You might be a Calvinist . . .

The following is from the Disciple Man blog:

You Might Just Be A Calvinist If….

If you have a Martin Luther Jell-O mold… you just might be a Calvinist.

If your DVR has over 25 episodes of Wretched With Todd Friel recorded on it… you just might be a Calvinist.

If your child’s first word was “Westminster”… you just might be a Calvinist.

If your 4 year old can explain what the word “propitiation” means… you might just be a Calvinist.

If you send your mother tulips on Mother’s Day… you might be a Calvinist.

If your passion for evangelism blows away your Arminian friends… you might just be a (true) Calvinist.

If you hate rap music BUT you listen to Lecrea, The Cross Movement, Flame or D.A. T.R.U.T.H. because of the lyrics and theology… you might be a Calvinist.

If quotes from Pink, Spurgeon, Luther, Piper, and McArthur make up 90% of your Facebook statuses…you might be a Calvinist.

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If Paul’s epistle to the Galatians was published in Christianity Today.

If the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church in Galatia had been published in the magazine Christianity Today how would it be received? Well, what follows is a dramatization of letters received from readers in response to Paul’s inspired Epistle.


(Source: Sacred Sandwich)


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Christianity Today:

In response to Paul D. Apostle’s article about the Galatian church in your January issue, I have to say how appalled I am by the unchristian tone of this hit piece. Why the negativity? Has he been to the Galatian church recently? I happen to know some of the people at that church, and they are the most loving, caring people I’ve ever met.

Phyllis Snodgrass; Ann Arbor, MI

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Dear Editor:

How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?

Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS

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Dear CT:

I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.

Ken Groener; San Diego, CA

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To the Editors:

Paul Apostle says that he hopes the Galatian teachers will cut off their own privates? What kind of Christian attitude is that? Shame on him!

Martha Bobbitt; Boulder, CO

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Dear Christianity Today:

The fact that Paul Apostle brags about his public run-in with Peter Cephas, a well-respected leader and brother in Christ, exposes Mr. Apostle for the divisive figure that he has become in the Church today. His diatribe against the Galatian church is just more of the same misguided focus on an antiquated reliance on doctrine instead of love and tolerance. Just look how his hypercritical attitude has cast aspersions on homosexual believers and women elders! The real problem within the Church today is not the lack of doctrinal devotion, as Apostle seems to believe, but in our inability to be transformed by our individual journeys in the Spirit. Evidently, Apostle has failed to detach himself from his legalistic background as a Pharisee, and is unable to let go and experience the genuine love for Christ that is coming from the Galatians who strive to worship God in their own special way.

William Zenby; Richmond, VA

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Kind Editors:

I happen to be a member of First Christian Church of Galatia, and I take issue with Mr. Apostle’s article. How can he criticize a ministry that has been so blessed by God? Our church has baptized many new members and has made huge in-roads in the Jewish community with our pragmatic view on circumcision. Such a “seeker-sensitive” approach has given the Jews the respect they deserve for being God’s chosen people for thousands of years. In addition, every Gentile in our midst has felt honored to engage in the many edifying rituals of the Hebrew heritage, including circumcision, without losing their passion for Jesus. My advice to Mr. Apostle is to stick to spreading the gospel message of Christ’s unconditional love, and quit criticizing what God is clearly blessing in other churches.

Miriam “Betty” Ben-Hur; Galatia, Turkey

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Christianity Today apologizes for our rash decision in publishing Paul Apostle’s exposé of the Galatian church. Had we known the extent in which our readership and advertisers would withdraw their financial support, we never would have printed such unpopular biblical truth. We regret any damage we may have caused in propagating the doctrines of Christ.

The Biblical Perspective on Ray Boltz

HT: Mark Moring – Christianity Today liveblog

“Ray Boltz, who sold about 4.5 million records before retiring from Christian music a few years ago, came out of the closet Friday to announce that he’s gay.

“I’d denied it ever since I was a kid,” Boltz, 55, told the magazine. “I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore … when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”

Boltz will perform in September at (two Bible mocking, Christ-dishonouring, wicked acceptance of that which is abomination before God) congregations that are part of a growing network of churches that are not biblical in any aspect.

Boltz is known for his songs “Thank You”, “Watch the Lamb,” “The Anchor Holds,” and “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.”

Boltz also told (a homosexual newspaper) that he doesn’t want to get into debates about Scripture and has no plans to “go into First Baptist or an Assembly of God church and run in there and say, ‘I’m gay and you need to love me anyway.’”

For him, the decision to come out is much more personal.

“This is what it really comes down to,” he says. “If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”

******************** – Emphasis in the above is mine.

Our hearts break for the misery that this man is putting his family through.  What is sad is that many will simply reject the man out of hand without any prayer for repentance.  This is not what we are doing or advocating to our readers.  If it was not for the grace of God, it could be any one of us struggling with such sins.  However, to be biblical, ALL of our sins are just as heinous as each others.

I am thankful that God is a forgiving God, and a merciful God.  He can forgive Ray Boltz just as He does with us when we sin against His holiness.  Sadly, there is nothing in anything that I have read that would indicate ANY remorse for sin.  This goes beyond the recognition that Ray’s sins are no worse than ours.  The situation here is that a man who claims the name of Christ is deliberately, willfully and consistently breaking the commands of Scripture with nothing but excuses for his wicked, perverted, immoral behavior and lifestyle.

Ray states that he “became a Christian” because he thought it was the way to deal with the perversions of his mind.  Wrong answer!  I became a true believer (a Christian) because the Lord Jesus Christ convicted me of my sins and I realized that I was headed for a Christ-less eternity unless I came by grace through faith alone and accepted the finished work of Calvary!  I didn’t come to Christ (and neither does any other true believer) as a way to deal with trying to overcome sins or to better myself.

His statement about not wanting to get into debates about Scripture marks Ray as one who delights in his sin.  In doing so, he seeks to make a mockery of the Word of God in many different areas.

He concludes that “It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be.”  Mr. Boltz, I am afraid that you are VERY WRONG!  God did not make you or anyone else to live a perverted lifestyle that demeans His creation of man, and the institution of marriage which God ordained to be between 1 man and one woman.  And, yes, if there is NO REPENTANCE, God will send you and many others to hell – but the reason will be because you reject the truth of Scripture and remain in unbelief.

One last note, what Scripture verse tells us that we draw closer or feel closer to God because we don’t hate ourselves anymore.  What a load of new-age nonsense!  The ONLY way we will ever draw close to God is by cleansing our hands, we who are sinners.  Cleansing our hands does not take place when we choose to live in habitual sin which is condemned by God.

Our decision is that we cannot condone Ray in any aspect of his life or his music.  We have made the decision that this man who has been living a lie for all of these years is one who from whom we are to separate.  I can no more permit his music to remain a part of my selection than I could Elton John or Kirk Talley (for the Southern Gospel music afficionados).  I believe to do so would be an affront to the holiness of God.  Others may choose differently, but they only have to answer to God.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15

Praying for godly sorrow and repentance,

The Desert Pastor