Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Foundation

       I recently read a blog post from a Roman Catholic clergy member. In it he stated that the Catholic Church does not believe in scripture alone. This is the idea that if something doesn't line up with what the Bible says, then it cannot be true. Now, my heart broke when I read this. If you can't stand up scripture, then what can you stand on? I think that there is not nearly enough awareness among protestants that the Roman Catholic church does not believe anything in the same way that protestant churches do. We need to stand up the truth of scripture. If we can't do this, we have nothing. Everything else is the mere words of man and hold no eternal weight in comparison to the holy word of God.

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
        I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

(2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:5 ESV)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Marriage II

   Today I turned on the computer to the news that a judge in PA had ruled that a ban, currently held in the state of PA was unconstitutional. This was a ban against gay marriage. There are many people that have taken this opportunity to already seek marriage licenses, while there are others that are asking for more than one judge to rule on this issue. My heart breaks for the state of PA and for the country of the United States as a whole. One by one we are turning our eyes further and further from the truth. We bless sin and call it a wonderful event. People call it just and right, people's equality, and many other such things. In truth, it is sin. It is only sin. God has not created us to forsake what is right and true. But rather our sinful desires cause us to turn away from Him, to seek out relationships that promote unhealthy families, and distort every picture that Christ has given us for what a family should look like. My heart breaks for all of my friends, who are at this very moment endorsing these actions through social media, and other avenues of communication. I deeply encourage those who think that these actions are the right ones, to go back and read the book of Genesis again. Please read your Bibles, there is nothing else in the whole world that holds as much weight and truth as the words that are found within its pages. People's opinions and thoughts, if not based upon scripture should hold no weight for those who claim to be Christians. My heart is filled with sorrow at the amount of people that claim to love others, and yet continually endorse the sin that they are so deeply involved in. I pray that everyone would join me in prayer, not for our states or country, but rather for those who claim Christ and yet refuse to seek His face on such issues as this.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."

(Romans 1:18-32 ESV)

Thursday, May 15, 2014


   What does it mean to be content? So often I hear people complain about one thing or another, in fact there are many times that I catch myself making this same mistake. So often in our culture, the acceptable thing is to complain about whatever situation we find ourselves in, no matter what it is. If it is hot outside, we complain about that, if it is cold we complain about it being too cold and snowy, if it is the perfect temperature we complain that it is raining too much. This cycle continues and continues, and not just with the weather. There are so many times that we complain about our homes, our food, our kids, our work, our time, and so many other endless things. The cause of this endless complaining? I believe that it stems from a deep and unrelenting desire to disregard God's word and His promise that He will care for us, never leave us, and most of all, work all things for the good of those who He has called unto Himself.
   We need to deeply repent as a church. I do not believe that this call is for our country (USA), for even though many of the founding fathers were deeply involved in their churches, our country is by no means anywhere near being Christian. Therefore I believe that this call of repentance should echo forth unto churches only. Churches that say that they believe and teach the Bible. We cannot say that we trust Jesus for our salvation and then turn right back around and complain about everything that we have or come in contact with. Even if we don't really mind it, the world still hears complaints from a person who should be telling them that Jesus takes care of all of our needs. We need to be the body of Christ. We need to say that Christ takes care of all of our needs, and then actually live like it. Can you imagine what the world would see if we lived through every and any situation without worry or complaint for the things that we encounter? Can you imagine the lives that we could change if we gave up our hold on our mere possessions and goods and instead lived in such a way as to have little but give much?
   We complain about the size of our houses, and yet we are only complaining because we want more rooms so that we can have two living rooms, one for each person. Yes, I said each person. It boggles my mind to hear people talk about how they don't like a house that they look at just because there would only be a space for one tv so the couple would have to watch the same shows together. How about you actually get to know each other, if you want to watch tv, great go for it. But do it together. We complain about being single, but then when we find that special someone all we want to do is make sure we have our alone time and space to ourselves. This can't be what the church is called to. We must dig out the roots that have embedded themselves deep in our hearts and made us the most selfish part of the body of Christ in the entire world. Sure, some people would argue that the great USA church gives more money to help those in need than any other country, great for us. WHO CARES?!! We have more money than every other country to begin with. We should be giving more money, lots more money. Not only money but our time and energy to help those around the world in need. We don't have to travel half way around the world to do this, we have plenty of people that we can help right in our own backyards, but we must seek them out. 
   We must be a people with content hearts. "But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you."

(1 Timothy 6:6-21 ESV)

