having Christ live out His life of obedience in us.
B). We achieve right standing with God by receiving the truth that he obeyed the Law of God perfectly for us.
A). We achieve right standing with God by following Christ’s example by the help of enabling grace.
B). We follow Christ’s example because His life has given us right standing with God.
A). God first declares us good, and then His Spirit begins making us good.
B). God sends His Spirit to make us good, and then He will declare that we are good.
A). Christ’s finished work on the cross and intercession at God’s right hand gives us favor in God’s sight.
B). It is the indwelling Christ that gives us favor in God’s sight.
A). Only by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness can we fully satisfy the claims of the Ten Commandments.
B). By the power of the Holy Spirit living in us we can fully satisfy the claims of the Ten Commandments.
Bonus Question 1:
You get to Heaven by works: True or False
Bonus Question 2:
Our faith is the ground of our salvation: True or False
Answers . . .
In the whole debate over “Lordship Salvation”, John MacArthur has had a big red target painted on him, and those who teach “easy-believism” have strung him up and flung him into the depths of Hell because of one paragraph of one book he wrote 7 years ago (“Hard To Believe”). See, the “easy-believer®” doesn’t want to hear the fact that if a person is saved, they will show evidence of their salvation through good works (even though the Holy Writ is clear in many places, such as James 2:14-24 and Ephesians 2:10) that believers are saved in order to perform good works–not that those good works save them. They are so focused on painting Johnny Mac as a heretic, that–well, why bother letting the facts get in the way?
Now, let me ask you this: who would give you a better and more accurate picture of what I believe–someone who heard me say something seven years ago–or someone who hears me teach every week, who knows me personally, and has heard me explain my beliefs over the last several years?
The same question can be asked of those who continue to bash Dr. MacArthur. Who would give you a better and more accurate picture of what he believes–someone who read one paragraph of one book written seven years ago–or someone who knows him personally, works with him every day, and in fact is the editor of most of Dr. MacArthur’s books?
Phil Johnson is the editor of Dr. MacArthur’s books, and is closer–much closer–to Dr. MacArthur than those who continue to smear Dr. MacArthur’s name with accusations based on a statement that Dr. MacArthur never made to begin with. The statement in question is:
Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions.
Now, it certainly sounds like Dr. MacArthur is teaching salvation by works. But, here’s the kicker–Dr. MacArthur never wrote those words! Here is the explanation from Phil Johnson, posted over at Paleoevangelical (Phil Johnson’s words are in green, Lou Martuneac’s words are in blue, text pertaining to the revision is in purple)–
I was overwhelmed as I heard this brief clip. David Platt, pastor The Church at Brook Hills, is correct as he ministers in a way that is not designed to tickle itching ears. Being a true Christian demands radical obedience to the commands of Christ. It is from the cross, and NOT from a bed of roses, that Jesus Christ calls us to leave ALL and follow Him!
I would highly recommend the following message that David Platt preached at T4G 2010, entitled An Unadjusted Gospel in an Unreached World.
We live in a society that increasingly drifts toward the form rather than the substance, which embraces the superficial, lives to play, will pay almost any amount of money to be amused, and prizes fun as the highest pursuit of life. Conviction has been replaced by thrill and few seem to notice. . . . One would hope that things would be different among Evangelical Christians, but such does not seem to be the case. It appears that the church is in lockstep with the world.
– Gary Gilley
While Jewish kids are memorizing the Torah and Muslim kids are memorizing the Koran, these kids are being entertained to death by singing hot dogs and hamburgers, and their parents, youth leaders, and church think all is well.
Is the Church a Family of Families?
Any church that does not look like the ‘norm’ is always trying to explain itself. This is a fact we know all too well at Grace Family Baptist Church. We explain ourselves to those who visit us, those who call us trying to determine if it is a good idea to visit, those who are interested in finding or starting a church like ours, and those who are sure that we are some kind of “Patriarchy” cult. Sometimes we explain ourselves in painstaking detail. At other times we use shorthand. One example of that ‘shorthand’ is our ubiquitous and somewhat enigmatic statement, “The church is a family of families.”
For some people, this captures the essence of the distinction between the FIC, and the neo-traditional church.1 For others, their presuppositions, and/or misconceptions about the FIC (along with the lack of clarity inherent in the phrase) get in the way. This last group ranges from people who simply wish we were clearer in our statement, to those who find in the ‘family of families’ terminology the theological ‘smoking gun’ for which they have searched in an effort to discredit this “extreme overreaction” to the current crisis in contemporary youth ministry.2
We recognize that this may be an unnecessary stumbling block for those with a genuine interest in the Family Integrated Church concept, as well as those attempting to explain it to others. Therefore, allow me to offer a bit of clarity as to what we mean when we use the term ‘family of families’ to describe the church.
We are pleased to continue the Saturday Sermon Series again. This is the eighth in a series of messages from John 17. It was sovereignly delivered by Akash Sant Singh, who is one of the elders at Community Bible Church in Reno, Nevada. May it bring conviction to each of us as we realize our deep lack of prayer, which should be elemental to our Christian faith. Sadly, our prayer lives tend to reveal more about our self-sufficiency than of our utter dependency on the Saviour of our souls.
Shocking video. As if we needed one more reason to home educate our children.