Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Making me think


  1. The last time you posted about Washer (in connection with television), I watched a bunch of his videos. Most of the ones I watched dealt with the materials you quote in the second half. He is powerful and convicted and harsh.

    Much of what he said I agree with (I was raised Calvinist, so I suppose that is no surprise) but I think that he errs on the side that lacks mercy at times. Some of the things that he says about the false church could apply to members of our current church (a non-denominational church) - members who I truly believe are Christian (of course, only God knows the heart and can judge).

    I remember reading comments about his "Lordship Salvation" too but I too do not know what that means.

    I recently read/or heard a message about sanctification and justification that was almost exactly like what he says - but I can't recall where. We've been going through "How Then Shall We Live" by Francis Schaeffer (which is excellent - although dated) but I don't think it was him - his series is about World View.

    I want to say it was our interim pastor at church. Pastor Don is fabulous...and I can certainly see him preaching a sermon on sanctification and justification (he is very intellectual) but I just don't remember. Sigh.

    I think that an explanation of sanctification like the one above or the one I heard really explains sanctification the best.

    We've actually been going through sanctification, justification, and to be made righteous before God in the girl's catechism, which has helped me immensely since I did not have good catechism growing up.

    1. I too attend a non-denominational church, we used to be part of the Anglican church but our Pastor retired from the Church of England and some of the congregation stayed at the C of E and some (including me & my family) went with our Pastor. So my 'theology' I guess is a bit of a mix of Anglican and other. I read my Bible and read a lot of devotional books and articles online, but sometimes I feel like I flounder on theology and specific doctrine as I've never had it drummed into me. So when I watch someone like Paul Washer I find it hard to automatically weed out the bad doctrine from the truth I have to start searching my Bible. Praise God for the Bible!

      Perhaps I ought to get myself a really good Bible study course! :)

  2. We have free will, so we can be saved and then live a nongodly lifestyle, or if we are saved and truly love the Lord, we want to please and obey Him all of our days.
    So, to me, I am saved by grace, but I am so grateful and in awe of my wonderful God who loves me so much that He was willing to die for me, I want HIS will, not mine. So whether I could still go to heaven if I didn't follow His will and seek Him, or not, the trade off of living in His will and in His abundance is my choice. Because not living in Him, would make my life so much less to live.
    So I'd rather live in Him because He is my All in all, so the rest doesn't really matter for me. I don't worry about it, but I do seek forgiveness when I sin, because I am a sinner, saved by grace. Hallelujah!
    Kind of rambly, but there you have it.

    1. I agree with you, our love for Christ compels us to live for Him; and yes, we will still fail and sin because we are not yet fully perfected only in heaven will be we be incorruptible. However, Paul Washer points out that if we are truly born-again, given our new heart of flesh where once it was stone (see Ezekiel), are a new creature in Christ, are now joined to Christ through His death and resurrection then there will be a real change in our lives. We may fail but there will be, degree by degree, a change as we are moulded by God into the image of Christ.

      Being born-again isn't a purely intellectual decision, it is a spiritual change made as our hearts are moved by the Spirit of God through the reaching or reading of the Word/Gospel message – do believe that we can resist or choose, but it is still more than just an intellectual thing. So, it's not quite as simple as I choose God, but today I'm not going to choose God (a simple head decision) our hearts will convict us of sin through His Word and Holy Spirit – now again we are not forced to change against our will, we can fight God, but it’ll be a miserable life for a true Christian to fight constantly against the Holy Spirit living within him. God has promised in the scriptures to change us – and He will not let us go!

      Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6.

      Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8.

      We are also admonished to examine ourselves to be sure that we really are in the faith. James tells us that real faith will produce works as evidence that God is working in our lives. We are also told not to use grace as an excuse for sin. We are told to repent, confessing our sins.

      So I agree with Paul Washer to a point, however, there is a great danger to worriers such as myself that I will live in such deep introspection that I will never actually live in that free gift of grace that God has bestowed upon me. I could live such a miserable life of self-hatred. There is also a great danger that we will judge others’ salvation far too much on their works (unsaved people can do things that seem to be good), only God knows if someone is saved.

      Equally, there is a danger that we start to see works as being needed for salvation - they aren't, good works will flow from a heart turned to God, but a lack of good works doesn't mean a person was never saved. We may even fear we have lost our salvation if we aren't doing 'enough' good things - this is impossible, those who are saved have an eternal salvation.

      The Bible also tells us we can backslide, or we may suffer a 'thorn in the flesh' like Paul (I’m not sure what his thorn was, but Christ told him that His grace was sufficient). A backslidden Christian is still saved, but I reckon that if they are true Christians then they will be entirely miserable in their sin as they grieve the Holy Spirit with Whom they have been sealed.

      The Corinthians were 'carnal' Christians, but they were also baby Christians and Paul spoke the word of God to them that they may be changed.

      So, at the end of all that I agree with Melissa, that much of what he says is good but it could do with being seasoned with a touch of mercy. God is all powerful and holy yes! But He is also gentle, loving, and merciful. He gently moulds us, He leads us like a Shepherd, He also disciplines us. Perfect love drives out all fear. Let us be perfected in His love. His love covers a multitude of sins and His grace is sufficient for us!

      So that's where I am at the minute with it all. :)

    2. Sorry, Carol, that comment was long and rather all over the place. But hopefully you get the drift. :)

  3. I agree with your summary in your comment. And to be honest I stay away from Paul Washer's preaching. There is a place for it because, as you say, he does make some good points, but for fearful, over-analytical people, like me, his type of preaching can do a lot of damage. Also, with him being a Calvinist, well, I do NOT agree with Calvinist doctrine, so that is another reason I stay away from him.

    1. Yes, good points but it makes me far too fearful and introspective as well! :)

  4. Surely any God who is "gentle, loving and merciful" would not want you to be fearful?
    There are so many different variations on all preachings, not only the Bible, they can all be used by anyone proclaiming to be an expert. Brainwashing isn't anything new, it's been going on for many years.

    1. It depends where you are in God whether we ought to fear or not, I just had a 'wobble' because I was giving into a fleshly fear not born of God.

      For those in Christ Jesus, no we are not to live in a state of fear For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.(2 Timothy 1:7) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18).

      It is quite correct to feel godly sorrow for wrongful actions - but this brings life compared to the worldly sorrow that brings only death and depression.Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:9,10).

      Now, I can't make out from your comment if you are a Christian or not, but to be sure if you are not then you need Jesus, because without Christ there can be nothing but fear, because we are all (without Christ) sinners and the wages of sin is death and eternal death at that; but the free gift of God in Jesus Christ is eternal life. God loves you, though He is Holy and hates sin He is merciful and slow to anger, He longs to gather all His children into His care. Longs enough that He sent His only Son to die for us, to carry our sins, to suffer the wrath of God that we deserved. God for one moment on that cross forsook His own Son so that we might not be forsaken. And now because Christ conquered death, and rose to life and ascended into Heaven we are restored into beautiful fellowship with God – not because of any great effort on our part but as a free gift of grace from God for all who will believe in Christ Jesus.
      We're all sinners and we all fall short of God's expectations, so He sent Jesus, to atone (make amends) for our sins (through His death on the cross), to rescue us from this sick ol' world and to bring us into newness of life (through His resurrection).

      It is that which I live for, the love of God and the hope of eternal life.