Monday, May 12, 2014


   Recently I have been thinking about baptism a lot. Then, this Sunday, there was a baptism at church. It was an infant baptism, which comes from a different doctrinal viewpoint to the one to which I hold. This idea of infant baptism has been one of the main catalysts for my recent thoughts on the subject. However, I do not understand where this idea has it's roots within scripture, for I cannot seem to find them.
   There are generally three different views on what baptism is and does. The first would be that held by Roman Catholics. They believe that those who are baptized are "Already destined for him through Baptism..." (Roman Catholic Catechism). This is why they baptize all of their children. They believe that in so doing they will destine them for heaven/salvation.
   The second viewpoint is that which is generally held by Presbyterians. They believe that baptism does not save, and yet they still hold it as a sign of the new covenant and administer it to the children of their congregation. They baptize their children into, what they call, the covenant family of God. Claiming that all of its blessings are bestowed upon those children who are baptized. Claiming that once they are brought unto salvation that they are merely recognizing what was done for them through the act of baptism.
   The third viewpoint is that which is generally held by Baptists. They believe that only those who have professed faith in Christ and understand what that means are the only ones to whom the sacrament of baptism should be administered. They use the many scriptural passages found in the New Testament which state, "repent and be baptized", as the catalyst for this belief. It is through these verses that they reason that since you must repent to be a Christian, and you must do this before scripture calls you to be baptized, then for that reason baptism must follow after such a profession of faith and repentance.
   I believe that through scripture and the understanding of who the blessings of God are for that the third viewpoint presented is the one to which scripture presents as the right way to view the sacrament of baptism. This view uses the sacrament of baptism as a way for believers to profess their knowledge and belief in the work that Jesus Christ has done to save their souls. Much in the same way with which the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is celebrated as a communal event amongst believers to show that they believe in the work that Jesus did upon the cross and the sacrifices that He made for His church. If we were to believe all with the Roman Catholics, we would believe that we are saving anyone that we baptized with a little water when they were a baby. This would be to say that these babies have no need of seeking forgiveness or of believing in Jesus as their savior. But they rather are already destined for Him and no matter what they do will be destined for Him. This does not and cannot align with what scripture says. That a man must be born again to see the kingdom of God. Our human actions, whether they be baptism or other, cannot destine or save anyone. In dealing with the second viewpoint, we can see that the Presbyterians in their view of infant baptism seem to have tried to get away from this teaching of the Catholic Church that basically claims that it saves a child by baptizing them, but they fail to fully step away from baptizing infants and therefore cannot change the meaning of this sacrament, no matter how they word its purpose and design. In so trying to change the meaning and wording to accord with the idea that salvation is wholly wrought by God without any actions of man, they make just as bold of a statement as the Roman Catholics do. By claiming the these children who are baptized receive all the blessing of the New Covenant, they are claiming that they receive the blessings of those who have already had the Holy Spirit work in their heart to enact the salvation of their souls. Therefore, they are claiming that God will give these children the same blessings that He bled and died on the cross to bring salvation to those whom He has called and chosen unto himself. Therefore, if you follow reason, they are claiming that those children have the blessings that God has promised only to the beloved, His bride the church. Saying then, that these children that are baptized are already part of God's church and therefore are already believers.
   Yet, how can this be since there has not been any profession of faith? They would claim that they are not believers, but will one day come to recognize their baptism. What on earth does this even mean? Do they mean that a persons baptism in some way has a certain power over a person that they can one day realize the work that it has done? Are they stating that baptism has more power, or even equal power to the work that the Holy Spirit does? If they are not claiming these things, then what is there to realize or recognize? If baptism is the outward sign of the New Covenant with God, then how can someone who has never claimed to believe that covenant or to hold to the commands of God claim or receive the benefits that He so graciously bestows upon those who do believe in that covenant?
   The answer is simple. If we truly believe that God died for those who He came to save, then we cannot say that babies/infants should be baptized or even come close to "giving" them a piece of the New Covenant. That covenant is for the people of God only! If children grow up in the church and come to a saving knowledge of the grace of God, then they are welcomed into that wonderful and holy covenant, but not until then. No man can be saved through his works or the works of any human being. Therefore the covenant that Presbyterians claim is bestowed upon infants upon the act of baptism is completely untrue and unbiblical.
   We need to teach our children about the New Covenant, but we cannot tell them that they are part of it until they come to a saving knowledge of God. If we tell them as children that they are already part of it, why should they ever need to consider anything else in life since they are already part of such a covenant? They will not, rather it is by God's grace that children or adults are brought to salvation and not because of their baptism.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

George Whitefield & Charles Spurgeon

    "The doctrines of our election, and free justification in Christ Jesus are daily more and more pressed upon my heart. They fill my soul with a holy fire and afford me great confidence in God my Saviour. I hope we shall catch fire from each other, and that there will be a holy emulation amongst us, who shall most debase man
and exalt the Lord Jesus. Nothing but the doctrines of the Reformation can do this. All others leave free will in man and make him, in part at least, a saviour to himself. My soul, come not thou near the secret of those who teach such things. ... I know Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and to do his good pleasure. Oh, the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints’ final perseverance! I am persuaded, til a man comes to believe and feel these important truths, he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these and assured of their
application to his own heart, he then walks by faith indeed!" -George Whitefield
    Oh what amazing and wonderful truths this man preached and spoke. A man who pleaded with others to trust scripture, to not merely say I don't believe John Calvin and his teachings. His main reason for pleading thus, he came to believe the wonderful reformation truths without even reading Calvin. Those truths jumped right off the pages of scripture upon God revealing them to him. Thus, one of the greatest evangelists that ever lived was born.
    "I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless we preach what is nowadays called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel ... unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption (limited atonement) of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the Cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called." -Charles Spurgeon
    These truths of reformed theology have spoken deeply to my heart and mind. Causing me to see God more clearly each and every day while deepening my love for the work that He did for me on the cross.
    "Join with me in prayer at this moment, I entreat you. Join with me while I put words into your mouths, and speak them on your behalf—“Lord, I am guilty, I deserve thy wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to will and to do thy good pleasure. Thou alone hast power, I know, To save a wretch like me; To whom, or whither should I go If I should run from thee? But I now do from my very soul call upon thy name. Trembling, yet believing, I cast myself wholly upon thee, O Lord, I trust the blood and righteousness of thy dear Son .... Lord, save me tonight, for Jesus’ sake.” -Charles Spurgeon