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« I am not alone | Main | Attention all those who think Iraq is a disaster »

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

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Ith

That was a wonderful post. I found myself nodding a lot while reading it.

Nick

I read this blog every day (I’m one of the guys still on the blue line from the chart)

Really interesting post, as I believe it speaks to the direction of the church in America. We are becoming a church shaped more by “I think” and I thought” than by “the bible says”. Perhaps we as a group are less confident in our faith because it has become more of “each one did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25) as opposed to “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

I do not subscribe to the brow beating evangelism of some, and agree that salvation comes to man as a work of God’s Spirit, yet God commands us to be part of the process (Matt 28:16-20). What that looks like is debatable, but doing nothing is not.

I would love to know which 3 tenets you would disagree with.

Nick

Sorry about the comment overload!! I guess when it say “cannot connect to server” it really means I sent your comments the first time…..

Sorry…..Nick

Andrew

the great commission - we are Gods hands...It is one of the biggest reasons for being here

not perfection

I got as much out of this post as any "political" post of the last month. Thanks.

Grace is the key. It's a gift and it comes in unlikely packages, as you hint at. The great commission is best served by walking the walk rather than talking the talk 'cause talk is cheap. There is another thing which I believe and bet you do, too: salvation by desire. The attempt to live a virtuous life absent of devotion to Christ is a gift of the same Grace and leads to the same place. So, Buddha's up there hanging at the streetcorners of heaven with St Paul, Augustine, Moses, and Maimonides digging eternity.

Rick

Nick,

As to the tenets I "disagree" with... not sure that I would couch it in that way... I simply have problems with (can't get my hands around saying I honestly believe and affirm)the following:

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • I certainly used to. And I certainly desire to but I can't with sincerity and integrity say that I believe it anymore. Besides, the argument given by some that Christ is the only infallible and authoritative Word of God seems to hold much more water with me now. And I think this one leads much less to unity within the body of Christ and much more to petty squabbles. Although I guess we could say the same about any one of these tenets and that may tell us something as well.

  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • The problem I have with this one has to do with who the arbiter is in defining lost and sinful people. It leads to the practice of my saying I'm not lost and sinful and you are... when the reality may be exactly the opposite.

  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • First time I've actually come across this one... I simply have a problem with the paradox of resurrection and damnation being used together like that. And frankly, I'd like to see the Scriptural support for that (I'm a little out of practice with Scriptural swordplay so I'm not denying that there is support just can't recall anything at the moment).

    Rick
    So, Buddha's up there hanging at the streetcorners of heaven with St Paul, Augustine, Moses, and Maimonides digging eternity.

    Now you gotta know NP that this kind of statement would disqualify you from joining most evangelical circles...

    :)

    Not that this would necessarily be a bad thing...

    (I can't believe I'm writing these things... I must be flirting with the devil...)

    :)

    stephanie

    Great post Rick. One comment is that the "feelings" we use have more weight than the Bible. Yet because the Bible has been used to beat people, to desensitize people, many want nothing to do with scripture being hurled at them. Grace isn't words - it is an active way of walking in life. As I read your words I think about the truth that brings freedom. Freedom to find who Jesus is and act like He does and let that become its own kind of sermon. Freedom for relationship with God to develop, to grow and for it to be Light at any given time. I like your honesty here, and understand it for I too am on this pathway.

    outfoxed

    Your post was remarkable. I don't think I've encountered honesty about faith more fluidly expressed in years.

    Evangelicals would surely count me among the backslidden. Which is one reason why E-gels and I have little to discuss. Tyranny always seems to spring from organized self-empowerment.

    From a Southside VA reader with best regards.

    Nick

    In an effort to eliminate, or at least limit, the Scriptural swordplay, I will confine my remarks to a single point, which if I am successful, would be the first time I have confined my remarks to a single point !!

    We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

    This is the foundational statement for me. If in fact it is false, then “salvation by desire” rules the day. Then “each man did what was right in his own eyes” is our call to arms. If it is correct, than scripture reflects God’s nature and His plan to set men free. It is not the tyranny of rules and the struggle of “do I desire enough” but the freedom that comes from Salvation as a free gift.

    Has scripture been used for purposes beyond which it was given? Sure.
    Have men used these words to gain personal control and wealth? Sure.
    Did Jesus see and comment on man’s misuse of His words? Often.

    The bible is singularly about God and His plan to reconcile man to Himself. The Word became flesh. The need, the plan, and the results.

    If the bible is not the anchor of truth, than man is free to suffer his way under his own power. Not knowing if he will ever measure up. Wrestling with the demon of his own self desire and the failure of his flesh. Ask me how I know.

    I’ll take the free gift, and hold on to the anchor.

    Rick

    Nick,

    Please, don't ever limit your remarks to a single point here at BH...

    I love what you've written... it resonates, it's... convincing... it's beautifully put...

    However...

    The scriptures are authoritative in that they point to the anchor of truth, Jesus Christ. And it's Christ who became flesh, it's Christ who I believe to be infallible and authoritative.

    The moment you and I begin to discuss the notion that the Scriptures are without error is the moment I think we've been distracted from what I believe ought to be our focus. The person of Christ.

    And yes, the Scriptures are the most authoritative source available that tell us of who the Christ is and what He's about and on that we should remain in agreement. But to say that the Scriptures are the only infallible Word (with a capital W) is to minimize, I've come to believe, kicking and screaming, the person I've come to know as the real deal, the honest to goodness Word of God.

    I want the Scriptures to be infallible and the complete and honest and final truth about God. But far too much energy will be expended in trying to convince people of that. And I think it's a waste of precious time.

    Love ya Nick...

    Theresa K.

    Rick,

    I found your blog through the latest Christian Carnival. I really enjoyed this post, more than you might know. You are now featured on my blog, Be Strong in the Grace. You are in good company, you know. There are many evangelical refugees (still very devout Christians, but no longer accepting the American Evangelical movement) out there and they have blogs! From my blog, you can link to them.

    http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com/2005/01/brutally-honest-what-am-i.html

    john tindor

    HI, bro. First time viewer of your blog. I hope that doesn't disqualify me from having a voice here.
    I couldn't care less whether people consider me or you to be an "evangelical". I do believe, however, that God has seen fit to preserve His written word through the centuries and that we are patently unwise to ignore it.
    "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1 cor.10.12). If you read the whole chapter of 1 co.10, it is easy to see where humanity ends up without the wise counsel of God being our greatest influence. Beyond that, how do you propose that people in general should become Christians? Obviously to you, preaching is foolish and ineffective in reaching the lost. Maybe you don't believe people are lost without Christ. Paul said that "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God" (1 co. 1.17-25). You may not be obnoxious now like you were in your evangelical days, but does your current message have the power of God to save? There is no question that we are saved by grace, but the new testament pattern is that Jesus sent believers to preach and teach His word and to help people to become disciples of His. It doesn't just happen. And, if we have been given the greatest gift of all times, that is, forgiveness of our sins and new life in Christ, how can we not believe that others need the same thing from God? And if others need Christ, and we are His representatives, how can we not feel responsibility to help others to come into the same relationship with Him that we have through faith? Please read Mt 28.16-20 and Mk.16.14-20. Some modern christians discount the word of God overtly. Some others do so by following a wisdom of their own that runs counter to plain Bible teaching.

    Bro. Gil

    Ran accross an interesting website "www.chutchless-disciples.com" contacted them and found them very encouraging and caring. You should visit their site... God Bless

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